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THE WESAK FESTIVAL 2022
16 MAY 2022
© Malvin Artley
Taurus and Wesak
The 1st ray
Not seen in a century
The full moon
Politics and economics
The path of occult work
The Pres and the Pope
A slow awakening
The American Ministry of Truth
Democracy and freedom (?)
NATO, ad infinitum
The story line has flipped
Disinformation about Russia
The real Zelenskyy
The ‘rules-based order’
Democracy is a fickle lover
The Tao of Moscow
To have compassion
Let’s start this letter with an old saying: “We live in interesting times.” If we thought the pandemic was ‘interesting’, in the ironic sense, then the period immediately ahead for much of the world in which most dear readers of these letters live is becoming really interesting. As an example, my wife and I received the bills for our energy costs the other day – gas and electricity. It was an ‘interesting’ bill and insight into what lies ahead. We both about croaked: The costs had more than doubled from the same time last year. When averaged out, the monthly costs just for energy in Italy now amount to what most people would pay for a month’s rent for a modest apartment. Gas, of course, was the largest cost and the costs for that gas – much of which comes from Russia – had been rising steadily over the past twelve months, as in even before the Russian intervention in Ukraine. As a point of note, those prices are rising because of EU policy in pricing (‘spot pricing’), which is EU-wide and which was spearheaded by Poland. More on that later. Spot pricing tends to increase costs dramatically in the event of scarcity, whereas long-term contracts keep prices relatively steady. There is quite a lot we could say here, but we’ll save it for another time. There are many factors involved in energy matters, as in ‘green energy’, control over supply and old historical hatreds, to name a few.
Coming back to our interesting energy bills, my wife and I looked at each other and both said the same thing: “How are people going to keep paying these costs?!” We are OK in our household because we live in the old family house of my wife’s family, built 100 years ago – ergo, we don’t pay rent. We thank her parents and ancestors every day for that. But we are well aware of what these energy prices will mean for many families. And it is not simply energy prices that are a problem. There is also the issue of everything that is produced from that energy and the products of the fuel – fertilizer, diesel fuel (the world runs on diesel), food production, industry (jobs, in other words) – and on and on. And it is not simply the concept of ‘energy’ that is the main point. The major factor is energy density that allows for a prosperous society or not. As it stands, hydrocarbons and nuclear energy are the two most energy-dense means of producing electricity. So-called green energy depends on that energy density for its production, too, but produces a small energy density in comparison, and is on the whole not the most reliable means of keeping homes and industry powered and secure. I don’t think I need to tell you where this is headed, except to say we will be relying on hydrocarbons into the decades ahead until we solve the riddle of producing fusion nuclear energy safely, reliably and cost-effectively. Until then, our world will remain in various states of restiveness and tension. And in another piece of irony, it is largely the ‘enemy states’ of the US and the West that hold the greatest reserves of the hydrocarbons. So, we are talking about resources here and that brings us to our current theme – Taurus – and in the larger sense, Wesak.
Taurus in the orthodox interpretation rules the natural 2nd house of the zodiac, which among other things governs banking, how one uses resources, self-esteem, the throat and the voice and one’s sense of security in terms of the ability to make one’s way in the world. And in today’s world, the means to make one’s way in the world depends upon money, how much of it one has at any one time and one’s ability to generate it. The latter is more important rather than the amount. If one has skills one can always make a crust. It goes back to the old Biblical parable about fishing, for the pescatori among readers – give a person a fish and they can eat for a day, teach a person to fish and they can eat for a lifetime – that sort of thing. Our skills in the period immediately ahead will be called upon in great measure, just as a heads-up.
Taurus is an earth sign and as such is associated with land, fields of grain, landscapes and gardeners, minerals, ores, and resources from the earth in general. Taurus as an earth sign is also associated with the physical body and the physical passions. Taureans are known for their passionate nature, especially in the realm of sensuality, exhibiting the lower Venus rulership of the sign. But more than that, since Taurus rules the throat, it also rules the thyroid gland, which rules energy transformation in the body and in the higher sense, creativity as a process of energy transformation. This, too, is connected with Venus, in that Venus is connected with the mental plane via the 5th ray. This gives a clue as to why the colors orange and red are seen in the throat center/chakra in Buddhist practice, those colors associated with the mental plane, and the ‘ah’ sound in ‘om ah hum’, a mantra found all the time in Buddhist practice. The ‘Ah’ syllable as part of the just-cited mantra is associated with the speech of the body, speech and mind of a buddha. Buddhism itself is associated with Taurus. So, we already have several themes at work here – resources, energy, transformation, creativity, speech and Buddhism – which brings us to the Wesak festival
Taurus and Wesak: Taurus is ruled by only two planets – Venus in the orthodox and Vulcan esoterically and hierarchically. Taurus transmits the 1st and the 4th rays as a sign, and the 5th ray via Venus. The 4th ray actually comes through a triad of signs of which Taurus is one, the other two being Scorpio and Sagittarius. All three of those signs are involved in the path of discipleship. Taurus transmits the 1st ray (will/power) via the planet Vulcan. Vulcan is not a dense physical planet, being rather one of the many planets in our solar system composed of the more refined physical matter (‘etheric’ in our esoteric language). Vulcan is located in between the Sun and the orbit of Mercury. We will not cover it here, except to mention it, as well as mentioning it is one of the seven ‘sacred planets’, the others being Mercury, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune (the planets not italicized in the table cited in the endnote). The so-called sacred planets all find their greatest expression on the plane of buddhi, the plane of intuition. Thus, we see that Taurus, although connected with the earth and material concerns, is actually more connected with intuition, with spirituality and with ‘inner life’ than it is with material concerns. This is an important point to note, as follows:
The Wesak festival is also known as the ‘Festival of the Buddha’. In legend, Shakyamuni/Gautama was born in the sign Taurus. His teachings form the core of what we know as Buddhism as a practice, In and of itself, Buddhism is not a religion, though it is listed as one of the great world religions. But there is no central figure or ‘God’ in Buddhist practice. The goal in Buddhism is to realize one’s ‘buddha-nature’, one’s most refined essence, which exists in a state of full enlightenment and is beyond all worldly concerns. This is a very simplistic description, but is attained in the following means:
“From Buddha’s viewpoint, a human being has—through training, through practice—has what we call the highest enlightened mental state. So through practice, a human being, through a sort of purification one’s own mental state, can eventually, finally, become an enlightened one. Even Buddha himself, in order to get final enlightenment, needed hard work…Every sentient being—even insects—have Buddha nature. The seed of Buddha means consciousness, the cognitive power—the seed of enlightenment.”
In its essence, Buddhism is mind training. It is the steady, graded practice of removing all the obstacles to full enlightenment. As such, Buddhism can be practised in the context of any religious or philosophical system, indeed in any life path. Venus is exemplary of this mind training. Venus, transmitting the 5th ray, gives ‘the science of mind’, the 5th ray being the ray of concrete knowledge/science. But in reality, Venus and the 5th ray transmit the ‘science of the soul’, which gives us the ‘roadmap’ to full enlightenment. The soul is the true realm of mind, not our passing thoughts. That ‘roadmap’ is also called, “The penetrating Light of the Path. This is a beam of light, streaming forth from the point in Aries, and revealing the area of light control.” It is this type of light which Taurus conveys. What is glimpsed as an intuition in Aries is then subjected to analysis (Venus, 5th ray, science) until a clear path forward to the realization of the sensed vision can be achieved. The ‘light of the path’ is actually the process of mind training.
Mind training proceeds thusly: We start with a hypothesis, a plan of action and then proceed to analyze all the facts in front of us. This requires concentration and silence – a silence of emotions and lower mind – in order to sense our way forward clearly. We should note here that in Buddhism ‘mind’ encompasses the whole of human existence, from the physical through to atma. In mind training some facts and concepts will be seen to be false and yet others will be seen to be useful. At first our discipline is scant and we are easily distracted from our goal and practice. This requires an exercise of willpower to stay on course. Thus we see both Venus and Vulcan in action. Eventually as practice proceeds, the will takes precedence over method and we are propelled from realization to realization as the inner light of the mind steadily increases. Throughout all this, though, method and will work hand-in-hand, until the final goal is realized and method is no longer needed. But as we proceed from success to success, there is something of the outer life which falls away until all that is left is the essence, our buddha-nature. Taurus approached in this manner is not material at all, in fact quite the opposite. Taurus takes us out of material concerns in practice and throws us firmly back on ourselves, to face our own mind. In this there are three major obstacles, called the three poisons’ in Buddhist practice – greed, ignorance and hatred:
“In his early teachings, the Buddha identified “three poisons,” or three fires, or three negative qualities of the mind that cause most of our problems—and most of the problems in the world. The three poisons are: greed (raga, also translated as lust), hatred (dvesha, or anger), and delusion (moha, or ignorance). The three poisons are opposed by three wholesome, or positive attitudes essential to liberation: generosity (dana), lovingkindness (maitri, Pali: metta), and wisdom (prajna). Buddhist practice is directed toward the cultivation of these virtues and the reduction or destruction of the poisons; practitioners identify those thoughts that give rise to the three poisons and don’t dwell on them, while nurturing the thoughts that give rise to the three positive attitudes.”
