Monthly Archives: March 2012

Planet Waves FM :: Slow Rising Smoke: Trayvon Martin


Today’s edition of Planet Waves FM looks at the shooting of Trayvon Martin. It’s a look at the situation from several angles — political, legal and astrological.

Eric Francis, host of Planet Waves FM.

I cover the concept of the Stand Your Ground law, which is based on an earlier idea, the Castle doctrine — the one that says “a man’s home is his castle” — that is the basis of Stand Your Ground. However, it would seem that with everyone pretty much agreeing that the Stand Your Ground law does not apply in this case, from the lead investigator to the bill’s sponsor to Jeb Bush himself, clearly something is wrong.

There is one idea I left out of the discussion: the duty to retreat. That’s the alternative to Stand Your Ground. In New York, for example, you have a duty to retreat from an attacker if you can. If you’re cornered by someone who is going to do you harm, or someone you’re protecting, your first job is to get to a safe place — then you can defend yourself if necessary. The purpose of this is so that people claiming self-defense don’t automatically get a license to kill. You can read more about that at the Wikipedia page on the Castle doctrine.

I include four charts below — the event, the two main players, and the event that started off Arab Spring from late 2010, published on Planet Waves or the first time.

Additional research on this edition provided by Carol van Strum, Nikko Merrell, Amanda Painter, Fe Bongolan, Genevieve Hathaway, Adam Gainsburg and Sarah Bissonnette-Adler.

Here is your program in the old player, where you’ll find the full archives and a downloadable zip file.

Thanks for tuning in.

Eric Francis


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Now Playing: Spring 2012 Audio Report by Eric Francis


“OMG — thank you thank you thank you — just spent this morning listening to my [Spring Report] info, and am so blown away by the accuracy (and relief!) in this experience. Thanks so very much for your part in supporting this work and for showing up in the way that you do!”

With great appreciation,

“Whoa, I just listened to the Aries and Aquarius reports, and was blown away. I’ve been feeling this for a while but now it’s coming in loud and clear. Can’t wait to see how it all manifests, right now it’s all in motion. Get ready to rock and roll.”


Spring 2012 is the wildest season I’ve ever seen in 18 years of doing around-the-clock astrology [listen to short audio preview here]. It fits the 2012 pattern of ‘everything, all at once’, even making that sound like an understatement. I am working on the report even as we edit this issue, and it’s coming out beautifully — every sign is coming through loud and clear and distinctive.

Introducing the Planet Waves 2012 Spring Report by Eric Francis

We have retrogrades of all three inner planets involved — Mercury, Venus and Mars. There is a rare Venus transit of the Sun — an exact conjunction of Venus and the Sun that you will be able to see if you have a clear view during daylight hours (you will need special equipment to protect your eyes). There are eclipses of the Sun and the Moon. And then, just four days after the Cancer solstice, we have the first exact square of Uranus and Pluto.

In honor of putting all this action to work for you, I’m preparing a special Spring Report for all 12 Sun signs and rising signs, as well as an introduction to the astrology that will be useful to everyone. This is a package of all 12 signs for one price. I’m designing it so that you can actually put many of the signs into use — for example, Virgo will be able to use the Gemini report as a career reading. Pisces can use Virgo’s report as a relationship reading, and so on. I give suggestions at the end of each sign, and will do a detailed description so you can get maximum use from this product.

We are now offering all 12 signs for $24.95, which is still an incredible value for the depth and breadth of material offered. We’re already getting rave reviews from customers who pre-ordered the report, which you can read below. Here is the link to order. Thanks for signing up. Please let me know how you like it — I had a lot of fun creating this report.

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Weekend Astrology: Mercury in Pisces

Sunrise snail during the Aries New Moon, Portland, Maine. Photo by Amanda Painter.

The sky is crackling with planets in Aries. But today we get a splash of relief: retrograde Mercury revisits Pisces. With the Aries New Moon and a Sun-Uranus conjunction (exact tomorrow), there is some hot, charged energy in the air – and our psyches. And in the spirit of the equinox, Mercury’s shift offers some balance to our mental experience, chilling it out some.

When Mercury steps out of Aries and into Pisces at about 11:18 pm EDT, you may find some sense and feeling returning to the flash, glam and action the Sun-Uranus conjunction is cooking up in this hot sky. Remember, this contact brings the Sun into the Uranus-Pluto square. While Uranus tends to get a lot of attention as it influences news events around the globe, keeping our personal concerns front and center under the guise of ‘politics’, Pluto is working the deeper material. We’ve had a series of events shepherding us along our inner quests and healing journeys: Mars retrograde in Virgo (recently opposite Chiron and square the lunar nodes); the Sun’s last few days in Pisces; Mercury retrograde. And Mercury now brings some emphasis back to the last seven degrees of Pisces.


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Moon over Civilization; the Last Face of Pisces

The past day or so we’ve been experiencing the Full Moon. One interesting thing about that is that the whole world has one experience, a consequence of it being a celestial event; something beyond the Earth. We, as in all of us here, have also been awash in the remnants of a solar storm that took place overnight Tuesday to Wednesday, resulting from a mass coronal ejection from a sunspot, with the energy bursting out to many times the size of the Sun.

Vesta photographed from the Dawn probe in 2011.

