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In the Nature of Water

Dear Fellow Traveler:

We have nearly arrived at the total solar eclipse in Cancer. There are many kinds of eclipses, and this is just the second total solar eclipse in Cancer since the June 2001 event that rewrote existence. (The most recent was last July.) The June 21, 2001 eclipse was precisely on the Aries Point, in the first degree of the sign Cancer. In other words, it happened on the solstice, and was extraordinarily powerful for that reason.

Planet Waves
Sunday's total solar eclipse in Cancer, set for the location of the astrologer. The eclipse itself is on the top right side of the chart -- note the Moon and the Sun with the number 19 next to them (that is the degree location). Juno is the purple asterisk-like glyph to their right. The inverted horse shoe is the South Node of the Moon. When the Sun is near either one of the Moon's nodes, you know that an eclipse is in the vicinity. Also of note is the cluster of planets in Virgo. These are on the top left of the chart. In order the planets in Virgo are Venus, Vesta, Mars and Saturn. Saturn is about to ingress Libra and make its 5th and last opposition to Uranus (in blue, directly opposite Saturn).
Click for larger version.
Now we have many other planets gathered around the Aries Point, all of them aligned in the cardinal signs. Those are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, as well as the lunar nodes. I am aware that this time in our lives is offering many people more stress and change than they can process. The eclipses are intensifying the effect: we will be in different territory Monday after the conjunction, and as the energy shifts we will gradually see where that is.

So take it as easy as you can, talk to people you resonate with rather than those who resist your perception, and move with the energy. Given that the eclipse is in the sign Cancer, that means high emotions and, as you will read later, some stress on partnerships. Do that crablike thing and move sideways if you need to. Focus on your basic needs.

There are a lot of planets in Virgo right now, and Saturn is changing signs: these factors point to additional mental stress. So go easy on the self-critique, and if your lover isn't giving it to you, give it to yourself.

Oil Spill As Metaphor

Cancer is a water sign. It's difficult to think about water without remembering the Gulf of Mexico, the Loop Current and the Gulf Stream. Everyone has their favorite place in that part of the world and I keep thinking about what is going to happen to Key West. Yesterday I heard that tar balls washed up on the Texas coast. Maybe that will get them into the game: we need a state with a lot of influence to keep the pressure on BP and the feds. I've also heard that by August we could expect the oil spill to reach Miami. That's a lot of beachfront real estate, something to consider for those who don't care about dolphins.

Planet Waves
Urban Stream. Toronto, summer 2005. These are actually freshwater springs within the city being drained off of a construction site. Photo by Eric Francis.
As someone both trained and naturally inclined to read the signs and symbols, I also cannot think about what's happening down in that magnificent inland sea without considering what this says about the emotional nature of humanity, and the extent to which we are collectively overdosing on everything that is not conducive to peace, contentment or creativity.

By overdosing, I mean everything from what we see on television to what passes as food and beverages. Every time I see someone walk by with a can of Arizona iced tea, I cringe. I mean how we do nearly all of our socializing on the Internet, where we can safely delete one another. I mean the extent to which we are inflicted with about 10 new reasons a day to get lost in anxiety, and we have few examples or techniques to get out of it: besides, you know, the usual mantras of "it's all good" or "we're all screwed." It's true that we need to organize politically and environmentally to deal with this stuff, but we also need a kind of psychological activism so we can learn techniques to cope with and process the way the world is now. We need to learn our options.

I wonder why, when I flip through the cable channels, I go past five murder investigations and a couple of murder trials. Conversations about relationships are relegated to the circus of daytime television. How often do you see an artist talking about their work -- that is, as compared to crime scene investigations? I would say it's a ratio of about 1:500. I never imagined that politics would get polarized into the hyped-up state of vindictive chaos that it's in (the Clinton impeachment should have been a clue), as our country racks up debt for war against a nonexistent enemy and cannot, at this point, solve its own problems. We could, of course, if we could agree what they are, agree to do something and agree that the people who profit from perpetuating the problems have to be moved out of the way.

