Power trips, intuition, common sense: Which will you choose?

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Alongside the internal inquiries and journeys toward healing the sky is guiding us through, and the creative initiative recently sparked up, there are some undercurrents to be aware of. In particular, the Aries Sun working into its square with Pluto in Capricorn says: Be alert for petty power trips this week. Other players in the sky are filling in the details of how to negotiate anything that crops up.

View of the Milky Way -- our galaxy -- from Earth, which is located in one of the arms spiraling around the galaxy's center. Mercury square the GC is asking you to be discerning with ideas. Photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis.

Conflicts involving saving face, reputation or ego; getting a bigger slice of the pie from which you’re already getting something; or ‘winning’ for the sake of winning – when you know in your heart of hearts you don’t truly want or need what you’ve won – are all unnecessary expenditures of energy. And yet sometimes we find ourselves sliding into these dynamics even when we know better – usually as a result of some old, unresolved pain.

At best, petty power trips are distractions from ways you could be using your energy to create, love, share and receive. At worst, power plays can destroy trust, waste resources (including time), alienate those who might otherwise be happy to help you, and ultimately compromise your own connection to source.

Speaking of ‘source’: Mercury squares the Galactic Center today. The GC is not a planet, but rather the actual middle of the Milky Way galaxy – the one we call home. Our solar system is located in one of the arms of the galaxy, which spiral around the center, and the center is thought to be where this collection of planets, space dust, stars and radio waves originated. From where we are on the Milky Way map, the GC lies in the direction of late Sagittarius. And in astrological terms, it symbolizes a form of higher consciousness and cosmic wisdom. Mercury, currently retrograde in late Pisces, square the GC is asking: Can you tell a good idea from a bad idea?

One way to discern the difference is to use your intuition, which Mercury in Pisces is strengthening right now. But if the signal is fuzzy, you’re too emotional to hear it, or someone (possibly as long ago as in childhood) has undermined your confidence in trusting what your intuition has to say, then what? Well, then you’d better use logic. Again, this can be tricky if emotions are high. If you can step away, take some deep breaths, and maybe make a list or chart of all the known facts, actions and consequences at hand, you can start to see what you’re actually working with. Be aware of what you don’t know, too.

In fact, Mercury (retrograde as it is) offers another helping hand in the form of its sextile to Venus in Taurus. Sextiles are very useful, flowing aspects – but they need you to make a little effort to use what they offer. In the case of sorting good ideas from bad ideas, using intuition and logic, and side stepping unnecessary power plays, Mercury sextile Venus is the common sense available to you right now. Common sense often seems rather uncommon. In this era of text-message shorthand and Facebook stalking, this aspect asks you to try actually talking to the other person – and listen enough to understand their point of view.

Essentially, you want to use whatever influence you have with others wisely. Whether there is an obvious power trip in your environment or not, basic playground rules still apply. And if you are caught in another’s power play – or you’re tempted to instigate one (yes, they can seem so justified sometimes!) – remember that Mars and Mercury are both retrograde and getting closer to stationing as the week progresses. Power trips will backfire on those who insist on trying them, so good luck with that if you’re feeling compelled – but it’s advisable to give yourself a time out if you are.

Note: to see a larger view of this photo with celestial objects identified, use this link and hover your cursor over the image.

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32 Responses to Power trips, intuition, common sense: Which will you choose?

  1. marymack says:

    thank you, Eric. Your reply has me re-reading the piece again and I’m noticing the part where it says that someone (possibly from childhood) has undermined your confidence in your intuition … that feels right. I’m now getting the sense that my own Mercury in Aquarius was / is so easily distracted with any quick movements (SQUIRREL!!) or fluffy and sparkly, that that coupled with major issues with communication @ home left me searching for clues to my errors in perception.

    Always appreciate the masterful share, late or not.

  2. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    I think if anything they are more of a mental distraction. I sit in the midst of a digital haze to rival South Park Studios, and if it influences my intuition, lots of people are in trouble. I don’t think it does, but entertaining ourselves to death — that is another story.

