2014 in L'Alpe di Siusi, fresh from the US and Australia.
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THE PISCES SOLAR FESTIVAL 2021
27 FEB 2021
© Malvin Artley
From darkness to light
Pisces and White Knights
Pisces and Buddhism
The full moon
Neptune and glamour
Propaganda – the source
The saving force (?)
America is back (?)
The round table
The brave new world
Spring has arrived a little early here in northern Italy, with prevailing winds coming off the Mediterranean. The cold of winter is gone, at least momentarily, and people and dogs have cast their eyes to the outdoors. It was interesting to watch the plant life and animal behavior shift after the li chun, the first day of spring in the Chinese solar calendar (4 Feb), which is a farming calendar. Two days after, walking through our garden, we noticed the first shoots of the daffodils piercing the earth, flowers beginning to form on the San Giuseppe Bergenia stalks (St. Joseph’s ‘Eroica’), leaf shoots starting to form on the roses and the future leaves beginning to show their buds on the trees. And our dogs are restless, constantly wanting to go outside now. I feel like a portiere (doorman), and get interrupted often by one persistent ‘family member’ in particular who wants to be taken out for walks at inconvenient times, like when I am trying to write full moon letters. The princess will not be denied (or so she thinks). I do have my escape routes in the house.
From darkness to light: With the darkness of winter making way for the light we are also reminded that the darker days of last year are giving way to a gradually brighter outlook in terms of our own lives beginning to shift toward more normality, regardless of the protests we are seeing, and perhaps in part because of them. These are actually a good sign, and troubling to the vested interests. But this year also signals the final attempts to maintain and reinforce or rebrand the status quo of what is a quickly passing Piscean Age. As we have examined especially in the past few letters, our world has changed rather dramatically since 2015. And in the countdown to 2025, with shifting subjective planetary (ray) cycles, these next few years will see the cementing of the shifts we are seeing in world power, economic and social structures, a rapidly awakening humanity to those shifts and a needed rebalancing of the world order. 2020 did indeed signal the end of an era, and as much as some people may want to believe rhetoric such as ‘America is back!’ and ‘there is no alternative’ to our systems and societies we have known, we are presently witnessing that there are, in fact, alternatives to what we have been told and that attempts to restore old patterns of thinking will fall on fallow ground. Life moves on, from one state of consciousness to the next, and change is our only constant in our personal lives.
With Pisces every year, we are given over to reflection and looking at what has worked and what has not, with an eye to the future, to be presented at the Aries interval. In the past few letters we have covered what is working and what has failed us, what we are told to believe and what some of our alternatives actually are. We have looked at the broad scope of world events and the shifts that are to define our next decades ahead. And with regard to the latter, there is little to cover in this letter regarding world events, save for a couple of items in particular. We will get to those in due course here. This letter also comes to the end of a couple of years looking at certain correspondences between Western astrology, esoteric concepts and Buddhism in particular. And in the next letter, the Aries letter, we start a new cycle of such investigations. That brings us to the particular Piscean themes we want to examine in this letter – esoteric Pisces, ultimate liberation and the end of illusion and glamour.
Pisces: Briefly, Pisces is governed in the orthodox by Jupiter. Modern astrology gives rulership of Pisces to Neptune, but esoterically it is said that the energy of Pisces is focused through Neptune, rather than being ruled by that planet. There is a subtle difference between ‘being focused through’ and ‘ruling’. That is suggested to us in the following:
“Neptune focusses the influence of Pisces as it concerns humanity as a whole and not just the individual man, but this only takes place towards the final stages of the Path of Discipleship. Today humanity is moving rapidly towards the position of the World Disciple, and intuiting this, [Alan Leo] suggests Neptune as an alternative to Jupiter.”
Alan Leo wrote one of the first astrological books (1913) exploring esoteric astrology. So, when it comes to individuals, it is Jupiter that generally rules Pisces rather than Neptune, whereas Neptune’s influence over the mass of humanity has exhibited itself in some rather interesting as well as troubling ways, which we will also examine here. In fact, Neptune is not mentioned at all as a ruler of Pisces in Bailey’s Esoteric Astrology. Instead, we have Jupiter in the orthodox, Pluto as the esoteric ruler and Pluto as also the Hierarchical ruler. Thus, there are two main themes with Pisces especially concerning the spiritual Path – expansion of wisdom and the final destruction of anything hindering the full realization of enlightenment. Pisces therein represents the end of human personal existence, the mastery of all levels of human experience and release into vast new realms of experience, leading quickly onward to avenues of service outside of our solar system, in ways and means unimaginable to us in our limited Earth experience.
