What are we gonna do now? / Taking off his turban, they said, is this man a Jew?
‘Cos working for the clampdown / They put up a poster saying we earn more than you!
When we’re working for the clampdown / We will teach our twisted speech
To the young believers / We will train our blue-eyed men / To be young believers
— The Clash – Clampdown
Dear Friend and Reader:
This has become a Beltane infused with death. I learned recently that some cultures (such as in the Eastern Orthodox faiths) practice Days of the Dead-type rituals right after Easter. I had no idea till someone told me a few days ago. But that is a small palliative to seeing mobs of young people dancing in the streets, celebrating a murder. In a glance, I understood why we don’t see those same young people at peace rallies.
Friday morning we witnessed something a little more in the spirit of the season — the royal wedding. It is interesting that the future king of England was married within mere days of the purported slaying of our worst enemy. Are we being told that the royal house is in order, and that empire is on the rise again? Though some may see this as evidence that the military power of the West is now in capable hands, it is disturbing that Osama bin Laden was, in essence, executed without a trial. Being a democratic nation, that’s the thing that’s supposed to set us apart from all the other kinds of nations — that someone is innocent till proven guilty. I know a lot of people might think that’s just ridiculous. But I would ask why, when fair, transparent criminal procedure was part of why the American Revolution was fought?
For the sake of this article, I will set aside any possible questions about whether it was actually him; I can tell you that I don’t personally know, and the U.S. government generally does not win awards for its impeccability with truth. Either way, this is an important moment. Bin Laden’s purported death turns a chapter in the history of the Sept. 11 incident and the history of the seemingly endless War on Terror. That phrase has always irritated me. It’s possible to address terrorism with a war (though not particularly effective), but one cannot wage war on an emotion. Presumably we are supposed to be less afraid now that this has happened, though many people feel we’ve kicked a hornet’s nest.
Since we’re on the topic of Sept. 11, 2001, let’s consider some recent astrology related to that incident.
Back in October, the Libra New Moon occurred exactly in the ascendant of the main Sept. 11 chart — what I call the North Tower chart — and that, to me, said something was brewing with the issue. The chart of the world’s most famous terrorist attack was stirring back to life. At the time, I covered this in an article called History, Turning on a Phrase, in which I laid out some of the serious problems with the prevailing theory of the Sept. 11 attacks.
The ascendant of the North Tower chart contains the planet Mercury — it is rising precisely, to the degree, like the moment of the Sun coming up over the ocean, the moment that Flight 11 was crashed into the World Trade Center. Last October’s Libra New Moon was conjunct both Mercury and the ascendant of the North Tower chart. By conjunct, I mean to the exact degree, something that will not happen again for decades. Mercury in that chart describes the ‘secret enemy’, that is, a suspect for whoever was behind the attacks and the conspiracy. The ascendant or rising degree is the face of the chart — and the face became that of Osama bin Laden.
Bin Laden was sold to the global public in cinematic terms as the personification of evil, the prince of darkness, and the cryptic embodiment of every radical Islamist who ‘hates our way of life’. He was described as the sinister, insidious mastermind, living out of a cave, plotting against all we love so dearly. He was alternately portrayed as an economist, a billionaire and the iconic ‘sand nigger’, an appalling phrase that surfaced during the first Bush War in 1990-91 to describe anyone in a turban. Bin Laden’s face started showing up on bumper stickers, buttons and novelty wanted posters with crosshairs — this, despite the fact that there was never enough evidence to list the Sept. 11 attacks as among the reasons he was wanted by the FBI. Take a look: on his real wanted poster, he’s not wanted for 9/11.
There had been no investigation, no arrests and no trial — but the word was out on the streets of New York City even as office paper from the towers was still drifting in the breeze that Osama bin Laden was the guy. Hardly anyone in the public knew who he was. His name had popped up in the news from time to time, just like lots of other Arab terrorists, but his was not exactly a household word — that is, until the morning of Sept. 11, 2001. Then, in an hour, he became an archetype.
