Tag Archives: Orius

The Orius New Moon

Dear Friend and Reader:

This past Monday, the Sagittarius New Moon was conjunct a newly discovered centaur planet called Orius. The Moon-Sun conjunction was to the exact degree, which is usually a good moment to suss out some clues regarding what the new point is about. Technically called (330836) Orius, it was discovered on April 25, 2009, and named only recently.

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A centaur is a Chiron-like planet, distinct for being smallish, and with an inclined path that crosses the orbits of other planets. They are much further from the Sun than asteroids, but are still inner Solar System objects, many with orbits going inside Saturn’s realm and only rarely extending beyond Neptune. All centaurs focus or intensify experience, are related to healing processes and bring what Carl Jung called shadow material to the surface. If used consciously, they are some of the best creative fuel available.

Orius was discovered at 3+ Scorpio, exactly opposite the Chiron discovery degree. It has an orbit of just over 100 years, so it has another close resonance with Chiron, whose orbit is just over 50 years. I prefer to publish something about these points before a potentially once-in-a-lifetime event such as a New Moon conjunct the new discovery, but this time I got going on my research the weekend before it happened. [To read an article on how newly-discovered minor planets are delineated, check this PDF.]

I had some excellent help on the project. At one end of Europe, in Wales, Tracy Delaney, the programmer and author of Serennu.com (recently rated the best astrology secret on the web), went to work researching the charts in which this point appears, and helping come up with a delineation. At the other end of Europe, in Finland, Kirsti Melto, a minor planet researcher and Planet Waves blogger, began searching for personal and event charts connected to Orius.

Orius turned up as a prominent influence in the charts of Bill Gates and Steve Jobs (who both have it conjunct Eris and the Moon), Pablo Picasso, James Dean, French surrealist poet Arthur Rimbaud, American rock star and surrealist poet Jim Morrison (who said he was the reincarnation of Rimbaud), Edward Snowden and Julian Assange. In many ways their lives have defined eras of history, taking their professional lives to the level of profound cultural contribution.

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All of these men are or were unusually influential people — bold innovators, each of whom changed the world in some significant way, all of whom as young men. Note, no women came up on our rapid survey, but that sometimes happens because astrology birth databases often have far fewer women than men. That is an issue that needs to be addressed.

This new centaur planet is also prominent in the life history of Malcolm X, and one of my very favorite Supreme Court decisions, the one that bans politicians from suing newspapers for libel, New York Times Co. v. Sullivan. Orius seems to have an affinity for top-notch iconoclastic art, social justice and activists who don’t take any bullshit.

Orius also turned up in the chart of Nelson Mandela, the first black president of South Africa, who reunified the country after many decades under the Apartheid regime. Orius seems to have an affinity for the Moon and Jupiter in the charts of influential people; in Mandela’s chart Jupiter is opposing it (accurate to a tiny fraction of a degree) and many other planets are in aspect to it.

The forced separation of blacks and whites in South Africa was one of the great blights on the world, and one of the most important political issues of the 1970s and early 1980s. Apartheid was largely brought down by activists who demanded that one institution after the next — banks, universities, corporations, pension funds, cities, towns, states, countries, whatever — divest their funds from anyone doing business with South Africa.

After being enriched for decades by numerous capitalist entities, Apartheid was, under public pressure, finally starved of money and died not a day too soon.

Through all of this, South Africa’s most compelling leader, Nelson Mandela, was in prison, first on Robben Island, then Pollsmoor Prison, then Victor Verster Prison. Under global pressure he was finally released in 1990. He served as president of the African National Congress from 1991 to 1997, and as president of South Africa from May 1994 through June 1999.

It is fair to say that he has become one of the most respected men of our extended era of history, for his contribution to peace, for his wisdom and compassion and for his willingness to endure hardship and oppression. First arrested in 1962, he served nearly a third of his long life in prison, much of it doing hard labor and in solitary confinement. While at Robben Island, he was permitted one letter and one visitor every six months.

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Throughout that time, he and his fellow inmates took part in work and hunger strikes as part of the anti-Apartheid struggle.

Planet Waves copy editor and horoscope coordinator Jessica Keet grew up in South Africa until she was 23. “I for sure knew nothing of the apartheid struggle or not in depth anyway,” she said Thursday — something I had not considered, that young caucasian people were not told what was going on around them.

But still as a schoolgirl she remembers writing FREE MANDELA on her pencil case. She admired Mandela in part because “he came out of 27 years in jail with no trace of bitterness whatsoever.”

“In a way I had never quite comprehended before, I realized the role I could play in court and the possibilities before me as a defendant,” he said in 1994, describing how he handled his trial.

“I was the symbol of justice in the court of the oppressor, the representative of the great ideals of freedom, fairness and democracy in a society that dishonoured those virtues. I realized then and there that I could carry on the fight even in the fortress of the enemy.”

In his inaugural speech the same year, he said, “The task at hand will not be easy. But you have mandated us to change South Africa from a country in which the majority lived with little hope, to one in which they can live and work with dignity, with a sense of self-esteem and confidence in the future.”

Nelson Mandela’s natal chart is noteworthy mostly for its sensitivity. He was born with the Sun in Cancer, the Moon in Scorpio and Eris in late Pisces. There are not a lot of people left on the planet who have Eris in Pisces (nearly everyone has it in Aries, where it still is today).

Also in Cancer is a conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto, one of my favorite pairings, which I call the Golden Thread aspect. It gives a thirst for social justice as well as the ability to translate fluently among and between any spiritual or religious paths. Jupiter and Pluto were opposed by Orius, which distinguished Mandela as an innovator. Mars in Libra square that alignment illustrates a fighting spirit, but done in a beautiful way, in the spirit of Libra.

In the mix (also in Libra, very closely square Jupiter and Orius) is one of the first-discovered centaurs, called Asbolus, which I describe as the survivor. Its name means carbon dust, and people with strong Asbolus in their charts seem able to withstand very nearly any adversity, dust themselves off and get on with their lives.

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Nelson Mandela, with his wife, Winnie, walks to freedom after 27 years in prison on Feb. 11, 1990, in Cape Town.

This arrangement, finally, is squared by a Chiron-Nessus conjunction, in Aries, right near the Aries Point. Mandela had a lot of centaurs working with his Mars, Jupiter and Pluto. No wonder he was a powerhouse, and one who seemed to understand everyone and everything.

He also has clusters of planets in Gemini and Leo, which describe how articulate, self-aware and strong he was — and which hint that his wisdom was coming from someplace long ago and far away.

We might say that the world has lost a beautiful soul in Nelson Mandela, though it’s more appropriate to say that such a person came here, and was not afraid to do his bit.

At some point in the 1990s, a quotation from Marianne Williamson’s book A Return to Love was incorrectly attributed to Mandela, supposedly as part of his inaugural address. Williamson has said she has no idea where the story came from, though in the end, these words always seem to evoke the spirit of Nelson Mandela and I think they always will.

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world.

“There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people will not feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

So be it.


Note to Sagittarians and Sagg Rising — I have completed your birthday reading. It’s now available for instant access.

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


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Jupiter Trine Saturn: Putting Emotional Stability to Use

Note, I covered in some detail the current sign changes of Mercury and Mars as well as the Jupiter-Saturn trine in Wednesday’s blog entry. — efc

Amidst the excitement of Mercury finally leaving Scorpio for Sagittarius this past Wednesday, and Mars entering Libra on Saturday, a cooperative trine aspect has been building between Jupiter and Saturn, and is offering some incredibly useful emotional stability.

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Photo by Amanda Painter.

If life in recent months has been at turns exciting, confusing or simply moving too fast to comprehend, it could be easy to take something like emotional stability for granted. By all means, enjoy it; but we do not live in an era when we can rest on our laurels — or the astrology — for long.

In fact, this trine between retrograde Jupiter in Cancer and Saturn in Scorpio is about more than just ease in the more fluid parts of ourselves. Jupiter trine Saturn is an aspect to put to work for you. It represents judgment and practicality, inner and outer, working together in a way that can allow you to project into the future your goals and desires, and then work toward them with genuine willingness — and to measurable effect.

In water signs, which represent our emotional bodies, this translates into the ideal time to focus on whatever therapy/counseling/healing goals you have. Especially with Cancer and Scorpio involved, consider issues around how you feel about your home, nurturing others, your mother, being a mother, sex, death, surrender, transformation and any blocks or resistance you have around money. That’s a pretty broad net; there’s a good chance at least one of those topics is ringing a bell or raising your hackles.

The Jupiter-Saturn trine is exact just before 7:31 pm EST on Dec. 12. It will still be in effect a good while after that, but then Jupiter and Saturn will not trine each other again until late May. After that, Jupiter and Saturn will not be trine in a water sign until 2034, when Jupiter is in Pisces and Saturn is in Cancer.

So for the next week or two, see what you can do to get clear on your top one to three goals for emotional/therapeutic exploration, domestic restructuring, sexual evolution (whatever that means to you) or gaining better financial control in your life. These are all high-trigger areas for many people. And while there is distinct benefit to allowing ourselves to be present in our most extreme and unstable (and therefore frightening) emotions, there’s something to be said for the inner work that can get done when you’re not constantly in reaction mode or crisis mode or fear.

