Looking Beyond the Devil in the Details

Dear Friend and Reader:

By now, whatever emotional energy peak you may have experienced with the Full Moon should be dissipating. And while you still might feel a little foggy or unsure about certain situations (thanks to Neptune’s lingering influence), at least the mental shenanigans of Mercury are slowly beginning to sort themselves out. ‘Easy does it’ is still the mantra du jour, though.

Photo by Amanda Painter.

That might even go double for any unexpected pieces of information that came to you as Mercury stationed direct Tuesday morning.

As Mercury traces its way back through the degrees of the zodiac where it was just retrograde, see if you can follow the trail of breadcrumbs back from whatever you’ve been reflecting on or reviewing.

Even though Mercury is returning to the same slice of zodiac where it was on Aug. 12, all of the other planets have shifted (whether slightly or dramatically). Don’t be surprised if, as you follow your breadcrumb trail back, you find yourself in a slightly different place, with slightly — or dramatically — different self-understanding or insight.

Saturday, Sept. 9, Mercury re-enters Virgo at 10:52 pm EDT (2:52 UTC Sunday), in direct motion. Waiting for it just inside the doorstep are the hypothetical point Transpluto at 2 degrees Virgo, and Mars at 4 degrees Virgo.

Straight away, this looks like a caution against over-focusing on something and putting way more energy into it than it warrants. Overkill is a real thing, and tends to result in diminishing returns. With this loose triple conjunction happening in Virgo, things like non-essential details, self-criticism, criticism of others, one’s idea of ‘logic’ and over-analyzing are all possible areas where one could get a little hung up over the next few days.

Yet there’s another factor to consider: Mercury, Transpluto and Mars are all making a trine to Juno in Capricorn, with Mars the most exact. Juno can be a tricky critter. It’s possible for it to function in a social-justice role. Often, however, Juno shows up speaking of partnership issues — especially in the area of unmet or unexpressed needs.

Full chart for Mercury’s second ingress of Virgo in direct motion (Mercury’s first ingress of Virgo was in direct motion back on July 25, prior to its station retrograde). Mercury is the green symbol with ‘horns’ at the bottom of the chart, in the first arc minute of the first degree of Virgo (properly written 00 Virgo 00).

In its higher expression, Juno trine these Virgo planets could very well describe your ability to focus on and put significant energy into serving a social-justice cause. Goddess knows there are plenty needing our collective and individual effort and energy right now. (And, incidentally, tomorrow’s opposition between Jupiter in Libra and Eris in Aries might allude to that same cultural context, with Jupiter representing the search for justice in the face of social — and social media — chaos.)

Yet, Juno in this configuration could also make it even easier to over-focus on past unmet relationship needs or unaddressed grievances. And that could fuel the shadow side of Mars in Virgo: a sharp, sarcastic and cutting tongue.

Sure, that might feel justified. But it’s a distraction from the opening that would allow you to serve something greater — such as healing.

There is a reason why revenge cycles show up so often in history and literature: two wrongs never make a right; whereas deep, actual healing dissolves the cycle. A revenge cycle might make for an exciting, ongoing narrative and high ratings on TV, but dissolving the cycle through personal healing allows for a much more fulfilling and creative life.

Interestingly, this idea is supported today by the Virgo Sun making a trine to one of the zodiac’s heavyweights: Pluto, which is in Capricorn. According to astrologer Robert Hand, Sun-Pluto trines carry very beneficial, transformative energies. The key, he says, is to pay attention inwardly to what motivates you, what you’re seeking and what changes you need to make.

But there’s a catch: Hand also notes that using this energy ruthlessly or selfishly sets energies in motion that will drag you down in the long run. Pluto is about power. And in a trine to the Sun, it is about conscious, right use of power by the individual for inner evolution.

In today’s chart, it would seem that using this transformative power well means keeping one eye on the big picture, and one eye on your own growth, healing and call to service. Sure, the details matter; and Mercury still slow, powerful and echo-y means that your awareness and focus is warranted, especially for basic daily tasks like driving, financial transactions and anything done via technology. But sometimes, as they say, the devil hides in those details. Can you tell the difference?

