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Chiron in Aries: Where to Start?

Dear Friend and Reader:

Now that the Mars-Uranus conjunction is beginning to separate, it may feel easier to look ahead to the next major astrological event: Chiron entering Aries on Monday, where it will stay for the next seven years or so. Also on Monday, the Sun will enter Pisces, the last sign in the cycle. So Chiron begins its new zodiacal 'year' (metaphorically speaking) just as the Sun begins to wrap up its own.

Between the significant themes that Chiron in Aries will be highlighting, the Sun entering Pisces, and some of the interesting specifics of Monday's chart, I'm having a little trouble deciding where to start as I write this.

Planet Waves
Self, shadow and unexplored territory: a July 26, 2004, photo by the Mars Opportunity rover -- "one of the most successful and enduring feats of interplanetary exploration" -- as it moved further into Endurance Crater in the Meridiani Planum region of Mars. Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech.
So I think I'll start with this: Chiron last visited Aries for a brief five-month stay on April 17, 2018; it retrograded back into Pisces on Sept. 25, 2018. Those five months were not that long ago, even if they feel a world away to you now, thanks to a long series of overlapping inner-planet retrogrades (starring Mars) and a couple of eclipses in the mix last summer.

You might find it worthwhile to check your journal or calendar (or similar) to see what exactly was happening for you in mid-April. (This April 15, 2018, Planet Waves essay is worth re-reading, too.)

What you discover could offer some clues to what Chiron will nudge you to begin paying attention to in earnest. While many planets have moved quite a distance from where they were in April, some of the slower ones have not moved far at all. So we're not going to get a do-over a la Groundhog Day, but there may be some useful echoes.

Chiron entering Aries also means Chiron landing on the Aries Point -- that super-charged first degree of Aries where personal and collective matters intersect, often in dramatic ways. As has been described elsewhere on Planet Waves, we have some particularly interesting slow-moving objects either in early Aries or making contact from early Capricorn. These are sharpening or coloring the personal/political nexus.

Much of the current clamor around sexual issues (particularly sex scandals, sexual violence and identity politics around sex, gender and sexual wounding) relates to this astrology. Same with the sense of a genie having been let out of a bottle (is the genie benevolent, malevolent, or simply amoral?) -- and the generational patterns that have brought us where we are today.

Chiron promises to be a new level of wakeup call around all of this material, and more, on both the collective and individual levels. For you personally, there will be events and issues particular to your life circumstances and the path you've walked thus far. Tempting as it may be to keep hitting the snooze alarm on Chiron, doing so tends to invite a bigger crisis than what you might have dealt with otherwise.

Planet Waves
Dec. 19-20, 2004, the Mars Opportunity rover used its panoramic camera to take the images combined into this mosaic of itself. Chiron in Aries should provide ample opportunities to explore who you are. On Wednesday NASA announced the rover had stopped operating after nearly 15 years -- 14-plus longer than planned. Photo by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell.
The words 'healing' and 'healing crisis' get thrown around easily when astrologers speak of Chiron. But I think what that means is the process of becoming more consciously aware of who we are, what we've done, what has been done to us, and what we're currently doing in reaction to (or in denial of) all that -- and then changing our actions to match what we're learning.

As a wise friend once explained to me, “Understanding the lesson and learning the lesson are not the same thing. Understanding it is the easy part; when you've learned the lesson, that's when you no longer have to keep repeating it."

Or, to put it another way, Chiron in Aries will be initiating a process of self-actualization -- at least, it will be for those willing to make the trip. I don't think anyone involved in the process, even to a small degree, would call it easy. It takes persistence and energy; there will be missteps and missed cues and lessons that may seem to repeat endlessly when we get stuck. I feel like a nascent beginner myself.

Yet this concept of 'self-actualization' -- specifically, the initial stages -- is so enmeshed with the first degree of Aries, it's a theme Eric has written on extensively. This May 2010 article is an excellent exploration of self-actualization in relation to the Aries Point, and even includes a numbered list of ways to facilitate the process. Chiron will be focusing our lens of awareness in this direction so strongly, self-actualization also receives significant coverage in the INTELLIGENCE annual written readings -- particularly in the Aries reading.

