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Unfinished Business

Dear Friend and Reader:

How is your self-actualization project going? Are you feeling the strain of Mars retrograde, pushing on all those planets in Capricorn? Are you noticing it in the world — the stress, the polarization and the chaos?

Are you feeling the pressure? Do you find yourself wishing that people would just wake up? That is exactly when to set your alarm clock for right now.

We are as of this writing at the peak of Mars retrograde, as it takes action (square) on Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto. Among the qualities illustrated is digging into the past. Mars represents the individual, particularly when in Aries. Retrograde, the movement is introspective, self-inquisitive, and soul-searching.

Mars retrograde making friction with Capricorn describes a quest for resolving unfinished business of the past. Or, it can represent that same material seeming to arise on its own and calling for resolution. Much of this will involve family. Right now, at least in the United States, family drama is being projected onto the big screen as political drama. Many are caught in the polarized spectacle of the election, with both factions in this seeming battle convinced that it will be the end of the world if the other side wins.

Underneath all of this is a level of anger that for many descends into rage. I have not spoken much about the anger elements of Mars retrograde, though it is at the core of our experience at this time in history. We have a lot to be angry about, which is a sign of unresolved material. There's also the part about having the topic about which it is appropriate to be angry be pre-approved by a kind of fashion committee, otherwise the anger is wrong and offensive.

That is not how anger is healed. That is not how past material is resolved. Rather, it's the sure way to dig oneself in deeper. The anger being expressed toward other people does not merely divide us from one another; it divides us from ourselves.
Planet Waves
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen. All photos by Lanvi in this edition were created Wednesday at the Ashokan Reservoir and on surrounding watershed land in Ulster County, NY.
The Authoritarian Conditioning of Family and Politics

At the heart of the modern opera is unfinished family business. This may seem like an intellectual notion, or something reserved for the stage: the stuff of playwrights. If so, that's only because the theory has gone untested in our era. However, there is a real issue here of people needing to confront the possibility that their parents betrayed them or failed them in major ways. To heal this takes work, and moreover, it takes courage.

Anyone who understands the authoritarian conditioning of both family and politics can see the connection between the two. Ultimately, the government and its supposed leaders are in loco parentis. That means in place of a parent, such as a teacher responsible for children. And often, those authority figures abuse their power, following on from the traumas created by parents.

Many currently acting in the role of parents are themselves no more mature than petulant children, as evidenced in Tuesday night's "debate" between Donald Trump and Joe Biden. This is the drama of an abusive household, magnified to the scale of society. It's complete with perpetrators, enablers, victims, and rescuers in various roles as contestants, moderator, commentators, and spectators throwing money and disgust at the whole thing.

Right behind that is the Covid disaster. And right behind that still exists every problem that the United States and the world had one year ago today, suddenly multiplied many times over. Mars retrograde — the rare person seeking to individuate — is trying with all its might to find itself in the midst of chaos and oppression. It describes struggling to find the confidence to push back against it, and to not take out the anger and abuse on oneself.
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Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Learning How Not To Be Infantilized 

Yet the far more worthy goal is to dismantle one's individual conditioning to take abuse. That means learning how not to be infantilized (such as by an "expert" or "authority"), nor to give up one's power. Part of the internal conditioning is the fear of rejection by the family, which means by society.

Lurking in the back of the Covid mess is what seems to be the fear of death. What we experience and witness as the fear of death is more often the fear of life: of being alive. Death is inevitable; really living is not. Rather than attempting to confront the fear of death, it's much easier to smother oneself. It's much more difficult to strive to live fully and courageously.

Part of the problem is that being subjected to this kind of condition means being compelled to accept lies, or otherwise face expulsion (which in the primal sense means death). If you wonder why people are so easy to lie to, and why they accept this so readily, consider that it comes along with a death threat, whether subliminal or overt.

Yet for those determined to live while you are here, there is no choice in the matter. You live because that is the thing to do. Right now, one of the most important aspects of living is to confront unfinished business. Much of that unfinished business means figuring out just how you've been lied to, so that you can embrace your personal truth. One must necessarily lead to the other. It is not possible to know what is true, or what truth means, without recognizing what is untrue.
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Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Visiting Model City, New York (Love Canal)

This week, I had my own experience of Mars retrograde square Saturn: I dug out my first investigative feature, reported and written in 1983. It was about the Love Canal neighborhood in Niagara Falls, New York. Starting in the mid-1940s, a development of about 900 homes was built on top of and around a chemical and nuclear waste dump. It started as a partially-completed canal dug by a guy named William T. Love.

