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Kingston, NY, Friday, Oct. 2, 2009

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Aries Full Moon: Relationship News Roundup

Dear Friend and Reader:

Overnight Saturday to Sunday is the Aries Full Moon. That's the Moon in Aries opposite the Sun in Libra. Aries is the sign of "I am" and Libra is the sign of "we are." This lunation is about the meeting point of individuals and the relationships we encounter. The tune of this Moon as I'm calling it is: how can we be ourselves in relationships, a whole person relating to another whole person, instead of being half of a couple?

Planet Waves
The many faces of marriage.
As Saturn works its way toward Libra (making its first ingress in just four weeks), relationships will be a defining theme of the next couple of years, so this is just a warm-up.

Saturn in Libra brings in the Aries Point (Saturn will soon oppose the first degree of the zodiac, as discussed in last Friday's edition), so the conversation occurs at the astrological nexus of our private lives and public discourse. Aries is all about self, self-awareness and on the dark side, selfishness, but then by some cosmic miracle it backs into a very wide dimension where we're al connected.

With planets gathering directly on the Aries Point (Jupiter conjunct Uranus, next spring) or in aspect to it (Saturn square Pluto beginning in November), the subject will be big news and it will come with many twists, innovations and surprising developments.

Even in the most basic terms, Saturn in Libra will help us clear the decks and identify our most fundamental values; emphasize the importance of human contact; and give us a way to think about the concepts by which we structure our personal lives. Saturn in Libra may serve to highlight our phobia about talking openly about actual relational themes; Saturn almost always takes us into fearful territory for the purpose of getting over ourselves.

Yet when you combine it with an opposition from Jupiter (expansion, culture, ideas, benefit) and Uranus (innovation, invention, revolution) on the Aries Point (the personal is political) we have an image of events driven by many people waking up and discovering who they are. And this will always express itself in relationships, which will stretch and crack open and grow in order to handle the surge of individualistic energy.

Warming up the topic, this past Sunday, The New York Times Magazine did its annual article on sex: Coming Out in Middle School. The writer visited the lives of young people who were exploring some version of queer, and also talked to their heterosexual allies in school organizations known as Gay-Straight Alliances (GSAs).

From this article, you find out that many places, it's easier for kids to be out of the closet than it was 10 years ago. Middle school is notoriously brutal on sexuality. There's so much fear and judgment mixed with this phase of hormone overdrive that most people never get over it. Once those junior high school social patterns set in, they usually keep their grip till well past retirement age. In all, the article was optimistic, while pointing out that even in cool places like San Francisco, some students still fear judgment, while in supposedly backwater places like Oklahoma there can be surprisingly enlightened values.

It's great to see this kind of progress. I attended one of the most progressive, experimental high schools in the country -- John Dewey High School in Brooklyn -- and by the time I graduated in 1981 there was not one out gay male. There were some presumed lesbians but they weren't differentiated from feminists. There was absolutely no discussion of homosexuality when every other social or political issue was open season.

What the article did not note is that the conversation of sex within school walls or the school system is set in the context of abstinence-only sex education, which incidentally got $50 million more in federal funding this week. Begun in 1981, abstinence "education" informs students that their only choice is to abstain from sex until monogamous, heterosexual marriage. In other words, not only have schools refused to offer sex education to students, many have provided an ongoing tirade of disinformation, often disturbing in its specific attacks on gay, bi, lesbian and questioning students and for its intolerance of masturbation.

This attempt at repression through abstinence indoctrination seems to have created a generation of young people for whom experimenting with and exploring both sexual identity and gender identity is more or less normal.

Planet Waves
Victoria Woodhull, namesake of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, was the first woman to run for president, and was a proponent of what she called free love.
I was curious for some theories how this kind of progress bubbled up from a culture that's been told over and over that the only good sex is no sex. So I called up Carol Queen, a sex educator and board member of the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, to get her theory. As a student in 1975, she founded GAYouth, one of the first youth organizations in the country in her school in Eugene, Oregon.

