Dear Friend and Reader:
As Jupiter and the Sun entered Leo this week (their conjunction was exact Thursday afternoon), one event after the next has offered vivid and painful confirmation of a world in crisis. On the personal level, field reports are coming in with a diversity of responses to the current astrology, though I’m hearing stories in the ‘everything all at once’ genre.
As Mars ingresses Scorpio Friday, leaving Libra for the first time since it arrived in early December, the energy will ramp up even more, followed by yet another boost from the Leo New Moon conjunct Jupiter on Saturday. Then over the next week, Mars moves into a square with Jupiter, representing another burst of energy.
The grand cross is still active, with Mars still at the edge of Libra, the South Node conjunct Eris today, and both Mercury and Venus passing through the Uranus-Pluto square. That is a lot of astrology at once, and it represents what we are seeing and feeling.
Before I focus on the astrology, however, here is a roundup of the current events. Pulling this together I am getting a queasy, helpless feeling, and I am usually able to stomach this stuff pretty well. Still, I think it’s necessary to look with eyes and heart open.
In Gaza, a military campaign by Israel waged the past two weeks has taken the lives of nearly 800 Palestinian civilians. The world community is usually tolerant of Israel’s efforts to (allegedly) defend itself, though the mounting civilian death toll is focusing anger at the Israelis and sympathy on the Palestinians. So far, three Israeli civilians and 32 of their soldiers have been killed. Israelis don’t even like to lose one soldier much less 32 of them, and this will eventually have a political impact in Israel.
Residents of Gaza are crammed into a prison-like environment and have nowhere to hide from Israeli artillery. Gaza is not a battlefield; it’s a dense urban environment, and any shell or bomb will kill civilians — everyone knows that. Repeated assertions by the Israeli government that they plan to “finish the job” sound too much like “the final solution” for comfort.
Fighting continues in eastern Ukraine, where rebels armed and financed by Russian President Vladimir Putin are attempting to break away and become part of Russia. They have shot down three planes in recent days — two Ukrainian fighter jets this week and, by my reading of the known facts, Malaysia Airlines Flight 17, a 777-200ER with 298 civilians aboard from approximately 17 nations, nearly two-thirds of them Dutch citizens, including 80 children.
This is the second loss of a 777-200ER for that airline this year; the first was the infamous Flight 370, which vanished without a trace the night of March 8 with 227 passengers from 15 nations and 15 crew.
It’s long odds that the same airline would lose two of the same kind of jet the same year, but even stranger that in neither case is there a properly preserved crime scene. Flight 370 was lost with no physical evidence whatsoever, and Flight 17 crashed in rebel-occupied territory and the crime scene was looted and tampered with before investigators could arrive.
A train carrying about 280 bodies recovered from the scene — mostly by farmers, coal miners and militants — headed west toward Europe earlier this week, and the Netherlands declared a national day of mourning as the still-unidentified bodies began to arrive in Amsterdam.
Two other civilian airplanes crashed overnight Wednesday to Thursday — an Air Algerie flight carrying 116 people from Burkina Faso to Algeria’s capital disappeared from radar early Thursday over northern Mali, and was discovered to have crashed.
And ten people survived a crash landing Wednesday that killed 48 other passengers as their plane “failed to reach the runway on a Taiwanese holiday island hit hard by a typhoon. The airline, TransAsia Airways, confirmed the death toll Thursday morning,” USA Today reported.
Regarding the astrology of these air disasters, I have been tracking the Kitty Hawk chart since March for more information. The short version is that the first flight chart has the Sun and Uranus conjunct in late Sagittarius, where many centaurs and Pluto-like bodies are passing through the territory (quite close to the Galactic Core). The chart describes aviation as a brilliant invention and also as risky business, with a lot of hidden baggage — most of it involving the military. Kitty Hawk is in fact the chart for the first plane crash since the first flight crash-landed.
Sheik Umar Khan, a head doctor and virologist fighting an outbreak of the Ebola virus in Sierra Leone has himself caught the deadly disease, Reuters reported Thursday. The 39-year-old Sierra Leonean is one of a growing list of medical workers infected with the virus while battling its spread across West Africa. Ebola, which few people survive, has killed 632 people across Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone since an outbreak began in February.
A beautiful, moist spring in the Pacific Northwest has given way to an unusually hot and dry summer. This “has created a fire-season tinderbox across the Pacific Northwest that exploded over the past week with dozens of wildfires burning hundreds of thousands of acres and forcing thousands of residents from their homes,” in the words of The New York Times.
