Planet Waves

New York, Jan. 21, 2016 | View as Webpage | Order Your Vision Quest Reading

Postcard from the Edge
Evidence Points to Big, Undiscovered Planet
By David Rosen & Eric Francis Coppolino
It's not every day that a new planet announces its existence, but that depends on what you mean by planet. Moons, asteroids, centaurs, comets and dwarf planets are discovered relentlessly. Nearly a million are known and catalogued, all objects orbiting our Sun. The great majority have been spotted since 1992. We live in an age of discovery.

Planet Waves
The 8-meter Subaru Telescope atop Mauna Kea in Hawaii has a large field of view -- enabling it to search efficiently for "Planet 9" and plenty else. Photo by National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.
This week something special happened: a team of astronomers headed by Mike Brown, the guy who brought us Eris and got Pluto reclassified, published a paper he co-authored, asserting that there's a large thing -- potentially the remnant core of a now-gone gas giant planet similar to Jupiter -- orbiting our Sun in what may be a 20,000-year cycle.

People have speculated about this for a long time. If you're familiar with the work of Barbara Hand Clow, she frequently mentions the theories of Zecharia Sitchin (1920-2010), who referred to ancient Sumerian tablets that he said illustrated the existence of a large, distant planet orbiting the Sun, unknown to modern scientists. Clow calls this Nibiru. You can read one version of that myth here; there is more in her most famous book, Chiron: Rainbow Bridge.

In a paper published on Wednesday in The Astronomical Journal, Brown and a colleague laid out a detailed and compelling case pointing to the existence of a previously undiscovered planet lurking at the far edges of our solar system. If it exists, it's located way beyond the Kuiper Belt (where Pluto is) in the distant reaches of what's called the Scattered Disk, a region of planets that seem to be scattered by the presence of some other larger object.

And now there seems to be sufficient evidence to point to that thing, or one such thing. The two astronomers who authored the paper -- Michael E. Brown and Konstantin Batygin, both professors at Caltech -- have inferred its existence based on the available evidence, an understanding of interstellar physics and a lot of math. They noted patterns in the known orbits of much smaller objects in the Scattered Disk; they say these orbits have been stretched by the gravity of this large object. Brown and Batygin have not seen the thing, but they say that physical evidence is pointing in its direction. So this is not a discovery -- it's evidence that might point to one.

Brown and a group of astronomers including David Rabinowitz and Chad Trujillo make up one of the leading discovery teams in astronomy history. They discovered Sedna (in 2003) and Eris (in 2005) orbiting in a distant region of the solar system. Thanks to co-discovering Eris, Brown was the primary astronomer responsible for the 2006 reclassification of Pluto as a dwarf planet. He's a leading authority in planetary surveying and has a record of big finds, which is why the scientific community and the press are taking his research so seriously.

Planet Waves
Happy campers: astrophysicists Mike Brown (left) and Konstantin Batygin. Photo by Lance Hayashida / Caltech.
The research itself may be impenetrable to anyone without a Ph.D. in astrophysics, but what Brown and Batygin have found is actually quite simple. Some unseen force appears to be pulling Sedna and five other small Kuiper belt objects out of their expected orbit.

Other than Sedna, none of these objects have non-technical names, but several of them are large enough that they might eventually be reclassified as dwarf planets.

What's telling is that these objects are all being pulled in the same direction. They all have similar elliptical orbits that are roughly perpendicular to the orbital plane of nearly everything else in our solar system. The odds of this happening purely by chance are estimated to be about one in 15,000, Brown and company say. Far more likely is that the gravity of an undiscovered planet is responsible for pulling these objects into their otherwise inexplicable orbits.

This predicted world, given the project code name “Planet Nine,” has yet to be observed in a telescope. But now, the race is on to find it. And thanks to the calculations done by Brown and Batygin, astronomers have a pretty good idea of where to look and what to expect when they find this strange new world.

The planet will have around 10 times the mass of the Earth. It is most likely to be around four to six times the Earth's size, but could plausibly be as big as Neptune.

It will orbit between 20 to 100 billion miles from our Sun, with an orbital cycle that might be 20,000 years or longer (Sedna takes 11,000 years), and a perihelion located outside the orbit of Neptune. The planet itself is likely to be the remnant core of a gas giant -- what would be left if Jupiter or Saturn lost all of their hot air.

