Cosmophilia: You Belong Here for Libra
By Eric Francis
Libra Part One
Libra Part Two
The artist doesn’t have time to listen to the critics. The ones who want to be writers read the reviews, the ones who want to write don’t have the time to read reviews.
— William Faulkner
Aspiration, achievement, participation, respect and recognition — long ago these were acknowledged by psychology as basic human needs, though less so by most of the human race. Just because they are not food, water and shelter, they are not considered ‘higher order’ needs, either. They are basic needs of a person living in modern society, and they are central to your wellbeing.
This is a matter of degree. It’s more necessary, or more urgent, for some people than for others. You know that you’re living at a time when involvement and personal expression are greater features of life than ever. This is largely due to the advent of the Internet over the past 20 years, which has changed life, consciousness and the idea of what a person is, in more ways than we’ve counted.
You live at the meeting point of all these things, and they are intimately related to your personal development. They meet not in a way that adds all of the factors together but rather in a way that multiplies them by one another, and in doing so shapes your experience of existence. It is all but determining the course of your life; in order not to feel that your life is controlled or subject to the fate of outside forces, you need to have deep roots into yourself and your place in the world.
Your astrology is pushing you not merely to get in step with the moment you’re actually living in, or to involve yourself and to express yourself; you’re being pushed, summoned or inspired to do so in a bold way. Yet this may at times feel like chaos. It’s true, the world is in some chaos at the moment, mainly the chaos of change; and also in inequity that may drive you nuts. It’s also the chaos of progress, which I would count as potentially helpful or harmful. Human civilization is at one of its most interesting and critical turning points as a new global electronic nervous system takes hold.
By this I mean an actual electronic extension of the human senses and brain wraps and surrounds the planet more thoroughly than anyone besides a science fiction author could have predicted. This is chaotic, exciting, interesting and challenging. And you are feeling its effects; you are in this environment; you are involved.
You may feel involved as a consumer; that much is inevitable these days. Even a rice steamer comes with an IP address and USB port. You are likely to have work responsibilities that have involved you as a participant in the digital revolution, and your old-fashioned streak may resist that as much as you find it interesting.
What your charts are saying is that you’re moving into some position of accomplishment and artistry, and that this has a relationship with technology. Yet this is a maturing relationship, in many ways a spiritual relationship, which is at its essence about being in harmony with your environment.
Currently your role in that harmony is about mastering the technology of language, one of the oldest devices that humans have ever developed. Then that extends outward into all of the other forms of technology. So, your old-fashioned streak may be happy to hear that the very oldest technology is the one you’re being called to develop and master, and this is very much an inner adventure.
Remember that. Your involvement in the psychotic, psychedelic, glamour-driven and at times brilliantly useful technology explosion/implosion that we’re in is something old, and potentially beautiful — language. The central theme of this is integrity of words and speech and how they are used. By integrity I mean soul and wisdom. Rather than being something you do, this is something you’re becoming.
Like any spiritual or worldly journey, there is a growth process involved, and it’s taking you deep. This is not exactly learning on the level of taking guitar lessons, which is challenging enough. It’s rare that musical communication conveys matters of practical, imminent ideas that must be understood by someone else or by many people, not for entertainment but for pragmatic communication. It’s also pretty rare for art to serve this role. Words require just as much discipline as art or music, just as much contact of your mind and body with source — yet more is at stake.
And words are becoming the ‘lost art’. To most people, the skilled use of language is more challenging than ever. In the digital age, words seem heavier and less familiar, more difficult to adjust and keep in place, and more challenging to use to get an effect — one that might be more easily but less precisely created by pictures or by video. Precision is one of your goals; it’s something your environment demands and expects, despite the ways others play fast and loose with the truth.
Borrowing a bit from the esteemed philosophy of conservatism, we live in an age of ‘moral relativism’, though it’s one that to me appears to be driven by a breakdown of language as much as by any human tendency to be naughty.
We also live in a time of lazy thinking. Writing, when it’s useful and helpful, is 90% thought, 10% typing. These days, the proportion seems to be reversed. Your job is to think, to stretch and strengthen your attention span, and to hold an integrity field of clarity no matter how challenging this may be — and I know that it is. But that challenge has a purpose, one that you may have already come to appreciate.
