Tag Archives: Julian Assange

The Affairs of Captain America

Dear Friend and Reader:

Everything in the world was proceeding normally and calmly as usual, and life was simple — that is, until Andrea Mitchell, NBC’s chief foreign affairs correspondent, interrupted MSNBC’s regular programming last Friday afternoon (Nov. 9) at 2:51 pm EST with the news that David Petraeus, the chief of the CIA, had resigned due to an extramarital affair. This is an unusual kind of news for the days after a presidential election, which are usually pretty sedate.

Planet Waves
General David Petraeus and his biographer-turned-mistress, Paula Broadwell, in July 2011. Photo: U.S. Navy photographer.

Were we to have heard no more, had it all ended there, that story would be pretty interesting. Petraeus, described as a well-respected retired four-star general who had overseen the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq, had resigned from his relatively new job as the head of one of the world’s top spy agencies — over an affair?

Can’t the chief of the CIA keep that kind of thing quiet? Wouldn’t he have lots of help doing so?

If you follow astrology, you know that this is a fitting story to have breaking just before a total solar eclipse in Scorpio, one that had additional impact due to being the first solar eclipse in that sign in 17 years. I said in that morning’s edition that this eclipse would dredge up the ancient silt from the bottom of the Scorpio lake, and spread it all over the land.

The timing, less than three days after Pres. Obama won re-election, was also interesting and to many suspicious, giving rise to a diversity of theories as to what might have happened (most of the more paranoid ones are being proffered by FOX News and some Republican politicians).

It’s worth considering: was this news delayed to protect the president’s re-election bid, or was it a botched attempt at an October surprise that happened a week too late? Was it a ploy to drag down his newly won second term?

Or was it a diversion from the fact that Petraeus was about to testify before members of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees the following week, speaking on the CIA’s role in the attack on a diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, this past Sept. 11? Would the scandal discredit Petraeus, who had promised to tell the truth? [Despite having resigned, he was scheduled to testify at 7:30 Friday morning in a closed session.]

The Benghazi attacks were supposedly prompted by a video making fun of Mohammed, resulting in a protest at a consulate where things got out of hand [covered in Planet Waves]. The attack turned out to be a pre-planned military assault on the compound, which killed Christopher Stevens, the U.S. ambassador to Libya, and three members of his staff.

One right-wing theory is that the State Department intentionally neglected security at the consulate, resulting in the deaths of Stevens and his staff — or worse, that someone on Obama’s team ordered the guards to stand down and let the attack happen.

This is being ascribed by some to be the product of “some insane political motive” of Obama’s, as one conservative characterized it, though few want to state it out loud. The clear implication of this viewpoint is that Obama is a pro-Jihad Muslim sympathizer or actual Muslim — and an enemy of the United States, aiding the enemy. In case you’re wondering what part of the fuss is about, and what some are blaming Obama with, this mindset is lurking just below the level of what’s broadcast on the news. It’s also an indicator of how much can be made of how little, and the ways in which these events might be further politicized.

Yet considering this theory, what purpose would have been served by allowing Stevens to be killed with the election just two months off? And what about all that money the Republican-controlled House of Representatives did not approve for embassy security? It would seem more likely to be either a colossal screw-up of a covert operation, or potentially the work of Obama’s enemies in the CIA or the military.

For its part, the CIA stirred up suspicion when it ‘got the story wrong’ in the days after the event. They originally went with the ridiculous out-of-hand protest over the Mohammed movie version of events, an obvious cover story, then the story morphed a few times — and now the CIA seems to have been directly involved in Benghazi.

Two of the security agents killed were CIA contractors. Reportedly only seven members of the 30-member ‘consulate’ staff were part of the State Department. By some reports the ‘consulate’ that was attacked was actually a CIA compound involved in a program to buy back weapons sold to the Libyan government before they got into the wrong hands — and it was holding Jihadist prisoners there. (Paula Broadwell spoke about the prisoners in a public presentation recently, information that she presumably got from Petraeus.)

In a similar version of events, the CIA had the prisoners at what’s called a ‘forward observation post’ (FOP) involved in the weapons buyback program (called “locate and neutralize,” or LOCNEU) just half a mile away from the supposed consulate. In any event, the CIA was closely involved with this supposedly diplomatic outpost, the primary mission of which may have been to funnel the weapons out of Libya and into the hands of Syrian rebels.

The Benghazi controversy was brewing through September and October, though the only notable time it came up during the campaign was in the second debate, when Romney tried to claim that Obama hadn’t acknowledged that the incident was terrorism. In fact he said it was terrorism on Sept. 12, which moderator Candy Crowley confirmed. That was pretty much Obama’s knockout punch of the evening. (This also reveals how superficial the debates really were.)

On Tuesday afternoon Nov. 6, just before Mercury stationed retrograde on Election Day, we’re told that Petraeus was informed by his boss, a guy named James Clapper, Obama’s director of national intelligence, that he should resign due to the scandal. Here, we have a manifestation of the Mercury retrograde factor on Election Day, though it was temporarily behind the scenes.

Quitting, Clapper said, would be the noble thing to do, despite this ending a long and storied career by one of the most respected generals in recent history. (Even Jon Stewart portrayed Petraeus as Captain America in a way designed to be flattering rather than mocking.) Petraeus submitted his resignation, Obama is said to have taken a day to consider it, and news that Petraeus was stepping down broke Friday afternoon.

For years, it seems like going back to childhood, I have been ranting about how the Aries Point, the first degree of the zodiac (00+ Aries, the location of the Sun on the vernal equinox), has a theme of “the personal is political.” This chart for the news breaking, posted below, has the Aries Point rising — to the degree, describing an event that’s both personal and political and which as a result is likely to have a far-reaching effect.

Any one degree of the zodiac rises for just four minutes each 24-hour period, and when Andrea Mitchell went on the air in Washington, DC, the Aries Point was precisely the degree that was rising, indeed to one-sixth of a degree. The chart is an Aries Point bull’s-eye. The position of the ascendant depends on the location of the chart; the chart is cast for where Mitchell was at the time of the newscast.

We were about to see just how personal the political could become. Petraeus (as the story goes) was discovered by the FBI to be having an affair with his biographer — intelligence analyst Paula Broadwell, West Point graduate and daughter of the military academy’s superintendent. She would be the central casting mistress for a four-star general. As it happened, he became chief of the CIA and was taken out by an FBI investigation into the affair, despite the fact that everyone acknowledges that no crimes had been committed.

Planet Waves
Chart for Andrea Mitchell breaking the story about CIA chief David Petraeus. Notice the Aries Point on the far left side of the chart — the 00 and the Aries symbol in the outermost wheel. That is the Aries Point rising, exact to one-sixth of a degree. Each degree of the zodiac rises for about four minutes a day. Mars, the ruler of the ascendant, can be seen on the top right of the chart. It’s conjunct the Galactic Core, which is not shown in the display. See full chart here. See glyph legend here.

Then over the following 48 hours, the story became more complex, when we were told how this information got out in the first place. Apparently the scenario comes back to Tampa, Florida — home of porno shops, fried chicken and the United States Central Command (CENTCOM), the center from which the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are being run. Lots of generals hang out there.

A socialite named Jill Kelley, who with her husband hosts parties for dignitaries visiting CENTCOM, was friendly with some of those generals, perhaps a little too friendly, and she got some threatening, jealous emails telling her to keep away from Petraeus.

Kelley had a friend in the FBI and he got an investigation going. She turned over her computer to investigators. By tracking internet addresses (called IP addresses), and prying into one inbox after the next, FBI agents discovered that the threatening email sender was Paula Broadwell, a famous author. They discovered that she was having an affair with Petraeus, about whom Broadwell had written a book.

Emails from the same address — KelleyPatrol — had also gone to a diversity of generals, warning them of Jill Kelley’s seductive and flirtatious ways.

With access to the email accounts, the FBI kept fishing, and discovered that Kelley was involved in a salacious correspondence with another four-star general, John Allen, commander of the U.S. and NATO forces in Afghanistan. Allen was, this very week, up for promotion to the top NATO job in Europe; that appointment was put on hold and is unlikely to materialize. For what it’s worth, all of these people are married to others not named in this story. So it’s a pretty good sex scandal, with an impressive cast of characters, set within a sensitive, potentially explosive moment in history.

While it’s possible to describe, the problem with this whole scenario is how few of the facts add up to something cohesive. Truth may be stranger than fiction, but as one of my readers said, as you study the facts, it’s not like putting together a puzzle; it’s like sifting through the pieces of five different puzzles mixed up in a box.

Or it looks like we are peering into the rarely seen private world of military aristocrats as it goes through the upheavals of a power play of some kind, in a morph of Peyton Place and the myth of Pandora’s box.

It remains true that a sex scandal is just about the only thing left that can rivet the attention of American media consumers, and sex scandals are always worthy of suspicion. One of the reasons that sex scandals are so appealing is because few people feel sexually clean, or right with themselves. When the drama gets projected outward, we get some relief from that pain. So it’s possible to get a real hook into the public with one of these dramas.

Yet as the fireworks go off and the clouds of hazy smoke rise, I keep wondering what exactly is all of this drama designed to obscure? And at the same time, what message is it sending?

A general having a mistress is about as surprising as teenagers making out on Saturday night. It is not a national news story, not a crime and not inherently a breach of national security. Then that general became CIA chief. So what is the FBI, which is supposed to be protecting us from kidnappers, the mafia and terrorists, doing investigating him, especially if no crime was committed? There would seem to be some kind of war going on inside the government. It almost looks like a mob bloodbath — or a total farce.

Are we to believe the head of the CIA to be so feckless that he forgot about the numerous programs designed to spy on American citizens, which copy every email and text message, and may record every single phone call? All of that is well documented; it’s old news.

Are we to believe that a woman reared in the household of a top military officer, who graduated West Point and was trusted with security clearance, would actually send anonymous, potentially harassing emails to top-ranking military officials — while in the midst of an affair?

Are we to believe that the FBI can get a federal warrant to enter the private email inbox of the CIA chief, who is not suspected of a crime? Who signed that warrant? Was there even one?

There are other freaky twists. Supposedly, the FBI agent who spurred the investigation went to Eric Cantor, the House majority leader, at least 11 days before the election — because he thought the investigation had stalled. FBI agents are supposed to stay far away from political activity. They are not freelancers. Yet this tells us that Cantor knew about this for at least 11 days and sat on the information? He knew about the situation before Obama did?

Are we to believe that the timing of this whole thing is an accident? It strains credulity — all of it. One thing to remember is that people involved in espionage and intelligence-gathering are accustomed to leading lives woven of deceit. Many of them know nothing else, and as a result don’t even know who they are. When the lid is lifted off of that box, it’s almost always disgusting in there.

There are plausible elements to the narrative; secret love affairs are common, especially among wealthy men. Women can get catty and competitive. Powerful people make mistakes and can get in beyond their depth, thinking they’re invincible — such is the nature of hubris. All of this adds intrigue and aura to the story. It has a kind of universal appeal, especially when we get to see the mighty and the powerful fall from supposed grace.

Let’s take a closer look at the chart, and then consider a real conspiracy — the biggest one of all.

As mentioned, the chart has the first degree of Aries rising. That gives the chart far-reaching impact as well as describing an event with staying power. The Aries Point is also an image of how all this personal baggage is being unpacked before the world. The private emails of top generals and people they’re intimate with are at this moment being read by investigators. (There is some irony here in that American citizens have been spied on in the name of supposed national security, and now a spy chief and top general have been ensnared in the same rationale.)

Planet Waves
Chart for the news of the Petraeus resignation breaking on MSNBC one week ago today. Saturn, which represents Obama, is in the 8th house, to the right side of the chart, in mustard yellow. (It’s just outside the 8th but it’s within five degrees of the cusp, making it part of the 8th.) It’s in Scorpio. This suggests that we’re looking at a scandal that Obama could be dragging through much of his second term, if it’s exploited. See full chart here. See glyph legend here.

This is a chilling reminder that there really is no such thing as privacy, and chill us is precisely what it does. We’re reminded again when we see scenes of FBI agents carting off Paula Broadwell’s iMac and file boxes, during a “visit” to her home (that’s what it keeps being described as), supposedly with her permission.

Setting aside the narrative (which is easy to get lost in) these facts and images are designed as a kind of threat to the public. The message is that there’s is no inner sanctuary, no place where we’re safe from scrutiny, no space for intimacy in the world. Every keystroke is recorded and can be used against us. It’s as horrifying as the telescreens on the walls of every room in the novel 1984, recording everything that happens.

The ascendant of this chart is Aries, so we can look to Mars for more information. The Mars/Aries thing is appropriate for a scandal focused on the military. We find Mars in Sagittarius in the 9th house — with global influence. There is no doubt that this is an international military issue. It’s not merely a case of the spy who loved me, though we do see the mistress/lover looming over the western horizon — that’s Venus in Libra in the 7th house (blue planet on the right, above the dark line). She looks like a decoy.

Mars (and the question of what happened) has even wider influence due to the fact that it’s in a conjunction to the Galactic Core. Think of the GC as being so high you can’t get over it, so wide you can’t get around it. To me this says, “this issue — whatever it is — lurks behind everything.”

If we are looking for the involvement of, or impact on, Obama, we can look to the 10th house, the house of “all the way to the top.” This is the house of high office, admiralty and the presidency. The 10th house has Capricorn on the cusp — indeed, the first degree of Capricorn, an extension of the Aries Point. For more information we look to the ruler of Capricorn, which is Saturn — which represents the president.

Saturn is in Scorpio and the 8th house. The 8th is the house of death and transformation. This describes a troubled presidency — unless it’s handled cleverly, this whole issue could follow Obama through his entire second term. The Republicans have lost everything, and they have nothing to lose. They have no other issues to work with, except to go on the offensive against Obama.

The problem is that he may be involved — at least in the sense that he’s the political arm of the Military-Industrial Complex, which I wrote about two weeks ago. He has a secret role in this, or at the very least he knows a lot more than he can say at the moment; Saturn also rules the 12th house, because Aquarius is on the cusp (Saturn is the traditional ruling planet of Aquarius). It’s as if his hands are not clean of the karma of this chart — or he may be playing two roles, or being influenced by forces much larger than he is. We know from the history of the Kennedy administration that this is true of any president.

The Common Thread

One thing that everyone involved in this scenario has in common is involvement with the military or some spy organization. Everyone is involved with warfare. And the minds of all media consumers are consumed by the notion that some people had sex or sexy email exchanges. This romanticizes things, which in turn conceals from thought that in the background of everything is warfare.

Planet Waves
Frame of Collateral Murder, the video of the U.S. ambush on unarmed civilians in Baghdad in July 2007. The voice from the helicopter is saying, “Light ’em all up. C’mon, fire!” Photo from Collateral Murder.

Petraeus is being presented to us as a hero who fell from grace. In fact, he presided over the fraudulent, botched and illegal wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, which have killed, injured and displaced millions of people the past 11 years. Everyone in the media seems to be missing this point — what sponsors all of this madness is murder.

Petraeus is offered to us as a venerated general, who served his country well. Consider this fact. Petraeus took command of operations in Iraq in January 2007. On July 12, 2007, there were a series of airstrikes in Baghdad conducted by a team of two U.S. Army Apache helicopters. Crew members reported that they had seen a group of nine to 11 men, two of whom were war correspondents for Reuters — Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen. They claimed the men were armed when in fact nobody was. A journalist’s camera does not look like a rifle.

In three incidents concentrated within 20 minutes, helicopter snipers (firing 30mm cannons, bullets nearly two inches wide) shot the journalists, killed at least 12 civilians, fired on a man crawling for cover and fired on a van, killing two children, and fired a rocket at a building where people had run for cover.
They acted with approval of their higher-ups. None of the people killed were militants.

