Countering Rose-Colored Glasses with Good Communication

Dear Friend and Reader:

We’ve been experiencing a week of highly charged, transformational astrology. And whether you’ve been experiencing it in acutely personal, direct ways or mainly watching it play out on the nightly news in frightening and heartbreaking events, chances are you’ve noticed the universe inviting you to pay attention and investigate with your full awareness.

But first things first: take a deep, slow breath; and another one. Take one more. There. I don’t know about you, but it’s been that kind of week for me.

Photo by Amanda Painter.

Looking at the (hopefully) more manageable personal level of astrology, two main events catch my eye as we head toward the weekend. Both speak in one way or another about relationships and the act of relating.

The first is an opposition between Venus in Virgo and Neptune in Pisces, which is exact Friday but has been in effect for a while. This is just the latest in a series of oppositions to Neptune since about mid-August (Vesta, the Sun, Mercury, Mars and now Venus) that have perhaps contributed to peaks of confusion or uncertainty.

In the case of Venus-Neptune, that confusion plays out in the realm of relationships — particularly those involving ‘romantic’ love or sexual energy (or both, of course). This is the ‘beware of rose-colored glasses’ aspect. Neptune can make it incredibly difficult to see the object of your desire clearly — and that can contribute to setting expectations the other person cannot hope to fulfill (and likely are oblivious to).

The signs involved add to this effect. Pisces is already pretty dreamy, impressionistic and sexual, and having Neptune there magnifies this. Virgo tends to emphasize specificity — and the frustration that results when others can’t meet that can come out as criticism with Venus there.

So, you might want to watch your daydreams about loved ones carefully. Daydreaming and fantasizing are creatively productive at best, and at the very least, harmless fun. But in their least constructive (and potentially damaging) manifestations, we can get attached to our fantasies and forget they’re not real; we can lose sight of the fact that anyone we might be thinking about is their own autonomous being — with their own perspective, agenda, needs, and so on. This goes equally for established partners, someone you’ve just met, or anyone else you have some kind of bond with.

Venus being in the service-oriented sign Virgo brings this need for awareness and careful self-assessment to any situation in which you see yourself as the generous, giving, helpful one. Are you really being unselfish, or is it a passive way of getting what you want? Are you semi-consciously setting up a situation where someone might ‘owe’ you, and in which you might be especially unforgiving if gratitude is not expressed the way you expect?

A very foggy Jordan Pond in Acadia National Park in September 2013. Photo by Amanda Painter.

That said, if you are truly concerned about someone’s wellbeing, you may find that your compassion leads to some genuinely beautiful generosity. The difference might be said to be one of serving love itself (in its universal, higher form: agape) rather than serving your personal desire.

Taking another tack, beautiful romantic experiences are definitely possible when Venus opposes Neptune. As astrologer Robert Hand describes, however, the key is to enjoy it for what it is, no matter how fleeting — rather than expecting or demanding it to ‘last’. Sometimes really good things come in small (or short-lived) packages.

In any case, Mercury looks like it is playing a supporting role. Also on Friday, about 31 minutes after the Venus-Neptune opposition is exact, Mercury enters Libra at 8:42 pm EDT.

This is Mercury entering Aries Point territory (the first degrees of the cardinal signs: Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn). This degree of Libra taps into the nexus where personal and political intersect. Ideally, this could help us collectively to orient on the specific ways we can take some initiative in the many global and local community needs that are flooding our awareness now.

True, Mercury in Libra can indicate some inner indecisiveness and aesthetic perfectionism. But Mercury in ‘the relationship sign’ values good communication in relationships very highly. ‘Good communication’ here meaning, honest, balanced and in harmony — and with a keen interest in human psychology.

So it would seem that one way to let Mercury help you navigate Venus-Neptune would be to remember to get out of your head and speak: let expectations and the reasons behind them be known, rather than leaving the other person to intuit them. Be as honest with yourself as possible when you hear your words: do they ring true? Do you find yourself cringing a little? Are you actually speaking to the heart of the matter?

Most of all, remember to listen. Listen to the words that are said by others, and then listen for what goes unsaid. Match what they say with their actions, to avoid the trap of letting your fantasies fill in the blanks with wishful thinking. And if you’re twisted up in doubt, see if you can wait a few days for Venus to move away from Neptune. As the fog clears, the contours of your relationships should come into better contrast.

