Once Upon a Time in Boston

New York Times from April 20, 2013, shows SWAT team about to enter the home of Watertown residents without a warrant or probable cause. None dare call it martial law. Photo by Eric Francis.

Dear Friend and Reader:

I walked into Dominick’s Cafe to buy some newspapers on Saturday, April 20, and Dominick asked me: “What the heck just happened in Boston?”

That’s the question, isn’t it. And it’s a good one.

The fairytale version goes like this: Terrifying, mysterious bombers attacked the crowd at a great athletic event. The nation spared no expense, used its best technology and figured out who might have done the terrible deed, then sent its bravest fighters in to catch them. Everyone helped with this effort. One suspect was killed; the other took flight, was hunted down and was caught.

Bag at the exact scene of one of the explosions was not a backpack, as police claim the bombs were contained in. Was this really the bomb? What about the backpacks?

Then all the people of the kingdom came out in the streets and cheered the brave warriors who had saved the day, joyful that they were now safe again.

Alternate versions go like this: we witnessed a vast over-reaction by public officials; or we saw a planned event designed to insure the budgets of federal agencies against sequestration.

Or, people who federal anti-terrorism authorities knew about and were supposed to be watching went overlooked.

Or like many other events, this was a Shock Doctrine event designed to destabilize society in some way, and force yet another take-away of individual rights, complete with a martial law drill/mass psychology experiment conducted in the virgin target of Boston. Depending on what country is eventually blamed, we may be looking at an excuse to go to war. One problem we have now is that what I call the “false flag meme” is extremely popular — that creates a lot of noise when trying to sort out the truth behind the official story.

I heard about the bombing of the Boston Marathon shortly after it happened Monday afternoon April 15 on a flight from Portland, Oregon, to Chicago. Fortunately, it was a flight with WiFi. However, the first thing I did before reading any of the news reports was to cast the chart. In doing forensic astrology (if possible), I prefer to see the chart before I know the facts, then make some observations and perhaps come up with a theory. Then I study the facts to either dismiss or support my hunches.

What I noticed first about the chart was that Neptune is looming on the western horizon. Also called the 7th house or descendant (opposite the ascendant, which is to the east), that angle of a chart gives a picture of the environment and describes one’s relationship to one’s environment. Neptune’s themes cover illusions, delusions, denial and deception. Neptune also includes inspiration, a talent for fantasy, music and photography and in a natal chart, it can point to one’s taste for drink and drugs.

Many photos of the scene were accused of being fakes. This turned out to be a real photo of Jeff Bauman, who in fact lost both of his legs in the bombing. Photo by Charles Krupa, AP.

Neptune in the 7th is a warning to be especially discerning about what you see, hear and think. My sense was that everything we were about to be told would be distorted, incorrect or made up.

Moments after seeing the chart, I posted to Planet Waves: “Nothing says ‘don’t trust the story’ like Neptune on the 7th. It’s like looking into a fog, and you need special vision to see through it.”

So began a week of misreported facts, misidentified suspects, conflicting versions of the story, government officials offering facts, then taking them back, photos circulating around the Internet featuring scenes that could have come out of movie studios, plus all the usual stories of selfless heroism, love of country and determination to go on. The bombing happened not just at the Boston Marathon but also on a day venerated in Boston — Patriot’s Day, commemorating the start of the American Revolution in 1775.

It was a perfectly strange week in every other way. Just 48 hours after the 200 people were hurt in a domestic bombing incident, the Senate voted down a series of measures designed to keep assault rifles out of the hands of known felons and terrorists. This is newsworthy on a galactic scale. Now the next time we have a mass shooting incident, we’ll know it was officially endorsed by the United States Senate, in the name of keeping us all safer.

Letters laced with the poison ricin were allegedly sent to the president and a senator, and a suspect was arrested and charged with the crime. He was later released because there was no evidence against him. There was a massive explosion in a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, close to the anniversary of another fertilizer explosion in 1947 that killed nearly 600 people. There were many, many other horrid anniversaries in American history the week of the bombing.

