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Critical-Mass Point: The Big Effect

Dear Friend and Reader:

We're about to experience a Full Moon on the Northern winter solstice. This is a lunation in aspect to the Aries Point (the first degree of the zodiac), and no matter what, that promises to deliver something unusual. The most ordinary Full Moon has a way of breaking deadlocks and getting the energy moving.

Planet Waves
Full Moon over the Acropolis, Athens, Greece. Photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis.
This particular Full Moon, however, is in aspect to Pholus, the second-discovered and by far the most energetic of the centaur planets. When the Sun enters Capricorn on Friday, the first thing it will do is make a conjunction to Pholus. Then the next thing that happens is the Great Wave of the Cancer Full Moon, opposite the Sun and Pholus.

Anything in the very early cardinal signs is in aspect to the Aries Point -- that dependable intersection between the individual and the collective (or as I used to say, where the personal is political).

Without overstating the case one bit, this is a big one. It's also a proving moment for Pholus, a moment when we get to see a relatively new planet in action, activated simultaneously by the Full Moon and the Aries Point.

Pholus (discovered in 1992) is the planet of the small cause with a big effect. Its action can feel like a genie coming out of a bottle; a runaway chemical reaction; a flow of information, triggered by something, that starts and will not stop.

With the Sun and Pholus in Capricorn, we have a clue as to the context: something about government. Maybe something about large corporations, though we live under a corporatist government structure, so in our world, they are basically the same concept.

The Moon in Cancer brings the issue home. We are talking about a development that many people will feel palpably; there will be little denying it, and you can expect an emotional reaction.

Planet Waves
Full Moon over Boston, MA, in 2012. Photo by Tim Sackton.
Let's keep an eye on the news. We've had two rather significant weeks in the Special Counsel's investigation; developments last week included the sentencing of the president's personal attorney to three years in federal prison, and the acknowledgement that he had the president's direction paying off two different women to help him get elected.

Then, we learned that the owner of the National Enquirer was cooperating with federal prosecutors -- someone with a vault full of stories collected under the "catch and kill" policy that for years the paper used to protect the president.

And we learned that a Russian spy, Maria Butina, pleaded guilty and entered a cooperation agreement with federal investigators, as part of the 2016 election rigging plot. We also learned that the Russians funneled $30 million through the NRA into the Trump campaign. Yes, the same NRA that doesn't care about school shootings collaborated with the Russians to get Trump elected.

It would seem just from these developments that the Special Counsel's investigation is coming to a boil. The astrology describes the moment as a critical-mass point. (Another major story that came out this week was the Reuters investigation proving that Johnson & Johnson covered up and denied its knowledge that its baby powder contains asbestos, even as its customers died of mesothelioma.)

On the personal level, this is a time to use your spiritual training, and keep breathing. Maintain your awareness and, at the same time, do everything you can to stay out of reactive mode.

This may not be easy; Pholus has a way of sneaking up on the unsuspecting. The thing to be most conscious of is small emotional triggers. Delete emails that annoy you (you can sift through your trash and read them next week). Get off of irritating phone calls quickly. You know the drill.

Planet Waves
Full Moon rising over the U.S. Capitol building, in 2007. Photo by David B. King.
When Pholus is active, I always issue an alcohol warning. A little alcohol can serve as the "small cause" or the trigger. There are those times when even one sip can make a difference. In this environment, a sip can indeed make a difference for sensitive people (it can cut right through your aura). I am not a purist or a teetotaler, but I would suggest that anyone attending a company holiday party this week stick to club soda or hot tea. You want your wits about you.

In the weekly horoscope below, I've taken a few other aspects into account. One of them is the Mercury-Jupiter conjunction: incredibly, also on Friday, moments before the Sun enters Capricorn. This aspect, too, has the energy signature of a payoff of some kind, a burst of information or awareness, though on the level of wisdom (we're talking about Jupiter in Sagittarius after all, gradually approaching the Great Attractor).

And while we're at it, looking ahead to next week, Mars is about to make a conjunction to Chiron in very late Pisces, doing that thing Mars sometimes does of serving as the cue ball when an outer planet changes signs (Chiron enters Aries, to stay, in February).

I continue to immerse myself in 2019-2020 astrology, doing the RESET 2019 readings. Those are still available as audio only or as part of the INTELLIGENCE package of readings. Stay tuned for publication details.

Reminder to those in the Hudson Valley, New York City or anywhere nearby: you're invited to our 20th anniversary house concert Friday night. RSVP to get on the guest list.

