Photo by Darren Light.
Dear Friend and Reader:
Welcome to Taurus. Welcome to The May, Beltane and the most celebrated of the Pagan high sabbats. This is the time of year to welcome and share life, love, abundance and all the gifts of the Goddess. True, any time is the right time -- yet this is when it's easiest to remember.
Some years ago, May was declared Masturbation Month
not by our daring and unfettered leaders in Washington, but rather by the Good Vibrations toy store and education center in the San Francisco Bay area. Masturbation is central to sexual reality. It is like the heartwood and roots of the erotic tree, and everything else are the branches and the leaves. When asked, everyone says they love sex; ask a person how they feel about masturbation and you will get their true opinion. Therefore, my feeling is that that it's the place to start one's sexual healing journey, one's journey of exploration, and the real sexual discussion.
Affirming masturbation is affirming one's own right to their individual erotic journey, the experience of their body and inner vision, and the self-awareness that gives us something to share when we accept the enormous role of being another person's lover. To encourage a healthy masturbation life in ourselves and others is to encourage a healthy life, genuinely self-centered and strong.
In honor of the people who dare to speak this message I would like to make the website of Good Vibrations
available to you, as well as those of some of my other heroes in the sex-positive movement, Dr. Betty Dodson
, and the Body Electric School
. There is the Tenderness Toward Sex
site created by Victoria; there is the Beautiful Agony
site down in Australia; and there is my friend Christopher Lewis, whose contributions to a positive message on the Internet have been brave and significant. Chris is no longer the owner of Solotouch.com,
but he raised it from its infancy into a beautiful daily publication. I know many other sexpositive trailblazers whose work is not yet public, but who I honor and thank for accepting their missions, and for their inspiration.
Three or four cheers to parents who impart a healthy and selfloving attitude to their children on this subject; who greet the evolving self-exploration of their kids with gentle compassion and a bit of information.
A few years ago an extraordinary book was published, written by someone named Thomas W. Laqueur, called Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation
. This book, among other things, traces some of the lines of how the history of masturbation is the history of sex in modern society. For those who would like a longer and more general historical perspective on sexuality and in particular how the Catholics took over the subject, I heartily recommend Eros Denied
by Wayland Young
. This book was one of many gifts I received from my mentor, Joseph Trusso.
All of my published writing and photography on the subject is in the Eros
area of Planet Waves, but here is my best-read article, How To Be Your Own Lover
The photos above and midway through the horoscope were taken by Darren Light. I have been photographing masturbation for many years, and of course I love my work. But there are times when I just have to stand back in speechless admiration of what a photographer and model can do together, the pure green beauty of The May and of the Earth they convey and indeed create.
Very truly yours,
For a letter from Eric Francis, please click here.
(March 20-April 19)
Your fear may finally be pushing you someplace you need to be, making you aware of something you need to be aware of. Fear is indeed one of those things we have to put to productive use because there is so much of it in the world and in our minds. It is a potent form of energy. We run into problems when we stuff it, deny it, or cloak it in other colors and then pretend it's something else. In your chart at the moment, looking in the simplest context, there is a close relationship between the experience of having, and the fear of loss. If we go deeper, there is a relationship between a radical idea, a push toward the future, and the surrender to the process of inevitable progress, all of which is bucking against values and priorities that seem fixed and seem to refuse to move. But they are more mobile than you may be acknowledging; you are more flexible than you may recognize.
(April 19-May 20)
You are starting to know your own mind, and it is coming with an echo of knowing your soul. Like many things we apprehend in the world, this gift is born of learning to see and feel contrasts. Some kind of polarized situation now appears to be rising like the crest of a wave, and with it you are experiencing a full-on pulse of awareness that may seem like more than you can handle. Yet your own existence is clearly within your capacity to experience it. Your role in your world, your impact on your loved ones and your community, and the value of what you create, are all contained inside you, waiting to be expressed. You are bigger than all the things you do, the ideas you have and the people you know. You would go a long way toward resolving your obvious insecurities by affirming that you are one person with one set of needs; that you have one life and are one self, not two, nor one divided.
