Tag Archives: Affordable Care Act

With Love from the Heritage Foundation

Dear Friend and Reader:

When a friend in her 20s had Hodgkin’s disease a few years ago, she spent part of her life puking into a bucket, part of it plugged into chemotherapy, and the rest of her time fighting her health insurance company, which was constantly trying to cancel her coverage.

Planet Waves
Under his philosophy of “guns and butter,” Pres. Lyndon B. Johnson signs Medicare into law on July 30, 1965. This was the most recent successful attempt to expand health care for Americans, an effort that has gone back to the administration of FDR. White House photo.

She got well and then had a relapse — and then her insurance company tried to cancel her for having a “pre-existing condition.” They didn’t get away with it, and she has made a full recovery (and has managed to graduate nursing school).

This week, the Supreme Court, by a vote of 5 to 4, affirmed the legitimacy of a law that is intended to prevent just that kind of vicious conduct by insurers. What happened this week is a lot bigger than medicine or medical insurance, but let’s start there.

The state of health care and health insurance in the United States is an utter disgrace. It’s a national shame though in truth it’s a global shame, and I don’t use that word lightly. It is scandalous that people in the United States can lose their life savings in a week merely because they get sick — particularly when you consider how much profit how many companies are making specifically from poisoning us.

In the United States, we have a series of patchwork government health care systems, each of which covers a different constituency: veterans, the elderly, the poor, the disabled, those between jobs, and a few others. Yet many people fall between the cracks, especially if they’re self-employed or if their job doesn’t carry benefits through a private carrier.

We all know that reforms are needed, but it’s worth asking if they are even possible; if ‘health’ or ‘care’ can come from a system so invested in profits that there is very little room for any real ideas about what will help us. Most of the solutions to health issues involve prevention, which is not profitable to people selling $5,000 rides through the CT scan. GE makes many of those machines and is close to holding the world record for how many people one company has given cancer to.

On Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), the 2010 law that was the first attempt to overhaul how medical resources are distributed since the 1960s passage of Medicare in 1965, notably, during the Uranus-Pluto conjunction. The law was adopted in late 2009 (and signed by Pres. Obama in 2010) with a supermajority of the Senate voting in favor (a nearly-impossible 60 votes, on such a contentious issue). Does everyone remember Robert Byrd being wheeled into the chambers to cast his vote — one of the last of his long political life?

Planet Waves
In 1993, Bill Clinton proposed that all Americans would have a Health Security Card, a form of universal health coverage. The initiative failed miserably and was not resurrected until the Obama administration got the ACA through congress in late 2009. Official photo.

Among other provisions, the law includes the requirement for insurers not to reject people on the basis of pre-existing conditions; that there be no cap on payouts; that children and young adults in the families of insured parents be included up to the age of 26. These provisions help straighten out some of the most serious issues of our health insurance system, which is a strictly for-profit enterprise.

In response, 26 states sued the federal government in an attempt to block the law. When any state is a party to litigation, the Constitution says that the Supreme Court has original jurisdiction, and that’s how the issue ended up there.

In its decision Thursday, the Supreme Court upheld nearly every key provision of the law, including the mandatory involvement of nearly all Americans in the insurance pool (called the ‘mandate’, or mandatory coverage provision). There are still some people who will be left out, though at this point I don’t understand how that would work. The net effect would be a massive broadening of the insurance pool, including about 30 million people who are currently left out of the system.

Before we get too excited about this, I would remind you of something. The law that passed, and that the Supreme Court upheld, is not the one that liberals wanted. It’s not the one that many aware and informed people wanted — that was something else, called single payer. That is the government, per se, serving as the insurance pool, as it does with Medicare. Medicare seems to work pretty well, and it could be expanded to cover everyone.

Many other countries have what is called a single-payer system, which many people, including some entities in the medical industry, have been advocating. These systems don’t work perfectly, but at least everyone can get into the system — not just the relatively wealthy, the poor or specific constituencies (as in the United States).

Planet Waves
Leaning forward: Willard ‘Mitt’ Romney spoke of the ‘personal responsibility principle’ when advocating for mandatory involvement in the Massachusetts health care program, which is functionally identical to ‘Obamacare’. Now, he pretends he didn’t support the policy that works so well. But what choice does he have? Photo: Think Progress.

When we talk about universal coverage, this is something that actually fits the description. When I was a resident of France, overstaying my tourist visa on a regular basis, I was eligible for a government health care card, no questions asked. That is universal coverage.

What we got with the ACA was something that came from the lunatic fringe of the right wing. It was either formulated or advanced by the Heritage Foundation, the same think tank that gave us abstinence-only sexual indoctrination (instead of sex ed, teaching kids to just say no till you’re married — which doesn’t work). Heritage Foundation picked up the issue in response to Pres. Clinton proposing the Health Security system, under which everyone would have been covered.

The concept being pushed by the Heritage Foundation was to privatize the whole business: to keep it in the hands of corporations, that is, the insurance industry. The critique of ACA as something that seems designed to loot the public and enrich the insurance companies has a basis in truth and is therefore a valid critique. The money is going into a for-profit enterprise that has not demonstrated it has the interests of people at heart. Fortunately the law has some provisions that protect the insured.

However, even Noam Chomsky, the Papa Smurf of the American left, has said that mandatory coverage is an essential step in the direction of universal coverage, because the system has to be funded. The way this works is, if you don’t buy into the system, you have to pay a small tax. Mitt Romney himself advocated the mandatory buy-in when he was governor of Massachusetts, and an identical program was put in place under his leadership — something he avoids talking about. He called it the “personal responsibility principle.” He can argue against it now, but Romney does have that problem of never seeming to agree with himself.

And, that said, from what I am hearing, the ‘mandatory’ part of the buy-in has no teeth. If you don’t get health insurance, you’re taxed $95 (for not having insurance) the first year. As I understand it, there is not an enforcement provision to collect the tax if you don’t have insurance. I don’t know enough to fully sort this out, however, here is a basic look at the legal aspects of this issue from SCOTUS Blog.

Planet Waves
Coming out from behind the conservative colors, Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the liberal bloc of the Supreme Court. Photo by Mark Wilson.

There’s a lot else to sort out, though whatever else may be going on, I am grateful there are now federal laws that prevent insurers from dumping their clients when they need coverage the most.

What is the most interesting is that a solidly conservative Supreme Court, the same one that gave us the Citizens United case that has turned our elections into a game of how much unregulated money can be heaped onto a candidate, sided with Obama and the then-Democratic majority of Congress. And it was Chief Justice John Roberts, appointed by George W. Bush in 2005, who provided the swing vote, siding with the liberal bloc of the court. (Usually Roberts votes with the conservatives and Anthony Kennedy provides the swing vote).

It’s not clear why he did this. Many are certain it was political maneuvering, to show that the court is not strictly partisan (and there is a caution in the astrology that what happened Thursday was a form of chicanery, which I will cover in that section).

Some are daring to consider the idea that he did what he thought was the right thing. This is part of why Supreme Court justices are appointed for lifetime terms: it’s supposed to insulate them from political manipulation and gives them a measure of independence. However this also preserves the legacy of presidents who get to appoint a lot of justices, no matter how bad it is.

Writing for the majority, Roberts said, “We do not consider whether the Act embodies sound policies. That judgment is entrusted to the Nation’s elected leaders. We ask only whether Congress has the power under the Constitution to enact the challenged provisions.” Well, any 5th grader who took civics could tell you that, though I am not sure that’s taught too many places any more.

This decision is, however, something that reshuffles the deck of American politics — particularly the divisive-for-its-own-sake kind of politics that we’ve seen since the fraudulent Clinton impeachment. As one of my friends who observes Washington politics from inside the Beltway wrote to me yesterday, “This was definitely unusual, unexpected, and out-of-the-ordinary.”

Our Moment of Astrology

Let’s take a look at the charts and see what they say. There are two to work with: one for the signing of the bill into law by Pres. Obama in 2010, and the other for the release of the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday morning. These are both what you can think of as hot charts — loaded with energy and describing something controversial.

Planet Waves
Chart for the signing of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. Notice the Moon rising in the early degrees of Cancer — and the grand cardinal cross. For a larger version of the charts used in this article, use this link. Or use you can see grossly oversimplified charts that will help you see the aspects more clearly. Keep an eye on the cardinal signs Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn — which connect to the Aries Point and the Uranus-Pluto square.

Of necessity, this will be a slightly more technical discussion than you usually read here, though I will keep things as basic as possible and intersperse the astrology with interpretation.

The upshot is that there’s something a lot bigger going on than one law or one Supreme Court decision. As befits the astrology of the week (or is it the century?) — the Uranus-Pluto square, and Venus stationing direct after the extremely rare transit event earlier in the month — we’re talking about something with far-reaching effects, and which has tipped the balance of power in a way that absolutely nobody predicted. Wednesday night, most supporters of ACA thought they were going to lose, and most opponents thought they had victory locked up by a right-leaning Supreme Court.

That unpredictability factor is the Uranus piece of the Uranus-Pluto square. Whenever Uranus is in the equation, you can expect the unexpected. And whenever Uranus and Pluto are working together (which is not that often), that’s an indication of progress or at the very least significant change. Keep that in mind as part of the background. Also remember that Sunday’s exact contact of the Uranus-Pluto square was the first of seven of them that will happen through March 2015 — so this is only the beginning.

Interestingly, an asteroid associated with law and politics — Pallas Athene — is exactly conjunct Uranus right now, meaning that it’s functioning as part of the Uranus-Pluto square. Pallas plus Uranus = something unpredictable or even shocking in politics; square Pluto = an evolutionary moment of some kind. Recently in Daily Astrology, I wrote:

It requires awareness and foresight to work productively and positively with what Uranus brings, since the energy can throw you off center. With Pluto rumbling through the foundations of our lives (personal and cultural/institutional) and Uranus/Prometheus potentially hiding a little fire up its sleeve, where might Pallas Athene channel all that energy?

Well, a quest for justice. One sector to watch is the U.S. Supreme Court, which happens to have so many pending cases they are considering extending the current term by a few days.

The justices are due to release a number of decisions on high-profile cases fairly soon (June is one of their scheduled times to do that). Two of the best known are the Arizona immigration law and the 2010 health care plan derisively called “Obamacare” (which should be called Heritage Foundation Care, since it was invented by them and not by Obama) by those seeking to reinforce the negative connotations attached to Medicare — and bring the president down with both.

Now, it’s possible that the justices of SCOTUS could surprise us with their inventiveness. This does not necessarily mean their inventiveness will be progressive, however.

Inventiveness is precisely what we got, though in the form of what we’re being told is something progressive.

To learn more, let’s go back to the pivotal chart for this issue: the signing of the Affordable Care Act into law by Pres. Obama. That is the chart above; use this link for a larger version of the two charts used in this article. Here is the grossly oversimplified version. It will open in a new browser window.

