Planet Waves for January 2000 | Technical Notes and Background


Sign-by-SignTechnical Notes and Background

By Eric Francis | Planet Waves for January 2000

For the Faithful: January 2000 Horoscopes
Your Key Life Transits for 2000
The River of Night

Contents Page | Horoscopes | December 1999 Monthly



.......These entries provide some background on the January 2000 horoscope, including thoughts that did not make it into the final draft, or were probably too complex or pompous to include for mass-market publication. They provide some of my astrological thinking, as well as a bit more depth on the themes included in the Planet Waves January monthly horoscope column. In all, they should help confuse matters and encourage everyone to stick to Tarot cards.
.......Astrologers who write sun sign columns typically don't expound on the meaning of their interpretations. The whole thing is very tenuous and based on too many presumptions, and the fact of not knowing my readers' rising signs makes me swallow a belch about twice a week. But if this sun sign astrology thing works at all, it reveals something else about astrology that its (that is, sun sign column) detractors are either not noticing, or noticing in the more 'legitimate' forms of stargazing but not connecting to horoscope columns. Tons of professional astrologers just think that sun sign (newspaper) astrology is just a terrible thing. But they must have missed the days when people would set up a shrine in the beauty parlor for the New York Post so everyone could read Patric Walker's column without needing to fish through the newspaper.
.......All of astrology is based on synchronicity. So that factor cannot be extracted from the equation, and it is even more enhanced when you have so little else to go on. The way I view this is that writing the column is a kind of game -- I put something in a certain slot each week, for example, for Gemini. Then a bunch of people who think of themselves as Geminis show up there to read something. It is a message. The message says something I really feel, and people come to the column with a spirit of really seeking. That is the magic combination. I have not had the guts to write the column and then scramble the signs around before printing it. I am full of all kinds of ideas for experimenting in life, but that would be my limit.
.......The blurbs below are not complete discussions. I have not written about all the factors I considered, and I don't consider them all -- there are too many, and I was working within time constraints. But astrology, being holographic, tends to say the same thing over and over again. Many times I miss an important factor, then discover it and notice how it supports what I found elsewhere. When charts start saying the same thing over and over again, you're on the trail.
.......Mostly, in this piece, I am working with the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Taurus, the Chiron-Pluto conjunction in Sagittarius, and the effects of last years's grand cross and total solar eclipse in Leo, as well as the highly unusual four solar eclipses in 2000. Other factors are mentioned here and there, such as the three Mercury retrogrades in the water signs, and the absence of Venus and Mars retrogrades through 2000. .I give a huge speech about Taurus and Sagittarius in The River of Night, but that still is not conclusive -- it just points to a need for awareness and advocates the utter confusion out of which astrological insights emerge, and which philosophy professors think is too bizarre for comment.
.......Also, I have been carefully tracking the old Space Shuttle booster rocket that is currently retrograde in Pisces, as well as Neal Armstrong's lunch box that went flying when Apollo 11 jettisoned the third stage back in 1969, which is having a party over in Leo.
.......To get the most out of astrology, it's important to have access to your real birth chart, with Chiron and at least the four major asteroids included so you know your ascendant and natal Chiron position and those of Ceres, Pallas, Vesta and Juno -- hot planets all. In addition, it would be, like, intelligent to start off knowing where Pholus and Nessus are in your chart as well. These are a couple of extra Chiron-like planets that tell a lot about something. If this sounds like a lot of planets, don't worry -- brains like Martha Westcott read 500 asteroids and fret that they're skimping on the details.
.......For the astrologically curious, or those of you going through trials and tribulations that demand answers from the universe NOW, there is much more specific information in the Key Life Passages section. In a month or so I will get to the Year of the Dragon, which starts in February. For that, I am collecting fortune cookies and Chinese place-mats.
.......In case you don't do so already, it makes just as much sense to read your rising sign in a newspaper horoscope as it does to read your sun sign. All the 'house placements' alluded to in newspaper horoscopes work better for the rising than the sun sign. But the sun sign contains all the personality prejudices that newspaper astrologers use to work their tricks... and are the reference points, the 'artificial horizon', for something called the solar house system, which just involves counting off signs from the sun and pretending those are houses. Don't ask, it seems to work.
.......To get a copy of your birth chart, contact Dave at the Astrology Center of America through this link: or use (800) 475-2272. Charts are cheap, about $5 each. While you're at it, Dave can also set you up with any astrology book you're looking for. For beginners I recommend Martin Schulman's books, especially his short book on the ascendant; plus Isabel Hickey's Astrology: A Cosmic Science, and Steve Forrest's The Inner Sky.
.......For more book recommendations, please see Chirotica on Planet Waves. If you are studying astrology it is important to have an ephemeris and a good astrology dictionary so that you won't be stumped by what words or concepts mean. I recommend the Arkana Dictionary of Astrology and the American Ephemeris of the 20th Century, or 21st Century, which includes Chiron's position monthly.

