Hidden Valley

Hidden Valley

WE ARE IN the interval between two eclipses. Think of it as a hidden valley of time; like a waking dream wherein our actions are more influential and symbolically meaningful, and where we are more impressionable. The intensity of the relationship between our individual minds and our environment shifts to a higher level of intensity, and the decisions we make have greater sway over the course of events.

Luna is in Sagittarius, now visible as a crescent where evening skies are clear. Over the next 23 hours, we ride out series of meaningful lunar aspects: a conjunction to Ceres, square to Uranus and trine to Saturn — many points of contact, ranging from the emotional to the surprising to the harmonious and productive. At least we get some diversity, even if it comes with a potential sense of contradiction or mixed signals. Get ready to change your mind, and to study the differences between yes and no, stop and go.

Sol has cleared the (true) South Node after a long week of even more diversity (annular solar eclipse >> Moon occultation of Mercury >> Mercury conjunct Jupiter), and Venus makes a transition from Scorpio to Sagittarius over the next 24 hours. This commences a phase of unusual prominence by Venus here in the hidden valley, which builds to a peak on Oct. 14 with an aspect structure that includes an exact conjunction by Venus to Ceres, square Uranus; Mercury and Pallas Athene trine Uranus; and the Sun in a close sextile to Pluto — all in the approach to the Aries lunar eclipse.

Mars continues to be retrograde, not a particularly effective time to mount campaigns of aggression — particularly in Taurus, but a very good time to look within and assess values, ascertain what is really important, to work out frustrations, and to seek self-understanding.

Events leading into the lunar eclipse support the coalescing of what you might call the Cindy Sheehan viewpoint, based on action (Uranus) spurred by the grieving of mothers respected and treated as a spiritual issue (Venus-Ceres in Sagittarius). Mercury together with Pallas Athene in Scorpio represents a well-presented viewpoint regarding death and the respect for life. But given the potential influence of Pallas in matters of official politics (lawyers and hucksters have Pallas in their charts, too), this aspect may in part also represent the political establishment continuing to make its case in ever smoother and more psychologically sophisticated ways, now that crude patriotism no longer gets much of a rise.

But everyone with a central nervous system will be vulnerable to more conscious reasoning. It is a good time to call your Congressional representatives and make sure someone who picks up the phone knows how you feel.

The Cindy Sheehan viewpoint represents another possibility besides the gag reflex of fear; besides the one that says, “We must take all our precious resources in times of mounting crisis, and ship them thousands of miles overseas, to kill people in another country.” The sooner this viewpoint is regarded as legitimate, which will be a function of people expressing it openly, and the media repeating the message, the sooner the shift will come. And then attention can be focused on more important issues that humanity is now facing: water, food, energy, carbon dioxide.

When the desire for peace is regarded as legitimate (currently, it is still heretical and freakish), some will wonder why they did not notice all along, but most will claim to have held that viewpoint since the beginning, because it was so obvious. Few will admit, “I did not support peace because I was afraid people would think I was weird.”

Besides which, peace is more fun than war. And if you want a fun little war, you can always play chess. But obviously Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney have never played a game of chess their entire lives. I know a Jack Russell Terrier who could beat both of them at once.

Our situation is only masquerading as a public policy issue. Really, it is an issue about individuation (can we have a position different than our peers or parents?), about personal evolution (is empathy developing in our hearts, and are right and wrong becoming obvious?), and community (do we even feel it’s our right to express a viewpoint about what is done with our collective resources?).

During the Hidden Valley phase, Sheehan herself must be careful about her security. Camp Casey is a political movement based on someone who was, in a sense, martyred — Cindy’s son Casey — and the energy of sacrifice is prominent in the Oct. 14 chart; enough is enough. But we might want to watch the idea that in giving up war and chaos we are giving up something that is somehow desirable.

As for the weekend — we have the buoyant Sagittarius Moon to help us ride the planet waves, until of course when it reaches a conjunction to Pluto late Saturday and we get a major moment of intense inner reflection, followed quickly by clarity and enlightenment Sagg styled when it sextiles Jupiter shortly after and all dogs can kick ass at chess.

At least all of this is true in the fantasy world I am describing based on some colorful astrological charts, fueled by a whole lot of well-stoked Aquarius and Pisces in my own chart that constantly bias my views.