Planet Waves

As you look at these charts, keep an eye on activity on the cardinal cross — Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. That’s the scene of the Uranus-Pluto square; it’s also the full-contact Aries Point: the cross in the horoscope that’s the intersection between the individual and the collective, or as I used to call it, the personal and the political.

When the Aries Point is hot, which means when there is anything significant happening on the first degree of Aries, in the early degrees of that sign or in the early cardinal signs, we see this kind of political development that influences something deeply personal. It can also manifest as the feeling of the world crashing into the living room. News events lose their abstract feeling and start to feel like they actually influence our lives.

If you look at the early degrees of the cardinal signs in the chart for the signing of the ACA, we find that they are ALL occupied, and angular: for the signing chart, the Moon in Cancer is rising (that’s the little gray crescent at the left side of the chart). Pluto in Capricorn is setting (the red golf tee to the far right of the chart). The Sun in Aries is highly elevated (right at the top of the chart), and Saturn is in early Libra (exactly opposite the Sun).

The cardinal grand cross would be plenty — though it has even more impact with the ascendant involved, which is ramping up the energy. The Cancer Moon is in an astonishingly close opposition to Pluto in Capricorn — take a look at the numbers.

Even the fast-moving Part of Fortune gets into the game, making a square to the Moon and Pluto. While some less imaginative astrologers would say this portends something bad, I would say it hints at something big that’s going to influence a lot of people. This is particularly true given that the Moon is an astrological significator for ‘the public’ and Pluto for ‘the masses’.

Planet Waves
Simplified chart for the signing of the ACA (same chart data as above), emphasizing the cardinal grand cross (which aligns with the Moon on the far left of the chart). For a larger version of the charts used in this article, use this link. Or use you can see grossly oversimplified charts that will help you see the aspects more clearly. Jupiter is the orange 4-like symbol at the top of the chart, leaning slightly toward the right.

Yet because it is rising and involved with the early cardinal degrees (the Aries Point) this is the chart saying loud and clear, “It’s about you. And everyone — but it’s about you.” Remember that the Moon moves quickly (one degree in two hours) and the ascendant ticks along extremely fast — one degree every four to five minutes. So this is one of those charts that’s ALL about the exact time.

Just a couple of other points before we go to the next chart. Do you see that little orange ‘4’ high up in the full chart, toward the right side, next to the dark line? The dark line is the 10th house cusp. The 4 is Jupiter, which is in its rulership — Pisces.

You don’t need to do the calculations to know that this is the strongest planet in the chart, based on being in its rulership, in direct motion and so close to the 10th house cusp.

The Moon comes in a close second, in its rulership (Cancer) and right in the ascendant. This is a ridiculously potent chart, drawing on a lot of emotional energy for its impact. It presents the image that ‘the government is supposed to do good things’ (Jupiter in the 10th) and ‘take care of people’ (Moon in Cancer rising).

The 10th is the sign of the government and of big corporations. It’s also the house that includes the president personally. Jupiter here could mean one of two things: the government or the president did something beneficial; or something happened that was good for the government and corporations. Both could be true. I think that any time big companies benefit from government policy, the issue is worth watching carefully. We are, however, in a rare moment — part of the Uranus-Pluto cycle — one which historically is about a pushback against regressive policies.

One last thing. Just to the right of Jupiter is an orange key (which is Chiron) and a blue trident (which is Neptune). The two are close together — that’s a conjunction. This was the momentous Chiron-Neptune conjunction, in late Aquarius. That alone is significant; it’s is an extremely rare aspect. But look at the next chart and see where those degrees appear — right on the horizon line known as the descendent. We will come back to that in half a moment.

Here is the chart for the Supreme Court’s decision Thursday. We are fortunate to have a time for this; I’ve never seen another Supreme Court decision timed to the minute, but thanks to SCOTUS Blog, we have one, set for 10:07 am.

Planet Waves
Chart for the ruling on the ACA by the Supreme Court. The late degree ascendant can be seen on the far left side of the chart, marked by the number 29. The Sun (yellow circle on upper left) is opposite Pluto (red golf tee) and square Uranus (blue H). This is a chart with a lot of energy — and it represents a large struggle behind the scenes, as well as the possibility for progress. For a larger version of the charts used in this article, use this link. Or use you can see grossly oversimplified charts that will help you see the aspects.

Let’s start at the beginning of the chart — the ascendant. Ascendant is the exact degree of the rising sign — and in this case it’s 29+ Leo — properly called the 30th degree: the end. We know from lots of experience that the last two degrees of a sign are the scene of the interesting, the strange and the unusual. What happened yesterday definitely qualifies as such. A late rising degree also indicates something that doesn’t fully have a grip in reality, though the ascendant being in fixed sign Leo helps compensate for that a bit.

Notice that there’s a point in the ascendant, right on the line — that hot pink circle with the slash through it. That’s called Transpluto. It’s a hypothetical point — it doesn’t exist except in the minds of astrologers and in astrology programs. It’s hypothetical but it’s real. It’s sometimes delineated as relating to narrowness, criticism and self-critique; I look at it as focus and specificity. Lynn Koiner associates it strongly with independence and self-sufficiency.

Transpluto moves extremely slowly and is not well understood by astrologers. Nearly everyone alive has it in Leo. It’s now in a three-year process of changing signs to Virgo, which I will get to in another story. For now, think of Transpluto as being in transition from a sign about self to a sign about collective responsibility.

This placement doesn’t warm my heart. It’s hardly the Moon in Cancer rising; Transpluto in Leo is all about the rugged individualism that Americans love to hallucinate about (often while on the way to the bank, cashing their government check). Transpluto here also feels like something was forced through a very small opening. Note, this chart is all of two minutes from being Virgo rising. But it’s still Leo rising. The Sabian symbol for that last degree of Leo is “an unsealed letter,” meaning that the truth cannot be concealed forever; eventually the envelope is opened. This is a cue to be on the lookout for the specifics of what is in that envelope.

Across the dial, we have the last degree of Aquarius on the 7th house cusp — the relationship angle, the environment, ‘the other’. The 7th cusp or the descendent is exactly aligned with Chiron/Neptune from the signing chart. In a sense, it’s describing the topic — which directly involves Chiron, significant in all aspects of healing.

Notice that both of these planets are now in Pisces, however. (In the last chart they were still in Aquarius, making their slow transition to the next sign.) Neptune on the 7th house of a mundane chart is a caution about fraud. It’s not a guarantee — though it suggests that plenty is going on behind the scenes here, that is, plenty that’s invisible and that you might need special glasses to see. Neptune often points to the obvious thing we’re looking right at but cannot see for what it is. It’s retrograde, making the issue even more slippery.

Planet Waves
The Supreme Court is one branch of government that few people understand. Its inner processes are secretive, its members are appointed for life, and they wear black Masonic robes. Oh, and its decisions influence every American citizen to a surprising degree. This is the official portrait for 2012.

Chiron is standing guard right there. For a while, we have protection from some of the less savory influences of Neptune in Pisces due to Chiron’s presence there. Chiron’s message is always some version of Pay Attention. Chiron, for its part, is in a spotlight. The Sun — the ruler of the Leo ascendant — is about to trine Chiron, making it fully involved in this chart. (Centaur fans, also notice that Nessus is in Aquarius, lurking in very light blue right below the horizon — that’s an additional caution of mischief or a scheme at work.)

The Sun’s placement is where the chart gets really, really interesting. The Sun (as we’ve been writing about all week in Daily Astrology) is aligned with the revolutionary Uranus-Pluto square. In the decision chart, the Sun is square Uranus/Pallas and opposite Pluto. The Sun — especially powerful because it’s the ruler of the rising sign Leo — is all mixed up in the revolutionary nature of the moment. The Sun represents the president and leaders in general, and there’s a clue here that people in this role are succumbing to forces much larger than themselves.

The Sun opposite Pluto suggests, however, that there is a titanic battle going on behind the scenes. Health care and health insurance are only the surface. We have a lot of problems to solve in the United States and indeed the Land of the One World Government. I would note that neither the problem nor the solution is political, despite appearances. They are not economic. At essence they are spiritual issues.

One last point. The Moon in this chart is what’s called ‘void of course’. The Moon is making no more aspects to planets before it changes signs to Scorpio, which is a bit dark in a chart about health care. A void Moon is like the ball is out of play. That can mean several things, one of which is: what you just witnessed was a meaningless exercise, or was intended as such. Another is: be aware you have no idea the real outcome here. (The Moon was void in the chart for the Sept. 11 incident, and for Obama’s inauguration, to give two examples from recent history.)

That said, the political system moved today. The nation’s highest court — assailed for being hopelessly conservative — affirmed the constitutionality of a law passed by a congress that was then controlled by Democrats. In politics, anyway, that is a watershed moment.

As Pluto moves through Capricorn, taking a series of seven squares from Uranus, one question we have to ask is: what is the role of government? Is it to wage wars, or to help people? We have to decide that, and to influence the outcome however we can — principally by refusing to be ignorant, and second, by speaking up.

My take on this chart is that it’s about actual change, which could even be progress despite all the caution in these charts. The ‘progress insurance’ is the Uranus-Pluto square, which pretty dependably pushes events forward, at least for a while.

I recognize that we are accustomed to living in a world where everything always seems to get dependably worse — though that’s not really true. Moments of change are moments of opportunity to work with the energy of change, and that’s a conscious act, not something that ‘happens to us’. The dark overlords know that — it’s high time we figured it out too.


Eric Francis

PS — Subscribers please note a schedule update. Due to the July 4 holiday next week, Planet Waves will be on a reduced schedule. We will publish the Moonshine Horoscope on Tuesday morning, and a horoscope-only edition on Friday morning. Don’t miss my reading of the Declaration of Independence in Wednesday’s edition of Planet Waves FM.


Planet Waves

Cancer Birthday Reading is Ready!

Hello Cancer Sun, Moon and rising folk — and happy birthday to Cancer Sun readers.

The Cancer 2012-2013 birthday report is now available. This is a detailed reading of transits as they influence your sign, with a focus on career and relationships — and a special focus on home and security base. It accounts for certain factors going out as far as 2014 that begin to have an influence starting in July.

Planet Waves
Photo by Sarah.

This is an excellent astrological product covering the transits you’ve been reading about in Planet Waves, including the Uranus-Pluto square, the Saturn-Eris opposition, Mars changing signs and the conclusion of Venus retrograde.

I also include a reading with the Voyager Tarot by James Wanless — cross-checking the astrology with the Tarot with some surprising results. The product includes photos of the Tarot spread, the chart, and access to last year’s reading so you can both review and check its accuracy against the events of your life.

If you have never tried one of my birthday readings, we’re so confident it will be helpful that we offer a full guarantee of your purchase. My intention is to make this the most worthwhile $19.95 you’ve ever spent on an astrology product, and I put the best of my talent into the work.

Note, this report is substantially different from the 2012 annual (Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check.) written with six months’ extra perspective and covering many other themes.

Here is your link to order.

