2014 in L'Alpe di Siusi, fresh from the US and Australia.
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THE SAGITTARIUS FESTIVAL 2021
19 DEC 2021
© Malvin Artley
Philosophy of living
Horses and centaurs
Centaurs and asteroids
The full moon
End of year statement
Sagittarius – bending the rules
Washington’s foreign policy
Understanding the nations
The experience of war
Keeping the faith?
Locking in capitalism
Which conspiracy to believe?
The fire hose cometh
The EU and the emerging splits
A Christmas light
And Merry Christmas! It has been a rather interesting month since the last letter. I finally have our Christmas lights up, to many appreciative comments by Italians. It is not a tradition here to put lights up at one’s house during the holidays. The first time I fired them up this year a customer at the fishing store across the street from us looked at them and exclaimed to the store owner, “Guarda a questa roba!” (Have a look at this!). I couldn’t tell if he was excited to see them or if he was disapproving. It didn’t matter to me. The impression had been made. I was happy. Within a week the owner of the fishing store had lights up at his entrance. Maybe we started a tradition in our little city here at our house.
Rovereto is a pretty little city at Christmas. In contrast to a couple of years ago when we had a ‘woke’ Christmas, to which we received ample (and deserved) ridicule on Italian social media, the past couple of years have been well-planned and tastefully executed. We have a proper presepe (manger scene) these past two years instead of a couple of androgynous mannequins at the central fountain. The Christmas markets are in full swing this year, too. There is a stall with Tibetan incense we have frequented along with stalls displaying all the traditional baked goods, decorations and traditional Christmas fare. And the tour tractor ride is back this year, too, which takes all of five minutes through the city. Hey, we’re small here but we put on a good show. There are tour buses from all over the regions arriving and the crowds during the weekends are suitably insufferable. But it brings income to the city, which is most welcome now. In all, Christmas this year will be most festive in Rovereto, a good change from COVID madness.
Not all is festive going into Christmas this year, though. We were recently reminded of the fragility of life and the suddenness with which it can change, as one of our favorite dogs passed unexpectedly and with no indications beforehand. The dog was a favorite with the locals, too. But his passing, aside from leaving a big space in the house is also a reminder to me of how we choose to live. His death was shown in his and our astrology, though I did not look at it beforehand. I do not ‘live by the stars’, in that I do not immediately jump to the computer every time something happens. Astrology should give meaning to a person’s life instead of being used solely as predictive tool for events. And when it comes to death, for instance, why speak of it, especially if the people involved are intensely attached to a person, or an animal companion? Comes a time. And we all live in timing, unbeknownst to many people. I will say, too, that every animal companion is connected to us via our karma, our love and our lessons in life.
Philosophy of living: We miss Pippo. And all readers who have animal companions know the story. The point here is not about sympathy or to bring a sad note into an otherwise festive mood, but to illustrate a philosophy of living: How we choose to live in every moment determines our future and future lives. To take a wide and long range view on these matters is to live wisely and with purpose, instead of grasping at every momentary pleasure. We gave service and ‘family’ to Pippo in the last year of his life, and that was what mattered. We hope his evolution was helped in the process. This matter of philosophy brings us to our present consideration – the sign Sagittarius – which rules the natural 9th house of the zodiac. The latter is connected with philosophy, foreign relations, long-distance travel, large publications (as in books) and higher ethics. It is the sign that rules academia and higher ethics in its higher orthodox expression.
Sagittarius: Sagittarius is represented to us in the zodiac as the Archer, riding on a white horse. Its orthodox ruler is Jupiter, denoting expansion, judiciousness, inclusiveness and benevolence in its positive expression. In the negative, Jupiter rules acquisitiveness, a judgmental attitude, hoarding and an imperious nature. Jupiter also rules capital and capitalism. We will come back to the latter. Prior to the modern age the sign was represented as a centaur – half-human, half-horse. The centaur symbolism for the sign has passed into history, the main reason being that now the mass of humanity can reason, being able to lesser or greater degree to dissociate the mind from emotions and to use the mind to rise above the more animal, instinctual nature. The human part of us is able now to dismount the horse and go beyond our instinctual nature, taking more careful aim with the bow and arrow, feet firmly on the ground and undistracted by the ‘motion beneath us’, our instinctual mind.
Horses and centaurs: Corresponding with the ability to ‘dismount the horse’, we now have a class of asteroids which are connected with Sagittarius, called the centaur class. As a group, the centaur asteroids are outside the main belt (the latter between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter) and are short-lived. They emerged as a distinct classification with the discovery of Chiron in 1977. The year is of interest, because it coincided closely with the worst storm in Athens in modern history (speaking of Greek mythology), the election of Harvey Milk in San Francisco, the emergence of the TCP/IP internet protocol and the regular service of the Concorde supersonic jetliner between London and New York. We separated the centaurs from all the other asteroid families. Chiron’s discovery (note the distinction from the photographic plates taken when the Sun was in Libra) chart has Scorpio Sun, and as the ‘wounded healer’ its greatest healing action is of the nature of Scorpio, especially in the mind and emotions. But Chiron came before the centaurs in the Greek myths.
