A Magazine About Food, Art & Exchange In Midtown Kingston, Published By The Hudson Valley Current.

Inner Space: January 2015

by Eric Francis   
Aries (March 20-April 19)
You are way ahead of yourself, even though you may have this crazy idea that you’re lagging behind. Like any inventor (that does seem to be your role these days), you have more ideas than you can put into practical use on any given day, though now you must embody the principle of cooperation. One sticking point here seems to be the idea that nothing of any worth is accomplished unless some people are exploited. But it’s time to question that one. Cooperation is voluntary. That voluntary factor is also an important step out of false individuality and into true autonomy. So you don’t have to feel bad about asking people to collaborate with you. However, you will need to be aware of any murky psychology that emerges once people form any kind of collective, or share in any goal. Remind people that it’s a privilege to partake in anything larger than themselves, and to work toward goals that benefit the whole community. Some of the more unusual psychology will be your property alone, focused on the theme of your early environment. What, exactly, happened when the child you once were tried to get people to cooperate with you, or with one another? That set up some negative expectations, and it’s time to let them go in support of better outcomes. If you can, so can everyone else. That is leadership.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
One by one this month, planets make their way across your midheaven — the angle of your solar chart that describes your highest goals, your achievements and your reputation. This is calling on you to take on a leadership role that you might think is not quite in your nature; however, at least in astrological fact, it’s the essence of your nature. Have you tuned into the fact that you’re a leader in whatever you do, even if you never hold yourself out as one? You lead by example, and you lead with the quality of your ideas. So I suggest you start with being bolder, more vocal and more articulate about what you’re thinking and what your priorities are. Follow that up with careful observation of the people around you, and several rounds of listening. The chances are that whatever you’re doing is going to require two revisions before it settles into a stable form, and this process takes you into mid-February. Till then, hang loose and allow your ideas to evolve. Look at things sideways, from different perspectives and from the opposite point of view. Your tree-like stability sometimes resists that process, though trees are exceptionally responsive to their environments and more communicative than nearly everyone imagines. Among the many people offering ideas, there will be a few gems. Look for them with your eyes, and feel for them with your hands.

Gemini (May 20-June 21) 
This year it looks like your relationship life settles down enough for you to actually keep track of what is happening. There’s still plenty going on and you will need to devote yourself to understanding yourself and others as a way of life. The difference is that now you have a sense of what the process of your relationships is all about. First, they are indeed extensions of yourself. Second, what they ‘extend’ into your environment is your process of making contact with your deeper self. You have experiences with others that seem impossible to have on your own. That’s not strictly true; but it’s easier to see certain things when they are projected outside of yourself. One of those things is how people actually grow and transform. You have seen people address some of the darkest elements of themselves, take a huge step and emerge in a different place. In some ways you’re less confident about being able to do this yourself, though the fact that you know others can and do take these steps is proof of what is possible. That is, it’s a demonstration of what is possible for you. Events early in the month in one especially important partnership will enable you to get underneath the surface layers of personality, ideas and opinions. On this deeper level, you can access authentic change where it really happens, at your emotional core.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
It’s simply not true, as you often believe, that others are stronger than you, or more persistent. They may however be more inclined to use force, and you are especially sensitive to that. You also expect people to be connected to their feelings in a way similar to yourself, though that rarely turns out to be true. I suggest that if you find yourself provoked into any kind of confrontation, wait for a few days before responding. Pause, listen and observe. Most of all, feel. The situation is not what it seems, and anyone who is acting up or dramatizing something is likely feeling as if they have no power (which is not true, and don’t fall for it). For you, the message can be an affirmation of your own strength, and your power of faith. The sign Cancer is famous for its cycles, owing to your close connection to the Moon. Now you get a chance to hold steady (as a general rule, it would be wise to wait one month before making up your mind about anything). Once the early drama sorts itself out, it will be clear who owes what to whom. Said another way, someone in fact has a debt to you, and once that becomes obvious, it will be clear that some form of payment or at least acknowledgement is due. In the end, however, that transaction must be voluntary.

