Tag Archives: Solar Eclipse


Mercury: Getting To the (Aries) Point

If you’re a regular reader of Planet Waves, chances are you know your Mercury retrograde pretty well. You know that it happens roughly three times per year, and that it usually entails taking extra care over a variety of matters; mostly to do with finance, communication and technology. Mercury retrogrades are often easily navigable by following those steps, although each of these phases has a unique signature — and can still be quite frustrating.


I just couldn’t resist this reference: 1988 cult classic, They Live — a movie about hidden messages and unraveling the truth.

Mercury will station retrograde on Tuesday, Aug. 30 at 9:04 am EDT (13:04 UTC), in the very last degree of Virgo.

In other words, it stations on the Aries Point (the very next degree of the zodiac begins Libra, and activity in the first degrees of all cardinal signs counts as Aries Point activity). Yet another unusual quality: Mercury will station retrograde just two days prior to a total solar eclipse.

What that would seem to translate to is this: pay attention. Listen, record and remember — and, of course, don’t forget to make backups. Notice the subtext of words and actions, and where matters in your personal life correspond to the wider field. I’d advise that you keep an eye on said wider field as much as you can stomach without spontaneously combusting: not easy in the midst of election season, but quite possibly worth it in terms of the patterns or themes that might reveal themselves.

It’s likely the events of this week could lead to big changes, in the sense of the future being virtually unrecognizable from the past. You have the ability to steer this transformative energy in the direction of your choice. That’s an opportunity to watch for once Mercury is back on track; right now, you have the chance to ensure your choices are as clear and informed as they can be.


Eric has completed the 2016 Midyear Reading, BALANCE. We strongly recommend you get all 12 signs. If you prefer, choose your individual signs here. Photo by European Southern Observatory.

Between Two Worlds

Note: I’m at Omega Institute this week, doing a visiting faculty retreat, and just gave a talk on Dharma and Biological Integrity. That link will take you to the full recording –efc

Dear Friend and Reader:

We’re about to experience the last of three closely-related eclipses — a partial solar eclipse that occurs on Friday at 4:54 am EDT. This eclipse will be in Cancer, and is the first in a cycle of eclipses that span far into the future. Centuries from now, astrologers will look back at this event for information about the times they are in, and will use Friday’s chart as a reference point. They will also be curious what was going on in our phase of history, and if they are vaguely imaginative, they’ll wonder what it felt like to be alive now.

Simplified chart for the solar eclipse Friday morning. The eclipse itself is the conjunction of the Sun and the Moon on the left side. You can tell they are conjunct because they are next to one another and have the same number value. The ‘grand cross’ (also called a ‘grand square’) is everything that meets the eclipse at right angles (traced by the purple lines making a cross, or the red lines making a square, in the center of the chart). Pluto (the red golf tee) is opposite the eclipse with a respectable three-degree orb; Uranus is at 90 degrees (the blue capital H, on top of the chart) and Saturn is the yellow lowercase H at the bottom of the chart. The cross includes many separate aspects, such as Saturn opposite Uranus, and Uranus square Pluto. Chiron and Neptune are together in Pisces on top toward the right, and Jupiter in Taurus is above and toward the left.

Astrological charts are composed of some patterns that move quickly, and some that move relatively slowly. The slow-moving patterns describe the historical context that reveals the state of society and frame the personal changes we’re living through. Simply put, the outer planets point to some of our deepest changes and where we fit into the larger changes in the world around us. If we look at the slow-moving patterns in this chart, it’s possible to see this event as a kind of bridge between two astrological eras. One era is what you might call the warmup to the long-speculated-about 2012-2015 period, and the other era is the thing itself — rather than the myth.

The main structure of the eclipse chart is arranged as a crossroads in the early cardinal signs — the early degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn. This is called a grand cross, and its position aligns it with something called the Aries Point — the first degree of the zodiac. When the Aries Point is activated, the energy rises, and a space opens up where deeply personal events share the room with sweeping changes in society. What we call individual experience stands in the same place as collective experience. Of course, it always does. Our private lives are influenced by the public realm more than we think, but when the Aries Point is cooking, the intersection is a little more obvious. We can tell because we feel the sense of urgency, the pull to get involved, and we might take the sense of a critical moment a little more personally.

I trust that readers outside the U.S. will indulge my giving examples using American culture; you can look to your own community for similar examples that will illustrate the point equally well — and if you have examples I would love to hear about them (including how you’re personally experiencing those changes or the call to action).

We have all been eyewitnesses to the effects of this astrology. Between 2007 and the present time, American society has been through a dramatic polarization. Social conservatives and the extremely wealthy have worked together to push through an agenda that both restricts personal rights and concentrates resources at the top. It is indeed one agenda that cuts off resources to the poor, runs wrangle on reproductive rights and attempts to restrict the movement of ordinary folks. This in turn is reflective of a society that’s being run on a divide and conquer theory. In the astrology, we’ve seen this as a series of oppositions between Saturn (a planet said to represent structure) and Uranus (a planet said to represent energy). With that opposition you get some hotly polarized tension. The typical narrative is of regressive versus progressive thinking. We saw one of the last acts in this drama play out in New York State when the Knights of Columbus, worried about what allegedly happened to Sodom and Gomorrah, pitted themselves against people who want to be free to choose their partners on their own terms.

Ferns grow out of a cliff behind the Sanctuary teaching space at Omega Institute in Rhinebeck, New York. Photo by Eric.

This may seem ridiculous, but it illustrates the point of how attached to the past, or an idea from the past, it’s possible to be, and how powerfully this can influence the present moment. The many dramas of this sort have paralleled the Saturn-Uranus opposition in a way that makes you wonder if life isn’t some kind of puppet theater with the planets pulling the strings. Of course, looked at honestly, this can seem like a lot of unnecessary head bashing. Perhaps it took this polarized astrology to make the issue seem obvious.

We’re now leaving behind the Saturn-Uranus opposition — Friday’s eclipse seems to be the last major event in which the aspect features prominently. Saturn is now heading for late Libra and eventually Scorpio, leaving Uranus in early Aries to do its work on the level of individual and collective awakening. Uranus is the planet of revolution and Aries is the sign where we not only hold our sense of self, but where we create it as we go. So, a long series of personal revolutions that spill over into collective progress are on their way.

In this chart, the Saturn-Uranus opposition intersects with another aspect — one that’s just warming up. That’s the Uranus-Pluto square. When you think of 2012, this is the aspect to remember, and remember that it makes seven exact contacts between June 24, 2012 and March 16, 2015. (This same cycle next comes into play in 2046, when Saturn and Pluto make an opposition.) Note that the square has a wider time orb than this 2012-2015 date range. We’ve been feeling its effects for several years, and it will continue to have effects into the end of the decade. But the peak phase of this aspect is going to be interesting, a time when we see some extraordinary changes in society. By that I don’t mean the usual litany of disasters, but some unusual developments that we might have claimed were impossible right up till they happened.

The Hermitage at Omega Institute. Photo by Eric.

The long square between Uranus and Pluto is one of the threshold eras of our lifetimes. It’s the time when anything can change, and most anything will — our job is to participate, envision and adapt.

Yet this will be small comfort for those who are clinging to the past in desperate fear. It might not feel like ‘the past’ to them by the way — it might feel like the only thing they know. We’ve all got a little piece of this working somewhere, and it’s good to know about it because that bit of clinging can be the one thing that holds you back.

There will be people, potentially right near you, who fall anywhere on the range from frightened to terrified. Part of not being scared is being able to assist those who are, to the degree that it’s possible. We all make up our own agendas in life, and if someone’s agenda is to be paralyzed, there is little anyone else can do about it. It would make a lot more sense to observe your own fear dynamics and see how they create resistance within you, and what you discover you can do about this. Remember, you’re not being loyal to your parents by being scared of the same things they are.

The opposite of fear is love, and this can turn up as trust, imagination, a sense of community, a sense of your own potential or what we might get done if we cooperate. There’s the thing we need to figure out the very most: we’re all in this together. Once you’ve tuned out the ongoing propaganda campaign that we have nothing in common, it’s easy to see how much common ground we share (such as the planet itself, the air, the water, the need for companionship, and so on). The common ground in this chart is indicated by Pisces and the planets associated with it.

Fretboard of G&L Comanche. Photo by Eric.

There is a direct energy line into Pisces because the eclipse is trine Chiron and Neptune in that sign (that’s the double green line in the center going up to the right). Pisces is the sign of the imagination, representing the endless cosmic ocean of creativity we can tap into at any time. Chiron is helping us focus our minds on this wavelength; Neptune is providing a rush of fresh, new water into the ocean it rules over. Amidst this clash of the titans, the chart points the way into rich potential and actual freedom.