Yours & truly,

Exuberant Astrology, With a Note of Caution 

Dear Friend and Reader:

This week offers yet another interesting and complex round of astrology, all on the heels of the Libra equinox. Here in the Northern Hemisphere, the scales of that sign have tipped in the direction of night being longer than day. This also begins a new season, with the attendant surge of power coming from the Earth, in all hemispheres.

The new Libra Sun is distinguished this year by a long conjunction to Vesta, the brightest asteroid. The Sun has been gradually aligning with Vesta, which will be exact at 10:17 am on Wednesday, Sept. 27.

Music students from the Albany School of Rock came out on stage wearing execution hoods and prison jumpers during the Roger Waters concert last night. This was during the song “Another Brick in the Wall Part Three” (we don’t need no education, we don’t need no thought control: that one). They removed the outfits to reveal black shirts that said RESIST. Photo by Eric.

Libra is generally held to be the sign of relationships, of “you and me.” The presence of the mighty Vesta in this scene is holding open the space for the kinds of relationships that are usually considered taboo, inappropriate or the result of seeming failure.

Vesta is the sigil of spiritual growth dictating the form of relationship rather than life revolving around devotion to the concept of a partner.

(Autocorrect substituted the word “parent” for my original mistyping of “partner,” which is accurate: partnerships that are based on parental relationships.)

In any event, Vesta holds space; whether we’re talking about the hearth, which is a tribute to her, or the presence of the Vestal priestesses at all Roman government functions in the days of the empire. There was some understanding in that time that the ever-devoted Vestals provided protection for the empire, and that it would be vulnerable should their order of priestesses ever end; that turned out to be true (another story).

Apart from the Sun-Vesta conjunction, there are three outstanding aspects this week, one of which is happening as I write: the opposition of Mars and Neptune (from Virgo to Pisces), which was exact at 3:49 pm EDT today, Sunday.

Then there’s Mercury opposite Chiron, exact at 6:12 pm EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 27. This is part of a T-square, or compound square, involving Mercury, Chiron (a centaur planet) and Pholus (another centaur planet).

Jupiter, as seen by the Cassini spacecraft. Image by NASA.

Then there’s Jupiter opposite Uranus, which happens about once every 14 years, and is exact at 12:25 am EDT on Thursday, Sept. 28.

This is all high-energy, exuberant astrology, particularly the rare, high-vibration opposition of Jupiter and Uranus. Imagine the Earth floating at the center of two of the largest planets, one representing knowledge and wisdom and the other representing revolution, invention and liberation. This is a breakthrough of some kind, a turning point in history.

We’re seeing this in the news right now, at this moment, with Pres. Trump taking on the NFL, all of its players and all of its fans, calling for players to be fired if they protest against the murder of their brothers and sisters by the police. There will be more fireworks to come. Nothing says “coming to a head” quite like Jupiter opposite Uranus, and this aspect can bring out the very best in both of these planets. (Jupiter usually needs something to kick its ass, and the green fire of Uranus is great at it.)

As for the Mercury setup with two centaur planets: this personalizes matters. Mercury is close to home, and represents the accessible mind rather than some abstract concept. You might think of Mercury as the on-air monitor of awareness or, in the words of the Gita, “The mind of the senses, the consciousness of creatures.”

When you add not just one but two primary centaur planets to Mercury, in the fashion of bold, thundering square aspects (tapping into the Galactic Center), we have a moment when minds may actually change, or wake up and become aware.

Uranus as seen from the Voyager 2 robotic spacecraft in 1986.

To paraphrase Roger Waters of Pink Floyd: he said that there’s something beautiful and vibrant in the human spirit, and it just needs to be brought to the surface. It’s there, but it’s hidden.

The potential pitfall of Mercury mixing it up with centaurs is having your mind injured in some way, such as by getting into a fight that you cannot win, or making a judgement about yourself that sticks because the astrology is so strong. And other astrology could feed this. Look, as well, for the painful encounter that provides the wakeup call: the bit of information you need to make a decision, take action or get your act together.

