The Sirius Festival 2020

3 Aug 2020

© Malvin Artley

“For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie – deliberate, contrived, and dishonest – but the myth – persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.”

John F. Kennedy, 1962[1]

Topics (linked to paragraphs)
Observational astronomy
Leo and leadership
It’s hard to be humble
The full moon
The US administration
The American dream
The price of freedom
Imperial double-speak
America vs. Leo
The Sirius Festival

Greetings Everyone!

Continuing on from our discussion of lighted houses in the last letter, my work in the basement is nearly done. It has been a good Pluto-Saturn exercise of clearing out the old and putting things in order. Saturn-Pluto is a strong combination in my chart and I always appreciate it. Yesterday while finishing a small job in my now workshop, I noticed a strange sound outside, like a machine with something seriously wrong with it, until I realized it was a cicada in our palm tree out the back. The dog days of summer have arrived here in Italy. Cicadas have always heralded hot, sultry weather to me, a time of year where I retire into a cool basement space. Call it a ‘man-cave’ if you like. Summer was never my favorite season, nor ‘man-cave’ a favoured expression. But the dog days herald something else as well – the heliacal rising of Sirius in the night sky. Sirius is otherwise known as the Dog Star, and it has a special relationship to our own Sun, like that of our own higher Self to our personality. And that brings us to astronomy.

Observational astronomy is, in one respect, a study of history. The light that reaches us from the countless stars in the vault of the heavens is sometimes billions of years old, a record of an event long gone, of a star that likely does not even exist in the form that it was by the time we receive its light. And even light itself is a mystery – an energy or a particle, or energy wrapped in a package that we can perceive? Perception is the important thing when it comes to our own evolution. How we perceive events plays a big part in how we arrive at our decisions, thus determining our actions going forward, and thereafter, our karma. Perhaps fitting for me in terms of observational astronomy was my very first astronomical observation, that of Saturn, with a good view of its rings. It is one of those images that stays with one for life. That experience has spurred many lines of thought and investigation for me over the years, many of which have led me to my present views on of life. One little event can have an effect on a person that can change one’s destiny. It has been said that there are no little things. Knowing this, the “rightly directed study of even the facets of a crystal will point out the path to the Gods.”[2] That is, so long as our attention to the details does not conspire to conceal the wider objective before us.

We have all recently had the opportunity to view one of the visible comets, speaking of observational astronomy. Comet NEOWISE has been a fascination in the midst of the world’s COVID and economic troubles. Due to the weather here I have not been able to view it, much to my disappointment. But there will be others. Apparently we get about one per year, though most are not that visible. All told, there are said to be more than a trillion[3] of such bodies floating around in the bowels of our solar system, otherwise known as the Oort cloud, about a light-year away. We have currently catalogued around 3700 of them. The great ones, though, like Halley’s and Hale-Bopp are a rare treat. The last Great Comet was McNaught in 2007, visible over the southern hemisphere. I missed that one, too. NEOWISE didn’t make the grade as a Great Comet and has now faded from naked-eye view, but of note is that the Great Comets come usually a year or so before very significant world-view changing events. It is not hard to imagine that we are about to see another very significant event or two coming in our immediate collective future, given what has been in the news lately and what is precipitating out from the COVID-19 crisis.

In the ancient world comets were seen as ominous, and often towards leaders of the realm. They were said to portend the deaths or overthrow of leaders, or to presage disasters. Rarely were they seen to be heralds of good tidings. That view has changed as we have come to know those planetary bodies better, but if one looks at the years surrounding the arrival of the Great Comets, well, some rather interesting events do happen around them, especially in the areas of leadership. And that brings us to our present discussion in this interval, a look at Leo, the sign of leadership.

Leo and leadership: Lions have often been associated with leaders, especially with royalty. The heliacal rising of Sirius takes place in the northern hemisphere in the Leo interval. Sirius is said to be the alter-ego of our own Sun, in the same fashion as Venus is the alter-ego of the Earth. That alter-ego/soul/higher Self rules our individual destiny, determining where and when we are born, the type of life we are to live, the experiences that will go to shape our futures and so on – and all this within the guidelines of karma, individual and collective. So, the theme of leadership and rule is one that is concerned with a wider view of life than one to which we are normally exposed and one that encompasses the long term and the wide view. It is a theme that will occupy us throughout the emerging age of Aquarius, Leo being the sign opposite Aquarius. To take a wider view requires that one first become self-aware, the implication there being that one ‘becomes separated from the flock’. To be self-aware means that we are not guided any longer by the herd instinct.

The most outstanding characteristic of the Leo type (Sun or rising sign in Leo) is an intense self-awareness.[4] The sign is often encountered in people who have risen to the height of their positions and who stand out as personalities. In terms of leadership qualities Leo produces dictators in the lowest expression – self-absorbed, full of ego, larger-than-life, commanding, imposing of will, my-way-or-the-highway despots. This is leadership by diktat, or rule. In its best leadership expression, the sign demonstrates as the leader who guides by example, never imposing, but radiating confidence in the way forward and magnetic in their emanation, inspiring the people they lead to be and do their best.

When Leo is found prominent in a horoscope, either by type or when Leo rules from an important house in the chart, it indicates a person, group or nation who tends toward “blending, fusion, amalgamation and the spiritual counterpart of this activity”: “If the horoscopes do not prove this, it is because the exact hour, moment and day of birth has not been accurately ascertained.”[5]

How does one arrive at such an intensity of self-awareness, though? This usually comes about through an urgent need to do so, via a ‘spiritual opportunity’. This opportunity, if rightly faced and addressed, leads one first to self-examination in order to answer the question of why such an opportunity has arisen, and thereon to a course of study or action that leads one to a state of knowledge, of wisdom born of the experience and thereby self-confidence. To seize the opportunity, the Leo type must act ‘as if’ and show courage in the face of events, acting as if the attainment of their goal is already a foregone conclusion. “The true Leo type must react in a new and unique manner to the proffered opportunity.”[6] And from past discussions of the esoteric side of astrology we know that Saturn is the planet that proffers opportunity. Self-awareness has another inference, though, aside from ego, because the true ‘self’ is the soul in the immediate effort, and thereafter the individual ‘Silent Watcher’[7] in the ultimate, the monad, our ultimate spiritual essence.

