Dear Friend and Reader:
All week long, I’ve been watching pundits — particularly the women — impale themselves over the question, what would make Anthony Weiner, an influential congressman from New York City, have online relationships that could easily turn out to be so dangerous to his career? What is it about men?
Notably I have not heard any of them question the sexual or relational choices that women make, which might give us a clue that we’re looking at a humanity-wide issue here. Nobody has questioned why female politicians seem inoculated against sex scandals (true, the occasional high school teacher gets snagged, but that’s different). So far as TV is concerned, I didn’t hear anything that made sense until Rachel Maddow had Larry Flynt on as a guest Wednesday night. (This segment is really worth watching, but please excuse or dissect the Orwellian ad for fracking that sometimes runs on her website.)
Flynt is of course the publisher of Hustler magazine, and in my view he’s one of the greatest Americans of our lifetimes because of how passionately he has enforced, protected and defended the First Amendment, before the Supreme Court and a lot of other courts. Flynt has also done his part exposing the hypocrisy of certain prominent American politicians who on the one hand run their careers on purity campaigns and on the other, engage prostitutes, have affairs and tap their feet in airport men’s rooms.
During his interview with Maddow Wednesday, Flynt said, “Something that no one has pointed out here, [is that] other than the drive for survival, the strongest single drive we have, is that for sex. So the one medium we use to communicate with more than anything else, we understand it the least.”
My response: Wow! What a perfect description of Asbolus!
Asbolus is one of the centaur planets, in fact the fourth one ever discovered (that was back in 1995). Let’s see if I can bring you up to speed in three paragraphs. You’ve probably heard of Chiron, a passionate, edgy little planet associated with healing. It was discovered in our era of history — in 1977, and it’s the first of the centaurs. There are now many bodies in this class, which are small, asteroid-like or comet-like critters that cross the orbits of other planets. That’s the important part — they bridge together different levels of awareness and integrate seemingly separate psychological processes. Asbolus, like most centaurs, has an elongated orbit. It intersects with the orbits of Saturn and Uranus and it goes right out as far as Neptune, without crossing Neptune’s orbit.
The centaurs all address issues of healing, transformation and what you might call soul retrieval. If the astrology you are doing, or want to do, has any aspirations to being part of a healing process, or conscious evolution, you will love the centaurs. They all have something in common with Chiron, but each has a different feeling and theme.
Asbolus seems to be about survival. His name means carbon dust. That was my first clue to the theme: the things that all known life have in common are carbon and the need to survive. But then I started to see Asbolus show up prominently in the charts of people who had survived truly intense childhoods — the ones who sat behind the couch as thrown objects sailed overhead and crashed into the walls, escaping more or less unscathed. At first I thought, these people have had uncommonly nasty family of origin situations. Then after a while I realized when I was on the phone with them that they were alert, caring people who could take care of themselves — they made it. Their early situations had not broken them. While this does have a Chiron feeling of ‘what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’, Asbolus brings a particularly concentrated version of that message. These clients seemed not to notice how close to the edge they had been, but rather went through this stuff relatively calmly.
Asbolus is truly primal, going deeper than the human level of experience. It’s about what all life has in common. Hold that thought.
The centaur discovered right before Asbolus was Nessus. I’ve mentioned this one more often. Nessus crosses the orbits of Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, the first three outer planets. It was also the first planet in the history of science ever named based on the recommendation of astrologers.
It’s about the cycles of karma. Nessus speaks directly to themes of betrayal and deception. Looking at Nessus, you can see the predisposition to psychological abuse in a chart. It provides valuable clues about themes associated with both potentially inappropriate sexual contact and sexually transmitted infections. And it can be a pointer to toxic sexual issues. Nessus made stunning appearances, conjunct the Sun, in the charts of both Gabrielle Giffords and Jared Loughner — the shooter and the person he shot. They had different roles but many eerily common chart features, and Nessus was prominent in both their natal charts and for the shooting itself.
Everything Nessus represents emerges from the demented world of human psychology and interpersonal poltics. It addresses the need to heal tendencies in the psyche that may spring from deep-seated instinct but are twisted into something else by human experience. Humans are subjected to certain kinds of social conditioning, power imbalances, obsessions and mistrust that make the dramas of Nessus possible. And, notably, nearly all humans have some need to heal these issues, which makes the astrological influence of Nessus useful.
When you think of the properties of Asbolus, remember that it applies to anything that’s alive. When you think of Nessus, think of what is distinctly and perversely human. They represent two different kinds of forces in the psyche. Asbolus brings in the theme of instinct and Nessus brings in the issue of intent, and a related issue of guilt. And in the functional sense, with Nessus we have the notion that the buck stops here: people who work consciously with Nessus are gifted at breaking the cycle of abuse. You could say the ones who are unconscious of Nessus perpetuate that cycle, and the ones who are paying attention are able to stop the cycle.
