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Archive for Friday 29th April 2005

Astrology Secrets Revealed: Eric Francis Answers Your Questions
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The Pope's Moon and the Airbus 380

Dear Eric,

What do the Pope's Moon and the Airbus 380 have in common?
Confused in Europe

Dear Confused

The only thing they have in common is that I'm going to cover both in this introduction. I want to thank everyone who wrote to me and said Pope Benedict, Joseph Ratzinger, really has a Libra Moon. In last week's edition, I gave him both Libra and Virgo moons, depending on what part of the article you reference. This is encouraging because it means you're paying attention. It's very disconcerting to make an astrology mistake that nobody notices. A lot of you noticed; we are doing our jobs.

Now, we can stretch the issue a bit. If we cast Benedict's sidereal chart -- using the other zodiac, the one used by the Vedic astrologers, who hang out with gurus -- we find that the pope does indeed have a Virgo Moon. He also becomes Aquarius rising, and his vitally important Aries Uranus backs in to Pisces. If any of our readers are up to casting his sidereal chart and taking a look, I would be interested what you see, and consider sharing your ideas with our readers. For someone as advanced in life, in religion and in politics as Benedict, the sidereal chart is going to factor significantly.

As for the Airbus 380. Without dwelling on the point of the world's biggest airplane getting nearly 500 tons of itself off the Earth, taking a four-hour flight around the south of France, and landing with the shiny side up, here is the chart for the event:

Airbus 380 chart

First let's address the not-small question of Sagittarius. Is it not perfect that this chart has a raging hot Moon in mid-Sagittarius, the sign of long-distance travel, international culture, and large things?

Note also: the Moon is ON the great attractor, at 14 degrees and 2 minutes of Sagittarius (it's just a degree away -- very close). I've written about this point before in this column. It is the thing that makes Sagittarius so incredibly powerful; that, along with the core of our Milky Way galaxy being located in this sign as well. These two points make Sagittarius what it is. The Great Attractor, an object far, far from us that is so massive it's drawing a million galaxies toward it like a huge magnet, is explained in a short article I wrote a few years ago.

The Moon on this point means we are looking at a development that may not seem to have much impact now, but which will have real impact in the future. It will make money. It will sell. Cancer rules the 2nd house and that Moon is powerful.

Next, note that Uranus is on the midheaven. The midheaven is a truly sensitive line in the chart, and Uranus on that line makes it prominent. This is often true in the charts of technological breakthroughs. Uranus was prominent in the chart of the first airplane flight (at Kitty Hawk; the data is Dec. 17, 1903, 10:35 am, Kill Devil Hill, NC -- a very important chart): it was conjunct the Sun. Aquarius is prominent in both charts, ruling the house of long-distance travel, the 9th for the Airbus 380 and rising in the Kitty Hawk chart.

In Wednesday morning's test flight, Neptune is there, right on the cusp. Can you see it? There is the idea that this is a kind of dream or delusion. The thing is, it's a dream that actually flies. What makes me a little nervous is that Mars is in this sign. The issue with aircrafts these days is not that they're not technically sound; and not that the people who fly them don't perform nearly flawlessly. The problem is those with unfriendly intentions. Given that the Moon is in the 6th house, the house of 'small cattle', I recommend that each of these airplanes come with a team of 20 or so specially trained dogs who scrub the thing down each time it takes off. With the Moon close to Pluto like that, they need to pay attention; and when it comes time to pay attention, dogs are often the answer.

Do we have anything offering special protection? I think there may be. Note that in this chart Saturn is on the 2nd house cusp (hinting at the economic questions about self-sufficiency of the project), but it's also rising, in the sign Cancer. Jupiter, which bestows protection, is in Libra. Now for a fancy trick. Jupiter is exalted in Cancer. Saturn is exalted in Libra. We have a case of mutual reception -- planets occupying one another's signs. They can switch places, by degree. Jupiter in Libra is rising in this chart as well. It is, however, retrograde. That is luck that it's not a good idea to push.