Now, as for the note of caution. Mars opposite Neptune is exact today, though it’s in effect all week and has been for some days. Neptune, in my experience, has the widest orb of influence of all of the planets. This can be reckless, and is prone to errors and self-destructive behavior.

Be especially cautious where any mind-altering substance is concerned; anything that can skew your judgment or make you more energetically vulnerable. Let’s put it this way. Under the current astrology, you need every last modicum of awareness that you can access, and as few compromises as possible. Check yourself and your judgements a few times; interpose a delay when you feel any doubt or uncertainty in your position before taking action. Please, watch out for wet floors, and people roaming around in a trance. Then feel free to drink in the inspiration.

And there you have it. I’m planning to be back with you for Tuesday’s Planet Waves FM.

Till then, with love,

Students of the Albany School of Rock, with Roger Waters and either Jess Wolfe or Holly Laessig of indie quartet Lucius. Laessig and Wolfe are harmony vocalists for this tour. Photo by Eric Francis.

Planet Waves Weekly Horoscope for Sept. 24-30, #1169 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Pay attention to who you meet this week, and don’t be intimidated by the great and the mighty. There’s an alchemy to your relationships at the moment, something that’s been gradually coming into alignment for a long time, and it describes encounters with unusual creative potential that might seem to manifest spontaneously. This is where being in the moment and setting aside any form of being star-struck come in. Recognize that every human being on the planet is, in a sense, your peer. However, it will help if you proceed with genuine respect, being honored to meet everyone you meet, whomever they may be: the powerful, the seemingly meek, the young, the old. Know as well that your presence has an influence on the world around you, even if you never see the results. You bring something distinct to every encounter, including the ability to actually present yourself as who you are. That will work brilliantly, as long as you bring all of your listening skills to every meeting.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — The creative process is said to be more about perspiration than it is about inspiration. You start with an idea, and you work on it till you have a clue whether it does what you want it to do. Yet there are also moments of intervention: for example, an experience of contact with a teacher or mentor; a collision with a member of your audience who says something (whether positive or negative) that gets you thinking in a new way; or some discovery that you might make. This week is rich with such teaching moments. It may also be rich in people with whom you connect and cultivate relationships that last many years.
Here’s the one thing to be cautious of: don’t be repelled by the seemingly weird, eccentric or non-ordinary people you may meet. Talent, success and brilliance often come in forms you’re not expecting or have never heard of. People who have indeed made their way in the world have almost always done so by emphasizing aspects of their character that others may feel are off-putting. For maximum benefit, set your judgements aside.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Remember that you’re no longer a child in a world of almighty adults. You are a capable, intelligent and resourceful person who is not, in truth, at anyone’s mercy. Yet you may feel like that from time to time this week, and it’s essential that you pause, catch up with yourself, and respond to others with your full mind. You may have moments when you misjudge your own intelligence as being less than what you really possess. You can sidestep that by not making any judgements at all; stay in the moment, listen to your senses, and ask any questions that you may need to. If you think of life as a process of exploration rather than as a planned trip to a specific destination, you’ll have a lot more fun. You’ll be able to indulge the creative freedom that is your birthright. Do what you can to guide all relationships with collaborators or potential collaborators in any form into the most daring and adventurous territory you can. The chances are, they’ll welcome the opportunity.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — The theme of writing has come up repeatedly in my readings for your sign, and we’re now at a peak of that energy. However you can do it, take time to yourself regularly, and sit with your notebook or a computer, preferably with your email and browser turned off. There are thoughts in your mind that you must get into language. This week, with an astounding three different opposition aspects happening (Mars opposite Neptune, Mercury opposite Chiron and Jupiter opposite Uranus), you have the perfect conditions for provoking your mind to action. The thing you may need to avoid are relationship dramas; remember that these are strictly optional. This will be good practice turning down the volume on the usual chatter that clutters up your creative bandwidth. It may help if you focus on a single project, develop that one idea, and drive it to completion, whether it involves the written word or some other form of personal expression.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Minor planet Ceres has entered your birth sign, which describes you taking a step up in the world. While Ceres (of ancient Roman fame) is usually considered in the context of food, she’s also associated with rising to a different social class. Don’t be in a rush to do this, however. Rather, notice the ways it’s already happened. When one transcends a limit of some kind, there’s not usually a pyrotechnics show. Rather, doors unlock and spaces open to which you did not previously have access. So, therefore, give them a try; reach out to people you’ve wanted to connect with; and do what you want until someone tries to tell you that you can’t. Your solar chart is set up such that accessing one place or group of people will open doors to the next and the next. You don’t need every opportunity, though. You only need the ones that you want the most, so it will help if you have an idea what your agenda is.