Planet Waves FM: Leo New Moon, Mohonk and Weiner & Co.

Planet Waves FM is done a little early today. You can listen by going right to the PW FM homepage here. In this broadcast, I take a look at the Leo New Moon, which is one week from tonight. That chart is heavy on the fire and water, with clusters of planets in Leo and Cancer, and it has a strong message about ‘service’.

I also introduce this Friday’s feature article, the result of a three-year investigation involving one purported conservation group’s efforts to steal part of the Grandmother Land (if you’ve been coming to PW for a while, you’ve seen my photos of this beautiful area). If you do not already get our premium membership mailings on Tuesdays and Fridays, sign up here and this week’s article and horoscopes will be delivered to your inbox on Friday.

And finally, in another twist on ‘service’, I talk in this broadcast about the discussion surrounding three sex-scandalized politicians — Anthony Weiner (NYC), Elliot Spitzer (NYC) and Bob Filner (San Diego).

28 thoughts on “Planet Waves FM: Leo New Moon, Mohonk and Weiner & Co.”

  1. So many experiences and not enough words. Love – desire – power – sex – sexuality. All made up ideas to try and understand social reality. But what about other realities?

    female – male
    masculine – feminine
    woman – man

    One of the saving graces of my life has been that I discovered my sexuality before I had any words for it, or any need of them. By the time the acculturation/indoctrination/ learning of the social-cultural forms shifted st just before I reached puberty (school, family, peers, church, family, television and radio, magazines, newspapers and books), One of the saving graces of my life has been that I discovered my sexuality before I had any words for it, or any need of them. By the time the acculturation/indoctrination/ learning of the social-cultural forms shifted gears to ensure ‘appropriate’ gender – sexuality – identity parameters just before I reached puberty (school, family, peers, church, family, television and radio, magazines, newspapers and books),I was able to at least know at some semi-conscious level that so much of that stuff bore no relation to my experience of myself. And I had the shield of my outer ‘tomboy’.

    I also used to dance. I used to dance a lot. I remember one day when I was about twelve tying chiffon scarves to my wrists and dancing naked in my bedroom in front of the long mirror. My mother did look a bit surprised when she walked in, and she asked me what I was doing, I think because she didn’t know what else to say. ‘Dancing’ ‘Why?’ ‘Because I like it’. I think I knew I was supposed to be embarrassed – but actually, I wasn’t – and she left me to get on with it, but my moment was lost. Mother already knew I was a bit ‘much’. So what was I doing?

    Enjoying the power of expressing myself for myself. Feeling good. Enjoying being a ‘body’. Being creative. Being sexual for myself (or what would the scarves have been for), yes I’m sure I enjoyed the feel of chiffon against my skin. Learning about my own desires. And yet, all with such innocence.

    I think there was a long period in my life when I toned the whole thing down, and then kind of fell into a state of unconsciousness about it – raising a family can be worthily distracting from these issues – because the most common response to me acting from my sexual/creative power/energy [sometimes I like to think of power as simply energy that moves] was fear: in bed, in the boardroom, in the classroom… same reaction.

    But in this era, it really doesn’t take a lot for people to move into fear, because that’s largely what the indoctrination/ acculturation etc. teaches – that the world is a frightening place and so being in a permanent and paralysing state of fear is quite normal. But it isn’t. Being in a state of love would be normal.

    A hundred times a day (at least) – ‘one day I will stop being afraid of myself’ and then that day comes – ‘I am no longer afraid of myself’ – and then – ‘I love and approve of myself’– and then – ‘I own myself and my power, my desires and my creativity, and love is my natural normal state’.

    From here, female-feminine-woman doesn’t matter so much to my state, but there are still not enough words, because I still need to live with others.

    One of my cousins (male) recently explained to me that if I want to have sex with someone (I think he assumed male) I would best ask them, because he’s known me a long time and if a man wanted to have sex with me, he wouldn’t know how to ask because I’m a bit ‘don’t take this the wrong way – a bit manlike’. Strange as it sounds I know what he meant. In a world that is so unbalanced anyone approaching or seeking for inner balance is going to seem strange – and we just don’t have the words (yet) so we try to make the old words fit – but they don’t.

    Where I come from ‘womanish’ in any female (not ‘woman’) not under the control of a man (not ‘male’) is still a form of abuse, a corrector to social expectation. And please somebody look up ‘denigrate’ in an etymological dictionary, and you will understand why words matter so much to me, and how the words we are given to use are so much a part of the problem.


