2012 Annual Edition of Planet Waves
Deep Sky Survey, and The Week of the Centaurs
Editor's Note: We've had a few emails from readers who didn't receive today's edition -- so we're sending it out again. If you did receive it, please pardon the inconvenience. I would love it if you pass this email along to others who might be interested. Thank you. -- efc

Dear Friend and Reader:

It was excellent to have a week to dive into the 2012 charts full-on, in preparation for writing Revolution. Revelation. Reality Check. I've been studying these horoscopes for years, looking for clues, writing many articles along the way and putting my discoveries together into a coherent theory. (Those articles are gathered together in an e-book called Light Bridge: The 25-Year Span). This time around I burrowed into the minor planets, using the full set available from the Serennu.com ephemeris. Note: I will probably lighten my schedule at least two more times through the end of the year to facilitate completing the annual edition on time.

Planet Waves
Nessus, Deianira and Heracles photographed from a Pompeiian fresco, captured in an albumen print, circa 1865. Photo courtesy of Theresa Luttenegger.
Month by month, I carefully tracked the entire year, looking in detail at the moment the Sun entered each of the 12 signs of the zodiac, concluding with the winter solstice of 2012 -- the day the Mayan calendar turns over. One of the challenges of astrology is organizing a lot of data into something coherent. That requires some focus.

My next step was to do a recording focusing on the events within each sign, which is my starting point for each of the Reality Check readings. I'm sure you're aware that what happens in any one sign affects every other one. In order to keep my focus on the most personal experiences as a starting point, I stuck close to home, which provided a reading of the 2012 movements on the most immediate spiritual/psychological level.

I've said a few times that the Uranus-Pluto square (two slow-moving planets meeting at a right angle) is the most potent focal point of 2012, extending until the end of 2015 with effects well beyond. When you look closely at the square, a theme pops out: group dynamics and how we respond to them.

Here is how this works: When Uranus and Pluto are exactly 90 degrees apart (which they will be through most of the decade), you can divide that angle in half and find what's called the midpoint. Both planets focus into the midpoint like a laser. It is in Aquarius, the sign where individuality and groups take turns as the dominant themes. This forms a dynamic, where group consciousness intersects with the individual will of people. Group dynamics are one of those slightly hidden facts of life that we have to deal with all the time, whether in families, the office or the friends we might go out with.

Do you ever notice how you feel like a different person when you're in a group, and how that changes depending on who else is there, the purpose of the group and other factors? This experience is one of the main places where we gamble our integrity: where we stand out, or sell out.

Now, here is the catch: Right at the midpoint, there is a slow-moving planet called Nessus (expressed in astrological notation as Uranus/Pluto = Nessus). Nessus is a centaur, which means that it stands right at the line between wounding and healing. It pushes events, emotions and thoughts to the edge, where we can get really uncomfortable. All centaurs have the quality of bringing the truth to the surface.

On the most basic level, Nessus is a factor in the psychological environment. You could think of it as an intimidation factor, and in Aquarius it's going to show up as some extreme pressure to conform -- or the fear of what might happen if you refuse to do so. It might also represent the experience of the group itself, such as when a number of people who are reasonably nice individuals can turn into a caustic group. A particularly horrific demonstration of this is the Penn State coverup of child sexual abuse. The values of the group ('protect Penn State football') became the values of each of the individuals within the group. In this case the group included the district attorney who apparently buried the issue, right up to the judge who let the accused coach out on ridiculously low bail.

While the 2012 astrology is progressive and revolutionary, there is a catch: standing up to group dynamics as an individual, and participating in healthy groups in a productive way. There will be no escaping this -- one way or the other, we will have to confront this issue. One key theme of the 2012 readings is understanding how this works for each of the signs: where it is most likely to express itself, and what you can do about it. Given that we really are in a position where we have to get together to solve our problems, we must know how to work with this energy.

