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The Virgo Festival 2021
20/21 SEP 2021
© Malvin Artley
Greetings for the Libra Equinox, Everyone!
Well, actually, this letter is for the full moon, but the equinox is only two days after. Autumn is here in Rovereto, for all intents and purposes. This time of year, at least for me, is always a time for reflection, of harvesting the thoughts and any gems of wisdom that might have been gleaned from the last twelve months. There has been much to consider. As the leaves here begin to turn and fall, and as the weather has that definitive autumn coolness setting in, we find our world changing at an ever-accelerating rate, all the while we are continually cajoled to be distracted with non-essential stuff – the little tidbits of information that continually draw our mental attention and engage us emotionally. It is not difficult to see, with a world downturned to phone screens instead of paying attention to the world around us. But there are occasions where life and immediate needs draw our decided attention and invite us to serve and open our hearts more fully. We are about to experience such an event here at our house – and no, we are well past the point of expecting children. Something else has captured my wife’s heart, who has a soft spot and a destiny with dogs, especially disadvantaged and older dogs. It must be a 2nd or 6th ray influence in her nature, those rays (the qualities of love and devotion, resp.) governing the domestic canine species.,  That said, our newest addition to the ‘family’ is a little guy, known in the kennel where he has lived for a few years as ‘Pichiarello’ – “ he who snaps first and asks questions later”. ‘Nuff said.
Animals have soul: Many readers may not have considered it, but the rays of animals connected to us correspond to our own, especially when there is a special connection and/or karma between the human and the animal companion. Yes, we do have karma with certain animals. Domestic animals are said to be ‘humans in waiting’, the entire kingdom set to become human beings in a far-distant future. We can see that type of gestation, for instance, in the personalities that animals exhibit, especially if we interact with them closely and frequently. There has to be a measure of coordination between the various aspects of a personality – physical, emotional and mental (in the case of animals, instinctual) – before an individual soul can attach itself. Now, there are arguments and discussions about whether or not animals have individual or group souls, when the doorway to the human kingdom will stand opened, whether or not the human kingdom stands higher on the evolutionary ladder than animals and so forth. We are not going to argue those points here, except to echo what has been stated in the Western esoteric literature. But if you have an animal companion or two or twelve in your home, such questions/arguments have little bearing on what you experience. Fact is, they are there, you love them (or not, if they are not yours or are antagonistic to you), but more importantly they bring an opportunity with them, that opportunity being we take them in unconditionally and care for them, nurturing whatever nascent qualities they are trying to express, as nearly as we can ascertain those for ourselves.
Pichiarello, as he is currently named, will become ‘Biscottino’ – ‘Little Biscuit’ – so my wife has determined. We’ll see, but I expect with four other dogs in the house the little guy will quickly adapt. Dogs do tend to be very social. At the very least he will live out the last years of his life in comfort, hopefully learning to be more sociable. It usually takes a few months for animals to adjust. So, if you decide you want to come and visit us at some point, consider yourself forewarned, or perhaps lucky, however is you inclination. But speaking of care and nurturing of nascent qualities, that brings us to our present letter and interval, that of Virgo, the Virgin.
Virgo: Virgo is the Great Mother, represented for us in Christianity as the Virgin Mary, who conceived the Christ child by virgin birth, meaning flawless, unstained means. The esoteric motto for Virgo is “I am the mother and the child. I, God, matter am.” Virgo is an earth sign and mutable (changeable), and one of the ‘human signs’, along with Libra, Sagittarius, Aquarius and Gemini. It is thus strongly connected with human development. Virgo is the sign most associated with gestation (Virgin Mary) and the birth of a World Savior. Its rulers are Mercury in the orthodox, the Moon esoterically and Jupiter hierarchically. The Moon, in the case of Virgo, veils Vulcan, ‘the god of the forge’, and herein we get to the crux of what we will examine today. As we know, Virgoans can be very focused people, great at detailed work, turning over every stone in the process of finding what they seek. It is the combination of Mercury with Vulcan (via the Moon) which governs the process whereby we are ‘made anew’ – via concentration (Mercury) and by utilizing the fires of matter (Vulcan) to fashion for ourselves a new life. That ‘new life’ is one in which we consecrate ourselves to world service and develop ultimate compassion. Both Mercury and Vulcan are associated with the fires of matter. Regarding our past examinations of meditative processes and chakras, there is a particular point of note when it comes to Virgo, keeping in mind Vulcan and Mercury, which we want to outline here. First, we have a little background.
Signs and body symbolism: It is of particular interest that, in the order of the signs in the body in distinction consciousness, they go from the head to the feet – Aries to Pisces, resp. The chakra at the top of the head (the ‘heart in the crown’) is said to be where we contact supreme wisdom, whereas the feet connect us with earthly wisdom. In terms of the order of the wheel (the zodiac), either direct or reversed (and both of which are evolutionary in their expression) for average humanity, wisdom begins at the feet, on the standard progression of the zodiac – from Pisces to Aries, as we see in the precession of the equinoxes. This is the order of the wheel of the zodiac when we are bound to material existence and learning through experience in worldly affairs. Aries then becomes a culminating point, where we experience ‘the lessons of the head’ – i.e., we learn to think, begin to meditate and to break out of the standard mold of our worldly societies and experience existence anew. We must say at this point that the wheel can be reversed in any sign. That is to say, every sign of the zodiac presents us with opportunities to change the focus of our lives toward a more spiritual outlook. But archetypally, those changes of direction come at the ‘signs of interlude’, which are Aries, Libra and Sagittarius.
