Planet Waves for January 2000 | By Eric Francis



Illustration by Via | Studio Psycherotica

For the Faithful

Planet Waves for January 2000 | By Eric Francis

This is dedicated to Patric Walker, who had a clue.

Sign-by-Sign Technical Notes and Background
Your Key Life Transits for 2000
The River of Night

Contents Page | Horoscopes | December 1999 Monthly

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WE STAND IN THE SINGLE most prophesized-about moment in human history. Never has so much predictive energy been projected, painted, plastered, hurled, flung at the wall or spun off rolls of tabloid newsprint at an innocent season or year. The prophets of doom have had their say, they've made their cash, the world still exists, and the antichrist either has not arrived, never had a chance, or is taking lunch at the café in the Chase Manhattan Bank building.

........Yet many of us can now see that as individuals, we are indeed in some kind of unique moment, despite the fact that the nuclear warheads are not flying. Who knows, maybe they will. But I am not counting on it.

........Think of all that we did not do out of fear of catastrophe and disaster, worried that this would be the time of the apocalypse. Think of the plans and projects we put off, or the potentials we refused to explore, based on the possibility that it all might not matter anyway. To the extent that this is true, it means that fear has dominated our lives.

........But what else is new. Any honest person you talk to is going to say they deal with fear. Of course, it's better to deal with it than not deal with it, and there are only about six billion people in that category.

........One writer whose work I dug out of the university library in Freiburg, Germany last year researching the subject described "the apocalypse" as "the place of unknowing in the life of the mind." It is the little gap in knowledge, the open space of uncertainty -- about the origin of life, the true nature of death, the workings of the cosmos, and of our personal and collective destiny. Into that space, we so often project fear and the expectation of disaster -- a bad habit if there ever was one.

........But what else is there? Some say love. But love usually seems pretty scary. It brings up the fear of surrender to the beloved, or the fear of loss of the beloved. That fear usually leads to some form of deception or violence. In between all the corruption, perhaps there are a few good moments of really appreciating this amazing other.

........So, if love is going to be the opposite of fear, it looks like we have a little work to do. Perhaps instead of substituting something else, some other concept or energy in place of fear, we can attempt to embrace the idea that the beloved is simply a mystery. The same thing, in that case, would have to hold true for us. We would need to stand in the place of our own unknowing in the life of the mind; in the void of knowledge around our own reality.

........There is, in any event, much that I have to say about the planetary alignments that went into the writing of this column, but that is not for here. If nothing else, it all comes down to this: the astrology of 2000 compels us to face the mystery of existence, and to let the unknown be the unknown without packing it full of our anxieties and misunderstandings.

........Much will change in this coming year, and the White Dragon of Chinese mythology will rise up and stir the cauldron of our civilizations. Such times of foment are great moments for those who are mobile, creative and love the adventure of life. Please consider this option. For adventure is at hand, and the energies of manifestation are about to be turned loose, and require only the loving mind and the guided will, with a dash of luck, to take us to better places than we've known in the past.

