You may be familiar with my theory that Mercury retrograde is primarily a mental phenomenon. After living through a hundred or so of them, however, there is no way I can deny that these intervals, which occur three times a year, affect electronic equipment.
Mercury stations direct. Full Moon in Aries. Sun enters Scorpio. Is anyone or anything always right under all circumstances? And a new Planet Waves weekly horoscope by Eric Francis.
Dear Friend and Reader:
This week represents the working-out of much astrology that dominated late summer and early autumn. We’ve just been through the Mercury retrograde, pole-shift edition, which has had the power to turn integrated circuits to scrambled eggs. That ended at about mid-day Monday in most of our time zones, and early evening across Europe.
You may be familiar with my theory that Mercury retrograde is primarily a mental phenomenon.
After living through a hundred or so of them (going back to my days at the Echoes-Sentinel), however, there is no way I can deny that these intervals, which occur three times a year, affect electronic equipment.
Nobody can prove that they do, but the effect is obvious to anyone noticing. And while the argument could be made that the noticing is most of the effect, we could also debate whether it really is raining outside, or if it just seems like it’s raining in your mind.
However, they tend to affect the mind the most strongly, having a distorting effect on consciousness.
This can lead to a serious flake factor, people making bad choices that have repercussions, and the human effect of digital systems failing. Then these factors all play off of one another. The result can be quite a bit of confusion and mental tension.
Anyway, though the retrograde is behind us, be careful of the effects, here in the storm phase and the next few weeks as Mercury re-crosses the degrees where it was retrograde. Take your time getting things going again. Perhaps look through your notes for all the people whose calls you need to return, or whose business card you collected for a good reason. Check for emails that you missed.
These are transitions that will ease things along, and help untangle some knots that were keeping certain situations in place, suspended in midair, delayed or in a state of uncertainty.
The Week is Not Over:
Full Moon Wednesday, then Sun Enters Scorpio early Saturday
For more astrological details, you may listen to the new STARCAST. I focus on the territory where Chiron in Aries meets the Aquarius planets I discuss below.
We have two other major events ahead this week, both of which I think will lead to a settling effect: one is a very late-degree Aries Full Moon, which takes place at 10:57 am EDT on Wednesday, Oct. 20. This is followed by the Sun entering Scorpio at 12:51 am EDT on Saturday, Oct. 23. Taken together, these represent a sea-change that will shift your perception and perhaps facilitate deeper attunement to your inner life.
This is a heck of a Full Moon, with the Sun conjunct Mars, and the Moon conjunct Eris. Said another way, the Full Moon activates the opposition of Mars and Eris. Not only that, all of these bodies are square Pluto in Capricorn. So we are about to experience a rapid escalation of energy that will not start to tamp down until the Sun changes signs overnight Friday to Saturday.
These are transitions that will either jolt or ease things along, and help untangle some knots that were keeping certain situations in place, suspended in midair, delayed or in a state of uncertainty. In real life we live with many unknowns, and part of happiness is knowing how to coexist with that fact. Right and wrong may exist, though they take some grappling with.
This is not appealing to lazy thinkers, or to such people who would prefer to cut themselves all the slack they need.
Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius: Locking Down the Mood
However, it would seem that the dominant astrology involves Jupiter and Saturn now moving in direct motion in Aquarius. These two largest planets in the Solar System are what is locking down what we might generously call the global mood.
They are also magnifying the issues of artificial intelligence, virtual and enhanced reality, nanotechnology and this thing nobody wants to talk about, called transhumanism: the morphing of humans and computers.
Aquarius is also emphasizing the urgency of rational thought, a dimension from which many people are fleeing. The seemingly easier side of Aquarius is to think like other people think, and do like they do. We are seeing a lot of this, and it’s packaged in what seems like moral absolutism: some universal ethical standard that applies to every situation. The social pressure that it’s possible to express through Aquarius is emphasizing this condition.
