Editor’s note: this is the full PW members’ edition, featuring your weekly horoscope by Amy Elliott, Create; and Eric’s Planet Waves FM program.
Dear Friend and Reader:
What’s on your mind (other than Hurricane Florence)? Or, perhaps a better question might be: how is your mind behaving this week, especially in response to the unexpected or the unclear? I ask because Mercury in Virgo (a sign it rules) is making some aspects that could well be affecting your thought processes and perception.
The primary aspect in question is Mercury’s opposition to Neptune in Pisces — exact today, though it’s been in effect for several days and will continue to be so for several more.
Mercury is also in a square to the rather mysterious Great Attractor (a deep-space phenomenon in mid-Sagittarius), exact today. And between now and Sunday, Mercury is making a trine to Pluto in Capricorn and a sextile to Jupiter in Scorpio.
But first: Mercury and Neptune. At its best, this can be an aspect of heightened spiritual sensitivity and awareness. With Pluto offering assistance with investigating deep issues and mysteries, and Jupiter lending a hand with seeing how things fit the underlying patterns in your life, you may very well uncover some profound truths with this astrology.
Here’s the thing, though: in our mainstream culture and everyday life, it’s relatively rare to witness or experience Neptune in its higher manifestations. More often, we encounter Neptune’s glamour, cloudiness, slipperiness, confusion and outright deception.
One look at all the clickbait online, glossy magazine ads, the proliferation of ‘fake news’, Brett Kavanaugh’s SCOTUS confirmation hearing, and the escapist nature of most of our entertainment options will tell you where we, collectively, stand with Neptune — not to mention the many forms of mundane denial so many people live in, covering everything from the truth of our desires and most intimate relationships, to things like climate change and the abuses of the Catholic church. Which is to say, Neptune is great at obscuring where one really stands in relation to almost anything, including in relationship to oneself.
For this reason, it’s probably best to wait until late in the weekend to lean on the Pluto and Jupiter influences. Diving into mysteries or business negotiations is likely to feel a little more solid as Mercury begins to clear Neptune’s influence early next week — though that influence has wide reach, so due diligence will still be necessary. Regarding anything you learn today, you’ll want to give it some time to sort itself out thoroughly before making any permanent decisions about it.
Oppositions generally represent an interpersonal situation. It’s not necessarily as simple as one person acting like Mercury and the other person acting like Neptune (or like the Sun and Moon, in the case of a Full Moon). In meeting up with, confronting, conflicting with or negotiating with someone else, the themes and energies of the planets and signs involved can be expressed various ways by both parties.
Yet, sometimes it really is like one person plays the role of one of the planets and the other person plays the other role. Which is why Mercury opposite Neptune comes with an important caution: watch out for deception by others, both intentional and unintentional. No matter how confused or emotionally overwhelmed you feel, no matter how fuzzy and frustrating communication gets, it’s up to you to fact-check. It’s up to you to stay grounded in verifiable reality this week if anyone tries to sell you on anything that seems too good to be true. It’s up to you to double-check your work, particularly if you’re dealing with data, numbers or logic — and especially if you’d rather fantasize, or if your Facebook feed is full of conspiracy theory posts and feel-good New Age pablum.
Trump on Tuesday called the response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico “an incredible unsung success,” even though nearly 3,000 people died. He also described Hurricane Florence as, “tremendously big and tremendously wet. Tremendous amounts of water.” Photo by Zach Gibson.
It’s worth noting that Mercury’s square to the Great Attractor could be adding a little edge to all the potential soft-focus perception. Yet it could come through as the sense of getting pulled along toward something, or the feeling that no matter whether you swallow someone’s lie or call them out on it, things are just going to feel more polarized. (Reactions to Pres. Trump’s recent comments attempting to celebrate last year’s response to Hurricane Maria, made while Hurricane Florence is bearing down on the U.S. East Coast, seem to fit this description.)
Yet, despite Neptune’s wide orb of influence, Mercury’s current speed means that this opposition will not last nearly as long as some other planets’ aspects to Neptune do. And with the Virgo-Pisces axis being a very creative one, you may find this an excellent time for making art. I’m thinking that the performing arts, with their willing suspension of disbelief and the need for audience members to witness and often participate, could be especially fruitful right now. With Venus in Taurus still opposite Uranus in Scorpio, there’s added creative potential in working with the unexpected — in love relationships and flirtations, as well as in art.
