Retrogrades and Eclipses: Walk Carefully on that Ice

Dear Subscriber:

Weeks ago I described our current phase of astrology as the winter whirl. Two inner planets are retrograde (Mercury and Mars) and we’re building toward a solar eclipse — the perfect recipe for confusion and originality. Dare I say paranoia, but do we really believe it? Is it really credible? Why do we take fear so much more seriously than, say, creativity? Eclipses apply mental pressure, which can spill over to other levels. If you’re feeling good, that will spill over and if you’re in conflict that can magnify or get hooked — let it go if you can.

Eclipses combined with retrograde planets, especially Mercury, the result can be the feeling of ever-deepening chaos. Yet deep in there is a LOT of creative mojo.

If you’re experiencing frustration, the best plan of action is to set clear goals and return to your tasks day after day grateful that you’ve made at least a little progress. There are bound to be setbacks and these, too, need to be handled gently, but any setback can contain the gift of an invention. Think that way and it’s more likely to be true.

Mercury retrograde takes us out of automatic mode. Humans tend to think like old-fashioned robots: in rote habits, which is another way of saying many people don’t think at all. Mercury stopping and backing up three times a year scrambles those patterns. There’s the added benefit of a built-in pause, and with a necessity to take care of old business.

Notice how much emphasis has been placed on corporations and government since Pluto entered Capricorn. That alone is a source of change and confusion, as is the ongoing opposition between Saturn and Uranus. Mercury retrograde in Capricorn is like looking down and pausing to pick up the pieces of what has been scattered as a result of these potentially disruptive events. Mercury is calling for an alert, even creative, approach that acknowledges the past without getting caught there.

Mars retrograde has a different flavor. We live in an aggressive culture. We wage war, we love competitive sports and we are trained to experience our creative journey as a rat race called a career. Mars retrograde is saying: slow down. Consider the factors that you normally might miss, like whether something is really worth doing; like whether you really want what you think you want.

Mars in Leo is famous for its ego-trip quality. It’s a lot of fire in one place, and when you turn that fire retrograde, the message is tune in and go in. Question your motives. Take off some of the pressure and listen to yourself. As you move through the next few days, Mercury stations direct on Friday, Jan. 15, the same day as a solar eclipse, which is a turning point. I’ll have more news on Tuesday.

Meantime, walk and drive carefully on that ice.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

Updates daily at Planet Waves and Cosmic Confidential Diary.


When Evil Gets Boring

By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

Now that I’m back in the Pea Patch, welcomed by snow drifts and glacial temps, my days of basking in the sun, reading the books that seemed to magically arrive in my hands, are over for a while. I finished the last book, borrowed from a friend, the final afternoon of my visit, and looked out over the quiet, tree-lined neighborhood to note the changes a month had made. Here in the Patch, autumn seemed to come in an eye-blink and faded away as quickly: perhaps ten days of color blooming on the trees, then a brisk wind and it was all crunching under my feet. In California, the deciduous trees took their time, and it was luscious to watch them slowly turn and drop their leaves until they stood as naked heralds of winter.

The Agony and the Ecstasy. Scene from a movie.

My last read was Angels and Demons by Dan Brown. It was better written, perhaps even more interesting than his later offering, The Da Vinci Code, but like James Redfield’s Celestine Prophecy, the message was in the concept, and consequently Code became more valuable as a marker in collective consciousness than as a literary offering. Angels and Demons is a rousing conspiracy tale about religion versus secularism, the religion being Catholic and Papal and the secular being science and technology. Personally, I’ve never had a problem merging the two into a symbiotic whole, just as I’ve never seen politics as more than leavening in the social order; not so, of course, for those who can’t seem to define themselves except through railing against something and in so doing, solidifying it to the density of concrete. Brown’s earlier book made a potent argument that humankind, and especially the religious, cannot seem to comprehend that there is no fear in love. None.

The opposite of love is not hate — it’s fear. A Course in Miracles tells us that there are only these two core emotions, and while they appear to be in mortal combat, love must eventually win. Given that, it’s no surprise that our planet seems steeped in the darkest of energies and there appears to be no end to its strength and power. We are in purge mode, not only by weather pattern and climate change, but within the very fabric of our thought system. What is darkest is coming forward with a vengeance but, as I’ve mentioned before, it is no longer so dense, impossible and terrifying a stone that cannot be rolled away. Now the darkness is shot full of Light, but perhaps only those who can put aside fear to open themselves to love can see how fragile the darkness has become. The rest of us are as busy as ants at a picnic trying to patch the holes with concrete.

Continued at this link…


Weekly Horoscope for Friday, January 8, 2010, #800 – BY ERIC FRANCIS

There is much you want to say and do, but something tells me you’re experiencing more obstacles than opportunities. The frustrating part about this is that you have plenty of ideas, and there is energy moving; all the signals are telling you to make your mark. In about a week, an eclipse of the Sun will release some of this pressure. Until then, it’s vital that you not push, not seek or make firm commitments, and in particular that you not try to fix anything that isn’t broken. Most of what you’re experiencing involves circumstances rather than systemic issues, though if you study those circumstances you will be able to identify one or two wider problems that you would be wise to work on, though only after the eclipse and the concurrent station direct of Mercury — no matter how tempting it may be to meddle now.

You seem unsure what to believe, or where your beliefs are guiding you. The thing about beliefs is that we assume they’re true because they exist, rather than noticing they exist and questioning whether they are true. There are rewards for embarking on what seems like a brave expedition into your own ideas; your false beliefs do little other than get in the way of your more meaningful and authentic ones and you have yet to discover a thing or two about what is really true for you, as in for you personally. The real discovery will be an understanding of what ideas you carry around that have nothing at all to do with you, and were placed into your mind by others. Why exactly was that? Well, that’s the real pearl for which you’re diving.

