News from the Divine Feminine

Dear Friend and Reader:

A FRIEND OF MINE in Los Angeles is working on an article for a newspaper about why some men there allegedly don’t want to have sex with the women.

Film still from The Graduate, starring Dustin Hoffman.

Or at least that’s how it started. After doing voluminous research, she now seems to be going in some different directions, and I’m eager to read it. While I have not rushed to LA to personally investigate the crime scene, for the sake of the article I accepted her premise, providing quotes and some relationship theory speculating why this might be so.

She first noticed it in her own experience. She’s an attractive, intelligent young woman — a friendly Aquarius with a sense of humor and some attitude: the alive type. She would ask men she knew for sexual attention and they would refuse.

She couldn’t get a one-night stand and just one guy would provide some mercy sex; I guess when you’re a hot chick, there’s always one guy who will eventually submit. Then she started hearing similar stories from her female friends, including one who is an exotic young Scorpio starlet. These women, playing the role of strong and confident suitor, specifically wanted honest sex without a relationship commitment. The men, allegedly playing the role of insecure boys, would not buck up.

Last week, she told me the story of a guy who, immediately prior to sex-about-to-happen, freaked out, got dressed and left her house after seeing her altar with crystals and feathers; he presumed she was practicing witchcraft. I laughed so loud I think I woke up my neighbors. She was left with the proverbial blue ovaries.

None of this information is based on sociological data, but it’s rich territory. Guys on the East Coast where I live just roll their eyes when I tell them the scenario, because it’s so incredulous. Assuming it exists, you could point to many sources for such a phenomenon, from environmental toxins messing with hormones (they are), to stress, to the fact that LA tends to be the biggest masquerade ball in human history.

Wearing a costume does not bode well for authentic sexual communication. There is no way to act cool when you have your face buried between a woman’s legs. You have to just take off your Revos and go for it.

I also pointed to the many unsettling changes of our world, the crumbling of tradition and the Internet (another kind of masquerade ball) corroding our social skills. Uncertainty is leaving a lot of people feeling like they have no clue what to do or how to act. Maybe it’s time to stop acting.

She said that the men’s apparent fear of women had taken hold on the social level as well, where she described parties that were strained for any authentic conversation. The imagery reminded me of an elementary school prom, with the barely pubescent boys on one side of the gym and the more sexually mature girls, simmering with estrogen and feeling the exciting presence of their breast buds, on the other. Only these are grownups who make movies and TV commercials and impregnate our minds with their many ideas about life.

The Awakening of the Divine Feminine

Her theory as to why this is happening involves what she feels is the awakening of the divine feminine. That is another way of saying that the women she knows are experiencing some unusual surge of confidence, inner strength, volition and the freedom of choice; such (if it’s to be real) always involves the prerogative of sexual choice. Our culture does not view the sex-for-marriage equation as a weakness. It’s viewed as a virtue, and the cost to women’s independence is not counted.

As Planet Waves covered in its current edition on sexuality (please see front page), feminism began to give women some new ideas about themselves, but next to no new ideas about sex or how to handle their feminist identity in the context of sex. If there was a sexual revolution in the same era as feminism, it had nothing to do with relationships. And feminism didn’t touch the subject either.

In our conversations, my friend describes her perception as a kind of pole shift happening, where women are beginning to claim their inner power and sense of identity in the midst of the patriarchal world.

Woman on Couch with Boy by Buffalo, NY resident artist Bruce Adams.

No longer content with the choice between being cute girlfriend or mommy, they are busting out. My friend feels that men are not only threatened by female awakening, they also seem to be regressing to boyish patterns of insecurity and dependency when faced with it. So well accustomed to bimbos or women acting like them, they have no clue how to handle a mature, hot, wet woman who actually expresses desire.

I’ve heard this a lot of times in my career as both an astrologer and erotic photographer. Why don’t women make the first approach?

Because it doesn’t work. No matter how much guys might say they want women to be more self-assertive, it’s still intimidating. It dents or tarnishes this thing called the male ego. It’s dangerous to generalize, but I can see the truth of this, and I’ve heard it a lot of times. Why so many men feel rejected by so many women may be another story, but we have some clues that we are all here having similar human experiences, not experiences that are strictly divided by gender.