Centaurs and asteroids: As a short aside, the first centaur asteroid to be discovered was Hidalgo, discovered in 1920. Chiron, a favorite among astrologers, is classed as a minor planet (it is too small to be a dwarf planet) and a comet. In fact, all the centaurs have comet-like characteristics, a feature which distinguishes them from the rocky, main belt asteroids, harking back to the union of Ixion and the cloud-nymph Nephele, described presently. What did the ancient Greeks know that we didn’t? The largest confirmed centaur asteroid is Chariklo, also too small to be a dwarf planet. Of the centaur asteroids it is said:
“Centaurs originated in the Kuiper belt and are in dynamically unstable orbits that will lead to ejection from the Solar System, an impact with a planet or the Sun, or transition into a short-period comet.”
Emphases added. In other words, these centaurs did not originate as did the main planets and are ‘doomed’ to wander the solar system until their assimilation, disintegration or ejection from it. Doomed is perhaps not the correct word. It is simply their destiny and their gift to us. They do not ‘behave’ as standard asteroids, as many astrologers have noted. Many of these centaur asteroids have rings, too, including Chiron and Chariklo. Chiron even has an atmosphere and a few of the centaurs even have small moons. There is a flyby space mission proposed for 2023 (maybe) to explore Chiron. Perhaps we will get close-up pictures of Chiron in our lifetimes.
Centaurs were typically portrayed as lustful and wild in Greek mythology, except for Chiron, the single wise and immortal centaur. Of interest is the race of centaurs were spawned from the union of the impious king Ixion (mentioned in the Capricorn ingress post) and the cloud nymph Nephele. Ixion was condemned for his impiousness and reckless behavior to be chained to a wheel of fire for eternity (a symbol of humanity being bound by the lower mind to earthly existence/samsara). Nephele can be seen as a symbol for the astral double, connected with the ‘lunar lords’, the union of Ixion and Nephele as the ‘descent into matter’ and the birth of the human animal form, thus our being wild in our very early lifetimes. But this aspect of wildness and wandering brings us back to Sagittarius. The current centaur asteroids represent the more instinctual aspects of our collective psyche and opportunities for resolution or salvation of the same.
Esoteric Sagittarius: In its more esoteric meaning, Sagittarius is connected with the final taming of the wild monkey-mind of the personality just prior to ‘ascending the mount of initiation’ in Capricorn. Considering all the preceding information regarding the centaurs and their connection with Sagittarius, we have the following, paraphrased for modern sensibilities:
“Sagittarius rules or conditions (for that is what the word means) the activity of the lunar lords who build the bodies of human beings out of their own substance. It will, therefore, be obvious to you why, when a person begins the one-pointed activity of Sagittarius and becomes the earnest disciple, it is possible for that person to rule their personality and to govern it so that eventually it becomes the vehicle of the soul. It accounts also for the reaction of the personality against this control. It is because of facts such as these that astrology is bound to become one of the major sciences of the future, and when this is so the control of the personality will be scientifically carried forward; full use will be made of the planetary influences and the energies coming from the signs as they cyclically make their appearance, and special effort will be made, for instance, to gain certain aspects of control during the month in which the Sun is in the sign Sagittarius.”
Emphasis added. This brings us to our main consideration for this letter – the aspect of control of the personality. And later in this letter it will be important when we consider what is taking place in Washington and developing in Italy, both of them having personalities ruled by Sagittarius.
In Buddhism the Sagittarian phase of the meditative process corresponds to the stage of equipoise at the base of the mountain in the shamatha diagram, where the lower mind has been thoroughly pacified and the disciple is thus ready to climb the mountain behind and ‘rise into the heaven worlds’, i.e. the subtle realms and emptiness/openness. The lower mind is represented in the diagram by the white elephant (mental purity) sleeping beside the monk. The lower mind is thereafter the servant of the disciple (represented by the monk). In our Western symbolism, the elephant is replaced by the white horse in Sagittarius. The disciple (the archer) is free of the constraints of the horse.
Sagittarius is one of the signs representing an interlude and place of mental equipoise:
“This involves a complete withdrawal, in the personality sense, from the form side of life. This again entails (at a certain point of crisis) a point of balance. Secondly, the power of the mind, having been developed, tested and found true in the sign Scorpio, begins to wane in its activity [i.e. the sleeping elephant/dismounted horse] and the intuition begins to take its place. This is essential before the sign Capricorn [represented by the mountains in the shamatha diagram] is entered by the disciple and preparation for initiation begins.”
The aim, to use the term, in Sagittarius is to be able to so singly focus the mind that true breakthroughs in consciousness can be attained. Hence, we have the symbol of the arrow, carefully aimed by the archer to reach its mark. To do so requires a certain tension on the bow (mindstream), the proper altitude (attitude of mind and emotions) and just the right moment, if the target (desired objective) is moving. We call these breakthroughs ‘intuitions’, which they are in the true sense of the word, because they are experienced outside of waking human consciousness, experienced at the level of the soul on its own plane, or buddhi. These objectives are represented for us in the start of the climb up the mountain in Capricorn, away from the earthly concerns (the ‘plains of the Earth’) of daily living. Hence, we have the withdrawal stated in the quote preceding.