At present we see the world gripped by the three poisons, with lust for power and resources, hatred towards nations, groups and individuals giving rise to negative policies, and a general delusion fomented by false media reporting and deliberately promoted by vested interests in the furtherance of their own lusts and hatreds. What are the antidotes? – the exercise of goodwill (loving kindness), a generosity toward all beings and good sound common sense, which is a wisdom of the soul. At the same time it is worth recognizing we are in a process of precipitous change, with a strong impulse of the 1st ray in evidence as old, crystallized structures are being broken in order to make way for a better expression of our common humanity. This should be welcomed instead of feared. But it also requires us to look within to root out our own poisonous attitudes that may lurk below the surface and which contribute to the ‘world poisons’. Peace comes to the world as we individually make peace within ourselves.
The influence of the 1st ray exhibits first as a destructive factor, shattering whatever stands in the way of spiritual progress. Thereafter, the 1st ray exhibits as a steady building force, otherwise known to us as willpower. Every year at the Wesak festival this 1st ray power is in evidence and is directed onto our planet, resulting first as an experience of restiveness, sometimes to the point of violence and calamity if the obstacles to our progress as souls are overly strong. But the most important thing to note is what comes out of any such experience, presenting as a new sense of direction. Taurus transmits the ‘Light on the Path’ via this means. The ‘bull in the China shop’ becomes the bull harnessed for constructive work as a beast of burden. So, in terms of the zodiac as an astrological process, we have the ‘ascension into heaven’ in Aries (the mind touching the intuitional plane – buddhi – and receiving a vision, an intuition), the immediate sensing of the obstacles to realizing that vision in ‘real life’ (‘grounding’ the vision, or ‘manifesting the mandala’) taking place early in Taurus and then the growth of momentum toward fulfillment of the sensed vision. Taurus is well known for its sense of momentum once the ‘bull is aroused to work’. Taurus represents momentum for change and thus transformation.
The 1st ray also has a cycle, of 1, 10, 100, 1,000 years and so forth. In every century there is a profound subjective gathering called by the ‘Lord of the World’ – the spiritual Being of our planet, analogous to the buddha nature in each of us – a sort of ‘Supreme Council’, in which the steps ahead for the next hundred years are assessed and put in play to advance the spiritual life of every sentient being in our little world:
“This Council is held at one hundred year intervals, and as far as our modern humanity is concerned, these Councils have been held—under our arbitrary dates—in 1725, 1825, 1925. At these Councils, Those Who are responsible for the planetary development, along certain predetermined lines, make Their reports; decision is made as to new unfoldments; certain types of energy, cosmic and solar, are made available for the carrying forward of the Plans which implement the Purpose; the evolution of consciousness in the three worlds receives, necessarily, major attention. I would have you remember that this refers not only to the human kingdom and its unfoldment, but to the three subhuman kingdoms also which are—from many points of view—of equal importance to the human. This is a hard saying for humanity to accept.”
Not seen in a century: With the preceding quote as a basis, we know the world in 1925 was in a troubled state. Europe was ruined by World War I and financially strapped which gave rise to fascism and far-right nationalist movements across Europe. Germany labored under hyperinflation due to war reparations, Italy became a fascist state under Mussolini and Russia became the USSR, instituting its first 5-year plan. The US enjoyed the Roaring 20s, having become a major world power as a result of WWI. The US also saw the start of the manipulation of public opinion under the direction of Edward Bernays, aptly named the ‘Father of Spin’. His work continues unimpeded in the US and across the West to this day. If we take a step back and look we see that many of the items just listed are being echoed today, which brings into question how far we have come, or not, along those lines. Regarding the 100-year cycle of the 1st ray and the destructive energies at work now, consider what we have currently in light of present events:
“Americans are now so worked up about Russian aggression that we are not thinking nearly as much as we should be about the epochal changes in the global situation that the war in Ukraine is catalyzing or how to cope with these. President Putin’s decision to use force to defend Moscow’s perceived security interests and the reactions of the United States, Europe, Japan, and Australia to this clearly mark “changes not seen in a century”—to coin a phrase. We are witnessing the end of the post-Cold War period and the passing of the post-World War II and Bretton Woods eras as well as other historic shifts in the world order.
Russia’s three-century-long effort to attach itself to the West has definitively failed. Sanctions are decoupling it from Europe and North America and leaving it with no alternative to dependence on China and India. Europe is no longer at peace. Germany and Japan are rearming. Finland and Sweden are applying for membership in NATO as Turkey sets it aside. With “Brexit,” Britain has forfeited influence in Europe and thereby diminished itself globally. The Middle East has ceased to be an American sphere of influence.
International law has lost almost all credibility. The future of the dollar-based international monetary system is in increasing doubt. The “exorbitant privileges” the United States has enjoyed for three-fourths of a century are at risk. As Africa, the Arab world, Latin America, and West and Southeast Asia join China and India in refusing to take sides in the US-Russia proxy war in Ukraine, they show that the world is much more divided between former imperialist powers and those they humiliated than between democracies and autocracies. There are ever fewer institutions that are sufficiently representative of shifting global subdivisions and power balances to bridge this divide.
The preceding was written by Charles “Chas” W. Freeman, Jr., Nixon’s interpreter when Nixon went to China in his efforts to open China to the West. Emphases added. Read the whole article, as the man is quite insightful. Though short it is revealing and reflective of topics we have covered in past letters. Freeman is one of a disappearing breed of true statesmen across the West – an old school diplomat. We need his kind to stay around to educate our current ‘diplomats’. Keep his points in mind as we go along here, because these events are the outer expression of the subjective realities that will drive the world forward after 2025. We are in the last stage of preparation for the great subjective Council of 2025, keeping in mind that event will take place on the subjective planes of our solar system. What is happening now will probably have the following effects going forward over the next few years, to name a few things. After these points we move on to the full moon and the main events for this month:
Keep in mind as we go along with the remainder of this letter that, since we are in a period of such rapid and sweeping change, what follows will not seem very positive or uplifting. But the apparent negativity and wrong-headedness of policy we see unfolding is a necessary part of the transformation of international and human relations going into the Aquarian age. It has been ‘baked into the cake’ as it were by factions who want to see their continuance of control over the world, but who are now facing their imminent defeat. This will take time, of course, but as we saw 100 years ago, we are all called upon now especially to redouble our efforts in practice, whatever our inclination, to first bring peace to our own minds and thus to transmit that outwards to all sentient life, bringing a lasting peace to this world. Our evolution as humanity, albeit not so much in evidence at the moment, has advanced and the present turmoil will not likely last so long, much as a small minority in places of power would like for it persist. With all the preceding in mind, we move on to the full moon and the immediate events in front of us.
The full moon takes place on 16 May 2022 at 4:11 UT (2:11 PM AEST). The full moon is also a total lunar eclipse, and a ‘blood moon’, because it will appear red. There are a few quick notes about the eclipse and then we will get to the meaning. To start, lunar eclipses (always at the full moon) in signs usually take place roughly every 19 years, sometimes taking place in three successive years, as we saw at Wesak in 2003, 2004 and 2005. This time around the present eclipse is the first of two Wesak eclipses in successive years, the next one being on 5 May 2023. When we have three eclipses at Wesak in successive years those signify important periods in world history. The previous series of three eclipses at Wesak covered the period of the Iraq War in its most militaristic phase and all the fallout form that in the following years. So, for this year and the next Wesak meditations take on particular importance. This one will be the more powerful of the two.
