Dear Friend and Reader:
Who dreamed that millions of women, and their friends, would take to the streets around the world on Saturday, Jan. 21, starting the New Regime with a roar? Well, someone did: urban legend is that it all started with a Facebook event page that went viral, and a permit for 1,000 protesters. Stranger things have happened.
There have been few times — I cannot remember many others — when I looked out at the world and was consciously grateful to have lived to see that day.
At around 5:30 Saturday evening, when the crowd from the women’s march on New York City was dispersing from Trump Tower one block away, I was floating in a sea of calm, confident and content faces of women.
It was like being on another planet. I was in bliss. The clever picket signs and the pink pussycat hats and the friendly vibes made 1/21 one of the happiest days of my life, and of my political journey.
At that moment, I had no idea what had happened in Washington, D.C., though. I got back to my hotel and, after a few hours, finally turned on the TV to stunning video of the rally in Washington. It was jaw dropping.
As for you, it was painful to endure 18 months of one man’s insults and accusations, which were directed at women, and at darker-skinned people, and the weak and disadvantaged.
The bragging about sexual assault; reading the federal civil complaint of someone who claimed to have been held hostage and repeatedly attacked by the candidate and an associate; and the vitriol directed at Megyn Kelly for calling him out on years and years of nonstop misogyny, all would have been difficult enough to endure on their own.
It was challenging without being confronted by all the enabling behavior, the excuse-making, and the bravado, all capped off by the majority of white women voting for him. I felt this as a personal and collective betrayal. But they may have done us a favor by helping install someone who is genuinely a petty tyrant and is demonstrably psychotic.
Then the big day came, Inauguration Day, which was cold and glum and rainy, both where I live and in Washington, D.C. We all heard the new president’s dark, macabre view of his country, and about how the carnage ends now: as if the Crips and Bloods will beat their swords into plowshares to honor the new emperor.
The nascent president and first lady in the poorly attended inaugural parade, surrounded by an army of Secret Service agents.
We heard his laughable statement that this particular inauguration has “very special meaning because today, we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another or from one party to another, but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the people.”
You can find descriptions of the president’s behavior many places in the DSM (the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual). He is an obvious abuser, and is triggering many people’s past injuries. Yet what he and his cohorts suffer from most of all is the lack of irony. The painful void of any humor, any sense of self-reflection, the meekest hint of wit.
It was grim, watching him stroll around surrounded by a regiment of Secret Service agents trained to give their lives for him: to dive in front of a would-be assassin’s weapon. After a while I could not stand it, and went back to writing the monthly horoscope. When the going gets tough, astrology is a good way to relax.
Saturday came, and I headed down to the city with a friend. When we got to town, the traffic warnings were flashing AVOID MIDTOWN. I did not associate this with the throngs at the New York City march. I had no expectations that many people would care enough to turn out. I figured it would be the usual few remaining baby boomer hippies wearing peace buttons. I am so happy I was very, very wrong.
The other shoe had dropped. There was a finally response to the vicious, persistent mistreatment of women that we had endured, coming from a man who aspires to be emperor. The concept of an “equal and opposite reaction” or an out-breath or some statement of collective strength, some resistance, some will for some other notion of reality, actually happened.
Protests against the invasion of Iraq, on Feb. 15, 2003, were a genuinely worldwide event. But they also proved that protests can be meaningless unless the energy is harnessed.
I recognize that one day of protest can mean very little. No real commitment or discipline is required. I was at the global F-15 protest in Seattle, and I was amazed: the world had come out against the pre-emptive bombing and invasion of a country that had never once aggressed against the United States. The anti-war movement went nowhere. All we really got was Code Pink. Bush War II went on and on and on, and continues to this day.
The Occupy protests built up and were crushed, and never matured into a real political movement. The power was never harnessed. It was a beautiful moment — and a real loss. We need to analyze and understand the reasons for this. Along the way, I’ve seen many movements come and go, many people who could have mustered up some power give up. So I’m not really that optimistic about citizen action, though I do my best to encourage involvement with every word that I write or speak.
On Saturday, though, I felt different. Something moved, and was moving. I felt moved, and was moving. Walking down 6th Avenue felt like strolling through a dream. That long row of ultra-modern skyscrapers, bathed in fog and city light, and the peaceful faces of protesters everywhere, making eye contact with me. I felt like I was living far in the future, safe and content.
It’s All About Women
Over many years of observing, covering, provoking and imbibing politics and social movements, starting around the time of the second Nixon election and Watergate (age eight or so), I’ve developed a theory of what is wrong with the world.
What is wrong is the treatment of women. In my view, this is the root of all other problems. The dismal treatment of women — and the underlying impulse that leads to such conduct — is in my view the root of all evil.
Makes perfect sense to me. Photo by Jaya Saxena.
