Saturn in Libra: Planet Waves for November 2009

Dear Friend and Reader:

In a matter of hours, Saturn will begin its first visit to Libra since 1983. That happens Thursday in most time zones. How it worked back then was, Saturn entered Libra for the first time on Sept. 21, 1980, right before Ronald Reagan was supposedly elected. History has not properly recorded the stolen election of 1980 due to Reagan/Bush involvement with Iranian militants during the hostage crisis. On the day it entered Libra, Saturn was exactly opposite as-yet undiscovered Pholus, suggesting that the genie was indeed about to be let out of the bottle. By the time Saturn left Libra and entered Scorpio on Aug. 24, 1983, the Neocon movement was born and many other changes had been foisted on the American people and the world.

That was then; for some of us, this is now.

Once in Libra (as of early Thursday afternoon in the EDT zone), it will oppose the Aries Point and continue to approach perfect 90-degree angle (that is, a square) to Pluto in Capricorn. This is one of those “something happens” aspects (occurring in a series of three instances over the next nine months, though the first contact is the one to watch carefully). Nothing like this has happened since the challenging events of 2001-2002. At that time, Saturn opposed Pluto, precipitating events that changed the world and from which it has only begun to change again. The Saturn-Pluto cycle can be associated with fear, contraction and the fear of contraction, for example, the paranoia associated with influenza and warfare. This sounds more like 1918 than 2012. Fortunately, there are many other cycles in motion that provide a greater sense of innovation, strength and new ideas. As always, we will have a choice which path to tread, or to make a new one.

There are many dimensions to Saturn square Pluto. Considering the personal realm, we might encounter what we typically call private factors that compel us to rethink the structures of our personal lives, relationships and commitments. Some will be taking up this issue thoughtfully for the first time. What are the rules of the game that we play by in our relationships? Do we strive for balance and honesty? To what extent are the rules taught to us by our parents influencing us? Right now those are undergoing a revolution involving Pluto in Capricorn. We need to evaluate how our relationships are working or not working, and make the necessary adjustments. It is likely that circumstances will play a large role in this process, rather than doing things for their own sake.

Next, we may encounter some unusual turn of events in history, likely to manifest by December. The astrological epicenter is Nov. 15 — the exact day that the first of three squares takes place. News of the flu is a probable focal point here, though as we approach the one-year mark to the election of Obama, we’re likely to experience some kind of shakeup or shakedown.

Saturn square Pluto, with both planets exactly aspecting the Aries Point, is the most recent in a long sequence of events that ramp up the energy to a wild peak in June 2010. All of this astrology, focused on the Aries Point, has the energy imprint of what everyone has been calling 2012. We are embarking on an extended Sixties-like moment of high energy, adventurous challenges and unexpected historical twists; not, as some are suggesting, the “end of the world.” This is indeed the end of something, and the beginning of something else. Proceed with awareness; keep your lights on; hold that flame of ethos up high.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

