Tag Archives: eclipses

Bursting Free: Solar Eclipse in Taurus

Dear Friend and Reader:

Yesterday we began our experience of a solar eclipse in Taurus. The nice thing about eclipses is that their effects last a while. Some astrologers say a few months, many say six months, though as I do lots of world horoscopes, I’ve noticed that the eclipses have effects that can last many years. So think of this as a beginning.

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An opening into the East Woods on the Grandmother Land in High Falls, NY. Photo by Jenna Dern.

This eclipse looks like it has the potential to be an especially long-lasting one. On Tuesday as I was doing my Planet Waves FM webcast about yesterday’s eclipse (which also includes a reading about the young women who escaped captivity in Cleveland Monday) I started to wonder when was the last solar eclipse in Taurus. In theory, it should have been about nine years ago.

That’s because eclipses move in an approximately nine-year cycle, following these points called the lunar nodes. Solar eclipses should follow the nodes, but sometimes they skip signs. I’ve seen this twice before. By my reckoning (using this reliable tool programmed by my friend Tracy), when the lunar nodes (which travel as an axis) passed through Taurus and Scorpio in the early 2000s, there were no solar eclipses in Taurus.

Therefore, the most recent solar eclipse we experienced in Taurus was during the prior nodal cycle, on April 29, 1995. There also was a solar eclipse in Taurus in the same degree as the one that happens later Thursday on May 10, 1994.

Gee, that eclipse in 1995 was 18 years ago. Why is this delay significant? Eclipses represent an evolutionary process, helping us move from one place to another. They are the most dependable events for helping us to shift continuity, let go of past habits and attachments and enter new territory.

When a type of eclipse has skipped a sign, it suggests there’s been a kind of delay or pause in the evolutionary process in the area of our lives that sign represents. It might mean ‘stuck’ and it might mean ‘extra long gestation process’ on a particular theme. Further, this suggests we have some catching up to do, with which we’ll have some help from yesterday’s significantly potent Taurus New Moon eclipse (which was exact Thursday, May 9 at 8:28 pm EDT).

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Rocks along the Atlantic Ocean near Portland, Maine. Photo by Eric.

This eclipse is conjunct two asteroids, to the degree: Pallas Athene and Lilith. Both Taurus and Pallas Athene are exemplary at maintaining appearances. They can create an exterior that’s impeccable, and often necessary for many kinds of social situations. Lilith, the ‘original woman’ from Medieval mythology, is what exists beneath that appearance. I read Lilith as ‘the woman within’, the one who won’t be subjugated by expectations or social circumstances.

Opposite the eclipse is Psyche in Scorpio — another image of what is under the surface: deep motives, and an element of pain, which emerges from a crisis of faith. Psyche asks the questions about how we could be loved, and whether we’re worthy of it. That’s not a statement but rather a question to resolve.

To one side of the eclipses there are squares coming from Diana and Icarus in Aquarius. There’s an element of protection (Diana, goddess of the hunt, who stands guard over young women) and an impulse to escape (Icarus, the guy caught in the maze who flew too close to the Sun).

To the other side of the eclipses is Dionysus in Leo, one of the most important mythological figures in all of ancient Greek lore. He’s described as the god of the grape harvest, of wine and of ritual madness and ecstasy. He represents another side of the impulse to escape — from the bonds of rationality.

I think the core aspect among these asteroids is Dionysus square Pallas: the inner impulse to liberate and shed the thick armor of personality, and Pallas, who in many ways embodies that armor (in which she was born). There is tension in this square, and it’s being emphasized by the eclipse (all of these aspects are within a one-degree orb of the eclipse).

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Photo by Eric Francis.

The theme is that something in you wants to burst free. It’s not satisfied to live for appearances, for how proper you are, how predictable, how willing to subvert your own natural desires.

This has been going on for a while, as if it’s been gradually building. You may think it’s merely an impulse to escape. I would say it’s an impulse to evolve, to make contact with the inner person you contain and allow him or her to have a voice, to experience their feelings and to have a place in the world.

Yes, other people will have to deal with it, but in fact, they always do.

This sensation might come with the feeling of bursting free, though it’s not a matter of all or nothing, but of taking sincere steps, which include taking the risk of letting people know who you are and how you feel. Remind yourself that you have nobody to impress; you’re living your life and it’s not for anyone else to tell you whether that’s right or wrong, nor for you to judge yourself based on what someone else might think.

If events conspire to make that happen a little faster than you might have expected (which can happen where there’s been a long delay, or when you’ve never tried something you really want), I suggest you go with the flow of the cosmos. She has you held in her wisdom, and knows that you were born to love and live as you choose.

Other factors in this eclipse suggest that potent spiritual forces are at work to help us get where we want and need to be. Offer your cooperation and they will return the favor.



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More to Astrology than Eclipses

As the dust settles around Thursday’s solar eclipse — the first in Taurus since 1995 — there are other interesting aspects in the neighborhood. The Sun is now in the last decanate (10-degree span, or ‘face’) of the sign Taurus, which phase is ruled by Saturn. This is a message to tidy up your energy and focus your efforts on your highest priorities.

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Planets are starting to fan out after the eclipse in Taurus. Here, you can see the Moon, Venus and Jupiter in Gemini. From the top reading the chart counter-clockwise, Eris, Mars, the South Node, Pallas, the Sun, Mercury, Venus, the Moon, Jupiter, the Black Moon Lilith or lunar apogee, Vesta and Ceres.

The Moon ingresses Gemini on Friday at 5:21 pm. Tonight the Moon is conjunct Venus, newly in Gemini, at 8:49 pm EDT.

One of the nicest features of the solar eclipse was that the ruler of the eclipse had slipped out of Taurus and into Gemini, making the event more mentally accessible.

The Moon will make a conjunction to Jupiter Sunday at 9:32 am. This could support a weekend with the potential for easygoing conversation and a break from the heaviness of the world.

In the mix, Mercury will be conjunct Pallas in Taurus Saturday at 10:33 am. There’s another interesting aspect between a traditional planet and an asteroid — Mars will square Juno Saturday at 12:29 pm EDT. Both of these aspects suggest that your best strategy will be stating what you need and what you want rather than expecting anyone to figure it out.

The Moon ingresses Cancer Monday at 5:57 am EDT. Venus moves into a square with Neptune Monday at 4:47 pm EDT, hinting that figuring out what you feel is a process.

Don’t take any potential ambivalence as a sign that something is wrong; both Gemini and Pisces are dualistic, mutable signs, and there are a lot of potentials for how you might feel and why you might feel that way. Take your time figuring it out.


Planet Waves

Solar Eclipse News Roundup

It’s been an interesting few weeks leading into the first solar eclipse in Taurus since 1995. The eclipse, which happened Thursday, was conjunct the asteroid Pallas Athene, highlighting politics and also seeming to crack the facade off of what we see in the world around us.

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Jodi Arias was convicted of the 2008 murder of her boyfriend and potentially faces the death penalty, which she says she wants.

Among the stories we’ll remember were the Boston Marathon bombing, which resulted in a major American city being put under martial law for one day. There was the explosion of a fertilizer plant in Texas and the collapse of a factory in Bangladesh killing more than 1,000 people. There was a miracle in the factory collapse story after a woman was found alive Thursday after 17 days under the rubble.

Barbara Heist, a woman who walked out of her own life one day 11 years ago in Pennsylvania, turned up in Florida, and three girls who had been kidnapped were freed from captivity this week, after being missing since the early 2000s — a profound example of human endurance. Ariel Castro was arrested for kidnapping and rape, and could facd the death penalty — which is unlikely to happen, as prosecutors will do what they can to avoid putting the victims through testifying at a trial.

Jodi Arias was convicted by a jury of first degree murder in the 2008 slaying of her boyfriend Travis Alexander. She stabbed him 29 times and then shot him. The jury is now deliberating whether she should get the death penalty, which she has said she wants, describing death as the ultimate freedom.

Republicans continued to be obsessed over the Obama administration’s handling of the Benghazi incident last September, though this seemed more like a pre-emptive effort to derail the probable presidential candidacy of Hillary Clinton, who was secretary of state at the time. It seems like both sides in this matter are deceiving the public, with Republicans exploiting certain facts and the Obama administration unable to admit what was really going on behind the scenes.

