Editor’s note: this is the full PW members’ edition, featuring your weekly horoscopes, the Create feature, Planet Waves FM and more.
Dear Friend and Reader:
We’re moving into the last half of Mercury’s current retrograde in Aries — and the contacts Mercury has been making this week seem to be stirring things up for many people. If you’ve been feeling a sense of pressure lately, this astrology could be why.
A combined square between Mercury in Aries, and Mars and Saturn in Capricorn, continues to be in effect today. Mercury square Mars was exact on Wednesday, and Mercury square Saturn is exact today — though they are really one event.
As much as the news could be causing a lot of stress for people, it’s also reflecting the same quality seen in the astrology — along with the increasing sense that ‘something is changing’. That background sensation could also relate to Chiron’s presence in the edgy last degree of Pisces, as it prepares to ingress Aries in less than two weeks (on April 17 — two days after Mercury stations direct). Then again, with Mercury retrograde in Aries, things would likely be a little edgy anyway.
Some of the week’s relevant news stories include: Pres. Trump escalating already dangerous border policies by ordering the National Guard to patrol the U.S.-Mexico border; Trump first declaring that all U.S. troops vacate Syria, and then backing off from that idea; public school teachers in Oklahoma and Kentucky protesting funding issues; Facebook admitting that Cambridge Analytica may have accessed personal data for 87 million people (rather than 50 million) that was then used by PACs to sway voters in the 2016 election; and 3,000 Google employees have urged the company to cancel its Pentagon drone project (the letter reads, in part, “We believe that Google should not be in the business of war.”).
But perhaps the tragic story that most surreally embodied the astrology involved a woman opening fire at the Silicon Valley headquarters of YouTube, before turning the gun on herself. Police have identified the shooter (a rare instance of a female shooter) as Nasim Najafi Aghdam, but have not cited a definite motive. According to Democracy Now! “In one online video, Aghdam accused YouTube of censoring her and depriving her of income from advertising,” after she’d had videos banned from the streaming website due to “multiple or severe violations” of its policy.
Whether Aghdam suffered from a diagnosable mental illness or was pushed to an extreme by multiple life stresses, it’s an unfortunate image of the planet of the mind (Mercury) turned against itself (perhaps a shadow manifestation of ‘retrograde’) in the sign of identity (Aries). And then that was brought to a point of pressure by the squares from Mars (which rules Aries and can relate to anger, aggression and violence) and Saturn (which can manifest as only seeing the darker side, in its less functional form).
Simplified chart section for Mercury square Saturn. Top to bottom: Vesta, Pholus, Saturn, Mars, Black Moon Lilith, and Pluto in Capricorn; Nessus, Neptune, Juno and Chiron in Pisces; Mercury, Sun, Eris, and Uranus in Aries; Venus in Taurus. View glyph key here.
The incident also invokes the identity chaos and disembodiment related to living life in the digital realm, as signified by the Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries. In one possible reading, it’s as though Aghdam’s sense of herself (along with her livelihood) was so invested in her YouTube presence, that she felt her very existence was under attack — being killed — and therefore needed to retaliate. Not just to take out her frustration, but to preserve and defend her right to a Self, to exist. Sadly, she then extended that right to end her own existence.
It’s an extreme image of the astrology we’ve been living with this week. Luckily, most of us have the tools, support and circumstances to feel this energy in a much less extreme way, and can figure out how to use it constructively — or at least stumble through it with minimal negative consequences.
Small, Meaningful Moves
Yes, the current Mercury-Mars-Saturn aspect pattern is an image of tension — especially with Mercury in a hot, fiery, action-oriented sign, and its retrograde motion describing an inward direction (for at least some of that energy). So, if you’re feeling frustrated, you might notice how much of that energy is directed at yourself, versus how much of it you’re projecting (or unleashing) onto others.
Lots of people fall into negative thought loops when they have trouble expressing their anger and annoyance; that said, it’s also becoming more common for people to seek an outlet on social media. If that tends to be your go-to, you might notice whether people’s comments in response actually help you to transmute your frustration, or whether it serves to amplify it. There are reasons why social media is often referred to as an ‘echo chamber’ — though sometimes we do truly just need to say what we have to say and know that we’ve been heard and empathized with.
That said, particularly with Aries and Capricorn involved, there’s a suggestion that using this energy in more physically constructive ways could be more beneficial. If you’re not sure what that means, think: exercise, gardening, cleaning or rearranging the house, tackling a creative challenge, volunteering for an organization that’s working on issues that get you mad, fixing something that’s been broken, taking steps to avoid repeating choices similar to whatever is frustrating you now, sketching out the practical details of a plan, and so on. I’m sure you can think of other things — activities that help you toward a goal or address a problem without causing anyone else any annoyance, pain or difficulty.