These dynamics will wane and dissolve with each passing day as other astrology builds. What will remain, however, are the effects and consequences of our choices and actions.
That’s as true for the lies we tell and believe as it is for the effects of a massive hurricane — and the consequences of choices like diverting $10 million from FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency) to ICE (the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency) so it could build more detention centers. Which, apparently, has happened.
I don’t look forward to seeing how that works out. And while it’s possible the government can play a shell game of sorts and divert money from somewhere else back to FEMA should it be needed, it’s obvious that kind of strategy is, at best, delusional and shortsighted — and at worst, overtly malicious and deceptive. We can do better than that.
The question, of course — whether in our most personal moments or at the highest levels of government and industry — is, will we? We all experience moments of confusion, of fearing the truth, of wanting to believe what is unlikely or unconfirmed. Sometimes doing our best in those circumstances still means making a mess. Sometimes, though, taking a little extra time and care can save a lot of hurt down the line.
Yours & truly,
*The writing in the mural:
“Oh look at the horses and people, how they hurry and trample and fight.”^
“See! That’s why I’m gonna be a mermaid when I grow up!”
^Celia Thaxter, born in Portsmouth, NH.
No matter your gender, your sexual orientation or your biological sex, you have both Venus (‘the feminine principle’) and Mars (‘the masculine principle’) in your astrological chart. Next month, Venus will undertake a retrograde journey rather like the one Mars took this summer — yet it will have its own particular flavor, shape and texture, and will ask its own questions.
Did you know that Venus has both masculine and feminine attributes, and can function either introspectively or expressively? We’ll be getting a taste of these contrasts during this process, which begins in about three weeks.
Believe it or not, you can still secure the pre-order price of $57 for Eric’s Fall Reading, called Empathy-Pathos, which will cover Venus retrograde and beyond, and comprises all 12 signs. This will give you crucial insight into your Sun and rising signs, plus those of your closest partners, friends, family members and prospective lovers. Each sign will be 30 to 40 minutes each, and the set will come with a video introduction. You may pre-order here, or call us at (845) 481-5616.
This Week on Planet Waves FM
What You Must Know on this Virgo New Moon
Dear Friend and Listener:
This week’s Planet Waves FM [play edition here] is devoted to the Virgo New Moon and Venus in Scorpio. I begin with an urgent message about Brett Kavanaugh, who has been nominated to the Supreme Court.
Then I devote two segments to the New Moon, first discussing the configuration related to the lunation itself, then the pattern around the Galactic Center — and finally, Venus in Scorpio.
The last segment is Tantra Studio, wherein I discuss the alleged controversy of desire, picking up on Venus in Scorpio.
Planet Waves FM is supported by your tax-deductible donations to Chiron Return, publishers of this program. Thank you for your generous contributions, your monthly memberships, for referring the program to your friends, and sending your thoughtful letters.
Thank you for participating in Planet Waves.
PS — I promise two resources in tonight’s show: the first is my interview with Brent Tully, leader of the team that figured out the Great Attractor; and my 2017 interpretation for Sagittarius, which is my best writing about the Great Attractor as a personal point. (Today’s New Moon is square the Great Attractor, a point in mid-Sagittarius.)
Beneath the Waves, Beyond the Breath
By Amanda Painter
Venus in Scorpio (where it has been since Sunday) is generally said to take on too much of Mars’ qualities: assertiveness, willfulness, aggressive sexuality. Yet there are generally at least two sides to any story, including the story of a planet in a particular sign. What might the other side of Venus in Scorpio look like?
I think the short film AMA, by filmmaker Julie Gautier, may offer a telling reflection. In it, dancer and freediver Gautier moves gently, expressively, poignantly at the bottom of a very deep pool, her eyes closed, her breath contained until the final moments of her ascent. According to Gautier:
“Ama is a silent film. It tells a story everyone can interpret in their own way, based on their own experience. There is no imposition, only suggestions. I wanted to share my biggest pain in this life with this film. For this is not too crude, I covered it with grace. To make it not too heavy, I plunged it into the water. I dedicate this film to all the women of the world.”
