Planet Waves for January

Hello Friends and Readers,

Tonight we’re publishing the January monthly horoscope, which is a shorter edition of The Spiral Door Annual Horoscope. In truth, the horoscope below bears little resemblance to the 12 articles by the same title, one per sign, that are now taking shape and which will comprise the astrology section of the annual edition. About a week ago, I reached the point where I accepted, when it’s done it’s done — a little challenging, given that I am as eager to see the finished result as you are, and take a breath. One thing I can tell you is that these essays will lose nothing for coming out in mid-January; their scope is much broader than even an annual horoscope usually is, many exploring the theme of the entire Pluto in Sagittarius era of our lives (which dates to the mid-1990s).

At the moment, we are all feeling the influence of a key event in that process: the Mars-Pluto-Galactic Core conjunction in Sagittarius, which is exact on Saturday, Jan. 13th (this weekend). Here is the chart, in case you’re interested. Imagine Eris at 20+ Aries, just having stationed direct and taking squares from Sun and Mercury. Indeed, the hot aspects right now are Sun square Eris simultaneous with Mars conjunct Pluto. Eris (the equivalent of the 10th planet, named late last summer) and Pluto are two planets that appear to have a meaningful kinship, particularly at this time in the human story. 

Even if you cannot read a chart, have a look at this one please. Do you see the house with all the planets stuffed in? That would be the 2nd house, the house of money. A lot of money is at stake; Indeed, a shit-ton of money, and this is the story of Iraq on one level: oil, contracts, and truckloads of cash. And yet this is about war; lives are at stake as well, but rarely ever is the money that is motivating this whole nightmare mentioned, nor who is getting it. Of note, this chart is nearly a carbon copy of the Saddam hanging chart, which had a similar situation in the 2nd house.

With Eris, as I explain in my article in the Spiral Door Almanac, we have the meeting place of a few issues, including a certain kind of political recklessness, which merges with a specific psychic wound in human beings that seems to compel them to be so self-obsessed they don’t notice what is going on in the world around them. The result is chaos, and it should be.

This collective wound amounts to an ocean of resources for people who are manipulating the world, and each of us along with it. We must note what is happening at this point in history in the context of the astrology, because that astrology affects us all. Those who have sons, daughters and loved ones in Iraq or about to be deployed into that holocaust have a bit more at stake, but we are all on this planet together.

As Pluto reached exact alignment with the Galactic Core for the first time in more than two centuries, we witnessed the hanging of Saddam Hussein — the Hanged Man card came out of the deck, and the former tyrant became a martyr. We were all brutalized in the process, visually and emotionally assaulted by repeated images of the execution; and, we were all warned of something to come. The case of a young boy who hung himself after seeing the video of Saddam’s hanging sent a chill ripping through my soul because this was obviously only one visible effect of an event with deep, furious undercurrents.

And, I wondered what would happen next. That is now apparent: the United States attacked Somalia today, claiming to be retaliating for embassy bombings in the 1990s. Bush is about to send 20,000 more troops, which is being called a “surge” and which is frankly absurd. The New York City Police Department has 37,838 uniformed officers, which are used to secure a city that’s easy to work in because just about everyone acts civilized. So Bush is calling a deployment half the size of the New York City police force a “surge.” We may well ask what is going on, particularly as both the public and many members of Congress, on both sides of the aisle, are growing increasingly opposed to our troops being caught in the middle of a sectarian civil war. At the very least, it is a statement of disinterest in the prevailing public opinion, and a sacrifice of many young lives. Meanwhile, rumors of Israel using tactical nuclear weapons on Iran persist to this hour.

I write these words recognizing that most people have a great deal on their minds and cannot think about this, and that many others are happy to forget it all and have a good time. These factors always exist. And, it may well be that this will affect, as in directly affect, very few people in the Western world; and it may be that it will affect all of us. I can tell you that if a nuclear weapon of any scale or size, or any name, is used in combat, all bets are off, and I do mean all bets.

