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New York, Dec. 19, 2016 | View as Webpage | Get Your 2017 Reading

Reflection: Mars in Pisces, Mercury Retrograde

Dear Friend and Reader:

This morning sees two events of interest happening almost simultaneously. First, at 4:23 am EST (09:22:54 UTC), Mars enters Pisces. Then, 93 minutes later, Mercury stations retrograde in mid-Capricorn. Mercury will be retrograde until Jan. 8.

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Photo by Eric Francis.
These are two seemingly separate events related by this unusual synchronicity. What they have in common is the theme of honesty.

Mercury changing directions can bring a revelation or discovery. This often happens amidst some confusion, and it can bring a moment of clarity.

This process will likely continue through the retrograde, as Mercury enters Sagittarius on Jan. 4, and then stations direct a few days later. With Mercury retrograde, it's helpful to take it slow, or at least to pace yourself. Focus on getting the facts right, here in our world that's being variously described as "post-factual" and "post-truth."

Mars in Pisces accentuates the theme of emotional honesty, suggesting you avoid denial and be real with yourself. There is some caution in that Mars enters Pisces and immediately makes a conjunction to centaur Nessus. The comment here is to be conscious about the theme of victimization. Nessus in Pisces is a long transit and we will have many opportunities to revisit this theme, though it's a big one in society right now.

Mars is the planet of desire. Desire is natural, yet it's not treated that way. We live in a time when we believe that sex must have a victim. Mars conjunct Nessus may bring up the feelings and other emotional residue of past events of your life. The thing about emotional and body-memory is that it can seem like whatever you're remembering is happening now.

If this is happening, you would be well-served to let people know what you're experiencing. Be careful not to project onto them or blame them. Stay with your feelings. Your first job is to stop whatever happened to you from being passed forward. Your second job is to take an active role in your own healing.

Planet Waves
Yousaf Chaman and Jenni Lester and son, Nouraiz, next to the sign in their front yard in Lancaster, PA; it says, "No matter where you are from, we're glad you're our neighbor," in Spanish, English and Arabic. Link to a printable version of the sign here. Photo by Richard Hertzler.
Generically, be mindful of your boundaries. Know what feelings are yours and what belong to someone else.

Both of these transits signify a moment of inward reflection. This goes against the grain of modern civilization, in which running oneself into the ground is virtually the law.

The natural ebb and flow of human tides, of business and restfulness, have been all but forgotten. We expect to be like machines, never stopping (except that machines do break down, of course). It could be argued that this is precisely what causes the very mishaps we associate with Mercury retrograde. So too is our increasing dependence on robotic devices which surround us and infuse our minds -- the very thing that's making us like machines.

What if regular pauses were actually built in to our lives? What if we had time to stop and rest, to ponder, to process? What if we made room for the full spectrum of human feeling? I imagine the result would be a massive improvement in our potential, if not our manifestations. Human society could become more intelligent, more caring, more thoughtful.

Start with yourself. Lay back a little during this holiday season. Spend unfettered, truly relaxed moments with those you love dearly. Keep your empathy in sensitive mode. Allow yourself really to slow down, as far as you need to.

-- with Amy Elliott
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A Note From Your Astrologer

Dear Planet Waves Reader:

How are you doing there?

I know we're all feeling the pressure and the stress of uncertainty. What you're feeling is not coming from the news alone. The same cosmic forces, or perhaps timing factors, are acting on everyone and everything. This is not an easy time to keep your head together.

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iMac selfie from today in my creative shop, Blue Studio.
It is, however, a deeply important time to keep your heart open and live from your soul.

I'm feeling the pressure in my own way, as someone who not only writes about politics but who translates and clarifies the news, with the assignment of taking it above the level of despair. Because I work for you, I don't have the luxury of denial.

Just about everyone has reached the saturation point with politics, especially in its current wholly toxic state.

The feeling of being violently pulled from your inner reality has been agonizing. The confrontation with shadow has been extremely challenging. Admitting that, we're all sitting here watching the world, wondering what's going to happen. And we all have lives to lead: things we want to do, growth to attend to, people to take care of.

The world may be going insane, though you don't have to.

It's taken me a while to work through the pain of the election process and what it means. Gradually I've gathered my energy, done some deep healing and focused my mind on your 2017 reading, called The Book of Your Life.

As I go deeper into the astrology, it's truly been a relief to focus on personal matters, filtering out the madness of the world. The transits we're experiencing are rich. On one level, we're being pelted with total chaos in the form of Uranus conjunct Eris. We are learning how to breathe and find ourselves at the bottom of the digital ocean.

Don't forget to sign up for our Four Winds daily almanac. Get the best free daily report on the internet. You may sign up at this link, and share our newsletter with anyone you wish. Here's today's edition, which includes a daily birthday reading, a daily overview, aspect listings and other features.

Your Monthly Horoscopes -- and our Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscope for December was published on Wednesday, Nov. 23. We published your extended monthly horoscope for November on Thursday, Oct. 27. We published the Moonshine horoscope for the Sagittarius New Moon, by Len Wallick, on Thursday, Dec. 1. Your Moonshine horoscope for the Gemini Full Moon was published Thursday, Dec. 15. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.


