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The December Surprise

Dear Friend and Reader:
AMERICANS AND Congress finally stood up to the Bush administration this week, dumping a $700 billion bailout package for banks that were run by guys whose conduct would have had them thrown out of a casino. Monday, hours after the Libra New Moon, the nation -- literally, anyone who could get to a TV mid-day -- watched the vote in the House of Representatives, with this odd divided sense: I think most people were happy that the measure failed, and then wondered: what is next?
The Senate passed a similar version of the measure this week (apparently worth about $150 billion more), but it's meaningless until the House approves it. The economy seems to be functioning. I was able to purchase groceries using my Washington Mutual check card.
Just a week ago, Dubby (after assuring us that "the fundamentals of the economy are sound") was telling his cabinet that "this sucker could go down" -- in reference to the American economy. His choice of words was interesting. Apparently we weren't falling for the sucker part. In case you missed the Jon Stewart routine comparing Bush's pitch for the bailout package to his pitch for bombing Iraq, it was the same speech five years faded: promising imminent disaster, mushroom clouds, every day matters and so on. That put things in context. But it didn't do that much to ease the sense of exhaustion I've been feeling from writing about this insanity almost every day, and that so many people are feeling from hearing about and dealing with this every day.
It's time to start weighing the emotional cost of the constant apocalyptic drama coming out of Washington. I believe it's taking a human toll on all of us: people for whom life presents quite enough responsibility. Getting kids to school, holding down a couple of jobs, running a business, negotiating our relationships, trying to find some pleasure and respite in the constant grind of existence and survival. Even people who are doing relatively well are feeling the almost nonstop sense of being dragged through grief.
This latest version -- threatening us with the meltdown of the entire economy based on the greed of the banks and their managers -- was finally enough to stir people to shut down the Internet servers at the House of Representatives. And it got action, a tangible result. We need more of that. I also think we need to make peace with the fact that there is no end in sight to the games; there will be plenty more opportunities to get involved and claim back additional pieces of our democratic process.
There are several astrological checkpoints between now and the scheduled inauguration of the new president at noon on Jan. 20. Together they tell a story, though it's unclear what develops.
After this past Monday's Libra New Moon, we're currently in a brief lull of activity. Mercury is now in the heart of its retrograde and moving at a good clip, heading for an exact conjunction with the Sun on Saturday (this is called the interior conjunction, when Mercury is placed exactly between the Earth and the Sun). It's always an interesting day; I find it connected to friendly news rather than disturbing news. This conjunction also marks the exact midpoint of the retrograde, in other words, it's half over at that moment. (The retrograde began on Sept. 24, two days after the equinox, which is partly why it was such a concentrated moment).
By Oct. 12, Mercury slows down again and is getting ready to station direct, and we're in the Mercury storm -- those unusual few days when Mercury changes direction. And here is where things get really interesting again. And I do mean really interesting.
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A young Sarah Palin, center in black, at a moose-butchering party at the home of family friends.
Within 24 hours (24 hours and three minutes, to be exact), there is a Full Moon in Aries, and Mercury changes direction. They arrive in that order, but the two events are close enough to function as one thing. That is one point of distinction.
What adds to the unusualness of this lunation is that the Moon is conjunct the new planet Eris -- you know, the one that caused the demotion of Pluto. Eris, the goddess of discord; the high priestess of the postmodern world, where day is night and night is day and up is down and down is sideways. Eris represents an aspect of the shadow feminine, that aspect of Woman that gets held down, ignored or relegated to the sidelines. She is the castaway woman in any form she may appear -- including a public figure who comes along and, you know, topples the five-cent applecart.
Eris is also conjunct two other points, the first being Psyche, an asteroid.
Psyche is one of the most interesting bits in orbit, and never fails to tell an intriguing story. I believe she is about faith and the loss of faith; my delineation of her, which is slightly different than the myth, is about how she represents the sense of a psychic injury that cannot be healed. It can be, of course, but the injury is specifically the idea that it cannot. She is also about a head wound: and in Aries conjunct Eris, an affliction to one's sense of identity.
Then there is 1992 QB1, that little planet without a name. (I recently talked to the discoverer, Jane X. Luu, and she seems to have no plans to name it anytime soon.) QB1 is important because it established the existence of the Kuiper Belt, a massive asteroid belt of which Pluto is one of the largest known objects.