This incident was revealed in the video Collateral Murder, given to WikiLeaks by Pvt. Bradley Manning, who is currently facing charges for turning over this and many other documents, without which the public would know little about the truth of the atrocities in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Baghdad helicopter attack, in which 12 to 18 or more civilians, including children and journalists, were killed, happened under the watch of David Petraeus. After an Army inquiry, there were no repercussions for those involved.

Commenting on the report, Julian Assange told Democracy Now! that, “The tone and language [of the report] is all about trying to find an excuse for the activity… It’s very clear that that is the approach, to try and find any mechanism to excuse the behavior, and that is what ended up happening.”

Planet Waves
American helicopter about to fire on a van full of civilians, including several children. The voiceover on the cockpit video says, “Come on!” — as in shoot. Photo from Collateral Murder, a WikiLeaks project.

Assange also said, “There were three families living in that apartment complex, many of whom were killed, including women.”

The WikiLeaks files are brimming with incidents like this one — thousands of them. And with the exception of the WikiLeaks files getting their brief moment in the sunlight, countless civilian murders and military atrocities have been concealed and unaddressed.

David Petraeus is not a guy who had an affair. He is a war criminal. It was on his watch that this massacre happened and was covered up. Often the tone of an organization will be set by its leader, especially in a strict top-down structure like the military. As the old saying goes, “Shit rolls downhill.”

The nature of this whole love affair charade is to conceal that fact, and to conceal that many of the people involved are also war criminals, involved with mass murder. That Petraeus took a bright young woman as his lover reveals that he has human tendencies. It’s the good part of the story, the part where there is a spark of life — though in the context of things, just a little one.

It’s also a ruse to cover up far more important events, their impact and the real motives behind what’s happening. A lot of bad things happened when David Petraeus was on duty. That he covered his chest in an ever-expanding pile of medals and decorations is just more coverup.

And at the moment, war rages on and on — in Afghanistan, in Iraq (by mercenaries known as contractors) and with Israel and the Hamas pounding one another.


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Planet Waves

Mars Jumps Into the 2012 Aspect

Friday morning, the Moon made a conjunction to Mars, right before Mars enters Capricorn, which will continue to stir the pot.
The world is still vibrating after the first solar eclipse in Scorpio since 1995. That happened Tuesday, and will help us set patterns for the coming six months or longer.

Planet Waves

Mars on the cardinal cross is one of those moments when the 2012 astrology, in particular the Uranus-Pluto square, might go up like a gas pipe. Mars first aspects Neptune (pretty mellow, imaginative, lusty) then over the week it will make a square to Uranus and finally, a conjunction to Pluto.

That’s the moment when you may look out your window or turn on the TV and think you’re living in the early 1960s, with all the excitement, or the early 1970s with all the scandal in government. That will be a switch — all the recent retro movements have pointed us back to the days of slavery, the time before women’s suffrage, prohibition and the 1950s.

As you feel that bust-loose, cut-loose energy of Mars setting off the Uranus-Pluto aspect (in effect from Friday through the end of the month), just make sure you direct your thoughts and your actions as consciously as you can, and make course corrections as early as you can, should you make an error.

On the immediate radar, Saturday is what’s called the interior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun. This is the midpoint of the Mercury retrograde cycle we’re in; it’s a slightly shorter one than normal. This is a triple conjunction, actually, of Mercury, the Sun and the North Node. This looks like a morph of sorting out your purpose for being alive, searching yourself for some emotional clarity, and opening up the sexual dialog with yourself, with partner(s) and with anyone else who belongs in the conversation.

Mercury will station direct on Nov. 26, so from now we have 10 more days to go. That event will come with another new wave of intrigue, though let’s read this book one chapter at a time. Remember that Mercury is making a series of squares to Neptune — check your facts. Check your opinions. Don’t take anything for granted.


Planet Waves

Hostilities Escalate Between Israel and Hamas

Israel and Hamas are on the verge of all-out war. Israel pounded positions in the Gaza strip after Hamas fired rockets deeper into Israel than it ever has, striking hundreds of times. Air raid sirens were heard in Tel Aviv for the first time since the Persian Gulf War.

Three Israelis and 20 Palestinians were reported killed, and 235 Palestinians have been wounded. The conflict began Wednesday when Israel killed Hamas leader Ahmed Jabari in an airstrike and destroyed dozens of rocket launchers.

An Israeli defense forces spokeswoman reported today they were “recruiting” 16,000 reservists in preparation for a ground invasion; there are already up to 2,000 troops at the Gaza border, according to an anonymous Israeli official.

World leaders are trying to stem the escalation. French President Francois Hollande has begun talks with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other world leaders, Prime Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said. However, it would seem that that the two entities have irreconcilable differences, as Hamas is an Islamist terrorist group that does not recognize Israel’s right to exist.

And in a conference call with reporters, Ben Rhodes, U.S. deputy national security adviser, said, “We’ve urged those that have a degree of influence with Hamas such as Turkey, and Egypt and some of our European partners to use that influence to urge Hamas to de-escalate.”

A planned ceasefire set for today, to accommodate a visit by Egypt’s prime minister, failed when both sides reportedly continued fighting.


Planet Waves

It Ain’t Over Till Mercury’s Direct

Susan Rice, the U.S. ambassador to the U.N., is facing a GOP vow to block her nomination by President Obama to succeed Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina are leading the charge to obstruct any Senate confirmation of Rice, based on her handling of the Sept. 11, 2012 attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Rice spoke on several Sunday morning news programs about the incident, citing information given to her in a CIA briefing. Republicans in Congress claim she intentionally lied to them.

Planet Waves
U.N. ambassador Susan Rice saying on ABC what she was told by the CIA — that the attack on the American consulate in Benghazi was not premeditated. Republicans are saying she intentionally lied, and is not qualified to be Secretary of State.

Omaba issued a challenge to the senators earlier this week. “If Senator McCain and Senator Graham and others want to go after somebody, they should go after me,” the president said in his first post-election news conference.

“And I’m happy to have that discussion with them. But for them to go after the U.N. ambassador, who had nothing to do with Benghazi and was simply making a presentation based on intelligence that she had received, and to besmirch her reputation, is outrageous.”

Meanwhile, in Mercury retrograde style, Mitt Romney continued the campaign well past Election Day. Though Romney conceded the presidential race, he continued to campaign. In a leaked recording of a conference call with his donors, Romney blamed his loss on “gifts” Obama has given to supporters — especially blacks and latinos.

“What the president — president’s campaign did was focus on certain members of his base coalition, give them extraordinary financial gifts from the government, and then work very aggressively to turn them out to vote,” Romney said. “What the president did is he gave them two — two things: One, he gave them a big gift on immigration with the DREAM Act amnesty program; number two, put in place ‘Obamacare,’ which is — which basically is $10,000 a family. I mean, it’s a proven political strategy, which is, give a bunch of money from the government to a group and, guess what, they’ll vote for you. The giving away free stuff is a hard thing to compete with.”

Romney goes on to whine about young people and college students, saying: “Forgiveness of college loan interest was a big gift. Free contraceptives were very big with young college-aged women. And then, finally, ‘Obamacare’ also made a difference for them because, as you know, anybody now 26 years of age and younger was now going to be part of their parents’ plan, and that was a big gift to young people.”

Not all Republicans are amused; even the governor of Louisiana has distanced himself from Romney’s remarks, calling them wrong and divisive.

Meanwhile, the House of Representatives kept its leadership on both sides of the aisle. John Boehner will retain his position as house speaker, and Nancy Pelosi will remain minority leader.


Planet Waves

BP’s Payback: A Drop in the Bucket

British Petroleum (BP) said Thursday it will pay $4.5 billion in fines — including a $1.3 billion criminal penalty, the largest in U.S. history — and other payments to the United States government in connection with the massive oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded in the spring of 2010.

Early on Thursday, BP said it would plead guilty to 11 felony misconduct or neglect charges relating to the deaths of 11 workers.

Later in the day three federal indictments were handed down: two manslaughter charges for BP well site leaders and a charge of obstruction of Congress and lying to federal investigators for BP’s vice president of exploration for the Gulf of Mexico.

The explosion, coinciding with the first of two ingress of Chiron into Pisces, led to millions of barrels of oil leaking into the water. The health of the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem was further damaged by the widespread use of Corexit, an oil-dispersant that caused oil to sink to the ocean floor, where it can enter the food chain when ingested by microorganisms.

The charges and fines do not address the widespread death of wildlife or any ongoing health problems being experienced by emergency workers and those in the Gulf fishing community. In March, BP agreed with plaintiffs’ lawyers to pay claims from the local seafood industry and medical claims stemming from the oil spill, from a trust the oil company set up for such payments.

BP says it is in advanced talks with the U.S. government about settling criminal claims related to the spill. BP would still be subject to claims other than those pending criminal claims, including federal civil claims and claims for damages to natural resources.

“In particular, this settlement does not include what is potentially the largest penalty: fines under the Clean Water Act,” reported The New York Times. “The potential fine for the spill under the Clean Water Act is $1,100 to $4,300 per barrel spilled. That means the fine could be as much as $21 billion, according to Peter Hutton of RBC Capital Markets in London.”

The news comes the same week that the Paris-based International Energy Agency says the United States will surpass Saudi Arabia’s oil production by around 2020 with the aid of controversial extraction techniques such as “fracking” and horizontal drilling, which involve blasting rock formations with chemical-laden fluid.


Planet Waves

A Rolling Jubilee for the 99%

The Occupy Movement, criticized by many last year for being too diffuse and disorganized with its ideas, seems to be finding its stride in taking action — first in quickly organizing post-Sandy relief efforts, and now with a movement to bail out people in debt. Called “Rolling Jubilee,” activists are raising money to buy distressed debt from financial firms, often for pennies on the dollar, then canceling it so that borrowers don’t have to repay.

Planet Waves
Video still from Rolling Jubilee video, courtesy of Democracy Now!

Usually the third parties that buy debt from financial institutions try either to collect on it or ‘bundle’ it for resale. The Rolling Jubilee, however, is acting to “liberate debtors at random through a campaign of mutual support, good will, and collective refusal,” according to an interview Thursday on Democracy Now! with Pamela Brown, a Ph.D. student in sociology at the New School and one of the organizers of the Rolling Jubilee.

“We came together, and we started to talk, and we realized that debt was really the tie that binds the 99 percent. It’s the intersection of Wall Street and our lives,” said Brown. Rolling Jubilee grew out of a coalition formed in the Occupy Movement earlier this summer called Strike Debt; debt is shaping up to be a virtual battleground, replacing Zuccotti Park. As of Thursday, Rolling Jubilee had raised over $185,000 in online donations — a drop in the $13 trillion of U.S. consumer debt, yet still enough to buy $2.5 million worth of defaulted loans.

It’s not enough to truly impact the system or jeopardize the cheap price of debt, but that’s okay. The point is to expose the predatory debt system. Find out more at strikedebt.org, where you can download The Debt Resistors’ Operations Manual.


Planet Waves

Scorpio Eclipse Over Sesame Street

In a quick turnaround befitting a Scorpio New Moon during Mercury retrograde, a young man who had accused Kevin Clash, the voice of popular Sesame Street character Elmo, of having sex with him when he was underage has recanted his story. The man, who has not identified himself, now says the relationship was adult and consensual, in a statement released through the Harrisburg, Pa., law firm Andreozzi & Associates.

Planet Waves
Kevin Clash and Elmo survived the eclipse but are still on leave from Sesame Street.

The news broke Monday morning, and the accusation was recanted the following day. The original accusation that Clash had engaged in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old was released by Sesame Workshop, which produces “Sesame Street” in New York, when they announced Clash would be taking a leave of absence.

Clash, who is gay, has a grown daughter from a previous marriage. He denied the charges immediately; soon after the accuser recanted, Sesame Workshop stated, “We are happy that Kevin can move on from this unfortunate episode.”

The accuser first contacted Sesame Workshop in June. They immediately launched an investigation and met with the accuser twice and also with Clash. The unidentified man is currently in his 20s; sex with a person under 17 is a felony in New York if the perpetrator is over 21.

Clash announced Monday he will follow through with his leave of absence “to deal with this false and defamatory allegation”; there has been no word from Clash or Sesame Workshop as to when he may return to the show.


Planet Waves

Russia Loses Contact With Satellites, ISS

In a classic case of Mercury retrograde mischief, a broken cable outside Moscow was the culprit behind the Russian space agency Roskosmos’ loss of communication Wednesday with its civilian satellites and its portion of the International Space Station. State-run news agency RIA Novosti had cited an unnamed source as saying Russia lost the ability to control most of its civilian satellites and send commands to the space station. However, once communications were reconfigured, the space agency said, all operations were back to normal, and the departure of a Russian, an American and a Japanese astronaut from the station, scheduled for November 19, would take place as planned. Military satellites were not affected.


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Planet Waves

Planet Waves FM :: Blue Studio Series :: (sex conversations)

This week I introduced a new Planet Waves FM audio series: conversations with Planet Waves readers about sex. These are not really interviews; they are an exchange of ideas, in an informal, freeform format. We’ll be hearing from people — so far, women — of a diversity of ages and sexual orientations. In the first installment, I speak with Nora, a 56-year-old mom and grandmother, who has discovered her freedom and is now exploring erotic adventures.

In the second edition of the Blue Studio Series, my guest Cat and I take up the question of what it means to be your own lover. Cat is one of many people who has a preference for being her primary sex partner. We talk about her selfloving journey, how she feels about it and how she relates to the world around herself as her own lover.

Here is would-have-been Senator Christine O’Donnell’s anti-masturbation revival video from MTV’s Sex in the 90s.Her last line really says it all…


Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

Tuesday, Nov. 20, we will publish the Moonshine horoscope for November by Genevieve Hathaway. Friday, Nov. 23 we will publish the extended forecast for December. There will not be a weekly horoscope that day.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.


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Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Nov. 16, 2012 #926 | By Eric Francis

Scorpio Birthdays This Week

If you have a birthday anywhere in the neighborhood, or if you’re born with Scorpio rising, this is the year that you have the opportunity to get clear with others. Get clear about what? Your shared priorities — what some would call the most important things in life. They are also the most intimate. While this astrology suggests that you have a lot to discuss with partners about money, that’s not really the issue — the driving forces behind your values are the things to focus on. To do that, you need to be clear with yourself. You’re in a position where the values of another person could be influencing who you think you are. It’s easy to get lost in this maze, that is, to have others define you, without your even being fully conscious of that fact. This is the time to get conscious of the way these interactions work and the influences they hold over you. To do this will take some soul searching as well as some guts, but you’re a Scorpio — you have the strength to do it. Note — I’ve prepared an extended birthday report for Scorpio and Scorpio rising, which you can get at this link.

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — For a child, work is play. That’s the space to get yourself into as you reach for some of your best accomplishments of the year, or indeed the past few years. It will be easier to use astrology to describe this. There are two things going on in your solar chart right now. One is that Mars is about to reach your midheaven, the career and achievement angle in a chart. Pluto has been there for a while, warming up the territory; Mars (the Aries planet) arriving there represents some tangible, conscious move on your part. There is the potential for you to over-reach or push a little too hard on the power attribute of Mars conjunct Pluto, so I suggest you take it easy and focus on the work at hand rather than making it about you. Meanwhile, the meaningful asteroid Child has arrived in your sign. This is suggesting to appreciate the moment you are in, to look at the world through young eyes, and to maintain what Buddhists call beginner’s mind. There are several ways these points could interact: at worst, childish tantrums or control dramas, and at best, a fresh, ongoing appreciation of work well done.

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) — Your charts continue to emphasize your current relationship situation(s), a fact that’s not going to change for a while. Immediate factors suggest that it’s time for a careful
review of the past, including the way that mental habits have influenced your choices and in particular, the words you have spoken and the impact they have had. One choice you have is to build your new encounters on the heap of what has happened in the past. Another is to seek understanding about what has happened, and to re-evaluate your role, and that of everyone else. If you choose to camp out in a fixed point of view, you will miss the subtleties and indeed miss the many opportunities for nourishment that come from true understanding. It’s worth considering the history of all the ways you orient your existence on relationships and in particular, your concepts about them. Life when actually lived is not scripted, the end is not pre-determined and it’s not a role play. It’s something different, indeed, something much easier.