The Nessus-Asbolus Square
This week I went searching in the planets to find something that told the story of these numerous sex scandals that have been popping up all spring. While the US media is always eager to embarrass someone, this seems to be happening at an unusual pace right now. I noticed an aspect I’ve seen before but rediscovered, and which was exact Thursday — Nessus square Asbolus. That means they are meeting at 90-degrees. Nessus and Asbolus are slow-moving objects and make aspects only rarely. The current square takes a long time — it is slowly unfolding between 2009 and 2013, though one of the exact points of contact was June 9, 2011, and that tells us something about this very moment of history. (Note — I covered this in my podcast Wednesday, including an interview with Melanie Reinhart.)
A square is usually regarded as an internal dynamic in the psyche. Of course squares have manifestations in the world, but for the most part they play out from the inner world into the outer world. As I suggested in an article on sex scandals two weeks ago, these things are about us — not the people they purport to be about. They are about our negative, morbid and otherwise uncreative fixations on our own sexuality, projected onto the world. As far as the media is concerned, they make good copy when you don’t want to talk about the implications of nuclear meltdowns, the entire Middle East at war and various economic crises brewing. Sex scandals are the perfect distraction and in pure Nessus style, they both feed and draw upon our own sense of shame.
The square of Nessus and Asbolus pits against one another two deep forces in the psyche. One is the drive to survive. As Larry Flynt put it, “Other than the drive for survival, the strongest single drive we have, is that for sex. So the one medium we use to communicate with more than anything else, we understand it the least.” That would be Asbolus.
Then there is Nessus — that whole complex of abuse/revenge/betrayal/shame that is always involved in a sex scandal of any kind. None of this would have any emotional or intellectual currency were it not in some way present in our minds; were we not feeling in some way unclean about our sexuality. As A Course in Miracles explains it rather elegantly, the guilt within gets so intense the only thing we can do with it is to project it outward.
And apparently it does not take much to set off a fuss. Anthony Weiner, a gutsy, outspoken liberal, is accused only of having what amount to online flirtations with other adults. (He also happens to be one of the hardest working members of Congress, keeping his staff busy with things like fact-checking late into the night.) Unlike getting sex in men’s bathrooms in airports or paying high-priced prostitutes while making speeches about family values, Weiner was doing something that just about everyone does — play on the Internet. I understand the risks are higher if you’re a famous, bombastic congressman, but he still was doing something that many of us have done at some time, or do regularly. Okay, then he denied it and made up an excuse. This is supposed to be a big deal? Now we’re really in well-trodden territory. I assure you that there is nobody on the planet who has not, at some time, told a lie about sex.
Let’s consider the square between Asbolus (the vital force) and Nessus (the impulse to scandal and the opportunity to heal the psychology behind it). It’s as if these two planets are always in a square (they are not), however this moment is one where we can work out the conflict between what is entirely natural and unstoppable, and what is laced with betrayal, doubt and shame. One way not to work it out is hypocrisy. In fact, the hypocrisy of family values people condemning the same behavior they participate in is a way of turning that energy into abusive power.
It’s as if hypocrisy has this special metaphysical property of focusing power over people. Its message is: “watch out, I don’t have any ethics. My mind doesn’t regulate itself. I don’t have boundaries. In fact, I get off on inflicting this kind of pain and coming out smelling like a bouquet of roses.” (The crowd then bursts into wild cheers, apparently wishing it had the guts to do the same thing.) Politics in particular seems to run on this power. We expect politicians to be hypocrites, and indeed our own impossible-to-meet moral standards in effect force them to choose between being liars about what is perfectly natural, or not having jobs.
One sure thing you can say about this process is that nobody heals as a result of it. The cycle of shame, attack and victimization is only compounded. The healing process begins when we admit our own shame and tendency to either being a victim or attacker. This would take us off of the political level and onto the personal level. The political level is merely a kind of shadow dance. The personal level is the form that is casting the shadow, or to quote Jesus, casting the first stone.
One thing we really need to understand is that our society has done quite a fine job of making sure every form of sex, sexual feeling, sexual expression and even erotic fantasy — no matter how ‘normal’ — is at least potentially inappropriate and at worst potentially criminal. There is so much guilt, shame and victimization packed around sex that many people are at the point of verging on insanity and some are right there. This primal force has to go somewhere, and where it’s going at the moment — for most people — is that it’s getting caught in shame (which manifests many invisible ways: as rules, games, self-limitations, denial, deception and so on). The people who can shame themselves into submission are considered the ‘normal’ ones and those who express themselves often get pelted. We need, therefore, a way out of this mess. Usually it’s a few brave individuals who open the way for everyone else. Here is one example of that kind of person.
