Planet Waves

New York, Feb. 7, 2014 | Listen Now on Planet Waves FM | Customer Service (206) 567-4455

Yesterday and Today

Dear Friend and Reader:

When The Beatles landed at the newly named John F. Kennedy Airport on Feb. 7, 1964, it was just 78 days after one of the most profound collective griefs in decades, one that unlike many before it was amplified by the power of television. The young president had been struck down in broad daylight in an American city, sending the Western world into shock.

Planet Waves
The Beatles, moments after stepping off their Pan Am flight on Feb. 7, 1964. Photo: Library of Congress.
The Beatles did not merely arrive; they stepped into a gaping void, a psychic and emotional cavern that had been violently ripped open like the president's skull. With JFK's death, the nation had lost it's father and was still reeling with disorientation. Even people who detested him cried. The loss is palpable till this day.

The death of the president also meant there was a vacuum of male presence and leadership. Then a group of young men in their early 20s had unwittingly stepped up to the task, though I am sure this was not recognized for what it was at the time.

We cannot say what would have happened with The Beatles had JFK lived, whether they would have had the same impact or been received so passionately. We only know what actually happened.

When you consider the morbid scenes from that prior November, the presidential motorcade passing through Dealey Plaza, the unshakable Walter Cronkite crying on the air, Jackie Kennedy with her dress stained in her dead husband's blood, Lyndon Johnson being sworn in aboard Air Force 1, the ambulance taking the president's body to the morgue, the funeral procession with its riderless horse -- it seems like a different universe from the screaming girls and clever lads taking questions from the press. 

People huddled around their televisions watching Kennedy's casket go by morphed into families clinging to their TVs as screaming teenagers stampeded through airport corridors and Ed Sullivan introduced The Beatles that Sunday night. 

Planet Waves
John F. Kennedy, Jr.
Indeed it was a different universe. Sometime during those 78 days, the Sixties had begun. That contrast of a collective wound and something to fill the void, or some element of healing, set a pattern and would repeat many times in this era.

Though the Sixties aspect, the Uranus-Pluto conjunction, would not make its first exact contact until October 1965, encounters between these two slow-moving, world-changing planets have a long warmup during which the most notable effects can be felt in advance.

If you want to understand the influence of this aspect, consider that The Beatles went from "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" to "I Am the Walrus" in a few short years.

The Sixties were a rough time in history. For many, it was an exciting time; for many others, painfully controversial, as many facets of the old order were stripped away and something else began to take their place. Many more people struggled to hold onto the familiar as everything seemed to change around them -- not recognizing that the changes were within them as well.

The nascent Civil Rights movement, which had begun to make progress in the Fifties, had some successes and also came under ongoing violent attack, surveillance and infiltration.

At the same time, there were numerous artistic and technological breakthroughs, and many horrid political tragedies. It's difficult to sum up an era that included the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King, Jr., the Vietnam War, the election of Richard Nixon, Woodstock, the Moon landing, protests on campuses across the nation and students murdered at Kent State.

From the Conjunction to the Square

Fifty years after The Beatles arrived, we are now at the next major meeting of Uranus and Pluto -- the square. These two planets move so slowly that it's taken them nearly half a century to go from their conjunction, the equivalent of the New Moon phase, to the square, the equivalent of their first quarter phase. 

Planet Waves
The Beatles with Ed Sullivan during a rehearsal for their Feb. 9 performance on the program in New York City. Photo by AP.
The first quarter is a major turning point in any planetary cycle, and also a time of structural change. It's a time of re-evaluating events since the beginning of the cycle, though usually history moves so fast at the time of Uranus-Pluto events that you can have the feeling that there's no time to think. What the Sixties and our era have in common is how easy it is to feel overwhelmed.

The square can have many properties similar to the conjunction, though of course it happens in a different historical context. The square also lasts longer. The conjunction had three exact contacts in 1965 and 1966. The square has seven exact contacts from spring 2012 through winter 2015. Both have a wide margin on either side.