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You’re rapidly approaching a series of transition points in your most important relationships, both personal and professional. You need to keep your wits about you, because Mars in your sign is now opposite Neptune. That’s suggesting you honor boundaries and limits, and remain sober (literally, avoid alcohol or mind-changing substances) when you expect to be in a serious conversation of any kind. You have a habit of underestimating your intelligence, then overcompensating later. You can avoid this by listening carefully and observing what’s happening in your environment at all times. Use the full faculties of your mind, and remember all that you’ve learned so recently, and much other knowledge that you’ve worked so hard to attain. One last: Try to set aside any tendency you might have to be passive, and take the initiative of getting the conversation going. Ask a question, express an opinion, introduce yourself. Say the one thing everyone else is afraid to utter.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — The astrology this week is so interesting, with so many things happening, that it’s difficult to describe or even suss out. Yet the Sun newly placed in your sign is conjunct a meaningful asteroid called Vesta. That gives you clear direction: hold the space around you open, and observe what happens. You don’t have to do much, or say much, or be anyone other than who you are. Your mere presence in any environment has an influence, and is a privilege that presents you with specific opportunities you would not have somewhere else. That’s a cue to take advantage of any and every place and time in which you find yourself, and to work quietly with the assumption that you belong everywhere that you happen to be. You don’t need to worry about final outcomes. At the moment the astrology is like a six-way cloverleaf with traffic moving in every direction. You can take the ride and see where you end up in a few days from now.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Never judge your own performance. Any musician will tell you there are nights when you feel like you just cannot play, and you crushed it. There are other nights when you feel like a master of the world, and didn’t really pull it off. And all of these experiences are added to your repertoire and contribute to your skill. All you can really do this week is the best work you can, without any need to evaluate it. The one thing you can focus, though, is your sincerity. That’s your most important boundary in an environment where everything is in rapid motion, where opinions are flying, and where there’s no actual way to control the outcome. Your sincerity will guide you, and it will be a cue to others that you’re on the level. Correct any mistakes you might make. Quickly make amends if you hurt anyone. And plunge into life, with whatever creative tools you might use, and express yourself boldly.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — This week, Jupiter in Libra and Uranus in Aries align in a rare opposition aspect. For a Sagittarian, this is pure inspiration, as if you could compose a symphony based on the clattering of pipes or write a brilliant drama from a few moments of dialog you overheard on the subway. There’s so much action in the sky this week that to tap in anywhere will be like trying to capture a waterfall with a spoon, though you have a distinct advantage: Sagittarius, ruled by Jupiter — the star of the show — is a large sign, associated with the very largest planet. You contain a cosmos of your own. If anyone can handle this energy, and make the most of it, it’s you. Yet you need to focus your awareness and be attentive. There are many factors in the environment that insist on both mindfulness and a spirit of participation, rather than merely observing. Of course, it will be interesting to watch, and there will be plenty to stoke your sense of humor. Much more is available.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — We’re just on the heels of the Libra equinox, and the Sun has entered the angle of your chart associated with accountability, authority and public recognition. It’s also conjunct Vesta, one of the great goddesses of Roman times, associated with the stability of the established order. It’s as if you’re standing guard over something of vital importance, holding space for the right thing to happen. While you’re doing this, there’s every kind of movement, madness and a kaleidoscopic dance of the energies. Yet everything is involved with everything else. All the seemingly different bits are part of the same grand pattern. You don’t need to control any outcomes. Rather, be willing to take responsibility for your own destiny and your own choices. Practice the art of respect, and of self-respect, and allow yourself to become part of anything you want, or anything that seems available. Even things that seem out of reach, though, are only a wormhole away.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — The one thing that could block your experience of this week’s rare and brilliant astrology is a too-serious attitude. Therefore, hang loose, and keep your sense of humor. Let go of some of your formality and adherence to protocol. You have plenty to spare, and can do with far less. Let yourself approach the world more like a child than an adult, which means allowing yourself to be impressed and amazed by things without analyzing or categorizing them. This will free your mind and open your heart to the magic that’s in the air. You may also notice the extent to which you judge yourself, and get a glimpse of how good your life can be when you suspend that habit. You don’t need to explain everything. You don’t even need to understand everything. Most of the very best things in life defy both explanation and understanding, and don’t need a theory to back them up.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Despite the prevailing madness of the world, you may find that people’s idealism is running at an all-time peak this week. And not only that, you’ll be able to make contact with it in meaningful ways. So stay positive, and resolve to have fun doing what you do, being who you are, taking the opportunities that arise. There’s a special theme in your charts related to money. You’re a person with great ideas, and others have resources. This week represents many potential connection points between you and them. Now is the time to focus your business plan, even if in short form, and talk to potential investors, donors, contributors or collaborators. If you’re looking for the perfect timing of a fundraising letter of some sort, this is it. If you’re seeking help organizing your finances, now is the time. There’s a spirit of generosity in the air, and a rare moment when people may feel that the truth has the possibility of prevailing over deception. Be bold, be open, and be sincere.

