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Eric Francis Astrology Q&A
Archive for Friday 24th September 2004

Astrology Secrets Revealed: Eric Francis Answers Your Questions
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Dear Readers
Welcome to a new season -- really, a new mini-era of history. Can you feel the energy moving? I've said a lot of times, and don't feel like I'm taking a big chance in doing so -- the next three months promise to be some of the most interesting we've witnessed in a long time. We are all in a perfect position for the affairs of the wide and wild world to speak to us directly, and to learn from them directly. People who have spent years (sometimes many years) developing their spiritual or healing knowledge are likely to have many opportunities to express their gifts.

You know, it's kind of strange, if you ask me -- not so long ago we were looking forward to the new age of peace and enlightenment, and now we seem to face all kinds of very intense, unnecessary conflict every day and even every hour; many people want to bury their heads in quicksand, and who can blame them, as there seems so little we can do except try and get by.

But as far as I can tell, this new age is something we need to create for ourselves, and can do so intentionally. We need to start on a small scale and make our own opportunities for getting together and raising awareness, and celebrating life; we need to teach one another right from wrong, or at least explore the issues; we need to help one another when we're making challenging decisions or having difficult times. We need to share our gifts with the world not hoard them up for the future or till we're 'perfect'. It is true that the more you give, the more you find out you have.

And we need to ask questions. Question Reality, as the bumper sticker says.

Last week I mentioned something about a black holes in early Libra. Here is last week's essay from Planet Waves Weekly which sheds some light on what's going on in Libra, and why this particular time is so crucial, beautiful, unique and downright wild.

Equinox: With Love from M87

And here are some reflections on your questions this week.

Dear Eric
Thank you for your wonderful work! I have retrograde Venus in Scorpio which in so many books just seems to spell 'doom' for relationships, which I have experienced as a matter of fact, repeatedly. I also have retrograde Saturn. Am I marriage material? Cause I am feeling so lonely at this point . . . and never before have I so wanted a partner. I am a single mother of a beautiful daughter and I need to know, what should I look for (sign-wise) in a man? Does my chart look as if I will ever find love? I feel like giving up . . . as well as 10 years of physical pain and suffering, I have been thru so much heartbreak. Birthdate: November 16th, 1970, 1:35 a.m., San Francisco, CA.


Dear Rahmana
Every woman is good marriage material for the right man, that is, if she wants to be. And if one is into women, this still holds true; it's all a matter of meeting the right person at the right moment. But remember that marriage or long-term partnership is an experience projected over time, so people must not only be compatible with one another, but also change in compatible ways. That would allow a true marriage that is based on progress rather than suppressing growth and potential.

Isn't it so strange that in the times we want, and feel ready for, a partner the most, and are even feeling the most beautiful, they are the most difficult to find? I don't know whether it's energy, psychology, or a cruel psychic joke, but it seems to go around like the flu.

Let's take a look at your chart and see what we can see.

You mention your retrograde Venus in Scorpio, and I have some ideas. Remember, though, that astrology is not the truth! It's a form of personally applicable fiction, kind of like a myth, that may or may not actually be true for you. So look for symbols, or if none of this applies, feel free to disregard. But here's what I'm picking up.

Actually, your Venus is placed in an extraordinary angle of your horoscope, conjunct Jupiter and other planets, and as so often happens, a much larger story is told throughout the other houses that adds depth and insight. Always look for supporting themes in any chart; often when you're reading a chart you'll get the feeling that the whole thing says the same thing!

First let's consider a retrograde personal planet. Personally I consider these more significant than retrograde outer planets -- the inner worlds, particularly Venus and Mars, are retrograde substantially less than the outer planets. And their effects are so close to the world of personality and basic interrelating that they must be considered carefully.

