New Edition: Saturn in Libra

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Today’s issue of Planet Waves Astrology News has been sent out. This is our Friday edition for subscribers. Today’s focuses on the theme of relationships, as pointed to by Saturn in Libra. My lead article looks at some of the trouble we get ourselves into by so often insisting on a lack of authenticity in our relationships — and how we can get to someplace much better. The weekly horoscope looks at the Aquarius Full Moon this weekend, and there is new writing by Judith Gayle and an announcement about the Cancer birthday and Cancer rising audio report. If you’re a subscriber, please check your email soon. If you’re not, you can get instant access by visiting the ‘subscribe’ link in the paragraph below.

Eric Francis

About Eric Francis

Planet Waves began in 1998 as the home of the Eric Francis horoscope, a prominent feature in our premium service. Going far beyond what most Sun-sign astrologers even dream is possible, Eric brings in-depth interpretations to his work. He is a pioneer in the newly-discovered planets, including Chiron and the centaurs, and is able to translate their movements into accessible human terms, offering ideas for life, love and work. Discover a whole new world of literary journalism in Planet Waves. We offer free trial subscriptions, discounts for students and seniors, and gift subscriptions for veterans and those on active military duty.
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18 Responses to New Edition: Saturn in Libra

  1. GraffitiGrammarian says:

    It’s great that there’s a forum like this for talking about something that’s so basic to the culture.

    It helps to make a clearer picture if you also talk about money when you talk about monogamy, because money was the main reason that monogamy got invented in the first place.

    And it’s still one of the main reasons that people practice monogamy today.

    Anthropologists say they’ve figured out how monogamy got invented: it happened after human tribes had settled down to farm and raise livestock. That ol’ “animal husbandry” thing had taught people that sex leads to babies.

    And while this may sound implausible — could there ever have been a time when people didn’t know this? — the answer appears to be yes, there were primitive cultures that didn’t quite connect the dots between a woman giving birth and a woman having had sexual intercourse nine months earlier.

    Such folks thought women got their fertility from the gods.

    Anyhow, once it dawned on folks that men played a role in reproduction, like the farmyard animals, they realized that they could accumulate wealth more efficiently through patriarchy.

    The guy in the village could now say, “That kid there is MY son, not just his mother’s son and not just the village’s son, but MY son. And since hs is MY son, I can claim him and put him to work for me, and also I can seek to enlarge and protect my wealth so that I can pass it on to him — I can make him my inheritor.”

    This was a good move from the point of view of accumulating weath, both for the son and for the father. And it got future generations of men invested in maintaining the system.

    It was however a terrible thing for women, because the only way you can get a clear lineage traced through the male is if you make sure the female has no other sexual partners.

    So we got monogamy. Yippee.

    And we also got the church, which was created to enforce the rules of the rich by spreading fear and ignorance (but this is a lighthearted subject for another post ;-).

    Now, Eric’s fine discussion of the psychological effects of monogamy was terrific, and I really agreed with it. I was especially impressed with the comment about how a commitment to a monogamous relationship can be a pact you and another person make not to grow or change.

    Very true.

    But I wanted to throw in this history about monogamy because it’s a reminder that there is no such thing as two co-equal partners in a monogamous relationship, at least not if it’s a man/woman partnership. The whole idea of male/female monogamy is based on an inequality: that the man is worth more. That by marrying the woman he is adding her to his possesions, and protecting the value of his OTHER possessions.

    We really only got the freedom to break loose from this idiotic premise when women got some economic freedom, and began to be able to survive without being owned by a man. That’s only been the last hundred years or so — not even that, really, more like since WWII.

    This amount of time is like the blink of an eye in term of human culture. Humans still have very little experience with this.

    But pls also note that most folks out there — folks in the middle of the country, who don’t get fancy university degrees and don’t live in penthouses on the coasts — most still face a real struggle in terms of survival, and they get married because it’s cheaper.

    A couple can live on less than two individuals, plus being married gives you more economic stability, more of a safety net when bad times come.

    I do believe there are a gazillion people out there — many of them women — who would like to move away from the tight definitions of monogamy (maybe not as far as Eric, but far enough to experiment away from the norm)….