"While abstinence-only is the law of the land for youth, all those young people for the most part have access to the Internet," she said Thursday. "That's the real game changer here. People who are getting in touch with their sexuality and feel the need for some support go online first and get it, and understand that they may have some opportunities to come out, to organize, to find like-minded others in their own communities, and that's what I think is really driving this phenomenon in the wacky and repressive and sinister world of abstinence education.

"Here's why I say sinister. I say sinister because it's a project of the political right to refuse information to young people who need it. To me that is not okay. I don't need to give information in an overwhelming way to young people who don't feel like they need it. But refusing information to people who need it is a problem. And it's made young people band together to get that information, to reach out and get that information."

She said that kids tend to make stuff up, to tackle the question of what to do with their sexual desires, which "the kind of repression that is being attempted with this policy" encourages.

"What's shocking is that communities both more liberal and more conservative across the nation have been forced to, and in many cases, have chosen to buy into this, because they don't want to take the responsibility for giving real information to youth. So that leaves youth hanging on their own. I say this as someone who saw the effects of this as a young person activist myself in the 1970s. I saw this problem in my own life and the lives of my friends and was activist around it."

The Times piece described the emergence of Gay-Straight Alliances in many high schools.

"The whole phenomenon of the Gay-Straight Alliance is a really important one," Queen said. "The notion of this is that youth across the sexual orientation spectrum are going to find these issues relevant. It's a nascent political support organization, in a way. But it's also a social support network of students who don't feel as though queer is horrible. Plenty of straight students want support for more progressive sexual notions and are probably attracted to organizations for that reason."

Planet Waves
Stevie Jay at a recent performance. He is challenging the definitions between 'gay' and 'straight'. Click for video.
Stevie Jay is a stage performer whose one-man shows take on issues of sex and sex culture. He met Chelsea one day down in Florida, and she sent him my way.

In his performances, he uses wit, charm and common sense to seduce his audiences outside their comfort zone. He's advocating getting rid of, or going beyond, the concepts of gay, queer, straight and their cousins, feeling that their use is basically finished. He just performed five nights in Providence, RI.

"When I was in Providence, I met men who were members of various social groups for gay men, e.g. yoga classes for gay men, rowing clubs for gay men, etc.," Jay wrote to me last night. "It's been said a thousand times, but apparently it can't be said enough: it's not as if 'straight men' get together and form clubs and organizations based on their sexual orientation, like 'Yoga Classes for Straight Men', or 'Straight Men's Rowing Club'. Unless the activity is sex, is there really a reason to group yourself with other people based on sex? It's not like sucking cock or eating pussy is an indicator of one's personal integrity or represents one's deepest values. It's just sex. It's like food. We all need to eat. I like to eat pizza and you like to eat hamburgers. End of subject. Are you telling me that we've got to have a freaking symposium? Pizza eaters vs. hamburger eaters -- we need to practice tolerance. I don't get it!"

Reading this, I called him up and made sure he understood that before there was the modern, trendy version of identity politics, there were gay men organizing in Greenwich Village because their hangouts were being raided by the cops; one could get arrested just for walking in the door. Just like there aren't yoga classes for straight men, there also aren't bands of gay cops raiding bars frequented by heterosexuals, clobbering everyone for sport.

He gets it; he was in his young 20s living in Miami when Anita Bryant commenced the modern anti-queer movement by advocating the repeal of a local ordinance in Dade County, Florida, that prohibited discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. She teamed up with Jerry Falwell on this project, and anti-gay hatred reached a new peak. He remembers people screaming anti-gay comments at him from car windows. His feeling is that now, identify politics merely divides people, rather than fostering any kind of unity.

"I feel like this is a major blind spot -- especially among folks who tend to be progressive and liberal in their thinking," he said in his email. "So much gnashing of teeth about equal rights, calling for the dismantling of heteronormalcy while simultaneously using the word 'queer' to describe people who are same-sex oriented (sexually). The word 'queer' means 'odd', 'weird', 'abnormal', -- and there are untold numbers of self-proclaimed 'queer people' who passionately campaign for the mainstream world to accept them and stop regarding queer people as abnormal. Great -- you've got a neon sign above your head that says weirdo and you're angry because people regard you as a weirdo, and you demand to be treated as normal and not weird. It's a lot to ask."