  2. The conflation of sex and power leads to rape and the use of sex as as a weapon.

    Sex exists on a spectrum from pleasure to power. The further from one, the closer to the other. In this equation it is up to us to guide ourselves back to the association of sex and pleasure.

    That means pleasure without guilt or shame; these things are remnants of the power trip.

  3. Eric, with respect, I think this is one of the best conversations the PW community has had in a long time. I see all sorts of connections and responses to what was in your podcast but these responses may not be in direct/linear lines and so perhaps that is why you’re not happy with the conversation, question mark.

    Our society ( American ) is very confused about gender roles & values, sex, personal responsibility and power/control issues. On the one hand just about everything in the media gets sexualized one way or another, mainly to just get our attention and in the media attention = money so, in the media sex = money. Sex is EVERYwhere in our culture… so one the one hand we are constantly bombarded with the ideas that sex is what we are all about…and it is good.
    But then we have the influence of the religious roots and as Fe so beautifully posted, the shift to Patriarchy was about control and use of power over others as well as the commodification of property and this was the beginning of our collective descent into the repression process. In pagan cultures men and women are seen as equal representations of the Goddess and God and a part of Nature and creation. That model got taken away from us (and we gave it up ) as we collectively participated in the patriarchy experiment. Patriarchy has kept us all under-powered and confused because in order to participate and survive in a patriarchal/hierarchical society one usually has to cut off parts of themselves in order to survive and operate in the power structure of the society. Success for the individual was paramount and the individual had to find their place in the hierarchy and move from there. In tribal/collective cultures this is done very differently and my guess is that issues of power/integrity/sexuality have a very different charge on them than they do in our present culture.

    There is a reason why the Scorpio sign represents more than just the sexual arena of our lives, it also represents power (the use and mis-use) and secrets & truth ( what I like to call integrity). We have to take all three into consideration if we are going to look at any one element. THIS is why sex sells, not just because part of our collective feels sex is “bad”, but because the realm of sexuality is also the realm of power and integrity or the perversions thereof. It is a potent and heady mix and is energetically speaking just one notch about our survival instinct so of course it is always going to have our attention whether we are conscious of this or not. Since as a culture we live predominantly in our heads and the upper energy centers of our bodies I believe the reason sex gets our attention so much is that we are generally not well integrated into our energy bodies and therefore are unaccustomed to responding to our lower energy centers. Our society has generally programmed us to be cut off from our lower energy centers. This is perhaps where the “sex = bad” formula has its genesis.

    Issues of power often have sexual over and undertones. Just look at work-place politics and we see it all the time. Secrets and lies usually are connected to abuses of power if not also of sex. Knowing a secret about another person holds tremendous power and fascination for us. What we keep secret from one another usually has something to do with either power (often in the form of money) or sex or integrity….or all three. It is almost always a triumvirate, and this is what gets overlooked usually because we as a culture are programmed to stay on the surface of things. On the surface these issues look to be separate. But as anyone who has looked deeper into themselves will recognize, one cannot work on any one of these themes without bringing in the other two to the table.

    I’ve appreciated everyone’s very thoughtful and honest conversation here… this kind of discussion needs to keep happening. Anyone who takes the time to write as deeply as people have here should to be commended. And for the record, I may make statements that generalize but I always relate to individuals as individuals. In my youth I had many wonderful and lusty relationships with many wonderful and lusty men and I loved them all- deeply and passionately. Some of them are still some of my closest friends. I am NOT saying that every penis is to be considered a potential weapon, just as I do not think that every woman is a slut. However, as Fe pointed out, sex in the patriarchy is also about power and property, it is not a separate and insulated issue for any of us as a result.

  4. If all sex scandals are in one category, it is that they are all advertisements for sexual repression. This is not something that is especially obvious. It needs to be observed over time and in a diversity of circumstances. It can require having a little theory behind you — a map out of the woods of the power game our society tends to play with sex.

    When a sex scandal happens, we tend to get so caught in either the seeming issues, the moral trip, the implications or the salacious details that it just seems like the thing to do, and we don’t usually see this one thing — that sex scandals are advertisements for how bad and how wrong sex is.

    That is their purpose and their effect. They associate, or are used to associate, sex with something that is inherently wrong, because if it was not wrong, there would not be a scandal in the first place.

    While we can say it’s about Wiener’s fitness for office, that is the simple part. His judgment as an attorney and as a public trustee is called into question by the means he used to express himself. But there is a LOT more going on.