And that energy rains all over us. As fast and as uncontrollably as our technology is moving, or the speed of our minds or activities, the Sun in all its passion and Moon in all its silence embrace the Earth between them and there is some collective awareness that something is happening, happening to all of us, in the background though it may be. A burst of energy comes from the Sun, and we’re reminded that our power grids can be taken down in a matter of moments.

Because the Sun is in Pisces — the last sign — this was the last Full Moon of the astrological year. The Sun is now moving through the last 10 degrees of Pisces, called a decanate or in older terms, the last face of the zodiac. The astrology to watch is how close Mercury is to stationing retrograde — in Aries. It’s in a bold part of the zodiac, the first few degrees, and Mercury is conjunct two other points — an asteroid called Vesta, named for the goddess of fire; and Uranus, representing a kind of fire of his own — the fire of the mind.

Think of Vesta as tending some sacred idea, or core expression of vitality. Her role is to keep the flame at all times, and, we are told, to remain chaste. Yet those initiated into the mysteries know that the chastity of Vesta’s servants represents a preservation of youth and at the same time, conceals a deeper secret, known only to members of the order. Mercury is communing directly with Vesta now, and is about to turn retrograde, make a second conjunction, and then bring a message back to Pisces, the sign representing all of humanity.

Uranus has a role here: this secret may come in the form of an invention, such as an idea that can change the course of events, in a world that seems to be going madder every day. I could think of no better time to have a message from a central goddess, one whose servants were called upon to stand guard at all state functions. So deeply entwined were the Vestal Virgins with the state that Cicero revered them as central points of integrity for the empire, without whom he believed Rome would surely fail.

Now, let’s be on the lookout for some information that Mercury would be delivering. It may literally be coming through our news distribution systems, at least on one level. Certain elements in government and politics have lately revealed the true nature of their agenda, which is the control of women, which is to say, attempting to relegate women, through proposed laws and marginalization, to the role of birthing pods who bear fetuses that have more rights than they do. While this is wrapped in piety, self-righteousness and everyone’s distaste for abortion, the agenda is belied by the fact that so many, indeed, nearly all ‘pro life’ people are so casually in favor of the death penalty.

Martha Wescott, one of our respected colleagues, cautioned last week that the flash and glamor aspect of Uranus in Aries might be a distraction from the real needs, and some other agenda, indicated by Pluto in Capricorn. We are, after all, in the time of the Uranus-Pluto square, and this interweaving of Mercury with Uranus and later (once Mercury is direct) with Pluto is worth mining for information.

The Sun moving through the last few degrees of the zodiac is in a kind of disseminating phase. The Grateful Dead have a song with an unusual line: “Different seasons, with their treasons,” meaning what the changing of the season betrays or reveals.

When the Sun and the Moon get together for the New Moon in less than two weeks, they do so on the heels of the vernal equinox, which means the Sun conjunct the Aries Point — the first degree of the zodiac that acts like an echo chamber. Uranus is in the aspect, meaning that something unexpected might emerge; Mercury is there, ensuring that there is a coherent message; and Vesta is there as well, bearing her secret amidst her hot coals and sacred flames tended only by women.

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Weekend Astrology: finding your place in your life

Nesting in light: detail from a stained glass window by Laura Fuller, Portland, Maine. Photo by Amanda Painter.

The waxing Moon enters home-loving Cancer today, making this is a good weekend to nest in. But Cancer is an emotional sign, so be prepared to feel anything that comes up for you a bit more deeply than usual over the next couple days, as the Moon picks up on considerable energy currently in Pisces. Note that the Moon is building toward the Virgo Full Moon on March 8.

Planets clustered in Pisces, Aries and Taurus when Venus ingresses Taurus.

Closer to the present moment, there are a number of aspects this weekend that point to turning points in relationships, including leaving behind one form of relating for another – or perhaps finding a new perspective on how your relationships can work. There are also some potentially volatile triggers in the sky, calling for awareness as to whether any conflict you may experience is actually located between you and another, or within yourself.

Today Mercury enters Aries, where it will conjoin Vesta and Uranus. Mercury in Aries is quick and impetuous anyway; add Uranus, and the potential for rashness increases exponentially. But this same alignment is also a source of potentially excellent ideas, and a drive for personal liberation.

Keep in mind how sudden decisions may impact your personal relationships, no matter how enthusiastic you may be about them. Anything you decide now is subject to revision, as Mercury is currently treading the degrees where it will be retrograde between March 12 and April 4.

Mercury conjunct Vesta is a reminder to be wary of any tendency toward self-sacrifice for anything that is less than what is right for you. But it’s equally a reminder to be alert for self-obsession. Vesta is about devotion, so we can take this aspect as a question: What are you devoted to?

Meanwhile there’s a T-square made up of the Pisces Sun opposite retrograde Mars in Virgo, and both of them square a deep-space point called the Great Attractor. The GA is in mid-Sagittarius, and it has the effect of polarizing people and situations.

With this whole setup, there are two kinds of tension: the square tension is felt internally and wants us to act on it to resolve it; the opposition tension seems to be located between us and someone else, and responds well to careful negotiation with each side separately. Mars retrograde (close to Psyche) suggests you watch out for self-criticism if your desire to ‘fix yourself’ seems at odds with the ‘you’ you’d like to be. If the goal looks unattainable, remember that picking on yourself won’t get you there any faster – and the first step is simply to envision how you’d like to feel.


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