2014 in L'Alpe di Siusi, fresh from the US and Australia.
This site will be undergoing upgrades for the next months (from Sep 2021). Check back in from time to time!
If you would like a consultation, go to the 'Enquiries' button at right and fill out the form
To subscribe to the monthly newsletter, go to the 'Subscribe' button at right
I can be reached and read at the social media icons, top right
Comments to newsletters are temporarily closed. If you want to comment, contact me at email@example.com or use the 'Enquiries' button, at right
The Virgo Festival 2019
14 Sep 19
© Malvin Artley
The Mother is adjusting
The environmental movement
Virgo, purity and the hope of glory
The mother of all minds
Virgo in everyday expression
Astrology of the feminine
Virgo and service
The full moon
A few developments
Nations and Virgo
Virgo, the Middle East and Syria
A little bit of the Irish
Brazil and its fiery purges
The Green New Deal
Can it be done?
Climate, truth and conflict
Schools of science
Climate and food
Pakistan and Kashmir
Summer here in Trentino has been a strange one, a mixture of hot days, rain that almost happens but mostly not, and a lot of uncharacteristic humidity. The latter reminds me of summer in North Carolina, where I grew up. I was happy to be away from that aspect of summer, and now it has followed me here. Oh well. One of the brighter spots in the season, however, has been to watch the cloud formations in those days of almost-rain, of weather’s broken promises (we really need the rain!). The clouds here have been stunning, with majestic formations, highlighting the mountains in the foreground. It is as if the devas are trying to communicate something to us, sculpting their ethereal masterpieces in the moisture. And watching those change by the minute gives pause to contemplate the impermanence of all things, as well as the permanence of change in our temporal lives.
The Mother is adjusting: Just as our international relations are rapidly changing, so too, the Mother is going through her adjustments. These are largely in response to human activity, and this is not even talking about climate. Here we are looking more in terms of rising extinction levels and falling birth rates in industrialized nations among other things, but also in response to societies who care for their environment. We’ll address climate change later on. But as to societies who care for their environment, I remember a time in North Carolina when one hardly ever saw a deer, when the rivers changed color according to the type of dye the textile plants were running that day, when there was raw sewage in the stream that ran through the City Park and, further afield, when Lake Erie was littered with dead fish, wherein it was unsafe to swim. America’s waterways were some of the most polluted in the world. That all changed with the environmental movement.
The environmental movement: In the 1970s there was a raft of federal legislation that was passed in the US that set about correcting the wrongs we had done to the environment and the US began to clean house. Since that time virtually all of the aforementioned pollution and ugliness has disappeared. Wildlife has returned. The deer now have to be culled to control them because the natural predators have yet to catch up. Yes, certain species are pests now due to remaining imbalances, and the natural predators will probably not be allowed to re-establish in large enough numbers due to human population spread. But, few people of my age would want to go back to the bad old days of pre-legislation. Yet, we seem to be on a path of relaxing such regulations or doing away with them altogether with the current political climate in the US. There is a similar eroding of concerns in other industrialized nations. This brings us to Virgo.
Virgo, purity and the hope of glory: Of all the zodiacal signs, Virgo is the one most associated with purity. She is the Virgin, the ‘mother of the Christ child’, using the Christian symbolism – the Great Mother. She is the sign wherein:
“…the pairs of opposites – soul and body – as two separate entities…are blended and of great and supreme importance to each other; the mother protects the germ of the Christ life; matter guards, cherishes and nurtures the hidden soul. The keynote which embodies the truth as to the mission of Virgo most accurately is “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” There is no clearer or more adequate definition of this sign than that…”
Where it is found in a chart, there will be represented a hidden and gestating germ of spiritual potential. If it is the Sun or rising sign, the ideas just presented point to a life in which great care is to be taken in one’s spiritual development, or in which a new spiritual potential is to be expressed. And just as any mother seeks the best environment for her child, so are the ideal conditions to be sought for the development or expression of that growing spiritual capacity.
The mother of all minds: Sometimes when I go out in the early morning the sky is clear, with a clarity not seen during the summer months. As autumn approaches this is increasingly so. It is like what is described in Buddhist meditations as the dawning of clear light, in the process of dissolution into emptiness. It is extremely peaceful, with a stillness not known during the more torrid months. Readers who are more esoterically inclined may find this and the following paragraph useful in the way of further exploration. That dawning clear light in meditation is called the ‘mother clear light’, and it represents the primordial mind, clear of the modifications of the lower mind, as we would know from the Patanjali sutras. That mother clear light is the basis, the mind that we experience at death, upon falling to sleep and in particular states of blissful union. We normally have no memory of it, but it is the basis from which we spring, if we can understand it. It is our ‘individual mother’, in that it is of the nature of the higher aspects of soul – absolute peace and boundless bliss. It is that basis from which we are reborn, and it is the basis from which we achieve liberation. In other words, it is the way in and the way out.
The Mother has been equated with space. Space, paradoxically, is a form, rather than a vacuum, being the area in which all forms evolve and have their being. We return to the womb of the Mother at death and are given birth from her at each life. Eventually, either through the long process of evolution or through the dint of our efforts, we merge the ‘mother clear light’ with the ‘son clear light’. The son clear light is that attainment of mental equipoise, which we produce, which serves as the vehicle for full enlightenment, whereas the mother is the basis upon which it is built. There are specific meditative techniques for achieving this, but it is also quite an advanced stage of practice. So, even in meditative practices we have the symbolism of the ‘Virgin and the Christ child’. We cannot go into it here, as it is central to Vajrayana Buddhism, but it goes toward another point about Virgo which aligns with the 12 signs of the zodiac as stages on the path to full enlightenment: Virgo governs human evolution upon the normal progress upon the zodiacal wheel (clockwise), representing: “Gestation—governing nine signs from Virgo to Capricorn, including Virgo”. It is yet another representation of the shamatha diagram, but in this case through normal human evolution.
