Tag Archives: Neptune in Pisces

Through the Looking Glass

Dear Friend and Reader:

Neptune entered Pisces this week. In astrology, one of the measures of significance is how rare an event is. Neptune has not been in this position since 1847, just one year after its discovery, and a good while before the Civil War ripped the United States in half. No living person has experienced this transit before. So that qualifies as news. It’s especially news given that for the past 12 years, Neptune’s presence in Aquarius has worked like a fog machine to obscure the difference between truth and lies, to the degree where many are pleasantly oblivious to any distinction at all.

Planet Waves
Illustration of Humpty Dumpty by John Tenniel, from Through the Looking Glass, 1871.

I realize that playing games with public perception is a time-honored tradition among the rich and powerful. Even as individuals, we have PR departments that work overtime, to make sure people think we’re pure and feckless. But the tools for manipulating perception have never been more influential, and it seems like the minds of most people have never been more susceptible to corruption (unless you count the ministrations of religion, which set us up to believe anything at all).

To be fair, the world has problems more serious than most mortals have any concept of how to confront, deal with or process emotionally. One could argue that denial is a reasonable approach. Yet the background fear level, coupled with that denial, is precisely what makes people so vulnerable to psychic attack. There is a direct relationship between denial of what is going on in the world around us and denial of our own personal material. And at times, the exaggerated sense that there is ‘something wrong with us’ can send the whole mind into denial — and this now has lots of cultural sanction.

Meanwhile, during Neptune in Aquarius, tsunami has become a household word. We have seen the flooding of New Orleans and many, many other places — too many to count (some days it’s hard to tell the difference between a tornado in the Bronx from a flood that covers a swath of New Jersey; it all blends together). Ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising to the point where island nations disappear under the water before our eyes — while climate change deniers tell us it isn’t so.

We’ve witnessed the contamination of the Gulf of Mexico with crude oil, and the federal government is back to issuing deepwater drilling permits for rigs using blowout preventer technology that predates the BP platform explosion. Thursday night, Rachel Maddow had on her program Michael Bromwich, the federal official responsible for issuing those permits. He defended using the old blowout preventers on the grounds that the federal government knew all along that they don’t really work. That’s what he said! It’s supposed to be an acceptable answer! If you would like to have the awakening experience of being really pissed off, here is that video.

For the past decade-plus we have been living with water on the brain. The first major example of a world-changing event under Neptune in Aquarius was the fraudulent impeachment of Bill Clinton — you know, the president who was dealing quite well with the federal deficit. That is to say, under Neptune in Aquarius we have been experiencing a wide-scale failure of logic. Though we can see the roots of this particular thought form going back a long way, the process has accelerated exponentially in these years of Neptune in Aquarius, which are now, finally, drawing to a close. Yet the damage done by floods is insidious.

I speak as someone with a lot of both Neptune and Aquarius in my chart. I respect these influences, and I know how destructive they can be. It is challenging to get your head above water; you have to really want not to drown. In order to function, Aquarius requires intellectual discipline, and Neptune requires discernment and a bit of detachment. When you subtract these, the psychotic politicians and the directors of television commercials set the tone of consciousness. We can, and did, end up with a political system that is ruled by people under no obligation to make any sense; no obligation to have any empathy at all.

Planet Waves
Barack Obama greets Republican mastermind Karl Rove at a White House reception for freshman senators in 2005. Photo by Doug Mills for The New York Times.

Does anyone remember this bit from The New York Times Magazine, written by Ron Suskind? It’s an interview with a presidential aide to George W. Bush, from 2004, and is to me the essence of the Neptune in Aquarius era:

The aide said that guys like me [the author, a Times writer] were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality — judiciously, as you will — we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors … and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

Did you get that? He said, “You, all of you.” His psychic posture is demanding the total submission of the writer and his audience, that is, the whole population, to his own hallucinations. He is saying, we set the terms of reality, we will build our empire on this, and you must surrender (your mind and your will). Do you know who the speaker was? In a recent book, he was revealed to be Karl Rove. It’s no wonder that Rove is the reputed mastermind of the plot to get rid of Julian Assange, the creator of WikiLeaks. We cannot have any leaks of reality (such as our own documents) into this fantasy empire.

Now, it’s one thing that someone says this kind of thing, though it’s more appropriate for Shakespeare or a psychiatrist’s office than you would hope it is for anyone to be saying or even thinking in the White House. It’s another thing that Rove and his colleagues were and apparently still are involved in the military, the economy, the whole world. It’s what Lewis Carroll was getting at when he wrote this passage of Through the Looking Glass:

“I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory’,” Alice said.
Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t — till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!'”
“But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected.
“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
“The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
“The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master — that’s all.”

Planet Waves
All paranoia, all the time — Glenn Beck, live and on the air, for now. Photo from Fox PR department.

Speaking of anything meaning anything, Glenn Beck didn’t last but a few days with Neptune in Pisces before he bailed out of, or was heaved overboard from, primetime TV. The imminent end of his psychopathology hour was announced by Fox this week, though sadly, no date was given. Beck has viewers, but apparently not sponsors (besides those selling survivalist gear, and gold, which qualifies as such). As Lawrence O’Donnell pointed out, you can’t really sell cars or insurance policies or anything particularly useful when you’re also telling people the world is going to end.

The End, however, is a popular item among the populace. Expectation of the world ‘ending’ is the ultimate release from responsibility, from the drive for growth and, well, from just about everything else in our particular world and on our level of existence. In this context The End can translate to, ‘Why should I bother going for that new job, if the currency system is going to collapse?’

Because The End is near, you don’t really have to do anything. We don’t have to do anything, such as set about the challenging task of solving global problems that have amassed during the past century; why bother? Here is the thing not said often enough about the many, many people, including every single fundamentalist Christian politician, who are into The End. It’s the projection of individual mortality onto the collective. In other words, when a person is not mature enough to have a conscious relationship to death, one way out is to say that ‘the world is going to end’ and thus ‘we are all going to die’.

