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Planet Waves 2007 Almanac

SO PLEASE allow me to tell you about what we're doing -- and give you some insight into the business we're in at the same time. After months of plotting and scheming, and years of working with astrology for the public, the Planet Waves team is creating a first-of-a-kind project -- a full-year almanac. A first for us, that is -- a 'designed to be printed' publication, except for the much more basic month-by-month almanac that so many of you (about 4,000 people!) download each month -- and which was the seed of the idea.

This project is greatly expanded from the monthly calendars you've had through 2006, with much more room for detail. The heart of the matter is a custom-programmed ephemeris so you know day by day what's happening in the planets during what promises to be an extremely interesting year, even by recent standards. The ephemeris covers data on classical planets, Centaurs and other new discoveries, which I'm personally sculpting into something fun, clear and easy to use.

We've also done an overview of all 13 sets of New and Full Moons, and I'm writing an extended overview for each of the 12 months of the year. It's all there: eclipses, retrogrades, hot spots, moments of opportunity, rough spots, adventure zones -- all in advance, easy to read and, best of all, printable (both in UK and USA formats, A4 and letter) and delivered as a readable or printable PDF. Anyone who has ever put out the volunteer fire department newsletter knows how much work a publication is, and how much dedication it takes.

Here's the thing. To do a project like this, we have to take a big chance, investing substantial resources such as time, effort, thought, money and most of all love into something that we just simply trust enough people will be interested in to work economically.

That part is up to you. We've kept the pre-order price attractive, $9.95, and we're skimping on nothing, and we're doing it all with you in mind. Now comes your part, and a small part it is: please order a copy or two. It's fast and easy; you can even call on the phone if you'd like. The number is (877) 453-8265, or (206) 567-4455 from outside the US. You can call during Eastern business hours, please.

Your subscription already includes The Spiral Door, the 2007 annual edition website, which is evolving beautifully. The almanac is an extra. We've done it for you; you can pre-order your copy here.

Thank you!



World AIDS Day: Pass the 7-Up

TWENTY-FIVE years ago, when I was a high school senior, I was sitting in my room and my mother walked in with a newspaper clipping from The New York Times about a new disease called GRID. This was, I read in our family's newspaper of record, a disease that was impacting the gay male community. A few weeks later, she came in with a second article on the same subject. It was a while before the name was changed to AIDS, or any heterosexuals figured out they might have a stake in the issue.

Full article here


Galactic Headrush

IT gets me every year, and it probably gets you: that insane feeling of things spiraling out of control on the way to winter solstice. It's like the feeling of time running out, which happens to coincide with the year running out, which happens to coincide with a lot of people's patience running out. It's as much fun as eating a mistletoe salad.

The phenomenon is undeniable. We could be polite and call it celestial speedup, but a term from automotive repair seems more applicable. It's feels a little like the Venturi effect, which is what happens to a gas when it's forced through a constriction (as in a carburetor): it speeds up and vaporizes, similar to what most people feel this time of year. Being a great lover of a good or at least creative theory, the past couple of years I've started to develop a few as to what the issue really is.

Our wide variety of year-end deadlines, from final exams to year-end reports to the annual horoscopes, to editors working diligently to get those 'get slim quick' articles together, all definitely put the squeeze on. As for the holidays themselves, all that fun is extremely stressful. Like all the fun we have with our beloved, wacky relatives, and the disruptions to our normal rhythms of life, and the cards and gifts and the brawls in the DVD aisle at Wal-Mart. But these are socially constructed factors. This feels a lot more cosmic to me, but then everything does.

The first and most obvious natural factor is the sense of rush that's accentuated by how early it gets dark. This is of course only true at holiday time in the Northern Hemisphere, since it's currently the height of summer in the Southern Hemisphere and the days are the longest (true fact, I read about it). I have not asked any Ozzies I know if they feel rushed this time of year, but if you'd like to share, please do.

Up here, there's nothing like just a few hours of chilly, half-baked daylight to convince you that time is closing in on you. There is an animal, or maybe cave man, part of our brains that really is wondering where the Sun went, if it will ever come back, and what we did to make the gods angry.

Other factors exist. Sagittarius is a time when the Sun aligns with two of the most massive objects in the sky: the core of our own galaxy (called the Galactic Center or Galactic Core, at about 27 degrees Sagittarius) and the Great Attractor (at about 14 degrees Sagittarius). True, there are galaxies a lot bigger than our own, but none so close.

Paraphrasing a bit from my blog, here's how I described the phenomenon:

The Sun in Sagittarius means that we are looking inward toward the core of the galaxy when we're looking at the Sun. Up here in Northern Civ, when the Sun appears in Gemini, Cancer and Leo and thereabouts, you can look up and see the galaxy. It's that streak across the sky in the summer.

