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Kingston, NY, Friday, Jan. 15, 2010

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Everything, All at Once (or, Welcome to 2012)

Dear Subscriber:

First, a historical note. Did you know that when Christopher Columbus "discovered America," the thing he discovered was Haiti? So the island that was shaken and the country that was shaken to rubble this week has a hallowed place in the dark history of the New World, as the place where European feet first touched the ground. There, they met the native Tainos, one of the Arawak people; and made a settlement, called La Navidad, on the north coast of present-day Haiti.

Planet Waves
Detail of Columbus Before the Queen, by Emanuel Gottlieb Leutze, 1843. No authentic portraits of Columbus exist. This is from imagination. Original is kept in the Brooklyn Museum.
Thus began a holocaust. In 2007, US News and World Report said that from an estimated initial population of 250,000 in 1492, the Arawaks had dropped to 14,000 by 1517. How did that happen? There's the famous entry from Columbus' log, reporting his first encounter with them; that pretty much explains it.

"They brought us barrels of cotton thread and parrots and other little things which it would be tedious to list, and exchanged everything for whatever we offered them...I kept my eyes open and tried to find out if there was any gold, and I saw that some of them had a little piece hanging from a hole in their nose. I gathered from their signs that if one goes south, or around the south side of the island, there is a king with great jars full of it, enormous amounts. I tried to persuade them to go there, but I saw that the idea was not to their liking...They would make fine servants...With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want."

So much for Pat Robertson's theory that this week's quake happened because the Haitians had made a pact with the devil at Bois-Caiman near Cap-Haitien on Aug. 14, 1791. Yes, those in the slave revolt used Santeria at the commencement of the rebellion; that is historically documented. But even in the unlikely event that has some kind of karmic influence, it doesn't explain what had happened on Hispaniola for the prior 300 years: brutal slavery at the hands of the Spaniards and the sugar-addicted French. Bad things have been happening in Haiti since Columbus laid eyes on the place.

When we look at the astrology of Tuesday's earthquake and notice that it was triggered by the Aries Point -- that potent first degree of the horoscope that puts collective and personal events into the context of one another -- we can safely propose that this is about something much bigger. Are we getting a message that this is so big, it's a comment on the story of the entire New World?

Yes, earthquakes happen, and they can happen anywhere. For example, there is an active geological fault line running down the Hudson River. The Indian Point nuclear power plant sits atop a newly identified intersection of two active seismic zones. We in New York who don't even experience tremors could wake up to the Earth shaking one day next week or in 5,000 years.

The Aries Point and the Earthquake

The Haiti earthquake occurred in the days before a solar eclipse overnight Thursday to Friday, right near an 11-planet alignment in Capricorn and Aquarius. Yet in the midst of that alignment was a specific astrological marker, involving something called the Aries Point. That's the location of the Sun on the first day of Northern Hemisphere spring. Or, the location of the Sun the day the Sun's rays square the equator as the Sun enters Aries; same thing. The Aries Point, literally the first degree of the sign Aries, is extended by astrologers to include all four cardinal signs: the early degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, all of which are sensitive to Aries Point effects.

I often characterize the Aries Point as "the personal is political," in that the news that occurs around the time of an Aries Point event always affects a lot of people and also has a property of merging the personal and the collective realms. The world crashes into our living rooms. Everything happens at once. On the same day, relief efforts are underway from one of the deadliest earthquakes in recent history, and possibly in a very long time; congressional hearings on the banking crisis that nearly toppled the economy are proceeding. Citigroup was leveraged 68:1, debt to assets. There are no new regulations in place to prevent it from happening again. Remember I said that. I'm not the only one.

Suddenly there's a new terrorist alert coming out of Yemen. Most people hadn't heard of Yemen till a month ago. One near-miss incident on one flight is causing some to respond as if Sept. 11 had happened again.

A trial is underway in San Francisco to determine the constitutionality of banning same-sex marriage; talk about the personal being political. This trial is uniting one of the nation's top conservative attorneys, Ted Olson -- the U.S. government's lawyer under George Bush -- with one of the stalwart 'liberal' movements. Finally, a defection.

