Mini-documentary featuring Eric Francis. Banned by YouTube!
Who Are You?
Dear Friend and Reader:
Sunday is the New Moon conjunct the very sigil of the electronic age, Eris in Aries. If you could see it, this would be a positively spectacular lunation, but the New Moon is as invisible as the Full Moon is bright. Planets are tucked all around it: Venus, Ceres, Mercury, Chiron and the least famous planet everyone has heard of, Eris.
When you look at the chart, you think, this has to be about something. The chart is always about the “now” that it represents. So then astrology becomes about looking back and forth between the chart and the now and seeing what they are saying about one another.
Ultimately, astrology is about us, and the times we are living through. History factors in. Often the chart for any given moment points to cultural changes long underway. The local news says something about the long-term historical movement that is underway. I will get to that in a section called “Local News and Weather,” which will cover the inner planets Mercury, Venus and Mars.
The New Moon, that is, the Moon to Sun conjunction, is conjunct the dwarf planet Eris, a relatively new discovery as planets come. Hardly anyone remembers what a big deal this discovery was when it was made public in the summer of 2006, and the planet was named soon after. Typical of the disruptive power of Eris, this was the event that led to the Pluto system “no longer being a planet.”
(That was funny at the time, considering that there was not even a clear photo of it available. It is not an overstatement to say that the decision was corrupt. As usual, I know the story, and will tell it another time.)
The discovery and naming of Eris was also the event that alerted the public to the existence of what are called minor planets. This is not a diminutive; think of the minor keys in music, every bit as beautiful and artistically relevant as the major keys (usually, more interesting, too).
Electrical Communication and Disorientation
What does Eris say about how you feel today? How you feel about being alive? What it means to be you? If you don’t mind, I will recap the history of this planet and then go into the psychology. The bottom line is this: the age of Eris is the age of electrical communication. That means people are tribalized, pushed out of their bodies, their minds are scrambled and they have no idea who they are.
However, the real issue with electrical communication — and the reason it’s about out of body experiences — is that it propels people at the speed of light, and creates situations where they exist in two or more places at once.
This is associated with Eris in Aries based on my many observations, and because this technology was emergent at the time Eris entered Aries. It has turned people inside-out and upside-down.
Eris is a very slow mover. It takes 558 years to orbit the Sun. Its discoverer, Mike Brown, described it at the time of its discovery as the furthest, coldest object orbiting the Sun. (I will compare it to Sedna in another article. Discovered in 2002, Sedna, with an 11,408 year orbit, is now in late Taurus.)
I wrote the first monograph (short book) about Eris while living in Brussels the winter of 2006-2007. I called it Facets and Fragments of Self; I could see what was going on. Working with Paloma Todd, I had already been figuring it out under its provisional code name, Xena (named for the warrior-princess of the TV series). It seemed to be associated with the fragmenting of the psyche, and the disorientation of identity. Paloma, well-trained academically, figured out that it was about postmodernism.
In 2007, I got the delineation down to two words: identity chaos.
McLuhan Makes a Cameo
In that article, I mentioned the work of media philosopher Marshall McLuhan as potentially being informative on the topic. I had no notion that I might work with his son Eric and grandson Andrew to figure out both Eris and the internet. (Andrew and I are still at it.)
Eris entered Aries on Feb. 12, 1926 — during the Roaring ’20s. Its total time in Aries is about 130 years. This was the era of the first commercial radio stations being licensed. The age of radio was the age of Gandhi and of Hitler.
TV was being developed by RCA (yes, Radio Corporation of America), and the first transistor was patented (it was the size of a coffee can, not so helpful for a digital watch).
The Eris in Aries era really got going with a conjunction of Uranus and Eris on the Aries Point in 1927 and 1928. We had a similar Uranus conjunct Eris event the years that Trump was elected. The shock, chaos and disintegration of that era led to what we are going through now.
What is this all about? I will once again quote Eric McLuhan, who figured it out for me: “The body is everywhere assaulted by all of our new media, a state which has resulted in deep disorientation of intellect and destabilization of culture throughout the world. In the age of disembodied communication, the meaning and significance and experience of the body is utterly transformed and distorted.”
Digital vs Analog People
Last spring, I took my worst beating since challenging the #MeToo movement for publishing an article about a bunch of hippies going to a concert in Upstate New York — in August 1969. I was told I was endangering lives in 2020 by saying that 450,000 groovy peaceniks had crammed into a farmer’s cow pasture to trip out and listen to music during the Hong Kong Flu, which at that time was already said to have already killed 100,000 Americans.
