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Eric Francis Astrology Q&A
Archive for Friday 14th October 2005

Astrology Secrets Revealed: Eric Francis Answers Your Questions
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Hello, Mr. Eclipse

Dear Readers:

So much has happened since we've last been in touch on this page -- though it's been just two short weeks.

We are clearly in the full effects of the Interclipse Zone. Monday morning's lunar eclipse in Aries is just vibrating with change and with something that feels really strange besides -- PROGRESS.

The pace of the world and of consciousness is moving in its own indescribable tempo. Perhaps faster than usual (but the acceleration quality of time seems to be going on nearly constantly), but more concentrated, and more meaningful. Maybe I'm projecting, but I get the feeling that everybody knows something and everyone knows everyone knows it. There is a cosmic rumble. The cat can hear it. The dog is scratching at the back door. Your hamster is wiggling her whiskers, a sure sign.

And at the same time, a lot of people on our planet have been thrown into some major catastrophic struggle and loss. "World events," which are really just local events that we hear about, have been coming on fast and furious. Bombings in Bali (followed by much fear and protests), Hurricane Stan and the floods and Earth slides in Central American and Mexico (not to mention the continuing aftermath of Katrina and Rita), the avian flu issue suddenly rearing its head after at least a year of causing problems in Asia (a coming-out prompted by a little help from a 'presidential' press conference on the subject of using the military to stop a virus -- brilliant), the Iraq war going absolutely horrendously, terrorism scares in New York City and Washington DC, a U.S. Supreme Court chief justice taking over and another one nominated (causing a big fuss because she's allegedly not strongly enough against abortion for the taste for some), more weird power outages in LA, huge developments in the Valerie Plame spy outing scandal that could easily rock the Bush administration next week -- then one of the worst earthquakes of our lifetimes (again), in India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

This is the past two weeks, cousins. Not two years. A mere fortnight. I am sure I forgot several significant events.

For those who cry, there are not enough tears. For those who just shake their heads in bewildered astonishment, what we get is the One World effect: that is, these events combine to create a kind of shocking reminder from glancing at the newspaper or watching BBC for 45 seconds that we're all living on the same planet. And then there are people who recognize the change, who know that this is a moment of convergence: I trust that you're one of them.

If outer events are coming at us faster than we can process, there is sure to be some corresponding sense of movement on the inside -- and that inner sense is the real point of confirmation. You may be wondering: is this me, or is this me and everything else? Correct!

Yet I don't hear a lot of people complaining. I'm not getting the kind of emails where people are freaked, typical at eclipse time -- rather, the readers I'm hearing from are writing about their personal revelations (we hear from some this week), and for the most part approaching the changes of their personal lives with a sense of adventure.

That sense of adventure is a major survival tool in times when unprecedented change comes on fast, as are a few other psychological properties: curiosity; sense of community; and a calling to participate in some way, be it from becoming politically active to making art and music. Many are struggling with a "sense of purpose." Forget purpose! Just participate! As our awareness goes up, there is the one critical question of how we respond, the choices being on the one hand with a sense of love, involvement, creativity and community, or on the other with fear and a sense of division. This is the variable to watch, to feel and to act on.

Now -- astrology. I've received requests to go over many of the charts for the events I've listed above, but I think we have to keep our eyes on the present and look just a little bit ahead. But I want to make sure you have access to the Pakistani earthquake chart, which is archived at Planet Waves at this link -- and make one comment only. The Sun in the quake chart is at 14+ degrees of Libra; this is the EXACT degree rising in the chart for Sept. 11, 2001, and the degree of the rather potent Mercury in that chart -- Mercury being the very key to 9/11. For reference, here is the Sept. 11 horoscope. It makes an interesting meditation to wonder how these events could possibly be connected -- and they may not be. But even the Committee to Debunk the Paranormal would have to admit that the Pakistan earthquake Sun occupies the exact ascendant of the 9/11 chart, and makes an exact conjunction to the Mercury. I leave it to you to decide what it means.

