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Archive for Friday 4th March 2005

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Pisces Power

Dear Readers

I have always loved the way those two words sound together. I think I first made them neighbors writing to one of the Fish I know from swimming around the Internet, which can be a truly Pisces place: images and illusions abound, one must sort out truth from lies on one's own, it's so large you can't see it or even really think of it all, and the whole thing has the feeling of a living dream. And it is permeated by a subtle psychic communication that comes through with each web page, email and experience we have. The 'feel' of the web is one of its most distinctive properties, and it's different everyplace you go.

Beneath that dimension there is the Aquarian layer, which is the fleeting realm of the technology itself: the computers that make up the backbone and the network, and which evolve faster than we can think; and the programmers who sit there till 3:30 am and iron out the code that makes it all run, the geek-maniacs tearing apart servers running on pure coffee, and hopefully putting them back together, and the sense of human inventiveness that runs the whole show one layer down.

Beneath that is the Capricorn layer. That's the government and corporate structure that holds up the technology layer; the foundation in stone, be it the laws, regulations, buildings, business interests, and the involvement of the numerous official agencies that we rarely see or hear about. It's also our 'tangible sense of what this is and what it means'. This is an extremely practical dimension that translates what is possible into what is so -- and it is limited mainly by our concepts. A lot is lost in translation, unless you are blessed with very strong, clear Capricorn energy that knows how to put ideas into reality, and who borrows a lot from the neighboring signs and has a sense that concepts are flexible.

If we go back yet another dimension, we come to the Sagittarius layer, which is the world of ideas and their creation: for example, the academic and scientific spheres from which this whole scenario emerged some 30 years ago. There was a vision; that vision was had by people who believed it was possible, and began to make it real. I once saw an interview with the guy who decided one day that there would be a little @ symbol in email, because it was a convenient, intuitive way to link the user with the server. The Sagittarius dimension, ever important in life, is the one where we open up the field of possibilities. And there is still plenty of room for that on the Internet.

These four signs represent what you could call the transpersonal realm. That's a space, a kind of commons (which is an Internet term as well) that we all share. The planets involved are Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune -- the 'gas giants'. These planets and their related signs are so vast and large they are places that we all travel in every day, draw information from, and experience in our minds (usually in less wholesome ways: the effects of corporate media, for example). But there are a lot of possibilities and if we can feel the processes working inside us as well as outside, we can make a lot of room for the possibilities.

And we have, at this time in the year, are deep into the final frontier of the zodiac, Pisces.

Pisces is the aspect of consciousness that moves through all of created reality in a way that's much like a dream. Imagine having a dream in which your Web browser could take you anywhere or show you anything; could penetrate any boundary; could reveal the inner side of life, anywhere you wanted to go, including within your own psyche. If Sagittarius comes up with new ideas and new possibilities, Pisces (90 degrees away from Sagg) melts through all which is in existence, and then new substances, possibilities and combinations are created. Even the impossible is possible, such as that which nobody has actually thought of.

A dream is a good example of this. It emerges seemingly from nowhere. It feels as real as the keyboard under my hands now, sometimes even overwhelmingly more real. It has a consistent logic, even if that logic is troubling at times, or makes sense only to you, or makes sense that's impossible to put into language. The first thing we need to do with the Pisces aspect of our chart is to feel that as a sane space, to learn to breathe underwater, and to move in the deep element. You need to turn your body gently, you need to balance weight and buoyancy, and move with care.

Then, there are those who reach this realm and set out to express themselves. And because anything involving Pisces embraces all the other signs, someone who is working a Pisces process (a filmmaker, musician, photographer, theatre director or actor) can (if they want) work with or manifest contact with all those other realms of which Pisces is in a relationship. In other words, Pisces requires a lot of help manifesting what it dreams, but often those dreams are so appealing that the help is there.

At the moment, we are approaching the Pisces New Moon. That's in one week. And before we get there, the Moon is going to finish going through Sagittarius on Friday, followed by Capricorn over the weekend, then Aquarius and then Pisces -- taking us right through the transpersonal realm into the last New Moon of the astrological year. The New Moon is March 10 at 10:10 am (in Europe), 9:10 am in England, 4:10 am in New York, 1:10 am in California, and 8:10 pm in Sydney.

The Moon will join Venus, Uranus, Juno, and the Sun in that sign -- making a fast series of conjunctions that will create quite a bit of psychic, spiritual, psychedelic or mystical fireworks on the inner side of life. Mercury is currently in Pisces, and is about to make its escape into Aries prior to the New Moon, where it immediately enters the zone of the zodiac where it will be retrograde for three weeks from March 20 through April 12. The Sun then enters Aries, for the equinox and the beginning of the astrological year.