The present eclipse will be the 34th eclipse out of the lunar Saros series 131. The maximum eclipse will be at 04:13 UT and will be visible in totality over the eastern North America and all of South America. The central line of the eclipse, which is also the lunar culmination line, stretches from Cape Horn to Newfoundland and passes through Venezuela. So, from your holiday house in Caracas you should get a good view of the eclipse. Joking aside, the solar culmination line runs from Perth, Borneo, eastern China and up through Siberia. The totality phase will last for 85 minutes. This is the 5th total eclipse in what is a waxing series and it will be the first of two total lunar eclipses this year. The second one will be the full moon of Scorpio on the 8th of November. Total lunar eclipses are normally ‘blood moons’ due to atmospheric factors. This particular blood moon will be particularly powerful due to a confluence of astrological factors.
The ‘blood moon’ also has other meanings with this figure, because the Sun is conjunct the star Algol (β Persei), having been branded ‘the most evil star in the heavens’. Algol is:
“Of the nature of Saturn and Jupiter. It causes misfortune, violence, decapitation, hanging, electrocution and mob violence, and gives a dogged and violent nature that causes death to the native or others. It is the most evil star in the heavens.”
Charming. There is also this, from the same source:
“With the Sun, Moon or Jupiter, it gives victory over others in wars.”
As to the latter, that would be if a general or leader had such a configuration in their chart. The conflict in Ukraine has already been pretty much decided in favor of Russia. We will have a brief look at that in a bit. When the eclipse is added to the influence of Algol, the effect is intensified, plus this is the Wesak moon, the most powerful lunation of any year. And then, we see the square of Saturn to the eclipse axis, adding the spiritual notes of decision and opportunity. In mundane astrology such a t-square points to inhibitions, ambitions, choices to be made and separations. What the entire configuration points to thus far is what we have been examining lately and which a colleague recently voiced – the tectonic shifts taking place in international relations. These shifts will define our world order for a least a generation. We will see why as we go along here. The Sabian symbols for the lunation degrees give us some indications of what is unfolding in the immediate months ahead:
These symbols speak firstly to the frantic efforts of the Americans to woo hesitant nations to their side against Russia, which is having little effect, by the way. But the symbolism also speaks to engaging new rituals while still using established institutions, of wooing parties to new initiatives (which is taking place on the Russian-Asian side) and moreover having to display the ability to adapt quickly to new situations, all the while still working within and accepting the changing environment. The latter statement points to the West’s present problem – the inability and obstinate refusal to accept that the world order is changing, away from Western dominance.
Taurus rules several international relations, all involved in the present conflict, set to stimulate or draw out the souls of those nations and capitals Taurus rules – China, Poland, Canada, Rome and Moscow, and as well stimulating the shattering of crystallized structures in the national personality Taurus rules – Great Britain. The personality of Britain is facing very significant challenges these days, which will be outlined as we go along in relation to Europe in general. But as a note, the UK has been riven by scandals lately and the public has just turned against the major parties in the latest local elections, especially against the Tories. Labour made some gains, but not to the extent they had hoped, and which speaks to the feeling among the public that Labour is no longer the ‘Party of the working class’, in much the same way the Democrats are now perceived in the US. The UK is no longer the ‘John Bull’ of imperial England, having, “…passed away at Ypres and Passchendaele.” But the British elite still has a fondness for its old imperial grandeur, which had since morphed into the financial empire the UK has enjoyed since the ‘50s once its physical empire was lost to the Americans.
The Saturn factor in the eclipse points to resistance to the changes exhibited by status quo groups and vested interests, who would seek to keep the old Western-led world order intact. Saturn also points to the ruptures in relations that are taking place temporarily between the old and the emerging orders. For example, there is talk of a new Iron Curtain between the West and Russia because of the Ukrainian conflict, but that will soon pass as reality begins to set in. Sooner or later, like the British had to do with India, the Western powers will have to cut their losses and negotiate new security agreements with Russia, China and other rising powers. If we recall, the Crimean incident in 2014 caused great consternation to the EU and US, who slapped heavy sanctions on Russia and sought to crush its economy then, only to see Russia turn around and become largely autarkic and the major energy supplier to Europe. The sanctions against Russia did little good then and will do as much now, as in nothing, and Europeans especially will slowly begin to return to Russia to do business once the dust has settled in Ukraine. They are already doing so, which we will also cover shortly. As of now there are already 20 EU concerns paying for Russian gas in rubles.
What the Algol symbolism really indicates in this full moon figure is the vision that the head needs to be cut off what has turned out to be a crystallized and corrupted system of governance and economics, since we are speaking of Taurus, a system that is largely a part and major tool of the Western-led ‘rules-based order’. It clearly does not support the majority populations of Western nations, as we have seen the wealth gap increase markedly in recent years, public services and programs cut, stagnated wages and so on. We have looked at all this before. But then, there is one more factor regarding the full moon axis, and that is the Sun conjunct Sedna, the latter at the last degree of Taurus. Sedna enters Gemini next year, signaling the emerging multipolar order. When Sedna changes signs it signals destruction of old orders and the emergence of new forms. Sedna was a creator goddess, after all. When coupled with an eclipse, its action is intensified.
Politics and economics: Two factors stand out in relation to Wesak this year, especially with the transit of Uranus through Taurus. Those factors are: 1) political will and 2) the sudden emergence of new economic realities. The latter has particular significance with respect to the nations and capitals ruled by Taurus. We begin our examination for this letter with political realities and political will, with political will especially pronounced in the East, which is China and Moscow, the latter representing the Russian government and establishment. Note: Vladimir Putin is only one figure in Moscow, though the most visible, but ‘Moscow’ is a label attached to a very large bureaucracy, expressed through its leaders. We should also note that both Moscow and China (as a nation) pursue their goals slowly and deliberately with a long view, in typical Taurean fashion from the aspect of will, as was discussed under the Taurus heading of this letter. These are old and experienced cultures, tempered and shaped through centuries of hard experience. The shared Taurus emphases in those two nations show the closeness of their connections now, while with the other nations we get the idea of bulls butting heads. Currently Canada, Poland, the UK and Rome are all using their Taurean force in an effort to hold on to the Western dominance against the East.
There are several things to note here. Firstly, the military battle we are seeing is not about Russia and Ukraine. It is a battle between the Western-led financial order and the emerging financial order being spearheaded by the Russians and Chinese, in concert with other nations like the BRICS group as well. In essence, it is a fight between capital and labor, with the capitalists in the West seeking to cut short the development of and to retain their hegemony over the industrial capitalism of the East, the latter favoring labor. And in the Western-led forces, the Anglo nations are the foremost antagonists – the US and the UK in particular. Ukraine is seen as instrumental by the West as the means of destabilizing Russia and producing regime change, mainly to be rid of Putin. However, for the West, economic realities will soon reshape the political landscape, because for all its vaunted advantages and ideals, democracies have fundamental weaknesses – the election cycle and the corrupting power of money, which means politicians must focus on electoral politics to the detriment of policy, especially when donors have too much control over media, as we see in the US and UK. Big Money in Western politics has taken away political will as well as democracy itself and the private ownership of all media platforms practically guarantees that the public does not get the information we need to make informed decisions, nor to have informed debate on the issues. When we hear people say they don’t know what to believe any more, it means the propaganda machines in our home nations have been very successful.
Shattered illusions: In past letters and posts we have looked on the present conflict in Ukraine as a catalytic event. Taurus is listed as one of the catalytic signs, along with Aries and Capricorn. In the Aries letter we took the hypothesis that the conflict was a great occult event. We will examine why more thoroughly in this letter. Before we do, the tendency of the 1st ray coming through Taurus is to shatter old forms and then rebuild on the rubble. There is a midpoint to the full moon axis, Mars/Pluto, which goes hand-in-hand with every configuration listed in the chart thus far. It is a midpoint found with surgical procedures when activated in individuals. It describes superhuman force, military actions, ruthlessness and brutality – in the positive, success through extraordinary efforts and in the negative the necessity to have to suffer violence and injuries. In essence, what we see with this full moon is the utter shattering of illusions and glamours. The cognitive dissonance to which we are being subjected across the West will reach a peak at this full moon and shortly thereafter, leading to hard truths landing home in the ensuing months. This is needed, and has been for the bulk of this century so far. If we are to move with grace to the end of this Stage of the Forerunner, the illusions of the past must be exposed for what they are, and the people who have promoted them must be exposed and called out.
