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Archive for June 23rd 2006

Astrology Secrets Revealed: Eric Francis Answers Your Questions
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Big Planets

Dear Friends and Readers Everywhere:

Well, so far so good on working our way through that tense, intense solstice energy. By Saturday, the Sun will be moving southbound again and we will have even more relief from the strange sense of urgency and focus of the past week.

It is difficult to say what, as a culture, we have been through. Even as individuals, it seems not so easy to put into words, to defy explanation or understanding. Perhaps we've squeezed through a kind of a tight spot; it is one of many in the coming months.

We can begin to turn out attention to the summer's astrology -- in particular the first meeting of Saturn and Neptune in late August, and the annular solar eclipse on Sept. 22. I will have more to say about these aspects in editions of Astrology Secrets Revealed soon. The nuclear question is one that comes up in many charts for the next six months, one that we can watch both in 'the planets' and on The Planet.

For this edition of ASR, I have two reader questions to cover, both of them top-notch and with surprising responses in the planetary patterns.

Coverage of the current astrology will appear in my daily blog at Planet Waves.

Before I get into the questions, I want to take a moment and tell you about a few new things at Planet Waves. One is an audio project called PlanetWaves.FM. On this new site, I am doing free weekly audio on the latest astrology and other topics -- reported from wherever I happen to be.

This is part of a wider project, called EROS. Eros is an interactive, multimedia version of Planet Waves, with some exciting features, like a searchable seven-year database of all my horoscopes (including all Jonathan Cainer stand-ins to date), the full audio archive, and a discussion area that I host regularly. Then there are more of my artsy-type pictures, in a special gallery section. Subscribers to Eros will receive a subscription to Planet Waves Weekly as well. Have a click and see what it's about!

Thanks for your compelling questions this week. And remember -- daily blog and photos at Planet Waves. It's good to be with you.

Eric Francis Ottawa, Ontario

Saturn's Arrival in My Sun Sign

Hey there, Eric.

My name is Maura and I was born in September 1967, in the Bronx. I have just read that Saturn will be entering Virgo, which it hasn't done in approximately 30 years, and will stay there through 2007. I also have Saturn retrograde in my fourth house in Aries. I have not had many successes in many areas of my life and though I am learning to be more on top of things and take better care of myself, I am wondering about Saturn's arrival in my Sun sign and if I am about to embark on another set of trials...

Thanks. Best to you all!

Dear Maura:

It's good to think ahead, and Saturn rewards a measure of careful planning, but we have not yet passed the peak of Saturn in Leo. This only began 11 months ago, and will last another 15 or so months more -- through Sept. 1, 2007. Before Saturn goes into Virgo, it will form three oppositions to Neptune in Aquarius, which is really the main event where Saturn in Leo is concerned.

Last summer, I covered in two articles, pre-Hurricane Katrina, the issue of levees breaking when Saturn is in Leo, as well as many other facets of that placement. Here they are, part one and part two.

Arwynne O'Neill, one of the editors of this page, has also written a historical compendium on the Saturn-Neptune opposition called Heavy Water.

With that detail out of the way, let's speak briefly about Saturn in one's own sign, and Saturn in Virgo.

Many astrologers would agree that there's at least one gospel truth in our craft: living well with astrology, or living well in general, is learning to be friends with Saturn. We can all pity the fools who are not, who refuse to be, or who don't know better. People, in essence, who have not taken over as their own parents, and thus give the job to everyone else. This is the classic Saturn issue.

And when Saturn comes home to your sign, we can presume you've reached the point in your growth where it's time to update your files in this respect. "Coming to terms with yourself" is the best key phrase I've ever heard for Saturn visiting one's own sign, which is to say, transiting one's Sun and also any personal planets you may have accompanying the Sun (Venus and Mercury are always near the Sun) -- as well as any other planets you may have near the Sun.

