Photo by Deirdre Tanton.

A Retrospective
By Eric Francis
Research by Jackie Branagan and Rosalie Guru

Here are few of the more salient moments of 2006 as told in Planet Waves and Astrology Secrets Revealed

'2012 is up for grabs'

"Now, one thing to keep in mind is the relationship between 2012 and the people having psychotic episodes in the digital camera department. The phenomenon we call 2012 involves both the Mayan calendar approaching a big turnover (a 5,125 year cycle called a 'baktun' ends), and also, an alignment that is occurring in very late Sagittarius, close to the Galactic Core. The core is a spiral. Time is a spiral, and as we get to this time of year, we move closer and closer to the center of that spiral with the sense that things are going faster and faster every minute.

"The '2012 effect' as we experience it is the feeling of time both speeding up and running out at the same time. It's the sense that we've reached a critical crux point in history; a kind of leaping off point, a little like lemmings running to the end of a long dock and then sprinting madly the last three feet.

"Usually, the effect is lingering in the background of consciousness, like the ice caps melting. But then when the Sun gets near the 2012 zone as it does now, and for the next three or so weeks, the effect is localized in time. It's pushed to the front of consciousness, where we get to deal with it. This time of year is like a miniature model of the end of the baktun.

"As I've written before, 2012 is up for grabs. Right now, it's anybody's game, and this intense season, life is up for grabs. And it's definitely an adventure, like going down the rapids. But we're definitely taking that ride down the river of night, so we may as well do it well, and have fun. This year I'm experimenting with easing back into the rush, not pushing so hard but going with the flow. One thing I notice is I usually get it all done."

Planet Waves Weekly

Galactic Headrush
Brussels, Friday, Dec. 1, 2006

'is anyone else getting that calm before the storm feeling?'

"What is called the 'roundel of the seasons' is really the calendar made into a circle, and on that circle, we are now at the opposite point in the wheel as we are when approaching Christmas in Sagittarius. Those are the days approaching the end of the calendar year, as well as the holiday season, when in the Northern Hemisphere the days are getting shorter and shorter. Between the dark of the winter sky and the shortness of the daylight, it seems like it's light just a few hours a day. This combined with the constant rush to complete business creates a feeling of accelerated time.

"It took a while for me to figure out this sense of acceleration is probably associated with the Sun's annual approach to the Galactic Core. This is a miniature of the overall sense that 'time is speeding up' associated with the 2012 effect -- that is, the winter solstice point edging closer and closer to something called the Road to Xibalba (dark band or cosmic vulva, in Mayan tradition) that runs across the core of the galaxy.

"Right now we are able to see this, if the skies are clear at night. The night sky faces right into the core and the dark band, and slowly the Earth and Sun are aligning exactly. But before that happens, both align with the Great Attractor, a point that is invisible and far, far outside our own galaxy. Though it cannot be seen visually, it is the biggest, heaviest and physically most powerful point known to astronomy. It is drawing a million galaxies toward it, of which ours is one. So as the Earth and Sun align with this point over the weekend, we're going to experience a wave of energy, which may have the feeling of being polarizing -- a typical effect of the Great Attractor.

"Then for the next 12 days, through June 17, the Sun and Earth align in the zone of space opposite the attractor and the core, with Pluto involved. Pluto is in Sagittarius just a degree shy of the core. Its transit across the center of the galaxy begins the Pluto in Sagittarius endgame. The Pluto in Sag era began in 1995 and at the time, many astrologers were talking about the rise of fundamentalism, globalism and a variety of other isms that were basically sure to come with this event.

"Just before the alignment moves to the Galactic Core on the 17th, we pass by Pluto, which is just one degree shy of the core these days.

"It's not a coincidence that this is so close to the Cancer solstice (summer solstice in the Northern Hemisphere). There is a physical alignment between the solstices, as well as the Aries Point, the Galactic Core and -- currently -- Pluto, which is working its way across the core and toward the first degree of Capricorn, which is square the Aries Point (or first degree of Aries). In this alignment there is also a massive galaxy in early Libra called M87.

"As this is happening, the lunar nodes align with the first degrees of Aries and Libra, which is very nearly exact when the Sun enters Cancer on June 22. This is nearly simultaneous with a Mars-Saturn conjunction in Leo.

"Is anyone else getting that calm before the storm feeling? Does the world seem a little more sedate than normal?

"But brewing does not mean inevitable. The Galactic Core is a spiral and time feels like a spiral in its vicinity. The closer we get to the core, the tighter the spiral becomes. What feels like a possibility today feels like an inevitability as we approach the core. What we always need to remember is that, particularly at this point, there are many possibilities, not just one. We have options; we have choices, which work on the level of our individual lives and our collective life.

"The human family, particularly here in the Western world, is still learning the meaning of 'we'. On the most mundane levels, 'we' often seems not to exist. On the subtle levels, many people seem to have a better idea of common ground and collective reality. Now is a good time to remember, and to set the highest and most peaceful intentions for the world."

Astrology Secrets Revealed

June 2, 2006

'this represents a cosmic turning point of potentially epic proportions'

"Let's review recent history for a moment, however. Solstice (summer in the Northern Hemisphere, winter in the south) arrived with an intense planetary setup, link included below. It was the latest in a long and getting longer series of Aries Point configurations. In this case, the setup connected the Mars-Saturn conjunction in Leo, to Pluto in Sagittarius on the Galactic Core. The aspect between [Mars/Saturn] and [Pluto/GC] was a sesquisquare (also called a sesquiquadrate) -- a trigger.