Mark Sanford, the former governor of South Carolina, defeated Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, the sister of Stephen Colbert, for a seat in that state’s 1st congressional district. Sanford is the guy who explained his disappearance while governor by claiming he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail when he was really having an affair in Argentina. Sanford resigned as governor and as chairman of the Republican Governor’s Association, only to be re-elected to his old seat in the House of Representatives.

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Mark Sanford said this week that his winning the election was an experience of ‘grace’, after one of the more memorable falls from grace in recent years. AP photo.

The Palisades Nuclear Power Plant was shut down after water was found leaking for the second time into Lake Michigan. “There is no impact on the health and safety of plant employees or the public,” a spokesman for the plant’s owner said.

Eight men were charged in a $45 million international bank heist, one of the biggest bank robberies ever, which involved hacking into credit card data files to raise withdrawal limits, then stealing the cash from ATMs all over the world.

Yet among all of this news, what else happened? Most of what we experience as news is distorted by the echo chamber of the media itself. For all of our 24-hour news coverage, we hear about the same stories over and over again. They at least make an interesting gestalt to describe some manifestations of the eclipse. Yet it often seems that unlike in the 1960s, when we experienced similar astrology as we have now, we don’t see the breakthroughs, the points of progress, the reasons to celebrate, quite as much.

That may be an illusion caused by the fact that bad news gets the ratings, and the ratings sell Subarus.


Planet Waves

U.S. and Russia Look to Syria as Uranus-Pluto Square Approaches

After two years of brutal civil war in Syria, the U.S. is talking about increasing aid and, with the help of Russia, trying to get the two sides of the conflict to negotiate. Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey V. Lavrov, engaged in discussions in Moscow on Tuesday; Kerry telephoned European leaders from Rome the next day to begin setting the stage for a series of conferences between Syria’s government and the opposition — hopefully to begin within a month.

Planet Waves
Secretary of State John Kerry will have to do more than pray at this stage of the game. Photo: AAP.

All parties are working to “effect a transition government by mutual consent of both sides, which clearly means that in our judgment President Assad will not be a component of that transitional government,” said Kerry as he met Jordanian Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh this week.

In the meantime, the Pentagon has drawn up new contingency plans based on the possibility that Syria breaks apart. According to the Wall Street Journal, proposed plans include a buffer zone in Jordan for working with an overflow of refugees and for delivering weapons and aid to Syrian rebels. Until recently, the Pentagon saw the collapse of Syria as a remote possibility; at this point, volatile regional spillover is looking more likely.

The conflict in Syria began during the Arab Spring uprisings in 2011, which signaled the warm-up of the Uranus-Pluto square. The next exact contact of Uranus and Pluto — era-defining forces of upheaval, revolution and evolution — is May 20.

“The Syria message was loud and strong,” said a senior diplomat briefed on Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel’s trip to the Middle East last month. “Everybody’s scared. And nobody knows what the hell we are going to do there.”

In recent weeks, leaders of Arab nations have traveled to Washington, D.C. to speak directly with President Obama, “asking the U.S. to play a ‘midwife’ role.” True to the season, something is being birthed in the region, but so far it has been a long, painful and violent process largely ignored by western leaders until relatively recently.

Recalling the governmental clampdowns on social networking during the Arab Spring protests in Egypt, Google reported this week that Syria was cut off from the global Internet. The last shutdown on a similar scale in Syria occurred last November.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation notes that it is unknown whether Tuesday’s Internet shutdown was from an infrastructure cut, or a deliberate silencing of online communication. Digital media have been a critical tool connecting Syrians with the rest of the world.


Planet Waves

Elizabeth Smart: You Will Always Have Value

Amidst the news of the three young women in Cleveland who have finally found freedom after about a decade of imprisonment and rape, another former victim of abduction and rape is getting attention for speaking out. Elizabeth Smart, who was held captive for nine months in 2002 in Salt Lake City, Utah, when she was 14, gave an address this week on the role abstinence-only ‘education’ played in keeping her from trying to escape her captors.

Planet Waves
Sex or no sex, you have worth, and it’s always greater than chewed gum — even gum with the face of Jesus on it.

Speaking at a forum on human trafficking at Johns Hopkins University, Smart described the effect of hearing a school teacher compare those who engage in pre-marital sex as being like a piece of chewing gum:

“I thought, ‘Oh, my gosh, I’m that chewed-up piece of gum, nobody re-chews a piece of gum, you throw it away.’ And that’s how easy it is to feel like you no longer have worth, you no longer have value,” Smart said.

“Why would it even be worth screaming out? Why would it even make a difference if you are rescued? Your life still has no value.”

That may be the most insidious aspect of the ‘abstinence-only’ message, even beyond the lack of information about how adolescents’ bodies work and how to prevent pregnancy and STIs: behind it all is the message that having sex makes one worthless. Smart’s sense of no longer having any inherent value as a person proved to be an incredibly powerful mental shackle even when her captors took her out in public.

Smart, who is now in her mid-twenties, runs a foundation to educate children about sexual crimes. “You will always have value,” says Smart, “and nothing can change that.”

It’s a perfect message to broadcast and celebrate in a week with so many planets, plus a solar eclipse, in Taurus; a sign all about values, worth, the physical body, sex, passion and possession — especially your self-possession.


Planet Waves

GMO Labeling Bill in Vermont Almost Law

The Vermont House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday approved a bill requiring labeling of food products containing genetically modified organisms.

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If it passes the House, as expected, the Senate will likely take it up in January, since the legislative session ends this weekend.

Last year, Monsanto threatened to sue the state of Vermont if lawmakers passed a GMO labeling law. They claim that state GMO labeling is unconstitutional because federal law (in this case, FDA regulations) preempts state law.

However, federal law allows states to pass laws relating to food safety or food labels when the FDA has no prior regulations or prohibitions in place, as is the case with GMO labeling.

There are more than 200 state food labeling laws in effect right now in the U.S., including a GMO fish labeling law in Alaska, laws on labeling wild rice, maple syrup, dairy quality, kosher products, and laws on labeling dairy products as rBGH-free.

Rep. William Lippert, chairman of the Vermont Judiciary Committee, told his colleagues on Tuesday that the public interest in labeling is worth the risk of a lawsuit.

For once, we have a case of a politician listening to the will of the people, and not to Monsanto.


Planet Waves

No End in Sight from Power-Plant Pollution

Palisades Nuclear Power Plant in southwestern Michigan was taken offline Sunday after operators discovered a leak from a water tank. Nuclear Regulatory Commission officials estimate 79 gallons of “slightly radioactive water” flowed into Lake Michigan over the weekend, according to Michigan Radio.

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Palisades Nuclear Power Plant. Photo: U.S. NRC.

Despite this being the second time in less than a year that the tank has leaked — and despite not knowing how radioactive the water is — officials said there is no immediate risk to the public.

A Republican-appointed regulator was being investigated last year for trying to stop an NRC probe into safety concerns at Palisades, according to the Huffington Post. NRC Chairman Gregory Jaczko toured the plant in May 2012, while “a significant leak of potentially radioactive water was pouring into the control room.”

After Jaczko ordered an investigation, Commissioner William Ostendorff allegedly “shouted at the top agency investigator, Cheryl McCrary, in front of several NRC employees,” and told McCrary the inquiry would be a waste of resources, said the article.

The hands-off attitude continued this week on the Democratic side, when the Environmental Protection Agency confirmed it has no plans to issue new limits on carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. In a letter to Senate Republicans this week, the Obama nominee to head the EPA, Gina McCarthy, said the agency “is not currently developing any existing source greenhouse gas regulations,” according to Democracy Now! The EPA delayed proposed emissions limits for new power plants just last month. All wealth may come from the Earth, but the EPA and many leaders don’t seem to get what that really means.


Planet Waves

Only YOU Can Stand Up For What You Believe In

Planet Waves

Feel like showing how much clean water, healthy forests and free speech mean to you? Check out the designs of Lopi LaRoe, a Brooklyn, New York, screen-print artist and activist responsible for an altered Smokey the Bear meme that has the National Forest Service growling.

Depicting the iconic bear wearing a hat that says “NO FRACKING,” and with the slogan “Only you can prevent faucet fires” below him, LaRoe has radicalized a national symbol.