You may feel that being vigilant about the world situation is meaningless, useless, or depressing, but I propose there is another way. It is ignorance that got us into this mess; the refusal to face political reality; the casual acceptance of a stolen democratic process and looking away from a rotting government in disgust.

If you are an American, I suggest you keep the focus on the Senate. The Senate is nearly evenly divided, and the people who need to hear from us are: all of them. These millionaires need to know the ground is rumbling beneath them, and that you care. If you consider that every constituent letter is worth a few hundred opinions, you may be motivated to send them to quite a few of these people. It’s easy, and while it’s not all we need to do, it’s a good start.

The horoscopes that follow are personal messages, but they are based on world horoscopes that tell the story of the world, of all of us, of our strange and dangerous moment of existence.

Eric Francis

ARIES (Mar 21 – Apr 20)
This may not be the year you make your big career breakthrough. But at the very least, it will be the year you get ready, in terms of figuring out what you want, and then taking the additional step of wanting it with every cell in your body.
You will, if you choose, gather your strength, determination and resolve, and begin to feel the undeniable onrush of the future coming at you. While the planets clearly reveal that you will work for everything you earn, and that feeling good will be the result of discipline and not luck or accident, there is no shortage of adventure or opportunity. Indeed, what the experts are calling 2007 promises to offer an authentic balance of labor and rewards for your labor; of grounded, serious thinking, and freewheeling exploration. But the key to success is indeed balance of these elements.
Part of you will want to do everything at once, while at other times you’ll be keeping your foot over the brake, lest you miss a detail, fail in a commitment, or to guard against the movie going too fast. No, this is not typical of your life, but you are changing, and developing sensitivity for the value of commitments and the delicateness of relationships.

 (Apr 21 – May 21)
For a good perspective on how much territory you’ve covered, go back to the fall of 1995 and begin reckoning from there. Remember to check in with the summer of 2001 and maybe the spring of 2002. Look at the story in terms of how you relate to others. Could you have ever imagined a time when you would be so independent, or so determined to create the course of your own life?
Taurus is the sign that carries the reputation for being stubborn, but astrology may have got this one backwards. That quality would appear to be a defense against another quality of being overly compromising; of allowing others to envision your existence for you, and your tendency to listen when others tell you what you need.
In what may have been an excruciatingly slow process, you have declared your independence from tyrants. Now comes the final burst in this process; the breakthrough itself; discovering what it feels like to relate to the world on equal terms, despite anyone’s illusions or perceptions of power, authority or holiness. To put this in the simplest terms possible, you have learned to stand up to people, and to recognize your inherent equality with them. The great achievement of 2007 will be putting this into action, and not only tasting freedom but feasting at its table.

GEMINI (May 22 – Jun 22)
How high must you fly, and how deep must you dig, to find the real you? While you may feel like you have to soar to the stratosphere or bore to the magma of the Earth, a more accurate metaphor is floating on the surface of water.
The important thing is not diving down to the reef (which is always an option) as much as feeling the water itself. This, you have begun to do, to a surprising degree. Imagine your body, which is water (no matter what element the sign Gemini supposedly belongs to), conducting the vibrations, temperature and currents of the entire ocean. Your role is as a conductor of that energy, whether in the context of feeling, or transmitting.
If there is a paradox involved, it’s this. The more subtle your mechanisms of reception, the less effort you must exert; yet the more consciousness you are able to take in. The less you say, and the more clearly you are able to say it, the more potent the message. The more you are able to reduce vast amounts of data to simple and useful facts or directional pointers, the more gracefully you will ease your way through four seasons that are likely to take you very far and very wide, and far from familiar ideas or places.

CANCER (Jun 23 – Jul 23)
There will come a moment when you question everything, and that is the moment when you will find your power. It’s coming sooner than you think, and I suggest you be glad of it.
Life is a matter of the circumstances in which you partake participating meaningfully with you. Notice what energy comes back to you, and what does not; who or what pays you, and who or what does not; who or what spontaneously offers what you need, and who or what does not even notice.
For you, the question ‘What gives?’ is not a rhetorical one; rather, it is a factual one, in two halves. If we start the process with you, it would be productive to notice where you find yourself giving with no decision or effort, and where you find yourself stressing and straining.
Part two is who or what is reaching back to you, specifically with what you want or need? You’re going to find some extraordinary examples of commitment in your life, and some that you will easily be able to do without. In short, you don’t need it all, and it all does not need you. When you find the meeting points, you will know because a sense of ease and flow replaces the tension.

