Tag Archives: Mercury and Sun conjunction

The Sun, Mercury, the Star and the Solstice

Dear Friend and Reader:

On Saturday the Sun ingresses the sign Cancer, an energetic high point in what for many has been a challenging year.

Before that happens, though, there’s an unusual event today. Mercury is currently retrograde, and at the midpoint of that process, Mercury, the Earth and the Sun line up — that is happening today, Thursday, June 19, and is exact just before 7 pm EDT.

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Betelgeuse is the bright red-orange star to the left side of the photo. It’s part of the constellation Orion. According to Ptolemy, is nature is that of Mars and Mercury and it’s associated with sudden turns of fortune. See the full image here. Photo by Rogelio Bernal Andreo.

Technically this is called the “inferior conjunction” of Mercury and the Sun.
However, I see no need to demote it in any way, so I call it the “interior conjunction,” as Mercury is between the Earth and the Sun right now — that’s why it’s retrograde.

What makes this event especially interesting is that Mercury, the Earth and the Sun align exactly with a fixed star called Betelgeuse. I’ve noticed how active this degree of the zodiac is many times; it’s been associated with all kinds of weirdness (in particular, environmental disasters and false flag events), as well as people who take a stand against injustice.

I have never had a dark feeling about this point, however. Rather, it’s always pointed me in the direction of the truth as well as those who value the truth. In classical astrology Betelgeuse is said to be of the nature of Mars and Mercury. This is about thinking on your feet.

It’s also associated with sudden turns of fortune, mostly positive, but when it’s under stress, it can be violent. I would consider today’s alignment to be strongly aspected, and I consider this emblematic of an opportunity or opening of some kind.

This is made more interesting by the fact that the whole alignment is in a close opposition to the core of the Milky Way galaxy — what I usually call the Galactic Core, located in late Sagittarius. I think of the Galactic Core as a homing signal, calling us to the center of our vast island in space — the center of the spiral.

This is especially meaningful given how far our Sun is from the core, about 25,000 light years, located between two of the spiral arms. We are really in an outlying, rural area of the galaxy.

Rather than making predictions about today’s alignment, I would remind you that astrology is often what you make of it. Rather than being good or bad, aspects and alignments are tools that we can use, if we open our minds to doing so. This takes a blend of knowledge, awareness and conscious choice.

Six Months of Planetary Retrogrades

I keep hearing about a sense of struggle or unusual challenge that goes back to November, around the time of the eclipses. After that, many in the northern latitudes experienced a brutal winter, and our bodies are finally convinced that the glacier that was outside the front door has retreated.
Now the Cancer solstice is upon us and in the Northern Hemisphere, the days will be getting shorter.

Since the Capricorn solstice six months ago, we’ve experienced a series of retrograde inner planets — first Venus, then Mercury, then Mars and now Mercury again. Inner planet retrogrades are more palpable than other ones. They don’t last as long but they often seem to go on forever.

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Mars retrograde as seen from Earth. This image is a still taken from an animation that gives you an idea how strange retrograde motion is. That loop is what you pick up on emotionally.

The most recent time anything like this happened was two years ago, in the spring of 2012 — remember the Venus transit of the Sun? That was no ordinary Venus retrograde. It was surrounded by other retrograde inner planets, loading that era with what felt like enforced changes. What we just experienced this year was no ordinary Mars retrograde, between Mars being in Libra and also part of an over-the-top cardinal grand cross aspect that was exact on Jan. 1 and April 23.

Part of what happens with inner planet retrogrades is that inner material comes up for healing. Retrogrades turn awareness inward, which is not the natural tendency in humans (that’s why we have a word for ‘poet’).

Along the way, Mars has made a series of provocative (for some, angry or resentful, and for some, action-oriented) squares to Pluto. It made a series of unpredictable (shocking or jarring for some, revelatory for others) oppositions to Uranus. And the repeated squares to Jupiter have had a protective effect, or an exaggerating effect, depending on how you take them.

Count yourself lucky if you’re one of the people who has experienced this as energizing, or if you powered through it. Many have been ground down to the point of wanting to give up. Others are wondering when the pressure is going to let up.

Tonight’s Mercury-Earth-Sun alignment is a moment of clarity. What you learn today can be profoundly helpful going forward, but the information may be like a self-deleting email — print it out the moment it comes in. Mercury continues retrograde in Gemini and will station direct on July 1, neatly ending the first half of the year and ending our phase of four successive retrograde inner planets.

Cancer Solstice and the Gateway to Life

The Sun ingresses Cancer on Saturday, June 21 at 6:51 am EDT. This is the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere — the Earth has tipped in such a way that the upper part of the planet is angled toward the Sun. For those in the northern latitudes, the days get shorter from here. A new season begins and the Sun ingresses a cardinal sign, one associated with action and initiative.

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The Sun from the tarot card “Light” by Charlie Lemay.