Pisces and White Knights: For the average Piscean, ruled by Jupiter, service through sacrifice of ego is the learning ground via Jupiter, learning to give to others in need according to the need of those others, usually starting with family and then community. It is a sign known for its capacity to give and to serve. It is also a sign known for its ability to be submerged in the needs of others to the detriment of themselves. Its orthodox motto is, “And the Word said, Go forth into matter.” And indeed, many a Piscean has come under the thrall of material concerns. Yet, the urge to save, a keynote of the sign, is strong. Pisces has been called the sign of the World Savior.
“People born in this sign are frequently to be found serving the race and ministering to its needs upon some level of consciousness. Thus they are prepared for the final sacrifice in Pisces which “absorbs them back into their originating Motive,” as the Old Commentary expresses it.”
The term ‘White Knight’ is applicable to this sign, as in people who have Pisces strongly marked sometimes see themselves as white knights, saving those in distress. The term is commonly used in reference to gender equality, but it is applicable in any situation where someone ‘needs saving’, noting that many times people need to learn to save themselves rather hoping someone else will come along to save them. This applies to politics as well, with voters hoping a leader will lift society’s burdens for them. It is an old Piscean theme that is quickly seeing the public lose faith in their leaders, because no leader will be able to upend a system without the support of the public behind them. This concept is also key to what we are experiencing these days. The illusion of a white knight will go the way of the Piscean Age – into the mists of history where it belongs. This, then, brings us to our final consideration of what we have examined in relation to astrology and the stages of the Path.
Pisces and Buddhism: In the model we have examined, Pisces is connected with the 5th Path in Buddhism, the ‘Path of No More Learning’, which begins on the final three Grounds – the ‘Immovable’ (8th), the ‘Good Intelligence’ (9th) and the ‘Cloud of Doctrine’ (10th). In our shamatha diagram, this is represented for us by the monk holding the rainbow banner and flying free above the mountain in a cloudless sky. This represents total liberation and the ability to access all wisdom, which brings us to the consideration of Pluto in its most occult meaning. What is taking place in the final three Grounds and 5th Path in Buddhism is the destruction of the most subtle ‘obscurations to omniscience’. And one of the most subtle of those obstructions to omniscience is attachment to an ‘abiding nirvana’, or the temptation to stay immersed in the bliss of nirvanic consciousness and not return to save those who suffer under ignorance. It is the final selfishness, and it is a mighty pull to those initiates who choose not to enter the bodhisattva path. Nirvana is not an end. It is only another step. This is conquered by the bodhisattva on the 8th Ground. From that point on, the initiate becomes immovable in the effort to liberate all sentient beings and immovable also in the practice of meditation (called ‘vajra-like meditation on emptiness’) that will propel the initiate onwards to the 10th Ground and beyond, given to us in the Heart Sutra: gate gate pāragate pārasaṃgate bodhi svāhā, meaning “gone, gone, everyone gone to the other shore, awakening, svaha [so be it].”
Pluto transmits the 1st ray, the Destroyer, the destruction of all that hinders one’s spirituality. In Pisces it represents the severing of the bond that ties the two fishes together – “…part of the work of Pluto is to “cut the thread which binds the two opposing lives [soul and personality] together.” In still a more occult meaning, in Buddhism Pluto represents the severing of the final attachments – a.k.a. the final obscurations – to omniscience. Pluto marks the end of all desire, meaning desire for personal gain, comfort and sentiments. By ‘omniscience’ we mean here ‘All-Wisdom’. It gives complete mastery of the ordinary laws of time and space, confers the higher siddhis (superhuman powers) and gives the ability to transmit the ocean of All-Wisdom freely like the life-giving rain. What we are calling All-Wisdom and omniscience is also called ‘The Revelation’ given at the 5th initiation, corresponding with the completion and mastery of the 5th Path. At the 5th initiation, paraphrasing:
“The three worlds of material living and the inner world of meaning which the soul has revealed to the initiate are now left behind; one is suddenly confronted with the world of significances, with the true world of causes and of origination, and by the realm of the universal. One discovers that all one had thought anent the Law of Cause and Effect was so limited that—in the light of this Higher Evolution—it has practically become meaningless, except as the A B C whereby one can teach humanity.”
