Pluto Power: The Point of Light

Dear Friend and Reader:

WITH TODAY’S Full Moon, we are witnessing what happens when you thrust Pluto in Capricorn into the spotlight for the first time. The news has been throbbing. So have a lot of people’s heads. The pressure is on; the canary in the coal mine looks dizzy.

This week it seems that fear has once again taken its role as the national religion. Suddenly whatever you’re watching on CNN Marketplace actually affects you personally, or if you’re not lucky, it soon will. Everyone seems to be asking the same question: Where is this all heading? Nobody seems to know — but there is general agreement that we are in unknown territory.

Events have involved a cocktail of banking crises, Wall Street turning into Space Mountain, continuing sex sagas that are making the famously boring city of Albany, NY seem like King Shahryar’s bedroom, and the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq. Many are talking about the unraveling (read: death) of the financial system, as if it were a given. Note that whether it’s going to happen or not, Pluto working on the environment will lead people to consider the possibility of imminent doom, even if what we have coming is imminent change.

Therefore, the prevailing lesson of the astrology is: how do we deal with change? Well, step one is Be Aware. Be Very Aware. Note, we have been ringing the bell about this stuff since December, right before the last big pileup on the Aries Point. Detailed coverage is located here, and here.

Before I recap the extraordinary events of the past five or six days and thread the astrological needle through all of them, let’s get a picture of that astrology on the screen. Here is the simplified Libra Full Moon chart, cast for Washington, DC. It will open in a separate window.

As of publication time Friday morning, the Full Moon has yet to reach peak intensity; it does so at 2:39 pm EDT, with the Moon ingressing Libra just three hours before, at 11:44 am EDT. Therefore, much more is likely to precipitate than we’ve seen as of yet; Monday’s newspapers will no doubt be particularly interesting.

Today’s Full Moon forms an exact square to Pluto, which arrived in Capricorn in late January. Till now it has managed to stay out of the spotlight; it is now very much in the glow. Today the Moon opposes the Sun (also called the Full Moon), and both the Sun and Moon are square Pluto. All three points meet one another at opposing or right angles. In addition Mars in Cancer is still opposite Pluto, so the Sun and Moon will square Mars as well. This is dramatic, and it can be shocking. Full Moons tend to precipitate events; square aspects tend to do the same thing. There is nothing like a Full Moon to set off a knock effect and make the positions of other planets reveal their full strength and implicit themes, and this is what we are seeing.

Pluto and its moons Charon, Nix, and Hydra photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope on February 15, 2006.

Sign changes of Pluto always throw society into a new gear, and since we’re all on the bus, we all come along. However, exceedingly few people feel like their lives are part of something larger. We tend to take everything directly, personally, and forget that there is a greater scheme out there; that personal and global events are inseparably joined.

Pluto does not change signs often: in the current era, it occurs about every 12 to 15 years. When Pluto makes a move, we typically find ourselves in one of those “everything is changing at once” moments. This is what’s happening right now. But this is having some very specific expressions, all of them relating to Pluto and Capricorn joining forces — the rearrangement of structure.

The setup involves something called the Aries Point. Simply, this is the first degree of Aries — where the Sun arrived Thursday as it entered Aries. This first degree of Aries is always active. Any time a planet arrives in that degree, or makes a square or opposition to that degree, we can notice the effect. After watching the point for years, I gave it the key phrase “the personal is political.” (This phrase was coined in the Sixties by the radical feminist group Red Stockings; I have adapted it to astrology.)

When astrologers say that a planet or event is “on the Aries Point,” they typically mean that it’s in the first few degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn — one of the four cardinal signs or cardinal points, also called the four directions. And because Pluto is sitting right in the beginning of Capricorn, it qualifies, and in reality so does Mars in early Cancer. The combined effect of Sun + Moon + Pluto + Mars + Aries Point is what we are witnessing now. Other factors that have been lurking in the background are making themselves known as well. Other factors that have been lurking in the background are making themselves known as well.

Pluto is the tiny anti-planet that so many people love to hate. Despite the recent discovery and naming of Eris, Pluto remains the final arbiter in the current scheme of the cosmic psyche, the bottom line relating to sex, death, money and power. When we break through this rather congested, tumultuous dimension of reality, we can can come out somewhere known as The Self.