Yet this is freedom you have to take for yourself rather than be given. The circumstances of your life or the world may require you to make significant changes, or rather to make a conscious choice to alter the flow of your existence. Yes, some things develop in what seems like a natural way and some develop by an overt decision. And who knows: this may turn out to be easier than you think it will be.

Last, Jupiter, the other ruler of Pisces, is in Taurus. This blends the populist realm of Pisces with the individual possession realm of Taurus, enriching both. Our individual lives indeed benefit by a connection to collective resources, and we all have something to offer that will make the world a better place. The thing about Pisces in any form is that it calls for clarity. It’s necessary to be awake, honest and more than a little scrupulous, or it’s possible to slip or get lost in denial. This chart has a lot of protection against such possibilities; with the least cooperation on your part, Chiron in Pisces will keep you focused and awake as you cross this bridge into the unknown.

Remember: the water of Pisces is inherently erotic. If you’re interested in creation, creativity, celebrating the Earth or your own nature, growing, evolving, loving God or Goddess, or loving existence, that’s the one thing to bring with you; the one thing that has no substitute. If you only have one birthright here, that is the fact of being alive and creative. If this is true, it’s true down to the cellular level. Think of your passion, your pleasure and your creativity (they are closely related) as being the deepest expression of your integrity.

Yours & truly,



To discover how these changes influence you personally, check out the Planet Waves 2011 Midyear Report by Eric Francis.


Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope for July 2011

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

Aries (March 20-April 19) — How does it come to be that we get so over-identified with our relationships? How is it that we confuse them with who we are, and can even think we lack validity, existence or citizenship unless we are certifiably partnered? There are actually answers to those questions if we look at them sincerely. At the moment you seem to be in a situation where your inner development is exceeding the capacity of a relationship. This, in turn, may be conflicting with your tendency to identify with your situation. Now, the cosmic beauty of this is that you will get to define a boundary between you and your circumstances. Indeed, as you clarify this, you will see what you’ve been trying to do for a long time, much longer than you realize. I would remind you that our culture provides exceedingly few examples of what it means to be in a relationship as an individual. For many people, being in a relationship or a family environment is a hedge against that individuality — and I suggest you examine your family line for information about how this may be true in the people who raised you. Ultimately, your drive to grow and become far exceeds any circumstances or the limits that can be imposed by an agreement. If you are indeed growing faster than someone, or many people, around you, then this is something to admit directly, and promptly. At this stage of your life there is no time for faking it, and plenty of incentive to be real with yourself and others.

Click here to order your 2011 Aries Audio Birthday Report.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — There are rewards for letting go of what troubled you in the past, and the things you were attached to in the past that you no longer want or need. Those rewards begin with acknowledging what is real to you, and worthwhile for you, in this moment. That will provide a way to invest yourself in your immediately available environment. You are training yourself in what nourishes you and what does not. Then of course you have a choice of what you imbibe. I recognize the matter of the past can seem extremely complicated. But if we look at its basic elements, we can see that for the most part, the past consists of unresolved feelings that give us very little. Instead of spending our lives unconsciously chasing things that we supposed might fill that gap, we can look directly at those feelings and the situations that gave rise to them. I would note that the situations are arranged in layers. It’s not as simple as linear cause and effect; when you make a discovery, be sure to keep your inquisitive mind on, rather than use a feeling of discovery as a point of conclusion. If you’re just a little persistent, and practice being self-reflective, you can find your way to a new perspective. And while you may be inclined to think of this as a new idea, I would describe it as a new emotional perspective on your own existence — literally, a feeling that describes who you are when you’re not encumbered by expectations of any kind.

Click here to order your 2011 Taurus Audio Birthday Report.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You have long wanted to stabilize your financial situation and you now have a plan for doing so. The key is going to be sticking to that plan long enough to demonstrate to yourself that it works and is therefore worth pursuing and developing. I would remind you that most of what we learned about money we learned from people who were 1. Not that good at handling the stuff and 2. Happy to impart all kinds of emotional baggage and barbs that came along with their philosophy. Usually, there is a close relationship between being financially independent and being emotionally and psychically independent from your parents. In our society money is one of the ultimate forms of power in our own lives. It’s the freedom to stay or to go; the freedom to be who you are no matter what anyone may think. If you look at the times in your life when you had the least such freedoms, they were likely to be in your family of origin, or within relationships that emulated your family of origin. By emulated, I mean which duplicated the sense of powerlessness over your circumstances that you may have felt as a child. At this stage of your growth, ‘power’ and ‘freedom’ translate to being free from the games of others, financial and otherwise; they translate to the ability to trust your own resourcefulness, and most of all, the ability to feel what you feel without the fear of consequences.

Click here to order your 2011 Gemini Audio Birthday Report.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — The July 1 eclipse in your birth sign is about tying together many loose ends, and reminding you that despite the many stories these threads represent, your life has one theme. We tend to think of existence in categories: self-development, work, relationships, home life and so on. This is a glitch in consciousness that veils the fact that we are each one person living one life. Indeed, thinking in boxes does something more detrimental — it creates the notion that we are separate people within ourselves, dividing our character between worker, parent, individual who grows, person who aspires and so on. Many who have attempted can report on the challenge of seeing yourself as something beyond all of these concepts, and indeed recognizing yourself as something other than a concept. Yet I am intimately aware of the sense of a divided self that afflicts many humans, and which can be especially tricky and tiresome for those born under your sign or with Cancer rising. If you start to feel an inner division, I suggest you turn it into a dialog. Get the aspects of yourself conversing, and consider the viewpoints of both of them, or however many there are. You may be aware of how testy this dialog can get, and thus might want to avoid knowing too much about it. However, you’re on the verge of a major self-discovery that could go a long way toward resolving your differences with yourself. You will then discover that your differences with others were a kind of shadow.

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

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You may have discovered that you’re more driven by your emotional nature than by your intellect. While this is true for most people (otherwise, advertising would not work as well as it does), in your life this factor can have a veil thrown over it. That veil is being pulled back by the July 1 solar eclipse in your adjoining sign Cancer. If you can see and understand this tendency, it doesn’t have to run your life. There are more creative ways to live, and the other side of that very same emotional aspect of yourself is a deeply nurturing spirit that is both generous and conscious. You can get into some conflict if you resist that quality, and you may be figuring out that you’re a lot happier when you’re offering others the best of who you are. The eclipse is focused on your 12th solar house — the part of the mind that we rarely get to see, or which disappears into the waking dream of life. The 12th is an inner environment, and the eclipse resembles an opening through which you can allow fear, negativity and attachment to the past to be flushed out of your psyche. Let it do its work. The process is not over; it will go on for months, and speed you through the many self-improvement projects you have going. On that note, I would paraphrase Abraham, an entity I started looking into while researching Leo astrology a few years ago. He suggested that the only thing worthy of discipline is feeling good. From that, everything else will follow.

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

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You’re rather sensitive to what others think of you, though it looks like you’re seeing the benefits in setting some limits to how much you let it affect you. There’s something deep here, and very likely something old. All humans and many other critters need affirmation and approval. That much we can all agree on. What we might disagree on is whether it’s a healthy impulse. I would say that it is, if we can manage to be the first place we go for that approval. Here’s why: If you seek acknowledgement outside yourself, you may be validating your doubt with greater strength than the affirmation providing nourishment. That is counterproductive. If, instead, you get into the habit of answering your own questions (primarily with yes) you will gradually discover that you exist, and that you have a right to exist. That’s what it all boils down to, kid. It’s not about winning the Grammy, the Oscar or even a ribbon at the county fair. All of these things are, at least in theory, designed to inform you that you have a right to be here and to do what you really want to do. At this stage of your life, certain primal instincts are starting to wake up and inform you just how true this is. So if you feel your passion stir, don’t go back to sleep. If you feel your curiosity get restless, go seeking clues rather than assuming you know the answer. And if you desire validation, remind yourself that not only do you belong here — you’re actually here, and you know it.