(May 20-June 21)
Breakthroughs such as you have just experienced require sustained effort to show their true, and in a sense inevitable, results. A revelation is a beginning, typically the easiest part of the process of change, despite the long efforts and preparation that may have led to it. All that effort and imagining is now like compost from which the new growth in this new season of your life will draw its nourishment. The old structures are gone, as are many of the old agendas. Most of all, you can let go of the perspectives that, even as you cherished them, seemed to lead you nowhere and reveal very little that was true. If this breakthrough means anything, it is mainly that your awareness has shifted such that you can see a larger world around you and where you fit into it. Oddly, we rarely regard "the world" as a creative process, and our place in it as something we make with our imagination and feed every day not just with our dreams, but with our life force.
(June 21-July 22)
At the heart of the matter is your heart. This heart of yours is an open book, an unfinished story, and an echo of the future. The challenge of your charts at the moment is just how distant that echo seems at the moment, and how far you must reach to get there. Yet today, you know something that you did not know just a little while ago. That information, while far from bestowing certainty and permanence in the onrush of time, can if you allow it to add a feeling of sanity to your experience of life. Let it remind you that the world can reach back to you, despite distance, differences in values and the seeming consequences of our most careful plans. You are a sensitive person, which is to say you are aware of your own sensitivity. If you will do your best to extend that to others, bearing in mind how fragile they feel to themselves, you will discover yourself living in a saner world, one more responsive to your needs, and more beautiful to look at.
(July 22-Aug. 23)
The stress of your current predicament is part real and for the most part psychological. In other words, your perceptions are leading the way as a kind of mental trip, and just beneath that is the story of the turning point you're now experiencing. That being said, your thoughts are offering a map; you can use them to assess what you want and do not want. You need look no further than your parents for clues about some of your missing emotional pieces, the ones you are putting so much effort into retrieving and arranging in their proper places. I suggest you work with their perceptions of what it meant to be secure, and what they insisted that you needed to do in order to have a piece of the rock. You do seem to be seeking safety above all else, but to be meaningful, that must be more than a feeling, and deeper than an emotion. Safety requires faith, which often seems to be a rare talent distributed by cosmic lottery. But faith, as you know, takes practice.
(Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Never give your love to a foolish heart. It's just so hard to find any other kind, is it not? Well anyway, you are in demand, that is nice; there is just one of you, probably for the best; they love your soul, not just your body, usually a plus; and it would seem you're at a loss for how to handle all the energy coming at you. Withholding seems ridiculous; giving yourself has its limits, that is to say, you have your limits. And they are getting a mighty push right now, even as you keep telling yourself which way is up, and even as you try to figure out what you want amidst so many influences by others which are doing quite a lot to influence what you're supposed to want. Ignore all the chaos -- the information is coming and it's coming on strong. The genuinely strange constellation of events in your life points toward one truth, and though it may not be simple, you'll know it when you see it.
Photo by Darren Light.
(Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
This is not the most balanced time in the history of the cosmos. But the wild ride of the moment would appear to be largely a mental phenomenon, something in the realm of ideas and consciousness rather than say for example the Earth itself rumbling. But who knows, we may hear from her yet. Until then, you need to lose all your fear of the air, fear of breathing, of heights, of ideas, and of the seeming contradictory nature of what you see and feel. In essence, you need to stop being so afraid of yourself and pick some other response. True enough, the events of the past couple of weeks have pushed you through a vortex you were neither expecting nor much appreciated. Yet somehow all that tension you were carrying was let go of in one astonishing rush of emotion, feeling, thought and surrender. Okay, maybe it was subtler than that -- but I trust you feel better, a little less driven, somewhat more at peace.
(Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
No longer are there boundaries between sex, love, romance, fantasy and reality. Not for you -- not in that heart and soul of yours. This is a meltdown of the most astonishing kind; a loss of the borders and distinctions that prevent you from experiencing internal one-ness and, as a result, one-ness with others. There are just a few problems you may want to address cognitively. One affects you if you happen to wear a wedding band or engagement ring. The disappearance or momentary removal of the normal boundaries, combined with a deep ripple of creative energy, may place you in situations you don't want to talk about. The good news is that you're unlikely to be the only one facing this little dilemma. Just remember that if you live outside the law you must be honest. And in any event, the code you live by must be your own, even if that code consists of a few simple agreements you have with yourself, for example, to take care of your body, and for that matter, your soul.
(Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
It is true, most ordinary mortals would not be able to withstand the intensity that for you is like a cup of strong tea. But you are now in smokable caffeine country, and though you're far from ordinary, your trust is being pushed to an extreme degree right now. You are discovering what your foundations are made of, which as it turns out is the kind of absolute faith that people discover in those moments when they have no other choice. Be assured there is a purpose to all of what you are experiencing, one that goes beyond some kind of personal initiation. Your whole environment is changing, your family, your personal network, your idea of what you mean by "we." The common thread that gathers you and your tribe together, difficult though it may be to see, is something you can feel and experience and which as you move through the unusual events of these weeks and months will prove to be the filament of truth that is lit up by your love of life.
(Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Not exactly the perfect storm -- that is next month. But storm enough to clean the land and flush the rivers and streams out to the sea; storm enough to make you appreciate the solid ground you stand on and the dry roof over your head and for that matter the rain teeming down on it. Storm enough to remind you there is such a thing as nature, and moreover, that She is beautiful. Your entire sense of sanity and your cosmic orientation may be centered on one relationship, and that is likely, at this point, to be a relationship you don't quite understand. It is one that threatens to change you and at the same time, to which you are tuning the highest and most delicate strings of your spiritual instrument. Even as all your ideas about life, your beliefs and your sense of what is true and false, are being subjected to some unusual conditions and circumstances, the one you love, indeed, the one you need, will be the still point of the turning world. You don't need to cling or clutch, merely to watch the dance of the many stars as one star holds perfectly still.
(Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
You cannot measure your worth or value by any conventional means -- that has now become apparent to you. Nor can you fear that you will be stolen from, taken advantage of or otherwise have your energy compromised by anyone to whom you don't choose to give yourself. The fear alone that such may happen represents a form of theft, in the first instance, one perpetrated by yourself. Rather, trust in the infinite nature of your awareness; your ability to manifest out of clear ether; your strange gift to turn a thought or an idea into something others would agree is real. That has no limits and it is a compelling force. You are, in truth, in the best position to negotiate, not (as you may fear) the worst. This remains true as long as you remember; as long as you maintain awareness that you have something to offer that can be provided by no other person, past or future. It is your destiny to possess yourself, and then, ultimately, to share all that you are.
(Feb. 19-March 20)
There are just some things you cannot argue with; there are some inner changes, bolts of awareness and alterations in relationships that you can only greet with respect, knowing that with developments so unpredictable even for your impossible-to-grasp life, you can only say hello. Still, you are now in the position of having to wield some unusual kind of strength, indeed, some power you have never quite held in your hands. For all your seeming instability and all the descriptions of Pisces as ethereal and caught in fantasy, you are actually solid as a great and ancient tree. You have seen as much, too, but some changes inside you are new to all the world. Of this I can assure you: whatever responsibilities may come with your sense of your own power; whatever you may be called upon to do, you are protected and your mind is clear. Fear not the feelings of others; fear not the world; love this moment because you have waited for it a long time, and the choices you make now will take you far from what you've ever known.
CREDITS: Managing Editor: Priya Kale. Webmaster: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Proofreader and Fact checker: Sara Churchville. Horoscope Editor: Jessica Keet.