On the Cusp of Quantum Chaos

Dear Friend and Reader:

AND WHAT, pray tell, is going on? We have a full edition for you this week as we approach one of the biggest and most emotional Full Moons of the year (in Cancer, conjunct Varuna and square Eris); and as Mercury slows to a halt on Sunday. It’s all the madness you would expect with these two events happening a day apart, in the last weeks of the Bush/Cheney era I thought would never end; it hasn’t yet. On Thursday, Condoleezza Rice, allegedly representing the United States, refused to vote in favor of a ceasefire in the Gaza Strip even as the United Nations Security Council overwhelmingly called for one by a vote of 14-0. The United States abstained from the vote of the 15 member council.

“A cold wind was blowing as the Moon set over a neighbor’s farm,” says photographer Eric Ingmundson of Sparta, Wisconsin. “Next time (Jan. 10th) I plan to use a tripod.” Image and quote courtesy of NASA.

The Sun is still in Capricorn but the energy is focusing in Aquarius: Jupiter arrived earlier this week, to stay for a year, where it will make conjunctions to Nessus, Chiron and Neptune. As Barack Obama takes office, we are entering a mini Age of Aquarius.

The Full Moon across 20+ degrees of Cancer and Capricorn aligns with nearly every one of the outer planets and many newly discovered ones (and obscure asteroids) you’ll only read about here. The Sun and the Moon align with Chiron, Achilles, Dionysus, Quaoar, Uranus, Varuna, Icarus, Sedna, Eris, Saturn and Neptune, among others — all in one go. So if you think there is a lot of energy coming from somewhere, there is a clue.

There is so much astrology, so much to feel and so much news that there seems to be no way to process it all through the normal mental or emotional channels. One must do that artistic or spiritual thing and await the leap to another level of perception. That might open some space for creativity and passion. The problem is we live in a time when we don’t think that’s safe or wise or sensible. However, if anything is going to blow an opening in our neo-Victorian mentality, this alignment could very well do it, assuming you cooperate; you don’t have to.

The energy is going to ratchet up steadily for a full month before it starts to settle down after a positively stunning lunar eclipse on Feb. 9 (exactly opposite Chiron). We are in a sequence of events designed to take us from one phase of history and state of mind to another. Whatever you think Barack taking office means, he is arriving at a time of sweeping cosmic changes that will cascade their effects through every cell in the planetary being.

Clearly, the cosmic design is to overwhelm us until we wake up and notice that we’re in one of the most interesting, exciting moments in the history of history. All we need to do is pay attention — it’s a heck of a lot more fun than pretending none of this is happening, or that it means nothing.

Now, here’s the news and the weather.

Peace & passion,
Eric Francis

Large on the Horizon: Cancer Full Moon

The Full Moon in Cancer will occur Saturday, Jan. 10 at 10:26 PM EST. Assuming you can see the sky, Luna will be looking mighty large, and looming large in awareness. Inner emotional tension, insomnia and the struggle between what we feel and what is practical are among the energy signatures of this Moon.

Saturday’s Full Moon will be conjunct Varuna, seen here in an artist’s rendition. Image courtesy of NASA.

This Full Moon will be conjunct an important and rarely spoken-of minor planet, Varuna. And it will be square another called Eris, the famous planet that resulted in the reorganization of the solar system’s categories in 2006. The Sun, Moon, Varuna and Eris are therefore in a tight cardinal sign T-square aspect involving Aries, Cancer and Capricorn. These are all signs of change, progress, action and movement — and the world is indeed moving right now.

Varuna and Eris are two distant, extremely slow moving planets that orbit our Sun well beyond Pluto (taking about three and six centuries to go around the Sun just once, respectively) and they are currently holding an exact square — a very rare event because these planets move so slowly and rarely form an aspect. Varuna is in Cancer. Eris stationed direct in Aries on Wednesday.

The square between these two points is apropos of the sense of invisible confusion that we cannot quite tell whether it’s within us or around us — or both. The world is in a brilliantly chaotic state right now; every bit of the astrology points to divine chaos, transition and a whirl into the unknown.

