Dear Friend and Reader:
Friday into Saturday arrives with a series of astrological moments that combine into a gem, focused on Pisces. Today Mercury stations direct, Saturday Mars stations retrograde and overnight between them is the Pisces New Moon. The Moon-Sun conjunction (that is, the New Moon) happens in the midst of two personal planets making stations, barely moving in the sky.
That’s a sync in time; then there is one in space. The New Moon happens close to the midpoint of Neptune and Chiron in Pisces, accessing the best that those two planets have to offer. And almost miraculously, the Moon and Sun are trine Jupiter, the ruler of Pisces, exact to about 10 minutes of arc or one-sixth of a degree (that is, less than 1/2000th of the zodiac).
Today’s horoscope section for your Sun sign and rising sign below is an extended edition that covers this confluence of events.
Meanwhile, I have some house announcements. As part of my 50th birthday/Chiron return festivities planned for next weekend, I will be taking a couple of weeks off from most of my Planet Waves writing. Issues will continue Tuesdays and Fridays during that time; I will have less of a presence and return in full force on Friday, March 21, with the April monthly forecasts.
Meanwhile, I won’t be writing the full horoscopes for all the signs but I will be writing for Pisces. On Fridays, we’ll have something else for the rest of the signs — some good ideas are brewing. I plan to finish the Aquarius and Pisces birthday readings within a couple of days (they are still available at pre-order price and include two audio chapters of astrology and a tarot reading, plus an extended written description of your sign).
Mercury Stationing Direct — Nobody is Complaining
Every Mercury retrograde is weird. Some are weirder than others. Astrologically the one that’s ending today gets bonus points because Mars stations retrograde the next day, accented by the Pisces New Moon. The starry dynamo of the night is churning out some interesting chaos patterns.
In the midst of this Mercury retrograde, there was a series of blizzards that on several occasions scrambled air and ground traffic along the entire East Coast. The city of Kingston, N.Y., where I live, went on a snow ordinance towing spree and has had to dismiss many of the tickets and refund many towing and storage fees charted by its corrupt contractors.
Meanwhile one friend had her bank account closed (she missed a security confirmation email that probably looked like spam). Another is dealing with a stalker who will probably go unconscious the moment Mercury changes directions and wake up having forgotten everything.
Oh yeah, the Winter Olympics came and went without incident — just a huge fuss brewing in Ukraine next door.
The news of the world is once again rushing by so fast it’s difficult to figure out what to focus on — if you care to notice at all. Let’s take a fast survey. Here is my favorite headline of the entire Mercury retrograde: “Swiss teacher accidentally shows X-rated amputee porn on overhead projector.”
Article summary: “While students at KV Zurich Business School studied, an educator tried to secretly watch his fetish porn — one problem, he forgot to turn off the overhead projector.” Imagine the responses from students. [Note, I had never heard of amputee porn. So I Googled it, but none of the images are appropriate to use here.]
In New Jersey, Mercury retrograde has manifested as the former bridge tollgate blocking scandal (what I call Tollgategate) becoming a “the whole government” scandal. The station-direct has arrived with a raft of previously released documents being made available without redactions, adding lots of color and detail to the bridge piece of the story. The larger issue is the revelation of how government is bought and sold in that state, which is starting to look a lot like Tammany Hall — the totally corrupt, pre-Civil Service government of New York City.
Meanwhile, in other news, protests in Ukraine led to the ousting of Viktor Yanukovych. Protesters armed with sticks, rocks and coke bottles full of gasoline stood up to a paramilitary force shooting at them with live ammo and forced the guy to flee Kiev. Under his orders, police killed some 80 protesters before Parliament took over the government and kicked him out of office. It is true that some of the protesters raided an armory and had real weapons, but that is hardly leveling the playing field against a government-organized army.
Yanukovych split from town, abandoned his palace to protesters, and then headed south to the Crimean Peninsula, where his airplanes were blocked from taking off. He is now reportedly in Moscow, where he will give a news conference Friday just as Mercury stations direct. I love Russian news conferences.
