Planet Waves
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Thousands of people gathered on the Charlottesville campus of the University of Virginia on Aug. 16 for a peaceful candlelight vigil in response to last weekend's violence. Photo by Jason Lappa.
Count Yourself In

Dear Friend and Reader:

It's tempting, in times of pain, chaos and transformation, to think there are no opportunities for you to participate, or feel like life is so insane that nothing matters, and besides, the world is ending anyway. Plenty of people are caught in the meme that nothing makes a difference, especially them.

I know it can seem that way. We're moving at the compressed speed of events between eclipses, and our minds are warped into the light-speed movement of electric communication that delivers the latest crisis to our purse or pocket in mere seconds. Everything is accelerated, magnified and thrown into a mash-up with everything else streaming across your news feed and beleaguered brain.

It's easy to imagine there's no place for you in the world at this time, or that there's no use trying. You might be so disgusted, shocked or scared, that you cannot figure out what to do. I'm here with another idea. But first, let's review the recent past.

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Tiki Torch Social Club impersonating Nazis, or Klansmen, or something, in Charlottesville over the weekend. Photo by Alejandro Alvarez/News2Share.
Just think, last week at this time, I was writing to you about the not-so-real threat of nuclear war with North Korea. Remember that? Trump's threat of hellfire and brimstone, and all the angles of the "announcement" chart going into the mutable signs, saying the whole thing was insubstantial?

Remember the Nuclear Axis chart? And Kim Jong-un and The Donald, throwing adolescent tantrums as people in Seoul and Tokyo wondered if they were in the line of fire?

That was just seven days ago; I know that's a long time, and it's hard to remember so far back in ancient history.

Threatening nuclear war was a ruse to scramble coverage of a story that broke earlier in the week, the one about how the home of Paul Manafort, the presidential campaign manager for the guy who is now president, was raided by the FBI.

That was part of Robert Mueller's investigation into the Russian connection and a labyrinth of financial crimes. I consider Manafort to be the pin in the pinwheel of this whole Russia business. Mueller has impaneled a grand jury. He now has subpoena power. We may not know what's in Trump's tax returns, but now Mueller has the power to get them right from the IRS, and may have already done so.

This got under the skin of the commander-in-chief sufficiently for him to go nuclear, which distracted everyone from the whole Russia bit for about 48 hours.

When that got boring, it was time to threaten the invasion, or perhaps just bombing, of Venezuela. Everyone was saying the same thing. Venezuela? Uh, why? It was like that scene in Wag the Dog. A war with Albania? Seriously? In the old days, that would have been more than enough.

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Attendee of Wednesday's vigil in Charlottesville. Photo by Jason Lappa.
That's when things got really interesting: it was time for a race riot. For our weekend diversion, we got a kind of Civil War reenactment -- or what the New York Daily News editorial writers called (who were being witty, but not kidding) "the Civil War's Battle of Fifth Ave."

In Charlottesville, VA, the city had decided to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee, the Confederate general who commanded the army of northern Virginia. White supremacists took to the road like Phish fans and gathered with their body armor, Glocks and assault rifles. Others, wearing chinos and polo shirts, staged a midnight tiki-torch march on the University of Virginia campus.

In the midst of this, violence erupted various places, and then a white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing Heather Heyer. Two police officers were also killed when their helicopter went down.

Trump then held a couple of press conferences, blaming "both sides" of the issue, praising the fine people protesting for white rights, and comparing Robert E. Lee to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. White nationalist leaders praised Trump for refusing to condemn the whole thing, which he then did briefly; then to the feigned shock of his communications team, walked it back at a patently insane press conference held at Trump Tower on Monday afternoon.

As of Thursday afternoon, this story is still developing -- Trump was tweeting about how foolish it is to remove statues of Civil War "heroes" from public spaces; his lawyer repeated that there's "no difference" between Robert E. Lee and George Washington and that Black Lives Matter is infiltrated by terrorists. The phrase "alt left" was born, but the word of the week is antifa, meaning antifascist.

Thursday The New York Times was reporting that communities in the South were quietly removing their confederate statues. Nearly all of these were put in place in the 1950s and 1960s in response to the Civil Rights movement. Personally, I am eager to see slave memorials built in their place.

Planet Waves
Peter Cvjetanovic (R) along with Neo Nazis, Alt-Right, and White Supremacists encircle and chant at counter protestors at the base of a statue of Thomas Jefferson after marching through the University of Virginia campus with torches in Charlottesville, Virginia, Aug. 11, 2017.
The Onion chimed in with the headline, "Trump Warns Removing Confederate Statues Could Be Slippery Slope To Eliminating Racism Entirely."