With love from all of us at Planet Waves,
Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Sunday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, Planet Waves, Inc. Core Community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Client Services: Josie Coppolino, Amy Elliott and Victoria Emory. Finance: Andrew Slater. Technical Assistant: Emily Thing. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Media Consultant: Andrew McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Yuko Katori, Cindy Tice Ragusa and Carol van Strum.
Planet Waves

Update on Your 2019-2020 INTELLIGENCE Reading

Dear Friend and Reader:

I am now closing in on the end of the INTELLIGENCE part one recordings, and plan to have eight signs done by this weekend. That's remarkable progress for this time of year. I'm going in the order of cardinal-fixed-mutable. (I've experimented a lot with the sign order, and this way has the best flow).

This year, I'm returning to the audio/written format, suspended the past few years, when I just did written. I'm now working with extra bandwidth, and can give you more. Part one, the audio, is called RESET 2019. These readings are coming out at 70 to 80 minutes each, usually in four or five sections.

Planet Waves
Midway through RESET 2019 readings, in The Place of the Way. Charts of finished signs are on the wall in the background.
Doing this work is intense! Each seems to take triple the planning and energy of an ordinary natal chart reading of the same length. I'm composing original music for each, sometimes collaborating with our music producer Daniel Grimsland.

Looking Back, Looking Forward

I don't know about you, but I'm glad to have those inner-planet retrogrades behind me. Still, they have helped us pave the way to the future. What happened in 2018 is essential for understanding what happens in the next two years.

I begin each reading by explaining the impact of the current year's astrology (in particular, Venus and Mars retrograde) as a setup for the future: a means of clearing the way. Then I look at the major transits that take hold in 2019: Uranus in Taurus, Chiron in Aries, the warmup to the Saturn-Pluto conjunction of early 2020, plus several additional factors, as necessary. (This year, my minor planet analysis focuses on Pholus, Quaoar and Varuna, so far.)

As ever, these are easygoing, easily comprehensible readings. I am using astrology as a metaphor and set of symbols that relate to real people, places and things in your life. The focus, as ever, is on healing, growth and creativity -- whether we're talking about relationships, work, family or art.

I am planning to have these in your ears by Dec. 31. They will come with two different resource areas: audio resources that cover specific topics, and written resources compiled from our vast collection of references. I'm getting ready to do the audio resource area (with short Q-and-A-style entries) while our editors compile the rest of the resource area.

Planet Waves
Charts for INTELLIGENCE: RESET 2019. I’m now working on the fixed signs and plan to have the audio readings in your hands by the end of the year. Written readings will be delivered in February.
Per the current plan, the written INTELLIGENCE readings will be ready some time in February.

Reset 2019: Now Available Separately

We're ready with the "product split" for those who want just the RESET 2019 reading. If you've already purchased INTELLIGENCE, you don't need to order this; this is for people who just want one year, at the lower price of $88 for all 12 signs.

This is for audio only; this is the first pre-order price, which will be in effect until the recordings are released in late December.

If you would like to get both, you still may -- for $122. Single-sign sale will begin at $44 per sign for written and audio. You will want your Sun, Moon and rising. Every purchase is one per household, meaning you can share them with the people you live with. Those with special financial needs may email me directly, or call (845) 481-5616 and speak with Josie or Jason; they will take care of you.

Thank you for your business, and thank you for trusting me as your astrologer.

With love,
PS -- if you would like to read the history of the Planet Waves annual, now in its 21st year, here is the link. And if you would like to explore 19 of the past 20 editions (open access), you may find them here. The recent ones have been excellent and will be as valuable today as they were when they first came out.

Capricorn Birthdays and Rising 2019:
What Part of Yourself Will You Rediscover This Year?
"Today I was listening to last year’s reading and I kept feeling that I needed to get this year's reading; I'm so glad I did. It answered everything, or at least helped me to realize I’m okay and actually very excited. The past few years have really been building up for us goats and my life has been a pure reflection of it all throughout the years...this reading is so inspiring."
-- Rhonda Benson, Capricorn
Dear Capricorn Sun, Rising or Moon Reader:

When the Sun enters your sign on Dec. 21, it does so under some rather 'energetic' conditions. For one thing, there will be a Full Moon in your relationship sign the next day.

Planet Waves
Eric Francis Coppolino at his work desk.
Also, the Sun will be conjunct the 'small cause big effect' centaur planet Pholus. Pholus signifies the runaway reaction, or that sense that the genie has been let out of the bottle.