"[Mars/Saturn] in [Leo = individuality] triggered [Pluto/GC] in [Sagittarius = collective spirituality and international culture].

"Plus, the Sun reached its solstice position in an exact square to the true lunar nodes, with the North Node positioned exactly on the Aries Point, at just a few arc minutes of Aries. This represents a cosmic turning point of potentially epic proportions. This was an extraordinarily rare occurrence in a year when both solar eclipses occur unusually close to the Aries Point (March 29 at 9 Aries, and Sept. 22 at 30 Virgo). The imagery is of large events that affect many people, as well as individuals feeling the contact points with the social processes.

"These social movements seem to happen around us but are intimately linked to process, movement and growth within."

Planet Waves Weekly

Solstice Redux
Brussels, Friday, July 28, 2006

Benjamin is led away by Capitol Police after she interrupted the address of Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki at a joint session of Congress in Washington. Benjamin, co-founder of CODEPINK: Women for Peace and Global Exchange, stood up from the gallery and shouted, "Iraqis want the troops to leave, bring them home now! Listen to the Iraqis!". Benjamin repeated the statement several times before she was forcefully lifted from her seat and handcuffed.

'the Year of the Dog'

"WELL NOW, it was a heck of an interesting first week of the Year of the Dog. I dare say it was even productive. It's not exactly over, but the imminent station direct of Venus in Capricorn provides an excellent backdrop for whatever develops next, and will help fill in the blanks on a lot of what we have seen and experienced.

"Venus is a planet that symbolizes values, and its current placement in Capricorn addresses both tradition and government. Integrity would be an excellent way to sum this up in one word. Venus is also a planet that often represents women. Three of the top stories this week involved women in public life, including the death of Coretta Scott King, widow of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Mrs. King, who continued the civil rights struggles of her late husband, died at age 78 the same day that Samuel Alito was sworn in as a Supreme Court justice. In a truly surprising development, Alito's first decision on the court was to side against the court's conservative bloc, and stay the impending execution of a death row prisoner in Missouri. The prisoner raised the issues that lethal injection is cruel, and that the death penalty is biased against black defendants.

"While the 'pro life' conservative movement just adores its human sacrifice rituals, the Supreme Court has issued a series of rulings in recent years that are gradually making it more difficult for states to execute people. The United States is the only Western nation that still uses a civilian death penalty. Its cohorts on the other side of the world include Saudi Arabia, North Korea, China and Iran. Western European nations ended their death penalty in the wake of the Nazi atrocities."

Planet Waves Weekly

Venus Stations Direct
Feb. 3, 2006

'a true match in the fireworks shed'

"I trust that the Leo Full Moon, a rather authentic feeling aspect, will make the world a little more transparent. News broke yesterday that former presidential and vice presidential aide Scooter Libby said his higher-ups in the White House had authorized his smear campaign against Former Ambassador Joe Wilson (in the spy-outing incident). I think we will be seeing more of this.

"Pluto is very close to an exact station retrograde on the Galactic Core, which occurs at the same time as two very significant other events: a total solar eclipse on the Aries point, and the presidential inauguration chart going off.

"This is a true match in the fireworks shed. The Aries Point has been extremely dependable as an indicator of developments, and they seem to carry the theme, 'The personal is political'. The last big event in the inauguration chart came with the indictment of Scooter Libby."
Planet Waves Weekly

Cats Under the Moon (Lots of Them)

Friday, Feb. 10, 2006

'all yours for just $29.95 per month recurring billing'

"My favorite real story from that genre so far is computer and camera systems being installed throughout England which will enable the government to record every single motor vehicle trip taken on a public highway. It will scan your license plate, and feed the data into a rather massive computer at Police Headquarters down in South London. Then they can use a little internal search utility and find out where you've been and presumably what you've been doing at any hour of the day or night, such as buying milk or visiting your mistress or going to your Thursday night bowling game with your terrorist cell.

"But one cannot be too freaked out these days -- or too innovative. I think this system should be linked to a GPS device in your car. Case in point: you're having an affair, you get in your car at 8 o'clock at night, where he's staying late at the office; and you begin to drive there. The government tracks you, and then the computer in your car comes to life: 'You appear to be visiting Bill. There's a shorter way to get there'.

"We're all aware that in recent months it's come out that the National Security Agency (NSA), the biggest spy shop in the world, has been running a domestic spying program on the American people for the past five years. The debate has been over whether this is legal or moral; I think the issue is profitability. I hate seeing my tax dollars wasted on such a dead-end project. To give the project some business sense, all they need to do is make the data available to the public, for a fee. They should create NSAnet, a subscriber-only facility you can use to search the billions of emails and phone calls (your boss, your kids, your spouse, your neighbors, your political enemies) that are available with no other purpose. This will help the government recover their considerable costs, and also put the data to good use. Also, once it's making money, people will stop complaining and the newspapers will praise it.

"On a similar note, please don't be alarmed, but I am quite certain that The Boys are collecting all the nude pictures people privately send one another night and day, and creating internal porno sites to raise federal employee morale. But why keep all this fabulous amateur art behind the curtain? could be a premier government-sponsored erotica portal, complete with millions of photos organized by state, actual kinky citizen emails searchable with a Google utility, MP3s of saucy phone recordings, and the world's largest database of naughty SMS text messages ever gathered -- all yours for just $29.95 per month recurring billing, the proceeds from which can be donated to fund the war in Iraq."

