Jonathan Cainer Zodiac Forecasts

Welcome to Eric Francis
Eric Francis Astrology Q&A
Archive for Friday August 11th 2006

Astrology Secrets Revealed: Eric Francis Answers Your Questions
To send your question to Eric click here
Click here to read Eric's previous Q&As

You can visit Eric's fascinating web page at

Liquid Moon

Dear Friends, Near and Far:

MI5, the British intelligence agency, said Thursday that it had foiled a major terrorist plot to blow up airplanes mid-flight from the UK to the United States using explosives contained in fizzy drinks.

Home Secretary John Reid confirmed that there had been a plot "to bring down a number of aircraft through mid-flight explosions causing a considerable loss of life," BBC reported Thursday morning.

When the UKs airports reopen, carry-on baggage will be banned for the first time, and only bare essentials such as passports will be allowed in the cabin, contained in a transparent bag.

Twenty-one arrests were made. The chart, which I will go over in a moment, suggests that when those details are available, we will see a domestic plot of some kind, much like with the Underground bombings of the summer of 2005. [Note, just after I typed this, news came out that all those arrested were indeed British subjects, of Pakistani descent.]

Though the bust has already been made, the alert level has been raised to "critical," or imminent attack expected -- it's being reported that two plotters are still at large. It has been reported that part of this plot involved the potential use of "liquid explosives," in the form of hair gel. In what will be devastating news to many, styling goo has been banned from flights.

Indeed, BBC News was reporting Thursday that all liquids, including insulin and contact lens solution, are banned. In a slightly conflicting report, it was also reported that mothers were being required to taste baby milk in front of security agents.

Nobody is missing that this event occurred on the Aquarius Full Moon, conjunct the planet Neptune, right? That is a LOT of liquid. Neptune is also the great astrological question mark in the sky, often representing foggy situations where the truth is never known.

As discussed last week, we are in the midst of a major planetary event, the long opposition of two planets, Saturn and Neptune. This is the opposition or full phase of a conjunction that occurred in 1989. The Full Moon yesterday occurred with the Sun conjunct Saturn and the Moon conjunct Neptune, hence emphasizing the opposition in a personal way.

As I wrote in last week's Planet Waves Weekly:

"Solar and lunar activity often serve to emphasize existing astrology. As we've been discussing, we are in a global threshold indicated by the opposition of Saturn and Neptune, which is also working on the level of a psychological and emotional process for each individual. While the aspect reaches the exact alignment August 31, the Full Moon on Wednesday [Aug. 9] will pull it into focus and precipitate events that are involved with the larger process...the presence of the exceptionally personal Sun and Moon will do something else -- draw many people into the situation, through awareness, experience, and feeling. The Full Moon is like being near the water when the tide is rising. If you're on a boat, you go up. If you're on the beach, you get wet, or you go to higher ground."

Hmmm, more liquid yet.

The fact that locally, the Full Moon it occurred at about noon (summer or daylight savings time) means that the Sun was high in the sky. This gave the aspect considerable emphasis in England and much of Europe.

However, we do have an event time we can use -- the Security Service raised the alert level at 2 am Thursday. Here is the chart:

Security Raised chart

So let's see what we get. Cancer is in the ascendant. Cancer rising puts great emphasis on the Moon. Now, in any event or horary chart, the Moon is important, but particularly when Cancer is in the ascendant. When we look at the Moon, we find out: 1. Its last major aspect was to Pluto; 2. It is technically void of course, but also applying to a quincunx or inconjunct to Venus and Mercury.

Whether to use the quincunx or inconjunct aspect is a question (which is why it's called an "inconjunct" -- in the old days it was considered a non-aspect); let's leave the question open. What matters more is whether the ruler of the ascendant and the ruler of the house representing the question make an aspect, and what it says.

What is the house for this question? Hmmm, I say the 12th -- secret enemies, and big secrets in general. The 12th has Taurus on the cusp and Gemini intercepted (stuck in the middle with no house cusp going through it). This gives us two rulers for the 12th -- Mercury and Venus. We find these situated: 1. In the sign Cancer, meaning domestic and 2. In the 2nd house: money. Lots and lots of money. Resources. Wealth. The wealth of nations. In Cancer, the wealth of the planet.

Interestingly enough, the Aquarius Moon makes its next aspect, an inconjunct, to that very Mercury and Venus.

Is it just me, or is there really something quite annoying when we get a news chart for a big dramatic event where lots of lives may be lost, but were saved -- and then the chart is talking about a big pile of cash?

