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Photo by Lanvi Nguyen. All pictures in this edition taken this week along the Shawangunk Ridge near High Falls in Ulster County, New York -- a classic Turtle Island landscape.
Of Neptune and Pluto
Letter to the United States of America About Your Inheritance

Dear Friend and Reader:

The 244th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence is still a few weeks off, though the Sun's ingress into Cancer, and this weekend's solstice solar eclipse, are a kind of invocation. The solstice cluster gets the USA birthday season rolling, beginning with Mercury retrograde starting today, the Sun entering Cancer Saturday and an eclipse Sunday.

The United States Pluto return has been well underway for a while, I would propose since 2008 at the latest (or potentially 2001, at the earliest). We are now at full throttle and are waiting for the engines to overheat. Note, this is the first Pluto return in U.S. history, as they happen once every two-and-a-half centuries.

By one measure, the purpose and mission of the United States was initiated at the time of the Declaration. It is a moving document to read. It describes many of the kinds of things we're experiencing today. The idealism described is an outstanding thing, and I think that the spirit of most American patriotism is rooted in its text.

(There's another theory about the United States inception, related to the Articles of Confederation in late 1777. I've written about that chart in the past, and I plan to return to it.) 

The official name of the Declaration of Independence horoscope is the Sibly Chart. It has the Sun in Cancer, accompanied by many other planets and points: Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, the vertex and the Part of Fortune. Because the chart has Sagittarius rising, Cancer is the 8th house. That's a lot to have in one house, particularly the 8th -- and in a national chart, the alignment carries great meaning.

You can hear my reading of the Declaration at this link.
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Inferences of the 8th House

From the first English astrology textbook, published in 1647, we start off in semi-modern times with the themes, "Death, dowry, [and] the substance of the bride, etc.," which is about the transfer of wealth through marriage and inheritance

As this concept has evolved into contemporary terms, we include ideas such as all resources shared or created through marriage, shared marital income, and certain kinds of investments, mostly generated or conducted through partnership (not market speculation -- that is mostly the 5th house of games and risks).

The 8th can also represent the cause of death. And it represents who is no longer among us: who is already dead. You don't need to use much imagination, or know much history, to account for that. Open up A People's History of the United States to any page for more information. If the 8th represents an inheritance, those figures in the 8th are where it came from.

The 8th can describe a kind of hormonal level sex appeal. If a person has many planets in the 8th, the guy in the red Cadillac probably followed them down the street on the way home from school. Those with a very bold 8th house tend to know something is going on, but it's often sketchy in their awareness, or they tend to be oblivious to it. Some figure it out and can turn on the power.

Matters of sexuality per se are a fairly recent addition to understanding the 8th, if I recall, beginning with 19th century master Alan Leo. With benefics Venus and Jupiter there along with the Sun and Mercury, you can be sure there will be plenty of whatever that thing is, in several different forms. Yet in the United States chart, we tend to dress it up in the wholesome church picnic-style of the sign Cancer. Or maybe a Vargas girl. Okay, if we're feeling really saucy, a flapper. 

The United States claims it likes its sex served with a slice of pie and a scoop of vanilla ice cream, conducted with a chaperone or two nearby so things don't get too wild. 
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Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
A Few Notes About the Sign Cancer

The sign Cancer has two other properties, not described in most conventional astrology. One of astrology's oldest documents is called the Thema Mundi, or "chart of the world." It is not a literal chart of the planet but rather an esoteric key to reading Greek astrology (the kind we mostly use, described in this long, amazing interview with Robert Schmidt). 

The Thema Mundi has the sign Cancer rising. It does not have Aries rising. This associates the 1st house inherently with Cancer and not (as is commonly thought) with Aries. The Thema Mundi's orientation on the sign Cancer reflects the inherently nurturing quality of humanity. More ambitious, competitive, warlike Aries is on the career house, the 10th, where it belongs. 

For the United States to have this many placements in Cancer, the message is: you inherited all this wealth to take care of the world.

