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Archive for Friday 15th October 2004

Astrology Secrets Revealed: Eric Francis Answers Your Questions
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Hello World
Last night waiting for the solar eclipse presidential debate to come on, I mentioned to one of my house guests the Venus transit of the Sun earlier this summer. She had never heard of it, so I looked up a picture on Astronomy Picture of the Day and showed her. I explained a little about the event and how the next one comes in 2012, the year that the 13th Baktun of the Mayan Long Count reaches the end of its run -- essentially culminating a 1.8 million day, day count the same year as the next transit of the Sun by Venus.

We experienced a solar eclipse overnight Wednesday to Thursday, and there will be a lunar eclipse on May 28. We are now in the two week interval between these two eclipses, which is a distinct phase of time, kind of like living in a hidden valley high in the mountains. The air is different, the weather is different, and the people are a bit unusual.

In much the same way, because we are between two Venus transits of the Sun, this is an unusual stretch of history. Those who follow the cycles and trends of history are no doubt noticing this. But what do these seven years until 2012 hold? A lot of changes, that's for sure, even based purely on looking at the number of outer planets that change signs between now and then. Though I think that, because these are the first eclipses of the Sun and Moon after the momentous June 8 Venus transit of the Sun, that these weeks tell us a little something about the energy of the next seven years.

Let's look and listen carefully and see what the story of the world reveals, and what choices we have in the matter. Those choices matter, because making decisions is the way we exercise freedom. One of the ideas I'm drumming into my thought process is that 2012 is up for grabs. We get to decide what that time frame is about. And we can take some target practice on an impressive eclipse of the Moon in about 14 days, at the next Full Moon, that is developing as we speak.

Here are some responses to your mail this week. Thank you for the great letters. It is, as always, a pleasure and an honor to be able to respond.

Hi Eric
I enjoy your articles very much. I consider myself a novice astrologer and only deal w/ natal charts... not ready to tackle forecasts. anyways, I have a very interesting chart and have found many "coincidences" in it and am somewhat curious if these things show up in most charts and are as obvious and would like to see if this is something that is a trend or I'm making something out of nothing… I think it's very interesting and would love someone that has more knowledge and expertise than me to see if these are things that most charts also 'tell'. I'm hoping maybe this may someday be additional things to discern in chart readings if in fact these are valid. I was born on October 2, 1966 at 4:48 am in Augusta, Georgia.


Dear Deb
The entire phenomenon of astrology is based on synchronicity. Synchronicity is the idea that the universe is in sync. No, it's not a bunch of teenage hotties singing in harmony dancing around on pedestals, but rather a quality of unusually appropriate timing, of symbols and reality matching up by strange coincidence, and the apparent alignment of forces seen as meaningful to the mind perceiving it. I am hearing a lot of synchronicity stories these days.

When doing esoteric work of any kind, it's always good to remember that no matter what we may perceive 'out there' it is being perceived 'in here'. Any time continuity of symbols and events is perceived in the world, the one thing they all have in common is the perceiver. This goes all the way down to the level of bugs and grass, for example, when you open the Daily Mail and read the horoscope and say Wow! That's right on! It may have something to do with the astrologer, but mainly a horoscope is accurate because you say it's accurate. I am fully aware that this paragraph seems to turn reality and astrology on its ass, but the world still has a lot of working out to do where cause and effect are concerned.

It is true that there may be various energetic causes between the planets and sentient things. Many physicists are comfortable with the apparently well-established scientific reality that every particle in the universe exerts a force on every other particle. So why Pluto, the Moon or the asteroid Garcia should not have an effect on your life, or my life, or that of a tree, is really the question -- rather than "how could it be possible?" The issue comes down to making sense of those causes and those effects, and that is what astrology seeks to do. And it's doing this with a tool called consciousness, and consciousness is what you or anyone brings to astrology, and what is observing all the coincidences in your chart.