Here is the key to forming a consensus. First, identify the common values you share with someone. Make sure you get those common values to a clear understanding. For contrast, create a separate list of values that you don’t agree on. Then, focusing on the values you have in common, agree on what would be the right course of action. For example, if you are in accord with a partner that you want to spend less money, then it’s easier to determine where you will make the savings, based on that fundamental point of agreement. If you haven’t come to this deeper agreement, it’s more likely that you will struggle in the conversation of where to make the savings. Simply put, consensus proceeds from identifying common values to taking logical actions based on those values.

Your relationship life may seem pretty complex at the moment. From the look of your charts, you feel like you have no idea where anyone stands, and you may have the feeling that there are a good few things you have yet to learn about someone close to you. There’s not a conspiracy, though — there are however ideas, decisions and commitments in progress, most of which are too formative to get a clear sense of. You can afford to be patient, because as you suspect much that is unclear or unresolved now will become a lot simpler over the next week or two. If you can keep your expectations to a minimum, you will have more space in your open mind to work with openings, opportunities and benefits that come your way before long.

Focus on taking care of ideas and projects that were left behind during the past year. This common wisdom of Mercury retrograde holds true more than ever now; there seems to be plenty left behind from the whirlwind and tumult of 2009 that could use your attention today. And there were some very good propositions that got left behind as other forms of progress took over. I suggest you work through any backlog of projects and clear both your desk and your mind. Even if you don’t think that there’s anything you have to do, if you dig around you will find at least one potential issue you’re very glad you didn’t miss. This is the week — you’re actually not under that much pressure. Things will be much more hectic next week.

If you have kids, even grown kids, this is obviously a more complicated time than you were counting on. The lesson is that growing up is not a straightforward process, and neither is helping people grow up. What’s interesting is that there are clear parallels between your life and the lives of the young people you know or coexist with today. One of the best gifts we can offer our kids is being aware of what our own childhood was about; and doing our part not to repeat the parts that were not so pleasant. You’re at one of those points where the layers of time are transparent; usually they are entirely opaque, and we live as if trapped in a tunnel, isolated from the wisdom of what we’ve learned or experienced in the past.

The more you untangle your feelings, the more feelings you have to untangle. I would caution that there are certain emotional conditions that you cannot resolve through mental maneuvers. Others will lend themselves well to a concrete understanding, though you may not be able to tell which in advance. I suggest you go gently, and remember: you are not your feelings. If you’re having feelings that are bigger than you, you’re in the middle of a distortion. If that is the case the first thing to do is remember that your feelings are part of you — not the other way around. You are bigger than whatever you may be going through; you are bigger than your family situation; and for that matter, you’re bigger than any goal or creative idea that you have.

You seem to be caught in that balance between work and profession. Your aspirations and intentions are one thing; what you have to do every day is another. Sometimes they seem to have no relationship; all the work in the world doesn’t get you where you need to be. At the moment, you seem to be sacrificing certain higher goals for the sake of immediate short-term needs, though without seeing the connection. At the moment they are woven together; there seems to be a puzzle and something of a psychological situation that you are being called on to confront, and this seems to be little glory or promise of success. But it contains an idea: the seed of a breakthrough. Start with making a science of routine.

Plenty is weighing on your spirit these days, and no matter how much you do right now they don’t seem to come out right. I suggest you not try so hard; ease off on the effort. Introduce a new word to your language: efforting. That’s when you’re working harder than feels right, or feels healthy, to get something done. I think you need a bath; you need water, and you need to shift your environment in a way that’s soothing to your emotions. This may be a short-term palliative, though we are in one of those live day-to-day moments. If you can do that for a couple of weeks, you will find that you’ve eased yourself into a better place: much better than you’ve been in for a while, and your troubles will seem a lot smaller, if they even exist at all.

You may be one of the few people you know for whom things are going well — the big ones, anyway. One of your strengths is that you know how to sort out the small stuff, and keep your eyes on the real stuff. Remember that if you find yourself getting frustrated or confused. And by the way if you feel like you’re not accomplishing anything, or have no real opportunities to do so, look more carefully. Remember that your goals don’t merely consist of a list of hoped-for achievements; they involve putting principles to work in everything that you do. I have emphasized the point of leadership many times in recent months: and ethical leadership is the kind we need the most right now, particularly if you are even vaguely influential in a business environment.

You seem to urgently need the truth about you to be known. It looks like you’re on the brink of a catharsis. It’s grown painful holding so much in; and worse than that, unnecessary. You may fear the consequences of what would happen were the truth about you known. But think of it this way: There was a time when you were more inclined to deny your personal reality even to yourself. Now you’re far more honest within the confines of your own mind. Do you feel better? Does your existence feel easier and safer? I would imagine so, and there will be a similar effect when you open up to others. One gesture of truth deserves another. What you are taking now is a formative step on the way to yet another commitment to integrity.

Do you have the right to benefit from your own existence? Well, if you don’t, then who does? Nature exists on the basis of symbiosis. A beehive produces plenty of honey for both the bees to live on and for the beekeeper to sell. You’re at the end of a long phase of your life when the keynote has been sacrifice, or rather, the belief in sacrifice. I am not suggesting that we don’t have to give up what is not serving us, or that in the process of repairing the world, we’re not going to have to make some exchanges. What I’m suggesting is that you seem to have adopted an unnecessary kind of sacrifice as a prerequisite to success; and this is simply not necessary. You produce more than you consume. You create more than enough benefit to go around. Keep reminding yourself of these things.

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