Second, Alice Bailey describes the sign Cancer as where incarnation is initiated -- as a gateway into planetary life. In other words, she says that souls enter incarnation via the sign Cancer. It is also associated with rebirth, which would be an optimistic way to describe what the United States is going through. 

Bailey writes, "It is in order eventually to negate the space time concept and to prove it an illusion that the door in Cancer opens to the sacrificing, serving soul. Bear this always in mind as you study the subject of rebirth. In themselves, rebirth and reincarnation are misleading terms and 'cyclic impulsion', 'intelligent purposeful repetition' and 'conscious in-breathing and out-breathing' would describe more accurately this cosmic process."

When reading the sign Cancer, it's good practice to consider how the thing you're looking at would work as a cycle. In garden variety astrology, this is because the Moon (which rules the sign Cancer) runs in such a distinctive, palpable cycle. So that idea transfers back to the sign Cancer.

One last thought, applicable to your own chart: the United States has the Part of Fortune in Cancer. Therefore, Cancer is the "1st house of fortune." If we want to, we can read this chart as Cancer rising.
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U.S. Chart on the Theme of Leadership

The United States has some horrid origins, with much genocide in its past. Yet despite this, its cosmic assignment is about using its resources well. There is tremendous responsibility implied in this chart. Partly this is described by the privileges of all that wealth. 

This is supposed to be regulated by Saturn in Libra, which is square the Sun. Saturn in Libra in the 10th house is an extraordinarily positive placement. Saturn is exalted in Libra, and it has accidental dignity as the most elevated planet. That is about leadership. However, it's also rather invested in its brassy image as a leader. Saturn in Libra can have a glamor problem, which must be addressed by a get-real approach to life and the willingness to go beyond appearances.

Instead of being honest about our propensities to war, we have built up our image on worshipping Superman, spaghetti westerns and Patton. There is this concept, which many still hold, that the United States can do no wrong, that it does not want to, and that it never would.

There is another side to the national ego that is more self-effacing and sees the United States as the perennial bully, tyrant, and purveyor of atomic bombs. Those people and their views tend to be sidelined. There are exceptions, though the United States takes its Good Cop image very seriously.

There needs to be an actual national memorial to the Native Americans in Washington DC, and a memorial to the enslaved people from Africa. There should be a memorial to the buffalo. There is something in the national mentality which says that being concerned about these things is unpatriotic. The spate of Vietnam War movies that described the many atrocities committed there quickly gave way to yellow ribbons.
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Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Family Secrets and Big Changes

The 8th is the house of deeply kept secrets that eventually get out. They're the kind of secrets whispered in the bedroom, or in the attorney's office, or in the safety deposit box room. The United States has a lot of this kind of secret. In fact you could describe it as one of the most important facets of the national psyche.

Pluto has been opposing all these Cancer planets for 12 years. If it seems like all the secrets are spilling out like the Great Molasses Flood in 1919, now you have a picture of what that looks like. It just seems like the molasses cascades down the street and nobody wants to clean it up.

There are other effects. When Pluto entered Capricorn in 2008, it began making oppositions to all those planets in Cancer. The "Great Recession" was Pluto opposite U.S. Venus and Jupiter. Occupy Wall Street was Pluto opposite the U.S. Sun and Uranus square it. 

This was also the time of several serious environmental disasters, including the BP oil spill into the Gulf of Mexico and the Fukushima nuclear meltdown (involving the U.S. corporation General Electric). This has also been the era of massive financial data breaches, sometimes 100 million data sets at a time. We learned that our personal information is for sale by Facebook, for political, marketing or surveillance purposes. It would be difficult to come up with a more classically illustrative 8th house issue than this systematic breach of privacy.

So we know from recent and memorable experiences that when this 8th house comes under transit, there is a palpable effect. There are changes and there are people in the streets, and weaknesses in systems can be revealed. Transits to the U.S. 8th house are back to taking place in full-force. Pluto is now opposite the United States Mercury, and Eris is square the United States Mercury.

As we can see, this is giving a voice to just about everything. Pluto and Eris making aspects to Mercury pretty much promise total revelation of all that has been concealed.

