How You Can Tell Syria is a Scam

Dear Friend and Reader:

Saturday afternoon, with an aircraft carrier battle group underway to the eastern Mediterranean Sea, Pres. Obama managed to stun the world by saying he would defer to Congress the decision on whether to bomb Syria. The prior week Obama was ready to move against Syria without congressional approval under the War Powers Act.

Michel Foucault’s pendulum swings in the Pantheon of Paris, tracing the turning of the world on its axis. Photo by Eric Francis.

Obama’s and Kerry’s rationale for the bombing campaign, as you’ve no doubt heard, was an alleged chemical attack by Syrian Pres. Bashar al-Assad on rebels involved in an internal war within the country. That war was an outgrowth of the Arab Spring protests, which began with a government crackdown on protesters in March 2011.

The alleged gas attack on the Syrian rebels is said to have taken place in a Damascus suburb the morning of Aug. 21. The exact time is unknown; the death toll varies by a factor of five, depending on whose estimate you listen to; and a U.N. team has not yet produced its report on the incident. No proof has been offered who actually did the attack, assuming it happened. Even after Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan, government officials are asking the public to just simply trust that they are telling the truth and know what they’re doing.

Last year Obama made his infamous red line statement — that the U.S. would get involved in the Syrian civil war if the government used chemical agents on the rebels, who include al-Qaeda fighters and who are now supposedly allies of the United States. The U.S. has been providing weapons to these insurgents for about a year, who this week were shown executing seven members of the official Syrian army in a video obtained by The New York Times.

Obama and Kerry reminded everyone of the horrors of chemical weapons in World War I and how the world was almost unanimously against their use. Gas also has an irrevocable connection to the Nazis, who killed many civilians in the death camps using Zyklon B, a cyanide-based insecticide used to murder millions in Nazi gas chambers.

Assad was accused of using chemical weapons, and Obama immediately promised to retaliate, presumably along with the British and the French. But days later, the House of Commons dumped a proposal by Prime Minister David Cameron to join the United States in a bombing campaign. Public support in the U.K. and the U.S. was and remains nonexistent.

British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during last week’s debate over Syria before the House of Commons. Many MPs defied orders to vote with their party. Photo: Daily Mirror.

That’s when Obama got on television and said he would be seeking congressional approval. You can look at this as a clever political move, deferring potential blame back to Congress and in particular the Republicans in case the project went badly (or dragged the U.S. into a long war, as may be the plan).

My impression is that Obama was under pressure from corporate leaders and his own top military advisors to go in without congressional approval. But with no backing from the U.K. and no public support at home, he had to pass the responsibility for the decision.

Notably, the British government was accused of “breathtaking laxity” in its arms controls after it emerged this week that officials authorized the export to Syria of two chemicals capable of being used to make a nerve agent such as sarin a year ago, the [UK] Independent reported.

Speaking of nerve gas, a Turkish newspaper reported that, “Russia has called on Turkey to share its findings in the case of Syrian rebels who were seized on the Turkish-Syrian border with a 2kg cylinder full of nerve gas sarin.” This calls into question who actually deployed the chemical agent, assuming it was used, the night of Aug. 21.

Meanwhile, reports that the Assad government has a stockpile of chemical agents at least seem plausible; after this is all over, assuming they exist, they will end up in the hands of someone, and neither side in this struggle seems particularly friendly — the government we’re planning to punish or our supposed friends the rebels, who are demonstrably vicious as well.

In light of this impressive mess, it’s not surprising Obama balked on his threat of military action and deferred to Congress. He knows that congressional approval is required to start a war (even if that requirement has been ignored many times). I don’t think he wanted to take full responsibility for whatever might happen next, or if any of these facts — not reported in the American press, so far — came to the surface.

Kerry testifies before Congress in 1971, protesting the Vietnam War. He asked his famous question, “How can you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?” Photographer unknown.

Then Kerry went on a kind of dead children tour, repeating again and again, in press briefings, in congressional hearings and now on an international trip, his one and only talking point: that there were lots of dead bodies, including 426 kids, insisting that the U.S. must respond with bombs. It’s the right thing to do. It’s the only thing to do.

Don’t worry, it’ll be limited action — in theory designed to send a message and to destroy chemical weapons facilities. It will send a message to Assad, whom the American government claims has more WMDs than Saddam in his wildest dreams.

Don’t worry mom, I know the garage is full of oily rags; it’ll just be a small fire. I just want to send one smoke signal.