When the proper equipoise can be found in Sagittarius, the disciple begins what is been termed, “the experience of the disciple upon the plains of Earth, for the path between the pairs of opposites runs straight and level, leaving the depths of personality experience and the heights of soul experience (at this point of development) on either side.” At this stage, then, enters the rulership of the Earth for this sign, the esoteric ruler. Each time a goal is sought, the arrow of the focused mind launched, the disciple must dismount the horse and find the arrow, or ride on the horse toward the objective. In Buddhism, the purified mindstream is likened to a horse, upon which the practitioner rides. But that is not the end. It is only a stage of progress, whereupon another goal is perceived in the fleeting intuitive states of awareness (at this point of attainment). Thus, we have the esoteric motto for Sagittarius: “I see the goal. I reach that goal and then I see another.”
The final goal, from that level of Sagittarian experience, is to fully overcome the bindings of personal experience. That final goal is achieved at the transfiguration, wherein a ‘fearsome battle’ ensues, between the soul and the personality. In reality, the only battle is on the side of the personality as it fights against being controlled, as the light of the soul exerts its increasing influence. Each experience of intuition gives ever-greater touches and experiences of bliss along with greater and greater urges toward service, until finally, the personality succumbs, which will be discussed in the next letter. But that battle between the soul and personality is represented for us in the ultimate ruler of this sign, which is Mars.
Mars also becomes increasing involved in the later stages of Sagittarian experience in the increasing use of the fires of the body (kundalini/tummo) to release the blockages that obscure union with the soul. Hence the true esoteric meaning of the ‘disciple upon the plains of the Earth’ relates to the conscious directing by the disciple of the fires of the body through the thousands of nadis (channels) to purify them and thus release us to higher consciousness. For it is said, to raise one’s consciousness, it is necessary to change one’s vehicles (bodies), meaning they must be subjected to the purifying fires. This stage is taken under the supervision of an experienced Teacher, but that is beyond our scope here.
Suffice it to say, Sagittarius represents a very important stage in one’s development. Anyone born as a Sagittarian type has this as an underlying stream of thought and a task for life. This is especially true of people with Sagittarius rising, the rising sign representing the mode of approaching the Higher Way. The Sagittarian Sun has a tendency to want to make their own rules for engaging life and for the Sun-sign in Sagittarius, there is always the onus to bring discipline to bear, to obey the Law instead of trying always to work around it. It is a consistent theme I see in Sagittarians, and it is also important for nations and groups. These last statements will become apparent when we take a look at international developments. For now, we leave Sagittarian dynamics and have a look at the full moon.
The full moon of Sagittarius takes place on the 19th of December at 4:35 UT (3:35 PM AEDT). The full moon takes place two days before the solar ingress into Capricorn, so the planetary dynamics will be very similar to what we examined in that figure (see post on the ingress). With that in mind and without further ado, we leave the full moon for this letter and move straight into the international arena and what to expect for the next weeks ahead. Read the ingress report to get an idea of the planetary dynamics for the full moon.
End of year statement: For this letter I have had a request to write about the ‘health situation’ in the world as it stands at the moment. I write these letters partly in response to requests people have for pertinent information, if that information pertains to the astrological period at hand. Otherwise I give a generalized view of world events as they have happened ‘on the ground’ and tie them in with the astrological theme and astrology in general. We will get to the health and COVID issues presently, but first we must have a look at Washington and its Sagittarian personality, because as it turns out, Washington’s philosophy stands behind what has happened across the world in response to the pandemic. With that in mind, the last letter for the most part centered on the United States – Washington in particular – and for specific reasons, some of which will be expanded upon here. It was stated previously Washington is ruled by Sagittarius. It is that city’s personality ruler. Referring to the Sagittarian penchant for bending the rules and for making their own, we have all heard of the now-(in)famous ‘rules-based order’ in the news.
Sagittarius – bending the rules: Those rules in the rules-based order would be Washington’s interpretation (the group-think there) of how the world should be run and behave. We have seen that in particular for the last few decades, and in the past few years the rhetoric around the rules-based order has become quite pronounced. The Jupiterian rulership of Washington’s personality has made its pronouncements about its rules of the road quite imperiously. Well, in the past few years it would appear there are an increasing number of naughty states who prefer to abide by the UN charter – you know, international law – rather than Washington’s diktats. And now those states are talking back to Washington elites and holding their diktats up to the light, and stating their nations’ boundaries in no uncertain terms. And they mean what they say and can back up their claims.
In Washington, as a result of this international back-talk, there is loud banging of tables and stamping of feet. And the Western media dutifully churns out its propaganda in support of Washington’s rules. It has come to the point, for example, where the Anglo nations – as in the US, UK, Canada and Australia – have announced they will not be sending their officials to the Beijing Winter Olympics. “Well, we are not going to come to your little party. So there. Nmmm!” Their reason for not going revolves around a supposed story of genocide in Xinjiang (there isn’t). That is their story and they are sticking to it, but it is a cover for another reason, and much of the world knows it. So far the Kiwis have better sense to stay out of the kerfuffle. Never mind the genocides these same nations have committed in the past. But that’s in the past. It doesn’t matter, right? Apparently karma has no meaning to Washington. The Chinese, for their part and in response to the boycotting nations shrugged and said, “As you like. Based on your recent behavior, you weren’t invited anyway! Stay at home. Your athletes are more than welcome to participate if they like.”