However, the funny thing about astrology is that it has a number of preset rules. It's not a case of meaningful anarchy or making up a story. Astrology can be debated, based on its long-established traditions. Astrologers use a lot of intuition (a Pisces factor) but they also apply many technical guidelines that set the parameters for interpretation (the crucial Virgo attribute of the work), or which give weight to certain factors. What is interesting is that rather than hampering intuition, the grounding in technicalities, for most astrologers, assists intuition. It creates a safe set of boundaries within which the discussion of an issue can take place.

Within these rules, when reading a chart, sometimes something extremely interesting happens: the chart begins to repeat the same message over and over. Each technique you apply you see the same basic theme. This includes some remarkable thematic associations that often develop between transits and progressions occurring simultaneously (for example, a New Moon in the progressed horoscope occurring the same day as a New Moon in the actual sky, when there should be no reason for this at all). In fact, if you want to learn progressions, the easiest way is to look at the progressed charts for intense transits (such as the Saturn return or Uranian opposition) and study the links in the themes. Basically, all of astrological interpretation is built on this phenomenon of themes being associated with one another, most importantly connections between the client's life and the ideas in the chart. This is the real miracle, and it's so transparent we tend to look right through it.

Anyway, I went through a stage fairly early on in my work, about a year or two into professional reading, where charts started doing that like crazy. Between what the client was saying and what the chart was presenting, a kind of symbolic rhythm would develop, and suddenly every house, planet and aspect was saying the same thing -- based on the rules of astrological interpretation. And these rules, while they do exist in my mind, also exist on paper, in books, in tradition, and in the minds of other astrologers, and they can be expressed and discussed. But the important thing is that the information or confirmation coming from the chart (or cards, or whatever your divination method) is supportive to both the client and the astrologer, and has a sense of being grounded. That grounding -- in the technical rules of astrology -- is what keeps the entire process from being a game of 'astrology is whatever you want it to mean'.

But remember that different interpretations are possible, and we get to make choices based on our chart placements and transits.

That all being said in perhaps too many words, let's look for some synchronicities of meaning in your chart. To my readers: these ideas may bridge over into advanced astrology, but you have to make that first step and go there some time. Here is your natal chart, Deb, done with Koch houses (by the way -- I rotate house systems every few years so I don’t get stuck in any one).

Deb's Birthchart

Quite a chart you have there, Deb. Notice the ANGULAR planets: your 1st and 7th houses are loaded. (Note to readers: the 1st house starts below the left horizontal line, and you count anti-clockwise. Here is a directory of the little symbols). You are born in one of the very peak moments of 1960s astrology, which was THE most intense time of the 20th century. And because the planets fall in your 1st and 7th houses, you embody the themes of this era personally. I have done a whole series of articles called Born in the Sixties, to which I refer you. It's off our main topic but worth a look for anyone born in the 1960s.

Our topic is chart synchronicity, or coincidence of theme. I would love to begin by pointing out an interesting one in your chart -- a nice one, too. You have Taurus on the 9th house cusp (to see house cusps, look in the outermost ring, that's the line with the number '17 (Taurus symbol) 13' after it. Right there, you have the Moon's north node (a little horse shoe) in Taurus, and the Moon in Taurus. The Moon is about to cross its own north node. That suggests it's on the brink of some kind of revelation. On the cusp of the 9th house (spiritual matters, higher self), we could say that your Moon and node tell us you're on the brink of spiritual transformation; that you may live with the feeling that you are in a constant state of deliverance from the strange forces of the world (8th house), into the light of justice and reason (also 9th house).

Now for a pick-up of this theme elsewhere. Any time you're examining a house and its theme, one thing you do is look at the planet associated with the sign on the cusp of that house. Since you have Taurus on the 9th house cusp, we look to Venus for information, as Venus is the ruler of Taurus. We find Venus in your 1st house. She is in Virgo. And not only that, she is in the very last degree of Virgo. This is like a holographic copy of the Moon on its own node: Venus, in the last degree of a sign, is about to change signs and become something new. Thus we could say she is about to transform herself. This is another way to describe the Moon on the 9th cusp on her own node. The same language could apply to either.

But Venus in this condition gives us additional information. Notice that she is the planet with the highest number next to her. She has the highest degree; she is the latest planet in any sign; these all mean the same thing. This is a tricky position because it's like Venus can do nothing until she reaches the next sign. So the feeling is like you're suspended on the brink of transformation, but can't really get there so easily. Yet getting there is inevitable.

