That Glow is Not Your iPhone or Droid — It’s You

Cosmophilia: You Belong Here for Aries

By Eric Francis

Aries Part One

Aries Part Two

Download mp3 archive.

Cosmophilia prologue

Cosmophilia houses

You seem to live in accelerator mode. There are times you wake up in the morning and have no idea who you are or what you’re going to experience. If that is true, then you’re in the perfect place, living in a way that people spend a lifetime reaching for — freedom from what is orderly and what is predictable.

The Catalyst Fire by Cameron Gray.

The Catalyst Fire by Cameron Gray.

The difference is you don’t really have a choice. This is often a response to the world you live in, though it’s also you that’s initiating the changes in your environment, as if by some kind of psychic alchemy. You have become an inventor of your own life.

And in a way that will become more apparent over the next year and beyond, technology — especially that of language — is your magic substance; your catalyst; your vector. But all technology counts, especially if it plugs into the wall. What changes this year as opposed to prior years is that you’ve invested considerable time and energy catching up with the accelerating changes in the environment. Those include the realm of business and profession, which have been in a state of implosion; your personal relationships; and most recently, your inner environment.

What you may be wondering is the extent to which you have become more than your environment can handle. You’ve always run on the hot side, always been the one to assert yourself and unafraid to push some buttons. You’ve never been able to stand apart from your own individuality. Yet now you appear to be riding this one to some unknown result, though you seem to have little choice in the matter. To the extent that you’ve done this as some kind of follower or one who must respond, you’re taking your place as an innovator and as a leader. This is especially true in your own life, but it’s having repercussions on the world around you.

Every day that you awaken, you simply must reinvent yourself, lest you get stuck in some stagnant corner of the past, some meaningless or outmoded idea about life. Quaint holds little appeal to you. What you want is what is to be relevant now.

Speaking of relevant now, back in 1964, a guy named Marshall McLuhan came out with a book called Understanding Media. Until then few people had ever thought about the electronic environment as a totality, as a whole entity, or thought about what it does to people; what it does to society. Then as now, you just flipped on the TV — or in more contemporary terms, reach for your smartphone.

The author, who was an English professor, offers a theory about the myth of Narcissus. Most people interpret this myth to believe that Narcissus is falling in love with himself — that is, with his own reflection that he sees in a pond. But the problem Narcissus had, says McLuhan, is that he didn’t know that that ‘other person’ was his reflection. He thought his own image was someone else.

That, he said, is our present situation. In our environment, totally dominated by our experiences of media, we have the same problem. We think that all this stuff around us is someone or something else. We don’t realize that all of our technology is an extension of our own central nervous system, of our senses, of our personalities and of our creative power. Instead, McLuhan said, we tend to cut it off, and in the process, amputate or disown parts of our consciousness, which is the source of much of the fragmentation that we see and feel on a regular basis.

Immersion in this environment — whether we actually touch any one technology or not — transforms us. Our response is part of that transformation (including the attempt to ignore it.) It does not merely influence us. People who don’t watch TV or who browse the Internet only when in the library are not exempt.

It’s not the content of the technology that does the real work; it’s the form. The mode through which the information is entering possesses the transformative power that shapes our lives on the individual level, the transpersonal level and the collective level.

We could say the same thing about Uranus in your sign (2010-2018). Uranus is the planet of the technological revolution, ongoing — the planet symbolically associated with inventions and inventors. It’s linked to the concepts electrical and electronic. Uranus changes us, and it changes society, wherever it travels. It has us in a spell — what in Scottish used to be called a glamour. That word has lost its meaning in modern English, though it’s a good one to keep handy.

Aries is the sign that represents you, whether your Sun is there, or your ascendant (rising sign), or whether you have some other point of contact. Whatever Uranus represents is not just the force that is changing you. It is this thing that you’re becoming, and becoming, over and over.

Seen one way, Uranus might represent the incredibly inventive times in which we live — times so inventive that we seem to have run out of purpose for much of our techno, except for entertainment. There is an obsession with flash and glamour in the more common sense of the word. But the question is, what is this spell and what is its effect on you? What are you becoming and to what extent are you taking control over that? Are you becoming an artist, or are you succumbing to the hypnosis? The thing is, if you’re awakening, it’s a radical awakening. If you have the drive to create, it’s unstoppable.

As you may know, we are living through the time of a major aspect pattern — Uranus square Pluto.

