Photo by Lanvi Nguyen. All photos below are from Whiteface Mountain in the Adirondacks.
Mars Conjunct Eris: Quest for Humanity
Dear Friend and Reader:
This odd sense that everything is growing more chaotic and uncertain by the minute is described magnificently by Mars conjunct Eris in Aries. This is Mars nearly in position to go retrograde on Sept. 9. One of the central concepts Eris represents astrologically is the result of electrical technology on one's state of being.
Twice-presidential candidate Ross Perot (1930-2019) made great use of his phrase, "The giant sucking sound," which was his description of a free trade agreement he opposed. Today, the sucking sound is souls being vacuumed into the synthetic astral plane known as digital, AI and virtual and enhanced reality.
Whatever may be going on medically and politically on the planet right now, the moment is all in the direction of astral/digital. This is an actual plane of reality (a concept some esoteric students may be familiar with). The astral is the nonphysical state closest to physical, the one accessed in dreams, fantasies, drug experiences and related activities. Many people spend their lives there, and did long before the internet.
Yet the internet opened up a new, electrically powered dimension of existence and experience that drew in millions of otherwise well-incarnated people. This happened by gradually replacing nearly all physical points of reference and many physical objects with nonphysical equivalents.
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
How To Know You're On the Astral
One of the ways you know you're on the astral plane is things seem very strange.
Time can flow in many directions. It can squish and stretch. It used to seem time was moving faster and faster. Now it seems like there is a huge drain located approximately last Friday where everything circles into and vanishes into another realm.
Alterations to time and space are disorienting, if you are accustomed to navigating around your town by sight and direction. Imagine if suddenly all of those familiar landmarks and landscape features vanished. Imagine your home looked different every time you entered it. Imagine it could show up somewhere other than where you left it. This is the approximate feeling of the astral plane.
Another way you know is because things seem polarized. Everything is in opposition to everything else. States of mind differ radically from one another. There is no logic to how events progress. There is the sensation of a dream that is running out of control.
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Internal Logic of Microdreams
Each little branch or bubble of the dream — your consciousness — has its own internal logic, which does not hold up under any other conditions. You might try to apply dependable logic from one area to another (mathematics, for example) and find out that it does not work, or that there is some other form of data that overpowers it.
Every day, there is some news about another advent that pushes ever more people onto the digital/astral. It's not just that Harvard is about to become Netflix. It's not just the Facebook device that (according to Mark Zuckerberg) can read your mind via a wrist strap. It's more stuff like this, from The Independent in the UK
. Get ready:
"Scientists have discovered a ground-breaking bio-synthetic material that they claim can be used to merge artificial intelligence with the human brain. The breakthrough, presented today at the American Chemical Society Fall 2020 virtual expo, is a major step towards integrating electronics with the body to create part human, part robotic 'cyborg' beings."
Yes, there is now a product commercially available whereby you can convert yourself into a cyborg.
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Mars Retrograde: The Quest to Remain Human
My take on the forthcoming Mars retrograde is that it comes down to the quest to remain human, and further, to discover and fully encounter your humanity.
That means discovering and exploring your physical being, desire, and your emotions. Such experiences can arrive with letting go of the layers of dross and interference that have blocked you from making contact with yourself. Or, they may be the layers that have in some way served to insulate you from yourself.
It will be possible to go either way. It's certainly tempting to yield to the deluge, or maybe it seems you don't have an option. However, in any event, awareness is what you need, which translates to self-awareness. Under digital conditions, this has become a very slippery concept.
Exercising your prerogatives in the physical world will help you anchor yourself here, though it will also do something else: give you the means of comparison so you have a better sense of who you are. Pay special attention to activities like bathing, walking, gardening, or cooking and other housework — and contrast them to the feeling tone when you are in a digital or astral realm.
Pick up a book and sit under natural light and read a little, to remind yourself how it feels. Then, when you find yourself somewhere else, you will be able to reckon where you are, and maybe find your way back.
PS — I have covered the Leo New Moon and the Virgo ingress of the Sun in the article below. More on Daily Astrology
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
(ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Sunday 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.
New Moon Opposite Damocles; Virgo Ingress of the Sun
By Eric Francis
If this feels like an edgy New Moon, it's not just the Mars-Eris conjunction. The Moon-Sun conjunction is exactly opposite Damocles, an odd minor planet with a 40-year orbit. Damocles is not an asteroid; it's more like a super-centaur. It spends nearly its entire orbit in one sign, Aquarius: about 28 years, then whips through the other signs in about 12 years.