I'll be touching on Chiron's ingress to Aries and the Sun entering Pisces more in the Sunday night mailing. (I suspect the Sun in Pisces will help to cool and soften what has felt like rather hot or nervy energy lately.) For now, I'd like to mention a couple other events in the current astro-environment. One is that Mars (ruler of Aries) enters Taurus today.

Although traditionally this not considered the easiest placement for Mars (since it is ruled by Venus), it has its plusses. For example, Mars in Taurus is said to be persistent and patient (though it can also be stubborn and possessive). You may find it easier now to work steadily toward a goal through sustained effort and routine than it has been lately.

Planet Waves
Full chart for Chiron’s ingress of Aries on Monday; it has not been in this sign since March 28, 1977. Note the Sun almost halfway through the final degree of Aquarius. View glyph key here
If you celebrate Valentine's Day, think: unhurried sex with an emphasis on foreplay, the nicest meal you can muster (whether home-cooked or at a restaurant), and making that extra little effort to look your best. All of that fits Mars in Taurus -- including if you treat yourself to a solo date.

Remember that sharing is caring: all it takes to spread good vibes and make yourself feel better in the process is to tell someone you appreciate them. (Best done without expectation or need of reciprocation; just focus on the joy in making another person feel valued.)

Also today, Mercury makes a conjunction to the centaur Nessus in Pisces, on its way toward Neptune. This looks like a tendency to react from subconscious motives, feelings and patterns (rather than responding from a place of conscious reason). If you have a thought or response that seems to come out of nowhere and take you along with it in a familiar way, that's the sensation to watch out for.

We all have old hurts that have shaped us, but they are not the entirety of who we are in the present. Meaning: once you recognize where your reaction is coming from, you can choose not to express it to others in a harmful way.

From what I can tell, that's one of those classic lessons that can be easy to understand in principle, yet can take years -- if not an entire lifetime -- to truly learn. It seems that as soon as we identify and work through one trigger (whether from childhood, our last intimate relationship, a past life), another one pops up. We then begin again the process of seeing it for what it is, naming it, and beginning to catch it before it has a chance to cause chaos and harm to the people we care about.

Along the way, hopefully, we learn better how to be honest; we learn better who we are and who we are not. With Chiron in Aries, perhaps we will begin to see all of that with clearer focus.

Yours & truly,

Amanda Painter
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 F. Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Client Services: Jocelyn Allton, Amy Elliott and Victoria Emory. Finance: Andrew Slater. Technical Assistant: Emily Thing. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Media Consultant: Andrew McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Yuko Katori, Cindy Tice Ragusa, and Carol van Strum.

Editor's Note: Eric decided that the section of the Aries INTELLIGENCE written reading on self-actualization is so important and informative for everyone, he's offered to have it republished here. He's also decided to give purchasers of any INTELLIGENCE annual reading sign access to the full Aries and Capricorn written readings, as reference signs. You can purchase individual signs of the annual here.

From How to Remember Who You Are -- the INTELLIGENCE reading for Aries:

Though it was discovered in Taurus, Chiron has a strong affinity for Aries, and its passage through Aries seems well timed to address many issues involving self, self-concept and the notion of identity (something that is critical at this time in our individual lives, and the life of our culture). At the moment, our whole society is obsessed with identity, which is self-concept.

Identity is not self, and much of this effort is, in my view, insincere and misdirected. For the most part, it's about labeling and tribal identity -- not self-actualization.

Planet Waves
Jason and His Teacher, by Maxfield Parrish (1870–1966).
Your quest, and your healing mission, is to find your true self; your most personally valid state of being and of expression. This is easily said, and not so easily (or so often) done. The reason is that in order to be who you are, it's necessary to set aside or cast off anything and everything that you are not.

