Disentangling the Aquarius Sky

Dear Friend and Reader:

WITH THE AQUARIUS eclipse of the Sun behind us, a lot of tension has let itself go, though it may take some time to catch up with us emotionally. Eclipses build for months, and help us create patterns that last for months. Luna is still in its earliest new phase right now, so we have time to establish those movements in the coming days. For the next two weeks we are building toward an eclipse of the Moon, in Virgo, which is another crest of energy and occurs after the Sun has changed signs to Pisces. This whole sequence of events is chronicled in an earlier edition of Planet Waves.

Last night’s eclipse came at the peak of the current Aquarius Mercury retrograde, with Mercury in an exact conjunction to the Sun for the lunation. This combination has put many people through the wringer, though for others it’s been a creative time of stretching into new ideas and breaking free of the past. Mercury in Aquarius is the intersection where the mind meets the technological sphere of reality, but also where the individual meets group awareness. The theme, as I’ve been calling it, is how we interact with the social circles, organizations and communities that surround us on the level of ideas. Are we conscious? Can we see and feel the pressure others exert on us, and can we feel the push to break free?

All of the astrological signs are important, but one such as Aquarius that addresses collective reality has a distinctive role. We forget that the place that we all meet is, most often, the mental level. Even if we’re not talking to one another, we’re perceiving one another; interacting on the level of expectations, judgments and prejudices; we communicate psychically; and we’re in constant reassessment of what is appropriate and what is not. It can be a lot of work; most people, wracked by insecurity, never stop thinking about how they are perceived or what is expected of them.

As I write this on a Thursday afternoon, with Mercury retrograding in an exact conjunction with Chiron, we may be touching this issue on a radical level. We are privately experimenting with some extreme of self-acceptance and in the process taking steps toward disregarding the intense burden of the expectations we think others put on us. There’s also a story here about letting go of fixed mental patterns, those things that trap us into thinking we’re supposed to be the same person with the same goals and plans every single day.

And of course, there is always the possibility of a shadow expression of this: deep, abiding self-judgment. The only way out of that one is through, though I recognize it may seem like a never-ending and entirely pointless journey. “Through” means awareness; Mercury retrograde + Chiron adds up to nothing, if not inner awareness.

After building to a somewhat insane peak for the past couple of months and then in particular the past 72 hours, the sky works itself out pretty rapidly during the next two weeks. Though there is one last major burst of energy in this process — the Virgo Full Moon / total lunar eclipse. (Remember that Mars has recently stationed direct in Gemini after a long retrograde, and is now very gradually moving forward. It is approaching a third opposition [for this cycle] to the Galactic Core, and is building toward an opposition to Pluto; more on that closer to the time of the Mars-Pluto opposition.)

Overnight Wednesday to Thursday was the New Moon, and that’s the cue to look two weeks ahead to the Full Moon. Mercury will continue to retrograde as the lunar eclipse and Full Moon builds. This is part of a rapid sequence of events that can cause the kind of shuffle we’ve been through this week, only in reverse: unfolding the energy. On Feb. 17, Venus enters Aquarius, creating a friendlier atmosphere in all the places we’ve been doing so much questioning. On Feb. 19, Mercury stations direct. Several hours later on the 19th, the Sun enters Pisces and makes an exact conjunction to Vesta. Then on Feb. 20, we have a total eclipse of the Moon, conjunct Saturn, in Virgo.

There is still considerable energy in Aquarius (and in Capricorn) for that event, but we almost always feel better when the planetary set up grants us some space to take everything we’ve been thinking about to the emotional level, and finally feel it through. With an extraordinary amount of energy being pumped through all things Aquarius at this time in history — from cellular phone networks to MySpace to the Internet itself — we are having our ability to feel filtered out. Many other factors are contributing, from stress to pharmaceuticals to pollution (all related). We must monitor the extent to which our subtle bodies are being invested into the digital sphere, and make sure we claim back some of that energy as conscious feeling, desire, need and emotional gratification. Find the people who are willing to help you have that — they exist, and are waiting for you.