We saw the early influence of the square with the Arab Spring movement, the public union protests in Wisconsin and then the global Occupy movement, all of which began and peaked in 2011. Those protests were suppressed by governments pretty effectively, and also by various chilling effect measures like discovering that the NSA is databasing everyone's phone records, email and other communications.

Laws that define participation in the environmental movement as a form of terrorism are going to deter some people. So will mass arrests, pepper spray and the prospect of lifelong surveillance. It all adds up.

Though there are some similarities, I think there is one significant difference between the Sixties and today. In the Sixties, many people believed that change was possible, and moreover, that their personal actions could lead to progress -- not merely to personal or corporate profit. There was widespread idealism in the air, despite the many terrible events that took place. 

There was the sense that anything is possible. The craving for freedom first described in Jack Kerouac's On the Road had become a sweeping social movement. 

Planet Waves
Recycling is not enough. All plastic ends up in the ocean, in one form or another. Much of it collects in gyres, or places where currents converge and the material cannot escape.
There was the feeling that if we don't do something about this -- that is, about whatever problem society is facing -- nobody will. That value may not have saturated the culture, but there were plenty of people who felt that way, and they got a lot done. Out of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction era were born many movements that are still active today -- anti-war, environmental, women's liberation, gay rights, black power and others. 

Today, cynicism has replaced idealism. The sensation that 'we're goin' down' has replaced 'we can change the world'. I am aware that there are activists in our time working earnestly for change. What I object to is how little help they have, and how easy it is to dismiss their efforts as futile.

That so many people are overwhelmed is, I believe, the result of many factors. We know more than we did then -- for example, about how serious the environmental situation is. What can anyone do, or think they can do, about a radioactive plume spilling out of a nuclear power plant in Japan, encompassing the north Pacific Ocean and spreading into all of its currents? What can we do about the tons and tons of plastic collecting in ocean gyres? Imagine trying to live without using plastic, no matter how much you want to.

What can we do about the rate at which fossil fuels are being extracted from the ground and injected into the atmosphere, trapping heat on the planet? What about all the methane being released from frozen reservoirs as the Arctic ice cap melts, doing far more damage than carbon?

How about politicians wasting time and resources trying to ban birth control and take away food stamps when the world is headed for a diversity of different brinks?

Every individual problem is overwhelming on its own, with 100 more like it right behind: GMO foods, the banks that get away with anything, billionaires by the million, chaos reigning in Iraq and Afghanistan and Syria and many, many other countries, an economy that is vacuuming wealth to the top faster than the Fed can print cash, people in massive debt from educations that are now worthless for getting a job, the cancer pandemic...and it goes on and on.

It's amazing that anyone has the gumption to be able to confront the future at all, much less envision some great improvement that might happen. Many people are reduced to getting through the day. Many are reduced to doing whatever it takes to get by.

Planet Waves
Actual scene from Chrysler ad on the Super Bowl featuring Bob Dylan, in which he claims that people in sweatshops assemble cell phones out of cultural pride. We've come a long way since his calling attention to the plight of workers collecting 30 cents a day.
In this environment, you could describe cynicism as the more appropriate response than idealism, or hope, or faith. It's hard to have faith when greed has gone from being a problem that some people had to the religion of the masses. 

At the Uranus-Pluto conjunction, Bob Dylan came up to The Beatles' hotel suite and encouraged them to do something relevant with their platform; to recognize that they could deliver a message.
They listened. Dylan may have been the single biggest moral and artistic influence on The Beatles.

It was Dylan, the visionary, who warned of "guns and sharp swords in the hands of young children" before anyone outside of Rand Corporation, the White House or the Foreign Relations Committee had heard of the Vietnam War.

Now at the Uranus-Pluto square, we have Bob Dylan doing a Chrysler advertisement on the Super Bowl. No doubt he rationalizes it on the basis of American pride, the theme of the ad. Would that be the same patriotism that was drummed up to start the past 10 wars? 

