Planet Waves | Afghanistan Update | Why Does the Moon?


Why Does the Moon?

With the Moon on the Saturn-Pluto axis and the Sun in Mercury's Sept. 11 degree, President Bush
begins bombing attacks on Afghanistan...

Planet Waves Update | By Eric Francis

Related Story | PLUS For the Faithful

Note: This article has been revised several times since it was first posted on Oct. 7. Newest update, Oct. 10 at 5:28 am PDT.

Sunday morning Oct. 7 at about 10 a.m. Pacific Time, President Bush announced that US and British forces had begun air attacks on military targets on Afghanistan.

There is no such thing as a compassionate war. There are no smart bombs or precision attacks, and credible evidence that the nation of Afghanistan is the real enemy in the World Trade Center disaster would be unlikely to convince a jury. But the bombing has begun, to whatever end. America, to the extent that it wages war against a starving nation and stirs the nest of equally amoral terrorists hiding in caves, must have a love affair with insecurity: now we can discuss anthrax on call-in talk shows.

Commencement of the bombings is being called a defining moment in the crisis which began with the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon, and as such, appropriate for casting an astrological chart; astrology is largely the study of defining moments. [For the chart for the Sept. 11, event, use this link, and for the article, use this link. View chart for bombing.] What does the new chart have to say?

In my previous article, Mercury Also Rises, I explained how at the time of the World Trade Center attack, Mercury was exactly rising in the 15th degree of Libra exactly trine Saturn in the 15th degree of Gemini, and sextile Pluto. Saturn opposite Pluto, the most important aspect in this chart and the historical trigger, was trained by Mercury; the "easy" trine gave a mode of expression to the very difficult opposition. The Sept. 11 chart becomes the basis chart for those of future developments in the same situation; we can track transits and progressions (two methods of plotting planetary movement). We need to remember that we are still under the influence of a void-of-course Moon under which all the current madness started. That will never change, until some kind of official cease fire or peace treaty is signed.

Without offering much in the way of interpretation of the new chart, here are the relevant transits, using the Sept. 11 chart as the basis and the Oct. 7 chart as the transit chart:

<> Mercury is retrograde. It is retrograde in the same sign that it was in during the [bungled, or whatever word you choose to insert here] presidential election last year. Retrograde Mercury (three times a year for about three weeks) is not an especially good time to make agreements; the particulars change, information is revised or found to have been unreliable, and commitments falter. Efforts under Mercury retrograde are often wasted and ineffective.

<> On Oct. 7, the Sun crossed the rising degree of the Sept. 11 chart, which means it has also crossed the degree of Mercury in that chart (they occupy the same degree). Here, we have a picture of how the timing of the Sun crossing the ascendant of an important chart might work. It has emerged from the veiled world of the12th house of secrets, secret enemies and dreams, and manifested in the world of identity and action, the 1st house. But Mercury is also involved: Mercury is the "secret enemy" of the original chart, and today, the Sun is in contact with him. Could these retaliations somehow be good for the secret enemy? His "day in the Sun"? Or is "sunshine he best antiseptic"? We shall see. Given the games Mercury is playing in the original chart, we cannot be sure that the Taliban and/or bin Laden are even "legitimate" targets in retaliation for the World Trade Center attack, or whether this is just a convenient time to go after them.

<> The Sun is trine the Saturn-Pluto opposition axis, just like Mercury was on Sept. 11. Our friends at, on the trail to deducing the real meaning of a trine, note astutely that the trine is providing the vehicle of expression for the tense opposition. On the 11th it was the terrorist attacks; on Sunday, it was the retaliation.

<> The Sun is in the degree of the horoscope where the Mercury retrograde ends in about two weeks; hence, Mercury is about to retrograde back into the degree that it both occupied and was rising at the moment of the WTC attack, and the degree of the Sun when Bush attacked Afghanistan today. Based on our new understanding of trines as a vehicle or mode of expression, we can expect another significant development. And it's likely that this degree will be the scene of more interesting events in the coming year or so. But the Pink Floyd line, "Haven't you heard, it's a battle of words?" comes to mind -- so why waste perfectly good bombs when we can just scream and yell?

<> When the bombing commenced, the Moon was exactly opposite Pluto, exact, that is, to the very degree, along the axis of the Saturn-Pluto opposition. Thus, the Moon in this chart is applying within one degree of an exact conjunction to Saturn as well. This is a critical timing factor, since just about all astrologers agree that the Saturn-Pluto opposition is the larger historical trigger which is behind to the current unfolding of events. The Moon functions more as an immediate catalyst or indicator of events, picking up on where the rest of the planets are located. It is the cue ball of astrology.