The essence of her theory, as of the last time we talked, is that men are withholding sex in a last-ditch effort to keep their power. I’ve had a few good laughs contemplating the poetic justice of this.

I would add a bit. If men are responding to the awakening of some new feminine archetypes in women, they may also be feeling the change within themselves. This may keep them clinging to traditional roles. According to this scenario, the guys want relationships and marriage and not casual encounters. It remains to be seen whether it’s inspired by maturity or fear. In other words, if men are opening up to their more sensitive feminine side, maybe they want the “safe container” of a relationship to have that kind of inner emergence. Or maybe they are just clingy little babies who want their mommy and not a steamy night of passion.

We all contain male and female energies and inner polarities. Every chart has Venus and Mars; the Moon and the Sun. Usually we project our inner opposite polarity onto the opposite sex, and the genders become these self-parodying exaggerations of macho and macha. If you’re a man, you look for the kind of woman you want to be in the world around you, and try to get her attention. But what happens if you’re a hot-to-trot man and your inner woman is a prude; and then you’re approached by an Aquarian sex goddess who has no interest in dating or marrying you, she just wants to tap into your maleness for a hot night of scratching that deep, womanly itch?

Well, in addition to the fact that most humans think that any unfamiliar territory is scary, you could get a little freaked out because you’re being confronted by a woman who is more like your inner man. (This is starting to sound queer.) That might mean that you would need to be submissive in the encounter, since she took the lead. (Now we’re really talking queer. What’s next, a strap-on?) Plus, your prudish inner femme is probably nervous about how casual it’s all going to be. Her feelings might get hurt. She might want flowers the next day. She may be worried she’s going to get an icky disease from a promiscuous person, or even get pregnant. (Now we’re talking straight.)

Plus, if your inner chick is used to being uptight, she might not be too friendly to the kettle of estrogen that she’s noticed is starting to simmer inside her. She might be afraid of losing control, and go out of her way to take over the whole show and keep a grip on herself (like so many men have experienced around women). Hence, s/he sees crystals and feathers, presumes this bitch is a witch and makes a hasty exit. When this kind of thing happened during the Inquisition, the results were a lot worse.

I know, I have fancy theories. And I could go on.

A Gender-Bending Extravaganza in Gemini

Every time I think of the magnificent astrology that’s unfolding in Gemini right now, I think of this story. It’s written in the stars: the confusion, the role reversals, the awakening of the feminine aspect; as are all the feelings that come with it. Here is the scenario. Tell me if you agree. This gets technical but I’ll do my best to hold your hand the whole way. But don’t take that as a sign that I want to have sex with you. We’re just holding hands, okay?

First, one thing to remember is that Saturday is the midpoint of the two extremely rare Venus transits of the Sun. Click that link for the background; these are two potent events that occurred/will occur in 2004 and 2012. So that is the backdrop, and 2012 — the chronological symbol of transformation and taking the leap — is involved.

Whatever else may be happening, we’re in a kind of tipping point toward the future, and the planet involved is Venus and all her themes of values, beauty, love and eroticism. And the Goddess. The pentagram (five-pointed star) of the Pagan faith is the pattern that Venus makes in the sky every four years. The pentagram is an organic symbol. It is a cool design, but it existed before people arrived on the planet. When you see that five-pointed star, think of Venus and when you think of Venus, think of the Goddess.

We could use some future orientation on all of these themes (values, beauty, love and eroticism, the Goddess), and actually Gemini is a pretty good place to get it. Gemini is not Aquarius, but it’s great at considering the many possibilities and tends to have pleasantly easy boundaries. Gemini is conversant, it’s heard of the future and embracing the dance of opposites doesn’t offend it. In fact, Gemini, the sign that understands twinning the best of all, is in my opinion one of the two kinkiest signs of the zodiac.

