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Archive for July 21st 2006

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Live Lunch

Dear Friend and Reader:

Earlier in the week, George Bush and Tony Blair were caught on a live microphone having an "off the record" discussion that happened to be broadcast to the world. I have never seen the transcript of something arrive in my inbox more times, appear on more Web pages or get more attention. Transcripts are beautiful, because they break language down to its most elemental form, words.

At the heart of the discussion was how Bush and Blair, allies in the "global war on terror" (which some people are now calling World War III, a reference I've even heard Bush himself make) should handle the situation between Israel and Lebanon; who should be doing what; and Bush's feelings about the role of the Secretary General of the UN, Kofi Annan, dropped into the conversation like he was some kind of low-level administration official.

But when the microphone opened up, we also got a look into their relationship, their thinking patterns, and the way they express their opinions privately.

Indeed, it was a rare moment of transparency in a world where nearly everything is elaborately staged, and I was curious to see what that looked like astrologically. Whatever the impact of the comments getting out may be, we had a glimpse at reality behind the curtain. The media, many individual journalists, and apparently readers around the world found this extremely interesting, but I'm pretty sure it had as much to do with the context -- something they should not be hearing -- than it had to do with the content.

But the content left everyone shaking their head over what a fool Bush is, and left many commentators saying Tony Blair was a poodle. (I have always said English terrier.) We found out that Bush really has no concept of geography, international politics or basic manners (gabbing with his mouth full).

With a little help, I was able to get hold of the agenda for the G8 summit meeting and we placed the time at the beginning of lunch, around 12 noon, in St. Petersburg, Russia, on Monday. This is the "stated time" of the meal; it was close to the beginning because Blair was out of his seat roaming around, and Bush was eating the lunch of champions, bread, butter and Diet Coke. The main course had not arrived.

Here is the chart for this priceless moment, a chart with similar astrology to so many horrifying world events this week, but which is specifically personalized to the place and time of the broadcast discussion. The astrological context is the same as the historical context; this is a conversation that was going on with the world apparently spiraling into war, at least for the moment.

Let's see what we can see. In playing this game, what we're looking for are astrological pictures that fit the scenario; contact that reveals the nature of relationships involved; and for a story of some kind to develop. When a chart works, all of these things will unfold pretty naturally.

LiveLunch

Quick overview: late Virgo is rising, with the South Node in the ascendant, exact; the Moon is in Aries, about to make an aspect to nearly every other planet; and the Sun and Mercury are conjunct in Cancer.

The conversation was initiated by George, who said, "Yo Blair!" So let's take George as the ruler of the ascendant (the initiator) and Tony as the ruler of the 7th house (the other party, partner, friend or open enemy, as fits the situation).

Virgo rising gives us Mercury as the planet standing for Bush. Once you know the house that a situation or person represents, you take the sign on the cusp of that house and go to the planet that rules the sign. This is how you know what means what in the chart. This is how you elicit the "meaning" from a chart as well.

You look at the scene. Does it fit what the chart is supposedly describing? This is always the first question. Let's see. Mercury is in Cancer, retrograde, in the 11th house, conjunct the Sun. Bush is definitely a Mercury case, and this is always -- always -- an interesting planet in any chart where there is a development in his administration, starting with the famous stolen election chart from November 2000 (which we really should look at soon) to the September 11, 2001 chart (which we'll revisit on the 5th anniversary in a few weeks) to the rest of them.

Mercury is in Cancer, which is the president's birth sign. It is retrograde, just like George himself. And if this was not the perfect Mercury retrograde technology gaffe, I don't know what was. For those unfamiliar with the substantial body of evidence around Mercury retrograde, weird things sometimes happen to technology under this transit...things can go a little "funny." Usually, they "don't work" but this was a case of something working a little too well. We may also have a trickster involved, who left the microphone on Blair's lapel open, and kept that signal as the live feed.

The president is found in the 11th house -- in public, highly visible, though in Cancer, feeling very much at home. He is also about to make a conjunction to the Sun -- suggesting something developing, but right now I'm not getting a sense of what that is. However, so far so good: that Mercury describes bush to the tee. The Sun conjunction places him in the role of orbiting something larger than himself. Usually the Sun is the president or the king; but Bush himself shows up as a kind of satellite.

As for Blair, we look at the 7th house. Pisces is on the 7th house cusp. The North Node is exactly on the cusp as well. For the ruler of Pisces, we get two choices: traditional ruler, Jupiter; or modern ruler, Neptune. It's good to go in order, traditional first, then modern.

We find Jupiter in Scorpio in the 2nd house. That looks like somebody with a lot of money, who keeps secrets, who has a big opinion of himself, and has a lot of big ideas. We get the concepts of "a lot" and "big" from Jupiter; we get money from the 2nd house and Scorpio; we also get ideas from both Jupiter and the closeness of Jupiter to the 3rd house. Does this describe Blair? Not as well as Mercury describes Bush, but then we now a lot less about Blair.

