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Kingston, NY, Tuesday, Jan. 13, 2008

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Good morning...

Dear Friend and Reader:

Our annual edition is a tradition at Planet Waves, but also in my work as an astrologer. The project is an extended phase when I review the astrology for the coming 18 months and make friends with it. This process of acclamation with the celestial movements involves looking at the charts for dozens of events, using as many planets as is practical. I also look at the world, and apply what I've learned from a year of working with astrological clients, who teach me some of the most meaningful astrology that I learn -- because it comes directly from the human realm rather than from theory.

It's also an internal process of working out the personal issues and reservations I have around the transits, and my own transits, so that I can write from as clear of a place as possible. The process of writing 12 extended essays is a way of opening up the territory for the rest of the horoscopes for the next 12 months, setting the theme and the tone and building a platform to work from in the somewhat psychologically and spiritually risky job of suggesting to others what they ought to be thinking about any given week or month.

Toward the end of this year's horoscope project, I wrote a short piece explaining the solar house system -- the houses used for Sun sign horoscopes. Below is one paragraph from that essay, and then a selection from each of the 12 horoscopes chosen by Rachel.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

Excerpts from Next World Stories

Several traditions exist in astrology; there's one called the Pier tradition, because it comes from beachside fortunetellers. There is a Folklore tradition, which is a form of tribal entertainment and history recording. It's related to drama. There is a Medicine tradition of astrology, which practices it for healing, and from this we get Psychological astrology. And then there is the old root of our modern astrology, divinitory astrology: horary (the astrology of questions) and elections (the planned chart for doing something). There is a scientific cult among us as well. There are plenty of others; though I think the very oldest among them are people looking up at the night sky and saying, "Look at the hunter! He's chasing a boar ..."

Planet Waves

Aries (March 20-April 19)
As you enter an extended phase where worldly accomplishment becomes the thing foremost in your mind, and indeed something that is authentically likely to happen, you need to stay close to your cosmic roots. By that, I mean a constant referencing, to the point of annoyance, whether what you are doing is, in fact, in alignment with the greater good. The greater good is not just what's good for you, though you must be included. It's not just what will get the results, though results are involved. It's about aligning yourself with the whole story; with the story of the world; and remembering that you are part of something much larger than yourself.

Read your 2008 annual for Aries. Order your Next World Stores 2009 annual for Aries
and Aries rising here

Planet Waves

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
The most critical issue we face in our personal relationships is the lack of a confident relationship with ourselves. We do a lot of blaming and there is plenty to blame for; most of it comes back to insecurity and most of that insecurity relates to being unconscious about who we are, what we want and what we need. Your energetic relationship to religion does not help matters, because there is a layer of moralism imposed on nearly all of your thoughts. As that labyrinth gets chipped, worn, melted and blasted away by Pluto, something else will be freed. And with so much rather incredible action in your house of profession, you will want all the confidence you can get. As I see it, this will come from the only source from which it can possibly derive, which is a deepened relationship with yourself.

Read your 2008 annual for Taurus. Order your Next World Stores 2009 annual for Taurus
and Taurus rising here

Planet Waves

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
If you are feeling some overwhelming question about the meaning of your existence, welcome to Pluto in your 8th solar house. Welcome to a conscious relationship to life, and a conscious relationship to change, which is usually experienced as death. The challenge of this process is in the simplicity; and also in your willingness to move with the energy. In the process, you will get to know yourself deeply in a way that you have only begun to taste during the past four seasons: but enough that you see a potential reward. Enough that the inevitability of letting go into the future is being met by your willingness to do so, not just because you have to, but because you know beyond any doubt in your mind that it will truly be the best thing for you.

Read your 2008 annual for Gemini. Order your Next World Stores 2009 annual for Gemini
and Gemini rising here

Planet Waves

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
We don't really know our own gifts, or our shortcomings. Most of what we do in our intimate relationships is try to follow choreography: the rules of dating, the goal of marriage, the use of partnering as primarily an economic tool rather than a growth opportunity, and so on. Even commerce is a form of relationship, and one of the most important: it's not about the contact of true intimacy. Whatever may have been your intended life mission, relationships now move into the high-resolution focus that is inherent to conscious human existence.

Read your 2008 annual for Cancer. Order your Next World Stores 2009 annual for Cancer
and Cancer rising here

Planet Waves

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
This is the year when the culmination of a long, long story in your relationships starts to become obvious. In some ways it is a peak year but I prefer to think of it as a threshold. Your relationship life has definitely been interesting; if it has gone well -- that is, if you are having the stable relationship or relationships that you want -- this has been a function more of your skill and devotion rather than of fair and favorable weather. It has been your unwavering devotion to truth. If you ask me, long transits of Chiron and Neptune through one's relationship house, as you are having, are not usually beneficial for stability, on their face. But if we learn to navigate their elements, and if we refuse to allow ourselves to be deluded, they can be truly beneficial.

