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Feisty young women protesting for "religious freedom" today (albeit based on a complete misunderstanding of the concept) have no idea what their mothers and grandmothers went through to get the modest rights that women currently have, such as the right to own property or work without the consent of their husbands. In the 1970s a woman could be turned down for a bank loan for being of child-bearing age -- with no other disqualifications present. I have been analyzing this photo all week and keep noticing the hashtag #womenincontrol -- as if sexuality is associated with being out of control, rather than reproductive rights being associated with the right of women to control their own bodies. Photo by Doug Mills for The New York Times.
Supreme Court Rules: No Sex for Fun

Dear Friend and Reader:

On one level, people get it.

If the Supreme Court can rule that a for-profit corporation can ignore a federal mandate to provide health insurance that includes birth control coverage to women based on an ethical objection, then the government must respect everyone's ethical values.

This is called Equal Protection Under the Law. American law, by its own mandate, applies to everyone equally, that is, to all persons similarly situated. Therefore, the court has affirmed everyone's rights to freedom of religion, the core idea of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) of 1993 that it affirmed in Monday's ruling in the infamous Hobby Lobby case. RFRA is one of those Clinton/Gingrich-era laws, similar to the now-defunct Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), laws that were designed to kiss up to right-wing voters.

Planet Waves
Internet meme by comedian Ron Beau.
It warmed my Quaker heart to see memes go around the Internet linking the court's ruling to someone who refuses to pay taxes out of objection to war. If the Ten Commandments are clear about one thing, it is "thou shalt not kill." And if war is not moral, it's no more ethical to pay someone (using my tax dollars) to go in my place.

On another level, people get how hypocritical it is for five Roman Catholic men to decide that a for-profit corporation has "religious freedom" and thus the right to deny insurance coverage for birth control for women.

If their loyalty to the Pope superseded their commitment to the Constitution, they should have recused themselves from the case. Back in 1960 when John F. Kennedy was the first Roman Catholic presidential candidate, people claimed to worry that his loyalty would be to the Vatican and not to his oath of office. So much for that.

Others have noted that the birth control methods in question are not forms of abortion, which is the supposed moral basis of the objection by Hobby Lobby. An IUD (intrauterine device) does not terminate a pregnancy and an unimplanted zygote is not a fetus -- but who cares; while we're denying global warming we may as well deny biology. Nobody who has gone through Abstinence Only indoctrination will care.

Now a Corporation Can Legally Have Religious Views

In Monday's ruling in the Burwell v. Hobby Lobby case, the Supreme Court did too many weird things to write about in one article, but among them was to grant the notion of a religious conscience to a profit-making corporate entity. I think I'm going to found a church called the Congregation of the Corporations, of which Planet Waves, Inc. will be the ordained minister. Our headquarters will be in Delaware and we will baptize other companies in a pool of fresh, pure money.

There is a long history of corporations gaining personhood rights (dating back to 1819, but especially to an extremely dicey 1886 case called Santa Clara County v. Southern Pacific Railroad), and yet currently we are in one of its most formative moments. And throughout American history there has also been a long tradition of people objecting to laws on religious grounds, but until this time, no for-profit corporation has been granted such a right.

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Corporations cannot have a conscience; they are a "legal fiction." So if they have a conscience, it must be fictional. Their actual role is to shield people from liability and to make a profit. That purpose often defies ethics and conscience, which is why most of the atrocities of the world are committed in the name of a corporation.

So instead of having ethics, they are supposed to follow the law. Now a corporation gets to defy the law based on its supposed religion. As if this were not absurd enough, many have noted that while it's been busy objecting to birth control for its employees, Hobby Lobby has $75 million invested in pension funds that hold stock in companies that manufacture the very birth control methods they claim to object to the most.

So much for morality. This isn't illegal but it's another example of unvarnished hypocrisy, so brazen as to presume the public and the justices of the court are fools.

The social and legal issues peel off of this case in layers. Those who made the connection to the court's ruling last week striking down the 35-foot safety perimeter around abortion clinics are getting closer to the heart of the matter. Everyone else gets a perimeter -- delegates at political conventions, people attending military funerals and the Supreme Court itself -- but women going for reproductive health care can now legally be accosted by protesters holding pictures of fetuses, or who can call them murderers because the protesters have "free speech" rights.

In the Hobby Lobby ruling, the court determined that a corporation could object to providing something on religious grounds -- as long as that something is birth control for women. Nothing else, the court's majority claimed, is included. We shall see how long that holds up.

It's hard to miss the hypocrisy of this, especially since people of every religion and no religion at all work for the company. You don't need to be a legal scholar to see that it's not really religious freedom if you get to force your religion on others, especially with the power of a court order. If there is one thing that religious freedom is not, this is the thing.

