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Eric Francis Astrology Q&A
Archive for Friday 9th July 2004

Astrology Secrets Revealed: Eric Francis Answers Your Questions
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I plan to get married about a year or year and a half from now. I'd like to have an outdoor wedding on a clear night, with lots of moon and starlight. Is it a good idea to get married on the night of a Full Moon? I'd like to plan it for a time when the planets will promote romance and serenity; both on the night of the ceremony and also for the duration of the honeymoon. Can you make some suggestions, or direct me to some easy to use resources for further research? We are open to the seasons of spring, summer, and fall.

With Warm Appreciation
Michelle (and Steve)

Dear Michelle
It's a fine idea to use astrology as a way of choosing a wedding date. This has been done since time immemorial. But it's complicated by two factors: one is finding an astrologer capable of the work; and the second is that there are so many factors in choosing a wedding date that many people who actually do what is called an 'electional' chart for their wedding cannot use the data because (for example) the catering hall or church are not available. Still, there is no way on God's green Earth that I would get married without choosing the date astrologically; in my view that's just common sense.

While it may seem romantic to have the Full Moon rising over your wedding, I don't personally think it's particularly auspicious marriage astrology. Marriages are a beginning; the Full Moon is the culmination of a story -- the peak of something, in this case, the peak of the lunar cycle, and from that day forward, the Moon begins to wane, that is, to shrink -- not to grow. It is like using astrology to put the middle of the story before the beginning of the story, or beginning a football game in the third quarter.

While it's not easy to coordinate everything else that has to happen around a marriage with the astrology, I would recommend getting married some time between the New Moon and the first quarter. If you get married around the 3rd through 5th nights of the Moon you'll have a dramatic new crescent setting right behind the Sun, assuming you don't have clouds that evening.

It is possible to make a case for a Full Moon wedding chart by saying that the male principle and the female principle are in balance and are in their full points of expression. But it's not a very compelling argument. I can't imagine any farmer or gardener who uses astrology to plant their crops would plant at the Full Moon, not if he wanted a good crop. The 'new' side of the lunar cycle is the seeding moment.

There are other factors involved if you want to do a proper wedding electional chart -- two of which should be the positions of Venus and Mars. It can take quite a bit of juggling, and weighing and balancing of the cycles to come up with a good wedding date -- but it can be done, particularly if you are flexible, and you can convince your friends and family to humor you along.

I wish you the best, and a joyous wedding.

Hello Eric...
I have adult twins, fraternal, boy and girl, born on March 28, 1975, in Phoenix, Arizona. They were five minutes apart, 6:19 p.m. (boy) and 6:23 p.m. (girl). I am wondering how in the world they can be so different. She is responsible, hardworking, successful and level headed; he, on the other hand, is charming, irresponsible, temperamental and, it appears, to be going absolutely nowhere in life. Don't get me wrong, they are both wonderful people. They are both extremely intelligent, personable, honorable and attractive. I know what you're thinking... it isn't their "sign," but, rather their upbringing but I tried to be as fair and equal to both children, as possible. It seems that the very core of their personalities are so extremely opposite. How in the world can five minutes make such a drastic different and... for my son... is there any kind of rainbow ahead? Thank you.


Dear Jo
The charts of twins exist (in part) to teach astrologers not to be so cocky. They teach us (once again) that people are individuals and remind us how many ways there are to live out one's astrology, even when the people have exceedingly similar charts, similar backgrounds, the exact same parents and similar genetics. They remind us that every chart and every client is an individual case.

To me the experiences of twins serve as a reminder to astrologers to honor life experience before the chart, and to use the chart carefully in this process -- more as a basis of inquiry than as a basis for making statements. "Does life imitate the chart, or does the chart imitate life?" Both happen, but astrology is a humanitarian profession, not a science, and in humane astrology we need to start with people.

I also suggest your question reminds the world that we should never underestimate the differences between the experiences of men and the experiences of women in the world; while these two individuals have similar charts in just about every respect, they belong to different halves of humanity.

How I can address your question in a short letter and how I would work with them as individuals are two very different things. In this context here, I have no details about their lives, how they responded to the same transits (planetary experiences that happened to them at about the same time) or family experiences, and many other factors; I merely have the charts and your descriptions, and some common sense to apply. Obviously any two people on the planet will have many different experiences and entirely different perceptions.

Charts don't dictate life; they give us a set of tools with which to work. Different people use the same tools different ways.

So, here are my suggestions:

First, I suggest you trust the process of their lives. They are independent people, independent of one another and independent of you. You've done your best as a parent and you got them to adulthood well cared for and alive. That's a very significant accomplishment on this planet. That alone bodes well for the future.