.......Enjoy the ride!!


ARIES (March 21-April 19)
The Jupiter-Saturn conjunction occurs in your 2nd solar house, suggesting a time relatively free from shortages and rich in resources, and a major shift in consciousness around these themes in your life. Meanwhile, the Chiron-Pluto conjunction occurs in the 9th house of the soul or Higher Self. Here we have a simultaneous evolutionary step on the themes of self-worth and material security through the expansion of personal wealth, shown by all the activity in the 2nd; and the 9th house expressing a theme of a golden quest, through the activation of Pluto by Chiron. There is no Mars retrograde this year, and the 1999 Mars retrograde in Scorpio, for Aries, was significant of a deep and perhaps painful working out of issues around sex, control and money, revealing many of the other sides of Mars perhaps unfamiliar to Aries consciousness. The Aug. 11, 1999 eclipse, which closely coincided with the long Mars retrograde in Scorpio, and included a direct opposition of Mars to Saturn, represented a test of will and of all values and confidence so far acquired in this lifetime. No matter how poorly anyone thought they did in this test, we all passed; we survived; we all learned from the confrontation, and for Aries, this is signified by being less daunted by those who seem powerful and stable, and a release from the dark regions of transformation to the world, to entering the liberated realms of Sagittarius.

TAURUS (April 20-May 20)
The amazing May 3 lineup in Taurus dominates your year, like the rest of us, representing a huge reassessment of values, as ruled by this sign, and rethinking your sense of self-worth and self-possession which will make your earlier revelations on this theme seem like a kind of mockery. But in the solar 8th house, over in Sagittarius, the conjunction of Chiron and Pluto represents an important exposé of how the values of others have dominated your life for so long, particularly religious, educational and sexual values that have largely served to make you feel inferior to other people. You are no longer this easy to intimidate. People's control agendas will be much more transparent to you because Pluto, co-ruler of your house of relationships, is so strongly under the influence of highly-aware Chiron. Last year's solar eclipse and grand cross in the fixed signs represented many circumstances outside of your control, and a variety of enforced changes to which you're now just getting accustomed. But with Venus moving steadily through the heavens for many months, and the final stand-off between Saturn and Uranus occurring mid-year profoundly affecting your professional life, you are holding many aces and wildcards. The theme of prescience is indicated by a sudden influx of many plants from your solar 12th to your solar 1st houses (Aries to Taurus).

GEMINI (May 21-June 20)
Three factors play into this interpretation. The May 3 Taurus lineup occurs in the solar 12th house, the strange transpersonal region of the horoscope where there are really no borders or definitions (it is the house of dreams). The 12th is what the Vedic astrologers say is the house of "pleasures of the bed," (their Western counterparts have not figured this out yet, though consider the cosmic quality of sex at dawn, when the sun is moving through this particular house). This kind of energy means a likelihood of sexual encounters of a mystical nature. But with whom? Activating the 7th house, where we typically meet The Other face-to-face, is the Chiron-Pluto conjunction, indicating the presence of individuals with impact, intense people, strange people, advanced people and some to stay away from, though all sharing important evolutionary purposes, and all of them calling the Gemini soul deeper into perself. But the real clue, important for Virgo as well, is that Gemini ruler Mercury's three retrogrades in 2000 occur in the water signs, signifying deep emotional-intuitive processes, a surrender of rationality, the need for deep inner reflection, examination of the past and past feelings, with the potential for much of it to finally surface.