Then early in the evening of Thursday, April 18, the FBI released photos of its proposed suspects in the Boston incident, beginning one of the strangest days in modern American history — the 7-Eleven robbery that may or may not have been part of the scenario, the MIT campus officer shot for no special reason, the carjacking and the midnight firefight that allegedly killed Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, a suspect in the bombings. These developments are what we’re told turned Watertown, Massachusetts, into a war zone.

Did these men really do the bombings? Did they have help? Were there additional suspects? Many times people are accused falsely in high-profile cases, and other times they have assistance.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, after casually going to school the day after the bombing, allegedly went on the run. Boston metro area was put under martial law; Harvard, Brandeis, Boston University, MIT and other campuses were shut down.

We witnessed the most impressive show of force aimed at a civilian population on domestic soil ever, as the new Homeland Security militarized police apparatus was rolled out before our eyes, with its robots and X-ray vision. A terrifying door-to-door search ensued. I have a friend in Watertown who was horrified as eight “heavily armed men” searched her condo without a warrant or any actual reason, as she and her kids watched. I have heard next to no commentary or questioning whether this was a violation of the 4th Amendment right against unreasonable search of one’s home.

The suspect was then discovered unarmed, outside the police perimeter thanks to a neighbor who noticed blood on the white tarp covering his boat, looked inside and thought he saw a dead body. The reason that didn’t happen sooner? Everyone had been ordered indoors.

That person, we’re told, was Dzhokhar, who was bleeding so badly he was barely alive. He had, by some miracle, allegedly engaged hundreds of military police in a prolonged firefight without a gun. I was watching at around 7 pm last week just before he was captured, and heard the ongoing gunfire. Exactly what was happening? Who was shooting whom? Was this pure theatrics?

As for his injury: one version of the story goes that he tried to shoot himself in the neck, but missed. One of the purported SWAT team members at the scene said in an interview his neck injury looked like it was inflicted with a knife.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was allegedly so weak he could barely move. How did he wage a firefight with dozens of SWAT team members only to be found without a gun? Image: CBS News.

Through the week, many rumors surfaced — the InfoWars and Natural News disinfo distribution stations were running around the clock like overheated mimeograph machines, calling foul. Working with collaborators around the ‘net on my Conspiracy Response Task Force, we debunked various theories and attempted to assemble valid facts. It felt like swimming up a waterfall of lies. For example, the FEMA event in town that day, supposed proof that the big bosses were all in town for the show, turned out to be a previously scheduled class at Harvard.

The athletic coach running in the marathon who heard an announcement that “this is a drill” was the only person who described that; a second witness would have made his account more plausible. But there does seem to have been some use of the “drill” rumor that day. Then there was the one about the Boston Globe tweet allegedly predicting the incident. That tweet came out an hour after the fact, not in advance, and referred to something else. We do our best to trace these kinds of rumors and ideas back to the source, to cut down on the noise.

Yet as we went through the reported details, no part of the story came out intact. It was like adding a list of numbers from the bottom and the top, getting different results every time. All of these major crime scenes have an element of chaos, and there are always unresolved issues, but it’s not usually like this, with the “facts” changing every hour. There was a lot of sloppy news reporting, but that seemed to magnify a problem that already existed.

Then as the week progressed, we learned that Tamerlan Tsarnaev, the older brother, was the subject of an international terrorism inquiry in 2011. The Russian government had asked the FBI to look into him; the FBI investigated and interviewed him, and said it had no reason to suspect him of anything. This is at best bad police work and at worst a cover story. Later in the week we learned that he was also known to the Department of Homeland Security and the CIA. Who was this guy? Was he really a threat who the government ignored, or was he an asset?

Sunil Tripathi, falsely accused of the bombings, had gone missing in March and was found dead this week in waters off India Point Park, Rhode Island. Family photo.

What is true and what is not? Neptune indeed. The sense of chaos, confusion, slippery facts and squirming versions of the truth are all attributes of Neptune.

But Chiron is also in the 7th house, close to Neptune, and that suggests that clarity is available, and that it will come if one focuses on documented information first and honors intuition second. (This order of operations is not only true — it’s my reading of this particular chart. In almost any chart, however, Chiron will emphasize the idea of tracking what we know and how we know it — one of its themes is documentation.)