He continued, "Men love men and women love women, and that's a reality of being human. And to take that simple reality and turn it into a 'thing' via giving it a label adds all kinds of weight and significance and existential/social/interpersonal conflict that are nothing more than mental constructs and have nothing to do with the reality of simply loving someone or simply being attracted to someone."

His implication is that the queer movement isolates us from intimacy rather than offers us to it -- which is the purpose of most social games. Usually, closeness to others is the last thing people want, despite their claims. More often, motives like tribalism, being part of an in-group, being seen as better than others or the need to be a victim take precedence over actual bonding or the sharing of contact. Games and pastimes are put to work to take up our bandwidth and guarantee arm's-length relationships with one another.

I have been having a similar conversation within the polyamory community, in which I've been active as a writer and presenter since 1997. Polyamory means the capacity or practice of having committed relationships with more than one person, but with everyone consenting to the experience. I've been encouraging the leaders of the poly movement that I know to stop using the label, and to cast their message in terms of something of benefit to all people who are in relationships or want to be. For years, I've presented at poly conferences thinking, the people who say they're monogamous are the ones who would benefit the most from this information. And it's a much larger audience.

The great thing about the label "polyamorous" is that people who feel that way, on hearing the word for the first time, can discover that there are other people like them. I've heard over and over again the same story: "I learned that word and I discovered that I'm okay."

Planet Waves
And baby makes... four: (from left) Laurel Avery, Roland Combes and Juliette Siegfried with their baby, Maya. They were recently featured in an article on polyamory in the Independent. Polyamory has got a good bit of press this year, including a special about how trendy it is shown on MTV last month.
The problem is that it becomes both a label and a club. Unless you live in a city large enough to have specifically poly events, such as pot-luck dinners (a common kind of poly get-together), announcing you're polyamorous pretty much guarantees you're not going to get a date. You say poly and the person listening to you hears cheater.

Since few people bother considering the ethical issues of relationships, it's outrageous to think that someone who admits to being nonmonogamous would be the person to open up the topic -- however, it's true; the discussion of ethics and sensitivity is easily half of the polyamorous discussion.

My message to the poly club, and the monogamous club, which I recently offered in a French television interview:

There are relationships and there are communities. All relationships are one on one, no matter what the style. If you have three boyfriends, you must relate to each of them individually. The basis of any relationship is trust and communication. These subjects will come up, by name or not, in any relationship, no matter what the style.

Relationships all exist in the context of community. Communities either support relationships or stress them; relationships either support community, or isolate us from it.

Many monogamous relationships isolate people. One cannot often be monogamous and also be available for new relationship experiences, whether sexual or not. Often what we say, feel and do comes under the tyranny of jealousy, of which we rarely question the validity or cause, or note the damage that it does. Many monogamous relationships compel people to lie about their reality, since the illusion of exclusivity has to be maintained. But we don't generally have the communication skills or self-esteem to have a real conversation, even if we want to. And most relationships are governed by the fear of being abandoned rather than the pleasure of loving.

The underlying issue is honesty: about what we want, feel, need, and have done. Only the truth is erotic; love is real to the extent that we allow ourselves to be real. Relationships are either inherently honest or dishonest. Everyone loves more than one person, but the question is, can we admit it, or does that fact have to isolate us from the people we care about? And why do we have to hide? Are we using the relationship experience to cover up our insecurities, or is it a journey toward resolving them?

I turn around, and it's fear. I turn around again, and it's love.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

A closer look at the Full Moon

The Aries Full Moon of Oct. 4, 2009 takes place overnight from Saturday to Sunday in the United States and early morning Sunday in the UK and Europe. Incidentally, that is St. Francis Day (when you can bring your llama, cat or dog to church some places). Here is the chart, with a few details. Note the opposition of the Moon and Sun across Aries and Libra; that's what makes it the Full Moon.The Moon and Sun are always in opposite signs and houses for the exact Full Moon. It is an opposition or the peak of a cycle.