LEO (Jul 24 – Aug 23)
The only one I can think of that distinguishes ‘humans’ from ‘animals’ is the creative drive. In most discussions of the ‘who would you rather be’ genre, I would pick the life of critters over the existence of most people — except for one little thing: art.
I associate Leo and creativity. Is it true? You tell me. But we cannot deny that Pluto burning its way through your 5th solar house for the past decade-plus has gone a long way to putting you in contact with your creative core, and by that, I mean the soul-engine that guides all your perceptions and experiences. This is intensifying as we speak, and peaks in the coming seasons. By the end of the transit (early 2008), you may discover that you have indeed dedicated your whole life to living and acting on what you hold to be your deepest ideals.
Art is not about painting. Art is about doing what you know is right; it is not about making something, but rather about being someone; it is about acting with faith as your guide rather than a sense of obligation; it is about responding to the moment and not the future. This way of life goes beyond compulsion and beyond seeking pleasure. The ray of light about to beam through your life is brighter and clearer than either of these could ever be.

VIRGO (Aug 24 – Sep 23)
Many years of focus, faith and effort have gone into burrowing your spiritual roots deep into existence. With no other reason to feel safe, you have been able to put your heart and soul into honoring the cosmic forces that are so often, and so easily, denied by those who have come to visit this Earth for a short while.
Often the outer appearance of a life conceals the depth of contact with underlying reality, even to the person who is doing the living. This is most likely the case with you, particularly because you are so annoyed by pretension, and have no desire to go around proving yourself. Imagine, though, that those deep roots are now being soaked with nourishing water. It may come in the form of a sense of mission, a new relationship, a choice about where in the world you want to be — or all of the above.
Imagine that these rugged old roots begin to push up their branches, leaves and flowers into the light of day. This is a significant change and also a big chance, because what was so long concealed in the dark will become a flourishing part of the world — and experience many more vulnerabilities than before. But it is only through this experience that your life can bear the fruit you have been so patiently awaiting for so long.

LIBRA (Sep 24 – Oct 23)
You are not the type to get hung up on ideas or to worship concepts. As long as they do their work in the moment, my sense is that you’re willing to let the old ones go and the new ones come along — bravo for that and, now get ready for this to become an experience that shakes the world.
If you have ever rated yourself as an underachiever, someone who lives below your talent potential, or who moves through life with the nagging sense that you’re capable of much more, you’re at an extremely convenient turning point. I would say stunning, electrifying, and fun — but the astrology speaks more of being swept away by a kind of living dream that you both embrace and welcome to the history of your life, and find yourself with the power to actually put into action.
You are, it would seem, about to break through many of your old limits, and I do mean old. Whether you call your life mission business, technology, music, art or whirling on the beach; whether you call it love or the love of God, what you are able to do becomes the perfect earthquake that vibrates you and the people near you to life, and may indeed have ripple effects that go lightyears further.