Suppressed orgasm — the very stock-in-trade of religion — pushes conflict around death to the level of a psychic frenzy. Everything, including every relationship, becomes a survival drama. It is a condition wherein the mind cannot let go or embrace the idea of change. If political leaders know a lot of people are simply not dealing with death or sex (matters of the 8th house), then the money aspect of the 8th house is open to being pillaged. Money becomes the symbol of survival and the symbol of power, and that in turn can be used to manipulate anything.

Proposed Shutdown of the Federal Government

At the moment we are witnessing a drama wherein the federal government may be shut down today. I guess this happens every few years (the last time was about 15 years ago), but I don’t remember any such incidents directly. As it’s being explained to us, the Tea Party movement’s new representatives in Congress are pushing the more traditional Republicans into an agenda disguised as ‘austerity measures’.

Planet Waves
Pushed by the Tea Party movement, Speaker of the House John Boehner is trying to use the budget crisis as a way to get rid of Planned Parenthood and take regulatory power from the EPA. Wire service photo of the great man.

Congress could pass a temporary law to keep things funded as the different sides work out the issues. This has been going on for a while, and each time, the Mad Tea Party tacks on conditions: We will vote for this temporary extension if you cut this much more money and include this brilliant idea.

The latest version of such a temporary spending law was passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives yesterday, which includes 60 measures that read like the right-wingnut wish list: de-funding Planned Parenthood, taking away regulatory power from the Environmental Protection Agency to enforce clean air and water laws, stripping from ATF its ability to collect information on people who want to buy multiple weapons, and on and on. There is an agenda in operation. The problem with these wild conservative proposals is that they are unpopular with most Americans, so it’s necessary not only to sneak them in but to force them though using this kind of blackmail. Then they get on TV and talk about how they want to be fiscally responsible. In truth, the Mad Tea Party agenda includes threatening to cut funding to the troops (which means their families) and hold that as ransom in order to withhold reproductive healthcare for young women.

This is similar to how Scott Walker, the governor of Wisconsin, has tried to bust his state’s public employee unions as a supposed austerity measure. In fact, he created Wisconsin’s budget deficit by giving huge tax credits to big companies. And the unions themselves are budget-neutral; they merely give a lot of money to Democratic candidates. This strategy is becoming standard fare for our times — create a fiscal emergency, then do everything in the name of responding to that emergency. Here we have an example of pure Shock Doctrine politics: everything is done in the name of a crisis, or of responding to an enemy, and generally in the name of fear. It still amazes me to see my fellow human beings stand in front of a TV camera and spew out lies right in front of everyone. It amazes me that we cannot look at them and recognize: these people are so messed up emotionally, how do we trust them with that much power?

Planet Waves
Fred Rogers testifies before Congress on the importance of Public Television on May 1, 1969 when Nixon was threatening funding to the program. You can watch the video here — it is amazing.

Among the other items on this same legislative agenda are getting rid of Public Television, NPR, Medicaid and Social Security. Clearly, our nation is in the grip of an opportunistic infection of the mind, based on its weakened integrity. Under this theory, tax cuts for the rich remain the answer to all the world’s ills. I watch a lot of cable news. I keep hearing guys from the Mad Tea Party come out of the room and say, “Yeah this is gonna create jobs. Lots and lots of jobs.” Most newscasters just let this go by unquestioned, and the general public — outraged by high taxes — just swallows it whole. But they (which is to say we) don’t get the tax breaks!

I am wondering how much Americans must have taken away from them before they figure out that something is missing. How long before we wake up from our ADD around social consciousness and realize we can do something? I wonder what we think is the purpose of all these taxes we pay. If the social programs all disappear, all we’ll have are bombs and guns. For those who live in a world of pain and fear, that does make some sense.

I will add, however, that the introduction of Chiron and Neptune in Pisces is a game-changer. Like anything involving Pisces, it may take a while to get tangible results. The first thing that will change is perception. Outer planet transits always shift the whole climate and our perception of the world around us. For a while the lies will be transparent before we figure out what to do about them. There are other game-changers that are en route, particularly Uranus square Pluto. That is the action piece. I’ve said in previous articles that this presumes something against which to take action — and now we’re starting to see what that is. The next essential step is coming from a positive vision for the future, and I know that seems like a heck of a lot to ask right now.

When In Doubt, Raise the ‘Safe’ Level

Also this first week of Neptune in Pisces, Japan dumped 15,000 tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. Engineers managing the cleanup of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi plant were making room in ‘low’-level waste tanks to hold high-level water (some of it reported to be 5 million times more radioactive than the allowable levels). Thus, the ‘low’-level water had to be flushed, and the only place to flush it was the Pacific. The official line is that these persistent toxins will he harmlessly absorbed by the ocean, but one would need to have no understanding of biology to believe that. These toxins will migrate through the entire globe through a process called diffusion, while at the same time moving up the food chain in a process called bioconcentration.

Planet Waves
Finally, a clear image of the external damage at Fukushima. This picture, taken by a small drone aircraft, shows the destroyed reactor building of Unit 4, the one with the spent fuel pond that kept bursting into flames. The photo shows the scale of the building, which has been nearly impossible to see in previous photos. Photo: Air Photo Service Co. Ltd., Japan. More photos here.

A strong aftershock hit northeastern Japan on Thursday. Nuclear Information Resource Service (NIRS) reported: “Today’s earthquake (which we have seen variously reported as between 7.1 and 7.9 in magnitude) has knocked out power in some sections of northeast Japan. The single-unit Higashidori Boiling Water Reactor and the Rokkasho reprocessing plant have lost offsite power and are running on emergency diesel generators. Offsite power may also have been lost to the three-unit Onagawa nuclear complex, although there is a report that power remains for the reactors themselves, but not for the fuel pools and that those are relying upon emergency diesel generators.”