<> Unlike in the WTC chart, the Moon is in fully-functioning position in this chart. It's so not void-of-course it's not funny. But this means that The Boys think they have thought through what they are doing pretty carefully; they do know they can't afford to screw this up in the media, which is the scene of all real battles (a colleague at CNN says that folks who work there are calling our current events "America's News War" and are being made to do everything but drills in the courtyard and eat C-rations for lunch).

<> The Moon tells us these events are likely to have consequences. We don't know what for sure, besides rampant pain, death, fear and suffering raining down on the already starved and oppressed people of Afghanistan. But the Moon opposite Pluto and conjunct Saturn is not exactly a day on a yacht, and the Moon is always a significator for "the people" and their safety, conjunct Saturn is oppressive and opposite Pluto is lonely and threatening of death.

<> The Sun is square Jupiter, which most astrologers would say represents either the size, or the exaggeration of the size, of the event. It could easily blow out of all proportion, or it could be based on misinformation, or belief over-riding information. But prudence? Well, no. There is an emphasis on "justice" (Jupiter) and partnership, as with the UK (Sun in Libra). This same aspect also places Jupiter in an exact square to Mercury in the Sept. 11 chart. Mercury was the secret enemy of the old chart. Exaggeration of the importance of whoever that Mercury represents is a rather likely factor, as is making the enemy larger by our actions. Considering the Mercury-Saturn mutual reception of that chart (see article) we also have Jupiter square Saturn, which Dr. Marc Edmund Jones called the "last chance" configuration.

<> The Moon (opposite Pluto, applying to Saturn) is exactly conjunct Vesta, an asteroid with connotations of personal sacrifice for the greater good. But functioning under heavy aspects, as she surely is, Martha Wescott notes that her motives for sacrifice and effort may be suspect. The Moon, as well, is exactly opposite Pallas, an asteroid with connotations of protection, politics and war. (These two asteroids are now closely in opposition along the Saturn-Pluto axis; Vesta is in Gemini and Pallas is in Sagittarius. They are officially key players in this drama. They are women; they are fairly well-placed in their signs; they will likely be helpful influences.)

I asked Martha, who has written some of the finest books on asteroids, what she thought of this Pallas-Vesta opposition. She said, "If you think of Pallas just as 'strategies', plans and 'the desire to retain approval', and then see Vesta as 'dispassionate' and focused on an objective, that might add to your sense of it. Of course, Pallas is 'the battle plan' warrior woman -- there is the capability for both wisdom and broad perspective in her."

[We pause for a moment for a linguistic-philosophical question. A "disaster" is an event that goes against the stars (astres). Based on the astrology, we might ponder whether any of this is really a disaster, but more to the point, is something a "disasteroid" if it goes against the asteroids?]

<> Everything of significance in the Sept. 11 and the Oct. 7 charts, including Saturn, Pluto, Jupiter, the Moon, and Mercury retrograde, is in aspect to the nuclear axis, the degrees of the horoscope which, through nearly 60 years of atomic history, been shown to have a direct association with almost all major nuclear events [view chart]. In terms of nuclear weapons, there are two unsavory possibilities at the moment, which seem to take much higher precedence over bioterrorism: one being the use of a missing tactical nuclear bomb by terrorists, and the other being the use of tactical nukes by the Americans.

Yet the obvious pattern, of non-weapons-related (i.e., civilian) nuclear incidents occurring when planets such as Saturn come into contact with the nuclear axis is worth keeping an eye on. If we make it through the next 12 months without some sort of major nuclear incident, it will be a miracle, but as those of you who study the subject know, there is no order of difficulty of miracles. They are all the same. One interpretation of the nuclear axis issue is that current events represent a resolution to the nuclear arms crisis, or the recognition that we finally need to work for a solution.

In any event, Lightworkers, ON THE JOB now! Lightworkers are people who have taken vows to serve Spirit in this lifetime. Their job is to have faith, which is light.

Now is the time: those of you who have taken courses, workshops, practiced meditation for years, sought inner peace, taken on a ministry, take walks with Jesus, learned a healing skill, do yoga with Yogananda standing there, work with angelic entities or friendly ETs, directly bring in the energy of the Masters of Light, or whatever it is you do, now is your moment of being called into service. You already knew this, right?

What do you need to do? First, take a deep breath, then consciously join the network of people who are involved in such activities, which does not require you to even pick up the phone; then hold the energy of safety over the planet. Visualize it however you can: it might surround, fill, guide, protect or direct us. If you have others you can work with, whether near or far, that is probably a good idea, but stay away from skeptics or those whose mission is to instill fear and instability. Just politely decline their company. They are probably not open to persuasion and it's therefore a waste of your energy.

