22 AUG 2021

© Malvin Artley

Lucifer in Club Med
The full moon
Believe it, or not
Academia and truth
Pandemic, believe it or not
To vaxx or not
Have your green pass?
After the virus
COVID and Spanish flu compared
How’s the weather?
The end of hegemony
A few words on Afghanistan
Don’ be a sore loser
US/UK astrology
Afghanistan under cover
OK, sports fans!
A rocket in your pocket
Our road to unity

Greetings Everyone!

We have certainly seen some historic events take place since the last full moon – environmental, political and international. We will get to some of those in this letter in due course, though there is much more we could examine. The big news since the start of August has been in Afghanistan, politically, and it has raised some very serious and needed questioning in the United States and among some NATO allies. There will be a bit on that later in this piece, too. Needless to say, and as we have examined many times in the past few years, our world is changing dramatically and with increasing velocity, giving us the idea that something big is about to happen. Well, something big is happening, and we will discuss that a bit later here, too. But here in northern Italy, life goes on apace, the news on the virus front grinds on, though with much less intensity now, and aside from a few minor irritations, Italy has returned to a sense of semi-sanity. Of course, for readers outside Italy, that might sound a little strange, given what is taking place in other parts of the West.

lucifer_heat_dome Lucifer in Club Med: We recently had a visitor come our way across the Mediterranean coastal states. We have not looked much at environmental concerns in recent letters, but it is becoming quite apparent we will have to start paying much closer attention. Lucifer came to the Mediterranean and brought a bit of hell to the land of Dante’s Inferno, Sicily and southern-most Italy. I refer here, of course, to the anticyclone that brought elevated temperatures from the Sahara, sand high in the atmosphere, hot winds and fire conditions across the Club Med countries. Sicily has just recorded the highest temperature in Europe since weather records began, at 48.8°C (that’s 120°F in the shade, for Americans). Australians would brush off such a thing, at least inland, but here that played havoc on the elderly in Sicily. It is very uncharacteristic for Italy. We had 500 blazes at one point here in southern Italy due to Lucifer and other factors. We could smell the smoke from some of those fires here in the north. We will get to the fires in other areas, too, but this is news from Italy at the moment. And then, as Lucifer was passing on, it gave us an unusual storm. We had an evening thunderstorm a few days ago, just after dark – except it didn’t get dark. There was a strange yellow cast to the sky, and it was lighting up the clouds after it should have been dark. Turns out it was caused by Saharan sand that had been blown in, high in the atmosphere, and the sun was at just the right angle to reflect through the crystals in the sand and light up the clouds. It was quite something to watch.

The seasons here are beginning to change now, too. The leaves on our Japanese maples are beginning to take a different hue, the daylight hours have shifted noticeably shorter, and I get to sleep in a little longer since our dogs don’t see the sunrise as early any longer. I am happy for that, as 5:00 am is too early for my liking during the long summer days. But the period called the ‘dog days of summer’ (July 3 to August 11) has come and gone. I prefer to let sleeping dogs lie, at least in the sense of letting ours sleep. As to investigating other matters, well that’s another story.

leo_bicolor Leo: In terms of investigating other matters, there is much to discuss in this letter, but in terms of dog days ushering in the sign Leo, we are about to have the blue moon in that sign, giving a double Leo influence this year. We discussed the rulerships and other esoteric aspects of Leo in the last letter, so there will not be too much to add this time. Instead, we want to focus on a particular aspect of Leo that concerns all of us, especially given what has taken place over the last 18+ months, and that relates to self-examination, self-improvement and soul-awakening, the latter having a particular relationship to this sign. Consider the following points:

  • Here, in ‘the antechamber of the Aquarian Age’ the sign Leo is of increasing importance from a human perspective. Being the opposite sign to Aquarius, the Leo influence is what is bringing in the increased focus on the “synthesis of national life, aims and intentions”.[1] The reference was made in relation to dictators, but we also see it across the political board.
  • Leo is the sign most associated with self-consciousness. “Yet the only truly self-conscious person is [one] who is aware of purpose, of a self-directed life and of a developed and definite life plan and programme. Where [Page 289] these are present, the inference is that there is mental perception and some measure of integration…not only is direction, purpose and plan present, but also a consciousness of the active agent [the soul] of the plan and action. Ponder on this.”[2] A person constantly swayed by emotion is not truly self-conscious.
  • The two keynotes of the Leo person are the will-to-illumine and the will-to-rule. Both of these refer first to the personality and then to one’s wider contacts at a later stage.[3] Where the latter are found outwardly along with a tendency to fusion and amalgamation, Leo will be present in a prominent position or the sun in an important house in one’s horoscope.[4] Everyone carries the energies of all signs, but only a few signs will be particularly marked, as in sun-sign, rising sign or important placements.
  • Leo is one of a trio of constellations which transmit the 5th ray (the energy of concrete knowledge or science) and the 1st ray (will or power).[5] Through the journey to self-knowledge via experimentation (5th ray), Leo comes to rule (1st ray), first over oneself and then of groups. Leo is especially concerned with, “The expression of experience in order to justify knowledge.”[6] In other words, the Leo experience involves testing knowledge against direct experience. The latter is a key point to keep in mind for what follows in this letter.
  • And lastly (for our purposes here), following on from esoteric Leo from the last letter, the Neptunian experience in Leo (‘moving the energies of the solar plexus into the heart’) involves intimately the 5th ray, the mental plane (as a transitioning experience via the antahkarana) and the heart center, which then becomes magnetic, drawing people of similar experience and energy into the periphery of the Leo type (see third point, above). Leo rules the heart and the spine. We could also say Leo (in its highest expression) rules via the heart, as in being exemplary. There is also the aspect in the vernacular of ‘growing a spine’, i.e. having courage. Experience grows courage, or should. Being ‘lion-hearted’, ‘having a spine’ being courageous and being an exemplary leader are all connected with this sign. Where Leo is prominent in a chart, the person will be tested as to those qualities and will seek to develop them, or be forced to do so.