Eris points us to how confused we are about that little detail. She is the patron saint of the postmodern identity crisis; when we feel clueless about our sense of self, sense of mission or inner orientation, this is Eris speaking. When we take advantage of this chaos and turn it to the fertile void, this is a journey we can allow Eris to guide us through.

Eris liberates us into a sense of life. The problem is, we choose death again and again; that is, we choose the dark side of Pluto.

Pluto is the cleanup man, or maybe the wrecking ball; he has the solution, or maybe the dissolution; he represents the inevitable; he has the power to drop the World Trade Center like a couple of marionettes (that was a particularly potent Pluto + Aries Point event).

Capricorn is the sign that represents the structure of society; it represents history and tradition and old institutions; it represents our relationship to the material world. Pluto entering this sign is promising deep, sweeping changes to the fragile material world that we have known for most of our lives, a world we have long wondered whether it could continue for much more time

During the Pluto in Sagittarius era, we witnessed nearly nonstop expansion, globalism and a prevailing philosophy of optimism, despite another prevailing philosophy of terrorism. (Sagittarius is the sign of “isms.”) Now that Pluto is in Capricorn, we are seeing contraction, pessimism, restructuring and a serious wake-up call to the more grounded realities of an earth sign.

Pluto, Capricorn and the Financial Markets

Part of the structure of society involves the financial markets and the way that the economy is set up, or rather, set up for change. I have been doing my best to wrap my head around the current news and get to the bottom of things. I think it can be explained pretty easily, at least in its most rudimentary elements. We have seen this thing recently called the “subprime mortgage crisis” take on new dimensions as a credit crisis, a solvency crisis and potentially, a global economic crisis. Banks in France, the UK and the central European bank have all been affected, and it could easily spread to Asia.

How did this happen? American banks sold a lot of mortgages to borrowers (a/k/a homeowners) who could not afford them. This worked fine, as long as housing prices stayed high; you could always get out. But then housing prices dropped, meaning that people owed more to the banks than their homes were worth. This involved first-time buyers and also many experienced homeowners who invested above their means. People could not make the payments, and many defaulted; but by then all of these mortgages had in effect contaminated the entire investment industry and global securities markets.

In short, real estate turned out to not be so real. The most secure investment of all — one’s home — for many people turned out to be a lot of hot air. The biggest story that whipped through the week was the federal government guaranteeing the buyout of Bear Stearns, one of the world’s largest securities firms, by J P Morgan-Chase. The firm’s stock is now sold for $2 a share when it had recently been trading for $170.

Though the firm sold for a mere quarter-billion dollars, the Federal Reserve also provided short-term financing of up to $30 billion to keep Bear Stearns alive. For its part, Bear Stearns (the parent company), and Bear Stearns Asset Management (BSAM) are deeply invested in bad mortgages, which were purchased on margin; that is, by putting a small percentage down. By one account, 53% of Bear Stearns’ assets were invested in these bad mortgages.

Then the firm’s bond rating fell; and the banks to which it owed money made a margin call — they called in the debt, which of course could not be paid. So the firm went to the brink of bankruptcy and its stocks collapsed. This is what we are looking at as a potential in the entire securities industry.

Many events unfolded between when the first whiff of trouble occurred with BSAM last summer (close on the heels of the Saturn-Neptune opposition), and the events of the past weekend, when the firm sold for virtually nothing. The Saturn-Neptune opposition is about seemingly solid structures dissolving. Pluto in Capricorn is about structures changing, being destroyed, or in some way being crushed.

There are numerous banks, hedge funds and others who hold these kinds of worthless assets, and are incurring the same markdown. So there will likely be more incidents like Bear Stearns. There are also some banks that seem to be weathering the storm, for example, J P Morgan. Clearly, this seems to be about the consolidation of the financial industry, and a redistribution of a whole lot of corporate and individual wealth. This consolidation could easily be summed up in three words: Pluto in Capricorn.

By the way, with these events, there are many references back to the events of 1929 that led to the Great Depression, though the economy was structured very differently then. One thing that was the same is that through most of the 1920s, Uranus was in Pisces. We were extremely busy entertaining ourselves to death. When Uranus entered Aries in 1927, the stage was set for the stock market crash of 1929 and the Great Depression that followed.