It’s hard to be humble when you are perfect in every way. This is a refrain we in the maintenance department of a large factory often heard from a co-worker, who just happened to have his Sun in Leo. It reminds me of my father whenever the phrase comes to mind. He also had Leo Sun and made similar statements from time to time. Such statements were typically met with a roll of the eyes and a “Yeah, right”. But, to bring this up goes to a wider purpose and it carries on from our look at mandalas and gardens in the Cancer letter. Carrying on from building the lighted house (as a mandala) and arising therein as a deity, we take the true path of the Leo and act ‘as if’ we are that deity (which in fact, we are) and engage in a practice called ‘taking divine pride onto the path’. This gives rise to the Leo motto on the path: “I am that, and that am I.”[8] This is called Deity Yoga in advanced Mahayana Buddhist practice, and distinguishes this type of practice from the southern Asian forms of Buddhism. There are four prerequisites for this type of practice:

  1. Seeing one’s body as the body of the deity
  2. Seeing one’s environment as the pure land or mandala of the deity
  3. Perceiving one’s enjoyments as bliss of the deity, free from attachment
  4. Performing one’s actions only for the benefit of others (bodhichitta motivation, altruism)

This form of yoga is thus distinguished as a bodhisattva path, as a service path. Kalachakra practice involves this sort of Deity Yoga. One acts ‘as if’ one is in fact the deity/yidam. This is what is called ‘taking divine pride onto the path’. No personal attachments to things, people or events are allowed. One increasingly becomes divine the longer such a practice is engaged. One becomes ‘soul-infused’, to use the more Theosophical term. There is no separation between the personal life and the expression of the deity when the practice is perfected. There is more to this than simply doing this type of practice in a single session, however. If one is truly serious about such a practice, then it is engaged throughout the 24 hours of the day, every day. One’s life thus becomes a living meditation, living not as a personality, but as a soul/spiritual being, expressing through a personality simply as a vehicle for service. Our souls are deities, after all. This describes Leo in the ultimate sense – a god incarnate, with all that entails. This is the true ‘divine right of kings/queens’. Going back to our original statement under this heading, then, we can paraphrase it and say, “It’s hard to be egotistical when you are perfect in every way.” From there we go on to the Virgo phase of such practices, which involves skilful means, but we’ll save that for the next letter. For now, we move on to a consideration of this full moon and some rather important events that are unfolding on the world stage.

The full moon takes place on 3 Aug 2020 at 15:26 UT (1:26 AEST on the 4th). This full moon will bring some surprises with it, as Uranus makes a t-square with the full moon axis. It should bring about some moves toward better conditions for the average citizen of the various nations and more humanitarian responses to our current crises. Alas, the forces of materialism and imperialism are seeking to do otherwise, sinking obscene amounts of money and resources into ‘countering threats’ from imaginary adversaries and bailing out corporations instead of spending the money at home to help the citizenry. Thus, we have the possibility of conflicts erupting unexpectedly as threatening posturing pushes certain nations to the limits of their patience. With the latter we refer specifically to China, Russia, Iran and Venezuela. Within the threatening nations, i.e. the Western powers, India and Japan, they face internal troubles which threaten their national stability, all the while they point the finger outwards to distract from their own troubles at home. In fact, the only major aspect by planets to the full moon axis comes from Uranus. There are also some other possibly troubling indicators.

The first is the opposition of Mercury to Saturn and Pluto, which on the one hand gives the ability to tackle difficult problems and is great for research, but on the other hand indicates the desire to control the narratives that come out in the news media. We will address a few of those narratives shortly. The other aspect that needs watching, especially the way things are going in the US, UK and Israel with their leadership, is a tendency to take gambles, and dangerous ones at that, shown by the Mars/Jupiter square in the figure. This is a particular concern given what we are seeing in the South China Sea.

The US administration: What follows for the rest of this letter is, again, largely about the United States, following on from past letters. What happens there will have large flow-on effects for the rest of the world, specifically the West and allied nations. I make the comments to follow as an American, having grown up there as well as having lived in other Western nations. I’ll say at the outset, too, that I am not anti-American. Like many American readers, though, there is the recognition that very deep and significant changes need to come at the top in US politics and finance, as well as the corporate-owned media and social media. We as a nation have reached a very uncertain point in the national story, with many possibilities for good and for ill. The Washington establishment seems hell bent on keeping the status quo as it has existed since WWII, though. Theirs is a path that has brought us to the present state of affairs in the US and in its foreign relations. And as it turns out, what we are witnessing in fact has many characteristics of Leo, as have been mentioned above. With these points in mind, we move on to our examination of what is evolving.

In the Leo letter four years ago, prior to the last election, I made a forecast about the present administration that has, unfortunately and for the most part, proven to be true. From that letter, the astrological aspects for the present administration were:

“…showing high but misdirected courage, overconfidence and danger of a fall from public and/or international favor. In the chart of an administration, that [Mars/Saturn] square shows problems with the military (which can manifest in various ways), the police, the ambitions of the government and infighting within conservative factions. It is an aspect of an insidious form of bad judgement, and it is especially bad for financial judgement. It indicates an initial bravado (Mars), but which turns into frustrations due to a variety of inhibiting factors (Saturn), both from within the country and without. We will see these frustrations for the next [Trump, as it turned out] administration coming from the Middle East and the South China Sea, from internal movements within the country, from tensions within NATO…”

And so forth. In the Scorpio letter that followed that one, the forecast was for a weak administration. We have seen that as well. Trump supporters will likely not agree. But, the bad judgement, the hubris, overconfidence and financial mismanagement have all been in evidence, along with Trump’s inability to push through his agendas, except for tax cuts for the wealthy and supposedly standing for Israel and against China. There was a caveat with all that, though: The passage from those letters was written before the election, and ‘Crooked Hillary’ was slated to win. The outcome would have been the same, no matter who was in office. And if the next scheduled inauguration is any indication, the situation will be no better, and probably even more volatile. That is not a reason for concern, though, as we will see as we go along. Given that it doesn’t matter who is in office (and given the candidates, it really doesn’t matter), what is this telling us? Where is the true leadership in the US? It has become clear as crystal to those people who bother to study widely that it is the corporate interests, Wall Street and a few oligarchs who pull the strings in the Beltway (the Washington establishment) and determine foreign and domestic policy. Hillary would have been just another face of the same picture. And Biden would be no different. Democratic voters might disagree on that point, but the truth is plain as day, staring us in the face. As I told a friend recently, the oligarchs have already won this election, as they won the last one and the ones before. Presidents change. Policy remains.