Yours & truly,

Planet Waves Weekly Horoscope for Sept. 3-9, 2017, #1166 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — As Mercury changes direction this week, you will be guided to put the emphasis of your life on work-related projects. Yet you’ll benefit from leaving the window open to the creative zone of your mind, drawing from the same pool of ideas you would to do your most exciting personal projects. Said another way, to work effectively, the formula is to blend work and play. That means being more daring, and breaking the mold on certain stuck or boring thought patterns. You may encounter a situation where there’s a temptation to do things the same old way, though the more you try to do that, the more you will revolt. Your mind may become a kind of incendiary device; these get most of their power not from the explosive itself but from the tightness of the container. When you experience a real idea, you’ll know it from the way the walls and windows rattle.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You’re ready to expand into a whole new direction, though you may encounter some resistance in the form of your usual, seemingly inescapable self-critique. You in particular will always tend to be your harshest critic, which is in part a product of conditioning you can unravel. In case I haven’t done so lately, I’ll pass along an idea given to me by a wise old Taurus in my life, which is to never judge your own performance. Rather, do your best work, and let others decide how they feel about it. While some things, such as writing or photos, seem subject to self-critique, this is not as dependable as it seems. You miss the impact of what you create on minds and emotional bodies other than your own. You can’t really assess what you’re producing unless you experience it for the first time, in that moment, which you cannot do. Therefore, do not judge yourself; just keep experimenting.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Mercury stationing direct on Tuesday morning, after a nearly four-week retrograde phase, will give you a boost of confidence. Yet at the same time, other factors look like they could undermine your self-assurance. Once there was a spiritual teacher named Alan Watts. He wrote, “The desire for security and the feeling of insecurity are the same thing. To hold your breath is to lose your breath. A society based on the quest for security is nothing but a breath-retention contest in which everyone is as taut as a drum and as purple as a beet.” Wow, that sounds like it was written yesterday, though it’s from the mid-20th century. The remedy to this emotional mind is, in part, not to take yourself, or your feeling of supposed security, all that seriously. Keep your sense of humor. Remember that all things have a beginning, a middle and an end; track where you are in that process.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — This has been an interesting few weeks for you in two seemingly unrelated aspects of life: your finances and your self-esteem. Yet astrology strongly suggests that they are closely related, if not one and the same thing. If you study the relationship, you’ll notice interesting things. People tend to feel more confident when they have money in their pocket, though they often miss that their economic situation is related to their confidence. While there are exceptions, you will learn a great deal from seeking an understanding of this relationship, particularly over the next six months. As you build one, you will strengthen the other, with the seeming side result of cultivating maturity. This should be more meaningful to you than popularity or being entertained. Go for the deeper material and the longer-lasting values. Know what is truly important to you, and find strength in pursuing that as a life mission or calling. What you gain, you will never lose.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — What you’ve learned the past few weeks has provided you with gems of wisdom that you will be able to bank on for a lifetime. In long hindsight, once some time passes and you have some perspective, August 2017 will be a before-and-after turning point on which your whole life seemed to pivot. What happens over the next few days will remind you what you learned and reinforce the teachings that have been offered to you. You may have missed a few subtle points or ideas for how to proceed, and you may also be making a few final decisions for how you’re going to advance in the short term. Make sure those decisions are based on new information, which is likely to be flowing in abundance. The point of gaining knowledge is to use it, rather than merely collect it. The only way to confirm whether a theory or approach is valid is to do an extended real-time test.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — In anything you may do, ask yourself whom you’re serving. What is the cause that you’re supporting? To what is your energy devoted? To be happy as a Virgo, what you do must transcend yourself. Yet Mars in your birth sign is strongly suggesting that you have to act in certain self-serving ways. You’re approaching a point of maturity that’s requiring you to find approaches to life that sustain your own cause and that serve the greater good. What you do must work for everyone on some level. There are times when you’ll be called upon to make a sacrifice or to offer yourself in truly selfless service, though when you’re in tune, this will always come back to you in the form of learning, knowledge or the opportunity for further participation. Don’t be deterred by people who are in denial or committed to being lost; that’s just a game, and it’s one that you don’t want or need to play.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — There’s only so much progress you can make when your primary devotion is to making sure your life is carefully planned and organized. Most real advances come through some form of disruption. This might include an unexpected turn in the story line, plans that don’t work out and which then need to be revised, or realizing you’re confused and need to snap out of it. Therefore, hang loose, and don’t cling to what you think is supposed to happen. Rather, let the momentum of the next few days carry you, and then see where you end up. Events over the next 24 hours, as the Full Moon stretches across the most sensitive angle of your solar chart, will reveal that things are not as they seem. As the fog gradually clears, you’re likely to discover that you’ve accomplished far more than you may think, despite any plans to do something different.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Popularity is not everything. Seeming proper and acceptable are worth even less. These things are so empty that you’d be well served to toss any worries about what you think people think, and to experience yourself with no concern about how you’re perceived. This is a stretch, though it’ll set you free to think, feel and do things that violate the rules in some way, or which may be appealing to you but frightening to those who are less bold and curious. That’s the place to hang out; that’s where the action is. The fact that something you want might seem inappropriate, embarrassing or risqué is exactly the reason to experiment with it; this in turn will require you to go against protocol in some way. That’s one clue you’re doing something real, and relevant to your growth. To be who you are, you must be willing to challenge who you are.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — All the emphasis of your solar chart is now shifting to your 10th house of reputation and achievement. That also means accountability. You might, however, be over-emphasizing the responsibility aspect of things, which could hinder your ability to get things done. If you proceed with foresight rather than merely worrying about the impact of what you do, you’ll make a lot more progress. Consider what you intend, and be mindful about unintended consequences. Said another way, at the moment, there’s a limit to how impeccable you can be and still get anything done. One helpful key is to notice when your own concerns seem like those of your parents. For example, you know you can succeed at what they might never have dared to try. You might bend a rule that they would never even consider messing with. Most of all, you’re far likelier to strive to achieve something difficult even if you’re uncertain or insecure.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — One theme of the post-eclipse phase of your life is ethics. You can think of this as the careful evaluation of what is right or wrong, based on your personal values. You can drive yourself crazy splitting hairs, and sometimes that’s necessary and relevant. There’s another side to what we call ethics, which is a related concept: ethos. You can think of that as the spirit of the law, rather than the letter of the law. That’s what you want. The truth, or what is correct, is rarely quantifiable, though you can feel it — and you can feel when that elusive thing is not there. For your purposes, there is such a thing as true and valid, though you will be able to sense it more than you can prove it. Therefore, be sensitive to what you’re feeling, including a certain kind of resistance that you know hints you’re investing your energy where it does not belong.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Regarding a financial matter, you will need to study the exact figures before you have a sense of what’s going on. Be bold about going to the numbers, and looking at the various sub-totals and the bottom line. This is not an area with any room for guessing, and what you think might be true is likely to turn out to be different from what is actually true. You cannot be too accurate; you should get the same result whether you add the column from top to bottom or bottom to top. Once you have the data, you’ll be on much more solid ground, and you’ll feel more confident as a result. In fact, you’re likely to discover that not knowing the bottom line eats confidence like a caterpillar eats leaves. You’ll also have enough information to establish the best MO for what you want to do, which should rightfully include a budget that you stick to, more or less.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Many changes filter through the astrology this week, which will settle the accounts on what has occurred during this most eventful month or two of your life. You’ve lived with considerable uncertainty and resistance, which you’ve endured so persistently that you got used to it. Allow things to settle down without any special need to stir them up again. Take some time and do what you want to do, rather than what you seemingly have to do. Most of all, allow and invite what you want to come to you, rather than thinking that you always must go to it. The Pisces Full Moon takes place Wednesday morning, and is just elegant in both its mysteries and what it reveals. Keep in mind that from the viewpoint of others, you’re not so easy to understand or pin down to one point of view, though you can trust yourself, and people will trust you, for many other reasons.