You might think you agree with the current absolutes as defined by Jupiter and Saturn (not everyone does). When Pluto arrives in Aquarius in 2023, you might not be so happy that such a precedent was set. There are those who agree with all that is mandatory as long as they like it, or think they like it.
Then suddenly the same rules may be used to enforce something they utterly object to, but it’s too late: they endorsed the rules. This is why it’s important to know what you’re agreeing with, and that often involves engaging an actual moral quandary. It is easier to pump your fist, or to go along to get along.
The more someone is camped out in a position they do not follow or have not actually questioned, the more likely they are to lash out at anyone or anything that might lead them into any doubt.
Absolutes are Usually a Con
It’s easy to be conned into believing that something is absolutely right and that there should be no exceptions. You don’t have to do anything except not think. This has the effect of establishing a comfort zone for people, helping them temporarily escape their own doubts, or the burden of figuring something out for themselves.
This position is vulnerable to any subtle analysis that might seem to threaten it.
For a person who is rigidly adhering to their unquestioned beliefs, the threat can be destabilizing, nauseating, infuriating, or seem like a trick. But usually the one-side-only position is the con. Think of all the preachers who have demanded absolute purity from their flock, who are next seen at the pulpit in tears, asking for God’s forgiveness for their oh-so-human failings.
The more someone is camped out in a position they do not follow or have not actually questioned, the more likely they are to lash out at anyone or anything that might lead them into any doubt.
The problem with any rigid moral position where there is only one side, besides the fact that it’s not factually supportable, is that it denies any possibility for wisdom to enter. It also denies the possibility of extenuating circumstances. Such positions are almost always used to justify grotesque, cruel acts — all in the name of right and might.
Moralists are inherently hypocrites. They cannot actually follow their own dictates. Purity is not a value, and there are exceptions to every rule.
Every Person is an Individual
Moralists tend to be insecure, or terrified. They are often divided inside, which they cover with their uncompromising position. Some are merely petty tyrants, taking the occasion to act out (and such are abundant now — both the tyrants and their opportunities). Moralists are inherently hypocrites. They cannot actually follow their own dictates. Purity is not a value, and there are exceptions to every rule.
There is another fact to consider. For those who say that “claiming your rights is selfish,” I would wonder how abused they have been by those who held power over them in the past. We all agreed long ago to a community standard that every person is an individual. We have agreed by social compact and acts of law that humans are entitled to their dignity and fair treatment — that is the whole concept of the United States of America and by extension, every country in the “free world.”
We have also agreed that it is unethical to deny people the right to make the choices that affect their lives. One of the reasons the United States fought World War II was to stop genocide in Germany, a major tenet of which was forced medical experimentation.
If you are among those covering inner division in your ethics by an outer cloak of moral authority — and you’re not feeling good about it — you have options. The first thing to do is to admit that you are really of two or three minds about something. Admit your doubt. Admit your questions, and state them out loud.
Acknowledge the existence of evidence against the position you have taken.
Usually, that evidence points to actual people who are in pain. So by admitting to “evidence” you are really admitting to human suffering. If you are angry at a family for not wanting to vaccinate their children, you might pause and ask them their reasoning. You might discover that they lost a 13-month-old to leukemia, which developed the day after their three-month checkup round of shots.
One must decide to feel compassion for the pain of others, or that one has potentially caused others. One may have to admit to having been fooled, or worse, having knowingly allowed oneself to be fooled.
That is the price of mercy.
You’re probably not done, and you may find yourself tidying up little issues, hiccups and scattered messes. Take that in stride, particularly over the next three weeks as Mercury makes its way out of the second shadow phase.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — It may have taken some energy to go through and untangle various misunderstandings in important partnerships, or in communications related to business and commerce. You’re probably not done, and you may find yourself tidying up little issues, hiccups and scattered messes. Take that in stride, particularly over the next three weeks as Mercury makes its way out of the second shadow phase. Review every understanding and agreement, and make amends and amendments promptly. In other words, if you signed an agreement that contains vague language or that you cannot handle, engage the discussion sooner rather than later, while the paint is still wet. Even if it seems done and over, the paint is still wetter than you think, and the shadow phase (that means when Mercury is re-crossing the degrees where it was just recently retrograde) lends itself to revision and editing. But be thorough, as the mystical effect of words disappearing and numbers transposing themselves is indeed slippery. Ensure that only people who need to be in the conversation are present — pay attention to who belongs involved and who is in the way. Simplicity wins the day.
