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Barack Obama and the Sword of Damocles

Dear Friend and Reader:

A COUPLE OF weeks ago, someone introduced me to Gerald Celente, the internationally renowned trends analyst. Celente has an office around the corner from my studio in uptown Kingston, NY. "His job [is] to see the future and understand how the issues and events of today will determine the trends of tomorrow," according to his bio on Coast to Coast AM, the former Art Bell Show.

Planet Waves
In Richard Westall's Sword of Damocles, 1812, the boys of Cicero's anecdote have been changed to maidens for a neoclassical patron, Thomas Hope. Still, the infamous sword hangs over him as the king watches. Image from Wikimedia Commons.
I've known of his work for years, but somehow managed not to meet him till that day. I seized the moment and asked him if he would do a quick interview, and he told me to come by in 15 minutes. I bought a quart of currant juice from Ray the Bee Guy to bring as a gift, packed my camera and digital recorder and walked to Celente's office. He works out of a magnificent old market building with bay windows, hardwood floors and dozens of thriving plants.

We started with a discussion of the horrid state of the American government and economy. He expressed his extreme distaste with both major presidential candidates, Barack Obama and John McCain, saying he wouldn't trust either of them to "lead him across the street, much less lead the country." But, he said, Obama supporters are the biggest hypocrites of all.

Why would that be? Obama has stated his position in favor of escalating the war in Afghanistan and bombing Pakistan if the government doesn't cooperate with the war on terrorism. Obama supports "clean coal technology" and the use of nuclear power. I also know he claims to be in favor of the death penalty. Celente asked me which of these issues I agree with, and I said none of them. And he asked me why I would possibly support Barack Obama for president. Backed into a corner, I struggled for an answer.

"I know what you're going to say," he said. Celente's job is to make predictions; he happened to be right this time. "You're thinking, he's saying this stuff to get elected."

"Right," I said.

"So you're saying you're hoping he's lying."

"I'm saying I understand politics." In fact, I understand it so well that I quit doing one of my favorite things, writing political campaigns, more than 20 years ago specifically because politics always involves deceiving the public. But I understand that people punch in boxing, they tackle and get muddy in football and they make compromises in politics.

"Okay, here is a question. Who would you say most Democrats would agree is the most evil man of them all?"

Planet Waves
Barack Obama greets Republican mastermind Karl Rove at a White House reception for freshman senators in 2005. Photo by Doug Mills for The New York Times.
I thought about it for a few moments, and said Karl Rove. He is the Republican mastermind who orchestrated both Bush "elections" and much other mischief that has caused our nation incalculable grief the past decade. I personally feel that Rove cooked up the phony impeachment of Bill Clinton and was the public relations guy who gave 9/11 its indelible name.

"Look at this," he said. He walked across the room to a desk by one of the windows and picked up a copy of that day's The New York Times. It was marked up in red Flare pen, folded open to a photo of Barack Obama greeting Karl Rove at a 2005 White House reception for freshman senators.

"A picture paints a thousand words, you know that. Look at that warm smile," he said. "Look at how he's glad-handling him." He accused me of thinking that Obama was the messiah, even though he was cavorting with Satan.

"It's politics," I said. Celente scoffed in disgust, knowing I consider myself a person of integrity. He obviously felt I was brainwashed. I felt like a father explaining something to his son, though Celente is 25 years older than me. Maybe I'll get to his chart another time, but the guy is more influential than he knows. His predictions have a way of coming true because he is making them (Mars in Sagittarius, conjunct the Great Attractor, exactly in his ascendant).

Not one to be easily brainwashed, I bought a copy of the Times and started showing the picture to people, asking their opinions. I found a copy of the photo online and sent it out to my crew, promising to explain it to my readers. One afternoon I pulled it up on my computer and showed it to Genevieve Salerno, my astrology assistant.

"Look at the body language," she said the moment she saw it. Look at how Obama is leaning in and Rove is leaning back."

"Aaaaah!" I yelled, startling her.


"You got it. That's it, the body language reveals the relationship." When you want to understand a picture, pretend it's a tarot card. Rove looks defensive and closed. He is leaning back slightly, like he's being pushed away.