The bully – as much of the world sees Washington these days – is being called to account. And the Beltway establishment does not like it, not one little bit. We will have a look at some of that here, and it ties in with the world’s situation regarding the coronavirus. One of Washington’s rules is that the world must abide by the financial system that has been put in place by successive US administrations, otherwise punishments will be quick and severe to the more recalcitrant nations. And we all know who those are by this point, with no need to cover old ground. Punishment comes in the form of sanctions first. Then, if said naughty nation refuses to bend and accept the rules, well, ‘all actions are on the table’, meaning destabilization of said state by foreign influence and possible regime change toward a more America-friendly mindset, and if none of that works, military action.
Libya, Syria, Yugoslavia (remember that one?) and many others have suffered the most extreme reprisals because they refused Washington’s kind advice and offers. Myanmar is currently undergoing such action, too, because it has chosen the mortal sin of having Chinese BRI projects in Myanmar, as well as just announcing they will be settling cross-border trade with China in their respective local currencies instead of dollars. There will be more stamping of feet, as well as an upswing in restiveness in Myanmar. Wait for it. Now, too, we are starting to hear the threat of military action regarding Iran if they refuse to accept Washington’s generous terms on the JCPOA, forgetting or ignoring, of course, that Trump withdrew the US from the agreement because he thought it was a bad deal. Israel is being used as the attack dog in that little threat, or at the very least the ‘bad cop’ in the good-cop-bad-cope scenario. Don’t look for an attack, though. I doubt the Israelis want to commit suicide, which is how it would be if they decide to attack Iran. Washington would not back them up on it either. And this brings up a salient point, which bears a little expansion and explanation.
Washington’s foreign policy (the 9th house and Sagittarius rule foreign policy) over the past century especially has been imperialistic and adventurous – Jupiter and Sagittarius again. They learned (or more likely inherited) that sense of imperialism and superiority from the British and from other Western European nations, who were largely colonial powers up until the end of the last century. The UK gave up its last colony when they handed over Hong Kong to mainland China. Washington has yet to relent and learn that imposition of one’s will on other people and nations never has a good outcome. There is always eventually blow-back from such actions. People don’t seem to enjoy being under anyone’s thumb. Washington’s imperialism, along with that of the UK (yes, it still exists) is being called to a halt. The evidence, or one piece of it, was quite clear in the so-called ‘Summit for Democracy’, with one commentator making the claim (and not unfounded) that is was an attempt to put out feelers for creating an alternative to the United Nations (video). That summit fell on its face and was widely ridiculed and criticized. It has been pretty thoroughly deconstructed elsewhere. Apparently any nation that fails to measure up to Washington’s idea of democracy is thereby labelled to be ‘autocratic’. It may surprise some readers to know that China has its own form of democracy, which works from the bottom up – grassroots democracy, by the people – with the CPC just rubber-stamping the efforts after success in efforts are seen. I will outline that further in the Aquarius letter. That idea flies firmly in the face of all the negative press we receive on a daily basis about China and other nations. At this point I want to take this opportunity to clarify a point for which I have received criticism by a few readers.
Understanding the nations: I get criticism from time to time by the odd subscriber about my more positive views on nations the West considers to be autocratic, careless of human rights, oppressive, what have you. My approach to these other nations has been one first of curiosity, as to why they are so blackened in Western media. But here is a point: If we fail to understand the cultures of these nations, their history, the sufferings of their people and the true character of their leadership, how will we ever achieve that much sought-after ideal of ‘right human relations’ between nations, so often cited in our esoteric literature? ‘Right human relations’ is another way of stating ‘peace on Earth, goodwill toward men’, as the old phrase goes. It also goes to a point of Christian teaching, with which I grew up and which is actually universal: The guilty should not throw stones, or bomb other nations for that matter. The talk out of Washington is always about other nations seeking to interfere in our elections, for instance, while there is a long record of us, meaning our foreign and secret services, doing that very thing to other nations. Read Killing Hope by the late William Blum if you want an idea of the lengths to which we have gone, all the while with the American public being told we are doing so for ‘freedom and democracy’. It is really rather a tiresome and false refrain and it has certainly lost its luster across much of the world. If the American people were taught these things in school – true history instead of revisionist history – instead of ideas of American exceptionalism, the political landscape in the US would quickly change, and for the better.
The experience of war: One of the main problems with our current crop of politicians and what passes as political scientists is that the US has not known war on American soil in recent memory, has not lost millions of souls in battle defending our homeland and has instead been imbued with a sense of might-makes-right and the rightness, even righteousness of our cause – all of the latter being 6th ray extremism, relevant to the American personality ray. The Russians, the Chinese, the Iranians and many other nations, including European nations, have known war, have seen their nations destroyed, have lost millions of souls in battle and want no part of war. If you want a message of ‘peace on Earth’, it starts with that realization. Until militarism becomes a curiosity of history, we will not know peace on Earth. Certain sections of the planet will in the immediate future, and we have covered those areas somewhat in recent letters. But so long as our lawmakers in the US and successive administrations continue to pass ‘defense’ budgets now approach a trillion dollars annually, the world will remain on edge.
