Spider Medicine and the Solstice Cluster

Photo by Eric Francis.

Dear Friend and Reader:

LAST NIGHT my friend asked me to help her deal with a black widow spider. One of the most poisonous species in North America, the critter had made her web below the step leading into the front door, and no matter how many times the web was removed, she would return.

Last night she was sitting amidst the chaotic, sticky and extremely strong tangles of her home, looking large and pregnant. Any day, thousands of baby black widows could be born, and slip through tiny spaces into the house. The idea of a black widow infestation made the prospect of dealing with this critter right at that moment seem rather appealing, even though neither of us were particularly looking forward to it. We could see her bright red hourglass and two yellow eyes staring back at us, reflected in the flashlight.

First I took some photos, which came out surprisingly well given that I had all the wrong equipment, no experience doing bug portraits, and was focusing in the dark. Then came the decision: what to do, and how to do it. We both decided that killing her was out of the question. We didn’t want to hurt her, and we didn’t want to mess with what is called Spider medicine — the energetic patterns and properties that are carried by Spider in the cosmic sense. When you encounter an animal, particularly outside of captivity, you will often encounter its medicine.

“Spider medicine is the medicine of the master weaver,” writes one website, summarizing the work of Ted Andrews, my favorite writer on the subject of animal guides. “Spider wove the alphabet, and brought the ability for man to communicate, and record their history through language. It is through Spider’s weaving that the creative forces bring forth the beautiful intricate patterns of our lives. Spider medicine reminds us that it is not ourselves, but the Universe which has the design for the fabric of our lives.”

Many myths pick up on this imagery of weaving, webs, stories and the story of our lives, such as Arachne (the namesake of Arachnids), Sulis Minerva and others. As a writer, I have the utmost respect for spiders. That the one for whom I was now sharing responsibility was potentially deadly only heightened that respect. In any event, it took us about an hour, including plenty of time contemplating strategy, but we were able to capture her in a large jar on the first try; and we did so without harming her, or getting bit. Then we carried her about a block away from the house, and let her go a little further away from people than she had been.

Then I had an unusual experience. After this project, safe inside the house, I noticed the cat, Sammie, a beautiful, black, fluffy thing. You know, I really noticed her and felt her presence. For a moment, she seemed even more human than usual, but the warm, cozy psychic connection I had with her suddenly contrasted with how deeply we had gone into the consciousness of this big, black spider after being absolutely, intently focused on her and her survival for an hour.

Weaving the Story of Our Lives

Photo by Tia.

The cosmic weaver is picking up the pace of creation over the next month. As we all know, she can seem quite alien to us, as we work our way through the tangles and webs of the stories that seem to emerge in our lives. Do we get caught in these webs, or do we move deftly along them? Do they feed us, or entangle us? Do we have relationships, or entanglements?

The planets and stars for the lunar month from June 15 (Gemini New Moon) through July 14 (Cancer New Moon) portend an intricate dance between fate and free will. While we may not be the ultimate designer, intention counts in moments when circumstances are changing rapidly. We will during this time very likely experience numerous points of decision, or crises of decision. Those not used to making decisions may go into temporary meltdowns, unsure of what to do or how to do it. What we will learn is that we are not really in control of our lives, but we’re not really out of control, either. Rather, we are co-creators with ourselves and with the cosmic patterns.

Then there are opportunities, which will be revealed as true or false; in or out of accord with our values; in greater or lesser harmony with what we want. Most of this occurs during Mercury retrograde in Cancer, which is going to take us on a trip backwards into our feelings, including early childhood memories and emotions that are usually inaccessible.

What I am calling the Solstice Cluster includes the last hurrah of the Saturn-Neptune opposition, a long-term aspect that has been influencing us since at least the time of the presidential “election” in late 2004, into the Asian tsunami and the time of the big hurricanes, Katrina and Rita in the summer of 2005. The clash of fantasy with reality, skepticism and cynicism, truth and lies, and the difficulty of holding our plans together, are all part of this. So, too, is the way certain things seem to be caught in an ever-deepening mire. Because this is a world transit, it affects us all, though in different ways. That will be covered in much greater detail in next week’s edition.