Planet Waves Daily Horoscope for Friday, Sept. 29, 2017 | By Eric Francis Coppolino

BIRTHDAY — There are times when you must create the space for the right thing to happen, for you or for someone else. Before taking any specific action, be aware of what you know the right thing to be; then vigilantly stand guard, sidestepping your emotional responses and reactions as much as possible. Make the space for reality to enter, and it will. You share a birthday with Miguel de Cervantes, Stanley Kramer, and Zachary Levi.

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Take care not to clash with people in authority today, and to use your own power wisely. The chances are that a radical approach is uncalled for. You need to take a more conventional approach that allows in the good ideas of others. That may seem radical to some, but so is actually thinking.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Your spiritual path can bring you closer to others, and it can compel you to look within. That can be lonely, which is the main reason it’s not practiced more often. You may have little in common with certain people around you, and accepting that can become a source of inner strength.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Perhaps the most successful approach to healing developed by humanity is to turn your challenges into art. Anything that’s constructive, positive or that gives you an opportunity to process your feelings will be helpful. In the end, everything must serve your growth process, and teach you about life.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You seem to be involved in a partnership situation that’s either testing your patience or pushing you to be a more understanding person. However, it’s essential to recognize that every person on the planet has their own history, their own needs and their own karma. There’s only so much you can do.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Take the time to make sure that a close partner feels like you’ve done right by them. Ask them directly if they feel complete with recent interactions, and whether there’s anything else you can do. You might also make a sincere request to keep the energy and attention flowing in both directions.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Mercury, your ruling planet, is about to change signs; and during this brief transition you can exceed some personal limit, or try something you’ve never experienced before. Of course this is always true; though there are some days when it’s a little easier, and this happens to be one.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Be patient if you’re anticipating a message or a decision of some kind. There are many factors involved, and patience is the most annoying virtue. However, it helps to cultivate it, as long as you keep busy and involved with your own ideas and creative tasks. Never waste your time just waiting.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Pay attention to any ‘precognitive’ thoughts you might have. Here’s a clue: visions of the future are unlikely to be frightening. They might be a little daunting, but they won’t have any tinge of paranoia. You do indeed have ideas about what you want to become. Notice them, and focus on them.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — The act of service provides additional opportunities to serve. What you’re doing is of genuine significance, and it also represents a creative breakthrough. Keep the positive energy flowing. Work with your usual selfless devotion, and don’t worry who notices. Many are paying attention.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — If you feel like there’s some conflict between what you do for yourself and what you do for others, pause and reflect on why that is. It’s likely about the level of your thinking. Get yourself to a place where you see choices that work well for everyone. That place and those choices exist.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Monitor your thoughts carefully, and if you’re feeling any form of distress or upset at all, go to a higher level. Focus inwardly and ask for help. Your mind is connected to what can only be described as a spiritual source — something beyond what you normally think of as yourself.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — If you have some kind of fundraising project you need to do, this is the moment. Whether for business, for charity or for some other purpose, now is the time to communicate with the world around you, and ask for what you need. Be sincere, direct and clearly state your appreciation.

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