Astrology Secrets Revealed: Eric Francis Answers Your Questions
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The sky is gradually shifting into the sign Aquarius with greater intensity. Today, the planet Venus left Capricorn and joined the Sun and Mercury in Aquarius. In a few weeks, Chiron (a newly accepted planet in astrology, first discovered in 1977) will enter Aquarius, beginning a seven-year journey across the sign of the water-bearer. This represents a distinct historical phase. As I mentioned previously, the third centaur planet, Nessus, has recently moved into Aquarius after a long spell in Capricorn; soon, Chiron and Nessus will form a conjunction that changes the world.
Chiron in Aquarius places an emphasis on groups and group awareness -- an energy that has been horribly lacking from some segments of our society. Mass hypnosis is not what you would properly call group consciousness, but that's the thing we have plenty of right now. An unusual planetary condition -- specifically, Neptune in Aquarius -- that has existed since 1998 has put a kind of drug in the water, inoculating many people against the difference between truth and lies. With the arrival of Chiron in Aquarius, we're going to see some of what we've been missing. Chiron has a way of bringing Neptune into clear, vivid focus. We shall see what we shall see.
Chiron is a planet of awakening, healing and transformation. Awakenings can be pleasant, or they can be a little rude. I think this one will be a relief, even if we're confronted with things that we find disturbing.
But for the current days, the emphasis is on Venus, which just arrived in Aquarius. This is a different kind of feminine energy than we're used to. Her emphasis is on the intellect rather than on the emotions; she is a master of science, but able to maintain a state of equality with her peers; her idea of love is a lot more free and liberated than what we're generally accustomed to in our society, and she can be an important teacher. I think this will bring some refreshing changes to relationships, offering a sense of perspective and necessary detachment where before much that was visible before were commitment and obligation.
As mentioned last week, during the past few days we passed the ancient holiday Imbolc, or (in the Northern Hemisphere) Midwinter. The astrological timing is the transition of the Sun across the midpoint of Aquarius. We are at the halfway mark of the season. Each time the Sun crosses the midpoint of a fixed sign (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, Aquarius) we have one of the cross-quarter holidays, or high sabbats, of the Celtic year. Imbolc, also called Oimelc, has been retained in our calendar as Ground Hog Day, with the remaining spiritual vestige being the use of this time for weather divination. Traditionally, all the cross-quarter days, and the quarter days (equinoxes and solstices) are used for some form of divination. And each of the once-revered cross-quarter days gets its little place: for example, Beltane retained as May Day or Labor Day and Samhain carried over as Halloween.
This year as the Sun crosses the midpoint of Aquarius, we have much involvement of Neptune, which has been in Aquarius since 1998. As of publication time, Neptune is within 24 hours of its exact midpoint (in time) in the long, long journey across Aquarius (lasting 5,118 days).
And in one of those cosmic synchronicities, while it's at this halfway point, the Sun makes an exact conjunction just at the time of Imbolc. This adds a touch of mystery and mysticism to what is already a palpable physical shift: the Sun itself reaching a 45-degree angle to the degree of Aries equinox degree. Remember that Neptune is often an invisible or unconscious influence, at least at first, till the movie comes into focus, or the fog clears. Part of what makes this planet so challenging is that the effects are often seen later, sometimes much later. Intuitively, I feel that Neptune reaching its midpoint in the long Aquarius journey means a lot more than anyone is observing.
We have reached a turning point in a phase of history that goes back to just before the second-ever impeachment of a United States president, which was a dog and pony show distracting attention from the revolution that was very much at hand.
While I cannot say for sure whether people are waking up -- Neptune is involved, you see, so the whole situation feels like a really weird dream -- I am seeing evidence of raising awareness. Here in Paris, I have limited access to English language television. But I watch a lot of BBC World. To give one example, it now seems that climate change is a fully accepted fact. There are constantly stories about the polar caps melting and the problems this may cause. Until just recently, politicians were able to deny the issue or say we needed more study. The fog of denial seems to be lifting. Whether we can do enough to turn the problem around is another question; it seems that many of the most important players refuse to cooperate. Yet awareness is creeping in, which is a good start.
