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The Rise and Decline of Julian Assange

Dear Friend and Reader:

When I first heard of WikiLeaks, they had just published the civilian casualties database from the Iraq War. Then I learned that Julian Assange, its founder, had previously published Collateral Murder, video from the July 12, 2007, airstrike in New Baghdad. This involved the killing of numerous people from 30 mm cannon fire, including two working for Reuters, Saeed Chmagh and Namir Noor-Eldeen -- basically, a mass murder conducted by the U.S. Army.

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Julian Assange shortly after he was arrested at the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday. Photo by Hannah McKay.
Assange said he decrypted the helicopter camera footage, obtained from Chelsea Manning, frame by frame. That would qualify as exposing war crimes.

It's a long way from there to allegedly leaking hacked emails stolen from one political campaign to an adversary's campaign, with assistance from a foreign power, in this case Russia. Such was the trajectory of WikiLeaks and Julian Assange as we know it.

Today, at about 10:15 am local time, Assange was arrested in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he had been granted political asylum for the past seven years (since August 2012). He was granted asylum from Ecuador to help him avoid arrest from what appeared to be bogus sexual assault charges out of Sweden, associated with his alleged failure to use a condom. Sweden rescinded its arrest warrant in 2017. Many viewed that whole incident as a pretext to arrest Assange (under the Bush-Cheney administration) and eventually get him into custody of the United States.

Arrest Stems from 2010 Allegation

Assange was not arrested for anything involving the emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee during the 2016 presidential election. However, "Organization 1" is listed in the indictment of Trump operative of Roger Stone, who was arrested in January. "Organization 1" is WikiLeaks. Stone's arrest was a direct result of the Special Counsel's investigation into Russian involvement with the 2016 election.

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PFC Bradley (now Chelsea) Manning released information hacked from the U.S. government about American war crimes to WikiLeaks. Her 35-year sentence was commuted by Pres. Obama in 2016.
Rather, Assange was charged by a federal grand jury with attempting to break into a U.S. government computer in 2010, associated with earlier releases of documents during the Chelsea Manning era. The charge was filed by federal prosecutors in Virginia in March 2018, more than a year ago.

He was arrested Thursday only after the Ecuadorian government evicted him from the embassy where he had lived since 2012.

But the actual cause of Thursday's arrest, according to press reports, was a charge in a British court of jumping bail in 2012, refusing a magistrate's order to surrender to the court.

This morning, Glenn Greenwald of the Intercept, which previously worked with Assange, tweeted, "US journalists have long hated WikiLeaks because they have published stories of far greater importance & impact than most of those journalists in the [sic] lifetime will ever publish, all without being part of their little club. But to cheer the Trump DOJ prosecution is just grotesque."

Assange has the right to fight his extradition to the United States. He will likely argue that his arrest was politically motivated. According to a Reuters report, Great Britain has assured Ecuador that it will not extradite Assange to a country that has the death penalty

The Big Squeeze: Sun, Node, Saturn, Pluto, Eris -- and Pallas Athene

Sunday's edition covered the current alignment of the Sun, the nodal axis, Saturn, Pluto and Eris. I did not mention that asteroid Pallas Athene, focused on law and government, was in the aspect pattern, completing a grand cross.

For Assange to be arrested under astrology of this magnitude says that what is occurring is of greater significance than it may seem. One possibility is that Assange is a much higher-value target than previously stated; another is that his arrest is a sign of things to come.

Planet Waves
Segment of the arrest chart for Julian Assange. To the top left, you can see the Sun-Eris conjunction. To the bottom right, you can see how it aspects the Saturn-Pluto-node conjunction. Also note the Vesta-Chiron conjunction at 3+ Aries. View larger but slightly simplified chart.
There are several elements to this aspect pattern, of which we are now in relatively early days. One element is the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, which peaks in early 2020, and another is the much longer Pluto-Eris square, which peaks in 2020 and 2021.

These slow-moving aspects are associated with the sweeping changes that are occurring in U.S. politics and society, which are in turn related to the Pluto return of the United States [see related article from 2016].

