Planet Waves
Originally published: New York, Nov. 16, 2017 | Return to Main Directory of Articles
Planet Waves
"Swarm" by Charlie Lemay.
From Sexual Harassment to Sexual Revolution

Dear Friend and Reader:

When I went onto the Daily News website and saw a photo of Al Franken groping Leeann Tweeden, wearing a big grin on his face, first I felt disgusted, then I thought: the emotional plague.

That's how Wilhelm Reich (1897-1957), a forgotten pioneer of psychiatry and psychology, described someone who, when shut down in early childhood, limps through life because his or her "natural, self-regulatory life manifestations have been suppressed."

Planet Waves
"Undulating" by Charlie Lemay.
He described it as a plague. Bigger than an epidemic. Bigger than a pandemic. Out of control. Wide-scale enough to lead to the rise of fascism in the 1930s, and in the 21st century.

People who are stricken with the emotional plague move through life as zombies, out of touch with their bodies and their environment. They rarely consider their potential, much less scratch the surface.

When you look at people and wonder what the heck is wrong with them, or why they're so dense and out of it, it's probably the emotional plague. When you wonder why you cannot dial in your own passion, or wonder where your curiosity went, consider this possibility. If you are looking for meaning in your life, your work and your relationships, consider this possibility.

Every day, we hear about the sordid past of another millionaire or power monger. Former Pres. George Bush (the elder) is a serial groper. According to a police report obtained by the Daily Mail, Sylvester Stallone forced a teenager to have sex with him and his bodyguard, threatening to "beat her head in." George Takei, Mr. Sulu from the original Star Trek, was recently outed, and gave the lame excuse of his "dirty grandpa routine."

I recently placed an op-ed column in the Daily News describing a sexual assault I experienced at age 23. Until that time, I had not read about any men who had come forward saying they were sexually abused by men in employment situations, and it seemed due time that someone start that conversation.

Shut-Down Kids Are More Convenient

Much spreading of the emotional plague involves systematically shutting down the sexuality of children so they are easier to handle. Reich was clear that, at least in his time -- the early 20th century -- sexual instincts of young children are not attacked by parents for primarily moral reasons. Rather, shut-down kids are easier to operate. They are easier to subject to one's will. They ask fewer questions, they express fewer desires, and can be cowed into submission.

In 21st-century America, that remains true, as does what would appear to be the systematic sexual abuse of children. This includes people physically touching them, beating them to send a message about heterosexuality, emotionally scarring them, and denying them information about their bodies and their feelings.

Planet Waves
"Exclusion" by Charlie Lemay.
The systematic denial of sexual information, and making that mandatory by law, is a Christian program. It's not a secular program; it was pushed through the federal government by the many religious zealots who are currently in power and who have been for more than a generation.

Every revolution begins with words. The sexual revolution we need the most has less to do with sex and more to do with our ability to talk about it honestly. By "it" I mean our inner realities, what we've experienced, what we want, what we need, and what we have to heal. From there, maybe some people will answer the call, rise above their own ignorance, and serve as facilitators.

The Conversation
We Cannot Have, Yet

I've seen a few people comment that sexual assault is not really about sex. It's actually about power. I would propose that it's about both sex and power; and that an obsession with power is what happens when people have no other way to think about their sexuality.

One might become obsessed with power if they feel powerless. A profound element of the current sexual powerlessness is ignorance. Everyone is an expert at sex. Who has read a book about it?

I recognize that most of the men being accused of sexual assault are now in their 60s and 70s, seemingly the products of a different era. If that era had sexual ignorance as one of its distinctions, the United States has spent much of the past 40 years manufacturing that ignorance on an industrial scale. "Abstinence Only" indoctrination is a federally funded program based on shame, deception, silence and stupidity.

It's based on a wider cultural pattern with all the same themes; abstinence indoctrination merely consecrated it with a budget and a formal curriculum. The problem is really much, much wider, deeper and more pervasive.

And now we live in an era when porno is considered a legitimate form of sex education -- legit because it's just about the only kind there is. Any kid looking for real information about sex online is going to find 51 varieties of the PornHub version starting with the first 10 returns from Google. Books are better; they restrict the subject matter.

