“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”
— John F. Kennedy
Dear Friend and Reader:
When things get as rough as they have this year, and when the world seems turned upside-down like it has this month, gratitude can feel like the last thing one might turn to. Yet the simple act of expressing thanks and appreciation for even mundane blessings can have a profound effect on your emotional body and perspective — and on the ability to take action.
I know many people who could use that shift at this time. And as we forge ahead, we’ll all likely need to pause and refill the well regularly.
Whether you celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday or not, whether you live in the U.S. or not, thank you for being tuned in and willing to share your creative energy with the world.
The microcosm of family; your local community; your online associations; cultures on other continents; the very trees, water and non-human beings alive with us; planet Earth itself — everyone and everything benefits when we put the gratitude JFK speaks of into practice.
Sometimes that is easier said than done. But in the attempt, I do believe we learn, grow and heal in ways we cannot always predict.
I’d like to express thanks, on behalf of the entire Planet Waves team, for the many ways our members and readers participate in the online community we’ve co-created. Thank you for your membership and your input, for sharing our articles and horoscopes with your friends and family members.
Speaking of which: your extended monthly horoscope for December is below. Eric has designed it in part as a summary of the year just past, though it clearly contains ideas that will carry you into the future.
In addition to pausing our usual full-scale Thursday issue production for the Thanksgiving holiday, this brief issue gives Eric a little breathing room as he works diligently on the 2017 annual edition. I’m looking forward to immersing myself in those chapters, sign by sign, and I hope you are, too.
Wishing you a Happy Thanksgiving and many blessings,
Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope — December 2016, #1127 | By Eric Francis
Aries (March 20-April 19) — You’re not through finding yourself, though you’re less lost than you were at this time last year. You’re adapting to the idea that you wake up a slightly different person every day, in a different world every day. This means embracing being less certain, though what you’re giving up is a fragile or even false concept of who you are. You now have more space to maneuver, and less need to prove to yourself or anyone who you are. It’s through action and interaction, live and in real time, that you will make your most significant discoveries. Life is not a matter of theory that you or the world must live up to; rather, your experience will have a way of hinting at who and what is real and relevant to you. It’s then up to you to extract the potential from all of this, and create something for yourself. You may still be inclined to ask for permission from others; you may still think you need the approval of authority figures. You may still think there’s a matter of morality involved, especially if someone is trying to impose their morals on your choices. There is no argument to have. It can be challenging to grasp that merely existing sends a stronger message about your intentions than anything you might say.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — You’re seeing the benefits of taking the long view, and the slow approach. Pace yourself, and use your plans as a kind of guide to the possibilities rather than as a firm commitment. One thing you’ve learned is that you must leave room for variables. Taurus is perhaps the most steadfast of all the signs, and you bring tenacity and integrity to all that you do. That includes your relationships. Remember, the safe container you are seeking starts with your confidence in yourself. It almost goes no further. When you have confidence in yourself, you can create, contain or handle anything, and you’ll believe people love you when they do. When two people get together to share anything more than lunch, they have to work out understandings and power-sharing agreements. Those are always cultivated over time, and become the ‘container’ of the relationship. They are based on the discovery of common values that can be built on: common reasons for living. No matter how clear anything may be in the beginning, these understandings evolve, flow, are adapted and adjusted with the nonstop flow of time. We live in the world of forever changes. No house or concept can protect us from change; we don’t need to be protected. To truly live, we must dance with life and death and experience existence outside of any concept about it.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Everything about your charts is saying go deep: that you want to, and that you need to. This means having the real conversation sooner rather than later. No matter how apprehensive that may make you feel, you’re the bold person in the equation, the one who has a feeling for what you need to say, and what you want to know. Once the discussion is going, though, you don’t need to push any particular point. Take it gently and allow the momentum of truth to carry the subject forward. You will know you’re having a real conversation when it takes on a life of its own, when things come up that surprise you, and when you end up in a completely different place than you may have intended. You seem to be climbing around on the wreckage or artifacts of the past. If you get that feeling, think of it as the unresolved remnants of past commitments. In the midst of all that, you might find one or two things you can still stand by, though not much else. To actually live, you must clear out of your way any promises you’re no longer able or willing to keep, and free others from the same things. Be aware that most of the time, most humans try to live in the past; that’s why so little of actual relevance ever seems to happen. Your way is different.