Virgo in everyday expression: On a very practical level, this idea of environmental and mental purity plays out in particular ways with the average Virgo type one meets on the streets (Sun or rising). This is the person not apparently so spiritually focused. Instead, we see a focus on particular details in the form of their lives. If you want to a good example of this, go out to eat with a Virgo, or better yet, several. They will fuss over their food. Ordering food can be a trial. My dad had Virgo rising and he was very particular about the way his food was prepared. The wait-staff at restaurants were usually quite patient, but the new ones always had to be broken in. The older ones always knew what he was going to order. Why change a good thing, right?
Female Virgos can be quite fastidious, ‘neat freaks’ in the home, with a great attention to the details of the form of things. This can also be true with the Moon in Virgo. With male Virgo types those traits are not so much in evidence. Instead, the focus tends to be more on their work performance rather than their comportment. These are generalizations, of course and can apply to both sexes, but there does tend to be a trend. The male Virgos I have seen can be quite critical and can be micromanagers when put in charge of tasks. I worked with a Virgo technician once and he was a bear for the appearance of the work, and that it be done in a particular manner. The other men on the project wanted to choke him. All Virgo types have a tendency to nitpick. It is not a criticism, but an observation, and it relates to purging perceived nonessentials from their lives. Perhaps it is needed in situations where people need to be more attentive to things. But overemphasis on the form of a thing often loses sight of the essence of it, i.e., its purpose
Astrology of the feminine: Virgo is one of the most ancient of the signs of the zodiac, perhaps the oldest, and is the one most closely associated with the matter of our local universe. But more than that, she rules over the matter used to nurture and nourish the development of the soul within, as a mother who is pregnant with child. Her motto emerges as, “I am the mother and the child. I, God, I, matter am.” She is the most important of the female constellations and through her esoteric rulership by the Moon she, along with those other female constellations, tells the story of the development of all forms in our solar system. In their sum, they will eventually comprise the study of the ‘astrology of the form’, with Virgo as the chief consideration. That will entail a spherical astrology, of which we do not yet have, nor appear inclined to develop. It will come, however.
Virgo is ruled by Mercury in the orthodox, the Moon esoterically (representing Vulcan) and Jupiter in its highest expression. It is the Mercury rulership that gives Virgo its attention to detail, along with the sign’s underlying qualities. The Vulcan expression via the Moon in the person on the path gives the will to manifest spirituality in the form of one’s everyday life and/or through an organization or project, the latter being a book, a piece of architecture, a work or art, what have you. In this case the Moon does not represent the past as is the usual case in esoteric astrology, but instead represents the perfection of some form that is meant to convey or anchor a spiritual imperative in this physical world. Through the Jupiter rulership, often not consciously registered, there is the drive to accumulate what is needed to get the job done. But more than that, it also represents service, because ultimately, Virgo is one of the premier signs, along with Aquarius and Pisces, that represents service.
Virgo and service: Virgo rules the natural 6th house of the zodiac – the service of the immediately present. In a mundane chart it represents all types of civil services, including police and military, health services, sanitation, emergency services and so on. It also represents domestic animals – those animals placed into our care – and especially those who are approaching the door of the human kingdom. It is generally associated with small animals, but not necessarily so. Instead, it refers to those animals with which we have regular interaction. In that way we can see domestic animals as those sentient beings who are preparing to become true individuals (human. Animals are said to have group souls. It is an ongoing argument.), although every domestic animal does indeed exhibit what we might call a personality. Anyone who has care of a dog or cat, for instance, can readily attest to that.
In summary, every Virgo will take great pains along certain lines of their choosing. No detail can be left to chance. Context is of supreme importance. Anything out of context is strongly rejected and ejected. There is purpose to it, but it can sometimes be misperceived. The world is far from being a perfect place, sometimes much to the Virgo’s discontent and by extension, to ours. But when it comes to caring for people and society, one cannot ask for better care. And they will work until they drop. And in working with them, one can always be certain of a good outcome, so long as they don’t get stuck on little details. We’ll leave it at that and get to the full moon, because once again there have been quite a few important developments on the world stage.
The full moon takes place on 14 Sep 19 at 4:33 UT (2:33 pm AEDT). The most striking feature in the chart is the close Mars/Neptune opposition conjunct the full moon axis. In turn those are square Jupiter, forming a t-square. On the whole this represents quite a spiritually-oriented expression. It is a combination that gives vision, the ability to move people by expressing those visions, leadership in spiritual matters and so on. It also does in kind with military leaders.
A few developments: The preceding leads us to a couple of important developments, mentioned quickly.
This leaves Israel, which has elections three days after the full moon. It is quite likely that Netanyahu can pull off another victory, but it will be hard-fought and probably result in yet another shaky alliance with other parties. But he has been in campaign mode clearly enough, this time going as far as bombing targets (supposedly Iranian) in Iraq, where Israel has no business, and in sending drones into Lebanon to bomb targets there, inviting tit-for-tat reprisals from Hezbollah. That was a big mistake on Bibi’s part, as it has now boxed him into a corner and threatened Israel’s security. These attacks will probably settle down after the election, as there will be no further need to stir the right-wing voter base. However, the end of the two wars in the region will mean a frustrated and blocked Israeli/Saudi/UAE alliance, meaning they will have to make peace with their neighbors, and an uneasy calm will settle for a time over the region – probably, for a long time.
There are two more events of which to take note before we move on to the Virgo nations. At the recent G7 meeting there were several decisions announced which on the surface sound OK, but will do little in the long term to address the world’s troubles. The primary reason for that is that the G7 is increasingly irrelevant, a Western echo chamber, and the reason for that is that it does not include three key economies – India, Russia and China. Without the cooperation of those nations not much will emerge regarding climate change and so forth. However, a statement was made by Macron at a meeting with French ambassadors after the conference that was quite startling in its importance, but which most of us know: The West is losing its hegemony, and Europe needs a complete rethink of Russia and peaceful relations with it to secure Europe’s future. Otherwise, the world will be bipolar, with Washington on one pole and the Eurasian union on the other.