Planet Waves
Ok, here is the diagram, from the website Science. Note, nobody is really calling this Planet X. Brown and company are calling it Planet 9 till it's found and properly named. First, orient yourself. The orbit of Neptune is inside that tiny, bitsy little blue ring at the middle of the diagram. The planets with the wide, elliptical orbits skewed to the left are small objects (smaller than Pluto) in the Scattered Disk. That is the region beyond the Kuiper Belt, home to things like Pluto and 1992 QB1 (Eris is much further out as well, but not shown in this illustration). Scattered Disk Objects (SDOs) are called that because astronomers think they got scattered by something. They are in weird orbits that can't be explained any other way, so far. Brown and company noticed that there were several SDOs skewed in one direction -- and inferred that it was due to the presence of something much larger. They think that large thing, presumably the remnant core of a long-gone gas giant such as Jupiter, is now going to be found in the other direction -- the red wedge. See larger diagram here.
Like the other classical planets, the mystery planet likely formed in the inner regions of the solar system, but was ejected when the solar system was between three and 10 million years old. Indeed, previous research has supported the theory of an ejected gas giant, whose existence may be necessary to account for the modern orbits of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune.

If the planet is anything like what the Caltech scientists expect to find, its status as a classical planet will be impossible to contest. Ironically, its properties and behavior will mean that it fits the contemporary definition of a planet even better than the classical planets do, despite its distant location and unconventional orbit. And once the planet is observed -- which could happen any day now -- it's going to need a name.

Conversations about the name for a planet that has yet to even be discovered may seem premature to some. But once the planet is found, the naming question is going to be resolved in the blink of an eye. The chances are that Brown already knows what he wants to call it. If not, the astrology community has a rare opportunity to contribute to the naming of an entire world, so we had better make it a good one. Notably, astrologers did assist in the naming of centaurs Nessus, Asbolus and Chariklo.

While there are some naming conventions for certain categories of planets, if this object is actually found, the discoverers will have free rein what to call it.

I would propose Janus. The month of January honors this two-faced (and sometimes four-faced) Roman deity. He was the god of beginnings and endings, of transitions and passageways, of doors and gates, of journeys and travels, of shipping and trade, of change, of time and of rites of passage. Janus was unique to Roman culture -- he had no Greek precedent -- and his name was often invoked in conjunction with other gods and goddesses.

Planet Waves
This artistic rendering shows the distant view from postulated Planet 9 back towards the Sun. The planet may be gaseous, similar Saturn, or it may be the remnant core of an old gas giant. Image by Caltech.
Janus would be a fitting name for a world that has passed from the interior to the exterior of our solar system; for a world that lives near the boundary between our celestial home and the unending cosmos beyond.

Its discovery will come at a time when our own world is in constant transition from one state into the next -- a time when some doors seem to be closing forever while new ones are opening to take their place…an age of endings and new beginnings.

And isn't that what this is really all about? The idea that there are not just new planets out there in our own solar system, but whole new concepts of what and where planets might be? This would open up a whole new world of possibilities for astronomers and astrologers alike -- an actual new world. Meanwhile, Brown and company are exceedingly good at finding things, and even though this section of the sky has been mapped recently and decreed planet-free, science is nothing if not the story of the impossible giving way to what is so.

Subversive Mercury and the Leo Full Moon

Dear Friend and Reader:
We're in the midst of several astrologically busy days, with the Sun, Moon and Mercury central to pivotal events. You might be noticing this as a slightly edgy feeling, or as an accumulation of minor missteps, glitches or lapses in focus and communication.
Planet Waves
"Selene Cleared for Takeoff": a Full Moon rises over the air traffic control tower at the Eleftherios Venizelos International Airport, Athens, Greece. Photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis.
For one thing, the Sun just entered Aquarius Wednesday, on its way to its opposition with the Moon this weekend, which is the Leo Full Moon. This puts the Sun in the sign of fixed air, and a sign curiously co-ruled by Saturn (fixed structures) and Uranus (spontaneous sparks or eruptions).
So there's an element of something new and seemingly fluid or ephemeral breaking out, and then crystallizing -- like your breath on a below-freezing day. Or, think of how new electronic technology tends to burst on the scene, disrupting the way everyone is used to doing things, and then it quickly solidifies its place as the new norm. This is the new tone of expression for the Sun, which represents your conscious awareness -- the filter through which you experience the world, and yourself.
Aquarius also introduces the question of individuality in the midst of group consciousness, and the way that elite or exclusive groups form -- thereby affecting the dynamics of awareness and identity.