Planet Waves Weekly

Aquarius: In the On Position
Paris, Friday, Jan. 20, 2006

'arrested by mistake'

"In the UK, Parliament rejected Tony Blair's plan to amend the Religious Hatred Bill, which one official described as 'Completely contrary to our national tradition of free speech'.

"George Bush gave his State of the Union Address, avoiding entirely the budget deficits, how badly Iraq is going and the scandals of his administration. Immediately before the speech, peace activist Cindy Sheehan was arrested and taken into custody for wearing a t-shirt showing the number of people who had been killed. She was released was charged with a crime and was facing one year in prison -- and then Capitol Police later said she had been arrested by mistake."

Astrology Secrets Revealed

Feb. 3, 2006

'it's a matter of the president doing'

"FOR A FEW YEARS now, I've been writing about the ominous presidential inauguration chart from Jan. 20, 2005. Ominous means full of omens, and it contained two that stood out enough to put into print repeatedly: one for late October 2005, and another for late March or early April 2006. Both looked like trouble for the Bush administration, though when I first noticed the pattern nearly two years ago, it seemed hard to believe. No matter what they did wrong, they could do no wrong.

"The first date turned out to be when Lewis 'Scooter' Libby, chief of staff to Dick Cheney and assistant to George W. Bush, was indicted for obstructing justice in a federal investigation about the outed American CIA agent, Valerie Plame Wilson. The second date, just this week, involved evidence emerging from that case pointing straight to Bush as someone who personally authorized leaks of classified information to the press -- something he has long made a show of condemning.

"According to Libby's written testimony, orders to leak classified information came from Bush through Cheney to Libby, whose job was to do the actual leaking to reporters. This is more than issue of the president 'knowing' -- it's a matter of the president doing.

"This would count for something new -- long suspected, but so far without actual evidence to support it. Now that evidence is there, and people are going to have to answer for it. Yet from our current perspective, it's difficult to see just how big it's going to be. Much more information is coming out, from Scooter Libby and from others, and we're likely to see more indictments and as well additional information pointing to Bush and Cheney."

Planet Waves Weekly

The Hole in the Bucket
Brussels, Friday, April 7, 2006

'that which we are all capable of'

""As fate would have it, Uranus and Pluto are currently dancing around the mutable signs (Pisces and Sagittarius, respectively), stirring up both the Iran chart and the Nuclear Axis chart. These are the planets for which uranium and plutonium were named.

"So, astrologically, we have something of a setup, at the very least for the kind of rhetoric we're now seeing go around so abundantly: Iran proud that it's made enough uranium to light up one of those little green glow sticks; and Washington proud that it has yet another evil country to save us all from. Both leaders are seeing this as the perfect opportunity to dazzle us out of noticing their idiotic choices and ridiculously low public approval ratings.

"The planet that reveals the prevailing psychology of the moment is Ixion, which is in Sagittarius. You've never heard of this planet, about as distant as Pluto and somewhat smaller, unless you have really strange reading habits (such as visiting, but it is a real planet discovered in 2001, and it was named for the first murderer in Greek mythical history. Ixion was brought to Olympus by Jupiter, for rehabilitation, where he hatched a plot to rape Hera, the Queen of Heaven. Ixion had problems, and astrologically, I give this new planet the keywords, 'that which we are all capable of'.

"Ixion getting mixed up in the Nuclear Axis chart has been bugging me for a while, because this is anything but a rational influence. Ixion thinks like a perpetrator, but also reveals that quality of thought. It reveals something of the common thread that runs through the human psyche's long shadow. In a sense, it does not matter who is wrong or right where Ixion is concerned; the subject matter arises, and we can all become accomplices, just as Zeus was the unwitting accomplice in the attempted rape of his wife (she outwitted the little brat, however, and was safe).

"Ixion in this position would be about thinking the unthinkable, and assuming that people are capable of the undoable -- that's exactly the page we're on. And whether we are actually risking a nuclear volley with Iran (or rather at Iran, since they can only retaliate with glow in the dark stickers at this point), we're going to see more and more of the twisted psychology emerge that would underlie such a stupid possibility. In a sense, it's a kind of purge that we're seeing this kind of thinking come to the surface of consciousness rather than stay stuffed down. Once it comes up, we have a choice. Until then, it remains hidden and we have no choice.

"Then there is the Hiroshima chart. As you would expect, this is not a particularly pleasant chart. It drips with weight and karma. I think we need to think about Hiroshima every time we consider the existence of nuclear weapons. When you bring the chart up to date using a dependable method of called 'secondary progression', you find out that we're going through the eye of the nuclear needle. We're at the end of a long cycle in this chart's history, spanning about 30 years during which the world was in fact gradually becoming somewhat safer, from the standpoint of nuclear war, and during which time the Cold War ended (the chart is having a New Moon by secondary progression).

"The end of a long cycle like this does not portend a disaster, but it does raise the issue: what are we really doing at the turning point? What plans are we making for the next cycle? This is the moment of seeding, the nuclear dark of the Moon. Are we sowing the seeds of nuclear war or nuclear peace for the next generation? What will our kids be saying to us in the Instant Message sessions of the future?

"We are choosing, and we're choosing now."

Planet Waves Weekly

Threading the Eye of the Nuclear Needle
Paris, Friday, April 14, 2006

Mission Accomplished. Illustration by Don Matthews, Planet Waves.

'the adorable secretary of defense'

"SO it's not exactly the most exciting thing in the world when a couple of guys in suits get new jobs, but on the current Great Stage these are pretty special guys and anyway, politics is largely a game of reading the signs. Just like astrology.

