Tag Archives: George Zimmerman

A Little More of Everything

Dear Friend and Reader:

First, for those following the George Zimmerman trial and wondering how he was acquitted, I’ve covered that in this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM. While I look at some of the astrology associated with the verdict, mostly I provide a legal analysis. In the same podcast I also cover the astrology that I’m about to describe in an easy-to-follow audio presentation.

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Photo by Chelsea from her recent visit to Iceland.

We are in one of those concentrated moments that’s in tune with the 2012-era theme of everything all at once. In truth, it’s a spectacular moment, featuring some of the most passionate astrology I’ve ever seen. At the same time, the next few days call for proceeding with awareness and precision, doing your best not to over-react, and being clear with others. Don’t assume they understand you, or that your message has come across.

Politely verify everything, which also includes verifying how your words match with your feelings and your intentions. Because we’re in a grand water trine, that’s a reminder to guide yourself away from unhealthy or obsessive emotions if you encounter them. The grand trine will have a way of multiplying what you’re feeling, so do your best to emphasize the positive, to nourish yourself and to feel good.

Along these lines, most of the United States is in a massive heat wave. Drink water. Pepsi is not water. Smart Water is not water. Coffee is not water. Tea is not water. Juice is really not water. Only water is water.

The main event, the one that we’re most likely to be feeling, is Mercury stationing direct in Cancer on Saturday, July 20. Mercury has been retrograde since June 26. That was about three weeks ago. I know it simultaneously seems like a lot longer and like it was five minutes ago.

All the usual cautions apply: pay attention when handling technology and finances; avoid signing agreements till at least Tuesday if possible. The thing that is shifting is how you feel about what you may be committing to.

The real benefits of this event are emotional and intuitive. The Mercury station provides an opportunity to solve anything that seems like a persistent problem, though from an entirely new point of view.

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Photo by Chelsea.

Remember that there is an emotional angle to everything; resistance will be best met on the level of feelings, which is to say, gently.

The really beautiful thing about this Mercury station (change of directions) is that it’s happening in an exact trine to Chiron in Pisces. This opens up the flow of feelings, ideas and communications.

Mercury usually moves quickly; that is its specialty. The exception is during a station, when for a couple of days it slows down to the speed of an outer planet, thereby gaining emphasis and power. In this case that strength is enhanced and focused by the spiritual healing properties of Chiron, which will open the way to a real conversation about what you feel, what you need, what is influencing your life, and anything else that is deep and challenging to discuss.

There’s an ease factor in this trine, which offers encouragement to actually open your mouth and speak, and open your ears and listen. Most of all, listen to yourself. This is astrology approaching a description of perfect intuition. In the style of Pisces and the water signs, let it percolate; feel what you discover. Let your learning process be a full-spectrum experience. Notice the meeting place of your mental knowledge and your intuitive or spiritual knowledge.

We then have a series of planetary sign changes. On Saturday, an important asteroid called Pallas Athene changes signs into Cancer. Monday, Venus changes signs to Virgo. These are two more changes that combine emotional and mental levels of intelligence. That is the theme of the weekend, and it comes up many different ways.

Venus in Virgo is a reminder that there’s no such thing as purity. If you’re not a virgin, don’t try to pretend you are; you are a full adult. The notion of purity throws one of the biggest wrenches into the human experience, denying the creative power that comes with a sense of uncertainty. Feelings may be messy, unpredictable, strange or interesting — that is their nature.

The purity trap takes many forms, mostly in the intellectualizing of emotional experiences, obsession with control and the notion that sex is too messy to really deal with in a conscious way.

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Photo by Chelsea.

Denial often substitutes for purity — and it’s not the answer. Focus and awareness are the answer, which would lead to conscious choosing of your experience and what you want to share.

Pallas in Cancer reminds me of a recent New York Times article claiming that university-age women are seeking sex without the emotional complications of relationships. It’s like responding to the desire to nurture someone with your presence by handling them with tongs and asbestos gloves. The question to ask is, what’s the appropriate degree of commitment or emotional closeness for the situation that you’re in?