Yet the fast-moving Sun's involvement in the pattern at the time of Assange's arrest brings a sense of immediacy to events developing in the background. It's as if the astrology is saying, "Here is an example of what this kind of longterm astrology is about." Said another way, Assange moves to the foreground, but there is much more going on in the background.

The Sun-Eris conjunction also exemplifies this event as being a product of the digital age alone, of which I consider Eris to be one of the main factors or indicators. (We’ve seen this work many ways, though one interesting fact is that both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs have the Moon conjunct Eris in their natal charts.)

I'm still putting the pieces of this event together, and considering where they fit the larger pattern of our time in history. I'm planning to work on the story and will have more for you on Sunday's edition of Planet Waves FM.

I'll also have a new weekly horoscope for you. Thanks to Victoria Emory for writing today's.

With love,
PS -- Below are some additional relevant charts for those who want to dig into the astrology. I was able to dig out WikiLeaks time of registration years ago; and Assange's natal data is from a collector named Schofield, B rating (from biography). I'll go over these charts on Sunday's Planet Waves FM.
Click on image to enlarge.
Click on image to enlarge.
Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Sunday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, Planet Waves, Inc. Core Community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric F. Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Associate Editor: Amy Elliott. Client Services: Jocelyn Allton and Victoria Emory. Illustrator: Lanvi Nguyen. Finance: Andrew Slater. Technical Assistant: Emily Thing. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Media Consultant: Andrew McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Yuko Katori, Cindy Tice Ragusa, and Carol van Strum.
What We Birth Amidst the Chaos
By Amanda Painter

On Saturday, the Aries Sun slides right into the square between Pluto in Capricorn and Eris in Aries. As was written about at the beginning of the week, this is part of a long series of era-changing and defining aspects covering the last ten-plus years. Chances are you can see a substantial amount of the change, stress, growth and discovery in your own life in that span of time as a reflection of this astrology; this week's rumblings may be stirring up some uncertainty and tension -- possibly with deep roots, along with great creative potential.

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"Mystic Mountain," a detail from the much more extensive Carina Nebula, via which astronomers are studying the complicated physical processes that form new stars. Photo by NASA, ESA, and M. Livio and the Hubble 20th Anniversary Team (STScI).
One thing that could feel tricky about it, though, is getting a handle on how this energy is coming through for you personally.

Eris and Pluto move slowly; they tend to describe generational (or longer) processes.

Pluto, in particular, drives social (and, in Capricorn, institutional) evolution by breaking down what's no longer functioning constructively. Eris adds a destabilizing factor: an element of chaos, subversion and (in its recent association with Uranus) provocation via the ways we define identity itself.

Another thing that might be challenging right now -- yet easier to grasp -- is the lingering effects of Mercury, and now Venus, moving through the focus-dissolving, imagination-distracting, and enticingly escapist field of Neptune in Pisces. Mercury is also still working through its post-retrograde shadow phase (it exits for new astrological turf on April 16). I'm hearing from a number of people comments about how this is still feeling a bit hiccup-y. It's okay to continue taking things as slowly and deliberately as you need to.

Looking at Saturday's chart, I noticed an interesting complement of minor objects in close contact with the Sun-Pluto-Eris aspect. I think they paint a fairly clear thematic picture, whether applied personally as you see fit, or culturally. I'm going to list them briefly.

In Aries we have the asteroid Siwa -- named after a Slavic fertility goddess -- early in the same degree as the Sun and Eris. Three or so degrees on the other side of Eris is the asteroid Terpsichore, named after the Greek Muse of dance.

In Cancer, the centaur object Cyllarus is sharing the same degree as the lunar North Node. Some astrologers associate Cyllarus with pride in identity and self-worth (it's also closely associated with the female centaur Hylonome in myth: she killed herself in grief after he was killed in battle by a spear from an unknown source). In any case, all centaurs point to processes of awareness, which can then be used for healing old patterns.

Continue reading...
Planet Waves

Aries Audio Reading Ready

Dear Friend and Reader:

Last week I recorded your Aries Astrology Studio reading. As promised, this begins with a most excellent introduction to Chiron, and to Chiron in your sign, which spans eight years from now. [Please see previous letter for more details.]