As of this writing, here's how the Times (which I consider a baseline for mainstream viewpoints) was calling the plays: "WASHINGTON -- President Trump found himself increasingly isolated in a racial crisis of his own making on Wednesday, abandoned by the nation's top business executives, contradicted by military leaders and shunned by Republicans outraged by his defense of white nationalist protesters in Charlottesville, Va."

This all went down in ten days. Ten days! And the eclipse hasn't even happened yet.

Did you really think it was going to be any different from this?

And what have you been up to?

I'm aware some people are hiding in bed waiting for this to all be over. Others are expecting the worst. It is worth pondering how much of a problem the racial thing really is. Troublesome though it may be, it's not such a huge problem if cities respond by taking down statues of Civil War heroes while this is all going on.

All politics is local. Many Republicans are speaking out against this. Their constituents may fancy themselves conservative, but white supremacy is taking things a little too far for them; maybe that will get them to start questioning their whole viewpoint, that is, the one where the logical conclusion is white supremacy.

If eclipses set patterns, this is a pretty good one: reaction followed by response, issue after issue. None of this stupidity has been met by silence. Every one of these issues has caused a rumble through society. Many people know it's all a distraction from Russia having seized control of the U.S. government through its asset and operative Donald Trump.

Planet Waves
Kristin Chapron and Paula Bakerian in Watertown, MA, show their solidarity for the protesters against the White Nationalist rally in Charlottesville, VA. Photo by Sue-Ellen Hershman-Tcherepnin.
And then there's you.

I'm here to tell you that all this chaos is opportunity knocking on your door. It's an opportunity to participate, whether that means stepping up to your desire to work on the issues you care about, or to step into your chosen role as whatever it is you want to do or become.

You may think that the seeming chaos is blocking you, or that the uncertainty is scrambling your plans. I suggest you think otherwise.

First of all, things are not that chaotic at the moment. What we have now is about average for a transitional time in American history.

However, there's a quickening going on; a loosening up of the structure of society, of expectations, and a corresponding movement of energy. This is the ideal time to insert yourself and your ideas into the equation of society. If you look back at history, you'll see that many of the most enduring (and useful) ideas, institutions and achievements came through in times of total mayhem. There are many examples, but one is how The Lord of the Rings was written in the author's garage between Nazi bombing runs on his area in England. To include yourself indeed, you would just need to do one thing: make yourself available.

That's the thing. And to do that, you'll have to drop some of your character armor. You cannot hug a child with nuclear arms, and you can't be available if you've packed all kinds of defenses around your personality.

Character armor is all that 'no' you may have packed around yourself: no to experimenting, no to life, no to relationships, no to sex, no to taking chances, no to doing what you want.

It shows up in various pseudo forms of integrity, purity, uprightness, prudishness and many related affects and artifacts. It comes in the form of withholding. It comes in the form of wanting people to know what a good person you are, therefore, you would never do that. Never be seen with that person. Never think that thought.

Planet Waves
At a candlelight vigil in Kingston, NY, in response to the violence in Charlottesville. Photo by Phyllis McCabe.
To participate and to be available, you'll need to get over any fear you may have of being seen, being heard, standing out, standing up, being outstanding, being too much or not enough. These are just hang-ups, which is like hanging up on yourself.

The paradox of participating, of counting yourself in, is that you would have to open up and be vulnerable somewhere other than a "safe zone" -- to the contrary, you would be exposing yourself to, uh, something -- really, to your own feelings, and to change -- right when everything seems so dangerous.

Yet to the extent things seem dangerous, that's likely to be a direct function of any armoring that you're carrying around. The more you defend against something, the realer it seems; but what exactly are you defending, and against what?

One other thing. It's vital to live in a bigger world of more important priorities than what you may currently inhabit. There is a world, and it's larger than your world. To live, it's urgently necessary to give up pettiness: such as the obsession with small transgressions, being perpetually offended, or being riveted to what's familiar.

It's necessary to be flexible, lest you break. The less you flex and bend, the more stiff the wind feels.

People are figuring out that this all comes down to sex. To some, that's the scariest news of all, to some it's the best news of all, and to others, it's just not news: in particular, to purists who make attacking and undermining sex their primary agenda. Contaminating sex is the very most important tool of fascists, of tyrants, of priests and other cops.