Strong Winds and Deep Roots
The aspect pattern with the greatest influence in your life remains the Uranus-Pluto square. This is the 2012-era aspect, which by some measures goes back to 2008 and by others to 2011. Both dates are valid. As for when it ends, well, give it another five years, with some of the most interesting expressions yet to come.
Though it’s been going on a while, this pattern is especially strong in your chart because it, like you, has most of its energy placed on the cardinal cross, which includes Aries, Libra, Capricorn and Cancer.
Aries, your opposite sign, is your 7th house — that of relationships and your environment. You have Uranus transiting through this house, now in the midst of a seven-year journey.
As a result, you’re likely to be feeling two things. One is a concentrated external force, like a strong wind that can come at you at any time. By wind, I mean anything potentially disruptive, challenging, exciting, interesting — though the distinction is that it seems to be outside of you. Looked at one way, this is the digital environment I am describing, and to you it may appear to be superficial, brash, ugly and pointless. It can redeem itself by being useful, and you know that you must use it well. It’s just that there’s so much damned noise.
Yet this planet describes your personal and business relationships as well. If Libra is indeed the sign of balance, you’ve been on a wild ride. Uranus, especially in Aries, has a relentless quality. There are days you seem to spend all your hours deflecting lunatics, crazymakers, weirdos and eccentrics. No, it hasn’t always been like this. You’re not making things up about some ideal time in the past when people seemed a bit more grounded. And sometimes it seems the more you need to settle into something serious, the more they come fluttering out of the universe doing the dance of chaos.
On the other side of the human element are encounters with people and groups who push you creatively, who inspire and even drive you to think, and who have an odd way of getting you to participate in things you would have never considered before.
Uranus may also manifest as the influence of periodic crisis, as well as an odd sensation of instability and unpredictability in your relationships. This may range from more small changes than usual, to too many big ones. Either way the effect is the same — to push you back onto yourself as your primary means of support. You cannot take relationships for granted like you may have earlier in life. In all respects this seems more difficult — or rather different and perhaps difficult — to find yourself in someone else. Yet in many ways the opposite is true. Confronted with so much relentless change and stimulus from your environment, you have to go in and make ongoing contact with your deepest resources.
There is another transit helping you with that, which is the other side of the Uranus-Pluto square — the Pluto side. This is in Capricorn, one of the signs on your particular cross, the cardinal cross. Like Aries, Capricorn is a direct extension of yourself — into the Earth, into the past, and into the home and emotional body you occupy.
Capricorn is the sign of ‘the way things were’, or the way they were that they still sort of are today. Capricorn is the historic legacy of the past, as we stroll around in it, inhabit it, coexist with it. William Faulkner once (now famously) said that the past is not dead; it’s not even past. This sign represents the foundation you have built your existence on, which has more than a traditional streak; it is the solid ground of history.
The thing is, that solid ground is now shifting. As if all the influences coming in your direction from the outside were not enough, you have an even more powerful force moving within you. This is pushing you to question everything you have ever believed, particularly about your own life history and that of your family. Pluto is compelling a total review of your existence, and in that review, you are seeing that there is indeed a whole other perspective, one seen and felt from within rather than from what you were told.
Pluto in Capricorn is the mountain of history cracking open and revealing a deep cave. Out of that cave come the ghosts of the past, who are still running around in your family tree — which is a living tree. Pluto is revealing the life within you, and it would not be going too far to say that it’s demanding you make contact with, and identify with, that inner life. Pluto is also setting you free from many old attachments.
However, this is not easy. To really do this, you must let go of your old concept of your security base — that is, your idea of what makes you feel safe. You may be seeing how much nostalgia and attachment made up your sense of safety and belonging. Now you are in a process of doing something bold, which is cultivating your emotional independence. That can seem shaky, as you let go of old attachments, though the truth is you’re building a much stronger, more solid foundation than you’ve ever had.
Yet the transition may be delicate — especially when you need your foundations more than ever. The added factor of Uranus and all it represents is reminding you that you need deep foundations. That is the whole point! That is why these transits work perfectly together. What you are getting is the constant motivation to do what you need to do, for the reasons you need to do it. It’s verging on impossible for you to depend on the methods that worked in the past.