On the reversed wheel, going from Aries to Pisces, we go progressively through the stages from thinking (meditation, starting in Aries) through to universal service (Pisces), which is immersion in the world, but being not of it. The final expression on the reversed wheel is to take the ultimate sacrifice (being born in a human body), to walk the path of service with one’s feet firmly on the ground, yet having one’s consciousness firmly tethered in the clear light of infinite wisdom. The latter is what we would see in all the world’s great Teachers, represented for us in Pisces. In past letters we have examined the Path in relation to the reversed wheel, from Aries to Pisces, as it relates to the gradual expansions of consciousness through the stages of meditation. In the last two Leo letters for this year we looked at ‘lifting the energies of the solar plexus into the heart’. This happens as a preparatory stage to more advanced meditative practice, wherein the emotions must not be allowed to interfere with one’s state of mental equipoise. This brings us to a very interesting consideration, one which we have yet to consider.
The Hrit chakra: There is a small chakra/center which lies between the heart chakra and the solar plexus chakra, it is said. In Sanskrit this is known as the hrit chakra, or hridaya. There is confusion about the location of this chakra. The linked entry gives basic information about the location and function of that chakra, but at one point seems to confuse it with the spleen chakra, the latter which deals with the utilization of solar prana, or perhaps with one of the minor chakras located close to the solar plexus, connected with the base of the spine and the spleen as a functioning triangle. The two chakras are not related, yet there is a connection when one addresses the hrit chakra in meditation. Hrit, or Hṛt in Sanskrit is another word for heart. A further description of the chakra refers to it as a cavity in the heart center wherein dwells the purusha (self-consciousness or universal principle). In Jyotish astronomy and astrology, hrit refers to something lying within the circumradius of a geometric figure. The meaning here is the hrit chakra lies within the circumradius of the heart chakra, or anahata. It must, therefore, be located above the diaphragm. In common terms, this little chakra is our ‘heart of hearts’. It has a connection with Virgo, which is why it is mentioned here. Meditation in this chakra has also been called meditating within the cave of the heart. The following quote is illustrative:
“When the Christ-child (as the Christian so beautifully expresses it) has been born in the cave of the heart, then that divine guest can consciously control the lower material bodies by means of consecrated mind. Only when buddhi has assumed an ever-increasing control of the personality, via the mental plane (hence the need of building the antaskarana), will the personality respond to that which is above, and the lower fires mount and blend with the two higher. Only when Spirit, by the power of thought, controls the material vehicles, does the subjective life assume its rightful place, does the God within shine and blaze forth till the form is lost from sight, and “The path of the just shine ever more and more until the day be with us.”
Emphases added. This chakra is mentioned in Alice Bailey’s books as a minor chakra. There is also this:
“…Individual man and his soul are also attempting to come together, and when that event is consummated the Christ is born in the cave of the heart, and Christ is seen in the daily life with increasing power.”
Virgo is associated with caves and the emergence of the ‘Christ child’, the latter another way of stating that the soul on its own plane then walks freely in human form, from the plains (Taurus) to the mountaintops (Capricorn). All the earth signs – Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn – are thereby related. There are many such ‘caves’ throughout esoteric literature and religious symbolism, and they are always associated with initiation. “The majority of these great Sons of God were, curiously enough, born in a cave and usually of a virgin mother.” And since we are dealing with Virgo, the ‘virgin mother’ here, at what exactly are we looking with this hrit chakra?
Description of the hrit chakra: The hrit chakra is described thusly: It lies just below the heart chakra, having 8 petals, with the petals pointed downward. At its center is a jeweled throne (an earth reference again), shaded by a wish-granting tree (a common symbol in Hindu and Buddhist texts). Inside the petals is a solar region, inside that a lunar region and inside that a fiery region, wherein are the throne and tree. Upon the throne sits the god Narayana. Narayana in the Vedas is described as the supreme force or essence of all. In other words, by meditating while seated on the jeweled throne, we return to our source essence, the soul on its own plane to start, and ultimately the monad. But there is more.
Hrit has been described as a golden lotus – subtle, stainless and untouched by physical impurities. The petals of this chakra are turned upward by means of special pranayama. What those methods are, we are not told. But what this does is to unite the fires at the base of the spine with the other fires in the body (hence its connection with the spleen chakra) thus inducing a great burning away of all that hinders the path of the soul, or atman. Thus is the Christ-child born. In all, it is a special seat for concentration, to be engaged after ‘the raising of the solar plexus into the heart’.
Thus, we have the Great Mother, Virgo, brooding over her unborn child, who will be given birth in a cave, and to achieve full enlightenment in yet another cave, thereafter guiding the hearts of humanity to their ultimate liberation within their own hearts of hearts, all the while doing so in the crucible of life after life on this earthly plane, knowing love and thereby growing in service to all who struggle in darkness. This is the promise of Virgo. From our cave, then, we move outward to the full moon and our worldly considerations for this letter.
