Full Moon over Oceania

AS THE SUN made its annual conjunction to Chiron and the Moon waxed to the full, both the Blair and Bush administrations were revealed to be in deep water. Sun-Chiron is the perfect image of this, though not the only one in the astrology. Other factors include the Saturn-Neptune opposition and Jupiter square Uranus — all high energy, awareness-raising aspects, and all in some way involving Aquarius, the sign of the people.

One thing I have not mentioned about the current astrology, but which seems quite relevant to the moment (as we’ll see in this article), is the presence of Pallas Athene in Aquarius. Pallas is the archetype of strategy, law, advocacy, protection — and wisdom. She is in a close conjunction to Chiron, and the two have often given me a similar energetic feeling. With Chiron, you often get a kind of crisis that calls attention to a situation that needs that attention, and would likely get it no other way. This action is why Chiron is so often associated with “wake up calls” such as getting sick, and using this as an opportunity to get well in a much wider sense than you previously considered. So here is what Pallas-Chiron in Aquarius says to me, in the context of other factors present.

One by one, people are waking up to the necessity to be aware of politics. I keep getting emails from people that say things such as: Wow, I never considered the news before. Or, I need to write about this political development in my state. I feel a need to participate in some way.

Politics is a group activity, and all groups end up having a political system that emerges or develops. Right now we have tremendously strong energy in Aquarius, calling attention to this factor, and we also have Saturn in Leo, which is waking us up to our delusions and illusions about what it takes to get any job done collectively, and how individuals with too-large or too-sick egos can really mess things up.

Saturn in Leo is pointing to the folly of false individualism, faux heroism and self-aggrandizement that were indeed the keynotes of the Saturn-Pluto opposition in 2001 and 2002 — and look where it all got us. So we have this image in the planets of the individual and his or her trip (retrograde Saturn in Leo), and the needs of the collective and its experience (Chiron, Pallas, Neptune in Aquarius). For sure, one thing we suffer from in industrial and technological society is a distorted sense of self, and a correspondingly distorted sense of collective needs and resources. Suffice it to say that, at least in Western society and in particular the United States but hey it’s spreading like the flu, greed is praised by most, and socialism in nearly any form is frowned upon by most. Please take my word for it, or look into it for yourself: the existence of this viewpoint means you have been ripped off. You have had something taken from you, something that you need, which is access to collective resources and groups of people who function as aware individuals responsible to a true social process.

What we call politics today is precisely the opposite of this. Case in point, Tony Blair secretly turning his government into a political patronage mill to benefit not the people collectively, but his party, which just mysteriously corresponds to his dragging his country into a situation in the Middle East that is doing nobody any good. For us as astrologers and aware members of society, it’s an excellent case to study.

From what I hear, the Blair situation is not making much news in the United States, but it’s been the focus of British news the past two days as a patronage scandal gathers like dark clouds over the last days of his administration.

Coincidentally, day before it was revealed that Blair was interviewed for a second time by police (one week ago, but kept quiet), a supposed terror plot was busted in the UK, miraculously, during the mirror-image Full Moon as the one that occurred during the Non-11“liquid bomb plot” last summer. This was big news at the time, and then turned out to basically be a hoax. As the Aquarius Full Moon swept through the ongoing Saturn-Neptune opposition last August, arrests were made, airport regulations rearranged, the US went to Red Alert for the first time, shampoo was banned in carry-on luggage, and airport rent-a-cops got to make nursing mothers drink their own breast milk standing on security lines in front of everyone to prove they were not members of al-Qaeda.

Remember? Then the accused men turned out to be British subjects with no labs, many with no passports, all with no airplane tickets — but the attack was supposedly imminent and the United States claimed it as a direct threat to its own security. Keith Olbermann summed it up in a scathing commentary; well worth a five-minute view.

This week, we have been experiencing the Leo Full Moon, with the Sun in Aquarius, just as the Saturn-Neptune alignment gets close to its second perfect pass — as close to identical to last August’s event as you can get. Remarkably, in either a strange synchronicity or due to careful planning by British government astrologers, on Wednesday we saw another exciting terrorism plot foiled in the UK, this time involving the allegedly planned kidnapping of a British soldier, and a supposed plan to decapitate him on video — and then broadcast the clip on the Internet. This high-profile bust occurred Wednesday in Birmingham, the second largest city in the UK, after London.

Clearly, we are in the Battle of the Snuff Flicks phase of history; the last big hit, just one month ago, involved the hanging of Saddam. God, I miss Paris Hilton. We do need to beware that an Internet crackdown could occur based on the use of the Net for supposed terrorist purposes, and that any intentional spreading of fear is terrorism.

