Mercury, Saggitarius and the Freedom to Think for Yourself

Dear Friend and Reader:

Mercury is a prominent factor in the sky and in our lives this week. I’ve suggested many times that in our world of communication devices and grannies who twitter and mommies who blog and 13-year-olds who text all their friends about their new boyfriend, Mercury is an incredibly important planet. By that, I mean it’s a concept we need to understand, honor and work with, because we are basically married to this fleeting energy.

Over the next few days, Mercury in Sagittarius makes aspects to Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune — which has the potential to clear the way for many positive developments.

Here is a message from Mercury: When times are tough people tend to want an easy solution, rather than a complex one that requires actual thought or effort. One thing about thought is that it’s sometimes hard work; it’s not as simple as a perfectly smooth iPhone app that works flawlessly because it’s been tested 100 times.

Not everyone thinks so much, or likes to. Actual thinking is an expression of freedom. Freedom is scary to many. There is the implication that one may be wrong; indeed, in any thought process you see that you’re continuously wrong, and then need to make a correction.

We toss the word freedom around, but in truth freedom is of the mind — and that is a dangerous edge. Freedom requires not just that you get in your car and drive anywhere you want, but that you be willing to walk along that cliff, not sure if or when you’re going to fall.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Initiative is one of the keys that unlocks success, and progress, and for most people, happiness. Often it is the single most vital factor. You could say that this concept is the opposite of passivity, the game of ‘see what happens’. Both Mars and Aries contain the potential for a mind to break out of passive mode. Once we succeed at that, we get the experience of, well, of experience itself: which can include success, failure, resistance, pleasure, fear and many forms of encountering The Other. There are times lately when The Other feels like The Many, like you are somehow up against the collective mind, no matter how private of a person you may be. These encounters will go on for many months, and are designed to bring your inner being out of the alcove in which it sometimes hides.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)
You may be recoiling at how sexual people see you as being, though I’m here to tell you that you can be enjoying it thoroughly. However, the real news is that there is a rich place between what we think of as attraction and what we think of as repulsion, which is the zone of exploring the unfamiliar. Most of what we like, we know from the past. Most of what repels us, we’re afraid of or avoiding. Part of what you are exploring is how you think others see you. The presence of Venus and Ceres in your opposite sign Scorpio is a reminder to keep pulling apart the curtains and looking past your mother’s perception of you; of who she thought you were, are or should be — a place you often find yourself trapped. What is on the other side? In sum, you are.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)
Be careful of a tendency these days to generalize or exaggerate. It would be just as easy and advance your cause more effectively if you are precise in your speech and thought. As you focus your mind and your use of language, you will be more discerning what you take in; you will become more concerned about the differences between facts, ideas and beliefs. These are subtleties that are beginning to dissolve into the current environment of ‘say it enough and it must be true’, or ‘if I believe it then it must be true’. If you have not quite awoken to the beauty of ideas, this is a potentially rich moment. As you do this, remember: the specifics matter. One example does not prove the case — your own, or anyone else’s.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)
You may feel like the sole survivor among your peers as the person not willing to sell out your values. Yet there are moments when it’s challenging to put those deeply held principles to work — which is the whole point. It’s not always easy; in fact, it’s usually quite challenging. I would propose one idea. Particularly where your work and reputation are concerned, you must be willing to embrace some inner chaos, and trust that this is the thing that will help you the most. In other words, to have possession of what you know, it’s necessary to encounter many other possibilities, some of which challenge you and some of which challenge who you think you are. Encountering the unknown within yourself is nearly identical to the willingness to change.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
Life is not a war and it’s not a struggle for survival — or at least it does not have to be. Of course, just because you know this doesn’t mean there aren’t many others with a bunker mentality. Here is what: don’t get caught in it. You’re a lot better off reasoning with yourself than you are trying to reason with others who don’t see the point to engaging their creativity. However, if you listen and feel your way carefully through the world, you’re likely to meet one person with a gleaming, open mind. It may be a child and/or may be someone considerably younger than you. From that conversation, you could learn quite a lot, but mainly you will have an example of someone who is simply open to truth, whatever that truth turns out to be.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
You’re at one of those moments where you really can decide not to let fear run your life. The challenge is figuring out that this is what’s happening, or starting to happen, before the process takes over. It’s difficult to pull back, in those situations; but I would like to ask a question, or maybe it’s a suggestion, which is to notice the allure that fear has for you. Notice the aspects of life to which you are drawn and by which you are frightened (or made nervous) at the same time. You may think that you’re magnetized by the attractive quality and repelled by the fearsome quality, but have you considered whether this equation works better the other way around? Now for the bold step: allowing the fully conscious experience of pleasure in the fear.