The peace dividend that many had hoped would come at the end of the Cold War went up in the smoke of the World Trade Center, and so did what was left of the federal budget (or more accurately, credit card). And, we were told — and readily believed — it was all because of one bad guy, Osama bin Laden.
The peace dividend wasn’t the only thing that went up in the smoke. Raising Osama bin Laden to the level of a religious icon, the citizens of the United States bowed down to fear, allowed their privacy to be taken from them, and tacitly consented to global war, presumably without end. In her broadcast Monday night, Rachel Maddow summed up the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks beautifully:
Ten years ago, before 9/11, the U.S. defense budget was half the size that it is now. Ten years ago, before 9/11, there was no Department of Homeland Security. Had someone suggested that there ought to be one, you probably would have teased them for using a weird word like homeland.
Ten years ago before 9/11, you walked through a metal detector to get on an airplane, sure, but this was the kind of thing you’d only do maybe on a third date [visual of full body X-ray at airport security]. Sometimes on your flight, even the pilots would keep the cockpit door open and you could see them work and you could see the world fly by through their windshield if you peered down the aisle.
Before 9/11, the U.S. had troops based in Saudi Arabia. Before 9/11, the U.S. legal history of torture was of our government prosecuting people for that. Wartime was no excuse. Before 9/11, the National Security Agency having access to everybody’s emails and phone calls and texts and bank records and everything would have been a scandal.
Before 9/11, we did not have a new militarized intelligence bureaucracy that The Washington Post described as an additional 1,271 government organizations, 1,931 private companies and an estimated 854,000 people holding top-secret security clearances.
Before 9/11, no one in politics and private life talked about Article III Courts called for under the Constitution because those were just what courts were. We didn’t have anything but Article III courts. Why would we?
Before 9/11, we didn’t drop bombs using flying robots.
Before 9/11, we had not lost 3,000 people in Lower Manhattan and at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Before 9/11, we did not have 2.2 million Americans who are Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and we did not have the national promise to do right by them as a country in respecting their service. Before 9/11, we had not lost more than 6,000 of those veterans in our post-9/11 wars before U.S. forces finally found and killed Osama bin Laden.
If you were a kid when 9/11 happened, it may be hard to imagine our country without all of these things in place. If you were an adult when 9/11 happened, you probably never could have believed this is how we would have chosen to spend the decade after.
These are some serious consequences of the events that spanned a few hours in the history of a nation. The verified body count in Afghanistan and Iraq today stands at 110,000 civilian deaths; because not every death is accounted for, it is really much higher, and that does not include the many injured. Every one of those civilian deaths comes with a family that has lost a loved one. Thousands of people have been orphaned and millions have been reduced to refugees, displaced and fleeing across borders.
Yet even Rachel Maddow, who I consider the best mainstream broadcaster in the business, possibly in the history of commercial television, never questions the orthodoxy of Osama bin Laden being the guy behind Sept. 11. She never mentions there is a problem, or even a potential problem, with the facts. I wait for her to do so in faithful anticipation. Indeed, the most left-leaning journalists in the mainstream media, and many in the alternative media (in addition to everyone else), swallow whole the notion that bin Laden did it; that the conspiracy was his alone.
There is a silent presumption; it is accepted, unquestioned, as religious orthodoxy. In what seems to be a perpetual, unshakable consensus of the working media, nobody is allowed to so much as inquire what is wrong with the official story.
That is the one thing that Jon Stewart has in common with Glenn Beck; that Barack Obama has in common with Dick Cheney; that Rachel Maddow has in common with Rush Limbaugh.
Whether you’re writing in The Washington Post or The Washington Times, or The New York Post or The New York Times, you swallow this ‘truth’ of the official 9/11 story like a Catholic swallows the host: without chewing, and without question. Even Amy Goodman refuses to give airtime to what has become known as the 9/11 Truth Movement: the people demanding to know what really happened that day. And that, I think, is amazing, given the significant questions that exist (including many raised by architects and engineers), and given how many Americans don’t trust the official story.