Cash for Honors

Blair’s folly involves the selling of what are called peerages, or social honors similar to knighthood. Making a somewhat complex issue simple so that I can understand it, the Labour Party (Blair’s own party) during the course of his administration has raised 70 percent of its funds basically by selling admission to the House of Lords, according to Sky News-TV in the UK. The House of Lords, which has no fixed number of members, is the upper house of the British Parliament. This is apparently how you normally get into the House of Lords, but what is interesting is that Blair himself claimed to be putting a stop to this practice during his first term. The new rule said you had to report donations to parties, but not loans, so they were basically passing off donations as “below market rate” loans — and not reporting them, then admitting the “lender” to the House of Lords.

Lord Levy, Tony Blair’s personal fundraiser, was arrested for a second time this week by police involved in the cash-for-honors probe. However, this time they weren’t looking at breaches in election/political finance laws; rather he was arrested for possible involvement in a conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, in other words — hiding the evidence. The arrest happened in the same week of growing rumors of secret email systems, emails being purged from systems and secret documents not being produced to police. Lord Levy has yet to be charged with anything, but what is notable is that we have one of Blair’s top aides under arrest and a police investigation that goes right up to the prime minister himself.

Then, mysteriously, another terror plot was foiled the same week.

The International Herald Tribune on Thursday quoted a Muslim leader in Birmingham. “There is fear about who is next,” said Mohammed Naseem. “People will need to know the facts, but there is a longstanding perception that this climate of terrorism is being maintained to further the political aims of the government.”

Speaking of Coverup and Blown Cover

Meanwhile, the criminal trial of Scooter Libby is underway. Remember that one, the spy-outing case? You know, Patrick Fitzgerald prosecuting the Bush administration? Nearly everyone is too busy to follow this, but it’s history in the making — and it’s likely to get more amazing as the trial comes to fruition. It is not getting the news coverage it deserves, but every time this whale comes to the surface, it’s a lot bigger than last time.

First a fast refresher course. A former top Bush administration official called I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby is being tried for lying to federal investigators and a grand jury.

After Bush lied about Saddam developing nuclear weapons in the 2003 STFU Address (the famous 16 words about yellowcake uranium from Niger), a former US diplomat named Joseph Wilson called him on the proverbial carpet and said that he had personally debunked this story for the government, saying basically that there was no nuclear program, and you all know it. In retaliation, the Bush Boyz ganged up on him and revealed to the press that his wife, Valerie Plame Wilson, was a CIA agent. This blew her spy network’s cover; its role was keeping weapons out of the hands of Iranians. In the real world, these people would be on trial for treason, but we are no longer in the real world.

A criminal investigation was instead begun on the grounds that revealing the identity of a spy is potentially a crime. Many people were interviewed and trotted before a grand jury, where they gave sworn testimony. Dick Cheney’s then-chief of staff, Scooter Libby, was caught allegedly lying to the investigators, as well as to the grand jury. Now his trial is underway, and all kinds of interesting people are testifying. On Monday, Ari Fleischer, the president’s former press secretary, testified that Scooter Libby told him about how Wilson’s wife worked for the CIA several days before Libby himself claimed in sworn testimony that he found out. It also came out that Libby destroyed a note from his former boss, Dick Cheney.

What has also emerged is that it was apparently a very widespread project to crucify Wilson and his wife. Truthout.org, which has been covering the trial, reported, “The list of officials linked to this case runs from Vice President Dick Cheney right on down to one of his low-level press officers. Testimony has revealed that a coordinated effort was put into place beginning in June 2003 by Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Karl Rove, Libby, former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer, White House communications director [now counselor to the president] Dan Bartlett, [former] Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, and as many as a dozen other officials to go after Wilson.”

But moreover, we are seeing just how far these people will go to accomplish their political ends, and how little their interests have in common with those of the American people. This trial is the perfect image of Saturn opposite Neptune: the deep mistrust of government, so widespread that (in good Neptune style) it is invisible. This is combined with this week’s Sun-Chiron conjunction, suggesting that heads of state of two of the countries comprising the fictional Oceania (from the novel 1984) are having serious problems, with prosecutors coming right up to their doors.

This is good news, but I suggest we not rejoice in it. Yes, these people have a long overdue date with the law, because they respect no law and consider themselves above the law. And herein lies the crux of the issue. When someone who claims to be a leader also claims to be above the law, that is a good definition of fascism. It makes all the other definitions possible. When we look back and wonder when and where it all went wrong — or, when and where it all went right — it will come down to how we handled a few people who determined that the law, no law, applies to them. Make no mistake: they are testing us. They are testing the energy to see how far they can go, and they are doing it very cleverly, in incremental steps, each of which looks insignificant or is at least justifiable. They are looking to see who notices, who says boo, who gets angry, who is willing to challenge them.