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — The thing about love interests is that if you’re alive and friendly, there are likely to be a few of them around. This is true regardless of whether you consider yourself monogamous, polyamorous or something in between. Regardless of your orientation, you cannot really endure jealousy for long; you feel how controlling it is. Though you’re a loyal person, you can be loyal to many people; indeed, to anyone; which is rooted in your commitment to your own purpose. Therefore, you need a way to engage with people close to you and deflect the issue until you can have a real conversation. It’s possible that you’ve attained a state of harmony among the people around you, or that you’re on the way to doing so. You thrive on collaboration and cooperation. Competition does not feel good, and it has limited use. Yet you also need to love whom you love, which is a privilege rarely taken with an open heart and clear conscience. You owe yourself at least this much. This is true in all aspects of your life, from the (seemingly) most private to the (seemingly) most public. What you strive to do in life, the impact and influence that you have, all stem directly from you. You are the primary person who will benefit, who will notice and who will give yourself credit for what you’ve accomplished.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — You’re growing and changing in ways you may not understand; don’t let that stop you from appreciating them. You may, for instance, have noticed that the ground seems to be leveling between you and those you previously considered powerful or daunting. It’s a sign of maturity when you can meet people on the human level, irrespective of any rank, status or power they may seem to have. Learning to see people eye to eye, across level ground — including everyone you encounter — is going to be the essence of your life for the far foreseeable future. To do this requires commitment and practice. It’s a form of karma yoga that you can do all the time, and from which nobody you encounter is exempt. By this I mean the great and the mighty, the poor and the infirm, plants, animals, skyscrapers, sacred ruins and all the great achievements of culture. All of the above: train yourself to view this as all being equal to you. This would also include the tragedies you witness, and the desolation that is becoming prevalent in our benighted world. In the most immediate, practical and day-to-day approach, this ‘level field of reality’ reaches first into the agreements that you make mutually with others. You must hold yourself to those agreements, and do what you can to hold others to their commitments to you. That is the beginning.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — When you are honest with yourself, the feeling is akin to tapping into a hot well of your own strength. If you swim down into yourself in the direction from which the heat is flowing, you can make many discoveries about yourself. They are all part of the same thing. Your chart right now looks like the rocks have cracked open at the bottom of your personal ocean, and light and heat and love are flowing out into your emotional body. You can trust this process, even though it might be frightening at times. That part passes, and you will be left with the deep feeling of being whole within yourself. Your astrology suggests that you’ve been experimenting in this territory for years. Yet a new factor has entered the equation. This, you might say, is an ability to hold space for yourself, as you go through your self-discovery. Your holding open of inner space has many effects. One of them is to wipe out your tendency to be lied to, or to get confused by the self-deception of others. The current of your personal, visceral truth is more potent than any deception or misunderstanding, anywhere. Another is to point you on a trajectory into yourself. You are gradually aligning with an opening that you’ve been seeking for a long time. In that unusual space, all self-judgment releases itself into love.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — There seems to be some complex family situation brewing in your chart, and you have the ability to entirely subvert this from becoming a drama. As you do that, you have an opportunity to shift your perspective on your family history and all the ways that it relates to both your past and your present. There seems to be a lot to unravel here. Yet I can tell you from much experience in therapy that sometimes the simplest observation can reveal the whole pattern, and once you see that for what it is, you can let go of it — if you choose. Here’s a story for you: Many years ago I was in therapy and brought in my father. I was frustrated that he did not seem to recognize who I was, but he was willing to come in. It was a form of Gestalt therapy (which gets right to the point). Joe, the therapist, had us stand face to face about half a step apart. He said, raise your hands and press them together. We stood there like that for a moment, and he said, on the count of three, push. One, two, three — and I went over backwards. My father had just pushed me over backwards. I caught my balance, though in that moment I understood the total dynamic of our relationship. I got it, just like that — and I was set free and never forgot.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — Points of transgression often contain powerful sexual energy. This is one of the core paradoxes involved in any form of sexual healing. There are often mixed feelings, of being violated and of being turned on. This seeming split can be painful and confusing until it’s seen for what it is. It seems to be a universal spiritual principle that when a person sustains an injury of any kind, it creates a crisis. That crisis can simmer quietly, it can fester, or it can accumulate power. Think of this as the ‘shamanic wound’ or ‘power wound’ that demands healing and in the process, focuses your ability to heal. This is not so much dangerous territory as it is shrouded in taboo. When healing is activated, when that commitment is made, real power is summoned; power that you might call cosmic, or genetic, or rooted in the miracle of evolution. And when that strength is contacted, it can be so amazing and so profound as to be frightening. Now is your chance to stay with yourself as you make friends with this gift. You’re dealing with something in the human condition that is very old; it’s ancient, and it’s ancestral in that it harks back several generations. See if you can align yourself with the way in which a sense of injury can lead you directly to the strength that will activate your healing gift. Stay present for yourself. Healing is your birthright. It’s natural, and will set you free.