And a four-year drought continues through much of the United States, though the Central Valley of California, which produces much of the nation’s food supply, is being hit especially hard. Unlike during the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s, there exists the capacity to pump out the aquifers, which is being done at an alarming rate. They will eventually run dry if they are not replenished by rainwater. Bloomberg reported that farmers are paying as much as ten times more for water than before the record drought impacted the supply.
Finally, the US-Mexico border is the scene of much drama lately, as Texas Gov. Rick Perry has deployed 1,000 members of the state National Guard in what amounts to a display of political bravado. Current numbers of immigrants appear to be lower than in previous years, but the issue of blocking illegal entry into the United States is a favorite red herring of right-wing politicians and news outlets, so we’re hearing more about it.
What Astrology Could be Behind All of This?
Before I go there, I have a question, in a few parts. Now that the extended sensory system we know as the media can bring us this information instantaneously, sending our eyes and ears to every disaster zone in the world, what are we supposed to do with this information?
I don’t think it’s of neutral value or lacking in purpose. But what is the purpose, and what is the appropriate response? We live in a time when the struggles of people and their communities are undeniable. We actually see and learn the details of how people are affected by global warming, war and other disasters.
Possessing that knowledge invokes a matter of conscience. This is not merely a question of how we’re supposed to respond emotionally or even spiritually; or how we’re supposed to ‘process’ all of this information. I believe there must be something more.
Every one of these situations that seems to be happening abroad has some parallel in the United States, and in many other countries. Police brutality is out of control in the U.S. these days, so we have our own form of government-sanctioned domestic terrorism. It is beyond my comprehension why Americans do not object to, yet personally pay for, a paramilitary police force that is used against them; why we tolerate SWAT teams responding to routine arrests and even agricultural complaints involving raw milk.
I will propose one response, which is that when there is chaos and turmoil, that is the cue to get one’s house in order. By house, I mean the politics of one’s community and one’s nation. By politics, I mean all matters of leadership. As all of this is unfolding, there is an astonishing social and political complacency that has a hold on our society. Part of that complacency is a state of feeling overwhelmed, and even if most Americans are busy, we still have pretty good lives.
If there is a spiritual piece to this, here is what I propose. Those who draw strength from being seekers on the path have access to additional strength so that they may actually respond in a meaningful way. It’s one thing to pray and send light. It’s another thing to be grounded in your faith and therefore have the clarity and strength to take action.
Introspection is important, as is personal growth, as is healing. Yet these verge on useless without their counterpart, action. I understand that many people feel that prayer is enough, though if that is true, we might ask why things seem to be getting worse. Note as well that plenty of people who pray also take action — much of the killing and stripping away of rights that’s going on now is being done in the name of religion, allegedly in the name of God.
Uranus square Pluto — the astrology that marks our era — is most definitely a call to action, especially in cardinal signs Aries and Capricorn. Yet it’s as if only the most reactionary elements of society are hearing, or responding to, the calling of the current Uranus-Pluto aspect. Uranus square Pluto is the first and most significant astrological factor to look to, because it’s the most potent, longest-term and most pervasive aspect of our era. We are now heading for the sixth of seven exact squares between June 2012 and March 2015.
Since the Capricorn Full Moon two weeks ago, we have been getting the last burst of energy in the cardinal grand cross that has surrounded the Uranus-Pluto square all year. This includes Mercury and Venus currently passing through the territory. Mercury just made an opposition to Pluto, and Venus is about to — pushing ideas, images and the feeling of death right in our faces.
But Pluto is also about the need, indeed, the unstoppable impulse, for transformation and change, and Mercury and Venus are making that deeply personal. Widely accepted as the planet of evolution, we might ask whether that evolution involves any actual adaptation, change or progress. We might ask whether it’s a passive process or an active one. We might ask what action an evolved person would take in the face of an ethical crisis.
What is so astonishing about watching the world at this time in history is that it really seems that humanity has learned nothing in our long ages on the planet.
We still engage in war for profit, or worse, war for its own sake. We still engage in genocide, staging attacks on civilian populations. Even if you go back to World War I, which had its 100th anniversary this summer, what exactly has changed? Military airplanes are faster and rifles have lasers?
Some days it seems like some people have developed more humane personal values, but is this really true? And if it’s true, where is the evidence of those values changing, in terms of action, choice, involvement, resistance and most important, creating creative solutions not just to world problems but to the puzzle of surviving on Earth?