The other event was a speech given at Jackson Hole, WY, by Mark Carney, outgoing CEO of the Bank of England, where he outlined the direction in which the world’s central bankers would like to take us. This would involve doing away with the dollar as the world’s reserve currency, establishing a central fund based in several currencies and basing the entire system in blockchain. What that means is doing away with cash, making the entire financial system open to complete surveillance and also to electronic fraud, and furthering the surveillance state across the globe. It would put complete power in the hands of a few central bankers, who could then turn the financial tap on and off at will. No nation or individual would be safe from it. And note well where person giving the message the message originated – from the Bank of England, in the City of London. In a sense, money would disappear from the face of the earth. In another sense, no one would be safe from financial manipulation, not that we are that safe from it now. This is something that needs to be carefully watched and resisted. I will have to address why in a separate article, as it would take too long to do so here. But a little ‘heads-up’ can be given from the following:
“The Carney speech, when deciphered from its central bank language, gives us for the first time a clear roadmap where the powers that control world central banking would like to take us. The world reserve role of the US dollar must end; it must be replaced by some form of IMF SDRs as basis for a multi-currency reserve. That in turn would ultimately be based on digital money, so-called block chain currencies. Such currencies, make no mistake, would be completely controlled by central bank authorities and the IMF. That would require their often-proposed elimination of all cash in favor of digital money where every cent we spend can be monitored by the state. This cashless society would also set the stage for the next great financial crisis and the confiscation by governments of ordinary citizens’ bank deposits under new “bank bail-in” laws now on the books since 2014 in every major industrial country including the EU and USA. The IMF is fully behind the turn to global blockchain digital currencies and use of SDR to replace the dominant US dollar.”
Those bank bail-in laws are also on the books for Australia and New Zealand. However, Kiwis are moving to protect their savings, but more needs to be done.
Nations and Virgo: Now that we are all relaxed and comfortable, we can move on to specific nations. The nations that have their current national charts with the Sun in Virgo are: Mexico, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Ukraine, Brazil, Armenia and the NATO. I am currently looking at only one national chart for nations who have their rising sign as Virgo, which is Pakistan. We’ll have a little more on Pakistan in a bit. With the more esoteric and synthetic expressions for nations and cities, we have:
Personality: Brazil, Germany, New Zealand
Soul: Australia, Ireland, Greece, and Paris
Virgo, the Middle East and Syria: As to the national charts with Sun in Virgo, it is a rather interesting combination regarding the Middle East. Alliances and associations are quickly shifting and the war in Syria (Virgo Sun) has been central to that. The Saudis and Qatar were in a coalition against Assad along with the United States, Turkey, Britain, France, Israel and the Netherlands. That the Syrians prevailed against such an alliance is amazing enough. Of course they had help from Iran and Hezbollah initially, and later from Russia, but what it has done is to put all the nations involved in opposition to Assad on the back foot. In relation to Virgo, it should be noted that one of the prime directives now of the Assad government is to reclaim all of the territory that was lost during the war and restore the integrity of Syrian society, a typically Virgoan motive in a national chart. There is also the aspect of purging Syrian society of the radical elements, and elements otherwise, that have brought so much destruction on their territory, suffering and deaths to its population.
It is worth noting here, too, that Syria’s president, Bachar al-Assad is also a Virgo, and a 1965 Virgo at that. Astrologers will know what that means. His Sun is conjunct Uranus and Pluto, sextile Mars and Neptune, and opposite the Moon (likely), Chiron and Saturn. We don’t have a birth time for him. He was trained as an eye surgeon, a service and healing occupation. He was never going to give up Syria, and he has the capacity to inspire support (Mars/Neptune), as we saw with his allies and the support of the Syrian army. Regardless of what we think of him, having been given such a jaundiced view of him via our propaganda services (mainstream news), he has stood fast for the integrity of his nation. His astrology shows it. If we look at the situation outside of public opinion, Syria could not have asked for a better leader in its time of crisis. Syria is in a part of the world where life seems to mean little, is brutal, where it is surrounded by Sharia law monarchies and Zionists who want to install a Salafist regime in Damascus far more brutal than Assad ever thought about, where there would be no human rights, and so forth. Reporting on the war there by Western news agencies has been very one-sided. We won’t get started on that. All we’ll say here is that Syria needs a re-think by the Western public. There is a lot we have not been told, and also quite a bit of outright misreporting and lying about what has really been going on there.
At this point a word is needed about our perceptions of leaders. We are told in the Western esoteric community that we should not be partisan or criticize the world’s leaders. Assad is a case in point, as is Putin, Trump, Salvini (Italy), or on the other side Obama, Lula, etc. – essentially any world leader. It is not difficult to see why. To start, in politics one often has to ‘make deals with the devil’ to get anything done. Leaders who are too idealistic and who have no practical will are quickly sidelined and removed in favor of vested interests. We are speaking here of heads of state. And then, unless we can maintain our focus in ‘the mother and son’ in meditation (mentioned above) and see beyond the ordinary appearances of events, we have no wider perspective, no grasp of the truth underlying our human progress. Who is to say whether people like the above-mentioned leaders are not fulfilling their part in a grand purpose, even through misdirected or mistaken methods, and especially as much as we may disagree with policy or dislike their behavior?