The Rule to Which Everything Else is the Exception

Following along with the story of modern civilization, the court has just issued two rulings where sex is the rule and everything else is the exception. This is so prevalent as to be invisible.

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In organizing, this is called "linking the issues."
The most normal biological function of them all, the one that leads to all the others because it sometimes leads to birth, is sex. But everywhere you go, sex (I don't mean glam and I don't mean sexy, I mean actual sex) is excluded from normal conversation and from inclusion in everyday life.

You can illustrate anything you want on the Internet, but you would be amazed what arduous rules one must follow to publish photos of sex, including hiring a full-time employee to sit next to the proof-of-age file, Monday to Friday, 9 to 5, just in case someone in the government wants to see it.

We have free speech -- but not about sex, because with sex, for some reason that few people question and even fewer people understand, the rules are different. We are supposed to be honest, which is part of being in integrity. Yet in any discussion involving sex, many or most people believe they are automatically exempt from telling the truth, so that they can appear to be in integrity. Often this is done based on supposedly religious grounds.

Sex education used to be considered common sense; now in many places basic biological information is excluded, and supplanted with attempted brainwashing about abstinence, which almost always backfires.

But there's another layer to this that may not be so obvious. In its lawsuit, Hobby Lobby's lawyers argued, the government would be making them commit a sin by allowing women employees access to birth control. In a scathing dissent or minority opinion, Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg wrote, "Any decision to use contraceptives made by a woman covered under Hobby Lobby's or Conestoga's plan will not be propelled by the Government, it will be the woman's autonomous choice, informed by the physician she consults." This may be the first dissenting opinion to go viral.

Birth Control Started the Sexual Revolution

I know you probably know this already, but someone else may not, so I will do my usual thing that I do with sex, which is translate into plain talk.

Someone who uses a birth control device of some kind wants to have sex purely for fun. Hobby Lobby can stand on its head and spin like a break dancer claiming they object to birth control, but what they object to is sex for fun, especially if it's women who are having the fun. (From what I have read, their insurance plans cover vasectomies and Viagra.)

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They could never say that out loud. It would be too ridiculous. So instead, they dressed up the argument in morality and pseudo-science, took up the flag and the cross, and marched into court espousing their unbending principles.

Women who use birth control devices want to be more sexually free. If there was one thing that sparked the sexual revolution of the Sixties, it was the introduction of the birth control pill in 1960.

Women are often left with the responsibility for children created by sex, and the pill was the first development that gave them an option not to conceive a child, and thus opened up the potential for sexual freedom.

Nobody could rationally object to a natural biological act on purely scientific or ethical grounds. There is no compelling governmental or corporate interest that could be openly argued. The objection would have to be based in some form of religious moralism. That is exactly what we just saw happen. Ultimately, any anti-sex value is hypocritical for a wide variety of reasons, but usually because such a value is defied by the actions or desires of the person who holds it. It's usually a defensive position designed to cover what someone believes is their own sin. We have no idea, really, what the Hobby Lobbyists do in bed. If they want to seem more honest, they should give us a detailed account, if anyone would be interested in hearing about it.

When religious moralism is taken to the level of a government fiat, that is called theocracy, or rule by religion. The reason that the U.S. Constitution includes not just one but two distinct prohibitions on merging religion and government is that religion is not rational.

In religion, God created the world in seven days. People walk on water and turn loaves into fishes and prescribe the death penalty for homosexuality and for eating lobster in the same paragraph. In religion there are four horsemen and seven seals and fire wheels burning in the sky. God manifests as the emperor, as an angel impregnating a young girl, as a carpenter, as a chariot driver, as an old man in the sky who kills people or puts them through arduous, senseless tests to prove how much they love God for putting them through all that misery because he loves them so much.

The United States as a Theocracy

This is all symbolically rich and it's excellent fodder for literature class and metaphysical study -- but you cannot use it to run a society, especially one that consists of hundreds of millions of people of many different faiths, including atheists, skeptics and the Church of the Subgenius. It's not possible to run an advanced society on religious law. If we want a test run, look at the ongoing centuries-long battles between the Shia and the Sunnis, or the battle between Catholics and Protestants that left 22,000 people dead in one day.

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The Hobby Lobby decision reversed an earlier decision, written by Scalia -- which denied two people the right to take peyote as part of a religious ritual. (That ruling by the Supreme Court prompted Congress to pass the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.) Scalia voted in favor of Hobby Lobby, going against one of his own prior rulings.
However, there is an American political movement that thinks it is -- the Dominionists. They have a vision for the United States of America. If you're wondering about all of the verging-on-psychotic pronouncements of Republican candidates during the past several federal election cycles; or the prayer meeting in a Texas football stadium, hosted by a presidential candidate, purportedly to heal the United States; or inserting into a presidential election dialog the idea that homosexuality can be cured, that is Dominionism.