"Scott McClellan, the White House spokesman, and Karl Rove, the political brain behind George Bush and Dick Cheney, are off to greener pastures, or potentially in Rove's case, indictment. This week's development comes close on the heels of Bush's chief of staff, Andy Card, and Cheney's chief of staff, Scooter Libby, being shaken out of the big tree as well (Libby last autumn, and Card three weeks ago). And just about everyone but Bush himself is calling for the beheading of Donald Rumsfeld, the adorable secretary of defense with a taste for torture, a nice stock portfolio in Tamiflu, and a knack for making comments that sound like existential poetry.

"With these developments, we get some fulfillment of the 3/29 cluster I've been writing about for months, which included a big shift in the impressively sensitive progressed horoscope for the Cheney/Bush Inauguration (Gemini Moon opposing Pluto), as well as Pluto reaching the Galactic Core and a total solar eclipse on March 29. The signs were all there, and remain there, and I am absolutely not convinced that this is the end of the story."

Planet Waves Weekly

Psyche Speaks
Amsterdam, Friday, April 21, 2006

'the living incarnation of the Trickster'

"More recently, if Rove has become a household word amongst news junkies, it's partly because of his involvement in the Valerie Plame-Wilson incident, resulting in his many interviews before special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald's grand jury, garnering him plenty of ink in both alternate and mainstream media. But so far he has, by most accounts, eluded capture.

"Last week, reported that Rove himself is now under indictment for allegedly lying to investigators. While this has been denied vehemently by Rove's lawyer and spokesman, and has yet to be confirmed by other news outlets or by Fitzgerald himself, we are at the very least experiencing some of the toxic, anesthetic fog of denial and deception that follows Rove around like the dust cloud that follows the Peanuts character Pigpen.

"I have often described the Bush administration as the Mercury presidency, and in Rove we have the living incarnation of the Trickster. But this is a trickster that one does not immediately recognize as such -- the most effective kind. The same holds true for his tricks.

"The two most famous Mercury events of the Bush years have so far been the stolen election of 2000 (Mercury making an exact station direct in the last degree of Libra, that very night) and Sept. 11, with Mercury exactly rising in Libra. These events should remind everyone that the sign of the balance is not just good for interior decorating, rock stars or unusually gifted astrologers. It can slip and slide into the shadows as well. But moreover, they are a testament to the power of dualistic, somewhat amoral Mercury to be put to work for whatever is called for in the moment."

Planet Waves Weekly

Karl Rove: Too much of nothing
Toronto, Ontario, May 19, 2006

'Bush's learning laboratory'

"Imagine we are approaching the rapids of a river, and at this point, we have time to consider the possibilities and position ourselves for where we want to be at the moment of acceleration. We need to be prepared for some kind of big shift on a cultural level, in particular timed with the Sun-Pluto opposition on June 16 or the solstice on the 21st. The Sun-Pluto aspect promises to be interesting, though the Sun-nodal square on the solstice sets off a dozen or so other charts, ranging from the natal charts of Cheney, Bush, special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald, Sept. 11, and many others.

"As regards Mssrs. Cheney and Bush, both have noteworthy activity. Cheney, to give one example, is currently experiencing a Moon-Pluto conjunction by progression. For a guy like Cheney, whose idea of using Pluto is how many people you can kill or manipulate, this is unlikely to be pleasant. As regards Bush, let's not forget that he has Saturn in his vurrrrry sensitive ascendant (Mercury conjunct Pluto) at the moment. The first time that happened, we had Hurricane Katrina -- he did some growing up. Now it's back, accompanied by a grand cross that aspects his ascendant and rising planets precisely.

"Since we are Bush's learning laboratory, we can be sure that we will learn something while he is learning something."

Planet Waves Weekly

Behind the Walls and Under the floors
New Paltz, Friday, May 26, 2006

'the collective memory of original sin'

"Okay, the chart. Sagittarius is rising. Before moving on to the traditional planets, note that there is a newly discovered planet in the 1st house, close to the ascendant. The planet is called Ixion, and it was first noted in 2001. Here is my delineation, from an earlier Planet Waves article called 'Worlds Beyond Neptune':

"Ixion, a Plutino discovered in 2001 and orbiting in just over 247 years, is named for a mythologized former king, a descendent of the god of war, Ares, and, notably, the first human to commit murder. Would-be rapist of the gods (in particular, Hera), betrayer of friends, master of ingratitude and squanderer of second chances, he's the forefather of all Centaurs save one – Chiron, who descends from Kronos. Ixion suggests 'what we are all capable of' and points to the common thread among all forms of violence, physical or emotional. Ixion is the pattern or psychological construction which says we cannot change our inherent nature no matter what the consequences or punishment. He relates to the collective memory of 'original sin' (murder, not sex) and how this is recalled, perhaps subtly, in any experience of desire, transformation or passion. The remedy for Ixion afflictions is gratitude'."

Planet Waves Weekly

Did They Really Kill al-Zarqawi?
Rosendale, NY, Friday, June 9, 2006

'Pholus opens the container and lets something out'

"Centaurs are orbit crossers: small worlds that cross the orbits of other planets. They make connections, blend energies, and create new patterns of reality. Or, they help point to ones that we did not see earlier. Chiron crosses the orbit of Saturn. Pholus crosses the orbit of Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Much like Chiron brings together Saturn and Uranus (the energies of energy and matter), Pholus adds Neptune to the picture, and provides us with quite a complex addition to both psychological and historical understanding.