Meanwhile, there are reportedly Russian flags flying over the Crimean capital at the moment, and there were news reports Thursday of Putin amassing 150,000 troops along the Ukrainian border as part of a war game exercise that Russia claims is unrelated to the recent unrest.
When I titled an article “Back in the USSR” a few weeks ago, I did not mean to imply that Putin would be trying to bring back the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, but that seems to be his intent.
All of the charts I’ve seen for Ukraine have planets aligned with the cardinal grand cross (including the Uranus-Pluto square) that has been taking shape for years and which will reach a full peak on April 23. This is also true for Yanukovych, who has a volatile mix of planets in mid-Libra (Mars conjunct Neptune) and Cancer (Mercury, Sun and Uranus conjunct).
In Venezuela, mass protests there finally started to get some attention in the U.S. media after Pres. Nicolas Maduro, who succeeded Hugo Chavez after he died last year, tried to throw CNN out of the country. There’s no better way to focus the media than to pick on it. I would say that someone should write an article explaining this to petty tyrants, but it’s probably better if they have to figure it out through trial and error.
The protests erupted in Caracas in January after actress and former Miss Venezuela Monica Spear was killed during a roadside robbery with her five-year-old daughter in the car. The protests are focusing on the crime problem (70 murders a day) and inflation (above 50% a year) and little problems, like the fact that it’s considered a crime to mention the inflation rate in a newspaper.
Since Feb. 13, as the death toll mounted, more than 2,000 stories from Venezuela have been uploaded to iReport, CNN’s user-generated platform. They describe many ugly scenes, such as police going door to door terrorizing people, along with the usual crackdowns in the street.
Top Venezuelan officials have accused the United States of trying to destabilize the government, which is probably true. This week Venezuela gave three U.S. diplomats 48 hours to leave the country, accusing them of conspiring to bring down the government. At a rally Tuesday, Maduro shouted, “Yankee, go home” from the stage.
Venezuela’s 1811 independence chart features the Capricorn Full Moon going right across the mid-cardinal signs, directly in alignment with the cardinal grand cross (including the Uranus-Pluto square).
And protests came to a peak in Thailand this week as citizens called for the ouster of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, who they allege is a puppet of her billionaire brother, the deposed, exiled former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra. There were deadly clashes between police and protesters as police began attempts to clear sites occupied by protesters for months. The Thailand chart has the Sun in mid-Aries, aligned with the cardinal grand cross.
Syria is still a mess, warlords are vying for political office in Afghanistan, and the U.S. and Mexico busted Joaquin Guzman, one of the most infamous drug lords in the world. The chart is a piece of work — very similar to the chart for the ouster of Viktor Yanukovych some hours earlier, featuring a slippery alignment of the Moon, the Sun, Chiron and the ascendant.
But the real kicker in the Guzman bust chart is how the United States Sibly chart shows up — the two charts align to the degree. I predict that Guzman will be extradited to the U.S. and offered a plea deal where he becomes vice president of a major American pharmaceutical company. Either that or he will escape again, since he seems to have more firepower than Mexico itself.
Mars Retrogrades Toward an American Spring
If you’re seeing a pattern here, that all the countries where protests and unrest are erupting have planets aligned with the cardinal grand cross, it might not shock you to learn that the U.S. fits this pattern — only even more precisely than the other charts.
By that, I mean very, very precisely. The grand cross that’s now forming involves Mars, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto aligning at 13+ degrees of the cardinal signs (in order of the planets listed, Libra, Cancer, Aries and Capricorn). This is not chicken shit. Mars is bringing the Uranus-Pluto square to a peak, and Jupiter is there to magnify things and provide a bit of protection and a reminder that this is all an opportunity.
The U.S. Sun is at 13+ Cancer (this is from the Sibly chart, the most commonly used chart for July 4, 1776). It is exactly aligned with the cardinal grand cross. Said another way, the U.S. Sun will be taking a simultaneous square from Mars, a square from Uranus, an opposition from Pluto and a conjunction from Jupiter. That’s a lot of transits for one day, one month or one year.