This week as the congressional debate set in and people started taking sides, the rationale shifted, but it’s others who are delivering this part of the message, from a diversity of political points of view: the United States (in the person of Obama) promised to bomb Syria and it must do so, lest we signal our weakness to Iran or North Korea; lest we signal that the United States doesn’t speak with one voice. (This, as if nobody knows that Democrats and Republicans can barely get together to pay the bills.)

If we don’t bomb Syria we lose our credibility. In order for that to be true, we would need some credibility to begin with, and where matters of war are concerned the United States is running an extreme deficit. That’s why the entire public is telling Obama and Kerry to sod off and why brutal dictators do whatever the heck they want.

Then let the commercial break go by and you see video of Kerry talking about the 426 dead kids. In a gas attack. Just like World War I. Which the civilized world abhors. It’s our responsibility. We must maintain the rule of law. We will bomb them and it will all go beautifully. This week the Senate Foreign Relations Committee narrowly approved the use of military action; it goes to the full Senate next week, and to the House of Representatives.

Members of both the House and the Senate are facing overwhelming resistance from their constituents. And any Republican who goes along with Obama risks being forced out of office by a primary race from someone to the right. This is putting hawkish Republicans in the odd position of being against military intervention — their favorite thing ever.

Medea Benjamin and other members of Code Pink hold up hands symbolically painted in blood as Kerry testifies before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week. C-Span video.

If it’s not plainly obvious that Obama and Kerry are lying, and working several layers of some agenda they are not stating out loud, the bald hypocrisy of their moralizing over a chemical attack and dead children should be enough to provoke extreme nausea.

After the Bush War I, the United States and the U.K. maintained a bombing campaign of civilian facilities in Iraq that killed 500,000 children, mainly through destruction of fresh water plants that resulted in outbreaks of cholera.

Madeline Albright, then Bill Clinton’s secretary of state, said on 60 Minutes that she thought it was worth it. It still amazes me that we don’t think of this every time we see Clinton’s face.

Add to that all the children killed and displaced in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Nicaragua, El Salvador, East Timor, the first bombing of Iraq, Afghanistan, Bush War II featuring Nixon retreads Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, and then relentless drones in Pakistan, and Yemen, and all the “unidentified enemy combatants” that Chelsea Manning and Julian Assange told us about, and it sounds disingenuous that Obama and Kerry want to go to war over some dead civilians in Syria.

In the 30 months the Syrian civil war has raged, 100,000 civilians have been killed; we didn’t find it necessary to get directly involved before last week (though the U.S. has been aiding the conflict in various ways for two years). Do they think it’s better to be killed by a cluster bomb or by starvation or disease than it is by a chemical agent?

Here’s how you really know the gas attack rationale is a lie: it’s the only reason they’re giving for going to war. This would be a war in an extremely volatile part of the world, which could have entirely unpredictable results. Besides the facts on the chemical attack not adding up, there’s never just one reason for dropping bombs on a country. You know Kerry is lying because on Thursday he told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes: “I don’t believe this is taking America to war.”

You know Obama and Kerry are lying because they’re making it sound so simple, stating just one rationale. No country ever goes to war for one reason alone. In addition to concealing all of their other motives, they’re refusing to address the supposedly ‘unintended’ consequences of military action, such as the enemy fighting back. Nobody seems concerned that we would be going to war to support a branch of al-Qaeda, and that the Senate version of the bill calls for arming the rebels.

Bill Clinton’s Secretary of State Madeline Albright on 60 Minutes saying it was worth killing 500,000 Iraqi children, mainly from cholera, after the first Gulf War.

Both Obama and Kerry, who are clearly spokesmen for a larger organization of some kind, are omitting from the discussion the incredibly vast complexities involved in the Middle East situation, including unstable governments, extreme factionalism and the way that the region is like an exploding chessboard where an eternal proxy war is being staged.

They are omitting the influence of petroleum in the region and its central role in the American and global economies. They are omitting the fact that Syria is Iran’s closest ally, and many in the United States power structure have wanted to bomb Iran for years.

Yet the macabre, pointless and expensive wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have made that challenging. We also didn’t have an explicit reason to bomb Iran — but now we have an excuse to go after Syria, which would be an easy way to get Iran involved in a war.

Before getting into the astrology of this whole scenario, let’s consider a few of these potential influences, the reasons that nobody is talking about. I don’t know if you watch cable news, but when you turn on a news channel all you hear about are basically two things — the gas attack and the credibility of the United States in keeping its promise to bomb Damascus.

