Horoscope 777 and the Forthcoming Eclipse

Dear Friend and Reader:

This week I’ve invested my energy into an extended horoscope that looks closely at the eclipse of the Moon next week, as well as the sign change of Venus from Gemini to Cancer. This happens to be weekly horoscope number 777. Today I will leave you with a few thoughts on next week’s Aquarius Full Moon and penumbral lunar eclipse.

Dina, photographed for Book of Blue by Eric Francis.

As we have reported previously, this is the third in a sequence of three eclipses [view chart]. This one takes place in Aquarius, conjunct a centaur named Nessus. This is the third centaur; the first planet ever named by astronomers at the suggestion of astrologers; and an energy that we all must work with on a day-to-day basis in our relationships and our attempts at relationship. As I go through the process of writing, corresponding and teaching on the topic of this eclipse, I am gradually working out a new interpretation of Nessus. One thing I can say, at least, is that this point addresses some of our deepest vulnerabilities.

We don’t need to look too far to see that we live in a world where it is possible and indeed likely that we will be collecting injuries, violations of trust and various traumas as we proceed through life. And if we look carefully we will also see that we live in a world where healing is indeed possible; and if we agree to that possibility, it verges on inevitable. The pace of experience is quickening and these opportunities may be coming in at an unusually rapid pace, and/or old traumas may be coming up to be addressed faster than we are accustomed to. Given that a fair number of people don’t actually deal with the material, how much is coming up may be presenting some significant challenges.

Therefore, we need to consciously, humbly bring healing process into our relationships. We need to learn to communicate about things that are relevant to us, to our partners and the situation, not just at the end of a relationship, but at the beginning and in the middle. We need to listen and take what we hear under advisement, setting aside the control agenda.

To put it politely, this is potentially inconvenient, it takes time and not so many people think it’s any kind of fun. In order to have any sense of safety in the current psychic environment, we need at least to be able to trust that we can communicate honestly about what counts; and be heard.

We have been going through the process of these eclipses for well over a month; in fact I would say that the June 22 New Moon conjunct Vesta, on the solstice (therefore, involving the Aries Point), was something of the opening bell. I think there is a pandemic of emotional exhaustion going around; we deserve to claim that. Meanwhile, the presence of Vesta in that potent New Moon suggests that we are being called upon to come out of our own limited, personally-driven reality boxes and offer ourselves in service to others as we move through our own healing.

Many factors point to a collective healing process underway, involving profoundly deep issues of trust, individuality and sacrifice. We find it nearly impossible to trust one another. We struggle to express our individuality, at the expense of being cast out of our tribe or relationship. And we are obsessed with the idea of sacrifice, which creates a state of paralysis around some of the most basic experiences of giving and receiving.

There will come a day when we are each available to admit our vulnerabilities and our needs without the fear of terrifying others. That day will come sooner as we begin to embrace that we all are working through similar injuries, though in slightly different patterns. We currently live under a system of tyranny by fantasy: the notion of getting real is still a vast taboo, one that is upheld by our culture of expectation and distraction.

New York City. Photo by Eric Francis.

In the midst of this, the process of awakening is compounded by the many admissions we must make to ourselves; and by the incredible pressure we are under to stay asleep. In actual fact we typically delay some of our most important growth until the last hour of life, which is another way of saying that we are conditioned to live like we’re going to live forever; but without actually embracing that which makes life worth the experience.

This eclipse is informing us that if we want to be close, the only way to do that is by being vulnerable. That, in turn, requires both experimenting with and building trust, which I would propose is the basis of all functional relationships. This in turn requires being willing to be hurt as a result; not desiring to be so, but recognizing that it’s one of the risks of vulnerability.

Vesta’s presence in the solstice New Moon is reminding us that we must all hold emotional space for us all. We need to practice patience with one another, and we need to check in with how the other is feeling, doing and experiencing existence. I offer a special reminder to men: as women develop their power of will, you will need to respond to that seemingly unusual thing with equanimity. I would remind women that as men develop their emotional capacity, you need to open up, listen and bring empathy to the situation.

This is no time for anyone to be proud, haughty or to withhold the most basic compassion.
Indeed, compassion is what we all need, and it will grow exponentially as we offer it to one another.