  3. marymack says:

    Yet again, I fear everyone’s now onto the next day and I’m just getting to my post … forgive me for being so slow to engage but ….

    “One way to discern the difference is to use your intuition, which Mercury in Pisces is strengthening right now. But if the signal is fuzzy, you’re too emotional to hear it, or someone (possibly as long ago as in childhood) has undermined your confidence in trusting what your intuition has to say, then what?”

    I’ve got this niggling sense that all that TV, all the electronic devices we have surrounding our bodies might be interferring with our intuitive insights. Thoughts, anyone? I always apprecite the wonderful insights from this community.


  4. Carrie says:

    “I call them bigots.”

    Me too, Fe…me too. Though that seems too tame a word for them.

  5. awordedgewise awordedgewise says:

    Zero/Jann – thank you for seeing it. I figured there was a good meaning to the typo. “Bit lies” they are. Just like the idea we have embraced for so long about a photo speaking a thousand words ….well, it can, but all to often 999 of those words are not the truth. What lies beyond the focus of the camera?

  6. zerosity zerosity says:

    I have only had time to skim through today’s post, and will have to “read, mark, learn and inwardly digest” it later. That being said, I did go through the comments and would offer the following observation about Trayvon Martin and George Zimmerman. As aword noted, we have only had the “bit lies” (I actually think that is more apropos – bits of lies and bit of the truth mingled togetehr). More “facts” are coming out: the relative height and weight of the two individuals; more witnesses, one of whom claimed that allegedly Zimmerman had turned his back to Martin, and allegedly it was Martin who pursued him. Another claim is that Martin punched Zimmerman and broke his nose. And I’m sure there are more “facts” that will emerge. The point is that we don’t know what happened, we don’t know what the police did or did not know to make the decision to not charge Zimmerman, and we don’t know the sequence of events, and whether or not the infamous “stand your ground” law will apply. The federal investigation continues. Unfortunately, it will involve the “court system” that usually has nothing to do with the law, truth or justice.

    But, we can ask for more information to assess many factors: what happened in both of their lives that led to this moment? What is the culture that has spawned this situation? There are many more. But, at least for the moment, there is scrutiny of the “stand your ground” law in Florida, and with pressure, in the other states that have similar laws. From these things, maybe we can learn to do some things differently for the better, for all.


  7. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:


    Some bullies will not hit a complacent target. And there are others, who I will not call bullies, but reserve another title, who profile people for their racial identity. I call them bigots.

  8. Carrie says:


    Exactly which is why I asked about their charts and the time of death chart. We really “don’t” know; we were not there.

  9. Carrie says:

    I grew up under the shadow of a bullying brother. So when confronted by bullies, I immediately assume a non-combative body language and I do not engage. In traffic, if someone does what the guy did to Maeve, I would decelerate, fall behind him and not engage him again. That is a learned survival trait and it has served me well. And no, I don’t particularly want to “stand up to them;” Trayvon’s death may have been as a result of exactly that. Instead, like the little fishes in the big pond, I will glide away to safer waters until the threat passes and then go on with my life.

    I have already heard the arguments about how that is limiting my life and all that. These arguments are similar to the ones some women make when they say they should be able to walk alone at night and not be raped. I agree, they should be able to walk alone at night unharmed but reality IS that if they walk alone at night, the possibility of being harmed is more likely than if they don’t walk alone at night. Why put myself into such a risk if I don’t have to?

    So when confronted by a bully, I just let them go on past me with no engagement. Engagement escalates the anger in the bully like poking a rattlesnake. It isn’t ever a good idea to poke a rattlesnake. Best get away from it and back to a safe place.

  10. awordedgewise awordedgewise says:

    wow – I’m only just reading today’s article: “At best, petty power trips are distractions from ways you could be using your energy to create, love, share and receive.”

    Guess it’s “in the stars” (re: my previous ‘i’m on a soap-box today’ post). To me this statement is totally apropos our collective responses re: Fla shooting incident (taking Sides; thinking we Know what happened. “Thinking we Know” being a Petty Power Trip.)

    Thanks, PW. As always.