Any determinations of truth that you made call for total reevaluation. What was true then may not be true now, and if you act as though it is, there are likely to be consequences.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Tensions may still be high at work, though if you spend more time listening than speaking, you will find things go much more smoothly. However, then there’s the bit about a medical issue, question or concern, which I suggest you reconsider entirely. Any determinations of truth that you made call for total reevaluation. What was true then may not be true now, and if you act as though it is, there are likely to be consequences. One of the best working concepts that I’ve discovered living through about the past 100 Mercury retrogrades is that often it seems like something is broken when it is not. So check that, and reconsider your situation based on older and more traditional rules rather than this newfangled, high-tech speculation that is passing for healing and care of the supposedly and actually sick. This also means reconsidering what it means to be well. For you, this is about some state of balance. In our time, that translates to making sure that you add some physical reality to your lavish online existence. Usually with Taurus, when something feels wrong, attend to your body’s basic needs. And if nothing feels wrong, that’s very likely to be true.
Creative also means a curious and even daring approach to your existence. Yet it is also about expressing yourself in a way where the outcome is not wholly predictable.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Mercury has stationed direct in the most creative angle of your solar chart, your 5th house, Libra. So keep being creative, now that certain frustrations may suddenly fall off. This is not just about painting and poetry. Creative also means a curious and even daring approach to your existence. Yet it is also about expressing yourself in a way where the outcome is not wholly predictable. The incursion of the chance encounter or the random discovery is the true essence of what we call art: or said another way, turning uncertainty into a game. Yet with Mercury moving in direct motion, you may have the urge to get on with business, or the tendency to attend to seemingly more important things. So you could go from your creative desires being beset with delays and complications to losing track of them entirely. You would do well to ask yourself: what is the basis of my priorities? If something seems important enough that you should act on it, why is that so? There is something, or someone, right in front of you that you may not be taking adequate notice of.
One of your best skills is the ability to be circumspect, which means to have a moving point of view that is able to take in multiple perspectives of any situation. Recent circumstances have hampered your gift for doing so by lodging you in one point of view
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Three events happen in rapid sequence this week: Monday, Mercury stationed direct in Libra. Wednesday, we arrive at the Full Moon across the Aries/Libra axis. Saturday, the Sun enters your fellow water sign Scorpio. Taken together, these may provide you some relief from the tension, anxiety and security concerns you’ve been vexed with over the past month or so. You still have some challenges ahead, though they will feel more like the kind you can describe and analyze rather than scaling a glacier. One of your best skills is the ability to be circumspect, which means to have a moving point of view that is able to take in multiple perspectives of any situation. Recent circumstances have hampered your gift for doing so by lodging you in one point of view. I suggest you make a conscious choice to keep yourself moving, mentally and physically. Get out of the house; go places just for the sake of doing so; please get near some water and use it as your reflecting pool. Try reading something that you don’t agree with but suspect may be true. Doing these things will help loosen up your reality framework and refresh your sense of purpose.
The place where you seem to be squirming around is on the mental plane, the one where cognition, logic and fact patterns find their home. On one level you seem driven to accomplish something or to make some kind of a statement.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You continue to be under the direct influence of large forces that are seemingly outside of your control. Yet you cannot deny that you have a relationship to them, and in that relationship, you have an opportunity to express your priorities, your abilities and your passion for life. It is therefore vital that you be able to distinguish an obstacle from an opportunity. The place where you seem to be squirming around is on the mental plane, the one where cognition, logic and fact patterns find their home. On one level you seem driven to accomplish something or to make some kind of a statement. Yet you also seem confused about what that is, and are resisting giving anything too clear or firm of a definition. There is something to be said for that. Yet if you are responsible for writing the directions for a toaster, you will want to express yourself in such a way as to be understood. When you are teaching someone to drive, you start with the gas and the brakes. These things do not pin you into a reality that denies who you are. For practical and spiritual purposes, there is such a thing as true or false. If there is not, you might ask what is clouding your thinking.