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


Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You seem to be making a profound decision about yourself, though I suggest that as a metaphor you imagine that you’re putting on a glove. That’s the feeling — it’s a choice, and something that you slip into, contoured to who you are and what you want. It facilitates your dexterity rather than getting in the way. You can apply that image to everything you’re trying to work out in your life right now. The slipping in and the dexterity are emotional rather than physical — though the most physical aspect of the experience involves your use of time, and the way you fit your priorities into time. The conscious use of time is one of the distinguishing factors of maturity and adulthood. Factors in your chart are informing you that the time has come to get a handle on this aspect of your life, which also translates to knowing your priorities and then being in emotional harmony with them. The emphasis is indeed emotional; the hand slipping into the glove is your emotions fitting snugly into your mind.

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) — Remember that sex is an experiment. It’s also an interesting morph of expressive, relational and introspective. It’s not always easy to get your partner onto this page, or to find someone who is — and it’s easy enough for you to forget. Yet right now this experiment is calling you in a profound way. It’s as if your fantasies are aching for exploration and expression, yet you are wavering in your balance between ‘external’ and ‘internal’ focus. This may manifest as questions about what you will and will not say — about what you want, need and want to do. I recognize the potential delicacy of this situation, and the edge you may be perched on. What I suggest is this: get clear with yourself in words, over a series of days. Describe to yourself what you want, preferably in writing or recorded, that is, in a form you can retrieve. Then take the leap and share it with someone you trust. This may or may not be the person you would prefer to explore with; the first step is to transcend your inhibition about sharing. If you notice fear or shame, work with these things consciously, and tap the erotic energy they contain.

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) — As you take care of the details of your home, perhaps digging yourself out of some physical or financial disarray, I suggest you consider as deeply as you can what it really means for you to feel safe in the world. I say this recognizing that there are many people who have not felt safe for one minute since the day they were born. Others have grown up in the midst of so much turmoil that it’s difficult for them to have enough of a sense of what safety feels like to recognize it when it comes their way. Still others associate violation, pain or chaos with a kind of psychological ‘safety’ that’s really just a form of familiarity. There are a scant few people who actually know what it means to be held. Current aspects are inviting you to sort out where you are along this spectrum. You’re verging on a breakthrough of understanding what it really means to feel safe in your environment — particularly emotionally. I would remind you that part of this involves knowing where your boundaries are, and knowing when you’ve reached one of them.

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.

Planet Waves



Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — I’ve been doing a series of interviews with my readers about how they feel about sex, and what they think about it. One impression I am getting is how vital it is that we know where we stand with ourselves, and that we be willing to push the edges of what feels good, of what we need and most of all, what we want. Your solar chart tells me this is a topic that may be on your mind. It seems like you may be wanting to come to terms with, or understand in a deeper way, something that you’re not so sure about. You may be wrestling with a question from your past, or some element of your erotic psyche that is making you question yourself on a deep level. I recognize this may be uncomfortable at the same time that it’s deeply alluring and inviting. I know that sex and sexuality are sold to us as controversial. I can tell you that when you are settled with yourself in this aspect of your life, you will feel much better — and you have that opportunity now.

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.


Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) —
For Libra and Libra rising, I’ve been developing the theme of self-esteem in recent columns. This is because Saturn, the Sun, Mercury and a recent total solar eclipse have been dancing around the sign next to yours — your solar 2nd house, Scorpio. As a matter of psychic structure, Scorpio is the region of the zodiac that holds the keys to how you feel about yourself, which includes the ways you can learn to feel better about yourself. Because Scorpio is involved, you have the special karmic mission of ‘self-esteem’ translating to making peace with some of the deepest matters we encounter in a physical lifetime: the mysteries of sex and death; questions about our cosmic origins; and the often contradictory nature of the human emotional body. Because the questions go so deep, they are not your average matters of self-respect. Yet what this gives you is profound access to your humanity. Libra is one of the most creative and multifaceted energies on the wheel of life. There is a reason: you are drawing from a deep well.

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 .

Planet Waves



Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You may feel like you don’t understand yourself, or like you have so far to go before you do. If that’s what’s going on for you now, I suggest you take it as a reminder of how far you’ve come. Yes, your questions are real, and they may seem to lead to more questions rather than simple answers (or any answers at all). Yet while you’re doing this, some things are available to you that are not available to others who do not get so deeply involved with the mysteries. One thing is that your self-inquiry provides you with energy that will fuel your passion and your art. You are capable of being free from the kinds of judgments that ensnare so many people. Perhaps most significantly, you can groom this into curiosity that gives you a truly interesting life. If there’s a catch, here it is: this all becomes valuable and life-affirming to the extent that you put it to use. Guide these feelings into some tangible means of expression, thought or relating. For the next few weeks, writing may lead you to some deep spaces. Be generous with 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) — A lot is brewing inside that wide-open space you contain. Your imagination may be running away with you. The astrological picture is one of passionately emotional fantasy, the sensation of astral contact with others, or a driving urgency to connect with yourself. If you’re on the edgy side of these emotions, you may be experiencing fear, self-doubt and uncertainty about existence. It’s possible that you’re feeling lonely and craving contact of a kind that you cannot describe, much less admit to someone else. I would propose that all the emotions I’ve described here are part of the same thing. Fear and passion are closer than we usually admit. They can masquerade for one another, they dance with one another, and one can lead you to the other in unexpected ways. You are safe feeling all of these things. You are safe in your longing and your desire for contact. It is safe to imagine anything you want, whether you think it’s possible or not.

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) — Mars is about to ingress your birth sign, and that’s likely to arrive with a bolt of energy and the release from anxiety you may not have noticed you were experiencing. If you did, it may have come in this form: is anxiety the cause of inaction, or is inaction the cause of anxiety? When this riddle resolves itself, it suddenly may not matter which was the cause and which was the effect; action itself is a form of relief. Focus helps you clear up the blurry edges of your thoughts, and expressing energy gives you more energy rather than consuming anything. As the next week progresses, this sensation may build. I suggest that you invest yourself into your choices and actions without hesitation. Practice living as if you have total confidence in yourself. Think of it as a gift you give to yourself. Dare to go beyond any feeling of doubt, taking confident steps. Fear is an emotion and it rarely speaks the truth. What we think of as freedom always takes courage, and offers courage as its first reward.

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) — One purpose of this past Tuesday’s total eclipse of the Sun in Scorpio was to blow through what felt like a glass ceiling that has held you down for so long. Yet what was this thing exactly? It was anything but transparent, so glass really isn’t a good metaphor. This was really about coming to terms with the darkness of the world, including some of your worst fears, your struggles with authority in various forms, and your fear of your own power. You have a tendency to whitewash the world in a philosophy of love and light, yet this doesn’t do anything to change the reality of a planet obsessed with control, survival and scarcity. The authentic expression of goodness depends upon a root into grief and suffering. Generosity depends upon awareness of the ways people deny one another. Freedom demands that you know how fragile freedom really is, how few people it actually exists for, and how much responsibility it entails. If you can do this, you will start to make contact with the true nature of trust.

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) — Be clear about what you want to do, and also about the results that you want. You are now in possession of your vision and you know something about the method you’re pretty sure will get you there. Put all these ingredients together with faith in yourself. Remind yourself continually the ways in which you’ve succeeded at challenging things in the past, if you need a hedge against any lack of confidence — the truth is, you can afford to believe in your abilities and the virtues of your mission. Now, however, is the time to get your traction in the form of results. Take action and trust the action that you take, and recognize when something you do bears fruit. This may come in many forms, so I suggest that you not be attached to any one — at this point everything leads to one destination. Therefore, motivate yourself to be persistent, trust your passion and never let the hesitancy or self-criticism of others deter you.

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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The World in a Grain of Pholus

So leave me now the Moon is up
But remember all the tales I tell
The memories that you have dredged up
Are on letters forwarded from hell
— Joe Strummer / “Something About England

Dear Friend and Reader:

Every now and then, a significant global event affirms the theme of one of the recently discovered planets. By recently, I mean since the late ’70s starting with the discovery of Chiron — and I mean bodies within our solar system. Many people wonder how astrologers come up with the meanings of these things, these ice cubes and hunks of iron orbiting our Sun in odd patterns. We have many ways. Wide-scale public events where a particular planet appears prominently in the charts help confirm what we know, expand our understanding and create new dimensions of knowledge. I call these things ‘provings’, after a homeopathic term that basically means to test and experiment.

Cover of The Guardian, one of Britain’s left-leaning actual newspapers, from earlier in the month, breaking the story of how News of the World writers hacked the phone of slain teenager Milly Dowler. After publishing her parents’ anguished voicemails in the newspaper, they deleted the messages, leading her parents and police to believe she was still alive. This outraged England and sent the news across the Atlantic, forced the closure of the newspaper and has resulted in nine arrests.

One such event is developing right now, involving the second centaur planet Pholus: the unraveling of the Rupert Murdoch media empire, particularly the criminal conspiracy within his News International division that owns many newspapers in the U.K. This is the phone hacking scandal you may have read about elsewhere. It’s a complex story and it’s a bit exotic for our U.S. readers, so I will offer a summary before I get into the charts.

Just this week there have been nine arrests of current and former News Corp staff, including someone who had just served as the communications director to the current prime minister (the equivalent of our president). Hearing about the conduct of News Corp reporters, this week members of Congress from both parties called for a criminal investigation in the U.S., and as of Thursday the FBI was involved. News Corp, Murdoch’s company, is a Delaware corporation. Rupert Murdoch and his son, James, both hold U.S. passports.

The scandal takes place within England’s tabloid newspaper world, an environment so competitive and so vicious that it defies comprehension. An interesting element here is that newspapers still exist, for the moment: this issue will make many of them less profitable and speed their demise — though notably, it was a British newspaper, the The Guardian, that cracked the whole affair open. There is no equivalent market or environment in the U.S. In London you can walk up to a newsagent and have your choice of a dozen different papers with headlines screaming about the private business of nearly anyone, adorned with photos of naked or bikini-clad women, inciting controversy and harvesting human agony on an industrial scale.

Rupert Murdoch with his third wife, Wendi, in 2011. Murdoch has a prominent Vesta in his chart, which suggests that he is surrounded by young women. Photo credit: David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons.

To visualize the product, imagine what would happen if The New York Post dropped acid with TMZ and The National Enquirer, aided by hackers, lawyers and corrupt private investigators, with unlimited resources, spurred and enabled by pure greed and the luxury of having no ethics at all. Then you might come close. We do have related problems here in the states, particularly Murdoch’s FOX News. More on that in a bit.

I have long maintained that the media, in particular what we call the news media, is one of the biggest spiritual problems of our times. By that I mean an existential problem on all levels, from consciousness to politics, influencing every thought we think and why we believe we’re alive. If we want to understand why society’s problems seem so intractable, imagine if there were more newspapers that told the truth about them, rather than covering up the issues. If we want to understand why so many people are so poorly informed, have bizarre opinions, absurd worldviews and believe in the politicians and policies that hurt them the most, we have the media to thank, all of it, including movies, TV and most books. We’ve all seen this over and over: a problem surfaces in mainstream news coverage, and then it disappears. We all know about issues that get no press at all. And we figure there must be a reason — such as the newspapers are protecting their friends in public office, or are somehow involved in what they’re making disappear.

If we want to understand why people are so caught in shame, blame, guilt and fear, we can attribute a lot of that to what we inject into our minds. True, people make the choice to watch, but it’s also true that television is pervasive and addictive, and that it feeds off of well-known human weaknesses, including the need for escape. The same is true of gossip journalism; if you’re emotionally injured, you might find a temporary palliative in watching others get shamed. Most of what we think of as news is so toxic and so contrary to any agenda that would help living things, it’s a small wonder that anyone gives it any credence — but we do. And typically we do because we’re trying to fill a gaping spiritual hole.

British tabloids exist in an environment like no other, where anything is ‘fair’ play. Photo: Creative Commons, via IB Times.

There has always been yellow journalism, but the digital age has expanded the possibilities for spreading carcinogenic ideas to something as dependably repugnant as a hazardous waste incinerator built next to a school. Most ‘news’ propagates an obsession with negativity, which comes in the form of fear, paranoia and divisive ideas that pit communities, regions and the generations against one another. At the dark soul of this industry is Rupert Murdoch, whose media holdings (the second largest globally, with reported revenue of $33 billion in 2010) have made him one of the most influential men in the world.

As he controlled the media market, working relentlessly toward a monopoly, Murdoch in many ways has seemed to have a stranglehold on ideology, doing his best to exploit the pre-existing pain in the human psyche and choke off any hope of progress. He has not entirely succeeded, but he’s done damage on a global scale, and direct damage to the political systems of the U.S. and the U.K. the extent of which we have yet to determine. Part of his game involves having a little something (as in a dirt file) on anyone who is anyone. If you challenged him, you could find yourself in the newspaper the next day. Right below the surface of what we’re seeing reported in the news is a vast criminal enterprise, a kind of blackmail and extortion racket, designed to amass power not just over a market but power over people and institutions.

Now it’s starting to unravel, with another series of stunning revelations every day.

The Prince’s Knee Injury Makes ‘News’

Since 2005, the British public has been learning, mainly through press reports in The Guardian, that a Murdoch Sunday scandal sheet, News of the World, was hacking into cell phones of royals, sports figures and entertainers, and spreading gossip found in their voicemail boxes. The first incident that came to light involves a story published in December ’05, when news of Prince William’s knee injury made it onto the pages of the tabloid. Prince William is heir to the throne of the United Kingdom, and his injury had only been known to his family and staff. Buckingham Palace suspected hacking of William’s voicemail and those of his staff, and called in Scotland Yard, which began an investigation. Not surprisingly, the investigation turned into a cover-up.

The Guardian from earlier in the year, stating that the hacking investigation was being reopened. On the cover is Murdoch and his henchwoman, Rebekah Brooks. She was the editor of News of the World through many of he newspaper’s worst ethical violations. Murdoch tried to protect her, but she resigned Friday facing a summons to testify before Parliament and a call for her resignation from a Saudi shareholder of News International.

About eight months later, in mid-2006, the author of the story and a (previously convicted) private investigator who worked for News of the World were arrested. Police seized computer files, recordings and other documents. In 2007, a special commission determined that there was no further evidence of wrongdoing.

At the time, a guy named Andy Coulson was editor of News of the World. Coulson resigned from his post when the case came to light and not long after, he became the communications director for Conservative (Tory) leader David Cameron, a member of Parliament. Two years later, the then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown learned that Murdoch and News International were dropping their support for him and the Labour Party, whom they had backed via Murdoch’s The Sun tabloid since 1997, in favour of Cameron and the Conservatives. Brown was ousted and Cameron became prime minister — giving a hint about Murdoch’s political influence.

The Sun is the bestselling daily newspaper in the U.K., and Cameron has had their support right through his candidacy, to his becoming prime minister and beyond. So this goes right to the top of the British government.

The story lay quiet for two years, and was re-opened in July 2009 when The Guardian revealed that Murdoch’s organization had paid £1 million to settle a variety of lawsuits that would have named other phone hacking journalists it employed. A News Corp statement responding to The Guardian’s story said, “all of these irresponsible and unsubstantiated allegations against News of the World and other News International titles and its journalists are false.” A top police official said, “This case has been the subject of the most careful investigation by the most experienced detectives… No additional evidence has come to light. I therefore consider no further investigation is required.”

But the story would not go away. It turned out that more than 4,800 people had their phones, voicemail and email hacked. Police had been regularly bribed for phone numbers of public figures, and even the schedule of Queen Elizabeth. Imagine envelopes of cash changing hands between so-called journalists and police on the queue at drive-through fast food restaurants. There were ongoing denials of wrongdoing from News Corp and various government officials. Yet in early 2010, the truth began to surface again, with a parliamentary investigation concluding that there must be a wider scandal than was originally indicated.