The full moon takes place on 20 Sep 2021 at 23:55 UT (21 Sep at 9:55 AM AEST). The equinox (Libra ingress of the Sun) takes place two days later on 22 Sep at 19:21 UT (5:21 AM AEST). This full moon is the harvest moon for the northern hemisphere. It will be a restive quarter, indicated as well by the full moon. I will address the Libra quarter in another post. The restiveness, though, is shown by the Sun conjunct Mars, sesquisquare to Uranus, a potentially explosive combination. We will look at what the possible ramifications of that are in the paragraphs to follow. The Moon in the full moon figure is conjunct Neptune, denoting the busting of illusions when in combination with the Sun, Mars and Uranus. Neptune is in semisquare to Saturn, both of which are retrograde. Venus is square to Saturn, introducing a somber note – we should add, a more realistic note – to world affairs and a reevaluation of international relations, very much needed over the last years of the Stage of the Forerunner. At this point a word about my process in these letters over the past few years is in order. We have the following passage to start:
“…in 2025 the date in all probability will be set for the first stage of the externalisation of the Hierarchy. The present cycle (from now until that date) is called technically “The Stage of the Forerunner”. It is preparatory in nature, testing in its methods, and intended to be revelatory in its techniques and results. You can see therefore that Chohans, Masters, initiates, world disciples, disciples and aspirants affiliated with the Hierarchy are all at this time passing through a cycle of great activity.”
Emphases added. There is a prerequisite for what is called the Reappearance of the Christ and the externalization of the Hierarchy (Kingdom of Souls). To affect this, there must be a concerted, regulated and steady disarmament. This is not optional, we are told. It is for this reason there has been so much emphasis on geopolitics and militarism in these letters of late. In effect, we have been steadily cataloging the beginnings and foundation of world disarmament. As strange and unreal as that may sound, take a look at what is happening. The Western powers are no longer able to wage large-scale war, and the Eastern powers want no part of war. Their military spending is reactive and defensive, despite what we are told about ‘malign influence’ and ‘aggressive behavior’. And by far the biggest spender on armaments in the world is the United States. Now, the US begins to face some very existential questions as a result of its inability to wage war. There is also the factor that US weaponry is no longer seen as the best and the most dependable. The Russians and Chinese have stepped into that void. In all probability, as the quote suggests, the stage will be set for the decision on the externalization of the Hierarchy on or near 2025.
Continuing with the full moon, though we could add much more, the Sun and Moon are both at the Mars/Neptune midpoint, the latter sometimes called ‘the infection axis’, denoting general weakness and debility. If all this sounds horrible, take heart – it is only horrible for the people and factions who have had endless war, globalization and ‘endless growth’ on their minds, as their reason to exist. This latter sentence will form the crux of what we are about to examine, and that also applies in a big way to how the West has experienced the pandemic.
Ceres and the American crossroads: A thumbnail outline of the preceding paragraph is as follows: In case we haven’t noticed, the media across the West has gone into a sort of hysteria over what just took place in Afghanistan. They have demonstrated beyond doubt their fealty to the Pentagon and the military-industrial complex. The elites across the Anglosphere have suffered a sort of collective apoplexy over the matter. I didn’t mention it in the last letter, but that full moon axis formed a t-square with Ceres. Ceres can be seen as a sort of sub-ruler of Virgo. She is the Roman equivalent of the Greek goddess Demeter, one of the twelve Olympians. As much as most astrological commentary focuses on the feminine and nurturing side of Ceres, her mythology is also connected with the changing of the seasons, one reason I would connect her more with Virgo.
But returning to the t-square just mentioned, Ceres is often prominent when there is a ‘change of season’. In a mundane chart, such as all full moon figures represent, the Ceres influence shows a ‘changing of the guard’ or a marked change in direction or thinking. In short, the worm has turned for The Empire, and there will be no striking back. By ‘Empire’, we mean the people and factions in our Western governments who want to keep us militarized, dominant, hegemonic, etc., etc. The various publics living under such governments couldn’t really care less for empire. We all just want to live and let live in peace and pursue our own destinies without being told we have to worry about what is happening on the other side of the world. Our Western nations are not the guardians of the ‘best and the highest’, truth justice and right human relations, and so forth, much as we might think so. To summarize, then, there will be great turmoil in the echelons of power across the West, especially in the Libran quarter for this year (Libra through to Capricorn).
The symbolism of Afghanistan: The symbolism for what just happened in Afghanistan could not be more striking. There are four posts on the blog site outlining the importance of the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan and what it will mean for all of us going forward. You can see them here, here, here and here. Given those posts, we will not cover the particulars of the events of August in Afghanistan here, but instead look at why we were there for 20 years and what awaits us now in these next years ahead, a matter which we also began to examine in the last letter. But as to those events of August, what we can say to start is that it was not the withdrawal that was the real disaster in Afghanistan – and yes, which could have been handled much better – but the fact that we were even there for twenty years. It was a disaster for Afghanistan (read the third blog post, above) and for the taxpayers across the West. It was also a disaster for the families and friends of the people who lost their lives and who were injured in Afghanistan, no matter their nationality. And if you really want to know the truth – and this should stick in the minds of all of us – there was no need for us to invade Afghanistan, or Iraq, or to destabilize and destroy Syria, Libya, Lebanon and other nations in the region.
9/11 was no ‘Pearl Harbor for our generation’. It was a trap, and we walked into it willingly, having been lied to from the start, having had information withheld from us (video) and having our desire for vengeance about 9/11 and fears of terrorism played upon to the hilt. Neither Afghanistan nor the Taliban had any part in 9/11. These statements will upset some readers, but the truth of these matters has to be debated, exposed and faced, because it leads into where we are going from now into the immediate future. And where it is leading the US is to its true status – as simply a nation among others instead of seeing itself or being seen as exceptional or the hope of the world.
