Planet Waves

New York, Friday, May 3, 2013
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Beltane: All Wealth Comes from the Earth

Dear Friend and Reader:

A few times I got to hang out with one of my now-departed neighbors in the Hudson Valley, legendary music agent Alfred Schweitzman. His client list reads like the roster of our most beloved crop of Ulster County rock stars (including The Band and Todd Rundgren) among many others. He used to give the best New Year's Eve parties and we once smoked the peace pipe in his cherry-paneled office.

Planet Waves
Fae on the Grandmother Land. Photo by Eric Francis.
"All wealth comes from the Earth," he would say. He was very wealthy and he liked to say it often, as if making the point made the idea stronger in his consciousness. When I first met him I was pretty new at astrology, though I knew enough to know how much sense this idea makes. It's something I've considered many times and that's the theme of this time of year -- the season of Beltane.

The structure of the old religion, the calendar, made sense -- without a lot of religiosity packed around what people did at different times of year. There was a time for every purpose, a concept we've nearly forgotten exists. For example, Samhain (pronounced sah-wen) establishes a relationship with death and the ancestors, and this tends to run through many cultures as a conscious focus around the time of Halloween, the final harvest. 

Nature and its cycles are the basis of what we think of as organic, and in the spring, the world is coming back to life after the long winter. The festival to celebrate that is Beltane, traditionally celebrated May 1.

There is some debate about whether this is really the peak of spring or the start of summer (in the social rather than technical sense). The first week of May is the halfway point between the vernal equinox and the summer solstice (in the Northern Hemisphere).

The word Beltane originates from an old language called Lowland Scottish (the culture from which the holiday seems to originate), and earlier, from Gaelic, with a probable literal meaning of "blazing fire" or "to shine, flash, burn." And that is exactly what the planets are doing right now.

For most purposes, I count Beltane as May 5, the day the Sun passes over the midpoint between equinox and solstice, though I give it a wide berth. The Sun reaches the Taurus midpoint this year at 4:18 am EDT on Sunday, May 5. Taurus is a passionate sign, and at the moment it's on fire, and it's gleaming. Present in Taurus are Mercury, Venus, Mars, the Sun, the South Node, and asteroid Pallas Athene. That's quite a collection of energies. The Moon will be in Pisces at that time, in harmony with Venus-ruled Taurus.

Planet Waves
Photo by Eric Francis.
To emphasize the point, Beltane is followed up by an eclipse of the Sun on May 9, and surrounded by two lunar eclipses -- this is a moment of change and potentially beautiful progress. Eclipses are points of no return. Aim your mind and your intentions and you can be transported closer to your desires.

That all said, here's my metaphysical summary of Beltane. All wealth comes from the Earth, and the Earth is our Goddess. Beltane is the time to honor the Earth and to love the Goddess, and one happy way to do this is through sexual exchange that's consciously a celebration of life. I know that all sex is in theory a celebration of life, but for many people it doesn't feel that way, and this idea might be something new. Indeed, the corruption of sex is inextricable from our corruption of the planet and our obsession with money.

Beltane is the time to make love in a conscious way, experiencing the pleasure of existence and honoring the planet we live on, and honoring women. This in turn is a way of expressing gratitude for the abundance that comes from the Earth (all the resources we need for physical life are generously provided by Gaia) and women (who are the vehicle through which physical life is gestated). If possible, make love outside, close to the Earth or on the Earth, for that extra experience of direct contact.

However you choose to celebrate this moment, whether by yourself or with others, allow yourself to be the vehicle through which the Goddess expresses herself. This can work no matter what your gender or sexual orientation.

Whatever you do, this is a great time of year to offer a big THANK YOU to the planet and the cycles of nature that gestate, birth and support our lives.


For PW Members: Free Digital Issue of The Mountain Astrologer

The Mountain Astrologer is considered the best English-language astrology journal. There aren't many left; TMA has persevered through the rising tide of the Internet, publishing six times a year. It now has a digital edition. I've been writing for TMA lately; last year I did an article introducing TMA's readers to my work with Eris and the centaurs (free download). In an upcoming issue I'll also have a major investigative feature, which I will leave under wraps for now.

