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THE LIBRA FESTIVAL 2022

9 OCT 2022

© Malvin Artley

“The problem ain’t what people know. It’s what people know that ain’t so; that’s the problem.”

Will Rogers, American humorist

Topics (linked to paragraphs):
Libra, the orthodox
Esoteric Libra
The full moon
The main events
Women in Iran
The silence of the lambs
The next Cuban missile crisis?
The fog of war
A Ukrainian view
House of cards
Here are few stats
Nord Stream
Please sir, a cup of oil?
The financial crash is happening
In conclusion
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Greetings Everyone!

We have had balmy autumn days here the past few days since the start of autumn. Folklore here has it that if the walnut trees are heavily laden there will be a lot of snow this year. You wouldn’t know it from the weather these days. But the weather can change like situations. The walnut trees are definitely heavily laden this autumn and the nuts are falling off the trees now. There are other nuts falling out of other trees, politically speaking, which we will get to later. Coming back home from our walk with the dogs, I had a memory pop into my mind, something I had not thought of for years. It was the summer of 1979 during the 2nd US gasoline shortage and my youngest brother and I decided we wanted to make a road trip to see some of our rellies in West Virginia. Problem was, gas was scarce – gasoline, that is. How to get to West Virginia without gas, then? We lived in North Carolina, an eight-hour trip by car. My brother had an idea, though, and finally found a station that had some gas. But how to find gas on the way was the big challenge. We had a very solid thick plastic drum that held 20 gallons of the precious molecules, and it was petrol-resistant. Desperate times call for desperate measures. We went to one of those dollar bill stations (remember those?) and filled that thing in the middle of the night. Seems that gas station attendants wouldn’t do it for fears of sparks and such, but we were young and game at the time and didn’t know any better (It’s the way of young men for the most part). Once the drum was filled with gas, we headed back to the house and hid the thing in the garage – a well-ventilated garage.

The next evening after dark we hooked the trailer to the car with the drum full of gasoline strapped to it and set off on our big adventure, taking turns driving overnight. If I knew then what I know now, I would have stayed at home and hid the drum. We drove through the night to avoid traffic, always on the lookout for police, who would have had some uncomfortable questions about what we had in the drum. But at three in the morning there were none to be seen. I won’t comment about doughnuts. It’s an American thing. We had to stop once to refill the car, siphoning the gas from the drum. Gasoline is an acquired taste if you have ever had the pleasure of siphoning the stuff. The contents of that drum got us to West Virginia, though. We were driving on fumes by the time we got there. My cousins were a little puzzled and amused at the drum on the trailer. In the end it was a good visit overall. We repeated the procedure on the way back.

What is the point of this story, you might ask? It has to do with fuel, its cost and its growing scarcity crisis, for sure, which is about to hit the US once Biden finishes burning through the strategic petroleum reserves in his efforts to save the Democrats at the midterms. Those reserves are at their lowest point since 1984, a few years after my brother’s and my great adventure. We aren’t likely to run out of oil in the US, but the prices can go very high if reserves are depleted, hurting incumbents in election cycles. But there is something more critical at stake here – the economy – and that brings us to our subject, Libra, the themes of which are the law, sex and money. We are also at a critical turning point in history and international affairs. Libra governs turning points, too, and reorientation along one’s path. So we may as well jump right into Libra and what is challenging us in our path forward.

Otherland Art - LIBRA Libra, the orthodox: Libra is generally associated with peace, harmony and intimacy. Marriage is the premier manifestation of Libra in popular culture, along with all the trappings of beauty, the feminine principle via its Venus rulership.[1] It also rules social affairs, functions and gatherings. That’s the bright side of Libra, the façade. On the other side we have Libra ruling litigation, divorce, open enmity, trial lawyers and separations. We don’t like to think of that side of Libra, but such is life. What was once one’s great love can turn to hatred as quickly as the love dawned, especially once the thrill of sentimental love is gone. So with Libra, we have the concept of that sign ruling the law, sex and money,[2] with the three most frequently all being intermixed when it comes to couples. In international relations the sign is associated with contractual relations and treaties. We all know what happens when treaties and agreements are broken. Venus gives place to Mars, in a manner of speaking. There is little more to be said regarding Libra in the orthodox this year, but in the international sphere we are witnessing the results of broken contracts and, shall we say, misplaced affections between nations.