I've written about Damocles once, in my astro-bio of Barack Obama, who was born with the Sun opposite Damocles. Here is the article
, written just before the 2008 election, which will give you some background on this point.
The sensation of Damocles is like living as if one has a sword dangled over one's head, hung by a thread. Planets are not usually so literal. However, were this not the feeling of our moment — every hour a new public crisis — that might be a little different.
And here we are.
The Moon and the Sun align in Leo at 10:41 pm EDT Tuesday for the Leo New Moon of 2020. The Moon-Sun conjunction is in a grand fire trine with Mars-Eris in Aries, and the South lunar node and Galactic Core in Sagittarius. This is the "get the lesson while it's easy" configuration.
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Grand Fire Trine — South Node and GC in Sagittarius
The Grand Fire Trine New Moon — that will create momentum that builds on itself. If this is positive, it will become more so, and if you resonate with fear or anger, that will gather momentum as well. So choose which side of the wave you want to be on, and remember, there's no time like the present to put all your spiritual training to some good use.
There is a lot to pay attention to right now, and the daily bid to survive and handle the emotional pressure is consuming lots of human energy. It will help if you aim your potential a little higher, and strive to both have some fun and also to recognize that you can play a role in global healing.
The place to start is with yourself. Fear is consuming much human energy on the planet right now, which has a paralyzing effect.
In order to have some flexibility of thought, choice and action, you're going to need to figure out how to work your way out of a fearful state, if you haven't already started the project or figured out how to do it.
Be aware that there is, coming from many directions, peer pressure to be afraid, worried and freaked out, on pain of being shunned or angering the great SARS god.
Everyone has to work this out on their own, though we could start with how anxiety doesn't accomplish anything except taking you offline.
There are a good few people who are taking this in a reasoned and balanced way. This is the best approach, if you can educate yourself to the point of getting there. That will take reading. Calm, patient reading, some of it from books.
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Virgo Ingress of the Sun
The Sun is about to enter an earthy sign, Virgo, exact at 11:45 am EDT on Saturday, Aug. 22. Virgo is the last sign of the season, summer in the north, winter in the south. All the seasons end with mutable signs. The sensation is that of one experience giving way to a new one. There is a rush of energy that comes with the transition, though you will want to take this one slowly, one day at a time.
The influx of Virgo will feel good in these fiery times we are in at the moment. Virgo is a mental sign, and a human sign. It will help those interested restore some reasoning to their thought process. Mercury makes its way in a bit in advance, at 9:30 pm on Wednesday, Aug. 19, which emphasizes the use of logic.
The Virgo Sun will make a series of many trines to planets already in Earth signs. For the first 12 days or so there will be a grand trine in effect, as Uranus in Taurus is part of the mix. The grand trine is about building the momentum you want and the momentum you need to be able to cover the distance you want to travel.
Emphasize the positive. Avoid frustration, resentment and jealousy — you really do have a choice. What you invest in will gain and grow, so make that choice carefully.
More coverage on Daily Astrology
The Story of I AM — Mars Retrograde in Aries
Dear Friend and Reader:
For a little while I was on the line about doing an autumn reading. Then one day I woke up and said to myself: Mars retrograde? Are you kidding? There is no way we're sitting out that one.
So — there shall be an autumn video reading, released in late August, called The Story of I AM.
Mars retrograde in Aries is the final transition, the emotional, psychological and experiential bridge, to the last event of 2020: Jupiter conjunct Saturn in Aquarius. Mars retrograde represents the work of individuation and of self-actualization that will make the group experience in Aquarius more relevant and more easily workable.
Borrowing a line from Lou Reed, "Self-knowledge is a dangerous thing — the freedom of who you are." Dangerous perhaps to a way of life that involves allowing yourself to disappear and be insignificant. Mars retrograde in Aries invites boldness and embodiment and the exploration of your will.
We are pleased to announce the pre-order for this reading, for all 12 signs. You will want to see more than one; you may share them with the people close to you. These will provide some excellent serialized video therapy that will take you through the autumn season and into the 2021 annual edition.
You may pre-order here
. Delivery will be in late August, which could be Aug. 31, or it could be sooner.
Thank you for your business and for trusting me as your astrologer.
PS — You may order by phone at (845) 481-5616. I answer personally when I can. Otherwise, someone will get back to you soon.
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. Tonight we have new ProPublica coverage of the laboratory safety issue, with a comment to Planet Waves by Prof. Richard Ebright, molecular biologist at Rutgers University.