Lately I have been corresponding with someone in Wales named Sari. She has provided me with a series of interpretations of this eclipse, one of which I would like to share with you here. Before I leave you with her wise, compassionate words, I want to remind you that we are indeed building to a Full Moon that is exact at 8:54:52 pm EDT on Weds., Aug. 5 / 1:54 am British Summer Time on Thursday morning, Aug. 6. Readers in other zones, please calculate off of London time.

This eclipse building is likely to come with exceptional tension, and if it’s not handled carefully the results can indeed damage our relationships. Therefore, we need to both be careful and especially forgiving, and ride gently through this energetic shift.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

Eclipse Conjunct Nessus: Going Beyond Ourselves

dear eric,

it seems a good time for going beyond ourselves. this eclipse feels like a purging, a letting go, even of abandonment.

Onyx from Book of Blue. Photo by Eric Francis.

by playing the torturer, the tough male, V was risking being hated by evie, forcing her to face up to the truth of herself. this is an archetype for all of us waking up. at first the truth seems like a punch in the stomach. we despise the messenger, and struggle against facing up to our own inadequacy. but once we’ve had a cup of coffee and a bit of breakfast, mostly we’re very grateful that someone was brave enough to point out a weak spot. then self-awareness becomes fun, and there’s no antagonism.

at the moment the female in the psyche is still unaware of how much she is controlled by her eggs, her nesting instinct and her mother’s fears. shelob in a sense is the driving force behind mordor, more houses, more cars, more breast implants. she uses the eunuch gollum to lure the naive psyche — frodo — into her lair, filled with the sticky and impenetrable webs of her deception and manipulations.

hell was a word devised in the 16th century to describe females who could not embrace the patriarchal laws, e.g. turn the other cheek, love thy neighbour, trust in god but first tie up your camel (that one isn’t but should be) etc.

the patriarchal laws are a common sense way of being humane to one another, to reject the velociraptor urge to be top dog, we no longer needed to survive, and now we could behave as angelic humans. 2000 years later and we’re still working on it (with a little help from the Galactic Centre)

jesus said in the gnostic gospels that ‘the female must become more male to enter the kingdom of heaven.’ and i reckon he meant more thoughtful, and more aware of how their biology affects their emotional life. in the gnostic gospels the misogyny issue is irrelevant as a number of the disciples are female and are treated with respect for their wisdom.

Photo by Eric Francis for Book of Blue.

and when women aren’t in touch with their higher selves they are poisoners, bitches and control freaks, and create men that are psychically castrated and so do their bidding.
one of nixon’s death bed lines was ‘I did it all for you, mommy’.

the patriarchy has been misconstrued as bullying, cold and colonial, when the essence of the patriarchal laws was philosophy and reason. bluebeard represents the undeveloped male, the mummy’s boy, the death complex that refuses to allow any new growth. and men out of balance are brutish, but at the moment we are blaming the men for the western world, and seeing the women as victims. the extreme of course is the taliban treating women as second-class citizens.

but most of the men i know are dying to worship the female, they’re just sick of being slapped in the face and have resorted to celibacy and comfortable numbness.

so nessus conjunct the moon could represent the tough male king, imploring the female to step down off the pedestal and become equals, to dive into their soul skins and allow the men to dive into theirs.

lots of love, eric.


Alternative Medicine Has Its Day in Healthcare Debate

Months into the contentious and politically charged debate over healthcare reform, proponents of alternative medicine finally got a hearing in Congress and an amendment that would require insurers to cover alternative therapies.

Senator Tom Harkin and Dr. Mehmet C. Oz, Director, Cardiovascular Institute and Complementary Medicine Program, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY and Founder and Chairman of Health Corps speak before a HELP Committee hearing on the role of Integrative Care. Copyright: Tom Harkin, Iowa’s Senator.

According to a July 24 report in The Boston Globe, Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa is leading the push to get acupuncture, herbal healing, naturopathy and other traditional methods recognized as legitimate options for Americans seeking healing. The Democrat has been a champion of traditional medicine in Congress for some time, and last week he discussed an amendment he is co-sponsoring that would require health insurers to extend their coverage beyond Western medical practices.

“It’s time to end the discrimination against alternative healthcare practices,” Harkin told a congressional hearing, according to the Globe.

