Dear Friend and Reader:
Jupiter is about to enter Capricorn. The basic syntax is that a planet representing Sagittarius and Pisces will be entering the worldly realm of Saturn. This happens just in time for the Jan. 12 conjunction of Saturn and Pluto. And it happens just in time for the articles of impeachment to be issued by the House of Representatives, and the trial in the Senate.
I was thinking of some Jupiter in Capricorn ideas today. The first one that came to mind is “God goes to church.” Then I got the image of turning on an irrigation system (the watery aspect of Jupiter flowing through the structure of Capricorn). Or the chief justice (a Sagittarius thing) visiting the capitol (a Capricorn thing). That is about to happen.
The Jupiter in Capricorn metaphor is about the wisdom and spiritual elements of Jupiter entering the structured, practical world of Capricorn. Right now Capricorn is under the influence of what feels like raw power (one way to describe Saturn meeting Pluto). We sure could use some of the awareness that Jupiter can bring — a visit from the friendly uncle who seems to know everything.
Jupiter in Sagittarius can have a soaring, optimistic feeling. That can be unrealistic and overly idealistic (and disappointing, if it’s been square Neptune). Jupiter in Capricorn means getting down to business, and using what you know. This is not about hope; it’s about a positive outlook based on doing your part, no matter how small — and considering what else you might have to offer as well.
One risk may be the continued infusion of religiosity with government. We need to remember the necessity of keeping church and state in their place.
Accordingly, one helpful thing we can all do is test our beliefs. Belief is the Jupiter piece; the test is the Capricorn piece. At the moment, many think that believing something makes it true, or makes something else false. You can set a good example by asking yourself how you know what you know, and making any adjustments you need to make. Honest questions always lead to greater knowledge. And if one is honest, action is the fruit of that knowledge.
The other day I had one of those moments of doubt leading to awareness.
About the Right Thing Happening
It’s rare that I disagree with something in my own writing. I have an example for you. In my article from Thursday, Nov. 21, I wrote, “Everyone knows what has happened in this sordid scenario involving people at the top level of government. For a rare moment, the right thing is happening. Not everyone agrees, but is there really such a thing as denial?”
I was speaking from a therapy perspective. In my training in the Gestalt method, we assume that people know what is going on. One does not “deny consciousness,” i.e., assume that a kid does not understand what is happening to his family, or that a dog is not aware of her surroundings.
The choice we all have is what we assume; that says a lot about us. I assume that people know, understand and are aware. I assume people are intelligent and want to be honest.
That does not make me right. But it’s a safer way to lean than thinking everyone is a moron — we’ve all read those writers and heard those teachers or worked for one of those bosses. As an astrologer, a teacher, a reporter, or whatever — as a person — I choose to have faith in people, and to meet them on the level of their intelligence. It does not always work, but I could not do what I do otherwise.
Then Came Washington Journal
This past Saturday morning, I flipped on the television and went to C-Span. The call-in show was on, called Washington Journal. People dial in and share their political thoughts, sometimes on a pre-stated theme. It goes on for a while, so you get to hear a good few calls. This week it was the impeachment hearings that had just ended.
Call after call, the viewers were out of it. By that I mean most were disconnected from reality and could barely form a sentence. Their views were correspondingly warped or spinning in circles. Remember, we are talking about C-Span viewers, who know there is a channel where they can watch government function live, in real time; no spin and no filters.
The call that got to me the most was a woman calling in with a deep-South accent, eminently polite, who sounded either educated, or well bred. She started off with how old people have to make a choice between their medication and feeding their cat or dog, that’s how tight money is.
She was angry, and advocating for people her mother’s age whom she didn’t want left by the wayside, and whose cats she didn’t want starving to death. She seemed aware that there was a war being waged on the social safety net.
She ended her soliloquy by saying how wonderful Donald Trump is.
There were other calls like this. I recall one person who really understood what had happened the previous week, which was the full revelation that Pres. Trump is willing to sell out the United States and the people of Ukraine so he can get some nonexistent political dirt on a potential opponent. He is using the United States and its assets as his own personal property, for his own personal benefit.
It’s not that people don’t understand this. You don’t take the office petty cash fund and buy a case of beer and sit in the parking lot and drink it, or not if you want to have a job. But when you scale this up to the size of the U.S. presidency, it looks like a different thing. Perhaps. There is something else going on.