Meanwhile, as radiation continued to spread across the United States, the EPA raised the supposedly ‘safe’ level of radiation exposure — something that Japan did recently as well. According to The Tennessean, a Gannett newspaper (associated with USA Today), “The EPA is preparing to dramatically increase permissible radioactive releases in drinking water, food and soil after ‘radiological incidents’, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility.”

The newspaper reported that the rule does not require public airing before it’s decided upon. The article continued, “Drinking water, for example, would have a huge increase in allowable public exposure to radioactivity, the group says, that would include: a nearly 1000-fold increase in strontium-90, a 3000 to 100,000-fold hike for iodine-131 and an almost 25,000 rise for nickel-63.” Gee, when the going gets unsafe, redefine safe. This would not be the first time in history that the ‘safe level’ has been raised to just above the probable exposure level. That’s how it’s done with PCBs and dioxin. You clean as much as you can (or feel like paying for), and call it good.

For some reason this reminds me of Alan Hale, the state legislator in Montana who is arguing in favor of abolishing drunk driving laws. He also happens to be a bar owner. Here is some video of that. But back to nuclear power.

Planet Waves
Physicist Michio Kaku, one of the founders of string theory, has been outspoken about the nuclear crisis in Japan. Photo: BBC World Service.

Michio Kaku, a professor of physics at City College of New York, is warning that “three raging meltdowns” are underway at Fukushima. Here is that video interview.

But probably the most distressing news of the week came in the form of speculation, though based on history and the available facts. Yoichi Shimatsu, a Hong Kong–based environmental writer and former editor of the Japan Times Weekly, has proposed that the nuclear installation at Fukushima was housing a covert nuclear weapons program. She believes that several of the reactors were functioning as enrichment devices rather than as civilian power plants.

She writes:

“The smoke and mirrors at Fukushima 1 seem to obscure a steady purpose, an iron will and a grim task unknown to outsiders. The most logical explanation: The nuclear industry and government agencies are scrambling to prevent the discovery of atomic-bomb research facilities hidden inside Japan’s civilian nuclear power plants.

“A secret nuclear weapons program is a ghost in the machine, detectable only when the system of information control momentarily lapses or breaks down. A close look must be taken at the gap between the official account and unexpected events.”

The Way Forward, Through Pisces

I recognize that none of this is pleasant to think about. But it all points to the need for something better. If we want the quality of life on our planet to get better, we need ideas, and we need ways to apply those ideas. But first we are going to need to understand our thinking, and the thinking of the people who are pushing the world into various nightmare scenarios. Or maybe we don’t need to understand them, actually — maybe we only need to understand ourselves. That might actually work.

For example, if we challenge our tendency to believe lies, that blocks the process of deception. It actually stops the pathogen of deceit in its tracks. That is about shifting our own motives toward valuing truth. Sooner or later, we will need to face this shadow that is cast over humanity, yet for now we can begin with our own hearts, minds and souls.

One of the most dysfunctional beliefs is that what we think, feel or do does not make a difference. That is to say, if you ask the question, “What does my being more informed about nuclear power do to prevent a nuclear accident?” you may get a null answer: logically, it may make no difference at all.

You may decide that, if you live within 100 miles of a nuclear power plant, you need an evacuation plan. That will help you and your family but it won’t help solve the larger problem. In fact, however we analyze it, there may not seem to be an answer to the larger problem. We can make token gestures, which make small contributions, which might add up — but that takes a good bit of self-convincing.

So what if we take the whole situation as a matter of personal integrity? What if that’s the only thing on the line? What if we make just one decision — to stop believing lies? That is by default a commitment to be more discerning. It is a decision to be better informed. It implies a decision to be more honest with ourselves, and in turn, more honest with others. Doing this would shift our relationships toward integrity. I know we don’t usually think of this as being associated with Pisces, but that’s what time it is.

Yours & truly,

Eric Francis

Check this audio announcement for information about Eric’s
new e-book, Light Bridge: The 25-Year Span.

Planet Waves

Light Bridge: The 25-Year Span by Eric Francis is the story of irrevocable change told through the lens of astrology, history and self-awareness. This is a carefully selected set of articles and essays by Eric written since 1987, which take you through the transition of the millennium into 2012. The essays are a continuing meditation on the experience of confronting global changes from long before anyone was certain they would really happen. It begins in a spiritual community in 1987 and comes to the present day, including a look at the astrology of the 2012-2015 era. Included are Eric’s best essays on sweeping world changes, relationships and maintaining some sense of one’s inner life in the midst of it all. The book, available as a printable PDF, is 174 pages and is illustrated by Carol McCloud. It’s just $14.95. It’s the perfect companion to Light Bridge, the 2011 annual edition of Planet Waves. Purchase your copy here.


How to Cross an Ocean; How to Light a Fire

“A belief is only a thought you continue to think; and when your beliefs match your desires, then your desires must become your reality.” — Abraham

Dear Planet Waves Reader:

Pisces, as the last sign of the zodiac, represents the primal waters to which thought, action and memory return — and from which they emerge. Seawater contains traces of nearly every element, from oxygen to iron to gold. The history of humanity is contained in the world’s oceans, as rivers course through canyons and cities and carry everything to the shore. Those things carried include the trace contaminants and drugs that have been created during our current age of industry, and which inevitably find their way into the sea — which we then dip into as the supposedly eternal source of food. Meanwhile, scientists have reported a ‘water memory’ phenomenon, where water retains the properties of what it once held, and responds to everything from thought to prayer to microwaves.

Planet Waves
Photo by Bev Dulis.

In calendar year 2011, we will learn a lot about Pisces. You can think of the most watery water sign as the universal recipient. It’s the cosmic realm that contains every element, and is the place where the story of humanity collects from moment to moment. The ocean refuses no river.