The question is, who will care? And who will be able to distinguish what is revealed from intentional disinformation? And does that make a difference? Because the little kid in me sees a lot of people who make no sense and decisions being made in a state of panic with no rational calculation.

Another way to look at this is to consider that the United States is having its mind (Mercury) changed or blown by the irrevocable simultaneous action of Pluto and Eris.
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The Matter of Values

If I had a client come in with a 2nd house Pluto transit, I would be discussing values. This transit comes with an urgent need to get one's priorities in order. That, in turn, calls for a reality check. A reality check is about taking an accounting of the actual facts and how one responds to them. 

The 8th house, where the United States has all of its excellent assets and so much to offer, is where the resources come in. The 2nd is where one takes possession of them. Anyone who has inherited money knows there is a process you go through to make it your own. It might include probate court, then there is the spiritual process of actually taking ownership.

Some cultures require purification of the dead person's things before they are taken into the household. Yet at a certain point, what comes to you must be claimed, or it lives in a curious limbo, attached to ghosts, and holding power over you. 

One property of the 8th is that of crisis. People with a strong 8th can handle one, and they can even get attached. You would want a midwife or ER nurse to have a strong 8th house. With a series of new transits coming to the U.S. 8th, particularly Mercury retrograde, we are likely to see more and more drama. I am not big on the word "addiction" but boy it sure seems like the right concept.

We in the United States, as individuals and often as a culture, tend to live in perpetual crisis -- never quite taking full ownership of our issues or our belongings. We never quite claim these ideals that we are so sure all those soldiers died for. The 2nd house is where we make things our own. But it's also where we learn to live by our own ethics, and to cultivate self-reliance.

The 2nd is also about self-respect and self-esteem. We could make an excellent project out of that, though. Some would be amazed what the willingness to learn and challenge yourself does for your self-esteem. Maybe you already know.

The question of values we now face is what to do with the truth. This is a particularly vexing issue in a time when so many people think there is no such thing, or confuse their opinion with the reality of a situation. This is also a matter of self-respect. Twentieth century poet T. S. Eliot said that humankind cannot bear very much reality. So we have created a lot of other options. Yet one way or another, that inheritance is coming. 

With love,
PS -- I was reviewing the Sibly chart tonight and noticed something: the United States is at its Neptune opposition. This is actually the second in its history; the first was in 1858-1859, at the time of Pres. Lincoln's "House Divided" speech. At the time there were 17 free states and 15 slave states. In 1859, a militant abolitionist raided Harper's Ferry Armory in an attempt to spark a general slave rebellion, for which he was executed.

Today people go through Neptune square Neptune, a similar transit, at about age 40. This transit is about confronting all about one's life that has not been true, or has been lived in some degree of denial. The usual difficulty of this transit is that involves having deceived oneself, or having allowed oneself to be lied to. Denial is a challenging tree to come down from. The Neptune square is about awakening to the necessities of truth. We could say the same thing about the Neptune opposition -- as we are witnessing.

PPS -- Today we pulled together a selection of my articles and broadcasts about the American experiment. These include all my writing and broadcasts we could find up in the attic, including writing about the Sibly chart, Scorpionic America (Articles of Confederation chart), U.S. Pluto transits, the Kennedy assassination, the Moon landing, and a selection of my writing on 9/11.

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 & Publisher: Eric F. Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. News Editor: Spencer Stevens. Assistant Editor: Joshua Halinen. Client Services: Amy Elliott and Victoria Emory. Illustrator: Lanvi Nguyen. Finance: Andrew Slater. Archivist: Morgan Francis. Technical Assistants: Cate Ryzhenko, Emily Thing. Proofreading: Jessica Keet. Media Consultant: Andrew McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Music: Zeljko. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Samuel Dean, Yuko Katori, Kirsti Melto, Cindy Tice Ragusa and Carol van Strum.

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Redux: Neptune in Pisces (Parallel Worlds) 

Right before all you were allowed to think about, talk about, read about or worry about was Covid, I published a major article on Neptune in Pisces that I would like to share with you. This was on Feb. 13, when our lives were so much simpler.