Venus is also a potent messenger for your identity as a woman. In Virgo -- the sign of the Goddess -- she is placed quite powerfully, and the implication (because she rules your 9th house) is that your deepest spiritual connection is to the feminine aspect of the Divine. And yet, because she is placed so late in the cycle of Virgo, she needs to get beyond the idea of the Goddess and the associated idea of what it means to be a woman, and plunge into the reality, the ambiguity and the direct experience of the beauty of what it means to be a woman. We could say that a big part of your spiritual development (9th house ruler) is invested in your ability to really polarize into your feminine identity (Venus on the edge, about to enter Libra, a sign which Venus rules) -- and to experience this as a direct expression of the cosmos.

Let's call a new theme -- letting go of ideas and emerging into direct experience. I'm not looking at your chart now; I'm going to take a peek and see if I can find that theme again. Ah, well, easy. Virgo rising: more Virgo (you have a LOT of Virgo in your chart). Same basic ideas as above, suggesting that your whole Virgo identity is profound, supported by many planets. Now, Virgo is ruled by Mercury. All the planets in Virgo are ruled by Mercury. And where do we find Mercury? In Libra! In this sign, you could say that Mercury is being and not thinking. Mercury is also in the 2nd house, the house of self-esteem. To find your self-esteem, you have to take the leap from the idea of who you are (Virgo rising) to the reality (its ruler, Mercury, in Libra).

Now let's hop-scotch on the theme of self-esteem. Let's read the ruler of that house, the 2nd house. Libra is on the cusp; Venus also rules Libra; where is she? She is on the brink of transformation, about to fly into Libra. We have come full circle.

You could basically keep doing this all day. You could add planets, you could relocate the chart, you could make progressions of various stripes, you could do whatever you want, and you would still find these themes, each of which would say the same thing in a little different way -- and you'll eventually get it!

You can even cast a chart for this moment (horary astrology) and find something interesting; I just did. What I find as of 12:53 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 13, 2004 in Paris is that Venus is making an exact aspect to Mars and the Moon and is exactly square the ascendant and descendant. Venus is prominent in this horary chart, the focus of consciousness being so tightly aligned to the ascendant and descendent.

Remember, you can go wherever you want, but you can't jump out of the universe.

Dear Eric
I have been going through a tough time lately, my life has never been what you would call easy. See I moved in with my friend and her family and things are not going how I imagined (not that anything does) I feel like I am stuck, I have gotten into two car accidents in the last seven months, and every time I think I take a step forward, it feels like I take three back. Am I making wrong decisions? Is there anything I can do to make my life a little easier? I don't have a father, my mother is disabled, and I have not been in a relationship for two years. I cant understand why no one wants to be with me. I am an attractive girl, who gets admired often, but I have no one to call mine. And I have never been this lonely. I just want someone to share my life with and have someone to talk to. I don't really have any friends, beside the one I live with but she (Dec. 26, 1985, Coaldale, PA) has betrayed me over and over, to this day. I feel very alone and powerless, please give me some kind of guidance and direction.

Truly Lost
(Dec., 13, 1984, 9:33 a.m., Atlanta, GA)

Dear Lexxie
The first thing I want to say is that this is a tough time to be growing up. I don't want to give a long whine about the Good Old Days When I Was a Kid, and besides, by then, the big changes (particularly an odd change in values, a sharp increase in the level of fear, radically increasing alienation due to technology, and fewer personal freedoms) all had already and long ago begun to take root in our Western societies. You, however, were raised up in the era of "Say No -- to Life." And now you have to say yes if you want to live well.

And you have had a double blow: arriving in a very difficult time in world history, and having such a difficult and isolated childhood and family situation. They are related. Our parents have not had such an easy time in the world. Some were not prepared to have children. They live on the planet too, and it's a real challenge here sometimes. You do, however, have one very important thing going for you: you KNOW your childhood was difficult. Most people think their childhood was fine and normal, and that means it often takes them a long time to address the issues that were created in childhood. You are also willing to admit you are struggling today. You can say the words out loud. If you can do that, you can hear yourself, respond, take action and get help.

