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The Point of Light
Dear Friend and Reader:

WITH TODAY'S Full Moon, we are witnessing what happens when you thrust Pluto in Capricorn into the spotlight for the first time. The news has been throbbing. So have a lot of people's heads. The pressure is on; the canary in the coal mine looks dizzy.

White Men in Suits: "President" Bush and his war team wave hello on the 5th anniversary of the bombing of Iraq. From left, Lt. General Douglas Lute, Asst. to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan, Deputy National Security Advisor Jim Jeffrey and Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte. Photo in hell by Gerald Herbert / Associated Press.
This week it seems that fear has once again taken its role as the national religion. Suddenly whatever you're watching on CNN Marketplace actually affects you personally, or if you're not lucky, it soon will. Everyone seems to be asking the same question: Where is this all heading? Nobody seems to know -- but there is general agreement that we are in unknown territory.

Events have involved a cocktail of banking crises, Wall Street turning into Space Mountain, continuing sex sagas that are making the famously boring city of Albany, NY seem like King Shahryar's bedroom, and the fifth anniversary of the war in Iraq. Many are talking about the unraveling (read: death) of the financial system, as if it were a given. Note that whether it's going to happen or not, Pluto working on the environment will lead people to consider the possibility of imminent doom, even if what we have coming is imminent change.

Therefore, the prevailing lesson of the astrology is: how do we deal with change? Well, step one is Be Aware. Be Very Aware. Note, we have been ringing the bell about this stuff since December, right before the last big pileup on the Aries Point. Detailed coverage is located here, and here.

Before I recap the extraordinary events of the past five or six days and thread the astrological needle through all of them, let's get a picture of that astrology on the screen. Here is the simplified Libra Full Moon chart, cast for Washington, DC. It will open in a separate window.

As of publication time Friday morning, the Full Moon has yet to reach peak intensity; it does so at 2:39 pm EDT, with the Moon ingressing Libra just three hours before, at 11:44 am EDT. Therefore, much more is likely to precipitate than we've seen as of yet; Monday's newspapers will no doubt be particularly interesting.

Today's Full Moon forms an exact square to Pluto, which arrived in Capricorn in late January. Till now it has managed to stay out of the spotlight; it is now very much in the glow. Today the Moon opposes the Sun (also called the Full Moon), and both the Sun and Moon are square Pluto. All three points meet one another at opposing or right angles. In addition Mars in Cancer is still opposite Pluto, so the Sun and Moon will square Mars as well. This is dramatic, and it can be shocking. Full Moons tend to precipitate events; square aspects tend to do the same thing. There is nothing like a Full Moon to set off a knock effect and make the positions of other planets reveal their full strength and implicit themes, and this is what we are seeing.
Pluto and its moons Charon, Nix, and Hydra photographed by the Hubble Space Telescope on February 15, 2006.
Sign changes of Pluto always throw society into a new gear, and since we're all on the bus, we all come along. However, exceedingly few people feel like their lives are part of something larger. We tend to take everything directly, personally, and forget that there is a greater scheme out there; that personal and global events are inseparably joined.

Pluto does not change signs often: in the current era, it occurs about every 12 to 15 years. When Pluto makes a move, we typically find ourselves in one of those "everything is changing at once" moments. This is what's happening right now. But this is having some very specific expressions, all of them relating to Pluto and Capricorn joining forces -- the rearrangement of structure.

The setup involves something called the Aries Point. Simply, this is the first degree of Aries -- where the Sun arrived Thursday as it entered Aries. This first degree of Aries is always active. Any time a planet arrives in that degree, or makes a square or opposition to that degree, we can notice the effect. After watching the point for years, I gave it the key phrase "the personal is political." (This phrase was coined in the Sixties by the radical feminist group Red Stockings; I have adapted it to astrology.)