It may also surprise some readers to know neither the Chinese nor the Russians want to see the US collapse nor do they wish to invade anyone, nor do they wish us in the West any ill will. Quite the opposite is the case. In fact they have done their best to offset the financial instability we see now and Washington’s and London’s military adventurism. I know this will seem fantastic, to the point of buying into to their propaganda. But just think about it for a moment. With the US and China so tied together economically, with the EU and Russia natural trading partners and with many centuries of shared history, what would a collapse of the West mean for them? It would be a disaster for them, too. And both China and Russia have offered help and given the same as much as Western nations (like Italy) would allow during the coronavirus pandemic, fro instance. None of their vaccines are allowed in Western nations, though. That is political and a direct result of competition with Big Pharma in the US and Western Europe. And that brings us to our current situation with the pandemic. I will keep these comments brief.
The pandemic: I made the case in the Taurus letter for 2020 (“In an ideal world…”) that we could have already beaten this virus and moved on, probably by mid-year of that year. It was not to be, obviously. Here we are at the dawn of 2022, two years into the pandemic, and our leaders are still forcing lockdowns, cajoling vaccines into people’s arms by every means possible, even mandating them to certain sectors of the populace and with some nations being quite draconian about the whole thing, Austria and Australia being cases in point, at least in parts of Australia. Now with the new variant, the media is rolling out the fear factor again and governments are doubling down on restrictions and the ‘need’ for three and more doses of mRNA vaccines.
Meanwhile – and I don’t want to sound like a broken record – China beat this thing in two months, without vaccines and without locking down the entire nation, using simple but tried and true means, all the while supporting their people. Why did we choose the path we did in the West instead of following such an example? It is quite simple, really. Because of privatization and political expediency (as in wanting to get reelected) and because of corporate interference, we were told the virus wouldn’t be that bad and that we could beat it once a vaccine was found. Until we found a vaccine, however, we were told there would be no return to normal. Now we are told the virus is endemic and we will have to live with it. But this is going to cause big problems going forward, for us in the West, anyway. Why?
Omicron/vaccines: First we were told the vaccines would stop transmission of the virus and give us immunity from it. This was early on in the pandemic. After that proved to be untrue, then we were told we would need a booster every 6 months because the immunity wears off (i.e. the antibody levels drop below a certain level). The latter is untrue. Now we are told the mRNA vaccines only last four months on the outside and that they do not necessarily protect against the new variant. We need new vaccines, again we are told. And now there are reports of people who have had the jabs getting the new variant of the virus, with upwards of ¾ of those becoming ill with it. This is in the northern hemisphere. In South Africa, where it is summer (i.e., there is more sunlight and thus more vitamin D) and where the new variant originated, hospitalization rates for the infections have fallen. Indications are the omicron variant, while being more infectious, is less severe if a person becomes symptomatic (develops COVID). That said, however, the evidence is in. Vaccination with the available vaccines cuts the risk of serious infections (machine translate from French) from the virus by 90%, as in the need to be hospitalized. We have choices, then. If you have no fear of the vaccines, but have concerns for health, as in pre-existing conditions and high risk, then the risk of complications from these vaccines is rare. If you would rather not have the vaccines, then a healthy immune system is the ticket – lots of vitamins C and D, extra zinc, sunshine when you can get it and sensible food intake and exercise. This is just common sense, especially in the winter.
Messinformation: As it is, though, we find public opinion in a mass and mess of contradiction and ongoing debate about pros and cons on all sides of the coronavirus. There was a show here last night recapping the pandemic in Italy. It was quite good to review everything – truth, conspiracy, how people handled it and lived and so on. Some of the conspiracies, like the 5G connection for instance, have been proven patently false. I still get people coming to me with almost end-times fears about the designs of the super-state and ‘the Cabal’. And now some inventive Swedes are trying to harp the idea of microchipping for COVID passports. Just so you know, there is nothing in the present mRNA vaccines that even approaches something like a microchip. And it would take a very large needle to insert one, unlike the needles used in vaccines. I would have serious doubts many people would want to be treated like dogs and cats anyway. Pfizer is working on similar technology, though. Don’t you worry. But onward with all the theories and fears we go, on all sides. What is wrong with this picture? Why is there so much conflicting information? And we wonder why people have little faith in the media and our experts and ‘expert poseurs’ any longer.
Keeping the faith?: There is an underlying reason, among several, behind what is happening in the capitalist nations regarding this virus, but it has nothing to do with the Masons, or a Cabal or the likes of Billy Gates. There is also a reason why people are losing faith in science, too, and that has to do with science being weaponized by industry, using science against itself (see here, here and here, for starters) for their own interests. The latter has profit motive behind it, because to do something about climate change, or pollution or a host of other social ills means industry must change its behavior, and that means cutting into profit margins and shareholder profits. So, if doubt can be injected into the process of true science, then the rollout of needed changes can be slowed considerably or even stopped. Just hire a few mercenary scientists, parade them through the media supposedly debunking the real science, and Bingo! Mission accomplished. We saw that with the tobacco industry. We also see it with Big Pharma and the pandemic. We have a real mix of factors with us at present regarding vaccines, restrictions, the real and imagined dangers of the coronavirus, treatments and so forth.