Cognitive Dissonance and Denial
I had my first full-on confrontation with cognitive dissonance and denial around 1993, when I was deep into covering the global contamination issue. My coverage had a local angle, four PCB- and dioxin-contaminated dormitories in New Paltz. In case you’re not familiar with those terms, it’s really bad stuff and does not belong in a college residence hall.
One autumn, I published a summary of the whole incident and its implications in the Albany alternative weekly called City Paper, and was featured on the cover. Some students attending New Paltz had traveled down from that capital region an hour north, and picked up the City Paper and read it on the way down.
One young fellow said he read the article and noticed his dorm was covered. He told me he hung the article up on the wall of his contaminated room. I don’t remember what I said. I could barely speak. He was “starstruck” by the fact that his building was famous, for poisoning students like him.
Now, over the years, I noticed most parents were extremely resistant to believing the word of some journalist that there was an issue (no matter who had published me, and no matter what documents I could show them).
Asking the administration to move their kid to another building was (in their mind) just too confrontational or inconvenient. Further, most kids were reluctant to ask on their own, or even raise the topic; many told me they could not confront their parents.
One girl said her father would be angry with her if she said something. That is what she expected. That was the state of her relationship with him, and the state of her concept of home and safety. I heard this kind of thing over and over again.
However, on the few occasions that anyone asked to be moved, they were, without any discussion. So I could tell parents: talk to that person in the administration (who was usually tooling around in a golf cart) and your kid will be moved to a safer building. But this happened only rarely.
My Legion of Soccer Moms
Finally, one year I amassed a small legion of soccer moms (several of them Planet Waves readers who drove in for opening day). This time, middle-aged ladies with kids approached the newly arriving parents to tell them about the contamination problem. Guess what?
No results. The newly arriving parents didn’t want to hear it, even from another mom. So what is going on here? Are these parents so willing to abandon their supposedly beloved kids to the potential of immune disorders, endocrine disease and cancer?
Put yourself in the position of a student who lives in one of those buildings, and maybe finds out a week later that there’s a problem, after they’ve settled in. They have to get up every morning and look at themselves in the mirror and meet the day. If they know that there might be a problem with the air they’re breathing and maybe the water they’re drinking, they have two options: face the problem and deal with it, or deny that there is a problem.
The reasons would pile up. The university, in their mind, has tremendous power (including to fail or expel), and it’s presumed to be honest. Those meeters and greeters and resident advisors were so professional and friendly. I want to live near my friends.
But there is a deeper truth. Anyone who confronts their immediate problem of their dorm suddenly is having a Pandora’s Box experience. What if I was exposed? Is there really contamination coming out of the heat vent next to my bed? Do I have to stop smoking? My grandmother got cancer. Is it possible the campus is lying to me?
There is always some reason people do not choose to see the obvious. Yes, you cannot awaken someone who is pretending to be sleeping, but then there is the motive to pretend. That is something we need to consider carefully.
One Thing Leads to Another
Acknowledging one problem will naturally lead to the next. And then the next. There are a lot of problems. Addressing any one of them begs the question of dealing with all of them. That is the basic contradiction.
This works on a personal level too. Yes, it is often difficult to cope, but it’s much harder if one does not have a method of addressing what needs attention.
When one is pretending to sleep — which means for example believing that the Democrats poisoned the president, which is why he went to the hospital the other day — it’s possible to avoid the real issues.
So when someone “loves Trump,” what they love, besides him fulfilling some image or emotional need they have, is that he gives people permission not to deal with reality. This includes avoiding all the suppressed grief of one’s family and background.
Hating Trump works just as well. Projecting rage onto the political system or social injustice is not effective activism, and it’s a perfect form of anti-therapy. It too is a form of avoidance. There are effective ways to take civic action and work for social justice, but emoting (in any direction) about the political situation is not one of them.
It may seem like the solution to most of our problems is “people waking up,” which might lead to them taking action. But we run into the same situation: many perceive waking up as the problem, not the solution. This “problem” can be “solved” by taking part in all the many things available to numb yourself out.
There’s always something else, like the new cable channel devoted exclusively to the latest fast food ads, and diabetes medication commercials.
Staying awake and paying attention involve being uncomfortable. Feeling means having difficult as well as pleasant emotions — evidence of being alive. Count that as a good thing. You need to be irritated enough to take action, rather than paralyzed by anger, rage, hatred or despair. In that I would include cynicism and thoughts of blame that are not connected to an idea of resolution or healing.