Planet Waves by Eric Francis
Weekly Horoscope 579 — Oct. 7, 2005

Happy Birthday Libra! [Print edition!]
One or two intelligent financial deals is all it will take to assure at least your medium-range future. And you have it in you to think like a banker while acting like your usual well-poised and magnanimous self. Keep your focus on an international situation, particularly one involving a younger woman who needs your support and guidance. This person could turn out to be an influential and indeed very helpful person in your life, and she will not forget your kindness and generosity. Your association will remind you of a time when you were younger and somewhat more idealistic — traits you can afford to put back into your personal repertoire.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Someone close to you is helping you expand your own sense of what is possible. It is true that at the moment, they really can help you, and lead the way beyond your own past. At the same time, I trust that you’re involved in a careful review of what matters to you the most. You can see that there are certain ideas about yourself to which you have a tendency to cling, but which you really can afford to take to the secondhand shop. In many ways, the unflinching generosity of someone you love is showing you that you have it in you to give more than you ever thought.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
It would not quite be fair to say you’re feeling stuck, right? Deep might be a better word, and introspective, but that doesn’t account for the raging sense of adventure that’s taken over your life. At the moment you are living proof that introverted and extroverted are not opposites, but rather complimentary states of being that can coexist. But your adventures as they are unfolding are poised to lead you to a particularly emotional encounter, with one who may understand how you feel somewhat better than you do. Appreciate this person for every moment you can.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
While someone close to you is going through what appears to be a deeply emotional time, their situation is not as complicated as you may think. You can help by perceiving things as being a spiritual transition rather than a crisis of any kind. One thing is for sure, they need the space to process things their way, so no matter what you may see, feel or understand, I suggest standing back, being available, but generally not getting too involved. Trust that they will speak and seek assistance when they need to, though don’t be offended if it’s not from you.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You may be feeling the oncoming vibrations of a career breakthrough, and from the look of your charts, the better you’re feeling in general, the more profitable and productive this transition will be. You’re at the “work smart, not hard” phase of your professional growth, when your accomplishments can and will speak for you, if you allow them to. If you can relax into this groove, the next year or so will dawn on you as one of the more creative and enterprising of your life. One key will be learning not to stress, and to feel yourself floating upright on a sea of opportunity. Therefore, when in doubt, relax for a while. Start the habit soon and it will stick with you.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Giving and taking — these seem to be the laws of the jungle. You know better: a fair exchange of energy always feels like a mutual gain, rather than a situation where someone is overworked and underpaid, or overcharged and underfed. You are, at this particular juncture, the one who can invoke the higher law, through simple acts of generosity that demonstrate your own position of strength to you. Others in your environment are working hard at changing their beliefs, but it’s not so easy. There is no better way to learn than by example, and you are the one who needs to set the tempo, expressing the idea practically rather than in theory.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You may not feel like you’re being treated honestly or fairly. You may fear that someone close to you has an agenda and is trying to get something over on you. What’s really going on is they’re aware of a particular situation in which you really don’t have a clue, and are trying to appeal to you in a way that you can understand. I suggest you set your suspicions aside, stick to the known facts, and see if you can agree on the basics of what is developing. It would be helpful for you to take aversive action sooner rather than later; a couple of well-organized decisions will save considerable time and energy just a little ways down the road.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You can afford to think as independently as you want or need to. Don’t be concerned that there is an authority figure, such as a parent or boss, who you need to convince you’re thinking in a mature and stable way. For a while, your perceptions are subject to wild swings and what we could describe as creative influences. Let them work on you — change your mind as often as you want, and don’t be afraid to see things from a radical perspective. One or two very innovative ideas will come from it, which will be perfectly tenable to those you might not have suspected to be as open-minded as they really are.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Suddenly it’s become obvious to you that your assessment of a partner or loved one’s conduct was somewhat off-base. Adjust your thinking and see if you can get a sense of what is actually developing, then rearrange your beliefs and attitudes accordingly. You may be somewhat shocked at how many of those there are to sort out, and how far back in time they may go. Fortunately, the whole situation will likely be forgiven and forgotten by anyone who might care, as long as you get to it promptly and not act like the cat who doesn’t notice he tipped over the wine glass. People know more about you than you may care to admit which, in truth, is just fine.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
During the next few weeks, you’re likely to be feeling more than your usual quota of that Sagittarian quest for justice, truth and planetary freedom. Rather than going on a crusade, I suggest you strive for a balanced view, and cast yourself in the role of impartial judge. With the world in its current moral crisis, all we really need is your clarity and ability to distance yourself from the situation enough to see it for what it really is. Many people around you will be feeling the unmistakable drive for a new order and the rectification of many injustices. Let them do the fighting.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
For years, you’ve been striving to work out a deeply personal problem. Its roots go so deep that you may have concluded it’s impossible to solve. Fortunately, you have not, however, given up, because the solution you seek is working its way through your experience now. The relationship between who you are and what you do has never been closer. Certain psychological protocols place a taboo on identifying too closely with one’s ‘work’, but astrology sees this simply as you finding your mission in life. Rest easy, because a certain important piece of that mission is now finding you.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
If recent developments in your relationship life have seemed oppressive or like everyone else is calling the shots, that’s understandable enough. What you are experiencing is the clash between your from-the-future values system and the antique notions of reality that somehow pass for modern. While it may not be particularly easy, I suggest you keep pushing your consciousness into the world, and stick to what is really important to you. Certain people in your life know they are trapped in their own contradictions. Misery wants company, but don’t fall for it. Everyone is closer to a breakthrough than anyone has so far noticed.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
In a peculiar way, the story of the past year has been about facing death. The variety of forms this has taken potentially includes surrendering to facts of relationships where power is an issue; a health crisis; receiving an inheritance (real or symbolic); going through changes that you neither understand nor feel you have much control over; and going through a phase where you are feeling pushed to your limits psychologically. Yet all of these experiences add up to something you don’t quite see at this point. And being stretched to your limits has both informed you what your limits are, and demonstrated that there are indeed alternatives.

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