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

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You’re figuring out how not to overreact in relationship situations, though there seems to be a good bit available that you can overreact to. The skill of maintaining your balance no matter what others are going through — or offering you, or luring you with — is something that you seem destined to learn. As you do, remember that balance is not a static position. Rather, it’s the art of continual adjustment to your environment. This keeps life interesting and lets you perceive experiences as creative fodder. Saturn currently moving through your sign is a moment of reckoning with yourself: of discovering what it means to be fully authentic with yourself, and then as a direct result, with everyone else. This will teach you to be balanced, stable and optimistic. Saturn moving through your sign will only last a little more than one year from now, and is providing a constant reference point of your boundaries. But Uranus will be in Aries, your opposite sign, for the next seven years, stirring up your environment and offering a steady flow of interesting people and situations. There will, as a result, be plenty to test how steady you are on your pins. Remember that much of balance is flexibility, and you may want to consider embracing models of relationship that offer that above all else. It’s not just that you need freedom; you need to live in an environment where it’s considered healthy.

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

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Mars in Gemini may be making obvious certain splits in your opinion, desires or intentions that have been lurking below the boards for some time. I suggest you not hold yourself as someone of ‘low integrity’ because you have a divided opinion, or seeming inner conflict in a value, or have discovered that you might act some ways and speak other ways that seem to contradict them. We all must come to terms with dualism while we are here in the world of duality. It is ultimately the unified mind that can make this recognition and have the desire to do something about it — though that unified mind can be a challenge to dial in consistently. The more we do so, the stronger we become. As you observe the many ways there are two of anything in your life — viewpoints, people you care about, financial options, diverging ways of life — remember that the mere observation of this indicates both an advanced level of awareness and the power to do something with the information. Seeing the pattern is the first step in the healing process, assuming it’s even bothering you. In fact there are many times in life when we get to have our cake and eat it too; the either-or choices for who we are tend to be false dichotomies. By that, I mean the two viewpoints or possibilities we are presented with conceal something deeper, greater possibilities, or alternatives to the problem that take us to a higher level.

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

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — The most ordinary matters are the most meaningful right now. You don’t need to worry about big goals, grand destinations or even your personal destiny. Stay focused in what you’re doing, and in particular, take care of the material aspects: focus on keeping things running more or less on time; keep your sink empty and your sheets fresh and live the life you’re living. This is a moment when the very larger and seemingly more significant things are incorporated into the seemingly most mundane. Here’s the thing, though — they always are. When you’re working at your very highest potential, what you’re doing is part of life. And as part of that, you always have a basic need to maintain yourself, take care of basic creature comforts, and be present in the moment. What you have now is a setup where focusing on your immediate environment leads you to a sense of a much larger world. This could come from, for example, being more attentive to your phone messages or email, which directly leads to an opportunity. Or the effect may be indirect: you’re feeling rested and like you’ve got a handle on your life, and this gives you a little more space to have ideas, and engage people in conversations. One over-arching message of your solar chart is enjoy what you have. Enjoy the health, the wellbeing, the opportunity to serve and create, that you have at this moment. Relax into this space and you will find it offers you lots of unexpected potential.

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

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Someone close to you seems to have shifted their perspective of who you are. That, or you’ve shifted your perspective and you are seeing someone in a different way, a different light. There is something in your charts about you and the people in your life making emotional space for one another. You need the space to be yourself, and to some extent that exists within the awareness of others; really, it’s something that you give to yourself. At the same time, you have the ongoing opportunity to open space within yourself for the changes and movements of others; that is, to be one who allows rather than resists. Relationships are complex, typically because we try to fit complex individual lives into a format that is way too simple to leave room for anyone to have actual space to grow. You are growing; you are changing; you know this, and at times it has you pretty nervous. Imagine how confident you would be if you knew people would embrace you no matter who you become. Now imagine how confident you will be if you know you’ll embrace yourself, no matter who you become. Self-forgiveness, and self-allowing, are by far the most significant pieces of this equation. Most of what the adults around us taught us when we were little was wrong. In that same spirit, it’s true that guilt is inflicted on us in the first instance, but there is nobody who can un-inflict it except for you.

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

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — It’s safe to let your curiosity be free. Indeed, this may be the only safety because it’s an aware state of mind: curiosity is engaging the world with receptivity. You may have a craving to explore the other side of a feeling, or the deeper, darker side of a creative idea. The thing with curiosity is that typically, when we’re very young, a boundary is set on it. We’re told that it’s dangerous to be curious and everyone has heard the rumor about that cat. This association with curiosity and death actually does a fairly good job of anaesthetizing the inquisitive factor of the mind. Right now that part of you is waking up, in a little tempest. As that develops you may feel like you’re going to exceed some boundary, rule or limit; that’s the thing to cross over. That’s the place where the best feelings are, and it’s a sure way to gradually lure yourself out of the boxed-in enterprise that life has become here in the 21st century. Though there are many external factors that try to push us into a kind of rigidity and then profit from it, we’re the only ones who are able to lead ourselves out. And the way we do that is by getting acquainted with the subtle conflicts, masked desires and odd ways we want to work out our inner polarities. The sensation when you get there is something akin to a blend of danger, release and pleasure. And when you feel that you’re on one of the most elemental levels of the human experience — which is the same thing as spiritual experience.

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

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Your sign is currently providing an alternative to much of the negativity of the world: the peace-loving nature of Pisces is starting to become an obvious path to many who have thrived on conflict. I suggest you open up to this yourself. Humans are pleasure-seeking creatures. Humans are creative, they love beauty and they’re inherently erotic. Therefore, you may discover that you’re the flavor of the month for a lot longer than a month. Now is the time to allow yourself to be the ultimate Piscean you’ve always wanted to be. Keep easing into the flow of life; make sure you keep the mystery of existence closely in your thoughts. Avoid people who thrive on conflict, or who are trapped in it — and remember, it’s not your job to cure them of anything. You may, at first, need to make certain discoveries on your own about what keeps you alert to beauty, feeling good and craving new experiences. As you learn from those, you will gradually attract people who are curious about your idea of fun. The coming weeks and indeed seasons of your life may feel like someone has handed you the ‘missing piece’ of your emotional psyche. Suddenly you don’t need others for your pleasure; you have yourself, and they are inclined to need you just a bit more than you’ve noticed before. Relax into this reality. You will wear it well; contentment breeds contentment, and as you value happiness, you will draw toward you people who are seeking the same thing.

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

Yearning for Dharma: An Epistle of the Eclipses

Garden of Earthly Delights – Gemini solar eclipse. The bright spot at the top of this photo is the Moon and the Sun, about an hour after the conjunction. All photos in this edition were taken recently on the land (which also tells stories). Contact me if you if you would like larger versions, such as to decorate your website or illustrate an article — or as prints for your home or office. Photo by Eric.


Dear Friend and Reader:

Wednesday, I got a fortune cookie that said, “Cleaning up the past will always clear up the future!”

Who the heck writes these things, and how did I get one so perfectly describing a solar eclipse on the South Node, on the day of that eclipse? It’s a simple, elegant description of something we all know to be true, but often have so much difficulty with. After all, the past is so abundant, and it can be so problematic. The future seems to barely exist, if it exists at all; and it’s entirely uncertain.

Natural archway in the woods of the Grandmother Land in High Falls, NY. Photo by Eric Francis.

But it keeps happening; it comes at us faster than we realize. Well, the past couple of years, we’ve been getting a clue.

Eclipses involve these alignment points called the lunar nodes. There are two — North and South. In my podcast this week, I described how the South Node is about the expression or resolution of karma. Karma is the end result of the past; we experience it as the effect part of cause and effect, though the way to get a handle on karma is to figure out what the cause is about, and do your best to intervene in the process as consciously and as often as you can. After a while you start to figure it out. However the responsibility of knowing and actually living the truth that your actions have consequences can feel daunting. Part of why the past is so intimidating is that the world can not only be extremely unforgiving, but some take pleasure in inflicting that. It’s easy to get the sense that there is no point bothering with healing, making reparations or getting clear. But resolving the past is not about them; it’s about you. For those who figure it’s just easier pretending nothing matters, there may be less to keep you up at night. Yet those concerns can be subverted into what psychologists call generalized anxiety that may very well be the result of not focusing on what is important. By important, I don’t mean your taxes; I mean what is meaningful to your soul.

Though the eclipse happened two days ago, we can still work with it. We’re now in a kind of hot zone of several eclipses (and the sign change of Jupiter, a related story) wherein it’s possible to metaprogram our lives. A South Node eclipse in Gemini is about acknowledging and releasing mental patterns that don’t work for us. Indeed, the whole 18-month transit of the South Node through Gemini is about doing this, though we have eclipses as focal points to help us move the energy along faster.