The Week of Pholus

Another centaur planet is in the news right now -- Pholus. I've adapted the following from Monday night's daily edition of Planet Waves. I am aware that early Tuesday morning, this astrology began to manifest (among other ways) as the police clearing Occupy Wall Street out of Zuccotti Park in New York City. (Occupations in Oakland and Portland, Oregon were also cleared out this week.) Apart from the certified miracle that the occupation/protest lasted two months, this is a turning point for the worldwide movement that will have far-reaching effects as this extremely persistent movement is radicalized even more, and adapts new tactics. I will have more to say about this in Friday's edition.

Planet Waves
Heracles & the centaur Pholus, Athenian red-figure kylix from the 5th century BCE, Antikenmuseum und Sammlung Ludwig, Basel.
This week, all week, the astrology is dominated by the centaur planet Pholus. You may have never heard of Pholus, but you've felt its effects many times. It's the thing at work when a small decision or action has an unexplainable, cascading effect where one thing leads to another to some unexpected -- and large -- result. When Pholus is in the picture, it's vital to use the energy in your favor rather than have it work against you. As with all the centaur planets (the first of which was Chiron), the key to this is awareness.

Awareness -- that elusive thing. Every spiritual or therapy tradition has a name for it: mindfulness, raising consciousness, focus, paying attention, coming out of a trance. Then there is real life. We live in a world where it's considered okay to drive a car through a crowded city while simultaneously listening to the radio, drinking coffee, smoking a cigarette and talking on the phone. Nearly everything around us is designed to distract us or put us in a hypnotic state.

This is the week to drive (and only drive) while you're driving, eat when you're eating and read when you're reading. Even if you're an extremely talented multitasker, keep things down to a dull roar and really pay attention, because this week your actions will have effects. You can prevent things from going in unwholesome directions if you know this, and you can remind yourself that small moves mean a lot.

It's also the week to proceed with intention. Either work on developing your vision, or stick to the one you've got. Sagittarius, where most of this astrology takes place, is a visionary sign, and the aspects are calling for clear focus and making conscious choices, as if what you decide actually matters. The chances are it matters far more than you think.

Planet Waves
Chiron, left, instructs Achilles in the arts of warfare in this undated classical image.
In a moment we'll provide the technicalities about this astrology, in case you're curious. Two more points first. One is that on many accounts, the sky is lit up with centaur energy. For different reasons, Chiron, Pholus and Nessus are all activated right now. Centaur energy is edgy; it can have us feeling on edge, which is sometimes a double edge. There can be confusion between healing and wounding; there can be unusual fear or psychological material coming to the surface. Situations can be unusually reactive. Prepare for this in yourself, and expect it in the people around you.

Second point: one of the planets involved in the setup describes the absence of moral or ethical boundaries. Be especially cautious of anyone who professes that there is no difference between right and wrong, that ethics are inconvenient or that it doesn't matter if this thing we're doing hurts someone. We are in an extended moment when things really do matter, and matter a lot more than we may think.

The technical description of this astrology involves Venus and Mercury reaching the middle of Sagittarius. At the moment there are many slow-moving planets and points right there. These include Pholus, to which both Venus and Mercury will be making conjunctions; the North Node of the Moon, which has a feeling of amplifying karma; and the Great Attractor, which amplifies everything that comes into contact with it. So if Pholus is reactive, Pholus together with the North Node and the Great Attractor is several orders of magnitude more potent. I covered an earlier version of this alignment in the article The Chaos Generator.

Then add one last thing -- a slow-moving Pluto-like planet called Ixion is in the planetary picture this week, big time. What's especially interesting is that Ixion is the common ancestor of all the centaurs except for Chiron and Pholus, but this week he shows up directly in planetary form. That's the piece cautioning about suspending morality and warning that you or others might be tempted to do so. One not-so-little problem we face on this plane of reality is not understanding karma. That is to say, we don't tend to understand the relationship between cause and effect. Our actions have effects and what happens in the world has a cause. But most people pretend this connection does not exist. If there was ever a week to consider the reality of karma, this is the one.

For Planet Waves subscribers, I will see you Friday with a regular edition including my weekly astrology forecasts.

Eric Francis
P.S. For those with Scorpio Sun or rising -- your birthday/rising sign report is done and available. We sent out a mailing last night -- in case you missed it, here is a direct link.

2012 Annual Edition of Planet Waves