The Balancing of Medicine: Of Owls and Skunks, the Pisces Full Moon and the Victoria Declaration, by Eric Francis
Dear Friend and Reader:
The other day I was walking down the sidewalk with a friend, when I saw a beautiful picture of a baby owl in the trash. Without hesitating, I picked it up and made it my own. I explained to her that my primary medicine is Skunk. To me, that means working with the counter-medicine, Owl — particularly the great horned owl (though any Owl will serve).
She seemed a little surprised at this theory. I explained that when you work with an animal guide, it’s best to work both sides of the equation.
Nearly all animals give Skunk a wide berth. While not deadly or especially harmful, nobody wants to get sprayed. Skunk is attractive to the right people, often identifying one another by scent. Skunk has only one natural predator: the Great Horned Owl lacks the usual sense of smell, so does not mind eating Skunk.
Therefore, if you are are protected by Skunk, you make friends with Owl. That’s a good friend to have: one of the supreme hunters, a bearer of wisdom, and a true master of crossing the realms. Even the most hardened rationalist will be a little spooked or mystified by seeing or hearing an owl.
There is a similar principle in astrology, which seems obvious enough but in the old literature, I’ve only ever heard Alice A. Bailey express it. It is central to her theory of the zodiac: opposite signs contain one another. They are different expressions of the same underlying energy. One of the spiritual or growth objectives of astrology is to integrate one’s opposite sign. This may be why so often, opposites attract (including the rising sign, for example, people with Aries rising attracting Libra Sun partners or some such combination).
Metamorphosis: In and Out of Aquarius
Dear Friend and Reader:
Eric McLuhan was not kidding when he warned, “The body is everywhere assaulted by all of our new media, a state which has resulted in deep disorientation of intellect and destabilization of culture throughout the world. In the age of disembodied communication, the meaning and significance and experience of the body is utterly transformed and distorted.”
Eric McLuhan was not an astrologer. He did like my environmental approach to the topic. But he may as well been talking about the transits to Aries and Aquarius with that statement.
We continue to move through these uncertain and even tumultuous times, all driven by the disembodiment created by total overexposure to digital technology. Life would be easier if we could find our bodies, and remembered what they are for.
I have more to say about that as it relates to the current astrology — but first some in-house updates. Note, realtime astrology updates are at STARCAST.
Are Anti-vaxers idiots? What are they thinking?
Dear Friend and Reader:
In two recent articles, I’ve contemplated the nature of Virgo as it relates to the holistic principle and the idea of biophilia. Virgo is intimately connected with our approach to health and wellness, which many have figured out is best practiced as an integrative method.
Speaking of health: I woke up Wednesday morning and was treated to an article in The New York Times: This is the Moment that the Anti-Vaccine Movement Has Been Waiting For. It begins with an introduction to Joshua Coleman, a guy who they tell us “organizes anti-vaccine rallies.”
“In March 2020, he said to his flock, ‘This is the one time in human history where every single human being across this country, possibly across the planet, but especially in this country, are all going to have an interest in vaccination and vaccines’, he said. ‘So it’s time for us to educate’.”
The Times then helps us understand what Mr. Coleman means, in case you did not know. They write, “By ‘educate’, he meant to spread misinformation about vaccines.”
Yep, that’s all he’s going to do: spread misinformation, but call it education so they fool everyone. How nefarious! And what an original idea.
Yet I keep wondering what the authors and editors of these kinds of articles think “anti-vaxers” are motivated by. Why are they so committed to their cause? Is this part of a pattern in their lives? Do they also disinform people about other things, such as the weather or the score of last night’s Braves game?
What drives people to devote their lives to such a strange pursuit, like putting sugar in random people’s gas tanks? Are they merely anti-social discontents, acting out in this odd way? Is there nothing else to protest? Are they rebels without a cause, or a clue? It’s perplexing.
The book Silent Spring is the perfect historical document to help us understand the times we’re living through.
Dear Friend and Reader:
With the Sun in Virgo, the notion of “holistic” is on my mind. So is the Goddess: Virgo is the sign of Gaia, the organism once known as the living Earth. In a poem written toward the end of her career, Adrienne Rich wrote in her 1991 work Dark Fields of the Republic, “Because you still listen, because in times like these / to have you listen at all, it’s necessary / to talk about trees.”
Times have changed a bit, though I would like to talk about birds, and the discovery of the ecosystem. I credit another of the 20th century’s great woman poets with discovering that facet of nature, and explaining it to us, and to President Kennedy, who took action based on what he learned from her. That was Rachel Carson.
The ecosystem was not really a known thing before the book Silent Spring came out. Carson, a marine biologist and avid birder, set out to figure out why, one year, the entire forest around her home went quiet. Previously it had been flooded with the sounds of songbirds.
The writing and the message of Silent Spring were so powerful that the book got the attention of then Pres. John F. Kennedy, who referred it to his Science Advisory Panel. They studied the scientific assessments in the book and a year later determined that Carson’s work was based on valid toxicology. This led to a 1972 ban on DDT in agricultural use in the United States — though not until after 600,000 tons of the stuff had been dumped on the environment. Once the DDT issue came to public awareness, many other events followed, which helped raise awareness of toxins and begin the process of regulating them — at least for a while.
Sun enters Virgo, the sign of the Holistic Principle
I’ve been talking a lot about the primary function of Aquarius, which is pattern-setting. I think we probably have a good idea how that feels by now. Virgo also has an energetic property, which is integration. What Virgo and Aquarius have in common is technological expression. Hold that thought.