The short answer regarding Big Pharma and the vaccines is they will push these vaccines until the profits from them begin to disappear, until the public cottons on to the fact we are being used as cash cows, quite aside from protecting us from the worst ravages of the coronavirus. Science and data will be skewed to reflect what they want us to see or believe. Given the lobbying power of the pharmaceutical industry in Washington, the power they have over politicians because of the large donations they are able to make to congressional and presidential campaigns, and even the incentives they give to doctors to prescribe medications, along with the power of advertising, it is small wonder why vaccines have been pushed over otherwise promising treatments for COVID. But we go back to the original statement at the beginning of this topic – we didn’t need to be at this state of affairs now. There were other options, as described in the Taurus letter, cited.
Vaccine thievery: We have seen huge thievery regarding these Anglo vaccines – Pfizer, Moderna and J&J – the mRNA vaccines. They do give protection. They also produce side effects, some common, some rare. There is a video recommended for viewing that explains a lot of this, especially in terms of side effects and profiteering, and even the supposed necessity for these mRNA vaccines. For what has been deemed an international health emergency, no vaccine manufacturer should have been permitted to profiteer off these vaccines. The vaccines should have come under the Defense Production Act of 1950. It is still law. All the President has to do is enact it. Neither Trump nor Biden did so. That should tell us something, as in they were under pressure not to enact the Act. At the start of the pandemic, Moderna had no executives on the Forbes 400 rich list. Now there are four of them. And now the CEO of Moderna is worth a cool $15 billion. No one seems to be questioning why he should have become so wealthy as a result of a national health emergency. So, we see there was reason for the Big Pharma campaign donors to poo-poo simple treatments for COVID, remove stockpiles of Ivermectin, for instance, and to push for government funding of vaccine development. And we paid for that with our tax dollars. But it gets better.
The pharma companies filed for and received indemnity from side effects from these vaccines. We have to sign a form here in Italy upon receipt of these vaccines absolving the manufacturer from any responsibility from side effects. And because the EU is an arm of Washington’s influence (more on that in a future letter), only mRNA vaccines are available in the EU. Mario Draghi, our Atlanticist PM here in Italy, has stated the Sputnik V vaccine may never be approved for use in the EU. He said the same about the Chinese vaccines. So, these American vaccines, as well as being protected against lawsuits for the moment, are also politicized. They are only widely available in rich Western countries. This is a crime against humanity. But it is not only that. These same rich countries are blocking the road toward worldwide vaccination, are charging exorbitant prices for the vaccines and are refusing to release the key technologies to offshore manufacturers that would enable their cheap production overseas. This is robbery on top of criminal behavior, charging up to 24 times the cost of production. And Sinopharm is also price gouging on their vaccine, which is not mRNA. The EU may have overpaid by as much as €31 billion for the American vaccines. Russia charges $10 for Sputnik by comparison, one of the cheapest on the market and at least as effective as the others.
So, roll up your sleeves, do your part and support our struggling pharmaceutical companies. God knows, they need the help. Pfizer and BioNTech need to reach their goal of $67 billion in COVID vaccine sales by the end of this year. Their CEOs need a few extra billion to tide them over to the next pandemic. Do the patriotic thing and support American capitalism. Yes, this is sarcasm.
But in truth, people have their reasons for taking the vaccines or refusing. The preceding comments on the vaccines are to illustrate the corporate mindset behind our pandemic responses across the West, not to say yea or nay regarding their use or efficacy. Now that evidence is coming in, as it will over the next few years, and as it will be studied by real, independent science, we will probably find the use of these mRNA vaccines to be relegated and restricted to special cases and extreme emergency use, as in on battlefields, rather than what we are seeing today. Any vaccine in the past that produced the kinds and frequencies of side effects we are seeing with our mRNA vaccines was pulled from the market. Once the indemnity for the mRNA is lifted, as it will be eventually, we will likely see lawsuit after lawsuit. But by that time, the profits made by these companies and payouts to their executives will be safely squirreled away in secrecy locations across the world. The profiteering off vaccines is one aspect of the pandemic.
Locking in capitalism: Another aspect of the pandemic in the West relates to the disruptions the countermeasures have provoked, and those are producing several effects, as follows:
What all this means is that more and more wealth and thus power has been concentrated in the hands of a very few families and corporations. America is an oligarchy. The pandemic has been thoroughly gamed by many vested interests to dramatically increase their wealth, at our expense. The American kleptocracy is very much alive.
Having said all this, we have been here before, as in pre-Depression years (the years when Hoover was president). We came out of that. We will move past this, too, hopefully with more wisdom. But America has a particular problem with capitalism, and it has been exacerbated by the merging of idealism, religion and corporate interests into the halls of power in Washington. Americans need not worry about Davos, for instance. Washington controls the Davos crowd. In fact, the US has its own version of Davos. It is called the National Prayer Breakfast, held in February every year. There is a blog post on it, listed at the end of this letter. For when it comes to legislation on economics and finance, as far as Washington goes, it’s all in the family. We see it in Biden’s BBB bill, which was opposed by Joe Manchin, a DINA spouting TINA (A Democrat-in-name-only saying there-is-no-alternative to neoliberalism). We need to forget tribalism in US politics. For the most part members of Congress will vote for their donors’ interests instead of ours. Any progressive legislation is whittled down repeatedly until nothing is left of it. And these same members of Congress go on to hold very lucrative positions after their tenure in Congress with the corporations who were their biggest donors. All of this lies behind the West’s response to the pandemic. This unhealthy politics is playing havoc with people’s health and heads.
