Planet Waves | Eric Francis
Woodstock, Friday, April 16, 1999.
This is the May monthly horoscope, part one.

"The past went that-a-way. Faced with a totally new situation, we tend always to attach ourselves to the flavor of the most recent past. We look at the present through a rear-view mirror. We march backwards into the future."

--Marshall McLuhan, 1967

Planet Waves by Eric Francis, now including Centaur News Service (ISSN 1048-2202, Vol. 1, No. 1, April 16, 1999, Copyright © 1999, all rights reserved. Other copyrights may apply).

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STARS. The Aries New Moon is exact Apr. 16, 1999 at 4:22 am GMT. Mercury enters Aries Apr. 17. Venus is the evening star in the west, and Mars, which is retrograde rises a couple of hours after sunset.

ARIES (March 21-April 19)
Adbusters asks on the cover of its Spring edition, "What are the politics of boredom?" I'll tell you. The populus is addicted to television, and after a year of sheer perversion (that "scandal") mixed in with fairly regular occasional rains of terror ordered by the Commander-in-Chief. No sooner did that end than an actual full-scale war begins, and nobody seems to be batting an eyelash at the notion of ground troops (ground troops!) being sent onto the front. If you're bored, you'll likely suffer from a related disorder called being in a stupor, which will be deepened and enhanced by commercialized, glorified (and now actual, not virtual) violence and negativity. Delightful. Please don't fall for it.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
We all know Taurans are in fact stubborn at least six months out of the year, and in some of the most original ways, but that doesn't mean you have to react to Saturn in your sign as if you, I don't know, ate a bowl of epoxy and amphetamines sprinkled with concentrated Nutrasweet™. Saturn is probably crystallizing your perfectionist spirits (Virgos always get blamed for this routine, but you know) and your head must be so swirled around the finger of some sex vibe (get out the ropes!) and I am aware that you are quite aware of the looming presence of The Great Mystery of All Existence hovering near your head. But please, darling, this would be such a great time to lighten up. And with the Sun transiting your sign and this being the sweet season of your birth, it would be so easy.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Yo. There are like two ways you can go. No, three. You can spaz to the left, you can spaz to the right, or you can just turn on. Your heart is not as broken as you think (it was really your soul responding to the profound influences of a cosmic visitor) and these very days find you warming up to some great revelation along the lines of discovering just what that mysterious mechanism is whereby thought is manifested into reality. The world is an intentional place, not an accidental place, and all of your psychic and emotional circuitry are poised in the precious moment between intention and creation. Life is about to take the shape of your thoughts, so please open up and think brilliant things.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
Beware of all appearances, especially the one that says you are going too slowly or even backward. A combination of factors is creating the illusion of delay, frustration and even a strange kind of retrograde motion (your mentor the Moon never goes retrograde, but in its current and very temporary "slow" phase, it can surely seem that way). In fact, current aspects are very likely to support your aspirations, but only if you make the necessary choices to support them as well. Mars retrograde in your sympathetic water sign Scorpio reminds you to trust your deepest creative instincts. Critics, bizguys, professors, pop, mop and the crew swell with opinions, but in the end, it's the artist who makes the art in an independent act of self-creation. Right around now. Eh?

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Human radio Barbara Marciniack just beamed in some data from the Pleiadians (merry psychic self-help space folk) about the current conjunction of Uranus with the The Dragon's Tail in your mirror sign Aquarius. Say the scapegoats, this event represents the full activation of some deep information living in the human genetic code. Aquarius is our ability to live as equals, as individuals and in informal but effective groups. Uranus and Aquarius together represent radical awakening, and in your opposite sign, the message is: you're ready to relate to fully-conscious people as equals, and to have the first-mode relationship in your life be friends. And in a word: Variety. (PS, Aquarius is just as sexual as Leo, and twice as perverted).

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
New planets represent growing themes in life and in astrology, and the deeply Virgo-related Chiron (sighted 1977) is about crossing lines and creating freedom from structure. With Chiron now soaking into your solar chart, penetrating events of your life may be urging you to learn the art of thinking with your feelings and feeling with your thoughts. Ooh it is fun, but to obsessed Virgos for whom this may not be so easy, I offer three suggestions: One, ponder a difficult problem while doodling. The sketch is the solution to your problem. Two, use color to express your ideas. Three, ponder the meaning of life during a slow, tumbling orgasm.