Perhaps in plunging as deeply as possible into the waters Scorpio, Venus can find the grace and softness astrologers usually say she lacks. Perhaps by submerging fully into the sharply felt emotions of Scorpio, Venus can find their hidden beauty and value. Maybe, just maybe, in that way inner transformation can offer what the outward efforts of Venus in Scorpio seem to miss.
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.
Our Gifts to You: A Little Something Extra
Dear Friend and Reader:
It took me a long time to figure out what kind of gift to offer for new and returning subscribers. Tee shirts seemed too complicated; you need at least six sizes to get started, and not everyone wants a shirt. Tote bags are useful but kind of boring.
So I thought: journals. I love notebooks, and just about everything I write starts scribbled down on paper. I know my readers are a little old-fashioned, so this seemed like the perfect thing.
Black smaller, pink larger, embossed with the Planet Waves logo. There are a few hand painted sketchbooks left, with heavy, acid-free paper.
Then…I researched embossed journals for about six months. That’s how long it took. I requested or purchased samples of the best that suppliers had, and all kinds of stuff came floating in the door. It was more challenging than I imagined to find a nice one, though finally I did.
Everything had to be right: the paper, the lines, and how the book feels in your hands.
However, the one I selected was being discontinued. I ordered as many as we could reasonably afford. We now have two main options: small black ones, and larger pink ones (these are new).
Together, they are the approximate color of Good & Plenty candy. I am one of these people who loves anything pink (sweatshirts, nail polish, headbands, a hot pink Squier guitar that I gave to Zosha a few years ago). We also have a few hand-painted notebooks left, which are acid-free sketchbooks.
You can get an embossed notebook with any monthly, quarterly or yearly membership to Planet Waves. If, by the way, there’s a calling for hand-painted ones, I will make one more-or-less to your preferences (for those who sign up for a full-year Backstage Pass).
Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes
We published your extended monthly horoscopes for September on Thursday, Aug. 30. Your extended monthly horoscopes for August were published on Thursday, Aug. 9. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — You seem to be discovering that there is a sacredness in service for its own sake, which feels quite unlike anything else. The more spiritual element of giving yourself freely is related to pursuing your life calling: often they are one and the same. Recent weeks have perhaps taught you much about yourself, and what the next phase of your life might need from you; now you can concentrate on providing it. Remember that when you bring the “small willingness,” the divine principle supplies the means. Have faith in the power of both.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Venus has now entered your opposite sign, where it will station retrograde in a few weeks. This will likely have the effect of bringing your relationships, friendships and collaborations into focus in some way, especially in terms of how they influence, and are influenced by, your current life trajectory. You might ask yourself questions about what sort of dynamic or energy would support this path, and where it can be found. In addition to that, there may be ways in which co-operation with others is to your mutual advantage.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Take a moment this week to look back and notice how far you have recently progressed. Likely it’s farther than you realize, and you will probably have some achievements to celebrate. Part of this is about giving your own perfectly sound principles their due, and not judging yourself by the demands of others. You know what you can and should expect of yourself, better than anyone else possibly could; especially if you extrapolate from what you have already performed. Get clear with that, and then keep moving onward.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — It might be worth keeping a close eye on your inner compass this week, especially if you’re uncertain how to react to a particular situation. Let yourself feel through the options and try to understand where your thoughts and motivations are coming from, at every level possible. You have a naturally strong sense of what is right, and what is due to yourself and others; as human beings, we tend to slip up from time to time, but we can still do our best. You might consider this as a rule of thumb: when in doubt, try being kind first.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — During these past weeks while the Sun has been in your house of resources and values, what have you learned regarding each? Do you, for example, tend to make full use of the materials you have at hand? Do you call on the help or the wisdom of friends or family when you need it? Do the rules by which you abide, other than the basic ethical ones, assist you to live your best life; or are some preventing you from receiving something you want or need? It might be worth reviewing how you truly feel about these facets of your world.
How would you like to start your solar year with some of the most useful, most accessible, most empowering audio astrology available online? Your Tarot reading for the year (called the Virgo Tarot Studio) will be published later — but you’ll get both the astrology and the tarot for just $44 if you order today. Please be aware that the price will increase again when Eric publishes the tarot segment — order soon to receive the Virgo Astrology Studio (which includes the Tarot reading) at the current price.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You seem to have a clearer perspective this week than last, and probably some time before that. Certain points that appeared fuzzy or incomplete are now easier to understand; some information formerly missing may now be in your possession. It could take time to sift through what you now know, and to reach a conclusion that makes sense to you. Be gentle with yourself as you do so; and remember that though others can offer input and advice, ultimately you are the person who must direct the course of your life.
