Ohio (or: the Election Gets Personal)

Dear Friend and Reader:

We keep hearing that the election may hinge on the results of one state — Ohio. There are several close states, but for a number of reasons, Ohio stands out.

On the Electoral College campus / L.M. Glackens. From the Library of Congress. This is a joke; there is no campus and the college never meets as a group. But it picks the president.

FiveThirtyEight, a blog project of The New York Times, has been running computer simulations of the many permutations of what might happen during the presidential election — specifically within the Electoral College, which it covers as its primary focus. (There are 538 votes in the Electoral College.)

Earlier this week, they ran 40,000 different combinations of scenarios based on the latest poll results, and half the time, the results in Ohio picked the winner.

Right on the other side of all the stagecraft and the debates, the billions spent on the campaigns, the 24-hour cable news analysis or outright fictionalizing, is an often-overlooked fact.

Beyond the battle over reduced polling times, voter roll purges and other attempts to block participation in the election is the reality that the United States has a representative, or indirect, electoral system, in which the loser of the popular vote can win or ‘win’ the presidency. That’s what happened in 2000 (when Bush lost the popular vote and took office), and what nearly happened in 1968 (when Nixon won the his first presidential election by just half a million votes, and the Electoral College was nearly abolished as a result).

In the Electoral College game, some states are more meaningful than others — particularly the ones where the polls show the state could go either way (sometimes called a battleground state, a swing state or an undecided state). You’re probably getting sick of hearing about Ohio as being one of these. There are scenarios wherein a candidate can lose Ohio and win the electoral vote, but Ohio does seem key (especially for modern Republicans, who always win Ohio when they win the presidency), and I want to start this week by offering three reasons to pay extra attention to what happens there.

First, there are two different voting machine scandals that come back to Ohio, one involving a company that the Romney family essentially owns (through a series of subsidiaries), and the other involving an Ohio-based company called Diebold.

Your stuff is safe with us! One of Diebold’s original products.

Voting Machine Scandal One involves a Romney-held private equity fund called Solamere, which invests in H.I.G. Capital, which in turn invests in Hart Intercivic, the nation’s third largest voting machine manufacturer. (This is the electoral equivalent of the expression, “Freedom of the press belongs to those whose subsidiaries have one.”)

Numerous Solamere/H.I.G. staff are represented on the Romney campaign, including its two top finance people. Hart Intercivic machines are used in two Ohio counties — one of which includes Cincinnati, home to two million voters.

Voting Machine Scandal Two involves good old Diebold. This company was big news in the 2004 election, when Wally O’Dell, then its CEO and a fundraiser for George W. Bush, famously wrote in a solicitation letter to mega-donors: ”I am committed to helping Ohio deliver its electoral votes to the president next year.” (Those electoral votes were in fact delivered. O’Dell was later forced out of his own company during the federal investigation of an insider trading scheme. Researching this article, we noticed that there is a disturbing pattern of execs of voting machine companies being involved in various fraud scandals.)

Diebold is now two companies, one called ES&S and the other called Dominion — and between them, they control the rest of the voting machines in Ohio, particularly, those lovely touch-screen, tree-friendly machines that leave no paper trail and where no actual recount is possible. Basically, all of Ohio’s voting machines are in Republican hands.

Next, by now you’ve probably heard that Ohio’s Republican-held office of the secretary of state, which controls voting hours, has been attempting to curtail access to the polls in a way that’s designed to block communities that predominantly vote Democratic. Jon Husted, the secretary of state, has tried to block early voting, including the “Souls to the Polls” program where black voters go from church to their voting places — but the federal courts have repeatedly stopped him.

Delivery Man: Wally O’Dell, high-level fundraiser for Bush and then-CEO of Diebold, promised to deliver Ohio’s electoral votes for Bush in 2004 — and he did. Photo from Cryptome.org.

Along with this, there’s a dirty tricks campaign going on that would have been a real knee-slapper for Nixon and his boys, if only they could have peered into the future. My favorite (so far) was putting the wrong election date on voter literature in a county where Obama won in 2008 by a close margin.

So far that’s two reasons — and we know that Ohio has had electoral problems in the past.

As I’ve written before, Mercury stations retrograde on the night of the election, an event typically associated with technical problems, reversals of various kinds, inaccurate reporting (news, data), miscommunication, delays and a general state of confusion. Between the Republican-possessed voting machines and attempts to cut back voting hours, the setup in Ohio is spooky enough even if nobody means any harm, and nauseating if someone has a plot brewing. The atmosphere of any Mercury retrograde — though this one in particular — is the perfect festering pool for fraud.