Then in the winter (again, up here in the Northern Hemisphere), the position of the Earth relative to the Sun is in the opposite side of the sky, such that during the day we are facing inward toward the galaxy when the Sun is visible, and at night, we are looking out toward deep space. This is another way of saying that the Sun, transiting the sign Sagittarius, is approaching a conjunction to the Galactic Core at this time of year. A little before that happens, it aligns with a point waaaaaay beyond our galaxy, called the Great Attractor.

One way to think of this is that the Sun takes on the properties of the things to which it forms conjunctions. These two points are so massive, so heavy, so laden with gravity and broadcasting so much energy on so many frequencies, it's no wonder our sense of time gets a little freaky and feels so intensely compressed.

Who knows -- this might even be some kind of relativistic effect, like the twin paradox. Down in Australia, everyone is quickly getting younger. We're all busy getting older.

Now, one thing to keep in mind is the relationship between 2012 and the people having psychotic episodes in the digital camera department. The phenomenon we call 2012 involves both the Mayan calendar approaching a big turnover (a 5,125 year cycle called a 'baktun' ends), and also, an alignment that is occurring in very late Sagittarius, close to the Galactic Core. The core is a spiral. Time is a spiral, and as we get to this time of year, we move closer and closer to the center of that spiral with the sense that things are going faster and faster every minute.

The "2012 effect" as we experience it is the feeling of time both speeding up and running out at the same time. It's the sense that we've reached a critical crux point in history; a kind of leaping off point, a little like lemmings running to the end of a long dock and then sprinting madly the last three feet.

Usually, the effect is lingering in the background of consciousness, like the ice caps melting. But then when the Sun gets near the 2012 zone as it does now, and for the next three or so weeks, the effect is localized in time. It's pushed to the front of consciousness, where we get to deal with it. This time of year is like a miniature model of the end of the baktun.

As I've written before, 2012 is up for grabs. Right now, it's anybody's game, and this intense season, life is up for grabs. And it's definitely an adventure, like going down the rapids. But we're definitely taking that ride down the river of night, so we may as well do it well, and have fun. This year I'm experimenting with easing back into the rush, not pushing so hard but going with the flow. One thing I notice is I usually get it all done.


Maya Del Mar (1928-2006)

Planet Waves is saddened to note the passing of MAYA DEL MAR (1928-2006), astrologer and editor of Daykeeper Journal. Maya, as you will see from her face, was a compassionate, straightforward and no-nonsense astrologer. She was perhaps the best among us at keeping astrology out of the realm of superstition and placing it squarely in the realm of a practical tool for surviving and thriving. Among her many contributions to astrology was her acknowledgement of the Galactic Core as a necessary and useful point to work with, and it is perhaps appropriate that she chose to depart as the Sun is approaching the Core, in this season of Sagittarius, the season of so many roads. To read more about Maya's life and unexpected passing, please visit her homepage, which is currently being updated by her daughters Susan and Crystal. Further contact information is on the Web site. -- Eric Francis



Planet Waves
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, December 01, 2006, #639 - By ERIC FRANCIS

Sagittarius Solar Returns, second edition

IN MANY ways, the shift that's happening in your life is anything but subtle. Your world, as you may be sensing, is soon to be unrecognizable from what it once was; different in one month, one season and, most profoundly, again one year from now. To the extent that you're investigating progress from any point in the past, you would be wise to use a much longer time frame, perhaps a decade.

Though the distances you have crossed have been so great, and the journey has in most respects gone so slowly, the beauty of the current moment, as it unfolds, will be that it reveals just how far you have really come, and how close you are to a destination that you have, for so long, needed to reach.

Lest this sound like some kind of 'conclusion', fear not. For Sagittarius there is always another highway, and for those who have taken the long way around the mountain, the short way around would be worth exploring. You have, in any event, arrived in interesting territory, and I trust that the next year or so will provide many occasions to remember the places you have been in the years that Pluto has been working its way through your sign (1994/95 to present).

Consider it this way. It's as though Pluto in its course has cut furrows in your soul, and your experiences have planted seeds of faith, belief, ideology and most important, ideals. This is never without its perils and you have, for sure, struggled through many points along the way. But as the healing balm of Jupiter in your birth sign takes effect, those seeds will soak in the water they have been waiting for and, before your eyes, so many long endeavors and long seasons will at last bear forth the fruit you have been waiting for.

And as this develops you may feel that at long last, your world is changing to catch up with you.

But the real change is the one happening in your mind; the change nobody can see but you -- and perhaps the person or people with whom you are the most intimate. They are the witnesses to the change, not necessarily the instigator, and yet their role is vital. It may not have seemed like they were really with you all along. There have been many backs and forths, questions and long awaited replies -- but in truth you have not made this journey unaccompanied, and you are not alone today.