Planet Waves
Chart for the Full Moon, cast for Kingston, NY. The ascendant will be Leo through much of the northeastern United States and move toward Cancer in the western states. The Full Moon is overnight Saturday to Sunday in most United States time zones, occurring at 2:10 am in NY, and 11:10 pm in Los Angeles.
In this chart, the Sun appears in the 3rd house and the Moon appears in the 9th house. Remember, the houses will change depending on where you are in the world; to see the chart for your area, you need to cast it using your own coordinates. However, the positions of the planets don't change; only the positions of the angles (such as the ascendant) and the houses.

You can see the triple conjunction of Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune on the 7th house (middle of chart, right hand side), an appropriate placement for the themes of today's article, which focuses on queer youth movements and polyamory going beyond their old definitions and social identities. Whatever the style relationship we chose or need to choose, they all have one thing in common.

We also see a lot of Virgo activity in this chart, on the lower left: another triple conjunction of Venus, plus newly-direct Mercury (still slow and powerful) and Saturn. These three planets oppose Uranus in Pisces (top, toward the right, in blue) which is conjunct the asteroid Juno. This meeting of Uranus and Juno could be summed up as "reinventing marriage."

Mars (symbol from men's bathroom) is close to the south node of the Moon, which is about the need or the effort to old emotional rage and violence, and indeed negative emotional habits of any kind. If I were reading this chart cast locally for a specific question, the 12th house would suggest that the habits were both hidden and rooted in fear.

Mars is closely trine Uranus in Pisces, which suggests an opening for what I'll call 'spiritual' energy -- higher vibration energy from a nonphysical or not conventionally physical source. Mars has squared Eris (a glyph that looks a lot like Mars), which was exact midweek. Therefore, this is a separating square, suggesting that the subject matter is in the past -- which fits the theme of Mars on the south node: we see something here about resolving old anger towards women.

While we're on the subject of gender, Venus is in Virgo: both thoughtful and self-critical. There is the capacity for logic if you can let go of that thing about striving for perfection by means of picking every last zit.

Planet Waves Daily

Coming Up in Daily Astrology and Adventure

World Weather Roundup

While many in the Northern Hemisphere welcomed the equinox and the arrival of autumn, recent weeks have arrived with an unusual cluster of natural events around the world. These events coincide with unusual Aries Point activity, astrology that has a way of rippling into the lives of many people.

Wednesday night, a magnitude 7.6 earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sumatra, the sixth largest island in the world. According to published reports, by Thursday night it was known that more than 1,2000 people had been killed in the city of Padang and nearby areas, which were just 30 miles from the epicenter. Sumatra was the scene of the infamous 2004 earthquake, which had an epicenter 155 miles off the coast of Banda Aceh, on the northern end of the island. An estimated 130,000 people were killed in the 2004 magnitude 9.2 quake and subsequent tsunamis.

One day before the Sumatra quake, another earthquake in the South Pacific sent tsunami waves crashing into the Samoas. Thursday that the tally of the dead had risen to at least 160 and property damage was widespread, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The magnitude 8.0 quake struck off Samoa at 6:48 a.m. local time (1:48 p.m. EDT; 17:48 GMT) Tuesday. The islands soon were engulfed by four tsunami waves 15 to 20 feet (4 to 6 meters) high that reached up to a mile (1.5 kilometers) inland.

The Samoas lie about halfway between New Zealand and Hawaii, ust east of the international date line. Some of the islands are an unincorporated American territory.

Meanwhile, the second tropical cyclone in less than a week is bearing down on the Philippines. Typhoon Parma threatens the island nation in the western Pacific Ocean with catastrophic flooding, mudslides and destructive winds tonight into Saturday. While part of the large typhoon will stay offshore, the northeastern part of Luzon province is expected to be hard hit.