Eric has often noted the difference between group consciousness (which occurs when several individuals are united), and mob consciousness (when individual thought is abdicated and one gives over identity and individual power to a group). Sadly, the latter seems to be more common, and is cultivated by those who wish to amass power; it has even been predicted as a 'benefit' of a shifting educational approach.
I encountered that last idea just recently, the result of a completely unrelated email discussion about the correct definition versus the popular misconception about a certain word that had been used on a piece of local activism in flyer form. In that email thread, Eric pointed out the collected letters of Richard Mitchell; aka "The Underground Grammarian."
I clicked randomly on Volume #6, Number One from January 1982. There I discovered a piece by Mitchell taking to task the superintendent of schools for Tulsa, Oklahoma, and the city's residents for a laissez faire attitude about the idea that America could become the most knowledgeable society ever in 50 years, "and yet be largely illiterate."
Part of Mitchell's beef was with the Tulsa superintendent's assertion (based on the work of a University of Massachusetts professor named Peter Wagschal) that, "Teachers, for example, will no longer be disseminators of cognitive information -- machines will do that. Teachers will be program developers and/or facilitators of group membership, helping students develop interaction skills."
Planet Waves
"The wittiest, the most brilliant and probably the most penetrating discussion now available of our growing American illiteracy," according to Clifton Fadiman on Mitchell's Wikipedia page.
Mitchell's rebuttal: "Does it not occur to you that the inculcation of 'interaction skills' for the purpose of 'group development' is exactly the opposite of an education, by which a mind can find its way out of group-think and the pet promulgations of collectivisms?"  
I think I cheered for a moment when I read that; but in nearly the same instant, I realized that to a degree we are already living this disturbing future Wagschal describes. Yes, teachers are still disseminating cognitive information, as they have been required to 'teach to the test' in so many school districts. But stop and think for a moment about just how much information is now disseminated by machines -- the smartphones and tablets and laptops and even the GPS in your car -- and just how rarely critical thinking skills are being taught.
Even if you were taught how to think critically in school, how often do you employ it to the degree that life demands it these days? How often have you shared the link with the attention-grabbing headline, or the photo with the improbably-credited quote, without giving the source, the agenda, or even any implications of the author's conclusions a second thought?
We all do it. The question is whether we are willing to take the time to step back more often and ask some questions. It's not easy to turn one's back on the imposed pace of digital communication and transaction. Yet chances are, if you're reading this, you grew up in an era when you had an opportunity to learn how to ask questions about the information you encounter. I can think of few better ways to retain (or reclaim) the independence of your mind than to practice these skills. If you do, you'll also be a model for others.
About that Full Moon