Sex is the ultimate anarchy, because you just have to go with it: no choreography, no expectations, and all that planning and control just fall apart. That's just how it is. Then something else comes out: your voice, your love, your sweat, your tears, your music, your art, your desire to be alive, and your gratitude for being so.

Count yourself in. Do it now.

Have a great eclipse. Catch you on the other side.

With love,

PS -- Click and play: America is Not Dead by Nadine May Lewis.

Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Sunday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, Planet Waves, Inc. Core Community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Client Services: Amy Elliott. Eric's Assistant: Ellen Dockery. Astrology Fact Checker: Len Wallick. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Media Consultant: Andrew Ellis Marshall McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Amy Jacobs, Cindy Ragusa and Carol van Strum.
Planet Waves
Total solar eclipse of August 1999 as seen from the Mir space station. That eclipse went across Europe, just as the euro currency was coming into use. A blotch of shadow similar to this one will take about 90 minutes to streak across the United States, moving four times faster than a jet airliner.
Memories of Another August (or Two)

We've looked up the Planet Waves horoscopes from August 1999, and the last weekly prior to the grand cross and total solar eclipse of that era. You can read about the eclipse itself in what I consider the first Planet Waves article, Thinking of You on Judgment Day. The reference was to the Cassini Space Probe, which was flown past the Earth the day of the eclipse, bearing 72 pounds of plutonium.

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Burning Man 1999, the first year in the Black Rock Desert.
One year later, we published this article -- Flashpoints: The Continuation of Burning Man, looking at what was happening right in the moments leading up to the eclipse. 

Here's the last weekly for all 12 signs from late July 1999. For Leo, where the eclipse was about to happen, I wrote: “No matter how much it may feel like the world is shaking, no matter how profound the changes you are being called upon to make, in reality you stand on solid ground, your needs are taken care of, and all you have to do is consciously process your feelings so your thoughts will have a little more room to take form."

Here is the August 1999 monthly for all 12 signs. For Leo, I wrote, "The essence of the total solar eclipse in your own birth sign is recognizing the essentially identical nature of creativity and the sexual force within you. Our culture struggles with both creative and sexual crises. Our jobs are, for the most part, totally boring. There is a war between the sexes, which blocks full expression of love and sexuality, and hence, full expression of life. Meanwhile, homophobia blocks not only exploration of same-sex experiences, but also self-exploration. Then we get stuck doing things one way, or thinking in one pattern, wondering how life got so jammed-up."

In August 2001, we experienced the astrology that would lead right into the Sept. 11 incident — the opposition of Saturn in Gemini and Pluto in Sagittarius. Here's the monthly from August 2001, and the weekly from the time of the Saturn-Pluto opposition.

In the August monthly for Virgo, I quoted Alice Miller: "Experience has taught us that we have only one enduring weapon in our struggle against mental illness: the emotional discovery and emotional acceptance of the truth of the individual and unique history of our childhood."

For Pisces, I wrote, "If you haven't noticed, a long-forgotten sense of play and adventure is returning to your life, and it would serve you well to apply this to everything and everyone despite the obviously serious nature of the present moment. Your sense of play is the measure of your potential (be it business, artistic or personal), and I think you're finally remembering this. Leave the scourge of seriousness to those with less imagination than yourself. Mediate and integrate -- that is, bring together -- that which is nourishing and joyous, and that which demands your highest integrity. This is a winning formula, and you know it."

The melting pot that never existed is boiling over

By Cheryl Corson

I am a Jew whose great grandparents were murdered by Nazis. Real ones. Not Nazi impersonators, not Nazi reenactors, not Nazis in drag or Nazi wannabes. My great aunt was made to dig a mass grave which she and her fellow Jewish prisoners then stood at the edge of and fell into as they were shot. Not dead, she lay there until dark; then crawled over corpses and escaped to freedom. My great aunt. May her memory be a blessing.

Using the term “Nazi” for Americans violently pursuing an ethnic cleansing agenda only maintains a rhetorical distance between us so we don't have to think of ‘these people' as Americans or, as Terry McAuliffe so ineptly put it, as Virginians. It rhetorically neutralizes Hitler and the real Nazis, while demonizing and separating our countrymen and women. The language hurts both ways.