Read your 2008 annual for Leo. Order your Next World Stores 2009 annual for Leo
and Leo rising here

Planet Waves

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
With Saturn in your sign for the past year, it looks like you may have gone into a kind of reaction: retreating into conservatism or wishing you could join a convent. But that very retreat has led to a new series of confrontations, this time more direct. I suggest strongly that you listen to what people are saying, the more so if you don't "agree" with it. What you are being told may not be exactly what you need to hear, but at the worst, it's the first cousin.

Read your 2008 annual for Virgo. Order your Next World Stores 2009 annual for Virgo
and Virgo rising here

Planet Waves

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
I would encourage you to use your fear as a source of strength. I would suggest you use your sense of being displaced, or uncertain of where you need to be on the planet, as another source of strength. Whatever you may be feeling on the most ordinary levels of consciousness, you are the inheritor of a deep taproot into your ancestry, which is allowing your struggle for grounding to finally unfold in a tangible way. This is liberating your strength; because you don't know, you have the power to look and see what might be so.

Read your 2008 annual for Libra. Order your Next World Stores 2009 annual for Libra
and libra rising here

Planet Waves

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
One thing you may be noticing is that when you express yourself creatively, intellectually, sexually or in any other obvious way, you are likely to meet resistance. This is a sign of the times we are in, when any form of authentic expression is considered dangerous or subversive. But notice something else: there is always an influence in your environment pushing you to go further; to open up more. Make friends with the people who play this role, if you can keep them around long enough to have tea.

Read your 2008 annual for Scorpio. Order your Next World Stores 2009 annual for Scorpio
and Scorpio rising here

Planet Waves

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
You are likely to be living with part of you being exposed, that is not quite accustomed to being out in the world and which the world is not accustomed to seeing. In our culture, there's often a crisis created for people who dare to be authentic, particularly at the moment of emergence. People act like they've never seen such a thing, and since authenticity is only possible with a degree of vulnerability, then it can hurt twice as much when we are not received or embraced for who we are. I suggest you be mindful of these things as you embrace the next phase of your life, which enables you to take what you have learned in the past decade-plus and bring it to a new level. In one sense, the journey has just begun. But you know a lot more at the commencement of this trip than you did at the beginning of the last one: in particular, you know more about yourself.

Read your 2008 annual for Sagittarius. Order your Next World Stores 2009 annual for Sagittarius and Sagittarius rising here.

Planet Waves

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
It would be reasonable to say you are becoming a ‘different person' under the influence of Pluto in your birth sign. What is really happening is that you are now integrating the deeper levels of your being into the outer ones, and in the process, many outer layers of your personality are ready to fall away like a dry scab that has served its purpose. I suggest you let this happen, and not be afraid to be different than you were yesterday every single day of your life. The true metamorphosis has already occurred; what you are experiencing are the effects of a process with substantial momentum, guided by actual intelligence.

Read your 2008 annual for Capricorn. Order your Next World Stores 2009 annual for Capricorn and Capricorn rising here.

Planet Waves

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Even during relatively placid times, you may feel like you're a waterbug floating on the surface of existence, clinging to your individuality, lest you plunge into something much larger than yourself that you don't understand. At the same time, the need to be part of that something larger is enormous. You sense the potentially awesome benefits of this, but I suspect that you are still uneasy about the part of yourself that you perceive you would need to give up if you do. This, to my thinking, is the real crisis. It is one thing to be deliberative. It's another to exist in a state of self-clinging. The thing you are clinging to is not your self and bears no resemblance to it.

Read your 2008 annual for Aquarius. Order your Next World Stores 2009 annual for Aquarius and Aquarius rising here.

Planet Waves

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
As you have become increasingly aware of your need for autonomy of thought and experience, you seem to be encountering certain people who are clinging to their old ways, and others who seem determined to hold you to a structure of some kind. I think by now you have recognized the futility of trying to convert anyone to a new way of thinking. This journey is all about converting yourself out of what amounts to a false mode of thinking, and revealing the deeper one you have always carried with you. However, I suggest you pause and recognize that you are having a significant influence on your surroundings and all those with whom you come into contact.

Read your 2008 annual for Pisces. Order your Next World Stores 2009 annual for Pisces
and Pisces rising here

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