Interestingly, at the moment that Jupiter-Saturn is exact next week, the Sun is conjunct Pholus in Sagittarius and approaching the core of our galaxy. Sometimes setting off a ‘chain reaction’ or a ‘big effect with a small cause’ can have its rewards. Putting therapeutic projects in motion in a context of emotional stability is one of those times — especially with a Sagittarius Sun and the Galactic Core drawing our consciousness toward levels beyond ‘normal’.

Written by Amanda Painter.


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Worse Than Slavery?* Eh, Not So Much

Last Sunday marked the administration’s self-imposed deadline for repairing the Healthcare.gov website, an effort that seems to have largely succeeded. In the first two days after the repairs were declared complete, the site saw roughly 29,000 new enrollments — about 2,000 more than took place during the entire month of November.

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At a Virginia health fair earlier this fall, a woman inquires about Obamacare. Photo: Jonathan Alcorn/Reuters.

This comes amid a backdrop of emergent truth: the website and the law itself may not be the sensible single-payer plan most progressives would prefer, but many of the worst horror stories associated with its introduction have been revealed to be lies, exaggerations, or the results of underhanded dealings not by the Obama administration but by insurance companies.

In the initial weeks following the launch, site crashes and slow-loading pages caused considerable annoyance to friends and foes alike. Even this, however, has come to look tarnished as a right-wing talking point following revelations that the site experienced 16 cyber-attacks, many conducted with a software attack tool entitled “Destroy Obama Care” that was passed around among right-wingers.

In other horror tales, many people received cancellation notices of their existing insurance plans and were told that higher-priced substitutes were their only options. Some of these stories were discredited when it was revealed that the prospective enrollees could actually get better coverage under the Affordable Care Act; it also became clear that the policies being cancelled did not meet all ACA requirements.

The whole issue was somewhat defused by Obama’s announcement that those who wanted to keep such plans could do so for another year. “We’re not going back,” the president declared on Tuesday, doubling down on an effort to switch the dialogue from tales of woe to success stories.

Insurance companies and conservatives have come to look just a bit silly in their mass freak-out over a law that, progressives point out, they themselves helped to craft.

*Dr. Ben Carson, a conservative African-American neurosurgeon and contributor to FOX News, actually compared the ACA to slavery in October.

Ukrainian Protests Grow Amid Increasing Support

Many thousands of Ukrainians have been demonstrating in Kiev’s Independence Square, in protest of their government’s decision not to sign an open trade agreement with the European Union. Ukrainian special police forces have attempted to crush the uprising with violence — most recently on Sunday, landing dozens of demonstrators and some journalists in the hospital, but demonstrators soon took the square back, employing mace and even a bulldozer in their resistance.

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Protesters pack a square in Kiev, Ukraine. Photo: AP.

The Kiev uprising is the largest of a wave of protests across the country, leading some to speculate about a second Orange Revolution, referring to the 2004 protests that deposed a prime minister. Three post-Soviet Russian presidents have come out in support of the protesters, and on Wednesday they were visited by German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who told them that “the gates of the European Union are still open.”

The situation highlights the struggle over the allegiance of the Ukraine, which was the second-largest economy of the Soviet Union before that nation’s dissolution. Ukraine has a strong heavy-industry sector but imports most of its oil and natural gas; the struggle to control those imports, which currently come from Russia, is key to the current conflict.

The Russian government has urged Western countries to stay out of the conflict, which the pro-Moscow Ukrainian government has characterized as a “coup attempt.” Russian president Vladimir Putin has gone farther and styled the dissent as a “pogrom.” So far, all the attempts at suppression have brought still more Ukrainians into the streets. Ukrainian expatriates and their allies are planning solidarity actions in St. Paul, Minnesota, this weekend.


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Mystery Surrounding Cause of Arafat’s Death Continues

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat’s widow said on Tuesday a secret French medical report found that her husband died of natural causes nine years ago, contradicting Swiss findings last month that said he had been poisoned by radioactive polonium-201. However, an intelligence source told Planet Waves that the newer report could be a diversion and was not necessarily true.

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Dec. 3, 2013: Suha Arafat, left, flanked by her French lawyer Pierre Olivier Sur, attend a press conference in Paris, France, on Tuesday. Photo: AP.

The report, part of a French investigation, found evidence of above-average levels of the poison, but said this can be explained by a natural source in the environment contaminating the body, Suha Arafat told a news conference.

Her attorney said even though the report is secret, she was at liberty to announce what she was told about it.

Planet Waves reported last month on the findings from Switzerland’s University Center for Legal Medicine, which suggested strongly that Arafat had died from ingesting polonium. The Swiss team acknowledged that their work was hindered by the lack of biological samples from Arafat and the corruption of some evidence over the past nine years, but they stand by their findings, according to a spokesperson.


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GM Study Retracted Amid Questionable Practices

Late last month, the scientific journal Food and Chemical Toxicology retracted the controversial University of Caen rat study article, published in November 2012, wherein rats fed NK603 maize and Roundup displayed toxic effects, higher mortality and increased tumor rates. It was one of the most critical studies to date of the effects of GM products.

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One of Prof. Gilles-Eric Seralini’s rats, which grew tumors after a Roundup and GMO corn diet. Photo: GMO Seralini.

The journal cited a “legitimate cause for concern” with both the low number of animals used and the particular strain of rat selected. It deemed the results inconclusive, and beneath the threshold of publication for the journal.

This came after an orchestrated campaign to discredit the study in the media and persuade the journal to retract it, GreenMedInfo.com reported.

Turns out, however, that Monsanto used the very same number of animals and strain of rat in an attempt to prove the safety of NK603 maize and Roundup in their studies, some of which were published in FCT, according to a statement by Professor Gilles-Eric Seralini, the head of the University of Caen study.

“A factual comparative analysis of the rat feeding trial by the Seralini group and the Monsanto trials clearly reveals that if the Seralini experiments are considered to be insufficient to demonstrate harm, logically, it must be the same for those carried out by Monsanto to prove safety,” Seralini said.

“Basically, all previous studies finding adverse effects of GE crops have been treated by regulators with the attitude: only those studies showing adverse effects receive a rigorous evaluation of their experimental and statistical methods, while those that claim proof of safety are taken at face value. All studies that reported no adverse effects were accepted as proof of safety regardless of these manifest (but deemed irrelevant) deficiencies of their methods.”

As if this particular rat didn’t smell bad enough, FCT hired earlier this year an ex-Monsanto employee, Richard E. Goodman, to fill a new editorial position reviewing biotech papers. Goodman, a professor at the Food Allergy Research and Resource Program, University of Nebraska, worked at Monsanto from 1997 to 2004, where he assessed the allerginicity and safety of GM crops and published papers on its behalf.

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Prof. Gilles-Eric Seralini in 2009 with some Roundup, which he fed to rats and which is made by Monsanto. Photo: M. Daniau.

“Goodman had no documented connection to the journal until February 2013,” the GreenMedInfo.com article states. “His fast-tracked appointment, directly onto the upper editorial board, raises urgent questions. Does Monsanto now effectively decide which papers on biotechnology are published in FCT? And is this part of an attempt by Monsanto and the life science industry to seize control of science?”

It would not be the first attempt. In the film The World According to Monsanto, Marie-Monique Robin showed how Dr. Arpad Pusztai’s career ended when he revealed on British TV that the GM potato caused organ damage and precancerous cell growth in rats.

How many more attempts will it take before those in the scientific ivory tower reject Monsanto’s strategy of planting former employees in influential positions to advance its interests? Science used rightly is a tremendous tool for improving our lives; used wrongly it has the same capacity to destroy. A discussion on scientific ethics is long overdue and desperately needed; our food supply hangs in the balance.


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In Japan, the Solution to Pollution is Censorship

Freedom of press may soon be a thing of the past in Japan. The Designated Secrets Bill was passed by the influential lower house of Parliament last Tuesday, and is expected to glide through the upper house later this month.

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In Tokyo, a spectator at a special Parliamentary hearing in which legislation was voted on that would impose stiffer penalties on those who leak information and journalists who seek it. The sign says, “Information is for people. It is rough-and-ready to deliberate at the Diet.” Photo: Kyodo News.

The bill enables the government to declare information secret when touching on topics of national security, such as defense and anti-terrorism policy. It mandates a severe 10-year prison sentence on journalists found guilty of defying these restrictions, and it also allows police to raid media organizations and seize content.

Japan says it’s passing the law to honor the demands of the United States, which wants to share more secrets with Japan — in the era of Julian Assange, Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

The proposed law would ensure that Japanese officials have unchecked authority to prevent the release of vital information. Considering their refusal to disclose pertinent radiation data in the past two years, the pending law could legalize a system of bureaucratic propaganda.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe intends to strengthen Japan’s state secrets law to tighten control and persuade the U.S. to share military intelligence. Abe’s goal is to revise Japan’s anti-war constitution and to move toward a more fully developed military.

