Tag Archives: revolution

A boy from Honduras is shown being taken into custody by US Border Patrol agents near the US-Mexico Border near Mission, Texas, June 12, 2018. Photo by John Moore

Caring in Action: the Cancer Eclipse

By Amanda Painter

Dear Friend and Reader:

Eric wrote at the beginning of the week about today’s Sun-Chiron square, and the collective healing needed to our inner masculine/yang sides. Then I looked at the chart for the July 2 Cancer New Moon and solar eclipse, and started thinking about the daily assaults on our empathy and capacity to care that are being made by the daily news.

Demonstrators gather to protest against the separation of immigrant families at the border in Austin, Texas, on June 14,  2018. Photo by Amanda Voisard / Statesman.com via AP

Demonstrators gather to protest against the separation of immigrant families at the border in Austin, Texas, on June 14, 2018. A year later, things are no better. Photo by Amanda Voisard / Statesman.com via AP

And it all cascaded together in my perception of what amounts to the ongoing psychological and physical torture of immigrant children separated from their families and being held in detention at the U.S. border. I’ll get to the astrology in a moment.

I’ve been seeing a lot about this in my Facebook feed and my email inbox. The strongest recurring theme, however, is an overwhelming sense of paralysis: not knowing what we can do; wondering ‘why isn’t anyone organizing a mass protest?’; asking ‘who is organizing something I can join with?’; feeling completely at a loss regarding which actions will help and which might actually make things worse.

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The Day of the Idealist: Birthdays and Planet News

If Your Birthday is April 2
The Day of the Idealist | Pre-order Your 2019-20 Aries Reading | All Other Signs

Be bold about showing who you really are. You have intrinsic power and depth in abundance, and you are also full of unique ideas, which deserve to see the light of day. You are under no obligation to conceal these qualities for the comfort or convenience of others; you have a right to express the fundamental essence of your being. Those around you might also learn a thing or two from your courage.
— By Amy Elliott

Written in the Planets

What holds more influence in your life: your drive to evolve as a person (such as on a deep or soul level), or your need for attention, recognition or power? That might be one way to think of today’s square between Pluto in Capricorn and Eris in Aries. Squares represent energy that needs to be expressed — preferably consciously. When we try to suppress square energy — such as by ignoring our frustration or tension, or through the denial of the urge to take action — it can come back to bite us in some way.

With Pluto and Eris also in contact with the lunar nodes (in Cancer and Capricorn) and the asteroid Pallas (in Libra), you may even be at some kind of karmic/dharmic tipping point. Which of your options to take action feels like a step into real growth, and which one has the markings of feeding your ego or insecurities? Although refusing to choose is a form of choice, it’s not the choice that’s likely to express this energy constructively.

Bear in mind that also exact today is Mercury’s conjunction to Neptune in Pisces, the third conjunction in a series related to its recent retrograde. The Pisces Moon will join them (and a couple other objects that are making contact) briefly today, amping up the emotional and/or unconscious ripples. There’s some potential here to overreact to what you’re perceiving, making it extra important to hang loose with whatever it is you think you know. A sense of clarity might not be fully trustworthy right now.

Can you trace a path between what you were thinking about (and how you were thinking about it) on or around Feb. 19, March 24 and now? What seemed to get confirmed, and what has been disproved? If you wiggle around to consider it from a new vantage point, does everything still line up clearly, or does the shape or emphasis change? If information is still missing, what have you learned about how you tend to account for that, process it, or move ahead without it? By all means listen to your higher guidance, but perhaps save final conclusions for down the road.
— By Amanda Painter

Have you tried the Astrology Readings Channel?

Planet Waves offers readings for all the signs and rising signs. These readings are must-haves among a core group of people who love them, though perhaps you have not heard what Eric is doing. We’ve taken many readings from 2018 and put them on a 24-hour audio stream, which anyone can tune into. Whatever your sign, you will find it interesting no matter when you tune in. If you’re up late and want something soothing and informative to listen to, or if you’re curious about astrology, tune in here. No login is required.