Planet X Uncovered (again?)
By Mike Brown
Caltech University

IN 1846, MORE THAN 50 years after the discovery of Uranus, both John Couch Adams in England and Urbain LeVerrier in France independently realized that Uranus was not precisely following its expected path around the Sun, but rather was being perturbed by some unseen force. Using the recently developed methods of physics and calculus, they both calculated that everything could be explained if there was another planet beyond Uranus slightly tugging Uranus from its expected path. Moreover they knew right where to look. LeVerrier contacted astronomer Johann Gottfried Galle in Berlin and gave him precise coordinates at which to point his telescope. On the very first night of his search Galle found Neptune gleaming in his eyepiece. Adams and LeVerrier were correct! And, moreover, their chains of reasoning were correct. Neptune was indeed responsible for giving Uranus a tug, and that tug pointed right at the new planet. The discovery was a spectacular triumph of the new physics; the universe itself was now within the grasp of the mind.

Sedna orbiting our Sun. Courtesy of NASA.
If one new planet could be found this way, why not more? Very soon other astronomers were looking very closely at the orbit of Neptune to see if it, too, was perturbed. It was, or so it appeared at the time. Several astronomers immediately tried to use the same method as Adams and LeVerrier and predict precisely where to find this Planet X (X for unknown and X for 10, though at least one astronomer called his hypothesized body Planet O, a less catchy name which rarely gets mentioned these days).

Percival Lowell, an astronomer from a wealthy family in Boston, even decided to construct an entire telescope (at what is now the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona) with the main purpose being to find the planet. Lowell died before the search began in earnest, but in 1930 Clyde Tombaugh, carrying out Lowell's program, discovered just what he thought he was looking for: Pluto, in orbit beyond Neptune. Planet X discovered! Except that it wasn't. Pluto is far too small to even be noticed by Neptune, much less tug it away from its orbit. Its discovery, though inspired by Lowell, had nothing to do with his prediction. In fact, these days we know that the early measurements of the position of Neptune were simply in error and, as far as anyone can tell, Neptune goes precisely where it is supposed to go. Pluto was not the predicted Planet X, nor does Neptune do anything unusual that would require such a planet.

Plumbing Our Depths
By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

SOMETHING MYSTIFYING happened this week, broadcast live on television across the nation. Someone spoke to us as if we were adults who had the ability to ponder our deepest sociopolitical divides and plumb the depths of our hearts to find our vast commonalities. He asked us to take responsibility for our own emotional and intellectual process as regards the racial fear and bias that is institutionalized in the United States -- accepted, ignored and unexplored. Barack Obama opened a conversation that has been largely tabled since Lincoln wore a stove-pipe hat.

Reflect by MaryLaura Barkley-Mau.
While the speech itself had the properties of an awakening, the response to it should be carefully examined as a litmus paper of our ability...or perhaps our willingness...to take in such a profound topic and deal with it rationally. Rush Limbaugh, bastion of conservative hate radio, crowed that Obama has finally resolved the question among his own about whether he is black enough to represent them and that his entire campaign will now be about his race. The 24/7 news media immediately dissected his comments to see how it would play with which constituencies and how it might further his candidacy, handicapping the race. The op/ed columns give an admiring nod to his unexpected courage and nuance in addressing this complex topic, while warning that he had not 'healed' the wounds he suffered by the nations exposure to the commentary of his pastor, Rev. Jeremiah Wright, Jr. His own supporters testified that they'd never been so proud of a candidate, and the liberal blogosphere at large resonated with lump-in-the-throat emotion that someone had finally and thoughtfully addressed this third rail of American politics -- or perhaps more rightly, American dysfunction.

When the Founding Fathers put together this Republic, neither people of color nor women were represented as full citizens. If we look at that initial moment as a sociopolitical contract drawn and established, then what is lacking in this experiment in 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness' is the complete spectrum, by more than half, of its inheritors. That was the default position of the British colonies, and the imprint of the social realities that produced this nation. In both cases -- gender and race -- that context was primarily a financial context that served the patriarchy of the time: both women and slaves were considered a form of 'property'. It is truly ironic, today, that both a woman and a man of color are competing to lead the country into the 21st century when neither have fully realized their inheritance in the promises of the American Constitution.

