Astrology Secrets Revealed: Eric Francis Answers Your Questions
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Dear Readers on Planets Humble and Glorious:
Many have been feeling this personally, and the world is a different place than it was one week ago.
The most significant news was the passing of Rahman Abdel-Raouf Arafat Al-Qudwa on Thursday morning, known to the world as Yasser Arafat: terrorist to some, hero to others, and Nobel Prize winner. This will, no doubt, shuffle the deck on the balance of power in the Middle East. He died of unknown causes during the exact aspect of Moon occult Mars in the final degree of Libra, fitting astrology for the death of a warrior. There is much speculation about the cause of death, which is not being released at this time. The morning of Arafat's passing, the Moon and Mars proceeded directly into Scorpio, joining the Sun. The next day (Friday) was the Scorpio New Moon. With this lunation applying to within one degree of orb (that is, at the very end of the lunar cycle), Arafat's body arrived at Ramallah on the Gaza Strip amidst a crowd of tens of thousands of Palestinian men firing automatic weapons into the air for two hours, and was buried per Muslim law before sunset on the first day after his death.
The New Moon occurred tightly conjunct the centaur planet Hylonome, which has associations with grief and mass appeal. When research astrologers see extremely rare world events such as this combine with the prominent astrology of a relatively new planet, this is how they come to understand that planet's significance. It is a slow process, but it has its transcendent moments. That Arafat's funeral occurred in the last moments before a Scorpio New Moon is stunning enough. However, the presence of Hylonome speaks to the grief created by this seemingly endless, unbearably violent struggle between the Palestinians and the Israelis.
The same week, coincidentally amidst widespread charges of election fraud, several of George W. Bush's top cabinet members resigned, including the man considered to be the most moderate voice in the administration and the one ally to Europe, Colin Powell. The infamous Attorney General John Ashcroft also resigned. President Bush nominated Alberto R. Gonzales to replace Ashcroft, a vocal critic of the Geneva Convention treaty (which among other things, prohibits the torture of prisoners of war). Plus, Bush named long-time family loyalist, former oil executive and hard-line hawk, Condaleeza Rice to replace Powell.
France, a country whose national horoscope has many planets in Libra in line with the occultations, has been big news the past week; Arafat died here and was given state honors; and the Ivory Coast, where France has a military presence, has exploded into crisis.
I am also getting reports from Puerto Rico, a shadow colony of the United States, that there are serious problems with the recent (Nov. 2) gubernatorial election there, and that this non-state, territory of the U.S. is in the midst of serious political turmoil -- a story which is of course not making any mainstream news.
And of course there has been, directly coinciding with the occultations, the battle in Falluja, which still rages on. Alleged war crimes were video taped by an embedded camera crew of a major U.S. network.
I am beginning to think that Moon occult Mars has distinct political implications. On one occasion last year, the aspect marked to the day the death of British weapons expert David Kelly. On another, it marked, again to the day, the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger to the governorship of California.
This same astrology that is stirring the political pot has also set the personal lives of many people spinning. Emotionally intense, unpredictable, deeply unsettling and even shocking, many relationships have come under stress with this aspect. Many born under the sign Libra, who have Libra Moon or rising have experienced added stress and turbulence. But because Libra is the sign of relationships, and of balance, we are experiencing situations where that balance is being tested. Jupiter, however, is now serving as a protective and stabilizing force in Libra -- which you could say is holding some stability in balance with all the relationship issues signified by that sign, and there are many.
The Sun remains in Scorpio, and enters Sagittarius on Monday, Nov. 22. The Moon is now waxing toward a very impressive Full Moon in Gemini on Nov. 26: Sun and Moon square the unpredictable, exciting and inventive planet Uranus. The astrology of the coming weeks continues to be rebellious, shocking and challenging and, no doubt, unsettling to those who cling to security or stable patterns. Flexibility is a virtue, and living in the now gets quadruple bonus points.
Capping off an extra interesting astrological year, we have also entered a Mercury retrograde cycle. While the exact retrograde begins on Tuesday, Nov. 30 (afternoon in UK, early morning in USA), and ends early the morning of Monday, Dec. 20 (about 30 hours before the Capricorn solstice), the effects of this transit often spread out three weeks before and after the exact planetary stations. Hence, the real dates of Mercury retrograde are between Nov. 12 and Jan. 7, inclusive of any date on which Mercury occupies a degree where the retrograde occurs. In other words, on Jan. 7, the Epiphany and Christmas in some Orthodox faiths, Mercury crosses the Galactic Core and enters new territory for the first time after the retrograde. Sounds like an epiphany.