So far it’s been a cakewalk, a stroll in the park, a cup of tea. Only recently has there been any significant resistance, and most of it has been in words, not deeds; in grumbling and not an articulate statement. The ground is vibrating, however, and the planets have their effect. Just as sure as the Saturn-Pluto opposition of 2001 and 2002 rewrote the world, the Saturn-Neptune opposition that is exact right now has the potential to do the same, in constructive ways, if we take up that authorship.

How do we do that? I can only give an opinion, not a formula. We stop playing games; we stop believing lies; we begin taking an active interest in our world, which means taking an active interest in our relationship to one another and to the world. In other words, we wake up and notice our collective needs, interests and our shared plight; we wake up and recognize that we have grown too old and the hour has grown too late to expect Big Daddy in any form to show up and save us. All we really need to do is act like the adults that we are, and have a little faith that many small things will add up to a lot. We need to want something better than tyranny, and be willing in that gesture to take some responsibility for our collective destiny. When we move, providence will move with us.

Aquarius Solar Returns, part three

By Priya Kale with Eric Francis

I suspect you already know what the planets have in mind: this is your year to break through. You were born to be an innovator and this is your moment. What you will experience in the coming four seasons will change you and liberate you in ways that you couldn’t imagine, but which in an odd way have been imagining you.

Consider the setup. Many planets are currently aligned in your birth sign, as well as in Pisces. The Aquarius planets are all opposed by Saturn, your first ruling planet. That is a tense setup; it has you under considerable pressure, and is giving you the feeling that the world is watching you every moment; like every decision you make counts for triple. Basically, this is true, but living with pressure and a sense of responsibility are facts of life that you know come with this phase of your life.

Then the Full Moon comes sweeping through; the Sun in your sign and the Moon in your opposite sign, which basically makes everything real, tangible, close enough to see and touch. Planets can be abstract, or out of reach. The Sun and Moon have an immediate presence, and are much more obviously part of us. What they may be pointing out are the ways in which you feel hamstrung by your circumstances.

There is an intense increasing need within you to make long-planned changes, and to have more clarity in your day to day life. You may be feeling this like the drive to rebel, indeed, at times it’s like the need for revolution. With the Jupiter square Uranus aspect and Mars in your 12th house firing up your subconscious and inner mind, I would suggest you temper the need to break free of old patterns that no longer work, by having decisive goals in mind. In other words, you are not merely seeking “freedom from”; you are seeking “freedom to.” Once you have established your destination, use that as your compass and your journey will be much easier. Your growing sense of restlessness stems from your desire to live out your potential and the approach needed here is one of self-determination and concentrated application of your ideas.

This desire and yearning for the new and unknown carries over into your relationships. You are morphing into a new you and you need to be patient with the people in your life that are not quite growing at the same pace. By all means  show people the way it’s done and slowly but surely they will follow in your example once they see the marvelous results of your inner upheaval. At the same time, many processes are underway which will clear people out of your life who do not belong there, and this will help make room for those who do belong.

At times like these, it’s crucial that you avoid an inner buildup of tensions. There is an explosive quality to repression and if indeed your emotions explode the energy can quickly turn from transformative to destructive. So go slowly and softly, relationships and emotions are delicate and precious and involve hearts not just minds. Share your feelings with others and don’t be afraid to let them get a glimpse of the real you.

Understandably, it is not possible for any one person to always be self-assured and each of us has experienced scenarios that play tricks on us with what we think we see and what really happens. This can be unnerving and cause us to doubt and question ourselves. Just remember, like everything else, there is a time and place for doubt. Have faith that you are on a mission, and in times of uncertainty a realistic approach works far better than a pessimistic one. Trust yourself and your inner guide: you know more than you think, and you will be told everything else that you need to know. You were born free and this is the year you truly taste your freedom; to embrace freedom as an experience, not just an idea.