The South Node represents a point in consciousness where the past enters the chart, and where it can accumulate. Planets in the natal chart near the South Node can represent longterm manifestations of the past — including of past lives — that we’re experiencing now. Planets transiting the South Node can represent situations that come up for healing, awareness and release. So the South Node really has this double function of representing what accumulates, and then the place we release it. By place, I mean in the manner suggested by the chart.

Photo by Eric Francis.

With the South Node (and eclipses) in Gemini, we’re letting go of old mental patterns, a sense of split reality, conflict and mental chatter. And while we seem to crave doing this, to get to a point of freedom within ourselves, there is another calling that most people feel at the same time, which is represented by the North Node. This is the pull toward new, unfamiliar experiences, though it has a subtle urgency more than an obvious one. The North Node can be the sense of what we came here to do. But it’s often a calling left unanswered.

We tend to lean heavily on the South Node. It’s familiar, it’s got a sticky quality and a habitual feeling, and that can often overpower the tentative quest of the North Node. You know the feeling — it’s the tension between what you do and what you really want to do. It’s the pull between what occupies your time now and what you wish you could be doing. It can also be tension between your need to make a living and your need to express yourself fully. Though many astrology students struggle with understanding the lunar nodes, they represent some of the most basic things that people go through.

Or shall I say people who are waking up to the idea that there may be a difference between what you’re doing and what you want to be doing; what you feel stuck with versus what you crave. Not everyone experiences this. If you do, though it may be frustrating, it’s a sure sign of awakening. There is a challenge involved, and the challenge makes it appealing to go back to sleep and pretend you don’t have that certain desire: to be more authentic, to do something more meaningful, or to support your own growth through your choices and actions. I would note — as we also know — that there are many potential distractions and temptations. If you want to live your dream without quitting your job just yet, there may come a time when you have to stay home and work every weekend instead of socialize. And if you’ve done that for a while, what you may need is balance in the other direction.

The nodes are an axis, and that means they are about balance. Usually, we must balance in the direction of the North Node. And it is an ongoing quest. Working as an astrologer for what feels like a good portion of eternity, I hear about this all the time. Besides wanting the perfect relationship, it’s the thing that most people come in with: a clear case of their North Node waking up, and not knowing how to handle it. It can be a strange feeling, compelling to some, annoying to others, but in the long run unavoidable — and we know it.

Photo by Eric Francis.

It will manifest as a person wanting to do what they came here to do, though often feeling helpless to get there, or even to begin. There are both counseling techniques and astrological techniques that can facilitate this, but really the client needs to be willing to cooperate with what is indeed his or her own agenda. It will usually help to clear some baggage out of the past, which might come in the form of dysfunctional beliefs or the agendas that others attached to us with that glue known as guilt.

Guilt can take many forms — that’s the first thing to understand about it. We may have to work through many forms of guilt to get unstuck, such as feeling it’s ‘too late’, the sense that there’s ‘not enough time’, and a past sense of failure. Note, these can all crumble or melt when life is taken over by a sense of adventure, curiosity or the need to go on a mission of some kind. We’ve all heard people say, “Had I known what I was getting involved in, I wouldn’t have done it, but I’m glad that I did.” That’s the North Node.

Eclipses — which activate both the North and South nodes, because they come in pairs or threes — are times when this whole process is shaken up and accelerated. Eclipses push the lunar nodes and the process they represent into overdrive. The South Node eclipse in Gemini has started a process of clearing out thought patterns, beliefs and ideas that don’t work for us.

How do you know what doesn’t work? Well, you probably already know, and it’s not that hard to figure out if you gather some evidence. In any event the process starts moving as the eclipse happens, and you’re probably getting some information from your direct experiences. Or as The Onion put it this week, all American problems could be solved by just stopping and thinking for two seconds. That would go for Canadian, English and Australian problems too. A lot of what I do as an astrologer is hang out with people and think. We apply reasoning methods; we think through the issues. (I offer many of the thought processes in this column, having learned them from experience in therapy and working with people.) With the nodes, the thing to remember is: work out both sides of the equation.

Photo by Eric Francis.

If you’re working with the nodes in your chart, or if you want to, I suggest you check a diversity of sources for what your placements are about — but emphasize the house placement over the sign placement. (Note, some sources are a bit overconfident about what these placements mean, and make statements that are not supportable. Therefore, read with an open mind, compare the sources and make sure the statements are supportable before you take them on board.) The sign placement is useful because the sign has a ruling planet and you can get some big clues — indeed some of the most meaningful clues — about what the nodes mean by studying the condition of the planet associated with that sign. For example, if your North Node is in Sagittarius, look at what Jupiter is doing for information about how you use your North Node. Remember — planets are not merely symbols; symbols stand for something in your life. Doing astrology is partly about figuring out what reality the symbols correspond with.

The next eclipse is a total lunar on June 15, a potent one on the North Node that happens to be conjunct the Galactic Center. I described this with the monthly horoscope a few weeks ago; that introduction is probably worth checking out again, since these ideas seem to take some repetition. Here we see the progression from letting go of ideas and patterns that don’t work and plunging into something bigger. Bigger, as in the soul-level calling represented by the Galactic Center; the sense of global reality, expressed in an individual way. The forthcoming eclipse on the North Node is about the undeniable yearning for dharma, and connecting what you might think of as the deepest calling you can connect with. It’s a moment to refresh your mind with your original commitments, instructions or inspiration for coming here (however you choose to think of it).

I will admit, whatever the GC represents is going to be a pretty high calling. It may feel intangible or, if you have a sense of what it is, impossible. Yet it’s about nothing less than the constant calling you feel, sometimes in the background, sometimes in the front of your thoughts, that there is something you want to do and need to do. That is the calling to dharma — your personal calling to do what is right for you, and acting for the greatest good for all concerned (the two are related, but they come in that order). Dharma is a form of integrity wherein personal right action and the cohesion of the world are recognized as being part of the same thing.

Remember, it’s an experience, not merely an idea. And that experience may feel strange and tentative at first, and that’s the feeling to follow, and to follow into yourself.




Photo by Eric Francis.

Weekend Astrology: Jupiter in Taurus

Today is Friday, June 3, 2011. This weekend, Jupiter enters Taurus, where it will be through the spring of 2012. Unlike its recent visits to Pisces and Aries, Jupiter’s visit to Taurus is uninterrupted by retrograde back into Aries. The Taurus placement and Jupiter’s consistency there speak to a sense of stability, consistency and even-tempered growth. We have been living with a lot of Aries lately, and that’s had a hot, scorching feeling. Taurus will cool Jupiter off, like how taking a walk in a forest is good for your mind. Forests offer wisdom that cities do not.

Taurus appreciates that sense of continuity, and Jupiter — the ruling planet of Pisces — is great friends with Venus. I am not suggesting that life will be peaches and cream; we still live in challenging, even aggressively challenging, times, but this transit will be helpful, and a point of cooperation with much else going on. For example, Jupiter in an earth sign begins to pick up Pluto in Capricorn, which opens the way for the expression of ideas, passion and handy stuff like devotion that could be directed politically (among other ways).

Before I go on, here’s a quick rundown of current placements. The Moon ingressed Cancer Friday at 4:36 am EDT. The Sun, of course, is still in Gemini, about to get to the midpoint of that sign. Mercury just went into Gemini as well, and is making a square to both Neptune and Chiron. The Mercury-Neptune square can struggle with integrity (it’s important to state the truth under this aspect, and you might say to understate it). Mercury square Chiron can have the feeling of self-doubt, how could I be such an idiot, or thinking you’re wrong when you’re actually perceiving things accurately. I suggest you cross-reference, reality check against the viewpoints of others, and don’t be too frustrated by the sensation of not knowing. Being aware that you don’t know is the first step toward finding out.

Now, as for Jupiter in Taurus. Note that in less than two weeks, we’re having an eclipse of the Moon in Sagittarius. The North Node is also in Sagittarius, hence we will be having an eclipse there. The sign change of Jupiter, and the aspects that Jupiter makes, are connected to the themes of this eclipse. Remember that as you consider what you’re reading. The North Node is on the Galactic Core and that represents the direction of the pull; but where Jupiter is represents the worldly application of that quest, and there is hardly a sign more earthy than Taurus. You might say that Sagittarius is the concept, or the way the idea manifests in your crown chakara; Jupiter is telling us about how and where to express that.

Jupiter is the principle of expansion, as well as fortune, and wisdom. Grounding Jupiter in Taurus takes away nothing, and the cooler temperature allows for a more deliberate approach than we get in Aries. We need this: a sense of persistent expansion rather than the aggressive striving and vying that are so characteristic of our world. This won’t be boring. Taurus is restless down there, take it from someone who collects these people in my life. They are not as calm as they seem; they are on fire inside. But that fire is being expressed like trees pushing up from the Earth, or those volcanoes in Hawaii that expand the island a little bit every day.