Alice A. Bailey in Esoteric Astrology describes Cancer as the portal into incarnation. Quoting an ancient occult source that she does not name, she says the sign Cancer is “the gate which stands wide open, broad and easy to pass through,” to this dimension here on Earth, where there is typically so much struggle and strife.

She also describes Cancer as being the sign that helps newly self-aware individuals think for themselves and find their place among others who think for themselves. Many times in Esoteric Astrology, Bailey draws the distinction between mass consciousness — the herd mentality that we see acted out all the time — and group consciousness, which requires individuated beings who join for a defined purpose. This can take some time to mull over but after a while it makes perfect sense.

Bailey’s approach to the sign Cancer gets some validation from an astrological document from the Hellenistic era called the Thema Mundi. This is the chart of the world, though it’s not a literal horoscope; it’s part teaching device, and part agricultural device (for measuring the seasons).

What is interesting about the Thema Mundi is that the chart has Cancer rising. In other words, in the presumptively oldest horoscope, Cancer, not Aries, is on the eastern horizon. Modern astrology habitually associates the 1st house with Aries.
The Thema Mundi is suggesting that something else is possible — that there is a connection between the 1st house and the sign Cancer.

This suggests the theme of the sign Cancer as a focused point of identity and individuation, as well as the gateway into incarnation. We could say a lot about the Thema Mundi, though I consider this to be the most significant fact about it.

One thing about Cancer is that it’s rapidly cycling (like the Moon). Cancer on the 1st house describes humanity not as assertive/aggressive, Mars-oriented and warlike; rather it is described initially (by the rising sign) as empathetic, family-oriented, and in this form, as a portal into existence. (For clarity, the 12th house, located right next to the 1st house, is associated with gestation, and the 1st house or rising sign is associated with incarnation.)

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An analemma — the Sun photographed on the same piece of film from the same location approximately 40 times. The crossover points are the equinoxes; the extreme points of the figure-8 are the solstices. Photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis.

If you consider the sign Cancer as associated with the 1st house, that puts Aries as the 10th house of career, achievement, reputation and the king, which is appropriate since working the 10th house takes so much drive.

Capricorn moves to the 7th house: the house of relationships is overlaid with the sign associated with structure. That describes the highly structured concepts of relationships that most people possess. How many people do you know who can live within flexible structures and also maintain a sense of commitment?

Libra becomes associated with the 4th house of security and home — the sign of balance and beauty (and relationships) is associated with the place where we want to feel safe and where many of our relationships happen. Libra on the 4th is a reminder that beauty begins in the home. If you want to be happy, live in a place you consider beautiful. Choose your colors and design your surroundings.

I call this adjustment of the horoscope, based on the relatively recent surfacing of the Thema Mundi, the 90-degree shift. This is more than adding a layer to the already many-layered study of the celestial wheels. It’s a reorientation away from a concept of humanity as obsessed with individual power, and toward considering it in more gentle terms, as a tribe where taking care of one another is the thing to do.

Personally, I would rather live in a society that has the Moon as its guiding light rather than Mars. We still need Mars, for sure, but right now I think that the gentle, reflected light of the Moon, and the counterbalance it provides us, and the respect for intuition, for inner light and for Mother, will serve us better at the moment.


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


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There are still a few Planet Waves subscribers who have not experienced The Mars Effect. Well, you have definitely experienced the astrology, but not necessarily the readings that will help you make sense of what has happened the past six months.

Since the year is about half-over, we’re making it available for half-price for all 12 signs. If you are a customer of my birthday readings (solar return readings), some differentiation might help. The Mars Effect readings are a distinctly different experience of astrology compared to the solar return readings. In a sense they are my first in-depth observations about the astrology of the signs for the year, which lay the foundation for everything else I do — the horoscopes, the articles, the birthday readings and the seasonal readings.

These readings are the deepest layers, presented in both extended written and audio format. One great thing about this package is that you can jump from your Sun sign to your rising sign to your Moon sign to partners’ signs in one setup. The audio works for any player or computer and is downloadable into iTunes. The music is by Gary Lucas, musical mentor to Jeff Buckley.



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“Feeling wobbly, forgetful, and introverted during this Mercury retrograde cycle? This can be a great time for renewal and self-reflection. The Mercury Retrograde Body Mitten (TM) is designed specifically to contain and counteract the powerful negative mental and energetic effects of Mercury retrograde.” Photo by the Andrea Crews Art Fashion Activism collective.

Introducing the Mercury Retrograde Body Mitten™

If we needed proof that at least one facet of astrology (beyond ‘What’s your sign?’) is gaining some mainstream traction, we have it. Alan Annand’s tongue-in-cheek yet hilariously spot-on send-up of the urge to hide during Mercury retrograde is going viral on the Interwebs.

An astrologer and writer of crime fiction, Annand has taken an actual item (part garment, part conceptual art piece) that was created by the Andrea Crews collective and featured in AnOther magazine, dubbed it the “Mercury Retrograde Body Mitten,” and used it as inspiration to riff on New Age tropes and our collective apprehension around Mercury’s thrice-yearly apparent reversals.

