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Kingston, NY, Tuesday, July 27, 2010

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It's Not Always Like This -- But It Is Now
Dear Fellow Traveler:

Astrology is always interesting, but the aspects are not always like this. They don't always push us so hard to get our lives together, work toward our true goals and get rid of the ones that we don't really want. At the moment we are in the midst of many slow-moving planets -- the Gods of Change, as they were once described by one of the great Brits of astrology -- making moves and making many aspects to one another. These aspects, as we are seeing, are profoundly influencing our lives, and the world. Saturday, just hours ahead of the fifth and last Saturn-Uranus opposition, an organization called Wikileaks revealed the truth about the United States-led occupation of Afghanistan. I will have more to say about this in Wednesday's audio and Friday's edition.

Planet Waves
This astrology and the synchronous events that surround it are not only in preparation for what we are calling 2012, they are the very thing itself: momentous, sweeping changes and the potential for making progress in the dimensions of our lives where we want it the most. I've been describing this here and in my other essays as the cardinal T-square, because most of the action is in the cardinal signs.

Saturn, at the moment, is the leading actor. That's because it's the planet in direct motion, having recently entered Libra, where it will be until October 2012. Saturn recently made its last of five oppositions to revolutionary Uranus, which has been the high-stakes trip along the edge that we've been experiencing through the Obama administration. It is worth noting the stunning synchronicity between Obama being elected the very day of the first of five Saturn-Uranus oppositions on a platform of promising to escalate the war in Afghanistan, and the truth about that war emerging precisely at the last of those oppositions.

We've been seeing this astrology play out more superficially as the wild, verging-on-meaningless factionalism/confrontation of 'progressive' versus 'conservative' that has dominated American politics and so many other facets of life. And for many, it represents the division in our minds between the past and the future that seems so momentous and urgent right now. As this opposition fades, this brutal oppositional energy will be past its peak and slowly fade away over the next year.

Personally, we can now review how we've done integrating our most tense opposites, such as the wild polarities we carry in our psyches, our relationships and the contradictions of what we present to the world versus what we really want and believe.

Planet Waves
Wikileaks Editor Julian Assange. Check this link for Assange being interviewed by Larry King.
More locally, we reach another peak of energy this month around Aug. 21, when Saturn in Libra makes its last exact square to Pluto in Capricorn. Saturn-Pluto contacts often come with conservative backlash, with fear and with a confrontation with the past -- but that's mainly because we allow them to. We saw a classic fear-reaction backlash summer of 2001, during the Saturn-Pluto opposition that gave us the Sept. 11 incident, the Enron collapse and the Worldcom and Arthur Andersen accounting scandals. That was pure madness, wasn't it? And everyone went through something unusually intense at the time. That is astrology, the great bridge between the inner and the outer worlds.

This process was connected with another story: Chiron beginning four years in Capricorn, the sign of "the system." Now Pluto is in Capricorn, treading the territory where Chiron ran vanguard a decade ago. While there are many important transits going on, this one really is the master of ceremonies. This transit is about doing the deep work of confronting the past: our relationship entanglements and our ancestral past, for example. We have the opportunity to completely rethink our relationship to the business and banking establishment that surrounds us.

And Pluto in Capricorn is saying that we need to reconnect to passion. Remember that Saturnalia (the time of the Sun in Capricorn) was one of the most debauched of Roman celebrations, and that the living incarnation of Pluto would look something like Mick Jagger at his peak of energy.

One last note: Mercury is retrograde in Virgo between Aug. 20 and Sept. 12. This is all about taking care of the details. If you follow the well-documented effects of Mercury retrograde, be sure you leave a week or two on either side of those dates to help you avoid complications and make the most of your time and money. The horoscope you have below takes that effect into account. And there are ongoing details on my Daily Astrology & Adventure blog at Planet Waves.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope - August 2010