Among other surveys, a Scripps-Howard poll found that, “Thirty-six percent of respondents overall said it is ‘very likely’ or ‘somewhat likely’ that federal officials either participated in the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon or took no action to stop them ‘because they wanted the United States to go to war in the Middle East’.”
I understand the lack of trust that the public feels. We all know that a lot of people have made princely sums of money on the War on Terror, and that alone is reason to be suspect. We know that since Watergate (a far-reaching crime that has been reduced to a word), people have struggled, with good reason, to trust the government. George W. Bush ignoring the warning in the CIA’s presidential daily briefing from Aug. 6, 2001 looks a lot like complicity.
I also understand the issue that journalists face. Nobody in a prominent position wants to be accused of being a conspiracy theorist, or of sympathizing with them. They don’t want to seem flaky, especially if they go out on limbs other ways (and many brave journalists do). Nobody with a decent job wants to cash in all of their credibility raising the issue, nor do they want to discover one day that their brakes failed at 70 mph.
Plus, there are no definitive answers; the story has no payoff. When you question why, for example, Tower 7 of the World Trade Center fell down on its footprint on the afternoon of Sept. 11, having been hit by no airplane, there is only a question. And that question has some very serious implications. It’s better not to open that can of worms — or not to be the one who tries. I give Michael Moore a lot of credit for raising some of the right questions in Fahrenheit 911.
Yet there is something else going on, something deeper than politics. On the most superficial level, everyone seems to be buying into the old story of good and evil. There is a game of victim consciousness — and I don’t mean the actual victims of whatever happened on Sept. 11; I mean how victimization became a cultural event. Victimization requires a perpetrator. If you have an emotional need to accept that your country is the symbol of all that is good, and you secretly know that it’s not, then you have to see that evil someplace else. Jungian analysts don’t think this is a conscious process — but we’ve all seen it and felt it, and we often know when we’re doing it. It’s just when the whole society gets into the act, it’s sometimes really hard to tell.
Mercury and Saturn, Trading Places
It’s easy to see the issues that became the 9/11 Truth Movement in the chart for the North Tower. By that, I mean in this chart we see the obvious potential for the incident being an inside job or a collaboration between the ‘good guys’ and the ‘bad guys’. It would not be the first time in history that this has happened. Treason is against the law because it exists.
There is a rule in astrology called mutual reception. Planets that occupy one another’s signs can also be viewed as swapping places. Mercury (the secret enemy) is in Libra (a sign co-ruled by Saturn), and it trades places with Saturn, the planet of government, which is in Gemini (a sign Mercury rules).
Said directly, Saturn in Gemini is in reception to Mercury in Libra. The two function as one entity, cycling energy between them as one system. They are also in a perfect trine aspect — an aspect of cooperation that Martha Lang-Wescott once said (long before 9/11) translated to “you lie and I’ll swear to it.”
What does that look like in real life? We could mention that bin Laden starts his career as a CIA operative, fighting against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan. Pakistan was the intermediary between him and the United States. It is no surprise that he was found living in the midst of Pakistan’s military elite, half a mile from a military academy.
Or we could remember that George H. W. Bush was sitting at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel with Osama bin Laden’s brother Shafiq the morning of Sept. 11, watching the smoke rise from the Pentagon. This is not a novel; it is reality. They were part of a meeting of the Carlyle Group, the Bush family business, which is essentially an investment firm and holding company that (among other things) develops military contracting firms. Shafiq was an investor in the Carlyle Group, which profited from the wars that followed. If that’s a coincidence, it’s a really weird one.
Or we could remember that his son, George W. Bush, had a long relationship with the Taliban going back at least to when he was governor of Texas — the very government that Osama bin Laden personally financed. That relationship included an energy deal with Enron requiring the Taliban’s cooperation that was no longer forthcoming in 2001. When you research this, the connections between Enron, the Taliban and Bush are so well documented as to be horrifying.
We could also consider that when we had Osama bin Laden all but captured in December 2001, the United States let him go. To me it seemed obvious: we could not have a war without an enemy. Were he to be killed or captured, he would be useless. When alive, he gave the War on Terror brand an identity. Eliminating him would have been like McDonald’s capturing Ronald McDonald.