Pisces is about to receive two new planets, which will shape our experience of life and be reflected in changes in the world we know. One is Chiron, which made a brief visit in 2010. On Feb. 8, Chiron will return to Pisces, where it will stay until it begins its process of entering Aries in 2018. Chiron, which has a wildly elliptical orbit, is currently moving at close to its slowest speed through the signs (eight and nine years in Pisces and Aries respectively); at the other end of the dial, in Virgo and Libra (where it was in the mid-1990s) Chiron sails through a sign in 18 months — faster than Saturn moves through a sign (which takes about 30 months). So currently we have Chiron in its incarnation as an outer planet, slow and powerful. I have many reasons to believe this transit will take center stage, even amidst the truly momentous changes portended in the transits of 2011.

Wherever it may be, Chiron focuses attention, and the oceans (signified by Pisces) need attention. So too does the vast interior of human consciousness represented by Pisces. This last sign of the zodiac works for all of us as a source of creativity, emotional contact and escape from the hard-edged world of the ego. If not for Pisces, there would not be music or art, and sex would not be the same. We would not recognize the subtle shades of our emotions. Yet we tend to pollute this realm with everything from mind-bending psychotropic drugs to contact with 5,000 advertisements a day.

Melanie Reinhart says of this sign, “Forms disintegrate, the past is dissolved and our separateness is relinquished.” These are processes that extend over time, rather than sudden shifts. Chiron focuses energy and accelerates any movement already underway, instigating its knack for healing first by raising our awareness — or attempting to do so. With Chiron in Pisces (the sign of the hidden dimension), we will see what we’ve been missing.

The other planet entering Pisces is Neptune, which has not touched the waters of the sign it’s so often associated with since shortly after its discovery in the 19th century. Neptune is wrapping up a long journey across Aquarius, which began in January 1998. This transit has in many ways taken over consciousness; at the beginning of this transit in the late 20th century, nobody would have believed we would be walking around with computers in our pockets, checking email 200 times a day, and basically investing our souls into cyberspace.

Planet Waves
Photo by Bev Dulis.

Few would have guessed that every local police department would be feeding information into the FBI database (not about arrests — they’ve done that for decades; I mean about ‘suspicious’ behavior, your employment history, who you associate with, etc.), something more suitable for the old East Germany than the land of Jefferson and Madison. And who would have foreseen the opportunities this same technology creates for countless digital artists and musicians to create innovative work and share it around the world?

Neptune will exit Aquarius and touch the shore of Pisces on April 4, 2011, staying for a four-month visit. Then in 2012 it will re-enter Pisces to stay until 2025-26. This brief visit of Neptune is another harbinger of the 2012 era, representing a distinct shift in the spiritual vibration of the planet and a new phase of what we can call the history of our inner lives. This influence may overwhelm some; to others it will feel like flushing fresh water into a dry lake.

The extended, simultaneous presence of Chiron and Neptune in Pisces is about developing the awareness and discipline to handle deep emotional, and what you might call mystical, energy. You don’t swim across the ocean — you travel in a boat. The same is true for the oceanic multidimensional realms represented by Pisces. You can think of Chiron as the boat, the vessel which includes such tools as perception, analysis, documentation and — most significantly — boundaries.

The first boundary is where the collective realm ends and the individual realm of self begins.
That is represented by the imaginary line between Pisces and Aries. Uranus has been in Pisces for seven years, stirring things up. In February, Uranus enters Aries, illustrating a radical transformation in our sense of self, and how we express the whole idea of self. We dearly need this shock to our self-awareness. I am trusting that Uranus is going to light the fire of curiosity about self, and remind us how being centered within ourselves is the key to sanity. I don’t mean narcissism and I don’t mean egotism. I mean learning to focus our sense of being at our own core, and relate to the world from that alert, mindful space.

Planet Waves
Photo by Eric Francis.

What will protect us from Uranus in Aries turning into an eruption of vanity is Chiron and Neptune connecting us to the spiritual depths of Pisces. It’s as if Chiron and Neptune are helping us reach aspects of soul awareness and Uranus in Aries is helping us project our life force through our personality and body. Together, these transits — which last for years — will help many people wake up to the beauty of existence, to life and to participating in the changes that the world is going through.

Speaking of that — the planets I’ve just described that are making changes in 2011 add momentum to another outer-planet change, which is Pluto in Capricorn. That has been in progress since about 2008, and has come with many changes in society, some of them jarring and frightening. We think of this variously as the banking crisis, the recession, the foreclosure crisis, the turmoil in government, the big hole in the Federal Reserve, and of course the general sense that everything might collapse tomorrow. That is Pluto restructuring the institutions of the world — and our ideas about them. Pluto in Capricorn is liberating something from deep within these institutions — WikiLeaks is a good example. They are having their corporate structures rearranged, and we are having our minds rearranged. We have to think about where and how we fit in differently than we did yesterday.

So it’s a good thing that we have Uranus in Aries reminding us to wake up to who we are. Now, here is a clue about 2012. That’s the year that Uranus moving through Aries first meets Pluto moving through Capricorn. This is called the Uranus-Pluto square. This is part of the cycle that delivers some of the most radical astrology ever documented by historians — the astrology of revolution and of revelation. Think of how this is developing — society changing, perhaps seeming like it’s ‘failing’, while at the same time individuals are awakening to our creative power, one at a time getting into the process of creation and change.

The Uranus-Pluto square describes the place where radical self-awareness (Uranus in Aries) meets the vast and sweeping changes that the world is going through (Pluto in Capricorn). We all know the world is changing, and we all know that many of us feel a profound need to rethink who we are and find our role, our place of participation, our point of influence. We may feel driven by passion (Aries) and practical needs (Capricorn) as part of an urgent series of awakening events. The thing to do in the midst of it all is to feel: to be present with your feelings, and to notice what your senses are telling you.

Uranus in Aries is here to light the fire of self, and Chiron and Neptune are here to guide us across the ocean of our soul.

The horoscopes that follow explore these themes as they apply to each of the signs. They are a summary of my comprehensive 2011 annual edition, called Light Bridge. This is a special website that offers extended readings for each of the signs in both written form and audio — and lots of other information about the 2011-2012 era.

I’ll see you there.