Brexit update: Before we go further into Virgo, however, and to cover a few topics outside of Virgo for a moment, we’ll start with the latest on the unfolding drama in the UK. This is an important story for several reasons. On 28 Aug 19 Boris Johnson asked the Queen to prorogue Parliament, which she duly did. Speaking of leaders many readers dislike, Boris Johnson is another, yet he too is fulfilling a purpose, only to be revealed after the fact. His actions caused immediate outrage in the general public and among many parliamentarians in the House of Commons. The Commons is where the elected representatives of the British people meet, and which passes British laws. Since then the government has lost its majority and a general election is on the cards, maybe even a resignation. There is currently a solar arc of Pluto to the UK’s Libra Ascendant. With Libra being ruled esoterically by Uranus, and with a solar arc direction by Pluto, nothing is written in stone. The one thing that is certain is change, and sudden, lasting change. The Ascendant represents the general public, the public mood and the body politic in a mundane chart, and the mood in the UK has been decidedly dark in recent months.
Proroguing Parliament was just what the UK public and opposition parties needed to wake them out of their political slumber, speaking of wider unintended purposes served by leaders. Regardless of what happens with Brexit, parliamentary democracy is now fully on display in the UK. The proroguing was a power grab by the Johnson government, a soft coup, and it has backfired on them in dramatic fashion. It was a reckless move on Johnson’s part, as shown by the transits to his administration chart (Mars was about to transit the Midheaven of that chart at proroguing). His own chart shows severe trials for him at the moment, too, about which I will be reporting after this letter goes out. His chart currently shows the possibility of ‘intervention by a higher power’, which may mean his removal from power. Yes, it could mean something else (a great soul awakening for him), but it practical terms the directions in his chart show weakness and self-sabotage. Thus, it would mean the former (removal), especially if he refuses to obey parliamentary law. Why is all this so important, then?
Brexit has always been the British version about the 1% and the 99% – the few unelected and out-of-touch moneyed interests who pull the strings of governments worldwide, and the general populace, respectively. It has never really been about the EU. Not really. We cannot go into all that here again. But the proroguing of Parliament in the way that it was done and the behavior of the Conservatives after the fact has highlighted the real struggle for the British people. It has been the Conservatives who have pushed for the dismantling of socialist policy in the UK, aided by New Labour, who later took up their policies, and which has caused the biggest part of public angst in the UK. And it serves as an example for other nations as well. The arrogance of the reactionaries who pushed so hard for Brexit has been clearly on display, even to the extent of Jacob Rees Mogg slouching during the Commons debates and then laughing when he was told off about it. It was one of those pictures that will live in infamy in British politics for many years. It certainly hasn’t helped the Tories.
Just where does all this stand, then, for the benefit of readers out of the UK/Commonwealth loop? The Tories (Conservatives) had a one-seat majority in Parliament when Boris was selected for PM (he wasn’t elected). Since that time 22 Tories have crossed the aisle and been thrown out of the party, the latest of those being Amber Rudd, a stalwart, and even Johnson’s own brother, as well as Churchill’s grandson (Soames) – all of them voting against the government for pushing a no-deal Brexit. The House of Lords (the higher chamber of Parliament) tried to filibuster the law that was passed by the House of Commons blocking a no-deal exit, but failed to do so. And since the 9th of Sep, the Johnson administration now must publish government communications relating to the suspension of Parliament and its no-deal plans. Boris now faces the prospect of: 1) going back to the EU and asking for another extension (He has said he “would rather die in ditch”. One should be careful with statements like that.), 2) calling for a snap election (this, too, was blocked), or 3) resigning. If he refuses 1) and 3) he is locked in and will either make a final stand, probably ending in removal, or he will have to buckle under and abide by the Parliament. Here in Italy they are calling him ‘the UK’s shortest-lived Pm’.
Along with this, the two Mikes from Washington (Pence and Pompeo) have both visited London in recent days and voiced their support for Boris, talking over plans for how the post-Brexit trade deals with the US will look. It would seem to be a bit of wishful thinking and even outright interference in British affairs of state on their part. For his part, Johnson has been out campaigning, which would also appear to be wishful thinking on his side. The British may want to take note of a particular facet of American diplomatic relations in their current form. Pompeo has stated that he wants to introduce ‘swagger’ into those relations. We can only guess at what was ‘discussed’ behind the closed doors on #10 at those meetings.
Pluto has a way of dragging to the surface things and issues that we would rather not have revealed, or rather not see. The UK has no written Constitution, for instance. Its government is based in rule by precedent. And with the Johnson government having tried to take a wrecking ball to certain precedents, all sorts of questions have been raised and have left open a wide field for reform in the UK. Whether reforms are taken up is another matter, but this episode has the British public – at least a very significant portion of them – questioning things such as whether or not the monarchy is any longer valid or needed, the same for the House of Lords, whether or not the UK needs a written Constitution, and so forth. Pluto and Uranus together are revelatory and revolutionary. In a way, this current crisis shows the Uranian influence of Libra through the UK (even though this is the Virgo letter), in that each new precedent sets the course of a new order in motion. We can probably have little doubt that once October has passed and the Saturn/Pluto conjunction has taken place opposite the UK Moon (ruling the UK sitting government and the precedents of the past) early next year that there will be many new precedents set for the UK. The entire episode has happened during the Virgo interval, and it is a good example of Virgoan attention to the details of law, of the ideals of societies, of purging unwanted influences, etc.
A little bit of the Irish: One such precedent may involve Ireland (the politically divided island), seeking to express its Virgo soul, with the republic maybe gaining some more land in the not-too-distant future if Brexit goes the way Boris Johnson wants to move it. At the moment, a no-deal Brexit has been offset, if not removed, and is looking to be increasingly in trouble, which would remove the aforementioned possibility (Irish unification). But in fact, Alice Bailey only mentions the United Kingdom twice in all her books, and that is in relation to the Commonwealth. Otherwise, she refers to Great Britain when talking about the British, which does not include any part of Ireland, the island. We’ll have a little more on Ireland in a bit. Ireland will have a key role in the outcome of Brexit and in trade relations with the US and other nations due to its political divisions.