Then Monday at 11:56 am EDT, the Sun changes signs to Leo. This happens just a few hours before the Aquarius Full Moon, which is at 2:15 pm EDT. These events may arrive with the sensation of everything coming to a head. As part of this process, the Sun and Moon change signs within a few hours of one another. That describes a situation that may be changing rapidly, and which may be confusing in the process — but which has a dependable outcome.

The key here is not to push your need for certainty where it’s not appropriate or not possible. Know what you want, be clear what you expect from others, observe the known facts and be aware when you’re missing information. Focus on relating to others in a clear way. If they are acting foggy, help the situation by drawing information out gently, without attachment to what it might reveal. Your Buddha nature is strong enough to do this.

The sky and the situations that it describes are moving quickly, so I suggest that rather than grasp for certainty, guide yourself gently and consider everything a work in process — especially you.


Note to Readers: This week’s news sections, below, are by Amanda Painter and Susan Scheck with additional research by Carol van Strum. –efc


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Winning — Fractivism Style

Energy companies Hess Corp. and Newfield Exploration Co. have run out of patience, officially pulling out of gas-drilling leases in northeastern Pennsylvania and effectively ending future hydraulic fracturing (fracking) operations in the area. The Delaware River Basin Commission had imposed a three-year moratorium on gas drilling in 2010 on the Marcellus Shale in the Delaware watershed, citing the need to develop regulations to protect the environment.

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Filmmaker Josh Fox walks along a stream running through his property in Milanville, Pennsylvania. Photo: Michael Rubinkam/AP.

The companies sent a letter earlier this month to the Northern Wayne Property Owners Alliance, which had negotiated a master lease on behalf of more than 1,300 families and businesses. At $3,000 per acre, the landowners’ group said its members received about $150 million several years ago, and another $187.5 million would have been due had the companies been able to develop gas wells.

The property owners’ group has threatened to sue the commission over the moratorium.

Yet environmentalists are celebrating, for sure. Josh Fox, director of the documentary “Gasland” that graphically depicts the horrors of fracking, was overjoyed and made this statement on Facebook:

”I can’t believe it and I can’t stop crying. The companies that leased 80,000 acres in my township, in the upper Delaware River Basin, are LEAVING. CANCELLING ALL THE LEASES. WE ARE FREE. THANK YOU ALL, FRACTIVISTS. THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR THIS AMAZING VICTORY. WE WIN! AND WE WON’T STOP UNTIL WE WIN EVERYWHERE. I’m speechless. This proves that people, organized and passionate, can actually win sometimes. In the grand scheme of things, this is a small victory, but it’s HUGE. It’s the Upper Delaware river.”


Planet Waves

A Neonicotinoid Correction

Last week in MONSANTO WATCH, Planet Waves mistakenly reported that Monsanto’s Roundup weed killer contains a chemical in the neonicotinoid class. Roundup, introduced by Monsanto in the 1970s, is glyphosate, an enzyme-based chemical that kills plants. It has nothing to do with neonicotinoids, which kill insects, not plants.

Planet Waves
Bees can be exposed to neonicotinoids at low concentrations from corn pollen and windblown soil that lands on other flowers, and are exposed to much higher concentrations from contaminated talc that escapes from seed hoppers around planting time. Photo courtesy of Purdue entomology extension.

Neonicotinoids are a widely used class of insecticide that have come under fire as one of the culprits in mass bee die-offs in North America, Europe and around the world. Other factors in what is known as “colony collapse disorder” include mites and viruses, but scientists are still struggling to understand the phenomenon better. There has been a sharp increase in bee mortality over the last ten years or so.

In Switzerland, for example, “50 percent of colonies were lost in the winter of 2011-12, compared with about 10 percent in a normal year,” according to Peter Neumann, a biology professor who studies bee health at the University of Bern, in the New York Times article linked to above.

In April the European Union voted to approve a two-year neonicotinoid ban (covered by Planet Waves here, in the ECO section). The Environmental Protection Agency in the U.S. is currently reviewing its conditional registration of some neonicotinoids, due to “uncertainties about these pesticides and their potential effects on bees.”