    …but they simply can’t risk it. There are no jobs, the economy is a mess, the world of peace and plenty seems to be at grave risk, and throwing your marriage out the window might mean that you have no roof over your head, or that your kids won’t eat tonight.

    So I try not to judge these folks too harshly. A lot of them are just trying to survive.

    peace, GG

  2. fontanelle33 says:

    I get so excited and want to share, such good work.

  3. Eric Francis Via email says:

    Hello Eric Francis,

    I just read your Let’s Get Real: Saturn in Libra and wow, it was so what I needed to see. I am kind of new to your work.  (DK Brainard recommended you) and I didn’t realize you were into the sexuality awareness stuff. Yay! I am a cap sun with aquarius asc. and pisces moon (xx/xx/1968) Am going through a difficult divorce right now. Actually, I know that it’s me who is making it difficult.

    I’ll try to sum it up succinctly (you did say you like to read people’s stories). My husband of 14 years and I decided (at my prompting) to open up the relationship to sex with others. Then he fell for the first person he did it with and decided he wanted to be with her instead. I am bi and have always been more sexually curious and open about sex. I had met an older guy with lots of crazy sexual experience last year and he turned me on to some new stuff. This guy intimidated my husband I think. Well, I live in a conservative part of the country [down south] and have felt pretty isolated in my sexual attitudes.  

    I know my asc. has a lot to do with my sexual openness and the eclipses have definitely helped crush my marriage but after I knew I was losing him I kind of freaked and was willing to go back into that closet but (luckily I guess) he didn’t want to try to work things out. Several parts of your Get Real article rang true for me.  I’ve known I was different for a long time and suppressed it. I felt  like I was coming out last year not with bi part but more the poly part.  Of course we had more issues than just the sexual ones. My art career started taking off a bit and that intimidated him as well. So now I am figuring out who I am and what I want.  Really need to let go of the final dregs of my old life and identity as well as all the anger and hurt.

    Just heard your weekly audio for the first time too. Really dug the astrology and your musing and you have an awesome voice too.

    Mainly I wanted to say how much I’m enjoying your work,

  4. Eric Francis Via email says:

    Hey Chelsea:

    Every other post, you guys knock my socks off. In this case, you got the whole wardrobe on the floor.

    Eric’s column on relationships was so immediately recognizable, full of humor and insight, and so exquisitely written it deserves some kind of “awareness award.” A Peabody in raising consciousness. As a fellow Pisces, I also get great pleasure out of the weekly horoscopes, and Eric’s ability to channel whatever is going on in my soul. I’d say we drink from the same glass, but that’s too small an image. More from the same ocean.

    The economy is testing people to their limits; and finding that true center in a time when everyone’s income is halved (at least those people I know; mostly artists, writers, and those outside the box) aint easy. Now, more than ever, we need to be reminded to pay attention to who we are, and to look at the re-formation of our society as a sacrifice that will not diminish us, but lead us to a higher level of awareness. Still, what does that mean in terms of being able to do our real work, when there is so much more effort required just to put food on the table? Ironic that Timothy Ferris’ 4 Hour Work Week was so popular leading up to the crash. And ironic that so many of us got so close to getting our next body of work out there, and then walked off the cliff. Any words of wisdom on this, as we enter the Double Dip, will be greatly appreciated. Do we sit on our dreams and pay the rent? Are we going to all go deeper into debt anyway, so we might as well do so, while making art? That prospect is really frightening for us Boomers who don’t have decades ahead of us to “make it up” and who feel the crunch on both ends, aging parents who need expensive medical care, kids who need college, and age discrimination in the traditional workplace (that some of us don’t want to enter!)–and who have lived on the edge, following our bliss, instead of socking it away in a SEP IRA. In short, we renegades are being tested most.

    I’ll check out the books Eric mentioned and I can’t help but wonder: Does financial contraction tend to bring a contraction of Eros as well? A general tightening up? Or does it reach a crescendo where we stop listening to the outer world and lose ourselves in oceanic oneness, as a remedy for the increasing fragmention of our world?