Abandoned "first ring" home adjacent to the chemical dump at Love Canal. Photo via SUNY Buffalo Digital Archive.
Love actually wanted to build a development called "Model City," but the idea never caught on. Instead, he sold the land to the Hooker Chemical Company, which used it as a chemical dump. About 21,000 tons of chemical waste (including PCBs and dioxins) and radioactive waste (from the Manhattan Project) was put into the 16-acre canal, and it was filled in with dirt.

The development, now called Love Canal, was built around the dump. The dump site itself was, in turn, sold to the Niagara Falls School District for $1, for use as (of course) a school and schoolyard and school building site.

The neighborhood continued to develop. The residents had no idea where they were living. It had been concealed from them. Can you guess what happened next? People got sick. Illnesses included previously unexplained stillbirths, birth defects, rashes, epilepsy, abdominal pain, asthma, infections, elevated white cell counts (a precursor to leukemia), developmental disabilities and other sicknesses. Thirty-three percent of residents of the neighborhood had chromosomal damage. That is to say, the chemicals that Love Canal residents were subjected to were so toxic that fully one-third experienced genetic damage from toxic exposure.
Planet Waves
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Lois Gibbs: Figuring Out Where She Lived

By 1978, a house mom named Lois Gibbs, who lived right next to the landfill, personally did extensive research and figured out what the governments — local, county, state, federal and, most significantly, the school district — already knew: they were all living on a chemical dump. Dioxin levels in water near the former canal were an astonishing 53,000 parts per trillion, and it was seeping into their basements. [Levels of just 7 parts per trillion in the human body cause serious health problems, which increase with each part per trillion.]

Underground conduits for telephone, electricity, water and sewer services, provided a route for spread of the toxic brew seeping from the dump, which led right to people's basements.

Lois Gibbs, center, who organized the evacuation of Love Canal in the late 1970s. With her are Prof. Adeline Gordon Levine, a sociology professor at SUNY Buffalo who stuck by her through the process and ultimately wrote a book, and Steve Lester, her science advisor and later husband and co-founder of the Citizens' Clearinghouse for Hazardous Waste. Photo via SUNY Buffalo Digital Archives.
All of the government agencies involved took the position that everything was fine, and tried to convince homeowners of this. If you are wondering why I don't trust public health officials on any level of government, you can see this goes back a long way and has a basis in reality.

The job of state "health" officials is not to look after anyone's health. It is to look after the interests of the state. Get involved with one of them for five minutes and you will see what I mean; you don't need tons of toxic waste next to your home to prove it.

I encountered Love Canal in 1983 as a 19-year-old reporter for my campus magazine at SUNY-Buffalo. This was about five years after the neighborhood had been evacuated. Perhaps you can imagine what it took to wrap my mind around the reality that nearly a thousand homes had been built on or adjacent to a chemical dump. That fact alone is so insane that it takes adjusting one's whole reality to accept that it's true or even possible.

Yet the angle I was covering was even more outrageous: investigating the State of New York's plans to re-sell the abandoned, contaminated homes. In fact the state did resell many of them, and the scenario repeated all over again.

This is the country we live in. For those who may think this is a rare or one-time occurrence, I give you my word: I have documented such events many times in the course of 37 years covering science and politics. By events, I mean the actual developments and also the values and attitudes that actually do the most damage.

Americans think of themselves as morally superior to the many nations they have conquered. Yet Love Canal is not just the product of the American way of life. It is the American way of life. That is what we do: build homes and a school (two of them, in fact) on and around a massive chemical dump, and call it paradise. Then when it turns into a nightmare, paint it over and do it again in the same place.
Planet Waves
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Speaking Truth to Power: Holding EPA Representatives Hostage

You might be surprised by many facets of the tale of how Lois Gibbs organized the effort to evacuate the development. First of all, many of her neighbors were not interested at first and some actively resisted. Though they, their children and their dogs were sick, it was initially not a popular cause. Getting out meant giving up the American Dream of a beautiful little home.

Pock marks in the ground above Love’s canal, where toxic waste barrels collapsed after being buried underground for decades, releasing their contents into the surrounding environment and homes. Photo from the SUNY Buffalo Digital Archives.
Gibbs, who with her pigtails and beaming smile, looked like she might have been the host of Romper Room, had to get organized and get tough. She had to convince her neighbors that they were being poisoned, and that they would have to give up their lives as they knew them. Then she had to lead the fight against government structure that was stonewalling their efforts.

She once said that she learned how to go from making her point in 30 minutes to making it in 30 seconds. That is how long you get with a TV camera in your face, then you get edited down to half that much if you make it onto the news at all.

Then, frustrated by the resistance of Pres. Jimmy Carter to declaring a federal emergency and actually getting the people out, she invited two representatives of the nascent Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to visit the Love Canal Homeowners Association office.