Just days ago, Tropical Storm Ketsana brought massive flooding to Manila, the Philippine capital, following close to 20 inches of rain in some areas.
September was also a month of heavy rains in the Southeastern United States, especially in Georgia. Devastating flooding resulted, and images of the impact of rising waters can be seen at the website of the Citizen-Times of Asheville, NC.

Meanwhile, in Australia there were both floods and fires in the past weeks, as well as the gigantic dust storm that swept in from the Outback to cover Sydney, coloring the skies (and everything else) in red and orange.

As for the adage that "everyone talks about the weather but no one does anything about it," British astrophysicist Piers Corbyn predicts extreme weather events around the globe using "predictable aspects of particle and magnetic effects from the Sun." Check out his September 2009 forecast on YouTube.

That's One Spaced-Out Clown

One wonders what wonders Guy Laliberté will come up with while floating around the International Space Station for the next week.

If you don't know his name, it's quite possible you know his work: he founded and owns Cirque du Soleil, the innovative Canadian circus troupe that started humbly as a group of street performers and now has permanent installations around the globe. Laliberté, now a billionaire who according to published reports paid $35 million for this trip into space, is the mastermind behind the Cirque, which has virtually nothing in common with P.T. Barnum's three-ring affairs: for example, animals (with the possible rare exception of dogs) are not used.

In fact, perhaps the best word to describe Cirque du Soleil's unique shows is "otherworldly," which makes Laliberté's orbital escapade quite apropos. His performers sail above the ground on gossamer wings of billowing fabric, or exhibit bizarre behavior that could easily be described as "alien." Anyone who has watched one of Cirque's themed performances would likely be little surprised the boss has ridden a rocket into space. His employees almost certainly wouldn't be.

Laliberté, born in 1959, has a Virgo Sun clustered with the Moon, Venus and Pluto. He is a technician. However, his conjunction of Mercury and Uranus in Leo make him an innovator and showman.

But what does it mean to have this man, this literal clown, this juggling, stilt walking, fire breathing, unapologetically unreformed street performer on the International Space Station?

For the future of manned space flight, it might be a very good thing. After all, the Golden Age of space exploration was characterized by a sense of wonder. The man who now floats in orbit over our heads has both the creative genius and the outreach (Cirque's permanent shows in Las Vegas draw 9,000 people every night) that scientific agencies like NASA lack. Imagine if he translates his time on the International Space Station into a new show that hundreds of thousands of people would see in just a few years, then Cirque du Soleil, the Circus of the Sun, could literally put stars back in the public's eyes again.

And as for the people who aspire to one day reach for those same stars, they have a new mantra: "Hey, if going to space is so easy even a clown can do it, why can't I?"

This Is Your Brain On WiFi

Brain = Computer. It's a pretty simple equation, one kids have been learning for decades now, and it does offer up a pretty clear idea of the basic function of that marvelous, squishy mass of stuff inside our skulls.

Well, the website PhysOrg.com is reporting that one new study hints that Brain = Wireless Hub might be more accurate.

Planet Waves
Pre/post central sulcus. Image: PhsyOrg.
Here's the gist: At any given time, your brain is the destination of an incredible number of signals. Some of those signals offer conflicting information, or suggest courses of action that are mutually exclusive -- the article at PhysOrg suggests grabbing a hot platter, where one signal is telling you to drop it before your fingers burn, while the other is telling you not to drop it because your dinner will wind up all over the floor.

The article quotes Ezequiel Morsella, an assistant professor of psychology at San Francisco State University and the study's lead author, who says this means the brain is less like a single computer and more like "a set of computers that control different tasks, consciousness is the WiFi network that allows different parts of the brain to talk to each other and decide which action 'wins' and is carried out."

Furthermore, PhsyOrg reported, "The study finds that we are only aware of competing actions that involve skeletal muscles that voluntarily move parts of the body, the bicep for example, rather than the muscles in the digestive tract or the iris of the eye."