This one-time passionate advocate for blacks and the poor, who has decried slave labor in Singapore, Malaysia and Taiwan working for 30 cents a day, personally encouraged tens of millions of Americans watching the ad to "let Asia assemble your phone" -- because they do it out of pride in their work.

Ask people why Dylan did the ad and they will probably say "he needed the money," as if that's a good reason for someone who has put out 35 studio albums and a heap of boxed sets. He can only top this one by going onto FOX News and encouraging us all to support the bombing of Iran. 

The Common Ground of Pisces

Besides top-shelf Uranus-Pluto aspects, the astrology of our era has something else in common with the Sixties, which is Chiron in Pisces. This placement is a profound spiritual longing, which has many potential answers.

It is interesting that throughout the entire Uranus conjunct Pluto era of the Sixties and the current Uranus square Pluto era, Chiron is simultaneously in Pisces. The astronomical synchronicity involves Chiron's 50-year cycle and the nearly 50 years it's taken Uranus and Pluto to go from conjunction to square (0 degree relationship to 90-degree relationship).

Planet Waves
The Tsonga people of South Africa. All, as in all, humans are tribal. We need one another. When that need is replaced by alienation, the human condition becomes toxic. Photo from Kwekudee Blog.
Pisces, particularly with such a strong influence as Chiron, can be activated as a vast common ground, where people can discover how much they have in common, how much they can share and how much they can accomplish together. 

I consider Chiron in Pisces The Beatles factor of the Sixties -- the loving and spiritual element without which there would have been very little grounding or sense of purpose. It was not just The Beatles, but they personified it effectively, in a way that millions of people could relate to.  

This can be expressed as well as related to or identified with -- for example as art, music, community, intimacy and sex -- among a million other friendly activities.

Yet Chiron in Pisces can also evoke a mystical longing that can be answered in toxic ways as well. The mystical longing is usually evoked by suppressing healthy expressions of emotion, passion, desire and creativity. People need to be people, which means we need to be together, feel together, do tribal things together and have collective experiences. When that natural instinct is suppressed, it expresses itself in many toxic ways.

One of them is rallying around the flag -- a poisonous abstraction of the tribe. Another is worshipping a charismatic leader, which Dr. Wilhelm Reich identified as one of the key ingredients of a fascist takeover. Get people so desperate for sex and closeness, they will flock to a dangerous substitute, one that can destroy a society or a culture.

In our era, we are seeing the corporate form of this. It seems that every last thing is sponsored by a multinational or "nonprofit" corporation. Capitalism and greed are revered with religious fervor, and violating them can get someone branded a heretic or infidel. This common ground is becoming so crowded by corporate culture, I am surprised there aren't Nike ads in yoga studios.

Planet Waves
Spasija Aleksoska's extended family was taken in Trebenista, near Ohrid (in Macedonia), during Easter celebrations in 1959. The extended family was alive and well in the United States until the end of World War II. After the nuclear bomb, the nuclear family.
Oh wait -- there already are, on yoga mats, garments and bags. Next we will have advertisements telepathically broadcast into meditation.

What corporate authority can interfere with but not completely suppress is the authentic inner spiritual and creative calling. No matter how much the Merlins of advertising and branding and finance may strive to do so, they cannot entirely vanquish your humanity. That's why they have to spend so much money trying to do so.

They can come close. You can be anesthetized into thinking you're not who you are, for a while. You can be lured away from your humanity, conditioned what to think, distracted from your soul or consume alcohol and fast food until you're semi-blotto -- but you're still human, because you possess the Inner Light, the inner connection to the same intelligence that orchestrates your DNA. You are, even if you forget. So you may as well remember. 

Yes, remembering your humanity can be painful in such dehumanized times. One of the paradoxes of awakening is the encounter with how many other beings are struggling. As you improve your life, you have to figure out what to do with any potential guilt that you have it good and others do not.

If you pay attention, you will find some people who have their ideals intact. Be kind to them and keep them in your life. There is very little you can accomplish alone, though you are personally the starting point for everything that happens to you. You are the one thing that all your relations have in common.