When they arrived, she greeted them with a neighbor, invited them in, and locked the door, effectively taking them hostage. Then, a crowd gathered around the office, with the plan of not letting the officials leave. It was safer inside, where Gibbs and one of her co-organizers probably made the two men coffee. They had no intention of harming them.

Then she called the White House and informed them of the situation. The standoff continued for five hours, at the end of which Pres. Carter declared an emergency at Love Canal, and committed to the federal government buying out the contaminated homes.

For those who think that "speaking truth to power" means signing a petition on, please guess again.
Planet Waves
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
A Morality Tale of Our Society

To take on this kind of issue, or any modestly serious issue, or to heal one's own life, one must grow. You have to be willing to take a risk, and much of that risk means having the guts to confront those in authority, and to use your power. Getting results is not about being polite, or about acting "progressive." It is about being informed, getting organized and being courageous enough to use what you know.

Love Canal is the morality tale of our society. It is the morality tale of the industrial world. It takes many, many forms throughout the world, all of them a consequence of industrialized chemical society.

Chain-link fence around the land where hundreds of homes, and the 99th Street Elementary School and grounds once stood, on top of a toxic waste dump. Photo from the SUNY Buffalo Digital Archives.
I would remind you that we live in a world where chemicals are presumed innocent and viruses are presumed guilty. Yet nearly all disease comes from some form of environmental insult.

Love Canal is also a personal metaphor for how we are conditioned to deal with unfinished business: to bury it, to live with it 'unconsciously', and ultimately have it take over our realities.

To process chemical waste — which fills some 40,000 such sites today in the U.S. alone — would consume the profits of the companies that put it there. That is not acceptable to shareholders.

If anyone thinks chemical, pharmaceutical and nuclear firms, and government health officials who supposedly regulate them, are trustworthy and care about human life, I wonder where Love Canal fits into that worldview.

The spiritual metaphor of Love Canal involves the way that our society addresses emotional and karmic baggage, much of which involves families. This then seeps out into society and infiltrates every level of social interaction, including the most toxic of all, the political level.

There are many reasons for the insanity we are experiencing. We all know, on some level, that very nearly everything is poisoned. We know the planet is heating up. My readers are familiar with the issues surrounding digital immersion. As Eric McLuhan wrote, "The body is everywhere assaulted by all of our new media, a state which has resulted in deep disorientation of intellect and destabilization of culture throughout the world. In the age of disembodied communication, the meaning and significance and experience of the body is utterly transformed and distorted."

Here, we are not only not resolving unfinished business; we are creating more and more of it.
Planet Waves
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Maintaining the Integrity of Your Body

In the end, this all comes down to bodily integrity. Whether consciousness is being infiltrated and our ideas about our physical existence are being overwritten, or whether our chromosomes are being damaged, or whether someone is suffering from the trauma of physical or sexual abuse, we are talking about the integrity of the body. Whether we are given poisonous drugs or conned into living next to a chemical waste dump, we are talking about the integrity of the body.

As we "ascend" into nonphysical form via the increasing immersion in digital existence, anything related to the body tends to become more confusing and more frightening. It is increasingly easy to shock people into fear associated with their body.

Children of Love Canal playing next to the toxic dump site in the late 1970s before being evacuated. Remember that we are all subjected to a wide diversity of chemical insults throughout our lives, and must do what we can to be aware of and minimize additional exposures. Photo from SUNY Buffalo Digital Archives.
When we think of the landscape and the oceans decimated by industry, we need to think of our bodies and how we relate to them. Biology is the most beautiful thing ever devised by nature. Whether you spend an hour in a forest or years studying how cells work, there is little that is more beautiful — and that is our truth and our existence on this plane of consciousness.

We are not merely our biology, but we are very close to it, and it is part of the miracle of existence. To the extent that our bodies have been turned into Love Canal, we must stop that process now. I know of nothing that more closely resembles the contents of Love Canal than the chemical and biological brew that is known to come out of the tip of a hypodermic needle.

Part of our unfinished business is learning how to take care of ourselves. That means learning how to nourish our bodies, how to rest, and how to prevent unnecessary damage. If we cannot take care of the landscape we directly inhabit, we will never be able to take care of our planet, nor will we have the motive to. There is an advantage here: most of us reading (and many other people) actually do have the means to take care of ourselves. Doing so is mostly about the willingness.

We are nature in the first instance. Our connection to our bodies is our connection to the Earth. It starts and ends with us: with your physical form. It is not the be-all and end-all; reality is much more than we see here.

However: here is where we are, in bodies and in a world that needs nothing but healing. That means doing your part. That means acting as if to hold the world together for as long as we are here.