Hong Kong: Since we are on the subject of Britain, a brief mention here about Hong Kong will be a prelude to the next letter (Libra), where there will be a more in-depth discussion of unfolding events there, since China has a Libra personality. We in the West are gripped by tales of students demanding fundamental freedoms in Hong Kong and human rights to be upheld. We had the same thing in 2014 with the umbrella protests and to a lesser extent in 2016. It is helpful to keep certain points about Hong Kong in mind. But given the increasing pace of the unfolding multipolar world order, these protests have taken on a special urgency for the West, which still has strong contacts in Hong Kong.
Hong Kong was seized from the Chinese by the British at the point of a gun at the end of the 19th century, thereafter becoming a British colony. It wasn’t ‘given’ to the UK. Hong Kong was reluctantly returned to China in 1997, at which point it had become one of Britain’s secrecy locations (tax havens) and a major center for neoliberal capitalism – a clearing house for financial capitalism. The British have a vested interest in keeping it that way, as do the US and several Hong Kong-Chinese oligarchs. Those oligarchs, along with Western NGOs are playing a very significant hand in fueling and promoting the present protests, and have been behind the others as well. US NGOs have no business promoting protests in Hong Kong. It is an internal matter.
Hong Kong left itself wide open to predatory investors from the mainland in the early days of China’s economic reforms, who went on to become oligarchs. There were also families resident to Hong Kong from the British days who did in kind. The oligarchs have a stranglehold on Hong Kong’s properties, trade and infrastructure, with the result that rent prices in the district are exorbitantly high. This is partly a result of a toxic mix of mainland economics and neoliberalism which has only served to drive up the land prices. The young people in Hong Kong thus see no future for themselves. Their frustrations are vented at the mainland, but the truth is that the oligarchs need to be reined in. The current protests will not address the underlying problems.
China sees Hong Kong not as a special region, but one that must eventually return to the fold. The same with Taiwan and Macau. This is actually quite natural if we think on it. The Chinese see those ex-colonies as a very painful part of their history. And then we have to wonder what will happen to Hong Kong when the current financial order finally collapses. Without support from the West, where will the young people of Hong Kong turn? Unless the economic conditions in Hong Kong are addressed the protests will only periodically recur. We can talk about freedom and democracy all day, but if a person has to live in a small box and struggle to survive, how is that freedom? That is what the millennials in Hong Kong are facing, and it is distinctly a Hong Kong phenomenon, not caused by the mainland, but by its British legacy with Chinese characteristics.
Another point to address is that the protests were initially over an extradition law, that would have allowed criminals to be extradited to the mainland. That means that white collar criminals from Hong Kong could be extradited to face Chinese justice. That is coming eventually anyway in just a few decades when Hong Kong is returned to single Chinese rule. Hence the calls from within Hong Kong for independence from China. It is highly unlikely that would ever happen. As in the case of Assad and Syria, China will never give up Hong Kong in its present state. The proposed law has since been removed. The Hong Kong governor, Carrie Lam, has vowed to see the protests through and peacefully resolved, without intervention by the Chinese PLA. The sad fact here is that Hong Kong, like many nations, is ruled by an oligarchy. They control the local government and the press. And, they want to avoid any possibility that they might be extradited to the mainland under Xi’s corruption purges. Giving Hong Kong independence is not going to fix that. Conditions would only worsen. And it was a problem years before the island was handed back to the Chinese.
Lastly, the protests are not monolithic. And they have divided families and the society. They have hurt business, and so long as the PLA holds firm outside of Hong Kong, the protests only cast Hong Kong in a bad light, not the Chinese. The remaining protesters are far fewer than the original numbers, now consisting of a hard core of people well-funded and indoctrinated by NGOs. The CCP (mainland) wants to avoid another Tiananmen, and they are very clear about the unspoken desire of anti-Chinese interests for a PLA intervention. Thus, the PLA holds their place. So far the Hong Kong police are able to handle the situation. And as of now the hated bill has been withdrawn. That leaves four other demands by the protesters left unheeded. We’ll see if the protests last very much longer now that the bill has been withdrawn and the students have returned to their studies.
The fact of US interference is dehttps://journal-neo.org/2019/09/09/us-is-behind-hong-kong-protests-says-us-policymaker/onstrated by the protesters are now turning to the US to issue sanctions against Hong Kong and Chinese officials who they say have suppressed the protests (riots, in other words). But if one looks at the effects of US sanctions on other nations (Iran and Venezuela, for instance), those will only hurt the protesters in the long run. And as a measure of the strength of the protests, the numbers have dropped dramatically, from close to two million at the start to only tens of thousands now. And the various factions fight amongst themselves. But inviting US influence introduces a dynamic in Hong Kong that will only hurt the cause of self-determination. No good will come of the violence there, and we hope it passes quickly in favor of dialog. The problems in Hong Kong, though, are problems that all of us face. With that, we return to Virgo.
Brazil and its fiery purges: Starting with Brazil, we have been gripped by images and social media posts about the fires in the Amazon. Here is a question, though: Are these really that special? How much of it is true? Before we react too strongly, there are a few points that would be helpful. Fires are a regular occurrence on Earth. They are a purgative influence. Brazil is going through its Virgo purges now. There is much we are not being told. Instead we are told about the horrors of Bolsonaro’s right-wing government. It takes time to sort through what one hears in the various media these days. The mainstream media is especially biased toward certain causes.
Returning to the fires, if you want to have look over the past 19 years, there are satellite photos that show them year by year. And the fires in the Amazon have been worse in years past. Why all the fuss now, then? Fires in the Amazon are extreme in August/September every year. It is the same in Africa but in slightly differing months. And there are patterns throughout the year, worldwide, each year. Australia’s fires peak in November. Central America and Eastern Europe peak in April. Sub-Saharan Africa – January. So again, why the focus on the Amazon this year? The answer is largely political, definitely meant to evoke knee-jerk emotions and partly environmental in scope:
“The increased rate of fires in Brazil has raised the most concerns as international leaders, particularly French president Emmanuel Macron, and environmental non-government organizations (ENGOs) attributed these to Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s pro-business policies that had weakened environmental protections and have encouraged deforestation of the Amazon after he took office in January 2019.”