Planet Waves
A German girl expresses horror at the sight of the decomposing bodies of slain victims of the Nammering mass murder. German civilians of Nammering were ordered by Military Government officers of the 3rd U.S. Army to view the exhumed bodies of 800 slave laborers, murdered by SS troops during a forced march from Buchenwald and Flossenburg Concentration Camps.
My therapist is not alone in saying that it's better for this all to come out [repressed rage over Obama being President]. But was it better for my Russian and Polish relatives that it did? It's only good for it to come out within a civil society following the rule of law, in the spirit of truth and reconciliation. And that is not the ground against which this escalating mob violence occurs.

The melting pot that never existed is boiling over. I feel unsafe. Not as unsafe as any black American behind the wheel of any car, but as unsafe as anyone whose Bubbie was shot into a mass grave might reasonably be expected to feel.

As a writer and designer, it seems like these armed Americans could at least design their own flag and pick their own damn name. Maybe in the kitschy 50s tradition of backwardly spelled words — IZAN might not be too much of a mental strain. And choreograph a new damn salute while they're at it.

What Robert Mueller's no-doubt-successful investigation will reveal is massive, life-long money laundering and tax evasion by Trump and his entire family and legal team. This is likely to be greeted by armed civilian militias just like those we saw in Charlottesville, who will consider any grand jury finding invalid.

In DC, near where I live, the streets, grand public spaces, and the Metro will become unsafe. Curfews, mandatory IDs, checkpoints, even frozen assets are not too far-fetched to imagine. Screenings for and against this or that will become the norm, just as they have for years at the entry of any DC museum or airport.

Does a 240-year-old country have the strength and wisdom to work through this when the very ideals laid out by the founders fail to acknowledge their fundamental strategic domination and exploitation? Can the conflict be resolved by the very representatives of those who created it? Why would they want to?

At a south Jersey flea market yesterday I picked up an old volume of the Lincoln and Douglas debates of 1858. Worth reading if you want to see how far we haven't come.

These are the thoughts running through me today as I work on designing new outdoor environments in which children can play and learn. I pray they will be learning peace.

The time for cheap words is over

By Dan Rather

The Party of Lincoln has become the Party of Jefferson Davis and Robert E. Lee. To borrow a phrase from the President's own limited eloquence -- Sad!

In another Twitter rant this morning, Mr. Trump has tripled down, quadrupled down (haven't we lost count by now) on his morally bankrupt false equivalence between not only Nazis, anti-Semites, other racists, and the counter-protesters. But he's now equating the greatest band of traitors in American history with our Founding Fathers.

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Lincoln Memorial. Photo by Monica Volpin.
No Robert E. Lee and George Washington are not in the same category. Go to Mt. Vernon and you will learn about a heroic but tragically flawed man who could not escape the deep prejudices of his time even as he wrestled with their moral injustices. Head to the monuments of the Confederacy and you will see only the exultations of those who sought to tear the United States asunder so they could keep in place a cruel bondage of their fellow human beings.

This could be a time for a reckoning with our history, but it seems that the only history Mr. Trump is interested in is revisionist sloganeering.

The United States abolished slavery, but at a great and bloody cost. We abolished legal segregation, also at great cost. I covered Klan rallies in the 1960s, and I have seen that hatred up close. It made my blood run cold, as a privileged, white Christian male. I could not imagine the terror it would strike in the peoples for which it was intended.

Even before this recent descent into Nazi and Klan rallies of heavily armed bigots, we had a long way to go on racial justice. Now it seems we are in danger of more bloodshed and open conflict. I have no doubt that the forces of good will win out, but at what cost?

The demons from our past have never been put to rest, but their destiny is for the trash heap of history. And all decent Americans should not only say that but act accordingly. The time for cheap words is over. The question is will Americans realize that a quick Twitter post won't do. Will they stand up? Will they speak openly and honestly? Will they name names? We have a President openly waving the banner of The Lost Cause.

Many have died for the cause for justice. And so I end here with a quote from Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address. These were words that Republicans used to stand by and I hope they do again. Mr. Lincoln's sentiments do not seem dated, but tragically of our moment:

"It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion -- that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain -- that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom -- and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth."
Planet Waves
We've just published In the Shadow of the Moon, the exciting 2017 Midyear Reading by Eric Francis. The video readings for all 12 signs cover the Great American Eclipse of Aug. 21 and well beyond. We'll be increasing the price again soon, so don't hesitate to order your copy here, or choose your individual signs here.