The same holds true for all of us approaching the Taurus New Moon. We are still in the last lunar cycle after an eclipse, and Mercury is still working itself out in the last days of the shadow phase. Mars is about to change signs and return to Pisces for the first time since the retrograde of summer 2003. This is an excellent time to go on existing momentum, to consider plans with slow care and caution, and to make one move at a time.

The forthcoming Taurus New Moon on May 8 is a glorious moment. Be patient -- it will arrive in style.

To indulge in more of my writing and my horoscopes, please have a look at Planet Waves and Planet Waves Weekly.

Here are a few of your questions this week.

Why Can’t I Get Hired?

Dear Eric

I've been reading your Planet Waves column for a few years and I just love it. I'm hoping that you can help me. I am in a state of despair and depression nearly every day over my work situation. For the past ten years I have been unable to find work with meaning and purpose. I tried to go the academic route (which is where I thought my heart was) but I have been unable to get accepted into a doctoral program and I have been unable to get a full-time college-level teaching job. I mean, I have been rejected over and over and over every year. People have told me all kinds of things about why I haven't gotten in, but it always boils down to "you're not trying hard enough."

In order to pay the bills, I have been at my current desk job for two years and every day it is getting harder and harder to get up in the morning.

Sometimes I wake up and cry. Why can't I figure out what it is I'm supposed to do? Why can't I find my meaning and purpose and have it work out?

I recently went to see an astrologer who did my natal chart and solar return chart. She told me that I have an excellent chart for higher education, so I should apply again for academic positions. So I applied for seven teaching jobs, and the SAME thing is happening (it's almost a repeat to the exact detail): I'm getting rejection letters left and right (I have two master's degrees and owe thousands of dollars in student loans, so I don't think it would be good to try to get yet another degree).

The one thing the astrologer did mention was that I have a chart of a healer, teacher, or minister. I feel so lost, however, I don't know WHAT I want anymore. I can't keep repeating the same thing over and over again, yet that's what I'm doing. I feel locked into something I don't like.

I've been trying to manifest clarity, new opportunities, and new possibilities through meditation and visualization. So why isn't anything happening? Should I let go of all of the academic desires? Should I let go of teaching? Should I just take a leap of faith and quit my current boring desk job so that I don't go completely insane? If I just completely let go and allow things to happen, it seems to me that I will just be stuck here for another two years. I'm at my wits end. Please help. Thank you.

June 2, 1968 at 2:54pm
San Jose, California, USA

Jennifer's Chart

Dear Jennifer

This is a very common problem. I'm not sure this will help you feel any better, but you are not alone. A crisis of meaning is something that the entire Western world is vibrating with. In fact at times it feels like an earthquake. Reading your question, I would propose you're a bit lost in the sauce.

One of the mistakes we make, particularly Americans, is that we associate work with life with meaning. It is easy enough to associate work with life, but it's not so easy to make that come out to be something meaningful. Usually, people who have meaningful, satisfying work put the meaning first and the work and money second. I know this may sound positively strange to those who go to work specifically for money, as most people do.

But when it comes down to a crisis of meaning, and it often does sooner or later, then the deeper question is meaning.

To complicate matters, most parents will support their children in nothing other than work that 'makes money'. I could make a long list of people I am friends with today who wanted to be a (whatever) but their parents sent them to (engineering school, nursing school, or wherever) or discouraged them from (acting school, art school, playing music, singing, writing) or whatever else. I've written before that well into the 1990s my father was sending me applications to take the U.S. Postal Service exam.

Who, me? I wanted to be a writer. In fact, I already was a writer. But these are the bizarre rules that society plays by -- or tries to. And don't we all have these stories? Don't we hear them every day?

I have looked at your chart, Jennifer. It's a very exciting, intelligent chart, and you are in many ways truly blessed. I could say a lot about it. But if I did, I would be taking something from you, not giving it to you. That something is the joy of discovery.

Instead of telling you what you should do based on your chart, or what your chart says you have as strengths, I'm going to ask you two questions, and I would be happy to read what you say and publish the answers, if you will respond and make sure you say that I asked and refer to this letter.

