Tag Archives: JFK

Yesterday and Today

Dear Friend and Reader:

When The Beatles landed at the newly named John F. Kennedy Airport on Feb. 7, 1964, it was just 78 days after one of the most profound collective griefs in decades, one that unlike many before it was amplified by the power of television. The young president had been struck down in broad daylight in an American city, sending the Western world into shock.

Planet Waves
The Beatles, moments after stepping off their Pan Am flight on Feb. 7, 1964. Photo: Library of Congress.

The Beatles did not merely arrive; they stepped into a gaping void, a psychic and emotional cavern that had been violently ripped open like the president’s skull. With JFK’s death, the nation had lost it’s father and was still reeling with disorientation. Even people who detested him cried. The loss is palpable till this day.

The death of the president also meant there was a vacuum of male presence and leadership. Then a group of young men in their early 20s had unwittingly stepped up to the task, though I am sure this was not recognized for what it was at the time.

We cannot say what would have happened with The Beatles had JFK lived, whether they would have had the same impact or been received so passionately. We only know what actually happened.

When you consider the morbid scenes from that prior November, the presidential motorcade passing through Dealey Plaza, the unshakable Walter Cronkite crying on the air, Jackie Kennedy with her dress stained in her dead husband’s blood, Lyndon Johnson being sworn in aboard Air Force 1, the ambulance taking the president’s body to the morgue, the funeral procession with its riderless horse — it seems like a different universe from the screaming girls and clever lads taking questions from the press.

People huddled around their televisions watching Kennedy’s casket go by morphed into families clinging to their TVs as screaming teenagers stampeded through airport corridors and Ed Sullivan introduced The Beatles that Sunday night.

Planet Waves
John F. Kennedy, Jr.

Indeed it was a different universe. Sometime during those 78 days, the Sixties had begun. That contrast of a collective wound and something to fill the void, or some element of healing, set a pattern and would repeat many times in this era.

Though the Sixties aspect, the Uranus-Pluto conjunction, would not make its first exact contact until October 1965, encounters between these two slow-moving, world-changing planets have a long warmup during which the most notable effects can be felt in advance.

If you want to understand the influence of this aspect, consider that The Beatles went from “I Wanna Hold Your Hand” to “I Am the Walrus” in a few short years.

The Sixties were a rough time in history. For many, it was an exciting time; for many others, painfully controversial, as many facets of the old order were stripped away and something else began to take their place. Many more people struggled to hold onto the familiar as everything seemed to change around them — not recognizing that the changes were within them as well.

The nascent Civil Rights movement, which had begun to make progress in the Fifties, had some successes and also came under ongoing violent attack, surveillance and infiltration.

At the same time, there were numerous artistic and technological breakthroughs, and many horrid political tragedies. It’s difficult to sum up an era that included the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, Jr., the Vietnam War, the election of Richard Nixon, Woodstock, the Moon landing, protests on campuses across the nation and students murdered at Kent State.

From the Conjunction to the Square

Fifty years after The Beatles arrived, we are now at the next major meeting of Uranus and Pluto — the square. These two planets move so slowly that it’s taken them nearly half a century to go from their conjunction, the equivalent of the New Moon phase, to the square, the equivalent of their first quarter phase.

Planet Waves
The Beatles with Ed Sullivan during a rehearsal for their Feb. 9 performance on the program in New York City. Photo by AP.

The first quarter is a major turning point in any planetary cycle, and also a time of structural change. It’s a time of re-evaluating events since the beginning of the cycle, though usually history moves so fast at the time of Uranus-Pluto events that you can have the feeling that there’s no time to think. What the Sixties and our era have in common is how easy it is to feel overwhelmed.

The square can have many properties similar to the conjunction, though of course it happens in a different historical context. The square also lasts longer. The conjunction had three exact contacts in 1965 and 1966. The square has seven exact contacts from spring 2012 through winter 2015. Both have a wide margin on either side.

We saw the early influence of the square with the Arab Spring movement, the public union protests in Wisconsin and then the global Occupy movement, all of which began and peaked in 2011. Those protests were suppressed by governments pretty effectively, and also by various chilling effect measures like discovering that the NSA is databasing everyone’s phone records, email and other communications.

Laws that define participation in the environmental movement as a form of terrorism are going to deter some people. So will mass arrests, pepper spray and the prospect of lifelong surveillance. It all adds up.

Though there are some similarities, I think there is one significant difference between the Sixties and today. In the Sixties, many people believed that change was possible, and moreover, that their personal actions could lead to progress — not merely to personal or corporate profit. There was widespread idealism in the air, despite the many terrible events that took place.

There was the sense that anything is possible. The craving for freedom first described in Jack Kerouac’s On the Road had become a sweeping social movement.

Planet Waves
Recycling is not enough. All plastic ends up in the ocean, in one form or another. Much of it collects in gyres, or places where currents converge and the material cannot escape.

There was the feeling that if we don’t do something about this — that is, about whatever problem society is facing — nobody will. That value may not have saturated the culture, but there were plenty of people who felt that way, and they got a lot done. Out of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction era were born many movements that are still active today — anti-war, environmental, women’s liberation, gay rights, black power and others.

Today, cynicism has replaced idealism. The sensation that ‘we’re goin’ down’ has replaced ‘we can change the world’. I am aware that there are activists in our time working earnestly for change. What I object to is how little help they have, and how easy it is to dismiss their efforts as futile.

That so many people are overwhelmed is, I believe, the result of many factors. We know more than we did then — for example, about how serious the environmental situation is. What can anyone do, or think they can do, about a radioactive plume spilling out of a nuclear power plant in Japan, encompassing the north Pacific Ocean and spreading into all of its currents? What can we do about the tons and tons of plastic collecting in ocean gyres? Imagine trying to live without using plastic, no matter how much you want to.

What can we do about the rate at which fossil fuels are being extracted from the ground and injected into the atmosphere, trapping heat on the planet? What about all the methane being released from frozen reservoirs as the Arctic ice cap melts, doing far more damage than carbon?

How about politicians wasting time and resources trying to ban birth control and take away food stamps when the world is headed for a diversity of different brinks?

Every individual problem is overwhelming on its own, with 100 more like it right behind: GMO foods, the banks that get away with anything, billionaires by the million, chaos reigning in Iraq and Afghanistan and Syria and many, many other countries, an economy that is vacuuming wealth to the top faster than the Fed can print cash, people in massive debt from educations that are now worthless for getting a job, the cancer pandemic…and it goes on and on.

It’s amazing that anyone has the gumption to be able to confront the future at all, much less envision some great improvement that might happen. Many people are reduced to getting through the day. Many are reduced to doing whatever it takes to get by.

Planet Waves
Actual scene from Chrysler ad on the Super Bowl featuring Bob Dylan, in which he claims that people in sweatshops assemble cell phones out of cultural pride. We’ve come a long way since his calling attention to the plight of workers collecting 30 cents a day.

In this environment, you could describe cynicism as the more appropriate response than idealism, or hope, or faith. It’s hard to have faith when greed has gone from being a problem that some people had to the religion of the masses.

At the Uranus-Pluto conjunction, Bob Dylan came up to The Beatles’ hotel suite and encouraged them to do something relevant with their platform; to recognize that they could deliver a message.

They listened. Dylan may have been the single biggest moral and artistic influence on The Beatles.

It was Dylan, the visionary, who warned of “guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children” before anyone outside of Rand Corporation, the White House or the Foreign Relations Committee had heard of the Vietnam War.

Now at the Uranus-Pluto square, we have Bob Dylan doing a Chrysler advertisement on the Super Bowl. No doubt he rationalizes it on the basis of American pride, the theme of the ad. Would that be the same patriotism that was drummed up to start the past 10 wars?

This one-time passionate advocate for blacks and the poor, who has decried slave labor in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan working for 30 cents a day, personally encouraged tens of millions of Americans watching the ad to “let Asia assemble your phone” — because they do it out of pride in their work.

Ask people why Dylan did the ad and they will probably say “he needed the money,” as if that’s a good reason for someone who has put out 35 studio albums and a heap of boxed sets. He can only top this one by going onto FOX News and encouraging us all to support the bombing of Iran.

The Common Ground of Pisces

Besides top-shelf Uranus-Pluto aspects, the astrology of our era has something else in common with the Sixties, which is Chiron in Pisces. This placement is a profound spiritual longing, which has many potential answers.

It is interesting that throughout the entire Uranus conjunct Pluto era of the Sixties and the current Uranus square Pluto era, Chiron is simultaneously in Pisces. The astronomical synchronicity involves Chiron’s 50-year cycle and the nearly 50 years it’s taken Uranus and Pluto to go from conjunction to square (0 degree relationship to 90-degree relationship).

Planet Waves
The Tsonga people of South Africa. All, as in all, humans are tribal. We need one another. When that need is replaced by alienation, the human condition becomes toxic. Photo from Kwekudee Blog.

Pisces, particularly with such a strong influence as Chiron, can be activated as a vast common ground, where people can discover how much they have in common, how much they can share and how much they can accomplish together.

I consider Chiron in Pisces The Beatles factor of the Sixties — the loving and spiritual element without which there would have been very little grounding or sense of purpose. It was not just The Beatles, but they personified it effectively, in a way that millions of people could relate to.

This can be expressed as well as related to or identified with — for example as art, music, community, intimacy and sex — among a million other friendly activities.

Yet Chiron in Pisces can also evoke a mystical longing that can be answered in toxic ways as well. The mystical longing is usually evoked by suppressing healthy expressions of emotion, passion, desire and creativity. People need to be people, which means we need to be together, feel together, do tribal things together and have collective experiences. When that natural instinct is suppressed, it expresses itself in many toxic ways.

One of them is rallying around the flag — a poisonous abstraction of the tribe. Another is worshipping a charismatic leader, which Dr. Wilhelm Reich identified as one of the key ingredients of a fascist takeover. Get people so desperate for sex and closeness, they will flock to a dangerous substitute, one that can destroy a society or a culture.

In our era, we are seeing the corporate form of this. It seems that every last thing is sponsored by a multinational or “nonprofit” corporation. Capitalism and greed are revered with religious fervor, and violating them can get someone branded a heretic or infidel. This common ground is becoming so crowded by corporate culture, I am surprised there aren’t Nike ads in yoga studios.

Planet Waves
Spasija Aleksoska’s extended family was taken in Trebenista, near Ohrid (in Macedonia), during Easter celebrations in 1959. The extended family was alive and well in the United States until the end of World War II. After the nuclear bomb, the nuclear family.

Oh wait — there already are, on yoga mats, garments and bags. Next we will have advertisements telepathically broadcast into meditation.

What corporate authority can interfere with but not completely suppress is the authentic inner spiritual and creative calling. No matter how much the Merlins of advertising and branding and finance may strive to do so, they cannot entirely vanquish your humanity. That’s why they have to spend so much money trying to do so.

They can come close. You can be anesthetized into thinking you’re not who you are, for a while. You can be lured away from your humanity, conditioned what to think, distracted from your soul or consume alcohol and fast food until you’re semi-blotto — but you’re still human, because you possess the Inner Light, the inner connection to the same intelligence that orchestrates your DNA. You are, even if you forget. So you may as well remember.

Yes, remembering your humanity can be painful in such dehumanized times. One of the paradoxes of awakening is the encounter with how many other beings are struggling. As you improve your life, you have to figure out what to do with any potential guilt that you have it good and others do not.

If you pay attention, you will find some people who have their ideals intact. Be kind to them and keep them in your life. There is very little you can accomplish alone, though you are personally the starting point for everything that happens to you. You are the one thing that all your relations have in common.

Remember that, as the world seems to grow darker than we ever dreamed it could.



Planet Waves

Belief meets destiny on the set of the Ed Sullivan Show, Sunday, Feb. 9, 1964.

Five Astrologers and an Entertainment Lawyer Comment on The Beatles

Sara Victoria

Belief met destiny on the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theatre, and the chart Eric cast for that performance makes the karmic scale of The Beatles’ relationship with the United States strikingly clear.

When the show began, the Moon in Capricorn was conjunct the South Node in the 4th house. This represents a deep, emotional, soul-level ambition that is fostered by discipline and karmic in nature — part of the destiny path of the event. Its placement in the 4th house indicates that this ambition has not yet reached fruition; it is still within, underground, unseen. The South and North Nodes are calculated points that describe ‘evolutionary intention’; the South Node evolves into what is represented by the North Node.

Planet Waves
The Beatles appear on the The Ed Sullivan Show. The Capricorn Moon on the South Node suggests that something is not just happening — it’s happening again. Are The Beatles a reincarnation phenomenon? If so, I would nominated Gilbert & Sullivan as their last go-around.

The ‘karmic destiny’ of The Beatles’ performance that night is written in the symbolism of the North Node in Cancer, in the 10th house of public profile. The evolutionary purpose of the event was for their emotionally charged ambition to spring forth from its hidden root and flower upon a world stage.

The staggering impact of the Ed Sullivan performance on The Beatles’ destiny path is seen in the conjunction of the North Node with the natal Sun of the United States. The U.S. and The Beatles were introduced by a cosmic matchmaker that night. The achievement of their karmic intent was inextricably joined with the collective identity of the United States. An astrologer could not have planned a more auspicious time for their American debut.

Dale O’Brien

Fifty years corresponds approximately to when Chiron returns to the exact place it was that many years ago. Since mythological Chiron was the wisest of all beings, god or human, the Chiron return is an opportunity to begin to live a wiser life based on one’s life experience.

Chiron is now in Pisces, as it was starting within hours of JFK’s presidential inauguration. Aug. 16, 1962 was the beginning of The Beatles as John, Paul, George and Ringo. Chiron in Pisces was exactly conjunct Jupiter in Pisces, with both trine Neptune in Scorpio. Chiron and Jupiter were also both opposed to Pluto and Mercury.

The Beatles were even more than just a huge financial success (Jupiter-Pluto). They were even more than a profoundly popular musical group with a sense of fun and humor (Jupiter-Neptune). Despite their youth, they were looked to as wisdom figures, and retained their popularity and credibility even when pursuing the wisdom (and to some extent the music) of India.

Planet Waves
The Beatles arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The official stated time of touchdown is 1:20 pm, which gives you the very, very, very end of Gemini rising. Add just two seconds to the time (less time than the plane rolling down a little bit of runway) and you come up with the Aries Point in hearts and spades — 00 Cancer 00 rising — and that tells the story, of the impact of the event, of its lasting influence and how many people the event reached. It’s called the ‘Aries Point’ because the first degree of Cancer is square the first degree of Aries; Libra and Capricorn work too because they are opposite and square the Aries Point.

As we celebrate The Beatles now, Chiron in Pisces tells us to remember, in part, that we are all one; that music enchants and heals.

Debbie Keil-Leavitt

The Beatles’ arrival in New York on the afternoon of Feb. 7, 1964, was a profound moment in the healing of a reeling nation.  It was no cosmic mistake that The Beatles were first interviewed for American television on Nov. 22, 1963, only to have the broadcast delayed by the assassination of President Kennedy that same day.

Joy, pride and youth had all been lost to that murder, exposing America’s shadow, and the nation was in desperate need of a change of mood. The chart of The Beatles’ arrival has the important characteristic of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction on the 4th house cusp (angular; therefore, potent). This signature of the birth of worldwide transformation was in full force in the 1960s. The chart indicates a pivotal moment with Uranus-Pluto opposing the Teacher/Healer Chiron. The universe was handing us guidance to create a new cultural reality.

Chrissie Blaze

One may not immediately think of hard-hitting, rebellious John Lennon as a typical Libra because it is known that one major characteristic of this Sun sign is a desire for acceptance and to ‘fit in’. Those of us who knew and loved John in the 1960s and 1970s would find it hard to believe this was true of him. However, what we see about a person is not always what they feel inside. In John’s own bitingly honest words:

 “I always was a rebel…but on the other hand, I wanted to be loved and accepted…and not just be a loudmouth, lunatic, poet, musician.”

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that Venus-ruled Libra is indecisive and concerned only with love, romance and relationships. Once this intelligent, passionate Sun sign does espouse a cause worthy of their time and energy few can surpass their noble efforts to literally change the world.

