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The Scorpio Festival 2020
31 Oct 2020
© Malvin Artley

Topics (linked to paragraphs):

 

Happy Halloween Everyone!

 With autumn here in Rovereto in full swing, the fall colors are showing everywhere, subdued, except for the leaves, the latter full of oranges, reds, browns and rusty colors – Scorpio colors. We have amaranth plants in abundance in our garden and the red, spiral ball-like flowers are on stunning display, cascading downward in long tendrils. There is another name for that plant, very fitting for Scorpio, but we will leave that for later in this letter. And along with the colder days and more indoor activities, the coronavirus levels have spiked here across Europe, with Italy doubling the numbers at our March peak. We now have nationwide restrictions again, like many places, but no talk of another lockdown as yet. Most of us now have pandemic fatigue and just wish it would all go away. But nature and vested interests have other ideas. We’ll cover those vested interests somewhat in the course of this letter, as it is they who have pushed the lockdowns, on one side, and have pushed for ‘herd immunity’ on the other. Also in Scorpio fashion, the battle lines have hardened in the debates on such matters, but that is one thing we will leave aside here. There are other fish to fry, and Scorpio is about rising above the fray. That has some very esoteric implications.

Since this is the Scorpio letter, however, there is another side to the sign that goes along with my present story here – the ability to investigate matters to their very depths, with the aim at seeing events and their meanings in the large, and to ferret out the truth in every situation, very fitting for the Mars and Pluto rulership of the sign at its orthodox level. In that vein, I have two recent acquisitions that have come in rather handily at present – a telescope and a digital microscope. These were legacy gifts from my wife’s Zia Anna, an Italian ‘auntie’ who recently passed on. The scopes are nothing fancy, good starter instruments, but they get the job done.

Jupiter and Saturn make for good viewing these days, having been close together at the meridian shortly after dark here, with Pluto hidden there somewhere in between. Saturn is slightly tilted with a good view of its rings, and Jupiter has three of its moons clearly visible. It’s quite a treat and it takes me back to where my interest in space and astronomy really started, with my first view of Saturn at about the age of 8 through the family telescope at the time, a couple of Saturn cycles ago. Jupiter and Saturn will also feature in the large in the astrology for the Capricorn ingress and it is fitting to examine the two planets in the larger scheme as well as microscopically as to their effects. Mars and Venus, the two planets most representing the relations between genders, are also good viewing these days, too. It is the closest Mars has been to the Earth since 2003, having a perihelion approach akin to this one to Earth roughly every 15 – 17 years. It won’t be this close again until 2035. We’ll have more on Mars later, as it has also been in aspect with three of the ‘heavy hitters’ – Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto – for some weeks now, continuing to do so until the end of this month and then returning to square Pluto at the moment of the Jupiter/Saturn conjunction in Aquarius. I will be posting on that in the blog site in the near future.

The microscope has worked well with a ‘family’ member, as in discerning the causes of a skin problem one of our four-footed members has. Aside from family matters, collectively we have all been busily involved in examining our responses and reactions to a virus and microscopically picking apart the wheat from the chaff in terms of various official responses to it, as well as our own reactions to what is taking place. That, too, is part and parcel of Scorpio experience, looking at the depths and soaring to the heights in our mental outlook. So, I have been enjoying my new toys. But speaking of investigations, we come in this period to more serious matters and definite Scorpio issues, as in what the West is facing these days, and which we will examine after a look at the astrology of this full moon. But first, we have a closer look at Scorpio.

Scorpio as we know it: In the public domain, Scorpios are known for their passion, their sexuality and their sometimes gothic emotions. Most Scorpios I know are not dark, but emotions do overtake them sometimes. The planet that most brings this out is Mars, the old orthodox ruler, with the more gothic undertones being represented in its modern ruler, Pluto. Given these two planets, Scorpios can be known for their biting wit, their deep understanding of human nature and their passion for causes. Whether their cause is a romantic entanglement, local issues or international justice, the amount of passion shown will be in direct proportion to the engagement of others with it, no matter if positive or negative. And if there is opposition to their point of view, be warned – resistance is futile, unless one is another Scorpio, Leo or Taurean. Then, the delight of battle ensues.

Scorpio is one of those signs that takes no prisoners when it comes to emotions and ideas. All of the fixed signs – Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius – are like that in their own way. Aries types can be that way, too. And in fact, Aries is related to Scorpio via two planets, Mercury and Mars, both planets pointing to the battlefield and burning ground of ideas and the overcoming of obstacles on their life paths. At their best, Scorpios are champions for a cause once their minds are fixed upon a desired outcome. They make great researchers for the same reason they are passionate about causes, and they do not rest until they uncover the secrets behind some facet of nature or of human nature. As such, they also make good psychologists and physicians. And with the rulership by Mars, they are not afraid of bloodletting, whether it be by the surgeon’s scalpel, in an argument/debate or at the point of a bayonet. The military is also a favored occupation of Scorpio types, figuratively or actually. And if Mars is in aspect to Mercury in a Scorpio’s chart they are hard to beat in a debate and will take on all comers. Whether victorious on the battlefield or victorious over their own ‘inner demons’, the Scorpio type is the warrior of the zodiac, emerging from every battle undismayed. This is reflected in Mars being both the orthodox and esoteric ruler of the sign.[1] Hence, we have their esoteric motto: “Warrior I am, and from the battle I emerge triumphant.”[2]

A last point to add about the more mundane Scorpio expression is its rulership in mundane astrology over the natural 8th house of the zodiac, ruling death and transformation in our common understanding. Uncommonly cited are that same house’s rulership over international banking, insurance and insurance companies, losses and income incurred through partnerships, or to put it in a common term, ‘other people’s money’. It is this aspect of Scorpio that will take pride of place in the latter part of this letter, because we in the West are about to be presented with what will be touted as ‘an unavoidable evolution in international relations’, being told that we will not be able to return to ‘normal’ after this pandemic is passed. It is true in one respect, but in one respect only. Otherwise, it is a bald-faced lie. That lie is best revealed through Scorpio means, and we are in process of getting to that point. It also involves one of the rulers of the sign, Pluto, which also rules plutocrats, also related to the mundane 8th house of the natural zodiac. It is a most interesting development and deserves our full attention. But we return to Scorpio and its rulers.