Many of these aspects are also covered in great detail in the Planet Waves Northern Solstice Report written by the Planet Waves astrologers. This is a separate report, which you can order here. This report, written by the Planet Waves astrologers, covers asteroids and minor planets not discussed in this article, and includes several astrological charts.

Gemini New Moon, overnight Thursday to Friday in most time zones, June 14 at 11:13 pm Eastern Standard Time, at 24+ Gemini. This is conjunct the centaur planet Cyllarus, which (as the presence of any centaur does) accelerates the processes indicated by the lunation, and reminds us to be conscious of the choices we are making in our lives — particularly the choice to fight, or walk away from a fight. Cyllarus reminds us that the decisions we make in life directly affect our relationships profoundly, and we need to be conscious of them in this context. We are connected by the threads of our lives to every person in our lives.

Mercury stations retrograde on Friday, June 15 at 7:40 pm Eastern Daylight Time, at 11+ Cancer. Depending on what house it occurs in, the retrograde will affect every person differently, and attitude counts for a lot. Processing the emotions with the mind is not always possible; this situation says feel first, think second. Logic is not what it used to be under this influence. Water sign Mercury retrogrades seem to be more challenging for those with fewer water planets, because they center us so deeply on our emotions, which are in motion. This retrograde backs up right into a square with the Aries Point, so we can expect an acceleration of the news during this phase.

The world events acceleration will be pushed by a series of planetary occultations by the Moon, as well as by a Full Moon in Capricorn on June 29 that comes within 10 degrees of squaring the Aries Point. Remember that all of these events (as in personal events, and news events) are occurring with Mercury retrograde. They are likely to be a little strange (but we’re used to it). We will need to wait awhile before we know the truth, but instincts count for a lot right now.

Move gently, and don’t push decisions — remember that your decisions are opportunities. This is not the time to come to “final conclusions,” but rather to gather the information that will lead you to them. The overarching message of this Mercury retrograde seems to be about understanding the influences from the past that are still shaping your life today.

Here is a do-it-yourself interpretation guide. Look up your Sun sign and/or ascendant, then match it to the house themes in this guide to the astrological houses. The house that comes up is a theme that you will be working on, and remember, this is styled by the sign Cancer, feelings, the past, nourishment of yourself and of others, and all themes related to personal emotional security. Cancer is about our emotional boundaries, and the boundary between the past and the present, which we will be exploring during this phase. Here is where the retrograde occurs, for each of the astrological Sun signs. Look up the meaning of the house in the link in blue right above. (And remember, astrology is ‘all about the houses’.)

Aries – 4th solar house, security
Taurus – 3rd solar house, ideas
Gemini – 2nd solar house, money
Cancer – 1st solar house, identity
Leo – 12th solar house, dreams
Virgo – 11th solar house, friends

Libra – 10th solar house, career
Scorpio – 9th solar house, beliefs
Sagittarius – 8th solar house, agreements
Capricorn – 7th solar house, relationships
Aquarius – 6th solar house, work
Pisces – 5th solar house, sexuality

Remember — Mercury is telling a story, and guiding us to investigate our past story and how it’s influencing us now. It always is, though awareness helps us shift that relationship. Remember, often the past is not dead; it is not usually even past. What is the story we are telling ourselves about the past? Is it really true? Are we depending too heavily on interpretations? Do we really have the facts?

Mini-cluster: Moon occults Venus, Monday June 18, Sun opposes the Galactic Core and Pluto and then the Moon occults Saturn overnight Monday to Tuesday June 18 to 19. An occultation is when the Moon exactly covers over a planet. There are a number of them this month, and they always come with accelerated events. Occultations work like eclipses. With Venus involved, the past could overshadow the present.