Part of why I say that the retrograde that begins on Election Day is especially murky is because this Mercury retrograde involves three squares to Neptune. The first is on Monday, Oct. 29, with Mercury in the first shadow phase. Then there’s another one during the retrograde on Nov. 13, then the last one is Dec. 11, during the second shadow phase. Mercury square Neptune makes it extremely challenging to discern the truth. The series of three Mercury-Neptune squares means that as the facts and fact pattern emerge they will be in layers, blended with layers of deceit — and anyone trying to navigate the territory must use extreme discernment.

The Natal Horoscope of Ohio

The last reason to be concerned about Ohio is that bells are going off in the natal chart of that state — and I mean warning bells. Mercury retrograde presents a kind of climatic condition that affects everyone, everywhere. But when you focus on the astrology of Ohio itself, the place looks like a crime scene — or at least the scene of an attempted theft of the election.

The chart above is the statehood chart for Ohio, cast for March 1, 1803, set for the old capital. You can see Neptune in the ascendant on the left side. Neptune is the blue trident on the left, which aligns to within a fraction of a degree of the ascendant, indicated by the dark horizontal line. View more detailed charts here.

The first thing to know about Ohio is that the state has Scorpio rising, and there is a planet exactly in the ascendant (the rising degree, aligned with the eastern horizon). That is Neptune, the planet of illusions, deception and denial. True, Neptune is also associated with beautiful music, dreamy fantasies and spectacular cinema, but it’s drawing on the same basic properties in both its toxic and creative expressions.

When a person or an entity has a planet very close to the ascendant, it can take on the identity of that planet. People with Neptune rising tend to have fuzzy boundaries, right down to the locks on their doors not working correctly. They are easy to infiltrate. Events that take place with Neptune in the ascendant can have the property of ‘the truth is never known’. This situation blends properties of both.

Neptune was retrograde at the time Ohio became a state, meaning (in this case) that its presence and effects are veiled (which can involve being perceived as ‘this was an issue in the past, but not today’). There is added potential for duplicity. This is astrology calling for some grease cutter, an audit team and a few alert investigative reporters on the scene. In fact, in Ohio and many other places, things are so bad that the ACLU and other civil rights organizations have called on UN inspectors to observe the election. We need them. Neptune has a way of camouflaging itself, and the best disguise is the denial of someone looking straight at something.

This placement — retrograde Neptune in Scorpio, exactly rising — gets some emphasis right in the wake of whatever happens on Election Day. There is about to be a total eclipse of the Sun conjunct Ohio’s Neptune, just two degrees away from Neptune and the ascendant. Think of that as pointing to that Neptune, ramping up its power and creating a kind of vortex into which we could get vacuumed.

The total solar eclipse happens in Scorpio on Nov. 13, a week after the election. Regardless of the Ohio chart, if the results are not agreed to by that time, then the lack of certainty could persist for quite a while. Eclipses have a wide orb of influence, with effects long before and long after they actually occur, and this eclipse so close to the election adds gravitas to whatever happens. Eclipses have an Aries Point-like quality: they often come with an intersection of personal and collective events. What happens to Ohio happens to all of us.

Black voters stood in line for hours to vote in Columbus, Ohio, in 2004. This line doesn’t look bad, but it actually extends twenty miles, almost to the next county. Photo: Chris Hicks.

Meanwhile, the coming Mercury retrograde directly involves the Ohio chart. There is an axis in the chart where Mercury gets hooked right in, and around which everything seems to turn — the axis of the chart that involves governmental affairs, called the meridian (the 4th/10th house axis).

Envision Mercury flying along like a Frisbee and then the cool looking dude with the tan sticks his index finger up, and catches it, spinning at full speed, and does a little dance. This is how the Ohio chart snags that Mercury retrograde, many times over, because Ohio has a lot of points concentrated there close to the 4th house cusp. For example, among the points that Mercury retrograde will make squares to three times include Ohio’s natal Mercury; its Part of Fortune; and its lunar nodes. Mercury will come close to squaring Ohio’s Pluto and 4th house cusp at the start of the retrograde — and finally reach Pluto on Dec. 15, by which time things may seem finalized, for good or ill.