The path of occult work is a steady, graded process of moving through and dispelling illusion after illusion, and thereby glamour after glamour, for the two go hand-in-hand. This we do until full enlightenment is achieved. This full moon exemplifies such a process to a ‘T’. But this process requires a stable mental field, unmoved by the emotions and mental hooks that swirl around us constantly. We have entered a period of ‘beneficent destruction’, one which will arouse great fear and anger in parts of the general public. To others still, the upheaval will be a welcome change. This fear and anger we must avoid. In the Anglo nations especially we have been subjected to a process of stupefaction over years. We need look no further than our leadership to see it. There are two main areas of human life where we have seen crystallization and corruption most markedly – politics and economics – and the two are very intimately related. It probably goes without saying for most readers that our political systems in the West need a good overhaul, that they no longer represent the interests of the majority of the populace. This is where the main shattering will take place over the next few years, brought on by economic realities. When it comes to politics in liberal democracies (actually across the world) politics is determined by one main factor, in a phrase coined by James Carville in the ’92 Clinton campaign: It’s the economy, stupid.
In 1991 I was living in the US when the first Gulf War broke out, the war to ‘liberate’ Kuwait from Iraqi forces. During the war George Bush, Sr.’s ratings were running at around 90% approval. After the war there was a recession. Bush’s approval rating sank to a disapproval rating of 64%, due to the recession. Clinton won the election handily, by campaigning on the economy. That swing in approval ratings took place in less than a year. Inflation in the US is currently rising steadily. Biden’s approval ratings stand at around 42%, which is fairly poor. Whereas the Gulf War helped Bush Sr., the war in Ukraine has done nothing for Biden. His approval began to slip a year ago, largely in response to economic pressures on American families and the failure to pass his BBB plan for recovery from the pandemic. Other factors are at work, too, as in the pandemic and so forth. But in the large, it is economic pressures that guide politics. The US is about to go into recession, along with Europe. The midterms are looming for Biden and the Dems in November, and they are likely to be routed. The war is not going well. People sense it, and they see the administration pouring billions into the Ukraine sinkhole, all the while inflation rises and more and more families struggle to make ends meet. It is much the same in Europe. What do we realistically expect to happen if the war drags on, which Biden and Co. seem determined to make happen?
The Pres and the Pope: In the Aries letter there was a forecast that the world view would be changed by the end of April. That has basically happened. Up until the end of last month there was no mention of the war being between Russia and NATO. Now everyone knows it, of those people paying attention and not still blindsided by the ‘Russia is losing’ narrative. Now it turns out the ‘Ghost of Kiev’ is a fake, like so many others. But of ‘the Ghost’, it is the ‘collective spirit’ of Ukrainian pilots, so goes the spin. But in what is likely to get the Pope cancelled from social media, he recently stated that NATO may have caused the war in Ukraine by ‘barking at Russia’s door’. Well, he is almost there, just short of being definitive about the matter. Meanwhile, Biden seems to be going across the country seeking support for his $33 billion aid package to Ukraine, having given a talk at Lockheed Martin surrounded by some of the 5,500 Javelin missiles that the Russians keep giving to the Donbas fighters. It is true. A great many of the weapons we send to Ukraine end up in Russian hands. It is also true the Javelin has proven to be somewhat less than effective, as in not very. As the Russians advance many of the weapons being shipped over there are abandoned or captured and then given to the forces of the Donbas republics, believe it or not. But that is just Russian disinformation, right?
Biden has to keep up the spin, though, and the public has to believe those weapons are making a difference, otherwise there would be no impetus from the public to support the Ukrainians in the war via weapons. Europeans are quickly catching on, though, and are increasingly protesting the shipments of weapons to Ukraine. Scholz was recently heckled in public for doing so. Italians just guillotined an effigy of Draghi for Italy’s sanctions against Russia, which have resulted in high prices and lowered standards of living. We over here are horrified at what Biden is doing, seeking to keep the war going and now with his administration openly stating that the aim of the conflict is to weaken Russia – note: not defend Ukraine, ‘fight against evil’ or to ‘defend democracy’ – knowing full well that flooding Ukraine with weapons holds the possibility of escalating the war outside of Ukraine, not to mention those weapons falling into unscrupulous hands or even more extreme, the nuclear option. Now we see talk of ‘the possibility of winning a nuclear war with Russia’. This is just madness. In terms of the weapons going to Ukraine, though, the Pentagon has no way of tracking where those weapons go once they are delivered. Black marketers are probably having a field day with significant numbers of those weapons. But Papa Francesco wants a meeting with Putin in Moscow. Maybe he can sort this mess out. Most importantly, this needs to sink into the public consciousness, what this talk of ‘weakening Russia’ actually means.
‘Weakening Russia’ in Ukraine, first of all, is not on the cards. Sending weapons to Ukraine will not do anything except to waste a pile of taxpayer dollars and extend the suffering of Ukrainians. The Russians have destroyed the main means of delivering the weapons that would be needed, and then there would be a lack of trained personnel to use them. The rail lines needed to ship heavy weapons to the east of Ukraine have been disabled. We are talking a distance of over 500 miles/800 km from Poland to the eastern front, and with little available fuel even if there were trucks to drive them there. But that isn’t even the point. Adam Schiff, over two years ago, said we (Washington) are arming Ukraine “…so we can fight Russia over there and not have to fight Russia here.” So, what is actually going on here? Why did it seem necessary even two years ago to fight Russia? There appears to be a fundamental hatred of Russia in Washington, at least with certain factions, but it is an old story. The more disturbing fact is the folks in Washington are using another country to fight Russia, whereas they know if there were ever talk of American forces facing off against Russia there would never be a war with Russia. Americans would never accept it.
Washington is not going to weaken Russia. Sending weapons is a senseless waste – of money, of human life, of time – and will not help Ukraine or us one iota. It is also a serious error in judgement by the Western powers. There was a chance for a negotiated peace in March, but it was abandoned by the Ukrainian side under direction from Washington. Since then we have seen Nancy Pelosi, Boris Johnson, several US senators (including Adam Schiff), Lloyd Austin and Anthony Blinken all paying a visit to Zelenskyy in Kiev, all with the same message: Hold the line, no surrender, we’ll send money and weapons, we must defeat Russia. As if. Even Angelina Jolie was in Lviv on her own virtue signaling mission and photo op. Why else is anyone’s guess, except maybe to have a coffee at one of the local cafes. She didn’t stay very long. At least she did speak about the need to protect refugees everywhere. She has been an envoy of the UN Refugee Agency. Bono was in Ukraine, too, along with Jill Biden and Justin Trudeau. More virtue signaling.
A slow awakening: Someday Ukrainians are going to wake up to having been used and sacrificed by the Western powers. Americans are waking up to it, slowly. Meanwhile our leadership clearly exists in a state of altered reality, thinking we are all fools, or even worse, believing their own propaganda. We are not weakening Russia. We are weakening the West. So, now that the cat is out of the bag, let’s be very clear about Ukraine: Washington and London are using Ukraine and Ukrainians to fight a war against Russia, to try to get Russia out of the way, even subjugate it, so they can go after China. To their thinking it is better if the Slavs (Ukraine, Russia and other Slavic peoples) duke it out in Ukraine rather than putting Western boots on the ground there. The latter would be bad for politics. These are ugly statements, but far uglier is the fact that some of the Western powers (The US, UK and France primarily) are sacrificing a nation and a people to pursue their own agenda against Russia while in a cowardly refusal to send their own citizens to do the job. It is criminal behavior. So, if the fight is between good and evil, where is the evil in reality? European and Japanese peoples are being sacrificed in the process, too. War, as Smedley Butler stated, is a racket, and right now the arms manufacturers in the West are seeing spectacular profits while Ukrainians and Russians die and Europe and Japan face financial ruin. The Western public should be outraged at our leadership for this atrocity. Instead, “We stand with Ukraine”. Actually, we don’t. Instead, we have acquiesced to a false narrative:
“We are not reading in the corporate press, by contrast, that a new wave of brute censorship is now upon us, as social media such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube “suspend,” “cancel,” “de-platform” — whatever this radically antidemocratic business is called — dissenting writers and analysts who have taken the trouble to examine the facts on the ground in Ukraine such as we have them with professional disinterest. We must defend democracy at home, the good of [Western nations] insist, just as we must in Ukraine. Since the Russiagate farrago overcame liberal America in 2016, there has been much debate as to whether our McCarthyesque circumstances are as bad as, similar to, or not as bad as things got during the Cold War decades.”