Just three days after the Sun's Aquarius ingress, the Moon enters Leo (the opposite sign) at 2:21 pm EST / 19:21 UTC on Jan. 23. With the Sun so early in Aquarius, it does not take the Moon long to oppose it in the fourth degree of Leo. The Leo Full Moon is exact at 8:46 pm EST on Saturday (1:46 UTC Sunday).
Planet Waves
A Leo Moon relates to display and the dramatic (a desire for attention), pride, expression on the level of personality and leadership. A Leo Moon on a Saturday night is perfect for socializing out and about. Yet, contrasted with the group themes of Aquarius, it's easy to see how this Full Moon might bring out tension in any situation where you're trying to stand out from the crowd without actually breaking off from a group you identify with.
Layer on top of that Mercury's station direct on Monday at 4:50 pm EST (21:50 UTC) -- while in a conjunction to Pluto in Capricorn -- and some very interesting communication situations could arise. From Friday through the middle of next week we'll be in Mercury's 'storm' phase, which is the two to three days or so on either side of Mercury stationing. Just as the word 'storm' implies, you can expect that anything Mercury related (thought processes, communication, transportation, technology) will require a deeper level of focus and patience from you.
In fact, with communication in particular, you might find that returning to 'old' modes and methods of getting your message across are particularly helpful. Mainly it is Mercury's presence in Capricorn that suggests this, with the presence of Pluto adding a potentially subversive twist.
An NPR story Wednesday morning rang the bell on this theme for me. Despite the fact that there are reporters on the ground in war-torn Syria, frequent electricity cuts and dropped Internet connections make it incredibly difficult to broadcast news within the country to Syrian citizens. But a German NGO called Media in Cooperation and Transition has figured out how to use "old-school, analog technology" like satellite and FM radio to get past the unreliable Internet.
Nine "pocket transmitters" have been smuggled in from Berlin. All Syrian citizens need to hear news being broadcast by those transmitters is a transistor radio, a car radio or the FM receiver inside a cell phone -- items most Syrians have access to.
Planet Waves
Philipp Hochleichter of Media in Cooperation and Transition (MICT) holds a Pocket FM Radio Transmitter in Berlin, Germany, Monday, Dec. 21, 2015. Photo by Michael Sohn / AP.
Should things get wiggy for you these next several days, try taking this idea of using forms of communication that hail from the past, and apply it to subverting or getting under any difficulties you encounter as you try to express yourself. Go old-school -- whether that means picking up the phone to call instead of texting, making up some paper leaflets to leave on car windshields or doors, writing your thoughts in a note-card rather than an email, or even knocking on someone's door to initiate the kind of face-to-face contact that has gotten so rare in this digital age.
I have a friend named Don who recently shared his experience of making very real, tangible and rather moving contact with a single mother at her home while he was out canvassing door-to-door for Bernie Sanders. His whole anecdote is beautifully written, but this part in particular caught my attention:
"I ring the bell and listen. Silence. I knock. I have maybe 15 seconds to introduce, reassure, engage, amuse, intrigue, connect. The words matter, a lot, but it is the human-to-human part, the part that isn't said (maybe can't be said) that matters most."
Yes, email is a very fast and cheap way to talk to a tremendous number of people at once. But citizen action groups and political campaigns still send people door-to-door because they understand, at least on some level, what Don has discovered: it's the part of communication between human beings that "maybe can't be said" that is incredibly powerful, even in its nebulous subtlety.
Paradoxically, that same quality may factor into both how we can make individual contact within a group, and also why an event like a rally is so effective at drawing people into "mob consciousness." Except, in the first instance, the one-on-one factor exists for both parties. In the second instance, individuals all focused on a single speaker are projecting their sense of one-on-one connection (which does not actually exist) onto the person at the podium. Surrounded by a sea of others doing the same, it's easy to get caught up in the shared energy, which you are feeling so personally.
Planet Waves
Fancy flyer melted to a windshield; Ehow has tips on handing out flyers, but they fail to cover the adhesive nature of certain paper coatings. Best to keep it simple. Photo by Renee at Reneedezvous.
The 'rally phenomenon' aside, using pre-digital modes of contact for a good cause has a touch of the revolutionary to it. (After all, Uranus in Aries is square retrograde Mercury and Pluto.) Whether that means distributing a flyer to local shopkeepers to urge them to clean their sidewalks (as may have happened recently somewhere in New York State), or knocking on your neighbor's door to settle a misunderstanding in person (or just visit).
Trying to make contact with several people at once? The asteroid Pallas conjunct the Sun during the Full Moon suggests you work with a strategy -- one tailor-made to work effectively with the group you're in (keeping in mind the individuals who make it up) to minimize drama.
What's especially beautiful about this is that with Mercury retrograde conjunct Pluto, you're in a position to analyze how any old-fashioned modes of communication you employ have the potential to evolve your understanding of how you think and communicate. Who says that sustainable evolution has to keep going in the digital direction exclusively?
When Mercury stations direct Monday afternoon (or evening, depending on your time zone), listen for the subtle 'click' of a new piece of information or understanding snapping into place. Then ask yourself: what would be the best way to describe it to someone?
Yours & truly,

Amanda Painter

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. Designer: Lizanne Webb. Office Manager: Lauren Gdovin. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Astrology Fact Checker: Len Wallick. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Client Services: Amy Elliott. Media Consultant: Andrew Marshall McLuhan. Eric's Assistant: Whitney Beecroft. Research, Writing and Editing: In addition to those listed above, Planet Waves is produced by a team consisting of Fe Bongolan, Judith Gayle, Kelly Janes, Amanda Moreno, Carol van Strum, Len Wallick.

Planet Waves

Planet Waves
This is Yang Liu's visual interpretation of how a Westerner expresses an opinion (left), versus how an Easterner might do so. But no one could blame you if you took it for a depiction of how your mind operates with Mercury direct, versus how it doesn't when Mercury is retrograde. Image courtesy of Taschen.
Simple Joys of Juxtaposition
By Amanda Painter

Graphic artist Yang Liu moved from Beijing to Berlin at age 13 in 1990. Exactly 13 years later, she began documenting visually the differences she's experienced living in each place.
Liu's project began as 47 posters shown at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Germany, and later became a book titled East meets West, published by Taschen. Her work is all about juxtaposition, not judgment:

"This project reflects very much my personal way of seeing things," Liu told Quartz for an article featuring several of her images; she adds that moving as a child gave her the habit of comparing situations and interactions. "Many situations are better to understood if they can be seen in relation."
With the Leo Full Moon all about relating between the individual and the group -- and having our ways of being reflected back at us -- such insight is welcome.

