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When the Personal is Made Political

Dear Friend and Reader:

This week we are at one of the peak events of 2020: the conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto in Capricorn. The alignment using conventional Earth-centered astrology is Tuesday, June 30, at about 1:46 am Eastern Time.

While this conjunction (which means start of a new cycle), is not as famous as Saturn conjunct Pluto, which happened Jan. 12, from the standpoint of spiritual, mundane or psychological astrology, it is a significant development — one whose manifestations we can see in the world. In fact we are looking right at them.

Before I interpret a bit, first a technical note. This aspect spans from April 4, when it first lined up, through Nov. 12. Often aspects between the slower-moving planets happen three times during that cycle due to the quicker planet making a retrograde that involves the slower one. That did not happen with Saturn-Pluto. It is happening with Jupiter-Pluto. When there are three expressions of an aspect in a short time (which are all the same thing), the "real" one is the middle event; that's the one closest to the conjunction from the viewpoint of the Sun.

The Jupiter-Pluto conjunction occurs once ever 13 years or so. Jupiter takes 12 years to orbit the Sun, and in that time, Pluto has moved a little further along. The previous conjunction of Jupiter and Pluto was Dec. 11, 2007, in Sagittarius, very near the Galactic Core. The big news of the season was a strike by television writers. Here is my coverage from that week.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Essentials of This Aspect

Up until now, my idea of Jupiter conjunct Pluto has been primarily about spiritual common ground. I think of this aspect as describing the golden thread that links all religions and ideologies — God has "many shores, one lake," as is said on the Yoga path. Think of the soul-light of Pluto illuminating Jupiter, and expanded by it.

Isabel Hickey was one of the first writers in English to take a careful look at Pluto. She takes a two-sided approach to the issue. "The positive expression of these energies can be an excellent influence for personal honor and integrity." She adds, "Pluto brings action and a crisis into the life that can make or break one's reputation. There is a desire to be important financially and socially. If this is not achieved, the person can be self-destructive." You do not have to look far to see these issues of financial, political and scientific "importance" rumbling through everything right now. Here is one way that seems to be working.

There are similar viewpoints by established authors. Rob Hand talks about high aspirations and ambitions (which can go overboard as will to power if not regulated and treated with respect, and can lead to difficulties). He uses terms like "power drive" and ambition becoming the "irresistible force against an unmovable society."

Given all of that, my "golden thread" and "many shores, one lake" viewpoint is a friendly one. That said, earlier this year, a member of our editorial team suggested I look at the megadeath theme, combining the harbinger and ambassador of the Roman underworld, Pluto, with Jupiter, the expander. This is happening in the sign Capricorn, which is Saturnian in nature and has its own themes of "the end" and images of the Grim Reaper and final harvest and all of that.

Before I go on, I want to introduce one thought. From the standpoint of spiritual healing, it's dangerous to try to talk anyone out of their fear unless they ask you to do so. People tend to be attached to their fears, for a good reason: often, their personality is made of them. So to question fear is, for many, to question the seeming basis of their existence. Therefore, the best way to address fear (such as in a therapy context) is to let it speak, and sit with it and stay there for a while.

Then the question might arise: is the thing you say you fear present in this room, right now? One thing we can say for sure about our current situations is that it's bringing up plenty of fear, which I propose was long preexisting.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Three Peaks of Death Obsession

So one thing Jupiter-Pluto is describing is death obsession, and the way that is manifesting is fear of Covid-19 and "the invisible enemy" as Trump is fond of calling it — with whom we are at war, and on a war footing, with a war effort, and the use of the military, and suffering casualties on the front lines, and collateral damage, and needing the innovations in technology that usually only come with wars. Then there is the fog of war that a few commentators have pointed out.

My colleague proposed that there would be three peaks of corona mania, and therefore a kind of death fever, coinciding with the three conjunctions — in April, June and November. So far, that has worked out. We are in a new, frantic crescendo of "case" counts. The potential third peak during the U.S. presidential election is a little troubling to consider.