I know there are a lot of other theories going around. My AP European History teacher said that all of history is the struggle between the haves and the have-nots (this supports my theory, but it’s not enough).
I’m hip to A Course in Miracles and its metaphysics, which says that fear is the whole problem, right down to how we got into bodies. This has some merit, despite the words she or her not appearing anywhere in the entire course. In reality, despite its language, the Course trains its students to access the indwelling, feminine aspect of God known in some traditions as Shekinah, and in Christian terms as the Holy Spirit.
My theory is that all the world’s problems — all of them, whether social, political, military, economic, sexual, or whatever — are the result of the lack of respect for women and for the feminine aspect of consciousness. Both the treatment of female-bodied people, and the place in society of everything that’s under the domain of the right brain, are the problem.
Remember, and it’s easy to forget, that we are all gestated inside of women, and born of women. The female body is the seat of creation, of all known existence, because we’re the ones doing the knowing. To rage at existence, as so many do, is one breath away from raging at She who gives us life.
This carries into Tantric tradition, which views the feminine aspect of the universe as the source of all of existence; the male aspect plays an exceedingly small role. Enlightenment is attained by making peace with female as creator and destroyer, in the form of Kali.
Wow, that’s clever. Photo by Bridget Capo.
Language, mathematics and rationality crush (and are used to crush) all that is creative, intuitive, poetic or receptive: the feminine aspect of consciousness. The very existence of the alphabet, its pervasiveness, and all of society’s obsession with it, played a vast role in creating this state of affairs.
The ability to turn the abstract nonsense of letters into a representation of the universe changed all of perception, reworked neurology and conscoiusness, altered the senses (particularly vision), threw the senses out of whack.
Marshall and Eric McLuhan wrote that all war is the war between the hemispheres of the brain. This translates into the war against women and the feminine.
Make no mistake: it exists. Just because few women and next to no men admit that it exists does not mean that it doesn’t. Like racism, true misogyny is not merely bigotry; it’s structured into the bricks and mortar of society, into its neurological patterns, and into our DNA.
We see evidence of this in the current (and rather enduring) battle over reproductive rights, in which the female body is the battlefield. Is there any other way to explain putting right-wing justices on the Supreme Court, intent on taking away Roe v. Wade, when 70% of the American population is in favor of it?
Making abortion illegal will make it unsafe; it will kill more women. Making birth control illegal will cause more pregnancies and therefore more injury and death from illegal abortion (part of the same agenda: Roe v. Wade is based on the famous Griswold v. Connecticut decision, and the Cons want to rid the world of Griswold as well). Why are men deciding this? Why are they doing it? There is a reason. We might also ask why so many women support them.
Getting right to the point. Photo via Jason La Canfora.
Reproductive rights are personhood rights. Anyone who lacks autonomy over their body is a prisoner or a slave. This is about enslaving and imprisoning women: under any plan I’ve heard, banning abortion would mean making it a crime. The plan is not just regressing to ‘a woman’s place is barefoot and pregnant and in the kitchen’. If abortion is a crime, then so too will miscarriage (which often happens naturally) be a crime.
The ongoing heating and contamination of the environment is war on Gaia, who is our Earth-mother, who entirely supports our lives. This is being done by corporations, nearly all of which are controlled by men.
I could go on, and on, and on.
A few weeks ago I had a life-altering experience. Working with a professional dominatrix, I was put into the body and consciousness of a woman. This was done in a series of steps that included experiencing some degradation, being dressed in women’s clothing, spoken to as an inferior, being subjected to pain, having my hands tied and then being introduced to everyone as Erica, the prettiest girl in the room, clearly intended as an insult.
We were not merely acting. She was good: she knew what she was doing. I am psychically mobile, and I felt my inner reality shift. My orientation in physical space rearranged itself as I watched and felt. I was transformed into an object. That’s what objectified means. It has nothing to do with “objective.” It means to be made into a thing. With this came the feeling of being a center of attention and at the same time, muted. Silenced. Like I had no right to speak unless spoken to, and even then, I did not have anything to say. I was on the verge of tears and could barely nod in agreement when I agreed with something.
This was not some mere psychological trick. I felt the world and my relationship to it change. It was the mix of having attention focused on me as a thing, but being muted, afraid to speak, shorn of my usual potent access to words, that was the most stunning aspect of the experience. In an instant — the space of about 20 minutes — my attitude had been completely repositioned. I suddenly grasped, on an instinctual, body level, why so many women need to be asked questions: it’s permission to speak. That silence used to frustrate me to no end. Suddenly I had empathy for it, and a better idea how to speak to those who are silenced, and the urgency of listening carefully.
Vagina Virgin of Guadalupe. Photo by Amy K. Nelson.
So when I heard Amy Jacobs’ recordings of hundreds of thousands of women chanting, “Stand up, fight back!” I got how meaningful that was, on an existential level. Please, listen to this one-minute montage of recordings from D.C. on Saturday.