It's always better to let the light work THROUGH you rather than using your own strength. This takes practice, for some people. The first and just about only thing you personally need to do is rise above fear and help others do the same. If you hare having difficulty doing this, then ask Spirit for direct assistance dealing with your fear. In other words, your job is to laugh about how (to quote Einstein) "World War Four will be fought with sticks and stones." It is quite a picture.

An Erotic Connection

There is a direct connection between "fear of the apocalypse" and suppressed orgasm. Some say that holding down sexual energy enhances the spiritual life. That has worked for some people, perhaps; the world has become what it has become under the guidance of a sexually repressed priesthood and a moralistic fundamentalist political cabal that recently crucified a president for sexplay; these are the people who wage war in our names. They wage war because they feel guilty, greedy and powerless. If world leaders would let go of their sexual shame, I believe they would kill fewer people (or not want to kill at all) and do less damage to the environment.

Why would Islamic fundamentalist leaders, who supposedly have their sexual needs met by an assortment of wives, want to kill? Their sexual reality is based on oppression. Having multiple wives is not the oppressive part; the treatment of women in the Islamic world is.

If you know you are a sexual being but are holding back out of fear, I suggest you look at the way in which not opening up to, or releasing, emotional, erotic and psychic energy to the cosmos creates tension that is both uncomfortable and detrimental. It is destabilizing. Usually this manifests as a sense of fear or panic. So I suggest that orgasm be a healthy part of your daily life. In my vision of an ideal world, our orgasms would come from masturbation, sex and masturbating with others; not everyone can arrange such experiences, but masturbation is always available, and you can make it good and very honest.

We need the pleasure, the opening up and the release of pleasure-based chemicals, but orgasm also does a few other things. It is a deep release from what some call ego consciousness; we let go of our minds, and this is very healthy. Where friendship and love are present, orgasm takes us into harmony with one another, opening up great compassion (and compersion). It is an experience of letting go, which can be enough of a metaphor for death that we don't need to obsess over death or other negative possibilities. Orgasm reminds us that we are alive, human, vulnerable and fundamentally all the same. This is a great relief, and we need it. We need to feel and see this, too, and to be witnessed.

Metaphysically, orgasm also equalizes the pressure on both sides of the psychic veil or membrane that distinguishes us from the rest of the cosmos (this veil is thinner at night, and when we sleep, which is part of why we are often less sexually inhibited in our dreams). When the pressure is pushing in and we are resisting, or pushing out and we can't let it go, this can create psychic disturbances that manifest mentally and emotionally.

But simply put, if you are experiencing fear, it would help to do more surrendering. You may find that the current level of uncertainty in life is allowing both you and others to be more open to such experiences, and to invitations. It is okay to ask, and okay if people ask you. Just please be polite, and if you need to say no, that is okay. And so is yes, if you mean it. Know your true limits. Choose your partners carefully! Know their overall agenda in life! As Marianne Williamson has noted, we become like the people with whom we are sexual. So you can choose people you admire. And you can admire yourself; that is the starting point, what we commonly call "self-esteem." Love you. It's okay, and gives other people permission to do the same, which we all need.

I have found it helps to spend time with people who love themselves, and to put this item first on the agenda of any relationship. In love, we love ourselves together. Then we can love one another. More links are posted here.++

Postscript: Homer Simpson and Dad

PS, on the prior subject of nukes, how about a family story? My father is a member of the nuclear industry. He is a communications trainer, and more recently he has taken consulting jobs like preparing plant operators for exams and inspections by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. We disagree on the issue of nuclear power but I have told him that I am glad it's him in there training those people -- at least he's competent. It does help.

One evening, he was visiting me at my friend Neal's house in New Jersey, and we were watching The Simpsons. We don't exactly watch a lot of television together and this was the one and only time we had ever seen The Simpsons. It was, of all things, the episode in which the NRC shows up at Homer Simpson's power plant with the simulator van, you know, the fake control room in an RV, and they're going to quiz him on how he handles a crisis. The government guy says, "Don't worry, this is just a simulator, nobody can get hurt." They close the door and Homey's in there and the "emergency" starts, and he panics... pushes buttons... freaks out... he blows it... the simulator starts to have a melt-down... it turns green and plunges into the Earth.

Well, dad was in hysterics... in tears laughing... somehow I find this reassuring. Well like I said, he's an Aquarius. Anyway, let's keep our bets on the miracle and ease our way nice and calm through Saturn opposite Pluto. Hey, Pluto is just a frozen fart at the edge of the universe and Saturn is a huge bubble of gas with some fancy rings.

For more entertainment, you might want to visit the homepage of one Mark Fiore. Your browser needs to be sort of up to date to see the animated cartoons. They range from pretty good to absolutely brilliant, particularly the newest, Hate Time. These are sent in by Scott Kalechstein. Hey, has everyone watched Dr. Strangelove lately? Or The Mouse that Roared?

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This is all so fucked up!