Under a Scorpio Sky

Dear Fellow Traveler:

The Sun has just entered Libra, yet the emphasis of the sky is already shifting into Scorpio. Everyone’s favorite planets, Venus and Mars, are now there, and we’re about to experience a relatively rare Venus retrograde, of which we’re already experiencing the first sensation.

For the next couple of weeks the Sun will be in Libra; the equinox was just a few days ago. Thursday there is a conjunction of the Sun and Saturn in Libra. This is a reminder of how much we’ve been through in the way of Saturn aspects to outer planets the past two years: five oppositions to Uranus and three squares to Pluto. By contrast this week’s astrology is a celebration that says whatever it is, you can handle it.

Next up, we have an impressive New Moon in Libra on Oct. 7. The Moon is connected to our sense of security, and this is a lunar event that goes to the heart of our questions about what it means to be secure on the planet. For a decade now, we’ve spent a lot of time and money installing metal detectors in schools, taking our shoes off at DHS checkpoints and getting searched on subway trains. I recently had to permanently surrender a mini-Leatherman from my camera bag so I could get onto the Ellis Island ferry. This week the federal government said it wants even more rights to pry into our email and social networking. Do we really live in a safer world as a result of all this control? I don’t think so.

The Oct. 7 chart says stop doing all those things supposedly designed to make you feel safe that really do no such thing. They’re the ones you do over and over again. What we get, though, is a reminder to balance our lives by investigating — and acting uponĀ — that which is the most important to us; that which bestows actual pleasure rather than the fleeting kind.

On Oct. 8, Venus stations retrograde in Scorpio. Venus is retrograde least of all the planetsĀ — just six weeks every 18 months, or about 8% of the time (compared to Mercury, retrograde an average of 12 weeks a year, or Pluto, retrograde five months each year). This is a deep transit, in part because Venus is said to be a difficult fit for Scorpio; traditionally, this is called being in her detriment.

The story of this transit is finding within ourselves everything we seek from others. And then it’s about offering those very things back outward. Of course, this contradicts the usual Western society thing of ‘acquire everything from the outside’, and that’s the beauty of the thing. This is an investigation of what we have; it’s an inquiry into what we value, and what is the most important to us. Most of all it’s an inquiry into what we feel.

The message I take away from these charts is that we need to practice our relationships as if people are individuals, not halves of a couple. This is true of how we live our relationships, and how we design them; it’s true of how we treat others around us, as well as partners and prospects. Whether we like it or not, many of the things we take for granted will be up for question. Yet the question may not be outwardly spoken: it’s part of a deep meditation on what it means to be alive in a time of total flux, and when truth seems to hold little currency. That is part of the fraud that we’re all working out how to liberate ourselves from, and if Venus retrograde suggests honing one thing, it’s the discovery process of what is authentically true for you.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis
Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope – October 2010

Aries Confidential

There’s only so challenging a relationship should be; only so many times that the same thing happens before a conscious attempt is made by both parties to shift the pattern. Yet you could say that within the seemingly endless workload that we create in our relationships, consciousness is the number one item on the agenda. Add a little of that and you are likely to notice that most of your struggle is pointless; that is to say, it lacks a tangible agenda, goal or orientation. This is true particularly if the pattern is repetitive or if there seems to be some lesson that you’re not learning. The futility is veiled by everyone’s investment in the situation: it’s likely to be some combination of emotional, sexual and financial, though lodged in what seems like an intractable place. It looks like you’re the one who has the power to move on, and the desire to let go of the past. It also looks like, as usual, you’re the one who is impatient and who is less willing to wait for something to happen, and more willing to work for a result. Yet a partner or love interest has a need to investigate a past issue. You may be too biased or too close to the situation to help out, but that does not dismiss the relationship. It does emphasize the fact that a relationship is the meeting of two individuals, not two halves of a couple.

Taurus Confidential

The presence of another person in your life may feel so strong that you’re wondering whether contact on any kind of equal terms is possible. Yet there is no contact with another without contact with yourself. The deeper you go into your own sense of presence in your world, the deeper you’ll delve into your experiences of others. Your solar chart suggests that you’ve been keeping secrets from yourself. These secrets involve your relationship history, and in particular, what your values about deep connection are and where they came from. More specifically, Venus retrograde in Scorpio suggests that you’re deeply involved in a process of understanding your sexuality and how it manifests in your relationships. This is as much a quest for understanding the past and its influences as it is about letting go of out-of-date ideas and emotional responses — which in part means letting go of your attachment to them. This is not as difficult as you may think, particularly when you assess the cost of the attachments and get a feeling for the benefits that can come when you take your life into your own hands. I would offer these queries. What is the meaning that you put on sex, and how did it get there? What is the value you ascribe to it, and has it actually demonstrated that value? And, what did you leave behind in the distant past that you want dearly to retrieve?