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Your life has been in transition from one moment to the next, one day to the next, week after week. At times it's been so much you haven't been sure how to handle it, and you still may not be -- this, despite the sense of excitement and potential. Let's consider that potential and how it's going to manifest. You go through spurts of bursting with energy, then encounter limits and frustration. At the same time you're confronted by changes in your environment, your relationships, your workplace, and lately, considerable pressure from family or home-related matters. It's difficult to see where the two processes fit in: that is, your experience of growth and emergence, and the tectonic changes in the world around you. The next six months or so will be an experiment in seeing the many connection points between who you are becoming and what the world is becoming. What you may have lacked recently -- a commitment to flexibility -- is what you're being offered now. Think of that flexibility as your mind responding creatively to your experience. By creatively, I mean self-creatively. Though the changes in your world seem to be the result of powerful forces, there must be nothing forced about your response. When in doubt, retreat and assess your situation, and observe your options, and more to the point, your desires. What you want not only matters, it's the only thing that does. You have tried every other option; give this one a go.

Aries Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)
Suddenly you may have a lot more work than you think you can handle, or want to do -- particularly for August, when everyone north of the equator wants to be lazy. Given how many people right now are searching for direction and (think they) have absolutely nothing to keep them busy, I suggest counting yourself as fortunate, and responding with motivation, drive and a sense of purpose. The chances are that your employment-related activities will be a bit stressful, even intense, yet at the same time entirely productive and meaningful. For you, much of the stress seems to be coming from the necessity to do things differently every day, and to make decisions faster than usual, indeed, what seems like immediately. However, if you've ever lamented that your life moves too slowly, or that you can never make a choice that you stick to, and that works for you, you now have an occasion to live differently. One special place to focus your attention is on the relationship between your mental health and your physical health. The two are translating back and forth, and you will need to take extra efforts to maintain both. Proceed from the inside out. You don't need to improve your appearance or your image, but rather focus on rest, nutrition, movement and learning how to make choices without damaging yourself in the process. By damage, I mean from needless stress, unnecessary delays or pointless frustration. Get over yourself, get moving and you will love the way your life unfolds.

Taurus Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)
Despite your sense that you can 'think things through', that's not really the case when it comes to feelings; you simply need to feel, and make the appropriate decisions. We're inclined, indeed, trained to obsess over how we feel, and most of this involves guilt about how we feel. So let's consider guilt, which is always rooted in childhood. It always has connections to the remnants of our family of origin, and we underestimate the power that these people, and their ideas, have on us as adults. Make no mistake: what you're going through right now has something to do with that influence. Guilt is resentment directed against itself. We blame ourselves for our parents' shortcomings, believing they are flawless, and get in the habit of attacking ourselves. When we take this into adulthood it can cause significant emotional and relational problems. You may think you can work this out with them, but at this point there is no such thing. Your mission is to work out your life, your feelings, your needs and your sense of safety, with yourself. Be aware of when you are blaming yourself for the problems and shortcomings of your early caregivers, and be aware of when you're dramatizing this with the people who currently surround you. You know it's time for you to push out of your mental anguish and step forth into your full adult creative power. Don't let the past hold you back.

Gemini Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)
Your tropism for reaching high places has been healthy and strong lately. Your perspective is widening and your sense of time is starting to encompass the future. You may even feel the authentic confidence that you can handle anything -- and if you don't feel it, you sense the potential. I suggest you focus on two priorities. One is learning how to focus on a single goal. It doesn't have to be a big goal, or even an important one: the idea is to get the feeling of setting an objective, meeting that objective and moving onto the next. The second project is feeling safe. You have a little stampede of planets running through the security angle of your chart over the next few weeks, and that might stir up some of your famous insecurities. Feeling safe is an art. It's related to the craft of recognizing an actual situation that you have to respond to, and responding well. One way to summarize your astrology is that the numerous situations and conditioning forces that surround you are designed to bring out the best in who you are; to cultivate your maturity; and to encourage you to handle your affairs in a way that's a marked improvement over your parents' less than effective leadership style. To do that you have to be standing on a strong foundation, and while you have a short break from reaching for the top, I suggest you get to work.