Abuse and Assault Are the Only Legit Discussion, So Far

We've heard many times that the victims and survivors of sexual abuse have felt the need to remain silent, or like it was impossible to speak up. It turns out, though, that the only time society has a discussion about sex is when crime, abuse or scandal are involved. It may take a while; we may not hear from everyone; but if we hear about nothing else, we hear about abuse.

That's because every other conversation is banned or reduced to a political issue. We can talk about bathroom laws, but we're not allowed to know, or to be interested in knowing, what's going on inside the mind of a trans person.

We still put pride parades on display, featuring every specimen of queerfolk, when the people who really need to come out of the closet are heterosexuals whose lives are based on lies, secrets and silence.

The queer movement is the perfect ruse for the great many heterosexuals who have not even considered the nuances of their sexual reality. Why do that, when you can just stream PornHub? Well, there are good reasons.

Planet Waves
"Wrapped" by Charlie Lemay.
The current conversation will be out of runway soon: the issues are too big to merely fit into the framework of assault, crime or scandal. We need a wider, more human context.

We need reference points for what is sane and healthy. We need real conversation about our bodies, about the emotional content (and risks) of sex, and about the spiritual content of sex; and more than anything we need a conversation about masturbation.

To do this, we will need to confront the shame that stands between where we are today and an honest conversation. Without an honest conversation about sex, there can be no discussion of consent. And if there is going to be such a discussion, I propose that women must initiate it and set the tone, as a matter of survival.

This is About Trust and Respect

Underneath all of these sexual assaults, abuses of power, various "jokes," things people didn't think were bad, or whatever was done because that's the way it was always done, are problems with trust and respect.

Anyone who respected people would not do these things, or facilitate them, or tolerate them, or pretend not to know what's happening. And those who respect themselves would not put up with it anywhere in their environment. By anywhere, I really mean it: starting with your own home; in school; in any social situation; at work; anywhere. Whatever the cause of silence, the cost of that silence has been profound. And the cost will go up if the silence continues.

As for trust: that's the main thing that's being abused in all of these circumstances. I am beginning to think there's no longer such a thing as trust. If you expect to be taken advantage of, that's not trust. If you cannot confide in anyone, that's about a lack of trust.

What we are seeing are the effects of a culture where respect and trust have been removed, yet people are expected to somehow function as members of civil society.

The Revolution We Need

We are facing many problems as a civilization and, whether directly or indirectly, as individuals. Through much of the autumn, we dealt with a series of hurricanes that are the result of global warming. Then we dealt with a series of mass murders. That gave way to our current volcanic, seemingly endless revelation of sexual crime, abuse and harassment. All of these things are related. The treatment of women is reflected in our treatment of the Earth. And as for mass killings, our war-obsessed society is now turning its sadism onto itself.

Whatever else we may need to do, no progress will be possible without learning to respect one another, and to trust one another. Before that can happen, we will need to learn how to trust and respect ourselves.

Learning to respect others is not just about respecting women, though that's a good start. Respect is meaningless if it's selective. This is about respecting all people.

It's not as hard as it seems, especially if you're motivated, and put your mind to it.

This is the sexual revolution we need -- or, at least, where it will begin.


Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Tuesday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, Planet Waves, Inc. Core Community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Client Services: Amy Elliott. Eric's Assistant: Ellen Dockery. Astrology Fact Checker: Len Wallick. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Media Consultant: Andrew Ellis Marshall McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Amy Jacobs, Cindy Ragusa and Carol van Strum.
Monthly Horoscopes and Publishing Schedule Notes

Your extended monthly horoscopes for November were published on Thursday, Oct. 26. We published your extended monthly horoscopes for October on Thursday, Sept. 21. Please note: we normally publish the extended monthly horoscope on the first Friday after the Sun has entered a new sign.
Planet Waves

Planet Waves Weekly Horoscope for Nov. 13-19, #1176 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) -- Much depends on your ability to remain calm and centered. To the extent you may fancy yourself a provocateur, dial that back, and keep your mind in observation mode. Do your best to move in a predictable rather than erratic way. Take care of yourself rather than expecting others to do so and, at the same time, offer your support where you see that it's called for, without needing to be asked. Take a benevolent view of people: see them as friends or allies until they demonstrate otherwise. Powerful forces are at work this week. Many things that seemed dormant will spring to life. Elements that seemed separate or disjointed will emerge as part of the same picture. It may not be clear where exactly you fit into the scenario that emerges, though you will benefit from studying the landscape, particularly the human aspects. This will provide information about what to do, and when to do it, assuming you need to do anything at all.
"One gift you get from Pluto in Capricorn is the ability to align your goals with the rapidly changing conditions of the world. You are in an excellent position to take advantage of the shifting, quaking and shaking state of society. This of course requires being present and not being afraid when things get really real. You can and must look for the opportunities presented by change."

