Look Back at 2007 thru Planet Waves

The Hanged Man
"they caught a glimpse of the scene of the crucifixion"

"This is a powerful experience, and it brings home, literally, into our homes, the horror of the Iraq war in a new way. In the days surrounding Saddam's death, scores of people were killed by bombs and gunfire in Iraq, and in the end, Saddam was just one more Iraqi to give up his life that day, but the only one whose face we got to study and in it see a reflection of our own.

Anyone with a remotely vague connection with Christianity is aware they caught a glimpse of the scene of the crucifixion.

The Hanged Man is suspended, as if over an abyss. It is followed (logically) by Death, trump 13. The Death card usually means a big change of some kind is imminent, and that a point of no return is approaching. So one of the messages of The Hanged Man is that a big change is about to happen. We were sent this message the last weekend of an extremely disturbing year, as if to sum up all that we have lived through, and to remind us of all we have ignored."

Planet Waves Weekly
The Hanged Man
Brussels, Friday, January 5, 2007

The President's Speech (About Iran)
Photo: Iran Dept. of Tourism
"it was about Iran"

The gestalt of the chart states this straight away: most of this chart is below the horizon; what is really happening is below the boards.

The hidden agenda, simply, was that this speech was not about Iraq: it was about Iran. It is true that Iran is barely mentioned, but it's mentioned in one very important context, nuclear weapons. In addition, he also mentioned Syria as a threat.

Bush is admitting, and the 5th house of this chart is confirming, that a very large chance was taken, and is being taken -- and that the outcome might not be good. What, though, does he mean by a disaster? How big of a disaster? Note that Mars and Pluto are conjunct on the Galactic Core. The Core grants insight and a measure of temporary transparency. It is like a spiritual light you cannot look into for so long, or an insight that you forget unless you write it down. We had best remember.

Planet Waves Weekly
The President's Speech (About Iran)
Brussels, Friday, January 12, 2007

"a leader stuck in the past"

The Moon in Aries is a good representation of the American people. The Moon is the public and Aries has a wonderful, endearing gullibility that is fun to play with; you can tell an Aries the same joke 20 times, and they will laugh every time, like a little kid. But this Moon is not laughing. The Moon, which represents mothers as well as the public, is feeling burned -- square Mars in Capricorn -- burned by the government, and thinking of war and death, and its children.

Saturn can always be used as a stand-in for the government or the chief, regardless of how the houses fall. Retrograde in Leo, we have an image of pride turned on itself; a leader stuck in the past, and ideas about the past. Retrograde Saturn is not what you could call forthcoming. In the 12th, moreover, we have the image of someone whose motives we must not take for granted, and which are far-reaching because the 12th is always bigger than you can conceive of. Also, the 12th is slippery. Everyone should keep a little pouch of sand hanging from their belt, and when you find yourself dealing with a 12th house situation, throw it on the floor so you don't slip.

The STFU Address
Brussels, Friday, January 26, 2007 

 Anna Nicole Smith
"she is still just a woman"

Thursday the Sun and Neptune made their exact conjunction, and then the Sun opposes Saturn on Saturday (or Saturn's day), so we can say the Sun is setting off the opposition. This came with the death of Anna Nicole Smith, which occurred with the Sun-Neptune conjunction exact to six minutes of arc (1/10th of a degree), summing up her difficult life, and reminding us that no matter how powerful the image of a woman is, she is still just a woman.

Sun-Neptune is the image of one who defined her life by being a fantasy of everyone else, and also an object of collective desire so potent nobody could miss it. I would describe erotic desire for her has a yearning to stir up the hot emotional pool of her soul, and to provide a space to feel herself at her core; something to grasp onto while she dropped into the depths of her own inner cosmos, with the reassurance of someone's solid presence.

This is the thing lost in all of the news reports I have seen: Anna Nicole Smith is the symbol of our nation's loneliness, and in particular, the loneliness of women. Sun-Neptune illustrates this sense of isolation dramatically, and also the corresponding immersion in the cosmic sea, the intuitive ocean, the oneness with and separateness from it all.

