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New York, Tuesday, June 14, 2011

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This is a photo of the Parthenon on the Acropolis in Athens, taken the night of a lunar eclipse. The photo is by Anthony Ayiomamitis, who meets up with the Moon all over Greece. He said he "almost did not go to his proposed shooting location that day. Also, this was probably the fourth attempt (at least) to get this shot just right."
Honey Moon: Make Life, Not Death
By Gary P. Caton

Traditionally, the Full Moon of June is sometimes called the Mead or Honey Moon. This is because after the flowering of the Earth in May, the hives are now full of honey at this time of the year. The honey can be fermented and made into mead, a kind of wine. Traditionally, mead was taken after wedding ceremonies, and weddings were often held in the month of June because it is the month sacred to Juno -- goddess of marriage and sacred contracts. Thus we have the derivation of the term "honeymoon" to denote the period of blissful retreat or escape from normal duties following a new union. Of course, this would also have been a traditional time for making babies.

Planet Waves
The stark lunar surface around the Eratosthenes and Copernicus craters. This photo was taken as the Apollo 17 astronauts orbited the moon in 1972. Image Credit: Apollo 17, NASA.
Astrologically, the most noticeable thing about this Full Moon, besides the fact that it is also a lunar eclipse, is that it is near the Galactic Center. Eric has done a great job of paying attention to this very sensitive and powerful point, which basically looks into the navel of the Milky Way. The technical terminology for this area of the sky is the intersection of the Galactic Equator, the imaginary line running through the length of the Milky Way, and the Ecliptic, the imaginary line that the Sun, Moon and all the planets move along. Intersections like this are a big deal in astrology, forming a kind of crossroads which have the potential for a lot more action than other quieter stretches of the celestial highways.

Another such intersection is where we find the lunar nodes. The lunar nodes represent the intersection points of the path of the Moon and the path of the Sun. This is why we have eclipses when there are lunations near the nodes, because the Sun and Moon are perfectly aligned in three dimensions. Currently the nodes are transiting through the signs of Gemini and Sagittarius, so the eclipses are happening when the Sun and Moon transit these signs together. This lunar eclipse is happening with the Moon near its own North Node, also known as the ascending node, meaning it’s where the Moon crosses the Sun's path in an upward fashion. Think of this as something like when the Sun crosses the plane of the horizon at dawn -- it represents a new beginning.

Another way to think of it is in terms of input/output. The lunar nodes have been called "the head and tail of the dragon," for in myth eclipses were seen as the result of a demonic serpent swallowing the heavenly orb. The North Node represents the head of the dragon, and therefore something being taken in or ingested, as opposed to something being released or excreted at the South Node, or tail of the dragon. Thus, it is the nature of a North Node eclipse to bring something new into awareness.

When we put these two things together, the Galactic Center and a North Node lunar eclipse, what we basically have is two different kinds of intersections coming together. So this is like one of those huge intersections near a big city where you can go many different directions. We all know what that feels like. It can be confusing and stressful if you haven't been there before or don't know what to expect. The good news is that we have been here before and it wasn't that long ago at all.

Planet Waves
A color mosaic of Earth's Moon created by the assembly of 18 images taken by the Galileo spacecraft imaging system. Galileo surveyed the moon on Dec. 7, 1992, while on its way to explore the Jupiter system in 1995-1997. Image Credit: NASA/JPL/USGS.
Remember the total lunar eclipse that happened near the previous solstice? Well that eclipse was basically the polar opposite of this one because it happened in opposition to the Galactic Center, in the last degree of Gemini. Then when Mercury crossed the degree opposite that eclipse, near the Galactic Center, we had the media circus around Ophiuchus. I'm sure everyone remembers that nonsense about your sign changing. To briefly re-cap the fundamentals: constellations are not signs. They are different systems entirely. The constellations move in the backdrop of the sky; the signs remain aligned with the Earth. Therefore, unless you have raptured and/or died and been instantly reincarnated, your sign cannot and will not change. These obvious facts were obfuscated in an attempt to generate a media frenzy. And it worked. There is a really powerful lesson in understanding why it worked so well. Basically it was an appeal to our anxiety around death.

If we look at the constellations surrounding this patch of sky near the Galactic Center, they are all about different forms of death: the archer is our power to deliver death, the scorpion is our powerlessness over death, the snake handler (Ophiuchus) is our power to transmute deadly energy, and Aquila the eagle represents the power to soar above and see beyond death. As I noted before, unless or until you literally die and are reincarnated, then your sign is not going to change (and even then, your sign and chart for this incarnation continue to work). So to suddenly up and tell people that their sign may have changed is just another way of saying you may be dying or the world may be coming to an end. I doubt that those who pulled off the hoax analyzed it this way. It's sensationalism, pure and simple, but it works because it triggers the fears lurking in the darkest depths of our psyche. What happens when we die? No one knows for sure. It is an unanswerable question that we nonetheless desperately crave an answer for.

