THIS is a week of swift changes, of both direction and atmosphere. Venus, Mars and the Sun are already in new signs: Cancer, Virgo and Leo, respectively, shifting energy to a core region of the zodiac where we share and experience emotional, creative and intellectual intimacies.
The New Moon takes place overnight Monday to Tuesday depending on your time zone, in the third degree of Leo (early Leo). This New Moon is wedged nicely into the ongoing fixed cross placements. It’s not the tightest aspect in history, but it is definitely between the goal posts. It’s the earliest degree point; Sun and Moon then move on to make aspects to Chiron at 8 Aquarius; Jupiter at 10 Scorpio; and Saturn at 14 Leo.
To complete a grand cross from Taurus, we have the fifth asteroid (after Vesta, the fourth), whom I have never mentioned till now: Astraea. She is an interesting one, and surely apropos of our moment. Here is what the Encyclopedia Mythica says, from an article by Micha F. Lindemans:
“Astraea (‘the star-maiden’) is the daughter of Zeus and Themis. She was, as was her mother, a goddess of justice. During the Golden Age, when the gods dwelled among mankind, she lived on the Earth. When evil and wickedness increased its grip on humanity, the gods abandoned the habitations of mankind. Astraea was the last to leave and took up her abode among the stars where she was transformed into the constellation Virgo.”
She is exactly square this lunation, currently moving in direct motion about one degree every four days. She is a little reminder — we’ve lived in other very messed up times in history. Indeed, history (the real thing, not what you read in books in school) is usually the story of how messed up it all is, and how well we do despite it all. Humanity perseveres. As a member of humanity, you have that option, as long as you remember who and what you are.
There is also a Centaur in the neighborhood (at 7 Taurus), not as yet mentioned in Planet Waves, called Thereus. I have not delineated this one yet, nor have I bugged my friends about it, and the best I could come up with are keywords from Phil Sedgwick. Good start; Phil is super smart; but I am not a fan of the ‘keyword’ method of delineation. Still, these words may be evocative:
“Astrologically, Thereus seems to indicate the ability to keep personal and professional lives separate and balanced; identification with one’s career or relationships; mercenary behavior; attraction to beauty and glamour; ability to work constructively with others; wildness, lawlessness, hunting, nature, wild animals, concern for the environment.”
This is actually a great time to delineate Thereus because it’s making so many aspects and will show up many ways. The feeling of a delineation is like a multi-dimensional AHA that you see through the apparent surface energy, and which you can explain to something else. Sometimes it comes through in three to five words, then you grow the idea from there.
So — that’s the grand fixed cross New Moon, exact just around Monday at midnight in New York, at half-six Tuesday morning in London, and Monday evening Down Under, where the Marmite blooms and blows.
Lastly and definitely not yeastly, Mercury stations direct on Saturday. Thus, much of the week will be in that sensitive zone of Mercury slowing down, stopping, changing directions, and then coming back up to full speed the week after this one. As I’ve been droning on about in various horoscopes and phone forecasts here and other places…this is an interesting phase where complications and difficulties start to work out. Even if the solution is not in sight, trust all this movement will suss out the solutions you need.
But what you do NOT do is important. I have studied the past 40 or so Mercury retrogrades. No kidding. Here is the big conclusion to my study: if it looks broke, it’s probably not. Also, the mental attitude with Mercury-related stuff is as important as the stuff itself. Solutions come from odd places, and mostly from the subtle shift in point of view. Be nice to your computer, and to the IT girl. Help tech support help you solve your problems. Hold off on major purchases for a week or two, they can usually wait. You will save time, money and effort.
Mercury in Cancer, just by the on-the-face symbolism of it all, is an emotional setup and it provides one of a countless number of examples of mental vs. emotional assessment and understanding. In short, we need to count in the emotional factor. The emotional factor often gets its reputation from some kind of bog involving the past, and the station of Mercury this week starts to put the throttles into forward motion, and we can leave this territory behind for a while. This is, by the way, somewhat familiar turf because Saturn was there for a long time and we all got a good dose of the late Cancer zone of the zodiac.
One last thing. When Mercury stationed three weeks ago, the main message I was getting and doing my best to broadcast was to REMEMBER what you were thinking then because it’s worthwhile and you’ll have a chance to come back to it as Mercury leaves Cancer, enters Leo and then enters new turf in mid-August. You will be able to pick up the thread just where you left off, even better, as the ideas will be waiting for you on a new, incubated, evolved level of reality.
