Planet Waves for April 2001 | by Eric Francis


By Eric Francis | For April 2001

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
I was listening to Laurie Anderson's album Strange Angels, and had a thought. It seems there is some music that carries traces of the past attached to it, and that other music is somehow art that's unstained by the past, no matter what we've been through with it on our journey. All art can work this way -- the feeling of Eternal Now with which some paintings or sculptures resonate is just overwhelming. Real art pushes us into awareness, and its effects ripple through our minds. We create this for ourselves by daring to make our fresh mark on the world each day, and by reminding ourselves to look at the people around us, no matter how familiar they may seem or how long they have been around, from a new perspective. Try this and see how alive it makes you feel.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
Selflove is a great paradox for many. I need to love myself to be lovable, but how can I love myself if I am unlovable? Most of the time unloving thoughts about ourselves don't show up as blatantly as "I am bad." Usually, they arrive as doubt, or as nagging questions that undermine our peace of mind, for example, "I am too proud" or "I don't deserve to be here" or "My approval of myself really masks my deep insecurity." Or, we make people around us miserable and "get what we deserve." Yet I would suggest that this whole business is a screen or diversion that is hiding a deeper secret that you are keeping from yourself, which is the truth of what a beautiful person you are. You can stop keeping secrets for yourself by applying doubt to your doubting thoughts. When one comes along, perhaps ponder, "Is that really true? What is the basis of that statement?" I suggest there is no basis whatsoever.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
In times as intense as the ones you are likely to be living through, tremendous awareness is necessary. If you're not figuring out that these are indeed amazing moments of your life, you're not paying attention. Perhaps you're going too fast, or not able to focus, or overwhelmed with potential. I recognize that you may be feeling quite uneasy for reasons you can't exactly trace. I acknowledge that you have your reasons for hesitating. And I know that we live in a world where reality, beauty and freedom are reduced to a bunch of shock advertising, and where very little is solid enough to hold. Okay, all true enough, but not for long. If at some point in these coming weeks you feel your mental processes slow down and come into focus, all you need to do is look around, size things up and make the first of a long series of important choices. More structure will be very helpful now.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Do not hesitate to release who and what is not working in your life, and to readily embrace that which is showing signs of success. Though I have not mentioned this before, the coming month represents the conclusion of a long cycle of effort, building and making your way in the world -- depending on your age, as long as a seven year investment. For the next couple of years, you will be carried forward by the momentum of what you have achieved and developed, though it may feel strange to coast for a while. But you not only deserve this; you need it. A reasonable plan is to invest no more effort than is really necessary, and to presume you have over-estimated your energy output needs. At this point in your life, less is more, and decisions count more than actions.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
You have some truly interesting opportunities in your life right now but I am not sure you see them that way. It's likely that a kind of frustration has settled into your psyche because, having gotten to one level of creative proficiency, you are faced with the challenges that arrive on that level. In short, you are unlikely ever to be freed from the task of having to establish yourself as an individual. Yet this does not mean you are strange or unacceptable. To the contrary, your efforts in this particular direction are likely to be met with great success. There is a niche just for you; there are projects that only you can handle, there are rewards awaiting you, and there is room in this world for everyone to move over a little and give you space to do your thing. Trust that.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Your sense of pressure may be somewhat lessened by recent developments, and you're now in a position to see that it wasn't coming from anyplace but you. You have, none-the-less, made your mark on the world in at least one very important way: those around you are much less likely to ever doubt that you are not just firm in your convictions, but rather steadfastly devoted to what you know to be true. Remember that so much of what you are working through and working on is located on the emotional level. It may feel like the mental level or the physical level, but this rather amazing and complex process is unfolding in the deepest folds of where your sense of security is kept, and in the soft hollow where you guard your most secret vulnerabilities. You are not, however, in as delicate as a position as you are sometimes inclined to think. Far to the contrary.