This report will be effective and timely for Cancer rising and Moon readers as well. For other signs, we have a page that lists all of my birthday products for the past year or so.

Thank you for your business. Please let me know how you like the reading.


Eric Francis

Subscribers please note a schedule update. Due to the July 4 holiday next week, Planet Waves will be on a reduced schedule. We will publish the Moonshine Horoscope on Tuesday morning, and a horoscope-only edition on Friday morning. Don’t miss my reading of the Declaration of Independence in Wednesday’s edition of Planet Waves FM.


Planet Waves

Capricorn Full Moon: Slather On the Aries Point Please!

The next big event in the sky is the Capricorn Full Moon. This is the Moon opposing the Cancer Sun, just in time for the July 4 holiday in the United States (which commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Independence). This occurs synchronously with a number of other events, all of which spark up the Uranus-Pluto square and keep the focus on the Aries Point. That’s another way of saying: count yourself into the story. Why be dragged along by the brutal, crushing movement of society when you can jump in and play the game? Or maybe you just want to jump out of the game — and it might actually be a good week for that.

Planet Waves
You will need Aries Point lotion this week, with all the action on the cardinal cross. Note, please tell your dog not to do this — he or she will be considered a sex offender.

Anyway, this is quite the chart for the solar return of the United States, and it’s probably going to be a pretty interesting week. The Capricorn Full Moon is exact at 2:52 pm EDT on Tuesday, July 3. The Full Moon is still close enough to the Uranus-Pluto square (just four degrees away) to fire that up with full force.

It’s so close indeed that just a few hours before the Full Moon, we have the latest (fourth, I think) Moon-Pluto occultation, part of a series of events that are helping define our era. The last one was part of the Venus transit; it’s been a month since that happened. The occultation happens at 8:11 am EDT on Tuesday, July 3.

Then Mars ingresses Libra at 8:31 am EDT July 3. Mars has been in Virgo since November, including making a long retrograde in that sign over the winter. This is a shift in the energy — Mars moving from a slow, mentally oriented mutable sign into a faster vibration cardinal sign. Ingressing Libra, Mars opposes the Aries Point, and it opposes Uranus, and it squares Pluto — meaning a few things. One is that now Mars is activating the Uranus-Pluto square. Also this is a caution to beware of power struggles, especially in personal relationships.

All three of these are one synchronous event: Capricorn Moon occulting Pluto, Mars ingressing Libra and the Capricorn Full Moon.

However, before this happens, through the weekend we have the Moon spending most of its time in Scorpio. It will oppose Vesta and Sedna in Taurus. The Scorpio Moon can be lusty and passionate, though with Vesta and Sedna involved, there is an element of detachment. I suggest you make contact with people who are willing to go there with you, rather than trying to get that contact from people who are not interested.

Planet Waves
Capricorn Full Moon on July 3, set for Washington, DC.

All of this is happening with Mars in the last degrees of Virgo, which may be setting off some of the most sensitive planets in your chart. Then Mars changes signs, leaving a whole phase of our lives behind. Remember what you learned about healing, and healing anger and desire in these months.

The Libra ingress will present a test of how well you did; you may need to re-focus on healing, as hidden material comes to the surface in relationships. The key here is balance, and seeing both sides of the story.

Mars in Libra tends to go one of two ways: flying off in anger, or easy-going and enthusiastic. With all the tension and rumbling energy in the air from Uranus-Pluto, plus the polarization of waxing Moon, this sounds like a good time to pause, weigh your options, use your inside voice, and try to notice not only when you’re feeling emotionally triggered, but to really check how deep/old the reaction’s roots are. I know this is asking a lot if you’re about to bite someone’s head off, but it will be worth pausing.

Meanwhile, that series of Moon-Pluto occultations is wearing away something, and Uranus-Pluto is shaking things up. With the Cancer Sun in opposition and square to these, there’s a lot of sensitivity that people might not know what to do with. The easy answer is to lash out at those closest to us, those in our homes — whether literal or figurative homes, material or cyber. It’s also easy to become obsessive, and to feel at the mercy of powers larger than yourself.

If you’re feeling anger, deal with it constructively, and make sure you direct it as gently as possible, in the right direction. Are you really lashing out at your mother when you yell at your roommate, Facebook friend, lover or boss? Perhaps you’d be better served by a good therapy session, some hands-on activism, or some really hot sex. Check which of these options is open to you.

Note: Mars making aspects to Uranus and Pluto is astrology associated with accidents. Make sure you drive gently, with intention, and most of all, in sober, alert condition. If your holiday plans are still open, I suggest that less driving is better next week, and if you must, be as conscious and professional behind the wheel as you want your airline pilot to be handling a 737.

More details starting Sunday night in Daily Astrology & Adventure.


Planet Waves

Seafood, but Not Fish, Declared Safe; Forest of No Chirp

In a move seemingly designed to protect the local fishing industry from terminal collapse, Japanese authorities have today allowed the sale of octopus and whelk caught near the scene of last year’s nuclear meltdown following the tsunami which devastated Fukushima. Octopus and whelk, a marine snail, are invertebrate and showed no detectable amounts of radioactive substances. Fish such as sea bass and flounder, however, were not approved for sale due to contamination from radioactive caesium. Many people have bought the produce to show their support for the industry, according to an official in charge of sales at the fishing co-operative in Soma city. “I was filled with both uncertainty and hope today, but I was so happy when I found out the local supermarket had sold out by 3pm,” he told Associated Press.

Meanwhile, few swallows and few or no other summer birds such as Narcissus Flycatcher are being found in an area of Fukushima, according to Tweets by the Japan Wild Bird Association. Readings of radioactivity taken in a heron colony are also showing elevated levels of radiation, indicating its likely presence in the fresh water fish the herons eat and feed their young. As remarked in one of the Tweets, “It reminded me of Silent Spring by Rachel Louise Carson. Forest of no chirp.”


Planet Waves

Germany Upholds Ban on Circumcision

An appeals court in Cologne, Germany, has ruled that circumcision of young boys on religious grounds infringes a child’s right to physical integrity. The verdict related to the case of a four-year-old Muslim boy who became seriously ill following the procedure. The court ruled that the individual rights of the child took legal precedent over the religious right of its parents. Germany’s Jewish and Muslim communities responded with outrage following the controversial ruling. Dieter Graumann, president of Germany’s Central Council of Jews, denounced the ruling as outrageous and insensitive. “It is an unprecedented and dramatic intervention in the right of religious communities to self-determination,” he said. Perhaps; maybe it’s about sex. The Royal Australasian College of Physicians states that the foreskin protects the glans, and that “the foreskin is a primary sensory part of the penis, containing some of the most sensitive areas of the penis.”


Planet Waves

Murdoch’s Pholus Just Won’t Quit

Planet Waves
Rupert Murdoch, demonstrating how tight News Corp used to be. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Rupert Murdoch, in an interview on FOX News Thursday morning, confirmed that News Corporation, his $54 billion media conglomerate, will proceed with a plan to divide the company in two — separating newspapers like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Post and The Times of London from the fast-growing entertainment unit. While some view the move as risky for the newspapers — which essentially relied on the entertainment arm of News Corp as a financial safety net, Murdoch proclaimed otherwise.

“In a memo to staff , Mr. Murdoch cited the company’s ‘spirit of innovation’ in the decision, which he viewed as an opportunity to free his beloved newspapers from their ugly stepchild status within the giant corporation,” reported the New York Times. “Our publishing businesses are greatly undervalued by the skeptics,” he wrote. “Through this transformation we will unleash their real potential, and be able to better articulate the true value they hold for shareholders.”

Some might argue that what has been “unleashed,” thanks to Pholus, is a big ol’ can of consequences for years of unethical tactics, such as hacking the voicemail of a dead little girl, leading her parents to think she was still alive. Even the FOX News anchor who interviewed Murdoch seemed to take his job seriously, pressing Murdoch for answers and prompting the bloggers at The Guardian U.K. to quip, “Murdoch seemed angry, annoyed with [Neil] Cavuto. His answers grew shorter and shorter and his smile grew tighter and tighter. Is Cavuto still employed?”


Planet Waves

Holder Held in Contempt of Congress

For the first time in American history, the House of Representatives has held a sitting member of the president’s cabinet in contempt. Thursday, the House voted along party lines to hold Attorney General Eric Holder in contempt of Congress, after he refused to turn over some documents associated with something called Operation Fast and Furious. This seems to stem from the right wing conspiracy theory that Pres. Obama is trying to ake away some Americans’ most precious possession — their guns. Obama has actually been gun-friendly, so this has its basis only in paranoia. In fact it’s so paranoid that Obama is being accused of selling guns to Mexicans in order to have them create violent incidents in the United States, and then use this as a way to roll back gun rights. The New York Times reported Thursday that more than 100 Democrats, including Nancy Pelosi, the minority leader, quietly left the House chamber during the voting. They gathered in a circle on the lawn outside the Capitol for a news conference. “We are nonparticipants in what we believe to be a calamity,” said Representative Emanuel Cleaver II, Democrat of Missouri and chairman of the black caucus. “This is a terrible day for the House of Representatives. We did not want to participate in something that had some kind of a smell to it.”


Planet Waves

Planet Waves
This is what it really looks like on the Moon, unless you think that it’s a studio shot directed by a young Steven Spielberg. Photo is of Apollo 17, the last time humans visited the Moon.

Man Walks (or Walked) on Ruling Planet

NASA’s Astronomy Photo of the Day website has published a shot showing Harrison Schmitt, the only Cancerian among the 10 astronauts who have set foot on the Moon, on his astrological ruling planet. The photo shows him investigating Shorty Crater with fellow Apollo 17 crewman Eugene Cernan in 1972. Schmitt claims to have taken the iconic Blue Marble photo of the Earth, which is credited by NASA to the whole team. He is also the only person known to have fallen over while taking a moonwalk.

His lunar excursion may have tripped him in other ways, too. He retired from NASA in 1975 and ran as a Republican in New Mexico for the U.S. Senate. He won, but lost a second-term bid to state Attorney General Jeff Bingaman who ran under the slogan “What on Earth has he done for you lately?” He later became a global-warming denier, claiming the environmental movement was a Communist conspiracy of activists who had nowhere else to go after the demise of the Soviet Union. It might be worth keeping an eye on any Aries or Scorpios who make it back from Mars one day. They might take Martial arts to a whole new political level.


Planet Waves

This week on Planet Waves FM: Introduction to Civics

Here in this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I am joined by the mayor of Kingston, NY — Shayne Gallo. This is not your hard-hitting kind of interview; rather, it’s a conversation about civics: being involved in society.

Planet Waves
Kingston Mayor Shayne Gallo, Tuesday during the interview.

We start with a formal definition of what that means, the one you may have read in the Boy Scout Handbook, and then start to account for how weird the world is right now, and how much counts for involvement, and why it’s so important right now for both individuals and society. Note — the interview is in stereo, so if you cannot hear one channel, make sure you have both speakers plugged in or put your system onto mono.