Planet Waves
In addition to a whole free issue of TMA, you can get a copy of this article that took me 15 years to research and six hours to write.
TMA is very good at what it does. It was one of the first astrology resources I discovered, and it helped me get my start in the business. It offers a carefully edited, selective, balanced presentation of astrology. It has some excellent standing features, including resources for following planetary movements that are not available on the 'net. 

As one of its writers I've been impressed at the thoughtfulness, care and quality of editing that goes into the publication -- really, the kind of attention usually saved for poetry. The publisher, Tem Tarriktar, is one of those 'I'm not really a designer' people who creates a beautiful, easy to read layout.

Planet Waves and TMA are doing a kind of sample swap -- we've extended an offer for a five-week Planet Waves subscription to their readers, and TMA is offering a free digital edition to our readers -- the 112-page current April/May edition. You'll get it as a digital flipbook and also have access to each article as a downloadable PDF file. Digital-only subscriptions are available.  

It's fun doing this kind of exchange, to cross-pollinate our readerships, in the early ethos of the Internet. I think that Planet Waves and TMA are the perfect complement, and they've been very nice to us. 

Here's the link to get your free digital issue.

If you have any problem with accessing your free sample issue, please email TMA at

Enjoy -- and please let me know how you like it. -- efc

Planet Waves
B is for Beltane -- and an Eclipse

By my reckoning Beltane is Sunday at 4:18 am EDT, meaning that's when the Sun reaches the midpoint of Taurus. That in turn is the midpoint between the equinox and the solstice (known as the cross-quarter). It's a tipping point of the year and for us in the Northern Hemisphere, a moment when we know spring has actually arrived.

Planet Waves
Kermit and his pet B.
That is, unless you live in that swath of Iowa, Kansas or Minnesota -- hardy people out there, who are currently buried under enough snow to require front-end loaders to move it out of the way.

Beltane is a time for the ritual of Hieros Gamos -- playing out the sexual communion between God and Goddess, symbolic of the harmonization of opposites. We spend a lot of time frustrated with our opposite, and this is a time to release that and reach a natural state of harmony.

For this event, the Moon is in Pisces, and Mercury, Venus, Mars and Pallas Athene are all in Taurus. It's quite a chart. Mercury is making an opposition to Saturn in Scorpio. Since we're on the topic of sex (apropos of Beltane) this aspect is worth a moment of reflection along the theme of sexual communication. 

There is potentially an imbalance to be aware of here. You're not hallucinating if you notice that many people put a lot of energy into stuffing or otherwise denying their desire. There are many reasons for this: fear, the notion of losing control, the need to feel like a moral person, not having a model for how to express the energy, some form of old pain or grief, guilt, shame, etc. -- and it's very difficult to negotiate with these emotions. 

But Mercury wants to; it wants retrograde Saturn to open up and let out some of its feelings. Mercury is asking Saturn not to be so invested in the past. Mercury in Taurus makes perfect sense, but this is not about sense. I would suggest that instead of trying to convince anyone to change, or waiting for it to happen, that you find people on your wavelength and share with them. Otherwise what you're doing is making someone else's hangup into your own, which becomes a kind of excuse not to be free to choose for yourself.

Planet Waves
Created by Good Vibrations; endorsed by Pres. Obama, the Tea Party, the FDA and Planet Waves.
"Trying to get someone to open up" sounds like trying to work out parental material with a partner; that rarely works.

This is a special Beltane season, since there's an eclipse coming on May 9 at 8:28 pm EDT. We've covered this eclipse in a recent SKY column. The eclipse also contains a cautionary note about parental material -- it's conjunct Pallas Athene. That's a caution about doing things designed to get your dad to approve of you.

One nice element in the eclipse chart is that Venus will have moved into Gemini by then, where it's open to additional viewpoints, and more concerned with having a good time than it is with monogamy or commitment. Mars in Taurus is closer to the South Node, so it's an integral element of the eclipse. There's a message there about being aware of attachment, and what that means as opposed to loving someone. You don't need to let go of desire or pleasure or even love when you let go of attachment; what would help is if you have enough self-esteem to recognize that love is real.