Retrograde planets of any kind point to the past. They also lead us inside. Some say past lives; most astrologers would agree that they point to childhood conditions, and the most insightful idea I've worked with comes from the eminent Martha Lang Wescott (Website: She suggests that they represent (remember this) a vital personal attribute that we turned off in childhood in order not to threaten our parents or other caregivers. So the trick to working with retrograde planets is learning how to express rather than suppress them -- and to bring other people into our lives who bring these qualities out rather than try to make us hold them down.

Venus in Scorpio is sexy, dark and inviting. I can see her dressed in a black satin gown. But very sexy energies and people can make waves in conservative households (and many other places), and I am pretty sure yours qualifies. You were supposed to be good marriage material right from the start (before you were born, probably), and then they did everything they could to tattoo this into your mind. It worked -- part of the way. You now seem to live in two completely different realities at once, even two lifetimes at once: a world of deep erotic awareness and secret, mystical passions, and, at the same time, this is trapped within the rigid values of your family and its culture. You can, at times, incarnate as one or the other; how to be present for both is the question.

It would be worth stating at this point that nobody, and nothing, are ever going to stop you from being who you are. You are just too strong. So you might as well give up on not being you, assuming you haven't laughed that one off a long time ago. You are extremely determined to work out your life, your particular way. It just may take you some time to reconcile all these little wrinkles in the cloth and seeming contradictions, and to stand up to your inner parents, those voices of guilt, conscience and control. And I would not be surprised if there's a layer of inner conflict because you really do hold some of the cultural values that came through your family close to heart. If so, one thing that sometimes helps is to go deeper into that tradition and its roots rather than to live on the surface, like most of the people you know.

Now, back to astrology, there are times when using asteroids truly helps the issue and times when it's less helpful -- and in your chart, we've hit oil -- jasmine scented oil, from the temple of sacred erotic healing. This arises in the form of an exact conjunction between Venus and Vesta in Scorpio (exact, meaning within the same degree). This conjunction suddenly provides us with a lot of extra information about the nature of that Venus, as Venus and Vesta function as one idea and one experience in your chart.

Vesta, discovered in 1807, is a complex goddess figure and correspondingly complex asteroid who has some interesting implications for our times. Called Hestia in Greek, she's the brightest asteroid (visually), appropriate for her role as the goddess of the hearth, in whose temple the six Vestal Virgins tended the eternal flame. But this 'flame', kept in a temple for the purposes of the priesthood, has erotic implications (fire always does). With the discovery of Vesta, we have the emergence of the Sacred Whore in astrology: the priestess or goddess of sex and pleasure for healing, ritual and transformational purposes, as well as 'spiritual reproduction'. She would also cover reproduction for the purpose of giving a child to another, for them. She appears in the Bible as Mary Magdalene. We met this character in The DaVinci Code by Dan Brown, and, in fact, many other places, usually without knowing.

This is what you might call a 'secret' aspect of women that a great many women sense is alive and burning deep within them, but few know how to express. Those who do have this awareness know they have to be very careful, lest they be misunderstood, or threaten others with their knowledge and experience of a taboo.

Astrologically, Vesta has been taken to represent issues like using work as a substitute for relationships, the transfer of sexual energy into art (both sometimes called sublimation), and learning how not to take things so personally. All these themes hold true, but they seem to cleverly disguise the real issue: the attribute of the feminine which, making a personal sacrifice to do so, uses her erotic fire for the healing of others, in their service. She knows she is part of something larger than herself, and she gives herself up, or gives of herself, to do its work.

Now, this mode of living can convey itself into ANY aspect of life, and it is clear that you are a person who gives deeply from yourself, or who yearns to, and this, I think, is part of your impulse to marry.

If anyone knows how to surrender to a lover, it is you. But it's not always so easy. And the big variable is finding a partner who understands and appreciates the depth to which you are capable of going. This can provoke control issues in those not so willing to dive deeply into life.

Hence, looking for friends and a love, beware of moralists of any kind; these are people who, beneath it all, are obsessed with control. Vesta takes us beyond the morality of sex and leaves us facing the reality of sex. In her love aspect, she is the love that loves through us; and the experience of becoming a vessel or conduit of love for another person. Vesta is about yielding.