I introduce the program with Venus stationing direct, which was Wednesday at 11:06 am EDT. This has been the most eventful Venus retrograde since the dinosaurs were around. It’s included two eclipses, the transit of Venus, Uranus square Pluto, Saturn opposite Eris, Jupiter square Neptune (all slow moving aspects), along with the solstice and a good bit else. All of that, contained within the time structure of Venus retrograde.

On Wednesday that energy released, and now we get to see what else was behind the veil. One thing that was coming down the pike at the time of this recording was the decision on the health care reform act of late 2010. It is an historic decision with many implications and a real test of the functioning of our government.

We go without a music break this week however — I am looking for a music editor to help coordinate that part of the program, and to evolve a spinoff indie music hour. Write to me if that turns you on.


Planet Waves

Friday, June 29, 2012. Weekly Horoscope #908 | Eric’s Zodiac Sign Descriptions

Cancer Birthdays: Sun Meets Uranus-Pluto Square

If you have a birthday anywhere in the vicinity, get ready for a very exciting year — perhaps the most exciting of your life. Uranus and Pluto are making their square in aspect to your natal Sun — and that means progress. It might not feel like progress every day, and you may find that you’re dealing with forces much larger than yourself. Yet there is just one way to handle that: full commitment. You’re being drawn into your circumstances in a way that may be deeper than you ever have. There are elements of your environment that are provoking you to grow, to reconsider all of your thinking and most of all, to get in tune with the times. I suggest you face the moment with an open mind, remembering that you are no longer in the past and that the future is approaching quickly. This means making specific changes to your self-concept, your point of view and your relationships. Consider your encounters with others to be an aspect of your life that must evolve as quickly as you are, though your growth comes first. It may seem exhausting to keep pace with so many influences — whether internal or external — though if you make even the slightest effort, you will be carried by the momentum of the moment into a time of true achievement.

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Going forward for the foreseeable future, there are two keys to success that are right in your hand. One is communication. This is as close to the thing that will solve every problem as you’ve got — particularly when you use it among people who are avoiding that very thing. When met with anyone’s intense energy, establish contact and you will both defuse negativity and get things moving in a creative direction. Take the time to listen (before you speak) and figure out what people are trying to say. The second is to know what you want. This will help you keep your focus, in general and when you encounter pushy people who think they know what they want — and don’t hesitate to push it on you. It doesn’t matter how enthusiastic or aggressive someone is; you’re in a lot stronger position if you know your own agenda and can therefore stick to it.

Hello Aries — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed).

Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Your ruling planet Venus has stationed direct in Gemini, which is another way of saying that information is forthcoming about what in life is most important to you. That, in turn, will lead to your ability to make better decisions about what to do about that significance; to use what you know. One characteristic of the recent Venus retrograde phase has been an experiment in values. By this I mean that you’ve been able to explore aspects of life that may in some way go against your usual ethics, habits or morals. Seen one way, these parallel values systems are equally valid. Seen another way, you cannot be sure what is important to you unless you experience something different, in physical reality. It’s crucial to be able to experiment without the looming threat of failure or disaster, and you’ve come a long way in setting your worst fears aside. That alone has been worth the experiment, though you’ve gained a lot more than that.

Hello Taurus — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed) If you would like to hear your Taurus birthday reading, please visit this link.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You can now receive the benefits of something that you’ve been in possession of for a while. It may not be a thing, however — it more resembles a value that you hold close to your heart, a promise you’ve made to yourself or an idea about existence, which you’ve now decided to take seriously. You have every reason to be positive about whatever you’re committing to, or embracing your commitment to. It’s true that you have not fully let go of certain old tendencies, and you’re being reminded of certain qualities you possess that involve your ties to your parents. However, the center of gravity is leaning in your direction, and the faith that you possess is the thing that will get you past any of your doubts or perceived weaknesses. Therefore, you’re correct: this is the time to make all the progress you can, which by the way is more than you think.

Hello Gemini — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). Your Gemini birthday reading is ready! Click here for an hour of astrology plus a tarot reading by Eric.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — The bigger the challenge the higher you will rise to meet it. This is a moment of full engagement for you, though notably it’s subtler than it is dramatic. Indeed, drama is the last thing you want right now, and the first thing to defuse. Once you’ve done that, go for the soul connection. This feels like a point of contact that goes deeper than what people say their goals are, transcends appearances and even ideologies, and reaches to a level of core understanding. Normally we preoccupy ourselves with every other dimension of relating to people. The planets are aligned such that you are positioned for a breakthrough on understanding what this whole business of soul relationships is about. I don’t exactly mean your soul ‘mate’ because you’re likely to have more than one. I mean a perspective on existence that is readily accessible to you right now, and which has the power to ease your way in life like nothing else can.

Hello Cancer — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). Your Cancer birthday reading is ready! It includes more than hour of astrology plus a tarot reading. Use this link to order.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Have you ever been on one of those scales in a science museum that tells you how much you would weigh on the surface of another planet? Now imagine a more elaborate version of that same display that would allow you to feel what it’s like on another world. That’s what your astrology is giving you right now. Check for several distinct properties — there is less gravity. There is an unusual blend between dreamtime and what you previously thought of as reality. As a result, the energy field is less dense — which includes the realms of human psychology and your physical surroundings. Changes are easier to make; you have the ability to peer into and even through things that previously seemed opaque. The whole experience may pass by you as if it’s a dream; it’s up to you to pay attention and remember what you experience, which is in truth a demonstration of what is possible and indeed available all the time, if you tune your mind to the right perspective.

Hello Leo — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed).


Planet Waves


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — I am here with another reminder that Mars is about to leave your sign; that happens July 3. Mars has been in your sign since Nov. 11, 2011 — almost nine months running. This transit has made you aware of the infamous Virgo self-criticism thing; there were many times when you actually grasped that if you didn’t do something about it right then, you would lose your mind. In essence, you’ve learned to temper your aggression toward yourself, and have been participating in the world’s most effective anger management program. In truth we’re talking about energy management, and now that you’ve figured out how to stop fighting with yourself, you have a lot more energy available to take on the challenges of the world — and you have some beautiful ones awaiting you, especially as you step into the next phase of your life’s work. This is not about your career; it’s about going beyond your career.

Hello Virgo — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed).

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — This week’s planetary activity includes several changes that influence your sign: your ruling planet Venus stationed direct; Saturn stationed direct in your sign; and Mars is ingressing your sign. All together, this looks like the release of stuck energy combined with a lot of new motivation. You may want to leap forward all at once, though I suggest taking things one step at a time and proceeding methodically. The energy and motivation provided by Mars don’t come with guaranteed good judgment; that’s something you have to provide for yourself. It will require some reflection and adaptation to your new emotional environment. As priority one, I would suggest keeping your focus on balance. Make sure those scales of yours are equally weighted, and notice how little energy it takes to tip things in one direction or another. Take the time to observe how little energy it takes to get the job done.

Hello Libra — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed).

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — By now you’ve figured out that you feel better, and get along better with people, if you take a less critical attitude. You’re an analyzer by nature. There’s a way to do that gently, which includes keeping your sense of humor, and refusing to assume the worst. Yet there is something else I truly hope has come across, and it’s not too late. Where you see the need for improvement in the world, you can actually devote your energy, your love and your resources. Yes, this involves taking a chance, and it involves being willing to extend some extra focus. Yet the real ‘risk’ is shifting from a negative orientation on the state of the world to a positive one. You have little right to expect the world to become a better place (however you define that) unless you’re willing to put yourself into that project. It’s pretty easy to identify the ways that provide mutual benefit, and I suggest that you mediate on the concept, ‘the greatest good for all concerned.’

Hello Scorpio — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed).

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — The funny thing about many of the old descriptions of your sign is that they say you like to skip over the details, yet there’s that side of you that obsesses over them. I suggest you refine this down to a short list with fewer than five items, then go back to the thing you’re so good at — envisioning the whole scene. It’s time to develop the talent of knowing when you’re in which mode, detailed close-up focus versus wide-angle view. The wide-angle means sketching out a vision that takes you out at least one year from today, with direct continuity from the present moment. Think in terms of your broad goals, and certain focused goals. The idea is to consider these things in principle, rather than in terms of specifics, or proof of what you can accomplish. Also — with Mars still in your 10th house for a few days, I suggest you solve three persistent problems at the rate of one per day for the next three days.

Hello Sagittarius — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed).

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — There are those times in life when you actually feel met, and this is one of them. Pay attention to who you encounter and stay sensitive to your environment. You’re in a position where you can be noticed, by which I mean seen clearly and recognized for who you are. A diversity of factors are conspiring to make this one of the most interesting weeks of the year. This is not a passing trend but rather a threshold through which you’re moving. Look at the world every day through new eyes. Be present in every moment; get yourself out of automatic mode and guide yourself consciously from moment to moment. Without expectations, assume that every encounter is a meaningful encounter — this includes people you pass in the elevator, the TSA agents at the airport or meeting a dog. Then apply that to everyone else you meet; listen to what they say. Honor the unknown, and call yourself fully present from moment to moment.

Hello Capricorn — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed).

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Events the next few days are likely to shine the light in such a way that you see your life from a new point of view. It will be like looking at a scene from your future that you cannot enter yet, because it hasn’t fully manifested. Yet at the same time your ability to envision yourself in a new way, in different circumstances, will feed your strength. In order to get from the place you are now to your vision for the future, you will need a combination of discipline, strategy and intuition in equal measure. There will be times when you have to defer to one or the other, though most of the time the three facets of thought will provide you with useful references to cross-check. You may be surprised to see the ways in which they confirm rather than contradict one another. One thing to keep in mind is the way that you use structure. I mean this as a concept by which you guide your thinking, and also as a real thing, which you might apply as the use of space, legal devices such as a corporation, and the way you use your time.

Hello Aquarius — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed).

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You have just spent the past nine months with Mars in your relationship angle, the sign Virgo. Far from being a regular occurrence, this is pretty rare, and nothing like it is going to happen again till around 2027. You’ve been through your share of conflicts, though more to the point, you’ve learned how to handle disagreement effectively and without losing your cool. This involves standing up for yourself when you need to, and arguing the specifics rather than the generalities. This and other factors suggest you can proceed with actual confidence in yourself. That’s a Latin word that means with fidelity. You’ve come a long way on your old problem of constantly being at odds with yourself. In fact, the theme that you’ve set during the past nine months is being in harmony with yourself, and more than any one thing this will be the secret to your success and happiness. Remember what you’ve learned and what you’ve been through; they are lessons of a lifetime.

Hello Pisces — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed).

Trayvon Martin and the Uranus-Pluto Square

Dear Friend and Reader:

If you’re one of those people who dares to watch the news, you know this has been a momentous and swiftly-moving week. Health care reform made it to the Supreme Court for three days of hearings, and the shooting of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin has burst into public consciousness for the trial-by-media of the century — these, among many other stories that are giving our era its science fiction feeling.