The chart for the Boston Marathon bombing has several plot lines that unfold simultaneously. Charts often have that attribute, and it’s necessary to sort out the significators as carefully as possible — that is, to have a clear sense what planet represents whom, or what. This can take a little time to sort out, but with patience, it happens. The chart has proven to time the events well and describe them accurately. Let’s take a closer look and see what it says.

Orcus is Rising

Planet Waves

Minor planet sort from Serennu.com showing Orcus rising in the chart for the Boston bombings. This represents the lurking fear that was used to terrorize the whole metro area and indeed the country. Ophelia is an asteroid delineated by Martha Lang Wescott: “A point of over-reaction and counterproductive reactions (linked to mistrust of one’s value to others and concern about deception).”

This chart has Virgo rising, and right in the exact degree rising was a newly discovered planet called Orcus. Essentially the twin of Pluto, located in the same region of space (the inner Kuiper Belt), Orcus was named for an early European prototype from the Hades/Pluto cycle of myths.

Chart for the Boston Marathon bombing. Though it’s not shown in this chart, the ascendant is occupied by Orcus at 3+ Virgo. It’s a planet similar to Pluto, named for an older god of death and the underworld.

He’s an underworld god, and he has a famous namesake in modern literature — J.R.R. Tolkien named his monstrous, smelly orcs after Orcus. Orcus in the ascendant is an image of the troll under the bridge; the lurking factor of which we must be very afraid.

Virgo rising suggests something meticulously planned by intelligent people. The bombs went off less than 15 seconds apart, and they performed as designed. Indeed, one thing Virgo rising tells us about this plot is that it was meticulously planned. Even though the end decayed into chaos, that, too, appears to have been planned, since it seems so ‘destined’ by the chart, and Virgo leaves little to chance.

Here’s where we see that. When Virgo is rising, the next place to look is the planet that rules Virgo — Mercury, and that turned out to be an influential planet as the event unfolded. Mercury in a world chart like this can represent a person, and it can represent an idea or a message — whatever message comes out of the incident, whatever is taken by the public.

Mercury was newly in Aries, after months in Pisces. In the bombing chart it is on the Aries Point, indicating the intersection of something deeply personal with something widely collective. (By the way — I underestimated the power of the Mercury sign change to Aries, after it had spent more than two months in Pisces. I knew enough to read this one, but I missed it: it was as if Mercury was gathering energy in Pisces and then released it all moments after it got into Aries, making contact with the Aries Point.)

Plus, at the time of the bombings, Mercury was about to make a conjunction to Uranus in Aries — and pass through the Uranus-Pluto square that defines what I call the 2012 era — approximately 2011-2016, with a few years on either side as a warmup and cool-down. Mercury made that pass the weekend of April 21-22. What we witnessed was a generational event. It was an event that sent us a message about the nature of the times in which we’re living.

Planets as People

Early in my inquiry, I saw Mercury as representing a young person. My take is that Mercury represents Dzhokhar, the younger brother, in the capacity of one who seems to have been haplessly drawn into this plot. As Mercury made its exact conjunction to Uranus, the scenario seemed too crazy, Dzhokhar was on the run and Boston was under martial law.

Focus of the action in the bombing chart. Notice Neptune, the blue trident, on the 7th house cusp. Nessus is right below it, indicating a culprit that is out of sight. Mercury, in green, is about to make a conjunction to Uranus, in blue.

In a terrorism plot, there’s also the matter of a secret enemy — the behind-the-scenes perpetrator. We find information on that in the sign and planet that rule the 12th house. Leo is on the 12th house cusp — and that says to look at the Sun (the ruler of Leo). This character in the story is dramatic and important-seeming. The Aries Sun is about to make a conjunction to Mars, which has the image of dying violently.

I believe this represents Tamerlan, the older brother. Tamerlan is also the international connection — Sun/Mars is on the 9th house cusp. There is some involvement with a foreign government or other large influence, or the scenario will be portrayed that way.