Current British Prime Minister David Cameron, who hired the former editor of News of the World, Andy Coulson, as his communications director. Coulson resigned in January and Cameron’s administration, with its ties to Murdoch, is now threatened. Official photo.

Along the way, it was revealed that among the many thousands of people who had their phones hacked were the victims and survivors of terrorism, including the 7/7 attacks that had devastated England in the summer of 2005. The Guardian’s investigation revealed that, “phone hacking and other illegal reporting techniques were rife at the tabloid.” Through 2010 and 2011 there have been many developments behind the scenes, including former News of the World editor Andy Coulson’s resignation as communications director for the prime minister this past January.

Then suddenly the story made it across the Atlantic on July 4 when The Guardian reported that News of the World had hacked into voicemails left for murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, who disappeared and was killed in 2002. During the six months she was missing, reporters working on the story had listened to, published and then deleted voicemails in Dowler’s cell phone. The deletions led her family and the police to believe she was still alive, and made more room for anguished pleas from her parents that were published in the newspaper.

Notably, the editor at the time this happened was Rebekah Brooks, who on Friday resigned as the head of News International, Murdoch’s U.K. newspaper division. The high-publicity trial of Milly Dowler’s killer had evoked tremendous sympathy from the British public, and this revelation broke the dam of outrage at Murdoch and his newspapers.

In the same burst of news, swirling around the solar eclipse two weeks ago, we also learned that News of the World had hacked into the medical records and bank accounts of then-Prime Minister Gordon Brown, sensationalizing the illness of his infant son in the pages of the newspaper. It was clear that any boundary between public and private, between what is truly intimate and what is made into political fodder, was nonexistent.

Then on Friday, July 8, Coulson — just six months after he resigned as communications director for the current prime minister David Cameron — was arrested for his involvement in the phone hacking scandal. His former boss, the very head of the British government, denied that he had any knowledge of what Coulson had been up to as editor of News of the World, though he was warned about it many times. This damages Cameron’s administration and he is viewed by many as a pawn of Murdoch.

Rupert Murdoch at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting, Davos. 2007. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

On Sunday, Murdoch closed News of the World after 168 years in print, hoping that would work as a kind of sacrificial offering. The man who would never back down gave up significant ground; News of the World was one of his few profitable newspapers. Then on Wednesday, Murdoch gave up his $12 billion bid to purchase the remaining shares of a satellite broadcasting system called British Sky Broadcasting (BSkyB) that he did not already own. Labour, Liberals and Conservatives in Parliament joined together and demanded that he back off of that deal. Later that day, the chief lawyer for News International resigned after 26 years with the company, the first senior executive to quit in the scandal. The lawyer, Tom Crone, is believed to have signed off on many of the more controversial articles that appeared in News of the World.

Then on Friday, July 15, Rebekah Brooks resigned as chief of News International, the British newspaper division, for her conduct while editor of News of the World. Murdoch had succeeded at protecting her through the scandal, but demands from the public, the Dowler family and one of News International’s biggest investors pushed her out. It’s unclear whether she will testify before Parliament next week, where she has been subpoenaed.

One last. A New York City police officer recently said he was approached by reporters for News of the World who were trying to get the contact information for Sept. 11 victims and their families. Immediately, several congressional representatives, including Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-WV) have called for investigations into whether the privacy of Sept. 11 families was violated.

“The limited information already reported in this case raises serious questions about the legality of the conduct of News Corporation and its subsidiaries under the [Foreign Corrupt Practices Act],” Lautenberg wrote. “Further investigation may reveal that current reports only scratch the surface of the problem at News Corporation.” Lautenberg, as senator from New Jersey, represents many of the families of Sept. 11 victims.

So there you have it: a vast criminal enterprise, scavenging on the suffering of parents missing their child, survivors of the most notorious acts of terrorism in the past decades, and a private company with deep tentacles into government and the police; both are already implicated in the cover-up.

Former British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, whose phone and medical records were hacked to exploit a medical condition of his infant child. Murdoch then turned against him and the Labour Party. Photo: Screen shot from BBC.

All of this was done for profit and power, with the end result being the parading of pain and suffering before the public and multiplying it by many orders of magnitude. When anyone would try to stop it, they could be thrown to the sharks; most said nothing out of fear that they would be assassinated in the newspapers.

Remember that the product of all this activity was supposed news. The public has gazed into this oracle for some orientation on what is important in life, such as: should we bomb and invade Iraq? Is a public option for health insurance a good idea? Should we kill Social Security? Are we safe from environmental toxins and radioactive fallout? In the United States alone, 100 million households have access to FOX News, nearly total saturation. Many people — including educated people who should know better — take its paranoid, delusional pronouncements as gospel. And we are now getting a glimpse of what has been going on behind the scenes.

The one thing that all commentators say about this story is, there’s no telling when, where or with whom it will end. The once seemingly invincible Murdoch organization is cutting off appendages to stem the damage. The allegations have spread to other titles in his News International group, including The Sun tabloid and far to the other end of the journalistic spectrum, the prestigious Sunday Times. Everyone involved in the British press knows that crimes were committed at many newspapers beyond Murdoch’s group, but he is the Godfather.

Pholus: The Process that Cannot be Stopped

You may be familiar with Chiron, a small planet discovered in 1977 orbiting in a path that weaves it between Saturn and Uranus. In 1992, a similar planet was discovered, and the centaur group was designated by astronomers. The new planet was called Pholus, one of the other wise centaurs (and possibly a direct branch off of the Chiron cycle of myths).

Pholus in the natal chart of Rupert Murdoch. It is the small florescent green planet close to the horizontal line, with the large number 5 next to it. Murdoch has Pholus rising in Capricorn — the sign of business and government. The nearby planet is Vesta, suggesting devotion to the cause of profiting on human suffering (and an obsession with young women). View chart.

The energy of Pholus feels like something leaking out of a pressurized vessel. It could be anything; in the myth, it’s a cask of wine, the scent of which draws a mob of rogue centaurs, who get involved in a war with Heracles. Many disasters ensue; it’s one of the most horrendous scenes in Greek mythology. The most important thing about the wine is that it’s collective property. That stuff that comes out — it belongs to everyone. And once the process is started, the genie doesn’t go back into the bottle. The wine, of course, is a symbol; it could be anything that causes a reaction.

Pholus represents processes of rapid transformation that can be provoked by seemingly minor things. Robert von Heeren, one of the first astrologers to delineate Pholus, gave it the key phrase, “small cause, big effect.” Its energy is highly reactive, unpredictable and can be grossly irresponsible. There is a connection to alcohol, including conduct inspired by being drunk.

In the chart of Rupert Murdoch, Pholus is rising; that is, it’s in the ascendant, right on the eastern horizon, arguably the most powerful spot in a chart. That makes it a primary factor in his personality. It’s placed in the sign Capricorn, which covers corporations and government. What better way to describe the sense of unleashed scandalous information, springing from a source that cannot be stopped, spreading war, havoc and a weird kind of intoxication? Think of FOX News going around the clock, spouting its seemingly endless stream of lies, laced with a toxic agenda. That’s how Murdoch manifests his Pholus in Capricorn. He also has Vesta nearby, illustrating his total devotion to the cause. That’s a property of Vesta — devotion. But it has several other noteworthy factors. One is a connection to sexuality, particularly the shame/guilt aspect (this is especially true in Capricorn).

Pholus in the chart of News of the World’s first edition, in October 1843, long before Lincoln was president. Pholus in this chart aligns directly with that in the chart of Rupert Murdoch, above. See full chart here.

In 1969, Murdoch purchased News of the World. It had been in print continuously since Oct. 1, 1843. Wikipedia’s editors sum up the newspaper’s mission: “It quickly established itself as a purveyor of titillation, shock and criminal news. Much of the source material came from coverage of vice prosecutions, including transcripts of police descriptions of alleged brothels, streetwalkers and ‘immoral’ women.” By 1950 it had become the biggest-selling newspaper in the world, with circulation of about nine million. This is astonishing given that the population of England was just over 40 million at that time. That is saturation on the level of FOX News in the U.S. — nearly every household.

On the day that News of the World first published, Pholus was in Capricorn; in fact it was sitting in the very same degree of Capricorn as Rupert Murdoch’s Pholus, though he would not be born for another 92 years. That happens to be one Pholus cycle, pretty much to the day. You could say there is an element of destiny at work here, or at least an alignment of purpose.

Pluto in the chart for the last edition of News of the World, on Sunday, July 10. Notice that Pluto (red guy) is in the same degree Pholus occupies in both the charts of Murdoch and News of the World. Full chart here.

Now for the current moment. Remember that the story developing so rapidly now first surfaced in 2005, nearly six years ago — but it didn’t go out of control until the past two weeks. On the day that News of the World published its last issue, Pluto in Capricorn was (and still is) exactly conjunct Pholus in the natal charts of Murdoch and the fated newspaper. You could say that Pluto is activating natal Pholus in both of these charts — and we are getting the full Pholus effect, rippling through the world of Capricorn: business and politics. There are many planets making aspects to Pluto — we keep describing this as the cardinal cross, plus Chiron in Pisces and Jupiter in Taurus. All those planets are fueling the fire ignited by Pholus in the charts for Murdoch and News of the World, and they will be for a while.

Notice how something new seems to be escaping from a structure in a way that can never be reversed: the truth of what went on behind the scenes. With Pluto in Capricorn we have the energy of the unstoppable force, combining with Pholus in Capricorn (in the natal charts of Murdoch and News of the World) to wreak havoc on one of the world’s biggest companies and oldest, most established governments. This is not a scandal in any conventional sense of the word; it’s the revelation of a massive criminal and political conspiracy, which has largely been fostered by something called the corporate veil. That’s an aspect of a corporation that protects individuals from liability created by the people who run the company. With the prosecution of 11 individuals so far (two in 2006 and nine in the past week), the corporate veil has finally been breached.

When other journalists commenting on this story say they have no idea where it’s going to end up, or who will become involved, they are describing the astrology perfectly.

An Age of Change: Uranus, Pluto and WikiLeaks

Pluto in Capricorn has certainly ushered in an age of change to the institutions of our society. The financial crisis that started in 2008, with the worst recession by far since the Great Depression of the 1930s, is illustrated by Pluto in Capricorn. We all have this sense that there are bigger changes in the works than the ones we’ve already seen.

Julian Assange, creator of WikiLeaks, is involved in releasing information that is damaging to corporations and government. He exists in what seems like a parallel universe to News Corp and Rupert Murdoch. Coincidentally, both are from Australia. Photo: Assange’s personal ad.

Through this era, we’ve witnessed the emergence of WikiLeaks, which has cracked the vessel of government and begun to get out the truth, in particular about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. There are striking parallels between the WikiLeaks and News Corp situations. Both involve corporations, governments and the unsuppressed release of information that is damaging to them. Both are stunning commentaries on the gross abuse of political and corporate power. Yet one of the releases is being done to those institutions (WikiLeaks) and one is coming from inside the system. Both are revealing crimes against the people at large and doing severe damage to the reputations of those in power.

What is interesting is that, at least in the short run, an external assault on the system (WikiLeaks) seems less effective than when the system starts to self-destruct from within (News Corp imploding, though spurred by The Guardian newspaper). Yet both methods will have effects that are going on in a kind of living laboratory, and the results will take years to understand.

You can think of Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, as a kind of anti-Murdoch. Both are in the business of revealing hidden information, but Murdoch reveals what damages individual people, and Assange reveals what is damaging to big institutions, calling them to task for damaging people. (Notably, the chart for WikiLeaks has a powerful Pholus, exactly squared by the Moon.)

As Pluto makes its way through Capricorn, we will be seeing more of these damaging revelations, from many sources. Once Pluto gets going, it’s nearly impossible to reverse the process. Pluto in Capricorn is not just going to be about economic collapses. There is a restructuring of society taking place, we’re all watching it happen and many will be called to participate. If you have a copy of your natal chart, look at what’s in the early to mid cardinal signs for a clue as to how you will be taking part. (Murdoch has Pholus there; he’s unwittingly become part of the solution to the problems he helped create.)

There is a major crux point in that process, which is in June 2012, when Uranus in Aries makes its first exact square to Pluto for this cycle. This is the first axial alignment of Uranus and Pluto since the 1965-1966 conjunction that shook the world for more than a decade (what we think of as the Sixties). It’s a moment when personal consciousness (Uranus in Aries) meets up with the restructuring of society (Pluto in Capricorn.)

Protests in Wisconsin this year were the perfect image of the Uranus-Pluto square. Photo: UAFF.

The Uranus-Pluto square is close right now: as of today it’s less than two degrees apart, meaning that we are seeing some of the more interesting effects of the aspect start to manifest. We’ve been witnessing them all year, from Arab Spring to the protests in Wisconsin. One implication of this is that not only is Pluto conjunct the natal Pholus of News of the World and Murdoch himself, Uranus is making a square to that position. Uranus influences the speed of events and also the sense of a surprise. So when that first square makes exact contact next spring — pay attention because events will progress at a blinding rate.

Anything or anyone with important points (planets, the ascendant, etc.) aligned with the Uranus-Pluto square is set up for big transformations over the next few years. As we watch what happens to Murdoch, News Corp and its various actors, we will get a clue how big. Just a few months ago it would have seemed impossible that things could come this far, that so much would be revealed. Of course, we weren’t expecting the wave of revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa either, massive, rolling protests being another manifestation of Uranus-Pluto.

Yet what anyone looking to improve the world is looking for is structural change, and while we have yet to see much of that, it is inevitable. Awareness is the first step in the process, and right now that means being aware just how much influence Rupert Murdoch has amassed in the governments of the United States and England. His truth incinerator known as FOX News has helped create many wars, relentlessly exploited terrorism for profit, and built up the hate-inspired Teabag movement in the United States, a fundamentalist religious movement which is currently holding the government hostage over the debt ceiling issue. And women are being taken hostage. This year alone, 81 laws have been passed that in some way restrict access to abortion thanks to Teabag movement politicians getting into office.

FOX News involves itself directly in the U.S. political process. It is a breeding ground for potential presidential candidates, all of whom display a bitter resentment for humanity. Not surprisingly, the same sentiment emerges from what is revealed in the WikiLeaks files. Conservatism is not about conserving anything; it’s about fear.

The Change We Need: An End to Garmonbozia

When we think of the structural change associated with the current astrology, it might help to think on multiple levels of reality. Astrology itself is multidimensional. Do we really think that an undiscovered hunk of iron (Pholus in Capricorn, in charts many decades old) is physically influencing our reality? Or is there some kind of energetic influence?

“Bob, I want my Garmonbozia.” Michael J. Anderson as ‘The Man from Another Place’, a resident of the Black Lodge in David Lynch’s film “Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me.” Garmonbozia is human pain and sorrow, collected and consumed by demonic beings who manipulate events to cause, and thus feed on, even more pain. Such is the nature of News Corp and much of the mainstream media.

The concept of multiple levels of reality also hints at a relationship with the unseen world, what some call the spirit world. An illustration of this comes from one of the most reviled films in 20th century cinema — Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me. The film, considered by most to be as incomprehensible as reality itself, explores the relationship between the Black Lodge (a kind of nonphysical organization) and events in the town of Twin Peaks, which surround a series of murders. People in the town became possessed by the spirits of the Black Lodge, which harvested their pain and sorrow and created it into a kind of food they consume, which they call garmonbozia.

We think of enterprises like News Corp as spreading pain, warfare, shame and hatred, and then collecting money, which is true on the physical level. But rarely do we consider the spiritual damage these things perpetuate. There are factors at work on the energetic level, and one of them is the harvesting of that sorrow, converting it into the ability to cause more of it, and harvesting that. I cannot tell you exactly what entities are behind News Corp and Mr. Murdoch on the invisible planes of reality, but I know they’re there, thriving on what he seems to create, and I know who they work for.

