From the Mars Retrograde File
An ounce of prevention, and a pound of self-actualization
Dear Friend and Reader:
Tuesday, I was the beneficiary of a two-and-a-half hour conversation with a virologist working on the Covid issue. It is unusually difficult (verging on impossible) to find sources on this story. Every other major story I've worked on, it's been possible to identify and contact people on various sides of the situation and start to assemble a picture of what is going on.
In the digital age, particularly for Covid, this has been replaced by YouTube videos of people who are rarely personally accessible, so a dialog is not possible, and a dialog is what is necessary to gain understanding. So speaking to a virologist and microbiology professor with personal knowledge of Covid was the next best thing to front row at Radiohead.
He also has specialties researching the virology issues I've taken the most interest in (HPV, SV-40, and natural immunity). So we had a lot to talk about, here beside the rising tide.
He gave a response to every question I could think of, giving me the other side of the story on several issues I've been investigating. You could say that he explained the official position better than the people you see on TV. I now have sufficient information to formulate questions for future interviews with other scientists. These are breakthrough moments in journalism: the one source who sets you up to talk to future sources, and who you can run things past along the way. By about halfway through the conversation, I was falling in love with virology.
Medical Responses Prevail over Self-Care
The conversation provided reassurance that some scientists are sincere in their effort to make progress on the issue rather than being driven by fame, profits and grants. We are aware many scientists are reluctant to speak up about what they know for fear of losing their jobs or their status. However, one takeaway from Tuesday’s conversation is that at its best, science is interested in cure more than it is interested in prevention. I would count as cure anything that has a medical response, including a vaccine, which will have medical repercussions. There are also social repercussions, as some think it’s “patriotic” to make the vaccine mandatory
||USA Today op-ed by doctors calling for mandatory Covid vaccination for all Americans, whom they believe should be punished harshly if they do not comply. This punishment amounts to revocation of citizenship rights. There is no evidence that a rushed vaccine would even work, or be safe.
After five months of tracking this complicated matter every day with much help, I have a long list of issues that do not add up, of data categorizing and reporting problems, issues with genetic sequencing, issues with both kinds of tests, and immunology issues. There remains the critical question of where SARS-CoV-2 came from, which is not going away
The public deserves answers about all of these matters and many others. We still must demand the truth, and not just assume we know it. This is so basic it would seem to go without saying, but not in 2020.
There is a human side to all of this, one that your grandmother would understand just fine. Public information sources (such as cable channels) are more concerned with the pronouncements of powerful government scientists than interviewing those who can teach people to better take care of themselves, particularly their immune systems. Nutritional discussions are treated with derision in the public media, as if they are some kind of diet fad, or affront to science.
Whatever pathogen or illness is going around, and whatever the government may say about it, and whatever measures may be taken, your first and best line of protection is your immune system. This means going from passively observing and waiting for some kind of solution to be imposed, to actively being involved in your self-care and that of your family. This is not about Covid. If the current situation is a ruse, the thing it’s covering for is thousands of other potential problems and a diversity of environmental issues that people have been warning about for many decades on end.
In our follow-up email discussion, I wrote to him: "The body, cells, immunity, sentience to me are all the most astonishing natural phenomena. Part of why the U.S. is so vulnerable is that our society is so overmedicated, and poorly fed — very little natural gut biome remains intact. There are many vaccines in the schedule, given too young, and not enough attention to how they are made," or the actual health impacts that they have.
The resounding message of the Covid crisis is: we must learn to take care of ourselves. This is the ounce of prevention that is worth the pound of cure, or more like the gram of prevention and the kilogram of cure.
In the credit card business, people who pay off their balance every month are called deadbeats. In the medical industry, deadbeats are the people who consciously look after their physical and emotional health, who are interested in nutrition and who focus on preventing problems rather than curing them. They know their body contains the actual healing power.
Think of it this way: after a surgeon has performed an operation impeccably, it is finally the body that mends and heals itself. Nothing else can do that. Medicine can help, but it cannot do the actual work of healing. Only you can do that.
Self-Care is Part of Self-Actualization
The astrology of our moment involves Mars getting ready to go retrograde, now mixing it up with Pluto and Eris. This is part of the Mars retrograde process, which begins Sept. 9 and is now well into its warmup phase. We're now experiencing Mars square Pluto and Mars conjunct Eris, which I wrote about Monday
To me this astrology vibrates with the theme of self-actualization. This is one of many ideas we would benefit from retrieving from the memory hole. That is the conscious process of self-becoming, which is the result of actively embracing life and personal healing. There is no spiritual decoration to self-actualization. It is a secular concept.
