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Surely Some Revelation: The Astrology of 2010

Dear Friend and Reader:

In 12 years of writing annual horoscopes -- as of this year, one edition for every sign of the zodiac -- I've never looked at the charts and thought: Man, I'm glad I've been at this for a while. Not until now, that is.

Planet Waves
Photo by Eric Francis.
Given the care with which my words are read, I do my best to get it right. I do this knowing there's not really a right to be got. Astrology is interpretive. When I suggest what is happening in your life or what theme might offer some insight or comfort, I'm using intuition to guide me through a wide range of choices shown in the charts. So I need an internal ideal to aim for; and for me that is following the planets in the direction of a compassionate unfolding of our personal stories. I look for the best possibilities in the aspects, and at the same time I view them as calculus equations to be resolved creatively. The planets never present a problem without offering a solution. The art of astrology is about working your way from one to the other, then putting that into words.

When the sky is really amazingly exciting, I've learned to take a mellow approach to describing it. It would be easy to get caught in all the promise and forget the obstacles that so often crop up on the way to getting there. Those are generally interior: false beliefs we hold about ourselves; our relationship commitments, which are not designed to help us open our potential as much as to offer a kind of delicate stability; our emotional entanglements, which eat energy but which don't feed us; our fears and that lurking sense of not quite belonging. I try to get underneath these and see them as the temporary situations that they are; not as actual problems. If I've addressed the points of resistance or the stumbling blocks, maybe I've helped open the way to your potential. I offer some ideas; you do the work (and often send some great ideas back).

Now, part of me knows I've got a lot of nerve believing we can live the lives we want, when everything is getting so weird. But living a good life is economical. For anyone aware, it amounts to food, creative love and an authentic way to connect with the world around us. That world, however, is currently a mess, and we know it's going to get a lot messier if we don't do our part. So why exactly focus on reaching for the best life has to offer? Well, what else are we supposed to do? I believe we're a lot more useful to our community and the process of humanity's growth when we're in creative mode rather than hung-up, depressive, creatively malnourished robotic mode. Obviously. Well, maybe not so obviously. I will explain; or perhaps seduce you with a few ideas.

For the past few years, the astrology has been gradually ramping up. We left behind the challenges that defined the Cheney-Bush years: aspects that came along with the stolen election and Sept. 11 and the big hurricanes of 2005. With those aspects came plenty of crisis and growth, but even more deferral of the real material we need to be addressing. That is twofold: one, our inner struggle for healing and awareness; and two, taking part in a creative solution. Most of the cost we've paid is pretending we can put off taking care of inner problems that delay our lives, and pretending that we don't make a difference.

Planet Waves
Photo by Eric Francis.
Through 2009, the astrology shifted into what I am describing as the 2012 configuration, and we are now in a brief, relatively calm moment before the energy ramps up exponentially. True, the planets between the December solstice and mid-January are like a teacup ride. But that's very small stuff compared to what is coming. I don't have time for the details here, but at the end of this article I'll tell you where to find them.

Twenty-twelve configuration means that some of the most energetically packed planets are aligning with Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn: the cardinal points, or summarized in astrology as the Aries Point. The focus is on the first degree of Aries: a conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus in the first degree of Aries. This meets up with Pluto, newly in Capricorn; and Saturn, newly in Libra. That happens on June 8, with plenty of excitement along the way there.

The last time we experienced anything vaguely resembling this was the summer of 1969: Woodstock, the Moon landing, the Manson murders and much else changing not just the world, but our cosmology. We know the cultural ethos back then was more about getting involved; getting together; thinking in terms of potential and not just survival. The energy of 2010 is the first experience that makes the Sixties astrology look like a walk in the park. Our survival is indeed at stake, but we need a creative approach. We need to face our own challenges and those of humanity with the idea that we can, if we try, create a much better world than the one we now know of.

