Venus, Mars and the Ongoing Quest

Editor’s note: this is the full PW members’ edition, featuring your weekly horoscope by Amy Elliott, Create; and Eric’s Planet Waves FM program.

Dear Friend and Reader:

We’re approaching the Aquarius New Moon on Monday, which happens at the midpoint of Aquarius — and therefore at the midpoint of the current season (the ancient Pagan cross-quarter celebration known as Imbolc). Yet despite the tone of ‘winding down’ that a waning Moon often brings, we’re in the midst of some other astrology that’s urging action and self-expression.

The path may be snowed over, but it’s still there. Photo by Amanda Painter.

Namely, the ‘personal planets’ Venus and Mars are both in squares to slow-moving outer planets (Eric discussed some of the broader themes of these squares in Monday’s essay).

Mars, currently in its home sign Aries, is making a square to Pluto in Capricorn (exact tomorrow), and is moving toward a conjunction to Eris. I know at least a couple of Aries folks who have been feeling this square pretty strongly, namely as a deep need to get moving and ‘do’ that is being frustrated in various ways.

There’s a lot of energy in a Mars-Pluto square, and you, too, may be feeling a need to get things done (and perhaps you’re accomplishing them). But Pluto, being the Lord of Change, tends to disrupt plans or make it clear where you’ve skipped steps and left loose ends. Having to adjust your course of action is not necessarily a bad thing, even if it’s inconvenient; there may be important lessons involved. With Eris in the neighborhood, however, the mandate to avoid any tactics that are ruthless or underhanded is underlined in the face of frustration.

Venus, for its part, is making contact with several planets and points over the next few days. Just before it leaves Sagittarius and enters Capricorn on Sunday (at 5:29 pm EST / 22:29:07 UTC), it makes a square to Chiron in Pisces. This would seem to bring some impetus and awareness to whatever your healing path currently is — perhaps especially in regard to your relationships, or to how you offer and receive love.

Eric spoke of this aspect primarily in the context of the conjunction Venus is making to the centaur Ixion right now (exact Saturday), noting the idea “I am in pain, so I can do anything to you” as one to be wary of. Yet the other aspects Venus is making currently may help to balance that.

For one, Venus is also conjunct the Galactic Center (exact tomorrow). To me, this is a reminder to turn your heart light on. Think E.T. if you need a visual for that — for the idea of making contact; for being a little open and vulnerable (the lovable extraterrestrial’s glowing chest taking the place of ‘wearing your heart on your sleeve’); for orienting on a sense of ‘home’ that is far beyond your usual four walls. This may be of great assistance to making the most of any second chances appearing to you now (second chances being another Ixion theme).

Planet Waves
Simplified chart for tomorro’s Mars-Pluto square. Clockwise from top-right: Uranus, Eris, Mars, Chiron, Vesta, the Sun, Pluto, the Moon, Pholus, Venus, Ceres, and Pallas. View glyph key here.

We also have Venus in a sextile to Pallas in Libra (the sign Venus rules). I see this contact as bringing in some balance, wisdom and an ethic of fairness or justice — though you must choose to activate it.

Venus making a trine to Uranus in Aries opens the way for seeking what is different and new, perhaps especially in love and/or sex. If you’re trying not to repeat a mistake of some kind, or if you’re attempting to move out of a pain-based inner script, these aspects may offer support in your efforts.

In the midst of all this Mars and Venus activity, the asteroid Vesta leaves Aquarius and enters Pisces on Friday at 6:01 am EST (11:01 UTC). This placement looks like deep compassion and a desire to serve and possibly heal those in need.

There also seems to be a reminder to keep your spirit connected to your mind and body — that is, to stay grounded in reality. Compassion and the desire to help can be just as prone to projection and blind spots as the traits we often consider ‘negative’; Vesta’s early sextile to Pholus in Capricorn and square to Ceres in Sagittarius may be reminders of that potential: Pholus indicating that a little goes a long way, and Ceres asking you to reconcile your lived wisdom with whatever your intuition (or your well-meaning imagination?) is offering.

We may be in the belly of the season, but nothing about the current astrology suggests hibernation. Venus will arrive in reserved Capricorn soon enough; for now, aim her arrow far and true toward your spiritual home or your spiritual quest. It just may be that the journey itself offers its own sense of home, even when it seems most strange or frustrating.

Yours & truly,

Amanda Painter

Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Sunday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, Planet Waves, Inc. Core Community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric F. Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Client Services: Jocelyn Allton, Amy Elliott and Victoria Emory. Finance: Andrew Slater. Technical Assistant: Emily Thing. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Media Consultant: Andrew McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Yuko Katori, Cindy Tice Ragusa, and Carol van Strum.
Intelligence art by Lanvi Nguyen.

