Planet Waves Weekly | By Eric Francis
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For Friday, August 8 , 2003 | Version 1.4

Brother Moon

Dear Stargazer:

The Aquarius moon often presents a puzzle to astrologers. The moon is a cyclical creature, constantly changing. Aquarius is a fixed sign and tends to crystallize patterns. The moon is inherently emotional and Aquarius is usually described as being rational and intellectual. The moon is maternal and we hardly think of Aquarius as being particularly cozy this way. Aquarius is ruled by Saturn (in the modern age, also by Uranus). The moon rules the sign Cancer, which is about as different than Aquarius as you can get.

And different is exactly what you get.

Some astrologers will tell you it's a terrible moon and others will tell you it's a great moon. Whatever the case, there's something distinctly Aquarian about the Aquarius moon -- you can see it and feel it in these natives. It's not necessarily something easygoing on the deepest emotional levels, but it's not exactly out of place in the world either. You might say it's something that feels right about being out of place. It may be that because certain specific needs were denied to them in childhood, they turned out needing something they probably never expect to find. They are continuously in unfamiliar emotional territory, continuously forced to adapt, synthesize and create the world they need as a basic necessity of living.

This moon seems to come with a certain kind of pioneering spirit. For a fine example, Brian Epstein, the first manager of the Beatles, the man who put the Beatles into those classy suits and put them on the map, had an Aquarius moon. It required honoring both vision and practicality, and a feeling for exactly what the world was ready for.

George Lucas, who innovated a new genre of science fiction and created a robot that was as warm and loving as anyone's dog or friend -- Artoo-Deetoo -- has an Aquarius moon. Speaking of science fiction, its very inventor, H.G. Wells (The Time Machine), and his distant cousin and dharma heir, Orson Welles (producer of the radio classic War of the Worlds), both have moons in this sign. Of these people, George Lucas is the only household word. His actors and actresses and their characters were far more famous than he was, the same being true for Brian Epstein. As for Wells and Welles, their ideas and achievements are more famous than they are. This is not the Leo moon, where one must be visible, well-loved and well-known; Aquarius moons do fine working behind the scenes, and in fact, thrive there.

But it happens that they end up in your kitchen or television set. Consider the late Diana, Princess of Wales or John Lennon. Here are two of the best known names in Western culture, and both have an Aquarius moon. But they are known as much as anything for their basic humanity. There's a need to be normal with this moon, to be part of the world, to be human despite being famous, and that need is obviously driven by a feeling of being so different than everyone else.

John Lennon lived like just about any other New Yorker. Visiting my dad on the Upper West Side as a kid, I half-expected John to be having dinner with Yoko in the Empire Szechuan restaurant on 96th Street every time I walked in; that was how he lived. With Diana, Lennon shared a propensity for getting involved with social causes, which is something often associated with Aquarius. To most people, social causes are abstractions. To Aquarians, abstractions are real, so there's no conflict there. They can conceive of needs that most people cannot imagine. They are very good at identifying needs that go beyond themselves.

There is something distinctly futuristic about Aquarius moon people, like you're friends with a character from a sci-fi novel, or at least fictional character. They are "different," a little cool, a little (or a lot) remote at times, but consistently a friend and even a friend to their enemies. This is the moon with "no time to hate." (Richard Nixon, who had his moon in Aquarius and also had plenty of time to hate, is an example of how even someone so diabolical could be appreciated for his humanity. Nixon was the president who went down to the plaza quite early one morning with a somewhat alarmed Secret Service detail to explain the war to anti-Vietnam protestors.)

Are they friendly or dispassionate? Perhaps both, or seemingly so. One needs to be a little dispassionate to be a true friend; one must not get too involved. Their apparent lack of passion can drive the people who want them to be passionate a little nuts. Nuts is contagious; they are all a little or a lot neurotic, but you love them anyway.

Both Diane Keaton and Woody Allen have Aquarius moons. These two people -- are they characters or are they real? -- exemplify New York City-style mashugana like the professionals they are, popping Valium to stay calm and navigating the mental loops of relationships for all to see. "I awoke on Friday and because the universe is expanding it took me longer than usual to find my robe," Woody Allen said in last week's The New Yorker.

Their comedy is social satire. They get the joke of how stupid society is, with all its rules, expectations and appearances. They understand the rules and cannot help but break them. After all, what else are rules for? To an Aquarian that is.