When the energy rises like this, many people feel it as something passionate. Yet for those who are struggling with obstacles, it can be extremely frustrating. We can find ourselves at a moment of awesome potential with nothing but chores to take care of. I suggest we remember that we're in a moment of quickening. There are no shortcuts to growth, but there are moments of rapid acceleration, and we're about to stroll into one of them. The horoscopes you have below are the short version of Cosmic Confidential, the 2010 annual edition of Planet Waves. Annuals for 2009, 2010, and 2011 are each devoted to covering the approaching 2012 transits in their own way, written as the story developed. In particular Cosmic Confidential and Light Bridge were written to be valid for five years. To sign up here for an incredible deal on all three, go to this link. Astrology is efficient. And borrowing from Tim Leary, the current map says: tune in, turn on and get involved. Surely some revelation is at hand.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Yes, you are still searching for yourself, and still trying to find your voice. This takes a while, and it's always worth the effort. But I would ask you: how much of your struggle 'finding yourself' involves figuring out what you want? And how much involves being honest with yourself about what you want? In another universe, one where personal volition (and its twin, personal responsibility) were actually honored, this might not be the primary question. Yet in a world where we have the right to desire, but so little self-awareness and nearly no sense that our choices matter, that is another question.

You're becoming bolder about your quest for inner awareness, if only out of dire necessity, though more likely you've felt what a rush it is to wake up to your own beauty. Yet at times I am sure you wonder where you're going to find the energy and motivation to work through the kinds of limitations you feel confronted by every day. Recently, you've been willing to look right into the face of your internal challenges, and not be as daunted as in the past. You see your challenges as an obstacle to something, which means something you want; and as a result you're noting that it in fact exists. You could far more easily be direct with yourself, and suspend the guilt trip that stands between you and your right to exist.

You're in a focusing phase right now. You are literally learning to see, to feel and to sense the future. Much of this involves an evaluation of your environment, and the ways in which you're influenced by the people around you. You're also deeply impacted by numerous messages that come from advertising, so-called news and from imitation culture. Choose your influences carefully. Be careful who you look to for a reflection. Even as you find your freedom, you have the not-so-small matter of authority creeping into your life everywhere. One of the most significant themes of your immediate and long-term astrology involves redefining your relationship to that which has power over you: and beware, most of these factors are hidden. Find the courage to challenge any authority when your moment of absolute awakening arrives: and that moment is approaching rapidly.
Taurus (April 19- May 20)
What keeps your mental horizon so narrow, when all you want to do is open your perception and experience your life for what it can truly be? You seem to live within two entirely different perceptual frameworks, which alternate and at times conflict with one another. You might say you have two different value systems that are trying to function at the same time, independently of one another.

I would propose that this split runs in two-month cycles. You seem to alternate in your goals and intentions a little more often than once per season, which constantly knocks you out of focus and seems to put you at cross-purposes with yourself. Yet you can use these fluctuations like a rock climber uses gravity for leverage.

If you opened the doors to self-perception, you would see the world as a place that constantly changes, and you would embrace yourself as someone adapting to this as an ongoing adventure. You don't need stability; you need immediate flexibility, particularly in your beliefs. You know you're not someone who embraces change warmly or easily; and this alone is a source of resistance. One frequent result of this tension is the constant, subtle fear that 'everything is going to be different', which could be alleviated by embracing the truth that if you seek growth, you must be friends with movement, progress and the unfamiliar.

Resistance has an energy source. The emotional tenor of what you're working through is fear. This in turn is disguised as guilt, obligation and the choking feeling that 'someone is running my life'. If that someone is one of your parents (whether near or far, dead or alive), first check in with your mother. Describe her karma to yourself: her life story, expressed as what she never did that she wanted to do (and why). Note how religion shaped her mind, and consider how those values, whether dressed in religious language or not, are the ones you might need to address the most directly. Guilt is a religiously generated emotion, meaning that it would not exist without the underlying fear of what some remote, impersonal 'god' might think of you. Certain people in your life have their own ideas; you have yours. You will be a lot happier when you recognize the difference.
Gemini (May 20- June 21)
How is your intuition? I mean: do you listen? Do you even know when it's doing the talking? Do the hints you get tend to work with or against the things you know intellectually? Or do you override what your subtle sense tells you? Most likely, you alternate among the possibilities, never quite sure what internal voice to accept as valid. This, you call confusion. Yet because your intuition so often proved itself correct in hindsight, you probably fight with yourself about this issue on a fairly regular basis.