Déjà Vu Once Again

The Bear Stearns story has an echo of Enron. A stock once considered blue chip finally sold for pennies on the dollar. With Enron, many people lost their pensions and life savings; the energy market in California went wild; and we saw one of the financial industry’s most respected players revealed as a house of smoke and mirrors.

When the Enron disaster unfolded in 2001, Chiron had just gone into Capricorn. The timing was stunning. This was a caution about the delineation of Chiron that Rob Hand gave me that day outside the elevator: it reveals the problem in the system that you can use to perfect the system; but if you leave it unattended, the system collapses.

Shortly after the dust had settled on Enron, greed-driven banks (perhaps inspired by the fraud, as so often happens) became more reckless.I have a personal story that reflects this. Around 2001, I knew someone who was trying to secure a mortgage for a home in Washington State. At the closing, the bank, Washington Mutual, revealed that the borrower had an unpaid parking ticket, and they would not allow the closing to go through. (The person got up and went to the police station while everyone waited.)

This demonstrates that as of 2001, banks were actually verifying the financial records of mortgage consumers. Six years later, you could get a mortgage with no income verification at all. Washington Mutual is deeply involved in this crisis; they obviously stopped looking at people’s parking records.

Chiron has a similar effect as Pluto, though it is a friendlier, somewhat more accessible and generally easier energy to handle. Chiron negotiates and presents options; Pluto does not. Chiron gives warnings. Pluto says, “Chiron was here. You needed to do something then.” My thoughts at the time of the Chiron ingress to Capricorn were that Chiron was running vanguard for Pluto. Capricorn represents what some refer to as “the system.” What we did not get right at the time of Chiron going into Capricorn was due to come up in spades when Pluto arrived, and it now has. And once again, in an exceptionally short time we are seeing the ripples start to go out through the economy, and through consciousness. Fear is truly bad for the economy. But so too is getting a home equity loan to go on vacation.

What is interesting is that at the roots of the financial crisis is something so rudimentary as the American home: a little building we live in, with a kitchen where we used to cook in and a basement where we used to build model ships. Somewhere, we became disconnected from the idea of a home as a place to sleep, eat and raise a family, and gave it the job of being something you flip for a profit. Capricorn is considered a conservative sign, and Pluto is the planet of enforced changes. We are now seeing a kind of enforced conservatism begin to seize reality.

Note, the total volume of mortgage-backed securities is estimated at $6.1 trillion (for reference, the federal budget is 2.7 trillion in 2008). According to Eric Dash, about a third of these mortgage-backed securities are not insured by the federal government.

The Fed: Due for a Restructuring of its Own

In response to the rather uncheerful Bear Stearns news, the Federal Reserve stepped in this week and dropped interest rates three-quarters of a point in one day. Though this is intended to make borrowing cheaper and thus encourage banks to lend and consumers to borrow, it seems unlikely that cash-strapped banks are going to pass the discount along to consumers.

Still, it’s the thought that counts. As Jennifer Barret wrote in Newsweek, “I can’t imagine why they want to encourage more borrowing. I think it’s because when you have a hammer everything looks a like a nail…[W]hat we need to do is to cut consumer spending. You have consumers stretched, really overleveraged. Then we need to mediate an orderly reduction of asset prices — an honest deleveraging. I’m talking about prices of homes, bonds. And it’s better to do that sooner than later…We also have to help low-income people who could be badly hurt, but we’re not helping them by propping up investment banks.”

We are going to see a lot of this kind of discussion as the crisis develops. We claim to abhor socialism in the United States — but we love it when a bank gets the money.

It is worth mentioning that the Federal Reserve Board, founded in 1913, has Pluto in the first degree of Cancer — opposite where Pluto is today. It also has the Sun in the second degree Capricorn. So Pluto is opposing the natal Pluto of the Federal Reserve, making a long conjunction to its natal Sun.

The Fed, as it’s known, is the nation’s central bank. Though backed and influenced by the government, it is a private institution, only somewhat more federal than Federal Express. The problem is that the Fed can create money out of thin air — another word for money, that green stuff people used to spend on lunch, is “Federal Reserve Notes” (read one and you’ll see).

