Jonathan Cainer Zodiac Forecasts

Welcome to Eric Francis
Eric Francis Astrology Q&A
Archive for Friday 3rd September 2004

Astrology Secrets Revealed: Eric Francis Answers Your Questions
Send your question to
Click here to read Eric's previous Q&As

You can visit Eric's fascinating web page at

Dear Readers
I'm going to give the discussion of Saturn a rest this week. I think I've covered the basics of Saturn and the Saturn return in the past couple of editions and there is now a Saturn resource for readers of this site on Planet Waves at this link. It's time to move onto other worlds. This week we have some excellent questions, one of which involves Pluto retrograde, another involving a 'first meeting' chart at the beginning of a relationship, and a couple of which involve Chiron.

However, the star of the show in September and beyond is Jupiter, which is making its way from Virgo to Libra on the 25th. September also brings the Libra Equinox, which is followed by one planet after the next transiting in to Libra - big changes, and exciting ones, which hopefully I will have an opportunity or two to address. But more immediately, Mercury stations to direct motion in Leo Thursday, Sept. 2, ending its three-week retrograde. Pluto has stationed direct. And we have experienced the Venus-Saturn conjunction in Cancer, which along with Mercury coming back online should do a lot to free up some stuck energy.

When you're submitting your questions, please remember to write out your birth data longhand, as US and UK formats differ. Also, it's very difficult to use long questions without extracting the parts that can be addressed in a column. So think about what you really need to find out and try to focus your question on that. The most effective inquiries, I think, are the ones that are both personal and address a specific astrological issue. Thank you for taking the time to write and for all your positive feedback, and thanks dearly to Vanessa and Deirdre at for all the work they do on this page, as well as to Chelsea at PlanetWaves, who compiles your inquiries. And thank you for checking in each week. It's great to be able to write about the nuts and bolts of astrology for an audience that's really interested.

Hi Eric Francis
I've recently stumbled across your page on Jonathan Cainer's website, and am finding it very interesting. So here's a poser for you. Nobody seems to be saying anything very much about the fact that while there is all this powerful planetary activity going on involving Pluto. Pluto has been retrograde since March, and will continue to be until end-August. How does that affect things? I have a particular interest, because if I understand right, Pluto turned retrograde on 24 March, at 22+ degrees of Sagittarius - exactly where my ascendant is. And I can't help feeling if my life hasn't quite been going backwards, I certainly haven't made as much progress as I would like. I was born 25 Oct. 1966 at 10:50 a.m. in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK. Here's hoping you find my question interesting enough to answer.

Dear Elaine
Pluto is retrograde a lot - about 42% of the time, much more than any of the inner planets. Pluto takes about four steps forward and three steps back, over and over again, slowly inching its way forward through the zodiac. That is how this planet works. Most of the movement of Pluto that we see in charts is really a trick of perspective based on the movement of the Earth rapidly swinging around the Sun. This makes Pluto SEEM like it's moving forward or back, or faster than it is - Pluto itself really orbits the Sun extremely slowly and steadily.

I think that the stations of outer planets can be significant, but personally I feel and experience stations of the inner planets much more palpably - everyone is different. There are those, however, who can really sense the outer planets stationing, and I've seen some mighty good horoscope interpretations based exclusively on outer planet stations, written for the day or week of the event. Stuff in newspapers has at times been so astute it's better than anything I've read in a textbook, and that's made me really look at how these stations work and feel.

In one's personal chart, outer planet stations are much more pronounced. If you have Pluto stationing right in the degree of the ascendant, this is a big time in your life - big. This is a dividing line between the past and the future. It is not a temporary condition but rather a lifetime threshold. Events of this time will teach you to come to a fundamental understanding of who you are and what you are doing in this lifetime. For one thing, you have lived for many years with Pluto going through your 12th house, and that is a time that you are very fortunate to have come through feeling so good - it is one of the more challenging and by far one of the deepest transits that we can get (and it happens to less than half the population in one lifetime).

When Pluto stations in a degree, it stays there for a couple of months. It is on one hand a lot of pressure and on the other, an enormous blessing, because it gets the job done. People with the Sun, Moon, Ascendant or other vital point in the degree of a Pluto transit are going to go through some kind of major growth process and then, hopefully, move on to a whole new future.