Whether you follow the old rule and don't count the quincunx/inconjunct as an aspect, or whether you do, a fairly weak Moon to Venus contact is not the kind of thing that would signify foiling the biggest terrorist plot in the history of the empire, where many lives have been saved, and the president of the United States was being briefed on the phone all night.

From last week's Planet Waves Weekly: "Neptune in Aquarius represents a kind of mass delusion and media haze, which is being used to pump an aggressive agenda into the minds of people in countries with the most resources."

In modern terms, usually psychological, the quincunx/inconjunct is an aspect of "adjustment." What, associated with money, might be getting adjusted? The Moon is in Aquarius, the sign of the people. Aquarius is the 8th sign from the ascendant; the 8th is the house of death and taxes. I think that somehow or another, England is going to have to pay for all the wars it's participating in, and the way you do that is, of course, taxes. You skim some of that wealth from everyone to pay for the mess -- and you keep on fighting.

The film "Wag the Dog" has trained us all to be skeptical of big news when the careers of politicians plunge to all-time lows, and when so much else is going amiss in the world. Let me be the first to remind you not to pay any attention to Iraq and Lebanon, or the man behind the curtain.

Fidel: Newborn Octogenarian

Now for the original lead to today's edition.

On my birthday a few years back, when I was living in Miami at the same time Elian Gonzalez was there, I hired a car and drove down to Key West, the last little island in the Florida Keys. There, I stayed in a motel that claimed to be the closest one in the United States to Cuba. You could walk out the door, go half a block to this rocky shoreline, and there was the famous sign: 90 miles to Cuba.

Indeed, that little piece of the world had an ominous feeling, for whatever reason, with the wild ocean there dropping off like an abyss, and the fog, and all that Cuba stands for. Cuba is an island that holds a place in Earth mythology second only to Atlantis. In the political history of the modern world, Cuba holds a very special place for anyone who feels global domination by capitalism is neither right, nor necessary, and who accepts that countries are sovereign and have a right to manage their own affairs.

But most of all, since the revolution of 1959, the United States has tried every dirty trick in the book to mess Cuba up, including hundreds of attempts on the life of Fidel Castro by the CIA. There have been plans to invade, create fake attacks and blame them on Cuba, and then "retaliate," and plenty of other plots and schemes. None of them have worked.

Castro is the world's longest ruling current head of government.

It's Castro's 80th birthday this week, and I would like to take a brief look at his chart. Castro is not somebody who is usually celebrated in our neck of the woods -- but they love him a lot of places, most of which are where Spanish is spoken. Castro has been in the news because he just underwent intestinal surgery of some kind, and handed over power to his brother Raul.

Castro remains a controversial, despised figure in much of American culture, particularly in the mainstream media, which takes many jabs at him. Any American politician who calls Fidel Castro a dictator is the ultimate hypocrite -- we need to fix our national election system in the States before we can claim to have a democratic country. To borrow from a recent quote on Cuban TV, it's tin pan rhetoric. Canada has long taken a more warm-hearted attitude toward Cuba, purchasing more than a third of Cuba's exports, including shellfish, sugar and nickel.

There are four potential birth charts for Fidel Castro. This is not a typical problem when doing astrology, but it happens often enough that it's worth commenting on. Most sources cite Aug. 13, 1926 as the date of birth. Two times are circulating; 2 am and 1 pm. This is the usual kind of problem you have. But now it gets more interesting when you factor in some sources saying he was really born in 1927. That makes a potential of four charts.

The first time I ran into this question, I checked the Chinese year to see if that gave a clue. If he was born in 1926, he was born the year of the Tiger. If he was born 1927, he was born the year of the Hare (or the Cat in Korean astrology). Castro has elements of both. But Tiger gives you assertive leadership qualities like a Dragon or Horse, and someone who is not afraid of conflict. While Castro now wears a suit, he began his career as an armed revolutionary, probably a little more like a Tiger than a Hare. If you take 1926, you get a Libra Moon; if you take 1927, you get Aquarius. Both are air signs, and both are plausible.

Two elements help me lean toward the 1926 chart. One is the Mars-Chiron conjunction -- strongly emphasizing a kind of spiritual warrior, with the placement in Taurus, the sign of values. This conjunction makes a loose square to a number of his planets, including Mercury, and those squares to Mars and/or Chiron (in this case both) are extremely strong.

The second element is Pluto exactly on the North Node. If you are wondering how the lunar nodes work, here is an example. They focus, magnify and anchor us to realty. When you factor in all that we know about Castro, how long he has endured and against what odds, that Pluto exactly aligned with the node is very compelling. And if being a Tiger makes him care less about popularity, Pluto in Cancer on the node gives him an intense mass appeal that's based on a lot more than charisma. That node points to a kind of unalterable mission in life; if anything says destiny, that is it.

