In the Nature of Water

Dear Fellow Traveler:

We have nearly arrived at the total solar eclipse in Cancer. There are many kinds of eclipses, and this is just the second total solar eclipse in Cancer since the June 2001 event that rewrote existence. (The most recent was last July.) The June 21, 2001 eclipse was precisely on the Aries Point, in the first degree of the sign Cancer. In other words, it happened on the solstice, and was extraordinarily powerful for that reason.

Sunday’s total solar eclipse in Cancer, set for the location of the astrologer. The eclipse itself is on the top right side of the chart — note the Moon and the Sun with the number 19 next to them (that is the degree location). Juno is the purple asterisk-like glyph to their right. The inverted horse shoe is the South Node of the Moon. When the Sun is near either one of the Moon’s nodes, you know that an eclipse is in the vicinity. Also of note is the cluster of planets in Virgo. These are on the top left of the chart. In order the planets in Virgo are Venus, Vesta, Mars and Saturn. Saturn is about to ingress Libra and make its 5th and last opposition to Uranus (in blue, directly opposite Saturn).
Click for larger version.

Now we have many other planets gathered around the Aries Point, all of them aligned in the cardinal signs. Those are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, as well as the lunar nodes. I am aware that this time in our lives is offering many people more stress and change than they can process. The eclipses are intensifying the effect: we will be in different territory Monday after the conjunction, and as the energy shifts we will gradually see where that is.

So take it as easy as you can, talk to people you resonate with rather than those who resist your perception, and move with the energy. Given that the eclipse is in the sign Cancer, that means high emotions and, as you will read later, some stress on partnerships. Do that crablike thing and move sideways if you need to. Focus on your basic needs.

There are a lot of planets in Virgo right now, and Saturn is changing signs: these factors point to additional mental stress. So go easy on the self-critique, and if your lover isn’t giving it to you, give it to yourself.

Oil Spill As Metaphor

Cancer is a water sign. It’s difficult to think about water without remembering the Gulf of Mexico, the Loop Current and the Gulf Stream. Everyone has their favorite place in that part of the world and I keep thinking about what is going to happen to Key West. Yesterday I heard that tar balls washed up on the Texas coast. Maybe that will get them into the game: we need a state with a lot of influence to keep the pressure on BP and the feds. I’ve also heard that by August we could expect the oil spill to reach Miami. That’s a lot of beachfront real estate, something to consider for those who don’t care about dolphins.

Urban Stream. Toronto, summer 2005. These are actually freshwater springs within the city being drained off of a construction site. Photo by Eric Francis.

As someone both trained and naturally inclined to read the signs and symbols, I also cannot think about what’s happening down in that magnificent inland sea without considering what this says about the emotional nature of humanity, and the extent to which we are collectively overdosing on everything that is not conducive to peace, contentment or creativity.

By overdosing, I mean everything from what we see on television to what passes as food and beverages. Every time I see someone walk by with a can of Arizona iced tea, I cringe. I mean how we do nearly all of our socializing on the Internet, where we can safely delete one another. I mean the extent to which we are inflicted with about 10 new reasons a day to get lost in anxiety, and we have few examples or techniques to get out of it: besides, you know, the usual mantras of “it’s all good” or “we’re all screwed.” It’s true that we need to organize politically and environmentally to deal with this stuff, but we also need a kind of psychological activism so we can learn techniques to cope with and process the way the world is now. We need to learn our options.

I wonder why, when I flip through the cable channels, I go past five murder investigations and a couple of murder trials. Conversations about relationships are relegated to the circus of daytime television. How often do you see an artist talking about their work — that is, as compared to crime scene investigations? I would say it’s a ratio of about 1:500. I never imagined that politics would get polarized into the hyped-up state of vindictive chaos that it’s in (the Clinton impeachment should have been a clue), as our country racks up debt for war against a nonexistent enemy and cannot, at this point, solve its own problems. We could, of course, if we could agree what they are, agree to do something and agree that the people who profit from perpetuating the problems have to be moved out of the way.