The dollar is in trouble. As of Thursday, a euro was selling for $1.54, an all time low for the dollar. So the restructuring of the Federal Reserve looks more like the dollar is what is really in the spotlight, and at the moment, as far as the international community is concerned, the dollar is worthless. That is a big problem for countries like China and Japan that own an awful lot of them.

1,001 Nights in Albany

No week of outrageous news is complete without another good sex scandal. When I said in last week’s edition that we had not seen the last of sex scandals coming out of Albany, I had no idea that it would be revealed that the distinguished, African-American governor of New York would come out of the closet as somebody who likes chicks on the very day of his inauguration. Both he and his wife admitted to past marital infidelities this week, though with a little help from the New York Daily News— which was going to come out with the story.

Though sex scandals are obviously not new, what happened with the resignation of Eliot Spitzer was unprecedented in New York State history, and it seized national attention. The Pluto in Capricorn connection involves the mixture of sex (Pluto) and government (Capricorn). This is typical of the shadow material we’ll see plenty of as this transit progresses.

Because most people do not and will not talk about sex, it typically emerges only in the context of crime or scandal, or worse, as warfare and other forms of violence. Notably, the Pluto in Capricorn theme of prostitution (the sex business) has come to the surface, though it seems odd that we are discussing that form of sex when we can’t have a sober discussion about the kind you don’t pay for.

The reason is simple: other people are prostitutes, or go to them; the sex has nothing to do with us. Therefore we can talk about it with impunity. Everyone else is the pervert; no matter how queer you are, someone is always queerer than you.

Half a Decade So Far in Iraq, But We Will Win

In the midst of this week, the war in Iraq reached its five-year anniversary — half a decade. For reference, the Vietnam War (usually counted from the Tonkin Gulf Incident to the fall of Saigon) went on for 10 years. It’s not another Vietnam so far, just half of one.

In that time, 3,991 United States soldiers have died. More than 40,000 soldiers have been wounded, though I believe that everyone who comes back is a casualty.

The war costs about $230 million per day — this, while the country faces ever-deeper economic woes at home. The war costs a quarter billion dollars a day in direct costs; the indirect costs, such as lifetime health care for the injured, have yet to be added up.

“Five years into this battle, there is an understandable debate over whether the war was worth fighting, whether the fight is worth winning, and whether we can win it,” said George Bush on the anniversary. “The answers are clear to me. Removing Saddam Hussein from power was the right decision, and this is a fight that America can and must win.”

Have you questioned why it took just four years for the United States and its allies to defeat both imperial Japan and Hitler, but it’s taking forever to defeat a tyrant who got strung from the gallows 14 months ago?

Did it ever occur to anyone else that the United States getting involved in Iraq would lead to a huge recession? People who thought they were being honest with themselves about the issue figured it would be a war for cheap oil. There were plenty of people who knew that “liberating Iraq” was a load of BS. We would kill a bunch of Iraqis, but at least gas would still go for two bucks. I wonder what happened.

The Point of Light

Pluto promises swift, irreversible changes. Those have been due for a long time. Changes are impossible without change, and this is the thing that most people fear the most. Humans have a tendency not to do anything about that low beam swinging in the middle of the room till it whacks them on the head. If you hammer down a nail on a wood floor, you must be an alarmist.

We face another serious problem: the fear to look within. Capricorn is about how structured our lives are, and our attachment to that structure. With this structure in the way — obsession over roles, jobs, and things that “guarantee” our identity — we don’t get to the authentic questions on the interior; questions that might, for example, be represented by Eris in Aries.

But to get there, we need to plunge into the confusion for a while, and set ourselves free in the fertile chaos. I would hate to take a survey and find out how many people think this is a fate worse than death.

It is difficult and exhausting to consider problems at this depth, particularly when they seem abstract to you. But it’s no less than you would expect of someone fixing your car. The point is, we cannot solve problems if we don’t know they exist. And we can’t feel any sense of liberation if we don’t go through the sense of being trapped.