Let me state this another way. Your ability to observe and state that you feel alone and powerless is actually a form of power. A great many people feel alone and powerless and have no idea what the problem is. Even people who are married, with families, can feel a deep degree of loneliness and isolation, and either not be cognizant of it, or not be allowed to have those feelings because, after all, they allegedly shouldn't have them. So you are free to have your experience, and free to state what you feel, and thus you are free to grow and change beyond your current situation. And I assure you, you can do this.

Before I get to your chart, which is well worth a look by the way, I want to pass along one idea that may help. On this planet, there is one value… one approach… that above all else helps you make your life better. It should be printed automatically on every astrological chart and on the back of every Chinese fortune. And that idea is practicing and cultivating the idea that you are not a victim. While there are many arguments to be made for victimization, and while people obviously do get victimized in this world, that is something apart from an individual voluntarily taking the position, like a yoga position, that 'I am not a victim of the world I see' or 'I am not a victim of my life'. This is like an invocation. You can add stuff to it: I am not a victim, therefore, I'm going to figure out how to go to college. I'm not a victim. I'm going to figure out how to feel better about myself even though my very definition of happiness involves having a partner. And so on.

Besides all which, you have something I call Sagittatitude. You are an example of the ultimate Sagittarian, and nothing is going to stop you in this life, so you might as well have fun not being stopped, and, taking that a few steps further, use your considerable creative power to change the world, which means to build a world around you that you can live in.

Your chart tells me you are a woman of the world. The concentration of planets across your 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th houses (in order, Pluto in Scorpio, Saturn later in Scorpio, Uranus, Sun and Mercury in Sagittarius, and Neptune and Jupiter in Capricorn) tells me you have big things to accomplish, and the resources to make this happen. This should tell just about any astrologer who sees your chart that you are a person who exemplifies the qualities of leadership, spiritual devotion and the drive to build community.

You may think: how can I do these things? There are two options: start where you are, or go someplace else. And it's always a good idea to start where you are and begin small, but with an eye toward bigger things. And sometimes you just have to make a big move.

Now, that's about the outer world. Your inner world is where the action is at the moment.

You are, at this moment, experiencing a very, very, very, very (and I mean it) challenging transit: You are born with Capricorn rising, and Chiron is now going over your ascendant. This is not chickenshit. This is astrology. And this won't happen again till you're around 70. And this astrology is here to point out something about the nature of your Capricorn ascendant, which is that it's often prone to a depressive view of life and this energy must be worked out, worked through and worked beyond. And it will give you experiences that basically guarantee that you will accomplish this. You will, during this phase of your life, never be able to deny what you feel. This is very good news on the planet, since most people around these parts are suffocating in psychological denial, a tool that we're taught to use just to get through the day.

Yet for you there is something more immediate, which is consciously claiming your life for your own. This is a revolutionary act! Chiron crossing one's ascendant, a situation that's been with you for about nine months and is now at its very peak, can create a crisis of existence: one may question one's right to exist, and may even feel like 'they don't exist'. And so your job at this point is to EXIST and claim back your life. Or to claim it for the first time. There are at least two ways to look at this: one is how to feel better. The other is how to claim your life -- a bigger leap, yes, a bigger responsibility, yes, but that's you: you are working on a high level in this lifetime. And when you make the leap, or even reach, you can count on your chart responding.

But at the moment, I would say that the Chiron in the ascendant transit is saying, and presenting the situations, for solving this equation: 'How would I live, if I really existed?'

One word about relationships. You are coming into your maturity. You are truly a young woman now. Your power is increasing; womanly power is an awesome force to be in possession of. And because you are in a powerful growth phase, aspects of your power that you don't know about are already going to change as well. If we study the relationship angle of your chart (7th house cusp), we learn some interesting things.