Let’s take a look back and consider the last time this transit happened. Jupiter last entered Taurus in early 2000. That was a monumental year — the year of the Metal Dragon, and the year of the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Taurus. A lot happened, and it was not all so happy — including events that paved the way for where we are today, most particularly the [stolen] election of the Cheney/Bush administration. Fortunately — very fortunately, since we have quite enough on our hands — there’s not a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction this time around (that won’t happen again till late 2020, in Aquarius). Still, it would make sense to take a moment to review where you’ve been and what you’ve done since 2000, which (like 2012 ahead of us) was a fabled, mythologized year. If the optimism of 2000 turned out to have been squandered, perhaps the abundant pessimism associated with 2012 will turn out to be false. If you would like to peer back into the astrology of 2000, here is an article from that era called The River of Night.

The first thing Jupiter does when it changes signs is make aspects to Neptune and Chiron. Jupiter is associated with Pisces and both of these planets are in Pisces; that is a strong connection. Jupiter has traction in this relationship, and those planets in Pisces have a means of expression. Think of all that Pisces energy flowing into Taurus through Jupiter. Now imagine Jupiter making contact with Pluto in Capricorn — all that nerve-wracking, precipitous, crumbling sense of change that Pluto is creating in Capricorn but translated into something more stable and easy to handle.

So, while we could say that Jupiter in Taurus is all about Jupiter in Taurus, what it actually does is connect that Sagittarius energy to the Earth, where it can express itself tangibly; and open a doorway to putting the energy of three outer planets to good use. You could say this is the perfect connection between the ‘spiritual’ and the ‘material’ — though you have to admit, any planet where mold spontaneously grows in the basement and where critters are found on the bottoms of the oceans and the tops of mountains — and everywhere in between — is pretty spiritual to begin with.

U.S. government issues new dietary chart

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, June 3, 2011, #862 – BY ERIC FRANCIS

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

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You really can let bygones be bygones with a sibling. At the same time, it’s always useful to recognize who a person is and accept them for that, rather than trying to change them in any way — and I do mean any way. Most people are committed to who they have become rather than to who they are becoming. You don’t live that way, and your charts are all about moving on. You see a bigger world; you are aware of the existence of horizons much wider than you’ve ever lived. That really is the difference between you and the people you grew up around. The challenging part of accepting that difference is feeling free to be who you are as an active process, rather than a fixed notion — and not using your past, or the figures of the past, as a point of comparison by which you judge yourself. A little compare and contrast is okay, but not too much. You are learning to see yourself in the context of wider potentials than you, or they, ever have, and the habit of comparison is a way to block that. Aim for the sky.

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

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Earlier in the week there was a solar eclipse in the financial angle of your chart. Did you figure out anything about how your two contrasting views of money tend to deny one another rather than support one another? I’ve described this before: a double values system. On one side, you might like money, but on the other be convinced that money corrupts people. Or you might appreciate good things but feel guilty about having too much. Recent events are likely to point out the contrast, which can be frustrating if you don’t have a way around it. The thing is, you do. You know that there’s a solution set, and you’re close to having it figured out. The key rather than figuring it out is to live the version of the truth that you want to be true. Conflict serves a purpose — usually to appease someone in authority. Once you let go of the conflict, you move into a position where you serve yourself, and are therefore also useful to others.

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

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — When eclipses reach your birth sign (something that just happened this week) you can be thrown into an identity crisis. That’s actually a good thing, as long as you know what’s going on. And what would that be? Identity is more flexible than we like to think. Indeed, it is our choice to cling to who we think we are that tends to throw us into crisis, particularly when we don’t quite know. The way to find out who you are is to let go of your old ideas of who you thought you were. I know that this is more difficult than it seems, but that’s generally because we don’t know what those old ideas are. I would say, you have bumped into one any time you encounter frustration or a sense of failure. Think of that as a matter of identity rather than as a fact of the world. See how far back you can trace the story of that particular emotion. It’s often liberating to put together the simple fact that something has a history. Then remind yourself that you’re in a different place and time, under different rules. Stay conscious and you can change the game.

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

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — The thing about having any feelings at all is that they sometimes lead to deep feelings, which can lead to a sensation of being out of control. The fear of this turn of events leads many people to skim the surface of their feelings like an insect skeets along the surface of water. Bugs can do that using a natural thing called surface tension — and that is what you feel when you meet many people. It’s a defensive layer that coats the outside of their psyche that makes them seem impenetrable. While doing this may seem like a prudent thing to do (after all, it keeps people out) it also blocks the feelings of those you might want to encounter in a deeper way. Most of that surface tension is expressed through the personality as indifference, which is a little like cutting off the flow of blood to your brain. You’re not indifferent; in fact, you’re very different, and you’re curious about other people who are different as well. Open the door and let them in.

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

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — I suggest you notice the direct relationship between what you set as a goal and what you accomplish. I am not here to tell you that you can do this; I am here to suggest that you investigate the ways you do so regularly. Once you notice this, you will have evidence how important your goals actually are, because they’re the thing you actually get done. This is a pivotal moment for adjusting your goals. Choose what you want; let go of what you do not want. Work for what you want. Stop working for what you don’t want. Observe any conflicts in your plan. Perhaps most significantly, resurrect old plans that you may have forgotten about the past few years. Dust them off and see what they say. At the very least there will be some gems in there that you can apply to your current projects. One last thing — a sense of play is vital to anything you begin now. The more fun something is, the greater chance of success you have, in part because you’re succeeding from the beginning.

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

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — As I have written many times, one interesting thing about your sign is your tendency to have two distinct careers. I say this knowing that many people walk around with an assortment of business cards, and have five different web identities. I don’t mean that — I mean that you have the potential, and the inclination, to be a master of two distinct professional activities. On the surface, they may seem to have little in common. Yet they are informed by the same values. You do them for the same inner reasons, though they might appear to fulfill different outer purposes. Right now I suggest you emphasize the unity of these two modes of your existence, particularly if you’ve been feeling out of balance about your work. Do your best to feel good about whatever you’re doing, which will help you succeed and also provide a positive frame of reference for the decisions you’re about to make.

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

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Saturn stations direct on June 12, which tells me you’re in the process of coming to terms with who you are. This is a matter of taking authority over yourself, rather than letting others have that privilege. This may be eminently pleasant. But if you’re struggling a little, note that this is one of the most challenging things that a human being can do on this planet and in our time of history. The story of Earth is the story of people giving up their power and then trying to get it back. Beneath this drama there is a tendency that we are dealing with, which you could call planetary in nature; it’s about how we get control over kids. Indeed, we treat children as things to get control over; then we treat women that way; then we treat men that way; and soon enough we all walk around believing that it’s our God-given right to make sure that people feel like they have control over us. That’s why coming to terms with who you are and what you want can feel like no less than waging the French Revolution. If so, then Libert√©! Egalit√©! Fraternit√©!

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

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — A subject that has, for weeks, seemed intractable is now open to discussion. Something changed — don’t worry about what. The effect won’t be influenced by whether you understand why the air seems clearer, or why others seem less attached to their past positions, or more accurately, their past contradictions. I suggest you invest your energy in listening and inquiring rather than making statements. This is a fairly rare opportunity to experience the people around you going against what they think of as their nature, and in the process, being of service to the whole situation. I would remind you, however, that there are much more important matters on the line than what is currently up for discussion, and by that I mean fundamental matters of your own integrity. Don’t get lost in the details, the trivia, or the gossip. In fact, move on from them as fast as you can.

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

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — This week’s eclipse in your opposite sign has done a good job of stirring the pot in your relationships, which is another way of saying: in your life. What seems to be an external circumstance is really a projection of your own thoughts. It’s not always easy to see this, but your perspective at the moment is well suited to work with this dimension of reality. When you see or experience something outside yourself, follow that inward. This counts for ‘negative’ and ‘positive’ developments. The current experiment may take a couple of weeks to yield the full effect, which is about discovering how you influence your world. One thing to keep an eye on is that the effect will proceed from the outer to the inner; something will happen, and then you will discover how you influenced that, or how it worked out for you. Practice noticing and then you can start using this as a method to live by.