I believe the source of this craving is that deep inside we do indeed know the answer, but like children we simply aren't confident enough to be with this knowing without having some external validation. And we are constantly confronted with the boogeyman in various forms to keep us from this knowing and in a place of fear where we can be manipulated. The truth is that from the earliest documented writings on clay tablets, every civilization which Western astrology comes from -- the Mesopotamians, Egyptians, Greeks, Arabs and Romans -- all share one simple idea: the stars and wandering planets are our links to the gods and immortality. If you accept the basic tenet of modern astrology, that your chart is a map of your psyche and/or your soul, then it takes only one small step further to understand the truth. We do not have stars, we are stars.

As Joni Mitchell reminded us in her song about Woodstock, we are quite literally made of stardust. All the heavy elements, including carbon, are created in the last gasp of a star's life and then strewn across the Universe in a supernova explosion. Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins wrote another great song about this on their last album, Zeitgeist. In the song Starz, he asks: "Born of love and cast in light, don't you know we cannot die? We are stars. We are." Corgan not surprisingly is into astrology. I saw on his Twitter feed that he knows he is triple mutable with Sun in Pisces, Moon in Gemini and ascendant in Virgo. One theme of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) is endings and transitions. Right now here in the Northern Hemisphere, the spring quarter is about to end as the summer quarter begins. As we arrive at this great celestial crossroads, the question then is: What attitude toward endings do we bring with us? Do we view them as completions, which all contain the inevitable beginnings to follow?

What if, when confronted with death anxiety in any of its various forms, we responded not as timid sheep, easily manipulated, but rather as if we are stars? What if we understood the eternal nature of existence? What would that look like? Rather than clinging to the past and resisting or denying change, what if we dove into the cycle of existence, saying essentially: What's the next adventure? What will I create myself into next? True, this involves making friends with the unknown; seeing the potential of the unknown. That's a good thing to do because there is so darned much of it to go around. In this sense, the fear of letting go and of change translates to the fear of life and of existence, and embracing movement and curiosity about the future translates to diving into existence, and trusting it. If we could see that, then the choice would seem obvious.

Aries, Taurus, Gemini 2011 Birthday Reports Available

Dear Friend and Reader:

I'm happy to let you know that birthday readings (also called solar return charts) are available for Aries, Taurus and Gemini. These are approximately one-hour readings that cover the astrology of 2011 and into early 2012 in depth. These are entirely different readings from those you may have read in Light Bridge, but they build on some of the themes I introduced in the 2011 annual.

Then each sign gets a tarot reading, which gives an alternate take on the information, speaks a more intuitive language and provides a cross-check with the information that came out of the astrology. These are spiritually rich, practical, easy-to-grasp readings that offer the best of my astrology knowledge in a personal format.

Here are brief descriptions of the three signs:

Aries (March 20-April 19)
ARIES -- This is the first full solar year with Uranus in your birth sign. With this you have some amazing opportunities for personal reinvention, as well as special challenges in your relationships. You may be growing faster than the people around you; certainly you feel more restless and eager to meet the challenges of life. Also at the time of your birthday there was an astonishing alignment of planets in your sign. All of this speaks to unusual new potential -- and a lot of energy. This reading offers suggestions for how to be in your relationships, whether personal or working, with all of this energy charging up in you like a battery. Purchasing information is here.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)
TAURUS -- Jupiter has entered your sign and will be there through mid-2012. This is big news for Taurus, allowing you to broaden your perspective, providing many fresh ideas and opportunities. Jupiter is making contact with many planets, which gives you the ability to access those energies and bring them into your consciousness. The Taurus New Moon around your birthday was on fire, one of those events that spun the world on its finger. Between such a potent solar return chart and the presence of Jupiter, you have the ability to create anything you sincerely desire. This reading guides you to a depth of understanding of your potential, and offers suggestions for how to manifest it in reality. Purchasing information is here.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)
GEMINI -- Eclipses have moved into the Gemini-Sagittarius axis, which is about you and the people close to you. Eclipses in your sign and opposite sign present special challenges, opportunities and the need for balance. This is an unusual time in your life wherein you can resolve old karma, let go of old patterns of thought, heal any inner divisions that have been slowing you down, and come into balance with those you love. An eclipse in your opposite sign, Sagittarius, allows you to let go of what some call 'ego' or personality baggage and be especially clear in your relationships, as well as in harmony with yourself. Purchasing information is here.

Taurus tarot spread using the Voyager deck by James Wanless.
Each comes with a photograph of the tarot spread, using the Voyager Tarot by James Wanless. These tarot readings were one of the most popular features of the birthday audio series last year, and I love doing them -- a rare opportunity for me to do tarot at Planet Waves. James, by the way, is a friend of Planet Waves and will soon be a guest on my podcast. He will be introducing his new deck -- it's called the "Sustain Yourself" deck and handbook. You can read about it on his homepage. In addition, in each of the birthday reports there are links to discounted offers for Light Bridge (the 2011 personal readings from Planet Waves, all 12 signs), as well as discounted links to last year's solar return in case you missed that.

I trust that you will find this information helpful and useful. I recognize these are not personal readings, but I bring the best of my talent and communication ability to tell the story of your sign in a way that is personally relevant: a kind of mythical fiction that weaves a story I trust you will relate to and draw nourishment from.

Thank you for doing your metaphysical shopping at Planet Waves.

Eric Francis
PS: Each report comes with a copy of Light Bridge: The 25-Year Span, an e-book collection of my favorite articles since 1987.

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