"But the most vivid and palpable energy of Pholus is release. Think of the combined intensity of Saturn (the container) and then Uranus and Neptune (that which is contained). Pholus opens the container and lets something out, a bit like Pandora. Whereas Chiron can represent long and slow transformations (though not always), Pholus tends to make things happen more suddenly: level shifts, changes of mind, healing processes.

"Pholus addresses themes involving multi-generational patterns of any kind. These include but go beyond addiction patterns. A Pholus theme also includes how we respond when in the presence famous people."

Astrology Secrets Revealed

Jan. 21, 2006

'Pluto is what Pluto represents'

"Pluto is what Pluto represents. It is not just a planet; it's an archetype, and one that is extremely active in the human story. When you check history going back 2,000 years, you see the Pluto cycles like you see the New York City skyline landing at JFK. That archetype inherently represents that which we tend to deny the most and what we need the most for both individual growth and evolution as a culture. But we seem to be in even deeper denial than usual these days, which is largely due to fear, and also that we're being confronted with so much change so fast, and so much manipulation.

"Denying Pluto would be saying, in effect, that 'it's okay to not deal with this stuff'. We could, of course, find it in ourselves to be more outraged about war and torture, and the lying and conniving of our 'leaders' that got us there. Instead, we tend to revel in images of war on television. Then in the United States, ever increasingly, like many places dominated by religion, we teach our children 'abstinence' instead of teaching them about their feelings and their bodies. Hate and prejudice are open season; discussion of love and erotic subjects are still often felt to be taboo, scary and wicked, something not done in polite company. And we wonder why everything is so weird."

Before and After Pluto

Astrology Secrets Revealed
Friday, Aug. 25, 2006

'touch of Twilight Zone'

"Friday's eclipse [at 12:45 pm London time, 7:45 am New York time] is a loaded weapon, and needs to be handled as such…This is an annular eclipse of the Sun, which would be a total eclipse, but the Moon is too distant from the Earth to cover the Sun entirely; indeed, the Moon is at exact apogee for the eclipse -- the most distant it gets from the Earth.

"You could, alternately, look at this eclipse as one of the most fertile, sensitive events in ages, rich with potential and eagerly pushing the edge of one of the Cardinal Points. This eclipse is thought wanting to push its way into action, despite whatever struggle there may be in doing so. It is an idea, a creative and fruitful idea, about to be born. On the edge of Libra, there is the hint of something about to come into balance; some aspect of existence about to be adjusted, corrected or refined.

"Actually, it's in the last degree of a sign (30 Virgo), and any time anything occurs or is placed in the last two degrees of any sign, you get a special case, a touch of Twilight Zone and the necessity for a lot of extra growth work (this is called the anaretic degree; second article here). Standing less than one degree away from opposition with the Aries Point (the extremely influential first degree of Aries), we have the suggestion that something that affects 'everyone' is developing. It's also about two degrees away from one of the most intense galactic points, the M87 galaxy located in very early Libra, and it's also in the narrow zone of the zodiac where all things of the nature of 2012 are concentrated. Actually, all of the technical points I've made in this paragraph are closely related, in many ways depending on one another.

"The eclipse triggers all of this at once. It forebodes something of a critical phase, a turning point season (the whole season), including mid-term elections in the United States, where majorities in both the House and Senate are up for grabs in a highly volatile political environment."

Planet Waves Weekly

Annular Solar Eclipse, 30 Virgo
Brussels, Friday, Sept. 22, 2006

Ahmadinejad, depicted in the photo above with a mushroom cloud coming out of his head, has just sent George W. Bush an 18 page letter. Photo by Eric Francis.

'if you'll excuse the pun'

"AS IF the world did not have enough problems right now, it would appear that North Korea successfully tested an atomic bomb earlier this week. There is no independent confirmation of a nuclear event, only a seismic reading observed at about 10:35 am local time near Gilju on the Korean peninsula, north of the border. Warnings and threats were issued in advance. I was doubtful, till I saw the chart. And until I remembered what I was writing six months ago.

"Back in the spring, I warned that September through November was a time of 'threading the eye of the nuclear needle'. Many charts relevant to the discussion of atomic weapons and radiation are going off at once, if you'll excuse the pun. 'This is a turning point in the history of the nuclear world', I wrote into the published caption of one of those charts, which will be exact Nov. 6, but which has been rather active going back to late summer."

Planet Waves Weekly

New Clear Blues
Brussels, Friday, Oct. 13, 2006

'This is not the time to think we won'

"The image that most Americans have of their country is based on World War II movies, which always have us coming in to save the day. We tend to remember Patton and forget about Coming Home or Born on the 4th of July. Patton is the truth and Coming Home is just the result of an unfortunate 25-year era filled with dope, longhaired hippies, groovy chicks and protests. The United States is always the good guys. For this reason only, we can go into Iraq claiming to be doing the world a big favor, swearing it has nothing to do with Halliburton, oil or the vicious hatred of Muslims that has in recent years become a holy sacrament.

"It is true that millions of people, most of them sporting plenty of gray hair, protested the imminent war on Feb. 15, 2003, under that blazing Leo Full Moon. But the other half of the country, the one that doesn't come out on a cold day and march in the streets, was sure enough that Bush was right about Saddam being the one who took out the World Trade Center, that they agreed we better go in and clean things up -- just like we did in 1942. Just like Grandpa Sam and Uncle Howard did.