This is the second of three Pallas-Jupiter-Pluto conjunctions, exact on June 30. The heliocentric alignment of Jupiter and Pluto (which I do not address directly in this article) is July 31. So the current retrograde conjunction is the "real" one — closest to the event that only happens once in heliocentric astrology (because the Earth's movement is not causing the retrograde effect of three conjunctions).
To understand this issue, it's vital to understand why case counts in particular are, shall we say, based on an exaggeration that is newsworthy but not making the news.

For analysis of that, you have to read dependable off-to-the-side websites like Planet Waves, or a new article in Off-Guardian that breaks down the issue from a technical standpoint and reviews the known studies related to this important matter.

(This is one of the top two issues I have been developing in my journalism the past four months — the problems with the PCR test, and the related issue of viral origins.)

This is not to say that this whole thing is a hoax. I repeat that we must learn how to actually take care of ourselves, rather than panic or pretend nothing is going on.

I also maintain that were this really seen by the government as a health issue, we would be getting better medical information and real prevention advice. But very little of that is forthcoming, and this is a problem we must solve.

To understand the reasons, you have to look to politics and business. Say something naughty about elderberry or zinc and Facebook can slap a fake news message on your page. They even censored a Nobel laureate virologist weighing in on Covid! If you are looking for better information, please consult your neighborhood homeopath, naturopath (ND) or herbalist, or a holistic MD. That means seeking several private, informed opinions, and a forum to discuss the many sides of this issue. Right now, we have public uninformed opinion focusing on one side of the issue.

It seems obvious that there is something wrong and that people are getting sick. That is one matter, and the deeper matter is we do not understand why. Whether we are being told the truth is its own issue. However, the test being used (reverse transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction) is not producing dependable or scientifically meaningful numbers — but is treated as if it is, when federal government documents specifically say otherwise.

And it is not producing the most important thing, which is proof of infection. This may seem absurd to someone watching the news every day. Of course they know what a case is; they have a scientific test. However, that falls apart quickly if you peel back all of the seeming facts in that statement and reveal the underlying assumptions. And to do that takes some guts and independent thinking, which is a social risk. It does not happen by itself. This is one of the most vital themes of Saturn in Aquarius: learning how not to be bullied by social pressure or public opinion.

But it's sure terrifying to hear that there are 10 million "cases" in the world and 10,000 new cases discovered in one day, in one state. That is frightening, depressing and demoralizing, especially if repeated every five minutes around the clock. Is it true? Does it matter, from a spiritual standpoint? Regardless of the reality behind the words and numbers, we are being given those numbers every hour on TV and by direct feed into pocket computers — digital mainlining. And, once again, many people are scared (literally) out of their wits.

If nothing else, Jupiter is famous for exaggeration, and for magnifying issues out of proportion. That is what it does. In actual experience, Jupiter is famous for its bluster, its false promises and its exaggerations. And right now, Jupiter is conjunct Pluto, talking about death, accented by business, law and politics. The entities involved, in turn, have a bad case of Jupiter-Pluto fever: ambition and importance at all costs.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Adding Pallas to the Equation

All three conjunctions of Jupiter and Pluto are accompanied by the asteroid (2) Pallas. This is one of the better developed asteroids (the second ever discovered, in 1802). It's named for the goddess of wisdom (Pallas is another name for Athena), who also happens to represent matters of law, politics and government.

Asteroids help call the theme of an event. It is remarkable that all three of the alignments are within one degree, and the Nov. 12 event has all three aligned to within an arc minute, at 22 Capricorn 51-52, which is just incredible.

Full Moon rising behind the Temple of Poseidon Erechtheus at the acropolis of Athens. Photo by Anthony Ayiomamitis.
In my long experience with (2) Pallas, I can testify that it offers insight into relationships with the political sphere, legal strategy, political strategy and government.