Getting ourselves out of this mess is going to involve many factors, one of which is applying our intelligence and awareness to the situations we know require focus and healing. Humans like to distinguish ourselves by how smart we are, but most days it seems like every other form of life is way ahead of us.
On the way to accessing our intelligence, it’s necessary to cultivate inner sensitivity and to do what we can to solve our problems, though of course we meet many people who make little room in their lives for either. Being in a state of constant crisis would seem to grant a pass from getting involved in larger issues. However I assure you that many people who have accomplished the most had a great many problems and ongoing grief that they refused to let stop them.
It also works the other way. Personal work and self-improvement, study of astrology or metaphysics, yoga, meditation or any other spiritual path can become self-serving, and all-consuming, complete with the aims of enlightenment and perfection. And then what?
A Course in Miracles, which you might think of as part of the modern spiritual canon, is clear that spiritual practice is not necessary if someone wants to do the highest level work. It’s made clear that habits, even the best ones, can become conceptual prisons that prevent actual progress. Further, healing is not distinguished as a special activity but rather something that can and indeed must be practiced at any moment or anywhere.
Spirituality, if it’s a real thing, is based on love, ethics and willingness to involve oneself in life. It is natural, not a matter of debate, of philosophy or of intellect. A degree of mental training is involved for those who want to serve in a fully conscious way, though that is relatively quick (in A Course in Miracles, limited to one year). Some specialized forms of healing require training or certification, but everyone knows that most of what practitioners know they learn from doing the work, not from school. The actual elements that qualify one as a healer are listening to the voice of God all the time, and being willing to help, all the time.
God’s voice speaks to me all through the day.
I am here only to be truly helpful.
I am one with my creator.
Your task is not to seek for love but merely to seek and find all of the barriers within yourself which you have built against it. It is not necessary to seek for what is true, but it is necessary to seek for what is false. Every illusion is one of fear, whatever form it takes. And the attempt to escape from one illusion into another must fail. If you seek love outside yourself, you can be certain that you perceive hatred within, and are afraid of it. Yet peace will never come from the illusion of love, but only from its reality.
Yours in friendship,
Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope for August 2014, #1008 | By Eric Francis
Aries (March 20-April 19) — You get to live a little bolder than usual, though I don’t mean impulsively. I mean taking thoughtful risks, knowing what you stand to lose and stand to gain. I also mean a commitment to development over time — at least one year, and maybe more. This is the kind of risk that involves taking a chance on what you want to see grow and develop in the world, what you might call a daring vision. Based on these criteria, casino gambling would not be included. It’s not nearly creative enough, plus there is too much risk for a very low potential for monetary or spiritual reward. There are all kinds of thrilling sports, and while you probably like them and would have lots of fun, your charts are describing something more. You want the kind of adventure that requires intelligence, passion and the potential to learn and grow. I suggest you consider your options and then make contact with the long-term benefits of what you want to do, and aim your choices in the direction of what has lasting value. Right now the way society is organized, there are few opportunities for intellectual risks, or rather, they are not especially popular or considered sexy. Don’t let that deter you. Eventually wisdom will come back into style, and you’ll be in the right place at the right time.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — Your charts describe a time of domestic bliss. For some that is a shack on the beach and for others it’s a duplex on the Upper West Side. What is it for you? How do you want your home to be? Forget, for a moment, what you think you can afford, or what you think you deserve. Rather, let your imagination run free for a while and imagine the visuals, the quality of the light, the kinds of spaces you want. Imagine what will help you work, what will help you sleep and what will improve your quality of life. Think about how you want to use energy and how you would therefore plan for the environmental footprint of wherever you would live. I am not sure the context, but someone commented on the Planet Waves website, quoting one of their teachers, who said, “Space is intelligence.” I love when a three-word equation gives me something to think about for weeks (and this one may last for years). As you develop your ideas about physical space, your mind will change. They will evolve, in particular, away from the concepts of your parents. It is likely that your ideal living space is distinctly different from where you grew up, and now you get to think through what kind of space you want and perhaps most significantly, where you want to be.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — You’ve been involved in some unusually deep soul searching in recent seasons of your life, and working out some concept of your value. I would say that you’ve been through a time of making up your mind that life is worth living. That phase of reflection for its own sake has drawn to a close, and now is the time to come out of your shell and express yourself. You certainly have plenty going on in your mind, and I think you know or at least suspect that they are great ideas. Remember, thinking about an idea is not writing about that idea. Thinking about art is not making art. You could slip into a pattern where all you do is think about your possibilities, which is easy and self-satisfying. I’m suggesting that you get yourself busy making your ideas real. This is a translation from imagination to physical form, which you might think of as the great leap of humankind. One interesting attribute of your solar chart is that when you fire up your own creative process, you will invite collaborators. They may be of a higher caliber than you’re expecting and may in many ways surpass your own current abilities. That would be a perfect scenario, since you have a lot to say and you also have a lot to learn about how to say it.