Planet Waves
While everyone was looking the other way, James Cameron went to the bottom of the Pacific Ocean. Shown here with his Deepsea Challenger, he’s the first person to reach the Mariana Trench since 1960 — and the first person to get a good look at the territory. Photo: National Geographic.

Trayvon’s story has developed by the hour, with one strange twist after the next. Mercury retrograde in Pisces is one of the key aspects in this story, with all its confusion, denial and leaks to the press. That reaches a turning point soon enough, when Mercury stations direct on Wednesday.

Along the longer arc of world history, though, the most astonishing event got the least attention: James Cameron making it to the bottom of the Mariana Trench, the deepest known spot in all of the world’s oceans. In the firestorm surrounding Trayvon Martin, news of this achievement has been all but lost. Cameron, who directed Titanic, returned Monday from his 35,756-foot (6.77-mile deep) dive to a place 50 times bigger than the Grand Canyon.

In a video we’ve linked to, he said it resembled another world, far from anything we’re familiar with. Many have commented that we know more about outer space than we do about the oceans on our own planet. Only one prior manned expedition has reached this spot, in 1960. [Read more at PC Magazine and on Huffington Post.]

Cameron’s 12-ton craft, which he and his team designed personally (they didn’t rent it from National) is a giant underwater movie camera, with LED ighting arrays and the ability to shoot in 3D; we will soon have the opportunity to take the trip with him, at least visually. Notably, this will be a true life adventure film wherein nobody is shot, shoots someone else, wrecks 30 cars or bursts into flames. Let’s hope anyone is interested.

The public nervous system known as ‘the news’ skipping over Cameron’s dive is the perfect metaphor for how few people want to go deep — though clearly some do. For those scanning the world for events described by Chiron and Neptune in Pisces, here we have the perfect image of that aspect. Yet the flashy, fiery, contentious events get most of the attention. This is a good illustration of how the elements fire and water work differently. Fire happens up at the surface, where everyone can see it. The water is below the surface, where few people want to go, or even dream of what’s down there.

Speaking of going deep — poet Adrienne Rich, often quoted in these pages, died Tuesday at age 82. Her most famous poem is called Diving Into the Wreck, which uses a story of her exploring a shipwreck alone as a metaphor for making discoveries about her gender identity.

This is just a small sample of what’s been happening; there has been plenty of astrology pushing things along. Over the past few days, the Sun passed through the Uranus-Pluto square — on Sunday, the Sun was conjunct Uranus, and Thursday it was square Pluto. Think of this as one event, setting off the energy of the square — which came close on the heels of the Aries New Moon and vernal equinox last week, sparking off what will be one of the most interesting seasons in anyone’s memory. At the heart of the astrology is the Uranus-Pluto square.

Planet Waves
Adrienne Rich (1929-2012) was one of the first poetic and intellectual voices of the modern women’s movement. Considered a radical by some and a minimalist by others, she always spoke in a clear and empathic voice, even when expressing collective rage. Photo by Neal Boenzi / The New York Times.

Both Uranus and Pluto are close to this mysterious thing called the Aries Point — the first degree of the zodiac, which serves as an amplifier of consciousness, a breach in the false divider between what we sort into private and public spheres of experience. It was in a class about Adrienne that my professor, Carol Smith, discussed the notion of the personal/political intersection, which was a cornerstone of Rich’s work. The way she put it, there is no private life that is not influenced by some larger public life.

Uranus is still in a fairly close conjunction to the Aries Point and will be for a while; Pluto is early enough in Capricorn to be square the Aries Point. Suitably, as the Aries Sun passed through the square, two critical and seemingly unrelated events came to a head this week: a law that would make medical services more affordable and available to all Americans (just like in every other advanced country), and a racial battle that is more reminiscent of the 1950s than it is of today.

Even as the major aspects (for example, Uranus square Pluto) strive to push us forward and help us confront modern problems, we’re being reminded of what remains unresolved from our collective past. While Trayvon Martin may seem insignificant to some and an overblown story to others, racial karma is one of the most significant issues we face on the planet, though in truth the next layer down involves the economic problems we face: the distribution of resources that fuel racial crises and are at the root of many ethnicity-based wars and genocides.

What exactly was George Zimmerman worried that Trayvon Martin was doing? Well, stealing, of course. Stealing what? What else? White people’s stuff.

Let’s not forget the elemental equation that informs so much of what we think of as politics: lighter-skinned guy thinks darker-skinned guy is trying to take the stuff of lighter-skinned guys. Sadly, this sounds more reductionist than it is. You can look at almost any national issue through this filter and suddenly it makes more sense.

For example, one of the reasons that so many conservatives object to expanded health services for everyone involves resentment that darker people might get some of what the lighter people “worked so hard” for. This is the basic formula for how economics translates into racial issues. However, this is a divide and conquer tactic, which is designed to pit the very wealthy against the very poor. If you want a quick history lesson, check out the lyrics to the Bob Dylan song Only A Pawn In Their Game.

The Castle Doctrine

Note: Here is the discussion page for this issue.

Our discussion of Trayvon Martin starts with the Castle Doctrine. When I heard this term I thought I might have missed an important Supreme Court ruling, but it turns out to be a concept from an English law book published in 1628. The concept is, “An Englishman’s home is his castle,” which means you have the right to kill someone who comes into your house to harm you or, more probably, to steal some of your stuff.

Planet Waves
“Stand Your Ground” laws are also known as “Make My Day” laws, a reference to justifiable homicide, quoted from the “Dirty Harry” films of the 1980s. These laws are derived from the Castle Doctrine, which says you have a right to defend yourself in your own home.

This was imported with the colonists to the New World, where it became, “A man’s home is his castle.” A castle, remember, is a place where aristocrats live, and the intruder is presumed to be a poor person. The Castle Doctrine was translated from Common Law (that is, ancient English case law) into American statutes in the form of laws that allow people to shoot intruders in their homes with impunity. Currently, about 17 states have some version of a Castle Doctrine law, otherwise known as “no duty to retreat at home.”

Six states and DC have “duty to retreat” provisions, which means that you have to make an attempt to get out of harm’s way before you use deadly force against an intruder inside your home. If you are cornered and cannot retreat, then you have the right to use deadly force.

This was evolved by clever lobbyists into the The Stand Your Ground laws. The controversy is swirling around this concept, which extends the concept of ‘castle’ to your car, your office, or anyplace you legitimately belong. According to Florida law (and the laws of other states with this provision), if you reasonably feel threatened, you don’t have to retreat — you can stand your ground. In the elegant language (and distorted thinking) of Guns.com, “People should not have to retreat, they should not have to run and hide and hope the bad guy will leave them alone. They should not have to live in fear of being raped, beaten, robbed or murdered because they have been told to call the police and let the crime happen.”

Currently, 16 states have some version of the Stand Your Ground law, which is being lobbied for by the NRA and guided by a conservative legislation mill called the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). We all know the NRA — all guns, all the time. ALEC is less familiar: it’s a conservatively-themed organization that writes legislation designed to be adopted by state legislatures. These organizations, rather than serving the public good, “assist politicians in developing what it considers model laws serving the economic and political aims of its members.”

Thinking like the NRA for a moment, what good is a gun if you can’t use it? If more states pass more laws that allow people to use their guns for self-defense, manufacturers will sell more guns. Notably, six of the Stand Your Ground states were part of the Confederacy — states that went to war to defend slavery. A seventh is Indiana, historically a hub of the KKK. In my view, this is a racial thing.

These laws feed the fantasies of American vigilante justice, much of which has its roots in racism. And the pile of bodies is growing higher; “justifiable” homicides have tripled since Florida adopted this law. Anyone who thinks it’s wise to keep a gun in your house should watch the film Five American Guns. But there is a huge, gaping question at the center of the Trayvon Marin case: is Stand Your Ground even vaguely applicable, or is it being used as a license to kill?

Neighborhood Watch, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012

One body in the pile is that of Trayvon Martin, who was shot and killed by George Zimmerman one month ago while he was out taking a walk to 7-Eleven. The incident begins when Zimmerman, who was on Neighborhood Watch patrol in Sanford, Florida, a small city near Orlando, sees Trayvon (who was walking home from the store) and calls the police dispatcher on the non-emergency line.

Planet Waves
Family photo of Trayvon Martin and an unidentified relative.

This happens at about 7 pm — and that’s going to be the time of our chart, since that’s when the sequence of events is set in motion. This transcript is one of the few primary source documents that provide a baseline of what Zimmerman was thinking as he made his choices. It reveals his state of mind and what was motivating him.

Where there is a corpse and an accusation of murder, the motive is the thing you want to know about first. This is in the movies, and it’s also true. It takes significant motivation to kill another person.

I will re-publish the salient piece of the conversation between Zimmerman and the dispatcher. [Here is the full transcript if you want to read it.] Zimmerman starts off by saying that “we’ve had some break-ins in my area,” adding that “this guy looks like he’s up to no good, or he’s on drugs or something. It’s raining and he’s just walking around, looking about.”

Zimmerman: Yeah, now he’s coming towards me.

Dispatcher: OK.

Zimmerman: He’s got his hand in his waistband. And he’s a black male.

Dispatcher: How old would you say he looks?

Zimmerman: He’s got a button on his shirt, late teens.

Dispatcher: Late teens ok.

Zimmerman: Something’s wrong with him. Yup, he’s coming to check me out, he’s got something in his hands, I don’t know what his deal is.

Dispatcher: Just let me know if he does anything ok.

Zimmerman: How long until you get an officer over here?

Dispatcher: Yeah we’ve got someone on the way, just let me know if this guy does anything else.

Zimmerman: Okay. These assholes they always get away. When you come to the clubhouse you come straight in and make a left. Actually you would go past the clubhouse.

Dispatcher: So it’s on the lefthand side from the clubhouse?

Zimmerman: No you go in straight through the entrance and then you make a left — uh you go straight in, don’t turn, and make a left. Shit he’s running.

Dispatcher: He’s running? Which way is he running?

Zimmerman: Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.

Dispatcher: Which entrance is that that he’s heading towards?

Zimmerman: The back entrance — fucking [unintelligible, possibly ‘coon’]

Dispatcher: Are you following him?

Zimmerman: Yeah

Dispatcher: Ok, we don’t need you to do that.

Zimmerman: Ok.

So much for standing your ground. Trayvon runs — he runs away, that is — and then against the direct guidance of the police dispatcher, Zimmerman pursues him, stalks him, confronts and kills him. One witness said that there was the sound of crying, and after the gun fired, there was silence. Clearly those were not the anguished cries of George Zimmerman.

Transcripts are beautiful things. They reveal so much that you don’t usually hear, if you’re just listening. Nothing has happened yet — but Zimmerman is angry. Before he knows anything, he has tried and convicted Trayvon as one of the people burglarizing houses; Zimmerman believes that Trayvon, whom he does not know, is on drugs and believes that he’s about to be attacked. There is a word for this: paranoia. I don’t mean this in the sense of schizophrenic, but rather the personality disorder. Paranoid people make up scenarios that have nothing to do with reality, and then pretend they’re real — and often act them out.