Do we see the bias? There is more to sort through, with the focus here being more on business and the rainforest. Yes, there are fingers pointing at Bolsonaro, but this is an old story (Portuguese, machine translate). Why not the focus on the African rainforest, for instance, which is the 2nd-largest? Because there are concerns about Bolsonaro’s connections with US agribusiness concerns and donors to Trump and Mitch McConnell, along with a highway through the Amazon (B.R. 163) that has raised concerns it will only aggravate the land clearing and squatting that has been going on there for years. It has been estimated that upwards of 28% of our oxygen comes from the Amazon rainforest, and that moisture from there falls on the American farmland in the Midwest. The soft coup in 2016 that ousted socialist Dilma Rousseff and placed a right-wing government in power caused a soybean mogul to be placed as minister of agriculture. From that point onwards deforestation of the Amazon spiked. This is what we hear. But as always there is more than one side to any story. If you want a deeper insight into the politics and corruption purges, Phillip Lindsay has covered it in his latest letter.
Returning to the environment, cattle ranching is the leading cause of deforestation in Brazil, with 75% of cleared land going to ranches. Cattle are plains animals and do not belong in rainforests. But the profit margins are large and the export of beef is huge business. Soybeans are the next largest export of agribusiness from Brazil. China buys 80% of those soybeans, which is especially important for US farmers, since China has now banned soybean imports from US farmers due to the trade war. So long as business takes precedence over environment in Brazil, the Amazon will continue to dwindle. It was far more protected under the socialist governments. But then, those governments were open to corruption, too. Lula, one of Brazil’s most popular politicians at the time, is now in prison on corruption charges. Remembering previous statement about leaders, though, not many readers may realize that without Lula, there would have been no JCPOA. And there were also many powerful interests who wanted to see him and his legacy removed. It was during his administration that BRICS was set up, and he was a key to that, too. Brazil has a vexed history, as do many South American nations. Brazil is not alone in deforestation of the Amazon, but it is the main culprit. Bolivia is also culpable, as are all the states surrounding Brazil.
There have been ongoing protests about land clearing in the Amazon for years now. Deforestation also encroaches on the aboriginal tribes who live there, as well as accelerating the mass extinction we are seeing now. It is right to have concerns about the deforestation and the business interests who run roughshod over the environmental concerns. But until the political climate shifts in Brazil – meaning corruption – and care is once again placed on the land, these fires and deforestation will only continue, especially if the Amazon is opened to mining interests. Only Brazilians will solve the current impasse. Multinational corporate interests are a big driving force behind Brazilian governments, as well as the huge drug trade, and with the economic forces as they are, the likes of the corruption we see there will be difficult to remove. With its Virgo personality, Brazil has a vested interest in protecting its environment, which in turn benefits the international world order. It will take time to correct, and only public pressure will begin to turn the situation in favor of the Amazon, which is one of the world’s greatest natural resources and treasures.
The Green New Deal: This brings us to the US, where there has been increasing discussion of the ‘Green New Deal’, a program being advanced by progressives in the US. Because of its environmental emphasis, it is a Virgoan topic. Just what is this ‘Green New Deal’, then, we hear so much about in the US these days?
“The Green New Deal (GND) is a proposed United States legislation that aims to address climate change and economic inequality. The name refers to the New Deal, a set of social and economic reforms and public works projects undertaken by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in response to the Great Depression. The Green New Deal combines Roosevelt’s economic approach with modern ideas such as renewable energy and resource efficiency.”
On the surface it sounds like a great idea, especially the part about the Roosevelt-era economic policy. The main proponents in Congress of the GND are senators Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders. It all sounds wonderful when put in the context of protecting the environment and ending our reliance on fossil fuels. But a look at the world’s energy usage tells a story that militates against the ‘Green’ part of the New Deal. The supporters of the NGD want to see it implemented by 2030, just over a decade from now. 80% of the energy usage in the US comes from hydrocarbons. Renewable energy sources make up only 11% of the current US energy usage. Renewable energy, referring to the likes of solar panels, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal and biomass, are a bit deceptive. The biomass component (largely wood and biofuels) amounts to almost half of the renewables. Seeing that the US is the largest consumer of energy in the world, how realistic is it to expect the US to completely end its dependence on fossil fuels by 2030? And would there be the political will to do so? It would mean a complete overhaul of the US economic system and require tens of millions of jobs either to be lost or to be reassigned to the new industries. All in the space of ten years. A new New Deal is needed, yes, obviously, but the Green part would take much longer to implement given politics these days.
The GND would rely on policies outlined such as utilizing a carbon tax, a jobs guarantee, free college, single-payer healthcare, and a focus on using public programs. In other words, it would require a certain measure of socialism. In the US and UK, how likely is that, given prevailing sentiments? In order to introduce such legislation would require large enough bipartisan support. In an electoral environment such as we see in the US and much of the West, it is not likely such a GND would pass muster. We have only to look at Australia and its short-lived carbon tax to see why bipartisan support for something approaching a GND is essential. This is not to pour cold water on the GND, but instead to look at realities in people’s everyday lives. Then, there is the argument that if we do not do something fast we will not have a choice.
There is another factor with the GND, though, that is almost never mentioned, but about which people need to be aware, and that relates to the mineral extraction that would be necessary to implement renewable energies by a projected 2050 outcome. The figures are staggering. The mining to extract the rare earths, iron, silver and copper that would be needed in the immediate future is enough to make a mining conglomerate salivate. Mining interests would make an absolute fortune from the GND. It is enough to make one wonder, just who is behind this push for a GND? And then, even though it sounds like a grand strategy, how much do the political forces behind it really know about what is involved? And what would be the geopolitical fallout from it? This again involves Brazil. The four leading nations who have the largest rare earth reserves, in order, are China, Brazil, Vietnam and Russia. India, Australia and the US trail behind, next in order. Given current tensions, how viable is a GND? Well, there is another answer, much as we may not like it. Again, we go back to nuclear, referred to in past letters.