Sun enters Cancer (Northern Solstice), Thursday, June 21 at 2:07 pm Eastern Daylight Time. This activates the Aries Point, sending the message that the personal is political. The seasonal turning point often tips the balance of important events for both individuals and society, and where the two connect.

Chiron opposite Venus, June 22, 2:21 am Eastern Standard Time. Barbara Hand Clow astutely associated this aspect with what she calls “catastrophobia.” This can be associated with cultural level fear, such as of terrorism, economic collapse or the death of our species; or our personal fears more associated with what we normally think of as relating to Venus. In any event, we can see our fears in contrast, and stop covering them over with our various coping mechanisms (Starbucks, shopping, trivial nonsense) that basically just stuff them deeper.

Uranus stations retrograde in Pisces, Saturday, June 23 at 10:43 am Eastern Daylight Time. Outer planet retrogrades are always more interesting than we may think. Personally I would take this as revising ideas and innovations, to the extent that you have any. This is enriching for the imagination, if you go for that kind of thing. Associated so closely with the Solstice, it counts for triple, and add extra points if you’re a Pisces.

Mars ingresses Taurus, Sunday, June 24 at 5:26 pm Eastern Daylight Time. Can you say hot? However, beware that those born under the sign Taurus may be feeling a little extra spicy and/or feisty, and may start to exert their will, desire and passion outwardly in ways you’re not exactly accustomed to. This happens every two years. For everyone, this is about finding your own values and not doing what you are told by television commercials and store displays.

Saturn opposite Neptune, third exact pass, Monday, June 25, 11:57 am, Eastern Daylight Time. This will be covered extensively in next week’s edition — stay tuned. For now, suffice it to say this. Saturn in Leo has not exactly been a party for many people. It has its definite advantages, but it can create a serious struggle with our organic vitality. Expressing anything, be it creativity or feeling, is a challenge under this two-year placement, which ends this summer. The opposition to Neptune has added a complicated twist, often making it difficult to see what is true and what is not. At times, it feels like less than usual is sure or secure, and on our planet, most of the time we tend to live with very little certainty. However, the uphill push of Saturn in Leo will create a foundation that we will be able to build on for many years.

Sun conjunct Mercury, interior conjunction (associated with Mercury retrograde, marking the exact halfway point), Thursday, June 28, at 2:40 pm Eastern Daylight Time.

Capricorn Full Moon at 8+ degrees Capricorn, Saturday, June 30 at 9:49 am Eastern Daylight Time. This is a trigger aspect and it’s likely to be intense for many people — Full Moons tend to be emotional and feel out of control; many people can barely keep a grip on themselves. However the association of the sign Cancer and other activity that particular weekend say be aware, ride the waves, and don’t push people or yourself — this astrology has a lot of momentum. Feel it! Don’t play games with fate; dance with her. The association with the Aries Point suggests strongly that we are in a time of small causes and big effects (a theme of the centaur Pholus, and of astrology itself).

Venus in Leo sweeps through the Saturn-Neptune opposition Saturday morning through Sunday morning, first opposing Neptune in Aquarius on Saturday, June 30, then conjoining Saturn in Leo on Sunday July 1. This is a transition point; it may feel like a test, and if it is one, it’s a test of values. Saturn-Neptune has been a long discussion over “what is real and what is not.” The Earth is positioned between them, and Venus, the planet of love, is joining the Earth, reminding us that without love in the dream, it will never come true. My advice to you this weekend is just love. Love as much as you can. Love yourself, love the people around you, love the good that is in your life. There is a lot of support in doing this. Venus is the cosmic twin of Earth and she is here to help.

Moon in Aquarius occults Neptune, Tuesday, July 3. This looks to me like a moment of freedom from the chaos and delusion of our “culture.”

Earth is furthest from Sun (aphelion), Saturday, July 7. I have never studied the astrological signification of this, but it’s interesting, anyway.