In other words, whatever you begin as your solar year gets started is likely to have some real legs. And that's not all: with your ruling planet, Saturn, at 'home' in your sign, and Uranus about to move into your zone of creative risk-taking, play and sex for fun, it looks like you'll have both the discipline and structure to get things done and plenty of surprises to keep you engaged and curious over the next 12 months.

Eric will be covering all this and more in your 2019 Capricorn Astrology Studio. Comprising two audio astrology segments and a tarot reading for the year (plus an extended description of your sign, and photos of the chart and tarot spread), this reading makes a wonderful 'of the moment' complement to your upcoming INTELLIGENCE annual readings. They are two distinctly different readings, covering the material in different styles.
"Incredible! As a Capricorn who has been demolished by Pluto and searching for myself for a long time, I cried so many times reading this. I feel like I have found a long-lost piece of myself through your writings."
-- Amy Welchez
When you pre-order your 2019 Capricorn Astrology Studio (previously called the Birthday Reading), you lock in the lowest price we offer -- just $33 -- for all three audio segments and the supporting materials. As the portions of the reading get published, the price increases.

Eric brings the best of his 20 years of astrology experience, his therapy training, investigative skills and motivational speaking chops to these readings, offering practical insights you can put to use right away in your relationships, career, healing path, art and more. What will you discover about yourself this year?

Wishing you all the blessings of the season,

Amanda Painter

P.S. Is there a Capricorn close to you who sometimes feels a little forgotten this time of year? Honor their birthday with a gift of the 2019 Capricorn Astrology Studio.

Listen to Vision Quest on Live Stream

Planet Waves has an in-house music ensemble, called Vision Quest. We have a 38-hour loop of our music, which you can listen to any time. Included are finished pieces, rehearsals, live concerts, drum grooves, and spoken word recordings. I consider it a kind of musical divination. Click in randomly at different times of day and see what you discover.

Our Gifts to You: A Little Something Extra

Dear Friend and Reader:

It took me a long time to figure out what kind of gift to offer for new and returning subscribers. Tee shirts seemed too complicated; you need at least six sizes to get started, and not everyone wants a shirt. Tote bags are useful but kind of boring.

So I thought: journals. I love notebooks, and just about everything I write starts scribbled down on paper. I know my readers are a little old-fashioned, so this seemed like the perfect thing.

Planet Waves
Black smaller, pink larger, embossed with the Planet Waves logo. There are a few hand-painted sketchbooks left, with heavy, acid-free paper.

Then...I researched embossed journals for about six months. That's how long it took. I requested or purchased samples of the best that suppliers had, and all kinds of stuff came floating in the door. It was more challenging than I imagined to find a nice one, though finally I did.

Everything had to be right: the paper, the lines, and how the book feels in your hands.

However, the one I selected was being discontinued. I ordered as many as we could reasonably afford. We now have two main options: small black ones, and larger pink ones (these are new).

Together, they are the approximate color of Good & Plenty candy. I am one of these people who loves anything pink (sweatshirts, nail polish, headbands, a hot pink Squier guitar that I gave to Zosha a few years ago). We also have a few hand-painted notebooks left, which are acid-free sketchbooks.

You can get an embossed notebook with any monthly, quarterly or yearly membership to Planet Waves. If, by the way, there's a calling for hand-painted ones, I will make one more-or-less to your preferences (for those who sign up for a full-year Backstage Pass).

