Eros: A Planet Frontier

Eros: A Planet Waves Frontier

OUR NEW Eros area is very nearly ready to go. This new area is available to everyone who has upgraded to Gold Membership, or is a new subscriber with Gold Membership. Note, we’re working with a specialist in electional astrology to select the startup time, which will be in the next week or so. Forgive me for seeming flaky but I’ve had to change the date a few times to address the particulars of our currently tangled sky (please see article below — Under A Tangled Sky). Doing electional astrology — that is, picking the right time to do something — is always a challenge, but it’s particularly challenging now. In any event, we are working along, and here’s a new description of what we’ve got for you.

Live community interaction. We now cross the imaginary line into interactive experience (Mercury in Cancer), including a live chat area called Le Chat that I’ll host at least twice a month, and visit regularly. This gives us our first opportunity to interact in realtime, as well as a live community forum. I am truly and really and deeply looking forward to encountering the people I’ve been writing for all these years and I am sure that more than a few of you would like to meet one another. While it’s called Le Chat, I want to keep the vibe anything but “chatroom” in the AOL sense of the word — so every participant will serve as a moderator who will keep the discussion focused on the current astrology, personal growth, human experience, news items. Relevant, worth your time showing up.

An oracle and horoscope research tool. Next is a horoscope database, which allows you to both research past interpretations from a database of 6,000 sign entries (updated ongoing), as well access a divination oracle to get a response to a specific question or issue (in the form of a randomly selected horoscope entry from the past seven years). I’ve had some results from the oracle that gave me a bug-eyed moment of looking at the screen. It’s taken us 18 months to research and compile the horoscopes, as well as to program the database (which happened in two distinct programming steps, one to compile the interpretations and another to present them to you). Then we worked for some weeks on the presentation (a basic graphic user interface).

Sound Waves: Audio. Sound Waves is our second ever experiment into Internet audio (the first, an audio section on aquasphere, was in 2004, so this is a first for recent history), which will have short clips of both astrology and other kinds of programming. Currently there are two bits I’m working on: spot interviews wherever I happen to be in the world, and me riffing on the astrology of the moment. The Sound Waves area, in particular, is about getting our toes in the water of Internet radio. As we learn the craft and develop our audience, we’ll move in the direction of podcasting. Your investment in the Gold Membership will help fund this effort.

New photography. Our area called Eros that develops some of the themes I’ve introduced since beginning the Book of Blue photo project last year. (Like the god Eros himself, his name is used twice, once to describe the whole project, and once to describe the photography area, which will also include writing about the photos when my travel schedule settles down.) I don’t know if what I’m doing with my pictures is actually unique — it’s a big world — but I haven’t seen anything like it. The theme of Book of Blue is: how do women see themselves? We’re beginning with three galleries of models aged 22 to 46, and will be adding two per month for a while. Fairly soon the project will expand to men, as the right models present themselves.

And why are we doing all of this?

Pretty much because it’s time. It started as an incentive for people to make an extra financial contribution to Planet Waves (called supporters and sustainers). And we’ve designed the Eros area to be a real win-win in this way: it’s a lot of fun and economical for you, helpful to us and nourishing for everyone. Yet as I sit here and write this letter, it occurs to me that we’ve needed to move into these areas for a long time, and this became the opportunity. Yet the fundraising incentive is indeed meaningful. We are not big marketers at Planet Waves. As I’ve said many times, I would prefer to give everything away to everyone — but Planet Waves does take resources to run. About 40 paid staff and volunteers work on the project — amazing, but then, you would be surprised how many details have to be covered and how much time it takes to do so.

For the past few years we’ve been obsessively adding services to Planet Waves without charging an extra fee. The weekly, that is Planet Waves Weekly, to which you subscribe, is easily three times the service it was when we began a few years ago, for about the same price (we started at $49.95 a year and we’re now $54.95).

During this time, we’ve added many new areas to the main Website: the amazing newswire; two excellent news blogs, Political Waves and Psychsound; the monthly almanac; my front-page blog and the cover photo galleries; the daily cover photo itself; many articles by other writers; and lots more. There is also  the question-by-question Astrology Secrets Revealed archive, and that whole project itself — the best astrology tutorial I’ve ever seen; search functions for the subscriber area and ASR; the world clock; and so on. There is so much, I am sure that most people have not tried most of it. Every year we come out with an ever-better annual edition (aquasphere, Bridge to the Core, Parallel Worlds) which is included for subscribers at no additional cost.

