Bells Ringing. Mercury Retrograde. Eclipse on Horizon.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

Dear Friend and Reader:

Two weeks ago, I quoted Linda Goodman describing her ultimate Gemini friend, who started an answering service in the 1950s and became the subject of the Broadway musical and film Bells are Ringing.

Intrigued, I found a copy of the 1960 movie, which is a romantic comedy centered around a New York City answering service. The business is called “Susanserphone.” In many ways this play and movie were way ahead of their times. In fact you would think they had an advance copy of Understanding Media by Marshall McLuhan, but that came out in 1964.

Judy Holliday plays the consummate Gemini Elle Peterson (based on a friend of Linda Goodman) in the 1960 film Bells Are Ringing.

This is one of those feature films that I count as a cultural and historical artifact. Many movies are unintentional documentaries (in this genre, Saturday Night Fever is one of my favorites, as it portrays the street life of working-class Brooklyn where I grew up and which has now given way to hipster heaven).

In Bells Are Ringing, you get all the themes of electrical communication, including and especially the elimination of privacy. All of the business of all of the clients pours into one central location, akin to what telephone operators would experience in the early 20th century when they could listen to any phone call, converting them instantly to gossip (3rd house themes all over the place here). There were also party lines, where anyone could listen to anyone else. Note: “electronic” means “no privacy.”

The lead (Ella Peterson) is played by Judy Holliday, who would have been a Gemini had she been born a few hours earlier (she has Mars in Gemini, so you get much of the effect). As an operator for Susanserphone, she does a diversity of character impersonations to keep her customers engaged and entertained. She is someone different to everyone. She can talk to anyone on the street. However, she has a personal issue in that she does not especially want to get deeply involved with anyone.

The movie’s first musical number is, “It’s a Perfect Relationship,” wherein Ella sings “I’m in love with a disembodied voice.” You would think the movie was about the internet, where anyone can be anything and where everyone floats around without a body.

She’s In Love with a Disembodied Voice

Then she starts to have feelings for one of the service’s clients, a playwright (Jeff Moss, played by Dean Martin, a June 7 Gemini) who is down on his luck and needs encouragement, which she provides generously (feigning being an old lady whom Jeff, often sleeping off an alcohol bender, calls “mom”).

The movie’s first musical number is, “It’s a Perfect Relationship,” wherein Ella sings “I’m in love with a disembodied voice.” You would think the movie was about the internet, where anyone can be anything and where everyone floats around without a body.

New York City detectives think the answering service is a front for an escort service and tap the phones.

However, when they meet, they definitely have physical presence (the stage production was choreographed by Bob Fosse).

Meanwhile, the police think that Susanswerphone is a front for an escort service, and tap the phones. They mistake references to “Madame Grimaldi” as being the leader of the brothel when in fact she is an opera star who is a client of the answering service.

It is presented as a given that the authorities will tap the phones because they can; there is no mention of a warrant. In reality, unknown to the answering service, a book-making operation becomes the Susanserphone’s biggest client. This happens under the guise of a classical record publishing company, taking illegal bets in the form of “100 copies of Beethoven’s 9th symphony” (betting $100 on the 9th race at Belmont Park).

Though it was first presented as a Broadway show in the 1950s, you get a glimpse of the future, when all communication becomes electronic. If you study McLuhan, you will see many of the themes he raises. Yet the action takes place mostly in one room, where the people can see one another. And it is mostly a neighborhood business (3rd house theme).

One of the most important reasons to avoid making contractual commitments during this time is that when Mercury stations direct, all kinds of veiled information can shake out of the universe.

As for Some Astrology (I covered a lot in Thursday’s article)

Mercury stationed retrograde Saturday, and will be so through the solstice. The retrograde ends June 22. The retrograde takes place entirely in Gemini. It’s mingled with an eclipse of the Sun on June 10, as the eclipse takes place during the interior conjunction of Mercury and the Sun. When events merge like this, you can work with them together.

Chart for Venus entering Cancer on Wednesday.

Both the New Moon eclipse and Mercury retrograde are about seeking closure and resolving unfinished business. Astrology gives us these opportunities; to use them is to move with the tide. There is a time for every purpose, and we Westerners tend to forget that to move on, first you need some closure.

Take the time to do that. The usual “don’t sign, don’t buy” recommendations of retrograde Mercury also imply, “wrap up what you started.”

Yet one of the most important reasons to avoid making contractual commitments during this time is that when Mercury stations direct, all kinds of veiled information can shake out of the universe.

Keep a little list of the mysteries in your life — a kind of wish list of what you want to know. Then listen carefully and you will learn a lot.