We don’t know his actual involvement in this, and the chart portrays him more as a victim, that is, as a scapegoat, than as a perpetrator. Now he’s dead in the style of Lee Harvey Oswald, and we won’t ever hear from him.

There’s one last plot line to cover. The 7th house, where Neptune is looming, is also the house of open enemies (as contrasted with secret ones). We know that Neptune is sitting there in Pisces, warning us that nothing in the official version of events may be true. Pisces also has a traditional ruler — Jupiter. Jupiter will tell the story of who the open enemy really is, once we look past the movie-like illusion of Neptune.

Where is it, and what story does it tell? Jupiter is in Gemini, and also the 10th house of government. It’s in a strange condition — called intercepted, which means that Gemini has no house cusp running through it (this doesn’t happen in every chart, and it can happen anywhere when it does). Intercepted Gemini is like a house hidden within the 10th house, which you can think of as the inner sanctum of government, the intelligence establishment or black operations of some kind.

There are a number of scenarios that fit, but the most basic reading is how various ‘intelligence’ agencies of the U.S. government knew that he existed. What their actual relationship to him was has yet to be exposed. We just don’t know, and we may never know — though the influence of Chiron and other factors in this chart suggests that the truth may yet come out. At this point, I think that there is no basis for ruling out anything. We know that the federal government has been involved in bomb plots before.

This chart has many alignments with the chart for the 9/11 incident. That Jupiter is conjunct the 9/11 Saturn to the degree, and Saturn is one of the most influential planets in the 9/11 chart. The Moon is within two degrees of the 9/11 Moon. There are many other alignments — the charts fit together like puzzle pieces.

Gemini, above left, doesn’t have a house cusp running through it. That’s called an interception. Jupiter and other planets are tucked away in a ‘house within a house’ and represent a subplot to the story. The government is represented by the 10th house in most charts.

In closing I will say this. If you’re thinking that two bombs justified the house arrest of more than a million people, please think more slowly. These ideas would best be phrased as questions rather than as statements. Was that governmental response justified? What was the emotional cost, and the price we paid in our freedom?

What is the agenda that will ultimately be served? Seeing who benefits is the best way to understand something; in that sense, the truth of whodunnit matters less than the truth of who exploits something.

Many people who lived through having their homes searched are emotionally traumatized. They may never think of the concept of ‘home’ the same way again. Yet as gun advocates push their strict reading of the 2nd Amendment, they miss the point of the 4th Amendment.

Our social contract in the U.S. is clear. “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…” Was the response we witnessed reasonable, in the moral and legal sense of the word? We need to have a long conversation with our neighbors about this.

We also need a national conversation. What we witnessed in Boston, from the improvised explosive devices to the firefights in urban areas to the door-to-door searches, sound a lot like what the American government has been involved with in Afghanistan and Iraq for more than 10 years. The war literally came home to Boston and its suburbs and raged in the streets and door to door. Every aspect of life was disrupted.

We don’t like bombs going off in our public places and I hope we on’t like armored vehicles in our neighborhoods, SWAT teams in our homes and high-powered rifles being fired in the streets.

The new concept of ‘police’ is different from the beat cop casually swinging his baton. It’s paramilitary force that was put on display in Boston last week. Photo: The Boston Globe.

It’s also time to ask when we’re going to stop doing this to other countries, and using everything as an excuse to ramp up militarization, constantly preparing for threats.

James Madison, one of the most beloved fathers of the American Revolution, cautioned us at the 1787 Constitutional Convention: “Constant apprehension of War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger have been always the instruments of tyranny at home.”

It’s also time for ‘non-political’ people to raise questions about the conduct of our leaders, both at home and abroad. It’s time to learn not to feel like an asshole for actually caring — and for being willing to speak up, including when it’s considered socially inappropriate. Which is usually.

And this is the heart of where the political intersects with the personal. To what extent are your views shaped by what is acceptable to society, including to your friends? When you begin to consider other ideas, and they start to threaten the worldview you’ve had since childhood, how do you feel and what do you do?

This is where the Boston Marathon bombing becomes a deeply personal question; indeed, a spiritual question.