That is a lot. Our marketing consultants tell us we’re spoiling our readers and subscribers, teaching them to expect too much. Perhaps. If that is indeed that case, the choice to introduce a new community area at a reasonable upgrade fee is a healthy move for us, gives us some fun creative spaces to work, play and get to know one another in — at the same time provide a source of information and nourishment.

So now is your big chance to get involved, to experience Planet Waves a whole new way. There is an easy upgrade path for current subscribers ($49), and new subscribers can sign up for $99 including a full year subscription to Planet Waves Weekly. Both are available from this link. Current subscribers may choose the upgrade option; new subscribers may choose the Gold Membership option.

Both are at this link:

Under a Tangled Sky

WE ARE now under the full influence of a fixed grand cross. Or perhaps better to say, yet another fixed grand cross. This is another way of saying that there are planets in aspect from Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. Indeed, there are many of them, and there are about to be a lot more.

The setup is that two slow-movers — Jupiter and Saturn — are making a long square from Leo to Scorpio. At the same time, there are two slow-movers — Chiron and Neptune — in Aquarius. So, basically, that’s what’s called a t-square. A t-square is three-fourths of a grand square or grand cross, and that means that the Taurus end is basically sitting there waiting for something to come along and complete the grand square (also called a grand cross).

It’s easier to see as a chart. You just need to be able to find Venus (blue, ladies room symbol) and then follow the squares around to Chiron (little red key), Jupiter (orange number 4), and Saturn (yellow lowercase H). That’s one of the grand crosses’ there are actually two, if you consider the lunar nodes.

The Earth is in the middle of it all, though it’s not depicted. Have a look, if nothing else, you can see that, quite frankly, there are a bloody impressive lot squares. Let’s consider squares for a moment, as such. A square is a 90 degree aspect. Look around the world and notice how many 90 degree angles there are. Our buildings are made of them; most physical objects are based on them; no matter how curvy cars are on the outside, they are in many ways based on a 90-degree and related angles to the Earth; the windows we look through, the books we read, the computers we type on, the notebooks we write in, the way we usually arrange our furniture. It’s not very original but — the thing about squares is that, pending additional originality (i.e., Buckminster Fuller) that is how we put the world together.

Psychologically, squares represent a common condition: the difficult choice between seemingly opposite modes of being. The tension between one’s creative work and career is often a square kind of thing (but does not have to be, for example, Capricorn and Pisces are really a sextile). Between wanting to be monogamous and polyamorous (Scorpio to Aquarius); between being a parent and being an individual (Cancer or Capricorn to Aries); between one’s firm sense of self and one’s sense of group identity (Taurus to Aquarius).

Grand cross aspects are challenging because there is energy coming from every direction. That is, there are a whole diversity of choices, possibilities, needs, etc., involved. If you have a planet in your natal or progressed chart being aspected by any one of these points, you are basically getting four transits at once. Because all four fixed signs are covered, there’s a very good chance that most people have something that’s being transited, and in all likelihood, you have more than one point that is affected. Indeed, it’s highly unlikely that anyone is excluded from getting a significant transit right now, as the intensity of the whole sky builds and builds for the next three weeks.

The fact that there are two grand squares (the second one involves the lunar nodes backing up into the Aries Point, as well as Mercury about to square the nodes as we speak, and Pallas Athene in Capricorn) is unusual. The second one (in the Cardinal signs) is arguably less intense and we may forego calling “grand” and just call it a “T” but we would be splitting squares. The Nodes on the Aries Point is enough to move the world a few inches and Mercury coming in for an exact square to the Saturday morning suggests a turning point based on a decision (both Mercury and the square to the Nodes suggest a decision).

Even apart from one’s personal transits, the fact that there are planets at 90 degrees to the Earth in four directions just feels challenging. So challenging I would rather leave the subject for the moment and just let the chart do the talking.

However, given that all these squares are involved, I will add a bit more. This kind of setup is unprecedented in recent memory, particularly in the run-up to the solstice with the Sun at solstice about to square the lunar nodes. This suggests that the ultimate focal point becomes a matter of expression (Sun), which is the matter on which all other things hinge. Yes there are many other ways to slice the lemon. But the Sun square the nodes in the middle of this planetary fireworks display suggests that what it is all leading to, if it is leading to anything — and it sure looks like it — is grounding in our creativity.

