The Atlantis New Moon

Dear Friend and Reader:

Monday is the New Moon in Cancer. It’s the first New Moon after the solstice, with potent emphasis for many reasons — especially because it’s happening right in the middle of the sign, which represents a peak of energy. Cancer is the sign of home, of security and of nourishing the brood. So any theme of this New Moon “comes home” to us.

Mercury is close by (in Cancer, just two degrees from the Sun-Moon conjunction), moving in retrograde motion, about to make conjunctions to both the Moon and the Sun, so this New Moon doubles as the midpoint of our current Mercury retrograde phase, which ends July 20.

Atlantis as envisioned for the Nat Geo program Finding Atlantis, and featured in the Planet Waves edition. The image is a composite of many ideas from classical monuments.

The Sun has just finished passing through the Uranus-Pluto square — the 2012-era aspect (it was exactly square Uranus in Aries on July 4, lending a revolutionary or at least restless and rebellious feeling to the day).

We’re seeing this dramatized by what may have been the largest protests in human history this past week, with some 14 million people protesting throughout Egypt during the past few days, forcing the ouster of Mohammed Morsi. This represents a popular pushback against Muslim fundamentalism in government. Meanwhile, the people of America, the U.K. and Europe remain a sleeping giant, lulled by our relative comfort and the media’s portrayal of our lives as so good.

There’s an especially interesting feature to this New Moon, which is that it’s exactly (to the degree) conjunct the asteroid Atlantis. This is a beautiful asteroid that’s emblematic of the times in which we live. Atlantis was the perhaps-mythical society (it’s a very persistent myth) that was swallowed by its inability to handle its own technology. In J.R.R. Tolkien’s telling of the story, the society fell to a spiritual crisis of its materialism combined with its lust for immortality.

The themes of the asteroid Atlantis (discovered Sept. 7, 1931) involve questions about the ethical use of technology, coexisting with a sense of potential doom; the lurking fear that our karma will catch up to us; the abuse of resources, talents and information; and the importance of confidentiality. (Thanks to the eminent Martha Lang-Wescott for helping to delineate this point.)

Is there a better way to describe the deep spiritual themes that we now confront? Is there a better way to describe this than being in the sign Cancer, cautioning us that unless addressed consciously, collective problems and values can come home in a real way?

Every issue that we face as a society comes back to Atlantis. Each influences all of us, and each person directly. In recent weeks, we’ve learned that numerous services we depend on and love are being monitored and recorded, along with our debit/credit card statements. We learn more about the seemingly endless global ‘war on terror’ every day. We see, ongoing, the effects of global warming. In these very days, there’s been a massive assault launched on women’s reproductive rights, which means the personhood and physical autonomy of women.

Humans are adaptable and can make a home in simple digs. This is how people in Kulusuk, Greenland live today, photographed in June 2013 by Chelsea Bottinelli. The locals keep icebergs for pets.

With each passing week, we learn more about the effects of GMO foods and the ocean of agricultural chemicals that are necessary to grow it.

All of this has personal ramifications: We all live in the same environment. We all eat food. You or your partner or your daughter depends on access to reproductive health care. Each of these reaches us in the most private elements of our lives.

Yet it’s easy to see that the questions of ethics and technology come even closer to home. What is the effect of so many of our personal bonds being reduced to experiences on Facebook or text message (notably, that are not actually private)? What’s the effect of the endless cycle of marketing, consumerism and wastefulness? How do we feel living in a world where cheap and easy overrules smart and humane?

It’s possible to dumb ourselves down and pretend none of this matters (or that we can’t do anything about it anyway). I would say that most people are operating at about one-third their potential intelligence, probably because it takes some work to think and it’s uncomfortable to know too much. Yet there’s a message from retrograde Mercury conjunct the New Moon: Even when in denial, we figure things out. The truth is too obvious to pretend it doesn’t exist.

Most of our New Age philosophies extol the virtues of feeling good, but there’s only so good you can feel when your conscience is hankering, trying to get your attention, when you know you can make a difference. This New Moon pushes that issue. It does so in an emotional and intuitive way; its realizations come from the body outward. You might actually smell the plastic water bottle in your hand; you might visualize that plastic bag from CVS ending up in the ocean. You might notice the effects from that Dunkin’ Donuts carb and sodium blast.