As for the modern ruler: we find Neptune in the 5th house in Aquarius, retrograde. Neptune in Aquarius (a very long transit spanning 1998 through 2012) is the drugged quality of our era; the "nothing matters" transit. It's the Big Lie, spread by television. In the 5th we have a rather brazen placement, full of derring-do and willing to push all the limits. (Note: see this recent edition for a discussion of Neptune retrograde.)

"He knows much more than he could ever put into words, for here again he realizes the limiting qualities of language as being but just another formed boundary which could encircle his infinite understanding. He is able to see the appearances and illusions that others live in, and therefore has to try to make the best bargain between not toppling their sand castles, while retaining all the inner truths he knows."

Not a bad description, and in Aquarius, we get a picture of the "modern world" of technology, broadcast deception, and techno-warfare.

But here's the interesting thing to consider: Mercury makes a solid aspect to neither Jupiter nor Neptune. The significators don't connect. How is the relationship between Bush and Blair described?

Look at the lunar nodes for that. The planets don't connect the two men, but the nodes go straight across the ascendant and descendent, linking the men karmically. The nodes "lack substance" and the real bond is invisible -- but the effects of the nodes are beyond doubt. It's like there's a thread connecting them, from this lifetime to many others. In a way they seem inseparable, and we have an image of the "odd couple" scenario between them.

Let's do a quick check of the Sabian Symbols for those two degrees: 28 Virgo and 28 Pisces. Note, when using the Sabian Symbols, you always round up. In other words, the first degree of the zodiac is from 01' Aries to 1.00 degrees Aries. Then the next degree, 1.01 degrees Aries is rounded up to two degrees. This we're describing the degree that the planet occupies, so if it's anything higher than zero but not higher than one, it's the "first degree," and so on.

The fact that the degrees are so late tells us that we are looking at a story so well evolved it's about to end, or turn a major chapter.

Remember, these images are for the degrees of the ascendant and descendent, as well as the lunar nodes.

Image of Bush, 28 Virgo: "A baldheaded man who has seized power."

Is Bush bald? Well, think of it as The Emperor's New Toupee.

Image of Blair, 28 Pisces: "A fertile garden under the Full Moon reveals a variety of full-grown vegetables."

Once again, an image of abundance for Tony Blair. Or is he being called a vegetable? The moonlight illuminates the darkness and we can see what is there: personally, I see a little gnome who looks a lot like Princess Lizzy, scurrying amongst the zucchinis, carrying gnome-sized bags of gold and balancing a diamond-studded barrel of oil on her head.

The presence of the nodes, which are considered "angular" because they are directly conjunct one of the mundane angles -- in this chart, the ascendant/descendent axis brings up the forthcoming Sept. 22, 2006 solar eclipse. That eclipse will occur in the last degree of Virgo, precisely opposite the Aries Point; in this chart, it's rising. It has a touch of the ominous, as eclipses, especially taken so personally, can create a significant break in continuity that affect many people.

It is rising in the zone of chart that addresses Mr. Bush himself, and there is a timing factor involved, suggested by the date of the eclipse: exactly on equinox, in late September. What is interesting is that the nodes connect the two leaders so strongly, as if their fates are combined or linked and have been for a long time. It would seem that whatever happens to one also happens to the other in some form.

Both have significators that are about to form aspects. Bush as Mercury is about to retrograde right into the Sun, which has a bit of the image of either Icarus flying way high up there, or something just getting burned to a toast. Blair as Jupiter is about to square Saturn, having an encounter with some kind of limiting or defining factor (one which has been a factor before). Blair as Neptune is about to be opposed by Saturn, another encounter with a limiting or defining factor -- but this time, one that has been developing gradually over a long period of time, at least since one year ago.

The forthcoming exact Saturn-Neptune opposition -- covered in depth in last week's Planet Waves Weekly (click for full sample issue) is the great barrier reef of the astrological setup right now; the journey to the other side of our current chapter or phase of reality. Note that this aspect occurs within 22 days of an eclipse at 30 Virgo, which exactly opposes the Aries Point.

What's most interesting to me about is that this chart personalizes all the great events of the coming three or four months, including several epoch-defining events. These include Saturn opposite Neptune, Jupiter square Saturn, as well as Pluto on the Galactic Core, which is exactly angular as well -- on the IC or 4th house cusp. It's at the very bottom of the chart.

The presence of Venus on the MC, the highest planet, suggests something about the role of women that is likely to emerge later in the year, which we will get into as we develop the Saturn opposite Neptune chart.

So, we have a true microcosmic moment here. This chart tells us, as do the rest we've been studying for the past six to eight months, that big changes are on the horizon. But, in true Neptune style, the mystery persists as to precisely what.

See you over at Planet Waves with more astrology, news and photographs.

Yours & truly,
ERIC FRANCIS

PS, check out the Moon in this chart. It's always a significant planet, but in this case, it has extra standing for two reasons. One, it is the planet that rules the sign where we find Bush's significator located: Cancer. It's like a secondary ruler for Bush himself. Two, it's on the 8th house cusp: death, transformation, financial matters, secrets. Note as well that it's about to make an aspect to Neptune, Sun-Mercury, Pluto, Ceres and Mars. There is a long story about to unfold with that Moon. Let's see what we learn as the weeks unfold.


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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.


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