The first is, setting aside all the 'shoulds' and the bank loans and the day job, what do you really love? And a related question: What are your really, truly good at?

The second question is: Why would you not do that? What is stopping you right now? Not necessarily from doing it full time, but rather from developing these things at all?

Fortunately for you, your chart makes some rather strong statements about your leanings, your talents and your sense of having a special destiny. This might be worth a comment: this special sense of destiny is so strong that you may feel nothing you could ever do with your life could live up to it. I suggest, if that is true, that you set it aside and go in and find that quality of existence that allows you to feel how blessed you are.

And if, on the way, you find things in the way...judgments and fear and guilt and whatever else we all drag around, I suggest you face those as their own special situation. This is really the essence of the second question. It is what I will call the 'therapy question'. It's the one that requires a deeper level of self-understanding, and of really having a grasp on how the past, the present and the future interact with one another. That is to say, what are the past influences that are affecting your present life? What in your present life keeps you from seeing the potential of the future? While you can be guided to find answers to these questions, only you can go within yourself and see the influences, identify the voices, and sense how you relate to your own sense of worth.

I can say with some certainty that you are struggling to deal with the hidden psychological legacy of one of your parents. I can also say with some certainty that situations that developed while your mother was pregnant with you are well worth knowing about.

In the end, when you have some experience exploring these inner conditions, and feel more settled emotionally, you may be truly grateful that some of the opportunities you thought you wanted the most did not open up. It may seem like a real leap of faith to go from where you are today to the idea that you really are free to choose what you want to do with your life. But you are, and I believe you know that, too.

Transformation and the Power of Pluto and Uranus

Hi Eric Francis,

Thank you for sharing with us some of your hard-earned wisdom. My question is rather straightforward, although I'm not sure whether it's of general relevance and therefore worthy of taking up your time.

Is there a way of explaining why, since June 2000, I seem to have been caught up in a maelstrom of change? Is it coincidence, or a severe attack of synchronicity that after a pretty uneventful life all the mainstays of my existence seem to have been swept away all of a sudden? My family life erupted, my father got ill and died, I changed careers branching out in a totally unexpected new field, I moved twice.

I am a different person, both inside and out -- even my physical appearance has changed of its own volition. What's worrying me is that things don't look like they are slowing down and it's getting to be a bit exhausting coping with all the challenges. Is there any chance that this crazy merry-go-round will stop in the near future?

Well, it's ironic that until a few years ago I would never have dreamed of writing to an astrology column...

Thank you
Born in Milano (Italy) November 10, 1962
at 7.15am

Francesca's Chart

Dear Francesca:

Actually, many people have been going through this kind of process. It's a really excellent astrology question, and I've addressed the subject in many private sessions. The answer to your question in one word is 'transits', which means that planets moving through the sky are making aspects to planets in your natal chart. However, the planets in question in your case are not the garden variety squash, but rather Uranus and Pluto -- high octane squash. And when Uranus and Pluto get going, that means big changes that can last a long time and which we can't exactly come back from. And not that we would want to.

There are certain kinds of people who are accustomed to living a life of constant motion. Some have agreed to embark on a spiritual path of some kind; some have taken unusual paths in life and must face major challenges at every turn; others are not attached to stability. However, if you want your life to have any semblance of 'normalcy' (a strange word, isn't it?), then the time for that is not generally when you have Uranus and Pluto active in your chart.

Or, looked at another way, this is a time when the only constant is change, when a measure of turmoil is normal, and when you must go with the flow. And while this process began many years ago, it's likely to continue well into the future, though if you look carefully, you will notice subtle changes in the themes and the experiences of the growth you're experiencing. It's not just one relentless zing. The feeling, the subject, the experiences, the pace of change, all differ from season to season and year to year.

Here is a brief overview of your astrological situation. In your birth chart, you have a lot of planets in Virgo and Pisces. These include Uranus, Pluto (in Virgo at the time of your birth), as well as Jupiter and Chiron (in Pisces at the time of your birth), as well as three important asteroids in Virgo (Ceres, Vesta and Juno). These planets are all placed in 'high energy' houses -- the 4th and the 10th, what are called 'angular houses'.