You have powerful analytical skills, though analysis does not proceed by itself; it's guided by beliefs. Often enough, your intuition contradicts your established beliefs, or your notion of what you want to be true. That's the issue.

More often lately, what other people want from you contradicts your sense of what is right for you, though it's been surprisingly challenging for you to stand up to those influences. They seem to carry so much gravity. So there are really two matters on the docket: one is your relationship to yourself, as described by the intuition versus intellect issue; and the other is how you're influenced by people who seem to have extraordinary power in your life; most recently, financial and sexual power. Both money and sex experienced as power have one thing in common: fear.

We could boil this discussion down to one theme: how do you handle fear? I suggest you start by calling it what it is. Drop the concepts anxiety, agitation, judgment, embarrassment and uncertainty. They are all forms of one thing, which is rarely grounded in reality. See if you can spot the habit of self-attack, and notice how much it costs you in the way of life force and peace of mind. Study when you go into automatic mode. You justify this as being 'on the go' or a way to 'get it all done', but the cost taken from this is the self-awareness necessary to keep you in a loving and relatively clear state of mind. The decision to go into auto-mode, while it has mental effects, is actually an emotional response. And now for the payoff question: from whom did you learn that habit? Once you know that, you will learn a lot more besides.
Cancer (June 21- July 22)
You have so much to offer, and the deep need to share it. If you could make peace with this fact of your existence, your life would be so much simpler. And if astrology is any indication, you will have some extraordinary opportunities to share and make your mark as the next few seasons unfold. These are likely to be disguised as unprecedented success and an expanded role in the world.

Yet often you have your doubts of that role. Simply put, you have long been nursing an injury to your confidence. And when you look at it and question that sense of injury, it can seem ridiculous. Here is an analogy: On Earth, people and industry are constantly digging their energy out of the ground as coal and oil, which we burn, to our detriment. The Sun is giving off energy constantly, but the notion of gathering that energy still seems like an exotic concept. Now, if you were the Sun, would you take this personally?

As a person, especially one as sensitive as you are, you do take it personally. You not only wonder why people are not more receptive of your generosity; you devote yourself to life, then make value judgments about yourself based on their lack of response. Here's where what I will call the fictional piece enters the equation. You make up a story about your personal worth based on what you think that others think. This is, in turn, colored by your perceptions. Consider this equation as you continue your long-overdue overhaul of your outdated ideas about relationships.

Focus on trust, above all else. There is a vast issue in the world about people not trusting being nourished; not trusting those who offer nourishment; and a good bit of resentment to go along with this global emotional mess. You may think you need love and be loved. What I propose you need are bonds based on mutual understanding, grounded expectations and a foundation of goodwill. If you falter in your trust of yourself, you will open the door to those who you don't trust. You can be sure this has happened when you encounter resentment. Therefore, if you want to enjoy your success -- or even notice it -- you must be vigilant, and hold yourself in high esteem.
Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
Nobody would accuse you of being an introvert, but sometimes the most outgoing people are the most inwardly focused. You know this about yourself, and it's challenging because you feel like it's your destiny to have attention focused on you. The circumstances of your life call you out into the world of leadership. Yet your sensitive heart and soul call you ever inward.

Your transits this year provide support for that deep inner search, one that could best be described as an exploration of your spiritual beliefs. By spiritual, I mean that which defies the world's expectations, laws and rules; that dimension of you that identifies with ethics: considered by most something impossible to attain.

I just described this as 'spiritual', but for you it's one of the worldliest things you think about: the necessity for personal responsibility. This is one reason why traditional religion holds so little appeal to you. Nearly all religions project what they think of as God outwardly, and in a way that is parental and removes one's own direct involvement. Religion is most often used as a way to dump responsibility for our personal choices. Your natural tendency is to be in direct relationship with God or Goddess within. That divine entity, expressing itself in human form, is what embraces every facet of human nature. That is your first mission of the coming seasons of your life: to directly experience and understand the light and dark aspects of who you are, and to act only when you've checked in with both 'sides' of yourself.