There are several US policies that have remained constant with each succeeding administration, though with different faces at the helm. We might list them as follows:

  • Keeping China and Russia from rising as powers and from unifying, who could then stand up against the United States, and especially threaten the Western control of international economies. Note that there is no military threat from Russia or China unless attacked first.
  • Keeping Central Asia from becoming unified out of Washington’s hands. China and Russia, and to a lesser extent Iran, have been successful in pushing Washington out of Central and Western Asia, for all intents and purposes.
  • Stopping nations from being able to sidestep the SWIFT financial transfer system and making payments in their own currencies.
  • Control of the world’s energy resources. Support for Israel has been an integral part of that.
  • Keeping a unified Europe from being a real economic competitor with the US. Japan once threatened to do so, but it was swiftly brought to heel. The Beltway is now seeking to do the same with Europe via Germany, along with China and Iran. Russia is not an economic competitor, but it does have coveted huge resources and is able to resist the US militarily.
  • To provide a cheap labor pool for US and Western corporate interests, the real reason American and many European jobs have been offshored and American and Western wages have remained stagnant. It is also the reason corporate and wealth taxes are kept as low as possible, thus draining the public purse. Austerity for the masses, socialism for the wealthy.
  • To ensure that the military remains powerful as an enforcement and coercive arm for its policies. The same is true of police departments.

All this may sound very cynical, but step back and take a close look at how US policy has progressed in recent decades. Has it benefitted us, the average citizen, or has it enriched the elitist classes and corporations? Donald Trump has been very useful to the factions in the US who promote such policies, hence his support for Israel, his hard line on Iran, Russia and China, his meddling in Venezuela, his tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations, his opposition to Germany’s Nord Stream II gas pipeline, his recent pulling of troops from Germany (a move many Germans welcome), the increased sanctions against ‘recalcitrant’ states and individuals, increases in arms sales to repressive nations and increases in the drone wars over the nations with whom we have our endless wars, his moves to oust Huawei from the West and so on. This is from a candidate who spoke of ending endless wars and ‘draining the swamp’ when on the campaign trail.

A very interesting pattern emerges when one looks at the nations with whom the US has the greatest disagreements – they virtually all have Leo strong in their national charts (Leo Sun or on angles) or collective astrological makeup, either as souls or personalities. We might list them. They are: South Korea, India, Pakistan, and Bolivia (Sun in the national chart), Iran, Russia, the EU, the Ukraine, the Palestinian state (Leo rising) Venezuela, the Assad regime in Syria (Midheaven), China (Descendant), France and Russia (collective personality), Brazil, Italy and Romania (collective soul) Berlin and Rome (personality), London (soul) and Geneva. And given American exceptionalism and exorbitant privilege, one might be forgiven for thinking the US has Leo ruling in its astrology significantly. Normally, strong Leo is shown by the Sun’s rulership of one of the angles in a chart. However, in the national chart, Leo rules the US 9th house, a cadent house, which among other things rules foreign policy, the judiciary, religion, higher education, its national ideals, and patriotism. That ninth house rulership over national ideals is what gives the US its very visible insistence on individual freedoms, and why those same ideals are projected onto foreign states. This is enhanced by the Sagittarius rising in their national chart and the Sun/Jupiter conjunction, an imperious and judgemental placement when it is ill-directed, yet generous to a fault and inclusive when functioning well.

The American dream: Dreams, as in ideals, have quite a Leonean characteristic in American life – the big, wide open spaces, the land of the free home of the brave, America the best and the brightest, the shining city on the hill, the greatest nation to ever exist, the Leader of the Free World, the exceptional nation, the most powerful nation on earth, the land where the streets are paved with gold (what foreigners were often told in the past and many still believe), the land where anything is possible, the can-do nation, the land blessed by God, the place where individual effort is what makes one free, and so forth. Yes, it’s hard to be humble when you are perfect in every way. These are the sorts of memes I heard every day growing up in America, underpinning the media, art, film and politics. America, the heroic, savior of the downtrodden, champion of the oppressed, even to the extent that there was once a TV show called The Greatest American Hero. Roger Ramjet was a popular cartoon when I was a kid. Americans always triumph in films. Independence Day comes to mind. There was no escaping it. The jingoism is intense, and it still strongly colors the nation’s foreign policy, public opinion and the public attitude toward nations who do not conform to that Leonean American ideal. I have lived it and I have seen it from other sides of different coins.

Yes, without America Europe would now be in the hands of the Nazis or the Soviets, a post-fact about which Europeans are periodically reminded. Likewise, the Pacific nations would all be Japanese colonies. Communism is the biggest threat to our ‘American way of life’, which we largely defeated. Socialism would be the death of the nation. Ronald Reagan brought down the Soviets with his ‘Star Wars’ arms race. American-style economics is what sets nations free and makes them prosperous. Any bit of technology that is of any use was invented by an American. We have the greatest and strongest military in the world……The list goes on and on. The thing is, everything just listed is false. But Americans are so heavily propagandized by these ideas from birth that they are difficult to shake. They also set Americans up for a big fall when they are proven to be false. And that is starting to happen now. America is coming in for a significant decline, more so than what we have seen thus far. And much of that decline can be traced back to our ‘American form of capitalism’, as it exists, which has amounted to little more than institutionalised greed.