Some people are more sensitive than others to Mercury retrograde; some thrive on it; some don't even notice. In general, it reminds those paying attention of the power of Mercury in our society. This planet, the closest into the Sun, is associated with communications and communication networks; with ideas, education and thought; with the flow of money; with children; and with our sense of self. The retrograde occurs entirely in Sagittarius, and involves three conjunctions to Pluto, plus two newly discovered planets Ixion and Quaoar; as well as to something called the Great Attractor. Additionally, when Mercury stations retrograde the 30th, it will be in an exact conjunction to the core of the Milky Way galaxy. This is all very, very, very Sagittarius.
The best thing you can do is move with the energy, dance with the music, and glow with the flow of electrons. Because they will be flowing. It is a good idea to back up computers well before the exact station retrograde, and to avoid making major changes to equipment within a few days of the station. And, per astrological folklore, I have found it to be true from many experiences that it's really not a good idea to make important purchases anywhere near this cycle, unless you really, truly have to.
More details in Planet Waves Weekly. And I am also blogging daily. I was going to make a little joke and say "blogging daily through 2012" but I may want to take a break. Anyway - Planet Waves is being updated daily for now.
Here are some responses to your questions this week. Thank you for all your excellent mail. Remember that shorter questions have a greater chance of getting posted, and please write out your birth data long-style instead of using just numbers. Remember, submitting a question means that it may be used along with the birth data, using the first name only, for future publication.
I believe that happiness is possible in the world, but I think that except for the rare few who seem content no matter what, happiness requires some devotion. And a big part of that happiness is the work that we do.
Before I dare to look at your chart and throw a big filter between me and you, I must ask you this. Where is your passion? Are there any challenges you want to meet or take on? Is there anything in life that gets you revved up, laughing, or -- most important -- curious? If you want to do fulfilling work, you will need to engage in one or more of these distinctly human qualities. You will need to be driven by curiosity or passion or a quest of some kind.
When these qualities get unplugged by the long, mean process of socialization, we can find ourselves without the necessary tools to navigate life, to know what we want, and to act on what we believe.
Your question seems to be about your career. But I would propose that 'career' is really a substitute word for your life. By your life, I mean your sense of yourself; your relationship to existence; the way you make decisions; what you see as the possibilities and limits that you must live with. I think we're talking about your relationship to your potential, and your relationship to existence.
So I would like to talk a little bit about that, in terms of your chart, which I'm publishing here:
Now remember, per my personal 10 Commandments of Astrology, you are not your chart; your chart is a figurative representation of you, not the real thing. If there are statements I make that don't resonate, definitely let them go, or mark them up for further consideration. The beauty of looking at a chart is that it gives us a chance to consider ourselves from a new perspective, and if not objectively, then with a bit of abstraction and detachment.
So -- looking at the horoscope above -- I would guess you have a sense of your rather enormous potential. If you don't have a sense, tune in. You have a lot going for you.
I can see this in your 2nd house. We begin counting houses from the horizontal left hand line, and counting down the little wedges counter clockwise. The 2nd house is where you have your Sun placed (based on being born very early in the morning -- before sunrise). The Sun is that orange circle with a dot. The second house is your spiritual bank account. It's also your well of resources. You are unusually resourceful. With your Sun in Leo and Leo on the cusp of the house, you really have quite a lot to draw on.
But -- you also have Saturn there. Saturn is the oddest planet of the lot. This planet can represent the sense of limitation we have in life and then, once we get it going, an absolutely unlimited well of resources, energy and wisdom. So you have an apparent contradiction here, but it can work very much in your favor, if you have a little faith in yourself. Where you feel the most limited, you are actually very the most unlimited.
Straight away, there may be a seeming issue of vitality: Saturn conjunct the Sun and Saturn in Leo can both place the vital force, the inner core of energy, under some stress. What is the source of stress? I am going to guess it's psychological.