Then, in the approximate flavor of Mercury retrograde in Capricorn (on the Aries Point, with Pluto two degrees away), Google is considering pulling out of China. The company, which is part of our daily lives if anything is, cited what the Washington Post reported as "a concerted political and corporate espionage effort that exploited security flaws in e-mail attachments to sneak into the networks of major financial, defense and technology companies and research institutions." China has imposed strict censorship requirements on Google which even fans of the company are disgusted that the search engine follows.

Oh, and our nation's health departments are blitzing us with that ad for flu vaccinations, which you can see practically on any channel at any time: they suddenly have an overstock. I haven't got around to doing an article on this, but hand sanitizers are pure BS. They don't work; they make matters worse, creating a sticky, sugar-based film on the hand into which bacteria embeds and where it flourishes, allowing it to be spread further.

That Was Just the Warmup

This is a snapshot of the culmination of Mercury retrograde, two eclipses and a massive alignment within about 60 degrees of sky: a lot of pressure, a lot of Aries Point. Mars (the ruler of Aries) is retrograde, too: that lasts all winter, and you could look at it as Mars being a bit reserved and feeling cramped in his style: or Mars calling us all to look inward and search out our true sense of self. That the retrograde takes place in Leo puts Mars opposite Aquarius, the sign of conformity to groups. We are just coming out of one of the most impressive phases of mass-hypnosis that a talented, astrologically literate fantasy writer could ever make up. That would be based on a decade of Neptune in Aquarius, the drug of the masses being denial, Facebook and Fox News.

Planet Waves
Attorneys Ted Olson and David Boies, usually on opposite sides of the issues, have teamed up to get same-sex marriage ready for the Supreme Court. Image from Rachel Maddow Show / MSNBC.
Chiron is now conjunct Neptune, a rare event that is about clearing up all that fog and seeing through the denial, delusion, deception and false idealism of Neptune in Aquarius.

But here's what I'm here to tell you: we ain't seen nothin' yet. I can say this with some confidence after studying Aries Point effects for about 10 years, and knowing a little about the astrology of 2010. All the fuss about 2012 is the Aries Point, but we are fully into the aspect pattern right now, as planets begin to gather in the early degrees of the cardinal signs.

Of course the Flying Saucer People (who may be right) don't know that; the Mayan astrologers seem to have had a clue: their long count comes to its transition on Dec. 21, 2012 with the Sun in the first degree of Capricorn, that is, aspecting the Aries Point precisely. The issue is not the Sun, itself; what the Mayans were looking at was where the Sun would be located: precisely on one of the cardinal points, and where they would be aligned at this time in the precessional cycle.

Before that happens, we have the spring of 2010. And here's a bit of what we get. The big event involves a conjunction in the first degree of Aries: the conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus, two very influential planets. Jupiter leaves Aquarius and moves into Pisces on Sunday, but it does something unusual: it cuts clear across Pisces and stops in the first degree of Aries, where it stations retrograde.

Uranus, meanwhile, has been in Pisces for nearly seven years. If you're a Pisces you've been on a wild ride, no doubt; but we've all been feeling this one as the morph of the technical world with the dream world, as a sense of bizarre instability and emotional restlessness. Uranus moves into Aries in June, right when Jupiter does: and we have the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction on the Aries Point. The last time these two planets teamed up with Aries Point involvement, it was in Libra the summer of 1969. That was the summer we had the Manson murders, the Moon landing and Woodstock, among many, many other news events that get eclipsed by these big three. (For example, the Beatles broke up that year.)

Planet Waves
This image was enhanced by the U.S. Geological Survey to bring out detail. It is based on a 1979 image from the Voyager 1 spacecraft.
What is this conjunction about? From a political angle, we see many signs of a mass movement or uprising of some kind. It could be aggressive, or even militant; it could just be highly energized. I recognize that there are occasionally protests in our time of history, but we still don't identify with this as being a time of rebellion or uprising against the many injustices that are being perpetrated. Given all the years and years of abuses taken by the American public, and by extension, the public of many other countries that have been affected by everything from the Iraq war to the banking crisis. Most people will still tell you they don't know what to do about these things. Jupiter-Uranus to me looks like an invention; and in part, an invention of identity.

