Planet Waves by Eric Francis | Looking Back on 2001


What A Day That Was
two thousand one, looking back

And on the first day, we had everything we could hold
Ooh and then we let if all
And on the second day, there was nothing else left to do
Ooh what a day that was.
David Byrne

I mistakenly called 1999 The Year You Don't Forget. What I really meant was The Chart You Don't Forget: that grand cross and total solar eclipse on August 11. One of my colleagues had said years before that she planned to be out of the solar system that day. Strange stuff happened in 1999, like a presidential impeachment, which held the nation's attention hostage as long as it was piped in live, but then disappeared into the abyss of memory; and there were the WTO protests; and there was the nonexistent Y2K thing. We saw communities bracing for disaster, people stocking up on ammo, lots of folks hoarding water and Campbell's soup.

But the barber kept on shaving. Then one day in May 2000, we had a collection of planets hurl through Taurus, every one of the traditional seven for the first time in 7,000 years, as far back as the computers can count, and an exact conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn, which occurs once per twenty years and has ushered in innumerable changes, things like the Kennedy assassination or the World War. In 2000 Elian Gonzolez was rescued by dolphins and fisherermen, the A-16 protests busted out in Washington, George Dubya swiped the election (we find out), but the barber kept on shaving.

In June 2001 we saw a very mysterious total solar eclipse exactly on the Summer Solstice. Some of the best astrologers in the world missed the meaning of this. Weeks later Saturn and Pluto met in their thrice-per-century opposition, which marks one of the most distinct cycles of history. These were both truly unusual events.

But we had all seen a long, wild, bizarre series of once-in-a-lifetime astrological events blaze by, with comets leading the way and huge solar flares and ion storms and planetary discoveries to boot, and, well, because the barber had just kept on shaving all those other times, we missed it. We just missed it.

Or rather, we thought we had seen it all before...

Planet Waves Horoscope 12/01 by Eric Francis

December articles begin posting Monday. Visit our new daily edition for Sagittarius, The Centaur's Arrow, beginning now. And click here for some important information. Look for 2002 annual edition Dec. 3.

Aries (March 20-April 21)
In an effort to cope with reality, you might try to make the world more simple, or to make yourself more complex, even when you know these things are not true. But if you do this, there's a loss of contact possible, a constriction of data flow between you and the people around you. This may account for the sacrifice of your relationships in the past year or so, but it's surely easy enough to learn how to get beyond. Interact with people, in language. Try not collecting knowledge, but rather, using it. And please do remember that mastering knowledge does not mean mastering people. The two are related, but the only person you really want to master is yourself, with great discretion, and in a spirit of freedom, if such are possible. But as for knowledge: the one sure way to tell if it's meaningful is whether it changes you.

Taurus (April 21-May 20)
The lights are coming on. Slowly, quickly, suddenly, gradually or barely noticeably, but most surely, they are coming on. The funny thing about being in dim light or darkness is that often you didn't know you were there in the first place, and thus didn't know what you were missing. Hey, sometimes it's not so funny. But with your newfound consciousness, it would be good to ascertain the source of the awareness loss: was it being caught in the past? Lack of oxygen, social contact, or something meaningful to do? Or was it getting ensnared in the infamous Tauran reticence to change? As you ask these questions, I suggest you consider two concepts that are often used interchangeably: ready, and willing. Remember, vision is for seeing, so look. And please be aware of subtle changes in the light, even if you think it's just your imagination.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
We might well ask what the confrontations of 2001 have taught you, and hope that you have a good answer. While relationships were distinctly more important than other years in the recent past, it worked out that most of what you learned was about yourself. There has been, for instance, this key matter of what you believe. If you hesitate on this point, you'll continue to be confronted by a whole lot of everything else, till you discover what it is you actually believe. We might speculate that belief does not change the world. But it sure does change what is possible within your world, because belief serves as a limiting factor on faith, and on your ability to hold out a vision for yourself. On some level, you must believe that change is possible if you want change, and maybe I'm just guessing but I'm pretty sure you do. In a big, bad way. Right?

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This year was the threshold, an ultimate test of your ability to hold a curve, of your guts and of your awareness. Or maybe crossing a cosmic threshold is a more accurate image, and this occurred within weeks of your birthday. The door between the worlds is now sealed. Certain people made it across. Others did not. Certain attributes of who you were did not make it through. Many important qualities did. But the new territory has many wonders, and is quite lush in a way that the old was distinctly barren. It may take you a while to notice, though I suggest you explore consciously, and use a map. It may take you time to remember that you don't really miss who and what you left behind. Indeed, being who you are involves sacrificing who you are not. But I ask: is this really a sacrifice?