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. This week we offer an introduction to Mars retrograde, two sessions discussing the history of science and evaluating facts of the Covid situation, and Tantra Studio on how to have the impossible conversation. Music is 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. Stay tuned this week for coverage of the Leo New Moon and the Sun’s ingress into Virgo.
Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes
Your extended monthly horoscope for August
was published on Monday, August 3. We published your extended monthly horoscope for July
on Thursday, July 2. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Monday Evening Horoscope #241 for August 17, 2020 | By Eric Francis Coppolino
The Journey of You and Chiron | A New Reading by Eric Francis
Anyone who has encountered it is curious about Chiron. Planet Waves provides one of the few dependable online sources of information on this unusual planet. For the 10th anniversary Astrology Studio reading, I will be covering Chiron in Aries — a momentous event for all those born under this sign, and of high interest to everyone else. Get instant access to this reading here
(March 20-April 19) — It takes some experience not to get swung around by your astrology, or to get past feeling like you're a dancing marionette on strings. That is, however, the right goal. At the moment, the condition of Mars describes you under maximum stress: it is square the mighty Pluto, conjunct even mightier Eris, and getting ready to station retrograde — all in your birth sign or rising sign. This is an era-defining moment for you, set in the context of a time when everything is changing. Yet despite all the debris flying from various hurricanes and tornadoes, various earthquakes and meltdowns, you personally are the one who is developing in a way that stands apart from the planetary mayhem. In a sense, you are a forerunner of the kinds of personal changes that will be necessary for the planet to organize itself into a new schema. However, keep your focus personal. You are going through a most intimate, intense, unusual transformation, and you will need to rise to personal challenges that will be a worthwhile cost of admission to a new life.
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
You can now get instant access to your 2020-21 Taurus Astrology Studio here
for just $44. This reading focuses on a professional breakthrough toward the end of the year, and preparing you for this development. Venus retrograde in the spring is preparation. Mars retrograde in the autumn is preparation.
Ultimately this is a spiritual development, yet in reality we are talking about aligning your purpose with action, with a calling, and with an opportunity. Elements of the reading go out to a series of power steps in 2021. Read more.
(April 19-May 20) — Yours is the sign of tradition, which is the thing presently collapsing. You are personally in an odd position here, with Uranus in your birth sign shaking up your whole reality, and also pushing you into the future. Such changes are not always progress. Yet with your knowledge of the past, and your attachment to some of its ways, you must be the mediator of that in your life, and in whatever domain you supervise. Some things that are time-honored deserve to exist. Others are best left by the wayside, or recycled, or repurposed. I would propose that the basis for deciding is what connects you to your inherent humanity: your sensitivity, your physical wellbeing, your ability to nourish yourself and others. We could say that your primary responsibility is to not digitize yourself; to not allow yourself to be genetically modified; to not allow yourself to be turned into an avatar or representation of yourself. That means honoring your physical form and recognizing it as your anchor to life and to the Earth.
Your 2020-21 Gemini Astrology Studio, The Sacred Space of Self
, is now available for instant access. The reading covers Venus retrograde in your sign, Vesta in your sign, Saturn in Aquarius, and the momentous astrology at the end of the year.Thank you for your business and your trust.
(May 20-June 21) — Your words matter, and you would be wise to measure them. Yet even as you write or speak, having done your best to be aware and cautious, speaking the truth will feel dangerous. That is how you know you're doing it. There is an actual personal risk involved, which is why so few people can bring themselves to do it. Sadly, this translates for many to censoring their thoughts, which in turn requires attempting to regulate their feelings. That is most often done through some form of guilt. The result is that many people's relationship to their personal truth is walking around like a spring about to snap. There is no drug that can solve this problem. Therapy can provide a space to open up, though even there, lack of trust can present obstacles to sincerity — though that would be the objective. The trust that could facilitate sincerity is itself daring, and requires the willingness to make mistakes, to get hurt and to experience the consequences of your ideas — whatever they may be.
Your 2020-21 Cancer Astrology Studio is available for instant access
. This year, the time of Cancer began with an eclipse on the solstice, as well as Mercury retrograde in your sign. This is astrology that points to you in a personal way, describing a transition you may not feel ready to make but have been preparing for over long years. Chiron in Aries is also a prominent factor, pointing to some pioneering developments in your professional life. I cover these aspects, and much more.