Since you're born in the 1960s, we know you have the Sun near Uranus and Pluto, which were conjunct in Virgo from about 1963 through 1969. Checking your chart, you also have Venus, Ceres, Juno and Mercury near the Sun, for a total of seven top-level planets in Virgo and whatever minor planets turn up -- but seven is plenty for the purposes of this discussion. Then they range from the 1st degree of Virgo to the 28th degree of Virgo, so you will have one long Saturn transit the entire time Saturn is in this sign.

The thing is, you are not new to transits to this stellium, and you have plenty going on right now. Since 1995, Pluto has been squaring all these planets and has one more to go (Mercury); and since 2003, Uranus has been opposing them, and has five more to go. There are quite a few people with clusters in the mutable signs who have been getting nothing but Chiron, Pluto and Uranus transits. So you're not alone, but your chart is fairly strong (though your major mutable planets are only in Virgo -- some have them spread into three or four signs, which adds to the whole effect).

So, by the time Saturn gets to Virgo, you will be in something like your 12th year of transits to your stellium, including from Uranus, Pluto, Chiron (twice, once from Virgo in 1994-1995, and again from Sagittarius in 1999-2001). If you have not got the hang of it by then, you probably won't ever.

If you're curious about the nature of this stellium -- as opposed to a transit -- let's check in with it when Chiron went over it in 1994-1995. That WAS a transit, but the thing about Chiron transits is that they reveal as close to the 'true nature' of the natal position as anything does. This was a before and after time in your life. In the meantime, there was a transition.

What do you remember?

Once you do that, identify the subjects, themes, people, and energetic qualities that surfaced (I am avoiding the use of the word 'issues'). These are the basic resident energies of that stellium.

Personally, I would say Saturn transiting these planets comes down to this. You are obviously a uniquely gifted and talented person. There is no way you could not be, with that Virgo stellium.

Further, your astrology makes you a personal representative of the astrology of the 1960s, one of the most revolutionary times in modern history. There is just one really simple question that Saturn is going to ask, in my opinion: What are you doing with all that potential?

As for Saturn Rx in the 4th house -- that tells me you need to get over some emotional insecurity or hesitation about what you do, and why you do it. What kind of progress have you made getting over any such feelings, if you have them?

You don't need to wait till 2007 to answer these questions. The information has been coming fast and furious, for a long, long time -- and Saturn conjunct all that stuff is like a final exam to make sure that you've been living your chart up till that point. If you have been, the opportunities for growth in the world, and within yourself, will be truly incredible.

Always Playing Cat and Mouse

Hi Eric,

I have been reading Planet Waves for years and I think your articles and photography make it a great site. I always look forward to reading it. I've had a string of men in my life, but it seems that I am always playing cat and mouse. Do you think my numerous Aries planets and Sun in Taurus are causing me to just enjoy the chase but never have a mutual bonding for better or worse? I realize you have thousands of letters but I just thought I'd give it a try hoping to gain more insight into my quest for happiness with a partner. Thanks.


Dear Roseann:

We have all had a string of men and/or women in our lives. By the original definition of monogamy -- one partner for life -- there is no such thing any more. So, I suggest you let yourself of the hook for not being monogamous. We are, just about, all polyamorous. Some of us are serially polyamorous (series of partners), and others are concurrently polyamorous (more than one partner at once). But society still extols a virtue on what it terms monogamy, and this puts people under a lot of pressure to conform to something that basically does not exist in a clearly definable way we can all agree on.

While I am on my soapbox, I have another speech to make, one that I've been saving up for a long time. Here it is.

We live in a time of enormous change. There is no standard model of family. There is no accepted model of relationship, and we live in a time when we have enormous mental freedom, and physical freedom, to do basically whatever we want. We have infinite options and possibilities.

And, at the same time, we are under enormous pressure to grow and become individuals, a fact often at odds with maintaining stable relationships. One's relationship with oneself can take high priority in time of growth, evolution and inner progress. Healing can necessitate so much change that it's difficult to hold a structured emotional partnership together. In essence, many people have an urgent commitment to fulfill to themselves, which makes any form of conventionally sanctioned relationship difficult or impossible to sustain.