“Each body mitten is hand-knitted by celibate Virgos using hypo-allergenic squirrel wool inter-woven with strands of unicorn hair that were marinated in lavender oil infused with emerald powder,” writes Annand.

They even come in different sizes, depending on your degree and number of neuroses, your relationship status, and your need for “freedom to thrash around inside your own little insular world.”



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Summer Solstice, and Casey Kasem of American Top 40

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

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I cover the Cancer ingress of the Sun — that is, the Northern Solstice. I look at the last days of the Sun in Gemini, Mercury now retrograde in Gemini, and check out the ingress chart. After a music break from The Grateful Dead, I visit with the chart and the career of Casey Kasem, creator of “American Top 40.”

Note, during my reading of Kasem’s chart I mention that Venus is the ruler of Gemini — it is if you’re using the esoteric rulers, described by Alice A. Bailey.



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Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

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



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Weekly Horoscope for Thursday, June 19, 2014, #1003 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You’re about to experience a moment of clarity that you might experience as transient, or as a subtly disguised opportunity; be alert, and know in advance what you want so that you will have a better chance of recognizing it when you see it. The Sun’s ingress into Cancer is your invitation to make this opportunity real. So make space for whatever this is in your home, and invest time and energy into developing it. Pop astrologers of the 1970s were right about one thing: Aries tends to be a strong beginner and not so strong at completing things. Connect your motives and tap into your incentive. Your drive may be coming from the practical side of your nature, the visionary side of your nature, or the rebellious one — mix and match, whatever it takes. This could be hot.

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


Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Help, cooperation, friendship, freedom — something you want is much closer than you think. It may be so close you’re looking right over it. It’s a little like the guy who feels like your brother or the woman who feels like your sister, so you don’t bother thinking about them as a potential lover. Or it’s the thing you just do because you do it, and you don’t think about it as a career. It’s the thing that feels so normal you don’t notice how special it really is. Therefore pay attention to the ordinary, listen for the transcendent wisdom coming from someone you thought was just average, and honor the changing of the season at least three ways. That, too, is an example of the amazing in the everyday — the main thing being, it’s not really every day.

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


Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Divide your focus evenly within and without; on your own projects and those of people around you. Look for opportunities to get involved. There’s a meeting point between what is distinctly your own and what is something intriguing, exciting or different that someone else is doing. Don’t worry, you’re not invading or jumping on someone else’s train. The entire universe is aching for, and ripe for, collaboration. This will benefit any form of partnership, wherever it lands on the friend/lover spectrum. Another quality you can work with is that of concentrating resources. You have plenty, though it seems to be a bit scattered — try gathering like with like in one place. Arrange your life in such a way that you get a sense of how much you’re working with. Cash in all those pennies and buy a notebook.

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


Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You cannot process your entire reality emotionally. The way you know you’re doing that is that you’re experiencing things you cannot put into words. Once you can translate something into words you know you’ve reached the mental plane. Listen to yourself and as you describe something that you’re experiencing, using words or images different from what you’ve used before, you’ll be able to assemble your thoughts like the pieces of a puzzle. Notice exactly what those words and images are and soon you will be able to take over designing your life like an engineer creates a bridge, first on paper and then in the physical world. When you do this, you’re evoking one of the most relevant spiritual principles in existence, which involves relating both to and from your soul no matter what you are doing.

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


Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Saturday the Sun changes signs into Cancer and this should help set you free from the idea that you have a lot of options, none of which seem to count for much. In fact, all of your options count, and they count for more if you see them as working together rather than as against one another. The sensation may be like settling an argument with yourself where both sides come out winners. Or you may get to the place where you know you didn’t make any sense before, then suddenly you do — a development that may actually describe slipping into your senses and having the world appear in a more vivid way. I would remind you, personally, that within you is the source of all healing. The conscious and willing focus of intent on something or someone calling out for healing can and often does have an influence that could only be ascribed to a miracle, which in fact it is.

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


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Inch by inch you are treading in the direction of some unusual success. This could take many forms, but the most beautiful form it will take is accountability. Grab that stuff with both hands till you’ve fully embraced the idea that you are entirely and gloriously responsible for your own life. Celebrate the power of decision, even if it’s between corn-syrup Coke or Mexican Coke with actual sugar. Choose consciously everything you do, whether you think it’s good for you or not. Practice being the master of your destiny — for several days on end. Get into the feeling. Remind yourself when you wake up every morning, no matter how you may feel. Remember especially when you wake up on the morning of the 22nd.

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


Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You may finally be letting go of some residual anger and resentment, but also feeling a sense of loss. All you really need to do is to be conscious of this fact, rather than keeping it stuffed somewhere. The tides of your life will be turning rapidly over the next few days, and it will be vital that you stay focused on the moment you are in, which is another way of saying be present for your own life. Options are likely to open up suddenly and unexpectedly, and if your mind is in any way preoccupied with the past, you will miss what life is offering you. Note that this might be an exit path from any number of situations that you are not happy with. Yet you must take a break from arguing for what is impossible and instead come to an understanding with yourself that in truth anything is possible, if you keep an open mind.