During the Mercury retrograde phase is an eclipse of the Sun, followed two weeks later by an eclipse of the Moon -- both of which I will get into in detail next week. And coverage will be ongoing in Planet Waves Weekly.

Make it a good one -- and hear are a few reflections on your questions.

At A Crossroads

Dear Eric
I looked over my natal chart, looking for career indicators. I have no planets in my 6th house. All of my planets fall in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and then doesn't pick up until the 9th, 10th 11th and 12th. (Therefore, I have no planets in the 4th house.)

I have what I believe is Chiron in the 10th. As you can see, it not on the cusp, or is it? Looking my chart, it is not on the line that the 10th intersects.

I am truly at a crossroads, and I simply cannot abide the stagnation any longer (or what someone named Dr. Turi refers to as inertia). Since my Chiron is in Virgo, does this indicate a career in the healing arts such as hands-on work, or could psychology be considered healing work as well?

As you can see, there is no indication of minor planets in my chart (I have not had one done which indicates such). How do I find out the minor planets? By the way, my birth info: Dec. 15, 1957 at 11:16 pm, in Buffalo, NY, county of Erie.

Whatever you are willing to share with me would be appreciated. I am not looking for you to do a reading, just whatever you might tell me that will shed some light. I desire to end my struggle of "What have I come here to do?!"

Thank you, Eric.
P.S. I was told that I would make a good astrologer, that it is indicated in my chart. Also, another seer, astrologer told me that I had 'healing hands'.

Dear Ava
Astrological charts are good for some information, and as a way of providing some context for the discussion of who you are. But before I go there, I want to consider something else, which is how people who know they want to do something sometimes relate to their inner sense of calling. Not what their chart says, but their calling.

I've noticed that many people feel this one thing they really want to do, and then they don't do it. I am not saying you fit this description but since many people are reading, and it's apropos of the discussion, here's what. There's an expression: "Many are called, but few choose to respond." I sometimes hear clients say, I am doing this and I don't like it, I want to do this, I have always wanted to, but it's not important enough [or add some other excuse].

I recognize there are often practical considerations, and there is time that we need to develop readiness. But I am speaking of when those factors are out of the way: when one is more or less on one's own; free to choose; and not owing much or anything to anyone.

So: what if, before you consider seeking for what your chart says is helpful, or what it's telling you about this time in your life, you ask yourself what you want now? You have not mentioned that part yet. Maybe you don't want anything in particular. But who knows, maybe you do. And it would be good if you could work that out internally first without the help of a divination method. This is just my suggestion as a professional diviner.

You can also look at your chart first and learn a lot, which is a good idea if you come at it with an open mind, in an open-ended way.

So let's do exactly that.

If you can actually feel you're at a crossroads, and using astrology as a tool, it's a good idea to find that crossroads in the chart. The chances are it's going to be a transit, and not that hard to see. A transit is when a planet in the sky makes an angle to a planet's position at the time of your birth (i.e., to a natal planet). For 'major' crossroads, you want to look for something obvious. No need to get out the protractor and dust off the asteroid book -- not yet.

Obvious means you're looking for something involving Saturn, Chiron or Pluto. Remember that, lads and lassies. A transit by Saturn, Chiron or Pluto. That means: one of those three planets in the sky will be making a transit to something big in your natal chart: the target planets, that is, the ones getting the transit, would be Sun, Moon, Saturn, Chiron or Pluto -- or the ascendant.

Note, if a transit involves Uranus, you usually won't have time to blink your eyes before you're doing something new; you may or may not get a chance to pack your bags. You will be emailing your friends from Morocco: "Hi, got a great job, fabulous place, new friends, nothing like I expected, drop in some time, the beach is great."

With Neptune, you'll look back three years later and realize you were doing it [whatever] all along, or you'll say one day, "Where, how did I get here?" Or one morning you'll wake up from a drug-induced haze and mutter, "What year is it?"

Saturn, Chiron and Pluto are the ones that a) represent massive structural changes and b) give you some time to sit around and debate the meaning of it all with yourself; to do some intense self-inquiry; to make conscious decisions one step at a time.

As it turns out, you are now having the ultimate Pluto transit: Pluto conjunct the Sun. That is, to say the very least, a crossroads. Indeed, it is the place where all roads, all possibilities, and you and your soul meet directly. And you are having this experience shortly after the alternate ultimate Pluto transit: Pluto conjunct Saturn.