Companies that make neonicotinoids include Bayer CropScience in Germany and Swiss biochemical company Syngenta — both large companies with significant lobbying power in Europe.

In the U.S. neonicotinoids are used on virtually all of the massive Midwestern corn crop, as well as most soybeans. There is documentation of bee deaths coinciding with corn planting in nearby fields. And since 2003, at least one neonicotinoid, clothianidin, has been widely used as a seed treatment on GM corn — most of which is Monsanto’s.

On July 12, 2013, Rep. Earl Blumenauer, Democrat of Oregon, introduced the Save American Pollinators Act in Congress. If passed, it would suspend the use of four neonicotinoids, including the three recently suspended by the E.U., until their EPA registration review is complete.


Planet Waves

Politics Really Does Make Strange Bedfellows

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) announced this week that it is representing nearly two dozen organizations as diverse as the Calguns Foundation (a gun ownership advocacy group), Greenpeace, Human Rights Watch, TechFreedom and the Council on American-Islamic Relations in First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA.

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The core of the lawsuit is that the National Security Agency’s dragnet spying violates First Amendment rights, which include the freedom to associate and express political views as a group. Phone records can show what groups people belong to or are interested in, their political interests and religious ties.

“… [F]ear of individual exposure when participating in political debates over high-stakes issues can dissuade people from taking part,” said Cindy Cohn, EFF’s Legal Director.

“That’s why the Supreme Court ruled in 1958 that membership lists of groups have strong First Amendment protection. Telephone records, especially complete records collected over many years, are even more invasive than membership lists, since they show casual or repeated inquiries as well as full membership.”

The plaintiffs seek an injunction to stop the NSA’s “Associational Tracking Program,” which gathers and stores a staggering amount of phone records from U.S. telecommunications companies. EFF is also engaged in another long-running suit against the NSA over surveillance programs.

The First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles has a long history of working to protect people jeopardized by their political views, including Hollywood actors and writers blacklisted during the 1950s by McCarthyism, and refugees from Central American civil wars in the 1980s.

“The principles of our faith often require our church to take bold stands on controversial issues,” said Rev. Rick Hoyt.


Planet Waves

U.K. Approves Marriage Bill for Same-Sex Couples

The U.K. government’s controversial Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill received Royal Assent on Wednesday and same-sex couples will now be legally entitled to marry in England and Wales. The first unions are expected to take place by summer of next year.

Planet Waves
Shortly after Queen Elizabeth gave her royal stamp of approval on same-sex marriage in the U.K., this image went viral — and Andy Borowitz had fun with the situation to great satirical effect.

Religious organizations will have to “opt in” to offering weddings, with the Church of England and Church in Wales being banned by law from doing so.

Equalities Minister Maria Miller said the passing of the bill was “clear affirmation” that “respect for each and every person is paramount, regardless of age, religion, gender, ethnicity or sexuality.”

Not everyone was happy with the bill’s passage, however. Conservative MP Sir Gerald Howarth, one of the bill’s opponents, said it was “astonishing that a bill for which there is absolutely no mandate, against which a majority of Conservatives voted, has been bulldozed through both Houses. I think the government should think very carefully in the future if they want the support of these benches. Offending large swathes of the Conservative Party is not a good way of going about it.”


Planet Waves

A Bad Day for Slut-Shaming

The Daily Mail — like other U.K. tabloids — makes it its mission to sensationalize every baby bump, accidental panty-less crotch shot and sexual dalliance by the rich and famous. It’s a media economy that runs on shame. But what happens when a tabloid target refuses to play the game by the old rules?

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Amanda Palmer performing at Glastonbury, attention-seeking breast under cover. Photo: WENN.com.

The Daily Mail met its match recently when it rambled on about punk-cabaret singer and performance artist Amanda Palmer, after her bra rose up during her set at the famous Glastonbury Festival in June. Palmer was largely ignored by the British media, but the Daily Mail slapped her (or, rather, her anatomy) into its headline: Making a boob of herself! Amanda Palmer’s breast escapes her bra as she performs on stage at Glastonbury.