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


Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — The Sun’s ingress into Cancer this weekend is telling you that it’s time to take a wider view of your own life. That probably means figuring out how narrow your perspective may currently be, so that you know where exactly to stretch your boundaries. How many miles do you consider to be a long distance? How many years a long time? What achievement would you define as being truly significant? As part of this review, I suggest you consider your parents’ expectations for themselves and notice some of the ways you may have taken them on. To the extent that you’re pushing against something or experiencing resistance, you might consider whether you’re trying to surpass a limit that was set during your upbringing. This might even stem from the limited worldview of a grandparent that has been passed down the generations. It’s time for you to determine the boundaries of your own life. Remember, you live in a wider world than nearly anyone who came before you.

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


Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Remember the element of chaos in passion. Remember that when you choose to feel, you don’t always get to pick which feelings come up. Most of all, remember that long ago you decided you don’t want your life to be predictable. Yet this means giving up control, or rather, the illusion of control. You cannot make decisions for other people — count yourself fortunate that you’re aware enough to make some decisions for yourself. Yet ultimately you want to make all of your own decisions, which is the only control you need — and it’s also about the closest you can come to an assurance that life is indeed fair. The other assurance is to keep your promises, and focus on making sure that others keep their promises to you. I suggest you conduct an inventory of unfinished business in this aspect of your life, and strive for full integrity.

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


Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You may find yourself filled with a kind of ambition you have not expressed in a long while, or even dared to let yourself feel. I suggest you do this as the slow, steady burn rather than as some kind of revolt or revolution. Every bit of authority, influence or power you gain must be tempered by devotion to service and remembering that you’re accountable for every use of that power. Imagine that everything you say and do is part of the public record — that you can have no secrets. Imagine that you are responsible not just for everything you say but also for everything you hear, read and see. That may seem intolerable, or like too much pressure. Yet in a sense it’s true, and it’ll help you because the choices you make will continue to have an impact on other people for quite a while to come.

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


Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You must be realistic about money. There are multiple factors saying that you’re not necessarily doing that, and other factors that suggest you have significant ability to do so. Success will come from taking a practical approach to the whole subject — basics like understanding where your money comes from and where it goes. That kind of information is a matter of fact, not of speculation. The deeper level is making sure that you are doing what you understand to be correct, and then working with others who share this same core value. They do exist. There are also people who exist who are pretending to do so, and it’s essential that you be able to sort out who is who. The most significant quality to look for in any potential collaborator is a sense of fairness. The other is someone with whom ideas flow easily.

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


Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — The Sun enters one of the most dynamic areas of your solar chart over the weekend — what in astrology is known as the 5th house. This also happens to be your fellow water sign Cancer. Within this mansion of heaven are most of your most passionate dreams of creativity and connecting with others. One key to this house working is to make sure you risk something to get something. A theme of our particular era of history is to risk nothing to get everything. What I suggest you risk is taking initiative (approaching people rather than expecting them to approach you), immersing yourself in pleasures that don’t involve a controlled outcome (making music rather than listening to it), and most of all, approaching life with the trust of a child. At the moment you may be the only person you know who wants to live like this. Once you step up to the challenge, you will find others.

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

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We Will Eventually Figure This Out

Dear Cousin, Friend or Client:

Good morning, on the cusp of the ‘official’ last weekend of summer in the US.

Tree fungus grows in the East Woods, September 2010. Photo by Eric Francis.

The cardinal T-square (or grand cross, depending on what points you count) is taking a little time off. This is the aspect pattern that drove us from the early part of the year until very recently like we were on some kind of wild ride. Uranus, and shortly Jupiter, are spending some time in Pisces, which is like both planets taking a dip in the ocean after a hot day at the beach.

Their next conjunction on Sept. 18, the first ever in Pisces for this 84-year cycle of Uranus, is more visionary than jarring. Saturn is past its series of squares to Pluto (which date to late 2009) and its longer series of oppositions to Uranus (which date to late 2008). This draws to a close the pressure for a certain kind of enforced change; now we just need to get the feeling out of our cells and our bones, and get the hang of voluntarily guiding along the changes that we need to make.

In particular, these developments temporarily take some pressure off of the Aries Point, with one notable exception, which I’ll come to in a moment. Through the end of this season and into the next, the focus is deeply personal. Mercury is currently retrograde and is stirring up all kinds of individual and family-related material and psychological tension by making a long series of aspects to minor planets in Sagittarius. The feeling is like something being on your mind but you know it’s something deeper. You may or may not want to go deeper — though I will say this is an opportunity to explore, work out or put to good creative use psychological material that is usually out of reach.

Venus and Mars are moving in a conjunction from Libra to Scorpio. Venus will soon be retrograde through both of these signs, prompting a deep reevaluation of the meaning of sex and desire in our lives.

