Planet Waves | The Fulcrum

Monthly for August 1999 By Eric Francis

Planet Waves is copyright 1999 by Planet Waves Digital Media, all rights reserved. Illustration above, "Eclipse," by Via, ©1999, all rights reserved.

The Year You Don't Forget | Horoscopes | Burning Man Part One | Main Contents Page


Introduction to the August 1999 Horoscopes

Every day, humanity passes gateways into the future. Most of the time, we hear about the scary ones: species dying off that will never return; environmental disasters which can never truly be cleaned up; laws passed that will create generations of social regression; technological breakthroughs in fields like biotech which can never be reversed, and which threaten to lead humanity down some very dark roads. I believe we must pay attention to those kinds of obvious thresholds, and do what we can about them, but at the moment there is a far more intriguing issue at hand.

By now, you've probably heard about the total eclipse of the Sun on August 11th. This is a rare and beautiful astrological and astronomical event, as unique as the appearance of a brilliant comet, but far more personal and tangible in its meaning. The solar eclipse is in the sign Leo, the sign of the Sun itself, and it is worth noting that, due to an unusual pattern, it has been a generation since solar eclipses have visited this zone of consciousness (the first Leo solar eclipse in about 18 years was last summer). This means wherever Leo exists in your chart, heart and mind, there has been some kind of great delay which is in the process of very dramatically reversing.

Because of the "grand square" aspect which accompanies this eclipse (thus the big fuss), Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius -- the other "fixed signs" -- are very much involved. Speculation is running wild in the astrological community about what this eclipse means, with some suggesting collective disaster is imminent, and others asserting that it's about a planetary birthing and a dawn of consciousness. I believe the reality is that this eclipse represents a personal choice between the two, and that our personal choices will add up to a collective decision that will pour into the future.

Normally, we are never given the opportunity to cast a vote about the fate of the Earth, or so we think. We are told we are powerless and meaningless, and that we just better work at personal survival (or greed) and forget the larger questions. Never was this cynical viewpoint more dangerous. Choice is at hand, and we will live with the effects of our decisions for a long time to come. We live in a very special age in history -- with its exceedingly rapid technological progress, with its seeming state of mass-hypnosis and mass-suicide (ecocide), and yet with some unknown percentage of the human family experimenting with, or succeding at, realizing its full potential.

While the "new age" is a kind of fad on one level, it is clear to me that it may only take a small but critical mass of sincere people agreeing to go through a psychological and emotional healing crisis, and to work with the light to turn the whole process of destruction around. At minimum, those people who work with the light now are agreeing to be links in the chain of karma that will carry the message of love forward through time. And this is very, very important to remember.

I believe we stand at a fulcrum point in planetary history. A fulcrum is a pivotal instant of change which is magnified by time and space. It is the telescope that moves a millimeter on Earth and sees a difference in the heavens that can be expressed in light years. It is the seed we plant that cultivates through the ages, becoming something much vaster in the future.

At this fulcrum, everything we say, think and do is, I believe, entered into the long-term growth process of the planet, and has the potential to become greatly magnified in the times to come. So our choices, our ideas, our statements and especially our actions are truly vital right now, more than ever before.

In the simplest terms, our choice is betwen whether we want to live in a reality that is based on love, or one that is based on fear. Many of you who are reading this have spent countless hours in workshops, seminars and involved in spiritual devotions designed to create some kind of enlightenment or change in your life. But what is that change? And how do you know you are really there?

It comes down to how we relate to fear. If you are still afraid, no matter how much work you have done on yourself in the past, you're living in a state of limitation, and, some would say, illusion. You'll know you're afraid if you worry a lot, if you're scard of people, and if you have a hard time surrendering to the present moment and your own highest potential (which are the same thing). Now, right now, you have a chance -- a rare, brilliant and very potent opportunity -- to take a quantum leap forward. You and only you have the power to let this be real in your own life, and to make your singular, authentic contribution to the fate of the Earth. And you have it right now.

If there was ever a month when all the signs of the horoscope related to all people, this is the one. We all live in one universe. I have done my best to interpret the eclipse as well as I can, and much of my writing, in horoscope columns and elsewhere, has been aimed at preparing for this shift in awareness. In the interpretations a follow, I have strived to be practical rather than exuberant. I will let you fill in the lust and passion for life as you go through your process of becoming. In terms of which signs apply to whom, at the very least, the Leo horoscope is collective in nature, and Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius will be meaningful to many of you as well. And because our reality is such a tense stuggle between structure and feeling, Capricorn may speak to many of you as well. If you don't know your rising or Moon signs, this would be a good time to have a look at your chart and get these important pieces of your astrological puzzle in place.