Most people you meet are heavily invested in not-self. To the extent that you struggle with being yourself and with making choices that work for you, you are likely to be invested in not-self. If you knowingly do things that don't work for you, and associate with people who do not support you, those are signs of investment in not-self.

Let's use a metaphor: honesty. People like to talk about being honest, and sometimes strive to be so. Yet in order to be honest, one must confront all the things one was dishonest about in the past.

Honesty requires reckoning with the current state of one's relationships, and would likely require shaking all of them up. This is seen as dangerous, and potentially painful. Were you to suddenly become transparent and honest about everything in your life, you would be taking a big risk, or so it would seem. People might get upset. They might not want to be associated with you. That is the risk of actually expressing yourself.

Yet Chiron in Aries is going to demand no less. This will begin with being honest with yourself, aware of yourself, aware of your interactions with others down to the most detailed level. To do this, you will be taken on a tour of all the ways that your awareness has been suppressed, that you've allowed yourself to be held down, and all the ways you've compromised and held yourself back. This can lead to a crisis.

Most people would rather not go through this. I say most, not all. You are being invited to be one of the intrepid few who enters the process boldly, willingly and with full participation.

We all have our laundry list of things we wish we could resolve in our lives. You will need to set that aside for a while, and embark on this next stage of your healing journey without any agenda other than to be aware of what is so; other than to fully awaken yourself.

Awareness of what is so can feel like a real confrontation. There is no compromise possible. The condition of "I am living this way, people think I'm living this other way, and I really want to live this entirely different way" must be engaged and seen for what it is, and once that engagement happens, then the need to make changes becomes not only obvious but inevitable.

Chiron and all that it represents is a compelling force. In a sense there is no escaping, only establishing a relationship with the impetus to change, and your deep personal need to heal. This means the need to grow, and that entails an entirely new basis for making decisions. Different people will respond to it in different ways. Some will choose to go deeper than others. Some will respond by grafting onto the identity politics and self-concept level, which is already pervasive. You must be able to discern the difference.

Chiron never allows us to dump the past, like tearing down an old shopping mall to build a new one; rather, there must be a careful reckoning with everything we have experienced, and what it means to us. The underlying ground must be examined and understood.

However, the prevailing conditions of society right now are not supportive of this. In fact, digital technology, artificial intelligence and the tribal mentality these things are propagating are driving just about everything in the opposite direction. Here, we have a picture of the confrontation that you'll likely be engaging on some level with your peers, your family and with society. To express yourself as a distinct individual with your own views, your own intentions and your own desires is dangerous business right now, but it goes deeper.

To be yourself means transcending even these more or less rudimentary human needs, and engaging in a process of the most profound transformation. Doing so challenges people; it pushes their buttons; it triggers them. Yet it's no fun to go kicking and screaming. That is not real awareness; it's more like resistance for its own sake. What do you have to lose? Well, all that is not true. And this can stir up other people.

Intelligence art by Lanvi Nguyen.
The Wisdom of Your Future Self: Looking Back from 2020

Dear Friend and Reader:

Have you ever wondered what guidance your future self would offer your present self, if you could hear what he or she had to say?

I'm now in the thick of writing VISION 2020, the second part of INTELLIGENCE. For this annual, I've designed a two-year reading. Part one, RESET 2019, looks forward from where we are now, out to early 2020, at the Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn.

Readings designed for your Sun and rising sign are available for instant access.

Planet Waves
Hard at work in my busy little astrology/music/art studio.
If you feel a sense of pressure building, that would be Saturn-Pluto, which has not happened since 1982. RESET 2019 -- available now -- discusses how to work with that energy. Ideally, everyone would get a personal astrology reading to guide them, and I've done my best to come as close as anyone can.

One of my fields of mastery is working without the natal chart, using a combination of ancient techniques, modern planets and skills gained in more than 20 years of helping my clients.

VISION 2020, part two of INTELLIGENCE, begins with the astrology of late 2020, looking back from the future at the present moment. A conjunction on the winter solstice of 2020 describes a bold vision for ourselves and the world, focused in the sign Aquarius. It's a whole new realm of astrology, unlike anything we've seen in generations.