In psychological terms, the arrival of Neptune at the Aquarius midpoint reminds me of a turning point in our own growth that we cannot quite see or understand. Sun-Neptune is something of a contradiction: ego vs. egoless; self-aware vs. cosmically aware. In an odd way, the two fuse into one. We get to let go of a lot of theories and, basically, coexist with existence.
Set against the recent history of the local cosmos, this is a moment of relative calm. A good time to read things three times, look under rocks and read the scraps of paper you find in telephone booths. It's a good time to make sure you and the people in your life understand one another, and that you allow one another time and space for you views to change.
For those who enjoyed my horoscopes on Jonathan's site last week, I offer a horoscope newsletter published each Monday and Friday. This is the only place online to get my weekly horoscope, which comes out each Friday. And each Monday there is a supplemental horoscope, usually one of the many monthly columns I write for different magazines. Check it out at http://PlanetWaves.net/
Children's Charts: Rising versus Sun
Addressing the Sun vs. rising sign question, I suggest you read what works for you. Reading a horoscope column is a form of divination. So you want to have some guidelines to follow and not get yourself confused. Personally, I'm something of a purist. I figure if my favorite horoscope writers have a message for me, I'm going to find it under Pisces. I also don't like to do a lot of thinking; I just go to that particular 'meeting point' and get the message that's waiting there.
If reading the rising sign works for you, that's the way to go. Astrology is certainly mystical, but you know, when the shoe fits, wear it. I know that I write my columns with the expectation that people will read both their Sun and rising sign, and sometimes the themes of the rising sign are equally appropriate to my own life (including some interesting predictions in my own column that have come true) as the Sun sign. However, we are doing solar astrology in these columns so you can't deny that the Sun is an influential player in horoscope columns.
As for kids. I have a hunch the rising sign is pretty important for children, since their ego consciousness (as represented by the Sun) is not fully formed. And they are 'ascendant' people -- growing up, rising up. I know that in my own life, as a kid I expressed my rising sign much more distinctly than my Sun sign, and others have reported the same thing. The rising sign, seen this way, can represent something we had in childhood that we lost as we became adults and then strive to recover as we develop into adulthood.
The clue here is that, if you're aware of your child's rising sign, to help them keep those attributes as they grow into teenage and young adult years.
However, newspaper horoscopes aside, the Moon sign is vitally important for children because it's the first place we can find out information about what they NEED. When you think of a child's Moon (and in fact of those of adults) think of that one word. It also tells us about the quality of mothering they are likely to get. So if your child has a 'challenging Moon' -- by sign placement, for example, or by aspect -- your might want to consider making some adjustments to your mothering/parenting style based on what you learn from that aspect.
I think that knowing a child's astrological chart can go a long way toward helping parents address the individual needs and concerns that children have, particularly the ones they cannot express for themselves.
NOTE TO READERS - I publish a journal on astrology and parenting at http://PlanetWavesParenting.com/ where you can read the Cosmic Child horoscope free each month. There is a really interesting feature under the articles section called "Growing Up Now," where we interview 25 children and then reveal their astrology. This was a very enlightening experience for all of us who worked on it! Check it out at the link above.
This question seems more complicated than it is. While this subject may be confusing for beginners, it's also one of the more important starting places for beginners.
The modern astrological chart is made of two wheels imposed over one another. One wheel is the signs; the other is the houses. There are 12 of both. The difference is fairly simple. We all know that when it's early February, the Sun is Aquarius. The Sun takes about a month to go through a sign.