Here is the chart for Monday's penumbral lunar eclipse. This is the quantum chart for our moment. I'm going to publish it here in the ultra fancy format, with the Uranian points, and provide a link to the simpler version.

Lunar Eclipse

For reasons that will soon become exceedingly obvious, these charts are cast for Washington, DC.

Now, I am not a big freak for the Uranian points -- those eight hypothetical planets with really long, circular (not elliptical) orbits that don't have physical bodies -- but I am fast becoming one. After watching them fairly consistently for 10 years, I have come to accept the wisdom of the teaching that when the Uranians show up for the party, it's gonna be a hot one. They are a little like seeing Mick Jagger's Ferrari parked outside in the driveway.

The first thing I noticed about this eclipse is that the Sun (blue circle, left side of chart near center line) is exactly, to the degree, conjunct the Uranian point Apollon (black glyph that looks like Jupiter, with a 24 next to it). That means the eclipse itself is opposite Apollon and that gets a big Gee Whiz. As we covered last week, Apollon is a kind of super-Jupiter; a lucky star; and a point with the keyword COMPREHENSIVE.

The second thing I noticed about this chart is that the Chiron discovery degree, 3+ Taurus, is exactly in the descendent. This makes the whole Chiron phenomenon angular, that is, prominent, and high on the agenda. The discovery degree of Chiron is very nearly as meaningful as Chiron itself. What is this phenomenon about? first Chiron keyword is AWARENESS. Chiron mavin Melanie Reinhart (interviewed by cousin Yasmin, while out on one of her astro-sleuthing missions) says TRANSFORMATION.

Okay, let's put it all together: TRANSFORMATION THROUGH AWARENESS. Looking a little deeper, Chiron is about the connection of the metaphysical to the physical; the presence and influence of the unseen world in our affairs; and the rewards of faith and the dedication to healing. Chiron bridges the personal and the transpersonal worlds, like so much of the other astrology we are seeing (note Aries Point discussion below).

Whenever there is a lunar eclipse or Full Moon, the Part of Fortune is always on the 7th house cusp (that's just how it works). So we have the Part of Fortune conjunct the Chiron discovery degree. To make matters more interesting yet, the eclipse is square Chiron, activating that point (as well as Nessus, not depicted) and so we know we've got some energy movement. And the Sun's position in the eclipse occupies the degree of the Jupiter-Mercury conjunction last week; and in fact, it's conjunct Jupiter within a few degrees. And conjunct Vesta.

But let's take a look at something fun: Jupiter square Chiron, which is happening exactly right now, and has just passed exactitude in the chart -- but it's still firing out its energy. Chiron-Jupiter aspects are extremely useful. Let's go to the video tape and see what Barbara Hand Clow has to say about this aspect. To wit:

"Jupiter square Chiron strengthens the will and the mind, and activates consciousness about social justice and freedom. These natives are revolutionary, but you might not notice it for a while because they are subtle and refined while they are busy working on a very long-term and radical plan. They will be history makers, but in unique and imaginative ways, which often involve magic or art. The consciousness is rather like Jupiter conjunct Chiron, but the square forces the energy into long-term manifestation."

She uses Carlos Castinada as an example of someone with this aspect.

Okay, so we have a chart that involves a long-term plan for social justice and freedom, something comprehensive, the dedication to healing, awareness and transformation, and a big point of change; a threshold; a point of no return -- the eclipse itself.

Chiron has stationed direct and is getting ready to leave Capricorn a rather different place than when he entered in late 2001. We know so much more now than we did then -- to say the very least. Yes, it seems like some powerful people have stolen everything, taken control of everything, flooded everything and eaten everything. But it isn't over till it's over, and it ain't over yet.

One last very huge, colossal point from this chart, in the name, mind, body and soul of SATURN. Look up on top of the chart, see that pretty green Leo symbol with the arrow, and the pretty green planet? That is Saturn in Leo, on top of the chart. Saturn in Leo, of "When the Molasses Levee Breaks" fame. Saturn in Leo, the guy who gets the job done. Saturn in Leo, who takes pride in having integrity. Even if you took away all the Uranian points and Chiron square Jupiter and the Chiron discovery degree and most of the other New Agey stuff I've mentioned, even an astrologer from the 14th century, even Claudius Ptolemy himself, would look at this chart and say, "Jeez man what the holy heck is UP? An eclipse with Saturn in Leo on the MC? Good heavens." Well maybe not exactly that, but you get the idea.