The American Ministry of Truth: There is a very topical example which should perhaps illustrate the state to which we have arrived, and the utter disregard our leaders have for reality and for our intelligence. This shining example of leadership is known as the ‘Disinformation Governance Board’ (DGB), headed by one Nina Jankowicz. This organization, which is supposed to correct all the so-called ‘Russian disinformation’ we are supposedly bombarded with these days, instead hands out its own Russian disinformation. The DGB is the brain-dead child of Joe Biden’s administration, the equivalent of the ‘Ministry of Truth’ in Orwell’s 1984 – “War is Peace,” “Freedom is Slavery,” and “Ignorance is Strength.” One really has to see this to believe it (video, below):
Here in Italy they have already called out the new Biden ministry of truth as scandalous (in Italian). This latest woke official, Jankowicz, has no business in government and further has no clue about Russia. She should stick with a career in musical theater instead. Institutions like the DGB deserve to be ignored instead of being taken seriously. Now she wants to be able to ‘add context’ to people’s Tweets and turn Twitter into a micro-Wikipedia – censored, biased, propaganda. There was one voice in the US Senate who called it out (video). Rand Paul had this to say about the new ministry, lambasting its overseer, Mayorkas:
“‘Here’s the problem: we can’t even agree what disinformation is. You can’t even agree if it was disinformation that the Russians fed information to the Steele dossier. Of course, we know the Steele Dossier was compiled by MI-6, and Russia had nothing to do with it at all. I mean, think over all the debates and disputes we’ve had over the last 50 years in our country. We work them out by debating them. We don’t work them out by the government being the arbiter,” the Senator said. “I want you to have nothing to do with speech…You think the American people are so stupid they need you to tell them what the truth is?”
Well said. It was noted in the Politico article (linked above) that is was largely Republicans who were complaining about the new board. But that sort of thing shows how deep the party political divide is in the US and how politicized media has become. It is a huge problem in the US and across the West, with people focusing too much on ‘right or left’, ‘liberal or conservative’. Instead of listening to the message the public focuses on the messenger. Tucker Carlson is ‘right wing’, so liberals dismiss him out of hand. The New York Times is held up as an authoritative source of news by liberals, yet it is regularly called out for its warmongering and disinformation by conservatives and independent journalists. We cannot seem to have an informed debate about anything these days. And one of the biggest reasons for that is because our access to information is algorithmed to death and heavily censored now. The owners of the media organizations have their biases (we all do to some degree) But at least now we have a singing budgie to give us karaoke updates on her opinion of what is truth or not, courtesy of the DGB. But even more offensive ad dangerous to free expression is a private company called NewsGuard, which was founded and run by a bunch of old intelligence spooks. It is certainly an insult to and assault on our intelligence.
Democracy and freedom (?): We have discussed this before, but it will have a bearing as we go along here – in our Western liberal democracies, we do not effectively have democracy nor free speech or anything amounting to informed discussions on matters of real import. The DGB and NewsGuard are cases in point and a symptom of decay. Our Western democracies at the level of government have become crystallized, intolerant, polarized and increasingly autocratic. There is no longer a true ‘left’ in politics, for example, witness Bernie Sanders and The Squad just voting to approve the $40 billion in aid to Ukraine. The neoliberal system that promised us endless growth, prosperity and the elimination of poverty has instead infected and corrupted governments to the extent that they no longer answer to the people but instead pander to corporate interests. What we have instead of elections are otherwise choices between which candidate will best support those moneyed interests who can spin the best political lines in order to keep us in line. And it makes no difference which country is your place of residence. Elections are for show and are manipulated, painstakingly stage-managed. The recent French election is a case in point.
Macron was just reelected by a handy margin. So we are told. Is that the case, though? Le Pen came close in the first round of the election and there had to be a runoff, but she lost. It was engineered that way. Here are the essentials:
“Certified Arabophobe Eric Zemmour, who is of Algerian origin, was manufactured by key establishment players of the Institut Montaigne variety to cut off the populist right-wing candidacy of Marine Le Pen. In the end, Zemmour’s electoral performance was dismal, as expected. Yet another candidate pulled off a miracle intervention and was even more useful: ambitious egomaniac opportunist and so-called progressive Jean-Luc Melenchon.”
Watch what happens next time a populist candidate comes along in an election. We have many examples – Corbyn, Sanders, Cinque Stelle, Khan, Lula, Whitlam, for a small sampling. Some other candidate will come along who will pull away just enough votes to cost the election for the populist. The populist will be branded as ‘right wing’ or ‘communist’, the label will stick. And if the electoral gaming doesn’t work, the populist will be removed by some sleight of hand once elected or rendered a lame duck – all constitutional, of course – with a more ‘appropriate’ leader installed instead or a hostile legislative branch. We saw that happen with the Conte government here in Italy, with Draghi replacing him in a soft coup, spearheaded by Matteo Renzi. Draghi is an avowed Atlanticist and neoliberal banker, while Conte and Co. were getting too cozy with China and Russia. We just saw a similar case just happen in Pakistan, where the popular leader (Imran Khan) was removed in a soft coup because the Americans didn’t like him. Now we see terrorist attacks suddenly tick up in Baluchistan against Chinese workers. Returning to France, there is more to add, and it would appear to apply across the West:
“…the Left in France is psychologically conditioned to unite with the Centre against the Right, however disparate their programmes. The bought mainstream media invariably connive at this Centrist ‘arrangement’. Nor was Le Pen’s second-round result principally brought about by her being seen as pro-Putin – on Russia, NATO, Ukraine and Putin, there was little to distinguish her from Mélenchon. The label was enough: 42% of Mélenchon voters supported Macron in the second round, though mostly they detest him. Identity politics…are the weapon: The Left cannot bring themselves to vote for a ‘Far-Right’ candidate, come what may. The Centre and Left are compelled to unite against her [Le Pen]. This is the structural fact of much European politics.”
It is true in Anglo politics as well. So long as tribalism in politics holds sway, Western politics will remain paralyzed, with progress always just out of reach. It is why nothing much changes in terms of policy with changing administrations. I made the statement to some colleagues at the 2020 US elections that nothing would change no matter who was elected and I was lambasted for it. So, what has changed, really? Inflation had started to rise under Trump and it rises still. Congress remains divided. Weapons pour into Ukraine. People are no better off under Biden. We can point all the fingers we want, but elections are just ‘bread and circuses’. It doesn’t matter which party is in office. It is always ‘Us and Them’. As recently stated:
“Bickering between Democrats and Republicans is just that – a facade. Never forget that these people went to school together, have lunch together, and serve the same corporations, banks and arms dealers. They will always be agents of imperialism, capitalism and white supremacy…You can substitute Dems & GOP for Labour and Tories and the statement would be just as true. It’s one big boys club.”
It is the same in Australia, too. You and I are not in their Big Club, but we do love to argue about its members – like Trump and Biden, for instance. And they sometimes switch sides, like Trump, for instance, who used to be a Democrat. He will go wherever the political wind blows, true to the lower nature of his Gemini Sun. He likes the arms manufacturers and Big Oil, too, just like Biden.
What is the point of saying all this, then? It comes down to this: The West, due to the ideologues and elites in power, has isolated itself (and most of us by default) from the world at large due to the Russian intervention in Ukraine. That Russia is the sole party at fault is the story we are given, anyway. ‘The West’ constitutes less than 20% of the world’s population. The breathtaking stupidity of what our Western leadership has chosen to do regarding this crisis has us all on the edge of some very dangerous possibilities, and it will cause immense suffering across the West and other parts of the world if it continues for much longer. The response (better yet, the reaction) has been bipartisan, no matter the Western democracy, save for a few. Now, instead of seeking an end of the conflict, some of our fearless leaders are telling us Russia must be defeated on the battlefield. Our leaders have even gone so far as to suggest NATO needs to be extended across the world – to counter China. You see, Russia hasn’t folded. Without Russia being out of the way it is necessary (we are told) to have an extended military alliance. Liz Truss is on the case again, having had her 15 minutes of glory at the recent Mansion House Speech at the Lord Mayor’s Easter Banquet. This, too, was breathtaking in its hubris and ignorance.