Mental -- there is something mental about this moon, which is why some astrologers are prejudiced against it and claim it's shallow. But what it may lack in gushing emotion it makes up for in ideas. Both Alfred Nobel and Joseph Pulitzer, each idea men in their own right whose names are now attached to prizes which reward society's most daring journalists, creators and scientists, were of the Aquarian moon. It was Pulitzer, a newspaper publisher, who first called for the university-level training of journalists.

When NASA put the first woman in space, Sally Ride, it was someone with an Aquarius moon. Ditto for the first black baseball player to step up to the plate, Jackie Robinson.

How does this work? My take is that the moon is so antithetical to Aquarius that it functions chirotically. The moon seems agitated or irritated and must go to great extents to fit in at all; therefore it can also withstand the long struggles that pioneers face, and the mixed reviews they always wind up getting. They are already attuned to a degree of emotional alienation, so the discomfort of bold achievement is not too difficult for their natures to endure.

But their emotional natures are exceedingly complex, and mingled with all kinds of ideas about themselves. These are not simple people, no matter what you do. Emotional complexity is far more natural to them than it is to most other moons. This is one reason why they make such good friends. Everyone else's problems seem simpler than their own.

The dark side of the Aquarius moon appears in the likes of David Koresh, Charles Manson and Gary Gillmore. Koresh and Manson, for their part, exemplify the group aspect of this moon that can have a cultish quality. But there is still something of their humanity that shines through these people. Gillmore, a confessed double-murderer who became the first person executed after the Supreme Court reinstated the death penalty, became the truly human symbol for how stupid the death penalty is (in part thanks to Norman Mailer, who has an Aquarius sun). Even Charlie Manson, who masterminded numerous murders, comes across more as an actual living person rather than as a monster. Interesting that both Koresh and Manson had aspirations to being rock stars, perhaps the ultimate career experience for this moon (Linda Ronstadt and Neil Young being two examples).

Neil's lyrics give us some insight into the complexity of this moon. In one song, he talks about how all those lovers are only passing through you in the end. In another, he ponders, "How I lost my friends, I still don't understand." He continues:

They had the best selection,
They were poisoned with protection
There was nothing that they needed,
Nothing left to find
They were lost in rock formations
Or became park bench mutations
On the sidewalks and in the stations
They were waiting, waiting.

So I got bored and left them there,
They were just deadweight to me
Better down the road without that load.

What Neil seems to be saying is that his friends crystallized and become burdens -- and that they were spending their lives waiting. Though Aquarius itself may be about crystallization, the moon is always changing and it can't take one pattern of living for very long. So that moon is always on the move, emotionally and mentally, constantly reinventing itself, at least in a healthy specimen. The chart's aspects, of course, modify and describe the details.

This moon does not suffer from most of the usual attachment trips (just its own highly innovative ones, associated with its idealism about everything and everyone, idealism which is rarely fulfilled). The moon's first keyword is need, and the first keyword for Aquarius is freedom. Far be it for most humans to wrap their minds around such an abstract or bizarre concept! Or to not be terrified of it.

That unattached, on-the-move feeling leads some astrologers to say that its natives are shallow or not that serious about what they do, but that quality can be more or less exaggerated, or nonexistent, based on other chart factors. Obviously, some very high achievers have had Aquarius moons, but most of them have been restless souls. Consider John Lennon, whose musical compositions represented a rapid series of self-reinventions between 1966 and 1969. These albums pushed the culture forward and yet offered sanity and guidance in some of most tumultuous years in recent history. The Aquarius moon can deal with change; in fact, it needs and expects change, and expects and needs people to change. Everything is interesting, but nothing is that interesting for that long.

Including people. They need a lot of people around them, and a constant supply of fresh faces and minds.

Their ideas are stranger than most, their analyses more complex and penetrating, and their minds seem able to exist in many time periods at once. They are the most interesting people most of their friends know, but where does that leave them? Well, as usual, needing to invent someone or something, or to reinvent themselves, in order to fill the void.

Aquarius moon is the original brotherly lover. Their detachment -- in both men and women -- gives them the ability to be both lover and friend, either or both at the same time. Being friends with them after a romantic relationship has ended is often easy because they are generally not hung up on the past, and they recognize the necessity of friendship inherent in any sexual pairing even after the sexual dimension has changed. Alternately, they can really let people pass through them and move on.