If you’re feeling like you cannot move, cannot do anything to feel better, you are probably struggling with one of those things. If you know that much, you can start to address your situation. The world around you is no excuse. But it is an opportunity.
Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope for December 2019 (#1270) | By Eric Francis
Aries (March 20-April 19) — Your most important work is bringing people together. It does not matter in which context this occurs, though it’s likely to have manifestations in your professional life. Taking part in this will be helpful to the world, though also essential to your healing. One of the problems undercutting human harmony is a degree of nearly obsessive toxic competitiveness that you can find almost anywhere. Your current spiritual project, as I read your chart, is to resolve this in yourself. That means taking a different approach to professional and social situations: extending yourself more, doing things for which you’re not paid and don’t get recognition, and where you set the example of being helpful for its own sake. You may not be able to ‘make’ everyone get along; not all of them want to, though it will help if you study their differences. Imagine the politics you see in the environment surrounding you in some way reflecting attitudes and values you possess. As well, the helpful actions of others will provide a positive example and a map to your healing. Note that you may be feeling an increasingly intense need to compete with others. This is precisely the impulse you are learning to transcend, on a quest for new ideas about both success and what it means to participate in a community. The message is that life is not about what you do. Rather, your life is about who you are.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You are changing, faster than may be comfortable for you. But this has been going on for a while, in the form of your most rigid, antique beliefs being dismantled by the combined efforts of Pluto and Saturn in Capricorn. You no longer have those old concepts fully intact to stand on, get lost in or distracted by. You may be feeling the competing impulses to cling to a notion of tradition or old ideas about who you are, and at the same time rebel against, well, something. I would propose, however, your true role is to invent: to see problems (yours or those that seem to be collective property) in new ways, and to invest yourself in developing helpful approaches to them. Though it may have worked for you in the past, you can no longer go from day to day following some rote program. You can no longer use your “personality tendencies” or being “set in your ways” as an excuse. And dependence upon conditioning and belief must finally give way to full reliance on your knowledge and your learning process. In fact, no two days are alike. No two projects are the same. Relationships evolve from day to day; reality forever changes. Therefore, face the unknown with courage and love in your heart, and allow something new, different and potentially better to happen.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — There is now a rather massive collection of planets gathering in Capricorn, including (among others) both Jupiter and Saturn — which have more mass than the rest of the solar system combined. Capricorn is your 8th solar house, “the crowded house” because of its complicated collection of intertwined themes. They include all the places where human nature haunts, stalks or otherwise engages us. The major themes of the 8th are where sex meets money, where relationships meet commitment, and where death meets transformation. Needless to say, this is a significant time in your life and in your relationships, and you may be feeling overwhelmed by the kinds of potentially wrenching changes you are having to negotiate. Change can also mean exchange, which is an essential theme of the 8th: there is often a transaction going on, a contract being entered or terminated, or some circumstance forcing you to stand up for your values. This relates to the power theme: who has power over you, who do you have power over, and how did things come to be this way? The pitfall of the 8th is that it covers all the material most people make excuses for avoiding. You could say that means avoiding the truth, first and foremost, which is barely possible at the moment, and which will become impossible over the next two months. It is fair to say that in a very short time, everything will be revealed. Make peace with who you are and what you’re dealing with in life. Take a more transparent approach, so you can get the help you need. The result will be a better life, where you are free from the fetters of the past.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Your world is changing. For a long while, change seems to have meant everything but improvement, due to many challenging aspects influencing your sign. The immediately forthcoming astrology, among the most significant in a generation, is going to level out the ground you stand on. If you’re in tune with your ethics and willing to grow and make adjustments, this will work out well for you. If you are someone who resists progress and constantly prioritizes yourself over others, you will find yourself in circumstances where you will need to be more generous. The question to ask is: what is the purpose of your life? The answer by the standards of society will usually be some form of “every man for himself” or the need to survive. This is often lubricated by some version of, “If I win the lottery, then I will help people.” Please — forget it. You have work to do now, not in the future. Work means a purpose to serve, and people in your life who need you to invest in them. Most of all, work means that you are being called to lead by example. You can have no ideals except for the ones you personally embody. Nothing else counts now except what you demonstrate to be true by your actions and your choices. You’re being called to step up to the challenge of living, with your full sensitivity, even here in our era of duck and cover. In a phrase, it’s time to get real.