There is actually a Fun Home Brain Experiment you can perform along these lines. It's called a Stroop Task, and it works like this: Print the words GREEN and YELLOW, one over the other, on a piece of paper (or go to this web site). However, use yellow letters for the word GREEN, and green letters for the word YELLOW. Show it to a friend (because it's always more fun to experiment on your friends) and ask them to name the color of the top word. There's a very good chance that instead of saying "yellow," which is the color of the ink, they'll say "green," because they're conditioned to read the word.

The study was released in this week's edition of the journal Emotion.

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Weekly Horoscope for Friday, October 2, 2009, #786 - BY ERIC FRANCIS

Planet Waves
Aries (March 20-April 19)
This weekend's Full Moon is raising questions in a partnership, but just what questions are they? One thing stands out: can you be yourself in a particular relationship? Or is the whole thing a political exercise, wherein you must follow a kind of intellectual choreography? Second, can you extract yourself from these old emotional patterns that you know you need to be free from? Bear in mind that this is a matter of how you're going to do it, not whether you will do so. Beware of a potential overlap in the issues, which is how your own life story has led you to the situation you're currently in. Life is not about playing a role in a drama; it's about having an authentic experience. If you use that as a reference point, the specifics will be more obvious.

Planet Waves
Taurus (April 19- May 20)
You may feel like a partner or colleague is way ahead of you in terms of their ability to express creative energy, and that they make everything look easier than it will ever be for you. If you keep that opinion, you'll miss the obvious truth that you're sitting on a well of untapped creative energy. You'll benefit profoundly from sizing up your relationship to your inspiration, and noticing what you do with it when it arrives. That relationship feels stressed, as if the ideas you entertain are more of a fancy notion than something you can reduce to a practical plan of action. What you may not be remembering is that everyone who already knows how to do something learned how from someone, and then turned that knowledge into experience. This takes consistency and dedication, and more than anything, willingness to learn.

Planet Waves
Gemini (May 20- June 21)
Suddenly you understand something that seemed impossible to sort out just a few days ago. That something would be your own feelings, which were mired in conflicting internal viewpoints and moreover, a sense of self-reproach. If there is anything you're not forgiving yourself for, now would be the time. You seem to be working through this issue in layers. The last phase involves coming face to face with the part of you that both judges you and is stuck in the past. Whatever you hold in your mind is an idea, and all ideas are subject to change. What you may not have figured out yet is that you are an idea, though throughout your life many people have tried to have a hand in shaping you. It's time to value your own opinion about yourself above all others.

Planet Waves
Cancer (June 21- July 22)
We hear the word "proactive" a lot, and today is a good day to talk about what it means. Simply: setting up the present so that you increase the likelihood of the future that you want. Opportunities are opening up with this weekend's Full Moon, and your job is to remove from your path any obstacle that you can perceive. Look straight at the future you want to create. Be bold and tell yourself what it is, going further than describing it in general terms. What comes your way will surprise you and is outside the scope of my vision, but it's clear that doors you didn't even know existed will be opening; contacts you make now can lead you far and wide. Maintain your optimism, do your small part, and recognize a gift when you see it.

Planet Waves
Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
In an odd and unexpected way, your fears will provide you with vital information. This is rarely so; fear tends to be the thing that steers us wrong nearly every time. The key now is to engage yourself in a dialog, though this may feel awkward or unproductive. It will be worth the effort. Primarily, the fear will orient on a concern that you cannot change something rooted in the distant past. Your motivation to do so is an indescribable internal pressure compelling you to make some immediate change, based on a belief that seems to have suddenly reversed. If you can recognize the pressure or anxiety specifically for what it is -- that is to say, actual fear rather than one of its candy-coated feelings -- you will be able to enter into a direct dialog with yourself. Remember, the real information is veiled. See the veils for what they are, and remove them one at a time.