With love,
Planet Waves
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Monday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, Planet Waves, Inc. Core Community membership: $197/year. Editor & Publisher: Eric F. Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. News Editor: Spencer Stevens. Assistant Editor: Joshua Halinen. Client Services: Amy Elliott and Victoria Emory. Illustrator: Lanvi Nguyen. Senior Finance Minister, First Cavalry of the Local Economy: Andrew Slater. Archivist: Morgan Francis. Technical Assistants: Cate Ryzhenko, Emily Thing. Proofreading: Jessica Keet. Media Consultant: Andrew McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Music: Zeljko. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Rachel Chaput, Loreen Costa, Robin Dann, Yuko Katori, Kirsti Melto, Cindy Tice Ragusa, Abby Rohrer, and Carol van Strum.
We are at the Peak of Mars Retrograde
"Without knowing the issues I've been going through, you, Eric, have helped me to put it all into perspective. I can't help myself, I am who I am! Your encouragement to BE ME is medicine to the heart, cos I lost that footing over the years. Thank you VERY much."
— S.C., on The Story of I AM midyear 2020 reading
Dear Friend and Reader:

Mars retrograde in Aries is an important season for personal growth.

In Aries, Mars retrograde is about self-realization. It's about building your confidence. It's about claiming your soul back from the internet.

You may watch the free video preview to the whole series at this link.
We live in serious times. This is for social, political and economic reasons, which are precipitating changes we all have to experience or endure. Yet the astrology provoking these changes is about to become deeply personal, now that Mars retrograde is in the picture.

Mars is about the drive to be human: the human engine, as T.S. Eliot put it. It's about desire, and need, and also about anger and aggression. Each of us contains all of these emotions, and they are about to be stirred up as Mars makes retrograde aspects to Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn.

Capricorn is the well of family material, which is sure to come up — and rather than seeing this as a problem, I see it as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to resolve deep material, or to get a lot of the work out of the way. One rule of healing that I follow is if you have an opportunity to do a large portion of the work in one go, then do it.

I have created a series of astrology sessions for you, called The Story of I AM. You can think of these as video readings, or you can think of them as a series of processing sessions. Each is relevant to you. Your Sun and rising sign are the most helpful, though each and everyone has many gifts for you: ideas, strategies, discussion and analysis of deep personal material.

With warmth, gentleness and imparting the gifts I have gained through long experience, I take you through the material in clear, accessible language.

These days a single therapy session goes for up to $300 some places. For $111, you will have 12 astrology sessions and an introduction providing the background you need to understand what is happening in the planets. These readings will stand up to many playings, and can serve as a turning point in your life.

Please take advantage of this opportunity while you have the leverage to do the work in the most efficient way. We will never pass this way again — and where humanity is headed calls for your full preparation, availability and awareness.

You may purchase single signs here, or all 12 signs here. Free video samples are below!

Thank you for your business, and mostly, for your trust.

With love,
PS — This set of readings is included with the Backstage Pass. If you would like to purchase the Backstage Pass by phone, please call me at (845) 481-5616, up till 8 pm Eastern Time.
Listened to I Am last night. Extraordinary. Have been through Taurus, Leo, Cancer and Aquarius. The confirmatory understanding of the past cycle, the work it has taken to attend to and the nudges I am already feeling about the next phase, so helpful. Seriously, you continue to communicate in such a way that openings and accountability can be digested. I think your work just gets better.
— Customer from Australia

"Firstly I just wanted to say thank you. Listening to your Dharma reading earlier this summer was a real turning point during my lockdown. It gave me so much direction and trust, and acted quite literally like a galvaniser that has got to where I am now. Your weekly and monthly horoscopes are always very helpful for me."
Here are free five-minute reading samples for each sign:


Chiron Return, our nonprofit arm, publishes Covid19 News every day, in fact several times a day. We have updated about 740 times since we began publishing on March 3. This old-style news weblog takes a panoramic view of the virus situation. We offer news and viewpoints from a wide diversity of sources, science news, international reporting, videos and other resources to help you see the wide diversity of information not making it onto television or major websites. We are tracking the vaccine and testing issues carefully.
Each Friday night, Chiron Return publishes Planet Waves FM. Running since 2010, with roots into Radio Woodstock in the 1990s, Planet Waves FM covers current events, current astrology, science history, personal growth and other themes. Includes music by Vision Quest, the in-house Planet Waves orchestra.
Planet Waves publishes daily astrology and birthdays through the week. This feature includes a daily extended birthday reading and ongoing commentaries on developing astrology as it happens. Check in whenever you want — no password required.
Going back to February, I've developed a portfolio of essays, investigative articles, videos and audio presentations on the Covid situation. These include articles about the astrology of the situation, hand sanitizer, holistic care, social critique and a wide diversity of other topics. We've recently added a selection of my satires, such as CDC guidance on blowing kisses. This is a truly comprehensive look at the issues, written from a worldly, nonpolitical standpoint. Here is the link.