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — Money requires focus, and several recent astrological events are hinting strongly at a state of abundance — and that you must match the emphasis of the planets with your own effort and awareness. This calls for a vision, which is a way of saying an elaborated set of goals. Most people respond to the notion of anything financial or even the meekest reference to money with worry and irritation. I suggest you go in the other direction, which would be bold intrigue. Consider that how you feel about money is a reflection of how you feel about yourself, notice what that sensation is and then begin to make any necessary adjustments. Remember, though, that the larger theme of resources is involved, and financial resources are just one type. Many other kinds are necessary. Among them all is having faith in yourself. This is not a thing possessed but rather a skill that you cultivate, exercise and develop. By resources I mean to include them all, and to suggest that you have what it takes, whatever you are doing and whatever is required. Have faith that there is plenty to go around in the world. This is one vivid moment in your life when if you seek abundance you will find it. And you will be finding it for a reason, for a purpose, which you know and which is up to you to express.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You have every advantage leaning in your favor, yet you may still feel insecure. In the past you might have worried about bad things happening, not having enough or whether you could take care of the people you’re responsible for. Insecurity 2.0 is about wondering whether you have what it takes to live up to your own potential. You may feel a sense of promise that life is offering, but you don’t know how to manifest it. You may have so many options available that you don’t know what to choose — and you know that if you choose them all, you may be spread too thin. Let’s go back to the beginning — all those factors working for you, described by the Sun, Mercury and Jupiter in your sign (and a spectacular New Moon beginning the Sun’s run through Leo). That all points to something new, though I would ask if you’re carrying some regret or sense of loss from the past. Are you thinking, “life cannot be as good as it might have been”? That would fit the scenario. I assure you that it can be, though it will be necessary to call forth some passion and courage from within. This cannot be applied from the outside. It’s the part of a goal that has nothing to do with the goal — it has everything to do with you.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — You may be wondering why relationships have to be so challenging. You may even be wondering if they need to be that way. I think that mostly this involves the various rules and definitions we put around connecting with others, which includes various regulations around sex. There’s also a kind of seeming ‘unconsciousness’ hanging like a fog over the whole region of life where people connect emotionally and sexually. It is this slumber from which humanity needs to awaken. Mixed in with the fog are all kinds of moralism, judgment, expectations and unresolved baggage from the past, and from past generations. By this measure, waking up is not especially appealing, as these are the things to which one usually awakens. On a good day there is also love, passion and desire, and though these would rightfully be the incentive to connect, they’re not exactly in style right now. They involve something real, and tactile, and where there is the risk of not being in control all the time. And if there is one thing our society is addicted to at this moment, it’s control. Where does this leave you? I would say it leaves you free to evaluate what you want, which I think is going to take some honesty and a risk. You might also evaluate what you are wholly willing to offer — which will definitely take some honesty and a risk.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Mars has finally left your sign, which changes a relationship dynamic that seems like it’s been stuck for months. The actual dynamic that changes is a resounding message of looking to yourself for the fulfillment that in the past you would seek only in relationships. We have this idea, perpetuated by generations before us (but basically a romantic concept) that we must seek completion in another person. This is a setup for incomplete people seeking completion with one another, and never finding it. This is so taken for granted that people who do not play this game are considered weird, and those who work toward a sense of inner fulfillment and resilience have relatively little to discuss with others who avoid this whole topic. That is a disclaimer — reaching into yourself for your opposite polarity may have the effect of alienating you from certain people who play a mean game of gotta-be-normal. Yet other factors in your astrology suggest that you are so resplendent, visible and bold that you are a powerful example for your friends. You have the chance to deepen your relationship to yourself and to find a place where your relationships to others are not based on a neurotic need for self-completion. Hold that energy and you can have experiences of actual sharing and exchange rooted in being a whole person who appreciates the company of other whole people.