Esoteric Libra: With esoteric Libra we get to the crux of what is to follow in this letter. Libra governs a point of equipoise,[3] especially represented for us in the meditative context. It is the period of contemplation at the apex of the in-breath, where consciousness is concentrated prior to manifestation at the exhalation. In terms of the span of one’s life, which but the wider manifestation of a cycle of one’s breath, Libra represents a turning point, where a new manifestation is to take place. In esoteric circles much is made of Libra in reference to ‘reversal on the wheel of the zodiac’,[4] wherein one ceases a materialistic inclination and turns toward a spiritual orientation in life, beginning a new course. Venus becomes Uranus, in a manner of speaking, in terms of the rulership of the sign. So, we have Venus ruling Libra in the orthodox, with its human focus being that of the marital relation, the sexual relations therein and the money involved in family life and inter-familial family properties. With Uranus, one is taken out of those relations and into the realm of service to a wider need. That doesn’t necessarily mean one leaves the marital relation, but it often does. What we are talking about here, though, is the simplest meaning of Libra – a change of direction, the start of a new rhythm in one’s life. Any Libran type is faced with this at some point or another, meaning anyone born with Libra Sun or Ascendant.

The Sun sign represents the immediate challenge before one in any given life.[5] With Libra Sun there is always the challenge of relationships in particular, and with all the human ‘messiness’ involved (and how, the Libran abhors such messiness!). The Libran Sun will tend toward wanting an intimate relationship in order to feel fulfilled and will tend to become absorbed in said relations, to the exclusion of wider possibilities for soul-advancement. The challenge for said Libran will be to incorporate the opposite sign, Aries, and become pioneering in some way, taking a fresh outlook and standing independently. With the Ascendant in Libra the situation is different. New possibilities are presented – possibilities along one’s soul path, the fulfilment of destiny in distinction to karma, as one would see in the latter with the Sun sign. Libra on the Ascendant has a Uranian component, whereas the Venus rulership is found more with the Sun, in general, although both can apply. It is a mistake to think that if a person is born as a Libran type that the person is unspiritual or there is some great need to perhaps ‘be more spiritual’. Instead, such a case is better seen as an opportunity or need to incorporate something different into one’s soul path. Librans, as is the case with any sign, can be quite spiritual, but perhaps a different type of spiritual quality needs to be engaged and implemented. This brings in the consideration of Uranus as the esoteric ruler of the sign.

Here we come to the main consideration for Libra – choice and discipline. The esoteric motto for Libra is “I choose the way that leads between the two great lines of force”,[6] meaning materialism and spirituality. For the lesser advanced Libran the motto is, “Let choice be made.” So many choices, so little time. So, the Libran makes a choice in life, either by conscious choice (preferable) or by force of circumstance (karmic). Saturn, the main karmic indicator in any chart, governs the highest aspect of this sign. By a person’s choice, thus karma is set in motion. But that is not all the picture. Once one chooses a certain path, if it diverges from the old one, then a new rhythm is set, governed by Uranus. Uranus transmits the 7th ray.[7] This new rhythm involves discipline – the steady application of choice, as ‘discipline’ might be called. If one is a musician and chooses to learn a new technique of piece of music, then one must steadily apply to that choice until the task is completed. This brings us to our present situation in the world.

Choices between nations have been made and are being applied, across a wide range of human activity. Some of those choices will have desirable outcomes if pursued to their completion, others not so much. It is a matter of opinion as to how we feel about those choices, like the Tory Party choice of the British PM, for instance, but the results speak for themselves. By the fruits of their labors shall ye know them. But then, none of us knows the wider field of what is taking place or how it all fits into the wider scheme of humanity’s destiny. For now, though, we leave these thoughts in mind and ponder them as we move on to our consideration of world affairs. We have turned a corner in world affairs and face a new destiny and opportunities as a result of people’s choices. From here, we look at the full moon.

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The full moon takes place on 9 Oct 2022 at 20:55 UT (07:55 AEDT on the 10th). The fog of war will be very strong in the months ahead, but especially this month, shown by the Mars/Neptune square in the full moon figure. That is already happening. We will cover why shortly, because events in Eastern Europe have taken a decisive turn and the outcome will affect the world in very significant ways over the next few years. This is one of the more important considerations in the chart concerning current tensions. Those tensions can be resolved, too, but we will address this first. Mars and Neptune form a string of powerful midpoints, the latter having evolved as a means of prediction in conflicts. We have the following string: Mars/Nep=Ura/Plu=Sat/Plu, for the astrologers reading this. These are combinations that indicate a sharp uptake in militarism, major accidents and violent events. The basic structure was there at the beginning of the northern autumn, addressed in the Libra solar ingress 2022. Suffice it to say the decisive battles in Ukraine will begin this month, with the Western press left struggling to explain how a ‘Russia on the ropes’ is managing to pull those off. We can probably expect those to begin after the next couple of weeks, especially after Saturn turns direct on the 25th, just after the solar ingress into Scorpio.