Mars is about to station retrograde in late Libra, and will backtrack into alignment with the other planets, arriving exactly on April 23. If you ask me, we are about to experience an American Spring.
April is often a weird and eventful month in American history. Come April we’ll have an article telling you just how weird and eventful, going all the way back to the battles of Lexington and Concord. I don’t know if the U.S. Sun has ever taken more significant transits than it’s about to take but I would be stretched to invent something more intense than what is brewing. We are talking about the Uranus-Pluto square here, and we are talking about doing the one thing that tends to bring Uranus-Pluto aspects right to the forefront — add the energy of personal planets (such as Mars) or transpersonal planets (such as Jupiter).
While the U.S. ignores most of its most important problems (poverty, crumbling infrastructure, a bloating oligarchy leaching the resources out of the people, an economy that seems to be running on fumes) there is some progress being made on social issues. Same-sex marriage prohibition and cannabis prohibition seem to be crumbling under some simultaneous influence. While both issues have long histories, I reckon that influence is the Uranus-Pluto square and Chiron and Neptune in Pisces. Society is never the same after these kinds of aspects go by.
Now, you didn’t ask, but I’ll give you my theory as to why pot has been illegal for so long. Well, it’s not purely my theory — Betty Dodson figured this one out. Or maybe she read about it in the 1968 book Soul on Iceby Eldridge Clever, who according to Len Wallick also suggests this theory.
It may have been one of those things that everyone just knew up until the Sixties, then it was forgotten, along with a bunch of other useful information.
Yes, I agree that cannabis competes with tobacco, alcohol, the chemical industry and many, many pharmaceuticals; the hemp plant and resulting cannabis variety are about as all-purpose as you can get, good for making everything from clothing to paper to medicine.
However, smoking pot has a way of gently reducing sexual inhibitions, opening the door to about the two-drink level, but then you get to go through the door instead of getting fall-down drunk. Then it does something extra — it stokes sexual curiosity, physical and emotional sensitivity and psychic vulnerability. That can lead to some very, very pleasant and interesting sex. It can also get you into water a little deeper than you planned to swim out into, so I suggest getting some experience before experimenting with partners.
Cannabis is the libation of the Jazz Age (recall from that era the term “jass me baby” meaning “do me!”). Homeopathic guru Rajan Sankaran describes its sensation as the most pleasant of all substances in the materica medica. Homeopathic doctor, author and teacher Frans Vermeulen speculates that it’s one of the plants that led to the invention of agriculture.
Friend of sailors, cancer and MS patients, people who want to unwind after a long day, teenagers and old people, spiritual seekers and music lovers, philosophers and artists, it remains a true fact. Cannabis quite often makes people horny, and frees them from their inhibitions without making them blotto or feel so good they want to puke.
Cannabis is cultivated by depriving female plants of male pollen. The plants secrete THC-containing resin in order to catch the one stray grain of pollen that might be in the environment, but there is none. So they build and build sexual energy, get all wet and sticky with resin, which contains the THC, and that is what the human brain responds to. Basically, cannabis is sex in a plant — a desperately horny female plant. So this is not mere theorizing; the doctrine of signatures (similar energy impressions up and down the chain of ideas and substances) works pretty well.
The common thread of gay marriage and cannabis legalization, besides leaving people alone for doing what does not harm others, is a growing openness to “whatever gets you going.” With cannabis they may also be getting tired of spending money investigating and prosecuting it, along with the cost and burden of putting people into jail for more money than it would take to send them to university on full scholarship. All of this, when they could be making money collecting taxes.
Colorado is apparently doing very well in that regard. If you want to perform a scientific experiment, you can draw a bath, light a candle, take one hit of good weed and, you know, just relax for a little while and see what happens.
So I count this as progress. Progress, that is, set amidst a lot of other problems. Like wealthy leach despots sucking all the wealth out of the population, exactly like a banana republic.