NATO, ad infinitum: Truss’ talk at the banquet, as an example of Western leadership, is representative of the doubling down that is taking place in policy across the West. Britain would be much better off with a lack of Truss in UK politics, for instance. Have a read of her address at the Mansion House link, preceding. The economy in the UK is not in the best of shape, putting it mildly, and here is Truss talking about doing away with Russian resources, expanding offense spending (which is what it should be called), threatening China if it doesn’t ‘play by the rules’, saying “it is time for courage, not caution” regarding Russia (so long as NATO troops do not have to face the Russians), and so on. Boris Johnson was in Kiev last month on a surprise visit where he told Zelenskyy that if he was ready to sign a peace treaty, the West was a not ready (machine translate). This is another astounding statement, which tells us what we need to know – the West, led by Washington and the UK, is sacrificing Ukraine and Ukrainians in a crazy attempt to weaken Russia so the West can go after China.
Just be aware, no matter what you are hearing to the contrary, the Russians are pushing ahead, are strengthening their gains and show no signs of weakening. Ukraine is going to be broken up into smaller regions, barring other developments. There will be no peace treaty. Even if NATO were to intervene, Russia would pursue its goals set out at the start of the operation to their conclusion.
The story line has flipped: The original plan by the Russians was to drive the nationalist/extremist elements out of far eastern and southern Ukraine. They had hoped Kiev would come to their senses and become neutral, recognize the Donbas and Crimea and so forth. They miscalculated, obviously. The Russians did not want to occupy any of Ukraine. They had another plan (see update at end of linked article). Now, since Washington has escalated and escalated and refused to negotiate, the Russians are staying in the east and south of Ukraine by request. The Russian-speaking people in those regions are too afraid of Ukrainian reprisals should the Russians leave and they are asking the Russians to stay. The end game has changed, and Washington has largely called it. Since Russia will not be defeated, Ukraine is to be broken up. That’s the way this is headed.
The Poles are already talking about it, preparing the Ukrainians by saying there will be no border between Poland and Ukraine. Zelenskyy has bought into this, too, probably hoping for a wider NATO involvement. The west of Ukraine will be occupied by Poland, with perhaps a small piece in the west going to Hungary. The south and the east will become Russian-controlled or even part of Russia again, from Kharkov to the border of Transnistria. What is left will be ‘Ukraine’ – a rump state, with little economic potential, having lost its most fertile farmland and its heavy industry and mining and most importantly, its access to the Black Sea. The only major city would be Kiev. It has already lost access to the Sea of Azov and Odessa is blockaded. The Poles, with the Taurus/Capricorn combination have been one of the main instigators of trouble for and within Ukraine, against Russia and as a NATO member: “Within the comity of nations, certain of them have ever been prime agents for producing conflict. This is largely owing to their fiery temperament and their strong emotional bias and condition. The Poles and the Irish are prime “catalysts of conflict”. I don’t know about the Irish these days though there is still the split between the south and the north, but the Poles are certainly contributing their share to the world’s troubles, especially regarding Russia.
Disinformation about Russia: There is another misnamed institution in the US from where much of American media draws some of its information about the war: The Institute for the Study of War. These people really do need to study war, as in being placed on the front lines of one, because they obviously know very little about what Russia has been doing in Ukraine – or they deliberately distort the facts. But apparently many people in Washington seem to read their daily reports. There are only three people on the board with any military experience – Gen. Jack Keane, Gen. David H. Petraeus and Col. William Roberti. Keane is on the advisory board for Beacon Global Strategies (a defense industry lobbying group) and was a former board member of the defense industry giant General Dynamics. He currently serves on the board of AM General, another defense contractor. Petraeus is ex-CIA and has a dubious service record. Keane saved his life once from an accidental shooting during a live fire exercise and they are quite close. Roberti, as far as I can tell, has never seen active combat, but he is on the board of the Centerra Group, a defense procurement agency and he worked in senior staff positions in the Pentagon in procurement. These are the military men who inform the judgement of the ISW. The other board members of the ISW work in finance and banking. Do we need to know more?
The American and Western public needs to be told by the establishment the Ukrainians are winning, otherwise the procurement of all these weapons and the wasted money would be condemned and support for the war in Ukraine would quickly fade. The reporting on the war deliberately avoids the fact of those weapons being sold on the black market, being destroyed in transit or storage by the Russians and/or being captured by advancing Russian forces and handed over to the forces of the Donbas republics. In deliberately avoiding the subject, by a complete blackout on Ukrainian losses and noting the slow advance of the Russians (they are not in any hurry or on a specific timeline), the Russians can be portrayed as being weak, the Ukrainians as having the possibility to win, Otherwise, opposition to the war would rise, and quickly. At the same time, any deviation from that narrative is quickly branded as ‘Russian disinformation’ – hence the creation of the singing budgie board (the DGB, above), the deplatforming of people like Scott Ritter and the active censoring of anything antiwar or pro-Russian. To supply any information countering the government narrative is to admit defeat. One can find Scott Ritter on his Telegram channel now, and he describes the artillery fiasco taking place in Ukraine in one of his two-minute talks, where he states for the record all these weapons being shipped to Ukraine are too little and too late.
Returning to the ISW, this crowd is supported by a steady stream of ‘military experts’ constantly paraded across American media trumpeting the need to pour more and more weapons into Ukraine. They also say the war is going to be long, perhaps years, which is great for the arms manufacturers these people represent and often sit on the boards of, or represent in other think tanks and lobbying groups. Just think about that for a while. The short video below explains why these people go on television and rally the taxpayers:
In order to fob this off on the general public, they have to tell us the Russians are losing the war, that there is a possibility Ukraine can win – if only they had enough weapons – along with an unhealthy dose of other canards. Well, what is going to happen when the Russians defeat Ukraine? The real military experts all see it, with the reckoning coming in a matter of a couple of months, probably early in this summer. The Ukrainian troops are in a poor state and they are being steadily ground to pieces and abandoned. It is a heartbreaking thing, knowing men who should be at home with their families and young men with their whole lives ahead of them are being told to hold a line they have no hope of holding. And for what? Meanwhile Zelenskyy is paraded around as some sort of national hero pleading for help, when all of NATO sits on their hands and offers only their old weaponry.
The real Zelenskyy: A quick word about Zelenskyy is in order here, too, because what happens with him is very indicative of what will happen in Europe in the immediate period ahead. I have posted a report on him on the blog site, listed at the end of this letter. At the moment Zelenskyy is playing the role of his life and is feted by the Western press and celebrities as a president besieged, portrayed to us as ‘fighting the good fight for all of us’, for ‘democracy’, ‘freedom’, ‘against evil’ and so on. The facts about him tell a different story. Zelenskyy is in a very unenviable situation – not because of Russia, but because of the people around him and the Western nations pressing him to hold the line. Zelenskyy is cocooned within an ultra-nationalist, even neo-Nazi entourage in Kiev, having been threatened with death along with his family if he deviates from the nationalist agenda, as in victory against Russia. He either toes the line or risks his life and or fortune if he wants to sign a peace treaty with Russia. The latter is very unlikely, mostly because of the nationalists and the West. For details, see the blog post. These extremists and fanatics are who the Russians are after, to de-Nazify Ukraine. It will take decades. That doesn’t mean the actual fighting will take that long. It means the de-conditioning – the work of the men and women of goodwill from many nations – of that part of Europe will take some years. Zelenskyy plays the role these fanatics and neo-Nazis demand of him. They are Ukraine’s ‘enemy within’. It is a very uncomfortable truth, once realized, that by sending weapons and money to Ukraine, as in Biden’s recent $40 billion aid package (and too little too late) we are supporting those fanatics and neo-Nazis. Of course, most of that money will go to American arms manufacturers and Ukrainian oligarchs. The US via the CIA has been promoting and using Nazis and Nazi-like groups in Eastern Europe since the end of WWII. They are very strong in Poland, too. The Russians just celebrated their victory over Nazism. To the Russians, 9 May is Victory Day in the Great Patriotic Was (WWII). We do not understand it, not having any context and only hearing revisionist history, but this intervention is existential to Russians and is seen as a somber necessity.
For the Russians, war is just an extension of politics, and they are ready to sit at the table any time. In the meantime, so long as Zelenskyy does hold the line, he is protected by the fanatics, can still pursue his own objectives and will likely end up living very comfortably in the UK when all this is done. But we should not see him has a tragic figure. He has been part of Ukraine’s corruption and problems since he was elected. His personal fortune is pushing upwards of a billion dollars, and that since he took the oath of office. Zelenskyy is no politician, even though he played an unlikely one in his TV series. He is part grifter, an avid neoliberalist, installed in office by oligarchs, and is now rumored along with his family and entourage as having British passports. What does this mean?