The heart of this reading is how you can heal old family business, which will set you free to accomplish what you came to Earth to do. By family business, I mean the legacy of your family as it has been passed on to you; what you experienced in your early childhood environment; and how to exceed the limits and controls that were placed on you.

There is a strong focus on your professional development, which is intimately related to your inner growth work.

Your Aries reading, which serves impeccably for Aries rising, is not just a reading. It is a healing resource. I use the power of astrology, and my experience working with it, to provide you concentrated information, insight, and tools that it might take years in therapy to acquire.

The reading is offered in three sections, two of 40 minutes and an extra half-hour section covering additional transits, and introducing the Chiron return for those at or approaching age 50.

It is currently available for $55. The tarot portion of the reading will be delivered a little later.

You may also get access to this reading (and all Astrology Studio readings) if you purchase a Backstage Pass, whether monthly or full year.

Thank you for your business, and for trusting me as your astrologer.

with love,

P.S. If you would prefer to place your order by phone, or have any questions, please call (206) 567-4455 or email We'll be happy to help.
Planet Waves
"The Escape Artist Pt. 1" -- one of Nicholas Bruno's sleep-paralysis photographs in which he plays both the immobile character and the one causing distress; he intends his works to call the observer to participate in exploring their own associated anxieties and fears.
Waking up from Collective Sleep Paralysis
By Amanda Painter

Have you ever experienced sleep paralysis? It's essentially when your mind wakes up but your body stays asleep as you transition between stages of your sleep cycle; and though you try to move, you can't. Trying to move and not being able to can be terrifying and panicky. Raise your hand of you sometimes feel this way in the face of the surreal news events of recent years, or as related to some of the high-pressure astrology we've been experiencing along the way.

Artist Nicolas Bruno has suffered from sleep paralysis since he was about seven years old, as he describes in this BBC mini-doc. Unlike my own experiences with this, his version includes disturbing nightmare visions -- something his superstitiously religious family thought might be related to an evil spirit, and tried to 'solve' via house blessings.

After being prompted by a professor to keep a dream journal, Bruno began to use the imagery from his sleep paralysis dreams to create surreal photographs. He uses a tripod and a timer to play all the characters (in some shoots he also enlists female models), then merges the photos into a single image -- using his art to process the emotions and ideas, lessen their power and, hopefully, offer something others can relate to and benefit from.

This week's Venus-Saturn sextile is offering some creative traction to counter-balance the intensity and need for action described by the Sun in the Pluto-Eris square. In other words, one aspect is hinting at a way through the very cultural chaos that another aspect pattern describes. Much like being in the midst of a sleep paralysis dream, however, it's scary to feel like we may never wake up from the nightmare that modern political and cultural life can seem to be. Eventually, we will -- hopefully sooner rather than later.

Investigation with No Published Results
Tchiya Amet, on her Experience of Neil deGrasse Tyson

Dear Friend and Listener:

This week's program is mostly devoted to an interview, with a woman named Tchiya Amet. Back in 1984, she was friends with Neil deGrasse Tyson in graduate school at the University of Texas at Austin.

I begin with an astrology introduction, which looks at the Sun's passage through the Saturn-Pluto conjunction, and through the Pluto-Eris square, peaking between Wednesday and Sunday (in full force and effect now). Then I move on to the interview, which is played without interruption or editing.

Planet Waves
Tchiya Amet, our guest on this week's Planet Waves FM.
Last year, published reports emerged wherein Amet and three other women accused Tyson of sexual transgression. Amet says he drugged and raped her, which she first stated publicly in 2010 at an event in San Francisco.

Fox, National Geographic and other organizations who air Tyson's work commenced investigations. Now the Fox and Nat Geo investigations are done, though the networks won't release the results -- yet Cosmos (the revival of the program begun by Carl Sagan) is set to resume broadcast imminently. We might ask: why conduct an investigation when the results won't be made public?

This week's interview covers what Tchiya says she told investigators.

In our interview, Tchiya references a Buzzfeed investigative piece two years in the making that was killed and then revived when other credible accusers came forward. The Atlantic has also done some detailed reporting.