T. C. Gardstein

The songwriting team of Lennon-McCartney was a formidable force. John Lennon’s Sun was in Libra, Paul’s in Gemini; the trine between the two musicians’ Suns manifested in mutual inspiration and what Beatles producer George Martin deemed “a healthy competition.” John and Paul rarely wrote songs together — but they often wrote in each other’s presence, sought out each other’s feedback, and helped each other with lyrics.

Planet Waves
The chart of a true and whole-hearted pervert! John Lennon has Chiron, Transpluto, Pluto, Vesta and Juno in the 5th house of flirty, risky sex — but Juno’s presence means he likes to do it with his wife, unless of course someone interesting comes along.

The finest Lennon-McCartney composition, “A Day in the Life,” was the result of two separate, unfinished songs grafted together into pure genius. This song also perfectly symbolizes the opposition between their Moons: John, the explosive “teddy boy” and drug-oriented, intellectual iconoclast, had an Aquarius Moon; Paul, the magnanimous, regal, pop-oriented showman, had a Leo Moon. This lunar opposition magnetized John and Paul to each other from the day they met and formed the duo’s backbone.

George Harrison was in his own private corner, as one might expect from a Pisces Sun and Scorpio Moon.

In 1965, during the Uranus-Pluto conjunction, George first came across the sitar. Through his subsequent study of this difficult instrument and Eastern philosophy, George was responsible for bringing the East to the attention of the “new world” (hip Sixties Western culture). He continued to support the Maharishi even after his band mates became disenchanted with the yogi. Apropos of his Scorpio Moon, George was also the first Beatle to explicitly reference sex in a song: on Revolver‘s “Love You To” (1966). Yet George’s water-sign vision, which ranged from sarcastic (“Taxman”; “Piggies”) to mystical to just plain beautiful(“Something”), was overshadowed by the Lennon-McCartney duo.

Michael B. Ackerman, entertainment and IP attorney

As for The Beatles’ impact on music, I think you know my answer: it’s like Jesus, there’s before The Beatles and after The Beatles; and after The Beatles everything changed.

Seriously, The Beatles arrival is probably the biggest pop culture impact event in the 20th century. Only Elvis’ arrival comes close and even then it’s not as multilayered. Someone once explained Elvis’ importance to me and I’ve never forgotten it: “Before Elvis boys grew up wanting to be their father, Elvis presented an alternative.” So on that level Elvis’ arrival is very culturally significant, also, Elvis added value to hillbilly status. Elvis was neutered pretty quickly by his induction into the Army. Then he did the movies, which made him meaningless in a pop culture context. The 1968 comeback special was good and a stunning return to form but he was never again the cultural force he was from 1956-1958.

Planet Waves
The chart of the mystic artist — another 5th house chart, this time with Pisces Sun there. If there is a chart about art for art’s sake, or communicating because that’s what you feel, this is the one.

But The Beatles brought long hair, Brits, upward class mobility for England and others (and the disarming of the slagging of the lower class and lower class accents), mass hysteria as a cultural phenomenon, complete dominance of pop music for a time, and major dominance thereafter (every new Beatles record or TV appearance was an event, which always drew ratings and piqued curiosity). Furthermore, a band who wrote their own songs? Elvis put his name on those songs but he didn’t write them.

Not to mention the other stuff — the introspective songs, the psychedelic stuff, the drugs, the fashions, the controversial remarks, or the pioneering approach to making music in the studio. Heck, even their films are quite good (notably A Hard Day’s Night), and I’d say the films and The Beatles flippant style in press conferences were a big influence on later comedy.

I say this not just as a fan, but The Beatles are the Big Bang of the 20th Century. The only other event that comes close is the Moon landing, which had ripple effects in terms of technology (Velcro, satellite communication which enabled cell phones, microwave technology which gave us the microwave oven, and many other developments came directly from the Moon missions).

Think about this: in the 50 years since The Beatles have come along, and with the rise in the standard of living and with the vast expansion of television as a phenomenon (most households at the time of The Beatles’ debut had one television, if they had a television at all), there are very few television shows that had more viewers than The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, and you know all of them: the finale of MASH, the finale of Seinfeld, the OJ ‘chase’, the finale of Cheers, the finale of The Fugitive, the finale of Dallas.

Seriously a half dozen shows (and I do consider the OJ chase a show — it wasn’t a chase, it was a parade) have topped or equaled the Beatles’ ratings on Ed Sullivan in 50 years despite the proliferation of the television set. As more television sets entered homes, viewing habits segmented and those communal events were fewer and further between. Some would say that’s the reason there aren’t more. I’d be one of them.

— Section editor: Elizabeth Michaud

Section Writing and Editing Credits: News items below are written and edited by a team consisting of Hillary Conary, Anne Craig, Eric Francis, Elizabeth Michaud, Amanda Painter, Susan Starr, Chad Woodward and Carol van Strum. Coordinating Editor: Elizabeth Michaud. Page assembled and coded by Anatoly Ryzhenko. Special thanks to the Fact Checkers List, which goes over each edition on Thursday night — and to our main astrology fact-checker Alex Miller, and Amanda, who goes over all their suggestions. Our editions are also proofread and fact-checked by Jessica Keet.


Planet Waves

Back in the USSR

What a great idea — start the Winter Olympics in Mother Russia just as Mercury stationed retrograde in Pisces.

Yes, that Russia — the same one that we were told was the reason why we were hiding under our school desks and out of the way of flying glass; the very Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the bastards with all those missiles pointed at us and spies in trash cans and cameras in cigarette lighters who have taken over Hollywood and are seducing our youth with sex and vodka.

Planet Waves
Nikita Kruschev and some Cuban guy are very excited about the Winter Olympics being in Russia.

The Russia of “I hope the Russians love their children too” fame.

Well, all is forgiven — unless of course something goes horribly wrong during the next 17 days. As of press time Friday morning, hours before the opening ceremony, we were seeing a lot of information about the condition of bathrooms and water in Sochi hotels. We also learned that the United States had again banned liquids and gels on all flights into Russia based on purported information about explosives concealed in toothpaste tubes.

Meanwhile Vladimir Putin, who has an interest in keeping things cool because he wants everyone to think he’s cool, and he’s definitely been on a roll since Pussy Riot’s appearance on The Colbert Report this week [see part one and part two, sorry about the insulting credit card ads], has reportedly been watching over potential “black widow” suicide bombers — women who are not necessarily widows but rather female operatives.

“What is interesting about Russia’s terrorism problem is the number of women who carry out attacks is greater than any other country in the world,” writes Stuart Ramsay, the chief Russian correspondent for Sky News.

We see this specter hanging out on the western horizon of the opening ceremony chart, as asteroid Juno. She’s right there, occupying the relationship angle (the 7th house cusp), right out in the open where everyone can see her. I will admit, it’s a little ominous having her there. I’ve been looking at this chart for a couple of weeks wondering what this is about.

Planet Waves
Chart for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.

Juno has several incarnations, though two main ones. In the first instance, it’s the emotionally disaffected person, generally a woman since her character is that of the jilted wife. But Juno’s problems emerge less from the fact of her being jilted and more from her inability to state her needs. She can represent all kinds of relational insecurity, fear of infidelity and the “maintenance of one’s position with the other,” as my colleague Martha Lang Wescott puts it.

The second incarnation of Juno is that of the guardian of justice and good causes. This is a slightly weird delineation given the other one, but I’ve seen it work sufficiently to trust this theme.

Everyone knows the problem. It’s easy to mess things up. It’s difficult to keep them in order. All it takes is one little freelance terrorist or cell to ruin the whole party. Given that, we might ask why things go so smoothly nearly all the time; whatever that turns out to be is what will protect everyone here.

While Juno can be the jealous bitch or the powerful guardian, the 7th has a similar property — it’s the house of partners and also of open enemies. So we have some ambiguity here. Checking 120 extra points, we discover that today Juno in this chart is in an exact conjunction to Aphrodite, an asteroid named for the Greek counterpart of Venus.

The chart has two other significant points of ambiguity. The first involves the Moon, which is void of course in Taurus when the ceremony begins. Void of course Moon means that the Moon is done making major aspects to major planets in its current sign. It can have a slippery feeling, noncommittal or uncertain.

Again checking 120 extra points, we find the Moon’s one applying aspect while it’s in Taurus is an opposition to asteroid Siva. I’m going to give you Martha’s whole delineation of that point, at least this one version: “Episodic, catabolic (breakdown/through) process that precedes insight; destruction of density/fixated beliefs (relative to aspects); crisis of death (stagnation) or regeneration; The Far East (including Vietnam, India, China, Malaysia, Japan;) periodic occurrence; ascetic; attention to sound.”

Planet Waves
Juno and Aphrodite on the western horizon? Well, close enough — it’s Pussy Riot on Stephen Colbert.

Personally I’ve always taken the “attention to sound” bit with Siva to heart — I use it as one indicator to LISTEN. However, this Moon looks like it’s about confronting the fear of change and instability; appropriate enough under the circumstances. There is no certainty in this situation.

Second ambiguous thing involves Mercury, which just stationed retrograde on Thursday. Mercury is a powerful element in the Winter Olympics chart — the chart has Virgo rising (ruled by Mercury) and Gemini on the midheaven (ruled by Mercury). And Mercury occupies Pisces, the 7th sign from the ascendant; hence it’s angular, i.e., near the horizon and more influential.

Plus Mercury does something called ‘fall’ in Pisces, a negative dignity which means that it’s slightly uncomfortable there but has to do some extra work to get its point across, then it can become significantly influential. And it’s also retrograde, which is another supposed negative, but Mercury just loves to be retrograde. So what we get is this weird Mercury that rules the 1st and 10th houses and is swimming upstream in Pisces.

If there was ever a chart that said, “You can’t really tell from this chart what the heck is going on, but it really doesn’t look that bad,” this is the one. Plus it has a lot to say about water, which is what has been dominating news reports from old Mother Russia.

Now I will say this, and I intend it as a warning.

Planet Waves
Stacy St. Clair of the Chicago Tribune tweeted: “My hotel has no water. If restored, the front desk says, ‘do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous’.” Then after water was restored with this pee-colored blend, she tweeted, “I just washed my face with Evian, like I’m a Kardashian or something.”

Every time I hear one of these news reports about signs in Sochi bathrooms that say “don’t wash your face with this water,” I think that if Americans are not careful, we are all next. Water contamination is currently a big story in the U.S., the drought on the West Coast should be bigger news and fracking away all of our remaining fresh water should be even bigger news.

Anyway, back to the Olympics: journalists have been on the water beat from their water closets in their hotel rooms. Reports of group toilets and contaminated water have been bouncing around for days.

Here is my personal fave, out of The Wall Street Journal:

“Dmitry Kozak, a Russian deputy prime minister in charge of preparations for the Olympics, mistakenly revealed during a press conference that at least some hotel guests are under video surveillance in their own bathrooms. ‘We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day’.”

Wow! “Security” cameras in bathrooms! What fun! I’ve just checked asteroid Photographica in today’s chart and I predict that cell phone photos will provide some of the most entertaining moments from Winter Olympics XXII.

The Chris Christie Prediction that Came True

In the Jan. 10 edition of Planet Waves I said that the Chris Christie scandal would take a big turn once Venus stationed direct on Jan. 31, which is exactly what happened.

Here is what I said:

Leo, the sign that represents the president or the king, is on the cusp of the 12th. That indicates that the governor presided over the whole matter. The Sun, ruler of Leo, is also found in the 12th. He’s right in the mix, fully aware and sharing responsibility for the whole thing. To sum that up, the planets that rule the official government and its leadership, as well as the sign associated with the king, and its ruler, are all crammed into the 12th house.

This is your classic 20 pounds of shit in a 10-pound bag kind of scandal. And it wasn’t staying in the bag. The fact that the email got out, making it clear that the traffic jam was payback, that he fired a member of his team and accused her of lying, and that his appointee at the Port Authority said he wanted immunity from the feds, New York and New Jersey tells you that there was criminal activity involved. I think that will come out around the time that Venus stations direct on Jan. 31.

Here is what The New York Times said happened that day, among other things:

In Wildstein’s letter to Darrell Buchbinder, the general counsel at Port Authority, he claims the decision was “the Christie’s administration’s order.” (Apparently the letter was sent as part of a dispute over Wildstein’s legal fees — the Port Authority does not want to pay his legal fees related to the investigations into the lane closings.)

“It has also come to light that a person within the Christie administration communicated the Christie administration’s order that certain lanes on the George Washington Bridge were to be closed, and evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference he gave immediately before Mr. Wildstein was scheduled to appear before the Transportation Committee. Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the Governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some,” the letter said.

More on this soon.


Planet Waves

Business as Useless, Uh, as Usual

The legislative branch of the U.S. government actually managed to legislate last week, passing the deeply flawed farm bill. But lest anyone take this as a sign that the gridlock is thawing, witness the snarling and snapping and grandstanding that is heating up over the prospect of raising the debt ceiling this month.

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Playing the blame game as usual; Republicans and Democrats can’t help but point fingers. Photo by Jonathan Ernst.

There is little doubt that the debt ceiling — the limit on the Treasury Department’s borrowing ability — will ultimately be raised, as it has been 80 times since the 1940s, with the largest number of increases happening during the Reagan/Bush I years. But earlier this week, Republicans who seemingly didn’t learn much from the government shutdown battle this past fall were seeing the debt ceiling deadline as a golden opportunity.

As per what passes for normal these days, Republicans are deeply split. Some loathe the idea of any raising of the debt ceiling no matter what. Others would be willing, but only if there’s quid pro quo; ideas that have been floated by this faction include speeding approval of the Keystone XL pipeline, canceling an Affordable Care Act provision intended to prevent premium increases, and undoing recent changes to military cost-of-living allotments.

The idea is to come up with something so brilliant and hard to criticize that every single Republican will get on board, but no such item has emerged from the fray. If it did, Democrats would block it at the Senate level anyway.

Any hopes of actual progress on issues such as jobs, infrastructure, immigration reform or unemployment insurance extensions, meanwhile, have fallen very nearly off the map as both sides focus their energy on the coming midterm elections. Democrats are hoping to mobilize the youthful vigor of Obama’s 2012 ground game, while Republicans are urging the IRS to loosen spending rules.

Riding Disinformation on the ACA Highway

Right-leaning media outlets including FOX News and The Washington Post sounded the battle cry yesterday in response to a report released by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) outlining the projected effects of the Affordable Care Act (ACA, or ‘Obamacare’) on the nation’s budget, the economy and employment. The charge? That the ACA will cost the United States more than two million jobs over the next ten years — but it seems that in the rush to pillory Obama’s crowning achievement, the Right got it wrong.

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What the CBO report actually states is that the ACA will reduce the number of full-time workers by 2.5 million over the next decade:

“The estimated reduction [that is, the reduction of available labor] stems almost entirely from a net decline in the amount of labor that workers choose to supply, rather than from a net drop in business’ demand for labor.”

The key phrase here is “workers choose to supply.” We’re not talking about workers getting laid off; we’re not talking about hours being cut by employers; we’re not talking about jobs being sent overseas. The CBO is saying that 2.5 million people will voluntarily leave the workforce because they no longer need to stay in jobs just to get health insurance.

You’re familiar with the situation: people staying in jobs they hate or that are a poor fit for them, and older workers staying in jobs past the point when they might otherwise retire, solely because they need the health insurance offered. The ACA allows people to get health insurance privately, freeing them to leave the workforce if they can get by on retirement savings and social security, or to reduce their hours, or to find employment they actually prefer. It’s still not universal single-payer health care, but the CBO report indicates we may be edging closer.

The Right-wing media misinterpretation seems less a legitimate confusion and more like a deliberate move in the chess game of disinformation being played by the Koch brothers, et al.

“Too bad this reality isn’t permeating the liberal force field of thinking only positive thoughts,” crowed the op-ed in The Wall Street Journal, claiming projected job loss. Too bad the fact of what the report actually stated is not permeating the Right-wing force field of crazy.


Planet Waves

Nuke News: Never a Dull Moment in Japan

GE Hitachi Nuclear Energy, a joint venture between the two multinational conglomerate corporations, has agreed to pay a minuscule $2.7 million fine to the U.S. government. The settlement comes after GE Hitachi was accused by the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) of making false statements about known flaws of their nuclear reactor designs.