We're going have to get there, and it will be a journey. Much of that quest will be guided by Chiron in Aries, which takes hold in February, lasting eight years. One question that will come into focus is what's happened as a result of immersing ourselves in digital consciousness for the past 20 years, and what we can do to rectify that.

We will need to claim ourselves back, from the false identities created by social media, and reconstruct our social reality on the basis of trust and common ground. There will be massive political shifts; we will hear callings come into focus that have been whispering from the background.

This is not astrology for the faint-hearted -- it requires courage by both the seeker and the astrologer reading the charts.

Reviews of INTELLIGENCE have been coming in over the past two weeks:
"Thank you Eric for this incredibly perceptive and inspiring reading for Virgo. On New Year's Eve I was experiencing laryngitis, so rather than go out and party I decided to spend the evening in review of my past turbulent and stressful year, and to set some directions for 2019. Everything that I pondered and reviewed and set goals for has come up and been verified for me by your reading. Not only that, but your deep perception of Virgo in relationship and the quest to find ourselves, has left me in deep appreciation of your abilities as an astrologer and consciously soulful human being."
My readings are affordable, they are easy to understand, and they stand up to many playings. I've included four pieces of music by Vision Quest with each, to open up a meditative space where you can think about your life: something that is rare to find these days.

Treat yourself. Take care of yourself. Tap into the wisdom of your future self.

Here are your purchase options:

All 12 Audio Readings Only -- $99

All 12 Written and Audio Readings -- $133

Individual signs, written and audio -- $44 for the first sign, $22 for each additional sign.

Thank you for trusting me as your astrologer.

With love,
PS -- Your reading comes with many excellent resources, including access to 19 years of past annual editions for you to research and explore. If you are trying to make some sense of your life and get some direction, this is the place.

Moving On with Chiron: Your Pisces Astrology Studio
"I loved the Pisces birthday reading -- I found it very concise, positive, enlightening and easy to understand; I love that he does not just give 'information', like what planets are coming and going, but also what that means for my sign, and how to make the best use of that transit or placement. Like having the issues that might be a challenge, and he offers insight on how best to work it for my highest good. Always informative! Presented with humor, and sensitivity!"
-- Laura Garrity, on a previous Pisces Astrology Studio
As the Sun prepares to enter your sign, Chiron is about to leave it and move on to your second place of resources and values. Eric has described Chiron as a 'master teacher of awareness'; during the next several years, you'll likely be finding ways to preserve and manifest its lessons, and use its gifts to you.

Your Pisces 2019-20 Astrology Studio (formerly known as the Birthday Reading) will cover this transition and more, and is now available for the earliest pre-order price of $33. This gets you two audio astrology sessions of 30 minutes or more each, plus a bonus Tarot segment. Note: this reading is not the same as INTELLIGENCE for Pisces; it's designed as a complementary addition, focusing more closely on the astrology most relevant to your solar year.

Eric pours his decades of astrological and therapeutic experience into these audio readings -- ensuring that you get the energized motivation, inspiration, practical tips and quiet reassurance you need to tackle whatever come your way -- and to thrive in the process. You may pre-order yours here.

Planet Waves
A false-color view (top) captured by NASA's Opportunity Mars rover shows part of Marathon Valley as seen from an overlook to the north. The image was taken by the rover's Pancam on March 13, 2015; NASA/JPL staff named the valley "Marathon" because Opportunity traveled approximately the same distance as a marathon (26.2 miles) to reach it. Images by NASA/JPL-Caltech/Cornell Univ./Arizona State Univ.
Once-in-a-Lifetime Opportunity
By Amanda Painter

Over the years, Planet Waves has used many photos from the Mars Opportunity rover and its 'cousin', the Curiosity rover. Although NASA made the announcement yesterday that Opportunity is now done, it had stopped communicating with Earth when a severe Mars-wide dust storm blanketed its location in June 2018; engineers in the Space Flight Operations Facility at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) made their last attempt to revive the rover on Tuesday, following more than a thousand commands to restore contact during the ensuing months.

