Tag Archives: Borasisi

The Day of the Popular Eye: Birthdays and Planet News

If Your Birthday is June 1
The Day of the Popular Eye | Order Your 2019-20 Gemini Reading | All Other Signs

Today’s Moon-Venus meeting on your birthday is an invitation to let your light shine: to be seen for your beauty, without hesitation. Don’t hide yourself away; engage with the world on your own terms. The opportunities you have will be the ones that you take. You are the person who activates your own potential, by your choices and by your actions. Growth does not need to be fraught with resistance; there are, at times, easy openings to what you want, though you must be the one who consciously chooses to push the door open, or to set out in a new direction based on your own desire.
— by Eric Francis

Written in the Planets

Notice today if anything seems to point your thoughts toward the early origins of a particular belief. Beliefs tend to be emotion-based, and yet we generally articulate them in the language of fact and rationality. Mercury’s conjunction to the asteroid Chaos today in Gemini suggests multivalenced creative thought is possible, especially in a kind of primordial way: that state before things evolve into their full shape. Yet Mercury and Chaos are also square Borasisi in Pisces: a suggestion that your need to express these ideas (in speech, action or some form of creation) could be at odds with some long-held belief — one that may actually represent a fiction of some kind. What happens to your perspective on this belief in the process?

Meanwhile, Mars in Cancer is making a square to the asteroid Pallas in Libra. This could describe some kind of emotional reaction against a more ‘political’ or diplomatic way of relating to people that you think you’re supposed to use, especially to please them. In other words, pay attention to any need to push against someone or something in a way that indicates you’re not standing in your power as an adult. Can you express yourself directly, from a place of balance, without the full emotional charge? It’s not the same as being diplomatic, because you’d still be saying and doing what you really mean, but it’s less likely to scuttle out sideways like an angry young crab.
— by Amanda Painter

Did you know that Eric Francis just recorded new videos for all 12 signs, specifically investigating Mars interacting with some of astrology’s most influential planets this season? His Call the Astrologer readings are available individually or as a 12-sign set to share with your loved ones. Check out samples here and here.

The Day of Human Definition: Birthdays and Planet News

If Your Birthday is April 15
The Day of Human Definition | Order Your 2019-20 Aries Reading | All Other Signs

Pay attention to any urge you have to bring something new into the world, whether it be through an artistic process, coming up with an invention, having an actual baby, or whatever it is you want. If you have a few concerns, by all means give them due consideration, and do as much research as you see fit. It would certainly be useful to have an idea of the work involved. Ultimately the decision is yours.
— By Amy Elliott

Written in the Planets

We’re approaching the Libra Full Moon later in the week, on Friday. So this is an early reminder to watch for any interpersonal standoffs beginning to emerge. Today, the Moon enters Virgo to lend some grounding and practicality to otherwise less-disciplined aspects. Venus in a conjunction to the minor object Borasisi could be causing a bit of a blind spot in relationships at the moment. This appears to relate to emotion-based beliefs (which most are, if you think about it), or possibly to what counts as ‘spiritual’ when it comes to sex and love. On the other hand, it could translate to how you embody your beliefs about love. Are your actions as ‘spiritual’ as you like to think they are with your intimate partners?

Venus and Borasisi are also in a square to retrograde Jupiter in Sagittarius. With both of the signs that Jupiter rules involved, there’s a pretty clear indication to beware overindulgence, especially regarding food, drink, shopping and perhaps any purely escapist pursuits. That said, spending time doing what you enjoy will likely be the direction to lean in, particularly with friends or lovers. If you feel like you’re tapping into some higher vibes, you’re likely on the right track.
— Amanda Painter

Have you tried the Astrology Readings Channel?

Planet Waves offers readings for all the signs and rising signs. These readings are must-haves among a core group of people who love them, though perhaps you have not heard what Eric is doing. We’ve taken many readings from 2018 and put them on a 24-hour audio stream, which anyone can tune into. Whatever your sign, you will find it interesting no matter when you tune in. If you’re up late and want something soothing and informative to listen to, or if you’re curious about astrology, tune in here. No login is required.

The Day of the Policy Makers: Birthdays and Planet News

If Your Birthday is April 11
The Day of the Policy Makers | Order Your 2019-20 Aries Reading | All Other Signs

Spend some time forging a manageable balance between work and play. The optimal arrangement is different for everyone, and generally depends on the nature of your vocation, as well as your various ambitions, desires and needs. It has less to do with social expectations, relationship escalators or what you think anyone else wants from you. Start with what you consider to be the ideal picture, and work out the details from there.
— By Amy Elliott

Written in the Planets

Keep checking everything from different viewpoints today. That may go double for things like beliefs, which have a habit of resting on emotion and inherited narratives more than on facts. The more flexible you can be in this, the more likely you are to catch any gaps in your understanding — or in an otherwise decent plan or business transaction. Mercury may be direct, but it’s still in its post-retrograde ‘shadow’ phase in impressionistic Pisces.

Today Mercury makes a conjunction to an object called Borasisi (named after a fictional god in Kurt Vonnegut’s Cat’s Cradle), and also squares Jupiter, which just stationed retrograde in Sagittarius. Mercury-Jupiter squares tend to offer useful optimism for ambitious goals and big-picture ideas, but details can be elusive. To guard against rash or poor judgments, it may be helpful to be very methodical — no matter how sure you are that everything happens for a reason, and that everything will be fine. After all, sometimes the ‘reason’ something goes awry is to bring our attention to what we overlooked and could have easily caught. Why not be proactive?
— By Amanda Painter

Have you tried the Astrology Readings Channel?

Planet Waves offers readings for all the signs and rising signs. These readings are must-haves among a core group of people who love them, though perhaps you have not heard what Eric is doing. We’ve taken many readings from 2018 and put them on a 24-hour audio stream, which anyone can tune into. Whatever your sign, you will find it interesting no matter when you tune in. If you’re up late and want something soothing and informative to listen to, or if you’re curious about astrology, tune in here. No login is required.

Photo by Amanda Painter

Reflections from the Perfectly Imperfect

By Amanda Painter

Have you ever looked at your reflection in the water with the Sun directly behind you? Your reflection ends up being mostly a silhouette that’s gently distorted by the movement of the water; and though you can’t see your own features very well, you can see all the color and detail of what’s behind you — it’s just softer than if you turned and looked directly at where you are.

Photo by Amanda Painter

Photo by Amanda Painter

It occurred to me this might be one way to think of tonight’s conjunction of the Sun with retrograde Mercury in Pisces.

Due to the compression of your perspective with the source of illumination, you may not be able to see yourself as others see you right now. Yet you might find a new, gentler appreciation for where you’ve been — a view with softer edges but no less imagination-sparking (or growth-sparking) insight.

After all, Mercury retrogrades really are about slowing down and reassessing more than they’re about everything getting glitchy and going to hell in a handbasket. As I saw suggested elsewhere, those hiccups are generally the result of us fallible humans refusing to slow down, pay closer attention, and retrace the steps that got us where we are now (or where we have been many times). It’s trendy these days, even for people who scoff at astrology, to blame everything that goes wrong on Mercury being retrograde — even when it isn’t.

Continue reading

Belief, Hope, Faith: Full Moon Conjunct Chiron-Borasisi

Dear Friend and Reader:

Monday’s Full Moon in Pisces is one of those gems of astrology, as beautiful for its celestial poetry as for its significance as a moment of spiritual opening.

In honor of this event, I’ll be hosting a live, call-in edition of Planet Waves FM beginning at 8 pm EDT on Monday, Sept. 8. The exact Full Moon aspect will happen during the program. Consider this a Full Moon ritual and celebration for the Planet Waves community. Everyone is invited — you may read the sign-up details here.

Planet Waves
Full Moon rises over the Acropolis
in Athens, October 2011. The large structure, under renovation, is the Parthenon (completed 438 BCE), which was in ancient times not a temple but rather seems to have been a storehouse for treasures. Photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis.

The Pisces Full Moon is sublime, carrying an inherent mysticism that even atheists and skeptics will feel. The Moon loves Pisces, and the Sun’s presence in Virgo fully activates the personal integration process that I described in last week’s edition.

The Full Moon will be conjunct both Chiron and Borasisi in Pisces, which are in a slowly-developing conjunction of their own (that rare event, which happened last in 1949, is exact in 2015 and 2016 but it’s very close now). Chiron is a centaur object with an orbit just over 50 years. Borasisi is an object in a region just beyond Pluto, with an orbit of 292 years. Discovered in 1999, Borasisi is an early discovery in the Kuiper Belt. It was named for a deity in the Kurt Vonnegut novel Cat’s Cradle, which is largely a commentary on the lack of ethics in science.

A Moon-Sun event illuminates whatever it touches, and in this case it’s making contact with an aspect that carries a theme of healing our capacity for faith. Chiron in Pisces would be enough to suggest this theme, though with Borasisi we add the specific theme of what we believe and why. (I wrote a detailed article about Borasisi in March 2011.)

What do we hold as truth, and on what basis? Why do people so often believe what is not true, and disbelieve what is true? What is the difference between belief, hope and faith?

These are deep questions, and they will filter through consciousness intuitively as this Full Moon peaks. You might consider any topic with these ideas as your background against which to ponder them.

One of the crisis points of humanity, now and many times in the past, involves the issues of belief, hope and faith. Where a person puts their faith, they offer their power. If you put it in science, you give your power to science. If you put it in money, you give your power to money. If you trust your own inner creative source, your own connection to the All There Is, you invest your power there. This Full Moon is saying notice where you make your investment.

With Chiron so involved, there is an invitation to be open to your faith in yourself, in particular your faith in your ability to heal yourself. Chiron is also a reminder that this whole topic is one of the deepest injuries to which humanity has been subjected, often by interests who profit from the absence of (or conscious destruction of) organic, intuitive faith — and there are many.

Planet Waves

Regarding the psychic climate of this Full Moon, expect plenty of energy coming through. Somewhat like a homeopathic remedy, the Pisces Full Moon seems to have its roots on the subtle planes, which will then broadcast through to the temporal plane. This may be a pleasant rush of information, or the sensation of being overwhelmed in a way that you cannot really describe.

Full Moons always come with a cresting of energy, though Moon-Chiron has a bristling quality, a palpable sensation. People with this aspect in their natal charts possess an intensity that is difficult to describe, which others often feel as a charismatic quality when the person walks into the room.

Another feature of this Full Moon is an exact trine to Juno in Cancer. This wonderfully complex, sometimes annoying, always meaningful asteroid describes values about marriage and marriage-like relationships. Its underlying quality is the need to express one’s needs, feelings and expectations before they turn into resentment.
The flow of energy opened by the Moon-Juno trine will make this easier.

The Full Moon and Juno are trine Saturn in Scorpio. Be aware that emotional patterns are likely to clone themselves and reproduce, so make conscious choices about how you feel and how you respond to your feelings and those of others.

On the Virgo Sun’s side of the Full Moon, there is a conjunction of the Sun with asteroids Photographica, Child and Toro. I am not sure what to make of this conjunction (and I don’t want to speculate). I will say that Photographica, often literally involved with photographic imagery, adds to the questions above with what do you believe, when you see it in a photograph?

I would add one other bit — photos can play a profound role in the healing process. I have covered that in a Planet Waves article available in the archives. You may have a productive experience looking at childhood photos of yourself this weekend, and asking yourself where that little kid went. He or she is still right inside you; this is an invitation to make contact.

Planet Waves
Chart for the Pisces Full Moon. The Moon is located
in the top left side of the chart, looking like a gray crescent. It’s exactly opposite the Sun, a yellow circle. Chiron is next to the Moon, as is Borasisi.

There are two other features of the current sky worth mentioning. One is that we are currently under a grand fire trine. The trine consists of an Aries cluster (Uranus, South Node, Eris), Jupiter in Leo, and a Sagittarius cluster, the main feature consisting of
many newer discoveries, including centaur Pholus.

This is an opportunity for accessing sustained fiery energy, something that is rare to find. The thing to watch out for, given all the factors involved (especially Pholus and Uranus), is that energy running out of control. Fire is useful only when it’s contained and directed, otherwise it becomes destructive. This grand trine is illustrating the out-of-control militancy that we are seeing in some parts of the world, and it’s worth asking what, if anything, can bring it under control.

Finally, Mercury and Venus changed (or will change) signs this week. Mercury ingressed Libra on Sept. 2 and Venus will ingress Virgo tomorrow (Sept. 5). Both of these sign changes add the potential for a thoughtful, analytical quality to what is otherwise a somewhat volatile sky.

Note that Mercury and Venus occupy one another’s signs of rulership. Mercury is associated with Virgo and Venus with Libra — their current placements are what is called mutual reception.

Here’s how I translate that. If your thinking seems caught in a pattern that does not allow you to draw conclusions or even useful inferences, try reversing your logic. Switch positions, consider the situation from someone else’s point of view, or think your steps through in reverse.

Where Venus and Libra are involved, consider how you’re being influenced by appearances.

Where Mercury and Virgo are involved, consider whether you’re overemphasizing the details, or overlooking them.

One key here is to think actively rather than passively. Humans have a tendency to want someone else to do the work of thinking for them. As much as we may say we don’t want to be told what to do, we love to be told what to do because it seems to alleviate the burden of thought.

Mercury and Venus are saying: think for yourself. Perceive your reality your own way, and make your choices based on what you observe, what you learn and what you know.

I am looking forward to hearing your experiences of this astrology in Monday’s live call-in edition of Planet Waves FM (check this link to sign up). Also of note, many readers sent in their ideas about Virgo as a point of integration, some of which I read on the air in the current edition of Planet Waves FM. There is more information about the Full Moon in this edition, as well as my description of (and some advocacy for) homeopathic medicine.

The Planet Waves horoscope below is based on a reading of the Full Moon chart for the 12 signs and rising signs.