Mercury stations direct, Monday, July 9 at 2+ Cancer, just shy of squaring the Aries Point (but well within range).

Cancer New Moon, Saturday, July 14 at 21+ Cancer. Venus ingresses Virgo, getting ready to go retrograde. Mars is applying in a square to Chiron. This draws an end to the lunar month we are now entering. The Mars-Chiron aspect is about getting over our hang-ups about desire and sex. It’s about being real about what you want, and remembering that honoring desire is as much an issue of integrity as is “being good.” By now we may have a clear understanding about how the past is influencing us. The New Moon will be a clear chance to take a giant step beyond.

Speaking of the past, here is a note about this week’s horoscope. I am not back to writing horoscopes yet, and we don’t have an “end of month monthly” for June. I have chosen to do something different, which is run an archive horoscope. This is from August 1999, a time that was a pivotal moment in most of our lives. How do the stories you are living today differ from what you were doing right before Y2K? The horoscope, with its original introduction, is posted below. For more about the total solar eclipse of Aug. 11, 1999, please see this article, Thinking of You on Judgment Day.

Grandmother Land. Photo by Eric Francis.

The Wo-Hop Diaries. Photo by Priya Kale.

The Fulcrum: Planet Waves from August 1999

Every day, humanity passes gateways into the future. Most of the time, we hear about the scary ones: species dying off that will never return; environmental disasters which can never truly be cleaned up; laws passed that will create generations of social regression; technological breakthroughs in fields like biotech which can never be reversed, and which threaten to lead humanity down some very dark roads. I believe we must pay attention to those kinds of obvious thresholds, and do what we can about them, but at the moment there is a far more intriguing issue at hand.

By now, you’ve probably heard about the total eclipse of the Sun on August 11th. This is a rare and beautiful astrological and astronomical event, as unique as the appearance of a brilliant comet, but far more personal and tangible in its meaning. The solar eclipse is in the sign Leo, the sign of the Sun itself, and it is worth noting that, due to an unusual pattern, it has been a generation since solar eclipses have visited this zone of consciousness (the first Leo solar eclipse in about 18 years was last summer). This means wherever Leo exists in your chart, heart and mind, there has been some kind of great delay which is in the process of very dramatically reversing.

Because of the “grand square” aspect which accompanies this eclipse (thus the big fuss), Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius — the other “fixed signs” — are very much involved. Speculation is running wild in the astrological community about what this eclipse means, with some suggesting collective disaster is imminent, and others asserting that it’s about a planetary birthing and a dawn of consciousness. I believe the reality is that this eclipse represents a personal choice between the two, and that our personal choices will add up to a collective decision that will pour into the future.

Normally, we are never given the opportunity to cast a vote about the fate of the Earth, or so we think. We are told we are powerless and meaningless, and that we just better work at personal survival (or greed) and forget the larger questions. Never was this cynical viewpoint more dangerous. Choice is at hand, and we will live with the effects of our decisions for a long time to come. We live in a very special age in history — with its exceedingly rapid technological progress, with its seeming state of mass-hypnosis and mass-suicide (ecocide), and yet with some unknown percentage of the human family experimenting with, or succeding at, realizing its full potential.

While the “new age” is a kind of fad on one level, it is clear to me that it may only take a small but critical mass of sincere people agreeing to go through a psychological and emotional healing crisis, and to work with the light to turn the whole process of destruction around. At a minimum, those people who work with the light now are agreeing to be links in the chain of karma that will carry the message of love forward through time. And this is very, very important to remember.

I believe we stand at a fulcrum point in planetary history. A fulcrum is a pivotal instant of change which is magnified by time and space. It is the telescope that moves a millimeter on Earth and sees a difference in the heavens that can be expressed in light years. It is the seed we plant that cultivates through the ages, becoming something much vaster in the future.