His hands are in his pockets, his face looking none too thrilled, and he seems unsure what to make of the Labrador retriever-like greeting he's getting from this colored guy.

Whatever Obama is thinking, he looks confident. He's not scared, intimidated or shut down, even though he's standing there with the Dark Lord's most trusted minion. His smile is not warm; it's over the top, with a not-so-subtle touch of, "You son of a bitch. Nice to finally get a look at your beady eyes. You haven't seen the last of me."

And make no mistake at all: come Election Day, with its potentially mysteriously changing results, the game will be very much Obama versus Rove.

The President's Job Description

I HAVE NO illusions about who the United States president is: the CEO of a country built on genocide of the Native Americans and slavery of the African Americans, with the largest nuclear arsenal in the world and scads of warplanes and aircraft carrier groups that it's not afraid to use. We have a space warfare program under the (former) United States Space Command, which was given a new name after being absorbed by another agency in 2002.

Planet Waves
Scene from the infamous “Daisy” advertisement
from the 1964 Lyndon Johnson campaign, against
Barry Goldwater. He basically says that if he’s not elected, the world will end in nuclear war. Watch
the ad here or here.
Its government is sold out to the world's largest corporations, all of which are in or somehow connected to the business of death. In the past five-and-a-half years we have committed mass murder in Iraq, occupying and waging an illegal war against a country that did nothing to us. It doesn't appear this will stop any time soon, no matter who is president. We routinely torture people and run a network of secret prisons around the globe.

What's worse, we think of ourselves as God's gift to the world, even though we dominate it with our toxic, deceptive and apparently fraudulent brand of market capitalism. The government, as we are seeing, steals not only from the people but from all those unborn ones you constantly hear about being protected -- the current sins of the father will surely be passed unto the seventh generation, plus interest. And a bunch of us get to have a pretty good lifestyle as a result of it all.

The president -- whoever he or she is -- oversees this whole bizarre enterprise. He is ultimately responsible for intelligence operations, which always involve murder and crime. The president orders air strikes, covert actions and various other unsavory activities. Like Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, no matter what happens, he hurts someone.

By definition, the president is not a saint. His is a job that puts blood on your hands. The question is not what does the job entail -- that is pretty much a done deal -- but who do you want doing it? Choosing, that is, from among the actual candidates? While we're wondering, let's not pretend that the president is the chairperson of Greenpeace.
Obama, McCain Birth Times Become Available

I HAVE BOYCOTTED the candidates' charts till this week (with one exception, I did a brief reading of Hillary's chart in 2006). The birth time situation has been a mess, as we reported in an earlier edition. I decided that the candidates were getting hip to astrology and were skewing their data so we would have nothing to work with.

Planet Waves
Purported photo of the raised seal on Obama’s birth certificate. Photo from Factcheck.org's page on the document.
Hillary had two birth times, McCain had two birth times (neither of them matching the Panamanian birth certificate that finally came out) and Obama had five different times prior to his certified birth certificate being published. I prefer to focus on events rather than personalities, and have spent a lot of time with the charts for the election and the inauguration, both of which make me queasy.

However, now that I could compare birth certificate data to birth certificate data, it seemed like time to cast the charts. I started with Barack. We will look at McCain in a special issue early next week. Here is a copy of the chart I am using. Please see caption for a few additional facts.

The basics finally make sense. Barack's Aquarius rising with a Leo Sun (born at sunset). He thinks in groups but strives to be an individual in them. Like most Leos, when things are going well they get better and when they are not, they get worse and he shows it.

His Moon is in Gemini. It is not, as in previous versions of his chart, void of course in Taurus. The only way to get this far with a void of course natal Moon is luck, and he depends on a lot more than that. The Gemini Moon works for me because Obama is quick on his feet and witty in that Gemini way. (He once said he fathered two black children, legitimately. And lipstick on a pig is funny enough for The Onion.) A Gemini Moon allows a person to multitask on a good day and feel like they have ADD on a difficult day, which is a requirement for president. These people to some real extent have to rely on others to keep them focused, but they can mini-focus on 24 things and not panic.