Remember that, as the world seems to grow darker than we ever dreamed it could.


Planet Waves
Belief meets destiny on the set of the Ed Sullivan Show, Sunday, Feb. 9, 1964. 
Five Astrologers and an Entertainment Lawyer Comment on The Beatles

Sara Victoria

Belief met destiny on the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theatre, and the chart Eric cast for that performance makes the karmic scale of The Beatles' relationship with the United States strikingly clear.

When the show began, the Moon in Capricorn was conjunct the South Node in the 4th house. This represents a deep, emotional, soul-level ambition that is fostered by discipline and karmic in nature -- part of the destiny path of the event. Its placement in the 4th house indicates that this ambition has not yet reached fruition; it is still within, underground, unseen. The South and North Nodes are calculated points that describe 'evolutionary intention'; the South Node evolves into what is represented by the North Node. 

Planet Waves
The Beatles appear on the The Ed Sullivan Show. The Capricorn Moon on the South Node suggests that something is not just happening -- it's happening again. Are The Beatles a reincarnation phenomenon? If so, I would nominated Gilbert & Sullivan as their last go-around.
The 'karmic destiny' of The Beatles' performance that night is written in the symbolism of the North Node in Cancer, in the 10th house of public profile. The evolutionary purpose of the event was for their emotionally charged ambition to spring forth from its hidden root and flower upon a world stage.

The staggering impact of the Ed Sullivan performance on The Beatles' destiny path is seen in the conjunction of the North Node with the natal Sun of the United States. The U.S. and The Beatles were introduced by a cosmic matchmaker that night. The achievement of their karmic intent was inextricably joined with the collective identity of the United States. An astrologer could not have planned a more auspicious time for their American debut.

Dale O'Brien

Fifty years corresponds approximately to when Chiron returns to the exact place it was that many years ago. Since mythological Chiron was the wisest of all beings, god or human, the Chiron return is an opportunity to begin to live a wiser life based on one's life experience.

Chiron is now in Pisces, as it was starting within hours of JFK's presidential inauguration. Aug. 16, 1962 was the beginning of The Beatles as John, Paul, George and Ringo. Chiron in Pisces was exactly conjunct Jupiter in Pisces, with both trine Neptune in Scorpio. Chiron and Jupiter were also both opposed to Pluto and Mercury.

The Beatles were even more than just a huge financial success (Jupiter-Pluto). They were even more than a profoundly popular musical group with a sense of fun and humor (Jupiter-Neptune). Despite their youth, they were looked to as wisdom figures, and retained their popularity and credibility even when pursuing the wisdom (and to some extent the music) of India.

Planet Waves
The Beatles arrive at John F. Kennedy International Airport. The official stated time of touchdown is 1:20 pm, which gives you the very, very, very end of Gemini rising. Add just two seconds to the time (less time than the plane rolling down a little bit of runway) and you come up with the Aries Point in hearts and spades -- 00 Cancer 00 rising -- and that tells the story, of the impact of the event, of its lasting influence and how many people the event reached. It's called the 'Aries Point' because the first degree of Cancer is square the first degree of Aries; Libra and Capricorn work too because they are opposite and square the Aries Point.
As we celebrate The Beatles now, Chiron in Pisces tells us to remember, in part, that we are all one; that music enchants and heals.

Debbie Keil-Leavitt

The Beatles' arrival in New York on the afternoon of Feb. 7, 1964, was a profound moment in the healing of a reeling nation.  It was no cosmic mistake that The Beatles were first interviewed for American television on Nov. 22, 1963, only to have the broadcast delayed by the assassination of President Kennedy that same day.

Joy, pride and youth had all been lost to that murder, exposing America's shadow, and the nation was in desperate need of a change of mood. The chart of The Beatles' arrival has the important characteristic of the Uranus-Pluto conjunction on the 4th house cusp (angular; therefore, potent). This signature of the birth of worldwide transformation was in full force in the 1960s. The chart indicates a pivotal moment with Uranus-Pluto opposing the Teacher/Healer Chiron. The universe was handing us guidance to create a new cultural reality.