Those voices mean everything. Those voices are revolutionary. The Pussy Riot went right to the White House, right to Trump Tower, flooding every single TV station and innumerable internet sites, and the president and his advisors were watching. I could feel their fear. I could feel his fear: the very entity that terrifies him the most, woman, was literally out in the streets in numbers too big to ignore.
There’s just one little problem. Being silenced and having reduced rights, or none at all, absolves one of responsibility. To claim one’s rights and privileges, to speak up, to express power, all demand responsibility — and that is terrifying to many people. In the apt words of Erich Fromm, it’s why humans so often try to escape from freedom. If there’s going to be a real social movement, we need to address this troubling and persistent fact of human nature.
Uranus Conjunct Eris
There are many interesting facets to the astrology from Saturday; the protest had Pisces rising, and all those planets now in Pisces were in the 12th house. Venus and Mars were conjunct Chiron. There are many other details. However, there’s really one thing that counts: the Uranus-Eris conjunction.
The usual state of affairs under full digital conditions. The iPhone and other “smart” phones arrived at the dawn of the Uranus conjunct Eris era. This is the obsession with glamour, the deconstruction of the body, and the shattering of social relationships, under the influence of both factors.
This conjunction is in the background of everything, and it’s now coming to the forefront. We’ve been living with it for a long while, but we didn’t know it at the time. Eris, discovered in 2005, makes one of its first stellar appearances during the conjunction era in the chart of the iPhone, in 2007. If we’re wondering how everything has got so wiggy, how we got into this “alternative fact” zone, or how any of this even happened: Uranus conjunct Eris.
It’s the sigil of our times. It’s the geist in our zeitgeist. It’s the thing to look to for the utterly ridiculously widespread crisis of identity, the obsession with appearance and glamour, the void of all context, the blatant and bald-faced lying, and the generally strange times in which we are living.
I’ve said that this is the biggest thing since the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1965-1966 that sparked what later became known as the Sixties. It’s similar to the Uranus-Neptune conjunction of 1993 that precipitated the total rearrangement of geopolitics, the dissolution of the USSR, and many other events of that era. These aspects tend to have long and far-reaching effects. In a sense they begin and then they never end.
Feisty young women protesting for “religious freedom” at the peak of the Anti-Sixties way back in 2014. They had no idea what their mothers and grandmothers went through to get the modest (and now threatened) rights that women currently have. Photo by Doug Mills.
It’s similar to the Chiron-Eris conjunction of 1971-1972 that came with second-wave feminism, women’s lib, Roe v. Wade, the first woman to ever win the National Book Award (Adrienne Rich, for Diving Into the Wreck), and many other developments of that era, such as the environmental movement and the Back to the Earth movement.
You might think of Uranus conjunct Eris as being the sum total of all of these. Pluto is in the aspect pattern (it’s still square Uranus, and about to square Eris). Neptune is in the aspect pattern (Uranus is currently semi-square Neptune). Chiron is tucked into the pattern, hanging out 30 degrees from Uranus and Eris. We’ve got everything, all at once.
The Uranus-Eris conjunction represents a simultaneous collapse of identity and of consensus reality. The nature of this aspect is that it starts on the individual level and then multiplies out into society, through personal experience, motivation and choice. Who you are becomes who we are. Who we are becomes who you are. Robots are in the equation, since we are all telepathically connected to the internet.
There will be some very troubling developments under this astrology; the upheavals have just begun. The single most reassuring fact is that people responded with their bodies, making reference to their bodies. One profound effect of Uranus-Eris has been a widespread effect of disembodiment.
It’s converted life into an astral experience. To be in the “digital haze” means to be disembodied. That people responded by physically showing up — right here in the age of disembodiment — makes this event all the more meaningful.
The pervasive theme of reclaiming the body is something I found to be profoundly reassuring, after documenting for so long how digital distorts and diminishes the body. In particular, the association of feminism with the female body, and with sexual rights per se (not just somewhat abstract ‘reproductive rights’) is what I found to be the most reassuring about this wave of protests.
And then there’s one other thing. Eris, known by the Romans as the goddess Discordia, is ready to rumble.
Provoked and precipitated by revolutionary Uranus (who resembles fire thief Prometheus, the awakener), Eris has more power than we’ve ever consciously known. And she is pissed off. It might have been an easy call to predict an uprising of women under this astrology; I was not so optimistic.
Both Uranus and Eris function through subversion. We will have many surprises ahead of us. Personally, for individuals, this aspect functions on two main levels: it can represent the subversion of identity, or a revolution of identity. You choose which one you want, though this may be something you must decide over and over again, every day. And trust that as you do, many, many other people are doing so.
Meanwhile, I wonder whether Herr Drumpf realizes what he has unleashed. It’s way long overdue.
Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, by Planet Waves, Inc. Core Community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Special Project Designer: Lizanne Webb. Finance: Jonathan McCarthy. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Astrology Fact Checker: Len Wallick. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Eric’s Assistant: Gale Jazylo. Client Services: Amy Elliott. Media Consultant: Andrew Ellis Marshall McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Amy Jacobs, Cindy Ragusa and Carol van Strum.
Letter: Enough Normalization of Violence and Abuse
Your recent broadcasts have touched on some ideas and issues near and dear to me, and I want to thank you and respond a bit.
A few weeks ago you talked about women’s voting for Trump based on the prevalence and normalization of and resignation to sexual violence and abuse. I wholeheartedly agree. And as I think you said/wrote, even those of us who are not sexual abuse survivors have it written in our DNA.
One’s powerlessness over what another person does to one’s body in sexual abuse/assault also takes place in domestic violence, and that is the aspect of Trump-ness that has most upset and galvanized me. I am a domestic violence survivor — the marriage lasted from 1999-2007.
I didn’t stay for the expected children/economic reasons, but for some of the reasons you’ve mentioned for women Trump voters: cognitive dissonance combined with his gaslighting (thanks for your reading of the movie) and learned helplessness and family/cultural pressure and long-internalized misogyny. Thank you for highlighting these phenomena in your analysis of the Trump situation.
And in case you haven’t seen the following, the first regarding Melania Trump as potentially abused (not far-fetched, in my opinion) and the second about dealing with an autocrat.
Read All 18 Past Years’ Annuals!
A Tradition, a Feeling, and Great Readings: The Planet Waves Annual
Dear Friend and Reader:
Each year at this time, I am busy creating the Planet Waves annual edition. It’s an Internet tradition but it’s also a tradition in my life. I also consider it an invention: a way to get you a solid, detailed and authentic astrology reading, with information that makes a difference in your life — astrology that you remember and come back to — for a very modest fee.
It’s actually a rather astounding document that gives you access to 18 years of annuals so you can research your life.
This was me after finishing the 60,000 words of writing in Vision Quest at the end of December 2015.
Every year is a fresh reading with a new perspective, taking up the astrology of the moment. After many years of research and practice, I am able to use current transits and get more detail than most astrologers are able to get with a natal chart.
The Planet Waves annual is one of a kind. There is nothing else like it in the business: an alive, immediate, accessible reading of the astrology that is happening right now and in the coming few seasons. The readings work for your Sun sign and your rising sign. It’s a full-service offering.
I write and record the readings to be motivational and inspiring, as well as factually informative about the astrological influences you will actually experience. I also think of it as a kind of yearbook, recording the story of our moment, the issues that were occupying our thoughts, and the breakthroughs in astrology and astronomy. Every annual is created taking into account the newest planetary discoveries of the era when it was created.
Each annual has its own ambience, music and feeling tones that I associate with it, and memories of the place it was created. The Planet Waves annual has been a forum for developing the astonishing talent you see on our staff — a kind of learning laboratory and easy way to get involved, a place to try new ideas and, in truth, to invent the craft of astrology as we go.
It’s official: Pussy has gone mainstream
By Amy Jacobs
Yes, there were countless remarkable things about the Women’s March on Washington last weekend.
The sheer number of people who came out; the fact that marches took place all over the United States and even the world; the diversity and inter-generationality present; the wildly creative and powerful signs; and the fact that no arrests were made the entire day in connection to the March are all indications that something of great historical significance took place.
A particularly powerful and artistic declaration.
However, less discussed but just as evident of a turning point is this: the word “pussy” has been reclaimed by women, many of whom, a few months ago, might have hesitated to utter those syllables unless they were reading out loud a children’s book from the 1950s (and probably would have cringed a little internally even then.)
Back in October, The Washington Post released a recording of a 2005 conversation in which Donald Trump can be heard bragging that “when you’re a star, [women] let you do anything,” even “grab ‘em by the pussy.” The leak poised an interesting dilemma for news organizations, most of whom had never had to make decisions about where to put the asterisks when censoring that particular word.
But outraged citizens around the country had no problem catching on to exactly what was said, and the casual reference to sexual assault that it implied.
The next month, as we all know, Trump won the election, despite this and many other events and statements which in a more sane time would have led to his unequivocal defeat. It’s a wake-up call for almost all of us, and it remains to be seen whether the crowd that showed up in the streets on Saturday continues to take action. But there is something striking about the fact that any woman, man and child who participated in a march or even watched one on the news has now been inundated with the word “pussy” — in a context clearly not referring to a cute, cuddly pet.
At the March, posters using the word were everywhere. “Pussy Grabs Back!” — a direct play on Trump’s vulgar statement — was probably the most common (as well as a favorite chant of protesters), but there were also countless other creative and poetic declarations. Some examples included:
- “Keep Your Tiny Hands Off My Pussy!”
