Montana Fishburne: ‘Well, it’s my name, too’.

At Eric’s suggestion, I visited to see what might be news-worthy for the blog. None of the headlines grabbed my attention, the mother cat nursing a baby squirrel was sweet but not compelling, so I checked out this short video interview for my own entertainment: Laurence Fishburne’s Daughter Enters Porn Industry. Porn is an easy mark for sensationalism, so I wasn’t expecting any real ‘news’ here; after all, the lives of celebrities get a disproportionate amount of attention in our culture and that’s not the Planet Waves game.

Montana Fishburne

Why am I posting this then? Because I nearly fell over when I heard the contrast between Ms. Fishburne’s poised, sex-positive, art-positive confidence and self-esteem and the (female) interviewer’s measured attempts to undermine it. The news anchor begins by stating, “I’m not a prude […] I’m not afraid of sex, if it’s part of art.”

Really? Sex needs to be a part of art for you not to be afraid of it? And who exactly gets to decide what constitutes art? Montana Fishburne explains her view of porn as art, albeit a more graphic type of art, full of beautiful people touching each other in sensuous ways. To my ears, she clearly is doing this because she believes in what she is creating.

Given her father’s career, we know she’s not hurting for money or connections if she simply wants to become an actor. I don’t know the family’s dynamics, but her manner of speech does not seem to indicate an urge to ‘get back at daddy’ for anything.

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Intro to Tarot: Synchronicity and card positions

Editor’s Note: Regular participants on this page are familiar with the contributions of Sarah Taylor. For years I’ve been wanting to run a feature on tarot, and when I found out that in addition to being an excellent writer, Sarah is a professional card reader, I asked her to step up — and she did. This is her third article, which looks at the role of synchronicity as a channel for expression and organizing principle in reading tarot. Future editions will cover how to work with cards on your own, how to choose a deck and specific cards. We will take direction from readers who comment, so please let us know what you think. You can visit Sarah’s website at this link. –efc

Ace of Swords from the Camoin-Jodorowsky Tarot, a restored version of the Marseille Tarot.

By Sarah Taylor

Now that we’re on the third article in our series on tarot (you’ll find article one here and article two here), we should be familiar with the basic structure of a typical deck of tarot cards –- major and minor arcana; court cards and Ace through ten. We’ve also got them in the spread we’ve chosen –- whether one card or two, a Celtic Cross, a Tree of Life reading or something else.

But… hang on a minute here… just how is this going to work? What makes sure that the cards best suited for this reading are the ones that we pick from the deck? What guides them to be assigned to a particular position in the layout?

In fact, if we’re going to start asking those questions, we might as well go back further. What made us choose that particular layout in the first place? No, go right back to the beginning. What made us choose that particular deck? Heck, why did we choose to interest ourselves with tarot in the first place, and why has this interest brought us to this discussion here?

I believe the answer is synchronicity.

But what is synchronicity? The idea of synchronicity was first discovered and introduced into public consciousness by psychologist Carl Jung in the early part of the twentieth century. This was followed by his paper entitled Synchronicity -– An Acausal Connecting Principle, published in 1952, in which he wrote:

The problem of synchronicity has puzzled me for a long time, ever since the middle twenties, when I was investigating the phenomena of the collective unconscious and kept on coming across connections which I simply could not explain as chance groupings or “runs”. What I found were “coincidences” which were connected so meaningfully that their “chance” concurrence would be incredible.

According to the Wikipedia entry on synchronicity, “Jung was transfixed by the idea that life was not a series of random events but rather an expression of a deeper order.” In other words, at its most basic, synchronicity can be seen as a universal organising principle that seeks to reconcile the conscious and the unconscious.

Remember, this takes us back to our previous two articles. In the first, we looked at the idea that tarot weaves a narrative about our lives: “what happens on the surface, and what lies beneath”; and in the second we saw how the cards were the repository for archetypal content –- the larger spiritual themes that govern our thoughts, feelings and actions. We also introduced the idea that we need do nothing except trust in this law as the basis for an effective reading: this organising principle never disappears… though we can choose to ignore it.

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Wednesday — Audio Ready

Good morning — your weekly audio is done. I take a look at the repercussions of Monday’s New Moon in Leo (opposite Nessus and Damocles), as well as Mercury warming up to its retrograde.

In the mix, I offer a review of the Aug. 11, 1999 (yes, 1999) total solar eclipse and grand cross in Leo/fixed signs (of which today is the anniversary) — and I reference the Burning Man series of articles, which you can find at this link. In case you’re interested — this is a long read, but a fun one — it’s a glimpse into the world before the Sept. 11 false flag terrorist attacks, before the year 2000, before Bush and Cheney — a look at the direction things were going. Clue — there was some violence in the air.