Guest Opinion: Covid-19 is a a Symbol of a Much Deeper Infection — The Wetiko Mind-Virus

By Paul Levy

For almost twenty years I've been writing about an invisible, contagious death-creating virus that no one is immune to that has been insidiously spreading and replicating itself throughout the human species. This deadly disease is a virus of the mind — the Native Americans call it "wetiko" — that literally cultivates and feeds on fear and separation. A psycho-spiritual illness, it is a psychosis in the true sense of the word, "a sickness of the spirit." The origin and medium of operations of the wetiko virus is none other than the human psyche. This mind-virus acts itself out through our blind-spots in such a way so as to hide itself from being seen — keeping us in the dark, so to speak. A collective psychosis, wetiko can be envisioned as "the bug" in the system that has been ravaging our species for as long as anyone can remember. 

Read More on Awakening in the Dream
Planet Waves
Featured Video: Zach Bush talks about his experience with end-of-life patients.

A Question for my Readers — Thanks for Responding

How did we go from SARS-CoV-2 (sudden acute respiratory syndrome virus version 2) to "confirmed cases" of COVID (COronaVIrus Disease) that have no symptoms? How is the mere presence of alleged RNA fragments an "acute respiratory syndrome"? The D in coviD stands for DISEASE. What is the disease of which something is a "confirmed case" if there are no symptoms and -- per the notes with the PCR -- the test is not proof of infection or of infectiousness? What is the confirmation referenced in the word "confirmed"? How can perfectly healthy people with no complaints have a syndrome or a disease? What exactly is being diagnosed? How is medical diagnosis possible if a medical doctor is not involved in the process?

Please share your theory with me. Thank you.
Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscope for October is published below in this issue. We published your extended monthly horoscope for September on Wednesday, Sept. 2. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Planet Waves Monthly Horoscopes for October 2020 | By Eric Francis Coppolino

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You have far greater influence than you may think. However, if you're not regulating your emotions, then you're likely to stir up chaos in your environment and think you have no influence at all. You will keep spin control on your environment by doing so with yourself. There are people around you who are modeling stability and balance. This is not coming at the expense of their vitality or creativity. Rather, it is a product of two qualities. One is applied intelligence. The other is the practiced ability to change, and to help others change. Look around for who is setting a positive example for you, and spend some time with them learning their methods. Meanwhile, you are still in the midst of Mars retrograde, which is a deep review. If you are over the age of 40, you may be experiencing one of the most comprehensive personal inner delves of your entire life. If you are younger, you are being taken on an introspective journey that will set the template for what would be helpful to do on a regular basis. You may notice that people tend to be obsessed with the past without learning much from it. They tend to be stuck in the ways of the past without the benefits of true wisdom that could be found there. These are not luxuries and you cannot afford to waste your time. Use what you know, use what you're learning, and make sure you have reference points around you in the form of people with whom you can reality check on a regular basis.

Story of I AM: All 12 signs | Choose your signs | Aries preview video

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Your beliefs are changing, and that is leading to your taking action. The question is, which beliefs are leading to which choices? This is less about the world around you and far more about your perception of it. The structure of your psyche, your personal expectations and the myths you live by are what tend to influence your worldview the most. Now, those things are shifting, shaking and collapsing. You have few reference points for how to perceive the world -- in a time when it's already difficult to make sense of things. Yet your personal mythology is not going to save you. Your latent past impressions of life are not going to give you clear vision; they are throwing various obstacles in front of your eyes. Your expectations about life have proven to be false many times. So what else is left? The first time you look at the world through a clear lens, or no lens at all, the effect is stunning. Even one glimpse can lead people to entirely reevaluate their existence and their purpose. Yet that would be the point of avoiding such a thing. Preconceived ideas serve a purpose, which is to lock the mind in the past. This prevents the actual confrontation with existence known as being alive. It is a 'safe space' where everything is predictable and 'makes sense'. However, when that crumbles, you're left standing where you are. From there, you can open your eyes or not; you can listen to what you hear or not; you can stand at a crossroads, or choose some direction in which to travel. Just remember, your beliefs are not strong enough to hold up the whole world, and never were.