With the above points in mind, we move now to the full moon and our worldly experiences.

The full moon takes place at 12:02 UT (9:02 PM AEST) on the 22nd of August. This one is called the ‘Sturgeon Moon’ in the Farmer’s Almanac, referring to the month when sturgeon are most easily caught in the Great Lakes of the US. Interesting fish, the sturgeon, as it is a kind of bridge between ancient and modern times.

Believe it, or not: Before we start on our more worldly matters for this letter, we are reminded of the following little gem from H.P. Blavatsky, always worth remembering, as follows:

Blavatsky We are earnestly enjoined to accept nothing whatsoever on faith, whether it be written in books, handed down from our ancestors, or taught by sages. The lord Buddha has said that we must not believe in a thing said merely because it is said; nor traditions because they have been handed down from antiquity; nor rumours, as such; nor writings by sages, because sages wrote them; nor fancies that we may suspect to have been inspired in us by a Deva (that is, in presumed spiritual inspiration); nor from inferences drawn from some haphazard assumption we may have made; nor [Page xvi] because of what seems an analogical necessity; nor on the mere authority of our teachers or masters. But we are to believe when the writing, doctrine, or saying is corroborated by our own reason and consciousness. ”For this,” says he in concluding, “I taught you not to believe merely because you have heard, but when you believed of your consciousness, then to act accordingly and abundantly.[7]

Emphasis added. We could paraphrase that for modern times by substituting, “…whether it be written in newsprint, handed down from our educational systems or stated by people held up as experts…” and so on. And by ‘experts’, that applies to either recognized or self-promoted ‘experts’ across the spectrum, whether institutional or alternative. The quote above has particularly pertinent to our recent experiences. I often hear people say they don’t know what to believe in these days. And yes, we should not even believe the Buddha, or Jesus, or Mohammed for that matter, or any other of the world’s great Teachers – that is, until we know from our own consciousness, via our own experience whether or not their words are true. Maybe that is blasphemous. Maybe it is being egotistical. Who am I to say, or anyone else for that matter? Because what life comes down to is this: We are the only ones responsible for what we believe. And why even believe that statement? Ahh…freedom! Here’s a thought: Freedom starts when we can stand aside from everything external and find a place of knowing ‘deep within our inner sanction’. By ‘sanction’, this is the state of being within all of us where the truth is found and known. It is thereby sanctioned, according to our experience. This is what all the world’s great Teachers would have us do anyway. And then again, all truths turn out to be partial truths of ever-increasing truths. Maddening, yes? Or perhaps not. In Buddhism, this is called ‘looking beyond ordinary appearances’. It is the kind of analysis that leads one to the essence of any phenomenon, including our very personalities. We are phenomenal, are we not? That last statement has a vernacular and an objective interpretation.

We are all told what to believe from the day we are born. Some of what we are told is true. Most of what we are told is heavily conditioned by societal norms, by history written by victors or by vested interests, by familial biases and prejudices, etc. We are far more prone to understanding things according to our conditioning than we are likely or want to realize. This tends to be especially true – believe it or not – the more educated a person becomes, but there is a caveat. By ‘educated’ here, we mean people who go through academic disciplines, whether orthodox, religious or even esoteric, and in doing so, ascribe to the line of thought promoted by such groups or institutions. For instance, I have had particular experience with this sort of thing in Buddhist studies and in various esoteric groups. Buddhist studies in the West are especially subjected to a strong coloring of the culture from which the teacher comes, and little is allowed to interfere with the narrative line.

Scientist_vs_academic Academia and truth: Academia along any line is a 5th ray activity, tends to become concretized and crystallized, and as such it is particularly prone to fixed perspectives and dismissive of any ‘thinking outside the box’. Academic works are often heavily footnoted and quoted from academics of similar views. And these are quoted as being ‘authoritative’. Added to that, when idealist attitudes are attached to such works or lines of thought, the result is very hard to break through if one holds views that seem a little out of line with the prevailing view. The fixity is then absolute. The effect is very striking today, very noticeable in liberal arts, education and media as that is the prevailing ‘power’ in the West at the moment. Liberalism as a result has become illiberal and has ossified. But the effect is no less so in so-called conservative corollaries. We see this most pronounced at times where there is the greatest inequality within societies, as we see today in our neoliberal-based nations.

In these letters, I often quote Alice Bailey’s and Blavatsky’s works. I do so because firstly, the works gibe with my own experience, and secondly because the audience is largely acquainted with those works or at least finds a familiar note in them. Are these works ‘the best’ the West has to offer in esoteric thought? I wouldn’t necessarily agree. They have their origins in many and often Eastern philosophies and traditions. They have also been set to paper by human beings, who themselves have their biases and come from various cultural backgrounds. To me, what is important is that we take the essence of what is said and make effort to see through the coloring of the individual.

We are fortunate if we have strong Leo in our charts and it is stressfully activated, because such a condition will lead us to question ourselves and everything else. Of course, that can happen with any astrological emphasis, but we are talking about Leo here. Knowledge is a collection of data, and as such is wide open to interpretation. We might disagree, and say, “Well, facts don’t lie!” But here’s a fact – often facts can be and are twisted into lies. It’s called ‘propaganda’, and we are exposed to it on a daily basis, coming from printed pages, our telephones (our favorite source of ‘news’ these days), our TVs and so on. So let’s have a look at a few recent phenomena and ask a few questions.

