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Eric Francis Astrology Q&A
Archive for Friday 21st January 2005

Astrology Secrets Revealed: Eric Francis Answers Your Questions
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Dear Readers:

Days of Aquarius

El Sol, our Sun and Source, is always new in the sign Aquarius for the U.S. presidential inauguration, which happened Thursday at noon in Washington, DC (5 pm GMT). It's a fitting symbol of idealism and democracy that transcends time and history. Inauguration, by the way, means 'divination by the flight of birds'.

The Sun flew in to Aquarius overnight Wednesday to Thursday, joining a newborn Gemini Moon in the air signs. A stampede of planets now follows the Sun, soon blossoming into the most impressive Aquarius alignment since January 1997 -- which happened at the time of the great Comet Hale-Bopp. As well, two planets are about to align in Sagittarius near the Galactic Core -- Sagg and Aquarius being quite the high-intensity, harmonious combination. And three Centaur planets are about to change signs, entering Sagittarius and Aquarius and picking up the cosmic tempo and intensity of vibrations bigtime. This is a moment of truly awesome potential; kind of like any other, but in reality, unlike any other.

Yet back on the planet, the BBC is currently reporting that about three-quarters of European citizens, most notably Brits, Germans and French ('old Europe'), plus a mob of Canadians (about two-thirds of them, up in Alternative Europe), feel the world is a more dangerous place with the Shrub taking office again. Hmmm. According to BBC News, reporting on the results of a worldwide survey of more than 19,000 people, the only folks who feel the world is safer now seem to be those in the Philippines and India.

Mars Pluto

Chart above: Mars conjunct Pluto in Sagittarius, Jan. 28, 2005. Chart set for The Hague, The Netherlands.
Not shown is Nessus in Aquariuis and Pholus about to change signs to Sagittarius.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is a lot of anxiety to have brewing at this particular moment. I speak in particular of a rapidly forming conjunction between Mars and Pluto in Sagittarius. Ordinarily, this aspect, which represents some kind of developing situation, could be considered a perfectly explosive conjunction (marking off the completion of a two-year cycle, by the way). It happens in Sagittarius, a sign which offers us two major levels of experience to choose from.

The first is ideology: of contentious, competing ideas that pretend to get to the root of things (the 'fundamentals'). On this level, Sagittarius feels like 'my beliefs are bigger/better than your beliefs'. This is what you might call the low road.

Sagittarius is also about spiritual breakthrough; contact with one's higher angel; and the choice to do the right thing -- that is, ethics. This is Sagittarius in real life. The ethics of this sign are less born of choice, study or logic than they are of spontaneously knowing what is necessary and true, and in accord with the greater good.

Mars-Pluto can be explosive, and it can also represent a major breakthrough in consciousness on a wide scale. Sagittarius is like this enormous spiritual rock concert we all get to attend, whenever we want. What makes the difference between what level of experience we want? But of course: we do. How we handle ourselves, how we make our decisions, whether we choose to confront others or to grow inwardly, whether we keep our cool and spread good vibes, are all up to us. Whether we choose anger or forgiveness are entirely up to us. Whether we choose as a conscious act to be free, which means free in our hearts and minds, is up to us. And the choices we make as individuals add up fast.

This is not even a boring game of 'majority rules'. It's a game of let's get the vibe going.

It may seem like the world is happening to us; but really, we are happening to the world. Our collective choices build and create the world as we go, which we then experience and vibrate right back out to the planet. How we interpret our experience, both collective and individual, has everything -- everything -- to do with what that experience means, and how it reverberates through time and history. In spiritual reality, interpretation is everything. Experience is basically neutral, but how we see it makes it what it is, and makes us what we are.

In the past, there have been exceedingly few options for how to put any of this into action. But now we are opening up, and opening up fast. We not only believe, but also know in our hearts, that so much more is possible. Everyone reading this article is interested in at least one spiritual method: astrology. Most of us have made considerable investments of time and learning in developing ourselves in other ways (tai chi, gardening, runes: it all counts).

Now that we have the Internet, we have the ability for millions of minds to consciously align behind an idea. We have the option to make a decision to raise our consciousness above conflict, and to share our visions of the world. Personally, I don't know a single person who does not want peace on this Earth. When minds join behind an idea, it builds in inevitability. It starts to happen on the spot.