Another asteroid aspect helps us understand your dilemma: Juno (planet of marriage) retrograde, conjunct Saturn retrograde, in Taurus. This says to me that you may be likely to attract controlling, conservative men who may not necessarily be so impressed with your depth, sensitivity, independence and capacity for surrender. It will not take much work for you to identify the parent who has conveyed this vibe to you, and that will help you make the correction; look for the parent with a sense of threat, and obsessed with tradition -- the same one that led you to shut down in the first place. (I'm gonna guess Mom. Dad seems pretty open minded. But there's a LOT of tension in their relationship.)

I suggest you look for partners amongst those whom we might call 'adepts' or at least those on the path -- men who are learned in the mystical arts, and (for example) those who have some experience with the Kama Sutra. Yet all of that is merely window dressing if someone does not have a genuinely loving heart they are willing to share. One measure of this is that the men around you be capable of getting along, and of not competing. That is a bit of wisdom from Tantric teaching.

If you haven't already done so, also I suggest you learn to surround yourself with women who know how to be generous with their personal gifts and pleasure rather than ones who will chastise you (note the word chaste contained within chastise). And remember: watch out for anyone at all who thinks sex is a moral issue; who is offended by your passion and emotional capacity; or by your awareness and depth; or who is uptight about their own body. You'll know who I'm talking about if you close your eyes and feel, rather than look or think. You should be able to smell these people around the block. Do yourself a favour for the next 99 lifetimes, don't tie the knot with any such person or even let them too close -- find someone who would read this article and say, "Ah. She exists."

You do!

More can be found about the four major asteroids at this link on my page:

Hi Eric
Thank you, your column is very informative, as always. I wonder if you could tell me about the movement of Jupiter into Libra (the sign it was visiting at my birth). Would a Jupiter return now be auspicious? I was born in Crosshouses (near Shrewsbury) UK, on 10th May, 1958, at 3pm BST. Also, will the nodal eclipses on the Scorpio/Taurus axis, which finish in April 2005, alter the vibrations from Jupiter?


Dear Karen
This will be a very basic introduction (and warm welcome, give a hand) to Jupiter in Libra, which I'll develop over the next couple of weeks. Jupiter makes its ingress into Libra for the first time since 1993 on Sept. 25. Jupiter into Libra coincides with the equinox (Sun into Libra), as well as Mars, Mercury and Ceres.

This whole extravaganza completes a long, long year of Jupiter in Virgo. It is like to celebrate, there's going to be a huge party in Libra. The Virgo-Jupiter era has certainly been a wee bit uncomfortable, but undeniably necessary (Virgo loves things to be necessary). Our minds (Virgo) have been overwhelmed with international news (Jupiter). I think this era has also been a time of focus on the endless details and facts (I will not list them, you can just scan over for a sample), but minus the necessary context. What does it all mean, after all? It's not meaningless, but what we don't know what it means (all this international news, all these developments). Jupiter in Libra will help us focus on feeling, on the larger themes that the small bits add up to, and judging things by their beauty rather than by how much 'sense' they seem to make. We live in a world where a lot of ugly things are starting to become very sensible. I'm personally looking forward to a vacation from that, even if it happens out in the reaches of the Solar System. But I think the message will come home to Earth.

Basically, on the most personal level, The Idiot's Guide to Jupiter (not a real book, but it sounded like a nice contradiction) tells us: Jupiter's position by natal placement or position by transit are where you should go looking for the good stuff. What good stuff? Most of it, since Jupiter opens the door. Where Jupiter is, is where you can strive, usually with success, to expand your affairs, your horizons, your fortunes and your quality of life. And at the same time, you get a big cushion of protection to help you operate safely while you're doing it.