Story of I AM: All 12 signs | Choose your signs | Taurus preview video

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Mercury's station retrograde on Oct. 13 is encouraging you strongly to take care of unfinished business related to your health. Any lingering conditions, questions or material can now be addressed with an enhanced opportunity for success. This includes both physical health issues, workplace health, and also emotional and psychological matters that have been left unaddressed or have been lurking behind the curtain. Those may be the most significant, as yours is one of the signs that has the strongest association between emotional health and overall health. You may now be able to tap into underlying subject matter that may be quite sensitive, to the degree where you tend to tune it out. If something fitting that description bubbles to awareness, you can treat it as coming up for healing. This may be subtle; it may be overt. You are unlikely to be confronted directly but rather to be presented with an opportunity or occasion to consider or review something. Even thinking it through carefully, in the sense of feeling while you think and doing a thorough review, will help you make progress. If you're going to speak with someone, make sure that it's someone who has successfully resolved something similar. You will be able to tell this because the things resolved are, specifically, anger, guilt and self-blame. Addressing those things in particular is the healing I'm talking about. There is also one other matter: making sure that what you pass forward is healing and not further damage to anyone. There is only one way to do that, in truth, which is to take care of yourself and not be vexed by the past.

Story of I AM: All 12 signs | Choose your signs | Gemini preview video

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — To succeed, you must embrace that you are different, and that you do things differently — and then live that truth. I don't just mean different, though. I mean outstanding in the form of standing out. When you listen to people say what they want from life, for many, it is the courage to assert themselves, to be real, and to live without compromising themselves. Those are worthy goals, though the intention is not enough. There are ways to get there, and there are developmental experiences necessary. Most of those involve addressing the fear associated with taking such risks, or perceived risks; if that factor did not exist, nobody would hesitate. For example, anyone who speaks out and stands out becomes a target, whether for the projections of others, or some more significant controversy. Yet when you break down the issues, it's all about family, and one's sense of acceptance. What most people fear the most is rejection. And so by living lives of seeming safety, through not risking being cast off in some way, the result is smothering in self-deception. There is nothing safe about this, in any sense of the word. Your truth is your life. Nothing short of living your truth deserves the term. That means standing up to people you perceive as powerful. And that, in turn, means understanding your family of origin and its conditioning on you, and the ways you were coerced into backing down so as not to threaten others. Slogans such as "speak truth to power" do not clarify this process. It is about emotional growth, and you are ready.

Story of I AM: All 12 signs | Choose your signs | Cancer preview video

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — What you have to say may be simple and clear, yet you may wonder how it could be possible that anyone will ever hear you. You may develop your ideas and wonder how they are ever going to cut through the noise. I suggest you concern yourself with nothing other than presenting yourself in such a way that you may be understood. This is why people do not become writers. It takes work to be understood. It is also why people become liars: it is easy to use deception to convince people that they understand something, usually by grossly oversimplifying it, or fabricating a more emotionally acceptable version of events. However, it is now your mission to be understood. You have something to say, and it's your responsibility to do so in a way that comes across. The part about how far your message goes is not your responsibility. All you can do is mediate between what you need to say and how it may be received by others. This will take experimentation, and it will require your personal ability to shift perspectives from speaker to listener. Based on your current solar chart, I can offer a couple of ideas. One is that understatement helps. You do not need to argue loudly, nor over-emphasize your case. Also, people respect and are drawn to beauty, which in this situation means balance, and a touch of elegance. Slow down and make your points carefully. Writing is almost always about rewriting, so you will need to be flexible and patient. Yet in all of this, you must never, ever compromise the basic truth you are asserting. It would be a good idea to start with whatever that is, and proceed from there.

Story of I AM: All 12 signs | Choose your signs | Leo preview video

Tailored for Virgo Sun and rising, this new audio reading by Eric Francis introduces you to your astrology through the autumn of 2021. We will take maximum advantage of the power you are drawing from the Earth signs at the time of your solar return: Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, as well as Uranus in Taurus. This is a grand earth trine, and the thing to do is gather momentum in the direction you want to go, and then point yourself there. Eric describes the influence of Jupiter and Saturn ingressing Aquarius later this year. The reading looks closely at Chiron in Aries, accompanied by Mars retrograde in Aries — your most important relationship house. Now with full transcript. Order now for instant access. This reading is included with the Backstage Pass.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You will fare better financially if you're not too tied up in the affairs of others. Keep count of your assets, and keep control of them as well. Your whole life right now is about extracting yourself from where others control you. Yet if you're paying attention you will see how much of that 'control' is really just a head trip, a compilation of all you have not resolved. So while you may assert yourself against others, remember you're actually pushing back against your own beliefs about yourself. True, most of those ideas came from other people, though they are your property now. Therefore, you can relax about having to fight back or struggle or make any demands. All you need is to make up your mind about what you want and let that be your guide. By guide, I mean the thing that becomes the basis of your decisions. It is crucial in this process that you sort out the difference between inner authority and outer. It is not always so easy to see. The two are often confused. Yet it is possible to learn the difference, and then master it — and for you, now is the time. This is the same difference as that between 'self' and 'other', something that is blurred by oppressive situations, and agreements you don't want to be in. The place to start is with understanding your needs and your motives. I know others present endless fodder for intrigue, though please do not be distracted by the spiritual equivalent of gossip. Your life is about you. No debate is possible here.