With love, your astrologer,

Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon in Kingston, New York by Planet Waves, Inc. Annual basic subscription rate: $99/year. Core community membership: $199/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Business Manager: Chelsea Bottinelli. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Copy Editor: Jessica Keet. Research, Writing and Editing: Planet Waves is produced by a team consisting of Fe Bongolan, Brendan Merritt, Amy Elliott, Judith Gayle, Kelly Janes, Elizabeth Michaud, Amanda Moreno, Amanda Painter, Casey Smith, Carol van Strum, Len Wallick, Lizanne Webb and Chad Woodward.



Planet Waves

Planet Waves

As Eric suggests above about thinking for ourselves, the fictionalized Chomsky says of Hobbits: “One would think that they could, easily enough, find out about all of the things that happen in the world.”

Mercury in Libra Weighs the Unseen Side of LOTR

By Amanda Painter

With Mercury newly in Libra, relationship communication, diplomacy and a desire for balance or justice is likely at the forefront of your consciousness. And as you know, there are at least two ways to look at any given situation — usually several.

Taking this to the extreme, a pair of writers on the McSweeny’s website named Jeff Alexander and Tom Bissell have imagined a dialogue between linguist and social theorist Noam Chomsky and the late radical historian Howard Zinn, in which the two scholars provide unused DVD audio commentary for J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Fellowship of the Ring. The result, as you might imagine, turns the socio-political dynamics of the narrative — and traditional audience/reader understanding of its meaning — on its head.

Below is a short excerpt specially chosen for Mercury in Libra.

Chomsky: It’s just so complicated, the webs of relationships.

Zinn: Now Frodo, son of Drogo, agrees to take the ring to Mount Doom. Something tells me that no one in Mordor calls it Mount Doom.

Chomsky: And everyone baits Frodo into this. “You are our agent, going on a suicide mission. You have to do it for the Motherland.”

Zinn: So is Frodo the Mohammed Atta figure in this story?

Chomsky: He’s a fanatical true believer. And crazy. Obviously, totally insane.

Zinn: And listen to what Aragorn tells Frodo: “You have my sword.”

Chomsky: So militaristic.

Zinn: Notice that no one says, “You have my diplomatic skills.” I think the only real diplomat of Middle Earth is Gollum. He’s the only one who makes any meaningful, cross-cultural exchange with any of these people. Being a torture victim at the hand of the Orcs, and his attempted strangulation of the Hobbits.

Chomsky: I think of Gollum as more of a deluded madman, one more sinned against than sinned.

Zinn: There’s room for argument.



Planet Waves

Of Virgo and Pisces — and the Pisces Full Moon

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I look closely at the relationship between Virgo and Pisces, focused on the Pisces Full Moon that happens on Sept. 8. This includes a discussion of how the Full Moon is conjunct both Chiron and Borasisi. In the second half of the program, I read your commentaries about Virgo as a point of integration. These are some brilliant ideas from Planet Waves subscribers who have apparently been contemplating the Virgo question for a while. My musical guest is Sheila Chandra.



Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscopes for September published Friday, Aug. 28. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for August Thursday, July 24. We also published your Inner Space horoscope for September Tuesday, Sept. 2. Moonshine horoscopes for the Aquarius Full Moon published Saturday, Aug. 9. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.



Planet Waves

Weekly Horoscope for Thursday, Sept. 4, #1014 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You need an outlet for all this energy. It has to be something that matches your imagination, and this in turn is likely to be a bit much for the people you’ve been associating with lately. It looks like most of the people around you are running about 15 degrees cooler than you are. Said another way, you may not find many others who are willing to take the creative or social risks you want to take, so I suggest you not let anyone hold you back, or persuade you that you’re being a little too wild. You may be, for their tastes, but not for what your soul is calling you to express or explore. You may need a little self-coaxing to openly admit what you want, and a bit more to act on it — though I suggest you move with the current momentum of your imagination, while that momentum is carrying you.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Marriage is not the solution to everything. If there is such a solution, that would be trust, and it seems obvious that trust is what people are seeking when they invest themselves in relationships that are designed to be ‘permanent’. Yet it’s easy not to trust, and to give oneself reasons not to trust, even in the seemingly most secure situation. Where do you stand on this subject? One way to measure that is by considering carefully what you say and what you don’t say to the people you consider your intimates. You seem to be of two minds about this — sometimes willing to be totally transparent and at others feeling like this is inconvenient, or an unnecessary risk. You don’t need to overanalyze this. If you have something on your mind, say so, and if you have a question, ask directly. In fact, make a wish.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — The forthcoming Full Moon streaks across the sky in the angle of your chart involved with achievement and reputation. It’s a direct invitation to be bold about who you are and what you do, and to keep those two things as aligned as you can. I suggest you eliminate the concept of ‘career’ from your vocabulary and instead replace it with the concept of your vocation. A vocation is a calling, and there has rarely been a time when a calling was summoning you more boldly. Are you listening? Can you hear it? Can you see the signs leading you to the place you want to be? Or are you afraid that what you want to do is too good to be true, or too adventurous to be possible? Perhaps it might be for most people on most days, but not for you, at this time in your life.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — There’s just one thing left to do, and that is to have faith in yourself, in your dreams and in your potential. Well, there’s just one other thing to do, which is to take action while you are feeling inspired and bold. It’s way too easy to wait for the wave of confidence to pass. It’s also way too easy to allow yourself to be motivated by frustration, which has its place, though as you’ve seen over the past few months, there are much more preferable ways to get yourself going. Next week’s Full Moon in your fellow water sign Pisces is inviting you to dream big. This means not allowing yourself to be limited by what you considered out of reach in the past. Consider what you would do if you didn’t believe in any limits at all, and then move precisely in that direction.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Go beyond secrecy and taboo in any form. The more secrets you let out of the bag, the more fun you will have. There are two reasons for this. One is that keeping information to yourself is like wearing a brick around your neck. The other reason is that all of the really enticing stuff we have to share is usually kept behind the veil of secrecy, where it doesn’t get a chance to flourish. The Pisces Full Moon takes place in one of the most intimate angles of your chart. You will get a chance to see that intimacy means openness and transparency. To get the benefits of this event, it would be helpful to lean into the side of revealing more rather than revealing less. If you find yourself revealing one fact or feeling, that is the one to reveal. You will feel better, and unplug those places where your energy has been getting blocked.

Virgo Birthday Reading: Pre-order Pricing Still Available 

Dear Virgo Sun or rising:Summer may be winding down, but your solar year is only just beginning. Eric will have your Virgo birthday reading available next week — making this the perfect time to pre-order for the best possible price. Eric’s birthday readings work beautifully for your rising sign as well, so if you’re Virgo rising, you’re invited to take advantage of some helpful, eloquent and spot-on astrology.

Your reading includes a live question-and-response session with Eric (date TBA), archived in case you cannot make the live event. These conference calls have been a productive and fun way to learn about astrology and how it affects us. You also get access to last year’s reading to check Eric’s accuracy, and to review the past few seasons. In addition, your reading includes an extended written sign description.

The current price is now $34.95, still discounted below the final sale price of $49.95 once the reading is published (within the next week). If you’re not a Virgo, this will make a beautiful, lasting and inexpensive gift for any Virgo in your life.

Yours & truly,

Amanda Painter


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Imagine a world with no concept of ‘other’ or of opposition, a world where you are in harmony with everyone and everything around you. This may be difficult to conjure up on a planet where just about everyone and everything seems to be in some state of competition or conflict with something else, though I invite you to use your imagination. How might that feel? Now consider the possibility that each day that you live is a step that you take on the way to getting to that place of integration. In truth such a state of existence begins within your mind, not as something you impose on yourself but rather as something you observe about yourself. What’s beautiful about the next few days is an opening through which a rather unusual light shines, and you get to see yourself reflected in it.

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Pleasure, imagination, curiosity — these are some of the most potent healing tools available to us. Yet to be effective there needs to be some soul presence, or a conscious idea of seeking self-knowledge. I am not talking about entertainment. For many people the opening into the healing dimension may as well be a sealed door expertly polished into marble to make it seem like it’s not there. However, it is most certainly there, and you already have confirmation that such a dimension exists and that you can indeed access it, even if you cannot predict when. Right now the astrology is aligning in a way that makes this dimension closer than ever, and that increases your ability to feel your way to it. Just remember that you know you’re responding to something that is real, and to which you have direct access, if you need it.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Monday’s Pisces Full Moon happens in what you might think of as the pleasure center of your solar chart — the 5th house. Most of what passes for pleasure in Western society is really an effort to avoid pain. There are several ways you can tell the real thing from the counterfeit version. One is the presence of curiosity about yourself, and it’s an intensely pleasurable curiosity. It’s the kind of feeling good that goes deeper into previously unknown, or forgotten, regions of who you are. Another is the desire for freedom. That can translate to craving the unknown, which is a specific kind of liberty. This will teach you something about pleasure anxiety, which is really a form of self-control rooted in a ‘need’ for what is absolutely familiar. Take an extended moment and allow your existence to be a mystery and an adventure. You are being invited into an unusually deep inner space.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Creativity must have an emotional source. It can feed you intellectually, and feed your quest, but the drive to create is body-level, akin to the need to breathe, or your response to pain. Actually those are fitting metaphors for the creative process, as it does involve an in-breath and out-breath of experience, and some of the world’s greatest creative works have served artists, musicians and writers as a way to process loss. For you, creativity helps you build your inner home. When you tap your gifts, you create a space of safety for yourself, and you can then move into that space and live more confidently. You might think of that as a kind of healing cave, from which emerge many resources and jewels you can share with those you love and care about.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — These years of your life have been some of the most driven and urgent ever, arriving with one enforced change after the next. Yet there is another way to evolve, which is to relax into what is possible. You don’t need to resist yourself, and you certainly don’t need to dwell on your worst fears. You can find that space inside yourself where you have no concerns at all about whether you’re accepted by others, or have a place in society, and when you get there, you may feel like you’re taking a warm bath for the first time. There is a way of being where you can, at least for a while, step out of any judgment, which is more likely to feel like stepping into self-embrace. If you feel a tinge of guilt, don’t fight it; keep going; you are headed in the right direction. It will rinse off of your skin like soap.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — What is it that makes you human? I would propose that it’s a self-reflective quality — the awareness of your own awareness, which leads to consciousness of your own existence. Because everyone has a unique emotional makeup, that consciousness might emphasize pain, or pleasure, or love, or anger, or desire, or the desire to create. Humanity is the capacity to be aware of such a feeling and to respond to it. As the Pisces Full Moon lights up the dimension of your horoscope associated with your inner resources, and the feelings you have for yourself, I suggest you let the awareness of any emotion, thought or desire remind you of the fact that you exist. After awareness, the next stage of evolution is the ability to respond to what you feel, and to consciously create a desired state of experience. You are closer to that self-creative state than you’ve ever been.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Speaking of human, what is it that makes you a Pisces? What is the confirmation of your inner knowledge that you were born at the right time? Is it your love of nature, of sex, of music, of sensory experience in any form? Is it your unquenchable longing for cosmic connection, to yourself and to other people? Is it the love of sacred plants? Whatever it may be, this weekend (and Monday) is the time to go fully into that experience, with no expectations — give yourself the gift of a full-on experiment and see where that takes you. With the Moon conjunct Chiron and with Neptune right in the neighborhood, that could well be anywhere — or anywhere you want. For reference, the Moon ingresses Pisces Sunday at 7:47 pm EDT (23:47 UTC) and reaches full phase Monday at 9:38 pm EDT (Tuesday at 1:38 UTC). See you there!


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Night of the Centaurs

Dear Friend and Client:

Our culture specializes in pent up and uptight, then exploding.

That’s how an archconservative political nobody can get an established, high-ranking uber-conservative congressional leader thrown out of office for allegedly not being conservative enough. Then he can claim to have started a revolution — the “antigovernment” one symbolized by the Gadsden flag, the same flag that was thrown over the body of a police officer murdered in Las Vegas over the weekend.

Planet Waves
Centaur, from a viral image.

It’s why in the United States we’ve had 74 school shootings since the Newtown massacre of December 2012, the one we wanted to be the last one. It’s how we can allow our political leaders to start wars that may never end, with implications they cannot control.

It’s why so many people seem unable to let off a little pressure without a lot of alcohol. It’s how that legacy gets passed from generation to generation with little consideration — barely enough thought to notice that it’s a problem, much less understand the effects of that problem.

It’s why the distinction between sex as an expression of love or of aggression is becoming increasingly confused. This, in turn, describes why so many people find relationships so challenging or indeed impossible. We get a picture of sex education being cut back, eliminated or banned in schools amidst an onslaught of porno and sex-for-marketing. Then we seem content to live with a notion of sex that allows for “it just happened,” mainly because so few people are able to speak about the topic honestly or even factually.

All of these have an astrological factor in common. Overnight tonight we’ll experience an unusual Full Moon in Sagittarius conjunct the centaur planet Pholus (discovered in 1992). It happens that Pholus, a close planetary relative of Chiron, covers many of these themes and influences all of them. The thematic relationship of Pholus to Chiron describes a healing mission.

The precision of this Full Moon is visionary. Located in Sagittarius, close to the heart of our galaxy, it’s the image of transcendent consciousness and aspiring to soul contact. It’s one of those rare events where Pholus actually might manifest as the factor that precipitates spontaneous enlightenment.

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Full Moon at the temple of Athena Nike on the Acropolis, Athens, Greece. Photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis.

Tonight’s aspect pattern describes a potential moment of clarity that will, for some people, burn an opening in the fog and confusion we so often take for granted. Yet planets in the centaur class are always edgy, and it’s a double edge.

They can injure or they can help immensely. It’s one reason why it’s necessary to gather so much awareness and clear intention around them, a side benefit that becomes a primary one.

With Pholus, alcohol is central to the myth, with all of its implications. This particular point has a way of showing up in charts for mass shootings. I noticed that for the first time with the Gabrielle Giffords incident in Tucson, my coverage of which included a detailed analysis of some very interesting centaur astrology. Mass shooting is also in the myth, which I describe in detail in the current edition of Planet Waves FM.

Pholus also describes a quality of energy, akin to the thrill of things going out of control. Our society thrives on the unleashed, on the sensation of something going viral or becoming ridiculously popular in a way that nobody understands.