Scorpio and yoga: The ultimate ruler of Scorpio, its hierarchical ruler, is Mercury. Mercury with regard to Scorpio involves two things – mental process and the realization of bliss. This is a very esoteric presentation of the sign. It is shown in the group of lives which the Creative Hierarchy represents – the human monads. This aspect of Scorpio involves the Will-to-Action[3], which encompasses the entire range of human existence, from the basest to the most spiritual. The word and process known as yoga covers the evolutionary development of the human monad.[4] A monad can be defined as the divine, indivisible spark of God/the Divine, our ultimate essence. It is also our ultimate goal in our evolutionary development as human beings, that once attained, opens our pathways into the wider universe. Scorpio is key in this process. In Buddhist terms, the monad is the doorway to buddhahood. Words fail to adequately describe the monad, but perhaps the idea is recognizable. As to yoga, there are many types of yoga. What we refer to with yoga in relation to Scorpio is raja yoga in the Indian systems, and lam rim in Tibetan Buddhism. Lam rim is the Indian transplant to Tibet of raja yoga via the great Indian adept Atisha, who was also a renowned practitioner and lineage guru in the 21 Taras tradition and an emanation of the same. He established a monastery just outside of Lhasa in Tibet that is still there. I had the good fortune to visit it some years ago. This aspect of Scorpio brings us to a continuation of our previous investigations of esoteric Buddhism in relation to esoteric astrology.

The Victorious Ones: Scorpio in esoteric astrology is spoken of in terms of victory over the hindering parts of our lower nature, with the Herculean task of slaying ‘the nine-headed hydra’ in our own nature. What is this hydra? It is the nine-fold nature of the main hindrances to the spiritual path, three for each of the three levels of the personality – physical, emotional and mental. These three tests at each level relate to a process of life, quality and appearance.[5] Briefly described, the three levels with their three tests are: Physical, relating to appetites – sex, comfort and money; Emotional, relating to desire – fear, hatred and ambition; and Mental, relating to the critical mind – pride, separateness and cruelty.[6] These three and thus nine tests, when overcome, result in right relations with the soul and the environment. This is the goal in the Scorpio experience, seen in the life of humanity. Thus carrying the correspondences at each of the three levels with their three presentations, we see that at the physical level, for instance, the life aspect relates to the sexual nature and the need for sex to procreate and reincarnate, the quality aspect relating to the comfort that comes from home and family life, and the money aspect relating to security within society and for oneself and family. The same correspondences can be applied to the threefold tests at the emotional and mental levels. However, these nine tests reflect only the challenges that face us in the Scorpio experience at the initial stages of our spiritual paths. There are other, more subtle meanings that apply to occult meditation and thereby follow on from our previous investigations in these preceding months.

A ‘Victorious One’ has a specific meaning in Buddhism, referring to our topic heading. It refers to a fully realized buddha – one who has mastered all levels of human experience, who has passed off the wheel of rebirth and who has passed on to greater service outside of the human realms, more often than not. This is a being that has mastery over the entire cosmic physical plane. That is a little beyond us at the moment. But if we view the zodiac as a process of unfolding, the Scorpio interval becomes clear, because it gives us the tools we need to reach that state of buddhahood once we have achieved the necessary mental control and focus to be able to do so. In esoteric Buddhism, this stage is where one engages the active use of the winds and the drops in an act of dissolving the hindrances to enlightenment. What has been achieved in the Libran moment of equipoise is now put into active use, and this usually involves the conscious, directed involvement of tummo, or kundalini. With the breath rightly controlled in Libra, it is enjoined in active usage in Scorpio. We will not go into details here, but this can be spoken of us the ‘union of Mars and Mercury’, in an act of ‘raising the hydra into heaven’. The union of Mercury and Mars relates to the active use of latent (Mars) and active (Mercury) kundalini.[7] Tummo is the Buddhist term for the same for all intents and purposes, although the Buddhist channel-wheel system is different in many particulars than what we currently have in our esoteric literature.

Once we have achieved this state of attainment in our practice it represents a momentous event, because at that point we have the possibility to make real progress and very quickly along the Path, from the preliminary stages of the Path onto the true systemic initiations. The winds and the drops, as they are called in Buddhist practice, correspond to the form nature (drops) and the active mind  (winds), which are first engaged and combined at the heart center. This is only natural, as it involves the life thread and our very life force as it is anchored in the form. Hence, we have a real problem, possibly, in that when we reach that stage we are literally engaging fire. This is where we get the idea of the ‘burning ground’ in its true sense.

The winds and drops have been compared to a horse (the drops) with its rider (the winds). Readers familiar with esoteric astrology know what comes next – Sagittarius and the goal(s). But we are not yet at that stage with Scorpio. The ‘horse’ at this point is still a little wild (untamed) and the rider (the mind) as yet inexperienced. We need a little training, for both horse and rider, in order to attain a mount sufficient to the task of traversing the various plains (etheric channels) and mountains (centers/chakras) in their proper sequence and without danger. This period can thus be fraught at times, and there have been many spiritual teachers who have had to deal with the resultant problems with rlung that can result from a lack of control or mistaken or wrong practice in their charges.

The Scorpio phase in occult meditation highlights the absolute necessity for an experienced master Teacher/Guru to guide one safely through the practices that involve such fiery work. Common sense dictates one does not approach a wild horse without a thorough knowledge of horses and horsemanship. When the student is ready, the teacher appears. To be clear, then, what Scorpio represents in our present context is the attainment of steadiness and proficiency in the utilization of the winds and drops that will enable a path to greater, uncommon attainments in spiritual practice, which ultimately lead to our full enlightenment. Esoteric Scorpio involves the conscious activation and utilization of the fires of the body (Mars) in their initial stages, and this is commonly done via the breath, coupled with proper mental equipoise in meditation. Scorpio, therefore, represents a most important phase in one’s development, because mastery of this phase (victory) gives one true freedom – freedom from form, freedom from desire and freedom from the subtleties and snares of the lower mind. Victory here leads one to joy, to bliss and thereon to enlightenment. This is the promise and the challenge of Scorpio. We therefore have the nine-fold stages of mastery as outlined in Scorpio and their corollaries in esoteric Buddhism:

  • Sex –the union of bliss and emptiness
  • Comfort – the ability to sustain consciousness in the buddhic realm
  • Money – the accumulation of spiritual wisdom

These preceding represent the ‘body’ in the body, speech and mind of a buddha.