All of this and a lot more plays into our anxious emotional state right how: what you might call our water body. People really are scared about what is happening to the world. Personally, I find this to be impressive. Yet we don’t know how to turn that fear into action. The Gulf of Mexico is quite a metaphor for how we tend to deal with our water body: our emotional body. I just got an email from Chelsea’s husband, T.J., directing me to an Associated Press story reporting the following:

Algae in a beachfront salt-water pool in the North Sea, St. Malo, France. Photo by Eric Francis.

I am also reminded of the Planet Waves report from the spring about how until recently the Gulf of Mexico was used as a dumping ground for millions of pounds of unexploded bombs as warships returned from sea.

If you’re following the news, you may have heard the theory that there is a massive methane bubble under the blown-out well that could, if it ignites, create a massive fireball, eruption and tsunami.

And CNN is reporting that nearly all of the people who worked on the Exxon-Valdez oil spill are now dead. This should remind us that petrochemicals are toxic. If you’re not supposed to sniff your car’s fuel tank while you’re pumping gas, you should not be exposed to raw petroleum without a respirator and Tyvec suit. From what I hear, that ain’t the way it is on the Gulf of Mexico right now: the workers cannot get the protective gear they need.

I’ve been working as a card reader and astrologer since the late 1980s and that means I’ve been listening to a lot of people tell me their stories. This is how most of us deal with our emotions. We take chances that we don’t calculate. We don’t take precautions that would be easy. Then we dump the old bombs and cap the wells and call that turning over a new leaf and moving on.

Water Recovers Gradually

Of course, this doesn’t usually succeed. Fire, air and earth can burn, blow and quake (and move on), though water heals and returns to equilibrium slowly. What is damaged by water is slow (if ever) to repair, and we need to be mindful that water itself can be damaged rapidly. Once there is a toxic release, it can take a long time to recover, if it ever does. Real-life evidence of this is that it’s nearly impossible to find fish that’s not contaminated with mercury, PCBs, flame-retardants and many other persistent chemicals.

Clam digging on a cold, damp afternoon in the north of France. Photo by Danielle Voirin.

And it’s difficult for us to proceed through our emotional world without encountering their emotional equivalents: deception, resentment, fear, guilt and shame — no matter how much we want (or say we want) love and emotional contact. We absolutely can heal these things, though there are a few prerequisites. One is we have to want to. Another is that we need to set about to do it on our own, acquire the tools we need, and surround ourselves only with cooperative people.

I wish this was how most of us lived. The world would be a lot happier place: an easier place to be. The way most of us treat our emotional reality, it’s as if we woke up one day and discovered 27,000 capped oil wells and a million tons of bombs at the bottom of our personal pond, and have no idea where they came from. This is for the most part true. The past is more complex than most people can deal with, without help — and how many people get help? How many people do you know who go to therapy and love their therapist? We don’t realize that the unresolved pain and injury of our mothers and fathers is visiting us even from the seventh generation or longer into the distant past.

If we want to recover, we need to plan for a long journey, and take the first steps ourselves. Nobody can make that commitment for us, and no matter who wants you to feel better (and by that I mean heal emotionally), you have to want it for yourself or it’s not going to happen. There are moments of breakthrough, but it doesn’t happen in that instant, hyper-convenient way that we Westerners have been conditioned to believe that progress is made. We don’t turn off the computer and turn it back on. Apparently dying, visiting bardo and reincarnating don’t do that much as well. Most people live through the same stuff lifetime after lifetime.

Most of that stuff happens in the context of intimate relationships, and the current pair of eclipses has a lot to say about those. I would note that how we handle our intimate relationships is the single most important factor that determines how we will handle our relationship to the world: that is, with “the system” and the power structure. Indeed, the two will reflect one another — and the whole setup will have its underlying roots in our relationships with our parents.

Cancer-Capricorn: The Relationship Axis

In recent years, an ancient document surfaced that is a key to understanding astrology. I admit, this is not getting a lot of news. I first reported on this in 2007. It’s called the Thema Mundi, a theoretical chart for the world left for us by the classical-era Greek astrologers: the Founders, as they are known. The big news in this chart is that Cancer is rising, suggesting that the 1st house or ascendant is a Cancer influence and not an Aries influence. This has many implications for astrology and the corresponding study of human nature. I call this the 90-degree shift.