Pluto is moving through Capricorn, your 10th house. If it’s working well, this transit is inspiring, inviting or obsessively driving you to some unusual success. It has the feeling of making your mark on the world, perhaps in a way that happens once in a lifetime. Pluto provides impetus and power. You may be rearranging all of your views about authority, and in the process, your upbringing (where you learned about authority), corporate power, government power and how you feel about having a boss, or being a boss.

Pluto is also changing society. It’s making room for you. You might not feel that way if Pluto has demolished one of the places that you depended on for a role, a place, or a position. Yet the changes of Pluto are happening at the same time as those of Uranus, and they are happening to you in bold and direct ways.

Belonging means having the power to invent yourself in the context of the changes that society is going through — if you awaken from the trance. Awakening means taking creative control over your life and by extension, what you do. To me, this is about being an artist. You could argue that it’s about being a “self-actualized person,” which I would agree with in principle. It’s just that there’s a lot of media trance in the concept of self-actualization. Like art, I would say it’s real if you’ve taken a real risk. And when you take that risk, it will feel like the right thing to do, even if it’s got you out on some edge.

Martha Lang-Wescott [website] in a 2012 Planet Waves interview offered her concept of the Uranus-Pluto square. This was in the context of another transit, Nessus in Aquarius, which ends on Feb. 8 after more than 10 years. She was cautious about the shadow side of Uranus-Pluto — and also about the minor planets in general. By shadow, I mean toxic manifestations, most of which happen ‘unconsciously’.

“It sounds like this unbidden empty narcissism surging from the depths of Pluto and all of its psychological scars. People can get distracted by the twinkles and the erratic behavior of Uranus and overlook Pluto,” which addresses deeper material and is a more urgently necessary agent of growth. That erratic behavior includes the conduct of various political movements that want, in effect, to ban women from being people and who are creating a huge distraction in the process.

As such, she believes that it’s serving to mask a whole layer of awareness. “There is the show and the excitement of Uranus [in Aries], and then there’s this underbelly of the concealed drives of Pluto [in Capricorn], such as greed. Uranus presents as the perfect distraction — all this technology stuff — when Pluto is often acting invisibly. There’s also the attraction to the dangerous element of Pluto charisma. Nessus [in Aquarius] accents that quality of Pluto.”

She said that one theme of the Uranus-Pluto square is about “how power can be exerted using technology. At what point do people scream about that? Or are they so distracted that they’re willing to relinquish power and control over their lives?”

So here is the essence of the question being asked by your astrology: in what way are you taking creative control? Have you stopped long enough to think about it? Have you considered the ways in which this seeming phase in your life is about creating something that you will have the rest of your life?

This theme has been developing for a while — these transits have been going on for a few years. Yet the turning point this year is that because Uranus pulls ahead of Pluto and the Uranus-Pluto square begins to separate, your self-creation no longer needs to be in response or reaction to changes in society. Rather, the image is of you taking over in a fully self-creative way; that you take your role as one who initiates the changes rather than as someone who responds to them.

For example, this is not deciding that you have to do what you love because you got laid off (a possible manifestation of Pluto in Capricorn). Rather, it’s about creating who you are because you have the calling to do just that — in a context that facilitates that (massive, deep changes to the world described by Pluto in Capricorn).

Logos-Zoe in Libra

There is an outer-planet transit that makes this whole theme more personal and immediate. The Logos-Zoe system, a binary (pair of planets) orbiting our Sun once every 309 years, is entering Libra. Logos-Zoe is relational as it is — it represents our relationship with technology (going back to The Word), and to me describes the quest to find the wisdom and intelligence in technology.

One might ask, do we seek that intelligence as an act of will? Does logic hold any meaning? Is “the word” what you are handed by authority or what you write? To what extent do you feel you have the responsibility to make sense to others? To make yourself clear to others? To actually be understood?

Logos represents the power of technology — in particular, the word. The word must make sense; yet to truly be meaningful, it must be connected to its soul, symbolized by its planetary counterpart, which is Zoe — that is, conscious life. In this pairing we have the idea that “the word” gives life, and that life gives meaning to the words we use. When you use words, give them life, and you will be understood. And at the moment, it’s vital that you strive for mutual comprehension as a mission in life.

Because you are moving so much power and energy, comprehension and understanding are vital to your safety and sanity. They are vital to your political standing and community standing.

This year Logos-Zoe arrives in Libra, the sign of relationships, which happens to be your 7th house — bringing the theme into your personal relationships and your environment. It’s vital that you use words consciously; that you choose the right words for any circumstance; that you choose your mode of expression consciously.