Here's your natal chart:


Notice that your natal Sun is at 23 degrees of Sagittarius and 57 minutes, in yellow, in the 4th house, near the bottom. Can everyone SEE that? Cousins in the degree-o-phobe camp, take a deep breath and look at the chart. Those two yellow things at the bottom are Saturn (the little 4-like figure with the 17 next to it) and the Sun with the 23 next to it. Those are natal planets that stay in one place your whole life. Then things (i.e., planets moving in realtime) come along and make aspects to them, called transits; they can align a variety of different ways. You are having a transiting conjunction of Pluto to the Sun.

This will happen to only one out of about four people on the planet in any one lifetime. So it's like a once in four lifetimes event. To some of them, it will happen at the very end of life, or close to the beginning. For you, it's happening to you in your prime of potential, power and choice. You can actually do something with this transit, and do something big.

As of this writing, Pluto is at 24 degrees and 20 minutes of Sagittarius. Pluto is walking right over where your natal Sun is. This was exact for the first time on Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2005, and is very close for several weeks on either side; reasonably close for several months on either side; and a transit that really is now in the center of two years of progress. It has been close for a long while (for instance early last year, but close is close and exact is exact). Now it is exact.

The Sun represents the most essential expression of you, your sprit, your mission, in this world. Pluto is at this point the single most unstoppable force for transformation that there is in all of astrology. It is the directly expressed power of the soul. So it's like your soul and your self are directly, exactly aligned. Yes, Saturn and Chiron can pretty much do whatever they want, and have profound effects. But one simply must respect Pluto as the top player in its own league, psychologically and spiritually speaking.

Now, a few years ago, in 2002 and 2003, you went through Pluto conjunct Saturn. Saturn helps us hold together a lot in life. Your natal Saturn placement is worth a good discussion. The entire realm of Sagittarius, all things that involve Sagg itself, Jupiter, the 9th house, Chiron, and anything vaguely related, like to e x p a n d. There were likely events that had the effect of breaking down your old belief structure; now, you are changing to enter the space that those 'breakdowns' opened up.

Natal Saturn likes to keep things together. It's true that transiting Saturn can come along like a battering ram and nudge the universe over six inches with a thud. It can also help us get our ducks lined up. But our natal Saturn is where you will seek stability, structure, and a sense of order. You have it in Sagittarius; and that's often experienced as a picture of a belief in limitation, because Sagittarius is so expansive and natal Saturn is so grounded and solid. Can you follow the logic here? AstroLOGy is about LOGic -- there is a thought pattern, a kind of syntax, and here we have a planet acting on a sign and changing your experience of that sign. The sign is soft and flexible and full of inspiration. The planet is hard and practical and concerned with 'reality'.

I smell some fear. To be more specific, I think you are dealing with some issues that your parents gave you which involve a basic over-emphasis on safety and security. As Pink Floyd so aptly said in The Wall, "Mammas gonna put all of her fears into you." In your case, I would look to the fears of both parents. Make a list of their fears -- go get out a notebook. Afraid of burglars, afraid you're going to be kidnapped (the all-American 1950s fear, thanks to the Lindburgh baby), afraid of poisoned candy on Halloween, afraid of a cat scratch, afraid of the minister, afraid of the measles, afraid of bird poo, afraid of God...come on, don't let me have all the fun. Get it going. They were and maybe still are freaked out and paranoid, and even if they weren't, pretend that they were.

I have a question: have you traveled lately? I realize your Sun is in the ever-grounded 4th house, where we do check the window latches twice and go out for a quart of milk at 11:30 at night because it has to be there otherwise life is not quite right, you have to have milk in the morning. But it's also Sagittarius. You know. Sagittarius, the sign of the most high-minded lunatics, many of whom would park an airplane in their backyard if they could, and who populate travel agencies in unduly strange proportions, and who can make philosophy out of the ingredients on a package of cookies.

Whatever you may need to do with your career, this is about your life, and I think you need to go somewhere and look at things with at least 7,000 miles of perspective. But I'm just an astrologer and that's merely my opinion.

Click here for your minor planets.

Dear Eric
If you would be so very kind, I am in search of some quality reading material to learn to understand what I am reading about horoscope and how the astrological calendar affects my life, etc. I find it fascinating. I am also very much interested in the subject of psychic phenomena and after death communication, as I have had some incredible experiences since losing my 19 year old daughter in a car accident last March. She was a very kind and gifted child born under the astrological sign of Aries. She worked with severely impaired children and adults, and was a straight A student at Central Michigan University. I know how busy you must be, and do not expect anything, but would be so very grateful to know if there may be something that would be beneficial reading. Thanks for your time.