A commentary on Science20 is encouraging Tyson fans to demand the full report on the investigation, and there is a petition in support of releasing the full results.

Planet Waves FM is distributed without profit by Chiron Return, Inc., a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation devoted to integrity in journalism. We are supported by your donations. Whether one-time or monthly recurring, every one makes a difference toward sponsoring our modestly-budgeted program.

Thank you for tuning in.

With love,

Planet Waves
Coaxing and uncoiling her dragon; photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscope for April was published on Thursday, March 28. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for March on Thursday, Feb. 21. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope after the Sun has entered a new sign.

Introducing the Astrology Readings Channel

Planet Waves offers readings for all the signs and rising signs. These readings are must-haves among a core group of people who love them, though perhaps you have not heard what Eric is doing.

We've taken many readings from 2018 and put them on a 24-hour audio stream, which anyone can tune into. Whatever your sign, you will find it interesting no matter when you tune in. If you're up late and want something soothing and informative to listen to, or if you're curious about astrology, tune in here. No login is required.
Planet Waves
Planet Waves Weekly Horoscope for April 11, 2019 (#1242) | By Victoria Emory
Aries (March 20-April 19) -- Graduating to a higher grade of mastery always follows a test of some kind. This week may present such an opportunity. Trust in yourself and in your goal: what your endgame means to you and why you're fighting for it. Recognize the difference between self-importance and self-acceptance. The more you push against what's 'out there', the more defensive or controlling you become, the less power you'll have to act effectively. Compassionate self-awareness is the key to navigating the weight of past patterns, your own healing process, and how these relate to your momentous push to succeed in The World. A personal revolution in your own self-worth can yield tangible rewards; your authenticity is your strength.
Check out a sample of your INTELLIGENCE reading here.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) -- Beliefs are thoughts empowered by emotion and imagination. Now's the time to examine long-held assumptions you've mistaken for objective fact. Open up to exploring beliefs held below the threshold of consciousness: imprints from childhood, the works. Remind yourself to remember your dreams; make it a priority. The more you manage this, the more leverage you'll build up to realize goals that may seem far-fetched to the self you're growing out of. Breakthroughs are possible now, with the courage, patience and daring to hold space for healing wounds that impact self-esteem. Friends or colleagues may play a role in some way, if you let them. Like a seed gestating underground, this invisible work is preparation for your debut.
Check out a sample of your INTELLIGENCE reading here.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) -- You're in high gear and able to wrap up career-related issues that seem to have dragged on forever. This includes getting necessary help regarding financial matters; just give partners, or anyone you're dealing with, space to make necessary adjustments. This week especially, slow down enough to check in emotionally. Psychic pressure you've been under for quite a while -- lurking fears or burdens left from long ago -- could weigh heavily at the moment and benefit from a reality check. Fortunately, it looks like powerful, caring allies are ready to lend support; a call on Sunday could be a major vibe-lift. Healing, self-worth and material resources go hand-in-hand for you now.
Check out a sample of your INTELLIGENCE reading here.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) -- If tensions between your public role and outside forces feel oppressive or combative this week, consider Jung's teachings about projected shadow material: "Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people." To what extent have you compromised your true self, or relied on others for your identity? Unconscious resentments or fears arising from this could reflect back to you in the form of externalized conflicts. The time has come to retrieve some of the power you've invested in others, and engage the world from a place of greater authenticity and creativity. Fear not; your security is not in jeopardy -- it's being rebuilt on a stronger foundation.
Check out a sample of your INTELLIGENCE reading here.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) -- A change is as good as a rest. You could use a bit of both right now. Even if wiggle-room on the job seems non-existent, find some way to break up your daily routines. If you're fortunate enough to get away for a day or two, by all means do so; your physical wellbeing will benefit. Something's grinding between your established regimens and your evolving world-view that deserves your attention. You're embarking on a new era in terms of your public profile -- if your aspirations require education of some kind, this is a good week to explore options. Your spirit's calling: it wants some freedom back. Look around with fresh eyes.