Planet Waves
Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
Though much remains unresolved, one especially difficult point of confusion suddenly worked itself out this week. The added challenge is that you may be looking at what feels like too many options, and relationships you don't understand. Meanwhile, the most exciting and positive opportunity seems like the most daunting, and the one that will jolt you out of your old tendencies. I suggest you look at every decision you make for the next few months as a point of no return, and consider every chance a once-in-a-lifetime offer. Things have not been moving too quickly for you; they have been moving far too slowly. The main thing that's been hanging you up is your own idea of who you are. That is about to change fast, and I suggest you go with the flow.

Planet Waves
Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)
What if everything in your life, all the improvements you want to make and every issue you've identified, hung in the balance on the food that you eat? Any nutritionist would tell you this is true every day of your life, but your astrology says it's something to consider now. Whether you're considering how to advance your professional goals or your emotional state (which are related), or how to make your relationship a better place, think food. More to the point, think differently than the food your parents taught you to eat. They didn't know everything, and a lot has changed since you were a kid. You're older and you can't live on your old diet of ramen and ghetto pasta. You need actual flavor and nourishment.

Planet Waves
Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
Family or community matters seem to be occupying more bandwidth than they deserve. Yet over the next few weeks as matters begin to work themselves out, you'll likely agree that it was worth the time and effort. What you've accomplished over the past four or five months will help you ensure that you proceed into some truly exciting, challenging times with a clear head. While you may feel responsible for your family and tend to take on responsibility for groups of all kinds, you (thankfully) have a limited leadership role. At the least, you have learned to share responsibility and learned how to tell others they need to look after their own affairs, and look after one another. The key will be heading into the future with no guilt that you've promised yourself to take on less of their stuff.

Planet Waves
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
The primary skill you must bring to your professional activities involves public relations. You have invested your labor, your ideas and your time. Now you need to present yourself to those who have the power to make a difference. For anyone oriented on doing quality work, the process of presenting that work comes with its own challenges. Despite its blustery reputation, Sagittarius faces many of the same challenges the rest of us do when it comes to advancing their own cause. But you do love a challenge, and currently it involves having faith in the quality and value of what you are achieving. The public relations phase is, for you, the harvest phase. I propose, though, that you'll have a pleasant surprise when you get into the groove: a lot of new ideas coming from the people you talk to.

Planet Waves
Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
Be on the lookout for a revelation that will greatly advance your long-term goals. You might discover something that was hidden, or come up with an entirely new idea. Indeed, if there was ever a weekend to draw up the 10-year plan for your life, this is the one. Remember, plans are a sketch that gets you thinking; a space to explore the possibilities; a space to stretch into territory not exclusively defined by what was possible in the past. That is the best value of plans: something to aim for, but not to be trapped within. Once you have a sketch (one page in length will suffice) you can ask yourself if it works for you, and adjust accordingly. But these will not be ordinary plans; rather, something more like channeling your future self.

Planet Waves
Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
You need to live with the tension for just a few more weeks. Mercury has stationed direct and the Full Moon is about to pass; many people will feel better as these events take hold. In terms of direct results, Aquarius is on a bit of a time delay; as we anticipate Jupiter and other planets stationing direct in your birth sign. Before that happens, I suggest you conduct all your conversations with the utmost care and awareness. People who say casual things to you will reveal profound insights into your life. They will spark off inner processes that get you asking the right questions, and provide a mirror for your most difficult-to-see issues. Note all these things carefully. When your life goes into overdrive in a few weeks, you will be very pleased to have this information.

Planet Waves
Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
The Full Moon in Aries this weekend will light up the horizons of your financial potential. Yet any such awareness really comes from a deeper level, which is learning (in the words of my office manager Chelsea's Pisces husband TJ) how to feel good about yourself. This is the name of the game, fellow fish. When you feel good about yourself, your life goes well. When you don't, things tend to slide backwards. When you feel beautiful, you get dates. When you don't, you're left wondering why not. For you especially, the heart of your cosmic mission needs to start with your emotional environment: the feeling-tone of your existence. Eat well, live well, and invest in yourself. Hold the world to a high standard for how to treat you, and be willing to meet it yourself. The rest will follow.

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