Dear Annie
I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your beautiful daughter. I am sure that many readers are sending you love and compassion for this unthinkable loss.

As for books. I am aware of a highly regarded book that I have not read, which may interest you. It is Testimony of Light by Helen Greaves.

I can also offer a short list of my top favorite books on astrology and metaphysics, and related subjects that I feel are essential to understanding these things. Apologies for lack of Amazon references; you will find them there, and elsewhere. The thing to remember is that both metaphysical and astrology books often go out of print long before their time, so if you want something, you have to be good at searching, it helps to have a friend in a bookshop who has a knack for finding the difficult-to-find stuff, and it helps to have a little luck.

This is a list of the books that have touched me the most deeply, the wisdom of which I live with and work with every day. They are all non-fiction, except where noted. They range widely in subject matter, from metaphysics to astrology to sexuality to fiction. Each contains a fabulous clue to the nature of reality.

1. Gifts of Unknown Things by Lyall Watson (nonfiction metaphysics)
2. The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot (science-metaphysics)
3. The Lazy Man's Guide to Enlightenment by Thaddeus Golas (consciousness)
4. Astrology: A Cosmic Science by Isabel Hickey (basic astrology text)
5. Chiron and the Healing Journey by Melanie Reinhart (astrology)
6. Saturn, Chiron and the Centaurs by Melanie Reinhart (astrology)
6. An Astrological Mandala by Dane Rudhyar (astrology, cycles and symbolism)
7. Celestially Auspicious Occasions by Donna Henes (natural cycles and seasons)
8. Tarot: Mirror of Your Relationships by Gerd Zeigler (excellent Tarot book)
9. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig (personal history, philosophy, healing mental illness)
10. Conversations With God by Neale Donald Walsh (a conversation)
11. Planet Waves by Eric Francis (In progress: stories from astrology, revealing how to do it)
12. A General Theory of Love by Thomas Lewis and others (how therapy works, and why we feel the way we do)
13. The Book of Thoth by Aleister Crowley (advanced Tarot book)
14. Our Dumb Century by The Onion (fiction; humor)
15. Acid Dreams by Martin Lee and Bruce Schlain (history of the 60s for all 60s babies)
16. Sex for One by Betty Dodson (basic introduction to women's sexuality)
17. The Hite Report by Shere Hite (North American survey of women)
18. I Am My Lover edited by Joani Blank (women's sexuality)
19. Any collection of poems and/or essays by Adrienne Rich (one of the great scholars and poets of our times)
20. Woman on the Edge of Time by Marge Piercy (fiction)
21. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert A. Heinlein (fiction)
22. Toward An American Revolution by Jerry Fresia (history and politics)
23. Stiffed by Susan Faludi (history of men in the 20th century)

I could keep going. I'll leave it at 23 for now. Wait, I'll add one more: an advanced astrology book, really in my opinion, the best ever written, called The Moment of Astrology by Geoffrey Cornelius. To all these authors, I say thank you: may you and your works live long and prosper. For specific, advanced astrology books, please send in a question about that exact topic and I'll see what I can find for you.

Oh, I must mention a spoken word CD set, a big one: The Silmarillion by J.R.R. Tolkien. Find it used, get it new, or search MP3s online; this book, in its most effective form -- oral tradition, spoken word -- is all the history, ancient history and background of The Lord of the Rings, the history of our planet, and of the elves, and contains some of the most moving stories of humanity I've ever encountered.

Hi Eric
I hope you are reading this! It is February 26, 2005 and I just read Eric Francis question and answers. A question by Keleigh was asked about psychic visions or dreams. She had dreams of the future. I noticed that she was born at 11:32 am. I, too, had a dream of the future, my future (about where I work now) having never seen the place before! I have since hung up a prayer at my desk that begins: trust our highest power that we are exactly where we are meant to be...anyway I was born at 11:30 am. Do you think the time of birth has anything to do with having dreams of the future?

My dream really makes me wonder if we really do have any choices in this is as if it is all preset. So even when we think we can change things, or do something is what we were meant to do anyway.

Inquiring Visionary

Dear Inquiring Visionary
Just because you saw a glimpse of the future does not mean it was predetermined, or that you predicted it. You may have seen something and then chosen, or seen a choice that you made, or something that was being offered to you. There are many possibilities.

When it comes to working with any form of divination, communication on the subtle levels, dreams, visions or altered states, a gentle approach is a wise way to proceed.