The exception to our brief vacation from the Aries Point is the Libra equinox later in the month. The day that the Sun moves into Libra, it’s met by the Full Moon in Aries. This is a Full Moon right across 1 Libra and 1 Aries — the Aries Point exact to the degree. That begins the season with a burst of collective energy that we notice and take personally. But we’re not there yet; first we have the Virgo New Moon next Wednesday, Sept. 8, which is spectacular in its own quiet way — occurring right at the midpoint of Virgo. This happens just four days before Mercury retrograde ends; that is Sept. 12.

Now for a brief look at the news.

I’m guessing you heard about the oil rig explosion in the Gulf of Mexico that happened Thursday morning. As of press time, details are still sketchy, but no deaths or injuries have been reported. I have not read reports of an oil spill. Despite earlier reports of an oil sheen, U.S. Coast Guard Capt. Peter Troedsson told CNN that there is no evidence of such. Come what may, this is just another reminder that it’s time for oil to go the way of the steam engine.

East Woods, September 2010. Photo by Eric Francis.

I’ve got the chart posted at this link on our daily blog. To save last-minute edits and avoid errors, I will update details of the story there rather than here. The chart I’ve published is set for the exact coordinates of the rig. Its position puts it in a likely explosives dump area or drift zone. As we reported in early May, the Gulf of Mexico was used for decades as an ordnance dump. That means there are old bombs strewn all over the bottom of the Gulf, along with 27,000 abandoned oil and gas wells that, according to an AP investigation, nobody is monitoring or keeping track of.

So, between randomly strewn bombs, old, leaking wells and the usual dangers of oil and gas production, let’s just say we need a better mousetrap.

The chart we have for the new rig mishap — based on the time the fire was first reported, rather than the actual event — puts the ascendant in the same degree as the chart for the Sept. 11 false flag attacks — 15 degrees Libra, the degree with the image ‘Circular Paths’. The key phrase that Dane Rudhyar has given us to describe this degree is, Coming to terms with the inevitability of establishing steady rhythms of social activity.

Um, no kidding. The other day I figured out that my current car, a three-year-old Nissan Versa with an awesome six-speed manual transmission, may be my last gasoline car. I don’t put a lot of miles on the thing, and I keep up with maintenance; by the time I’m ready to replace it, electric cars will hopefully be affordable and in production. I will miss the clutch and the manual gearshift, though there will be all kinds of cool innovations and of itself, it won’t make pollution. But this will be little improvement if we’re getting our power from nuclear plants, an idea which is a movement gaining momentum.

So, I propose that we get the power we need for electric cars from the Sun, and that we speak loudly against nuclear power. That is, among the many things we need to speak loudly against while we manage and create our lives, and do our part to help the world transition into its next phase of existence and have some fun while we’re here.

Mercury is Still Retrograde

Besides this, the news is at a lull this week, in the midst of Mercury in Virgo retrograde. Congress is on recess; it would be a better world if they stayed there (the opposite of progress is Congress). Most of the primary elections are over; at the moment, the polls favor a Republican takeover of Congress (that would not be progress) and it seems a lot of people think that all the world’s problems were caused by Barack Obama. The upcoming elections in November are going to be some of the weirdest in our lifetimes. I suggest you treat yourself to a few evenings watching Rachel Maddow on MSNBC — her coverage of the lunacy has been beautiful. (Judith Gayle in her column below takes on the issues as well.) Glenn Beck declared himself the next Martin Luther King last week, so at least we know who it’s going to be.

East Woods, September 2010. Photo by Eric Francis.

With Mercury retrograde in Virgo, this is a very good week for things to be relatively quiet in the world — this retrograde has been mentally stressful, and it seems to be working behind the scenes of all kinds of computer issues. However, there is a hurricane heading for the Northeast, which seems set to dump a lot of rain on too many places that are easily flooded. Let’s hope we get enough water for the trees and creeks and dump the rest out into the ocean.

Meanwhile, the prevailing state of mental tension is deeper than it seems. Mercury, passing between the Earth and Sun in Virgo (the Mercury-Sun conjunction is exact today, and that means that half the retrograde is over), is playing off of lots of high-potency minor planets and a deep-space point in Sagittarius. So what appear to be psychological themes are actually spiritual issues, but as I’ve mentioned before, ‘spiritual’ is one of my least favorite words.

I prefer existential — that is, relating to existence. The mind — which has so much to do and so many places to pick up messages and so many checks to write and kids to drop off/pick up and so many appointments to keep, batteries to charge, and things to back up, update and upgrade — tends to cloud our perception of existence itself: such as, “I’m supposed to worry about another oil rig explosion? I haven’t gone grocery shopping in two weeks.”

Yet, be it known that underneath the mental activity of our moment are some rich gems that have the power to seed our decisions and our growth. This includes discovering information about the past that can be helpful to our healing, growth and development processes.

Mercury-Sun Aspects Pholus, Hylonome

I will give one example. Today’s conjunction of Mercury and the Sun creates a square aspect to two Chiron-like centaur planets — Pholus and Hylonome, both in Sagittarius. I know there are a lot of little worlds floating around; I try not to name too many of them, though these two are worth knowing about. Their names link to write-ups in a Planet Waves annual edition called Small World Stories. So if this discussion resonates with you, you may want to check out what those points are about in more detail. If you want to see the aspects in an ephemeris, check out this custom ephemeris designed to help me sort out Mercury retrograde and do the recent audio package.