If you're wondering why Republican (and later President) George H.W. and Barbara Bush could sing the praises of Planned Parenthood, but now every Republican candidate must be vehemently against abortion (and often, against birth control), that is Dominionism.

If you are wondering why every Republican candidate has to act and look like a holy roller and espouse a platform of moral purity, that is Dominionism, also called Christian nationalism. The movement in its current form dates back to the Reagan campaign of 1980, when Republicans realized they had an organizing base that could utilize churches as political clubhouses.

It is similar to Tammany Hall-style politics, where one special interest takes over the whole government and tries to run society on its terms. However, it's a special interest that involves deep and usually unquestioned beliefs. It is a special interest that has people convinced they can go to hell for all eternity. At least Tammany Hall would hold a keg party on July 4 (with beer served after many long speeches about the glory of government).

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It seems like the Roman Catholics on the Supreme Court -- and it is astonishing that all five votes for Hobby Lobby were cast by men of one religion, the one that has made an issue out of birth control for decades -- have picked up on another agenda, an agenda not entirely their own but which is a convenient fit.

In her 2006 book Kingdom Coming, author Michelle Goldberg explains the rise of Christian nationalism in the United States. Michael Farris is one of its founders. According to the author, he is the man who did most of the work lobbying for home schooling in all 50 states, in order to allow fundamentalist Christians to get their kids out of godless public schools. I've only recently become aware that this is the purpose of most home schooling.

Farris explains American politics as follows. "There are two worldviews that are very much in conflict right now, especially in Washington, DC," he is quoted as saying, the first being Judeo-Christian. "It starts with God as the creator, but then it also protects life, it's about traditional marriage, one man one woman. On the other side, you have secular humanism, which starts with man as the center of things. There are no absolute standards, it's all morally relative, anything goes as long as it has to do with sex.”

What he is saying is that the main thing that Christian political activists must attack in order to concentrate their power, first and foremost, are sex-positive attitudes. This is an astonishing admission from one of the leaders of the movement -- that sexual freedom is their most important political enemy and thus organizing platform. The freedom to have access to affordable birth control would certainly qualify.

And the freedom to have abortion on demand would also qualify. Abortion rights are growing thin many places, particularly in the southern United States (especially in Texas and Oklahoma), where politicians are refusing to honor an established and fundamental right.

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Someday, the Supreme Court will rule that people are people.
My take is that the conservative quintet on the Supreme Court is not going to stop with birth control. I believe that these two recent rulings are a warning that they are going to go for Roe v. Wade as well.

Many people know they would never have an abortion and do not personally endorse the practice. Because abortion itself is so upsetting, being anti-abortion is conflated with being anti-choice. However, there is an important reason to remain pro-choice and to make sure that a Democrat is elected in 2016, for the sole purpose of Supreme Court appointments. If abortion is made illegal, then every miscarriage will be a potential murder scene. And that could be you or your daughter. Please do not mistake this for protecting fetuses. It is about one thing only -- controlling women.

The Chart for the Hobby Lobby Decision

Let's do something that would utterly thrill the Dominioninsts, and take a look at the astrology of the Hobby Lobby case. We have an accurate time for the ruling, 10:16 am EDT, reported live by SCOTUSblog. This is important because many Supreme Court rulings are issued in June at about 10 am, where the ascendant is very close to the Leo-Virgo line. [For one implication of that, see my recent article on Roe v. Wade.] This chart has Virgo rising. That means we need to look at Mercury -- in half a moment.

Planet Waves
Hobby Lobby decision, timed by SCOTUSblog.
Virgo rising means Pisces is on the 7th house cusp -- the environment and relationship angle. There we find Nessus, Neptune, Chiron and Borasisi. You could not have a better illustration of a cloud of confusion raised around issues of sexuality, sexual abuse, morality, medication and religion. It's all there.

The most important thing to watch is Neptune, which is cautioning that things are not what they seem. When Neptune is present, you can look right at something and all you see is your own projection into the fog.

As for the ruler of the Virgo ascendant, an essential planet in any event chart because it talks about the issue itself: that is Mercury, which is in an interesting condition in this chart. Mercury stationed direct about 22 hours after this decision came out. At the time of the ruling, it was about to reverse directions -- into direct motion. This implies that there will be a backlash and that the decision may be reversed at some point. We are already starting to see the blowback -- there are a lot of ways to understand why this decision is just wrong, and many of them are being discussed openly. The bald hypocrisy is impossible to miss.