Eric Francis
Good Morning Sunshine!

Dear Friend and Reader:

Before we get to the horoscopes, I have a few random bits.

First, I am back to daily blogging at Planet Waves. This is located on Page Two of the main homepage, and it's linked directly from the top of this edition. In addition to my comments, the blog has daily minor planet aspects, the daily oracle and will feature guest commentators as well.

Next, we have a new product: the Skeptic's Subscription! Perhaps there is someone in your life who you feel needs to be exposed to the wonders of Planet Waves and in particular the introspective quality of astrology, but they're too skeptical to try it out. Now you can sign them up with a discounted rate -- using the Skeptic's Subscription Option.

For $33 they, will get service till Oct. 15, right before the presidential election. They will see nearly all of our pre-coverage of the wild astrological adventure leading into the big event, as well as all that stuff we think we're supposed to be thinking about. As you know, our coverage looks at the world from the inside out; and from the outside in -- that is to say, Planet Waves respects the inner life as being integral to existence. You can sign them up at this link.

Next, what about that It's Not About Sex, It's About Self horoscope? It is coming, I have not forgotten -- I never forget. The Valentine's Day series expanded from a single essay to a book draft. The first draft of the horoscope is done, and it will soon be sent to all subscribers as the Spring Sex Horoscope. I have collaborated on this section with Paloma Todd in Spain, my co-author on Mars Calling: An Astrology Book About Men.

Speaking of, we are moving along on Mars Calling and are scheduled for the first chapter to be released in about two weeks. Thank you to everyone who has pre-ordered our first astrological foray into the lives, souls and psyches of the male species. We need to do this, we trust that you are curious about yourself, your male side and/or the men you love.

Last, we are in the midst of major infrastructure improvements at Planet Waves. This includes an integrated sales system and content management system, which we would LOVE to finish. The progress we have made has already made Chelsea's life in the business office easier, we can suddenly offer a diversified product line, and the next step is getting the different content areas organized under one content system.

We are looking for the right investor for this project. If you are interested in helping create the next major phase of Planet Waves, indeed of the hottest new gonzo astrological spiritual on-the move journalism of the 21st century, please contact Chelsea by email at chelsea@planetwaves.net or by phone at (877) 453-8265 (leave a message and she will get back to you soon).

Many thanks. We will be back Tuesday with the April monthly horoscope.

