Dear Friend and Reader:
To understand the astrology of 2017, it helps to start on Dec. 21, 2020. That’s when Jupiter and Saturn form their once-per-20-year conjunction in the first degree of Aquarius. It seems like a long time from now, though not at the current blinding pace that time is moving.
The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction is like Mt. Rainier if you live in the Seattle area. It’s the biggest, most dominant force on the horizon. With something so vast, it’s not really possible to judge distance or scale, though it’s good to know that it exists, and that we’re all heading toward it.
I am viewing the astrology of 2017 as preparation for the events between now and then, most of which take place in Capricorn. What we have for the next four seasons are a series of experiences that are focused in mutable signs Sagittarius and Pisces and, of course, the continuing Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries.
Let’s go through these one at a time.
Uranus-Eris: Social, Emotional, Digital Chaos. The lead story from 2016 remains one of the lead stories into 2017 and beyond. Uranus has come around the Sun to meet up with Eris for the first time since 1928. Eris is the planet that got Pluto ‘demoted’. Remember that? It turns out that Eris was ushering in the age of digitally infused identity chaos.
Are you wondering why hardly anyone seems to have a clue who they are, what they are or what their body is for? Why everyone is walking around in the astral haze of the internet? It turns out that the Uranus-Eris cycle is associated with the development of media and how it impacts psyche and society.
Giant painting by Eugène Delacroix confined to a tablet, the current most popular way to view masterpieces at the Louvre. Photo by Danielle Voirin.
The effect of the internet has been the ability to order a drone delivered by drone; same-day, one-click shopping for a case of Five gum; your parents stalking you while you’re at school; and a total meltdown of identity.
You used to go to the internet. It used to be metered by the minute. Now the internet is everywhere and nobody can escape.
Luddites, cats and dogs, and techno junkies alike are subsumed by the data stream, by interconnectivity and by the tidal wave of wireless signals in which we are drowning. As a result, life has become an out-of-body experience.
The message of Uranus conjunct Eris is get back into your body.
Jupiter and Haumea opposite Uranus-Eris. Through the Uranus-Eris conjunction, another slow-mover called Haumea has been lingering across the sky in Libra. Haumea is the cosmic midwife. Its presence indicates that there is, beneath all the chaos, a birthing process underway, and that we’re likely to find it in our relationships (via Libra). This is an abstract thought in the age of texting as intimacy.
Jupiter is now in Libra and will spend most of the year near Haumea and opposite the conjunction. Jupiter is doing two things. First, it’s bringing some substance into Libra, as a counterweight to the edgy, fiery activity in Aries. Jupiter is like a shock absorber that’s easing some of the impact of Uranus and Eris on relationships. It’s a reminder that the human realm exists.
Saturn Conjunct the Galactic Core. Saturn in Sagittarius can be the full expression of rigid preconceptions. We have seen this in many ways the past year, where everything, every last thing in society, is taken on the level of religious dogma. Close to the Galactic Core, in late Sagittarius, is where Saturn will spend most of the year.
The Spitzer Space Telescope’s infrared cameras penetrate much of the Milky Way’s dust, revealing the stars of the crowded galactic center region. Photo by Susan Stolovy (SSC/Caltech) / JPL-Caltech/NASA.
It will therefore experience the direct and penetrating rays of our most accessible spiritual source, the core of our galaxy, to melt those calcified ideas.
Leave yourself and the people around you room to let go into the deeper truth you or they may perceive. It’s truly important to give others the space to change their mind and their perceptions, no matter how hard-headed they may have seemed.
We all struggle with not wanting that feeling of regret or of feeling like our previous ideas were ridiculous. For this reason it seems easier to cling to entirely dysfunctional beliefs than to change them even a little. The more you give others permission to update their ideas about existence, the more you will give yourself that space.
Saturn conjunct the Galactic Core is the potential for actual religious experience rather than religion or dogma.
Chiron square Pholus. The first two centaur planets are now in the late degrees of their respective signs, Pisces and Sagittarius. Chiron entered Pisces in 2010 and Pholus entered Sagittarius in 2005, so this is the lengthy culmination of a long story. Both planets, associated with the healing process, and with concentrated experience, have joined forces.
Main entrance to the Chironian, in the cement mines in Rosendale, NY, which I’ve dedicated as a healing space. Photo by Eric Francis.