LIBRA (Sep. 23-Oct. 22)
In one of those lovely coincidences, I flipped open an Alice Bailey book on my desk right after writing the Virgo horoscope (above). The subject selected personally for me by the universe was "advice from beyond," and the text offered some startling prospects as to the source of certain spiritual messages. For your information, I'll summarize two. One is that some messages from spirits originate from people vibing in with advanced souls now on the cusp of incarnation. (Usually we think of ghosts as "dead people")Two is that memories and skills we carry from past lives suddenly spring into memory as seemingly new skills or revelations. These are often viewed as teachings from the spirit world, when they are in fact current personal attributes.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
The last thing you're likely to be after is any kind of confrontation. Though it's clear that any friction that does arises in your life will do so purely from misunderstanding, and get this, from you misunderstanding yourself. Not other people, or someone in particular, but you yourself in some way at seeming odds with, but really just communication within, yourself. You'll need to listen to both sides of the case. Become the impartial judge of your own cause. One voice is likely to be saying some version of, "You're not good enough," and the other, "Honey, you're just fine."

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21)
I've been in the mood to browse sci-fi these days, and I happened upon the novel 2001 by Arthur C. Clark. In it, he accounts for the turn of ape-man into modern humanity to be the result of alien intervention millions of year ago, teaching the our predecessors one simple skill -- how to use a sharp rock to hunt and kill. And the power to hunt and kill made mankind dominant, and prone to laziness and excess. Whether or not outside visitors had anything to do with this advent, it seems clear that the use of violent force (for good or ill) made humans what they became, and makes us what we still are today millions of years later. Please tell us <> how you've mastered this particular struggle, and if you have any hope at all for the rest of us.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
I don't believe one-on-one relationships exist in quite the sense we (as a culture) believe they do, which is as exclusive bonds inside isolated reality-bubbles. That model is largely the illusion of something mystics call "the ego," which sees the universe as existing in relation to itself and nothing else. Notice that even the most exclusive one-on-one relationships are part of a far-reaching network of people, from friends to bosses to parents to so-called ex-partners, all of whom influence, reflect and interact with a "couple." My cosmic suggestion for these weeks is to look at the theme of connections between people -- the way it really is, not the way we wish it was.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 19-Feb. 18)
This is a great time to consider to what extent the past has any value at all. New Age religion often teaches that the past is utterly worthless, but at the moment astrology is suggesting you make your own personal investigation into the matter. It's likely to turn out that that there are certain aspects of the past you really need to get rid of, and others that you really would do quite well to develop (rather than ignore). The basis for sorting out could be something like, "Does this [information / idea / person / etc.] really assist me in my current process?

PISCES (Feb. 19-Mar. 20)
A number of factors (among them, Jupiter in Aries, Neptune in Aquarius and Pluto in early Sagittarius) suggest that it's time to take the long view on life. Sooner or later it happens, and it's an important transition into a stage of real achievement. I can offer a picture of what the long view might look like: when defining changes, attempt to plot your course within modifications and expansions of what you are now doing. There will be moments when abrupt shifts come out of nowhere, and actual revelations enter the mind of fish, but for the most part, the keyword is adapt. This will compel you to look closely at your current circumstances, take full advantage of your structure, and notice resources you might otherwise have surely missed.

Here's a special message for everyone born in the spring, summer and autumn of 1969. The Saturn Return is an astrological transit that occurs around the age of 30, and yours is now upon you. If you feel like you're being stretched on a rack, or like you're being put through tests that would dwarf those given to an astronaut-in-training, don't worry, and try not to freak -- it's normal. At the Saturn Return, genuine responsibility asserts itself. this does not need to be a crisis, but we can make it a crisis by refusing to use our imagination and put the message into use. One's real calling in life is likely to begin manifesting. And acquiring some new form of maturity is just about inevitable. Astrological wisdom teaches to make the most of your Saturn Return, recognizing that it's truly a blessing not only to be alive, but to be awake and part of your culture.