Libra Birthdays and Rising 2018-19:
Balance and Beauty: A Perfect Reading for Your Year Ahead
“I am absolutely impressed with my Libra birthday reading! It’s like Eric was talking directly to me. Everything he said is what has been happening. Thank you for such a great birthday reading Eric! Longtime Planet Waves fan.”
— S.R., on a previous Libra birthday reading
Dear Friend and Reader:
Things are about to get interesting for your ruling planet, Venus. In just a few weeks, it’ll station retrograde in Scorpio, and progress slowly back into your sign. For you, this is likely to cover themes such as your identity, values, resources and self-perception.
This rare retrograde phase will be just one of the factors in your solar year that Eric will discuss in your 2018-19 Libra Astrology Studio (formerly known as the Birthday Reading).
Eric’s readings are consistently reliable, high-quality sources of knowledge that you can draw on repeatedly for guidance, delivered in a friendly, accessible manner. Eric uses his 20-plus years of astrological wisdom to get right to the heart of what’s important to you.
“As always, your reading is spot on and validates what I am experiencing in life at this time. The sheer acknowledgment that as a Libra I need balance, beauty and aesthetics in my life to make me tick on was just what I needed to keep going.”
— Ginger Aarons, on an earlier Libra reading
The Astrology Studio reading consists of two audio astrology sessions of 30 minutes or more, an audio Tarot reading of 30 minutes or more (the Tarot Studio), your extended sign description and links to other resources. It’s the perfect primer for your 2018-19 solar year and beyond, and makes an excellent and unique gift — whether for yourself or for the Libra you love.
Pre-order today to lock in the lowest price of just $33 — a great value for a lasting, comprehensive reading.
With best wishes,
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Some relaxation and refreshment may be in order at present. Look after your wellbeing as needed, and try to take a fairly easy pace throughout the week; get away somewhere for a day or two, or even a few hours, if you can. Some information would seem to be coming in from the direction of your intuition, and you may need to slow the record down sufficiently so as to catch any relevant messages. Review carefully any important decisions before making them, including checking in with your emotions and instincts.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Beliefs can be shaped by many different factors, including cultural context, social pressure, religion, and personal perception. It’s not altogether common for us to examine these various influences. Yet I would suggest you do just that when evaluating theories this week. Consciously avoiding speculation and sticking to the facts is a useful exercise, especially where the former seems to be rife. You have a knack for getting to the deeper issues, and for seeing through the fog of misinformation. Use those fine detection skills.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You’ve likely made more than a few discoveries recently about where you wish to invest your energies for the foreseeable future, and may already have begun taking the next steps toward fulfilling some important goals. There may be benefit in communicating at least part of what you’ve realized, and what your plans are; you could receive a useful suggestion or two. You certainly seem to have a pretty good idea of where you’re at, however; and once you’re clear on your destination, you only need to start moving.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — A specific process of revelation or realization may be coming to a peak, in terms of your higher ambitions. You might benefit from going over briefly what you’ve learned during the past few months, though there is almost certainly more to come. Your understanding of your relationship to the distant past is changing also, and is offering you a greater sense of power in your own life, and of freedom to make your choices. The more you persist in working through this material, the more autonomy you’re likely to gain in the end.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Following what might have seemed like a protracted period of slow motion and possibly frustration, you’re now starting to pick up speed again, and appear to be fired up with all sorts of energy and new ideas. There should be very little preventing you from putting those ideas to good use, especially where this involves being helpful to others. Making positive changes, in particular those of which you can clearly see the results, could be decidedly healing for you. Getting friends on board might add an extra dimension of fun.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You’ll probably feel most comfortable in productive activities this week, though be careful not to translate that into pushing yourself too hard. Make sure the space you’re using is maintained and continues fit for purpose. Keep close to your long-term goals, also. After the interesting season we’ve had, you might need to invest some conscious energy in reminding yourself exactly where you want to be heading, and what it means to you. Do that until you recall the original fire and passion from when you first had the thought.