In this audio I look at the Saturn-Pluto square coming a little later in the month — which happens at the same time (as in the same day) as the Sun opposite the Chiron/Neptune conjunction. The exact date of that is Aug. 21 and we are very much under its influence right now. Thankfully this is the last of Saturn making stressful aspects to outer planets for a while — we have had enough the past 10 years, as Saturn has opposed Pluto (three events), Neptune (three events) and Uranus (five events) in that order, and is now square Pluto for the third and last time. That’s a lot of Saturn aspects in a short time.

Please note that there are some new posts below the Oracle — one about Nessus by Amanda (taken from the Cosmic Confidential blog, which is now running dailyish), a discussion about intercepted houses right below that, and a conversation about cholesterol and vitamin D immediately below that. (I just added an article about microwave ovens to the comment area.)

Later today, if all goes well, or mostly well, I plan to do the Leo birthday audio and will send out an announcement tomorrow. If there is any call for the Capricorn birthday report, which would be a bit retro but right on time for the Saturn-Pluto square, please say so and I will do that as well.

Also note, we’ve updated the footer to each blog post and it now includes three monthly horoscopes for those who aren’t current subscribers or who haven’t read my horoscopes in the past. I write a different kind of horoscope than you may be accustomed to. You’re invited to see for yourself…

Eric Francis

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Astrology Today: The Oracle for Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010

Today’s Oracle takes us to the Gemini weekly of Jan. 22, 1999

The Oracle.

With Chiron, the planet of healing, crossing the angle of your solar chart which addresses partnerships, now is a great time to initiate change in this aspect of your life. Your love stories in recent years have probably had more downs than ups, GEMINI (May 21-June 20). Yet the inner reality seems to be that for whatever reason, you have been allowing people to have a deeper impact on you. This is a risk, though you’ve chanced it as much from desire as from deep necessity. But now your process of relating to others needs to become fully conscious. So pay attention. Ask people their motives, and tell them yours. Really consider who you want to have around you. And consider whether anyone new in your life may have taken on an unusual level of importance that you haven’t quite noticed yet.

(The Daily Oracle is a random selection from one of 10,000 Eric Francis horoscopes. New horoscopes by Eric are published weekly plus twice a month in Planet Waves Astrology News and Planet Waves Light. The Oracle itself is a divination tool available to subscribers to either of these services.)

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Navigating the Nessus Nexus

Note: Amanda posted this to Cosmic Confidential Diary yesterday — that blog is updating daily, by the way. At the moment, the Sun is in a precise opposition to Nessus (as of Tuesday night and into Wednesday), and this post seemed apropos of the moment. — efc

Monday’s New Moon was opposite two minor planets — Nessus and Damocles, an interesting pair to be sure, bringing issues of power and past abuse from our shadow material into the bright light of the counseling room. Here at the Cosmic Confidential Detective Agency, we’re trained to take a ‘good cop’ approach to these aspects and transits; that is, acknowledge what can be difficult or painful and then find the creative, productive side door to working with the energy. So I thought I’d take a page out of Eric’s book (literally) and see how we might work with Nessus in particular.

In an essay on this centaur planet from Next World Stories, he writes: “Actions have consequences, and once you notice those effects, you can almost always discover the source. Nessus is a very helpful diagnostic tool in handling situations with these themes of betrayal, deception, murder, sexual abuse and sexual infidelity. It works just as well to reveal something about where and how we’ve been hurt in the past, and how we’re likely to hurt others — and how we can heal that pattern and its resulting injuries.”

Now those themes are some heavy ones, but not foreign to anyone serious about their investigation. It’s wise to keep the right tools for the job at hand and know when to call for reinforcements, whoever they may be for you. But note that Nessus doesn’t simply thrust us into the dark — the potential to heal abusive patterns is present. As Eric remarks later in the article, “Nessus can point to information, people and circumstances that help lift the veil.” That sounds like a pretty hot lead to me, so I’ll be keeping my notebook handy for the rest of the stakeout. The information is there, we just need to have faith that we’re up to the task of working with it. After all, it’s already ours.

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Backtracking: Sign Interceptions

We were discussing sign interceptions the other day. I was just doing some research for Friday’s horoscope and was visiting the site of Martha Lang Wescott, my beloved colleague. I found this page on interceptions. She takes a psychological approach to the subject. She is suggesting that interceptions describe where and how we let the needs of others creep up on our own need for wholeness. The house that is ‘trapped’ in the interception is the place we cannot access.

I will say this: in the many discussions of house systems I have heard, I have never heard mentioned the issue of where the interceptions fall, if they do. In my chart I get interceptions of Aries/Libra in Koch houses (in 4th 10th) and Gemini/Sagg in Placidus/Topocentric houses (in 6th 12th). I personally prefer Koch (for other reasons, most of them intuitive) and I would say that Martha’s ideas hold up pretty well; I am in a helping profession and that means making room for the material of a lot of people, in both my public and private lives (4th/10th). So her idea passes the first sniff test.