The term was invented by Kurt Goldstein (1878-1965), a German neurologist and psychiatrist. Kurt was one of the first theorists in the Gestalt Therapy
movement, and one of the original modern holistic thinkers. His clinical work involved studying the relationship between the mind and the brain, in brain trauma patients. Gestalt puts emphasis on the mind-body connection. Holistic theories emphasize personal unity and integration as expressed through our natural human tendency to grow and mature.
Self-actualization was then put into popular use by a psychologist and author named Abraham Maslow (1908-1970). Maslow emphasized the innate curiosity
in humans (which is true for many other critters, by the way). He honored self-actualization as a drive or motivation that he believed fueled all our other endeavors. For him, that was the prime mover — not survival or competition.
When therapy works, it's because each of us has an innate ability, a kind of tropism, that leads us to want to become who we are and express ourselves fully. Maslow's concept was about embracing human potential, and he was one of the fathers of a movement by that name.
To some degree self-actualization is about learning how to take care of oneself, and having a conscious relationship to one's wellbeing. This is driven by the desire to live well, and that, in turn, must have an element of conscious curiosity: the desire for self-knowledge. A portion of that is understanding your body and healing any alienation you may have from it.
Part of this curiosity is standing up for yourself with medical professionals. Most people verge on terrified to make doctors explain themselves. Curiosity must extend into researching issues for yourself, so that you have the basis for making decisions based on informed consent.
Mars and Aries Represent the Study in I AM
Mars describes the energy source in the human personality. It's about desire, self-awareness, assertion, and the drive to conquer. It describes one's desire nature as well. Mars can express itself in ways that are peaceful or violent, frustrated or flowing or somewhere between, though with Mars, there is always the urge to become.
Mars is going to be retrograde in Aries, the sign of "I am." Before the retrograde begins in September, Mars will hold the square to Pluto and the conjunction to Eris for many weeks. This is a call to awakening, to awareness and to action.
It is not merely that the term "self-actualization" has fallen out of use; rather, the whole concept has disappeared, as if our culture has lost its notion of personal development as an internally driven factor, rather than something adopted from the outside.
One form through which people seek their identity is by acting with aggression, violence or hostility. This includes wars, and it includes interpersonal violence, whether full-on aggression or the bumps and grinds of daily life. Mars will challenge others, and that is part of identity seeking. [Side note, the McLuhans have long taught this idea. Wednesday, watching this debate between Marshall McLuhan and Norman Mailer
, McLuhan credits the idea to Ray Bradbury, author of the 1950 novel The Martian Chronicles
I think this whole process is going to be in full force with Mars in its retrograde mode, beginning with the aspect pattern to Pluto and Eris.
Of Sex and Work
Monday, I discussed how the quest for self through violence and aggression (Mars) can also manifest through sexual exploration. Yet note that this is taboo, where violence and aggression (though whined about) are encouraged.
That said, Mars in aspect to Pluto and Eris is describing an urgent need to violate taboos, engage consciously with guilt and repression, and let some of that energy out. This is an essential factor in self-actualization, though it's not so popular to say that now. There are few wholesome models for how to do this. American society in particular tends to politicize sex, and thereby kill it, and leave aggression and conquering as the only remaining venue for innate Mars.
Everyone needs to define for themselves a concept of legitimate, pleasurable sexual expression — that is, define on their own terms. This will take some awareness building. Remember that sex is the topic about which everyone is an expert and few people have read a book. Here are my reading recommendations
Then there is work. Work could be a fantastic venue for self-development, except that usually it is not. Children are allowed to have all kinds of dreams of what they want to be, though those rarely survive high school. By the time one goes to college, educational choices tend to be made on investment value and not self-development, artistic development, personal growth or exploring the world.
This is why so many people are miserable in their work, and feel unworthy of doing something exciting that engages them. All of this Capricorn (Saturn conjunct Pluto, Jupiter conjunct Pluto, and more) represents the economic crisis perpetuated by society's inability to handle a health crisis responsibly. This is leading to many people rethinking their ideas about work.
So now would be a good time to make work part of your self-actualization process, if you have not already done so. If you're in a position where you need something to do, try doing the very thing that you want to do the most.
All Heading for Aquarius
On Dec. 21, Jupiter and Saturn form a conjunction in Aquarius, having entered a few days earlier. That this takes place on the Capricorn solstice is for added emphasis; the solstice points are amplifiers, as they connect to the Aries Point.