Mars in the Atlantis Degree

There is one last thing about the Ohio chart that I want to point out, relating to a theme that you may remember from my earlier coverage of Sept. 11 false flag attacks, WikiLeaks, Fukushima and a number of other events. I covered this in an article last year called Here at the Edge of the World

The degree that shows up too often — the Moon (gray crescent, top right of chart) at 28+ Gemini in the 9/11 chart. This degree shows up too often in too many weird events, including Fukushima and the natal chart of Ohio.

This involves a single degree of the zodiac — 28+ Gemini. This one degree ties together many of the strangest, most scandalous historic developments of our lifetimes — and one organization that has consistently tried to expose the truth. (WikiLeaks has this degree rising.)

I call it the Atlantis Degree because it seems to show up with a reminder about how our technology is creating us more rapidly than we are creating it. There is a fixed star right nearby, called Betelgeuse, which Bernadette Brady associates with things going very well.

This seems to include disturbing things, as we’ve seen so many times, and which William Lilly associated with what he termed “rare engines of war.” As my colleague Tracy Delaney quipped when she told me about that, “Pretty good, considering that neither jet liners nor skyscrapers were invented in the 17th century,” when Lilly wrote his astrology textbook. She was referring to the accuracy of his delineation, given that this fixed star shows up in a conjunction with the Moon, in the chart for the 9/11 incident.

As mentioned, the Ohio chart has Scorpio rising. Scorpio is ruled by Mars. Mars appears in that degree in the Ohio chart. And it appears in the 8th house of secrets, shared resources, money and sex. In many respects, the 8th is the house of all things scandalous, and Mars sitting there gives me chills. It has a violent, two-faced quality, and the word rape comes to mind first, and denial comes to mind second.

Notably, that Mars is trine Ohio’s natal Mercury in Aquarius (which is itself retrograde) to less than half a degree. Mars and Mercury work together in this chart, and to my senses, they are up to mischief. And now, every time the forthcoming retrograde Mercury makes contact with Ohio’s natal Mercury, it’s also talking to Mars in the Atlantis degree of Gemini.

Mars is the planet of maleness, of warfare and of aggression. In Gemini, it will conceal its real agenda, behind a second agenda. With the air signs involved, the use of language and law are involved. And as it turns out, this is an election all about maleness and warfare, as well as the use of the law, in particular, by men.

Next week I will deal with the military issues involved in the U.S. government and in this election in particular. Today, taking a hint from that Mars in the Ohio chart, I want to conclude with a commentary on the gender issues in this election.

More Politics of Rape

Earlier this week, Mitt Romney endorsed a Tea Party-backed Senate candidate named Richard Mourdock, who is running in Indiana [see video here]. Romney touted him as the potential 51st vote against government health care (even though ‘Obamacare’ is a corporate health care program). Rachel Maddow said that Mourdock was the only candidate for Senate endorsed by Romney in this election cycle, so he stands out a bit. The very next day at a debate against his opponent, Mourdock said that he was against a woman’s right to have an abortion, even in the case of rape — because the pregnancy was a “gift from God.”

Indiana Republican Senate candidate Richard Mourdock said Tuesday when a woman becomes pregnant during a rape, ”that’s something God intended.” See the full video here.

“I struggled with it myself for a long time, but I came to realize that life is that gift from God. And, I think, even when life begins in that horrible situation of rape, that it is something that God intended to happen,” Mourdock said [see video here]. He struggled with it? Are we to assume he got pregnant?

Mourdock became the second GOP Senate candidate to wax philosophical about rape and pregnancy in recent months. Rep. Todd Akin, running for U.S. Senate from Missouri, said during a television interview in August that women’s bodies have ways of preventing pregnancy in cases of what he called “legitimate rape.”

“If it’s a legitimate rape, the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down. But let’s assume that maybe that didn’t work or something: I think there should be some punishment, but the punishment ought to be of the rapist, and not attacking the child,” he said. I am sitting here wondering by what logic, or precedent, a fetus has more rights than a sovereign citizen — unless one does not count women as such.

As if it’s not enough that abortion rights, which are long-settled case law, are somehow a central issue in this campaign (Romney has promised to sign the so-called Personhood Amendment if it lands on his desk) and as if it’s not enough that even the right to birth control is coming into question (Romney has promised to do his part to have the Supreme Court’s Griswold v. Connecticutdecision repealed), now we have to hear about rape on a regular basis. Rape is about an attacker taking total control over the victim, in truth, one step shy of murder. Until recently, it was subject to the death penalty in many American states. Now it’s being associated with a “gift from God.”