Here's a little quote:
Neptune in Pisces would serve to inform the discussion of the political changes we're witnessing, the impact of digital technology, the out-of-body experience we are currently calling life, the delusional bubbles so many people are in, and many other elements we tend to discuss as separate phenomena. It's still my observation that our total immersion in digital technology is what is driving the destabilization of culture and of intellect, though there are many ways to consider that. The illusory quality of both Neptune and the digital realm is something to consider carefully; they have many parallels. The sum total here is our current condition — true for many, not all — where the guiding ethos is, "If I believe it, then it's true." You might say that belief is the ultimate illusion of Neptune.
Today, I would rewrite that statement to read: "If I believe it, then it's a foundation of established science that must have won the Nobel Prize.” 

With time running out and Covid-o-mania coming closer, I followed up with an article on Neptune's consort Salacia, in my occasional series on the minor planets.

I offer these in the spirit of having something else to read, and less to worry about. 
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Read more, with an accompanying 12-sign reading, in the most recent Monday Morning edition of Planet Waves.

More on Daily Astrology & Adventure.
Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscope for June was published on Thursday, May 21. We published your extended monthly horoscope for May on Saturday, April 25. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Planet Waves
Monday Morning Horoscope #233 for June 15, 2020 | By Eric Francis Coppolino
Aries (March 20-April 19) — If you feel like you missed a chance to work through a family or household-related issue, you will have another opportunity soon enough. If you're trying to avoid one, it will come back to you for additional healing. There seems to be a matter from the past you're not connecting with or fully acknowledging. It may be that you would prefer to forget it, though it keeps surfacing from time to time. Pay attention and you'll notice this has more of an influence on your self-concept than you may imagine. It hides behind being a small matter, which is then magnified out of proportion -- and therefore seems harder to address than it will be. Many facets of life are similar, and if you successfully address and resolve this situation, you will learn something larger. As with any early circumstances, the thing to remember at all times is that you're not a child any more. You have adult powers, life experience and distance on these events. Much other useful information will come up for healing.

The Journey of You and Chiron | A New Reading by Eric Francis

Anyone who has encountered it is curious about Chiron. Planet Waves provides one of the few dependable online sources of information on this unusual planet. For the 10th anniversary Astrology Studio reading, I will be covering Chiron in Aries — a momentous event for all those born under this sign, and of high interest to everyone else. Get instant access to this reading here.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — How has this Venus retrograde (May 13-June 25) been influencing your emotional and erotic life? Are you relating differently in any way to your sexual needs or desires? In what ways are you relating to yourself differently? In what way are you relating to others differently? This astrology gets into some intimate territory where sexual needs intersect with emotional needs. Yet one image this week's aspects present is learning how to see them as separate. Society (families, friends, potential partners, the local reverend) is assertive in its position that sex, to be "moral," must be through a particular relationship and associated in some way with special love and commitment. Yet your sexuality has a life of its own, and its own seasons and cycles and orientation on existence. As part of your journey, you can take the time, space and risk and consider them independently. If you feel like you might be judged for this, note that inner response, and keep track of it -- you will learn a lot from studying it.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
You can now get instant access to your 2020-21 Taurus Astrology Studio here for just $44. This reading focuses on a professional breakthrough toward the end of the year, and preparing you for this development. Venus retrograde in the spring is preparation. Mars retrograde in the autumn is preparation.

Ultimately this is a spiritual development, yet in reality we are talking about aligning your purpose with action, with a calling, and with an opportunity. Elements of the reading go out to a series of power steps in 2021. Read more.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — I mentioned last week the idea that true maturity is integral to being able to live in peace with uncertainty and in the face of the unknown. Of course, those things are also what tend to make people the most nervous and even unstable. Yet think of how much mystery you live with, particularly about yourself. The place where maturity morphs into a form of spiritual fortitude is the patience and willingness to do so consciously. It's more than that, though. Self-discovery takes time. When questions are responded to with simple answers or false certainty is built up, that blocks access to truth, as the mind is no longer open or available to new understanding or awareness. Standing back from certainty is a method that helps you avoid lazy approaches to life that ultimately do not help or which interject delays. That is important now because such beautiful discoveries about yourself are possible. A rare window is open. Seek the truth, not a substitute.

