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Archive for Friday 5th November 2004

Astrology Secrets Revealed: Eric Francis Answers Your Questions
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Dear Readers in Kingdoms Far and Near:
Many of us are left scratching our heads with the seemingly solid re-election of George W. Bush to the U.S. presidency, and many on the east side of the Pond and in Oz are wondering what it means for the world.

Let's remember the astrology, because it is telling, and many are wondering.

This election happened in the wake of a total eclipse of the Moon in Taurus, signifying an issue with values. This blindsided me, personally: I never even considered the possibility, as is being widely reported in the media, that the anti-gay-marriage initiatives actually carried the election. Taurus is about our most personal values (and not coincidentally sensuality, and sex), but an eclipse opens up the discussion into the collective realm, bringing in the mass public. Hence, we saw an election carried by a values-related theme, which the U.S. press (always preferring to use familiar words that nobody understands!) is calling "morality."

The election happened under a Sun-Neptune square, which I've been whining about for 10 months or so. This is an astrological sign from heaven that says slippery when wet. Neptune is making its way on a long journey (begun right before the Clinton impeachment) across Aquarius, a sign that is involved with the public and also with technology (i.e., voting machines). When you think of Neptune in Aquarius, think of Prozac turning up in the drinking water supply. Or lots of people thinking that Jesus wants us to kill Iraqis. Neptune, under stress and even when it's working beautifully, warns of deception, delusion and misplaced idealism. To work Neptune properly is a little like going out onto the ocean in a sailboat. You have to know what you're doing, or you get swallowed by the sea. If there is a square, that's like saying there's a stiff wind and some weather, so you need to be an experienced sailor. I am mixing my car and boat metaphors here, but I think you get it.

Speaking of seas and sailboats, here's one I have not mentioned, but noticed with some astonished curiosity when I did my essay on the USA Sibley Chart in this space a few weeks ago. The progressed Sun in the first-ever chart for the United States changed signs from Aquarius to Pisces on Nov. 1, 2004, that is, on Monday. (That is not a misprint; you read it correctly.) The progressed Sun stays in a sign for about 30 years. This is roughly 10,956 days. It just so happens that THE day the Sun changed signs was Monday before this election. This occurs three times per century and thus a total of about eight times in all of U.S. history, and it happened to happen again the day before this election.

I don't have a quick and dirty interpretation, except to say that the progressed Sun changing signs is a time of significant change. A long cycle of history is over. And any astrologer would say that the change to Pisces brings in the Neptune factor again. But it also does something else: Pisces time will work to dissolve many of the patterns that emerged during the Aquarius phase, which spans approximately from the Nixon resignation, through the Reagan / Bush / Clinton / Bush era. Remember, Aquarius makes patterns and Pisces dissolves them. Pisces, at least, will focus some people on beauty and pleasure. In the realm of human experience, that's healthy, because it gives us something to do besides brood over war.

Mercury was trine Saturn in the election chart. Look this up in any astrology book and you will read all variety of sweet and cuddly things, about how mature and open-minded it is, and so on. However, Mercury trine Saturn is the primary aspect in the Sept. 11 chart. Mercury was rising in that chart (in Libra). Mercury is prominent in just about every chart that has anything to do with the Bush administration, including the chart for his first "election," which happened in the throes of a Mercury retrograde (also in Libra). A lot is happening in Libra right now, stirring up those charts. However the current Mercury trine Saturn went from Scorpio to Cancer. Mercury has now changed signs to Sagittarius.

We still have a major factor in this election coming, which I mentioned last week: a series of four planetary occultations between Nov. 9 and 14. Now, I was excited when I found out that this was in the range of an Ohio recount. And even though Kerry has conceded the election to Bush, those votes will be counted. Besides which, occultations, by their nature, deal with something mysterious or hidden. I mentioned these last week. What I did not mention was that the two recent examples of historic news events being revealed the day of occultations include the death of David Kelly (Moon occult Mars) and the election of Arnold Schwarzenegger in that California recall last year (again Moon occult Mars).

I have described the horoscope of the presidential inauguration, Jan. 20, 2005 at noon in Washington, DC, as the "chart from hell." I wish I were exaggerating, but with all due respect to everyone on the political rainbow, including the president himself, I'm very glad that this is not the chart for John Kerry taking office. Interesting that Chief Justice William Rhenquist, who is sick, is unlikely to administer the oath of office. I am pretty sure that he can no longer speak. I will post my interpretation of the inauguration chart to my web page this weekend -- please see the blog.