Waterfall in High Falls, New York. Notice the little grotto in the back of the image, toward the left. — I just discovered that the other day. Photo by Eric Francis.

Cancer rising for the chart of the world actually makes a lot of sense. Humans have to pause and take care of one another, no matter how much we try to play the every man for himself game of Aries. Our reality is primarily emotional: how we feel is nearly everything. Cancer in the ascendant puts Capricorn on the descendent, which is the 7th house or relationship angle of the chart. We tend to enter relationships with thoughts of family, nurturing, need and cozy emotional exchange (Cancer) and we tend to end up in highly structured or confined situations characterized by parent-child dynamics, financial bonds, obligation, guilt and all the trappings of history (Capricorn).

If Cancer is the 1st house and Capricorn is the 7th house in the chart for the world, the current eclipses are happening across the self/relationship axis of the chart. We just had a lunar eclipse in Capricorn conjunct Pluto, and now we have a total solar eclipse in Cancer. These events are getting that whole axis shaking: our relationships and our ideas about relationships, and the subtle pool from which our feelings and responses emanate. While planets pile up on the ‘personal is political’ Aries Point axis (reshaping the world at large), we have something distinctly inward and personal happening as well — and what is personal affects the world.

There is no private life that is not in some way guided, shaped or dictated by a larger public life. All critters learn by example. Your dog, your cat, your kids, you personally: we all learn, and teach, by example. Notably, most of our ideas about relationships are no more original than what you see on TV and in movies. If you’re below a certain age (I’m not sure what, though) you’re lucky these days if they’re more original than what you find in porn. (The Onion recently did a video mock of a TV discussion panel on the theme, “Is pornography sending our children the wrong message — that sex is pleasurable?”)

And all of this has been passed onto us by our beloved ancestors, with a lot of help exploiting our pain from the advertising industry. This, basically, is our emotional Gulf of Mexico disaster. We could do something about this with some willingness and desire. All of this territory is mapped out. The problems are well understood. As Adrienne Rich wrote, there are methods but we do not use them. With all this eclipse activity, you may be deciding that it’s time to apply a method or two; to get some help. Don’t give up on that after the eclipse has passed and the immediate pressure is off: this game is just getting going.

Eclipse of the Moon in Capricorn, Conjunct Pluto

These eclipses are showing us what we have to clean up, and are pointing to some strong potential for what we can create if we do. I thought the June 26 eclipse in Capricorn was particularly beautiful at illustrating what we have to confront and let go of in our emotional patterns, which is overidentificaiton with the other. I recognize the value of companionship, but that’s not what I’m talking about. I am describing the loss of any boundary between the identities of two people.

Cap Gris Nez (top left) as seen from Cap Blanc Nez on the north coast of France, along the English Channel. Photo by Eric Francis.

We call this romance and commemorate it with large diamonds, expensive dinners and mortgages, but what we have is one of the most significant evolutionary impediments imaginable. We are taught to lose ourselves in the other, and then we call this holy. How can it be cool to lose yourself in the other when you are the only thing you’ve really got?

Let’s think astrologically, step by step. The Moon rules Cancer, the 1st house (= I am) of the Thema Mundi. It was eclipsed in Capricorn, the 7th house (= we are) of the Thema Mundi. That feels like facing pain, enforced growth, the death of a situation, an imminent change in a situation, or outright immolation. Whatever the Moon represents has been through quite a process in these recent weeks, which has shaped its entire experience of relationships. It has recast the sense of ‘self’ that exists in relationship, pointing to what is impossible, what is urgently necessary and most of all, what we truly desire.

There has been an actual break in continuity, though only after acknowledging something from the past, and admitting that Pluto is still new in Capricorn and will be there until 2023-2024. This reminds us of a much longer process of completely redesigning our relationships: perhaps as an intentional act, perhaps as we crawl out of the rubble.

I’m aware how much people resist new ideas about relationships, as if such were not even possible to imagine or create. For the most part we are still dragging around two options: the meaningless hookup, or Cinderella and Prince Charming. We have a lot of other options, but to get there, we need to consider what we do to ourselves and one another by so often experiencing our relationships so unconsciously. In short, we need to begin this whole conversation by admitting our failures, including the failure of our ‘institutional’ forms of relationship.