That is the setup. It will be similar for anyone with a strong mutable quality to their chart -- Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius or Pisces.

Beginning around 1996, Pluto, moving through in Sagittarius, began making 90-degree aspects to this series of planets. This went on for years -- well into 2001. Then you got a little break, if you noticed it, since the effects of Pluto transits can hang around for a while. And there were other transits that could work with similar intensity.

Pluto transits can and will change anything and everything about you that needs to be changed. Pluto is the planet of 'enforced growth'. It works slowly, thank God. If it worked fast, a lot of people would be popped out of their bodies. Its changes are gradual, over time, and can include every aspect of a person, particularly the deeper ones. Pluto tends to work from the core of a person outward. Sometimes its effects are subtle, but they are undeniable.

Next, in early 2003, Uranus went into Pisces. This began a series of conjunctions to your two Pisces planets, and oppositions to your series of five Virgo planets and asteroids. This is not yet complete -- it will go on for at least another year.

Last, mixed in with this series of events were two 'key life transits' -- Pluto square Pluto around 2001, and Uranus opposite Uranus last year. This is astro talk for saying that Pluto reached the 90-degree mark to your natal Pluto; and Uranus reached the 180-degree mark to your natal Uranus at these times.

Even without all the extra stuff you have clustered in Virgo and Pisces, these two transits are the ones that completely rearrange the lives of many, many people, and they are some of the most routine astrology projects that my colleagues and I work with in our clients. Of the two, Uranus transits can be all the more energized and even forceful, and can at times hit like lightening. That lightening can and often does wake us up.

When I am fortunate enough to see these things coming in advance, I will explain to the client that they can expect to be a different person living a different life on the other side of the transit. This is not always welcome news -- many people cling to stability. However, others welcome the opportunity to make real progress and to grow in a way that nothing is going to stop them.

So at this point, we need to reframe your question. Yes, your life has been a whirlwind of changes for many years. But what, exactly, is the sequence of events? What changed? What about you has changed? Was any of this on your agenda?

What was your life like in 1996, and what is it like today? Would you go back?

Helping an Agoraphobic Child

Dear Eric:

Help! I'm an Aquarian born on February 14, 1960 and have three daughters: the oldest was born April 12, 1986; the middle child January 26, 1988; and the youngest June 3, 1990. I've been separated for three years, after 18 years of marriage to my ex, who was born October 5, 1954.

To be brief, my life has been full of stress on and off for what seems years. A year and a half ago, the youngest stopped going to school then became agoraphobic and only goes out with me. Lately I was lucky enough to get offered a new job after being on the sick for a few years with high blood pressure. I really want this position but again am torn, as my daughter won't do anything willingly herself any more.

I feel as if I have been living two lives -- my own, and my daughter’s, as she doesn't let anyone else help, because of extreme social phobia. Lately I feel like I'm going to lose it myself as my youngest’s mood swings, verbal outbursts, and not feeling any guilt regarding her anger to anyone, only sorry for herself, are starting to wear me down.... Up until now I don't know where I've found the strength. Hopefully this is just another rough spell that we'll get thru!

Any help you can offer regarding planets, etc. would be helpful.


Dear Val:

I need to start by going around astrology and right to a direct question: what kind of professional help have you sought for you and your children? I think you are correct to be concerned about your youngest daughter, as she seems to be in a fairly difficult state of mind. This is likely to be influencing the rest of the family, as well as a situation involving her environment. The two are closely related.

I would look into the astrology, but I am of the belief that there is not much it could do. What I believe you need is someone you can work with who can develop a deep understanding of your situation, talk to you in person, and spend some time with you, your daughter and your other children as well. No astrology charts can substitute for that, and responsible astrologers know when to pass on the question and refer the client to more qualified individuals. Were I able to work with you in person over the long run, it would be different -- though I would still be likely to suggest you seek additional help.

It would appear that you and your family are still adjusting to life without your husband, which is certainly a healing process. These adjustments and healing processes require not only time, but awareness, love, energy and the willingness to heal. But usually they require assistance. And when the right assistance is found, great progress is possible.