Which conspiracy to believe?: We Americans love our conspiracies, though, and we love to argue about them. It is the Gemini personality of the nation. But to get through our present troubles, we need a conspiracy we can all agree on:
“No subtlety of thought survives in the culture of unreason. Public space is populated with poseurs, cutouts, and imposters. Public discourse, with some exceptions, is much of the time not worth bothering with…A survey just now shows a slight majority of American youth regarding their democracy as in trouble. Not the strongest foundation for more foreign adventures. A deeply divided country: there is no common conversation in the United States today – one person’s conspiracy theory is another’s truth.”
Regardless of how we feel about the pandemic, China, Fauci, Gates, vaccines, RFK Jr. and on and on, we can probably all agree that our neoliberal capitalist system has failed us in the pandemic. We should have been prepared. We weren’t. We should have been able to address the situation quickly, calmly and forcefully and dealt with it forthwith. Instead, our leaders in the West dithered, except for a few. So here’s a theory for you: What we see in the lockdowns, gaming of vaccines and so forth is an attempt to save our current form of capitalism. The lockdowns have been a particular feature of Europe (including the UK) and Oceania. And by disrupting industry and supply chains the populace is kept guessing, unsettled and thereby malleable – to a point. And to end this discussion we have the following conclusion: We do not really have a health crisis. We have instead a crisis in leadership that is keeping us in crisis. We could have ended this early on. In looking back at the choices – follow China’s example and be done with it, or our present Western approach – which one do you think people would choose now? That is what the people in power are hoping we never realize, because when the realization comes it will sweep these people from power. And the people are increasingly seeing it.
The fire hose cometh: That movement toward sweeping people from power was just witnessed in the UK with the North Shropshire byelection. It has been a firm Tory seat for upwards of two centuries, and it was just yanked from under them by a stunning margin, by the Liberal Democrats. Labour lost support there, too, which is also telling. Labour, like Labor in Australia and the Democrats in the US, are just a different face of the blatant corporatocracy of so-called conservatives and Republicans across the board. We are probably going to see similar electoral upsets across our democracies in the next year or two as people vent their anger at the ballot box over what is happening. Biden is in trouble. So is Boris, with Liz “Tank Lady” Truss is being vetted as his replacement. And many Americans would be horrified, but the same type of trial balloon is being floated furtively now with Hillary Clinton as Biden’s replacement. I don’t expect Biden to finish his term. Note there is no mention of death. If Hillary were to make it to office the hawks in Washington might just finally get their little war with Russia, though. It was she who presided over the Libya dismemberment and Gadhafi’s ‘removal’. The Democrats just don’t learn, or don’t want to. For the US, such thinking goes to show the nature of the one-party system we have in Washington. The philosophy there has become one of support of corporate interests and donors over that of the general public. And that applies to relations with allies and enemies as much as it does to the American public. We will be exploring this in more detail off and on over the coming months. As for the British they appear to have a drug problem in Parliament, which might go a ways toward explaining their own response to the pandemic, along with the nature of their leadership and foreign policy.
It has been said the world is at an inflexion point now. That much is true, and we have been looking at the causes for it in past letters. But for this letter and for now, we move to something that has been in the news in the past weeks, but which also reflects Washington’s policy, and which has been alarming to many people. That alarm has been by design, as it helps to sell weapons and fund huge ‘defense’ budgets. But in fact, it is a false narrative. However, it also goes to the point of the world being at an inflexion point, and relates exactly to Washington’s animosity toward Russia, China and our other favorite enemies.
Russian invasion?: We will address this very briefly here, as there is a post on my blog site explaining it. In short, Russia has zero plans to invade Ukraine. Ignore what you hear in the mainstream about the ‘threatening movements of troops close to Ukraine’s orders’ and the resulting fear and hysteria about alleged plans for a Russian invasion. Russia wants to assiduously avoid any intervention in Ukraine. And the heads of military in Ukraine and NATO know full well what would happen in Russia did decide to intervene in Ukraine. It would not be pretty, and it would be over in a matter of hours – yes, hours. Ukraine would not survive as a state. Neither would NATO intervene in support. The essence here is that all the hyperbole about a Russian invasion has been a PR stunt to boost Biden’s ratings and to get the hawks in Washington off his back, at least temporarily. Biden wants to focus fully on China. The stupidity of the hawks in Washington and NATO over Russia and Ukraine has been on recent display through this episode and shows what passes for foreign policy and American exceptionalism in Washington.
