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New York, Friday, Jan. 14, 2011

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Dear Sample List Member: This special edition went out today with the wrong caption beneath the graphic. The earlier caption pertained to another event. We are resending it, with apologies, with the correct caption. If you forwarded this edition please resend this one as well. Thanks for understanding. I'm including the weekly horoscope with this resend of the corrected issue. -- Eric Francis, Editor.

Attention All Astronomers -- The World is Flat

Dear Friend and Reader:

I wish I could put out a press release announcing that the world is flat, and send astronomers scrambling -- to return the favor for when an astronomer sends out a press release announcing that your zodiac sign is wrong. That's what happened this week when the following went viral faster than the dude who got rich dancing around like a dork in 34 countries:
Planet Waves
The tropical zodiac is in the inner wheel, the sidereal zodiac is in the outer wheel. Notice how they are 'out of alignment' by about one whole sign -- to be exact, 23 degrees. This is due to precessional movement, which shifts the two zodiacs by one degree every 70 years.
Either this is a joke or Parke Kunkle is truly ignorant of his own science. It's probably a bit of both.

There are two zodiacs in common use. Kunkle is describing what is called the sidereal zodiac: the backdrop of the stars. It's not the zodiac used by most Western astrologers; it's the one used by Vedic astrologers, the kind in India, and a few in our part of the world. The two zodiacs are offset by about 23 degrees. I'll explain why in a moment.

Here in the West, we use a zodiac that follows the seasons. It's called the tropical zodiac. It's based on the position of the Sun's rays and the tropics -- that's why it's called tropical. There is another one, based on the positions of the stars. It's called the sidereal zodiac. If Kunkle doesn't know this, it's like a race car driver not understanding the concept of a tire. If so, he also doesn't understand a long list of other concepts that must make it very difficult for him to do his work. Well, that's what grad students are for. Notably, the sidereal zodiac is a feature in all astrology software.

In the Western or tropical zodiac, the Sun enters the tropical sign Aries the day of the vernal equinox each March. That's the day that the Sun's rays meet the equator directly overhead -- the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. (In the prior draft and in the audio I said 'at a right angle'. Same idea.) The Sun enters the tropical sign Cancer when the Sun's rays square the Tropic of Cancer -- the first day of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, or summer solstice. The Sun enters Libra when the Sun's rays square the equator again in September. The Sun enters Capricorn when the Sun's rays square the Tropic of Capricorn each December, which is the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere (the seasons are reversed in the Southern Hemisphere).

You then take those four cardinal points and divide them equally and you have the 12 signs of the tropical horoscope. There are no 'extra signs' added -- the tropical zodiac is a division of the 360-degree wheel of the year into 12 equal slices of 30 degrees. This is not rocket science -- but it is science.

Planet Waves
Look! It's already there!
As mentioned, the Western zodiac begins the day of the vernal equinox. The position of the Sun that day is called the Aries Point -- or the Sidereal Vernal Point. If you read Planet Waves, you read about the Aries Point nearly every week. It's extremely sensitive. The position of the Sidereal Vernal Point or Aries Point moves gradually as the Earth wobbles on its axis. Currently, the SVP is at 5 degrees Pisces on the sidereal zodiac. Hence, the tropical sign Aries begins in the sidereal sign Pisces. And as the Earth wobbles, the SVP is moving backwards toward Aquarius -- hence "the Age of Aquarius." About 2,000 years ago, the tropical signs aligned with the sidereal signs. Now they have precessed backwards by about 23 degrees. And for that matter, so has Christmas.

We don't adjust Christmas one day every 70 years but sure enough, eventually, Dec. 25 will fall in the middle of Northern Hemisphere summer, with no help from global warming.

So, hear ye, hear ye! Vedic astrologers use the the sidereal zodiac, and most Western astrologers use the tropical zodiac. They have different purposes, and different philosophies. Both zodiacs work. Most Western astrologers are familiar with their sidereal chart -- it tells a different story, and can reveal deeper tendencies you may have noticed but not named. I'm a Pisces in tropical astrology but an Aquarius in sidereal astrology. If you're curious, cast your sidereal chart and see where the planets show up.

As for Ophiuchus. This is an old hoax. Historically, Ophiuchus has never been listed as a constellation in the sidereal zodiac. It is a constellation out there, but it's off the ecliptic (that is, it's not along the path of the Sun through the sky). I've read that Ptolemy mentions it in his literature as an off-zodiac constellation, meaning that the Sun never travels through it. In any event, there are some two dozen constellations that touch the ecliptic; but the sidereal zodiac uses just 12 of them.