  • Fear – Confidence in one’s practices and approach, including the teacher
  • Hatred – the spontaneous arising of bodhichitta (the mind of enlightenment that cares for all beings)
  • Ambition – the all-consuming desire to be of benefit to all sentient beings

These preceding are the ‘speech’ of body, speech and mind. And finally, the ‘mind’ in body speech and mind

  • Pride – Taking divine pride onto the path (covered in the Leo letter) and thereby becoming ‘like unto God’, yet devoid of any separative sense of ego.
  • Separateness – the spontaneous arising of a sense of great compassion for all beings
  • Cruelty – Great Compassion attained, the sustained state of ‘Christ consciousness’

With these points in mind, we move on to the full moon and more mundane affairs related to Scorpio. Scorpio is a sign very much concerned with the dissipation of glamour, and at present we have our work cut out for us. We live in a glamourous place right now, and that is not as pleasant a place to be as it might sound.

The full moon takes place on 31 Oct 2020 at 14:49 UT (1 Nov 2020 at 1:49 AEDT). It is a blue moon and a hunter’s moon (the first full moon after the harvest moon). The last full moon we had on Halloween was in 2001, just after 9/11. Now we have this one during the pandemic. The next one to fall on Halloween will be in 2039. For those readers who recognize the cycle, it is a full cycle of the lunar nodes, also known as a Saros or eclipse cycle. The moon is only a few minutes of arc away from Uranus in the full moon figure and Neptune squares the lunar nodes, giving a peculiar sort of ‘wobble’ to this full moon, though it does not qualify as a moon wobble.

The combination of the Sun, Moon and Uranus together gives a great urge for independence and freedom (appropriate for Scorpio), sudden events in all types of relationships and inner rebellion. The Neptune/nodal axis points to a lack of judgement or misjudgement regarding one’s contacts and associates, the possibility of anti-social behaviour, and probable disappointments and hypersensitivity in relating to others. And, the full moon takes place three days before the US election. Take a guess as to what might happen, because nobody knows for certain. The one thing that will be certain is that for one group of people there will be celebrations, and then great disappointment for others. And with Uranus involved, stay open to any and all eventualities. The Sabian symbols for the Sun and the Moon support this, and point to unpleasantness and healing at the same time (“A dentist at work”, Sun) and a festive spirit (“A fully decorated Christmas tree”, Moon). Thus, we move on to our glamourous life.

Our glamorous life: We live a glamourous life in the West. ‘Glamourous’ here does not have the meaning to which most people attribute the term. We are not talking movie stars, lifestyles of the rich and famous, the latest fashion or the like. Glamour in this sense refers to a blinding fog that is cast over our emotions and reason, the chief evil to which we are subjected and afflicted by in this day and age. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the United States and in the UK. Other European nations suffer from it, too, but to a lesser extent. I have watched its pernicious influence creep over Australia, too. I cannot answer for New Zealand, but I imagine the situation is much the same there, too, as well with Canada. The glamour we are speaking of here is advanced through our various media, mainstream and social. The few outlets where real journalism is still practised are marginalized, censored, ill-funded and ostracized in the other media. They are called ‘conspiracy sites’ or ‘disinformation outlets’ by the mainstream. Some of them are. And there is indeed quite a bit of quackery in the alternet. But there are some real gems of information, too, places where truth is spoken to power. The situation this year has become dire with respect to censorship, delisting, with cancel culture prevalent and with the ‘watchdogs’ against disinformation being actual sources of disinformation themselves. But we can trust them, right? Sure, as far as we can spit. Here is where our Scorpio friends have some real wisdom to present us, the ones who have conquered their own glamours and risen above the morass.

There are a few things to keep in mind about media and media platforms. Firstly, all mainstream media is privately owned in the West now, or has big money influencing the editorial staff. As such, they are beholden to donors and stockholders. The focus on the old print newspapers now is to generate ‘a great collection of juicy narratives’ instead of reporting events impartially on the ground. They cannot remain the stodgy old print vehicles now, can they? Facts don’t generate clickbait (ratings). They must engage the public. But how, other than engaging people’s emotions? Few ‘journalists’ these days actually go to war zones, for instance. If these outlets publish or broadcast something unpopular, ratings tank and shareholders call a halt. Bernie Sanders gave a blistering account of this back in the ‘80s, along with Abbie Hoffman. And this was before media ownership laws in the US permitted media conglomerates. Noam Chomsky has talked about manufacturing consent for wars via the media. And in social media it is the algorithms that throw up – interesting term – the items computers think we will be wanting to see, but all this is to generate income for advertisers, not to inform the public, though these companies would say otherwise. Social media in particular needs a different business model if it is to be impartial and not shepherd us into tribal camps. Watch the Netflix film The Social Dilemma if you can.

Mainstream media in the US and UK is especially pernicious when it comes to ‘educating people’ about foreign affairs. In the US this has been by design, instituted over time by the security state via the CIA to begin, with corporations gradually taking over, still overseen by intelligence services and corporations. Such media outlets are not there to educate the people. It is the same with Hollywood, shaping the public mythos, portraying the US as the greater force for good in the world. The media are there to condition us and lead us along certain paths in support of the state and the corporate interests. There are rare exceptions, though, like the Pentagon Papers and the like. The populace in the UK, for instance, has not a clue as to what their government is really getting up to abroad. It is much the same in the US. And the Murdoch media in Australia is just as complicit in manufacturing consent for war and for maintaining the status quo as are the outlets in the US and UK. What we have via our ‘trusted media’, then, is a construct that creates a world view that satisfies the needs, interests and perceptions of the sellers, the buyers and the product. Media is business, in other words. Competition is disallowed. Thus, we have censorship and a tendency toward conglomeration and monopolies. That brings in our next topic, which concerns our current business model.

The two capitalisms: Unless you are an economist, you probably wouldn’t know it, but there are two main types of capitalism the US has embraced – financial and industrial. This brings us to why the response of the Western nations to the pandemic was such a mash-up. The main type of capitalism in the West currently is financial capitalism, what we know in its present form as neoliberal economics. Its main purpose and direction is to promote and protect investment and speculation in financial derivatives and assets. It is the playground of the FIRE sector – finance, insurance and real estate. The current US President and many members of Congress belong to that group. It has been the model for the West since the days of Reagan and Thatcher. The main bastions of financial capitalism are the US, UK and Western Europe. Australia and New Zealand are also included in this group. It has become the dominant form of capitalism in the world, especially since the end of the last century. Its main vehicle is the Stock Market. It has basically become a get-rich-quick scheme, sometimes called ‘casino capitalism’.