Utility poles in Orkney, Scotland, the day after Uranus ingressed Taurus in May 2018. Photo by Amanda Painter

The View from the Other Side

By Amanda Painter

At last, the major astrology of this week (this month, really) has occurred: Mercury is retrograde in Pisces as of Monday; Uranus is in Taurus as of yesterday, and the Pisces New Moon is separating. As I write this, it’s all so fresh that I’m still getting a feel for whether the edginess and sense of anticipation I’d been experiencing has dissipated.

Utility poles in Orkney, Scotland, the day after Uranus ingressed Taurus in May 2018. Photo by Amanda Painter

Utility poles in Orkney, Scotland, the day after Uranus — the cosmic light socket — ingressed Taurus in May 2018. Photo by Amanda Painter

I’ve tried to think back to last May, when Uranus first dipped into Taurus, to compare how I felt and what was going on for me, to see if there are any correlations. I have to confess, though, I feel like last year’s ingress was easier somehow.

That could be more the result of time softening the edges of memory than an actual contrast. But I’m curious to hear whether anyone reading this has a similar sense of it all.

I know that last year, like this year, I was involved in a theater production; immediately after, I traveled to Orkney, Scotland, for an intensive workshop on voice and breath for theater. It was during that workshop that Uranus entered Taurus. I recall feeling busy before the trip; maybe a little overwhelmed; but when Uranus actually made its move, I was simply focused completely on the workshop and on exploring my surroundings when I was not exploring my own breath and voice.

So I’ve been wondering: was it partly being in a strange place, on an adventure of self-discovery, that aligned with the energy of Uranus and therefore seemed to smooth the change? Are my situation and activities somehow less in harmony with Uranus this year? Was it the resonance of a voice class with the sign Taurus (which rules the neck and throat)?

Or does this year’s edginess in the lead-up relate more to the succession of other planets we’ve had hanging out in the final degrees of signs? Maybe having Chiron in the sensitive first degree of Aries, conjunct Salacia, is providing more agitation than I’ve been giving it credit for?

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M100, known as a 'grand design' galaxy, is 56 million light-years away, and is similar to our Milky Way. Studies of variable stars in M100 have played an important role in determining the size and age of the Universe. Photo by NASA/ESA/Hubble.

They Can’t Shut Down the Cosmos

By Amanda Painter

We’re not quite at the midpoint between eclipses — that occurs Jan. 14 with the first quarter Moon. How are you doing with ‘looking where you want to be’? Are you feeling drawn to continue clearing out some space, or to initiate a project, or to dive into something? Are you feeling optimistic or frustrated (or something else entirely)?

M100, known as a 'grand design' galaxy, is 56 million light-years away, and is similar to our Milky Way. Studies of variable stars in M100 have played an important role in determining the size and age of the Universe. Photo by NASA/ESA/Hubble.

M100, known as a ‘grand design’ galaxy, is 56 million light-years away, and is similar to our Milky Way. Studies of variable stars in M100 have played an important role in determining the size and age of the Universe. Photo by NASA / ESA / Hubble.

I ask simply as a prompt for some reflection and self-assessment; a way of taking a barometric reading on your inner and outer environment. With all the major sign-ruling planets in direct motion — and therefore not ‘forcing’ introspection — it occurred to me these questions might be useful.

Did you watch Pres. Trump’s Oval Office address Tuesday night? I confess I did not, trusting that I could read all about it afterwards if needed, without subjecting myself to his toxic projections in real time. It’s challenging enough being surrounded by its effects as they ripple through the collective. But in researching some of the current astrological aspects, it occurred to me just how reflective his speech and government-by-tantrum are of the astrology.

The first aspect to really speak to me of this is tomorrow’s Sun-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn. Now, on the level of your own personal life, you may experience this as another wave of deep cleaning and space clearing related to the recent eclipse — particularly regarding how you express or present yourself to the world. Or it could come through as the drive to get beneath the surface of something. Or perhaps as the need to repair a thing or situation that’s broken and needs radical changes to be able to continue.

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A blue wave? Jupiter’s south pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles (52,000 kilometres). Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles

After the Election: Which Jupiter Will You Feed?