The price of freedom: Seeing that Leo is much concerned with personal freedom and liberation, and given what is taking place in the United States at the moment, we might well ask ourselves if the United States truly is a free nation. ‘Freedom’ as a term, has been misunderstood in the current political climate there. The Republican Party in particular likes to go on about protecting freedoms and standing for civil liberties. The truth is somewhat otherwise. When Republicans speak about protecting freedoms and about small government, it carries a meaning other than what the average Republican voter understands as ‘freedom’. And to be clear, establishment Republicans in their current form are not conservative in general. There are a few true conservatives in Congress and they are on both sides of the political divide, but ‘few’ is the operative word here. What currently characterizes Republicans in general these days is not conservatism, but instead a false libertarianism. ‘Freedom’, to such Republicans, means freedom from financial constraints, freedom from having to pay their fair share (taxes, in other words), and the freedom to make as much money as they like. ‘Small government’ to them, means no social programs or regulations, meaning the funds that would go to such programs are instead available for the taking. Establishment Democrats these days are no better. Support for social programs by such Democrats means staying in office, as in winning votes. But when push comes to shove, they will look after their own interests first, the public be damned. And politics in Australia and the UK has evolved to be much the same as in the US.

‘Freedom’ was co-opted as a political meme mostly by the Republicans, as in the so-called right wing, in an effort to win votes by voters disaffected by the direction the nation was taking from the 1970s onward, especially since the ‘90s. And it worked. It was brought forward as a response and hedge against another co-opted term – ‘liberalism’. The so-called liberals, generally associated with Democrats, are anything but ‘liberal’, as we have seen with the militancy of identity politics and cancel culture of the ‘political left’. And again, to be clear, there is no functional ‘left’ in US politics these days. What we have in the US political spectrum in the large is a single-party-two-faced system. We saw the ‘liberal left’ clearly in the primaries in 2016 and 2020 with the side-lining of Bernie Sanders by the DNC, being sold out by the more establishment Democratic candidates. Bernie is one of the few remaining left-leaning politicians in the US Congress (and even he is not ‘hard left’, as in socialist/communist), along the same lines of Gough Whitlam in Australia and Jeremy Corbyn in the UK, both of whom were also railroaded out of their leadership positions by establishment factions. The ‘left’ in Western politics has functionally been silenced in recent decades in favour of neoliberal, free market economics – ‘freedom’, in other words. That is not a cause for celebration, because it is leading down a path of fascism,[9] about which we have been warned. History is repeating itself.

Americans and people of other nations are paying a heavy price for their supposed freedoms. The freedoms granted to the establishment by our votes and our inaction have resulted in increasing servitude for us, as in stagnant wages, increasing household debt, the increasing inability to own property (real estate) due to inflated real estate prices, the sell-off our state enterprises and so forth. Many of us have watched this happen over recent decades. Now, instead of real issues – as in how to rein in this capitalistic Ponzi scheme – debates rage online about minor issues, as in gun ownership, for instance. One wonders how many gun owners and champions of the 2nd Amendment know that amendment was actually a concession to Southern plantation owners to be able to raise militias in order to be able to put down slave rebellions? It is a myth that it is there to protect the populace from a tyrannical government.[10] That myth was also promoted by the Republican Party to gain the votes of Southern voters.

And perhaps a recent example will illustrate how indoctrinated Americans have been about their individual liberties – whether or not to wear the mask. This is a spurious argument and a distraction, much like arguments about death rates with this virus, diverting the focus from where it needs to be – why the West is increasingly moving toward censorship, why our rights are being eroded and why we are told there has to be austerity and militarized police instead of care for the citizens. But it arises out of a sense of being imposed upon as an individual, instead of being representative of an exemplary public service. Laugh if you like, but the issue has been turned into an ideological, heated debate, largely out of the US, where it should not even be an issue. The purpose of the mask is not to protect the wearer anyway. It is to protect people from the wearer should the person wearing the mask be carrying the virus. It cuts the ejected virus load and slows the infection rate. It is the same reason masks are worn in operating theaters – to protect the patient from the attendees. I see fewer Europeans arguing the point of whether or not one should wear a surgical mask in the midst of a pandemic, and virtually no argument out of Asia. But in the US and increasingly across Europe and Australia it is a very prickly issue with many people, with strong opinions on every side of the argument.

On the other side, it is not difficult to see why masks and social distancing are such an issue with many people. Since the turn of the century, really, the emergence of the surveillance/police state has been noticeable. We see militarized police now throughout the West. Personal data is not safe. We are tracked through our phones everywhere we go. Every internet search is logged by the tech giants. Our ‘free societies’ do not feel so free any longer. Media constantly tells us of threats where there are none (That’s another long discussion) and our standard of living is falling by the year. Yet, heated debates rage online about a simple preventive measure. Where are the discussions about the institutionalized theft and the government’s failure to look after the people in a pandemic? Yet, discussions about personal liberties get in the way of larger discussions about our collective well-being. In all the points just mentioned we see the 6th ray (idealism) of the US personality reflected through the Leo 9th house of the national chart. But this idealism also reflects in foreign policy issues, projected onto other nations in the form of American exceptionalism and increasing rule by diktat instead of example, more so since the fall of the Soviet Union.

Imperial double-speak: There have many recent examples of the Washington establishment seeking to strong-arm erstwhile friendly nations in an effort to pull them onside of Washington’s pet peeves. The most recent could be seen in a speech given by Mike Pompeo (Capricorn, Taurus rising, Sun in 8th house) at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library approaching the 50th anniversary of Nixon’s trip to China, where he stated:

Securing our freedoms from the Chinese Communist Party [??] is the mission of our time, and America is perfectly positioned to lead it because … our nation was founded on the premise that all human beings possess certain rights that are unalienable. And it’s our government’s job to secure those rights. It’s a simple and powerful truth. It’s made us a beacon of freedom for people all around the world, including people inside of China.”

He went on to say that China had to change, speaking of projection. Imagine if China said the US had to change. It was a speech full of such projection, hyperbole and outright ‘untruths’ and hypocrisy, pompous and ill-thought. That is the opinion of some senior people who know Russia and China, from the article last linked. China is not seeking to be the hegemon, much as we are told so. Instead, it is the US that sees its hegemony slipping. Speeches like Pompeo’s are usually loaded with terms like ‘American leadership’, ‘American values of freedom, democracy and human rights’, the ‘rule of law’, ‘open markets’, ‘American values’, ‘malign influence campaigns’, and with China ‘internment of Uyghurs’, repression in Tibet and ‘assault on Hong Kong’. The strategy put out in such speeches proposes ‘targeted measures’ and ‘bold free trade expansion around the world’. And so it goes. It is much the same when it comes to Russia or Iran. And usually one can expect the ‘appalling human rights’ records of such nations to be rolled out as justification for the measures taken against them, as in the R2P (‘right to protect’) doctrine, with the rallying cry of “We stand with the people of……”. As a note of interest to American readers, those speeches are for our consumption. For their part, the Russians and Chinese ignore them and go on about their business. They have given up on the United States as a partner. Iran is the latest nation to have also given up on the US, and is quickly doing so with Europe.