Here is a bit of linguistic research on the word "occult" as discovered by Tracy in Liverpool, in an etymology dictionary. Remember that in applying ideas to astrology, the action can go in either direction, i.e., a planetary occultation can reveal something that is occulted in another sense of the word. Words are great. Language is a virus from outer space. Begin quote: First use documented in 1533, occut means "secret, not divulged," from Latin, occultus "hidden, concealed, secret," pp. of occulere "cover over, conceal," from ob "over" + a verb related to celare "to hide," from PIE base *kel- (see cell). Meaning "not apprehended by the mind, beyond the range of understanding" is from 1545. End quote. Tracy adds: The association with the supernatural sciences (magic, alchemy, astrology, etc.) dates from 1633.

Will we ever know if the election of 2004 was messed with electronically? We shall see what we shall see.

Here are few of your questions this week. I've taken it a little lighter than usual, it's been one very bush (oops, I meant to type busy!) week.

By the way -- I am still blogging every day at, and Planet Waves Weekly, my subscriber newsletter, is running nice and hot these days. Check out the main web page to subscribe. The service is fully guaranteed. If you don't love it we'll refund your money, so you have nothing to lose. In North America, you can call our toll free number to subscribe (877) 453-8265.

Hello Eric
What are the influences of Chiron and how long will Chiron be in Cancer? I understand that it has been there since 2001.


Dear Elizabeth
Many people have said many things about Chiron. Personally, I give it the keywords RAISE AWARENES.

Chiron was discovered at the height of the Human Potential Movement in 1977. The human potential movement emphasized individuality, collective cooperation, developing a mature sense of self, actualizing our gifts and talents, and taking responsibility for our choices. The Human Potential Movement's ideas are pretty much the antithesis to the pressures that we live with in society today: conform, sign off on your rights, repress your feelings, shut down your awareness and so on.

Chiron is hip to this. He always finds a way to get his message through.

Chiron also addresses the question and theme of healing, from spiritual healing to surgery. A prominent Chiron placement is often found in the charts of healers, social visionaries, and many others whose role it is to make contact with the inner light of people, their natural self-healing ability, and many more similar qualities.

Chiron has been in Capricorn, the opposite sign to Cancer, since December 2001. It moves briefly into Aquarius in the spring of 2005, and returns to late Capricorn. Next year is the transitional year between Chiron in Capricorn and Chirion in Aquarius, which will take us through 2011 -- that is, through one year before 2012.

The Chiron in Capricorn era began in December 2001, right about when Enron declared bankruptcy. Capricorn (in its collective sense rather than personal) is the sign of business and government. Chiron is an energy that brings awareness, using a fairly wide variety of methods. Chiron transiting Capricorn has brought a great deal to awareness in the aspects of life involving business and government -- numerous corporate scandals, for example, the Iraq war, and one of the most hotly contested political campaigns in several generations.

Think of the many ways that the campaign brought politics to public awareness, even on a global scale: this was an election that the whole world watched and anticipated closely. The thing to remember about Chiron in Capricorn is that this transit 'means business' and, on and off, there is still a year for it to do its work.

The last time Chiron was in Caprocorn was during the rise of Senator Joe McCarthy, who went around accusing everyone of being a communist. There is a touch of fanaticism to this transit. The whole thing did not end well for McCarthy.

Here is an article done in 2001 about Chiron in Capricorn:

Now, this Chiron-Capricorn energy begins to change in the spring of 2005, when Chiron goes into Aquarius for the first time in about 44 years. Chiron will stay in Aquarius for about six years. In other words, we are about to experience the main astrological event that will carry us through the span of years between now and whatever 2012, holds. Chiron in Aquarius is the bridge to the next really big meeting point between the past and the future (2012). Most readers of this web page are familiar with the concept of 2012 and a big turnover in the Mayan calendar -- the end of the 13th Baktun, which has lasted about 1.8 million days. But that's a subject for another question.

