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New York, Tuesday, April 19, 2011

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From Aries to Taurus, and the Mercury Storm

Dear Friend and Reader:

Next week is monthly horoscope week. These are published after the Sun has entered its new sign.

With the Sun about to move from the sign of I Am (Aries) to the sign of I Have (Taurus), we're at the cusp of the two concepts. Yet the imaginary line between them (and their corresponding realities) is not clearly defined. In our materially oriented society, there's plenty of overlap between being and having. Were there not, you could never sell someone a car based on its supposed prestige value. We have this idea that what we have defines who we are. It's easier the other way.

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Photo by Eric Francis.
The Sun enters Taurus Wednesday, yet for the full 30 days of that transit there will still be lots of activity in Aries; both signs are going to be fully turned on at the same time. Potential expressions of this range from self-obsession that implodes on itself, to being able to concentrate our energies with unusual focus. This is a great time to practice moving through life with a higher-confidence, more self-aware version of yourself.

Aries and Taurus represent yang and yin energies respectively, so an unusual degree of balance is possible -- along with some excellent opportunities for total lack of balance, and the quest to bring things back into some equilibrium. That journey will be full of surprises. Though many factors are present in the current astrology, Uranus on the Aries Point is still the strongest of them. It's a reminder to count on the unexpected, and to be ready to make the most of it. One sign that you're actually alive is the ability to be spontaneous.

Speaking of turning points, surprise developments and making the most of ordinary changes -- Mercury stations direct on Saturday, April 23 after a 24-day retrograde. These retrogrades take so long, and yet they seem to go by so quickly. We're now entering the 'storm' phase of the retrograde cycle -- the last few days when the movement of Mercury (relative to the Earth) slows down right before the reversal of apparent direction. These last few days approaching the station-direct can be some of the most challenging and interesting days of the whole process.

If you haven't yet applied this bit of astrological hygiene, now is indeed the time to pause in making new commitments, decisions, purchases and joint arrangements. Pause means until after the weekend, or as far into the other side of the echo phase as you can. The echo phase (sometimes called the shadow phase) is a timespan wherein Mercury is re-crossing (in direct motion) the degrees where it was just retrograde, working over the same ground again. This gives us a chance to reconsider what we've learned and observed, and get things right the second (or third) time.

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Photo by Eric Francis.
Mercury exits echo phase and enters new territory on May 11, in an exact conjunction to Jupiter. That is a clue: keep your options open for as long as you can.

Looking at the immediate future, the moment that Mercury stations direct has some interesting properties. One of them is that the truth about a mystery can reveal itself. Mercury just has this odd quality of things shaking out of the ethers right around the time that it stations direct. I would use an orb of about two days on either side of the exact station Saturday morning (that's for US time zones; early afternoon across the UK and Europe, and late Saturday in Australia). But these events can be remarkably precise. You don't need to do anything except keep your ears open, and know what you don't know. That is, be aware of missing information, such as when there is an information gap. Then, when you get information, make sure you use what you know.

Given that Mercury is in Aries, this information may come in the form of a self-discovery; in any event, it's likely to be information that benefits you directly, or reveals something about you that's pivotal.

As I suggested in Friday's edition, Mercury in Aries may represent something about our self-concept. This is the sometimes-flexible, sometimes-stuck concept of who we are that we live with and mistakenly identify as our 'self'. With so much moving, and so many planets in Aries, one valid interpretation of the charts is to keep that concept as open as you can. Rather than getting stuck in a concept of who you are, you can consider your experience of 'self' an experiment. You have many options, and you're free to choose who you want to be. It helps a lot if you go deeper than a concept to decide; we each contain the idea of who we authentically are, and that is a helpful place to go for information.

Catch you with a new podcast Wednesday, and a new edition Friday.

Eric Francis

Check this audio announcement for information about Eric's new e-book, Light Bridge: The 25-Year Span.

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Light Bridge: The 25-Year Span by Eric Francis is the story of irrevocable change told through the lens of astrology, history and self-awareness. This is a carefully selected set of articles and essays by Eric written since 1987, which take you through the transition of the millennium into 2012. The essays are a continuing meditation on the experience of confronting global changes from long before anyone was certain they would really happen. It begins in a spiritual community in 1987 and comes to the present day, including a look at the astrology of the 2012-2015 era. Included are Eric's best essays on sweeping world changes, relationships and maintaining some sense of one's inner life in the midst of it all. The book, available as a printable PDF, is 174 pages and is illustrated by Carol McCloud. It's just $14.95. It's the perfect companion to Light Bridge, the 2011 annual edition of Planet Waves. Purchase your copy here.

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