Elitist hysteria: Why is there such hysteria over Afghanistan, then, instead of relief that we are out, for instance? To start, something that has been in plain sight to much of the world but kept out of the public domain in the US and UK revolves around the 13 Americans, 28 Taliban and 30 Afghani-British dual citizens along with Afghani innocents who were killed in the blast at Kabul airport: IS-K (the group who carried out the act) were funded, aided and abetted by none other than the US government, and this was under both Trump and Obama. The Afghan government under Ghani also employed IS-K to fight against the Taliban and the Pakistani government. Let that sink in if you are an American. Consider the following:
“…Yes, 13 US military personnel were tragically killed in a suicide bombing, but that’s 31 fewer US fatalities than occurred between 2017 and 2020 — casualties that no one even seemed to notice. Odd that prior escalations of the failed war engendered exponentially less outrage than the belated termination of it. And at least those 13 were conducting the only defensible US military operation in Afghanistan since 2002 — getting out.
Underneath all the partisan sniping and cheap talking points, though, is a deep-seated reason this withdrawal has provoked such a catastrophizing outburst of “Suez-like” magnitude: because the embarrassing symbolism (or “optics”) portends that the US is on a similar trajectory of decline as the UK, although a couple of decades removed. Much the same intangibles that animated UK elites’ feeling of “humiliation” pursuant to Suez — loss of “credibility,” diminution of status, relinquishment of territorial assets — very much also animate the “angst” of US elites who just watched trillions of dollars go down the drain in a failed Central Asia boondoggle. In time, this could well mean the US will be forced to accommodate itself to a similar kind of enfeebled, subservient global role that the UK has so awkwardly accommodated itself to. And it won’t be pretty.”
Emphasis added. The last sentence in the quote is an understatement if ever there was one. The administrations in the US and UK, try as they might, are seeking to put a brave and somehow victorious spin on Afghanistan. Fingers are pointing everywhere except where they should be, though – at the intelligence agencies, the echo chamber in which our elite institutions operate, disconnected from the realities on the ground and their publics, and the fact the military does not operate under the diplomatic arm of the US government, but instead the MICIMATT instead of the general public. More than that, the real powers behind the throne, if you will, who advocated for the misappropriated ‘War on Terror’ are the people who fund the politicians, corporate interests and so forth, which we know as the centmillionaires and billionaires – our 1% and .01%, respectively. The fact is the pullout of Afghanistan brings to a close of over a century of strategic thinking, for anyone familiar with Mackinder’s ‘heartland theory’, and the elites in the US, UK and across Europe all know it – as well as so do the nations of Asia. And the stench of fear now wafts through their halls.
The underbellies of Russia and China are now for all intents and purposes closed off to any serious Western intervention. That means the economies represented by what we are told are autocratic states will go ahead unopposed. Afghanistan has opened a host of old wounds for all the ex-imperial states. It has threatened the very idea of the supremacy of capitalism. History has begun again. The US is headed the same way as the old British Empire. And it stings – badly. What happens in the Beltway and London will bear careful attention because the tendency for the American establishment, at least, is to double down instead of taking an honest evaluation of events and status. Self-examination is not in their vocabulary, and they do not forgive. And London elites still entertain imperial ambitions. Like the US, they continue to view the UK as somehow being exceptional. Cue the Big Lie for the UK, which was Boris Johnson’s shtick for getting himself elected. Where are the empty supermarket shelves now, Boris? And let’s not forget the Tories.
In light of the loss the West and NATO sustained in Afghanistan and hopes of keeping a toehold in the region, we already see article after article emerging in Western and associated newsfeeds about how the Taliban will never be able to form government, how there is hope for a viable resistance to form, how terrorism will thrive and grow in Afghanistan and how the narco state will go on. There will be endless commentary by Afghani expats about the horrors Afghanis face, and so on. This is called denial, as well as fearmongering and narrative-steering. Yes, it is true Afghanistan will be difficult to govern. The country is still very much in the stage of tribal genesis, and factional infighting will likely persist for some time. Kabul is, or was, the main liberal bastion in Afghanistan and its financial center. But there is also a strong and existential interest among the populace and the neighboring states to make a go of things since the Taliban have taken power, free of occupation forces. 70% of the populace is rural, and those people lived under the horrors induced by NATO occupation and the NATO utilization of the local warlords to keep order, or what they called order.
Here are a few facts as to why the Afghan army just dissolved in the face of the Taliban advance, facts which our intelligence communities failed to notice, or just ignored, and we are not told:
“Those of us who have been following the war in Afghanistan for the past 2 decades are well aware of the problems that the so called Afghan armed forces have had. Rampant corruption, criminal incompetence, and drug abuse have plagued this army for as long as it has existed in its current form. It is a well-known fact that a large percentage of the Afghan armed forces were drug abusers, often getting high on heroin or opium while on duty. Furthermore, the corruption from top to bottom was unprecedented. Many police chiefs were outright rapists and pedophiles who would kidnap children to rape and kill, instead of fighting crime, and the level of turncoats who would sell arms and supplies to the Taliban was so high that most Afghan bases stood without any kind of heavy equipment or even fuel when faced against the Taliban onslaught. If you don’t believe me, then check this video [This is another ‘Get your popcorn’ and take some time video.]