Gemini Confidential

There are times when we take a risk and seem to hit a wall, a limit or a restriction. Sometimes a seeming authority figure renders an opinion that something isn’t good enough. Other times, the idea of a risk is met by the response of fear. If any of that occurs in the next few weeks, remember: how you respond is more important than what happened. Your responses can range from discouragement to resentment to renewed determination. Yet once you go past the level of emotional impulse, there is a question about how you relate to your environment. What supports you, and what interferes with your creative process? I suggest you investigate everything from how your desk is arranged to the structure of your day. In considering people, are you seeking the approval of someone who seems incapable of offering it? The thing about any form of creative process is that it depends on answering to your inner authority; the notion of ‘authorship’ is about you being the one to grant yourself authorization. If you are caught in a loop where (for example) you’re seeking the approval of an actual person in your life, or covertly striving for the approval of parents who never gave it to you, that is something to look at closely. The clue would be that you tend to go in circles specifically where you put in enough love, energy and talent to make actual progress.

Cancer Confidential

Saturn in your security and home angle is a new development as of this year and in particular the past couple of months. This is a challenging transit; it’s compelling you to be resolute about certain emotional matters that you would rather avoid, to go beyond the appearance of peace of mind and put your roots into the real thing. Every day brings another reminder that the past is over. This transit may be coming with a bottom-heavy feeling and a sense that you cannot escape from certain emotional loops. True, you’ve been through some profound changes in the past year, but you may wonder what they add up to. This is not a matter of setting your standards lower. What Saturn’s presence suggests is the need for some deep cleaning of your spiritual closets. This is a process that will last the next two years. On one level there is no rush. On another, the sooner you focus on what you know you need to address, the sooner you’ll have the satisfaction of progress. Most of what you’re sifting through and sorting out is inherited material that you ended up with. Far from having no effect on your life, these ideas stand on a thinly veiled guiding principle: for example, informing your notion of what is possible. Let’s put it this way. If you don’t feel deeply that anything is actually possible, then someone else’s ideas are holding you down. You can drop that weight any time you want. It’s no source of comfort. Feeling good surely is.

Leo Confidential

Nearly all of the heavy lifting of our lives involves thought. It’s true that we still move house, move rocks and build barns, but in the lives of most Westerners, the ‘burden’, if I could call it that, is careful consideration of our situation. With Saturn recently beginning a two-year trip across your solar 3rd house, the house of ideas, of communication and of our relationship to technology, you’re seeing the value of involving yourself with these processes consciously. Recently this has involved finances; you seem to have worked out a complex issue, and are now finishing the cleanup. What you’ve learned the past two months has the power to set you ahead financially, if you will apply what you learned — and this is the time to do so. Early in the month, there’s some revelation where it all makes sense at once. The underlying theme is that money is not the mysterious thing that it’s made out to be by those who make a living flipping and stripping. It is a practical matter that facilitates other practical matters, and also some of the things you dream of. Yet many of the things that give us the most satisfaction require no funding at all. In our financially obsessed world, we need to remember that every single day. In the age of the $5 cup of coffee, few are the reminders that the best things in life are free. And that includes ideas.

Virgo Confidential

Go beyond appearances — all of them. I suggest that you question anything you do to appear a certain way, from wearing makeup to ‘dressing for the occasion’, to purchasing anything so that others know you have it. Question whether any belief you hold is designed to please another person, or whether it’s coming from the core of who you are. If you notice that you’re presenting yourself in a way designed to conceal something, or to please another person, it’s time to ask yourself the question so rarely asked: why? The answer ‘I do it for myself’ is not adequate now; you need to peel back that motive and see if there is something else. Knowing your real motives will only help you. It will help you, in particular, to move beyond any situation where you do the same thing over and over again, or where you don’t seem to get what you think of as ‘the lesson’. The only lesson you actually need is the awareness of what drives you. Making all of your motives conscious may be challenging and it may shake up certain things you think of as commitments, but at least you’ll be living on honest terms with yourself. It is almost always an unconscious motive that drives us in circles; that creates set-ups that prevent us from attaining what we think of as our goals. That level is usually the hardest to get to, and the most productive. If you get there, be grateful.

Libra Confidential

Our lives are filled with way too much effort. You have a knack for finding the efficient route, and the blessing of being easygoing enough that you’re able to keep your cool despite the considerable chaos that the world can inflict. But now is the time to focus on a kind of efficiency that will be remarkable even for you. You have a lot to do, and the first item on this agenda is to sort out several items that seem urgent but are not. This will leave room in your life for two focal points. One is a kind of external pursuit; something or someone you want and that wanting can be expressed by action, such as making a major decision, particularly a financial one. The other is an inward quest you may not be aware of yet. That quest is drawing you toward a contradiction about yourself that you’ve wanted to resolve for a long time. It typically has a repelling quality; involving yourself with it has all the allure of setting out to achieve the impossible on a day when your clothes and shoes don’t fit right. Yet something subtle is drawing you in; you may simply feel that it’s time, or you may decide that in order to feel like a complete person you must come to terms with this issue. It involves how you feel about yourself, and you might describe it as finally unraveling the conditions you place on unconditional love.