With Mercury square Saturn, you also may need to be on guard about getting stuck in negative thoughts or only seeing the downside of a situation, particularly if that’s something you tend to struggle with regularly. If you’re in that space right now, remember: you’re not seeing the whole picture. For every shadow there’s a light source, and any problem contains a creative, life-affirming solution — sometimes we just need a little help from a friend to see it.
On the other hand, if you happen to be in a position of needing to buckle down and do some disciplined thinking and planning, Mercury square Saturn can be very useful for that. Be sure you take notes, since it might be wise to wait until after Mercury stations direct on April 15 to act on your plan.
Photo by Amanda Painter.
Closer to the weekend, Venus (newly in Taurus) makes a pair of aspects that offer some support, especially in your relationships. Between Friday and Saturday, Venus makes a sextile to Nessus in Pisces and a trine to Saturn in Capricorn.
This looks like an ability to have some grounded, reality-based conversations about any problems or recurrent issues in a relationship. That might mean an intimate, sexual relationship, whether the conversation has to do with sex or with something like the bank account or housecleaning. It also could indicate a professional relationship, or your association with something like an organization or established workplace dynamic. If you’re not sure what I mean by that last bit, an example is this article about a female restaurant owner who worked with her staff to come up with a practical, effective way to address instances of customers sexually harassing servers.
Finally, just a quick note about the asteroid Vesta, which is making a conjunction to the centaur Pholus in early Capricorn (exact Saturday). Vesta’s themes include devotion, sacrifice, the inner creative/sexual flame and (in some situations) unorthodox or ‘taboo’ relationships. Pholus is the ‘small cause with the big effect’ — like letting a genie out of a bottle, or a runaway chain reaction.
Earlier this week, I wrote about this aspect, “Are you feeling good about working in the service of some collective effort, or are you feeling spread thin and exploited for someone else’s profit? There are signs that if you need to shift the balance in one direction or another, you will be able to do so effectively through relatively small actions this week.”
One news item that fits this description is the teacher protests in Oklahoma and Kentucky that erupted this week over school funding. For most teachers, teaching children is an act of genuine devotion; but in public schools, it is increasingly becoming an act of sacrifice with a growing toll paid by teachers, by the children themselves and, ultimately, by society, as we collectively undercut the education of tomorrow’s adults.
Your own situation might not be quite so dramatic. Even so, pay attention to where you offer your energy, what is done with it, and how you feel about it. Sometimes a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no’ is all it takes to shift a situation into a balance that feels better for you and still serves a larger cause.
Yours & truly,
Thank You For Your Many Letters of Congratulations
Dear Friend and Reader:
Earlier this week, I sent out my annual April Fool’s Day prank, a press release declaring that I had been named White House astrologer by Pres. Trump.
We received dozens of letters of congratulations, and a few perplexed responses asking how this could possibly be true. Well, it’s not, but I am planning to play this out for a while, and take a new angle on my coverage of political astrology.
First, if you’re a Twitter person, would you please sign up for my feed? I will be covering White House astrology in soap-opera form, under the pretense of sitting in what I’m calling the Mike Wolff Lounge, the West Wing spot where Mr. Wolff researched Fire And Fury, his book released earlier this year.
If you have ideas for what I can say, or angles I can take, whether serious or satirical, please tweet to me @potusastrologer. I’m planning to do a fictional history of all the past White House Astrologers since Joan Quigley, the only person ever known to have that role. What noted astrologer would have been counselor to what president?
One other thing — just for fun. Or a little more fun.
Anatoly, our web man in Ukraine (former Russian spy, who got indulgence from Pope Francis), made me a little gift this year — Save April Fool’s Day — a website compiling all of my past April Fool’s pranks and other varieties of satirical news articles. On this webpage, you will read about my nonexistent national “Astrology versus Astronomy Debate” tour with Neil deGrasse Tyson, how Donald Trump will make it mandatory for all Americans to eat red meat, the nonexistent U.S. News and World Report horoscope, and that new study about how smokers live longer than nonsmokers. That last one never fails to cause a riot no matter how many times I post it.
Note, Anatoly makes a big cameo in the first two minutes of the current Planet Waves FM. His daughter Kate appears later in the program.
Anyway: the White House Astrologer bit is a kind of journalistic hoax, and I think it will be great fun. Please do sign up and re-tweet my stuff — and please send me your snarky or astrologically insightful ideas.