Which brings me to masturbation month. Sometime in the 1990s, the Good Vibrations sex toy stores in San Francisco and Berkeley designated May as Masturbation Month. This is interesting given that Beltane is the season of coupling, but I associate Taurus, where the Sun is through most of May, with masturbation. Think of this is Hieros Gamos with yourself.

Plenty of what goes on within a person involves conflict between and among various inner male and inner female archetypes, and explored consciously, it's possible to have a lot of fun and bring yourself into tune.

Planet Waves
Evidence that Politics Can be Deadly

Wilhelm Reich said that politics is the most neurotic form of human interrelation. Sen. Pat Toomey, the Republican co-sponsor of the failed background check bill, demonstrates just how true that is. He admitted that many Republicans didn't support the law, which would prevent felons, terrorists and domestic abusers from buying high-powered weapons, or any weapons for that matter -- because they didn't want Pres. Obama to have a political victory.

Planet Waves
Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania says Republicans didn't want to be seen helping Obama, even if that meant keeping assault rifles out of the hands of terrorists.
"In the end, it didn't pass because we're so politicized. There were some on my side who did not want to be seen helping the president do something he wanted to get done, just because the president wanted to do it," Toomey said.

"The toughest thing to do in politics is to do the right thing when your supporters think the right thing is something else," he added. I guess this is what you would call 'a man of character'.

His comments came in an interview Tuesday with a roundtable of Digital First Media editors in the offices of the Times Herald newspaper in Norristown, Pennsylvania.

According to the editors at the meeting, Toomey then tried to walk back his comment, saying he meant to say Republicans in general, not just his GOP colleagues in the Senate.

Toomey was one of four Republicans who voted in favor of a measure to expand the background check system so that it covers private sales at gun shows and online. Five Democrats voted against the proposal (including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who voted no so he could bring the bill back up later). 

-- With reporting from CNN

Planet Waves
Living Your Truth: First NBA Player Comes Out

For the first time in the United States, there is an openly gay male athlete playing a professional team sport. Amid speculation over the last few months that this would happen in one of the four major team sports, NBA center Jason Collins came out in a Sports Illustrated editorial. His announcement in the web version of the magazine coincided with this week’s opposition of Mars in Taurus and Saturn in Scorpio: a perfect image of his sense of self-worth and personal determination to stand up to the authoritarian secrecy of pro sports.
Planet Waves
Newly 'out' NBA player Jason Collins; you can call him Mars. Photo by Kwaku Alston for Sports Illustrated.
"I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport," writes Collins in the forthcoming May 6 issue. "But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different.' If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."
Collins, a 12-year veteran and, according to NBA Commissioner Davis Stern, "a widely respected player and teammate throughout his career," cited the Boston Marathon bombings as motivation to come out because the event, "reinforced the notion that I shouldn't wait for the circumstances of my coming out to be perfect. Things can change in an instant, so why not live truthfully?"
For years, Collins made a quiet, coded statement about his sexuality, wearing the number 98 on his jersey to commemorate the year gay college student Matthew Shepard was beaten to death in Wyoming, and the founding of a suicide prevention program.
Collins also cited former Stanford University roommate and current Massachusetts congressman Joe Kennedy as inspiration when he learned that Kennedy had attended the 2012 Boston Gay Pride parade. Collins writes, "I'm seldom jealous of others, but hearing what Joe had done filled me with envy. I was proud of him for participating but angry that as a closeted gay man I couldn't even cheer my straight friend on as a spectator."
The reaction to Collins's announcement was overwhelmingly positive as he received support from several current and former players as well as politicians and celebrities. Prominent among his supporters was gay rights pioneer and former professional tennis player Martina Navratilova, who came out 32 years ago to a much chillier media reaction. Navratilova, winner of 59 total major tennis titles, believes that Collins's action will save lives: "…there is no doubt in my mind. There is some kid out there who is not going to commit suicide because Jason is out."