We might ask how small distant planets can have such an effect, and how we might be aware of what it is, if so. Astrology works in cycles and archetypes, not just by gravity. The figures involved may be obscure and the cycles involved long, but still we dance with them. Remember that people thought so little of Pluto that it took more than 50 years for the first book in English to come out about it. Now, nobody would deny that Pluto is a potent force. The same is true of Varuna and Eris.

In Small World Stories, we described Eris. She “is about how we make sense of who we are in troubled, chaotic times. She reveals how complex we really are, which fact remained just below the surface of awareness. She also represents the shadow feminine — the aspects of womanity that have been cast off as evil, dark, unacceptable and unmentionable. She is one of several of these archetypes that are gradually being embraced by astrology and to some extent by culture. This represents the idea that we are beginning to call back that disowned part of womanity and embrace her: the witch, the whore, the bitch, the unfulfilled woman; no matter what form she may take, the woman who is setting aside the war with herself and embracing her own selfhood.”

Varuna is the all-pervading presence behind reality: what we actually think of as “god.” He has many myths and delineations, and his name is still revered. At Planet Waves we usually refer to him as The Equalizer. There is the sense here, in a square aspect to Eris, that the indescribable inner chaos we are facing is precisely what unites and in a sense equalizes us.

There are many slow-moving planets in the degree range of this Full Moon — approximately 20 degrees, and this lunation picks up the energy of all of them. It makes a trine/sextile the ongoing Saturn-Uranus opposition (that is in Virgo-Pisces). Chiron and Neptune, close to a conjunction in Aquarius are in the same degree range; and these are square Sedna, one of those other really strong, distant planets, in Taurus.

All of this adds to big movement; large forces, and movement of the collective psyche, gathering for big change. We are indeed on the brink of many, many developments. Just look around, or feel your soul vibrating.

Mercury Retrograde Coolest thing since Sixties

MERCURY IS about to be retrograde in Aquarius, and as it slows to a station on Sunday, a collection of planets and a solar eclipse are lining up in this sign. Searching our star files, we can find nothing like this for more than four decades — where we come out on Feb. 4, 1962, at the dawn of the Sixties.

Windbeeches on the Schauinsland in Germany. Photo by Richard Fabi.

The retrograde goes from Sunday, Jan. 11 through Sunday, Feb. 1, which is Midwinter holiday or Imbolc. Along the way is the presidential inauguration, a solar eclipse and plenty of excitement, chaos and creative confusion.

During the retrograde, Juno, Jupiter, the Moon, Sun, North Node, Nessus, Chiron and Neptune will all be in Aquarius, with Mars and Mercury close behind in late Capricorn.

This kind of alignment does not happen every day. It’s directly reminiscent of a famous Aquarius pile-up that coincided with a total eclipse of the Sun on Feb. 4, 1962. This is one of those charts that every astrology student looks at bug-eyed the first time they see it, and which Philip Sedgwick said today that at the time, astrologers were certain the world would split in half.

Both charts involve major alignments of two of the slowest moving planets: Uranus and Pluto. In the 1962 chart, Uranus is about to form a conjunction with Pluto, kicking off what we think of as the Sixties. In the 2009 chart, Uranus is about to form a square with Pluto, kicking off what we now think of as 2012.

The Uranus-Pluto cycle of alignments is about revolution, liberation and creativity.

Writes Richard Tarnas in Cosmos & Psyche, wherein he compares the era of the French Revolution with the Sixties (where two such alignments occurred): “The massive upsurge of the revolutionary impulse during these two eras was not only or even principally in a political phenomenon, for it expressed itself in every aspect of cultural life: in the music heard, the books read, the ideas discussed, the ideals embraced, the images produced, the evolution of language and fashion, the radical changes in social and sexual mores.”

“It was visible in the incessant challenge to established beliefs and widespread embrace of new perspectives, the movements for radical and theological and church reform and antireligious revolt, the drive towards innovation and experiment that affected all the arts, the sudden empowerment of the young, the pivotal role of university communities in the rapid cultural shift. And it was evident above all in the prodigious energy and activism of both eras, the general impulse toward extremes and radicalization in so many areas, the suddenly-intensive will to construct a new world.”