What we don't want is too many people becoming too over-identified with a brilliant cause that they 'take matters into their own hands', and I don't mean that in the style of Betty Dodson. The influence of Aries could have certain individuals becoming extremely gung-ho about their 'ideals' and Uranus could have them convinced they represent a 'group'. Jupiter can lead people to think they know more than they do. The theme of the hour is precisely the opposite: figuring out how little we know; and getting some perspective on all this group identification that has been dominating the political landscape of our era.

When Jupiter and Uranus meet on the Aries Point, they will be in alignment with Saturn and Pluto, which have already been stirring up plenty of change. Pluto in Capricorn all by itself is the astrological semaphore for the banking collapse; the near-total dysfunction of Congress; and many other aspects of corporate and government decay. Astrologers have seen this coming for years; in articles years ago I was describing a banking crisis when I had no clue what that really meant. Notably, when Chiron crossed Capricorn beginning in late 2001, we had the aftermath of the Sept. 11 event, the Enron scandal, and Worldcom going down, and Arthur Andersen; and a variety of government scandals involving the FBI and US intelligence ignoring the warning signs about the imminent attacks.

What I said at the time was that Chiron in Capricorn was a kind of readiness exercise for Pluto's arrival; if we learned the lessons then, we would not have to go through them again. Now, it seems the entire economy has turned into one giant Enron.

An Awakening of Consciousness

Jupiter and Uranus in Aries add a LOT of energy to this equation. But they add something else, something we really need: self-awakening. The thing about Aries is that it is deeply connected to themes like self-awareness. Aries is the original sign of I Am; it turns the key to existence, to action and to desire. Uranus is a revolutionary force, forward thinking and provocative. It could have been named Prometheus just as well. The 'fire of the gods' is the core of self-awareness, which of course all religions seem to have an issue with. Better to leave it all to God, than to be entrusted with the responsibility of making decisions.

Planet Waves
Uranus, the first planet discovered by science, is associated with revolutions, innovations, ideas and stirring the pot. Photo by Voyager 2 spacecraft.
Then comes Jupiter. Jupiter magnifies things and is an excellent compliment to Uranus because it brings in a wisdom aspect, a cultural attribute and something worldly. And this sounds like it has the potential to be a sudden, spontaneous awakening of awareness, in particular, of self-awareness. Aries is about desire, and after Mars has spent six months lingering in Leo, most of it retrograde, desire is going to be running high this spring.

Opposite Jupiter/Uranus is Saturn in Libra, which is about taking relationships seriously. The Sixties were great and all, but one of the missing pieces was a reverence for relationship. That was a problem. What happened in the Sixties was not really a sexual revolution; it was the unleashing of long pent-up desire. There is plenty of sex going around these days, but most of it is not what you would call conscious or honest.

At the same time, in the same era, many of the people who aspire to do the work on themselves are afraid of sex or sexual contact; a good few -- you must know some of these folks -- are chipper and spiritual and associate sex with the 'baser instincts'. Many people are trapped in relationship paradigms that force them to suppress who they, or is it who we, are; and it looks like that issue may finally catch fire. We sure could use the heat.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis
Updates daily at Planet Waves and Cosmic Confidential Diary.

Very Big PS: I am going to do my best to disappear for the next week in the service of wrapping up the Cosmic Confidential horoscopes. That may mean no regular horoscopes next week, or whatever other simplifications my inner editor can dream up. It will be very nice to wrap up four months of work on this edition: I am ready. Those who have not yet signed up for Cosmic Confidential can currently do so at the original per-sign price. See the Cosmic Confidential Diary for more details and it's been a pleasure being your astrologer once again through eclipses and other planetary wilderness. -- efc

Fear of Flying
By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

No, I'm not writing today about liberated vaginas and the purity of a zipless fuck: it's already been done by Erica Jong, taking an early stab at breaking through the social coding, ultimately the wall of guilt, that keeps us in our assigned roles. In sex, as in everything else, we're only as authentic as we've allowed ourselves to be. Today we'll examine the wall itself because, seems to me, we could not be tossed and twisted like pliant pizza dough whenever something scary comes along if the ingredients weren't already within us. On the face of it, the gluten that makes us so easily stretched and molded seems to be a kind of sociopolitical herd consciousness, turned at the snap of a twig or the whim of a leader. Those of us disinclined to take such a leap get carried along by the majority, and that sums up my experience of the early years of our new century.