The interesting thing is that when I cast a chart where the interceptions fall along 6th 12th, they tell a similar story of work/profession (6th house) and private affairs (12th house). This is one of many demonstrations of how shifting methods gives a similar message.

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Chez Shakespeare

Roche famly, at Sunday afternoon tea, Shakespeare & Co. Books, Paris. Photo by Eric Francis.

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About all those cholesterol drug commercials

Good afternoon,

I’m a fan of a guy named Dr. Mercola — an osteopath with a writing team and a really good website. I have no idea how I even got on his mailing list, but I get his mailings and they are all valuable; some, like the one I am sharing with you today, are absolutely excellent. (For those with pets, he has a colleague on the site who is doing some great stuff on veterinary medicine.)

The incredible, evil egg? A variety of them, as sold in Haikou, Hainan, China. Photo: Wikipedia.

The current trend in drug commercials is cholesterol medication. For a while it was prostate, then Viagra comes into vogue, and now every other TV commercial seems to be about lowering your cholesterol to supposedly prevent heart disease and strokes. Well — based on known science, that turns out to be a likely case of bullshit.

In this recent article, Mercola’s writing team takes apart the issue, looking at a number of studies and what they say. One thing he notes is that by drastically lowering cholesterol, we deprive the brain of energy and that is a potential cause of depression. Cholesterol is also a key source of what we need to make sex hormones. So if you want to suppress your sex drive, cutting out cholesterol is a great way to do that.

Though I don’t do much investigative reporting anymore, I know the real thing when I see it. Mercola’s articles read like a very well-crafted set of research notes that could be developed into an investigative series on the issue they cover. I strongly suggest, by the way, that you look into his coverage of vitamin D. This is the vitamin that isn’t really a vitamin — it’s not found naturally in any food. Those links are easy to find, and there is a cholesterol-vitamin D connection: your body cannot synthesize vitamin D from sunlight unless you have a good level of cholesterol in your blood. Vitamin D, in turn, is the easiest way to stack the deck in your favor on heart disease and cancer.

With that, a side note about sun screen lotions: they block the production of vitamin D, which happens naturally only in the skin. We fear that sunlight causes cancer, and by adding SPF, that prevents the cancer-blocking property of sunlight. This is an old story: nearly everything the chemical industry creates backfires.


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The Moon and Neptune

By Len Wallick

In our present astrology, we have as our continued background the cardinal T-square. It seems that most of the major planets and many of the minor ones are lately a part of it. One planet we have not heard about lately is Neptune, meaningfully lurking on the outskirts of our collective consciousness, retrograde in very late Aquarius — our focus today after a very brief review.

Retrograde Uranus, still in Aries until the weekend, accompanies retrograde Jupiter having recently re-entered the third degree of the same sign. Retrograde Pluto, with its superior tenure, is in the fourth degree of Capricorn. Saturn is already in the second degree of Libra with Venus in the fourth degree and Mars in the eighth degree of same.

We have also been served a lot of information about the Sun and Moon this past month, most recently with the two luminaries separating today from their challenging conjunction in Leo. The Sun is still functionally opposed to the Aquarius conjunction of Nessus and Damocles. We have anticipated the impending Mercury retrograde in Virgo with Old Fleet-foot having entered its echo phase earlier this month, on its way to station in ten days. We have heard a lot about all those planets engaged with the dual themes of relationship and “all of us together/all at the same time.”

One might wonder how we have allowed Neptune to have so easily assumed its preferred role, out of the limelight, pulling the strings, the proverbial man behind the curtain. After all, Old Foggy has long been in a tight sextile (60 degrees of separation) to the Galactic Center in Sagittarius. Given that the core of our galaxy serves as the higher octave of the “all of us together” theme in the cardinal T-square as well as its thematic bridge to the aspects of 2012, one would think that would have given this aspect more attention; or rather, conscious attention.

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Astrology Today: The Oracle for Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2010

Today’s Oracle takes us to the Scorpio monthly of Sept. 4, 2006

The Oracle.

This month we continue with the metaphor of a strong home life being the foundation for an eminently successful business life. Your emotional security is the basis of your creative success. The flexibility of your family life is the means by which you can focus yourself into the leadership role that life is demanding of you on a consistent basis. These relationships have come in and out of focus at various times, but never has the image been as clear as it is today.

(The Daily Oracle is a random selection from one of 10,000 Eric Francis horoscopes. New horoscopes by Eric are published weekly plus twice a month in Planet Waves Astrology News and Planet Waves Light. The Oracle itself is a divination tool available to subscribers to either of these services.)

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