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — Be cautious of how much you’re willing to sacrifice for what you consider a cherished goal. Sure, you will have to give something, though you need to be making conscious decisions as you do so. Right now the end result is not the question; how and where you travel is. You could easily lose yourself in all the endless activity and potential stress (particularly at work) suggested by the Capricorn alignment now in progress. Yet in truth, you are being guided by a bright star to discover something about yourself you’ve never known but have long suspected. The notion of finding yourself is no longer something you have to read about in books, or practice in some structured way, such as a workshop. Rather, your whole purpose for existing is now making a series of discoveries that will lead you to a new understanding of who you are. This is a process; yes, it’s true that some people report those stunning sudden breakthroughs. Usually, self-discovery is a journey of putting one foot in front of the other. The question is whether you look down at the ground, or up at the horizon, while you’re traveling. Now, I say this knowing you are probably involved in some important, time-consuming and high-pressure situations, such as related to work or health. By all means take care of those, though at all times remembering the central nature of your life mission. That might be described succinctly as true self-awareness, which you can and indeed must practice all the time.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — For those who don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from, and for plenty who do, the central struggle of life is figuring out how to express themselves. Your chart embodies this entirely, as if you are a sculptor at work 18 hours a day bringing a piece of marble to life, or welding scraps of metal together into a bird that so convincingly wants to fly. Yet you are the marble, the metal and the bird. You want to shape yourself into those delicate flight feathers and talons, and into the person you’re becoming; you are the ideas you are making into a painting that you want to reveal to others. There is also something about your chart that describes you wanting to forget something: an experience or aspect of yourself, or perhaps a long phase of your history. However, I don’t think you can just let it go and have it be gone. Being human is not that simple. You’re not a device from which you can delete things. The purpose of your creative process is to move your experience through yourself and into a new form. In this way, art and evolution are related to one another. Talent does not matter; having something to say sort of matters. What counts is that you need to address something urgently, and you find an outlet for doing so. You don’t bury it, or go on a head-trip. You work it through in the process of recreating yourself.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Just in time for the holidays, the family angle of your chart is lit up like the decorating department at Lowe’s. This looks like a kind of last tango when it comes to certain ways that family of origin relationships influence you. You tend to be heavily dependent upon bonds with close relatives for your sense of stability, which has not exactly been working out in recent years. Very little has been stable, and whatever benefits you get appear to come at way too high a cost, in terms of your peace of mind. What seems to happen is that when you get around these people who knew you way back when, all of your growth and hard work on yourself can be disappeared with a single dismissive insult. Now, there may be an exaggeration effect, and you will see all you’ve been missing, and much that you have not been missing. Here is the thing: it may seem like this is about them. Really, the topic is resolving what happened to you at the hands of others, and under their emotional influence. If you are experiencing conflict, you can be sure that you are the one who is not stuck and who does not want to be so. Being stuck means that nothing seems to change, when you know that in fact, everything has changed, or needs to. You’re not going to take them along; nobody is going to finally announce that they approve of you. You’re the one who needs to make the adjustments and changes, first by finding an element of emotional independence, and then approving of yourself. If others up-end you, then spending time with them constitutes a conflict of interest.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — You have a lot to say and you may be inclined to say it. Yet I suggest you practice some discipline: refining your message to something with focus and actual thought. You may be tempted to blurt everything out at once. That might feel good for a while but won’t get much of a result. Be particularly cautious what you say, text, tweet or otherwise broadcast when you’re under the influence of alcohol. Even one sip could have a profound effect on your consciousness, such as by tipping you in the direction of slightly depressive, which alters your confidence, and starts a cascade of some kind. Stick to Perrier or cranberry juice, particularly when you’re around relatives. Then, as the magnification effect of Jupiter conjunct Pholus takes effect, you will hear certain thoughts loudly and clearly — stuff you might want to avoid. I suggest you pay close attention, because you’re being granted access to a tap into the distant past. You will have the opportunity to hear and feel with a certain energy that has been coursing down the generations, twisting everyone around it. Do not confuse this with “your own thinking” even though it’s percolating through your own brain. It’s as if you’ve dug up an ancient burial ground and you can see all that has been denied or ignored. Be conscious and careful around this material. Take notes! Think of it as an ancestral entity with a life of its own. Most of all, learn from it. The more aware you are, the less it can control or even influence you.