Ceres is all over this chart: the grief of mothers, particularly the grief of their mothers for their children (or in truth, anyone they love) being abducted into the underworld. She is the sister of Cindy Sheehan, who echoes our country's grief at the death of its children in a war that most of us have figured out is and always was unnecessary and disgusting, and will bankrupt our resources for generations. Anna's life echoes the death and loss of children by any and every means, be it accidental or deliberate, natural or artificial, through whatever process, including growing up.

"something had to be done to stop this insanity"

Wednesday, a military judge declared a mistrial in the case of Lt. Ehren Watada, the first US officer to refuse deployment to Iraq. For those who have not heard of Watada or been following his case, he is the by all accounts exemplary officer who, after researching the Bush administration's rationales for going to war, determined that it was an illegal and unconstitutional war, and said that if he participated, he could be prosecuted for war crimes. Instead, he offered to go to Afghanistan (which he felt was more clearly justified) but the Army refused, and instead chose to court-martial him.

In recent months, the Hawaiian-born first lieutenant, who joined the Army to defend his country after the Sept. 11 attacks, has become an icon of the peace movement for his courage and integrity in standing up to his superiors, particularly the Bush administration. "I hated to leave my troops, but something had to be done to stop this insanity," he said in January, according to truthout.org. "How could I order men to die for something I believe is wrong? Wearing the uniform is not, and is never, an excuse."

Planet Waves Weekly
A Large White Dove
New York, Friday, February 9, 2007

Beautiful Agony
"all sex originates from self"

In nearly all discussions of the theory and practice of monogamy, what is lost are two main points, I think. One is that all sex originates from self, not from relationship. Relationship modality is secondary. Second is the discussion of diversity and its beauty as an essential aspect of erotic experience. I think that the form the diversity takes is less important than the diversity itself being acknowledged, and given some form or space to express itself without being blamed as the source of consternation.

Planet Waves Weekly
Beautiful Agony
New York, Friday, February 16, 2007


Barack Obama
Senator Barack Obama speaks before the Democratic National Convention in 2004.
"Can he win?"

Here is some news: Barack Obama, a senator from Illinois, is the first presidential candidate with Pluto in Virgo. I have written a bit about this placement, usually in the context of discussing Sixties charts. Pluto is one of the planets that distinguishes both a generation and a phase of history, and Virgo was indeed an interesting one, a time when thought, as in use of the brain, was more encouraged than it is today.

Now for the big question: Can he win? We all know the long shot involved; young guy, Barack rhymes with black, Obama rhymes with Osama, and he's not an oil executive, a liar or a killer. But he is a Leo with Scorpio rising; these people don't like to take second or third place, and notably, they are patient. I think he will be president -- and the sooner the better. We may have to wait until 2012 because the Rear Guard still thinks it's the Vanguard and most people don't know the difference. But Obama does.

Planet Waves Weekly
Barack Obama
New York, Friday,February 16, 2007

Joseph Trusso. Photo by Eric Francis.
Joseph Trusso. Photo by Eric Francis.
"laws that strike to the heart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of night"

"When I come back into the United States," I said, "the first thing I notice is that everything is bigger. The second thing I notice is that the problems we're facing here seem much smaller or just disappear. From Europe, from a distance, it looks like a very serious situation. When I get here, life seems pretty normal. The land is still here, the trees are here."

"That may be because of who you know and where they are in life," he said, suggesting that they're in pretty stable places. They are also people who have been through a lot of changes consciously. "Many of the people I talk to are scared," he said. He described a climate of fear that seemed to soak through and almost subsume many of the people he was speaking with, and he does speak with quite a few people. The existence of fear has never been much of a mystery to him. "There are a lot of scared people," he once said to me, years ago, as a kind of warning. But this day, he was describing something different, something more ominous.

In an editorial titled, "Making Martial Law Easier," the editors of The New York Times earlier this week warned, "A disturbing recent phenomenon in Washington is that laws that strike to the heart of American democracy have been passed in the dead of night. So it was with a provision quietly tucked into the enormous defense budget bill, at the Bush administration's behest, that makes it easier for a president to override local control of law enforcement and declare martial law."