As always, it's news of the day and the politics that shape it that bring all this to mind, absurd illustrations of our current psychic state. It's taken so tragic a thing as the heartbreaking earthquake in Haiti to get the politicos off a toxic replay of national security issues, all this on the heels of the Christmas bombing event that put Janet Napolitano's job as Homeland Security Secretary in jeopardy. Hysteria is sooooo unattractive. I confess to having very little patience with this kind of mob-mentality and group-think, and took a certain perverse delight in this quote from an article by David Rothkopf: "The Republican Party has the collective cool on these matters of Prissy helping to birth Melanie's baby in Gone With the Wind." While I'm coming clean, I should also mention my resolution to immediately turn the channel on any program featuring Liz Cheney. She will be added to my Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck Rule: "Do not lie down with dogs lest ye get fleas." Or Neo-con kennel cough, whatever.

As regards the herd consciousness of the opposition party, and in some instances our own, facts don't seem to get us very far in the national argument, intelligence doesn't count for much, and emotion is the name of the game. As illustrated in the book What's The Matter With Kansas?, when we're fed on a consistent diet of make-believe, we don't connect with our own best interests even when they're staring us in the face. Even more, as regards this whole issue of random terror, we're easily spooked. Sometimes I think our American "can do-ism" and confidence in our ability to manage our own lives play against us when Chicken Little starts to squawk. 300 million of us rushing out with shotguns pointed at the sky at the first sign of danger is not only counterproductive, it's stupid. And stupidity seems the word I choose most often when I think of the dialog concerning the state of our union.

Planet Waves
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, January 15, 2010, #801 - BY ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Did I ever mention that one of the reasons I like writing horoscopes is how subversive they are? Being aware of astrology puts people at a distinct advantage. I get to propose ideas that subvert the dominant paradigm -- which is exactly what your charts say you're up to; or what you have available. These days you're dancing to the beat of a creative drummer that nobody else knows exists. This exploration is giving you ideas about yourself, as well as approaches to political or professional situations that lately have shown no sign of abating in their weirdness. You, however, are poised to take advantage of a turn of events that others are bound to find distressing or impossible to deal with; and as a result, exceed something you were certain was a limit on your success.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)
The thing about your old beliefs is that you couldn't find yourself in them. The thing about your new beliefs is that you're right at the center of them. Let this be your guide to wider mental and geographic horizons, and to your notion of success. Despite many odds against you, the ways of the past that long predate your birth are yielding to your willpower and influence. Here's the thing to remember: while old beliefs can exist, and while they can guide our actions in ways that are not relevant to the present moment, the past itself does not exist. Or rather, it doesn't exist, if we notice that fact. Lately you are noticing; it's like you've climbed up onto an island of the future. Take a look around: this is where the journey begins.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)
The thing about agreements is that when they are made consciously, they can be unmade. If they are made unconsciously, they have to be sorted out carefully before they are unmade, because nobody really understands what they implied. However, you know what you want from a particular situation and you can go a long way from stating that plain-Jane simple and clear such that a plant could understand it. The thing is, it's likely to be something you haven't said yet; you may not have said it in the context of this conversation, and you may not have ever articulated it clearly at all. This is a great opportunity; and don't stop here. You are finally figuring out what is important to you, and it's about time. Now, put that knowledge to work for you.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)
Friday's solar eclipse in your opposite sign definitely represents a shift in a relationship, and I hope you're clearly perceiving the potential. It's possible that some change in the structure of things means that it's time to move on, but it's more likely that those involved will move onto a new level of awareness and a new kind of involvement. There seems to be some kind of incentive involved here; I suggest you figure out what it is, and keep it at the front of your mind when you're making decisions. There are no more throwaway relationships in your life. I'm not saying there ever were, but now each person you become involved with needs to have a space that is their own, and be considered a lifetime endeavor.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
You cannot only reorganize your work patterns now; you can go to the meta-level and consolidate your methods and systems. Indeed, that's the theme of the hour, and there will be many benefits for doing so. It would, in fact, be wise and ethical to gear your motivations toward efficiency and profit, as functions of one another. They need to increase together, which will have an added benefit of ease. Is it really possible to make things easier, cheaper and smoother? Actually, yes. Part of how you'll be doing this is by paying close attention to your environment: in particular, your technological environs, and to one person who is a highly effective teacher, but who you may have only caught on to the wisdom of recently.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
How do you really feel about sex? Do you secretly wish you could take off your socks? Do you wish you could take a shower right afterwards, but it's too rude? Or would you rather stay covered in your scent the whole day? Do you find the talking part as hot as the physical part? Do you like the risk of making someone guess what you want? Do you secretly swim in the direction of that which is forbidden, just because that makes it better? Yes, yes, I thought so. Your charts are super-sexy (as they would say in Germany) right now. I hope this means you are feeling equally sexed; and in terms of getting what you want, it's far likelier if you go for exactly what you want; what, and with whom.