And in that teaching of humanity and the renunciation of an abiding nirvana, we come to the esoteric motto of the sign: “I leave the Father’s Home and turning back, I save.” The ‘Father’s Home’ is the monad, meaning we could attain that state of being and leave human existence for good. But that is not the way of things on this planet and throughout this solar system. The guiding principle in our solar system is along the lines of, “We are all in this together”, and in being so related, what spiritual success we attain is to be used in the salvation of those who have yet to realize the same attainments. That’s love, for you.
Making rainbows: There is one final consideration, looking back to the Aquarius letter, relating to the rainbow banner held by the monk, and this relates to what has been called the attainment of ‘rainbow body’, also representing the final mastery of the ordinary laws of space and time. Once one ‘gets into’ spiritual practices and begins to investigate and actively participate, the subject of ‘rainbow body’ will come across one’s desk, so-to-speak. It is a specific meditative technique – an actual ‘death meditation’ – which involves scattering the atoms (elementals) of one’s body to the winds when the end of one’s term in a physical incarnation has been deemed complete. In Tibetan Buddhism, it is only lamas (masters/5th degree initiates) who have the requisite knowledge to do so, and if properly done, they disappear without a trace at the end of their lives. It involves three factors – complete mastery of meditative practice (8th – 10th Grounds), absolute control over all bodily functions, and the utilization of tummo (kundalini).
The basic practice is one of shutting down all appetite and food intake while in ‘meditation deep’, fully activating the tummo fires and thereby ‘burning away the husk’, i.e., the dense physical body. The process can take several days to complete (videos here and here). Actually, what happens is the elementals that cause the dense body to accrete around themselves are drawn inward, thus causing the dense material to dissipate into the atmosphere. The elementals thus freed, the outer form disappears. If done completely there is nothing left of the body. Seen clairvoyantly, the body dissolves into light of various hues, hence the term ‘rainbow body’. And in fact, rainbows and strange phenomena are persistently reported around such passing of great beings. With such a wondrous ending in mind, we come back to earth and consider the full moon and our immediate course ahead.
The full moon takes place on 27 Feb 2021 at 08:17 UT (7:17 PM AEDT). This one is called the ‘snow moon’, or also the ‘storm moon’ or ‘hunger moon’, Indian names accorded this particular full moon in the Maine Farmer’s Almanac. Those names are only a matter of interest and would be reversed in the southern hemisphere. However, there is a particular point of interest astrologically that takes place the day after the full moon and that is the formation of the midpoint structure, Pluto=Mars/Neptune, which gives us a heads up to be careful in our dealings with others, as it can indicate violence or even brutality in world affairs. That will be in effect until mid-March. Otherwise, the full moon figure shows the Sun conjunct Venus and sextile Uranus, showing a more hopeful and progressive outlook, bolstering relationships and aiding service. But those next two weeks after the full moon will need to be watched for divisive and destructive behavior. There isn’t much else to say about the figure, but there are a few updates in world events that bear attention in the months ahead. And there is one area in particular, mentioned in the Chinese New Year letter, which will need close attention in the next few years going forward. And that area relates exactly to Pisces, ideals, the passing 6th ray and the lower aspect of Neptune and the astral nature.
Neptune and glamour: In its higher expression, Neptune transmits the intense aspiration and ideal toward a spiritual life. That is the 6th ray as it expresses that aspect of Neptunian energy. It is the energy of reasoning, strange as that may sound (intuition), as it reflects through the astral plane and into the physical brain, driving us ever-onward to the realizations safeguarded in the soul. ‘Reasoning’ in this context refers to a meditative practice instead of the machinations of the lower mind. Neptune resides over the 2nd initiation (the Baptism) which gives control over the astral nature and curbs our unruly emotions, turning them towards higher aspirations. However, there is a lower side of Neptune which is seized upon by unscrupulous people for their own ends and which is used specifically to lie to people, to give them false hopes and ideals, to engender fear and to foster intense materialistic desires in people. This aspect of Neptune we call ‘glamour’ in esoteric lingo, and it is a powerful force which is used to shape public opinion (which is largely emotional anyway) to keep people compliant or to motivate them towards ends they would not otherwise pursue.