Story of I AM: All 12 signs | Choose your signs | Virgo preview video

Notes to Myself is Ready | Astrology Studio for Libra

Dear Friend and Reader:

Your reading is done, and in true Libra fashion, it is beautiful.

The reading all moves toward the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Aquarius, your 5th house of curiosity, art, pleasure and passion.

Before we get there, I review the Pluto in Capricorn era that began in 2008, and bring that up to the present. I look at the aftershocks of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction back in January, all of which is about your drive to be secure and stable in a rapidly changing world.

Eric Francis.
Aries, your 7th house of relationships, figures prominently, beginning with a discussion of Chiron in Aries and what that represents: healing in relationships, and also the presence of teachers and mentors.

And I look at Mars retrograde in Aries and describe how it is necessary to take an arm's length approach to the affairs of others, even if it impacts you directly. You may listen to a sample of your reading here.

Exciting Extras Included — Including my Millennials Reading

Special features include a full transcript coming in about a week, articles related to the topics I discuss (such as the Aries written reading for INTELLIGENCE), and free access to the Understanding Millennials reading I did a few years back. This reading looks closely at the Capricorn events of the early 1990s.

Understanding Millennials is an exciting look at the astrology of its era, and also will help you understand either yourself or young people you may know.

All of this is yours for just $44. Due to forgetting to offer a pre-order, I'm holding pre-order level through Friday night. The reading will be available for instant access.

This reading is available with the Backstage Pass, without a personal reading, or with a 20-minute custom look at your chart.

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

With love,
PS — You may subscribe to Core Community or Backstage Pass by phone, by calling (845) 481-5616.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — The Oct. 16 New Moon in your birth sign puts you face to face with your challenges, which is right where you want to be. Call people and things what they are. However, the deeper matter is your investment in the past, particularly addressing any nostalgia about your family. This includes toxic residue, memories and influences, which can be like a box of old photos you keep looking through without noticing anything different. If you study these images and your memories with a little detachment, you will see new things. Turn them upside down. Recite the lines others said to you and feel how it might have felt to say them. William Faulkner once wrote, "The past is never dead. It's not even past." Not only that, the past keeps changing. It squirms around and rearranges itself, yet is often viewed as a fixed thing. Once you see it changing before your eyes, you will know that your interpretation of the past is unreliable. It is possible to see things an entirely new way, and to be informed by that, and at the same time set free from what seemed to bind you. Then, it is up to you to find your way to the present, and when you get here, it's going to look a lot different than it did yesterday. That is how you know you have arrived. You do not need to work out the past. You do not need to resolve all that was done to you. You do not need to account for every bit of jetsam and flotsam in your aura. You merely need to be truthful with yourself and with others. And you may decide that this is a truly pleasant activity.

Story of I AM: All 12 signs | Choose your signs | Libra preview video

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Now is not the time to come to any final determinations about anything. Final is a strong word, though you tend to make up your mind and that is that, and at the moment such would be ill advised. You do not have a clear view of your own life, and at the same time, you may be experiencing a sense of pressure from a source you cannot identify. Hence, you don't have a basis for any decision you might make, though I would also caution that your observations are all likely to be a little skewed as well. So you might not take them so seriously at the moment, and just watch the movie of your life from a slight distance and without your usual emotional investment. You really can do this. You will have increasing clarity after the New Moon on the 16th, then after the Sun enters your sign on the 22nd. Still -- keep observing. Mercury stations direct on Nov. 3 and finally, Jupiter makes its last conjunction to Pluto on Nov. 12. So if you start to rearrange your life before those things occur, you will have this sense of wishing you knew then what you know now, though there will be no turning back. Give yourself time and space to work out the questions you have, in writing if possible, and preferably in a notebook. This way you will have a record of all the things you thought and be able to follow the route to your point of view — and beyond it. You are heading somewhere different. You are heading toward a new understanding of your existence. Trace your steps carefully.