Pandemic, believe it or not: There has probably not been an event in recent memory that has been more polarizing, more full of information and misinformation overload, hysteria, fearmongering manipulation and politicization – except for perhaps domestic politics itself – than the 2020 COVID pandemic. And this has been primarily evident in the West. How we know that is because there is very little reporting in Western media about lockdown protests and the like regarding Eastern nations. If there had been large protests, say in Russia, against lockdown or other COVID measures, those would have been loudly and endlessly trumpeted across Western media in sneering and gloating detail. Instead, the protests we do see, as in the West, are largely ignored by the media, because our media are controlled by oligarchic conglomerates or individuals, and they would rather virus_politicization we not see such things – believe it or not. But for those of us paying attention, the pandemic has been of great value in showing up the incompetence and willful negligence of some of our Western leaders, politicization of every aspect of pandemic policy and notably vaccines, the gross and growing inequality it has engendered in the West, the damage done to people’s lives and the economy and the fact that little seems to change in terms of policy as a result. The worst offenders regarding those points have been in the US, UK and Oceania.

I have really had little interest in the details of the pandemic, except as it has played a part in the emerging world order. Early on, as in the first months during lockdown here in Italy, I was inundated with material, some of it useful, most of it not, about the virus, the disease, where it came from, treatments and so forth. I expect it has been much the same with nearly every one of you. To me, there has been one overriding question during the entire episode, though, one I rarely hear mentioned – with what will we be left after the virus has faded fully into the background and all the chaos that has gripped our societies has faded into history? Will we just move on and later ask what it was all about? Pandemics rarely last more than a couple of years at most. It takes that long for the world to build enough immunity to any virus. That said, we could have been done with a lot of this long ago, and I have outlined why in past letters. We won’t go back over it. But the most important question all along at an individual level is what we have chosen to do with all the information and how the social impact has affected our relationships.

To vaxx or not: As an example, debate has raged across social media about vaccines, their dangers or not, whether they are effective or not, if we are socially irresponsible for not taking them or social warriors because we refuse them, or if we are sheeple or caring people if we do take them, and so on. And then, there are nations that refuse vaccines from other nations based on old stigmas, political pressures or based on alliances. We still cannot be approved for a green pass here in Europe if we have taken the Sputnik vaccine, for instance. It has yet to be approved in the EU even though 70+ countries approve it and say it is very effective. My own opinion – and we all have our cherished opinions – is that if people fall into the us-them continuum, then we miss an opportunity and ‘the point’. The point is that we should be practicing goodwill toward each other, especially now. People have their reasons for taking the vaccines or not. For some people it is an act of courage to resist, for others (after having weighed any risks) it is an act of courage to take the vaccine. What about acting on the premise of, “Judge not, lest ye be judged”? As for refusing vaccines internationally, this is just a crime against humanity. This alone – as in Europe refusing Chinese and Russian vaccines – shows the small-mindedness and lack of backbone and foresight of EU leaders. There is a lot we could say on that score but we will save it for another time.

Have your green pass?: And speaking of green passes, as in having to show vaccination, this abomination will pass soon enough. It is an abomination because, firstly, none of the vaccines stop transmission of the virus, and secondly because it stigmatizes one group (who do not have one) and puts the other crowd who do have one in the ‘You’re one of the good guys’ group. I have had direct experience with this and know many other people who have, on both sides. There are a couple of reasons green passes will go – firstly because the virus will become background noise before too long and will no longer worry the authorities and secondly because of economic reasons. We had a recent example of the latter in Moscow. Seems the mayor of Moscow decided on his own, based on positive test numbers, that green passes were a good idea. Muscovites disagreed. They started forging green passes and boycotting restaurants that required them, going instead to restaurants that never checked. It soon became apparent which restaurants required them and which ones didn’t. The ones that did started screaming about lost revenue. After about a month of that nonsense and amid his falling polling numbers, Putin stepped in and rescinded the order over the objections of the mayor. In case you are wondering, Russia has one of the lowest vaccine uptakes in the world. The public is not required to take the vaccine. So much for the authoritarian regime. Russians are just naturally skeptical, given their history. That story is also a heads-up for any politician pushing green passes as a way to stem the pandemic or to get people vaccinated.

green_pass Winter is coming here in the north – hemisphere, that is. If one doesn’t have a green pass, one has to sit outside to go to a restaurant, for instance. How do we think that will fly in the winter? And all the while this is taking place, the positive test numbers are already peaking in Italy. The pandemic is on its way out, at least here in Italy. The number of hospitalizations and deaths compared to the test numbers has fallen precipitously from what it was in the first wave of the virus. It is now pretty much on par with seasonal flu as to severity. So, why the need for a green pass now? It makes no sense. My sense is that what they are aiming for here is that with enough people vaccinated the virus will eventually become a non-event and all restrictions for the public can be lifted. The green pass is a way to ‘encourage’ people to get vaccinated. I’m not biting. Then, people will be advised every year to get their COVID and flu shots, people will mostly refuse and life will go on. It’s a great business model for Big Pharma – create demand. Curiously absent here is scaremongering about the virus anyway. But what will probably eventuate, at least for a few years, is that people will be required to be vaccinated against the virus to travel to certain countries. I had to have a couple of vaccines before I went to Tibet 12 years ago, for instance. I couldn’t get a return visa otherwise.