Peace & passion,
Eric Francis

Planet Waves
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, March 21, 2008, #706 - By ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Confidence is the issue, and I do mean THE issue. It seems to be coming and going in waves -- which is not your idea of a good time. One moment you're gunning for the gold, and the next you seem to be like a ship without a sail. Do us all a favor: get over yourself. Let me give you the basic two ingredients of confidence. Do what you say you're going to do; and keep a rhythm. The first connects with the second, since making commitments and fulfilling them is a kind of rhythm. Yet the rhythm also involves discipline; your daily tasks; revising your daily tasks; reviewing your work; checking on your truth-to-lie ratio; nurturing continuous improvement. Learning how to build confidence without using these two techniques -- commitments and rhythm -- is like trying to learn music without being able to count. Notably, once they learn to count, most musicians don't need to do it consciously any more.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
It may seem like you're swallowing a bitter pill, but it actually seems you're experiencing an enforced change that you don't really understand. You may feel like your prior identity is disappearing, but anesthetized before psychic surgery is the more accurate way to say it. It would be a great idea if you forget who you thought you were for a while, and let these changes happen. You don't get the chance to make such significant progress all that often, and you certainly have it right now. Mainly, you are involved in an inner confrontation over your beliefs. I use the term "beliefs" to refer to everything from your religious ideas (even if you swear on a stack of bibles that you don't have any), your ideas about yourself, and your notion of whether the cosmos is friendly or hostile. Currently, your antiquated beliefs eat up a lot of energy that could be spent, for instance, on growing, loving and creating. Let them go -- you won't miss them.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Mercury in Pisces may not be feeding your mental clarity, but you don't have to stress over whether you're going in the right direction. True, you're not the kind of person who likes to go by the 'feel' of things -- you prefer to work with facts that you can compare and contrast. What you may lack in willingness to depend on your intuition you make up for in guts. Guts, however, are another way of saying the same thing -- you are moved to take the right action by a force you don't necessarily understand, which to you manifests as a gentle form of bravery. You really can trust this. At the moment, it is leading you toward the finer things in life, not merely guiding you away from danger. Here is a tip. When you are having a conversation, do it in stereo. On one channel, listen to the person. On the other channel, feel the person. Then, ask for anything you need.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Several Pisces planets are guiding you toward your long-term vision, and Mars is pushing you hard to get there. Keep a focus on this process; you need both sides. The world may seem like it's going down the shitter, but this is precisely my point. Keep planning, keep building, and most of all, keep your vision running hot and wide and high. Do the one-year plan and the five-year plan. As an astrologer, I am vividly intimate with the difficulty of prediction; that is not why you're doing this, at all. The idea is to stretch open the doors, windows and skylights of your mind; to oil the hinges and wipe off the glass and let in some of that springtime air. You are basically doing a metaphysical exercise in stretching the possibilities. I suggest you do this in the context of taking a trip that is designed specifically for pleasure, and your visioning process. Time is tight -- I know. You don't need to go far; what you need is to go someplace different, and with a focus on luxury, and sketch out your vision in as much detail as you can.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
With the Sun moving into your empathic fire sign Arioes, the fog will burn off and the clear sky will appear. What you are about to gain is the luxury of perspective. It's a luxury because in truth, so few people have it. You could ask why, and the answer would probably be because you only get the things you want. You can afford to take the long view, and by that I also mean an interior perspective. You know who you are in the scheme of things. You have a conscious relationship to your fear. You know how fortunate you are and, at the end of the day, you probably thank the universe for the bed you lay down in. As a momentous Full Moon sweeps through the angles of your chart associated with ideas and what it takes to make them real, take one step at a time. Use each small success as a means to build confidence in the next phase of your plan. Most of all, do what you feel guided to do -- that is clearly the right thing.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You can afford to be generous; the world is being generous with you, particularly in terms of companionship, wisdom and inspiration. Man, if you have some of that stuff, you barely need food or money. But I seriously doubt those are lacking, either. Therefore, keep the cycle going. Give what you have; receive from those who are willing to share; pool your resources with others and turn modest things into great ones. Once it is established, the momentum of exchange does not slow down easily. You can then apply your tendencies to perfectionism to improving and refining the process. It appears that a breakthrough is currently developing, or rather a series of breakthroughs. Someone you've observed for a while, who has had a profound or at least pleasantly shocking influence on you, is in the process of turning ideas into reality. In the partnership, you're the one with the practical skills. You will be a big influence on success.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You may be teetering on some kind of decision that involves whether you think you should feel safe or not. It's as if you're looking for evidence either way things might work out -- hints in advance whether you're really deserving of confidence or not. Well, it's a silly thing to worry about, right? Assuming this characterizes your emotions at all, it represents turning the issue of safety or security into an abstraction. Try to eliminate the conceptual level and go right to the physical. What feedback is your environment giving you? What are people saying to you? How do you feel in different circumstances? Basically, I am saying two things. Stop thinking, and act according to what your environment is saying to you. If your environment is saying yes, then the answer is probably yes. If your environment is telling you to delay, which is unlikely, then delay. But stop worrying -- it's a colossal waste of energy that you just don't need to squander on nothing.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
