Planet Waves Monthly for May by Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — As part of music study, you learn something, then you learn it again, then a few years later, you might learn it a third time. This is all mingled in with practice, trial and error, forgetting and remembering. With Mercury now moving direct through your sign, covering the places where it was recently retrograde, you’re in the company of musicians, for whom learning is a process of repetition, review and the gradual embodiment of your truth. Much of what you’re working through is not about external situations. You’ve reached a point where you can admit the undeniable necessity of knowing, understanding and accepting yourself. It’s not enough to merely look good, and even feeling good has its limits as a growth tool. Grist for the mill of self-actualization usually surfaces in times of crisis, distress and insecurity — so embrace these things if you have them. While much of May offers opportunities to re-evaluate and reconsider what you’ve experienced the past two months, events surrounding the April 8 total solar eclipse will stand as a permanent feature of your psychic landscape around which you can develop a sense of perspective. Those developments represented a point of departure, a before-and-after moment, or a crease through the center of your existence. Treat yourself gently, and remember that understanding will come in different ways at different times.

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Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Benefits of the extraordinary astrology of the past month are starting to arrive, timed beautifully with Venus arriving in your birth sign. Yet receiving them is calling on you to do something that’s usually challenging for you, which is to be a different person every day. I know it seems trite; we’ve all heard it from members of the Program and seen it on little plaques in souvenir shops: live one day at a time. This translates to several different skills, one of which is hanging loose. Going with the flow and scaling back your expectations are helpful approaches, though they tend to make you nervous. You might discover that’s about a form of make-believe control that only seemed to work for you in the past, but is wholly unsuited for your current ‘expect the unexpected’ moment. Life has been trying to get your attention this way for a while, and in hindsight you may discover that any time something went well, it was outside of your seeming control or influence. The one thing you can do as a conscious act is allow yourself to relax a little. You can take risks in the form of experimenting with things where the outcome is uncertain. You can accept that people will see you how they see you no matter how much work you put into your appearance. Control is not the problem; that’s like steering a car in traffic, maintaining the right speed and watching the road. The illusion of control is the problem you’re grappling with.

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Gemini (May 20-June 21) — As of this weekend, Sedna (distant planet orbiting our Sun) will be in your sign for the first time since approximately when there were glaciers where I am now sitting. Many astrologers have decided that Sedna (named for the Inuit creation goddess) in Taurus was about climate change. I would say it’s about environmental awareness, and if that’s true, Sedna in Gemini (through 2068 or so) is about the mental environment. There is no environment more important because everything anyone perceives, feels or experiences is processed through their minds. Setting aside potential cultural shifts, you are entering a vitally important stage of your growth wherein you will learn about the power of your mental state, your intelligence and your awareness. This may not wash over you like a thunderstorm. Rather, you’re being given a fine-tuning device, a kind of tool that you will need to learn how to use and make the most of. The result may be subjective: the bottom line is self-awareness. You are your ultimate environment. That said, the month ends with Jupiter entering your birth sign or rising sign, and that is not so subtle. You’re being bestowed with one glorious year to experience your significance and presence in the world in a whole new way. A year to expand your awareness into the greater world around you. A year to feel your attractive power, and to have your best personal traits (and your uniquely distinct flaws) magnified to the point where you can learn more about yourself than ever before.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You must never let success go to your head. Aspire to be helpful, and give others credit for your success. The light on them will reflect gently on you — if you take up opportunities to humbly serve, your winning streak will continue. This may be about karma, though it’s also about slowing down and paying attention to who and what is around you. Noticing the human environment will encourage you to pace yourself, and to take a wide-angle view of life. Not everyone is doing as well as you are right now. Your attention, empathy and kindness will count for a lot. So, too, will your impeccable honesty — especially in situations where you could easily fudge or flirt with seemingly innocent dishonesty. Without knowing where you stand on the use of alcohol and substances, I would add this message coming through with emphasis. Please ignore it if it’s not about you. The use of mood-altering substances is not a substitute for doing spiritual work, by which I mean any form of inner work. Often it seems that way, until it does not. It’s just a way of setting things aside, or dulling your feelings and your emotions. Mars lining up with Neptune is cautionary of any method of skirting what you know are crucial matters of growth. You have so much going for you right now. Take care of what matters; attend to the personal details of life and love. Do this as a matter of self-respect and let that extend to others, who will benefit from your openness and your example and commitment to truth.