The t-shirts, bags and patches have “spread like wildfire,” according to LaRoe (haha) and sparked a cease-and-desist letter from the Metis Group, which acts as legal counsel for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service division. They claim Smokey is the property of the U.S. government (not public domain), and that messing with his image could “confuse the public.”

An article by Peter Rugh at Waging Nonviolence suggests they’re more concerned that she could bring attention to the fact that the Forest Service is considering approving fracking leases in the George Washington National Forest, which is near another national forest where highly toxic fracking fluid has been linked to the deaths of 150 trees in West Virginia. What would Smokey do?


Planet Waves

Solar Eclipse in Taurus, Featuring Many Asteroids — and the Cleveland Captives Set Free by Heracles!

The new edition of Planet Waves FM covers the powerful solar eclipse we experienced on Thursday, with effects that will reverberate for many seasons, even for years. This is the first solar eclipse in Taurus since 1995.

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I go over the chart of the eclipse, including taking a look at the minor planets that align with it. It’s a beautiful collection, including Pallas, Psyche, Hermes, Dionysus and the protector of young women, Diana.

I also read the chart of the 911 call made by Amanda Berry, the woman who was missing for more than 10 years. She was set free by Charles Ramsey, who turns up in the chart as Heracles. The chart describes a chilling crime scene, though a story with a happier ending than anyone (including a psychic) would have predicted.

Our program is sponsored this week by the Invocation of Spring report, which is a study in relationship dynamics. This report serves all 12 signs — with readings of about 35 minutes each, and can be used for your Sun, Moon or rising sign — or those of partners or love interests.

We also have the Taurus birthday reading available. You can listen to a tasty sample of both the astrology and the tarot segments at this link. This is an inspired, motivational reading that will guide you if you’re a Taurus Sun, Moon or rising.

Our musical guest is the folk group Girlyman, featuring their excellent musicianship and harmony vocals. Some members are working on a new record, which you can hear about at this link.

Here are the charts and more information about the eclipses.


Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

The May monthly extended horoscopes were published Friday, April 26. Inner Space horoscopes for May were published Tuesday, April 30. We published the Moonshine horoscopes for the Scorpio Full Moon and eclipse on Tuesday, April 23. On Tuesday, May 7, we published the Moonshine horoscopes for the Taurus New Moon.
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 generally emailed on the following Tuesday.
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Weekly Horoscope for Friday, May 10, 2013 #949 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — How can you value yourself if you’re afraid to show the world who you are? The two concepts form a direct contradiction to one another. I suggest you monitor your thoughts carefully for any hint of ‘restrain yourself’ or ‘don’t say how you feel’ and notice whether these impulses are connected to the issue of worthiness. It’s true from one limited point of view that there’s an appropriate time for everything. The question is what side of the line of appropriateness do you choose to err on? You can practice conservatism as a veiled form of living in fear, or you can err on the side of expressing yourself in that moment when you might be pushing boundaries. You’re safe doing this as long as you’re actually coming from what you truly value. In the process, you’re just as likely to discover that what you thought was true for you no longer is. This implies conducting your life as an experiment, which in turn hints at not knowing the outcome in advance.

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) — This may be a time in your life unlike any other, and I do mean in some profound ways. I am also speaking in the longterm — you’ve just experienced the first solar eclipse in your birth sign since 1995, suggesting that you can move long-stuck energy, and bring desires to fruition that have potentially been brewing all that time. Yet to take advantage of the moment and its opportunities for growth and celebrating life, it’s necessary to go beneath the image you wish to portray to the world and offer the substance you’re made of. This can be challenging if past experiences of revealing yourself have ended badly — and who hasn’t had some of those? One thing to keep in mind is that people in your environment are making contact with some of their deepest insecurities. They may or may not be revealing that; they may be more or less aware of what’s happening. Pay special attention to sexual situations that seem to provoke the fear of intimacy, or some form of jealousy. There’s more potential for healing in those situations than you may imagine.

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).

Hello Taurus Sun, Moon and rising sign folks! Your Taurus 2013 birthday reading is ready. I cover Saturn in your opposite sign Scorpio, as well as the current eclipses, and what it means to have so many planets in your sign, rising sign or Moon sign at this time of year. I speak to you for an hour about your relationships, your quest for independence and what looks like some special motivation to grow and become. It’s a beautiful reading, recorded with a warm, intimate feeling. You may listen as many times as you like, or download it into iTunes or another MP3 player. The tarot reading reading includes photos of the spread, the chart and access to last year’s reading if you want to check my accuracy. You can order your birthday reading here for just $24.95.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — The current astrology has you on a tour of the unknown, uncharted, unacknowledged regions of your psyche. This is likely to come with some form of the message that there’s a lot you don’t know about yourself. Few people are comfortable with that feeling, but when you’re there, you’re there. Yet sincere not knowing is the state that usually precedes sincerely finding out. If you work with this equation over the next few weeks, you’re almost certain to make some discoveries that will help you guide your life in the direction that you’ve been called for a long time. You’re unlikely to have certainty in advance that the choices you make are right. Indeed, you seem to be going through an encounter with your own doubts. You need to go beyond your opinions or your feelings to do this. Rather, document your observations, particularly those of a spiritual or self-realization nature. At times you may find yourself in a dreamlike state, and you may forget things that you see and experience. When the time comes to know and remember, you will be happy you’ve left yourself some notes.

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’s a frightful thought for most people to have their innermost self or innermost thoughts known to others. Think of all the effort that goes into putting up various veils, decoys and disguises. Consider all the thought that goes into being polite, stating things in oblique ways and even learning how to tell creative white lies. Now imagine how much energy all of this image-building creates — and tune into the feeling of how all you really want to do is be real. You may be bursting to express what is true and what is most valuable to you. I suggest you take this as a moment when you can initiate that, or step up your efforts and be more bold than usual. You may find this idea helpful. Your solar chart suggests that it’s obvious to others who you are, so you don’t need to worry about anyone finding out something new. The question is your relationship to who you actually are. Avoidance or denial will consume your energy; sincerity and willingness to be clear and vulnerable will concentrate and focus your energy.

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) — It’s worth considering the differences between the perception of success and actual achievement. It’s also worth considering the relationship between them — there is one. People seem more inclined to bet on who they think looks like a winner, vote for who looks like president or invest in a company with a strong image. The pattern in yesterday’s solar eclipse describes you integrating the two ideas — what you’ve accomplished and presenting what you’ve accomplished in a way that focuses attention. The chart also includes the description of a longterm project coming to fruition financially; one of the things described involves the financial rewards of your work. This is something that can grow and develop over time, on every level: economic, creative and also social. The social piece is integral to everything, since both outreach and fostering cooperation are essential to almost any venture or project that is focused on people, and these factors are especially strong. I suggest you work them consciously, because what you focus on will have a tendency to increase.

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’re being invited into a new universe of possibilities, and to get there, it’ll help significantly if you leave a number of old beliefs and mental habits behind. Many of these look like some of the stereotypical self-critical Virgo issues, though as anyone born under your sign knows, that’s neither a myth nor a legend. Be aware of all beliefs that would qualify as hostile to yourself. These have had a way of turning into a religion, and you need a better one of those — one that’s worldly and practical and that has your happiness and success as its primary goal. Speaking of religion, I’ve often noticed the extent to which people underestimate the impact of religion. This can include what came by osmosis (from various sources, ranging from grandparents to movies to the Boy Scouts). I suggest you pay attention and inquire whether any vaguely negative or self-hostile thought doesn’t have its roots in a religious notion, whether you consciously chose it or not. It’s time for a mental purge of all such influences, which will help you discover what they’ve been hiding from your view.