    Regarding this idea: “this kind of situation would never be allowed to continue if the subject of this sexual scandal was a woman sending pix of her privates on the internet.”

    We don’t have a test case in politics that I know of, though Huma Abedin’s credibility as a public figure is being called into question merely for her choice to stay married.

    We do have a lot of test cases with various sex videos, most of which I believe were deliberate PR ploys and that collect millions of hits. We have Katy Perry and Elmo creating a scandal because her top was allegedly too low. (I am always amused when there is supposed to be some conflict of interest between breasts and children.)

    Then we find out that behind Elmo was some serious sex abuse and drug abuse — but everyone was focused on Katy’s breasts. Which are nice breasts and she was showing them off, but as usual there was a LOT more going on behind the scenes.

  5. With all due respect, I took the time to comment on the podcast because what it brought up for me is the realization that not all of these sex scandals could be put in the same category and that they each represent a very different type of situation, and perhaps aren’t just about how we as a society feel about sex (sex is bad).

    The Weiner issue particularly is of interest and relevance as this is a vote I will be making, being a resident of NYC. I also wanted to comment on the fact that I previously was a fan of his, and have thought him to be a smart, progressive guy, but that my mind had been changed for one very clear reason: NOT because I have strong moral issues with him (or Spitzer’s sexual conduct in their private lives), but because I think this compulsive sexual behavior says a lot about Weiner’s consciousness level and as one of the other commentators brought up, an inability to grow up. Who does that kind of stuff and names their penis Carlos Danger and thinks anyone should take them seriously? Fantasy is one thing behind closed doors, but once you start sharing this with the world publicly via internet, you are no longer ‘playing.’

    I then went on to add that I felt this kind of situation would never be allowed to continue if the subject of this sexual scandal was a woman sending pix of her privates on the internet. I don’t really understand how that is irrelevant to your podcast, but seemed like a natural discussion thread comment…….I stand behind this idea wholeheartedly. It sounded, Eric, like you were making light of how Weiner liked to “get off” and that because of society’s oppression about sex, we create scandals. I don’t think it’s the norm for people to do this when they’ve already been ousted from public office for it. I happen to think it’s noteworthy about men and power and the differences between men and women in this regard.

    I also started with a little Vesta (the initial portion of your podcast) in my personal experience and how I actually DO take control of my sexual power and use it in a way that works for me in my life as and Artist, and a single woman in my late 30s, which many people consider a sexually potent time for women. I attempt to channel that intensity into my work and creativity. I don’t rely on men for my sex drive. I take care of that for myself, just fine, and have no issues having orgasms with myself. What I stopped doing as I grew up a bit, was discontinue having sexual experiences in which the red flags appeared with the kind of men whom I used to find myself encountering…which ultimately led to disappointment.

    Anyway, thanks y’all.

  6. “What I hear from conscious men is that their sex drive is fatiguing/overwhelming/a constant background noise or louder, that their desire is triggered by many many stimuli, (this is biological surely – the drive to inseminate).

    Women have cycles of desire, there may be the occasional man who causes all panties to fall to the floor (a John Irving phrase), but this is less of a phenomenon in women who often are impressed by a particular individual (again a biological drive at its crudest – desire for the most potent male/genes to father her child?)”

    I normally try to stay out of conversations that try to define differences between men and women because they just make no sense to me. I’m hopping in here because I think the above quoted comment is dangerous. I am a woman, and there is no way that my sexual desire is “cyclical”, but even more importantly, it is not something that is somehow only triggered by some particular individual external to me. Sexual desire is like a life force that is always present and flowing, and, for me, finds resonance with people, nature, buildings, art, music…..I could go on and on. I choose when and how to express that energy; there is no other being outside of myself who is responsible for my desire. I think it is irresponsible to paint these kinds of globalized ideas about gender and desire that strip the role of responsibility from either gender for their individual feelings and actions. The question really should be about how and why humans opt to make and own their choices. I have not even heard the whole podcast yet, so apologies to all if this is way off topic.

  7. Pam, I don’t think your description or any description of women is one size fits all. In other discussions on this page we have explored the idea of how women are biophilic, meaning that they have a harmony with life that allows any experience of nature to be a turn on.

    I would say that men are capable of this as well. I know that I am.

    This discussion does not seem to be considering the ‘cheating’ statistics, that is, the vast numbers of men AND women who identify as monogamous who report having sex outside their primary relationships. It seems to be ignoring the fact that humans are primates and share many sexual, emotional and social traits with other primates, exceedingly few of whom are monogamous. A lot has been written about this, and it undermines the narratives that we are fed by moralistic society.