All of this and a lot more plays into our anxious emotional state right how: what you might call our water body. People really are scared about what is happening to the world. Personally, I find this to be impressive. Yet we don't know how to turn that fear into action. The Gulf of Mexico is quite a metaphor for how we tend to deal with our water body: our emotional body. I just got an email from Chelsea's husband, T.J., directing me to an Associated Press story reporting the following:
Planet Waves
Algae in a beachfront salt-water pool in the North Sea, St. Malo, France. Photo by Eric Francis.
I am also reminded of the Planet Waves report from the spring about how until recently the Gulf of Mexico was used as a dumping ground for millions of pounds of unexploded bombs as warships returned from sea.

If you're following the news, you may have heard the theory that there is a massive methane bubble under the blown-out well that could, if it ignites, create a massive fireball, eruption and tsunami.

And CNN is reporting that nearly all of the people who worked on the Exxon-Valdez oil spill are now dead. This should remind us that petrochemicals are toxic. If you're not supposed to sniff your car's fuel tank while you're pumping gas, you should not be exposed to raw petroleum without a respirator and Tyvec suit. From what I hear, that ain't the way it is on the Gulf of Mexico right now: the workers cannot get the protective gear they need.

I've been working as a card reader and astrologer since the late 1980s and that means I've been listening to a lot of people tell me their stories. This is how most of us deal with our emotions. We take chances that we don't calculate. We don't take precautions that would be easy. Then we dump the old bombs and cap the wells and call that turning over a new leaf and moving on.

Water Recovers Gradually

Of course, this doesn't usually succeed. Fire, air and earth can burn, blow and quake (and move on), though water heals and returns to equilibrium slowly. What is damaged by water is slow (if ever) to repair, and we need to be mindful that water itself can be damaged rapidly. Once there is a toxic release, it can take a long time to recover, if it ever does. Real-life evidence of this is that it's nearly impossible to find fish that's not contaminated with mercury, PCBs, flame-retardants and many other persistent chemicals.

Planet Waves
Clam digging on a cold, damp afternoon in the north of France. Photo by Danielle Voirin.
And it's difficult for us to proceed through our emotional world without encountering their emotional equivalents: deception, resentment, fear, guilt and shame -- no matter how much we want (or say we want) love and emotional contact. We absolutely can heal these things, though there are a few prerequisites. One is we have to want to. Another is that we need to set about to do it on our own, acquire the tools we need, and surround ourselves only with cooperative people.

I wish this was how most of us lived. The world would be a lot happier place: an easier place to be. The way most of us treat our emotional reality, it's as if we woke up one day and discovered 27,000 capped oil wells and a million tons of bombs at the bottom of our personal pond, and have no idea where they came from. This is for the most part true. The past is more complex than most people can deal with, without help -- and how many people get help? How many people do you know who go to therapy and love their therapist? We don't realize that the unresolved pain and injury of our mothers and fathers is visiting us even from the seventh generation or longer into the distant past.

If we want to recover, we need to plan for a long journey, and take the first steps ourselves. Nobody can make that commitment for us, and no matter who wants you to feel better (and by that I mean heal emotionally), you have to want it for yourself or it's not going to happen. There are moments of breakthrough, but it doesn't happen in that instant, hyper-convenient way that we Westerners have been conditioned to believe that progress is made. We don't turn off the computer and turn it back on. Apparently dying, visiting bardo and reincarnating don't do that much as well. Most people live through the same stuff lifetime after lifetime.

Most of that stuff happens in the context of intimate relationships, and the current pair of eclipses has a lot to say about those. I would note that how we handle our intimate relationships is the single most important factor that determines how we will handle our relationship to the world: that is, with "the system" and the power structure. Indeed, the two will reflect one another -- and the whole setup will have its underlying roots in our relationships with our parents.

Cancer-Capricorn: The Relationship Axis

In recent years, an ancient document surfaced that is a key to understanding astrology. I admit, this is not getting a lot of news. I first reported on this in 2007. It's called the Thema Mundi, a theoretical chart for the world left for us by the classical-era Greek astrologers: the Founders, as they are known. The big news in this chart is that Cancer is rising, suggesting that the 1st house or ascendant is a Cancer influence and not an Aries influence. This has many implications for astrology and the corresponding study of human nature. I call this the 90-degree shift.