Mr. Aries Eclipse is a moment of reckoning. Later in the weekend I'll be posting to Planet Waves an article on the developments in the progressed 'presidential' Inauguration chart which suggest we're not going to see fireworks in Washington DC -- but rather someone is about to set the whole fireworks warehouse ablaze. So put on your goggles, put on your thick leather gloves, and stand back. I feel confident enough to say that some bombshells are coming, and that there will soon be multiple indictments in the Valerie Plame spy outing scandal, and we will get a good look at the guy behind the curtain. And the effects will be profound. Indeed, inspiring.

But that is not enough. Not in my opinion, anyway.

Here is my reading of appropriate action in our moment: get ready to work for social justice. In fact, why get ready when you can just start? Social justice is also the privilege and right to do what you came to this planet to do, and I know you're hearing that calling. The massive blocks to progress are about to fall apart in a most utterly bewildering way. The veils obscuring reality are about to fall like so many silk curtains, Berlin Walls or whatever you like. There is a moment of freedom coming. It may be a long moment; it may be a short moment; it all depends how well we are able to keep transcending ongoing threat and fear.

This will be commingled with a moment of potential and to some degree, chaos. And in these moments of freedom, potential and chaos, the question is: what is your organizing principle? What is the code that you live by? Service? Creation? Passion? Healing? Can we find others who will help us do that, and will we come to the assistance of others seeking their freedom and healing? The lack of leadership on the world and national levels in some very real ways indicates a lack of leadership on the inner level, in all of us. "The King" is really a metaphor. And when we see that there really is no outer king and all these mean stories they told us about the Universe were not true at all, then we get to make a decision; we get to decide which signal we're going to pick up on, and what to do with that information. The thing is, you already know. Here are some of your questions from the past couple of weeks. See you over at Planet Waves, with daily updates, lots of pictures and the article on the progressed Inauguration chart.

Spotting major world events

Dear Eric

Greetings! As I sit hear in Houston, Texas preparing to take cover from the approaching Hurricane Rita, I can't help but to marvel at the relevance of astrology and it's predictions of such major events. A couple of weeks before the Tsunami I had a dream that my kids and I were in a city that was being ravaged by flood waters, and that the entire place was in a panic as everyone sought out higher ground to no avail.

Once the Tsunami occurred, I thought maybe that was the meaning of my dream...and then Katrina hit New Orleans. Now after two weeks of watching constant media coverage of New Orleans' nightmare, and seeing our city filled with hurricane evacuees, Rita has arrived. No doubt you've seen the coverage of thousands of Gulf Coast residents stranded in their desperate attempts to escape the possible wrath of Rita. Our city has been changed forever, regardless of Rita's effects.

Am I frightened? No, not really...I feel a strange sense of calm. My attempts to evacuate failed for various reasons, and it almost seems as if Rita does not want anyone to leave. I can only hope this is some great sign that we will all be much better off here. My questions are; in situations such as this, do individual charts reflect such major events as a hurricane?

Would there be some astrological connection between Louisiana and Texas at this point?

My birth info is: March 4, 1967 in Houston, Texas at 1:50 pm.

I always identify with your particular method of seeing and explaining the world from an astrological perspective, and would really appreciate any insight you can share. Thank you

Dear Rena
First off -- how are you doing, and what happened?

Second, regarding astrology. Major world events will show up in just about any chart you check, but the picture will be somewhat different in each. In the case of an event like this affecting you and your family personally, there will of course be associated transits and progressions.

And some people will show clear connections to public events, though the 'meaning' or use of those contacts is not always known to them. But it is there; they may be more or less aware of it; you seem to be more so.

Let's see what you've got going on. Here is your natal chart:

Hurricane Rena

Now, just to prove I'm psychic, I gave your chart its name before I saw it; I typed it into the info card before the chart appeared. Oddly enough, the name rather applies.