Note that the Parthenon, which is often incorrectly associated with Athena, was where you went to pay your taxes. The Greeks then used it as a munitions storage, and the Turks bombed it, which is why it's such a mess.

Pallas, in an encounter on the Acropolis of Athens outside her temple (along the side wall; you cannot go in), said her theme and method includes sacrificing femininity for a specific purpose.*

We are on notice here. We are on notice that, whatever may be happening from a health standpoint, we are witnessing a political event. Whatever may be going on from a medical standpoint, we tend only to hear about what serves a political (and business) agenda (and the two are interrelated).

We are facing our most personal fears of death (which includes fears of loss, of sickness, and of chaos). These are among the primal issues known as the klesas in Hindu philosophy. These are the matters that even the enlightened masters must confront and struggle with. The fear of death is very, very easy to provoke in individuals and a population. We tend to be a society that often places more emphasis and even value on death than we do on life. A lot of people spend their whole lives that way, whether fearing existence or rewriting their will 10 times.

One of my sources of spiritual guidance has written, "Accept no compromise in which death plays a part." That may seem like an odd thought, though when you find an applicable situation to put it to use, it's then possible to see how valuable it is; how much leverage it holds. We are used to making compromises with death, and moreover the conditioned fear of death, as a way of life. We could run through many permutations of this idea, though in the most mundane terms, I would translate it to, "Be skeptical of death threats, and moreover, know them when you see them."

That seems to be the teaching of the moment.

I'll have more on the Full Moon later this week, which is aligned exactly with the asteroid Vesta, one of the patron saints of Planet Waves.

With love,
* The first (and only) time I visited the acropolis in Athens, I went with the intention of visiting Athena's temple (the Erechtheion), and if she was available, meeting her. Discovering entry to that area was forbidden, I walked around the side and sat down on the ground right next to her temple, lit some incense and jammed in-between two of the stones of the exterior wall, and waited. A few moments later, she arrived with one splash of her presence, in front of me, above and to the right, and conveyed the following thought: "I have sacrificed an element of my femininity to do what I do, as you have sacrificed an element of your masculinity to do what you do."

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
Note about the July Monthly Horoscope

I am pacing myself these days, and plan to have the monthly horoscope ready Tuesday afternoon. The horoscope below could actually stand in as the monthly, though I am developing other themes in that column. We will send it to subscribers as soon as it's edited and proofread, then send it again with the Thursday evening edition of Planet Waves and its accompanying article on the American Dream.
Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Sunday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, Planet Waves, Inc. Core Community membership: $197/year. Editor & Publisher: Eric F. Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. News Editor: Spencer Stevens. Assistant Editor: Joshua Halinen. Client Services: Amy Elliott and Victoria Emory. Illustrator: Lanvi Nguyen. Finance: Andrew Slater. Archivist: Morgan Francis. Technical Assistants: Cate Ryzhenko, Emily Thing. Proofreading: Jessica Keet. Media Consultant: Andrew McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Music: Zeljko. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Samuel Dean, Yuko Katori, Kirsti Melto, Cindy Tice Ragusa and Carol van Strum.

A Reading About Work and Creativity
"I just purchased my Cancer Dharma reading and my god, it was so on point! It's been building to this since August 1999! You were describing my life!"
-- Julie T.
Dear Friend and Reader:

Long before our current social and economic upheaval, I was designing a reading called THE DHARMA. Initially inspired by something I read in a book on Tibetan Buddhism last year, I wanted to focus a reading on connecting with purpose. The Sanskrit word "dharma" means acting as if to hold the world together.

30th Street Guitars is one of my best examples of living dharma -- acting as if to hold the world together. I describe the business in the Pisces reading.
There are not many cohesive ideas about this. Most are abstract. Therapy can sometimes help, but it's expensive, and most therapists are not creative or business consultants (a precious few are).

Then suddenly society went through all these changes, and my concept for a reading turned out to be right on time.

You may have been jolted out of your previous economic reality by the ongoing financial scenario. This has affected both salaried workers and the gig economy.