Gemini also emphasizes the bivalence of any planet that is visiting. In other words, it’s not stuck; it has a moving perspective. In Gemini we put Venus in a mirror and explore the two sides of the polarity; the way she reflects herself, how she sees herself. Venus in Gemini might be about experimenting with female bisexuality, bisensuality or self-eroticism. Venus in Gemini is also not afraid to assert her male side: be it desire or the more typically male propensity for words, ideas and intellectual authority. She might want to get out that strap-on.

Then there is Mercury. Mercury, androgynous by nature, is currently retrograde in Gemini. Here is a sample of the chart for the moment I am writing. How exciting! How adorable! Everything is in the 8th house!

Mercury is both the planet of ideas and the communication of ideas. And it’s about to make conjunctions to both the Sun and to Venus. (Notice, at this moment the Moon has just swept through Gemini and as of Wednesday afternoon is sitting on the Cancer Point, square the Aries Point.)

The Sun brings the male principle into the discussion: the assertive, creative, glory-seeking sense of “true self” or, alternately, what some call male ego. The Sun represents the regal factor in the psyche; it represents the president or the king in many other charts; it has executive decision-making power and is associated with the metal gold.

Venus is currently moving at about the same pace as the Sun, just a shade faster. (The motion of Venus today is 1.22 degrees per day, and the Sun is .95 degrees per day.) So Venus is about to catch up with the Sun and form what is called the exterior conjunction on June 9 just past midnight EDT. Here is the full chart, set for where I am now, in New York.

By this time, Mercury (moving retrograde) has just made exact conjunctions to both the Sun and Venus, energetically spinning them backwards (inward) and touching them with a dose of energy and extra consciousness.

So you could interpret that as firing them up to be more honest with themselves; more self-aware; and more acclimated to what they would not normally say, think or feel but indeed want to feel and express.

Remember, this little fireworks display is happening on the North Node of Venus and at the exact midpoints of the two Venus transits of the Sun described above. So it’s happening in a hot spot in both space and time, accented by the fact that it’s opposite two massive galactic points in Sagittarius.

This is Now. What Was Then?

Mercury retrograde is the symbol of inner communication. It also takes us back to the past and helps us question and reassess the past, and encourages discoveries of things, ideas, memories and events long forgotten.

So the question is, who were you way back when? Most people are happy to have given up their sexual history. But many miss it, particularly the sense of discovery and scalding curiosity that was once associated with both sex and sexuality. For many people, there was a time when masturbation was a lot more potent and meaningful, instead of the maintenance routine that it often becomes later in life. This is astrology under which it is possible to connect with that deep thread of inner awareness.

For many people, sexual memories are painful: humiliation, abuse, chaotic boundaries and incredible fear can permeate our sense of the past, and going back there might not be so welcome. Yet it’s possible to open up to yourself and begin to resolve this stuff; it needs to be brought out into the light where it can heal. Nobody else needs to be there, but it’s good to have someone understanding to talk to; still, the conversation begins with yourself. The inner dialog is going to involve one of our most dominant masculine principles (the Sun) and one of the two commonly acknowledged female principles (Venus).

Photo by Eric Francis / Book of Blue.

And in Gemini, it speaks to a thorough assessment of the dualistic nature of human beings — in particular the other side of who we are that we do not usually acknowledge. What is that other side of your nature, the one that the ego masks out, or cannot get into words? We have many sides to our nature, but the “other side” in the big sense of that is the one to watch. It is the person free to do what he or she wants and say what he or she wants, but this side of the psyche is fragile and eclipsed by the normal (or moral side). I love the similarity between these two words.

I like to think of this other side of the personality as the one that comes out during the last 10 seconds before orgasm. You know how you get. Nothing is inappropriate. Reality is boundless and anything can happen — especially what you want or fear the most.

This is most often when bisexual scenarios slip in, and anonymous sex, and violence or being forced to submit, or any number of scenes that I am not comfortable mentioning here but which you can envision. Then those memories are quickly masked over by the ego and we resume being more or less the person we were before.

I’m sure I’ve told this little parable here before, but imagine how mortified you would be if a video or transcript of what happens in your mind during those amazing last 10 seconds before you let go were broadcast to everyone you know.