This is one possible reason why some of the most interesting, ethical, attractive, intelligent people do not or cannot have partners (again, in the conventional sense of the word) at this time. I believe that for many people this is based on a deep necessity, and the only way that these individuals can do the growth work they need is independently. That independence or lack of involvement can take many forms, including the situation you describe. So, before even looking at your chart, I am just here to be a spokesperson for the evolutionary necessities of the 21st century and suggest you let yourself off the hook.

This being said, I think that within the great majority of evolutionary states, there is room for the kind of relationship we need, or ways for us to get the kind of companionship and human nourishment that we need.

Now, as for your chart, which will hopefully give us a few clues. Here it is:

Low Energy Child

Okay, this is one I could write about 5,000 words on. It is a very interesting relationship chart. But I'm going to do my best to be salient, and to point out what seems to be a paradox that recurs several times, in different ways.

You have a number of conditions in this chart that make you something of a bold individualist. Certainly the Moon, Mercury, Venus, Ceres and Jupiter in Aries all add up to a whole lot of Aries -- a heck of a whole lot, and Aries is the sign of I AM. Leo rising is quite individualistic as well. Taurus Sun is extra points.

You are here to be you, to exert your will, and nothing is going to stop you from being you. There is no point trying. Easy enough astrology to grasp. But this rules out most forms of relationship where individuality is not necessarily prized as a virtue.

This whole stellium is opposed by two planets: Neptune and Saturn, about to make a momentous conjunction (all conjunctions, squares and oppositions of Saturn and Neptune are momentous, and change the course of history). Opposition energy pushes us to meet people and situations face-on. It is the most direct aspect.

Saturn and Neptune are, for sure, forces to be reckoned with -- and not so easy ones to have in opposition to personal planets. It's as if your personality, your individual nature, is always confronted by huge forces and influences far outside your individual comprehension. In many ways you seem equal to who and what you confront -- but then somehow it's daunting and the experience leaves you feeling alone.

But the main gist of this aspect structure is a simultaneous pull to be in a relationship, and to be an individual. And this is the seeming paradox.

It shows up again with the lunar nodes. The North Node is in the 7th house, which is one of the most compelling forces for 'must be in a relationship'. This is contrasted with the load of Aries and Leo which says, 'Must be an individual'. Again, that same tension.

We can even see it in the sign ascending (sense of identity, Leo, individualism) as contrasted with the setting sign (sense of relationship, Aquarius, strong group consciousness).

Here is what it all adds up to. You need relationships, and you are unusually compelled to have relationships, and at the same time, you are a strong individual -- and you need to do them very differently than the world suggests is acceptable or even possible. I'm going to take an educated guess that what you are describing as 'cat and mouse' is a situation where you are seeking this new quality or paradigm of relating.

But there is no set definition of this; there are no rules; it's almost like you're caught in a dimension between the two. Many people are. And this can look and feel dysfunctional.

It's not easy to need to make your own way so boldly, to be so original, and to do what is rarely ever done, though often dreamed of: be a strong individual and at the same time, equal to others. You are, at least, as far along as not being able to do it the old way. The old games don't work for you; the old expectations are not providing you with any opportunities.

So, you need to be very honest with yourself about what you want, including the ways in which those desires contradict. Then, you need to be honest with people around you, no mater how unpopular that may be. Aspects in your chart that speak of hesitation and emotional insecurity (in particular, Mars Rx in Scorpio close to your 4th house) can be overcome by being honest, particularly about desire.

Particularly about desire!

Then, when you start to get what you want, notice how you respond. Do you accept it? Do you hesitate? If you are in patterns, really do your best to notice the patterns, and then to create ways to cultivate new ones.

Whatever you do, keep trying, keep relating, and be as bold as you can be, and you will keep growing into love. But most, most, most of all -- be yourself.

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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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