(June 21-July 22) — Venus in your sign is encouraging you to go deep into your feelings, and to count that and that alone as being alive. Feeling is different from emoting. Emoting is an outwardly expressed gesture, a kind of psychic off-gassing. To feel is the opposite: to be sensitive, receptive, and aware. To feel is to receive, including receiving from yourself. There is an art to this, and it's up to you to develop and master it. This could be described as the actual meaning of emotional intelligence: a degree of sensitivity that includes self-awareness and also environmental awareness. Your psychic instrument is tuned to the degree where you can not only filter out external static but also learn from your surroundings. Venus has already guided you through some challenging territory the past week or so, and there may have been days when you felt overwhelmed. I would reckon, however, that you were not at any point unable to handle the flow of events, and that you responded appropriately most of the time. The thing to be mindful of is any past sense of being injured. Do not take that out on the present.
You can now get instant access to your 2020-21 Leo Astrology Studio, Notes on Love and Courage
. The two giants of the solar system meet up at the end of this year in your opposite sign Aquarius. Eric explores what this seminal conjunction means for you, and much more. Get your copy here
for just $44.
(July 22-Aug. 23) — There are some matters for which there is only a spiritual solution. The whys and wherefores of the world do not give answers. The tactics and strategies of the world do not get a desired outcome. It is therefore necessary to refer to another kind of intelligence, another source of knowledge and of healing. The purpose of the spiritual path, of the whole spiritual project, is to prepare a person to have access to this type of intelligence all the time. One of the most distinctive features of Leo is that Aries, the sign of self, is in the 9th place, that of the higher self, of the spiritual force, and of religious orders. If Leo is said to be a self-centered sign, that could be about the Sun (the luminary that is said to rule Leo) being located at the center of the solar system. It could be that yours is the only sign associated with a star, and not an orbiting body. However, to place the sign associated with self-determination in the house of spirit means that you approach cosmic matters with a measure of autonomy. This may not make the quest any easier, only more meaningful.
Tailored for Virgo Sun and rising, this new audio reading by Eric Francis
will introduce 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 will describe the influence of Jupiter and Saturn ingressing Aquarius later this year. The reading will look closely at Chiron in Aries, accompanied by Mars retrograde in Aries — your most important relationship house. We anticipate the reading being ready by the evening of Monday, Aug. 24. Reading includes a transcription. Pre-order now for best price
. This reading is included with the Backstage Pass
(Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Something in you is pushing its way out, though you may be experiencing this as a sense of nervousness, of feeling lost, or a little odd. You will feel better when the Moon enters your sign later this week, followed by the Sun, though feeling better is not necessarily the thing you want. Some irritation, agitation, or other impetus for change and progress will help you at the moment. That may come in the form of not knowing something, not understanding, not having the answer, and the resulting state of provocation. If you are confused, feel your confusion. If you are disoriented, feel yourself spinning a little, wondering which way to go. That you might be in this state also means that you are not in the state of false certainty. That's the one thing you don't want. It may seem that there is a fine line these days, or a whole valley full of fog, between knowing and not knowing; certainty and false certainty. I'll give you a clue: knowing rarely comes with the sensation of being certain. There is always a little hesitancy.
(Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You would be wise to step back and observe what a close partner is going through, rather than jumping in and getting involved. Observing can include listening, watching, noticing, and making gentle inquiries when you think you have an opening to do so. Yet it's crucial that whoever may be involved make their own decisions, and have their own basis for doing so. There may be much you don't know about the inner process of someone close to you — actually, that is the safer bet. So when it comes to their choices and the foundations they rest on, that is where you need to be at arm's length. Meanwhile, there is some quality of all this unusual activity in your opposite sign Aries — including Mars conjunct Eris — that is influencing your whole environment. You might choose your companionship by noticing those who are fully committed to living their life on Earth and in their senses, and those who are uncertain and who seem like they may someday be seen walking around wearing virtual reality goggles.
Pre-order your full 2020-21 Libra reading by Eric here.
You may have instant access to your 2019-20 Scorpio Astrology Studio
. This reading addresses the current jolt to your relationships, as well as the profound thought transformation you're going through. I consider some deep matters of self-identity and where that meets personal healing. Astrology Studio comes with a bonus recording, "Self and Society," which looks at the astrology describing the busy intersection of the individual and collective. Order your copy here
(Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Take note of an unexpected professional opportunity that becomes available. This may be something you thought was past its prime, or an offer that had expired. Actually it was just on hold. This may be something that comes to you, or something that you reach toward. Either way, it would come with the observation that you were not too late, though you thought you were. Meanwhile, keep your focus on what you're doing. You are someone who is capable of taking actual pride in your work, and now would be an excellent time to dial that in. You're uniquely situated to notice something that would blow past many other people, stump them, or seem irrelevant. You can recognize its true significance. This is likely to be something in the digital realm, and could range from anything like a marketing idea to noticing a security flaw. This same astrology could be described as making a profound discovery about yourself, particularly how you relate to the work you do and why it is so important to you.