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

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You may not feel ready, but you have an opportunity. The lack of readiness has a few components, one of which is being reluctant to take on any more responsibility than you already have. However, if you’re thinking this, you may be working with an outdated concept of responsibility. We could start with an easy shift into the ‘able to respond’ definition of that word; explore that for a while and check out how you feel. In practical terms, doing more is not always a matter of working harder. There are three factors at play: awareness, efficiency and desire. Start by being aware of your surroundings and how they are changing. This includes what supposed authority figures are saying, doing and planning. Next, look for simple solutions to what may seem like complex problems. You should be able to see through the issues and observe them for what they are. Last, the desire factor addresses any additional work. It’s not work if you really, truly, want to do it.

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

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Your homing instinct is going at full strength, and it’s closely related to your sexual instincts. Indeed, it would be safe to say that they are one and the same at this point. That does not assure that they are ‘correct’ — we live in a world that tends to go counter to what we know in our cells. So you will need to conduct an investigation, or more accurately, an experiment. The essential nature of the experiment is communication, but it’s a fairly daring kind. A door that was closed is now open; it’s both an inner door and an outer one. There is a mirror effect going on; you are in an environment that is at once social and also psychological. So as you explore, remember you’re exploring yourself — and that you’re providing a space for someone to explore who they are as well. The key is to keep the flow of communication open in the midst of any communing that may be going on. Listen and speak as your environment rapidly evolves.

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

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Your home is becoming a busier place, and I suggest you welcome that fact. As always, you need to make sure that you have the time and space to retreat and do what you can only do alone, but besides that, leave your doors open. Explore your neighborhood and make new friends, even if you thought there weren’t any to meet. Look up some old friends and see what’s going on with them. Your environment is shifting and at the moment distinctly lacks the inert quality that so much of the world’s environment has right now. There is just the right touch of reactivity in the air; just the right touch of the miraculous or the odd chance. The zone you’re looking for is the one where you’re pushing your boundary of safety or confidence but you know you’re probably okay. This is a way of discovering that your sense of security has you hemmed in, and that you’re definitely safe and grounded — the more so for taking some actual risks for the sake of your happiness.

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

Wave Pulse One

Dear Planet Waves Reader:

Most of us are pretty creeped out by all these reports of birds suddenly falling out of the sky and fish turning up dead. It’s been an unusual week in other ways, here in the days following Tuesday morning’s solar eclipse and the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction.

Planet Waves
Map showing recent incidents involving fish and bird kills in the continental United States. To see the world map, and for an explanation of the points indicated, please use this link.

On New Year’s Eve, about 5,000 redwinged blackbirds fell from the sky over Beebe, Arkansas. This happened a day after 100,000 drum (freshwater bass) died along the Arkansas River near Ozark, fairly close by. As this news rippled out, reports of fish and bird kills during the past few days started coming in from all over the world. Collectively, these reports indicate an environment in distress, a fact of which most people are usually oblivious.

Yet this was just one type of incident in a week of certified News of the Weird. The body of John Wheeler III, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (one of those World Manager groups) and a former military advisor to three presidents (Reagan and the two Bushes), turned up in a dumpster in Newark, Delaware, on New Year’s Eve. Press reports say he seemed to be mentally disturbed for two days prior to his death, which has been ruled a homicide.

Scientists in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, succeeded in using weather-altering technology to make it rain in the desert. While the story is novel in our era, in truth this is nothing new. The U.S. government was involved in using weather weapons during the Vietnam War under a program described in a 1973 Long Island Newsday article as “a weather arsenal.”

BBC reported this morning that more than 4,700 farms in Germany (most of them raising pigs) were closed after large amounts of animal feed were found to be contaminated by dioxin, the most potent chemical toxin known to science. In a fashion typical of these incidents, BBC reported that “officials insist the levels of dioxin do not pose a risk to humans, and that the closures are only a precaution.” Note that whenever there is a contamination incident, someone from the government apparently has a sacred duty to tell us how safe the poison is.

Ali-Reza Pahlavi, the son of Iran’s former shah, died in an apparent suicide in Boston on Tuesday. His friends and family said he had suffered from depression for many years. The shah was the last secular leader before the theocratic Muslim government took over in 1979, forcing him and his family into exile, leading to the Iran we now know and love.

Planet Waves
If I had a hammer — John Boehner, the ‘tan man’, is now Speaker of the House of Representatives.

And given that all these events surround a solar eclipse in Capricorn, it was a bit ominous that the 112th Congress commenced on the first day after the eclipse, with the ‘tan man’ John Boehner taking charge with his keg-sized gavel. Boehner is famous for being a corporate shill, known among other things for a 1995 incident wherein he distributed campaign donations from tobacco lobbyists on the floor of the House of Representatives.

A New York Times article from September 2010 said Boehner “maintains especially tight ties with a circle of lobbyists and former aides representing some of the nation’s biggest businesses, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, R.J. Reynolds, MillerCoors and UPS.”

In an attempted display of patriotism that seemed to fool nobody, members of the now Republican-ruled House of Representatives on Thursday read parts of the Constitution on the House floor. They left out many of the more embarrassing sections, such as the bit about how a slave counts as 3/5 of a person and other things that were later updated by amendment. However much modern legislators deny this fact, they read the part that says that, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.”

One of the first issues the new Congress will have to handle is raising the debt ceiling so that the country can make its payment obligations for things like wars.

Oh one last bit of News of the Weird. Israeli Defense Forces shot down an unidentified flying object from the sky above the Dimona nuclear power plant in the Negev Desert. The air force was scrambled when an object appeared in the no-fly zone that surrounds the plant. The IDF has since speculated that the UFO “could have been a party balloon” and according to press reports, it has not been able to find the debris of whatever it shot from the sky.

And as for all those fish and birds?

The Internet is buzzing with theories as to what happened to those fish and birds in Arkansas. The fact that the dead fish and dead birds appeared within one day and 200 km seems an odd coincidence, and the fact that it was on New Year’s Eve imparts an ominous feeling, even if you don’t follow astrology. If you do follow astrology, the proximity to the solar eclipse and major conjunction is difficult to miss.

Planet Waves
Redwinged blackbird. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

There seem to be two basic camps on this issue. One proposes that masses of fish and birds die all the time, which is to say that this is a normal occurrence. What is interesting is how few of these sources are reporting actual data, such as toxicology tests. Remember, if a scientist says something but it’s not supported by data, that is not scientific in the true sense.

The other camp is proposing that the die-offs are the result of some kind of atmospheric manipulation, a weapons program or chemtrails. I haven’t covered any of these topics on Planet Waves yet. One candidate for a weapons program might be HAARP. There is also an Air Force base in Little Rock. As for chemtrails, in case you’re not familiar with this term, these are sightings, going back well over 20 years, of airplanes apparently dispersing chemicals in the lower atmosphere. It is not an officially acknowledged issue, but neither is it your ordinary conspiracy theory. Many people are aware that it’s happening, including those who report respiratory symptoms in themselves and their pets.

A third possibility pertaining to the Arkansas incidents that I have not seen mentioned anywhere but Planet Waves involves the presence of many dioxin waste sites in the area around Little Rock. There are many dioxin sites in the United States, but these are some of the worst in history — including a former Agent Orange manufacturing plant once run by a company called Hercules. There are lots of other sites, including an old chemical weapons depot. I’ve detailed some of them here.

George Badley, the state veterinarian with Arkansas’ Livestock and Poultry Commission, says tests on a handful of the thousands of dead birds all showed internal injuries.

“The 17 birds we did a necropsy on had internal bleeding that looks like blunt force trauma — like they ran into something, would be our best guess,” Badley told CTV’s Canada AM Tuesday morning.

Now, potential chemical exposure does not account for midair blunt force trauma, which in turn may have nothing to do with fish underwater. There is no direct evidence available so far that the Arkansas fish incident is related to the nearby bird incident, but that doesn’t mean the evidence doesn’t exist. It’s stunning how casually this is all being taken by public officials and the degree to which many sources seem to be going to ignore any larger issue that may be behind these incidents.

Planet Waves
HAARP facility in Alaska is a device for focusing massive amounts of sound energy into a weapon, capable of consuming a billion watts of power. The system can also be used for weather control and as a sonar device for searching for oil and gas below ground. The array is now comprised of 360 antennae, many times larger than the original size installation.

For example, the affected area along the Arkansas River was never closed and fishing is still being encouraged. “Right now it’s fine to fish. If you go out there you can still fish for bass and crappie, catfish, it will be fine. Obviously don’t eat the dead fish,” Badley said. Of course, never mind all the dioxin in the area, which tends to hang out on the bottoms of rivers. Bass are bottom feeders, and will therefore concentrate dioxin in their bodies. It’s amazing that they’re legal for consumption.