Yet why would that be? It’s just you!

I am however less concerned about what other people would think, and more concerned about why anyone would mask their feelings or mental imagery from themselves. And this we often do. We often forget during the day what we imagined the night before, and often we don’t even want to think about what we did the night before. It does not mix well with the false identity that we put out, who is so often a conservative, a prude, or one for whom trying a new flavor coffee seems daring and innovative.

This weekend’s aspects seem brilliantly designed to take us through all these dimensions and acquaint us with them. And remember, Gemini is the sign of your neighbors. Long distance is cool; Craig’s List Minneapolis is hot; you have this guy in Anchorage; but at the moment, the theme is local.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis




Weekly Horoscope for Friday, June 6, 2008, #717 – By ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Someone is willing to communicate with you, and to cooperate, and even to shift their thinking. I suggest you be willing to do the same. If he or she is a lover or love interest, the discussion needs to be more on the level of friends or siblings rather than in the high-drama world that erotic polarity can create. How do you do this? Well, I guess if you can figure that out, you’ve come a long way toward solving the war between the sexes, or perhaps the eternal struggle between top and bottom. You have one specific power — which is to step out of your own sex role and see what life is like if you leave all that behind for an hour or two. It would help if you leave the prearranged scripts of what it means to be a man or a woman out of the room; and the more you recognize what they are, the easier this will be.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
You are holding the solution to a financial problem in your hands. All you need to do is change your thinking. For a Taurus, it may not be your ideas that you cling to, but rather the whole experience of clinging itself, which is ridiculous. You know you are facing some significant questions about your worth and your livelihood, though we might question how those questions are answered. In a few words, resolution comes when we adopt a different viewpoint and then adapt our choices, activities and priorities in such a way that aligns with it. If you are missing something, it’s something boldly obvious. And I would add one other point — you may want to see the whole plan or the story of your life unfolded from beginning to end, and feel that nothing else will satisfy you right now. I suggest you be content with turning the pages of the book of life one at a time.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Whatever turmoil or highly unusual inner quest you’re going through, you are about to reach the eye of the storm. This is a place of true serenity, where the light of day shines in. It’s also a place you always carry within you. The process of your growth and certain highly unusual circumstances in your life are taking you there directly, if you would notice that’s where you’ve arrived. Now, you need only to remember the way; remember the particular feeling or quality of the space; and most of all, remember that this space exists just in the moment when you might be most inclined to forget. It is true that you have an unusually challenging time of healing your mind and settling your restless thoughts for long enough to think creatively. And it’s true that you have some truly unusual and even miraculous help in this process now.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Focus on an image of how good you want your life to be. Work however you can to envision it, and then to illustrate, express or communicate that vision to yourself. Use words, use pictures, perhaps use sound and maybe three-dimensional models. However you do it, work toward a tangible expression of what you want your existence to look like, feel like and to represent to the world. Without writing a book about metaphysics, I can see that in a veiled dimension of your life — what we might call the dimension of manifestation — a development process is afoot, and it’s calling for you to engage your conscious mind as an architect and as a designer. You may not see the full results immediately, but if you devote yourself sincerely to this visioning process, I trust you’ll receive confirmation that the alchemy is working.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
There is an unusual dialog developing between aspects of your life that too often seem to have no relationship, and a magnificent healing is possible. Look for anyplace in your world where there are uncomfortable fragments — for example a disconnect or competition between your partner and your group of friends; any issue where the rewards or idealism of your work impact a relationship; anywhere you seek freedom and find yourself in the middle of some odd or unusual struggle. Keep going, describing the areas of your life where there are fragments, divisions or ideas that separate you from other people. Look at them honestly and ask what purpose they serve. Ask if that purpose is really necessary. Determine to put the energy to better use and watch how it follows your commands like a sheep hound.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Among its many gems, A Course in Miracles offers a lesson that says, “Let me recognize the problem so it can be solved.” That is another way of saying, don’t be afraid to see your problems for what they are. Fear not your confusion, your contradictions or your sense that your life is like an airport with too many planes in the sky. The problem with our problems is that we typically don’t see them for what they are. Usually, they are simpler than we think. They take less effort to solve than we think, and finally the solution is much closer at hand than we would be convinced to believe by those who define problems as the meaning of life. Here is a clue — you have the perception that you face two different situations, or like you need to recognize two different goals. Consider the possibility that they are the same thing, no matter how odd a couple they seem to make.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
There is a touch of genius to your charts at the moment, as if you are a seer or visionary of your own existence. It goes a lot further than this, however: you have a window open to the truth, and it exists for yourself and for other people to utilize. Make sure you benefit from this opening first and last, and that anyone else who may benefit wait their proper place in the queue. What is good for you is good for the people around you, so it’s not like you’re hogging anything. Yet the important thing is that you see this signal as a beacon to your own future irrespective of how anyone else may feel. The clearest message you are hearing is the one intended expressly for your ears only.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
No matter how odd or contentious someone’s views may seem, you can enter into a productive dialog with them. Productive would translate to highly beneficial for you, as you let go of one agenda and embrace a new and unfamiliar one. This is the time you need as much support as you can get, and it’s coming on strong. It just may not be in the language you expect. Therefore, treat everyone like a potential supporter, even if they are a critic. Assume that everyone has a gift for you, even if it looks like they are pointing out a problem. The events of the next week are a portent of things to come, so choose wisely and approach the world with an open mind. At least one decision you make in the coming weeks will carry you through at least this time in 2012 — so proceed with full attention, and above all, refuse to rush.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
People around you are going through enormous, rapid changes — changes they may not understand. They may be perceiving you as going through these changes, which is true but not the way they think. Anyway, the whole constellation of your relationships is developing rapidly and in ways you cannot predict. Furthermore, this process was set in motion some time around early 2004, at which time you either made a commitment, or had one made to you. Search your files for the accurate information; the association or involvement is now up for reassessment or renewal, and you can renegotiate the terms in such a way that everyone benefits in unexpected ways. Now as ever, the unknown is your friend.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Work and money are two different things; some of the most incompetent people get paid a fortune while some of the most talented languish in obscurity. Fortunately, you fit neither category, though you now have a rare opportunity to connect your best efforts with significant resources. Think big; think clearly; proceed in single steps and be prepared to change course at any moment. Agendas are easy to keep flexible, but one’s sense of commitment may not be. Remember that your agenda is a kind of commitment, so you need to maintain the ability to flex both at once. Everything is negotiable; there are enough resources to go around; your best resources and talents are able to align themselves with the ideas and resources of at least one key individual. You will know who they are because they fit the description, “not like you at all, but exactly like you.”