The essential tension of this square can feel like events progressing rapidly or even going out of control (that would be Pholus) connected to developments that evolve slowly, intentionally and meticulously (that would be Chiron).
Both are working their way through two signs directly associated with direct spiritual experience. Both points are concentrated around the Galactic Core, which raises the direct conveyance of information from source.
Pholus is now conjunct the core and Chiron is about to be square the core. This is an invitation to develop and maintain your connection to source. The Galactic Core, virtually ignored by astrology, is a homing signal that offers a stream of living information. Pay attention to your subtle feelings. Listen into the silence and read between the lines. You will be told what you need to know.
Venus Retrograde in Aries and Pisces.
One of the most personally relevant events of 2017 is Venus retrograde. Because of its proximity to Earth, Venus is retrograde just 8% of the time, for six weeks every 18 months. Venus will be retrograde first in Aries, and then track back into Pisces.
This is something of a parallel teaching to the 2016 Mars retrograde in Sagittarius and Scorpio, which was in essence a morph of the spiritual realm of Sagittarius and the sexual realm of Scorpio.
One condition we face today is trying to be self-obsessed people who then attempt to relate to others. (This is mirrored in Uranus conjunct Eris in Aries, complicated by the fact that much of our “relating” is run through digital technology.) Venus retrograde will turn self-obsession inward and may mute some of the overt narcissism that we deal with so often.
Lucille at Burning Man in 2009, in the Erodome at Poly Paradise. Photo by Eric Francis.
The retrograde connotes an introspective experience of questioning what you typically project to the world. You might say that uncomfortable self-consciousness could become self-awareness. Many people, to some extent everyone, struggle with this. Ranging from the fear of narcissism to dealing with people for whom it’s a way of life to the actuality we live with in ourselves, this is a struggle of our times, steeped in image and glamour as we are.
After a long spell in Aries, Venus then retrogrades into Pisces, where it leaves the realm of the personal and the collective realm begins. It’s as if Venus is diving into the pool of unconditional acceptance and love that lingers below the surface of the ego. The retrograde may be emotionally tense until Venus bursts into Pisces, and stays there for weeks.
The peak of this experience is that Venus retrograde ends in a conjunction to Chiron in Pisces. We’re talking about sexual healing with this arrangement. My feeling is that we get to work with, experience, explore and perhaps unravel something about vanity. Venus in Aries knows vanity, and Venus in Pisces knows she’s always looking at herself. Venus to Chiron blended with the empathetic, oceanic and dreamy last sign evokes tantric fusion with the cosmos.
To get there, to arrive at that place, it’s necessary to go through the hall of mirrors of Venus in Aries. That must be seen and felt for what it is, before one can dive into the pool of yin represented by Venus in Pisces.
Venus retrograde in Aries and Pisces corresponds to the 2016 journey of Mars retrograde in Scorpio and Sagittarius. That initiation, while no longer showing up in the charts, is not over; we are still experiencing this inwardly. It’s the idea that what we think of separately (after centuries of conditioning) as sexuality and spirituality are facets of the same thing, which is ourselves and the universal love that has ignited the creation we see around us and feel within us.
Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, by Planet Waves, Inc. Core Community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Special Project Designer: Lizanne Webb. Finance: Jonathan McCarthy. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Astrology Fact Checker: Len Wallick. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Eric’s Assistant: Gale Jazylo. Client Services: Amy Elliott. Media Consultant: Andrew Ellis Marshall McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Amy Jacobs, Cindy Ragusa and Carol van Strum.
A Note From Your Astrologer
Dear Planet Waves Reader:
How are you doing there?
I know we’re all feeling the pressure and the stress of uncertainty. What you’re feeling is not coming from the news alone. The same cosmic forces, or perhaps timing factors, are acting on everyone and everything. This is not an easy time to keep your head together.
iMac selfie from today in my creative shop, Blue Studio.
It is, however, a deeply important time to keep your heart open and live from your soul.
I’m feeling the pressure in my own way, as someone who not only writes about politics but who translates and clarifies the news, with the assignment of taking it above the level of despair. Because I work for you, I don’t have the luxury of denial.
Just about everyone has reached the saturation point with politics, especially in its current wholly toxic state.