His Venus and Mars tell us a lot about his personality. Venus is in Cancer, giving us a picture of a guy who can relate to women in their own language, without a translating team. It's in the 5th house: he has, for sure, a sweet tooth for sex, but it's different than Bill Clinton's. He needs security and a feeling of emotional integrity from the woman in his life; that is what's sexy to him.

Mars is in Virgo in his 8th house. His concept of himself as a man is driven by his intelligence: he thinks being a well-spoken, impeccably dressed Constitutional law professor is macho. I am sure he's not the only one who does.

The 8th house reveals how we deal with crisis. With Mars there, he is alert and feels that if he applies his intelligence consciously, he can get through anything. Taking enormous pains to think things through step by step, he welcomes a good crisis because it tests his intelligence and helps him feel alive. That 8th in Virgo also speaks to his style of making agreements: he is flexible but any deal or contract needs to be precise. He does not misunderestimate his rivals. Mars in the 8th is a subtle reminder that they can kill you if they want.
The Heart of the Darkest Sixties

IT IS THE minor planets that reveal the essence of Obama's chart, however, beginning with a conjunction to his Gemini Moon in the 4th house (security, emotional grounding, home environment). I will offer a detailed explanation here, which involves his Moon, Nessus and Hylonome. To sum it up, he truly feels and understands the pain of his generation. We all know there is this cynical line about him being a savior. I get the sense that he's basically a healer.

Planet Waves
The upheavals of the Sixties were inspired by the sexual revolution, drugs and rock and roll -- and the Uranus-Pluto conjunction. This book is a must-read, can't put it down kind of thing for anyone born between 1960 and 1975. Image courtesy of Erowid.org
I've written before that the 1960s were largely defined by the conjunction of Uranus and Pluto. Exact in 1965 and 1966 with effects reaching well into the mid-1970s, this conjunction brought both the social upheavals and the rapid advances in every field of science and the arts during that era. In Obama's chart, the conjunction is close enough to have an effect -- within 15 degrees of orb, as suggested by Richard Tarnas in Cosmos and Psyche -- though Uranus is still in late Leo, while Pluto is in early Virgo. In Obama's chart, the conjunction shows up in the 7th house, creating intense relationship dynamics and a powerful evolutionary drive in his partnerships. Uranus on the North Node in Leo illustrates the feeling of bold destiny as an innovator, and he has this impact on people one at a time (Leo) and in groups (Uranus).

Through the 1950s and the 1960s, however, there was another era-defining conjunction, of two as-yet undiscovered Centaur planets. These were Nessus and Hylonome. Nessus was the third centaur (after Chiron and Pholus), discovered in 1993. Nessus addresses the shadow side of power dynamics, including sexual power dynamics, such as potentially inappropriate sexual contact and parental neglect leading to that contact. In the larger sense, Nessus represents any situation where karma comes home to roost; cyclical situations where a long chain of events is set in motion and returns to its source. Melanie Reinhart gives the key phrase "the buck stops here."

Hylonome was discovered two years later. It represents self-inflicted injuries (suicide, cutting and assorted emotional wounds that have this feeling). It's also about the grief that we can put ourselves through when a relationship separates, which is usually an acting out of unprocessed childhood material. We are often working out old pain when we deal ourselves a blow with the feeling of Hylonome. One of my clients has this point tightly square her Sun. As a girl she lost a father figure and mentor to a particularly nasty suicide. As soon as she reached puberty, she began cutting and branding her legs and belly, and now has hundreds of scars.

Planet Waves
The casket of Yasser Arafat, being passed through a crowd of 10,000 Palestinians, many of them firing guns into the air. His funeral occurred during an exact New Moon in Scorpio conjunct Hylonome — a Centaur planet which represents the cry of the people. Photo by BBC.
Costa Rican minor planet specialist Juan Revilla gives the key phrase, "the cry of the poor," which I expand to "the cry of the people." (This was demonstrated magnificently in the chart for the funeral of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, which occurred during a Scorpio New Moon conjunct Hylonome.)