Mercury is trine the North Node, suggesting that a lot of people are influenced by this decision. As the chart develops over the next two years, the trine will become more exact and influence more people.

Looking closely at Mercury's aspects to minor planets, it is exactly opposite a cluster in late Sagittarius that we've talked about many times -- important new minor planet discoveries that are currently grouped around the Galactic Core. The Galactic Core is shorthand for "far-reaching implications" -- especially where social policy is concerned. The Galactic Core describes the scale of this decision, on issues that have nothing to do with the topic at hand. It creates an opening that can be used both to litigate and legislate the Dominionist agenda, plus anything else that might fall under the Law of Unintended Consequences.

Planet Waves
Minor planets clustered around Mercury on a 90-degree sort. You may notice many more themes than I mentioned, such as fertility themes associated with Makemake. Planets cast in Click for full list.
One of those minor planets is Quaoar, a dependable significator of family issues. Half a degree away is Hylonome, which is often described as being about grief and which is also about the anguish of poor people. Mercury opposite these two points suggests there's a lot of potential for this decision to cause significant problems -- or to reflect people's own plight back to themselves.

Looking at another basic factor, the Moon is applying in a square to Saturn. This indicates some mix of inner confrontation and reflection. There is a pause. In Leo and closely aspecting the Aries Point, there is an indication that this could get the attention of a lot of women. Yet there is an element of pride that must be confronted, described by the Leo Moon. That is likely to be the false pride of alleged moral (sexual) purity, a burden Christianity loves to dump on women.

Speaking of women, let's consider Venus -- one of the most intriguing planets in this chart. Associated with all things female, in this chart Venus happens to rule the 10th house -- the government. Venus is associated with Taurus (where the 10th cusp is) but is located in Gemini.

It has significance by being the most elevated traditional planet in the chart (that is called accidental dignity). Speaking of tradition, Venus is conjunct Juno, which is about traditional (often dysfunctional) relationships. We definitely have an illustration of just that concept in the court's decision. There is a notion that the only purpose of sex, from the female point of view, is to make babies in marriage. This concept, now visible, is asking to be questioned.

In Gemini, Venus (or any planet) is about checking both sides of the story -- or alternate versions of the story. (Remember, the same thing is true of Mercury in Gemini.) With Venus so prominent in the house of government, we might ask ourselves about what happened to the Equal Rights Amendment -- the one that was not ratified into the Constitution, despite having been introduced in 1923 and having passed both houses of Congress in 1972. How exactly did that go down? How could an amendment that merely said, "Equality of rights under the law shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex," not be adopted by the people?

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg is the author of the first Supreme Court dissenting opinion to go viral on the Internet.
Even if a small fraction of men were in favor of it (and many more than that supported it), it could have passed. But a movement was organized called Stop ERA, headed by Phyllis Schlafly, along with the National Council of Catholic Women, both of which defended traditional gender roles. This conservative organizing of women is credited with killing the ERA.

Looking closely at minor planets aspects, Venus is conjunct a planet I have not mentioned before -- Altjira. This is a slow-mover (296-year orbit) named for the Aboriginal god of the dreamtime. Altjira is the shapeshifter, the one who can take many forms. So we have the image of something that changes, as if before our eyes. When shapeshifting is involved, you must question what you see, and ask what it is.

Venus is also conjunct Sisyphus. This is about doing, or perhaps enduring, something that is pointless, over and over again. (A similar theme appears as a matter of politics with Apollo square Pallas.) Gleaming out of the top of this chart, we have the image of something that represents the government, and which shapeshifts. We don't know whether whatever Venus represents is really female (in Gemini it could be any sex or gender). There is an illusion involved. The illusion may involve the use of women and women's issues as political tools, ones that keep changing form, and are often used to the detriment of women.

It has not been 100 years since American women won the right to vote in 1920. Young women and girls alive today have little concept of what women of the 20th century -- their mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers -- went through to build the modestly egalitarian world we live in today. The concept of feminism is gradually, or perhaps rapidly, being erased from culture.

Yet one thing is clear from what the current Supreme Court is doing. If women do not get their act together politically, and collectively confront the issues of fertility and sexuality, by the time the centennial celebration rolls around, the right to vote will be the only one that's left. And by then it won't be especially meaningful.


Additional Research: Shelley Stearns.

Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday morning and Thursday afternoon in Kingston, New York by Planet Waves, Inc. Annual basic subscription rate: $99/year. Core community membership: $149/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Business Manager: Chelsea Bottinelli. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Copy Editor: Jessica Keet. Research, Writing and Editing: Planet Waves is produced by a team consisting of Fe Bongolan, Brendan Merritt, Amy Elliott, Judith Gayle, Kelly Janes, Elizabeth Michaud, Amanda Moreno, Amanda Painter, Casey Smith, Carol van Strum, Len Wallick, Lizanne Webb and Chad Woodward. Special thanks to the Fact Checkers List, and to our main astrology fact-checker Alex Miller, and Amanda, who goes over all their suggestions. Aunt Josie Forever!