The station direct occurs nearly simultaneously with the Cancer solstice, so the turning point is doubly emphasized.

Much of what seems personal has nothing to do with you. It can be very difficult to see this, as people tend to project their issues onto others.

Venus Enters Cancer Wednesday

Venus enters the cardinal sign Cancer at 9:18 am EDT Wednesday, preceding the solstice. This may prove to be an emotionally complex transit, as Venus over the next week or so makes aspects to a wide diversity of small, potent planets early in the cardinal signs.

These include Ixion (morality/amorality and second chances), Quaoar (deep tribal origins), Pholus (lineage through great grandparents; alcohol issues); Salacia (matters of sexual appropriateness and maturity) and finally a square to Chiron which happens shortly after the June 10 eclipse.

Take this gently and do your best not to take everything personally. Much of what seems personal has nothing to do with you. It can be very difficult to see this, as people tend to project their issues onto others (all of us, though some more and some a bit less).

Take your time. Use one of Gemini’s most valuable assets: curiosity.

With love,

Eric signature

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Hello Aries Sun and rising! Click on your sign to get your 2021 annual reading.

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You won’t know what’s really irritating you until you put it into language. You won’t trust your desires until you give them a voice. It’s challenging sorting out myth from reality, and there’s also the point within yourself where you may choose what you want to be true. The beginning point here is revealing to yourself the contents of your emotions, and being honest about both your fears and your desires. For a while, your personal truth may seem like an object in transformation, impossible to define or even to contain long enough to describe. If that is so, then let your reality transform and evolve, and notice this property. There may, however, be something difficult or disturbing that is eluding your grasp or observation. You’re not going to catch that with a net and put it into a jar. You may need to talk around the point in a spiral as you gradually approach the center. There is no one point of view that is strictly true. The reality of your existence is that you are a flowing, morphing creature. So your interpretation of an injury, loss or insult will change over time. Ultimately where you’re heading is for all of your experiences to be your teachers, and for none to be your enemy.

Self-assertive, sometimes bold, Aries is always up for an adventure. A new adventure awaits — order your affordable reading by Eric Francis today.

2021-22 Aries Astrology Studio: The Continuing Adventure of Chiron in Aries

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Hello Taurus Sun and rising! Click on your sign to get your 2021 annual reading.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Venus enters the water sign Cancer this week, which will feel like slipping into a warm bath. The question is one of privacy: you need some genuine seclusion, even a bit of isolation, to rest and mend your mind and emotions. Try to find that. I know it’s not easy in domestic situations where family or housemates are present, though do what you can. You might organize a “have the house/apartment to yourself for an afternoon” program where everyone takes a turn. If possible, you can take a short trip and take a couple of nights in an Airbnb or even the Motel 6. However, not all intrusions are on the physical plane. You are affected by the states of mind that others bring with them, and you are influenced by energy that you pick up from others in intimate exchanges. Speaking philosophically, here is what I see as the bottom line: you need your own concept of intimacy, and you need to have that respected. Within some basic requirements that you would probably love to have in place, there is room for closeness. Yet as a Taurus, you must know by now that your creature needs being met precedes anyone else being happy with you or vice versa.

Calm, collected and attractive on the outside, raging like a tempest on the inside, Taurus is the blacksmith shop of the soul. Forge your path with this reading.

2021-22 Taurus Astrology Studio: How to Grow, Change, and Become

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Hello Gemini Sun and rising! Click on your sign to get your 2021 annual reading.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Ground yourself in an accurate and consistent cosmology that aligns with your deepest values. You have quite enough of a hodgepodge of theories, of approaches and of meaning; this approach has been confusing and has not provided the guidance that you need. At first, the factors of accuracy and consistency will find a home in relatively simple values that don’t seem to be sophisticated or especially advanced. They might register as “be kind to people” and “take every opportunity to be honest.” One thing I can tell you about the spiritual path as viewed from the standpoint of Gemini is that it has more to do with humanity and less to do with God. We are talking about the same thing ultimately, though you don’t need a high-minded concept of deity to connect with the essence of your faith. This is more a matter of style; more a matter of where to look for the same thing that many others are looking for: and for you it’s going to start with your brothers and sisters. Spirituality is not for retreat centers, monasteries and workshops, at least as far as you are concerned. A football game will serve just as well, or any place you can actually connect with people and recognize their deeper nature.

Geminis ask a heck of a lot of questions, and much of what you are curious about is yourself. Find some answers in your affordable reading by Eric Francis.