Planet Waves
Give Life, Refuse to Take Life… and Face Jail Time

On one level, declaring conscientious objector (CO) status while in the military is an affirmation of the sanctity of life. To some, opposing a war is punishable with prison time -- even if you're the mother of four with another child on the way, as is Kimberly Rivera. She's currently facing 10 months in a military prison, during which she will give birth.
Planet Waves
Kimberly Rivera and her family. Photo: We Move to Canada.
In 2006, Private First Class Rivera deployed to Iraq as a gate guard in Baghdad -- a critical role. She realized that if called to, she could not pull the trigger and take a life; and that not doing so would likely mean the lives of her fellow soldiers. Seeking the counsel of her chaplain, she was essentially told to suck it up and complete her mission, rather than being told about regulation AR 600-43, which would have given her the right to request status as a CO.
Knowing no other recourse, she decided to refuse a second tour of duty in Iraq, and crossed the border into Canada while on leave in January 2007. She was an active member of her community in Toronto and made attempts to legally emigrate -- endorsed by Canada's War Resisters Support Campaign and Desmond Tutu -- until last year when Canadian officials ordered her to leave the country. She turned herself in at the border.
Charged by a court-martial with desertion, Rivera could have faced up to five years of prison. In comparison, 10 months may not seem like much; try telling that to her four children, ages two, five, eight and eleven. That she will have to give birth in prison is especially harsh, given that many soldiers charged with desertion serve no time.
"The judge doesn't really give the rationale for why he made the decision he did," said Rivera's lawyer, James Branum, on Democracy Now! this week. "As long as 24 months has been given. But many other resisters receive little jail time or no jail time. And people that desert, generally, over 90 percent do no jail time at all. And so, we feel that Kim was singled out."
Branum continued, "The prosecutor at trial said that he asked the judge to give a harsh sentence to send a message to the war resisters in Canada."
You can send a message about the arbitrariness of this decision and support this mother's decision not to take a life through a campaign to ask for clemency for Rivera.

Planet Waves
Attention Birds and Bees: Restrictions on Plan B Partially Lifted

As if on cue to help us celebrate Beltane, on Tuesday, the Food and Drug Administration approved a proposal to make Plan B (the emergency contraceptive or 'morning after pill') more accessible to women. Plan B would be available over the counter, thereby allowing women to access it even when a store's pharmacy window is closed. The new proposal would also allow teens at least 15 years old to purchase Plan B without a prescription, if they show proof of age (currently girls must be 17).
Planet Waves
Kathleen Sebelius and her arch-nemesis, Plan B emergency contraception. Beltane, basketball, Plan B, honeybees, birds and bees... This week's Planet Waves has been brought to you by the letter B. Photo: AP/Evan Vucci/Salon.
Under the former regulations, the ability to take Plan B within 24 hours, which increases its efficacy, can be delayed by limited pharmacy hours -- and, sometimes, by pharmacists influenced by their political or religious views. (Consider law student Hilary McKinney in Tulsa, Oklahoma, who went to Target with her boyfriend, and sent him to the counter to pick up the prescription: the pharmacist refused. When McKinney confronted her, she was told, "I can't sell it to men. Who knows what they could be doing with it?")

Some groups, such as Planned Parenthood, are applauding the FDA's decision as a "step in the right direction." Others, including the Center for Reproductive Rights, called it "still disappointing because by retaining an age restriction that the FDA had previously determined was unnecessary, women of all ages must surmount barriers to getting the morning-after pill." The Family Research Council is concerned that over-the-counter availability will mean that teens most at risk for STIs will circumvent medical screenings.
The FDA's decision came in response to -- but stopped just short of -- U.S. District Court Judge Edward Korman's mandate on April 5 that all restrictions be lifted on the sale of Plan B, making it available over the counter to women of all ages. Korman had called the Obama administration's failure to make the medication more fully available despite the recommendations of its own scientific staff "arbitrary, capricious and unreasonable," according to an NPR story.
On Wednesday the Justice Department announced they would appeal Korman's decision to abolish all age restrictions on Plan B. The New York Times has suggested that the Justice Department's decision was likely based "not only on the substance of the judge's ruling, but also the precedent the ruling would set in countermanding an order by a White House cabinet member, Kathleen Sebelius, the secretary of health and human services."
Yet Sebelius herself made an unprecedented move when, in 2011, she overruled the FDA after it had moved to lift all age restrictions based on scientific research, and blocked the sale of Plan B to teens without a prescription.