I've been a devoted student of eclipses since beginning astrology. Here's some of my earlier writing, published before the grand cross and total solar eclipse of Aug. 11, 1999. These few paragraphs below will give you a feeling for just how significant eclipses are. This one is one of the most important in American history, which I've covered here.
Eclipses are astrology we can't deny. If there is a conjunction between Saturn and Uranus, it's invisible, and while many people may experience changes, only astrologers and their merry bands of readers and students know what's happening. Yet when the Sun vanishes, you can be sure that normal activity will come to a stop.

Our busy world will pause, and everyone, from herbicide activists nestled in the hills of Oregon to rock stars in Nashville, will stand in the silent shadow of the cosmic order with the astonishment of small children coursing in their hearts.

This doesn't happen often, and you can imagine the awesome power of so many people embraced in a kind of simultaneous, captive meditation as everything around them momentarily ceases to be normal. Call it a reality lapse, only it's one into which the real reality can flow very easily.

In terms of their astrological meaning, eclipses of the Sun follow this image of collective awareness and radical break of continuity. Whether you can see the eclipse does not matter; part of the miracle of astrology is it works anyway. As many of us are discovering personally, eclipses are expanded moments of often uncontrollable, unpredictable change. They also bring the civilization and its communities together, usually through important collective events and the media.

Eclipses are evolutionary gateways, which is another way of saying that when they show up, we do a lot of growing in a short time. Delays are compensated. Old accounts can be wiped clean. While each is unique, eclipses often feel like being shot through a funnel of space-time, and we emerge somewhere different than where we entered. The key to making the best use of them is to move with the energy, not cling to anything or anyone too tightly, and to stay open.

Literally, breathe, communicate, feel, love, observe and receive. Remember your intentions. The sense of panic that sometimes accompanies them yields nicely to awareness and revelation, mental conditions that are more natural than we often realize.
Traveling the Long Arc, Living in This Eclipse Moment

By Amanda Painter

I know a lot of people who are really excited about the total solar eclipse of the Sun on Monday; I also know a lot of people who are tied up in knots of outrage, fear and despair regarding last weekend's white-supremacist attacks in Charlottesville, VA, and the President's response to it. You may even count yourself in both categories (I suspect many people do), and be wondering how to deal with it all.

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Photo by Amanda Painter.
What does it all mean -- the eclipse; all the hatred and violence; your role in relation to either? Is there any meaning to it? Are you afraid of what the answer might be?

I think, perhaps, in that fear is a reminder that sometimes it is helpful to focus on one's present moment and immediate environment, and sometimes it is helpful to take a longer view of time or a broader perspective of your surroundings. When you're not seeing a solution, an idea or a possible path forward, it's time to shift to the other view, and then maybe back again.

There are times when focusing on a problem is a necessary step. There are times when shifting your attention to what's creative or even simply joyful -- whether related to a problem or not -- is crucial to your wellbeing and ability to cope.

This line of thought was spurred today by a couple of things. One was a friend calling out her white Facebook friends who have not posted anything condemning the racist attacks, and how I felt reading her words. The other was the famous Martin Luther King quote, " The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice," posted by another friend.

I looked up that quote just now to be sure I had the wording right, and discovered that King had been paraphrasing an abolitionist Unitarian minister from the 1800s by the name of Theodore Parker. Parker had once written this in reference to the abolitionist movement:

"I do not pretend to understand the moral universe; the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways; I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. And from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice."

Continue reading →
Planet Waves
Diagram of a solar eclipse from a 13th-century illuminated manuscript. Annie Dillard's essay "The Eclipse" was first published in her collection Teaching a Stone to Talk, and was recently republished in The Abundance. You can read it in full here on The Atlantic until Aug. 22; excerpts are available in this BrainPickings post. Photo from the New York Public Library Digital Collections.
Entirely Different from What You Know

By Amanda Painter

Everyone knows the old saying that a picture is worth a thousand words. But is it always true? Reading Annie Dillard's 1982 essay "Total Eclipse," about viewing the March 26, 1979, total solar eclipse in Yakima, Washington, suggests that, when it comes to a total eclipse of the Sun, even a photo cannot do justice to the otherworldly experience.

