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Eric Francis Astrology Q&A
Archive for Friday 20th May 2005

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

I always love when I can find a true astrological generalization, but have noticed that Geminis love puns. I test this theory whenever I can, and I have known a few with whom can make puns until the Sun goes all the way around.

Gemini is an air sign -- the first air sign -- and this is the element that deals most directly with thought, language and direct relating. Gemini in its many forms usually comes right back to these themes, and people with strong Gemini in their charts are often quick-witted -- both as in intelligent and in terms of anything from humor to sarcasm.

It is the first sign that directly addresses the theme of dualism, and the first sign in the zodiac to depict a human being rather than an animal. Aries and Taurus each have symbols where there are two horns. But Gemini actually presents us with two of something: in particular, two people. Twins, to be exact. There is a well documented phenomenon called idioglossia, which is a unique language that twins develop when left alone together for long periods of time.

Two of my favorite Gemini, in the 'famous chart' camp, are Bob Dylan and Laurie Anderson. Bob weíve all heard of -- and from an astrological standpoint there is a good reason. His chart is like a train with Gemini as the locomotive and a string of Taurus planets pushing it along. This is someone whose words and ideas have penetrated consciousness like a laser beam for 40 or more years. And while you might not know he had all that Taurus in his chart from that voice, itís not a voice youíre likely to forget any time soon.

Laurie Anderson you may not have heard of. She is one of the most intelligent people I have ever encountered, in person or through her art, and she is an awesome living example of how powerful language and ideas can be. Though you may not have heard of her, she has influenced a great many of the people you have heard of with her daring performances, perceptions and insights. And she is very, very funny. Iíll give you two links to stuff about her, and recommend one CD, from a performance in London that Iíve discovered recently, called The Ugly One with the Jewels.

Here is Laurieís homepage, and here is the Wikipedia entry. Meantime, the Sun enters this very interesting sign of the zodiac on Friday.

Here are some of your questions this week.

The House of the Rising Sun

Hello Eric!

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your work! I've been a PlanetWaves fan for the last four plus years, and have benefited tremendously from your astrological insights, especially those Piscean. The one astrological concept that I have trouble grasping is the 12th house, which of course figures somewhat into my chart. I've read about it from many sources, but none of them have resonated with me much. If you have time to delve into what this house is about, represents, signifies, etc., that would be phenomenal, as your writing strikes a true chord with me.

Ever thanks

Dear Christina:

Thank you for your kind comments. Being an oversensitive, insecure Pisces, a little friendly adulation goes right into my pores like good moisturizer.

When you think of the 12th house, consider this. There's that time in the morning between sunrise and when we wake up, particularly in seasons besides winter. During this time of day, the world is stirring to life and the light has dawned, but we as individuals are usually sleeping -- and often having the more vivid dreams that we remember.

Or, sometimes, we have the dreams that we remember the feeling of, or some pieces of, but don't remember the real story -- even when we know it's important. This is one distinct feeling of the 12th, like this alternate reality; this side-room of the psyche; this dimension we enter, live in, and forget about, but sometimes take traces of the feeling with us. And then it follows us around, while we are dimly aware or completely unaware.

People who are aware of the 12th are poets, artists, musicians -- those who reach into the unconscious world, that strange space outside of time, on the borderline between love and fear, sanity and insanity, thought and emotion. No wonder that Vedic astrologers assign this house to the 'pleasures of the bed'.

I refer to the 12th house as the House of Dreams. But it is also the House of the Rising Sun -- that is, the region of the sky that the Sun crosses in the first hours of daylight, after day has begun. Think about both of those images for a moment.

There is an asleep-awake paradox to this house. In astrology, this shows up with the affairs of this house operating in a 'behind the scenes' way. It is the house of secrets; of the unconscious; of hidden enemies; of fears; of delusions -- but it's also the house where the Sun is after it has dawned. So we need to work with this paradox in reading the house in charts.