Industrial capitalism, on the other hand, is a slower construct and involves seeing a project through to the end. A bank loans the money to build a factory, for instance, which takes years to pay off. Thus, it takes longer to build wealth in that system, but what you end up with is infrastructure and jobs for the populace – real jobs, that sometimes get passed down for generations. There have been generations within families, for instance, who have worked in industries like Ford and General Electric. This is the sort of capitalism that supports Main Street – you and me. It can still be open to conglomeration, as we saw with the Robber Barons prior to Teddy Roosevelt and the introduction of anti-monopoly laws. But still, that brand of capitalism, if we want to call it a brand, is what gave America is golden years in the ‘50s and ‘60s with its strong middle class and the ‘American dream’. Financial capitalism has basically destroyed that system and has seen it shipped off to places like China, where industrial capitalism has thrived. We now see the results. These descriptions are very simplistic, but perhaps the point is clear. Financial capitalism leads to imperialism, while industrial capitalism builds nations.

The real news: The real news before us now, considering the preceding points, is not about the pandemic, but instead the deficiencies it has exposed in our financial capitalist system. The industrial capitalist nations like Russia and China have handled the pandemic well. They had the infrastructure in place to deal with it, while the financial capitalist centers were left to scramble for every bit of equipment they could find, all the while the financial capitalists in Wall Street, Silicon Valley and the City of London have made a killing from the chaos, literally and figuratively. The Stock Market has soared while Main Street has had to hold out its hat for pittances, if they could even get that. The real estate sector is experiencing a fire sale in repossessed properties and closed businesses. The Wall Street gang are sitting pretty, or have been, but their bubble is about to burst. The battle between financial and industrial capitalism is about to be renewed, and in a big way.

Pandemic, plandemic or scamdemic?: Let’s be clear of something here before we start on this topic: The pandemic and disease is real. We have witnessed it here in Italy first-hand, as have many readers in your own nations. And I personally know people who have been sick with it, have seen the effects of even mild contact with the virus without any major symptoms developing and we even lost our ‘Zia Anna’ mentioned at the start of this letter to this ‘strange pneumonia’. This virus does odd things to people’s systems, indeed. I could relate anecdotes, but that is not our purpose here. What is of immediate interest to us is how our governments have handled this matter. And here in the West/Anglosphere, we have good reason to question the ways in which the pandemic has been addressed. So, here is the first question and point: Was it necessary for our governments to lock down entire nations and disrupt entire economies and put millions of people at risk?

Absolutely not!

What is my reason for making what some readers and pundits might call such an outlandish and supposedly irresponsible statement? We have only to look to the East. I outlined my reasoning six months ago in the Taurus letter in the heading “In an ideal world…” That model was exactly the model followed in China and South Korea. It continues to be their program. They didn’t lock down their entire nations, they had contact tracing in place and vigorously pursued it, their health care was given priority and their economies are now advancing. They have beaten the virus. China’s projected growth in GDP for next year comes in at almost 8%. The West’s economies are floundering, with a long and bumpy recovery ahead. We could list many reasons for why the West chose to lock down entire nations. Incompetence comes to mind as a prime reason, but there are other reasons that enter the realm of conspiracy. The real conspiracy, if there is one, has been against the populace of each nation having to endure these lockdowns, along with rebellious populi in said nations. We do love our individual freedoms in the West. But on the other side, people sense there is something else afoot, and we all rightly question the motives behind what we are seeing. Neither herd immunity nor national lockdowns go toward solving the problem of the pandemic.

Most nations around the world have done simulations of a deadly pandemic. They have known what  has needed to be done for years, yet Western nations in particular have done little if anything to be prepared. This has been glaringly evident. And as pandemics go, this one is not so deadly. Compared to the Spanish flu pandemic, this is ‘pandemic lite’. So, are we being scammed? The simple answer is to follow the money. Who has benefitted from government response to this pandemic? We read this from the UK regarding the governmental response to the pandemic – in a piece of real journalism – speaking of goings-on behind the scenes and prior planning, the quoted line from a Conservative, and grandson of Winston Churchill, suggesting that:

“…the coronavirus pandemic could go “a long way in cementing the position of private sector companies in the public sector supply chain”. It seems to me [the author of the linked article] that the emergency is being leveraged by the government for this purpose. Our crisis is the privatiser’s opportunity.

The government has bypassed the lean and efficient NHS to create an outsourced, privatised system characterised by incompetence and failure. The system’s waste is measured not just in pounds, but in human lives. It is measured in mass unemployment, economic crisis, grief, isolation, long-term illness and avoidable death. So much for the efficiencies of privatisation.”

The bolded emphasis speaks large to what is taking place as a result of the pandemic. The situation in the UK is very similar to that in the US, except the US does not have any hint of socialized medicine, except for Medicare. And the Republicans in particular in the US, if they get their way, would do away with even that, along with Social Security. Trump has already done away with the obligation of the payroll tax that funds Social Security and Medicare, at least temporarily. There is scaremongering about that from the other side, too. It would take an act of Congress to permanently suspend the tax, pointing to why the vote in this election is important, in that it may well change the composition of Congress toward policies more favourable to social programs.

The question here, though, is who is benefitting from the lockdowns, prolonged (unnecessarily) pandemic and so forth. Clearly, the billionaires love the stimulus Wall Street and the City of London are getting. The stock exchanges in pharmaceuticals, defense industries and so forth are soaring, regardless if on the ‘wings of Icarus’. They have been making money hand-over-fist. Now the Dow Jones index is back to its pre-pandemic levels. Government debt, on the other hand, has ballooned. Wall Street got its bailout. Main Street got a single stimulus check. Who was being cared for during the pandemic? Globally, billionaires gained $1.5 trillion in revenues this year alone, with US billionaires accounting for a little over half of that. $850 billion would have gone a long way toward promoting national growth and health in the US. All that wealth is supposed to somehow stimulate the main street economy and trickle down to meet people’s real needs. So, who is being looked after, really?