At this fulcrum, everything we say, think and do is, I believe, entered into the long-term growth process of the planet, and has the potential to become greatly magnified in the times to come. So our choices, our ideas, our statements and especially our actions are truly vital right now, more than ever before.

In the simplest terms, our choice is betwen whether we want to live in a reality that is based on love, or one that is based on fear. Many of you who are reading this have spent countless hours in workshops, seminars and involved in spiritual devotions designed to create some kind of enlightenment or change in your life. But what is that change? And how do you know you are really there?

It comes down to how we relate to fear. If you are still afraid, no matter how much work you have done on yourself in the past, you’re living in a state of limitation, and, some would say, illusion. You’ll know you’re afraid if you worry a lot, if you’re scared of people, and if you have a hard time surrendering to the present moment and your own highest potential (which are the same thing). Now, right now, you have a chance — a rare, brilliant and very potent opportunity — to take a quantum leap forward. You and only you have the power to let this be real in your own life, and to make your singular, authentic contribution to the fate of the Earth. And you have it right now.

If there was ever a month when all the signs of the horoscope related to all people, this is the one. We all live in one universe. I have done my best to interpret the eclipse as well as I can, and much of my writing, in horoscope columns and elsewhere, has been aimed at preparing for this shift in awareness. In the interpretations that follow, I have strived to be practical rather than exuberant. I will let you fill in the lust and passion for life as you go through your process of becoming. In terms of which signs apply to whom, at the very least, the Leo horoscope is collective in nature, and Taurus, Scorpio and Aquarius will be meaningful to many of you as well. And because our reality is such a tense stuggle between structure and feeling, Capricorn may speak to many of you as well. If you don’t know your rising or Moon signs, this would be a good time to have a look at your chart and get these important pieces of your astrological puzzle in place.