The official platform of the Republican party states its opposition to abortion under all circumstances, including in cases of rape and incest. The official platform! I have been reading comments like “This is how Jim Crow guys in the south were during the Sixties — very loud,” implying that this kind of misogyny is a kind of death rattle for their point of view. I am not buying that argument, at all. I am not willing to take that chance. There are too many forces pushing in the same direction, and to me this seems more neo than retro.

However you may feel about voluntary medical abortion, making it into a crime presents a problem: abortions and miscarriages happen spontaneously, and would be subject to criminal investigation and prosecution as potential murders. The central question here is, should women have autonomous dominion over their bodies, or should every pregnancy be government property, subject to investigation? In essence, this is a discussion about making every uterus a potential crime scene.

Norma McCorvey, aka Jane Roe, left, and her attorney Gloria Allred outside the Supreme Court after the historic 1973 ruling. McCorvey, a ‘former’ lesbian, regrets her role in securing women’s rights and has for many years been involved with the pro-life movement. AP photo.

It’s easy to cast this as opposition to something distasteful, painful and often considered a necessary evil. It’s easy to cast it as a moral issue, and blame God. There really is no secular, scientific or medical argument in opposition to a woman’s right to choose the destiny of a pregnancy, especially early in the term — all of the arguments are religious, or emotional.

American political discourse has degraded to the point where it’s now considered legitimate to claim, in public, that women have no rights whatsoever over their bodies, or their reproductive destiny. If you have studied any feminism at all, you know that for women, reproductive rights are the same thing as human rights. And now we are even hearing politicians advocate for the parental rights of rapists. I really wonder why there is not a bigger outcry. Is it because this seems too weird to be true? Or is it about a conscious giveback of both rights and their corresponding responsibilities?

For the past three decades, many American children have been subjected to abstinence-only indoctrination in public schools, which is basically a taxpayer supported campaign of ignorance and shame. This is the perfect state of mind for such a vicious, actually insane conversation to flourish. And, one would think, anyone who wanted to see fewer abortions would be in favor of family planning and conscious pregnancy prevention. But that’s not the way things are going — which puts women in an extremely dangerous double bind.

The slide or even downward spiral of how women are treated, and how women assert themselves in society, is a complex scenario and I think that each of us would be wise to take the inquiry inward, and into our relationships as well.

We have to look at this in the context of the conscious assault on the rights of women, as well as the voluntary abdication of those rights; the dumbing down of the population via abstinence indoctrination; the proliferation of sexual imagery; and the rise of homophobia, which also influences relationships between the sexes as well as intrapersonal relating. That is to say, all of this influences our most intimate situations, and how we feel about ourselves.

Natasha Richardson as Offred in the 1990 film adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale, the story of a totalitarian theocratic society where women have no rights. See trailer here.

There are other contexts to consider, including the hormone chaos issue (plastics, pesticides, PCBs and other chemicals acting as hormones), which is potentially influencing any and all things sexual through contaminated food and air.

Women’s issues are often presented as ‘special interests’, which is part of the scam. The more pressing issues of our day seem to be the planet heating up, the power of the arms industry, total corruption, the abuse of technology and corporations thinking they have the rights of humans, enabled by the courts. Yet these all may be byproducts of the condition of human rights, and deep at the core, this is about the treatment of women, by both men and other women. What I am saying is the first human rights issue is how we treat one another — and this seems to involve gender more often than not.

Sex and gender issues are not boutique items. I believe they are the center of the cyclone. If the prevailing, real-life story of the human race is one sex oppressing the other, that’s going to reflect in every other way, influencing everything that happens on the planet — including how we treat the Earth.

The central political question of our day, in my view is: To what extent have women and men learned to recognize one another as people? To what extent have we learned to recognize ourselvesas people? The political is indeed as personal as it gets.


Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope for November 2012 | By Eric Francis

Scorpio Birthdays This Week

Beware of what you think you know. Beware of the words “I think.” They may be the best indication that you are not really thinking at all. This is a large moment in your life, and I suggest that rather than being eager to make changes, you focus on learning about yourself and letting that information gradually influence the course of your existence. One thing to guard against is the emotional influence of others. This may come in a diversity of forms, such as people trying to impress you with how stuck they are (it’s not really true) or how enlightened they are (easier said than done). If you find yourself in a power struggle of any kind, it’s likely to be a red herring: what seems to be the issue is not really the one, so look beneath the surface. You may not know what the issue is for a while, so take the next month to gently observe matters and see what you learn. If you’re trying to figure out where others are coming from, learn what you can about their relationships to their parents; I could say the same for you.