Eric Francis




Weekly Horoscope for Friday, February 8, 2008, #700 – By ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Pay careful attention to who you meet. In this world it’s way too easy to let people pass you by, to ignore them, to be intimidated and then pretend you don’t care. The off-hand chances possess the most potential, especially unplanned encounters and coming into contact with certain people who may bristle you the wrong way at first. Don’t worry about it; anyway, you’re not really in a position to decide someone else is immature or pushy. There’s a lot going on behind what you perceive as the opinions of others — take the time to find out what is informing and motivating them. Take the time to get their phone number. When the time comes to pick up the phone and make the call, remember you were cautioned; now you might need to once again pluck up the courage to actually call.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Many of the most meaningful career developments occur unexpectedly, though they tend to occur when you are not necessarily feeling prepared or up to the occasion. This may not count for good news, only because you’re likely to be feeling at your least worthwhile or maybe just at a point of maximum confusion about your mission in life. The truth is, you do know what you want, but you’re in one of those long processes of working out an agreement with yourself on the subject. You can cut the conversation short and acknowledge that you are already doing what you need to be doing. Once you get there, the only missing ingredient is the mindfulness necessary to embrace fulfillment as a fact of your life, despite many other seeming uncertainties.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Remember, remember, ideas rule the human environment we have created. You are the master of your ideas, and of what you accept into your mind. Remember that too. This thing called nature also profoundly affects our world, but the two are not separate. Our minds are products of nature, as is everything we create with our minds, and what happens in the wake of our thoughts and choices. Being a “creative person” means embracing all the effects of what you create, and tuning your mind to spread out in time and over distance to witness some of those effects. As a certain improbable opportunity opens up for you, ask yourself sincerely why you might resist it. Do you not believe it’s possible? Do you not think you deserve it? Or do you not quite recognize what it’s about? Focus your vision, and bounce the data off of a mirror if necessary to reverse the image.