Astrology, though, is an imperfect art. I would urge you to allow life itself — far more than your stars — to be meaningful right now. Do what you must to let this moment be real and your life process be valid, because we are going forward, and we’re not coming back.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Perhaps life would be easier if you understood the nature of the confrontation you find yourself in the midst of. I give you a lot of credit for taking it this far, and I suggest you do the same. You are finally seeking your freedom, but remember that this takes a highly advanced sense that life is about play more than it’s about work. In terms of your relationship to whatever is challenging or provoking you, it’s possible that you’ve reversed the roles involved; that it’s really you who now finds it necessary to challenge the stifling, limiting values you have internalized from authority figures, rather than someone else doing it to you. Next, the person to whom you’ve delegated the role of apparent challenger has far more in common with you than you are noticing, and by that, I mean he or she is here to awaken you to what you really want out of life but have long forsaken. Remember that whatever you are facing involves all of your relationships, not just one, because you are the one thing that all your relationships have in common. You are far too accustomed to viewing yourself as the inferior being, whether in family involvements, professional situations or personal affairs. If you want to be happy, bringing this philosophy of defeatism to a swift and conclusive halt would be quite helpful, for it is all that obstructs your path into a life that’s about exploring joyous and untold creative adventures with people who are truly your equals.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
Perfection is not a value. Remember this when facing your human limits and evaluating your human creations. What seem to be your errors do not throw the universe out of whack, though your mind is a different story. At the moment, this is especially important to consider in your most personal relationships, which may have seemed distorted or somehow imperfect over the past two years. In these and all other affairs, it would help immensely if you eliminated the endless preconditions you have set for yourself. Perfectionism is a vicious mental game. It’s a way of holding yourself to the imagined standards of a long-gone past, which is an inheritance from ancestors (including parents) who largely viewed life as an unfair struggle. Living their defeatist philosophies is a way of guaranteeing that you will always fail no matter how good you are, which is a thinly-disguised form of hating yourself — and experience has surely taught you this leads nowhere. If you’re wondering what you need to do or be prior to accomplishing something real, I would propose the answer is nothing. You need no special preparation, no additional learning, and no permission. You need merely to act. If you need help, try a different game than “perfectionism.” Imagine you have the infinite assistance of spiritual agency, or that you have direct access to universal intelligence. Call it your higher-self, angelic intelligence, an inner adjuster, living spirit, or Goddess/God. Pretend — and pretending is faith enough — that it will take care of all the details you’ve missed or forgotten. Let it do all the worrying, while you do all the creating.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Consciousness is the medium of reality. For all the debates over how the world physically manifested, evolved or was created, our real journey here is an endless stream of observations, decisions and emotional reactions. Rarely do we consider the genesis of awareness itself. It’s arguable that awareness is the only thing that can ever truly change, or activate change. And while the notion of “evolution” used to be about apes becoming people, we now know it is an evolutionary journey of consciousness. The mind interprets the meaning of what we experience, and adapts to the necessities with which we are faced. We are now learning the extent to which we can change our beliefs and make the “impossible” happen. We are slowly learning to use thought to direct and create our values and emotional responses. The important thing to remember is that we are the ones deciding; we are steering the vehicle of consciousness. In this moment, you stand in a place that is at once unfamiliar, unpredictable and may be truly daunting in its power. You stand on the threshold beyond thought. What you possess — as ever — is a most agile ability to respond, and to adapt; this means you really can create a new universe for yourself from the exceedingly fertile ingredients available to you right now, in this moment. You get to create the choices that will take you to the next place in life. At least on the level of ideas — where everything begins — limits are perfectly meaningless.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
The crisis of “self-worth” is one of the most pervasive in our culture, and nobody is exempt. Consider all the millionaires who have the money thing down to a science, but who are lonely, and feel worthless, wishing they had the guts to pick up a paintbrush, or play a Mozart sonata on their $20,000 grand piano. What now occurs is a revelation of your true value, a personal exposé of something long-concealed beyond the distorted picture you have formed of your true meaning. The distortion is consistent with the idea that the bottom line equals an hourly wage. Due to the perverse nature of our materialistic society, the hourly wage question seeps its way into all kinds of more private matters, such as whether we are “worth” anything in loving relationships. Yet your personal revelation is not about whether you are worth $10 or $1,000 per hour, or “worth” being loved; it is about the question of self-possession versus being possessed. It is about whether you ultimately see yourself as a free person or as a slave. On another level, it is about whether you view yourself as a marketable commodity, or as a contributor to a soul-deprived society in dire need of true and authentic participants. Approach the question as a financial one, and you address a tiny fraction of the matter. Approach it as a question of your total life, in which you are seeking prosperity, freedom, love and the right to make a difference, and you’ll discover the divine gold of which you are made.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