As I have said before and will come back to, we have approximately until then to decide what kind of society we want to be. Between now and the U.S. election, and in the weeks after the election, there will be a crystallization effect, and certain features in the psychic, social and technological landscape will become fixtures.
Under Aquarian reality, consensus becomes overpowering, including the power of false or manufactured consensus. This happens largely through technology, which will become more powerful under Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, and go into overdrive during Pluto in Aquarius (2023-2044).
The only antithesis is people who are strong individuals being willing to speak honestly from their point of view. Aquarius is the sign of groups, and groups are gatherings of individuals. In the coming age that is already upon us, self-actualization is the heart of meaningful participation. This is the ability to be who you are in the presence of all kinds of pressure not to be. It is not necessarily easy, though it is possible.
: The study linked is suggesting that the kinds of molecular change observed in SARS-CoV-2 do not usually happen naturally. They usually happen on chicken farms (which are not natural environments) or in lab cultures. Here is a salient quotation from the study: "More generally, despite the fact that not all serially passed viruses have demonstrated an increase in pathogenicity, the fact remains that every highly pathogenic avian influenza virus, defined by having a furin cleavage site, has either been found on commercial poultry farms that create the pseudo‐natural conditions necessary for serial passage, or created in laboratories with gain‐of‐function serial passage experiments."
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The Story of I AM — Mars Retrograde in Aries
Dear Friend and Reader:
For a little while I was on the line about doing an autumn reading. Then one day I woke up and said to myself: Mars retrograde? Are you kidding? There is no way we're sitting out that one.
So — there shall be an autumn video reading, released in late August, called The Story of I AM.
Mars retrograde in Aries is the final transition, the emotional, psychological and experiential bridge, to the last event of 2020: Jupiter conjunct Saturn in Aquarius. Mars retrograde represents the work of individuation and of self-actualization that will make the group experience in Aquarius more relevant and more easily workable.
Borrowing a line from Lou Reed, "Self-knowledge is a dangerous thing — the freedom of who you are." Dangerous perhaps to a way of life that involves allowing yourself to disappear and be insignificant. Mars retrograde in Aries invites boldness and embodiment and the exploration of your will.
We are pleased to announce the pre-order for this reading, for all 12 signs. You will want to see more than one; you may share them with the people close to you. These will provide some excellent serialized video therapy that will take you through the autumn season and into the 2021 annual edition.
You may pre-order here
. Delivery will be in late August, which could be Aug. 31, or it could be sooner.
Thank you for your business and for trusting me as your astrologer.
PS — You may order by phone at (845) 481-5616. I answer personally when I can. Otherwise, someone will get back to you soon.
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Monday Morning Horoscope #240 for August 10, 2020 | By Eric Francis Coppolino
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
(March 20-April 19) — You must be clever with money this week, and take advantage of any opportunities that come your way. Such are most likely to arrive with a little shakeup in your plans. This is often the moment of invention or breakthrough: something you were not anticipating, which may even be annoying, though it presents an opportunity to make a decision. It is in that moment of interruption when you can intervene with an idea. However, it's critical that you proceed in a gentle, persistent and nonviolent way — yet without suppressing your feelings. You may feel some powerful emotions moving through you, and the thing not — as in n-o-t — to do is to take them out on yourself. Don't take this pressure out on others either. You need pressure vents, creative outlets and quite possibly sexual outlets. If you feel inclined to use 'power' in some way, try another concept: leverage. Exert yourself less, not more; the right tool will help you get the job done, including the right spiritual or psychological tool. You have many..
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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.
(April 19-May 20) — It's time to exceed what you think of as your limits. This is a central topic for Taurus Sun and rising, and to some extent Moon: a set of constructs that in essence serve to bind you to the past. Mostly this happens through your belief structure, though you have in recent years, and particularly this year, had many experiences that demonstrate many of your beliefs are no longer applicable. Several of your past experiences that would serve to uphold those beliefs have been replaced by new experiences. Vis-a-vis the whole concept of belief, I would offer two things. They make it difficult to actually think. They are like training wheels on a bicycle, which are good at first (maybe), though you cannot go far. They also serve as insulation to protect the believer against any idea that would shake their reality structure. Yet your whole chart is about nothing except moving, shaking and quaking. Uranus in your birth sign is not taking any bullshit. Neither should you.
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.