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For Dillard -- and in her gifted literary hands -- the moment becomes far more than a cool astronomical moment. Instead, it plunges her back in time into the terror and disorientation of the ancients; it hurtles her forward in time beyond the end of life on Earth. It is bursting with meaning and meaningless at once; brief minutes that defy the mind, after which the mundane senses can be sated and returned by something as simple as an egg. She writes:

"I turned back to the sun. It was going. The sun was going, and the world was wrong. The grasses were wrong; they were now platinum. Their every detail of stem, head, and blade shone lightless and artificially distinct as an art photographer's platinum print. This color has never been seen on earth. The hues were metallic; their finish was matte. The hillside was a nineteenth-century tinted photograph from which the tints had faded. All the people you see in the photograph, distinct and detailed as their faces look, are now dead. The sky was navy blue. My hands were silver. All the distant hills' grasses were fine-spun metal which the wind laid down. I was watching a faded color print of a movie filmed in the Middle Ages; I was standing in it, by some mistake. I was standing in a movie of hillside grasses filmed in the Middle Ages. I missed my own century, the people I knew, and the real light of day."

And later:

"I saw a circular piece of that sky appear, suddenly detached, blackened, and backlighted; from nowhere it came and overlapped the sun. It did not look like the moon. It was enormous and black. If I had not read that it was the moon, I could have seen the sight a hundred times and never once thought of the moon. (If, however, I had not read that it was the moon -- if, like most of the world's people throughout time, I had simply glanced up and seen this thing -- then doubtless I would not have speculated much but, like Emperor Louis of Bavaria in 840, simply died of fright on the spot.) It did not look like a dragon, although it looked more like a dragon than the moon. It looked like a lens cover, or the lid of a pot. It materialized out of thin air -- black, and flat, and sliding, outlined in flame."

Dillard's essay is substantial; and, perhaps, not for those who have difficulty keeping a handle on reality while immersed in others' creative and disturbing visions. But it is brilliant, and rich, and evocative of how millennia of human beings must have reacted to this phenomenon in the sky about which they understood so little.

Thankfully, with the evolution of astronomy and the ongoing discovery of planets orbiting our Sun has come an expanded, ever-evolving system of astrology. We have greater tools for interpreting the mystery of an eclipse, an expanded context and sense of potential for the changes it might herald. Also thankfully, there are those among us with the imagination to help us cross the bridge from one world to another, and back again.
Planet Waves
Tiki Torch Social Club impersonating Nazis, or Klansmen, or something, in Charlottesville over the weekend. Photo by Alejandro Alvarez/News2Share.
This week on Planet Waves FM
This is Now: Total Eclipse of the Sun

Dear Friend and Listener:

In this week's edition of Planet Waves FM [play episode here], I survey the world as we approach Monday's total solar eclipse. However, we also travel back in time to August 1999, when a comparable event was approaching: the infamous grand cross total solar eclipse of Aug. 11 that year.

For many reasons, they are comparable times in history: the anger, the nuclear issues, the influence and impact of the internet.

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I read from an article that I published the night before the eclipse, called Flashpoints: The Continuation of Burning Man.

In honor of the Great American Eclipse, we have gracing our program tonight the great American songwriter Bruce Springsteen. All the Boss's songs tonight are based on John Steinbeck's The Grapes of Wrath.

We also have a special guest tonight: Nadine May Lewis, reading her poem, America is Not Dead.

I read an article by a Planet Waves friend named Cheryl Corson, called The Melting Pot that Never Existed is Boiling Over.

Live Webcast of Sunday Night House Concert

We will be doing an invocation of the total eclipse in the form of a house concert streamed live from The Place of the Way in Kingston. This happens Sunday, starting at 7 pm EDT on our Mixlr channel. Until then, we'll be broadcasting nonstop music by Vision Quest, the Planet Waves house ambient-rock orchestra.

We plan to run this live stream pretty much around the clock, with various things, from music to prior shows to old birthday readings. It's worth tuning in. The link can always be found on the top right of the Planet Waves FM homepage.

Planet Waves FM is published by the nonprofit Chiron Return. We are funded by your donations. Thank you for your ongoing generosity. Chiron Return also publishes The Gemstone File, and will host the forthcoming class Investigative Reporting from the Kitchen Table. We'll have more on that class soon.

Thanks for hanging out.