The breakdown of the financial system will bring some simplicity back to our values. The cost of oil will make it more sensible to buy local produce, which is healthier. A house, for those fortunate enough to have one, will go back to being shelter from the elements, for which any sincere person would be grateful. The corporate system will go through its upheavals, which will help focus us on something that this system has gone a long way toward taking away — a sense that people need community, and we can and that we can and must depend on one another.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis




Weekly Horoscope for Friday, March 21, 2008, #706 – By ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Confidence is the issue, and I do mean THE issue. It seems to be coming and going in waves — which is not your idea of a good time. One moment you’re gunning for the gold, and the next you seem to be like a ship without a sail. Do us all a favor: get over yourself. Let me give you the basic two ingredients of confidence. Do what you say you’re going to do; and keep a rhythm. The first connects with the second, since making commitments and fulfilling them is a kind of rhythm. Yet the rhythm also involves discipline; your daily tasks; revising your daily tasks; reviewing your work; checking on your truth-to-lie ratio; nurturing continuous improvement. Learning how to build confidence without using these two techniques — commitments and rhythm — is like trying to learn music without being able to count. Notably, once they learn to count, most musicians don’t need to do it consciously any more.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
It may seem like you’re swallowing a bitter pill, but it actually seems you’re experiencing an enforced change that you don’t really understand. You may feel like your prior identity is disappearing, but anesthetized before psychic surgery is the more accurate way to say it. It would be a great idea if you forget who you thought you were for a while, and let these changes happen. You don’t get the chance to make such significant progress all that often, and you certainly have it right now. Mainly, you are involved in an inner confrontation over your beliefs. I use the term “beliefs” to refer to everything from your religious ideas (even if you swear on a stack of bibles that you don’t have any), your ideas about yourself, and your notion of whether the cosmos is friendly or hostile. Currently, your antiquated beliefs eat up a lot of energy that could be spent, for instance, on growing, loving and creating. Let them go — you won’t miss them.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Mercury in Pisces may not be feeding your mental clarity, but you don’t have to stress over whether you’re going in the right direction. True, you’re not the kind of person who likes to go by the ‘feel’ of things — you prefer to work with facts that you can compare and contrast. What you may lack in willingness to depend on your intuition you make up for in guts. Guts, however, are another way of saying the same thing — you are moved to take the right action by a force you don’t necessarily understand, which to you manifests as a gentle form of bravery. You really can trust this. At the moment, it is leading you toward the finer things in life, not merely guiding you away from danger. Here is a tip. When you are having a conversation, do it in stereo. On one channel, listen to the person. On the other channel, feel the person. Then, ask for anything you need.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Several Pisces planets are guiding you toward your long-term vision, and Mars is pushing you hard to get there. Keep a focus on this process; you need both sides. The world may seem like it’s going down the shitter, but this is precisely my point. Keep planning, keep building, and most of all, keep your vision running hot and wide and high. Do the one-year plan and the five-year plan. As an astrologer, I am vividly intimate with the difficulty of prediction; that is not why you’re doing this, at all. The idea is to stretch open the doors, windows and skylights of your mind; to oil the hinges and wipe off the glass and let in some of that springtime air. You are basically doing a metaphysical exercise in stretching the possibilities. I suggest you do this in the context of taking a trip that is designed specifically for pleasure, and your visioning process. Time is tight — I know. You don’t need to go far; what you need is to go someplace different, and with a focus on luxury, and sketch out your vision in as much detail as you can.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
With the Sun moving into your empathic fire sign Arioes, the fog will burn off and the clear sky will appear. What you are about to gain is the luxury of perspective. It’s a luxury because in truth, so few people have it. You could ask why, and the answer would probably be because you only get the things you want. You can afford to take the long view, and by that I also mean an interior perspective. You know who you are in the scheme of things. You have a conscious relationship to your fear. You know how fortunate you are and, at the end of the day, you probably thank the universe for the bed you lay down in. As a momentous Full Moon sweeps through the angles of your chart associated with ideas and what it takes to make them real, take one step at a time. Use each small success as a means to build confidence in the next phase of your plan. Most of all, do what you feel guided to do — that is clearly the right thing.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You can afford to be generous; the world is being generous with you, particularly in terms of companionship, wisdom and inspiration. Man, if you have some of that stuff, you barely need food or money. But I seriously doubt those are lacking, either. Therefore, keep the cycle going. Give what you have; receive from those who are willing to share; pool your resources with others and turn modest things into great ones. Once it is established, the momentum of exchange does not slow down easily. You can then apply your tendencies to perfectionism to improving and refining the process. It appears that a breakthrough is currently developing, or rather a series of breakthroughs. Someone you’ve observed for a while, who has had a profound or at least pleasantly shocking influence on you, is in the process of turning ideas into reality. In the partnership, you’re the one with the practical skills. You will be a big influence on success.