It’s the runaway reaction, the bubble that will eventually burst, surfing from fad to fad.
As a culture we live with this energy all the time. It’s the pressure we’re under that keeps getting released but is never quite relieved. Buddhism would say it’s the essence of Western consciousness — the endless pursuit of nothing that feels like something.

Tonight’s exact alignment of the Gemini Sun and the Moon conjunct Pholus opens up a pressure vent, or a line of awareness directly through the chaos. There’s a catch, though. Pholus is conjunct a slower-moving point called Ixion, who was the first murderer of Greek mythology. In trying to rape Hera, the Queen of Heaven, he inadvertently became the father of all the centaurs except for Chiron and Pholus, who are of different lineages.

Planet Waves
Ixion, painted by Jules-Elie Delaunay (1828-1891).

Ixion represents the progenitor of the dark side of centaur consciousness, which is the dark side of human nature. Before we can reach the clear side of nature, it’s usually necessary to engage and confront the shadow side.

The Full Moon conjunct both Pholus and Ixion describes the drive toward love and light and cautions about trying to do this without first acknowledging the sources of pain that, like whatever Pholus represents, are passed down through the generations.

Tonight’s Full Moon has two other centaurs prominent in the aspect patterns. Last week I described the triple trine of Mercury to Nessus. We’re now experiencing that aspect with increasing prominence as Mercury retrogrades back toward Nessus. Here’s the operative fact: Mercury in early Cancer is aspecting the Aries Point — the juncture of individual and collective material.

The message here is that you’re not alone. Whatever you’re feeling, you can be sure that others feel it. Whatever you need to heal, others share that need with you. Whatever you want to experience, others share that craving. The idea that you are the only one is a trap; this blazing Full Moon is the time to reach out to others and come out of your isolation.

The Mercury connection is saying it’s not just OK to talk about this but also necessary to do so. I suggest you get this going while Mercury is in Cancer, and you can more easily access your feelings with words. The second exact trine — and the only one with Mercury retrograde — happens at about 1:15 am EDT Sunday. Mercury then retrogrades into Gemini at about 6:48 am EDT Tuesday.

Planet Waves
Milky Way, our home galaxy, streaks across the summer sky. Photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis.

There’s one last centaur connection — Chiron is prominent in this chart. Though the Gemini Sun has passed its exact square to Chiron in Pisces, the aspect is still strong enough to be effective. This describes a sense of injury associated with self-expression and with our perception of men.

Chiron is conjunct a slow-mover called Borasisi. It’s interesting that both Chiron and Pholus are currently conjunct important newly discovered minor planets. The Borasisi connection is a reminder about belief. What you believe is going to be the thing that’s true for you, whether or not it’s true in fact.

Belief is profoundly influential, and it often deceives. One theme to be aware of tonight, accented by so much activity in Sagittarius, is to notice what you believe, and ask yourself whether it’s really true. Belief is not validation, but it creates a miniature reality that sure can seem real.

There is an astonishing amount of energy moving right now. The Full Moon is picking up many planets clustered in late Sagittarius that I have not mentioned here. All of this is gathered around the Galactic Core, which is pointing the way to something much larger, more interesting and more meaningful than we’ve been likely to consider on Earth. It’s just that we’re unlikely to get there without first addressing what we’ve created here. This does not mean total immersion. It means, at least, some form of acknowledgement, and a decision to choose something else.

And to my eyes, this Full Moon is shining lots of light on how we can do just that.


Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday and Friday morning in Kingston, New York by Planet Waves, Inc. Annual basic subscription rate: $99/year. Core community membership: $149/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Business Manager: Chelsea Bottinelli. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Copy Editor: Jessica Keet. Research, Writing and Editing: Planet Waves is produced by a team consisting of Hillary Ghee, Elizabeth Michaud, Amanda Moreno, Amanda Painter, Amy Silver, Carol van Strum, Len Wallick and Chad Woodward. Special thanks to the Fact Checkers List, which goes over each edition on Thursday night — and to our main astrology fact-checker Alex Miller, and Amanda, who goes over all their suggestions.



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Born in Australia, sculptor Ron Mueck’s creations show in exhibits all over the world; Reuters photo.

Almost Reality, Not To Scale

The Sagittarius Full Moon may be looming large, shining light into all sorts of nooks and crannies, but retrograde Mercury can still play the trickster as we try to make sense of what we see — as does London artist Ron Mueck. A former model maker and puppeteer, Mueck created Ludo the gentle giant in the 1986 movie Labyrinth; now he sculpts hyper-real statues of everyday people.

The ‘trickster’ aspect comes through with the scale of these pieces: most are either much larger or much smaller than real people. Yet his meticulous attention to skin tone and texture, shining eyes, hair and genuine pathos in facial expressions begs the imagination to suspend itself — at which point, entire worlds open within the viewer.



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Sagittarius Full Moon Conjunct Pholus and Ixion: A Proving Moment

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Planet Waves FM is presented without commercial interruption, sponsored exclusively by our subscribers and our Core Community members — that would be you.

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I look closely at the Sagittarius Full Moon conjunct Pholus and Ixion, exact just past midnight EDT on Friday.

In addition to analyzing the chart, I tell stories from the myths of Pholus and Ixion — which relate back to the stories we heard about Nessus last week. What is interesting about this pairing of planets is that Ixion was the forefather of all of the centaurs, except for Pholus and Chiron.

So in addition to the centaurs showing up prominently in this chart, we also get a visit from Ixion, one of their progenitors.

My musical guests are the Avett Brothers and Lucius, from this past weekend’s Mountain Jam festival in upstate New York. These are two extraordinary performing artists who took part in the 10th anniversary of the festival.



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Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscopes for June were published Friday, May 23. We published your extended monthly horoscope for May on Friday, April 25. Moonshine horoscopes for the Scorpio Full Moon published Tuesday, May 13. We also published an Inner Space horoscope for June Tuesday, May 27. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.



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Weekly Horoscope for Thursday, June 12, 2014, #1002 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — There are moments when it’s possible to open up to what feels like cosmic energy in a way that changes your life. There are things that feel like inspiration that are something else entirely. You will need to use your discernment if you notice any unusually intense flow of information, emotion or some form of light. Listen to what it’s saying and tune into where it’s coming from. That this might happen with the help of a cup of wine or such is less significant than the content of the message, such as the presence of any emotion other than love. Second thing to check is whether you can integrate what happens the next day. Do you feel inclined to put it to use when you’re in a state closer to ‘normal’ consciousness? The experience may exist in a world apart, such as a ritual, a dream, an erotic session or another state of mind. Bring it home to the big world and set it free.

Right now you can get the best-selling MARS EFFECT annual readings for half-price (only $39 for all twelve signs). These written and audio readings offer relationship and career insights throughout the year for your Sun, rising and Moon signs — and those of your loved ones. “After listening to it at least four times I always hear new aspects and I feel it helps me greatly in making sense of my very turbulent inner life” — Michelle, Planet Waves reader.


Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — The sense of potential you may be feeling is tempered by what seem like the limits and boundaries of reality. Yet is this an internal or external block? It seems to be outside you, yet it’s worth asking whether you’re encountering an inner limit. Notice how you allocate your energy. Is there some out-of-control aspect of your life? If this is another person with whom you share an intimate bond, notice whether your energy flows around them or into them. Note what energy is returning to you. The deeper question, though, is whether and to what extent you’re able to influence your own emotions. Notice where you tend to lose your ability to keep a grip. There are some situations where you’ll want to let go of all control, though I suggest you have an idea in advance what you want those to be.

Looking at your life and wondering how half the year went by in such a colorful blur? “Turn the dial on the kaleidoscope of life,” as one reader put it, and clarify your view with the MARS EFFECT readings, now available for half price: $39 for all 12 signs. See how the patterns align through the interrelated facets of your life (and the lives of those your hold dear) as you co-create the rest of your year and beyond.


Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Few people on Earth don’t struggle with self-esteem. This is a complex issue, in part because so many are challenged, and we don’t have many healthy models of what it means to respect oneself. Self-esteem is conflated with narcissism; which is only true to the extent that one is attempting to compensate for the other. On the other side of that coin are people who just don’t feel adequate and there’s no way even to fake it. Know where you stand on these matters. This means knowing where you stand with yourself. This can be tricky, because there are likely to be false messages involved. If so, account for those, and think carefully about the impact they have had on how you feel about yourself. The other thing to keep in mind is that you’re not alone. Many are on this quest seeking inner clarity and acceptance. You stand among them, and they among you. Remember, selflove comes from your self.

Attention, Geminis! Mercury is about to retrograde back into your sign, there’s a highly unusual grouping of planets working their way across your relationship angle, and the planet Chaos could feel like a creative stirring — or more like confusion. Focus your mind and get your bearings on your solar year with your 2014 GEMINI BIRTHDAY READING, available now for $39.95. Also included is a tarot reading, access to the recorded Q&A session with Eric, and more.


Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Is it possible to keep secrets from yourself? Why would you want to? Transits to your solar chart are taking you in the opposite direction — toward a space where you can admit anything to yourself. This may be true to the point where you will begin to encounter a diversity of ideas and feelings from the alternate side of your nature, sensations and memories to which you don’t normally have access. You’ll be shown these things to acknowledge, affirm, make peace with and ultimately, to integrate consciously. That you have two distinct sides of your nature is not something you’re always in contact with, and you may not have discovered the extent to which it’s true. Having your inner aspects in contact will help you concentrate your energy, focus your intent and run at full strength. As Mercury dips into the most introspective and unusual angle of your solar chart, I think you’re about to show yourself a few things.

Hello, Cancers! If Mercury stationing retrograde in your sign has had you feeling a little turned around, consider your 2014 CANCER BIRTHDAY READING to be a proactive, meditative, empathic alternative to hiding in your shell or turning the mood-o-meter up to 11. If you pre-order now for $24.95, you’ll get the best possible price on two segments of astrology, a tarot reading, access to a live Q&A session with Eric, and more.


Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Some of the most interesting stuff in the world is right in plain sight. It may be peering out from the other side of the mirror or one step off of the main drag into a little alley, but it’s right there. Nearly all of it, in fact. Most people aren’t nearly as sly as they seem. Indeed, they are rather transparent, and just good at turning one aspect of their nature in the direction of most who can see them. You seem to have plunged into another dimension of your world as a spy among the familiar, who are now turning up in all kinds of interesting colors and shades. Can anyone else see this? Look around for who can. You may not want to say anything if you see the gleam in their eye. As for yourself, this would be a fine time to put out for all to see something you’ve wanted to show off for a while.

“I thought those readings were meant just for me” is how so many MARS EFFECT customers have felt, it’s a testament to just how intimate, beautiful and uncannily personal these written and audio readings truly are. Now you can access all 12 signs for $39 (half price) — an incredible value for more than a year’s worth of insights into all facets of your life, and into the lives of those closest to you.


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Success works in strange ways. Be open to unusual events that work to your advantage, even things others would prefer to avoid. That might include anything from your own insecurities to a flight being diverted and ending up in a city you didn’t plan to be in. You might not get along with someone and notice how that helps you out. You might meet your boss’s boss’s boss one day and discover that you hit it off. Without veering an inch toward superstition, you can consider everything you see and hear to be a potential message from the goddesses and gods, however you may think of them — preferably as your close allies and mentors. In that case you can welcome any sources of inbound information, and you can trust your perception and what you say about what you notice. The more candid you are, the more you will see who is really on your wavelength.

“OMG the Mars Effect — I don’t really have words yet. Finally I’ve won the Lotto!” — Planet Waves reader Gary. Your luck just got even better: the written and audio MARS EFFECT readings are available for half price ($39 for all 12 signs), making it easy to access winning insights for your Sun, Moon and rising signs (and those of loved ones) immediately.


Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — The question, as always, is “how is the sex?” Yes, there’s a con game going around where you’re never supposed to admit that; not long into any conversation sex is supposed to genuflect to relationship. While we all need, want and do sail the good ship Relate, that’s often a way up the ladder and out of the water on which it floats. Among the many aspects of sex to consider is what you love that you also feel guilty about. The reason does not matter — guilt is extremely creative at coming up with rationales to justify its own existence. If there’s such a thing as the ego, this is it. It may be the power aspect of a relationship that turns you on. It may be the age factor and it may be that you seek from another person what you really want to give yourself, and you’re letting that be OK for now. Now, as for my original question…

Right now you can get the best-selling MARS EFFECT annual readings for half-price (only $39 for all twelve signs). These written and audio readings offer relationship and career insights throughout the year for your Sun, rising and Moon signs — and those of your loved ones. “After listening to it at least four times I always hear new aspects and I feel it helps me greatly in making sense of my very turbulent inner life” — Michelle, Planet Waves reader.


Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You have a perfect view of who someone is. If you pay attention you notice that this seems like peering into a mirror. The unusual thing is how different from how you feel the image in this mirror looks. You may be feeling old and looking at young, knowing it’s yourself. You may be feeling inflexible and looking at the very picture of relaxation. You may be feeling unworthy and know that you’re being embraced by love. You don’t have to trust this image or accept it as real, though it would be useful if you asked yourself, “what if what I’m seeing is real?” Just consider the potential and notice your response. One thing I would point out is that you may be harboring some fantasies of purity. Those could take a diversity of forms, including ideas of celibacy, virginity, relationship orthodoxy, or wanting to work out your issues with your parents before you get close to anyone. Go where it’s hot.

“I thought those readings were meant just for me” is how so many MARS EFFECT customers have felt, it’s a testament to just how intimate, beautiful and uncannily personal these written and audio readings truly are. Now you can access all 12 signs for $39 (half price) — an incredible value for more than a year’s worth of insights into all facets of your life, and into the lives of those closest to you.


Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Tonight’s Full Moon in your birth sign is an interesting specimen, and I’ve never seen anything so Sagittarian in my life. You could be inspired to go on the bender of a lifetime and throw yourself into that light-pulsing experiment where you come out the other end before you even went in. You might gallop through the forest and be standing before the ancestral cave where you can meet any relative going back countless generations. You may get called in one direction, keep going and find out that you’ve taken yourself to a place you only vaguely suspected existed. As I said, the ultimate Sagittarian moment. Give yourself some space and time to do something with it. You need more freedom and you need it soon — and as long as you’re paying attention you’ll be able to go wherever you want and land yourself safely on solid ground.