As you move through this territory, you may experience the sometimes-tense relationship between you and your potential. You know you're capable of so much, and while it would not be fair to say you think you fall short, you know that you're capable of far more. There's an adventure for you here, more than there is a learning task. The way to do better work is to go deeper into the quest. You seem determined to develop habits that make you more efficient, though I would suggest that work methods that allow spontaneous growth and your passion for a challenge are the ones to experiment with. As usual, much in the world depends on your contribution, and for that grounding and sense of purpose, you can be thankful.
Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
The ancient story of Virgo is about giving birth to yourself every day, and this is the focus of your spiritual journey right now. You nourish the inner seeds of your creative process, which is a self-creative process; and these seeds emerge into the world as things with a life of their own. When you take responsibility for this process, you create things that nourish you. When you step back and don't take responsibility, the results can be damaging. You know that self-expression is a double-edged sword; but rather than being afraid of this, a more useful approach would be to grow in your self-mastery.

To say you're actively working to liberate yourself would be the understatement of your lifetime. Thanks to Pluto in Capricorn, you can now free energy from all the stuck places in your creative and sexual core. You're learning how to take chances; and finally updating the stale tradition of being terrified of yourself (or feeling guilty for existing) that was inflicted on you as a child. You're learning to both grow up and contact the passionate kid you were at the same time. As you do so, you will need to confront and process some of the toxic emotions that come along with having had your creativity stuffed down when you were younger. Working through those murky shadows is precisely what will drive your creative process forward.

Many adults feel that 'personal expression' is at best childish and egotistical, and at worst a distraction from what really matters. This is a cover-up for how anyone taking an authentic creative risk threatens their ego. Regardless, you've discovered that if you don't indulge in actual expression of your ideas and feelings, you feel trapped; and if you open up, you experience life as a happier, more grounded person. Nothing will do more to set you free from the past, and from your own sense of past limitations. You will be more inclined to notice the incredible gifts that are being offered to you. Those gifts -- if you receive them -- are opportunities to respond, to mature, and most meaningfully, to you, to serve. For you who know that you have no choice but to serve others, you will do this the most effectively when you are at your most passionate.
Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)
I'm flying to Paris to write your annual horoscope this year. Paris, that museum city; with its formal elegance and its occasional bursts of the completely outrageous. It's a place where everything is tastefully done; where the store windows are worth the whole trip. There is something serious about these strongly Libra-influenced people. While they can be annoying at times, their creativity will almost always manifest as dedication to both aesthetics and quality.

There is a difference between these two things, of course -- and that difference is part of what you're now discovering. It's no longer so easy for you to hide behind your shell; you've become acutely aware of when you're doing so. You can retreat; you can hide away; but you keep finding yourself there. The profound change to your psychic structure (that is, your personality shell) is that the facades that used to work so well no longer make you feel safe; they no longer convince anyone of anything, particularly yourself. As a result, you may feel especially vulnerable; and that's just part of the story. Your whole inner emotional structure is being rearranged. Compartments of suppressed feeling are cracking open. Memories you had no concept of are coming back to you. Your relationship to your history is changing as a result. Assumptions about the meaning of past events that long went unquestioned are suddenly yielding to vital new information.

All of this is leading in one direction -- profound self-renewal. If you think this process is going too fast, I suggest you take a bold step and allow it to go a little faster. Get out of your own way. Other factors in your astrology suggest that by June, your world will be rocked by extraordinarily exciting events (including relationships, opportunities for travel or involvement with some kind of international culture) that will challenge you to be as alive as you can be. When these experiences come your way, you will want to respond to them in the most direct way; to miss nothing, and to embrace the journey with your full being. This will call for vulnerability and the willingness to embrace change passionately -- qualities that will initiate from the inside out, and which before long you will be meeting face to face.
Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
Somewhere deep in the writings of J.R.R. Tolkien is the idea that in our tenuous lives here on Earth, we should be glad that even the least of our desires comes to fruition. Most of us want more than that; we are a society composed largely of people that want everything, and for whom nothing is ever enough. I say this because of the extremely delicate state of your professional ambitions, and in honor of the thin line you are walking. In some ways, it seems that you're barely entitled to an 'ambition', and even like the desire for more could jeopardize the little that you have.