Aries (March 20-April 19) — The time has come to go beyond belief. In fact, I suggest that the moment you find yourself ‘believing’ something, that’s the time to question it. By this, I mean ask yourself a series of questions, check every fact, and persist in going deeper, over an extended period of time. You’re about to encounter a situation where this kind of mental rigor will be essential both to your happiness and your financial wellbeing. The setup is essentially that you’re headed for making a decision that seems good at the time, only to doubt yourself, only then to find out that you have regrets. You can avoid this whole thing by pausing and getting the facts now. I recognize that this kind of attentiveness can be off-putting to others. Having information is a form of power, and refusing to go blithely on belief, or simply to accept others at their word, can be off-putting. You might feel guilty for challenging others. The most important thing you can do, besides having some healthy skepticism, is to be polite. Persist in seeking specific facts and numbers, which will take a few more weeks (into early December or a bit longer). Meanwhile, if you’re moving forward about anything and you still have your doubts, slow down the move. Build in some delays, and hold your cards until your knowledge starts to reach a tipping point. That’s a moment of truth, and it’s better when this happens before you’re committed to something you can’t get out of easily.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Whatever else may be going on in your life — and there is plenty — I suggest you keep your emphasis on your wellbeing, such as maintaining a balance between your work and your personal life. The most intimate aspects of your existence are likely to be compelling, as you rethink your involvement in a certain agreement based on factors you’re unlikely to have considered before. The practical aspect may seem to compete against the emotional aspect, though you’re making progress when you see them as the same thing. It’s essential that you become a highly conscious decision maker, which may be challenging amongst so many unusual factors, events that somehow seem fated, and doubts about your past choices. I suggest you develop the skill of knowing when you’re in denial. Each time you figure it out, consider that a moment of awakening. From there, your first objective would be to remain awake, so you can use your awareness to help you guide your life in a wholly positive direction. One additional challenge is the sense of mystery that may be pervading everything. There are the usual questions, such as where am I and how did I get here? These have answers. The most pressing questions involve you and what you want. You’ve taken some strides on this particular issue; you’ve figured out some of what you don’t want and discovered a few things that make you happy. Yet you remain the most persistent mystery in the room. Sit with that one; don’t rush yourself.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Maintaining one’s independence is challenging in relationships, especially in a world where we seem to have two options — taken and not taken. Taken often involves signing a 100-page contract, and not taken can come with the sense of being a non-person. You’re finally seeing the futility of this, yet there doesn’t seem to be an easy way out of the paradox. It would be a cruel world where intimacy came only at the expense of a hostage situation, though for too many people this is what happens nearly all the time. You seem intent on going beyond this limited reality, or what could less politely be described as an emotional trap where your own needs and desires are used as bait. If you’re seeking your freedom without the corresponding sacrifice of closeness, make sure you notice those moments when freedom seems like a dangerous, unstable state of existence. Those are your best indication that the door is actually coming unlocked. Usually, an overwhelming sense of responsibility and the daunting prospect of failure, contribute to the sense that the fewer options one has, the better. Lately, however, you’ve become aware of a fact that verges on metaphysical: you are a distinct entity in the universe, responsible for the course of your own existence. You may be feeling it as a struggle for survival, and I assure you that your quest is precisely that. Don’t let anyone convince you of what is not true, but more to the point, don’t convince yourself.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — If you find yourself going deeper than you feel safe in an erotic situation, remember one word: healing. That will help you focus, and it will give you a basis of both purpose and communication. You can pretty much assess everyone and everything on the basis of their affinity with this concept — including yourself. There’s the phase of this experience where pleasure itself is a kind of necessary balm. Yet the experience continues from there. The whole experience is a vehicle to take you deeper into a kind of hidden realm, which may involve dealing with certain matters that (for example) your parents did not address and which were passed on to you. Yet there is something deeper than your immediate lineage that you’re about to address, and that is part of the reason why you may be feeling out of your depth (particularly around the time of a total solar eclipse on Nov. 13). You seem to be dealing with something much larger than yourself, and if you know that, you will both not feel so overwhelmed and you’ll also have a line of approach to the territory. You seem to be involved with a situation that started with the intent for one thing, then in a series of steps you didn’t know you were taking, became something else, as if you encountered a kind of emotional or psychic undertow. To proceed from here, you will need to take one step at a time, making one decision at a time, based on the best available information you have.