Nessus and Asbolus in the Natal Chart of Larry Flynt
Let’s give a big shout out to Larry Flynt for providing us with an excellent concept to understand Asbolus and by extension, the current Nessus-Asbolus square. Naturally after seeing him on Maddow last night, I was curious about his chart, and we have accurate data as certified with an AA rating (the highest) by the late Lois Rodden. When I looked at the chart, I wanted to test my understanding of both Asbolus and of Nessus. I will show you both in his chart.
What we have in Flynt is a man who cannot stand this kind of hypocrisy in the political realm. Personally, he refuses to knuckle down to shame. As you will see from the segment of the Maddow show, he’s willing to put himself personally on the line to make this point. He may seem like an extreme case; his porno is not high class, and many find it degrading to women. But there is a higher principle involved: our coveted right to free expression; and an even higher one — he refuses to be a sexual hypocrite. Many who extol purity and the virtue of women are busy taking away their rights, including a new movement that is gathering momentum to roll back the right to birth control. That is what I said. Not only is Roe v. Wade under attack, so too is a ruling from 1965. That is Griswold v. Connecticut, which verifies both the right to contraception and the right to privacy. More on that another time soon.
Here is his chart above and to the right, and here is a larger version. True to form, he is a triple Scorpio — Sun, Venus and Mars. That’s the kind of thing that makes you believe in astrology. It makes so much sense that it’s funny. His Moon is in Leo; he is a showman, or as he once said, “a smut peddler who cares.” (He may be a lot more than that — he has the Galactic Center exactly on his relationship angle. To me this says he has direct contact with some of the deepest facets of existence, this thing that people long for when they say the word ‘spiritual’).
He has Gemini rising. That makes perfect sense, since he is a professional communicator. He is also a bit of a trickster. And that Gemini dualism gives us the sinner who comes off more like a saint. Asbolus is right in the ascendant; it is rising in his chart. This angular placement — on the horizon — is consistent with my earlier research: Asbolus shows up powerfully in the charts of survivors. Flynt would qualify. Not only has he survived the death of his beloved wife to AIDS and many long spells of litigation defending his constitutional right to be in business, he also survived an assassination attempt in 1978 wherein he and his attorney were shot by a sniper.
He was paralyzed from the waist down and spent years in excruciating pain. He then became addicted to painkillers and suffered a stroke, which is why his speech is slurred. Still, he presses on, and has had amazing success in business, in the political realm and the courts. Love him or hate him, he has made the world safer for both sex and for freedom of expression.
Let’s look at one house in his chart — the 5th house, which tells us a lot. Sex in the 5th is something we do for fun, for experimentation or out of curiosity: a form of play, and that is the business that Flynt is in. Porn is not about deep, meaningful commitment — it’s about feeling good. It’s about doing in your imagination what you may not have the courage to dare in physical life. Porn is about ideas. Those are particularly dangerous ideas these days, because once they’re expressed, these same things that many people crave on the cellular level tend to run into all of the rules and obstructions that have been put in the way by religion, government and social convention. And we see that collision most often in the form of scandal.
The first thing we find in that 5th house is Mercury. Can you see it there? It’s the green thing with horns. Mercury rules Flynt’s Gemini ascendant; in the 5th house we have the expression of sexuality as a communication device. It’s trine Asbolus, which in part represents the unstoppable biological force of sexual energy. Mercury trine Asbolus gives it a means of expression — the trine opens up the flow. It also bestows Flynt with the charm and derring-do for which so many love him so well. Flynt is the shameless spokesman for what we all have in common. And while I’m there, Mercury is in Libra, which is represented by the scales of justice: Flynt has spent a lot of time in court and for the most part he has done well. In true Libra style he has even befriended his former enemies, particularly toward the end of his life, religious huckster/political organizer Jerry Falwell. (Of Mr. Falwell, Flynt said, “I knew what he was selling and he knew what I was selling.)
Now for Nessus. Do you see Mars and Venus? Mars is at 00+ Scorpio and Venus is at 5+ Scorpio. Nessus (not shown in the smaller diagram) is precisely opposite the point between them, across the wheel in Taurus, in Chiron’s discovery degree. His Nessus is observing Venus and Mars from afar. And it’s as if he has this healing force, a kind of Chiron of sex and relationships, mediating between his inner male and inner female energies. He understands the antipathy between Venus and Mars, between men and women — and he understands the drive to connect. And when he says, “The one medium we use to communicate with more than anything else, we understand it the least,” he knows what he’s talking about.