SCORPIO (Oct 24 – Nov 22)
In my ideal cosmos of astrology, no Scorpio would ever have to work for money. You would, instead, be the master of manifestation; the people in the world who teach us all that there is infinite abundance, and that all we need to do is ask with our hearts and we shall receive, as we need. I trust you have this gift, and that you know you have it perfectly well.
But Scorpio is the sign of commerce and trade, and of all forms of business arrangements that involve using the resources of others. You are, in a sense, bound into relationships that must, by their nature, become enterprises, and through these, everyone thrives. This is why integrity is so important to you; it represents the many threads that hold together these journeys of coexistence and survival.
We so often forget that trade and commerce, for all their injustices, are what on many levels hold the world together and encourage people to act on their common sense.
What if you could combine these two extraordinary properties, that is, your ability to divinely manifest, and your extraordinary gift for mustering up cooperation and a sense of community? I would say that if any year was the year, this is it. Set the example, Scorpio. Show us how it’s done.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov 23 – Dec 21)
Since 1994, the world has been living through a mini-Age of Sagittarius. It’s hard to imagine a mini Sagittarian anything, but on the cosmic scale, 12 years is a blink of the eyes. But beginning now and through 2007, this era we’ve all been experiencing will reveal its true colors — and bold those colors are.
The astrology of 2007 — Pluto making its way across the Galactic Core — takes place in Sagittarius, and has been witnessed by no living person; very few trees currently alive witnessed the last go-round.
For you personally, it would be hard to exaggerate the effects. The energy promises to be unbelievably intense even on your scale, and the changes you go through may indeed shape the lives of many around you. Your core mission, central to any form of growth, is giving up your judgments about yourself. Humans for the most part entirely fail to notice that they hold themselves in contempt nearly all the time. Worse, we fail to notice this is the cause and core of all the violence in the world, if only because it leads us to expect violence as a natural part of life, and as the normal consequence of the retribution we supposedly deserve.
Today you, and all of us, stand at a crossroads: let go of this way of life, or move with greater speed irrevocably down our current very dark road. Let your life be the living example that there is another way.

CAPRICORN (Dec 22 – Jan 20)
As you have seen, curiosity is not enough. Commitment is not enough. We begin to access useful resources when we can face the unknown without shaking. Part of ‘the unknown’ means embracing non-existence as an ultimate fact of being on this planet, since few people have any tangible clue what happens anywhere else.
And some would say that along the way to getting real is an inevitable encounter with how meaningless our lives are, in the greater scheme of things. But I don’t take this view, personally. I propose taking a much more daring route, which is accepting the inevitability that our lives not only have impact, but change the shape of the universe. If we presume that nothing has no effect, then it’s also true that everything has an effect. It matters not whether we can see it, or ever hear about it. The effect is still there.
Now comes the choice: what kind of effect do you want to have? If you could shape yourself or the world in some way (and the two are one and the same, from the viewpoint of an individual), what would it be? What assumptions would you have to challenge on the way to getting there? I’ll tell you — all of them.

AQUARIUS (Jan 21 – Feb 19)
Your relationships may have been confrontational the past couple of years, but at least you got to experience them. I would ask, though, exactly who or what were those confrontations with? Were they with your ideas about your relationship, were they with people, or were they ultimately with yourself?
All of the above is a possible answer. And one last query: were the encounters productive? I suspect that, despite whatever you may have felt at the time, they absolutely were. Now, the time has come to learn the trick of cooperation — and to teach it. You may have never considered yourself a politician, and admittedly politics as we know it is incredibly neurotic, even useless.
But at its core, deep within the idea of politics, is the notion that society does not run itself; someone must run it; and that the small cells, the microcosms, the individual circles of friends, associates and small communities, are the point of origin where all progress begins — and you are a pioneer. As you do this, think of yourself as an inventor. You are working in miniature. You may not change the world in a day, but the world is changing, and you’re being invited to participate boldly.

PISCES (Feb 20 – Mar 20)
More than a decade ago, Pluto began its journey across your 10th solar house, Sagittarius. This is the house of reputation, honor and achievement. It is where we do our most mature work. The 10th house is not easy; we must take every step, and when we focus our energy there, there can be a constant feeling of living under intense scrutiny.
Sagittarius has a global quality; it can represent the essence of spirit, and is the sign of the Sacred Quest. Pluto, if nothing else, is a planet that has impact, and which can be stopped by nothing. Apropos of the myth of this strange god, Pluto also has an invisible quality. What you have accomplished these years may indeed be invisible even to you.
The developments of the next four seasons, as Pluto meets the Galactic Core, and as your first ruling planet Jupiter works its way across this region of space, will be anything but invisible. Even you will have to take notice. And while it may go against your nature to gloat over your accomplishments, you owe yourself some gesture of recognition for what you have done, for the strange perils you have endured, and most of all, for who you have become.

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