Planet Waves
Waterfall in High Falls, New York. Notice the little grotto in the back of the image, toward the left. -- I just discovered that the other day. Photo by Eric Francis.
Cancer rising for the chart of the world actually makes a lot of sense. Humans have to pause and take care of one another, no matter how much we try to play the every man for himself game of Aries. Our reality is primarily emotional: how we feel is nearly everything. Cancer in the ascendant puts Capricorn on the descendent, which is the 7th house or relationship angle of the chart. We tend to enter relationships with thoughts of family, nurturing, need and cozy emotional exchange (Cancer) and we tend to end up in highly structured or confined situations characterized by parent-child dynamics, financial bonds, obligation, guilt and all the trappings of history (Capricorn).

If Cancer is the 1st house and Capricorn is the 7th house in the chart for the world, the current eclipses are happening across the self/relationship axis of the chart. We just had a lunar eclipse in Capricorn conjunct Pluto, and now we have a total solar eclipse in Cancer. These events are getting that whole axis shaking: our relationships and our ideas about relationships, and the subtle pool from which our feelings and responses emanate. While planets pile up on the 'personal is political' Aries Point axis (reshaping the world at large), we have something distinctly inward and personal happening as well -- and what is personal affects the world.

There is no private life that is not in some way guided, shaped or dictated by a larger public life. All critters learn by example. Your dog, your cat, your kids, you personally: we all learn, and teach, by example. Notably, most of our ideas about relationships are no more original than what you see on TV and in movies. If you're below a certain age (I'm not sure what, though) you're lucky these days if they're more original than what you find in porn. (The Onion recently did a video mock of a TV discussion panel on the theme, "Is pornography sending our children the wrong message -- that sex is pleasurable?")

And all of this has been passed onto us by our beloved ancestors, with a lot of help exploiting our pain from the advertising industry. This, basically, is our emotional Gulf of Mexico disaster. We could do something about this with some willingness and desire. All of this territory is mapped out. The problems are well understood. As Adrienne Rich wrote, there are methods but we do not use them. With all this eclipse activity, you may be deciding that it's time to apply a method or two; to get some help. Don't give up on that after the eclipse has passed and the immediate pressure is off: this game is just getting going.

Eclipse of the Moon in Capricorn, Conjunct Pluto

These eclipses are showing us what we have to clean up, and are pointing to some strong potential for what we can create if we do. I thought the June 26 eclipse in Capricorn was particularly beautiful at illustrating what we have to confront and let go of in our emotional patterns, which is overidentificaiton with the other. I recognize the value of companionship, but that's not what I'm talking about. I am describing the loss of any boundary between the identities of two people.

Planet Waves
Cap Gris Nez (top left) as seen from Cap Blanc Nez on the north coast of France, along the English Channel. Photo by Eric Francis.
We call this romance and commemorate it with large diamonds, expensive dinners and mortgages, but what we have is one of the most significant evolutionary impediments imaginable. We are taught to lose ourselves in the other, and then we call this holy. How can it be cool to lose yourself in the other when you are the only thing you've really got?

Let's think astrologically, step by step. The Moon rules Cancer, the 1st house (= I am) of the Thema Mundi. It was eclipsed in Capricorn, the 7th house (= we are) of the Thema Mundi. That feels like facing pain, enforced growth, the death of a situation, an imminent change in a situation, or outright immolation. Whatever the Moon represents has been through quite a process in these recent weeks, which has shaped its entire experience of relationships. It has recast the sense of 'self' that exists in relationship, pointing to what is impossible, what is urgently necessary and most of all, what we truly desire.

There has been an actual break in continuity, though only after acknowledging something from the past, and admitting that Pluto is still new in Capricorn and will be there until 2023-2024. This reminds us of a much longer process of completely redesigning our relationships: perhaps as an intentional act, perhaps as we crawl out of the rubble.