Libra is an extremely interesting sign (see essay series this month in Planet Waves Weekly). It may be the most interesting of them all, by comparison, given how misunderstood and under-rated it (and its natives) usually are. But we need to have some way to explain why John Lennon, Oscar Wilde, Patric Walker, his excellent successor Sally Brompton, and many other very intense, passionate and creative people were born with the Sun in this region of space.

Jupiter is the point of meeting between Venus and Saturn, two planets widely considered to be incompatible. The goddess of love and nature does not, allegedly, go well with the god of structure, limitation and government. Except that Venus is the ruler of Libra, and Saturn is exalted in that sign. So not only do both planets have strong dignity in Libra, this suggests they also have a much closer relationship than most people acknowledge, wherever you may find them in the chart. (This bit of wisdom comes from Vedic astrology.)

In your natal chart you have a really excellent arrangement of Venus, the North Node and Neptune in your 2nd house. You have a lot to offer! And your primary mission on Earth is to love who you are and learn deep self-respect about what you value and hold important. Then you share it like there's no tomorrow, if you want to keep the supply abundant. This set-up is trine (120 degrees away from) your natal Aquarius Moon-Chiron conjunction. There is a dimension of your soul and even your personality that is able to strike the perfect balance between play and work; between self-interest and communal interest. Jupiter is going to help you a lot renewing this process in your life. Jupiter will also help you clear up any additional remaining sense of injury from your mother; there is a bit, but you've done well with it.

You have a heck of a lot of energy -- you practically glow in the dark. And you need to do something with that energy, which is creative energy, in everything you do. So that means there's really no such thing as mere work in your life. Everything must come with the touch of humanitarian impulse, the artistic flair, that extra bit of intelligence that means quality (like when you can assemble a new product without the instructions and know that somebody cared enough to make it intuitive). Finally, you know you're a dedicated healer, but that this often comes through the way you manage your social relations.

Now add a double helping of Jupiter, a planet about 1,800 times the size of Earth. That's a lot of planet, and that's what you've got going for you. The more you give, the more you will receive. I suggest you have a really big party and invite all the readers of this page! Your Aquarius Moon will love it, and you'll probably make a huge profit that you can donate to charity, which will of course come back to you three times.

That's my take on your Jupiter return, since you asked.

I'm going to pass on the eclipse question -- watch later editions, I'll be talking about these eclipses. Except to say this: pay attention in your business affairs with others this autumn. You'll make some discoveries about who's who in your life. Place bets carefully. Keep the discussion going and make sure you judge people on their values first, their actions second, and everything else third.

Hello Eric
I was just wondering if you knew what it means when there is a harmonic concordance on your birthday. There was one on mine on November 8, 2003. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks.


Hello back, Pauline
The Harmonic Concordance was an event that happened last Nov. 8. It is not a traditional astrological term, but rather one that was created by American astrologers Jan and Johnny Mirehiel around an eclipse of the Moon last year. At the same time there was a 'Star of David' or six-pointed star aspect. The name is a reference to the Harmonic Convergence, an event on Aug. 16 and 17, 1987, created by Mayan astrologer Jose Arguelles.

The Harmonic Concordance of 2003 happened to be on your birthday. So whatever this represented for you has been playing out in your life over the past 12 months or so. Perhaps you could tell us the story. No doubt it was a potent day, and time; that was a serious lunar eclipse, as is the one coming up on Oct. 28.

I now understand Jan and Johnny are now doing Harmonic Concordance II. Tracy at Planet Waves has looked into this and here's what she reports back: The chart is October 1, 2004, 10:02am - 3:22 p.m. GMT and it's a grand quintile or five pointed star of Moon / Saturn / Sun / Pluto / Uranus.

Below is from the new site of Johnny Mirehiel. There's also a chart on the page here:

Johnny writes, "It seems that Jill Whitman of Toronto, who describes herself as 'more of a novelist than an astrologer', was doing some research on possible future quintile patterns when she came across the chart of October 1, 2004. (The quintile series of aspects is not readily apparent, even to the trained astrologer’s eye. They arise from the division of the 360° circle by five. The two divisions that are up for discussion here yield aspects of 72° and 144°.)"