2021-22 Gemini Astrology Studio: Crux of the Mirror

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Hello Cancer Sun and rising! Click on your sign to get your 2021 annual reading.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Venus enters your sign this week. That may put you in contact with how challenging it is to have love be the primary law of your life. It’s still true, though not unless you face those challenges fully, so you know what is really behind them. One thing blazing out of your charts at this time is not to use your past experiences in relationships as a reference for what you want now, or in the future. Love remains itself, bestowing its wisdom and freedom to those who would meet it face to face. Yet that is not what history tells us is possible. Rather, if you use the past as your point of orientation, you are likely to get lost in a maze of what cannot possibly be love. Therefore you will need to be both strong and aware, and recognize what is and is not true based on a diversity of factors. The most important among these is hearing what people say to you, and doing what you can to understand their meaning. How you feel matters. Yet what matters the most in relationships is how people relate to themselves; how they treat themselves; how they feel about themselves. That is likely to be how they treat you.

Nurturing, loving, devoted, cuddly, milky and self-centered, Cancer has it all. You can even have instant access to your reading when you purchase today.

2020-21 Cancer Astrology Studio: I Feel, Therefore I Am

Hello Leo Sun and rising! Click on your sign to get your 2021 annual reading.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Mars has been stirring up your anxieties and is likely to be doing so now. While this is happening, do the Buddhist thing and tap into your inner observer. Ask if your fears are real rather than assuming they are so. This takes more courage than most people can afford. Many would think it’s bad luck to actually confront fear rather than to be subject to it. Yet this is the whole point of courage, which does not mean “not feeling fear” but rather engaging with it in a meaningful and honest way. Mars is about to make an opposition to Pluto (exact June 5). This is placed across an axis of your chart where it could produce the kind of uncomfortable psychic experience that people want to run from. Whatever issue is developing, whatever confrontation seems inevitable, stand back from it just a little and notice how you feel, what you think, and what your mind tells you is an appropriate way to respond. Note whether you’re feeling violent impulses, or the fear of violence. Stick with this inner show and let it play out. This is the ideal fodder for self-study, particularly when you see where you land after the storm passes.

Leo is THE sign of human vitality and in many respects the source of strength, light and creation. How’s this for a bright idea: get your reading by Eric Francis!

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Hello Virgo Sun and rising! Click on your sign to get your 2021 annual reading.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — What is real and what is not? Take your time answering this question. In the world where there are things that are both real and unreal, where we are constantly presented with both illusions and with truth, the thing you want is discernment. That takes time and the training of your sensitivity. You need to learn how to filter out emotional, psychic and mental interference, particularly as it enters from relationships with people who are not committed to the truth (but who may claim to be). Be cautious of being attached to a position or outcome. Be wary of people who assert themselves and their position vociferously. Whatever the topic, the question for yourself and for others is a calm, almost casual: how do you know that? This week, it’s possible that some people will come to you with stories about their personal history and what it did to them. These may seem to be big revelations. While it’s appropriate to be emotionally present, I suggest being scrupulous. Be sensitive to the power of narrative. At the moment our society is in love with story. Everywhere you look, story, story, story. Pay attention: stories, whether “true” or “false,” are just that.

As a Virgo, it’s your role to make the world a better place: to offer, if not solace, then solutions. Find both for yourself when you purchase your reading.

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Hello Libra Sun and rising! Click on your sign to get your 2021 annual reading.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You will get much of your most valuable information from the dreamtime. Therefore, that’s the place to bring your most important questions, particularly as regards your health. This is always a tricky area for you to find out anything relevant or dependable, and it has been especially true in this long phase of your life. There are times when you’re the king or queen of misdiagnosis. So any real, useful information is golden to you now. The thing about dreams is that they tend to speak in a particular language, and you need to be open to understanding it. It does not help to project your interpretation of the symbols onto them. Rather, sit with them and ask what they are telling you. It’s not as simple as the “up” or “down” light in an elevator. It’s more like the bell ringing between floors. You are going to learn the most when you sit with your discomfort about certain events in your life rather than trying to explain them away, or to pretend they no longer have impact or influence on you. Every thought has power. Every memory. Every idea.

Aleister Crowley said that the essence of the sign Libra is the drive for justice. Tap into your essence with this reading, and bring balance to your world.

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Hello Scorpio Sun and rising! Click on your sign to get your 2021 annual reading.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — The question of the week is: what happens when your desires conflict with your beliefs? What happens when your ideals conflict with lived reality? What do you do when something you want in the future is unsupported by what has happened in the past? This is genuinely a spiritual issue; it is the essence of what you might call the spiritual problem, in total, which is in essence: how do we heal the past? How do we create a future different from the past? The reason this is the central issue is the very thing that holds us back from our potential now, and in the future, is unresolved pain and residue related to what has happened previously. Your charts are suggesting that we are talking about something that far precedes your lifetime, whether it’s genetic baggage, history passed down through conditioning, or material from previous stints on the planet. It all amounts to the same thing: legacy material. And that creates a kind of karma, which you may think of as adhesions to personal and collective history. It is true that there are times when this can be healed and erased without your direct knowledge or involvement. At the moment, your chart advises you to observe carefully and take note of what you learn.