“OMG the Mars Effect — I don’t really have words yet. Finally I’ve won the Lotto!” — Planet Waves reader Gary. Your luck just got even better: the written and audio MARS EFFECT readings are available for half price ($39 for all 12 signs), making it easy to access winning insights for your Sun, Moon and rising signs (and those of loved ones) immediately.


Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Don’t worry if you feel like you’re going to explode. You probably won’t, though I suggest you find a way to let off some psychic pressure. Anything from art to orgasm to loud music will do, though definitely vent energy in the direction of creativity and/or pleasure. It would be useful to do this tonight, while the Moon is at exact full phase in a mysterious little (actually, enormous) dimension of your chart called the 12th house. Yet once the Full Moon passes, Luna herself will ingress Capricorn and be there through Sunday afternoon, so you get an extended moment of embodying movement, change and cracking free of whatever may have contained you. You do have the option to hold this energy down, which would be worse than a missed opportunity. The impulse to get drunk may be rather potent — that doesn’t count as creative either. Give yourself what you actually need and want. You know what it is.

Right now you can get the best-selling MARS EFFECT annual readings for half-price (only $39 for all twelve signs). These written and audio readings offer relationship and career insights throughout the year for your Sun, rising and Moon signs — and those of your loved ones. “After listening to it at least four times I always hear new aspects and I feel it helps me greatly in making sense of my very turbulent inner life” — Michelle, Planet Waves reader.


Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Whatever you say and do is likely to make a vivid and widespread impression on the world around you, so keep it relevant and classy. You have unusual insight into what people are going through, especially what they’re not admitting to, though remember — just because someone doesn’t admit something doesn’t mean they don’t know. We have a conditioned tendency to assume that someone does not know, that they lack intention, that they’re not really informed. This is called denying awareness. Instead of doing that, I suggest you look for evidence of awareness, both in the people you engage with or observe, and within yourself. This is a form of affirmation requiring some bravery, because denial has its motives and its uses. The more you unravel denial, the more you’ll see you don’t want it.

“I thought those readings were meant just for me” is how so many MARS EFFECT customers have felt, it’s a testament to just how intimate, beautiful and uncannily personal these written and audio readings truly are. Now you can access all 12 signs for $39 (half price) — an incredible value for more than a year’s worth of insights into all facets of your life, and into the lives of those closest to you.


Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Take control of your definition of success. Yes, control in any form is challenging, and it may be an illusion. Yet a clear definition of something would be one of the easier things to get some clarity on, as long as you remember that it’s an evolving work. The way this looks in the charts, you’re less likely to be trying to work something out conceptually and more likely to be describing something that you already understand, or that you can finally see clearly. The description matters because this is a fleeting moment. Granted, this subject feels palpable now, perhaps even vividly obvious. You have a rare perspective on the power of your reputation, which must at this point be able to pick up some of the labor that has always been left to you. Yet this particular point of view is in rapid motion, so I suggest you collect what you know in some form that you can access tomorrow, or in a year.

Looking at your life and wondering how half the year went by in such a colorful blur? “Turn the dial on the kaleidoscope of life,” as one reader put it, and clarify your view with the MARS EFFECT readings, now available for half price: $39 for all 12 signs. See how the patterns align through the interrelated facets of your life (and the lives of those your hold dear) as you co-create the rest of your year and beyond.

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The Royal Scam

Dear Friend and Reader:

It’s been a surreal or perhaps even dadaist week in the news and in astrology. Starting with the sky, there are currently six planets, the Sun and some asteroids in Pisces right now, with one of the highlights being retrograde Mercury. This is astrology that is bending notes, blending colors and warping so-called reality into interesting shapes.

Planet Waves
The Lockheed Martin F-35 airplane.

Chiron and Neptune are the longterm visitors in Pisces, representing the spiritual quest of our extended moment in history. Currently they are joined by the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars. The seventh point in the alignment is the eminently Piscean Borasisi (a planet slightly beyond Pluto, which I last covered in early 2011). Borasisi is about questions of belief, and how believing something, for most practical purposes, makes it true. Borasisi is also about the lies that makeus feel good.

There’s rich creative potential in this setup, and it’s pretty sexy too — Venus is the planet of personal love and admiration, conjunct Neptune, the planet of universal love. These days, lust is meaningful and fantasies have a good chance of becoming real, if you put some creative energy into them. Venus-Neptune can come with an idealistic streak, and perhaps some unrealistic ideas — though with all this Pisces going on, the implausible could be right within reach. In many ways, the rules are suspended — though you won’t know that until you try to do something unusual.

Meanwhile, Mercury retrograde can be providing access to the past, helping you retrieve some gems you may have left behind or forgotten about. This is a great time to re-energize old projects and desires; I’m sure there are plenty of ideas (or people) you were hot for but which got lost in the tides of time. The tide has turned and some interesting stuff is going to be washing up on the beach.
Mercury retrograde could also serve to prod a kind of spiritual review, soul-search or deep personal inquiry — something that our government leaders could do with a little more of here in the United States.

There’s so much in the news this week that was so strange, that I can only give a few samples. Thursday, JosephRatzinger boarded a helicopter and flew away from the Vatican, the first pope to resign in six centuries.

Planet Waves
Joseph Ratzinger, or Pope Benedict XVI, says goodbye to the faithful in his last noon prayer from his studio overlooking St. Peter’s Square on Sunday. Vatican photo.

(So much for conspiracy rumors that he would not be leaving the Vatican’s walls, lest he be arrested.) Soon we’ll get to see who will lead the scandal-plagued church deeper into the 21st century. For a very interesting, well-worth-listening-to perspective on that, check out this edition of Fresh Air.

Wednesday during oral arguments in the Supreme Court on the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Justice Antonin Scalia described voting as a “racial entitlement,” which sent a gasp throughout the packed, lotus-flower-adorned courtroom.

The Civil Rights Act was and is about undoing the insidious scheme of racist laws and customs once known as Jim Crow. Everyone knows the problem still exists. We all saw the antics in many states during the past four or five election cycles, with all the voter purges and other games designed to block minority voters.

Antonin is a reactionary drama queen and seems to live for the pleasure of people thinking he’s a certified asshole. (Note, Scalia is a March 11 Pisces with his Sun right in the mix of the current alignment.) Many are speculating that key provisions of the nation’s most revered civil rights law, which monitors voting laws in several southern states, will be struck down. This, in an era when minority voting rights are constantly being threatened by new games on the state level.

Meanwhile, at the same moment right across town under the Statuary Hall of the Capitol building, Pres. Obama and others were dedicating a statue of civil rights activist Rosa Parks. How could both of these things be happening at same time and place? The current astrology is not lending itself to rationalism or logic.

A group of prominent conservatives, meanwhile, signed a legal petition (technically called an amicus brief) supporting the right of lesbian and gay couples to marry, on ‘family values’ grounds. This was filed in the case on Proposition 8, which is before the Supreme Court in its current term. Later in the week, Pres. Obama issued a statement saying that Proposition 8 is unconstitutional because it denies people equal protection under the law.

Planet Waves
Japanese police, wearing radiation suits search for victims inside the evacuation zone, established for the 20 km radius around the Fukushima nuclear reactors. Photo: David Guttenfelder.

In the social contract in the U.S., all citizens are supposed to have equal rights — such as the right to get married. (We’ll really be making progress when tax rates for single people are the same as those for married people.)

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives actually passed the Violence Against Women Act, expanding it to include lesbian, gay and transgender people under its programs. It’s actually an anti-domestic violence law.

The expanded Senate version of the bill, approved by the House Thursday, had been held up by a number of opponents for whom such a thing is not politically expedient. Now that the 2012 election is over, Republicans let it go through — though 138 representatives voted against it, many of them doing so proudly and to make a point. Apparently they have not outgrown the “No Girls Allowed” phase of pre-adolescence.

The nuclear Pinocchios at the World Health Organization this week said that anysickness caused by Fukushima is so minimal it will get lost in the statistics. Three nuclear power plants can explode and melt down, and dump highly radioactive materials into the land, groundwater, sea and oceans, and nothing bad will happen.

“The additional risk is quite small and will probably be hidden by the noise of other (cancer) risks like people’s lifestyle choices and statistical fluctuations,” said Richard Wakeford of the University of Manchester, one of the authors of the WHO report. “It’s more important not to start smoking than having been in Fukushima.”

In other words: nuclear meltdowns are good for you.

And topping off an interesting week, Miss Teen Delaware — Melissa King, age 18 — had to turn in her sash and crown after a sexy video of her went viral. Can you blame her? She thought it would be interesting and needed the money.

The Budget Doomsday Machine

Oh — there is one other story. On Thursday afternoon, the Senate failed to get the necessary votes to pass a resolution to stop mandatory budget cuts — called sequestration — from taking effect at midnight Friday.

Sequestration is a kind of ‘mutually assured budgetary destruction’ that was set into automatic motion nearly two years ago. The difference between this Doomsday Machine and the one in Dr. Strangelove is that Congress can turn the thing off if it wants to. Apparently, it does not. The whole episode is feeding the sick nihilism of people who are supposed to be stewards of government but claim they want to make it small enough to drown it in a bathtub.

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Matt Taibbi, one of my favorite writers, put it this way: “If you can get past how horrifying it is, the looming ‘sequestration cuts’ crisis is fascinating. It’s like watching a bunch of gambling addicts play craps by throwing dice into a four-dimensional wormhole.”

Our congressional representatives are playing with the lives of many millions of their constituents, who don’t draw lavish salaries or have free healthcare and staffs and offices and cars all paid for by the government, while they endanger the livelihood of people eking out a living. Meanwhile, many of us donate 40% of our wages to support their insanity. Sometimes when I am driving down the NYS Thruway, a very nice Interstate that my grandparents’ generation paid to build, I wonder what I get for my federal taxes — because I am paying by the mile to drive down that road.

Taibbi continues, “There are so many variables that neither side can possibly know the true outcome of a failure to make a deal — which means the only certainty is that what we’re watching is irresponsibility on an epic scale, wherein both of our major political parties seem to prefer government by random outcome over one managed by sensible compromise.”

This plan started back in April 2011, during the infamous debt ceiling battle, wherein congressional Republicans held the country hostage on threat of defaulting on our debt service to those who hold paper on the U.S. Note, this was not about new spending but about what Congress had already spent, in effect, being able to make our credit card payments.

Ransom was the Budget Control Act of 2011, which in theory would reduce federal spending by $1.2 trillion over the next 10 years, unless another budget reduction deal could be struck. This is all based on the premise that Washington has a “spending problem” (words that no doubt flowered from the dark mind of Republican meme-maker Frank Luntz, who also gave us “death tax” and “climate change”). Spending problem means “we’re not going to raise taxes on the wealthy oligarchs who run the economy.”

The deadline was midnight, Friday, March 1, at which time $85 billion in pre-planed and how ‘automatic’ federal spending cuts would take effect. While the current cuts are a relatively small percentage of the federal budget, they could amount to 750,000 layoffs and furloughs, taking money out of the economy and threatening the fragile recovery. Evidence that this is just a ridiculous drama is that a few years ago, the Fed came up with that much money to bail out Citigroup in one day.

Planet Waves
Dr. Strange — Speaker of the House, John Boehner, holds a news conference on the looming sequester in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 25, 2013. Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call via Rolling Stone.

On Thursday, senators wanting to stop the mandatory cuts got a majority of 51 votes (all of them Democrats), but that’s not enough to get through the Senate, where the minority rules and everything takes 60 votes to pass.

That, of course, is just one kind of self-created booby trap that is constantly subverting progress and reason; according to the Constitution, in the Senate 51 votes is supposed to do the job. Then, what did Congress do next? It went home! They left! They walked out on America, come what may.

Sequestration was predicated on the idea that budget cuts were across the board, including to the military — and that Republicans would never want to be accused of weakening national security (or harming the business of their defense contractor campaign donors). But that didn’t work, and at the stroke of midnight, the cuts started to go into effect.

We’re being told that losing this $85 billion in federal spending is going to affect everyone in every state and county in the United States, with some areas (especially those with concentrated military industry) hit especially hard.

Yet many are suggesting that sequestration is another scam, just like the debt ceiling battle and the fiscal cliff. The point of the scam — a Shock Doctrine game of living from crisis to crisis — is to cut social programs (Medicaid and Social Security) while using the hostage crisis to make sure that taxes are not increased on the super-wealthy. There does seem to be a lie in the chart, indicated mainly by Venus conjunct Neptune.

This might be a nice aspect in personal astrology, though in the chart for an important national event — especially one about economics — it can indicate some form of fraud or deception.

That would be par for the course, when every one of these fake crises is designed to make the rich richer. If everyone paid their fair share — that is, if people like Mitt Romney and Warren Buffett paid a higher percentage in taxes than their secretaries do, and if major corporations paid their fair share of taxes, we would not be in our current condition.

The Little Airplane That Couldn’t

Without getting into the specifics of sequestration, let’s look at one federal program, to give ourselves the advantage of a sense of scale. That’s the F-35 fighter jet, a project that started in the 1990s and which is planned to be the all-purpose airplane.

Planet Waves
Test flight of F-35B. Photo from Lockheed Martin.

Let’s see, it’s supposed to serve the Air Force, the Navy and the Marines. It’s the plane that can land vertically, like a helicopter, land on a carrier or on a short runway. It’s supposed to replace all of its predecessors, such as the workhorse F-16 and many other airplanes. It’s designed to be good for ground attack, reconnaissance and air defense missions. The United Kingdom, Italy, Netherlands, Australia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, and Turkey are part of the development program; Israel, Singapore and Japan may also equip their air services with the F-35.

Each unit goes for about a quarter billion dollars. The whole program is expected to cost the U.S. taxpayers $1.7 trillion — that is, before interest on the money borrowed to pay for it is compounded. The U.S. government claims the plane will cost $20,000 per flight hour in maintenance costs, plus gas and tolls. More realistic estimates have that cost at closer to $50,000 per hour. The U.S. plans to buy 2,443 of them.