Now, quintiles are not so rare, and grand quintiles do happen. And the weak link in this one is that the fifth point involves a fast-mover -- The Moon. I am not so sure about making a mini-series or consecrating an official holiday out of the Harmonic Concordance, but it gets people interested in astrology, Jan and Johnny are competent astrologers who have something to say, they reach out to people, and they love to promote the work of their colleagues, kudos to them for that.

Still there's quite a lot happening in the sky right now that is not aspecting this grand quintile, and most of that involves Libra, where the planets are piling up -- and that is strong stuff.

Here is one of my articles on the Concordance part one:

Dear Eric
I am a Capricorn with Cancer rising. I've always wondered what effect it had on me to have my opposite sign as my Rising sign. Reading my daily Capricorn horoscope today again gives rise the question (sorry for the pun): "When a planet is passing through your sign, you are effectively awarded temporary ownership of that celestial symbol, even if it is not one that you might normally have an astrological affinity to. When it's passing through your opposite sign, you find that close friends and loved one's will often manifest the qualities of that planet in their relationship with you. Venus and Saturn are both in Cancer now. Which is, of course, your opposite sign. The story of your life now may be an intense one -- but it is all about a desire that deserves to come to fruition. And which has to do so!" If you have your opposite sign as your Rising sign, what is the overall general effect? Does it create conflict and/or confusion? Or does it make you a more well-rounded person?


Dear Colleen
The place to begin addressing this question is with a basic astrological idea: each sign works as a polarity with its opposite sign. The understanding and integration of opposites is probably the single most useful concept that exists in astrology, and one could argue that astrology is based entirely on this idea.

This is valuable information to keep in mind all the time, but particularly when dealing with the four most alive parts of every chart: the horizon (ascendant/descendent axis), the meridian (the vertical MC/IC axis or 4th/10th house axis), the lunar nodes (which are always opposite one another, please see last week's edition), and the Sun. These are all, by the way, among the aspects of a chart that help us define and express the themes of our lives. They talk about this incarnation, and often, give us information about previous ones.

Of these four, the Sun is the only one that's not automatically arranged as a polarity; the opposite sign is insinuated. In each of the other three cases, the polarity is physically involved when you mention one side or the other. If you have Leo rising, Aquarius is a vital part of your consciousness and exists as your relationship angle. Gemini on the north node automatically says Sagittarius on the south. Pisces on the midheaven (MC) will often signify one parent, and Virgo on the nadir (IC) will signify the other.

As most of Jon's readers (who tend to be an astrologically literate lot) know, in a newspaper horoscope, the Sun sign (birth sign) is borrowed as the 'artificial ascendant' or 'fist solar house' and what are called the 'solar houses' are counted beginning from there. So the opposite sign is used like the descendent, to represent relationship and partnership affairs, and it happens to work pretty good.

You are born at sunset, so your rising and your Sun are in opposite signs.

Most people who I have met with this configuration identify very strongly with relationships, so strongly that they can be left with very little sense of themselves, or their separate needs. They can identify so strongly with their partner or desired partner that there is little room left for them to validate their existence any other way.

At the least, I would say that with the Sun in the opposite sign as your rising sign, you have both a strong need to identify with relationships, and also a need to balance out your identity through relationships. Depending on whether your Sun is above or below the western horizon, work relationships (6th house, below horizon) or marriage-like partnerships (7th house, above horizon) will be emphasized. But one thing is sure, you're going to be doing a lot of integrating opposites with this placement.