Your 2020-21 Gemini Astrology Studio, The Sacred Space of Self, is now available for instant access. The reading covers Venus retrograde in your sign, Vesta in your sign, Saturn in Aquarius, and the momentous astrology at the end of the year.Thank you for your business and your trust.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Your life has progressed in the past month or so to where you can make observations about yourself that you were not likely to make before. This is a matter of perspective. Sometimes you must get a little distance and see things from an angle. What you have now is the viewpoint where you can hold two opposite properties of yourself as existing side by side. One way to look at this is being able to consider your mental and emotional realities as distinct from one another. They are not, of course, because you are one being, though it can help to think of them as having some discrete traits that can communicate with one another. This could, for example, represent two deep needs you have that seem to compete for your attention. Feel the tension for a while. Let both sides of the equation exist in their own right. They would seem to be in direct competition with one another, or mutually exclusive. If you can bring yourself present for that feeling, and stay there a while, you can observe for yourself whether that is really true.

You may now pre-order your 2020-21 Cancer Astrology Studio for just $33. This year, the time of Cancer begins with an eclipse on the solstice, as well as Mercury retrograde in your sign. This is astrology that points to you in a personal way, describing a transition you may not feel ready to make but have been preparing for over long years. Chiron in Aries is also a prominent factor, pointing to some pioneering developments in your professional life. I will cover these aspects, and much more.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You may be ready to reveal openly what you have kept under a veil. Cats are good at hiding their secrets, and you are no different. Don't do this all at once, though. While it's true you need to be one self, wherever you are, this is a gradual process of letting off some pressure. The first place to open the valve is within yourself. Gradually, decide what you want to move over from the 'private' column to the 'public' one -- for example, by determining what about yourself you no longer want to keep hidden from others. This may stem from desire, or it may stem from the need to feel real. With either approach, your self-guidance would offer you back some feeling of pleasure, surrender and the sensation of true freedom as a result of even considering the idea. The point of self-disclosure is not doing the right thing in some abstract sense, but rather, feeling better. Being real is its own reward and its own challenge, and many others will follow.

Get your full Leo reading by Eric here.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Mercury's change in direction this week provokes the question of wanting to take care of everyone, by which I mean the whole world: a Virgo trait that is not easy to reckon with. Society is still in love with its 'every man for himself' theory of existence, in nearly total denial of how the very purpose of organizing ourselves into communities is to help us sort out the basics. Even with food and clothing taken care of, there are many emotional and spiritual challenges to our lives, and those concern you as well. Here is what I would suggest, as someone who relates to this point of view personally. Keep your interests close to home: your actual home, your closest friends and your most immediate community. Let that be "the world" for you. This is not only manageable, it's extremely useful, and you will find it rewarding. Work on the level where either you can see some direct results, or there can be some exchange. The rest is digital illusion.

Get your full Virgo reading by Eric here.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Focus on feeling good, rather than feeling safe. And why is that? The notion of safety is an abstraction on a planet with so many seeming threats, most coming from within our minds. Feeling good is a direct, verifiable experience. You know you feel good because you do. Ah, wait; I must stop myself here. What about the people who only feel good when they feel pain? What about people who feel guilty the moment they are happy, as if they must be neglecting something, or betraying someone? Well, in that case, one does not "feel good." However, they might feel safe, stable and normal. So, it would seem we have some sorting out to do around this whole topic. Those who feel good are certainly a mystery to those who do not. If I may: feeling is about being present in one's body, whether good, bad or some other description. That would seem to be the controversial thing: that the body is involved. You could say controversial, or you could say inevitable.