After the virus: Like it or not, this virus will hang around for a while. Then, after that has passed, the media will find something else with which to scare us all half to death. I have lost all interest in COVID, like many of you, and I refuse to debate anything regarding it any further. The virus is not what is important anyway. What is important is what our leaders across all fields have done with it. The virus may or may not be a bio-weapon (which might appear to be an analogical necessity, referring back to the Blavatsky quote), but one thing is certain: The narrative around the virus has been weaponized against us, at least in the West. It has been used to ‘adjust’ our economy. While we flounder on, the East is growing and moving on. We may not like to hear it, but it needs to be heard, and why. The virus has also been used to divide us – politically, socially and economically – by powerful interests and by ambitious politicians and moneyed interests. And Big Pharma has made huge money off the pandemic, probably the biggest reason why only Anglo vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna, Johnson and Astra Zeneca – are allowed in Europe and the US. I am not certain, but that is also probably true in Australia and New Zealand.

COVID and Spanish flu compared: There are two more points here regarding COVID to be made before we move on. The protests taking place in Europe against restrictive measures are the outflow of people’s frustrations and legitimate concerns with the manner in which their nations have handled the pandemic. People’s rights have been infringed upon, incomes ruined, businesses closed, relationships broken. But there are precedents. The Spanish Flu was much the same, dragging on for over two years, with conspiracy theories being bandied about then as to why and even if the virus existed (that was before we had electron microscopes), and people then had ‘flu fatigue’, too. There were even cases of ‘long flu’, as in ‘long COVID’. There was ‘no mask, no service’ then, too, people rebelled against the restrictions, as we are seeing today. Then the virus hit again, and hard. That pandemic lasted for about 2 ½ years before finally fading away. The deadliness of that strain of flu was due to genetic factors, which weakened the lungs and allowed bacterial pneumonia to overtake the victims. People died of aspirin poisoning, too, which had just been introduced. Much like the Spanish flu of 1918, there are predisposing factors that make this coronavirus more deadly, such as diabetes and conditions caused by old age. But the point is, the virus will pass. We need to avoid rancor between each other and focus at this stage on what will come after, which is not far away now, given historical precedent.

And what will we face after the pandemic? We will still have the same politicians and self-serving financiers and oligarchs who have put us at a disadvantage, the same tech oligarchs who censor our social media and de-platform people and stories they do not like. The divisions in politics will not go away and perhaps will be worse. And in the West, the financial situation will still be there, worsened by the pandemic, with increased poverty, decreased life expectancy (Is this sounding dystopian enough?) and weakened currencies. Oh, and we will still face the increasing extremes in weather patterns we are seeing now. Call that what you like – global warming, climate change, cyclic change or climate hoax. There is a point here, which is to follow.

Wildfire-1 How’s the weather?: Here are a few things to whet our motivation regarding the weather. To start, we are seeing some of the biggest fires in a decade in North America, the Mediterranean nations and Russia, due to drought and extreme temperatures. There had been predictions by some sources that we were about to enter a Maunder type of minimum for this decade, which some people had hoped would bring cooler temperatures, even an ice age. But the scientific modelling has gibed with the actual data thus far, and the Maunder-type minimum has been ruled out for this decade. So, for people hoping for a coming ice age and proving the global warming scientists wrong, don’t throw out your air conditioner. This cycle is set to be a little more active than the last, even, and is set to peak between 2023 and 2026. It started in December of 2019, if that rings a bell. However, sunspots are not responsible for temperatures. The mini ice age associated with the Maunder minimum was thought to have been caused by volcanic activity – and that means atmospheric conditions. Our shifting weather is caused largely by changes in the jet stream, not by the sun, and we affect the jet stream, along with natural phenomena. These fires have dumped massive amounts of particulates and CO2 into the atmosphere. Coupled with what we produce already, this is bound to adversely affect the weather in the coming period. What sunspot activity correlates with, instead, is human activity and conflict, which we will address at a future time.

We have also seen large floods across the world this year, and for the same reasons we are seeing the fires. Winds can bring drought as well a rain, and lots of it. The recent floods in Germany and surrounding states, China, the worst flooding in Sydney in 60 years, Hawaii, Turkey and India all bear testament to increased flooding and changing weather. With changes in the weather and the devastation it can bring, as we have seen this year thus far, people are left feeling insecure, feel let down by their politicians often (like the lack of care in the aftermath of Katrina in the US), with increasing demands that we must do something and upgrade infrastructure to address these changes. However, there is no political will to do so, especially across our democracies, where politicians have to rely on donations to get reelected every few years and a lot of that money comes from major polluters and defense contractors, in the US at least. The Pentagon is one of the biggest polluters on the planet, with output of greater than 140 countries combined. It is no wonder there is no will in Washington to reduce carbon emissions. The biggest polluters per capita are in the Gulf States of West Asia. China is the biggest polluter by nation, but it also has about a seventh of the entire world’s population. Per capita, China comes in at less than half of that of the US. And, if the world is not getting warmer, then how are tropical species getting a foothold in the Mediterranean, destroying the native marine flora and fauna? Those tropical species would not survive there under normal conditions.