When people say that the birth chart insinuates prediction, I offer a metaphor. Does having a map predict which course you will take? Or does it give the potential directions, and show the different paths, shortcuts and obstacles that might be in your area? An astrology chart works the same way. Some astrologers, though, tell you what road to take, or they tell you to take a hard road and then tell you how hard it will be. Others describe the territory. Others are effective at noticing what they think are the best possible ways to go -- and giving it back to you to choose.

Along these lines, I would say that being born at a specific time does not say much at all, except that in both your chart and that of Keleigh's, the Sun is about overhead, in the 10th house -- but that angle of the Sun to the horizon is also shaped by your place on the planet at the time of birth. So 11:30 is a relative concept. But that solar position has more to do with status in the world than with the ability to see the future, but of course, the ability to have a feeling for trends is very helpful when you are in a leadership role such as a noon birth suggests.

However, some would call what you are noticing a synchronicity. A synchronicity is a meaningful coincidence with no apparent cause. You noticed that you were born around the same time as the person who had a vision of the future; and that emerges as a symbolic experience. It's important to notice where the symbolic realm and the 'normal' realm intersect. Most of the divination arts, and the related 'psychic' arts, rely on symbols, myths, interpretations of dreams, and many factors where it's necessary to notice the languages of the unconscious.

Notice, take it in, and let it go.

Overly Sensitive or Too Intense?

Hi Eric
First, I'd like to tell you that I read your work daily -- I admire your courage, your many talents and your points of view. Thank you! For a long time now, various people (usually women) have told me (I am also a woman) that I'm too 'thin skinned' or 'too sensitive' or 'too intense'. When I was told point blank again recently 'you are too thin skinned', I felt a little exasperated. From looking at my chart, what could be contributing to this sensitivity? It's like a skip on the record.

Love and Appreciation,
They Call Me Thin Skinned

It's always a good idea to watch out for the word 'too'. There are times when it's appropriate word; for example, a basketball is definitely too large and bouncy to use to play baseball. Garlic is too strong of an herb for ice cream (some would disagree). But for a person, and for personality traits, when people say the word too, they are generally having a personal reaction that, while it may have been inspired by you in that moment, is really coming from them.

For many people wearing masks, people who are real, who speak their mind, and most of all, who feel, can feel threatening. Some people wearing masks are good at hiding their responses, and out of politeness they don't reveal their reaction. You seem to hang out with a crowd of people who, while they may be threatened, at least tell you so.

In such moments, we're always faced with a decision: do we become more like we are, or less like we are? That is to say, if we're allegedly 'too emotional' do we use that as an excuse to back off, or to be more real? I would propose you may want to experiment with being more real, and see what happens.

You could also ask them to take half an hour and with you in the employee lunchroom (or wherever) and go deeply into their observations about you -- if that conversation goes on longer than 90 seconds, they are likely to be talking about THEIR feelings and their reactions and their life, and it will come bubbling to the surface that this is really all about them.

It's good to remember that people who judge you are not really your friends. So you don't have to worry about losing friends. But they may become your friends if you give them a little push, challenge them to be real themselves, give them a chance to take responsibility for how THEY feel, and see if a breakthrough is possible.

If not, then no worries: you just keep going in life and you will meet people who love you, teach you, set the example for you, and most of all, embrace you for who you are.

That being said, for these intense types (many of whom gather round this web page like butterflies around a tree of flowers) it helps to tune up that intensity and, in a sense, to burn your psychic fuel a little more cleanly. Part of that is practicing a truly deep degree of self-acceptance. It is likely that you've been getting these reactions for a while, probably going back to before you remember. And it's likely that you took on the reactions of others and blamed yourself.

So, unconditional self-acceptance. These are perhaps strong words, and some will quiver at them, but they are the place to start; the best and really only way to inoculate yourself against the judgments of others; and the best space, I feel, from which it's possible to recognize what we want to change about ourselves, and grow into someone new.

This takes a little practice, but the chances are, you're going to do it well once you let go of your own judgments of yourself, and gravitate toward people who just simply dig you. I am sure you will agree, that feels good.

Planet Waves Weekly is the only place online to get the weekly horoscope of Eric Francis, both emailed and posted to the Web each Friday. The Friday mailing comes with a weekly birthday report. Plus, there is a Monday mailing of a bonus horoscope. 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 two yeas of archives of essays and horoscopes. Planet Waves Weekly is about to add a daily astrology feature that will describe how to make the most of the energy of the day. And all subscribers get free access to Bridge to the Core, the 2005 annual pages. We invite you to look around and become one of many satisfied readers of Eric's daring and innovative astrology journal.

Thanks for your excellent questions.
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