Gemini New Moon, the Isla Vista Incident, Planet Waves Horoscope 1000 and a Shout Out to Bob Dylan

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In tonight’s edition of Planet Waves FM, I cover the Gemini New Moon square Neptune. This is quite an aspect pattern, involving the asteroid Apollo in Virgo. I do the chart of the Isla Vista shooting from Friday night and comment on the toxic combination of advertising images, anti-depressants, hero-worship, guns and alienation.

After a song break by Suzanne Vega, I talk about the desire to go beyond alienation that led to my becoming an astrologer, and read some thoughts of Dane Rudhyar, published in 1936. Finally I give a shout out to Bob Dylan and acknowledge him for the turn of phrase after which Planet Waves is named.

As promised here is the signup for the free Mercury retrograde discussion at 8 pm EDT on the evening of Sunday, June 1. You’ll be able to listen by web, Skype or telephone.

Just a reminder that there is still space in my Introduction to Reading a Natal Chart, scheduled for Saturday morning, May 31. This is a two-hour class that will get you started reading and understanding any natal chart. You will have access to the teleconference and the recording.



  1. Eric,

    Just heard last night’s broadcast, and as is often the case, find myself having a visceral reaction, something like shivers. This time at the pit of my stomach when you speak of men fearing a woman who upturns his world view and women fearing a man who may kill her. This shiver is of an ancient origin, recognized and played out like an archetype, compelled to express over and over in the garb of each individual, living their own gender story against the backdrop of their own culture.

    I can relate to being harshly rejected for challenging my male friends/lovers/kin’s worldview. My heartstrings have a unique octave of emotion that vibrates the terror of anticipating the previously unspeakable fear of them killing me–if not through violent means, then by the more subtle, sophisticated means of shaming, shunning, belittling or alternately, imbibing my “alien worldviews” as if by osmosis, and when they become popular or socially advantageous to do so, claiming these views as his own, sometimes even quoting me verbatim (without attribution, of course). He’s either annexing me, competing with me or trying to annihilate or disappear me.

    I can barely breathe as I write these words, and have taken deep cleansing breaths to steady my hands enough to type.

    I originally planned to write you about young people, medication and extreme behavior–I have a lot to say about this, but not now. Your words strike a chord in me and help me articulate and understand my own growth. If they can serve you in presenting your message, of course you have my permission to use them, and again, I thank you for presenting material that synthesizes so much.


  2. Eric –
    We’ve had the argument about SSRI’s before. This is your forum, but I do find your comments incompletely informed. I did appreciate Blair Glaser, in her discussion with you, when she urged you to not engage in shaming those who use these meds successfully.

    The black box warning on SSRI’s have a very complex history. There were MANY hidden agendas at work. The black box on SSRI’s does NOT urge that they not be used, it simply admonishes those who prescribe them to monitor people, especially kids, closely. There were primary care doctors giving them to teenagers, and then not giving them follow up appointments until a year later. That is what most people on the FDA board wanted to stop.

    I received handouts at the time of the decision – unsolicited – from the FDA, that I was instructed to give to parents of kids I was treating with SSRI’s. The handouts urge parents to NOT discontinue the medications, but rather discuss them thoroughly with their child’s doctor, and to continue, under close supervision, if the child was receiving benefit. That doesn’t sound to me as if the main purpose of the black box was to stop SSRI use in kids.

    There were others who simply have an agenda of fighting against psychiatry in all forms, and especially as it relates to SSRI’s, but that is a discussion that is beyond this comment section, I am sure.

    I will end by pointing out that the suicide rate in this country dropped steadily starting with the release of the SSRI’s, and continued until the black box warning was put in place. Then the suicide rate started rising again.

    My opinion and experience – SSRI’s are great tools. They are not always handled well. Even when they are handled well, they are not for everyone. But, that doesn’t change the fact they have been very beneficial to a lot of people.


  3. Oh – also –

    I looked for, and have not yet found the article you mentioned in the “AMA ethics journal” urging ending SSRI use. All I found was an opinion piece by Deepak Chopra that is actually urging complimentary and alternative approaches, and as an aside suggests that the SSRI’s mechanism of action is not as commonly described.

    I’d appreciate it if you could direct me to the article you were referencing.

  4. Dear Theresa,

    You could say I’m uninformed, or that I’m differently informed — and that I have no skin in the game. From the outset you would need to declare your conflict of interest as a prescriber. Once we know that, we can proceed on level ground.

    People who want drugs are going to get them. It’s the easy way to handle their feelings; as Blair also pointed out, there is an avoidance issue, and a price that is paid for that.

    You might also admit that I’m pissing in the wind, even if I piss off prescribers due to the ethics questions I am raising. In fact I need no scientific basis whatsoever to raise ethical questions. I can do so on a spiritual basis, which is essentially my position. But I do have some information.

    Since Lithium emerged, psychiatry has gone increasingly overboard on drugs as opposed to therapy. Does anyone go to psychiatrists for therapy any more, or is it all drug-centered? What would the founders (Freud, Jung, Reich and others) say about this? What would the people who really got results in therapy say?

    Speaking as a journalist or observer, what I want to hear is psychiatrists argue both sides of the issue, like lawyers are trained to do. I want to see a debate, and then the teams switch sides. I want to know that their neural pathways can handle and reason on both sides of the issue, and moreover, that they admit that there are pros and cons to every drug; that there are dangers; that risk assessment means there will be at least some disease and death caused by the drugs.

    Every time a prescriber talks to me, I am totally wrong and they are totally right. Even lawyers don’t reason that way.

    Very little is said about problems like episodic depression becoming chronic depression from people who are on meds. Having seen many corporate files open up in litigation, I want to see what the manufactures know but are not saying, not admitting to anyone outside the top levels of the company.

    The suicide rate may have gone down with SSRIs (though I want to know who paid for those studies, and what companies the doctors who did the studies were affiliated with) but what is causing the suicide rate in the first place, and what are the alternative treatments? As regards pharmacologicals, LSD and MDMA were extremely promising therapy drugs for many issues — until they were banned and they remain banned.

    What is the 10, 20, 30 year review rate for SSRIs? Are there mass cohort longitudinal studies happening?

    What do the people who have come off of the drugs say, especially the ones for whom they were not working, suppressing sex and creativity, etc.?

    What about the murder problem? This is something that will never get on the news, or if it does, I will faint.


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