    Judith’s piece on Fox news and Shirley Sherrod wasn’t the downer I expected but a real cause for hope that maybe we are getting on top of lying liars at last, and that the next phase of the civil rights/human rights movement is going to be exposure of these fear mongers. Fox media has put the old KKK noose around any community program that’s looking to do good for a fair number of people. I feel the same revulsion for these folks as I do for the white hoods. This was a beautiful framing of events from ACORN (so regrettable) to Sherrod’s courageous honesty; we ought to be creating a special award for people like Sherrod who have both self-awareness and the ability to see the bigger picture—-to step outside their own bias and projections instead of using them as hatchets as the Foxies do. We see the same distortion of facts in the proponents of the Arizona immigration laws: they claim violence is up along the border when border cities have the lowest crime rates in the county (see this week’s New Yorker). Fox is begining to resemble a bolus, a chronically twisted intestine that keeps any nourishment from the system and untended, will lead to certain death.

    Many thanks to you all!

    Vivi Bennett

  5. Eric Francis Via email says:

    Hi Eric
    I read your new post today and just wanted to say… thanks. This
    subject is so timely for me. I ended a 9-year relationship 3 years
    ago; I had thought I was somehow going to end up in another
    relationship of the same kind but lately I have been suspecting it’s
    the entire construct that is flawed. I’ve been noticing some things
    about myself in recent weeks, particularly I’ve been getting an
    inkling of the ‘split-hemisphere’ experience. I’ve been walking
    through life with two very simple possibilities in mind about
    relationships: the casual, anonymous version, and the together-forever
    version. Yikes! It hasn’t given me much leeway to express myself.

    Anyway, thank you for writing so clearly on the subject. It’s useful.


  6. HazelF says:

    Half D – would that not make him an Erictic? Or at least Eric the Heretic?

    Hope alls well, H.

  7. Half De Witte says:

    When the Roman Catholic Church introduced priestly celibacy not far off a millennium back, it was nothing like motivated by ‘spiritual’ purity concerns. But of course it is easier to vilify the body than the mind and to control it via strict moral constructs. Everybody knows that the real agenda was recognition that resources aggregate around empires and lineage, aka reproduction – aka Capitalism – aka personal ‘liberty’.

    So, once people start having sex that can lead anywhere other than material security and civil stability, well you must be tearing the fabric of society apart – and of course, you are! But in an emancipatory spirit of curiosity rather than nefarious anarchy.

    Unless we can unshackle ourselves, imagine new models of possibility for social infrastructure and then implement these in viable ‘familial’ counter-cultures (now eco-cultures as we need to see them) nobody will be able to secure enough experiential contrast to make sustainable choices and Eric will remain an ‘on the outside peering in, heretic’ (I’ve often wanted to emancipate you by calling you a heretic, Eric – I particularly enjoy how Nietzsche took on the label of AntiChrist as a means of disarming shaming-driven ontological fears. So enjoy being a heretic Eric – I will of course worry if you become too popular!)

  8. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    The sanctimoniousness-ity of marriage is part of the story; what exactly is being projected? When someone restricts/controls all other social ties, there is something besides purity that is created. The one monogamous couple that I know for whom this method of living actually works plays a game they call “I’d let him/her do me” spotting all the hotties out there. They are the only ones I know. Pretty much everyone else would have had a heart attack after the first five minutes of the game.

    What got me out of monogamy was not so much the desire to have sex with other people; at the end of the day, it works out that I am close to organically monogamous. When I have a lover, I tend to stick to her. That part is easy. What got me out of calling myself monogamous was feeling like I had to leave the house dressed in a dry cleaning bag and not notice anyone else or talk to them or think about them. I gradually discovered the extent that (in my case) women were willing to dump their insecurities over my head and then clock me with the bucket. That was the first thing I started to change. I had to choose women who deal with the fact that I love women. (Now I have to pick my readers on the basis of accepting that I have a fascination for/appreciation of women; many have fled from Planet Waves because I’m open about that fact, mistaking it for misogyny.)

    When I meet a man and he’s interested in my photos of women but he says, “my girlfriend would kill me,” I take the hint. Ca plan n’est pas pour moi. Gee whiz, I guess I’m having ALL the fun.

