Planet Waves by ERIC FRANCIS

For the Week of Jan. 15, 1999

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If it seems like there are a number of unsolved mysteries in the air, just remember that there are some aspects of personal growth that do not provide immediate answers or insights. The sign ARIES (March 21-April 19) is not famous for patience, and this is not a time you're inclined to be feeling especially passive or in the mood to take it as it comes. This is partly accounted for by your accentuated sense of raw carnal desire, though the call of the Cosmic Beyond is very strong right now. I would propose that there is only a slight difference between the two, mainly a difference in religious perspective. You read it here: passion is a galactic experience.

You are not in power unless you are in your sexual power. As a TAURUS (April 20-May 20), this should be pretty obvious. What is less obvious is how to be in your sexual power, and how to be there comfortably, since there are all kinds of little cultural prohibitions banning the full awareness of your true reality. One key to this mystery is playing the game of desire without attachment, which may be a strange, new and yet inevitable experience for you. Current circumstances may find you feeling way out in the open, exposed and in situations demanding that you be far more candid about yourself than you previously have found it necessary to be. Go with it. There is no safety in secrecy. There is nothing to hold onto.

For all my GEMINI (May 21-June 20) and Gemini rising cousins, the question is: How much can change how fast on how little notice with what huge results? The second question is, is this all real, or what? And who is it that's showing up all of a sudden? Events of the coming weeks are likely to bring your first glimpse above the canyon walls that have somehow engulfed you emotionally and spiritually for so long, seeming to isolate you from the people around you. But wasn't it necessary, so you could get that much closer to yourself? And isn't enough finally enough? Pay attention. This will be interesting.

Don't walk on egg shells, CANCER (June 21-July 22). Though close partners may seem to have you in the dark, you are in a far stronger position than you're acknowledging. Actually, the only things you can do wrong these days would be to hesitate or err on the side of so-called safety in emotional situations. I recognize that there seems to be a great risk in seemingly small matters, and that it's easy for your perceptions of life to go wildly out of proportion. It's okay. Right now, it's a fact: the greater the uncertainty, the greater the potential rewards.

We feel different with different people, and often get to know ourselves in the context of others because unique relationships allow us to experience the facets of who we are. LEO (July 23-Aug. 22), I suggest you ponder not what it is that you want, but who is your true tribe, and your true family of choice. It is clear that you need, in a rather dire and sudden way, the people around you to fully recognize your child self, and not just to tolerate this aspect of you, but to love and support her or him as well. There is a very big difference between the two, and we're all far too accustomed to merely being put up with rather than adored. Seeking true community requires honest acknowledgement of who you are, granting yourself the right to live, making actual decisions and taking conscious action. No one is going to hand life to you, but right now there are plenty of opportunities for the bold of heart.

If you're a VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) it would be interesting to hear what changes have come into your life in these weeks. I suggest you pay very close attention to your environment, and to your responses to what could be called the human ecology surrounding you. To describe this as a sensitive moment would be a gross understatement. Imagine yourself in the slender space between thought and emotion, between the past and the future, between the highly polarized people around you, becoming the spark that connects the opposites. This could be shocking. Hence, if you're ever someplace you're not happy, I suggest you consider whether you really belong there at all.

Your cosmic assignment for the week, LIBRA (Sep. 23-Oct. 22), is to have a one-hour conversation with a lesbian. (If you are personally a lesbian, then I suggest you look up a bisexual man, or have a conversation with yourself in a mirror). Nonchalantly tell the person you were reading a horoscope column and the astrologer said that you should have this deep discussion about what it's like to think you're the only one of something for a very long time, and then suddenly discover that you're not ­ that there are actually others like you, or close enough so that you don't feel totally alone in the world. Listen to this person's story carefully. I predict you'll have a lot more in common with your reflection than you imagined.

It was Andy Warhol who said that all sex is about nostalgia. He was obviously not a SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 22), though aspects for the week may have you pondering the true wisdom of his sardonic quip. If you tune in carefully to your perceptions, though, you may not only feel the ringing of a sweet desire for the past, but also the distinct sense of being a person from the future visiting the present and longing for the quaint good old days which are otherwise known as NOW. Well, it happens to be now now, and all you have to do is enjoy it while you're actually here, not astral projecting over your shoulder from the 21st century wishing you had done something different.

Here's a daring offer, SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21). The more last year distinctly failed to meet up to your expectations; the closer you stayed to home while wishing you could go somewhere really fun; the more mentally obsessed you were over, well, paranoid stuff while it looked to everyone else like everything was just bloody fine in your life; in fact, the more annoyed you are that your life really doesn't meet up to how it looks the more you'll have to admit pretty interesting things are already shaping up. Things so interesting you won't be able to tell most people. Places so interesting there aren't travel brochures. States of mind that are not in the books. Especially if you're turning 50, Sagittarius or not.

The thing about doing very intense growth work, CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19), is that it's not always so healthy. New possibilities can become an obsession that takes your mind off of the present. One "solution" after the next can fail to fulfill its empty ­ or tremendous ­ promises. Going to the cosmic blacksmith's shop and putting your soul in the fire can hurt. There is a risk, and risk means the possibility not just of failure, but of loss. And yet finally admitting that "I will always be this way until I change" can come as a huge relief. I don't know where you stand on any of these issues, but it's a good week to check them out, while pondering the mantra, "Transformation is inevitable."

Much of what today is considered normal psychic or spiritual experience by ordinary people would be deemed insanity by the pundits of medical science. AQUARIUS (Jan. 19-Feb. 18) pretty much holds the patent on psychological eccentricity, but I would guess that the subtle (or perhaps not-so-subtle) changes that have washed over you lately may, at times, be leaving you questioning the nature of reality. Remember that what we call "reality" is really an agreed-upon framework of ideas and values with very strict rules. But this is hardly functional. And when the rules start to slip and slide, it can get rather weird, even for you professionals. In these weeks, though, even your spiritual emergencies will have more the flavor of spiritual emergings.

Some unusual astrology beginning this week and lasting through the winter represents a change of focus in your life from spiritual power to the worldly power that is the next logical step. You've done your homework, PISCES (Feb. 19-Mar. 20), and endured a great many tests on the way to getting here. Now the game becomes much more subtle, and if you carelessly venture into unfamiliar territory, particularly where your career is concerned, there is an actual risk of losing your balance. On the other hand, you're now endowed with a kind of sixth sense when it comes all matters involving mundane success or people in power, if only you'll remember to use it.

THE THIRTEENTH SIGN (For the Faithful) ­ I would like to say hello to my new readers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe at the Crosswinds Weekly. Here's an up-to-the-minute message for readers at Crosswinds and everywhere else whose specialty is intellectual and political dissent: Remember that when you're making changes, even personal changes, sometimes you have to use a little dynamite. When you're working for freedom, it helps if you are really free. And when you're working for community, it really truly helps if you crawl out of your cave and test out the theory that there is power in numbers, power that would be very useful on some issue that is likely to come to a head within the next week. Stick together, and don't let anyone play games with you.

Eric Francis is a New York-based professional astrologer. For information about private readings, workshops and speaking engagements call (914) 339-3339.

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