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Though you may not realize it, certain limits on your success have been eliminated, and your options are wide open. Yet going forward, it would help if you see success as something other than vertical. While it’s essential that you know what you aspire to, and have an idea of what you define as an achievement, that’s only part of the scenario. The state of the world now requires a highly social approach to all matters of business, profession and community affairs. After spending a year in your house of action and success, Taurus, Jupiter is about to move into Gemini. This is a house where it’s much more appropriate to stand on level ground with others. Remember that you are seen by most other people as a dynamic, successful leader-type. Play that down by doing plenty of listening to whatever concerns and complaints people may have about their lives. Consider that you move through the world with tremendous strength, determination and even authority compared to how most people experience themselves and the world. The only appropriate response to such a differential is the old and nearly forgotten expression noblesse oblige. This translates to, “Privilege entails responsibility, noble birth or rank compels noble acts.” In our era, this has become something of a joke. Today, many feel that privilege is the right to look down on people. But there is no down to look, and nobody is qualified to throw the first stone. You are in possession of tremendous potential, and you won’t get to express it without plenty of kindness, love and support coming toward you. Remember that.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — The stressed-out state of certain personal relationships is not so much a wakeup call as it is the residue of past attitudes and situations. You have already reached the tipping point; you know that what guided and motivated you in the past is no longer a factor. And though you can avoid and work through what you don’t want, you still must have a discussion with yourself about what you desire. All the avoidance in the world will not save you from that. If you want to be happy, it’s fair to admit that it’s a failed strategy. Living passively won’t work either; that leaves one option, which is engagement with the people around you, and the environment that surrounds you — whatever it may be. And, I would add, in whatever condition those people and your surroundings may exist at this time. Those are the things you cannot control, and can barely influence. Yet you have significant influence over your state of mind. You decide the values that influence your perceptions. You choose your filter through which to look at yourself and the world around you. Over the next few weeks, you may have the feeling that you’ve seen it all before. That is your invitation to ‘see again’, an idea which has entered our language in the word ‘respect’. We live in the age of diss and dismiss, but those who take that approach are revealing how they treat themselves. How you handle your circumstances, how you perceive people, and what you say to them, are all expressions of how you feel about yourself.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — The dust is still settling on the events of April. It will be for a while, though you can now look at those developments from a new angle. Perhaps a physical metaphor will help. Imagine there’s a beautiful country road you drive, but you always take it from east to west. If, one day, you start at the west end of the road and drive east, you will feel like you’re in a whole other place. It may be similar, but you’ll notice many things you just did not see. Then, you may go from feeling like you’ve never seen it to the hint of déjà vu — have I seen this before? Have I been here? Or is my memory playing tricks on me? I suggest, in any event, that you get the message you’re sending yourself; that you take on board the thing you’re trying to learn. Notice what you’re witnessing. There are some who say that the whole world and everything you perceive is a projection of your mind. I don’t go that far; but our mental state and preconceptions filter everything we perceive. So when you look at the world, notice what you’re seeing, and notice how you react. But don’t take either of those things for granted. Imagine that they have their origins, and you can figure out what those origins are. Experiment with seeing the world as a dream and you as a dreamer. This is merely a thought experiment; as such, you don’t possess responsibility for the cause of every ill. But if you loosen up a little, you can start to see how influential are your responses — especially to you.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — The most important thing that the fixed sign Scorpio needs to learn is how not to be so fixed. Mostly, this manifests in your idea of who you are. Your choices and your actions are all expressions of your core idea of your own existence. The problem with flexibility is that it opens up many possibilities, which also means the matter of choice. You seem to plug holes by limiting your own options, or rather, your perception of them. Yet they are knocking on your various doors and windows. Your potential is calling you, and the most effective way to maintain what feels like a safe position is to pretend not to notice. Yet there is a little child in you that wants to go out and play. You want the benefits of your experience and maturity. You want the freedom you’ve earned by being an adult, though I would caution you on one thing: the child that wants to play is terrified at the moment. She’s afraid of having a little fun or being creative, expecting that some brain-dead adult is going to come along and persecute her. This expectation did not materialize from nowhere; it has a history. I suggest you think of three times this actually happened in the past, with at least two of them from early childhood. It helps to have some concept of what you’re healing if you’re going to succeed. Parents and teachers often punish children by taking away musical instruments, art supplies, critter-friends and privileges. You don’t have to do this to yourself, nor tolerate anyone in your life who does it to you. But the real persecutor is within, and needs to be cast off. It’s long past time.