Artists are people who use their human experiences, all of them, as creative fuel. Art is an opportunity to process, heal, and ultimately experience the essence of life as an act of creation. Surely it’s possible to skip the first two steps and we can point to plenty of artists in history who have done so. But the way the planets are spinning at the moment, that is unlikely; expression will the the reward of introspection.

But let’s make it super simple. We currently live on Stuck Planet. Oh, life is moving along, but it’s in one heck of a crystallized pattern. These squares are going to move some energy. They will push us to resolve the past. They will help us sort things out, untangle the threads and find the present. They, meaning what the aspects do in our consciousness and the decisions we make as a result of the experience.

Gemini Birthdays: Venus, Mars, Mercury

Gemini birthdays this week have Venus, Mars and Mercury in new signs. Personal planets have personal messages. And this seems exceptionally personal, cozy, warm and sexy. But consider the placements.

Venus in Taurus is as plush and feminine as she gets. Mars in Leo is one of his most fiery placements. So we have some of the manly man, womanly woman kind of astrology in the same chart. Then, the androgynous planet Mercury is in Cancer, picking up the nurturing, intuitive, receptive but means business energy of that sign.

This feels like an image of balancing out, of inner clarity, and of grounding the mind in the emotional body, where it tends to work well. There is an image of harmony both within and without your relationships. There is the sense that you can connect with people owing to some highly unusual circumstances.

The astrology is Mercury in a water sign (representing you) with Jupiter, your opposite planet (representing partners), in a water sign, with Uranus also in a water sign (representing some strange, unusual or innovative external influence). It’s another world than you’re accustomed to, and I think you’ll like it a lot.

Here is what to watch out for. The aspect is a grand trine. A grand watery trine, actually. So with Uranus as an influence, it’s possible to suddenly find oneself in very deep emotional situations that are not clearly understood as to how they began, combined with being somewhat difficult to get out of. Not impossible, mind you; just challenging. Attachments can form easily and quickly; and given all that water, it’s possible to be out of your depth.

In the immediate moment, consider that Mercury, your ruling planet, is about to square the lunar nodes from Cancer. This suggests a situation that hinges on your ability to convey your feelings in words, and which will not move until you are able to do so. When something is square the lunar nodes, that becomes the point of evolutionary focus.

The feelings you strive to convey in words may be somewhat pent up. I propose this because Mars is about to leave Cancer, the sign in question — for you, the 2nd solar house of “that which is important to you” (your values), and dangling as it is at the moment I’m writing (Friday morning) in the very last degree, that suggests something you’ve needed to say for a while. The fact that it’s conjunct Juno implies that a partnership is involved and that you may have a long list of things you need to discuss and that a lot of them involve money.

But I suggest you wait until you’re feeling better to do that, and start with your own emotional sense of reality rather than any specific issues you wish to resolve. Just use the words “I feel” more freely, without making anyone responsible for fixing or changing them. Soon enough you will grok that you are indeed the one who has the ability not only to change your feelings but to use them as strength and energy for expressing yourself and that the act of doing so will free you in some deep and real psychological and emotional ways.

Many of us are trapped inside what we cannot say, like it’s this structure built around us. There are many reasons for doing so and the sigh Cancer involves they may be very old patterns, childhood patterns, stuff related to parents and family of origin structures that defined appropriateness based on certain facts of survival.

Sort this out. Don’t let it run your life. Note carefully how much of what you experienced in the past really applies now, and how much you’re projecting onto your present circumstances. When you do that, you really will see and feel what you’ve been missing.

Planet Waves Weekly Horoscope by Eric Francis
Horoscope No. 613 – Friday, June 2, 2006