Dear Eric
I remember reading some time back that there is a branch of astrology which works on the premise that friendships or other relationships have a 'birthdate'. I have had a wonderful friendship with a very special person for six years now, though for the past four she has been in a relationship with another man. Over the years I have looked for guidance regarding the future of this friendship from compatibility charts, etc. I was wondering how the astrology of the relationship would differ from those of our respective birthdates or if it could explain events more clearly? I would appreciate it if you could keep personal details private as my friend also reads your column and I would not wish to upset the applecart.
(Name Withheld On Request)

There is a charting method that involves looking at the first meeting, and I've had quite a few successes with it. Successes, as in the first meeting chart, when looked at later, tells something about the conditions of the relationship that should be fairly obvious without the chart, but the chart kind of paints it on your face so you can see it clearly in the mirror. Though you've given me all the natal chart details, I'll be looking only at the first meeting data you provided. I'm going to use the basic rules of horary astrology to investigate your question. So, readers please note: this kind of reading is different than natal astrology.

But first I want to respond on the human level as opposed to the stellar. Am I to understand that you've devoted six years of your life to someone in hopes that it will become a deeper relationship, as in a household relationship or sexual partnership? I am inferring this; you say that it's a special friendship and that you've consulted many oracles to see what will develop. At the same time, you're saying she's been with another man for the last four years. This has been going on a long time, given that you're not getting what you want or what you need.

It is true that love sometimes takes a while to get going. But not usually. Usually, people meet, they get along, they know they get along, they like some of the same restaurants and things are under way. While I know you have some deep feelings about this woman, six years of not getting what you need is a very long time. This relationship was born in the 20th century. Important planets have changed signs, some of them several times. Two Olympics have come and gone. People have begun law and medical school, graduated and become attorneys and doctors.

Relationships happen in the present, not in the future.

Hopefully this prejudice does not qualify me from taking fair look at the chart. The first thing I noticed is that you met the day of a Sun-Pluto opposition. That is the closest aspect in the chart. Sun opposite Pluto has a lot of zing to it: deep, penetrating, and obsessive. Pluto is in the first (Sagittarius) and the Sun is in the 7th (Gemini), near the 8th, and that says that the feeling is deep, that the meeting had the impact you describe. Right away I can tell that this chart is what's termed 'radical' or applicable to the situation you describe.

The second thing I noticed is that Scorpio is rising; thus is Taurus on the 7th house cusp (descendent). That means you are characterized in the relationship as the ruler of the Ascendant, which would be Mars, and your friend is characterized by the ruler of the 7th, which would be Venus. People may be wondering why I take Mars as the ruler of Scorpio - and the reason is that it IS the original ruler of Scorpio, in the traditional system, which is what I use for these kinds of charts. (You may think this is weird for 'asteroid guy' to be using the ancient rules of astrology, but I like to be true to the old rules and techniques in the first instance, and then true to the new developments next.)

Venus and Mars are an appropriate couple of significators for a woman and a man. Next thing we check for is: are they making an aspect? They are not. The simplest way to answer the question is, no aspect, no meeting on the Venus-Mars level, that is, lover energy, if you're wondering about that. There is not even an aspect forming. Venus is late in her sign (Aries), and we lose the thread of story when she changes signs.

Just to double check using modern rulers, let's take Pluto as the second ruler of Scorpio and do the chart again. Neither are Pluto and Venus making, or about to make, an aspect.

We find you, as Mars in the 7th, as ready for a relationship, in essence, in position for one situated in the house of relationship. But Mars (like the Sun) is opposing Pluto (though not as close, the aspect is still applying, or becoming perfect). That spells obsession. And with the two rulers of the ascendant, Mars and Pluto, facing one another directly, it's as if the obsession has very little to do with her; it is more like being obsessed with an idea, or taking love on the level of religious devotion.

When we look at Venus, we get some interesting information. She is in late Aries (a bit self-absorbed, which to some men can be very attractive in a woman), and she is applying in a conjunction to Saturn, just one degree later. I'm going to assume that Saturn is the other guy you mention. Because of the very late degrees of Venus and Saturn, this other relationship appears to have begun right after the two of you met, and it's lasted quite a while. And, her meeting with him appears in the first meeting chart.

So what all does this tell you?

It takes great maturity to learn that we cannot change people, we have to take them as we are. And at the same time we have to get our own needs met. If you are looking for a love affair, there are a lot of fish in the sea.