-- From your 2017 annual reading by Eric Francis, The Book of Your Life -- which you can read here. Eric's beginning work on the 2018 annual edition -- you may pre-order that here.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) -- You may be the beneficiary of someone else's good fortune. If so, be a contributor rather than a consumer. Here's a metaphor that may help. Imagine that someone marries into money. It's preferable if they take a stewardship approach to that fortune rather than setting about spending it. Make decisions, even small ones, in collaboration with close partners; and use your steel-trap mind to ferret out any weaknesses in the plan. That might include factual errors, mathematical errors, misstatements, and ungrounded expectations. Persist in this longer than you'd think is necessary, at least through the entire week, until you're satisfied you've plucked out most of the relevant errors -- and if you don't find any, you're not looking carefully enough. It's true you may have made a contribution to whatever it is that develops. You are always an instrumental person. Yet be certain to make sure those who did most of the work get most of the appreciation.
"If you ever feel lost or misguided, come back to purpose, which you will know when you feel it. Experiment all you need to. The more you experiment with bringing purpose and meaning to the surface of your consciousness, and consider them carefully, the more strength you will have; the more persistence; and more motivation and energy."

-- From your 2017 annual reading by Eric Francis, The Book of Your Life -- which you can read here. Eric's beginning work on the 2018 annual edition -- you may pre-order that here.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) -- Take nothing for granted this week. Accept no statements at face value, even from people you trust. This is not about being suspicious of anyone or anything. Rather, it's about maintaining your awareness in a world where there is so much disinformation flying around, and so many agendas are at work. Remind yourself that believing is seeing (not the other way around). Then, be certain to size up what you believe, and why. One thing to be careful of is projecting your own motives, your own ideas of integrity, and your notion of being a good person, onto others. Where any form of power or influence are at stake, that's where to be especially cautious of projection and belief infiltrating your thoughts. Find out from people in authority what they specifically want, and expect of you. When communicating with colleagues or people who work for you, be clear about your expectations, and ask them what they perceive your role to be. Then, amazing things are possible.
"The dualism of Gemini is well known; you can live in a world of relative truth, which might work for you -- though consider how it works for those you influence. Pisces is the place in the zodiac where opposites are integrated and resolved, and for you this happens through your most meaningful work."

-- From your 2017 annual reading by Eric Francis, The Book of Your Life -- which you can read here. Eric's beginning work on the 2018 annual edition -- you may pre-order that here.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) -- This is a week to take careful notes. Keep records of what you say, what you do, what you commit to, and what others commit to, especially where work-related projects are involved. This may seem odd, or over-protective of yourself; though this data will come in handy, if for no other reason than to remind you what you've got going on, in a moment when you might be inclined to forget. You'll also inevitably collect some interesting ideas for what to do going forward -- ideas you might have missed entirely had you not been involved in your note-taking process. I'm an advocate for paper and pens (or pencils) rather than typing on little screens, though digital files are better than nothing at all. It's just that you'll be more creative and more inclined to remember what you're thinking if you use physical paper. Speaking of digital, be doubly cautious about hitting the "send" or "post" buttons. Stop and think once, twice and (after pausing) thrice.
"Living in peace with your desire is one commitment to make to yourself. Doing this will influence your relationships. This is to say, as you raise your energy and commit to being real with what you want, others will take notice. Ultimately the result will be living in your body rather than in your head."