Planet Waves
Monsanto Investigates Its Own Failure

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management has given Monsanto 60 days to investigate the engineering and safety of the water treatment system at its new phosphate mine in southeast Idaho after an earthen holding pond sprung a leak, creating a sediment plume of 100 feet and sending an estimated 3 million gallons of water into an adjacent wetland.

Planet Waves
Monsanto reported the failure to state and government regulators on March 29. The company then began an internal review of the network of ponds designed to manage and collect storm water and snowmelt at the Blackfoot Bridge Mine near Soda Springs.

Blackfoot Bridge, in southeast Idaho's phosphate patch, will begin operations later this year. The mine has a 17-year life expectancy and will supply Monsanto with a key ingredient in its Roundup weed killer.

The biggest environmental threat from phosphate mining comes from selenium, a byproduct created when water interacts with mine waste rock. The construction plan for Blackfoot Bridge Mine, in a region with a history of pollution by the mining industry, includes state-of-the-art engineering to avoid this scenario.

But environmentalists are not convinced even this will avoid future catastrophes.

"It only goes to show that no matter how well-designed, how good the intentions are, things like this inevitably happen," said Marv Hoyt, with the Greater Yellowstone Coalition, a group that worked during the permitting process for tougher safeguards. "This was a relatively minor incident. But our concern is that this never happen again."

Planet Waves
A Victory for European Bees -- and Sex, Plant-Style

On Monday, the European Union announced plans to restrict the use of three pesticides that may be responsible for a worldwide bee 'die-off' in recent years. Coming during Beltane season, this move affirms not just the environment, but the process that catalyzes plants to bear fruit -- an image of sexual reproduction and interconnectedness from which humans often divorce themselves.

Planet Waves
A beekeeper seeking to ban pesticides stands next to Bernie the Avaaz Bee in front of the European Council and Commission in Brussels on Monday. Photo: Yves Logghe/AP.
Fifteen EU nations voted for the restrictions, eight were against and four abstained.

EU Consumer Commissioner Tonio Borg said his agency will override the deadlock and move "in the coming weeks" to restrict three neonicotinoid pesticides on plants and cereals that attract bees, according to The Washington Post. Neonicotinoids are one of the world's most widely used insecticides.

The ban takes effect Dec. 1 for two years unless decisive new information becomes available. Major chemical companies, who are against the ban, argue that scientific data supporting it is lacking.

Beekeepers worldwide have reported an unusual decline in bees over the past decade, particularly in Western Europe, according to the European Food Safety Authority. Bees are critically important, because they pollinate one in every three crops produced -- including most of the food crops in Europe, it said.

Borg said bees contribute more than 22 billion euros ($29 billion) a year to European agriculture.

"Today's pesticide ban throws Europe's bees a vital lifeline," said Iain Keith of the Avaaz environmental group. "Europe is taking science seriously and must now put the full ban in place to give bees the breathing space they need."

In the U.S., several national environmental advocacy organizations and commercial beekeepers filed suit in March against the Environmental Protection Agency for its conditional registration of some neonicotinoids. It said the agency did not properly ensure environmental health protections, particularly for pollinators.

The EPA is now reviewing its registration of neonicotinoids and has speeded up the review schedule due "to uncertainties about these pesticides and their potential effects on bees."

Hopefully the EPA will align with the EU's position and honor Gaia -- though that may require increased public pressure more than hope.

Planet Waves
Planet Waves

...Or Are You Just Happy to See Me?

Even Earth's planetary neighbors are celebrating Beltane with her this year: last week NASA's two Mars Exploration Rovers made the news for drawing what appears to be the outline of a penis on the surface of the red planet -- though it's unclear exactly when the tracks were, um, laid or which rover did it. NASA says the twin exploration vehicles, named Spirit and Opportunity (indeed!) are programmed to spin in tight circles to test the terrain and find new routes. Either that, or the 'artificial intelligence' guiding the rovers thought that the giant Mars vulva could use some company. (Photo: NASA)

Planet Waves

Beltane and Tristan Taormino

In this week's edition of Planet Waves FM I am honored to have as my guest Tristan Taormino. I first introduced my readers and the astrology community to Tristan a year ago in my article Beyond Astrology, wherein I proposed that she be the keynote speaker at a major astrology conference.