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Just what you always wanted — an Economic Simplified Boiling-Water Reactor, brought to you by GE and the people who make the Hitachi Magic Wand.

GE Hitachi concealed problems in its Economic Simplified Boiling-Water Reactor [see propaganda video here], specifically involving a steam dryer that removes liquid water in boiling-water type reactors. The companies knew that vibrations from the steam dryers could cause cracking of the vessel and loose debris entering the steam lines, thereby compromising the safety of the nuclear reactor.

U.S. Department of Energy supplied federal funding to GE Hitachi between 2007 and 2012 for up to half the cost of developing this steam dryer and acquiring certification. According to a Wall Street Journal report, a spokesperson for the company denies the allegations and says they settled the lawsuit in order to resolve the accusation. GE and Hitachi both engineered reactors for Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi in the 1970s, where four out of six units were crippled in the earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. Three experienced total core meltdowns.

Meanwhile TEPCO, the utility operating Fukushima, says that it decommissioned units 5 and 6 last Friday, the only two reactors left intact after the disaster. Units 1, 2 and 3 experienced complete core meltdowns, and Unit 4 incurred severe structural damage due to hydrogen explosions and is in the process of having its spent fuel removed.

TEPCO’s decision to decommission the reactors reportedly came at the urging of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who visited the plant last September. The prime minister’s administration is cultivating the image of taking a firm stance that the government is handling the disaster at Fukushima.

Public concern in Japan over nuclear power is growing, despite attempts to keep the subject quiet. Last month a radio show host quit his job after the program director told him to avoid discussing nuclear power because his comments “would affect voting behavior” in the upcoming gubernatorial election in Tokyo.

Despite the prime minister’s efforts to keep concerns over nuclear power out of the spotlight, three out of four candidates for mayor declared they were against nuclear energy in a debate on Saturday.


Planet Waves

Monsanto Votes Down Proposal Supporting GMO Labeling

Sometimes you have to get into the belly of the beast and give it a stomach ache to get your point across.

Planet Waves
Colorful fish art cars drive past protesters outside Monsanto’s shareholder meeting. Photo by Sarah Conrad.

Advocates for GMO labeling did just that last week at Monsanto headquarters in St. Louis, Missouri, at the annual shareholder meeting. They were there to lend support to the first-time-ever Monsanto shareholder vote on a resolution to support GMO labeling — brought by shareholder and food safety activist Adam Eidinger of Occupy Monsanto, and presented by family farm advocate Dave Murphy of Food Democracy Now!

Outside the building, five colorful “fishy cars” representing the unlabeled fishy food that has been genetically modified and consumed for years drove home the protesters’ point: Label it.

“We’re just coming to their shareholder meeting as a response to what they’ve been doing around the country,” said Cesar Maxit, designer and architect of the five fish art cars. “We’re taking the fight to their home, their shareholder meeting, saying we’re sick of it.”

“We’re asking that Monsanto stop fighting the will of the American people, 90 percent of whom want to know if their food has been genetically engineered in a laboratory,” said Murphy.

Monsanto shareholders said ‘screw you’ to the 90%, however, when 95% of them voted “No” on the resolution. The text of the resolution is here, along with Monsanto’s board of directors’ recommendation to defeat it.


Planet Waves

If Mercury Taught Photography

In honor of Mercury retrograde (which began yesterday), check out these “50 Most Perfectly Timed Photos on the Internet,” collected by Reshareworthy.com. Mercury is a clever, creative trickster — and while most of us are all-too familiar with the ways the fastest planet can cause trouble, we don’t always stop to appreciate the happy accidents that can occur when things don’t go exactly as planned. Some of the photos featured actually are the results of careful planning; others capture once-in-a-lifetime moments of happenstance, never to be recreated. Hopefully they’ll inspire you to play Mercury’s game with a little more curiosity, playfulness and appreciation of the unexpected.


Planet Waves

Mercury retrograde and Philip Seymour Hoffman

In the current edition of Planet Waves FM [link to program] I take you on a tour of the coming Mercury retrograde, Ceres in Scorpio and also revisit Venus in Capricorn. Then I look at the charts of Philip Seymour Hoffman. Our musical guest is Big Spoon.

Options for Apple users and a downloadable MP3 are available on the Planet Waves FM page.


Planet Waves

Have you ordered your 2014 readings by Eric Francis yet? The Mars Effect (our 16th annual edition!) has just published, and includes in-depth audio and written readings for your Sun, Moon and rising signs. We always receive a flood of positive feedback for these readings, and it shows just how meaningful they are. One customer wrote, “Every minute of Eric’s reading is worth gold.” We’re offering you a special package price of $79 for all twelve signs, available only to current Planet Waves members. Or you may purchase individual signs for $29.95.


Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

We published your extended monthly horoscopes for February on Friday, Jan. 24. Your extended monthly horoscopes for January  were published Friday, Jan. 3. We published Moonshine horoscopes for the Cancer Full Moon Tuesday, Jan. 14. Moonshine horoscopes for the Aquarius New Moon published Tuesday, Jan. 28. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.


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Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, #986 | By Eric Francis

SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT — You are invited to join Planet Waves tarot writer Sarah Taylor for her first U.S. tarot workshop — on Saturday, Feb. 15, in Rockport, Maine.

“Romancing the Tarot: Learning to Speak the Language of Intuition” is a four-hour, participative journey through the tarot deck, and into the realm of the intuition. Gain a practical understanding of tarot and how it communicates its message; learn how to perform simple, useful, tarot readings; discover a stronger, clearer connection to your intuition. All levels are welcome, including absolute beginners. You can also book a private reading with Sarah the day before the workshop.

To reserve your place, and for more information, call The Maine Beehive, Rockport, at 207-236-3111 or visit www.integratedtarot.com/events.

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — This is a visionary moment, though you may be experiencing it with anxiety in a way that you cannot describe. Perhaps this is coming across as a sense of hesitancy, uncertainty or a struggle making a decision that has no basis in physical reality. In truth there is more going on below the surface of your mind than on the surface level. However, in order to tune into that, and get the benefits, I suggest you take some time alone and do some soul searching. Your orientation on life has become even more external than usual in recent seasons. The real nourishment that you need, whether for success or happiness or intimacy, will come from your relationship to yourself. And from the look of your solar charts, that can be a compelling experience — richer and more wholesome than nearly any experience you can have with someone else, at least right now.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also order individual signs for $29.95 here.


Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You may already be getting the message to get serious and focus on your work, and your highest goals. This is the time to put those together — to recognize the relationship between achievement, reputation and developing your competence. Those three factors will continue to add up to one thing: self-confidence. There are markers in your solar chart that you’re cultivating faith in yourself, though I’ve noticed this is something that needs to be claimed, taken possession of, and put to good use. You can ask yourself the question, “Were I more confident, what would I do?” Meanwhile, beware of social diversions this weekend. They are precisely that. Devote your time with friends to the ones who matter the most. ‘The crowd’ loves to waste its time — I suggest you make contact with someone, or with a few people, who you care about deeply. There is the potential for some profound honesty and emotional exchange.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also order individual signs for $29.95 here.


Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Any real career is likely to be a story of two steps forward, one step back — though the good news is that there are more forward steps than backward ones. One brilliant detail about your astrology right now is that any setback has the potential for conversion into achieving something that seems impossible. Your charts look like you’re coming close to your dreams, but are not fully willing to take the plunge. Over the next few weeks, I suggest you consider what it would mean to dive into a goal so important, it may have stalked you since you were a child. Go back to that original notion of “what I want to be when I grow up,” the first one or two that you can remember. Then look around at the world today and see what needs you perceive that match with what you have to offer. Note, I am not talking about a five-minute think-over — more like a five-week investigation.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also order individual signs for $29.95 here.


Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — There is an overwhelming amount of water energy in the sky right now, which means you’re right in your element. Remember that crabs live on the bottom, in the deeps of the ocean. You are less affected by what is going on with the other elements than they are by what is happening in the water signs. So as Mercury retrograde picks up momentum, you’re likely to be feeling more at home than many people around you. However, as Mercury retrogrades into Aquarius on Feb. 12, you have reason to pay close attention to joint financial matters. There is the potential for both confusion and for making mistakes in contractual issues. Therefore I suggest you follow the wise advice of “don’t sign, don’t buy, don’t commit” until after Mercury stations direct on Feb. 28. By that time you will know what you need to know — and there is plenty. String people along, call them up and talk about puppies or tell them your astrologer said to wait. Whatever it takes.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also order individual signs for $29.95 here.


Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — The financial news I’ve related in the Cancer horoscope applies to you as well, only sooner rather than later. This is not a good time to be negotiating, but it’s a great time to figure out where people are coming from, what they have to offer and how you can mutually benefit. However, that information will come out in layers rather than all at once. People will tip their hand a little at a time, though you can be certain that you will find out what you need to know, under a couple of conditions. One is that you use your “sixth sense” or intuition — however you prefer to think about it. Most people feel the hankering of their intuition but few actually respond. I suggest you focus on careful listening — to yourself, and to others. People will give you the clues you need in order to understand their point of view. Indeed, most will state it outright, usually toward the beginning of any interchange; the question is whether you’re paying attention.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also order individual signs for $29.95 here.


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You will need to play it cool with a partner, and not allow yourself to get caught in an emotional current that may have nothing to do with you. The question seems to be whether and how much you’re willing to be part of someone else’s delusion. You may have a clue that this is what’s going on, though till now you have not been able to do much about it. As the next few weeks progress, it will gradually become clearer what has been happening. The biggest trap remains trying to fix someone, or persuade them to your point of view. They will either come around to reality or not — the more vital matter for you is your own commitment to reality. At a certain point, logic and your own commitment to your healing will take over. You have been firm about this for a while; you get how important it is. Remind yourself again.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also order individual signs for $29.95 here.


Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — The current astrological news involves Mercury retrograde, which may be making it more challenging than usual to keep your composure and your focus. However, for Libra, the more compelling factor in your solar chart takes place on March 1 — Mars stations retrograde in your sign. Retrogrades of Mars are among the most palpable. They can put even confident and decisive people into a state of limbo, because Mars is all about going for what you want. When retrograde in your sign, Mars will have the effect of putting you into contact with the aspect of yourself who desires and who chooses. If there is a healing crisis associated with this, it’s along the lines of being honest with yourself about your desire. It’s also about maintaining a steady keel when you have reasons to doubt — that is, not allowing your doubts to take over your whole mind. The next three weeks of Mercury retrograde will be excellent practice for the real adventure.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also order individual signs for $29.95 here.


Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Scorpios are often regarded as the sign known for their intensity rather than for taking care of people. My take is that this involves the anxiety others experience when confronted by someone who compels them to feel something other than a sugar high. I want to propose that your presence is an actual source of nourishment and support, even if you make people uneasy sometimes. Or to refine that statement, you have the option to focus your presence and your influence in a wholly positive way, and you’re in a moment when the faint of heart are more receptive to you than they usually are. Don’t underestimate the extent to which you play into their fantasies and their desires. People often refuse to admit who and what they want, or worse, they’re afraid that actually having that experience will in some way change them. In honor of that, I suggest that you be open to what you want, and to having it, with full awareness that you will change for doing so.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also order individual signs for $29.95 here.


Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — At this time in your life, the concept of fair exchange is a necessary ingredient in your growth and your happiness. Be aware what you can contribute to any situation — that is to say, without feeling exploited. Be aware of the people who give to you so generously. Be aware of their devotion to you. It may seem un-Sagittarian to openly express gratitude, but I assure you that it would merely stand as evidence that you are a conscious and magnanimous citizen rather than another of the blocks and stones we so often keep banging into. There is no situation in your life that feeds you that you don’t have the power to feed and support. Your own well-being, your sense of belonging and most of all your need for fairness depend on it. Without aiming to appeal to your self-interest, let me say this another way. Everyone benefits from your generosity, of heart, of soul, of your wisdom and your resources. You benefit by being reminded how much you have.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also order individual signs for $29.95 here.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You may be feeling like your mind is anything but clear, however, your astrology is saying you have an opening for something better than clarity, which is originality. The chaos that’s swarming around your thought process is a necessary ingredient of authentic creativity. Perhaps a musical metaphor will help. It’s necessary to learn scales and theory and be somewhat disciplined to be able to play an instrument. When it comes down to having your own ideas, improvising or letting your feelings out, you have to step outside those frameworks and embrace the unpredictable with a flexible state of mind. Current planetary movements may seem to be overdoing this a little, though think of what you’re doing as surfing rather than paddling around a heated swimming pool. Also I would note, you cannot actually drown in an idea, and if you find one that seems like it could do that, you can be sure it’s a pretty darned powerful concept.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also order individual signs for $29.95 here.


Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — This would be a good time to avoid making decisions about money, including those about how you feel about your self-worth and the monetary value of your work. One thing about many, many Aquarians is an egalitarian spirit about money. This does not usually harmonize well with a world where the primary value seems to be greed. Indeed, in my short lifetime, I’ve seen greed go from a problem that some people have to a virtue to be aspired to. One productive thing you can do is remind yourself that you have an entirely different take on money than all of that. While you may not be ‘liberal’ on all issues, I am sure you’re firm on everyone having a right to food, shelter and pleasure. You don’t believe that others need to lose so that you can gain. Here is where you have a major advantage. Aquarius is one of the most structured signs, and wealth flows toward order and organization.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also order individual signs for $29.95 here.


Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Do your best not to let anyone who seems thick or dull get on your nerves. Have some compassion for the fact that those who resist their own intelligence or intuition are out of their element with you. There is a slight conflict in that you are not thick, you value your own intelligence and you are ridiculously perceptive — therefore you notice the fact that so many people are walking around in a coma of denial. Here is the good news: You do have your influence on them, which is about as dramatic as layers of salt melting off of a deer lick (that’s a big block of salt people leave in their backyard in winter for deer). You may not see the block changing shape regularly but the deer notices that they are getting something good, which is also a vital nutrient. You may not notice people having radical revelations but you can trust that you’re having your influence, which will gradually get results in the form of having a deeper exchange with whoever is involved.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also order individual signs for $29.95 here.

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The Ancestor

Dear Friend and Reader:

On the first night that the Sun was in Scorpio, I fell asleep a bit early on the bed in my photo studio and awoke a few hours later from a lucid dream — a dream in which I knew that I was dreaming.

Planet Waves
Caroline Kennedy and her father John, at Hyannisport, Mass., aboard the “Honey Fitz” on August 25, 1963. Photo by Cecil Stoughton.

I was in an attic room. John Kennedy was expressing his rage, ever so politely but rage no less, that the American public fell for the cover-up of his murder. He was incredulous that such an obvious fraud could hold up to any scrutiny at all. What I recall most vividly was his conveying the feeling of, “How could this be possible, how could anyone fall for this?”

He explained that the FBI had killed 150 people in the process of ‘investigating’ his murder.

He was healthy and in good condition, wearing a suit, leaning up on his elbows on a small bed. Kennedy went on for a while, explaining certain particulars of the case.

There was one other person there. I don’t know who; I never saw his/her face. I don’t believe we were direct collaborators but rather that we had a similar mission. I understood that Kennedy was speaking to me in a gesture of trust: that I would understand that it was real, and that I would not be silent.

There was a stairway going down from the attic, which I knew was my route out of the dreamtime and into the physical world. I woke up at about 1 am, described the dream to a friend in a short email, recorded the time and cast the chart.

My rational mind started to piece together what had happened. I understood it was a visitation from someone on the other side.

I have had several of these in my life and they have a feeling distinct from an ordinary dream — in particular, a sense of cohesion of the circumstances, and my full presence and awareness within the dream space.

Planet Waves
Oswald was originally taken into custody for the shooting of a cop, not the president. Conveniently, he was already in custody when he was named Kennedy’s assassin.

On awakening I felt alert and clear, relieved to have seen him and aware how much I love him. I knew I was being given a gift of trust as well as voluntarily accepting a responsibility.

Even as a child of about seven, from the first time I heard the story of the events of the assassination — that JFK had been shot, that Lee Harvey Oswald, his purported assassin, had been killed two days later, and that the guy who killed Oswald was dead just three years after that — the whole scenario seemed ridiculous.