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URL of the WEEK -- An actual web page from Kosovo, this provides an insider's view of life under the bombs.

This Week's Featured Article, good enough for Page One: GE discovers the Cure for Cancer, by Eric Francis. <> Using humor, history and science to address a very sensitive and controversial issue, this article may be reprinted free by all Planet Waves member newspapers. Copyright is held by Planet Waves, ©1999 all rights reserved.

Hausfrau Hints by Maria Henzler. "Watering the Plants: how it's still done in Europe today." After taking an evening bath, let the water stand in the tub. The water will release its heat to the room as the night air cools, and the energy will not be wasted. The next morning, use it to water the plants, unless it was a bubble bath. Clean the leaves of your plants every week with a damp cloth. Fertilize every four weeks. Talk to your plants. Next Week: Mopping. Write to

Dream Tip by Joan Mazza. When you are analyzing your dreams, here are some questions to consider. Why did I have this dream now? What important message is this dream giving me? What does the dream tell me about myself? What unfinished business is the dream highlighting? What can I do to act on the message of the dream? What action might I take to complete this issue or bring it to closure? Joan Mazza, MA is author of Dreaming Your Real Self, and is online at

Man's Handbook by Mr. Ralph Higgins. Men should sweep twice a year -- but no more. Then the woman will think the man is helpful and not stubborn, and he will seem like a fully-functioning household member. But the man should never sweep more than twice per year, always at least four months apart, or the woman will take advantage of this, expecting the man to sweep the garage, basement, porch, and so on. Next week: Belching.

Pet Rock | By Stephen Bergstein

LOVE Forever Changes, 1967

The sound of Los Angeles in the 60's (Zappa, Buffalo Springfield, the Doors and Love) was darker than the sound of San Francisco, where the Airplane and the Dead preached peace and love. The music was more political in L.A., laced with cynicism. Love was the ringleader.

Like many rock critics, Eric Francis and I deem Love's Forever Changes the greatest album of all time, though for some reason it didn't "take." I surmise that's because this L.A. quintet refused to tour and the album was too psychedelic and weird even for the psychedelic era. Acoustic guitars and string instruments battle with bizarre, trippy lyrics, economical electric guitar solos and rumbling, tight drumming. Arthur Lee's voice trembles and conquers, and the result is magic: somehow this dysfunctional band got it together for one last hurrah. It all ended too soon; Lee disbanded Love after this, its third album, capping a short career which saw this multi-racial band start out as Byrds sound-alikes, later mastering mid-sixties punk before issuing this masterpiece.

Even the Beatles sometimes had a bad cut on their albums (Maxwell's Silver Hammer, She's Leaving Home, Honey Pie). No barrel scrapings here. My favorites are "The Red Telephone" and "Maybe the People Would be the Times or Between Clark and Hilldale". Telephone is an eerie one that hypnotizes the listener with strange first person references and a nightcap in which someone looks at his pals and wonders who'll be locked up next. The backing vocals make you wonder just what kind of people can make "sha la la la" sound so worrysome. Maybe the People is happier, with bossa-nova drumming, chewy horns and a gregarious Lee just happy to be alive, telling his friends not to save him a seat if he's late -- he's too busy club-hopping along the strip in L.A., where "they always play my songs." If you're not singing to this one, check your death certificate -- you may already be dead.

Love was not overtly political, but they called it as they saw it, a political statement in itself. Lee knew his world was not perfect. Legend has it he hired session pros to record this album because the band was too stoned to play, but they rejoined the group after showing remorse. Some of their songs reflected the kind of anger that later resulted in brushes with the law; today Lee is in jail, a victim of California's three-strikes-yer- out laws. Like most cult artists, Lee thought Love deserved more attention; instead, the Doors, who shared the same record label and came from the same neighborhood, sold more records even though, man for man, Love could kick the Doors' butts (though the Doors had their moments). So be it; someday some idiot will induct KISS into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame while the legacy of Love will fester in obscurity. It'll be our little secret.

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