Planet Waves Monthly Horoscopes for May 2013 #947 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — Just the concept that something is or even that it may be valuable is enough to make it so. It works the same way in how we feel about ourselves. Consider the effects of the value you put on yourself. I don’t mean your monetary value, though that will come up eventually; I mean whether you think you matter to others, or whether what you do and offer to the world makes a difference. You’ve had a way of thinking about this theme for a long time. You’ve tried to work out the equation a number of times before, with only limited success. It’s as if you know your own value intuitively but cannot quite articulate it to yourself. Yet there’s a vital piece to the puzzle: values are only valuable to the extent that we act on them. Once acted upon, there’s greater tangibility to what is, in essence, an idea. The dividing line I see in your chart seems to involve making an actual decision about what you say is the most important to you, and then sizing up the effects based upon what happens. We do a lot of jabbering to ourselves about what is so important, though rarely put ourselves through this simple test. Well, it may not be so simple, and you may need to persevere through what seems like an inordinately long time to get your results, though it’s only long in your perception. Assuming you keep at it, you may not have your answer until six months from now.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You are surrounded on all sides by potential, and by people who believe in you. Yet you may have an ominous feeling, as if something is brewing that you don’t understand and cannot discern clearly. Yet consider all that you’ve learned about yourself the past few weeks — how many things you would not necessarily have considered, and were probably not expecting. These have worked out well, and many situations are still developing. The ominous feeling is an eclipse of the Sun in your sign on May 9. This is profoundly meaningful astrology that will deliver a clear message to you. You may not be certain if it’s a sign from the distant past or something entirely new; in a way, both are true. What this eclipse signals is a kind of growth checkpoint. There are two questions that I see. One is: what do you ‘take on’ when you engage with someone in an intimate relationship? There’s something suggesting that you become like that person, at least a little, and I suggest that you decide consciously the extent you want to do this. Another image in the chart involves your father, and your tendency to want to live up to what you perceived as his expectations of you, or his image of you. It’s more likely that your highest vision of yourself would take you in another direction entirely. It will help if you notice this negotiation process with full awareness rather than having it run in the background.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Have you ever heard someone say they don’t want to go to an astrologer or a therapist because they might find out something about themselves they don’t want to know? Please don’t let that be you. No matter how much you may have to discover about yourself, you have nothing to fear in those discoveries. If you resist potential self-awareness, though, that’s likely to have the effect of echoing around your mind and seeming ‘worse’ than it is. I suggest you go right for clear information as soon as you have a question, and then make sure you persist and work through three or four layers of inquiry before you pause. The idea here is not to go through the motions, but rather to bravely seek self-understanding. If you do that with sincerity and an open mind, you will learn something about yourself and about existence that you’re unlikely to ever forget. This is likely to be something that you already knew but went to some length to deny, for reasons that you might not want to know. In other words, part of the story is why you might have denied this thing that you’re discovering or rediscovering. By why, I mean your actual motives for doing so, since this doesn’t seem to be mere happenstance. There is intent at work on every level, and that’s the thing to track: what is driving the story in any particular direction that it might go, and what is driving you to go any direction you might go.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You’re about to seem like a ‘different person’ or a ‘changed person’ to many people. This is due to an eclipse in Taurus, your 11th house. From the size and shape of the chart, it looks like you have many options for ‘different’, and I suggest you figure out what they are and see if they are viable options. One reason many people refuse to change or resist change is because they don’t want to be perceived as having done so by their friends. Sadly, most people feel a need to live up to who people think they are. You now have a moment of cover where you can make a significant adjustment not just to how you project yourself but to who you actually are, in substance. People will either not notice or not care, or they will forget that anything was different; or who you’ve developed into will seem natural in the context of so much else that’s changing. The way this looks is something like, you manifest in a revised form as one determined to succeed at what you feel the most called upon to do. You can be much more assertive than you usually are, and you can count on being supported in that, if you remember your charm and charisma and your natural magnetism. Establish your goals, align with your collaborators, then align yourself with the resources that you need to get the job done — and you will.