Planet Waves Daily Horoscope for Sept. 8, 2017 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — You will need to attend to the details without getting lost in them. The thing to get lost in is your own experience of making something for its own sake, for yours, or to serve a special purpose. Infuse your work with meaning that comes from your blood and your bones.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You’re close to solving the riddle of self-confidence. One time-honored method of getting there is by being honest with yourself about what you know, how you feel and who you are. This isn’t the stretch that it may seem in your imagination. You don’t have to do anything except admit what is so.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — If you’ve ever wanted to be completely transparent with someone special or with the whole world, your solar chart describes a rare opening to do so. What you may intuitively sense and yet somehow doubt is the delicate pleasure of revealing yourself. You’ve discovered before that vulnerability is amazing.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You may be wondering how it’s possible that things are going so well, though really, your attitude toward life is the key to your success. Optimism is not a weakness. It’s the willingness to envision and work toward the outcome best for you and those you care about the most.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — If you relax, particularly about money, you will attract all kinds of good things into your life. Abundance comes in many forms; financial wealth is just one of them, and while it can buy many things, happiness is not one of them. Respect, appreciation and love will light your way.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — It’s been a turbulent few weeks, though you’re starting to get a grip. Mostly you’ve discovered there’s no point pretending that what you know is true is somehow false. Now you seem to be in hot pursuit of inner discovery, which is a great way to remind yourself you’re really alive.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — It’s worth asking yourself how much of what you perceive in others is really projection — that is, your ideas about yourself, applied to them. This is true whether they’re friendly thoughts or not, though pay special attention to the darker shades. Listen to yourself, and observe what you want to change.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — There’s been unusual activity in the career angle of your solar chart these days, and it’s gradually working itself out. You still need to be cautious, particularly where it comes to offering too much information, particularly in your professional life. You can be a little more reticent to speak.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — This will be a productive weekend with the beneficial effects carrying over into next week. The key to tapping this energy is to apply yourself gently, persistently and over time. Don’t try to get it all done at once, nor be daunted by the territory you must cover. Just stick with your task.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Luck is on your side, though only if you think so. Keep a positive outlook, and keep your eyes and ears open for those who are presenting an occasion to help or opportunity to get involved. Big breaks often come in small ways, such as any chance to establish yourself with someone.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — If you’re one those Aquarians who is laid back about money and who throws the bills in a shoe box and forgets about them till the reminder comes in, you might want to tidy up your paperwork. Stay current on your accounts and keep your desk in order. It will save you hassles.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Relationships are the source of nonstop drama in most people’s lives, particularly those born under the romantic, sensitive sign of the fishes. Yet this in itself does not bring fulfillment, and you might ask what’s the source of all the intrigue. It’s mostly about what you don’t say.

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