When you add this to all of the unaccounted-for issues of Sept. 11, starting with the blatantly ignored early warning on Aug. 6, or the fact that the U.S. government was flying NORAD exercises on that day and many federal officials did not know whether the four hijackings were part of the game, or that nobody is admitting that WTC 7 was demolished (nor did the 9/11 Commission even inquire as to how it fell down) it is clear that one guy did not mastermind 9/11.
Meanwhile, we have rarely heard much of what Osama bin Laden had to say for himself. Mostly, we know his face, which is an unusual face for a terrorist because his gaze always seems balanced, present and soulful. In his lengthy obituary Monday, The New York Times did him the service of quoting a 1997 interview he gave to CNN.
The United States, he said, wants to “occupy our countries, steal our resources, impose agents on us to rule us and then wants us to agree to all this. If we refuse to do so, it says we are terrorists. When Palestinian children throw stones against the Israeli occupation, the U.S. says they are terrorists. Whereas when Israel bombed the United Nations building in Lebanon while it was full of children and women, the U.S. stopped any plan to condemn Israel. At the same time that they condemn any Muslim who calls for his rights, they receive the top official of the Irish Republican Army at the White House as a political leader. Wherever we look, we find the U.S. as the leader of terrorism and crime in the world.”
I agree with his analysis. It is actually much worse than he’s saying. I understood that analysis (mainly from reading Noam Chomsky and long talks with my friend Steve) well before I ever heard the name Osama bin Laden. When you start listing the holocausts that the United States has sponsored, whether in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Central America, East Timor, Cambodia, or Vietnam — not to mention the universe of agony and humiliation we have loosed upon the Arab world — you understand better what he’s saying. It starts to look pretty suspicious that we personify evil in this one person, without admitting what our own nation does.
This process is psychological, it has a name, and the name is projection.
Unlike bin Laden, I don’t think the appropriate response is to fight back against these injustices with guns and bombs — that happens to violate my religious and ethical views, and I don’t think it will work. Admittedly I’m not the one getting shot at. I also oppose the death penalty under all circumstances, as do many families of murder victims. But in a world where we pay for children to play video games that involve shooting and blowing up others, and murdering prostitutes (to wit, Grand Theft Auto), and where most of our tax dollars go to bombs, you can hardly blame bin Laden for taking this approach. I am not saying it is ethical or lawful. I am saying it is logical.
What we are doing is, in essence, blaming him for our own actions. And I do mean that literally. Plenty happened on Sept. 11, 2001 that Osama bin Laden could not have done himself — at least not without a lot of help from people with keys to the World Trade Center.
The Projection of Shadow
Psychology has a way to help us past our madness, both individual and cultural. The thing is, this requires the desire to mature, awareness, the willingness to admit one’s mistakes, and some sustained effort.
A psychologist and scholar named Carl Jung explained projection to us. Here is how he described it; his language is a bit formal. “Projection means the expulsion of a subjective content into an object; it is the opposite of introjection. Accordingly, it is a process of dissimilation, by which a subjective content becomes alienated from the subject and is, so to speak, embodied in the object. The subject gets rid of painful, incompatible contents by projecting them.”
I’ll state this again, with my elaborations on his ideas [in brackets].
“Projection means the expulsion of a subjective content [what is in one’s own mind, such as a motive] into an object [into something or someone outside oneself]; it is the opposite of introjection [absorbing the properties of something or someone external]. Accordingly, it is a process of dissimilation [making oneself different from], by which a subjective content [a thought or feeling in your mind] becomes alienated from the subject [oneself] and is, so to speak, embodied in the object [something or someone else]. The subject gets rid of painful, incompatible contents by projecting them.”
Our view of the U S of A as being this great nation that does only good deeds and always spreads democracy is not compatible with the nation that bombs villages with napalm — jellied gasoline dropped burning from airplanes that sticks to human skin, which was used widely in Vietnam. That is not acceptable behavior for our freedom-loving country, so we have to project it onto an evil-doer.
