The One and the Many

New York, Friday, February 19, 2010 by Eric Francis

By Eric Francis

The other day, an email came floating into my inbox from a website called Care2, a green-styled corporate site purportedly dedicated to saving the world, claiming 12.5 million subscribers. The subject header of the email read, “Monogamy vs. Polyamory: Do Open Relationships Work?”

View from train bridge, Rosendale, NY. Photo by Eric Francis.

View from train bridge, Rosendale, NY. Photo by Eric Francis.

Naturally, I thought: this ought to be pretty interesting.

The writer gave her analysis a title like a boxing match or a legal case. Mono versus Poly is now in session! All Rise! The article commenced as such (literally, its first words): “Non-monogamy is about one thing — sex. And sex is good.”

(You can tell she learned her writing style from The Bible.)

It went downhill from there, fast. Faster than I ever thought possible without jet propulsion and a lot of lube. “And sex with different people — either concurrently or over the course of a lifetime — is good too. Sex is so good that some people are addicted to it. Sex makes people do crazy things and it makes people feel amazing things. I love it just as much as anyone else, but there is more to life than sex.”

When you see the word ‘but’ you can usually tell how things are going to go. Her premise is that since polyamory is about sex, and since sex isn’t everything, polyamory is nothing special to concern oneself with. The author, whose name is Polly, continues: “I am pretty sure that the words on your deathbed won’t be, ‘I wish I had had more sex with more people’. Maybe if you’re a pervert, or if you didn’t get much action in your life, you would say that, but most people wouldn’t.”
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And now for Cosmic Confidential 2.0

New York, Wednesday, January 27, 2010 by Eric Francis

Now that I’ve got the sign readings done, I’m catching up on food, sleep and other projects — and then next week will embark on the Key Life Transits section. These are the Saturn return (ages 27-31), Uranian opposition (39-42), Pluto square Pluto (35-36) and a diversity of Chiron transits. I’m not sure where to begin and welcome your input on that.

Genevieve Hathaway and other astrologers on board Planet Waves have researched these transits, drawing on the full repertoire of my writing, and many readers have added their thoughts. I’m truly looking forward to this stage of the writing — these are the foundations of book chapters, as are the Cosmic Confidential 2010 readings.

Please keep your feedback coming. There is a page on the Planet Waves blog devoted to that.

Member pages open for comment

New York, Tuesday, January 26, 2010 by Eric Francis

Dear Cosmic Confidentialist,

We have just opened up all pages on the Cosmic Confidential member site to comments without having to log in another time.

You are invited to enter comments and questions.

Also, if you would like to offer feedback to the public about CC, there is currently a blog entry on the front page of Planet Waves where the comments are collecting.

One last: for those with a blog who would like to review the project, you’re invited to do so. Please write to me directly at dreams@planetwaves.net with the word REVIEW in the subject header, and I will send you some information.

Many thanks for making this project such an amazing success.

Yours & truly,

Eric Francis

Mars Retrograde: Wanting and Intention

New York, Tuesday, January 26, 2010 by Eric Francis

Dear Friend and Reader:

I had worked for months on the 2010 charts and much longer for some leading into 2011 and 2012, but the process that started to unfold first was Mars retrograde in Leo. That was the bit that started making words, easily, because it seemed connected to a motor; that would be Mars and Leo, two fiery energies we need to employ if we want to get things done.

It was working out Leo Confidential that I discovered that Mars is asking a question: What do you want? Midway through Leo, I burrowed into the Abraham-Hicks material, which basically says that wanting is what drives the human universe. Not the American economy, but all events; and that things go better, not worse, when we want consciously.

Metaphysical ideas are rarely proven, but they are demonstrated through use. Abraham’s message seems to be that without wanting, nothing happens except a lot of mishaps; then we figure out what we want and convince ourselves that it’s possible; and then we usually get there. In the end, contact is made through desire; success comes from wanting it enough to do something about it. Without the actual wanting, the alignment of desire, all the action in the world will not do anything.