"A nation under a well regulated government, should permit none to remain uninstructed. It is monarchical and aristocratical government only that requires ignorance for its support."

-- Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1792

"If desire causes suffering, it may be because we do not desire wisely, or that we are inexpert at obtaining what we desire. Instead of hiding our heads in a prayer cloth and building walls against temptation, why not get better at fulfilling desire? Salvation is for the feeble, that is what I think. I don't want salvation, I want life, all of life, the miserable as well as the superb. If the gods would tax ecstasy, then I shall pay; however, I shall protest their taxes at every opportunity, and if Woden or Shiva or Buddha or that Christian fellow-- what's his name?-- cannot respect that, then I'll accept their wrath. At least I will have tasted the banquet that they have spread before me on this rich, round planet, rather than recoiling from it like a toothless bunny. I cannot believe that the most delicious things were placed here merely to test us, to tempt us, to make it more difficult for us to capture the grand prize: the safety of the void. To fashion of life such a petty game is unworthy of both men and gods."

-- Tom Robbins, Jitterbug Perfume, 1984

Planet Waves

There are still a few Planet Waves subscribers who have not experienced The Mars Effect. Well, you have definitely experienced the astrology, but not necessarily the readings that will help you make sense of what has happened the past six months.

Since the year is about half-over, we're making it available for half-price for all 12 signs. If you are a customer of my birthday readings (solar return readings), some differentiation might help. The Mars Effect readings are a distinctly different experience of astrology compared to the solar return readings. In a sense they are my first in-depth observations about the astrology of the signs for the year, which lay the foundation for everything else I do -- the horoscopes, the articles, the birthday readings and the seasonal readings. 

These readings are the deepest layers, presented in both extended written and audio format. One great thing about this package is that you can jump from your Sun sign to your rising sign to your Moon sign to partners' signs in one setup. The audio works for any player or computer and is downloadable into iTunes. The music is by Gary Lucas, musical mentor to Jeff Buckley. 

Planet Waves

A creative approach to Sun opposite Pluto
"If Judge Zweibel, Cyrus Vance or Michael Bloomberg set out to make an example out of me to dissuade dissent, this has had exact opposite impact. I am absolutely and further committed to fighting for rights and freedoms that I did not even realize had been eroded to the extent they had."

-- Cecily McMillan, Occupy activist released from Riker's Island on Wednesday.
As mentioned yesterday, the Sun opposes Pluto Friday and begins a square to Uranus that is exact Tuesday, July 8. Said another way, the Sun is moving through the Uranus-Pluto square, evoking our experience of the cardinal grand cross that has been following us around for the past few seasons. While it's necessary to look at this as one aspect, it's also helpful to take it in parts, and Sun-Pluto is one of them. Notably, this aspect is present in the solar return (birthday) chart for the United States, covered in the current Planet Waves FM toward the end.

If you look this aspect up in astrology textbooks as a natal aspect or Pluto opposite the Sun transit, you won't like it much. The reason it's associated with power struggles, waged as if life or death were on the line, is that most people need to be told what to do. You can hardly blame them -- it's the only thing we're rewarded for in school, starting in nursery school and for many people, continuing through menial jobs and extending all the way through advanced degrees where you must do the dance or not get your reward at the end. Yet really we humans crave more self-direction than that, and so a power struggle is the seemingly 'natural' result.

It is for this reason that Pluto transits (and transits of other potent slow-movers like Chiron) must be read along with the evolutionary condition of the person or entity involved. The upcoming Sun-Pluto opposition is asking, how autonomous are you? How self-motivated, self-organized and self-aware are you? How well are you able to respond to your environment and function in a way that is both appropriate and expressive? We're all aware of the "tell me what to do/what to think" phenomenon. We have all seen others give away their power and then have it used against them -- and most of us have experienced this directly. The Sun-Pluto contact will serve as a demonstration of where you're at with these things. It's also a great opportunity to discover and focus your creative power -- even if some apparently outer circumstance seems to compel you to do it.

Planet Waves

Planet Waves
"If they find it, they'll play with it." Discovering your child playing 'swordfight' with your sex toys might be momentarily embarrassing, but you'll recover quickly enough; the same can't always be said when kids find other adult items that should be stored carefully out of harm's way. Image: video still.
Annie, Get Your… (Ahem).

