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Kingston, NY, Friday, Oct. 23, 2009

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In tune with the times

Dear Planet Waves Reader:

Our new edition of Planet Waves Astrology News is out. It's one of those "in tune with the times" issues that looks at recent news events and puts them into a personal context. Since I don't wake up every morning and jump into my hired car to my job as editorial page editor of The Wall Street Journal, I'm here to put what I'm doing at Planet Waves into context.

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The context is: most news stories you read have nothing to do with you. They are alienating. Then they take the extra step of instilling one emotion: fear. After working for years as a high-level news reporter, I recognize that the "news" has a way of making us feel isolated and powerless, and I'm here to do something about it. Going in through a kind of spiritual side door, we use an astrological approach to current events to bring them to you in a way that makes it relevant, and teaches you something about your own reality.

If you imagine what the "media of the future" would be like, it would not simply be good news; it would not be bad news; it would be spiritually and psychologically relevant information that you can work into the context of your own existence.

I know you actually exist, and that you're a person with feelings and authentic curiosity about the world. That's why I invented Planet Waves. Well, it was about both of us. I also needed a place I could work that could fit my shall we say unique perspective on life and on journalism..

Here's a little sample of what we put out to our subscribers today. As Saturn gets ready to change signs, we have another excellent monthly horoscope coming on Tuesday.  And you're invited to participate in my research on the 2010 annual edition on the front page blog of Planet Waves. Look for Hello Aries! or whatever sign you are -- this afternoon we will post the Gemini feedback page and continue with Cancer on Monday.

Here's the signup link if you decide you want to subscribe. This will take you to our summer specials page. Call Chelsea at (877) 453-8265 if you prefer a phone order.

Have a fine weekend -- that Scorpio Sun is hot stuff, but then again, I'm a Pisces so I would think that.

Love and lovingly,
Eric Francis

About that hole in so-called reality

The Aquarius Factor

That we exist in a time of mass deception is easier to see when something that is not true is accepted as truth, then revealed as such -- but we tend to forget these incidents quickly. What each of these events shares is the property of revealing how we process our perceptions, with a lot of help from our mental patterns -- an Aquarian thing. We have help from television and the Internet, other Aquarian things. There are three parts to every hoax: the people who create it (and why), the people who spread the word (and why), and those who believe it (and why). The third factor is the most crucial one. We believe lies because we want to.

The astrology points back to the triple conjunction in Aquarius, the one involving Jupiter, Chiron and Neptune. Aquarius is a sign that represents the people in an elite sense of that word; for example, all the special folks who watch the news, or who have access to the 'net. It's "everyone" to the extent that you can use some concept or idea to group them together.

The timing factor was Jupiter stationing direct in Aquarius on Oct. 13. Jupiter (often associated with fashion and trends) is the original planet of illusions, acting like a giant projection screen for our ideals. In Aquarius, we have an image of the electronic media being a vector of those ideals, often presented in the form of images that imitate us and which we in turn seek to be like. Jupiter is still close to Neptune (just six degrees away and now approaching its last exact conjunction, on Dec. 21, before venturing into Pisces). Chiron is in Aquarius, a long-term factor serving as the annoying (to some) thing that keeps trying to get our attention. If Aquarius is a group, Chiron is the part that belongs there but doesn't quite fit in; Chiron's job is to call bullshit.

Considering these three stories, we could give Balloon Boy to Jupiter (a puffy, grandiose lie told in order to pump up someone's ego and enrich him personally), False Valor Man goes to Neptune (a delusional guy who craved being a hero in a time when this is the thing that society supposedly wants the most) and the Yes Men to Chiron (guys with a specific collective healing agenda who are willing to challenge perceptions and take personal risks).

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Fair And Balanced -- No Kidding
By Judith Gayle | Political Waves

It has suddenly turned color here in the Pea Patch, and I note with distress that the little lemony yellow and rusty orange and near-garish magenta leaves are turning crisp too quickly and falling too fast to suit me. The leisurely turning of season at this time of the year usually delights me, watching the squirrels scramble for falling acorns that hit the roof like grenades, the critters coming close in to forage, seemingly aware that hunting permits have yet to be issued. This year, factoring in the storms and floods and general mayhem that the unpredictable weather patterns have brought us in these last weeks, I find there's no denying we're quickly coming up on Winter. Yes, I know -- I just made a mental leap that left out the remaining months of Fall. But Winter is what it feels like here, and 'feels like' is the name of the game as we make our way through this period. On every level it feels like we're being crowded, and this is just one more bit of evidence that the gentle turnings I so appreciate have been replaced with sharp jolts of change.