The Cancer Audio Birthday Report is now ready. This is more than a hour of astrology for Cancer and Cancer rising, covering the cardinal T-square from a personal perspective. I’ve also included a 20 minute tarot reading using the Voyager Deck by James Wanless. For instant access, order here for Cancer and Cancer Rising. Only $14.95, this also makes a meaningful and economical birthday gift.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
My phone rang at 2 am the other night. It was a young Leo friend, freaked out. She had a house-sitting gig and had arrived home later than planned to discover that Lilly, one of the cats she was watching, had not come home. This was in a wild part of the area, where coyotes roam. She called Lilly, and then heard a faraway cat squeal, then heard some coyotes yelping, then concluded that Lilly had just been eaten. She was beside herself and crying about what a failure she was. I listened to her for a while, dialed in St. Francis and cast the astrology. The chart looked good, and as I woke up, I remembered many feline moments of assuming the worst. I hung out on the phone with her till she calmed down. At first light, Lilly came strolling home after a warm night of sitting under a bush, sniffing ferns or whatever it is that cats do (nobody really knows). I would guess she was never more than 100 meters from the house. August is a growly month, with coyotes yelping and weird sounds in the night. Chiron makes one last visit to your opposite sign Aquarius, giving you a chance to clean up any leftover work in a relationship healing project. Many other planets get into the act and make a lot of noise. I suggest you stay centered and calm, take care of yourself and remember Lilly.

Leo Birthday Audio is coming soon!

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
You seem to be caught in a time warp, as if you're retreating into old patterns that are heedless of all the work you've done on yourself. Think of this as a cleansing process. There's always another closet to clean, another organ to revitalize, always something harmful that you can cut out of your diet. Just make sure that for everything you eliminate, you add something you like. For every closet you clean, keep some of the treasures and appreciate what they remind you of. For every aggravating food you eliminate, add one or two things that are nourishing and give you pleasure. A core element of this process involves how you feel about money. There's a subplot about how you present your finances to the world. Many are intent on showing the world how rich they are; others make a point of how poor they are. I suggest you try for no pretenses, and for doing nothing that 'makes a statement'. You're in a phase where your primary financial goal needs to be investing in yourself. Your old attitudes toward money are crumbling or soon will be, and even as they hang on for dear life, the new ones, the more nourishing and creative ones, are coming in. One is necessarily recognizing that financial growth means developing the awareness of money and its power, building infrastructure and maintaining balances, such as between income and expenses, or assets and debt. Just remember, all of this is for real, not for show.