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Is this a moment of settling down, or of upheaval? The astrology for your sign this month presents two distinct scenarios, and how you respond to it will depend on a number of factors, one of which I will call your density level. This isn’t a concept I’ve used in my column before, so I will explain. Think of increased density as contraction, fear, resistance, denial and the feeling of being stuck. Think of lighter density as expansion, a sense of flow, flexibility, alertness and the sensation that you have the ability to choose. Taken on a denser energy level, the astrology of this month could be jarring, threatening to your security and come with the sensation that changes are being imposed on you by outside forces. As you go to lighter, less dense levels of awareness, the astrology will feel more like being in the right place at the right time, putting down emotional roots, and taking the opportunity to make productive, necessary and long-overdue changes. Looked at in the best light, the approaching combination of astrological factors describes a time of distinction between the past and the present. You’re being set free from negative attachments, seeming obligations and a whole raft of family karma. This is an amazing opportunity for you, except for one thing. It’s entirely too easy to be attached to a low-density level. It’s easy to be attached to the past. Therefore, focus on raising your vibration — and keep your mind focused on a vision for the future.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — This month we return to a theme that’s arisen periodically over the past few years: your relationship to your ancestral past. You do seem to be here on a mission, though it’s difficult for you to separate your particular calling from the views of so many others who have imposed their intentions on you. Some of this is from the distant past, some of it’s from your family of origin and much of it is filtering in from various teachings you’ve been exposed to over the years. At the moment you seem poised to do something daring, and that you haven’t quite done before: go beyond all of that theory, and reach your awareness into the core of who you are. You don’t need these other influences, they no longer serve you, and to the extent that anyone thinks they need you to do their bidding, they’ll get over not having you as their agent. Here’s the thing: on the way to finding out something that is absolutely true for yourself, you will go through a process of discovering what’s not true — and that may be a little unnerving, especially as you realize the negative influences they’ve had. Remember you’re doing this in a time when there’s a prevailing philosophy that ‘there’s no such thing as the truth’. There’s another notion that the truth is whatever someone can get someone else to believe. As you’ve no doubt noticed, these become excuses for many to abandon integrity. You have a different agenda.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You will need to be impeccable with money and resources for the rest of the year. This includes making no commitments you’re not sure you can keep, or that you even suspect you might not be able to keep. You’ll also need to preserve what you have as a conscious act. As you do this, a lot of information is going to come your way. There will be certain specific facts that prove to be useful, though the thing to look for is the overall pattern. This will take some time to develop, and you may find yourself wading through plenty of murky water before you arrive at several moments of clarity. Take these one at a time, and watch the pattern of what you learn from these developments as well. Any sense of needing to rush is entirely artificial. Rather than resisting the urge to push forward, devote your energy to learning, and in particular, learning about the way in which resources are as important as money, or more so. ‘Resources’ includes your skills, your reputation and your ability to relate to others. It would also include your relationships with resourceful people, and all those who care about you and have demonstrated over time that they are willing to lend support to your cause. The communication piece — listening, and learning to speak in a clear, focused way — may be the most significant of all. In a sense, it’s the key to everything else, and the most meaningful tool for establishing both your credibility, and your creativity.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — On Nov. 13, there’s a total solar eclipse in your birth sign, the first in more than nine years. Though there are numerous other factors influencing you this month, this by far is the most significant. Eclipses are about shifts in continuity, sometimes subtle, sometimes radical. I would say they represent ‘change’, but these days that’s a meaningless word. It’s a special kind of change, involving things that have gone on so long you’ve taken them for granted. This could include emotional patterns, certain facts about your sexuality and most significantly, the ways you communicate with yourself and others. Your charts present an image of you passing through what would normally be a ‘veil of forgetfulness’, only this time, you remember who you are. Not only that, you remember the support, love and trust that surrounds you, much of it coming from far beyond the Earthly realm. Yet in the aspect of your life that’s located here on Earth, one implication is that you’re experiencing the drive to rebuild your integrity. It may be painful, at first, to consider the ways that your words and actions have not been in alignment — then after a while, you’ll figure out that every time you discover one of these fractures is an opportunity to make amends with yourself and by extension, with others. It will help if you come to terms with the fact that, for many years, not everything you’ve believed was true. And that, you will discover, is very good news.