Think of it this way, perhaps. You know how there are those things in life that we're aware of, but we're not really aware of? The things we 'should know' or that we heard about and forgot, or that we know but are in denial of? There's the 12th house hard at work. The whole challenge of the 12th is to wake up and stay awake; to remember your dreams; to be aware of your fears; to probe your unconscious mind. You could say this is the psychological approach to the house, but it's well rooted in the basics of traditional astrology.

I think these ideas give us some things to contemplate. But as astrology students we need to take the 12th in practical terms. To start with, you can take these ideas, take the planet or planets in question, and ask how they might respond to those ideas and feelings of the 12th.

But what I and many other astrologers have noted is that the 12th is the house of people and things that have gone missing; that have sunk beneath the surface. Note again the contradiction: they have sunk, but this is the house where, when something is there, it has risen above the horizon. I don't have the answer to this paradox but I think that we can get a lot from it if we apply it and don't avoid it.

If a planet is in the 12th just above the horizon, it's like something is struggling to be born into awareness. As the astrologer, you may need to point out what that something is, and call their awareness to it. Objects or points anywhere in the 12th can take years to even notice; and fortunately we have the chart to show us on paper that they are there.

While the 8th is the house of death, the 12th has a sense of finality to it which leads many astrologers to say, ah, this is the real house we look to for clues about death -- which gives a clue to why there can be so much fear associated with the 12th. Part of the death theme of the 12th is the 'near death experience' known as birth. The 12th is the house that represents the prenatal epoch; planets in that house can describe conditions and issues that happened in utero. The birth itself is a process of something crossing the ascendant from the unconscious or unmanifest world in to the real-time here and now.

On the 'gone missing' theme, here is an example. If you see someone with their Moon in the 12th, listen to the person's story, listen to them talk about their mother, and see what they say. You will likely pick up a theme that mom is in some way missing; psychologically, physically, emotionally; or she has actually died. Or, the person was adopted. You cannot guess, though: in a reading, it's better to listen and discover, or say, so, how is your mom doing?

If a man has Mars in that house, listen to his story and find out where his masculinity, or his image of his masculinity, has gone. The aspects to a 12th house point, including the houses where aspected planets are placed, will tell you a lot. If that Mars is square his Sun, there may be a father-son conflict. Mars in the 12th, in particular, can also signify a lot of fear clouding over one's life; fear to the point of paranoia.

The 12th in general can blow things up to huge proportion, particularly if they are denied. Madonna is a good example: She has Virgo rising with a ton of planets in the 12th. She is a real dreamweaver, an image maker, larger than life, and richer than the church.

One last comment. Something I've noticed about the 12th is that when you place outer planets in there -- such as Pluto or Uranus -- the person will have a 'sense of special destiny' -- like they are in this world for some important purpose they don't understand. This was originally pointed out by Jeff Green, one of the first people to write a book about Pluto. It's a beautiful intuitive perception. And I have found, over and over again, that it's workable. He talks about how this house has a cliff-like property, like we're on the edge of something. And if we have a potent planet there, we will have a very intense relationship to the edge.

The 12th really is an edge, in every respect, particularly as it approaches the 1st. This region of the horoscope is perhaps best deduced by transits over the 12th house cusp and the ascendant. Do a little experiment, and look at what has happened in your life and the lives of others when a planet has crossed the ascendant. Look for events, and also note to the conditions of their (or your) life at the time. You will very likely see something happening that gives a clue.

Here is a piece I wrote a few years ago that addresses the 12th house. It will take you through to The Wayback machine at (a fascinating place, though not 100% reliable all the time) to an old link on It's called The Borderland.

Impending Single Motherhood

Dear Eric

I really need your help. I recently split from a Taurus guy I had been dating for three months. I have however just found out I am six weeks pregnant with his child. I am happy to be expecting, however, I am scared that the father won't want to know. What I would like to know is: is there anything in my forecast that indicates whether I will have to raise this baby on my own, or whether a reconciliation with the father is possible.