Television, newspapers and plenty of Internet sites spew out human pain and then profit from it, but the results collect on another level as well. In this image, a woman who lost her son in a car accident is covering her mouth, suggesting that she is both grieving and ashamed. The story verges on pointless, but millions of people will relive her agony through video. Image: NBC TV.

As individuals, we feed the process as we focus our attention on the pain of others in a way that is unrelated to their healing or our own. We might think we’re being entertained or informed, when in truth we’re multiplying the negativity like an infected body multiplies a pathogen. Then we get drawn in and addicted to (which means controlled by) the multiplication and transfer of energy. There is a reason people watch FOX News or listen to Rush Limbaugh hour after hour. It creates the very psychic void it pretends to fill, much like the combination of excess sugar and salt in fast food makes it impossible to satisfy one’s hunger.

There really is no systemic way to address this deeply personal aspect of the problem. Each person has to make a choice to divest his or her energy and invest it in something else. This does not mean turning away from the whole situation; it’s precisely the lack of awareness, what you could call ‘unconsciousness’, or what some call ‘ignorance’ (the conscious choice to ignore something) that enables and invites the problem to begin with. Most of us from time to time notice how much we look away from something simply because we don’t want to deal with it — even though we know that looking away perpetuates the problem.

The very thing that we believe is designed to spread awareness and tell the truth — the news — has been taken over to spread disinformation and then benefit from the resulting chaos. It’s true, as the House of Murdoch is flushed of its demons, we are getting a dark look inside the media, and also a dark look inside our collective psyche.

Our job now is to raise awareness and make a decision. We are seeing the cost of letting other people do our thinking for us, and stated as simply as can be stated, it’s high time we think for ourselves.


Additional Research: Fe Bongolan, Tracey Delaney, Hazel Ferguson and Carol van Strum. Photo research by Sarah Bissonette-Adler. Additional editing: Jessica Keet, Amanda Painter.

Discuss this article here.


Something About England

By Joe Strummer & Mick Jones — The Clash

They say immigrants steal the hubcaps
Of the respected gentlemen
They say it would be wine an’ roses
If England were for Englishmen again

Well I saw a dirty overcoat
At the foot of the pillar of the road
Propped inside was an old man
Whom time would not erode
When the night was snapped by sirens
Those blue lights circled fast
The dancehall called for an ambulance
The bars all closed up fast

My silence gazing at the ceiling
While roaming the single room
I thought the old man could help me
If he could explain the gloom
You really think it’s all new
You really think about it too
The old man scoffed as he spoke to me
I’ll tell you a thing or two

I missed the fourteen-eighteen war
But not the sorrow afterwards
With my father dead and my mother ran off
My brothers took the pay of hoods
The twenties turned the north was dead
The hunger strike came marching south
At the garden party not a word was said
The ladies lifted cake to their mouths

The next war began and my ship sailed
With battle orders writ in bed
In five long years of bullets and shells
We left ten million dead
The few returned to old Piccadily
We limped around Leicester Square
The world was busy rebuilding itself
The architects could not care

But how could we know when I was young
All the changes that were to come?
All the photos in the wallets on the battlefield
And now the terror of the scientific sun
There was masters an’ servants an’ servants an’ dogs
They taught you how to touch your cap
But through strikes an’ famine an’ war an’ peace
England never closed this gap

So leave me now the moon is up
But remember all the tales I tell
The memories that you have dredged up
Are on letters forwarded from hell

The streets were by now deserted
The gangs had trudged off home
The lights clicked off in the bedsits
An’ old England was all alone


To discover how the developments of the next six months influence you personally, check out the Planet Waves 2011 Midyear Report by Eric Francis.

Planet Waves FM: Capricorn Full Moon, Rupert Murdoch, News Corp, U.S. Government Psychosis — and PHOLUS.

Today’s edition of Planet Waves FM looks up close and personal at the Capricorn Full Moon, which takes place Friday. (Don’t forget — you can receive our special edition on that event free by sending an email to thunder@planetwaves.net.)

Eric Francis, at the podcasting mill.

This has been a very, very interesting Full Moon. Just look around and notice for yourself.

The Sun and Moon align exactly with a slow-moving aspect we’ve been talking about — Varuna square Eris. The thing about your Varuna square Eris kind of aspect is 1) you can’t look it up in a book and 2) no matter how significant these newly-discovered outer planets are, the aspect is going to seem like it’s in the background right up until it’s lit up in the blazing light of the Full Moon — and that’s what’s happening right now. (Note, our readers recently took a throw at delineating this aspect in a special edition that you can read here.)

In today’s podcast, I look at the Rupert Murdoch / News Corp scandal, and the utter insanity going on in Washington DC in the form of the Tea Baggers (far right wing Republicans) pushing the United States government to the brink of financial default, which if it happens could set off a lot of problems. In the second half of the program, I look at how Murdoch’s chart lines up with that of News of the World, the weekly that he shut down Sunday.

Our musical guest this week is the acclaimed Emma’s Revolution, described by our friends at Z Magazine as, “Beyond progressive commentary, Emma’s Revolution examines issues of our time the way the media should.” Pete Seeger once said, “This record is part of the worldwide revolution which will save this planet… these songs you’ll find yourself singing for the rest of your life.” Gee whiz! Anyway you can hear them on Planet Waves FM.

For the old player and the full archive of my programs, visit the Planet Waves FM homepage. Our theme music, in case you were ever wondering, is called “Earth Calling,” composed and performed by Tino Izzo, represented by Chacra Music.


Weekly Horoscope for Friday, July 15, 2011, #867 – BY ERIC FRANCIS

Revised and Updated! Click for Eric’s Zodiac Sign Descriptions

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Certain events may seem to be pivoting around you, or your influence — and you may be wondering how things have gone so far. I suggest you ask another question, which is: how far can you go making use of this circumstance? You are likely to be learning something about the kind of impact you can have, saying or doing very little. I would persist in a policy of saying less rather than more, but choosing what you say well. Consult with others and work from a strategy. You may think you’re in a situation where you have to choose sides. How do you do that? Well, know your own agenda, and subject it to some scrutiny. Then see where your intentions align with those of the people in your professional environment. You may think you’re ahead of yourself; you may think that you’re into something too advanced for what you’re capable of. Remember your ethics at all times and you will do beautifully.

Click here to order your 2011 Aries Audio Birthday Report.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — The world around you seems to be moving at full thrust, and you’re in one of your more sensitive moods at the moment. You’re in an amazing position to observe and express empathy for what’s going on around you. Yet the Full Moon in your fellow earth sign Capricorn is an invitation to take a step up in the world. It’s also an occasion to step out of the psychological box that you’ve inherited from your mother, who understood the world more in terms of the past than as something you can experience in the present or the future. You seem to be accustomed to going through this psychological material with a spoon, or with a garden spade on a good day. Now you can feel the experience for what it is, and that feeling can propel you to make decisions about what you want and how to be that will surprise you with how simple they feel, and in fact, how simple they are.

Click here to order your 2011 Taurus Audio Birthday Report.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Remember that there is such a thing as right and wrong. I know that certain members of fundamentalist faiths blast the notion of moral relativism, or what you might think of as situational ethics. In truth, most of what we think of as right and wrong are indeed relative (such as it’s wrong to harm a dog, but you can eat lamb if you want). By right and wrong, I mean aligned or not aligned with your personal constitution. The problem you have is the same problem that everyone else has: it’s difficult to distinguish guilt from an ethical impulse. Maybe this will help you: Guilt judges you wrong before the trial. An ethical impulse asks a question, and then you get to answer the question based on your values. Listen to yourself; listen to the values you’re referencing when you make your assessment. This is a step-by-step process. It should take longer than a Gemini minute; more like a Taurus hour.

Click here to order your 2011 Gemini Audio Birthday Report.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — We’re in the midst of a Full Moon in your opposite sign Capricorn. The Sun in your birth sign suggests that this is time to experiment with role reversal. If you tend to be the passive type, it’s time to take action. If you tend to be more like a child, it’s time to be an adult. If you tend to be the kind of person who seeks security, it’s time to take a chance. The kind of astrology you’re experiencing is the kind that rewards action, conscious decisions and knowing continuously what crossroads you’re standing at. You are indeed standing at a significant intersection of possibilities, of potentials, and of influences. You may seem so overwhelmed that the only logical thing to do is stand back and watch. Yes, I do suggest you watch — but not while you’re standing back. Life is calling you to participate right now; don’t worry that you feel like you’re in over your head. That’s how it usually is, whenever something actually relevant is happening.

Hello Cancerians! I am doing your birthday report today. We will send a special mailing when it’s ready — and post it to the main PW blog.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Sometimes it’s meaningful to think of success as a mountain that you climb, though there are times that what once seemed high up descends to a place where you can reach it. People you may have thought were inaccessible or superior to you are now more obviously your peers. What seemed like it might be a great achievement is now seen as a practical matter. What you thought of as success you can now think of as doing things well. All of these changes are an attribute of what you might call a maturing process, though really what you’re discovering is that you have a place in the world. A bit of grace and poise are called for in stepping into that place; faced by so much to be angry about, you are the one capable of looking at the world with some peace of mind. When you communicate anything, remember that you’re relating from all of these points of progress, and are often speaking to those who struggle to have any faith in themselves.

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

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You’re not the type of person for whom the ends justify the means. Your whole life is a story of process; you could certainly use being a little more goal-oriented, and this is a time when you can experiment with that boldly. Goals require action to be meaningful. It’s true, they can reside in your mind as an abstract concept for many years, though I suggest you think of a true goal as something you’re experimenting with and want to go further with. More than being an idea, it’s something that’s already in progress. You may have to be what feels like ruthless in moving obstacles out of the way, so that you have the space and energy to do what you want. It’s more your style to involve yourself in what is the most meaningful to you and gradually allow it to take over your life. And remember this: it’s unlikely that you have two goals. You really have one agenda that expresses itself many ways. Keep coming back to that and you will stay in alignment with your purpose.

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

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — There is a limit to how far purity will get you. Striving for impeccability is another thing. There is a limit to the value of being sentimental; there is no limit to the value of caring deeply, and that certainly describes you well. Now for the tricky part: accomplishing most goals requires a little detachment. Sure, it’s possible to froth at the mouth like a stock trader, or to lust after power and glory — those things work, but they don’t usually work when the actual objective, when the purpose involved, is an authentic or nourishing one. So focus on your authenticity, and on the process of cultivating nourishment. You have something that others benefit from, and it would be helpful if you made peace with that. In a sense, you’re being used for a purpose larger than yourself, and as long as you love that purpose, it’s one of the most exalted states that a person can attain. I suggest your mantra for these days be, ‘the greatest good for all concerned’.

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

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Remember that every work relationship is indeed a relationship. Each is a unique experience, and in truth one human contact is not ‘bigger’ or ‘more important’ than another — or at least that is the wise assumption now. Remember that none of these situations is an ornament for show; be especially mindful here if you have a partner whose position somehow reflects on your status or credibility. Maintain your integrity and stand on your own merits. The sky is volatile right now, but it’s rich with potential. You are obviously feeling some pressure with the Full Moon, and you may have a sense that if you make a mistake, you won’t be able to undo it. This is not really true. While you want to make your decisions consciously and carefully, August presents a kind of review phase wherein you can reassess certain elements of your situation and make useful corrections. The key is to stay in contact with your motives, and be honest with yourself about what they are.

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

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You may be feeling provoked; you may even be feeling outraged about something. This may be enough to spur you into some kind of unusual action, and that could be a truly positive thing. I suggest that while you’re experiencing the sensation of feeling pushed or compelled to notice something, think back and ask yourself how many times you’ve noticed the same thing; how many times you’ve had the same sentiment, but less passionately. Who or what is spurring you to action now? The planets in your solar chart are in a dependable alignment that is designed to get results, with the one caveat being that you must stay in close alignment with your motives, your ideals and what you actually want to create. I strongly suggest you think in pictures, rather than just in words. Visualize what you intend; notice what is in the picture and what you want to add to the picture. Then notice when it takes on a life of its own.

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

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — How much happier would the world be if we lived among sexually satisfied people? Think about it. Think of all the subverted energy that would be going to where it really matters; think of all the toxic aggression that would fizzle out and be replaced by fresh passion. Consider all the pain that would be replaced by the direct experience of healing. Imagine all of that hungry ghost yearning that is really sexual starvation, replaced by the desire to generously nourish oneself and others. Then imagine this multiplied by all of the people experiencing it, you among them. What would society feel like? What would your world feel like? What would it feel like to exist? You have many opportunities to open up, which means to relax and flourish. Whatever dark emotions, fears or inhibitions that may have bound you in the past are too weak to hold you back now. Your desire and passion are stronger than they are.

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

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Among my pet names for the zodiac signs, I have two for yours: one is Acurious, and the other is Aqueerius. They are related. These days, it’s weird to be curious. Part of why it’s weird is because the things that others think about doing, you tend to dive in and experiment with. I reckon that often, you do so knowing there are no guarantees — that’s very helpful. Experimenting, exploring, endeavoring to give your curiosity an actual place in the world are best left open ended, free from expectation. Who knows, the results might be a mixed bag; they might be a huge breakthrough; you might decide it wasn’t worth it, and move onto the next thing. The beauty is that you actually dared to find out. You stopped living in your head and took up a process of understanding the world through first-hand experience. Your charts are especially encouraging of this at the moment; can you feel it?

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

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — This is the weekend to be as visible and social as you can be. Your relationship to the world is changing, as is the world itself. All of this is happening at a pace so fast, we feel it about as palpably as we feel the Earth moving beneath our feet — that is, not so much. One way to experiment with change is to get out into a social environment. The big Capricorn Full Moon is shining bright in your 11th house right now, which represents your circle of friends. Yet it’s also one of the houses that represents your vision for your life, and this house is the scene of many unusual changes these days. Looked at one way, the soil is being turned over for new planting. Looked at another way, there is an archeological dig going on, where you’re able to retrieve long-lost desires, ambitions, and a quest for freedom that has over many years been buried by the shifting sands of time. You have strong intuitive guidance right now, and many other factors working in your favor. Pay attention to who you meet, and notice how the world has evolved around you even from the place you remember it being just a few months or years ago. Be aware; get in sync. These are unusual days.

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

A Homeopathic Moment: Mercury Retrograde

Dear Planet Waves Reader:

Earlier this morning, Mercury stationed retrograde in Capricorn, conjunct Pluto. Mercury will be retrograde until Dec. 30, a span of time covering an eclipse of the Moon and the Northern Hemisphere winter solstice, as well as the holiday travel season. Mercury will dip back into late Sagittarius, treading in reverse over the Galactic Core, then after stationing direct make another conjunction to the core early next year. Before I get into a few other details of this astrology and what it may say about our most personal lives, I have several points of follow up on last week’s article about WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange.

Planet Waves
Image from the video calling card of the activist group Anonymous, which has declared war “against all enemies of Julian Assange.” The group this week took out the websites of MasterCard, Visa and the Swiss bank that froze Assange’s funds. The full video is a masterpiece of zeitgeist, capturing the spirit of global chaos mingled with technology. Other videos on the YouTube channel provide a closer look at the organization’s philosophy.

The two are closely related, as I will describe in a moment, though I would state straight out that Mercury retrograde is often a tipping point when it comes to the truth of some underlying matter being revealed. If that pattern holds up, we ain’t seen a thing compared to what we’re about to discover during the next few turbocharged weeks. Though this involves certain factors that are local to this moment (eclipses and Mercury retrograde), in the biggest sense, the world as it is becoming now is in the full throes of the Uranus-Pluto square that is the centerpiece of 2012-era astrology.