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

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — This is a time of resolving your old commitments and entanglements, and moving on to a life that may take you far from anywhere you’ve ever been before. I suggest you summon your sense of adventure and your faith in yourself and get ready to make a series of moves. Don’t waste your time delaying on resolving what you know you’re through with. Make a list of the remaining points to address or work through and set a short schedule for doing so. You are being called beyond those prior attachments, commitments and ideas of who you need to be to others. This may include being drawn to other parts of the country or the world, and beginning what looks like it could be the adventure of a lifetime. This may feel like expressing another aspect of yourself entirely, a hidden side or some parallel reality that you might not have expressed under more typical circumstances. Yet if ever there was a rare moment in your life, this is 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).
Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Give partners or loved ones a chance to meet you on their own terms — and see if that’s acceptable to you. There’s a good chance that when someone you care about or have an interest in finds their own way in life, it will have some significant overlap with your ideas or your plans. Yet a key element in this scenario is that whoever we’re talking about comes to whatever conclusion or decision they are going to make on their own, rather than under your influence. Part of what they’re experiencing is feeling too influenced by others, and wanting with every cell in their body not to feel that pressure. As for your own involvement, it would be healthy of you to diversify a bit, and to explore a concept of relationship that does not insist on a high level of attachment or even involvement. Our marriage-obsessed culture tends to do things backwards, like set a goal of a ‘permanent’ partner rather than exploring a process of seeing who you trust, who you like and what you have in common.

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) — It’s important to know how much is enough, which includes enough work, enough attention to your health, enough time or effort spent on something and enough emphasis on the idea of relationships rather than the reality. No sign description of Sagittarius that you’ll ever read would say, “These people are good at living a balanced life,” though it’s clear that one of the inevitable longterm projects you’re involved with is one of balance. The way the scale is tipping right now, some balance in the direction of what actually makes you happy would serve you well. This would include being alert for what aggravates, irritates and eats your energy. I suggest you also be alert for what you have not completed, and set about the task of wrapping things up with that person or aspect of your life. At the moment, everything in your chart is guiding you in the direction of closure. You’re about to have access to a lot of energy — I do mean a lot — and you don’t want to waste it dragging behind you anything you don’t really want or need.

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) — I’ve described this week’s solar eclipse as moving heaven and Earth — and that is certainly true for you. Eclipses have long-lasting effects; this one isn’t over. It actually just began, and what’s interesting is that there hasn’t been a solar eclipse in Taurus since 1995 — an unusually long time. So this signifies setting free an awesome amount of energy in the creative zone of your chart — your solar 5th house of play, art, pleasure and sex for fun. Since it’s also about children, you might want to monitor changes in their lives if you have any, though let’s stick to you. You could say that this eclipse is about letting go in all of the places where you’ve tended to hold back. As you let go, you may notice that some deeper themes or issues come up. Creativity, love, passion and pleasure all tend to bring up everything unlike themselves. So as you explore your more expressive side, leave some room for what comes up for healing — and the energy to address that.

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).
Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You may think that you have to get your life in order, or feel perfectly secure, before you dare to express yourself creatively. However, that’s a setup for not expressing yourself much at all, since it’s rare that our lives are in perfect order (and besides, creativity thrives with at least a dash of chaos or challenge). It’s worth questioning these kinds of if/then statements: if I’m healed, or perfect, I can do this or that. Often the healing or the ‘perfecting’ comes in the process of creation, or of somehow taking action. Said another way, creative and sexual experiences are part of the normal flow of life, not the outcome of some special effort, or state of deserving. The confidence you seek you will find through taking chances, not by waiting until you’re confident to take a chance. There may be some obvious signs that this is true, for example an alluring opportunity that you might try if you felt up to it, but which you can still try, even if you’re not sure.

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).
Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — We’ve all heard the term “Think globally, act locally.” The idea is reputed to come from a Scottish town planner and urban theorist named Patrick Geddes (1854-1932). Geddes also gave us the idea of a ‘region’ and coined the term ‘conurbation’, which describes a metropolitan area where towns and cities seem to overlap. These are all themes that relate to how Thursday’s solar eclipse aspected your chart. In a sense, it’s about claiming the space you occupy, though it’s more of the regional space: your community and local slice of the orange on which you live. It’s also describing your relationship to your neighbors and the people in your community, encouraging you to invest your energy locally to the greatest extent possible. There’s likely to be a beautiful result if you do. One other thing — this is the year when you take concrete steps to improve your quality of life, specifically in the spaces that you occupy. This happens every now and then, though the conditions are perfect for creating more space, better space and better use of space. That, in turn, is about creating harmony between your life and your world.

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 product



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Spring 2012: The Deep Background

Dear Friend and Reader:

By now you may be familiar with some elements of the astrology of the (Northern Hemisphere) spring of 2012 — a pair of eclipses in Gemini and Sagittarius, Venus stationing retrograde, and the Venus transit of the Sun on June 5. These events lead us into the first exact meeting of Uranus and Pluto in a square aspect — the Uranus-Pluto square, just past the solstice on June 24.

Planet Waves
Galaxies Colliding. Photo by Charlie Lemay.

These all arrive in a close sequence, and when that happens, the pace of existence picks up. Most of these are eclipse-like events, which emphasizes that sense of acceleration.

Here is a basic rundown of things you’re most likely to read about on the Internet or, who knows, maybe even in a magazine. Venus stations retrograde in Gemini on May 15. Venus is retrograde least of all the planets; this is pretty special. Five days later, the Sun enters Gemini and there’s an annular eclipse of the Sun on May 20. Two weeks later, we experience a partial eclipse of the Moon; that’s on June 4. Then within hours, the Moon makes an eclipse to Pluto (one of many this year).

Very little has been written about this series of Moon-Pluto events — called occultations. Few astrologers are even aware of the data. You have to go looking for it (and thanks to a close friend of mine in Wales, Tracy Delaney, there is a research tool for that at Serennu.com). I will come back to the Moon’s eclipses of Pluto in a few moments in the discussion of Pluto.

As mentioned, on the heels of a lunar eclipse and Pluto eclipse, on June 5 Venus passes between the Earth and the Sun. This is called a transit of Venus, which is visible with some basic equipment anywhere you can see the Sun when it’s happening (unfortunately, not most of the continental U.S.). It’s a rare event; they come in pairs. This will be the second of the current pair, and then there won’t be another one until 2117.

Eclipse-like events typically arrive with a sense of acceleration of time and our movement in time. There’s an increase in this thing described as ‘intensity’. Events can have a karmic feeling: everything seems more meaningful, but we don’t necessarily know what that meaning is, or where it comes from.

Planet Waves
By a Thread. Photo by Charlie Lemay.

This, in turn, can come with the sensation that you are at a crux point in your life. ‘Crux’ is an interesting word. It has its origins in the idea of “a point in a text that is impossible to interpret,” which you can take as something like a “crossroads of interpretations” — or something that has many meanings, with an accompanying sensation of importance. The modern meaning is “central point,” and we are indeed at the central point of 2012, when we will start to see why this year has received so much emphasis and prediction.

Once we get past the eclipses and the transit of Venus, we go right into the Uranus-Pluto square. This has been developing for years. It’s part of the ‘cycles of revolution’ series of aspects. This particular cycle has its roots in an event in 1965-1966, which sparked what we call ‘The Sixties’. That was a conjunction between Uranus and Pluto. Now, 47 years later, the planets are at 90 degrees to one another, which is called a square. Aspects between influential, slow-moving planets take many years to develop, and influence everyone in some way.

We’ve been feeling the effects since late 2008, and they have been undeniable beginning with Arab Spring, the Wisconsin protests and the Occupy movement. Activism is often one manifestation of Uranus-Pluto events, and astro-historians have documented that it can go as far as revolution. When we talk about a ‘power to the people’ kind of event, that has a liberal/liberationist flavor (a la Stephen Colbert’s definition, that reality has an inherently liberal bias — which is why there are so many conservatives).

What we’re seeing under this square, though, is a heck of a lot of conservative activism, meaning anti-woman, anti-sex and every new policy designed to cut taxes for the rich even more. Laws are being passed routinely that curtail civil rights; both ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives’ should be equally concerned. This activism has a ghoulish, militant quality, and there is no way to reckon it with the increasingly elusive concept of ‘ethics’. Much of it is being done as a show of force, and also an unchecked indulgence in narcissism. Currently much of politics is ‘all about me’, and this kind of self-obsession feeds right into the hands of the darker forces that are once again trying to consolidate their grip on what they think of as reality.

Planet Waves
Hopper. Photo by Charlie Lemay.