The first thing I noticed is that you have Saturn exactly on the Aries Point. For more on this point (which seems to be a perpetual topic of Astrology Secrets Revealed), please see the next question -- but suffice it to say, as a point of beginning (pardon the pun), this is a very personal connection between you and current world events because so many of them are influenced by or connected with the Aries Point (or the first degree of Aries). And you have the mighty Saturn there, plugging you in on the collective level, on the level of your life purpose, and in a leadership role (all Saturn attributes).

This has a lot more to do with recent events, however; it's a permanent feature in your life purpose and has been since the day you were born. We don't know much about what you do in life or what you feel your calling is; we know that you're tuned in and that you possess and express a genuine element of faith; but there is something more, a mission, and it's exceedingly likely that with the Aries Point under nearly constant activation since June 21, 2001, you are slowly coming into an awareness of what this is. But I would not dare to speculate all that much.

To emphasize the point, your Capricorn Moon is rather close to the very beginning of that sign -- just one and a quarter degrees away -- which makes it, too, in a direct aspect or energetic connection to the Aries Point (also explained in more detail below). This aspect has a tireless quality; some ability to carry a piece of the weight of the world or global karma. You do not do this by choice; your missions would be apt to find you, and you would know, intuitively, what your personal responsibility really is. Or you would just follow a calling and see where it leads. The chances are it will lead you beyond yourself, beyond the small world we are all taught to live in, and into experiences where you are connected with many people in a direct and meaningful way.

Notice that Venus is in Aries at 10 degrees -- exactly opposite the recent annular solar eclipse. And the coming lunar eclipse occurs in your 10th house, suggesting that you are becoming aware of a goal, aspiration or calling -- and notably, it is conjunct your natal Pallas, a minor planet (asteroid) with many overtones of guardianship and public responsibility.

Considering your transits for a moment, notice that Jupiter in Libra is in your 4th house, the house of home, family, security and emotional grounding. This transit could say protection as much as it says flood. It could say both at once. Jupiter is about to go into Scorpio, at which time it will make a conjunction to your natal Mars (daring, creative, passionate), enter your 5th house (more of that daring and passionate stuff) and then cross your South Node, tapping you into an inheritance of knowledge, power or skill of some kind.

Taking a brief look at your progressed horoscope, I see many of the same ideas. You had a progressed New Moon about 2 and a 1/2 years ago, at which time many things seemed to empty out and begin again; like the great odometer of life turned over -- a little like your own personal Y2K. Your progressed Moon is now in Taurus, making an exact trine to what I will call your "sixties astrology" -- the aspects in your chart that come with being born in the mid-60s.

This is definitely a time of hearing your calling. Listen carefully, and do what you know is right.

Here's a link to my Born in the Sixties series. Maybe there will be something for you there.

The Personal is Political

Dear Eric,

I am looking for the most succinct summary of the Aries Point that I can find in your writing, but I can't quite find what I'm looking for. Can you help?

A. Writer

Dear A:
Arwynne, who helps with this project from Toronto, has weeded through my various ideas about the Aries Point on your behalf and come up with a few selections. Maybe you'll find what you're looking for among them.

But first I will go over the basics.

You know that there are two zodiacs, right? One based on the seasons, called the tropical zodiac (because the tropics are used to measure it), and the other based on the stars, called the sidereal zodiac (because the stars are used to measure it). You could say that one is a wheel inside the other wheel.

The Aries Point is the point along the sidereal zodiac where the tropical zodiac begins; that is, where we start counting at 00 Aries. It happens to be where the Sun is on the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere.

The Aries Point is also called the Sidereal Vernal Point or SVP. The word "sidereal" means pertaining to the stars in space (rather than the planets). The SVP is the location of the Sun in space on the day that the Sun is square the equator, also called the Vernal Equinox -- i.e., the first day of Northern Hemisphere spring. This is the first degree of the Western or tropical zodiac (the one you read about in newspapers and most astrology books). The tropical zodiac begins in the sidereal zodiac at 5 degrees of Pisces and 22 minutes. Thus the SVP is located in this sidereal degree.