Planet Waves


This Week on Planet Waves FM
Sun in Aquarius, Leo Full Moon, Mercury Direct,
and the Two Natal Charts of David Bowie

Dear Friend and Reader:

This week's edition of Planet Waves FM [play episode here] looks at a busy few days in astrology: the Sun ingressing Aquarius on Wednesday, the Leo Full Moon on Saturday and Mercury stationing direct in Capricorn (conjunct Pluto) Monday.

Planet Waves
Photo by Danielle Voirin.
In the second segment, I respond to a reader letter, which asks, in part, "You mention in the audio about living out loud and also about firing the publicist. In some ways, this seems contradictory to me. When I am living out loud, am I not putting myself out there in the open even more? Is there something deeper that you meant that I have not seen or understood?"

In the third segment, I compare the two charts of David Bowie [view charts side by side]. Last week I considered the Libra rising chart, with Neptune rising. This week I compare that to the official birth time, which gives Aquarius rising. This is a study in "when the wrong chart works." I mention a book called The Moment of Astrology.

My musical guest is the Spanish Flamenco ensemble, Bebo & Cigala. As mentioned their work is easily available, and the whole album is astonishing. And you can get it for all of six cents.

I offer one other resource -- the first 17 years of my annual readings -- everything right up to Vision Quest, which is of course available for a modest fee.


Planet Waves

Mercury Direct, Conjunct Pluto: Of Meltdowns and Breakthroughs

Dear Friend and Reader:

Mercury stations direct Monday, after nearly three weeks retrograde first in Aquarius then in Capricorn. What is so interesting about this station-direct is that it involves two conjunctions of Mercury to Pluto in Capricorn.

There was a conjunction of these two planets prior to Mercury retrograde, on Dec. 19, right before the southern solstice; that date may remind you of something or someone.

Planet Waves
Don't have a meltdown! Have a breakthrough!
Mercury, now in retrograde motion, is approaching a conjunction that happens Friday, Jan. 22 at 4:59 am EST (09:59 UTC). This happens with Pluto currently moving slowly past the midpoint of Capricorn, indicating that this long phase of history is half-over. (In case you're wondering, Pluto enters Aquarius for the first time on March 23, 2023).

Closer to home, Mercury stations direct Monday, Jan. 25 at 4:50 pm (21:50 UTC). Then Mercury, moving in direct motion, will be conjunct Pluto on Saturday, Jan. 30 at 12:59 am EST (05:59 UTC). 

Said simply without any numbers, Mercury will make a conjunction to Pluto Friday, then station direct Monday, then make another conjunction to Pluto a week from Saturday. Really though, the conjunction remains close enough to be considered continuous, but with two peaks. We have the planet of mind, communication and awareness aligning with Pluto, the planet of depth, death, transformation and surrender, with all those terms multiplied by sex.

This is a hormonal moment, and this alignment can represent various forms of focused, deep thought, obsession, breakthrough, transformation or, for some, meltdowns. In today's horoscope, Sally Brompton was advising readers to take a deep breath, and count to 10 before getting too pissed off (out loud). This is what she was talking about.

The things that you may think you have to change your mind about are not such a big deal, really -- it's only the stuck quality of thought that makes them seem so. Mercury is moving retrograde for the first alignment of this pair, indicating it may be some past theme, issue, idea or perception that you have to rethink. So, rethink, and see what you come up with.

Then comes the moment of revelation, which is how I think of Mercury stationing direct. Concealed, veiled or otherwise hidden information can suddenly come to light. This looks like anything from a murder mystery being solved, to you discovering the real meaning of your own sexuality. If there is a meltdown involved, you can trust that it was a low-grade idea or emotional attachment that was not previously tempered by Pluto's fire. Better ideas will withstand the intensity of Pluto and transform into something clear and useful, over time.

All that said, there will be some people who seem to fall apart this weekend and into next week, but the beauty of astrology is that we get to know the weather and see these things approaching. Then we can dress, and act, accordingly. Admittedly, though, it can be difficult to handle the change-or-die energy of Pluto. But some people thrive on it and love it, and others can learn to harness it. If you're a deep thinker, you may be in rare form.


Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes -- and our Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscopes by Eric are published below in this issue. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for January on Wednesday, Dec. 23. Please note that instead of a Full Moon Moonshine horoscope this month, we will be publishing a New Moon Moonshine horoscope by Len on Feb. 11. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.

Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope for February, 2016, #1084 | By Eric Francis
Aries (March 20-April 19)
Aries (March 20-April 19) -- You can have a formula for success, though it requires that you focus many different talents and capabilities simultaneously. The one that stands out is using positive vibes rather than power to persuade people. One way to do that is to get people turned on by what you want. This may seem self-centered, but it's really saving people the trouble of originality while they get to contribute to something larger than themselves. Therefore, I suggest you know your objectives and know what's appealing about them -- and make a point of both feeling good and being open. In many respects, the more radical your plans, the better. By that I mean that the more you are challenging yourself and others to think in a different way, the better. There is another piece to this, which is about ethics; or rather, teaching ethics. Focus on doing the right thing because it's the right thing to do. This notion is starting to become popular, but it remains mostly an idea because the skills are not readily available. Yes -- what I am saying is that people need both teachers and examples for how to do the right thing: how to be devoted, honest and faithful. There remains the question: is it possible to teach ethics? That's debatable, but you may find yourself needing to do just that. Start by setting the best example. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
The written readings for our 2016 annual, Vision Quest, have received rave reviews, and Eric is closing in on the audio readings. Here are content lists and excerpts from each of the 12 signs; the audio readings will cover different material.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Taurus (April 19-May 20) -- Relationships, family matters and your professional ambitions are showing up on the astrological radar right now, though there is a common theme: can one person exercise property rights over another? This seems like a ridiculous question here in the age of political correctness. Of course they can't! That's just wrong! But the problem is that people do, and often in ways that are not accounted for. Many of the social behaviors we take for granted involve some measure of this, even if it's just an underlying assumption or two. One place to start the discussion is with jealousy. Although this is lauded as the token of true love, I would propose that it's the thing most antithetical to love. Jealousy wears many masks, though from a metaphysical perspective I can say this. If you look at the way the topic of death is handled in any relationship, you will have a way to make transparent the many other themes associated with jealousy. Is it even spoken of? Is it bargained with? Is it something that makes you feel more alive (because your time with anyone is finite) or is it something that sends you into control mode? These normally difficult topics are unusually accessible right now. And if you have the courage to bring them up, or to go with the conversation when it arises, you will learn vital lessons to last a lifetime. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
The written readings for our 2016 annual, Vision Quest, have received rave reviews, and Eric is closing in on the audio readings. Here are content lists and excerpts from each of the 12 signs; the audio readings will cover different material.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Gemini (May 20-June 21) -- Start paying attention to financial matters. It could pay off, and it could also save you a lot of hassles. What exactly happened the past two months? Do the forensics; for example, study your bank statements. Yet the real highlight is on shared resources and investments. There are clearly opportunities available, though to get to them, you may need to go back over some points of disinformation that entered your consciousness recently. You might have the feeling that you don't want to know the truth, but you will directly benefit from knowledge. More to the point, the more information about your own affairs that you're working with, the more independent you will feel from the influences of others. This is crucial for you now -- it is perhaps the deepest ongoing theme of this long phase of your life. You need to not be under anyone's thumb, or under their financial thrall. That doesn't mean that mutual support, or being helped by someone, is out of the picture. This really is a question of power. The problems begin when one thing becomes another, and that thing is not questioned. What seems like sex, for example, can often be seen, more truthfully, as a matter of money and consequently of power. The first step toward transcending this is being absolutely honest with yourself about what you're experiencing and how you feel. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
The written readings for our 2016 annual, Vision Quest, have received rave reviews, and Eric is closing in on the audio readings. Here are content lists and excerpts from each of the 12 signs; the audio readings will cover different material.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Cancer (June 21-July 22) -- The trick to making the most out of the current extraordinary astrology is to consider your wildest and most visionary plans, and then condense them down to some tangible concepts. You don't even need to act on these ideas yet; you just need to know about them and take the time to get clear. For what may be the eleventy-first time in this column, I suggest that this be in writing, in a notebook; to wit, not on some kind of digital device. And I suggest you write in pencil, to have in your body that all plans are subject to revision and improvement. Part of the tangibility factor, the thing that makes your ideas real, is having a physical relationship with them. You also want to think in a non-linear way; that is, to have the ability to scribble and sketch. I don't know what this is about, but it's big. Let that aspect not stop you, remembering how many great things were first sketched on napkins and paper bags. You must remember how moved you are, and then go right to the point of the humble beginning -- and stay there for as long as you can. Many stages of this scenario will unfold over the next two years, and right now you're at the most important step: understanding your concept. Or, you might say, becoming your concept. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