The plane has just one problem.

It’s not safe to fly. In fact at the moment, it does not fly. The whole test fleet was grounded last week after routine inspection revealed cracks in engine turbine blades. If a turbine blade shatters in flight, the engine explodes and the airplane crashes.

Did I say one problem? Well, actually, it has a seemingly endless litany of problems, including an airframe that’s unlikely to last the lifetime of the plane; an eject system that has never been tested and which may not work; a fuel dump system that poses a fire hazard; a weight problem; thermal problems that include failure to keep the pilot and controls cool enough; the problem of a standard feature that damages the aircraft; software development that is behind schedule; critical functions have yet to be tested; and there are concerns about what will happen when the plane is struck by lightning.

Planet Waves
Tom Toles of the Washington Post on sequestration.

The program seems to be good for one thing: pouring an ocean of money into the hands of Lockheed Martin, its manufacturer.

That $1.7 trillion budget for the F-35 is 200 times the cost of the $85 billion sequestration that went into effect Friday morning — before interest. When you compound the interest that our children and grandchildren will pay, it’s likely to be at least 50% higher.

And the plane does not fly. Looking at the chart for the contract being awarded and the first test flight, it looks like it’s going to have problems for a long, long time and may even be scrapped.

So what are we really doing in a country that cannot pay for teachers and firefighters and to keep its bridges maintained, where many children cannot concentrate in school because they’re too hungry — but we have money to finance the F-35?

Kinda makes a person wonder.


PS, If you’re on Facebook (we know that some of you despise the thing) would you please ‘like’ the new Planet Waves company page? There are excellent discussions, frequent news updates and generally a fun experience of microblogging.


Planet Waves

More Pisces Than You Think

We know there’s a lot of Pisces the sky right now, including the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Chiron and Neptune — though there are quite a few minor planets there as well. Let’s take a quick look at the better-known planets and then tune into the small ones.

Planet Waves
False-color photo of Mercury, as mapped by the NASA MESSENGER probe. The color variation signifies the varying composition of rocks on Mercury’s surface. Watch video here. Photo: NASA.

Venus has just made a conjunction to Neptune, beginning a new cycle between those two planets. This is the blend of tangible, worldly love and what you might think of as cosmic or mystical love. The two go well together, and while not lending themselves to realism, they can make your wildest ideals seem practical.

The Sun has just completed a conjunction to Chirion in Pisces, which took place in the midst of our Very Strange Week of politics; that was exact the day that Justice Scalia declared voting a racial entitlement and the statue of Rosa Parks was dedicated right down the street. Reality does not make as much sense as we think it should.

Chiron for its part is about to take a square aspect from Jupiter, the traditional ruler of Pisces. This has the flavor of activism to it; it’s fighting the good fight for the good cause, whatever you think that might be. We’re seeing some evidence of this in the now-heightened debate over gun control.

Then we have Sauer conjunct Chiron. To me that is saying: plot the orbit of justice, and follow the trajectory. Aim yourself in the direction of things going right. Stack the deck in your own favor, and if you know about this idea, in favor of the greatest good for all concerned.

While both sides are coming on pretty strong, clearly in Chiron style the underdogs — those without the guns — are going to win this round, and I believe the momentum will persist. This is due to Chiron-Jupiter; it’s also due to the Uranus-Pluto square, and I would remind everyone that the Newtown incident, which spurred the current phase of the discussion, happened during the last week of the Mayan 13th baktun.

Planet Waves
Calculations by Serennu.com.

Meanwhile, Mercury is retrograde, and will form its interior conjunction to the Sun on Monday, March 4. That is Mercury passing exactly between the Earth and Sun. It’a also the midway point of Mercury retrograde; the cycle is halfway over (Mercury stations direct on March 17).

What’s interesting about this conjunction is that it takes place conjunct a relatively newly discovered planet named Borasisi. Named for one of the gods in the Kurt Vonnegut novel Cat’s Cradle, Borasisi is about the relationship between truth, lies, belief and what we perceive as real. In a sense, it says, “reality is what you make it.”

Notably, the novel and the planet have an association to the nuclear lies of one company, General Electric, though this can be extrapolated to include the entire nuclear dilemma. With a powerful conjunction taking place exactly conjunct Borasisi, be ready for some news out of the nuclear industry (as if being told, again, that Fukushima was not really toxic and that Hanford is leaking were not enough). The event could be covered up quickly, or it could represent an intellectual development (such as new data) that is buried by the press.

There are a few other bits in Pisces as well — the full list is included in the chart to the right. Among the interesting aspects are Mars conjunct Heracles (as heroic as it gets, though in Pisces, you might not want credit), Amor conjunct Photographica and Salacia (great for creating sexy photos and for using photography to see someone differently) and Hygiea, which is reminding us that some Pisces are more obsessed with health, purity and neatness than many Virgos, which is not saying much at all.


Planet Waves

Senate Delays Brennan Vote; Hagel Sworn In

The Senate Intelligence Committee delayed its vote for the second time on the confirmation of nominee John Brennan to be director of the CIA.

Senator Rand Paul vowed to stall the vote until legal memos justifying the Obama administration’s assassination program, which Brennan has overseen, are released.

“We’re talking about someone eating at a cafe in Boston or in New York, and a Hellfire missile comes raining in on them,” the senator said. “There should be an easy answer from the administration on this. They should say, ‘Absolutely no, we will not kill Americans in America without an accusation, a trial and a jury.'”

The committee is expected to vote on Brennan next week.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is having an easier time of it. He was sworn in on Wednesday, one day after his confirmation was approved, despite Republican complaints about his readiness for the job.

Republicans Sign Brief Supporting Gay Marriage

Top advisers to former president George W. Bush, four former governors, two members of Congress and other prominent Republicans signed a legal brief earlier this week supporting gay people’s constitutional right to marry, directly challenging Speaker John A. Boehner’s position.

Planet Waves

It will be submitted to the Supreme Court in support of a suit to strike down Proposition 8, a California ballot initiative outlawing same-sex marriage. The Obama administration is urging the court to overturn the gay marriage ban.

Tom Goldstein, publisher of Scotusblog, a website that analyzes Supreme Court cases, said the amicus filing “has the potential to break through and make a real difference.”

He added, “The person who is going to decide this case, if it’s going to be close, is going to be a conservative justice who respects traditional marriage but nonetheless is sympathetic to the claims that this is just another form of hatred. If you’re trying to persuade someone like that, you can’t persuade them from the perspective of gay rights advocacy.”

Of course, this is the whole point — the law is supposed to be blind to that kind of thing, applying an even standard.

VAWA Passed, Bill Goes to Obama for Signature

The GOP version of the Violence Against Women Act failed Thursday to win a majority after almost 90 minutes of debate. The House then voted 286-138 to pass the Senate version, with 87 Republicans joining all 199 Democrats to provide majority support.

This Senate bill includes expanded protections for gay women, Native Americans and female immigrants, absent in the Republican proposal.

A majority of Senate Republicans backed the act, along with every woman senator regardless of party, noted House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California.

“It’s really hard to explain why, what eyes the Republicans are looking through, that they do not see the folly of their ways in the legislation they are proposing,” Pelosi said.


Planet Waves

The Venus, Neptune and Chiron in Pisces Sessions

The movie The Sessions — which just won Independent Spirit Awards for Helen Hunt (best supporting actress) and John Hawkes (best male lead) and garnered nominations from the Oscars, the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild — is tailor-made for attention while Venus is conjunct Neptune and about to conjoin Chiron in Pisces.

Planet Waves
Helen Hunt and John Hawkes in The Sessions.

Venus-Neptune, at its best, is about elevating erotic love to the level of universal, divine compassion (its shadow expression cautions against illusions and expectations in love). Add Chiron, and we get the theme of allowing ourselves to receive sexual healing. The Sessions tells the real-life story of poet Mark O’Brien, paralyzed from the neck down due to polio, who hired a sex surrogate to lose his virginity.

The movie has spurred an informative post on Betty Dodson’s blog, written by former professional sex surrogate Stephanie Wadell, explaining how real-life sexual surrogacy compares to its depiction in the movie.

Wadell notes that, “the movie only shows the value of surrogate partner work for a severely disabled person. The majority of surrogate partner body therapy includes clients who have numerous sexual and social problems.”

She goes on to describe her work with socially inhibited Silicon Valley tech whizzes during the dot com boom, and one of her favorite clients: a 50-year-old man who had never experienced sexual intimacy with a woman. They spent many sessions just helping him learn to communicate feelings, and then practiced dating — beginning with actually unpacking trash bags of his belongings to set up his bedroom as a welcoming space.

Sexual surrogacy caught on for a short time in the 1970s, after Masters and Johnson introduced the idea as an adjunct to conventional therapy. Unfortunately, despite high success rates, the combination of complicated legal issues plus tremendous criticism from both the far Right and feminist organizations led to tighter and tighter restrictions on the field. By the time Wadell was practicing from 1987-1997, there were only 12 certified sex surrogates in the entire U.S. — leaving this modality of healing to that ‘oldest profession’ that operates in red light, not red tape.


Planet Waves

News from a Piscean Planet: Nuclear Leaks and Deep-Sea Wonder

The Hanford Nuclear Reservation, a nuclear weapons production and storage facility in southeastern Washington State known to have leaked more than 1 million gallons of nuclear waste into the desert soil over the years, has sprung a new breach.

Planet Waves
Nuclear reactors line the riverbank at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation along the Columbia River in January 1960. (Photo courtesy of the Department of Energy).

The current radioactive leak was detected coming from a 1940s-vintage radioactive sludge storage tank. The tank was originally designed to store nuclear waste for only 20 years. The Department of Energy announced this most recent discovery on Feb. 15.

The Hanford site has been plagued since 1989 by schemes to manage its nuclear waste that have faltered due to excessive cost, poor contractor performance and plain lack of credibility. The current plan to seal waste in glass-forming material is already delayed beyond 2019 due to spiraling costs.

Radioactive plumes are moving through groundwater toward the Columbia River. The Columbia borders 50 miles of the Hanford site, at times coming within seven miles of the tanks.

Meanwhile, in deep ocean waters on the other side of the continent, plumes of a different sort are stunning scientists. A U.K. team in the Caribbean Ocean have discovered the deepest thermal vents on record, releasing water that is among the hottest on the planet at 401 degrees Celsius (or about 754 Fahrenheit; the surrounding water is only about 4C, or 39F).

The scientists, using a remotely operated vehicle in the Cayman Trough, happened upon a previously unknown trough almost 5,000 meters (about three miles) deep. The water — pushing out from the seabed under incredible pressure — looks rather like black smoke. And yet despite the incredible heat, pressure and lack of sunlight, the area hosts curious, specially adapted forms of sea life including translucent, apparently blind shrimp with special organs to detect super-heated water.

“The beauty of working in the deep oceans is that you’re always stumbling over things that are completely new,” said Dr. Jon Copley of the National Oceanography Centre. “It’s teaching us how little we know and for a few minutes it’s not about the science, it’s about the wonder of the planet, something that’s been hidden for so long.”

Rather like current Mercury-retrograde explorations of our own inner Piscean depths. When Mercury stations direct, it will be time to apply what we’ve learned — though sooner rather than later would be better in the case of nuclear waste.


Planet Waves

To Sleep, Perchance to Dream… And to Be Photographed

With all the planets in Pisces, the skies are emphasizing inner vision and creative expression, dream exploration, erotic love, deep emotions and the permeability of shared consciousness. As if on cue to coincide with the conjunction of Venus with Neptune in Pisces (which was exact Thursday), Huffington Post ran a story this week on photographer Paul Schneggenburger’s surreal project titled The Sleep of the Beloved.

“What happens to lovers as they are sleeping? Is it a sleeping just next to each other, each on his own, or is there a sharing of certain places or emotions?” asks Schneggenburger. “Is there a conjunction with the other, with one’s self?”

Schneggenburger captures six-hour-long exposures of couples (sometimes with their toddlers) as they sleep. The resulting ephemeral, black and white images resemble mythical multi-headed, multi-limbed creatures. How does the intricate, unconscious dance of physically intertwining and separating compare with our inner dreamtime wanderings?

Volunteers for The Sleep of the Beloved slumber from midnight to 6:00 am after Schneggenburger sets up candles and camera in his studio — and the project is ongoing. If you’re planning travel to Vienna, you can contact him to see about becoming his next photo subject with your beloved.


Planet Waves

Lots and Lots of Pisces

This week I have an exciting edition of Planet Waves FM for you, covering the ongoing, rapidly developing astrology in Pisces. This includes the Sun, retrograde Mercury, Venus and Mars in Pisces, along with slow-movers Chiron and Neptune.

Planet Waves
Photo by Johanna.

This is a truly unusual alignment — looking for anything as interesting in Pisces I had to go back to around 1967 to find something this cool.

After I cover the astrology — and play a song by the Florida-based band Pilotwave — I take a gander through the news, including looking at the chart for sequestration (that is, mandatory budget cuts that are going into effect March 1 — today). I manage to skip the pope leaving office and look at the petition by a number of prominent Republicans who are supporting the right of lesbian and gay people to marry.

I read from and comment on an article in The New York Timeshere is that article. I had to leave out a lot of stories, though this week’s newspapers read more like something out of fiction than the real world — such is Mercury retrograde and a bunch of other planets in Pisces.


Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

The March monthly extended horoscopes were published Friday, Feb. 22. The February monthly horoscope was published Friday, Jan. 25 — I recommend reviewing the monthly horoscope at the end of the month. Inner Space for March was published Tuesday, Feb. 26. Note that the longer monthly horoscope is being incorporated into the Friday issue after the Sun has entered a new sign; a new Inner Space is still emailed on the following Tuesday. We published the Moonshine Horoscope for the Virgo Full Moon on Tuesday, Feb. 19. We will be publishing the Pisces New Moon Moonshine horoscope Tuesday, March 5.