I didn’t know the word ‘cover-up’ but I intuitively grasped that both Oswald being killed and Ruby mysteriously dying were designed to prevent the truth from getting out. I remember being angry. I remember wanting the truth and being amazed that anyone could content themselves with anything less.

In the month since my experience of meeting JFK, I’ve gradually figured out that my response to his assassination helped shape me into the person I am. Part of that response includes not being fooled or intimidated by lies, no matter how grand the scale. And another aspect involves wanting to do something about it.

Not the Same Question Today

The message I have today, on the 50th anniversary of his death, is that the question of who killed Pres. Kennedy is a different one than it was in 1963, or even 10 or 20 years later. If you listen to pundits and broadcast ‘news’ reporters today, they ask the question the same way it’s always been asked. With half a century between then and now, we have a lot of context. That context makes it clear what happened next, that being half a century of nonstop war.

Planet Waves
Johnson wasted no time taking over the Vietnam situation once he was president. The discussion began on his first full day in office.

Lyndon Johnson wasted no time plotting the expansion of the Vietnam War. Meetings and top-level memoranda written on Nov. 23, 1963, a Saturday, with the dead president’s body still on the autopsy table, reveal what was on Johnson’s mind.

Within nine months, Congress would grant Johnson a blank check and total power to do whatever he wanted in Vietnam. Troop levels would immediately rise steadily, peaking at 543,482 on April 30, 1969. Nixon would expand the war to Laos and Cambodia.

War means the expenditure of countless billions of dollars, nearly all of which go to military contractors, enriching the banks along the way. The national wealth is pumped out of the people, and given to corporations that kill people all over the world.

There is no balance of power here. Every branch of government goes for it; all the companies that profit, from Microsoft providing operating systems for aircraft carriers to beef suppliers selling hamburgers to Halliburton, love it.
War means millions of people killed, injured, orphaned and displaced, for the profit of private individuals. It’s always sold to us as a patriotic act of defending the motherland, not as a private (but government funded) investment scheme.

I have no doubt that Kennedy saw the folly of Vietnam and would have brought the troops home after his re-election. He was not an interventionist and he knew from what happened at the Bay of Pigs, a disastrous attempt to invade Cuba, that his top military brass were a bunch of idiots.

To think, however, that Kennedy’s killing was merely about his plans to pull the so-called advisors home from Vietnam after he was re-elected does not take the logic the full distance. We can debate the point of what he might have done, but there is no debate about what happened next, by which I mean the next 50 years.

When I say that Kennedy’s murder was a violent coup by what Pres. Eisenhower, JFK’s predecessor, called the military-industrial complex, I am not theorizing. I am describing what happened in the following 10 years of the Vietnam War; then numerous coups and wars in South and Central America; the United States messing with the war between Iran and Iraq beginning in 1981; the first Bush war in Iraq in 1990-91, which lasted clear through till the second Bush war in Afghanistan; and Iraq from 2001-present.

Planet Waves
The perpetual jungle war became the perpetual desert war. This is Operation Desert Shield, an action against Iraq, 1990. In all we have been bombing Iraq since 1981. Dept. of Defense photo.

Think about it. We have, directly or indirectly, been bombing Iraq for 32 years. The War on Terror has gone on for 12 years, with actions in countless countries; the War on Drugs has raged on, domestically and internationally.

The Vietnam War never ended. Even as those particular troops came home and everyone muttered ‘never again’, the United States waged war after war in remote parts of the world, under a succession of excuses, and continues to do on this very day. From Wednesday’s New York Times:

Secretary of State John Kerry announced on Wednesday that the United States and Afghanistan had finalized the wording of a bilateral security agreement that would allow for a lasting American troop presence through 2024 and set the stage for billions of dollars of international assistance to keep flowing to the government in Kabul.

I have probably read 50 times that “Afghanistan is not the new Vietnam.” That is correct. It is the new, improved Vietnam. Astonishingly expensive, impervious to protest and being fought for no reason anyone understands except to move cash through banks, conglomerates and military contractors, it has the added benefit of lasting forever.

As for international assistance? That must mean coming directly out of our paychecks.

What We Lost in JFK

Kennedy was a man with the independence, the guts and the integrity to stand up for what he believed was right, and to challenge what he believed was wrong. That alone was enough to create many enemies, and along with that, considerable confusion over who might have killed him.

It was the Mafia because he was against the Mafia. It was somebody’s husband because he fucked the guy’s wife. It was Lee Harvey Oswald, um, why exactly? Because Kennedy hated Cuba, which Kennedy had repeatedly refused to invade?

Planet Waves
Pres. John F. Kennedy speaking before Congress. He is our modern archetype of ‘the president’ though none have lived up to his style since. Photographer unknown.

These theories are ridiculously short-sighted. In an article called Storm Warnings, published at this time last year, I described how Jack Kennedy and his brother Bobby went up against the perpetual war machine, which decided they had to be moved out of the way.

His death was a resounding message that no future president should be foolish enough to ever do that again.

We often wonder why presidents always seem so lame, never able to get anything done or to stand up for any real principles. When Obama took office, one of my readers wrote to me and said that she thought it possible that moments after a new president was inaugurated, he was taken into a side-room by a couple of CIA officers, shown the film of the Kennedy murder and asked if he had any questions. Every president since Kennedy has certainly acted as if that’s exactly what happens.

So in a sense we lost not just the president but the presidency, in its expression as the president being the autonomous chief executive and commander-in-chief of the military. Today we accept that the president has little actual power, and that he’s heavily influenced by outside corporate forces and the shadow government. He owes little to the people who elected him.

The power structure that we live within — the actual full manifestation of the military-industrial complex — is so out of control that we all now assume that everything we type on the Internet or speak into our phones is recorded in a searchable database.

By whom? By an agency whose current function is to wage covert war, not just against some foreign enemy but also against the people of the country they are supposed to be protecting.

There’s a spiritual issue, though, that comes closer to explaining the core psychology of losing Pres. Kennedy. Many have noted that he was a father figure, one who was never replaced. Though there are other factors, one product of this has been the anarchy we live with today.

A Mass Psychology Experiment

Perhaps the most frightening thing about the Kennedy murder was the mass psychology experiment that it was. Something shocking was done, a lame or even totally absurd cover story was floated, and the endless war was begun.

The JFK assassination was not the invention of the Shock Doctrine, but it was its first full manifestation as a domestic event in the United States used against the domestic population. One momentous use of this device was in Germany in 1933 — the Reichstag fire. (I’ve been wanting to do a review of that chart for years, and the anniversary is coming up.)

Planet Waves
Like the Kennedy assassination, the events of Sept. 11, 2001 were a mass psychology experiment and an opportunity to embark on perpetual war. Photo by Eric J. Tilford.

As long as people are scared enough, the perpetrator can blame anyone and do anything. Though this technique has been used many times, there’s only one event in American history that stands up to the JFK assassination — the events of Sept. 11. The three days of speechless shock, followed by weeks in a stupor of disbelief, followed by a rearrangement of everything, make these events seem like matching bookends.

Sept. 11 was a military coup, which we know because as with the events of Nov. 22, 1963, the military took over. The MOs of both events are identical: the most shocking thing ever happens, someone who had nothing to do with it is blamed in 90 minutes, and the war rages on.

Then the true story is refuted, and either hardly anyone cares that much or hardly anyone believes it. Those who do are called conspiracy nuts.

I don’t have the answer for what to do about this, but I know that to find it, we must be a lot smarter, and shrewder, and more perceptive than we are. We need to personally take up the qualities we admired the most in our ancestor JFK — his guts, his independence, and his willingness to fully embody his role.

Most of all, though, we need to cultivate the hunger for truth and the refusal to believe lies. You might say that the lies make all of these turns of events possible, but they would be worthless if nobody believed them.


Note, I have covered the astrology of the JFK assassination recently in two places — in my article Storm Warnings from one year ago, and in this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM.

Writing and Editing Credits: News items below are written and edited by a team consisting of Anne Craig, Eric Francis, Amanda Painter, Susan Scheck and Carol van Strum. Chad Woodward and David Rosen contributed this week as well, with research assistance by the Planet Waves staff. Page assembled and coded by Anatoly Ryzhenko. Special thanks to the Fact Checkers List, which goes over each edition on Thursday night — and to our main astrology fact-checker Alex Miller, and Amanda, who goes over all their suggestions. Our editions are also proofread and fact-checked by Jessica Keet.


Planet Waves

Galactic Journey: Sun Enters Sagittarius

Just before 11 pm EST Thursday, the Sun entered the sign Sagittarius. While on one level all the signs are equal, Sagittarius is an unusual energy from the standpoint of the world of work-a-day, entertainment and gossip. Sagittarius is the direction of the core of our galaxy, which influences everything about this sign.

Planet Waves
The Milky Way appears as a streak across the summer sky. Photo by Mila Zinkova, Wikimedia Commons.

The Milky Way, our home in space, is a spiral arrangement of some 300 billion stars, a miniature universe of its own. Even with our culture’s relatively advanced knowledge of astronomy, the galaxy is an elusive concept to most people. It’s still a stretch for many to grasp the spatial relationship involved in how the Earth goes around the Sun — even though we can see both. The galaxy is nearly invisible, appearing in the Northern Hemisphere only in summer, and as a misty, slightly glowing cloud.

Yet at its core is a supermassive black hole, which binds together our island in space. So while on the one hand awareness of our galaxy eludes perception by the senses, it also contains the heaviest, strangest thing anywhere in proximity to our solar system. I would say the largest, but black holes don’t seem to take up much physical three-dimensional space. They seem more like a door into another dimension — a door that is gradually becoming something real.

With these ideas, we’ve gone beyond what ordinary astrology was designed to handle, and we’ve also gone beyond what most people can actually feel. Though these concepts have been percolating in science fiction for a while, they seem to have little influence on our lives.

The thing is, they do have plenty of influence, especially for those who have made any commitment to a spiritual or metaphysical path, or whose religious journey verges into actual experience. For those exploring these aspects of life, the sense of experiencing something, a calling, a desire, a need, but not being able to describe it clearly, can be a fairly common experience.

Planet Waves
The Sun ingressed Sagittarius on Thursday with the Moon in an exact conjunction to Jupiter — the ruler of Sagittarius. Glyph key is here. There is lots of other coverage of the Sun’s sign change by Len Wallick and Amanda Painter on the Planet Waves blog.

It’s quite the opposite of the emotional, hormonal pull of Scorpio, the previous sign, which seems to know exactly, precisely what it wants. And it could not be more different from the salty, ruddy energy of Capricorn that aspires in tangible ways toward goals that can be expressed.

Sagittarius is different. I would rate it as the most different sign, the feeling of which is often associated with the kind of longing that we think of as spiritual or mystical. It contains a homing signal drawing our consciousness toward a level that goes beyond what we consider normal.

The elusiveness of Sagittarius can influence those born with the Sun, Moon or ascendant here — they often resist being defined or understood, or involving themselves in a commitment, particularly an emotional one.

There’s a legitimate spiritual basis for this — the kinds of attachments that our world proffers the most often are also the same things that can be the biggest stumbling blocks to spiritual growth.

At the same time there’s a good reason that to one side of Sagittarius we have Scorpio, among the most sexual and emotional signs. To the other side is Capricorn, the sign of worldly aspiration, achievement and leadership. Think of Sagittarius not as a destination in itself but as an excursion you can take. Those born under this sign or with it prominent in their charts are living, in part, to understand what is beyond this world — not for entertainment, but to build a tangible relationship.

With the Sun transiting Sagittarius for the next 30 days and nights, those who are paying attention will all get a taste of that journey. I’ll be chronicling some of its features over the next few weeks.


Planet Waves

Senate Finally Ends Filibuster Rule, at Least for Certain Federal Judges

On Thursday, the U.S. Senate ended its absurd policy of requiring 60 votes on at least one matter that, according to the Constitution, only requires a simple majority — the approval of certain federal judgeships. Known as the filibuster rule or cloture, the procedure (also called Senate Rule 22) allows the minority party to demand that a matter be approved not by 51 votes but rather by 60 votes — also called a supermajority.

Planet Waves
The Senate has a lot of rules as old as this photo of the chambers in 1873. Rule 22 is not that old, however. It dates back about 30 years. Photo via Wikimedia Commons.

While many would argue that the less Congress does, the better, Rule 22 has contributed not just to gridlock but to the minority party — in this case the Republicans — making sure that nothing gets done. Many have noted that they are trying to nullify Obama’s presidency — that is, making sure that it’s totally ineffective. Rule 22 is only supposed to be invoked occasionally, when it really matters. Lately it’s become an everyday thing.

The Senate has the constitutional duty to approve all federal judges named by the president. Usually this is a simple matter requiring only 51 votes, a ‘simple majority’ of the 100 senators. However, the Republicans have been blocking all of Obama’s federal judicial nominations, trying to hold them open until Obama is out of office so they can approve only judges who are against women’s reproductive rights. Federal judges are all appointed for the rest of their lives.

After a group of Obama’s judicial nominees to the appellate court for the D.C. circuit were blocked by filibuster yet again this week, Harry Reid, the majority leader of the Senate, moved to suspend Rule 22 for all nominees to the federal judiciary except for Supreme Court justices.

The D.C. circuit of the federal appeals courts is one of the more important bodies because it hears many cases involving the government, and is a breeding pond for many who will later sit on the Supreme Court. So the Republicans have a special interest in keeping Obama’s nominees off of that particular bench.

Planet Waves
Sen. Harry Reid (D-Utah), the majority leader, made a point of order, and the filibuster rule was suspended for certain federal judgeships. Photo by Carol Caster.

There are more than 90 federal judgeships currently vacant, contributing to a massive backlog in the federal courts. Obama has had more of his nominees blocked than the past seven presidents combined.

Without obsessing over the Senate’s inside baseball, it’s fair to ask how a vote of 52-48 could suspend a rule that requires 60 votes. Wouldn’t it take 60 votes to suspend the rule? That’s a good demonstration of what a charade the clolture rule or filibuster is.

The way Harry Reid suspended it was to make what is called a point of order. In parliamentary procedure, that’s a motion questioning the rules. Such a motion only needs a simple majority of 51 votes to approve it. So all this time, every time the Democrats were blocked because they could not get 60 votes, they could have just suspended the rule with a 51-vote majority.

The issue really centers around the delicate balance of power in the Senate, which grants a lot of power to the minority party, including to individual senators, who can block senate actions as anonymous individuals. It’s all pretty stupid but at least these judgeships will now be filled.

You can read Fe Bongolan’s comments on this story here.


Planet Waves

Just When We Thought It Was Over: Perpetual War in Afghanistan

As if to punctuate the 50th anniversary of the Kennedy assassination with another round of endless war, NBC News on Wednesday said it had obtained a draft of an unsigned U.S.-Afghan security document stating that the U.S. may commit troops to that country for at least 11 years and use billions of your taxpayer dollars to support Afghan security forces.

Planet Waves
U.S. Army soldiers with Charlie Company, 36th Infantry Regiment, 1st Armored Division set up a supportive position during a mission near Command Outpost Pa’in Kalay in Maiwand District, Kandahar Province in February. Photo: Andrew Burton/Reuters.

The 25-page “Security and Defense Cooperation Agreement Between the United States of America and the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan” seems to signal an open-ended military campaign to fight al-Qaeda.

Afghanistan would allow Washington to operate military bases to train Afghan forces and conduct counter-terrorism operations against al-Qaeda after the current mission ends in 2014.

The U.S. would agree to sustain and equip Afghanistan’s large security force, which the government in Kabul currently cannot afford, according to an NBC article.

The deal would take effect on Jan. 1, 2015 and “shall remain in force until the end of 2024 and beyond.” It could be terminated by either Washington or Kabul with two years advance written notice, the article said.


Planet Waves

Ads Need to Get Mad and Merciless to Get Monsanto

GMO labeling advocates have used the education-based “consumer’s right to know” campaign strategy twice, in 2012 and 2013. They failed both times, in California and Washington State, with similar splits: 52% to 48% and 51% to 49%, respectively. If enacted, the rule would have mandated labeling of GMO products. Does this mean that people don’t want to know what’s in their food?