Situation One — the petrodollar. Most oil is traded in dollars, which creates an artificial demand for American currency. Countries must stockpile dollars and treasury notes in order to have money to spend on oil. That demand props up the value of the dollar, which would have little value otherwise because it’s backed neither by gold nor by exports.

Nixon took the dollar off of the gold standard, locking in the petrodollar.

Basically, the dollar is our export. And if countries don’t buy it, we have nothing to fall back on. The Federal Reserve is in essence printing counterfeit dollars, but those dollars are in demand because they can be traded for oil. This pumps wealth into the United States, which we’ve largely used to buy a massive military machine.

If oil-exporting countries switch to the euro as a standard currency, the value of the dollar and thus the whole U.S. economy can go into free fall. That’s what Iraq did just before the U.S. began its latest 10-year bombing campaign there in 2003.

This doesn’t make that much sense in terms of bombing Syria, which ranks 35th in world oil reserves, but it makes a lot more sense if you consider how a war with Syria would be a proxy war with Iran. Read more about the petrodollar issue here.

Situation Two — Iran. Granted, the United States is not very good at handling Iran; U.S. policy always seems to make the problem worse. But the central powers of the United States and its business partners want a Western-controlled Iranian government, just like we had under the Shah of Iran prior to 1979. And one way to do that is to clobber them in a war or two. That is the theory anyway.

Mohammed Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran.

The United States is made nervous by any country that it doesn’t control. Our government is still freaking out over Cuba, which is stockpiled with sugar, cigars and sex.

And it has a lot of reasons to want to control Iran. The ongoing excuse to go after Iran has been that they might turn out to make an atomic bomb. That’s true enough — every country with nuclear power sooner or later ends up with a nuclear arsenal, and Iran has nuclear power. That fear is made worse by the notion that Iran might give one of its bombs to terrorists.

However, there’s a lot of oil sitting under Iran. And that oil is going to be sold somewhere, in some currency. As peak oil takes hold, these big stashes of oil become even more valuable. Saudi reserves are not all they’re cracked up to be.

Far from being a “limited intervention,” an attack on Syria could lead to something akin to a world war, though certainly a war with Iran is possible. It’s so possible that it seems to be an intentional means of drawing Iran into the conflict, and giving the U.S. an opportunity to ‘defend’ itself and end up in a not so finite, not so limited war that goes on forever.

Situation Three — intra-Muslim politics. I know so little about this that I can barely write a whole sentence, but I know the issue exists and that it’s extremely complex. The Sunni and Shia branches of Islam have been slugging it out since the earliest days of their existence.

The situation in Syria is complicated by the fact that Assad and most of those in his regime are Alawite (a branch of Shia Islam) but most Syrians are Sunni. This contributes to the conflict, since Alawites are a minority in Syria yet they have been in power for decades.

I know that most Americans think of all Muslims as being the same thing, but that’s not how Muslims see it. If we get into a war with Syria, we are jumping not only into the midst of a civil war in that country; we would be plunging into the Sunni-Shia battle.

U.S. officials might have a political intent in doing this; for example, Saudi Arabia is Sunni; Iran is Shia. We owe Saudi Arabia about a million favors after both Bush Wars and in particular how badly the second one went. The U.S. consumes a lot of Saudi oil — oil that is running out. So the U.S. pretty much does what the Saudis want.

But don’t think about that — think of how heinous chemical warfare is. Don’t think about how the U.S. waged chemical war in Vietnam and the rest of Southeast Asia, featuring napalm and Agent Orange, and forget about the white phosphorous that the U.S. used in Iraq, including on civilians.

Forget how American police departments use chemical agents on American activists on a regular basis, less dangerous than sarin but chemical agents nonetheless.

Think about the sarin victims, even though we don’t know who they are, by name or family affiliation; and we don’t have a suspect based on real evidence — we don’t know exactly what happened, who set off the gas if indeed any was used, or where the suspects got it (except for the part about the Brits selling the stuff to the Syrians last year — don’t think about that part). And just because someone has something does not implicate them; one would think that to go to war evidence besides the government’s say-so would be necessary.

Well, Obama has done us a big favor by referring the proposed bombing of Damascus to Congress — we are at least having a discussion, even if you get very little of it in the mainstream media; there is plenty to read about on the Internet. In this case the pretense of following the Constitution is not such a pretense.