Yours & truly,
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, June 10, 2011, #863 – BY ERIC FRANCIS
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Go easy on people, especially the ones you want. You are pumping more energy than you think, and it’s not all positive. Most of it is, but at the moment I suggest you observe carefully what is included within your desire nature. It’s not one simple emotion — there are many sub-topics and feelings within the feeling. Monitor these as carefully as you can. I’m not proposing that you be (or act) pure in any way, but rather that you be mindful of the contents of your emotions. Certain factors make it really easy to speak, and you may not be in the mood to censor yourself. You’ll avoid hurting anyone if you listen to what you’re saying. Don’t make promises you cannot keep, and remember how vulnerable people are. Your environment is delightfully social at the moment, but there are risks involved, and it would really be best to take them consciously. If any past emotional material is triggered, stop and listen to yourself. If you open your mouth and utter a judgment that sounds more like something your grandparents would say, pause and review.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — I suggest you put your emphasis on coming up with new ideas for creating and developing resources rather than spending money. You have excellent ideas now, but that doesn’t translate to being wise with your finances. Therefore, focus on the future. Focus on what is important to you but be conservative with your cash. If you do spend money, pause before you make the final decision and stick to what has lasting value (you may be tempted to spend on what seems glittery and glamorous but that is going to fade pretty fast). When in doubt, wait. The time has arrived to think of your longterm plans for building your wealth. Mostly this is about the value you see yourself as having, value that I suggest you demonstrate every chance you get. Give yourself the sensation of doing your work well, and maximizing your role in the lives of others who you care about. In other words, value is not ephemeral, it’s tangible and can be easily observed.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Venus enters your sign Friday, which makes you the belle or beau of the ball. The attraction power of Venus works for just about everyone. Be aware that people may be making up fantasy stories about you; the only thing you can really do about this is be aware, and make sure you either work within the context of that fantasy or be clear of what your agenda is. That said, you can have a lot of fun as the current aspects in your chart develop. Your impulse is clearly to feel good, and your solar chart tells me you will spare neither expense nor risk to do that. I would offer the following suggestions; choose them as they may apply. Stay three drinks behind the crowd. Only take drugs you’ve taken before. Plan your ‘safer sex’ routine in advance and stick to it. And remember, one hot night or weekend does not equal ‘true love’. This would be a fantastic time to leave that concept in your jewelry box and wear something more practical, better suited for the hot weather. One last: use your intuition. It probably does not yell, so you have to listen.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — The Moon is on course for a total eclipse in the angle of your chart associated with healing and wellbeing. The eclipse is in about five days — that would be next week, so we are under its spell at the moment. As I’ve mentioned, it’s conjunct the Galactic Core, which will help you make contact with some of the deepest impulses that influence human consciousness. Two come to mind. One is the irresistible pull of Spirit, Source, Love, God or the Cosmos, however you think of it. Allow this to influence everything you do — and if you notice there are some situations in your life where this doesn’t matter, then you can be sure the situation does not offer you much. Along with this is what we might describe as the anxiety of nonexistence. Ego consciousness actually stands on very little; some say it has no foundation. In order to draw the most energy from Source, it’s necessary to dance with that sensation of nonexistence. This will feel a bit daring, though you can fly through the turbulence and get to an unusually placid, loving and creative space.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Take a realistic approach to your professional goals and you will make them real. Realistic means thinking a little bigger than you normally might, because your potential is a little bigger than usual. So err on the side of aiming not just high but for what you specifically want to do. Jupiter has begun a one-year journey across your house of reputation and achievement, and this house rewards focus and putting yourself where people can see what you’re doing. The early part of this Jupiter transit includes some of the most spectacular aspects that we’ve seen in a long time, so you can afford to have faith in yourself. Part of your leadership ability involves focusing on the place where resources meet ideas. You have access to some unusual flow of wealth, though only on the condition that it be part of a larger building process, a specific mission or service project. What you bring to the equation (in abundance) is a sense of vision and mission that many people around you cannot quite muster.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — On our planet, at our moment, it doesn’t work so well to construct walls so that we can have a feeling of safety. I would suggest that it’s vulnerability that will lead to your deepest sense of vitality and freedom. While you’re doing that, use your expanded perception to set some new goals. Most of the objectives we set for ourselves are based on what would supposedly be right, predictable, dependable and would therefore pass muster with various authority figures in our minds. What you want is a little weird, it’s innovative, and at the same time it would qualify as an old idea that nobody has thought of lately. As you expand your vision into the future, listen to what the naysaying voices tell you. I don’t suggest you try to squash them — rather, listen and figure out who they represent. These are the fearful impulses that you simply must — and truly can — transcend if you’re going to live as your own person. The good news is, they are merely effects of a cause that is long since gone.