Eclipse of the Sun in Cancer, Conjunct Juno

We could cut the whole discussion of relationship forms short by beginning with the idea that our primary relationship is to ourselves. Before we conflate this with egotism, narcissism, self-absorption, vanity or being conceited (all of which our culture teaches us to do, mostly through advertising), let’s admit the simple truth that the one truly lifelong relationship we have is to ourselves.

Healthy plant drawn towards the daylight on a rainy Paris afternoon. Photo by Danielle Voirin.

For anyone who honors this, it’s more difficult for the idiots to slip into our lives (it’s possible, but we might not roll out the red carpet for them). It takes two unconscious people to make an unconscious relationship. The minute one is conscious and able to admit their own best interests, they are free to move on. This, of course, takes commitment to one’s own cause. And that, to me, is what a total eclipse in Cancer is all about.

Remembering that this takes place in the 1st house of the Thema Mundi, and that Cancer is the sign of incarnation, this eclipse is about incarnating as yourself.

Mixed right in with the eclipse is Juno, and in her highest manifestation she is about commitment: so this eclipse is about unifying one’s commitment to oneself. Juno is conjunct this eclipse within one degree: she is right there, setting the theme.

Juno has another dimension, though. She is the embodiment of our expectations, our pain and most of all, our jealousy in relationships. We have a lot of concepts of ‘what a relationship is’ and ‘what a partner is supposed to be’, including one’s own role as such. Women are given a lot more of this baggage than men (Simone de Beauvoir explains this in The Second Sex: women are taught to have a relationship as a primary life goal and men are taught to have relationships as part of their lives). So Juno represents this conceptual level of what a spouse or being a spouse represents, and that needs to be taken apart and looked at honestly.

Part of why we have such narrow ideas about relationships is the jealousy that Juno represents. We throw one another into all kinds of bondage because we are jealous.

The problem is not so much that we get jealous, but that we worship jealousy. We organize our lives around avoiding jealousy at any cost, usually through lies, secrets and denial, and this is where most of our relationship energy goes. In that environment, growth is basically impossible. Basically you have a choice: you can say ‘I’m a jealous person and that’s how it is’ or you can say ‘jealousy is an opportunity to grow, and I want to grow’.

The connection may not seem obvious at first, but you may discover that jealousy is your best teacher, your best opportunity to set yourself free and the thing that teaches you what love is not, and what love truly is.

Yours & truly,

Coxing Kill on the Grandmother Land in Ulster Country, New York. Photo by Eric Francis.

Parsing The American Dream Political Waves

Archie Bunker (All In The Family): One of the sitcom characters you’d kill in real life. He’s a bigot who is mean to just about everyone who walks in the door. On the show, they somehow make this endearing. In real life you’d just stop going over to Archie Bunker’s place. Bunker was played by Caroll O’Connor, one of the great television actors of all times.

Archie Bunker. That’s a name most of us recognize, the prototype for ignorance, bias and racism wrapped in an almost — but not quite — loveable package of human frailty. Norman Lear’s creation of a 1970s American family as cultural battleground cracked open the mythology of sanitized television families that had been force-fed to the public through the 1950s and 1960s. For the first five years of All In The Family, the nation couldn’t look away. The character of Archie was originally designed to remain unlikable, but Carroll O’Connor brought a vulnerability to the role that broke through the bigoted crust of a population mesmerized by its own image. In the end, Archie was allowed to evolve into a gentler creature, but it should be noted that as he did so, the public lost interest.

There’s another name being bandied about these days, a name some of us recognize but few of us know much about. Herbert Hoover, our one-term 31st president, was a curious creature who combined both softly liberal and sharply conservative views. He was skilled at problem-solving and organizing, with a reputation for stringent micromanaging. He put his faith in volunteerism and business rather than in government sponsorship, carefully guarding both the GDP and the public coffers, and streamlining spending. He inherited a fiscal mess and let the banks fail in the early 1930s. When he finally decided the economy needed government stimulus, it was too little too late.