We may not be getting all this during the next three weeks, but we are being drawn into the vortex of a first class cosmic and worldly adventure.

Casting Call for Surgeon General

SANJAY GUPTA, the doctor who plays a doctor on TV, is reportedly going through the final vetting process towards being Obama’s Surgeon General. Head of the Public Health Service, which includes the Centers for Disease Control (and the nameless one who has determined that cigarette smoking is dangerous to your health), it could become a pivotal role in the Obama administration as the nation struggles to focus its short attention span on health care instead of killing people.

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who will most likely be Obama’s Surgeon General. Image courtesy of the Gupta Girl’s fan site.

An Indian-American physician and contributing correspondent for CNN, he’s not to be confused with the Bollywood director of cheesy action films by the same name.

Gupta is being ridiculed as a celebrity candidate. Jon Stewart had video of his fire-eating segment Wednesday night, and Stephen Colbert weighed in with a clip of Gupta sampling the genitals of various male animals at a restaurant in Asia, inquiring whether the establishment served tiger penis.

To his credit, he produced a series on cancer which reported that in the high 90th percentile of all cancer studies ignore metastasis, the most important issue in the oncology field. If not for metastasis, or transmission from one location in the body to another, cancer would be easily curable — you could just remove it.

He was born Oct. 23, 1969 in Novi, Michigan, making him a very late degree Libra, or a Scorpio with a heck of a lot of Libra and Aries in his chart. Born the autumn after that special summer of the Moon landing and the Woodstock Festival, he seems like the people’s choice-type for Surgeon General. A powerful Chiron-Moon-Eris alignment in Aries gives him strong charisma and media presence, which might translate to talented neurosurgeon (Chiron in Aries), scrambled brains (Eris in Aries) or kid dancing naked on a table (Aries Moon).

He has so much Aries Point coverage, now coming under transit by Pluto, that he seems destined to something very, very large this time around.

Part of that largese seems to involve the pharmaceutical industry. The political blogs are on fire discussing the issue of “entanglement,” that is, entanglement between pharmaceutical companies and doctors — and in this case, a doctor who is a working journalist.

In November, University of Minnesota journalism professor Gary Schweitzer cited Gupta as being “a powerful contemporary example of entanglement.” Gupta hosts the closed-circuit television network Accent Health, which is produced by CNN and broadcast into the waiting rooms of doctors, said to be watched monthly by more than 10 million viewers in US.

He says the network “overtly offers sponsors, including drug companies, the chance to boost sales of their products, by, for example, putting ‘your brand in front of the valuable Baby Boomer population just before they discuss their health conditions with their doctor’. One of the hosts is Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s chief medical correspondent and host of at least one other CNN health programme that is funded partly through drug company advertising.”

Which conflates not just the reporter, but the network. No wonder TV is so drugged up.

Is this Gupta’s Mars in Capricorn, is it par for the course, or is he part of the problem we’re hoping he’s here to solve?

Goddess of Chaos Rises Over 111th Congress

“It is the foreign element that commits our crimes. There is no native criminal class except Congress.” — Mark Twain

WASHINGTON, DC — Eris, the goddess of postmodern psychic chaos, was rising in the east over Washington, DC when the 111th Congress convened Tuesday. Mercury slowing to a halt and the Moon building toward the full phase have heightened the excitement. [See related article in this edition.]

Eris rising, blessing Congress. Image by R. Asher.

It’s fitting astrology to accompany the madness unfolding in the capital as the transition from the Bush to the Obama administrations unfolds. The question always seems to be, “If pro is the opposite of con, than what is the opposite of progress?” Will the new congress be able to work with the new president and get anything done? Will the street lamps come on?

It seems like a battle is shaping up between House Democrats and Republicans with Obama over his proposed bailout plan. Remember that the first bailout plan, said to be $750 billion but actually adding up to more like $2.1 trillion, was put through last year during the most recent Mercury retrograde — which did not work.

Most of the current chaos involves the Senate rather than the House of Representatives, however. Hearings are now underway to approve Obama cabinet members, all of whom will be seated under the retrograde; and two Senate seats in question, those in Minnesota and Illinois, are in hot contention.