Your Astrology Studio reading for Sagittarius
Sun or rising sign covers Jupiter's conjunction to the Galactic Core, a review of Jupiter in Sagittarius and a preview of forthcoming Jupiter in Capricorn. I focus on the Saturn-Pluto conjunction and many other exciting facets of your astrology. My readings are easygoing and easy to follow, and address real-life matters of life, work and relationships.
(Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Let go of the anxieties of your family, particularly your mother. Before you do that, though, you might want to translate them into some exaggerated cartoon form, so you can see them for what they are. Write down the five things she said to you that in some way propagated self-doubt. Most of them were probably small, and happened fairly young. Then use those five ideas to create a psychological profile of her. Then for the final step, ask yourself if this really describes you. Does this represent the person you want to be? What progress have you made through your own growth and spiritual exploration? You have indeed covered territory, though there might be something holding you back, or some thread that connects you not just to your own past but to hers. This could be a single idea, a self-concept, a notion about relationships. You might not even think it limits you in any way, though you could say that is a matter of point of view.
If you have a Capricorn Sun, rising sign or Moon and could use some insights about the challenges and opportunities life is sending your way, order the 2020 Capricorn Astrology Studio
by Eric Francis Coppolino. Some of the most era-defining astrology has been centered on your sign in recent years, and that includes the biggest current astrological events. It also makes an amazing gift for loved ones
(Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — How have the past few days been for you, emotionally and as you relate to your sense of grounding and safety? Said in spiritual terms, how is your root chakra doing lately? This could be going a few ways, none of them particularly subtle. You might be feeling radically insecure. You might be feeling the drive to finally get grounded and call yourself fully present on the physical plane. Ultimately this is the thing your whole being is craving. You might be noticing that opportunities for experience and advancement in physical reality are fewer and further between. So you will need to be attentive when it comes to spotting them, and resist the temptation to do absolutely everything in some form of digital (artificial intelligence, out of body) state. Staying close to the Earth is important. Staying close to the people you care about is perhaps more important, though they can go together. This is about remaining human under considerable pressure not to be so.
Your 2020-21 Aquarius Astrology Studio is available for instant access
. This coming winter, your sign hosts a major conjunction: Jupiter conjunct Saturn, the traditional ruler of Aquarius. That event is exact on Dec. 21, 2020. Eric also covers Saturn moving into your sign from Capricorn during the year, in this not-to-be-missed reading. Order your copy here
(Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — This week's New Moon in your opposite sign Leo will draw back a few layers of a relationship, and you'll be able to get a look at what is going on inside. You may not find out everything, though you will learn a lot more than you knew, including a few things you were not expecting. Some you will like, and some you may not. One thing is central to the discussion: you cannot compromise who you are at your core for the sake of another person. And you cannot expect anyone else to do so. You can make choices about what you emphasize. You can find the best meeting places in any relationship and work with them. But you must be who you are, and let others be who they are, for there to be any common ground to stand on. This may seem like an increasingly strange concept in a world where so much is based on fantasy. It will also be one of increasing value.
Astrology Studio for Pisces | A New Reading by Eric Francis
This is a momentous time in collective history, and a turning point in your life. As the year develops, most of the movement — including Pisces' ruling planet Jupiter, and the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction — will be pointing into Aquarius, the most sensitive and innermost angle of your chart. I will also cover the retrogrades of Venus and Mars, and the forthcoming Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in your friendship sign Capricorn. Mostly, I will help you orient on your profound journey, and offer guidance how to harmonize with the world at this unusual time. Get instant access to this reading here
(Feb. 19-March 20) — Place an emphasis on your long-term finances this week, and through the duration of Mars retrograde (from Sept. 9 through Nov. 13). Your new and evolving financial orientation must realistically fit the actual conditions of the world you live in, which places you at an advantage. Yet you will need some guts to make the most of this, and also to act on what you know is a good idea in a timely fashion. Your state of awareness is your cue: once you have a grasp on something and have eliminated the other possibilities as not being viable or worthwhile, that is the time to take action. You are accustomed to things taking a long time, though at a certain point even a delay turns into forward motion. But you are the connecting bridge, the continuity, and the organizing principle. Keep that in mind even as society seems to descend into a strange form of disembodied chaos. Maintain your connection to what is tangible: time, space, direction, voice contact, eye contact.
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