Monday Morning Horoscope for Dec. 19, 2016 | By Eric Francis Coppolino
Aries (March 20-April 19) -- Cooperate with people of power and influence in your life, even it if means temporarily setting aside your personal goals. Collaboration is the key to your success, and your astrology is suggesting strongly that you take a long-range perspective. This means investing your energy in demonstrating that you're helpful and reliable to people more advanced in their professional activities than you are. These people become your professional network, which can serve you for the rest of your life. Developing such a network is not merely about knowing people's names or collecting business cards. It's about establishing common cause, and supporting the projects of others because you can. Many people these days are asking how they can make their living doing something they love. The answer to that is to start by learning skills and making yourself useful. Worry less about getting paid and more about getting established, and being good at what you do.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) -- Opportunities of a social, creative and professional nature will come to you from odd angles where you may not have been looking, such as right next to you. Often people look for these things at a distance, or consider them far-off possibilities. Your chart suggests that people like neighbors, colleagues and existing partners will have something for you -- such as ideas for how to make your life easier. For the next few weeks, easing the pressure on your mind and removing some of the purely repetitive work will be helpful. Yet there's the question of where you're going from here. Revisions and updates to your existing business or creative plan will serve you better than scrapping anything and starting over. There are facets of what you deal with that are simply annoying, or that you never seem to get right, and those are the ones to address first.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) -- Set all of your commitments into pause-and-review mode. You seem to have various contracts, agreements or understandings with people that need a think-through. For some of these, the issue boils down to dollars and cents. The numbers simply must add up, or nothing else will work. For others, the question is one of willingness, particularly your own. You have time to consider this, and it will be better if you bring the question to the front of your mind rather than having it lurk and linger at the back. Can you deliver what you've promised? Do you want to? If the answers to both of those questions are yes, then you may have a third question that's not so easy to articulate. Going forward with your plan will require you to change and deepen. You might feel like you have to give something up to gain something else. Yes, you will need to give up the past to gain the future.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) -- Your relationships are a map, and they point you to an inner door. That door is guiding you to a level of psychic and emotional healing. If you remember that it's not your relationships that you're working on but rather your own growth and maturity, things will be a lot simpler. If you make your own growth about other people, you've entered a paradox that is difficult to get out of. Yet those other people hold clues, and you'll gain significantly if you're listening. Over the next few days you may notice that the lights are coming on, and you understand much better how you relate to people and what you can do to get along with them better. If you're willing to ask honest questions and be open to answers, you will discover that you have plenty of common ground with those you care about. There will be points you don't agree on as well, though these are not necessarily deal-breakers.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) -- Focus your efforts. Rather than trying to get everything done at once or in time for the holidays, choose one project that simply needs to happen, and focus on that. It may be the one that nobody else wants to do, or that has resisted your best efforts. It may be something that's been delayed a few times. Clearing up this one bit of stuck energy will help get things moving. Remember, though, if you feel like you're working too hard, or like your effort is going nowhere, change your strategy. The chances are you're missing some vital information. It might relate to some technical aspect of what you're doing, or you may not understand why something has to happen. In fact, there's a chance that it's not necessary, or that there's a workaround that solves the problem even better. Take the time to do some research, and ask for help if you need it.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) -- You're approaching a point of total honesty. You might feel you can go even closer, which is true. For now, though, you've revealed enough, and you will benefit from a deep review of what you've said, what you've heard, and how you feel about it all. With Mercury stationing retrograde today, you might take these next three weeks to consider your current developments. At the heart of the question is your sexual truth. You now understand that you are who you are. It's not so much that you 'cannot change', but rather that you don't want to. You seem to have gotten the hint that there's great pleasure in actually being who you are. And there's little point being anyone else, unless you feel like wasting years of your life trying. It's true that others have the choice of whether to accept you or not. And like you, you can bet that they're committed to being who they are as well.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) -- The planets now emphasize family matters, yet you don't have to get caught in the dramas of others. Where family is concerned, this can be difficult to discern. Someone can try to make their issues into yours, though that doesn't make it so. You might take as proof the fact that your buttons can get pushed, or that people seem to have the power to upset you. This is the very thing you now have the opportunity to address. Consider that any family weirdness is like flakes of ancestral DNA bursting to life. People around you are living out facets of the past that are so distant in time, nobody actually remembers their origin. You have the option to see all of this for what it is, summon your maturity, and move on with your life. The controversy is that you're betraying your family. Well, looked at that way, you have to betray either them or yourself. They'll get over it.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) -- At a certain point, you'll want to reveal your whole sexual reality. When that time comes, you might feel ready or you might have to take a leap. That means revealing who you are, what you've done, what's happened to you, and what you want. It feels good to do this; that's the nature of intimacy. However, you may fear that someone's ego will be hurt by knowing the truth about you. Actually, it's much more personal: this is about you. By going deep into your personal reality, you summon up old material for healing. That takes courage, and few people go here willingly. The result will be to release old pain or self-blame that you've been holding, and that feels good. Pleasure begets healing and love brings up everything unlike itself. So as you get realer and realer, you're likely to have those moments of release, and of wanting to go deeper. This is about you, not anyone else.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) -- Dream big to get big. Why size? Does size matter? Yes, for a Sagittarian it does. Or perhaps better said, your ideas need to find their correct proportion and their correct scale. And that is likely to mean scaling up. You may feel limited by issues around financing your ideas, though that is a matter of planning. It's a matter of communication and of outreach. Meanwhile, there are many small steps you can take that utilize resources you already have, in the way of people, community and physical needs. One problem with the current world philosophy is the belief that everything can be solved with money. However, cash is useless without ideas about what to do with it, and it's more often wasted than not. Think efficiently. Use what you have well. Get one or two intelligent people involved. Then figure out what you actually need, and you'll get ideas how to fund the project.
Attention Sagittarius Sun, Moon and rising folks: You can get instant access to your two segments of audio astrology, and the tarot reading will be ready shortly! The entire Birthday Reading can be yours for only $24.97. But hurry: the price will increase again when the tarot publishes.
Capricorn Birthdays 2017:
The Inner Vision Quest Continues