Evolve, a group dedicated to "making gun safety and responsibility just as important as the right that preceded it," has created one of the most arrestingly funny gun safety videos around.
In a country that seems to prize gun rights above a woman's right to sexual health, the ad is impressive both for its message and for its comic brilliance.
Evolve states on its website, "When a seemingly uncontroversial word like safety becomes politicized, it's no wonder it feels like nothing can get done."

We could say the same about the seemingly uncontroversial words 'sex', 'sexual health' and 'women's health'. Those terms have become so politicized, it often feels like nothing can be done; or worse, that we're actually moving backwards. We’ll have to take the long view -- as in, visualize exactly where the succession of recent laws and Supreme Court decisions are heading -- and keep pressing forward in very active ways to make sure we don’t end up there. It may take some creativity to get the point across, just like this brilliant little public service announcement. Along with some real hands-on action.

Planet Waves

Mercury Direct, the Hobby Lobby Decision and the USA Chart

Planet Waves FM is presented without commercial interruption, sponsored exclusively by our subscribers and our Core Community members -- that would be you.

In this week's edition of Planet Waves FM, I cover Mercury direct, the Hobby Lobby decision and the United States Sibly chart. The decision came out immediately before Mercury stationing direct -- about 23 hours before. This suggests that there is, at least, going to be an unexpected backlash, and that the decision might be reversed. This will certainly be an issue used to galvanize women in the coming two federal elections.

Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes -- and our Publishing Schedule Notes

We published your extended monthly horoscopes for July on Thursday, June 26. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for June  Friday, May 23. We also published an Inner Space horoscope for July Tuesday, June 24. Please note, we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.