The Christian Science Monitor reported in an article this week that, “The United States Geological Survey has noted 16 incidents in the past 30 years where more than 1,000 blackbirds have died at the same time, usually the result of tightly-packed flocks flying into bad weather. What’s more, more than 5 billion birds die of natural causes in the United States each year, so it is, in a way, unusual that Americans don’t witness more major bird kills.” Of course, many of these mass deaths happen in remote areas where they cannot be observed.

However, Greg Butcher of the National Audobon Society, said that, “Birds can be really good indicators of environmental problems, so I’d hate to think that 5,000 would die and nobody would care. It’s worth investigation to find out what happened because there is potentially something we should worry about and it’s potentially something that has an odd, but benign cause.”

One potential way to explain this is as a phenomenon of awareness. The Internet has turned every local story into a potential global story, and allows people to compare notes and reports of far-flung incidents rapidly. In this way, unrelated events can seem to be connected.

The Arkansas Bird Incident Chart

Once you remove the need for scientifically proven causation, other possibilities emerge. All of these events are related; they happened around the same time on the same planet. But what we observe and group together is always a matter of consciousness. Remembering that, let’s take a look at the bird incident chart.

Using the time reported by CTV News, I cast the chart and the Aries Point came up on all four angles. You can see that because the early degrees of the cardinal signs (Libra, Capricorn, Aries and Cancer) are on the ascendant, and the cusps of the houses are directly vertical or horizontal. Take a look — even if you can’t read charts, it’s easy to see. Remember, it’s called the “Aries Point” but the first degrees of any of these signs count as part of the same energy structure, and placing them on the angles of the chart emphasizes their role.

Planet Waves
Blackbird Incident, time from CTV-Toronto. The chart emphasizes the Aries Point, which means the first degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn — all of which occupy the mundane angles of the chart — the horizon and the meridian. The presence of the Aries Point says to look for larger connections, and the ones that are the most personal. The solar eclipse appears in the chart’s 4th house, and the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction on the right side, below the horizon.

The eclipse appears in the 4th house, down on the bottom of the chart. The Sun is in Capricorn, close to the North Node (the orange horse shoe); the Moon is close behind in Sagittarius, about to complete the eclipse. So much Capricorn in a chart does hint at a cause that is corporate and/or involves the government. But the 4th house is the homestead.

The South Node is up in the 10th house — another indicator of corporate or government involvement, but ‘hitting home’ in that the sign involved is Cancer. We find the Moon in Sagittarius in the 3rd house. Sagittarius says global and the 3rd house says local. So we have an overlay of local and global themes, of government and corporate themes, reiterating through the chart.

Based on the available data, I am not yet seeing the numerous wildlife events reported the past week as causatively related to one specific source. But I am seeing them as factors of the same global environment, which includes two things: an overload of toxicity that goes back several generations (see Silent Spring by Rachel Carson), and the awareness phenomenon that is accentuated by the feedback system of the Internet. This is turning human thought into something that moves like plasma through what we are discovering, with the help of computers and other devices, is the collective mind. What we are seeing is nothing new — but the fact that we’re noticing it is new.

One last aspect — and a takeoff point for another article. Notice the conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus, exact to the degree — that’s on the right side of the chart, close to the horizon. In fact, the conjunction has just set, and all the major planets are below the horizon when this event happens. This conjunction suggests the need for honoring science. Jupiter-Uranus almost always arrives with scientific breakthroughs, though we don’t always notice them at the time.

The conjunction, combined with the eclipse, marks a transition in astrological eras, conveniently happening the first week of a new decade — one of those things some future astrology student may look back and marvel at.

As I mentioned in my podcast of Wednesday, Jan. 5, we are leaving a lot of truly challenging astrology behind us and entering entirely new territory. A decade of Saturn making oppositions to outer planets started phasing out in 2010. These included Saturn opposite Pluto (Sept. 11, the commencement of the multi-front war and the Enron/Arthur Andersen scandal), Saturn opposite Neptune (hurricanes Rita and Katrina destroying much of the southeastern Gulf Coast, entering the peak of the Iraq war, the bird flu lie) and Saturn opposite Uranus, also square Pluto (involved with the vicious partisanship in Washington, the banking collapse, the housing bubble collapse and the recession). Gee whiz, it’s been an exciting decade, hasn’t it?

A whole category of astrological events that loomed in the background of all of these worldly events is behind us: Saturn opposing outer planets. These events always portend big changes, and are part of cycles that basically spin the world in their fingers. Three such oppositions, all historically documented to be associated with the kinds of effects we’ve seen, are now behind us.

Planet Waves
Saturn-Neptune conjunction came with the twin hurricanes that flooded the entire Gulf Coast, temporarily calling attention to climate change. Photo: Vince Laforet / New York Times.

I am aware that Saturn is approaching an opposition to Eris in late October, though I have a different theory about that one — that it’s a more internally focused event. I plan to give this plenty of coverage this year; it’s one of the first stand-out aspects directly involving Eris, since its discovery.

With so much tumultuous astrology behind us, we are left to clean up the damage and take advantage of new opportunities. This places us directly in the vortex of 2012 astrology, as the biggest event on the horizon is the gradually accumulating square of Uranus and Pluto. While this one has been showing its colors for a while and was part of the wild ride of 2010, it now has a chance to stand on its own, without so many tense aspects from Saturn. These constant oppositions to outer planets, and the recent square of Saturn to Pluto, have come with a sense of constant instability, both inner and outer. That is, the feeling is internal and we also experience it as outer events.

Uranus square Pluto is an aspect of revolution. It is one of the most dependable harbingers of progress of them all, part of a cycle that is known to topple empires. That aspect builds to its first exact contact on June 24, 2012, with five exact contacts spanning through April 2014. It is the guiding star of the 2012 era, and we are now looking right at it.

Catch you with a short edition Tuesday (possibly on audio, to save writing and editing resources) and the weekly horoscope will resume Friday. The horoscope below is Inner Space for January.

Yours & truly,

Eric Francis


Ron Kurtz, Founder of Hakomi Therapy, Dies

Ron Kurtz, the founder of Hakomi Therapy, died in Ashland, OR, Tuesday morning. He had what was described as a massive heart attack. He was 76 years old. About a year ago he had suffered another smaller heart attack and cut back his travel and seminar schedule, and concentrated on organizing his writings and recordings.

He was a native of Brooklyn and educated at the University of Indiana. He began his first Hakomi Therapy practice in Albany, NY in the early 1970s, eventually settling in Oregon.

Planet Waves
Ron Kurtz, founder of Hakomi Therapy.

Kurtz worked tirelessly to develop his therapy method, training thousands of people over the years. Kurtz’s first book was called Body-Centered Psychotherapy, published in 1990. He co-authored The Body Reveals: An Illustrated Guide to the Psychology of the Body, which came out in 1976 and more recently, The Body Speaks Its Mind.

Hakomi is one of several offshoots of Gestalt Therapy, which was created by Fritz Perls and others in the 1940s. While Gestalt has a confrontational quality, Hakomi is mellower, designed to penetrate the ego’s defenses rather than encounter them directly. Kurtz described the process as “applied Buddhism,” using mindfulness, nonviolence and the holistic relationship between ‘mind’ and ‘body’ — concepts that are often separated in the theories of more traditional forms of therapy. Though I don’t have his data available now, I’ve done Kurtz’s chart, and his therapy method reflects his deeply Piscean nature.

The word Hakomi came to Kurtz in a dream one night during an early training session when an anonymous person handed him a small piece of paper on which it was written. At the time, the therapy process had no name, and he did not know what Hakomi meant. It actually shows up in many languages with different meanings; in Hopi it is said to translate to “who are you.”

Compared to traditional talk therapy, Hakomi sessions are minimalist. Therapists are trained not to get involved in the client’s narrative, instead making contact with the emotional movements on deeper layers of consciousness. Hakomi also discourages the asking of questions, instead using gentle probes — or simple statements such as ‘you are welcome here’ — to which the client then responds intuitively.

The method teaches therapists to track the client, monitoring their speech and body movements and assessing the ways in which their words and gestures relate to one another — a technique that has roots in Gestalt.

He is survived by his wife, naturopath Terry Toth, and their grown daughter, Lily Kurtz.

Toth said Kurtz’s family and work were the passions of his life. “He never stopped learning, expanding his theories and helping people, teaching them to heal,” she said.


