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Stirring Dull Roots With Spring Fire
Planet Waves Monthly Horoscope for April 2010 by ERIC FRANCIS. Click for audio astrology overview for April, also by Eric.

The equinox has arrived, the Sun is in Aries, and the fiery spirit of the air will keep arriving for the next few months -- maybe the next couple of years. Aries is the first fire sign, and the Aries Point is the cosmic key fob. When planets push that button, things get moving. And that is what's happening now, and for quite a while to come.

Planet Waves
A Swim by Via Keller / Studio Psycherotica.
Yet this season's astrology is an exciting interplay between Pisces and Aries, the last sign and the first; the watery depths and the passionate burst forward. The Sun has begun its journey across the sign of the Ram, just like in the Canterbury Tales, and after the long Northern Hemisphere winter with all of our Northern Hemisphere snow, howling winds, rain and flooding, being restless to get out of your apartment or out of your clothes is a beautiful thing.

For the moment, Venus and Mercury are also moving through Aries, and Eris -- the planet that changed the solar system -- is still doing her 110-year spell in Aries, with lots of company.

Meanwhile, two of the most influential planets are still in Pisces -- Jupiter and Uranus. Later in the season, both will move into Aries. Currently there is equal emphasis on Pisces, providing both emotional contact and a sense of difficulty grounding any stable sense of feeling: plenty of feeling, and a challenge getting the water to soak into the Earth. Aries activity is not going to help this, because it's so impetuous and tends to lack any sense of contemplation. The Pisces angle of your chart wants to meditate, but it's one of those restless days where you feel like you drank five cups of green tea and then try to sit quietly. Some days it works. Some days you just feel jittery.

Yet what, exactly, is that jittery feeling? What's the energy source?

I have some thoughts about that. This week, Venus makes a conjunction to Eris, which feels like an explosion of self-aware feminine consciousness. Chaotic, yes, but strong and independent. Then later in the week Mercury makes a conjunction to Eris. Then the Sun arrives, and we really get to see what this vital new discovery is all about.

Planet Waves
Eris. Illustration: Ravendusk.
Eris is the goddess responsible for the reclassification of Pluto to dwarf planet. Discovered by Michael Brown and team in 2005 and then named in 2006, in my view, Eris is about the personality chaos we find ourselves in at this time in history. Yes, she is the goddess of discord and the world is a little frayed at the moment; who knows which way is up. But where is that vertigo coming from? I would say it's coming from the lack of any cohesive self-concept, and this is what Eris speaks to. It's that odd sense of having no clue who we are, mainly because there seem to be so many choices. Eris, in another manifestation, is also the truthteller, who can be a man or a woman. The idea of Eris is not to be disruptive for its own sake (though this happens), but rather to be focused and pointed about an issue that is actually important.

As a teacher at astrology conferences, I can confirm that the profession is moving at approximately glacial speed understanding these new influences that take us to unusual depths psychologically and spiritually. There are many objections to using the new planets, though I sense that the main issue is human nature's resistance to anything different. People may have their private view, but there is not a sense of coalescence, excitement or discovery. We are alive in a time of discovery and it's almost like nobody is noticing.

If this were just about planets, that would be one thing. As astrologers we agree that the planets are about us, and therefore discoveries are also about us. So if we are overlooking the discoveries, we are missing the point of astrology.

Assuming we want to, how exactly do we find out what these influences are about? There are many techniques, from studying the astronomy, the myths and the people whose charts have prominent placements of a new discovery. One of the ways is to observe what happens when the Sun makes a conjunction to the planet in question. On April 11, the Sun makes its annual conjunction to Eris in Aries. This week, and then again for a window of about four days, from April 9 through April 13, we have an opportunity to see Eris in action, in the big world and in our own lives. Note that since this is in Aries, one of the issues is how we define ourselves; how we envision ourselves; how resolutely we allow ourselves to be who we are. Everyone has Aries in their chart and it expresses itself somewhere.