Critics argue that the definition of “secrets” is too vague, and will threaten the constitutional rights of the Japanese people. The bill lacks any provisions for checks and balances — for example, no committee or review board to determine what is deemed secret. In a country where information is often already far from transparent, people fear this could be a move toward dictatorship.

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Protestor against secrecy law is removed from the lower house of Parliament. Photo: Toru Hanai/Reuters.

In a recent Reuters report, Sophia University political science professor Koichi Nakano states that governmental cover-up may be the real purpose of Abe’s bill. Japanese officials are embarrassed by the mishandling of Fukushima Daiichi, and do not want this information clouding the country’s image.

“As things stand, the state gets a more or less free hand in deciding what constitutes a state secret and it can potentially keep things secret forever,” Nakano said.

This poses an imminent threat to public safety, particularly in regard to nuclear fallout from Fukushima. The government has already been reticent in releasing data on radiation pollution since the March 2011 disaster. This bill gives the government a monopoly on relevant information, taking away people’s rights to protect themselves.

During the Fukushima disaster, residents blindly fled straight into the path of the radioactive plume, due to the government’s failure to disclose the forecast of that material. Mayor Tamotsu Baba, of the evacuated town Namie, refers to the negligence of prompt prediction by SPEEDI (System for Prediction of Environmental Emergency Dose Information) resulting in failed efforts to protect their people.

At the General Meeting of the International Olympic Committee, Abe claimed that the Fukushima accident was under control. Soon it was revealed that the situation was far from controlled, and hundreds of tons of radioactive water continued to flow into the ocean each day.


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TEPCO: All is Ducky with Fukushima Unit 4 Fuel Removal

Removal of fuel from the Unit 4 building of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan has so far not encountered any serious problems, the utility that owns the plant says.
According to TEPCO, 44 out of 1,533 assemblies have been successfully removed from the fuel pool on the 5th floor of the earthquake-damaged building.

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Several weeks ago, Planet Waves described the unprecedented fuel removal process, which is one of the most dangerous maneuvers in the history of nuclear power. One small mishap could result in the fuel reaching critical mass, or burning, spreading the contamination globally and rendering the entire facility unreachable by humans for millennia.

Twenty-two out of 202 unused fuel assemblies and 22 out of 1,331 used assemblies have been safely transferred to fuel racks in the common pool, an on-site storage facility. The transfer of the second set of 22 assemblies was completed last Saturday at 5 pm JST.

Because the fuel removal is so dangerous, and presents many engineering challenges, it could be well over a year before the rest of the fuel is out of the storage pond. Full decommissioning of the plant could take 40 years. A major quake could cause the whole building to collapse.

Media coverage and details on the fuel removal have been sparse, both in the United States and Japan.

Elsewhere on the facility, seemingly endless problems and obstacles have persisted with a hydrochloric acid leak in a pipe joint from one of the three Advanced Liquid Processing Systems — water treatment systems used to filter radiation from the water accumulating at the plant.

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TEPCO’s low-tech solution was to wrap a vinyl bag over it and call it good. The system was in trial operation and was scheduled to go into full swing Sunday, but the leak prompted the shutdown of the entire system instead.

However, the acid leak may be the least of concerns. The supposed nuclear watchdog, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), recently spent 10 days at the nuclear facility to assess TEPCO’s progress. The IAEA team praised the progress so far, but admitted the complexity of the situation and the long road ahead.

They also concluded that more toxic water should be dumped into the Pacific Ocean, on top of the 300 tons per day of contaminated groundwater leaking into the ocean, according to Juan Carlos Lentijo, who led the IAEA team.

“Controlled discharge is a regular practice in all the nuclear facilities in the world. And what we are trying to say here … is to consider this as one of the options to contribute to a good balance of risks and to stabilize the facility for the long term.”

Nuclear experts agree that eventually such controlled discharges will be inevitable, as the on-site storage of contaminated water [thousands of tons, stored on-site in shoddy containers] becomes increasingly unsustainable. But the idea has come up against strong opposition from local fisherman, other countries and environmental groups.

The IAEA stated that the water must be decontaminated and released in compliance with authorized limits. However, the treatment of the water fails to remove tritium, a radionuclide considered less dangerous than cesium or strontium. The IAEA’s full report of the inspection and assessment will be released by the end of January 2014.

Graphics above are by an anonymous Japanese street artist raising awareness of the environmental impact of Fukushima radiation. His artwork is transferred onto stickers and placed throughout Tokyo. To see the full gallery, visit this link. Reuters recently published an article on the artist.

Fracking Resistance Growing

Protests against shale gas exploration and fracking in New Brunswick were literally on fire as of last Monday, as a resistance movement spearheaded by indigenous Mi’kMaq leaders squared off with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

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Leonard Higgins, a climate justice activist, locks his arms around part of a tar sands “megaload” transport vehicle. Photo courtesy Portland Rising Tide.

The protests against Houston-based SWN Resources Canada have resulted in multiple arrests and increasing popular support from a wide cross section of New Brunswick residents.

Liberals in the Canadian parliament are pushing for a fracking ban, but New Brunswick courts have taken the side of SWN. Protesters have responded by blockading a section of highway, burning tires and dancing and singing as they repeatedly inform the media that they’re not going anywhere. Demonstrations in solidarity took place across Canada on Monday.

In Oregon, indigenous activists from the Umatilla Reservation working with members of 350.org and Rising Tide have been blockading their highway against “megaloads” of Canadian tar sands extraction equipment.

And in Romania, police have had to forcibly remove dozens of villagers who camped for two months in peaceful protest on a field slated for fracking exploration by U.S. energy mega-corporation Chevron.


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HIV Laws: When Not Telling Is a Crime, But Not Knowing Is Normal

Did you know that 35 U.S. states have laws on the books making it illegal to expose another person to HIV if you are infected, even if there was no transmission of the virus? And that doing so is a felony in 29 states? Or that a person can take active steps to protect a partner from HIV, and still be sentenced to more jail time than many murderers and rapists?

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At least 35 states have criminal laws that punish HIV-positive people for exposing others to the virus, even if they take precautions. See a summary of each state’s laws and responses.

ProPublica, in collaboration with Buzzfeed, this week published an extensive investigative article on the existence of what many believe to be outdated (and even counterproductive) laws surrounding HIV transmission and disclosure, including the history of such laws, how they get misused.

The investigation included an in-depth profile of Nick Rhoades — an Iowa man originally sentenced to 25 years in prison for not disclosing his status to a partner; the sentence was reduced to five years’ probation. Rhoades must remain registered as a sex offender. (Adam Plendl, the partner, did not contract HIV, and both men claim a condom was used.)

Beginning in 1987, shortly after AIDS and HIV were named and brought into public awareness, the first law against intentionally exposing a person to HIV without their “knowing and lawful consent” hit the books in Louisiana. Georgia followed suit the next year, with no mention of “intent.”

At the time, there was a problem with people who had tested HIV positive proceeding to have unprotected sex with others. One study published in the American Journal of Public Health documented as many as one in three such people had unprotected sex even after getting their test results and having the transmission issues explained.

From there, HIV/AIDS criminalization efforts appeared in federal lawmaking discussions. ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council — a conservative non-profit group that drafts draconian legislation for states (for example, ‘stand your ground’ laws) — published prototype statutes in 1989 on HIV/AIDS issues. Among the model legislation was a bill called “HIV Assault Act,” which a number of states used in drafting laws still on the books.

In the 500 cases of people pleading guilty to or being convicted with HIV-specific laws since 2003 that ProPublica collected in its research, only four were aimed at protecting blood and organ supplies. That was the original concern in passing most such laws in the first place.

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Nick Rhoades talks at a PITCH meeting in Waterloo, Iowa, in November. PITCH (Positive Iowans Taking Charge) is a support group for people living with HIV. Rhoades is currently on probation for criminal transmission of HIV. Photo: Stephen Mally.

Focus seems to have shifted, however, in how law enforcement and the courts use the laws. That shift has been creating another layer in the atmosphere of fear that already surrounds HIV — and contributes to ignorance and silence around knowing one’s status.

HIV is no longer the immanent death sentence it once was, but the stigma and fear continue — now aided by social media and exacerbated by law enforcement officials taking over the role perhaps best handled by public health authorities, who argue that criminalization laws as worded and as used only serve to undermine their efforts to convince people to get tested. If you know your status, you can be held legally culpable for not disclosing it.

As one astute commenter stated on the ProPublica site, “What we’ve learned in 30 years of this epidemic is that NOT talking is what spreads HIV. Those of you advocating punishment are advocating the spread of HIV.

“Ultimately what has to be said is that everyone who is not HIV positive is responsible for their own health, because you can’t know if the next person you’re having sex with is positive or not — because they don’t know! This is not ‘blame the victim’ but it is a letting-go of the victim-consciousness that rules our legal system. As long as we think there are ‘blameless victims’ we are not assigning responsibility for ending the epidemic where it belongs.”