Yet to have peace, we need some intuitive sense that it's possible. It's not so hard to entertain a mere possibility. We don't need to know how we're going to get from the idea to reality -- the idea is the important part; that small breath of faith that something better than what we now have is possible (um, it better be!). I don't need to tell you what the world is currently experiencing; you know all too well. Yet that is not the only possibility, unless we say or believe it is.

There are many factors developing right now that suggest strongly that the vibrational rate of the planet is picking up FAST. Mars-Pluto, which represents a major cycle of experience (about two years worth), is one of them. Both Mars and Pluto are rather potent factors that involve the power of conscious WILL. Oh, that thing! They are saying: direct your will consciously; direct your negative emotions outward in physical activity rather than psychically, or at yourself in some negative way (fear, guilt, projection, etc.). Oh, and remember what you've learned from all your spiritual training, and act as if it's true, even if it's just an experiment.

We have all, each of us, every single person reading, has had some actual experience of the non-physical communication; of thoughts being associated with manifestation; of synchronicity; of actual miracles happening.

Remember: there is no order of difficulty of miracles. 'Small' miracles are the same as the 'big' ones. Each builds our faith. Each changes the world.

The astrology of the coming days and weeks is like an enormous amplifier of our ideas and feelings. It feels like an ocean of insight. The energy level is turned up steadily, beginning in the next 48 hours, through the coming week and over the next six weeks. We are at one of those world-bridge moments where we can go from one reality to the next, and become different people, and a different society, in the process. Let's take ourselves along. Bring your loving intentions into your community experiences. Pay attention, and keep choosing. Let everything that you see that you don't want, remind you with that much more heart and soul of what you do. Find that small space within you where you really feel safe, and let the feeling expand from there.

Please pass this information on. Thoughts increase by being given away, and what we focus on increases. I'll be in touch again soon!

Here are a few of your questions for the week.

Dear Eric
I was told that I should wait for someone to give me some Tarot cards, rather than buy my own. So I waited. And waited. I probably/possibly even mentioned to a few people I was waiting. And yet, after waiting around 10 years, still no one had given me a deck! So finally last month I went out and bought a deck. I like them and they seem to like me. Should I have less confidence in the cards because I bought them rather than received them as a gift?

Caring Cancerian, Bondi Beach, Australia

Dear Caring
There's a tradition I've heard of -- and that I like -- that suggest that Tarot decks are best if first used by an experienced practitioner and then passed along to the new owner. I like the tradition because it encourages contact and community, and giving. I've also had people ask me to buy them a deck, use it for a while, and sell it to them. I've passed along plenty of decks (but always asking the deck first!)

However, there's nothing wrong with buying your own decks for yourself. You will build a relationship with the cards and the spirits behind them as long as you practice, study, have faith and read the cards.

Once you embark on this journey, it's likely that plenty of decks will pass through your hands. They will come to you from odd places; they will go odd places; a few you may keep your whole life. The whole business of the Tarot is a great mystery and there are no definitive rules, as long as you keep a loving vibe around the work and remember that working with the cards is both a relationship and an inner journey.

Dear Eric
I really appreciate your in depth, thoughtful, and educational column! I have a question about the relationship chart -- I've received Jonathan's fabulous chart describing my relationship with a person I've recently met. There's (untested) chemistry between us, no doubt, but I was looking to the chart to see if there is potential for substance, as I'm already in a committed relationship that I would not want to forgo for a fling. I'm pretty clear on most of the interpretation - but I'm unfamiliar with the Sesquisquare. Is my Saturn Sesquisquare his Sun necessarily a deal breaker?? I thought this was a 'minor aspect'?

Best wishes
Saturn's Cautious Daughter

Dear S.C.D.
The aspect involved is Saturn, which among other things is about structure and commitment. It is not necessarily a deal-breaker (potentially so) but it points to something important. Saturn is often a "make or break" point, because it addresses the edge of one level of reality -- a limit or structure of some kind.

Here we have an interesting example of how astrology can work in a mysterious way. There IS something in the way of you and the new guy (or interest, if you prefer), which is your current relationship. Saturn is pointing precisely to that limitation, or responsibility, or structure -- however you wish to read the meaning of Saturn. So the aspect is not the potential deal-breaker; the situation is, and the planets are pointing to that situation. That sesquisquare (or sesquiquadrate, a 135-degree angle that's comprised of a square [90 degrees] plus a semi-square [45 degrees], for a total of 135 degrees) is a minor aspect only if you think your relationship is a minor situation. It is in the range of aspects that deal with the general theme 'adjustment', and in this range, adjustment can add up to flow rather quickly.