The manifestations of glamour are myriad, from materialism, misinformation, falsehood, media echo chambers, the fostering of fear and pessimism, and so forth. The old familiar term for glamour is “pulling the wool over someone’s eyes”, or perhaps ‘eye’, as in the spiritual perception via the third eye. But it is a force that is wielded to keep people distracted and unthinking about the real issues before us and to keep us polarized one against the other and nation against nation. It is a force of disunity – the old ‘divide and conquer’ meme – and it is wielded deliberately by a small group of people over the general public. It has reached outrageous proportions in the present era. If you want to look at conspiracies, this is the mother of all conspiracies. We start our examination with the following quote, giving us the esoteric view:
“…the three modes whereby the forces of darkness seek to control humanity are hatred, aggression and separativeness. The three great spiritual counterparts are love, selfless sharing and synthesis. However, the hold of the forces which are working against the living principle of love…is not gaining ground at this time, for the response of humanity to that which is good and synthetic is much more rapid and general than it was a few hundred years ago. There is much reason to hope that there will be a steady waning of the undesired control.
The dark forces are ruled on the physical plane by a group of six oriental leaders and six occidental leaders…They work by the intensification of glamour and by the stimulation of the lower psychic powers. [there is a hint here] Their particular point of attack at this time [1942, but still applicable] is the group of world disciples and initiates, for these latter are responsible for the fostering of love in the world and for the binding of humanity together in the spirit of unity. If they cannot succeed with this task now, it should be possible to externalise the Hierarchy and thereby greatly lessen the control of the so-called evil forces.
If these evil forces cannot induce the disciples everywhere, in group formation or individually, to succumb in some form to glamour, then they will endeavour to utilise group glamour to negative their efforts [make the efforts of disciples to seem negative] and force those with whom the disciples work to believe evil, to impugn motives, and to produce such a convincing story that the struggling disciple will be left to fight almost single-handed. If this cannot be done, they may then attack the physical bodies of the workers and agents for the Hierarchy, and seek, through the distress of the physical body, to control the disciple’s output. This does not always prove successful…The dark forces work also through the intensification or stimulation of the psychic mechanism, so that the lower psychic powers become abnormally developed and prematurely assume proportions which are almost uncontrollable.”
There are several points to be made here. We will see as we examine this subject that it is obvious the methods used by ‘the forces of darkness’, as they are called, has not been offset to a great enough degree, at least by outer appearances. The focus here is not on ‘dark forces’ anyway, because such terms provoke a reaction in many people which is not at all helpful. Secondly, relating to the externalization of the Hierarchy, the quote was written with a mind to the future, because it was clearly stated elsewhere that the spiritual Hierarchy would not be externalizing until sometime after 2025. Thirdly, we do not know who the twelve people mentioned are. The reason for saying so is simple: To stimulate the lower psychic powers of people requires some occult knowledge and technique on the part of the twelve people and they would thus work ‘in the shadows’, as it were. As much as the public likes to hold up certain powerful people as being ‘resident evil’, as in Gates, Bezos, Mercer, Rothschild, Rockefeller, et al, it is doubtful the twelve would be among them, nor would be leaving themselves open to such public scrutiny and attack. Those twelve people are not our concern, anyway. They have no more power than what we allow them to have. What does concern us is our own response to what we perceive and our efforts to clarify our thoughts and to rise above any negativity. What is clear from the quote is we all have a self-responsibility to counter hatred, aggression and separativeness, and instead to foster love, selfless sharing and a synthetic attitude of mind, the latter meaning a wide, encompassing world view rather than a fake or contrived outlook, as some people may interpret the term ‘synthetic’.
To add just a quick word about everyone’s favorite villains, the ones of most concern to us in the current times are the media barons and the people who set education policy. We will be looking at what has been called the ‘saving force’ in a bit – atomic energy – which in its present usage relies on a critical mass of radioactive material to be useful or destructive. But what humanity needs most right now is a critical mass of informed public opinion that pushes back on and calls out policy that favors the desires of the very few over the needs of the many. To attain that state of affairs requires an educated populace – educated to think for themselves, armed with accurate information and a wide range of views. That is sorely lacking in the West these days and has been made deliberately so, and most people blindly accept what they see in the media. Gates and Billionaires, Inc. are only the tip of a large iceberg made up of hundreds of billionaires, underpinned by thousands of hectomillionaires and millions of multimillionaires. Get rid of Gates and another, and yet another rises to the surface in public view. So, how to get rid of the iceberg? Icebergs are made of surrounding water, referring to our Piscean/Neptunian theme, crystallized into a frozen mass. They started out as one of us, but gradually coalesced into the berg. One can either explode the berg from within, which is difficult, or heat the surrounding water. Our critical mass of public opinion would serve the heat the water under our crystallized financial iceberg and bring it back to manageable proportions. It would also serve to put an end to the influence of the ‘dark forces’ and seal the door where they dwell.