America vs. Leo: Without voicing or perhaps even realizing it, people like Pompeo and the hawks in the Beltway want to see a Western coalition formed to put down the world’s upstarts, which in reality are the nations where Leo is prominent. It is an effort to try to save our current form of capitalism. And they want that coalition to pour billions of dollars into such antics when there is a pandemic and crashing economies, when that money should be spent at home instead of shoring up America’s flagging image and finances abroad. It is also a not-so-subtle way of bolstering the defense industry, as in weapons sales. And for the allied nations where Leo is prominent, the US establishment wants those nations to ‘wise up and get back in the game’ and stop having illusions about and playing footsie with those other ‘malign actors’ and ‘regimes’. Russia has been a particular thorn in the side of Washington because they at one time were embracing American capitalism, and then for some crazy reason turned their back on it and decided to reinvigorate their own culture, which happens to be centuries older than ours. But of course, it was all Putin’s fault that things went sour, just as it is the CCP’s fault that all those great American manufacturing jobs went overseas to China and Mexico. It is also the fault of the CCP that the pandemic is raging in the US and other nations and why the American economy is in such a mess. Thus we are told.

So, let’s have a brief comment on some of the more obvious of these Leo-blessed nations and see where the real problems are after. Keep in mind as we go along that we do not have to agree with the politics of these nations, nor even like their culture or their leaders. What is given in the following is meant to show some examples of how Leo works, or hasn’t for individuals and nations.

Australia: It’s convenient, and somewhat lazy, to point the finger at other nations for troubles at home, when it is our own politicians and business interests who have pushed for the very policies that have allowed the Chinese and other states to rise. I see posts often by Australians griping about how the Chinese are buying up and controlling everything in Australia, for instance. There is a remedy for that. It is called sound government for the people of Australia, looking after Australian interests and infrastructure. There was no need to sell off everything under neoliberalism, for instance. That was due to fiscal mismanagement, rather than the recession we had to have. I was living there at the time and watched it happen. (I have dual citizenship.) Australia’s national chart has Leo on the IC (4th house), but the ruler (the Sun) up in the 9th house in Capricorn, implying foreign ownership, and conjunct Saturn (control by conservative forces). Australia has a unique problem about foreign and corporate ownership, whereas the Leo 4th house rulership should ensure the sanctity of key parts of Australian land and infrastructure. It’s a worry. We are now pouring money into US war games against our major trading partner rather than caring for people at home. The first step in recovery is to get rid of the crony capitalism and get past this notion that privatization of everything was a good idea. It has taken away Aussie sovereignty. We won’t even go into the Royals here and how our government can be dismissed by a foreign power, but that is another area that needs to be resolved for Aussies to be Aussies.

Bolivia has been through its lithium coup in November of last year, which illegally ousted the then-president Evo Morales, now living in exile Argentina. In a Twitter exchange, when stating that he didn’t see the need for a second coronavirus bailout package in the US, one Elon Musk was challenged about that Bolivian coup, which prompted Musk to post a tweet when he was confronted with his involvement: “We will coup whoever we want. Deal with it,” ‘we’ being the United States. Talk about hubris. It was a rather revealing exchange. Both Germany and the United States had designs on Bolivia’s vast lithium reserves. Morales had been using the funds from the sale of that lithium to benefit the people of Bolivia, along with its oil, raising literacy rates and improving the living standards of the people. The white wealthy class was not happy with him, because they were paying high taxes. Bolivia’s was an experiment in socialist government that got side-lined for a time, but will probably return. There is a reason why.

There are states, like Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador in South America, that have a high percentage of indigenous peoples and varying combinations of mixed races, with Bolivia having the highest percentage of indigenous people (55%). Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay are largely European (white), with Argentina and Uruguay being close to 90% white. Venezuela is half mestizo (mixed white and Amerindian), as is Columbia, with most of the rest of the South American nations having varying percentages of mestizo, but also in quite significant percentages. Mulatos (mixed white and black) and mestizos make up over 40% of Brazil’s population, with nearly half being European (white), hence the troubles there, a relic of slavery. The reason to bring this up is because the mixed race and indigenous populations of these nations typically do not do well economically and are disadvantaged to a large degree. It was the Europeans who had the money, and largely still do, making up the major part of the elites in those nations. Socialism generally benefits the disadvantaged segments of those populations, at the same time taking some of the power away from the whites, ‘whites’ being shorthand for ‘people of European ancestry’. Bolivia was an example of how socialism worked for the disadvantaged. Whites make up only 12% of Bolivia’s population, and that points to a large concentration of wealth in the hands of a few people. Evo Morales has a Moon/Uranus conjunction in Leo, sitting on Bolivia’s Sun. Jupiter is in a wide conjunction with Bolivia’s Sun in Leo. Morales had an instinctive idea about how to raise the lot of his people – via the national resources and socialism.

Virtually all of Latin America has been affected by American-backed coups at one time or another, a direct result of the Monroe Doctrine, which usually resulted in dictatorships in those nations and gave rise to the various ‘banana republics’ in those nations thus affected. Guatemala is a case study of American corporate interventionism in Latin America. Bolivia embraced socialist policies under Morales during the pink tide, starting with the Chavez revolution in Venezuela. But, it suffers under the same resource curse of most Latin American nations (and many other nations) and was always in danger of being ‘regime changed’. The American establishment still sees Latin America as American territory (America’s ‘back yard’) and has been hard at work dismantling socialism in Latin America since the start of this century. Donald Trump has been especially avid about it. Socialism does not reflect ‘American ideals’, keeping to the establishment line, where at one point he stated, “…socialism is dying, and liberty, prosperity, and democracy are being reborn…”, speaking to ex-pat Venezuelans and referring to Latin America. The majority of people in Latin America have been less than prosperous under capitalism, and certainly not free under dictatorships and right wing governments, supported by the US. Everyone has their opinion on such matters, which we will have to leave for now. But the Bolivian majority have had a taste of socialism and seen their lot improved under Morales. Given that, at some point it is very likely that socialism in some form will return to Bolivia, and to other Latin American states.