Stay Tuned for Spring Reading: Chiron in Aries, Mars Retrograde
I’ll soon be announcing pre-order sales for the Spring Reading, covering Chiron in Aries and Mars retrograde in Aquarius. These transits are related through the Mars connection to Aries. In last week’s issue I introduced the topic of Chiron in Aries considering its many implications, and looking carefully at the most recent cycle, which started in 1968.
The horoscope below is a special edition, which tracks Chiron in Aries through the signs and the rising signs, which will give you a little idea what’s in store. I also cover the topic for all of the signs in The Art of Becoming.
The Spring Reading is included for Backstage Pass holders. The Midyear Reading, released over the summer, will cover Uranus in Taurus and Venus retrograde.
We’ll have the pre-order announcement soon. The price for all 12 signs will begin at $77 and gradually increase as publication time approaches. For now, you can upgrade to the Backstage Pass and have the reading included with your membership. If you already have a Core Community membership, your remaining time will be upgraded to a Backstage Pass.
New Excerpts From The Art of Becoming — All Signs
“Wow — what a reading! I have been struggling for years trying to find that part of me, the one with drive, ambition, fearless aspirations, vision and a mission. Where has this person gone to? Why is everything I do being sabotaged or not manifesting? Now it all makes sense with Sagittarius! The disappearing, going missing, being waylaid. After this reading, I feel renewed, energized and hopeful. This came at a perfect time. Grazie mille Eric — you hit it on the head again!!”
— Nanci, on the Capricorn Art of Becoming reading
Dear Friend and Reader:
The Art of Becoming, our inspiring 2018 annual edition, has generated a lot of feedback like Nanci’s. Eric’s ability to help readers find the best in themselves is one of the qualities our customers and subscribers value the most about our work. This year’s annual is no exception.
Click the links below for a snapshot of what this delightful edition contains, with brand-new excerpts from each of the written readings. We recommend you order all 12 signs here in order to benefit from the best value; you may choose your individual signs here.
Navigate directly to your sign preview:
With best wishes,
Tiles for the Trickster
By Amanda Painter
Has Mercury’s retrograde through Aries been messing with your perception (or maybe even your self-perception)? In a similar way, this photo of a hallway could make you doubt your senses (or your sanity).
Believe it or not, that floor is completely level. It’s just a fancy trompe l’oeil tile job making it look warped beyond measure (you can see a video of the tiling in progress here). Some allege that it was done to keep people from recklessly running down the hallway of the Casa Ceramica showroom in Manchester, UK. (Who knew ceramic tiles were so exciting?)
Speaking to INSIDER, however, a representative of the company said, “the inspiration was to create an entrance themed on illusions and exceed expectations of how tiles can be used.”
Intriguingly, if you look at the hallway from the other side, it’s easy to see that the floor is flat (scroll down at that INSIDER link to see a photo). The illusion of wonkiness dissipates. It’s rather like looking back from the other side after Mercury has stationed direct — which happens April 15, in case you were wondering. Perhaps, in the meantime, you’ll “exceed expectations” of what you can discover about yourself during these three short weeks of Mercury’s own optical illusion of backwards movement.
This Week on Planet Waves FM
April Fool’s Day on Planet Waves AM/FM
Dear Friend and Listener:
April Fool’s Day is one of the high holy days of my year. If you’re a somewhat regular Planet Waves reader, you may be familiar with our annual pranks (we’ll soon be publishing a full archive, which we’ll email out and post to our websites).
This year I tried something new: a sketch comedy radio program, which we broadcast live Sunday night on Radio Kingston, the new home of our program. You can listen to the full program here.
I don’t get into heavy issues. Really, this is entertainment, satire and parody. We start with the Russians taking over the program, and I give the recipe for chicken Kiev. There’s a traffic helicopter report in a rural community at 11 pm. I did two parody advertisements for local businesses, including the Typewriter Cafe.
There’s an interview with an Etruscan-American activist, along with an actual original song about the Etruscan plight. We have another interview, this time Hank Hansen, a lawnmower expert, who shares his many experiences with us.
We continue to be sponsored by your contributions to our nonprofit company that produces the program, Chiron Return, Inc. Please become a monthly member — it makes all the difference. Even a dollar a month is helpful.
Planet Waves: A Truly Rare Resource
At a time when tuning in to the news has become an assault, imagine a source of warmth and sanity that illuminates the madness of current events to help you find your way. Planet Waves connects the evolving cosmos with your own personal journey. Eric’s work has never been more profound; the chaos churning as a new epoch dawns has summoned his greatest gifts — to guide, to heal, to teach.