Can it be done?: “They said it couldn’t be done.” How often have we heard that? And how do we do a thing that cannot be done? Well, we begin, then continue. It takes an act of will to overcome obstacles. Every life is an exercise in overcoming obstacles, if it is a life well lived. Nuclear energy – of the type we see in the Sun, which we might call our ‘shining example’ – has been called the saving force for humanity. It refers exactly to the environmental challenges that face us. The danger of achieving it is that its control would fall into the hands of a few materialist interests, in which case it would become yet another form of enslavement. We should be focused on that development far more than we are currently, for the freedom of all. It would give humanity unlimited power – pure, clean power. It is being pursued. It is within reach.
Nuclear fusion reactors are being pursued, little as we may realize, with projections on the order of having a workable power plant within 15 years. That’s not far away. (here, here, here, here, here). There is also a promising hybrid reactor going online in Russia next year. The Russian model of reactor could serve as immediate intermediate step, relieving pressure on the need for hydrocarbons and vastly increasing our energy sources, until the fusion reactor is perfected. It would also eliminate the greater portion of the world’s nuclear waste. Such fusion reactors will revolutionize our planet in profound ways – economic, political, environmental and so forth.
Climate, truth and conflict: Speaking of the Sun and climate, we are told we are about to see what is being called a ‘Grand Solar Minimum’, which is said could last for years. One prediction has it going to 2055, leading to the prediction of a ‘mini ice age’. This is put forward on the https://electroverse.net/ site, one of the climate denial sites that have taken the internet by storm, pun unintended. The fact that there is no information about the author (an aspiring screenwriter, and you have to dig for that), no info about funding and so on, raises suspicions about its truthfulness, biases and accuracy. On the one hand, then, we have one camp of science saying we are in a dangerous and probably fatal warming trend, which was outlined in the last Virgo letter. Then there is the emerging camp of what many scientists call ‘fringe science’ saying the mini ice age is coming. The fact is our weather is becoming more extreme. Few people deny it, especially those of us living through it. Both sides of the argument invoke fear among the populace. But what is the truth? Science, being a uniquely human activity, is not immune from partisanship. The 5th ray is often found where there are fixed ideas, especially when in combination with the 6th ray, which is still very much with us. This brings up a point which is worth mentioning.
As the Piscean Age passes out due to the precessional cycle, so too is its opposite sign, Virgo. The Virgoan emphasis through Pisces gives the drive toward purity and tendency to vicious purges, which toward the end of the Age gave us such ideas a eugenics, racial purity and so forth. This brings up a rather sobering and disturbing point regarding the nations expressing Virgo – ethnic cleansing/genocide. Most of the nations listed previously with Virgo have experienced it in some form or another, either being on the receiving end of it, doing it or sometimes both. And with the Virgo nations, it tends to be about ideas of purity, which makes the outcomes even worse.
Misguided Virgo: The most notable examples of ethnic cleansing in recent times have been Syria (due to the terrorists there), Germany (doing it during the war and experiencing it after), Ireland by the British and due to The Troubles, the Ukraine with the re-emergence of Nazism there and during WWII (also, The Holodomor), Greece with the fall of the Ottoman Empire, Paris during the Revolution (the Vendée), Australia with the aboriginals, Brazil and its indigenous people, Armenia with its infamous genocide and so on. The Saudis and Qataris have been complicit in it via their proxy actions in other states. Kiwis, to their credit, have escaped it. Pakistan has experienced it, too. The NATO has been complicit as such in war crimes, also, notably in the ex-Yugoslav states. Mexico has experienced it, as well, with the Mexican Repatriation, and may be headed that way again. Of course, this tragedy of human cruelty is not restricted to Virgo. In fact it is a long and disturbing list. The point here is the Virgo/Pisces polarity that is passing and the legacy that the Virgo nations carry. As the Aquarian Age waxes stronger, we should expect, with relief, that such practices will pass swiftly into the mists of forgotten history.
We touched on the polarity axis between signs in the last letter, where it was noted that Leo has a strong influence on the emerging Aquarian Age due to its being the opposite polarity to Aquarius. Virgo via Pisces gave us dogma throughout the Age – purity as to the perceived ‘letter of the law’. Virgo can be known for its pedantic and tiresome dissection of details and insistence on adherence to those details in its lower expression. Thus, as the 6th ray via Pisces breathes its last gasps as it passes out, so also does the influence of Virgo. This brings us back to science.
Schools of science: There are many schools of science, but we could perhaps distill them down to two: the ‘concrete’ or ‘consensus’ school, and the theoretical ‘investigative’ school. The consensus school advances practical technology and is the applied arm of science. The investigative school rattles the cage and causes shifts in the consensus. This is what we see happening now in many areas of society in general. But just because something is new in science doesn’t mean it is valid science. Then on the other side, anything that brings forward a new truth is usually rejected as false at first by established science. We see this also in the climate debate, such as with the Thunderbolts Project, where some good points are made about simply accepting our current models of carbon-based climate change. But there is at the same time far more research that needs to happen along the lines outlined on that site, and along many lines. So here’s a thought: Instead of partisan wrangling, accepting things out of hand, spending out of fear (as in military spending, for instance) and so forth, why not instead bend our efforts, in higher Virgoan style, at getting at the truth, taking a step back from our emotional attachments to pet ideas and causes and putting our energies in a direction that advances us instead of keeping us in a constant mode of fearing the worst?