    The discussion seems to be ignoring the historical fact that through history, one sex or the other is blamed for sex. Not long ago women were perceived by the authorities (church, medical) as out-of-control nymphomaniacs, who needed austere and restrained men to keep them under control.

    Today men are blamed for sex or assumed to be the ones with more desire and the willingness to be perpetrators, and women are often considered its ‘victims’.

    I suggest we question the whole framework which concludes that sex has a victim and that one sex or the other is to blame for it.

    We are talking about a vastly important subject here without — so far as I can tell — questioning our own assumptions or the ones that were fed to us.

    We are not questioning the social narratives that are pushed on us from birth, the false differentiations of gender that are mainly a product of advertising, and so far nobody has commented on the actual content and ideas in my most recent podcast, which took considerable work and thought and which was offered to the community with love and respect.

    This week’s podcast takes the sex scandals in the context of the larger society in which they are set, and questions how we can make moral decisions about sex when nearly all of the influences we are subjected to either portray sex as bad, or portray it as a commodity.

    In this kind of discussion there’s a big difference between an opinion and an informed opinion; between looking at something from the outside and taking it apart and seeing what it’s made of and where it came from.

  8. Eric not all men – but the question is always a valid one – who is this in front of me – who are you, and the honesty of the answer and ongoing conversation is what creates trust, that and going through think and thin

  9. Eric I was thinking of Greenstargazer’s comment about male sexuality (vs the weight for women about potential pregnancy) and that is what I wondered – as a man what you find as the strongest force in your sexuality may most probably be more valid!

    What I hear from conscious men is that their sex drive is fatiguing/overwhelming/a constant background noise or louder, that their desire is triggered by many many stimuli, (this is biological surely – the drive to inseminate).

    Women have cycles of desire, there may be the occasional man who causes all panties to fall to the floor (a John Irving phrase), but this is less of a phenomenon in women who often are impressed by a particular individual (again a biological drive at its crudest – desire for the most potent male/genes to father her child?)

    There is some anger to men – I feel it too sometimes and I thought my first post wasn’t completely free of it, and I think what vicvega meant by a pass is that these things aren’t frowned on by men – if a woman did that she’d be finished – a man is excused by other men (what a lad!) and sometimes that is mysogyny, or unawareness. Violation/rape is another thing with sex for women as you have said before and death. Faye is only restating all this ground.

    Also the lowest common denominator of male sexuality can be very low – crass animal bestial violent crude objectified (out of contact to the point of killing sometimes). Women are less into that. It is important to state these things

    And then the question is back to the one you asked – how do we grow our young people to adulthood. How do we give them roots and wings, and how do we heal the ills resulting from our modern society.

    None of us have brought up sex as bad! What lead do you have towards sex as life sustaining!

  10. Fe, I would politely beg to differ: the society has a fetish out of making men into sexual monsters. This is then generalized onto all men. Women may be denigrated for being sexually forward, and often men are as well.

    But this is special. And it’s so prevalent as to be invisible. But I think we need to look at the message that’s going out here.

  11. eric:

    I’d like to think we’re talking about ownership of one’s sexuality in a shame-based society where women are denigrated more than men for their outward expressions of sexuality.

    Right or wrong, what we are dealing with are both sexes victimized by an outdated mode of thinking on sex, and which colors our perceptions of relationships and leads subsequently to social shaming.

  12. The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley might interest you Eric if you haven’t read it. I read it recently and was shocked and surprised and left with many reflections.

    Lots of paradoxes lots of sex lots of women speaking up always, lots of imperfections.

    It was the women speaking up that struck me – in real life I’m not seeing that so widely. It is impressive.

  13. What I hear in this discussion over and over again is the allegation that men are horny and women are not. That men “think with their penises” but that women are somehow immune from having their eggs run their life.

    And what I hear in that is projection and lack of ownership of their sex drives. It then becomes easy to project desire onto men – in shadow form.

  14. sex as bad.

    Is it that or is it that men are necessarily attached to their penises and very aware of them. All the time.

    Being led by your penis is not appropriate – unless it’s appropriate. Part of that is social mores, part personal preference – either your own or the people your penis leads to. Part growing up.

    If your path in life is the cutting edge of sex then you aren’t going to be sure of the lines because you are always on or over them.

    Bad isn’t really the question?