Venezuela and Iran are two nations who have bucked the America trend and fallen afoul of the Washington establishment as a result. They, too, have seen their majority population rise in living standards under socialist policies. I will say at this point that I do not advocate for either socialism or capitalism as a sole system, but rather a mixture of the two. It has been my observation over the years that when the state assets are sold off the living standards of the public fall. There are certain primary industries and resources that should remain in the hands of the state (people). Those primary resources are also a part of a country’s culture. To sell them off to foreign interests strikes a sour note with the public. I watched it happen in Australia, with iconic brands and primary industries going on the chopping block. The rates immediately started to rise, because the bottom line with private (i.e. corporate) ownership is usually profit.

Iran’s and Venezuela’s troubles with the American establishment started when those nations nationalised what were private corporate interests who had controlling interests in their primary resources (oil and gas) and directed the revenues from those assets to the public good. This is not to say there isn’t corruption in those nations. There is, and a long history of it. But it is undeniable that living standards for the common folk in those nations rose after their industry was nationalised under socialized policy. Nationalization happened twice in Iran, once under Mosaddegh and the 2nd time with the 1979 revolution. And the Western corporate powers never forgave them for it, hence the withering sanctions they have been put under to try to force regime change, in both those nations. The reason the Western powers have not been able to overthrow those governments is twofold: Their governments enjoy popular support from the majority, and they have their militaries onside. Their militaries are also able to inflict heavy losses on the US, which is why a large conflict is never contemplated against them. That is especially true with Iran, a fact that is never mentioned to the American public. Instead, we are assured that victory over a nation like Iran or Venezuela would be swift, as in Iraq. The truth is a little different, to put it gently, and would require the sort of coalition we had in the 1st Gulf War, a feat not very likely now. Even then, it is questionable such a coalition would ultimately prevail. The sanctions have had an interesting effect in both Iran and Venezuela.

Iran and Russia are particularly good studies on what happens when a Leo type is faced with an opportunity, like sanctions. Yes, restrictions are an opportunity, spiritually considered. It causes the Leo entity to re-imagine itself. It goes to the veiling side of the Sun in esoteric astrology, wherein the Sun as the ruler of Leo at all levels veils Uranus, the ‘planet of re-invention’, and Neptune, the ‘planet of re-imaging’. It goes with the saying, “Necessity is the mother of invention”. In a real sense, the sanctions against Iran made that nation what it is today in terms of technology, diversity and its sense of dignity. Iran’s primary source of income in the early days of the present government was oil. When that oil export was forced down due to Western sanctions the Iranians had a choice – diversify or perish. They chose the former. It is too much to go into here, but there is a video that gives much in the way of insight as to where Iran stands today and why it is set to be the regional power in the years ahead. The same sorts of ideas about Leo have held true in Russia, too, considered next. But in conclusion with Iran and Venezuela, the two nations are now in the process of forming a partnership, witness by the shipments of gasoline and food to Venezuela by Iran, bypassing the US dollar. There is now an Iranian supermarket in Venezuela, for instance.

Iran will prosper into the future, with or without the West. It is in the process of inking a 25-year deal with China to further develop its infrastructure, largely in exchange for oil and other exports, and again bypassing the US dollar. Iran is also in talks with Russia along similar lines, and especially related to military security, looking at buying the Russian S-400 missile defense system. These actions will fast track Iran’s membership into the SCO, to which it has been an observer state. Its accession thereto will secure the Central Asian land mass in the hands of Asian nations, away from control by the West.

Russia is an interesting study when it comes to Leo. Seeing the failings, lack of faith in agreements and hostility from Washington, Russia dumped all of her US treasuries and now trades in whatever currency she likes, especially with Europe and China. Russia has finally done what other nations have tried and been bombed for – they have bypassed the US dollar. And there is little if anything Washington can do about it. Attack Russia? Forget it. The only tool left in the Beltway’s belt to push back against Russia is via the media. Even their electronic warfare falls short. The Russians are ahead of the game there, too. It is why we see efforts in the UK, for instance, to defund the Russian network, RT. This is why we see the heightened and continuing rhetoric toward Russia and Putin. And the UK is just the same towards Russia as in the US. Ever since the coup in the Ukraine in 2014, Russia has made a concerted effort, especially diplomatically and economically, to lessen its dependence on the West and to strengthen its standing on the world stage and its security. She has largely succeeded. Syria was the linchpin to that effort. Crimea secured Russia’s southwest border regions.

Sanctions do not work against Russia. The Leo personality of that nation has taken up the challenge of austerity and reinvented itself. What Russia once had to purchase from other nations is now produced in-house. It is energy independent, has vast resources and reserves, a motivated population, at least in the essential areas, has restructured its constitution and has learned much from being isolated by the West. Russia, too, is looking East, in particular now that the West is fast becoming an economic basket case, led by the US. It is also ‘looking East’ in relation to its long-neglected, ill-developed eastern provinces, as in geographical Siberia and north Asia. It is an area with a total population of just over 33 million, but with a land mass that would be greater than the largest country in the world by area outside Russia. It has been a vast, virtually untapped resource. It has also been painted in dark terms in Western lore, for its internment camps and harsh winters. It is ‘Asian Russia’, with cultures more closely tied to Central Asian countries and the Far East than with Europe. It is a focus that shows large promise for the Russian people, and for Asian development in general, and it goes toward Russia’s esoteric motto, “I link two ways.” And lastly, Russian policy of late shows a blending of its soul and personality characteristics, despite what our corporate media would have us believe. Russia still faces notable challenges, but her way forward has been greatly clarified in recent years, and left to her own devices, will indeed play a vital role in the dawning Aquarian Age, with her Aquarian soul.