They all have eccentric mothers, many of whom were a little detached and may themselves have "moved on." Their moms can have that same removed quality most people see in them. But removed or not, there is always something odd about mom. Either she is not there, or she's an aunt, or she's more like a friend than a parent, or she's just kinda weird. Does their mom ever really know them? Can anyone know them truly? It may be a lifelong quest, and the driving force behind everything else they set out to achieve. ++

Current Astrological Highlights

The Aquarius Full Moon is Monday, August 11 at 9:48 p.m. PDT. This is the 4th anniversary of the grand cross and total solar eclipse of Aug. 11, 1999 (historical artifacts here, here and here, which will take you back to the dawning moments of the Planet Waves project). In this lunation, the Leo sun and Aquarius moon are square the lunar nodes. The sun is in a conjunction to both Venus and Jupiter. This full moon may have an eclipse-like feeling because it's so close to the 1999 event and because when the sun squares the lunar nodes we experience a phenomenon called moon wobble. I'm not sure about the scientific documentation on moon wobble, but it's said to be associated with a burst of turbulence and disorder on the cultural level. But that seems to be normal these days.

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Planet Waves by Eric Francis

Birthdays This Week
The full moon always comes with a sense of relief, release and a crest of energy, and this year is likely to represent a culmination of your activities for the past four years. There were major shakeups for Leos in the late 1990s (due to a rare and powerful series of solar eclipses in your sign) and in truth it has taken this long for your life to settle. But you're doing more than settle now: the past is over and you have more than enough in the way of resources, determination and love in your heart to succeed at the challenges you face, and the ones you choose to take on yourself.

I sincerely urge you to track your history over these four years, which are likely to feel like the four seasons of one year. Consider each step you took and how you took it. Look especially at the past 12 months, when certain hidden benefits from your plan, as well as hidden flaws, began to emerge. How has your process of dealing with life's challenges changed in this time frame? The answer to that question presents you with an important lesson in your maturity process.

You have gained so much in such a short time, in the way of wisdom and hopefully comfort. If you haven't, you can set your heart and mind on that process as the next year of your life unfolds.

One of the persistent challenges in recent times has been in the area of what are commonly called boundary issues, the lines, real and imagined, that distinguish you from others. The long experience of Neptune transiting your opposite sign, Aquarius, has presented a series of situations where people turned out to be someone other than you expected, or where your borders were transgressed. Neptune is the lord of illusions, so it remains a high priority for you to understand where people are coming from, and that may require the test of time. You can be sure that you have a lot to offer them. What you are testing is whether this works in both directions. People will have a tendency this year to mirror back to you your best qualities. This may really be about them, or it may be about you. Please, learn the difference. While many people share your idealism, one in a thousand is capable of coming through with the goods.

The area of commitments, both financial and sexual, will provide the most intense and rewarding quests this year. You really are on a sure path to finding out who and what you want and need in your life; you are sorting out what works for you now from what used to work for you a long time ago, and you're seeing there's a big difference. Remember that in this world everything is negotiable even if people assure you it's not. It may not be for them, but with the kind of grace, luck and charm you're blessed with on this anniversary, you're in a fine position to ask for what you want, and get it.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
With your newfound freedom from so many old patterns, and the rediscovery of so much you had left behind so long ago, you may be wondering if what you're experiencing is real. Yes, it is real, but a rare moment when a wide variety of influences all work in your favor. The beauty of the moment is that you get to shine in all your true colors no matter how strange you or anyone else thinks you may be. You know they have no clue what you're really thinking, and how much fun you're having surfing around on the cutting edge of infinity. (If infinity verges on anxiety, rotate your mind one degree to the left.)

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
It's amazing how little we really need to be happy when being happy is what we really need. There is nothing superficial about it, no need to hide one's head in the sand, only to ease into the inevitable flow of life and the reality that this moment is actually real. This is, actually, a very good place from which to set priorities and objectives for the future. This is true in part because right now you can feel how delicate of a process that is: of combining your growth needs with your material and emotional needs with your creative visioning process. The blessing is that now, you can take them all into consideration at once.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Usually it's better to get it right the first time, but now you have at least three chances to make any complicated process work. Emotions qualify, and you are moving through layer after layer of your feelings; revisions of your assessments are in order. Expect your current process to take you through the Libra equinox. Work at your plans gently. Understand when you're facing a problem or when your mind is misinterpreting the data to seem like a problem. Practice the art of benign neglect. Watch what just happens when most of what you do is observe. It promises to be pretty interesting.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
"Aquarius" and "Moon" are an odd couple, and Aquarius Luna cometh. Aquarius, in your chart, also happens to be the mysterious sex-reproduction-death-shared resources angle (yes, astrology groups all those themes into one house). Look through and you shall see through. Desire and you shall have. But the cosmic message is that all having is temporary, that is, part of the process of time. You may get a fine demonstration of the idea that there are better ways to experience relationships and passion than pretending we own people. Jealousy is old, outdated and rather dangerous psychic software. There's only one way out of the trap: the actual experience that something else is possible.