Weekly Horoscope for Friday, February 02, 2007, #648 – By ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Strange are the many ways that “being yourself” often creates a power struggle, and in which people are seemingly forced by peer pressure to negotiate the right to be who they are. The solution to your present situation involves neither getting permission nor standing your ground, but rather existing in a clear way, and making clear statements, and observing as the world adjusts. Those with whom you seem ready to bargain are a lot closer to folding their cards than you may imagine, and in that move, they will reveal how seriously they take you. You need do little more than wait and be aware for the nature of the whole game to rearrange itself.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Beware of sending mixed signals: on the one hand, that you are a capable leader; and on the other, that you’re caught in an emotional struggle over your security. Both may be true, but I suggest you choose one or the other as your primary point of focus. Working on one side of the equation is sufficient. As long as you’re unconsciously trapped between two points of view, you’ll be nagged by insecurities you thought you left behind ages ago. It would seem that the shorter route to clarity is keeping your real quest internal, and presenting the public with your best business-as-usual face.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
You seem to be on the verge of a creative or professional breakthrough, but I suggest you welcome any delays. What you learn over the next month or so will more than compensate for the time it took to learn it, and offer more than its share of gifts. You’re in a situation where it’s better to work out any problems sooner rather than later; where clarity counts for a lot more than suppositions. You can be sure that any disagreement has a misunderstanding as its source, and that the people involved are being sincere and acting in good faith. If you proceed with that awareness, and a bit of patience, you’ll take your plans to a whole new level.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
If current circumstances have you feeling hemmed in, needing cash or feeling unappreciated, this is the time to envision something else. I suggest you start with being aware of three things you need, and then three things you want. Notice your method of distinguishing one category from the other — just that information alone will make the whole exercise worth it. I can tell you this: the voice of limitation in your mind was not put there by you. But you have the power to give it a different job, or at the least to recognize what people in your environment embody that voice, and which embody some other more encouraging one.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
The psychic effects of Friday’s Full Moon in your birth sign will come in two stages: one, a sense of immediate relief, and two, a sense of how much you need to get done. However, there is a distortion involved: your agenda is easier than it feels. You are just feeling the responsibility side of things now, and you may be under the thrall of someone who themselves needs a more realistic perspective about their life. Yet the Full Moon itself offers a moment of clarity into all these things, such that you will be told everything you need to know to create a functional strategy, both immediate and long-range.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
For the next few weeks, you need to give people room to change their mind and not deem them demented or irresponsible. It’s not that others hold themselves to a lower standard for consistency than you do; rather, they are demonstrating the ways in which you can be more realistic about being human. Close partners are also showing you the many ways you can be more realistic about your own situation, and give yourself room to make meaningful decisions that owe nothing to what you knew or thought yesterday.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You seem to be looking for a way up the tree of your own creativity. Most people climb in response to their pain; you need a different way. Some climb to impress others; you know this is ridiculous. What would work well is a mix of endeavoring to create for its own sake, and seeking to understand yourself. True creativity usually needs a purpose of some kind, a way of structure that lends credibility to the experience. I suggest you leave business out, and leave others out, and keep the focus on your inner journey, which has been rich and meaningful in recent weeks, and which has a lot to offer.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
You need to keep a crucial work situation on the level of two adults communicating, not a parent and a child. We have all been trained in how to respond like parents and children (that was indeed our first indoctrination to life on Earth) and most people have no idea the distinction even exists. But we can all feel it. You need at this point to rise above your abundant emotional insecurities, in particular ones about how everyone feels about you, and state your needs and ideas clearly. The trap is expectation; the path to freedom is clarity. Once you identify a need, politely ask out loud for it to be met.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
It’s not like you to lose your faith — yet it’s also clear that you need to be perceived as one whose faith is extremely steady. Why play that game with yourself? You are not only entitled to your doubts; they are your allies. If you look closely, they will point you to the ways in which you operate from a fixed belief system rather than the flexible one you imagine. Each doubt connects to a point of resistance; you can quickly follow it to its source, and make a decision not to keep it as part of your personal religion. Each time you do this, you’ll feel a little like you popped the cork on a bottle of vintage talent, creativity or self-awareness.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Friday’s Full Moon is the latest chapter in the story of the Saturn-Neptune opposition. This is a long aspect involving your ruling planet that goes back to the summer of 2005, when Saturn entered Leo. That change of sign represented a point of commitment for you — to live like you are young, to establish certain of the best things in your life as permanent ones rather than as passing fancies, and to remember honestly who you are. I would propose two things, as points of review: one, it’s been much more difficult than you imagined it would be. Second, it’s been a lot more productive.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
It has been a stunning week, has it not? Well, not necessarily stunning in the shocking sense, but rather in the sense of discovering many things about yourself and your environment that you really were clueless about yesterday. If you did have a clue, you’re now seeing what it’s like to put that information into action, where it has a chance to do you some good. Be aware that others are much more optimistic than they may seem to you. Don’t confuse your own sober sense of your own needs and responsibilities with anyone else’s lack of enthusiasm. Trust that everyone involved is being realistic and loving.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Mercury is about to join Venus, Ceres and Uranus in your sign. You need to be thinking of the future, even though you may fear that someone is thinking of the past. I suggest you get this information right out onto the table: whose mind is in what time frame? By all rights, this is a moment of a vast, beautiful leap forward for you, particularly in that ever-elusive aspect of life known as emotional fulfillment. This leap happens not in the past and not in the future, it happens right now. The funny part is that when it happens, it may feel like the 22nd century. And you are likely to feel right at home.

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