Scorpio is an odd hybrid, both a product — and an instigator — of evolution. Purchase your latest reading to delve deeper into the mystery of yourself.

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Hello Sagittarius Sun and rising! Click on your sign to get your 2021 annual reading.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Much is happening in your opposite sign Gemini, which pertains to relationships and partnerships. You already have the sense that something is changing, and that you’re reaching a point of no return. Yet the change you seek goes deeper than any one partnership situation. You would be making a mistake to assume that what you are thinking, feeling and experiencing in this moment is the whole story. You may be tempted to make it about others, though be aware that what is changing is something coming from inside yourself. If there are others involved, they’re not in your immediate environment; currently the deeper emphasis of your chart is on your ancestral and family life, which lately has taken on a new level of emphasis and importance. There is a diversity of subjects that you would be well served to probe into and understand if you can. These include specific beliefs about how relationships are conducted that you have inherited unconsciously. Due to their hidden nature, one of the rare times you can tune into the material is when something changes, goes wrong, or when a lineage or pattern is disrupted. Even then it’s not vivid but the meaning of events is at least decipherable.

Sagittarius, yours is the sign of the quest, the far away and far-out. Purchase your reading today and continue your adventure with the stars as your guide.

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Hello Capricorn Sun and rising! Click on your sign to get your 2021 annual reading.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — If what you call love is unfair, then I suggest checking whether the thing has the correct name and the right expectations attached to it. It is probably something else. The chances are that the scenarios to which you assign this name are unresolved remnants of the past that are calling for attention and resolution. You will not need to look far to see that mostly, we are talking about family history that has gone unresolved and for this reason, still has existence. Yet it will take many forms, none of them consistently nourishing and many of them to some extent depleting. There is a particular challenge when you feel one way about a partner and they feel differently about you, and yet both realities are given the same name. In all matters of emotional exchange, vulnerability and commitment, as well as one’s relationship to the past, to immediate family and to family history, matter more than is ever given proper credit for. That would of course call for all manner of spiritual, emotional and psychological work to address the issues, and who has time for that? Ah, but you do.

We depend upon Capricorn to hold things stable. But you’re not as boring as you like people to think you are. Unearth your inner revolutionary with this reading.

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Hello Aquarius Sun and rising! Click on your sign to get your 2021 annual reading.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — The strong presence of planets in your fellow air sign Gemini are lightening the influence of Saturn in your birth sign or rising sign. This week you have a series of easy opportunities to get difficult work done, whether personal or professional. The planets are aligned in such a way that gives you leverage and the feeling of going down a slight incline rather than pushing uphill as so often seems to be the situation. You may however find it difficult to trust people, as the feeling of past hurts and losses may be lingering around. Do your best not to let those define your reality. On the whole, most people are helpful to you. Relatively few have ever betrayed your trust or your confidence and they must not get the privilege of defining the nature of humanity. Any fear or mistrust that you feel are opportunities to heal, in particular, to heal trust. When in doubt, take your time making commitments to others. Let them show their colors, though you are safe accepting what help is offered to you over the next week or so. It could turn out to be of profound value.

You’re not after progress for its own sake; Aquarius is the discriminating embracer of innovation that works. Get your reading and be brilliant.

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Hello Pisces Sun and rising! Click on your sign to get your 2021 annual reading.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Keep your interests close to home. Even if you’re busy, take the time to organize, clean and feather your nest. Even half an hour a day will leave your living and working spaces feeling fresh and more open after just a few days. You’re likely to be where you are for a little while, so it will serve you to have good vibes and a positive environment. You know how this affects your mood and your overall productivity so any investment will be worth the time and effort, even if you seem to sacrifice something else. There are a few projects centered around your living space that have been left incomplete, perhaps by the lunacy of the past year, or maybe because you forgot about them. One thing that will be helpful is to get a room, or as much space as you can afford, ready for repurposing. Choose somewhere and clear it out. It could even be a table, a bookshelf or a closet. The idea is to clear space rather than think about what you’re going to be doing next. Let that be a metaphor for your mind and also your relationships. There is powerful seed energy in your life. Prepare the ground and let it grow.

The hidden realm is vitally important to Pisces: in a sense it is your home. Find your way back home, guided by your latest reading.

2021-22 Pisces Astrology Studio: Every Decision You Make

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