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You remain in a position of leadership, and it looks like you’re collecting some valuable skills as you mature into your calling. There’s a skill I’ve noticed that’s largely missing from the population around us — that of politics. The dysfunction and cruelty we see career politicians dramatizing is not really political — it’s more like anarchy. What I’m describing is the ability to help facilitate mutually beneficial outcomes; to make sure that collective resources are used in a way that benefits everyone; and to stand guard over what is right and true. You’re refining these skills and you may be feeling a calling to put them to use. Yet there is an essential idea contained in your chart: what you’re doing is not about power; it’s about benefitting people as a kind of public servant, in a way that is also supportive of you. By one reading of this astrology (using only traditional planets), you might be super ambitious to the point of not caring whose head you step on. When we add the influence of the asteroid Pallas Athene exactly conjunct the May 9 solar eclipse, you show up as someone deeply concerned about fairness, and proceeding in a way that is honest and grounded in your real values. The world needs more examples of this, and you are setting such an example in your local world. A Course in Miracles reminds us that “everyone teaches, and teaches all the time,” and you are being called to be a teacher of integrity by example.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Your charts are calling for you to develop a longterm strategy — and to let go of a set of plans that are no longer valid based on your new goals. You may have a specific goal that keeps slipping out of your mind, something you know you want to dedicate yourself to, then you go back to an old scenario. You probably know exactly what this is; the challenge is that it would lead you to make many other changes, which you don’t necessarily know how to make, or have the energy to initiate. In order to slip out of the gravity of the past, begin with your mind. Begin with the idea. Then take some step to bring the idea into form. Then, size up your life and your environment and begin to sketch out your plan. Overall, you need a slow, steady and extremely persistent approach. Yet the key factor is remembering what you want to do, and then doing it, and remembering what you no longer want to do and not doing that. Getting out of old patterns and into new ones takes some persistence, and fortunately you have that going for you. The sooner you start — no matter how modestly or slowly — the more time you will have to establish the new pattern. Then when the coming eclipses do their work, events will help you not just focus and develop that pattern, but also cultivate the essential ingredient of faith in yourself. That’s the thing; that’s the skill you want.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You’ve likely been through an unsettling or perhaps tumultuous month or two. Events have challenged you to be flexible, tolerant and to make some peace with the fact that many people are different from you. This also means that you are different from they are. However you look at it, you’re in a position where you have to find common ground with others. You cannot set the agenda exclusively, and obviously you cannot have others set the agenda for you. Without some form of negotiating your way into territory you can share with others, you’ll find yourself at an impasse. This happens when people have intractable values. I suggest you look at your values and decide which are flexible and which you cannot compromise on. Then see if you can encourage partners to do the same thing. You are in a situation where something has to give, and where your flexibility will be called on as a bottom line. That’s why I suggest you decide what you’re willing to give, though while you’re at it, you may want to assess your concepts of ‘mutual’, ‘reciprocity’, ‘exchange’ and ‘understanding.’ In the end you will need to reach a consensus. And any honest consensus always starts on the level of values, which are the fundamental elements of who a person really is. So, said another way, this is about you revealing who you truly are — which implies admitting to yourself who you truly are. And yes, that might be a little intimidating.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — To what extent are you invested in a close partner, and have you considered whether you might be over-invested? This isn’t necessarily an easy question, though you may be getting some new information on this topic in the near future. This is, however, not a new story. Indeed, it’s the latest step in the process of your rewriting what may be a very old story, and that relates to certain fixed patterns of how you tend to think of yourself, your relationship partners and your mutual role in one another’s lives. This question is valid whether or not you currently are with a partner. The underlying material remains the same. The question gets more relevance if you tend to repeat patterns in your relationships. It gets even more relevance if you tend to come up against certain emotional issues and then skip them over, expecting a different result from last time. The current astrology is, to use a strong word, demanding that you be real with yourself. You know it’s also time for you to be relating to others on real terms, and call nothing less than that intimacy. I know there is a temptation to have the pleasure, security and emotional contact of relationships without taking the risk of vulnerability. Yet it’s never long before this runs out. If you’re someone who does value depth and intimacy and who takes emotional risks, the next few weeks promise to be a daring, meaningful and beautiful time in your life.