You must make real adjustments now, aware of the fact that you’re doing so in the midst of some real turbulence, and also many opportunities that depend on your ability to be strong and well-grounded. As you move onto other phases of your life in a few years, you will be proceeding with the knowledge that you have not only endured but utilized a challenging time to renovate your life from the inside out. You are reaching for a time when security means sincere inner confidence, affirmed by your own experience of strength and self-presence.
It would be fair to say that this is the most profound time of soul-searching in your life, though more accurate to say that you are cultivating and making contact with the soul you already know and love. You may feel like you’re finding that soul, which would be true enough — just know that there is more to the journey than that.
The Word in Writing: Saturn and Logos
I began with the topic of words based on two new transits in your life, both of which address the topic. It’s arguable that words were the first human technology, though it took a while to get them into an actual alphabet. Today they are nearly the same thing. What is rarely considered is that between speaking and writing is a technology gap that may be millions of years.
What they have in common is thought, though I would propose that the kind of thought differs, particularly if one is speaking without a script. Scripted speech blends ancient and modern use of language and is especially powerful, and — one could reason — potentially dangerous.
The two transits are Saturn ingressing Sagittarius, which happened Dec. 23 and will be in place for the next three years except for three months between June 14 and Sept. 15, 2015. Sagittarius is your 3rd house, which is about writing and communicating. Having Sagittarius associated with the 3rd, as you do, suggests you’re capable of big ideas, global ideas and actual philosophical thought. This is a kind of intelligence that is rare to find. It’s a broad-minded approach to thought and to ideas, and you have the ability to span cultures, epochs of history and styles of presentation.
There has been some wild chaos in Sagittarius for years, which has been mentally stimulating but also difficult to collect and contain. Three things are happening with Sagittarius: the intensity is tamping down a bit, the mystical quality is increasing, and the structuring element of Saturn is now in the picture.
Prior to Saturn, the picture of your mind looked like tons of great ideas but no clear concept of what to do with them — and no special plan for figuring that out. With Saturn, you get a kind of imposed structure, but really, this means that structure is available to you to use. You can start minimally at first. Keeping a diary, being faithful to a blog, or using the Morning Pages process described in The Artist’s Way all count.
The key to utilizing Saturn is regularity and devotion to the writing process, and reaching for that inner connection. By regularity I mean something approaching a daily discipline. This is more important than the quality or the content of what you write. That will come.
The second factor is a new discovery called Logos-Zoe, which has just entered Libra and is in the process of settling in; it will remain in Libra until 2038. Logos-Zoe is a small planetary system orbiting our Sun, in a region near where Pluto orbits (a bit further). Its two constituents are named for the creation deities from Gnostic philosophy. As it’s been mangled by academics, philosophy and history, Logos is an extremely complex concept. But it comes down to THE WORD — the vibration that creates reality, which is then translated into the words that we use.
Now, Logos is a relatively new planet and a very old concept; the planet is the embodiment of the concept. Placed in the first degree of your sign, opposite the Aries Point (the first and arguably most potent degree of the zodiac) and conjunct the equinox Sun, we are talking about a moment of embodiment. The message is that you must embody your message. If the question is, ‘what is my message?’ then that is the perfect commencement of a quest.
There was a time when it was the zeitgeist or cultural mode to reject conditioning and being boxed in, and to bust out and be who you are. It was like a spiritual rite of passage; a step on the way to personhood. That remains true, though now it’s more like a step on the path to having a dry roof and breakfast.
Increasingly, everyone must embody some form of useful service in order to survive in a world that — despite itself — no longer accommodates much of the cookie-cutter way of making a living. Unless of course you work at WalMart, McDonald’s or KFC, which you do not.
If you are someone who rails about how vapid the world is becoming, you are invited to bring meaning. If you’re someone who notices that time is moving too fast, it’s up to you to bring respect for tradition, and to take part in updating tradition. If you’re someone who is feeling that the pace of ‘progress’ is destabilizing humanity, you are the one who must preserve your humanity in the face of change.