Libra (Sep. 22 – Oct. 23)
One day when I lived in Brussels, I locked myself out of my apartment with the keys left on the inside of the lock. I had an extra key, but the one dangling from the knob on the inside prevented it from working. Then, I leaned on the door to get a sense of how strong it was. I didn’t push or bash it — I simply leaned on it, and with a cracking sound, the door swung open and took out the doorframe with it. I was stunned at how I had believed for so long in what turned out to be a total illusion of security. Every time I had checked whether that door was locked turned out to be meaningless, but then, nothing had gone wrong. So it is right now with the things you think make you safe. So it is with your belief that the key you are holding works.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
At this moment you may be identifying with inner qualities that are different than what you normally feel and experience as yourself. This can be disorienting, even to the point where you may be wondering whether you are indeed someone different than you thought. I would propose that any of these experiences of identifying with something you think of as representing your ‘self’ are a kind of shadow play. Who, for example, is the self beneath the concepts or identities that is having the experience of inner perspectives? How you respond to this says a lot about you. Human consciousness has a disturbing tendency to define itself by what it feels different than. Projected outward, it can turn to war, and projected inward, it often appears as the terror of change. But these are merely options. There are many others.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 22)
Have you considered that what you are responding to in this mind-bending way is a sense of your potential? We are given this idea that we’re supposed to get all excited when confronted with an exciting possibility for ourselves. Yet we all know how often we run from what is new, exciting or positive. And it remains one of the great mysteries of human nature why this is so. I have my ideas, but let’s first apply some cold, clear logic: if we don’t consciously explore our potential, what exactly do we do with our lives? If you choose the seemingly less challenging path, who does this benefit? And if you awaken fully to who you are and allow yourself to choose the more challenging path, who (besides yourself) does this threaten?

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
You’re not the type to trust your intuition, or rather let’s say that it’s not an everyday occasion. I suggest you make it a habit. Your uncanny sense of the past is an intuitive gift. This gift can be turned toward your perception of the present and of the future. More significantly, you can turn your perception to what is really going on with you, in these times when everyone, particularly yourself, is living under the full stress of enforced change. Think of how much it would help if you had access to an information source that guided you toward making decisions at these crucial moments. There are two aspects to this. One is recognizing that fear is just one of the voices in your mind. The voice of spirit is a still, soft voice. The other is simply trusting yourself. And it is simple.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
You are doing a good job of working with those who support you, and what you may be figuring out is that communication is key to the process. Keep the dialog open with everyone, even those you dislike or don’t necessarily trust. Treat the people around you with as close to equal priority as you can, and remember that anyone can present you with an opening that opens the way not just for you but for everyone with whom your life is integrated. This is the concept to work with — integration, or put in another form, integrity. Every viewpoint that you hear or observe can contribute significantly to your own. This will compel you to keep a wide-open mind and enter a process of give-and-take with your own opinions. Over the next few weeks, you will see many times that an open mind is your very best friend.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
The correct path is often the most difficult. I know there’s a New Agey theory that when you do the right thing, everything happens like magic and with ease. Yet if you look at the world and notice who has persisted at living their truth, and achieving something significant or at least meaningful while facing the world’s many destructive tendencies, you’re likely to see it’s those who are willing to embrace adversity first and ease second. You’re closer to the ease phase than you may recognize. There are long worked-for elements of success close at hand, yet you need to recognize and be responsive to opportunity when you see it, and more to the point, be open to it. Despite the holidays or whatever else may be going on, this is the time to focus on your goals and to pay close attention to everything you do.

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