Here is my nearly-complete archive of Chiron articles:

Hi Eric
Fascinating to connect with you via the net via Jonathan Cainer's site. My question for you is: I have five planets in the 5th house... in Aquarius. A stellium in Aquarius...what do you make of it? Am I a future leader in the Aquarian age? Am I here to do incredible work in the area of love and communication? I've been told the 5th house represents kids and creativity. So far I don't have any kids, and I've been around the sun 42 times and my creativity isn't at all what I would like it to be. What do you see that might help me be more connected to my soul? Most of my work this last 15 years has been spiritual and inner focused. Do you see me coming out and shining my light? I'd love to hear from you. Your responses are profound and joyful. Thank you. All the best,

01/28/1962 8:56 PM Rockville Centre, NY


Dear LeeAnn
Rummaging around the back room of astrology a few years ago, I found the prototypes for your chart. That is, searching through the years around your birth, I noticed the most stunning Aquarius alignment in recent history, and you were born during that moment. I happened to be in that neighborhood because I have a fetish for 1960s astrology, and this seemed to be one of the obvious root charts of that era, a chart that contained the keys or secret codes for what was to come. We could probably still use it with excellent effectiveness as an historical bellwether. That's an interesting metaphor because the bellwether is the sheep who wears a bell and leads the whole flock, and you're asking if this (loosely speaking) is your role.

Before we go into what your natal chart signifies -- which should be fairly obvious from the course of your life, except for one factor that might obscure things a bit -- let's go over the basic features. At the time of your birth, six of the seven of the seven traditional planets of antiquity are located in one sign, Aquarius; all that's missing is the Moon, and when it arrived one week after your birth, each of the other six will still be in Aquarius. Hence we had a truly rare condition of all seven planets of antiquity being in one sign. That, however, is the missing factor, and with the Moon conjunct Neptune I would like to have a good one-page biography of your mother available before reading your chart.

The Aquarius alignment tells me that you were born into a rare, exemplary and outstanding moment of history: in the middle of the brief presidency of John F. Kennedy, when an exactly divided nation (election of 1960 was nearly tied between Nixon and Kennedy) gathered with all its heart behind one leader during truly momentous times. Martin Luther King was very much alive; the Civil Rights movement was happening; but this was the Sixties Part One -- before the Beatles came to the United States -- in an era known as Camelot. I suggest you study this era, if you want to know something about yourself and your mission. The New York Times microfiche (for the week of your birth, an exercise I highly recommend to anyone curious about their natal astrology) is a good place to start, as are innumerable books written about this era.

When the Moon showed up in Aquarius seven days after your birth, there was be a total solar eclipse. It was an extremely rare eclipse -- one of the great eclipses of the 20th century.

Let me explain to everyone how I can see this -- it's extremely obvious if you know what to look for. Notice that the Sun (orange circle with dot, with the number 8 next to it) is near the South Node of the Moon (dark upside-down horse shoe with the number 18 next to it). When the Sun and either of the Moon's nodes are together, there is an eclipse in the neighborhood. Either it just happened or it's about to happen. You can make a good guess by the position of the Moon relative to the Sun; in this case, a New Moon is approaching and the Sun will still be very close to the node at the lunation. That is an eclipse. To be sure, check an ephemeris, or use the eclipse finder feature in an astrology program.

That eclipse was the first major checkpoint of your life. We are not conversing now (astrology is best done as a conversation), but if we were, I would have begun this whole discussion with an inquiry about the condition of your family at the time of your birth. There was, I imagine, something highly unusual. Nobody is born into average-normal situation with all that Aquarius gathering like a bolt of Thor's home-made lightening.

I would make a second inquiry about the condition of your life and family at the age of seven: all factors, including siblings, parents, health, pets, location, school, everything. Why seven years? You are born with the Moon square the Sun. It took the Moon seven days to get from Scorpio (your natal placement) to Aquarius, where that eclipse happened. This is a clear case for checking your progressions. Progressions go on a day-per-year formula; seven days translates to that eclipse having its real manifestation in your life seven years later, i.e., at the age of seven.

That was around 1969. Everything was different. Kennedy was dead. So was his brother, Robert. So was Dr. King. In fact, 1968, as your progressed solar eclipse was approaching, society was in complete turmoil. By 1968, Richard Nixon was president. The Vietnam War, barely spoken of at the time of your birth, was the biggest issue on the national radar, it was going horribly, and the protests were raging. The idealism of the early 1960s was basically shattered, but something else had emerged: social movements where young people began to have faith in their own ability to hold an agenda and shape society. Now, you may ask what this had to do with you; you were seven, after all. I assure you, because you are who you are, it had everything to do with you.