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Courage is your first, middle and last name right now; you are living the power of your heart. This is a tremendous gift, and it’s never bestowed upon someone for no reason at all. Soon enough you will encounter the situation that you will need to rise up and meet, and I trust that you will find yourself fully capable of doing so. At the same time, your self-sacrificing tendency may distract you from an important personal goal, but this is not necessary. When you finally balance your own needs against those you perceive in others, you’ll make real progress — and it will come at nobody’s expense. Everyone will gain, and that is the essence of the issue.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
People are growing accustomed to how accommodating you’re being, but they won’t mind if you take some elbowroom for yourself. In fact, there is enough room for you, and that means room for what you feel and what you believe. Imagine these are like plants, and to keep them alive, you need to give them water and light, and tend to them daily. This is not a matter of getting permission, it’s a matter of directing your creative energy to where you know it needs to go.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Your finances run in cycles, and you can now take special care to make sure they’re on the upswing. Your money habits are anything but haphazard, and it would be wise of you to see the cycles and notice the thoughts that lead to them. I suggest you do at least a medium-range study, perhaps going back a year or so. In our society there’s very often a link between how we feel about ourselves and how much money we have, and another between how we feel about ourselves and how much we spend. Rather than making extra cash, I would say the premium is on feeling safe, sane and like your contribution matters.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
So much that you’ve held inside is rising to the surface of life. It’s as if you can finally feel the power to become the living embodiment of your dreams. What else is life for? Well, I am sure you could come up with a few other potential purposes; but I’m not sure you’ve ever quite felt so strongly that you simply had to do what was right for you. That motivation is a precious gift, and you’re heading for a breakthrough that will permanently change the way you think about yourself and what you have to offer the world. It’s so much more than you think.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Mars is about to enter your birth sign, and I can translate that into plain English. To feel your power, you’ll need to face your fears — the classic success formula. The few days that Mars is transitioning, particularly June 3 and 4, may feel like you’re giving birth to yourself, with all the attending sense of danger and transition, and these are a real moment to face your fears. Of course, this is one of the scariest things most people can think of, but if you’ve got one thing going for you right now it’s boldness. Get on top of this game. The rewards will be worth it.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Those who know what they want are more likely to get it. Currently it seems you’re making up your mind about what that is, and it wasn’t what it was yesterday. One hindrance to making a decision is that you may may feel that deciding what you want will shape the course of your life. Everything hinges on one choice you have to make, and that may feel overwhelming. In such a moment, awareness counts the very most. Any decision you really need to make now can be made now. Everything else can wait.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
All that matters now is that you know what’s true for you. If you’re feeling some fear, that’s a good sign because it means you’re in touch with just how momentous the moment is. You have every reason to be confident, yet at the same time, the dimensions of what you’re aware of will keep you humble and remembering how delicate the world is, and how gentle you need to be all the time. You don’t have to push your agenda on everyone. You just need to know it in your heart.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Suddenly there’s far less difference between what’s the most meaningful for you and what is most meaningful for everyone else. So recently it seemed like everyone had separate interests; today the ground we share is wide enough to hold everyone, and what we all feel, and what we may believe. It’s true that most people have lost all contact with the notion of the ‘common good’ but your charts are speaking boldly on this subject at the moment. You are a natural born leader, which is lucky for you in times when all the world needs is confident leadership.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
You’ve put up with plenty of uncertainty lately, which is never easy for a Sagittarius who likes to keep things moving in that one definite direction. Now, a rare planetary alignment is reminding you that more than you need to do anything, you need to make a decision involving a partner or a loved one that will resolve certain lingering issues once and for all. The initiative in this equation comes from you; you set the process in motion. Just be gentle — this person is more sensitive than you.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
A partner or loved one is in a delicate position, one that they didn’t bargain for and may not understand. They’re making a decision on which their entire world seems balanced. Is this drama, or is it real? Is every decision one that our world hinges on, or are some more important than others? You may sense the intensity, and you’ll go a long way toward helping by forgiving past conflicts and being with them in the here and now, right where they need you. Remember, it’s their life, not yours, so all you need to do is be present and loving.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
I’m sure you’ll agree, these are some of the most interesting years of your life. They have also brought some real tests, which is another way of saying you’re gaining experience and learning to put it to work. This week, though, you will begin to see the advantage of all you’ve been learning, a process you’ve undertaken with no definite promise of a reward. A rare planetary alignment is reminding you that you really do get back all that you put out in life. Which in your case is very good news.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
You are a dynamo of productivity, but I suggest you make sure your efforts are going toward the right cause. I’m not saying they’re not — but you need to evaluate and make conscious adjustments. You want to give your all, and you will, but remember, your work is having an impact, and that impact is based more on your specific message rather than on the degree of effort you exert. For the next few weeks you may be inclined to put out more and more energy, but I suggest you nip this weed in the bud and make a conscious choice about what you do, why you do it, and when you take action. When in doubt, stop and send yourself a postcard from the here and now.

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