There is yet another theory I have heard floated about the reasons for the lockdowns in the Global North and developing nations, and it involves China. The theory runs like this: Impose nationwide lockdowns in order to shut off China’s export markets and crash its economy, thus causing instability in the nation and hopefully bringing about the changes in China’s government desired by the Western nations. Is it true? Complete nonsense? Who can say? However, it is not without a little merit, given the current escalation in negative rhetoric about China, military posturing in the South China Sea and so forth. Where there is smoke, there is fire, as the saying goes. If there is any truth in it, though, as a plan it has failed miserably and resulted in the very thing in the West that was supposedly planned for China. The law of unintended consequences is just as true in economic war as it is in hot wars. Instead of collapsing, China turned its gaze inward and is strengthening its markets and outreach across Asia. In a word, Asia is rebounding healthily while the West is still trying to find its way out of the pandemic. That leads us to our next topic.

The Great Reset: Most of us have heard at least something about the so-called Great Reset by now. This is the idea that, because of this pandemic and resulting crisis, what we need is a drastic if not significant change in the way we live. We are told that we will not be able to ‘return to normal’ after the pandemic is passed. I would have only one question about such a statement: Why not? We have had pandemics before, got through them and then got on with our lives, and often going on to better ourselves and our societies. What makes this pandemic any different, and why is there a need for a ‘reset’? Well, it’s not and there isn’t – except in one key area.

In the words of one of the transnational (Western) think tanks, the neoliberal system is dying. This idea has been on the cards for several years. The knowledge of neoliberalism’s impending death was one of the drivers behind Brexit and it is at the heart of the problems that are surfacing across the Global North, which is where the neoliberal system dominates. It is one of the reasons why the special relationship between the US and UK are tracking so closely now. It is also why nations like the Russo-Sino-Iranian cooperative are seeking to distance themselves from Western finance and thus Western control. And when it comes to it, it is the big reason why the aforementioned cooperative is seen as a threat. I call them a cooperative because they are increasingly cooperating across a whole raft of measures, especially now that the embargo against weapons sales to and from Iran has now expired. And now there is talk of a Sino-Russian military alliance. That would be the end game for any hopes the West has of keeping China and Russia at bay. At present, the reality of that would seem remote. But if the West continues its aggressive stance against the two, it may become a reality quicker than one might think.

As an aside and looking at the end of the arms embargo on Iran, for its part Iran says it has no need to go on a weapons buying spree, as it is self-sufficient militarily and has weapons systems superior to any other state in the region except for Israel. But, in the current US mind-set, more sanctions will be piled on unilaterally regardless. We see the start and supposed justification of the latter in the nonsense being put out about Iranian interference in the US election. Such a story will be used  as the cover to exert more pressure on Iran. And, this ‘news’ comes out just a few days after the UN arms embargo on Iran expired, due to a lack of European interest, and which has the current US administration considerably peeved.

So, what are we looking at with this Great Reset in real terms? There is a video that explains quite a lot about what it is and what is intended. I don’t agree with every statement made there, but in the large the video lays it out pretty well. The reason why we are being told we cannot return to normal and there is a need for such a reset is nothing more than a marketing campaign for a rebranding of capitalism and globalization. The so-called ‘need’ for such a reset has nothing to do with the coronavirus. It does involve greater globalization and salvaging capitalism by other means. This is being marketed with some very nice-sounding catch words, like ‘inclusion’, ‘value’, ‘sustainability’ (this word is being bandied about constantly these days to push for all sorts of efforts), ‘equality’ and ‘democracy’. That last word defines to whom this idea is being pitched, i.e., the Western democracies. In effect, this Great Reset will form the framework for yet another instalment of the NATO, because it will have to be enforced. It is quite doubtful the Eastern nations will buy into it. They are already moving on from the pandemic, after all, and are distancing themselves from the West at an increasing rate. Following on from the Virgo letter, what such a ‘reset’ will probably do is to increase the consolidation of the blocs outlined in Alice Bailey’s books and noted in that letter, under the heading, “Blocs and experiments”.

To drive the points just made home, the people pushing this idea of a Great Reset are some of the richest people in the world. It is being put forward by the World Economic Forum (WEF), headed by Klaus Schwab, a German engineer and economist. This is the Davos crowd. The organization is said to be international, and it is based in Geneva, one of the spiritual power centers of the Earth. Because it is based in such a place does not mean it is a spiritual organization, though, or that it is necessarily working for the good of humanity. There are mixed agendas there, some well-meaning, such as the expressed need for a return of social programs for the populace and the like, and others selfish, but we do not have the space to go into it.

There is one particular area where the WEF is putting its focus and that is on a topic called the 4th industrial revolution. This, too, was put forward by Schwab and it has been taken up by others. It is not yet a ‘thing’ in the West, though we are getting there. However – and here we go again – the Russians, Chinese, South Koreans and Japanese are all over this. The 4th industrial revolution, if there is indeed one, is already happening in the East. As a result of our financial capitalism in the West, we have lost the edge, the number of graduates and education in STEM disciplines, and the industrial base to forge ahead with it and are busy trying to play catch-up. And speaking of unintended consequences, mentioned earlier, the tech war as it is called is already having blow-back on the West. We should not be trying to decouple from China, further antagonize Russia especially, or alienating South Korea and Japan.

One of the keys to this 4th industrial revolution is big data transfer and the ‘internet of things’. Among other things, that means there will be a big rollout of 5G technology across the West in the near future. Prepare yourselves. It is coming. It is, in fact, already happening. The public is so complacent and ignorant of it anyway that there will be no meaningful effort to stop it or to do the proper scientific analysis before it is already in place. And once the public realizes how fast download and upload speeds are on this technology, it is all said and done. Aside from that, there has been quite a lot disinformation, misinformation and scaremongering about the technology of 5G on social media. This is not to say that people should just roll over and accept that our urban areas especially will be saturated with 5G signals. Many of us, myself included, have serious reservations about that level of radio frequency saturation. However, we do need proper information in order to have an informed debate. (And I will say again, 5G did not cause the COVID-19 crisis.)

Continuing, once this internet of things is in place Big Brother will follow quickly. We’re not talking about the inane TV show, either. Every device connected to the internet can be tracked, data from them mined, our preferences and dislikes analysed, our whereabouts known, so on and so forth. This is already happening. The surveillance state is real and evolving, if not overt. Privacy is quickly becoming a thing of the past. Anyone who owns a smart phone has already given up their privacy in many respects. If you carry one with you at all times, as most of us do, your every movement can be tracked over time, phone data logged, internet searches catalogued, etc. Even encrypted platforms like WhatsApp are not really that secure. There are records kept of these things. If you have a smart phone and do not want your whereabouts known, or want to make it harder for people to follow your movements, then one must deny any app the ability to know your location upon activation. That is no guarantee, either. Or, just leave the phone at home when you go out. This isn’t paranoia, just fact. On the other hand, it is unlikely the powers-that-be are too focused on us as individuals anyway.