This is largely about relief, but it’s also about protecting our self-image and our pride. The dark or cruel side of our existence — all the people we have killed, starting with the American natives our young nation exterminated, the tens of millions of African slaves we imported — exists as shadow material that we put onto others.
It works on a deeply personal level with individual leaders. Jung explains, “The projection of the personal shadow generally falls on persons of the same sex. On a collective level, it gives rise to war, scapegoating and confrontations between political parties.”
Or, as an author named Paul Levy put it, “Shadow projection is itself the unmediated expression, revelation and playing out of the shadow. Shadow projection, the process in which we ‘demonize’ our enemies, entrancing ourselves into believing that ‘they’ are inhumane monsters who need to be destroyed, is the underlying psychological process which, when collectively mobilized, is the high-octane fuel which feeds the human activity of war.”
Levy continues, “Trying to kill our shadow as it appears in the outer world is itself the embodied reflection of our original inner act of splitting off from, projecting out and trying to destroy the dark part of ourselves, which is the impulse at the very root of shadow projection in the first place. In other words, our present-moment ‘inner’ activity of projecting the shadow ‘outside’ of ourselves is being dreamed up and played out in the seemingly ‘external’ world. The outer world is the canvas upon which our inner process embodies, or incarnates itself. We are literally acting out on the world stage our very inner process of disassociating from, projecting out, and trying to destroy our own darkness (emphasis added).”
We do this at our own peril. We not only create pain, which makes more guilt and thus more shadow to project; we are consuming our national resources in an existence of nonstop war. We burn creative energy on conflict, which subtracts it from loving and creating and building and cooperating.
Putting a bullet through Osama bin Laden’s head is just more projection. Everyone is acting as if this, too, will have no consequences.
I have a good friend who’s a truly perceptive psychologist. Her name is Christine Farber. Watching young people dancing in the streets Sunday night, I was so disturbed that I wrote to her to ask her what she thought was going on. I noticed something sexual in the vibes of these people gloating in the death of Osama bin Laden. It seemed like they finally had been given permission to show a little passion; not be so damned cool.
My 20-year-old nephew is now planning to have Sunday’s date tattooed somewhere on his body; he informed me that he clapped and screamed and danced when he heard the news Sunday night. What are these responses about, at their core? You mention sex; I’m sure you’re on to something, and I’m looking forward to reading your thoughts about this on Friday.
I think about Eros and power and vulnerability and compassion and healing. I mean Eros in the sense of how we rise to meet the world, and what inspires us to do so. We rise differently if we have experienced traveling into our vulnerability — really being there — rather than fleeing from it. Your own writings, especially Book of Blue, describe this experience and the healing and compassion and empowerment that come with it.
Fleeing from vulnerability can still allow for certain expressions of power, that of power over something, which is where I think most of our world is on this issue. Many people felt vicariously powerful hearing the news of BL’s death. I received the following text from someone the next day: “Great for America. Shows the world that no matter what it takes, we’ll get ya!” I heard this same sentiment expressed over and over, and it I saw it in the faces of those chanting “USA” at ballgames, in streets, etc. It’s as though folks were waiting, perhaps desperately, for something to inspire them to rise up to meet the world with passion. Waiting for that something that could allow them to feel powerful. And waiting for something that would help them to feel connected to something larger than themselves (in this case, their country).
If, as a country, we did a little more hanging out with vulnerability — traveling downward, deeply into ourselves; being with those hidden hurts and desires and vulnerabilities — then I think the response to this event would have looked different, very different. Both individual and collective Eros would have other outlets, inspirations, and manifestations. We’d be more able to see through the illusions of violence. We could forgive.
What I find most striking is that people are craving power (which could be fulfilled through empowerment rather than power-over) and connection and inspiration. I like to believe that the jubilation comes from experiencing this — i.e., fulfillment of the more archetypal cravings underlying the experience, even if this fulfillment is short-lived, backward, skewed, and otherwise disturbing. Am I being too optimistic?
Personally, I don’t think so.