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Motor City Stalls Out, Bankruptcy Sets Precedent for Cutting Pensions

Detroit, Michigan — once the fourth-largest city in the United States and now 18th — was declared by a federal judge Tuesday to be eligible for bankruptcy. Known as the Motor City, its automobile industry once birthed the middle class; now it faces approximately $18 billion in debt, including $3.5 billion in pension obligations and $6 billion in health care costs.

Unions are big in Detroit, but they may not be big enough to stave off cuts to those pensions as the city figures out how to restructure itself. An average Detroit pensioner receives $19,000, which doesn’t leave much wiggle room for cuts. The problem here is not local. Detroit, rather, is seen as a test project for many other cities facing budget issues and the ongoing burden of pensions.

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Protesters in Detroit point out that slashing pensions is a giveaway to the city and to the banks. Photo: James Fassinger.

Another part of the plan to regain solvency could involve selling off assets such as public utilities and the Detroit Institute of Arts collection to private bidders, but that would raise only chump change in contrast with the city’s problems. Meanwhile, plans to build a nearly half-billion dollar hockey arena for the Detroit Red Wings, at the taxpayers’ expense, are going forward.

Detroit was already struggling financially when the 2008 recession struck a devastating blow to its housing market. At this point, about one third of the city’s 700,000 residents live in poverty, amidst insufficient services and record levels of violent crime.

However, most news outlets are not covering the role of state government in Detroit’s current situation.

In an interview Wednesday on Democracy Now! Wallace Turbeville, senior fellow at Demos and a former Goldman Sachs executive who worked in 1990 to help prevent the city’s credit rating from getting downgraded, explained more.
Kevyn Orr, Detroit’s emergency manager, was appointed against the wishes of the popular vote after the Michigan state legislature and the office of the governor swung far to the right politically in 2010, and passed a law allowing the state to appoint an emergency manager for a city.

An emergency manager is allowed to “basically become a dictator in that city for the duration of any financial crisis,” according to Turbeville.

Turbeville describes tension between the large urban cities in Michigan — which are predominantly African-American, Democrat and high in trade union membership — and the more conservative areas of the rest of the state as a factor in the motives of the largely Tea Party government.

“From a political standpoint, it serves the interest of Governor Snyder and his party to actually undercut the role of trade unions, because they’re the ones that are institutions opposed to his political viewpoint,” says Turbeville.

Whatever the motivations, the people of Detroit have a long, hard road ahead of them — and other large U.S. cities struggling with their revenue now know that the door is open to slash pensions.


Planet Waves

Planet Waves

The Beauty of Data: Surprising Time-Lapse of Protests

Anyone really getting into the global manifestations of the Uranus-Pluto square and other astrological events linked to activism, citizen unrest and political protest, take note: Penn State doctoral candidate John Beieler created a time-lapse animated visualization of every protest on the planet since 1979. You know how the 1970s are categorized as highly charged, politically? Just wait till the map really gets going in the late 1990s with protests against globalization — and then in the last couple years with the Occupy Movement, environmental actions and more.


Planet Waves

Orius New Moon, Mercury and Mars change signs

Link to program.

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I talk about the New Moon conjunct the newly discovered centaur planet Orius, which appears prominently in the charts of many innovators, including Steve Jobs, Ed Snowden and Julian Assange. I also cover Mercury ingressing Sagittarius and Mars ingressing Libra. Additionally, I give a rant on Obamacare and talk about the chart of the Metro-North train wreck. My musical guest is Hudson Valley-based Sasha Pearl, an extraordinary artist whose work you can explore on her website. For additional resources and the chart, please see the full post.


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


Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

We published the extended monthly horoscope for December Friday, Nov. 29. Inner Space for November was published Friday, Nov. 1. We published Moonshine for the Taurus Full Moon Tuesday, Nov. 12. Moonshine for the Sagittarius New Moon was published Tuesday, Nov. 26. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign; Inner Space usually publishes the following Tuesday.


Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Dec. 6, 2013, #978 | By Eric Francis

This is an Oracle edition of the horoscope — the sign readings have been selected from the archives by our Oracle program, one of the favorite subscriber features we offer. Regular horoscopes will resume next week.

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You are experiencing far too much anxiety for your own good. Worrying will not get the job done, besides which, you cannot rightly expect anything much to resolve itself with the planets in their current state. So please stop worrying. You are only wasting precious energy you could be allocating to sitting under a tree or hiding in the back of your favorite cafe scribbling in your notebook. I can assure you that as the next four weeks progress, each issue you are dealing with will resolve itself one by one. This will not be by magic, but miracles that arise from love, not fear.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Ideas, revelations, solutions and numerous projects are flying circles around your head like jetliners around LAX. I suggest you let them land one at a time. No matter what you feel, you can’t actually do more than one thing at once. But you can do one thing at a time extremely effectively, and you can do it with a level of mastery quite beyond your years or experience. In fact the current moment is an opportunity to do some of the best work of your life. So keep burning the midnight oil.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — When my grandfather was working as a letter carrier in New York City, he was approached by a colleague with an idea: each would put up about $50 and they would have a pushcart where they would sell bagels with cream cheese, filled with crushed nuts. My grandfather thought it was too risky to get involved. The business became Chock Full o’ Nuts, and unfortunately, I am not one of its heirs. There really is no telling what’s a potentially lucrative venture in our time in history, but for your part, it needs to be more than a good idea. You must set out to make your fortunes not just in something you think will work, but in what you know will serve the community in a vital way that depends on your unique constellation of talents. You know it’s possible.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — There are two potent influences working in your solar chart this week. One is giving you a profound sense of certainty; the other, a troubling sense of doubt. You may wonder how these two factors can coexist simultaneously. You may wonder which to listen to; indeed, which is the truth. But I suggest you not rush or push for an answer. You need to look at the alternatives you face. Moreover, you need to understand the source of your doubts about yourself. When you catch a glimpse of that factor, a lot of things will make a lot more sense.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — A relationship is looking for some extra space within your household or living space. This may account for the pressure you’re feeling. It’s not enough to clear things up on the mental or emotional levels; the physical plane needs a lot of attention these days, and in your life right now that means freeing up a room or finding a space to spend time where there is enough room to have some freedom and uninterrupted time. The emotional challenges still persist — but will be easier in a clean, well-lighted place.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — In Western culture only rarely do we seem to get beyond the equation “you are what you do.” But how far from the truth is that? Yes, doing can exist on several levels, for example, as affirmation of what you know, or denial of it. You seem intent to make your reputation in the world and you are poised to succeed in a very big way. You have likely heard hints or seen glimpses of what is possible, and you may be wondering whether you deserve the recognition, the privilege and the authority that you feel coming. There is no question here. Remember what you’ve endured, stay close to the raw emotional vulnerability that unleashed your potential, and remember that you’ve managed to keep your faith up till the moment it needs you most.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — There are certain people who when some worldly power is vested in them immediately strive to establish their position and make all kinds of changes. That would be ill advised right now. I suggest you take an approach that combines “wait and see” with the kind of leadership that stays focused on maintaining some continuity for a while. As recent events have demonstrated you don’t know everything and people are not going to tell you everything. Eventually you’ll find out everything you need to know but the operative word is eventually. So take your time to find out who your real allies are and solve important problems as they arise.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Mercury recently making its way across Scorpio while so much else was currently happening in that sign is offering you a chance to learn quite a lot about the people closest to you, and to serve a function in their healing process. But healing is always a mutual experience, and a mutual reward. The law of grace demonstrates (among other things) that we can actually give what we don’t have, and yet it’s always a good idea to receive that very gift while we’re passing it on. What you have to offer these days is a measure of solidity, clarity and fullness that may have proven elusive in recent days. You’re in a great position to learn something from yourself.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.



Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Imagine you’re standing between two mirrors. You want to see the front of you and the back of you at the same time. But you’re in the way, no matter how you do it, and you’re starting to get frustrated. What would happen if you got out of the way and allowed the mirrors to reflect one another? That would open up a seemingly infinite space, into which you could see in two distinct directions. Now, observe that this is all a metaphor. The ‘body’ is your ego consciousness; your sense of ‘I’. The mirrors may be two philosophies, two situations, two people, or most likely of all, your ongoing confrontation between the past and the future. If you get out of the way, they can have an authentic dialog. You’ll be able to make subtle adjustments and see their perspectives accurately. You’ll be able to feel your way down the two time tunnels, and sense which is the most authentically you.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — When the rewards for all your hard work the past couple of years arrive they’re unlikely to be quite what you were expecting. Often the personal benefit of being in service is the opportunity to be of even greater service. So get used to it. Is this not exactly what you’ve been asking the universe for? What’s worth noting is that you’re being called upon to help in ways that only you can. You’ve built a reputation to a great extent on this fact alone. Success is no longer a matter of whether you fit in; it’s a matter of being entirely willing to play your precise role on the great stage of life. As such you can indulge fully in the experience; you can take every advantage that comes to you; you can afford to take a few risks.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Aquarians share a reputation, whether deserved or not, for being some of the most revolutionary people in the world, though also some of the most practical. I would encourage you not to compromise and think you have to be one way or the other right now. It turns out that the most innovative choice you can make or idea you can create has enormous practical value that will only increase with time. Yet it’s true that you need to cast aside all your brittle beliefs about what is possible or impossible, and go straight for what you know you want, or better still, what you know must be. Then, make it so.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — People are watching, and noticing. Let’s just say that invisible is the last word I would use to describe your condition right now. So make your comments, your actions and your decisions count. The main risk you face is burning out on your own energy, so pace yourself, and before you do anything, ask if it really needs to be done, and what else might be more important. It may well be impossible to balance what seem to be personal needs against professional ones, but at the moment, professional is very, very personal.

Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Pre-order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It’s a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also pre-order individual signs for $19.95 here.


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Astrology on the Most Personal Level

Planet Waves

Dominick’s Café, on a rainy morning in Kingston, NY. Photo by Eric Francis.

Dear Friend and Reader:

We are again in one of those moments when the world seems to be coming unhinged — as we’ve gone through this week’s news items, it’s really impressive how much pain and struggle there is going on. That said, there seemed to be some progress on immigration reform and gun control, which if they stick, is nothing less than a miracle. Pres. Obama’s nominee for defense secretary believes we need fewer nuclear bombs. Go figure.

Meanwhile, the astrology is pointing in a distinctly personal and introspective direction. Planets that are prominent in the charts include the Sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars, as well as a centaur planet called Nessus. This began last weekend with the conjunction of Mars and Nessus in Aquarius, which has gone a long way to bring emotional and sexual shadow material to the surface of awareness, and instigate some real discussions.

Planet Waves
The northward-flowing Coxing Kill in midwinter, on the Grandmother Land in Ulster County, NY. Photo by Eric Francis.

The main event is Mercury making a conjunction to Nessus, which is about learning to speak the unspeakable. Nessus represents all that is denied, and Mercury represents what we think about and communicate to others. We are in an extended moment of truth, where the ice that is caked over the ability to communicate real feelings is, at least for now, beginning to thaw.

Before I get into that, let’s start with Imbolc, which is the Sun crossing the midpoint of the sign Aquarius. That’s exact Monday at 11:13 am EST. In the Northern Hemisphere, this is the halfway mark of winter, midway between the Capricorn solstice and the Aries equinox. It’s one of the cross-quarter days, related to Beltane and Halloween. We get a cross-quarter day any time we’re halfway between an equinox and a solstice. They always fall when the Sun is in a fixed sign.

Imbolc is not the beginning of spring; rather, it’s winter gradually losing its hold on the environment up north as the Earth’s angle seems to draw the Sun in our direction. As with all the cross-quarter days, a diversity of holidays are gathered around the Celtic feast of Imbolc (which means “in the belly” or “in the milk,” a reference to being surrounded by darkness). The Catholics call it Candlemas, which actually preserves a link to the original intent of this holiday season — it’s about fire.

Candlemas was usurped by the Catholics from an earlier holiday (as are all Catholic holidays) celebrating the return of Persephone from the underworld, carrying a candle to help her light her way. It’s also associated with (Vesta-like) Brigit, a fire goddess. Lighting the way through the dark is the common theme of this time of year. In modern terms, it’s Groundhog Day, which preserves the early theme of weather divination. This is soon followed by candle-lit Valentine’s Day.

The constellation Aquarius overlaps with the astrological sign by the same name. It’s known to be among the oldest named configurations of stars, and stands “with his foot on the head of the great Southern fish, into whose mouth his waters pour,” according to astrologer and cultural astronomer Catherine Tennant.

Planet Waves
Modern interpretation of Aquarius, from the Thoth Tarot. This is The Star card (Trump XVII) illustrated by Lady Frieda Harris in the 1930s.

She traces the god Aquarius back to Babylon, noting that he rules over a huge area of the sky where are gathered the southern fish, the dolphin, the fish of Pisces, the mighty River Eridanus (the River of Night) and Cetus the sea monster. These ancient waters and their primal creatures were “seen as the source of life, through which the Sun passed during the rainy season.”

In the hands of Aquarius, says Tennant, is the Norma Nilotica, the stick used to measure the waters of the Nile River for the purpose of agriculture — an important indicator of agricultural success, and hence of survival.

In these same rainy days of winter, half a world away, the Celts were busy with agricultural matters of their own: doing the earliest preparations for planting in the coming spring. A feast marked the waning of winter. Germans in Europe and Indians in the New World were taking stock of how much remained of their winter rations. The ability to manage their food supply was critical to their survival through the remaining weeks of cold.

“Prophesy and purification are the recurrent and symbolic themes of the midwinter festivals,” writes Donna Henes in her book Celestially Auspicious Occasions. “The concept of prophesy is drawn from the foresight and faith that spring, in all its verdant glory, is on its predictable way, even amid the hard, white winter. Purification suggests careful preparations for its coming.”

When the Sun is crossing Aquarius, most of our time is still shrouded in darkness, and we remain, for a while, in the belly of the stars of night. We might be tempted to look to the meanings of Aquarius to help understand this fascinating convergence of holidays and themes, which involve containment (whether of fire, by the Vesta-like chevron, of water by an urn, or of humanity in the dark of night).

Yet it seems more appropriate to apply mystical and agricultural folklore back to Aquarius, reminding ourselves that its waters bring purification and moisten the land for the first growths of spring. In the long, dark nights, we’re reminded that we really are in the belly of the stars, gestated, born and living in a mysterious cosmos.

Nessus in Aquarius

All the centaurs address shadow material. Nessus is about the cycle of abuse — in particular, the moment when someone breaks the cycle. As abusive tendencies travel down the generations, there is sometimes someone who says that enough is enough, and really means it.

Melanie Reinhart gives Nessus the key phrase “the buck stops here.” I asked her this week where she got that and she said, “I heard client after client use that exact phrase when describing what was going on in their process, when Nessus seemed to be clearly a significator in the transits — transits ‘to’ or ‘from’ Nessus. I saw many miracles happen, and you know me — I wouldn’t say that lightly or in false hope.”

Planet Waves
Den Haag, probably summer 2005. Photo by Eric Francis.

I do know her and she would not — I’ve seen the same miracles happen, where people wake up and figure out what’s going on and make a decision what to do about it. Often a process of resolution takes on a life of its own, aided by our least cooperation.

Nessus brings this process into Aquarius. Nessus has been in Aquarius for a number of years, and on Saturday Mars made a conjunction to it. In a sense, it’s a struggle for collective accountability — or for an individual to hold a group accountable. Short of that, this is when one person takes responsibility no matter what anyone may think. Mars is activating the individualism rather than the conformism aspect of Aquarius, which is what it takes.

But it’s not always so easy. Mars is the planet of desire, and desire is often infused with guilt, hesitation and fear. Acting on desire is the very essence of personal volition, so when someone wants to control another person, the thing to do is to corrupt desire.

This is so pervasive we might think it’s normal: someone makes someone else feel guilty for so much as wanting something, or someone. There are many subtle forms of abuse, and most of them involve shame and humiliation. This can reach people so deeply that they feel like they have no right to make a decision, or even to consider doing so. The Mars connection is about reclaiming that privilege — the right to think and want what you want.

Along the way, though, one must encounter the resistance that groups, families, tribes and social networks can put in the way of an individual standing up for his or her right to exist. Once internalized, that resistance becomes a form of personal shadow material that can only be addressed by an individual, and that is where we seem to be now.

Planet Waves
Mariel Hemingway went public recently about the history of abuse, mental illness, alcoholism and suicide in her family. Here, she’s being interviewed by Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! You can hear some of that interview in the latest edition of Planet Waves FM.

There were two examples of this in the news this week, both deeply touching. One was former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords testifying before Congress, calling for tighter gun laws.

Barely able to speak after being shot by Jared Lee Loughner two years ago, she told her former colleagues, with her husband by her side to help keep her steady:

“Thank you for inviting me here today. This is an important conversation for our children, for our communities, for Democrats, and Republicans. Speaking is difficult but I need to say something important. Violence is a big problem. Too many children are dying — too many children. We must do something. It will be hard. But the time is now. You must act. Be bold. Be courageous. Americans are counting on you. Thank you.”

Note, Nessus is prominent in her chart, as well as that of the person who tried to assassinate her — they both have it conjunct the Sun (see article from that event here). You could say this was her moment of declaring, “The bullet stops here.” You would think that Congress would be receptive to a former colleague who survived an assassination attempt and in fact several key Republicans with A ratings from the NRA have begun to tip the scales in favor of gun control, coming out in favor of sane measures like background checks for those purchasing weapons.

And Monday, Mariel Hemingway was interviewed about her new documentary, Running from Crazy, by Amy Goodman on her program Democracy Now! She describes the multigenerational pattern of suicide, talks about the alcohol abuse and mental illness in the family, and alludes to the sexual abuse that went on as well.

Planet Waves
Former U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was nearly assassinated by someone using a Glock 19 with an extended magazine, testified with the help of her husband, Space Shuttle Commander Mark Kelly.