I still hold that nuclear energy – the energy of fusion that fuels the Sun – will go far toward cleaning up our air once electricity replaces the need for combustion as energy supply. Then we will see about all this CO2 business, Big Oil and so forth. There are powerful interests trying to stop the development of fusion reactors in the US. We have touched on these matters before and will come back to them time and again, but we mention them here because of what we are facing in the immediate years ahead. The preceding gives us a few things to think about and to blend into all the other information we routinely receive. But from here, we get to the crux of the biggest changes that need to come in the next few years, as in demilitarization and bringing a far greater measure of peace to our little globe.

flotillas_syria The end of hegemony: An anniversary is coming at the end of this month/1st of September, one you will never hear celebrated anywhere in the West. It was in 2013. That was the day American hegemony ended. It was during the effort to oust Assad in Syria. Obama had sent a flotilla of ships – two battle carrier groups and five destroyers loaded with tomahawk cruise missiles, ready to rain fire on Damascus in response to an alleged Syrian chemical weapons attack that took place on the 21st. Along with them were US and British submarines and a French destroyer. That alleged chemical weapons attack was Obama’s stated ‘red line’ for intervening in Syria. It never happened – neither the CW attack nor the attack on Syria. The reason why Obama decided against the attack is because there was also a flotilla of 11 Russian and a few Chinese warships between the NATO naval forces and the Syrian coast. There were also advanced antiaircraft and anti-missile systems installed in Syria, thus preventing a no-fly zone by NATO. The Russians warned the Americans there would be retaliation against the coalition flotilla if there was any military action that day. Astrologically, the US had transiting Saturn aspecting its Mars and Uranus and at the bending of the US nodal axis – a fated change in relationships and the end of the glamour of American military superiority, the latter represented in the natal US Mars/Neptune square. The directed Sun was also square to the US Uranus and on the US Ceres, showing a sudden turning point for the nation, though we didn’t hear a word about it. The Pentagon noticed, though, and since then the Beltway has had to rely on radicalized mercenaries and Israeli missile runs to badger the Syrians into (Washington hopes) attacking NATO forces in retaliation.

On the day in question, the Americans launched two tomahawk missiles early on September 1st to test the Russian resolve. Both of them failed to reach their destination. Obama blinked. WWIII was called off. The French and the Syrian opposition groups were furious. This has reflections in what is to follow in the next topic. September 1st was supposed to be their big day. America’s image as a superpower had taken its first major blow, with many more to follow. The American bully had been stopped cold. Damascus was to have been the doorway to Tehran for the Americans. Daesh was to be the result, and even that was stopped in its tracks, by what is now known as the Axis of Resistance and the Russians. That same year China’s BRI was announced. It was when the beginnings of the Asian century started. Since then NATO and the Americans have failed at every turn to stop the greater integration of Eurasia and the gradual and ongoing collapse of American influence in Asia, including South-Central Asia, which used to be called the Middle East. Some readers might disagree, but if so, ask why there has not been any significant military action by the US or NATO against any Southwest or greater Asian nation since then. The answer should be obvious. Not even Trump, with his little barrage of missiles, was of any great concern to Syrian and Russian forces. That brings us to today.

A few words on Afghanistan: If you don’t know what just happened in Afghanistan you have been living off-grid for too long. The chaotic American withdrawal from that Central Asian nation and subsequent panic it generated in some of its citizens, not to mention the Beltway, has riveted the world’s attention in recent days, with varying perspectives. The event has been called the most important geopolitical shift since 9/11. That would seem to be the case, too, with the symbol of the Ouroboros coming to mind. I have posted a two-part analysis of the events there HERE and HERE. The first part gives the background and a thumbnail analysis of the astrology of the 2001 puppet government of Afghanistan. The second part looks at the event and what could possibly transpire. There will be a couple of posts to follow, later. If you want probably the best accounting of what just happened in Afghanistan and why, there is a video put out by Moderate Rebels (no relation to Syria) with Pepe Escobar (no relation to the drug kingpin). I would advise getting a big bag of popcorn, sitting down with significant others and watching the entire two hours to get even part of an idea of the reasons we were in Afghanistan for 20 years.

taliban_in_palace The wars in Afghanistan (2001) and Iraq (2003) were wars of imperialism, launched on false pretenses, with the 2001 war using 9/11 as the pretense. That war had been planned and approved in the Beltway prior to 9/11. We didn’t have to invade. The Taliban had offered up Bin Laden on a silver platter, several times, each time knocked back by Bush and Co. In Iraq, Saddam had offered to go into exile. He, too, was knocked back. George ‘W’ Bush should be tried on war crimes along with his cronies. Instead the establishment – Republicans especially – are now blaming Biden for the chaotic pullout from Afghanistan. Our soldiers were actually sent into Afghanistan to make way for a pipeline that was to be used to thwart the economies of Iran and Russia and to provide a base for future operations in the region. These words will be hard for many readers to hear. The only beneficiaries have been the defense contractors, the CIA and the people who own stock in defense industries. There are several reasons why the American pull-out from the land of lapis is of such importance, however, without giving away all of the linked video:

  • It marks the end of any Western imperialist ambitions in Central Asia and brings to a close the PNAC agenda, ‘The Project for the New American Century’.
  • As a result, Iran is now a full member of the SCO, which seals off Central Asia and thereby China, Iran and Russia from Western overt military actions. It also gives security to Afghanistan, which is now an observer state to the SCO. This has larger implications than we might realize.
  • It cuts the heroin rat line, which was used to fund the greatest portion of American black ops (covert operations). That will also have the long carry-on effect of significantly cutting the opiate addiction of millions of Asians and Americans. US support of opium production and the dark money it generated in Afghanistan was a crime against humanity. This will also hit the Sackler family hard, who are now crying crocodile tears and trying to file for bankruptcy, after making billions off opioid medications. It is also said there are some royally peeved people in Washington over their loss of this black revenue from Afghanistan. We can only guess at what this will mean for Biden.
  • A transformed Afghanistan, away from Western control, will transform energy transport and over-land commerce (think: BRI) in the region, greatly boosting the wealth of the entire region. It will also bring the metro centers there, at least, into the modern age.
  • It will put a big kink in any plans by Western powers and oligarchs for control of a Green New Deal. Afghanistan has lithium reserves larger than those of Bolivia. The coup in Bolivia was about the lithium there instead of socialism and human rights. Those Afghani reserves are now in the control of the Asian powers. CNN is already bemoaning the loss of Afghanistan’s mineral assets.