Yours & truly,
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, May 6, 2011, #858 – BY ERIC FRANCIS
Aries (March 20-April 19) — You now have access to parts of your psyche that are so different from who you usually consider yourself to be, that you may feel compelled to reconsider your identity from top to bottom. If your mind is alert and alive, these things happen from time to time; the current theme is how you relate to your feminine side. Until now you may not have fully taken ownership of this aspect of yourself — but then, you may have never associated it with the kind of creativity and passion that you can tap into right now. If there’s a part of you that’s feeling overwhelmed or intimidated, this might be the spot to focus on; to tap into and access some unusual ideas or strength. Even if you do nothing but observe yourself, you will notice something truly different over the next few days, and that something different points to a new source of wisdom. Here is the thing: you are an Aries and this astrology is happening in your sign. You make your awareness real by acting on it.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — What seems to be a hidden matter or cause is not so hidden at all. In fact, it’s everywhere you look. You’re not sleeping, so what transpires in your life follows the logic of the waking world and not a dream. For the conscious, denial is not an option, and besides, nothing happening in your charts suggests you have something to deny — except for one thing. You seem to be struggling to come to terms with fear. Fear comes in response to what you think of as ‘the unknown’. There seems to be so much, but I assure you, it’s not so unknown. You merely need to look at your life and collect evidence of what is so. I suggest you consider strongly what you think of as your potential, including your unexpressed talents. What is your reasoning process as regards these sources of energy, pleasure and abundance? What do you tell yourself, when it comes to your ideas about your own development and growth? Check your logic.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Think of all the times you felt excluded: too special to fit in, too ordinary to fit in, too smart to fit in. Then in some odd way you emerged as a leader. Remember all the times you felt insecure, only to discover that you were really the dependable one, in possession of some actual confidence. There is something to be said for this approach to life; it’s a way to cultivate modesty, and you’ve used it as a way to focus your objectivity. It’s also a form of camouflage. But let’s consider something else. Imagine you enter the situations you encounter without making any of those assumptions. Neither do you assume you’re better in any way; but let’s start by removing any possibility of a handicap. Let’s start assuming you have a leadership role; that you know your mind is the most creative one around; and that your intellect has a mobile quality that allows you to see above, beneath and around every situation. Use what you’ve got, kid. And don’t hide it.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — There is something about your professional aspirations, or your potential, that is truly unusual — and now is the time to put that where the whole world can see it. Stay visible; make sure people know your accomplishments. Be absolutely real, and forget all the ways you think you’ve failed, or haven’t lived up, or have taken too long to get where you’re going. Tell yourself the other side of the story. You dare. You persist, even when you have your doubts. You may need proof to believe you’re an innovator, but let me speak for your astrology. You are one, and that quality is emerging from you at its strongest (probably ever) in these very days and weeks of your life. One factor of success of any kind is thinking of yourself as that successful person. If you can identify with the notion of achievement, or of yourself as a person who is talented and accomplished, you can be that person. Give it a try.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — It’s time to set one new goal. You may have more; but pick the most important one, and pick a timeframe wherein you want to make it happen. I suggest giving yourself a little more time than you think; perhaps double what you think would be a best-case scenario, so you have space to get your work done. Then break down the steps to making it happen, and go for it — one meticulous step at a time. Remember that step one is the vision. It’s knowing what you intend or desire to create, and then putting the full focus of your mind behind it. This is partly an exercise in how it’s possible to accomplish anything at all, so remember the steps you took on the way to this particular project, because you’ll need them for the next. Now is the time to create and refine your method, because you will get to use it over and over again during the next few months.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Now is the time to consider your investments — and any debts you may have — in a new way. Debts, even small ones, can be a significant mental burden for many people, equivalent to the financial burden. It’s the idea of owing money that becomes as difficult as any other part, and that has a way of taking over one’s identity. I suggest devising a way of thinking of any money you owe as something other than who you are. On the other side of the ledger are your investments. What have you put your energy into the past few years? What commitments have you made, and what agreements are you in? Looked at rationally, are you getting a sufficient return on your investments? In what form does that return arrive? There seems to be a question, because your charts speak of both a drive to do something innovative, and a longing for freedom. As you shift your identity from what you owe to what you give, you will get a more authentic idea of who you are.