I suggest that you need to talk to your partner and update him as to where you're at in the relationship, on all accounts, not just this one. Then, you've done some or all of the work of that Saturn aspect and, whatever happens, you are free to make a choice and move onto the next phase of your life. There times and places where people can negotiate other forms of relationship than the traditional ones. I am not talking about having an affair, but rather an honest, innovative and most of all caring solution to the puzzle you present. There are no guarantees, but Saturn only points to the box; if we can find a grounded and reasonable way to live outside the box, Saturn is usually right there with its little lead bells on.

Dear Eric
Where can I read about Sedna, Pholus and Nessus, and what they signify or portend? I didn't have much luck looking for this information, so I spent last night looking at different astrologers 'read' on 2005. But I would like to know more.


Dear Emmie
I covered Sedna (a newly discovered planet that takes about 13,000 years to go round the Sun, making Pluto seem nearby) in a response on this page in the Dec. 11 column, which references the work of Melanie Reinhart. I also did an article about it last spring when the name was announced. She is named for the Inuit goddess of creation, a deep-sea goddess who created the whales, seals and their cousins.

More recently, Jonathan, who seems to always have an interest in minor planets and astronomy brewing away on the back burner, decided it was time for dinner, and pretty much surprised the world with an entire database on Sedna in his 2005 annual forecasts. I think his message, if implicit, was clear: Sedna is a major discovery, worthy of attention and full-on planetary status. To my knowledge, Jonathan is the first wide-appeal astrologer to ever put a minor planet to work in this way.

These multiple delves into interpretation, plus a lot of experience with clients, watching history and writing horoscopes, are how we come up with what are called 'delineations' of new planets. As you get this information, you keep a little collection of what appeals to you and what you don't understand, and gradually apply it to your experience.

As for Pholus. This is a centaur planet that was discovered in 1992. The first centaur was Chiron, discovered in 1977. After the discovery of Chiron, things were pretty quiet for a while; then came Pholus, which unleashed a whole lot of new discoveries. This came the same year that the first planet in an orbit beyond Pluto (in our solar system) was discovered -- 1992 QB1, which still has no name 12 years after discovery. And then the discoveries came by the thousands. Follow the progression. Chiron, discovered 1977, has minor planet catalogue number 2060. Pholus, 12 years later, has minor planet catalogue number 5145. Just eight years later, by 2000, Varuna came along and was given minor planet number 20,000. Two years lager, there was Quaoar, minor planet 50,000!

Centaurs are orbit crossers: small worlds that cross the orbits of other planets. They make connections, blend energies, and create new patterns of reality. Or, they help point to ones that we did not see earlier. Chiron crosses the orbit of Saturn. Pholus crosses the orbit of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Much like Chiron brings together Saturn and Uranus (the energies of energy and matter), Pholus adds Neptune to the picture, and provides us with quite a complex addition to both psychological and historical understanding. I won't get into the mythology here -- maybe another time.

But the most vivid and palpable energy of Pholus is release. Think of the combined intensity of Saturn (the container) and then Uranus and Neptune (that which is contained). Pholus opens the container and lets something out, a bit like Pandora. Whereas Chiron can represent long and slow transformations (though not always), Pholus tends to make things happen more suddenly: level shifts, changes of mind, healing processes.

Pholus addresses themes involving multi-generational patterns of any kind. These include but go beyond addiction patterns. A Pholus theme also includes how we respond when in the presence famous people.

Last planet you mention, Nessus, discovered in 1993. Nessus has the distinction of being the first planet ever named by astrologers. In the late 90s, a committee of minor planet astrologers including Melanie Reinhart, Zane Stein, Dieter Koch and Robert von Heeren, proposed the name to the International Astronomical Union (IAU), the official body that approves the names of new discoveries. The name was accepted. This was an unprecedented example of full cooperation between the usually-sundered arts of astrology and astronomy.

Nessus is a planet that addresses the healing of abuse patterns. The abuse can be psychological, physical or sexual in nature; it can be 'potentially inappropriate' contact or behavior; and it can involve revenge. Nessus has themes that feel like 'the return of karma' and what goes around comes around. Actions have consequences, but you can almost always discover the source. Nessus is a very good diagnostic tool in handling situations with these themes. It shows us where and how we've been hurt in the past, and how we're likely to hurt others -- and how we can heal those hurts.