I think we need to be thinking not only about why such laws are being passed, but more to the point, the fact that they are being passed secretly, and how they are not getting more press attention.

Planet Waves Weekly
A Visit With Joe
New York, Friday, February 23, 2007

The Gingerbread House
Image courtesy JanBrett.com. 
"The reason lies are so popular is they are convenient"

Here is how I know Dick Cheney did Sept. 11 -- from a photo of the Pentagon provided by the Defense Department -- and the use of my mind in a trained special function, indeed, an art form verging on obsolete, known as logic.

Anyone with eyes and a brain can see through a lie if they want; they can see the truth if they want; anyone can use logic and extend the implications of that truth; the real issue is willingness.

It is relatively easy to look directly at fraud and see fraud. It is very difficult for most people to accept the changes within their own consciousness that are the natural consequence of doing so -- therefore most people pretend the fraud does not exist, though often making excuses for it in the process, because accepting it is too inconvenient. The reason lies are so popular is they are convenient.

"it is the collision of one illusion with another"

Saturn in Leo is reflected in Neptune in Aquarius, and we see...ourselves, but it's us wearing the costume of a twenty-something supposed rock star. When the media considers whether Britney had a breakdown, that's us, wondering when the world and all the pressure we're under will drive us insane. When the media considers Britney's bouts with rehab, that's us, counting the bottles in the medicine cabinet. Then we cut to six drug commercials.

The repeated discussion of Anna Nicole's corpse is the reflection of our image of ourselves as spiritually dead, and the marketing economy teaching us to be dead so we can keep buying what we don't need in order to feel alive for three seconds. Saturn-Neptune is the screech of feedback so loud and so disturbing that we may actually hear it. It is the image of death so disgusting we may actually feel it in the pit of our stomachs. It's the sense of helplessness so overbearing that we may actually question whether we can do something about it. But it is not the clash of reality with illusion: it is the collision of one illusion with another, such that both are seen for what they are.

Planet Waves Weekly
The Gingerbread House
New York, Friday, March 2, 2007


"tending that flame becomes one of the closest things to an organic religion in existence"

Vesta is a goddess represented by a burning pot of oil, a chevron with flame. But she is not the goddess of fire; rather, she is Goddess expressing herself as fire. Vesta is not a character in mythology -- her servants are. Rather, she is an elemental force that must be tended, within and without, and tending that flame becomes one of the closest things to an organic religion in existence.

There is something impersonal about Vesta's energy. She is about tending a flame as part of a collective responsibility, so it's an unusual meeting place of the personal and the collective on the sexual or creative level -- the creative fire. We could say that our sexual and creative energy is not really our own private property, but rather, something that we bring through us, more or less consciously.

Planet Waves Weekly
Vesta Bicentennial and the Great Attractor
New York, Friday, March 23, 2007

Cho Seung-Hui
"a nature that was inherently out of control"

As astrology students, we naturally want to know about what kind of planetary configuration would be behind somebody who could kill 32 people, then himself. But that is to presume he is in some way special.

As most people know, the contents of a pipe bomb are pretty harmless on their own. It is the pipe -- the sealed container -- that makes a pipe bomb what it is. In terms of the energy source, we are talking about Scorpio, and Mars and Pluto: hormonal energy, a primal human or animal force; in short, another image of unexpressed sex and creative drive. I am certain that Cho never had sex; that he never raped anyone because he lacked the confidence; and that he was terrified of his own sexual desire and the underlying "imperfect" nature that it revealed, a nature that was inherently out of control and which was constantly exploding his attempts to hold himself down.

Planet Waves Weekly
Cho Seung-Hui: Broken Mirror
Brussels, Friday, April 27, 2007

"To confront someone, you need to get in touch with your power on some level"

When we ask why the global environmental crisis (and the associated corporate responsibility crisis) is not being addressed more directly or more quickly, I think we really need to look at these personal-level issues.