For astro-historians, this is part of the same cycle that gave us the 1960s, which were sparked by the Uranus-Pluto conjunction in Virgo.*

So far as I can tell, the WikiLeaks revelations are the most significant historical event since whatever happened on Sept. 11, 2001. Though the effect is subtler (so far), what has happened the past two weeks has taken government, the media and the public over a threshold of confronting actual truth. We are seeing confirmation of things that politically alert people have known for many years — but it’s finally coming up now, being brought to much wider awareness. You might even say coming up for healing. This is a homeopathic moment for world managers and media gatekeepers, who are now being given a dose of their own medicine. The concept of homeopathy is that ‘like cures like’. WikiLeaks is delivering, in potentized form, what they have been holding onto and not letting go of. The result of a successful remedy is often a healing crisis, and this is precisely what we are seeing.

The public is discovering what our ‘leaders’ have been up to, as the media is being compelled to report stories that it has systematically ignored or obscured for decades. I cover this and related topics Wednesday in my weekly podcast, where I describe how actual documents are the only thing that ever advance an important news story.

As a result, a new kind of war has broken out on the Internet — the first ever — between entities that would seek to censor WikiLeaks and a diversity of hackers, free speech advocates and legal experts who are coming to its defense.

The Mercury connection involves its current contact with Capricorn, Mars and Pluto: could we have a more fitting image of this situation than the combination of these energies? Mars and Pluto in Capricorn are taking us to the depths of what governments and corporations are really about. We get the picture as the foreclosure crisis grows and the rich try to write themselves a check for half a trillion dollars in the form of renewed tax cuts that they plan to borrow from China. Mercury is telling us a few things, such as: there is power in knowledge; strength in awareness; community in communication. There is power in knowing some history — illustrated by the retrograde (past emphasis) in Capricorn (where we find information about the goings-on of the past, and about corporate entities). This is blended with the compelling lunar North Node (dharma, true calling, current life challenges), also in early Capricorn. This, in turn, picks up the Aries Point because it’s early in one of the cardinal signs, drawing in millions of people who are affected around the globe. Mars so closely in the mix adds passion, and we are certainly seeing some of that.

Seemingly unstoppable forces are being revealed for what they are, how they think and how they work, all with the force of Pluto that is digging into the soil of existence and turning it over — particularly in the sphere of government and corporations. Looking at this another way, we see that the personal is indeed political (Aries Point theme) as Assange, an elemental force on the global political stage, is being held prisoner in relation to subjects emanating from his most private life. I cover that subject closely in this blog comment.

Assange turned himself in to a London court Tuesday morning, was denied bail and is still in custody, pending a hearing on extradition to Sweden. He was wanted for questioning in connection with two relationships he had over the summer, and in an unusual move, a high-level Interpol warrant was issued last week.

Notably, he hasn’t been charged with a crime by any country; given that his role is political, it would be fair to call him a political prisoner. From what we can tell after analyzing many accounts of the charges, these were consensual incidents that were later recast as something else, with the two separate ‘victims’ acting in collusion with one another to ‘seek advice’ from the police. This is a maneuver in Sweden that allows someone to implicate a person without actually making a false complaint. One involves the allegation of a condom breaking or sex without a condom, in a country where in such a case the male partner can be charged with a crime. The details of these allegations are so wrought with issues — both personal and legal — as to be an embarrassment. While it seems that Assange was not a perfect gentleman, it also seems that the prosecutor is testing out some new ‘feminist’ legal theories. There is a discussion of this subject matter at this blog post on Planet Waves.

Assange will be represented by the renowned Australian/British human rights attorney Geoffrey Robertson, who will begin by helping him fight extradition to Sweden. Robertson, considered one of the brightest legal minds in the world, is said to be one of the few attorneys who is both a specialist in free speech cases in England and in extradition cases involving Scandinavian nations.

Even as it scrambles to recover from the damage caused by the leaked documents, the U.S. government has gone to war against WikiLeaks, though neither Assange nor his organization has been charged with any crimes associated with the release of the cables. WikiLeaks, under pressure from the U.S., has had its .org domain taken away, it’s been kicked off of its American servers under pressure from Sen. Joe Lieberman, and has lost access to cash flow through MasterCard, Visa and PayPal. The Swiss, who served as the central bank for the Nazis, for innumerable members of the Mafia and other notorious international outlaws, have closed Assange’s bank account there. That is remarkable in itself.

There were protests in London and Sydney on Thursday supporting Assange and WikiLeaks (plus massive demonstrations in London related to education budget cuts and increasing fees, wherein students reclaimed Parliament Square as a protest space for the first time in a generation).

About 1,000 websites around the world posted mirrors of WikiLeaks, making sure that the site is impenetrable against censorship. The collective Anonymous vowed revenge “against all enemies of Julian Assange” and its many hackers this week began in earnest, taking down the websites of MasterCard, Visa and the Swiss bank that froze WikiLeaks’ funds.

Speaking of hacking, a purported birth time for Assange has been found, or rather a few of them all close to 2:05 pm. The sources range from “a close family friend” to an informant in the bureau of records or hospital where Assange was born. The data, published by The Mountain Astrologer magazine, seems solid. The chart gives Scorpio rising and a 12th house Scorpio Moon (illustrating the ‘secret dossier’ and one who might find it) and places his powerful Chiron/Eris conjunction in the 6th house — he is a revolutionary who has aimed his arrow at the military itself. I cover this chart in my current podcast.

Meanwhile, the leaked cables are continuing to emerge, though the central issue — the content of the cables — has lost some steam in the mainstream press. The Guardian in the UK continues to be the leading voice, with the latest revelations involving the fiasco surrounding the Venezuelan oil business. And we are learning more about how the United States’ presumed closest Arab ally, the Saudis, are providing money for Iranian terrorists and promoting extremism in their children, while goading the United States to bomb Iran.

Speaking as one who has covered many scandals and has followed world events night and day for more than 20 years, here is how this feels. Time after time, we have seen world leaders, particularly Americans, act with impunity against nations and their people. Bucking the overwhelming majority of world opinion, Iraq was blamed for Sept. 11 and invaded and disastrous war was begun. By modest estimates, the war in Iraq has killed more than 100,000 Iraqi civilians (some estimates go 10 times that high; in either case it is tantamount to genocide). More than 5,000 American families have suffered the loss of a loved one in the military, and tens of thousands of vets are returning with severe brain trauma, only to find inadequate, underfunded or nonexistent support services.

Billions of dollars have been stolen from the federal treasury, from banks and from millions of people whose homes are being foreclosed. The world economy is faltering, and the wealthiest people, many of whom made their fortunes profiting from war, feel they are entitled to lavish tax breaks, with no plan to pay for them.

I’ve been waiting for the other shoe to fall, for someone or something to resist this onslaught — and for the first time, this feels like it. WikiLeaks has sparked not just an antiwar movement, but wide-scale exposure of the crimes of war — and this arrives not a moment too soon. What we are seeing is an actual consequence of the crimes that have been committed against the people and the Earth. I don’t suggest anyone look for a neat and clean ‘outcome’ to these events. Though you’re unlikely to see anyone say this on cable news, I believe that this moment of radical honesty has inaugurated a new era in world history. It’s the first real penetration of the seemingly insurmountable wall of deception that we know has characterized awareness for so long.

Mercury Retrograde in Capricorn

Let’s focus in on the astrology. To sum up, this Mercury retrograde is going to do for our personal lives what WikiLeaks is doing for the world. If the government and corporations keep secrets from us, we do a fine job of keeping secrets from ourselves, and creating family systems that are based on deceit and its inevitable power dramas. This retrograde phase can be a refreshing change of pace.

To recap: Friday morning, Mercury stationed retrograde in early Capricorn, in a close conjunction to Pluto, and quite close to Mars and the North Node. This counts as an Aries Point event because everything is in the early degrees of a cardinal sign, talking directly to the first degree of Aries — the one that emphasizes the connection between what is private and what is public, going in both directions. Private matters are having an influence on global events, and the changes of the world are having a direct influence on our individual lives. This often comes with the sensation of the world crashing into the living room, or being subjected to vast forces of which we have no control.

Planet Waves

Chart sample for the moment Mercury stationed retrograde, at 7:04:26 am EST. The chart, set for New York, features yet another appearance by the Pholus-Great Attractor alignment in Sagittarius (marked by the little pink flag). The Sun is approaching the Galactic Center (not shown in chart, but close to 27 Sagg), as is the asteroid Pallas (which represents political and legal affairs that are dominating the news). Four points are shown in Capricorn: Mars, the North Node, Pluto and Mercury. Mercury will now retrograde over each of the planets shown with the exception of Pholus, before stationing direct on Dec. 30.

Consider the combination of energies: the background energy field is Capricorn (corporations, government, family and the lingering influences of religion, such as guilt). This is connected to the world stage via the Aries Point. The North Node is right there, inching its way toward 00 Capricorn, with a total lunar eclipse about to fully energize both nodes. The North Node pulls us into unfamiliar territory and has a feeling of confronting the unknown. The South Node, where the eclipse happens, grants a release point from the past and a break in continuty. Mars, meanwhile, has just arrived in Capricorn, it’s about to make a conjunction to Pluto, and Mercury is about to retrograde over the whole arrangement.

Setting aside all the mythology connected to Mercury retrograde, such as lost keys and electronic gadgets acting strangely, let’s remember that Mercury is a planet associated with messages, communication and the mind. It is a personal planet (close to the Sun), so it speaks directly to/from us; and its influence is now being combined with a variety of forces — from the very personal energy of Mars (desire, will, anger, aggression) to that of Pluto (soul energy, evolution, world karma) and the North Node (which can also be described as dharma — or acting as if to hold the world together).

Mercury is giving a voice to this diversity of themes, and it may be confusing and personally overwhelming as all this new information pours in.

That is to say, inner material is arising rapidly. With Mercury, Mars and Pluto involved, you can be sure that some of this subject matter is sexual. Indeed, you may find yourself wanting to admit to yourself or state out loud what you have never before been willing to reveal. Using the life of Julian Assange as an example, we have a window into how unresolved material in one’s personal life can create a disproportionately large effect in a public life — and we all have a public life. The message of this Mercury retrograde is: clean closets.

You may finally be willing to make inquiries on subjects you’ve avoided for decades. This may involve family secrets (a domain of Capricorn) that you’ve wondered about or dragged around for years. And, what you learn will have the power to change your life, or said another way, you can take this as power to make changes. Looking at this in the most intimately personal way, the overriding theme is the paradox of guilt and desire. Where sex is concerned, many feel ‘damned either way’, or live in some form of a no-win, double bind or paradox.

We are now heading into an eclipse of the Moon on Dec. 21 that stretches from the last degree of Gemini to the last degree of Sagittarius. It’s a total lunar eclipse that happens right on the solstice, which multiplies (rather than adds together) the effects of the Aries Point, the eclipse and all the high-voltage planets loaded there.

About two weeks ago, just prior to the WikiLeaks revelations, I commented on a New Moon in the last degrees of Taurus/Scorpio: “This sequence of events has the feeling of something coming out of the background. It’s as if the Moon-Sun opposition happens in the wings off to the side of the stage, just out of sight — then suddenly it becomes obvious what’s going on.”

Well, what happens next may not be entirely obvious to everyone — but what we are witnessing and experiencing are the birth contractions of personal and global change that are the defining theme of what we call 2012. Part of that change is the raising of awareness about what we have so blithely denied about the world, about ourselves and about the place where the two meet.

Yours & truly,

Eric Francis

*This is covered in my earlier series Born in the Sixties, as well as by Richard Tarnas in his article Epochs of Revolution, posted in Cosmic Confidential.

PS: For homeopaths in the audience, if this is a homeopathic moment, what remedy is described? I have a guess. Write to me with yours (dreams@planetwaves.net) and I’ll reply.

Judith Gayle’s Political Waves will now appear Saturdays on Daily Astrology & Adventure — the Planet Waves blog. She also has her own blog, called Political Waves.


Planet Waves

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, December 10, 2010, #843 – BY ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
I suggest you call it a year on working toward any sort of professional advances or job searching, and shift the focus of your energy inward. The light is shining in your inner world and it’s rather complicated in the angles of your chart where you have to relate to society in a responsible way — so complex as to be counterproductive. Therefore with Mercury retrograde in that sector of your chart, devote your energy to closing up the business of the year and tying up any loose ends. Your inward focus will be far more productive toward anything you’re striving for than what amounts to pointless busy work. Yes, check your email and your voicemail and respond selectively to what is important. Yet the juicy fruit is in your stoking your imagination, creating your vision and nourishing your dreams. If you’re getting sick of hearing about the recession, unplug the television and turn on the Beatles.
Aries Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.


Taurus (April 19- May 20)
Now is the time to start a fire and burn any beliefs that you don’t want as a joyful year-end, decade-end sacrifice. By now you know what most of those beliefs are. You also know that most of the time, it seems difficult to change what seem like your fundamental ideas. It won’t be difficult now, on many accounts; what is usually hidden from view is now out in the open, for one thing. For another, you’ve seen the negative effects of believing what is not true or what doesn’t really apply to you. One problem with getting rid of old beliefs is that it really helps to have something to replace them with. Usually the new beliefs displace the old ones, though at the moment your mind is a dynamo of invention — that’s all the restless energy. In case you need guidance, here is how I would sum it up. Replace guilt with the absolute freedom to feel. Replace expectation with what you want to offer the world or those you love. Replace the concept of “God” with the reality of Self.
Taurus Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.
Gemini (May 20- June 21)
Keep it simple, and beware what you commit to. The usual advice of Mercury retrograde is “don’t sign, don’t buy.” With Mercury retrograde in your 8th solar house (contracts, investments, taxes) then, it would be prudent to back off from all such business until it stations direct, or preferably, after the solar eclipse in early January. You will know more then than you do now. You will know more about the people you are dealing with — which brings me to the ways that the current series of aspects may be reflected in your personal relationships. The theme translates to commitment in that zone where sexual relationships overlap with financial ones. That usually translates to marriage-like relationships. You will need to be an excellent listener through this phase, so that you really have a grasp where the people close to you are coming from. It may not be easy to avoid taking things personally, but a little detachment will go a long way.
Gemini Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.
Cancer (June 21- July 22)
There are times when fast communication works, and times to let discussions go on for weeks. Now would be an excellent moment for the latter approach. I suggest you make no attempt to finalize arrangements, opinions or intentions; rather, observe and deduce. Mercury retrograde is an interesting phase for people with Cancer or Cancer rising because it engages you with so much of what you’ve tucked away in the hidden corners of your mind (that’s the natural relationship between Cancer and Mercury). As you discuss anything with another person, you’re getting a window into either what you believe, or what you don’t want to believe. As the conversation evolves, move slowly, as if you’re moving underwater. Remember that you’re relating to some of your deepest material. Be gentle with everyone and you will learn a lot — and open the door to a hidden dimension of pleasure.

Cancer Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
Put a little extra emphasis on your health. That includes getting enough movement to stay flexible, and making sure you don’t over-exert yourself, say, shoveling snow if you live in Buffalo and you don’t exercise regularly. Get enough rest. Make sure that the floor stays dry and that you not only drive with caution, but also get in and out of the car with caution. As for your mind, the thing that runs the body: any stress management, or reduction, techniques you can put to work these days would be a good idea to warm up now. Remember, you can only do so much work, and only so much work is necessary. There is a long list of things that can wait till after January 2nd, and I suggest you keep that list current. Focus on what needs attention now, and when you’re not focused on something, let your unconscious work on it quietly in the background.

Leo Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
Sexual adventures have a way of becoming something else. We know this, whether they morph into friendships, enemy-ships, love affairs, entanglements, scandals or actual loving relationships. But the thing to remember is that they tend to transform, and there is an old expression that ‘sex changes everything’. It transforms us. All of that said, I suggest you focus on observing and participating consciously in that process of transformation. Part of that is going to involve monitoring your language. Are you speaking the language of peace or of power? Are you hearing words that invite or repel? In an odd way, your reality will follow the words you choose. I suggest you choose carefully, and listen just as thoughtfully. Ultimately this is the test: are your experiences creative? If so, that is where you want to be. If not, then gradually guide yourself to a new place, remembering as Adrienne Rich suggested: words are images; words are maps.