I would really appreciate any input at all, thank you.


Dear Impending Mom:

First, congratulations; you sound like you're taking this as a blessing and as a positive life development. But let me sort this out for a moment, before I dive into the charts. You seem to say four things in your question:

1. You're scared the father won't want to know about the baby.
2. You feel that you may need to raise the baby on your own.
3. You want to know whether reconciliation is possible.
4. You feel that astrology can help you shed light on these questions.

My interpretation, based on my values:
1. You must discuss this with him immediately. It does not matter what he thinks, how he reacts, or what he wants in the end. This is true whether he is involved with the child, whether you reconcile with him as a life partner, or whether some other option occurs. The first step is getting over your fear and putting the cards on the table. However, I think step two comes first.

2. You need to decide in advance whether you are prepared to raise the child on your own. And you need to know whether you love this person enough, or in the right way, to raise a child together. This is basic. You need to know what commitment you are prepared to make, and bring that to the discussion. Unless that discussion is an instant, passionate reconciliation, there is going to be some negotiating (or at least discussion) that happens.

3. Whatever the astrology says, or whatever I say it says, these are your decisions. I'm not going to use the charts to make a prediction: in fact, I'm not sure what I'm going to do with them, as I have not looked. I just didn't want to miss my chance to communicate with you as a person first and astrologer second.

Last, I have a question: what was your agreement about what to do in the event of pregnancy before having sex?


Now as for your chart. Welcome to your Saturn return. You have Saturn in Leo, that great moment of growing up. Saturn comes back to Leo for the first time since the era of your birth in July, beginning the two to three year process of this rather famous transit. There is always some big thing -- some great world event, in your private world -- that marks this; often there are more than one. Whatever happens; however you choose to handle this; whatever choices you make; these are the maturing processes that comes with the return of Saturn.

What makes this discussion interesting, astrologically, is that you have Saturn in the 5th house -- the house usually associated with making babies. And that is the house to which Saturn is returning. So there is an appropriateness to the theme.

With Saturn in the 5th, you want to make sure you are not taking on too big of a burden, if you choose to have this child alone. Saturn will view most anything as a burden; but there are easier ways and more difficult ways to raise a child. So for example, if you are prepared emotionally to be a single mom, what is your backup plan for creating the necessary community support, financial support and so on, to be able to raise your child?

As well, because you have Leo on the 5th house, the Sun rules this theme in your chart -- and Uranus (planet of surprises) has been all over your Pisces Sun. So in a way, this surprise was definitely in the stars. Though Pisces is rather dreamy and idealistic, with Leo and Saturn involved, you will work this out; you will have the strength and maturity to handle it.

I don't suggest that you use the child as a means of recreating the relationship with the father, if in your heart of hearts you feel it's not the right thing. If you love one another or think you might, then give the relationship a try. But if not, consider some other arrangement; some way of sharing the responsibility that does not involve primary partnership. You do have some time to explore the possibilities, given that you are only six weeks pregnant.

A child is not enough to hold a relationship together, and if it is, that's just too much weight to put on a little kid. And you would deserve better -- and you know you are prepared for better. You are, for sure, oriented on what I would call 'serious' partnership and you need someone else who is as well. I can see this because you have Juno (asteroid dealing with relationship and family) on your 7th house cusp. I know that it may be difficult to find a partner who brings the dedication and consciousness to a relationship that you will (Juno placed so late in its sign, in the last degree); but I don't suggest you settle for anything less.

Overcoming Fear

Dear Eric

I'm deeply grateful for what you do and how you do it. I admire your sensitivity, integrity, courage and passion, and as I write this, it occurs to me that this is how I would like to see myself. I am in so many ways a cowardly lion. Is there something in my astrology that allows for this, and how can I use my astrology to move out of the fear? My bodywork over the past year has been unraveling a difficult childhood, complete with abuse, and I know that fear and negativity are primary elements in both of my parents. Materially, I am blessed, and I am surrounded by loving, supportive people. My life is hard only because I make it so, and I am ready to stop doing this. Many thanks for your thoughts.