Hello Eric
I am feeling a little confused at the moment. Back in 2002 I went through a difficult emotional time, my marriage was in a very bad place, my father died and it was looking like my mother was going to follow him. I ended up seeking therapy to help me through this time of my life and thought I had managed to do so successfully. However, just recently I have started feeling the stirring of emotions that are similar to those back in 2002 but this time there does not seem to be any apparent reason for my feeling this way. Is this a typical Mercury retrograde experience, and if so, do you have any advise on what it the best way to manage such experiences? My birth details are March 16, 1955 at 5:00 p.m. in Perth, Western Australia.
Thanking you,

Dear Denise
Sometimes difficult emotional times have an outer-world connection, such as the circumstances you describe. And almost always during those experiences there are important transits that tell the story. Then time goes on and, depending on how our charts are set up, a new set of influences moves in - and that is what is happening. Presuming we're looking at the same chart, you are now experiencing Pluto going over your Moon; Saturn is also going over your natal Jupiter-Uranus conjunction and (significantly) moving into your 12th house; and you are about to experience your Chiron return in the spring of 2005. If the current (just ending) Mercury retrograde has done anything, it's just woken you up to influences that have been very powerful much of the year.

These are all important transits, which say that you are reaching the close of a major era of your life - decades long - and getting ready to move to an entirely different level. I would propose that what you are going through now is really an extension of the events of 2002, or that you view them that way. If you found counseling to be a process that offered you help and comfort, then I would strongly recommend that you look your therapist up and spend some time there each week.

The Chiron return, beginning at age 50 or 51, is a major life transition, and yours is going to be particularly important. An astrologer not reading Chiron would likely get similar information from Saturn going into your 12th house and eventually crossing your ascendant; that would roughly coincide with the approximately two or three year process that usually comes with the Chiron return. But Chiron is being very specific in your case and Saturn is filling in more of the background on the story, which is essentially that you need to focus on your growth, your life, your spiritual development, and leave other people to their processes as much as possible. There are many hidden aspects of your nature you have yet to discover, and many to free yourself of.

When working with Chiron, if a client is approaching an important Chiron event for example, one of the first things I do is check some of the other major Chiron transits that have occurred in the lifetime. What I suggest you do is take each of the following dates I'm going to give you and work with them separately. Write down the conditions and events of each of those times, the important people and what happened to them, and so on, and develop each date separately.

I must emphasize - please read this paragraph twice - we are not looking for big events; rather, we're looking for the conditions of your life at the time of the transit, including what was happening with people around you. There may be big events; there may not. If you are unsure of any time, start with writing down your address, consider who your partner was, what job you had, and so on. Give this project time to ferment - a couple of weeks will do.

Then, once you have the dates journaled out, see if you can identify a theme that runs through the different time frames. This is the creative part. What story to they tell? How would that story complete? This will help us understand what your Chiron return is building toward.

Here are some dates to work with. I will include the name of the transit, for reference, taken from the Aureas Ephemeris (published in France,, which by the way gives Chiron, Ceres and the lunar apogee): - Autumn 1977, Chiron at 3-4 Taurus, your first Chiron square [also, discovery of Chiron]

- Spring-Summer 1984, Chiron in Gemini, at your Midheaven

- Summer 1991, Chiron in Leo, opposite your natal Chiron

- Summer 1993, Chiron in Leo, in your Ascendant

- Autumn 1997, Chiron in Scorpio, square your natal Chiron

If I were working with you in a counseling situation I would also inquire about the conditions of your life at two years old.

That's a start. Please let me know what you learn.

Hey Eric
I love your forecasts... my Sun is in Cancer (July 11, 1966) and my ascendant is in Capricorn. I've been trying my best to work with Saturn's energies this past year and up until now have managed to maintain my philosophical and spiritual ground. Lately I've been feeling his immense weight bearing down on me and it seems all doom and gloom in my first and seventh houses. I was wondering if my nodes are affecting me too on top of it, my north being in Taurus and south in Scorpio. If there's a light at the end of the tunnel, I don't see any glimmer of it. What can I do in the meantime to try to keep my head to the sky. What keeps me happy is service through love, but I haven't been that available to anyone. Peace.
Sunday Ruby

Dear Sunday Ruby
You, like many people born in the 1960s, are going through immense changes and important transits and have for some time how. However, specifically, because you have the Sun and Jupiter in Cancer, you are getting a very personal transit that is specific to your month and year of birth. That is, Saturn has been working on your Sun and Jupiter all year. You also have Cancer on your 7th house as well, which means this transit is in an angular house - a house that you can feel tangibly, particularly since Saturn went into Cancer last summer.

