The Private Idaho Virus — and your May 2020 Planet Waves monthly horoscope by Eric Francis

For many, this scenario brings up their most personal worst fears: of martial law and dictatorship, of mandatory, improperly tested vaccines, of poverty, of a financial collapse, of corporate greed, of government incompetence, of food running out. Of the creepy 5G satellite system we’re told will soon blanket the globe and every street.

Aconitum flowers, or monkshood, source of one of the most important homeopathic remedies associated with the novel coronavirus and COVID-19. Photo by Cheryl Corson.

Keep off the path, beware of the gate
Watch out for signs that say “hidden driveways”

The B-52s

Dear Friend and Reader:

I’ve been noticing that “the virus” means something different and special to everyone. It’s like a religion where everyone has their own personal relationship to the lord, who is a strand of RNA. Everyone has their own idea about what it is, where it came from, how dangerous it is, and how to protect themselves.

There are people who think social distancing should extend to photos. There are people who treat the mail like it’s been dusted with anthrax personally by Osama bin Laden. They wash off their parcels from Amazon with Lysol.

Scene from New York City last week — oops, from the 1918-1919 global pandemic. We’ve come so far in our prevention technology.

For many, this scenario brings up their most personal worst fears: of martial law and dictatorship, of mandatory, improperly tested vaccines, of poverty, of a financial collapse, of corporate greed, of government incompetence, of food running out. Of the creepy 5G satellite system we’re told will blanket the globe and every street.

Our new society where “social distancing” will be a way of life long after anyone remembers why. Others take comfort in being told exactly what to do, without understanding why.

Is everyone still washing their hands every 10 minutes, or have we all forgotten that bit? Remember? Sing Happy Birthday twice, every time you wash your hands.

Notice, though, how it is socially inappropriate not to be afraid of the virus. No matter how much you may know, if you’re not worried, you’re going against the new religion.

Then there is the puritanical fear of everything being contaminated with germs (but not with chemicals; chemicals kill germs). American society is the one where things are shrink-wrapped three times. Now we must be assured that nobody will touch your pizza before it comes out of the oven. But this is supposed to be a respiratory illness. It’s not spread through pizza. But it might be, who knows what they will say tomorrow.

That fear is stoked by images of caskets being loaded into trucks, and of new mass graves on Hart Island in the Bronx. There are already more than a million people buried in that massive potter’s field, buried there since 1869. Most are unclaimed cadavers.

Notice, though, how it is socially inappropriate not to be afraid of the virus. No matter how much you may know, if you’re not worried, you’re going against the new religion.

Americans are already a bunch of hypochondriacs. They go to the doctor more than they go to the gym. Now, any symptom you have may or may not be caused by the coronavirus: fever, sore throat, sneezing, coughing, sore toes, the chills, fatigue, or loss of sense of smell: you might have it, you might not. This is putting everyone in a state of agitation and fear, complicated by the fact that most people don’t know how to take care of themselves, or to tell whether they are sick or well; so they go to the doctor. A lot.

But more than Americans fear viruses, they fear being seen as not respecting authority. Here in the land of the free, that’s a form of heresy. And it’s true many places.

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Happy Earth Day from Lanvi
Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope for May 2020 (#1279) | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — In a world of rapidly changing value and values, you must stick to what you know matters the most. Yes, it seems like everything is up for grabs, and is for sale cheap. Things like life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Matters such as the truth. The entire economy and its ability to feed people. An important element of the astrology that is driving this dizzying, free-for-all “re-evaluation” may have you doubting yourself, or struggling with your self-worth. I suggest you learn how to distance yourself from what you see going on in the world, and even how it’s affecting you, and remember your priorities. If you’re having trouble remembering them, go within yourself and figure out what they are. The challenge is that you’re easily drawn into various forms of public debates. Your opinion is being influenced by outside forces a little too much for comfort. You may not even realize this, because it’s such a deep human instinct to think along with the group. Yet you must think for yourself. You will know you’re doing this because it makes you nervous. You will feel uneasy, uncertain, and like you need validation. You may not get it; at this stage you don’t really want it. It will be better for you to feel uncertain and continue on your quest, than to have false certainty and be distracted from it. In this world, it’s not easy to stand apart from others, and it can feel like you may be treated like a nonperson if you’ve made your own decision about something. The very act of deciding, and of seeking your truth, is a testament to your humanity.