Continue reading this letter here.
Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscopes for December were published on Thursday, Dec. 6. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for November on Thursday, Nov. 8. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Planet Waves
Monday Morning Horoscope for Dec. 17, 2018 | By Eric Francis Coppolino
Aries (March 20-April 19) -- You won't need to be ambitious to make your mark this week. The real issue is spin control, which is another way of saying you must be on-message at all times. Rather than what you do, focus on what you don't do, and don't say. Maintain decorum and actual restraint. That doesn't mean be stiff or austere. Rather, relax and listen more than you speak. Thunderous astrology is approaching, focused in your professional angle, and you will want to ride this wave gently. 'Tis the season of holiday parties. One of my early political mentors had a rule of staying three drinks behind the crowd. I would revise that this week: no alcohol at company functions. This is not about being pure; it's about being alert and aware. Most people don't recognize the homeopathic-level influence that even a sip of alcohol can have. You simply must have your wits about you. Rather than trying to impress everyone, pay attention to your environment, and note your observations carefully. Get your full Aries reading by Eric here.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) -- A combination of factors will make these last two weeks of 2018 unusually potent, and there's a peak of energy late this week. Keep your interests focused where your heart is -- with intimate partners, or maybe close friends. You don't need to do the out-in-public thing unless you want to. If your instincts say to keep the socializing to a minimum, you're right, as usual. Through the week there's the potential for some brilliant contact between you and someone close to you, an unusual depth of understanding, and ease of communication. You've been through a sequence of unusual experiences this year, and -- though you will rarely see me use the word -- lessons. Some of them exposed the gaps between you and an intimate partner, potentially shaking you up. It would now seem that you've used these to your best advantage, and grown closer, rather than more distant. Such moments of contact as you have available now are rare indeed. Call yourself fully present. Get your full Taurus reading by Eric here.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) -- The Full Moon later in the week reaches across the personal finances/joint finances angle of your solar chart, and you will want to be careful with money. This is happening in a time of year when a lot of plastic is getting swiped. You might dial this back and, instead, do any shopping that you're planning after the holiday rather than before. You could easily cut your budget in half and everyone would be just as happy. At least from the viewpoint of your solar chart, there's the possibility that you will get carried away, then wish you had not. Meanwhile, a partnership situation could seem like it's up for grabs or entering volatile territory, compounded by several different stress factors that are present this time of year (some are worldly, some are cosmic). Any situation that starts to take a turn for the worse could go out of control, so do what you can to keep the peace until the lunar peak passes on Saturday, and conduct any necessary discussion when your ship is sailing somewhat smoother waters. The point is not to suppress the issues; rather, it's the greatest good for all concerned. Get your full Gemini reading by Eric here.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) -- On Saturday, there's a truly unusual Full Moon in your birth sign. This is one to tread carefully, as the full intensity will have a way of sneaking up on you. Through the week, pay careful attention to your emotional state. Be mindful of emotions such as anger, or the nondescript sense of feeling hurt. Be especially mindful of any form of victim consciousness, and if you perceive yourself being treated unfairly, step into a more influential vantage point. It's wise to avoid making decisions as the Full Moon approaches, because everything is typically in such a state of flux. If you're in any kind of situation that resembles being at loggerheads or in a deadlock, cut the throttle and allow the scenario to drift in its current direction. The momentum indicated in the astrology is likely to precipitate rapid developments between Friday and Monday, after which time it will be much easier to make well-informed decisions. This is particularly true with intimate or business partners, such as if you notice them leaning toward edgy or zealous. Easy does it. Get your full Cancer reading by Eric here.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) -- Keep an eye on one particular situation at work, one that has shown signs of trouble in the past. If you spot it early, you will be able to get control before things go sideways, potentially avoiding any difficulty. But you will need to be both vigilant and creative while others are intent on having a good time. Sure, drop in on the parties, and connect with people you care about, but keep your focus on what matters, and maintain a business-before-pleasure stance for the next two weeks. You must watch your stress level and your overall health this time of year, though particularly now; so avoid anything that you know inflames or aggravates, or anything you're allergic to, and make sure you do all of your driving 100% sober. Contrary to popular belief, it is legal to drink and drive (it's just a matter of degree), and the degree that I'm recommending is zero. You may need to make fast decisions that affect other people. By Saturday evening (the 22nd) the energy will have tamped down a bit, though maintain your internal locus of control. Get your full Leo reading by Eric here.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) -- Just in case you still have your options open, do some entertaining at home. Even if you're burning gas and tolls going other places, at least have one soiree or gathering in your own space. Invite people you like and do it up. Meanwhile, this is a moment of reconciliation for you. Emotional tension with domestic partners or family may not seem like it's improving much today, though soon there will be a break in the weather and you'll discover how much you have in common. And the more you work with that common ground, the deeper your relationships will become. However, from another angle, we can read these same aspects as being about you and nobody else -- a kind of inner peace is available, despite the din and fray of the world. Yet to have this state of mind and feelings you must want it, and set other priorities aside. In this time of many meetings, be sure to meet yourself once or twice in a quiet place, far from others. Get your full Virgo reading by Eric here.