I would say this were there far fewer indicators of a link between you and the collective in your chart; but because of your birth in the days before this eclipse, and the powerful emphasis on Aquarius in your chart, you are drawn in to the consciousness and the experience of society -- which was truly unparalleled in the first seven years of your life. The world had seen nothing like it and would never see it again. There was so much change people could not keep track of it. And as an impressionable young child, you lived through this. And the events of the "larger world" influenced your family. Your parents were somehow deeply touched by what occurred (Sun conjunct Moon).

Whatever the specifics, the age of seven was a profoundly important and formative time. And if you ware asking if you're supposed to be a leader of the Aquarian movement, that suggests on its face that you have a connection to society. Instead of looking for ways to hook into that mission, I am with this discussion taking you through a process where might see, in a clear way, what that mission is at its most organic and functional.

Do you experience yourself as part of the world, in tangible fact? Aquarius is a pretty no-bullshit sign. Its first ruling planet is Saturn, as tangible as astrology gets.

There were several other crucial checkpoints, which I would like to go through before we attempt to make any judgments of what this chart says your purpose is. Besides having a good understanding of your Saturn return at 29 (very important because Saturn came back to Aquarius and transited each of your planets there), your Uranian opposition at 40 (also vital because Uranus is associated with Aquarius), and your major Chiron transits, I would want to have a good sense of the early part of 1997, when, once again, there was a great alignment in Aquarius -- at the time of Comet Hale Bopp. That was the enormous, double-tailed comet that appeared around your birthday that year: here is a visual cue:


Next turning point, or point of unfoldment, was May of 2000. This was the time of a grouping in Taurus very similar to what occurred in your sign at the time of your birth, and it squared all of your natal Aquarius planets. This was the first collection of all seven planets of antiquity in Taurus (that is, the traditional, visible planets, before the discovery of new planets began in 1781 with Uranus). Searching back some 7,000 years, no such alignments were found in Taurus.

Natal charts are not static. Planets are particles, but they are also wave patterns. So charts unfold. They unfold at important points where progressions and transits aspect the chart. Age seven (progressed solar eclipse in Aqurius), Saturn return in 1992, plus the events of 1997, plus the events of 2000, plus the Uranian opposition in 2002: what are they about individually, and what is the story they tell? What is the direction this whole plot known as your life is moving?

Please go over these dates thoughtfully. Take a few weeks. See if you can summarize them in a form I can publish here easily, linking back to your question and this introductory essay. Write the long version, then get it down to 100 words per event, so our readers can get snapshots of your life at these important times and see how the process of a chart unfolding works.

Hi Eric and staff
Would you please explain what a "stellium" means? I have 5 planets in Scorpio -- date of birth is Nov. 11, 1958 at 5:45 a.m. in Pineville, Kentucky, USA. I love your column on Jonathan Cainer's website -- very interesting and informative! Thanks!

November Gal

Dear November
Happy birthday! I'm going to refer you to the question above for a description of a stellium and its energy, and though that addresses one particular event, you can make some generalizations. By strict definition, it's a grouping of planets in a sign, or a grouping of planets in general, though not including the Sun or the Moon.

By practical definition, it's a clustering of planets, and most astrologers will include clusters that include the Sun and the Moon. It's all kind of a misnomer anyway because "stella" means star, and in this discussion, we're talking about planets and luminaries. But the early astronomers and astrologers (for a long time there was no difference) often referred to planets as stars, which is understandable enough. People like Galileo and Kepler had not yet come along to explain the basics to them.

Anyway, the result of clustering the energy together can create focus. There is a concentrating of energy. This happens to be in your first house. That energy is sitting there waiting for something big to come along and stir the pot. For example, Chiron came through your Scorpio grouping in 1997-1998. What were the circumstances of your life at that time? They will tell you a lot about the true nature of your Scorpio stellium, as will the events of your life between 1977-1982 when Chiron opposed all those planets from Taurus.

Also -- next week there is a new Moon in Scorpio quite close to your natal New Moon in Scorpio -- so I would be curious to hear about the most important aspects of your life right now.

Curious to hear what you come up with! Make it concise and I'll publish some of it here, referring back to this question.

Hello Eric
I really enjoy reading your writing. The responses you send people are so filled with compassion and awareness. I don't have my time of birth. My mother doesn't remember nor does anyone else. My hospital closed but even before it did the county did not keep records of the time of birth. I want to have an accurate chart done. My birthday is April 17, 1961. I have heard it can be done, or that it can't, depending on who I ask. What advise would you give me. Thanks, Sat Nam


Dear Kate
It's fairly common for people not to know the time of their birth, and astrology has many techniques for addressing this situation.