Yours & truly,

Eric Francis

Note About the Annual Edition — To clarify for readers new to Planet Waves: each January we produce an annual edition. It has a different name each year; last year, we published Cosmic Confidential, and the year before, Next World Stories. This year it’s called Light Bridge. The annual edition includes extended readings for each of the signs, plus additional articles looking at the global astrology from both personal and political perspectives. If you would like to read a bit about my method of doing these readings, you’re invited to check out this article titled “Holistic, Holographic” on the Cosmic Confidential Diary. Sign-up information is below each of the interpretations that follows. –efc

Planet Waves

Attention Light Bridge Subscribers: Light Bridge written readings are now available to those who pre-ordered. If you have not signed up yet, you may do so here. Everyone is invited to read the articles on the Light Bridge blog, which will update periodically. Customer reviews of Light Bridge are collecting here. Don’t miss the free audio introduction to the project that explains how I created these seven-year readings. To everyone: thank you for your patience while we completed the written phase of Light Bridge.

Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope for January 2011

Aries (March 20-April 19)

ARIES — How many commercials have we seen promising some version of ‘the new you’, whether it was for a workout gadget, hair color or a mental outlook offered in a self-help book? Despite our collective obsession with personal renewal, this seems to be something that rarely works. Part of why involves our attachment to the past, and the typically human fear of change. Yet these tumble when we have a vision that we want to create with passion.

With Uranus entering your birth sign for the next seven years, your sense of self becomes something entirely flexible, and you may have the feeling that anything is possible. That is true: yet what, exactly, do you want to be possible? Over the past few seasons you’ve had a clue. It may have seemed like something too good to be true, or impossible because it was so amazing. That’s the thing to guide yourself with. Don’t worry about whether it seems possible, or concern yourself with plotting every step in the process. You grew from a zygote into a fetus into a child and then an adult understanding nothing about how that worked on the anatomical level. Thank goodness for DNA.

The DNA of Uranus in your sign suggests not merely personal renewal but rather ongoing personal revolution. It may take a while to figure out what I mean, but it will become obvious. From the inside, this may feel like the desire to burst free even though you did precisely that yesterday; to drop every pretense you ever put up; to act boldly and immediately, instead of taking years to plan things that rarely happen. Something inside is seeking to set itself free. In short, this transit brings out your true nature, as if a veil is being lifted off of your psyche.

Your inner awareness is being joined closer with your daily expression. You will be able to tap the rich potential even of what seemed like negative developments, or things that seemed inconsequential. Whatever may have happened during the past four seasons, trust that the world has made room for you, for the work you want to do, and the person you want to be in your deepest relationships. Patience may be the most challenging virtue you can muster in these seasons of your life. This is a new kind of patience — one based not on waiting, but in cultivating trust in yourself, practiced like yoga from day to day.

What you’ve just read is the abbreviated version of your 2011 annual forecast by Eric Francis. To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Aries, please go to this link.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)

TAURUS — Though most descriptions of your sign cast you as practical, grounded and organized, you have one of the dreamiest minds around. This is due to the influence of the watery signs on your chart. It’s why you can find yourself getting caught in fantasy, and it’s why material things often take so long for you. The story of your astrology for 2011 and well beyond is about gaining clarity. Most of that clarity is to your emotional nature. You are sensitive; the solution is about enhancing and focusing your sensitivity rather than toning it down. Though it may seem odd to say, your true liberation will come from fully honoring your inner life. That will set you free to act with confidence in the world.

One of the most exciting aspects of your journey through the next four seasons involves figuring out that you create who you are by allowing your gifts and talents the opportunity to come forth. At times this may feel like a ‘path’ of discovery, but that’s an illusion of time. By focusing your intentions and your desires, you tap into what is already within you on deeper levels than you’ve accessed before. You can do this whenever you want. You have no reason to depend on who you were yesterday no more than you must put off any goal into the future. Part of your inherent creativity is the ability to come up with a new idea today, and another one tomorrow. And you can. Yet the thing about having a lavish imagination is that it truly helps to be disciplined about it.

As part of that discipline, I suggest you transform your perception of everything you’ve considered a fault into an asset. For example, if you consider yourself a procrastinator, you can discern the thing you’re most motivated to do at any given time — such as choosing the thing on your ‘to do’ list that’s the most fun. If you do that consistently, you will not only get everything done; you will be able to go beyond the feeling of ‘having to get it done’. If you are a raging idealist and don’t think the world is ready for you, then test out your own belief and try something specific and see what happens.

The trend of your life is moving away from theorizing and into action; away from guilt and into pleasure; away from being concerned about risks and toward being a kind of test pilot of the soul. As you experiment in all these ways, remember: manifestation always proceeds from an idea into tangible form. That idea is based on knowing what you want, and choosing that. The one thing that stands between the idea and its expression is, most often, what you believe. So if you want to make real changes, change what you believe. Notice self-defeating beliefs, and adopt new ones. It’s easier than you currently believe.

What you’ve just read is the abbreviated version of your 2011 annual forecast by Eric Francis. To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Taurus, please go to this link.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)

GEMINI — It can be challenging maintaining a balance of power between you and the people in your life. That is especially true when so much in the world seems to come down to a question of power or control. The essence of balance, in that case, is making sure your life is guided by more creative concepts, but the first thing to do is respect power for what it is. This way, you can enter a direct relationship with it; from there you will have the feeling of dancing with destiny rather than merely being subject to it.

The difference only becomes clear through experience. Now, the question is, how do you get there? At the essence of your growth mission is freeing yourself from emotions that tend to lock you into certain relationship situations ‘against your will’. First among these is guilt. Next on the list is your sense of obligation. Then comes a tendency to honor the status quo. You may experience a value that says someone with more money is a better person than someone with less of the stuff. All of these notions are ideas you have inherited rather than invented — and what you are doing at this stage of your life is giving back that inheritance. To whom? To the ancestors; to a culture that defined your relationships before you had a chance to; to your family for the examples it set.