In Minnesota, Al Franken has been dueling it out first in a recount and now in court against his opponent Norm Coleman. Franken originally lost the election by 215 votes, which was close enough to trigger an automatic recount rule in that state. Franken won the recount by 225 votes, and the state’s canvassing board certified the winning margin on Monday, ending the electoral process in that state. Coleman’s campaign on Tuesday filed a lawsuit to stop Franken from taking office, though most observers say Franken will be seated.

In Illinois, Gov. Milorad “Rod” R. Blagojevich was arrested one month ago allegedly for attempting to sell the senate seat vacated by Barack Obama to the highest bidder. Amidst many calls to not make the appointment, he named Roland Burris. Burris showed up in Washington yesterday apparently for the purpose of being turned away at the doors of power. However, he and Senate leaders seem to be close to a deal that would seat him.

Meanwhile on Thursday, a special committee of the Illinois legislature recommended that impeachment of Blagojevich move ahead, which will apparently happen under the retrograde as well.

Last week we reported that Burris has a crypt with his resume etched in stone waiting for his bones in a Chicago cemetery. But it would appear that his skeletons are hidden elsewhere. Burris, while state attorney general campaigning for governor in 1994, pushed for the death penalty of a man he had reason to believe was innocent.

Rolando Cruz was at the time facing execution after being convicted of the rape and murder of 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico. Cruz was finally exculpated — that is, he walked off Death Row an innocent man — after journalism students at Northwestern University helped move his case forward. Numerous public officials were charged with conspiracy to frame him but were acquitted.

The Chicago Sun-Times reported Wednesday that in 1992, Mary Brigid Kenney, an attorney who worked for Burris, resigned due to this issue. She says she quit because Burris refused to listen to her concerns that the office should back off from prosecuting the appeal of Rolando Cruz for the 1983 abduction, rape and murder of 10-year-old Jeanine Nicarico in DuPage County.”

Burris refused to even speak to her.




Weekly Horoscope for Friday, January 9, 2009, #748 – By GENEVIEVE SALERNO

Aries (March 20-April 19)
While circumstances that demand your attention seem to require you giving selflessly, the need for recognition can at times sour the gift. When this happens, it is important to ask questions of yourself such as: why am I doing this? How will I benefit? What have I learned? Most of the time when it comes to anger, the issue is whether or not we have the control that we’d like. Think of an orchestra. When the orchestra plays perfectly, no one notices the conductor. But guess who gets the blame when the horn blows a sour note? Put another way, it might be the best course of action to direct your energy in such a way that you are not seen, but your presence is felt.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)
You will find that if you go out with your friends, the company will be delightful and the conversation will be captivating. Especially when you are talking. Social reputation is an important part of your life right now as you begin to realize how much the community affects you as an individual. Coupled with this is a sense of what kind of impact you’d like to have on the rest of the world. You have a lot of knowledge and you are on your way to getting a lot more. If you decide to share what you already have, you will be rewarded lavishly. There is no time for shyness now, nor is there any room to second-guess yourself.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)
Lately the metaphor of existence has been so clear to you that you are shocked that you’ve never been able to recognize it before. All of the mundane circumstances and interactions of your life have taken on more philosophical proportions. This has enabled you to look at things in a new light and begin to steer your course accordingly. Be warned however, that while getting spiritual has its benefits, keeping two feet planted firmly on the ground is recommended. There are some things that transpire that are just not fair, no matter what shade the lenses are that you’re wearing. It is when you react to these situations with awareness and purpose that true wisdom comes through.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)
Emotional contact with friends and loved ones is very important for you. It appears that some of this has to do with yearning for specific exchanges to take place. Fear of being taken advantage of, or of not getting what you need, can fool you into believing that it is better to stay in your shell. If you have something you need to say to someone but are unsure of when the right time is if at all, imagine how you would feel if you never told them at all versus if you did tell them. Usually when a person imagines the “perfect time” for a conversation, it is where they imagine nothing will go wrong for them. It is impossible to get there because it is unlikely you know what the person will say or do. Take the risk. You might be surprised.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
Are you getting the recognition you deserve for the work that you do? How does this recognition and positive attention help you complete the tasks at hand? The answer is this: when someone shows appreciation for your services, it goes straight to your heart, Leo. It helps to remind you why you decided to do whatever it is you are doing and it helps reinforce that you are needed and loved. Your relationships are going through a growth spurt right now both in the number of relationships you have and the intensity of the relationships you are involved with already, but it is up to you to decide where the quality is versus the quantity. Once you figure out where the love is, the rest will be easy.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
Imagine Cinderella and Mr. Miyagi from The Karate Kid. Cinderella was the young girl forced into domestic slavery by her jealous sisters. Mr. Miyagi was the karate master who taught the young hero the Zen of polishing cars and caring for bonsai trees. The difference between the two characters is that one recognized spirituality in the humblest task, while the other was forced to do the job for the sake of appearance. Not only do you have the energy to improve whatever you set your mind to, but you are also beginning to realize the potential for spiritual growth in the most mundane tasks. Now is the time to look for the ways in which you have been drawn into superficiality as well as how the tasks you perform on a daily basis serve to enhance your personal growth.