-- Eric Francis
Miami Beach, Dec. 13, 1999



Aries (March 21-April 19)
With your most basic needs taken care of, and with so much complexity and adversity finally behind you, you may now turn your mind to the more subtle realms of life, love and what I can only describe as spiritual experience of the physical plane. It is time to set your goals on what you feel you must learn about the ways of this universe, a long-overdue project that has stood in the shadows of material necessity in a culture all-too-ready to deny the existence of anything beyond its own insanity. Now, more than ever, you are free to see that there is more to the world than the superficial images of life we've had branded into our minds by years of television and striving to be like everyone else. And there is a brighter and more hopeful endpoint of the journey across physical space-time than what some call death, for the path through these regions we now travel, far from being useless, contains value beyond measure and the potential for growth beyond our understanding. Your privilege is to search far beyond what is familiar, geographically and philosophically, and this golden quest upon which you are now free to embark is far more important than you suspect, no mere passing fancy. The question is where: where in the world, and where in consciousness, do you want to go? Please follow your heart.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)
How much is enough? How much money? How much security? How much fear? How much holding back who you really are for the sake of fitting in? How much of what you neither need nor want? And how little is not enough? How little freedom? How little awareness? How little faith? And finally, what quantity and quality of all these things would be exactly right? These are questions to keep under your hat, right near your brain, in this particular extended moment of transition. Whereas last year's circumstances forced you in every direction you dared to move, now choice factors in much more critically, and you will gain more from what you selectively give up than from what you acquire. I suspect you will finally come not just to realize the extent to which the values of others have been overpowering you, but actually be able to do something about it. The alchemy you strike in the coming 12 months, shaped by the sacred vessel where the chemicals of love and life are reacting, is likely to stay with you for many years to come. You will do beautifully, if you pay attention every day, and, for that matter, every night, because your dreams will have a prescient quality. Yet you are not a victim of destiny. The plan in operation is your plan, designed to bring you a much closer to the delight and mystery of dropping old notions of safety, and entering the awesome void of conscious self-creation.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)
The complexity of your charts for 2000 is matched only by the simple fact that when the time comes to take action, you'll know exactly what to do, and the world will yield under the awesome power of your intention. It's safe to say that none save you will understand your motivations or necessities, though you may look to others for subtle clues about the nature of your inner process. For while your soul is being forged in heaven even as you read these words, every meeting is an opportunity to consciously share evolutionary purpose, and to learn to instinctually trust even when your rational mind is screaming that trust is the last thing you can possibly do at such a vulnerable stage of your creation. Beware of the trap that "spirituality" is a handsomely-packaged, calm and serene process, or that advanced people will have any particular outer style, for they will wear many disguises. The unfolding of karma and authentic life purpose, and the magnificent collisions of galaxies we call relationships, are packed with mystery and contradiction. And while I doubt you'll have any shortage of erotic experiences, you have a great need to balance all of them with deep solitude to ease the birth of who you are now becoming.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You may feel compelled to come onto both people and projects like a storm in this Year of the White Dragon, among the most powerful and aggressive lunar years of the complex Chinese system. Doubtless, you have an important and meaningful agenda brewing, and one worthy of attention and deserving of success. But the agenda itself is part of the process. Write it in pencil, adjusting it repeatedly, patiently, until you feel it's reflective of the true shape of your inner thoughts. It would be far better if you allowed your goals achieve to themselves, and allow intimacy to work itself out free from your meddling. Take your gains in layers rather than in chunks, and gradually, like water, rather than all at once, like fire. Breathe life gently into your creations, assisting them in coming to life, then stand back as they take on a life of their own. No one opportunity will be your last; if you take your space and expand your territory while nobody is watching, you are less likely to encounter resistance. But also take your time, despite the intense pressure that outer world may seem to exert upon you. For in truth, you are the one initiating the real changes, and what you see around you are merely effects of less important causes. Last, I caution you that self-assessment is risky. We always tend to underestimate our real worth, while over-estimating what we can accomplish. You need do neither.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)
There are few Leos for whom life has been a simple highway lately, yet few who will fail to reflect on these as the very years that saved their lives from the mental and emotional drudgery that you probably had no idea was setting in. Born under the sign of the Sun itself, you work with different reference points than we who use the orbiting planets, so it is more or less impossible for anyone else to know what's really going on in there. But just between us, there is a very good reason for all the tests of the past 24 months, and excellent reasons why there's been so little you could depend upon except yourself. Whether your life has been blighted by loneliness and disaster, or whether you have felt the rapidly increasing vibrations of the evolutionary impulse, your progress is irreversible. Yet your charge is still to risk changing every day; to dare believing something different, yet something of your own creation, not the scary folklore passed down to you from the past. A calling toward moral leadership is perhaps the most dramatic theme of the seasons ahead. Yet if you feel it is your destiny to constantly assist others with remembering they are alive, it is only because you need to be reminded of this yourself. And though you will help many in the process, and though at times you seem to light the world with but a fraction of your energy, your necessity, as I view it, remains maintaining an internal frame of reference -- setting the controls for the heart of the Sun.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Karma is the law of cause and effect. But if people and the planet seem to be trapped in their karma, particularly in relationships and emotional patterns, it is probably because the concept of dharma, or evolutionary action, is missing from our conceptual lexicon. We live in a time in which 'right' and 'wrong' are seen as relative, and thus where 'right action' is a questionable concept. But without dharma, karma is meaningless, a kind of moot point. Yet between cause and effect, between past and present, between purpose and action, between a problem and its resolution, is the Now, which, writes Martin Schulman, "Is an extremely delicate state of consciousness; difficult to achieve and easy to lose. It is the pure essence of what astrology tries to reach." Now the Now takes on a totally different meaning for you: oddly, it involves monitoring what you are feeling in this moment about the immediate state of your relationship to the past. What you will likely discover is that the past is a whole new past. It is not the one you thought you lived. This is not merely a matter of perspective; something really is changing, and your present sense of safety, grounding and love, and what you call home and why, will all change with it. Observe your emotional aspect with constant care, even if what you're observing feels like chaos; stay with it, and the true message will emerge. By learning the art of speaking what you feel in the moment, difficult though it may be for you who are suspect of the fleeting nature of emotion, you will see that expression and perception are closely related; for as we express ourselves, our perceptions change and evolve -- as well they must.