The essence of the total solar eclipse in your own birth sign is recognizing the essentially identical nature of creativity and the sexual force within you. Our culture struggles with both creative and sexual crisis. Our jobs are, for the most part, totally boring. There is a war between the sexes, which blocks full expression of love and sexuality, and hence, full expression of life. Meanwhile, homophobia blocks not only exploration of same-sex experiences, but also self-exploration. Then we get stuck doing things one way, or thinking in one pattern, wondering how life got so jammed-up. Making the connection between your sexual power and your creative power on a very personal level would allow you to get beyond this battle. Perhaps you have been getting this message in recent years, in the form of those bells ringing with your true potential, combined with the presence of provocateurs who have entered your life. In any case, you’re unlikely to miss it now, as long as you flow with the energy. A key to this eclipse is the experience of movement. To move with grace, you must find your center, align your mind to that center, and then flow with the rhythm; in simple terms, be yourself, no matter how passionate, sexual or creative you are. Do not compromise this for anyone or anything. Movement involves autonomy (literally, becoming self-named), and possessing a sense of progress independent from the world’s harsh judgments on people who exhibit beauty or originality. To grow and thrive in the coming years, you must stay one with that dependable inner flame which ignites your soul, fuels your creative passion, draws you to others, and lights your way through the dark.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
The beauty of this eclipse, for you, is that it throws open the cosmic flood gates, granting you access to awareness that, among few people on the planet, you are prepared to make excellent use of. Perhaps this is because you take the teachings of wisdom so personally, and apply them so directly to your reality. What this world calls “spiritual movements” have a great deal to learn about involving themselves with what is practical and sensible; in a sense, with the mundane rather than the abstract. Virgo is one of the most important significators of both practicality and of service. More than ever, your tendency will be to work in service of what is far greater than yourself, and to access information from beyond the ordinary realms, then put it to work in the verifiable world. What you need to focus on is making this process work for you personally. We have had enough martyrs and people who have lived lives of sacrifice. So, strive for symbiosis between planetary needs and your most personal needs. Imagine that they are really one and the same; let this be real, because it is. Humanity is not really at war with its environment.This thought will allow you to work toward your highest possible goals in a way that serves your needs for community and prosperity. Along these lines, I offer you a word of caution. Love relationships that are based on sacrifice, possession and control can no longer persist in the becoming world. They defy everything for which we are working. You can refuse to play that game by insisting on equal terms in all of your relationships, starting now.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
Dreams often take time to come true. And what sometimes happens is that while we’re patiently working and developing our dreams, new ones spring from our hearts, seeking our attention. This can be very challenging, and we often tend to view it as a problem. But look at it this way. Many people persist in this life without any kind of visioning process. There is no infinite wellspring from which to draw, no creative geyser spouting forth new ideas and new desires, and so life dries up and eventually amounts to something you and I would barely call “life” at all. So first, please thank the forces of nature for your creativity. Take a moment every day and reflect on the beauty of the Infinite Mind and its Infinite Source. This Leo eclipse is, for you, a brilliant opportunity to wipe clear your personal dreamscape, to erase your field of worldly and heavenly desires, and, in a very real sense, to catch up with yourself. Examine your mind, and evaluate what you find carefully, discarding the dreams you no longer desire or value, throwing away what no longer aligns with the strange and beautiful self you are rapidly becoming. And then start again, expressing your freshest, most real desires to yourself with passion and authentic creative innocence. Remember to envision what you want to become, what you want to receive, and what you want to give, for you will have opportunities to do all of these things.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
What is the basis of your idea of power? Is it belief in “power over,” is it fear, or, in the fabled Scorpionic-style of the ancient astrologers, is it the power of secret control? Hmmmm. Or is it, perchance, the awareness that you possess an unspeakable something that commands respect without your having to do much of anything? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could bring this aspect of yourself into full bloom? Is this not one of your dearest desires? In truth, you may be at war with this very quality (or potential quality) of your being, owing to all those past times when it seems to have failed you. But in these days, the past is no basis by which to judge the future. In support of your birthright, I can offer you these ideas. In order to tap into what we can call your silent power, you must let go of control, particularly the emotional kind. Along these lines, it’s important to let go of the notion that fear ever works toward any positive end or constructive purpose except in the most dire moments of survival, and even then, it is best kept to a bare minimum. Fear contradicts love. They do not exist in the same place and time. The core power you are accessing is the power of love, and love is dependable, and will invest you with the true strength you need to carry on. Use this idea to protect and create, and to take your best opportunity in many, many years to penetrate the invisible ceilings into which you banged your head so many times as you’ve aspired to greater things.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