To do environmental work involves a confrontation. Many people feel that they have to avoid confrontation at all costs. This is just not possible in a situation where you have public officials participating in poisoning students, or any similar issue. To confront someone, you need to get in touch with your power on some level: your anger, your sense of entitlement to be alive, your sense of justice -- something.

Feeling powerful, even for a moment, tends to evoke fear and guilt. This can manifest as being afraid to make people angry, which is an essential thing to get over. You don't need to proceed with the intent to piss people off, but if you're scared of doing so, you're going to get crushed.

Planet Waves Weekly
Growing Up
New York City, Friday, May 18, 2007

Which Way is Reality?
"then that must be true"

In a world where you often need a passport to rent a motel room and where some airports check your ticket before you can purchase a bottle of wine in the duty-free shop, the Yes Men exploit, indeed, they have discovered, a vast opening in reality: if you claim to represent a company or industry organization, then that must be true. It follows that no matter what you say, no matter how cruel, absurd or lacking any semblance of humanity or political correctness, most people (including the most educated) believe what you're doing is real. "Suspension of disbelief" as it's called in literature is facilitated by the profit motive. In other words, if something makes money, it's not necessarily good; but it's most definitely real.
Planet Waves Weekly
Which Way is Reality?
Paris, Friday, July 6, 2007

"with Venus we have emphasized the power of decision"

We are in a world of feminine energy, which is accumulating and clarifying as the planets move in their courses. We also have Saturn working the Leo-Virgo cusp at the same time Venus is, helping us see, define and redefine the idea of where passion meets mind; where creative power meets the devotion to manifest that creativity; where woman meets cat; where pride meets humility.

Those part imaginary, part real zones where the signs meet are always interesting because the transition between two different energies releases so much potential for originality. The planet adds a third energy, focal object or activating agency, and gives us a protagonist for our story. With Venus we have the story of women, their choices and the ways that men respond to those choices. It is true that many women see themselves as more or less passive victims of circumstance, but with Venus we have emphasized the power of decision, particularly about who to receive as a lover. Those choices at times confound everyone involved; they are at others poetic and seem to move the Earth herself.

Planet Waves Weekly
An Unsealed Letter: Venus at Virgo's Edge
Brussels, Friday, July 13, 2007

"sex is being used for something other than itself"

The hypersexuality of advertising makes it seem like there is too much sexual discussion when in truth there is hardly any at all. Attempts by commercial magazine editors to treat the subject are almost always designed to increase sales by putting sex on the cover, so once again sex is being used for something other than itself. The antidote to this is to keep sex where it belongs: as an expression of humanity.

Planet Waves Weekly
Sexual Healing & the Fiery Edge of Virgo
Brussels, Friday, July 20, 2007

"notice the extent to which virtual reality is taking over"

Problems begin when we get too critical, forget our passions and live what some people like to describe as "in our heads." Part of the awareness we need to raise is precisely of that issue, so common to our technological society. This would be a good time to notice the extent to which virtual reality is taking over. The retrograde is a big invitation to backtrack a little bit from the virtual world into the experiential world of Leo.

Planet Waves Weekly
Venus Retrograde: The Quest for Awareness
Brussels, Friday, July 27, 2007

"a culture that pumps up the value of every man for himself"

Whether you like him and what he did or not, Robert Moses had one thing that we tend to lack: a vision. For the most part, the current version of the American Dream seems to include building a waterproof, debris-proof car that can withstand a collapse like this, rather than fixing the road, or building it well originally. In other words, the whole dream is hogged up on individual needs and a culture that pumps up the value of every man for himself. In this vision, anything that takes care of us, as in all of us, was thrown out with socialism and communism. This, is, stupid.

Pluto in Sagittarius, particularly conjunct the Galactic Core, is howling for a vision, an idea, a concept of what we need. This was the same astrology that led to the Enlightenment and to the development of the U.S. Constitution, with its protections of liberty and dignity.

Planet Waves Weekly
Give Me Something Built to Last
Brussels, Friday, August 10, 2007

"We have a substance that blurs the line between what is alive and what is not."

