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By Eric Francis | Friday, Oct. 15, 1999

Copyright ©1999 by Planet Waves Digital Media, all rights reserved.
Photo below by Maria Henzler in Sts. Maries de la Mere.

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ARIES (March 21-April 19)
What a difference a week can make. (In the old days, the expression was something like, "What a difference a year makes." But with celestial speedup doing its thing, there really is no telling how long a week is, or how short, or some dimension in between.) The difference this particular week, I reckon, will be about crossing a threshold between seeing that ideas are important but alone not enough; and that tangible action in this world is vital to what I will simply call success, but meaningless without well-thought-out ideas to back it up. In the end, though, morality is a figment of the imagination, based on past mistakes, hypotheticals and unknowns. In the pondering, decisions are rarely simple. In action, though, they must be.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
I hope and pray that a lot of 1960s kids -- Gen X'ers, as Madison Avenue has you dubbed -- read this column, because you are in for some raging weeks of psychedelic possibilities. Even the mature, the elder and the very young of the Tauran tribe are likely to notice that something free and sweet is in the air, yet in a way reminiscent of those strange and all-but-forgotten years of clashing values and spontaneous enlightenment, the light is fueled by a wick that dips into the bleak unknown; yet by the transformative power of the human spirit, it illuminates this world in a way that few people understand. Simply stated, you have the power to turn any emotion into pure joy. Lead the way. [Note: For a discussion of Generation X issues, see "Generation X" in Options to Romance, the sex glossary.]

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
In most, if not all, of your dealings with people for the coming week or so, you're likely to be the one who has the more accurate clue as to what is going on. Hear people out. Listen to where they're coming from. But don't be swayed by anyone's rigidity or seemingly unshakable stance. Listen to yourself. Lest you think your mind is veering down some avenues of strange possibility, or seeing only shadows when there is so much light; or if you become acutely aware of the many layers of desire, or doubt you're picking up telepathically on the thoughts and feelings of others, or question whether these seemingly brilliant ideas that have just been showing up in your mind are going to get you anywhere... just pay attention. It's all true.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
It's that time of the month again: Time for the Work Therapy session. As with other kinds of therapy, this is less an end in itself and more a means to an end. It's important that you not think of your work in terms of profit or productivity, but rather as a meditation on quality. It's especially true in those seemingly mundane tasks -- everything from mopping to going through old paperwork. You know the therapy is working when you start a distasteful project and notice that an hour or three have gone by in what feels like five minutes. And you will really know it's working when you make six or seven key discoveries (in the trash, for instance) that serve you very well in your professional dealings next week.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
It would serve you well to seek understanding about how much of your current situation has very little to do with yourself, and how much it has to do with your parents. New Age psychology, in its obsessive quest for the individual taking ultimate and total responsibility for his or her own present manifestation, has lost sight of a simple fact: We are descended from many generations of people who spent most of their time suffering, worrying and surviving. Among your predecessors, you are a bold heart, and stand in a relatively free and clear place. To take that freedom, you will need to squarely deal with the fears they laid on you.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Clear and distinct feminine energy is a rarity in Western astrology, as it is in the Western world, where God is a man and the President is a guy and the good old boys control everything from The Arts to The Banks. Yet Goddess is now upon you in all Her glory, and She is calling you deeper into what must be your ultimate identity. Emotion is a mysterious language of codes, and it is through following each such current of feeling into yourself, undeceived by outer appearances, unswayed by memories of pain, that you will be drawn to a place within you where there are no bounds, and where you know you are love.

LIBRA (Sep. 23-Oct. 22)
Consciousness functions on many levels. In the waking world we strive to be better people, work for integrity and understanding, and seek to go beyond our limits. But in the subconscious universe, other factors are at play, including our hidden beliefs and values, primal fears, even random thoughts that entered the mind of a great-grandparent or a remote ancestor generations ago. Then there are the ideas others secretly hold about us, which in fact affect us. Now is an important time to deal with such invisible regions of your reality. Pay attention to your dreams. Listen to the drifting voices of your imagination. Scan the early morning horizons.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
If making the right decision requires that you really know what you want, then a delay is probably in order. Your desires are likely to be very much in motion, as well as seemingly founded on solid beliefs, and yet it's one of those setups when everything and nothing seems true simultaneously. What you can't see is the extent to which you are working with limited ideas about what is so, though the (outer) form of the limitation is likely to be something like lack of cooperation or actual, visible obstacles in your path. You can't do much about those, but you can afford to pause, and you cannot afford to bang your head on hard objects.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21)
Somehow you may have gotten the idea that your convictions are your strongest asset, and from my point of view this appears quite true. But you have not seen anything yet. From this moment on, the best Galactic wisdom I can offer is to be true to your own cause. Identify that which you are seeking, name your quest, and go for it. Humans are so often creatures whose reality is dominated by inner conflict. But I assure you that in your life at this time, such is a kind of joke. Please don't forget to laugh.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
If I have been doing my job for you, my commentaries of recent weeks have addressed the nature of fear. We must be ever-mindful of the extent to which so many of the fears on which we spend so much of our precious time and life energy are utterly baseless. Together, if you imagine so many afraid people walking the planet, you can see fear as a force that drains away the collective light of humanity into an abyss of darkness. And yet fear is so difficult to master, even for the wise. In the coming two weeks, you will have the opportunity to make rare observations and learn vital lessons on this important matter; that is, you will learn some very important pointers about how to be free.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 19-Feb. 18)
I imagine it's difficult for you to put your finger on just what is behind your sense that something else has entered your life this year; some other factor; some other way into reality; perhaps a thought or a belief, or a stage of maturity. It's difficult to say, is it not? There are some of you, being the strong-minded folks you are, who will be filled with doubt that any invisible force can be so meaningful. Others have barely noticed a difference, though many subtle changes have come into their lives. But for the conscious: you may finally allow your old beliefs to soften, and allow something true and gentle that I can only describe as faith to take their place.

PISCES (Feb. 19-Mar. 20)
There have been many false starts in love for you this year. Delays, doubts, fear, sorrow and an awareness that more is unknown than is known have dominated your life in regards to some very personal matters. People have run hot and cold, and many will continue to do so. Yet open your eyes, and take heart. Look straight across your most unobstructed line of vision; look clearly ahead, face to face, eye to eye with reality, as if you are looking into a mirror. You may, if these magic astrology charts say or mean anything at all, have an opportunity to see someone long enough and clearly enough to actually say hello.

For the Faithful
I am pretty sure the most taboo subject in the world is selflove. We can discuss body fluids, indigestion, personal strife and how much we hate everyone and everything, but openly caring about ourselves is basically nix. Lip service is paid to the subject; we are reminded in hollow words to 'love ourselves'; but we can rarely get into the subject like it matters, and there are many factors conditioning us to hate ourselves, to please others and never to trust within. One is that were we to acknowledge the necessity to really act on our caring for ourselves and follow our inner guidance, we would have to make certain clear decisions that would put other people around us second. That is a fast way to trigger guilt, yet if we dare to experiment, we can see that guilt for what it is: a powerful factor given to us by others, designed to make us deny our needs, desires and ultimately, ourselves.++

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