    For everyone else it is quite clear ie that beng president (for example) is not a sexual role tho you may have sex appeal? And there might be circumstances where the president has something to say in the public realm about sex

    ?And sex as bad – again the factor to deal with is cycles and broken cycles. Then sex has its cycles and its place in the life cycles of an individual. And again if the cycles are broken it is the individual who seeks information and the way forward.

  15. Great discussion thread. It brings to mind the writings of Janet Wise, who I found on Daily Kos, while doing research for our theater company’s next show in collaboration with Planned Parenthood. Janet Wise online writings, called the “Zeitgeist Change”, breaks down what happened when patriarchy took over the matriarchy from pre-history onward.

    Here is an excerpt from “The Birth of the Monotheistic God Who Raped and Plundered”:

    “It would be with the Minoan/Mycenaean Greek influenced Philistines and the others mentioned that had been influenced by the Goddess worshipping Sumerians and Egyptians that the Hebrews would make war, mix, and inter-marry with over several centuries before writing their story of creation in Genesis and the Old Testament – plenty of time for their priests to learn their legends (along with the Sumerian legends their ancestors carried with them), absorb their influence on the mass psychology, and ‘alter’ them to introduce a male monotheistic dominator deity. The new monotheistic Hebrew male God they were to create would no longer deify the Mother Goddess earth, her air and sun and her waters and what lay below. Rather this new God would instruct his people to dominate all her elements for their own purpose and use, and to dominate women – both a propagandist technique to justify confiscating wealth and property from the Goddess matriarchate culture and installing male kings and a male god to be in charge. Twisting Sumerian and Minoan Crete legend of millennium before, no longer was a Goddess needed for giving birth; in this new myth man was to appear full blown out of the earth and woman was extracted from his rib – at least it was the case of the second woman, Eve. As learned earlier, the first woman the Hebrew God created, also full-blown out of the earth, was Lilith. But since Lilith didn’t obey her male counterpart and objected to his domination, she was discarded, named as the devil, and a new woman, Eve was created—this time by extracting a rib from the male and blowing into it. The legend attributed to both these male God-created females turned woman and her sexuality into something to be loathed and blamed as the elicitor of sin. Therefore, Hebrew laws – their “severe code of ethics for the supposed purity of life” – and resulting atrocities against women were as harsh as other androcratic invaders; in many ways more so.

    According to the Old Testament, married Hebrew men were technically discouraged from having sex with other women. Yet prostitution flourished in ancient Hebrew societies, as it did in all others of the time. Perhaps, more important, Hebrew men were permitted to take multiple wives and concubines – a law to accommodate a male’s lusty appetite to encourage them not to succumb to the lure of prostitution practiced by the pagans among whose societies the Hebrews lived and intermixed where by the time of the Hebrew, sex with temple prostitutes (temples operated by male priests as was learned earlier) was a ritual of communing with the Goddess. Also, it was a way to legitimize the Hebrew practice of keeping young virgins alive from cities they plundered and destroyed and then used for sex.”

    The key word here for the article and for the series is “dominion”, the rule of one over the other instead of equality, and I think the former has relevance here in this discussion. Men and women in modern society are alternately victimizer and aggressor in this society, however, the structural oppressor is more pro-male than female, given who set the legal and moral precedents in politics and religion.

    Furthermore, currently we are working off-kilter from a male-based center that we have known for 1000 years that underwent a two-generation long break from the patriarchal norm–all with the introduction of birth control, giving women the ability to make choices about their bodies. That alone has been enough to create more tension between the sexes, and we are now in a tug of war for power-identity-and control.

    But those very words, power-identity-control are not based on the relationship of the sexes or between individuals, men and women, but of a group who holds the rein over property and resources. Women have become collateral with violence (rape) used as a form of dominion, or power over them.

    The behavior of the aggressor and the victim has been well set enough for both genders in our modern day to play off it, and yet both genders suffer because these are role reversals that stay stuck under the same oppressive paradigm. In this exchange over who has dominion, no one wins. And that is the issue passed on unresolved from mother-father to son-daughter, son-daughter to wife-husband and their children. Who is to have control? The reason for dominion — one over the other, is not based on a real human relationship but one’s relationship to property, realm and matters of substance and lucre, not heart.

    Any discussion that blames one sex over the other has to call in the bigger picture to find the equality which has an ancient precedent, its subsequent loss and why it was lost. We not only have that chance now but we need to act on it, since the traditional male-dominated paradigm is committing massive violence on the body of the planet itself. That’s not the fault of all men, but the power system hardwired into our Judeao-Christian religion and the new theocracy threatening to do more harm to the rights of all humans than ever before.