However, you can be born with an Aquarius Sun in any house. This is because the world is turning (rotating on its axis). The world rotates once per day. So each day, everything spins through the houses of the zodiac in time with the world turning. Hence, in the early morning before sunrise, the Sun is in the 1st house. Just before noon, the Sun is in the 10th house. Just before sunset, the Sun is in the 7th house.
The Sun isn't moving this fast; rather, the world is turning, and the Sun's angle changes relative to the horizon. The position of the Sun or any planet relative to the horizon is what a house is. Hopefully that was clear enough.
Now, when you look at a chart, the lines you see are the houses. For some reason, the signs don't get lines drawn. But the lines for the houses (called cusps) intersect the different signs. So when a house cusp goes through Aries, for example, Aries is said to be the 'sign on the cusp of the house' and becomes directly associated with that house in that particular chart. The sign on the cusp sets the tone of the house in that particular chart. It's as important as having a planet in a particular house.
It is true that in the case of your chart, Taurus is also partly in your 7th house, and that can be an important factor under special conditions, which we can skip for now.
Now, each sign has a planet that's associated with it (sometimes more than one). This planet is called the ruler of the sign. When the sign is on a house cusp, the planet is said to rule both the sign and the house associated with that sign.
Because you have Aries on your 7th house cusp, Mars becomes an important player in the affairs of that house. This is true no matter where Mars is in your chart. In your case, Mars appears in Aquarius in the 3rd house, far from the 7th; but it has a direct influence over the affairs of the 7th house.
So to sum up: a house is influenced by at least three things:
This is all part of what makes each natal chart so unique. And while it may seem complicated, if you follow the rules for a while, you will see that something 'comes to you' intuitively about what is going on. Notice that so far I've made no attempt to interpret your chart. First we need to follow along with the basic baseball, without saying specifically what something means. It's always good to get the technicalities out of the way first, and it gives you an opportunity to be objective and look at the structure of the chart in an impersonal, even scientific way. This is particularly helpful when you find yourself looking at a chart with a specific question: for example, you're working with a client who wants to know about their prospects for having a child. So you look to the 5th house (which is the first place we look for information about children, pregnancy and birth) and see the sign that's on the cusp. Then you would look at the planets in that house, if any; then you would look for the ruler of the sign on the cusp, and its aspects.
In this way, we can get information about any house, regardless of whether a planet is IN that house; and often, that information comes with exceptional detail. Then, it's important to take all these symbols in context of the rest of the chart. For example, if we're talking about relationships, we need to look at the 5th through the 8th houses -- and any other houses where the planets that rule those houses may fall. (Yes, astrology is detailed work, requiring a lot of systematic thought, which assists the intuition greatly.)
Now, let's look at some of the themes in your chart as they play out following these guidelines. You have Aries on the 7th house. This means you have Libra rising, since the rising sign and the 7th house will always have opposing signs on the cusps. Libra rising tells me that you have a strong orientation on relationships, but that at the same time you strive to be an individualist within those relationships.
Because Libra is rising, Venus (the ruler of Libra) is an important planet in understanding your whole chart. I can only give a few notes here; you will need to study it more carefully.
You have Venus in Aries. Venus in Aries can make a person self-centered, which is sometimes helpful and sometimes not. In your case, this gives you the ability to think of yourself in a situation where you might ordinarily get lost thinking about someone else. The key is to be able to maintain awareness of both people in the relationship, and to be aware of the distinctions between love, selflove, romantic love and other forms of love that can show up as that Venus in Aries.
You also have Venus in the 6th house. Aries covers all of your 6th and part of your 7th house, so it's closely involved with two of the most important houses. Notice, also, that there are a lot of planets surrounding Venus -- the chart above shows four planets in Aries: Chiron, Venus, Pallas Athene and Mercury. If I had to guess, I would say that work is someplace very important to you; someplace you're something of a star; someplace you seek to find your identity; and where you seek to express your passion. This is a HOT chart and you are someone who needs your work to be hot, innovative, daring and pioneering. You need to be a leader, and the conjunction of Venus and Pallas Athene tells me you're a compelling person whose word is taken seriously.