By Amanda Painter

As the dust settles on Tuesday’s midterm elections in the U.S., I wish I could say the political landscape looked even more different — but I am grateful for the movement that was achieved. Voters came out in increased numbers on both sides, and women were voted into office to an unprecedented degree. There is no longer a one-party lock on all three branches of government.

A blue wave? Jupiter’s south pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles (52,000 kilometres). Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles

A blue wave? Jupiter’s south pole, as seen by NASA’s Juno spacecraft from an altitude of 32,000 miles (52,000 kilometres). Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Betsy Asher Hall/Gervasio Robles

This opens the way for House Democrats to put things in motion, specifically subpoenas to investigate Trump’s taxes and his involvement with Russia in 2016. Of course, Trump is already saying he’ll be happy to work with House Dems — as long as they don’t go after those subpoenas; in which case he’ll “fight fire with fire.”

Even so, we now have the first two Native American women in the U.S. House (for context, more than 10,000 people have served in the House since the first Congress met in 1789). The first two Muslim women have been voted into the House. A Latina woman is the youngest representative ever elected to the House, and there are new African American women elected to this branch of government, with USA Today putting the total number of all women in the House at 118 as of midday Wednesday — breaking the previous record.

Colorado elected its first openly gay governor. And although Democrat Beto O’Rourke lost his Senate bid in historically red Texas to incumbent Ted Cruz, he did strikingly well in counties that border Mexico and have higher Latinx populations (as well in as the more diverse urban centers in the state).

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Living the Aries Point at the Airport (and Weekend Astrology)

By Amanda Painter

It always fascinates me when a personal event reflects not only the astrology, but also something about the cultural zeitgeist. I had one of those experiences early Monday evening, just a few hours before the Aries Full Moon peaked.

Heathrow airport in May; photo by Amanda Painter.

Heathrow airport in May; photo by Amanda Painter.

I was going through the security line to board a flight, and opted out of the scanning machine, requesting a pat-down instead.

This has been my policy for a number of years now: it’s kind of a solo, silent protest against the machines and their original privacy issues, and against the massive, barely questioned undermining of civil liberties swept in by the Patriot Act following the Sept. 11 disaster.

I realize a silent protest is not going to effect change, but I do it more for myself: as a way of claiming my limited power of choice in the situation, knowing that I am perfectly within my rights not to offer any explanation. Perhaps someone more hell-bent on making a point to ‘the authorities’ would make a statement, but what can I say? I am a practical Taurus; I want to get to my destination without missing my flight and having to pay for another one.

For me, it is enough to know that I am taking my space in a situation where there’s a lot of pressure — psychological and temporal — to just keep everything moving smoothly and not stand out. I know that as I stand there getting my pat-down, some people are probably wondering if I got flagged by security as a risk. So I guess there’s an element of wanting to be an example to others that it’s possible to go through this procedure without feeling like a victim: I am choosing this, and my reasons are my own.

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Tilling the Ground

By Amanda Painter

We’re in a week marked by movement and an impulse toward something new: on Tuesday, we had the Taurus New Moon, and Uranus entered Taurus; yesterday Mars entered Aquarius, and formed a square to Uranus. Between the adjustment phase that comes with planets in new signs and the fact that we’re going to get an echo of this energy later in the year, these recent movements are worth a closer look.

Post-pussywillows; photo by Amanda Painter.

Post-pussywillows; photo by Amanda Painter.

First, think for a moment about the idea of tilling the ground when gardening. “Tilling” does not refer to harvesting the fruits of your labors; it’s not tending the plants during the growing season; and it’s not the actual seed planting that seems to start things off, either.

Tilling is what comes before all of that. It’s the preparation of the ground: preparation in the form of disrupting what had become settled, compacted, and dormant. Whether you use a horse-drawn plow, a small rototiller, an industrial-size agricultural tiller, or just a shovel and rake, this step is crucial for the planting and growth to come. Space must be made in the soil for best results in the months to come — the stabilizing roots can then reach further and draw more nutrients, allowing the rest of the plant to flourish.