The Russians are quite content to leave Ukraine to implode on itself and for the EU and Washington to clean up the mess they themselves created. Ukraine is a problem for the West, not for Russia, unless NATO tries to establish military bases or missiles there. Now, given next year is the 60th anniversary of the Cuban missile crisis, there may be some sort of similar crisis, maybe even in Ukraine – perhaps a ‘Ukrainian missile crisis’. But remember, the Cuban missile crisis was a standoff that led to more positive developments instead of war. Ukraine is also a standoff, between NATO and Russia, with Washington pushing support of the Nazis in Kiev. Western policy in Ukraine has made certain that it has so soured Russia-Ukraine-EU relations that the Russians have washed their hands of it. Ukraine is now increasingly called “Country 404”, as in the computer error (a broken or dead hyperlink), by independent commentators. That brings us to the EU and what we are facing here on The Continent.
The EU and the emerging splits: On November 26th Draghi and Macron signed a treaty in what may turn out to be an indication of trends over the next few years, especially if the EU decides to follow Washington’s directive and cut Russia off from the EU. It received no attention in the US, and Washington probably thinks nothing of it at the moment. The document is the “Treaty for enhanced bilateral cooperation”, otherwise known as the ‘Quirinale Treaty’ (machine translate). For France, this was a direct result of the AUKUS Pact, which was the last straw for France. This treaty pulls the two nations into stronger rapport, but it also points to something else – something described decades ago – the emergence of an economic bloc comprised of the Latin (or Club Med) nations. This would be the Mediterranean nations of Europe, in other words, from Portugal through to Turkey, but excluding the Balkans, which are more closely tied to Russia and what would be the Eastern European bloc.
In what is a rather interesting, if not revealing article, about the changes in store for the EU. The following section is particularly relevant to what is taking place there:
“It is clear that we have just entered the phase of dissolution of the European Union. This is a chance for everyone to regain their full independence, so sclerotic is this structure. But it is also, and above all, a challenge that can quickly turn into a drama. The United States is collapsing in on itself and soon the European Union will have no overlord. Its members will have to position themselves in relation to each other. It is extremely urgent that we begin to understand each other not just as trading partners, but as partners in all things. Failure to do so will inevitably lead to catastrophe, to all-out war.
Everyone has seen that all the members of the European Union – except the British, but they have left – share common cultural elements. These elements are also those of Russia, which is closer to the Union than the United Kingdom is. It is now possible to rebuild Europe as a network of states and no longer as a centralised bureaucracy, by opening up to those that were artificially separated by the Anglo-Saxons to ensure their domination of the continent throughout the Cold War. This is what Charles De Gaulle was talking about when, in opposition to Winston Churchill, he said he wanted “Europe from Brest to Vladivostok”.
Emphases added. One has only to look at many in the leadership of the EU to note the sclerosis. As to states that were ‘artificially separated’, there were many such divisions resulting from the Potsdam Conference, Kaliningrad being a notable new oblast in the Russian Federation. (Russia was the West’s ally during WWII, for the history-challenged, mainly for younger readers who have only heard American revisionist history. The Russians largely defeated the Nazis.) A Russian province now, it was once a part of Germany. And post-Cold War we note Yugoslavia, which was a Washington and London project aimed a lessening Russian influence and moving NATO closer to Russia. The resulting state-lets there present a particular bone of contention going into this century and their creation went far in souring Russia’s relations with the West. That is a story for another time, but it is starting to come back into the news (video, from 14:39. See the whole thing for info on Ukraine, too.).
So, we end our discussion on international Sagittarian interests with Italy and its Sagittarius personality, just mentioned in the quoted material. The Italians have received enough of Washington and EU diktat in the past two years to have begun the process expounded in the Quirinale Treaty. If Conte had remained PM, the process probably would have been faster. But it took the AUKUS episode to bring France on board. The cat has been set amongst the pigeons now. Along with the US, the EU is coming up for review. NATO, as the enforcement arm over the EU is increasingly irrelevant and is facing its demise. The Ukraine is a key in that saga, too. France and Italy both have strong Leo characteristics, the Leo soul of Italy moving the Leo personality of France and Rome. If there is to be change within the EU, it will come from those two nations, especially now the UK has moved more closely into the arms of the US, to the point where the NHS is becoming privatized to American interests. We watch the changes in the EU over the next couple of years with great interest. Perhaps Europeans on The Continent will finally see some independence after almost eight decades of Pax Americana.
A Christmas light: In closing, my favorite Christmas light this year appears just over the mountains after darkness has fallen across the city. That light is not in our garden, but across many millions of miles in space. I refer to Venus, at the height of its separation from the Sun, being just about to enter its retrograde phase, also known as the Hesperus phase. Hesperus is the personification of the evening star. At present Venus hangs like a jewel above the mountains here and is a source of great reflection for me. Hesperus is known as the gathering phase of Venus, as in the gathering or assimilation of wisdom, whereas the Lucifer phase of Venus (the morning star) is the phase of the dissemination of wisdom, associated with Jesus. Venus makes its retrograde station tomorrow, on the day of the full moon. It is one of the most auspicious symbols for the ingathering of wisdom we have seen in the heavens for a while. And there has been quite a lot to take in these past couple of years, including deciding on a better philosophy of living. May we choose wisely from now and into the future, choosing not simply to ‘be fully in the moment’, but to live for all time and for the benefit of all. Now, there is a Sagittarian statement for you! Call it a grand philosophy of life. With that, I bid all of you a very happy holiday season and best wishes and blessings for the New Year. It is going to be quite a year! (And buon viaggio, Pippo!)
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