According to the article, the number of Americans who are turning to traditional and natural therapies is increasing. However, there are widely varied regulations across the states for the many forms of traditional medicine. For example, the article notes, 44 states license acupuncturists while only 15 license naturopathic physicians. While Harkin’s amendment would not require all states to license all traditional therapies, it would prohibit insurers from discriminating against alternative healthcare providers who hold a state license. The Globereported that the amendment was adopted by a Senate committee writing health legislation, but details are still being negotiated.

There was opposition to Harkin’s support for alternative medicines. The article noted that the American Medical Association “says there is little evidence to confirm the safety or efficacy of most alternative practices.”

It is worth noting that while some forms of alternative medicine are new, others have long histories, especially Eastern medical practices. Acupuncture, for instance, can be definitively traced back to the second century B.C., and there is evidence it may have been practiced in the Stone Age.

NOVA Explores How We Almost Militarized Space

Government — especially its military arm — likes its secrets. Journalists and documentarists like exposing them. This periodically leads to some humdinger revelations, and one such was offered up by the PBS science program NOVA this week.

Secret Astronauts. An early photo of the first MOL crew, the “Magnificent Seven.” Copyright: Nova.

In the program “Astrospies,” NOVAexplores how, in the wake of the Francis Gary Powers spy plane incident of 1960, both the United States and the Soviet Union started elaborate secret programs to create orbiting, manned stations to be used as platforms from which to spy upon each other. And, in the case of the Soviets, to install the first armaments in space.

Called the Manned Orbiting Laboratory (or MOL), the American effort included a covert Air Force program to train astronauts who would operate a highly advanced, high-resolution camera to photograph Soviet military installations from 100 miles up in space. While the public cover for this program — one even President Lyndon Johnson used in press conferences — was the need for testing the effect on humans of long-term weightlessness, the Soviet Union saw through the ruse pretty quickly and started their own program. Called Almaz, which is Russian for “diamond in the rough,” the plan was similar to America’s: Launch an orbiting station from which photos would be taken of U.S. military sites (as well as those of Soviet allies). The Soviet station, though, was also armed with a cannon designed to shoot down other satellites that were deemed a threat.

While the American program was cancelled before the MOL was ever launched, the Soviets did put three Almaz stations in orbit over the years, making them the first armed vessels in space. However, though the gun was remotely tested once, it was never used otherwise. Both programs were succeeded by unmanned spy satellites that still orbit the Earth today.

It’s a fascinating program, and a transcript and clips are available at the NOVA website, providing chilling insights into the willingness of the world’s two superpowers to push the Cold War into space and turn the night sky into a potential battleground — the same night sky where you can look up and see passing overhead the International Space Station, a cooperative effort of many countries, including the U.S. and Russia.

Sometimes, Words Just Aren’t Necessary

The Devil’s Tower National Monument and the Milky Way make quite the team in this photo by Wally Pacholka, posted at Astronomy Picture of the Day.

Devil’s Tower National Monument. Photo by Colin Faulkingham / Wikipedia.

Well, okay — maybe just a few words….

Mr. Pacholka’s photograph is a stellar (pardon the pun) example of the confluence of the astral and the Earth-bound, and remarkably appropriate for this desert sentinel. After all, while the Devil’s Tower stood for centuries as a landmark for native peoples in what would become Wyoming, it was with the 1977 Steven Spielberg movie Close Encounters of the Third Kind that it became a national sensation, inextricably linked with alien visitation (and mashed potatoes).

Of course, “alien” is a matter of perspective; if and when mankind travels to another planet, inside our Solar System or outside of it, it is we who will be the alien visitors then. And our Sun is just another entry in the Milky Way’s catalog of stars and will help make up the shining band in the sky of some far-off planet, should we ever traverse the light years separating us from other worlds circling other stars. Will that planet have something as desolate and beautiful as the Devil’s Tower? We can only hope.