Check out a sample of your INTELLIGENCE reading here.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) -- When it's time to give birth, the mother's body releases hormones that induce labor. A dramatic encounter with the Great Mystery ensues. To give form to any creative impulse is an initiation: an empowering transformation that brings something new into the world. You stand at such a crossroads now. It's time to bring forth your own expressive gifts to the community; your evolution and healing require it. You may have felt hamstrung by scarcity consciousness, or inner-critic imprints from childhood, but those limitations are yesterday's news and no longer serve you. Think in terms of the future. Set your sights. Allies are available to help you work through lingering fears or doubts. You've got this.
Check out a sample of your INTELLIGENCE reading here.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) -- There's a gold mine deep beneath your floorboards. Family history, elements from the past still unresolved, transformation of your actual living space or domestic situation -- any or all of these may feel overwhelming, but too much of your power has been trapped there not to brave what's necessary to retrieve it. Your growth requires claiming your place in the world; keep that vision ever in mind as you navigate this process. Relationships may require adjustments, but don't let conflict-phobia keep you locked into patterns that are holding you back. Take advantage of open channels for guidance from creative partners or a mentor figure. You have a public role to play.
Check out a sample of your INTELLIGENCE reading here.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) -- You're naturally a deep thinker. But lately your mental traffic has the intensity of all-nighters behind the wheel of a big rig on a crowded interstate. Enough, already. Work obligations or concerns may be exacerbating your mental burdens. If so, there's likely more leeway available than you realize. Whatever the specifics may be, your habitual thought patterns -- how you relate to your immediate environment and frame perceptions -- seem to have become too heavy and restrictive. The next stage of your evolution involves daring to expand those boundaries to include more exotic, inspiring or educational territory. Creative endeavors and fun with friends can help you loosen up and conceive new possibilities. Sunday get-togethers look promising.
Check out a sample of your INTELLIGENCE reading here.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) -- Confidence, both personal and shared, depends on trust. Open yourself to the soul-naked intimacy found in trusted confidantes to strengthen your own self-assurance. The one requisite in such a relationship is depth of understanding. Think of yourself as a warrior on the path of knowledge. In the words of don Juan, "If a warrior is to succeed in anything, the success must come gently, with a great deal of effort but with no stress or obsession." Patience may not be an inherently Sagittarian trait, but you will fortify your confidence and minimize insecurities through honest, real sharing with someone you truly trust. Deep inner work is your path of power now.
Check out a sample of your INTELLIGENCE reading here.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) -- Like a snake shedding its skin, you're in the midst of a transformation that's both the end of an old phase and the beginning of a new cycle of growth. Take a clue from serpent wisdom: don't fight it. Trust the process and help nature along by scraping off what no longer fits the 'you' that needs to emerge. This may include matters of personal history: bags you've carried around so long you've forgotten what's even inside. And understand: you don't have to go it alone. You've been there, done that. Lines are open to connect with caring souls who can help ease pressures that might feel acute around now. Reach out; the universe is offering a hand.
Check out a sample of your INTELLIGENCE reading here.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- You've got a lot to communicate and much business to conduct in the outer world. Your mind is as busy as the rest of you right now, but there's also intense activity happening behind the scenes, on a different layer of awareness than what you're consciously focused on. Pay attention to subtle clues from your inner self; dream imagery and feeling-tones that color your perspective, but might go unnoticed if you don't deliberately slow down to check in. You're laying the groundwork for a new cycle this year, and the more you can sync-up inner and outer facets of your psyche, the more effective your efforts will be, especially this week. Clear space and make time to tap in.
Check out a sample of your INTELLIGENCE reading here.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) -- "Commitment is healthiest when it is not without doubt, but in spite of doubt." So sayeth Rollo May in Courage to Create, my nomination for Pisces' Book of the Month Club. Create you must; all signs point toward that true north of your highest aspiration. Your focus may be on necessary material resources right now, but don't let anxiety throw you off your game. Think in terms of being 'in the world, but not of it' for a while. That doesn't mean rejecting genuine social responsibilities, but prioritizing your own values. Direct your power toward important personal projects. Do necessary reconnaissance work and invest in your own creative voice. Small steps matter.
Check out a sample of your INTELLIGENCE reading here.

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