 (June 21-July 22)
Nothing, and nobody, is so powerful you cannot engage them in conversation, and negotiate the terms of your shared reality. You are not bound by any prior agreements; they are all suspended now. You are, rather, in the perfect place to establish new agreements to live by, which you can finally base on what you need and what you have to offer. If you allow every choice you make to be consciously voluntary, you will establish the pattern of choosing what you want on that basis alone. If you are confused, consider this. All agreements need to be easy to understand, with clear and simple terms. Moreover, they need to be based on what is so, rather than what may or may not come. Yet the whole game is based on taking the extraordinary step (for this world) of entering situations that benefit everyone involved. Once you take that step, you will not want to go back.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Space is opening up in a relationship. How this is happening may not add up or make sense, and you may not recognize the transition for what it is. Part of this involves the quality of communication. You have the opportunity to hear a version of a person’s feelings, perspective or needs that is otherwise inaccessible. Or, it may be you who is open in a way you never have been before — it is difficult to tell, but the alignment is there. If you listen, someone will tell you exactly what you need to do in order to reach them; they will reveal the thing about them that’s the most troubling or difficult, with you as their witness. When you hear, you’ll hear something about yourself. In the rare way that the planets in their courses align a particular way for the only time in history, this is a conversation that could have never happened before, and can never happen quite this way again.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
I suggest you expand your concept of healing. Healing is adjusting your perception of yourself so that you experience yourself as right in the world. In many ways you are burdened by what you fear that others perceive in you. You may fear their judgments, their standards, or the perfection they impose on you; all of which translates to fear of their rejection. Unfortunately this can remain a potential experience no matter how beautiful or worthy you may, at other times, know you are. But the judgement of others is nothing compared to the ways you have disowned yourself in the past. You can no longer approach these issues sideways, if you want to make progress in your life — and right now there is a lot of progress to be made. You’ve waited sufficiently long, you’ve prepared carefully enough, you’ve grown to the point where you are ready. All you need to do now is let go.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
Expressing yourself in the world is a risk, it is a dare, and ultimately it is a decision. Though your choice may benefit others, you tend to limit your ability to take such chances because you don’t necessarily think it’s what the world needs. You don’t see what benefits others outside of yourself. I’m not here to sell you on that benefit, or to tell you it doesn’t count right now. I will say that when any one person breaks free of some restrictive pattern and actually dares to exist, everyone around them is set free. But that’s not why you need to declare your right to exist: you need to do it for yourself, because that is why you came to this Earth.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
You are figuring out that it’s not your sense of acceptance by others that makes you feel safe. Rather, it is your ability to accept yourself despite what they may think. One important source of your sense of grounding and belonging on the planet involves your honest awareness of being involved in an emotional healing process. You’re not afraid to admit this, to yourself or to others — though few others seem to understand. Most people in this world view having been hurt, or having experienced a loss of trust, as solely a defeat or a debility (and this is why so much injury goes unattended). You’ve come to experience it as an ally, a teacher, and as a source of strength. Nobody else needs to understand, though a select few people do — and these few, who support your self-acceptance above all else, are your true friends.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
I sense that, going precisely against the grain of your Sagittarian nature, you are caught in some kind of inner struggle that you can’t break free of. On one side of this, you’re feeling like the most secure, stable and resourceful person in the world. On the other, you are pierced by doubts and are racking your mind for a rational explanation of their existence. Rather than fight, it would make more sense to admit that you’re struggling with an idea about yourself. That idea, though it may seem confusing or even harsh, contains the seed of your freedom. For one thing, you’re being called deeper into yourself. Deeper is the way to go, and the way you know you’re getting there is you experience the unknown in a direct way. Read your thoughts and emotions carefully over the next few days. Let fear remind you that you’re in new territory. Let excitement remind you of what is possible. State out loud that you wish to be in harmony with yourself, and feel the pressure ease off.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Let the water soak your earth and let sun rain down on your snow-capped summits. Let the season change, and feel the strength and excellence of who you are at the peak of your existence. I won’t say life doesn’t get better than this — it can always get better, just like it can always be worse. But for all practical purposes, this is the moment you have been waiting for. What are you going to do with it? Perhaps the better question is, how are you going to co-exist with your doubts? On our particular planet, where so much is fragile and faith can become thin, there will always be room for doubt. I suggest that you engage in a conscious relationship with those feelings of uncertainty, and do what you do best: let them be fuel for your clever, industrious and most of all loving approach to existence. You can afford to: you have the one thing that most people lack; specifically, you believe in yourself.

 (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Are you really free? Is anyone? It would seem that freedom is mainly an idea; and for some it is an approach to life. It’s certainly not an external fact that someone else imposes on us; in such cases, we are dealing with a false promise or more likely, a sales pitch. In its never-ending folly, the world has something backwards. First, one dares to exist; then one sees what happens as a result of having done so. Most of the time, we attempt to do it the other way around — we strive to get consent, to seek approval, to make a wish. For many it seems arrogant to assert their individual reality, but this sense of arrogance is a cover-up mainly for a lack of self-esteem. Truly arrogant people don’t normally feel that way; most of the time, they feel good, powerful, influential, passionate — whatever. While anyone who is supposedly spiritually evolved may disdain arrogance, you in particular have something vital to learn from those who dare to challenge the world.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Your ruling planet Neptune has been transiting your 12th solar house, Aquarius, for a decade. Neptune is difficult to discern in any event; the 12th is nearly impossible to perceive through normal consciousness. This transit has therefore served to veil some of your highest goals, your greatest achievements and your deepest needs. But now many other planets and a solar eclipse in this angle of your chart are calling your attention to something about you right now. This something may seem unusual, difficult to grasp or not entirely appropriate. At the same time, what’s being revealed is a quality that is inherently you, in the best sense. You cannot go against your true nature, but you cannot affirm or act on your true nature if you don’t know what it is. The ideas you have now, the choices you make and the dreams you dream are revealing precisely that. This moment is not a passing phase, but a threshold to another reality.


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