The Sun entered Virgo a few hours after the Full Moon on Sunday; the Moon enters Pisces just minutes after the Full Moon. The Moon-Sun opposition from the last degree of Aquarius to the last degree of Leo is exact at 8:02 am EDT. Sunday will be an interesting day, between the Full Moon and then both bodies changing signs almost immediately.
I have covered the mythical and spiritual meaning of Virgo in one of my favorite articles, The Threefold Goddess in a Field of Grain (view in our old-style newsletter format).
It seems like I wrote that one yesterday; I still remember working on it. You will get a taste of Virgo from the standpoint of Esoteric Astrology. That is not an easy book to read, but if you get into it, you will find it mind-expanding. The chapter on Virgo is one of the best pieces of astrological writing I have ever read.
Regarding integration, this is about a reckoning of every facet, fact, or idea with every other. Integration is from the same word-root as integrity, which means to render something whole. An integer is a whole number — same idea. All of these come from a word root (called a PIE root) that means to touch or to handle.
Aquarius Moon, Leo Sun, Face to Face: The Mystical and the Mundane. New essay by Eric Francis.
Dear Friend and Reader:
There are some paths of growth and self-development that consider everything a spiritual experience: nothing is special. Buddhists suggest you handle dishes you’re washing like the baby Buddha. A Course in Miracles has you paying attention to people you don’t recognize who you may meet in an elevator; you can resolve lifetimes of karma with a glance.
We are in such a moment. We are being challenged to pay attention and to treat each moment and each decision like it matters: to treat each person like they matter. There are ways to test the unusual new trance that society is in. How do you respond to the people you meet? How much fear do you feel from hour to hour? How is your cortisol level?
Thursday’s Full Moon in Aquarius describes a scenario where the mundane affairs of the world come face to face with a high-order spiritual initiation. What we usually think of as different things are shown to reveal one another. Today is the 52nd anniversary of the Woodstock Festival. All those participants consciously knew they were at such an event.
They Were Barefoot in Babylon – Woodstock at 52
Dear Friend and Reader:
A few weeks ago hanging out in the backroom of 30th Street Guitars, master luthier Matt Brewster mentioned that the Woodstock festival was held during the Hong Kong Flu pandemic. All public sources agree that this outbreak of H3N2 influenza-A killed a million people worldwide and 100,000 in the United States between mid-1968 and 1970, during which time the festival occurred.
I posted a photo of the crowd to Facebook mentioning this fact, unaware I was wading into one of those seemingly pre-packaged, ready-to-snap shitstorms. My post got 157 comments, including a good few of the “there’s no comparison between then and now,” “you’re comparing apples to oranges” (about which I finally wrote an essay), “it wasn’t really in the middle,” and the “you’re an idiot” variety. People posted numerous articles “debunking” the claim from self-styled factchecking websites. Problem is, it actually happened. Even Snopes cannot make the whole Woodstock festival or a global pandemic vanish.
In that mysterious Facebook way, an audience of plebes spontaneously morphed into a panel of elite epidemiologists. They were quick to remind me that back then, more people smoked cigarettes and didn’t wear seatbelts, either. True, true. I knew that.
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Welcome to Starcast with Eric Francis, a short astrology update. Please send a friend and please subscribe. Learn more about Eric’s new book, Planets in Motion.
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Flash Sale! Planets in Motion 2022
What’s happening in your astrology right now?
Dear Friend and Reader:
My approach to astrology is based on what is happening right now. I have just completed Planets in Motion, an e-Book that covers about 20 transits happening to people now, ages 1-84. This is an easy introduction to using astrology in practical ways. I write in clear language and bring your astrology to life. It comes with an audio introduction to the topic to help you get oriented and learn the value of transits.
You will read about the first and second Saturn return and related transits, Uranian opposition, Chiron Return and related transits, and then many subtle events that are specialized to specific years of birth. These will be relevant for many people in your life, young and old. We finally have a resource on people born between 1980 and 2000.
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This special edition horoscope offers excerpts from the Aquarian Era, Aquarian Age annual readings for each of the Sun, Moon and rising signs.
This week’s horoscope is a sample of An Aquarian Era, transits that track your astrology out to about 2025. While this is an unusual duration for an astrological reading, there are events on the horizon that make this a valuable tool. Those include Pluto entering Aquarius, and the forthcoming conjunction of Chiron and Eris. The link to the full reading is right above each of the horoscope entries. — Eric Francis
From Aquarian Era, Aquarian Age for Aries:
Aries (March 20-April 19) — To build face-to-face reality takes work, and it will take adaptation. It does not need to be expensive, and an essential ingredient is the community itself bearing the costs and, more to the point, sharing resources.
The result could come in the form of a potluck, a food coop, a musical space, any form of creative collective, a lending library, a dog-walking/pet care organization, a community garden, a spring-cleaning society (where people help one another clean) or a hundred other possibilities.
They can be home-based, though remember that in the United States and many other countries, there is an abundance of unused space sitting idle and basically deteriorating. The value of using and sharing space rather than letting it sit empty is something we need to teach and learn.
Establishing and building community is true leadership: the type that is not vested in authority. Rather, it is grounded in your ability to relate to people, and to find a common purpose with them.
While we cannot exactly repair the past, it is possible to preserve what remains of a way of life before the digital environment was allowed to take over – and before it takes over so completely that most people don’t remember anything else.