Leo (July 22-August 23)
Get a handle on group dynamics, since this is the most important theme of your life right now. Everything is affected: all kinds of groups, from those of family to friends to work and their various crossovers. The key here is an exchange that happens on the level of the collective, rather than a bunch of individual transactions. There is a larger entity involved, and within that entity, everyone must be clear and open with everyone else. Unlike bees and ants, who must adopt a hive mentality centered around one leader, humans have the capacity to live in mutual community, where individuals are all consciously aspects of one another. A number of other factors indicate that this is a ‘get serious’ moment around anything related to your creativity, children and sex. You could say it’s a time to understand the role of pleasure in your life, and how that in turn influences your ability to be productive. Looked at another way, you must take full responsibility for your creative power and its results. The thing is that now, pleasure and productivity are no longer solo activities, or contained in one-on-one partnerships. The good news is you don’t have to take any burden on your shoulders exclusively. The learning challenge is seeing (and experiencing) yourself as fully integrated into a group process. It needs you, and you need it.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)
Your ability to focus is a gift and a privilege. Your intelligence is also a gift and a key to the universe that you possess and can use at any time. There have been times when you’ve perceived yourself as the victim of these things, mainly because you’ve perceived them to alienate you from others socially. That no longer seems to be the case. Brains and beauty are coming back into style. You’re no longer surrounded by weirdos who have to prove how different they are, or what geniuses they are. Your environment is now populated by people who value their connection to others, and who recognize you for who you are. The sticking point, if there is one, is self-criticism, often taken to excess. The point of contention is that you still may not take well to those who are easier on themselves than you are. You may perceive this as weakness, lack of discipline and lack of self-awareness. You’re probably correct in your perceptions, though that bears no relationship to being gentle on yourself, or on others. Do everything you can to keep your point of view wide and inclusive of all perspectives. Tap into how others receive information and intuition — you have a lot to learn from them, and what you learn will greatly benefit your worldly goals and your inner growth agenda.

Libra (September 22-October 23)
Events this month will contribute to the sensation that you’re at a tipping point. You have figured out that an approach to existence has reached the end of its useful life. The theme is independence from the structures of the past, including your concepts of family and relationship. I would include every structure you’ve taken for granted, including your notion of what makes you safe. The truth is that nothing but your thoughts contributes to your sense of safety; if your environment is involved, that is associated with the value that you place on certain factors. Anyway, the confidence you’re feeling is real, and it’s closely associated with making the choice not to hold yourself accountable for the actions of others. If you’re feeling better about yourself, that’s about making up your mind that you alone are the assessor of your worth. I suggest that you start to move forward the moment you realize you’re ready to do so. It looks like you’re suddenly taking an idea or creative vision more seriously. From another point of view, you may be observing that something you’ve long dreamed of is now actually possible. It always was, though how you look at such potentials makes all the difference. Devote yourself fully to this thing, whatever it may be, and check in on how much progress you’ve made by mid-June. You’ll be impressed.