Weekly Horoscope for Friday, July 31, 2009, #777 – BY ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
There are indeed two ways to look at the world. Of course there are usually many more, but two is a good start; it’s better than being stuck in one, particularly if that one relates mostly from the place of fear, guilt or contention within yourself. The questions you face now go something like this: what is influencing you to be biased one way or the other? What motivation do you have to take over your power of choice? And finally: what preconceived ideas about yourself, going back as far as you can trace the history of your life being influenced at all, are directing your decisions today? I understand that you may feel way behind a partner in this process of raising your awareness to the level of what really matters. Yet there are social forces that are currently vying not only for your attention but your devotion. These, I suggest you scrutinize carefully.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)
When you go through a process of spiritual growth, it can take the ‘ego mind’ some time to catch up with the progress of your soul. The seeming coexistence in a double paradigm can be difficult. There’s also no guarantee that any one person will succeed in experiencing unified consciousness; not in this world, where we always have another seemingly good reason to retreat to the past. Yet you are moving forward, in the face of so many factors that are seemingly so much larger than yourself. In a little while, the dilemmas that seem so important today will vanish into the depths of your true calling. I would go so far as to describe this as an evolutionary movement for your whole being; not your existence as it seems to be in fragments, or dissociated parts. You are not one who thrives on confrontation. But ultimately we must each confront the fact of our own existence and what it means. As Venus changes signs to Cancer and forms an opposition to Pluto, you may experience something rather like this.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)
You may not be getting a clear signal about what is available, who is available, what is expected from you or what environment you are in. The movement of Mercury over the next few days suggests that you’re likely willing to do anything to have that sense of acknowledgement. I would propose, however, that you would be wise to look in your own direction for this information. I suggest you reduce your plans to reaching for the one truly specific thing that you need. This will obviously conflict with your tendency to always want to keep your options open; to not be tied down. This tendency has power, I suggest you ask where it comes from. Obviously you want to participate in a direct way. That participation requires commitment. Yet true commitment is never to an external factor; it is based on movement from within, and generally, once we make a commitment we know because our body, our feelings and our choices begin to move in that direction without our actually having to make a choice. You can trust this.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)
You have come a long way in facing your fears during the past few weeks. There is a feeling of freedom in that, yet you have not seen the best of the results yet. These results will come even as you continue to struggle with some unknown factor that has seemed to be the source of so much in the way of disturbance in your life recently. I suggest you give up the struggle and reach only for awareness. Fear has a way of lurking on what are sometimes called ‘unconscious’ levels of the mind. It hides, and influences us by stealth. There is only one remedy: to love openly, freely, generously, and in the face of whatever may appear to threaten love. Remember that love is not threatened; rather, every other value quakes in the presence of this most beautiful human force for healing and embrace. For a while, you may find yourself with no choice but to love in the face of fear. And your love will become all the deeper and stronger for rising to the occasion.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
You may be viewing the future with a sense of apprehension. Recent events may have you feeling like it’s difficult to plant both of your feet on solid ground. Yet the only solid ground in the universe is your own integrity. That is the filter that influences the rest of your reality, and the more aware of this fact you are, the more true-to-course your life will feel. This, even in the face of others who are uncertain, who are slipping backwards, and who choose to let their sense of identity be dictated by factors outside their control. You are in the process of figuring out that you are indeed different than the world you perceive. That can be quite an uncomfortable state of existence, but then it is the ultimate expression of individuality to be who you are despite what the world is. Then, as I am sure you have learned at certain points in the past, there comes a reconciliation process. Here is a clue. You will know you are making a contribution when you are able to give and feel that you are losing nothing.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
The Hermit is the tarot card associated with your sign, and you may indeed be able to relate these days. The Hermit is a trump among trumps; one of the most exalted states of humanity: a stage of evolution where we have risen above dualism and from that space of unity within ourselves, we are able to hold up the light for others to follow. That inner sense of unity is the key, and yes, you may at times still struggle to hold the space. Yet that is part of the process, and part of what is witnessed. You don’t need to be perfect, but rather embracing your role and the journey you are on. The truth is you are not as alone as you may think; certainly not to the extent that you may feel. Yes, you exist in a different reality than many people you know. You have more information, and certain doubts run much deeper. It is difficult at times for you to make contact with others. Yet as you radiate and express who you are, you may discover they are more eager to make contact with you.