But we call it "zero Aries." If you understood that, proceed directly to MIT. Now -- for a variety of reasons -- the first degree of Aries is connected to very similar effects at the first degrees of Cancer, Libra and Capricorn -- the cardinal cross.

For whatever reason, this set of points is very sensitive to transits, eclipses and other events, and it has been particularly so in the past half decade, since a total solar eclipse on June 21, 2001 which I covered recently in this space. It occurs to me while I am writing that I have not covered one interesting idea about why this might be happening now. In the last edition, I introduced the Uranian Points, these eight weird planets without bodies. One of the points, called Kronos -- a kind of super-Saturn -- is located very close to the first degree of Cancer. It moves excruciatingly slowly; the Uranians have orbits that go from about two to seven centuries in length.

Next, there is a massive galaxy and black hole in the very early degrees of Libra, at just over one degree. This is called M87.

Last, there is a galactic point right where Sagittarius becomes Capricorn, called the Road to Xibalba, that is associated with the 2012 effect. So we have all four of the Cardinal Points covered with some major thing associated with either a galactic point or a point beyond our solar system. Thus, when there is much activity on or near these points -- as there has been lately, and will be for a while -- we get an acceleration of experience, and news events that bring in a lot of people; and news events which everyone can feel and relate to.

We could call the Aries Point the One World Point, because it reminds us that we live in one world.

It is all rather cosmic, and also points us beyond life on Earth to something much larger: longer time scales than we're used to thinking in, the heart of our home galaxy, a great neighboring galaxy, and the point where the zodiac begins.

The SVP has become a definite theme of the Astrology Secrets Revealed series, which I think is because the theme of this series has become where individual lives intersect with the larger collective world in which we live. For reference, the Aries Point is used most often by practitioners of Uranian astrology; this method is written about extensively in the current edition of The Mountain Astrologer, and also covered on the homepage of Martha Lang Wescott,

Here are some quotes from my old articles.

"We had an eclipse in Libra just one week ago, on the Aries Point -- the latest in a long series of Aries Point events that make the news personal..." (Astrology Secrets Revealed, Oct. 8, 2005)

"It's interesting that astrology sees the connection between our private or individual existence and its connection to the larger public life a lot more clearly than we do. One of the great issues of our times is that we tend to see ourselves as separate from the world in which we live... We're steadily moving into one of those extended moments when we'll be able to see and feel the connections, and where the level of energy increases quickly...The Aries Point is related to the first degree of the other three 'cardinal signs' -- those signs which, with the entry of the Sun, begin the seasons: Cancer, Libra and Capricorn." (Astrology Secrets Revealed, June 10, 2005 - "The Aries Point Cometh")

"What we also know is that our zodiac, called the 'tropical zodiac', is based on the changing of the seasons. The 'cardinal points' are where the Sun reaches a seasonal turning point, makes a 90-degree angle to one of the tropics or the equator, and enters a cardinal sign -- Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn. The master point is presumed to be the Aries point, where the Sun crosses at the beginning of the astrological year, and where the Western zodiac (the tropical zodiac) is reckoned with the Eastern constellations (the sidereal zodiac).

"Basically, the cardinal points are a highly sensitive energy structure, shaped like a cross. It is now clear that this cross, whose action and influence was long a mystery, may be so sensitive due to its proximity to the Galactic Core and M87. The cardinal points are sensitive whether the Sun is there or not. They are so predictable that, when activated by planets or planetary events (such as a Full Moon or eclipse), they will often respond with a worldly event or chain of events that affects many people." (Astrology Secrets Revealed - Sep. 9, 2005)

"Events involving the Aries Point, or people with it prominent in their charts, have impact. Their lives can affect many people. They have a connection to the public and the public has a connection to them. This is the degree of the zodiac bearing the message, 'The personal is political'. By extension, the first degree of any of the cardinal signs -- Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn, the degrees the Sun crosses on the first day of any new season -- have a similar feeling and effect. In recent years, the Aries Point axis has been popping up as particularly influential.