You are now ready to develop the plans that seemed so good at the time you made them. The test is always in the actual construction of a result: you find out whether you were thinking clearly or not. The chances are you were; remember that plans change as you develop them, so you need to keep your creative process happening. What you have coming, though, is sufficient moxie to take action; more than adequate push energy to bring things into reality. You have two sides working strongly right now -- your creative/sensitive side, and your get it done NOW side. The first of these two has had its voice; you merely need to give it a push. The only risk you run is getting separated from your original vision. Figure out a way to remember what that is, and refer back to it continuously. Then, at a certain point soon, what you are doing is going to take on a life of its own.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Most astrologers looking at your chart this week would assume that Sagittarius has no planets in it. However, there is an alignment of significant minor planets situated clear across your sign, which tell a story of human drama taken on the most conscious level. In other words, you are going beyond drama to the underlying pathos, passion and inspiration. You see that there are issues in them-thar hills and you're at last ready to not plaster them over with optimism. The issues are not like these odd little flying saucers skimming the atmosphere, but rather they are the results of injury and progress which prove, above all else, that people are capable of anything. Do not lose sight of these deeper issues; keep your eyes fixed on the inherent needs, desires and fears that all people have in common. You, too, have them in common; in many respects, you are the common ground.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Pluto in Capricorn has given everyone permission to be a pessimist -- everyone, it seems, except for you. I don't mean to suggest that you've taken up doing a clowning and tap dancing routine on Wall Street during lunch hour. You are your usual reflective, cautiously optimistic self. Yet you seem to believe that old values are the ones that pull us all through tough times, and old values you surely have. That is, you trust the things that stand the test of time. You prefer to anchor yourself to those objects around which the currents of time have moved the whole landscape. You can, however, afford to take a chance on an idea. In fact, you owe it to yourself. You can trust your wisdom; you can trust that you've given your doubts a voice. You are smart -- you know that there are no guarantees in life. Therefore, you can afford to take this particular chance, if for no other reason than it will be a lot of fun.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
You are being pushed to sort out truth from lies, and it seems this responsibility is sitting on your head 24 hours a day. You don't need to work so hard -- the difference is becoming obvious to you, and you've boiled existence down to the eloquent formula that says when you are honest with yourself, you can see the world much more clearly. Therefore, if you find yourself splitting hairs, you're missing something obvious. If you're struggling to get a clear vision of the path ahead let the light of the Full Moon throw some contrast on the situation. You have been thinking of the situation as something involving money; you are starting to wake up and see the situation as involving an idea. The more you do this, the more evidence you have that you're thinking clearly.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
No place is paradise, and no time is the perfect time. However, perfection is an unfair standard by which to judge life on our benighted little planet. A practical definition of 'perfect' would include having enough resources to get the job done; enough good people around you so that you're reminded you're never lonely; and enough space to have some viable concept of the future. You have all three, and you have a heck of a lot else. When you look back on this era of your personal history, you'll be astonished at how much you achieved, and how thoroughly you did it. Therefore, take a step back from achievement and put your energy on enjoying the ride. There is plenty to enjoy, though for various reasons, you may not quite be noticing it: your mind seems fixated on the unknown, and on solving problems rather than enjoying the solutions that you have developed so well. Shift your emphasis just a little and you will get some stunning results.Weekly Horoscopes, Monthly Horoscopes, Astrology News, Daily Astrology Blog, Birthday Reports
For those who are interested in an astrological consultation with Eric Francis, the waiting list has been re-opened. If you are currently on the list, you should have heard from Chelsea this week; after recovering from Small World Stories and the Compersion series, Eric is back to work as your friendly neighborhood astrologer. His consultations focus on whatever precisely you need, and make good use of Chiron, Eris and a number of other new astrological factors that are difficult to get a clear opinion about. To place yourself on the list, which is open to subscribers only, please email Chelsea at info@planetwaves.net, or call her at (877) 453-8265. She'll ask for your statement of intent and for you to fax back the confidentiality agreement, and you're ready to go. If your situation is truly urgent, for example involving a health issue, please say so.

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