Otherwise, some very important plans can be put into effect as a result of the energies of this lunation. What those plans are is for us to decide. We find a Grand Trine and thus a kite figure formed by the Sun/Mars/Saturn triangle, with the Moon completing the kite in the afternoon in Australia. Mars/Saturn trines and sextiles are premier wealth-building aspects. That will be something very important to consider going forward too, because the opportunities being presented to the world now – and yes, they are opportunities – have within them a great potential for the future. I’ll say this now, with more to come later: If you have debt, pay it off quickly. If you have property, hold onto it. Value will rise again, as it always does. If you have skills, put them to use and hone them. If your wealth is primarily in currencies and stocks, get some good advice about what to do in an economic downturn, and don’t waste any time about it. Stocks always come back up again, but it may take a few years. Retirement accounts based in stocks will also take a hit. I am not a financial advisor, but I can say that much regarding the preceding. Lay reasonable plans for the future and start building them. Guard your head (thoughts), health and hands (skills). These are the main points for this full moon. It is time to set a new rhythm, discipline and outlook on life. With these points in mind, we begin our look at the world as it stands at this turning point, starting with the essence of the quote at the start of this letter.

The main events: There are several main events that all took place in September, all interrelated in some way, which mark one of the more significant turning points and reorganization of the international order. These also coincide with the changing of the guard represented in the 500-year cycle we have examined in past letters. This all indicates a lessening of influence for the West, the rise of the East, and a very important reorganization of the world financial/economic order which will underpin the emerging multipolar world. Neoliberalism is dying, as is imperialism. The sovereign state and non-aligned world order will take pride of place in what is emerging. We have the following events, then, which will all be tied together as we go along:

  • The meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), where Iran was admitted as a full member. This brings Iran fully into a very powerful economic bloc.
  • Liz Truss as the Queen’s last act, King Charles III and economic upheaval in the UK. The Queen’s death was also very symbolic for the UK, the Commonwealth and marked a decided shift in thinking about monarchy in the West
  • The sabotage of the Nord Stream pipelines, which most people attribute to Western powers
  • The Russian partial mobilization and the secession of four oblasts from Ukraine (call the latter what you will, but supposedly Kosovo’s secession was legal, too)
  • France being ejected from Africa, with Burkina Faso being the latest, and turning to Russia
  • Clashes erupting in Central Asia (Armenia/Azerbaijan, Tajikistan/Kyrgyzstan)
  • Election of harder right wing parties in the EU and swings to the right – Spain, France, Italy, Sweden (which may spin the latter nation out of its recent bid for NATO membership (vid))
  • Protests in Iran

We start our look at the world with Iran.

C:\Users\tian_\Pictures\Site Pictures\iranian_women.jpg Women in Iran: Recently social media was afire with tweets and posts in support of the protests in Iran that followed on the death in custody of a young woman, Masha Amini, who had been taken into custody by what the West calls the ‘morality police’. There are several problems with the coverage in the West. Firstly, Twitter is not available in Iran, along with most other Western social media. So, for all the Western social media accounts and posts/tweets in support of Iranian women, the Iranians never saw them. This goes also for all the Western women virtue signalling on social media by hacking off bits of their hair in solidarity with Iranian women. Ladies, the protests in Iran are not about women’s rights. There is another motive for them. And there is a double standard at play there, too, being played upon by propagandists. It reminds one of celebrities headed to Ukraine at the start of the Russian SMO for photo-ops with Zelenskyy and the endless stream of Ukrainian flags in social media accounts. A more balanced view from an Iranian inside Iran was given in an interview with the Grayzone (vid) by Setareh Sadeghi, an Iranian scholar and teacher. She gave an overview of the protests, which happen fairly regularly in Iran, with insights into the effect of social media in Iran. She went on to say the Western narrative on the protests was very different than what actually happened. The violence in Iran was fuelled from outside. And the poor girl who died in custody was not beaten prior to her death:

“…the CCTV footage shows the young girl walking into the “class room” along with other women. Then she collapses on the floor, seconds after talking to a female police officer about her choice of clothing. Since then the facts have surfaced that Amini had an underlying heart condition; that she had a brain tumour surgery at the age of 8; was a regular visitor to neurologists; and importantly there was no sign of injuries on her body.”

In Iran the term for the ‘morality police’ is the ‘Guidance Patrol’. The protests there have stopped or slowed down considerably for the most part. So, why all the hysteria on social media and coverage on MSM? These protests have widely been seen outside the West as yet another attempt at a color revolution by Western powers. This one played to the ‘woke left’ and the ‘Christian right’ in the West and was portrayed as the ‘Iranian regime routinely brutalizing women’. It was quite effective in the West. But the major protests across Iran were concentrated largely in Tehran and were sparse in other major cities. And as has always been the case since 1979, this attempted color revolution has failed as well. Washington was hopeful, though, as always. What was really going on, then?