  16. Eric, I hear what you say about mothers and sons, I see too that in our society there are not the rites of passage to manhood that there once were. Perhaps one solution is to have many men of different experience in the orbit of young men – the vegetarian, the fisherman, the hunter with a bow, the musician, the martial artist, the good father, the friend, the solitary, the mechanic, the all rounder, the athlete, the man at ease in his skin, the man who loves women, the dr, the vet, the idealist, the religious, the humourist, the man who is well read, well travelled, the humanitarian (kind man). Men who embody these things rather than just bit players, so that a child gets an idea about the top end of the scale. The sorts of things to incorporate and aim for.

    Contact with women is important for understanding women later, and speaking in terms women can understand. one man told me recently that his mother was cruel and I have no reply to that, except to be not cruel myself in my dealings with him.

    To me there is a growing up phase that seems to last a long time in our current culture – sexting pictures of your bits comes under that for me, and that too is perhaps a question of the women you guys meet and how many women are clear enough to go into relationships with their eyes open (or willing to go the distance) and do the necessary work on themselves and in their relationships every day. ie just being present, calling bum notes, returning serve etc etc and in a way that fits the melody of the other person, (all the time learning, yourself). (part of this is parents who work, the far flung nature of families, lack of contact with the earth (real cycles), inhuman work, poverty force violence – women are damaged too)

    And whether you men are willing to engage also or if it is an uphill struggle against masculine ego anger that loves to pout! Before a certain age it is unusual for a guy to have stepped out of that.

    And it is not hate of men or hurt always. Sometimes it is just being other. if guys do sex to show affection to women for example, I know for myself that I don’t always want that. it is just a fact, my affection is not linked to sex necessarily, it isn’t what I’ve learned, or a block, it is who I am. i understand sex as affection, I can do that mostly, sex as passion, sex as meeting, sex as anything, but sometimes affection is affection without sex – can I only be affectionate in that way to anyone but my partner in case he takes that as a rebuff.

    Violence done to children (poor mothering in this instance?), that too I have no answers for, just that all can be turned to good – double negative to triple positive and then that is each person’s work to do – no one knows everything and it is necessary to find the solutions/way forward that are lacking.

    This week picking a bunch of flowers for a guest who felt ‘ill’ to me. I picked wild carrot – liver, willow for sorrow, horse tail – damaged masculine (silicon,prostate), nettles – all that wealth of mineral healing, cosmos (for colour), achille millefeuille (healing wounds), sage for the four directions (the strong woman shee seemed so weak), and elder (the tree that teaches all the other plants – for help in understanding). I had intended at the beginning to pick May for protection and healing of the heart but I didn’t and afterwards it occurred to me for me as much as anyone else that perhaps to be well informed and develop strength is as important as protection.


  17. This is a question about sex because no other topic could get our attention — and there’s a reason that’s true.

    There are many criteria for the caliber, the quality of character, to lead, and nearly every business and political leader falls flat by any objective measure, idealistic or not. But it’s sex that gets our attention.

    What I am saying in my podcast is that this is not about the people whose names are involved. It’s about our whole society; it’s about us.

    I have not seen the main question I am posing addressed in the comment thread: in a society where all sex is regarded as bad, how then do we define what is good and appropriate? In a society where all sex is regarded as bad, how do we point to certain special conduct and have that be meaningfully extra bad?

    This is more complex than “caliber to lead” or “moral conduct.” It calls into question our whole method of evaluation and of self-evaluation.

    I hear in some of the comments below how much hurt some women feel they have experienced at the hands of some men. I think it’s important to take personal responsibility for one’s own hurt, because blame only goes so far in healing (though it can be an important first step).

    We must know who hurt us and how — but even that is not enough because sooner or later you have to start making decisions rather than expecting other people to change.

    I am perplexed (in the many roles I play, including social observer and astrology counselor) at the choices of people to go back to the people who hurt them, again and again — and to deem as uninteresting or unworthy of their affections the people who are benevolent to them.

    This discussion is not about men and their conduct. It’s about how we perceive all of this, and how we got here.

    What is a man? How does be become a man? Who teaches him what he knows? If women are generally the ones left with that responsibility, what role do they play in who their sons become?

    The phenomenon of “men” is not about some alien species that disembarked from a flying saucer yesterday. It’s the product of all of our collective relationships, child-rearing, teaching, the choice of a woman who to reproduce with, the choice of what people they allow and invite to influence their child.