Hoover was an austerity president who believed that the public could pull itself up by its bootstraps. He staunchly refused to offer public aid when the Great Depression took root, even when nearly a quarter of the population were without work and homeless. Tent cities sprang up boasting his name: Hoovervilles. In one of those gaffes one is never able to live down, he defended his policies by announcing that the hobos were eating better than ever. Archie Bunker might have said something similar, and now you know why you’re hearing Hoover’s name in the news.

Award-winning economist, Paul Krugman, used the word Depression in a recent opinion piece and scared the children. We are not there yet, said Krugman, and if we go there, it will not be like the Great Depression of the 1930s. If we do not become more aggressive with stimulus, we may suffer the instability of the 1800s, known as the Long Depression, which included a number of panics, bubbles and financial downturns. The conservatives argue that this period was a time of great innovation and wealth building, that the GDP was growing during that timeframe. Of course, it’s all in the family, isn’t it? The nameless, faceless Gross Domestic Product did increase during that period of westward expansion, but what about the people? Big business families did very well for themselves. The average family struggled along in substandard living conditions, still hopeful for their version of the American Dream. This economic loop is not new to this continent, nor, sadly, are the conditions that prompt it. As always, it is driven by class war and corporate models that do not respect worker rights.

The American Dream was codified in our Declaration of Independence as inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It was intended to avoid the class constraints of the European model, creating America as a place in which station did not limit opportunity. The very hope of achieving the rewards of personal labor became the American Dream for generations of citizens who may never have achieved more than subsistence; still, it remained possible for their children and grandchildren to achieve more than they had.

As industrialization created a more prosperous nation, the American Dream became idealized as a home of one’s own and material comforts. The dream of home ownership was promoted by Herbert Hoover; it was also talked up by Bill Clinton and shouted out by George Bush, who bragged of his burgeoning home ownership statistics as a sign of successful economy. Now it looks like some 4 MILLION American Dreams will be going back to the bank by the end of this year.

The Archie Bunkers will blame unqualified shysters rooking honest bankers out of home loans. The Archies aren’t happy these days. But as long as the GDP keeps edging up — that number representing money exchanging hands — the nation will keep ‘growing,’ and the Dow will keep humming and corporate profits will continue to boom, keeping hope for their American Dream alive. They don’t seem to comprehend how little of that wealth will trickle down to them, or that their own jobs or homes might be in peril. Their leaders aren’t much concerned with such issues, either, since keeping the rabble agitated against the current administration means selling out the national good for their own political prospects in the future. This is called ‘starving the beast’ all the way into office.

Now the people must be squeezed for more, punished for overreaching, and disenfranchised by overextended state governments to make up their losses. Herbert Hoover would approve. A balanced budget, even at the destruction of the public’s life and fortune, was Hoover’s mantra. Surely it isn’t a surprise that he and Bush the Younger find themselves in the bottom five on the historians’ list of effective presidents. They would likely be on the top of Archie Bunker’s list, though. He would approve whittling down big government until it was paralyzed and on life-support, denying assistance to any who might need the welfare tit.

The American Dream of freedom, equality and opportunity has had to be fought for by every generation, and still does. We forgot those battles for a few decades, assuming those rights to be ‘freebies’ inherited as part of our citizenship. Our rights have always been attacked by those who sought to control us. In this go-around, we are being bled by corporate powers that were non-existent a hundred years ago. We weren’t paying attention when repeated expansions to corporate power overwhelmed their original purpose, or when free markets turned our economy from its strong, industrial base to a nation of money lenders and manipulators. Now we suffer the commitment of the moneyed to keep the system in place, despite its dysfunction. The corporate machinery will continue to turn, unimpeded, unless we stop it, regulate it, and seal its jaws before it consumes its host.

If our American Dream still includes public schools and libraries, services and institutions designed for the betterment of humanity, equal rights and just laws, we need to start fighting for it. The distracting culture wars of recent generations have blinded us to the class war that we’re losing. The Archie Bunkers of the world won’t change, it’s not in their character, but we must no longer tolerate their reality. Perhaps the real American Dream is not the one we seem to have recently lost but the one that was long ago determined on a system that provides for the protections of life and liberty, regardless of class or station. That original dream is still the one we need to secure in order to prosper and thrive.