Planet Waves
Yes on 522 logos on Dr. Bronner’s soap bottles: “Totally unprecedented in the world of product labeling.” But the company is named after an Aquarius. Photo by Dave Gilson/Mother Jones.

For most of these voters (and most Americans) the answer is yes. They don’t want to know — they trust the food makers, who turn out processed, craving-causing fake food, filled with salt and sugar.

(The Grocery Manufacturers Association, along with Monsanto, were major funders of the Washington anti-labeling campaign.) Maybe many consumers believe they’re getting enough “nutrition” information on existing labels and another one need not be added.

Have we irrevocably turned ourselves into “pigs at the trough,” as this satirical video from The Onion suggests? Is it too late?

The Washington advocacy group Yes on I-522 blames the latest defeat, in its state, on the lowest turnout ever, which also consisted of mostly older, conservative voters in an off election year. 2016, a presidential election year, will be different, they say, with a bigger turnout and younger, more engaged voters casting ballots. Really? Or is it a fundamental flaw in their advertising that’s not getting them the few percentage points they need to win?

Planet Waves reader Ann Kreilkamp last week sent us a link to a recent blog by John Rappoport, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated investigative reporter and author, in which he rails against those funding the pro-labeling side —  Gary Hirshberg (Stonyfield Organic), Grant Lundberg (Lundberg Family Farms), David Bronner (Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps), and Joe Mercola (mercola.com), and others. He admonishes them to get mad as hell, tell people that Monsanto’s practices are deadly and evil, and stop being so civil in their ads.

“Are they afraid to go after Monsanto directly because they believe their own businesses would suffer the consequences?” Rappoport asks. “If so, tell us. Open up. We can help. A large group of vocal and outraged supporters could help forestall those consequences. That would be a hell of a fight and the public would see, up close and personal, corporate and government criminals trying to silence good men.”

Planet Waves

He continues:

“There are some in the pro-labeling movement who are so relentlessly New Age and childishly ‘positive,’ they’re terrified of ‘going negative.’ They think The Universe will punish them for it. They’ll tell you that ‘negative’ ads would turn off voters.

“But the history of politics doesn’t say that. Negative ads work if they’re done right.

“The truth is, there’s a sound barrier out there, and it has to be broken if Monsanto is going to be stopped from taking over 95% of U.S. farm land with its heinous GMOs forever.”

So is Rappoport right? Would an angry, evidence-based, negative ad campaign work in which people heard the plain truth about Monsanto and GMOs? Most Americans have never heard any of it before, and way more than two or three percent might be shocked enough to cast a Yes vote and pass a mandatory labeling law with teeth.

Then, if they were really infuriated, they might go out and do the true heavy lifting — confronting the USDA, the FDA, and Congress for their complicity in Monsanto’s poisonous practices. It’s worth a try.


Planet Waves

High-Risk Fuel Removal Begins at Fukushima

Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) successfully removed this week the first 22 unused fuel-rod assemblies from the cooling pool in Unit 4 of the badly damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The first fuel-rod assembly was moved from its 5th-floor underwater rack to a portable cask (a fuel transport container) just before 4:00 pm Monday local time.

By Thursday, TEPCO had released footage showing the steel cask, containing the first 22 rods, being lowered by crane from the 5th floor of the reactor building onto the bed of a trailer. It was transported slowly to a building 100 meters away according to NHK World, Japan’s public broadcasting network, where it was lowered into a cooling pool; another source, via Truthout, reports the common fuel pool, only 50 meters away, as the destination.

Planet Waves
Video still of the steel cask containing 22 unused fuel-rod assemblies as it is transported by trailer to the holding pool Thursday. Video: NHK World.

Officials at TEPCO say the building housing the separate pool can withstand an earthquake as strong as the one on March 11, 2011.

Given TEPCO’s track record so far, hopefully that claim will never be tested, but the region is known for frequent seismic activity. In fact, a magnitude 7.3 earthquake struck off Japan’s east coast Saturday; no damage was reported.

TEPCO is planning to begin removing the unused fuel assemblies from the cask and lowering them into storage racks in the pool today. It then will review the procedure before starting a second round of transfers.

The unused fuel rods, of which there are 202, are being moved first because they are more stable, meaning they do not release as much heat and radiation. Of concern during the removal process is the presence of debris in the Unit 4 cooling pool, and that three fuel assemblies there are damaged. TEPCO admitted on Nov. 15 that 80 spent fuel assemblies housed among all four reactors’ spent fuel pools were damaged prior to the March 2011 earthquake, making the potential of starting a chain reaction (“criticality”) while handling them a very real danger.

The crane being used to remove the fuel-rod assemblies from the Unit 4 pool is designed to stop pulling automatically if it encounters a certain level of resistance, to avoid damaging any of the rods. An underwater vacuum sucks up debris while an underwater camera monitors progress.

The removal of all 1,533 used and unused fuel-rod assemblies from Unit 4 alone will likely take through the end of next year; it could take up to 40 years to decommission the entire Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant.


It Must be Some Kind of Coincidence — Seven Volcanoes in Six Different Countries All Start Erupting Within Hours Of Each Other

A new island has appeared in the Pacific. A submarine eruption just off Nishino-Shima Island Japan has erupted for the first time in 40 years. The Japanese Navy noticed the explosions as boiling lava met sea water giving rise to plumes of steam and ash.

Planet Waves
Mt. Etna in Sicily erupted earlier this week, along with six other volcanoes in a diversity of countries. Photo via CNN video.

Almost 7,000 miles away in Mexico, the Colima volcano blew its top after a period of relative calm. A steam and ash cloud rose two miles into the sky and the grumbling of the mountain could be heard in towns a few miles away.

In Guatemala ‘Fire Mountain’ belched out lava and sent up a moderate ash cloud causing an ash fall over nearby towns. The explosions and shock waves occurring in the volcano can be felt by residents over six miles away. Doors and windows are reported to be rattling, but there has been no damage so far.

In Vanuatu the Yasur volcano is giving some cause for concern. Although the explosions are quite weak the continuous ash that is coming from the mountain is starting to build up on farming land.

Over to Sicily, Mount Etna is putting on quite a display. The current eruption started a few days ago and has been getting stronger as time moves on. A massive eruption lit up the sky and disturbed residents yesterday. The ash cloud was high enough to see flights canceled. The lava flow was the biggest in years, and the town of Zafferana which lay in its path saw some damage. Lava diverters were put into place, and most of the town escaped unscathed.

Chris Carrington – Activist Post


Fukushima Food Safety Questions Persist

Questions about the safety of food from Japan and the Pacific still loom, despite reassurances from scientists and government officials. While the U.S. is one of 44 countries and regions with bans placed on certain food imports from Japan, the acceptable limit of radiation in food is a controversial subject.

Concerns include radiation in exported fish and rice, as well as migratory fish exposed to radiation that might then swim thousands of miles before being caught off of California and served in Boston.

Planet Waves
A worker checks for possible radioactive contamination using a Geiger counter at Noryangjin Fisheries Wholesale Market in Seoul, South Korea. Photo by Ahn Young-Joon.

Currently the U.S. radiation limit is 12 times higher (less stringent) than Japan’s; but officials claim that any food exceeding Japan’s much lower limit will not be exported or even sold domestically.

Only a small percentage of Japanese rice tested has exceeded this limit. The Japanese government claims that homegrown rice is safe to eat. But distrust of government and fear have created a demand for rice imports from China and other countries among many Japanese people.

Japan is the only country actively testing fish and reporting the results to the public; 170 species are tested and 42 species are considered off-limits due to radiation fears.

For the U.S., the FDA announced just one month after the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami struck that it would not be testing fish off the West Coast. Many scientists claim that dilution from the vastness of the Pacific mitigates any cause for concern.

Yet a study conducted by Stanford University, published in February 2012, revealed that 15 out of 15 bluefin tuna caught off the coast of San Diego contained traces of cesium, a radionuclide that was directly linked to the Fukushima nuclear accident.

The migratory tuna travel between Japan and the West Coast of the U.S., and tested 10 times higher than previous years. Following this study, researchers at Oregon State University found detectable levels of cesium in Albacore tuna caught off the Pacific Northwest coast — these too were linked to Fukushima.

Planet Waves
Radiation contamination spreading from the Fukushima site has sparked worries about the safety of West Coast seafood. The site still dumps 300 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean every day. Photo: Japan Nuclear Regulation Authority / EPA.

However, the researchers from both studies concluded that the amount detected was too low to pose any significant health risk. According to scientists, the radioactive fish are safe to eat, despite the cesium.

In fact, according to many scientists, the amount of radiation found in the contaminated fish is no more than that contained in a banana (bananas naturally contain radioactive potassium-40 and have been used to illustrate the concept of equivalent doses, but the illustration is problematic).

Other scientists, including Dr. Helen Caldicott and Harvey Wesserman, say that any amount of ingested radionuclides is dangerous because each dose adds to what is already in the body, known as bioaccumulation. That increases the risk of genetic mutations, cancer and other issues associated with radiation. According to Caldicott, once ingested, the particles continuously emit radiation for years because of their long half-lives and can lodge themselves in muscle tissue or even bones, irradiating and damaging cells.

Aside from the limited tests and studies conducted so far, the full extent of food contamination in Japan and the Pacific is relatively unknown. As Caldicott claims, the health consequences can take years, even decades, to fully manifest.

With 300 tons of contaminated water flowing into the Pacific each day, leading to the bioaccumulation of radionuclides into the ecosystem, the risks for humans at the top of the food chain have indefinitely increased.


Planet Waves

Hostility Between Women: Science Catches Up with Cattiness

Thirty years ago, aggression and competition between women was viewed as largely “anecdotal, intuitively sensed, but not confirmed by science.” So wrote anthropologist Sarah B. Hrdy after reviewing scientific literature on the topic. Now, thanks to better research techniques and more women working in the sciences, Dr. Hrdy and others conclude that not only is competition among women fierce, it’s actually the primary factor in the pressure young women feel to meet standards of sexual conduct and physical appearance.

Planet Waves
When this woman walked into a study on female aggression in jeans and T-shirt, female students barely noticed; wearing a miniskirt and tight blouse, the “mean girl” claws came out. Photo: Tracy Vaillancourt.

In one particular study, researchers Tracy Vaillancourt and Aanchal Sharma confirmed an insight Planet Waves has remarked on before: that women often suppress the sexuality of other women. Both men and women engage to some degree in slut-shaming sexually open women; but it’s other women who have the power to throw someone out of ‘the tribe’. Men have something to gain when women are ‘promiscuous’; women, however, stand to lose their ‘bargaining power’ if sex is offered freely by their peers.

“Women are indeed very capable of aggressing against others, especially women they perceive as rivals,” said Dr. Vaillancourt, now a psychologist at the University of Ottawa. “The research also shows that suppression of female sexuality is by women, not necessarily by men.”

It’s a twisted situation — and one women seem to engage in only semi-consciously, as the experiment conducted by Vaillancourt and Sharma and described in a New York Times article shows.

Biology may be working against young women on this one; female aggression appears to subside as women age and ‘pair off’, thereby no longer competing for a mate. That doesn’t mean we can’t practice more mindfulness — and focus on our own sexual pleasure instead of tearing down those who do. Earlier waves of feminism missed the boat on this, but we don’t have to.


Planet Waves

Planet Waves

At three hours and 30 minutes into the trip, the artist said, “I didn’t draw the eyes. Do you want me to draw the eyes? I don’t feel like drawing the eyes.”

Who Do You See When You Look Inside?

What happens when an artistically talented young woman with excellent self-esteem draws a series of self-portraits while tripping on LSD? Apparently you get a very Neptune-in-Pisces series of drawings that seem to tap into the cosmic fire of the Sun in Sagittarius.

While Planet Waves does not suggest that LSD is for everyone, one staffer did remark, “The effect is not always so visual. With the best acid, you cannot really feel it…things are just different…and then in little bursts, it gets visual…and inwardly dimensional, like you can feel parts of yourself you had no idea existed.

“For nearly everyone there are always dark moments, of untangling shadowy emotions and letting go of patterns you don’t want…you can do a lot in a relatively short time.”


Planet Waves

What happened to John F. Kennedy?

Link to program.

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I consider the assassination of John F. Kennedy, and how his murder led to the state of affairs that we now must contend with in the United States. My musical guest is the string rock quartet Darlingside. The first half of the program omits any discussion of astrology and covers the basic facts of the case. Here is the lead article from our member edition from this time last year, looking closely at some of the issues that I raise in this edition of Planet Waves FM. For additional resources and the chart, please see the full post.


Planet Waves

We are happy to offer once again one of our most popular products: the Planet Waves All-Access Pass for 2014. The All-Access Pass is for members who want access to everything we offer in a calendar year. In recent years our product line has grown considerably, and the response from our All-Access subscribers has been overwhelmingly positive. You can read about everything that’s included with an All-Access pass here. For those who can’t get enough Planet Waves astrology, it’s an unbeatable value. Plus, if you order now, we’ll include the rest of the readings that come out in 2013, and you’ll save $100.
Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

The extended monthly horoscope for November  was published Friday, Oct. 25. Inner Space for November was published Friday, Nov. 1. Moonshine for the Scorpio New Moon  was published Tuesday, Oct. 29. We published Moonshine for the Taurus Full Moon Tuesday, Nov. 12. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign; Inner Space usually publishes the following Tuesday.

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Nov. 22, 2013 #976 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — The Sun’s recent ingress into Sagittarius will help you get your mind off of joint financial issues, emotional matters and power struggles and remind you that there is a world outside of all of that. This is likely to feel like moving to a higher elevation and seeing the whole landscape rather than the little cave you were hanging out in. Yet the landscape you will be looking at will give you a perspective that extends forward in time, so that you can see potential expressions of yourself in the future. The catch is that doing this very thing may make you long for the familiarity of your present time, location and emotional state. You must remind yourself that progress implies change, and change implies unfamiliarity. Plenty more would get done in the world if our greatest visions didn’t get mired in our unresolved insecurities. You can get mired, or you can have an adventure.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).


Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Try not to be frustrated by what seem to be insurmountable obstacles. Your chart suggests that speaking honestly, listening with an open mind and moreover feeling where people you care about are coming from will melt those blocks or loft you over them. I don’t want to make this sound easier than it is, but I also know that just about everyone turns what could be easily resolved into some sour shade of impossible by refusing to speak, listen and feel. Many elements of human nature get in the way, the main one being a stubborn lack of flexibility that no longer serves you or your relationships. What you are really doing as you patiently move to a new place of sincere, actual communication with the people closest to you is to open up another realm of sharing with them. There is potential that you may have only considered and deemed impossible or too scary; in truth it is neither.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).


Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You know you’ve reached a limit on certain tendencies you have, especially needlessly clashing with authority. You can think of this as a distorted way of asserting your independence, when really all it does is compromise you and keep you boxed into the same set of feelings, ideas and practical limits that stunted your growth before. There’s a close relationship between this and any health-related issues you’ve been facing, which are likely to have a stress-related emotional component. All in all, I suspect you have the sensation that you’re reaching the end of a certain way of life, though I would remind you that this must be done in more than words and wishes. You need to act, and to sustain that action, which also means understanding your relationship to the past. In short, you must replace the parent-child relationship with adult-adult relationships. That will take time, but it’s not impossible, and you can start now.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).


Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You may be looking right at who you want to connect with the most, yet not recognize them for who they are. People who have a more conservative appearance can be more adventurous, rebellious or even radical than you think, so this is an opportunity to pay attention and go beneath the surface. I suggest you pause on any temptation to ‘tell all in the name of honesty’ with someone you don’t know well. Who you are comes through to others more than you may imagine, even if you think you’re being inscrutable. If any contact with a new friend or erotic prospect goes in the direction of intellect — that is, talking and ideas — rather than in the direction of animal magnetism, I would count that as a good thing. The situation is not lacking for sexual energy, though what it does have going for it is a tendency to gravitate in the direction of meaning.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).


Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — It will come as a great relief for you to have the Sun in Sagittarius. It may feel like you have extra rooms added onto your house, ideas that have wings and an overall brighter outlook. The emotional bog that came along with the recent run of the Sun in Scorpio will begin to dry up and feel like something more workable, feeding your energy rather than draining it. You may still feel like there’s an aspect of yourself that is inside a glass box, and can only see the sky rather than actually fly up there. Here’s my reading of that factor (retrograde Jupiter in the 12th house): Rather than expanding outward, this is an invitation to expand inward. Think of it as a safe container rather than as something that is holding you in. If you encounter a limit, consider it a resource rather than something you have to resist. The first time this maneuver bears some excellent fruit, you will trust it more the next time.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Hot, fiery Mars is continuing to make its way across your sign, though you seem to be getting a handle on how to work with this quality of energy. In a word, with precision. You’ve seen some of what happens when you lose your grip on your power tools. The first thing to do is remember that they are just that, and require that you handle them with skill, care and respect. This is particularly crucial between now and when Mars leaves your sign on Dec. 7, because it’s in a position where it has little or no external structure to contain it. Translated into human terms, for the next couple of weeks, you must be unusually self-regulated while not suppressing, or being afraid of, your own power. Work with a plan and a backup plan, follow basic safety and security protocols, and as Paul McCartney said, when you’ve got a job to do, you’ve got to do it well.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).


Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — In order for your worst fears not to run away with you, you must question them every time you feel them. Consider how little of what you think will go horribly wrong actually does. Very few houses burn down; cats rarely get caught in the garage; kids tend not to fall down the stairs and break their heads. Since you don’t deal cocaine, the government probably doesn’t care about you. Given all of this, most people respond by being reckless. So while you’re busy not believing that the worst will always happen, it’s essential that you not react in the other direction and assume that nothing could ever possibly go wrong. The wide, pragmatic middle ground is to focus your senses, use your awareness and use what you know. If you have a concern, use logic to assess its validity. If you have a problem, use logic to solve it. Remember that you do exist and that people care about you. Invite people you love into your home and you will feel that more.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).



Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — The Sun has just left your sign, which will help you draw your energy inward, and keep it concentrated, where you need it to be. Your solar chart describes you working out a deep issue associated with maturity. It is not enough to act mature, or to convince others that you are. Rather, what is essential is that you make contact with the place in yourself where you have an authentic inner dialog. You are susceptible right now to being influenced by what others think, or what you fear their opinions might be, and this could easily go out of control, manifesting as a storm of self-criticism. Other factors suggest that you may be feeling insecure, which is why I am suggesting you remain vigilant and thoughtful and don’t associate with negative people. Keep your communications meaningful, and over the next few days try to spend time only with people who are intelligent and emotionally grounded.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).


Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Be not deceived by the unreal. Embrace what is true. It may take you a few days to figure out one from the other, so slow down and observe, listen and consider what you learn. Over the next week, the influences in your chart shift from idealism and denial to awakening. If you make the effort to be objective now, your awakening will be one of resplendent clarity rather than a shock. Therefore, make an effort to consider several sides of every equation, and most significantly, to stick to your most important goals rather than allowing yourself to be distracted by entertainment or diversion. You may have to remind yourself from day to day or even hour to hour, and consciously maintain a balance between the larger scenario and the important details. If you’re getting mired in trivia, set it aside and go back to your top priorities. Keep at this for a while and you will be unstoppable.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).


Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — There seem to be two relationship situations or intimate encounters developing simultaneously. One has the sensation of you seeking someone who you admire but who is, at the moment, aloof and inaccessible. At the same time, someone is making an approach to you, though you may not feel like they’re up to your level. The whole aloof thing is getting old, is it not? Relationships need to be about more than dreams and wishes. But you do have your standards — which I suggest you set aside until you really get to know whoever may be taking an active interest in you. You have that opportunity, though it looks as if you may not even be noticing that someone is interested. One other take on your charts right now is to make sure you set a high priority on taking care of children and teenagers in your environment. Take a gentle approach, listen carefully and help when you can.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).


Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — There is a bit of information you need that will help you with your abundant responsibilities, and it’s coming straight to you. The problem is, you might decide it’s not important enough to act on or even to acknowledge. You may also believe you can get better news from someone else, and set out to shop for something you prefer. The news you want is what is accurate, so that you can address whatever circumstance you’re dealing with. I suggest you not allow yourself to be biased by fear or any form of negative expectation. Be bold and devote yourself to getting all of the facts; don’t stop until you’re satisfied that you actually understand the full scenario. Once you do that, you will discover another dimension to the situation that provides you with a whole set of alternatives you would not have found otherwise. Pay attention to the specifics. The details matter, a lot.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).


Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Push yourself, but do so gently. You’ve reached that time in the year when you feel the imperative to get things done, and the only thing that makes this year different is that you’re starting to grasp that you actually can achieve what you set out to do. You’ve been facing challenges the past few weeks that have only increased your desire to rise to the occasion, and have given you both determination and courage. Yet I suggest you disengage any emotions that may be driving you, and rather than push yourself, merely guide yourself in the direction you want to go, using your existing momentum and only adding minimal new energy. You may believe you would be setting aside your ambition and thus your dedication to your goals, though your astrology suggests that the opposite is true. You’re heading in the right direction, and have taken many of the right steps. What you will avoid is blowing yourself off course, or wasting energy sailing against the tide.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $69 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones).



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Storm Warnings

Dear Friend and Reader:

My original plan for this week was to write an interpretation of the chart for the assassination of John F. Kennedy, prior to the Mercury retrograde election on Tuesday, but then the storm intervened. I will get to Sandy and the election in a moment. First, let’s make contact with this event, which influences everything where the concept ‘presidential’ comes into our awareness.

Planet Waves
Jack and Jackie by Richard Avedon.

About five or six weeks ago, I got curious and took another look at the JFK murder chart (something that all serious astrology students encounter, sooner or later), and I finally figured out what’s going on. I’ve probably cast this chart five times before; this time I used a set of traditional rules, and a lot of experience covering crime scene charts, and the scenario came into focus like the kangaroos jumping out of the seemingly random pattern in the Magic Eye books.

Reading the chart this way has changed my view of the world, tying together much that I’ve encountered before in the study of history and the conduct of the U.S. government, particularly when it comes to making wars. I have not been able to get the thing off my mind, and I can practically see it when I close my eyes. [Here it is, in two formats.]

The assassination chart describes the structure of our government, and why (as a result) we need to adjust our expectations of what a presidential election is about. Instead of doing a full reading, I’ll summarize and, if time permits (and my readers are interested), I will come back to the issue in a few weeks around the time of the 49th anniversary of JFK’s death. Here are the basics.

The chart is organized in two main layers, depending on how you ask about what happened (this is a significant point if you’re studying astrology or any other form of divination — the form of the question determines how the question is answered). This organization of the chart fits the multiple scenarios we always hear about, including the possibility of parallel murder plots and a wide diversity of potential motives, many of which serve as diversions.

If you ask the question, “What is the nature and cause of death?” (a question of the 8th house) you arrive at what I’ll call the political layer of the chart, which describes the outer drama of the assassination, set in the context of the glamour of the Camelot era.
You see a vision of Jack and Jackie (Venus and Mars in Sagittarius, high up in the chart). There is the image of the dead president, looming over the chart as the Sun (a universal symbol of the king) in the last degree of Scorpio — a dead man walking.

Lee Harvey Oswald makes his cameo appearance as the ‘official assassin’, who was — incredibly — murdered while in police custody within 48 hours of being arrested. We never got to hear from him, there was no trial, and he was never convicted.

He shows up as Mercury conjunct Vesta in the 10th house (of government) as a government agent of some kind. Mercury here also points to the official explanation, the highly implausible one about a lone gunman operating outside of any conspiracy. This is the theory that gets all the attention.

Planet Waves
In this section of the JFK assassination chart, you can see the obvious level, on top — the dead president indicated by the Sun in the last degree of Scorpio, as well as several planets in Sagittarius. This is the political level of the chart. And we see the less obvious level, to the left of the chart. Note that Saturn, which rules the 12th house of secret enemies and the 1st house (ascendant or rising sign) is concealed in the 12th. Even the question has a veil thrown over it. For the full chart, check this link.

The whole scenario, cast this way, promptly points to a big pot of money; a lot of money was at stake. (In particular, this is government money; it’s represented by Jupiter, which rules the 10th and 11th houses of the government and its tax revenue.) Under this scenario, the killer was a government agent and the motive was money.

The political level of the story seems to go cold there. It’s like a huge, flashy distraction, centered on the fire signs. Mercury so prominent in the chart suggests, “This event was designed as a message.” The intent of the murder was to explain the way things are, to anyone who might be interested.

If you ask the question, “Who is the secret enemy?” you get a different scenario. That’s a question of the 12th house, the house of what is concealed. The 12th is similar to the 8th in some ways, though while the 8th is subject to taboo (the eschewing of a topic everyone knows is there), matters of the 12th are often subject to total denial. The 12th can work like a world apart, or a parallel universe. In this chart, that is especially true; all of the affairs of the 12th in the JFK murder chart are contained within the 12th house itself — there’s no leak. (However, through the aspect pattern, there are connections between the two seemingly different levels or scenarios.)

Let’s focus on just the 12th; see if you can follow this. You can find the 12th house as the slanted line just above the dark, horizontal line in the diagram above. You can see the squiggly orange Capricorn symbol near that line, on the outside of the circle, with the ’19’ and ’46’ next to it.

This tells us that the chart has Capricorn on the cusp of the 12th, so for more information, we look to the ruler of Capricorn (notice, there is logic to reading a chart). That is Saturn (who would represent the ‘secret enemy’ and the associated conspiracy), which is concealed in the 12th, out of sight and out of mind. It’s as if most people have no idea that whatever is represented by this house or its ruler even exists. [Note to astrology students: among charts with a strong 12th house, I divide them into two categories — ones with the 12th ruler in the 12th (more difficult to spot the real issue), and ones with the 12th ruler somewhere else in the chart (easier to spot the real issue). This chart falls into the first category.]

The chart has Aquarius rising. The ruler of the ascendant, critical to any chart, is also Saturn (the traditional ruler of Aquarius). It too is in the 12th, hidden away. The planet ruling the rising sign can represent the question itself, and even the correct question is concealed from view or normal consciousness. Saturn, Capricorn and Aquarius are involved in the 12th house; this looks like an elite secret government, associated with corporate power. That’s what the signs and the planet involved describe, based on the established rules of astrology.

One last thing. The 6th house is the one associated with the military (that’s partly how it becomes the house of ‘service’ in modern terms). In this chart, the 6th house has Cancer on the cusp, so the Moon is the representative of the military and we find it in the 12th as well. The military is in bed with the secret enemy, a covert government organization.

One other last thing. Pholus, a centaur planet, is conjunct Saturn and the Moon. Pholus represents the runaway reaction. Whatever killed Kennedy is about to go out of control. In essence, the assassination of Pres. Kennedy was a military coup d’etat. To understand this, it helps to have some historic background.

Ike’s Farewell Address

This starts to sound less ‘tin-foil hat’ if we go back to the farewell address of the president who preceded Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower. Three days before he left office, Eisenhower, a Republican who was suspicious of the infinite expansion of government, gave a farewell address, one that to this day is considered historic (though it’s rarely referenced when it matters the most).

Planet Waves
Dwight Eisenhower, as a five-star general. He had his issues but he deserves our respect for warning us about the military-industrial complex.

Eisenhower described the nature of the government as it had emerged in the years after the end of World War II, and as it was likely to develop in the future. He had grave concerns about this, which, incredibly, he articulated to us.

In this speech, he openly cautioned the American public about the existence of what he called the military-industrial complex, an emerging massive, permanent ‘peacetime’ corporate arms industry wedded with government and the military.

He warned that this juggernaut was different from anything that we had ever seen or dealt with in the U.S. before, such as during World War II or the Korean War. He explained that “three-and-a-half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.”

Eisenhower, a five-star general (a lifetime appointment, and a rank no longer used), described the military-industrial complex as the “conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry” that was “new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every statehouse, every office of the federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications.”

He warned, “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.”

Planet Waves
Photo of a draft of Dwight Eisenhower’s farewell speech, given on Jan. 17, 1961, in which he warns about the military-industrial complex. He wrote the speech with his brother Milton. It took a year to write and went through 21 drafts.

Meditate on that for a moment. “The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” These are not the words of a groovy beatnik handing out leaflets in Washington Square Park; it’s Ike, one of our most respected presidents and masters of the American military; the only general to hold the presidency in the 20th century.

He continues: “We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

This “conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry” is exactly what we’re looking at when we peer into the 12th house of the JFK assassination chart. This is the “secret enemy.” There were many people who wanted to see JFK dead, for a diversity of reasons. For example, there was a radical right wing of American politics in the 1960s, and they did not like his socially liberal policies. Yet in my reading of the chart, the military-industrial complex is the center of the conspiracy to kill him. Who the specific killer was does not matter; the motive does.

The Motive: Operation Northwoods

The Kennedy brothers, Jack and Bobby, were as suspicious of communism and as hateful of Fidel Castro as anyone else in their time. When they took office, however, they presided over a military leadership that was quietly slipping over the edge in its anti-Communist paranoia, much of it focused on Castro. This was a kind of hysteria that doesn’t even come close to our meager fears of terrorism today.

The Joint Chiefs of Staff, the president’s top military advisory council with all branches of the military represented, was determined to conquer Cuba and get rid of Castro. According to the book Body of Secrets, a well-respected history of the National Security Agency (NSA), they proposed an increasingly insane series of plans to start a war with Cuba, which included bombing the Guantanamo Bay Navy base (a kind of adverse possession on the Cuban island, now infamous) and blaming Castro. This whole series of plans was known as Operation Northwoods. (I first covered this topic on Planet Waves in 2002, which you can read here.)

Planet Waves
Fidel Castro was a huge problem during the Kennedy administration, but ultimately the plans of military leaders to start a war with Cuba were so insane — and outright treasonous — the Kennedy brothers refused to even consider them.

According to declassified documents obtained under a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request (as well as classified documents the author was given by mistake) the Joint Chiefs proposed bombing Miami, with the inevitable deaths of U.S. citizens, and then blaming Castro, so they could “sell” the war to the American public. These are known as false-flag events — military actions done by one country and blamed on another, commonly used to start a war (or as Jesse Ventura has suggested, every war).

The chiefs proposed setting up a drone aircraft, disguised as a student exchange charter flight, and having the plane fly over Cuba and then self-destruct, right after issuing a false mayday call, claiming to have seen a Cuban MiG fighter jet right before it was “shot down.” Note, they had drone technology half a century ago. The plan called for having a passenger list of fake American citizens who would have been killed in the non-incident, who would be used to evoke grief and outrage and justify the war. This was planned as a 100% fraudulent, fake, phony, trumped-up excuse to get into a war with a neighboring country, staged at taxpayer expense by the nation’s top military leaders.

And in the most insane, treasonous and absurd plan of all, the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States of America proposed to sabotage the historic flight of John Glenn, the first American to orbit the Earth, killing the astronaut and blaming this on the Cubans — all so we could go to war.

The Kennedy brothers, who I remind you hated Castro and lamented “the Cuba problem” as much as anyone else, finally told their military chiefs to bugger off. They recognized these plans as being unconscionable acts of treason, and probable signs of mental illness. (This was parodied by the mentally unhinged General Jack Ripper in Dr. Strangelove, who starts a nuclear war on his own.) The Kennedys told the Joint Chiefs they would be doing nothing of the sort. The next year JFK’s head was blown off. The night his brother won the California primary, he too was shot.

What happened after JFK was killed? Months later, the Vietnam War was started — on the excuse of an Operation Northwoods-like event called the Tonkin Gulf Incident, a staged, minor incident that was used to get permission from Congress to deploy unlimited military resources to Vietnam. A war thus began, and continued clear through the next half century, under a diversity of names: Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, Nicaragua, El Salvador, East Timor, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iraq again, the seemingly endless War on Drugs, and numerous covert wars and actions that don’t have names that we know.

Muslims are the new Communists. ‘Al Queda’ is everywhere. Everyone is a potential terrorist. Now, many forces in the U.S. political establishment are pushing for a full-on war with Iran. Grave consequences indeed.

Planet Waves
Pres. Obama signs the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), something that should concern all of us. By my analysis, any president would have signed it, knowing they could wind up dead if they did not. However, the president, post-JFK, knows that it’s his job to do what the military leaders want.