The feeling of being violently pulled from your inner reality has been agonizing. The confrontation with shadow has been extremely challenging. Admitting that, we’re all sitting here watching the world, wondering what’s going to happen. And we all have lives to lead: things we want to do, growth to attend to, people to take care of.
The world may be going insane, though you don’t have to.
It’s taken me a while to work through the pain of the election process and what it means. Gradually I’ve gathered my energy, done some deep healing and focused my mind on your 2017 reading, called The Book of Your Life.
As I go deeper into the astrology, it’s truly been a relief to focus on personal matters, filtering out the madness of the world. The transits we’re experiencing are rich. On one level, we’re being pelted with total chaos in the form of Uranus conjunct Eris. We are learning how to breathe and find ourselves at the bottom of the digital ocean.
A New Moon Prelude to a New Year
By Amanda Painter
‘I wish it need not have happened in my time’, said Frodo.
‘So do I’, said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.’
— J.R.R. Tolkien
I know so many people who just want to forget that 2016 ever happened. And I get it: between the global shocks and upsets, the deaths of beloved celebrities, and what looks like the complete undoing of any semblance of functional government about to commence, collectively we’ve been put through the wringer.
The constellation Orion, over my mother’s neighbor’s house. Photo by Amanda Painter.
Yet from what I’ve seen, we’ve also stepped up to new levels of activism, awareness and cooperation in many, many instances. Raise your hand if you now understand more about the Electoral College than you ever learned in high school; same with the history of Native American treaties with the U.S. Government, the role (and abuse) of the media in shaping cultural opinion, or the plight of refugees from war.
I’m not saying these lessons were fun, easy or even something I hope to repeat — ever. But if you’ve been paying attention, and if your brain and your compassion have stayed active, chances are you’ve learned a lot this year.
Which is good. Because from what I can tell, we’re going to need to call on everything we’ve learned in 2016 — and integrate the lessons into a useable, empowering form — going forward. That’s not an astrological prediction. It’s merely an observation: despite the fact that you ditch the old calendar and start a new one on Jan. 1, we don’t actually start from scratch each year.
Sometimes that seems like a nice fantasy. Except that it’s hard to grow, heal and support others in that process if you’re always back at zero in 12 months. This is true on the most internal, personal level as well as on the cultural level.
Just like every calendar year, each astrological year offers its own ‘big events’. Yet just as with cultural progression, those astrological events do not appear out of nowhere.
Every planetary aspect, every eclipse, every retrograde (whether Mercury or another planet), etc., is connected to multiple others that have come before — and to various other events. One of the beauties of astrology is how it makes visible the interconnections between short-term cycles and long-term cycles.
This is the Very Model of a Modern Major Astro-Site
By Amanda Painter
With Mercury retrograde in Capricorn — the sign that favors ‘antiques’ — the stage is set for some verbal high jinks with the classics. Mya Gosling, the gal behind the Good Ticklebrain blog, presents a mash-up of all of Shakespeare’s plays set to the tune of “I Am the Very Model of a Modern Major General” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Pirates of Penzance.
Done in the spirit of Tom Lehrer’s parody of the same song (listing all the elements in the periodic table), Gosling divides the Bard’s canon into three separate comics (all presented on this page).
Some of the parody’s lyrics may stretch the meter a bit, but no matter — it’s utterly delightful anyway. Feeling brave and fleet of tongue? Gosling writes, “If you send me video of yourself or some friends singing this song, I will totally share it with the world.”
This Week on Planet Waves FM
Special Focus: The Astrology of 2017
Dear Friend and Listener:
In this week’s edition of Planet Waves FM [play episode here], I look first at the Capricorn New Moon. This takes place conjunct Mercury, which is about halfway through its retrograde, and sextile Mars. Mars is applying to a conjunction with Neptune on New Year’s Eve. Be the designated driver!
I then give you a preview of the astrology of 2017, looking out as far as 2020. This includes the continuation of the Uranus-Eris conjunction, plus Venus retrograde in Aries and Pisces in the spring. There are also several events taking place in the late degrees of Sagittarius and Pisces, the major one being Chiron square Pholus.
I extend the reading out to the concentration coming in Capricorn from 2018 through 2020, for which we are now all in a phase of preparation.