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — As the days go by, the forces of society increasingly draw people outside of themselves. Whether people are gazing into little rectangular crystal balls, obsessed with fashion, obsessed with romance, chasing sex or success or fixated on something they despise, in our current era, the prevailing direction of flow of consciousness is outward. For you, the pull is in the opposite direction — into yourself. This may be happening to a degree that is unsettling, though the result will be to make you a more settled person. It’s true that there are still externals to distract you. Yet your inward draw is much stronger, and it’s likely to increase in intensity over the next few weeks until it gets not only your attention, but your full devotion. Of particular concern are resolving any ways you’ve been living a double life, which could include any tendency to exclude people close to you from awareness of what you think or do. Yet there is something else going on, which is being real about your tendency to compartmentalize and hide information from yourself. This kind of detachment can allow you a measure of temporary freedom, and helps you suspend awareness of certain ethical or emotional responsibilities. However, you’re no longer in a position to pretend that these emotional influences or factors don’t exist, or to make believe that you don’t know what you know and feel what you feel. It doesn’t matter how popular you are. What matters is that you’re real with yourself and with others.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — In retrospect, you may decide this was the month you actually woke up and figured out that you’re alive, and that you’re here to live your life, your way. One element of this is the discovery that it’s simply impossible to please everyone, and a miracle when people actually recognize who you are. The message coming through from life and from the planets is: don’t bother trying to please anyone, and recognize and appreciate who you are. Acting on this intention will introduce a shock to your psyche, making you more alert and calling several people around you into focus. Then, you’ll get to have a different kind of conversation. When you feel a real level of trust, take the opportunity to push the boundary of who you are — and by that, I mean not only to stretch but to exceed your comfort zone. The idea is to be realer than you’re accustomed to being, even to the point where it feels a little dangerous. Yet I suggest you do this in a contained environment, not live on YouTube. Perhaps the most significant aspect of this journey is an experiment in revealing what you would have been reluctant to reveal before, or indeed, what you would have never considered. You cannot be comfortable with yourself if you’re not comfortable being yourself and allowing others to see who you are. While you might think that you would feel confident before making any such revelation, your growth will proceed in the other direction.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — It was the astrologer Patric Walker (1931-1995) who handed John Lennon the beautiful line, “Life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” This is a fair reading of your chart these days, particularly as regards your professional life. It’s true that some people are born knowing what they’re ‘supposed to do’, set about doing it, and succeed brilliantly. Most of the time, the process is an extended experiment, and devotion to one particular path or intention can be altered by a casual conversation at a party, a chance meeting or an opportunity that seems interesting. In those moments, it seems to be the hand of fate that’s guiding you, though what you call it doesn’t really matter — only that you notice when it’s at work. Through this month, there are two forces or factors guiding you. One is your traditional approach to success: set goals, work hard, be dependable. The second factor is the sensation of providence moving in your direction. It’s essential that you recognize this when it happens; it may not come in a form that you recognize, and in truth, everything that happens to you this month is part of a conspiracy to guide you to where you belong, and where you want to be. For this to work, you’ll need to let go of your desire to control your direction or the specific outcome, and muster up just a little faith in yourself. A little goes a long way.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — As the Zen Room of the zodiac, your sign often spawns individuals naturally inclined to live in the moment. This is more neutral than it seems, facilitating pleasure-seeking or spiritual growth, self-absorption or devotion to service. Yet you’re now feeling the need to develop your longterm plan, and to put certain deeply cherished goals into action. Your solar chart suggests that you’re tired of wondering what is possible, or what the universe is willing to cooperate with, and are intent on finding out for yourself. This will take a combination of discipline and risk-taking, which is exactly what this month’s aspects offer. Yet the most meaningful chance you will take is expanding your beliefs about what is possible. It would be best if you could set the whole question aside, focus on your vision and go one step at a time for as long as it takes to get where you want to be. To do this, you need to blend persistence with something even more challenging: believing in yourself, and what you want. And there’s one other factor. To fully embrace your mission, you must accept being different. This includes the potential for standing out, for challenging people, for being thought of as weird, and recognizing that some people will not agree with or approve of what you’re doing. Your spiritual and creative quest is not a popularity contest. However, being willing to take these risks might make you very successful in the end.

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