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — For all you’ve been confronted with lately — and there is a lot — you know where your true loyalties are. Remember them. Your charts speak of many options open, many possibilities, new horizons and a few disruptions. While you’re in the midst of navigating all of this, you’re figuring out what means the most to you, and why. It’s excellent to have a solid feeling about at least one thing. Lest you think you should have it about everything, imagine what it would be like to have no solid ground at all, nobody you can trust, no assurance that there is someone who truly values you. There are plenty of people who have no idea what any of this feels like, or it’s been so long they’ve forgotten. Remind yourself what helps you keep your sanity and your grounding. And remember that being this person to others counts, even if it’s in subtle ways.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Please stop obsessing over your health. I know the environment and most of the food we eat are toxic. We’re all getting older. But your mental pattern is not helping — and you’re well positioned to change your mind. I suggest you start with an idea of what it means to be healthy. Create a concept of wellbeing. Make it original. I suggest you include your idea of relationships that support your presence in the world, your sense of belonging and most of all, your productivity. It’s essential that you not compromise who you are in order to be acceptable in a relationship. This should go without saying, but the world has some rather different notions of what it means to ‘be together’ so we do need to keep the topic upfront in your mind. Remember — your concept of relating to others needs to be flexible, as do the people you relate to. You’ll figure out whether that is true soon enough.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You are still in the idea phase; you’ve yet to really get down to work, though now is the time for that. Yes, it’s definitely still the time to focus on the concept of what you’re doing, and the chance you want to take on something — however, the moment is ripe to start doing the real work. That should feel like construction of some kind; a transition from paper to wood, from a sketch to clay; from entirely flexible ideas to an experiment with the materials you will use. You need to get your body into the project, and get your hands dirty. As you do this, you’ll feel the change in your thinking; there is a dimension shift involved, and once you move into 3D, that will have the effect of sculpting your thoughts and ideas. And you need to be shaped by them as much as they need to be shaped by you — though it’s only going to happen in physical reality, in real time. Perhaps even with a welding torch.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — For the past few weeks it’s like you’ve been running the triathlon. One emotional challenge after the next has surfaced; one fear after the next, compelling you to take charge of your life in what seems like a different way every day. Now that whole sequence of challenges has passed. It’s gone on so long you may still be braced for the next one. You still have body memory of every day facing a challenge different from the prior one. I suggest you take a moment and appreciate the relative calm. But do so only long enough for you to take action on what you kept wanting to do before, but which kept getting interrupted. You have much more support right now, and you’re feeling stronger. One by one, planets are about to enter your fellow earthy sign Taurus, which is going to feed you energy. Use it well, while you have the opportunity — and it is truly an opportunity.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Yes, what you’re thinking is original, yes, it’s a little weird, and yes, it’s a good idea. There are a lot of good ideas — so many in fact, it’s a little tragic. I say that because most of those ideas don’t ever get applied to the problems they were intended to solve, or manifest in the form of something useful; that’s the part that takes work. Yet it takes discernment to recognize that what you’re thinking has a value. I assure you that it does, and that it has a value beyond what you can imagine now. Now, this whole concept of value is going to be the big question over the next few years, and I strongly suggest you put your mind to this question — the value of ideas, and of your ideas. Value must be recognized and acted on; if you hesitate between the two, ask yourself why you’re doing so. Time does not last forever. Meditation is a virtue; hesitation is not.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You’re well on the way to figuring out you exist. I’m not kidding when I say that most people don’t know they exist. If they did, they would live differently than they do. And as you make the latest in your ongoing series of self-discoveries, you will choose to live differently, in ways both subtle and bold. You’re in the process of making a discovery that has not quite come into focus yet, though as it does, you will see that the way to certain decisions is open, where before it seemed blocked. One important dimension of this discovery is about your relationship between self-esteem and money. Said another way, it’s about self-respect and power. Once you respect who you are, your power ceases to be compromised. You are less vulnerable to manipulation. And success will seem less like an alien thing and more like something you do naturally every day.