Planet Waves
An Opportunity baby picture: in the Payload Hazardous Servicing Facility, technicians reopen the lander petals to allow access to one of the spacecraft's circuit boards during prelaunch testing. Photo by NASA/JPL.
"It is because of trailblazing missions such as Opportunity that there will come a day when our brave astronauts walk on the surface of Mars," said NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine. "And when that day arrives, some portion of that first footprint will be owned by the men and women of Opportunity, and a little rover that defied the odds and did so much in the name of exploration."

Along the course of the last 15 years, Opportunity's achievements include: returning more than 217,000 images; exposing the surfaces of 52 rocks to reveal fresh mineral surfaces for analysis; clearing 72 additional targets with a brush to prepare them for inspection with spectrometers and a microscopic imager; discovering strong indications of the action of ancient water similar to the drinkable water of a pond or lake on Earth. Not bad for something that was only supposed to last for 90 Martian days.

The Little Rover That Could even set a one-day Mars-driving distance record (721 feet). All of this, of course, was under the constant direction of the dedicated engineers and scientists guiding it from here on Earth.

"I cannot think of a more appropriate place for Opportunity to endure on the surface of Mars than one called Perseverance Valley," said Michael Watkins, director of JPL. "The records, discoveries and sheer tenacity of this intrepid little rover is testament to the ingenuity, dedication, and perseverance of the people who built and guided her."

You can read more here about the Opportunity rover and the end of its mission -- and be sure to watch the video there of its travels, narrated by many of the women and men responsible for its mission, and for the incredible trove of information it sent back.
Recently on Planet Waves FM
History Will Teach Us Nothing

This week, as Eric focuses on finishing your INTELLIGENCE readings, we're offering you a repeat of the Nov. 4, 2018, episode of Planet Waves FM, featuring his interview with Stacy Platt on the reasons why ex-evangelicals left their churches.

Dear Friend and Listener:

This week features the special election edition of Planet Waves FM [play edition here]. I look at two topics sure to be a big hit on Thanksgiving: the astrology of the election, and also of the presidential election of 2020, and the influence of Evangelical religion on American politics.

Planet Waves
Photographer Stacy Platt is our special guest tonight.
The program includes an interview with Stacy Platt, a professor of photography at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. She is doing a project, independent of the university, involving documenting the 400 Evangelical churches in her city.

She is also interviewing people who consider themselves "exvangelicals" -- essentially, refugees of the Christian movement.

You may visit Stacy's website here. There is an invitation to participate in the project.

Housekeeping note: I will be doing a program this Sunday Nov. 11, then taking a break for Thanksgiving. That will include a Bob Dylan-themed show distributed on Thanksgiving Day. I am planning to take two Sunday nights off.

Planet Waves FM is published by Chiron Return, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation, which is part of the Pacifica Radio Network. We are supported by your generous contributions, large and small, which are starting to add up each month and cover the costs of the program.

Thank you for your support. All contributions are fully tax-deductible if you live in the U.S. If you want to be a major donor and sponsor an entire project or staff member, you're welcome to contact me directly.

Chiron Return's projects include Planet Waves FM, The Gemstone File resource for activists and reporters, and the forthcoming Investigative Reporting from the Kitchen Table. The first class will be announced as I finish the annual edition (likely in late winter) and will be called "Reading the News."

Thanks for tuning in.

With love,
Planet Waves
Listen to Vision Quest on Live Stream

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

Our Gifts to You: A Little Something Extra

Dear Friend and Reader:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Continue reading this letter here.

Planet Waves
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Editor's note: although we have no weekly horoscope for you in this issue, keep your eyes peeled for the Monday Morning mailing (which is sent out Sunday night); we'll have a fresh horoscope there for you covering Chiron entering Aries, the Sun entering Pisces, and the Virgo Full Moon.
Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscopes for February were published on Monday, Feb. 4, and are also published below in this issue. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for January on Thursday, Jan. 1. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope after the Sun has entered a new sign.

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