The line between surviving and thriving is growing ever thinner, and you stand right on that line. Which side will you choose? Which do you want? Do you respect your work, your ideas, your contribution, your words, sufficiently to choose to thrive on them?
How to Present Yourself to the World
What you feel and embody within you will entirely color your outer reality. How you feel is transparent; you look how you feel. It’s therefore essential that if you want to present yourself in a positive way, the thing to do is feel positive.
The original title of this reading was “How to Be Important Without Really Trying.” So let’s hang out with that for a moment, and then I’ll come back to feeling good; the two are related. I began with the need for recognition and participation, which also includes a need for some mastery or authority (which also includes respect).
Respect is the corollary of self-esteem. Or you could say that self-esteem is the corollary of respect. The two follow one another around, and they almost always exist simultaneously, since esteem is respect, and since to authentically respect others you must respect yourself. That also works the other way. When you respect others, you will cultivate self-respect. It’s the same exact feeling; the same point of view. This is one of those things where it doesn’t matter where you start.
Respect does not mean daunted by, afraid of, envious of, or wanting something from. Semantically the word literally means “to look back at.” There is the insinuation of reflect right in the word, strongly suggesting a mutual arrangement. Technically respect is defined as the “feeling of esteem excited by actions or attributes of someone or something; courteous or considerate treatment due to personal worth or power.” The question is, what would it be like to feel this way about yourself? You can learn from feeling this way about others, then turn it around.
Whether you are aware of it or not, people look up to you. To look up to means to respect. This has probably always been true, but in recent years you’ve been embodying something that gets the attention of others, and casts you in the light of a natural leader. Yet this is subtle; it’s more like a warm, diffused light than a spotlight. It’s more about a commanding presence than about being authoritarian.
What I suggest you do is be in harmony with this, so you’re not running at cross-purposes to it. In other words, your ‘look up to’ factor is becoming such an inherent part of your character it’s time to embody it consciously. The more you can do that, the less you will be subject to shadow manifestations of various power and authority issues.
Basically, the way to sum this up is, the more you practice respect, the more in harmony you will be with how much others respect you. Treat everyone like you have something to learn from them. Keep the focus of the discussion on them rather than yourself, though you can make the occasional cameo.
This will hold true for nearly any circumstance, including, for instance, a job interview (by job, I mean ‘role’, including contractor or collaborator). Keep the focus on the person doing the interview, and the work that they do. Any good interviewer will be evaluating you based on the questions you ask. That is how they know your brain is on; that is how they know you’re actually perceptive and able to adapt to their situation.
My impression of your charts is that you will see, over and over again, that the words you use, the way you hear words, and how you speak them, will be a factor for you this year. Whether you are writing or speaking, be conscious. Study words and how they work. I highly recommend reading a book by the evil genius Dr. Frank Luntz, who has written one of the most fantastic books on writing, writer-like thinking and verbal presentation I’ve ever seen, called Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What People Hear. There are others — it will be worth your while to study some of these, because one of the best ways to show respect and to be respected is to mean what you say and say what you mean.
Have I mentioned ethics? You will be held to an increasingly high standard — make sure you hold yourself to an even higher one. This way, from the opening of any transactions, you will exceed people’s expectations and current cultural norms, which are admittedly pretty low these days.
Your Goals and Their Rewards
All of this tune-up — of language, of respect, of your security base, of your real-time responsiveness to your surroundings — funnels into one last transit, which is Jupiter transiting your 11th house.
The 11th house is where you collect on the rewards of a job well done. That includes the rewards of respect and of authority well-used. You have Leo on this house, one of the best signs anyone could have there — and combined with Jupiter, it’s clear that both your standing in the community and the benefits of your work are tangible now.
Indeed, you could be far less conscientious than you are and still do very well. But I am thinking that you want to be the beneficiary of something solid rather than of something hollow. You want to be the solid beneficiary of rewards you deserve, and that is what your chart describes.
Jupiter in the 11th house also suggests you will be visible, a leader in your community and someone sought out for guidance, which is what I’ve been getting at all along. The formula for success: never be officious. Stay where people can see you, and help everyone you can. Stand your full height, whether you’re four foot six or six foot four.