The planets suggest you take your quest for success inward for a while, seeking an understanding of your true motives. You can no longer act on desire without a strong concept of why that desire matters; which is another way of saying you need to discover what you want. This involves not merely diving into your emotional world (you've done plenty of that lately) and seeking clarity (you have succeeded in many ways) but also projecting yourself into the world and determining who you must be in relationship to everything that surrounds you. You're being called to connect who you are on the deepest level with the world you see around you.

Clearly, this is not going to happen in the usual blaze ahead, take it off-road method of our society, or by doing what you were told to do. Neither method was as productive as they promised. Imagine, instead, that time has stopped; and that what a second ago was the present moment has instantaneously become the past. You're able to move around and explore in this frozen world. You're seemingly alone, in a dimension that you can only see but with which you cannot interact. Now, at least, you're relieved of the mirage of an exchange. Move slowly through this world. Look carefully, remembering that what you see is colored by your vision. Feel deeply into your senses for any sign of heat or movement. Look carefully for what actually responds to your awareness: for what speaks to you directly and wants to exchange energy with you. What responds to your presence in this crystallized world is what's truly part of you.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
Of all the challenges you've faced during the past decade, seeking emotional stability ranks highest on the list. For you, this is the promised land of personal sovereignty. You're something of a high roller.

You like that feeling of roller-skating on a slick floor as you make an airplane reservation on your BlackBerry.

And that, to my thinking, has concealed not only a deep desire to be stable, but also your lurking fear that it may not be possible. Yet much has changed in the past 12 months. You seem to have been through something that has granted you an actual measure of peace of mind; that is the main ingredient of a balanced existence.

Along the way, you have given up certain trappings and seeming necessities that were not working for you. One of them is your relationship to your family; it took you a while to be honest about the deception lurking there, or at least about why that environment was so difficult for you. It's come down to you deciding that you were not going to believe the lies that other people believed. It's easier not to believe lies you're told. Yet to cast off what a whole culture (in this case, your family of origin) accepts as the stock and trade of wholesome truth is the work of a revolutionary. And the result can, indeed, be destabilizing. This, by the way, is why those who adhere to what is obviously not true tend to do so: they at lest have ground beneath their feet, even if it's not solid.

You have given up this chaos in exchange for something far more useful: the ability to sustain awareness no matter how little you have to stand on. Not content to live on quicksand, you have learned how to dive deep into your feelings. Refusing an easy answer, you have taken years to explore your personal truth and where it connects to some much greater truth. And you are still changing as fast as ever. Yet now, having cultivated yourself this way, you are confronted by the issue of how exactly to express yourself in a productive way. And I would ask: what are you afraid of the most? That is the invitation.
Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
Your mission is to be who you are independently of the momentum or intentions of your family of origin. I recognize that among modern writers and certainly among astrologers, I am suspicious of the 'hidden' (but blatantly obvious) negative influences of family on individuals; such is not currently in vogue.

On the surface, the taboo involves how people who are themselves parents are less likely to openly question the neglect and abuse at the hands of their own parents, recognizing how difficult it is to raise children. We need to go deeper than denial, if we have any plans of healing the world or healing our lives. I'm suggesting that it's time for you to wage a revolt against your early socialization, regardless of anyone's opinion.

Family affects us several ways, all of which deserve a careful, extended review. First, family grants us life, though that often assumes that we owe our life back to it. Then family imprints us with its values, in its own chaotic, narcissistic image. Last, the Trojan horse of guilt is installed so that we go into paralysis anytime we try to digress a single millimeter from the agenda. Fear kicks in, because we are terrified of being without the structure that allegedly supports us, though we've done no actual study of whether this is true. More often the 'support' manifests as a battle waged when we try to make up our own minds about anything at all; or an internal conflict ensues, as if we're being challenged by some absolute authority.