  11. awordedgewise awordedgewise says:

    hmm…obviously I meant “Big Lie” – wonder what Merc-Rx Slip-up turned that into a “Bit”?

  12. Patty says:

    Now we read there are reports of zimmerman’s run-ins with the law too. I’m not sure it means anything to tell the truth. I know a 15 year old who shot a fellow student, and I hold the 15 year old close to my heart. We keep going over it, what could we have done to save him? How could I have helped? Too late. Now he is doing 30 years in prison.

  13. Maeve Maeve says:

    Aword and be – Good on you. Much what I’ve been thinking.

  14. awordedgewise awordedgewise says:

    If any one of us thinks we know what happened (Zimmerman/Trayvon) then we too are participating in the Bit Lie that we like to buy into – that we “know” what happened because media said so. Because of the pictures on the net. etc. But no matter the media source there is one thing I know for certain: I was Not There. I do now Know what took place. I do not know who feared who. I do not know who threw the first hate stone based on that fear. It would be a much needed miracle if we all took up space containing love and desire for Truth in this moment, rather than taking up Sides.

    I do look forward to seeing charts for all involved. I’m sure a story of our times is in there.

  15. bkoehler says:

    Of course you wouldn’t dearhearts. . nobody here wants to lynch anyone. We are thinkers by and large, not inclined to mob emotionalism. What I said is “I WOULD HAVE supported. . BUT (did not). .” and meant only to denote the strength of the mass reaction toward, as you called him edayis, “the MURDERER of an innocent boy.” No, there is much more to the story than the salacious tidbits we have been served up so far. Forgive me if I misjudged your observation of the sparsity of discussion on the topic as anything more than interest in the birthcharts of the individuals involved. I too expect the time of death as well as the individual charts will shed much needed light on “the bigger picture of how this incident will move forward and what we can all do to move in a positive way from it.” Thank you for giving me the opportunity to clarify my earlier response for anyone else who might have mis-interpreted my intent. I see that starlightnews.com has a new thread up that no doubt gives some astrological insight into this and other disruptive incidents we have experienced lately. Sooner or later all the pieces will come together.

  16. Patty says:

    I didn’t see Zimmerman as a bully at all. Rather, I saw a young man who is fearful because of all the violence in his neighborhood, which was further proven by his 40 + phone calls to 911. Vesta transit denotes a sacrifice, and Zimmerman will pay for the rest of his life. I’d bet Atropos figures heavily too.

  17. gwind gwind says:

    Power struggles.

    I base my comment on what I learned last night. I have not read any new news on the specifics of this story today.

    I picture young Trayvon walking down the road, doing his own thing, living his life. Enter Zimmerman, the bully, he has his own [fearful] agenda. Trayvon, a young man, inexperienced, responds. The situation escalates and there is a moment, Trayvon reacts [first] physically to his fear of what the bully might, or is going to do. This is instinctual. How can this kid be “wrong”? Unfortunately, being wrong means becoming dead.

    My questions immediately go to: In a world where we allow bullying, accept greed, and power-over one another as socially acceptable, how does the Trayvon inside all of us, not react when faced with a bully? How can we heal this? Or the anxiety of thinking that there is another bully just around the corner? That bully is disguised in so many ways. I don’t think we even recognize it as such; at least consciously.

    I listened to Talk of the Nation the other day on NPR. Some african/american men called in telling their stories of their parent’s teaching them of “how to act around white people,” meaning that their behavior had to change so not to scare caucasians. I ruminated on this deplorable thought for some time, but then I realized that we all do it, some how, some way, because being our authentic selves is not completely celebrated in this culture.

    I cannot help but personalize this tragedy. I think in doing so, I honor the Trayvon Martins that leave the planet a better place, because they get us to think. Even after 51 years, there are still times I have terrible anxiety at the thought of facing my childhood bullies. [Like right now!] Even after a lifetime of inner work, I occasionally see that I too, out of sheer fear, want to strike out to protect myself. I wish we all could help one another with this, because even when we live good lives, it only takes that one moment when our fears get the best of us. We can’t un-kill anyone. And when someone is dead, does being right or wrong matter?