"It was directly involved in the Sept. 11 situation, which we now know is complex and deeply scandalous. This continued as the story developed over the years, including its demented morph into the Iraq war. And in a fairly strange twist, the Aries Point was directly involved in the Asian tsunami, which came at a Full Moon in the early degrees of Cancer and Capricorn." (Planet Waves, "At the Edge of the Stage")

"Deep Throat is a living testimony to the Aries Point... Among other things, we will see something come to full fruition that has its genesis at the Cancer solstice total solar eclipse of June 2001. We shall see what." (Astrology Secrets Revealed, June 3, 2005)

"The Aries Point [has] some unusual properties: public contact, a collective quality, the personalization of large events, and lasting effects through time among them. The example of an Aries point effect I've been using is the June 21, 2001 summer solstice total solar eclipse, which occurred in the first degree of Cancer, exactly square the Aries Point. The summer of 2001 is of course a time nobody who lived through it will forget, truly heralding the dawn of an era.

"We could speculate about why this particular point has so much influence. It is, for one thing, the degree of reckoning between the tropical horoscope (the one we're all familiar with) and what's called the sidereal horoscope, or the backdrop of actual stars (used in Vedic astrology; sidereal is another word for stellar). The 'sidereal vernal point' is another name for the Aries point, meaning the place where the tropical horoscope begins. Because of precessional movement, that is, the slow wobbling of the Earth making the heavens appear to rotate, this point moves. It slides backwards through the stellar backdrop, and the calendar, so that each century spring begins about one day earlier. This is why the sign we call Pisces, for example, is mostly located in the constellation Aquarius." (Planet Waves, "Equinox: With Love from M87")

Okay, there you have it. I am sure there is more in Google, as are all these references.


Dear Eric,

Thank you so very much for your insight and perspective. Although I have studied astrology for close to 30 years, your understanding and depth goes far beyond your years.

My question is this. During the morning of the solar eclipse (Oct. 3, around 5:30 am in Dallas, Texas), I was having a dream of talking with the Buddha. Now, I am not a particularly religious person (having faith more akin to a pagan/mother nature type of architecture) but have always found the story of the Buddha beautiful and profound. With that said, during our conversation I told the Buddha that I realized that the "god/creative force" was in everything in the universe from the smallest of atoms and creatures (whereas I held out my hand and on the tip of my index finger was a tiny ladybug) to the greatest of creatures as himself; that I knew that it was my mission to love all of the divine, but that some folks were just plain hard to love. I confessed my fear that I was not doing a "good job" at being able to love everyone! At which point in the dream he placed his hand on my shoulder and assured me that I was doing "just fine." Whoa, at this point my entire body began to shake in an ecstatic state and I woke up... What a surprise -- what an experience -- what the heck -- and what will the 2nd eclipse bring?

Peace brother Eric

Dear Sister Stephanie
I am publishing your letter to share its subtle beauty with our readers around the world -- I think many will find comfort in it -- but I would not want to predict what the second eclipse might bring. Buddha in person is a tough act to follow. But the Full Moon, as I'm sure you've noticed, is often an expression of the New Moon. Your experience, however, touches me as something that has lifetime value; it speaks of an authentic turning point in your life. Can this be anything but a pure affirmation of where you're going in life?

I once dreamed that I received the personal blessing of the Pope -- in a men's bathroom! Years later, I see this in a whole new light.

Making things flow

Dear Eric,

First of all, thank you so, so, so much for sharing your compassion and wisdom with us!! Your writing has helped me, and many friends, in ways that are beyond description. Thank you. I have been reading a lot about all these eclipses, and I have been experiencing this strange feeling of emptiness and confusion. My birthday is on the 18th of October when the lunar eclipse is, and I have five planets in Libra, plus transiting Uranus conjoining natal Jupiter.

Normally I follow my intuitions very easily and always felt lucky how things unfolded. But now Jupiter is making conjunctions to my Sun, Mars, and Venus, yet I'm stuck! How could I make things flow again? Thank you for your insights.