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) -- Whether at home or at work, take care of business first: that is, the necessities of life, and your personal responsibilities. This will ease your mind and let off some of the pressure you may be under. If you find yourself pulled in two or more directions, place the emphasis on what you know must be done rather than what you want to do. Then, as your second priority, blow off some steam, in a constructive way. Alcohol will have a particularly detrimental effect on your emotional state, potentially polarizing you into some extreme ups and downs. Instead, do things that cultivate your sense of balance; things that support your stability. You need time and space with your feelings, a privilege I suggest you grant yourself any time you need it. There's one more thing, though: invest the time to speak with your elder relatives, if they are available. You will learn something, and you may notice they have a message for you. We are in a time when the old tend to defer to the supposed wisdom of the young. I suggest you reverse that trend. Get your full Libra reading by Eric here.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) -- Be reserved with what you say, even if you're certain you're right. You may have a tendency to over-share, particularly as the weekend approaches. The chances are you know what you're talking about, though in the end, there are few who benefit from any form of persuasion. Yet be aware that you might be trying to convince yourself of something you already know is true. If you find yourself inclined to talk, the thing to do is write. Writing is just like speaking, but you capture the words on the page or the screen, organize them, and focus your own mental process in a way you can learn from and refer back to. For most people these days, writing anything longer than a tweet feels like they're trying to become the next Hemingway. You would find this a daring exercise, and if you stuck with it a little while, it would become more than a self-therapy pastime. You might discover you like it so much, you cannot stop. And that's where you would be persuasive. Get your full Scorpio reading by Eric here.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) -- What happens this week will more than compensate for many points of frustration and disappointment in recent months. You might notice that it's possible to reconcile differences with people, or at least with yourself. Where a partnership is concerned, the mercurial behavior of someone close to you has been troubling, though you at least are in a position to gain some true clarity. You're likely to decide that you share enough common ground to make a go of things, or that your differences with someone require you to make adjustments to your way of life. The important thing is that you commit to living your truth and not that of someone else. This would ordinarily be a perfectly Sagittarian thing to do, but you're more sentimental than you like to let on, and that has a way of leading you to compromise your independence. You don't need to do this. Commit to being and you will discover that others are happy to let you be. Get your full Sagittarius reading by Eric here.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) -- Friday, the Sun enters your sign, and Saturday the Full Moon takes place in your opposite sign Cancer. This sequence of events looks poised to release an unusual burst of energy, and you'll be able to do anything you want with it. From the look of other aspects in your chart, particularly a gleaming conjunction of Mercury and Jupiter that's concurrent with the solstice, it appears that you know what you want, if only you'll admit it to yourself. It's your state of awareness that determines whether you will make the most of an opportunity or let it slip through your hands. What could possibly hold you back? Well, do you feel you owe anything to people in the past, such as ancestors or other relatives? Do they still have their strings attached to you, or are you clasping them in your hands? Freedom seems like a dangerous state of being, to those who don't have it. By that I mean the power to choose can be daunting to those afraid to make decisions. Yet that is a ruse; you are deciding every minute of the day. The question is what. Get your full Capricorn reading by Eric here.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- Developments over the next week or so have the potential to unleash your wildest imagination. This may have a few different forms of expression. Who do you see yourself being in the world? What role do you want to play in the drama of life? Your solar chart describes you as someone whose mission involves gathering wisdom and other resources, and being a kind of benefactor. Yet inwardly, you're experiencing an unusual kind of reaction that may bear no resemblance to how you view yourself as a participant in society. You may feel a sudden release from fear, or an overwhelming sense of anxiety. The choice really is yours. Aspects for the foreseeable future have you living much closer to the edge than even you're accustomed to. You may run into the question of whether you can stay in control of your life. The metaphor of a sailboat on the water is salient here. You cannot control the wind, the tides or the weather, but you can stay aware, and guide your craft in a way that respects environmental conditions. Get your full Aquarius reading by Eric here.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) -- Focus on your professional activities as much as possible this week, including completing important tasks that you have going. Be attentive to your correspondence, as a conjunction of Mercury and your traditional ruling planet Jupiter indicates some unusual success or breakthrough. Because Mercury is involved, you'll need to be alert and aware of what others are saying to you and what you are saying to them. Opportunities that seemed long gone may land in your lap or your laptop, so keep a positive frame of mind. Aspire to do quality work rather than to deliver quantity. Focus on the central idea, message or purpose that you're offering, and keep it at the front of your mind, both as a presentation and as an organizing principle. Pay attention at social functions, particularly when associating with people who are in any way associated with your particular field, business, or enterprise. These conversations count for a lot right now. Get your full Pisces reading by Eric here.

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