Dear Friend and Reader:
Each year at this time, I am busy creating the Planet Waves annual edition. It’s an Internet tradition but it’s also a tradition in my life. I also consider it an invention: a way to get you a solid, detailed and authentic astrology reading, with information that makes a difference in your life — astrology that you remember and come back to — for a very modest fee. [You may listen to the free audio preview.
Every year is a fresh reading with a new perspective, taking up the astrology of the moment. After many years of research and practice, I am able to use current transits and get more detail than most astrologers are able to get with a natal chart.
The Planet Waves annual is one of a kind. There is nothing else like it in the business: an alive, immediate, accessible reading of the astrology that is happening right now and in the coming few seasons, presented in audio AND written form. The readings work for your Sun sign and your rising sign. It’s a full-service offering.
I write and record the readings to be motivational and inspiring, as well as factually informative about the astrological influences you will actually experience. This year in particular, that is going to be helpful. We’re about to experience the peak of the Uranus-Pluto square, in the form of a grand cross aspect involving Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto. Everyone will feel this influence, and you will benefit from clear, competent astrological information.
I also think of it as a kind of yearbook, recording the story of our moment, the issues that were occupying our thoughts, and the breakthroughs in astrology and astronomy. Every annual is created taking into account the newest planetary discoveries of the era when it was created.
Each annual has its own ambiance, music and feeling tones that I associate with it, memories of the place it was created, feelings for and stories about my collaborators. The Planet Waves annual has been a forum for developing the astonishing talent you see on our staff — a kind of learning laboratory and easy way to get involved, a place to try new ideas and, in truth, to invent the craft of astrology as we go.
For the Curious: The History of the Planet Waves Annual
When I started Planet Waves on the eve of the winter solstice in 1998 (the Planet Waves website has its Sun in very late Sagittarius), my first project was the 1999 annual edition. I was living in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey at the time.
Since then, I’ve created 14 more annuals, each more in-depth than the next.
The 2000 edition, The River of Night, one of my favorites ever, was done in Miami, and reflects some of the idealism that existed at the turn of the century, prior to the 9/11 incident. The 2001 edition, Under a Changing Sky, was done on an island in Puget Sound, as were the next three years. That’s where I met Chelsea Bottinelli, who most of you have talked to when you call our business phone. The 2002 edition was called The Great Curve, featuring the art of Carlos Solorzano Smith. The 2003 edition was called The Pisces Point, and was the first one that Chelsea worked on.
Aquasphere, the 2004 edition, was a breakthrough. Written on an island accessible only by boat and airplane, surrounded by 800-foot deep water, inhabited by huge octopuses and visited by whales, this annual was dedicated to water.
Aquasphere was the first annual with many contributors, including several who are still involved today. Originally developed as a CD, Aquasphere was also the first annual to incorporate audio.
The next three editions were created in Europe — Bridge to the Core and Parallel Worlds in Paris, both of which remind me of the approach of Pluto to the Galactic Core. Paris is an ancient city, and a beautiful place to write. I lived in the Latin Quarter, where many, many writers you love have lived and worked. While Parisians can be hard-nosed skeptics, they’re also curious about life, and I found this a fascinating place to do astrology. It’s also where I learned photography.
When Pluto finally aligned with the core of our galaxy, I commemorated that with an annual called The Spiral Door, which was written in Brussels and which featured the return of audio that was recorded in a hotel in northern France, just across the English Channel from the White Cliffs of Dover. The articles in The Spiral Door are incredible, as is the artwork by Deirdre Tanton. (She also did the art for Parallel Worlds.)
When I moved to New York, the annual edition entered a new phase. I began collaborating with photographer and designer Danielle Voirin, first on an edition called Small World Stories. This edition included readings for all the signs, as well as a series of articles about the minor planets, and a collection of reader-contributed essays about their stories of what a small world it is.
That was followed by Next World Stories, the first annual to incorporate fiction. Then came Cosmic Confidential, Light Bridge, and then the 2012 edition timed with the ‘end’ of the Mayan calendar and the Uranus-Pluto square — Revolution, Revelation, Reality Check. The 2012 edition also came with a third return of spoken word readings, which has remained in place ever since.
For 2013, the annual was called LISTEN, featuring music for each sign by Renee Blue O’Connell, a classically trained musician who went deaf and learned to hear, play and sing again.
The Mars Effect: The Tradition Continues
There are moments when the astrology is so potent, I am especially grateful to be an astrologer and to offer my work to my readers. We are about to enter such a moment. As I mentioned, 2014 comes with the peak of what I call the 2012-era: the Uranus-Pluto square. I will be covering this in detail in The Mars Effect, your 2014 reading.
We are about to experience Venus retrograde, Mercury retrograde and then Mars retrograde in rapid succession. These retrogrades can stir up a lot of material and pretty much compel us to reorient ourselves mentally and emotionally. However, Mars retrograde, which spans from March through May, will be one of those truly unusual threshold events — a kind of one-way door to another reality.
Mars in Libra, for its part, will be making a series of aspects to Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto, representing effects in our personal lives and in the world that you will be grateful to have competent information about.
The Mars Effect readings continue and develop my tradition of expertly prepared, impassioned astrological guidance. They include two-part audio readings of about 70 minutes each total; plus extended written readings that will cover additional themes, particularly the relationship subject matter that is inherent in Libra.
Your 2014 readings will also have a focus on finances and employment. The magnificent Lois Rodden (1929-2003) once said that Mars is the money planet. I believe she is right: getting your finances in order, and excelling in the game, takes both motivation and a competitive spirit. It takes a devotion to doing things well that also comes in abundance with Libra.
Your readings will also cover Saturn in Scorpio, Jupiter in Cancer and its sign change to Leo, and the Chiron-Neptune conjunction in Pisces.
As ever, I provide abundant information from the realm of the newly discovered planets. And this edition includes a collection of articles on the topic of Mars, covering every topic from desire to anger management to gender identity.
This edition also features theme music by Gary Lucas, a great friend of Planet Waves.
You are invited to participate in the Planet Waves annual tradition. We are still offering individual signs for $19.95 each. On Sunday, the price will go up to $29.95 — so order now to save $10. Current members and subscribers to the 2013 annual can also get all 12 signs as a package. Please write or call about that — you can reach Chelsea at (877) 453-8265 or by email at email@example.com.
Your readings will be done in mid-January. I will keep you posted as to my progress.
I want to leave you with a few lines of poetry from a nearly forgotten 20th-century poet, H.D. that I discovered long before I was an astrologer, and which have always been an inspiration to my work. This is from her book Helen in Egypt, a commentary on traditional male-centered epic poetry.
So I would read here
in my crystal
Even as Achilles
measured the stars
with the sway of a ship’s mast
Even as Achilles
counted, figure by figure,
the outline of hero and beast
PS: Please be aware of our Burning Man-styled pricing policy. We offer the best prices early in the game, and increase as publication time approaches, and then go to full price once the edition is out. We offer many options not listed here, including the 2014 All Access Pass.