Planet Waves

Weekly Horoscope for Thursday, July 3, 2014, #1005 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Aries (March 20-April 19) -- If you want to tap an energy source that will get you moving, let it come from a deep place. Ideas and insights will not suffice. They are helpful and you have a lot to say these days. But that is merely the wind above the tide. The tide, the moving water, is what you want to carry you. This is not about emoting but rather about feeling your strength as inner presence, as confidence and as freedom from the usual array of security issues that are so abundant these days. Your next major decision is not the usual 'leap without looking' endeavor. Rather, there are additional points of grounding and of confirmation available that will confirm that you're making the right choice. One of those is harmony between the inner and the outer environments, which can flow seamlessly into one another. If there is conflict between what you feel and your external feedback -- for example, emotional resistance from others -- pause and investigate what that is about.
"I thought those readings were meant just for me" is how so many MARS EFFECT customers have felt, it's a testament to just how intimate, beautiful and uncannily personal these written and audio readings truly are. Now you can access all 12 signs for $39 (half price) -- an incredible value for more than a year's worth of insights into all facets of your life, and into the lives of those closest to you.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)
Taurus (April 19-May 20) -- One definition of 'true love' that I would propose is the ability to love oneself in the presence of another person. Most of what we call true love is the seemingly direct transaction: I love you and you love me. There's a more complex dynamic at play, which seems to be about how we feel about ourselves in the presence of others. I think that as we find a path out of the current dark maze that our society calls love, the self-acceptance factor is the one to look out for. It reverses the notion of love from something that is projected and introjected into something that is admitted to be an inner experience. No matter what may be going on outside you, your entire experience of life is mediated by your mind, your feelings, your perceptions. I suggest you test this logic -- instead of 'how much does he/she love me?' consider that the question is 'how do I feel about myself when I am with you?'
"OMG the Mars Effect -- I don't really have words yet. Finally I've won the Lotto!" -- Planet Waves reader Gary. Your luck just got even better: the written and audio MARS EFFECT readings are available for half price ($39 for all 12 signs), making it easy to access winning insights for your Sun, Moon and rising signs (and those of loved ones) immediately.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)
Gemini (May 20-June 21) -- Now that Mercury has stationed direct in your sign, you can see how quickly the tide can turn. What made no sense, or was frustrating your best efforts, can suddenly run smoothly. Completely bungled communications can seem to sort themselves out. Seemingly intractable problems can unravel. You might ask how this happens. You might ask what factors of your own consciousness contribute to your perception of problems that may not even exist. There is, however, one matter that is calling for immediate focus. If the question involves sex, then the underlying matter relates to health. If everyone is healthy, there really is no issue. If the matter involves money, make sure you sort out the motives of the people involved and see whose intentions are self-serving and related to power, and whose intentions relate to taking care of others. You cannot change people but it always helps to know who they are.
Mercury has finally stationed direct in your sign, yet there's a highly unusual grouping of planets working their way across your relationship angle, and the planet Chaos could feel like a creative stirring -- or more like confusion. Focus your mind and get your bearings on your solar year with your 2014 GEMINI BIRTHDAY READING, available now for $39.95. Also included is a tarot reading, access to the recorded Q&A session with Eric, and more.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)
Cancer (June 21-July 22) -- The Sun's alignment with Pluto is giving you the confidence to meet a certain person in a direct, bold and confident way. They may seem like they have more power or influence than you, though I assure you it does not feel that way to them. You are very likely to seem the more confident person in the dynamic, and if you don't remember that you won't understand why someone you perceive as powerful or confident does not seem to be acting that way. In fact if you notice the things they say that hint at how invisible they feel, and take that as a clue, you will make progress on clear communication with them. Remember, though, that you may feel like they have inordinate influence over you, such as in the sexual realm, and they are unlikely to register this fact. To them you seem bolder, brighter, more visible and full of vitality. Keep that in mind and things will make a lot more sense.
Your birthday reading is now published! You may still be getting yourself turned the right way 'round now that Mercury is direct and will be returning to Cancer soon; consider your 2014 CANCER BIRTHDAY READING to be a proactive, meditative, empathic alternative to hiding in your shell or turning the mood-o-meter up to 11. Order now for $39.95, and you'll get two segments of astrology, a tarot reading, access to a live Q&A session with Eric, and more.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) -- Don't fall for the sensation of being lost. Choose any one point of orientation and that feeling will disappear. That might be work. It might be your health. It might be your family. If you have one focused motive or intention, your other priorities will fall into their correct place. You cannot sort them all out at once, or take care of everything at once. It will be simple enough to put things in order, once you know your first priority. In reality, all of the subjects I've described are related; it's really a matter of emphasis what you call it. While you're prioritizing, I suggest you comb through the events of the past six months and notice whether you're still responding to life in ways that may have been appropriate much earlier in the year. Many things are about to change in your life, and it will help immensely if you keep your focus on the present and the future. You may not know it yet, but the past really is gone.
Right now you can get the best-selling MARS EFFECT annual readings for half-price (only $39 for all twelve signs). These written and audio readings offer relationship and career insights throughout the year for your Sun, rising and Moon signs -- and those of your loved ones. "After listening to it at least four times I always hear new aspects and I feel it helps me greatly in making sense of my very turbulent inner life" -- Michelle, Planet Waves reader.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) -- Mercury, the planet associated with your sign, has returned to direct motion in the angle of your chart associated with your professional activities and reputation. You may discover that a long series of developments that made no sense, or that seemed to work to your disadvantage, have put you in a position of distinct advantage. You need to think in a clear strategy. Your plan cannot merely be about how to achieve your goals. That would be easy enough. Rather, you need to achieve your goals and make sure that you don't do any damage; that you work with others and build relationships for the future; that you learn and know what you are learning. What you're experiencing is on one level a political exercise. It's about fostering mutual cooperation. The person who brings this idea into the equation is the one who is helping pioneer a future where we go beyond winners and losers, and where the game is about everyone coming out ahead.
Looking at your life and wondering how half the year went by in such a colorful blur? "Turn the dial on the kaleidoscope of life," as one reader put it, and clarify your view with the MARS EFFECT readings, now available for half price: $39 for all 12 signs. See how the patterns align through the interrelated facets of your life (and the lives of those your hold dear) as you co-create the rest of your year and beyond.