  18. Maeve Maeve says:

    Petty power trips? Hoo boy, let me tell you about my drive to work this morning.

    Driving along, about 15 miles into my commute. There was an out-of-the-blue truck stop, and shortly after that, this burgundy Ford truck (twin cab) with a boy-with-an-attitude in it got behind me (the way he was sitting… I could tell by that, because I used to sit the exact same way in my older cars, you know, before my back had something to say about it). Eventually, as it happens in traffic, someone cut me off, so I applied my brakes quickly. Which caused the guy behind me to hit his brakes, which apparently pissed him off, because he flipped me off. So I flipped him off right back.

    I didn’t do anything wrong. He was in a truck bigger than my car, he most likely saw the van cut me off anyway. Driving along, he’s not tailing me too bad. I figure things are good. Things happen, people move on. Then space opens up in the right lane, and he changes lanes, almost passes me then starts to merge into my lane. Well, really, more true to say, starts to merge into me. At 80mph. If I hadn’t hit my brakes (and honked), he would have hit me. And then he had the gall to wave at me like he was thanking me for letting him over. I had too much adrenaline, I was pissed.

    Drive drive drive. Fine. Whatever. I do my best not to tail him. Don’t need to be more dangerous. He moves over to the right, as if he were going to get off the freeway. I move to pass him, and he swerves into my lane and cuts me off. As I’m just about to pass him. Thank gods for my quick thinking and reactions. Another judicious application of brakes and horn. He passes another car on the right, then moves over again. I do not pass him until he’s another lane over. At that point, I’m passing him at speed simply to get the fuck away from him.

    Need to absorb the rest of the post, but wanted to share to get it out of my head and out of circulation. Fighting with installing software on my work computer. I tried to do it last night from home, but I discovered my work laptop doesn’t actually have a cd drive. Only my docking station does. Ayup.

  19. patti.t16 patti.t16 says:

    Hi y’all, just touching base to say wow and wow again Amanda. Sums up my current situation in an eerily accurate way. I’ve been presented with the opportunity in the last two weeks to revisit on old (work life) wound from a position of relative strength and influence and peel back some of the layers of that experience. It’s been a real effort to maintain clarity and focus and compassion for the stuckness of others when the baser impulse is to stick my tongue out and go “nah-nah-nah-ne-nah-nah, I told you so”. I was on the point of finally throwing out a lot of old paperwork from that period of my life (2009) but have had practical reasons to go through them just one more time with a clear head rather than just wallow. What a trip! Like a walk through fire, both painful and healing.

    Michele: “I don’t have time to coddle the divas. I have time to work with those that actually want to do the work.” Wow for a third time! Spot on, though for me it’s not about coddling but about how I respond to the call “rescue me” (or indeed if I respond to it at all!) in a way that recognises their pain, but doesn’t pull me under and that doesn’t leave me shouldering responsibility that isn’t mine. Given the choice between a) putting my energy into cleaning up or fixing up or propping up or saving someone so they don’t have to feel so bad about a laundry list of screw ups, or b) creating something that better meets my own needs, I can finally see the point of the latter. I can’t tell you how liberating and really moving it has been.

    On another note here’s a post on Trayvon Martin on AlterNet: http://tiny.cc/m86tbw. I make no comment other than it was both an interesting and challenging read.

  20. michele michele says:

    @ Amanda… You captured the dynamic succinctly. Yes, if the energy diverted into the antics were used for the work… And, yes, those are the ones who do pull it together (mostly)… So, Sunday, I pulled (riffing abouth the title of this blog post) what some have considered a power trip. But two weeks away from opening, I had to do it. I suppose I chose, after much thought, common sense and intuition.

    For the most part, I think I chose the correct path. Despite the warnings and veiled threats from people who are not even in the show, based on the histrionics of one such diva…

    But, aside from all that, it’s the concept of “resistance” that I find most interesting in your comment. I have engendered a lot of trust from women who are exceedingly strong. And who are meeting their own resistance. Breaking down… And bashing themselves for doing so. I’m trying to help them find that fine line between pulling out what’s needed for their character but not literally dying every time they do the piece. (It’s rough material… Some of it horrifying, really, but even the celebratory/sensual/sexual stuff is often causing the same sort of ripping…)

    Add to this, some are actors and some are not.