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — After spending eight months in a strange and sensitive angle of your chart (known as the solar 12th house), your ruling planet Mars has ingressed your sign. This may have arrived with the sensation of your ear pressure equalizing after a fast elevator ride. And you may suddenly have the added confidence of knowing what you want. In consciousness and in biology, the human experience is driven by desire. It has all kinds of names, with various inflections of good and evil attached to them, though they amount to the same thing. That thing is the desire to live and to experience life, and it’s likely that you’ve been infused with this sensation in a whole new way. The question is how you respond and/or react. Lately you seem more given to the moralistic/control side of the spectrum than is useful. It would be helpful to recognize when you’re judging yourself and others for something that is either natural or not harming anyone. You may feel some need to live up to an image, that is, to be perceived a certain way for the sake of your reputation. If there’s a devil, this is it. While you must always be mindful of integrity, that is different from any form of obsession over what people may think about you. There is only one person who needs to respect you, and that is you — with any luck, just for being real.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — Focus on your plans, by which I mean specific plans to go specific places or do specific things. Did I say specific? Most people work with general plans, such as “I will be a musician” or “I will be rich” or “Someday I will write something.” Or to give another example, “Someday I won’t have to do this job I don’t like.” The combined action of Mars and Jupiter is calling for you to focus your self-knowledge into a course of action. Remember that this does not need to be a ‘permanent commitment’ or ‘what you want to do for the rest of your life’. It’s what’s significant now, that your soul is calling for you to do now. There may be a place involved, though not necessarily. If you are getting information about a place, I suggest you test your theory and actually go there. In general I would say the theme of your solar chart is test your theory. If you are into a particular art form or method of personal expression, design a project that you bring to completion — make sure you choose your scale so you can go from start to finish in a few weeks or months, rather than something designed to go on for years. You will both benefit and build confidence from the feeling of intending and then achieving. Then do something new.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — You may have this idea that you’re on the right track but heading toward an obstacle of some kind. You might also consider what could intervene long before that obstacle materializes. Said another way, nothing is certain; everything exists in a state of potential or of probability. Those factors are changing constantly as various factors blend and new factors emerge. It would be mighty healthy of you to think in some concept other than what you want as the guaranteed outcome. It’s not only how often this leads to misery. The fact that there is no absolute certainty is your best ally right now, because it keeps your potential open. Most people get panicky if they make contact with their potential or have anything less than the illusion of control. You don’t need illusions of anything right now; you need to be in the moment, responding to your environment, and aware of your feelings. Notice the ways in which you limit yourself, whether it’s with language (such as how you speak to yourself, or describe your possibilities) or by trying in any way to limit the range of your emotions. I suggest you have a long talk with yourself about the concept of appropriate. If you have a tendency to cram yourself into a box, this is the one. There is such a thing as appropriate, but it’s a lot more inappropriate than you may think.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — You have a whole new world of relationships opening up with Jupiter spending the next year in your opposite sign Leo. That’s likely to manifest as more and as better, though I suggest you keep your eye on a few factors. For example, notice when a situation you’re in does not offer you space to live up to your potential as you feel it. Jupiter is likely to arrive with a longing for freedom. You certainly have the option to hunker down and wait for it to pass by — or you can respond in a creative way. Another theme of this transit involves making sure that people are who you perceive them to be. You’re likely to see many wonderful attributes in people, and I suggest that you get to know them well enough to see past your own projections. Note, this is the projection of the style of seeing only the best in people. This may be true, with some of them, though because Jupiter (especially in Leo) is so closely associated with image and appearance, it will be very helpful to make a policy of going past those layers, and actually getting down to the substance of who someone is. At the same time, your charts are calling on you to act, speak and choose from an authoritative place of confidence and commitment. May the world rise to meet you.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — This can be one of the most productive times in your life. You have many options. You have tremendous freedom, in part because you’ve invested so much in mastering your skills — though freedom is also an invitation to choose carefully. Best of all, your energy is running strong and solid, and all you need to do is maintain yourself with basic movement, good food, water and as much sunlight as possible and you will remain in good spirits. With Jupiter in Leo, your 6th house of service and wellbeing, the two go together. There may have been times when you’ve resented how much you offer to the world, and you’ve noticed how little a great many people offer back, to anyone. Now that has been flipped on its head. You are the example of what is possible, and you are an inspiration to many people who might not believe it otherwise. You don’t need to say much about this, unless you have an appropriate occasion. In offering yourself, you improve your life and the lives of others. Yet you also do something on the meta level, which is to demonstrate that this is a viable way of life for many who want nothing more than to offer themselves in some way. Meanwhile, I would remind you again: choose what you want to do the most, and make sure you include that in your business plan.