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — How you feel about yourself is your most important resource. It is the one that grants you access to all the others. Recent events may have shown you what is possible, though this is only so if you make the total investment of faith in yourself. While that always has a relational aspect — people will either affirm you, or not — be cautious about seeking approval from others. Most of those ‘others’ are voices in your mind, representing people from the past who were not supportive when you needed them to be so. Some may have done actual damage from which you’re still trying to piece together recovery. You have everything you need. You have all the talent, commitment and perseverance. (Skills need to be acquired ongoing, and I suggest you never miss an opportunity to learn one.) Yet what regulates your access to your array of abilities and ideas is your emotional state. This is often confused with self-esteem, because it affects the way you see yourself and the basis for the choices you make. Yet it’s much more utilitarian to think of this in terms of how you feel, and what might be interfering with holding yourself in positive regard. For anyone who works their way through this, usually it takes progress and learning over time, and also gaining the basic ability to navigate emotionally. Something impacting you profoundly has a source in the distant past. If you pay attention, you will see exactly what this is. And then if you want to — but only if — you can get some resolution.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — Jupiter now enters your sign for the first time in 12 years. It does so in our tense moment, with you under some unusual pressure to make what feel like enforced changes. Indeed, you are fortunate if you have any influence at all in certain circumstances. You do, though it may not be what you think. What I suggest you explore is your own attachment to the very things that seem to trap you or hold you back. This might be some bond to the values espoused by your family, which you have said you want no part of. It might be an emotional approach to life that you know is not working for you. You may have decided you’re ready to go beyond a model of authority that does not leave you room to exist. In fact, at the moment you may feel pretty cramped in, and like the very things you’ve sought to transcend have only become magnified. It is fair to say that this is an important time of reflection for you. It is time to consider what change and progress really consist of, and what these terms really mean to you. In our world, it is easy to be conned out of your true potential. Usually, this is facilitated by wanting to stay in a comfort zone, which is another way of saying not quite being ready to face the unknown. Yet you will indeed be confronted by all that you do not know. The question is, do you turn toward it, or away from it?
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — The prevailing astrology of our moment has had a way of drawing you into yourself, though this has not always been pleasant. Jung once remarked about how people will do anything, no matter now ridiculous, to avoid facing their soul. Soul is not a thing; it is the process of integrating your consciousness into your existence: calling yourself fully aware and present for your own life. This has certain properties, such as commitment to truth. Seeing someone else’s interests as equal to your own is right up there, which implies generosity of spirit. Then there’s the part about facing your fears rather than denying them. If you don’t do these things, you’re likely to project your issues outward, and see them manifest as figments in the world. Of course, the world really does have problems, and is often mean and unfair. But at the moment, that is not your responsibility and it’s unlikely to be your situation. Striving for your own sanity and peace of mind is your situation, and this is going to require shifting or transcending certain mental and emotional patterns that have been running your life for years. You’ve circled around these issues many times. You’ve burrowed in on a few occasions, though this is not necessarily appealing. You are reaching the point where something must shift, or you are going to crack. I suggest you opt for the shift option. It is easy to invite necessary changes into your life. Start by questioning what you have denied or taken for granted. That is step one in focusing your commitment to truth.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — After a stunning series of events in your professional angle of Sagittarius, your ruling planet Jupiter is about to change regions of your chart, entering your social and public realm of Capricorn. The entire universe of what we call “social and public” is in chaos at the moment. You’ve probably experienced some of that firsthand, with the Saturn-Pluto conjunction brewing there for a couple of years. And now your own personal story is drawing you out of your shell and into a phase of your existence where you will be more directly involved in collective events. You don’t want to get too involved, though. A vital aspect of what you are being called to do is bear witness, rather than control the flow of events. You will have many opportunities to be a positive influence. Your viewpoint will be helpful — assuming you take a focused approach, and have respect for tradition. That’s the thing. There is revolution in the air, but it’s probably not your chosen variety. You must attune keenly to your bodily senses, and notice how you respond to both people and ideas. Many will pretend to be both savior and the saved. Others will be racing to the bottom to see who can win the gold medal of victimhood. You will witness many forms of the obsession with power. What you have to offer is a loving approach to reality, which implies being just a little above and beyond the fray. You do not need conflict, and you don’t want to be drawn into it. Just be an honest witness.