The rag clearly had no idea who they were tangling with. Her letter to the editor — written and performed here in three-quarter time, makes it quite clear she is perfectly happy to own all of herself with pride and creativity, no matter who happens to see it:

Although there are millions of people
Who will accept the cultural bar where you have it at
There are plenty of others who are perfectly willing
To see breasts in their natural habitat
I keenly anticipate your highly literate
Coverage of upcoming tours
Dear Daily Mail
Up Yours!

Could it be that with the Internet and the NSA reminding us how little is truly ‘private’, we might all get to a point where our bodies and our sexuality no longer count as ‘dirty little secrets’? Really — how much longer must it take?


Planet Waves

Planet Waves

“You forgot horse riding, Richard.” No one does a smiling, dry-as-a-bone deadpan like the British — especially when describing “the blood coursing from our uteri like a crimson landslide.”

No Such Thing as a Happy Period?

When Richard Neill’s humorous rant about U.K. maxipad maker Bodyform appeared on its Facebook wall, claiming they lied in ads making women’s periods seem all goodness and light, it received 84,000 likes. Other companies might be embarrassed — not Bodyform. The company took it all in good fun and replied with a brilliant and hilarious video, owning up to the claim.

Yulia Kretova, brand controller for Bodyform, said: “We found Richard’s post very amusing and wanted to continue the positive dialogue around periods that this generated … Breaking down the taboo around Bodyform and periods has always been a challenge, and I hope that we have started to address this.”


Planet Waves

Planet Waves

Guitarist Jason Okamoto is our musical guest.

Mercury Direct, Full Moon and the Zimmerman Verdict

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I cover the intriguing astrology coming up this weekend and into Monday — Mercury stationing direct on Saturday, followed by the Sun ingressing Leo, the Aquarius Full Moon and Mars conjunct Jupter (in other words, a lot). Then I talk about the Trayvon Martin case. Our musical guest is Jason Okamoto. Here’s your link to become a member of Planet Waves FM.


Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

The extended monthly horoscopes for July were published Friday, June 21. We published Inner Space for July on Friday, June 28. We published the Moonshine horoscopes for the Cancer New Moon Tuesday, July 2. On Tuesday, July 15, we published the Moonshine horoscopes for the Aquarius Full Moon. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscopes on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign; Inner Space usually publishes the following Tuesday.


Planet Waves

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, July 19, 2013, #959 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Since the last time Jupiter was in Cancer, we’ve become surrounded by a ‘national security state’, designed to defend us against enemies who don’t really exist. Everything about your chart is suggesting that you consider the theme of your need to defend yourself, why you might need to do so, and against whom. What I see going on is that you’re trying to integrate some aspect of yourself that you’ve been in denial of, some wild, expressive aspect of who you are that looks like it’s been buried in your psyche despite your being an Aries. You don’t need to defend yourself; I suggest that you express yourself. The question is, do you feel safe enough to do that? If you don’t, the answer is not more resistance, or pushing back against anything that seems to threaten you. The way forward involves courage. It’s closer than you think.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.
Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Always remember: It’s not really lovemaking if you fold your clothes first. As a Taurus, you have your own ways of taking risks. One involves thinking through every detail of your plan until there is absolutely no chance for spontaneity. Another involves not thinking at all. There are many spaces to explore that are far less frustrating and more fulfilling than these two polarities. At this point, it’s enough to know that you want to do something, and to be aware that there’s a risk involved in everything — especially matters of the heart. Make peace with the risk factor as a conscious choice. Then it’ll be easier to make contact with the creative factor: your ability to think on your feet in any situation. Trust that and you’ll worry less and have considerably more fun.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.
Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Keep your focus on money, but more to the point, keep your focus on what is important to you, and how it factors into every facet of your life. I am often amazed at the extent to which
people omit the importance of their own values, whether in their relationships or in the work that they do. Often this is because they’ve been overpowered. There seems to be some matter involving the way your parents influenced not just your attitude about money but also your ability to act on what is the most meaningful to you. Mercury stationing direct this weekend looks like a revolution, where you not only throw off the influences of people who have no business running your life and could probably not care less about what you actually feel; this is a revolution driven by a discovery of your passion and the resulting drive to be free.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.
Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Many planets are focused on your sign right now, painting a scene that shows you unearthing long-denied aspects of your being. The feelings involved are encrypted on some of your deepest psychological levels. They represent the very things that make contemporary people the most nervous — our deepest desires, our fears, our needs, the pain we’ve denied, what we feel ashamed of and every other shade of shadow. Yet these very feelings are where we hold the power that we so often say we want to make contact with. One aspect of your astrology is magnifying all this and making it clear what you’ve been holding onto. Another factor is an opening for a dialog with yourself: the ability to be vividly honest. Worry not what other people might think. This is not about your relationships; it’s about healing and growing into your relationship to yourself.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.