What all of this says to me is that there is some other much larger agenda at work, one that is currently obscured by the fog of war.

Astrology of the Syria Situation

The Syria situation is making a lot of charts. The problem is that there is no one accurately timed chart to connect the situation to. After doing hundreds of news chart analyses, I’m made skeptical by any widely notorious event that cannot be precisely timed. The gas attack has no known exact time. Many people would have heard the first missile strike.

Syria’s natal chart, per Nick Campion’s Book of World Horoscopes. Note the Mars-Uranus-Vesta conjunction to the upper right side of the chart. Also note that Syria’s Sun is at 9+ Capricorn — right in line with the Uranus-Pluto square. This goes on for a while longer.

My astrology collaborator Tracy Delaney said Thursday, “Trying to read that chart seems to bring home the fact that this did not happen in a vacuum; it kind of says go join the dots then.”

When we start doing that, we find a pattern of interlocking charts that includes the 1944 chart for Syria; Pres. Obama’s chart; the current Uranus-Pluto square, including the night of the chemical attack; the current charts; and the fact that Bashar al-Assad was born during the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1965-1966.

Let’s connect some of those dots, considering a few of the charts involved. The background is the Uranus-Pluto square — the 2012 aspect pattern that lasts from 2011-2015 with effects that will reach into the end of the decade. Uranus is in Aries; Pluto is in Capricorn; Jupiter is now in Cancer; planets keep moving through Libra, completing the grand cross in the cardinal signs. Through all of this, Chiron is in Pisces, just like it was for the Uranus-Pluto conjunction of 1965-1966.

Here are some highlights:

The Syrian Protest Movement Begins on March 15, 2011. This happened just four days after Uranus ingressed Aries, and officially takes its part in the Uranus-Pluto square. That’s also four days after the tsunami and earthquake that set off the worst nuclear disaster in history — at Fukushima, Japan, which has apparently killed the Pacific Ocean and is at this moment spinning out of control. This is the same astrology that sets off the rest of Arab Spring, the Wisconsin movement and the international Occupy movement.

The Aquarius Full Moon. This was exact the night of the alleged sarin gas attack. The time range of 2 am to 4:40 am directly encompasses the exact Moon-Sun opposition, which was at 4:44 am (daylight savings) local time. The Full Moon was conjunct Nessus, a centaur associated with revenge, poison and karma coming back to the person who sets off the chain of events (in the myth, in the form of how his own poison comes back to Heracles and kills him).

The alleged sarin gas attack was timed with the second Aquarius Full Moon. The Moon was conjunct Nessus, which is associated with poison and revenge. The event sets off Syria’s natal chart as well.

This is a colossal chart. Within hours of the Full Moon, Jupiter in Cancer makes its exact square to Uranus in Aries and a trine to Chiron in Pisces. Speaking astrologically, it’s one of the biggest moments so far in the 2012 era. It’s the moment of first contact between Jupiter and the square; and Chiron is right there to pick up the energy and throw the door open to something a lot bigger (one expression of the trine aspect).

A reading of the full aspect list from that day shows Mercury making five different exact, simultaneous aspects to minor planets, including a door-opening trine to Eris, who in one manifestation exists to precipitate war and strife, and a square to Varuna — the breaking of a promise.

The dubious chart for 2 am, the earliest stated time of the alleged gas attack, is indeed a chart illustrating a situation where “the government attacks its own people,” but that chart takes a ride and it’s not clear what really happened. But it’s clear that something happened.

The Natal Chart of Syria. The source of this data is the eminent Nick Campion’s Book of World Horoscopes. This is not a friendly chart. We really do have the horoscope of a duplicitous, volatile, pent-up raging enemy of the people of the world. Go figure.

The chart features a Mars-Uranus conjunction in Gemini on the 8th/9th cusp. The chart has Pluto in Leo on the North Node, like a warhead. We really don’t want this country in possession of too many fancy weapons. Is this really someone we want to bomb?

The chart was set for hair-trigger the night of the Full Moon. And it fits another world horoscope rather nicely…

Natal chart for Barack Obama. It fits many ways with the Syria chart and the chart for the current moment (see SKY section below).

Barack Obama’s Chart. Barack Obama’s sensitive Gemini Moon is conjunct Mars-Uranus in the Syria chart. He feels personally provoked and he probably does not know why. But he had the good sense to pass on responsibility for the decision to bomb Syria. Meanwhile, Obama and Syria have planets piled up all over one another — when you put the two charts around one another, you get all kinds of conjunctions, with Obama’s Neptune making an impressive appearance in Syria’s chart: it’s square Syria’s North Node and Pluto.