Dioxin jumps into this game and in some cases can cause very serious problems. But here is the strange thing. It is, by our currently accepted definition of life, inanimate. It is on one level a poison, created as a by-product with no constructive use. Yet when it enters our bodies, it functions as a living thing, a living poison.

If you ask me, it's much closer to a metaphysical issue than it to a scientific one. Something with "no life" slips between the cracks of reality and "becomes alive," and acts on life (multigenerationally) through a form of biological deception. We have a substance that blurs the line between what is alive and what is not.

Planet Waves Monday Edition
What Dioxin and Astrology Have in Common
Europa, Monday, August 13, 2007

"Now you're free!"

Yet an eclipse in Pisces, particularly in aspect to Pholus, is the release from something, and into something else; it is a transition within the sphere of what we think is possible, and what we will admit is possible -- one of the key factors that either limits humans, or sets them free from their limits.

Pholus points to multigenerational issues. It tells us what we have taken on from our grandparents and great grandparents, including matters involving addiction and sacrifice.

Pholus has a way of making fast or even instantaneous transitions and healing processes whereas Chiron tends to makes slow ones. It's as if Pholus says: "Three generations? That's enough! You figured it out! Now you're free!"

Planet Waves Weekly
Total Lunar Eclipse of Tuesday, Aug. 28, 2007
New Paltz, Friday, August 24, 2007

"form is not enough"

If you "trans-form," make sure you remember to "trans-substance" too: form is not enough. A change in form needs to reveal something on the inside, something that may have been hidden by the old form. That something is the content of who you are, your ideas, your feelings, your sense of reality. Most of us walk around with a split personality; we are one person to the world, and someone else to ourselves.

Planet Waves Weekly
Libra Equinox – Sept. 23, 2007, 09:51 UT
Kingston, Friday, September 21, 2007

"it's all a function of belief"

Let's address the negative perceptions first, which abound. Most people's experiences with Mercury retrograde are not positive; then they talk and this sets up negative expectations, which have a way of coming true. I've only heard a few people admit that they like the experience, which is not surprising; it can indeed be annoying. Most find it frustrating, associating it with things like computer breakdowns, car trouble or running out of money. Then there are people who seem to be immune, and the rest of us wonder whether being aware of a phenomenon is what gives it its power. People with a strong intellectual orientation are likely to leave it at that: it's all a function of belief.

Here are some pointers for handling Mercury retrograde, followed by a basic schedule. Because this retrograde bridges Libra and Scorpio, we are in Venus and Mars territory: relationships and sexuality.

1. Give people more space to be late or make mistakes.

2. Most things that seem to be broken are not, really.

3. Pay attention to cash flow during this phase and focus on necessities.

4. Be prepared for plans to change or evolve; keep your flexibility.

5. Focus on communication, which means listening first and responding second.
6. If you begin something during this phase, consider it an experiment.

Planet Waves Weekly
The Tides of Time: Working with Mercury Retrograde
Kingston, NY, Friday, September 28, 2007

"trust that the truth has a power of its own"

There is a degree of imbalance involved in speaking one's truth. To do it, you need to temporarily forget the impact that it will have, and let fly. More to the point, you need to recognize not only that people around you are capable of independent thought and of making their own decisions, but also that you must honor their right to do so by being open, honest and real.

Then you need to trust: trust that somebody still will want to have sex with you (they may or may not); trust that you'll have a roof over your head (you will, but it may be the same roof or a different one); trust that you're not going to get sued for divorce (the truth is disarming, or it can be used against you); trust that you won't get a black eye (but that will reveal something); trust that your life will get better (it will, if you guide it that way); trust that the truth has a power of its own, the power of God/Goddess itself, the power of existence, and that when you affirm your own existence, you will begin to find your freedom.

Planet Waves Weekly
Truth Be Bold: Mercury from Scorpio to Libra
Kingston, NY, Friday, October 5, 2007

"We were a family"

We were a family, and my journey with them was an experience of connection through which I healed many of my family traumas of separation and abandonment. Living with them, I lived with their vulnerability in the world, noticing consciously how small they were and aware that any day they could be taken. My agreement with them was that they had full access to the world.