Chrissie Blaze

One may not immediately think of hard-hitting, rebellious John Lennon as a typical Libra because it is known that one major characteristic of this Sun sign is a desire for acceptance and to 'fit in'. Those of us who knew and loved John in the 1960s and 1970s would find it hard to believe this was true of him. However, what we see about a person is not always what they feel inside. In John's own bitingly honest words:

 "I always was a rebel...but on the other hand, I wanted to be loved and accepted...and not just be a loudmouth, lunatic, poet, musician."

Don't let anyone ever tell you that Venus-ruled Libra is indecisive and concerned only with love, romance and relationships. Once this intelligent, passionate Sun sign does espouse a cause worthy of their time and energy few can surpass their noble efforts to literally change the world.

T. C. Gardstein

The songwriting team of Lennon-McCartney was a formidable force. John Lennon's Sun was in Libra, Paul's in Gemini; the trine between the two musicians' Suns manifested in mutual inspiration and what Beatles producer George Martin deemed "a healthy competition." John and Paul rarely wrote songs together -- but they often wrote in each other's presence, sought out each other's feedback, and helped each other with lyrics.

Planet Waves
The chart of a true and whole-hearted pervert! John Lennon has Chiron, Transpluto, Pluto, Vesta and Juno in the 5th house of flirty, risky sex -- but Juno's presence means he likes to do it with his wife, unless of course someone interesting comes along.
The finest Lennon-McCartney composition, "A Day in the Life," was the result of two separate, unfinished songs grafted together into pure genius. This song also perfectly symbolizes the opposition between their Moons: John, the explosive "teddy boy" and drug-oriented, intellectual iconoclast, had an Aquarius Moon; Paul, the magnanimous, regal, pop-oriented showman, had a Leo Moon. This lunar opposition magnetized John and Paul to each other from the day they met and formed the duo's backbone.

George Harrison was in his own private corner, as one might expect from a Pisces Sun and Scorpio Moon.

In 1965, during the Uranus-Pluto conjunction, George first came across the sitar. Through his subsequent study of this difficult instrument and Eastern philosophy, George was responsible for bringing the East to the attention of the "new world" (hip Sixties Western culture). He continued to support the Maharishi even after his band mates became disenchanted with the yogi. Apropos of his Scorpio Moon, George was also the first Beatle to explicitly reference sex in a song: on Revolver's "Love You To" (1966). Yet George's water-sign vision, which ranged from sarcastic ("Taxman"; "Piggies") to mystical to just plain beautiful("Something"), was overshadowed by the Lennon-McCartney duo.

Michael B. Ackerman, entertainment and IP attorney

As for The Beatles' impact on music, I think you know my answer: it's like Jesus, there's before The Beatles and after The Beatles; and after The Beatles everything changed.  

Seriously, The Beatles' arrival is probably the biggest pop culture impact event in the 20th century. Only Elvis' arrival comes close and even then it's not as multilayered. Someone once explained Elvis' importance to me and I've never forgotten it: "Before Elvis boys grew up wanting to be their father, Elvis presented an alternative." So on that level Elvis' arrival is very culturally significant, also, Elvis added value to hillbilly status. Elvis was neutered pretty quickly by his induction into the Army. Then he did the movies, which made him meaningless in a pop culture context. The 1968 comeback special was good and a stunning return to form but he was never again the cultural force he was from 1956-1958.

Planet Waves
The chart of the mystic artist -- another 5th house chart, this time with Pisces Sun there. If there is a chart about art for art's sake, or communicating because that's what you feel, this is the one.
But The Beatles brought long hair, Brits, upward class mobility for England and others (and the disarming of the slagging of the lower class and lower class accents), mass hysteria as a cultural phenomenon, complete dominance of pop music for a time, and major dominance thereafter (every new Beatles record or TV appearance was an event, which always drew ratings and piqued curiosity). Furthermore, a band who wrote their own songs? Elvis put his name on those songs but he didn't write them.    