That means choosing from among written words and how they are sent (letter, email, text, etc.) and spoken words and where they are spoken (by phone, by video, or in person).

What is better said without words? What would come across more clearly in pictures, or in physical gestures of some kind?

Logos-Zoe extends into the realm of all of technology. I suggest you take this analysis further. Ask yourself: What influence has all of this evolving technology had on my most intimate partnerships? Since the Internet started, how have my relationships changed?

I suggest you go back to the mid-1990s and tell the story from then — take a 20-year view. If the trends in your life continue on the same curve for the next 20 years, where does that leave you? If you want that trajectory to change, it’s essential that you intervene consciously and creatively. [Note: for other influences in Libra, your relationship house, please see that reading.]

The Venus-Mars Conjunctions

One of the defining features of 2015 is a series of Venus-Mars conjunctions. In most years we get one of them (sometimes there are none). In 2015 there will be three of them, due to the retrograde of Venus in Virgo and Leo from July 25 through Sept. 5. The three Venus-Mars conjunctions take place in Aries (in February), in Leo (in September) and in Virgo (in November). This tells a story about your relationships. It’s also indicative of a narrative and growth process that will unfold as you live it, though I can offer a few ideas here.

A series of Venus-Mars conjunctions can have a competitive feeling. This is why it’s necessary to emphasize understanding and communication, in language as much as possible. Intuitive understandings are OK, but this is not really the time for them. This is the time for clarity.

The first of these conjunctions happens on Feb. 22 in very early Aries — it is a personal invitation. To what exactly? I would say that it describes an opportunity to see the world (and your relationships) from the point of view of any other people involved.

Yet there’s something bigger here, which is embodying both the male principle and the female principle as aspects of your nature. Much of the game of society involves splitting the supposed interests and character traits of male and female people. Then we are taught to project ‘the other’ onto the opposite sex. Even being queer does not offer an escape, since any same-sex relationships and even transsexuality borrow memes from heterosexuality.

The absolutely original thing about you is how you embody your inner male and female modalities. How do they relate to one another? Are they in harmony? What happens when they are not? How is this reflected in your relationships? What happens when you fully own your inner ‘opposite’ and take total responsibility for it?

Venus and Mars will be dancing around within 45 degrees of one another all year, so you will have plenty of opportunities to work out inner tensions and relationship dynamics — and to put that energy to good use creatively and sexually.

Nessus, Neptune, Chiron and Borasisi in Pisces

There is a realm in your chart that cannot be easily described in words. It’s the realm of the imagination, of dreams, of fantasies and of creativity. It easily falls prey to denial. Sometimes it can be accessed by substances; more often, its presence is clouded or veiled by them. It can exist in one moment and disappear from memory in another.

In your chart, we find this house associated with the sign Pisces — the delta of the River of Night — the point of arrival of the whole zodiac. Over the past few years, planets have been collecting there. They include (in order of arrival) Borasisi, Chiron, Neptune and now, Nessus.

This grouping of planets is flooding your intuition and your creativity. It may seem to be overwhelming your dreams. You might be experiencing it as some odd internal pressure that wants to burst out. It is an ocean of creative energy that is seeking expression in your life and in your environment.

By creative energy I mean everything from imagery to ideas to a longing for spiritual connection. I think it’s essential that you identify your experiences of these transits and that you find a way to express yourself. The one thing you don’t want to do is to bottle up this energy. If you do, it will operate subversively, which will tend toward toxic and/or uncontrollable. What would be far preferable is if you bring this to the fully conscious level — then it can manifest as direct expression of your ideas and of your talents.

Perhaps the most important question about these transits for you personally is what you believe about your own creativity. What you believe will give you permission to act a certain way. If you believe that you have something interesting to offer, that is what you will do. If you ‘refuse to believe’ that or if you lose your objectivity, you’re unlikely to give yourself credit for having anything relevant to offer, and to give yourself the necessary means of expression.

If you do, you will make many wild discoveries about what is possible, and about the influence your creative abilities can have on your life and on the world around you. [Note: I describe this grouping of planets more completely in the Pisces reading.]

Saturn in Sagittarius: A Guiding Principle

With all of this vast potential, movement of energy and a touch of chaos in your life, you may discover that one of the most helpful transits of the year is the ingress of Saturn in Sagittarius. It is a stabilizing influence, which suggests that you assign some order to your belief system and that you have a concept of long-term plans or vision, whatever that means to you.