And the pursuit of happiness?

Weekly Horoscope for Friday, July 9, 2010, #823 – BY ERIC FRANCIS

Aries Confidential

By their nature, shadow images hide from our perception. By our nature, we tend to not want to see them. So the denial of shadow material — such as fear, guilt, shame and insecurity — is pretty much built into this thing we call human nature. But if we want to grow, and that means grow out of our anxiety and self-reproach, we simply have to face these matters, and I don’t mean in the form of a fleeting glimpse. You are in a rare moment when you can peer into this dimension of yourself and observe them as if you are looking through a fog. The question is what to do with what you see, and I would say focus your attention for as long as you can. Remind yourself that every effect has a cause. See if you can get to the point where you can see fear as an option that you choose, or not.

Taurus Confidential

You seem to be married to an idea, and are using this as a substitute for devotion to yourself. What you’re feeling as commitment may be part of a plan to stabilize the ebb and flow of the human tide, which can be an annoying thing to go through constantly — especially for one born under your sign. But ebb and flow is what we do the most dependably. Any notion of commitment, to another person, to yourself or to the work that you do, needs to include room for fluctuation (this, even the designers of bridges and skyscrapers know well). This weekend’s total solar eclipse is encouraging you to be flexible in your ideas about everything and everyone in your life. Take some of that space to see things as they are rather than as you insist they should be, or should have been. I’m pretty sure you will like your new perception better than the old one.

Gemini Confidential

If you’re getting involved in a financial partnership, or a personal relationship that includes the merging of finances, I suggest you get a few things out on the table. One is the scorecard that you’ve accumulated during this particular encounter. State your resentments and your unresolved issues in clear terms. Be honest about your values and whether you think they align with the values of the other person. Then invite your counterpart to do the same — and listen well. You may feel compelled to yield to what is important to someone else, and this may evoke several layers of response. I would remind you that the history of this relationship goes back long before this relationship, and you may need to take extra care that you’re not bringing in the past unfairly. You will soon see how much you have to gain by faith and fairness.

Cancer Confidential

Western culture, particularly the United States, seems bent on denying the past. Yet in order to grow, we have to make peace with the past, take the information we need and let history go: which is different than denial. Indeed, it’s precisely the opposite use of the mind. At the moment, your relationship to yourself is evolving rapidly, and that in turn is shifting your relationships to others. This is having visible and productive results. The past has weighed heavily on your emotional life, and it’s only recently that you’ve been able to acknowledge your disillusionment and admit what you want. You’re well on your way to finding the present, and you are more emotionally available than you’ve been in a long time. This is something to neither rush or to delay, but to embrace consciously. Then spread that energy to everyone you meet. Notice who they are, today.

Leo Confidential

Imagine yourself in gestation, suspended in fluid. Feel the gentle movement, the distant sounds and the light that’s coming from inside you rather than around you. This space has the quality of paradise, yet you’re also confined. You have everything you need, but you have no influence over the flow of events. All you can do is focus on the changes you’re going through: on what you feel, and on who and what you’re becoming. You know you’re growing so fast that eventually you won’t be able to contain yourself in this enclosed bubble, but for the moment it’s serving its purpose. Now notice: you’re not alone. The vibrations and emotions you’re experiencing are, in part, influenced by a source outside yourself. You’re in relationship to whatever this other thing is, and it’s influencing you powerfully. Be aware of this: all your growth depends on it.

Virgo Confidential

You’re finally letting go of that heavy quality that has dominated your life for so long, and that has influenced so many of your decisions. Your anger is beginning to change into something else, something more useful. Your need to take total authority over yourself and certain people around you is beginning to reveal itself as less than helpful. The reason you’re noticing these things now is because you have an option; you can see that you have a choice, and you’re making the obvious decision. But there is something else. You know that every decision you make opens up a world of possibilities, some of which you cannot see, and none of which you can predict exactly. Letting go of that false sense of control is what will gently guide you into true freedom.