The militant quality of the equation comes from the Uranus in Aries side of the square. Aries is the ancient Roman god of war, associated with Mars (whose Greek name is Ares). Uranus in this sign is flashy, impressive and extremely distracting. It’s the big show aspect of the news right now, and there are indeed some people who are quite adept at screaming into the echo chamber. Watch them as they start to get cranked up on the astrology of the next eight weeks; you’ll recognize them by the slightly electrified look in their eyes, their hair standing up and this odd feeling that they want to serve you as the main course at a pro-life banquet.

All of this flashy stuff is a kind of cover-up for something else — and that something can be described as Pluto in Capricorn. This is the other side of the Uranus-Pluto square. Pluto in Capricorn is a long transit — spanning from 2008 through 2024. We’re less than four years into this event, though it’s been long enough that we should be seeing some patterns.

Pluto is a potent, nearly invisible force. We feel it as obsession, inevitability, enforced growth, and the deep, urgent need to grow and become. Pluto is associated with Scorpio, and is a prime mover of sexual energy, which spans from the most instinctual level to the most spiritually evolved. It all depends on where you tune in (it’s a good idea to scan the full frequency range that Pluto represents, so you’re familiar with all of the different expressions; themes include sex, death, power and fear). Nothing can stop the movement of Pluto, or its influences in the world. Anyone who has consciously gone through a Pluto transit can tell you this. It’s the kind of thing you have to work with, like a natural force. It’s not possible to stop an earthquake, though it is possible to plan for them.

Speaking of earth, Pluto is in Capricorn. Capricorn contains the patterns of the past. It represents the structure of society, describing business and government, and the relationship between the two. It represents all things old. It’s a fiery earth sign, since it is cardinal — a tense dynamic which helps explain the energy of many people with strong chart elements in this sign.

In consciousness, Capricorn represents what we carry from the past — including with our ancestors (beginning with our parents) and going back for many generations. We rarely notice much of this material; however, it’s often what we feel trapped by. If you have strong Capricorn in your chart, you may be able to notice and work with it a little better, however, much of humanity is trapped in some version of the past.

Planet Waves
Sway. Photo by Charlie Lemay.

Now, Pluto is in Capricorn, which is like a herd of goats getting into a museum. They’re going to take the place apart, munch on the exhibits, and lick the dinosaur bones. Well, it really goes deeper than that. This sense of the Earth shaking that we live with every day — that is Pluto in Capricorn. The feeling that civilization is being crushed under its own weight: Pluto in Capricorn. And the burning sense of urgency, coming from inside and not from any external excitement: also Pluto in Capricorn.

We can look at this transit a few ways. One way is as a subversive movement inside the halls of power. Since not much productive happens there, we can trust that Pluto is helping to free energy. Pluto is a kind of core vital force, working to rejuvenate all that has become too old, brittle and useless. The movement to ban contraception and even outlaw premarital sex can be seen as reactions to the liberating nature of Pluto in Capricorn — these things are inherently reactions against vitality, as are all anti-sex movements. Yet deep beneath everything, something primal and natural is trying to set itself free in the human experience.

Now, I mentioned the occultation of Pluto by the Moon that happens just before the transit of Venus. This is the third of 19 events that started in April. The Moon passes directly over the disk of Pluto, blocking it out. Pluto is invisible unless you have a very good telescope, but we still feel the effects. The last time anything like this happened was between 1919 and 1934, when Pluto was in Cancer. So this series of events gets props for being both weird and rare.

Pluto is strong in Capricorn for many reasons. He is feeling good. But the Moon — the more she tries to resist, the more she finds herself giving in. She tries to deny (occult) him but in that moment they fuse; literally come together. When denying sexual feelings, the more you try the more you are overcome, and inevitably must let go into the beautiful surrender.

The Moon occulting Pluto feels like she’s trying to hide Pluto, which is fine with him. He wears the helmet of invisibility and functions quite well in the underworld — the unconscious, which is the source of all dreams and desires.

Planet Waves
Noise. Photo by Charlie Lemay.

But hide with what? The Capricorn Moon is trying to put a veil of propriety over what is coming from the most instinctual, hormonal level. She thinks it’s better not to admit any of that stuff, and maintain her image as a good girl. At the same time, the relentless quality of the exact conjunction, repeating so many times, feels like something deep is trying to work out and work through one’s emotional body.

Perhaps that includes your mother’s emotional body that was imparted into you — as if some ancient emotional and sexual blockage is finally being softened and released. The Moon has to be ‘out of her element’ (in the sign opposite her native Cancer) in order to experience this. It’s similar to a Chiron effect, where discomfort or inconvenience is used to foster something healing and positive.

In letting go, the pleasure of resistance (which we’re trained to love and worship) is released to another, deeper pleasure. The pleasure of resistance is (if you believe Freud) a product of pleasing other people with our self-control. Now, that whole thought form is being dissolved, or burned through, again and again.

Finally there is penetration, and that is another way of saying transformation — the thing that Pluto is most famous for. This is acting on emotional resistance, or the burden of over-structure, something that humans are most famous for. This can be terrifying to those whose whole notion of existence is about rigid personality armor, but the time is arriving to let it go. This may even seem to happen overnight, but if it does, you can be sure you were working at it for a long time.


Eric Francis

PS — Next week I’ll be distributing the May monthly horoscope on Wednesday evening. There won’t be a Tuesday mailing, and on Friday there will be a short issue consisting of just Genevieve Hathaway’s weekly horoscope.

PPS — My podcast this week goes back over everything I missed in the Titanic charts, and looks at the alternative theories as to what happened. See the item below.

PPPS — If you’re in the Kingston area, I’ll be reading tarot cards Friday evening at the Everette Hodge Community Center at 5:00 pm, 21 Franklin Street. Here is the announcement.

PPPPS — Happy 100th Birthday Fenway Park


Planet Waves

Toro! New Moon in Taurus

The Sun entered Taurus yesterday, and the Moon will be close on its heels — and that means that Saturday we’ll have the Taurus New Moon. This is a New Moon early in its sign, with many other planets early in their signs. That’s another way of saying that this lunation makes a lot of aspects fast, as if it comes charting through the solar system like a bull.

Planet Waves
Remember — you have your choices open. You don’t need to stay on a path someone else put there. Photo by Eric Francis.

Let’s take the planets in order. The New Moon is sextile Neptune in Pisces. That feels like it’s caught a good wave and is surfing with momentum. You could also describe that as a balance of earth and water.

The New Moon is also trine Mars, which is in early Virgo — just recently having been retrograde. That adds more earth energy to the equation; as does Ceres in Taurus, which the New Moon is conjunct as well. So far we’re looking at a lot of earth and water in this chart.

Fortunately, next comes some fire, and plenty of it. As mentioned yesterday, Mercury is in early Aries, approaching a conjunction to Uranus in early Aries — the New Moon makes a close semi-sextile (30-degree aspect) to those planets, which adds not just the feeling of fire but of rapidly accelerating fiery energy. At the same time, the Sun makes a quincunx (150-degree aspect similar to a semi-sextile) to two points in fiery Sagittarius: Juno and the North Node. These aspects happen very early next week.

Then the Sun makes aspects to both Chiron and Pluto; true, that’s a week from now, but the Sun is still going strong, and that definitely counts as powerful — making contact with two extraordinarily potent elements. As the Sun is working its way into the aspect, think of it as picking up a signal that gets stronger and stronger until it’s standing there in the room with you.

So, when this New Moon happens on Saturday, it’s really picking up all of these other planets all at once, and that’s another way of saying we’re standing amidst many choices, some interesting and beautiful potential, and being moved by a lot of water, earth and fire energy.

But what about air? Well, Venus, the ruler of Taurus, is currently in mid-Gemini. The New Moon and Venus are actually in a close aspect: a semi-square. Think of that as a ‘hidden square’, which in turn is a building block, or a keystone in integrity. Venus in Gemini has options and choices, and the Sun and Moon semi-square Venus may feel like pressure to choose. But it’s hidden pressure, something not obvious.

Bide your time and explore your options. You have them, and if you want the benefits of that you will need to choose consciously and carefully.

I’ve written a short article on how to deal with paralyzing fear in the time of the Uranus-Pluto square. You can read that here. — efc


Planet Waves

Moral of the Story: Pay Full Price, and Tip Well

Three Secret Service agents who were part of Pres. Obama’s advance team in Colombia are being forced out of the agency in the wake of a sex scandal this week. Word out is that more resignations will be forthcoming.