With love,

August Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscopes for August were published on Thursday, July 27. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for July on Thursday, June 22. Your extended monthly horoscopes for June were published on Thursday, May 25. Note, the August horoscope is based on the total solar eclipse of Aug. 21. This is the one to clip and save for posterity.
Planet Waves
Planet Waves Weekly Horoscope for Aug. 17, 2017, #1163 | By Amy Elliott
Aries (March 20-April 19) -- You are gradually receiving the understanding that meeting your life goals, or fulfilling your ambitions, is about personal growth. Truly accepting this concept flies in the face of the dominant cultural doctrine -- that success is measured primarily by wealth -- but it's necessary if you wish to do what you love. With the eclipse coming in your zone of creativity, embrace your passion in all its unique glory, and ignore those who would fit you into one of their neatly boxed categories. Be yourself and express yourself as hard as you can. -- By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
In the Shadow of the Moon, the exciting new 2017 Midyear Reading by Eric Francis, has just been published. Don't miss this essential guide to the forthcoming Great American Eclipse. Order all 12 signs here (recommended), or choose your individual signs.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) -- Many of us spend years working to escape the confining boundaries that all too often appear as a result of early experiences. Yet history can also be of considerable benefit. After all, we can and often do inherit gifts as well as burdens. You may find that something from your past, or your roots, is helping to inspire current creative projects. Alternatively, your present achievements could be helping you to see the past in a new light. The discovery will most likely be affirming. Let it spur you onward. -- By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
In the Shadow of the Moon, the exciting new 2017 Midyear Reading by Eric Francis, has just been published. Don't miss this essential guide to the forthcoming Great American Eclipse. Order all 12 signs here (recommended), or choose your individual signs.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) -- Often, when we encounter a situation that's arisen many times before, we respond automatically as we have done in the past. This can save effort, and help us get through challenging times. Yet when those times are over, it can be hard to move on from the learned response. This, however, is what you are now being called on to attempt. If you say or do something out of habit and are no longer sure why, or how it serves you, consider that question, and whether it might not be better to change things up. -- By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
In the Shadow of the Moon, the exciting new 2017 Midyear Reading by Eric Francis, has just been published. Don't miss this essential guide to the forthcoming Great American Eclipse. Order all 12 signs here (recommended), or choose your individual signs.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) -- Someone close to you is likely to give you a welcome confidence boost this week. That said, it's important that you participate in the process of solidifying your own sense of wellbeing. Counterintuitive as this may seem, that can require planning and effort. Catch and correct any unfairness in your self-management, which means silence any domineering voice from your past. Get involved in the life of your community. Finally, every day, make a point of performing at least one activity you love. -- By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
In the Shadow of the Moon, the exciting new 2017 Midyear Reading by Eric Francis, has just been published. Don't miss this essential guide to the forthcoming Great American Eclipse. Order all 12 signs here (recommended), or choose your individual signs.
Planet Waves

To the Leo Eclipse and Beyond!

In just a few days, on Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse in Leo signals the second stage of whatever life-shifting process you're engaged with.

This is a unique year for you, Leo. In addition to the current eclipses (and the double New Moons in your sign), Eric plans to discuss in your upcoming reading such astrological heavyweights as Chiron finishing up its journey through your 8th house; ever-surprising Uranus; and Saturn leaving your fellow fire sign, Sagittarius -- plus more.

Are you navigating changes in your relationships or family paradigm? Do you find yourself at a career crossroads? Are you seeking clarity, encouragement and new perspectives on your creativity, self-esteem, sexuality or healing process? You'll find ideas and reassurance in this reading.

"I have just listened to your Part 1 and Part 2 readings and I am amazed at how accurate it has been. Like you have a telescope watching me shed a skin and transform into a totally changed person in the last 10 years."
-- Pauline Jones