Planet Waves
Shooting of Trayvon Martin. Mars rising is on the left, on the horizontal line; that line is the ascendant, and Mars is in the 12th house (above the ascendant). The 8th house is approximately at 2 o’clock toward the right side of the chart, and has many planets; this suggests that the cause of death is complicated. Yet Trayvon seems to be a hapless victim rather than someone with a prior involvement. Note: All of the charts for this issue are posted at full size on the audio page.

Now, let’s see how this looks as an astrology chart and maybe get a look behind the scenes.

First, note that this is an event that took place a month ago, back when the Sun was in early Pisces. Things in mutable signs can be slow to develop, though as the Sun approached Aries and finally crossed the Aries Point, Trayvon Martin became a household word and the story ran wild. True enough, it filled the news void left by the petering off Republican primary, but clearly this issue is touching something deep in the American psyche.

Our story begins with a chart with Virgo rising. There is a planet rising at the moment this all goes down — Mars. See it there on the left side of the chart, in red? It’s rising at the speed of the rising Sun, just above the horizon, tucked into what’s called the 12th house. It’s in the ascending sign so it has a direct manifestation, yet because it’s just slightly above the horizon, it has a veiled or invisible quality and is not fully connected to reality.

This is an odd thing about the 12th — planets in the 12th can actually be visible, but the interpretation of the house is that they are veiled. This is characteristic of the contradictory nature of the 12th; how this works deserves a whole article, but I wanted to point out the issue in case this has been bugging anyone all the years they’ve been studying astrology. (One clever interpretation is that the 12th represents the ‘waking dream’ or ‘trance consciousness’ that so many are caught in nearly all the time. I will come back to this theme.)

Mars retrograde in Virgo in the 12th is angry and paranoid. The 12th blows things out of proportion; it can represent either something that has gone missing, or a scenario in one’s imagination or dreams that takes over and becomes larger than life — and it’s often based on fear. There’s little sense of proportion or realism with the 12th, and in that rising Mars we have a picture of all the things Zimmerman is making up about Trayvon. We have a picture of Zimmerman himself.

Now let’s do something a little fancier: what house does Mars come from? That is to say, where do we find Aries, and where do we find Scorpio, the signs that are ruled by Mars? Those two places in the chart will tell us more about what Mars is doing and thinking. Look around the outside of the wheel till you find the Scorpio glyph, which is purple. That’s on the 3rd house cusp — the 3rd is the house of ‘the neighborhood’ (local activity, brethren, neighbors), and Scorpio in one elegant phrase describes it as a scene of death (a Scorpio topic).

Planet Waves
NYS Senator Eric Adams, other senators and assembly members wore hoodies to legislative sessions this week, showing their solidarity with the “I Am Trayvon” movement. Photo: NYS Senate.

We find Aries on the cusp of the 8th house — the house of death and also the transference of property. In any death chart, the contents of the 8th house, and the location of the planet associated with the sign on the cusp, are critical planets. Aries is the sign — it points to that angry, paranoid Mars rising. This chart fits the scene (always important to check that out before proceeding); that congruence argues that it’s trustworthy.

Now look at how much activity there is inside that house — there are five points in the 8th, and a sixth right outside the house (which gets a ‘close enough’ rating). That other planet is Ceres — the grieving mother. If the 8th is about the cause of death, this is a complex situation; we are talking about the motive here, since when someone is killed, the motive is the ’cause’.

Venus Conjunct Eris in Aries

There’s a conjunction glaring out of the 8th house: Venus conjunct Eris in Aries. This is chaotic, angry and self-centered; Eris is all about psychology, and her mythology is about getting revenge. This is an extremely telling aspect. See if you can follow this: the judicial system and the laws of the land are represented by the 9th house, which has Taurus on the cusp. Therefore, Venus (though located in Aries) represents law itself (and in Aries, it is a self-serving version of the law) — and it’s conjunct Eris. The cause of death is legal chaos — a bad law that basically allows for murder. Zimmerman, I believe, knew he could get away with killing Trayvon by claiming self-defense.

Planet Waves
It must really be illegal — meanwhile Bobby Rush, a democratic congressman from Illinois, was thrown out of the House chambers on Wednesday for wearing a hoodie. There is actually a rule against wearing a hood on the House floor, probably from the days when members arrived by horse and carriage.

The Moon is in this house, located in an eerie degree — the one with the Sabian symbol, “A widow at an open grave.” While this degree is often about leaving the past behind, it’s still a fitting image of the whole situation. Jupiter is there, lending a sense of scale — this is going to be big. And then there is the Black Moon Lilith, which is another dark psychological point, magnified by Jupiter — another image of a contaminated sense of justice.

Said another way, there is a lot going on in the house that stands for the nature and cause of death, and it’s all embodied in that angry, paranoid Mars rising — who represents Zimmerman. Note also the number of points: many things in the 8th can illustrate a lot of dead people (all the ones who were killed under the excuse of ‘justifiable homicide’). And finally, disgusting as this is, the 8th is about financial interests (an idea deriving from the ‘inheritance’ theme of death) — and a lot of money is at stake. The arms trade in the United States is positively huge, and any restriction on guns cuts into profits.

While that packed 8th house represents the nature and cause of death, it also represents money — that is, the money of others, shared resources and wealth of some kind. Zimmerman fancied himself a protector of his neighborhood’s value — he was patrolling for burglars. It’s a complicated house, and the planets in that house reverberate in aspects all over the chart — look at the diagram in the middle. The cluster of blue lines to the right show some of the aspects being made by 8th house planets.

Once he kills Trayvon, he knows he has a problem. Florida loves its death penalty, so he could be next. So he has to come up with a story, claiming he was really defending himself when in truth he was stalking someone. He’s an older, heavier guy with a semi-automatic gun; he’s not going to get away with this unless he claims it was self-defense. This is his only chance to walk away — and to make that claim, he has to make up some lies on the spot, and that is why his alibis are so ridiculous — getting his head slammed into the ground repeatedly, and his nose broken, and being threatened with death by an unarmed boy.

Activity in Pisces: Mercury, Sun, Chiron

Mercury is now retrograde in Pisces. You’ve heard me refer to the term ‘Mercury shadow’ or ‘Mercury echo’ before — that’s Mercury getting ready go retrograde. It does this when it enters the degrees where it will soon be retrograde — and that’s one thing that was happening the night that Trayvon was killed. In this chart, Mercury is at 23+ Pisces. When Mercury goes direct on Wednesday, it will have come all the way back to 23+ Pisces, and something is going to happen as a result. In this chart, Mercury represents Trayvon (the planet that rules the Virgo ascendant). Trayvon knows the truth.

To me this rather amazing sequence of events looks like what remains of Zimmerman’s lies coming unraveled. This is already happening fast — this week, among other things, video from inside the police station came out, with Zimmerman all fresh and perky, not looking like he was beaten within inches of his life minutes earlier, as he claims.

The question is, will the additional revelations make a difference? I think so, but it may take another week or two — starting when that Mars in Virgo goes direct. Note that it does so in an opposition to Chiron (a force for awareness and healing). Mars was retrograde at the time of the incident, and it’s proceeded retrograde into an exact opposition to Chiron, and a close opposition to Neptune (which can represent delusions and also what comes out in the wash). The paranoid fantasies and lies of that Mars are not going to withstand the opposition to Chiron, though there is still a long way to go here. I see another turning point when Mars leaves Virgo and enters Libra (making an opposition to the Aries Point) on July 3. If the injustice persists, this is when it will explode.

Planet Waves
Trayvon Martin’s father, Tracy Martin, and his mother, Sabrina Fulton, at the Union Square protest in New York City against Trayvon’s shooting death and the way that it’s being handled.

We also have collective issues. This chart has a Sun-Chiron conjunction. You can see this located below the horizon line, to the right side of the chart — the Sun is a yellow disk and Chiron is an orange key. This conjunction is square the lunar nodes, which provide a kind of spiritual guidance and sense of orientation. What is square the nodes is something that we will have to deal with one way or another, and that something is collective in nature. Sun-Chiron, as we said at the time, is about a maturing process — in particular, around maleness.

On the Planet Waves blog that week, we wrote, “We’re really great at creating warriors, who possess qualities which we then conflate with male maturity and extol as heroism. When you add Chiron to the Sun, by aspect or by transit, that hero can take a fall or be exposed as something less. Consider all the scandals involving corrupt cops and politicians previously venerated as heroes. For psychology heads, this is where the concept ‘shadow material’ comes into the picture, and the question of how we process it.”

And: “When the Sun contacts Chiron, we can make contact with our true solar nature, but often this implies something much deeper — an initiation that puts us in contact with our soul.” And this is really what we are getting here: a mass experiment on whether people are in contact with their soul. It’s also a mass experiment on how people respond to obvious injustice.

Rather than going away, I believe that this story will keep developing. That’s because it brings to the surface a festering spiritual injury that we desperately need to heal. The gun lobby and gun nuts are making a big mistake by hitching their wagon to this issue, though that may be necessary for their downfall. This is not a 2nd Amendment issue or a self-defense issue, not even close.

The core theme is the value that we put on life, no matter who is doing the killing. It’s time for a revolution on this one — and from this week’s astrology, we can see that’s connected to the Uranus-Pluto square. The Trayvon Martin murder has been tried in the media the same week that the health care reform law was tried before the Supreme Court. Both situations reveal the blood lust of a segment of American society. The same emotional wounding that would want anyone to die from their injuries because they lack health insurance is identical to the emotions behind approving of the stalking and shooting of an innocent person. The common thread is that they are likely to be poor, which often amounts to black — often but not always.

While Trayvon Martin may be revealing how far we have to go as a society, and indeed how far back we have slid, to me it represents a painful healing process. The thing that is most lacking in American society is compassion. We find compassion in individual people, but as a society we must learn to adopt empathy as a collective virtue.

Trayvon’s death is a teaching moment. The sooner we learn the lesson, the easier it will be.


Eric Francis

PS: Here is a technical hint, if you’re not so advanced in astrology but are trying to piece this together. A planet can rule one house and be in another house. For example, Venus rules Taurus (in this chart, falling on the 9th house) but it’s located in Aries (in this chart, falling on the 8th house). Or, Mars is the ruler of the 8th house (Aries) but it’s placed in Virgo, in the ascendant. It doesn’t rule Virgo — it’s just sitting there. But Mercury does rule Virgo — and since Virgo is on the 1st house, it’s the subject of the chart, hence, Mercury represents Trayvon. Post to the discussion page with your questions if you’re still confused and trying to figure this out.


Planet Waves

One Thing Leads to Another

Today is the first quarter Moon, which is when the Sun and Moon form a right angle to each other from our perspective here on Earth. In this case, that is happening from Cancer (Moon) to Aries (Sun). It’s a time to take stock of whatever you may have initiated during last week’s New Moon in Aries and gently guide it forward.