Planet Waves

Pisces Birthdays: The Living Reef

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Pisces is a school of fish right now. Your sign is your environment — there are likely to be a lot of interesting people around you. If there are not, make a conscious decision to open up and they are likely to arrive. Said another way, you have your options open, and because this is your solar return time, you will for at least the coming four seasons. Your life can become like a coral reef that hosts many different forms of life, many different kinds of people. Diversity is key, so make sure that you make your decisions accordingly. There is one reminder coming through — you are bigger than your relationships. Most people and many Pisces live as if they are smaller than, or submissive to, their relationships and their partners. Now is the time to adjust that scale. You are the owner of your existence, or at least you are its steward. You have a life, and in that life, there are other people. You are the focal point of your own world. If you remember that, you’ll be able to maintain a sense of scale and proportion. Remember, too, that the people who are drawn to you will make themselves known. They will demonstrate their care and respect. They will come in a spirit of exchange. You have plenty to offer them, and they have plenty to offer you, which sets the potential for an authentic sharing — do not settle for anything less.

Hello Pisces and Pisces rising — your birthday reading is ready to go. It’s two sessions of astrology covering all of the current wild astrology in your sign, a tarot reading and an extended sign description, plus charts and photos of the spread. All this is yours for just $19.95, money-back guarantee if you don’t love it.

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, March 1, 2013 #940 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You may feel like you’re living in two worlds — one where you have to get everything right, and another where there are no rules. Actually the only rules you have to follow are the ones you’ve agreed to, and even those are probably negotiable. Check carefully for any sensation of being trapped, hemmed in or hidden away, and if you discover something, see if you can get a handle on why you feel that way. What seems to be happening is that you’re being drawn into a dimension of yourself that’s either unfamiliar or that has never been so present. This may have you feeling like you’re going to slip off a ledge and tumble into an inner abyss. Well, kind of — what’s happening is that your imagination is firing up. Think of it as an inner life, an inner dimension, that has all its own customs. The more you try to pretend it’s not there, the more chaotic you’ll feel. The more you focus your energy inward, the more you will tap a rich well of imagination.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — One way to let go of old or stuck patterns is to meet new people, experience them and learn from them. Think of it as a kind of creative and emotional cross-pollination. There seem to be plenty of people and scenes available right now — your social universe really is a universe, though to find it you’ll need to get out of your house. This one isn’t on the Internet; it’s the one you can meet with all of your senses. One element of the astrological pattern is the ability to experiment with who you are, to shape-shift and test out different self-portrayals. You might do that with clothing, makeup or character, but really this is about psychic posture: how it feels to be you, which is unusually flexible right now. One other thing — notice the role that people you already know have in your life, including those you’ve lost contact with and also those you’ve been in contact with all along. You can have a whole new conversation.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Please apply your imagination to your career. Do not look for a job. Do not re-do your resume. Use your incredibly beautiful imagination and consider the possibilities. Now is not the time to consider the flaws in your plan, your limits or any practical matters — it’s the time to unfold your idea of your potential. It’s also the time to consider the power and value of the experience you’ve already gained. Said another way, I suggest you take an inventory of what you know, what you’ve done and your talents. Then, think of them in different combinations and see if that sparks any ideas. As you do that, try to remember what you want to do. You may think that’s easy to recall, though I am proposing that you’re going to remember something you’ve forgotten. What were you doing and thinking in March 2010, February 2011 or February 2012? I suggest you go through your notebooks, email, diary and photo library and sift through them like you’re panning for gold.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — It is unfortunate that our ideas about birth, sex, the cosmos, consciousness and death have all been taken over by religion. I don’t mean influenced — I mean taken over, as in bought the bank, raided, invaded and infiltrated. It seems like you’re on a quest to set yourself free of these things, though it would help to know what you’re setting yourself free from. Don’t invest too much energy in that, however — just know that it’s something that has co-opted everything, or has tried to, and that your actual reality is about something entirely different. You may experience some discomfort as you stretch past your previous boundaries, a little like shimmying under barbed wire and getting scuffed up in the process. You may feel like someone is going to challenge or persecute you. You might feel guilty, as if you’re doing something wrong by opening up to your potential. If so, keep going — you’re moving in the direction of freedom of conscience, passion and love.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — This is the time to focus on money. No matter how spiritual, innocent, pure of heart, loving in your intentions, motivated by authentic creativity and truly generous you are, work what you’re doing until it creates the profits that are coming your way. All your other attributes are what is feeding your energy and your potential — not subtracting, or presenting any moral issues. There is (mainly fed by one reference in the Bible) an alleged prohibition on doing anything ‘good’ for money, which leads directly to a world where a lot of people think the only thing they can do is something detrimental, hurtful or exploitative. You are currently in the midst of some form of abundance; you have plenty to offer, and to share. There are many productive exchanges going on in your life, and what you’re involved with — or can choose to become involved with — is there to create benefit for everyone, including financial gain for you. PS, this is not a matter of ‘luck’.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You seem to be trying to sort out your relationships, though have you considered that this is a great time to be lost in the midst of them? By that I mean that they don’t need to make sense, they don’t need to stay the same and you don’t need to adhere to any one person or concept of what a relationship is. I know how nervous living this way can make some people feel — like they have no boundaries. The thing is, most people’s rules (which are like pretend boundaries) are so rigid that sooner or later they end up frustrated (or drunk) and throw them away and wing it. So while you’re exploring, be mindful of how you feel. Speaking of alcohol, have some ideas about what decisions you’ll make when this stuff is in the environment or in your body. Know where you are and what you’re doing there. Make sure you say yes when you mean yes, no when you mean no, and maybe when you need some time to think about it (those are the most useful boundaries anyone can have).

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — There are two approaches available to you: competitive or inclusive. Said this way, the choice seems obvious, though every influence in our society is about turning relationships into a zero-sum game. That means a game with many losers and just one winner. The game you want is one where everyone wins. One thing to remember is that there is plenty of you to go around: plenty of love, empathy and appreciation of diversity. You don’t have to ‘commit’ yourself to anyone or anything the way that you were told you had to in the past. The person you need to be committed to is yourself and your own cause, meaning: know your wants and needs. Know what values are guiding you. What I suggest is that you let your imagination guide you, and see who harmonizes with you. Remind yourself how much you have to offer, and you will also remember why it makes sense that others would have so much to offer you. If you bump up against some limit on your self-esteem, climb over it, walk around it or keep going.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — By almost every indication this will be one of the most interesting times in your erotic life — a big statement, when made in the company of Scorpio. Pisces, your solar house of art, sex, pleasure and taking risks, is swimming with planets right now, including Venus and Mars. I am sure you want to indulge yourself and really have some fun. Yet there seems to be something that’s holding you back, some hesitancy or misgiving. You may feel like your head is getting in the way of your heart. This is worth pausing over and considering what’s up. Do you have a commitment to someone else, whether in reality or in your own private thoughts? Do you feel guilty, as if you’re taking something away from someone else? Just because you feel that way doesn’t make it true, though there does seem to be something you need to disconnect from, rooted in the past — and there is nothing stopping you from doing so. The truth is you cannot love or make love at some abstract time in the future — these are pleasures reserved for those who are able to focus on the present. So call yourself into moment you’re actually in, and enjoy your life.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — I suggest you project all of your confidence into the relationship of your choice. Your life is not as complex as it seems; you’re merely allowing yourself to feel all the things that usually don’t influence you. The astrology is so strong that denial or pretending won’t work; it’s time to actually acknowledge how you feel. I suggest you do this regardless of the rules, or what you think anyone else might have to say about it. The message of the planets is that your life is your life; you and your time are not the property of someone else. That includes anyone in your family who, whether currently or in the past, has (or had) something to say about who you relate to and how. You may not think this a factor, but I suggest you investigate further. One of the issues involved seems to be that someone put into your mind the fear of going deep — the fear of emotional bonding, whether directly or indirectly — through their words or actions. You have a different idea about life, and a different plan for yourself.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — There’s no one correct answer to any of the questions you’re asking yourself, and no one right thing for you to be doing. I suggest therefore that you do what you feel good doing, to the extent that you can. I recognize you may have certain time constraints (such as work) but that’s unlikely to go 24 hours a day. With as much time as you have available, do what you feel good doing. This includes anything from the movies you feel like seeing to the books you feel like reading to the places you want to visit. Live like it’s your life, and like you’re free to move about, think and experience what you want. As you start to do this, you might notice some odd little reservations you have, as if you’re doing the wrong thing by making your own choices. It’s worth taking a moment to marvel at how that could possibly be — which can serve to enhance your resolve to fully take advantage of the bold but simple fact that you’re alive.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Planet Waves

Note to Aquarius and Aquarius rising readers: Your birthday reading is ready. I cover entirely new territory from what I did in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition. I review the ways in which Aquarius itself has been changing and evolving. I describe your process of discovering your sense of mission; of opening up your inner life; and relationships based on creative exploration first and ‘commitment’ second. It’s two sessions of astrology plus tarot, with an extended description of your sign — and access to last year’s reading so that you can verify my accuracy. You can get instant access here.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — By one measure, everything comes down to self-esteem. I feel like I keep mentioning this for you, and given what’s developing in your chart, it’s worth another look. In fact, this is likely to be an ongoing spiritual project for the next few years, though you have a great opportunity to make some unusual progress right now. The only thing that could get in the way of feeling good about yourself is an incorrect idea, or a self-deception of some kind. Belief, and in particular, your beliefs about you, have a way of dictating your whole reality. You don’t need to worry about what is true — only what is false. Therefore, I suggest you go on a search for ideas or concepts that are in some way self-deceptive; for lies about yourself that you’ve believed; and for thoughts that are based on being in any way ‘less than’. If you recognize what is not true, what is true will be obvious, as will what to do about it.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Planet Waves

Hello Pisces! So many planets in Pisces means this is a brilliant moment for you, and your 2013 birthday reading looks at this astrology carefully. Chiron, the planet of healing, Neptune, planet of inspiration, and Mercury retrograde are all included. You now have the ability to develop a gift for business and financial success, if you focus your creative talents and work cooperatively with others — and I explain how to do that effectively. This reading is two 40-minute sessions of astrology, a tarot reading and an extended written description of your astrological sign. I’ve also included access to last year’s reading so you can review the past 12 months and check my accuracy. Here is a link to that affordably priced reading — which is like an extended, personal meditation on your life. You will love it — promise.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — At the moment, under a sky with seven planets gathered in your sign, you have a remarkable ability to be seen for who you are. You also have the potential to demonstrate to others the aspects of your personality that you want to emphasize and be known for. However, I would suggest just one thing, in several different forms. Don’t try to convince anyone of anything. Nor is this the time to pursue anyone. Those who have an interest in you will come to you. Those who like and appreciate you will let you know. It may be possible to sell yourself to someone, or to be persuasive in some way. But it’s not necessary and I believe will ultimately work against your best interests. The people you want to connect with are those who are already committed, who see you as you want to be seen, and who value you for who you are. Focusing on anyone else will distract your attention and you may miss the very best that life has to offer you — and it’s definitely offering.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


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With Love From Borasisi

Dear Friend and Reader:

Anyone who works with ideas in a public forum figures out sooner or later that most people will believe anything, particularly if it’s not true. I’ve learned as much from writing satire as I have from writing about astrology or being an investigative reporter. I’ve noticed that many readers will readily accept something cut from the whole cloth of fiction, no matter how absurd, as long as it looks sort of good. There seems to be this crack in consciousness through which very nearly anything can go.

Planet Waves
Seven Deadly Sins window curtain in the bathroom of Taco Juan’s, where I write many of my articles and horoscopes. The owner is actually named Bobby — he’s a dyed-in-the wool Scorpio with a sense of humor to match. And great tacos. Photo by Eric.

Those whose intentions are more sinister than humorous will easily convince most of us that Al Qaeda is under the lid of every trash can and that Saddam Hussein has nuclear bombs he’s ready to use on us. You could look at this as a complex process involving many layers of psychology and incestuous relationships between the media, the government and the companies that profit from war; or you can look to that odd little property of consciousness where if you repeat something often enough, people tend to think it’s true — especially if they’re scared.

This also works with loving intentions. I like to play a game based on this theory with dogs. When I meet a dog for the first time, I’m a stranger. We sniff one another and get acquainted. When I meet the dog again 15 minutes later, we’re old friends. People are not that different. Familiarity breeds trust. More than looking for reasons to be suspicious, I think that most people are actually looking for reasons to trust and will take any opportunity. Con artists, drug manufacturers and politicians know this, and exploit it happily.

Pisces New Moon and a New Planet For You

Today is the Pisces New Moon. It’s exact at about 3:46 pm EST (12:46 pm in California, 8:46 pm in London and early Saturday morning in Oz). Usually, the Moon and Sun make a conjunction in Pisces just once a year, and this is the one. It’s also the last New Moon of the astrological year; we’re just two weeks from equinox, and a pretty hot equinox at that.

There’s a lot of action in Pisces right now: Chiron has recently arrived, beginning an eight-year trek; Uranus is about to make its final exit after seven years on March 11; and we have more transient visitors, with Mercury and Mars present at the moment.

Planet Waves
Religion makes a lot more sense when portrayed in science fiction. Bokononism in Cat’s Cradle is one well-done example. So is the Church of the Second Chance in the Riverworld series by Philip Jose Farmer, a story wherein a whole bunch of people are trying to figure out how and why they all reincarnated on a huge planet along the banks of a river. The first book in that series is To Your Scattered Bodies Go. Photo taken on Route 28 in Ulster County (the road to Woodstock) by Eric Francis.

There’s a longterm visitor I haven’t mentioned much — an outer planet discovered in 1999, called Borasisi. This friendly bit of ice and rock is located out in the Kuiper Belt, a region of space that was first discovered when Pluto made its arrival in 1930. Nobody knew it was the Kuiper Belt at the time; that wasn’t confirmed until 1992, when Jane X. Luu co-discovered something called 1992 QB1 and we had evidence that Pluto was not alone.