The Wisdom of Your Future Self: Looking Back from 2020

Dear Friend and Reader:

Have you ever wondered what guidance your future self would offer your present self, if you could hear what he or she had to say?

I’m now in the thick of writing VISION 2020, the second part of INTELLIGENCE. For this annual, I’ve designed a two-year reading. Part one, RESET 2019, looks forward from where we are now, out to early 2020, at the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn.

Readings designed for your Sun and rising sign are available for instant access.

Planet Waves
Hard at work in my busy little astrology/music/art studio.

If you feel a sense of pressure building, that would be Saturn-Pluto, which has not happened since 1982. RESET 2019 — available now — discusses how to work with that energy. Ideally, everyone would get a personal astrology reading to guide them, and I’ve done my best to come as close as anyone can.

One of my fields of mastery is working without the natal chart, using a combination of ancient techniques, modern planets and skills gained in more than 20 years of helping my clients.

VISION 2020, part two of INTELLIGENCE, begins with the astrology of late 2020, looking back from the future at the present moment. A conjunction on the winter solstice of 2020 describes a bold vision for ourselves and the world, focused in the sign Aquarius. It’s a whole new realm of astrology, unlike anything we’ve seen in generations.

We’re going have to get there, and it will be a journey. Much of that quest will be guided by Chiron in Aries, which takes hold in February, lasting eight years. One question that will come into focus is what’s happened as a result of immersing ourselves in digital consciousness for the past 20 years, and what we can do to rectify that.

We will need to claim ourselves back, from the false identities created by social media, and reconstruct our social reality on the basis of trust and common ground. There will be massive political shifts; we will hear callings come into focus that have been whispering from the background.

This is not astrology for the faint-hearted — it requires courage by both the seeker and the astrologer reading the charts.

Reviews of INTELLIGENCE have been coming in over the past two weeks:

“Thank you Eric for this incredibly perceptive and inspiring reading for Virgo. On New Year’s Eve I was experiencing laryngitis, so rather than go out and party I decided to spend the evening in review of my past turbulent and stressful year, and to set some directions for 2019. Everything that I pondered and reviewed and set goals for has come up and been verified for me by your reading. Not only that, but your deep perception of Virgo in relationship and the quest to find ourselves, has left me in deep appreciation of your abilities as an astrologer and consciously soulful human being.”

My readings are affordable, they are easy to understand, and they stand up to many playings. I’ve included four pieces of music by Vision Quest with each, to open up a meditative space where you can think about your life: something that is rare to find these days.

Treat yourself. Take care of yourself. Tap into the wisdom of your future self.

Here are your purchase options:

All 12 Audio Readings Only — $99

All 12 Written and Audio Readings — $133

Individual signs, written and audio — $44 for the first sign, $22 for each additional sign.

Thank you for trusting me as your astrologer.

With love,


PS — Your reading comes with many excellent resources, including access to 19 years of past annual editions for you to research and explore. If you are trying to make some sense of your life and get some direction, this is the place.

Aquarius Birthdays 2019-20

Part One Available for Instant Access

A very good listen! It’s already confirming and affirming my thoughts and feelings. I sure appreciate Eric’s astrological perspective. Thank you!”

— Luna M.

Dear Friend and Reader:

In less than a month and a half — on March 6 — your modern ruling planet will move from Aries to Taurus for the long haul. This is a major shift in tone on a much larger scale than, say, the Sun changing signs; collectively we’ll likely see some cultural upheaval around themes like values, economics and physical resources as the transit takes shape.

Planet Waves
Eric at his desk in The Place of the Way.

But what does it mean for you, if you have an Aquarius Sun, Moon or Rising sign?

As you know, Uranus in Taurus is sure to be a major feature in your 2019 Aquarius Astrology Studio (formerly the Birthday Reading). And Eric has completed Part One — get instant access to it when you place your order.

For $33, you get two sections of audio astrology (at least 30 minutes each), an audio tarot reading for the year, photos of the charts and tarot spread, and an extended description of your sign. All of it designed to offer Eric’s most practical and inspiring ideas for your relationships, career path, healing processes, community roles, and more.

We will be increasing the price very soon. For $33, you get two sections of audio astrology (at least 30 minutes each), an audio tarot reading for the year, photos of the charts and tarot spread, and an extended description of your sign. All of it designed to offer Eric’s most practical and inspiring ideas for your relationships, career path, healing processes, community roles, and more.

“I never gave sun sign astrology much credence until I opened myself to your readings. Thank you!”