To say the least, morale among these soldiers and officers was at rock bottom. And why would this be a surprise? All the good fighting men had joined the Taliban or been killed in the past years. The only people left were drug abusers and opportunists. I quote a former US soldier in Afghanistan:
“By and large the Afghan National Army is recruited from the dregs of society. The good soldiers went off and joined the Taliban. I don’t mean that lightly. I have fought the Taliban and trained and been on joint operations with ANA. The Taliban are tough, brave, well-disciplined soldiers, and frankly, I respect them. If I had been born in Afghanistan rather than America and raised with Afghan morals I likely would have joined their ranks.”
Af-Ghani-stan: Such was the 300,000. Instead, the media and partisan types turn their ire on Biden. But there is another, yet more far-reaching reason the Western elites are in such a twist, and this will bring us back home and to the COVID debacle in a bit. Ashraf Ghani, exiled and ex-president of Afghanistan fled Kabul with $169 million stuffed into suitcases – our tax dollars – and had to leave another cool $5 million sitting on the tarmac at Kabul because it wouldn’t fit in his helicopter. He is now seen for the crooked type he is. But it is helpful to understand just who Ghani was. There is a good article on him. To summarize, he was a neoliberalist technocrat (ring any bells?), corrupt as they come, and a protégé of the Chicago School of economic shock therapy, educated in American Ivy League schools. Ghani lived in the US for years and was groomed for his job as puppet president of Afghanistan. He was the darling of the West, paraded through forums and media as the ‘incorruptible technocrat’ and even wrote a book on how to fix failed states, like the one over which he presided. Now he is holed up in the UAE, another US crony state. From the linked article:
“While Ghani’s dramatic desertion stands out as a stark metaphor for the depravity of the US-NATO war in Afghanistan – and how it made a handful of people very, very rich – the rot goes much deeper. His rise to power was carefully managed by some of the most esteemed and well-heeled think tanks and academic institutions in the United States.
Indeed, Western governments and their stenographers in the corporate media enjoyed a veritable love affair with Ashraf Ghani. He was a poster boy for the exportation of neoliberalism to what had been Taliban territory, their very own Afghan Milton Friedman, a faithful disciple of Francis Fukuyama – who proudly blurbed Ghani’s book.
Washington was thrilled with Ghani’s reign in Afghanistan, because it had finally found a new way to implement Augusto Pinochet’s economic program, but without the PR cost of torturing and massacring droves of dissenters in stadiums. Of course, it was the foreign military occupation that replaced Pinochet’s death squads, concentration camps, and helicopter assassinations. But the distance between Ghani and his neocolonial protectors helped NATO market Afghanistan as a new model for capitalist democracy, one that could be exported to other parts of the Global South.”
Our technocratic failure: After Ghani’s flight from Kabul, the truth of Afghanistan and what it represented to the West stands naked. It was to be a neoliberal outpost in the heart of Central Asia, lauded as a model of liberal democracy, where women could receive education and hold government posts, and more covertly as a staging post for operations in the region against Russia, China and Iran. Just keep in mind, these same academic think tanks and institutions who produced Ghani, the ones that churn out our foreign policy ‘experts’ and many of our politicians and military leaders, are the same type of crowd who lead our Western societies, who keep telling us the virtues of our system of government, who at the same time have gradually and by stealth whittled away at our rights, our health, our infrastructure and our wealth.
“What last week’s fall of the western-instituted regime in Kabul so clearly revealed is that today’s managerial class, authors of our contemporary taboos, and consumed by the notion of technocracy as the only means of effecting functional rule, failed to pull the rabbit – a showcase for technical managerialism – out of the Afghan hat. It birthed instead, something thoroughly rotten – so rotten, that it collapsed in a matter of days.
It is raining technical Pyrrhic ‘victories’ all around us, (together with accompanying scarlet letters to those who might quibble) – and not just in Afghanistan, which was really a success (Biden says). The JCPOA negotiations in Vienna with Iran were hailed as so conceptually compelling that Tehran couldn’t possibly refuse. (Apparently, however, the Iranians seemingly badly “misread the political terrain”). ‘Brilliant’ vaccines are bringing speedy ‘herd immunity, and the return to economic normality’ (Only Delta, and other variants surprised us. Now, we need three shots, and maybe ‘forever shots’ – until that doesn’t work either).
The data-led Fed and Treasury have brought a hugely successful economic recovery – we are told – (except that China potentially is letting the U.S. down, by deflating its property bubble at this sensitive moment). Inflation too, is ‘transitory’ (although all consumers known that to be untrue); the Fed is tapering, but all investors can guess what happens, should they actually try!”
As the old saying goes, finally, the emperor has no clothes. The preceding paragraphs and quotes, long as they are, tell us why there is flailing about and intensive efforts at framing our cherished ideals as somehow having been subverted by a few inept people. In fact, what we see exposed by Afghanistan has been bipartisan, across administrations in the US and abroad and has gone on for at least the last forty years.