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) -- You seem ready to attempt something that in the past would have had you shaking at the knees. However, you've come a long way since then, and you've come a long way the past couple of months. You can question whether you're confident enough. You can question whether you're ready. You can question whether you're standing on a solid foundation. But the only way to answer those questions is through experience. Experience will require that you actually assert yourself -- or rather, that you continue to do so, because Mars in your sign for the past seven months has done a lot for your initiative. Said another way, you've figured out that your role is not merely passive; your role is not merely to adapt. Your role is to be someone who changes your world in creative ways. And to the extent that anyone can ever give you permission to do that, you just got it.
"I thought those readings were meant just for me" is how so many MARS EFFECT customers have felt, it's a testament to just how intimate, beautiful and uncannily personal these written and audio readings truly are. Now you can access all 12 signs for $39 (half price) -- an incredible value for more than a year's worth of insights into all facets of your life, and into the lives of those closest to you.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) -- Mars retrograde is over, and the planet that traditionally rules your sign will soon be in your sign; then you can add up your various losses and gains and see where you really stand with yourself. But before that happens, you're about to go on a kind of odyssey -- an inner and outer adventure. Some of the places you go will seem oddly familiar. Others will seem entirely new. What you must be careful of, in the first instance, is your unconscious actions leading to strife among others. The core of this journey is being able to maintain your mindfulness and understand the impact of your thoughts and your actions. In other words, you are learning to pay attention. This does not mean tiptoeing around others who are easily provoked. It means engaging them directly, and recognizing the influence that you have on them and on your environment. You have substantial power in your hands. You must learn how to use it wisely -- and the next three to four weeks will bring many opportunities to do so.
Right now you can get the best-selling MARS EFFECT annual readings for half-price (only $39 for all twelve signs). These written and audio readings offer relationship and career insights throughout the year for your Sun, rising and Moon signs -- and those of your loved ones. "After listening to it at least four times I always hear new aspects and I feel it helps me greatly in making sense of my very turbulent inner life" -- Michelle, Planet Waves reader.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) -- As you communicate and otherwise relate to people, be sure not to hold them to your past. It's likely that others have moved beyond certain spiritual or emotional matters that you are still grappling with, or have no special need to address them now. Therefore, align yourself with their present, and keep your focus in that framework of reality. This will have the effect of calling you forth into your present, where you know that you can see over the limits that may have been in your life before. You have not necessarily surpassed each limit. You may still have work to do (who doesn't?). Yet you know that this is also a matter of two points of view; two approaches to life. One is deeply engrained, indeed, it goes back generations. One points to the way that anyone goes beyond history, beyond the limits supposedly set on their success and happiness by their predecessors. Others will lead the way for you, and you will lead the way for them.
Looking at your life and wondering how half the year went by in such a colorful blur? "Turn the dial on the kaleidoscope of life," as one reader put it, and clarify your view with the MARS EFFECT readings, now available for half price: $39 for all 12 signs. See how the patterns align through the interrelated facets of your life (and the lives of those your hold dear) as you co-create the rest of your year and beyond.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) -- Do not cower in the face of beauty. Stand tall and make friends with those who are talented, passionate and charismatic. Consider them an example for how you can be. You would be wise to consider them a reflection of your potential self. One other suggestion, as the Cancer Sun moves into opposition to Pluto in Capricorn. You need to understand the impact you have on others. You're quick to assume that you make no special impression; it would seem that many times you feel invisible. If that's your perception, you have that backwards. You often make a profound impression on others -- though you almost always miss this fact. If the impression you make does not align with how you feel about yourself, that is, if you are wondering how or why you could influence someone or be so noticeable 'cus it's just li'l ol' you, I suggest you study the details of life more. Engage in closer conversation with people until you get a sense of who and what they perceive when they experience you.
"I thought those readings were meant just for me" is how so many MARS EFFECT customers have felt, it's a testament to just how intimate, beautiful and uncannily personal these written and audio readings truly are. Now you can access all 12 signs for $39 (half price) -- an incredible value for more than a year's worth of insights into all facets of your life, and into the lives of those closest to you.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- Compared to prior times in your life, even fairly recent ones, you are relatively free of over-burden or complexity. I know that everyone's life seems complicated, but as people grow and master their various challenges, it's easy to forget just how mixed up things were not so long ago. This gives you flexibility, it gives you a measure of freedom and a bit of excess capacity to assist someone who may be in need. Consider who in your life could benefit from your support -- it may be intellectual, it may be something you can do for them in the political arena of business, or it might be a way you can assist with a financial strategy. Someone may reach out to you, or you may have been observing them for a while. I suggest you be efficient and a bit shrewd in how you offer your assistance, and how you go about implementing it. This may be as simple as an introduction to someone else, an idea, or focusing a group effort among others perfectly capable of making something happen.
Right now you can get the best-selling MARS EFFECT annual readings for half-price (only $39 for all twelve signs). These written and audio readings offer relationship and career insights throughout the year for your Sun, rising and Moon signs -- and those of your loved ones. "After listening to it at least four times I always hear new aspects and I feel it helps me greatly in making sense of my very turbulent inner life" -- Michelle, Planet Waves reader.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) -- Stay close to who and what you love the most. I know that recent months have had you running so hard you've been at the point of overheating. These experiences have led to finding ways to simplify your life, and keeping close to the experiences you value the most is a reward for that. There is a point of contact approaching. It looks like a combination of sexual and creative. Looking at those words on the page, however, I am reminded how few people would use them in the same sentence, no more than they would say 'taking a shower' and 'creative' in the same sentence. Well, besides the fact that many great ideas have been born in the shower, sex and creativity are flames in the same fire. One feeds the other. Where one is strong, the other has a much greater chance of being strong. It looks like your passion and your talent are approaching a flashpoint. This is art. This is love. This is life.
"OMG the Mars Effect -- I don't really have words yet. Finally I've won the Lotto!" -- Planet Waves reader Gary. Your luck just got even better: the written and audio MARS EFFECT readings are available for half price ($39 for all 12 signs), making it easy to access winning insights for your Sun, Moon and rising signs (and those of loved ones) immediately.

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