In my experience as an astrologer, I know that it often takes something like this to help people hear their calling.

THE DHARMA brings some exuberance to this process. I work with the astrology, describing the environment, looking for openings and opportunities, and offering ideas to connect you with your purpose. I am good at this because it's one of the true joys of my astrological journey. If I could do nothing but creative consulting, business planning and professional focus, I would.

This reading will help you go through the changes that are upon us, whatever their source. We are in a time of extreme flux, and so this potential is present. Society is making a big retreat, and that means there is space available for you to do what you do.

This moment will not last forever. Take advantage of it while you can.

THE DHARMA reading is available as single signs (starting at $44; $22 for each additional) and all 12 signs (for $111). Each reading is fresh and original, and complements the others. At least get your sign and rising sign. You may share with your household!

Personal consulting starts at $555.

Thank you for your trust and your business.

With love,
PS -- If you need a sliding-scale option for THE DHARMA, please write to

Here are free five-minute reading samples of THE DHARMA:

Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscope for June was published on Thursday, May 21. We published your extended monthly horoscope for May on Saturday, April 25. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Planet Waves
Monday Morning Horoscope #235 for June 29, 2020 | By Eric Francis Coppolino
Aries (March 20-April 19) — If you find yourself in a crisis any time this week (as the July 4 Full Moon approaches), the best way to respond is to not react. You don't need to take charge, though the temptation will be strong. At the moment our whole society is set on hair-trigger. There is no concept of what is appropriate, or sensible, or proportional. There are no summer Olympic games; they have been replaced by the extreme sports coverage of the news, which has at least half of the population in a state of adrenaline exhaustion. Your leadership skills are better than that. See if you can first get into a more Zen state, focusing on what you're aware of. Then, guide your posse, family, clan or tribe (whether large or small) to take a similar approach. Focus on preparation for whatever you do. Pay attention to your environment and make sure you're in contact with partners or allies. Just as the energy is ramping up, guide all matters to an even keel.

The Journey of You and Chiron | A New Reading by Eric Francis

Anyone who has encountered it is curious about Chiron. Planet Waves provides one of the few dependable online sources of information on this unusual planet. For the 10th anniversary Astrology Studio reading, I will be covering Chiron in Aries — a momentous event for all those born under this sign, and of high interest to everyone else. Get instant access to this reading here.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — It's now more important than ever that you get your financial life in order. This is a big step for a lot of people, as there exists so much emotional baggage getting in the way. It's at the point where we can have a new profession for people who are both mental health counselors and accountants. Too often, money is emotional and nothing but. Yet that approach is the essence of the problem -- including the things that get people to spend money. As any salesperson knows, such choices are always emotional. Managing one's finances requires a certain cold rationality: looking at numbers in columns, something that you must implement if you have not already. Get help if you need it, and most people do. The other element of this is recognizing what is actually of value to you. What do you prioritize, and do you follow those guidelines? This is also about knowing a need from a desire, and balancing out the two in a realistic way.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.
You can now get instant access to your 2020-21 Taurus Astrology Studio here for just $44. This reading focuses on a professional breakthrough toward the end of the year, and preparing you for this development. Venus retrograde in the spring is preparation. Mars retrograde in the autumn is preparation.

Ultimately this is a spiritual development, yet in reality we are talking about aligning your purpose with action, with a calling, and with an opportunity. Elements of the reading go out to a series of power steps in 2021. Read more.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Venus has returned to direct motion in your birth sign, though it's moving slowly enough so you can see a certain matter for what it is. You can no longer be of two opinions about something that is more important than you may be letting on. It's likely you've resolved this matter, though you are still hesitating for some reason. Think of it this way: if you really admitted what you know, you would have to act on it. If you do that, you will have to take a series of other actions in response to what you acknowledge. This one idea explains so much of why there is so little progress in so many lives. Make the most of this moment. When you are committed, providence moves toward you. Ultimately this is about choosing to accept who you are, which is something far greater and more loving and beautiful and creative than you've given yourself credit for. This can take some time to get used to, though make it your dharma.