A planet's placement in a sign tells us something about what we are doing and the style in which we typically do it. The house position tells us where we express this energy, and often, with whom. The Sun does quite well in the sign Cancer, and we are talking about the center of the chart, your core idea of who you are, and the way you express your power, beauty and glory in life. These you are likely to express yourself, seek self-awareness and self-esteem through partnerships, but in a primary way -- that is, beyond even what most people experience. I can tell you that with the Sun in Capricorn in the 7th house, you need secure, committed relationships and should not hesitate to set your whole life up around this idea. With Cancer rising you need to be a truly nurturing person, something that not everyone appreciates. Find someone who does.

I would say that the main thing you need to watch out for with this placement is attempting to compel others to be who you want them to be.

Fortunately, there are other planets involved in the set-up, which will help you clarify the reading. For example, with Cancer rising, the Moon's placement takes on added emphasis as a significator for you, as the ruler of your ascendant. And with the Saturn ruling your 7th house and your Sun, Saturn's placement gives us a lot of information about the kind of partner you typically seek, or who seeks you -- none of which I know because I don't have your data. But I would suggest looking at the sign placements and aspect relationship between Saturn and the Moon in your chart, which is going to give you a few fine clues about how your express your relationships with others.

Now, let's consider another case, for some contrast. Imagine a person with Virgo rising and Mercury in Pisces in the 7th house. Mercury is the ruler of the person's ascendant. It is placed in the sign opposite to one of its most natural, Pisces. Like yours, this creates a powerful identification with the other; but unlike yours, Mercury is not as well-supported in Pisces as the Sun is in Capricorn. Mercury can struggle with clarity in Pisces, and if you place the whole thing in the 7th house, clear relationships become particularly tricky because can be difficult to establish clear communication or clear commitments but a deep desire to do so.

Let's add the ruling planets of Pisces to the equation, Jupiter and Neptune: imagine they both make challenging aspects (quincunxes) to Mercury. Unless you take the chart and use it as a counselling tool -- which is a very good idea, since reading the chart only gets you halfway around the block -- all you can really say to this person is that you must learn to be yourself, and be yourself at all times! And to be oneself in this case may well mean being that which you desire the most, or realizing that you are that entity.

With Pisces so prominent, an astrologer could warn against any relationship that involves drugs or alcohol; they could warn against anyone who tells lies large or small - these being clues that 'being other than oneself' is occurring, or prone to occur, in the situation. And they could warn against experiences of relationship that deny the existence of the client, which denial could come in the requirement to change for a partner. Yet the nature of this kind of set-up is precisely to make the distinction between me and thee so fuzzy.

Because Mercury is involved, and Mercury often tells us about childhood, the client would benefit from a deeper understanding of what happened to them as a child, and where; as a result of overbearing parents, they are likely to have lost themselves during childhood, to have become what everyone else wanted (very Piscean) and as a result, never really found out who they are.

In your case, at least we're talking about the Sun, which is so central to existence. But society puts a lot of pressure on us to act out various parts in our personal affairs rather than stand in our own soul power. Even the idea, 'if I wear these sunglasses, I will be more attractive to this person' is based on a heck of a lot of 1st-7th house confusion.

For many reasons, the 7th house is one of the most challenging in astrology. It is always ion. And this we must see for what it is, own what's ours, and give back what is not. Usually that reflection comes back in the form of people we relate to, love and with any guts, strive to be real with.

Speaking of being real, I have to hand it to Jonathan for such an astute interpretation in a Sun-sign horoscope. We are of course spoiled to have bouquets of flowers popping off of newsprint when Jonathan writes. But that was a really good one, with the transit explained and the theory to back it up, all in 107 words. Astrologers like that don't grow on trees.

Speaking of horoscopes, if you would like to read the Planet Waves horoscope, by yours truly Eric Francis, check in at for more information.

This is an awesome, inexpensive service that delivers two horoscopes per week, an in-depth essay that often takes astrology "beyond astrology," and a weekly birthday report that I think is worth the whole subscription fee. Note, we give big discounts for Aussie and Canadian readers!

You can also read many of my articles and monthly horoscopes at

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