Planet Waves Weekly
William Pen and Ling Ling: Writer's Cats
Kingston, NY, Friday, October 18, 2007

"It's also a warning that we're being lied to"

It's just a little odd looking at a chart for a fire breaking out in a forest one Saturday night, and seeing an airplane hitting a skyscraper. But they both smell like smoke. These days it seems when America is not drowning, it's burning.

One thing all of these events have in common is that they made for excellent television, news stories that riveted millions of viewers and overshadowed so much else that was going on. We see this in the chart as the image of the Moon in Aquarius conjunct Neptune. That's the American public (the Aquarius Moon) in a media/drug/denial trance (Neptune in Aquarius). It's also a warning that we're being lied to. Any time you see a prominent Neptune in a chart for a public event, an astrologer is on notice that lies are probably being told, that there is a cover story, an illusion or a distraction.

Planet Waves Weekly
Wake Up and Smell the Smoke
Kingston, NY, Friday, October 26, 2007

"the eternal struggle between creativity and its worth"

The 2nd and the 5th meet in a tense angle -- a square. This is, first of all, a picture of the eternal struggle between creativity and its worth. To be a creative person who makes money at it, you need to sell something that is deeply personal. I assure you it is on the same level as someone who is not a prostitute doing a direct cash transaction for sex. Both writing and sex should be too personal to commodify.

That is selling or renting your creativity, which is a fact of life if you are a professional creative. But then imagine you have to establish its value every day and face the constant need to bargain, negotiate and be rejected -- and occasionally get hired. It can eat your soul.

Planet Waves Weekly
They Know They're Hot
Kingston, NY, Friday, November 9, 2007

"there is no such thing as normal"

It is impossible to say yes to yourself if you don't have an idea what you want, or if you know but are in constant conflict about it.

The more I learn about sexuality, the more I discover that there is no such thing as normal. Everyone has desires or needs they consider unusual or inappropriate, and these often become the subject of lies, secrets and silence; and as a result, develop into hang-ups.

Mars retrograde in Cancer can take us right to the core of that one colossal hang-up where we attempt to use sexual desire, of ourselves or of others, as a kind of currency that can be traded for food, shelter or emotional security.

When you put Mars and Cancer together, you get the perfect image of looking within and seeing what is hanging up our progress in life. We get the chance to do deep work around our insecurities, and to consciously and by an act of free will work to resolve them.

Planet Waves Weekly
Mars Rex in Cancer: Get Over Thyself
Kingston, NY, Friday, November 15, 2007

"The most progress is possible in the times of the greatest change"

If you are an adventurer, pirate, public policy maker, criminal or astrologer, we are in high times. If you are seeking enlightenment, listen and you will learn a few things. If you want to assist with the world transition, now is the time. The most progress is possible in the times of the greatest change. But the winds of fortune are blowing so hard they could capsize a tug boat. Enormous profit and progress can come from the astrology you are about to experience; but remember that fortune favors the bold, and boldness is partly about staying upright.

Planet Waves Weekly
Through the Spiral Door – and Into Capricorn
Kingston, NY, Friday, November 30, 2007

"the discussion is up for grabs"

The Nuclear Axis does not predict disaster. The future is always different than the past, so at the least, it predicts that the discussion is up for grabs. It is very much up at the moment, and the governments of the world know this. World leaders are staring right at the crisis they know they have created.

Bhutto's death will take on mythic status, as Neptune, Saturn and the Moon all sit at the top of her natal chart. We are about to witness something the likes of Princess Diana, but Islam-styled. With so many planets in her personal chart in positions of extreme popularity and public resonance, there will be a tremendous outpouring of grief. Pakistanis will see her as a martyr, the ideal and idealized leader that could have led their country into the 21st century with the destruction of extremism and restoration of democracy.

Planet Waves Weekly
Benazir Bhutto and the Nuclear Axis
Kingston, NY, Friday, December 28, 2007