One topic we have already discussed is that of Logos. Saturn in Sagittarius is about Ethos, one of the most revered concepts from ancient Greece. Ethos is a guiding principle. To some it might manifest as morality, such as a code of conduct. To others, perhaps those more creative, it manifests as any guiding principle that you live by in a way that is absolutely sincere for you.

Ethos is the expression of an internal principle that you focus your life around. It may be difficult to put into words, though I suggest you give that a try. This is not something on the level of “the law.” Rather, think of it as the living spirit that informs the law; the intuitive awareness of what is right; the choice to live in an ethical way.

Saturn in Sagittarius is also a comment on your use of time. Both Sagittarius and the 9th house where it occupies your chart are about your long-range vision for yourself. Saturn is saying mind carefully your concepts of time. On one level you understand that things don’t need to take time; that an idea is relevant and has effects in its moment.

Saturn is saying that on the level of accomplishment, time is a structure that must be honored and lived in. We will have to deal with time no matter what — we may as well work with it in a productive way. Consider time your ally. Dare to experiment with your vision for one year, seven years, 12 years, and so on. Look back on time and evaluate how you have used it. In particular, consider things that have been long-term goals and see where you stand with them.

You now have a new opportunity to structure time in a way that serves your best interests and gives you freedom rather than constrains you.

Epilogue: Eris in Aries

As you may know, there is a very longterm visitor in your sign — Eris. Discovered 10 years ago and named in 2006, Eris is the furthest known planet from the Sun. It arrived in your sign in late 1926 and does not leave until 2047. By any standards, that is a long time for a planet to spend in one sign. If you want to see its progress, check this ephemeris tool and you can track its movement year by year.

One interesting fact is that on the day the Sun ingresses your sign, your ruling planet Mars will be exactly conjunct Eris in your sign.

Very few people alive today have any idea what it was like to live with Eris in any sign but Aries. One must be older than 88 to have Eris in Pisces. It’s a defining feature of our time in history, by which I mean the psychic, cultural and environmental forces we are reckoning with. Once it’s left Aries, it won’t be back for about another 400 years. So this transit really is about now — and about you.

It is worth making a careful study of Eris in Aries — for you especially, even if you don’t have many other planets or your ascendant in Aries. I can recommend three resources: Dancing with Discord, Calling Home the Castaway Woman, and Facets and Fragments of Self.

I have been doing my best to study the behavior of this planet since before it was even named. I can make two main observations; one is that it grants you the power to shapeshift into whatever form you want. That can be chaotic; you must pay attention to what you express about yourself, what you say and how you say it. You could put any facet of yourself forward and be absolutely convincing.

There is another quality, which is the ability to subvert. Eris has a remarkable property for being able to walk through walls, to penetrate security, to infiltrate seeming reality and to upset the social order. You already have plenty of this going on with Uranus in your sign — and notably, Uranus and Eris are in the early phases of a conjunction that will be exact in 2016-2017. That is close enough to be in full force right now, especially since this aspect (which last happened in 1927-1928) is unstudied — and needs a careful unraveling. For you, it is the news of the future; in light of that, my upcoming Aries reports this year and for the next few years will address it directly.

Simply put, you have the power to subvert the dominant paradigm, or anything else you feel like subverting. That is a lot of influence to be holding in your hands. It is the power of revolution. Hence, I suggest you recognize you have this ability, and that you choose well who and what you’re going to take on — and that you know why you’re doing so.

Remember the bits about the power of words, precision with words and the need for a guiding principle. For you, they are all that stands between chaos and creativity.

See minor planets for Aries ingress of the Sun in 2015


Aries chart.

Aries chart.

Aries sketch.

Aries sketch.

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3 Responses to That Glow is Not Your iPhone or Droid — It’s You

  1. Wauketa says:

    As always Eric, your writing and understanding are profound and transformative!

  2. Charlie says:

    As always, Eric, you have really nailed it!

  3. Kelley Rico says:

    The only thing I’d add to this brilliant synopsis of Life as an Aries, is that this year’s working title should have been: “So! You think you have your PTSD managed, do you?” Even as my creative and intuitive faculties got tuned up to a higher level that ever before, my physical body and life took hits that also had never happened before. This was one of the most difficult years ever on every level, but also in may ways the most rewarding. I’d just like to know if that light I think I see now is a train? or not, for 2016.

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