Love, peace, and blessings,


Dear Jackie:

I can definitely relate. I may seem like a brave person, but like lots of people, I live in a more or less continuous confrontation with fear. I think it's part of becoming aware, and there are certainly many sources of fearful thoughts in our society (most of the broadcast media, including advertising, for example) and residual sources in our lives (traumas, for sure). And there is a real phenomenon of how, the more open we become, the more we have to face all the possibilities -- not just the 'good ones'. But yes, at a certain point it really helps if that fear, or awareness of it, is not paralyzing.

You could cover a lot of ground from sorting out what you describe as fear from a few of its more subtle derivatives: insecurity, inadequacy, anxiety, guilt, or sense of potential abandonment. Everyone experiences fear their own way, and few people actually take the time and energy to figure out what is going on inside them.

Your question dovetails very nicely with the 12th house question, above. You have Mars in Gemini, in the 12th house -- have a look at that question please. Taken separately, either of these placements (Mars in 12th or Mars in Gemini) could be used to suss out a lot about the nature of your fear. Taken together, you have a volatile placement that may come with an unconscious sense that you are divided with yourself or at war with yourself. Certainly these placements speak of childhood conditions that have given you a sense of divided self.

But what is at the source of this? Based on the involvement of Mars, it has to do with your desire nature. Desire is entirely natural, but the way you experience it, it can be overwhelming, and it can come up as something else. So think of it this way: you tend to experience desire as fear. Since desire cannot be stopped (only related to, worked with, fulfilled, etc.), and since you may not even know what you're experiencing (12th house), desire quickly becomes fear.

Mars is one of two planets in your chart that's in an air sign (the other is a very large asteroid, Ceres). Air is about how we navigate the mental plane: ideas, direct relating, reasoning, rationalizing. Your ascendant is Gemini -- which puts a lot of pressure on you to relate to the world in an 'airy' way. But then it's like you don't have the inner resources to do it. So what you would normally experience on the mental level will be pushed everywhere else -- your emotions, your psychic body, your physical body, and the spiritual level.

In other words, it is likely to get relegated, delegated, or reassigned; when what you really need is to work it out and then let it percolate through those other levels. Yet as far as being able to deftly sort out what is happening for you, nice and clearly? Hmm. Difficult. It's an area of your life that you must develop, and you can develop it quite literally by learning to relate directly to people, one on one, about what is important to you, and what is important to them. The air signs are vital for this function of relating. When we speak the words, they vibrate across the air. And how, when we think clearly, this is a lot like a bird's flight through the air, at one with the element.

You really have to work at the part about making your thoughts comprehensible and engaging in a real, genuine and deep dialog. But for you, this is a little like inventing the microprocessor. For a computer to work, the information has to be organized very simply; you are capable of breathing pure fire, and you need to tame your mind and make the translation.

There are a few other factors.

Let's look at your 7th house, as well. You have a lot -- a whole lot -- of Capricorn there, including Saturn, the original Mr. Fear, the Moon (in Cap, Mrs. Guilt) and two important asteroids (including Vesta, which can focus shame because, in part, it deals with repressive erotic conditioning) in a house (the 7th) that is extremely aware and in your face. All this Capricorn can present you with is an image of life that is made of burdens you cannot fulfill, and possibly feel guilty for not fulfilling.

It's almost like you can never really let yourself off the hook in your relationships. You truly need to. The chances are you're one of the most ethical, devoted people for 100 miles. Give yourself that, and take some space in this world for yourself -- just yourself. If doing so leads you to experience a guilt trip of some kind, I assure you that's a direct indication that you're doing exactly the right thing. The right thing, not the wrong one.

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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 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.

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