QB1 is the energy of working and being guided over the edge or through a passageway. I have proposed that she be named Radharani, after the consort of Lord Krishna. I associate her with hospice workers, midwives, orgasm coaches or anyone who helps guide people through a threshold and into a new phase of existence. Note that QB1 was the first planet discovered beyond Pluto. Why we don't hear about her, and why she doesn't have a name, is another story -- but let's just say she's one of the castaway women. Most people who serve QB1 operate invisibly, below the radar, or at best off to the side.
I think that whatever happens at that entirely chaotic moment of the Aries Full Moon combined with Mercury stationing direct in Libra, we're going to learn something important about ourselves and our relationships. It is likely to be a public event of some kind that keys us in, though with Aries the feeling is also distinctly personal. For many there will be no obvious connection to the public sphere, though we are in Aries Point territory where the two tend to become the same thing.
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Saturns rings.
The next major stop is Saturn opposite Uranus on Election Day. This is a rare outer planet alignment that last occurred in the mid-1960s. I covered that in some detail in last week's edition, though as I suggested this aspect represents an acceleration of the kinds of sweeping changes that we're now seeing in society. It represents a phase in the ongoing clash between populism and fundamentalism -- that is, between a sense of power to the people, and the kind of pseudo-conservatism that we've seen on the rise the past decade or so. We may not see the end of churches being used as Republican clubhouses, but we are certainly seeing the idea being challenged.
On Nov. 26. Pluto enters Capricorn to stay through 2023-4, officially ending the Pluto in Sagittarius era (1994-2008). This is the main setup for the December Surprise. Here is the chart. It is the Capricorn New Moon. Mars is also right there, so you have two very potent planets igniting the Aries Point. This is a caution that major news of some kind is in the air, and that news is going to come from the realm of corporations and governments -- Capricorn. Take a look. This chart is an alignment in Capricorn that will resound through the ages. (Note, the company that makes this charting softwaref, Time Cycles Research, so far has not included Eris among its planets, which is a plainly dumb idea. It is in Aries at 20+ degrees.)
It happens near sunrise on Saturday, Dec. 27, so it's angular in Washington, DC, meaning it has impact there, in New York and up and down the East Coast. But this is really a chart with a global reach.
The alignment consists of Mars and Pluto in a tight conjunction, exactly square the Aries Point; plus the ascendant, the part of fortune, the Moon, the Sun, Juno, Mercury and Jupiter, all in Capricorn. The Sun and Moon are square the Aries Point by six degrees, which is more than close enough to be a trigger. Mercury is square the Eris/QB1 conjunction, which an asteroid Lilith has joined.
Pluto is exactly conjunct the asteroid Pandora of Pandora's Box fame; and a meaningful asteroid called Photographica, which suggests a lot of pictures. Asteroid Atlantis is exactly rising. A point called Kronos, which represents important personages, is on the seventh house cusp. To make matters even more interesting, a two-day slate of the Moon makes an eclipse to Mercury and Jupiter the same day.
Here are the rest of the minor planets.

Notably, this takes place four years and one day after the Full Moon associated with the Asian tsunami. Whatever happens in this phase of time, that day or that week, seems to usher in a new phase of history. This is during the phase between the election and the inauguration, indeed, just three weeks before Mssrs. Bush and Cheney are due to leave office and the new president, whoever that is, is due to be sworn in.
I am not getting a clear image of exactly what happens; I usually don't. But I have learned to have tremendous respect for the Aries Point. And I trust that by this time, a few more Americans will have figured out that they really do have a place in the political process, one that extends long before and after Election Day. We will discover that it's okay, indeed, that it's necessary to care.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

Shake It Up
By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

NANCY PELOSI, Democratic Leader of the House of Representatives (long understood as the "people's House" due to its many representatives of local communities) recently gave commentary on the economy with some pointed remarks on how we got in this current financial mess.
She laid it at the feet of Bushonomics and compliant Republican leaders. You'd have thought the world had never heard such a ringing condemnation before. Indeed, the Republican congresspersons got their feelings hurt, and quashed the waiting vote for an economic bailout, both in a bid to satisfy their outraged constituents and a fit of pique at having to bear any portion of the blame.