Planet Waves
The elegant, articulate Tristan Taormino.
Why? Because in my opinion astrologers need to be sexually literate, the better to assist the clients who come to them with questions about their sexuality. Life is not about squares and trines. It's about what people live through, and helping them get what they want.

Tristan is a sex educator, filmmaker and self-described feminist pornographer. She's written a number of books and tours the country giving presentations on what she does. You can reach her website here. In the introduction I mention that I did her chart as part of a presentation on sex astrology in Portland, Oregon.

In the first part of the program, I follow up on the legal representation situation for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev. I read a letter from a reader who was concerned that I suggested that a public defender would not be helpful to Dzhokar; she explains the federal public defense system and how it's different from that on the state and local level.

Dzhokar will be represented by Judy Clarke, who describes her job as getting her clients to plead guilty in order to avoid the death penalty.

My musical guest is the band Girlyman. "Really good, really unexpected, and really different" is how Village Voice describes Girlyman's lyric driven folk-pop. But that can also describe the year that inspired their fifth studio album Supernova, available June 19th (distribution through Burnside). No doubt their new CD will be fantastic.

Planet Waves

Your Monthly Horoscopes -- and our Publishing Schedule Notes

The May monthly extended horoscopes were published Friday, April 26. Inner Space horoscopes for May were published Tuesday, April 30. We published the Moonshine horoscopes  for the Scorpio Full Moon and eclipse on Tuesday, April 23. Moonshine horoscopes for the Taurus New Moon will be published Tuesday, May 7. Note that the longer monthly horoscope is being incorporated into the Friday issue after the Sun has entered a new sign; a new Inner Space is generally emailed on the following Tuesday.

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, May 3, 2013 #948 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Aries (March 20-April 19) -- The theme of next week's eclipse is self-understanding, though I mean this in the most practical way. You need a system for governing your life that takes into account what is actually meaningful to you. That means listening to the things you've promised yourself you were going to do over and over again. One thing that would be helpful is to evaluate that list and see what is still valid for you. Eliminate everything that's no longer part of your actual agenda, so that you can free up energy, bandwidth and priority space for everything that is. I would suggest going forward that you be vigilant about putting your priorities into action. For this, you will need a plan that has emphasis on three phases: initiation, follow-through and completion. Stretch your perspective beyond the 'get started' phase and into the ones that take more dedication. This can be the time in your life when you get past the inertia that has bogged you down in the past. That's another way of saying: this can be a time when you learn to express your true potential.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).

Taurus (April 19- May 20)
Taurus (April 19-May 20) -- You're standing within one of those momentous transition points in your life, though you may not be feeling the full beauty of that now. Sometimes they're difficult to see when you're right in the midst of things. That said, momentous is not what it's cracked up to be; this is also a time when the seemingly smaller or subtler decisions you make, and the things you learn about yourself, will be tools that you can use for the rest of your life. I suggest you investigate the ways in which you seek to protect yourself. What are you protecting yourself from, and who exactly was it that informed you of some potential danger? A defensive streak in your solar chart may be masking an aggressive aspect of yourself that gets veiled by your compelling exterior. Since you probably don't want to take any aggression out on others, you may take it out on yourself. If you can see this cycle in motion, and pause it even for one moment, you can make a discovery that enhances your life profoundly. For clues, study your relationship with your father.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).