The third element that convinced me was the progressions to the chart. Progressions are a way of advancing a chart one day per year, such that the chart for one's 30th day of life is associated with one's 30th year. Usually, when you have a working chart, you get strong synchronicities in the progressions -- and the 1926 chart was ringing bells all over the place, particularly the 1 pm chart.

However, to be on the safe side, we ran the whole issue past Ursula Fugger in Toronto, who is something of an astrologer's astrologer, and not surprisingly, she had already been hard at work rectifying Fidel's charts when we contacted her. She, too (after a ton more work than I did) landed on the 1 pm chart for 1926, but using Castro's life events, utilizing transits as well as progressions, she rectified the time to 11:42 am. This preserves Scorpio rising of the 1 pm chart, with Saturn in the 1st house. Here it is:

Fidel Chart

Three houses in this chart are very strong, and stand out to express Castro's character in astrology. There are many other subtle factors -- perhaps you'll pick up on them. For those new to this game, you start counting houses below the left hand horizontal line, which is the 1st house. That has Saturn in it. This was not one of the strong houses I had in mind, but go figure -- it definitely is rather powerful. People with so much Scorpio, so emphasized, can walk on coals without the full-day workshop; they can juggle knives; if they go skydiving and their parachute doesn't open, they still make it. Hence, we have a picture of someone who slept next to a guy sent to kill him, who had the gun and all, but the guy couldn't do it.

As for those other houses: in order, note the 6th, with Chiron and mars in Taurus. The 6th is the work house, which also represents well-being, healing, and service. This says you work for what is important to you. Chiron is a spiritual influence if anything is; it grants an element of struggle, and also an element of sacrifice. Mars needs to fight for a cause, and Chiron says it's going to be the right one; that the male energy will express itself 'differently' (Chiron always does things 'differently'). But in the 6th, once the revolution is over, the real work begins.

One interesting thing about Mars-Chiron contacts, particularly the conjunction, is that they tend to favor the underdog. (The link points to an article explaining just how that plays out. Here is another. Both originally appeared in Planet Waves Weekly.) Castro is certainly an underdog, and someone or something favors him. Western powers have messed with every country in Latin America since the Cuban revolution -- except Cuba.

Next is the 9th house, up on the top right. This has Cancer on the cusp, and is occupied by Pluto, the North Node and Venus. The 9th house is international in nature, and Castro has had a stunning impact on the larger international community. Despite dogma from the United States spouted by nine presidents (Carter was friendly to Cuba), that Venus in the 9th suggests he is a deeply loved figure in the international community.

Last, we come to the 10th house, that of leadership, government, high office, and honor. It's not surprising that we see someone of Castro's stature with a strong 10th -- and no matter what time he was born, a strongly aspected Sun. We get an interesting arrangement here, which is the Sun conjunct Neptune and Vesta, two planets which at their best speak about doing things for the greater good. The Sun is one's glory; both Neptune and Vesta say, yes, but it's not really for you, it's for everyone, and you'll need to make personal sacrifices to have that power, visibility and influence.

Cuba is a country that has done a lot on very modest means. The country's gross domestic product for a year amounts to about three weeks worth of current borrowing by the United States. The frugal nature of Castro's chart -- whose personality makes up a great deal of the national identity -- is suggested by Saturn in Scorpio rising, but more eloquently by his 10th house placement: Neptune and Vesta conjunct the Sun suggest strongly that he has been personally willing to do what needs to be done to get the real work done. In essence, this chart is saying that he has been true to the revolution, setting an example for others, not just putting out words.

Cuba itself has a low infant mortality rate, high life expectancy, many doctors, and excellent literacy. The country and its people do not live on debt. They may not share capitalist values, but they do a lot with what they have.

Honestly, I don't think we'll find an American Express card in the guy's wallet.

I see his Neptune-Sun in the 10th house as being something suggesting he is an adept or a mystic. Whether this is through some formal training, or through a talent he was born with, he seems to be intuitive and alive on many layers of reality.

Happy birthday, Fidel.

This week I'm going to take two questions -- a bit shorter than usual, the past few weeks have been a knockout. Have you noticed? But definitely a time of big changes, progress and, thankfully, Mercury is direct for a while. Next week I'll preview the approaching season of eclipses that we're heading steadily for.

Daily updates and photos continue at Planet Waves. If you like this column, remember that Astrology Secrets Revealed is sponsored by your subscriptions to Planet Waves Weekly, which offers lots of horoscopes and original and excellent astrology materials every week. We give you personal astrology -- and nice juicy articles about what's really going on in the planets, and down here on the planet. readers love it.