I'm taking this cue from the square from Mercury to Mars. Mars (red planet, like the sign on a Men's Room door, upper left) and Mercury (little blue guy with horns in the house next to the one the Sun is in) are in a tense aspect. This is one of the most telling placements in your chart, and because the inner planets so powerfully color our personality, they can create a sense of reality that is overwhelming and that dominates awareness other resources in the chart.
Mercury square Mars, particularly involving Virgo (where Mercury is) and Gemini (where Mars is), and the 3rd house, basically occupy most of the mental functions in the chart. This is, quite potentially, the sign of a frustrated mind. I would say that if you want to take the clue from your chart and begin working on yourself, this is an excellent place to start. I can think of a few suggestions that would be helpful in working with this energy, and using it as a resource for building integrity:
1. Study a martial art. Keep going till you advance to a fairly competent level, and beyond. This is for mental discipline and integrating your mind.
2. Master an intellectual discipline of some kind; mathematics or science, or some aspect of history. Go with your strongest interest (perhaps a difficult choice) but get to the point where your mind does what you want it to do, rather than telling you what to do. The mind makes a great slave and a terrible master.
3. Meditate. Yoga counts.
4. Learn to write. Write until you succeed at expressing your ideas well. Write as exercise, write for sanity, write to clarify your thoughts, or write to make the world a better place. Just write. Every day. "The Artist's Way" by Julia Cameron is a good start. Yes, your Mercury is [astrologically speaking] stressed out and -- yes -- this condition makes some excellent writers, who put the tension to work and who forge a whole new way of looking at life.
5. Learn how to express anger. From a purely therapeutic standpoint, a Mars-Mercury square in the mutable signs is a lot about expressing anger -- or, in some cases, anger management. There can be resentment, frustration and blame involved in this aspect; if you are like most people in our society, you blame yourself, which leads to guilt, and then wishing you had somebody to pin the blame on (that's a good definition of resentment). This CAN be worked out, but it takes time and devotion. It takes wanting to feel good and be productive.
6. I think you have mental blocks to desire; anything square Mars can do that, particularly deeply sensitive Mercury. Learn how to say "I want."
Let's switch gears. I think it's likely that the above material is what you're aware of on some fairly obvious level; the chart has a lot to say about what you're NOT aware of, and that something is contained in the 12th house (as usual).
The 12th house is the one that's right above the horizon, on the left side of the chart, above the horizontal line. The 12th is an extremely interesting paradox. It is the "house of the rising Sun." Literally, when you look at sunrise, you are seeing the Sun enter the 12th house. You can SEE the Sun in this house and it's hard to miss; it's the first and often the most beautiful place you can see it. But it seems that for most people, the 12th house is full of clouds on the horizon, and we cannot see the sky or the planets beyond those clouds.
You have three major planets in this house: Jupiter, the Moon and Venus. I could say a lot about all of these, but let me sum it up. The presence of the Moon and Venus (the most emotional planets, particularly for a woman) in the 12th house, in Cancer (the sign of emotions) suggests strongly that your own feelings are not easily accessible to you. But it is not easy to know about what you cannot feel! So you don't necessarily know what is missing!
They are there, but they are lost in the clouds of the 12th house. This does not happen for "no reason." There is something here very important about your mother. Our parents teach us how to think of ourselves, mostly by example; they teach us how to relate to others. It is really impossible to underestimate their influence in our lives.
I must speculate here, but I'm going to make an interpretation for you to consider: your mother was either missing, emotionally missing, or somehow unable to fully acknowledge your needs. It seems to go beyond this, with her not being able to acknowledge your existence, and particularly your existence as a woman. To learn more about this, study her experiences and personal history closely. This missing something becomes what you must discover within yourself, through living, through intentional inner work and therapy, through mentors and role models and with the awareness that you're looking for something you cannot really describe; feeling for something that you cannot sense.
Patience, my dear.
Just know, it is not a good job you seek: it is yourself.
Social unaccptance of your age difference?
I would say that would be a more important issue if you were 14 and he was 28. I think you're probably projecting: you're worried about what you think about what you think other people may think about your relationship. That's complicated! But don't blame them for your fears, or you'll never get rid of them.
As for your respective families being upset? If this were the sole criteria by which the world were run, all the wars would stop because I am upset about them. At some point you're entitled to live your life your way, and last time I checked, that was at the age of 18. By the time you're 41, your parents, kids and friends have to live with your decisions. Touch noogies. They will still love you, and if they don't, they never did.