I will leave you with what in my opinion was the most interesting domestic news story of the week. This issue describes just what Americans have to be angry about and how paranoid the government is that anything but it will have any power at all.
Glenn Greenwald, the writer for The Guardian who broke the Edward Snowden story, has started a new indie journalism project called The Intercept. In an article this week, he described how American intelligence agencies are attempting to manipulate and control online discourse with extreme tactics of deception and reputation-destruction.
Greenwald published documents that detail how intelligence agencies pump out disinformation designed to sway public discourse. This is an old story; even horoscope columns have been used by intelligence agencies as propaganda (in particular during WW II, when it seems that ‘anything goes’ became fashionable), and the CIA has at times had many, many major media outlets and local newspapers at its disposal to make something into a story or make sure it does not become one.
The program includes tactics for making various false claims that are designed to destroy people’s trust and standing in the community. This happens, for example, with fake blog posts and social media updates that portray someone as an attacker of some kind (known as fake victim blog posts).
“Honey traps” — that is, sexual lures — are used to compromise people. It goes on and on.
But I ask you: why? What is all of this about? Besides of course being part of the great American tradition of COINTELPRO.
Why would they go to all this trouble? There is a reason. They are worried about something. I suggest we take note of this. The something they are worried about is little old you and me and our friends, one day waking up and deciding we care, and that we have had enough. These programs are like a self-preservation immune response of the government-corporate structure, but more like metastasis.
As Mars moves into position and completes the grand cross, a heck of a lot of people may decide they care — and it really does not take that many to shake things up or knock them over.
We, the American people and anyone influenced by the actions of the U.S., have a lot to be concerned about and angry about. And if that sentiment catches on, it could really get going. To me it looks like something this spring does exactly that.
Remember, though — astrology works from the inside out. Changes sweep through society because individuals awaken. It may seem like we see something outside ourselves and wake up, but I don’t think that’s the way it works. Nearly everyone has some significant point in their chart aligned with the Uranus-Pluto square and the corresponding grand cross.
Many people I read for have concentrations around these points. So you, too, may feel the awakening and the call to grow and change, and you may very well feel the resulting ripple effect.
I wish you a very happy Pisces New Moon.
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Feb. 28, 2014, #989| By Eric Francis
Aries (March 20-April 19) — You are a complete person without ‘a relationship’, though you will rarely find someone who steps up to this challenge. That means there are few examples in the world around you for how to live this way. You might become the first person you know who actually does, though it might take you a while to get there. A while, but not so long. This is a deeper shift in identity than most people realize, and it may involve what for most would feel like completely rearranging their psyche and their orientation on life. That in turn involves facing every insecurity that our society teaches us to use relationships to cover over. What I suggest is that you make decisions that are based on what you want before you’re forced to make changes. The sooner you act on what you want, and on what you know to be true, the more you will be choosing based on your own authentic freedom, your responsibility to yourself, and your own initiative, and less based on the seeming demands of a situation. The distinction is all the difference in the world.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You have been through many changes and investigated many layers of yourself. This spirit of seeking self-knowledge is spreading into your environment, and may seem to take over a relationship partner’s orientation on life. You are not merely a passive observer here. You have provided a potent example of what is possible, and the benefits of growth, and you continue to serve as a catalyst. This has been both inspiring to others, and a little scary. One weird thing about the times we’re in is a pervasive fear that if someone makes one change, they will have to rearrange their whole life. If they admit one point of denial, they will have to embrace the whole truth. The solution is not to cling to the past, or to established patterns. Neither is it viable for chaos to be the cost of progress. There is a narrow line between these things, and you’re walking it right now. One challenge you face is not allowing anyone else’s self-doubts to shake you up; you could say that your current situation is designed to show you just how confident you’ve become. That is good news for everyone.