The Russians and Ukrainians are still talking via back channels. By the middle of June the reality of the forces of Ukraine will be undeniable. We will probably see some moves toward a ceasefire around that time. Or, we may be embroiled in a larger conflict, starting around the 21st of this month. The national chart of Ukraine shows June rather clearly, especially regard its leadership, but we won’t cover that here. In a move that is certain to pressure Europeans, and is probably meant to do so, the Ukrainians have just shut off a third of the gas flow to Europe, citing ‘force majeure’. They blame Moscow, but in reality it is a ploy to pressure Europe to abandon Russian gas. It is also a very ill-conceived move. This will cause price spikes in Europe and further unemployment. Even our local corner pizza shop is running with its lights dimmed now in protest because of energy prices. The Germans have already noted a 25% reduction in their gas flows.
We are going to see attitudes change rather quickly from here, between the EU and Ukraine and between the EU and the US. We can expect also the US is probably behind the Ukrainian move to turn off the gas, which would be dumber still. The Russians are nonplussed about it. Ukrainian leaders are already calling EU leaders liars for delaying talk of EU membership for Ukraine, having had second thoughts about the whole idea now. Some EU leaders are now saying Ukraine’s accession to the bloc could take ‘decades’ – this after they rushed in the early days of the conflict to fast track Ukraine’s accession to the EU. We’ll see how the EU itself fares in ‘decades’. We might expect it to be greatly modified in many areas. What is going to change in the short term, like over the next years, is the end of the American ‘rules-based order’.
The ‘rules-based order’: The most succinct definition of the American rules-based order was recently described in a Twitter thread, as follows: “The “rules-based international order” is primarily a monetary system which gives the American elites indirect control over the finance & economy of a country. It also gives the elites unhindered access to a country’s market, assets & natural resources.” It is a long thread, but worth reading and it is supported by economists like Michael Hudson, Richard Wolf and others.
One of the keys as to when the major fighting in Ukraine will end is when Zelenskyy is either extracted, again likely to the UK, or disappears with his fortune. The Russians do not want to capture him. They would rather he signs a treaty. The Russian encirclement of Kiev was not an attempt at Zelenskyy, but was instead a military feint. We should probably not expect him to sue for peace with Russia. Of course, he is bound to say he wants that and perhaps he does. I would rather expect he does. But his hands are tied. Maybe we will see a ‘government in exile’ and thereafter a simmering tension between Russia, the West and what is left of Ukraine. But here is the thing: Once the fighting stops and the weapons stop flowing into Ukraine, all eyes in the Western public will be back on their respective governments. The Italians, French and Germans will then bear careful study. The Dems will lose big in the midterms, not that it would make any difference to the trajectory of the nation. If Europe is to be saved from its self-suicide-by-sanctions, the administrations in those nations will have to be replaced by more populist leaders. As it stands, the commissioners in the EU pose as big a problem to the EU states as do the oligarchs in Ukraine to the Ukrainians.
Europe’s lesson: What is emerging as time goes on with this conflict is the sanctions will be lifted quickly by the Europeans, much to the objections of the Americans. It will be an economic necessity. German industrialists and workers are firmly against the government-imposed sanctions. That sentiment is rising in Italy as well, where 575,000 workers would be thrown out of work with a cancellation of Russian gas (Italian, machine translate), not to mention the hardship on families, with prices set to more than double again if the conflict and poor policies in the EU continue as now. Russian gas is essential for a healthy economy in Europe. There is no quick replacement. And Americans should be thinking twice about sending all those freedom molecules to Europe. The fracking will ruin the American environment. Texas is already set to be the earthquake capital of the US now due to fracking in the Permian basin.
It is not difficult to see with all the preceding that we are in a perfect storm of events, all of which have precipitated as a result of the Russian intervention. It is indeed a great occult event and will test all of us as to our motivation and practice. There is no getting around it. We have an interesting situation in Europe now as a result of the conflict and the knee-jerk reactions of the European elites. It is a good lesson for Europe and Europeans, who have been colonial powers and who have established dominance over weaker nations in the past, to now be colonized by the United States and subjugated to American demands.
The US via NATO has sent 40,000 troops into Germany, the Black Sea region and Eastern European states, not to ‘have the backs’ of the Europeans, but to send a message. Those troops are not enough to intimidate Russia, but to remind Europeans. Eastern European nations were incorporated into the EU and NATO precisely to paralyze EU politics, keep the EU in the NATO fold and to push against Russia. Of those Eastern European nations, Poland is at the forefront of the anti-Russia coalition. People here realize what is going on, too. There was a march in Verona on the 8th against NATO. It was only several thousand people, but it is illustrative of people’s growing awareness of what is going on. They carried a banner that said, translated, “Don’t provoke Russia. Let’s go Brandon!” (Be sure to look at the pic in the article header.)
Blowback: Coming back to the theme of paralysis and crystallization in Western politics, the blowback against the reactions of the EU commissioners and heads of state to the Russian intervention is going to be incredible. Unity in Eastern Europe regarding Ukraine is already crumbling. With any luck for the people of Finland and Sweden, they will be denied entry into NATO. Firstly, it isn’t necessary for their security and secondly, it places them further under the control of Washington. Accession to NATO would bring less security for them and make those nations targets, not to mention costing them a lot of money, whereas if they would simply wait the conflict out they could probably have good security treaties with the Russians. Then there is the question of the whole of the EU going off of Russian energy, which is also resisted by certain states, like Hungary. That, too, requires unanimous agreement between EU member states. As of now, the transport of Russian oil will not be included in any new sanctions, if that gives us any indications. The first Mars activation of this eclipse, going back to the full moon, comes at the median date of 12 August this year. That also happens to roughly coincide with the Leo full moon this year, the Sirius Festival, falling on the same day as that full moon. We should begin to see shifts in local politics and within the EU around that time. The situation in Ukraine will be much clarified by then.
Democracy is a fickle lover, meaning that politics can turn at the drop of a hat. The key for any politician in a democracy is to keep the people fed, housed and warm. Past that, most people will not question much about their government. History has shown us this time and again. Well, when it comes to our Western democracies, given our reaction to the conflict in Ukraine, British ex-ambassador Alastair Crooke pretty well summarized our situation: “Events, events dear boy, are in command.” We are only on the cusp of seeing how much political will exists in our Western democracies. In India’s democracy, political will is being shown, as in resisting American calls to sanction and condemn Russia. The non-aligned movement is alive and well, much to Washington’s and Europe’s consternation, and will be a feature of the multipolar order. The 1st ray soul of India stands out in its non-aligned status. In fact, much of the world outside the West remains non-aligned regarding the US and Russia. By seeking to pressure nations to pick sides in the Russia-NATO conflict, the West is only isolating itself. And that isolation will lead to political turmoil in the West. Poland will be a nation to watch in Europe as well, as it is being very belligerent and staunchly anti-Russian.
The Poles are still going on about territory, as we examined above, and they have just shot themselves in the foot regarding Russia, in refusing to pay for gas in rubles. We will get to the economics next. In a display of petulance and what can only be described as foolishness, the Poles are trying to tell the world they have diversified their gas supply – by buying gas from Germany. And where does Germany get its gas? – from Russia. You can’t make this up. The deal is that Russia continues to ship gas to Germany through the Yamal pipeline, at least at present. Germany then back-fills some of that gas, through the same pipeline, to Poland and Ukraine. But they have to pay Germany in Euros at a premium for that gas. So, in displaying their Taurean stubbornness and balking at paying for their Russian gas in rubles they prefer to pay a much higher price to Germany for the same gas – Russian gas – so they can say they have thumbed their noses at the Russians. This is leadership? One wonders if the Polish public knows about this, or has the information been blacked out in Polish media? Poland has some very difficult days ahead, and of their own making. However, this kind of ‘thinking’ is more widespread in Europe than we might care to imagine. And that brings us to a brief look at the rapidly changing economic picture, catalyzed by the Ukrainian conflict. Once the major fighting is over in Ukraine, the economic picture will be the main story.