Planet Waves FM is part of the Pacifica Radio Network and produced by our nonprofit cousin, Chiron Return, Inc. We are sponsored by your memberships and reading purchases. If you’re not already a member, or if your membership has lapsed, please do sign on up.
Thank you for tuning in, and I’ll see you Saturday night (see below).
Your Monthly Horoscopes — and our Publishing Schedule Notes
We published your extended monthly horoscope for January on Thursday, Dec. 22. We published your extended monthly horoscope for December on Wednesday, Nov. 23. Your Moonshine horoscope for the Gemini Full Moon was published Thursday, Dec. 15. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Included prominently in what you can probably claim to have gained from 2016 is a strengthened belief in yourself. Just think of all you sustained and maintained better than you might have. Give yourself credit for when your plans and follow-through paid off. Acknowledge what you have overcome when doing so was not a foregone conclusion. Now, as you head into a new calendar year, one worthy objective would be to enhance the extent to which others believe in you. To increase the probability of accomplishing that goal, keep two things in mind. First, do not underestimate the importance of timing. Pick your spots to impress, and endeavor to be both alert and prepared for when spots pick you. Also, remember that others often see you through themselves. Therefore, anything you can do to help others believe in themselves will also serve to raise their estimation of you. — By Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — There is no doubt you have a gift for helping others of like mind keep the faith. Your capacity for reinforcing shared values is unsurpassed. The concept of common ground is your home turf. Now, as a new year beckons, so does a unique and rare opportunity for you to grow into a somewhat less familiar but potentially more gratifying role. Instead of being content to serve as the rock or anchor among those with whom you share familiarity, contemplate what it would require of you to go further afield. Think of how rewarding it would be to progress from merely contesting with those not previously convinced by your point of view to eliciting enthusiastic agreement from them. Preaching to the converted is made easier by the fact that you are already understood. Should you aspire to increase the circumference of your communal connections, however, you must first seek to understand. — By Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — When you were younger, you might have had reason to feel that you were born either too early or too late. Now it would be fair to say that the world and you have at least potentially caught up with each other. You can bring the improved sense of your being in the right time (and even at the right place) to practical fruition. Try taking either a two-day sabbatical or two hours every week for at least two months to record a short history of your happiest moments on paper. The purpose of using paper and making bliss your subject matter is to help you focus on where personal experience has most pleasantly intersected with physical existence. Stick to the facts, and write for yourself only. Once you have finished, read what you have written. Then, ask yourself two questions. First, what desires can you let go of now that they have been met? Second, what do you now have the strongest will to reach for next? — By Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — If you have not already made resolutions for the New Year (or if you have metaphorical room for another), you may want to consider this: in all probability, there is something still unresolved from a relationship that concluded two or more years ago. Most likely the unfinished business is not with any other person, but instead with yourself. While it may ultimately be advisable for you to secure the services of an appropriate and willing counselor whom you can meet with in person, it’s very possible that you can accomplish some inner reconciliation on your own. As a guideline towards gaining some internal closure, the first thing to keep in mind is that being constantly critical of yourself will almost certainly not be helpful. Think of how sugar dissolves more efficiently in a heated beverage, and make it your first principle to be as warm towards yourself as you would want any other to be towards you. — By Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Every new circumstance benefits from a new perspective. While experience counts for a lot, it is equally as important to be capable of temporarily setting aside, if not forgetting, what you know whenever life gives you a fresh start. If you have recently entered an environment in any way different from where you have been before, now is a good time to evaluate both what you brought in with you and how things are working out for you. It could very well be that any new associates would ultimately benefit from perceptions you gained in a different climate. It is just as likely, however, that you stand to learn a thing or two from those who already know the ropes. In order to maximize the possibility of mutually beneficial exchanges between you and those you are in the process of fitting in with, do what you can to make it known you are willing to listen first and share opinions later. — By Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — It seems very possible that you are now doing a better job of pleasing yourself than at any time in recent memory. If that’s true for you, by all means stay on your roll. On the other hand, it’s possible you have been so involved with pleasing others as to neglect your own desires. In that case, now would be a good time to firmly and succinctly request adjustments from those who owe you some reciprocation for what you have done on their behalf. The best way to enlist the support of those you are requesting accommodations from is to make it clear that the happier you are, the more happy you can make them. While such a rationale may not at first convince either the reflexively critical