- “This Pussy is Made of Steel”
- “Never Underestimate the Power of Pussy”
- “This Pussy is Watching You”
- “This is what a Pussy Riot Looks Like!”
- “My Neck, My Back, My Pussy Will Fight Back!”
- “I am Pussy, Hear Me Roar!”
- Over an image of Bernie Sanders snuggling with a cat, “This is how real men grab a pussy!”
Jennifer Taves, pictured, defined the word “yoni” for curious onlookers at the New York March as “The Spirit Pussy.”
Additionally, dozens of unique vulva costumes dotted the Washington Mall and the streets of cities around the world — and plenty of other words describing female genitalia made appearances on signs, t-shirts, and banners.
The most common utterance of the P word, though, occurred through the seemingly-innocuous PussyHat Project. Originated by two women in Los Angeles who had recently taken up the hobby of knitting, the project aimed to create a stronger voice and sense of unity for marchers, while also giving those unable to attend a march a chance to contribute.
The website offers a simple knitting pattern for a hat with a rectangular top, which takes on the appearance of cat ears once it’s placed on someone’s head. The instructions request that hats be sewn in pink yarn.
The PussyHat project went global before the March, and overwhelmingly succeeded in creating what looked and felt like an ocean of pink hats on the Mall. It also made the word “pussy” even more impossible to avoid hearing, seeing and speaking.
I commented on the abundant use of the word to one of the women I was walking with as we joined the throngs headed towards the Capitol Building on Saturday morning. “Yeah, it’s definitely a silver lining,” she said. “I’ve never liked that word before, but now it’s, like, empowering.”
The same woman later told me that her friend’s Republican mother had surprised their group with a bag of PussyHats before the March which she’d knitted herself.
“She was totally silent during the whole election. This was her way of showing solidarity,” she told me.
The PussyHat project turned the Washington Mall into an ocean of pink.
Particularly noteworthy to me is the fact that the Women’s March, and the majority of the people carrying signs and otherwise demonstrating a congenial relationship with “pussy,” qualify as “mainstream.”
As part of a community with a generally open-minded and reverent attitude towards sexuality, the word is more commonplace in my world than in your average American woman’s. (Though it’s not a personal favorite, I’ve definitely become more comfortable with it over time, and no longer consider it a purely derogatory term.)
But a day of seeing it and hearing everywhere felt revolutionary to me, and symbolic of a shift in female consciousness that goes much deeper than some clever wordplay. It’s as if “pussy” has crawled up and out of the societal caves of pornography and men’s locker rooms and is showing its face without fear.
Astrologically, the Women’s March on Washington looked to me like the moment before a birth, when the coming of the baby is eminent but the color of its eyes and the shape of its nose are yet to be seen. In the immediate aftermath, I can’t help but feel like this baby looks like a beautiful interplay between the two things the word “pussy” represents: it’s pink, it’s powerful, and its teeth are sharp.
And it has a message for President Trump:
NEVER underestimate the power of pussy.
When Looking Inward Points You Outward
By Amanda Painter
Tomorrow is the Aquarius New Moon: when the Sun and Moon form a conjunction to begin a new lunar cycle. Curiously, the Sun and Moon themselves are not making any major aspects to any major planets; the action seems to be happening elsewhere in the chart, which is an interesting kind of commentary in and of itself.
Jan. 21, 2017, Portland, Maine; photo by Amanda Painter.
For one thing, it’s rather fitting that the sign associated with groups (which is a collective of individuals) is hosting a New Moon whose chart emphasizes events other than the New Moon itself.
I read it as a metaphor for the importance of community awareness even at one’s most introspective moments. For example, events of the past week could be prompting you to do some deep questioning; it’s possible you’ve been drawn into old patterns of fear and anger; maybe you wonder about your effectiveness as one individual in the face of a political machine that is massively larger than you are.
It would be very easy to give up and retreat into the confines of your own mind. Except for one thing: there is just so much energized social and political activism happening right now.
How to Stand Indivisible
By Amanda Painter
Okay: the inauguration happened without you-know-who spontaneously combusting; the Women’s March on Washington and its sister-marches brought out unprecedented numbers of protesters. You’ve been heartened by the show of solidarity and the creative protest signs, but the speed with which governmental agencies and polices are being hog-tied or cut is making your head spin. Now what?
Photo via Mirah Curzer / The Coffeelicious / Medium.com.
If you’re serious about keeping the momentum going and participating in meaningful action, you’ll want to check out the Indivisible Guide. A group of former congressional staffers volunteered their time, energy and talents to create this practical, detailed, hands-on guide to help regular citizens like you and your friends stand effectively against the Trump agenda, and against those members of Congress who would carry it out.
The Indivisible Team understands that the natural inclination and preference of progressives is to work for ideals, rather than to take a defensive stance.
But sometimes pragmatism is called for to back our lofty visions.