As the spring progresses, this issue is going to take on a life the likes of which we have not seen since the late 1960s and early 1970s, when the issue of self-awareness was (briefly) all the rage. Late in the season, the cosmic fire starts pouring through Aries with extraordinary emphasis. This is a wake-up call of proportions we have simply not seen in nearly half a century and in truth far longer, as Uranus only gets to Aries for seven out of 84 years. The question is not whether we wake up, but rather what will we wake up to? I mean this personally. What is it about yourself that you are trying to awaken, and what about yourself are you content to have asleep? Because the part that is sleeping is the part that is going to get the emphasis.

For all of my readers, here is a free, short eBook ($19.95 value, free while the Sun is in Aries) that I wrote about Eris shortly after the naming, called Eris in Astrology: Facets and Fragments of Self.

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis

Aries (March 20-April 19)
You're getting a lot of bold messages to be yourself, but you also seem to have way too many choices for who that self is. Beyond all the seemingly tangible possibilities is a chaotic realm where you simply don't have the answer. Every time you seem to get a clue, something changes. We're accustomed to plastering those unknowns over with labels and other assumptions, rather than leaving the question open. While a mystery like this can be uncomfortable to live with, I suggest you stay in a state of uncertainty for as long as you possibly can. Consider it a kind of meditation. Embrace the chaos of who you are, who you are not and who you might be. This is designed to help you have greater access to your potential rather than pretending it doesn't exist. At the moment far more is possible than you're likely to be aware of. As the next two months progress, you're going to get a taste of what this potential is; yet in order to have this potential be real you need to keep your mind open and make sure you're ready to change, adapt and go on a new adventure at all times. Stay loose. Notice the game of pretend that we're all taught to play the moment we're confronted with an unknown. Unknowns are your best friend right now and I suggest you keep them near and dear to your heart.

Aries Birthday Audio by Eric Francis is available here. The report goes into detail on the blossoming of self-awareness that is all over the Aries charts this year, and the question of whether your current work situation and personal relationships can withstand the energy. Bringing your personal life and professional life into alignment and a space of mutual support. The audio is about 45 minutes, followed by an Aries tarot reading using the Voyager deck. Use this link to sign up.

Leo (July 22- Aug. 23)
How is it possible to widen your horizons in a world where everything seems to get narrower every day? The process starts with cultivating faith in yourself. Now, we could ask: how can you have faith in yourself when so many aspects of our upbringing and so many aspects of the world we live in are designed to take our power away from us, or to have us willingly hand it over? Your astrology is sending you several direct messages. One is to work with a vision; that is to say, with an inner image and a description of what you want to create in your life. I cannot repeat this often enough and I recognize the challenges inherent in creating and holding that vision. Everything seems to change so fast, and we are presented with new challenges every single day. Given these facts, it's so much more meaningful to have the one consistent thing be your devotion to focusing your mind's eye on the existence you want to have. Planets moving into the fire sign Aries, even as you read these words and extending well into the year, will make this easier. At the same time you may feel a sense of urgency or necessity mingled in with a subtle calling toward who you are becoming. You may fear you are being pushed too far, too fast, but really you are being brought up to just the right speed, right on time.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
There's a necessary element of chaos in authentic creative and sexual experiences. This is part of the lure: we want something different, and most of us secretly crave that feeling of going out of control. Yet this is a source of the phobia connected with moving creative energy: you don't know what's going to happen. Now, as a Sagittarian you might think, what fun! As a human, you might think, not so fast. I want to know the outcome in advance. I want to be able to Photoshop that little piece of reality, and I want the 'delete' button right nearby. That's fine if you're not going for the real thing: an actual experience of life and a true adventure rather than a trip to Epcot Center. I suggest you embrace your favorite flavor of chaos. Using art as a metaphor, it's time to make a big mess out of your studio, work on five projects at once and paint naked till 5 am. If you're into sports, it's time to make that the focus of your life and 'work' the thing you do to support it. If you're a musician, well, you get the idea. Remember, this is not really art you're playing with: it's an experiment in feeling and experiencing who you are. Every drop of astrology, now and for the foreseeable future, is about drawing you into the unfamiliar territory of your own existence. You are safe; go boldly.

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