Planet Waves
Obama was not there, but his advance team was having lots of fun with the pretty ladies in Colombia. Boys will be boys, but we recommend paying full price and tipping well.

A single mother in Cartagena, Colombia, who says she works as an escort, got into a payment dispute the morning after her services were enjoyed by an allegedly drunk member of the Secret Service, considered one of the most elite law enforcement organizations in the world. She says he agreed to pay $800 the night before (for an overnight visit — that would get you about two hours in New York City); he offered her $30 the morning after.

The disagreement got attention when a friend of hers, a sex worker leaving the room of another member of the Secret Service in the same hotel, tried to intervene on her behalf. As they left the hotel, two Colombian police officers (one English-speaking), returned with the women to help them argue their case.

The women’s stories as told to reporters and reports coming from within the Obama administration indicate the women did not know the men were part of the U.S. government; other reports suggest some men may have boasted they were with Obama. An investigation is underway to determine if the president’s security was undermined, beyond the chaos that you don’t want in such matters. Meanwhile, the woman involved in the dispute says she does not want the man she had sex with to get in trouble — but that she fears retaliation.

This Just In: Portland Man Strips Naked to Protest Airport Screening

A man who stripped naked at an airport security checkpoint in Portland, Oregon, earlier this week said his act was a form of protest against airport screening measures. John Brennan told the Associated Press he was being “nude, but not lewd” and cast his actions as political speech. Brennan was arrested and initially charged with disorderly conduct and indecent exposure after stripping naked at Portland International Airport. Brennan says he decided to strip when he was pulled aside after he had gone through a metal detector and a pat-down. His actions come amid mounting criticism over airport security measures, including concerns over the health impacts of full-body scanners used in many airports.


Planet Waves

EPA Issues First-Ever Curbs on Fracking Air Pollution

For the first time ever, the Environmental Protection Agency has issued regulations to curb rampant air pollution from the gas drilling process known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.

Planet Waves
Fracking is a disgusting mess. This is the tidy side of things — above the ground. Below the ground, this shit is injected into freshwater wells, and can destroy the water supply for a whole community. This photo is from a recent article in New York Law Journal, which describes the legal nightmare of fracking for mortgage holders. Do not miss this article.

This is a method of extracting natural gas from fresh water wells by injecting them with high-pressure hydraulic fluid. Highly controversial, fracking releases a number of toxic and cancer-causing chemicals into the air and ground water.

These include benzene (a colorless, flammable solvent known to cause leukemia and anemia), hexane (a solvent, also colorless and flammable, causing nerve damage and paralysis if inhaled) and methane — a greenhouse gas far more potent than carbon dioxide. Widespread complaints of health problems and air pollution from those who live near gas drilling sites have gotten media attention in recent years.

Halliburton is involved in the process, which is so dangerous it can void the mortgages of whole communities under the “no hazardous activity” clause in the contract. Objections from the oil and gas industry over the potential cost of the regulations, have influenced the EPA to give the industry nearly three years to install technology that will allow it to capture some of the worst pollutants. Until then, polluters will be allowed to continue burning or ‘flaring’ methane into the air. Earlier this year, a New York judge ruled that individual towns have the right to ban fracking.


Planet Waves

Yet Another Great Idea From Dr. Strangelove

The recent crash of an unmanned drone aircraft in the Seychelles (an Indian Ocean archipelago) underscores the dangers of one of the latest proposed follies involving nuclear power and the U.S. military: nuclear-powered drone aircraft. The allure of nuclear-powered drones is their ability to fly over remote regions of the world for months at a time without refueling. But what happens when one of these things crashes, spewing radiation that will be carried by wind and water currents? According to an article in The (U.K.) Guardian, the plans have not gotten past a feasibility study and nuclear drones will not be manufactured any time in the near- or mid-term future. But according to professor of journalism Karl Grossman in an article for Common Dreams, “other schemes to use nuclear power overhead­ which also threaten nuclear disaster ­are on the planning table and some are moving ahead.” He outlines several and is under no illusions that we are courting disaster with each one. Eric interviewed Prof. Grossman for Planet Waves FM; you can listen to part one here. A second part to the interview will be forthcoming.


Planet Waves

SUNY Binghamton Bans Fraternity and Sorority Pledging

SUNY Binghamton has blocked all fraternity and sorority pledging this spring. The school cites an “alarmingly high number of serious hazing complaints,” though students and administrators claim it is not out of proportion to what other schools experience. According to an article in The New York Times, “Many fraternity and sorority members say there is no indication that any activity occurred that came close to putting students in danger, like forced drinking, which killed a Cornell student, or beatings, which caused the death of a drum major in the Florida A&M band.”

Planet Waves
Terrorist training camp? No, this is SUNY Binghamton, and hazing — physical indoctrination into social organizations — is considered normal social behavior for college students. Or it was till the administration banned all pledge activities, before a tragedy happened. Photo: New York Times.

The article, by Peter Applebome (who seems to be covering upstate a lot these days), quotes one sorority member: “What you end up with is like brainwashing. It’s a long process where you eventually think the sorority is everything, pledge class is everything, you’ll do anything to please them. You eat, sleep and breathe our sorority, and I think it does become extreme to a certain point.”

“This has all been blown out of proportion based on anonymous reports,” said Samantha Vulpis, a junior from Commack, N.Y., on Long Island, and president of Binghamton’s Panhellenic Council. “It’s like hazing now is considered anything that isn’t optional. The way it’s being enforced is that anything you could ever think of is now considered hazing.”

Kevin Kruger, president of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, commented: “The climate on campuses is such that there’s just much less tolerance for aberrant behavior, particularly anything that can result in violence or injuries to others. Stopping pledging altogether is not so common, but there’s a huge focus on managing liability and sending a very clear message to students and alumni that this kind of behavior will result in removal of the chapter.”


Planet Waves

Julian Assange Starts Program on Russian TV; Announces Senate Run

Julian Assange, founder of whistle-blower website WikiLeaks, has just launched an interview show on Russia Today. Available online, the 12-episode weekly series is titled “The World Tomorrow,” the premier episode of which featured a 30-minute conversation with Hassan Nasrallah, the reclusive leader of Hezbollah who hasn’t given an interview to the Western media in almost six years. According to RTE (Irish national public television), the show is being produced by Quick Roll Productions, a company established by Assange, and the main production partner is Dartmouth Films, a British producer of independent films.

Said the 40-year-old Australian former hacker, who in March announced he would run for a seat in the Australian Senate, “My own work with WikiLeaks hasn’t exactly made my life easier, but it has given us a platform to broadcast world-shifting ideas.” Assange has been under house arrest in the U.K. for almost 500 days, awaiting possible extradition to Sweden to face sexual assault charges, which he denies. Many of Assange’s supporters fear his extradition to Sweden could open the door to a second extradition to the U.S. to face charges related to his releasing tens of thousands of diplomatic cables about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.


Planet Waves

Planet Waves Readers Attending UAC — Phone Home

Would Planet Waves readers who plan to attend the United Astrology Conference next month in New Orleans please get in touch? You’re invited to email me at dreams@planetwaves.net.

Planet Waves has a number of plans for the conference. We will be running an Internet radio station and hosting panels and interviews with both faculty and participants. I will be doing two presentations: a half-day pre-conference workshop on astrology writing, and I will be on the media panel alongside other astrologers who have a public angle on their work.


Planet Waves

Levon Helm, Singer for The Band, Returns to the Earth

One of the most memorable voices in rock music is gone — Levon Helm, the Arkansas-born drummer and mandolin player for The Band. He died of throat cancer, which he’d been battling since the late 1990s.

Planet Waves
Levon Helm performing in 2004 on the Village Green in Woodstock, New York. Photo by Jaime Martorano.

Helm was the lead vocalist on some of The Band’s most memorable songs: “The Weight,” “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” and “Up On Cripple Creek.” Helm was the one American in an otherwise Canadian emsemble.

His wife and daughter said in a statement Tuesday that Helm was “in the final stages of his battle with cancer,” and requested the prayers of his fans. He died early Thursday afternoon in New York City, after a hospital stay in Kingston, NY. He died about two hours after the Sun entered Taurus.