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
Gradually, you are waking up. It doesn’t happen all at once, and at first you had to figure out you were sleeping, or at least getting drowsy when you needed to be full-on wide awake. You are now on part of your journey where you are making a specific inquiry into a romantic, creative or sexual situation. There seem to be two distinct sides or facets to the situation. These dual facets match your inner reality, where you are working out something involving two sides of your nature. They could be creative versus productive; business versus pleasure; friend versus lover; or one of the many (often false) dualisms we have to work out. The key to this situation is making sure that the two aspects of yourself in question are in a constant dialog. You could benefit from stepping into the viewpoint of another — but also making sure that they have the chance to step into, and recognize, your viewpoint as well.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Pisces is notorious for its many insecurities. You of all signs are aware of floating upon or swimming in the vast cosmic ocean. This awareness comes with many feelings, at different times, ranging from profound insignificance to the sense of a direct connection with God or Goddess. At times you might feel like you are tapped into a direct cosmic source, and at others like this matters little in a world that seems to fret over everything else. Some brilliant aspects are developing in your chart that are designed to teach you that you are not only safe in this life, but that you are grounded and at peace with yourself. The imagery is one of an intimate inner dialog. It is true that many have played the game of divide and conquer with you, and sometimes you play this game with yourself. This is a moment of joining, healing and embracing authentic self-acceptance.

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