CANCER (June 21-July 22)
The Moon eclipses the Sun four times this year rather than the usual two, but they are less dramatic eclipses than, say, last year's total solar eclipse in Leo. Suggesting great impact by the Yin powers upon the Yang, this will only be possible if there is a layering process, and the timing suggests a need to pace yourself. Though be aware that the tempo of life will undoubtedly pick up around your birthday, when two of the eclipses occur, and they shift to the Cancer-Capricorn axis for the first time in eight years. Water works its magic gradually, but more thoroughly and with greater endurance than any of the other elements. There is all but a guarantee of worldly success, as the Taurus lineup occurs in your solar 11th house, where community recognition, public impact and reward for what you have achieved are granted. In personal relationships, the long presence of Mercury in the water signs is a reminder of the need for gently, penetrating communication rather than blowing people's doors off with your intensity. Since you seek the security of real intimacy rather than the illusion of love and temporary happiness, it will be necessary to depend on consistency, to ask questions when appropriate and to answer questions patiently as you would have them answered. Choose the settings for love scenes carefully. And in particular for Cancer rising, choose your lovers very, very carefully. Get to know people. Learn their histories, ask questions, listen to the answers, and follow your intuition.

LEO (July 23-Aug. 22)
Leo has been under the influence of solar eclipses in its own sign for the first time in twenty years, an extremely rare phenomenon, as solar eclipses generally visit the signs once every eight years. Far from being a merely symbolic astrological statement, we have here a picture of what may be total disruption of whatever process was long in place before the late summer 1998. Given the stability most of Leos, this total shift may not be apparent yet, though when all the individual changes are accounted for and the dots on the graph are connected by a line, a more clear picture will begin to emerge. And the changes are not over. There is still one last solar eclipse in Leo for this go-round. But 2000's eclipses of the Sun in Cancer, Capricorn and Aquarius factor into the picture as well, and are suggestive of a major reassessment of values around the relationship with Goddess/God (Capricorn in the solar 12th house), work and health (Cancer in the 6th solar house), and interpersonal relationships plus how you view yourself in the world (Aquarius in the solar 7th house). With major activity in the 10th solar house -- specifically that Taurus lineup in May, suggesting the potential for a major career advancement and what I called "moral leadership" -- and Chiron conjoining Pluto in the solar 5th house of daring to take risks, it seems that overall the necessity is to dare to believe in yourself, and to set your sights within rather in the world without.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Often astrology says the same thing over and over again. A good astrologer could cut a chart into ten pieces, pick one and do a fairly accurate reading from just the fragment. The message for Virgo comes from two factors, one being 2000's three retrogrades of Mercury in the water signs, steeping this rather mentally crisp archetype of thoughts and ideas into the healing waters of the emotional worlds. The retrograde indicates unusually long visits to these signs, and highlights the relationship to your past history; the watery stuff is a pure blessing, which will, if navigated gently and with awareness, pour forth true intimacy born of an understanding that can only be described as "simpatico" (for this beautiful word, I will send you to the dictionary). But the Chiron to Pluto conjunction in the watery solar 4th house redoubles this whole message. The past and its impacts on the present are of vital necessity to feel and absorb, so that the emotional body can finally be cleared, and the present entered with full awareness and without the burdens of unresolved history from years and decades ago. This is one of the most sensitive times in your life. Many of you are going through Pluto square Sun, and/or Chiron square Sun, both of which will serve to heighten your awareness, focus your personal power, and compel growth in ways you never thought possible -- and perhaps never suspected necessary.