Planets can work with full force and effect even though they have not been discovered yet. The archetype, or the living process of any planet, is alive long before the planet is named by an astronomer or cast into a chart by an astrologer. The conjunction began in Taurus in the 1950s and drifted into Gemini for much of the 1960s. 

If you put Nessus and Hylonome together, you can imagine the potential for many difficult situations, including our tendency to act out various forms of unresolved cultural and family abuse patterns on ourselves. This could be through seemingly passive methods such as the refusal to seek therapy when we need it; to remaining in difficult, painful or dangerous relationships; to active methods of encouraging one's own self-destructive ways of life to persist or spiral out of control.

In Taurus (where it was before Obama was born, in the 1950s), I associate it with a breakdown of basic humanitarian values, and a kind of selfishness about security: my family is safe, but I don't care if yours is. We have a bomb shelter, too bad for you. I don't care if my greed hurts you in some way. Rarely do we make an equation like, "If the people around me are safe, then I will feel safe," or, "My wellbeing and that of my community are directly related. They are the same thing."

Planet Waves
Do yourself a favor and look normal. One of many twisted cigarette ads from the 1950s. See more of them here.
As well, the 1950s were an era when advertising became the main "thought process" by which we let advertising tell us what is supposed to be important for us. Humans as we currently know them have always been susceptible to others telling us what is supposed to be important, but there has been nothing so powerful as television advertising to corrupt our values system. It almost makes religion look harmless.

When the aspect moved into Gemini in 1960-61, we ended up with a flowering of what Robert Bly calls the "sibling society," in his book by the same name. We live in a society where kids are often left to take care of themselves and where nobody really grows up. In the not-so-distant background of many problems is a maturity crisis that our culture faces. As part of this crisis, we don't have reasonable adult role models, and therefore have little clue how to select a political leader.

Obama has his Moon directly aligned with the Nessus-Hylonome conjunction, so he can feel this crisis deeply. He can actually feel the plight of women and young people; he doesn't need to be advised what it might be about. The Moon in his 4th house, close to the IC, his early childhood environment that transposes into his adult emotional environment. He was raised not an aristocrat but by a single mother. While the presence of a painful configuration in the 4th house can indicate deep insecurity, my sense is that it puts him in touch with his own pain and with collective pain (the Moon usually offers a collective expression as well as individual).

His Moon is square Chiron. His childhood was not easy and his mother was not well; he took care of her, and provided grounding for her, more than any official biography says. This square is the classic Drama of the Gifted Child placement: kids who are neglected become highly sensitive. Barbara Hand Clow in Chiron: Rainbow Bridge says it represents a "crisis over feelings and higher consciousness" and points out what Alice Miller noted so aptly: its natives make good analysts and astrologers because they were -- of pure necessity -- deeply sensitive to the adults in their childhood environment and have nearly endless patience for the pain of others.

Obama is not a person who would, for example, create the No Child Left Behind program and then leave the funding behind. But what else do we know about his leadership?
The Sun Opposite Damocles

The Sun represents one's personal expression, the healthy adult ego, and vitality. And it represents leadership, and in collective charts, it represents the president or the king. In Obama's chart we can look to the Sun for what it says about him personally and as a leader. Some of the personal material was covered above.

Planet Waves
Obama with his grandparents at his high school graduation. There was a day when black men wore afros.
Obama's natal Sun is at 12+ Leo in his 6th house (service, work, health and healing). At the point precisely opposite the Sun is in his 12th house, just above the ascendant, and it is interesting. There is a triple conjunction there, exact to one degree: Pholus (the second centaur), Chariklo (the fifth centaur) and a very odd point called Damocles.

Let's first consider the energetic quality of the 6th house Sun opposite a powerful conjunction in the 12th house. That Sun is drawing a lot of mojo from a place that is not easily recognized, accessed or located in awareness. The planets involved (which also include 1992 QB1) are so obscure that 90% of astrologers don't even know they exist (the same is true of Nessus and Hylonome, though the phenomena associated with those are much better identified).

Chariklo opposite the Sun is powerful companion energy. It is a presence so strong as to be supernatural. Pholus opposite the Sun is like Obama carrying the influence of several generations of ancestors all the time. His ancestors are with him; they are potentially the companions referenced by Chariklo. This, too, is a rare conjunction and I have not given much thought to how it works as a system.