Pluto has an orbit of 248 years, as do many other small planets orbiting our Sun (known as Plutinos); 1992 QB1 has an orbit of 289 years, which puts it in a slightly different class (classical Kuiper Belt objects). One interesting thing about QB1 is that despite having its orbit confirmed and being assigned a minor planet number (15760), it hasn’t been named by its discoverers. (I’ve proposed Radharani, a name for the supreme goddess of Hinduism. I propose that she offers an alternate concept to the death and transformation that we typically get from Pluto.)

Five years later, two of the same astronomers discovered Borasisi in the same region of space. Traditionally the discoverer(s) get to name what they find, and they chose to name this one after something from a science fiction novel called Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut.

This is unusual. Under naming guidelines, planets in this class are named for gods of creation or resurrection. Borasisi is a name for the Sun in the fictional religion central to Cat’s Cradle — Bokononism. In the novel, the Moon is known as Pabu, and the binary companion of Borasisi has been given that name.

Astrologically, to understand Borasisi we need to look to Cat’s Cradle, a wonderfully complex novel that addresses the themes of truth and lies, and technology and religion. One theme is that technology without conscience is very dangerous — a central theme of our lives. At the center of the story is what Vonnegut described as a whiz-bang sci-fi device: a substance called Ice Nine, water that is frozen and stable at room temperature. It’s a crystal that can teach any water with which it comes in contact to be frozen and stable at room temperature — including ocean water. If you eat just a speck, you turn into Ice Nine.

Planet Waves
Is the Ouija board real, or is it a crock? It’s sold as a game — but we all have our stories. I have been researching the history of the word ‘compersion’ and I have learned that it came out of a Ouija board. Photo by Eric Francis.

Vonnegut got the idea when he was working as a PR man at General Electric in Schenectady. The concept came from a GE scientist who had the job of entertaining H.G. Wells (author of The Time Machine and The Invisible Man) when he visited GE’s labs one day. Wells didn’t do anything with the idea; many years later, Vonnegut did.

As someone who has covered GE’s escapades for many years, I cannot think of a more apt metaphor than Ice Nine to describe the company’s products or its lack of conscience. I am familiar with PCBs, which were the Big Deal — as in miracle of modern science — at the time that Vonnegut was in the PR department. These highly persistent toxins spread through the environment and the food chain, but the problem is you cannot dilute them. No matter how low the concentration, they still have a biological effect, and then, wherever they end up no matter how small the concentration, they move right up the food chain and concentrate again.

PCBs are scary. They are described in the press as ‘potential carcinogens’, which is extremely polite of them. They are hormonally active, toxic to DNA, immune suppressing and yes, carcinogenic. But I’ll tell you a secret. If I were to call up the GE public relations department right now and say, “Hello, I’m a reporter. Are PCBs toxic?” they would fax back a press release that says they’re no more toxic than table salt. That is GE, and this attitude — along with all the lies connected to the atomic bomb — is what propelled Vonnegut to write Cat’s Cradle. He says so in this interview.

One of his comments is that science is supposedly interested in pursuing ‘the truth’, but doesn’t care what happens with the results of its discoveries. In the interview, he gives the example that ‘the truth’ is what exploded over Hiroshima.

Lies of Religion, Truth of Science

While Cat’s Cradle addresses the damage caused by technology’s pursuit of ‘scientific truth’, there is a deeply personal dimension, which Vonnegut addresses in the religion of Bokononism.

Planet Waves
While GE was telling us how we could get 10 hours of comfy cool breeze for the price of an ice cream cone, the company was busy installing an electrical grid insulated with chemicals called PCBs, which sickened many, polluted the Earth’s entire environment (up to the Arctic) and caused countless billions of dollars in damage.

Bokonon is a god who lives among his people. There is a Book of Bokonon, of which the first line is, “All of the true things I am about to tell you are shameless lies.” So it’s a ‘truthful’ religion in that it admits that it’s totally a lie; then it goes on to make up even more lies, designed to make its adherents feel better about their horrid existence.

This is a satire on the religions of the world that offer stories we are told, then which we tell ourselves, that make us feel better. You know, how Jesus died for our sins and how we have our little place in heaven and the Lord delivered the Jews from Egypt and all the animals visiting Buddha under a tree and this guy Arjuna being driven around in a chariot.

These are not usually understood to be stories or allegories; they are taken by most religious people, and taught to kids, as the actual truth, as God’s actual word and as infallible law. In fact they are nothing of the kind. Indeed they are usually hooked into a deeper layer of social psychology designed to do little other than get control of people who would be too scary to those in power if they could actually think independently. Almost every organized religion systematically oppresses women. Nearly every religion is used, at one time or another, as an excuse to go out and kill a lot of people. In fact, the day he ordered the bombing of Hiroshima, Harry Truman got on the radio and said that God told him to do it. Then they tell us that God is love.

Perhaps you’ve noticed that nearly all religion is rooted in the fear of death. There would be no use for religion if people were not scared of what happens after this existence seems to end, and then religion comes along and fills up the whole question with all kinds of stories and theories and things you’re supposed to do in order to go to heaven, be forgiven for sins you’re accused of (by religion), or be loved by God (who is available only from religion).

Vonnegut challenges his readers with the idea that these lies are actually fairly harmless contrasted to the ‘truths’ of science. He’s not exactly offering any commendations to either, just showing us the contrast. The lies lead to people being temporarily happier. Truths lead to mushroom clouds and Superfund sites so large nobody knows how large (such as GE’s contamination of the Hudson estuary system, which killed off fishing as far as the Long Island Sound).

But speaking of the Hudson, no amount of contamination could stop the 21st Annual Shad Festival, which is sponsored by none other than Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. and the Hudson Riverkeeper. Just keep eating those fish if you want some evidence that the river is perfectly clean.

Sweet Little White Lies — and the Core Delusion

People tend to tell small lies for a few reasons. One is convenience, such as to smooth over the social environment. In order to avoid conflict, which most people don’t like, we are allowed to lie enough to camouflage our missteps or potentially offensive acts. It’s also convenient to believe that a drug is safe or that food is clean or that a politician is honest. Everything will probably be fine, right? As for politicians, for most of them, up until March 4, 2011, lying has been merely a way of life.

Planet Waves
It seems like you can’t have a cat food ad these days where the kitty isn’t on LSD. Advertising is full of the lies that we think make us feel good. It is the core Bokononism of our day.

Another is most people tend to lack the courage to tell the truth, or to hear it. It takes some guts to say what you really think and feel. And it takes some courage to call out someone you know is lying to you. Many people will live with a lover or spouse having an affair for years, with both parties ‘pretending it’s not happening’. So we live with a diversity of lies that simply go over the top of the maximum courage we can usually muster up.

Finally, people lie to keep a sense of control that they don’t have in real life. According to one of my grad school professors at Rutgers, James Joyce once said somewhere that he couldn’t understand why everyone doesn’t want to be a writer, because you get to play god in your own little universe. Lying, which means making up stories, is a form of playing god.

The actual events of the world we cannot control; fiction we can control. Some people enjoy (or are addicted to) lying simply because it gives them a sense of power in a world where they feel they have none. If you haven’t achieved much, you can make up a resume or tell a story of accomplishment to someone on a first date. In this sense, lies can also fulfill the expectation of what we’re ‘supposed to be’, which is itself a lie. If you do a little therapy or a little homework, you can figure out what these lies are, who told them to you and what effect they’re having. Those are the first steps toward growing up and moving on.

Planet Waves
To science, homeopathic remedies are a dose of absolutely nothing (unless you study them with nuclear magnetic resonance). To a homeopath, they are a potentized, nontoxic form of the original substance. Stock photo image.

The thing about lies is that they work two ways. Like dioxin (which is a kind of lie that circulates in our endocrine systems, and which is another product of GE) the receptor is as important as the chemical. Those who want to see accurately will sooner or later do so. Those who are committed to being deceived will be deceived till they change their mind about that. And those who get by on telling themselves lies about existence — and to some extent, we all do — we can do that as long as it’s convenient.

Here is the problem, though. This state of deceived/deceiving is a root of many, if not all, diseases. This works on the physical level (dioxin, as mentioned, is the great deceiver of the endocrine system, sending all kinds of weird messages) and it works on the energetic level. What we withhold, and refuse to reveal, can make us energetically sick, and that can make us physically sick. Deception, particularly self-deception, can and does keep us ‘trapped’ in situations that make us sick. Many healing processes begin with admitting the truth to ourselves or our loved ones.

This is why homeopathy, a branch of medicine I mentioned recently, is so concerned with identifying what some call the core delusion. It’s necessary to locate that place where people hold their deepest self-deception or mistaken belief so that the root of disease can be addressed. You don’t need homeopathy to do this; you just need some awareness and willingness to grow. One thing my favorite homeopath, Rajan Sankaran, suggests is that one clue to delusions can be found in one’s sense of humor (and I would add, lack thereof). As a writer who thrives on satire, I am familiar with this — the first place I go in doing a parody designed to unravel an injustice is straight into the delusion, and turn the thing inside out with a little joke. If you’re wondering how to apply this to your life or your healing process, I would start with considering what you cannot laugh about in yourself. That probably points to a hangup you would feel better if you addressed.

As for Borasisi

Now we have a planet that addresses this thematic matter. It’s fitting that Borasisi is a longterm resident of Pisces in our era — the sign of delusions and illusions, as well as beauty and creativity. This gives us an opportunity to see this territory for what it is.  We have the power of consciousness to distinguish truth, lies and stories. Where we might have made up lies, we can also make up a story or tell the truth. There is plenty of strength in that moment of choice. I think what Vonnegut is saying is that the real distinguishing factor is the motive. What I am suggesting is that the distinguishing factor is integrity.

Planet Waves
Chart for the Pisces New Moon set for Kingston, NY. The chart has a cluster of planets across Aquarius and Pisces. Uranus is about to leave Pisces. Neptune is about to enter. So we can look for changes in the whole field of reality expressed by Pisces. The deeper question is: how does astrology work? Skeptics are correct in saying that it’s an elaborate web of lies, but that critique lacks the very imagination by which we actually succeed at creating our lives.

When a potent lunation happens very close to a newly discovered point, we get a kind of ‘proving’ (by which I mean demonstration) of some of the implications of that point. I would note that Donald Rumsfeld is out on the media circuit making up stories about his made-up stories about why we are (still) at war in Iraq. We can also take a look at the films that are currently showing or are about to come out right around now for additional information. There’s one I keep seeing an ad for about all those guys chasing this other guy because they’re in charge of his destiny. And I keep thinking, that’s a heck of a lot of work. Anything with a theme of illusion, deception or image is fair game for consideration.

We can look to our relationships, and see the investment we have in being perceived a certain way because we have a certain partner; or how we want our partner to perceive us. One of my photo models this week used the term ‘honest woman’ to describe herself, as someone who is too modest to admit how much she likes sex. She is deeply invested in that image (meanwhile it’s a challenge to look at her and not think of sex). Many people want to be perceived as a good boy, even though they might be a criminal. This is a theme of Borasisi: the lies we tell ourselves in order to feel better. Yet remember, most of those ‘necessary’ lies are the result of guilt, which is an artificial toxic contaminant created by the industry of religion — particularly where sex and relationship values are concerned.

There is another dimension of Borasisi that I’ll get into another time, which involves nothingness. My friend and co-planetary delineator Tracy Delaney reminds me this is considered “to be the highest ‘spiritual truth’ of what we are, e.g., in Buddhism. So we perhaps have a cosmic equivalent of The Fool here — the zero that can be first or last, deeply ignorant or enlightened.” She notes that science vs. religion is “a false dichotomy. You can’t fight nothingness; you can’t fight something that has no opposite, which is why spirit is invincible.” These are the kinds of ideas she connects with Borasisi. We have scientific ‘truths’ of our era that suggest that a vacuum is not empty and atoms are not solid, which have implications for how we think and relate to existence.

Planet Waves
Detail of the Pisces New Moon. Borasisi is not shown; it’s at 12+ Pisces, about one degree from the Sun and Moon.

Friday’s New Moon is square a thing called the Great Attractor. It would take another thousand words to describe that — I will point you to my audio from earlier in the week, which tells the story. To sum up: the connection from the New Moon to this high-potency point in Sagittarius is about the intersection not only of two belief systems (such as science and religion) but of two entirely different orders of reality. And that intersection contains a whole lot of energy.

We have a lot of action developing in Pisces right now. Chiron has just entered this sign, which is pulling things into focus — things many people would rather not see, or have seen about themselves. As I write on Thursday, the Moon is conjunct Chiron. Uranus is about to make its exit, which is going to shift the whole vibrational field of Pisces, if you believe that even exists, and in a little while Neptune is about to dip in.

To me, Chiron provides the most clarification of what the whole Borasisi thing is about: Chiron is insisting that we get some clarity here in the world of maya. Notably, Chiron makes a conjunction to Borasisi in Pisces between 2014 and 2016. For those two years we will have a gradual merging of those energy fields, calling us to be clear about what we say and why we say it. It will be interesting to go back through history and look at the conjunctions, and see what they tell us. Here is a list, programmed by Tracy. (Gee f*cking whiz, the creation of the U.S. Constitution comes up as one of the very few dates listed.)

There is something in Borasisi about the use of creativity and narrative for constructive manifestation. There is also something about the conscious use of interpretation as a means of improving our lives. An entity named Abraham I am fond of suggests that we keep telling ourselves better and better stories about who we are and what we’re capable of — and eventually they will come true.

Yours & truly,

Eric Francis

PS, Here is a poem for you: The Good Go Down by Marge Piercy (my reading).


Rahu, Ketu Change Signs (or, Cause and Effect are Never Separate)

The Lunar Nodes changed signs yesterday, from Cancer/Capricorn to Gemini/Sagittarius. Many astrology students consider the nodes so difficult to interpret they don’t bother. While I don’t have the bandwidth available today to do a full treatment, you’ve read about them every time I write about eclipses. The nodes and eclipses are directly linked; where the nodes go, eclipses follow — approximately. The nodes therefore have an eclipse effect all year long, even though eclipses are concentrated into intense periods that occur twice a year.