Because Earth is spinning once every 24 hours, the time of birth determines a person's perspective on the cosmos -- literally, their view on the larger universe around them. Part of this view includes determining the ascendant or rising sign. When an astrologer works to discover your birth time, one of the main things they do is figure out your rising sign. Then, they can tune that to determine exactly the degree of the rising sign. This process is called rectification.

The date of birth, as well as a variety of important dates from your life, are used to do this, basically using a mix of logic and intuition.

There are other methods to creating a chart without doing formal rectification, including using the sunrise chart (a chart cast for your date and place of birth, at sunrise) which woks pretty good, using the degree rising at the time of your first reading (that works pretty good) or by casting horary. Some astrologers use pendulums.

The important thing is that the astrologer get a chart that works for them, and that they feel comfortable with.

I will set up a birth chart using one of these techniques for any client I work with who happens to not have their time. To truly rectify the chart would take working more than one session -- usually two is enough, so that I have a clear enough sense of the timing of life events to make sure that the ascendant that emerges from the work really feels right.

It's not so hard; it just takes a bit of technique, practice, intuition and trust.

Dear Eric
I have a great book called Love Signs by Linda Goodman which is fab. There is a section in the book called 'A Time to Embrace' which talks about a form of natural contraception called 'Astrobiology'; where a woman can only conceive during a certain approximately two hour period of each Lunar month, when the Sun and the Moon are exactly the same number of degrees apart as they were at the moment of the woman's first breath at birth. Apparently if you know the degree of angle from your birth chart and use a chart you can work out the exact time where this falls each month and then abstain 5 days prior to this, or indeed try to conceive during this time for those who are having trouble.

Have you ever heard of this? If so do you think this information is correct and do you know if there are any books dedicated to the subject.

Linda also gives a quote on this. The quote is taken from the Bible, which Linda believed was overlooked when they re-wrote the Bible to hide any connections to astrology...

'To everything there is a season, and a time for every purpose under
the heaven... a time to be born...a time to caste away stones, and a
time to gather stones together... a time to embrace, and a time to
refrain from embracing
-- Ecclasiastes 3:1-5

I look forward to your response,

Ashley Young

Dear Ashley
There is a time to get pregnant, and that time is when you have unprotected sex.

I don't care what sign the Moon is in or which two hours of the month it is. Speaking as one deeply devoted to astrology with every cell of my being, I would not recommend using Astrobiology as a form of birth control. Even if the technique were to work, you would need to be working it very well to have it work right, and besides, the risk -- an unplanned child, or an abortion -- is simply not worth it.

I know that there are very few methods of birth control that are both functional and healthy, and that each has its drawbacks. However, sex is worth some inconveniences, and using no birth control at all -- and using Astrobiology counts -- is not an option I would recommend to anyone.

There are other factors involved in pregnancy prevention in the modern world, one of which involves sexual health. Condoms provide a reliable method of slowing or blocking the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and are an important addition to sexual activity where partners are not known well to one another, or in situations where multiple partners are involved.

I recommend that everyone, including and especially women (who are the only people who can get pregnant), keep a little condom case in their bag or purse, so that you at least have those ready when and where you need them. Condoms are fairly fragile and will deteriorate both over time and in your wallet, purse or backpack unless they are in a case or box. (A bad condom is one where the air seal on the packet is broken.) As an aside, while I'm on the subject, I have read extensively that the 'spermicide' nonoxynol-9, often used to lubricate condoms, is a serious toxin that should not touch the body or be put into the body in any form. (It is also used as a detergent to clean out railroad cars, in case you were wondering about its industrial applications.)

Nonoxynol-9 is also a serious irritant to mucous membranes that can make both women and men more susceptible to viruses and other infections. So I recommend plain condoms, or those lubricated with silicone.

For people allergic to latex, there are now some excellent non-latex condoms that don't smell or cause dryness and irritation, and which also transmit heat very nicely. Trojan makes one, and so does Durex. They are a bit more expensive, but, you know, we're talking about sex, it's worth it.

That is how I feel about Astrobiology as applied to birth control.

In Friday's edition of Planet Waves Weekly, I cover the astrology of the presidential election and their relationship to the gay marriage initiatives, and offer more on the upcoming planetary occultations.
Next week I will be doing a hot essay called The Road to 2012.

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