The practical task at hand is for you to sort out what helps you and what does not. Everything and everyone in your life needs to be put to this basic test, and when you discover hindrances, move swiftly to purge your life of them. When you discover who or what helps you, note it carefully. Keep asking within. Connect with the part of you that already knows. Life in the 20th century western world is obsessed with denying intuition, but if you partake in this insane game, you will be giving up your single most valuable resource, and what turns out to be the most important collective resource for humanity at this time. As you sort out what works and what does not, you will be contributing to something much larger; you will be preparing for assisting in an evolutionary leap that every person on the planet will be given an opportunity to take. Together we have the ability to change the destiny of humanity from its current path of violence, sleep and technological domination, to a more natural state of knowledge, love and freedom. It may take centuries for the majority of people to embark on this process, but for you it may now be a matter of days before the full commitment to a life that can honestly be called conscious is directly at hand. This is no small gift, and it has been bestowed upon you neither by accident, nor by fate. You have worked every day of your life toward this moment. Let it be real. Let you be real.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
It is clear that you’re being provoked, perhaps even to the point of feeling attacked. It’s also true that you feel compelled to give up something about yourself. With all things Capricorn, deliberation processes are long, careful and questions rarely resolve quickly. Yet I suggest you now prepare for an unusually rapid jolt of progress. Progress insinuates going beyond the past, and the entire past can be considered a vast haunted mental structure within which we find ourselves trapped now. It is not really possible to give up the past bit by bit and piece by piece; there is so much of it to deal with. It must be released all at once. And while many of the world’s spiritual traditions advise this, few proscribe easy or reliable methods. The answer, you could say, is learning to let go. So, here’s an obvious one. Consider the mystery of orgasm, of total surrender of mind, structure, time, place and knowledge; a surrender into freedom and awareness of an infinite now, through a gateway in which what can truly be called living wisdom is available. Because your life is about to become a cosmic orgasm, which can suddenly release you from all past values and all past attachments, it would work for you very nicely to practice the art of coming, of releasing your mind to ecstasy over and over, anticipating an imminent moment of transition in which you will be invited to step into a life beyond — a great beyond.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
It’s the mythology of our time in history that humanity is culminating in a stage of the great cycle named after your sign — the Age of Aquarius. Surely, no matter how far-removed from astrology you may be, you must have pondered your personal connection to this transition. In my opinion, you play a special role in the process of integrating values and ideals that must become real for many people, lest the human family take a turn down a very dark road. Aquarius is by nature extremely original, but I have no doubt that often, your process of originality is blighted by what amounts to guilt about how your ideas will challenge established structures of thought. It’s time for this to end. Your endless collecting information, ideas and wisdom has gone on long enough. Your process of seemingly limitless doubt has, as well, gone on for more than an adequate time to determine that your ideas about the world are valid, if not absolutely true. It is time to begin sharing what you have gathered, collected and synthesized. Your time of silence has ended. Whoever may be the potential recipient of these gifts is now ready to receive them, as you are more than ready to begin sharing. The two wavy lines of Aquarius are lines of conductivity. The process of society transforming is a process of relationship, of connecting. So when relating to all people, in the most private or public contacts, cultivate and extend a vision of a new world, and live that vision.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Buddhists, Yogis and others on the enlightenment trip frequently address the need to “be here now.” In western culture, we are so entwined in schedules, commitments, debts and desires that we usually have no clue whatsoever what this means, much less a tangible sense of its reality. We are rarely ever here now. The mystical traditions speak of both a past and a future that neither exist, nor have any real power over us, and urge us to realize that when we are caught in either mode, we are lost in a fantasy world. But then, there are the moments when reality just dawns on our minds. Have you ever slipped into the awesome state of consciousness in which this truth blazes out at you? Have you seen a field of weeds or the pattern of bricks resonate with universal wisdom? Have you ever experienced a flash of insight into how much you just simply know in this very instant? I have reason to believe you are ready to experience this quality of thought all the time. If, however, you view this as “embarking on a path of spiritual practice,” remember that practice insinuates future results, and the results of which I speak are an immediate change of mind. We both know you have ambitious goals and a sense of important choices to make. Yet the only time within which we have access to choice is NOW. Now is the only dimension of time in which thought or action is truly possible. And, oddly enough, if you stay in this very moment, fear becomes a meaningless notion, because it’s so rare that there’s cause for fear right now. Check it out.

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