If not, then please get with your chart!
Last, let's consider the ruler of the 6th and 7th house, Mars. Mars is the representative of these two houses, since both have Aries on the cusp and Mars rules Aries.
The ruler of the 7th house (including its house and sign placement, aspects, etc.) describes something of our ideal relationship partner. The ruler of the 6th describes our working conditions and also our working partners. There may be a strong overlap here, as your 6th and 7th are ruled by the same sign and planet.
We find Mars in Aquarius, and also in your 3rd house. Both Aquarius and the 3rd house address mental aspects of the personality. So this placement of Mars tells me you have a knack for attracting extremely intelligent men. Because Aries is so strong in your chart (and thus, you're able to maintain your individuality), you're actually able to relate to these men as peers and equals, no matter how intelligent they are. As a result, you can learn a great deal from them -- a true gift in this life.
But here's something interesting about Mars in Aquarius, which is clarified further by Mars conjunct Vesta, one of the major asteroids. This tells me that the men around you are deeply dedicated to you, but that they may have a kind of sexual detachment from you. This 'detached' quality is the result of both Aquarius and the Vesta conjunction.
However -- if we look closely -- we can see that Venus and Mars are making an important aspect (not displayed in the chart) -- a quintile. There is, quite potentially, an excellent flow of energy between you and the men in your life. But because you are the HOT Aries type, you must be the one to make the first move; you must be the initiator if you want your relationships to go beyond the cool, reserved world of work and ideas.
Honestly, I don't think anyone will mind!
In response to your question, there will always be another earthquake and tsunami, because they are natural events on Earth (even if they may have some unnatural help from humans right now). We have to live with that fact. We also have to live with -- and deal with -- the fact of climate change. For example, I read this article in the Independent today.
It really is time we started living like we live in one world, and not pretend that any one part of Earth Island is different than any other!
Much as I love astrology, I don't think that it's a particularly good place to go for information about these things. Unfortunately, neither is science, which often cannot predict such events. But shortly after the Dec. 26 disaster, I read an article about a distinguished scientist who had made a prediction about an Indonesian quake and tsunami, and nobody believed him. So he took it upon himself to go to the region late last year and hand out leaflets informing people of what to do in the event that certain conditions occurred.
So if we can't even have a real dialog with science, I don't think that it makes much sense to use astrology to predict disasters. However, what makes it worse is that astrology itself has a fetish for attempting catastrophe predictions. All kinds of curiosity seekers, amateurs and even top professionals want to get their dibs in, with the potential reward being fame or notoriety.
I think that if you're concerned about natural or terrorist disasters, the most important thing you can do is to listen to your intuition. The second thing you can do is be prepared. Emergency preparedness should be on the agenda of every well-established household, including having good smoke alarms and an exit plan; and also having the basic equipment for dealing with unexpected developments.
It may seem incredibly corny to have fire drills with your family, but really, it's quite practical and sensible. And while keeping an emergency preparedness kit may seem 'paranoid', it's just simply intelligent. I am not talking about duct tape and plastic sheeting. I'm talking about the basic things we need to keep a household going during an ordinary storm or other event.
You can probably get good lists for what to include from the Red Cross, but stuff like working flashlights, a couple of radios, a CB radio, candles, canned food and so on are very helpful if the power goes out or something else odd happens. I personally keep a flashlight, Swiss Army knife, and other basic survival equipment in my bag all the time, and I always wear solid shoes or sneakers of some kind -- including in the summer, when I sturdy wear sandals that attach to my feet (as a member of the Pisces club, I take care of my feet!).
It's a good idea to keep 10 or 20 gallons of drinking water in the house; if the water goes out, or if heavy rains mess up the water supply for a few days, you'll be glad you have it. Water purification tablets are also a good idea.