AI is your friend!: Finally, finishing with the 4th industrial revolution, there is talk of ideas like brain implants and cyborg-like technology. My own sense of this is that it is a lot of dreaming on the part of technocrats. Consider that we are in an end-cycle of the 6th ray, with its emphasis on compliance and control, do-as-I-say-and-not-as-I-do mentality. It is also the mentality of imperialism, which is in process of passing out. Then, there is the factor of old Atlantean karma which still to some extent imbues the North American and Western European nations via the land, with the crime of theft being the primary ill of the Atlantean consciousness, speaking generally.[8] When we examine the history of the last 500 years it is obvious the nations who have colonized and controlled the world’s resources over that time exist on the borders of that old Atlantean continent for the most part. That dominance had its beginning marked by the 1518 Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn, followed thereon by the Jupiter/Saturn Great Conjunctions – not to be confused with the ‘Great Reset’ – in earth signs, representing a focus on physical resources and industry. Britain, Denmark, Spain, France, Portugal, Italy and Germany were the main European powers who did so, and now we have the American empire/hegemon since WWII.

The next series of Great Conjunctions will be in air signs, taking us away from the focus on earth-bound resources and into more humanistic considerations as the decades unfold. It is interesting that the attempt at rolling out a ‘Great Reset’, with an emphasis on big tech (in 2021) will follow just months after the Great Conjunction in Aquarius at the end of this year. Much of what we hear about the use of tech implants into humans sounds like magic, which was also part and parcel of Atlantis, and which enabled theft.[9] But to modern times, and also a big part of the Great Reset, we have this from 1953, warning against our now current events:

The capitalistic spirit and the latent fascism of the United States are at this time a definite menace to world peace, and the capitalists are blocking the efforts of the men of goodwill. Great Britain is at present impotent, financially ruined, her old imperialistic policies entirely in the discard, and her people discouraged…[10]

It would appear that little has changed since then. And it can be argued for the US, the situation has worsened over the decades. What was latent fascism is quickly becoming blatant fascism in the US, and in the UK, too. Fascism is essentially rule by the corporate state with a single figurehead, something which we in Italy know too well. Mussolini was the man who embodied the term. Fascism, too, was a kind of end-game in the cycle of Great Conjunctions in earth signs, with attempts to control the world’s resources either militarily or covertly via finance. And also part of the Great Reset, together with the ideas just mentioned, is what is being hauled out as the ‘Green New Deal’.

The Green New Deal: Given the COVID crisis, most of us now are at least a little more suspicious of what is being passed before us in terms of media narratives, sensational reporting and the like. Climate change and global warming have been a part of that, with the unfortunate side effect being that of science denial. No one said science was perfect. Being a human activity, it cannot be held to be gospel, but must instead be subjected to constant review. That said, we have seen a flood of supposed experts rolled out in every area of scientific work, especially notable in the vaccine controversy, the COVID crisis, climate change – you name it. If there is an official position on something, based in data, we will inevitably see a rebuttal. Everyone has their own interpretation of data. As a result, we find it increasingly difficult to know whether what is presented to us is true, what is manipulation and what is just foolishness. It is all a good test of one’s common sense and ability and desire to dig deep for answers.

We have investigated before about the desire to believe in distinction to belief based in certainty and our own investigations, and that is nowhere more apparent than in the debate on climate change. Following on that, we are told we need to cut carbon emissions or we face a dire future. We won’t argue that point here. I have had to go back and re-examine the whole matter myself. Instead, the focus here will be on how to address the changes in the weather we see and who is putting forth the reasonable answers to those challenges we face. In that, we are being presented with the opportunity for a Green New Deal, which promises jobs, sustainability (that word again) an end to climate change and a brave new world. Sounds nice, yes? Not so fast.

If you have not investigated what the Green New Deal entails, watch Planet of the Humans. Then watch a rebuttal. There are good points made in both films and also inaccuracies. Then, have a look at this video, which is pro-nuclear. The Tibetan, in Alice Bailey’s books, was very clear on the matter – nuclear is the future. We’ll get to why in a moment. So, we have scaremongering about the environment on the one hand, a dystopian super-state controlling everything from another side with the argument that the Green New Deal will actually destroy the environment, and the idea that nuclear energy will be the ultimate destruction of us all, citing Fukushima and Chernobyl as examples. And then, there are some things rather obvious if we care to look, as in the timeline of the rollout of the climate crisis narrative, who is pushing the Green New Deal, why certain methods are being pushed and others completely ignored – solar power, wind farms, batteries and the like vs. nuclear or staying with the status quo – and then what goes along with the Green New Deal (GND), the 4th industrial revolution (FIR), universal basic income (UBI) and the like. To listen to the protagonists of the GND, FIR and UBI, one thing that stands out is the disempowerment of humanity that goes along with these ideas. On the other side, we have the release of humanity from the need to work long hours, with the idea being we would pursue more spiritual inclinations. I would have doubts about that in our current societies except for a few souls taking up the opportunity. In our current trajectory with our current status quo, we are talking about austerity, as in the need to reduce our consumption, live with less, reduce our population, we-are-the-problem-instead-of-the-solution, ‘we may as well enjoy ourselves while we still have time’, and on and on. None of the latter vein of thinking is very helpful. But then, there are the Russians, again.