In contrast, here are a few things with which the media is trying to scare us or for which they are hopeful, which will probably never come to pass:

  • That a large migration crisis is to hit the shores of Europe. We will get some refugees, but not the huge exodus the media are hyping. Get a map, take a deep breath and note the location of Afghanistan. It is a little further away from Europe than Syria. It is also landlocked and the refugees are by and large stuck in neighboring SCO states.
  • That a Guaidò type of internationally recognized ‘legitimate’ government will be formed. Saleh, who was VP under Ghani, has proclaimed himself Guaidò v 2.0. He is hated by Afghanis. He is also a CIA asset. And, he is also about to be ousted from Panjshir.
  • That a viable armed resistance to the Taliban will coalesce. It is already collapsing. Half of the fighters there have already sided with the Taliban and left. It was the drug trade that funded the Northern Alliance, who are being touted as the ‘resistance’. A few dudes with Kalashnikovs on 50cc dirt bikes are not going to unseat the Taliban, who also now have advanced US heavy weaponry for the time being, by the way. And the son of Massoud is no fighter. And the Taliban are also negotiating with him.
  • That the Taliban will return to the bad old days of the ‘90s. That includes a government run solely by the Taliban. Negotiations with all factions in Afghanistan are already underway.
  • That women under the Taliban will become little better than cattle. In case anyone is wondering, the girls are still in school, women will be included in a government when it forms and the burqa is gone.
  • That Afghanistan will become a terrorist haven and narco-state (see the above point for the narco-state). The whole point of the SCO is to prevent terrorism. The Wahabists will not be permitted in the new Afghanistan.

sore_loser_batman Don’ be a sore loser: The Americans and the British, referring to their establishments, are sore losers. And they are currently in denial over what has taken place. They wanted to keep a foothold in Afghanistan, despite all the rhetoric about pulling out the troops, and that is now gone, hence the recriminations and finger-pointing. There is no going back into Afghanistan, or re-taking Kabul. But as a result, we will hear all sorts of horror stories and negative press about the Taliban, in the same vein as Xinjiang. It is already being rolled out bigly, with the British press pushing the horror porn at the Kabul airport, Tony Blair calling Biden an ‘imbecile’ and heartwarming pictures of troops holding Afghan babies – propaganda at its darkest best. This would be the same Tony Blair, by the way, who championed the UK going into Afghanistan and Iraq in the first place, and the same British and American troops who bombed and killed tens of thousands of Afghanis, including women and children. This is just fact, no matter how the press or our governments try to spin it. Most of that negative press we are seeing now will be dubious, overinflated and unverifiable – negative propaganda, in other words. Trump is also adding his vitriol onto Biden, when it was his administration who delayed visa applications for years for Afghanis and Iraqis who worked with American troops. This is part of the reason for the chaos at the Kabul airport. Trump, Blair and other Western politicians who are being excoriating toward the Biden administration shouldn’t throw stones. It is all for domestic politics anyway, as well as being the height of hypocrisy.

US/UK astrology: There is a particular piece of astrology to note here, too. In October of last year I did a post where I was tracking the special relationship. There were solar arc directions of Pluto to the meridian axes of both the US and the UK. For the UK that influence began in January of this year, to be exact in four months. For the United States, that direction was exact – on 15 Aug 2021, the day the Taliban took over in Kabul. The US and the UK have mutual Moon/Saturn contacts in their synastry (relationship chart), so there are old karmic links between the two nations. That is not difficult to see. But Pluto directions to the MC of an individual or nation can point to one of two things – the ultimate attainment of objectives, or ruin through the misuse of power. There is the following take-away from that post:

“2021 will be a make-or-break year for the dominance of Western nations over the world’s economy, with a decided lessening of influence by the US and UK over matters in Asia. The solar arc of Pluto to their Meridian axes ensures there will be life-changing events taking place in those two nations, and as a result, in the so-called ‘special relationship’. Both nations will be too involved with domestic matters to be much of an influence all’estero, at least physically and militarily considered. 2020 and 2021 will be seen in the future as the years that marked the end of Western dominance and the rise of the East into prominence.”

special_relationship We’ll cover the world’s economy at a future point, but the West is indeed losing its dominance there. What we see in the establishments and media in both nations as a result of the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan is hysteria at the recognition of what has just happened. We were not told about it, but both nations had hoped to hold on to Kabul at least after a fashion, while being able to tell the public the troops had been pulled out. As it stands, neither nation has even an embassy there any longer. The drama queens, male and female, on the likes of CNN and MSNBC have been particularly hard to stomach. There is no journalism, no investigations on the ground, just finger-pointing and blaming. True journalism on events taking place in Afghanistan is only found in open-source, independent media, by people who have intimate knowledge of the land and culture. Believe it or not, the mainstream media is basically about narratives instead of facts.

The British establishment wants a remake or do-over in Afghanistan. They feel left out by Washington and yet should have known better. Washington has a bad reputation now across the world for abandoning its allies. The special relationship between the US and UK has been a sham all along. The UK Parliament has just had a collective day of mourning over the Afghan debacle. British illusions of world power and exceptionalism lie in a heap. The same should be true of the US, too, but there is a ways to go before it is acknowledged in Washington. The UK and the US both need a serious re-evaluation of their influence and the myths that underlie them. Europe seriously needs to cut military ties with the US and find its own way as a bloc. The American and British publics deserve to hear the truth about what their governments have been up to since WWII. What happened in Afghanistan, like the pandemic, has taken the veil off many Western myths and glamours. It will take some time before the general public sees through them.