LIBRA (Sep. 23-Oct. 22)
In one sense, the world we live in is all about projection. We are perceivers of the external world, but that information is so thoroughly processed by our consciousness that by the time it reaches our awareness, some say we are seeing only our own thoughts. Says the old Talmudic proverb, "We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are." Yet it's also true that everyone around us is on his or her own journey, working with their own intentions and their own methods of getting what they want. This means you are not to blame for the insensitive actions of others, though you have a lot of control over how you respond to them. What spiritual teachers call "ego" is a construction made of shame, fear and guilt that arranges itself in the approximate form of a personality. But it is not the person we love, or the person we are. As Hugh Prather (author of Notes to Myself and other books) has wisely observed, it takes ego to see ego.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
This is a great time to contemplate what is really healthy for you, if you're not already on the case. Who and what? How much of who and what? What uses of your time (especially how much work), and what kinds of food? And, in particular, what kind of sex? I offer a suggestion: The sex that will serve you best would be dedicated to the process of healing your sense of self, healing something that was taken away from you in the past, or even the distant past. The erotic consciousness of most Scorpios is extraordinarily complex; I am proposing something simple. You have some very basic needs. For all the world may think or feel about you -- and Scorpios manage to take on more than their share of negative projections -- at your core level you need to be affirmed, paid attention to in the moment, and loved for who you are. Ask the people closest to you to honor this. In any case, make sure you honor it yourself.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21)
You must still tread lightly over the face of the Earth. Some of the more intense stages of your current transition have passed, but some of the more tricky ones remain. It's unlikely you'll be presenting the picture of human consistency in the next few months, as you make major strides in the art known as "becoming yourself" (read: changing your mind). But these changes of mind, far from being based on whims, are really about reaching ever-deeper states of understanding about what you really expect from yourself and the world. It is not enough to say that you expect too much or too little; we need to use less linear concepts like beyond, within, integration and revelation to get at the essence of what you have the potential to contact and create as this Spring unfolds. When in doubt, keep asking questions.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
At long last, your guiding star, Saturn, makes its way into mutable, flexible, and easygoing Gemini. This is astrological shorthand for going from being stuck to being productive. Not that you've been a sloth for the past three years, but you have yet to discover just the ways in which you were indeed snagged or hung up, along with observing a variety of places where you really want to make changes and decisions. You probably need to take an inventory that goes back to around Summer 1998 and see what projects and plans stalled or were put on hold for "more important things," or what you gave up on because it seemed impossible or too unlikely. The way this astrology shapes up, I surmise you'll be able to take care of far more practical matters with greater ease and, at the same time, have more fun. Don't ask me how exactly this works. I just read the planets, not invent them -- but who's complaining.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 19-Feb. 18)
Discipline, cousin. Focus. On the important things, please. Not the trivial ones. Learn the difference. Aquarians tend to be smart. They tend to be inventive. For sure, there is social conscience hard-wired into your stellar spirit. But there is also the most awesome gift for digression, for blurring out, for not carrying the plans, hopes and dreams you cherish through to fruition. There is a horrible, dreadful tendency to underestimate. In one particular area of your life where you need discipline the most, you are about to have that need become a possibility -- if you will take advantage of it. However, you will no longer be able to get away with feigned insecurity, doubting everything but doubt, or thinking that it's not a necessary part of life to invest your time and energy into the people and things you love the very most. Not the second-to-very-most; the very very most.

PISCES (Feb. 19-Mar. 20)
You are in an extended phase of working out your highest aspirations. For people who have not actually experienced a measure of success in worldly activities, it's important to know that rarely is it a straight line from here to there. Yes, obstacles can and usually do show up. Yet unplanned-for opportunities often emerge, which rout us through different paths to seeming destiny. You may need to make and unmake a few key decisions this Spring and Summer, but I suggest that you fear neither; this is a process of working out your journey forward, which requires a flexible state of mind. Don't worry so much about "the past," for as the mighty Saturn begins its journey across Gemini, you get the benefits of both a boundary between what is true now and what was true back then, and a means of handling your past obligations in tangible, organized and stable ways.++

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