Your 2020-21 Gemini Astrology Studio, The Sacred Space of Self, is now available for instant access. The reading covers Venus retrograde in your sign, Vesta in your sign, Saturn in Aquarius, and the momentous astrology at the end of the year.Thank you for your business and your trust.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — These coming days may shake out some of your deepest erotic, emotional and psychological material, and if that is happening, let it flow. Do not be afraid of what comes up. Let it flow through you, over you and around you. Experience it like water, Take a creative approach to handling it, which I am aware is not usually taught in school or in therapy. The reason for 'creative' is that it implies fun, of a wholesome kind. Yet where healing and psychology are concerned, it's the essence of the process, since you are creating yourself with everything you do and every choice you make. If you take a bold approach to this, you will find that you're working out past material more efficiently and effectively than you ever imagined possible. Speaking astrologically, the 12th house is involved, and that means keeping no secrets from yourself and none from those you consider your intimates. This will help unclog all the usual karmic blockages. You will come to love the feeling of vulnerability. Summed up in a few words, let it out.

Your 2020-21 Cancer Astrology Studio is available for instant access. This year, the time of Cancer began with an eclipse on the solstice, as well as Mercury retrograde in your sign. This is astrology that points to you in a personal way, describing a transition you may not feel ready to make but have been preparing for over long years. Chiron in Aries is also a prominent factor, pointing to some pioneering developments in your professional life. I cover these aspects, and much more.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — The extent to which people have turned into their own publicists has gone well beyond disturbing. I suggest you make major modifications to your approach to how you present yourself in any electronic format, or to anything resembling an audience. It's time to align with your utmost sincerity and transparency, or keep it to yourself. The various scrims and cloaks and dodges and screen names and all of that are more of a liability than ever, as far as your personal integrity is concerned. Anything you say, you must be willing to say under your real name, or not at all. Any time you make a split to your character, no matter how small, you create a place where energy can leak and infiltration can occur. At the same time, it's essential that you guard your actual privacy by not surrendering your rights via any electronic device, and making sure that you hold any and all information about your friends and associates in the utmost confidence.

Get your full Leo reading by Eric here.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Careers are built on human contact, not uploading resumes to job sites. People work with you because they trust you, they like you, and you offer something of value that they actually need. Your business plan does not need to be more complex than that, even on this wild ride that so many people are on. Take this slowly and consider each of the ideas one at a time, so that you recognize its properties. Trust means honesty and reliability. Liking someone means personal preference, which is a factor in every choice. Offering something of value is both obvious and easily overlooked; you must provide something that is either necessary, or yummy and addictive. There is one other thing, something long in the evolution which is coming to fruition now: bring all of who you are to everything that you do. There is no bringing 'part' of yourself into any situation because you are not divided into parts. You are one self, united with your source.

Get your full Virgo reading by Eric here.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Take a moment and think long-term. Imagine that time is on your side. Imagine you are free to move around the planet. Despite the rush the world is always in, and despite all the rumblings of our current moment, both are actually true. You can, in any event, afford to consider your life under such presumptions. In fact you must. This is not the time to hide in your house, or to restrict your movements, though I am talking about considering your life well past the immediate moment. Therefore, where would you go, and what would you do? There's likely to be a professional connection to your ideas, so bring that in if it exists. You're in the process of making major adjustments to this phase of your life, or perhaps better said, small changes that will lead to greater ones. However, your work is not what's leading the way. Start with creating a vision for your life, and your work will follow.