Helm was a Gemini, with a lot of Taurus to back it up. That takes the clear, flexible quality of Gemini and puts substance behind it. He had a chart similar to his former bandmate Bob Dylan. I’ve noticed something about Gemini musicians — they are gifted musical shapeshifters, whether that means playing many instruments, or being able to blend into any style they want. Helm played drums, percussion, mandolin, banjo and harmonica.

When I cast his noon chart — his birth time is not available — it came out with Virgo rising, and Ceres, an agriculture goddess, is rising immediately in the east. He grew up on a farm, and his last two albums were Dirt Farmer and Electric Dirt. He sang the famous line, “I swear by the mud below my feet.” Ceres was indeed his goddess. He passed that forward many ways, including by supporting farmers themselves and the 4-H Club.

Helm had an Aquarius Moon, and in many ways his life was about groups. He was in many bands, then for the past 15 years, he held gatherings called Midnight Rambles at his barn in Woodstock, NY. The events were fundraisers to help pay his medical bills. That to me is the best argument for universal health care that I’ve heard all day.

Planet Waves
Noon chart for Levon Helm has Virgo rising with Ceres, a goddess of agriculture, in the ascendant. This describes Helm’s passion for farmers and his love of the Earth.

Helm had Venus, Mars and Chiron in Cancer, giving his voice a warm sensation that went beyond ‘folksy’ into an emotional poignancy that felt like he was singing across the ages. In “The Weight,” he delivers the mysterious lyrics in such a sensitive, straightforward way that you don’t notice anything strange is going on — until you listen carefully. You can hear two renditions of “The Weight” here, and read an article about the song that Planet Waves published in 2009.

One New York Times reader commenting on Helm’s obituary wrote, “The way he sang made me feel he was reporting stories he had witnessed or experienced in some other time and place, but in a way that made them seem to come alive again — he could really transmit an immediacy and vibrancy.”

Singer and friend of Planet Waves Rosanne Cash said she recalls singing “The Weight” with Helm at an American Musical Association event a year or so ago [see video]: “My whole body was tingling throughout the song. I didn’t want it to end. It was like going back in time to revisit some of the searing musical moments that made me want to become a musician. Levon was so sweet, so full of light. … I’m heartbroken he has moved on to ‘find a place where he can lay his head.’ But I hope he found it.”

Rob Fraboni, who worked for 10 years as The Band’s sound engineer, recently gave an interview on Planet Waves, telling many stories from their career. You can listen to that here. Here is a New York Times picture gallery honoring Levon.


Planet Waves

May Monthly Edition Coming Evening of Weds., April 25
This section also includes the upcoming publishing schedule! The April monthly horoscope (long edition) was published Wednesday evening, March 21. Inner Space Monthly was published Tuesday evening, March 27. We published Genevieve Hathaway’s Moonshine Horoscope on Tuesday, April 3. The next monthly horoscope by Eric will be the May edition, to be published the evening of Wednesday, April 25. There will not be a regular edition that week. On Friday, April 27 we will have a short edition with the weekly horoscope written by Genevieve Hathaway.


Planet Waves

Return to Titanic; Meet the Thresholders

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I begin with an overview of the astrology for the rest of the week, particularly Mercury in Aries, jumping into the Uranus-Pluto square.

Planet Waves

Then I return to the scene of (my coverage of) the Titanic and explain how I missed the most obvious thing in the charts. I look at two different alternative narratives of what happened, a discussion that began on these pages over the weekend.

During the program I mention that I’ll be sharing the subscriber edition from last week — Titanic: The Atlantis Connection — so you can see what I’m talking about.

In part two, I cover one of the recently discovered small worlds, 1992 QB1. I associate this planet with people who help others cross thresholds — birth, death and orgasm. I describe the concept of what I call a Thresholder, which I am describing in my fiction, though I’m sharing the idea here since the Sun was conjunct 1992 QB1 this week. For those additionally curious about 1992 QB1, you may read this article about Radharani, this April Fool’s article called Her Name is Radha (with the infamous vegetarian horoscope satire on Jonathan Cainer), and this article about my presentation at the American Psychological Association talking about Book of Blue.

Here is your link to the lyrics to Crazy Fingers.

Please let me know how you like this week’s program. Here is your program in the old player, where you’ll find the full archives and a downloadable zip file.


Planet Waves

Friday, April 20, 2012. Weekly Horoscope #900 | Link to chart used for this edition

Taurus Birthdays This Week

The Sun entered your sign Thursday in grand style, as part of a grand trine in the earth signs. That’s to say, all of the earth signs have significant activity, which influences you — Jupiter is still in your sign; Mars is in Virgo; Pluto is a long-term visitor in Capricorn. Here is how I interpret that. Watch the trends of your life carefully. When you see a trend forming that you don’t like, consciously shift the energy as soon as you can. If you notice a pattern that you appreciate, feed the energy, gently build up the momentum and explore the territory. If you find yourself in a pattern that you cannot shift, you have two options: creative or spiritual. That’s to say, use what you’ve learned from your spiritual path, or dive into art (any form of creative process), or do both. Early Taurus birthdays (and to some extent all Taurus birthdays) this year have a theme of ensuring that your mother’s problems don’t become your problems, and if they have, work out this issue. Note, I will have your audio birthday reading early next week. This will be fun and helpful for Taurus Sun, Moon and rising.

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You’re the one who must address your own insecurities. Nobody else can do it for you, and you don’t want them to. This would be a great time to investigate and see just what is stirring up your fears. If we’re using astrology, it looks like you might be having panic attacks or at least experiencing a lot of nervous energy as you feel your own creative potential surge. I trust that you’ve already figured out that you have an alternative, but if not, here is what I suggest. This thing commonly called ‘creativity’ means existing on the edge of your own thoughts. Most people don’t stay there; they cannot, because it’s too nerve-wracking. However, your astrology over the next week is going to have you surfing the wave of time with your mind poking into the future, and to work that edge you must pay attention without getting panicky. Confidence doesn’t feel like a king on his throne. It feels more like riding a bicycle.

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

Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — If you’re feeling some unusual tension within yourself, I suggest you consider what will be the central theme of this birthday season for you: making sure you understand your motives. That’s to say, I suggest you constantly refer back to why you want whatever it is you want. What is driving you to make choices, to favor certain people, or to desire certain experiences? Why do you feel about yourself the way that you do? These questions have answers — in fact, they may have two answers each. So the decisions you make are less about the outer expressions of things and more about connecting with what is driving you. Pay special attention to when those motives conflict, and note this as a potential source of any paralysis. A related theme of this spring is taking a trip back to the past, and while you’re there, disconnecting from the values you once acquired that no longer serve you. You’ll find plenty — and you’ll be happier without them.

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

Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Over the next few days, you may get the feeling that you understand your fears better than you ever did. These may arrive in waves of psychological insights that shed light on certain factors from the past. When this process is flowing, you’ll be able to make connections to certain elements of your experience and your behavior patterns in this era of your life. Looking at your solar chart, I would propose a few questions. To what extent are you carrying around someone else’s sense of loss, disappointment or grief? Can you see how this has shaped your life? Your life is about what you have to offer. The more you offer what you have, the more you will discover what you possess. One of the few ways to feel safe is to experiment with the feeling and see what happens. I know this may seem like doing things backwards; you might think that one acts safe when one feels safe. Feeling secure is a matter of experience.

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

Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — This weekend’s Taurus New Moon describes how your financial opportunities are expanding. Taurus is situated in one of the houses in your chart most closely associated with sources of income, and this is an area of your life that has been flowering during the past year — or at least the potential is there. I am aware that money is a huge sticking point for many people, and it’s not any easier when every time you look at a news website there is more economic bad news. If you’re the exception to the rule, it won’t be because you’re lucky — rather, it will be because you know what you want, and you know an opportunity when you see one. When you do, I suggest you act promptly, make a commitment and take action. You have already thought this one through five ways from Friday. You have sorted out the details; you understand the risks; you know what’s required of you.