Scorpio (October 23-November 22)
Saturn has finally left your sign, which is offering you freedom and flexibility you have not felt in a long time. It’s as if a weight has been taken off of your shoulders. The thing about these kind of developments is that the effects tend to be short-lived. The way to maintain the feeling of lightness is to remember how much you had to do in order to get there — and keep doing whatever that was. If people need to put you under less pressure, that’s because you’ve stepped up to your known and agreed-to commitments consciously and willingly. If you’re actually responsible for yourself and your actions, you don’t need a boss or parental figure telling you what to do. These are old themes — as old as you are, and because they span the generations, actually far older. It may have taken your entire ancestral lineage to produce you, who has figured out that you are responsible for what you say, think, do and feel. You are responsible for what happens in your environment. But this only becomes a burden if you pretend it’s not true — then suddenly you’re under everyone’s thumb. To really be free, you don’t have to live up to the expectations of others. Rather, you must set high standards for yourself and exceed your own expectations on a regular basis.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 22)
Attend to practical matters first. Let form follow function. Let content dictate form. Attend to your responsibilities in the order they come due, and while you’re at it, get ahead on long-term projects. You may be feeling like you’ve been released from an invisible bubble. You may feel like suddenly people are noticing your presence, your talent and your wisdom. Definitely invest some energy into social affairs, though keep your focus on what you know needs to happen; on what you want to make happen. The special beauty of this moment is that your most intelligent ideas will translate easily into something tangible, whereas in the past they might have seemed too abstract to do much with. In a similar vein, each step you take toward any worthwhile goal supports all of your goals. It’s not merely your imagination telling you that your long-range objectives are within reach if you concentrate your efforts and take the necessary steps to get there. You have seen the power of negative thinking waste your energy and derail your peace of mind. That is becoming a thing of the past, though you may have one last run-in with a point of view that you know you’re done with. The key to the puzzle that seems to vex the human race: take absolute responsibility for your own thoughts, and move on fast.

Capricorn (December 22-January 20)

If you’ve been putting off decisions about money, you will soon know exactly what to do. Do your research and get your plan of action together. Consult any necessary advisors. There will be some matters you can attend to during the first week of the year. However, should there be any additional preparations necessary, I suggest that you wait until after Mercury stations direct on Feb. 11 to implement any actions. The more money is involved, the more important it is to wait out Mercury retrograde. This is less about superstition and more about allowing additional information to emerge. The nature of Mercury retrograde is to flush out hidden information. It’s also to find the weakness in the system; the two are often related. Meanwhile, the recent sign change of Saturn is encouraging you to tune into yourself for all of the information you need, on nearly any subject. No doubt you have plenty of data in your hands and will soon have more. In the end, the final check on any decision is your intuition. As the next few months progress, you may find yourself losing interest in what anyone thinks on any topic of actual importance to you. Pry yourself out of that every now and then and reality check with one or two people that you have come to trust over the years. The final call is always yours.
Aquarius (January 20-February 19)
You are entering The Year of the Peak Experience. Such is the thing you want to do all the way; the full distance; scaling the actual mountain rather than riding on Space Mountain. A number of factors describe this, though one is letting go of an obsession with consequences that seems to have stalked you for a while. This has been an excellent exercise in accountability. You have, if you’ve been in tune with your astrology, learned how to think things through. You’ve figured out that what you do now influences what happens later. The whole time thing can be annoying, but at least it’s dependable and can be put to productive use. Even as you experiment with more daring people, places and experiences, you still have a diversity of safety devices in place that will keep you from running off the rails — and at times you may need to override them. For example, you may be more conservative than usual in financial and sexual matters, having a tendency to fear the worst. You may check your intuition regularly, seeking facts to support your hunches. In order to succeed at anything, you will need to take some risks. The good thing is that those can be conscious choices rather than involuntary reflexes. That and a modicum of intelligence is all anyone needs, and you have plenty more than that.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)
No need to wonder what has become of your insecurities: the mighty Saturn has taken its place at the top of your solar chart. This is your moment to take command of your life, and by extension, all the affairs over which you preside. Pisces has big dreams, though few know the extent to which you are driven by the desire and indeed the need to achieve something real. However, in recent years it hasn’t been that easy to concentrate your efforts. Yes, there has been a bit too much going on, and events moving faster than you could keep up. Mainly there has been a confidence issue. Thankfully you’ve grown tired enough of it to want to get over it — and that’s most of what it takes. Part of your confidence issue has involved concerns about being accused of the profit motive. I realize that not every Pisces aspires to be Jesus or Buddha, but most people born under your sign put service first, pleasure second and profits last. Your current phase of enhanced leadership directly involves focusing the drive to make money at what you do. You don’t have to play the game of society’s cognitive dissonance on this issue. Whatever their theoretical philosophy, everyone likes to have money in their pocket. All the better if it’s earned with a clear conscience, as yours most surely is.

Read Eric Francis daily at planetwaves.com.