Propaganda – the source: We discussed the main propaganda themes in the Chinese New Year letter, so we won’t go over them here. In this letter we want to look at the source of that propaganda and why. Negative propaganda is one of the main methods used to keep us separated, emotionally in turmoil, aggressive toward groups and nations, and hateful toward people, groups and nations we do not understand. Understanding is part and parcel of the synthetic view, mentioned previously. And the main outlets for such propaganda are the various media outlets, especially social media these days. But the mainstream press and Hollywood also play their part in keeping the wool over our eyes. This has been by design, has been a driving force in our societies for several centuries at least, but has been especially accelerated with the advent of broadcast media (ca. a century), and is pointedly used to condition us toward a continual state of fear and warfare. Its main targets these days are Russia, China, Iran, communism, socialism, freedom of speech, labor organizing and so forth. And those are just a few points of many. So now we get to the main point, which is how and why this sort of propaganda is propagated and where it started for us in the West.
There is a recent series of articles, the first of which was mentioned in the New Year letter, which outlines the origins of our current media swamp and its intentions. As it turns out, virtually all of our corporate media, if not all, toes the party line on our propaganda. America and the West were exposed to a great evil through the likes of Bernays and his propaganda machine – his so-called ‘public relations’. And the more educated people are, paradoxically, the more susceptible they are to buying into propaganda if it fits their desires, the reason being that academic learning tends to harden the mind in one respect, creating a mass of concrete thoughtforms, while it yet serves to train it in accuracy in another aspect. This is along the lines of ‘the mind is the slayer of the real’. An open mind is as essential to correct interpretation of events as is freedom from glamour. This goes again toward ‘thinking synthetically’. As a mentor of mine once stated, look at everything with an open mind, and then extract the essence of what you see. His comment was directed pointedly to cultural elements in information, but the practice applies across the board.
Bernays, Lippmann and their ilk deserve a pointed and in-depth study. From the linked article:
“…the astounding success of propaganda by Bernays and his group during the war [WWI] laid bare the possibilities of perpetually controlling the public mind on all matters. The “shrewd” designers of Bernays’ “invisible government” developed a standard technique for what was essentially propaganda and mind control, or at least opinion control, and infiltrated it throughout the US government, its departments and agencies, and its leaders and politicians. Coincident with this, they practiced infecting the leaders of every identifiable group – fraternal, religious, commercial, patriotic, social – and encouraging these men to likewise infect their supporters.”
This quote illustrates the previous quote regarding the twelve men, glamour and their methods of control over the public. I don’t necessarily agree with all points in the articles on Bernays and propaganda, but the basic outline is sound and they give a good thumbnail sketch of how we have come to believe so many things in our Western world. We, the general public, have been lied to and manipulated for a very long time. You can read the other articles in the series here and here.
Hollywood is in many ways a propaganda factory. The propaganda element blows the way the winds of the US State Department blow. In the 1940s during WWII, the Soviets were portrayed in a very positive light (as in this film, shot in Hollywood), as allies and as a people fighting oppression by the Nazis. After WWII, that all changed. Now, there is not even a mention of the Soviets defeating the Nazis in WWII in the Western press. And that goes to the point of what we are examining here: The Russians are cast as the enemy, along with other nations. Any hint of positivity toward said nations is removed from popular culture and media.
The bottom line to all this is as follows: If a story or news headline causes an immediate knee-jerk reaction, reinforcing a strong emotion, and especially if that emotion is negative, then that story or headline deserves to be – in fact must be – soundly fact-checked, analyzed and if necessary, debunked, if we are to be true to ourselves. Many people have neither the time nor the inclination to do so, but ignoring these things only keeps us mired in the same old story lines, compliant, unquestioning, manipulated toward negative ends and basically exploited. The mind can liberate and it can enslave. It is up to us how we choose to use it. We will address media and storylines more in depth in the Gemini letter, dealing as it does with Goodwill. But for now, the point is to be aware of the glamours thrust upon us. On the other side of that, the world is fast awakening to what has been taking place over the last few centuries and all the debates raging online about so many subjects is a healthy sign of progress, so long as the vested interests do not manage to shut it down by ‘deplatforming’ – our latest term for censorship. These glamours are passing quickly, if we could see it, and will eventually go the way of the Piscean Age, disappearing except as a historical oddity. With these points in mind, we move on to a couple of items of topical interest.