"While we think we're saving the day, someone else is busy stealing it from us. It may be that on Tuesday, we stole it back. Maybe. Maybe. I have participated in politics too long to be sure of anything of the kind. Everyone I know in politics agrees this is big news. Bigger than Fitz indicting Rove. Bigger than Dick Cheney quitting. Equivalent to what dumping Bush in 2004 would have meant.

"This is not the time to think we won and it's all gonna be chill. It's the time to start participating more intensely, with greater sobriety and less hope. We need to stalk our congressional representatives, be on a first name basis with their aides, know what their local offices look like, and actually know what is happening in our government. We have earned the potential for influence; that is different than power."

Planet Waves Weekly

Turning the Tide-The Good Guys?
Brussels, Friday, Nov. 10, 2006

'The phenomenon is undeniable'

"IT gets me every year, and it probably gets you: that insane feeling of things spiraling out of control on the way to winter solstice. It's like the feeling of time running out, which happens to coincide with the year running out, which happens to coincide with a lot of people's patience running out. It's as much fun as eating a mistletoe salad.

"The phenomenon is undeniable. We could be polite and call it celestial speedup, but a term from automotive repair seems more applicable. It's feels a little like the Venturi effect, which is what happens to a gas when it's forced through a constriction (as in a carburetor): it speeds up and vaporizes, similar to what most people feel this time of year."

Planet Waves Weekly

Brussels, Friday, Dec. 1, 2006

'part of the Centaur journey is working them out consciously'

"THE SKY is remarkable right now. As of yesterday, Mars has joined Pluto, Jupiter, the Sun and Venus in Sagittarius. As of a few hours ago, Mercury has joined the fray and we will experience a stunning triple conjunction of Jupiter, Mars and Mercury on Monday.

"This conjunction occurs in the 4th degree of Sagittarius. Pluto crossed this region of space from early 1996 through early 1997. What you were developing in those years is now likely to be coming into the forefront of your experience. The Sabian symbol for 4th Sagittarius is: 'A little child learning to walk with the encouragement of his parents'.

"This is surrounded by two interesting degrees, which may tell more of the story. The 3rd degree of Sagg has the symbol, 'Two men playing chess. The transcendent ritualization of conflict'. The 5th degree has the symbol, 'An old owl sits alone on the branch of a large tree'.

"Perhaps these symbols will be evocative for you.

"Or, consider this. The conjunction occurs close to Pholus, the second Centaur planet (discovered 1992), just one degree away in Sagittarius. It's also applying in a sextile to the Chiron-Nessus conjunction in early Aquarius. (Chiron is the first Centaur, discovered 1977; Nessus is the third Centaur, discovered 1993.) As I've described in earlier editions, this setup is part of the story of our generation (and indeed of every child born in the current generation, as the astrology appears in their natal charts). While Chiron, Nessus and Pholus are not well understood planets as far as most astrologers are concerned, that does not detract from their symbolic power or actual influence. The cycles of planets can be seen long before they are discovered, as confirmed in retrospect, by researching the events of history.

"We are now in a moment when the long-standing generational astrology is being ignited, activated, summoned and/or brought to full awareness (as you prefer) by a series of inner-planet transits (Mercury, Sun, Venus, Mars), and also a transpersonal planet, Jupiter.

"While there are many planets being discovered and named these days, we may pause to consider whether we are living through the age of the Centaur planet, with this group's emphasis on rising above pain and struggle, healing from the inside out, recognizing our common injuries, and most important, using the things that have hurt us in the past to help us advance ourselves in the present.

"The Centaurs are about awareness, principally, self-awareness. They are utilities in the evolutionary process, which Centaur-styled is a journey of self-integration. With Centaur energy you run into a lot of contradictions, which seem to be peculiar to the human condition. Part of the Centaur journey is working them out consciously."

Planet Waves Weekly

Our Sagittarius Moment
Brussels, Friday, Dec. 08, 2006

'the most mysterious region of space'

"Uranus, a planet that could also be called Prometheus because it's so forward thinking, is going to send, or for that matter is already sending, a big message to the world. What's interesting about Pisces is that it's a slow-acting sign. And more interesting still is that nobody really understands Pisces, as it seems to defy so many earthly laws and has a logic all its own. So we have a fast-acting planet doing its work in the most mysterious region of space. And Pisces is slippery. You can never really define it, much as people try to from the outside; it's always like a film projected on the mists. While everyone is watching the film, the mists are doing their work.

"So we are in this moment when deep causes will have big effects. I have been saying, and maintain, that this is THE tipping point for the Cheney-Bush administration and indeed for the fear-politics movement, and this will be apparent with stunning clarity by late March. The steam is running out and progressive forces that have been developing for the past year are beginning to show their strength. It is strength from within, however; the strength of awareness; of resolve; and of subtle determination to guide life in a positive direction.

"How any individual responds to their own awareness is THE spiritual crisis or opportunity of our day. It is the essence of growth in the times we are alive. Our society is based on burying your head in the sand and pretending that nothing affects you, while you keep on rowing the boat and try to eke out a little happiness here and there. There is far more to life than this."

Astrology Secrets Revealed

Feb. 24, 2006

'it is more than just birds chirping'

"Working backwards in time, we come to Mercury stationing direct in Pisces. That occurs Saturday, March 25. When Mercury stations, it holds still for a few days and then takes off pretty quickly. When the 3/29 eclipse happens Mercury is still slow and powerful but gaining speed. It is exactly square or 90 degrees away from something called the Great Attractor (this is NOT the Galactic Core, but it's fairly near the Galactic Core in mid Sagittarius).