Afghanistan under cover: It would be helpful to be aware of what has gone on behind the scenes in Afghanistan in the last ten years especially. In a very revealing article, the Iranians have been cultivating contacts with moderate factions of the Taliban since the US-led invasion in 2001. The militant, extremist factions in the Taliban (it is not a monolithic organization) have been largely weeded out. Relations are currently quite friendly, and the coaching and dialog the Taliban has received from Iran is in evidence. The Russians, too, have been in negotiations and contact with the Taliban for the past seven years. These two factors in part point to why the Taliban were able to move so swiftly to take control of the country. This version of the Taliban enjoys popular support in Afghanistan, believe it or not. Otherwise their control of the country would have been hard-fought. The Russian and Iranian contacts with the Taliban have prevented a civil war in the wake of the pull-out. The streets are calm except for a few small protests. Western intelligence agencies were caught completely unaware. It has been suggested the Western powers deliberately tried to sow chaos in the country as they pulled out, in order to try to provoke a civil war. What we see now in Afghanistan is being carefully stage-managed by Russia and Iran, with strong coaching. The Chinese have no doubt also been in dialog with the Taliban.

There are no illusions about the road ahead for Afghanistan. The Taliban are under heavy pressure to walk their talk. They have to form a government quickly, inclusive of all factions, even perhaps taking a back seat. There is also intense economic pressure for a new government and constitution to be adopted, with the new constitution perhaps being based in their 1964 constitution. They have to throw off their designation as a terrorist organization. This will be strongly resisted by the West. Mistakes will be made. Painful missteps will happen. These will be magnified and taken out of context and proportion by the Western press, endlessly trumpeted. The trend over the coming years is what is important. If the Afghan people can pull this off, if Western interference in their progress (which will strongly be attempted) can be for the most part offset, then Afghanistan faces the possibility of a prosperous future. The cynics will scoff at all this and say Afghanis are doomed to return to the Dark Ages. I hold the opposite view, but I am also aware that this is only the start and that a road full of potholes lies ahead, one that will take careful navigation. I know people who had traveled to Afghanistan prior to the troubles of the ‘80s and ‘90s and fell in love with the land and its people. It is a country of magnificent beauty and a rugged, resilient people. They deserve a bright future. They were not getting it under occupation, much as our talk of ‘democracy’ would say otherwise. Perhaps they have a chance at it now. We hold that thought for them in the coming years.

OK, sports fans!: Ending on a lighter note and speaking of Leo and egos, and referring back to sore losers, some of the media reporting incanada_gold the US and UK on the Tokyo Olympics was shameful. There for a while, when the Chinese were ahead in the gold medal count (the way #1 is normally counted), the US media decided it best to switch to the total medal count, which put the US ahead. The Twitter world shook its collective head and scoffed at the US media. Now, at the end of the games, the US had the highest number of gold medals – by one, ahead of China. The normal ranking was reinstated. There was a collective sigh of relief from the American media. Then there was the treatment of the Russians, which is largely politically motivated. The Russians were not allowed to fly their national flag. But even at that, the Country Which Must not be Named came in third in the overall medal count. There was whining by some Americans and British, and poor sportsmanship by a few athletes. Lest we forget, American and British athletes have also been banned from the Olympics in the past for doping. There was as well the specter of the captain of the American women’s soccer team with her gaffe about never wanting to lose to Canada…Why emphasize Canada, as if they are a second-rate team? They won, didn’t they? Or are they ‘dirty’, too, like the Russians? Canadian Twitter had a field day with that gaffe. What about losing to anyone else? How about learning to lose gracefully? I get the disappointment and the usual sparring that occurs in competitions. I also say, good ya’ Canadians! You deserved the win. Then there is also national pride at stake. I say most of this with tongue in cheek, but it reflects the American sense of exceptionalism, which is routinely lambasted on international social media.

bezos and Branson A rocket in your pocket: And lastly, before we close this letter, there was the recent fawning over the three billionaires (video) battling it out for the lion’s share of ‘space tourism’. Bezos and Branson have both taken their suborbital vehicles into what they are calling ‘space’. Musk has larger plans. So, what are their ultimate intentions? Bezos wants to explore space for industrial purposes. Branson wants to promote space tourism and intercontinental travel via subspace and Musk wants to colonize Mars. Given the recent flights of Bezos and Branson, if you are a centimillionaire, you too can ride one of these billionaire rockets into almost-space. It won’t be available to most of us. So, instead of taking a few of their billions and at the very least supporting their employees during the pandemic, these dudes are being feted by the media for their 8-minute peek over the atmospheric horizon. It had to be said. I just cannot get excited over the ‘new space race’. It is not even anything of the kind. I get excited instead by drones on Mars (NASA) new space stations (China and Russia), moon bases and so forth – international projects that really do advance collective science and our understanding of the wider universe. Felix Baumgartner had more guts than any of those billionaires. There was a petition circulating online wishing them well on a one-way trip. Such is the true public sentiment.

Our road to unity: There is one last piece of astrology for the United States as we bring this letter to a close. We all know the nation is divided, with increasing disparities of wealth and influence and with a polarized society. This has happened two times before – once in 1896 and then in the 1930s. On all three occasions – 1896, 1936 and 2020 – there was a configuration of solar arcs involving the following planets: Mercury, Ceres, Jupiter and Uranus. Each of those years were election years. In each case there was a candidate who was demonized by the press, seen as the devil incarnate by the establishment and these periods have been characterized by extremes of inequality. Each period has been accompanied by national hysteria against the ‘bad guy’ – a ‘bad guy’ who was loved by a sector of the populace, as in the working classes. It was the elites, primarily on the eastern urban centers, who railed against these men – William Jennings Bryan, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Donald Trump. The reason these men were hated is because they spoke out against a certain pattern:

“…the unanimity among certain high-ranking classes, the concern for ‘norms’ and unwritten traditions, the fears of foreign powers, the endless hyperbole, the embrace of dissenting members of the bad guy’s party.”