(May 20-June 21) — The more complex any situation may be in your life, the more you must speak with the determination to be understood. That will likely require understatement, which in turn requires a degree of emotional detachment. That may be difficult with Venus moving through one of the most sensitive signs, though you might invest that energy into cleaning the refrigerator, wiping down the window sills and making sure there is food on the stove for everyone who comes into your home. You can also use the nearly clairvoyant sensitivity offered by Venus in Cancer to detect when people are overreacting, and to know when they are responding appropriately. Your personal ruling planet Mercury is now in Leo. This bestows the golden tongue, so you are under excellent stars for speaking and writing. Just remember that the skill you need most right now is listening. You will need to do that in manual mode: pause, take a breath and get to the bottom of what people are trying to say to you.
Your 2020-21 Cancer Astrology Studio is available for instant access
. This year, the time of Cancer began 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 cover these aspects, and much more.
(June 21-July 22) — Venus has embarked on an unusual path through your sign, as it will make many aspects in the coming weeks to points in the other cardinal signs — Aries, Libra and Capricorn. This in turn puts you into a state of enhanced contact with your environment, with sensory data and other information coming in from all directions. The place to hold your locus of attention is within yourself. If you can stay emotionally centered, you can accomplish anything and you will be able to help those around you who need you. There is an art to this, and a measure of dignity is called for as the prerequisite. To be effective, you must take care of yourself, which means the necessary food, water, and rest, and getting outside into the light of day and the dark of night. And you need appropriate companionship of peers with whom you are not directly involved in some process of assisting, people with whom you may be open and speak from the heart.
You can now get instant access to your 2020-21 Leo Astrology Studio, Notes on Love and Courage
. The two giants of the solar system meet up at the end of this year in your opposite sign Aquarius. Eric explores what this seminal conjunction means for you, and much more. Get your copy here
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(July 22-Aug. 23) — If you are wondering what to do with your hours, your days, or your life, the question is: in what way are you being called upon to serve? This is not so much about what you want to do but rather the way you feel summoned to take a particular role. The value of preference is way overstated. Many people of great accomplishment followed a calling rather than "did what they loved." What you may discover when you do that is that you grow to love your calling in a way you never loved anything else. Many people are teetering on this brink at the moment — including a good few who feel fortunate to have had their employment survive this ongoing social and economic tsunami. For anyone whose livelihood has been disrupted, seize the opportunity to make the long-overdue adjustments you've wanted to make. Streamline your life, work cooperatively with others, and listen to your calling: listen with your ears and your whiskers and smell the air.
(Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Prepare for a horoscope about sex. One, two, three, here goes: Your self-discovery process is going into overdrive as Mars moves through Aries, the sign for you of orgasm and surrender, and something of your core identity. One of the most basic personality structures of Virgo involves losing yourself in another person, and then waking up and finding yourself. This has worked one way through most of your life, and due to Chiron's presence in Aries, it is now working another way: mostly, that you are skipping the "losing yourself" part of the process and going direct to discovery. Mars is making contact with Pluto in Capricorn. A decade of this has compelled you in that way only Pluto can do to admit, confront and overcome your inhibitions. You still have a few more of those to work with, though you're at the stage where cracking through them can be fun and pleasurable in a courageous way. Follow your curiosity with passion and intrigue. As is said in the Pathwork, sexual curiosity is its most life-affirming form.
Pre-order your full 2020-21 Virgo reading by Eric here.
(Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Above all else, you want fairness in a world where it rarely seems to be forthcoming. You want to be able to take action where you see others abusing their power or their influence. How you handle such situations is critical. You are likely to run into a few of them this week, and you need to proceed with the care and caution of the bomb squad. Remember that a K9 trained in explosives or even drug detection does not bark; they sit down next to the suspicious package to signal their handler. Merely barking can set off the device, so the loudest sound will be sniffing and paw pads. Your most vital asset is your ability to see a situation for what it is, and map it out carefully. Assuming you are called to assist, you will be able to find the one thing that deactivates a potentially explosive situation with as little intervention as possible. This could, for example, include engaging someone in a conversation long enough to get them to reconsider their choices, not by using persuasion but rather a delay or distraction. Small moves mean a lot.
Pre-order your full 2020-21 Libra reading by Eric here.
You may have instant access to your 2019-20 Scorpio Astrology Studio
. This reading addresses the current jolt to your relationships, as well as the profound thought transformation you're going through. I consider some deep matters of self-identity and where that meets personal healing. Astrology Studio comes with a bonus recording, "Self and Society," which looks at the astrology describing the busy intersection of the individual and collective. Order your copy here
(Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — The ancient and modern rulers of your sign are forming a square aspect right now — Mars in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn. If you study this aspect in books, it will be like reading the treatment to a David Lynch psychological thriller with a touch of horror film and a protagonist who gets so swept away with their passions so as to have no self-control (and so on; you can keep making up psychodramas for entertainment). For you this week, the translation is to be impeccable with your words, right down to rewriting something six times to get it down to as few words as possible. Be extremely cautious at work. While it's unlike you to refrain from speaking your mind, you might want to hold off. If you really need to say something, choose one person in a position of more direct authority and mention it calmly and get an acknowledgment. You might take the approach of the canine I describe in the Libra horoscope. Do not bark. Do not growl. Just get the attention of someone who can do something.