Notably, this film was released at the Sundance Film Festival just as she entered a major Nessus phase in her life — transiting Nessus square natal Nessus. This is happening to everyone born approximately from 1959 to 1962 right now.

Here’s something interesting as well — just now, news floated into my inbox that a new centaur planet has been named. It’s called Orius. It was discovered in 2009 at the Baldone Observatory in Latvia.

In mythology, Orius was killed by Heracles when he tried to steal the wine collectively owned by the centaurs, which was kept in the cave of Pholus. A lot of centaurs got killed that day, and now we know the name of one and what he tried to do.

This is a long story, but here is the upshot: it’s dangerous for an individual to try to take on collective karma. Sometimes it has to happen, but it’s better to work at the personal level — rather than taking on everything, or fixing everything, you are the place where the buck stops.

More Personal Planets Coming

Beginning today (Friday, Feb. 1), we have a new series of events. Let’s take them one at a time. Today, both Venus and Mars change signs. Within one hour of one another, Mars enters Pisces and Venus enters Aquarius (at 8:54 pm EST and 9:47 pm EST, respectively).

When Mars ingresses Pisces, it immediately moves into a conjunction with Neptune. Mars-Neptune is always an interesting, compelling mix. It can work many different ways; it has a wide range of effects, from the most creative to the most toxic. When Mars and Neptune are in any aspect, it’s necessary to exercise your best judgment — especially if the aspect is a conjunction.

Planet Waves
One of the traditions of Candlemas, dating back through many generations of prior holidays, is to put a candle in every window, assuming after you do your inventory that you have enough to get you through the rest of winter. Please be careful of the curtains. Photo by Eric Francis.

Neptune conjunctions, by the way, have the widest orb of influence; Neptune is unusually sensitive to transits and aspects. This is amplified by the whole thing happening in Pisces — notably, this is the first Mars-Neptune conjunction since Neptune entered Pisces (the first of seven in Pisces between now and 2024).

If you have some spiritual awareness, this could be very helpful with things of a more mystical nature. Your dreams might be especially interesting or intense. This is not the time to be playing with the Ouija board or inviting entities into your space. If you are going to drink alcohol, I suggest you stay home, where you have some safe containment.

It can, however, be a fantastically creative time, for art, music, poetry and visioning your life, though what you come up with may take some fact-checking or revision. You’ll need to sift for the gems among your ideas; take notes because anything involving Neptune can be volatile, fleeting or difficult to grasp.

The main event, though, seems to be Mercury making a conjunction to Nessus on Saturday. This feels like a conversation starter — a moment of going beyond being ‘real’ and instead being authentic; a moment of actual truth.

It’s almost always challenging to discuss shadow material, especially when it’s tribal — and it almost always is. So, I suggest you remind yourself that it takes courage to speak up, and to admit anything that happened to you, or that you witnessed. But Mercury conjunct Nessus in Aquarius seems like a moment of finding that courage and speaking up about what you’ve experienced.

Yes, you may feel like you’re blowing the whistle on your family, or like you’re betraying your tribe. What you may really be saying is: enough is enough.


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To purchase the signs individually please use this link.

Planet Waves

Tracking the Moon Through the Weekend

The waning Moon is currently in Libra, nearing its last quarter phase on Sunday. A Libra Moon encourages a sense of emotional balance and emphasizes a desire for accord in relationships. We are heading for a New Moon conjunct Nessus and square the lunar nodes on Sunday, Feb. 10. This will be an eclipse-like event, of which we will have more coverage next week.

Planet Waves
Painting by Josephine Wall.

At the time of this publishing, however, the Moon is opposing Eris in Aries. Note whether you experience a moment of feeling as though something within you is fighting to be recognized as separate from and equal to a relationship. Do ‘self’ and ‘other’ actually have to compete in a zero-sum game, or is there room for all of you?

Later in the evening, the Libra Moon trines Mercury and Nessus in late Aquarius. This is going to bring some harmony between your emotions and your mind, and whatever Nessus-type material you’ve been working through lately (see article above, and PW FM). In other words, even if you’re dealing with difficult issues, your head, heart and gut will be sending you the same messages.

On Saturday, Feb. 2 at 7:01 am EST, the Moon ingresses Scorpio. A Scorpio Moon can feel at times deep and erotic, and at other times aggressive, moody and jealous. It immediately trines Mars, Neptune and Chiron in Pisces. You can expect your physical energy to mirror your emotions (and vice versa). If you can harness it all in some creative pursuit, especially one related to exploring or healing some aspect of your sexuality, you should get a green light.

The last quarter (waning) Moon is exact at 8:56 am EST Sunday Feb. 3. This is the Scorpio Moon square the Aquarius Sun, right in the middle of the signs, just after the Moon conjoins Saturn. Watch out for a sense of deadlock on some emotional issue within yourself. Moon-Saturn can alternately feel rather limited and negative, or else offer a sense of depth and responsibility. Since this is in a fixed sign, you may have to choose the latter very consciously if you start to notice the former.

Remember that the quarter Moon is a square, and squares mean tension that requires action to resolve it. When you see a solution present itself (whether for an external project, an inner emotional process or in a group dynamic) use it like a lever against a fulcrum to avoid camping out in any frustration or darker emotions that crop up. That is, ‘just do it’.

Finally, the Moon ingresses Sagittarius Monday, Feb. 4, at 10:45 am EST. This is a fiery, friendly, optimistic, philosophical Moon. Don’t be surprised if you feel the urge to take a new route to work or try a new restaurant for lunch on Monday and Tuesday. With this shift, we move into the Moon’s last phase before the New Moon next weekend, which heralds the Chinese/Lunar New Year — the Year of the Water Snake.


Planet Waves

Arkansas Moves to Ban Abortion in a Heartbeat

Arkansas is considering a so-called ‘heartbeat bill’ — effectively, a ban on abortion — that would make getting an abortion illegal after six weeks, before most women realize they are pregnant, and make a felon out of any doctor performing one.

Planet Waves

Hearing the heartbeat would require an invasive transvaginal ultrasound. If one is detected, a woman could not have an abortion, except in cases of rape, incest and if the mother’s life is in danger.

According to the bill, a woman seeking an abortion would not be considered a criminal — yet doctors performing one after detecting a heartbeat would be punishable by up to six years in jail and a $10,000 fine.

The bill was introduced by Republican Sen. Jason Rapert, who believes the bill is necessary because “[w]hen there is a heartbeat there, you have a living human being,” according to a Mother Jones article.

A similar bill was introduced in Ohio in 2011 but was shot down, and a similar bill failed this week in Wyoming because it was considered too medically vague.

The Arkansas bill is believed to have a good chance of passing, as Republicans took control of the Arkansas Senate and House this year. They’ve also declared it an “emergency measure,” which would make it legal the day the Democratic governor, Mike Beebe, signs it.
He has a mixed record on abortion rights, according to pro-choice group NARAL.

It’s worth noting that this bill was approved by an Arkansas Senate committee about a week after Roe v. Wade celebrated its 40th anniversary. As mentioned in the Jan. 18 issue of Planet Waves, Roe v. Wade is the closest thing we have to an Equal Rights Amendment. We’re currently in an era of transforming gender roles that’s described by the cycles of Venus and Mars; it’s imperative to help young women understand that their authority over their own bodies — and therefore over the course of their lives — is at stake.


Planet Waves

Majoring in Orgasm, With a Minor in Education

Okay, it’s not actually a course of study, but the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, is offering a workshop this spring aimed at helping its female students achieve more and better orgasms, though you don’t have to be a woman to attend. “The Female Orgasm,” is open to both men and women who are part of the entire university community, and there is no age limit (many students enroll at age 17).

Planet Waves
Yes, you can actually buy one of these buttons.

“As a research institution, we study, publish and educate on a vast range of topics, including human sexuality,” explained Patricia Mattern, a university spokesperson to the online forum Campusreform.org.

Sex educators Marshall Miller and Kate Weinberg, who have conducted similar programs at many universities across the country, will be facilitating the event. They use a variety of techniques to cover everything from answering basic questions to explaining G-spot orgasms and how to have multiple climaxes.

Perhaps even more importantly, the program is set to cover such topics as how individuals can make sexual decisions that are right for themselves, regardless of relationship status; deconstructing the messages women receive about their bodies from family, the media, religion and elsewhere; and how ‘making friends with your body’ relates to being able to experience pleasure.

In Weinberg’s bio, she writes that while taking an intensive HIV/AIDS course in college, she realized how sexuality “is a thing so intimately connected to politics, religion, guilt, expectation, the ways in which we live and are allowed to live. It’s one of those things that seems to explain the world around it.” The current astrology seems to agree.


Planet Waves

In Response to Internet Activist’s Death, Anonymous Breaches DoJ

Members of the cyber-hacktivist group Anonymous claimed this week to have infiltrated the Justice Department’s website in retaliation for the prosecution of Aaron Swartz. Swartz is the late Internet freedom advocate who took his own life earlier this month, after undue persecution by federal prosecutors.

Planet Waves
Aaron Swartz at a Boston Wiki Meetup in 2009. Photo by Sage Ross / Wikimedia Commons.