If you’re paying attention you noticed that the nodes changed signs backwards. The overall direction of the lunar nodes is retrograde. They have brief intervals of direct motion, but calculating their position is a matter of mathematical theory. As I understand it, the nodes represent a hypothetical point of intersection where the Moon would contact the ecliptic if it were there at that moment. When an eclipse happens, it’s usually anywhere from two to 15 degrees away from the nearest node. That is why I say it’s a theoretical thing.

Planet Waves
The old time Vedic loremasters associated the lunar nodes with a dragon — and our past lives. Dragons usually look a little grumpier than they actually are. They have seen so much and the world seems a bit old and worn out to them. But they’re always looking for an adventure and love making new friends. Digital art by Kaek.

The nodes take about 18 months to go through a sign. The full cycle is about 18 years. But every nine years, they are in their reversed position; that is, about nine years ago, the nodes were in Gemini and Sagittarius, but in the opposite direction, with the North Node in Gemini and the South Node in Sagittarius. They always travel in an exact opposition. The direction of the Mean Node is an average; it is always retrograde. The direction of the True Node switches between retrograde and direct, but the overall direction is retrograde.

The nodes have a life of their own; they are interpreted differently than eclipses and nearly every description of their meaning that I’ve read omits any discussion of eclipses — something that has always struck me as weird. It’s not that eclipses are involved in the whole interpretation; but they do have a connection, and the presence of an eclipse emphasizes the node, draws on its influence. In an article I wrote many years ago, I describe them as ‘a different kind of thing’ — made of nothing, but seeming to be emanating a lot of something — information, energy, tendencies, needs, habits.

The nodes are connected to our concepts of the past and the future, which translates more to the distant past and what we do now that creates the future. In a natal chart, the South Node or Ketu (sometimes called the Dragon’s Tail) seems to show tendencies that in some astrological systems are associated with the results of actions we took and things we learned before we arrived in this incarnation. Ketu is often associated with ‘past lives’, though I think that only an approximate reading is possible, most of the time. We need other data to refine that, and if you must know, there are a heck of a lot of past lives to consider. Humans seem to take a while to wake up. So in most readings, Ketu will more tend to represent a general tendency in this lifetime of what we are comfortable with or depend on, perhaps a bit too much. Some call this karma.

The North Node is about pressing into the unfamiliar. It is about the action we are drawn to take and might be hesitant about; it represents a potentially unfamiliar point of consciousness, or somewhere we need to go. It is about the actions we can take now that point us to what we are creating in the future. The North Node represents the future that begins now. The South Node represents the past that began a moment ago, and which goes all the way back. The thing about reading your nodes is that once you figure out what is going on, it seems brutally obvious and you might wonder how you missed it all along.

Planet Waves
This is the chart for the true node changing signs on Thursday. The direction of the mean node pair is always reverse, as it represents an average. The direction of the true node pair is overall retrograde, with brief intervals of direct motion. Note the Moon-Neptune conjunction at the moment the nodes changed signs.

The nodes bind together two opposing signs, and help us understand the ways in which integrating opposites is a vital part of astrology and of life. Note that in astrology there are six pairs of opposites. There is not merely ‘masculine’ and ‘feminine’ or ‘dark’ and ‘light’. We get this six ways — and note as well that opposite signs are of the same gender classification (for example, Gemini and Sagittarius are both considered masculine signs). Adjoining signs are of opposite gender (such as Aries and Taurus).

So we have something here about parental reality (Cancer and Capricorn) giving way to something more fraternal and/or cousin-like or ovuncular (involving aunts and uncles). These are mellower relationships. Gemini and Sagg are also more concerned with information than tradition. I plan to say more about this as the eclipses approach.

When the nodes change signs, the eclipses do not always follow suit immediately. For example, later this year, we have a fairly unusual situation where there are partial solar eclipses two months in a row. One is in Gemini and one is in Cancer. The corresponding lunar eclipse is in Sagittarius. Here is a list from Serennu.com, programmed by Tracy Delaney. Note that the list also includes special planetary eclipses called occultations.

One interesting thing about the nodes shifting into Gemini and Sagittarius is that those are the signs associated with the nodes in ancient astrology. If you look on the Table of Essential Dignities that was all the rage during the Greek Empire, you find out that the the North Node ‘rules’ Gemini and the South Node ‘rules’ Sagittarius. Now they are in their opposite positions, but from what I hear that’s not a very big difference — the nodes have an affinity with these signs.

Two things I would point out for those who are working with the nodes in their natal chart is:

1. The house placement is more significant than the sign placement. The sign is definitely important, but the house has a lot to say about where the tendency indicated by the sign shows up. The houses give the location or situation in which the situation manifests.

2. The sign placement tells you what planet is associated with that node. For example, let’s say you have the North Node in Cancer. To find out more about how that node manifests, you would study the Moon carefully. You would also have the South Node in Capricorn; thus you would study Saturn carefully. To find out more about how the nodes relate, you would study the relationship between the Moon and Saturn.

Following this idea, when the transiting nodes change signs as they are doing now, we have a different pair of planetary rulers to consider. For the past 18 months we have been focused on the mommy/daddy world of the Moon and Saturn; now we get to have a long conversation with Mercury and Jupiter.

As I suggested a moment ago, many people work on charts for years and feel like they have no clue what the nodes are about. One reason the nodes are problematic for us here in the West is that we don’t understand cause and effect. We think that things just happen for no reason and that things we do have no effects. The nodes are here to remind us that cause and effect are never separate.

Planet Waves

Attention Light Bridge Subscribers: Light Bridge written readings are now available to those who pre-ordered. If you have not signed up yet, you may do so here. Everyone is invited to read the articles on the Light Bridge blog, which will update periodically. Customer reviews of Light Bridge are collecting here. Don’t miss the free audio introduction to the project that explains how I created these seven-year readings. To everyone: thank you for your patience while we completed the written phase of Light Bridge.

Planet Waves

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, March 4, 2011, #851 – BY ERIC FRANCIS

Eric’s Zodiac Sign Descriptions

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You may have some wild dreams, and most of them are possible. Yet as you activate your potential you’re also likely to activate your fear. Here is something to consider: Fear showing up in the same approximate gesture as desire is one of the main excuses for people to deny what they want and to stuff down their potential. You’re in an extended phase when nearly all of your potential becomes available. At the same time you’re going to encounter your shadow material. You will make use of your potential by consciously processing your fear, guilt and denial. At the moment things may arise in a mixture that is challenging to sort, though the main character traits you will depend on are willingness and faith. When you’re wondering which is true, your potential or your fear, ask yourself: which do I want to be true?

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Aries, please go to this link.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You are more than a detached bystander; you’re a direct participant in whatever game you’re playing, whatever goal you have or whatever process you’re part of. I suggest that rather than deny your influence or the value of your experience, affirm these things regularly, and go on learning. Talent is not a destination, it’s something that you keep on growing and developing. That’s to say, it’s not about a goal, but rather an ongoing process of becoming. When you make this shift, you take yourself out of a linear process. That will save you from going in straight lines, as well as straight up hills, and it may go a long way toward preventing you from running in circles. Think of yourself as rippling out from a pond or exploring a labyrinth. Be alert for when you — or anyone else — thinks something original.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Taurus, please go to this link.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — There are times in life when you have to take authority, and this is one of them. I suggest, however, that you not announce this fact, but rather allow it to be. There are many people involved, and some of them think they’re more experienced or have more authority than you do. Everyone needs to be treated differently, that is, uniquely; and in every case I suggest you honor who they think they are rather than who you think they are. This is Politics 101, and it helps to go into the game with a plan. The implication is to know both your perceptions and the self-perceptions of the ones you’re in some way dealing with. When it comes to matters of authority, power and politics, perception is most of the game. That includes when people underestimate you, which is precisely what will serve to your advantage. Just be sure of one thing — that you don’t overestimate yourself. With the South Node now in your sign, your own past might become a factor. Therefore, be humble, and work for the common good

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Gemini, please go to this link.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You may believe that what you want is far away in space or in time. I would say it’s closer than you think, and if you can tune your feelings to reflect that, you will get some confirmation. By tune your feelings, I mean feeling a sense of faithful anticipation, pleasure or attractiveness. Allow yourself into the possibility that the circumstances of your life are working together to help you manifest your desire. You can feel your desire to accelerate that, and I suggest you feel the pleasure of contact a little in advance. Visualize in all your senses, and in detail — you certainly have the imaginative power at the moment, only it’s about a lot more than ‘mere’ imagination: what you are experimenting with is the process of conscious manifestation, which always begins with a vision of some kind. Once you have the vision, you’re close to the reality.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Cancer, please go to this link.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Belief is taking on a particularly powerful role in your relationships, be they business or deeply personal. Mostly this is about the belief in commitment and how this manifests as commitment. You get to start by having faith in the people around you. One property to the evolution happening in your life is how all of your meaningful relationships are essentially in the same category: that is to say, meaningful. These are the ones that you have an unusual ability to shape with your ideas about them. Once you discover this property of thought, that’s a good time to express a vision for the relationship. A vision would be anything that you want, anywhere you want to go, anything you want to do. It’s true that this is influenced by the people with whom you share energy. But in the first instance, I suggest you be honest about what you want and see who shows up or rises to the calling.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Leo, please go to this link.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Well, you don’t need me to tell you that your relationships are showing up in a whole new way. You may need to filter out some static to get to the music: people you don’t quite want but who want you; desire that comes in an unappealing form; those who don’t give you enough space. Move through those factors quickly and efficiently so you don’t miss the good stuff: the people who are willing to dare, the ones whose desire speaks to you emotionally, in a specific way. There may be more than one person, by the way — and if you need permission, you have it. Be receptive to what the wildly diverse human race has to offer and closer to home, be open to the different ways you want to relate to others. Some will speak in words, some in feelings and others in a method or approach to life. You will know who you can relate to by how you feel in their presence.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Virgo, please go to this link.

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Do you have this sneaking feeling that you’re being asked to give up something so that you can have a secure home? That’s what it looks like. If you remember that you can have a secure home anyway, you won’t feel so compromised. That could make a big difference; acting voluntarily rather than feeling in any way coerced. You may also be aware of how honoring your deep nesting instinct requires you to live a certain way, within certain constraints — but I would propose that you have more flexibility in this mode than you may have guessed previously. There’s also more respectability than we tend to think is available to those for whom home and relationship are authentic life priorities. It’s true that you have other ways that you express devotion and service, and part of what you’re learning is the necessity for creating balance among the most meaningful facets of your life.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Libra, please go to this link.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — I have been emphasizing the theme of erotic experience. Mars has now made its way into Pisces, which is the lush, imaginal, erotic angle of your solar chart. Chiron arrived a few weeks ago, so you have a combination of energies that is driving your desire and your curiosity. The interesting thing about sex in our era is how much of it happens with digital assistance. These transits are encouraging you to use your own imagination (rather than that of some producer somewhere), your senses and your body. Chiron is reminding you that the way to free up healing energy and pleasure is to allow yourself to be inquisitive and to approach all matters of sexuality as if they’re an experiment. You can think of what you don’t know, and what you don’t know about yourself, as your friends. Imagination and reality are closer than they’ve ever been, though I suggest you lean gently into the physical world of contact and sensation.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Scorpio, please go to this link.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — I pay close attention to the kids in my environment; it’s part out of fascination with human nature and part about being protective. Here is what I’ve noticed: Kids truly appreciate being acknowledged as people. Noticing their existence in a non-patronizing way, such as simply saying hello to them, is meaningful — more than you may have imagined. That is, unless you remember those who acknowledged your existence when you were young and so many people treated you as if you were invisible. You are in a phase of your life where you’re embarking on a kind of second childhood. This is about experimentation, creativity, pushing boundaries and enjoying the freedom of curiosity. While you’re on this journey, notice who notices and acknowledges your existence. When you’re in an open and loving state, those are the friends you need.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Sagittarius, please go to this link.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — What do you make? If you want a question by which to guide your career, that’s the one. Think deep on this. What is the product of the work you do? Let’s pretend you’re a lawyer. You could say your product is legal briefs and arguments, or you could say your product is justice (or at least satisfied clients). If you’re an artist, you could say you make paintings, but you also help co-create the responses that people have to your work. Your career is a generative process. That is the thing to remember: you will always be making something. No matter what you do, there’s a product. Do you like what it is? Are you a friend to the one who ultimately benefits? The law of karma is working particularly strongly in this area of your life. You’re likely to reap what you sow; therefore choose your seeds well.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Capricorn, please go to this link.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Your imagination is taking you somewhere specific. You may feel like you keep having the same fantasy or the same idea over and over again. May I suggest that you not worry about that, if it happens to be true? If it’s something you don’t want, or that you know might hurt you, that does lead to a question, but if we’re talking about something you’re curious about or fascinated by, you get to indulge yourself. If there’s a message involved, it’s likely to become obvious fairly soon. Here’s the thing to remember at this rather unusual moment of your growth: you can become anyone you want to be. You can use the power of your imagination to recreate this entity known as a ‘self’ into whatever turns you on. All you need is the vision and to focus on it. On our planet, those are two fairly big prerequisites for some, but I don’t think they will be for you.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Aquarius, please go to this link.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Have you ever wondered why same-sex relationships and erotic contact are considered taboo? I know the Bible has a few things to say about that and eating shellfish. I mean have you ever really tried to figure it out? I suggest you give it a try. Why is it considered the unholiest of things, to the point where constitutional amendments get passed by freaked-out voters? Bisexuality can become an issue in hetero couples, people can have misgivings about their bi fantasies, and there is often considerable fear and shame about any of this being known. But — why? That’s the question of the week. It may be the question of the month and indeed of the century. I have my theories, which I will share with you in a future entry. For now I want to hear yours, particularly regarding what comes up during the Pisces New Moon today and this weekend.

To order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Pisces, please go to this link.


Eric Francis, the founder and editor of Planet Waves, is an astrologer and investigative journalist. He was working in his first job as a municipal newspaper reporter when he discovered that his editor also owned an astrology bookstore. This began a long relationship between astrology and journalism, which has taken Eric through the pages of many newspapers as a horoscope writer, including the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror plus numerous other venues. Today, Eric covers global turning point events through the lens of astrology. He is a specialist in newly-discovered planets.