    And YOU!!! Four roles. YOU break a leg!!!

    Wow. And you are entirely on point when you talk about things making sense inside the rehearsal space, inside the confines of the show. It’s similar, I think, to the photos you take and put up here. There is a tight frame. But inside that frame… There is a bursting of discovery. The subject is illuminated. (Your writing has the same effect on me.) I think that’s what I’m looking for when I direct a show. Pesky people, though… Ha! Sometimes food ingredients and spices and herbs (for a spectacular meal) or even words in a piece – are a bit easier to handle.

    Onward ho, eh? My goal is to take them here… “safe and loved and capable until i’ve tested those boundaries almost to the breaking point — and then i can look at what’s really going on”… Hopefully, I can do this… Because it’s anathema to me to cause the opposite in people.

    This has been very helpful, to me, Amanda. Thank you.

  21. edayis edayis says:

    Well said. Though your admission regarding lynching Zimmerman surprised me; I haven’t felt that off you and certainly not in myself. Instead I want to know the bigger picture of how this incident will move forward and what we can all do to move in a positive way from it.”

    – I’m with Carrie. I do not wish to be included in any movement to do with lynching anyone. I simply am inquiring if there are ways to better process what many are feeling is a deep wound. It hurts, is all.

  22. Carrie says:


    Well said. Though your admission regarding lynching Zimmerman surprised me; I haven’t felt that off you and certainly not in myself. Instead I want to know the bigger picture of how this incident will move forward and what we can all do to move in a positive way from it.

  23. Carrie says:

    Sometimes power trips show up in weird ways. I was watching Iyanla last night on Oprah’s Lifeclass and her talk about the stories we tell ourselves reminded me that those stories are our power trips on ourselves. Amazing woman and then to wake up to this from PW; perfect synchronicity!

  24. bkoehler says:

    edayis and Carrie,

    If you go back to March 24’s article by Judith Gayle, “Getting Away With Murder” you will read as an extensivly covered observation as was possible at that time. We all await “times” that will allow charts to reveal to us more specific clues as to the events around Trayvon’s death. I personally feel that transiting Vesta was involved and wrote about it yesterday under the “Outside, Inside: Sun square Pluto” article posted a few days ago. Both articles are on PlanetWaves. I also suspect that the “delay” in getting out the facts regarding this incident is part of the big picture, and that somehow the additional “time” it is taking to uncover related information is a ploy of Pluto (aided by Neptune and Chiron) to stymie the huge Uranian/Aries energy sweeping the country. Likely, Jupiter, Venus and Mars rx, all part of a grand earth trine with Pluto at the Equinox and New Moon, are in cahoots with this delay too. Perhaps it is an attempt to balance the outpouring of bitterness over the decades of covert and not-so-covert abuses the Blacks have born from the Whites.

    I was included among those who would have supported lynching Zimmerman, but then that would bring me and all the others who were as upset as me, like you, down to the same level as the Neanderthal-thinking people of the last couple of centuries who brought us to this point. Somehow we must rise above the old “eye for an eye” duality, so scorned by Americans when observed in middle eastern countries, and not let our feelings and mob mentality describe us as a country. Wrong has been done and justice needs to be served, but until we as a whole can consciously balance the irrational with the rational, the spiritual side of our humanity with the infantile rage of our emotions, then once again we default to the south node and the big-ass rock that Sisyphus uselessly pushes up the hill, only to have it roll back down again. And again. Will we ever learn or will our darkness continue to keep us prisoners of Karma for all eternity. We must take this time of “unknowing” and go inside ourselves and ask what will be gained by one more lynching. How lasting is the relief of revenge. Will hatred always be our master. Aren’t we better than this.

  25. Amanda Painter Amanda Painter says:

    edayis — i think that’s in the works for eric’s podcast this week, but i’ll have to check with eric. i know he has looked at charts for it, and yesterday’s Daily Astro touched on it in the lead — the fact that the news of the incident really hit the airwaves and consciousness along with the weekend’s Sun-Uranus conjunction.