The protests started on Sep 16. The day before, Iran signed the papers to become a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. That makes it a full member of one of the most powerful economic blocs in the world. But it does more. It also brings Iran actively into a large strategic security alliance and a group of nations that are nearly ready to form a new world reserve currency based on resources instead of paper (fiat). That gives Iran the power to completely bypass US sanctions so long as it trades within the bloc. Further, Iran has become party to the conflict in Ukraine, having sold the Russians 1,000 Iranian drones, which are now inflicting very significant damage on Ukrainian forces and materiel. Those attacks were widely circulated on Telegram channels. The sale of those drones was initially denied by Russian and Iranian sources but later could not be hidden. The end result of all this is that the JCPOA will likely never go ahead. In fact, the US is readying new sanctions on Iran ‘for repressive measures and violation of human rights’. The Israelis always opposed the deal, and they were disappointed when the protests failed to topple the government in Iran. Furthermore, the Israelis fingered the US for the latter’s involvement in the protests, which also involved the MEK, a terrorist organization based in Albania and backed by the US. Several foreign nationals were also arrested, including a young Italian travel and food blogger who managed to get herself tied up in all of it. That’s a birthday she will long remember. She will probably be released soon, we hope. This event brings up an important point, pertinent to the quote at the start of this letter.

Leni Riefenstahl, la regista della propaganda nazista - Il Quotidiano del Sud The silence of the lambs: We aren’t talking about a film here. Instead, it is about how dissent is being silenced across the West and how the news is just guesswork now. So often I hear these days how no one knows what to believe any longer. We are forced back on ourselves to challenge our beliefs, use our own common sense and reason and listen for the ring of truth wherever we hear it. John Pilger, one of Australia’s treasures, penned a piece a few weeks ago regarding propaganda, called “Silencing of the Lambs”, where he recounted this memorable chance meeting he once had around 50 years ago with an ex-Nazi propagandist:

“In the 1970s, I met one of Hitler’s leading propagandists, Leni Riefenstahl, whose epic films glorified the Nazis. We happened to be staying at the same lodge in Kenya, where she was on a photography assignment, having escaped the fate of other friends of the Fuhrer. She told me that the ‘patriotic messages’ of her films were dependent not on ‘orders from above’ but on what she called the ‘submissive void’ of the German public. Did that include the liberal, educated bourgeoisie? I asked. ‘Yes, especially them,’ she said. I think of this as I look around at the propaganda now consuming Western societies.”

This is worth keeping in mind as we go along here. How much have we been silenced over the past decades, especially since February but also during the pandemic and in a host of other instances regarding foreign and domestic affairs? Some of those instances will be outlined in what follows. We see the attitude Pilger mentioned in his piece especially today in Germany, with its Pisces personality and its reaction to the Russian SMO. It is a strange thing to watch for a nation expressing a 1st ray personality. That is starting to change, though, especially as a result of a recent incident in the Nord. However, we see the same thing across the G7 nations, which Sergei Lavrov has called ‘the golden billion’, referring to the Western public, but specifically to Western leadership. Along with this there is a strong tendency ‘shoot the messenger’ if news comes from a source one doesn’t like, instead of listening to the message and thereby forming one’s own opinions. Liberals and Democrats in the US hate Fox News and Tucker Carlson, for example, while Republicans and conservatives despise the likes of CNN and Rachel Maddow.

The vested interests who control our media know all this and play upon it. Propaganda ‘services’ (the mainstream media) in the West are very advanced, though its practices are also known across the world. And as an example it was recently revealed that the BBC serves as the PR arm for NATO, with whom it has a revolving door policy, much like Senators in the US and the military-industrial complex. We have looked at these issues many times in the past, but Pilger’s comment above has particular meaning in today’s culture, because those ‘educated bourgeoisie’ populate our intelligence, media, university and government bodies. And they believe their own propaganda, which has brought us to our present state of affairs. It is also very dangerous because it leads to disastrous policies. And October brings up a historical precedent to illustrate this.