On Saturday, Anonymous said it had breached the Justice Department’s firewall and planned to release government data in response to its treatment of Swartz, according to Democracy Now!

Swartz, who hanged himself just weeks before his trial, was facing a potential sentence of 35 years in prison for allegedly downloading millions of articles provided by the nonprofit research service JSTOR via computers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He believed that these academic articles, which are free for all U.S. university students to access, should also be freely available to scholars around the world.

Just days before Swartz’s death, a longtime friend and mentor of his received word from JSTOR that they had decided to make the articles available to all, but was not able to get the news to him in time. In fact, JSTOR themselves refused to prosecute, and in fact Swartz had lawful access to the whole database because he had a Harvard fellowship. Swartz’s friends and family claim he was the victim of what amounted to severe bullying by the federal government.

In the wake of Swartz’s suicide, federal prosecutors dropped their charges and Democratic Rep. Zoe Lofgren of California has introduced a measure in honor of Swartz that would modify the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act to omit terms of service breaches, which is what he was being prosecuted under.

Swartz — who at just 26 years old had helped to develop RSS and went on to become a co-owner of Reddit — had been instrumental in defeating the proposed SOPA and PIPA bills one year ago, in what amounted to an astonishing show of Internet activism as websites from Planet Waves to giants like Wikipedia went black — that is, shut down — in a show of solidarity.

That online action coincided with the Sun’s last day in Capricorn last year before it ingressed Aquarius, illustrating the Uranus-Pluto square in action with some seriously justice-themed astrology (also covered in this article). You can hear Swartz deliver an address on that victory and the continuing fight to protect Internet freedom here.


Planet Waves

Planet Waves

Introduction to Monsanto Watch. We are starting a long-planned weekly feature designed to keep an eye on Monsanto, the world’s largest purveyor of genetically modified crops and the chemicals that go with them. Most people have no idea about Monsanto’s long and sordid history — this company, started in 1901, has been trying to kill us all for a long time (read their early history here; I am in the process of assembling their astrological history).

Planet Waves
Illustration by Via Keller / Studio Psycherotica.

Above is a sample of a document from the late 1960s that describes the extent of how Monsanto polluted the whole planet with its deadly PCBs. They admitted the problem — and then determined that the “do nothing” approach (their words) would maximize profits and minimize liability exposure. This is how they do business.

During their peak of Agent Orange production in the 1960s, they dumped a staggering two pounds per day of pure dioxin (2,3,7,8-TCDD) into a river in St. Louis.
Considered the most toxic known chemical (showing effects at the parts per trillion level), on the level of plutonium, dioxin contamination was knowingly (and therefore intentionally) present in every product released from one major Monsanto factory in the 1980s (read more in my article The Kemner Brief).

Monsanto has pelted humanity with everything from saccharin to the Copper 7 to Nutrasweet to deadly Bovine Growth Hormone. Their active ingredient for Lysol disinfectant has been shipped out soaked in dioxin, with instructions to wash your dog and your baby’s toys with it. Every time you use one of their ‘antimicrobial’ soaps containing Triclosan, you risk getting some dioxin. The company has been a death machine from the get go, and we think that the world needs to pay attention; so we are doing our bit.

Back in April 2012, a Wall Street Journal article on “Monsanto magic” tried to be positive for shareholders but still ended on this note: “As impressive as Monsanto’s technology and growth have been, no company is guaranteed to live forever.” If you follow Monsanto or come across interesting news concerning it, please send it to us at editorial@planetwaves.net. Thank you! — efc / cvs

Will Monsanto’s Aggressive Legal Strategies Be Its Undoing?

Biotech behemoth Monsanto this month reported enormous 2012 profits and its CEO, Hugh Grant, cashed in shares worth more than $3 million. Much of Monsanto’s money comes from its aggressive marketing of genetically modified agriculture products, and associated chemicals. It’s also profiting from what amounts to patent trolling — its prosecution of patent infringement lawsuits against farmers who happen to be downwind from farms that use its GMO products.

Planet Waves
Photo: organicconsumers.org.

Yet, if a current lawsuit, OSGATA et al vs. Monsanto, in the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington, D.C., is allowed to move forward after a dismissal by a federal judge last February, the company may find that “turnabout is fair play.”

The farmers are challenging Monsanto’s right to sue them for patent infringement. Monsanto’s strategy is to claim patent infringement occurs when winds carrying its GMO pollen from neighboring farms blow the pollen onto fields growing
non-GMO crops or organic crops. Monsanto employees test crops from these fields to verify that variants of its GMO products have sprouted, then brings lawsuits asserting the farmers are using GMO seeds without the proper licensing agreements.

Despite Congress’s enactment of the Declaratory Judgment Act, which gives a group the right to petition for protection from claims of patent infringement from a big company, federal courts have upheld Monsanto’s right to sue. The original OSGATA case was dismissed on this basis; this appeal is attempting to overturn that decision.

“The implications of the suit are momentous. If the D.C. Court of Appeals reverses the dismissal, a process of discovery will be instigated that could unveil a reservoir of information, access to which Monsanto has withheld from public knowledge — both by not disclosing it and by preventing independent research,” said Al Jazeera’s Charlotte Silver.

Attorney Dan Ravicher of the Public Patent Foundation, who is representing OSGATA, believes that if this treasure trove is opened, he can establish that Monsanto’s products are not healthy.

“An invention to poison the people is not patentable,” he said.
And that — combined with growing public pressure in the U.S. to label GMO products — may be the beginning of the end of Monsanto.


Planet Waves

Planet Waves

One of the many dolls created by Andy Knowlton, holding its bottle and poem, waiting to be found.

Upcycling Never Felt So Good

Andy Knowlton, an American poet and mixed-media artist living in South Korea, is bringing soul to Seoul. Called the Drunken Poets project, he crafts hand-made dolls out of discarded materials he finds on the street, adds an original poem in a bottle, and places them at random locations around the neighborhood of Itaewon. Who wouldn’t love to find these whimsical little dolls around the next corner — with a message from the heart?


Planet Waves

Nessus, and Mariel Hemingway

In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I look at the ongoing series of aspects involving the centaur planet Nessus. The next one up is Mercury conjunct Nessus on Saturday, so this is an invitation to keep the conversation going — or to get one started.

Planet Waves

On Friday, Venus and Mars change signs, which sets up the background of the conjunction — there is a palpable shift in the energy happening.

In this edition, I play a segment of Amy Goodman’s interview with Mariel Hemingway and Barbara Kopple, talking about their new film, Running from Crazy. This is about the suicides, substance abuse and sexual abuse in the Hemingway family. Here is Mariel’s chart. Note that she is having a Nessus square and also has just had her Chiron return. I explain these transits in the program.

I also reference several articles, including Tools for the Frontier from the Daily Astrology series, an article by Amanda last week about a Nessus-like dream, and an oldie called How to Be Your Own Lover, which I read from.

Our musical guest is John Yaschur, a Planet Waves reader.


Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes

The February monthly horoscope was published Friday, Jan. 25. Inner Space for February was published Tuesday, Jan. 29. We published the January Moonshine Horoscope on Tuesday, Jan. 22. I recommend reviewing the monthly horoscope at the end of the month. Please note that the longer monthly horoscope is being incorporated into the Friday issue after the Sun has entered a new sign; a new Inner Space is still emailed on the following Tuesday.


Planet Waves

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Feb. 1, 2013 #936 | By Eric Francis

Mid-Aquarius Birthdays

As the Sun reaches its peak in your sign this week, Venus ingresses your sign, reminding you of something significant: live your beliefs with the full momentum of your life. This will do two things: strengthen your faith if they turn out to be worthwhile ideas, and demonstrate that it’s time to change your mind if you figure out they don’t work. What you’re likely to discover is that your faith was well invested and that you really can push a few limits about what you will accomplish if you put that into action. There’s also something about feeling safe and how you might go about that. What the astrology says is, live as if you are safe and see how that works. Safety is a feeling, and you will have that experience by creating space for it, practicing and strengthening it in your day-to-day affairs and your relationships. Your sense of belonging on the planet is not something that’s given to you; it’s something that you must actively create, and you can. Note to Aquarius and Aquarius Rising — your birthday reading is ready. I go into entirely new territory from what I did in LISTEN, covering the ways in which Aquarius itself has been changing and evolving; discovering your sense of mission; opening up your inner life and relationships based on creative exploration. It’s two sessions of astrology plus tarot, and an extended description of your sign. Get instant access here.