What is stated above is not to compare the men, but to point out an elitist pattern in the US, which currently feels very threatened by what they see happening in the populace, and they are primarily based in ‘blue’ states. Coming forward to today, from the same link:

What is it that brings on these recurring bouts of hysteria? One common thread in each of these outbreaks of hysteria is extreme inequality. In each of the periods…the most hysterical voices arise from some of society’s most privileged classes — in the past, press lords, business leaders, and corporation lawyers; now, the highly educated cohort that exerts hegemonic control over the nation’s media, financial and ‘knowledge’ industries.

Their hysteria over Trump is also known as ‘Trump derangement syndrome’. Continuing:

“The anti-Trump thinkers…know that the society over which they and their friends preside is not a healthy one. They know that millions of ordinary Americans despise the well educated elite.

Why? Look at the opioid epidemic that raged through middle America in the years before 2016 — a gift of Big Pharma and the medical profession. Look at the deindustrialisation that afflicted the same geographic areas — a product of our brilliant free trade deals. Look at the global financial crisis and the bailouts — the deeds of America’s greatest maths and financial geniuses, who faced almost no consequences for their actions. Look at the Iraq War — the toast of the foreign policy establishment. Look at the incredible fact that American life expectancy was actually declining in the years before 2017 rather than increasing.

Trump did nothing to solve any of these problems. But everyone knows they exist. One side talks, lectures, scolds and instructs, and the other side — silent by definition these days — seethes with resentment. Everyone knows this awful dynamic had a role in elevating the racist demagogue Trump to the presidency. Everyone also knows this country is primed to explode…”

What was produced out of the first two periods mentioned? After 1896 we got Teddy Roosevelt and anti-trust legislation and monopoly busting. With Franklin Roosevelt we got the New Deal, Social Security, support of trade unions and so forth. What can we expect going forward? A last quote from the article above might give some indication:

There are two possible ways of dealing with this situation. On one hand, liberals can demand the obvious material actions that are necessary to heal this society. For starters we must reform America’s racist police forces and its racist criminal justice system. But we must go much further. Americans have to be able to form unions again, and start businesses, and go to college without fear of crippling debt, and also to make a good living even if they didn’t go to college at all. President Biden’s directive in July to begin enforcing antitrust laws again is a huge step in this direction.

nabisco_strike The astrological directions mentioned point to the hysteria (Jupiter and Mercury) but also to the sudden and humanistic (Uranus) providing for the common good (Ceres), marking major turning points (Ceres) in American society, away from elitist domination. The other possible way, one which is being attempted, is to double down in a sort of liberal authoritarianism. So, forget about our misadventures overseas. For Americans and for the British, too, the establishment has to be held under the spotlight and constantly called to task. It will take organizing, as in trade unions, general and rolling strikes (like we are seeing with Nabisco workers), with mass support by the public, boycotts and sustained pressure on the factions in American and world society who have worked so hard to put us in our present distress. Our elites see what is happening and they are nervous. They need to be made sorely afraid, and that will take courage on our part. Protests help, but unless the bottom lines of the elites are affected, nothing will change. Armed insurrection has never worked in the US. The most effective work is done peacefully, with intention, with resolve and sustained, united effort – like any good Leo would do.

People sometimes ask me how I can remain positive about the future. The preceding points outline why, in part, along with the resilience of the indomitable human spirit. Forget the pandemic. It will pass. There is far more serious work to do – about our oligarch problem, in building bridges between our neighbors and in working on ourselves, which is the hardest work of all. It is also the most rewarding. We each make our contribution to the road ahead, each in our own way, but intention must translate to action. We’ll all meet on that road. I leave you for this full moon with the following words, from a previously linked article:

“And yet, far away from the media din we are surrounded by a beautiful world, full of grace and compassion. We deserve it. Our women could seduce the angels; our men defeated dragons. Our wise old folk argued with Socrates and prayed with Apostles. Every green valley, every river stream, every flower is a gift of God. Enjoy it, and ignore the busy termites who are well paid to keep us hanging on tenterhooks. Death is unavoidable; it is part and parcel of life. The best we can do is to avoid anxiety and enjoy life while it lasts. Let Fauci vaxx Bezos aboard their phallic spaceship. Just let them all fly away never to be seen again.”

Be at peace within yourselves. The future is only dark if we make it so – believe it or not.

Leo blessings,
22 Aug 2021

These letters are sent as a service. If you wish to be added to or deleted from the mailing list, let me know. Feel free to pass them on, but do so without charge of alteration.

Picture credits:
Leo bicolor: (representative of solar plexus and heart, from darkness to light) https://indonesian.alibaba.com/f/lukisan-cangkang-telur.html
Blavatsky: Wikimedia commons
  1. Bailey, Alice A., Esoteric Astrology, (1936) Lucis publishing, NY, NY, p. 286
  2. Ibid, pp. 288, 289
  3. Op cit
  4. Ibid, p. 286
  5. Ibid, p. 423
  6. Ibid, p. 290
  7. Blavatsky, Helena Petrovna, The Secret Doctrine III, (1888) Adyar, The Theosophical Publishing House, p. 401.


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

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