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — There are times you have no proof and you know something is true. There are times when you have a mountain of data that may as well be a heap of compost. How do you tell the difference? You could call that intuition, but you could also call it having sensitivity to when something is authentically meaningful. One way to tell you’re on solid ground is when you have a hunch about something and also several independent sources of verification. For this to work, you must account for observer bias, so make sure you design that into your review process. Then you get to use what you know and make a decision and learn from the experience. I suggest you put your energy into making sure your data is good, and seeking out sources who are far removed from the situation in question. Yet the most significant thing your charts are telling you is to aim for a specific goal that serves both immediate and long-range needs; among other factors, these will be in harmony when you’re on the right path.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Take care of your situations with housemates, live-in partners, landlords, tenants and anyone with whom the theme of ‘shared home’ comes up. Be attentive to business and also to the personal aspects of the relationships. The same astrology suggests you are learning something you’ve set out to master for a long time — self-confidence. There’s an element of emotional independence necessary as part of this, something that may go deeper for you than you recognize. Taking the question further, what would it take for you to feel safe living here on the planet? I mean what exactly? What kind of dwelling, what kind of relationships, how much money, or perhaps more to the point, what emotional space? What you are likely to discover during the Mars retrograde that lasts through mid-May is that the notions of safety and danger are nearly all in your mind. They are integrally connected to how you perceive them. So if you feel a threat, look within first, and ask yourself if there is another way of seeing both yourself and the world. If you feel grounded and safe, know your thoughts are aligned with the truth.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Authentic relationship is a form of alchemy. It changes both people involved; there is something new, some previously unknown element, created when people get together and do something real. That quality is gleaming out of your charts right now. Contrary to the popular belief that relationships are about staying the same, it seems more accurate to say that they are about changing and growing together, especially for you. That evokes many mysteries, especially about outcomes — which are entirely uncertain under this way of life. Actual human relating and bonding work under entirely different laws than those of the world, which is concerned with predictable and guaranteed outcomes. Adapting to such a flexible way of existence and an orientation that is about now and not the future presents challenges to many people — though at the moment your charts suggest you are wide open to any or all of this, no matter how new, unfamiliar or well-established it is for you. Leo is a fixed sign; this is a gloriously mutable moment.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — This weekend’s New Moon in your opposite sign Pisces shows the clouds parting, the dimensions opening and you having the ability to peer into the mysterious heart of your relationships. You may be amazed to find out how much your relationships have everything to do with you; you are the one thing all your personal associations have in common. Two factors emerge with this New Moon: Mercury is pointing to the need for ongoing commitment to healing. Mercury in Aquarius is a reminder how influential groups are — you can surrender your power to them, or you can take leadership in them. Stationing direct on Friday, Mercury reveals the role of self-esteem in how you relate to others. When you feel good about yourself, you will set an energy pattern for others to express their love and for you to receive it. When you doubt yourself, you will doubt that anyone cares, which is a good way to shut out love. If there is a core lesson in the coming months, it’s about not projecting your need for self-esteem into your need to be ‘loved back’ by another person. Start with loving yourself and you will notice all the love that is already, as in currently, coming your way.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Mars stations retrograde in your birth sign this weekend. It will be retrograde exclusively in Libra through May 19. The last time this happened was 1982; the time before that was 1935. So Mars retrograde in Libra is fairly rare, though this one stands tall because it’s happening at the peak of the Uranus-Pluto square. If we think of Libra as the sign about the love of beauty and balance, this Mars retrograde is about as un-Libra as it gets. It will push every inner boundary, packed with an explosive charge of every imaginable passion, drawing energy from some unusual underground source. This is Libra more in its role of welding torch, and it grants you a gift that must be handled carefully and with precision. As the retrograde develops, you will discover how influential you are, and how carefully you must use that gift. While you need not learn that the hard way, that is, by damaging people and things you care about, you need to be vigilant. Pay attention as you do your part to be constructive, helpful and integral to the situations in which you participate. Remember, this is not about power. It’s about dharma: acting as if to hold the world together.