East Woods, September 2010. Photo by Eric Francis.

When Mercury and the Sun make a conjunction, that is a strong focus on anything that the two planets aspect together. Pholus, the second centaur ever discovered, is the one I most often describe as being about a ‘small cause with a big effect’. This is a reminder to be aware of how the things we do now that seem minor may get significant results. The same is true for errors of judgment, so pay attention.

But the retrograde points back to the causes of the distant past. In fact with Pholus in the picture, that’s a clue to go back to what happened in the generation of your grandparents and great-grandparents. Things that happened to them that we don’t know about, and that nobody remembers, can have a profound influence on how we process reality today. I was once doing a session with a healer who had some ability to peer back to past generations and lifetimes and she said that my issues with money relate back to one male ancestor who was a bricklayer. He thought he had to make his money one brick at a time. I really had to ask myself whether that’s what I believed, and it turned out to be true.

Consider the many possibilities here. Working as an astrology consultant, I’ve seen many cases where a woman in the genetic line experienced a sexual assault, and the beliefs and values she developed in response affected the subsequent generations. How could they not? So we have to be vigilant for these causes.

Pholus also points to the effects of alcohol, the most widely used substance, and the one most often used to mask our problems. Within the family line, the presence of one or more alcoholics almost always comes with a condition of emotional distance in the family environment, and that can last for generations. The issue is less about the alcohol and more about what the people involved were struggling with. Like suicide, alcoholism is a cover-up. The question is what it masks; and that may be more transparent as this aspect happens.

Mercury and the Sun are also square Hylonome in Sagittarius. Hylonome is about the deep causes of grief, which range from the loss of a loved one to a prevailing condition of poverty — that is to say, the ‘poverty mentality’. There is something in this aspect about understanding what is in the past so we can understand the present. We can do a lot to improve our lives, but not if we cannot state what we want, and not if we don’t have a clue what has held us back.

On Thursday there was an interesting alcohol-related news story — a 20-year study indicated that more abstainers died within that time period than people who drink excessively. Moderate drinkers lived the longest. Here is a news report on the study — it’s pretty interesting.

As with diet, we have more evidence that balance and moderation are what we need to aim for. I know that’s not easy, with our lives and the world in the state they’re in, but like anything, balance begins with wanting it.

Have a safe, sane and adventurous holiday weekend.

Yours & truly,




Shake the Foundations

By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

The nation is wandering in darkness, said Glenn Beck at his ‘Restoring Honor’ rally at the Lincoln Memorial last weekend. Beck’s shtick is ‘standing up for truth.’ His rally, on the anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, included a Moses-like address commanding wrong-thinking Americans to return to the honesty and integrity of our forefathers. Beck’s laundry list of right-wing, Christianist speakers, including Sarah Palin, called upon God to return us to the absolute faith in Christ Jesus displayed by the founders. Beck wished upon each of us the surge of prayerful patriotism he’d experienced at holding George Washington’s inaugural address in his hands.

Predictably, neither of these things is true. The founders deplored the influence of religion on government and vehemently insisted on the separation of church and state. Nor did Beck ever hold any of the founding documents, which are too fragile to be handled by any but trained staff at the National Archives. Mr. Beck’s revisionism is completely untrustworthy, but his faithful followers believe him to be both well educated and genuine. He is neither.

The left looks upon Glenn Beck as a confused and confusing huckster, a showman more ego-involved than political, willing to say or do anything to attract more attention and money. But to the older, predominately white conservatives who consider Beck’s every utterance heartfelt and trustworthy, he hawks a familiar theme: return to the old ways before it’s too late. Beck is the newest prophet warning of gloom, doom and apocalypse. It’s surprising how popular that message is.

Glenn’s followers watch his convoluted blackboard lectures on FOX News and absorb revisionist lessons from “Glenn Beck University.” Now they can also log on to his news site The Blaze, debuting this week as “an honest source of information and counterpoint to the Huffington Post.” Beckofiles dutifully buy the junk his sponsors market, although most of these products border on scam and certainly exploit the fearful and gullible. Credible sponsors left Beck in droves when he moved from CNN to FOX.

Like other recent right-wing celebrities, Mr. Beck is part entrepreneur, part opportunist. Ms. Palin is another. If the American Dream is to parlay charisma into multimillions, both of these characters are living the good life. Stephen Colbert skillfully skewered Glenn on the rally hyperbole that drew nearly a hundred thousand to Washington, D.C., expecting miracles as advertised. Yes, some 90,000 of our neighbors gathered to experience something akin to a big tent revival and patriotic tribute to the nation’s military. Glenn Beck has become a very unlikely de facto head of the Christian political movement. There is a good deal of money to be made by tapping into the Christianist roots of the Tea Bagger movement, gone leaderless since Dubya stepped away from the podium. It doesn’t matter that the facts don’t support the issues that anger this demographic, or that Beck is a Mormon.