"The Great Attractor is a kind of morally neutral point that makes things seem vastly bigger and also creates a sense of polarization. People with strong Great Attractor placements may be a combination of popular and unpopular, but the thing is, nobody can really do much about either.

"Mercury stationing direct is an event associated with the revelation of secrets and mysteries. So imagine this happening in Pisces, square the Great Attractor. It sounds like something big and extremely imaginative. Actually it sounds kind of unbelievable, as well as deniable, but very likely true.

"March 21 is the vernal equinox, when the Sun enters the tropical sign Aries and the midpoint of when day and night are of equal length. The Equinox is the beginning of the astrological year and the day that the Sun crosses the 'sidereal vernal point' or Aries Point, which is the first degree of the tropical zodiac. This is one of those larger than life days. It is more than just birds chirping in the northern hem and autumn leaves in the southern. The equinox is one of the great power points of the year, when every coven meets."

Astrology Secrets Revealed

March 17, 2006

'that history is moving toward a vortex of some kind'

"Eclipses are great if you're tired of things being the way they are. Everybody has something, someplace, someone, or some situation they've had it with.

"Usually it is a pattern of some kind, be it a psychological pattern (most of them are), an emotional pattern in a relationship, a physical pattern involving our body. It can include the way we structure our days, our living spaces and all other habits. As one who is continually moving around the world, I keep getting reminded of how much energy patterns consume, because as I keep changing them, I keep seeing and feeling their effects. But I'm also aware that habits are necessary modes of organization, which help us remember the details and focus our energy.

"Eclipses help demarcate the landscapes of time, and are natural shifts in the environment. They represent concentrations of experience, focal points of change, and moments when fate seems to be overactive. We cannot take all change all at once, but we can organize it into territories. With each set of eclipses, we get a new phase to work with and change the patterns that add up to the greater whole.

"A lunar eclipse presents a nice image of the concentration of time, which we can work with consciously. It begins as a Full Moon. Then, perhaps half an hour later, the Moon is dark; then half an hour after that, it is full again. It's as if we live a month of experience in two hours. But if you consider that the effects of the eclipse radiate out, it's more like we live through the energetic equivalent of a year in a day. Imagine if that actually happened, how disoriented you might feel: going to bed and waking up a year later.

"In a sense, we get an antidote to 'speeding time' by pushing the concentration even further. An eclipse is like a massive homeopathic dose of time.

"Eclipses generally come in pairs (sometimes in threes, but this time in pairs). Following the lunar eclipse, we enter the territory of the inter-eclipse zone, a little valley in time which leads to the total solar eclipse of March 29 and what I am calling the 3/29 cluster. This 3/29 grouping of events includes the eclipse itself, which is situated just a few degrees from the Aries Point ('the personal is political'); as well as Pluto stationing retrograde on the Galactic Core; as well as the progressions to the Bush/Cheney inauguration chart going off like wildfire -- all within about 24 hours.

"The strength and impact of a total solar eclipse near the Aries Point cannot be overstated. We have seen many effects of the Aries Point the past five years, and they all have the quality of affecting large numbers of people -- somewhere. (I would be inclined to use the path of totality of the eclipse to predict where, but I have not seen this to be an effective method of prediction.)

"First, however, let's set the backdrop: our external circumstances. Is everyone aware that we live in tremendously uncertain times? Made all the more edgy by the constant outpouring of fear, fear, fear, mixed with intolerance and spiked with a stiff shot of greed? Every day we hear news of the planet heating up, of fuel running out, and of spreading war, and at the same time, we are marketed to death.

"At the same time, individuals face more pressure and more responsibility than we ever have in history. Your average entry-level worker seems to maintain a schedule as intense as a top corporate official, but that's what happens when you have to work three jobs.

"Meanwhile, the pressure is on from the outside, because anyone who looks can see exactly what is happening. Instead of shepherding the planet, our 'leaders' seem to be smoking crack, going out on murderous rampages and using the planet as their personal ATM. It seems like a bad time for the good guys, an even worse time for the ordinary folk, and the news seems designed to train us to accept the fact that we are simply not safe anytime or anywhere.

"In the midst of this all, many live with the feeling of time going faster every week. If we stop to think about it, and look at the basic facts, it's possible to get the feeling that history is moving toward a vortex of some kind: perhaps a threshold, perhaps a shift to another level. One way to look at the chaos we're seeing now is either the result of resistance to that change, or a warm-up to it -- probably both.

"Yet the most bizarre part is how nonchalant we're supposed to be about all of it, and without ever counting the human cost."

Astrology Secrets Revealed

March 10, 2006

'important times of transition'

"I don't feel that planetary aspects are inherently good or bad; it's all how we use them. So to say that some things are bad and others are worse and others are worse yet is, in general, a misunderstanding. I am not stating this merely as an intellectual position but rather as an approach to the work of astrology that pretty much assures we will always use it to get to a better place.

"All transits are actually useful; anything can be potentially troublesome; planetary stations are definitely challenging aspects and I do feel that we need to need to watch, and use, them carefully. But they can be the most helpful and revealing, if we know what to look for. And they provide longer opportunities than, for example, inner planets usually provide.

"Planetary stations are important times of transition. They involve how we use time, and how we relate to the past."

Astrology Secrets Revealed

Feb. 17, 2006

'a highly sexual nature'

"If you want to find about someone's sexual nature, usually you can look in the 5th house or the 8th house. Both are relationship houses, though they are quite different in their nature. But when you see someone with either a strong 5th or a strong 8th, particularly involving Venus and/or Mars, you can get a clue that the person has what you call a highly sexual nature.