Planet Waves

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)
The ground is moving under your life right now, and and that means that energy is rising up from the Earth. Feel the power, even as you wonder what will happen, or how you will deal with the changes. Feel your stability deepening, even as your structures are challenged. Notice how the brittle spots in your emotions are cracking and settling into place; and how the strong, flexible ones are standing strong and true. Don't be annoyed by that one lingering anxiety; don't let it hold you back; it's just a thought. The truth is, you are letting go of a past that you for a very long time took for granted. You took its power over you for granted as well; and that, finally is changing fast.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
Your concept of a partner or loved one has to change. In polite spiritual company one would say evolve, but I mean shift entirely. You're holding onto a lot of old ideas about this person, or trying to; they are pretty much useless as anything except souvenirs now. The past few weeks have taught you how deep into yourself you can go, without 'losing yourself' in there. You have seen how close to a seemingly dangerous possibility you can come without losing your nerve. All of this is helping you make a new map to your own mental process and psychic interior. Now, back to this other person: update your files; see them in their current context; and most of all, envision them on their chosen path to the future. Don't worry: this is much likelier to bring you closer than it is to draw you apart.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
Jupiter is about to change signs; it does this once a year, which is what makes you such a fashionable person. This year's fashion is the hot tub, the Jacuzzi, the hot springs bath or when all else fails, the bathtub. If you don't have a bathtub, make friends with someone who does, and trade them occasional peeks at your collection of Air Mail stamps. Maybe get a fish tank; check Craig's List and you'll find some gear at a reasonable price. Try to spend some time by the ocean. Drink water. I will remind you many times during the coming four seasons: water, water, water. One other thing: keep your frugal attitude. Don't do less, just do it for cheaper. Save your money for some kind of significant, imminent long-term investment in yourself.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
What an interesting eclipse today. I wonder what's going on with you. You may file your iStrology report via email; juicy is welcome. As for my aStrology report: you seem to be claiming back some significant aspect of yourself or your autonomy that was previously invested in a relationship. What you're verging on is experiencing yourself as a whole person: independently of any other person, or in the context of a relationship. This ability will provide you with many opportunities to go over ground you've covered, and in a sense taken, during the past three or four months, smooth out problems and accomplish your goals with much greater efficiency. The truth is, you have a job to do. Get your intentions behind that every day.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
There are no compromises to integrity. You will make errors; there may be learning experiences; there are certainly unexpected or unfamiliar circumstances. But there are no compromises. Either something is true or it is not. Either someone is honest or they are not. Either you listen to your fear, or you listen to your creativity, maintaining awareness of your shadow. I am rarely one to advocate seeing the world in such black-and-white terms, but this is a temporary tool or utility that will help you get where you are going: and you seem to be feeling your potential more palpably than ever. This includes your financial possibilities; your emotional depth; your ability to focus your thoughts like a laser and cut through nearly anything. That is power, which demands responsibility. And this, in turn, is precisely that impeccability is the theme of the hour.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
What a relief that Jupiter is coming home to Pisces on Sunday. It's been a dozen years since the ruler of our sign was there. Say what you will about Zeus, the deity; Jupiter the planet bestows protection, opens potential and offers a feeling of abundance -- particularly when in Pisces. Especially if you have a bit of Pisces in your chart, and you have more than a bit. On this and several other accounts, you're both gaining a sense of clarity and easing through a spell of isolation and a weird kind of psychic pressure that has stalked you for years. You have more decompression coming, but like coming up from deep underwater, you don't want to do it all at once. I do suggest that this weekend, you figure out a way to let your body and soul relax, take a deep breath and let your imagination do its thing.

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