The EU is having to reinvent itself to a degree, too, as a result of the coronavirus crisis. Being composed largely of social democracies, it has taken a different approach to the crisis than has the US and has taken a step toward a tighter federalization in the form of its recovery package. A crisis such as this one was intended at the outset of the EU to provoke such a federalization. The problem with that is that there are several prominent nations in the EU who are also strong Leo types – the French, the German government in Berlin, Rome and Italy in general. The ultimate battle will be between the Big Three in the EU – France, Germany and Italy, now that the UK is gone. On the surface the recovery package would appear to be a good deal, but there is trouble underlying that appearance, too. It has saved the EU from collapse in the short term, but larger troubles are coming.

The trouble will come for the EU when the Frugal Four try to tell the Italians and the French how to spend the funds and try to keep them in austerity until the funds are paid back, due in 2027. To now, the Italian Leo soul is not so much in evidence at least politically. It is still too weakened by its position in the NATO, by divides within the nation, by perceptions by northern European nations, by its own fractured politics (which to a degree is by design) and by organized crime, mostly in the south. It’s soul motto, “I carve the paths”, is only dimly in evidence. It, too, has been caught by the neoliberal trap, in that much of its industry has been sold off. And it has a large problem with immigration, legal and otherwise, that is causing nationalism to rise within its borders. That is a problem in France and Germany, too. Italy needs to reinvent itself and stand up. Austerity will draw out its soul. Pressures from the US will continue to dog Europe, with issues like banning Huawei to the forefront, issues of energy independence, returning a sense of sovereignty to its member states and so forth. A stronger central government is not what is needed. That will only lead to its breakup. Germany is the financial and industrial leader in the bloc and pulls most of the strings. Merkel got what she wanted from this recovery package – more German control over the bloc. In that we see the Leo personality of Berlin channelling the 1st ray personality of Germany, whereas the harmonizing aspect of Germany’s soul has been showing as conflict with its neighbors during the height of the pandemic.

The biggest problem all along for the EU bloc has been the single currency and the way it was set up, the Euro. To cut to the main problem in the EU that will surface shortly, we have the following:

“The recipient countries cannot choose to use the money in ways they themselves consider most suitable to their needs. Rather, plans must be submitted to the Commission and must meet certain criteria. In particular, “effective contribution to the green and digital transition” shall be “a prerequisite for a positive assessment.” What this really means is that the 750 billion recovery package will do nothing to respond to the shortcomings in the public health structures revealed by the pandemic. Quite the contrary: the conditions imposed include pursuing the EU’s demands for budgetary austerity, at the expense of social services.”

If this policy is forced by the northern European states there will be a schism in the EU, as forecast in The Externalisation of the Hierarchy,[11] with the French and Italians leaving the EU and forming the central powers of a southern bloc. Spain will be in the bloc as well as Greece, too, in all likelihood, as well as the Balkan states, thus linking that bloc with Russia. The Frugal Four will be saying goodbye to Club Med. The survival or fracture of the EU will come down to finances. Perhaps then the souls of Italy and Romania will step forward and be more pronounced later in this century as austerity bites and they reinvent themselves.

The Ukraine is a problem of the West’s making in their hysteria about Russia. It has split the state in an East/West divide. The Russians are so disgusted with what they see there that they have no interest in it any longer. This was one of the political purposes of the Nord Stream II pipeline, in that it will serve as a lever with the Ukraine and Poland over energy resources. The Ukraine’s Leo rising in the national chart has not been used to good effect. The western half of that nation is tied to Poland and has strong antipathies with Russia, whereas the eastern half is largely Russian-speaking and would like to see closer relations with Russia. What has arisen in the western regions is a strong stain of Nazism that is a blight on the nation. The EU and the US did not do the Ukrainians any favors when they fomented the coup in Maidan in 2014. If there is to be any stability in Eastern Europe then the situation there must be resolved, and which could conceivably result in balkanization of the Ukraine. It is a festering sore on the face of Europe. Meanwhile, the people of the Ukraine suffer what affected Russia in the 1990s under Yeltsin and neoliberal capitalism.

India and Pakistan in their present form were born on the same day and thus both have Leo Sun. (here, here and here) Pakistan has strong ties with China and is to host a central and important route in the Belt and Road Initiative. India, on the other hand, is going through an intense period of hard right government under Modi, resulting almost in a religious purge in parts of the state. The recent flare-up between India and China in Kashmir is looked on favourably in Washington, though outwardly they speak of caution. The Beltway sees India as a possible hedge against China. There is a major Chinese highway in the region that has had India and the West up in arms for years, as it links Xinjiang with Tibet and improves China’s security in the region. It happens to run just a few short miles from Kashmir through the disputed region of Aksai Chin, and itself will be a major artery in the BRI. It is one of the reasons we see Xinjiang coming up in the news again, which has been more pronounced since the China-India flare-up. The Beltway is taking advantage (or trying to) of India’s newfound nationalism to try and push back China’s progress on the BRI. The thing is, India is also looking at buying Russia’s S-400 system, which will not sit well with Washington. India can only sit on the fence for so long.

Kashmir is another one of those messes the British left behind when they were pushed out of India. But both India and Pakistan are seeking their own independent ways forward. Pakistan has thrown its lot in with China. Both nations are part of the SCO. Once Iran joins the SCO fully there will be a powerful Leo crescent stretching from Iran through to China via India and Pakistan, the latter two along separate routes. Afghanistan is also an observer state, which is one reason why the US is very reluctant to pull the troops out of Afghanistan. Once they are gone, there will be nothing holding back the full integration of Central Asia under the umbrella of Asian states. The nations with strong Leo have been instrumental in that.

The Assad regime has been the pivot to this greater Central Asian integration. This started in earnest in 2015, when the Russians (Leo again) intervened in the so-called civil war there, turning the tide of the war. Now, there is a unified Axis of Resistance formed as a result, which includes to a lesser degree the Palestinian state, though the latter are hobbled by Israel at the moment. The fact the Syrians were able to resist against the forces arrayed against them, which were formidable, with Russian and now Chinese help, has meant a profound shift in West Asian geopolitics, lessening the influence of the West, and putting the Gulf kingdoms on notice that their days are numbered. Iran and Syria are central to this Axis, along with Hezbollah. Syria is also key to the BRI if it is to reach all the way to the Mediterranean overland. That is the biggest single reason why the US is keeping troops in Syria, too, one of our ‘endless wars’. The Leo resilience of the Assad regime during the war there has been a good example of the Leo characteristic of adaptation, reinvention and retaining the sovereignty of one’s spirit.