The written readings for our 2016 annual, Vision Quest, have received rave reviews, and Eric is closing in on the audio readings. Here are content lists and excerpts from each of the 12 signs; the audio readings will cover different material.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) -- Leave room for a little madness in your life. Leave yourself room to cut loose, and be a bit Bacchanalian. Real mental stress sets in when people are wound too tight, or become obsessed by control. You need to loosen up, however you define that, though I would say that you need something better than alcohol. You need to feed your imagination and get into that space where you really can share yourself with others, and receive what they offer you. Generally this is called intimacy. But I don't mean it so much in the sense of pure fidelity as I mean it in the sense of an experiment and a celebration. To go there, you may really need to convince yourself to relax, and set aside any concerns related to work or health. You are already doing what you can, which may mean that you're doing quite enough. What you would benefit greatly from adding is the quality-of-life piece, which may feel like a throwback to a much younger age. But that is who you were, and in many respects it's who you still are. What you have now that you didn't have then is a degree of confidence. Your self-esteem is much stronger. It's true you built that on your accomplishments. You'll appreciate it more if you take a breath, slow down and play. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
The written readings for our 2016 annual, Vision Quest, have received rave reviews, and Eric is closing in on the audio readings. Here are content lists and excerpts from each of the 12 signs; the audio readings will cover different material.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) -- Seen one way, it would seem like the challenge you face in a relationship is not being swallowed by another person. You might be worried you're trying to ‘be like' them. Yet I would propose that the challenge is taking advantage of a good example when you have one. Now, there may be many examples around you at the moment, and some are better than others. Yet there is one that stands out, someone with some wisdom, experience and independence, who may be more smitten with you than you think. Indeed, the more intelligent the potential suitor (or suitee), the more likely their feelings are to be deep and authentic. If this is not a romantic situation, it could also be a close friendship or partnership based on learning. You are especially open to new ideas now; but closer to the astrology, you are open to being reminded what you already know. One thing you may know is not to be hung up on the seeming outcome of any human encounter. You have no need to plan, speculate or control. No need to make a head-trip out of anything you feel, wondering what it might mean. Just cup your hands into the waterfall of life and drink up. Humanity is in the midst of a long, chilly winter of discontent. Some hydration will do you good. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
The written readings for our 2016 annual, Vision Quest, have received rave reviews, and Eric is closing in on the audio readings. Here are content lists and excerpts from each of the 12 signs; the audio readings will cover different material.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) -- You've been through many seasons of changes that seemed beyond your control. This has, many times, left you wondering the degree to which you're really safe, living here on our strange old planet. Yet your solar chart is describing a scenario where you feel right at home, not merely despite all the intensity but thanks to it. Said another way, you're learning to feel safe in the midst of nearly constant change and adaptation, and if you have not felt that way so far, you can take a big step this month. We could say as an understatement that the Libra charts have been intense, particularly starting in 2012. But really, the story of your life is the story of the world. It's just that you're getting it in a particularly focused way. Lest you feel tempted to believe that your life is especially challenging, consider the possibility that you're particularly gifted at adapting to such a rapidly changing environment. This puts you in a position of leadership, because you're accustomed to territory that people are just getting used to. Yet you have an added benefit: discovering some unusual source of nourishment in the midst of this all. You're likely to be in a position to affirm that deep personal investigation, going through changes and, most of all, standing on your own foundation, are actually worth the fuss. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
The written readings for our 2016 annual, Vision Quest, have received rave reviews, and Eric is closing in on the audio readings. Here are content lists and excerpts from each of the 12 signs; the audio readings will cover different material.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) -- With Mars moving slowly through your sign right now, you're unusually persuasive and are endowed with some serious, deep-down drive. This is, therefore, a great time for you to make some choices about what is actually right for you, because you have the energy to make any necessary adjustments. The whole theme of this year is threading the needle between your motives, your deepest values and your actions. There is no longer room for cognitive dissonance or neurosis. You simply must act in accord with who you are. Doing anything else is no longer an option. Astrology that develops from April through July is all about going deeper into those already-deep values and motives, but you are likely to discover what you already know. You can save yourself time by having confidence in your knowledge, without needing to relearn anything, whether it's the hard way or the easy way. Time, as you know, is your most precious resource, and it keeps moving even when you sleep at night. I suggest you live as if you have an honest relationship with life's many uncertainties, and its finite nature. This alone will be the thing that motivates you to make the changes you need to make, to say what you must say, and to do what you must do. The realer you get with yourself, the happier (and more productive) you will be. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