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Isn’t it time to get over the feeling that if you get close to someone, or allow yourself to connect to them deeply, that your life is going to run out of control? Imagine that the ‘out of control’ factor is really an unknown. That’s not what it literally is, it’s just your equivalent of X. You could, under that scenario, revise the story: “if I connect to someone deeply, something of which I’m not sure may happen.” That is another way of saying that if you make contact, something will change — and it will. Both people will change. That is what happens when humans interact: they learn from one another, influence one another, and often become a little (or a lot) like one another. I suggest you list the reasons you have to trust and not trust the situation; to trust and not trust yourself. From the look of the astrology, you’re the person who is the most likely to have a profound or life-changing influence on someone you respect or admire, though you may not be up to believing how that’s possible. Well, it is possible; making friends with a kitten is enough to have a life-changing influence on many people. This isn’t something you have to try to do, plan on or expect. The most helpful thing you can do is trust, which means not throwing your fear in front of your path as a stumbling block. Said another way, you can use your power for or against your own best interests.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Sometimes I get the feeling that some people are finally figuring out that sex is a form of play, and sometimes I get the feeling that there’s so much fear that most people are totally in the dark. So I’ll put the question to you: how do you relate to sex as a form of play? Don’t answer too fast — I suggest you ponder it. If you don’t come up with sex as a form of play, then what is it? What kind of activity is it, or what does it represent? If you answer yes to the play question, how does it contrast with other forms of play (music, golf, paintball, finger painting, ultimate Frisbee)? The ‘serious cast’ that sexuality gets is almost always based on a moral trip of some kind. It’s also based on possessiveness and attachment. The play aspect is often drowned out by the fear of what might happen if the attachment is in some way threatened. The current aspects are calling on you to do a few things. One is to relax the sensation that you possess someone. Another is to allow your curiosity to come to the front of your awareness. Yet another is to allow yourself to change. Yes, it’s time to change. If you resist what you know are necessary, timely and even overdue changes, that’s likely to manifest as the sensation of pressure, anxiety and tension. You could just as well invest your passion into something or someone creative.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You seem to be trying to balance concerns about your home against professional matters that you know are just as significant. You’re more likely to work them out together than separately, as the two are directly related. Yet there seems to be another factor, which is a relationship on which you suspect much will hinge. Well, it could be a relationship or it could be your idea about a relationship — I suggest you sort that out, on your own and if possible with anyone who might be involved. If you leave the matter hanging below the surface of your awareness, it may have a way of running your life from the back seat. If you raise the question consciously, you will take away the negative manifestations of its power and begin to engage the more constructive ones. There’s one theme that comes right back to you: how in contact with your needs and desires are you? How well are you able to articulate them to yourself? By articulate, I mean the kind of thing you can put into sentences that another person could understand. That’s how clear you want to be, starting within your own mind and then extending out to a real discussion with others. One word comes to mind: marriage. What does that word mean to you? What is it about? What did you believe when you were younger and what has life taught you? What would it truly mean to be a partner, and to have one? How flexible is this idea for you?

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — A storm of change and progress passed through your life recently, which rearranged your orientation on existence and seemed to redirect the course of your life. All the fast-moving planets have come and gone; you’re now left with the slow-movers, the deeper influences, remaining in your sign. The changes you make from here on out are less about circumstances and more about the deeper alchemy of your consciousness: that is to say, what you do with your mind. You will get what you tune into. You will make more of what you are aware of, so I suggest you make conscious choices where to focus that awareness; remember that it’s a magnifier. Though Pisces is often described as being dreamy and ethereal, you have a mind that is capable of handling practical, tangible material — and of persisting with an idea or thought process for a long time. You’re about to see some unusual results, which combine many different factors into a focused moment of evolution. It’s as if your whole perspective suddenly changes, and in hindsight, you see all the factors that led up to this. One thing that would help you immensely now is to practice making decisions. It doesn’t matter the scale, though attention to the smallest choices means a lot right now, because you’re in a situation where many seemingly innocuous factors will add up to something unexpectedly significant. I don’t suggest you practice rosy-eyed optimism as much as remain faithful of your ability to guide your life competently.

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