2: John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum. “Cuban Missile Crisis” The next Cuban missile crisis?: 60 years ago this month, in the previous Year of the Black Tiger, the world faced the threat of nuclear annihilation with the US and Soviet Union faced off over Soviet nuclear missiles placed in Cuba pointed at the US, a mere 90 miles from the Florida coast. At the same time, the US had nuclear missiles in Turkey (now Turkiye) pointed at Moscow. It was resolved, of course, which led to a nuclear hotline (which still exists) being established between the US and USSR. But few people realize just how close we came to a nuclear exchange. We are at that point again, or so we are told. We should be very afraid in the West we are told, again by the ‘educated bourgeoisie’ in the media. We should be concerned, yes, but fearful is another matter. We are told Putin is threatening us with nuclear destruction and that we must somehow deter him. Well, what they don’t tell us is there are many types of nuclear war, like with Ukraine shelling the nuclear power plant in Zaporizhzhia, or depleted uranium rounds being shipped to Ukraine (if true) to be used against the Russians, or that certain representatives and senators in the US and leaders in the UK had threatened Russia with nukes before Putin issued his “We are not bluffing” statement (and he isn’t, either). Now we hear Zelenskyy calling for a ‘pre-emptive strikes’ against Russia, which was interpreted as a nuclear first strike, later walked back by his press secretary and later by him. Someone in Washington must have grabbed him by the ear and had a talk with him. Poland is also requesting nukes to be placed on its territory in order to ‘deter’ Russia. Both Biden and Zelenskyy are sounding increasingly unhinged.

The West would do well to study and demystify itself regarding Putin. What I know about Russia thus far is that the Russians see these statements by Western leaders as threats against Russia in and of themselves, which is why Putin has issued his recent statements threatening the West – with retaliation against a nuclear strike by the West. That bit is conveniently left out of the media rhetoric. I remember how alarmed people were over the Cuban missile crisis, with ‘duck and cover’ drills when I was in elementary school and seeing nuclear signs everywhere leading to bomb shelters in case of attack. Burlington was a target then, the city where I grew up. The younger generations today have had no experience with that. Knowing how Americans reacted to nukes in Cuba, how do we think the Russians feel about nukes in Poland or Romania? But it is better to keep us afraid of Russia instead of seeking détente. Better to keep ‘supporting’ Ukraine instead of ending the conflict through negotiations. That’s the media line. But it is reckless and foolish talk.

What we are hearing in the media now regarding nuclear exchanges is desperation on the part of Zelenskyy and the West, which the media spins as being the other way around. As to particulars, it makes no sense that Russia is/was shelling the nuclear plant at Zaporizhzhia. They occupy the facility. Are they shelling themselves? That’s more than a little doubtful, especially now that facility has been taken back into Russian territory. As to leaders, Liz Truss (if you can call her a leader) said she would use nukes against Russia, as did Sen. Roger Wicker, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, with these statements being made before Putin issued his statements. We aren’t reminded of that either. Then there is the American nukes-against-cyber-attack policy, which alarmed the Russians. That was back in February before the Russian SMO started. And now we hear the talk of American/NATO retaliation if the Russians use tactical nukes in Ukraine – yet another idea that makes no sense. If the Russians were planning on using nukes they would not be pouring reinforcements and weapons into the ex-eastern Ukraine. Why do so if it is going to be a wasteland and unusable for years, like Chernobyl? It makes about as much sense as the US setting up residential developments in the Nevada nuclear test site. But then, the American media likes to paint the Russians as being crazy, stupid and incompetent. They should look in the mirror.

C:\Users\tian_\Pictures\Site Pictures\NYC-fallout-shelter.jpg People need to take a deep breath regarding nukes. Yes, accidents and missteps can happen, but the Russians are not about to use nukes in Ukraine. They have other plans, apparently, and the US has stated they see no indication the Russians are planning anything regarding a nuclear attack. And back channels are open to prevent such an event. To cap this off, Washington and Moscow are now in back-channel talks to revive the New START treaty. Finally, we see some sense starting to show itself in Washington. Remember, too, Zelenskyy’s comments back in January about reviving Ukraine’s nuclear weapons capacity was one of the main reasons the Russians decided to intervene in Ukraine. With his latest statements we might surmise he has further sealed Ukraine’s fate. Americans especially would do better to wake up and realize the Russians are pretty pissed off with the West, and not without reason.

The Americans are the only nation to ever use nukes in an attack against another country. There have been murmurs in social and independent media about an ‘October surprise’ nuclear false flag by NATO in Ukraine to try to blame Russia. There are people in the darker regions of the American military-industrial complex crazy enough to try it. On the whole we can probably ignore such rubbish, though. Russian military doctrine dictates that nukes are only to be used in the case of a direct attack on Russian territory and then only as a last resort. Just what are the Russians planning, then? If the long echelons of Russian trains transporting heavy armor and military equipment toward Crimea and Belgorod (for example) are any indication, a major new Russian offensive looks likely and soon. That means the Russians are building up their conventional armed forces in the direction of Kharkov (where the Ukrainians are loudly proclaiming their recent victories) and Odesa, where the Russians and Russian-speaking people have a score to settle. It is probably unnecessary to go further into this matter. Putin did say back in July Russia had not yet really started anything in Ukraine.