The Current Chart — Mars square Saturn. One last. We are currently under the influence of Mars in Leo square Saturn in Scorpio. I unpack this fully in the current edition of Planet Waves FM and in some detail in SKY below.

The upshot is that Mars in Leo is bringing a lot of passion, drive and vital force into contact with Saturn, which in Scorpio is chilly and represents some form of stuck energy. The sensation is that of pressure building, which comes to a head on Tuesday — the congressional debates of early next week will sure be interesting.

What stands out is that the Mars-Saturn square fits — to the degree — Pluto and the lunar nodes in the Syria chart, and Obama’s Neptune. And along comes Mars, plunging into the whole arrangement.

As has been asked before though never often enough: what could possibly go wrong? What has ever gone wrong before?


Weekly horoscope for Friday, Sept. 6, 2013 #965 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — If you find yourself meeting the resistance of a partner, I suggest you explore your options rather than fight. You may feel ready to take on whatever issue directly, though it’s unlikely to get you the results that you want. One result might be the freedom to express your passion, curiosity and creativity without the interference of someone else. You may be feeling like a certain agreement or commitment has reached the point where it’s no longer useful. That may be true, and you may also be able to get yourself over the hump and continue on. How many times has this happened? How many times have you reached the point of maximum tolerance and/or frustration? If more than three times, you might consider that there’s more to life than frustration, and why you need anyone in the role of restrictor, enforcer or defender of the faith — yourself included.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Be conscious of a tendency to divide your personality to deal with feelings that are too intense to be comfortable. This is sometimes described as compartmentalization; sometimes it’s known as denial. The polar opposite tendency might be some form of confrontation, whether with yourself or someone else. Between these two extremes is plenty of room to maneuver. What will make it easier to do so is the idea that you can compromise on anything except how you feel. You can adapt your life patterns, your actions and to some extent, what you say. Yet how you feel is how you feel. That alone may be the issue, and if it is, if your emotional response or reaction to anyone or anything is what you’re grappling with, then start there. If you are direct with yourself about your anger, passion, rage or restlessness, you will be less likely to project the cause onto someone else and more likely to use your ability to choose.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — If you end up in the role of diplomat or mediator, you may be taking on more than you can handle, or at least more than you’re expecting. That said, you’re likely to take this role, if only because it feels natural and you’re up for a challenge. Therefore, be aware of the landscape that surrounds you. What appears to be a lack of balance is actually the result of some factor pushing the situation out of balance intentionally. Whomever or whatever this may be, it’s the one element of the equation that’s non-negotiable. I suggest therefore that you not try to negotiate with a typhoon, or try to become one to get a result. You may know the truth about something and notice that others are less than interested. Proceed in a way that works for you and that also serves the greater good — not in your opinion but in a documentable way. Vast forces are in motion all around you; please respect them.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — The way to move stuck sexual energy is to focus on feeling good about yourself. I don’t mean getting your nails and hair done. I mean acting in the world with courage and determination, and standing up for your most deeply held values in the situations where they matter. If there’s a situation involving what feels like an erotic blockage of some kind — a lack of dates, a stall-out in bed with your current partner or a lack of drive or desire — I would propose that it’s not what it seems. You may be taking way too much personal responsibility for what someone else is directing at you. You may be uncomfortable about how you would be perceived if you were freer with yourself and your desires — and this might not be merely a figment of your imagination. You still have the power to penetrate this and come out in a better place. I would remind you that if it’s liberation you seek, seek liberation within yourself first, and then share it.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You may be encountering the intractability of another person on an important matter, probably a domestic situation. Now is not the time to push the issue. By now, I mean over the next few days, tempting though it may be. This situation looks like a playback of family material, so the person who seems to be involved may be a sock puppet rather than an actual cause. I suggest that before confronting anyone or making a decision you cannot reverse, investigate the ways in which the matter is a projection of your inner reality. You may conclude that there are other causes or factors, but the astrology of the moment is pointing you within first, to seek a thorough review of your own emotional and psychological factors. Once you do that, and you’re fairly certain you’re not projecting, it will be far easier to address your concerns in a friendly, productive way — though I would suggest not before the middle of next week.