You have your own ideas, and this is the time in your life when you get to express them — if you want. As you take apart the ideas from the distant past that don’t work for you, the next step is to evaluate people and events on their own merits. That implies applying your discernment to every situation in your life. This is more than most people are willing to do, because if you’re wrong, then the error is all your own. Yet if you’re correct, then you have nobody to thank but yourself.

You are seeking more social freedom than most people would ever dream of. One of your most cherished dreams is that of absolute individuality. Thus, never apologize for being yourself. And remember that embracing what works for you always involves letting go of what does not.

What you’ve just read is the abbreviated version of your 2011 annual forecast by Eric Francis. To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Gemini, please go to this link.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)

CANCER — It is truly amazing what we take on faith, and what we reject supposedly on the basis of rationality. How many people bite into a hamburger assuming that it’s wholesome food? How many times have you decided that there isn’t a place for you in the world? How often have you feared you were incapable of something, then turned around and did it well? It’s time to put your faith where it belongs — in yourself.

While you often seem at the mercy of external influences, your program of self-mastery involves turning those influences to your advantage, rising to the occasion of whatever you’re presented with. Other times you’ll need to recognize something is a projection of your own fear rather than an actual factor of your environment.

Indeed, rising above fear is the greatest gift you can give yourself. You don’t need it. In truth it has never served you; it’s neither protected you nor nourished you. Fear gives bad information, and so does guilt. You have been feeling the calling to set your own goals and define your own purpose. To do that, you need to feel bold and, in a sense, innocent.

Be aware of the rules and affinities created by your loyalty to groups and organizations, whether they are as far-reaching as national identity or religion, or as close to home as your family and your most intimate relationships. Often we don’t see these for what they are until we make some attempt to define ourselves as an individual. That’s when it becomes obvious that something seemingly external may be standing in the way of being real. As it turns out, it’s actually not external — it’s something within our own minds and beliefs that we can change, and this is what is gradually dawning on you.

You may not consider yourself a rebellious person, but you are stepping into a bold phase of your life where in actual truth, you can achieve anything you want. Define this by a tangible purpose. Focus on that. I don’t mean a principle, such as ‘helping people’, but rather a direct goal of some kind. There will be a strong temptation to rebel against, which doesn’t get anyone so far. Therefore, create in the affirmative. Create a vision and if you have to rebel on the way to getting there, go for it. Most of that rebellion will consist simply of being yourself.

What you’ve just read is the abbreviated version of your 2011 annual forecast by Eric Francis. To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Cancer, please go to this link.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

LEO — The concept of belief is one of the most significant and invisible issues of consciousness. Belief — not truth — often runs the world, and tends to run our lives. What we believe becomes what is true for us, and then that perceived truth refines itself. The problem is that most people have no clue what their beliefs really are; they are not articulated, nor subjected to critique. This is how people come to believe many things that have no basis in reality. You’re in the process of having all — and I do mean all — of your beliefs about yourself up-ended, which I would say is some of the best news in years. This may feel like it’s happening overnight, though it’s part of a long process of figuring out where you stand with yourself.

That is another way of saying you’re discovering your potential, and I dare say that as this happens, the feeling will be shocking. You may find yourself exploring entirely new domains of possibility on a daily basis. For a measure of distance, consider how far your ideas are from the ones you were raised with. To get a sense of that, make a list of the ideas that guide or guided the lives of your parents. Then consider the ideas that you want to live by. This will he a helpful exercise every time you encounter one of the bursts of liberation that seem all but inevitable over the next few seasons.

One of the things that becomes liberated is your inventive nature. If you feel that your ideas lack solidity, remember that it is you who gives them life the moment you think them. Consider that the leap from supposed nothingness to a concept is far shorter than from concept into its expression.

Meanwhile, you may feel like you’re under some kind of odd spotlight that is making your soul visible to the world. This may feel like vulnerability, one that is based on having no choice but to be real about who you are. Really, that feeling is the sensation of encountering your strength. The concept ‘original intention’ comes to mind, that is, suddenly remembering what you came here to do, and why. In this process, it would be healthy for you to make friends with how little money means to you, when you get to the bottom of your values system. It’s not that you don’t enjoy or appreciate money, but rather it does not serve as a direct motivator in the way that you so often see in the world around you.

Rather, you are driven by your devotion to service, to excellence and most of all to community. Community is a resource for everyone, and you are a resource for the people who surround you. As you connect with and draw strength from your true values, you will find that money is much more abundant and indeed more useful. It’s presence will be a matter of faith and not of deserving or of labor. The thing to place emphasis on is time. Your perception of time is changing, and that includes the value of time. The time deficit that the world seems to be experiencing is happening in the midst of a world obsessed with planning and speculation. You have little need to do either of these things; rather, your creative power, your deepest contentment and freedom from anxiety come from using your time wisely in the moment you are living.

What you’ve just read is the abbreviated version of your 2011 annual forecast by Eric Francis. To pre-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)

VIRGO — Always give yourself a third choice. Whether you’re deciding where to go on holiday or looking at a seemingly complex dilemma, if you see two possibilities, create a third. While you’re creating extra possibilities for yourself, meditate on the idea that everyone is learning, you among them. It’s the happy, conscious learners who are the most successful and who make the most out of their experience in the world. One of the most meaningful things we are learning here is how to make choices and see options.

With Chiron entering your opposite sign, Pisces, you may at times have to face an unusual kind of directness in certain intimate partnerships. This may feel like a plunge into intimacy and at other times like you must get serious, and at others like being backed into a corner. If you react defensively, you will validate negative emotions and compound them; if you respond with awareness and creativity you will figure out that in the process, you create your experience of life.

You may occasionally have this feeling of not knowing who is a friend and who is a foe. I would, in this case as in many others, suggest you go for a third option. Your old definitions of ally and enemy have not served you so well, as you’ve shown some extraordinary allegiance to people who have harmed you, and turned your back on those who would help you. In truth the roles that certain individuals take will be more complex than ever, and this will summon an ever-increasing level of discernment. The most valuable kind of discernment is emotional rather than intellectual. You will know who someone is by how you feel in their presence. You will know that a task or goal you set out for yourself is worthwhile because you feel an opening and a pleasant sense of rising to a challenge. The challenge represented by Chiron is always some form of integrity.