To work with this idea, one must move through and sort out a few taboos. The Buddhists have cursed wanting as the root of all suffering. The Christians have cursed wanting as the root of all sex. The purists within capitalism have cursed wanting as the thing that is filling the ocean with plastic. But is it really? If we wanted to use glass, we would.

Intent seems a purer concept; more politically correct. I might want to eat her pussy, but do I intend to? Stated that way, it would take about ten times longer to get there, if it happens at all. Intend seems like a papered-over way to say want. Think of it this way: someone says to you, “I want you.” How do you feel? Or they say, “I intend to have you.” You have more power when confronted by someone who simply wants.

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Astrology for a World on the Edge

New York, Monday, January 25, 2010 by Eric Francis

Dear Friend and Reader:

This is Cosmic Confidential, the 12th annual edition of Planet Waves.

It now exists, against some long odds: we’ve worked through Mercury retrograde, Mars retrograde, two eclipses and a lot of other astrology going off. Meanwhile, apropos of the moment, the news was a runaway train. It seemed like every time I would get settled back into writing, some other event was calling me to do the chart of God knows what and to be there for the Planet Waves blogging team, so we could fulfill our role as cosmic news desk and for some, psychic bomb shelter. But: your reading is done, and waiting for you.

Though Planet Waves is a news service, Cosmic Confidential is entirely about you. I have lavished attention on the individual sign readings this year, putting in at least double the time, energy and research as usual. My objective: how can I get as much high-quality astrological information into the hands of as many people as possible, for as little money as possible?

The readings are each about 4,500 words. Plus, each sign gets three pages of extra materials: generous selections from past annual editions, reader responses to my queries about how you’re living out your astrology, and a page of resources and out-takes. For many of the signs, I cut large swaths of text, but I’ve preserved most of them in the out-takes section, which gives an alternative view or covers a topic not included in the main reading. The navigation for these pages is across the top of your sign.

Each sign includes substantial information about professional and creative activities, financial strategies, and thoughts about relationships and sex: and all of it is focused on the theme of not just keeping your sanity, but rising to the occasion of a world gone wild.

That I can create this stuff without your birth date is a testament to what can be done with Sun sign astrology. I maintain that this kind of reading — a long essay on your Sun sign — is more effective and more useful than a “custom report” generated from a database. Even though you gave the database your birth date, no astrologer actually sees your chart; nobody takes up the whole matter of your reading holistically. Though I may neither talk to you nor see your chart, what you get from Cosmic Confidential is a whole reading of the planets as they really are, and as they affect you. The interpretations work with interwoven themes; they refer to real events; they combine natal astrology and transits beautifully, in a fresh and engaging way.

Cosmic Confidential is designed as an interactive community. Each sign’s reading is open for comments and questions. I will respond to as many of these as I can, so take a moment to participate there and share your thoughts, ideas and queries.

Then there are articles; these are on the main contents page. You can get there from any page on the website. There are more articles coming: I didn’t write one called “The One and the Many” (offering a new theory of relationships); I have not finished the transit readings (though they are researched and awaiting my final draft), and I haven’t done the United States charts yet. What’s up is fun and generous: my favorite is called “Everything Old is New Again.” There is a mini-series on Saturn. There’s a generous excerpt from Cosmos and Psyche, courtesy of Richard Tarnas.

Once you read one sign, you’re likely to want to read more. I have a suggestion: get the other signs before the price goes up, or upgrade to all 12 while you subscribe or extend your subscription to Planet Waves. The combined offer (Planet Waves plus all 12 signs) is truly the best deal, in a time when pennies, dimes and dollars count: but not as much as quality.

Cosmic Confidential is designed to be a lasting resource: astrology for a world on the edge.

Eric Francis

Introduction to the Cosmic Confidential Horoscopes

New York, Wednesday, January 6, 2010 by Eric Francis

Dear Friend and Reader:

Let’s start with a reminder: astrology is a form of divination. It is not a science and it is an odd sort of art; it’s the kind of art we expect life to imitate. As a writer of fiction and nonfiction, I assure you that it finds its home somewhere in between the two. I am using the charts — many of which are published here — as the outline of a story. This is the interpretive part. We all agree that the chart is there. Astrologers don’t all agree what belongs in a chart; I use a lot of current discoveries. The story charts tell is up to the storyteller. That would be me in this case, but then you respond to that, and tell yourself another story based on what I offer. I have done my best to leave my margin notes in the articles; that is, to tell you what aspect I’m interpreting. My opinion is designed to cast the issues in a way that is helpful. I try to state problems in a way that lends itself to solutions. But with astrology, we are all making up stories.