Glimpse at the Grandmother Land in High Falls, New York, where I was sketching out the 2010 annual edition on Sunday afternoon. Photo by Eric Francis.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Keep your sense of humor; exercising that on a daily basis is more important than going to the gym. Humor is not just about getting a good laugh; it’s about taking a light enough approach to life so that you can see your options, and have a sense of flexibility. That said, the ability to laugh at something means one thing: you’re not afraid of it. You’re being summoned for the first time in years to make enormous changes, and you may indeed be nervous, and reluctant to move forward, lest you make an error from which you cannot recover. Remember that you’re not in this alone. The whole point is that a relationship is getting your attention, as is your sense of priorities for what to do with your life. Most people take these as separate issues. The planets in their courses are giving you little choice but to see these seemingly separate things as one topic: your existence. The meta-theme is maturity: having adult relationships and an adult sense of purpose. Finally, this is not something that might happen in the future; rather, it’s something that’s calling your name right now. You may feel like certain elements in this equation are being dictated to you, and you might be right. If you take a light touch, you will see how many options you really have within reach.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)
Do you need to take your life more seriously, or less? The answer is, some of both. They’re not actually opposites. Most things that you think of as opposites aren’t really opposites. Most things that you think of as difficult aren’t really that difficult, but how you apply your mind to the situation is another story. What you usually think of as a mental approach involves getting snagged in your emotions. If you’re in an endless loop of any kind, you can be pretty sure that you’re trying to handle a situation that calls for an analytical approach in a way that avoids real analysis. The ‘more seriously’ piece of the original question involves the dismantling of your sense of being stuck in something you cannot see but can only feel. Then you can reassemble the pieces in a way that actually makes sense. The ‘less seriously’ approach involves letting go of your sense of fate, doom or looming imperatives. Clearly, you’re being summoned to take on a new level of responsibility, and then to take action. Other factors suggest that you examine the beliefs that have so far dictated the course of your life, most of the time below the level of full awareness. Awareness is light, and you’ll know it’s increasing because you will have a greater sense of your power of decision.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)
There is such a thing as overfocus. It’s true that concentrating your mental energies is something you must do consciously, but you tend to compensate for this by laying all kinds of rules on yourself and then attempting to follow them like choreography. But the way dancers actually work would serve you much better. Just like a dance routine is composed of many smaller parts that are brought together, improving your mental process is about learning separate elements of something, and the gradual acquisition of discipline. Connect to the creative impulse at the core of what you’re doing; your true motivation. That will make the effort seem worthwhile. I suggest that you be leery of telling yourself you’re doing anything for altruistic or ‘service’ purposes, and instead, stay focused on the creative and business aspects of the work. The same would hold true in personal relationships, though there is an added caution here: beware of approaching anyone with a set of expectations about how he or she is supposed to feel, in advance of the experience actually happening. Indeed, be cautious about approaching anything with a set of expectations about how you are supposed to feel. At the moment, your life is about being in the moment, taking a risk on suspending your beliefs about the presumed outcome. Those beliefs are a burden that interferes with your true creative process.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)
If you knew how guilty people felt about money, you would be shocked. That’s why they try to get rid of the stuff so fast. Then there’s debt. A colleague in the UK suggested that one of the places that sex energy is being drained faster than we can fill it up is credit card debt. Debt is like negative worth or lack of worth, and at the moment the world is overrun with it. For the next seven months, Mars is going to be taking up residence in your house of self-worth, self-esteem, your financial resources and ‘how you really feel about yourself’. With Leo in this solar house, you’re well suited to have a strong relationship with yourself and a balanced, mutually profitable relationship with others. The issue with Mars here is: how deep can you go, making peace with your existence, your values and your sense of belonging? How useful can you make that value, to yourself and to others? Do you have the guts to make the money you want to make? One of the forms that guilt about money takes is that money is considered ‘unspiritual’, and we’ve all met enough people who seem to demonstrate that quality quite effectively. Yet one theme here is learning that you and nobody else gives the things in your life the value that they have.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
One of your greatest talents is that you’ve learned how to doubt your doubts. That ability has proven useful, as so much of what you were uncertain about in recent months has either revealed itself to have little basis in truth, or has worked out better than you were planning. Even as your confidence and sense of purpose build, you’re still going to need that skill. You have some unusual discretion now, the ability to apply your power in a direct, focused way. At the same time you may run into a few more puddles of self-doubt, particularly about your involvement in a family situation that seems too complicated for your tastes. The key here is to not overreact, or to apply too much strength or force when a little will do just fine. Indeed, you can safely put off smaller actions, solutions or possibilities for resolving things in place of larger ones that come a little later in the month. Something that seems obvious today is still coming into focus. You don’t know details that you cannot quite see yet, but those details exist. Some of them will emerge when an event or circumstance represents the universe making a move; then suddenly it will be much more obvious what you need to do. You can safely wait for any strong emotions or confusion to fully clear before you say or do anything.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
Understanding your obsessive tendencies will be the key to your freedom, and your enlightenment. First, I suggest you see them for what they are, and note the complications they bring into your life: for example, your struggle to let go emotionally, the difficulty you have forgiving yourself and therefore others. Obsession is a quality so inherent in your makeup that you take it for granted, but you also take for granted the damage that it does to the fragile fabric of your existence. Saturn’s presence in your sign the past few years has provided a compelling influence to question why you are the way you are, and why you feel the way you do. Yet another factor suggests that there is a hidden source of energy lurking deep within your makeup, there is a notion of who you are supposed to be. You are trying to live up to this idea, even though you’re not aware of it most of the time. I suggest you bring it out into the open. Perhaps make a scrapbook called The Perfect Me, and collect images and examples of what you are trying to be. This will teach you that your prototype is not really you; it is a concept that was installed into you, and modified over time. This is your moment to take control over the process. If you must strive for a certain ideal, it’s best that it be consciously chosen.

Stone slabs on the Grandmother Land left over from millstone mining operations of the 19th century.
Photo by Eric Francis.