Yet it will benefit you immensely if you don’t seek outside validation. Experience that validation when it’s there; see it for what it is; but don’t go after it. Rather, affirm your own talents, your existence, your desires and your dreams. Be the one who comes through with assistance and affirmation for yourself before you expect or even desire anyone else to. Others are eager to support you, but for the moment, the first move is yours.

What you’ve just read is the abbreviated version of your 2011 annual forecast by Eric Francis. To pre-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)

LIBRA — You have yet to discover yourself as the source of traditional wisdom that you are. While most of humanity is busy living in a world that makes no sense, you’ve been cultivating contact with the firm ground of reason and sanity. I realize your life may not always feel like this, but even incidents that provoke you serve to support your goal of mental and emotional grounding. It would be fair to say that your deepest goal is to be emotionally autonomous. This provides a value in itself, and it gives you a sane point of observation when the world around you goes a bit mad.

One thing you are doing is tapping deep into the knowledge of the past. I don’t mean ‘caught in the past’ but rather having access to a rich mine of forgotten ideas that will serve you well, as you bring them into a modern context.

Yet at the same time you may be experiencing something stirring in your ancestral past. Skeletons may be chattering in the closet. Certain members of your family of origin showing their true, and perhaps weird, colors. What you have here is an opportunity for transcendence. You are no longer beholden to their emotional ways, customs or rituals. Let everything in the world be a reminder of who you are.

This year is likely to develop into some unusual, even extraordinary, experiences of relationships. You may not be able to tell right away if something is innovative or disruptive; if the energy is about rebellion or innovation. It may be all of the above, in the most productive and positive sense of the concepts. While you may feel like you have to be forward-thinking to handle what you’re experiencing, remember that in many ways you are practicing time-honored traditions. One of those traditions is about how, in truth, the experiences of human relationships are one long experiment.

The story of human relationships, taken as a whole, is anything but the story of monogamy. In our natural state, we people are tribal, inquisitive, explorers and inventors. If in the midst of any situation you need a reality check, here is a simple one. Can you tell the whole truth about your experience to everyone around you? Can the people you know do so? You are safe where you can be honest. Honesty is a sign of wholeness and the most fertile ground of intimacy and freedom.

What you’ve just read is the abbreviated version of your 2011 annual forecast by Eric Francis. To pre-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)

SCORPIO — While few would call you meek, there is a thin line between a man and a mouse. Remember that if you hear yourself state some of what you want rather than all of it; if you express part of what you feel rather than your actual feeling; or if you censor yourself because you’re worried what someone might think. Speaking from the core of your values will get results — indeed, results far beyond what you ever expected. It’s also true that to the extent that you have not had the results you wanted, you were denying something you know is true at your core.

I recognize that this is an ongoing quest, and yet it takes on particularly strong meaning this year — and will do so increasingly.

One thing you seem to be figuring out is how toxic guilt is. That is a discovery worthy of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry. The question then shifts to: once you get clear about that fact, and you discover that the opposite of guilt is love, what is the most loving action to take? Guilt supports many other seemingly unrelated thought systems and ways of organizing reality. When you divest your loyalty from guilt those thought systems can collapse — that is, within your own psyche, and you may for a moment have the sensation of having no bearings.

You obviously want to make changes in your immediate environment. You need a more passionate, alive and exciting climate in which to work and play. You need the rules of life to reflect current reality rather than what reality is ‘supposed to’ be. Your environment will, over and over, send you this message. It may come in the form of ‘unplanned’ disruption to things that were not working for you. You may discover that you’re extremely restless or fed up with your life and need to try something different. If you do, this experiment will be a potent source of vitality for you. In short, everything about your chart describes a person craving the unfamiliar.

Don’t worry so much about others. They each have their own agenda, and they care less about what you do with your time and energy than you think. But whether you allow yourself to be free comes back to the question of guilt, which is why I suggest you become genuinely clear with yourself about this. Sanity is freedom. You need both.

What you’ve just read is the abbreviated version of your 2011 annual forecast by Eric Francis. To pre-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)

SAGITTARIUS — While most descriptions of your sign cast you as freewheeling and a bit over the top, you know how deeply you adhere to certain core principles that have always served you well. Now those principles are changing as fast as the times in which we live. This is not to say you’re going to fly off the rails, but rather that you don’t need to cling to concepts that have worked for you in the past, and that you are now abundantly ready to let go of.

Just as any tradition must change in order to be alive, one’s personal ethical principles go through an evolutionary process, if we are actually feeling and thinking. For many this means growing more conservative as they get older, which typically means frightened and disgusted. You seem to be growing in precisely the opposite direction — refusing to let fear run your life, and embracing the human condition in total. It’s a great gift that you are big enough a person to do so. In the process you will gain authentic independence from mainstream views that, in truth, seem to serve very few of the people who adhere to them.

Chiron entering Pisces suggests that you are gaining profound sensitivity to your environment. This is true on every level — be it your home environment, the ecology of the planet, or the emotional weather in any situation that surrounds you. Your enhanced sensitivity is likely to have two distinct effects: one is to shift your relationship to your family, in any form that concept takes. Certain things that were bearable will no longer be acceptable. Certain things that are toxic will actually feel that way. And you will seek emotional grounding to a depth that is unusual and in fact may be unprecedented in your life. If you find yourself in an emotional crisis of any kind, remember that. Getting in or even near water will help, be it a bathtub or Lake Tahoe.

This year, take another step toward a highly specific mission. In Western terms we usually call this a career. That’s not necessarily the right word. What I am describing is bigger and more important; it’s a quest that combines your most ‘extreme’ and unusual skills with the single-minded determination that is the hallmark of your sign. What I am describing is not a role and it’s not a job — it’s the thing you came here to do.