I know that deep within the human psyche we all have a need to be accepted by our tribe. But if your tribe is going to reject you for loving someone, then maybe you need to find a new tribe.
And "no future"? Have you noticed lately that he's alive?
Dear V and V
What century would you like to have been born into? While this is a matter of personal preference, and while the world seems pretty messed up now, for those of us on the upper crust of Western civilization, life is pretty good (I define upper crust as having a bank account, food, a dry roof and access to the Internet).
For a woman living in the United States, Europe, Japan and most other industrialized countries, there has never been a time when you have had more freedom, more options open to you, more rights, more privileges and less to worry about. You can go just about anywhere; you can meet people from Timbuktu on the Internet; you probably won't die in childbirth; you are not subject to 'female circumcision'; you are not subject to arranged marriage; you don't need to get pregnant unless you want to; you can get divorced if you're not happy in your marriage; you can own and inherit property; you can practice law (big one); you can be a CEO of a company; you can be in business for yourself; you can ride your bicycle; and so on and on.
And while we do get all those horrid conditioning factors that I talked about in one of the answers above (school, TV, etc), we live in a society where there enough enlightened people who can help us get past our problems.
That all being said, I can see that your natal Sun is in early Virgo and well within range of an opposition from transiting Uranus in Pisces. This is going to bring a lot of challenge, change, disruption and even a touch of revolution into your most intimate partnerships. Are you up for the challenge? Are you up for men who can think for themselves, who are overtly sexual, and who don't play the game? Look and I think you'll see that they're inviting you to play.
Relationships at this point in your life mean letting go of all of the nice, neat ideas and about ourselves and about life that we're with presented here in the fabulous 21st century.
I suggest you embark on a course of getting to know men for who they are and not for who you want them to be, or who your mother told you they would be. Listen to their stories and learn about what they go through in this life. I highly recommend a book called "Stiffed" by Susan Faludi, which is a compassionate study of what has happened to men in our society.
No doubt, the statement to which you refer was based on a single aspect or placement in the chart in question. The way most computerized reports work is that the birth data is entered into the software. The software detects certain aspects and then it goes to a database and pulls up pre-written interpretations for those aspects, which are assembled into the report. It is really no different than looking them up in a book -- with one gargantuous difference: you know who wrote the book.
When you happen to get a good computerized report, it is because the writer is a good astrologer, and usually they will sign their name to their work because that is part of a trusting relationship with you. By good astrologer, I mean someone who is sensitive to people and what they go through, who is experienced enough to see the many possibilities, who can express themselves well, and who is aware of the fact that aspects have multiple levels of interpretation depending on where the chart's owner is at in his or her life.
But mainly to be a good astrologer, you have to not be a total dork and say flat-out judgmental things like, "[such and such aspect] means this person is a liar and a cheat."
Aspects definitely give information, but it is raw data. So when an astrologer writes an interpretation that is going to be read by people of different ages, genders, cultures and belief systems, in order for that interpretation to be good, the writer has to be very good.
It's important for astrology students to remember that aspects are expressed in life very different ways by different people. They change (in their expression, as well as in the progressed horoscope) as we get older. We grow into them; we develop a relationship to them; we learn the lessons or master the challenges -- or we don't. This is why when giving an interpretation in a report, the astrologer needs to leave some of the possibilities open. However, exploring or considering the possibilities takes time and it takes understanding. And it takes a rather special style of writing where you can reach across all worlds -- or at least see the greatest potential good in people. An aspect that might point to an integrity problem in one person might be the same psychic architecture that points to the person being of exemplary character. It all depends on how they work with their energy of their own chart.
Here is something to blow up and paste on your refrigerator, or onto a bookmark that you use in your astrology reading projects. The astrology you get is only as good as the astrologer you get. There is NO objective interpretation of a chart. So I suggest that our readers develop relationships with the work of astrologers they trust, and that they not give that trust away so easily. If you purchase a report, keep an open mind, look at what it says, and size it up based on what you know about the relationship or person involved. I suggest viewing reports and even daily horoscopes as commentaries and insights, rather than as truth. Once you do that, they become truly valuable tools. The perspective of a competent astrologer is a very good thing to have, if you remember that it's a perspective, and subject to discussion.
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