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Leo readers: you can read a little more about your 2013-2014 birthday reading here — or go straight to this page to take advantage of the $19.95 pre-order price. That’s a savings of $10 on an hour of astrology plus a tarot reading by Eric Francis.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — The Sun enters your sign in grand style this year, just hours before Monday’s Aquarius Full Moon. Until then you may feel like you’re in some kind of psychic or emotional morass. Struggling or resisting is not going to help; I suggest you conserve your energy, find the most efficient ways to do things, then actually follow the plan. Avoid anything that seems to be taking too much effort; it’ll be easier once Mercury has stationed direct (Saturday), the Sun has ingressed your sign and the Moon reaches full phase (Monday). That means planning for modest achievements until then, taking the care to analyze your methods and your approaches and to actually notice where your energy is going, where it’s being wasted and where it’s getting results. This is extremely valuable information.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.
Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Sometimes when I write about being clear in one’s communication, I forget how much people struggle to express themselves, how daring it can feel and how fogged over so many minds are. I forget how little effort many people put into listening, even when something directly impacts them. I put all this to you right now. If you want to get anywhere, you must be clear with yourself; you must be clear with others; and you must listen to what is said to you, without making up any stories in the absence of real understanding. This may require you to have extra patience, to insist that others both be clear and have patience, and that you be willing to know what is actually true for you and for others without going into any form of denial. In our world that is asking a lot. But it’s not a lot if it’s the only thing standing between you and progress.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.
Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — There is something specific on your mind. I don’t reckon you’ve figured out what it is yet, but it’s there, and it’s nagging you to pay attention. Looked at one way, you’re trying to keep a secret from yourself. Yet it looks like something that you dearly want to reveal — not just to yourself but also to others. You seem right on the verge of discovery. But here is the catch. Just as fast as you discover what this thing is, you might forget, or you might decide that it’s too personal or private to consider for long, or to dare even considering revealing to others. Yet that does not make it any less important, helpful or meaningful. I suggest that the moment you discover what this is, write it down. If you wake up in the middle of the night, write it down. If you’re driving on the highway, stop and write it down. Then read it and elaborate and make sure that you remember.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.
Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — More than anything I see you struggling to have a wider perspective. If you want to do that, you need an accurate assessment of how wide or narrow your current perspective is. Since that measure is subjective, and since you’re in your own mind, this is not necessarily easy to deduce. So I suggest you do a little comparison-shopping. Set aside, for a few minutes, any tendencies toward jealousy; that just gets in the way. Then consider the viewpoints of people you know for sure have a broader, deeper, more creative approach to life than you do. Consider people who apply more imagination than you do. Notice what they’re doing and how they’re doing it — then consider your own life in that kind of style. If you start to feel panicky, that’s a hint that you’re going in the right direction.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — If you’re going to explore your passion, your desire or your need to surrender, choose someone who is either a match for your energy or who has a lot more mojo than you do. Then, bring yourself fully into the situation. Allow yourself to participate. Set aside the approach-avoid routine, for which you’re so notorious; remember how long you’ve waited to let go of all this energy that you’re holding onto. In case you’re tempted to keep holding on, I suggest you ask yourself how that’s serving you — even if that ‘service’ is negative. There’s a long list of possibilities, and it would be excellent if you were really familiar with this material. There are many more reasons why you will be happier if you uncork the bottle and let yourself breathe, feel and spill over your brim.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.
Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Are there enough influences in our society designed to make us all paranoid? I suggest you filter them out for the next few days, and invest your energy in people and activities that cultivate positive responses in you. You will need to use some discernment in order to do that, because not everyone who seems positive really is. You will be able to tell who is life-affirming by your emotional response. Yet you may also discover as you do this just how much negativity there is: how much fear, how much hostility, how much corruption. What you’re faced with is a spiritual question, in particular, of how you want these things to influence you. The external factors are there. Your mission is to determine what power you have over how you respond to your environment and who and what you allow closer to you. Discernment is the key. This will require vigilance and care, and moreover, a commitment to love and life.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.
Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) –Wise old astrology books remind Aquarians to fill their urn before trying to ladle out the water to everyone else. This is spiritual healing 101 — take care of yourself so that you can take care of others. There is some good logic to this, including the fact that when you’re nourished, prepared and alert, you will be more helpful and less at risk of hurting anyone in the process of assisting or serving them. That is the message of your charts now. Get yourself oriented in your physical space, which seems to have undergone some changes lately. Make sure that you have whatever provisions you need. Get your work organized to the level where at least you know what you need to do and approximately when you need to do it. This will create some boundaries to work within. Over the next few days, make sure you take plenty of time to yourself. Set aside obligations to others. Get rest and drink water.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.
Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) –This is the boldest and most confident I’ve ever seen the charts for Pisces. Therefore if you’re not feeling good, you need to make some adjustments, by which I mean basic adjustments. One of them is to set aside your fears. As a Pisces you’re more aware than anyone that all things are possible, though at this point you can afford to consider the better possibilities and the highest potentials. The word confidence means ‘with faith’, and I suggest that you find that within yourself. It won’t be difficult, and one success will build on another. If you’re not the outgoing type, now is the time to practice that. Go to the point where you feel a little pushy or like you’re winning people over with your charm and the force of your personality. Trust that your ideas probably are the best ones in the neighborhood, and remind yourself every now and then about all you’ve accomplished. The best is yet to come.