Continued at this link…


It’s About You: Capricorn Birthdays for 2010

Dear Capricorn or Capricorn Rising:

I just completed the Capricorn birthday audio presentation for 2010. This is a combination of astrology and tarot, suitable for Capricorn Sun, Moon or rising. I know Capricorn birthdays often get glossed over in the midst of the end-of-year/new year holidays, so I’m happy to be able to offer you this fresh look at your current astrology now.

It was an exciting report to record, since the focus of everyone’s astrology right now is Pluto in your sign, putting you at the vanguard of internal evolution as you develop your mission in the world — a world ready for your participation and, as I’ve been suggesting in recent horoscopes, your leadership.

Your Capricorn reading is a careful look at your astrology from before your last birthday through 2010. I touch on the significant astrology from the past few years and make connections to Capricorn’s role in the 2012 alignment.

The current astrology directly influences all the most important aspects of your life: your personal evolution, your career, your home base and sense of security, your family life and your relationships.

You are being called to develop your integrity, Capricorn; in fact, one of my readers once described Uranus in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn as mandatory integrity. As you’ll hear in this audio birthday report, you are up to the task of leading by example.

I’ve included a 20 minute tarot card reading, using the Voyager deck by James Wanless. You can order now and get instant access. This is high-quality stereo audio which you can listen to as many times as you like, for as long as you like — these files will be preserved in their original location. It’s priced to be affordable — $14.95 for about an hour of material (this is an extra-long edition of birthday audio).

Because my astrology writing is focused on the houses, I recommend this audio for Capricorn rising as well. This audio report makes an excellent companion to Capricorn Confidential, the 2010 annual edition of Planet Waves, which is in written form.

Thanks for your participation, and for doing your metaphysical shopping at Planet Waves.

Yours & truly,




Weekly Horoscope for Friday, September 3, 2010, #829 – BY ERIC FRANCIS

What happens this week is likely to stay in this week — particularly at work, where there seems to be some drama brewing. Whether you’re experiencing the best or the worst of what is possible, or if you’re in some wild confusion, I suggest you let it go. Take the current flow of events as an example of what is possible, do your best to remember it (you may forget, if you don’t put some notes into your diary), and disappear into the holiday weekend. Do your best not to complicate matters if they are a little weird, and if you’re in the moment of a breakthrough, keep your focus on the idea at hand, what has inspired it, and your response to what you’re learning. In other words, stick to the facts and concepts and how they influence you. Later in the month you will have occasion to put them to work — this is unlikely to be the time for that.

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

You seem to be trying to unravel something the difficult way that you could unravel much more easily — and explore an opportunity while you’re at it. This ‘something’ relates to what you usually consider among the most challenging endeavors: allowing inspiration to flow through you into creative results that take you to another level of consciousness or experience. It will help if you remember that there are other levels than the one you usually hang out on. Remember that the world is flexible. Remember that everything you touch, see and hear came into being through some act of intention or creation. You can easily reach a zone of awareness where you co-create the world and yourself at the same time. So allow yourself to be surprised by what you are not expecting.

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

Even in the most painful family situations we can have moments of contact or clarity that transcend all of history. In the most challenging relationships we can see the clouds part and the love shines in brilliantly. In the depths of emotional chaos a door opens at the bottom that leads to a new place. I suggest you proceed calmly through the next few days, forgetting what seems to trouble you, and focusing on the art of existence. Allow yourself to find the succinct words to express your mental and emotional state back to you. Be articulate about how you feel about people, yourself and your life without believing the words are being scratched into a mirror. Whatever you’ve been through the past couple of weeks, you are entering a space where authentic clarity is waiting for you.

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

You are alive, and the mental and creative processes that exist within you have lives of their own. Much as we try to tame them, harness them, get them to fit routines or professionalize our talents, the mind has its own cycles, seasons and destinations. I don’t intend to describe your mind as something apart from you, rather to suggest that there are different layers in existence, and that you are an organic entity. Therefore if you’ve been experiencing something out of pattern, or feeling resistance or a blockage of some kind, that suggests you’re at the point of breakthrough. I would remind you to make sure you notice, but this one is pretty much impossible to miss. However, to reap the benefits of this experience, you will need to follow through carefully. Ideas don’t morph into books, movies or businesses on their own — they need our focused, ongoing attention.

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

Money is a game, a puzzle, an experiment, a collaborative venture — think of it as anything but a crisis. In essence, money is what you make of it, and you can make quite a bit of it right now. Remember that from the viewpoint of the physical world we create funds from ideas, from labor or from time. Most of us sell our time or labor — notably, that’s usually the least profitable venture. I suggest you view your financial process as a mix of all three, emphasizing ideas above time and labor. The idea you need is waiting for you, and it would appear to consist as much in something new as in a new way of approaching an old — perhaps very old — problem. You have likely thought of this before, but now the problem and the solution are aligned in the necessary moment.