Second, people mature at different paces and in different ways and it's not always for us to judge what is appropriate for any particular stage of development.

Having said that, here is a little advice from astrology. Both your son and daughter are before their Saturn return at age 29/30. This means they have yet to fully settle into adulthood; far from it. I view the years between 21 and 28 or so as a time to experiment wildly, because there are few other such opportunities in life. Then the Saturn return comes along and we have to make some choices and, in a true sense, make a real start of things.

It may well be that your daughter is ahead of herself and your son is a little behind -- or right on time. Have a little mercy; this world is not a particularly friendly place to young people and they are pushed and pulled in countless directions.

As regards their personal charts, there are always subtle but important differences between the charts of twins, even those born five minutes apart. One must study those distinctions to apply astrology to the question. I can at first glance see that they are both very dynamic people who possess a special sense of their destiny. They are individuals to an extreme. They are, therefore, likely to go off in entirely different directions (their own!) as their lives progress.

The best thing you can do for them is to monitor their progress and be there when they call -- but let them live their lives without the burden of too much anxiety. Who is your son, really? Who is he besides who you want him to be? Perhaps you can get to know him, and love him for the man he is.

I can offer you one clue that might satisfy your curiosity as to WHY this all is. I would propose that your daughter feels she has to try a little harder to make things work, and that bit of extra effort (which may be a lot of effort) helps her ground and keep her focus. She is also more the "look before you cross" type who has an unusual degree of respect for where her life intersects with the larger society.

I would say your son is someone who feels like things are coming his way and can be a bit more of carefree about life, and this will always be with him. And certain factors in both charts are feel a bit more comfortable for a woman's experience than a man's -- but that doesn't mean they cannot be overcome or embraced. I would be very surprised if by 30 he is not doing exceptionally well; either that, or at 30, he will very likely learn to take life much more seriously.

Dear Eric
I just purchased WINSTAR with solar return reports and am quite concerned about a solar return Pluto Square Ascendant (00'20) or at least how it is described. Is there any way I can purchase specific advice on this problem? Thanks for any help you can provide.

Dear Mark
I've cast your natal chart and solar return. For readers who may not be familiar with the concept of a solar return, it's the return of the Sun to the same degree and minute that it occupied at the moment of your birth; otherwise known as a birthday chart. Because the solar year is not exactly 365 days (hence, the need for leap year), the exact solar return can skate around from year to year and be a day before or after your birthday -- but it will always be pretty close. This exact moment is cast into a horoscope, usually created for where you are at the time of your birthday. This type of chart is used by lots of astrologers.

Now, I'm not specifically an expert on solar returns, which are definitely a field of specialty. I've worked with plenty of them, but people generally use them for predictive astrology, which takes a back seat in my practice to emotional, psychological and spiritually based work. But I have some ideas about reading charts, and I'll answer based on those and what I've learned about solar returns over the past few years.

In this chart, Pluto is an exact right angle to your ascendant (rising degree or 1st house cusp) and descendent (setting degree or 7th house cusp). Relative to the horizon, it is exactly straight up. I have to say, this is a pretty interesting image. I like exact aspects because they are the ones that are speaking with precision and which (as has worked quite well here for you) get our attention.

To me the message is one of balance between your relationships and your sense of personal identity. It is a little like the Sword of Damocles, dangling over this issue. This is the year to get a grip on the way you distribute your energy between yourself and close partners or your lover. Notice that any planet that makes a conjunction to your solar return's ascendant also squares Pluto; any planet that makes a conjunction to your solar return 7th house squares Pluto. It's like Pluto is standing as a mediator, making sure that everything that aspects your chart's main angles (another word for 1st and 7th houses) has to pass muster with Pluto.

This is one reason why aspects to the angles (ascendant, descendent, midheaven or nadir) are so crucial; what acts on the planet also acts on the angle.

However , everything in a chart must be looked at in larger context. One way to check the context here is to look at what the ascendant's planetary ruler (representing you) and your descendent ruler (representing someone close to you) are up to, as told by the chart. The chart has Pisces rising, so Jupiter, as the first ruler of Pisces, represents you. Mercury, the 1st ruler of Virgo (in the descendent) represents this 'other person'.

Mercury appears in the very last degree of Cancer. Jupiter appears in mid-Virgo. The two are in a semi-square, or a 45-degree angle. Is there some tension between you and someone close to you that hasn't come to the surface? I would say that your partner is feeling it and may be in quite a challenging emotional state. It appears this person is about to make a big change. The question is how you respond; do you keep your independence, or do you lose all sense of who you are? There are several suggestions in the chart that this is really about your struggle to be an independent, autonomous person. In this respect, Pluto should be quite helpful, but Pluto is always easier if we go along with the plan. And, appearing as it does in the 9th house, the reminder is don't assume you know everything, and to "think globally, act locally."