Libra (Sep. 23-Oct. 22)
Well, you've got a few amazing things coming to you, baby. I mean Je-sus, I mean, Kee-rist (my good buddy...). Are you ready? Could it be possible? Do you deserve it? Is it safe? Is it really okay to really LIVE, and live close to the edge? Yes, yes, yes... at this point, doubt is utterly useless. Let me give you a couple of legitimate things to worry about so you can stop worrying about the other stuff, and make the most of the strange and wonderful circumstances that are coming. I'll put it this way. What if you inherited a billion dollars? Would you feel any sense of obligation to live the way the person who died had lived, or wanted you to live? If they were frugal and never enjoyed life, could you buy yourself a sailboat and decorate your house with all your favorite art? Of course you could. This is how you need to think about the coming seasons: as an inheritance you can do anything you want with. Remember, though, while you will have so much available, your tendency will be to stand in the shadows of what all these other people with their other interests want you to be. But you have your own ideas, and some of them are very new ideas, and radical ones, and they are based on conceptions of reality that might raise a few eyebrows. But you've got what it takes to play the funny game of holding everyone, no matter whom, as your equal, and laughing in the face of all control dramas.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Relationships are the framework of reality, the primary experiences through which we learn and grow in this world of duality. You are now living in the land of the giants. Some are competitors; others are colleagues; perhaps one or more are your intimate partners who may seem to morph into demigods or daemons before your eyes. But think not for a single moment that you aren't a fair match. What you may lack in brute strength you compensate for in intelligence, instinct, and Lord knows, tempering experiences which have made it nigh impossible to lie to you, and reasonably certain you won't ever lie to yourself -- or not like before. Move from absolute center, from the still point of your consciousness, and you will act with precision that leaves people wondering whether you're tapping their telephones. With the many miles of your awesome journey encoded in your DNA, today's chances count for twenty times what yesterday's were worth, so there is no point regretting lost opportunity. But speaking of worth, there may come that moment when you look at it all and wonder, What is the point? For have not your very seriousness, intensity and sense of duty blinded you to simpler joys, and deafened you to the sound of voices that speak gently, and sing a soft, clear melody? At that reckoning, remember that the power of decision is all your own, and your only real freedom.

Sagittarius (Nov. 23-Dec. 21)
If ever you've wanted the chance to "get real," then get ready. If astrology and all its logic-blasting, mind-bending synchronicities means anything at all, you will now find the opportunity you seek to authentically live the self you always thought you were. And who is this person? Look closely. Examine your history, and the history of your ideas, for clues. Perhaps seek guidance from one much older than you, whom you are confident loves you and supports all your potential. To dare means leaving behind boredom for a sense of how vital this particular moment is, for you, for our culture, and where the two come together. Chiron transiting your sign will give you a chance to see how much progress you really have made in recent years, and will point the way to great strength if you put your mistakes to work for you as sources of power. Though your sign is often accused of possessing a kind of vagueness of purpose thinly disguised as "eclectic interest," it is your evolutionary purpose to live with determination and focus, aware of philosophical meaning that is most unfamiliar in this world. To possess this gift means leaving behind restlessness, and remembering that boredom is a form of sleep. But the dawn has come. Destiny is calling.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
If I were a palm reader, I would start by saying that you will soon have many children, and that this is a better year than most to get married. If I were a psychometrist, I would hold your favorite writing or drawing pen and describe the frustration I felt about your desire to go beyond the limits of what you can create or express, and also relate the stronger sense I was feeling of your determination to push away the inner structures that have settled into your psyche in recent years. But as your astrologer, I would coax you into experimenting with the possibility that your mind gives birth to beautiful ideas, and that these ideas deserve life and love. As a writer, I know the yearning for creation, to spawn my ideas in the world, and I also know the terror of inner and outer blankness that sometimes precedes the creative process. But I assure you, inspiration will come from the strangest places, as will the courage to take your first steps. The universe is inherently creative, and this is our inevitable mission. The only question is what we choose to create. Oh, and I found this little scrap of something on my computer: "Knowledge is based on the past. Intelligence exists in the present. No one could foresee this moment. It was neither predicted nor anticipated. Intelligence has a living, momentary quality. Ask for special guidance at the juncture of every choice, and in the every birthing of every idea, and it will be yours."