  26. Carrie says:

    Today’s music? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lxRMywOkJmU

    end credit song “Raghupati Ragava Raja Ram” from the movie “Ghandi.”

    It just “feels” right for this morning.

  27. Carrie says:

    “I mean this kid died 6 weeks ago, and there’s all this overt racism in front of everyone’s eyes, that’s fueled the outrage around the world. People all over the U.S. are turning out in thousands to slice through the veil of illusion that is called Institutionalized Racism- i think it’s a strong chiron/picses energy… can someone more astute with the stars please write about this? What’s going on?”

    I most emphatically second this request. If Trayvon’s and Zimmerman’s charts were publicly available (or their birth info) and the exact time of the altercation (that 911 call may have the exact time and the police report the exact place) then maybe we could “see’ something to help us deal with the national wound that this has triggered and figure out the direction it is going.

  28. edayis edayis says:

    Can someone on here please do a chart, in depth story on the stars, or anything about Trayvon Maritn’s death? I’m earnestly surprised that there are international protests going on regarding the injustice and failure of our racist judicial system to bring the MURDERER of an innocent boy, and there’s only been a couple of words here on Planet Waves ( I think Fe wrote something last week?).

    I mean this kid died 6 weeks ago, and there’s all this overt racism in front of everyone’s eyes, that’s fueled the outrage around the world. People all over the U.S. are turning out in thousands to slice through the veil of illusion that is called Institutionalized Racism- i think it’s a strong chiron/picses energy… can someone more astute with the stars please write about this? What’s going on?

  29. Amanda Painter Amanda Painter says:

    “I don’t have time to coddle the divas. I have time to work with those that actually want to do the work.”

    exactly. i’ve been wondering how your show was going, michele! as an actress, i’ve seen what it’s like to have a diva in the cast. part of me thinks directors should ignore the antics and tell them to get over themselves. but that fine line to walk is that often, these emotional, dramatic people often *do* eventually channel that energy into moving performances. just think how much more they could channel that energy if they were expending so much on the antics in rehearsal.

    of course, i say that knowing that in my “real” life, i often find myself caught up in emotional conflict/drama/etc before i can settle in to “do real work.” it’s a terribly inefficient way to live, but sometimes it just feels like all that “stuff” needs to be expressed and gotten out of the way and seen and heard first. like maybe i don’t quite trust that i’m safe and loved and capable until i’ve tested those boundaries almost to the breaking point — and then i can look at what’s really going on.

    somehow, i don’t generally find myself going through all that in rehearsals for a show — at least not nearly to that degree. sometimes my resistance kicks up, i admit (ok, maybe a little more than i’d like to admit). but generally, life makes sense in the theater — even when life is chaos outside those walls. i like the structure, the focus, the process, the working with others on a collective vision. i like doing the work.

    i think a couple people i know have been a little concerned that i’ve overloaded myself by accepting 4 roles in 4 different short plays (each with a different director) for a new play fest next month — and maybe i have. but in some strange way, it makes a certain sense. the scheduling is a nightmare, but in an email exchange with my former college mentor (literature, not acting) this weekend, she commented that i always seemed to thrive when i took on acting on top of all the other things i was juggling. sure, my time management isn’t quite up to speed for it all, but i think there’s something that happens in rehearsals that keeps other things balanced on the inside.

    anyhoo — didn’t mean to ramble on! brake a leg to you & your cast, michele!

  30. KathyC KathyC says:

    ah yes. Thank you.

  31. Kelly says:

    Thank you for the heads up!

  32. michele michele says:

    This couldn’t be a more minute-by-minute descriptor of exactly what I am currently experiencing.

    Tricky tricky.

    It’s hard to take the time out for lucid thought when one is expected to answer every communication immediately. And if you don’t, well…

    I’m hoping I’m taking the high road and managing the bullshit without engaging in the crap. But the fact is I have a difficult show to open April 12. I don’t have time to coddle the divas. I have time to work with those that actually want to do the work.

    Service service service. Walking a mine field. And I’ve not lost it on anyone. There’s that.

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