Leo (July 22-Aug. 22)
Did your fears get the best of you this year? And if so, what then? Let's take a step back. Fear prevents you from expressing yourself. The more you have to express, the more fear you will feel, because fear is just twisted up psychic energy. Sooner or later, you will need to make peace with two facts: number one is that you are powerful. Number two is that power serves good or ill, either creates or destroys, loves or hates. Mr. Bush and Mr. bin Laden were both onto something when they declared that we choose one side or the other -- this is an extremely simple spiritual principle. The question is which side is which, and what determines the difference? Consider it this way: anything that seems to be in the middle is a delusion. Anything that seems like an easy out is likely to be something else.

Virgo (Aug. 22-Sep. 22)
The time we need to feel the most safe is when we feel the most threatened. The time we need to be ready to take a risk is when we have the most to lose. This year has done much to teach you about the issue of security, both inner and outer, and somehow I am not sure the real issues are resolved. But doubtless, you have made progress, and can learn quite a bit from your successes. Not to poke and prod like a shrink or anything, but have you made the connections between the "dark father," dark religion, potentially unsafe factors in your home growing up (emotional or otherwise), and your corresponding crisis of faith as an adult? To actually have faith, you will need to hold the light around your home, and you need to get rid of any dark fathers who happen to be there. Maybe you know this, but these days you make your own safety.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
You have been the outlet or projection screen this year for many factors that had nothing to do with you, and unless you tune up your dish, clean out your e-mail box and get a few new recipes for existence, you're in a position to continue being lived through. That would be silly, because you have a lot of living and growing to do, on your own, and for yourself. I recognize that any aspiration you may feel is usually matched by a sense of uneasiness. But this is a sign you're headed in the right direction. This year has presented some very challenging lessons about how it's not possible to live in the past in relationships, particularly the distant past, but at least you got the message. But in love, the challenge remains: who is you, and who is me?

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
It's clear that one reason Scorpios are so intense is because you know something we don't. And this knowledge makes it a little difficult in the world, sometimes, or often, because you're not in the same position to deny what you know as many other people are. Yet I ask: are you friends with yourself enough to really have friends, and have you made the connection between the two conditions? Are others aware that to be your friend, they really need to leave you to your own volition? Try as they may, partners and loved ones are not going to be able to hold you to your past, or to theirs. But are you preparing for your future, getting clear on an action plan that will allow you to go beyond your past? If you're having trouble, here is a clue: what appears to be an obstacle is an invitation.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Every possible influence for change that could have applied itself to you (Pluto, Chiron, Saturn and Mars) has done so this year, with key peaks in the action in March, May, August and November. I offer you, on the one hand, my deepest astrological sympathy for the kind of pressure, force and impact applied to your life by cosmic forces. I remind you that what appeared to be a personal loss was really a collective one. But on the other hand, I am inclined to ask you: why? Why has it taken this much to fire your furnace, or change your mind? Have you changed your mind? It is beyond question that you will need to get clear on at least one relationship in particular, deciding on the basis of whether it helps or hinders your process.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
In any attempt to create order in a life that is not working at its potential, we need to have a vision. It's not enough that one's vision exists as a subtle or unconscious thought, nor that we get stuck inside our limited capacity to make our visions clear and conscious. To some extent, the "unseen" will always play a role in your life, but much of what we describe this way was plainly visible from certain viewpoints, if only we would look from those perspectives. Whether you realize it or not, for the past two years you have been involved in the creation of a personal vision. You may have felt pushed to the limits of who you were, or confronted by an abyss which seemed to beg you to take the leap. The matter now at hand is making all that you've learned and formulated fully conscious, and to keep using what you know in ways that you notice the next day.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
You may think of yourself as curious, but you seem to possess only a fraction of the curiosity and intellectual capacity you had as a child. What happened? For the sake of your happiness, fulfillment and maximum impact on the world, and for the sake of any children you may have, important influences or restrictions are now guiding you back to the scene of the damage, where you will be able to conduct an investigation, and possibly make some repairs. Information alone will get you a long way toward recovering what was damaged or taken from you long ago. In your current life, I would pose these questions as investigative tools: Why have your relationships followed the pattern that they have? To whom are you, or were you, a shame? And does the current time frame remind you of any time in the past?

Pisces (Feb. 19-Mar. 20)
The world is not your mother, and for this you can be thankful. As children, it's mother's job to tell us who we are. As a sovereign adult, it is your job to tell you who you are, and to work with the world to support and create that reality. Through this process, we create the world at the same time that it creates us, and the relationship, at its best, is fundamentally equal. This is not "the truth," it is merely a world view. In terms of your goals, it's imperative that you distinguish what is old from what is new, for your priorities have changed, and they are still changing. But you're not without a stable foundation to build on, so you can afford certain risks, indeed, you cannot afford not to take certain risks. Such as, the only way to find your true work is to get lost in your work. The only way to find true love is to get lost in love.

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Space graphic above is from the Rosette Nebula in Hydrogen, Oxygen, and Sulfur.
Credit: T. A. Rector, B. Wolpa, M. Hanna. Planet Waves logo by Eric, and Via Davis.