Climate and food: We are correct to be concerned about climate change. It affects us in many ways, especially regarding our agriculture – our food, in other words. Climate change is dramatically affecting our ability to produce our food. I see it in the supermarkets here, with wide variations in the prices of vegetables, even during the seasons when they are in abundance. And the quality is less. Wild weather here has had devastating effects on fruit trees, grapes and virtually every type of fruit or vegetable we have here. Then we are told we have to spend billions to fix the problems associated with man-made changes in climate. One can be forgiven if this sounds like the coming of yet another tax grab. And then, people are rightly suspicious that if the tax money goes to try to fix the problem, who is to say that money will not end up in the deep pockets of vested interests instead, or that other nations or regions will follow suit, or that it will even work? People are right to ask these questions. In the meantime, what do we do about our food supply? And how do we pay for the food if we are further hit with more taxes on virtually everything? We are going to have to safeguard our water supplies, manage our water supplies better and eventually if we can, start keeping gardens ourselves instead of relying on the big producers and the convenience of supermarkets. The Mother is adjusting herself, regardless of the reasons, and we must do in kind.
Declining population: We will end here with a few words about Pakistan, since guarding water supplies is becoming a large concern. I wanted to give a few words about declining population, too, but we will have to leave that for now. Suffice it to say that declining population is largely due to the stresses of modern life, largely in industrialized nations, and the fact that women have to work to support families now. In the press we hear it called ‘women choosing careers over family’. We didn’t hear about that sort of thing when a family could live well on one income. Enough said for the moment.
Pakistan and Kashmir: Pakistan is in the news again, this time due to India. There is a three-part article about the two on the blog site, giving background. The troubles between India and Pakistan go back to partition in 1947. Their independence charts tell the tale. India’s recent revocation of Articles 370 and 35a of the Indian Constitution which have ended the special status of Jammu and Kashmir have brought trouble to the region once again. Indians are bracing themselves and preparing for violence in the coming months. Pakistan has close ties with the Muslims in the region and has promised the fullest possible response to India’s actions. Why India would do something like that has two main reasons: domestic politics and water, going back to guarding water sources. India has experienced severe droughts recently. The headwaters of the Indus River, one of the world’s major waterways, is in Jammu and Kashmir. But it runs through Pakistan. Pakistan thus has a particular interest in preserving ties with the people of the region and safeguarding its water supply.
As to the political reasons for the move on India’s part, this again is in two parts. Firstly, it is a cover for the failed policies of the Modi government, especially its economic and jobs policies. Secondly, and more serious, is an attempt to make India a ‘Hindu nation’, to bolster his voter base, in similar fashion to the Netanyahu government trying to make Israel a Jewish state. The end result to both is the same – apartheid, second-class citizens and possibly at its worst, ethnic cleansing. For the most part, the Jews in the US want no part of Netanyahu’s plan. Zionists are another matter. But we digress. Modi is not limiting his moves to Jammu and Kashmir. He also has the region of Assam in his sights, getting ready to expel close to two million residents because they are ‘non-citizens’ (foreigners). Why? Because they cannot produce proof that their ancestors lived in India prior to 1971. The great majority of them are impoverished Muslims. If he has his way, the policy will be extended nationwide. And just to add another piece to the puzzle, Assam is the region in India that is most subject to flooding. Think ‘water’ once again. Those people will be flooding into Pakistan and neighboring nations if this government follows through. We hear nothing about that in the Western press. We’ll end on that cheery note.
In closing, sometimes when I go out, the sky reminds me of the opening scene from The Simpsons, and I am reminded of the divine comedy that we call life. The first signs of autumn have arrived here, with the first mornings of crisp air, the harvesting of the grapes and the first falling foliage. Each change of season reminds us of the impermanence of all things, but also that everything is subject to cycles. We can choose to either live within them, use them to advance ourselves and the other kingdoms of nature, or influence the cyclic outcomes adversely. But no matter what we do, the Mother will adjust. And as She does, we are forced to do in kind. Virgo reminds us of the need to stay within the law each year – natural law. And as in any family there are those who adjust well to change and others who resist it, try as they might, so it is with nations, too. However, change eventually comes to us all. The more we resist, the worse we suffer. Together, let us find a better way forward for our world. There are many obstacles to face and a lot of work to do. But then, Virgo means service to the immediate need, and I have yet to see a Virgo who is afraid of a little hard work. May our labors inspire us to glory.
10 Sep 19
These letters are sent as a service. If you wish to be added to or deleted from the mailing list, let me know. Feel free to pass these along, but do so without charge or alteration.
Virgo: https://www.deviantart.com/rebenke/art/Virgo-728883164 Actually, a Roman representation of Ceres, associated with Virgo, as well as is Erigone, Persephone and Demeter.
Buddha in space: https://kadampalife.org/2019/08/28/no-buddhism/
Astraea: Allegory of Justice, Gaetano Gandolfi (1734 – 1802)
Bashar al-Assad: https://www.france24.com/en/20090218-assad-welcomes-better-relations-with-us-
RIP British democracy: https://theface.com/society/boris-johnsons-proroguing-of-parliament-a-cheat-sheet
Chlorinated chicken: https://www.reddit.com/r/ukpolitics/comments/cnq0np/the_guardian_cartoon_why_did_the_chlorinate/
Hong Kong protests: https://www.dw.com/en/hong-kong-protests-pit-the-citys-young-against-the-old/a-49390322
Amazon deforestation: https://news.mongabay.com/2021/10/brazil-leads-amazon-in-forest-loss-this-year-indigenous-territories-and-parks-hold-out/
Bernie and Ocasio-Cortez: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/11/did-green-new-deal-win-look-after-one-year/602032/
Big Frozen Apple: https://electroverse.net/scientists-who-warn-of-a-coming-grand-solar-minimum-and-little-ice-age/
Uncle Sam wants your tax dollars: https://www.dontmesswithtaxes.com/2018/02/offsets-reduce-tax-refunds.html
Autumn leaves: https://www.boundless.co.uk/be-inspired/lifestyle/preserve-autumn-leaves