The saving force (?): We have talked about the energy of the atom as a great saving force for humanity in past letters. Oil was once a saving force given as a gift at the closing of the Piscean Age. Neptune, focusing the energy of Pisces, rules oil. Oil was the engine that drove our latter industrial revolutions, bringing us into the fullness of our modern age. Now, it has become a problem, aside from pollution, effects on the climate and geopolitical mischief, and we look now toward other solutions. Nuclear energy is one of those options. But of interest regarding oil is that its modern usage can be traced back to 1847, beginning with a Scottish chemist in the Riddings coal mine in the UK. The electric lamp had yet to be invented. Whale oil was used in lighting and was largely discontinued by the advent of kerosene after the Riddings mine discovery. Now, for astronomy aficionados, the discovery of kerosene from coal occurred a year after the discovery of a certain planet – that’s right, Neptune. This came right at the end of the 1st Industrial revolution. The discovery of kerosene also went a ways toward saving the whales, too, another aspect of Pisces, which presides over the deep oceans via Neptune.
Then, with the development of the oil industry in the mid’19th century, the 2nd industrial revolution began shortly thereafter, giving us our modern transportation systems and electrical systems, as well as our chemical industries. Neptune rules chemicals as well as oil. Now, as oil begins to decline in popularity, we begin the transition into our next phase, looking more and more at cleaner energy sources, governed by the decline of Neptune and the rise of Uranus, the latter transmitting the ascending 7th ray. Of further interest is the discovery of Uranus (1781) closely coincided with the first manned flight, which was in a Montgolfier balloon in 1783. The discovery of Pluto signaled the coming of the atomic age, and in 1930 signaled the economic and political crises that changed the world order. The discovery of Eris in 2005 changed the way we looked at the solar system and also signaled the end of the unipolar geopolitical order, with the rise of China by the mid ‘00s and Russia’s now-infamous speech at the Munich Security Conference in 2007, signaling ‘Russia was back’ and not to be ignored. The Western world began to take notice they were no longer seen as the fairest (most desirable) in the world order. The discovery of these planets is a point of interest, but their discovery also coincides with significant turning points in world events, according to the energies those planets transmit. That brings us to the misuse of the Tibetan’s saving force, nuclear energy, and in particular by Western powers.
We have covered nuclear energy as a power source in other letters. The United States is making new advances in nuclear technology, saying this with tongue firmly in cheek. It has plans for a new range of ICBMs to replace its aging Minuteman III missiles. America likes to name its nuclear missiles with monikers reflecting goodness and strength. Past names included the likes of Atlas, Titan, and Peacekeeper. This new one has yet to be named, but at present has the inglorious acronym GBSD, for “ground-based strategic deterrent.” But don’t worry. These missiles will only cost a mere $100 billion and will be stored safely away in underground silos in America’s heartland. America’s heartland – now there’s some interesting symbolism for where to place nuclear missiles. This has a bearing on what is developing and is showing itself for all to see since Biden has taken office.
Lavrov unplugged: Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov recently gave quite a revealing interview to RBK Media Holdings, a Moscow-based media company with a primary focus on business news. The interview focused on Russia-EU relations, which have recently hit their lowest point. One might call the interview ‘Lavrov unplugged’. If we want to understand why Russia-EU relations are at such a low point, the transcript of his interview is a must-read to get the Russian perspective. The basic synopsis of why relations are at such a low point revolves around two pivots – the Baltic States and Poland, and the way the EU bloc operates in terms of its foreign affairs. The former is currently placing a choke-hold on the latter. There are other factors present, to be certain – NATO interference, pressure from the United States and Franco-German agendas, to name the main ones. And now with the Biden administration in power in the US, pressure on Russia is to increase, more likely than not. One of the main pressure points to be exerted is on the Nord Stream II gas pipeline, which the US wants to see scuttled. And in an act of self-sabotage, there are Atlanticist factions in the EU who likewise want to see the pipeline stand uncompleted. The Ukraine would also like to see the pipeline gone, as they would lose revenue and some small modicum of control over European energy supplies. Russian gas is routed through the Ukraine in two large trunk lines.
The main points in Lavrov’s interview are worth noting, as they affect EU security primarily, but also go to show the same sort of bone-headed attitude among EU politicians that we see as well in the United States when it comes to other nations who would rather not conform to the rules-based order of the West:
A recent analysis of Lavrov’s interview highlighted the following points:
As it stands, apart from the stridently Russophobic usual suspects – Poland and the Baltics – it doesn’t appear Brussels is aiming to shoot itself in the back…EU observers obviously have not been observing how Moscow’s pragmatic view of Brussels has evolved in the past few years…Russia-EU trade will continue, no matter what. The EU badly needs Russian energy; and Russia is willing to sell it, oil and gas, pipelines and all. That’s strictly business. If the EU doesn’t want it – for a basket of reasons – no problem: Russia is developing a steady stream of businesses, energy included, all across East Asia.