The Journey of You and Chiron | A new reading by Eric Francis, now available for instant access.

Anyone who has encountered it is curious about Chiron. Planet Waves provides one of the few dependable online sources of information on this unusual planet. For the 10th anniversary Astrology Studio reading, I cover Chiron in Aries — a momentous event for all those born under this sign, and of high interest to everyone else. Get instant access to this reading here.


Taurus (April 19-May 20) — To seek understanding of yourself means not assuming you already have it. This may leave you feeling unstable, which is exactly the state of mind that you want to work with. Get used to change, and changing. Work with uncertainty. Right now it’s your best friend. Accordingly, your nemesis is false certainty. That said, the condition of false certainty is precisely what got the world into the troubles that it has today. It is the condition of lack of curiosity. It is about not knowing when one does not know, and assuming one does. Therefore, I suggest that you learn how to know when you don’t know, and make that your number one priority. It’s the difference between a fool and a wise person. It can even be the difference between life and death. Your astrology at the moment is fueled by two seemingly competing forces: the drive to rebel, and the drive to conform. This is likely to be the cause of considerable tension within you, and it’s likely to increase (it peaks in 2021, actually). I suggest you learn the skill of holding two opposing thoughts in your mind at the same time. Stand right between them and, as Rilke said, stretch yourself over the contradiction. That is how you gain knowledge and experience: through honestly confronting difficulty and complexity. It’s also essential that you develop the skill of admitting you were wrong about something, making the correction, and moving on — while remaining open minded. As the next 18 months unfold, you will value this more and more, if you get good at it. I mean really good.

Planet Waves
Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

You can now get instant access to your 2020-21 Taurus Astrology Studio here for just $44. This reading focuses on a professional breakthrough toward the end of the year, and preparing you for this development. Venus retrograde in the spring is preparation. Mars retrograde in the autumn is preparation.

Ultimately this is a spiritual development, yet in reality we are talking about aligning your purpose with action, with a calling, and with an opportunity. Elements of the reading go out to a series of power steps in 2021. Read more.


Gemini (May 20-June 21) — This is the month when Venus stations retrograde in your sign. You may have the feeling that you’re being asked to give up a lot, though I suggest you think of this as an exchange. You are releasing what you don’t need in favor of something that you do. Along the way, you must refine your concept of a “need” and be able to distinguish it clearly from a “desire.” I could imagine a productive two-day workshop on this; you will have one that lasts for six weeks, from May 13 through June 26 — though in some ways it’s already begun. Here’s a way to make this Venus retrograde simpler than it might otherwise be. In some ways it comes down to one idea, which is the central organizing principle of your life. The image is the hearth at the center of a home, or the kitchen. The image is also one of tending the flame, which is the active energy within the central idea. That flame will be about your creativity. It will be about your sexuality. It will be about your relationship to yourself, and the language that you speak with yourself (all covered in this special edition of Tantra Studio). This is a language based on emotional intelligence, which is a fancy way of saying the ability to think and feel at the same time. This means, at first, thinking about your life, and feeling the nature of your existence simultaneously. You have some reckoning to do with the past. You may have some sexual healing to work on. That would be a good thing. Take your time, and promise to be real with yourself. Then, you can be real with others.

Your 2020-21 Gemini Astrology Studio, The Sacred Space of Self, is now available for pre-order at just $33. The reading covers Venus retrograde in your sign, Vesta in your sign, Saturn in Aquarius, and the momentous astrology at the end of the year. Get the best price by pre-ordering today. Thank you for your business and your trust.


Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Venus retrograde takes place in your 12th solar house, Gemini. There are two houses associated with secrets, one of which is the 8th and the other of which is the 12th. For the 8th, I think of Bono’s line, “A secret is something that you tell one other person.” For the 12th house, it’s the secrets you don’t reveal to yourself. That can mean denial. It can mean what is lurking in your unconscious that bubbles out in dreams. You might remember, you might forget. Now is the time to remember, and to stay awake underwater. As Venus turns to retrograde movement in Gemini over the next few weeks, immerse yourself in that world. At first it may seem like a hall of mirrors. You may feel like you’re meeting someone new, who you discover is yourself. Proceed with a sense of adventure and intrigue. You may discover things that contradict what you’ve considered established truths. You may rediscover elements of yourself that you lost along the foggy ruins of time. All of this is leading to something. There is a purpose involved, and you are guided. You may not know what you’re looking for, yet your movements are not haphazard, though they may feel that way at times. The 12th house has a zero-gravity feeling, particularly if you’re tumbling back toward something in your past and don’t know what it is. Yet what you’re experiencing is not about the past. It’s about who you’re becoming right now, in these very days. You are coming into alignment with yourself. A long cycle of experience is coming to an end, and another is beginning. Pay attention. Make no assumptions. You will benefit from being observant and thoughtful.

You can get instant access to all 12 RESPECT audio readings, which include a transcript for every sign. Individual sign options are available here. These in-depth readings are relevant for long beyond 2020. Order now and you will also get access to the written readings as they are published. That’s a lot of information for far less than the price of a professional astrology reading — and with no compromise on quality.


Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Your planets are aligning in a way that describes some unusual success or professional breakthrough. Yet you must not act as if this has happened, or as if you have any special power or privilege. Take a modest approach to all that you do. You have influence, though your success depends on finding common ground with others, and combining your influence with theirs in a creative and organized way. Emphasize the service aspect of what you’re doing, and keep the financial angle confidential among the people who actually need to know the details and the plans you’re working with. This will be fewer people than you may think, at times one or two advisors or collaborators. Not everyone in your environment is friendly, so you must proceed with caution when it comes to exposing a vulnerability of any kind, or allowing people into your confidence before they are fully vetted. As you know, that can only come from experience. Background is not enough; personality is not enough; hunches must be tested against both time and duress. Whatever you’re doing or planning has a long story-arc, and it’s vital that you not rush matters. Be diligent; know your facts; pay attention; make decisions consciously. Then let the story unfold as it will. There are large forces at work in your life, and the more you respect them, the more they will serve in your benefit. Bear in mind each day that the prevailing uncertainty, fear and confusion of the world can serve you. One way this works is that many people are extremely hesitant to act, or even consider the future or their possibilities. And in times of change, the most exciting possibilities come to the surface.


Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Rather than pursuing your agenda actively, pay attention to what others are thinking, planning and doing, particularly if it looks like it affects you or the environment you live in. Neptune in your opposite sign continues to present the challenge of a distortion or blind spot. When Neptune is present, gaining accurate impressions of people and situations requires special handling. You might be inclined to assume something that’s entirely untrue, only dimly recognizing that your perceptions are based on an opinion. This will extend to your relationships, including the ones you don’t think you have. Therefore, take it slow. Listen to the words you say for clues to your thinking and perceptions. By that I mean study what words you use to describe yourself and your environment. This will, in turn, help you see what is going through your mind, and account for your expectations. The forthcoming Venus retrograde, from May 13 through June 25, may come with the feeling that you cannot trust your own goals, and lead you to question what you’ve accomplished so far. Ask the question honestly, and give yourself time to come up with your answers. It’s likely that you’re missing something important. If you question yourself sincerely, that something will make itself known to you. There is an issue here of how you state your goals, and how you think of your influence on the world. Again, notice the words you use when you’re not consciously choosing them to get an effect. They will be most revealing of your expectations and of your state of mind.


Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Most people have a distorted sense of the future right now, if they have any at all. You might feel shaky if you project your trajectory forward. The good news is that you have no special need to do so. The future is not something you must search out, or seek out. It is something that will call you when the time is right. So for now you can do yourself the favor of not worrying so much about what may exist a little (or a lot) further down the road, and invest your energy in what looks like one of the most productive phases of personal inquiry of your life. There is much misunderstanding about what it means to “be spiritual” or “on a spiritual path.” The words themselves do not make it so. Some associate the concept with a peaceful feeling. I would propose that the quest for truth is what makes this elusive thing real. In your situation, that quest involves understanding your ethics, and the reasoning process that helped you get there. What do you consider your highest and worthiest goals? Do they involve food, clothing and other elements of survival, or do they involve your relationship to existence? The question you are confronting is a philosophical one. These are easily overlooked, dismissed or treated as less significant than material needs and desires. Yet you may soon decide that questions of personal meaning, and of your connections to what is larger than you, are what need to be guiding your life. Go as deep as you need to; climb as high as you must. When you hear a calling, you will need a basis to decide whether it’s right for you.


Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Be mindful that an intimate partner is experiencing something unusual and deeply personal, and which might seem to exclude you. Think of it as an introspective process that must be self-contained in a kind of personal sanctuary. Your role may be something like guarding the door, or temple servant. A core lesson someone you care about may be learning is that their first loyalty must be to themselves. You understand this; you have a different orientation on life, and one that is a bit unfathomable to others at times. You understand that you have to look out for yourself, and you understand there are times when your decisions must exclude the input or influence of others. You must now be sensitive to the truth that others have similar needs, though it may be much more difficult for them to express these without feeling guilty. Therefore, be independent, and take care of your affairs, while keeping an ear to the ground and noticing whether someone is in fact calling for you. This may challenge you in a certain way. You might feel left out, or like you don’t matter as much, which in turn could provoke your insecurities. None of this is any indication of the actual state of your relationship; those are your feelings. If you hold your own space and allow others to hold theirs, there may be unusual and beautiful points of contact. Honor each as a rare, distinctive opportunity to recognize the beauty of another person. Allow them to happen rather than making them happen, and when it’s time to move on, let go gently and move on.

Planet Waves

Many times I have quoted Khenpo Karthar Rinpoche: “We do indeed live in an age of decadence, but the dharma is not decadent. The dharma is the same as it always has been.” Despite the challenges of our time, you can focus on your purpose, which is related to the World Purpose. You can step into your calling as one who came to our planet to make a positive difference. This is integral to your healing path, your personal mission and the necessities of the world. In this new video reading, about work and relationships, we will use the astrological markers of our moment to point the way, and clear the way. Pre-order all 12 signs of THE DHARMA here.


Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You have relevant, necessary work to do, and you now have the opportunity to focus on that. Certain factors in your intimate partnerships are likely to be giving you more time to yourself. This might have something to do with all the extra togetherness if you’re “isolating” with another person; the result could be its opposite. Anyway, be bold about the projects you want to do, and let yourself make an investment in them. That might include a financial investment, though really this is about focus, dedication and bringing your ideas into manifestation. With so little worldly activity, we might expect a wave of phenomenal songs, books, paintings, computer programs and inventions to emerge next year, all of which are happening now. I’m not so sure, though, that many people will recognize, much less take this opportunity. Be the one who does; take advantage of this utterly unique moment to connect with yourself. You don’t need to call forth deep creativity, or set that as a standard. Rather, engaging in activity is what to focus on. In other words, rather than writing a brilliant sonata, play the piano. Rather than writing something with impact, sit down each day and write. Eventually you will get the hang of ‘doing without doing’, and get lost in your work. When you see three hours go by in five minutes, you know you’re in the zone. You’re much more likely to find what you’re looking for accidentally than by seeking it consciously or drilling into yourself for it. Therefore, be present each day for your chosen activity, and let it flow through you. Avoid evaluating the results; allow each experience to build on the next.


Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — The Jupiter-Pluto series of conjunctions in your sign is a helpful answer to the shock of whatever the Saturn-Pluto conjunction represented earlier in the year. You still may not feel like you have a handle on your affairs. You may sense that something positive can come out of all this change and uncertainty, though you may not see a clear path to it. This is an interval where you can set aside thinking about your destination, and instead, consider your priorities. Amidst all of the intrigue, one thing you’re doing is sorting out what is important to you from what seems to be important to everyone else. This can be a real stretch. One clue that you’re making progress is that there are moments when you feel terribly insecure, as if nobody could possibly approve of you, for all the thoughts in your head. I say progress because needing approval is one of the most noteworthy things that holds up your progress toward self-actualization. Or said another way, you can forget that your desire is for your fulfillment, and what you prefer, and who you prefer, is nobody else’s business. Yet this can feel like stepping off of a cliff; like having no ground beneath you. I suggest you come to love that feeling, because in it is the actual freedom that your soul seeks. You exist because you say you do. The love you feel is a value in itself, regardless of who may respond, or notice, or not. Yes, this represents a total reorientation from many prior phases of your existence, perhaps all of them. And you’re just getting started.


Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — The unusual blend of energies coming through your astrology describes this as one of the most creative and inwardly focused times of your life. These same influences are also pushing you to mature in ways that will have results you could not have foreseen but will most surely appreciate. I recognize you are being pushed, and this is not easy. Yet the movement, the pressure, the drive to become, are coming from inside you. You are experiencing the power of your own psyche moving and asserting your true being. To be who you are, you must inevitably crack through the shell of who you were, and who you thought you were. You are being compelled to drop old and outmoded ideas about yourself, not by some outer circumstance but by the power of your soul. At times this can feel like your old personality is melting, and you’re unsure what you will become, or if you will survive the process. To be sure, this is an extraordinarily sensitive time for you, with deep currents moving within the depths of your being. This is all a precursor to who you are becoming. You don’t need ideas about your existence. Rather, you need to grant yourself permission to be, and to grow, without expectation, which means, without guiding the process. Let this go on — and on. You will make peace with being in a state of near-constant flux, until suddenly one day you recognize who you are; who you have emerged as being in your new state. And while these days may be difficult, you will miss them when they are gone — yet all that is new will carry you forward without looking back.

Astrology Studio for Pisces | A New Reading by Eric Francis

This is a momentous time in collective history, and a turning point in your life. As the year develops, most of the movement — including Pisces’ ruling planet Jupiter, and the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction — will be pointing into Aquarius, the most sensitive and innermost angle of your chart. I also cover the retrogrades of Venus and Mars, and the forthcoming Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in your friendship sign Capricorn. Mostly, I help you orient on your profound journey, and offer guidance how to harmonize with the world at this unusual time. Get instant access to this reading here.


Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — To survive or thrive these days, extreme flexibility is the thing required. So, too, is the ability to be confined, to stay close to the reservation, or even a touch of claustrophilia — the love of small places. Thankfully, these are Pisces attributes. So, too, is a naturally introspective orientation, in a society that seems clueless what such a thing is. Our current environment is one where you can do quite well for yourself, and concentrate your power. The outer elements, whether social or commercial, have stepped back, and you can feel yourself for who you are. This moment will not last forever, whether we’re talking about the cultural one or the astrological one. It is rare that the conditions of society favor Pisces. Make the most of this opportunity, which will afford you the time and space to reorient your life in a way that has been most necessary for some time. The presence of Neptune in your birth sign for many years has come with some strange effects, including challenges focusing your efforts, your ideas and your energy. Now several different factors are describing the opposite influence. You and society are changing in compatible directions. Someday this strange phase of existence will be behind us, and you will emerge into a world far more akin to your true nature. Meanwhile, set your fears aside. Do not be intimidated by those voices that strive to do so. Stand your full height, and remember, you actually inhabit not the world but the universe.

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