In the modern world, one's household survival bag should include regularly replaced backups of important computer files. I believe it's a good idea to keep backups off-premises as well.
One's car should also have basic equipment: tools, some drinking water, working flashlights, a blanket, and so on. In cold climates, it's a really good idea to keep extra gloves, boots and hat in the car. But any Boy Scout could tell you this.
And if you're really serious about being prepared for an emergency, every local community has some kind of committee that deals with the issue. There are always a few people who take it upon themselves to be leaders in an aspect of life that most people pretend doesn't exist, or react to with fear rather than logic. I think it's a fine idea to know your local fireguys, cops and local civic leaders, to the point where you're familiar with their faces or even on a first-name basis.
But as for astrology, I don't think we need to be attempting to predict when and where a certain disaster will strike, hoping for accuracy. Be prepared, pay attention, enjoy your life. What else can we really do?
Can Astrology Be Wrong?
Dear Pope Venus
I've enjoyed tremendously reading your detailed explanations and like the chart examples you use. However, the chart displays include planetary symbols I've never seen elsewhere and I know you routinely include minor planets that other astrologers don't use. Can you please include a legend or key for these? I've just begun looking at the interactions of some of the minor planets in my own chart and would like to understand these objects better as they express themselves in other people's charts. Thanks for your help.
Here is the collection for asteroid glyphs, courtesy of Martha Lang Wescott of Treehouse Mountain:
I am working on a collection of minor planet glyphs and keywords of the Centaurs and trans-Neptunian objects for cainer.com readers. That will be ready in a few weeks!
Thanks for writing.
Whole World Astrology
NOTE: Last week I asked for comments, ideas and experiences about how people live out their astrology in the Southern Hemisphere. Here is one of your responses. More are welcome! We're also going to be printing more of your reader comments on any other subject, so please feel free to send comments as well as questions. Thank you! - efc.
Your response to "The Australian Awareness Project" brought to mind the old saying of "wherever you go, you take yourself with you" ... this includes your natal chart.
So in looking at the bigger picture, whatever season in the world we find ourselves in, we are also going through our own cycle of personal life seasons within that according to the moment we're born.
I don't believe it does throw the whole basis of astrology into question. If we broaden our perspective to look at a natal chart of the world around the time astrology came into being, beginning with the season of 'birth' then whenever the Sun drops below the horizon it exposes the underworld ... or the lands downunder. Time also takes a turn.
Same happens within an individual's life cycle. Noting the 8th house is inconjunct the 1st (150 degrees away), when that part of the chart is illuminated it's an area that corresponds with an adjustment to the "Fall" years (Autumn) years of life, eg., mid-life crisis in the overall scheme of a person's life cycle, in smaller cycles of time it can indicate a "fall" of another sort.
The southern hemisphere (what's below) is like a mirror image of the northern hemisphere (what's above), remembering mirror images are reversed. So once the Sun dips below the northern horizon it exposes the world from a different perspective, the Descendant of the Northern Hemisphere becomes the new Ascendant for the southern hemisphere ... and the seasons (time) are reversed, just like the mirror image.
When the Sun hits its peak in summer in the north illuminating the sign Cancer, the polarity hemisphere is in the midst of Winter. Both Cancer and Capricorn are symbolised by signs that dwell half in water half on land, they're "boundary" signs. In the heat of summer in the north people make for the water to cool down, and when the Sun reaches maximum exposure they hide inside their "shell" which reflects the light providing shelter from the Sun's harsh rays. In the south, in the middle of winter that same shell is used as protection from the external elements also, only in this instance it's Winter as everyone retreats to the warmth inside their 'shells' ... the further south you go the colder and harsher it gets.
When the Sun dips below the horizon and exposes the North to the Wintry face of Capricorn, it brings out the sunny face of Capricorn in the South. So in the north while people are trying to escape FROM the blizzards and cold and lighting fires in their hearths, in the south people are trying to escape INTO the cold by going swimming etc and trying to put out fires raging about outside their hearths.