Wondering about how astrology is influencing your life now? Eric has prepared a written and recorded reading for you that tells the story. You can get all 12 signs of LISTEN, your 2013 reading, for the special reduced price of only $29.95. LISTEN gives you a detailed reading, available immediately, covering work, relationships, personal growth and creativity.

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Trayvon Martin and the Uranus-Pluto Square

Dear Friend and Reader:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Castle Doctrine

Note: Here is the discussion page for this issue.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Neighborhood Watch, Sunday, Feb. 26, 2012

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

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

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

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

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

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

Dispatcher: OK.

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

Dispatcher: How old would you say he looks?

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

Dispatcher: Late teens ok.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Zimmerman: Down towards the other entrance to the neighborhood.

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

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

Dispatcher: Are you following him?

Zimmerman: Yeah

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

Zimmerman: Ok.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Venus Conjunct Eris in Aries

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

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

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

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

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

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

Activity in Pisces: Mercury, Sun, Chiron

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Eric Francis

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


Planet Waves

One Thing Leads to Another

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Planet Waves

Dick Cheney has a Change of Heart

Feelings, nothing more than feelings…

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


Planet Waves

Health Care Has Its Three Days in Court

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


Planet Waves

Close Your Eyes and Think of Wisconsin

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


Planet Waves

Activist Tim DeChristopher Visits The Hole

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

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

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


Planet Waves

Astrology in the Media and Public Relations: UAC Panel

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


Planet Waves

Planet Waves

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


Planet Waves

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


Planet Waves

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


Planet Waves

Slow-Rising Smoke: Trayvon Martin

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

Planet Waves

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

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

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

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


Planet Waves

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

Aries (March 20-April 19)

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

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

Taurus (April 19- May 20)

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

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

Gemini (May 20- June 21)

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

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

Cancer (June 21- July 22)

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

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

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

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

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

Introducing the Planet Waves 2012 Spring Report by Eric Francis

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

Planet Waves

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

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

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


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

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

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

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

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

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

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

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

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

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

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

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

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

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

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

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

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

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

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

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

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