Those Chinese, again: Now, to top off the 20 years of failed endless wars and to rub salt in the wounds of our Western elites (so we will be told), China is reining in any hint of monopolistic tendencies, of extremes of wealth inequality, clamping down on online gaming (kids need to be in school learning something useful instead of wasting time in games), stopping for-profit after school instruction, reining in its tech sector, promoting traditional family values (Conservatives and Republicans should love that one), bursting the celebrity cult status bubbles and then – what really has the FIRE sector in the West up in arms – is bursting its housing bubble. Apparently the Chinese feel houses are there to be lived in instead of being used for speculation. This come on the heels of Afghanistan and as the rent moratoriums and support checks are being phased out in the US. The likes of George Soros are quite unhappy about developments in China, strangely (not), going on to say the reforms being enacted will ruin China’s economy. Don’t hold your breath, George. Soros had dreams of turning China into a neoliberal grabitization playground. Instead, the Chinese public gives high marks for the CCP’s efforts. As an interesting side note, how many people are aware that Hillary Clinton had put forward a plan for an American belt and road project in 2011, the “New Silk Road Initiative”, based in Afghanistan? Xi Jinping obviously thought it was a good idea. For the reasons outlined previously, her plan never took off.
Et tu, Caesar?: And on a final note for the Beltway’s foreign policy, the Western powers have been trying to bring Lebanon to its knees, placing it under covert siege and destroying it financially, in hopes of turning the Lebanese public against Hezbollah. The latter is an Israeli dream and has been since their routing by Hezbollah in 2006. There are only 2 hours a day of electricity in Lebanon as a result of the siege, little gasoline for cars, the Lebanese Lira is worthless, people cannot access their savings and no dollars are available. So, what does Hezbollah do? They reached out to Iran, who is now shipping gasoline and diesel to Lebanon by fuel tankers, via the Suez Canal and then via Syria. The Iranians and Hezbollah have dared anyone to attack the ships, saying retaliation would be swift and devastating. They mean it, too. This is existential for Hezbollah and the Axis of Resistance. The tankers are due to arrive in the next weeks. And the response of the US? – to contravene its own Caesar Act and siege. Jordan and Egypt, under US blessings (?!), have sent delegations to Damascus to work out a plan to send Egyptian gas to Lebanon for its power plants, for Jordan to send electricity to Lebanon, and for Syria to refine the oil coming from Iran, then sending it across the Syria-Lebanon border. Lebanon has no oil refineries. The hope with this in the Beltway is a PR victory for the US against Hezbollah and Iran. It is likely to have the opposite effect and will be seen as America caving in to the Axis of Resistance.
With a final note on Afghanistan, any hope for a resistance faction against the Taliban has just been punctured. The Taliban now control all of Afghanistan’s 34 provincesafter the fall of Panjshir. Saleh, the ex-vice president of Afghanistan and known CIA asset, has fled by helicopter to Tajikistan, vowing to come back. There was no foreign support for the Northern Alliance and the region was isolated. Next was for the Taliban and all parties to negotiate a government, which has just happened. Not only did the troops of the vaunted 300,000-strong Afghan army desert as the Taliban advanced, but now the only pocket of resistance to the Taliban that remained has collapsed, thus sundering the hopes of the Western powers who had banked on the possibility of a resistance government and a base from which to spread unrest in Afghanistan. The new government is being seen by some as a step back from all the hopeful talk the Taliban were saying about an inclusive government. Instead, the government is all male, largely Pashtun and most of the members are mullahs. It is not known if this is a transitional government or permanent at this point. But it is out of Western hands now. It will probably take decades for Afghanistan to overcome its tribalism and factional infighting, and we can rest assured that the Western powers are not going to like what happens there. Afghanistan, at least for now, is a regional matter. It is no longer our concern, so long as the new authority there keeps to its promises of not allowing terrorism and of stopping the opium trade. We’ll see.
COVID and the West: The preceding look at Afghanistan leads us into our present situation with the COVID crisis in the West. Like Afghanistan, COVID was a crisis that did not need to happen. Though the two may seem unconnected, the former gives us a sharper focus on the latter. In the minds of most of you, that same thought – that it is a crisis that has gone on for too long and that there is definitely something amiss with it – probably holds true as well. Why are we in this mess that now never seems to end (like our never-ending wars) and what can be done about it? After looking at this for the past 18+ months, there are two factors that stand out, and both of those same factors contributed to what we just saw in Afghanistan – the incompetence and lack of leadership, and the fact that a few people got very rich in the process. I have heard many comments to the effect the pandemic was a planned-demic, that the whole thing is a big scam and that we are being used as guinea pigs in some sort of grand experiment meant to enslave us and/or greatly thin out our numbers. As with all things of this nature, there are grains of truth in such comments. Before we get into all that, though, some preliminary remarks are in order.
What is about to be outlined in the following is a systemic and policy approach by our governments that has put us in the West at a distinct disadvantage, not just with a pandemic or with our militaries, but with any kind of emergency. It is not about COVID or vaccines. In our societies we are at what we might call a critical mass, and what has been called currently a ‘stable disequilibrium’, but one which could break at any moment for any of a number of causes. We will begin to examine all that in the next letter. But for now, regarding vaccines, I will state I am not anti-vaxx. Vaccines have their place. I have chosen not to be vaccinated for several reasons, not the least of which is I have already had the disease and have some measure of body memory immunity, mild though the disease was for me. There is also a medical reason, which I will not go into, although it is not serious, as well as family history. People have their reasons for taking these vaccines or not. For people at risk, if you are in a high risk category and have doubts but decide to have the vaccine, you will not turn into a zombie, will probably live a normal lifespan with no noticeable change in your health, and Bill Gates and Co. will not be calling you in a few months for a booster because they cannot track you any longer. That’s just nonsense. If you think otherwise, yes, we will see.