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — The past year of your life has summoned a level of discipline in you that’s been most unusual. Yet the results have been worth it. You have come into a state of balance that has brought maturity, progress and some actual achievements. Keep in mind that the most important of those are internal: your ability to make decisions, to get along with others, and to set the course of your life. It’s true that you’ve had to make some sacrifices, though in hindsight you will likely see that what you’ve given up you actually exchanged for experiences of greater value. If your chart describes one necessary growth task at this time, it involves a lingering attachment left over from early in life, which you now have an opportunity to identify and resolve. There are few people who have not endured some kind of abuse or neglect, and most of them underestimate the degree to which this affects their lives today. Even a relatively small unresolved emotional condition can, at times, turn into a reactive state that is projected onto others, who have absolutely no connection to the original situation. Should something like this happen over the next few weeks, you have the ability to stop the show, and get a handle on what’s really going on. Those now in your life will be open to your healing this; you can let it go.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — There’s a story developing in your chart about devoting your attention to those who are less well-off than you are. If you follow this story, it will become a calling, an invitation to do what you can for whomever you can. I recognize these are instincts that must be followed carefully. It’s easy to burn out or overextend yourself. It’s also easy to listen and hear the seemingly small ways you can be of help, and take action in a way that is harmless to everyone and helpful in the intended way. Noticing that people exist is an excellent place to start; being noticed can be of profound significance for someone who lives their life feeling invisible. And there may be more tangible ways you can help, whether in the moment or in the long run; for example, making introductions between those who have a need and someone else who might be able to fulfill it. The wider theme here is the cultivation of your compassion and empathy. This comes at no cost to anyone, and does not take up your time. What these qualities do call for is vulnerability, and the recognition of human frailty. Once you make contact with that level of your existence, you will tap into a deeper strength, perhaps deeper than you’ve ever known. And you will discover yourself to be a messenger of faith.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — In addition to being one of the most mentally intelligent signs of the zodiac, Aquarius can have a tendency to outsmart itself. This is the result of overemphasis on analysis as a means of answering questions or solving problems. Reason and rationality are essential tools, and they must be balanced by what is sometimes called emotional intelligence. We might reframe that as physical intelligence, a kind of clairvoyance that comes directly through your body. Your body does not usually speak in words, and it’s easy to drown out its intelligence with too many of them. That said, your intuition seems to be developing a new language. You might think of this as a language conveyed in light rather than in sound or the alphabet. The light you ‘read’ may be experienced internally, or you may gather a feeling or sensation from visual illumination. Look carefully at the edges of things, of people and their auras. There is a message for you, though it will be subtle. It may be filtered and/or doubted by your rational mind. Work with that: doubt is a kind of affirmation and acknowledgement. If you experience any negative emotions directed at yourself, tune in to the spiritual level in this way. The purpose of these communications is healing your self-doubt and past injuries to your self-esteem. Ease back and let the love flow to you, and through you.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — The coming year is the last full year of Chiron in your birth sign. That journey began in April 2010, and represents a series of initiations that you’ve been through. You are no longer an aspirant. You’ve had little choice other than to rise to the occasion of whatever Chiron has offered. This complex little planet has many facets; here are three of them. Perhaps the very essence of Chiron is training your ability to turn what has harmed you in the past into a source of strength and wisdom today. Talents and healing gifts can collect around these injured places, which can have a way of transforming your life and your sense of purpose. Second, Chiron has taught you that it’s necessary for you to be as different as you are. Continue the process of burning off any awkwardness or uncertainty about this. You simply must stand out and be who you actually are, even if there seems to be a price to pay for that. Last, perhaps the least acknowledged theme of Chiron, is that of mentorship. This is a form of teaching where the flame of knowledge and power is passed directly from one person to another. Note the few people in your life who have stayed with you through this journey. Note as well your own state of devotion to those who seek out your leadership and guidance one-on-one. You teach what you most need to learn.