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You may be teetering on some kind of decision that involves whether you think you should feel safe or not. It’s as if you’re looking for evidence either way things might work out — hints in advance whether you’re really deserving of confidence or not. Well, it’s a silly thing to worry about, right? Assuming this characterizes your emotions at all, it represents turning the issue of safety or security into an abstraction. Try to eliminate the conceptual level and go right to the physical. What feedback is your environment giving you? What are people saying to you? How do you feel in different circumstances? Basically, I am saying two things. Stop thinking, and act according to what your environment is saying to you. If your environment is saying yes, then the answer is probably yes. If your environment is telling you to delay, which is unlikely, then delay. But stop worrying — it’s a colossal waste of energy that you just don’t need to squander on nothing.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
You are now ready to develop the plans that seemed so good at the time you made them. The test is always in the actual construction of a result: you find out whether you were thinking clearly or not. The chances are you were; remember that plans change as you develop them, so you need to keep your creative process happening. What you have coming, though, is sufficient moxie to take action; more than adequate push energy to bring things into reality. You have two sides working strongly right now — your creative/sensitive side, and your get it done NOW side. The first of these two has had its voice; you merely need to give it a push. The only risk you run is getting separated from your original vision. Figure out a way to remember what that is, and refer back to it continuously. Then, at a certain point soon, what you are doing is going to take on a life of its own.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Most astrologers looking at your chart this week would assume that Sagittarius has no planets in it. However, there is an alignment of significant minor planets situated clear across your sign, which tell a story of human drama taken on the most conscious level. In other words, you are going beyond drama to the underlying pathos, passion and inspiration. You see that there are issues in them-thar hills and you’re at last ready to not plaster them over with optimism. The issues are not like these odd little flying saucers skimming the atmosphere, but rather they are the results of injury and progress which prove, above all else, that people are capable of anything. Do not lose sight of these deeper issues; keep your eyes fixed on the inherent needs, desires and fears that all people have in common. You, too, have them in common; in many respects, you are the common ground.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Pluto in Capricorn has given everyone permission to be a pessimist — everyone, it seems, except for you. I don’t mean to suggest that you’ve taken up doing a clowning and tap dancing routine on Wall Street during lunch hour. You are your usual reflective, cautiously optimistic self. Yet you seem to believe that old values are the ones that pull us all through tough times, and old values you surely have. That is, you trust the things that stand the test of time. You prefer to anchor yourself to those objects around which the currents of time have moved the whole landscape. You can, however, afford to take a chance on an idea. In fact, you owe it to yourself. You can trust your wisdom; you can trust that you’ve given your doubts a voice. You are smart — you know that there are no guarantees in life. Therefore, you can afford to take this particular chance, if for no other reason than it will be a lot of fun.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
You are being pushed to sort out truth from lies, and it seems this responsibility is sitting on your head 24 hours a day. You don’t need to work so hard — the difference is becoming obvious to you, and you’ve boiled existence down to the eloquent formula that says when you are honest with yourself, you can see the world much more clearly. Therefore, if you find yourself splitting hairs, you’re missing something obvious. If you’re struggling to get a clear vision of the path ahead let the light of the Full Moon throw some contrast on the situation. You have been thinking of the situation as something involving money; you are starting to wake up and see the situation as involving an idea. The more you do this, the more evidence you have that you’re thinking clearly.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
No place is paradise, and no time is the perfect time. However, perfection is an unfair standard by which to judge life on our benighted little planet. A practical definition of ‘perfect’ would include having enough resources to get the job done; enough good people around you so that you’re reminded you’re never lonely; and enough space to have some viable concept of the future. You have all three, and you have a heck of a lot else. When you look back on this era of your personal history, you’ll be astonished at how much you achieved, and how thoroughly you did it. Therefore, take a step back from achievement and put your energy on enjoying the ride. There is plenty to enjoy, though for various reasons, you may not quite be noticing it: your mind seems fixated on the unknown, and on solving problems rather than enjoying the solutions that you have developed so well. Shift your emphasis just a little and you will get some stunning results.

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