Planet Waves

News About the Taurus Birthday Reading 

As of press time today, I am nearly done with your Taurus 2013 birthday reading. This is also excellent for Taurus rising and Taurus Moon. As for the astrology: I cover Saturn in your opposite sign Scorpio, as well as the current eclipses, and what it means to have so many planets in your sign or rising sign at this time of year. What I really do is speak to you for an hour about your relationships, your quest for independence and what looks like some special motivation to grow and become. It's a beautiful reading, recorded with a warm, intimate feeling. You may listen as many times as you like, or download it into iTunes or another MP3 player. The last segment I need to record is the tarot reading, done with the Voyager deck by James Wanless. The reading includes photos of the spread, the chart and access to last year's reading if you want to check my accuracy. You can pre-order your birthday reading here for just $19.95 and we'll email your access info to you once it is ready Friday afternoon. Once the report is out, the price will go up to $24.95, so pre-ordering is how to get the best price.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)
Gemini (May 20-June 21) -- Slow down and think deep. For you they are the same thing. Gemini can be brilliant (rather than just bright and witty) when it thinks slowly. In your case that might mean considering something once a day over the course of a week or two, instead of making a snap decision. As you do this, you may decide that there are things you 'already know' without having any special way to know them. If that turns out to be true, then use the think-about-it-every-day method to consider whether that something is in fact true and if it is, what specifically that would mean for you. Anyway, I suggest you take a gradual and meticulous approach to deciding what is really true for you. As you make that evaluation repeatedly, you will notice that you're making adaptations and changes as the days go on, and those would be interesting to keep track of. What new facts are leading you to come to a different observation? What changing feelings? Keep this up for a week and you will make a rather significant discovery about yourself.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).

Cancer (June 21- July 22)
Cancer (June 21-July 22) -- What do you want to be known for? Now would be a great time to make that known to others. I suggest you do that in the form of being who you are more boldly, and doing what you do with more confidence. Despite the sometimes conservative descriptions of what makes a Cancerian tick, and how you prefer to stay home and all that, you're in a time when that happens not to be true -- if it ever was. You are not merely safe being seen as someone a little eccentric, who is willing to take the risk of being thought of as a little weird; your success depends on taking advantage of this. It's the fear of seeming different that prevents many people from doing something different; and I assure you that anything really worth doing in the long run will draw its value from being original. So you have a pass on that particular social concern, and now you can ask yourself for real: what do you want to be known for? The chances are you're already pretty good at it.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) -- There's the image of stewardship in your chart -- as in 'steward of the land'. Not its owner, possibly its occupant, definitely one who facilitates, who keeps a watchful eye, and who will act in a protective capacity when necessary. What's the land of which I'm speaking? It probably involves some professional activity where your leadership is now being called upon and also recognized as essential. You're an old hand at what I will call the spiritual piece: putting your faith (in the deepest sense of that word) to work in a way that few people can. This is what comes across to others, and what you can depend on. You can speak in the most practical terms about the most mundane kinds of affairs, and you will seem to be offering life-giving truths. Meanwhile, count on the fact that you're a social and professional magnet -- for talent, collaborators, and potentially for investors in whatever you're doing that you invest your faith in. State your goals and build cooperation -- the most precious thing on Earth.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) -- Be patient and you won't have to be patient for long. It may seem like you've been waiting forever for something tangible to materialize relating to a long-desired goal; and the tangibility factor is exactly what's in the process of developing right now. What's going to help you the most is focusing on that thing that seems to be the most intangible to many -- faith in yourself. This may be a point of conflict for you right now; you may think you have a mixed record of accomplishing what you set out to accomplish, though I suggest you not dwell on that. What matters the most is that you learn from what you consider your successes and your supposed failures, because the information that you synthesize from both sides of that equation is what will help you the most. One of the reasons this thing called failure is so important is that it's evidence of taking risks. Those experiments can produce plenty of information, and no matter what the supposed topic, it's applicable to anything else you may do.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).