Planet Waves

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)
It's now clear that you're initiating the changes in your life. This is coming from a commitment so deep that nobody could stop you any more than they can inspire you. It's a little like when the root of a tree splits apart a huge boulder. That is coming from the life force energy of the tree, and its determination to thrive in its environment. In a similar way, you are putting down roots. You are solidifying something about the nature of your character, and are confident that you've found the pattern into which you want to grow your life. With Saturn in your sign for the next two years, you have two special gifts to work with. One is some extraordinarily materializing power. You have the ability to grow things, ideas, projects and enterprises. You need to use this carefully, and be extraordinarily fair in your use of that power. The second gift is the potential for profound psychological growth fostered by potent, mature introspection. No matter how old you are, the next two years will feel like a distinct phase of entering adulthood. Note that those born in the early 1980s are going through their first Saturn return, no matter what Sun sign they're born under; though all Libras will have a similar sense of transition into what I will describe as a phase of culmination. You are arriving somewhere real, which will serve as a foundation on which to build the next decade or more of your life.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
For the past year, your professional life has felt like a minefield. Everything you plan seems to turn into something different. Relationships with companies and government entities have a way of becoming unnecessarily complicated. Your goals seem to slip and slide around, and you're more subject than ever to seemingly unconscious motives that come out when you least expect it. It's time to take a new approach that begins with mindfulness rather than action. The wisdom of this may not be clear yet, and in many ways your charts are calling you toward some big quest, goal or adventure. Yet subtler aspects are saying slow down and meditate. You can, if you want, get to the bottom of this situation. While it seems to dramatize itself in the aspects of your life where you reach for achievement, in reality it has more to do with your internal psychology: deep-seated fears, resentment, guilt, and your relationship to the unknown. There is something about the fear of losing it all or being swallowed by a tidal wave. You seem to be walking a razor's edge of fear that you might abuse your power, then you keep running into people who do precisely that. This is why I suggest you back off from active goal seeking, life planning and attempts to orchestrate the future, and instead take a psychological and emotional approach to your situation. Start with figuring out the ways in which your parents are still running your life.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
Every time you get to a point where you think you can free yourself of the details, you discover more details to attend to. Figure this will go on until right before your birthday, when you make a transition into what you would consider to be a more creative approach to existence. Meanwhile, let's consider the wisdom of focus or over-focus on details. In short, it will work for you, for many reasons. At the moment some of those involve resolving past hang-ups and hangovers. But it's about much more than that. The particular path to success that you've either chosen or wound up traveling is about doing something innovative, creative and highly specific. Sometimes this is called finding a niche market, which is the opposite of brewing up vats of tomato soup from one set formula. You are creating a custom career, which will serve clients that have highly specific, individual needs. This, at its essence, is an exercise in being aware of details, and applying them creatively. The visionary quality is available on the miniature or even microscopic level, and this is your true quest, at the moment. If you persist with love and patience, you will reach that point where you experience the universe as holographic: each moment, each cell, each point of contact, contains the image of the whole. Exploring this property of existence is where your most effective solutions, innovative developments and true sense of direction are going to come from.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
You may wonder why you're in such a position of authority, or why it seems necessary that you get there. Consider that it's not really authority that you're seeking, or that you're known for, but rather your devotion to purpose. Such often calls upon people to take charge and step up to a challenge, or to lead the way for others. Surely seems as though the world is missing those who can do this well. Yet the world is in a crisis of meaning more than anything, and this you have been cultivating beautifully. I recognize that at times you may feel confused, confounded or confronted by reality. You may feel like your security base is challenged every day, and that you're compensating with raw strength. Yet beneath that potency and strength is something elegant and seemingly small. That is your devotional quality; your ability to understand what and why, and stick to it for years. Under the current transits (and by that I mean this month and in the current years of your life) this is becoming one of the strongest elements of your psyche. Nourish, refine and honor this every day. Look for signs of authenticity in our mad world. Listen for clues that people know what they need or want to be doing, no matter how confused they think they are. See if you can feel the way the whole world is moving in the right direction, and be mindful of all the ways you fit into the process.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
A phase of your life is over, and a new one has begun. Yet you seem to have a question about how you handled a relationship, and how you feel about where someone else is with their life, and the role you've taken with them. If you've taken a heavy hand, you may feel like some of this is coming back at you. But I wonder how much of what you're perceiving is reality, and how much is a dramatization of your fears -- in particular, a phobia you seem to have about being spontaneous. In essence, as you approach the spontaneous moment, you may hesitate, which is not really hesitation but rather a little whiff of what I will call your 'fear of the worst'. Don't worry, you're not the only person who may experience this, but you're certainly one who has the ability to tap into the power of the experience. Deep in there is a story about modern humanity's relationship to existence. We're a society of people who are all about control, which is the opposite of spontaneity. If you find yourself hesitating and you recognize that this is about letting go of control, notice that this is where the life force has the opportunity to slip into your world. Fear is a mask or a veil placed over this. The more intense your negative expectation of what may happen, the more energy, passion and potential the situation contains.

Aquarius Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
You've had a taste of what is possible if you focus your thoughts on what you want to create, if you mind your business affairs and take care of your relationships. Your charts give an excellent image that basically says, the more that what you create resembles you, the more you, and it, will thrive. You see, there really is no 'it' in this equation: the poet is the work of the poem. You're about to discover how what you have created has the power to create you back: imagine a feedback loop, wherein you express something and then receive it with your senses, and refine both along the way. What you've experienced through the past three or four months was an experimental phase, which remains in effect now. Think of it as a prototype, and I mean both of process and product. That experiment continues, though for the next six months or so, you have an extended time of reviewing what you've done and making adjustments. Note that these are going to be based on what worked rather than what didn't work. If something didn't work, notice how or why that happened, take the information on board and quickly move onto what did work. The whole business of learning from your mistakes can only go so far. At a certain point you have to learn from success, and fortunately you have a good bit of that to consider. Check me here, though I can assure you that it comes down to one concept, which is authenticity.

Pisces Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

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