LIBRA (Sep. 23-Oct. 22)
Your 8th solar house, where all those planets come together in Taurus, is the house of inheritance, and Taurus is surely stuff of value -- but the 8th is also the house of control, and Saturn is there, all fixed and full of itself, giving the impression that you're not the one who has any of this supposedly precious commodity. Yet resources are available to you, in the form of loans, grants, inheritances, windfalls or whatever form universal wealth comes in. But in our culture, there are usually all kinds of strings attached. Keep a sharp pair or scissors in your pocket at all times, and snip, snip, snip. Others are the ones who need to do the surrendering, changing and releasing, including of their notions of value, of right and wrong and of tradition, and you are the one who needs to stick to your ideas and your vital sense of self-possession. The idea part will be easy, for with Chiron and Pluto stirring up your third house, you will be a blazing furnace of brilliance, ideas and so on. But in terms of self-possession, well, that could get eaten alive by the overpowering presence, the sexual vibes, and again, values of others. So stoke your vault, use your ideas, don the attitude that the world needs you, and always remember, in the immortal words of Mistress Tarcy, "Masturbation is the hottest form of sex."

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Few understand the nature of Scorpionic struggle during the decade that now passing into the foggy ruins of time. I am grateful that there are some of you who have not suffered devastation and the sundering of so much that you held so dear, or wounds that seemed to heal with terrible slowness compared to the speed which they were inflicted. That you were in some way part of this process of injury may have provided cause for having an unforgiving attitude toward yourself, and this has not aided your healing in the least. I would encourage you to drop it, let it go, forgive yourself for all that has happened, finally and for good. These struggles, though they were not just struggles, have involved the transits of Pluto through Scorpio, which ended after a dozen or so years in 1995 and ravaged much of the 1960s generation with AIDS and its attendant terrors; and more recently Chiron, which served both to fix much of the other damage caused by Pluto, and yet also call awareness to how much work was left undone, and, somehow, to a ray of hope. But the miraculous conjunction of Chiron to Pluto on Dec. 30 and 31 in Sagittarius, your 2nd solar house of what you value about yourself, represents the completion of this long struggle, and, thankfully, the beginning of something far more conscious; far better.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 23-Dec. 21)
Visionary Sagittarius needs solid foundations upon which to build its dreams. If I had to guess, I would imagine many of you seek out Earth-sign counterparts to create this sense of solidity in your life. Yet several factors suggest that you are ready to firm up your inner realities while getting serious about the extent to which you want your dreams to be real. As your ruler, Jupiter, meets firm and unfailing Saturn in solid, stubborn and materially conscious Taurus, your life promises to take on a new stability. Pluto has been transiting Sagittarius for several years, and particularly for births between 1971 and 1976, and those of you born in the first ten days of your sign, your ideals may have been shredded by what seem like forces outside your control. It is time to let your mind be free once again, and it is now possible that freedom becomes something more than a concept. Chiron, with its undeniable Sagittarian resonance, is calling you on the quest of your lifetime. Events in the coming year or two will point the way, with the single-minded determination of the arrow symbolic of your breed, toward a life that is greater and more meaningful that you ever imagined, and certainly than the past has so far provided evidence is possible in this world.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)
I have always been fascinated by Capricorns, even since I was a kid. And I think as I grew older, and then began to understand astrology a bit, I have perceived Capricorn as needing something that I have (being a Pisces), since Earth indeed needs water to give forth life. Whatever that something is, it appears that Capricorns are in for a bunch of it this year. Saturn, Cap's ruling planet, is currently transiting your 5th solar house. Now, Saturn in the 5th is not something astrologers would typically take as an occasion to dance around on top of their desks, but there is a process in the works. Taurus is earthy. It is rich and fertile and, actually, not a bad place for Saturn to be hanging around. But add to that all the water you can imagine, in the form of Jupiter joining Saturn there in the spring (when all things start to grow up here in the Northern Hemisphere), and the result will be full expression of the creative and fertile potential of the 5th house. Many more planets join the party: the Sun and Moon and Venus (Venus being one of the esoteric rulers of Capricorn), so you can count on a kind of daring fecundity of your mind and spirit. But more amazing, I think, is what happens when there is such intense energy coming from the 12th, in the form of Chiron and Pluto in Sagittarius, stirring to life what is clearly the most mystical and luscious zone of Earth reality, that after-dawn space where there is no time, there are no borders, and all is chaos, dreams and inspiration. You will be inclined to live in close proximity to the abyss. This alone will feed your dreams.