I'm aware how much people resist new ideas about relationships, as if such were not even possible to imagine or create. For the most part we are still dragging around two options: the meaningless hookup, or Cinderella and Prince Charming. We have a lot of other options, but to get there, we need to consider what we do to ourselves and one another by so often experiencing our relationships so unconsciously. In short, we need to begin this whole conversation by admitting our failures, including the failure of our 'institutional' forms of relationship.

Eclipse of the Sun in Cancer, Conjunct Juno

We could cut the whole discussion of relationship forms short by beginning with the idea that our primary relationship is to ourselves. Before we conflate this with egotism, narcissism, self-absorption, vanity or being conceited (all of which our culture teaches us to do, mostly through advertising), let's admit the simple truth that the one truly lifelong relationship we have is to ourselves.

Planet Waves
Healthy plant drawn towards the daylight on a rainy Paris afternoon. Photo by Danielle Voirin.

For anyone who honors this, it's more difficult for the idiots to slip into our lives (it's possible, but we might not roll out the red carpet for them). It takes two unconscious people to make an unconscious relationship. The minute one is conscious and able to admit their own best interests, they are free to move on. This, of course, takes commitment to one's own cause. And that, to me, is what a total eclipse in Cancer is all about.

Remembering that this takes place in the 1st house of the Thema Mundi, and that Cancer is the sign of incarnation, this eclipse is about incarnating as yourself.

Mixed right in with the eclipse is Juno, and in her highest manifestation she is about commitment: so this eclipse is about unifying one's commitment to oneself. Juno is conjunct this eclipse within one degree: she is right there, setting the theme.

Juno has another dimension, though. She is the embodiment of our expectations, our pain and most of all, our jealousy in relationships. We have a lot of concepts of 'what a relationship is' and 'what a partner is supposed to be', including one's own role as such. Women are given a lot more of this baggage than men (Simone de Beauvoir explains this in The Second Sex: women are taught to have a relationship as a primary life goal and men are taught to have relationships as part of their lives). So Juno represents this conceptual level of what a spouse or being a spouse represents, and that needs to be taken apart and looked at honestly.

Part of why we have such narrow ideas about relationships is the jealousy that Juno represents. We throw one another into all kinds of bondage because we are jealous.

The problem is not so much that we get jealous, but that we worship jealousy. We organize our lives around avoiding jealousy at any cost, usually through lies, secrets and denial, and this is where most of our relationship energy goes. In that environment, growth is basically impossible. Basically you have a choice: you can say 'I'm a jealous person and that's how it is' or you can say 'jealousy is an opportunity to grow, and I want to grow'.

The connection may not seem obvious at first, but you may discover that jealousy is your best teacher, your best opportunity to set yourself free and the thing that teaches you what love is not, and what love truly is.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

Coxing Kill on the Grandmother Land in Ulster Country, New York. Photo by Eric Francis.

Parsing The American Dream | Political Waves

Archie Bunker. That's a name most of us recognize, the prototype for ignorance, bias and racism wrapped in an almost -- but not quite -- loveable package of human frailty. Norman Lear's creation of a 1970s American family as cultural battleground cracked open the mythology of sanitized television families that had been force-fed to the public through the 1950s and 1960s. For the first five years of All In The Family, the nation couldn't look away. The character of Archie was originally designed to remain unlikable, but Carroll O'Connor brought a vulnerability to the role that broke through the bigoted crust of a population mesmerized by its own image. In the end, Archie was allowed to evolve into a gentler creature, but it should be noted that as he did so, the public lost interest.

There's another name being bandied about these days, a name some of us recognize but few of us know much about. Herbert Hoover, our one-term 31st president, was a curious creature who combined both softly liberal and sharply conservative views. He was skilled at problem-solving and organizing, with a reputation for stringent micromanaging. He put his faith in volunteerism and business rather than in government sponsorship, carefully guarding both the GDP and the public coffers, and streamlining spending. He inherited a fiscal mess and let the banks fail in the early 1930s. When he finally decided the economy needed government stimulus, it was too little too late.