Once your body tells you something, or your emotional body responds to your awareness of the truth, that’s the beginning of real change. We already know enough. Feeling the truth is the thing that can get you over the threshold.


Weekly Horoscope for Friday, July 5, 2013, #957 | By Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19) — There comes a time when life decisions must be based on something other than taking the safest path or the thing that seems to offer the most security. You might, in the alternate, make your choices based on what offers you the potential for deep healing, for resolving the past and for making emotional contact. This usually does not work out to be the thing that seems to solve all your problems; indeed, you might benefit most from exploring what makes you conscious of them. What I suggest you do is study both the past and your relationship to it. Our culture offers woefully few ways to be honest about personal history, even with oneself. We love to put a happy face on our feelings and call that moving on. Yet your history is speaking to you, it wants your attention and it has something precious to offer you. Take your time and listen to yourself.

Taurus (April 19-May 20) — There are two new influences working in your chart, and both relate to what is sometimes called sexual healing. In reality sexual healing is related to every other form of healing, though it’s a special focus. And it’s made all the more special for the denial that surrounds it. Both of these planets (a slow-mover that I refer to as Radha, and a beautiful asteroid called Vesta) call on you to be a vessel of service. In assisting others, you must be self-aware, present for the other, and allow the healing energy to move through you. The key ideas are awareness and allowing — rather than something like doing, deciding, acting, fixing, etc. This can take discipline, because kind people are usually intent on helping by way of solving something. In all matters external or internal, I suggest being observant and as present as possible. Your presence alone is reassuring. Your holding open safe space is reassuring. The power that heals is not you, though it can most certainly come through you.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You may be having many, many feelings, about yourself and your role or value in the world — though I suggest you pause when it comes to acting on them. You may have the sensation of some ultimate actions you think you need to take; you may feel like you’re at a kind of urgent turning point; you might think you’ve reached the end of your ability to handle something. There are a diversity of other possibilities that may be running through your mind and body, and I suggest you let them flow like a river. It will take you a little while to get to the bottom of what you’re experiencing, and I suggest you take it in layers. You have a way to go before you understand the situation in context. Part of the circumstances is that what you’re feeling is not easily translated into language. So it will take longer, come in more layers and be subject to interpretation — and feelings, of course, are famously contradictory. Take the time and get to know yourself. You will figure out what matters to you — because it actually matters.

Cancer (June 21-July 22) — You’re at one of those points of beginning where the best potentials and possibilities that you see may evoke your deepest fears. However, it’s possible that you might not see the connection between the two. It would help if there were a word for this experience — of being at that point of contact, and then being confronted by the potential of all that can go wrong, or the transient nature of our experience on Earth, or any lack of confidence that you may feel. One manifestation of making contact with your power could be that you fear you’ll abuse it. If so, I would offer that the people who actually do abuse their power don’t usually consider the possibility that they might. So if you’re feeling it, that thought, or that sensation of guilt, is a different manifestation. Most people are so conditioned to not only be powerless but to like it that way that any other experience can be pretty weird.

Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Your chart suggests that you feel like a new person. It’s as if certain elements of your personality have been sorted out and kept in a safe place, and certain other rare elements are filtering through to the surface. Consider this a kind of experiment in how you can feel so different that you actually can project that sense of difference into your life and those of the people around you. It looks like much of the emotional baggage you might ordinarily carry around is what’s being filtered out, and the ‘pure love’ aspect of who you are is coming through. The pure love attribute has some definite elements: one is a devotion to service. Another is awareness of the need for nourishment that all people have, and your own gift for helping with that. Another is devotion to your values. The last is transparency. If you feed and cultivate these aspects of who you are, they will grow ever stronger.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — Be realistic about the promises you make and those that others make to you. Ideally, I would propose that you not make any commitments of your time, energy or devotion for the next few weeks, unless they are one-time gifts that you give in the moment. And I suggest that while others may seem like they want to be a benefactor, give that time and see how that works out in practice rather than in theory. Be prepared not to collect on anything you’re promised for the next few weeks. I don’t mean be cynical and expect it not to happen; I mean, just hang loose and see what develops. You know you have good things coming to you, and you can trust that they will be better than anything that happens to not work out in the immediate future. One enlightened way to look at this is to see the gift in everything and everyone. That includes the gift of being able to explore until you encounter a situation that works for everyone.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Now is the time to consider your intentions carefully and to get clear about what you want to accomplish and why. This is unlikely to happen overnight, though you will have moments the next few weeks when you can add certain ideas to your list, and remove some that have been around for a while. One question is the extent to which money plays a role in your plan, and to focus some clear, disciplined ideas. It will also help to have some lines drawn between your desire to be helpful, your drive for success and the necessities of accomplishing both. It’s essential that you understand when you’re being driven by an emotional factor, and to sort through those emotions and get to some clarity. Take this one step at a time. Take notes and keep a discussion going with key allies and supporters via email and gradually come to an understanding with yourself.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — It’s as if you’ve climbed a very high mountain, and you’re looking around at the landscape that surrounds you, but something is still blocking your view. It may be a fog on your glasses, but more likely it’s an idea you have. The idea most likely relates to your concept of commitment, and of what is right and what’s wrong; what you think is demanded of you and what to expect from others. This idea is rooted in the past, and justified by past experiences. I suggest you stop using those experiences as a rationale for anything. Everyone has been hurt in their past relationships, to some degree or another. Many are in crisis in their current relationships. To get to a new place, we need to find a way to forgive all that, and to make conscious choices, but without mistrusting love. Were you to make the choice to trust, you could see for miles and miles.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Everything you need you will find in the current moment, including resolving a nagging partnership question that seems like it won’t go away. Well, that’s true enough — you need to resolve it. Yet the issue as you’re looking at it seems to be a mask over some other face. Your family background is complex and you may be aware that situations you thought were addressed or that you overlooked have deeper roots than you imagined. It would help if you would go all the way back on this one, and while you’re asking yourself why your life is what it is, and why your family has so much murky energy, ask why the human experience is what it is. What’s that thing that prevents people from getting along? Who are the instigators of discord and what motivates them? You have different motives. You have different desires. You are different from your predecessors, and if you remember that, you will put a stop to the influence they seem to have over you.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You may not understand what’s happening with certain people close to you, though you can be sure that you’re an influence in their lives. That’s the one factor not to doubt. Consider how you would conduct yourself if you were not a factor, and if your thoughts and feelings didn’t matter. It’s a lot different from how you would conduct yourself if you were certain that you were a direct influence. These two potential underlying assumptions result in two entirely different ways of being for you, and this is what I suggest you notice. You’ll come up with different theories as to why people act certain ways, what their motives are and whether they are trustworthy. It’s probably the case that someone close to you is having some deep questions about an element of their personal history. You may think they’re blowing it out of proportion — but in truth they are seeing it clearly for what may be the first time.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — The time has come to ask yourself what you are doing with your power. By ‘power’ I mean the creative gifts you have, such as talent, healing skills and other assets that can help support and sustain the community. We could include your energy, money, time and wisdom. When you look around you at the world and see what’s going on, and then you look at your life and notice how you invest your time, would you say that your allocation of resources is in proportion to what you are witnessing? Focusing specifically on your healing gifts, to the extent that you’ve developed them, where do you invest them and why? Do you use them to serve any purpose other than what they were intended for? This may require some careful untangling. We live in a society that tells us that it’s a sin to do anything except for profit, and that it’s suspect to be generous. Judging by your actions rather than your ideas, where do you stand on that particular theme?

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — You’re in a transition process from one life to another right now, and this will take some conscious focus if you want to make the most of the considerable opportunities that are approaching. The theme is getting a handle on your emotional energy, your creativity and your sexual gifts. By this I mean remembering what you’ve learned, and focusing your awareness, to the point where you have the confidence to see your own potential and to make the choices that you want to make. The sensation is one of gathering: your knowledge, your awareness of how trusted you are, and the abundant ideas that you have. The process of choosing begins with identifying options, evaluating them, and if none of them are suitable — here is the real lever — creating new possibilities that are more in line with what is brewing in your heart and soul. You can think of this as the actual creative aspect of your current quest, and the thing that will give you the experience of true freedom.

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