See you there!
Eric signature

Astrology in today's edition was prepared with the help of Paloma Todd, Arwynne O'Neill and Ursula Fugger. News research by Mandy Hall. Editorial assistant: Rachael Stillman. Web production by Vanessa Lawton and Deirdre Ahern at

Funny Vibes

Dear Eric,
On Tuesday evening, after a great dinner with my friends, I had a very strange and disturbing experience.

As I approached my motorcycle I noticed a woman waiting in the middle of the road, blocking traffic, to parallel park her tiny sports car in a parking space that can easily fit two oversized SUV’s. My motorcycle was parked in a space two-car lengths behind her.

Another woman, stuck behind the tiny sports car, is now resting on her horn "encouraging" this woman to park her tiny car already. At this moment it occurs to me that “tiny sports car woman” is waiting for me to move my motorcycle before she parks. As I rush to get closer to my motorbike to help speed up the parking process for this apparent incompetent driver. I notice both women drivers staring at me, one through her windshield and the other from her rear view mirror, both with looks of “Hurry the @#$% up already!!!” Now here’s the strange bit. The moment I reach my motorcycle a surge of chaotic energy rushes at me and then through me. Even the lights on my bike start to blink on and off. I move through the energy, ignoring its affects.

Then, wham, I am pushed off my bike, by this invisible, yet powerful energy and forced to watch as my motorcycle falls to the ground. The woman, in the tiny sports car, then finally backs her car into the oversized space, ignoring me all the while, as the other motorist releases her horn and drives away. I am left confused and exhausted by this energy.

It’s been almost 24 hours since this experience and I am still very depleted by this. I feel I was some sort of conduit for the powerful chaotic energy coming from those two women. I believe it came from those two women…right? Or perhaps, I was not supposed to ride off on my motorcycle at that precise moment. What was that all about?

warm Regards,
San Francisco, CA
PS. I am no stranger to “picking up” on people’s energies. It’s quite often I find myself moving away from people or suddenly experiencing a sad or angry energy coming from someone standing too close to me. I’m quite an empathic. However, this seems to be in a class all it’s own.

Dear Norman:
A weird story well told, and I'm so glad you're in one piece! I am with you -- this is a class by itself, but I've experienced similar phenomena. It would help to have an exact chart of the event. If you have that, we can cover it next week. Thanks for writing!

Yours truly,
Eric signature

Dear Eric,
First I would like to thank your for your website; for taking the time and energy to connect on the level you do with the world around. You have inspired me many times to cultivate emotional and social courage.

My question for you is: Why do I still have emotional barriers with myself, my world and my intimate relationship? I have been in therapy on and off for years, and have always seen myself as a work in progress. I try to cultivate patience and acceptance in myself but somehow I am still unable to receive the peace and love I feel is available to me and that I want. I have many times seen how wonderfully my life blooms when my heart is open but this is, sadly and often frustratingly, not often the case. What gives? I know there are a few funky relationships with my Moon and outer planets that make me a bit screwier but, aren't we all somehow? Or am I about to break into a new plane of consciousness? I feel this is holding me back from great love in my intimate relationship, great progress in my philanthropic work and peace and healing in my heart.


Dear Amy:

Israel Chart

I've gone over your chart carefully for a couple of weeks. We've corresponded a bit. I'm going to take a layered approach to this question, and use today's response to open the discussion.

It's worth noting that you are asking me a question that essentially relates to your own personal introspection. I can see things in the chart, but the question 'why' something exists within your deepest emotional reality, and what to do about it, are personal matters that only you can work out. Others can give feedback and propose ideas, but the answer comes from you.

I want to point out a couple of things about your question itself. One is that you tend to speak in generalities rather than specifics -- in other words, "emotional barriers" rather than the emotions involved. That's different than saying "I can't say what I feel to my loved ones," or "I don't know what I feel," for example. It would help if we had some tangible examples of what you feel you're up against; it's always easier to work out something if we know what it is -- rather than what it's not.

You write: "I have been in therapy on and off for years, and have always seen myself as a work in progress. I try to cultivate patience and acceptance in myself but somehow I am still unable to receive the peace and love I feel is available to me and that I want."

It would be helpful to have a description of this. You speak in positive terms, but you seem to be describing something painful or negative.

One of the things I can see in your chart is that doing just this kind of thing -- being specific about what you feel going on inside yourself -- would be very helpful to you. That is me interpreting your chart.