European sovereignty: From that same analysis, it was stated that Russia holds the key to Germany’s sovereignty from the US. This is an important point to note. Germany is ruled by Pisces and the 1st ray in its personality. It is the lone nation in the EU that is fighting against stopping the Nord Stream II pipeline. That Piscean connection also connects Germany with petrochemicals, which was one of the main reasons the Nazi’s invaded Russia in WWII – to capture the Baku oil fields. But those days are long gone. What the establishments in Washington and London fear most is a German-Russian economic alliance, and this is probably the biggest reason they want to stop the Nord Stream pipeline. The Baltic States and Poland have similar fears, based in old animosities and history, and they are being used as a wedge to keep the EU and Russia separated. The Navalny incident was constructed precisely in an effort to scuttle Nord Stream, as a tool to bring more pressure onto Berlin and Moscow and prevent that sort of economic cooperation. It may yet succeed or may not. But Lavrov’s recent comments regarding cutting off relations with the EU, mentioned in the last letter, were a warning to the EU. And if Nord Stream is completed, it will signal a souring of relations between Berlin and the US/UK axis, as well as more autonomy for Germany. If so, it will be a big catalyst for change in the EU, because it will also strain relations between Berlin, the Baltics and Poland. It is also a reason why US troops will now be remaining in Germany, whereas Trump wanted to pull them out. This is all the stuff of Kissinger’s realpolitik, and looks set to continue into the near future. But unless I miss my guess, there will be a significant lessening of Washington’s influence on the European continent over the next decade or so.
Since we are talking about Pisces and the legacy it is leaving, we cannot go past a discussion of European energy needs, since we have also brought in the Russia factor. The EU gets 30% of its carbon-based energy from Russia, followed by Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Norway. Russia is by far the largest energy supplier to the EU along those lines. By comparison, the US supplies about 2.5% by 2018 measures. Washington would like to see that percentage significantly increased, which would also see it gain political leverage over Europe. The UK gets most of its imported hydrocarbons from Norway. It used to be a net energy exporter, so it is more independent of Russia. Continental Europe relies heavily upon Russia for its energy supplies, especially gas.
The question of energy supplies will occupy the EU for next few decades. But as the Piscean energies wane with each passing decade, the focus will increasingly be on independence from oil, firstly, and eventually on gas as primary energy sources. What then? Renewables, which look to be expensive and unreliable in extreme conditions? Or will we finally wake up and turn to the energy that fuels the heart of the sun, producing our own little suns here on Earth? Who can say?
America is back (?): There are a couple more points to make before closing out this final letter for the full moon cycle. At this year’s Munich Security Conference, Biden gave his speech to the assembled body and stated “America is back.” Back to what, we might ask? The head of the table? With each passing year that table has become ever-more-rounded in these days. So, Biden thinks America is back. Back to its old, tired tricks? Surely enough. Speaking of bone-headed policies and energy security, we just had an example of American leadership, with the American bombing of Iraqi forces – so-called ‘Iranian-backed militias’ on the Iraqi border with Syria. The groups bombed were local Iraqi militias who had formed to fight Daesh. The area bombed was an open border crossing between Iraq and Syria that allows Iran to supply Syrian forces. The US and associated nations want to shut that down. What we will hear and have been hearing is that any retaliation against American occupation in Iraq is supposedly backed by Iran. That may be true to some extent, but Iraqis have their own reasons for wanting Americans and other foreign forces to leave Iraq. The Iraqi parliament had voted that all foreign forces had to leave Iraq. The Iraqis were summarily ignored. Now NATO, under US leadership is sending 3,500 troops more to Iraq, to ‘de-escalate tensions’, according to Pentagon spokesman John Kirby. The Pentagon is said to be ‘enthusiastic’ about the escalation. The America bombings will have the opposite effect the Pentagon desires. We can expect more rocket attacks in Iraq against American and coalition forces. The coalition forces will become hostage to American policy in the region. Yes, ‘America’ is back. Expect escalation in the Middle East, and again, this relates to oil and energy supply.