After watching how the relatively small and localized Tea Party managed to block a popular president with a supermajority in Congress, the Guide’s creators realized how their strategies — but not their principles — are incredibly instructive for the Left at this time. They write:
“We believe that protecting our values, our neighbors, and ourselves will require mounting a similar resistance to the Trump agenda — but a resistance built on the values of inclusion, tolerance, and fairness. Trump is not popular. He does not have a mandate. He does not have large congressional majorities. If a small minority in the Tea Party can stop President Obama, then we the majority can stop a petty tyrant named Trump.”
This is definitely a document to share with your friends, other local activist organizations, and anybody else who is rarin’ to go but needs a clearer sense of strategy and how to organize. Don’t let it overwhelm you; the Indivisible Guide is about empowering small groups, not about trying to convince anybody to shoulder the whole burden.
And equally as important as this guide is right now, so is self-care. Mirah Curzer has written up some essential tips on medium.com, titled, “How to #StayOutraged Without Losing Your Mind: Self-Care Lessons for the Resistance.” In fact, if you’re already feeling burned out or pulled in too many directions, you might want to start there.
Special Edition of Planet Waves FM:
1/21 :: Women’s Voices Heard Around the World
Dear Friend and Reader:
I saw Amy Elliott’s headline about Nessus on Monday and thought: well, that about sums it up. The buck stops now. We do have that opportunity now. You might say that Nessus includes all that stuff about misogyny and boundary issues and sexual transgression. Nessus is on the South Node, the release point of the zodiac.
And this weekend, women of the world spoke up. There was both an embrace and a vast letting go. This was not an angry protest. This was a loving protest, a statement of presence, an experiment in raising our collective voices.
This week’s edition of Planet Waves FM [play episode here] begins with a crowd sculpture, recorded by Amy Jacobs and edited together by me, and I get chills every time I play it. The very sound of women’s voices in unison, expressing what has long, long, long needed to be said out loud, to our world today, sends me spinning with joy.
In the first segment I offer a summary of what happened and what I think it means. In the second segment, Amy Jacobs and I speak for about half an hour about what we learned this weekend, and in the last segment I offer my views on why the supposed issue of “woman” is very much about sex and sexuality: about biology, and humanity, and consent, and claiming who one inherently is.
Planet Waves FM is offered free from commercial interruption. We are part of the Pacifica Radio Network. We are published by the nonprofit Chiron Return, Inc., and distributed by Planet Waves.
Please support our efforts and take advantage of our excellent work by becoming a member of Planet Waves.
Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes
Your extended monthly horoscopes for February are published below in this issue. We published your extended monthly horoscope for January on Thursday, Dec. 22. We published your Moonshine horoscope for the Capricorn New Moon on Thursday, Dec. 29. Your Moonshine horoscope for the Cancer Full Moon published Thursday, Jan. 12. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Love this horoscope? Read all Planet Waves horoscopes by Eric Francis. You can sign up monthly or for the full year.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — The great adventure has begun. The times, they are a-changin’. And who are you really? That’s the journey, and that’s what you are ready to discover. You have so many possibilities, and yet you so often approach life the same way. You’re under some intense pressure to set yourself free. But free of what? An idea about who you are, which seems to dictate how you relate to the world. This looks like a search for gender identity. Your feminine side is calling you; she’s trying to get your attention, though she’s having some challenges expressing herself. It’s as if you’re hearing but not listening. Let yourself be drawn into your inner life, and if you feel resistance, remember that this is one of the most fearsome things a person can do. Many pressures you’re under are designed to draw you outside yourself. Yet your inner awareness, your imagination, your ability to feel who you are rather than tell yourself who you are — all of this is calling you. You’re being invited into your own inner sanctum. Don’t fall for the glam, the commercial or what your social media accounts claim about you. Turn toward the unknown and take your time getting there. In those moments when you feel the least comfortable in your skin, when you feel restless, when you doubt yourself: that’s your invitation, easy to miss. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You are a catalyst in a group initiation of some kind. By this I mean that the evolutionary steps you’re taking are having an influence on the people around you. As you grow into yourself, you’re opening the way for other people to do so as well. As you become more confident, people around you are finding their confidence. As you develop your skills and deepen your commitment level, those who depend on you are becoming stronger in their mission. This truly is “leadership for the new age,” in that your example seems to be what is leading others. Yet it goes much deeper than this. There’s something in the spiritual chemistry of how you mix with others that’s having the deepest effect. It’s not what you’re doing but rather who you’re becoming that is influencing others. Therefore, you can take bigger risks being yourself. Yes, in times past, you may have threatened people by being bold and real, and by expressing your true competence. Now your ability to do so sets an energy pattern that others can follow, including certain members of your family. Now, if your existence gives people permission to be who they are, you’re the one who gives yourself consent to be who you are. Once you get the hang of this, you’ll be wondering what all the fuss and resistance was about. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — New ideas about relationships are calling you, though existing situations in your life need your attention. Humans tend to have a difficult time coming up with a clear yes or a clear no. They also have challenges with a clear hello and goodbye. Taken together, these four values comprise the most important boundaries you can have. They are the gas, brakes and steering of your life. Saturn in your opposite sign Sagittarius is saying that it’s time to put your hands on the controls of your life and master these basic concepts. It’s true that you have the question of what to do with your existing commitments. The real question is: whom and what are you truly invested in? Be clear with yourself about this. There’s no point wasting anyone’s time with the appearance of commitment when your soul is not really there. Nobody really wants to pretend, or wants you to pretend. One clue that may seem materialistic (but is actually more metaphysical) is to notice when and on whom you like spending money. This is a good indicator of love, specifically, noticing where your energy flows easily. Time will give you similar clues. Around whom do you not feel rushed? Who do you always have time for, no matter how busy you are? Alternately, if you feel guilt, you’re getting a message that a situation is bad karma. Trust yourself. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You’re in an excellent position to transform your financial situation: to get some new clients or gigs, and to renegotiate some existing ones. Yet the basis of this is a discovery that you make about yourself, which establishes in your own heart the value of your work. There’s a parallel discovery about offering yourself rather than sacrificing yourself. When you give yourself sincerely, it will feel as if you gain rather than lose something. You will feel the actual experience of how ideas increase when they are given away. Your solar chart also describes a scenario you should be aware of. There’s some situation that’s easy to see and that’s getting your attention. There’s some other object on the radar — whether it’s an idea, an offer or an opportunity to work with someone — that’s subtler and easier to overlook. Therefore, take some time to turn your attention from what you’re focused on, and from what seems the most important, and look around for what seems (at first) to be less significant. Look and listen carefully. This might involve someone considerably younger than you are, whose thoughts would be easy enough to dismiss. Or the value of your own idea might not be obvious at first. In truth, this is likely to be the most interesting thing you have going on, and it will develop nicely. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — This month’s Full Moon in your birth sign (exact Feb. 10) is inviting you to break consensus and do what you want. It would seem that there’s a committee of some kind saying you must live the way you supposedly agreed to, and that if you don’t, bad things will happen. Whether this is implied or being stated outright, I would encourage you to question this notion long enough to walk through an open door and try something new. You don’t have to live your life by consensus. The thing is, Leo is both an individualistic sign, and also one sensitive to the needs of the group or the tribe. Once you understand this about yourself, it will be easier for you to have some balance in your life. However, at first, you may feel like you’re stealing. But you cannot steal yourself. Your life is your life — it’s really that simple, and anyone who tries to convince you otherwise is playing a game that can only happen with your consent. What is the actual nature of your commitments to others? What exactly did you promise them? And what was your promise to yourself, before they even met you? That’s the true promise you must keep. As you do that, as you reaffirm your commitment to yourself, certain partners are likely to rise to the occasion with you. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You’re making some excellent strides establishing your emotional independence. You can use your circumstances to help you. For example, physical space is one of the most helpful tools in the quest to assert who you are. You need space to yourself, and plenty of it. Take the initiative and create that for yourself, whether you have to ask everyone to go out for the afternoon, find a place to hide for a day or two, or get a room of your own somewhere. There is one question that your solar chart is presenting, though: to what extent do you link sex with marriage? This might be in the most literal sense, of thinking that sex is only appropriate in wedlock (this idea somehow persists, even if meekly), but it’s more likely to take the form of an erotic encounter being an implied contract of some kind (a boldly persistent idea). This is the hook. Whatever you may choose, you must set the terms of the agreement where an intimate experience is concerned. Take leadership; state your terms and your expectations. Ask for these things from anyone you share yourself with. You have just enough detachment right now to see through the fog and come up with some original ideas. You’re much more adventurous than you let on; society has invented all kinds of devices to deal with people like you. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You are big enough to handle anyone’s erratic behavior. You are broad-minded enough to handle the self-centered way that many people act. But how much do you want to endure? Notice when your patience is on half-empty rather than when it’s running all the way out. Notice who consumes the most of your resources. And most of all, notice who notices you — that you’re a person with feelings, desires and needs. Those are the people you want in your life: individuals capable of taking care of themselves and who offer a measure of mutuality. You would probably say that’s tops on your list of qualifications for partner or friend, though how often does it work out that way? At the moment, it’s easy for you to get drawn into the service-to-others thing in a way that can go out of control. This calls for conscious decision-making. Be aware of the commitments you’ve made to others and the extent to which they are expecting or demanding more than what you’ve offered. You might also notice when someone is mirroring back to you one of your own tendencies that you want to let go of. The more you work on yourself, the less tolerant you will be of people who do anything less than honor your full personhood. You must treat yourself well first, and others will follow suit. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Remember that experiments are just that: the exploration of experience, and of your awareness. You have a few of these going on in both your personal life and your less-personal work life. Notice the overlaps and the connections between them. People are people, no matter what supposed role they play. The whole issue of appropriateness is over-rated, as you know, and you may find yourself crossing various lines this month. The one thing to be careful of is where sex meets money. The one place that calls for a boundary is where your financial life meets your amorous life. This is less about spending money and more about who controls it. Keep a grip on your business affairs, make your own decisions and then be as generous as you want. Nothing you say or do implies that you’re anyone else’s property. If anyone gets that idea, you’ll want to notice, so listen for the subtle clues. Your life is a kind of gift economy, wherein people have the opportunity to share with one another. Yes, this goes against the grain of our whole economic system and the prevailing theory of relationship. You have the strength and the integrity to stand up to this in your own life. You are your own person, and everyone will be happier for recognizing that basic fact. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Saturn is in your sign, and that may describe certain emotional challenges you’re facing. It might seem as if these challenges are coming from outside you. Yet your inner life is where the energy is flowing, which includes your emotions and also how you respond to events in your environment. You’ll make more progress on the kinds of maturity that Saturn is here to teach if you keep your locus of awareness internal. Spend as much time alone as you can, and really feel what amounts to a world that you contain. You’re integrating certain experiences from your distant past, on the way to finding your way to the present. This will continue through the late winter and into the spring. Yes, it’s more typical for the Sagittarian quest to be an adventure in the world. It’s bolder and more daring to take your desire to unravel the mysteries of the planet into your own heart and soul. As you do this, your relationships will change. You will be more sensitive to how you feel about people, and you’re more likely to notice the subtle influence they have on you. And when you branch out into the world, you’ll notice different things and feel more connected to your inner core; more receptive and approaching a more harmonious state with the people around you. Go in before you go out. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Pluto in your sign is still pushing, pulling and stretching you, though I also hope you’re getting the message to aspire to bolder and more interesting things. That means having an idea of what’s bold and interesting to you, and reaching beyond your current circumstances, particularly in your profession. Make sure you aspire to what you really want, just in case you get it. That’s the whole thing with success: it’s demanding. Once attained, it often feels like you must earn it again every day. If you claim to have some knowledge, one of the first things you’re likely to discover is how much you need to learn; and something must motivate that process of education. Let that be love: not the love of image, or of appearance, or of the idea of something, but the actual thing itself. Have as few illusions as you can, lest you become disillusioned; and if you do, be grateful when illusions are replaced by something closer to reality. It’s a delicate balance, between reaching to exceed your grasp, and taking on too much responsibility — and there may not actually be a point of equilibrium. The one thing you can do, over and over again, every single day, is resolve to be true to yourself, and make each choice consciously. Then verify again and again that you’re actually faithful to yourself. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Take the time to put your feelings into words, and share them. Size is not everything, though I suggest this be longer than a tweet. Reach into some of the unusual depths that you’ve been feeling, and that may be daunting. It is, however, the expression and sharing that will help you validate your experiences, and keep your exploration going. If you keep silent, you won’t hear yourself as clearly. If you don’t write down your thoughts, you’re less likely to remember what ground you’re covering. It’s not just your arrival to a new place that counts (and such is inevitable). Rather, it’s how you got there that matters. Remember that this is a spiritual journey, and its most interesting places are symbols and ideas — and these are easy to forget. Treat each event or episode in your life as an initiation, which teaches you something, changes you slightly and significantly, and leads you to another place. As you do this, you’re closing gaps and spaces inside yourself, rather than trying to fill them up with something less fulfilling. You’re healing cracks in your psyche and openings in your emotional body. Your overall direction of travel is toward being a more solid, dependable and grounded person. And this is all preparation for something else, for experiences vastly different from what you’ve ever had before. Therefore, make friends with the unfamiliar. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Practice feeling good about yourself. It’s a skill that you’ll learn over time, though you’re being helped significantly by a factor you might not have expected. The one issue that you’ve been affected by the most deeply, the one you thought you could never resolve, the one that’s vexed you for years, is finally giving way. Part of what you’re doing is establishing a correct relationship to the past. You know that you cannot just stow it away. You know you cannot drag it around with you. You know that you cannot hold every relationship to the standard of what’s happened in the past. You’re releasing the toxic effects of what you’ve been carrying, and at the same time, you’re learning to claim the most positive lessons from what you went through. This conversion process is the essence of emotional and spiritual healing. Claiming the knowledge and experience you’ve gained, and allowing it to change you, is far more than positive thinking; you might think of it as positive becoming. One image from your solar chart is about embracing the different opposites that you contain within you. Those polarities might be your inner male and female aspects, or any seemingly competing desires or values that you observe. Part of the maturity you’re growing into involves allowing yourself to expand, and embracing those oppositions rather than fighting them. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.