The soul of Russia and the GND: Russia’s soul is seeking to express through the 7th ray. That ray is intimately connected with the transmutation of the elements, the mineral kingdom in general, ritual and white magic at the level of the soul. It also expresses as order, as in the rule of law, for instance. There is also a great interest in environmental protection on the part of Russians, generally. But there is one thing for which the Russians excel, among many areas of life, and that is in science and technology. And in the case of green energy for Russia, we are talking about advances in nuclear energy. If you want an idea of where the Russians are going and their state of advancement in this area, there is yet another video that is quite enlightening, with the head of Rosatom, Alexey Likhachev. And he states the future of Russian nuclear development over the next decades quite explicitly: The two key areas of development in the Russian nuclear industry will be will be a closed-fuel cycle with zero nuclear waste as one, and, as he describes, “…a small star which mankind will open sooner or later for itself.” Compare what has just been described with the following:

The hour of service of the saving force has now arrived. This “saving force” is the [nuclear] energy which science has released into the world for the destruction, first of all, of those who continue (if they do) to defy the Forces of Light working through the United Nations. Then—as time goes on—this liberated energy will usher in the new civilisation, the new and better world and the finer, more spiritual conditions. The highest dreams of those who love their fellowmen can become practical possibilities through the right use of this liberated energy, if the real values are taught, emphasised and applied to daily living.

Rosatom is owned by the Russian state, is a non-profit organization, and is thus the property of the Russian people. And they are rightly proud of their nuclear industry. Rosatom is very close to having the closed-fuel cycle in hand, which will mean an end to nuclear waste in fission reactors, such as those on ships and submarines, as well as the current reactors used in nuclear power stations. The ‘small star’ is also within reach internationally in the next decades. The French are working on their version of it, and they also have an advanced nuclear industry, which supplies 75% of their electric power, speaking of ‘green energy’. They are already starting work, with international cooperation including the US, Russia and China, on the ITER fusion reactor in the south of France. There is also the JET reactor in the UK, the JT-60 reactor in Japan, the TFTR reactor in the US, and the Russians have their T-15MD, nearing completion. The latter is the Russian fusion-fission reactor, a novel design. Our progress along these lines is accelerating. We can probably have little doubt that by the middle of this century fusion reactors will be a reality. The Green New Deal will be history if such transpires. Then, we will see over time if climate change is indeed due to human intervention or is more or less a cyclic phenomenon. Besides, our reliance on oil as an energy source will be diminishing as the decades and the Piscean Age pass. I reserve my comments and opinions on these points. We all need to come to our own conclusions. What I will say is that we need to stop polluting our environment, and one of the main culprits in that is our reliance on fossil fuels.

The Iron Curtain revisited: Carrying on with the Russian theme, probably without most of the Western public knowing it, Russia has finally had enough of US and EU shenanigans. We hear all the time about the ‘malign influence’ of Russia, with scarcely a mention of our own – speaking of the establishments of Western nations – misconduct and malign influence. Yes, it is true. And as a result, a renewed Iron Curtain is closing rapidly between Europe and Russia. Such a state of affairs was rightly summarized as follows, from a couple of Russia observers:

As much as Washington is not “agreement-capable”, in the words of President Putin, so is the EU, says Lavrov: “We should stop to orient ourselves toward European partners and care about their assessments.” Not only Russia knows it: the overwhelming majority of the Global South also knows it.

A new Iron Curtain is not only possible it is inevitable now between EU/NATO and Russia. In fact, it is necessary for survival of Russia and Eurasia as a whole. Kremlin understands this completely as it is evident from today’s (yesterday’s) address of Putin to Valdai Conference and in a noticeable change of tone of Moscow, starting from Lavrov and now big boss himself. As Putin said today:

“Making our country stronger, while looking at what is happening in the world, in other countries, I want to tell those who are still waiting for slow extinguishing of Russia: our concern in this case is only one – how not to get cold at your funeral.”

The transcript of Putin’s address at Valdai is worth taking the time to read. We might dismiss such comments as those above out of hand, but then, we may also want to ask why such statements are being made at all and why there should not be more concerted dialog instead of antagonism. At another point in the cited article, there is apparently a running joke in Moscow that if one doesn’t want to talk with Lavrov (Russian foreign minister, as in practicing diplomacy), then one will talk to Shoigu (Russian Defense Minister). The point is clear enough. Putin’s sardonic last remark and Scorpionic jab was an observation of the decaying relations between East and West at the moment, the obvious decline of Western influence, as well as where they are headed.

Some readers might say, “Good – and good riddance to the Russians.” But it is actually a dangerous and foolish state of affairs. The Russian state has tried time and again for rapprochement with the EU and the US, to no avail. Why? – because the Russians want to retain their sovereignty and advance their nation in their own way. The recent withdrawal by the US from the INF is a case in point, with the US making all sorts of crazy demands on the Russians to keep the treaty going, and there are many other instances. So, for readers here, if Russia (and note, it is Russia that is cited, not the USSR) is one of the nations that holds the destiny of humanity in its hands, why are we not seeking dialog with Russia, and instead trying to impose demands upon them that not even we would accept, were the situation reversed?

One of the main drivers for the EU distancing itself from Russia is the liberal establishment in Germany, the ones who concocted the Navalny ‘poisoning saga’, in a repeat of what the British did with the Skripals. Remember them? (the Skripals, not the British) The German people, on the other hand, generally view the Russians favourably, and with great friendship. It is the same here in Italy. And to put a point on what is transpiring, it is the neoliberal political order across the West that has been at the root of the troubles recently between the West and Russia, not the other way around. The sour grapes between the West and Russia started to be ramped up when Putin called a halt to the neoliberal experiment in Russia and booted out the Western advisors. If one is steeped in mainstream news, it takes some time and research to see the truth of what is transpiring between the West and Russia, and China as well.

The liberal factions in Western powers in general do not want to practise diplomacy with Russia.  Instead, what the Russians get are demands, a kind of ‘my way or the highway’ attitude. Now the Russians are being blamed for interfering in the US election (the Biden laptop Russian story may be more Ukrainian that Russianinstead of a Russian intelligence ploy), for placing bounties on American soldiers’ heads in Afghanistan, have Trump as a puppet and so forth. All this is intended to keep the public antagonized toward Russia, since it serves American industry to do so. However, there have been a few Russians who have practised influence peddling in the UK and US, but it is not the Russian state.

In the 1990s, when the West had their financial gurus in Russia doing their best to introduce their version of economic shock therapy, there were a few Russians who became very rich via gaming that system during the Yeltsin years. We know them as the Russian oligarchs. Many of those same Russian oligarchs fled the country when Putin was named by Yeltsin to run the country, because Putin put an end to the oligarchs’ feeding frenzy and reined the remaining ones in. The oligarchs who fled Russia settled in London, where they now live quite comfortably, or bought property in the US. They were a factor in the Brexit vote, for instance. But to hear the British media try to cast the story it, it was the Russian state that was barracking for Brexit.