Slow Motion Flash Sale! Planets in Motion 2022
What’s happening in your astrology right now? What year were you born? That says as much about you as your Sun, Moon and rising sign. Your year of birth is the true focus of your growth process and the opportunities that you have. Dear Friend and Reader: My approach to astrology is based on what is happening right now. I have just completed Planets in Motion, an e-Book that covers about 20 transits happening to people ages 1-84. This is an easy introduction to using astrology in practical ways. I write in clear language and bring your astrology to life. It comes with an audio introduction to the topic to help you get oriented and learn the value of transits. Thank you for your business and your trust.
Being in psychic, spiritual or emotional chaos is usually an attempt to buffer oneself from certain truths that challenge what you think of as a fixed reality.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — It is possible to hide in a cloud of ambiguity, or of absolutism — but only for so long. Usually, one is a reaction to the other. The sense of total, unquestionable certainty is not usually based in anything grounded. Being in psychic, spiritual or emotional chaos is usually an attempt to buffer oneself from certain truths that challenge what you think of as a fixed reality. Often, when under some stress, or when faced with a moral crisis, people bounce from one to another. This is what you might call an ungrounded state of being. What is likely to ground you is a long talk with yourself about what really matters, and why. What is the code that you live by? What is your procedure for changing your mind? What are your indications that you actually understand something? Asking these kinds of questions will help point you toward your values, and help you deepen your relationship to yourself. We could sum up the whole matter in one personal query: How do I determine whether something is true? Or said another way, how do I determine my personal truth?
Your life will seem to sort itself out when you focus on several priorities you may be neglecting, or failing to notice the relevance of.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — You seem to have reached a limit on what roles you want people to have in your life: the extent of their influence, and also the degree to which you want to be involved with them. Your situation is not as stuck or as intractable as you may think. In fact your life is about to move more swiftly than it has in a while, as you go through a series of events that feel like stages in a process. That is the best way to consider the developments you experience, though you want to add one other ingredient: being active rather than passive; direct rather than oblique; making choices rather than allowing them to be made for you (and these are all aspects of the same thing). Your life will seem to sort itself out when you focus on several priorities you may be neglecting, or failing to notice the relevance of. I suggest you tune in to what those might be. One or more will be changes you need to make to safeguard your long-term financial security, but more than that, your affinity to your deeply-held core truths about life.
When you do get up and move around, you may feel like you’re walking along the top of a cliff, not quite sure where the edge is.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — With Mercury, Mars and the Sun dancing around the most sensitive angle of your chart — the strange and ominous 12th house — you’ve had more than your fair share of sitting on pins and needles the past few weeks. When you do get up and move around, you may feel like you’re walking along the top of a cliff, not quite sure where the edge is. You may get some relief as Mercury goes direct and the Full Moon peaks this week. However, it will be when the Sun enters your birth sign on Saturday that you truly start to get your bearings and feel like yourself again. Yet even as you do, ask what part of yourself is missing, or seems to have become detached from you. What powers have you had in the past that seem inaccessible now? What mental states have you been able to access previously that seem to have closed off? Are there some negative traits that have also lost their edge, or been replaced by a more humanitarian instinct? There is likely to be a connection. To move forward in a balanced state of mind, it is imperative that you earn back your own trust.