Seasons of change work the same for human beings, though the process is often less ritualized and can happen any time of year. We fall into habits and routines; we get comfortable and stale; we allow limits to restrict us and lose sight that we can challenge them and push back. As a result, we often need to go through a conscious phase of disruption to make the space in which our next phase of growth can emerge and develop. You can think of it less as chaos and more like introducing a little room to reach your roots further, allowing you to branch out into the unknown.

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They Were Trained for This Moment

How the student activists of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High demonstrate the power of a comprehensive education.

By Dahlia Lithwick for Slate.com

The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School returned to class Wednesday morning two weeks and moral centuries after a tragic mass shooting ended the lives of 17 classmates and teachers. Sen. Marco Rubio marked their return by scolding them for being “infected” with “arrogance” and “boasting.” The Florida legislature marked their return by enacting a $67 million program to arm school staff, including teachers, over the objections of students and parents. Senate Republicans on Capitol Hill opted to welcome them back by ignoring their wishes on gun control, which might lead a cynic to believe that nothing has changed in America after yet another horrifying cycle of child murder and legislative apathy.

Photo via Tom Grenon / Facebook.

Photo via Tom Grenon / Facebook.

But that is incorrect. Consumers and businesses are stepping in where the government has cowered. Boycotts may not influence lawmakers, but they certainly seem to be changing the game in the business world. And the students of Parkland, Florida, unbothered by the games played by legislators and lobbyists, are still planning a massive march on Washington. These teens have—by most objective measures—used social media to change the conversation around guns and gun control in America.

Now it’s time for them to change the conversation around education in America, and not just as it relates to guns in the classroom. The effectiveness of these poised, articulate, well-informed, and seemingly preternaturally mature student leaders of Stoneman Douglas has been vaguely attributed to very specific personalities and talents. Indeed, their words and actions have been so staggeringly powerful, they ended up fueling laughable claims about crisis actors, coaching, and fat checks from George Soros. But there is a more fundamental lesson to be learned in the events of this tragedy: These kids aren’t freaks of nature. Their eloquence and poise also represent the absolute vindication of the extracurricular education they receive at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.

Despite the gradual erosion of the arts and physical education in America’s public schools, the students of Stoneman Douglas have been the beneficiaries of the kind of 1950s-style public education that has all but vanished in America and that is being dismantled with great deliberation as funding for things like the arts, civics, and enrichment are zeroed out. In no small part because the school is more affluent than its counterparts across the country (fewer than 23 percent of its students received free or reduced-price lunches in 2015–16, compared to about 64 percent across Broward County Public Schools) these kids have managed to score the kind of extracurricular education we’ve been eviscerating for decades in the United States. These kids aren’t prodigiously gifted. They’ve just had the gift of the kind of education we no longer value.

Part of the reason the Stoneman Douglas students have become stars in recent weeks is in no small part due to the fact that they are in a school system that boasts, for example, of a “system-wide debate program that teaches extemporaneous speaking from an early age.” Every middle and high school in the district has a forensics and public-speaking program. Coincidentally, some of the students at Stoneman Douglas had been preparing for debates on the issue of gun control this year, which explains in part why they could speak to the issues from day one.

The student leaders of the #NeverAgain revolt were also, in large part, theater kids who had benefited from the school’s exceptional drama program. Coincidentally, some of these students had been preparing to perform Spring Awakening, a rock musical from 2006. As the New Yorker describes it in an essay about the rise of the drama kids, that musical tackles the question of “what happens when neglectful adults fail to make the world safe or comprehensible for teen-agers, and the onus that neglect puts on kids to beat their own path forward.” Weird.

The student leaders at Stoneman Douglas High School have also included, again, not by happenstance, young journalists, who’d worked at the school paper, the Eagle Eye, with the supervision of talented staff. One of the extraordinary components of the story was the revelation that David Hogg, student news director for the school’s broadcast journalism program, WMSD-TV, was interviewing his own classmates as they hid in a closet during the shooting, and that these young people had the wherewithal to record and write about the events as they unfolded. As Christy Ma, the paper’s staff editor, later explained, “We tried to have as many pictures as possible to display the raw emotion that was in the classroom. We were working really hard so that we could show the world what was going on and why we need change.”