Scorpio Confidential

What happens in your most intimate relationships this month will tell you more about yourself than it tells you about a partner. This is information you’ve wanted for a while, and now it seems certain that you will make the discovery you’ve been seeking. Yes, you have plenty to learn about your relationship dynamics, and this month’s unusual Scorpio astrology — involving both Venus and Mars in your sign — will help you make observations about the person or people closest to you. Yet the planets are set up to reveal one of the most difficult things about human nature, which is the source of what we project. Projection is when someone outside us becomes the subject of a drama that is purely internal. The implication is that the source of an image or a light is inside the projector. Nobody going through a challenge wants to hear that, and it will take some emotional processing to get you beyond any potential self-blame that comes up. One thing I suggest you remember is that the source of this situation is in the distant past. It’s back there, and it involves a specific person. Discovering this will require you to reassign new roles to colleagues and loved ones currently in your life, such as: ‘I had you cast in the role of the one who was holding me back. Now that I see I was doing that, I can give you some other role’.

Sagittarius Confidential

For months I’ve been hinting at a time when you could start to get things done: the real things, the big ones, the ones closest to your core passions. That time has arrived. Note that the planets are not offering you a free pass to anything — they are offering an extended opportunity to put the best of your talents to work. I don’t mean toil and I don’t mean what the Germans call ‘Sisyphus work’ — pushing the boulder up the hill, only to do it again. To the contrary, your mission is to create such a state of inner harmony, willingness to succeed and authentic passion, that you evoke the cooperation of the world. You need to be observant and see specifically where your talents meet a need, or provide something that doesn’t exist. The key here is being authentic. Authentic, in part, speaks to the specificity of your mission. Your niche is not ‘kind of’ what you want to do, it’s precisely what you want to do and what you do best. This is the objective that, in my reading, the planets are pointing to. So I suggest you pause and refine your plans. Be clear with yourself. Cross off the list anything that is not really supposed to be there. Now is the time to forget the details of how things are going to happen; pour your energy into the creative aspect of your mission and be precisely who you are.

Capricorn Confidential

The past few seasons have taken you around a curve in your life, but it was more like taking an endless right angle, half expecting for the car to crack in half. It never did, but you had some tense moments. This goes back to about one year ago. The sensation involved a transit called Saturn square Pluto, and this or something like it happens only about once every nine years. But this was different than any other; it involved not only your ruling planet Saturn, but also Pluto in your sign. At the same time, Saturn made a series of oppositions to Uranus, and the effect was: one thing after the next; this is never going to end; where am I going to get the strength? But you had the strength and you are stronger today. I want to offer one thought from my experience as a counseling astrologer and survivor of many Pluto transits. When such alignments end, there can be a kind of post-traumatic stress. If you’re expecting the next thing to go wrong or shake up your life, consider that potential. Your current planets suggest that you have an open road ahead; that you are free to create plans and bring them into reality. Yet you may find yourself needing to deal with negative expectations first. Don’t stuff those feelings; let them out, listen to them, and allow yourself to have some authentic confidence from having gone through so much so well.

Aquarius Confidential

Is everything a matter of faith? It may well be. No matter how much preparation, planning, studying and vision you apply to an idea, or to yourself, the last step in the process is faith. You simply trust that you’re doing the right thing, or that you’ve done the right thing. So you may want to consider starting from that point, rather than aiming to eventually end up there. This would be particularly true for any ‘impossible situations’ you encounter, or for anything that you’ve tried dozens of times but never managed to get right. You may be confident you have the fortitude to get through anything. But that’s not the kind of strength you want right now. What you want to stoke is the faith that there is a ray of fairness in the world. You want to feed the fire of equanimity. You want the people around you to trust that the decisions you make for yourself are the right ones, and call nothing less than that love. Short of all that manifesting right now, you need to hold these values openly in your heart. It’s true you’re still living with a contradiction, a seeming split in how you feel about something or someone. Or this may be an inner division over what you want. When a deeper layer of the truth is revealed, you will see that it wasn’t a contradiction because one of those desires was something you could only give yourself.

Pisces Confidential

How’s it going? I trust your sponge is getting soaked again after being wrung out a few times, and that you’re gradually forgetting the long dry spell you went through; those come and go. I trust you’ve sorted out some of the details of a relationship that was draining so much of your energy, and learned the value of detachment. Ah yes, that thing — supposedly, the most challenging lesson for a Fish, so attached to how everyone else feels. Yet with the high-stakes quality of your life lately, that is, with so many discussions where so much seems to matter, you need to be cool. Not to play it cool, but to actually be cool, so that you can use your mind and remember what you want. This is different, indeed, precisely opposite than having expectations or hopes. Think more in terms of demands. Don’t use the word outside your mind or your notebook; maybe call them requirements, or something polite, but be clear that they’re demands; the things without which you don’t commit your energy or time. So, remember what you want and stick to it. Remember to consider every situation you’re in, and consider what it will take to have that situation work for you. Don’t sign any contract or agreement, or make any promise, that you don’t think is eminently, admirably fair. This is also the time to allow what is distant to come to you, rather than you having to go to it. Take a breath and allow.

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