For the Faithful by Eric Francis | July 2001



For the Faithful | by Eric Francis

.......Back in February 2000, I had to call it quits for a while on the weekly horoscope. That was during one of the most difficult periods of my life, living alone down in Miami Beach, with everything up in the air and not much going especially well. Since then, I've realized an eight-year-old dream of living on the west coast and, week by week and day by day, I've been building a life for myself here in the Seattle area.

.......For the first time in years, and for one of the few times ever, I work out of a separate office in my home -- I can actually leave work! The computer now has its own phone. I live with a fine housemate named Brian, and two great cats, Balin and Gretel, to whom I am mysteriously not allergic. (All three of these people are Geminis, by the way.) My office windows, four of them, look out at a forest, and in the past three weeks, a brand new 30-foot-wide yurt has appeared (after a lot of work, the screwing in of 800 screws, etc., all done by people besides me) on our property, a beautiful, clear space designed for workshops, classes and parties.

.......So, having said all of that, I'm really happy to tell you that I'm going to be posting more frequent Planet Waves horoscopes, built on a more clear mental foundation and a more stable, restful life. I am still amazed that 18 months after I stopped writing my weeklies, people still write to me rather often saying they miss them. With the recent wave of feedback came lots of positive comments about Planet Waves weekly, and I started to remember how much I loved writing it, how the project kept my astrological skills sharp, and how fine it felt to be in the constant flow of stardust.

.......So, in a few weeks, on July 23, I'll begin reposting a bi-monthly horoscope every other week. The horoscope will be dated for Thursday and probably appear a day or two ahead of schedule most weeks. The new horoscopes homepage will also include two other features: an Updates and Advisories link, updated continuously, and an Observations link, in which I will post commentaries that come across my desk or from clients and students -- perhaps commenting on what it means to be born with Neptune rising, or why the Capricorn moon is so intense, or how to read Mars in a birth chart.

.......Also, the monthly will be posted earlier -- at the time of the Sun's ingress into the new sign.

.......The story of my stopping the weekly is a bit complicated, but here is what I learned: That the horoscope needs the direct support of its readers, and it needs to work in the context of my life. So I am starting with taking it easy -- three columns a month: two bimonthlies and the regular monthly (the old weekly had me writing as many as six columns a month, plus the essays). As for the energy coming back from you to me -- psychic support is beautiful; letters and sending the link to your friends and most of all, reading the column. All of these contribute to the total flow of life force and excitement that makes astrology the mysterious and miraculous game that it is.

.......But then there is the support that makes the project work on the physical plane.

.......I am a freelance writer. We are not the world's highest paid profession, nor the most respected, and very fortunately, I have my astrology consultations to support my literary habits. (One of my clients asked me tonight if I am insinuating that I don't like doing astrological work. As most people who work with me are quite aware, I truly love doing astrological work, and feel incredibly blessed to have this opportunity to work with people, to learn, to teach and to interact with the world in a constructive way. Yet I do mean to say that I dream of being a full time professional writer, and I know that I have the talent and drive to do it. In a real sense, being an astrologer allows me to do it on my own terms, and to work in a field where much of my writing [astrological in nature] supports my professional activities and where working with people teaches me most of what I learn about astrology; at a certain point, hopefully early in one's career, books become a lot less interesting and real than people...)

.......I am one of those writers (aren't we all) who would rather write than play the brutal hit-and-miss, doggie-dog game that (sometimes) makes writing careers happen. I have played it plenty, and I still do, and I am doing it with more energy and optimism lately.

.......But help helps.

.......It is that simple. So I am asking for your help.

.......The most important form that help can take is readers sending the horoscope links and printed copies of columns directly to the editors of the publications and web pages you love, with your comments, and sending information about those media back to me. Or, you can tell us where you think my articles and columns should appear. Then tell the editors of those publications. Eventually, sooner or later, the right connections will start to happen. Which editors? Those who publish everything from new age publications like Yoga Journal to mainstream things like Esquire, and even to specialty astrology magazines like Dell or Mountain Astrologer. Hey, and if an astrology columnist says something mean or nasty to you, promises you a bad day or back luck, or assures you all Scorpios are so-and-so, please send the reference to us. They clearly need a new columnist.

.......In my ideal world, I would have two or three people -- the same two or three people, by the way -- involved in a sustained, two-year marketing and outreach effort. And at the same time, my readers would be involved in a grassroots promotion scheme that would make the Grateful Dead proud. This way, when my (clearly envisioned, soon-to-be-hired) assistants who are sending out the marketing kits and nudging editors actually get in touch with someone who can make a decision, they have heard of us already.

.......Sending out article links from Planet Waves to editors would be an immense help as well.

.......Planet Waves, the webpage, is a commercial-free enterprise. There are no ads here, and we charge no money for access to many hundreds of articles. You get to read my work and that of the other writers I recruit in an atmosphere that does not harass your mind. To do this, to have this privilege, I have to work hard as an astrologer. It's worth it: we are artists and writers who have a mission, which is to Speak My Truth, to throw our bodies into the taboo, to dare to go a little further, if not all the way. I speak of Maya Dexter, Via Davis, Giovanna Coppola, Carol Burkhart, Chris Grosso, Amy-Fulton-Stout and others whose writing and visual creations grace our pages. At Planet Waves, you actually get something good for free.

.......But I want to take this project further, and I know that I can do it; I know we can do it.

.......So I have a proposal for you. We create the best, most fun, most mystic-erotic-politic-dynamic e-magazine you can find with an http:// in its name, and you help out the project somehow that is easy to you. Maybe you know XML, or how to design utilities that will make the site work better. Maybe you have some cash on your hands, and want to help support the project financially. Maybe you know where we can get a few G4s as a gift. Maybe you can help figure out how we can pay some of the people who help out with real paychecks (those assistants I am envisioning, for example). Maybe you're a literary agent or an editor yourself, or maybe you know one. Maybe you have a knack for manifesting the visions that seem righteous and true to you. If so, we want to hear from you.

.......And really, we do all bitch and moan about the bullshit we're subjected to on TV, in magazines and on the mainstream 'net. But for relatively little effort, or a relatively small contribution, you can make a very big difference at Planet Waves.

.......Come along. We'd love to travel with you for a while. And thank you to everyone who has supported the project in ways large and small so far. We truly appreciate your generosity.

.......To contact us, please send email to this link:

Great to be with you,

Eric Francis

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