Your Astrology Studio reading for Sagittarius
Sun or rising sign covers Jupiter's conjunction to the Galactic Core, a review of Jupiter in Sagittarius and a preview of forthcoming Jupiter in Capricorn. I focus on the Saturn-Pluto conjunction and many other exciting facets of your astrology. My readings are easygoing and easy to follow, and address real-life matters of life, work and relationships.
(Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — However you may define your growth and your evolutionary process, what you are actually doing in these days of your life is establishing your priorities. You may have had some prior experience of thinking you knew what your priorities were, then some event, incident or discovery wakes you up and you begin to make decisions. So to be clear, I am not talking about priorities in the theoretical sense but rather in the sense of what you prioritize for action, and then act upon. You are going through a process of aligning with yourself, and catching up with the growth you've experienced, and then bringing that forward into what motivates your choices. This is more like shooting pool than it is like attending a meditation workshop. You line up your best shot and you take action. This is based on a larger game plan, and you need to be aware of every level as you make any one decision. There may remain some still-unfolding critical situations in your life, though you know enough now to act in a way that honors the future tangibly, and that sets you up for success.
If you have a Capricorn Sun, rising sign or Moon and could use some insights about the challenges and opportunities life is sending your way, order the 2020 Capricorn Astrology Studio
by Eric Francis Coppolino. Some of the most era-defining astrology has been centered on your sign in recent years, and that includes the biggest current astrological events. It also makes an amazing gift for loved ones
(Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Study your emotional motives carefully before you make any decisions this week. You may feel driven by the urgency of certain situations, particularly related to family or your household. These may relate to your sense of security or stability, whether emotional or connected to a tangible circumstance. I say this knowing much of the world has been thrown into an unprecedented degree of economic chaos, which means being confronted by food and shelter security issues for the first time. Whatever you may have going on for you on the level of emotional challenge, or interpersonal challenge, or actual economic crisis, your most important tool is grounding in who you are. For Capricorn, it is helpful to sort out your sense of identity and of being as something distinct from your family's expectations — or what you think of as their expectations. This can take guts and you may need to cut through a few layers of guilt.
Your 2020-21 Aquarius Astrology Studio is available for instant access
. This coming winter, your sign hosts a major conjunction: Jupiter conjunct Saturn, the traditional ruler of Aquarius. That event is exact on Dec. 21, 2020. Eric also covers Saturn moving into your sign from Capricorn during the year, in this not-to-be-missed reading. Order your copy here
(Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — The most important activity in your chart remains behind a kind of veil; it's taking place in Capricorn, the sign before yours. Yet over the next few weeks, the way to track your progress in this invisible realm will involve monitoring two things: the state of your health, and how you feel about work. These are often indicators of how a person is doing, and for you they are particularly important, as a life calling and also over the next few weeks as Venus moves through Cancer. Because so much is going on behind the scenes, you need indicators of where you stand with yourself. So pay attention to your daily activity and how you feel about it: does time seem to move quickly or slowly? Are you interested and invested in what you're doing? Observe yourself closely and be especially honest. As for your health: how do you feel when you wake up in the morning? How do you feel at sunset, and how do you feel before you go to bed? Take careful notes. These are important factors pointing you to the future.
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
(Feb. 19-March 20) — As you discover what it means to live in a much wider world, you are also discovering what it means to be living in a rapidly and radically changing world. This may seem chaotic, though I suggest you stay close to the changes and close to the action, as proximate as you can get, and take nothing for granted. Make your own observations. Maintain a dialog with as many people as you can, and pay attention to what you learn. A combination of three factors: world conditions, the state of your immediate community, and your personal growth, are aligning in a rare form. You do not need to fear the changes that are happening, so long as you are aware of them and participating in them consciously. Some facets of your situation are pushing you to your limits, which it's time to exceed. As a Pisces, one thing you have going for you is the possibility for a very wide view of existence. Yes, it's possible to squander this in petty affairs. There, I cannot help you. If you keep a broad view of yourself and your environment, and track your own movement through this unusual maze society is in, you will find yourself in a position of rare advantage.
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