For people interested in studying minor planets, I can recommend a few names to Google, besides the ones I've already mentioned. There is an astrologer named Mark Andrew Holmes who is a truly excellent of minor planet energies. Look and you'll find lots of his material online. There is someone named Juan Revilla, an intense, intellectually complex astrologer whose keywords, while sometimes complicated and confusing, often bear out to be quite meaningful. Juan has written a free program called Riyal, which casts the positions of hundreds of minor planets, and is a most excellent astrological tool. It works on PC only, or 'virtual PC' if you have that on your Mac.

One last resource -- the Centaur list. This is a list with a few really clear thinkers and a lot of potential, but it needs the new energy, curiosity and positive vibes that would come from readers of this web page. You can sign up for free at this link; the traffic is currently at about 125 messages per week, not to high for a list (but you can get the daily digest format, too):

With new planets, it comes down to this. Studying them helps; the ideas of other astrologers helps. But what works the best is finding the new planets in your own chart, and watching them in action. If you don't understand the planet, get an understanding of the house where that planet is placed and describe your unique experience of that house. You're likely to 'get it' on the spot.

Gradually, these new planets become our friends; they become the wise, intuitive and healing voices of our soul. Really, they are already inside us, waiting for us to listen.

Dear Eric
This isn't really a dream doctor query, but it is a dream. Last night, I dreamt that I speaking to this guy, who told me that the polestar, north or south, I don't know, was located above the epicenter of the earthquake near Sumatra a few days ago. I was wondering if you knew the location of the pole star at this time, and if my dream makes any sense relating to the earthquake. Thank you kindly for your assistance.


Dear Fiona
What a fascinating dream. Not being much of an adept at fixed stars (such as Polaris), I passed your query onto my colleagues on the Centaur list (mentioned above). I received a couple of replies. One was from a bright and loving contributor named Heather, down in Oz.

"That dream was spot on Eric," she wrote. "Polaris conjoined the Sumatran quake Moon at 28+ degrees of Gemini, Polaris conjoined the Moon in the 9-11 attack, and Polaris sextiled Venus for Krakatau Eruption. Polaris (of much higher declination than the ecliptic, near the North Pole) is explained in Solar Fire simplified as 'to show the way'.

"Such a description makes you wonder, in that the tsunamis in Asia pales in contrast to the 9-11 attack and other terrorist attacks, and the response is compassionate. Although some religious people saying it was an act of God, and other people are taking offense at this.

"Makes you want to tread lightly on the Earth, so as not to disturb powers mightier than us, doesn't it?

"Best wishes for 2005,"

I offer a bit more on Polaris, excerpted from Anne Wright, testimony to how rich and amazing astrological writing can be, at:

History of the star: A star in the tip of the tail of the Little Bear Ursa Minor. Its name comes to us from the Latin, Stella Polaris, meaning "Pole Star".

It was known as the Star of Arcady, a title referring to Arcas, son of Callisto, transferred to the skies, now Ursa Minor, by his father Jove, when ignorantly about to slay his mother (Ursa Major).

Polaris has long been an important star to sailors, caravans of old winding their way over the desert by night and others who navigated their way by the stars. Located almost directly overhead as seen from the North Pole, it is situated at the tip of the tail of the Little Bear, Ursa Minor and the Lucida of that constellation. Perhaps more than any star other than the Sun; Polaris has been regarded as the most important star in the heavens. It has been known by many names in the past; "the Pathway"; "the Pointer" -- indicating the way; "Navel of the World", "Gate of Heaven", "Hub of the Cosmos", "the Highest Peak of the World Mountain", "Lodestar"; "the Steering Star"; "the Ship Star"; and Stella Maris "Star of the Sea".

Greek navigators of old called Polaris; Kynosoura, which means "the Dog's Tail". The name came into our English language as Cynosure, which means "an object that serves as a focal point of attention and admiration" or "Something that serves to guide".

The Arabs of old regarded Polaris as a hole in the sky in which the Earth's axis found its bearing. The Norsemen saw Polaris as holding the Universe together, Moguls calling it "the Golden Peg". In Damascus it is called Mismar, a "Needle" or "Nail" and Al Kutb al Shamaliyy, "the Northern Axle", or "Spindle", the Pin fixed in the under stone of a mill around which the upper stone turns.