And finally, of China, there is so much to say, and so little space. China, Russia and Iran would all like to see the UN function as a laws-based order, in accordance with the UN Charter as envisioned by Roosevelt. The US and much of the West, on the other hand, want to see their ‘rules-based order’ take pride of place. Who’s rules would those be, though? It is not hard to guess whose. So, we see the present administration badmouthing the UN (some of which is true), defunding the WHO, sanctioning the ICC, and now the present stoush over TikTok, which has an American CEO, 90 million users in the US and is very popular with young people. The app has been cast as a security threat (as if the CCP is interested in banal youth videos) and with the only user information in the app being that necessary to run the app, which is nil. To download the app is free, so there are no financial details for the average user. But the real money is in the advertising. The American portion of the app has been valued at over $50 billion. There appears to be some shady business going on there, and it is not on the part of the Chinese. The ‘sale’ has the earmarks of a hostile takeover. It is also part of the general hostility that the Beltway has toward China now.

For China, having Leo on their descendant, they have chosen a path of partnership (7th house) with other nations of win-win, mutual need and mutual advancement, all with the idea of ‘socialism with Chinese characteristics’ behind it. When it comes to it, Washington’s main beef with China is that it is progressively surpassing the US in many areas, especially in tech and engineering, which attracts business interests out of the US, but it does so with its sense of sovereignty intact and will trade with other nations without consulting Washington and bypassing the dollar. Now, the current push of the Trump administration is to try to force American companies to pull their assets and manufacturing out of China. But to whose benefit would that be? China has some of the best manufacturing engineers in the world, are ingenious and can do product turnarounds cheaply and quickly. It is a corporation’s dream. Why would they leave? Both Apple and Microsoft have their manufacturing largely based in China for that very reason, as do many other corporations, especially when it comes to electronics manufacturing and assembly. That capability is what has made Huawei a world leader in telecommunications and why there is so much nonsense making the rounds about 5G in social media (That’s another long discussion).

The bottom line about US/China tensions comes down to this: China is about to surpass the US in tech of all sorts. That has the Beltway in a tither. It is also bypassing the US dollar in payments. Its manufacturing capabilities already surpass those of the US. It is resistant to the economic policies of Washington and the West in general. It can defend itself. It is supplanting US interests in regions the US sees as vital to its supply of resources. And China does all this without pointing a weapon at anyone. “It’s just business, dudes. Get a grip!” All the military posturing we are seeing toward China is bluster, nothing more. China will not light the fuse. They see through what is happening. They know that in order to succeed, all they have to do is patiently go about their business. So, since the denizens of the Beltway know that a military action is not in the cards, they are doing everything they possibly can to try to smear China and ruin its image internationally. That is failing, too. China is too imbedded into the capitalist system for the US to extricate itself. So, the next time you hear about some alleged atrocity in China, see it for what it is – an attempt to manufacture consent to distance ourselves from China, based upon our US Leo-Sagittarius ideals of ‘truth, justice and the American way’. In the long term, it only hurts the nations who engage in such behaviour and pushes the nations of the East into closer cooperation, the very thing Washington wants to avoid.

In closing, Goldman Sachs has warned that the US dollar could soon lose its status as the world’s reserve currency. This is what has Washington and Wall Street more concerned than anything else right now. As a result the Treasury is printing money like mad and the Fed has been enabled to buy up all sorts of junk. The Economist has warned governments about the lure of free money. There is no free lunch, as the saying goes. Someday the bills will come due, as many households in the US are about to find out. The real economy has contracted to levels not seen since the Great Depression. The spin around this in the media, saying that the economy will rebound and that there is nothing really about which to worry is such that the myth of American wealth is about to be busted. Then we can begin to have some honest conversations and begin to turn the economic picture around. It will be a good day for the US when the myth of exceptionalism falls from American eyes. It has already done so across much of the world. Then, the Aquarian soul of the nation can truly step forward and act as a responsible and normal country.

The Sirius Festival at the full moon in the Leo interval will become increasingly important as the full moon festivals become more pronounced as the decades and centuries progress. The divine right of kings has already passed as the first glimmer of Aquarius dawned upon humanity. Next will be empire, a Leo expression, as the decades pass, to be supplanted by cooperation between nations. That is what we should have had worldwide as the pandemic swept through and economies collapsed. Some nations, such as China, Cuba, Iran, Russia and others did step forward and give aid to those nations in need. It goes to show their native collective instincts. That instinct will blossom into real group cooperation into the Aquarian Age. That time is yet a ways away, but we see the beginnings of it. Wherever one finds Aquarius strong in a chart, Leo is always there in the background, showing the need for exemplary action, self-reflection and the ability to seize opportunity in a positive manner. The bombastic, youthful expression of the United States will eventually give way to wise statecraft once crisis draws out the soul of the nation. And wherever Leo is strong, Aquarius is always there as well, inviting collective effort, shared experience and innovative solutions to the challenges presented. We hold the thought that the inflamed rhetoric we see now will give way to common sense and to the common good as we move through our present opportunity. And the opportunity is great. In true Leo fashion, let us seize the day!

Leo blessings,
4 Aug 2020

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 is you feel inspired, but do so without charge or alteration.

  1. Commencement Address at Yale University, Pub. Papers 470, 471 (June 11, 1962)
  2. Temple of the People, Teachings of the Temple, Halcyon, CA, US, p. 233
  3. Erickson, Jon, Asteroids, Comets, and Meteorites: Cosmic Invaders of the Earth, Infobase Publishing (2014) p, 123
  4. Bailey, Alice A., Esoteric Astrology, Lucis Publishing, NY, NY, p. 286
  5. Ibid, p. 287
  6. Ibid, p. 286
  7. Bailey, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p 772
  8. Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, p. 312
  9. Bailey, Esoteric Healing, p. 663
  10. Bogus, Carl T., “The Hidden History of the 2nd Amendment”, (1998), p. 5 of the PDF
  11. Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p. 201


2014 in L'Alpe di Siusi, fresh from the US and Australia.

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