A lot of money has been made on these wars by banks, arms traders, provisions suppliers, technology firms and various contractors — at least as much money as global misery has been created. It was one thing to ask who killed JFK in 1963, or why. It’s another thing at this late stage of the never-ending war, pushed by the military-industrial complex, with the Operation Northwoods papers being used as the apparent playbook.

On Dec. 31, 2011 at 10:03 am in Honolulu — on a Saturday, a holiday and far from Washington — Pres. Obama signed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which expands the battlefield of the War on Terror into the domestic United States, allows American citizens to be considered enemy combatants, and permits the military to arrest and imprison citizens, incarcerating them offshore with no judicial process — things that are both unconstitutional and that violate American political tradition. Yet though this has been widely reported, there has been nearly no protest by the American people against this law, which read realistically, establishes a military dictatorship.

Obama, recognizing the controversy, promised not to use these provisions of the law while he is president. But if it sounds insane, implausible and entirely unnecessary, just remember — Obama has a boss. And it’s not a nice boss. And the American people are not exactly putting up a fuss.

As Chris Hedges — who has in fact resisted NDAA by filing a lawsuit against Obama — wrote, “The uniformity of opinion is reinforced by the skillfully orchestrated mass emotions of nationalism and patriotism, which paints all dissidents as ‘soft’ or ‘unpatriotic’. The ‘patriotic’ citizen, plagued by fear of job losses and possible terrorist attacks, unfailingly supports widespread surveillance and the militarized state. This means no questioning of the $1 trillion in defense-related spending. It means that the military and intelligence agencies are held above government, as if somehow they are not part of government.” (There’s another description of the 12th house in the JFK murder chart — a government above the government.)

Why did Obama sign this? It doesn’t sound very “yes we can” to me. It seems to be all about honoring the wishes of this covert military level of government. One of my readers recently said she has long wondered if they take every new president, sit him down, show them the film of the JFK assassination and ask, “Any questions?”

Remember that when you vote. Remember that when you ever decide to have high expectations of any politician, particularly on the federal level. And if you’re wondering why Democratic presidents have so much in common with Republican presidents, part of the answer can be found in the understanding that they both answer to the same boss.

From One Storm to Another

Speaking of voting, we’re about to have the first-ever presidential election in American history on the day when Mercury stations retrograde. We at Planet Waves have been researching this for a year; here is a fairly comprehensive article on the topic.

Planet Waves
The Casino Pier roller coaster in Seaside Heights, N.J., sits in the ocean after the pier was destroyed by Hurricane Sandy. Photo by: Michael Reynolds.

Mercury stationing retrograde on Election Day looked like the election was going to be disrupted, and it has been. Much of the Northeastern United States is a mess; at presstime, about 72 hours before the main day of voting, millions of people — and many polling places — remain without power. New York City is crippled; many parts of New Jersey are destroyed. There is significant damage and flooding as far west as Ohio.

All of this, and the retrograde hasn’t even begun yet. There is an especially turbulent phase surrounding the station retrograde from Nov. 2 through Nov. 6, when Mercury is moving at its slowest daily motion. This is called the Mercury storm, when Mercury is moving the slowest during the whole retrograde cycle. These are psychologically the most challenging days of the retrograde.

At the center of the storm is Election Day — the final day of voting, and the day that the majority of Americans go to the polls. It’s also the day we’re supposed to learn the winner. This happens under the influence of the retrograde; so too will all of the tallying, legal challenges and recounts.

The only other time Mercury has stationed on the day of a presidential election was when it famously stationed direct Nov. 7, 2000, in the last degree of Libra. That’s when Al Gore got more votes and Cheney and Bush took office, commonly understood to be a stolen election.

What happened in the past does not necessarily predict the future, though this scenario is indeed nerve-wracking. By now every astrology fan or scholar is familiar with the debacles that can happen when Mercury is retrograde — especially right around the station.

Planet Waves
Sea water from New York Harbor floods the Ground Zero construction site, Monday, Oct. 29, in Lower Manhattan. Many subway tunnels were flooded with salt water for the first time as well. Photo by John Minchillo / AP.

In light of this, a storm warning is in order. I cautioned last week about Ohio, the state on which the whole election seems to hinge. There is the potential for wide-scale voter fraud based on the fact of who manufactured and maintains the voting machines in Ohio — all people associated with the Republican party, its candidates or companies held by the Romney family. There are other critical states, but Ohio has this special issue — and by nearly all analyses, Romney needs Ohio to get the most electoral votes.

There are likely to be a diversity of other debacles or SNAFUs associated with the station retrograde; at the least, it will be a cliffhanger of a day, and it’s also possible that the election process may extend for a while. Yet most people will have no idea that the sensation of stress, weirdness and uncertainty is associated with Mercury retrograde.

As I’ve mentioned, Mercury makes a series of squares to Neptune, a caution that the truth will take some focus, effort, time and patience to discern. The effects of this event may blindside many people. There are likely to be issues with vote tallying, news reporting and the certainty of the outcome. The whole election may end up in court, and we may see some strange turns of events, including a few reversals and false endings. Due to Mercury retrograde, any attempt to steal the election may itself fall flat. Due to the Neptune squares, we may never know what actually happened.

What this is going to do is make the election personal. It already is — we have a candidate who wants to dismantle FEMA and make sure that our daughters have no choice but to get abortions in the back of a van, or face potential prosecution for a miscarriage. We have another candidate who, among other things, has signed NDAA into law (though of course, Congress had to pass the law first).

The effects of this election are personal, and so too is the necessity for action. What unfolds may seem like a “mishap” or “strange development” and it may seem plausible as such. Heck, a hurricane seems plausible — though I’ve been warning that this seems like a manipulated weather event. No matter how nefarious things actually are, there will be people who refuse to acknowledge the possibility of intent. Remember that there is no effect without a cause. To see the truth you will need to look deeper than the surface.

Planet Waves
Katrina on the Jersey Shore — Aerial view of the damage caused by Hurricane Sandy to the New Jersey coast, taken during a search-and-rescue mission by the New Jersey Army National Guard. Photo by: Master Sgt. Mark Olsen / US Air Force.

If there is an attempt to steal the presidential election, we will all need to speak up, just like we didn’t in 2000 — and look what happened. The next year was 9/11, followed by two vicious, pointless wars that lasted nearly a decade.

I was appalled at how little spine was shown by both Al Gore and the American public (though Gore may have been given an offer he couldn’t refuse). Quoting George Bush, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, won’t get fooled again.” If we are ‘fooled’ again, this one is on our karmic tab. If we give up our freedoms, and our right to participate in the political process, we now do so freely, with full knowledge, and to our own peril.

What exactly can you do? The first thing is vote, though that’s just one small gesture of sincerity, and one that will give you an emotional investment in the process. Second, we need you to pay attention to what you see and hear, in physical reality as well as in the media.

Here are a few suggestions, if you’re willing to help out. First, listen to a diversity of news sources — your old standbys, and some different ones. Listen to how the story morphs and evolves. Listen for details, and conflicts in the facts — then document them.

Planet Waves
Former punk rocker and free speech advocate Jello Biafra.

Learn how to make screen grabs and actually make a visual copy of anything that seems interesting, as well as copying the text and recording the URL. Keep these things together. Pick an issue or two and focus on that, tracking the story day by day.

Listen for conflicts, note the things that seem odd or unusual, or situations that seem explained away, and anything else that your intuition says is potentially significant or strange. Observe how you feel through the whole process of doing this — which you may need to do for days or weeks. Then use your blog, your social networking tools, your email and in-person conversations to express to others what you’re noticing, in real time. You’re invited to send your information to me — we will make good use of it in our coverage.

I hope I am wrong, and that this election goes smoothly. Then we can invest our energy in actually taking care of society and influencing politicians to do the right thing — which they will rarely do, unless held to their commitment and their solemn oath. If you don’t want them answering to the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the only alternative is that they answer to us. This may sound idealistic, but really — is it so far fetched? And do we really have an alternative?

If the election turns out to be a huge mess, it’s not all a ‘bad thing’ — we will have a positively awesome opportunity to learn, to get involved and to take ownership of the process, even if in small ways.
As Jello Biafra has suggested many times, we must become the media. We now have the means to do so.

Dwight Eisenhower once said: “Politics ought to be the part-time profession of every citizen who would protect the rights and privileges of free people and who would preserve what is good and fruitful in our national heritage.”

He knew what he was talking about.


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Planet Waves

Sensitive Moon, and Mercury Stations Retrograde

The Moon is currently in Gemini, and ingresses Cancer Saturday at 3:43 am EDT. Through the day Saturday the sensitive Cancer Moon will take a ride through the Uranus-Pluto square, the 2012 aspect, first making a square to Uranus and then an opposition to Pluto.

Planet Waves
This is actually a first quarter Moon, however, the last quarter is Tuesday, Nov. 6, at 8:35 pm EDT — the same day that Mercury stations retrograde. Photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis.

Venus is also on the cardinal cross, in Libra, making an opposition to Uranus and a square to Pluto. So this hints at a deep and emotional weekend, with two planets associated with sensitivity, receptivity and feeling in aspect to the outer planets. There are a few ways to look at this, one of which is that we need to bring our emotional bodies out of the past and into the present.

Yet the aspects to Pluto suggest that this will involve addressing deep feelings of isolation. There is a moment Saturday evening when the Moon, Venus and Pluto align in aspect that looks like it’s craving nurturing, compassion and companionship — and could represent an emotional breakthrough about why these things often seem so difficult to attain. Many, many forces of our culture serve to push people into isolation, even when we’re surrounded by others.

In the same aspect pattern, the Moon’s conjunction to Ceres in Cancer, as well as its trines to Neptune and Chiron in Pisces (all on Saturday), describe how it’s possible to open up emotionally rather than feeling like it’s necessary to shut down. While Moon square Venus can describe a feeling of craving contact, or resisting contact when it’s offered, the trines to the Pisces planets open up the flow of feelings.

Moon-Ceres offers an image of offering, sharing and inclusion, and the trines to Neptune and Chiron say that this is possible. Remember that we live in a society that is based on division, exclusion and supposed individuality, and many in places we are forgetting how to share, express empathy or draw others into our space.

The Moon ingresses Leo Monday at 3:39 pm EDT, and soon after makes a square to Saturn in Scorpio — an aspect that looks like a push against any remaining stuck emotional energy, and suggests being serious and focused in business.

Then on Tuesday, Mercury stations retrograde in Sagittarius at 7:03 pm EDT, just as the polls close in many Eastern states. The Mercury storm is from Friday through Nov. 6, when Mercury is moving at its slowest daily motion. We’ve covered the influence on the election a few times.

On the personal level, Mercury is stationing retrograde in Sagittarius while Mars is there. This looks like Mercury changing directions is questioning the extreme beliefs of Mars. There’s quite a bit of re-evaluation, and consideration of what is true, in this retrograde cycle, as it includes a series of three squares to Neptune. Mercury is suggesting that you figure out what you really think in layers, and to assemble the pieces. If something comes comes in one nifty package, it’s probably not the truth you’re seeking.


Planet Waves

In Storm’s Wake, Prominent Conservatives Praise Obama

Many have been questioning the effect of Hurricane Sandy on the presidential race. As the storm took over the news, Mitt Romney and his running mate Paul Ryan disappeared from view, and Obama emerged visibly, merely due to his job responsibilities.

Planet Waves
Obama with New Jersey’s governor Chris Christie on Wednesday.

New Jersey’s Governor Chris Christie, who was the keynote speaker at the Republican National Convention this summer, had nothing but praise for Obama this week, when the president came to New Jersey to tour the devastation. Christie, obviously exhausted, gave the impression that Obama was a sight for sore eyes.

“I cannot thank the president enough for his personal concern and his compassion,” said Christie, after the two men completed their helicopter tour of the New Jersey coastline. Christie said the affected areas needed clean drinking water, restored power, and children back in school. “I discussed all of those issues today with the president and I’m pleased to report that he has sprung into action immediately to help get us those things while we were in the car riding together.”

Christie’s comments are a slap in the face to Romney; in addition, the New Jersey governor, who has been one of Romney’s most important surrogates in this election, said he was “not interested” in touring the destroyed parts of his state with the Republican candidate. This is a significant political move on Christie’s part because he’s either assuming that Romney will not take office, or he’s willing to take the punishment if Romney does become president.

Thursday, Michael Bloomberg, the mayor of New York City, offered his endorsement of Obama, after saying earlier in the year that he would not endorse for the presidential race. Bloomberg, a former Democrat and Republican and now an independent, mainly praised Obama for dealing with climate change as a real issue. He made his comments after significant damage was caused by the storm to Manhattan, Queens and Staten Island.

Planet Waves
Colin Powell endorses Obama on CBS This Morning. Well, not this morning — one morning last week.

“The devastation that Hurricane Sandy brought to New York City and much of the Northeast — in lost lives, lost homes and lost business — brought the stakes of next Tuesday’s presidential election into sharp relief,” Mr. Bloomberg wrote in an editorial for Bloomberg View.

“Our climate is changing,” he wrote. “And while the increase in extreme weather we have experienced in New York City and around the world may or may not be the result of it, the risk that it may be — given the devastation it is wreaking — should be enough to compel all elected leaders to take immediate action.”

And last week, one of the country’s most respected Republicans, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, endorsed Obama on CBS News, speaking with Charlie Rose and Norah O’Donnell:

“When took over, the country was in very, very difficult straits. We were in one of the worst recessions we had seen in recent times, close to a depression. The fiscal system was collapsing. Wall Street was in chaos, we had 800,000 jobs lost in that first month of the Obama administration and unemployment peaked a few months later at 10 percent. So we were in real trouble. The auto industry was collapsing, the housing market was start[ing] to collapse and we were in very difficult straits. And I saw over the next several years, stabilization come back in the financial community, housing is now starting to pick up after four years, it’s starting to pick up. Consumer confidence is rising.”


Planet Waves

Only a Few More Days… If Things Go Well

Planet Waves
Abigael Evans making her plea. Video still from Politico.com.

Burned out on election campaign coverage? Four-year-old Abigael Evans is so emotionally done with the whole circus that a recent NPR report on “Bronco Bama” and Romney had her in tears in a video posted by her mom.

In an apology to Abigael, NPR’s Mark Memmott wrote, “We must confess, the campaign’s gone on long enough for us, too. Let’s just keep telling ourselves: ‘Only a few more days, only a few more days, only a few more days’.”

Good thing no one told her about Mercury’s station retrograde on Nov. 6, or even Sesame Street‘s Elmo might have a hard time tickling her into a good mood, since coverage of whatever transpires on Tuesday will likely be in the news a while longer.


Planet Waves

Global Warming, Nuclear Power and Sandy

The connection between Hurricane Sandy and global warming has been conspicuously absent on most mainstream cable news programs for most of this week, though alt-media outlets such as Democracy Now! (which has been broadcasting from other parts of the country while its stations are without power in Manhattan) were calling the tune before the storm even made landfall in the U.S.

Planet Waves
You can see a larger version of this cover here.

But the brashest, most in-your-face coverage has come from Bloomberg Businessweek (owned by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg). The magazine’s red cover features a flooded New York street and the headline, “IT’S GLOBAL WARMING, STUPID,” in bold, underlined all-caps.

“Our cover story this week may generate controversy, but only among the stupid,” tweeted Bloomberg Businessweek editor Josh Tyrangiel.

Similarly ignored has been the potential threat from compromised nuclear reactors. Though several news outlets have reported on the shut-downs of several nuclear plants in Sandy’s path, there has been virtually no media conversation about what happens when a ‘superstorm’ (or earthquake, or what-have-you) compromises the ability to keep reactors and stored nuclear waste cool and contained. Have we all forgotten Fukushima already?

“The storm also forced three nuclear reactors offline: Nine Mile Point unit 1 near Syracuse, New York; Indian Point unit 3 just north of New York City; and the Salem plant’s unit 1 on the Delaware River in New Jersey. Meanwhile, officials declared an alert at Oyster Creek in New Jersey,” reported Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! Wednesday. Just as the inability of New York City’s infrastructure to handle a storm surge was just a matter of time — and was no secret — so too may be our inability to handle damage to nuclear reactors in the U.S.