Here’s the point: These vaccines are not about population control. A few nukes could ruin your whole day as far as that goes. They are about preventing the worst symptoms of the disease, and they are effective in that regard. The Anglo vaccines, however, in the way they are being pushed at home and denied to other nations, are about financial control and on the whole, a huge money-spinner, not just for Big Pharma, but for all their shareholders. There are also patents to protect, truth be known. So, before we get to the policies with which we are faced, there is a little bit of astrology to point out, which some readers may find quite interesting. It relates to a little-known system of Chinese divination, very similar to I-Ching.
Tetragrams?: There is a system of 81 tetragrams called the T’ai Hsűan Ching, described as the lost companion to the I-Ching. It was assembled by the philosopher Yang Hsiung over two millennia ago. I have found it to be quite useful in looking at events and their meanings, especially in mundane astrology. There is a book on it if you would like to explore it. Without further ado, in the Chinese New Year letter for 2019 the following interpretation for the trigram of the start of that year read as follows: All things are of mistaken appearance…That which is undesired bears fruit. Well, we certainly didn’t desire a pandemic. At the end of that year the virus that was to become the pandemic first began to make its appearance. But the trigram was not referring to the virus. The virus is real, has been measured and extensively studied by virologists, much as some people try to refute it. What was unreal were reports that our societies were well-equipped to handle such an event and that the US and the UK led the world in readiness for a pandemic. Yes, we saw the results and still bear the brunt of them. And we note in the early part of 2020 (still in the 2019 lunar year) the collective West looked on in horror at the scenes in the north of Italy, and one by one our societies were locked down as their hospital ICU wards started to load up. The point here is not the pandemic, but a train of thinking and policy that has brought us up to the present point. We were shown the fallacy – the illusion or misrepresentation – that our Western societies would be able to handle a pandemic, to weather it economically and to show the world the great values by which we live. Keep in mind as we go along here that these statements are directed at our leaders, not the public.
For 2020, the tetragram for that year was no less revealing: Yang chi, driving all things forward, penetrates and supports them on their way. Yin chi opposes their progress.When fiery tongues are present, violence often follows. Yang chi in these tetragrams represents the governments of the world. Yin chi is representative of the people. We noted the fiery rhetoric of the year, the growing protests against the COVID measures imposed upon us and so forth, culminating for the US in the Capitol riot on 6 Jan at the end of that lunar year. Moving on, for 2021 the tetragram reads: Youthfulness: All things new, experience is wanting.Small-mindedness only brings small things. We are reminded of the small minds who thought confronting Russia in the Black Sea and building up Ukrainian troops on the border of the Donbass, both provocative acts toward Russia, was a good idea, for instance. We saw what came of that and now Zelensky has made a trip to Washington, hat-in-hand. That will only likely bring about small things as well. We saw small-mindedness of our elites and intelligence agencies in the Kabul debacle, too. Then there is the small-mindedness of the pollies in the UK. We can bring forward many examples of small minded actions by our leadership for this year. Ukraine and Kabul are but two examples. The tetragrams in relation to events have been little explored in the West, if at all, but they do provide useful seed thoughts for the year. This may seem to be a digression, but it has a bearing on what comes next, because for next year (1 Feb 2022) the tetragram reads as follows: Yang chi assists. All things cast off their obscuring wrappings. Recovering from small mistakes, the wise one always learns.
What we see from these tetragrams for the last few years is a steady evolution of ‘from darkness to light’, with the ‘wrappings’ (illusions and glamours) coming off the hidden initiatives and agendas of our ‘men and women behind their curtains’ (a la The Wizard of Oz) from next year. To some readers those wrappings and agendas are already clear enough. But just what are we looking at?
The incompetence and self-serving of many of our leaders is clearly in evidence. That we were lied to in many instances is also clear enough. We were not ready for what came and – this is most important – we have been kept divided amongst ourselves as the pandemic has proceeded, kept in a constant state of agitation by our media and we have watched as our rights and speech have been eroded and censored. In tying the pandemic with Afghanistan, there is the following:
“The ramifications deriving from the paradigmatic blow given by the Taliban to the Western technocratic vision; to Europe at its sudden discovery that America does not have Europe’s back; to inflation felt everywhere; to the QE impasse (that interest rates above 2% would kill the western economy); to geopolitical rejection of the western liberal model – arguably all these run through what happens next with Covid, and the mass resort to the imposition of ‘virtuous’ authoritarianism.
There is, in the end, nothing more than one common single thread running through all these fingers of instability: It is the attempt to impose an idealised technical managerialism onto a complex, critical-state reality, rather than pursue real solutions to problems – and the resort to behavioural control psychology to conceal the rot beneath, and compel compliance.”
Again, we will explore this more starting in the next letter. The great value of the pandemic, as we have examined before, has been the revelation to the Western public that we are not first and foremost in the eyes of the vested interests who inform and manipulate our governments, and that many of our leaders do not seem to know what they are doing, or that they are pawns or puppets on strings to greater figures behind the scenes, or that they themselves have profited handsomely from it.