or the habitually possessive, you should not have to be insistent forever. When you show others a return on the investment of participating in your liberation, everybody involved will ultimately get their needs met better than ever before. — By Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Whether in the material world or with intangibles (such as knowledge), you can most often become wealthy in one of two ways. The first and most obvious way is to progress forward and accumulate through your own efforts. The second and subtler protocol is to behave and position yourself to attract what you want as though it were coming home to you on its own accord. It seems most probable for you at this time that you have gone for many a month winning more than losing whenever you take sufficient action. If that’s the case, when should you begin reactivating your capacity to allow for, and simply accept, good fortune? If things begin to get more frustrating than at any time in recent memory, don’t be discouraged. Rather, let it be your sign that a tide has turned. Then begin to brush up on locating and tuning into a flow of what will more often than not be abundance — at least for a while. — By Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — New trends seem to be emerging in your environment. To best deal with them, you might want to want to think about changing your style. Note that this is not the same as changing your substance. Specifically, it could be very useful if you were to consider how you exist currently in the minds of others. Changing how you present yourself, especially in response to reasoned entreaties, would not require you to be either untrue to yourself or dishonest with others. What other people think about you is their business. What you can do, however, is heighten your awareness of the impact you have on others — and modulate how much intensity you bring to any encounter. All things in good measure; first, however, you need to know how much the recipe calls for. That should make any adjustments on your part more than worth your trouble. — By Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Abrupt changes need not be unpleasant. When things happen fast, they can just as likely be for the better. Even so, sudden shifts do not usually favor everybody equally. Revolutionary developments tend to be better for those who possess a flexible temperament and adaptable skills. It is extremely unlikely that the entire world will change overnight for everybody at any time in the foreseeable future. That being said, consider how you are so often the exception to nearly every rule that applies to almost anybody else. You might want to mentally prepare to make some significant adjustments sometime during the next nine months or so. Once you have both intellectually and emotionally situated yourself to accept unbidden shifts, you will also be among the best situated to profit and prevail come what may. If you can bring yourself to think of your future in that way, who knows; you might be motivated to be among those who get a revolution started. — By Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Simply being realistic about what you can and cannot do at this time will put you in a superb position to make wiser and more productive choices than ever before. Allowing any sense of discontent to run your life will almost certainly have an opposite effect. If, for example, owning a Rolls Royce is not currently a practical goal right now, you have options. You can choose either to sulk or to be relieved that any achievable purchases will not depreciate nearly as quickly or as much. While such a scenario may seem unrealistic in and of itself, you might want to take a close look in your life for any actual parallels. Pay special attention to any circumstance in which you might be tempted either to judge others too harshly or to blame them for your troubles. What such a cursory self-examination might reveal could very well open your eyes in time to make that metaphorical Rolls possible — if not probable — sooner than you might think. — By Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Somewhere on a sunny beach long ago, some anonymous surfer once offered a piece of advice that has been repeated over the sands ever since. That observation, as pithy as the interior of a fine surfboard, was that “the best way to deal with the situation is not to deal with the situation.” In other words, don’t sabotage yourself by either trying too hard or losing faith in your ability to improvise. Your genes contain literally billions of years of experience with life on Earth. The memories your own life has stored up in your body and mind represent an even more specifically applicable set of resources that is just waiting to be used. It is understandable for you to want relative certainty (or at least a chance to prepare). Yet there are times when you both need and want to draw fearlessly upon your unequaled aptitude to make good things happen on the spot. Just such a moment would appear to be drawing near for you. Surf’s up. — By Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Don’t settle for less, especially from yourself. You don’t need to compensate for any deficiencies, because you don’t have any that pertain to what you are doing now. If for some reason you are tempted to over-correct or otherwise jump the proverbial shark, just ask your friends if they think you can handle what you have taken on. Even though it may come as a surprise, it’s a reasonable bet that everybody who knows you well can discern that you are equal to finishing what you have started, in finer form than you had allowed yourself to even dream of. The reason some people sometimes fail on the verge of success is because they never let themselves believe they could get so far. You were born to follow through and take those last few steps up to the top of the mountain. And that mountain would have chosen you had you not the balls to choose it first. Everybody else can see that. Time for you to see it too. — By Len Wallick. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.