The combined action of Saturn and Pluto says that you are the only actual authority in your life. This is a matter of both growth and of opportunity, which at this point depend on one another. You're being called upon to stand up to the challenges of your own evolution; indeed, to define your whole existence as one who evolves. You're evolving past the 'every man for himself' attitude that's been pounded into humanity for so long. You are replacing it with a more elegant vision of tribal awareness, where cooperation is honored and where the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. In such a world, freedom is not a privilege, but a precious responsibility. And in a word, this is leadership.
Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
You depend on your intelligence; there are few more valid astrological truisms than descriptions of that unique Aquarian gift of reason, rationality and the kind of cleverness that lends itself impeccably to engineering. Yet your astrology is now calling you in a different psychic direction. You have by now felt the strong pull toward organizing your life around hearth and home. You have observed your intuition go from something that you doubted to something that you depend upon like a trusted friend.

This journey is related to something else you're going through, which is evaluating, questioning and rejecting so many of the things you believed in the past. What you are seeing is that often, you perceived they were true because you believed in them. You've learned to take nothing for granted. Now a new clarity is taking over your life, based on a deep devotion to accurate perception that you're embracing eagerly. For years along the way to this moment, it has seemed as if something was being taken away from you -- as if your ideals were losing validity, which was a personal loss. Yet having discarded so much as false, you now have room for what is true and authentic. Having seen yourself for who you are, you can afford to allow others to witness your life. You have no need for 'idealization'.

One theme you've become concerned with is justice, which is a worthy mission on Earth. There seems to be so little of it in the world, and you know you have something to offer here. I suggest you start on the controversial subject of love, where supposedly all is fair and for many, is akin to war. This is the first place to seek justice; love bestows incredible power, particularly over those whose lives have been defined by isolation. You're the one in the position of holding a standard of fairness, which begins with authenticity. You are the one who sets the conditions on unconditional love, and the truth is, you can afford to be generous. This will connect you with a deep part of yourself that doesn't always get a voice: a passionate maternal quality, which nourishes existence from the inside out.
Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
For years, you've worked to set yourself free from something: perhaps from the lies that you believed; from your sense of being trapped or isolated; from a world that does not appreciate how subtle and beautiful life is. Though that setting-free process is not over, you've made progress -- far more than you recognize. I suggest you sum up what you've learned in the simplest possible terms. For example, it is easier to come up with an innovative solution to a problem than it is to go back and 'fix' the past. Remember that one; it will be useful.

Another thing I trust you've observed is that it pays to be direct. People have a hard time fathoming what you're thinking, even though it seems clear to you. You can afford to be even more transparent, including with yourself. In fact, you can afford and will thrive on radical honesty: about who you are, what you value and your vision for your life. Everyone will benefit; many of the things you understand easily are difficult for others to grasp, or to even admit the existence of; yet much depends on your ability to make yourself understood.

Transparency involves letting go of any attachment to your image. It's necessary to match your outer appearance with the actual person you are, especially with your friends and to partners. This seemingly daring move will liberate your energy, and help you feel safer on the planet -- and this, you know, is a real challenge for you. You're finally getting a handle on your fears. In this time when everything in your life is poised to become larger, more successful and more visible, processing fear at the point of origin is far easier than facing it in magnified form.

Here is something you can count on as you take your next bold steps: In your relationships, trust is more important than love; and both are more important than sex. Trust is the most challenging aspect of any human equation, and a tragically scarce commodity in the world. You're personally working to break the tradition of broken trust. You're on the hunt for many other dysfunctional traditions, yet what matters more are the innovations you create for yourself and offer to those around you. One of them involves self-worth. On this theme, you're on the verge of your greatest breakthrough, akin to any of the brilliant inventions that have changed the world: only this is your world.

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