Planet Waves Inner Space Horoscope for January 2011

Mercury’s station direct and the solar eclipse we just experienced marked the end of a tense and chaotic holiday season, providing the sensation of a surge forward. I suggest, as we move on from these events, that you let the cosmos provide the momentum, while you provide the vision.

Rather than pushing, or attempting to manipulate the flow of events, I suggest that you strive for clarity. That would include knowing what you want, what you want to accomplish, and being clear how you feel about the people in your life. Notice the way that what you believe is possible can be distorted by believing emotional matters are dictated by pre-existing structures. When you put your authentic values and desires first, and allow your true vision for yourself to come forward, seemingly intractable ideas and structures can change before your eyes.

Aries (March 20-April 19)

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You must know intuitively that astonishing changes are just around the bend. Yet to make the most of what is truly a once-in-a-lifetime moment, I suggest you muster up all the trust you can. It’s true that your professional life may have felt like a shambles these past few weeks, but that will soon be behind you, and I suggest you slough off any energy of frustration as soon as you can. Invest your emotional energy two places: in what is working for you, and in what turns you on the most. I recognize that nearly every message ‘the world’ is sending runs contrary to this idea; we’re supposed to hide under the bed until the recession ends. You have another, far more exciting path forward, and by the end of this thing we’re calling 2011 you won’t recognize your life.

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

Taurus (April 19- May 20)

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — It is amazing how fast it’s possible to change your beliefs. I know that they can often seem petrified, then suddenly they turn to living things. You could make a long list of the old beliefs that don’t work for you, and you could make another list of how each one represents a loyalty to someone (generally, a spouse or relative) who expects you to subscribe to that idea. The result can be a psychological maze that seems impossible to escape. Then one day you get some perspective. It’s like you fly above the maze, you see the pattern, and notice that you choose what you believe. You choose who you are loyal to and why, and you can decide not to carry around the burden of what others believe. There are days when this can seem like waging a revolution, and on other days it feels like a miracle. Have your pick.

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

Gemini (May 20- June 21)

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius, which is your relationship zone, has potentially sent the signal that there is someone you must give up — though I would encourage you to take a more positive outlook. What seems in order in any event is creating a relationship where you actually have the freedom and space to discuss your mutual needs and desires. You may have a tendency to think that relationships are all-or-nothing arrangements where power and obligation trump love and freedom. It’s likely that everyone and everything in your life is negotiable right now, no matter how dominant or powerful someone may seem at the moment. There are situations, particularly financial, where the kind of give-and-take suggested by the concept ‘negotiation’ will be helpful. Yet in matters of the heart, remember: it’s more about give and receive.

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

Cancer (June 21- July 22)

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — An eclipse of the Sun in Capricorn, your relationship house, may feel like an ending, but if you open your eyes and look, you will see that it’s really an opening. The world is a different place every minute, and (even despite ourselves) people are changing, growing and evolving as the days progress; that is the definition of ‘alive’. While our culture advocates ideas of relationships that are prefabricated and supposedly based on tradition, your ideas of and the circumstances of those you are with are evolving, progressing and opening into new potential that you had never dreamed of before. I recognize that it can be disorienting to have no choreography or script to follow. I suggest you relax your expectations and forget what your mother told you is the only way — and let the adventure begin.

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

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — The solution to a financial problem may surprise you, but I suggest you have faith in what develops. For years, you’ve been fighting a kind of economic instability that overtakes your life from time to time. You’ve likely been trying to get that instability to go away; but what you can do now is make it work for you. Your charts suggest that there is some unusual potential for creating a source of income that most people would consider risky or uncertain. The difference in your situation is that this method is close to your most deeply cherished values that manifest in your relationships and your inner life. Though most people don’t care where their money comes from, you surely do — or at least, you’re learning how much this fact matters. Focusing on that process of discovery, with a wide-open mind, will be lucrative.

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

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — The thing about sex is that when the energy is right, and we’re paying attention, it draws us deep into our psyches. We may think we’re being drawn into the experience of ‘the other’, though I believe this is secondary to what we experience in our minds and feelings; and that would be everything. What has been coming to the surface these past few weeks has been all about you: your history, your relationship to yourself, your karma. It would be too easy to say that this is about someone else — and it would deny the rather amazing potential that your current relationships are offering to you. Said another way, as you take responsibility for your own issues, the potential of your relationships reveals itself to you. And in that process you are likely to discover the healing and the pleasure that you seek.

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

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Your life lately has been an extended, perhaps enforced, study in getting to know yourself. I trust you’ve noticed certain ways you work against your own interests, and you have made adjustments to cooperate with yourself more actively. It’s as if you’re in a process that I could describe as settling into yourself; though there has been a layer where things seem uncertain or like the ground of your being is constantly shifting, events in the first week of the year have a feeling of slipping into your confidence. Emotional independence is one of those things that makes you an authentic adult, and many people will tell you it’s one of the most challenging things to learn. But you seem to be getting the hang of it just fine, even if some days are more challenging than others.

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

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — If your mind and emotions are simmering in chaos and anxiety, what does that tell you about your life? You clearly need to make some adjustments. Those come first as revelations, then as decisions. Yet one of the things you’re adjusting and deciding about is your mental approach to reality. It seems you’re figuring out that attempts at exercising control, whether over your own mind or your circumstances, do little other than burn you out. Worrying does not guarantee that you have something to worry about, though you do seem to be trying to get a grasp on why things have developed to the point where your life seems out of control. When the revelation about why that is comes, and it is indeed on its way, let the information settle in, then decide what to do about it.

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

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — I’ve written many recent horoscopes focusing on the relationship between your emotional state and your ability to access your creativity. It is possible that financial concerns have influenced your mood lately more than your imagination or inspiration. I suggest you do your best to set economic concerns aside, and focus on what you are creating. It’s not merely that anxiety does not bring in cash. It is that focusing on your ideas, your vision and your desire to create beauty (in whatever form that takes) opens you up to the flow of abundance. Now more than any time in recent memory is a vital moment to keep your mind focused on what you want to create rather than on trying to solve problems. Solutions will indeed come — from your devotion to what you love.

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

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — There’s a fine line between asserting will and raging against yourself. Or at least the line has been thin lately, and you’ve sure been exploring it. Since Mercury shifted direction the last week of the year and we are still working through its shadow phase, make sure you shift your emphasis toward being in harmony with yourself. I don’t suggest you go through a list of grievances you have with yourself; rather, resolve to let go of one phase of your life and commence another. I know these are words more often spoken and less often embraced, though with the recent solar eclipse in your birth sign on Jan. 4, your intentions carry more energy than usual. For this to work, you will need to reach that spot where you just let go of the frustrations of the past month, and decide in your heart you want something better.

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

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — The solar eclipse that’s right around the corner seems designed to release you from a wad of karma that’s been bogging you down very nearly forever. Before you get there, you may feel backed into a corner, either by your circumstances or by your state of mind. This may be a prerequisite to your embracing your desire to break free and let go of whatever situations have held you hostage to the past. You may feel hesitant to act from a point of frustration, though I suggest you let it inform you of what you don’t want, and let that inspire a taste for freedom. Remember that freedom is only partially the ability to move at liberty in the world around you. This time, freedom begins from the outside and transforms into a new perspective on the world.

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

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Pisces is often described as a laid-back sign. Yet clearly that is no longer true for you, if it ever was. The astrology of January brings the peak of a long process of personal re-creation (which connects directly to recreation) This process goes back about a year, and has come in a series of stages, some of which have been extremely challenging. Yet these are challenges past and in most ways resolved, learned from and grown from. Open your heart to the truth that new adventures are ahead, though I can tell you that there is nothing random about this. What transpires next is based on your creative devotion to who you are becoming: you are becoming your own invention, and you are committed to shining in the world. Open up, face each day like its potential is new, and let the love in your heart shine. This you know — it’s time.

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


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

Overnight Monday — Solar Eclipse and Jupiter/Uranus Conjunction

Dear Planet Waves Reader:

Overnight tonight in US time zones is an eclipse of the Sun, and the conjunction of Uranus and Jupiter.

I am distributing our Tuesday edition early, and to save writing and editing time as I wrap up Light Bridge (the 2011 annual edition of Planet Waves), this edition is in audio format. This is combined with the (usually Wednesday) weekly podcast.

It’s a morph between an astrological reading and a motivational talk about you can feel optimistic about these developments, and the astonishing synchronicity of their falling within about four hours of one another.

Here is the link to my Jupiter-Uranus-solar eclipse rant.

Have fun, enjoy, and catch you again Friday.


Eric Francis