Your reading is now priced at $44; so you'll want to pre-order your 2017 Leo Reading very soon -- definitely before it publishes, when the price is set to increase again. This reading is designed to work for anyone with Leo Sun, Leo rising and even Leo Moon -- and makes an amazing gift.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) -- For some time now you've been getting used to being at the center of astrological events, in a way that's unusual even for the sign of the zodiac ruled by the Sun. You're dealing with questions relating to the very heart of your identity. One theme that's emerging in this moment is the fact that only you can determine who you are. True freedom and independence are predicated on you learning to break free from any earlier habits that make you feel stifled. Look within yourself and trust your resources. -- By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
The first astrology segment of your 2017-18 Leo Birthday Reading by Eric is now published. This is a seminal year for Leo Sun, rising and Moon, especially with the upcoming powerful solar eclipse in your sign. Make this dynamic energy work for you -- order your reading today.
Attention Virgo: Just one day after Monday's exciting total solar eclipse, the Sun moves into your sign -- bringing that energy signature front and center into your life, while it's still fresh. Its effects will continue to reverberate and develop for months to come, interacting with a whole host of astrology central to your year ahead. Eric will be covering all the most compelling areas of your life in your upcoming 2017 Virgo Birthday Reading: relationships, career, creativity, family, healing and more. You're invited to pre-order it now, while it's at its lowest discounted price.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) -- You're on the threshold of a major change, and you've likely already begun to feel the tension and the anticipatory sensations congruent with the approaching eclipse on the threshold of your sign. Try to let go of any anxiety due to not having all the information. That will probably be revealed to your satisfaction over the next few weeks. Until then, all you really need to do is take things as they come; discharge what duties you might have, and engage in your life as fully as possible. Try to let things flow. -- By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
In the Shadow of the Moon, the exciting new 2017 Midyear Reading by Eric Francis, has just been published. Don't miss this essential guide to the forthcoming Great American Eclipse. Order all 12 signs here (recommended), or choose your individual signs.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) -- The extraordinary changes you've been experiencing lately are about to reach a point of culmination. It may be that only now will you begin to see the fruits of your endeavors as concrete and lasting alterations to your life, and to your self-perception. You might need to dial back the pace just a little over the next few weeks, but don't lose the momentum. Both at home and in the public sphere, which is where Monday's eclipse will fall in your chart, you're finally coming into your power. Keep your grip on the reins. -- By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
In the Shadow of the Moon, the exciting new 2017 Midyear Reading by Eric Francis, has just been published. Don't miss this essential guide to the forthcoming Great American Eclipse. Order all 12 signs here (recommended), or choose your individual signs.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) -- You might well be making strides in your career, or have an ambition you'd like to pursue. What's stopping you? One answer to that question could be if your chosen path runs against what a certain authority figure might consider appropriate, useful, or perhaps simply in line with their own wishes. But they're not in charge, are they? You don't need to take into account whatever Catch-22 scenario someone else may devise. Rather, trust in your own powers and in the essential justness of your vision. -- By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
In the Shadow of the Moon, the exciting new 2017 Midyear Reading by Eric Francis, has just been published. Don't miss this essential guide to the forthcoming Great American Eclipse. Order all 12 signs here (recommended), or choose your individual signs.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) -- Your sign is well known for its independence and adventurousness. You can often be found deep in uncharted territory while the rest of us are still scratching our heads and trying to decipher the map. Yet occasionally it's handy to slow down and let other people catch up, if only so you can check in about your route options. This week, there might be at least one person -- particularly in the position of teacher, or similar -- who has a bit of wisdom you may benefit from hearing. Be prepared to listen. -- By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
In the Shadow of the Moon, the exciting new 2017 Midyear Reading by Eric Francis, has just been published. Don't miss this essential guide to the forthcoming Great American Eclipse. Order all 12 signs here (recommended), or choose your individual signs.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) -- This would seem to be a time in which you need to muster some courage and emerge into the open. This can be a difficult task, especially when several factors appear so uncertain. Yet to some extent this will always be the case in human life. It's not possible to organize everything into neat pigeonholes. The sooner you put the kibosh to that idea, the sooner you can start to relax. Get out into the world and merge with its delightful randomness. Chances are, you'll enjoy it a lot more than you think. -- By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
In the Shadow of the Moon, the exciting new 2017 Midyear Reading by Eric Francis, has just been published. Don't miss this essential guide to the forthcoming Great American Eclipse. Order all 12 signs here (recommended), or choose your individual signs.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- One way to gauge whether you benefit from a close relationship is to comprehend how it makes you feel about yourself. This includes noticing whether the other person brings your best side uppermost. That is linked to self-fulfillment, which should not really be mutually exclusive with fulfillment in love or friendship, or even business interactions. Monday's eclipse is likely to help make that clear. Many people stick together because they fear change or seek security. If that is no longer sufficient for you, you're likely heading in the right direction. -- By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
In the Shadow of the Moon, the exciting new 2017 Midyear Reading by Eric Francis, has just been published. Don't miss this essential guide to the forthcoming Great American Eclipse. Order all 12 signs here (recommended), or choose your individual signs.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) -- The thing about perseverance is that it's not so much about keeping up a similar pace every day, as getting back into your stride after you've been waylaid or distracted. That said, doing the former as far as you can will likely help ensure the latter. You're already on a creative roll. Chances are, you know what you're doing; though it's always handy to double-check the details, especially for the next few weeks. All the routine maintenance you do now will likely be useful preparation for when you're called to raise the bar. -- By Amy Elliott. For your Eric Francis horoscope this week, please see this link.
In the Shadow of the Moon, the exciting new 2017 Midyear Reading by Eric Francis, has just been published. Don't miss this essential guide to the forthcoming Great American Eclipse. Order all 12 signs here (recommended), or choose your individual signs.

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