I feel that in the negative sense, it represents the insistence on remaining in unhealthy or codependent situations with the full force of one's psyche. In true Pholus style, this is passed on from generation to generation, and the pattern often involves alcohol. We usually are told that this is how it was done in the past, so we need to accept it now. The presence of QB1 (the first planet discovered beyond Pluto) suggests strongly that the whole issue is at a threshold, and that if there is a problem, the wisdom and experience to heal that problem exists within the situation.

However, the planet in this configuration that I find extremely interesting is Damocles, which is opposite Obama's Sun to a third of a degree. If you were to divide the full astrological wheel into a thousand slices, the opposition is accurate to less than one of those increments.

Planet Waves
Joseph McCarthy supposedly doing his homework. Photo from U.S. Senate Historical Office.
Damocles is an interesting object because its orbit is so elongated that it spends well over half of its time in one sign -- Aquarius. I don't have an ephemeris, but I was told by Robert von Heeren that it spends a lot more than that in Aquarius, something like 80% of its orbit. Only rarely have I seen it in a chart when it's not in Aquarius.

It's named for a servant of King Dionysius (who may have ruled in Sicily) and is properly considered a mainstream European legend rather than a classical Greek myth. We frequently use the phrase "sword of Damocles" without knowing what it means.

I can't say it any better than Wikipedia, which conforms precisely to what von Heeren told me when introducing me to the point when I studied with him in Munich 10 years ago.
The Damocles of the anecdote was an excessively flattering courtier in the court of Dionysius II of Syracuse, a fourth century BC tyrant of Syracuse. He exclaimed that, as a great man of power and authority, Dionysius was truly fortunate.

Dionysius offered to switch places with him for a day, so he could taste first hand that fortune. In the evening a banquet was held, where Damocles very much enjoyed being waited upon like a king. Only at the end of the meal did he look up and notice a sharpened sword hanging by a single horsehair directly above his head. And so are we. Immediately, he lost all taste for the fine foods and beautiful boys, and asked leave of the tyrant, saying he no longer wanted to be so fortunate.

Dionysius had successfully conveyed a sense of the constant fear in which the great man lives. Cicero uses the story as the last in a series of contrasting examples towards the conclusion he had been building towards in this fifth Disputation, in which the theme is that virtue is sufficient for living a happy life. Cicero asks, "Does not Dionysius seem to have made it sufficiently clear that there can be nothing happy for the person over whom some fear always looms?"

The Sword of Damocles is frequently used in allusion to this tale, epitomizing the imminent and ever-present peril faced by those in positions of power. More generally, it is used to denote the sense of foreboding engendered by the precarious situation, especially one in which the onset of tragedy is restrained only by a delicate trigger or chance. Moreover, it can be seen as a lesson in the importance of fully understanding another person's situation or experience.
And so we have the central image in Barack Obama's chart: the Sun precisely opposite Damocles in the 12th house. While I don't think that fear constantly looms over him, I do think he's perfectly aware that sword is dangling by a single thread directly above his head. And so are we.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

The Circle, Still Unbroken
By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

AS PLUTO makes its last pass into the final -- and critical, some say -- degree of Sagittarius, I can't help but think how far we've traveled in these many years; how many elemental issues we've examined, turned topsy-turvy, corrupted and confused. Pluto's coming entry into Capricorn will arrive to survey the ashes and prompt the rising Phoenix in a remarkable array of broken systems.

Planet Waves
By Danielle Voirin.
Over a dozen years ago, Pluto arrived in the sign of the Centaur, with astrologers projecting a time of upheaval in areas of international politics, foreign affairs and matters of law and philosophy. They warned about Religious radicalism, with an eye toward Islam; looking back, they should have worried, as well, about extremist Christianity. Pluto is the planet that arrives on our doorstep announcing jihad.

That term strikes fear into the hearts of Western civilizations, since it is used by terrorists to represent holy war; essentially, no war can occur in the Muslim tradition unless it promotes Islam, so they're all holy. But the non-violent meaning of the concept is self-reflective; an inner struggle for faith and righteous living, or "jihad of the soul."