Not to mention the other stuff -- the introspective songs, the psychedelic stuff, the drugs, the fashions, the controversial remarks, or the pioneering approach to making music in the studio. Heck, even their films are quite good (notably A Hard Day's Night), and I'd say the films and The Beatles' flippant style in press conferences were a big influence on later comedy.

I say this not just as a fan, but The Beatles are the Big Bang of the 20th Century. The only other event that comes close is the Moon landing, which had ripple effects in terms of technology (Velcro, satellite communication which enabled cell phones, microwave technology which gave us the microwave oven, and many other developments came directly from the Moon missions).    

Think about this: in the 50 years since The Beatles have come along, and with the rise in the standard of living and with the vast expansion of television as a phenomenon (most households at the time of The Beatles' debut had one television, if they had a television at all), there are very few television shows that had more viewers than The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, and you know all of them: the finale of MASH, the finale of Seinfeld, the OJ 'chase', the finale of Cheers, the finale of The Fugitive, the finale of Dallas.   

Seriously a half dozen shows (and I do consider the OJ chase a show -- it wasn't a chase, it was a parade) have topped or equaled the Beatles' ratings on Ed Sullivan in 50 years despite the proliferation of the television set. As more television sets entered homes, viewing habits segmented and those communal events were fewer and further between. Some would say that's the reason there aren't more. I'd be one of them.

-- Section editor: Elizabeth Michaud  

Planet Waves
Back in the USSR

What a great idea -- start the Winter Olympics in Mother Russia just as Mercury stationed retrograde in Pisces.

Yes, that Russia -- the same one that we were told was the reason why we were hiding under our school desks and out of the way of flying glass; the very Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the bastards with all those missiles pointed at us and spies in trash cans and cameras in cigarette lighters who have taken over Hollywood and are seducing our youth with sex and vodka.

Planet Waves
Nikita Kruschev and some Cuban guy are very excited about the Winter Olympics being in Russia.
The Russia of "I hope the Russians love their children too" fame.

Well, all is forgiven -- unless of course something goes horribly wrong during the next 17 days. As of press time Friday morning, hours before the opening ceremony, we were seeing a lot of information about the condition of bathrooms and water in Sochi hotels. We also learned that the United States had again banned liquids and gels on all flights into Russia based on purported information about explosives concealed in toothpaste tubes.

Meanwhile Vladimir Putin, who has an interest in keeping things cool because he wants everyone to think he's cool, and he's definitely been on a roll since Pussy Riot's appearance on The Colbert Report this week [see part one and part two, sorry about the insulting credit card ads], has reportedly been watching over potential "black widow" suicide bombers -- women who are not necessarily widows but rather female operatives.

"What is interesting about Russia's terrorism problem is the number of women who carry out attacks is greater than any other country in the world," writes Stuart Ramsay, the chief Russian correspondent for Sky News.

We see this specter hanging out on the western horizon of the opening ceremony chart, as asteroid Juno. She's right there, occupying the relationship angle (the 7th house cusp), right out in the open where everyone can see her. I will admit, it's a little ominous having her there. I've been looking at this chart for a couple of weeks wondering what this is about.

Planet Waves
Chart for the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.
Juno has several incarnations, though two main ones. In the first instance, it's the emotionally disaffected person, generally a woman since her character is that of the jilted wife. But Juno's problems emerge less from the fact of her being jilted and more from her inability to state her needs. She can represent all kinds of relational insecurity, fear of infidelity and the "maintenance of one's position with the other," as my colleague Martha Lang Wescott puts it.

The second incarnation of Juno is that of the guardian of justice and good causes. This is a slightly weird delineation given the other one, but I've seen it work sufficiently to trust this theme.

Everyone knows the problem. It's easy to mess things up. It's difficult to keep them in order. All it takes is one little freelance terrorist or cell to ruin the whole party. Given that, we might ask why things go so smoothly nearly all the time; whatever that turns out to be is what will protect everyone here.