-- From your 2017 annual reading by Eric Francis, The Book of Your Life -- which you can read here. Eric's beginning work on the 2018 annual edition -- you may pre-order that here.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) -- Monitor your emotional state carefully this week. Track your response to your environment, such as how you feel the moment you walk into a room. If you step into a restaurant and the air smells a bit off, that's a sign you probably should eat somewhere else. If you get a burst of inviting vibes, sit down and eat. Take that as a metaphor for life, and take charge of your environment, particularly your home: it's the perfect time to get your place ready for a season when you'll be spending more time indoors. You're also in a position to take some leadership with your household or family; astrology that will treat you kindly may be bringing on some stress for others. Pay attention to the wellbeing of close partners or your spouse; do what you can to provide some structure in areas such as food, rest and getting a little time off from work. You are respected, and you have a clue.
"If you consider yourself to be at the center of your social circle, or an integral part of your community, the changes you make in your own life constitute a form of leadership. You can count on the fact that the people who look up to you are waiting for your initiative."

-- From your 2017 annual reading by Eric Francis, The Book of Your Life -- which you can read here. Eric's beginning work on the 2018 annual edition -- you may pre-order that here.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) -- What is the bone of contention in a relationship? That's the place to focus your efforts, though not at picking said bone, but understanding there's always something deeper. Start within yourself: if you feel hurt in any way, begin by assuming the cause is not the issue you think it is. Take some ownership and, first, consider your own vulnerability, your past history, and your own legacy of relationships. Consider what female role models taught you about how to relate to others, and what is supposedly expected of you. You may find your answer right there, without needing to analyze the feelings or actions of others. That said, you are ready for a new approach to relationships; your chart describes nothing less than an evolutionary moment in your approach to love and partnership. You may feel like you're giving it all up. All you will need to let go of is what does not serve you.
"The universe is not usually embraced all at once, nor is your place in the universe. Rather, you engage with it in momentary interactions, and you make it with everything you make, everyone you speak to, everyone and everything you touch. Imagine that in each of those contacts, you weave existence, and give life to the world."

-- From your 2017 annual reading by Eric Francis, The Book of Your Life -- which you can read here. Eric's beginning work on the 2018 annual edition -- you may pre-order that here.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) -- You are in a rare and meaningful moment for understanding your relationship to money. Amidst much other activity, two most generous planets, Venus and Jupiter, align this week in Scorpio, your 2nd house. Jupiter has just arrived here to stay for a year, so this is a medium-range project now moving with full momentum. Yet a full map to the 2nd house reveals that there are four related themes which you might want to write down somewhere: one is your available cash; the second is your access to all other resources; next is your system of values and priorities; and last is your self-esteem. Study the relationship between these four cardinal points and you will start to see many places you can make progress, invest in yourself, feel better about yourself and, finally, discover resources you had no clue even existed. You have plenty -- something akin to a trust fund that nobody told you about, but which is waiting in your name, gathering interest.
"Trust yourself, and trust your body, if you embody what I call the thresholder. The thresholder is one whose role is to bring others to the edge. You can only take them to the edge; they must cross over themselves. Others can only take you to the edge; you must cross over it yourself, and see who welcomes you on the other side of the journey."

-- From your 2017 annual reading by Eric Francis, The Book of Your Life -- which you can read here. Eric's beginning work on the 2018 annual edition -- you may pre-order that here.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) -- Last month, the great planet Jupiter arrived in your sign. A miniature solar system, with 69 known natural satellites, and more solid even than Saturn, is now the dominant influence in your life. This is good news, given that Scorpio has had so little help and support during the past five years or so, and many stressful turns of astrology (and therefore, of events). Monday, Venus makes a conjunction to Jupiter. This is better than drawing the Wish Card out of the tarot; it's a sign that you're finally able to access your inner resources. There may be help coming from outside as well, though that will become more apparent when you take advantage of what you already have going. Your personal resources and sense of abundance will draw more to you. One other bit: it's crucial that you not try to impress anyone, such as the public, or mommy/daddy figures of any shade, or the perfectionists and critics. They all have their own karma. You have yours.
"Make some peace with what you really feel beneath the surface tension of appearances. The reason that staying superficial is so popular is because it negates feeling. Yet every facet of your astrology is saying that it's essential to go deep -- and that depth is an essential element in feeling good about who you are, and discovering who you are."