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — The greatest challenge you face involves your personal confidence — not in any task, but on a deep emotional level. Family influences are always a mixed bag. Parents and other caregivers give us life, they raise us, they teach us plenty, and they often impart self-defeating tendencies. At the same time, most people instinctively love and respect their parents no matter what they did to them, and you are therefore reluctant to criticize or even evaluate anything they did to you when you were a kid. In fact, most people practice a form of ancestor worship, which only serves to place a barrier around the damage done and keep it in a kind of shrine. I would remind you of this, however. To resolve childhood issues — which almost always manifest as self-defeating insecurity — is not about disrespect. Rather, it’s about correcting what is likely to be one generation after the next of this same issue being carried forward. You have not just the right but also a debt you owe to yourself and your progeny. Nearly every person on Earth is in the same situation, yet few people rise to the occasion of doing something about it. Yes, it’s sad that it has dragged on this long. But you’re right in the spot where you can work out the issues without a lot of therapy or any form of confrontation with them. You must be honest with yourself, and also not blame yourself for what anyone else did to you. Many of us come from backgrounds where our parents were mild to extreme narcissists. Hand this back to the universe. Take possession of your gifts and take responsibility for your happiness.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — The purpose of life is to do something with it, especially something you’ve never done before. Something that qualifies is trying to get your attention — and you will recognize this ‘something’ by its appeal, its beauty and by your sense that it may be a little too much fun. For those involved in the distinctly adult game of speculation (by which I mean trading commodities or stocks), you are in a lavish moment and you’re likely to be on top of your game. If so, I suggest you know when (and how) to quit while you’re ahead. Yet I’m talking about something more devoted to pleasure, sensuality and personal freedom: which always comes down to the freedom to feel. Life has grown to be overly serious here in the “post-2020 incident” world. Yet this is usually an artifact of desperation — some of it real. In our time, we live with the sense that all of existence is an over-inflated bubble that might burst at any time, rather than an experience to be created, a challenge to be met or a game to be played. There is a deep — usually subconscious fear — of the next thing happening, and the bitter angst that it all could end. And it could, though even still, we are given our quantum of time on this planet to experience what beauty we can, to try our best, and to succeed by our own definition of the word — if we are able. Let no one, nor anything, nor any institution, nor any idea, or any fear, suck from you the privilege of living your life with passion and sincerity. If you want to be a revolutionary, live with gusto.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Most people who have plenty feel like they don’t have much at all. They spend their days clinging, wishing they had more. This is essentially a spiritual problem. It finds its answer in the lives of those who have little in material wealth but still love life, and love the people around them. For others, existence is an ongoing struggle — a walk along the line between just getting by and not getting by. For you, this matter mostly plays out as an emotional drama that has nothing to do with your actual financial situation. There is, deep in your psyche, the fear of retribution if you prosper and thrive. This sets a self-limiting condition on not just your success but your appreciation of what you have: if you don’t appreciate it, maybe it won’t count. You now have an opportunity to work this out, on a deep level. This won’t happen overnight, but you can make it real, in time, if you want to: if you’re diligent and scrupulous with yourself about what you feel, and what is driving your emotions. This is a real-life working out, not a theoretical one. One factor is claiming your right to be happy. You may not attain perfect contentment upon doing so, though asserting your privilege of being in harmony with your existence is a way of standing your ground. This is not a one-off. Every day, do something for yourself, and remind yourself that you have what you need. There is a bottom-line question that you can use throughout your process: are your values and priorities in order? Do you emphasize what is truly important?

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Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You’ve been through a series of personal revolutions over the past month, and you may be feeling the results in the form of reduced anxiety and a more relaxed mind. The changes that your chart describes have granted you resources: awareness of your assets, a sense of new possibilities, and the desire to thrive. It’s easy for these qualities to be hosed down by the persistent negativity of the world, so you will need to not only guard them but exercise them as if it’s your cosmically bestowed privilege. Standing up for yourself means doing everything you can to live your life your way. You don’t need to impress anyone with how helpful you are; if your assistance is required, you will be asked to offer it. Speaking in terms of your astrology, the developments I’m describing are largely internal, happening in deeply private houses in your chart. Yet the effects give you resources that you can take with you everywhere, and into every circumstance. You just need to remember you have these assets. Any time you are challenged, any time you have a need, any time you have a desire to do something, assume you have what it takes. The greater challenge is knowing what you want steadfastly enough to make it happen. Start modestly: choose an experience and then do it. Then do it again. Refuse to allow the notion that you don’t have enough money to stop you from having a go. One of the gifts of the April 8 eclipse is the ability to manifest the cashflow you need, should that be an issue. Stay close to your creativity, and think better, rather than bigger.

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