Astrology, though, is an imperfect art. I would urge you to allow life itself -- far more than your stars -- to be meaningful right now. Do what you must to let this moment be real and your life process be valid, because we are going forward, and we're not coming back.

Berkeley, California, July 1999

Sign-by-Sign, August 1999
ARIES (March 21-April 19)

Perhaps life would be easier if you understood the nature of the confrontation you find yourself in the midst of. I give you a lot of credit for taking it this far, and I suggest you do the same. You are finally seeking your freedom, but remember that this takes a highly advanced sense that life is about play more than it's about work. In terms of your relationship to whatever is challenging or provoking you, it's possible that you've reversed the roles involved; that it's really you who now finds it necessary to challenge the stifling, limiting values you have internalized from authority figures, rather than someone else doing it to you. Next, the person to whom you've delegated the role of apparent challenger has far more in common with you than you are noticing, and by that, I mean he or she is here to awaken you to what you really want out of life but have long forsaken. Remember that whatever you are facing involves all of your relationships, not just one, because you are the one thing that all your relationships have in common. You are far too accustomed to viewing yourself as the inferior being, whether in family involvements, professional situations or personal affairs. If you want to be happy, bringing this philosophy of defeatism to a swift and conclusive halt would be quite helpful, for it is all that obstructs your path into a life that's about exploring joyous and untold creative adventures with people who are truly your equals.


TAURUS (April 20-May 20)

Perfection is not a value. Remember this when facing your human limits and evaluating your human creations. What seem to be your errors do not throw the universe out of whack, though your mind is a different story. At the moment, this is especially important to consider in your most personal relationships, which may have seemed distorted or somehow imperfect over the past two years. In these and all other affairs, it would help immensely if you eliminated the endless preconditions you have set for yourself. Perfectionism is a vicious mental game. It's a way of holding yourself to the imagined standards of a long-gone past, which is an inheritance from ancestors (including parents) who largely viewed life as an unfair struggle. Living their defeatist philosophies is a way of guaranteeing that you will always fail no matter how good you are, which is a thinly-disguised form of hating yourself -- and experience has surely taught you this leads nowhere. If you're wondering what you need to do or be prior to accomplishing something real, I would propose the answer is nothing. You need no special preparation, no additional learning, and no permission. You need merely to act. If you need help, try a different game than "perfectionism." Imagine you have the infinite assistance of spiritual agency, or that you have direct access to universal intelligence. Call it your higher-self, angelic intelligence, an inner adjuster, living spirit, or Goddess/God. Pretend -- and pretending is faith enough -- that it will take care of all the details you've missed or forgotten. Let it do all the worrying, while you do all the creating.


GEMINI (May 21-June 20)

Consciousness is the medium of reality. For all the debates over how the world physically manifested, evolved or was created, our real journey here is an endless stream of observations, decisions, and emotional reactions. Rarely do we consider the genesis of awareness itself. It's arguable that awareness is the only thing that can ever truly change, or activate change. And while the notion of "evolution" used to be about apes becoming people, we now know it is an evolutionary journey of consciousness. The mind interprets the meaning of what we experience, and adapts to the necessities with which we are faced. We are now learning the extent to which we can change our beliefs and make the "impossible" happen. We are slowly learning to use thought to direct and create our values and emotional responses. The important thing to remember is that we are the ones deciding; we are steering the vehicle of consciousness. In this moment, you stand in a place that is at once unfamiliar, unpredictable and may be truly daunting in its power. You stand on the threshold beyond thought. What you possess -- as ever -- is a most agile ability to respond, and to adapt; this means you really can create a new universe for yourself from the exceedingly fertile ingredients available to you right now, in this moment. You get to create the choices that will take you to the next place in life. At least on the level of ideas -- where everything begins -- limits are perfectly meaningless.


CANCER (June 21-July 22)

The crisis of "self-worth" is one of the most pervasive in our culture, and nobody is exempt. Consider all the millionaires who have the money thing down to a science, but who are lonely, and feel worthless, wishing they had the guts to pick up a paint brush, or play a Mozart sonata on their $20,000 grand piano. What now occurs is a revelation of your true value, a personal exposé of something long-concealed beyond the distorted picture you have formed of your true meaning. The distortion is consistent with the idea that the bottom line equals an hourly wage. Due to the perverse nature of our materialistic society, the hourly wage question seeps its way into all kinds of more private matters, such as whether we are "worth" anything in loving relationships. Yet your personal revelation is not about whether you are worth $10 or $1,000 per hour, or "worth" being loved; it is about the question of self-possession versus being possessed. It is about whether you ultimately see yourself as a free person or as a slave. On another level, it is about whether you view yourself as a marketable commodity, or as a contributor to soul-deprived society in dire need of true and authentic participants. Approach the question as a financial one, and you address a tiny fraction of the matter. Approach it as a question of your total life, in which you are seeking prosperity, freedom, love, and the right to make a difference, and you'll discover the divine gold of which you are made.


LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)

The essence of the total solar eclipse in your own birth sign is recognizing the essentially identical nature of creativity and the sexual force within you. Our culture struggles with both creative and sexual crisis. Our jobs are, for the most part, totally boring. There is a war between the sexes, which blocks full expression of love and sexuality, and hence, full expression of life. Meanwhile, homophobia blocks not only exploration of same-sex experiences, but also self-exploration. Then we get stuck doing things one way, or thinking in one pattern, wondering how life got so jammed-up. Making the connection between your sexual power and your creative power on a very personal level would allow you to get beyond this battle. Perhaps you have been getting this message in recent years, in the form of those bells ringing with your true potential, combined with the presence of provocateurs who have entered your life. In any case, you're unlikely to miss it now, as long as you flow with the energy. A key to this eclipse is the experience of movement. To move with grace, you must find your center, align your mind to that center, and then flow with the rhythm; in simple terms, be yourself, no matter how passionate, sexual or creative you are. Do not compromise this for anyone or anything. Movement involves autonomy (literally, becoming self-named), and possessing a sense of progress independent from the world's harsh judgments on people who exhibit beauty or originality. To grow and thrive in the coming years, you must stay one with that dependable inner flame which ignites your soul, fuels your creative passion, draws you to others, and lights your way through the dark.


VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)

The beauty of this eclipse, for you, is that it throws open the cosmic flood gates, granting you access to awareness that, among few people on the planet, you are prepared to make excellent use of. Perhaps this is because you take the teachings of wisdom so personally, and apply them so directly to your reality. What this world calls "spiritual movements" have a great deal to learn about involving themselves with what is practical and sensible; in a sense, with the mundane rather than the abstract. Virgo is one of the most important significators of both practicality and of service. More than ever, your tendency will be to work in service of what is far greater than yourself, and to access information from beyond the ordinary realms, then put it to work in the verifiable world. What you need to focus on is to making this process work for you personally. We have had enough martyrs and people who have lived lives of sacrifice. So, strive for symbiosis between planetary needs and your most personal needs. Imagine that they are really one and the same; let this be real, because it is. Humanity is not really at war with its environment.This thought will allow you to work toward your highest possible goals in a way that serves your needs for community and prosperity. Along these lines, I offer you a word of caution. Love relationships that are based on sacrifice, possession and control can no longer persist in the becoming world. They defy everything for which we are working. You can refuse to play that game by insisting on equal terms in all of your relationships, starting now.


LIBRA (Sep. 23-Oct. 22)

Dreams often take time to come true. And what sometimes happens is that while we're patiently working and developing our dreams, new ones spring from our hearts, seeking our attention. This can be very challenging, and we often tend to view it as a problem. But look at it this way. Many people persist in this life without any kind of visioning process. There is no infinite wellspring from which to draw, no creative geyser spouting forth new ideas and new desires, and so life dries up and eventually amounts to something you and I would barely call "life" at all. So first, please thank the forces of nature for your creativity. Take a moment every day and reflect on the beauty of the Infinite Mind and its Infinite Source. This Leo eclipse is, for you, a brilliant opportunity to wipe clear your personal dreamscape, to erase your field of worldly and heavenly desires, and, in a very real sense, to catch up with yourself. Examine your mind, and evaluate what you find carefully, discarding the dreams you no longer desire or value, throwing away what no longer aligns with the strange and beautiful self you are rapidly becoming. And then start again, expressing your freshest, most real desires to yourself with passion and authentic creative innocence. Remember to envision what you want to become, what you want to receive, and what you want to give, for you will have opportunities to do all of these things.


SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)

What is the basis of your idea of power? Is it belief in "power over," is it fear, or, in the fabled Scorpionic-style of the ancient astrologers, is it the power of secret control? Hmmmm. Or is it, perchance, the awareness that you possess an unspeakable something that commands respect without your having to do much of anything? Wouldn't it be nice if you could bring this aspect of yourself into full bloom? Is this not one of your dearest desires? In truth, you may be at war with this very quality (or potential quality) of your being, owing to all those past times when it seems to have failed you. But in these days, the past is no basis by which to judge the future. In support of your birthright, I can offer you these ideas. In order to tap into what we can call your silent power, you must let go of control, particularly the emotional kind. Along these lines, it's important to let go of the notion that fear ever works toward any positive end or constructive purpose except in the most dire moments of survival, and even then, it is best kept to a bare minimum. Fear contradicts love. They do not exist in the same place and time. The core power you are accessing is the power of love, and love is dependable, and will invest you with the true strength you need to carry on. Use this idea to protect and create, and to take your best opportunity in many, many years to penetrate the invisible ceilings into which banged your head so many times as you've aspired to greater things.


SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21)

The practical task at hand is for you to sort out what helps you and what does not. Everything and everyone in your life needs to be put to this basic test, and when you discover hindrances, move swiftly to purge your life of them. When you discover who or what helps you, note it carefully. Keep asking within. Connect with the part of you that already knows. Life in the 20th century western world is obsessed with denying intuition, but if you partake in this insane game, you will be giving up your single most valuable resource, and what turns out to be the most important collective resource for humanity at this time. As you sort out what works and what does not, you will be contributing to something much larger; you will be preparing for assisting in an evolutionary leap that every person on the planet will be given an opportunity to take. Together we have the ability to change the destiny of humanity from its current path of violence, sleep and technological domination, to a more natural state of knowledge, love and freedom. It may take centuries for the majority of people to embark on this process, but for you it may now be a matter of days before the full commitment to a life that can honestly be called conscious is directly at hand. This is no small gift, and it has been bestowed upon you by neither by accident, nor by fate. You have worked every day of your life toward this moment. Let it be real. Let you be real.


CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

It is clear that you're being provoked, perhaps even to the point of feeling attacked. It's also true that you feel compelled give up something about yourself. With all things Capricorn, deliberation processes are long, careful, and questions rarely resolve quickly. Yet I suggest you now prepare for an unusually rapid jolt of progress. Progress insinuates going beyond the past, and the entire past can be considered a vast haunted mental structure within which we find ourselves trapped now. It is not really possible to give up the past bit by bit and piece by piece; there is so much of it to deal with. It must be released all at once. And while many of the world's spiritual traditions advise this, few proscribe easy or reliable methods. The answer, you could say, is learning to let go. So, here's an obvious one. Consider the mystery of orgasm, of total surrender of mind, structure, time, place and knowledge; a surrender into freedom and awareness of an infinite now, through a gateway in which what can truly be called living wisdom is available. Because your life is about to become a cosmic orgasm, which can suddenly release you from all past values and all past attachments, it would work for you very nicely to practice the art of coming, of releasing your mind to ecstasy over and over, anticipating an imminent moment of transition in which you will be invited to step into a life beyond -- a great beyond.


AQUARIUS (Jan. 19-Feb. 18)

It's the mythology of our time in history that humanity is culminating in a stage of the great cycle named after your sign -- the Age of Aquarius. Surely, no matter how far-removed from astrology you may be, you must have pondered your personal connection to this transition. In my opinion, you play a special role in the process of integrating values and ideals that must become real for many people, lest the human family take a turn down a very dark road. Aquarius is by nature extremely original, but I have no doubt that often, your process of originality is blighted by what amounts to guilt about how your ideas will challenge established structures of thought. It's time for this to end. Your endless collecting information, ideas and wisdom has gone on long enough. Your process of seemingly limitless doubt has, as well, gone for more than an adequate time to determine that your ideas about the world are valid, if not absolutely true. It is time to begin sharing what you have gathered, collected, and synthesized. Your time of silence has ended. Whoever may be the potential recipient of these gifts is now ready to receive them, as you are more than ready to begin sharing. The two wavy lines of Aquarius are lines of conductivity. The process of society transforming is a process of relationship, of connecting. So when relating to all people, in the most private or public contacts, cultivate and extend a vision of a new world, and live that vision.


PISCES (Feb. 19-Mar. 20)
Buddhists, Yogis and others on the enlightenment trip frequently address the need to "be here now." In western culture, we are so entwined in schedules, commitments, debts, and desires that we usually have no clue whatsoever what this means, much less a tangible sense of its reality. We are rarely ever here now. The mystical traditions speak of both a past and a future that neither exist, nor have any real power over us, and urge us to realize that when we are caught in either mode, we are lost in a fantasy world. But then, there are the moments when reality just dawns on our minds. Have you ever slipped into the awesome state of consciousness in which this truth blazes out at you? Have you seen a field of weeds or the pattern of bricks resonate with universal wisdom? Have you ever experienced a flash of insight into how much you just simply know in this very instant? I have reason to believe you are ready to experience this quality of thought all the time. If, however, you view this as "embarking on a path of spiritual practice," remember that practice insinuates future results, and the results of which I speak are an immediate change of mind. We both know you have ambitious goals and a sense of important choices to make. Yet the only time within which we have access to choice is NOW. Now is the only dimension of time in which thought or action is truly possible. And, oddly enough, if you stay in this very moment, fear becomes a meaningless notion, because it's so rare that there's cause for fear right now. Check it out. ++

Horoscopes Home Page | Main Contents Page | Burning Man - August Essay

 Copyright © 1999 by Planet Waves Digital Media, all rights reserved.

 In & Out of Time

 One Way (Or Another)