And of course the closer we get to the horizon where time takes a turn, the more temperate the seasons become.
You mentioned that the Sun and Moon traditionally only ruled one sign. It's interesting to observe as we've become more familiar with what dwells downunder in our psyches, so have we become more familiar with those lands that reside downunder. In addition, as this awareness has grown, more of the signs have taken on single planet rulership.
Both the psyche and the lands downunder are repositories for certain things. And as one plummets the depths of the psyche they come to new understandings of themself, their soul. As awareness has grown of the lands downunder it's revealed new old souls ... and exploration of these lands also reveals many of those souls who've previously resided above in the north.
Many who reside in the Northern Hemisphere have roots in the south, just as many who reside in the Southern Hemisphere have roots in the north. Australia and its neighbours are not just continents of relocated Westerners, they have their indigenous populations as well as strong populations of people from the east (the Middle East, North East and East). And the beauty of this diverse mix is that many of the authentic cultural traditions have been kept very much intact, from the cuisine to traditional cultural and religious celebrations.
One only has to look to the sports , Olympics, film, developments in medicine, royal marriages etc to see the impact the southern lands have been having on those in the north ... strengthening relationships between the North and its soul life - or life of its souls - 'downunder'.
NOTE: Political Waves is a free political newsletter published by Planet Waves. It is moderated by a brilliant political commentator named Jude. The list offers about seven news articles per day. Sign up for FREE emails here, or read on the WWW:
Though I feel there are so many healers, and spiritually aware individuals "out there" -- my question is why can't we come together in a united front? It would seem that together we could have more influence and make an impact on the world. I try to tell myself it's just the DP (Divine Plan) that Bush won the election. A necessary setback on the road to 2012. But it is so difficult to comprehend that SO many people are asleep and cannot see the propaganda, the spin and marketing that rules our world. It truly makes me feel powerless and sick as I watch. I have longed to contribute something to the greater good but currently feel lost at the moment. Now I AM READY TO SERVE. I want to find a way to make a living and help the world at the same time.
I wish you MANY BLESSINGS in your endeavors and keep those blogs and insights coming. You are incredible!
Best regards... Karen
Your ardent fan,
Dear Eric, I am a single mum on social security, Planet Waves is giving me a free subscription until my circumstances change, so Eric I personally thank you very deeply its been a great soul connection thru a 'disconnected time'. Also great advice to that lady about her step daughter. Who are these people who use the word 'dead' to describe areas of a child's body in front of the child?? My son was diagnosed with a lazy or dead eye the way the people spoke was terrible. I immediately decided to go elsewhere, The eye that was supposed to be dead by age 7 is getting better every day!!!
Thanks for your time, peace and passion, Sue xxx
Please visit Planet Waves Parenting -- the first astrological journal for parents, at http://PlanetWavesParenting.com/
Bridge to the Core, the 2005 Planet Waves annual horoscope, has turned out to be a very nice web page: up to 1,400 words per sign in the annual forecast area; a number of articles addressing Chiron in Aquarius, Saturn in Leo, and sign changes by two other centaur planets (Pholus and Nessus); an astrological calendar for 2005; and a massive charts resource area for students of astrology or those who are just curious. I've done my most in-depth writing ever on 2012 and the astrology between now and then. There are dozens of magnificent bridge images sent in by our readers. There is writing by Planet Waves literary slugger Jeanne Treadway (who writes about walls, while I cover bridges) and a Mayan astrology report through July by daykeeper Carol Burkhart, of the Galactic Alchemy web site.
Bridge to the Core is free to all Planet Waves subscribers. To find out more, check this link. http://planetwaves.net/2005horoscope.html
Please visit my homepage at http://planetwaves.net/.
I invite you to poke around and become one of the many satisfied customers who have subscribed to my twice-weekly news and horoscope service.
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