"Essentially, the 5th house seeks to experiment and play. The 8th house seeks to bond and surrender.

"The disadvantage of the 8th house is its tendency to turn everything into a life and death control drama."

Astrology Secrets Revealed

April 28, 2006

'if we could say anything'

"WE ARE in the midst of a challenging, chaotic moment of astrology. However you look at it, whether emotionally, psychologically or if you dare to turn on the television, we have a lot to process and deal with. How do you do that? The first thing is to say to yourself, 'Wow, I have a lot to deal with right now', or, 'The world is in an overwhelming state and I have no clue how to handle it'. Or just state out loud to yourself whatever you happen to be experiencing.

"I'll tell you this, and anyone who wants is free to fling their copy of 'Magical Mystery Tour' at me like a Frisbee, but we are in a time of history every bit as intense, tragic and rich with potential as the 1960s. But what's missing is a sense of potential, experimentation and the desire to change the world. I think lots of people feel it deep in there but have no sodding clue how to express it, that is, to express themselves, particularly when we look around a see just about everyone else acting more or less normal, following the instruction manual.

"I assure you: Trust me: Listen up: We all have a lot of energy to let go of and create with, and 'if we could say anything' there is a lot we would indeed say. We all have our ways we would like to change the world, and ways we would be more authentically ourselves in our personal expression. So, I ask you, my friends, far and near; I ask you, sitting at your computer reading this: what, exactly, are you waiting for? For the cosmic ice cream truck to show up and sell it you for two quid?

"At a certain point, you must be the one who gives yourself permission to be who you are. Why are we so wound up? Well how about 25 years of being told to Say No and buy Pepsi? We are, to put it in a word, a repressed society. The way to get un-repressed is not to read another book. The way to do it is to give yourself permission to be free, then immediately dare to try something new and/or naughty. Heck, this is already the SIXTH year of the Naughties -- naught Six ('06). What exactly are you waiting for?

"Everyone would feel better with a way to get together and vent energy. For people who are moving through the current energy with some ease, and feeling pretty good, be aware that people around you may be struggling a bit, and there are many who have no built-in mode for having fun right now. The world needs help with this, and also needs a lot of healing energy sent out now to individuals who may be feeling the challenges, and to the Middle East, which is at the moment becoming engulfed in all-out war."

Astrology Secrets Revealed

July 28, 2006

'the brightest light of soul, and some of the deepest shadow of psyche'

"Pluto is a particularly sharp knife; a hot torch; a point in the personality where there may be focus to the level of obsession. This can be self-obsession, or an extreme focus on a viewpoint, or on growth. It can also emerge as celebration and revelry, or the drive to get rid of the old and change ourselves, or society, for better. Pluto represents the brightest light of soul, and some of the deepest shadow of psyche. But it does not grant, or remove, integrity. Our decisions do these things. Astrologers need to be particularly sensitive to the fact that while the planets shape our personalities and may reflect our karma, everyone really does have a choice in what they do and how they respond to existence.

"Admittedly, the kinds of dimensions that Pluto usually represents are not the ones that people commonly do well with, inherently, or as they express themselves as passion, sex, power and the extremely strong personality type. Face it, the Western world is pretty milquetoast, and these days, the solution to everything is to ignore it or stuff it. But we are still learning about the Pluto archetype."

Astrology Secrets Revealed

July 28, 2006

'that is how we put the world together'

"A square is a 90-degree aspect. Look around the world and notice how many 90-degree angles there are. Our buildings are made of them; most physical objects are based on them; no matter how curvy cars are on the outside, they are in many ways based on a 90-degree and related angles to the Earth; the windows we look through, the books we read, the computers we type on, the notebooks we write in, the way we usually arrange our furniture. It's not very original but -- the thing about squares is that, pending additional originality (i.e., Buckminster Fuller) that is how we put the world together.

"Psychologically, squares represent a common condition: the difficult choice between seemingly opposite modes of being. The tension between one's creative work and career is often a square kind of thing (but does not have to be, for example, Capricorn and Pisces are really a sextile). Between wanting to be monogamous and polyamorous (Scorpio to Aquarius); between being a parent and being an individual (Cancer or Capricorn to Aries); between one's firm sense of self and one's sense of group identity (Taurus to Aquarius)."

Planet Waves Weekly

Under a Tangled Sky
New Paltz, June 2, 2006

'these characters dance to the tune of your deeper cosmic affiliation: love or fear'

"Tarot gets its information from many sources, though you get to choose which one you want for yourself. The archetypes depicted in the cards exist as living entities in psychic space, to whom we relate; and also to living people and circumstances. But in a sense these characters dance to the tune of your deeper cosmic affiliation: love or fear.

"Cards and the patterns they arrange themselves in mirror our state of mind astonishingly. They also mirror reality to a startling degree. The comment here is that one's state of mind helps shape what we perceive as reality. This is why many people begin tarot work with an invocation to goddess/god, the higher self, the holy spirit or something else on the vibe of 'the greatest good for all concerned'. It is well advised to do so, as tarot and any other esoteric tool opens us up to other dimensions of reality, sometimes slippery ones where we're less accustomed to negotiating.

"If you ever get lost in a situation or find yourself experiencing fear, whether reading for yourself or a querent, call on the holy spirit's assistance and you'll get it."

Planet Waves Weekly

The Celtic Wings
Brussels, Friday, Nov. 24, 2006

Sunflower return. Photo by Deirdre Tanton.

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