I understand that we are approaching the 'Age of Aquarius' and that it should bring with it peace and harmony in the world. However, now I read that the position of something called the 'Vernal Equinox' with respect to the constellations of the zodiac make this outcome unlikely. Does this have anything to do with Venus eclipsing the Sun?
New Zealand

Dear Ivy
You have made a very interesting intuitive hit. The precession of the equinoxes (that is, the move toward the Age of Aquarius) is associated with the transit of Venus in Mayan astrology. The Mayans used these two methods as among their most important time tracking devices. The thing is, to actually explain the connection would take a book. But suffice it to say that it is there, and that in 2012 we have another transit of Venus, as well as a major event in the precession of the equinoxes, as well as a major turning point in the Mayan calendar's "long count" -- their 5,125 year cycle that concludes and resets at that time.

Addressing the transition between the ages of Pisces and Aquarius, here is a bit to consider. First, astronomy. There are two zodiacs: one involving the constellations and another involving the signs. The signs we use (called the tropical zodiac, because the timing involves the alignment of the Sun with the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn) are an imaginary wheel inside the actual constellations. This wheel moves slowly, turning once around every 26,000 years. This progress is reckoned by the position of the Sun on the first day of spring, which is currently in the constellation Pisceus and drifting backward toward the constellation Aquarius.

This position moves because the world slowly (very, very slowly slowly) wobbles as it turns, which creates the sense of the rotation of the entire sky over long periods of time. So if you were to watch any given point in the sky every night for about 26,000 years, you will see the stars go round one time.

As mentioned, the Aries Point is now located in Pisceus and is slowly approaching the constellation Aquarius. However, it will take more than 300 years to reach the first star in Aquarius and, because the two constellations overlap, some 400 additional years to clear the last star in Pisceus. So by this reckoning, the Age of Aquarius is a long way off. However, speaking in society, these things are generally gradual transitions; and there is a time of chaos and change around the changing of any major period in history, including seemingly small events like the Sun changing signs any given month.

Different people have different ideas about the Age of Aquarius. (Most of them came from a song in a Broadway musical, which is not a good source of astrology information.) My friend and astrology mentor Dave Roell, owner of an excellent bookstore called The Astrology Center of America always has some ideas about this, so I called him up tonight and asked him for a refresher. As usual, he had some interesting things to say, which I'll share with you.

Says he:
"The Age of Aquarius began in 1913 in Paris, London and New York. There were specific events that shifted from purely Piscean to strictly Aquarian. One was the premier of The Rite of Spring by Stravinsky. The other was the inaugural of the first Cubist exhibit of the works of Picasso and Braque. Cubism happens to be a form of art that is distinctly Aquarian and not in any way Piscean. Piscean art is about beauty for beauty's sake. Aquarian art is beautiful by accident and comes with an ideology without which you cannot understand the art. Ideology is Aquarian."

Okay, I got the picture, but I was not convinced. He went on.

"In Pisces, dropping balls off of leaning tower and watching the balls hit at the same time is a big scientific event. It took them 1,500 years to get that far. Pisces starts from nothing and evolves slowly. But then, within 10 years of the start of Aquarius you have radio. You have internal combustion engines. You have electric power coming into homes. Soon after you have television."

Yes, you have television, and then the total domination of life by technology -- very Aquarian -- a very FIXED pattern that we can't seem to break free from. For this reason I am not so convinced that the Aquarian Age is going to be about brotherly love. What the Aquarian Age does become involves every one of us making the decision to take care of our neighbors and to think of the world potentially as going past the end of our nose.

Is it possible? Sure it is. Is it likely? I'd love to hear what you think. And remember, Aquarius is ruled by Saturn -- so please give examples!

Thanks for the great questions. See you next week.

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Last Tango in London; Next Salsa in Paris
Eric Francis is soon wrapping up his stay in London and heading for Paris. He willl be available for in-person sessions in London through July 12, 2004. This is also the July cut-off for telephone consultations from the U.S. and abroad.
Eric will then be available for sessions in Paris beginning July 23, 2004 for one week through July 31, 2004. Telephone sessions from abroad will resume some time in early August.
Those interested in my astrology group in Paris may call my UK cell phone this week at 07837 718 756. I will post Paris contact data here shortly. Or call my US office during Eastern business hours at (206) 463-7827.
For more information, please write to
or call (206) 463-7827 (U.S. number, during Eastern business hours).

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