AQUARIUS (Jan. 19-Feb. 18)
I struggled with the Aquarius 2000 entry perhaps more than with any other horoscope ever. My friend Michael, a student of Ammachi who helped me with the facts in the successful take, said, "Sounds pretty Aquarian to me!" The technotes following below include much of the text of the original edition. Following that is the entire out-take of the prior version.
.......Aquarius is often mistaken for a water sign. It would be very nice if that were true. Located near the constellations Southern Fish, the Dolphin, Pisceus, Hydra (the water-serpent) and Capricorn (the goat-fish), plus a sea-monster in there somewhere, you stand at the shores of Eridanus, the great River of Night, from which all life springs. Could there be some subtle message here? And could mighty Neptune's journey across your sign in these years be adding emphasis? Surrounded by water, bearing water and deeply in need of learning the ways of water, Aquarius is co-ruled by distinctly un-watery Saturn and electrical Uranus. Too often, astrologers forget the original Saturn rulership of this sign, which accounts for many of its deeper properties, particularly its fixity. Saturn is now approaching its third square of Uranus; these two energy systems represent thought forms within you that are in an ongoing collision, and you cannot coexist in this kind of tension for long. Even the kindest and most humanitarian astrologers note that intellectual superiority and aloof emotional responses are typical of your sign (and my moon sign), but we all can agree that the world and its higher-minded people are, thankfully, in evolutionary processes. You are well-poised to learn that it is possible to change your mind with grace and ease, and that by feeling, you will gain depth and immediacy to your intelligence, and lose nothing.
AQUARIUS, complete out-take of second draft, for Jan. 2000.
.......My understanding of the Aquarius condition clicked a couple of weeks ago when I was corresponding with an author and psychotherapist who has assured me that my real life work would begin when I gave up astrology and mysticism, took some training with him, and got my head straight. I wrote back, "To proceed with you in any way I would need to have a visceral sense of where our meeting place is, and an idea that you are in some way mutable in your ideas rather than fixed... We would need to meet in a place where we agreed that we were both capable of changing our views, not just your views solving the 'crisis' of my views." I see this stand-off as occurring with in you, my Aquarian cousin. You now approach the final stand between two irreconcilable thought systems that are no longer able to coexist within you. One is based on pure tradition. The other is based on freedom and innovation. Which do you identify more closely with? Are the two in communication? It would be a good idea. The weight of the past has become more than you can safely bear, and the promise of the future more than you can sanely resist. This requires that you seek faith, not strive for proof. When you work to change the world, make an adjustment within. For every statement you utter, ask yourself one question. When you're tempted to supervise from the sidelines, try doing it. For everything you doubt, consider one unlikely thing that has miraculously come to be.

PISCES (Feb. 19-Mar. 20)
Chiron in Sagittarius conjoins Pluto in the 10th house of reputation and worldly affairs, activating real results from the long process of Pluto's excursion through this realm, which began in the mid-90s. This transit got fully underway the weekend that Patric Walker's final daily horoscope column appeared in newspapers around the world. His last message to Pisces before leaving the physical plane, obviously keyed to Pluto's imminent entry into Sagittarius, was a reminder that, "You will shine in your chosen field." The emphasis is on chosen; and now, with Chiron lighting your midheaven, is another great opportunity to make intelligent decisions relating to your profession. Yet at times of worldly success, inner focus is essential, or the power source will be lost, or lost to confusion. Approached with the right attitude and a bit of discipline, such focus will be both easy and fruitful in these seasons, lacking the solitude of some past years. Mercury's three retrogrades in the water signs signify both inner awareness and the emotional process of close partners (represented by Mercury, ruler of your opposite sign Virgo), with whom you will very likely share unusual resonance. Though in these times, when intimacy beckons, it's wise to remember that relationships are the meeting of two people, not the merging of one, and this, too, will support your important worldly mission by encouraging your long-sought-after emotional independence.++

For the Faithful: January 2000 Horoscopes
Your Key Life Transits for 2000
The River of Night

Contents Page | Horoscopes | December 1999 Monthly

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