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Venus has slipped into Gemini, a sign harmonious with your own, and a region of your chart that reminds you to expand your horizons. Now is the time to encourage your imagination to run away with you. Don’t worry if you think something you want is impossible to attain, too far away to reach or exists far in the future. Make contact with it now. By imagination, I mean the power of conscious imagery. Literally see what you want, see who you want to be, and better yet, be who you want to become. You may feel like you’re faking; don’t worry about it. Fairly soon you will encounter an occasion to manifest something that a moment ago was merely an idea (and remember, everything starts as an idea). The opportunity may feel like a stretch, a pleasant shock or a total immersion of some kind — that’s the feeling you’re looking for. This is not merely a fleeting experience; you’re mapping out emotional territory, and experimenting with a new sensation of existence. Be bold but gentle.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Once again, a partner seems to be finding it easier to make changes than you do, but that’s one reason he or she is in your life. You need that kind of example, guiding you out of your usual frame of reference, your habits and your routines. Welcome any such change; there is plenty brewing on the horizon, including one of the most unusual kinds for you — changing how you feel. You often experience feeling as a passive experience. It’s nothing of the kind. To the contrary, feeling is something that happens as a dynamic — that is, in a fast-moving process embracing you and what you experience. There is an element of the past that is likely to arise in the midst of this. You may not recognize it as ‘the past’ at first, but anything that has the least hint of prejudice or betrayal is an opportunity for you to consciously forgive, release any leftover struggle and set yourself just a little more free.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Take care that you don’t mix up a new love interest, erotic play partner or fantasy scenario with your need for security. They’re not the same, and confusing them has a way of negating both. Indeed, the whole quest for permanence and stability detracts from the fleeting, spontaneous quality of erotic energy. I say this recognizing that we’re told over and over again that the only ‘mature’ relationships are the ones that are supposed to head directly toward a mortgage and investment portfolio. Then when we get into those relationships we so often wonder where the passion went. If you think of security as something you give yourself, based on your specific needs and longterm history, you will leave erotic pleasure to be something you’re capable of sharing. But remember that this, too, comes from you; the people you attract are drawn to something about you, and you can only share what you already have. Bring a spirit of giving to every encounter and those encounters will be happier.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — If there are patterns in your life that you want to shift, now is the time. You may be experiencing some unusual anxiety these days; you don’t need it, and you can start your list with that. One thing to be aware of is that you may be experiencing some form of psychic or psychological trauma from too much pressure, too many changes too fast, or a lack of stability that seems to have entered your life some time in the past 10 years. I know that seems like a long time, but anyway if it’s true you have an opening to let go of that pattern. It’s likely to be influencing you in ways you don’t recognize; fear of any kind would be the first clue, as would any narrowing of your perception, shrinking your expectations of life or persistent struggle in relationships. These things — if they exist — have a cause, and you can now get a sense of what it is and grow into something else. You can accomplish great things at this time in your life. Indeed, you can build your future on the foundation you lay in this moment. Make it a joyful one.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — Something is connecting within you and that is making contact with the world around you. It’s as if there’s electricity running through your body and that flow of current wants to make contact with your environment. The same flow of energy is also about awareness. I suggest you be bold about what you perceive. Look and listen as if the world was created to be a feast for your senses. Now, there is a growth element to all of this, or what you might call an evolutionary element. Immersing yourself in your awareness has a kind of alchemical power right now. In a sense, you change what you perceive, and your perception changes you. Think of yourself not as merely witnessing the world but as mixing your elements with its elements, forming an entirely new compound. That includes the people you encounter during the next week or so, who are no doubt noticing you.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You have some astonishing manifesting power at the moment; the important thing is therefore to be aware of what you want, and focus on that. This will save you the time and energy of unmanifesting what you don’t want that happened to show up because you were not sure. If you find yourself thinking of something negative, move onto something more pleasant. I will suggest here that you don’t have to go far to experience some of the best that life has to offer; just about everything that will truly nourish you will be close to home. Indeed, there is something coming up in the cycles of life that suggests focusing on the space immediately around you, and on the familiar activities at hand. I suggest this because it’s the most direct path to what is new and unusual. You don’t need to chase anyone or anything. Be present within your current time and space and you will quickly figure out how much is there.