The fog of war: The midterms are almost here and Biden seriously needs a win around Ukraine, instead of a debacle far worse than Afghanistan. Western media has been flooded with tales of Ukrainian victories and Russian weakness and incompetence in the past days. Lyman has been the latest Ukrainian fanboy victory. Just don’t look over at Bakhmut. Of course, these names mean nothing to most readers. As it was, the Pyhrric victory at Lyman was simply another Russian feint. Lyman is a small village of 20,000 of no strategic importance (translate from Russian) in an area the size of Portugal, an area that just became part of Russia (again, and has been so for centuries). In other words, Lyman is a speck of territory that might not even appear on some maps, and for that, the Ukrainians suffered terrible losses.

Lifting the IP Fog of War – EverEdge Global However, to hear the US State Department comment on it, the Russians are on the ropes. Referring to the quote at the start of this letter, “It’s what people know that ain’t so; that’s the problem.” But those Ukrainian successes had to be why Putin (he hasn’t) panicked and why the Russians mobilized just over 1% (300,000) of their reservists – 1%. Just think on that figure and its significance for a moment if one thinks the Russians are panicking. For their part, the Russians simply saw their partial mobilization as something that was overdue. It is worth noting this mobilization is the surface manifestation of a domestic political mobilization that has taken place in Russia since the start of the SMO in February. Yes, there have been young men who have fled the mobilization, but there were also runs on recruitment centers by young men who wanted to volunteer, to the extent that there are now 70,000 volunteers in addition to the 300,000 just mobilized. And there are even more from other nations. Morale for the SMO is high in Russia, despite what we hear.

Since the Ukrainians have shown a little success on the battlefield, however, it is time to double down on weapons shipments to Ukraine so the Ukrainian army can march victorious on Red Square. (The arms manufacturers must need more money to be able to support Democratic candidates at the midterms a month from now). Why does this sound so cynical? It sounds so because we in the West only hear one side of the story, because if we had known the truth, this war would never had happened, Germany would be an industrial powerhouse challenging Wall Street and American industry and any plans of crushing Putin and Russia would be dust. Well, the latter is already laid to rest. Putin and Russia are here to stay, whether we like it or not. What do some Ukrainians say about this?

A Ukrainian view: On one of our evening walks the other day with three of our small companions, we happened on one of our Ukrainian family friends, who works here as a badante (caregiver). This guy helped us move. He is from Western Ukraine – the Polish side of Ukraine – and we asked him what he thought of those four regions returning to Russia. Well, he was all for it. He thought they will be better off. He lived through the independence movement in the ‘90s and knew Ukraine when it was the one of the largest Soviet republics. He said before independence Ukraine was rich. And actually it was one of the richest Russian republics at the time, the heart of the Soviet aerospace industry and agriculture. Now it is the poor man of Europe – deindustrialized, privatized, a reflection of Russia in the ‘90s. Its people suffer now, its rich past a memory. He added that when Zelenskyy was first elected he was seen as a good guy, one who would bring wanted changes and end the civil war. Now, Ukrainians see Zelenskyy as a ‘bandito’, as he termed it – a criminal. It was a brief but revealing insight into Ukraine. This guy better stay away from Ukraine for the moment, given the way things are there now. He would probably be snatched off the street and sent to the front. Oh, but that’s what the Russians do, we are told.

Continuing on this line, at a recent lunch with my in-laws we started to talk about the situation in Italy and how the conflict in Ukraine was affecting everything. They lamented the fact that we only get one side of the news here. They know we are only told an official accounting and that it, shall we say, veers from the truth sometimes. We discussed Meloni and Italy’s historic vote, too – Italy’s ‘new Mussolini’ as the liberal press likes to paint her. I told them she would fit right in as a Tea Party Republican and my in-laws nodded in agreement. We don’t expect any appreciable change in the government here. Whereas Draghi was in the pockets of Wall Street, Meloni is in the pockets of the Washington Republican establishment. As much as things seem to change in politics they remain the same. I don’t expect Meloni to last very long unless she is a Trojan horse and votes for Italy to drop the sanctions against Russia. There is wide agreement here in the public the sanctions are a bad idea, that they hurt Italy far more than Russia. My brother-in-law is an official at one of the banks here, so he has some insight into what has transpired economically over the years and he sees the effect the sanctions are having on investment and the like.