To you it may feel like a relationship is changing, evolving and growing into new places. But make no mistake: the only reason this can happen is because you are evolving yourself. There is something moving inside you, something that may have long felt stuck, creaky, outdated or long overdue for a scrub.

Yet the 'inner piece' of you that represents the place where you make contact with others is the one that is shifting within your unconscious, finding its place and, as we speak, stretching into new territory. Of all the 'spiritual' endeavors you could concern yourself with in these coming seasons, the strange relationship between inner shifts and outer progress is the one to watch. It is, in essence, the key to all spiritual growth because it contains the lesson, perhaps difficult for some, that we create our own reality. A rationalist could point to every reason why this is not true, but the evidence of your own life far outstrips reason and rationales.

At the same time, it is interesting how so much old data is pointing to new conclusions, or conclusions that you long ago suspected could be true. And in an odd way, it's not even like you can say exactly what those conclusions are. But you can say, for sure, that you're seeing the world in a new way; that you have arrived somewhere that in an odd way it seems you've been many times before, and are seeing it like a new place; that you live on a very old world that you are blessed with the young, strong eyes to see is somewhere new.

 
Aries (March 20-April 19)
There is a practical side to everything, including personal growth. You have been learning so much lately, but this week's Full Moon says that the time has come to apply what you have learned. This is the time to think globally and act locally. Surely you can think of one action you can take to improve the world outside your front door. Family Focus: A long journey seems to be in the stars.
 
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
If a partner has seemed reluctant or disappointed, give them a chance to see the light of day. You have been ready to take a step for a while, and you've seen the opening where it might be possible to go. But these things don't work until everyone is ready. It will be worth noticing a shift that's likely to occur soon. Family Focus: Loved ones who thrived on security will now thrive on progress.
 
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
This week's Full Moon in your birth sign should be the gentle pinch that proves this is not a dream. Don't be distracted by leftover business related to recent events that seems to be taking up some time and space. You have set things, in particular your life, on the right path. Look for the evidence and you will see it. Family Focus: Show the utmost respect for men this week, particularly to your kids.
 
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
If it seems like more is going on than you can see and feel, pay attention to who and what is available. I assure you it's plenty, and plenty enough. The approaching Full Moon may make you feel like you're missing half your life. I would say you're living more fully, and more boldly, than ever. Family Focus: Notice how children have done a lot of growing up the past month.
 
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Close friends will play a pivotal role in this week's extraordinary developments. It's just that it may take a different form than you're typically accustomed to, with key individuals acting out of character or displaying entirely different talents, including a side of their nature you've never seen. Expect the unexpected, even from people you've known for many years. Family Focus: A persistent source of emotional irritation is finally running dry.
 
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
You will play two starring roles this week in a drama that promises, at worst, to be interesting, and at best, an unusual fun adventure. Your diverse professional talents will all have their moment to shine, but what counts for more is the confidence you've built up along the way to getting here. This will be an example for everyone. Family Focus: Give everyone something to do, and let it reflect their natural gifts.
 
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
Someone you were counting on may seem to be holding out, or giving you a hard time for the sake of it. They will, soon enough, wake up and notice that the light dawned about three hours earlier. They may even admit they were sleeping. The best thing you can do is treat them like they're awake. Family Focus: Impress on kids the importance of honoring friendship.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
You're taking your time catching up with all the progress that's gone on around you, but you are indeed getting there. Or rather, I should say 'here'. At least once this week you're likely to have the revelation that it's better to be solidly in the present than stuck anywhere in the past. Especially the present as it now exists. Family Focus: Nobody can hold you back; resolve to never hold anyone else back.
 
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Everything is happening at once, more is about to happen, and people expect a lot from you. If you are vaguely like the average Sagittarian, you like to roller skate at high speeds on a greased floor. I suggest, however, that these days you keep your feet firmly planted on the Earth, and take your steps one at a time. Family Focus: Home is a place within you, where many people can live.
 
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
Both your perception and activity level now permit you to make amends with a friend who may have been involved in a mishap or complication in your life. You may need to bring up the subject, and if you do so gently and with love, you'll work it out. Be thankful for all you learned and take it from there. Family Focus: You have some thoughts it would be best to keep quiet about for now.
 
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
You're the one in a position to gently coax several people close to you into taking an unusual risk. More the creative or business kind, less like skydiving; more the romantic or passionate kind, less like driving too fast. Your life is truly blessed right now. Feel that and everyone else will catch on. As usual, you're the herald of the future. Family Focus: Children must be treated as equals with adults now.
 
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
Allow this week's Full Moon in the most emotionally sensitive angle of your chart to remind you how safe you are. It's not the safety of being stuck or refusing to change. Rather, it's the kind born of knowing you're resourceful, adaptable and most of all, open-minded. Those things will get you pretty far in the seasons to come. Family Focus: No matter how busy you are, plan an event or gathering at home.


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