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

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — If you’ve been feeling unusual potential but don’t feel like you’ve had the ability to manifest it into something real, that is about to open up. In a word, the way to get from here to there is leadership. I can break this down to three ideas as they express themselves in your current solar chart: one is perspective. It’s essential that you have an overview of your environment, including what your colleagues and those ‘above’ and ‘below’ you are doing. Two is values. Make sure that what you’re doing is consistent with what you believe, and what you are willing to stand for. If you do this, you won’t have to worry about your reputation. Third is nourishment. In your current incarnation of leadership, you need to feed the tree without depleting yourself. Fortunately you have a lot to offer, particularly in the way of ideas and inspiration. If you find yourself blocked, pause and invent a solution. There is no limit to the information available, and you will be told everything you need to know.

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

If you have more questions than answers, consider this.

We will soon figure out that it’s actually 2012. The recent retrogrades of Mars and Mercury seemed to create a delay, but really this winter and early spring has been a phase of gestation. Over the next four weeks, the energy starts to pick up pace dramatically, and we will discover where we are and that something unusual, and beautiful, is happening.

Even as we approach the truly beautiful potential of the astrology that’s developing, many people are struggling with their day-to-day lives. There are more questions than answers; the economic and political situations seem hopeless; the pace of existence is going so fast that there seems to be nowhere to get in a little meaning, or seek some peace of mind.

Planet Waves

Here is where astrology can help. Astrology looks at the longer cycles, and the deeper themes — and can help you see your life in context of the present moment, no matter how chaotic it may be. Context means a sense of where you fit in that will help you see your potential and make better choices.

For years, I’ve been helping my clients prepare for making the most of the astrology of the 2012 era. Based on this experience, and many years of study, I’ve prepared a set of readings for all 12 signs (and rising signs, and Moon signs) that guides you through this astrology, step by step. I cover the most challenging and energized developments of this spring, which includes eclipses, Venus retrograde, the Venus transit of the Sun, and then a few days after the Sun ingresses Cancer, the Uranus-Pluto square.

I suggest you get this report in its current form, where you have access to all 12 signs. This way, you will be able to listen to your Sun, Moon and ascendant, and gain added depth. You can listen to your opposite sign and learn something about how this astrology will influence your relationships. Each sign gets a half-hour discussion. These came through loud and clear, with strength and meaning. I spent a week designing and recording them, and I am grateful to be able to offer them to you as a tool to help you guide your decisions, as you seek deeper meaning along your journey.

Spring 2012 is a kind of checkpoint along the way to wherever you are going. But really it’s a calling into the adventure of existence, a bold invitation to go beyond your past limits and explore something truly new about yourself.

All 12 signs are now available for $19.95. Next week they will go on sale for $9.95 each with no discount for multiple signs. The report is getting rave reviews from people who are currently working with it, including these words from a customer named Donna: “OMG — thank you thank you thank you — just spent this morning listening to my [Spring Report] info, and am so blown away by the accuracy (and relief!) in this experience. Thanks so very much for your part in supporting this work and for showing up in the way that you do!”. Here is the link to order.

Individual signs will be available soon — please drop us a note if you want to be notified of when, or if you have any other questions.


Eric Francis


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Mars has stationed direct in your sign, and the Sun has just entered your fellow earth sign Taurus.
Mercury, your ruling planet, is positioned so that you may be able to clarify some issues that have been putting a relationship under some stress. In short, your astrology is a lot happier now than it was a week ago, and I wonder how you’re doing in light of this. If issues that you thought you resolved show up again, I suggest you resolve them using a squeegee and not a shovel. You’re most likely dealing with the residual cleanup, not a recurrence of the central issue. The past few months have been an extremely productive time for some, but have come with more complications than seems necessary. The way to put that behind you is to pause before you assume the worst about anyone or anything. Remember that you have the capacity to solve any problem you can identify, and the talent to develop the many ideas that have come to you this year.

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

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — What seems to be a block is really a question of seeing your options and alternatives for what they are. If you project into the long-term future, there seem to be two paths you can take, and at times you feel the pressure to commit to one of them even before you’re sure where it leads, or what you might be giving up. I don’t think you need to rush any decision that involves finding your true life path. The options you see today are not your real choices. The contradictions and paradoxes that are influencing you now, no matter how subtly, will be replaced by more satisfying questions as the season unfolds. Polarities that today seem to contradict one another will have a way of resolving into something entirely new, and this will shift the way you see yourself and the world. So if things don’t make perfect sense right now, don’t waste your energy stressing, or trying to put together pieces that don’t fit. You will soon see that the edges of reality are more flexible than they seem.

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

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Do you want your relationships to be easy, or do you want them to be real? I suggest that you see things in terms of these two options, at least initially. By real I don’t mean difficult; challenges usually show up in the context of denial or resistance rather than by a conscious embrace of what is so. However, I suggest you notice the way that you tend to make other peoples’ issues into your own problems. Being real also means being real about knowing where the edge is between you and somewhere else, and knowing when it’s appropriate to cross over that line. Clearly you are being drawn into a deep situation of some kind, if only by your curiosity. The place where a warning should go off is when you find yourself adopting problems that simply are not your own, on the excuse that you love someone. The thing to focus on is creative purpose and a kind of calm, centered passion about life itself — not the relationship.

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

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — There is a difference between starry-eyed romance and friendly, creative passion. It’s a distinction I suggest you take note of, because it’s one of the central themes of your life. From one angle of your chart you’ve got this strong pull into the identity as the perfect partner. Yet to do this, you have to ignore or put a veil over some of the more conflicted feelings you have about that role, one of the most significant of which is the way it tends to compromise your independence. You have another option, which is a vibrant kind of creative collaboration, which leaves the portals open to wider possibilities than you can have in a conventional format of relationship. Keep in mind that the pull between what is considered normal and acceptable and what is considered unusual can create plenty of conflict, especially if you involve yourself worrying about the ways that others might judge you. Borrowing from Erica Jong, I’m talking about the difference between being half of a relationship and a whole person.

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

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — If you quiet down what your whirling, rapidly moving mind is saying, you’ll discover that you know something in your gut, and knew it all along. Given that this something is about you, you might wonder how it is that you somehow missed the obvious. That’s always a good question, though the obvious is so bold and has such deep implications that I could see it making you a little restless. You might say that the truth is so large that it’s difficult to see, something that’s often the case. The central theme here is who you are becoming. You’ve been in a transformational process that has been working under the surface layers of awareness. Yet now it’s starting to bubble up to the top. You are seeing the extent of the changes you’re going through, and this in turn is giving you a sense of your trajectory. What you’re getting now is just a little sample of the incoming energy; this will gradually ramp up over the next six weeks until you discover, somehow much to your surprise, that you really are this entirely different person you suspect you’re becoming.

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

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You know something, though I don’t think you know how true it really is. In other words, don’t be surprised when you discover that you were right. Now, being right isn’t everything, and some have gone so far as to say it’s the opposite of being happy. But I’m not talking about righteous — I mean that you have a hunch, a flash of insight or an idea that is actually valid. I suggest that rather than just letting it go, you keep working with it, and take the whole matter deeper. The reason you might not do that is that somehow the truth makes you nervous. You can be sure, in any event, that it will have impact. What good would it be otherwise? We don’t need any more trivial ‘information’ in the world right now. Here is the influence I see this revelation having: you just might feel less isolated. Would it feel good to learn that you’re not alone, that others are going through a similar experience, and that you can learn from one another? That’s what I see in your charts for the next few days.

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

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — What’s developing in your solar chart is about a lot more than money, but let’s at least start with the financial aspect of the discussion. This involves an idea that you’ve been developing, something you probably thought was not worth a lot in economic terms but might be valuable otherwise. Yet there is a substantial economic value, which is rooted in how you’re working with an idea that’s ahead of its time, but right when ‘the time’ is about to catch up. There’s a message about you catching up as well, and by that I mean that there’s finally room in the world for what you’ve got going. Just a few years ago you might have decided it was impossible for that to be true. Then you started to see where you could maybe slip in edgewise. Suddenly there’s a huge opening — but it doesn’t look like people are having one of those Nike sneaker stampedes. Don’t let that fool you. I don’t know what it is, but you’re in possession of something that people not only need — better still, it’s something that they want. Even though you’re not motivated by money, keep your financial strategy in the front of your mind and you’ll do well with this, whatever it might be.

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