All just in time for the Saturn-Neptune opposition.
More on Friday. Keep your lights on.
Planet Waves by Eric Francis
Monthly for AUGUST 2006. This horoscope originates in Chronogram magazine in the Hudson Valley of New York (Kingston, but very much a creature of New Paltz), as well as on Planet Waves and in Planet Waves Weekly (which are also coincidentally creatures of Rosendale, a neighbor of New Paltz). But now this is Planet Waves, broadcast to the whole planet. Don’t miss our new audio features at http://planetwaves.FM — I mean it!
Aries (March 20-April 19)
Circumstances have encouraged, indeed, at times forced you to take greater risks, but you may still be waiting for the rewards. If I say, “They’ve already come,” you may be disappointed that they’re not what you think they would be. I’ll put it a different way: the foundation stones have been laid, and when you look back from the viewpoint of two or three years on, you’ll see that all the basic components of your new life were in place now. What you have not quite succeeded in doing is envisioning a place in the world for yourself, as you’ve redesigned that self — and that is the theme of an extended phase of your life that begins this month. The clay of creation is soft and pliable at the moment. People’s beliefs are more flexible than you imagine, as are yours. You have the tremendous advantage of having nothing to live up to, or to live down: only to live.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Generalities do not appeal to you, particularly where your most cherished goals are concerned. Yet to escape from the small, endless expectations that have stalked you for so long, and to truly cut loose from the sense of perfection that has done little other than steal your energy and freedom, you need to let go of a false desire, or some object of your faith and devotion that is not helping you. I would propose that somewhere in the repertoire of what you believe is something that’s no longer true. You have no need to worry: what is true is standing right there next to what no longer matters. Finally, the contrast is visible, and for many months, contrast is what you have needed the most. Acting on this information will be far easier than hesitating. What today seems to present the greatest risk is really the easiest and safest option.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
For all the things we do or change in life in order to stay secure, rarely do we consider our ideas. But our ideas are the bedrock of our sanity, and the place we contact the world the most intimately — surely you know this about yourself. Yet some crucial part of your reality appears to be conflicting with another. You want to be taken not just at your word, but also based on the accuracy of your perceptions. You want what you understand about yourself to be accepted by people around you as verifiably real, not merely taken on faith. Here, the leap is all yours. Faith really is good enough for this situation, and the unconditional acceptance you’re being offered will serve everyone well. You possess a unique presence of mind in the world, one that others may not be ready to accept in themselves, but are more than ready to consider with you as the example.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
The moment bears nothing less than a miracle, if you wish to release lifetimes of psychological baggage. Therapy, spirituality and education may have played a role in you improving your state of health, but what will help you cross the line is letting go of certain violent psychological tendencies you’ve had toward yourself. It may not be easy to admit the situation, but enduring it any further will be far less pleasant. You may feel like you’re being pushed out of an airplane unwillingly, but you’re wearing a parachute that will open, slow your fall, and give you a magnificent view of the whole landscape of your life. You get to choose where you land; you get to choose what is true for you. Once you touch the solid ground of reality, you will see that the past has lost all its hold, and that you are somehow autonomous of the pain and struggle that your predecessors unwittingly passed along to you.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Everything comes down to values: every decision, perception, desire and choice to share is reducible to how you feel about yourself, how you see yourself, and most of all, who you understand yourself to be. Suddenly you have a new perspective; something that should have long been obvious about yourself is finally dawning on you. This comes right in a crucial moment, because some aspects of your life appear to be presenting you with reasons to doubt your compatibility with some of your most intimate situations. You may even question the extent to which you truly do exist in the minds of others. I suggest you give your doubts a clear voice, because it’s only by doing so that you’ll reach the certainty waiting beneath them. At this point in your growth, questioning yourself really does have the power to accelerate your path of finding your truth, and you seem willing to settle for nothing less.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You could cut your commitments in half, and then in half again. The same could be said for what you want or need from life; there is an inefficiency you’re struggling with. Indeed, you could start over from the beginning, and remember to keep your story simple. The tendency to overcomplicate any facet of your life, your perception or your self-concept will only work against you now. Try seeing things in black and white; describe your state of being in short, simple sentences. By doing this, you will notice something you’re currently missing. You’ll connect with the truth of the role you’ve chosen to play in this lifetime, and let go of so much else that is clogging your mind. One thing I can tell you is this: you’ve got no need to worry about whether your life path is helpful to others. This is beyond question. All that matters is how good you are at helping yourself.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