I was born on October 18th, 1974, in Shijiazhuang, Hebei province, China. Very best wishes to you and everyone at Planet Waves!


Dear Ananda
No need to rush it. The transits you're having now, including both the eclipse and the Uranus transit to Jupiter in Pisces, are going to be unfolding for quite a while, as they probably have been already. Also, the main event -- an eclipse of the Moon on your birthday -- has not happened yet. But it's certainly one of those things we could call personal in nature; the cosmos talking to you directly a little like Buddha inviting you in for tea.

Eclipses represent breaks in continuity. So therefore, we might want to leave the door open to information or experience coming to you in a whole new way. Eclipses also have their most tangible effects over a period of six months or longer, so with such a precise event as this, we also get some astrological guidance on the time frame of action or effect, at minimum.

With any astrological event, it's helpful to look at the imagery and use your imagination to get a sense of the 'meaning'. This is pretty much the easiest and most effective way to read a chart. Check out this obvious setup: your Sun (solar nature, expressive self, the masculine aspect of you that seeks to create and be at the center of your world) is being opposed by an eclipse of the Moon (inner nature, feminine aspect, intuitive side, receptive side, personality). We get the image of a polarity; of an opening of a doorway or gateway in a relationship; and a shift in all your ideas about relationship. It may represent someone close to you going through a big change, or coming into your life, or leaving, or some of both involving more than one individual.

Uranus to Jupiter in Pisces is quite exotic, and there will be surprises that I imagine would take you to far-away places and introduce you to ideas you had never considered.

I can, however, certainly relate to the feeling of anticipation relating to an eclipse. So hang loose and see what shakes out of the cosmic tree. It's a big freakin' tree, my friend.

The Astrological Houses

Dear Eric,

Can you give us a good once-over on the meanings of the astrological houses?

Wander Lust

Dear W.L.
Thanks for an excuse to do this. This system applies to both natal houses and what is called the "solar house system" that is used by newspaper horoscopes. They are effectively the same thing, and both can work simultaneously or in the absence of the other.

Note that the houses represent a story about the development of self. There is a sense of logical progression from one house to the next. They also works in groups of three (1, 2, 3 - 4, 5, 6 - 7, 8, 9 - 10, 11, 12) or (1, 4, 7, 10, the angular houses related to the cardinal signs; 2, 5, 8, 11, the succedent houses, related to the fixed signs; and 3, 6, 9, 12, the cadent houses, related to the mutable signs). It's also useful to consider the implications of opposite houses (1-7, 2-8, etc) and adjoining houses (1-2, 2-3, etc).

You can also play with derived houses. If the 4th house represents parents, then the 3rd (which represents siblings) house from the 4th (= the 6th) represents your parents' siblings, hence, aunts and uncles. If the 2nd represents your money and the 10th represents your reputation, then the 11th (the 2nd from the 10th) represents the money you make from your reputation.

Think about the houses long enough and astrology will start to make sense, and you will see life differently. Then, when you see planets come along and have an effect within a particular house...well, it's pretty amazing.

The 12 houses do indeed follow the basic energies of the 12 signs, but the expressions of the houses are more practical and tangible than those of the signs. The houses are how and where we act out the experience of life on Earth. They represent physical places, circumstances and the people we find there. The signs represent cosmic energies. There is a big difference. Signs have traits; houses have much more tangible expression.

You know you understand a house when you know where you can find it on Earth.

The astrological houses are a very useful way to conceive of how society and the psyche are organized -- and the relationship of the individual to the whole.

What houses do you live in the most?

1st House - Ascendant -- I am. Personal identity, and a more subtle level of identity than either the Sun or Moon. Some say physical appearance, but I am not sold on that. The planet that rules the rising sign is a meaningful significator for you in your own natal chart and elsewhere. The ascendant represents your soul's journey, what you could call 'The Continuing Story of I Am Becoming'. The 1st house also represents the question itself in horary astrology; or the subject of the question.

2nd -- What you value, including your body, your most deeply held principles, your money, your possessions, your talents, and your sense of self-worth or self-esteem. Note the word "your" keeps coming up. The 2nd house reveals volumes about how someone feels about himself or herself. In regards to sex, the theme is masturbation.