    It’s rare that in any discussion of men we talk about the violence that is done to them as small children, and I don’t mean this as a way to absolve responsibility for what they do but rather as a means of preventing what might come next, in the next generation.

    For the men who are honest and gentle, how do you think it feels to be accused of carrying a weapon? If that “armed and dangerous” profile is projected onto ALL men, how would the one doing the projection sort out the difference?

  18. Eric is it really a question about sex at all or is it looking for people who have the calibre to lead?

    Willow writes well:
    Saturn is currently in early Scorpio, forming a loose conjunction to the North Node which is activated at the New Moon. On September 18, 2013, Saturn will conjunct the North Node exactly, an event that occurs about once every 11 years. The North Node indicates our successful, soul-driven path forward, while Saturn relates to maturation, responsibility, structure, commitment, the achievement of concrete goals, and sometimes grueling tests of our mettle. With Saturn forming a conjunction to the Scorpio North Node (in effect now through November 2013), we are being tested. Can we shoulder the weight of our deep, dark, soul-directed paths? Have we earned our advancement? Can we be fully trusted in positions of responsibility and authority that affect others? Do we have the growth, the strength, the maturity, and the awareness that it takes to hold a position of leadership in these times?

    …Either you want to know what’s really going on, beneath the surface reality, or you stay in maya.

    Either you want to see the real, down and dirty situation and will do what it takes to achieve that energetic X-ray vision, or you maintain your blinders.

    Either you want to see and understand the underlying energy dynamics, the power dynamics, the control dynamics, or you want to just bob along on the surface currents. The surface views. The surface consensus. Nothing too risky or challenging.

    With Saturn and the North Node conjunct in the sign of sex, death, darkness, regenerative healing, X-ray vision, and hardcore soul drives, we are being tested and challenged on every last point. Our soul-level commitment is being tested. Our willingness to trust and then act upon our deepest intuition is being tested.

    Whatever comes together this fall has to be structurally sound for the long term.

  19. If ever there were a locus where the personal and political collide and potentially do alchemy it is here.. right in this debate..

    One can read all the extensive feminist literature on sexual politics and its morphed cultural derivatives as one may be inclined to do and yet, when it comes down to picking apart the generic or universal aspects, what are you doing in your own relationships?

    The blocks come from codified dos don’ts and can’ts so no matter where we place ourselves on a theoretical spectrum, the only resolutions come from liberative praxis born of awareness – not New Age and fashionable awareness-speak but embodied awareness of the type “When I touch this way how does it feel?” And “Show me, don’t tell me” and “How are our energies re-writing the vocabularies we use?”

  20. I agree with Vicvega’s comment regarding how different the whole *scandal* regarding Mr. Weiner would look if he was a woman sexting pics of her crotch to other men who were not her husband. Personally I don’t think the *scandal* has all THAT much to do with sex per se. I suspect that for most adults, men and women, the issue that is loosing Mr. Weiner support has to do with continued immature behaviour that cannot apparently be controlled and broken promises neither of which we want from our elected officials. However, sadly, it seems often be what we get once the elected official gets in office and gets a whiff of power.

    There is an inherent imbalance in the arena of human sexuality and it is very simple and basic: there are only two 100% effective birth control options available and both require surgery and so are not very widely used. If you are a human adult having sex (with someone of the opposite gender of child-bearing age ) there is therefore a risk for pregnancy and guess who is going to be the predominant person to face that issue should it materialize? Until that issue can be resolved, then (hetero) sex is always going to have an underlying tension in it that women will be bearing while men (generally) do not. These bodies WANT to reproduce… the DNA that builds this system is hard-wired to replicate itself. It is a primal force equal to time and gravity and care must be taken and for most women, Vestals all, for they know all too well what fire burns in the hearth of their bellies! I just don’t think a person in a male body can ever truly “get” the burden of this aspect of sex…no matter how enlightened they may be. That said, I’m quite sure there is an equally mysterious aspect to the male side of the process that females will just never fully be able to understand. This is neither good nor bad, just simply part of the mystery of sex.

    The second point I’d like to make is this: when men stop using their penises to commit crimes of violence and violation against women, children and other men (and probably we should include animals here as well) then maybe we can talk about (finally) feeling sexually safe in the world. I know there are a bazillion reasons why the penis can become weaponized, but as long as it is used that way anywhere in the collective, none of us are truly sexually free.

  21. “Why are men continually given a pass for their sex drives?”