The thing is, this is about your perception of your life, and there is really nobody to call you out if you are not fully embracing of reality.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Jupiter, the classical planet said to rule Sagittarius, has turned to direct motion. This may have brought a sudden shift in your perception of yourself and your situation. Take this opportunity to do an analysis of where your life is, and where you are headed. By that I mean a cool, fact-based review of your situation. It would start with things like, “My address is ____ I have lived here for ___ years. I have also lived in the following places ____. I work at the following job, and have for so long. I like the following things about going to work, and wish I could be doing ____.” And so on: a review of the facts, and what they point to. Among the things the new, improved world is trying to get rid of is factual analysis. It is not the whole scenario, though it’s a foundational layer. The selection of facts can be biased, and part of intellectual honesty is making sure that they are not. The thing is, this is about your perception of your life, and there is really nobody to call you out if you are not fully embracing of reality. So you might add, “What am I in denial of?” This is where the emotional level gets complicated for you, but it’s the most important question you can ask, looking ahead about one year. There is one other thing: making sure you have the demonstrated ability to change your mind, based on a primarily factual analysis of your situation.
Your priorities represent what you act on, observing from a day-to-day perspective. This involves connecting choices to deeper values.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — With both Saturn and Jupiter stationing direct these days, you may finally start to make some progress with your finances. However, it is imperative that you maintain your discipline. Progress is not a feeling, though feelings can color your reality. Progress must be measured by the numbers: balances, availability of cash and credit (including your credit score), and your general ability to maintain cash flow. There is another dimension to your current astrology, which is your ability to prioritize based on knowing your inner truth. Your priorities represent what you act on, observing from a day-to-day perspective. This involves connecting choices to deeper values. Most people do not know when they are deciding something. You must be sensitive to that moment, and the approach to it. This will help you understand the forces other than your own priorities that are guiding you. If the Capricorn chart has a serious Achilles heel, it is the difficulty determining what influences are external to you, dictated by others, and which are internal to you, which means based on your fully internalized understanding of yourself. Even there you will find an overlay: you were told things about yourself as a child that were true for others and not true for you. Know what those things are.
This medicine will not only cure your pain but deliver the perfect life. The diamond ring carries the love spell.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Our whole culture is based on the belief in magic. This belief is not entirely unfounded, here in the age of better living through chemistry/electrical engineering/instant everything. There is also magic in the form of artificial shape-shifting: the nonstop, constant control over one’s image. That’s good as far as one is not convinced they are that person they work so hard to portray themselves as being. However, we are in a nonstop crossfire of projections of magic onto us. If you study the content of advertising, every product is supposed to deliver a magical solution, i.e., open the can of Bud and the pretty girls in bikinis manifest, strolling down the beach ready to party. This medicine will not only cure your pain but deliver the perfect life. The diamond ring carries the love spell. Mister Clean will help you get off that grime. And now that you can say, “Alexa, order my favorite pizza and have it delivered,” it sure seems real. Then we can take this to the metaphysical or religious level. Remember, though, that all magic no matter how dark, is predicated on any magic, no matter how light. Eventually all magic turns dark, as it represents a separation from spirit. Stick to the natural world, the work of your hands, and the quality of your relationships.
Anyway, you know more than you think, and you can make some wise decisions, if you use what you know.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Your 8th solar house, Libra, has been the scene of much action the past month, so much so that you may feel like you have no idea where you stand with others. The 8th is largely a transactional region of the chart: it’s about exchanges with close partners, mutual investments, inheritances and the in-laws. That translates to the people that other people bring into your life, and with whom you may have some mutual commitment. Anyway, you know more than you think, and you can make some wise decisions, if you use what you know. You tend to take a balanced view of others; really want to see the best in people. Yet without judging them, you need to be realistic, and make sure you understand your points of irritation. As a Pisces, you tend to think you owe your life to the world. It’s time to figure out what people owe you, whether on a tangible material level, or a less tangible moral or ethical level. What you’ve learned the past five or so weeks has not come easily. You have had your share of sleepless nights, wondering whether certain individuals upon whom you depend would turn out to be reliable. By the end of the week, you need to have your naughty and nice sorted out, and act accordingly.