Hoover was an austerity president who believed that the public could pull itself up by its bootstraps. He staunchly refused to offer public aid when the Great Depression took root, even when nearly a quarter of the population were without work and homeless. Tent cities sprang up boasting his name: Hoovervilles. In one of those gaffes one is never able to live down, he defended his policies by announcing that the hobos were eating better than ever. Archie Bunker might have said something similar, and now you know why you're hearing Hoover's name in the news.

Planet Waves 2010 Midyear Report is Ready

Dear Fellow Traveler:

The midyear audio report is ready. For subscribers, this is a 12-signs-for-one-price audio product. Originally planned at 10 minutes per sign, it came out to about 25 minutes per sign, with an introduction for all the signs. This report will work for your Sun, Moon and rising signs -- and you can even scope out what's going on with your kids and significant others. The report is ready. I've raised the price for all 12 by $5 as promised; the project came out so well that the signs are being sold individually to non-subscribers. The report covers outer planet transits, the cardinal T-square and the eclipses in Cancer and Capricorn. It's solid astrological work and I trust you will find it helpful.

Last week a reader asked how to work with the rising sign aspect of my reports, and I'll get to that in a moment.

As you know, we're in the midst of one of the most unusual alignments of our lifetimes. This is the cardinal T-square that is synonymous with 2012. At the heart of the matter is the square of Uranus and Pluto, the one that will make the Sixties look like a walk in the park. That square is within three degrees now, joined by Jupiter, Saturn and a pair of eclipses. All of this is lined up with the Aries Point, which is like a magnifying/focusing effect. Everyone is affected by this astrology no matter what their sign.

Some people are experiencing this as calm weather, and by the way, I don't suggest you worry about that. There are some individuals and some charts aligned harmoniously with the current process of rapid change. When you look back on these years you will be amazed at what you experienced, who you became and what you accomplished.

For others, there is quite a bit of unrest, turbulence, pressure and weirdness, and you may be wondering what is next. This report will be applicable to both perspectives, because they are two sides of the same process.

The audio introduction is about half an hour, then each sign gets about 25 minutes devoted to it. I am also including a wrap-up segment summarizing what I learned doing the 12 signs, covering the eclipses specifically. The report is ready now, well in time for the total solar eclipse on July 11. We're offering this for only $24.95 to existing clients now. Later on in the week, we will be selling each sign separately, so you'll save substantially by ordering right away.

What About my Rising Sign?

I write Sun-sign horoscopes and detailed reports that work whether you know your natal chart or not -- that is my specialty.

Planet Waves
Now for the reader question, which pertains to how (for example) the Aquarius birthday report relates to Aquarius rising; or how any one of the signs in the Midyear Report works for your rising sign.

The great Patric Walker, one of my spiritual mentors, once said of astrology: "It's all about the houses." He was a newspaper astrologer, so he meant the solar houses of a horoscope column.

He meant it for natal charts as well. It's possible to take a chart with an accurate ascendant (based on your birth time) and strip out all the planets and just read the house pattern -- that's how well houses work. So when I think through your astrology, about 51% of my energy goes into what house an influence (such as an eclipse) occurs in. For your Sun sign, I use the solar house system, which works beautifully. I also suggest you know your rising sign and pay as much attention to my interpretation for that sign as you do for your Sun sign. And as a Cancer rising Moon child, I pay attention to lunar energy all the time. So the better you know your chart, the more information you'll have available from my work -- and the better the value.

To find your rising sign, all you need is your birth time and a five-minute trip to Astro.com. If you don't feel like doing that, your Sun sign (also called your birth sign) will give you the information you're looking for.

Here is the link to order your Midyear Report from Planet Waves (instant delivery). Subscribers can still get all 12 signs for one price -- $24.95. If you're currently a subscriber to Planet Waves Astrology News, renew early combined with the report and get a discount on both. Make sure you use the same email address that your issues come to!

For readers who have not subscribed to Cosmic Confidential, here is a combined offer for $44.95 -- all 12 signs of Cosmic Confidential plus all 12 signs of the 2010 Midyear Report. If you purchase the combined offer, you will receive instant access to Cosmic Confidential, your confirmation letter will contain access info for the Midyear Report, and you will receive an email notice when the Midyear Report is done.