While Juno can be the jealous bitch or the powerful guardian, the 7th has a similar property -- it's the house of partners and also of open enemies. So we have some ambiguity here. Checking 120 extra points, we discover that today Juno in this chart is in an exact conjunction to Aphrodite, an asteroid named for the Greek counterpart of Venus.

The chart has two other significant points of ambiguity. The first involves the Moon, which is void of course in Taurus when the ceremony begins. Void of course Moon means that the Moon is done making major aspects to major planets in its current sign. It can have a slippery feeling, noncommittal or uncertain.

Again checking 120 extra points, we find the Moon's one applying aspect while it's in Taurus is an opposition to asteroid Siva. I'm going to give you Martha's whole delineation of that point, at least this one version: "Episodic, catabolic (breakdown/through) process that precedes insight; destruction of density/fixated beliefs (relative to aspects); crisis of death (stagnation) or regeneration; The Far East (including Vietnam, India, China, Malaysia, Japan;) periodic occurrence; ascetic; attention to sound."

Planet Waves
Juno and Aphrodite on the western horizon? Well, close enough -- it's Pussy Riot on Stephen Colbert.
Personally I've always taken the "attention to sound" bit with Siva to heart -- I use it as one indicator to LISTEN. However, this Moon looks like it's about confronting the fear of change and instability; appropriate enough under the circumstances. There is no certainty in this situation.

Second ambiguous thing involves Mercury, which just stationed retrograde on Thursday. Mercury is a powerful element in the Winter Olympics chart -- the chart has Virgo rising (ruled by Mercury) and Gemini on the midheaven (ruled by Mercury). And Mercury occupies Pisces, the 7th sign from the ascendant; hence it's angular, i.e., near the horizon and more influential.

Plus Mercury does something called 'fall' in Pisces, a negative dignity which means that it's slightly uncomfortable there but has to do some extra work to get its point across, then it can become significantly influential. And it's also retrograde, which is another supposed negative, but Mercury just loves to be retrograde. So what we get is this weird Mercury that rules the 1st and 10th houses and is swimming upstream in Pisces.

If there was ever a chart that said, "You can't really tell from this chart what the heck is going on, but it really doesn't look that bad," this is the one. Plus it has a lot to say about water, which is what has been dominating news reports from old Mother Russia.

Now I will say this, and I intend it as a warning.

Planet Waves
Stacy St. Clair of the Chicago Tribune tweeted: "My hotel has no water. If restored, the front desk says, 'do not use on your face because it contains something very dangerous'." Then after water was restored with this pee-colored blend, she tweeted, "I just washed my face with Evian, like I'm a Kardashian or something."
Every time I hear one of these news reports about signs in Sochi bathrooms that say "don't wash your face with this water," I think that if Americans are not careful, we are all next. Water contamination is currently a big story in the U.S., the drought on the West Coast should be bigger news and fracking away all of our remaining fresh water should be even bigger news.

Anyway, back to the Olympics: journalists have been on the water beat from their water closets in their hotel rooms. Reports of group toilets and contaminated water have been bouncing around for days.

Here is my personal fave, out of The Wall Street Journal:

"Dmitry Kozak, a Russian deputy prime minister in charge of preparations for the Olympics, mistakenly revealed during a press conference that at least some hotel guests are under video surveillance in their own bathrooms. 'We have surveillance video from the hotels that shows people turn on the shower, direct the nozzle at the wall and then leave the room for the whole day'."

Wow! "Security" cameras in bathrooms! What fun! I've just checked asteroid Photographica in today's chart and I predict that cell phone photos will provide some of the most entertaining moments from Winter Olympics XXII.

The Chris Christie Prediction that Came True

In the Jan. 10 edition of Planet Waves I said that the Chris Christie scandal would take a big turn once Venus stationed direct on Jan. 31, which is exactly what happened.

Here is what I said:
Leo, the sign that represents the president or the king, is on the cusp of the 12th. That indicates that the governor presided over the whole matter. The Sun, ruler of Leo, is also found in the 12th. He's right in the mix, fully aware and sharing responsibility for the whole thing. To sum that up, the planets that rule the official government and its leadership, as well as the sign associated with the king, and its ruler, are all crammed into the 12th house. 