He provides integrated analysis that does something truly rare: offers a perspective on world events from a holistic viewpoint. Calling on decades of experience as an accredited investigative reporter, spiritual seeker and professional astrologer, Eric Francis brings you the benefits of grounded, empowering astrology you can really use.
Planet Waves is a tiny company that plays a big role. It would be impossible for us to put out the material that we do under the restrictions of corporate sponsorship. For less than the cost of a daily paper you can help us stay up and running. Subscribers receive the full Thursday Planet Waves edition, our Monday Diary, all of Eric’s monthly, weekly and daily horoscopes, discounts on all extended readings, classes, and more.
Listen to Vision Quest on Live Stream
Planet Waves has an in-house music ensemble, called Vision Quest. We have a 38-hour loop of our music, which you can listen to any time. Included are finished pieces, rehearsals, live concerts, drum grooves, and spoken word recordings. I consider it a kind of musical divination. Click in randomly at different times of day and see what you discover.
Four Winds Almanac Now Includes Daily Horoscope
Planet Waves publishes a nifty daily astrology newsletter called the Four Winds Report. Designed as a fast read arriving early in the morning, we’re now trying an experiment — we’re including the daily horoscope for everyone.
Were it not for horoscopes, I wouldn’t be an astrologer. It was the Patric Walker daily that convinced me there was actually something to astrology, and I got my basic education studying his column each day in the New York Post.
I pack a lot of energy into each sign’s 50-word write up. Part of the value of astrology is the timing, and daily allows for precision, as well as chronicling a narrative day by day.
Your almanac also includes information about Mayan astrology (long count and short count dates), several formats of the current date (including Hebrew and Islamic), a daily birthday reading, and special discounts on products and services.
Best of all, we take no outside advertising.
Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes
Your extended monthly horoscopes for April were published Thursday, March 29. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for March on Thursday, Feb. 22. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Thursday after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — You seem to be taking matters pretty much in your stride, with something of a determination to move forward in career-related ambitions regardless of pesky little things like the present Mercury retrograde. To a large extent you may feel that you’re somewhat of an open book. There’s a deeper revolution taking place, though it’s not yet quite visible; this may be unsettling, but take each day as it comes and stand firm in who you are. It’s certainly necessary to communicate consciously and carefully for a while; this need not, however, compromise your essential honesty. People will know you by your actions. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Your Aries Reading is Ready for Instant Access. Right Now!
Dear Friend and Reader:
I’ve finished the Aries reading, and thought I would share a few short notes. Sometimes I go into the reading with a loose plan, and then something new comes through. That happened tonight.
I began with a discussion of the “inner life,” which has pretty much been eviscerated from our contemporary existence — turned inside out by being inundated with electronic media. This shows up for Aries as Uranus having been in your birth sign for seven years, along with the many events involving Uranus (seven passes of the Uranus-Pluto square, three of Uranus conjunct Eris, and others).
Yet while this was going on, Chiron was present in your 12th house, providing a point of inner orientation, which was indispensable. Chiron in Pisces offers direct spiritual access; and for you, a tap into the inner light.
Now Chiron, fresh with all that energy, is going to infuse itself into Aries, and bring this soul growth up and out into the conscious level of your personality awareness. Soon after this happens, Uranus leaves your sign and enters Taurus, which will ground you in your body, cool off that Uranian energy, and give you a break from the relentless pressure you’ve been under.
The other angle of your chart that’s unusually active is your career house, Capricorn — where, last night, Mars and Saturn were still in a conjunction. Based on this and other factors, I describe the unusual openings that will be available to you, allowing you to both challenge existing norms and authority, and to work with these things to further your own ends.
The reading is about 80 minutes in two parts. I have not added music yet; I will do that soon. I felt it was more important to get it into your hands.