— Mary

Please note: the 2019 Aquarius Astrology Studio is separate and distinct from your INTELLIGENCE annual audio reading! Eric creates a whole new reading, fresh from scratch. While some of the themes may overlap, he speaks of and from the current moment, looking into your next twelve months — and may even focus on new planets or aspects.

You can order your 2019 Aquarius Astrology Studio reading hereyou can also use that link to pre-order it as a gift for your Aquarian loved ones.

Yours & truly,

Amanda Painter

P.S. You can listen to last year’s Aquarius Birthday Reading for free, as a gift from us — review your year and check Eric’s accuracy.

Planet Waves
Eight of the Major Arcana cards from the Dust II Onyx Tarot Deck by Courtney Alexander. Top row, left to right: Conjurer/Magician, Shaman/High Priestess, Queen Mother/Empress, The Chief/Emperor; bottom row, left to right: Strength, Rider/Chariot, Hermit, The Moor/Hierophant. You can watch the story of the deck here.

Divination as Social Transformation

By Amanda Painter

Artist Courtney Alexander, creator of the Dust II Onyx Tarot Deck, writes:

“As a person who lives at the intersection of multiple marginalized identities, art has helped me contextualize how I navigate this world. Mixed-media collage and sculpture has become the way that I can tangibly arrange these different aspects of my existence into a whole. As my practice has expanded, I’ve arrived at a place where I desire to explore those intersections communally.”

That’s just the first paragraph of her artist statement about the artwork that makes up her stunning tarot cards, and already she touches on some key themes of our current astrology: specifically the prominence of Eris — the ‘castaway woman’ emblematic of modern identity chaos. As has been written elsewhere on Planet Waves recently, Eris is in the process of receiving a conjunction from Mars, and is still within earshot of its conjunction to Uranus.

Alexander’s desire to explore the facets of her identity and associated themes communally also resonates with the sign Aquarius, where the Sun is currently — as well as with our modern environment of public identity-forging by way of the internet. Regarding her mixed-media approach, she adds:

“These applications are a way of exploring the intersections of Black identity while featuring historical facts, cultural myths, traditions, symbolism, and icons throughout the Black Diaspora. I collect the shards of my own identity as a black/fat/queer woman and piece them into a mosaic of works that present blackness as universal spirit — in contrast to the idea of whiteness and light that formed a wedge between my personal experience of higher consciousness and ancestral connection. Using mixed media collage, I explore the complexities of blackness as a human experience and as a color story wrought with negative connotations.”

How often have you thought about the terms generally used to describe spiritual concepts, and really explored whether their connotations extended into, or could echo or be exploited in, systems of oppression? Is it okay not to think in those terms, or is that a position of privilege? How much does our individual willingness to own all of our own ‘stuff’, rather than project it, factor into the ability to even entertain these questions?

As Alexander eloquently offers, “Through tarot cards, viewers can explore the infinite ways this series can be arranged and rearranged, building and changing the interrelationships between each card as a compelling tool for healing, community empowerment, and social justice. Using divination systems as a vehicle makes this work a tool of resistance and transformation not just politically, but at the root of one’s spirit.”

Planet Waves
Selection from the Special Counsel’s grand jury indictment of Roger Stone for witness intimidation and several other counts. In this passage, he is threatening to kill radio host Randy Credico — and to take his dog. I believe that this statement led to the use of a paramilitary squad to arrest him, unlike any of the other raids or arrests so far resulting from investigations by the Special Counsel.

The End of the Shutdown, and of Roger Stone

Dear Friend and Reader:

In this week’s Planet Waves FM [play edition here], I look at the chart for the arrest of Roger Stone, one of the most notorious dirty tricksters in the history of American politics. The Special Counsel charged that he was responsible for orchestrating the connection between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign in 2016. This was the source of the stolen Podesta emails that damaged the campaign of Hillary Clinton. Stone is a “dirty trickster” in the tradition of Richard Nixon: get a result at whatever the cost.

Stone was charged with seven felonies, which include witness intimidation (see graphic above), and threatening the life of Randy Credico and his dog Bianca (see inset photo).

Planet Waves
Meet Bianca, Randy Credico’s canine companion, who Roger Stone threatened to “take.” I don’t think he meant “take and take care of,” as his indictment contains testimony related to The Godfather. Photo via Washington Post video from news photo.

He was arrested just hours before the government shutdown ended, so I am using one chart (linked here, and posted below), for these two events on this most unusual day in American history.

In the second segment, I discuss the astrology leading up to next week’s Aquarius New Moon. This is a challenging sequence of events, including Venus square Chiron and Mars square Pluto (described and interpreted in Sunday’s Monday Morning edition for our subscribers).