    I don’t understand this question.

    I would also ask: what would most women do without the male sex drive to depend on?

  22. Eric: Thank you. Compassion be thy name. Sound judgment be thy strength. Especially in how you encouraged each of us to consider “the ways we are in the story.”

  23. I learned a lot about myself and Vesta through a reading with you, Eric, years ago….having a Vesta-Pluto conjunction in my late Virgo 6th House (opposite my Venus/Eris conjunction in 12th). Yup, I definitely relate to the Temple Priestess and can easily see the correlations between the idea of ‘sacrifice’ in the sex arena, assisting my lovers in opening up and sexual healing-only to be discarded and/or left afterwards, and taking that energy into a service aspect of my work and purpose (designing jewelry, adorning the Goddess, infusing healing energy into my art)…Eric, you told me this aspect of my chart had to be about service vs. servitude.

    I however, have never had a desire to be a sex worker and truly have no judgement against those who do. It just hasn’t been my calling, and instead I nurture this energy within myself and do appreciate when I am able to connect with others and give my *gift*-it’s always acknowledged by my lovers, but seemingly *too much* for some to handle….they usually cry, tell me it’s the best sex they’ve ever had and are somehow unable to reciprocate. I look forward to the day where it’s mutual and although I’ve known it here and there over my life, it’s not easy to stabilize. I have worked hard for years on my consciousness through therapy, astrology, and all kinds of work on myself.

    I bring my personal story up, because in light of the subsequent sex scandal portion of the reading, I am one of those women who think Weiner is not fit to run for office. Not because I think he’s so outrageous for his actions, but because after being removed from office, he couldn’t *keep his dick in his pants* and control himself by conducting his sexual affairs in a way that wouldn’t jeopardize his chances. He was busted once before and continued to do it, while publicly humiliating his wife and looking like a total chump, as far as I’m concerned. I almost attended a benefit he had in NYC a few weeks ago, but had to work. I publicly discussed prior how I could care less about his past mistake, until it came out how reckless he continued to be. As far as the others, I don’t care if Elliot Spitzer used prostitutes. The San Diego mayor is a different story because he’s just a misogynist and should have been ousted long ago for his behavior over decades in office. (I once had a boss sexually harass me by bending over behind me while I was wearing a skirt and sniff under it, asking me if I’d just had sex before coming to work and this guy is text book….same shit).

    It’s NOT that I think sex is bad, or that generalizing all men as pigs is okay. Weiner showed that he makes bad personal decisions and doesn’t have the discipline to pull it together and get his rocks off some other way that doesn’t include sending pictures of his dick that he is so proud of. Just because people like myself think SOME of these scandals are deal-breakers when it comes to running for office, doesn’t mean we’re afraid of sex, are victims of religion or we hate men. But if this was a woman in office, sending pictures of her vagina, there is no way in Hell that she would even be still in the race, let alone be able to walk down the street publicly. If there is an example of any woman in politics, or leadership who has done similar, I’ve certainly never heard of it. For me, this says something about the psychology of a person and sex obsession in the technological age. And coming from someone who has a LOT of sexual energy, albeit underground, behind the scenes, contained, or *in the temple* so to speak, it’s very hard to understand the age we live in where that compulsive behavior is actually satisfying. Weiner’s running to be Mayor of NYC and seems to be a slave to his desire and vs. being in conscious control of them. Why are men continually given a pass for their sex drives?

    Just another perspective…thanks folks. I think there is a lot of gray area here.

  24. Lolly: May i suggest (reflecting on Eric’s concentration of commentary) not taking a narrow view of Vesta, that it also represents a great potential in meaning and the placement it holds in our charts.

    I have natal Vesta conjunct Chiron in Pisces. Please allow me to offer this view of the Vestals; women in positions selected to a great honor, power (equal to, not submissive to men), holders of the fire (spirit), allowing healing:

    …”Even though they had restriction, these women were free of subservient restrictions to men…The vestal virgins did serve a very important propose for Ancient Rome. They allowed families including the royal have the use of fire. They also set out a different life than the women of Rome at that time. They had more freedom of rights and they were worshipped themselves by the vows that they committed to. Even though they did have to take a vow of chastity, it offered them a life of freedom when they were done with their service. These women are a unique part of history that makes them an important role in the history of women.”

  25. The commentary on Vesta was interesting as well as informative. I’ve often wondered why I am the third party in my relationships and what I have done to cause that wrinkle. Moon ~ Vesta conjunction may provide some answers.

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