Portable astrolabe, set for the latitude of Paris.

Beware you’re doing this. Pay attention to the narratives you tell yourself about your astrology, and what they are based on. In my method of reading charts and telling stories, I take the role of creative problem-solver and inventor. Knowing something about what people go through, and how people in my society (which I consider to include the U.S., the U.K. and Europe, all places I have lived) think, I design ideas that get us around the usual psychological pitfalls, and offer alternative ways to view our lives.

When I predict, I try to be archetypally predictive, explaining the basic conditions and presenting options. I don’t say, “You will get a great new job,” but rather, “This is a good time to make some changes in the work that you do, and move toward what you want. This is a good time to rethink your notion of what a career is.”

This is going to be an unusual year; it’s already shaping up as one. The astrology stands out in part because we are in the midst of so many slow-moving planets changing signs around the same time. Within a two-year span between 2009 and 2011, Jupiter, Saturn, Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto will all be making sign changes. That is quite a cluster.

For those of you who follow transits a bit, this presents a completely different reality than the long-familiar Uranus in Pisces, Neptune in Aquarius, Pluto in Sagittarius setup. These are all nervous placements. Two of them are in mutable signs and one is in Aquarius, where the energy can stay nervous and seem to go nowhere fast, forever. Uranus is heading for Aries and Pluto is well into Capricorn, and these transits have turned the energy up high. The Uranus-Pluto square of 2012-2015 is already crackling, and we will have our first full taste in early June when Jupiter and Uranus form a brief conjunction on the Aries Point.

Writing the horoscopes this year was a daunting task. It’s never really easy; yet I don’t ever remember it being more challenging (I am sure this was exaggerated by Mercury retrograde during much of the work). I feel like I had to relearn astrology from the beginning. There are so many new factors to consider, in the midst of which we have Mars retrograde in Leo. In many ways I have depended on the movement of Mars more than the other transits, because I think that it gets to the heart of the matter, which is determining what we want.

I am using this as an alternative concept to ‘intentions’, which is a concept so ambiguous and wrought with controversy that I have trouble explaining it. I am suggesting we use the word desire, which is simple enough for a kid to understand, and quite useful for an adult to understand. If we pause to ask ourselves what we want, we would be a lot better off. You could not have a better symbol of this than Mars retrograde in Leo. This aspect falls in a different house for each of the signs, and therefore it tells a different story.

The Mars event coincides with a conjunction soon to take place in the first degree of Aries, which rings with the same theme: the focusing of desire, and in the case of the Aries Point and Uranus, the desire of a very large group of some kind. Large, like a population.

While I was working out the Leo interpretation, I recognized this subject from the Abraham-Hicks material, which I love but have long resisted because it seems to defy logic. Or rather, it defies one kind of logic (that of a limited world where we believe nearly everything is impossible) and introduces another: metaphysics based on desire. Astrology concurs that Mars and Aries are the keys that fire up the initiative of our cosmos, at least on this level.

For each of the signs, I have done my best to factor in or directly interpret Mars retrograde in Leo, Pluto in Capricorn, the Chiron-Neptune conjunction in Aquarius, and the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction in Aries. When possible, I have tried to synthesize these transits into a unique interpretation for the point of view for each sign.

In addition to the main interpretation, each sign includes three additional pages: excerpts from the prior three annual editions; samples of interviews conducted with readers from the given sign; and a page of resources: in most cases, the chart for the Sun entering that sign, the short version of the annual, and any out-takes I had left over after writing the interpretation.

At the bottom of each page is a comment area where you are welcome to leave your questions, comments and requests for clarification, which I will do my best to answer. I am curious to see how these interpretations work for you. Please let me know.

Eric Francis