If you are looking for the root moment of your current experience, I would propose that it's the summer of 2001, when there was a very powerful eclipse in the first degree of Cancer. This was also the time leading to some serious Pluto and Saturn transits that signed their name both in your chart and on world history later that summer.

You say something interesting in your note, which is that you've been working to keep your spiritual and philosophical ground as regards Saturn. But Saturn is suggesting, in fact, compelling you to be extremely practical. I can see that as a Sun-Jupiter-Cancer person, you are someone who leans toward the mystical and spiritual. And, being in the 7th house, that you like to serve others with this energy every chance you get.

Saturn's pressure is in your life to make sure that you become much more realistic than visionary. Visionary will come later; at the moment, you'll need to face up to certain immediate concerns directly and in pragmatic ways. I am not sure what they are and they may certainly seem spiritual - given that you have Sagittarius on your 12th house and Pisces on your third - but I encourage you to bring them as down to Earth as possible. Put them into language. Your dreams may also be telling you a lot.

I would also point out that the Venus transit of the Sun this summer occurred just one degree away from your natal Venus. To me this suggests you are really attempting to get a grip on some vital process of change, and that you are working to define what it means to be a woman. A woman is not a wife; she is not a servant; she is not someone who always has to give her power to other people and get nothing in return. She is a woman, and that means a person, as you define a person.

You have one very interesting aspect that involves an asteroid - Mercury conjunct Vesta in Leo in your 8th house. This is shorthand for giving yourself to others primarily through giving your sexual power to them as a source of strength. The potential for servitude is very strong, and sex is one way you both feel you have something to offer, and one way you can easily be lured in. I have worked with many people with Vesta prominences, and this aspect counts as such. They are masters of self-denial, and also some of the most helpful people on the planet. Who is to say whether this is a good thing, or not, except for you? But if you feel it's not working for you (if this happens to be your situation) you do have a choice. That's the thing to remember.

Dear Eric
I've done astrology for almost 40 years and having a "heads up" on the planetary ebb and flow has always helped me to ride out the most difficult and transformative of transits. Now I'm poised on a Chiron conjunct Ascendant, but have very little information on this centaur. In tracking previous conjuncts, I've usually found myself "embroiled" in a situation -- something difficult to pull my foot out of, with me running old emotional tapes looking for answers. What can I expect with a first house hit?

Dear Jude
I would say that Chiron in the Ascendant is about awakening. Chiron rising (or Ascendant transit) themes often deal with the "right to exist" and the feeling that we belong on the planet. In Capricorn, it's reasonable to look at the power structures that have boxed you in (see last week's discussion of the Capricorn aspect of Saturn). I would imagine that Chiron in a Capricorn ascendant is going to want to break free of all the residual parental impressions that have somehow dictated who you are. And while it's always possible to say "I've already done that," the question remains -- what is Chiron doing there now?

I've worked with another Chiron question in this edition, and I suggest you borrow the technique above, carefully working out the story of each individual transit and then, after you've done that, seeing if you can assemble a theme or see a process in motion. I feel strongly that Chiron needs to be given its own voice more than astrologers need to be speaking for it, and that voice comes through experience. Create a Chiron timeline for yourself. I would suggest that a super important transit that will shed light on the present moment is when Chiron contacted your 7th house cusp in Cancer around 1990. The current era of your life is the Chiron opposition to that one -- a kind of 180 degree turn around.

What was happening then?

The beauty of having been through so many Chiron transits is that after a while you begin to have a choice in how you respond to the energy. With any luck when we look at the circumstances and events of the Chiron biography, we get a sense that the thing main that's changing is awareness. Hopefully it's increasing! Hopefully you are having experiences that are teaching you to take consciousness and use it consciously to make choices. In this case, it is the choice of how you define yourself, and how you experience yourself.

Thanks for reading this column! If you like my writing, I suggest you check out Planet Waves, my Internet site and newsletter. There's a big, free web page, and the very newest material I write is sent to subscribers twice each week on Mondays and Fridays. These mailings each include a horoscope column, plus a weekly birthday report, and two essays that cover many astrological themes in depth. I'll be putting much energy this fall into tracking the astrology of the U.S. presidential election and its impact on the world. If you're interested, you can visit or write to

Email your question to Eric
Please note, we regret that due to time restrictions personal replies may not be available, you may though see your question featured on this page.

Click here for Jonathan Cainer's Daily Zodiac Forecasts

All content and artwork copyright 2004. World rights reserved