    I remember when I wrote my first series of articles on polyamory, in a local magazine called Chronogram that I had started writing for about a year before and where this article will appear next month. I have always done essay/horoscope format, so while on the one hand people are following my horoscope and taping it to their altar or cutting it out and putting it in their diary (that’s what they tell me), which horoscope is apparently perfectly objective and spiritual and not even vaguely subversive but rather absolutely impeccably fair and balanced, my articles have a distinct point of view. In a series of three articles early in my astrology career, I used that point of view to question the presumption of mandatory monogamy and offer some suggestions. That was in 1997.

    I wrote the series in the first person, taking full responsibility for my ideas.

    Times were different. I finally heard the last of it about five years later. I tortured my editor, who was constantly being asked (trying to sell ads) what the hell he was advocating: you know, the fall of Western civilization and all of that. You want to pick up some projections from the pure of soul? The vegans of mutual adoration? I felt like I was banned from dating, socializing and relationships. On a bad day I felt like I was the font of diseases and home-wrecking. The articles were careful, gentle, elegant: and I still felt like I had the Scarlet Letter strapped onto my back. Like a target. How dare I…

    So that’s why I’m so careful with these articles when I write them. I go over them first like a novelist, then like a lawyer, then like an auditor (then the proofreaders have at it), to make sure that my position is unassailable and that I have covered every possible objection and put everything necessary in the conditional tense…then I nail the thing to the door of the cathedral.

  9. lissam says:

    hands down, the worst part of being single is fielding the projections of married people. the rest of it is kind of a blast! i say that as a reformed, long-time serial monogamist. welcome to the new world. there is love all around.

    most married (or even coupled) people i meet (you know who you aren’t) are quite busy assigning themselves a higher status, which in turn becomes very costly. it becomes clear after a time that what marriage is, or has become to them is an extension of that lawful legitimacy, which is now theirs to police.

    it’s a vexing revenge, actually. they bought the farm. then, the farm.. eh.

    we didn’t. we are possibly worshipping other gods.

    there are other gods? silence the single people! ask them if they’re ‘alone’.

    we’re paying taxes, rearing children, working too much, all of those things, but our relationships are revolutions, every last one of them: they’re creative, passionate practices, precipices that we step up to over and over again, and in between we -yep- sleep alone, say it with me, despise christmas parties, love christmas parties, but we find one another.

    this is a quote from an interview with Tilda Swinton, where she’s talking about the making of her new film ‘I Am Love’:

    “The idea of love that we started with, was the idea that this concept of love, in the sort of romantic idiom—being about oneness; being about two together, never apart, able to solve all each other’s pains, distract each other from any kind of suffering, and solve the possibility of any kind of loneliness, was a terrible red herring, basically. In our construction, love is about a kind of recognition of loneliness as the deal, and recognition of loneliness in the other, and a commitment to not mess with the loneliness of the other—to not ask the other to solve one’s own loneliness, but to actually keep each other company in a kind of mutual honoring of the loneliness.”

  10. Half De Witte says:

    Carrie, we can surely moralize honesty, ‘truth’ and trust as some pre-condition of relationship. But this is more of a problem – in line with what Eric is pointing out – than being an expression of it. Really, it seems that the message is to ditch fear and “to thine own self be true”. It’s about finding courage to be oneself and see who responds affirmatively, rather than being some transparency strategy for purposes of cementing security. There is a sense that ideas of trust can be manipulated to secure control over others as to what they disclose or fail to – but disclosure is always an act of choice and judgment, born of an authentic sense of freedom. Outright deception is harmful for relationships but equally so is attempting to control, in the name of honesty, to assuage anxieties/insecurities.

    We so often think that a “leopard never changes its spots”, as if people were so static and rigid that they are defined by some essence of unchangeable being, rather than ongoing exercise of their free choice – such that we forget that our own ways of manifesting can/do have a big impact on others’ responses in new situations.

    The power belongs to you, nobody else (as long as that fact is noticed and deployed)

  11. Carrie says:


    Fascinating article. As always, you said it very well.