Leo (July 22-Aug 23)
Next week's full Moon in your opposite sign, Aquarius, occurs on the anniversary of an ominous event in the summer of 1999 -- the grand cross and total solar eclipse. Today's horoscope is a reminder of what a difference four years makes. Trace the important themes of your life from then to now: relationships, your professional development, and most of all, your emotional and psychological maturing process. What was the crisis or breakthrough of summer and fall 1999? Where have you gone since, and what would it mean to keep developing at a similar rate of progress?

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You may fancy yourself a simple person, but this is just another thought. All people are complicated. You surely have a simple side, the ability to interact in clear ways on clear terms with people. And, because your mind is so active -- in part, analyzing itself -- you have many extraordinarily complex facets. Don't get lost in them now. Please don't create issues where none exist. Certain aspects are now allowing you a unique perspective on your past sense of self. This is a good time to respond to every situation you face as if it were now, not then.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
There's more to life than people sincerely adoring you. But how much more? It's not in your nature to cash in on your charms. My take is you use them minimally, much in the way that puppies and kittens eat well and find homes merely by dint of being so cute. However, I suggest you use this moment to solve every pending problem in your life. Ask for all the help you need, all the forbearance, all the being granted exception to the rule status and, more than anything, a raise. And if you happen to take new work just for money, seek a very good price, because you'll likely get it.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
There is a limit to how out-of-bounds things can currently go, and you're about to reach it. Scorpio does not like to be overwhelmed with Pisces energy, and with Mars retrograde in Pisces, you're getting some of that. For Scorpio, Pisces is the ultimate feeling of not having a grip on anything. But you need to learn to have a little looser apprehension of the material world, since its rules are not the ones you fancy. Pisces is saying let go a little more, trust the risk you've taken, and don't panic if the water seems just up to your nose. Everything has its limit.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
Your life is moving from the realm of theory to that of practice. Your mission is shifting from attaining spiritual awareness to exercising actual power and authority in the world. For now, you are still free to explore the amazing realms of possibility that you see, and to let your imagination reach beyond what you are sure of. I suggest you do a lot more of this in the next few weeks, and remember the ideas you've conceived and the places you've been. You will need them once you find yourself in a position of responsibility that does not lend itself to nearly as much imagination, but offers you something you truly do need.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
So much less is tangible now. Just when you got accustomed to the rather astonishing challenge to your identity that's dominated the past 18 months, your entire orientation changed from one that was fundamentally mental to one that is at its essence emotional. So little seems certain in the emotional realm; it's a different element, where small movements carry with much greater momentum. Yet there is a clarity possible in the emotions that is simply not available through any other form of consciousness. You are about to reach a rare understanding of the nature of true relationship in your life. Keep asking the most important questions you can reach. They have answers.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
This week's stunning Aquarius lunation may not assuage your fears and misgivings permanently, but you feel the possibility of a life in which you can meet the world on equal terms. Part of your insecurity is the result of Neptune's presence in your sign, which is melting all those crystals you usually use to hold your personality together. It's also working through the layers of faux Aquarian certainty that do little other than isolate you from people and new information. Feelings are subtle, and you will never quite feel the way the people around you do. But they are offering you a lot of very constructive guidance right now, and a fine lesson in being alive.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Nothing is really normal right now, but somehow everything is normal. In the hydrodynamics of your soul, there is a rush of energy flow being created by Mars retrograde, which is likely to be revealing how complex and contradictory you are. At least there's nothing subtle about the observations you're making -- in other words, unlike usual, you can actually see and feel contrasts that normally just disappear into the mists. If one of the highest forms of living is to actually express the core of one's being, there must be something sacred about including your contradictions and twists of consciousness in any sane definition of love. ++

Planet Waves Weekly and are edited by Eric Francis, with help from Chelsea Bottinelli and the Vision List. This newsletter is $49.95 per year and published 48 times per year. We encourage our readers to contribute their artwork and writing to the Planet Waves project and to cultivate themselves as creative forces in the unusual and socially formative times in which we live.

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