In the third segment, I wonder out loud about whatever happened to Dec. 21, 2012, and relate some thoughts from the chart of Dec. 21, 2020 that are more like what we were considering was possible at that much-hyped event.

I think it’s beyond absurd that a whole industry arose out of 2012 predictions — books, panels, seminars, workshops and all the rest — and it disappeared like a revival tent, with no astrologer taking credit for their inaccurate predictions.

On the program, I reference a few of my works related to 2012, including my PDF book Light Bridge: The 25 Year Span [access free here], which takes events all the way back to the Harmonic Convergence of August 1987.

I reference my coverage, which included this article published one week ahead of 12/21/12 about the Mayans and Juno, and another published on 12/21/12 that looks specifically at the Mayan concept of time.

Finally, in Tantra Studio, I clarify what I mean by teaching, which is specifically teaching by example. Knowledge is conveyed many ways, but none so powerful as watching what another person does.

One last thought — I mention the Basic Astrology Kit. Here is the letter describing what this includes. Every subscription gets the Basic Astrology Kit and my new book.

Planet Waves FM is part of the Pacifica Network, and is published by Chiron Return, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation. Thank you for your ongoing support. You may contribute or become a sustainer at this link.

With love,


Planet Waves
The chart for the arrest of Roger Stone has the Saturn-Pluto conjunction rising, and the Jan. 5 solar eclipse in Capricorn rising. This is the chart I am also using for the end of the government shutdown, as both events are inextricably linked and may be related.
Planet Waves

Listen to Vision Quest on Live Stream

Planet Waves has an in-house music ensemble, called Vision Quest. We have a 38-hour loop of our music, which you can listen to any time. Included are finished pieces, rehearsals, live concerts, drum grooves, and spoken word recordings. I consider it a kind of musical divination. Click in randomly at different times of day and see what you discover.

Our Gifts to You: A Little Something Extra

Dear Friend and Reader:

It took me a long time to figure out what kind of gift to offer for new and returning subscribers. Tee shirts seemed too complicated; you need at least six sizes to get started, and not everyone wants a shirt. Tote bags are useful but kind of boring.

So I thought: journals. I love notebooks, and just about everything I write starts scribbled down on paper. I know my readers are a little old-fashioned, so this seemed like the perfect thing.

Planet Waves
Black smaller, pink larger, embossed with the Planet Waves logo. There are a few hand painted sketchbooks left, with heavy, acid-free paper.

Then…I researched embossed journals for about six months. That’s how long it took. I requested or purchased samples of the best that suppliers had, and all kinds of stuff came floating in the door. It was more challenging than I imagined to find a nice one, though finally I did.

Everything had to be right: the paper, the lines, and how the book feels in your hands.

However, the one I selected was being discontinued. I ordered as many as we could reasonably afford. We now have two main options: small black ones, and larger pink ones (these are new).

Together, they are the approximate color of Good & Plenty candy. I am one of these people who loves anything pink (sweatshirts, nail polish, headbands, a hot pink Squier guitar that I gave to Zosha a few years ago). We also have a few hand-painted notebooks left, which are acid-free sketchbooks.

You can get an embossed notebook with any monthly, quarterly or yearly membership to Planet Waves. If, by the way, there’s a calling for hand-painted ones, I will make one more-or-less to your preferences (for those who sign up for a full-year Backstage Pass).

Continue reading this letter here.

Planet Waves

Sign up free for your comprehensive guide to daily astrology, calendar, birthdays and more.


Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes

We published your extended monthly horoscopes for January on Thursday, Jan. 1 and on the INTELLIGENCE website. Your extended monthly horoscopes for December were published on Thursday, Dec. 6. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope after the Sun has entered a new sign.

Planet Waves
Planet Waves Weekly Horoscope for Jan. 31, 2019 (#1235) | By Amy Elliott

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You seem to be brimming with energy and can achieve great things this week, so long as you channel your passion constructively. Be wary of making rash decisions or rushing to judgment without knowing all the facts; let the voice of reason be your ultimate guide when it comes to throwing your weight behind a commitment. There may also be pressure on you to get involved in a fight that’s not really worth your time, and would distract you from more meaningful efforts. Don’t let it. Get your full Aries reading by Eric here.


Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Keep in touch with your inner compass, and don’t lose sight of the path toward your ideals, however anarchic or topsy-turvy the rest of the world may appear. You understand the importance of retaining a sound ethical framework, particularly one that places compassion and empathy front and center: wisdom too precious to dispense with, perhaps more than ever in these strange days. Carry yours with you like a torch to light your way through any new territory you come across. Get your full Taurus reading by Eric here.