Libra (Sep. 22 – Oct. 23)
Do you love your job? Do you feel a sense of completion and accomplishment when you leave your workspace? If you answered ‘no’ to these questions, how do you think your life would be different if you loved what you did all of the time? There is a bit of strife where the home front is concerned right now, almost as though every proposal you make, you are met with disagreement. I know it might be hard to believe, but it’s okay when people disagree with you. Now more than ever you are feeling the push to experience those things that get the expressive juices flowing. Use the feelings to create something beautiful. It could be you are experiencing these disagreements to recognize the only true reason to do anything is to satisfy yourself first, and others second.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
Do you feel as though your inner sense of security is under attack? Perhaps there are some incongruities in your immediate environment providing you with an unwelcome sense of tension. You have a choice in the matter of how you handle this feeling. You can confront the people who seem to be earning your ire, or you can invite them to a pleasant exchange. For instance, some people believe that the best way to stop a curse in mid-stride is to find the person you think it’s coming from and give them a big hug. It is much harder to feel the prick of dissention when you are open and inviting. It also boosts your sense of safety when you put away your own saber.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 22)
If you take a look around you right now, you will find much that is worth your time and contemplation. It is true that as a Sagittarius, you almost always have your eyes on the sky, but starting this week and for a long while, the sense of adventure may be right on your doorstep. As your contact with the world expands, not only will you gain intelligence, but a sense of confidence will progress as you get more comfortable with your surroundings. This week is about the journey of the higher mind. It’s not so much about legwork as it is about observation.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
Perhaps the time has come when you begin to realize how much emphasis you put on your personal value system. How much do you use your resources to reflect that to the outside world? It is hard sometimes finding the point where philosophy and practicality meet, but it is a quest worth taking in order to make a stronger, more powerful whole. Picture a toolbox heavy with tools, yet the carpenter insists on only using the hammer to build an entire house. How hard would that be? What would the house look like? At times it is best to use the hammer. But when it comes to shaping and smoothing, perhaps the carpenter should dig to the bottom of the box to find the best tool for the purpose.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
The project you have on your mind is ready for you to take the lead role in making it happen. A firm hand in the way of making sure everyone benefits from the work is the task for this week. Communication and quick wit are key to directing the other people around you as you build up the team for your vision. There is just one thing I would caution you against, and that is keeping a steady eye on the balance of what you give and receive and what you think you should have gotten. There may be some incongruities in this respect and if there are, it’s not a bad idea to examine what happened and make adjustments according to what you observe.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
There’s a lot of mystery surrounding why you feel what you feel recently. It goes hand in hand with the desire you have to figure it all out. For you, life has taken on the proportions of the labyrinth. In ancient times, the labyrinth was designed as a meditative walkway meant to reconnect the walker with the core of their being. The longer a person stayed on the path, the deeper into the puzzle they were drawn. Your unconscious is doing the same thing for you now as it draws you into its depths with the promise of some priceless piece of self-knowledge. Now is not the time to be afraid, but rather to welcome the chance to learn about the longest relationship you will ever have: the one with yourself.

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