This is your classic 20 pounds of shit in a 10-pound bag kind of scandal. And it wasn't staying in the bag. The fact that the email got out, making it clear that the traffic jam was payback, that he fired a member of his team and accused her of lying, and that his appointee at the Port Authority said he wanted immunity from the feds, New York and New Jersey tells you that there was criminal activity involved. I think that will come out around the time that Venus stations direct on Jan. 31.
Here is what The New York Times said happened that day, among other things:
In Wildstein's letter to Darrell Buchbinder, the general counsel at Port Authority, he claims the decision was "the Christie's administration's order." (Apparently the letter was sent as part of a dispute over Wildstein's legal fees -- the Port Authority does not want to pay his legal fees related to the investigations into the lane closings.)

"It has also come to light that a person within the Christie administration communicated the Christie administration's order that certain lanes on the George Washington Bridge were to be closed, and evidence exists as well tying Mr. Christie to having knowledge of the lane closures, during the period when the lanes were closed, contrary to what the governor stated publicly in a two-hour press conference he gave immediately before Mr. Wildstein was scheduled to appear before the Transportation Committee. Mr. Wildstein contests the accuracy of various statements that the Governor made about him and he can prove the inaccuracy of some," the letter said.
More on this soon.

Planet Waves

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Feb. 7, 2014, #986 | By Eric Francis

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) -- You may be feeling like your mind is anything but clear, however, your astrology is saying you have an opening for something better than clarity, which is originality. The chaos that's swarming around your thought process is a necessary ingredient of authentic creativity. Perhaps a musical metaphor will help. It's necessary to learn scales and theory and be somewhat disciplined to be able to play an instrument. When it comes down to having your own ideas, improvising or letting your feelings out, you have to step outside those frameworks and embrace the unpredictable with a flexible state of mind. Current planetary movements may seem to be overdoing this a little, though think of what you're doing as surfing rather than paddling around a heated swimming pool. Also I would note, you cannot actually drown in an idea, and if you find one that seems like it could do that, you can be sure it's a pretty darned powerful concept.
Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It's a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also order individual signs for $29.95 here.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- This would be a good time to avoid making decisions about money, including those about how you feel about your self-worth and the monetary value of your work. One thing about many, many Aquarians is an egalitarian spirit about money. This does not usually harmonize well with a world where the primary value seems to be greed. Indeed, in my short lifetime, I've seen greed go from a problem that some people have to a virtue to be aspired to. One productive thing you can do is remind yourself that you have an entirely different take on money than all of that. While you may not be 'liberal' on all issues, I am sure you're firm on everyone having a right to food, shelter and pleasure. You don't believe that others need to lose so that you can gain. Here is where you have a major advantage. Aquarius is one of the most structured signs, and wealth flows toward order and organization.
Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It's a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also order individual signs for $29.95 here.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) -- Do your best not to let anyone who seems thick or dull get on your nerves. Have some compassion for the fact that those who resist their own intelligence or intuition are out of their element with you. There is a slight conflict in that you are not thick, you value your own intelligence and you are ridiculously perceptive -- therefore you notice the fact that so many people are walking around in a coma of denial. Here is the good news: You do have your influence on them, which is about as dramatic as layers of salt melting off of a deer lick (that's a big block of salt people leave in their backyard in winter for deer). You may not see the block changing shape regularly but the deer notices that they are getting something good, which is also a vital nutrient. You may not notice people having radical revelations but you can trust that you're having your influence, which will gradually get results in the form of having a deeper exchange with whoever is involved.
Looking for an in-depth reading for the coming year? Order THE MARS EFFECT, your 2014 annual readings, for a special rate of $79 for all twelve signs. It's a great package of audio and written readings (plus bonus articles) that gives you access to your Sun, rising and Moon signs (and those of your loved ones). You may also order individual signs for $29.95 here.

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