It’s been excellent to do this work for you.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — The deep work you’ve been doing for a while now is likely to pay dividends this week. The astrology describes you having a flash of insight, as if several disparate things suddenly fall into a neat pattern; and a clear-sighted vision of future potential, of the sort that’s usually shrouded in a murky fog somewhere in the distance. You may find you’re abruptly aware of your power and your abilities in a way that’s never been quite so evident before. Write down your sensations; you might need to refer back to them. Make a commitment to yourself to take them seriously. You deserve the freedom to pursue your dreams. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You may find yourself, if somewhat reluctantly, revisiting old ground in terms of the influence someone has had on your life. This would be part of forging a fresh commitment to your independence and to the things that help you feel free to be yourself. If a close relationship has changed, you might need to restructure your routines and habits. Take advantage of the moment and seek to accommodate the kind of activities that really make you happy, whether that be something creative, fun with others, or whatever. Feel free to experiment for as long as you need to, and to enjoy yourself in the process. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — This week may develop a new feeling of devotion or purpose in terms of your relationships. To some extent this may be working on the intuitive level for a while: you’re likely to sense it before you understand it entirely. You might benefit from paying close attention to any particularly strong emotions you experience over the next week or two; consider it research, which may lead to your growth as a person. You could feel more strongly identified than usual with your partnerships and those you love, though remember that you are a whole entity, whose needs are separate from others’ — though they often overlap. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — We often live for the great moments when our grandest plans come to fruition; that sense of fulfillment, and of faith in our power to bring it about, are among the beautiful experiences that bless life with a touch of romance. Yet between the dream and its shaping into concrete reality, there’s a large quantity of work. Hollywood often glosses over this with a montage, which has the unfortunate effect of making such things seem easier than they truly are. However, the challenges of perseverance bring their own reward. Stick at what you’re doing, even if you don’t get instant results. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — It might be a good idea to keep a check on any desire you have to be useful to just about everyone on the planet, or an expert in everything. You’re usually in some danger of spreading yourself too thinly, and just now this risk is enhanced. Slow your pace; take one thing at a time, and be sure to delegate wherever appropriate. Your artistry is blossoming to a new level, and you need time and space to think, plan, dream and create. Convincing yourself that you deserve said time and space may be a challenge, but make the effort anyway. It’s possible to be of service in terms of quality as much as quantity. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Over the past few weeks, you’ve likely been observing with unusual clarity in what measure your past experiences inform and affect your relationships today. You may also have noticed how this can work in reverse: how connections with those you love as an adult can gently alter your perspective on former times. Try working a little more intensively with that idea this week. It helps to remember that your feelings and needs are just as important as everyone else’s — something many tend to forget — and that a home in the truest sense is something you create. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Current astrology seems to be urging patience and to some extent forbearance in your communications. This doesn’t mean clam up, put up or shut up. It’s more a case of understanding the effects of nuance in what you want to say. Putting yourself in the shoes of others will undoubtedly help immensely. You’re a natural at empathy, even if you’re not always confident of your skills; though it’s vital that you be kind to yourself, if you want to shine your brightest at showing compassion to those around you. That includes being alert to the nature of your feelings, especially what you might be reluctant to admit. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Astrology has it that there’s a relationship between self-esteem, deeply held values, and resources, centering in the concept of integrity. Examples include bestowing your time and money on a cause you really believe in, which in turn can boost your self-confidence. This week would likely be a good one to apply some discernment around what you do with the majority of your energy and will. That should help you redirect your efforts from anything that’s wasting or draining your strength, however appealing it might have seemed once, to work you can endorse right now with all your soul. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — To try and be the best person you can be is a useful plan at any time. Particularly now, though, you could actually develop a clear view of what that looks like for you. This will probably take a while to forge itself into a definite shape; be patient, and don’t force the issue. Just hold in your mind a sincere desire to grow into your vocation. Pay attention to what’s happening in your environment, which is likely to provide some clues. Understanding how you make your choices could also prove valuable. Above all, trust your judgment. This is a decision for you alone, and no-one has the right to narrow your field of options. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Our social framework seems not to favor entirely honest communication, including with ourselves. There’s a weirdness to the way that plays out in the present atmosphere of posting unfiltered trivialities on social media. Learning to be clear with oneself can be complicated with a temptation to broadcast one’s findings immediately, and discretion becomes a fine line to tread. What might help, this week, is for you to insert an obligatory break between having a revelation and sharing it. If you do discover something, chances are you’ll need time to decipher its full import. Treat it as delicately as an archaeological dig. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — There would seem to be rather a heavy emphasis on your social world at present. If you enjoy this sort of thing, by all means let your hair down and have a good time. Be wary, though, of any indication that it might be getting too much. If you feel as if your energies are being diffused, consider which activities you can cut out. Prioritize real-world encounters over virtual; the former are more likely to be satisfying, relaxing or grounding. If necessary, take a break altogether until you feel ready to re-engage. You are most likely to benefit just now from your contacts being of the deep and thorough sort. — by Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Don’t forget to take advantage of this special gift: Eric’s Daily Horoscope can arrive in your mailbox by 7 am ET, containing great astrological guidance for all 12 signs. You can sign up with our compliments, though we welcome donations.