Aquarius (Jan. 19-Feb. 18)
As a journalist, I am trained to stand in the sidelines of life and observe its events. But as a person, I have taught myself to enter life as fully as possible and participate directly. For many years, I struggled with this division between person and journalist, often getting directly involved in the events of my stories, at times feeling guilty about it, at times being accused of "lack of objectivity" while knowing objectivity is impossible, and yet at other times feeling like I was just pretending to be alive in the times I was merely a writer/observer. This kind of crisis is typically Aquarian, for it is often the way of this archetype to detach and observe, while craving real emotional contact, participation and surrender to the events of life. If you live fully but feel you are "missing something," that is a big clue. Several years ago, I received the Indian sacrament of Darsan (pronounced 'darshan') from Ammachi, a sage who is viewed with the respect of an enlightened master by her culture and her followers. I went as a seeker, but as a journalist I am always in observation mode as well, and ready to tell the story. The long evening culminated in a marriage, and I went back inside to watch the ceremony. The couple was wed, the orchestra of swamis and disciples raised the strange Eastern music to a thundering, joyous climax, the packed crowd swirled in a circle, and Ms. Ammachi stood in her sweet, childlike majesty and tossed pounds of blessed flower petals onto the mass of people. The Hindus sure put on an amazing show! I stood next to the stage, at the dividing line "the event itself" and "those experiencing it" where I like to hang out. It was there, in that moment, that the internal wall within me burst open. I was moved to a flood of tears, at once seeing and being, watching and engaging, knowing and believing, all with total freedom and trust in myself; and in an instant knew that I was now free to live fully, at once, as participant and fully as observer, and that I could now observe as one directly involved and report my findings to the human race. In the year to come, my Aquarian cousin, you may feel like you're at the last stand between two colliding systems of thought or belief. They have been in an uncomfortable war for some time, and it is a war against yourself. What you are really trying to do is find a way to make them both real at once. Many say it cannot be done. It is possible, as long as you remember that you don't have to sacrifice one or the other aspect of who you really are in order to be a real person; or rather, that you don't have to sacrifice anything.

Pisces (Feb. 19-Mar. 20)
Rare aspects around your professional life are so strong, supported by ideas so solid, this can only point to some strange new version of worldly success. Much that you've envisioned and dreamed of for so long now has the potential to become tangible reality, with the power to endure and bear fruit for years. With any luck, the planets and your own marvelous sense of what is right for you have guided you toward mindfulness of the bigger picture. Hopefully in these years, you've learned to dream a little, because these dreams are the food and fuel of life; they literally create the scenes which we live and into which existence unfolds. And it is never too late to start. But I remind you now that your achievements, gains or miracles of communication in the outer world must be balanced perhaps on a scale of 2:1 with attention to your inner regions and karmic workings-out. Though you're no stranger to these realms, it's also true that when activity of your outer life becomes compelling, it's easy and risky to lose your center. Inner focus may seem pointless at times, requiring great discipline; but it promises protection and peace of mind, it will fund your work in the world of ideas and events; and will grant beautiful opportunities to get closer to people in your life. But remember that in this delicate process of coming to know others, there is a difference between being gutsy and being trusting. Trust will build gradually if you remember that what is so natural to you may be quite unfamiliar to close partners, and something they must learn in their own mysterious ways. ++

Sign-by-Sign Technical Notes and Background
Your Key Life Transits for 2000
The River of Night

Contents Page | Horoscopes | December 1999 Monthly

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