The Tao of Moscow: From here, we keep the following points in mind to be further unpacked in the next letter, because economic relations between nations are a primary basis of international goodwill. Apparently, Washington saw 2022 as the year when they would bring Russia to its knees once again, as they did in the ‘90s. Last year the Biden administration began the rhetoric in the spring of 2021 of an ‘imminent Russian attack’, with the public not being told that Washington was instigating it. It is worth noting that the conflict started on the 16th of February, by Ukraine. That is correct. On the 16th the Ukrainians started to greatly intensify their shelling of the Donbas, ramping up rapidly in the ensuing days. The Russians knew what it meant. Putin reiterated the threat they saw in his Victory Day speech on the 9th. Such bombardment is a means of ‘softening’ an enemy prior to invasion. On the 21st Russia recognized the Donbas republics, signed mutual security agreements the following day and the rest, as they say, is history. What has not been stated in the media is that Washington had been preparing the ‘sanctions from Hell’ in the preceding months, knowing full well that Russia would become embroiled militarily in Ukraine, by hook or by crook, at which point the full weight of the West’s financial powers would be brought to bear on the Russians. Those sanctions were meant to cripple the Russian economy and result in regime change. It was a serious mistake, and the US administration was warned about it.
Paraphrasing, it has been said the Russians are slow to saddle their horses, but they ride fast once they mount up. The Russians are great at planning, a reflection of their 7th ray soul. They make mistakes, of course, as we all do. In the planning stages they move slowly and carefully. They make more than a single plan, too, planning for contingencies as well as a main plan. Just as the West had its plan to hobble Russia, the Russians had their plans in place too, and they have moved rather quickly now that events have taken over…“Events, events, dear boy…” The following things have happened in quick succession since the conflict started on Feb 16th:
The Russian currency is strengthening due to the support of the Central Bank of the Russian Federation and the inflow of foreign exchange earnings from the export of hydrocarbons, metals and grain. Russia has restricted the sale of assets by foreigners and the withdrawal of currency to “unfriendly countries”. The fall of the “currency hysteria” among the population has stabilized the local economy, which began in the country after the start of the operation in Ukraine. In other words, the sanctions against Russia failed to destabilize the Russian populace. Putin’s position with the populace is pretty well secure. So, the ‘sanctions for regime change’ have been a failure.
The Russian budget has increased by 20 billion rubles a month since the start of the conflict, and that is just in oil revenues. A big factor there is the high price of oil, currently at over $100/barrel, which looks set to continue. It is not just Russia gaining from those high prices. It is all the oil producers, who are looking at the future, looking at the United States and are hedging their bets, refusing to pump more oil. In part, those nations depend on oil for their viability and they are making hay while the sun shines. The conflict in Ukraine is only a small part of their considerations. But Russia has many other exports aside from oil and gas. And all of those exports are being traded in rubles due to the sanctions instead of dollars. This brings in what will be a very important consideration going into the future.
In 2014 after the sanctions were imposed on Russia over Crimea, Russia used the restrictions to reinvent itself in the form of investing in its industry and infrastructure – import substitution, in other words, and ‘industrial capitalism’ in another sense. This is precisely what China and Iran have been doing, the latter due to sanctions as well. And because of the conflict and American belligerence resulting from China’s refusal to condemn and sanction Russia, China is seeing economic pressures from the US and is responding in kind. There has been talk in the past of China’s ‘nuclear option’ of defaulting on US debt. It doesn’t need to. All it needs to do is disrupt supply chains to the US, its largest trading partner. China would rather have good relations with the US, but they see what the US is trying to do to Russia and they know they are next on list for disruption under the guise of ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ if Russia were to fold (which is increasingly unlikely). So, in response to American belligerence, the Chinese have locked down Shanghai. It is partly because of COVID (the cover story) but it is also about sending a message to the folks in Washington. Shanghai is China’s largest port. The Chinese can ship to Eurasian nations over land. They don’t need a port to do so. But the US depends on ports for China’s exports.
What we are seeing now as a result of the economic war the West has forced upon the world over the engineered Russian invasion of Ukraine is a reorganization of the world’s economic and financial order. This is probably the most important concept to be taken away from this letter:
The rest of the world is reacting and adapting in kind. The preceding bolded statement is one that turns the Western narrative on its head, because in our media we are constantly told of the ‘aggressive posturing’ of other nations, while never being told of the predatory practices our own banking and financial structures foist upon the world with the military backing of NATO. This is not to say there is no fault with other nations, but the overarching theme is accurate. The result of the financial war, unless there is a dramatic shift in Western leadership, will lead to the isolation of the West. Financial capitalism, as practised by the West, is predatory and ultimately unsustainable if it cannot continuously find new sources of resources to exploit. There is a long video and transcript that explains it (recommended). This is why Russia is seen as the ultimate prize by the Western capitalists and why there is a war in Ukraine now. It really is that simple.
The Western powers, as in the financial and banking elites, want to be able to exploit the resources and human capital of the Asian nations including Russia, and those nations are now strong enough to resist the West. As a result, our Western leaders are at a loss to understand what is happening and why, which is why they keep doubling down. It is also why their actions become more and more desperate. It puts one in mind of the fight scene in The Matrix Reloaded between Neo and the Smith clones. In response to ‘more’ the only thing to do is to extricate oneself from the fight. This is what Russia is doing, piece by piece, in response to the West’s sanctions and belligerence. And in terms of ‘The Narrative’ (The Matrix), once one stands outside of all the streams of information and looks at all the factors, it is not difficult to see where the problems are and where we are headed. We are headed to a better world, much as our fears and confusion keep us from seeing it. A very brief description may lay the groundwork for the next letter, concerned with World Goodwill and international relations. The following is where we are headed, referencing the long video and transcript preceding, and barring any catastrophic developments:
Along with the preceding points and in response to the sanctions, Russia is overhauling its internal economics and finance, which started with the introduction of the gold-backed ruble, a rise in interest rates imposed by the government, capital support for the most vulnerable in the public, rubles-for-resources measures regarding exports, efforts between BRICS members – China and India especially – to bypass the SWIFT system and trade in their own currencies, re-routing exports away from the West while yet maintaining existing ones as much as possible, buying out the assets of companies of the West on the cheap who have exited Russia (amounting to some $500 billion) and further stimulating import substitution – all this along with the gradual nationalization of the Russian central bank. These reforms are being overseen by Sergei Glazyev. Russia will weather the current crisis quite well. The folks in Washington, Wall Street and London must be gnashing their teeth. They would never let on, though.
To have compassion: In conclusion, the Buddha taught that we had to come to believe things because of our own reason and consciousness, rejecting anything that comes to us externally unless it has been vetted by our own inner sense. To come to that belief, our efforts revolve around constant examination of our own thoughts, feelings and sensations, substituting positivity and wisdom for the ‘three poisons’. We must be peaceful within ourselves in order for the world to be at peace. It sounds to be a ‘holy tofu’ statement, until we realize that once enough people have come to that state there will eventuate, ironically, a ‘critical mass for peace’, borrowing a term from nuclear detonations. But our sun is a product of nuclear detonation, bestowing light and life to all worlds in the solar system. One peaceful person in an agitated crowd can bring peace and calmness if there is a skilled approach. Therein is the rub. We must hone such skills these days in a world told to be fearful, to hate, to militarize, that one side is just and the other not. We are told the greatest sin is that of separativeness, given that all souls are one. It is not easy to do these things, given our human nature. Can we cultivate Great Compassion in the light of current events – compassion for all parties involved, however misguided? And who among us can claim full knowledge of the causes behind the effects we see before us? It is no small task to hold that sense of pervading compassion daily, even more, moment to moment.
Can we in the West hold equal compassion for Russia, for Ukraine, for China, for the US, for Zelenskyy, for the neo-Nazis, for the saints, for the capitalists, for the humanity of all nations – for all groups and nations? This is what the Buddha taught, that we are all suffering beings until we achieve full enlightenment and thereby all are worthy of compassion, because all of us – from the smallest insect to the greatest saint – are emanations of buddha-nature, no matter the appearance. It is up to us to look beyond every ordinary appearance, or outer form or event. If we feel animosity arise toward any person or group, then we set back the spiritual progress of ourselves and the planet. None of the great spiritual Teachers would have us do that. In these times one of our great services is to cultivate silence and a sense of equanimity. It doesn’t mean to remain silent in the face of evil. But to know where the true evil is?…well, there is the point. The military conflict in Ukraine will end soon, and what then? Then, our real work will begin, the work of building a just system of exchange, of value, where people in each nation will feel sovereign, free and valued. Once the fighting stops, the dead are laid to rest, the wounded are healed, then we can sit at the table and sort out our differences, calmly, with a clearer vision of realities. Until then, we hold the light within each of us steady for peace to prevail. Let peace prevail on Earth.
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