Story of I AM: All 12 signs | Choose your signs | Scorpio preview video

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — The crucial phase you are at is coming to an understanding of your values. Since that word is overused, another way to say this is your personal constitution. That is the most basic and fundamental level of law upon which all other laws are based. It's the place you come back to when making decisions about right and wrong. Though your sign tends to be viewed as forward-thinking, you tend to have old-school values and even a measure of orthodox thinking. This includes a perspective on right and wrong that is based on the past, has an orientation in tradition, and that can be somewhat rigid. What you are learning is to be adaptable, flexible and movable. You will benefit more from understanding and working with the spirit of the law much more than the letter of the law. Traditions die and can suffocate their adherents if they are not keeping up with the times. You are a living, growing, evolving being. You are learning about yourself every day, which is one of the privileges of being both sentient and self-aware. Most of what your soul is calling for now is direct experience. In recent decades, the line has been blurred between the real and the virtual. This word has long carried the meaning "being something in essence or effect, though not actually or in fact," and more recently, an illusion created by software. The experience you need is the kind that demonstrates to you that you exist in fact, and are not an illusion created by computer code. The challenges are greater. The risks are higher. The difference is everything.

Story of I AM: All 12 signs | Choose your signs | Sagittarius preview video

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Your world centers around you. If you start from that premise, it will be easier where "you" are part of what is "around you." There is freedom in doing this, of the kind you want and need, which is the ability to choose your destiny or at least set an agenda for yourself that you can follow, express and live with. You are gradually coming into alignment with yourself, and making important discoveries about your reality every day. You are now at the point where you must express these discoveries in a tangible way if you want to develop your potential. It is easy to sit around waiting for a moment that never arrives -- the perfect invitation or opportunity. This is the thing you must make for yourself, and take for yourself. There can be no other leader in your life except for yourself. I recognize that we are in the time of outer authority, even autocracy, when many people are waiting around to be told what to do. That, however, is not really about expressing yourself. The point of contention is taking that step into being visible, being real, being seen as an example — and the potential to fail. You might be amazed how these factors can all add up to paralysis, yet you've likely experienced it a few times. What I think is going on underneath is the need for approval, and the fear that you might somehow not have this when you think you need it the most. That moment, however, is when you need it the very least and when it can be the most debilitating. In all ways, this is the time to cut the apron strings and encounter the big, beautiful, dangerous world.

Story of I AM: All 12 signs | Choose your signs | Capricorn preview video

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You might be pretty restless, or agitated. If you're connected to yourself, you might be experiencing this astrology as motivation — so I suggest you connect. There's some deep element of your psyche that is wanting to shake loose from the past. If you are feeling frustration, consider whether that is the point of contention, and then imagine yourself cracking through a psychic husk. You are growing from the inside out right now. You are catching up with yourself. That's the beautiful part, and the one you will appreciate forever. Yet the feeling of vulnerability you may be experiencing is also essential to your progress. It is evidence that you are actually in motion within yourself. So don't back off from that feeling in any of its potential forms, which may include uncertainty, embarrassment, or the urge to throw your whole life into your progress. That is going to happen whether you plan it or not, want it or not — so you may as well figure out what you want and align yourself with your desire. There is a mental aspect to this, though ultimately, you will know what you want because you feel driven and motivated. It's that feeling of wanting to clear your agenda entirely and do that one thing. If you have the feeling that you would do it if only you could, the chances are high that you can, though you will need to make some decisions and get busy. If you are doing the thing you want, then focus on that and do more of it. Powerful forces are at work in your life, and when that is the case, your commitment is worth a thousand times its usual value. And that is something.

Story of I AM: All 12 signs | Choose your signs | Aquarius preview video

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You are in one of those 'damn the torpedoes' moments, whatever they may represent in your life. Now is the time to resolve to let nothing stop you, which means keepin' on, every day, one step at a time. Do not let the opinions of others slow you down. You have a different perspective than they do. Do not let the fears of others interfere with your mission; you have worked for and earned your courage. Most of all, resist any temptation to be anything other than truly yourself. This is where there can be no compromise. You cannot be anyone but yourself, so there is no point trying, or even meekly considering the possibility. Yet to be real means to feel like you're on the edge, such as on the margin of public opinion, or the cusp of your own consciousness. You are indeed exploring a borderland, and you will find that this becomes more interesting as the days and weeks go on. Note that if you are feeling fear, panic, polarization, or any form of emotional hype, that is a sign of lack of confidence, and some evidence that you are attempting to compromise. Borrowing another nautical concept, what you want to feel is steady as she goes. Yes, there is plenty that can go wrong. Any ship can founder. An unexpected storm may blow in. A meteorite may hit the Earth. Your mother might call when you're doing something important. True, true. You have a mission and you know what it is. Others in the equation can and will be exceedingly helpful, though they are counting on your steady guidance, and your balanced, circumspect point of view.

Story of I AM: All 12 signs | Choose your signs | Pisces preview video

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