You have two rather remarkable aspects. One is an exact square from the Moon to a conjunction of Neptune and Jupiter. Can everyone see that? The Moon is the gray crescent on the left side; it has two zeros next to it. Neptune and Jupiter are at the bottom of the chart, and they each have two zeros next to them. Because the Moon moves so fast, it's remarkable to have this aspect so precise.

Squares are generally experienced as internal dynamics. Generally we go from one side to the other till we do what is called integrate the square. So if I may, let me use your chart to be introspective for you, in cartoon version.

That Virgo Moon wants to do things right, and in the first house, there is an image of a 'perfect self'. It wants things to be accounted for. Along the lines of perfection, it's perfectly square Jupiter and Neptune, in your 4th house of what you feel. Looking at your chart, I'm asking myself: how would I feel if I had Jupiter and Neptune in the 4th house? In Sagittarius?

My answer: I would feel a lot... of something... but I might not know what it is. And it might not match my idea of perfection. But I would want it to. And it would be a very high standard, as there is something Perfectly Spiritual about Jupiter conjunct Neptune in the very first degree of Sagittarius. And there is something Perfectly Spiritual about that perfect square, from the 1st to 4th houses.

I am not suggesting you lower your standards. I am suggesting that you know exactly what you mean when you say something. Mercury is also there in Virgo, close to the Moon. This will tend to co-mingle your ideas and your needs, which would be great to keep sorted out. Ideas, one thing. Needs, another thing.

Mercury is square Neptune and Jupiter. Again, the need for not only precision in what you wish to say to yourself, but also honesty with yourself. The block represented by these squares from Moon to Jupiter/Neptune are basically invisible; they represent a kind of internal blind spot.

Now let's add one last factor: Saturn in Gemini opposite Neptune and Jupiter in Sagittarius, square the Moon. That is likely to feel like a block, from many directions. In essence, it's the opposite of that light, extremely idealistic feeling of Jupiter/Neptune.

Now let's add one last factor. Saturn opposing Jupiter can crate a sense of 'living two lives'. I would say the same holds true for Saturn opposing Neptune. Saturn in Gemini itself has a 'two lives' feeling (Gemini as twins) and so one message I get from your chart is that you are very often of two minds on many things -- and the way you avoid the conflict is to not enumerate exactly that which is contrary within you.

Please do respond with feedback if any of these comments inspire a response. Thanks for writing!
Eric signature


Dear Eric,
I received this PowerPoint presentation regarding planet Mars on the e-mail this morning… will it really appear the size of a Full Moon this month?!

-- Maria

Dear Maria:
Yes, that PowerPoint is going around like then next great thing. But personally, I don't get what they're on about.

Mars never appears as big as the Full Moon. Quoting from a reputable astronomy web page:

"The Full Moon has an apparent magnitude of about -12.5 and Mars, at its brightest, has an apparent magnitude of about -2.8. This means that the Full Moon is about 10 (-12.5 - (-2.8)) magnitudes brighter than the maximum brightness of Mars. Each five magnitudes means 100 times more flux. Since 10 = 5 x 2, about 10,000 (100^(2)) times more flux reaches our eyes from the full Moon than from Mars."

In other words, even with Mars at its brightest, the Full Moon is 100,000 times brighter.

The truly big close pass of Mars to the Earth was during the Mars retrograde of 2003, the year everyone cooked in France, and the first summer of the Iraq quagmire. Now, every year, someone says it's gonna be even bigger yet.

Mars is visible when it's retrograde, or close to retrograde. This is because retrograde means "close to the Earth." But Mars is not retrograde now and it won't be for another year. Indeed, it's so close to the Sun right now, and on the other side of the Sun, that it's invisible. The Sun is aligning closer to Mars, getting not further.

My only explanation for this PowerPoint's extreme popularity is that with so many wars on the planet, people are obsessed with Mars and how beautiful it is. I highly recommend adding a little Venus to the mix.
Eric signature

CLICK HERE to email your question to Eric


Planet Waves Weekly is the only place online to get the weekly horoscope of Eric Francis, both emailed and posted to the Web on a subscriber homepage each Friday. Eric is now writing Parallel Worlds, the 2006 annual edition of Planet Waves with the year-ahead forecasts, available to all subscribers. As a subscriber, you can keep up with Eric's essays on astrological developments, chart reading techniques, Tarot cards, and world affairs. Experience Eric's unique perspective as an astrologer-investigative reporter. Read more than three years of archives of essays and horoscopes. We invite you to look around and become one of many satisfied readers of Eric's daring and innovative astrology journal.

Click here for Jonathan Cainer's Daily Zodiac Forecasts

All content and artwork copyright 2006. World rights reserved