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — In modern astrology your sign is ruled by Pluto, but in traditional astrology it’s ruled by Mars. Now your two guiding planets are headed for an unusual meeting, which takes place in late April. Yet this is the kind of thing to consider long in advance. What this event gives you is a kind of growth lever. Consider the very most important changes you would make in your life — the ones you wish you could make, but don’t have the time, strength or resources for. Now is the time to consider doing precisely those things, whether you know how you’re going to get it done or not. The idea is to set your intention, but in the immediate moment, to draw in a vision for how you want your life to be. Then, elaborate specific changes you want to make from there, and you have set the wheels in motion. It’s likely that events will conspire in some unexpected way to bring some of those changes to fruition, and others that obviate seeming necessities may turn out to be less than necessary. Powerful forces are at work; it’s essential that you remain alert.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — You may be finding it difficult to reconcile two different projects or sets of plans or goals, which feel like two left shoes on one day and two right shoes the next. Keep working both sides of the equation separately, doing your best to not mind that one does not seem to fit the other. Devote yourself fully to whatever you’re doing at the time. Remember that the ‘big picture’ is still there whether you see it or not, and that there are more moving parts to this equation than just two. After a while you will start to tune in to the common ground, and the shared purpose, of the different things you’re experimenting with. When discussing your plans, stick to specific people who have been helpful in the past, or with whom you share an unusual bond now. The meeting place where ideas intersect with the people who can carry them out will begin to open up, especially as you let down your guard and open up. Remember that ideas and people are the two most important resources you can have available; they lead directly to all else, and your life is rich with both.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Though Mercury direct and Mars retrograde are dominating astrological news, something that influences you more personally is happening — on March 6, Jupiter will station direct in your opposite sign Cancer. This may hold the answer to the ‘so much potential, so little movement’ riddle. Yet when things get moving they are really going to rock. Jupiter will make an opposition to Pluto in your sign. With that, Mars in Libra and Uranus in Aries form a grand cross — an aspect that has you at the center. This is a moment of astrology that calls for a bold and courageous approach. Therefore, take what you would normally consider your idea of brave and magnify it by about 10-fold — then you’re in range. As part of this experience you may have to admit to yourself just how cautious you tend to be, and how that impacts your life. But forces larger than you are pushing you out of your safe zone and out of the labyrinth of your own mind, into the open where you can actually get something productive done. That as we all know is your bottom line.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — If you feel that experiencing true self-esteem is like skating out into the middle of a lake on a somewhat warm winter day, not knowing how thick the ice is, you’re correct. That is, at least, how it’s manifesting now. You don’t need to be confident, only willing to dare. You don’t need external reassurance, only a modicum of not caring what others might think. And bear in mind that every past opinion or judgment about yourself is now calling on you to split the difference with some radically different factor or source of information. If you are wondering when you might encounter more like-minded people, or perhaps more accurately, those on a similar growth mission, you need look no further than the people who immediately surround you, with whom you share ideas regularly. Though the feeling of isolation may be quite real at times, it is wholly an illusion. And if you are wondering when the creative explosion is going to begin, count to three.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — This weekend’s New Moon is a custom-tailored event, designed to ease your way through life, open up your potential and remind you exactly who you are. You could not want a better — or more interesting — solar return chart. It’s so beautiful it’s worth describing the astrology in some detail. Within your sign, the New Moon lands right between the two main players there, Neptune and Chiron. It’s leaning a little in the direction of Chiron, a planet that is granting you the abilities and perceptual skills of someone from the 23rd century, which is how you might feel sometimes. But Neptune is right there, bestowing a blend of clairvoyance and creative inspiration that could light up the countryside all around you. The Moon-Sun conjunction does one other thing — it’s trine your ruling planet Jupiter exact to one-sixth of a degree. This shows how far you’ve come in your ability to receive nourishment from the world around you. Just a few days after the New Moon, Jupiter stations to direct motion in Cancer, releasing even more of your potential. So I suggest you plant yourself firmly in the present, look around at the astonishing opportunities that surround you and remind yourself every day that the doors are all open.