That was a mercy. The original bill had few protections for American taxpayers and much more to do with corporate welfare. And time has quickly erased the old iteration of Wall Street, now that all the big financial houses have fallen.
I've learned over the years to trust timing on these things; even the worst errors made have some bit of wisdom to glean from them. Some might call that looking for the pony in the horseshit, or the optimist's position: in my estimation, it's infinitely more. It's a sure faith that each twist and turn will take us somewhere and clarify our understanding of the global reality we share.

The mighty clash of egos in Congress over the process of stemming the hemorrhage on Wall Street continues to bring the public up to speed on a portion of American life that we have slept through for too long.

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Weekly Horoscope for Friday, October 3, 2008, #734 - By ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
You don't suffer fools lightly, or at least you notice they exist. The decisions of someone close to you have been confusing or downright confounding. You may be fearing the effects of their choices, or the impact on you. Fear is not going to get you especially far and it will only confuse matters for you emotionally. By Saturday you will have a new perspective on where this person is coming from, and you'll understand how they're thinking. You may not agree, but at least you won't be standing in the dark. Make a note of how interesting it is that you can be so close to someone in certain ways, and feel like you have absolutely nothing in common in other ways. Give this one time. The common ground has yet to open up.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
You're awakening to a level of sexual reality that you seem to know about but only rarely pay attention to. Now is the time. The message seems to be that desire directed at others and desire directed at you don't always meet in the same bed. This translates into the most basic emotions as well, and consider how unusual it is that people's feelings for one another actually make contact. There often seems to be a little gap that is enhanced by insecurity, lack of awareness or some other excuse to step aside from how beautiful others perceive you to be. You may not experience it that way; you may feel the desire of others as a form of aggression. Who taught you that, or conditioned you for that response? It is a little strange, given the intensity of your own desires; but then, you usually judge those too.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Creative process is rarely straightforward. It does not, however, follow that everything that runs a convoluted course is creative. Yet what you're involved with right now is something calling for an intuitive, innovative and even artful approach to the question. Note that applying such a perspective is likely to come with a series of breakthroughs and then phases of effort at applying what you've discovered. Keep working in layers and your idea will gradually take form. If it involves risks, consider that those are most likely to be intellectual ones. If you notice when you are thinking the way you've always thought, you will be that much likelier to notice when something different happens. If you apply any idea on an experimental basis, remember that uncertainty is an important part of the process.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
If you're not careful, you could get caught in someone else's web of emotional confusion just as you're finding your own sense of stability. The main thing you need to not do is get lost in any apparent complexity, yours or anyone's. You might want to say less, and be your truth rather than speak it. Saying things that may only be true from one emotional perspective (but not from the rest of them) has become a problem recently. This has led you to wonder whether there is such a thing as the truth, which would drive anyone mad. There is a truth, and you're well on the way to discovering it. Whether you have the confidence to act on it is another question.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
You understand certain problems you're noticing around you as involving the deepest urges that humanity feels within itself: anything survival-related, or acting like something is survival-related when it's not. You consider them intuitively; now you need to find language to express what you're observing or feeling. It's not too intense to talk about or understand, and you may be in a position within a relationship where you need to get things into words that don't often fit there. Most people would either internalize the experience, which could be saying nothing in the midst of very strong feelings, or take out aggression, fear or blame on oneself. This is where language comes in. Beware of blame, and be aware that you may be feeling and need to express blame, to yourself or someone else. This is part of being honest: but it's the beginning, not the end.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You seem to be in the process of working out some challenging financial arrangements or maneuvering your resources. The idea you have right now seems brilliant, but I would caution against making any kind of final commitment before Mercury returns to direct motion on Oct. 15. You may feel you would lose by a allowing a delay, but I would put it at 50/50 at best that it could go either way. The question you need to ask yourself is how big of a risk you want to take; and how big of a risk what you're thinking is really worth. Check your motives for a moment, and see if there is not something deeper than this situation that is bothering you and leading you in a particular direction. Obviously it would be better to work through that issue first.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
There are days when the whole world seems to run on denial. How else could anyone eat a hamburger? You seem to be grappling with an issue that's larger than you. The emotions run deep, they are complicated, and you keep running into new spaces where unfamiliar feelings are kept. At times there seems like no end to what you're experiencing. The situation is simpler than it seems. There is a distortion involved, and for one thing it's creating a mental exaggeration. That in turn may be leading you to pretend that the whole thing doesn't really exist. I suggest you take your inner journey one step at a time over the next few days. Your experience may get more intense before letting up, but a transition is in sight. Allow yourself some space, and most of all, affirm that you have a right to be feeling these things.

(Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Mars has entered your sign, and once again you may be asking yourself what, exactly, you were so worried about. Fear, like all emotions, comes in layers, and when the layers come off there can be a wave of feeling. You're currently between two of those layers. On the next one, you would appear to be working out a mental puzzle about your recent experiences in a relationship, though you thought the situation had run its course. We all experience those times when we forgot to ask an important question, and this seems to be the case -- only the person you forgot to ask was yourself. Ask away, and note the answers that you get. Those are not necessarily the truth, and I suggest you go through them carefully, over the next couple of weeks, rather than acting on them all at once.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
You are, as you know, a person of deeper passions than you reveal. And on that deep level, your passions are brewing -- I suggest you be aware of them, as an internal thing. On the outer level of your life, there seems to be a situation brewing involving a friend whose motives you don't understand. I suggest you keep your passions cool when working through this situation. It's more confusing than it seems, and there is, in the planets, a caution that you or someone else is making more of it than it really is. At the moment, you are stable, you have resources and to the extent that this is a game of some kind, you hold the important cards. A strategy of 'let it blow over' would probably be the best -- as long as you pay close attention to exactly what is blowing over.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
You are encountering one of those opportunities designed as a bungle. Since plenty is going wrong in the world at the moment, don't take everything personally, but I do suggest you take it personally enough to see the silver lining in whatever gets warpy in your own life (particularly your professional life). What's likely to happen over the next couple of days is that you're going to hear stories from people about their situation, but the stories lack something specific, or rather two things: a sense of balance, and a specific reference point to the present. Your role is to see the other side of the story, and to anchor the situation in what it means here and now. The past has a strong bearing on what is developing, but it needs context, and the whole truth must be sought, not merely part of it.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
You seem to be figuring something out, and it appears to be of vast importance. I would propose that you are deciphering something accurately, but that you're exaggerating its relevance. What you are getting is a layer of reality, not the whole cake. The discovery is restoring your faith in yourself; but I suggest strongly that you not allow any subsequent discovery to take away your faith in yourself. Keep your faith not in what you are learning but rather in the fact that you're willing to embark on the quest. This may seem philosophical and who knows, maybe I read this in Plato or Aristotle somewhere, but devotion to the pursuit of truth is more important than the truth itself. In other words, stay hungry for knowledge. Resist the temptation to think, for any more than a day or perhaps just an afternoon that you know something for certain. Even if you do -- keep your mind open.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You are in a delicate situation in a relationship -- or rather, someone close to you is in a delicate situation and you are surely in a close relationship to this person. How you respond over the next few days could push the balance one way or the other. You are in the more stable position; you currently possess a steadfast quality, but you can be shaken -- for example, if you're presented with an emotional paradox or any kind of a double bind. If you are, I suggest that you leave it entirely for the other person to work out. You have made the mistake before of attempting to work out the contradictions of other people, and by now you must know it doesn't work. What will probably work is if you are empathic, receptive and say very little. Your faith is strong right now. Depend on it.

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