Gemini (May 20-June 21) — There’s a lot of chaos in your surroundings at present, and at times it may seem to you as if everyone is collectively losing their minds. Despite this, you seem to have a firm grip on reality, which will likely only consolidate as the week continues. Part of this is because you currently understand yourself and your wishes well enough to move with autonomy and make informed choices without too much difficulty. Where possible, share this tranquility with those around you who may need a dose of it. Get your full Gemini reading by Eric here.


Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Both the outer environment and your mental landscape are undergoing an alteration of some kind, and it may not be wholly clear which is adapting to the other, or perhaps whether the external change is more a question of perception. To a certain extent you need to let the flow happen, and avoid being fearful of unknown quantities based on the unfamiliarity alone. Every scenario has its ups and downs, and often there are benefits in change that are not necessarily easy to foresee as it works itself into being. Get your full Cancer reading by Eric here.


Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — If you get into a dispute with a loved one this week, regardless of the nature of the disagreement itself, make sure you act fairly toward them. That means trying as far as possible to resolve any issues privately and amicably, and to avoid resorting to pettiness or punitive behaviors, even if you think others might indulge in such things. Keep yourself honest and above reproach. Steer clear of any situation that might widen breaches for the time being. Look instead for what could build bridges. Get your full Leo reading by Eric here.


Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — As the week progresses, you may find you’re particularly sensitive to the tension around you. Relax as much as you can, and take a backward step from any situation where the conflict level appears to be getting out of hand, unless it’s specifically your responsibility to restore calm. If you need somewhere to invest your energy, focus first on the tasks that are immediately before you and which need to be completed, or on creating art: the world is invariably better off with a little extra beauty and soul. Get your full Virgo reading by Eric here.


Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Stephen King said that if you want to write you have to be prepared to do it behind a closed door. This is almost certainly true of any art one might undertake: it tends to require intense focus, at least during some phases; therefore distractions would ideally be shut out as much as possible. This means allowing yourself sufficient time and space to give your unique gifts their full expression, whether with the blessing of society or not. In this case, as with many things, what others think is a mere irrelevancy. Get your full Libra reading by Eric here.


Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Old family tensions or pressures may rear their heads again over the next few days. It may be possible to sidestep this issue by temporarily avoiding or reducing contact with those who might trigger a specific response in you, until the zodiacal energy surge has passed. Alternatively, you could bolster your will and refuse to give in to any efforts to manipulate you. Don’t strike an agreement until you’ve had the chance to review the terms objectively. As an adult, you are free to choose for yourself. Get your full Scorpio reading by Eric here.


Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Your mind may be more versatile than usual at present, and you could find you’re blessed with extraordinary powers of articulation. If there’s a message you’re feeling the need to get across, now would be an optimal time — just remember that words carry power, and choose your approach to delivery with care. Also, don’t judge the success of your communication on its immediate effects. Those listening may well need time to absorb and reflect on what they’ve heard; make room for that to happen. Get your full Sagittarius reading by Eric here.


Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Potentially you’re feeling a little overwhelmed just now, like an introvert who’s accidentally wandered into a crowd. That may be due to pressure in your immediate surroundings, or a sense that a spotlight has been on you for longer than you’d like. Get some quiet time if you need to this week; however, be sure to keep going with any personal development work you’ve been doing, even if it’s tough at times: this is likely to be deeply important to your overall healing process and wellbeing. Get your full Capricorn reading by Eric here.


Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — This week could be a big one for you in terms of focusing your self-knowledge and coming home to who you really are. At least some of that may be related to acknowledging parts of your identity without shame and without unnecessary concealment. Guilt is insidious, and you have no reason to experience any simply for being your natural, honest self, regardless of the way others might treat you. Their reaction is not your problem; the freedom to live openly is a simple human right. Get your full Aquarius reading by Eric here.


Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Vesta, the goddess of devotion and the hearth, is about to visit your sign, remaining until early April. This may cause you to feel somewhat set apart, as if you’d entered a monastery or other sacred retreat. It’s likely you have, or will develop, a specific purpose to which you need to give the majority of your time, and Vesta is offering the space for you to do precisely that. If you’re unsure what this endeavor is, first check in with your intuition and your dreams; if need be, ask the cosmos for direction. Get your full Pisces reading by Eric here.

One thought on “Venus, Mars and the Ongoing Quest

  1. Amanda Painter Post author

    It also occurred to me that with Mars and Pluto involved, frustration of the sexual variety might also be how the square has been manifesting. Not sure how I missed that one!

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