This was taken as my being opposed to social distancing and masks for scientific and other reasons, which was and is true.
Though he said he did not care about Hong Kong Flu at the time, and never even thought about it, photographer Elliot Landy pulled his photos from the article out of concern that I was endangering lives — by writing about a concert in 1969. Many other people objected. Some Facebook threads were 100 comments long.
What was the difference between then and now, besides better music? Why, the fuss now, which nobody cared about at the time?
Identity chaos. Being disembodied — ripped out of body, making you not trust your body. Too much information and misinformation delivered by internet.
As Dr. McLuhan said: “In the age of disembodied communication, the meaning and significance and experience of the body is utterly transformed and distorted.”
Those who attended Woodstock were analog people rather than digital people. They still had bodies, which they used for things like dancing, and sex. These were not special activities, like snowboarding, BASE jumping, parasailing, or search and rescue.
Noticing Something Difficult to See
It is true that the 1960s was the dawn of the digital age. People had heard of computers. They could do things like draw an antique car out of letters and numbers on 22-inch wide tractor paper.
But digital technology was not ubiquitous. Those were the days of looking up credit cards in a little book printed in point size 1 that listed all the bad cards. If your card was in the book, you got “declined.” You were not stalked, connected, or anything.
What is the difference? What is this New Moon saying? It’s saying notice something difficult to see: how our electronic environment has made us into terrified, confused, zoned-out people, who cannot reason.
Into people who think that asking a question means making up a conspiracy. People who think there is no such thing as truth.
But I think there is a much simpler way to say this. Analog people, such as those who attended Woodstock without the least concern, understood something much better than digital: the only real choice is between love and fear.
They were more agreeable. They were more curious about the world. They were not stretched so tight as we are. They knew when something felt right and when it didn’t, because feeling is a form of sensing that you do with your body.
Everyone at that concert, for whatever reason, had the good sense to stay away from Vietnam.
And in Local News and Weather
Mercury, Venus and Mars factor into the New Moon chart, including the days leading up to it — or soon after. Friday is particularly unusual, and busy.
Presently, Mars (the ruler of Aries) is in Gemini, making its final approach to its square to Neptune in Pisces. Mars square Neptune is a chaotic, potentially self-destructive aspect. This has been building for many weeks, and it comes into exact focus at 3:18 pm on Friday, April 9.
Mars to Neptune: Clearing the Toxic Fog We Are Trying to Breathe
This aspect represents the toxic fog in its current form. It represents the kinds of bad-judgment decisions you hear people admitting to, explaining they really didn’t want to choose that. I would add to this the problem of believing lies; of rationalizing; and of denial. What you don’t know can hurt you seriously. It’s time to stop the usual “Who gives a toss?” Or “I don’t want to know” of our times.
Because both Gemini and Pisces are involved, we have this issue of dualism. Mars square Neptune with these signs involved looks like intellectual and psychic chaos, where simple things are made complicated, and nothing is actually right.
The only way out of this is to notice that it’s happening — and stop making decisions, especially rushed decisions. Use logic: real logic, not any form of “I think” (Gemini) or “I believe” (Pisces). Logic is breaking down the steps. It’s also critical to know when you don’t know.
The Venus Factor
The same day Mars is square Neptune, Venus is conjunct Eris in Aries. This emphasizes the point of Mars-Neptune; the two aspects are synchronous and can be seen as one event. They have a similar feeling, both with Aries involved (Mars as ruler, Venus in sign).
However, Venus conjunct Eris seems more honest: more like a question. It is disorienting but in a potentially creative way. It has a dislodging feeling to it, and demands to know one thing: what are your priorities? What is the most important person, priority, thing or quality in your life?
Venus always raises the question of sex. For as far back as you can remember, how has sex changed from the beginning of your experiences, to the present time?
The Mercury Factor
Mercury is in Aries, recently conjunct Chiron, slowly moving up on Eris. What is interesting about Mercury is that it is in mutual reception with Mars in Gemini. That is, Mars is in the sign ruled by Mercury, and Mercury is in the sign ruled by Mars. You can think of them as being able to trade places, or you can think of this as a hostage situation.
Mercury in Aries is likely to be caught in the toxic fog of Mars square Neptune. There is only one remedy to this: take the time to figure out what is true. Not just true for you. Not just what someone is pushing you to do. Not just what you think or believe, but what is actually true.