What you’ve just read is the abbreviated version of your 2011 annual forecast by Eric Francis. To pre-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)

CAPRICORN — When I was about 22, a friend took me to meet his guru. I had about five minutes with her. We sat down on a yoga mat in a big, empty room. She looked at me and said instantly, “You have maturity. You lack confidence.”

Your charts this year are all about gaining confidence that you may not know you lack. Maturity is something you’ve possessed very nearly forever and could frankly do with a little less of; confidence is a challenge in a world that always seems to have the upper hand. The basis of confidence is within, if we’re to learn anything from the lives of people who have had absolute power but who were totally insecure. You are having to learn this confidence as you go, even as you encounter experiences that keep shaking you up, rattling your sense of identity and in the end, serve to push you out of your shell.

I suggest that you begin to associate confidence with vulnerability. I know that all the common ‘wisdom’ goes the opposite way, that the more piled on with defenses a person is, the more confident they seem (to some). Yet that’s not actually true; it’s an illusion, at best. True confidence arises from being close to your edge, and willing to stay there — and that is a vulnerable place. As you get to that spot where you realize you’re not emotionally secure, slip into it like a hot bath. If you reach the spot where your concept of your identity is crumbling, allow the concept to fall away and your true self to come through.

When you find yourself tasked with a challenge that calls on you to take leadership but don’t necessarily feel qualified, remember that most of leadership is about responding to an authentic calling, and listening to people as much as you might speak to them.

As for being able to do with a bit less maturity: gradually as the years press on, you’re figuring out that a deep element of the meaning of life is your ability to enjoy and appreciate each moment as it passes, each human encounter, each small step toward freedom. That’s what we usually think maturity specifically denies. In the subtle words of the poet Ginsberg, remind yourself: I have become another child. I wake to see the world go wild.

What you’ve just read is the abbreviated version of your 2011 annual forecast by Eric Francis. To pre-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)

AQUARIUS — The inner life of an Aquarian is complex, and I trust that you are finally seeing the need to simplify. These mazes in which you get caught, the ones that have the names of family members scribbled in lipstick or shaving cream all over the mirrors and walls, take up space and wandering through them takes up energy. The thing about a maze is, once you’re in you’re in — so how do you get out?

Well, you can memorize the pattern from within and navigate toward the exit. You could try the psychic equivalent of pushing on one of the walls. If the walls are solid, you can climb on top to change your perspective and look around. You might call out to see if anyone else is in there with you someplace. When you find your way to the exit, keep going in some direction other than back in. Just remember — whatever the maze represents, it was there before you were born, and part of your quest for freedom involves going beyond the drama and futility that certain of your ancestors thought was normal. What is this structure made of? In a word, fear. And you have some awesome incentives for not being caught in something that has served humanity so poorly for so long.

You must know you’re on the cusp of a big advent or adventure. You may have the feeling of having endlessly prepared for something that you are now waiting to have happen. Using birth as a metaphor, you’re at that stage of the process where it’s time to push. Initially this will involve pushing your vision. That might mean writing the first draft of a new concept, rough as it is. This is about taking the initial tangible step toward creating something. Working with imagery will be genuinely helpful: imagery, that is, instead of a concept or idea. Describe in visual detail what you want to create. Don’t worry about how, or what might go wrong — focus on what is affirmative. This may take some daily discipline. Create a space and make it happen.

When, suddenly, the momentum of your life shifts and events proceed faster and more tangibly than you imagined, these drawings or descriptions will prove to be vital. Don’t be surprised if what you actually create far exceeds your initial concept.

What you’ve just read is the abbreviated version of your 2011 annual forecast by Eric Francis. To pre-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)

PISCES — This is going to be an unusual year. I mean that in the best sense of the word. In one of the most touching Sun-sign horoscopes I’ve ever read, Rockie Gardiner in the mid-2000s made a comment to Pisces about how the distances you are crossing are so vast, you may have no sense of where you’re going or whether you’re ever going to arrive. You are now in a phase of arrival. Like most things in astrology, this happens in phases and in layers, though at this time, you are at that point in the process where you actually see and feel the results.

The journey has changed you. Being in a constant confrontation with the unknown, you’ve learned what to do in an environment of uncertainty. That’s been a little like learning to walk across a high wire, which is not such a useful skill until the day comes when you have to walk across a narrow ledge, and then it’s easy. You’ve learned to exist in an environment that is only marginally supportive of who you are. You’ve learned to breathe air instead of water — a good trick for a fish.

And what now? The world taking shape around you is responsive to your ideas. You are able to grasp where people are coming from and respond to them accordingly. It is mysteriously easier to manifest resources. You have some radical ideas, and you can get them going. As regards ideas, don’t just ‘try’ them — become their very embodiment.

The single most significant thing you can take with you as you dance with your transits through 2011 is: be bold about being different. I don’t mean different for its own sake. I mean as different as you are, with courage and curiosity in your heart.

Chiron is going to be the most prominent energy in your chart, and Chiron is always different for a purpose. The most vital skill you can develop is mindfulness. That is the art of being aware from moment to moment, and experiencing life as a constant dynamic between your feelings, your thoughts and your choices. This is also the year to get very good at taking care of your health. I state these things not so much as goals but as essential tools you have unusually direct access to, and can cultivate — tools that will serve you well in the wild and unknown country you are about to enter.

What you’ve just read is the abbreviated version of your 2011 annual forecast by Eric Francis. To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Pisces, please go to this link.


Eric Francis, the founder and editor of Planet Waves, is an astrologer and investigative journalist. He was working in his first job as a municipal newspaper reporter when he discovered that his editor also owned an astrology bookstore. This began a long relationship between astrology and journalism, which has taken Eric through the pages of many newspapers as a horoscope writer, including the Daily Mail and the Daily Mirror plus numerous other venues. Today, Eric covers global turning point events through the lens of astrology. He is a specialist in newly-discovered planets.