"In any event, Saturn in Sagittarius in your 12th [solar] house is the best image I can think of for inner vision quest. It's about gaining insight. It's about seeing into the dark. It's about learning that you contain a vast inner space, and that space is not empty. But what is there, you can only discover by actually going there and not avoiding yourself."
-- Eric Francis in the 2016 annual Vision Quest reading for Capricorn

Dear Friend and Reader:

How has your quest to know your inner space been going this year? Are you feeling ready for a boost, for a new page to the map or for a reminder that you really, truly can travel the path unfolding before you?

Planet Waves
Between the movements of Saturn and the upheaval associated with the Uranus-Eris conjunction, I suspect you've been on an accelerated path of adaptation and growth. Or perhaps you've been engaged in a rather consuming struggle, and could use a hand.

As the astrology of this past year flows, develops and morphs into 2017, your 2017 Capricorn Birthday Reading will offer the insight, perspective and inspiration you need to lead your life creatively. Perhaps even boldly.

"As you can see, everything you said in this reading was completely and absolutely spot-on for me. I have followed other astrologers, had readings done and still keep one in particular as my personal astrologer, but no one, even her, as much as I love her has been able to better articulate the past, present and future possibilities as clearly as you have. I am astounded by your passion and talent. You have a gift. Thank you for sharing it with me. It has been a tremendous help to me over these last few years of very difficult decisions and changes."
-- Debra MacFarlane, on last year's Capricorn Birthday reading

For the discounted price of only $19.97, you can pre-order your Capricorn Birthday Reading today.

This price includes two segments of audio astrology (at least 30 minutes each), a tarot reading using the Voyager Tarot by James Wanless, and an extended sign description. You can access and replay the reading as many times as you wish. Note that the price will increase as publication nears.

Next week, the Sun enters Capricorn for the solstice. As you celebrate a new season, celebrate yourself, too, for making it through one heck of a year.

Yours & truly,

Amanda Painter

P.S. This reading is designed to work for Capricorn Sun, Moon and rising, and makes a thoughtful gift.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) -- There's a concept I learned in Hakomi Therapy training, which they call 'efforting'. It describes a counseling room phenomenon where the therapist or the client is working too hard emotionally or intellectually to get a desired result. You know, the conversation that goes on too long, or that seems to get nowhere; the problem you keep banging your head on; the person who you cannot convince; the question you cannot answer; the habit you cannot let go of. Often this gets conflated with 'having integrity' or 'working on yourself'. I suggest you be cautious about anything that's draining your emotional or mental energy. The solution is unlikely to be doing more, but rather to stand back and do less. The mere acknowledgement that 'this is harder than it's supposed to be' is an excellent start. There's something you're missing -- information you need, or a shift of perspective. Start with the obvious. What do you really want?

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- You know that you have to love yourself, though this often exists as an idea rather than as a feeling. The idea is a starting place, though the feeling is what you want. Often something gets in the way of your positive regard of yourself: some inner voice, some doubt, some question that nags you. If you're experiencing that, you need a strategy for how to handle it. The chances are that it's coming from the distant past, which means something you were told in childhood, or memories passed down from parents and grandparents. You don't have to take on their psychological burdens. You don't need to take on the role of oppressor, standing in for people who said or did mean things to you or to your older relatives. You live in a different world, you're a different person and you have more options open. One of them is to seek understanding rather than accepting your supposed lot in life.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) -- Desire is controversial. Merely allowing yourself to explore the idea of freedom, by which I mean freedom to feel, can provoke others. Yet you're reaching for this like a plant's leaves reach for sunlight, and like its roots reach for water. There's no changing this fact about you, certainly not now. And it's not as easy a path as many people make it out to be, because the freedom to feel implies taking responsibility for what you feel. And that, in turn, implies making choices and taking responsibility for them. Only you can determine what is right for you, and in the end, others may have little say as you respond to the truth of your heart. Do not be deceived by those committed to deception. Just remind yourself that you're on your own journey, which will take you deeper into your healing process, your self-awareness and your creative passion. Go boldly.

Planet Waves

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