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You may find excellent company among those others think of as strange. Let yourself be guided by intuition, instinct or the angels — speak to whom you’re guided or gravitate towards. If you have to get over a little bump of fear to do that, and to make contact, all the better. In some ways this is an exercise in trust, and you really don’t have much to lose, especially in the social realm.
However, in today’s chilly version of society, it seems like nearly everyone has inflammations of social phobia, accentuated by the fear of what you might do in the event that something real actually happens. What you want is exactly, precisely, something real. As such, it may be a little strange, having that slightly alien feeling. That’s the idea. If you’re at a party, the person you want to talk to is the one with the pointy ears, the color eyes you’ve never seen, or the unusual scent.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Your professional life continues to be the focus. If you’re experiencing some form of success, this is just a hint of what is possible. But you might consider how you got here: by taking chances, by challenging your own boundaries, by deciding to have the confidence to bring up supposedly taboo subject matter, and by embracing what you think of as your opposite. There’s a finesse to all of this, and for you that has a lot to do with logic. It’s also associated with being able to express yourself. If you’re articulate and you have some respect for the reasoning process, you can cover a lot of ground in territory that seemed impassable just the day before. There’s something else here as well, which is your willingness to face your challenges directly. That willingness builds confidence in you and it’s evidence of your confidence to others. What you may be discovering is that you are more cut out for leadership than you ever thought, and much of that involves being something of a pioneer on the level of ideas.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You may be one of those people who is too smart to have been influenced by religion, though I would propose that you would have to be a ninja-from-birth kind of critical thinker to avoid that. If you’re having any angst at all, particularly a struggle with the past or some psychological pattern, I suggest you go digging on the history of religion in your life and in your family. Getting beyond this is not merely a matter of ‘mental override’. It’s about understanding the ways in which you were influenced by specific ideas that influenced you — including by the values of any atheists or agnostics in your history. You will be able to use logic to get you out of this, though it’s a special kind of logic in that it involves understanding the nature of how you think and why you think that way, not merely the nature of a few specific thoughts. In the end you must have conscious faith in something; it’s a matter of what, and now seems like a good time to find out.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You’re starting to figure out that you must have a vision for your life, though the even better news is that you’re starting to get one. Sometimes this seems easy and sometimes it seems much more difficult. Recent developments are giving you a clue how much progress you’ve made over the past couple of years, and now you seem to be at a flashpoint. It is essential that you think in terms of what is possible, coupled with your willingness to take the steps to make it actually happen. It’s also vital that you focus on cooperation with others rather than competition — which means casting others in the role of supporter, collaborator or partner. If you allow yourself to have a bias that others are here to help you, you’re more likely to think of them that way. And there’s a pretty good chance it’s true, so you have the odds in your favor here. Keep an eye out for the person who knows how to influence others.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — If any children or young people around you are acting strangely, look at what’s in their environment, particularly their media environment. I suggest that you pay attention to this for the foreseeable future. In many ways the whole thing seems out of control — you cannot walk into a restaurant without being pelted by five flat screen monitors. There may, however, be specific things to look for — games, websites, applications. Nearly all films coming out of Hollywood are designed to manipulate and undermine self-esteem. Then they are impregnated with violence and images of superhuman power. I don’t have kids, but if I did, with rare exceptions, I would not be taking them to the movies for the latest thriller. Don’t come down like an authoritarian, though. Instead, do a survey of the media intake of the kids. Have a clue what it is. You will have a lot more influence if you can add in positive factors: books, music, recorded books and other carefully selected materials that have a purpose besides entertainment.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Be careful what you say, and be mindful as you interpret what you hear. Take conversations slowly, especially at work — there is significant potential for misunderstanding. It’s one of those situations where the more you analyze, the less you may actually know. Meanwhile, passions are running high in your environment, so there’s added potential for things to get weird. Therefore, take a minimalist approach. I would advise against trying to solve anything or fix anyone; this is a moment to adapt and lay low for a few days. It’s definitely not the time to take people on their word, though it’s not an especially great time to doubt them either. It’s an excellent time to put most discussions on hold, sniff around for missing information and see what comes out in the wash. Resist, evade, avoid or eschew your impulse to state your opinion anywhere but in your journal — at least till early next week. Especially at work. Meanwhile, if you’re involved in a matter of personal healing, focus on the mind level first. Don’t take the opinions of others too seriously, till you have your own facts correct.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — People seem to be treating you with more respect these days. It’s as if they have some kind of interest in keeping you as a friend or ally, after experimenting with a diversity of other approaches to your presence. At the same time, you are starting to focus your faith in yourself, your creativity and your longterm vision for your life. The two are working together to point you in the direction of some positive outcomes — especially in relationship situations, which have been something of a tender spot for the past year or so. It’s time for you to take some new risks, and one of them is a creative orientation on your partnerships. I believe that a central question in any relationship is, what are we going to make, as opposed to what are we going to do? Making love is a good start, but I don’t think it’s enough. The idea is more like, what are we going to make with love? All that creative energy wants to go somewhere — you get to decide where.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — This time of year is always a point of reorientation. The Sun is now passing across the backbone of the fixed cross, which includes your sign. The Sun is at the midpoint of Aquarius, where Venus is approaching and Mercury has just been. This is a time to clean and maintain your foundations, to repair cracks and to process through the feelings that are coming up. Note, some of these feelings are ancestral — they involve people in your family much more than they actually involve you, though you’ve inherited the situation. Over the next few days, it’s essential that you not indulge any self-destructive conduct. I would keep alcohol use to an extremely modest level, and I don’t recommend doing anything that changes your mind or feelings anywhere but in the safety of your home. When you’re speaking to anyone, if you hear yourself say anything but the truth, pause and consider why you’re saying what you’re saying. Your integrity is being tested. Honor that test and you will find yourself in a new place.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Your ruling planet Jupiter stationed direct this week, which is a sign that certain wrinkles in your relationships are ironing themselves out. You may also experience a gush of subject matter coming up that was held in reserve or at bay by the retrograde, but I don’t suggest you have all the conversations at once. Give things a week to unfold on their own. There’s a lot of hot astrology coming up in your chart over the next week, and the potential for exaggerated emotional reactions is pretty high. So I suggest you focus on being observant, on listening and on noticing what you’re feeling. Your emotions are likely to be somewhat contradictory at times, so don’t expect them to make sense, or try to force them to. If you take things slowly and gently, the roots of those contradictions will make themselves known. That information will help you, though it’s essential that you not come to conclusions. Rather, be happy with observations that lead you a little deeper into your understanding of yourself.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Planet Waves

Note to Capricorn and Capricorn rising readers: Your birthday reading is ready. It’s a whole new thing, separate from LISTEN, covering different subject matter. It includes two sessions of astrology, a tarot reading, an extended description of your astrological sign, the charts and spreads used in the creation of the work, as well as access to last year’s reading so you can check for accuracy. You can order that here. If you’re a subscriber to LISTEN, check your email later today for a reduced price offer.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You may be tempted to say what you don’t like, or to articulate what has hurt you — though I suggest that you keep things positive. When you notice what you don’t want, turn that into an affirmative and state what you want. I know that you have a list of things that you would rearrange if you could, and that the conduct of the human race has you confused at least half the time. The main difference between you and so many people is that you have options, and you’re starting to figure this out. This is the thing to remember: No matter what you like about the world or don’t like about it, you have the power to choose and the choices to choose among. If you’re feeling like you’re boxed in, make a list of your options. Then remind yourself that you can choose. If you have any misgivings about that, then I suggest you note that fact and see if you can figure out who you might be ‘betraying’ by making your own choices.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Over the next few days, Mercury will be conjunct Nessus in your birth sign. This is going to focus some ideas for you, and you may become passionate about them. Let’s start with Nessus, which I’ve been writing about frequently — just check the Planet Waves blog for deeper information about this planet associated with healing abuse and betrayal. On one level, Nessus describes the failure of ethics that we experience, so often associated with sexuality. Your chart suggests you may find yourself feeling obsessed with resolving all that has happened to you — other aspects are adding passionate drive to your experience of life, and a sense of immediacy. Actually what you’re figuring out now has been trying to get your attention for a long time. Certain fixed ideas were getting in the way: beliefs you refused to change, an attachment to your public image and the fear of being less than perfect. These are all a ruse thrown over your fear of simply admitting what is true for you. That’s the place to start. Action comes later.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).

Planet Waves

Note to Aquarius and Aquarius rising readers: Your birthday reading is ready. I cover entirely new territory from what I did in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition. I review the ways in which Aquarius itself has been changing and evolving. I describe your process of discovering your sense of mission; of opening up your inner life; and relationships based on creative exploration first and ‘commitment’ second. It’s two sessions of astrology plus tarot, with an extended description of your sign coming soon — and access to last year’s reading so that you can verify my accuracy. You can get instant access here.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — As of Friday, Mars has arrived in your sign for the first time in two years. This is bringing your passions to a boil, which were already going at a nice simmer. Everything is likely to feel more vibrant, direct and intense. Deeper truths are likely to come flowing into your awareness. People will respond to you more strongly than they usually do — perhaps attracted, perhaps repelled. This will help you see the world in more vivid contrast. And this is your opportunity to see who and what is around you, and choose based on what you want, and what you observe to be true. You may, however, feel pushed to rush ahead; I suggest you slow down. This, I know, is challenging for someone under the influence of Mars, but the thing is, you don’t really know the environment you’re in, because Mars is conjunct Neptune. The only thing you can really trust is your imagination, and that, for purposes of creativity. In all matters relational, sexual and otherwise impassioned, look closely and listen carefully, including to yourself. Pause and think before you do anything you cannot reverse.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).


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