3rd -- One's local environment. Mental processes, opinions, writing, analysis, some aspects of publishing, local travel, your immediate surroundings and one's ideas. The 3rd is the expression of all that you feel and believe in the 2nd house. The 3rd also represents siblings.

4th / IC -- The emotional environment; the security base; the conditions inside one's home; the past as it relates to one's emotional processes NOW; the influences of parents, particularly father and grandfather (and the past in general). There is a controversy regarding parents, with some people giving the 4th to mother and the 10th to father and some doing the opposite. It's good to experiment with both, but over and over, in real-life situations, I've seen the 4th apply to father and his side of the family and the 10th apply to mother and her side. You could say the 4th represents the non-dominant parent; and also the genetic lineage.

5th -- The house of taking risks. Creativity, romance, children, adventure, gambling, bungee jumping, hang gliding and sex for fun. Note the connections. In seeking to understand a house, you know you have an idea when you can see the thread that connects the seemingly different themes. In terms of sex, the theme of the 5th is daring passion; romance before it goes too far; sex as play.

6th -- Well-being and health. Your place of work. Your work and work relationships. The drive or impulse to serve others, or to serve the whole. Healing and healing practices. Your sense of the present and the "here and now." The experience of the 6th is that of getting lost in one's work, and four hours go by feeling like five minutes. Mental health, since the 6th is such a powerful indicator of psychological processes, a kind of extension of the 3rd house in this respect.

7th / Descendent -- We are. Relationships, partnerships and open enemies. Direct encounters and those to whom we relate directly. "Your opposite sign." It is a point of public contact, and the energy we express from the 7th has a strong influence in our relationships, who we attract, and how we feel about them.

8th - This is the most influential house of the zodiac in modern times; we are living in the Era of the 8th House. I call it "The House of the Mysteries of Birth and Death." As expressed in real terms, the themes are: sex, death, jealousy, money, power, control, secrets, surrender and transformation. Originally, it was the House of Death and Dowry. It involves contracts, agreements and in general always involves another person or people in a situation where there is some kind of power, economic relationship or deep emotion involved. In terms of sex, the sex you need -- and the experience of orgasm with another person. Oh -- reproduction and the transfer of genetic material fall under this house, as an attribute of sexuality. Search.

9th -- Traditionally, long-distance travel, international cultures, ideas, higher education, spirituality, the higher courts, the higher intellectual arts. Colleges and universities; great libraries or databases; any body of knowledge. Some aspects of publishing. Spiritual ideas and spiritual leaders. Astrology tends to hang out there a lot. It's also the house of the higher self or higher power. Planets in this house tend to work very well, if we bother to access them.

10th / MC -- What you are known for, or strive to be known for. What you absolutely must do or achieve in this lifetime. Reputation, power, government, corporations. The 10th represents your highest aspiration and your most cherished goals. It represents your sense of whether you're respected, and the actual respect you receive or accept. The 10th also represents the mother or dominant parent, and the process of ego formation that teaches us to interact with the world.

11th -- The larger community, one's circle of friends, one's sense of having people to share, live with, in the context beyond the family. It is the house of "All of us here," and the space where the 'general public' intersects with the personal public. Often described as the house of hopes and dreams, but really it's much more. The expression of your gifts to the culture, and information about what you have to express and offer. The material and social rewards of your actual career. Social status. In terms of sex, polyamory, group sex, sex among friends.

12th -- Not such a simple house. The great unknown. Blissing out, but more often, paranoia and fear, the kind that racks you late at night. The pleasures of the bed -- the kind of pleasure or spiritual merging that you can't really describe (as contrasted with the 8th, a more urgent, emotional surrender to the power of another). Things too large to comprehend, including massive institutions like the government. Movies and illusions. The house of dreams, as in the kind we have when we're sleeping (the dreams we remember tend to occur when the Sun is transiting this house); the abyss; the ocean of experience; the total surrender of identity, sometimes associated with death. Its other associations are things like deep space, identity beyond definitions, one's relationship with God.

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