Planet Waves
Crab who lives in the East Hampton Shellfish Hatchery ‘just-for-fun’ local specimen tank. Photo by Eric.

This is a natural turning point, which will be accentuated Friday by the Moon’s conjunction to Uranus and square to Pluto. If you’re feeling any inner tension, that is the signal to get a little perspective on where it’s coming from and then use it as leverage if you have any decisions to make.

One reason to be gentle with this forward movement is that Mercury finally stations direct next week, on Wednesday, April 4. This means that Sunday into Monday begins the ‘storm’ phase of Mercury retrograde, which happens toward either end of the cycle. Those days surrounding when Mercury stations are the time to watch the most carefully.

It’s a time when potentially mixed signals — and the reactions that ensue — can be especially tricky to navigate. Mercury is in late Pisces for this station direct, so the watery storm metaphor is especially apt. Keep your ears open for intuitive messages, though you you might want to pause on taking any irreversible action on important matters prior to the station direct Wednesday morning. Action would include speaking in anger or making promises you’re not sure you can keep.

Mars slowing down to its station direct on April 13 is another reason to delay making critical decisions. After these planets station you will have more perspective. Emotions could easily interfere with your sense of perspective, so take things one slow step at a time.

Meantime, Venus ingresses Gemini Tuesday, opening up the earliest phase of its retrograde cycle. When Venus arrives in its new sign it’ll make squares to Neptune and then to Chiron — these are challenging aspects calling for a mindful approach to your feelings (as so many aspects seem to be saying lately). Venus square Neptune leans toward idealism, while Venus square Chiron can use intense pleasure (particularly sexual) as a way to cover hurt feelings.

This will work for a while, though sooner or later you’ll have to get to the bottom of things — it may as well be sooner.


Planet Waves

Dick Cheney has a Change of Heart

Feelings, nothing more than feelings…

Ok, everyone and her sister has made some snarky joke at this point about Dick Cheney’s heart transplant, and whether Dubya is up next for a new brain, and who the hell is wearing those ruby slippers, anyway — Obama? (There’s no place like hope, there’s no place like hope…) But seriously — the guy had a heart transplant with Mercury retrograde in Pisces for Pete’s sake. Is it possible to have a change of heart when they change your heart? Will he be admitting his role in the 9-11 incident and the never-ending hell that is the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Will he confess to helping to engineer a national security state bordering on martial law? And whose heart did he get, anyway? Often bodies reject donor organs, but we wouldn’t be surprised if this organ rejects him — or if there isn’t actual human blood to pump in there. If you’re curious about the chart for Cheney’s transplant, it’s on the Planet Waves blog.


Planet Waves

Health Care Has Its Three Days in Court

This week the U.S. Supreme Court held a three-day hearing on President Obama’s health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act. The court will now decide whether to strike down the key provision requiring most Americans to buy health insurance and determine whether the rest of the law can stand. This is one of the most prominent, ongoing examples of the personal and political intertwining in the news as the Uranus-Pluto square heats up. While the Supreme Court is debating whether the law goes too far, some wonder if it goes far enough. A decision on the matter is not expected until June; June 24 is the first exact contact of Uranus and Pluto.


Planet Waves

Close Your Eyes and Think of Wisconsin

Is Neptune in Wisconsin rather than Pisces? According to a Yahoo News story last week, Wisconsin legislator Don Pridemore suggested that “instead of leaving an abusive situation, women should try to remember the things they love about their husbands.” Pridemore remarked to a local news station, “If they can re-find those reasons and get back to why they got married in the first place it might help.” Pridemore, no surprise, is a co-sponsor of Republican state Senator Glenn Grothman’s ‘being single causes child abuse’ bill as well as a controversial voter ID bill that was ruled unconstitutional last week. Personal, political, delusional — does it really matter as long as women don’t get in the way of the men trying to lead this country? Well, yes, it does — and if you live in Wisconsin, please be sure to vote this year. If we didn’t know the astrology behind all of this, we might be even more concerned — but Uranus and Pluto don’t necessarily ‘fix things’, they just shake everything up and get our attention. The rest is up to us — that is, you.


Planet Waves

Activist Tim DeChristopher Visits The Hole

Planet Waves
Tim DeChristopher bid on a mineral lease he could not pay for, intentionally to disrupt the auction — and was given a two-year jail term. Photo by Cliff Lyon/bidder70.org.

Jailed environmental activist Tim DeChristopher was moved on March 9 into isolated confinement upon a phone call from an unknown congressman. DeChristopher, who was sentenced to two years in prison last July for having nonviolently disrupted a federal auction of oil and gas leases in 2008, had emailed a friend using the word “threat.” He was referring to threatening to return money given to his legal fund by a company that may be sending many of its jobs overseas.

That email landed him in a situation with grossly restricted access to communication and exercise. Wednesday, after calls from thousands of people to Herlong Federal Prison in California, the Bureau of Prisons office in Washington, DC and members of Congress, he was returned to his minimum-security cell after 19 days in the Special Housing Unit (SHU). DeChristopher is in a kind of limbo, since he is still under investigation — and there is no timeframe for when that process must start or end. As an enemy of ‘big oil’, he is a political prisoner; as someone who continues to act in these days, he is part of the Uranus-Pluto square in the ways we most need.


Planet Waves

Astrology in the Media and Public Relations: UAC Panel

Astrology is known for its notoriously poor handling of its media opportunities, and being subjected to repeated insults in the press. And to think that horoscope columns sell a heck of a lot of newspapers. In response to this problem, the United Astrology Conference (UAC) is sponsoring a Community Issues Workshop called “Working with the Media and Public Relations.” This takes place at 2:30 pm on Thursday, May 24, the day before the conference officially opens. The panel features Art Harris, who spent 13 years with CNN and is a two-time Emmy Award-winning investigative correspondent. He joins astrologers Eric Francis, David Railey, Donna Woodwell, Gloria Star, Chris Turner, Roy Gillett, and Jack Fertig along with Astrology News Service founder and media consultant Ed Snow. Learn about astrology’s relationship with the media. Having relied upon astrological counsel in his own life, Art challenges those that negate astrology without first investigating it.


Planet Waves

Planet Waves

Cracked.com (a pretty cool website created from the remnants of the now-defunct Cracked magazine) released a hilarious video this week, illustrating how pre-adolescent boys understand sex: a jumbled mix of anatomical words, free-association, pop-culture glamour, random ‘lady-things’, authoritarian guilt, and vestiges of childhood. The piece was created by Rachel Bloom and Jack Dolgen. Astrological notes: this was published with the Sun passing through the Uranus-Pluto square. It’s a risque piece of art dealing with a taboo subject — the sexual imagination of a kid. The point: kids may be a bit naive when it comes to sex, but they are not ‘innocent’. They are sexual like everyone else, a fact we all can remember from our own past if we pause and think about it for one second.


Planet Waves

In various places, I’ve been saying that Venus stations retrograde on May 5 — but it’s really 10 days later, on May 15, as a reader pointed out. Sorry about that! — efc


Planet Waves

This section also includes the upcoming publishing schedule! The April monthly horoscope (long edition) was published Wednesday evening, March 21. Inner Space Monthly was published Tuesday evening, March 27. We’ll publish Genevieve Hathaway’s Moonshine Horoscope on Tuesday, April 3. The next monthly horoscope by Eric will be the May edition, to be published the evening of Wednesday, April 25. There will not be a regular edition that week.


Planet Waves

Slow-Rising Smoke: Trayvon Martin

This week’s edition of Planet Waves FM looks at the shooting of Trayvon Martin. It’s a look at the situation from several angles — political, legal and astrological.

Planet Waves

I cover the concept of the Stand Your Ground law, which is based on an earlier idea, the Castle Doctrine — the one that says “a man’s home is his castle” — that is the basis of Stand Your Ground. However, it would seem that with everyone pretty much agreeing that the Stand Your Ground law does not apply in this case, from the lead investigator to the bill’s sponsor to Jeb Bush himself, clearly something is wrong.

There is one idea I left out of the discussion: the duty to retreat. That’s the alternative to Stand Your Ground. In New York, for example, you have a duty to retreat from an attacker if you can. If you’re cornered by someone who is going to do you harm, or someone you’re protecting, your first job is to get to a safe place — then you can defend yourself if necessary. The purpose of this is so that people claiming self-defense don’t automatically get a license to kill. You can read more about that at the Wikipedia page on the Castle Doctrine.

I include four charts on the Planet Waves blog — the event, the two main players, and the event that started off Arab Spring from late 2010, published on Planet Waves for the first time.

Additional research on this edition provided by Carol van Strum, Nikko Merrell, Amanda Painter, Fe Bongolan, Genevieve Hathaway, Adam Gainsburg and Sarah Bissonnette-Adler.


Planet Waves

Friday, March 30, 2012. Weekly Horoscope #897 | Eric’s Zodiac Sign Descriptions

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — What you learn about yourself over the next few days will surprise you — though there are several more layers to go. It’ll also take a few weeks to put your discoveries into action, which will happen around the time that Mars stations direct. To the extent that the past few months have felt frustrating or been complicated by setbacks, you will be reassured to know that your environments — inner and outer — are gradually shifting. Use this time to get closer to the root causes of your questions, issues and frustrations. Don’t assume you’ve reached the bottom of any issue or situation; just keep going, the more gently as each day passes. Maintaining a light touch really is one key to working out what’s happening for you. Another is a balance between what you think of as opposites: for example physical and non-physical; logic and emotional; details and impressions. Gently work both sides of whatever equation you find yourself involved with, and give yourself time to arrive in a space of clarity.

Hello Aries — I’ve just finished your birthday reading. This includes more than an hour of astrology and a tarot reading, recorded last weekend during the Sun-Uranus conjunction in your sign. My audio readings are motivational, inspiring and intimate. It comes with many features and access to last year’s reading too! Purchase here.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Venus is about to enter Gemini, where it will be until August. Plenty of history is going to go by between now and then, both for you personally and for the world around you. However, at the commencement of this trip, it’s as if you pass through a series of gateways. Think of them as pressurized chambers. The first one involves coming to terms with something you were in denial of, which may clue you in to your tendency to pretend certain things don’t exist. A corresponding discovery may come in the form of learning that you prefer the very thing you were in denial of. The next one involves the way you compensate for a past hurt by an excess of some kind. If you can tamp down the excess as an experiment, you may be able to reach the deeper material. This in turn will help you shift your relationship to pleasure, in essence helping you make it a more honest pursuit for its own sake rather than for an ulterior purpose.

Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check. has been published and is available. It is still available at the special subscriber discount price for all 12 signs, or the order price per sign. This year’s annual offers an extended written report plus 90 minutes of audio for each sign and rising sign. You will love it.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You may not know why you’re feeling uneasy, though that doesn’t mean there’s a good reason for it. Still, you have little to lose by being just a little extra cautious over the next week or so. Apply that to all the usual modes of honoring the precautionary principle. If you notice a smoke detector has a low battery, put in a new one. Regard the low-energy nightlight as one of the great electrical inventions ever. Rest when you’re overtired, especially if you’re driving or doing anything potentially hazardous. These are just good habits to be in, but there’s something else offering benefit, which is being mindful of your environment. I suggest you do this as a zen-type exercise. Notice everything. Clean or put back into place everything you touch. Patch leaks and tighten up anything loose. Finish up any projects that you left for a later date. Do this for its own sake, though I assure you, you will learn more in this process than you ever learned from a book.

Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check. has been published and is available. It is still available at the special subscriber discount price for all 12 signs, or the order price per sign. This year’s annual offers an extended written report plus 90 minutes of audio for each sign and rising sign. You will love it.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — What are you the most devoted to? You can measure partly by way of noticing what you do every day — and by what you want to do every day. Both are dependable metrics. Yet I would put the question another way as well: what are you willing to give up everything for? For what activity, mission or purpose would you trade it all in? I mean this mainly as a thought exercise: if there is indeed something that would be so amazing, so much fun, so incredible, that you would ‘sacrifice’ everything in your known life, you should know about it. Then, once you know about it, you might want to find a way to get moving on that aspect of reality without having to give up everything — just what you don’t really want. You might want to make a list of what you would gladly give up just for its own sake. I recognize the time pressures we’re all under, and how inflexible life seems to be here at the dawn of the Age of Aquarius. Yet change happens. We do create goals and sometimes we even get there. Remember that.

Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check. has been published and is available. It is still available at the special subscriber discount price for all 12 signs, or the order price per sign. This year’s annual offers an extended written report plus 90 minutes of audio for each sign and rising sign. You will love it.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You’re figuring out that you have to take initiative when it comes to manifesting the life you want, and one of the ways you can do that is to make space for it. I mean actual physical space: clearing out a room or a corner of your apartment; a table dedicated to something; striking the set on a prior project and leaving it empty for something new. You can do something similar with time: leave free time for yourself rather than scheduling everything down to the tenth of an hour increment. Open space and time represent potential, and I can tell you from experience that this can be intimidating. There is that sense of facing potential that can feel like confronting an abyss. Yet it’s exactly this sense of openness, a kind of blank page in life, that you need to help you create something new for yourself. That something is waiting to meet you, as long as it has the space available, and the time. This is not something to rush. Start slowly and build a little at a time, gradually letting it take over your life.

Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check. has been published and is available. It is still available at the special subscriber discount price for all 12 signs, or the order price per sign. This year’s annual offers an extended written report plus 90 minutes of audio for each sign and rising sign. You will love it.

Introducing the Planet Waves 2012 Spring Report by Eric Francis

Spring 2012 is the wildest season I’ve ever seen in 18 years of doing around-the-clock astrology [listen to short audio preview here]. It fits the 2012 pattern of ‘everything, all at once’, even making that sound like an understatement. I am working on the report even as we edit this issue, and it’s coming out beautifully — every sign is coming through loud and clear and distinctive.

Planet Waves

We have retrogrades of all three inner planets involved — Mercury, Venus and Mars. There is a rare Venus transit of the Sun — an exact conjunction of Venus and the Sun that you will be able to see if you have a clear view during daylight hours (you will need special equipment to protect your eyes). There are eclipses of the Sun and the Moon. And then, just four days after the Cancer solstice, we have the first exact square of Uranus and Pluto.

In honor of putting all this action to work for you, I’m preparing a special Spring Report for all 12 Sun signs and rising signs, as well as an introduction to the astrology that will be useful to everyone. This is a package of all 12 signs for one price. I’m designing it so that you can actually put many of the signs into use — for example, Virgo will be able to use the Gemini report as a career reading. Pisces can use Virgo’s report as a relationship reading, and so on. I give suggestions at the end of each sign, and will do a detailed description so you can get maximum use from this product.

All 12 signs are now available for $24.95. The report is getting rave reviews from people who pre-ordered, including these words from a customer named Donna: “OMG — thank you thank you thank you — just spent this morning listening to my [Spring Report] info, and am so blown away by the accuracy (and relief!) in this experience. Thanks so very much for your part in supporting this work and for showing up in the way that you do!”. Here is the link to order. Thank you, and enjoy.


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Over the next two weeks, two different inner planets station direct, both of which influence you directly. The first of the two is Mercury, your ruling planet, which stations direct in Pisces — a region of your chart associated with your intimate relationships. There is an additional theme associated with agreements and contracts in those relationships, and it looks like you’ve slowly, too slowly for your taste, been working out some deep question here. Then on April 13, Mars stations direct in your birth sign. What you worked out as an idea you now get to express in action, gradually at first, then with more determination. The charts describe a picture of you building your resolve, from the inside out. You come to a deep understanding, perhaps not sure what to do about it — and then you gradually put it together. What you start now you’re likely to complete in the first week of July, when Mars finally leaves your sign. I would say there’s no rush and no excuse to waste time.

Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check. has been published and is available. It is still available at the special subscriber discount price for all 12 signs, or the order price per sign. This year’s annual offers an extended written report plus 90 minutes of audio for each sign and rising sign. You will love it.

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Venus, the planet most often associated with your sign, is about to enter Gemini, where it’s going to become a star player in this thing we’ve been calling 2012. Speaking in broad terms, you’re in a transition phase that will take you through August, and which will have a peak in early June. There are many surprise encounters along the way, enough that it would be wise to not take any dilemmas you currently may face, or that you encounter, too seriously. Just notice them for what they are. At this point you cannot see the whole picture; it’s likely that you’re not defining the problem in a way that matches reality, hence my suggestion that you wait for further information. The resolution to any issue you may be dealing with will arrive in the form of a ‘third option’ that you haven’t identified yet, and this will open up a new dimension of what you believe is possible in the future. In the time between now and then, one growth project you can involve yourself with is making a note when you discover that you possess conflicting beliefs. Those are a lot more problematic when you don’t know about them; once you spot them, they lose most of their power. Yet you might want to figure out where these differing viewpoints came from.

Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check. has been published and is available. It is still available at the special subscriber discount price for all 12 signs, or the order price per sign. This year’s annual offers an extended written report plus 90 minutes of audio for each sign and rising sign. You will love it.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — One key theme of your life right now involves what you believe, and why you believe it. You seem to be figuring out that many people live inside a cage of their own assumptions, which you have discovered in the process of gradually escaping from such a place. Yet the process of freeing yourself is ongoing, one illusion at a time; one belief at a time. Today’s subject is glamour, or the art of appearances. Or rather, the art of false appearances, which are rooted in false beliefs. And: what are they? Have you been figuring out how they influence you? Yet there’s a much better question with a deeper answer. What is false is generally designed to conceal what is true, and what’s true is your friend. As you peer through the mists and wash away the layers of what is starting to look obviously, ridiculously untrue, you’re discovering something about yourself. It’s starting as an idea — and it’s about to evolve into a decision and ultimately into action. Yet while you’re here, I suggest you look for the motives for the cover-up.

Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check. has been published and is available. It is still available at the special subscriber discount price for all 12 signs, or the order price per sign. This year’s annual offers an extended written report plus 90 minutes of audio for each sign and rising sign. You will love it.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — In her book Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey draws a distinction between intuition and instinct. That contrast gets clearer every time you think it through, though at first it deserves some explanation. Instincts include things like the urge to defend yourself, to avoid ‘dangerous’ neighborhoods or to hoard food. Certain levels of sexual feeling could be called instinctual, because the body is doing its thing without much guidance. Intuition, on the other hand, is a subtle incoming message. It’s something we receive, rather than something we already are. For example, if you have two possible routes you might travel, you choose one over the other because it feels right — that’s intuitive. If you’re trying to solve a complex set of problems and you have one idea that influences them all, that too could be called intuitive. AAB suggests that part of the evolutionary path is to gradually grow from being instinctual creatures to intuitive ones, and your charts suggest that’s the process that’s being accelerated for you in the coming weeks.

Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check. has been published and is available. It is still available at the special subscriber discount price for all 12 signs, or the order price per sign. This year’s annual offers an extended written report plus 90 minutes of audio for each sign and rising sign. You will love it.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Keep a close eye on any developing situation involving a contractual matter. Delay committing to any agreement not only till both Mercury and Mars are direct, but also until you feel like you have a true understanding of the situation and where everyone is coming from. I suggest you use the ‘know when you don’t know’ principle in place of any shade of false certainty — that may take some extra self-awareness. We humans tend to paper over when we have missing information, though just like wallpaper covering a hole in the wall, there’s an obvious weakness palpable to the touch if not the eye. As regards contracts, I suggest you make sure you actually can deliver anything you’re expected to promise — and if you cannot, say so as soon as possible. If you’re hesitating on any commitment, I suggest you investigate why — there may be a good reason, and if there is, you want to know what it is. The current astrology is perfectly arranged so that you’ll get to the bottom of any shaky situation. Proceed with the faith that you’ll be told everything you need to know.

Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check. has been published and is available. It is still available at the special subscriber discount price for all 12 signs, or the order price per sign. This year’s annual offers an extended written report plus 90 minutes of audio for each sign and rising sign. You will love it.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — It’s not how much money you have, it’s what you do with it. You do know this. I would add a reminder that your real focus must now be on resources in total, not merely on one kind of resource that has come to take the place of God (specifically, cash). I suggest you get clear about your agenda — that is to say, figure out what it is that you’re trying to do and why you want to do it. Once you have that down, I think you’ll quickly see that any plan you create calls for a diversity of resources, which would be true no matter how much money you have available. Pay particular attention to the things that money cannot buy — such as knowledgeable, helpful people; sincerity; the availability of a contact network. Over the next few days you may also come to some realizations about recent disruptions in a situation involving intimate partners. What you learn is not the end of the discovery, though it may point you toward an understanding of how procreation, and creativity in general, can scare the pants back onto certain people.

Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check. has been published and is available. It is still available at the special subscriber discount price for all 12 signs, or the order price per sign. This year’s annual offers an extended written report plus 90 minutes of audio for each sign and rising sign. You will love it.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Mercury stationing direct in your birth sign next week is likely to come with some deep insights into what is motivating certain people around you. You’ll find this information useful, yet even more valuable will be what you discover about your own motives. There will be that crucial moment when you seem to have a complete understanding of where you’re coming from, only to discover that you have a parallel set of feelings, ideas and values. Which one is true? That question is based on the idea that both cannot be true at once. Yet that seems to be the very issue: you’re reconciling these two sets of seemingly contradictory values — but there is a solution set. I don’t suggest you try to reason it out, or hold yourself to a standard of strict logic. Rather, what feels right and has an elegant intuitive quality will eventually reveal its logic to you, and teach you plenty about yourself in the process.

Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check. has been published and is available. It is still available at the special subscriber discount price for all 12 signs, or the order price per sign. This year’s annual offers an extended written report plus 90 minutes of audio for each sign and rising sign. You will love it.