You can also order by phone by calling Chelsea at (206) 567-4455. Thank you for doing your metaphysical shopping at Planet Waves.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

Planet Waves
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, July 9, 2010, #823 - BY ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
By their nature, shadow images hide from our perception. By our nature, we tend to not want to see them. So the denial of shadow material -- such as fear, guilt, shame and insecurity -- is pretty much built into this thing we call human nature. But if we want to grow, and that means grow out of our anxiety and self-reproach, we simply have to face these matters, and I don't mean in the form of a fleeting glimpse. You are in a rare moment when you can peer into this dimension of yourself and observe them as if you are looking through a fog. The question is what to do with what you see, and I would say focus your attention for as long as you can. Remind yourself that every effect has a cause. See if you can get to the point where you can see fear as an option that you choose, or not.

Aries Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.
Taurus (April 19- May 20)
You seem to be married to an idea, and are using this as a substitute for devotion to yourself. What you're feeling as commitment may be part of a plan to stabilize the ebb and flow of the human tide, which can be an annoying thing to go through constantly -- especially for one born under your sign. But ebb and flow is what we do the most dependably. Any notion of commitment, to another person, to yourself or to the work that you do, needs to include room for fluctuation (this, even the designers of bridges and skyscrapers know well). This weekend's total solar eclipse is encouraging you to be flexible in your ideas about everything and everyone in your life. Take some of that space to see things as they are rather than as you insist they should be, or should have been. I'm pretty sure you will like your new perception better than the old one.

Taurus Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.
Gemini (May 20- June 21)
If you're getting involved in a financial partnership, or a personal relationship that includes the merging of finances, I suggest you get a few things out on the table. One is the scorecard that you've accumulated during this particular encounter. State your resentments and your unresolved issues in clear terms. Be honest about your values and whether you think they align with the values of the other person. Then invite your counterpart to do the same -- and listen well. You may feel compelled to yield to what is important to someone else, and this may evoke several layers of response. I would remind you that the history of this relationship goes back long before this relationship, and you may need to take extra care that you're not bringing in the past unfairly. You will soon see how much you have to gain by faith and fairness.

Gemini Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.
Cancer (June 21- July 22)
Western culture, particularly the United States, seems bent on denying the past. Yet in order to grow, we have to make peace with the past, take the information we need and let history go: which is different than denial. Indeed, it's precisely the opposite use of the mind. At the moment, your relationship to yourself is evolving rapidly, and that in turn is shifting your relationships to others. This is having visible and productive results. The past has weighed heavily on your emotional life, and it's only recently that you've been able to acknowledge your disillusionment and admit what you want. You're well on your way to finding the present, and you are more emotionally available than you've been in a long time. This is something to neither rush or to delay, but to embrace consciously. Then spread that energy to everyone you meet. Notice who they are, today.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
Imagine yourself in gestation, suspended in fluid. Feel the gentle movement, the distant sounds and the light that's coming from inside you rather than around you. This space has the quality of paradise, yet you're also confined. You have everything you need, but you have no influence over the flow of events. All you can do is focus on the changes you're going through: on what you feel, and on who and what you're becoming. You know you're growing so fast that eventually you won't be able to contain yourself in this enclosed bubble, but for the moment it's serving its purpose. Now notice: you're not alone. The vibrations and emotions you're experiencing are, in part, influenced by a source outside yourself. You're in relationship to whatever this other thing is, and it's influencing you powerfully. Be aware of this: all your growth depends on it.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
You're finally letting go of that heavy quality that has dominated your life for so long, and that has influenced so many of your decisions. Your anger is beginning to change into something else, something more useful. Your need to take total authority over yourself and certain people around you is beginning to reveal itself as less than helpful. The reason you're noticing these things now is because you have an option; you can see that you have a choice, and you're making the obvious decision. But there is something else. You know that every decision you make opens up a world of possibilities, some of which you cannot see, and none of which you can predict exactly. Letting go of that false sense of control is what will gently guide you into true freedom.