The written readings for our 2016 annual, Vision Quest, have received rave reviews, and Eric is closing in on the audio readings. Here are content lists and excerpts from each of the 12 signs; the audio readings will cover different material.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) -- Let your fears inform you. You might try an exercise where you transform them into some kind of opposite outcome. Imagine that each worry or concern is really an explication of what might happen in the best possible outcome, but reversed. For example, "I fear my partner might leave me" would translate to something like, "This could be the best relationship I've ever had," or, "I am ready for the right relationship in my life." All fear has a source, and I would propose that it's a kind of ego reaction to your currently incredible creative potential. However, apropos of understanding and working with that potential, remember that at the moment, building your life is in part about what you're adding, and partly about what you will be subtracting. This is not about going forward in all directions, or the nonstop bull market. Nor is it about magical alchemy. What you're doing is more like an industrial process of experimenting, synthesizing and putting in the time and discipline to get something like the result you're looking for. Don't be attached to one outcome -- there are better things possible than what you might be imagining. Yet underneath it all, both the objective and the result is confidence in yourself. This is not about a test but more about a process of temperance: of gradually conditioning yourself to be in actual possession of the strength you know you already have. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
The written readings for our 2016 annual, Vision Quest, have received rave reviews, and Eric is closing in on the audio readings. Here are content lists and excerpts from each of the 12 signs; the audio readings will cover different material.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) -- You can now be the bold, lusty being you've always wanted to be. Forget your carefully groomed image. Forget prim and proper. Life is not a pageant, nor is it an integrity contest. Anyway, if you associate integrity with being real (that's the standard, in this astrology lab), then be a real goat. That means mischief, and accessing your somewhat devious/deviant side, and considering anything potentially edible; you don't know until you try. But most of all it means throwing your image to the four winds. Basically, you're a prisoner of how you think you appear, which you will only discover the moment you decide, even as an experiment, that it doesn't matter. The sensation of cracking out of your shell will feel so good, you will wonder how you could have ever waited, or what you were waiting for. The best discovery is likely to be that as you are real with people, you will discover that they are real with you. You have the power to subvert the social media public relations department in the simple gesture of connecting your voice, your words, and your facial expression with your feelings. This will liberate so much energy that you're likely to do something like make a film, write a novel, foment a revolution or get out of whatever you think is dragging you down. Is freedom dangerous? You will have to see. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
The written readings for our 2016 annual, Vision Quest, have received rave reviews, and Eric is closing in on the audio readings. Here are content lists and excerpts from each of the 12 signs; the audio readings will cover different material.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- Whatever you're doing or working to succeed at, turn your soft side to the community. You are in one of those phases where you must be gritty and serious in order to get the job done, to establish yourself or to go to the next level. But make sure the public aspect of what you're doing is all compassion and empathy. Think of Fred Rogers, who was at once the central figure in Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood and at the same time one of the pioneers of both public television and children's television. On camera, people met Mr. Rogers, the gentle and kindly friend to the kids. Off camera, people had to work with a shrewd developer, director and businessman. He never confused the two roles, and you would be wise to know which scenario you are in at any given time. What you're doing requires an all-wheel-drive, brass bolts (and perhaps balls) approach. Yet community relations is where you will actually make contact, and your skill will determine the degree of success you are able to attain. Work on this as a special topic, and develop it as a distinct skill. Study people who are very, very good at it and learn everything you can. When you write for the public, make sure you rewrite until your message and presentation are smooth, clear and authentic. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
The written readings for our 2016 annual, Vision Quest, have received rave reviews, and Eric is closing in on the audio readings. Here are content lists and excerpts from each of the 12 signs; the audio readings will cover different material.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) -- A constellation of forces is now aligning in your favor. If you can keep your focus from day to day, get enough rest and eat actual food, you'll be able to make great strides assembling the many parts of the whole you've been designing. This will call on you to be at your best in every skill you have, as well as to attend to both one-on-one and group relationships. You have everything you need, you have momentum and you have some significant cooperation. Using your resources wisely has two parts -- the wisdom piece and the actual use piece. Put it all to work intelligently, and remember who is doing the coordinating. Yet one interesting fact of your charts is the extent to which the scenario is directed toward the exterior world rather than your inner experience. Therefore, take the time, care and effort to maintain your inner focus. Know how you feel at all times. Pause and assess your inner weather. Track your currents, your tides, your appetite, your libido and your dreams. Pay attention to yourself. The more that's happening in 'the world', the more urgent that is -- especially for a Pisces. One other thing: hang out with people who nourish you. If depleting people are buzzing around, put out the Do Not Disturb sign, and stick to the people who show up with food, love and music. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
The written readings for our 2016 annual, Vision Quest, have received rave reviews, and Eric is closing in on the audio readings. Here are content lists and excerpts from each of the 12 signs; the audio readings will cover different material.

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