    My Dh and I were pretty aware going into our relationship but even then, he hid something from me out of a primal fear of rejection. It was about something he had done in the past. When I found out about it later (accidentally), for me it was too late to do anything about his omission because we had three kids by then and I would not damage them over that. The problem was, his omission has caused me to not trust him as much as I did before finding out. The irony here is that it was HE that insisted that without trust in a relationship there is NO relationship yet he messed with the trust. Now he wonders why I have fears of abandonment or have doubts about his honesty. I understand his reason for omitting the info and he makes perfect sense but there is still that nagging doubt sometimes because of it.

    This is why your writing is SO important; people must be more honest with themselves and those they are relating with. It is imperative to know yourself and be honest with yourself first.

  12. shebear13 shebear13 says:

    An excellent piece of writing today Eric, and especially this line: “….many people enter relationships as a pact to avoid growth.”
    Ain’t that the truth.

    Time to get real and push our authentic selves to the fore and to develop solid, loving and honest connections to ourselves and to each other. Time to push aside the fears and sparkle with integrity, all the damn time. That’s what I call sexy!

    I think you said it some weeks back. The astrology we are living through right now is going to make the 1960’s look like a walk in the park!

  13. Eric Francis Eric Francis says:

    Thanks guys. The email has been incredible too.

    I woke up this morning ready to cut this article. I already cut it once — last week, and held it for a rewrite, adding 700 words yesterday and today. I am aware of the void of darkness and loneliness I am writing into, and also aware on this topic more keenly than any other that I reap what I sow. In the 100 or so edits yesterday and this morning I invested a lot of energy into directing the language and the concepts toward the greatest good for all concerned.

    I usually do that, but I did my best to get it down to the syllable today.

    Then this morning I had my confirmation that I was on the right track when I saw the Onion article about how empty and shallow play-dating is — but the little kid being interviewed is ready do go back.

  14. Fe Bongolan Fe Bongolan says:


    Incredibly powerful astrology out there and for you, out of the ballpark again. My Aquarius Sun/Gemini Moon plans a full weekend. Oh yes, it is QUITE a summer…

  15. nance says:

    I’ve been on the crash course: the most important relationship I have is the one with myself. The clearer I get with myself – loving and valuing, respecting and revering, the easier my other relationships become. I was hiding parts of myself from myself! If I can’t love all of me, who can?

    I love your story SWN – I had similar experiences as a young woman. I have grown to love and accept my body, all of it. It’s unfortunate that we are taught to malign our bodies when each one has its own beauty and uniqueness.

  16. literateinit says:

    This article was profound for me. It was the final chord struck before I set a firm boundary with a recent ex who was back in my life but still not stepping up. All of your writing recently about boundaries, sexuality, partnerships…it all is very real in my world right now. Very much appreciated.

  17. I appreciate very much your Emperor’s New Clothes approach to the subjects of relationships and sexuality. Here’s a little story for you.

    I grew up at the beach, and spent time as a young teenager, walking in prayer up and down the beach saying, “Dear God, please give me small breasts, thank you!” I LOVED BEING IN AND MOVING IN THE WATER, BODYSURFING, SWIMMING, DIVING — being at one with it and there was such a jangling, shattering, discordant quality to remarks and energy toward girls when they had large breasts, or their breasts showed — when I’d come down the face of a wave, it was natural to play with the wave’s motion by turning the body, and — inevitably, uh-oh, my top would expose my breast on one side. This would then be a topic of conversation when I returned to the shore. Please! I was thinking I could make a trade — maybe if my breasts were small, no one would pay attention, or care at all. It felt so annoying, time consuming, pointless and at a deeper level disempowering that I couldn’t just frisk about in the sea and sun, there was a penalty to be paid for being in my body as it came off the cosmic conveyor belt. :) Our culture’s need to relate part-by-part, rather than experiencing physicality, sensuality, and sexuality as a whole and part of the greater whole of nature is a source for our humungous shadow side which is on parade everywhere and understood practically nowhere. :)

    Astro info: Pisces sun and merc, moon in Taurus, venus in Aquarius, mars in Scorpio SATURN IN LIBRA :)

  18. Angie says:

    Eric, you are ‘right on’ about relationships and sexuality. Thanks for continuing to put the truth out there. I appreciate your courage and integrity.


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