The origin of the hoax is a sci-fi author named John Sladek -- a satire writer who died in 2000. Sladek liked to prank astrology, and he has a whole novel about a fictitious 13th sign based on Ophiuchus he called Arachne that was "suppressed by the scientific community." The Ophiuchus hoax first made its rounds in the late 1990s and pops up again like those emails from the guy in Nigeria who wants you to send him your bank account number so he can transfer $15 million your way.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

Planet Waves
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, January 14, 2011, #846 - BY ERIC FRANCIS

Aries (March 20-April 19)
Aries (March 20-April 19) -- Your solar chart is describing some kind of career opportunity. But you may not recognize it as such. That is often the case -- and people who have some of the greatest successes have their 'first interview' in a train station or a supermarket. The classified ad that led to my first professional journalism job was in a random page of a newspaper that someone left on a table. The particular opportunity beckoning you may feel like 'something you would never do', or in the alternate, something you thought you gave up and would never go back to. I suggest you not pay too much heed to these concerns and simply find out what is available. Ask questions, listen to the answers, and then proceed with confidence -- even if you feel a slight aura of uncertainty. That's just a reminder that the unknown is a place of enormous potential.

To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Aries, please go to this link.

Taurus (April 19- May 20)
Taurus (April 19-May 20) -- This is a gutsy, stellar moment for you professionally, but to dial that in, you may feel like you're going against the grain of something -- the 'right way' of doing things, the prevailing opinion of the crowd, or your own typically reserved way of relating to the world. The one thing I suggest you remember is how much preparation you have. You are not a neophyte, though you may have the feeling of stretching your talent as far as it will go -- that's the place you want to be. That's exactly how you stretch across the inner divide into new territory. What may be unsettling to you is the sense of your own dark emotions moving around -- desire, passion, anger, need -- and these may seem to blow back at you, or reverberate within you. This is what you might call a distortion of the ego, perceiving itself. Relax -- how you feel in your moments of doubt is not how you're perceived by others.

To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Taurus, please go to this link.

Gemini (May 20- June 21)
Gemini (May 20-June 21) -- Some things are considered normal in relationships that detract from the passion we crave -- among them keeping score, keeping tabs, and manipulation that is born of jealousy. Also you don't have to marry every person with whom you have sex. Okay, now that we have those concerns out of the way, you are being invited into some deep erotic territory. Usually, deep means you go in with your feelings, your body and your mind. At the moment your mind is leading the way. That means curiosity, ideas, memory, fantasy -- and the craving for a distinct kind of erotic surrender that is truly holistic. Indeed, I could use a stronger word to catch the real essence of the sensation, which is submission. Yes, it's taboo. Yes, you think about this a lot. Now those thoughts are more compelling than ever. Use your head -- and have the fun you want.

To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Gemini, please go to this link.

Cancer (June 21- July 22)
Cancer (June 21-July 22) -- Is it possible to leave drama in relationships behind? It surely is -- if both people are committed to doing so; it helps a lot if they want something else. Most drama is control dramas.. Control and love have nothing to do with one another, not in a healthy environment anyway. Most of the control drama comes from attempting to fit our relationships into forms they simply cannot take -- you would never keep a kitten in a jar. You've known this for a while, and it looks like you've cleared out a small but meaningful place where you are free to be yourself in your relationships. You haven't fully occupied that space yet, but now you've got some ideas. You're being drawn into what may seem like an empty room. It's slightly daunting and very inspiring. And it's your own space. Put down your things, open the windows and stretch out a little.

To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Cancer, please go to this link.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) -- The activity of the past few months has taken a toll on your health, though not a serious one. I suggest you make adjustments to your diet, back off on work for the weekend and perhaps visit a chiropractor. I say that because your bones are the seat of your health. I know that Leo is about the heart, and I wonder why I haven't read in an astrology textbook that it's essential that you pay attention to your bone structure, posture and spine as the core of your wellbeing. Now, I'm suggesting that you chill with the work routines a bit, but there are some compelling projects that are calling you back. I have an idea, which is to invest a fraction of the energy into working out the solution or calculating the next few steps in the creation process. If you do this, you may just tap into a streak of genius that is usually a bit elusive.

To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Leo, please go to this link.

Virgo (Aug. 23- Sep. 22)
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) -- You now can take back something that was taken from you as a child. I see you making a kind of surprise ambush on the issue, getting hold of it fast, and taking it back to your own camp. This is not your preferred method of deliberative, methodical growth; you might feel you're doing something out of character, just as if you contemplated stealing something from a store. The thing is, this is yours; you cannot steal it. And the fact that you feel like you might be doing so is revealing. Actually if you tap into the deeper layers here you can access a whole world of emotions, possibly laced with religious views, that involve all that you had to give up for the sake of your family. As an adult you can now make careful note that it didn't really do them any good, and remind yourself that you deserve full access to the contents of your soul.

To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Virgo, please go to this link.