As a Capricorn rising, you have Cancer on the 7th house. For this, we look to the Moon, since the Moon rules Cancer. Your Moon is in Leo -- the heart of gold Moon. And, more to the point, your Moon is in the 8th house. This is the very most unusual house of the zodiac. It is about constant change, like your ego dies every day. And it is about power. In particular, the power of sex and money. You are a magnet for both. And plenty of both. The thing is that people can have weird reactions to your power. They might follow you down the block, or think you're so beautiful they're afraid to talk to you. Or treat you in odd ways that are based on their reaction to your power, most of which will be unconscious. Does any of this sound familiar?

Regarding this 8th house Moon, I suggest you really begin to notice the depth of people's emotional relationship to you; that is, their emotional experience (or trip) involving you. They may respond a lot more emotionally to you than you do to them, or there may be a kind of disconnect where it's hard to get both people feeling the same way. In a sense, you need to empathize with, and have compassion for, and take the lead, of their passion for you.

You have many planets in the fixed signs and, as a result, need to learn how to let your feelings move more easily.

If your chart has a liability, it is this. You don't have much in the water signs, which deal with the emotions. What you do have -- Saturn and Pluto in Scorpio -- are two planets that can create a depth of fear and insecurity that are very challenging to you and others. And they are in a fixed sign, which does not grant emotional mobility -- the freedom to feel what you feel from moment to moment in an easy way. Plus, with Venus and Mars in Aquarius, your mind is active, very active, and you are extremely intelligent -- so intelligent that you have to get your mind out of the way and just dive into the experience of feeling, with the trust that you won't drown. There will be people in your life who feel so much, and so strongly for you, that they will lead the way, if you will only follow. But it's important to avoid, or handle very consciously, relationships where a theme is power struggle. This can take quite a bit of learning.

In summary, Lexxie, this is a time of major passage for you, of forming your individuality and your true identity -- and I suggest you make it a rite of passage: make some important decisions, including deciding what you want out of life, and getting up every day and saying 'It's my life'. Whisper, so your soul can hear it.

In further response to last week's question about the best way to learn astrology, here is a bit more, the tip of the week.

I suggest that people who want to learn astrology learn to read Tarot cards. There a lot of reasons for why it will make learning and practicing astrology easier. Here are a few.

1. The Tarot system is an abbreviated version of astrology. It contains all the basic components: the four elements (Earth, Air, Fire and Water) in the 52 cards in the lower arcana; the signs and planets in the 22 cards of the major arcana; and many expressions of aspects by the way that these energies combine in the different cards. Every combination is not represented, but enough are so that you can get a feel for what is going on. Many decks use astrological symbols.

2. The Tarot will teach you to trust divination. Astrology is a form of divination, that is, using a seemingly random method to get meaning and information from the cosmos or the unconscious mind (whichever you prefer!). To work a divination system, one must use a very light mixture of reason and intuition. Reading cards will help you open up this method. It will also help you combine the messages of elements and make a new message; that is, two or three cards combine to create an entirely new meaning.

3. You'll get excellent experience working with people, and listening to them. When you read, ask people questions based on the cards. It's easier to do a card reading than a chart reading, because the cards themselves are simpler, they're pictures instead of complex patterns, and they quickly reflect the contents of the unconscious. Working with people, you get to practice your communication skills, find out what techniques work and refine them, and get a feel for what it means to help someone using an esoteric art.

4. I believe that you can read cards for yourself. I suggest that you cast a spread but not interpret it: just leave it out and watch it work out over a month or so. If you find cards that portend things you don't like, really think over what you're up to, and reach into yourself and make a new decision. Astrology works a lot with those kinds of reinterpretations, or as the Course in Miracles puts it, taking the moment to 'choose once again'.

5. Tarot tip: work with three decks. When trying to learn a card, use three versions of that card and compare them side by side. Include the corresponding trump card (i.e., if you're studying the 5's, use the Hierophant). The meaning, main idea, feeling or use of that card will become obvious.

There are some great Tarot books. For easy ones focused on relationships, check out Gerd Zeigler. For a more difficult but truly brilliant one, check out the Book of Thoth by a dude named Crowley. Any esoteric book shop will be able to get it for you.

Catch y'all next week. A pleasure as always.

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