So, what’s the real deal?: Looking at all the preceding, then, what is really going on with our crazy world at the moment? It is fairly simple, really: The neoliberal establishments across the West are trying to save their bacon, but they are failing miserably. We see that failure in the rising restiveness of the people, our aggressiveness toward nations who do not wish to follow our example, the resistance of nations when we try to game them into opposing their neighbors, in efforts seeking to shift blame from neoliberal policies onto other nations and the divided factions in many nations, including within the governments and state apparatus themselves.

To sum this up, then, will we return to normal after the pandemic has passed? Yes, as ‘the people’, we will in our own nations. But our financial system will be changing, as will our geopolitical relations. There will be no return to ‘capitalism as usual’ after COVID-19. It will take time for the changes to come – a few years, unless I miss my guess. But those changes are coming, and the public increasingly demands a return of the social programs and protections that made the Western middle class the envy of so many nations.

Love lies bleeding: At the start of this letter I mentioned we have amaranth plants in our garden. One of the nicknames of this plant is ‘love-lies-bleeding’. The nickname can also be applied to our present state of social discord provoked by the West’s response to the COVID crisis. It has become apparent to most if not all of us by now that our societies and governments are in varying states of disrepair. It is pointless and counterproductive to point the finger of blame at other nations for the ways in which our own governments have failed us during this crisis. We could have confronted it early on and been done with it, now moving on to recovery instead of further restrictions due to a second wave of infections. But the virus was never the problem, was it? Now we are seeing riots in Europe because of further restrictions. Here in Italy there have been protests across the nation against the new restrictions, with violence in Torino and Milano. The violence is from small far-right  and far-left contingents, in an echo of the ‘Years of Lead’. Italy has a history of anarchists of various stripes. And what we have in place here now is not even a lockdown. What was once solidarity and pride in our efforts when we thought we had seen the worst of the crisis and moved on has now turned sour as people realize they may lose their livelihoods with another round of infection. Pandemic fatigue is real and people have lost patience with government policy. Even in democratic socialist nations, the aid given to struggling families and workers has been insufficient. When it comes to support for one’s government now, love lies bleeding.

Where to from here?: Given that we thought we were through the worst of the year 2020, we now look forward into 2021 and ask, “Where do we go from here?” People, looking at what has happened, are questioning everything now that comes from official channels and institutions. We have lost trust. And in this kind of social climate, people increasingly grasp for answers everywhere and look for any hint of security. An uneasy public is a government’s worst nightmare. We are about to see the results of that unease in the US, for instance, starting in the first week of November, and then on into 2021. We see it now in the UK, where they are about to crash out of the EU without a deal, due on both sides to intransigence and old nationalist sentiments. We saw what happened in Bolivia when the people, with massed intent, re-elected a socialist government after the right-wing coup of last year. Not all Bolivians are happy with the result of the election. Nor is everyone in the US or the UK happy with the results of their elections or candidates, either. We look at this state of affairs, often in astonishment, and wonder how we came to this place. There is no one answer, and a combination of many factors. The one thing we do know is that we cannot keep going into the future the way we have been. And in that vein, there are rumblings of major change worldwide, such as we just saw in Bolivia with their election, as is happening in Chile, with the renewed Iron Curtain, with Turkey and its Scorpio personality having become very unstable and lashing out in many directions, with the ‘new normal’ in the Middle East (really, just acknowledgement of what was already there), and so forth. 2021 will be yet another year marked by very significant changes in the world order as we move toward 2025.

There is great opportunity in what we see going on around us, and within us. The opportunity comes in re-thinking our lives. Our Western elites would have us believe that we have to tighten our belts and make sacrifices ‘for the greater good’. For whose greater good, we might well wonder. When we look to the East, we see that such pronouncements are groundless, that there is another way, in fact several ways, to advance our societies, our welfare and remain prosperous into the future. We must look outside the box and let our imaginations find a more suitable way forward. For Western readers, we are being handed a narrative by our leaders that will lead us to a poorer future. I say that without reservation. And for the US, that applies to both candidates. So long as policy remains as it is, more of the same as we have had for the past few decades will be the result. There is not yet enough massed intent amongst the populace to change things. But it is coming. It will arise out of the chaos we are seeing. The situation will be similar across the Anglo-based nations – the US, UK and most Commonwealth nations. India’s path will be somewhat different. Over the next several years, that massed intent for change and a better social outcome will quickly arise from the midst of the sometimes fearful scenes we see. Yes, our opportunity now is great, and in our urge to serve the betterment of humanity and our environment, all souls will advance.

Concluding remarks: Regardless of its origins, regardless of its effects, the crisis presented to us  through this tiny virus has shaken our world and our sense of reality. The effects on our collective emotions and mentality should not be underestimated. And still it continues. That has been its profound gift to us. It has been a strange year, manifesting for the people who had the resulting illness in sometimes very strange ways, even to the point of altering consciousness. Its effects and outcomes will stretch on into the years ahead, being studied intensively. But in human terms, as in the way our lives have been regimented and conditioned, the main effect of the pandemic will be a fundamental change in the way we relate to the powers-that-be. Over the next few years we will see changes in finance and economies. Governments will rise and fall as a result of public opinion. An empire will collapse. None will replace it. There will be turmoil and there will be growth to come of it. But most of all, there will be growth and expansion for each of us individually, so long as we grasp what has happened as a challenge to be enjoined, enjoyed and won – within ourselves. Scorpio is not normally seen as a ‘human sign’, yet it is the one closest to our hearts, where our very life force beats and resides. It is where we unite as one, where the struggle most intense arises, is engaged and finally leads us to our natural state of being, which is bliss and ultimate happiness. Let us unite in these days and face our challenges undismayed, confident in our success.

With Halloween blessings,
Malvin
27 Oct 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 send them to others, but do so without charge of alteration.

Picture credits:

Hercules statue: Lorenzo Mattielli (1728/9)
Amaranth: author
Halloween: author in Rovereto

[1] Bailey, Alice A., Esoteric Astrology, Lucis Publishing, NY, NY (1951), p. 68

[2] Ibid, p. 226

[3] Ibid, p. 600

[4] Bailey, The Light of the Soul, p. 168

[5] Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, p. 204

[6] Ibid, p. 206

[7] Bailey, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 181

[8] Bailey, Esoteric Healing, p. 231

[9] Op cit

[10] Ibid, p. 662

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

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