It's the religious duty of the believer to perform an inside-out personal inventory of self-discovery, and walk their talk: the spiritual work of a lifetime. Sounds pretty through-the-gut-and-back-again Plutonian to me.

Pluto's energy seems to take us by surprise. It's the one planet in our personal charts which we have little ability to interpret, as it works so deeply in our unconscious; it rules the underworld, it reflects our karmic disposition. It tickles the portions of our psyche that prompts self-sabotage and we almost never see the result of this energy coming. It's our unexplored territory, slowly grinding away at our edges to break us down in order to allow for recreation. It's the mirror too smoky to see into -- it's the irrational blind spot in our mind’s eye.

1995 was the year that Pluto moved out of Scorpio, leaving us with a clear picture of the down side of a very self-centered period in American culture: sex, drugs and rock 'n roll, if you will. We were left with social ills defined by drug addiction, AIDS and the beginning of a number of financial bubbles that would come to create a growing separation between the haves and have nots.

Planet Waves
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, October 24, 2008, #737 - By ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Someone seems to be insisting on an exchange of some kind; it might be you, it might be someone you view as a trading partner. I strongly suggest you look at what is being exchanged, if anything; literally, what is being given and what is being received. You have reached a time in your life when you must focus your power. Part of this is needing a solid basis of understanding who is actually working for your cause, and having clear sight of who you are serving, and how. I strongly suggest you develop clear language for one other concept: what it means to sell out. I am speaking of you personally. For some people, getting a contract from Monsanto is good fortune. For others, getting a role in a movie is selling their soul. What is your definition?
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Now that the Sun has moved into the relationship sector of your chart, you need to face that which is pleasant, and that which counts for shadow material. Loving confrontations are not always 'nice' and the 'nice' encounters are not always loving. What you need to look for, first in yourself and then in others, is honesty. These weeks find you in a position to increasingly go into denial in situations about which you really need to be raising awareness. If you stay awake and attend to the emotional, psychological and practical details of your existence, things seem poised to proceed in the direction of a breakthrough. If you choose another path, waking up will sound more like someone thumping on your door than your clock radio.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
You can now see an old problem from a fresh perspective, and with the benefits of experience. You've figured out that it's not the effort you exert but rather the creativity you apply that matters most. And it was creativity you were struggling with all along, as you went through every old approach to the situation and were not quite able to come up with something new. You can take this a step further, and apply a special method of analysis. There is one factor that, if you identify it, can unlock the next level of success. If, however, you don't identify it and act on it, the situation could unravel. Identifying this factor will be easy, if you look for it, and if you believe it's there. It's probably something you look at all the time, but don't notice anything is amiss because you like it so much.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
What force within your psyche are you most closely allied with? You may think it's some spiritual factor, or an ideal of yourself; but it would appear to be a form of denial. In order to cross the river to awareness, you need to pay attention, because it's a narrow, slippery bridge. So narrow, in fact, that only one person at a time can make it across, and very few try. The problem with going beyond denial is that you may not know what is there; it does not imply that you know what you're not confronting, and often, that specifically involves the fear of finding out. One way we avoid finding out is to make up stories, and you've seen recently that you're abundantly creative at that. I suggest you watch where you put your feet, and stick to the known facts.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
You seem to be figuring out what's been bothering you. It wasn't as bad as you imagined, though you still need to work out the issue. This will feel a little like organizing the shoebox full of pictures in your bedroom closet; eventually that will lead to reorganizing the whole room. That, in turn, will help you come to certain revelations about your life that will seem simple when you get there. That, in turn, will help you turn (or come out of) an emotional corner you've been stuck in for a long time. And this will help you see the direction you really want your life to be going. All from a box of pictures! I think you know exactly what box I'm talking about. It's time to put those photos in an album. And if they're on a computer, definitely print them out first.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You thought your financial problems were never going to end, but as it turned out all you needed to do was start making decisions. You made a fun discovery -- they happen one at a time, if they happen at all; you can't make two decisions at once. If you're still stuck, which includes deciding the same things over and over, try the one-at-a-time approach. This is the time of year when you always figure out how smart you are. Your real intelligence is mainly instinctual, by the way, and it has a killer instinct that at times you love and at times makes you nervous. Your sign is renowned on all planets for its cerebral qualities, but the problem is that this has a way of turning on itself. When you follow your instincts, you simply know what's right for you, and generally it works for everyone else too. That's how you'll recognize the real solution.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You're starting to pick up momentum, and if you're competing against anyone, you're starting to get the upper hand. However, I suggest you drop all ideas of being better or best and make sure you do what you know is right. That is not going to be as easy as it seems for the next few weeks, because there is a blurring of certain moral issues that would normally be obvious. You need to be aware of this. A minor crisis that arises in the next week or two will give you all the information you need, if you take the time to decode what happened. It involves how another person handles a situation that you thought was settled, but they were thinking otherwise. I suggest that you let the situation play out as it will, monitoring it carefully, but intervening only minimally. Then mine it for information. When it's over you will be so glad it all happened.

(Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
The Sun's recent ingress into your sign has come with a relief from this odd mix of persistent anxiety and the sense that you are working for personal goals that just don't happen. You've put yourself out there for weeks. You've decided (once again) to be yourself at any cost. Now to allow yourself to grow, you need to simply be. That means trusting that you are visible, that you have magnetism, and holding the idea that others will seek you out. What you need to remember is that they need you as much as you need them; but now need is what must become a lower priority. The thing to feel for is affinity. You can safely let go of anyone that you're not in actual harmony with. This will make room for several key people with whom you're truly aligned. This is going to save you a lot of energy, which you can put to excellent use.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
You're not the type to succumb to irrational fear, but you do get lonely. One aspect of your life in which you may be feeling loneliness is when you consider what is the most important to you, and you wonder if anyone else really cares. You've figured out that others depend on your generosity and your sense of ethics without really sharing these things. You've figured out that people who claim to be your friends don't always act that way -- and this is leading you to wonder if they're really so friendly. You seem to be standing on the threshold of an important decision, and all of these things are factors. All you need is to be there, and not push what you perceive as the truly important issues. Simply know the questions. Know what you are trying to sort out, and remember, above all else, what you value and why.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
The past couple of months have been a little strange, especially where your most important career goals are concerned. In fact it may seem like one thing after the next has gone wrong, and you dearly want to set them right. You need to proceed with caution, and make sure that any remaining small problems don't become large ones. The key is to work them out on the level of communication first. Mercury is no longer retrograde, but we are still halfway under its influence. Something that is developing at the moment has the ability to magnify itself; and something that seems large may prompt you to overreact when it's really a relatively small matter. Therefore, read your emails twice, that is, the ones in your inbox and the ones you're about to send. Respect the pecking order (for now) and make sure you're at your most politically spit-shined. And don't let anyone convince you that they're your enemy; it's a farce.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
You're starting to feel like you have some potential, but what you think of as ethics are still getting in the way. You can keep chewing on this question of right and wrong, but sooner or later (as the Buddhists would say) you have to swallow. Here is the issue. You have your own view on the dilemma, but you haven't figured out the vast extent to which your own priorities are invested in or under the dominion of another person. And it seems like you want to impress this person with how genteel and polite and kind you are (that is the hook), which directly contradicts your plan for action in the world. Let's face it: you're not as nice as your public relations department says. It's not that you're mean; it's just that you seem to be working out plans you're not talking about. My own public relations department is currently working diligently to get the word 'nice' taken out of the dictionary. We're starting with the 'n'.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You present challenges to certain people in your life, but it's time to let that be their problem and not yours. That's when the fun begins. You're the one who makes the difference; few people take responsibility for what they feel or perceive. It's not your responsibility to be any more transparent than you already are, nor to explain the nature of your reality. If you seem to be running into obstacle after obstacle in your intimate relationships, take a moment and thank the circumstances of your life for helping you elude the people who don't belong there. Do your part to keep your space clear of anyone who doesn't belong, and to strengthen your bonds with those who you have decided truly hold a place in your world. Make each decision consciously. Notice who you have not evaluated, and who you are taking for granted.

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