Libra (Sep. 22 - Oct. 23)
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) -- You're at a tipping point in your relationship to technology. Part of that involves reaching a threshold of knowledge or mastery over the subject. It's no longer a cumbersome thing that you struggle to understand; you see its use. This is allowing you to peacefully take the whole subject area on board and internalize it, in a way similar to how a musician internalizes his instrument. The other thing that's becoming clear is your memory of a time before technology dominated relationships. You seem committed to making sure that you hold that memory dear, and do your best to keep living in a slightly old-fashioned way. That suits your nature well. And perhaps I don't need to remind you, but when you feel safe and grounded you're at your most adventurous and playful -- and it looks like you're feeling pretty frisky in there.

To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Libra, please go to this link.

Scorpio (Oct. 23- Nov. 22)
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) -- Beneath all the mental activity is a situation that pertains directly to the way that your mother's emotions weigh on your ability to feel like you're at home on the planet. Manipulation between mothers and daughters is a tricky subject, and few like to talk about it -- but I suggest you be aware of the whole topic, because it seems destined to make itself known. You can, if you want, heal this situation, but I can tell you it's more likely to feel like a violent outburst than it is like a trip on a healing table. The violent aspect is not literal but rather the result of a mental effect where your anger and your thoughts reverberate in your mind. Do your best to keep things on the level of emotion rather than thoughts. If you're thinking in circles, go deeper and feel -- you'll set yourself free and make contact with the way you've felt confined in the past. And that, simply, is the compulsion to push your feelings up to your mind. You're now putting them back where they belong.

To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Scorpio, please go to this link.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) -- There's an idea floating around that 'spirituality' is about love and light, and that things like fear, rage, grief and other forms of shadow material are somehow inappropriate. Of course, in other quarters, life is dominated by these dark emotions and it's understandable why someone seeking peace of mind might think it's a good idea to avoid them. However, light and dark ideas and emotions both call for awareness. I don't mean, as some suggest, that the two need to be 'balanced out'. And I'm not suggesting we need to do one gesture of evil for every creative gesture. I mean that in your inner world there is an incredible diversity of emotion and sensation, and that in order to draw the full power of your creativity -- clearly, your most important goal -- you need to contact all of your feelings, or rather, you need unfettered access. Therefore, I suggest you be repelled by no part of who you are, no thought, no idea, however strange. Being real with yourself is the first and most significant step to authentic honesty, and that is the heart and soul of art.

To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Sagittarius, please go to this link.

Capricorn (Dec. 22- Jan. 20)
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) -- That edgy feeling may come and go for the next week or so. I suggest you ride it out consciously each time, and see what you learn as you walk along the inner precipice of your mind. There are really two things going on. One is that your psyche is processing out old tendencies and patterns that you don't need any more. As you notice these patterns they may frustrate you; give them up on the spot, and choose something else. The other thing happening is that you're pushing into entirely new psychic territory, which may feel at once enticing, uncomfortable and adventurous. Any time you sense the unknown or unfamiliar within yourself, reach in that direction. Do your best to translate it into words, even if they feel imprecise. You will get much closer to the point than you think -- and leave yourself a trail back to the places within yourself you've visited.

To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Capricorn, please go to this link.

Aquarius (Jan. 20- Feb. 19)
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) -- With Mars entering your sign this weekend, you're likely to feel like it's time to be on your own and do your very own thing. You've spent a lot of time inquiring, pondering, inwardly seeking and healing; this is a precious moment of reaching for independence, and grasping it firmly. Just make sure you don't push at the same time you reach. You may feel a fairly potent urge to bust out. Your mind may be sending the message that you've waited too long and suddenly it's now or never. Actually, it's just Mars, which is giving you some of that impulse power to which you don't normally have access. It's Mars, reminding you what you want the most. Many people will wait patiently for this kind of sensation to pass, hoping it will go away. I suggest you act on it, gently and persistently, but promptly enough that it matters.

To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Aquarius, please go to this link.

Pisces (Feb. 19- March 20)
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) -- You don't need to put up with jealousy, neither in yourself nor in others. By that I mean it's not necessary. Instead, I suggest you proceed directly to understanding and addressing the insecurity that jealousy conceals, and factor this into your understanding of the human condition. Make feeling good about yourself your primary life goal, and take constructive action based on that idea. Do what supports your goals and what you love; reach for your deeper resources. If you do this, you're likely to encounter people who follow accordingly. There is nothing in your chart to suggest that you need to be striving for conventional relationships. Rather, where others are concerned, the bold emphasis is on community and egalitarian friendship. Do it now, do it in a big way and remember -- you're always your own person.

To pre-order Light Bridge, your full-length 2011 reading including written and audio segments for Pisces, please go to this link.

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