Now that Biden is proving to be ‘presidential’, launching attacks against local militias in Iraq, we can look for tensions in the region to sharply escalate. It only took the administration just over a month to do so, as many independent commentators had predicted. What is behind it, actually? There are several factors involved – Iran’s position as a stable and strong nation in the region preventing the Saudis, Israelis and Emirates from pursuing their objectives, the US seeking to pressure Iran into coming back to the negotiating table over the JCPOA, the US and Israelis seeking to stop or sharply curtail the ability of the Shia forces in the region to respond to any aggression by US-Israeli forces, the US seeking to prevent the consolidation of the greater Eurasian union of Asian states, and a clear effort to stop China’s BRI from reaching the Mediterranean overland. For the latter reason, we see also that the US will not be leaving Afghanistan. This is all in the name of ‘protecting American interests’ and are ‘defensive in nature’. Such is the mantram out of the Western media. We can also probably expect something along the lines of an alleged chemical weapons attack in Syria, blamed on the ‘Assad regime’ which will be touted as justification for escalating military actions. It would appear that Washington just cannot live for long without war or an enemy. The majority of Americans want the troops to come home and the money spent on military adventurism instead spent at home rebuilding infrastructure and restoring jobs and services.
The round table: Now that Biden is in office, the Washington establishment fully in control again, the Orange terror ousted (That’s how they saw Trump) what Biden was saying is Washington is back to claim leadership of the Western world. Aside from the Middle East, the Europeans yawned in response, unimpressed at the Munich Security Conference. They paid Biden lip service and little more. This goes back to previous comments here regarding US-EU relations as they are evolving. What Washington is keen to do is to form and firm alliances that will enable a sort of final showdown with Iran, China and Russia, to determine who the boss really is. It would appear instead the days of being able to order other nations around are fading quickly. Europeans have had enough of ‘the West’, it would seem. I hear similar comments here in Italy. Merkel stressed at the Security Conference that “German and American interests will not always converge”, in diplomatic-speak for “We’re not really interested, Joe”, with Macron stating the obvious, that what NATO needed was not more chutzpah and a push eastward, but dialog with Russia instead:
“In the immediate, what lies out front in trans–Atlantic relations is lip service in response to America’s incessant efforts to keep the world as thoroughly divided and on edge as possible. Europe, meanwhile — which understands and favors multipolarity as a 21st century imperative — goes its own way as measured by “facts on the ground.”
The European Union and China, let us not forget, signed the most extensive investment accord in China’s modern history at the turn of the year — this over the 11-hour objections of Jake Sullivan, since confirmed as Biden’s national security adviser. Germany will go along with the ridiculous charade involving Alexei Navalny’s now-disproven “poisoning,” but it will complete Gazprom’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline despite Washington’s frantic efforts to block it.”
And there you have it in a nutshell, the future in US-EU relations, US-Iranian relations and US-China/Russia relations. From the same article, and closing our look at the world this month, we have the following:
“I recall no previous time when an intellectual grasp of underlying global realities, along with a literate awareness of history’s turning wheel, mattered more than now. It is early days, but the Biden administration appears to be woefully deficient on both counts.
Memo to Biden: Mr. Prez, forget the long refectory table with a headmaster’s chair just for you at one end. The dining room has been refashioned.”
The brave new world: We are looking at a brave new world. And bravery is rising, in disgust and opposition to the way things have been, with calls for more parity and sovereignty, with calls for a return to the UN principles outlined by Roosevelt’s vision for that body, but with US dominance much reduced. It will take some years yet to realize these matters, but they are on the rise, and the West in particular is more or less powerless to stop it. Oh, the Atlanticist factions will try, and will fight mightily to keep the dominance of the West and its systems in place. But as the bolded points in the last quote state, and as growing voices indicate, it behooves us to become literate in the turning wheel of history to seize the day for our common humanity, throwing off the old Piscean imperialistic tendencies, the staunch insistence to ideals over realities, the us-vs-them mentality and emotional hooks that keep us divided and compliant with public opinion. Most of all, we must constantly rise above the fogs of emotionalism that so grip the public consciousness these days, open our minds to multiple possibilities and allow the sprouting of new initiatives that serve each according their own specific needs, to reach for the light of the sun. The militancy of Pisces and the 6th ray will without doubt give way to the rising energies of new orders and a more harmonizing imperative born out of our present conflicts. Instead of being troubled by what we see, the passing of temporal events as things are, the one constant we have is the strengthening power of the human spirit, life after life, day by day. Let us make that the place of our conscious abode in the times immediately ahead.
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