Indians called it Grahadhara "the Pivot of the Planets" representing the great god Dhruva.

The Turks know it as Yilduz, the star par excellence; and have a story that its light was concealed for a time after their capture of Constantinople.

The proximity of the stars of the two bears (Ursa Major and Ursa Minor) to the North Celestial Pole gave the impression that they were wheeling around this point, pulling perhaps a plough behind them, tilling the heavenly fields and driven on by Bootes the Bear Driver who chases or herds the Bears around Polaris. Another version of this story has it that the oxen were tied to the polar axis and were driven on by Bootes, assisted by his two dogs Canes Venatici, in order that the rotations of the heavens should never cease.

In spite of Polaris's usefulness in navigation, the Arabs looked on the star as an evil star, calling it Al Kiblah, because it was the star "least distant from the pole". To them it was also Giedi or Al Jadi, Al Jadi, or Juddah, "the Young He Goat", "the slayer of the man" who had slain the Great Warrior of the Sky; who forever lies in the huge coffin outlined by the stars marking the big dipper (Ursa Major), all the other stars mourn for their lost hero and each night march around the sky in a never-ending funeral procession. The villain, Polaris, alone is kept motionless, an outcast forever fixed to the coldest part of the northern sky. Muslims used this star to orient themselves toward Mecca, the place Muslims must face during worship.

To our eyes Polaris appears to be motionless at the center of the field of circumpolar stars, a "still point in the turning world". All the other stars appear to circle around Polaris. But as early as 320 BCE the Greeks has realized that Polaris did not mark the pole exactly. Until then many people had believed that the heavenly Pole was absolutely and eternally fixed. Polaris has long been moving nearer the North Celestial Pole as it is still doing now. It will be closest to that position around 2100 AD. Because the Earth wobbles on its axis like a slowly spinning top, the Pole Star once was Thuban, the third star from the end of the tail of Draco. And in a little more that 5000 years from now, Alderamin, the brightest star in the constellation Cepheus, the King, will be the Pole Star.

In past ages, whichever star held the position of Pole Star was worshipped as the star of that age. Polaris is now the star of our own age. The planet, Uranus, was discovered a degree (longitude) away from this star. Polaris (along with the other stars in Ursa Minor) has a Uranian influence [Greek Kynos-oura = dogs-tail; Oura-nus; Ouranos = Greek for Uranus].

This constellation is represented by "The Universe" of the Tarot, which signifies "Eternal life", enlightenment, re-integration, perfection, completion. It gives a "do or die" spirit; and a desire to reach the highest peak; "conquer the World" which on another level symbolises conquering the Self; the egoic self.

Eric's Note: The Universe, the 21st trump of the Tarot, is also associated with Saturn, which fits some of these descriptions (stability, orientation, cosmic and psychic structure) quite nicely.

Dear Eric,
Having been a fan of Jonathan for many years I followed up and read your Q & A. I do not have a question but would like to note a few observations.

I agree that people are at last awakening, however this is only the few who are tuned/wired for this shift. The people who choose (have chosen) to be here for this time and change.

Unfortunately the others cannot be here for the shift but shall, and are, protesting and hence trying to control what is happening.

This cannot be controlled and I think the awakening at present is the people understanding we are not in control. This earth we grace shall undertake what changes it needs to survive.

There are many people who are prepared for this change and, actually, it cannot come soon enough as we are currently bored with the current status quo.

I do believe your page does allow others to realize they are not on their own we are here for a reason and it shall be upon us soon. It is all positive stuff.

Many thanks,

With assistance from Michele Perrin

Bridge to the Core, the 2005 Planet Waves annual horoscope, has turned out to be a very nice web page: up to 1,400 words per sign in the annual forecast area; a number of articles addressing Chiron in Aquarius, Saturn in Leo, and sign changes by two other centaur planets (Pholus and Nessus); an astrological calendar for 2005; and a massive charts resource area for students of astrology or those who are just curious. I've done my most in-depth writing ever on 2012 and the astrology between now and then. There are dozens of magnificent bridge images sent in by our readers. There is writing by Planet Waves literary slugger Jeanne Treadway (who writes about walls, while I cover bridges) and a Mayan astrology report through July by daykeeper Carol Burkhart, of the Galactic Alchemy web site.

Bridge to the Core is free to all Planet Waves subscribers. To find out more, check this link.

Thanks for your excellent questions.
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