Trust that you are making your way in the world; that you are clearing space for yourself and your truly individual contribution. This is what many people dream of — you are doing it. Yes, at times it feels like you’re having to chisel your message into rock; like you’re having to push your sense of self into the faces of everyone else. Don’t worry, that’s only because you’re a Libra and anything but the most balanced and conciliatory discussion feels like an argument. This is good training: the experience of one point of view that you are imposing on the world. You may, at times, feel like you don’t even have a clue what that point of view is, but once you take a step back and look at just what it is you’ve carved into that stone or built into the side of a mountain, you’ll see there was a coherent plan operating all along.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Now it all comes down to working out the details. Much can be lost or gained in the process; you need to remember your entire agenda, and not forget it for a moment. I would say write it down, but you had best summarize it in three basic points and make sure you cover all three. You need to be specific, and you also need to remember something from earlier editions of this process that seems to have fallen through the cracks of the discussion. That “something” is something fundamental about you; something that potentially predates the modern agenda; something you’re likely to have forgotten and now need to remember. Perhaps it seemed dangerous, perhaps too specific, or maybe you were afraid to intimidate anyone out of going along with the whole deal. Anyway, you’re in a much stronger position now; if only you could see how strong.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Continue to push your limits, particularly the ones you cannot see. Those are the ones that fool just about everyone. However, you’ve addressed all the ordinary blocks to success and happiness quite well. Continue to assume there is a boundary to challenge, an idea you need to develop, or a deeper degree of cooperation that you can foster in every relationship. Continue to believe that more resources are available, and that you have more to offer. And most of all, I am here to remind you to do the thing that you help the world do best: refuse to fall for the belief in lack, loss and limitation that keeps so much life force in its grip. While you’re doing all this metaphysical work on the inside, keep offering, proposing and outright pushing your plan on the world. It may not be the best plan since the dawn of time, but it’s a pretty darned good one.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
The details are coming in fast and furious. Keep track of them, and of your countless ideas that address problems old and new; situations you thought were impossible to resolve; and as you discover rational explanations for things you could barely put into words yesterday. But more to the point, what is finally coming to you is a long-range vision. You’re a methodical person even at your most chaotic, so you’ve had elements of a vision working for you all along. But what’s happening now is different. You are finally experiencing the strength and clarity that comes with refining a long-term vision. Indeed, you’re merely pulling the veils off of something that’s been there all along, guiding you and informing your actions. This is happening at the same time you’re allowing yourself to be inspired and to consider potentials you would not have dared dream in weeks or years past. Keep going.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
There has long been a perception of yourself that you’ve been dragging through your relationships — and from which your relationships have barely had a moment’s peace. Suddenly, you’re able to see through that, to the point of being able to dissolve it just by noticing what you perceive. By practicing this skill, you are going a very long way toward liberating yourself from what has, perhaps, been the experience most debilitating to your happiness. It’s helping immeasurably that you no longer need to have the same sense of presence or “importance” in the lives of others that you once demanded; indeed, you seem to understand as a matter of faith that you really do matter, and you’re seeing this reflected back to you as some form of concrete reassurance that others are actually present for you. None of this is an illusion; acknowledging love will not make it go away; recognizing yourself and recognizing another are one and the same.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
There’s a time to bring one’s dreams and visions into reality, and for you, the time is now. As a writer, I recognize the ongoing fear of facing the blank page, and now you are working with the most stunning empty canvas, block of marble or construction site you’ve ever imagined could exist. You are constrained by nothing, and your success is dependent only on your imagination and the application of consistent discipline to what you want or need to create. At the heart of the matter, there needs to be, and indeed is, a core idea. You need to focus on this above all else. The core idea is not just something you wish to create, but rather a sense of who you are, which is what you’re developing over, above and beyond anything you might bring into manifestation in the world. Your outer acts of creation are just there to give you a metaphor, a model or a convenient point of focus.