Planet Waves

Looking for a (Friend/Lover/LTR/Playmate) for the End of the World

Planet Waves
Image: Buzzfeed via Ok Cupid.

There’s just something about natural disasters that seems to bring out people’s neighborly urges — especially if one’s neighbor is hot and single. Or maybe it’s our post-modern apocalyptic obsession getting the better of our biology, spurring our desire to save the species from annihilation with some good, old-fashioned procreation? Of course, some girls (and guys) just wanna have fun — in which case any excuse is a good excuse. Buzzfeed has compiled a list of 18 last-minute personal ads posted in search of love (or just a little sexy fun) in the New York area as Hurricane Sandy set to raging. Most of them are written by men, but don’t be fooled; people of both genders get bright-eyed and bushy-tailed in these situations (though apparently less-severe storms lead to more babies). Anyone care to start a betting pool on how big the mini-baby boom will be in about 9 months — and how many of the babies will be named “Sandy?”


Planet Waves

Hindsight and Tunnel Vision(s)

Is disaster hindsight most frustrating when it points to something that could have been done, or rather to a perfect preventative measure that was impossible to implement? In January, the Department of Homeland Security successfully tested a huge inflatable plug designed to hold back pressurized water in transit tunnels, still in development for use in protection from terrorist attacks.

Planet Waves
Tunnel plug fully inflated. You can watch a video of its inflation in a test tunnel with water here. Photo: West Virginia University.

Project managers say the plug has another reliability test scheduled for next week, but is still two years from full manufacturing and marketing to highway and transit authorities. The DHS development team told CNN the plugs — which must be custom-fit to individual tunnels — could have prevented flooding in many of the tunnels under the East River, but not in porous subway tunnels and other infrastructure.

“There are lots of solutions that become obvious following a disaster of some type,” said terrorism expert Brian Jenkins, director of the National Transportation Security Center at the Mineta Transportation Institute in San Jose, California, in response to being asked whether DHS should have moved faster on this project.

“To a certain extent, security is almost always reactive, because it’s hard to justify the costs of deploying technology for things that have not occurred. And once they do occur, it’s almost impossible to resist spending the money on the technology to prevent a reoccurrence.” He added, “That’s the axiom. It’s a sad one, but that’s the reality.”

Well, it’s reality as he’s claiming it to be — but we don’t know what’s in his files. We don’t know what these guys are sending to one another in their encrypted memos. That would be the reality.


Planet Waves

Sandy Rains Cyber Tricks, Not Treats

As if the astrology for Hurricane Sandy were not enough to raise questions about reality, intent and cause and effect, some people are using the wonders of technology and the Internet to mess with our understanding of just what happened this week. If you play on Facebook, there’s a good chance you’ve been duped by one of the fake photos of the storm and its aftermath that popped up almost instantly (including one just before the storm hit).

Planet Waves
Some fake Sandy photo creators can’t be bothered with trying to fool anyone.

Websites including The Atlantic and others are sorting the real from the fake. And note, there are different kinds of fake: real photos actually taken elsewhere at another date; actual photos taken of New York or New Jersey at a previous date; completely fictional images or Photoshopped montages (such as a still from a feature film); and images that combine two or more of the above.

Even more insidious were the actions of Shashank Tripathi, a hedge fund analyst and campaign manager for a Republican candidate for Congress. Tripathi, under the username “ComfortablySmug,” began tweeting flat-out lies about the storm’s impact and officials’ responses while Sandy was still raging.

Amidst the chaos and fear, many of these rumors were unwittingly spread by Twitter and Facebook users (two more than 500 times). Some even got picked up by major news outlets and reported, including by CNN. Among the lies: that the New York Stock Exchange was flooded; Con Edison shutting down all the power in Manhattan; and that Governor Cuomo was trapped in Manhattan. Tripathi has since posted an apology and says he takes responsibility for his actions. He has resigned from his position as campaign manager for Republican Christopher Wight.

“The Manhattan DA is taking this very seriously,” said New York City Councilman Peter Vallone, a Democrat, who suggests that Tripathi’s tweets were akin to shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater. “I hope the fact that I’m asking for criminal charges to be seriously considered will make him much less comfortable and much less smug.”


Planet Waves

Planet Waves
Disaster Rescue — for ProfitWe were wondering what it would be like if Mitt Romney’s plan to privatize FEMA were put into action. FEMA is the federal agency that paddles out to get you if you’re stranded on your roof. There are never any specifics in Romney ‘plans’, so we decided to speculate. How would you turn FEMA into a private, for-profit institution? Everyone would be required to purchase rescue vouchers prior to a disaster. When private rescuers arrive, you would need to present your voucher, or you would be left behind. Rescue voucher by Sarah Bissonette-Adler.


Planet Waves

Hurricane Sandy: What Exactly Happened?

In a series of three Planet Waves FM webcasts this week, I covered the impact of Hurricane Sandy, looked at the chart and inquired whether this was an event manipulated by scientific means. The first was a special Taurus Full Moon edition of Planet Waves FM, broadcast Monday during Hurricane Sandy.

The second was the regularly scheduled edition, posted Tuesday night. Later that evening I participated in a Nightlight Astrology teleconference. In my segment of the discussion, which you can listen to here, I covered the astrology of Sandy making landfall, as well as some gender issues associated with the election.

Below is the chart for Hurricane Sandy making landfall, and if you’re one of those minor planet freaks, here is the list, courtesy of Tracy@Serennu.

Planet Waves
Hurricane Sandy makes landfall. I cover this chart in the edition of PW FM.


Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

Planet Waves Monthly Horoscopes provide a broader perspective that surveys the themes of the coming month and often, weeks that follow. Inner Space for November was published Tuesday, Oct. 30.

The November Monthly Horoscope was published Friday, Oct. 26. I recommend reviewing the monthly horoscope at the end of the month. The October Moonshine Horoscope was published Tuesday, Oct. 16. Please note that the longer monthly horoscope is being incorporated into the Friday issue after the Sun has entered a new sign; Inner Space still publishes on Tuesdays.



Planet Waves

 Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Nov. 2, 2012 #924 | By Eric Francis

Scorpio Birthdays This Week

If you were born with a birthday anywhere in the vicinity, or if you have Scorpio rising, this is the year that you learn the importance of integrity when it comes to money. You will need to sift through the subtle ways you deceive yourself about your finances, part of which includes the issue of making sure that you spend your money in ways that align with your values. Yet to do this, you will have to investigate what those values are. You may be mixed up in the affairs, ideas or theories of someone else — including in the form of a relationship or partnership. This raises another issue: what is the role of money in your relationships? How does it influence the balance of power? Take some time, use your awareness and you will make some real discoveries, and maybe even some real decisions. Note to Scorpios — your birthday reading is almost ready. I will have it by later this afternoon. We will send out an announcement, so check your email. You can also check our main blog and the Planet Waves Facebook pages.

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — What is someone close to you going through? More than you may imagine. And this may be more than you want to address if somehow your actions are being associated with any problems or instability that someone close to you is facing. Your actual level of responsibility remains an open question, so rather than coming to conclusions I suggest you check back over the past few days (or longer) and investigate the ways you might be accountable. Take responsibility for what you know is yours, which includes making different choices. That’s both a gesture of integrity and of goodwill. However, this situation goes deeper; there are other influences, some of them involving pain from old psychological scars. It may take someone you care about some time to identify the cause of their pain; the best way you can support that process is by not seeking attention, not offering ‘spiritual solutions’, and generally keeping your suggestions to yourself. Instead, pay attention to what is going on for you. Investigate your own past — there is likely to be a parallel situation in your own life, and you will benefit from taking care of it.

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


Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You may feel like you’re caught in something much larger than you are, dealing with forces more powerful than yourself — and with no obvious way out. Take this as an opportunity to figure out just where your true strength is seated: that would be in your initial choice to respond, and specifically how you respond. If you have faith in your ability to make decisions, and if you remain open-minded enough to do so, you will feel stronger and learn a constructive life lesson. There is an idea you’re being challenged to dismantle: that you are subject to life, rather than being a participant in it. I suggest that you proceed through this experience consciously, and slowly, not making snap judgments or saying anything that you cannot take back. You’re not being asked to break a commitment, but rather to evaluate it carefully — in particular, to see whether it supports your growth and is expressive of your true values. There is a denial factor you’re working through; this may involve an exception to a rule that you now have a valuable opportunity to reconsider.

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


Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — There’s no predicting the way a partnership matter will turn out in the end, though one thing is clear. It will take some focus to sort out the truth. As well, you will have to use scrupulous honesty to sort out your own involvement, and to assess the accuracy of your perceptions. Until you do that — and it may take weeks, rather than hours or days — I suggest that you refrain from saying or doing anything that might complicate the situation. Now is the time to pull back and observe, and most of all, observe yourself. You may believe that others are presenting you with an uneven playing field or a moving goal post. Yet it seems to be you who must focus your real objectives, desires and needs, and be realistic about whether your current circumstances can provide you with anything that might fulfill them. For a while, I suggest you consider anything you might say about someone else to be true for you. That will have the gradual effect of ensuring that you will say less, and that when you do, you will speak carefully, clearly and with a true measure of objectivity.

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


Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Humans excel at keeping secrets from themselves; this is called denial. At the moment, all sorts of alarm bells may be going off, cautioning you to affirm your truth rather than ignore or minimize it. You will hear them if you are listening. They may manifest as fear, insecurity or even as panic episodes. You may also be speaking to yourself in physical symptoms (potentially relating to your lungs or thighs), or a sense of nervous restlessness. Any of this might be easy enough to push back under the surface of consciousness, though instead of doing that, I suggest you listen to what your mind and body may be saying to you. Stuffing the messages down will not help, while letting them out may be challenging or even painful at first — and then come with a great sense of relief. There seems to be some emotional issue that you’re struggling to face, but which is looming on the horizon as some destination you will inevitably reach. It’s not as bad as you think — and in truth, the actual confrontation is with yourself, not anyone else.

Hello Cancer — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). To hear your birthday reading for the year ahead, please visit this link.


Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You may be regretting a chance you took, particularly on an investment or some form of speculation, but I don’t suggest you judge too quickly. The effect in the end may not be the one you were planning, though you don’t yet know how it will work out. Just because you may be having regrets doesn’t mean that you were wrong, or that the effect will be negative. Any doubts you may be having are not an indication of an actual problem, though they may be an investigation to go back over your thinking and check for errors in the paperwork, a little like a proofreader or auditor. Make sure you collect your documentation and have a clear sense of where you stand before you call attention to any potential concerns. The planetary setup looks as if a creative opportunity will come from this process, though you will need to give it time and patience and not be guided by an emotional reaction. The less fear you allow to influence you, the more your creative mind can have its way with your situation.

Hello Leo — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). To hear your birthday reading for the year ahead, please visit this link.


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You may be figuring out that you now have to focus on one goal, and hold yourself to it firmly. You may also be figuring out that any struggle to do that has been emotional rather than pragmatic. You have the knowledge, skills and experience you need; that’s not an issue. Your crisis of confidence is clearly the thing to pay attention to, and this is an emotional situation. Actually, it’s likely to be your psyche calling attention to a condition that has been responsible for bouts with instability over the years, and which it’s now time to outgrow. If you make a list of all the times your emotions influenced your thought process, causing you to overreact, withdraw trust or even turn on someone you care about, you will see what I am talking about. You can look at this as an emotional habit that it’s now time to work through. This won’t happen overnight, though you can go a long way by coming to terms with an opinion or orientation on relationships that would not stand the test of truth. You may be facing in its direction right now, and you’ll see it if you open your eyes.

Hello Virgo — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). To hear your birthday reading for the year ahead, please visit this link.

Planet Waves



Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — If you’re the master of yourself, you will be able to negotiate and navigate your way through an interesting maze over the next week or so. Indeed, the situation seems like the perfect setup for you to rise to the occasion and demonstrate your self-confidence and faith in yourself. I suggest you worry less about how you are perceived and instead focus on bringing your true self into your encounters with others: that is, no facade, no masks, no white lies — and at the same time, be realistic about who others are. Guide yourself to treat others in kind, as they treat you, and appreciate these opportunities for a sincere exchange with unusual people. You have an opportunity to get to know yourself, and to be confident in the person who you normally keep a few layers in and who wants more than anything to be expressed in the world. Conducting yourself this way can come with moments of loneliness or isolation, though if you encounter them with an open heart, you will move through them into a space of clarity, strength and passion.

Hello Libra — Eric has written a new description for your sign that you have access to from this link (no password needed). To hear your birthday reading for the year ahead, please visit this link .


Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You may feel like some big change is imminent, and very likely, you are correct. You can think of this as a test of your flexibility and resilience. By now you know the ways that you tend to get rigid, especially on the emotional level of your consciousness. However, your methods of trying to contain, control and suppress your feelings are getting old, and it’s time to question your motive for trying to do so. The more you’re able to flex, the better you will be able to make the transition you are by now facing. Meanwhile, you need to be extremely conscious with money — and that means honest. Look at self-serving tendencies with a skeptical eye; it’s not the virtue that it’s sometimes made out to be, and I suggest you be especially mindful if you find yourself rationalizing anything or diving into spendthrift tendencies. Your money has to be a spokesman for who you are and what you value. Consider every transaction a vote in support of what you want to create for yourself.

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) — Events over the next week or two will give you the opportunity to experience the world from the viewpoint of someone else, which is rare indeed, particularly for you. Too often you assume you know what others are thinking or feeling, when your perspective could easily be motivated by convenience. What you observe will have the power to change your mind, which you’re capable of doing, though at the same time you may be clinging to a certain position or opinion as if your life depended upon it. Actually, your happiness depends on seeing that there are alternatives. One thing you’re good at doing is having a sense that you live in the wide world — though this will either inspire you to feel extremely powerful or deeply insignificant. I won’t even say that the truth is somewhere in between; neither of these are useful points of view. People close to you have feelings, and some have deep feelings — a fact that can sometimes make you pretty nervous. Embrace this truth, and you will find yourself experiencing less alienation and more harmony.

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) — Beware of ambition — or any tactics that might indicate you’re driven by any motives that might lead you to suspend your ethics. We live in a time when it’s popular and even accepted that people will throw their conscience to the four winds if that’s what it takes to win the game. You are now walking a razor’s edge where you must emphasize fairness and sincerity as your first responsibility, particularly if you’re in a position of leadership. Neither is this the time to kiss the ass of anyone in authority. It’s time to align your choices and your actions with what you really value. Any attempt to put image over substance could backfire. Therefore, devote yourself to quality, to sincerity and let your actions speak louder than your words. Pay attention and you will notice that your inner world is calling you more loudly than your desire for outer success, and if you attend to this seemingly subtle level of awareness, and stay clear and in alignment with yourself, you will not have to worry about succeeding in the world.

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 may be finding it difficult to shine when you’re standing in someone’s shadow, yet the shadow may represent a figure from the past. Who might that be? Is it an idea about, or a memory of, one of your parents? Is it the fear that some authority might be imposed on you if you step out into the light? That would indeed be a shadow fear — and it may be the core of the matter. What would happen if you stepped into a position where you were actually visible, and fully responsible for your actions? This is what it’s like to be in an actual position of authority, and it’s why most people prefer to avoid that position. In exchange for this, they also get to have others in positions of authority or very strong influence over their lives, often feeling less powerful than nearly everyone. The time has arrived for you to confront all such feelings. You’ve reached a point of enforced growth where you must be your own most persuasive authority. Much of doing this involves addressing some longstanding issues within your own psychology — and now you can.

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) — Take advantage of a challenge or tricky situation at work — something that seems like a disadvantage, uncertainty or problem — and use it to pivot the flow of events in a direction that works for you. To do this you may have to use some of your Pisces skill at walking through walls and penetrating various psychic barriers, though I suggest you persist. You can choose how visible or invisible you need to be for any circumstance; this is the time to bring any and all of your talents to bear, in a time when others may be struggling to have any sense of direction at all. Keep your sense of mission and your sense of humor and this will be easier and more fun. I also suggest you remember this. You may feel as if you have a message of some kind to deliver. But this is not anything separate from you; you are the message, and I suggest you embody this fact fully, with every cell in your being. This is not a time for abstractions; it’s time to live in the moment, know your goal and get the job done brilliantly.

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


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