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

Your father’s house has many rooms. And in our society, father is a mystery on the order of what we think of as God. In fact, our obsession with God is little other than a stand-in for our teetering relationship to father. You seem to be dealing with legacy material that at once is about family and at the same time has overtones of spirituality or religion. I suggest you pull back the curtain on anything that comes cloaked in spiritual, religious or even mystical values, terminology or ritual. State your business in the most succinct psychological and physical terms possible. Think of events with dates, locations with addresses and people with names. Notice direct parallels between what you are experiencing now, and what you experienced much earlier in life. Remember that inheritance comes in many forms other than cash or property — and you can’t use it or give it away till you claim it as your own.

The Virgo birthday report will be ready next week. However, I am offering a Mercury retrograde in Virgo report which is like taking a trek on Virgo through the 12 houses of the zodiac. There is an abundance of information in there offered in service of a sign that deserves more attention than it usually gets. Here is the link to connect with that product.

Current aspects describe situations that feel competitive, but where you’re not sure you have the edge. The approaches that others are taking sometimes seem to work better than the ones you normally take, and I suggest you invest no energy at all in doubting yourself. The question is, what actually deserves to be approached in a competitive way, and what calls for being approached in a cooperative way? We don’t usually see the damage done by turning everything into a game with a winner and losers. I suggest you imagine how productive life could be if we devoted ourselves to designing mutually supportive approaches to life. One of those could involve sex. If you want more or better sex, I suggest you support everyone around you in getting exactly what they want. That approach will help you get what you want.

Making ethical choices takes courage, and courage is what you — and the world — needs right now. You seem to be questioning whether you can find it, but do you really have a choice? Lately it seems like you’re on your own; you’re getting many signals from existence that remind you that you need to be self-sufficient, fend for yourself and, as if that were not enough, face some of your deepest fears. One involves abandonment. This seems to be at the root of many challenges in our relationships; we have not devised a mode of relating that does not, in the end, land most people out in the cold, in court, or left alone. Yet as much as you may recognize this, the question arises: what do you do when you have to move on from a situation? Observe how you’ve been treated in the past, and notice the effects this had on you. You don’t have to repeat the pattern, and there are many different approaches you can take.

You are gradually making contact with the emotional truth behind a sexual or romantic experience. Indeed, the notion of ‘the emotional truth behind’ could be applied to everything in your life, to any question, to any desire — particularly a desire to tap your deeper creativity. You can use this as a tool to figure out whether you truly want something you think you want; you can evaluate what lurks behind your quest for happiness. But perhaps most useful, you’re about to discover why you’ve felt so unstable for so long, and finally be offered some real information about what you can do about it. In short, you have used your sense of instability for useful purposes, such as avoiding getting stuck in certain situations that don’t serve you. But you need a better approach, one that relies more on flexibility and innovation rather than instability or uncertainty.

Everything about your charts speaks both of seeking a new level of achievement and also a new depth of self-understanding. To discover your true longterm vision, I suggest you look back to an idea that you may have given up on long ago. How long ago? Well, what was your very first idea for what you wanted to do with your life? Children are closer to their original intentions for coming to the world; they have had less time to learn, but also less time to forget. Yet often these intentions and desires have a way of being critiqued out of existence. If you can recover this and other early goals that you had, you will also learn something about where they went; that is to say, you’ll catch a glimpse how you talk yourself out of what you want. Once you figure that out, you can stop doing it, and focus instead on creating what you desire the most.

The Capricorn Audio Birthday Report is now ready. This is more than an hour of astrology for Capricorn and Capricorn rising, covering the cardinal T-square from a personal perspective. I’ve also included a 20-minute tarot reading using the Voyager Deck. For instant access, order here for Capricorn and Capricorn Rising. Only $14.95, this also makes a meaningful and economical gift.

A discovery or revelation on a matter that involves shared finances or a contractual agreement is offering you precisely the information that you need right now. I suggest you focus on the information that has, and very likely still is, coming to light, and remember that this situation is all about where the resources of you and someone else come together. What belongs to whom? Who plays what role in the situation? I suggest you look at where you’ve given your power away; study this down to the details, and figure out how you got where you are right now. It’s going to require some sorting out of the past to see the way forward. And eventually you will have to get down to the nitty-gritty of the situation, which may have you a bit nervous — you would much prefer these details to work out for themselves.

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

You may feel stretched impossibly between two opposites or situations that have little in common. People may be irritating you beyond the point of wanting to even deal with them; your mind is on other things. I suggest that you keep your distance from any situation that resembles this description. Don’t detach or disappear; rather, work at an arm’s length and things will go a lot more smoothly. What is happening today is on a timeline of about one additional month, as long as it will take for Mercury to station direct in your opposite sign, for the Sun’s dramatic ingress into Libra, and for other critical aspects to help you get an authentically clear vision of where you’re heading in life. The details that matter so much right now will matter a lot less then, so I suggest you conserve your energy for what really matters: creating rather than fixing.

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