Virgo Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)
Whatever may be going on with you now, look for the emotional roots of the matter. Everything physical, spiritual or mental will — for now — come back to an emotional state that is influencing the rest of your reality. Your feelings will likely be grounded in your domestic situation, which may in turn be magnified by any encounter with your family of origin that is imminent as the holidays draw near. How does this translate, in practical terms? I suggest you spend plenty of time alone, getting a sense of your interior weather. Adjust your commitments according to how you actually feel rather than how you think you should feel. Take extra measures to take care of yourself, and follow the healer’s guide, ‘take care of yourself before you take care of anyone else’. This goes against the conditioning of our culture, especially for many women. If there is a ‘lesson’ in what you’re experiencing, this may be it.

Libra Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
Beware of head-trips — the kind you inflict on yourself, and the kind that others inflict on you. In fact I suggest you do your best to avoid all conversations of ‘issues’ with anyone you think has issues. If it sounds like I’m saying make nice and keep things superficial, you’re correct, and it’s probably the first time you’ve ever heard me say anything to that tune. Yet with the energy you save, I suggest you carefully investigate the inner ties that are binding you to your situation. This is likely to be a matter of your mental outlook, though that has many constituents, which include believing things that were perhaps true at one time but are not true today. Or, they were true for someone else but are not true for you. Be aware that you may be feeling particularly sensitive to what others are feeling, which could qualify as empathy or which could coax you into codependency. You’re your own person — live that way.

The Scorpio Audio Report is now done. This reading includes more than an hour of astrology and 20 minutes of tarot custom created for those with Scorpio Sun, Moon or rising. Priced at $14.95, it makes a useful and economical gift. Use this link for instant access.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
Make some fast decisions to slow down your outward flow of cash, and quickly return to more creative matters. Your chart is full of mixed signals at the moment, and if you listen to them, you’ll get in the way of your ability to manifest the abundance you know is on its way. Therefore, I am suggesting you focus on something else, on something that feels good and creative and that leaves you with a sense of belonging and participation. While you’re doing this, a deep level of instincts will take care of your survival, instincts that are likely to be confused when you translate them into concepts. Mozart is said to have asked his wife to read to him while he composed music, so as to distract the ‘word’ part of his brain and leave the rest of it free to create music. In a similar way I suggest you distract yourself from facts and figures, and spend your time in the abundantly lush territory of your creative life.

Sagittarius audio coming soon!

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
By the way, in case you haven’t noticed, there’s a really interesting alignment in your chart right now. Capricorn plays by different rules, though this still may be playing a tad of havoc with your head. Yet somehow you’re in your element. You don’t need to work harder or think deeper — you’re looking for the key idea that’s going to unlock a puzzle and set your energy free. The way this is likely to work is in layers, and each layer will have its access point. Unlike most humans do these days, I suggest you remember the phases of this journey, because as you collect these revelations, they will add up to more than the sum of the parts; or said another way, you add up to more than the sum of your talents, your ideas and your good deeds. A lot more. Happy discovering that fact.

Capricorn Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
As you know, you’re not the cool, logical person that the world perceives you to be, and that you love to be when you can. Particularly lately, you’re an intricate, complex and inwardly focused critter, always preparing to leap off the next psychic cliff. What is really interesting, and exciting, is that you’re losing your intimidation about exploring your own labyrinth. You’re fully aware that there is a vast dimension to you that has no adherence to logic, no loyalty to being rational, no need to make sense all the time. What you would benefit from is clarifying your relationship to the past. It still seems more solid to you than it really is. I suggest you consider the idea that the past is an interpretation. And as you look at it differently, that interpretation will change — and as you see the past in an original way, you will create an interpretation that favors you.

Aquarius Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
Focus on who you are — not who others think you are, or who you think others think you are. That is entirely their business. It would, of course, be a triumph in the life of a fish to not take personally what others seem to think of you personally, but it’s a huge distraction, and besides, you would be surprised how little many others think of anyone besides themselves. I say this because you’re visible at the moment — it’s that time of year. If what you do in life is designed to reach out, trust that you’re doing just that. Yet remind yourself that you’re not really reaching — you’re emanating a vibration. I suggest you focus your awareness on tuning that vibe like a guitar. Harmonize with your desire, and very quietly be who you are and nobody else. That is your point of influence and indeed of power.
Pisces Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

The Most Wanted Man in the World

Dear Planet Waves Reader:

When I was teaching English 101 at SUNY New Paltz, I assigned my classes a book called Reading the News. In its clear-headed approach to understanding how journalism works, its first chapter was titled, “Who Makes the News.” That’s a statement, not a question: who makes the news — before what, where, when and why. We want to know about people. We want to know what they do, and we crave a window into their psyches, perhaps in search of ourselves.

Planet Waves
Julian Assange, the most wanted man in the world. He evokes the archetype of the hero-outlaw, or a character from a graphic novel — but he’s a real person, doing real work. Photo: Agence France-Presse.

Currently, that ‘who’ would be a man named Julian Assange. In 2007, the native of Australia created an organization called WikiLeaks, an online clearinghouse for people who want to reveal injustice. Whistleblowers can upload classified or confidential documents into the WikiLeaks system from anywhere. WikiLeaks authenticates the documents, then working with news organizations, selectively makes them public. You may recall reading about WikiLeaks in this space a few months ago, when the organization published the Afghan War Diary, a collection of internal memos and field reports from the U.S. military’s database [see Clearing the Smog of War].

At the time, I described this as a manifestation of Chiron conjunct Neptune in Aquarius — a moment of clarity and revelation for a country that has been huffing the shoe polish of denial for many decades, particularly when it comes to the conduct of the military. That conjunction, which gradually started gathering steam in 2005, is now working at full strength, and it seems to be getting results.

Assange is back in the news, along with dozens of stories the media has been ignoring forever and seven Sundays. WikiLeaks this week made public 250,000 pages of memos from the United States diplomatic community. The latest revelation is that the United States is propping up a government in Afghanistan where most of the money goes to graft. To date, we have spent $371 billion in Afghanistan only to learn that Hamid Karzai, the president, is personally facilitating the drug trade. “Mr. Karzai pardoned five border police officers caught with 124 kilograms (about 273 pounds) of heroin and intervened in a drug case involving the son of a wealthy supporter,” one cable revealed, according to Friday’s New York Times. U.S. diplomats said they believe that every cabinet minister except the minister of agriculture is involved in graft and bribery. The war has now been going on for nine years and two months. We’re reading about this today?

Earlier in the week we learned from the leaked cables that U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton ordered her diplomatic corps to serve as a spy ring on the United Nations (including the secretary general) and foreign diplomats, telling them to collect everything from credit card numbers to computer passwords to DNA samples from saliva left on teacups.

“She [Clinton] should resign, if it can be shown that she was responsible for ordering U.S. diplomatic figures to engage in espionage in the United Nations, in violation of the international covenants to which the U.S. has signed up,” Assange said to Time magazine this week.

Planet Waves
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reads up on Iraq. As a senator, she gave an impassioned speech supporting the invasion.

The cables also reveal that the Obama administration worked to protect Cheney-Bush administration officials from their conduct interrogating detained terrorist suspects. One cable details how “the Obama administration, working with Republicans, leaned on Spain to derail this potential prosecution,” AlterNet reported Thursday. And on his program Thursday night, Dylan Ratigan discussed cables involving Saudi Arabia that reveal how the country both funds terrorism based in Iran, and was or is trying to manipulate the United States government to bomb Iran at the same time.

How does a computer hacker get himself into the position of being able to call for the secretary of state to resign — and all the major media are writing about it? How is he getting his way with those who so recently believed they had total power, secrecy and impunity? Well, with courage, conscience and talent. And timing; all year I’ve been writing about the high-impact astrology (such as the Aries Point alignment of Saturn, Uranus and Pluto) that looked, long in advance, like it would rearrange world politics. Plus we are currently under a potent alignment in Sagittarius (the sign of international relationships) focused specifically on that theme [see And What Are We Attracting?]. This alignment peaks Sunday with the Sagittarius New Moon [related article below].

It’s a plain fact that the United States has gotten away with murder for decades, manipulating governments around the world, staging coups, starting wars and lying about all of it. Now one man comes along and opens up a floodgate of evidence of what has happened, and what is happening, and he cannot be ignored. So far as I know, Assange is the first person in two generations to openly take an actual stand against the United States in actions rather than words. Nothing against Code Pink protesting the war outside George W. Bush’s ranch, but Assange is personally rearranging the chess board with nonviolent direct action.

Who makes the news. Because we have a name and a face, the mainstream media propaganda machine has to actually report on many of the international issues it loves to pretend does not exist. Anything Assange does is news — and then they mention that he happens to have proof of conspiracies and war crimes. And the more public officials such as Clinton point to Assange as the problem, the more it begs the question what his documents say.

Top-Secret Chart Reveals a Real-Life Revolutionary

Assange till now had been concealing his birthdate, and thus any information about his chart. In my last article, I used the data for WikiLeaks itself, which is available through the website’s registration information. We now have Assange’s personal data because INTERPOL posted his birthday earlier this week, listing him as one of its most wanted international criminals.

Planet Waves
Julian Assange has until now concealed his birthdate. This chart is based on the data published Monday night by INTERPOL. The blue planet on the left — shaped like an H — is Uranus, which is square the Sun — the yellow circle planet at the very top of the chart. Two features in this chart that I haven’t mentioned in the article are a complex square between Venus and Ceres (in Gemini) and Pluto in Virgo. Another interesting feature is that he has an exact conjunction between Mercury and the asteroid Psyche in the sign Cancer. This suggests that while he obviously has a powerful intellect, he does as much feeling with his mind as he does thinking; and that his thought process is guided by what may to him feel like a flaw or sense of weakness. That sensation draws in the soul quality of Psyche.

Is he being hunted for espionage, cyber-terrorism or revealing state secrets? No, they say he’s wanted for rape, in Sweden, and European authorities have launched a sweeping manhunt across the continent and into the UK to find him. In case you’re wondering whether he actually committed sex crimes, when was the last time you heard of an international dragnet for an alleged rapist? Notably, Sweden’s laws don’t require physical evidence of rape, only testimony. The case actually seems to involve whether condoms were used during consensual sex with two different women he met at a political conference. Note, he has not been charged with any crime, and a new warrant had to be issued Thursday because the old one was defective.

Since Assange had succeeded at keeping even his birthdate secret, this is something of an astrological coup, apparently first published Monday night to the astrological community by Lynn Hayes. Our chart for Assange is set for noon, because we don’t know the birth time. However, it’s a noon chart that goes straight to the point.

The first thing that catapults out of this chart is Sun square Uranus. Uranus disrupts, transforms, up-ends and blazes forward. This combination (through the influence of Uranus) brings in the revolutionary, rebellious and moreover inventive principle, expressed at full strength by the Sun. This aspect is in the DNA of Uranus — the Sun was square Uranus on the day that the planet was discovered. Many inventors and scientists have this or a similar aspect, and it contains Assange’s gift for technology. When you think of the Sun square Uranus, remember Nathan Hale: “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Sun-Uranus is the full embodiment of the forward-thinking Uranian principle, which is associated with Prometheus; that’s the guy who ‘stole the fire of the gods’ — a fitting image of what Assange is doing.

Planet Waves
These are the planets and points conjunct, square or opposite Assange’s Sun in Cancer. Isis is closely conjunct Uranus; this is a gift for assembling many small parts. Minerva is opposite Chiron/Eris, which brings in the theme of politics and serves like a guardian angel. Persephone opposite the Sun is a nice image of his affinity for the underworld, and Borasisi says, ‘Something is true if we believe it’s true’. It’s how belief activates perception. Sauer, an asteroid, is named for a river in central Europe; I’ve never used it in a chart, but it’s exactly conjunct his Sun.

(Others with this aspect include Joseph Campbell, Bono, Galileo, Bill Gates, Marconi, and those visionary birds of a feather, Barbara and George Bush.)

Casting his chart for noon, Uranus is exactly rising, as if to emphasize the point, giving the aspect emphasis and an extra means of expression. Notably, this square is hanging out at about 10 degrees of the cardinal signs — close enough to the Aries Point to count, and currently aspected by the approach of transiting Pluto. (Pluto is opposing Assange’s Sun, and square his Uranus.) And it’s in line with the Uranus-Pluto square of 2012, an aspect that will last for years and is gradually turning the revolutionary power of Uranus and the evolutionary mojo of Pluto loose on the world. This will come with Assange’s Uranian opposition — which represents attaining a new intellectual peak. Let’s say he’s just getting warmed up.

So, his chart is right in line with whatever 2012 is about — and make no mistake, what he’s doing is part of the story. When we think of the kinds of social progress we might associate with 2012, and the ‘paradigm shift’ and ‘people waking up’, how exactly might that look? Part of what is keeping the world situation so intractable, and so resistant to change, is that so few people know the deeper truth about many of the things that affect them, or even have access to it.

Many who do insist on denial as a means of persisting in their ways. This is an opening. It’s like the press is playing catch-up on what we missed during decades of fixation on Madonna, Michael Jackson and Paris Hilton. When the truth is revealed, there’s a release of energy — and the effect is unpredictable. But when we wonder just how it is that one would begin to dismantle the out-of-control military and espionage machine referred to in cables as USG, it could easily begin with an event like this, that pierces the deception that it is 100% necessary to maintain a condition of nonstop war.

Eruption of Self-Awareness: Chiron and Eris

In a similar vein, we see an exact conjunction of Chiron and Eris, two relatively new planets. Chiron (the maverick, healer, bringer of awareness) was discovered in 1977 and Eris (associated with identity crisis, disruptions and the castaway feminine aspect of both men and women) was anointed in 2006 (revamping the system of planetary categorization in the process — including the ‘demotion’ of Pluto). Chiron and Eris were conjunct through the late 1960s and early 1970s, and the conjunction is exact to the degree in Assange’s chart. In past articles I’ve associated this aspect with the revolutionary nature of the ‘second wave’ feminist movement that was thriving at the time.

Planet Waves
Seventies-styled feminism may look kitsch today, and in many ways it sent a mixed signal. But it also brought a breakthrough in awareness and social progress, messy and incomplete though it was.

Chiron and Eris together in Aries (the sign of self and initiative) sparks an evolutionary impulse for self-actualization. It is about healing the fragmented sense of self that afflicts so many. There were many innovative therapy movements thriving at the time, which are all but forgotten today — gestalt, transactional analysis, primal, EST and others. The ’70s were said to be the ‘me generation’, and though this had many selfish and destructive results, there was overall a breakthrough in self-awareness and consciousness. The anti-Vietnam movement was thriving and Nixon was about to be busted for Watergate. Be Here Now was published, along with Rules for Radicals and The Anarchist Cookbook.

For those curious about the degree symbol of the conjunction, the degree is 14 Aries, and the image is, “A serpent coiling near a man and a woman.” Dane Rudhyar explains: “Identification in bipolar relationship with the impersonal rhythm of natural energy,” or in a short phrase, “ritualization of relationship.” Assange likens what he does to playing chess — a ritualized game with very few rules.

In his chart, the Sun, Chiron, Uranus and Eris are all in aspect — they are all working together, though the tension is rather incredible. It’s nothing less than you would expect in the chart of someone who would dare to take on such a massive issue, and succeed at getting noticed.

Saturn Opposite Neptune: The Shapeshifter

Assange also has Saturn opposite Neptune. Saturn contains and solidifies; Neptune dissolves. This is an illustration of tension, but it’s subtle, and it’s a picture of his quality of invisibility and ubiquitous presence. This aspect is one of his power sources as a hacker and his best camouflage as kind of hero-outlaw.