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You may be feeling extremely edgy, as if someone is following you with binoculars, or like everyone knows your secret fears. They don’t actually — you’re far more inscrutable than you think. What I suggest you guard against, meanwhile, is allowing others to dictate the terms of your relationship with yourself. This could happen over the next week or so as you find yourself moving through a series of challenging circumstances with colleagues or associates. What you have that they may lack (at least temporarily) is a sense of connection to the world; the priority that oneself is not the only thing that matters. If you find yourself in a disagreement with anyone, probe that as a possible source of the friction. You would be wise to associate with people who not only care about the world but who are actually doing something about it. Values are like talents — they are merely potentials until we put them to good use.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Over the next few days Venus leaves your sign and Mercury enters your sign. One implication is that it’s time to share with others how you really feel, rather than entertaining them with pretenses of any kind. Appearances can be important; we are now in a get-real moment. You may be concerned about how others who are more blunt than you are will react; what I suggest you pay attention to is your response to whatever they may be saying or doing. You face an ongoing challenge to speak up for yourself, accentuated by how powerful you perceive others as being. Yet their power is mediated by how you perceive them, your style of ommunication and more significantly how you relate to yourself. If you’re intimidated, people will seem powerful in ways that are disproportionate to reality. If you pluck up some courage and have a conversation about what really matters, they will seem more like your equal.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You have nothing to live up to except your own passion and drive to move forward. If you forsake that in service of an easy life, you may feel tossed around by forces outside your control. This is a moment to take authority over your life. You may be aware that once you do, that will have a cascade effect and you will need to make many decisions that you’ve put off, potentially for years. That alone might be enough to get you to decide that you’ll wait for the next opportunity to come along; you’ve had many and you may be assuming that many more are coming. Even if that’s true, there won’t be another moment like you have today. You may be hesitant to act on what you perceive as irritation, negativity or conflict, but you might ask what else would get you to make a decision. And you would probably get an answer that fits the current scenario, if you look at it honestly.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Make sure you’re playing a supportive role in the lives of the people around you. By supportive I mean something other than competitive; preferably collaborative. That would call on you to let go of what may be considerable anxiety, which seems to flare up every time you want to do something that taps into your determination and creative vision. Listen to the fear and don’t let it stop you. Listen and don’t put others into the role of rival. You may have the feeling that you and everything and everyone around you are balanced on a hair-trigger, and that if you say or do anything meaningful there will be an earthquake. You’ll have to be willing to test that theory to claim some emotional space, though a good start is reminding yourself, every time you feel a burst of anxiety or uncertainty, that you can act in modest ways to hold the world together — and you’ll feel better for doing so.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You may fear that the conversation will veer in the direction of sensitive issues or extremely private subject matter, and if that’s true then it’s exactly where I suggest you allow things to go. You want depth and many factors in your life are offering the opportunity to go there. I suggest you be mindful of how much you may fear your secrets getting out into the public. Indeed it may be your worst fear, but if you allow that to run your private life then you’re living like an emotional hostage. People care a lot less about your secrets than you may think. Everyone has plenty else on their mind; what you’re experiencing is the fear of an illusion. That said, there is a lot of relief to be gained when you stop caring about the views of others on your most private matters, or perhaps more to the point, when you decide you simply must be known for who you are.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You may feel out of your element, or like a certain relationship situation is pushing you beyond your limits. Yet in a strange way you also might feel entirely comfortable with where you are. You’re moving through the emotions and demands of your situation more gracefully than you may reckon, and in many ways it’s bringing out the best in you. Still, I am sure you would appreciate some relief from the constant pressure, particularly where the necessities of a personal situation intersect with those of a professional one. It would be great if you could devote yourself to one or the other and really go in deep. Yet your astrology as it’s currently structured is suggesting that the opposite is true. As you toggle back and forth between commitments, you will gradually design your life in a way that integrates both and excludes neither.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You would be surprised the extent to which you’re living under an externally imposed belief system of some kind. It could be something installed by your parents, by teachers or by religion; it could go back much further than that, including being legacy material from institutions who have held down humanity for a long time. If you know this, you stand a decent chance of getting free from whatever this is. The way to do that is not to dissect or dismantle it but rather to make contact with what you value, and in particular, how radical it is in contrast to much of what you see, feel and hear going on around you. Make peace that you’re the weird one. Trust that even if you don’t have an influence on some of the stuffy people around you (which you do) that your determination to live your own truth is attracting people who appreciate you and whose company you will enjoy.

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