We have another jolt ahead. The mighty Lord of Karma, Saturn, is due to enter Libra next week, giving us a shift in how we view duty and responsibility. The upside is that it will provide a bit of relief from the critical eye, and perhaps tongue, that we've developed under Virgo's lead. A new way to perceive things is always good, in this case, we will begin to take our attention off the gazillion details and nose-to-the-grindstone energy signal that Saturn in Virgo produced. I think of Virgo as a craftsman's hands: weaving, repairing, putting up preserves, turning wrenches, collating or stamping or delivering with nary a complaint. Virgo diligently takes care of the cogs and belts and rivets, adds up the numbers, corrects grammar, checks labels and micro-manages the petty stuff that we're advised not to sweat. So looking up from this laser focus should give us opportunity to lift our heads to see a bigger picture, one that will become more balanced, resting on Libra's scales.

Libra is the sign of harmony, and the question, of course, is whether we can create harmony out of this tit/tat polarization in which we find ourselves. Seems to me that many of us are more than ready for such an experiment, while others would just as soon drink hemlock. It doesn't matter if we're ready, though: we're being pushed out of separation and into cooperation. Perhaps we'll finally get a bit of that bipartisanship we need in order for more of us to feel the security of inclusion, of working together to meet mutual need, or perhaps not, given the GOP short-term goal of driving Obama out of office in any way possible. Republicans present a well-disciplined and unified face -- at least in the last couple of decades, marching in lockstep much as that which gave us heart-fluttering dismay during the Bush years -- and now they're all in line as the Party of No, save for Olympia Snow who warned recently that her vote to kick the healthcare project along was probably a one-time thing.

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Planet Waves Daily

Coming Up in Daily Astrology and Adventure

Devil's in the Details on Mars

They look like spiraling trails left behind by drops of ink as they fall into a glass of water. Or perhaps some kind of shamanistic markings, drawn in woad on bare flesh. They call to mind the "magnificent desolation" astronaut Buzz Aldrin spoke of after his trip to the moon.

Planet Waves
Popular Landform in Cydonia Mensae, also known as the "face" on Mars at 0.2m/pixel, captured by the HiRISE telescope camera on Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter.
They are actually trails, left behind by dust devils as they dance across the surface of our neighbor Mars. And they serve as a reminder that, even in environments hostile to life as we know it, tremendous beauty and grace can be found.

The image comes from NASA's HiRISE camera on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. It shows where the dust devils have been dancing on the Martian surface; the lightweight red dust is picked up by these whirlwinds (which can be almost five miles tall) and leaves the darker, heavier sand beneath it exposed.

The dust devils aren't all that different from those in deserts on Earth -- hot air rises from the surface, spinning as it goes and picking up whatever is light enough to be carried away. They last only minutes, scientists believe, and may actually have done NASA some good by occasionally clearing sand off of the solar collectors on the two Mars rovers.

But for the rest of us, who perhaps in our daily lives have little concern over extraterrestrial weather phenomena or the trials and tribulations of roving robots, the image offers a moment of beauty, and may provoke our thoughts to turn away from the worries and obligations of the everyday and contemplate for a moment the fact that there is beauty to be found everywhere, even beyond the bound of our own planet.

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Planet Waves
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, October 23, 2009, #789 - BY ERIC FRANCIS

Priya Kale also wrote a Planet Waves horoscope this week as well, so we actually have two for you. Here's the link to Priya's take on the Sun entering Scorpio today and Saturn entering Libra next week.

Planet Waves
Cancer (June 21- July 22)
Like your fellow water signs Scorpio and Pisces, you morph in and out of whether you feel like you belong on the planet based on whether others resonate with you emotionally. You've been doing well in this regard. This may be because you're so committed to rethinking your concept of what a relationship is, what a partner is for, and whether there's someone unusual enough to actually make contact with you. I would suggest this, however: you can reach out. You can reach out to more than one person if you want, or (in another take on the same aspect) develop something with a person you consider truly unusual. Have confidence in your inner guidance, which is quieter than your emotions. Be aware that you've come a long way toward recognizing what is truly important to you, and allow trust in love to be an expression of that awareness.

Planet Waves
Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
You have the moxie, the charm, the style, energy and most of all, the personal integrity required to succeed in the way that you want to. In fact, you can forget about everything on that list except for the last item. Success does not usually happen fast, and we have good reason to question the kind that does. What I am telling you is that you have solid reasons to have faith in yourself. So what if various elements of your romantic life make about as much sense as two jigsaw puzzles mixed together. Who cares if there are those nights you feel like you're holed up in a raft floating on the ocean of your own existence. You actually know who you are. You actually believe in yourself.

Planet Waves
Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
As regards other people, such as relationship partners, they appear to be figuring out something that you've known is true for a long time. Yet is that what's happening, or are you getting into alignment with your own truth, and therefore making room for the people around you to be in alignment with theirs? Let's assume the second possibility, because it keeps the cause of what you perceive within yourself. At this point, the more responsibility you take for everything and everyone in your life the better -- most particularly yourself. Your commitments carry more energetic influence now than any moment in recent memory, especially the ones you make to yourself. Your inner guidance is impeccable. Practice trust, day and night.

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