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Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) -- It's time to make a list of all the decisions you're holding off on committing to fully. Evaluate that list and you will get an accurate picture of where your life is at. One image that's coming through your chart is that of withholding approval from yourself. You simply have to be your own most devoted cheerleader, though that's not possible if you're in conflict with yourself. It's an even bigger problem if you project that inner conflict onto relationships with others. Your life will be altogether easier and happier if you embrace that fact that your feelings come from you. If others have a role in your life that you don't like, it's also up to you to make decisions in response to that fact. Looked at one way, your life is a study in power relationships, as events of the past few days seem to have dramatized. You want to live out your own values, and yet at the same time it's so easy for you to get caught in the values of others. In light of this, the skill to develop and emphasize is not peacemaking but rather the nuts and bolts of negotiation.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) -- People around you seem to have a plan. You need to know what it is, because from the look of your charts, you're somehow involved. I suggest you take hold of the situation and declare yourself in or out where certain situations are concerned. There are a number of reasons you don't want others to do this for you, most of them involving your own integrity. But it's more than that; if you step up and make a firm commitment one way or the other, that will have the effect of precipitating results, whatever you happen to choose. The fact that you know you actually did commit yourself, not knowing the outcome, will give you a greater sense of investment in whatever develops, and that seems to be precisely the thing you need to help you guide your life. I would ask you to ask yourself one other question. What are you holding on to, and by that, I mean what from the past are you reluctant to let go of? Since we're talking about the past, it's more likely to be a feeling than a physical situation.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) -- If something irritates you, remove it from your environment. The problem with environments is that they tend to be invisible; the contrast that we need to notice things fades into the background. So you may need to use unusual methods to determine what's irritating you, one of which will be your dreams. Remember that in dreams there are no stock interpretations, and every element of the dream represents you. Tell yourself any dream you have from the viewpoint of one of the objects or people in the scenario and it will make more sense. Meanwhile, I suggest you hang out with people who can offer you a reflection of yourself, or challenge your perspective in a way that helps you, rather than those who expect you to be a certain way. Clarity is what will help you feel better, in a deep way rather than a fleeting one. In this world, clarity is something that we must work for patiently, though anyone who's arrived there will tell you it's worth the effort.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) -- Sex is not a secret and your sexuality is not a secret. I recognize that most people think this is the very thing that must be kept the most under wraps -- which is one reason I think that people whose sexual initiation involves a coming-out process make so many so nervous. The question to ask yourself is what exactly would you not want known about you, and why wouldn't you want it known? There are a number of possible responses to that question, though sooner or later, any person who comes to terms with their sexuality addresses the issue of shame. One misunderstanding about shame, like many other environmental pollutants, is that it's been there all along. That's not true. At a certain point it is injected into society and at some point in the life of nearly every person, it's inflicted on them. Shame is like a binding or glue that attaches us to many other problems. Once shame is acknowledged and addressed, many other things can begin to resolve themselves.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- It seems like every season or every year, you are encountering some new call to leadership. Said another way, life is calling on you to take more responsibility and to associate yourself with a purpose that comes from deep within you. Yet at the moment, you seem to be facing a diversity of challenges that are interfering with that. I say 'seem to be' because the emotional and personal situations in your life are calling on you to shore up your foundations. You are being pushed to question every assumption you have about what it means to be 'safe' and 'secure', and many assumptions from the past are coming up for question as well. Looked at one way, you are being called to build your life on a focused sense of purpose. But there is something that may go deeper, which is a grounded sense of your own existence. It may be that part of how you cultivate that is to take on challenges bigger than you thought you could handle; then logic would say that your ability to meet those challenges was based on something real.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two products).

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) -- Your intuition will guide you perfectly right now, and to feel that working you may need to tune into a different level than your sentient mind. That may be a challenge because there's so much keeping you alert, thinking and driven to be productive. You can keep doing all of that, though I suggest that you give yourself space to be reflective. One reason to stay close to home for the next few days is that it's probably the most interesting and indeed exciting place to be. Do what you can to keep parts of your days open so that your receptive mind is available to pick up the abundant information that's coming your way. If you're feeling restless, one way to express that is to write. All the planets currently gathered in Taurus are in your 3rd solar house of writing and communications. I know that for many this is a delightfully busy time of year. If you give yourself time alone, it will also be a beautifully productive time, including benefits in growth, guiding your life and deepening your understanding of yourself.

Order your 2013 reading from Eric Francis now, in LISTEN, the 2013 annual edition of Planet Waves. As a subscriber you can still get all 12 signs for the price of three. This is a detailed written and audio reading that you will love. You can also purchase signs one at a time (including audio and written, prior to our splitting those two product

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