Crony capitalism: The main reason the crisis has even been a crisis is because we live in a predatory, crony capitalist state in league with the national security state (also a neoliberal economic state) in the US and across the West in varying degrees, where financialization has taken the place of spending on and building of infrastructure and projects that benefit the general welfare of the populace. That crony capitalist state in the US also depends upon war as its raison d’être. We see the manifestations of it in Australia, for instance, with the rapid increase in the police state, evidenced in the COVID crackdowns, the heavy fines for non-compliance and the censoring and banning of anything other than a vaccine or expensive treatment for what for the vast majority of people will be a non-event or very mild. Australia has gone much the way of the United States in terms of golablization and financialization. I lived there and watched as infrastructure got sold off, prices for services went up, health care costs increased and fines for even minor infractions went up and up. Much of the West has been shameful in its handling of this pandemic. And a few people – call them the 1% – have made a literal killing off of it. And it is not even them.
Forget the 1%. It is the 0.01% and how they got to that status that bears attention. Financialization has played a big role in that process, as has globalization, lack of regulations, and tax cuts for the wealthy. There is no single factor, but the solution would appear to be rather obvious – to reinstitute the graduated tax scales, make tax havens transparent or do away with them, stop the revolving door policies in Congress and institute campaign finance laws, and break up monopolies, like Big Tech and Big Pharma, Big Agro…Big Anything. We should not be seeing empty food shelves in supermarkets, food lines during a pandemic, increases in wealth for a very few when everyone else has to stay at home, and so on. Financialization was one of the biggest reasons behind Brexit, and the British are suffering for it now. Oh, but it was the best thing ever!…Right. We need to put out the FIRE in our GDP, or at least regulate it.
Big Pharma has been a big driving force behind this pandemic. Vaccines, we were told, were the one true path to immunity. I could tell you true stories, but confidences prevent me. Suffice it to say, green passes, for instance, are an effort to get jabs in people’s arms, as well as third and even seasonal booster shots. A public domain report here is that if there is not an 80% vaxx rate by the end of this month, then Rome will be re-examining restrictions and even going so far as to mandate vaccination for everyone – yours truly included. Personally, I think it would amount to political suicide for the parties in Rome to vote for that, but it illustrates the scaremongering and manipulative practices that have made Big Pharma, their stockholders and politicians very rich off this pandemic. The same applies to the tech companies. But behind them all are the vested interests who control the campaign funding and who thereby control the legislation that gets passed in each nation. It has been an age-old problem, but the situation has become acute in the past four decades.
How to break the system?: We could go over all the GDP figures and poverty rates, etc., here, but the point has been made. Our problems are systemic, gamed toward the financiers and the people for whom they benefit and who in turn benefit them. Then there is the public, us, who know we are not going in the right direction but feel helpless or do not know what to do in the face of it. History gives us answers. The biggest single thing we can do to begin to set things on a proper course again is to organize. There are several main ways to confront a challenge or a foe. One way is to do so head-on. Another is to go around the challenge and just adopt another way. A third way is to use the foe’s weaknesses or exaggerated strengths to cause them to fall by dint of their own effort. This is what the various resistance states are doing with the aggression of the collective West. Head-on resistance is not the answer. Building a new way, from the bottom up (i.e. at a grassroots level), is the way forward. Otherwise, there is no foundation upon which to build. And probably, the powers that be actually expect us to resist, to push back, which would enable them to push for more controls and limits on our freedoms, especially with an armed resistance. Rolling general strikes, organized labor movements and boycotts are effective means of curbing a wayward capitalist system, as we have now. We are seeing the first gleaming of organized labor appear again in the US, as we saw with the Nabisco strike in the last letter, and now with the Chicago auto mechanics strike.
Then, if people are offered a better way, they often just abandon the old system and take on the new, like we just saw with the Afghan military. The old regime just melted away, like so many wheat chaffs in the breeze. Protests have their place, too, but not much will change the system until the bottom line of the vested interests is threatened. And then, what to do about an apathetic or cowed public? No leader is going to step in and change anything without backing. The public has to be ready and prepared for such a leader to appear. Many people in the US saw both Trump and Obama as their hope revived, only to be let down afterward. There is talk of Trump running again in ’24. Maybe, but he may not be around. When will common ground be more important than religion, party, brand or sports team? It is time for the American and British publics in particular to sit down and take an honest stock of our situation. That same self-examination is coming for Europe and Oceania, too. Who has the real power in our lands? Why have we given ours away and how? Such are our Virgo questions for this year and into the last years of the Forerunner.
If all of the preceding sounds like a rant, it is not. I share the frustrations and disillusionment of most of you. But the facts and opinions expressed here have been expressed by many across the world. The US and UK are in noticeable and accelerating decline. Europe is facing its own troubles. NATO is facing existential troubles, too, all to be addressed at a future letter. But for now, we can figure out how to nurture ourselves and our communities. We can vote out the politicians who have failed us. We can educate ourselves, make the effort to see views outside of the mainstream and not buy into the sensationalism that passes as news, or listen to ‘experts’ who have never experienced what they are talking about directly. Most of all, Virgo is about nurturing ideas and drawing on the wisdom of the soul to do so. The biggest effort in repairing any broken system is in first identifying the problem elements. Once a challenge is seen in clarity, the solutions are often quite simple. And in terms of identifying the causes behind the crises we are facing, this period across the pandemic has given us ample opportunity to see, to act and to effect change. It has been a rich harvest in that regard. The people in power, who would seek to shape our collective destiny to their ends, exist only through the illusions they emit, and through our acceptance of them. It is high time we called them out and held them to account. We deserve far better.
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