Libra (Sep. 22 – Oct. 23)
Self-awareness is the thing. THE thing, as in the VERY thing; the only thing and the thing to value above all else. Nobody is perfectly self-aware, so you can let yourself off the hook for that one. Yet there are those who value the stuff and those who really, truly don’t want to be bothered. Now is the time to bother; to take every step you have to take to hoist that flag and raise it high. Saturn beginning its 30-month journey across your birth sign is some of the best astrological news that has come your way in many years. You have faced challenging transits (as have we all), and while this one will indeed bring its challenges, they are the kind that are worth every bit of effort five times over. Saturn is here to bestow you with one of the most precious gifts of the postmodern age: maturity. Among the very most serious problems our society faces is the collective lack of maturity among its members. This not only leads to people being unable to take care of themselves and one another; it’s contributing to a significant failure of ethics and sense of awareness about the future. All of this and more are the gifts that Saturn is here to offer you; in due time, of course, but that time is close. And what is the cost? Self-awareness.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
You are accustomed to constantly having to adapt to your circumstances; it’s rare enough that your circumstances must adapt to you, but that’s precisely what is happening. You may be thinking, that would be a lot easier, were it only true. Here’s how to help make it true: The first thing you can do is to be clear about your intentions, mainly with yourself, then in any conversation or encounter where you need to state your agenda. Or perhaps the correct word would be understate. The key is to say things once and then allow the energy to align around your goals. Don’t expect anyone to read your mind, and don’t overstate your position. Next, maintain a continuous awareness of how things have been done in the past, including the distant past, and then make conscious, gradual modifications to those methods, never veering far from the wisdom of tradition. You are in the rare position of rewriting tradition, which is best done incrementally, with the awareness that evolutionary steps are what keep the intelligence of the past alive. I suggest you take any opportunity you can to actually feel the strength of your position. If you feel it, others will respond, even those you don’t actually talk to. Your mind reaches to other minds; but among those in your immediate environment, clarity is of the essence; it will be the vector of your true strength.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 – Dec. 22)
Be aware which of the sweeping changes that flood through your life the next month exist in your consciousness, and which of them have a definite source in your environment. There is a valid theory of existence which says that everything the mind perceives begins and ends in the mind, and what we perceive is strictly a matter of interpretation. Let’s take this one two ways; there may be more. First, let’s assume that it’s not true. Let’s assume that there really are elements of existence that come from the outside; over which you have no control, except how you respond. Then let’s assume that the nature of everything you see and experience is strictly a matter of your own interpretation, based on your level of awareness, your prejudices, your personal history and your imagination. (A Course in Miracles sums this up in three words: ‘projection makes perception’.) In the end, the difference between the two viewpoints may be subtle, but I would ask: which gives you a greater sense of influence over your life? Which puts you in the more influential position of co-creator of your existence? Bear in mind, the current dominant philosophy of existence is that only externals matter, and that everyone except the supposedly famous and powerful are victims of circumstance. That is not an option.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
Saturn has moved across the midheaven angle of your solar chart, and later this month will make a high-powered aspect to Pluto in your birth sign. This is your moment to wake up to who you’re supposed to be in the future. Everyone has an image of that, but who exactly comes along and tells you when the time has arrived? Your astrologer, that’s who. In the past, you’ve had transits that have called on you to reach for higher goals. You’ve had transits that have focused your sense of identity. But you have never had a transit like this, and the truth is, neither have most of the people you see walking around on the street. If this astrology is working right, that is to say, if you are responding with awareness to the conditioning forces that surround you, you will be feeling a mix of certain key elements: one of them being a sense of responsibility. Another will be the urgency to rise to the occasion; that is, to be the very best person you can be, under the circumstances of your life and your professional situation. This is a calling to leadership, but the kind that requires you to contemplate every decision carefully, and to make sure that each step you take comes with an actual change in your psyche; actual growth, no matter how challenging that may be.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
Humans learn a bit in school, but mainly we learn from example. One of the most useful methods of example is mentorship. I suggest you take this two ways. One is by working with people far more experienced than yourself, setting aside any notion that you ‘know more’ than they do. This will give you sufficient freedom from your own preconceived ideas to be able to adapt new approaches to what you do. The second is teaching someone younger or less experienced than yourself the basic professional methods that you are developing. You will know you’re doing this right when you are the one learning from your student. It’s not that your student ‘knows more’ than you; it’s that you know enough to learn from those both more and less experienced than you. Advancing your education is a key theme of the next two years of Saturn in Libra, and you’re the one who is in charge of the process. Part of the story involves an exploration of why ethics matters more than anything. There is an emphasis on learning fairness, as a prerequisite of having the additional authority that is going to be given to you after you pass what amounts to a series of personal tests of your integrity. The first of these challenges begins now; and for the moment, the whole process is on the honor system.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
During the past year, you’ve grown increasingly aware of how important your friends are to you. The sense of having old, established friends is vital to your sanity, your sense of personal security, and your ability to get things done. It’s been worth every bit of the effort you’ve put into the relationships. From among those friends, it’s now time to select certain ones as partners in an important series of ventures in both your personal and professional endeavors. Looked at one way, these people will be self-selecting: they’re ones who stick around, who demonstrate their love and loyalty, and most of all, who demonstrate their commitment to growth. Once you apply those criteria, you’re not going to be left with a lot of candidates, but you will have just enough; and certain people you can depend on are about to come out of the woodwork. The feeling you’re looking for in partners is the sense of needing to collectively rise to a challenge; individuals who are moved to action by the times we are living in. Emphasize your encounters with people who are responding in the present, rather than being stuck in the past. Keep your mind focused on this and you will remind yourself over and over to keep your focus in the moment, where it belongs, and where you access your true power over your destiny.

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