Libra Confidential

You are embarking on a creative partnership that has the potential to help you express your true talent. There’s something ‘old’ about this arrangement and something entirely new about it. Every positive quality to this arrangement has a negative counterpart somewhere in your history. Yet instead of that history repeating itself, it’s as if the problem points are being redeemed into something useful, indeed, something that benefits and nourishes everyone involved. These two ideas — benefit and nourishment — are your best friends right now. Notice when they are present in your environment, and nourish them right back. Keep a positive flow. As Saturn enters your sign, the winds of change will sweep through your life. Be alert, look for the best in every situation and remember: you know yourself. Use that knowledge and it will grow.

Scorpio Confidential

Rather than having faith in a relationship, I suggest you aim to trust existence. In order to do this, you must have faith in yourself: a precious and rare element on our planet. In our world, we put enormous energy into romance, marriage, expectations, commitments and striving for the perfect bond. Then it’s as if we don’t notice how often this fails. Yet the thing we’re really not noticing is what it’s a substitute for, which is clarity, self-respect and faith in existence. If you look, you can see why. The more we run toward supposedly permanent emotional entanglements, the less emphasis we place on who we are. They’re mutually exclusive because our relationships are so often based on something other than who we are. No matter what you’re experiencing right now, you can trust that you’re moving closer to the truth of yourself.

Sagittarius Confidential

You need to sort out an emotional commitment from a financial commitment. This is usually known as marriage, though even if you’re not married or if the relationship I’m describing isn’t with your spouse, the feeling is similar. The boundaries seem to be all over the place. You’re not sure whether to take authority or make some kind of sacrifice. Actually, there is something in this situation that’s out of your control, which evokes some memory of childhood. Here’s what you can do as an adult: you can be creative. You can pay attention to the details. You can shift the conversation away from adversity and petty wrangling toward allegiance and your mutual need for security and common ground. If you come to a point where you feel helpless, remember you are not; your power is in the strength of awareness, communication and the decisions you make.

Capricorn Confidential

Shift into proactive mode. For the past few months you’ve been able to ease away from the feeling that you need to be six steps ahead of everyone, and you needed the rest. Now you’re back to a distinct need to be on top of your game. That means mapping out the chessboard, knowing who is who and where you stand with everyone, and seeing what options you have. As the next few weeks unfold, you will need to make a series of decisions, and they count. Indeed, you’ve made several choices the past year-and-a-half that didn’t quite count, and now you’re playing for keeps. But you’ve learned plenty, and you’re ready to apply that knowledge. Let me clue you in on one thing you may not be noticing: people — such as colleagues, bosses, clients, peers or whoever — respect you a lot more than you think. Step into that space and live like your life matters. It most surely does.

Aquarius Confidential

Stretch your horizons, and I mean far and wide. The nature of your life is about to take on new dimensions, as if you are shedding a skin or outgrowing a previous set of conflicts, delays and irritating situations. Before that you experienced a series of jolts that seemed ‘well intentioned’ on the part of the universe, but which were also far from comfortable and only nominally useful. Your current astrology speaks of opening up a new life that feels like cracking out of a psychic cocoon and discovering you’re alive. Remember the ways in which you’ve strived to exceed the bounds you knew could never limit you. You could call this waking up to yourself. Yet a relationship potentially is involved, and potentially solid and productive, which I mean in the deepest long-term sense. I suggest you take authorship and widen your field of potential, based on what you want to experience and accomplish with unfettered honesty or bold imagination. Don’t let yourself be limited by your prior concept of what is possible; that is the very thing your psyche is ready to outgrow.

Pisces Confidential

This weekend’s eclipse pulls back the veil over some of the aspects of your life that are the most precious to you: emotional bonding, meaningful sensual pleasure, your creative passions and your sense of adventure. AndI am sure it comes as welcome news that you’re at a culmination point. You don’t need to eat from this whole buffet at once, though there is certainly a meal coming. Rather, imagine yourself fully entering this dimension of your life, finally allowing yourself to relax the emphasis on so many things that supposedly violate your true nature. You’re not giving up everything you’ve learned; it will still be there when you need it. What has been lacking is your full commitment to what you want, and this is that part that you alone can offer. If you find you’re giving yourself reasons why not, stop looking for reasons of any kind. Indulge your experience because you can. Be real because that’s the thing to be.

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