Libra (Sep. 22 – Oct. 23)
I suggest that you remember this stretch of your personal history carefully. Once this distinct phase passes, you may have a tendency to forget some of the territory you crossed, and how meaningful it truly is. You can remember as a kind of yoga; leave yourself notes; collect artifacts and stay in contact with the people who you discovered were influencing you, because they have more to share. Most of all, remember the transitions you experience and the commitments that you make. The story of this time in your life is that of your passion awakening. You are gaining trust in yourself and your gifts. I would emphasize your potential to embrace one gentle truth: your talents are collective property. They have limited value outside the scope of their influence on others. In other words, your greatest satisfaction and contact with your potential will come from witnessing the influence you have on the world around you, rather than from merely ‘doing your thing’.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
I am sure you wish the negotiation process would finally end; it would be easier indeed if more of the people around you were more negotiable, and for that matter more committed to their own cause. This, I think you will discover is true as the next few days unfold. Here is the challenge: seeing things as they are, not as you are. You may struggle to emphasize the positive, or perhaps more accurately, to see what appears to be negative in its true context. Someone close to you is leading you gently toward a place of faith. You have the ability to stay where you’ve felt stuck; or to shift your consciousness to a new kind of awareness. Take note: they are leading you emotionally, toward a feeling-tone where you will be able to stabilize your consciousness on what I can only describe as love: the real thing, connected to something much larger than yourself. This is directly an expression of your potential. As you taste this, you will still be aware of some sharp contrasts within you and around you. But you will have a new basis for judging what is possible.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 22)
Make sure you notice when people treat you compassionately. Decide consciously whether you want to pull away, or welcome their offerings. Given your nature, you may feel that to acknowledge their kindness and commitment will imply commitment on your part. I believe this is true, and I believe it’s a reason why so many people insist on being so remote and aloof from the people around them, yet all the time begging for attention of the kind that they don’t really need. To put it mildly, you have tendencies that isolate you from the deeper levels of human contact that you seek; and now you have opportunities to experience both that closeness and also to step beyond your fears. Attachment is not an option in this world; how we choose to express that attachment is. Sharing is not an option; what we choose to give and receive is. Over the next few days and well beyond, you will experience a series of opportunities to breathe in the exchange of love, of passion and of nourishment. These things take nothing from you. Each time you recognize this will take you one step closer to authentic fulfillment.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
A moment ago I stepped out for a break halfway through writing this column, and visited the deli next to my apartment. I had been away for several weeks. The owner, Mrs. B., a Capricorn, pulled me aside the moment she saw me to describe a complex dream that she had awakened from that morning, in tears. It took place on the dangerous Afghani/Pakistani border. Of the many scenes she described, three stand out: in one, she rose above her fears and flew away from a threatening situation. In another, a man died and she revived him using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, literally breathing life into him. In the last scene, someone informed her that the Muslim prayer, “Laila, illallah Muhammad rasul Allah!” would be rewritten to include her name: “…illallah Najibah rasul Allah!” In other words, in her dream, she was being named as the messenger of Allah. But what could this mean? A woman? We all know this is one definition of blasphemy, Islamic-styled. I gave her my interpretation: it’s about the awakening of the Divine Feminine, within her and in the world. In our era, we have very few precedents for this, and the prospect is indeed frightening to many. I suggest you embrace Her dearly.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
This is a profound phase of reassessment for you. You are making sweeping discoveries about yourself, and specific ones, that are changing the way you perceive both yourself and the world around you. Perhaps I don’t need to say this, but I will say it anyway, which is that this is a process and you are a work in progress. Many things that will happen have yet to occur; there is plenty that you have to reveal to yourself, and to others. We tend to want things cut and dried; made for TV, and indeed, most of our ideas about life are false concepts that are induced by scriptwriters. Yet life is not scripted, and there is no actual reason we would want it to be — except of course for the convenience of not having to be authentic in the moment. Therefore, you can afford to leave your scripts behind. You can afford to admit your fears. You can afford to look at the reasons why you possess the deep vulnerabilities that you do. Most of all, I suggest that you enlist the people in your life to be your partners in healing your fears and pains. You can take solace in the fact that we all share the same basic insecurities and we all face a common destiny. The ground of life is more level than it may seem.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
Yes, so much remains unknown and unresolved. While this is often the case on our planet, there have been few times in your life when so much seemed possible, and when so much seemed at stake. The two must necessarily come together. You have been spending quite a bit of time confronting the mysteries of existence, and embracing situations in which you are not powerless but wherein your power must emerge from a different place than you are normally accustomed to seeking it. I would suggest that your strength now exists in embracing situations that seem contradictory. Some of these are accented by the fact of so much seemingly missing information. Remember that most of what we know we know through interpretation. I would suggest that you take this up consciously, and remember that you are indeed interpreting; it would help immensely to be aware what you know, what you suspect and what you don’t know, as you go through that process. It’s vital to know the difference; it is vital to identify missing information so that when it shows up you know what you’ve got. Some of this will be about others. Most of it will be about you.

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