Planet Waves

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)
You are embarking on a creative partnership that has the potential to help you express your true talent. There's something 'old' about this arrangement and something entirely new about it. Every positive quality to this arrangement has a negative counterpart somewhere in your history. Yet instead of that history repeating itself, it's as if the problem points are being redeemed into something useful, indeed, something that benefits and nourishes everyone involved. These two ideas -- benefit and nourishment -- are your best friends right now. Notice when they are present in your environment, and nourish them right back. Keep a positive flow. As Saturn enters your sign, the winds of change will sweep through your life. Be alert, look for the best in every situation and remember: you know yourself. Use that knowledge and it will grow.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
Rather than having faith in a relationship, I suggest you aim to trust existence. In order to do this, you must have faith in yourself: a precious and rare element on our planet. In our world, we put enormous energy into romance, marriage, expectations, commitments and striving for the perfect bond. Then it's as if we don't notice how often this fails. Yet the thing we're really not noticing is what it's a substitute for, which is clarity, self-respect and faith in existence. If you look, you can see why. The more we run toward supposedly permanent emotional entanglements, the less emphasis we place on who we are. They're mutually exclusive because our relationships are so often based on something other than who we are. No matter what you're experiencing right now, you can trust that you're moving closer to the truth of yourself.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
You need to sort out an emotional commitment from a financial commitment. This is usually known as marriage, though even if you're not married or if the relationship I'm describing isn't with your spouse, the feeling is similar. The boundaries seem to be all over the place. You're not sure whether to take authority or make some kind of sacrifice. Actually, there is something in this situation that's out of your control, which evokes some memory of childhood. Here's what you can do as an adult: you can be creative. You can pay attention to the details. You can shift the conversation away from adversity and petty wrangling toward allegiance and your mutual need for security and common ground. If you come to a point where you feel helpless, remember you are not; your power is in the strength of awareness, communication and the decisions you make.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
Shift into proactive mode. For the past few months you've been able to ease away from the feeling that you need to be six steps ahead of everyone, and you needed the rest. Now you're back to a distinct need to be on top of your game. That means mapping out the chessboard, knowing who is who and where you stand with everyone, and seeing what options you have. As the next few weeks unfold, you will need to make a series of decisions, and they count. Indeed, you've made several choices the past year-and-a-half that didn't quite count, and now you're playing for keeps. But you've learned plenty, and you're ready to apply that knowledge. Let me clue you in on one thing you may not be noticing: people -- such as colleagues, bosses, clients, peers or whoever -- respect you a lot more than you think. Step into that space and live like your life matters. It most surely does.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
Stretch your horizons, and I mean far and wide. The nature of your life is about to take on new dimensions, as if you are shedding a skin or outgrowing a previous set of conflicts, delays and irritating situations. Before that you experienced a series of jolts that seemed ‘well intentioned' on the part of the universe, but which were also far from comfortable and only nominally useful. Your current astrology speaks of opening up a new life that feels like cracking out of a psychic cocoon and discovering you're alive. Remember the ways in which you've strived to exceed the bounds you knew could never limit you. You could call this waking up to yourself. Yet a relationship potentially is involved, and potentially solid and productive, which I mean in the deepest long-term sense. I suggest you take authorship and widen your field of potential, based on what you want to experience and accomplish with unfettered honesty or bold imagination. Don't let yourself be limited by your prior concept of what is possible; that is the very thing your psyche is ready to outgrow.

Aquarius Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
This weekend's eclipse pulls back the veil over some of the aspects of your life that are the most precious to you: emotional bonding, meaningful sensual pleasure, your creative passions and your sense of adventure. AndI am sure it comes as welcome news that you're at a culmination point. You don't need to eat from this whole buffet at once, though there is certainly a meal coming. Rather, imagine yourself fully entering this dimension of your life, finally allowing yourself to relax the emphasis on so many things that supposedly violate your true nature. You're not giving up everything you've learned; it will still be there when you need it. What has been lacking is your full commitment to what you want, and this is that part that you alone can offer. If you find you're giving yourself reasons why not, stop looking for reasons of any kind. Indulge your experience because you can. Be real because that's the thing to be.

Pisces Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available. Check this link for more information.

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