Get your full Libra reading by Eric here.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You may find that partners and loved ones are more open to a discussion of the right way to proceed, now that they've come to some understandings about what they want from life. However, let them make the proposals, so you know you're really working within the realm of their true desires. If you're asked to take leadership, do so gently. You're in the process of your own reevaluation that will last through the end of 2020, by which time you may have some very different ideas about yourself, your world, your idea of community and what allows you to feel safe. Said simply, there is no rush for any of this, and the best agreements are the ones that develop over time, based on the gradual formation of an understanding. In your particular world and those of most others, you need room to grow, change and figure out who you are. There are no templates. You cannot sign up for a life, though happily, you can live one.

Get your full Scorpio reading by Eric here.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Are you tapping into your full wisdom? Are you in touch with it? Have you been altering the scale of your life to match your understanding of yourself? It's time. Learning self-reliance -- whether financial, emotional, spiritual or related to your dearest priorities -- is the essence of your life now. To the greatest extent possible, you need to be running under your own steam, or at minimum, guiding your life that way. For starters, the most basic thing you can do is know what matters to you. Know what moves you. Pay attention to what you actually desire -- which may be right within sight. If there is another person involved, which is likely, be realistic about the ways that your priorities intersect with those of the other person. There is room to negotiate; there is room for a mutually successfully enterprise, if everyone is up-front about their bottom line necessities and willing to be flexible about finding a meeting place. All of this must be a conscious act.

Get your full Sagittarius reading by Eric here.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Saturn is about to return to your sign for around five final months of a transit that began in late 2017 -- a couple of lifetimes ago. It's unusual for a Saturn transit to stretch out this long, though the advantage you have is that you've had time, space and bandwidth to make some major adjustments. Saturn's brief final visit to Capricorn will give you opportunities to come to closure on elements of your past that need to be sorted, resolved and put into cold storage. Make sure you do that. Confront what you need to do with courage and dedication. Make amends, make repairs, come to an agreement and if you cannot, come to one with yourself. At the same time, you have vastly outgrown your previous self-concept. Yet growing beyond this is not something you can plan or orchestrate. You would be wise to work with a strategy of exploring before you make firm commitments or attempt to define yourself in ways that will not be true even next week.

Get your full Capricorn reading by Eric here.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Many factors are reminding you that your reform efforts must begin within yourself, and radiate outward as changes in your world. As you're a person who tends to become attached to the patterns of your life, this may present a special challenge. In fact, it is the primary one. You've been witness to your own experience of change, growth and evolution, which is now moving at full force. You are growing. You are making discoveries about yourself. For this to be easier and more pleasant, or even possible at all, you will need to be flexible. For you, that may feel like you're giving up everything with each choice to bend or adapt. This is not true; it's an illusion of your personality. However, you may want to go with it, and pretend that each time you do something different, you're jumping off of the high diving board. The feeling is freedom: from known structures (such as those imposed by your family), from expectation, and from many things you previously held to be true.

Get your full Aquarius reading by Eric here.

Astrology Studio for Pisces | A New Reading by Eric Francis

This is a momentous time in collective history, and a turning point in your life. As the year develops, most of the movement — including Pisces' ruling planet Jupiter, and the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction — will be pointing into Aquarius, the most sensitive and innermost angle of your chart. I will also cover the retrogrades of Venus and Mars, and the forthcoming Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in your friendship sign Capricorn. Mostly, I will help you orient on your profound journey, and offer guidance how to harmonize with the world at this unusual time. Get instant access to this reading here.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — This is the week your traditional ruling planet Jupiter aligns with Pluto, the prime mover and spiritual engine of evolution. Because this is happening in Capricorn, it's pushing you into an expanding circle of people, whether it's your friends, your community or some wider public. Be aware of this, as these are extraordinarily rare conditions that will not repeat again. They will last about five more months, during which time you have an enhanced ability to reposition yourself in the most visible part of your life. This is likely to have some deep relation to your business and income from your profession, and will have implications that endure many years. Therefore, work with a plan to guide your efforts. This does not need to be a detailed plan complete with a PowerPoint presentation, pocket folders and custom imprinted propeller hats. Rather, just make sure you know what you want to accomplish, approximately by when, and most importantly, what falls inside and what falls outside of your agenda.

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