Planet Waves
Sacha Baron Cohen as Borat. He has Saturn opposite Neptune in his natal chart, and is a kind of shapeshifter.

Assange started his career as a prodigy teenage hacker. He was arrested, but the prosecutor in the case said, “There is just no evidence that there was anything other than sort of intelligent inquisitiveness and the pleasure of being able to — what’s the expression — surf through these various computers.” The charges were dropped. His hacker name was ‘Mendax’, derived from a phrase of Horace: splendide mendax, or ‘nobly untruthful’ — a fine description of Saturn-Neptune in one of its more evolved manifestations.

Let’s consider how this works. Saturn and Neptune mirror one another in his chart. Looked at one way, Assange plays the role of Neptune the dissolver, and the power structure plays the role of Saturn, whose barriers are being melted away. Or as Tracy Delaney suggested while we were brainstorming this aspect Thursday, Saturn (in Gemini) is like a cold wind blowing on the cloud of Neptune, freezing and crystallizing the pattern of deception, so we can see what it is.

Saturn-Neptune is an illustration of his shape-shifting power — Sasha Baron Cohen, the actor who created the Borat character and Ali G, has this one as well. His mind has penetrating power: he’s a mindf*cker, and we love him for it. Just as Cohen’s characters penetrate the minds of the people he’s pranking, Assange soaks through the previously impermeable walls of power. Both work with a combination of discipline and illusion. Both, in Tracy’s words, “have a kind of congenital inability to be intimidated. No point throwing rocks at a cloud.”

Notably, Assange has a centaur planet conjunct Saturn — it’s called Amycus. In some earlier research, Tracy and I deduced that this planet is prominent in people who have a knack for getting the word out — including the Yes Men.

Logos and Atlantis: The Word Abused, and Revealed

Let’s check in with one last telling detail — an aspect between two minor planets. The first is Atlantis (an asteroid discovered in 1931). Atlantis is associated with the abuse of technology and its power, and the sense of ‘imminent demise’ of civilization due to the unbridled use of that power. Then there’s Logos (a small planet right beyond Neptune’s orbit, discovered in 1997). Logos is actually a binary, with a co-planet of comparable size, called Zoe. (Technically the pair is now referred to as Logos | Zoe.) Research by Kirsti Melto indicates that Logos | Zoe is prominent in the charts of breakthroughs in computers and programming. Zoe means ‘life’. I think of Logos as the framework of technology (it means ‘the word’) and Zoe as being the spiritual content, when present — the life inside the machine.

In Julian’s chart these two are in a perfect square aspect. This is happening late in the cardinal signs, from Atlantis in Libra to Logos | Zoe in Cancer. He takes this personally; technology for Assange is a relationship, and he is personally embodying the ethical struggle suggested by Atlantis. We have all long suspected that our addiction to, and abuse of, technology has the power to take down our civilization.

Assange is aware of this, and he is a kind of personal intervention in the process of a society that is committing suicide. And I do mean personal. With that Scorpio Moon and Cancer Sun, he feels what he is doing. He is acting on a combination of instinct, intuition and intellect — but make no mistake, he is not detached from his work. This is personal; it’s a matter of heart and soul, and he is aware the influence that he can have by using technology to reveal the truth.

“To radically shift regime behavior we must think clearly and boldly, for if we have learned anything, it is that regimes do not want to be changed. We must think beyond those who have gone before us and discover technological changes that embolden us with ways to act in which our forebears could not,” he once posted to his blog, explaining the WikiLeaks philosophy.

The regimes’ resistance to change is their worst weakness. They become utterly brittle, and creative activity ceases. That makes them vulnerable — as we can plainly see.

Yours & truly,

Eric Francis

Additional research: Tracy Delaney, Amanda Painter, Carol van Strum.


And for our next act…the Sagittarius New Moon

When you look at a conventional astrology chart, you’re only seeing a small part of the picture. This is little comfort to those who stare at the page (of a normal chart) wondering what the holy heck it all means — and if you’re trying to learn, give it time and pay attention to your experience of existence. Let’s have a go at the Sagittarius New Moon.

Planet Waves
Sagittarius New Moon set for Washington, DC. Appropriately, Pallas — the planet of politics — is the highest point in the chart.

Here is a conventional chart, okay, a little more than conventional — it has a few extra points. It’s set for Washington, DC, since that is where the action seems to be these days. And I do mean action — with the WikiLeaks revelations erupting on five different fronts, 42 members of the Senate (I won’t name their political party affiliation) signed a letter saying they won’t let anything happen till we charge the national credit card and give $700 billion more to the wealthiest Americans while the government supports a heroin trader in Afghanistan to the tune of a million dollars per soldier, per year. A new banking crisis is looming — that would be Subprime Part Two. And though nobody has mentioned it this week, despite the chilly weather in most of North America, the ice caps are still melting.

The Sagittarius New Moon is conjunct Pholus, a centaur (a little Chiron-like planet) that opens the jar and lets stuff out that’s not coming back in. My favorite key phrase is “small cause, big effect,” which I learned from my old friend and teacher in Munich, astrologer and classical guitarist Robert von Heeren. The Sun-Moon-Pholus conjunction is sitting on the Great Attractor, the biggest thing known in the universe. So it’s fitting that, this very week, every issue that has been suppressed for a decade is coming out all at once.

Meanwhile, Jupiter, the ruler of Sagittarius, is conjunct Uranus — that’s big news all by itself; and Chiron and Neptune are in a near-perfect conjunction in Aquarius. All of this amplifies and features into the dynamic of this rather potent and unpredictable New Moon.

Yet there is much more going on behind the scenes. I present this information at a slight risk of overwhelm, but I want to show you what it’s possible to see and work with. I’ll give a couple of examples and leave you to your weekly horoscope.  This little table tells us what, from about 100 points that Tracy Delaney (the programmer) and I have tossed into the box, shows up in mid-Sagittarius. Amycus speaks of getting the word out. Icarus is about peak experiences.

Planet Waves
Points in mid-Sagittarius, at the Sagittarius New Moon.

Sun and Moon are precisely, to the degree, conjunct one of the earlier centaurs — Hylonome. This is about the cry of the poor (key phrase from Juan Revilla) and it addresses collective grief and ‘senseless’ loss. Note, of the points I routinely use, this is the only one occupying the degree of the New Moon, and it’s a potent one. Hylonome made a stunning appearance conjunct the Scorpio New Moon precisely during the funeral of Yasser Arafat in late 2004 — a jaw-dropping astrological synchronicity.

Switching methods for a moment, the degree symbol (also called Sabian Symbol) for 14 Sagittarius (anything numbered higher than 13 is occupying the 14th degree) is: The Great Pyramid and the Sphinx. Dane Rudhyar interprets this as, “The enduring power of occult knowledge and of its quasi-divine Custodians, ‘seed men’ of a previous cycle of existence.” Well doesn’t that just illustrate WikiLeaks and its editor magnificently.

We see that Pholus is exactly conjunct the Great Attractor. This is a long and slow aspect and it’s precise right now; what comes out now is not going back, and it’s going to get bigger. Good Morning America — the truth is out.

This is conjunct Narcissus, who sees his own reflection in the pond. You could say he ‘falls in love’ or you could say that this is about self-awareness; and it’s about the effect of narcissism on the global political process. Close by is Ixion (anyone is capable of anything; amorality; what we do with our second chance) — we’re seeing plenty of that. Next is a really interesting pair of very different points: the first is Cupido (a hypothetical; it doesn’t exist, but it’s there to work with) which Martha Wescott delineates as: “issues in the family history; group unity or dynamics” followed by Quaoar, an actual planet beyond Pluto that says exactly the same thing. Quaoar adds the theme of our creation myth. Who are we and how did we get here? That is the mystery of The Pyramid and the Sphinx.

This New Moon is about the family of humanity. Welcome to it. The rest of the minor planets are listed here, at Serennu.com.


Planet Waves

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, December 3, 2010, #842 – BY ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
You have seen the power of negotiation, and you’ve seen what happens when you disregard certain communication protocols. Yet your quest is to be a sincere person, and you may be reviled by the notion that you have to be two-faced as a means of social lubrication. Circumstances of your life, particularly of your professional life, are calling on you to be direct and to take authority. I would suggest the following: be direct with yourself first. If you know the lay of the land, and have a sense of who is playing what game, you will feel less defensive; that means you’ll be more receptive to information. Second, you don’t actually have to say much. One technique is to ask people what they know rather than telling them what you know. You will learn something along the way, people you’re working with will have the sense that you’re listening, and then you will be in a better position to have your knowledge be your point of authority. So gather your information, assemble the pieces and make sure you use your power judiciously.
Aries Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.


Taurus (April 19- May 20)
Be aware of a tendency to think that your faith rules the world. It may rule your world, and that would be enough, though I suggest you back away from any possibility of being an evangelist. Faith teaches in silence, through actions and through the passage of time. Your mere awareness of something is an influence. The thoughts you think have potency beyond what you have ever imagined. This is particularly true for how they influence your own state of mind, emotions and sense of the future. Obsession is not certainty, though you may be riveted on a particular subject that you cannot let go of. That represents energy, and it may represent ideas, and an appropriate and useful response is to focus your mind in a creative and constructive way. Remember that you cannot control the future, but you can certainly influence it. One gift of the present moment is that you have enough experience to not make the same mistakes again, particularly in a relationship.
Taurus Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.
Gemini (May 20- June 21)
You may feel like you’re in over your head with a situation that, at the moment, seems to have total power over your life. It may be a sexual obsession, it may be a fear that you have no choice but to encounter, or it may be coming to the realization that someone has tremendous influence over you. I suggest you think of the situation in terms of an agreement or a contract. This will be a way of processing your emotions through a rational filter. What have you actually agreed to? What has someone else committed to? And how does the current situation reflect these facts? You may determine that the facts and your emotional state have no apparent relationship; that your intensity is not grounded in reality. No matter how powerful someone may seem, or a situation may appear to be, the person you need to negotiate your freedom with is yourself.
Gemini Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.


Cancer (June 21- July 22)
You have boundless energy at your disposal, and it’s yours to direct toward healing, productivity or pleasure. The three have more in common than you may realize; anything that nourishes one of these concepts in truth feeds all three. We’re trained to think that anything meaningful has to be done in a big way; that at any moment of decision, you must ‘figure out what to do with the rest of your life’. What you do these weeks may indeed influence the rest of your life, and it may resolve something you’ve carried around for a long time. Yet the way that will happen is a supreme focus on the present moment. What you want is a state of wellbeing now, rather than something deferred to the future. That is nothing more or less than being present in your experience. It’s about recognizing that your whole life has led to this moment, and that this moment is the portal to your future. Stand in that doorway and feel the energy move through you and around you.

Cancer Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
This weekend’s New Moon in your fellow fire sign Sagittarius is designed to open up your sense of what is possible, if you apply your creativity. I suggest you let your curiosity lead the way to direct experience, rather than theory. You do not need to exert much in the way of effort, or think of this as requiring anything special; curiosity is powerful and it’s inherently creative. Remember that all creative energy is connected to sexual energy. I recognize that not everyone ‘agrees’ with this, but for evidence I would merely point to existence itself. A little of this energy can go a long way; the small choices you make now have an extra potent ability to help you create your life, experimenting and experiencing and feeling your way through existence. I suggest you keep in mind what it is you want to create; hold a vision for yourself and the life that you want.

Leo Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
Subtle adjustments you make to your emotional patterning may result in significant progress toward healing. We typically want to ‘fix everything’ about ourselves, without recognizing that patterns develop and evolve over time; the most meaningful part of the process is initiating them and gradually maintaining them into existence. This is particularly meaningful where improving your health and wellbeing are concerned. For you that comes down to courting an inner sense of safety. I recognize that we are under the constant influence to not feel safe. We are given reasons to feel threatened nearly all the time. It would help if you removed those external influences, so that this way you can tune into the ones in your mind: those messages are the ones you need to respond to specifically by wanting something else, something better; a safe place within your own thoughts.

Virgo Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)
Consider yourself on the verge of a decision, which involves whether you will embrace yourself fully; whether you will give (to yourself) or withhold (from yourself) the love that you seek. This is the question that lurks inside the drama of what we call love. Here, the phrasing is clear and the choice is simple: and it depends on no other person. I recognize this presents a kind of metaphysical problem. If ‘how we feel about ourselves creates our experience of relationships’, does that mean we control them? Obviously not: there are other options. When we resonate with ourselves in a way that is true or loving, we create a resonance field, and we draw or repel appropriate people. The message of the current charts is simple — how you feel about yourself is the most significant metric of how you will experience existence. And you have reason to feel good; you’ve been practicing.

Libra Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
Gender and sex (as in the many forms of interplay of male and female, inner and outer) are fascinating, beautiful things to explore and play with, don’t you agree? There are so many shades and hues of attraction, empathy and simpatico; so many gradations of distaste and repulsion. With Venus now back in your sign after the recent retrograde phase, you have a strong emotional magnet pulling you inward toward a mysterious other within yourself. The world is rampant with drama of ‘the other’ being an external. It has an all-consuming quality, at the same time there are a diversity of taboos on taking that whole discussion to an inner plane. There is a force of nature that exists within yourself, and it has some quality of being your polar opposite; in truth it is what you seek in others, that has so often been the source of so much drama — and that aspect of you is now making itself known.

The Scorpio Audio Report is now done. This reading includes more than an hour of astrology and 20 minutes of tarot custom created for those with Scorpio Sun, Moon or rising. Priced at $14.95, it makes a useful and economical gift. Use this link for instant access.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
It’s time to have full confidence in your talent. There comes a time when, after years of development, you take the leap into the truth of that notion. You know that what you create is fully worthy of existence in the universe. You are witness to its independent life beyond you, and I believe that deep down you are confident that it will support you economically. I would emphasize that these are recognitions now available on the emotional rather than the intellectual level — things that work better when you feel them. It is one thing to know them in your mind; it’s another to feel the truth in your body, something akin to balancing on a bicycle. Remember, on a bicycle you can go nearly anywhere, but not everywhere at once.

Sagittarius audio coming soon!

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
So much of what you want seems to depend on others — and so much of your experience the past year or two has been about learning how to depend on yourself. You might think of what you’re learning as a form of autonomy. That is true, to a point; for as long as we need someone to change the oil on our car, we’re not really autonomous. But what you are acquiring is sufficient independence to explore interdependence. That is different than codependency, which is an unhealthy overreliance on the other. The associations you’re cultivating at this time will form the basis of community based on actual mutual interests and common ground. There is the potential for creating something far greater than the sum of the parts; human alchemy of the first order, for which you are a catalyst.

Capricorn Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
You have plenty to celebrate. It’s true that you also have your moments of fear and doubt, and I can empathize if you feel that your shadow runs a little deeper and darker than some others you know. That means your light will shine equally bright and moreover, that you are moving steadily along the path to fully integrating the many facets of who you are. But setting your spiritual psychology aside, I can tell you this. You are in a remarkable moment for making your existence known, and for influencing your community (and that may include community of interest, circle of friends or something similar). Though I’m not sure what you do with your life, I can offer you this — you are onto something significant, and some idea that has the power to shape your world, if not the world. Speak clearly rather than loudly. Don’t worry about the ‘ultimate effect’ of what you put out. Simply trust.

Aquarius Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
This is a moment filled with great potential for you, in the aspect of life that some call ‘career’. I prefer to use other concepts — such as expressing your life purpose, making your way in the world, and shining in your chosen field. But let’s keep cause and effect in the right order; that’s the mission of any true seeker. It is who you are that is doing the expressing, making your way or shining your light. There is no ‘thing’ you are after, and you are existing and growing rather than careering. Existence as you are experiencing it now is a process of original invention. You are becoming something new every day and indeed moment. This is unnerving for some, who need a reference point to the past in order to feel secure. You have no need for such a pretense; this moment is offering you everything — but it’s an intense, potent and moreover rare moment. Be mindful. Be present. Be real, and gently so.
Pisces Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.