-- From your 2017 annual reading by Eric Francis, The Book of Your Life -- which you can read here. Eric's beginning work on the 2018 annual edition -- you may pre-order that here.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) -- The theme of denial comes up this week, which puts you on notice to notice what you might be denying. The first thing to consider is yourself. Do you owe yourself anything? A good meal, a good time, a righteous decision, or remembering an important priority you set aside? There has to be something, and it's likely that when you make your list, and put it aside for a while, you'll remember the most important item last. Meanwhile, make a policy of taking account of what you know, and what you know to be true, and making sure you actually use that information. The biggest denial factor seems to relate to your own knowledge and awareness, as if you're being hypnotized by some mysterious force in your environment. Wake up! Pay attention! Draw yourself out of any form of wishful thinking. You don't need to dream, and you don't need anesthesia. Reality is better.
"You might think of Saturn as the one missing and necessary ingredient in Sagittarius. It's not an easy mix. It is, however, a imperative one, if you want to get anything done; if you want to claim your full personhood. To live free means to take up responsibility for your destiny."

-- From your 2017 annual reading by Eric Francis, The Book of Your Life -- which you can read here. Eric's beginning work on the 2018 annual edition -- you may pre-order that here.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) -- You may find yourself in the role of disruptor of social norms. Protocol is important; so is consciously breaking protocol and shaking things up a little. You can start with the expectations of your relationships. It would be disruptive enough to get those out onto the table, and inquire whether they matter, or why; it would be downright revolutionary to figure out where they came from, and question all other seeming information or influences that came from that same source. You have had enough of being the property of others. You have had enough of playing a role in your relationships. And you've had way more than enough of having to be silent when you know the difference between right and wrong. This is not about making a list of complaints. It's about starting with the single most important issue, problem or situation, and making it right. Once you start, you won't be able to stop.
"The thing is, your future self is not as easy to perceive as your past self. Every transit I've described adds up to you developing in ways that you simply cannot predict, and which therefore amount to a daunting unknown. In order to face who you are becoming, you must face that unknown."

-- From your 2017 annual reading by Eric Francis, The Book of Your Life -- which you can read here. Eric's beginning work on the 2018 annual edition -- you may pre-order that here.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- This week has the potential to be an astounding time for you professionally. You seem to get some long-overdue recognition that you genuinely deserve. Yet you must not take anything for granted: that's the theme of the world right now. You must be the arbiter of truth in your own life and, moreover, keep a close eye on the financial compensation you receive for your work. You are likely to be undervaluing the worth of your creative products. What happens this week will give you some leverage to bootstrap your way to a better place. Bootstrapping is a concept once associated with the building of bridges: the idea goes, a bridge is easier to build if it's already there. So the first thing to do is to create a basic structure over the river so that it's easier to get the permanent structure in place. You already have that basic structure built. Get busy with the rest.
"The fantasy is simple; you're in control. The reality is more complex; feelings are involved. I recommend trying anything that you're bringing out of fantasy at least three times before you make up your mind. Gradually work your way into it. Build your courage. Find the right people and persist in your experiment. Let curiosity drive you."

-- From your 2017 annual reading by Eric Francis, The Book of Your Life -- which you can read here. Eric's beginning work on the 2018 annual edition -- you may pre-order that here.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) -- The future opens up for you in an entirely new way: a dense, dark forest reveals itself to contain a clear trail and some kind of supernatural moonlight you've never seen before. It will take courage to embark on this path, though do you really have a choice in the matter? Courage means coming from the heart. You are good at that, though you're often subtle about it. Even if you're low-key with others, be bold with yourself, and really get the feeling of what it's like to take your destiny into your hands. You can think of destiny as potential that you take up like the tools of an art, a craft or a science, and consciously put together into something that's never been done before. In a world where most people are stuck selling their time and their labor, you have a distinct advantage: your ideas are your greatest asset. That may present you with a puzzle, though you have all the clues you need.
"There really is no mission, career or vocation: there is you, becoming who you are. I feel like I keep saying this, though this notion keeps coming up in your astrology. You're not really changing; rather, your inner essence is emerging in a way that is both unstoppable and undeniable. And this you can express as mission."

-- From your 2017 annual reading by Eric Francis, The Book of Your Life -- which you can read here. Eric's beginning work on the 2018 annual edition -- you may pre-order that here.

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