Get your full Libra reading by Eric here.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — I'm curious what has transpired for you the past week of your life. What did you experience? What did you learn? Where have you invested your energy? And what was the outcome? While the Mars-Neptune conjunction was exact Saturday, it's still vibrating, and your ruling planet Mars is still in Pisces, pushing a daring quality to your creative and sexual adventures. Much of this can be adventure for its own sake. You might consider the results as you go along, or you might just keep experimenting and skip the evaluation. As long as you're happy, it's all good. That said, later this week, Mercury stations retrograde in one of the most philosophical angles of your chart. That is likely to point you to some matters of meaning, which may seem to come on abruptly, and lead you to question some of what you've experienced recently. You can take that as an opportunity to slow down, reflect and edit. You will appreciate any moment of meditation and introspection. It's been a while.

Get your full Scorpio reading by Eric here.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — The dominant theme for Sagittarius is the nature of your contracts and agreements. You have a tendency to enter these on an emotional basis rather than logical or rational. Emotional could mean how you feel; some would say it's their gut response to a situation. That's true as far as it goes. It's always a good idea to read a contract or to know what you're committing to through some tacit agreement, and that's the moment of your astrology at this time. If your feelings, gut or emotions guide you to conduct a review, that would be a good idea. If your mind guides you to do so, that's an equally good idea. The mental plane gets to the specifics that can be expressed in language, including of how you are responding on a level you don't usually articulate. And the specifics are currently where it is at for you -- not the generalities. You don't have to commit to anything except being honest with yourself.

Get your full Sagittarius reading by Eric here.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Mercury stations retrograde in your opposite sign this week, which signifies your changing position on a relationship. I would suggest the most important thing to track is your perspective: whether you're seeing the world as an adult or a child. You might also track your perception of where partners and loved ones are coming from. While seeing and experiencing life from the viewpoint of your inner kid can be fun, the drawback is that you don't have much control over the flow of events. Your child self might resort to disrupting the flow, which is much easier, though is not a form of creative power. It is a sign of desperation, though we might ask, about what? Before you try to get control, you might reckon how and why you feel like you lack it. This is nearly certain to be a personal matter having nothing to do with external events. Nobody controls what you think, believe, feel or do -- even if you want them to.

Get your full Capricorn reading by Eric here.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — With so much emphasis on health these days, it's noteworthy why there is so little emphasis on wellbeing. In the midst of a supposedly medical crisis, how to take care of oneself is not in the discussion. It does need to be in your personal discussion. This can begin with the relationship between your emotional state and what you think of as being a medical issue. The chances are high that what you're experiencing is originating on the emotional level rather than the physical. You are more likely to feel the ill effects of an insult or self-defeating thought than you are to experience those of a toxin or pathogen. Said another way, fear is unhealthy; stress is not conducive of wellbeing; judgment is not relaxing; anger is not good for heart, soul or blood. That is the order in which to proceed. You don't need to concern yourself with the dangers of 'bad stuff', only with the influence of your mind on your body. And once you have a handle on that, you gain many abilities you didn't have before.

Get your full Aquarius reading by Eric here.

Astrology Studio for Pisces | A New Reading by Eric Francis

This is a momentous time in collective history, and a turning point in your life. As the year develops, most of the movement — including Pisces' ruling planet Jupiter, and the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction — will be pointing into Aquarius, the most sensitive and innermost angle of your chart. I will also cover the retrogrades of Venus and Mars, and the forthcoming Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in your friendship sign Capricorn. Mostly, I will help you orient on your profound journey, and offer guidance how to harmonize with the world at this unusual time. Get instant access to this reading here.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Your energy will start to bounce back as Mars makes its way into late Pisces, away from Neptune. If you experienced a drought last week, it involved the Mars-Neptune conjunction. If your astrology means anything, you will have more traction and be better able to make contact with others, so make sure you focus your message, keep an eye on the details, and make adjustments in real-time if necessary. By that, I mean think on your feet, and think creatively, which means with a measure of adventure and pleasure. You know what you're doing. Mercury stationing retrograde this week in your house of art and adventure (Cancer, your solar 5th) is an invitation to explore the lush side of your mind in a focused way. Rather than making art, give yourself a project, by which I mean a space to fill. Define some loose parameters and fulfill them. Take one idea and develop it. Along a similar line, reach out to one person you're interested in, take leadership and evolve the conversation. A little focus will go a long way.

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