Just like you asked me for help, I suggest you ask someone who is specifically qualified to address this kind of situation, such as a family therapist or child psychologist. If you would contact me directly, or contact my office (using the contact info on this page), I would be happy to assist you in finding professionals in your local area who may be able to help. And I suggest you work with someone whose first line of defense is not mood-altering drugs. Those should, I feel, be the last resort.

On an astrological note, I will add this. You use the word 'rough spells' and we have just been through one that lasted from mid-March through late April. I expect things might settle down a little bit, but I still suggest you seek assistance, and plan for the process to take a year or two to work out.

Thank you for all you do for your children.

And After Saturn?

Hello Eric,

I have had Saturn prominent in my birth sign for quite some time now and so the eclipse might be something that I need to know about going forward. I have, looking back, rather enjoyed the ride Saturn gave me even though it was hard work but I wonder what is there beyond that. Maybe the eclipse will give me some clue as to what my next adventure is.

Thanks Eric,
June 25, 1952, 11:19 am
Loveland, Colorado

Dear Kenneth:

If you are singing Saturn's praises, this tells me you've really been doing the kind of introspective work that Saturn demands -- particularly as it has been conjunct your natal Mercury.

I would like to bring up another subject -- Chiron. I say Chiron because you are 52 (soon 53) and you experienced your Chiron return over the past couple of years. Indeed, you have Chiron in Capricorn, which at least astrologically accounts for your love and respect for Saturn.

Generally, people start to come out of their Chiron return at around age 52 or 53 and then head for new adventures. These changes can be rather sudden; there can be an emergence or development, as often happens after we're done with a major Saturn transit as well.

You have asked for a clue. So, based on a look at your chart, here is an intuitive response.

Have you ever taken up some major public role in life? As big as you want, but something with high visibility, enormous responsibility, and that calls for you to make the very best use of your awesome charisma, your intelligence and your truly benevolent attitude? Something that calls for people to trust you to the exact degree to which you are worthy of that trust.

I don't see you as being a 'private individual' but rather as someone who is -- I use this word judiciously -- destined to be part of the much larger scheme of life.

You have something big waiting for you in this respect. Just exactly what I will not dare to guess, and it may be professional, or involve what you think of as your community in some way.

Maybe you know exactly what I'm talking about.

The Eclipse and Wesak

Dear Eric,

Do you or Jonathan have any comments or insights on the coming lunar eclipse on April 24; it will be visible where I live in country Victoria Australia. This is the third consecutive year there has been an eclipse at Wesak -- the Shamballa cycle.

Thank you

Dear Gwen:

Eclipses run in cycles and for periods of two or three years they fall in the same approximate time of year. Currently they are occurring in spring and autumn. They slowly move backwards and will work their way toward late winter and late summer.

I am not familiar with Wesak, so I can't comment on your question, but here is what we learned about that festival.

Quoting from:

"The second of the three major spiritual planetary festivals is The Wesak Festival, The Buddha’s Blessing, and is celebrated in the eastern hemisphere at the Taurus full moon. This is the festival of The Buddha, divine intermediary between the highest spiritual center, Shamballa, and the Hierarchy.

"The Buddha is the expression of the Wisdom of God, the embodiment of light and the indicator of divine purpose.

"The Forces of Enlightenment are active during this festival. These forces emanate from the Heart of God, and transmit the second principle of Divinity, Love-Wisdom, leading to Divine Understanding and strengthening those who serve humanity. The qualities of The Buddha and The Christ eminent are the two outstanding expressions of this principle.

"The Forces of Enlightenment are initiating a World Religion. The first to be affected by these forces are the great educational movements, the forums of the people in all lands, and the values which can unfold through the mass communications media. The press, publishers of world literature, speakers, writers, radio commentators, newspaper reporters, ministers and all involved in communicating ideas are affected by these forces streaming into the minds of people everywhere. As these new emerging ideas are recognized, they can then be directly channeled to influence the masses of people everywhere."

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