This Fancy Bear's House is Made of Cards: Russian Fools or Russian Frame-up? NATO: House of cards: David Petraeus, retired and disgraced US general, was recently on record saying if the Russians used a nuke on Ukraine the US and NATO, “would destroy Russia’s troops and equipment in Ukraine – as well as sink its Black Sea fleet”. The man is a little out of touch. Firstly and as stated above, Russia has no need or desire to use nukes in Ukraine. Petraeus’ statements are bluster meant for the American audience. Secondly, NATO countries, and the US first and foremost, have essentially disarmed NATO by pouring their money and weapons into the Ukrainian black hole. There is little way NATO could stand up to Russia in Europe in conventional warfare. Again, the Russians know this and the question becomes again – why should they use nukes? One gets the sense looking at the slow movement of Russian advances that there is perhaps aplan behind the scenes to see who buckles first. This is an economic war of attrition on both sides, in a sense, one the West is currently losing. To talk of such madness as Petraeus us spouting is basically boys’ locker room talk, if you get the meaning. And now we have ‘Librium Liz’ in the UK saying it was Putin who crashed the UK economy as well as at another point stating, “We will not rest until Ukraine prevails.” This isn’t meant to be unkind, but instead to illustrate the sort of inanity we are presented on a daily basis and the public opinion of leadership. It is a case of blaming everyone else for one’s problems, at the same time driving the wedge in further between the West and ‘rogue states’, for those members of the public who will believe it.

Here are few stats: The West is de-industrialized and does not have the industrial capacity to reproduce the weapons needed to go up against Russia, not at least for the next few years. The US would have to convert to a war economy to do so, along with conscription. The American public wouldn’t stand for it. The Pentagon is quite concerned. They have been providing this assistance to Ukraine since August of last year, if that tells you anything. The HIMARS promised to Ukraine will take two years to build. The US has run out of large-caliber shells – almost 30 years’ worth. It has sent almost all of its stock of javelins and stingers, which would take ten years to replace. 100,000 of its service members are non-deployable at the moment (too fat). F-35 production has stopped due to a lack of rare earth metals. Yet, the Poles still clamor for a NATO intervention in Ukraine. How does Dave Petraeus propose to destroy Russia’s troops and sink the Black Sea fleet? Then add to that Western Europe doesn’t even have enough energy to run its factories? And never mind the Russians can hit any NATO troop build-up from 2000 km away. NATO wouldn’t even get close enough to Russia to do anything. This may all sound like Russia fan-boy talk, but numbers don’t lie in this case. NATO is a house of cards and the key cards are about to be removed – energy and money. From here we return to Europe and the effects all this will have. That brings in the next topics, starting with energy.

C:\Users\tian_\Pictures\Site Pictures\nordstream_war.jpg Nord Stream: As we know by now 3 of the 4 branches of the Nord Stream pipelines were sabotaged by ‘unknown parties’ (although who or which bloc did it is an open secret (vid)). The gauntlet has been thrown down. That sabotage was an act of eco-terrorism, a direct attack on Germany’s and Russia’s infrastructure and an act of war against Germany. It defies common sense and reason that Russia did it. The reasons are outlined in the blog post, highlighted in red and listed at letter’s end. The Russian SMO is not simply a battle between NATO and Russia. It is also a war of Washington against Germany now, because Germany was about to go against the EU and NATO (one and the same, basically) and turn Nord Stream on to save itself, instead of taking cold showers to weaken Putin, the latter another lesson in absurdity. This economic war was planned years in advance (vid). If war on Germany by NATO sounds even more absurd, because Germany is a NATO member, consider the stated purpose of NATO, quoting the first NATO Secretary General, Lord Ismay near the end of his term in the ‘50s:

“Lord Hastings Lionel Ismay was NATO’s first Secretary General, a position he was initially reluctant to accept. By the end of his tenure however, Ismay had become the biggest advocate of the organisation he had famously said earlier on in his political career, was created to “keep the Soviet Union [the Russians] out, the Americans in, and the Germans down.”

I revisited a blog post I did this time last year on the demise of NATO. All the difficult directions to the NATO chart are slotting into place now. And in reading back over that post, one has to wonder what the folks in Washington knew at the time, because that period saw the build-up of Ukrainian forces on the contact line in the Donbas. Then the SMO started in February, a few months later. Now we see the first phase of Novorossiya reconstituted. The vote in those four regions coincided with protests in Germany calling for the government to turn on Nord Stream followed a day after by Nord Stream being blown up. Well, ol’ Blinky just thinks what happened is a dandy opportunity for Europe to buy very expensive American LNG wean itself off Russian gas and gain sovereignty from Russia. Here he is talking about it. Pay attention to the italicised bits:

“Nord Stream 1 and Nord Stream 2 were not pumping gas into Europe at this time. Nord Stream 2 never became operational, as is well known. Nord Stream 1 has been shut down for weeks because of Russia’s weaponization of energy. And so we’ve significantly increased our production as well as making available to Europe liquefied natural gas. And we’re now the leading supplier of LNG to Europe to help compensate for any gas or oil that it’s losing as a result of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine. And ultimately this is also a tremendous opportunity. It’s a tremendous opportunity to once and for all remove the dependence on Russian energy and thus to take away from Vladimir Putin the weaponization of energy as a means of advancing his imperial designs. That’s very significant and that offers tremendous strategic opportunity for the years to come…”

The double-speak is breath-taking, shown in the italicised bits. The pipelines were not pumping gas because of the US-imposed sanctions. Washington had strong-armed Germany to shut down Nord Stream 2. Nord Stream I was shut down because of sanctions on Siemens if they attempted to repair the turbines needed for pumping the gas. It is the US who is weaponizing energy, threatening Europeans with sanctions if they attempt to buy Russian gas and oil. The EU still imports gas and oil from Russia. But the EU is not losing that gas or oil because of ‘Russia’s aggression’. Gazprom, even in this time of economic war, still honors its contracts. And as for imperial designs, ask the nations of the Third World/Developing Nations who has imperial designs. It is not the Russians. Oh, but it is a tremendous opportunity – for American energy producers.

The trouble is, those American freedom molecules will come too little too late for Europe. The main American terminal for liquefying and shipping that LNG mysteriously caught fire in June. It will be months before that American facility comes on line again. We might suppose the Russians were responsible for that act, too. If the Nord Stream pipelines sit for too long they will become unsalvageable from corrosion by sea water. There is a timeline. However, there is a new twist, which must gall the Poles and the neocons in DC: Turns out the pipes were not severed. They were merely punctured and can thereby be relatively easy to repair. But even at that Gazprom has stated it is willing to resume pumping gas through the undamaged line should the EU approve (unlikely at this time). They are also willing to start pumping through the broken lines once they are repaired. But to do so would mean Germany would have to defy NATO, meaning Washington. It would also probably mean revolution in Germany, of a type that would remove the Greens and Sergeant Scholz from power. Stranger things have happened. But there is another factor in play – there is a small possibility the Ukrainian civil war may end before Christmas, on Russia’s terms.

C:\Users\tian_\Pictures\Site Pictures\vindman_dreaming.jpg And why may the war end before Christmas, we might ask? Just as of this writing news came of an explosion on the Kerch Strait bridge, much to the delight of the Poles, Baltics and Kiev, as well as certain ‘journalists’ (at left). To hear the Western media report it, the bridge has collapsed, is crucial, is a major blow to Russia and so on. The truth is one section of one side of roadway has collapsed after a truck was detonated on it. The other half of the roadway still stands and the rail line is still intact. Traffic has resumed on the rail side and with reduced traffic on the roadway as of today. In other words, once the damage was assessed and cleared, traffic across the bridge has resumed. There is no interruption of military supplies to Crimea. The rail car caught fire due to the truck exploding next to it. It was clearly another act of sabotage on Russian infrastructure, as well as a lapse in Russian security, apparently. On Russian Telegram channels people are calling for Putin to ‘go for the jugular’ in Ukraine now. Reports on Pepe Escobar’s Telegram channel are to the effect that Ukraine’s energy infrastructure will be heavily targeted now. Putin is definitely under pressure to up the ante in military operations in Ukraine, and sharply. It will be difficult for him to resist that now, and the Duma may override his objections, if he has any. That bridge was one of Putin’s signature projects. That said, the Russians are already mobilizing to repair the bridge as quickly as possible. It is a setback for Russia, for sure, but not a major one. Ferry services still work and Russia had established a land route to Crimea early on. One gets the sense Ukrainian and NATO celebrations over this incident will be short-lived. Ukraine may indeed now be facing a dark winter. Then, there is OPEC+…

Please sir, a cup of oil?: Mention was made at the start of this letter that Biden was drawing on the American SPR to keep petroleum and thus pump prices down. He may need to draw those reserves down even faster now. Russia and the Saudis have decided to cut oil production by up to 2 million barrels a day. The price-per-barrel jumped by $9/barrel on the announcement, with Brent crude oil now sitting at over $94/barrel. The White House is scrambling trying to ‘strenuously’ lobby the OPEC+ crowd to cease and desist. The White House is “having a spasm and panicking.” Well, midterms are coming and Biden didn’t ingratiate himself with either Russia or the Saudis. And to add salt to the wound, the UAE supports the OPEC+ decision. Biden has put the US, the US consumer and the Democrats between a rock and a hard place. Now China is looking at ending its COVID lockdowns, meaning their industry will kick in again, putting further strains on the world’s oil supply. Oil prices had dropped when China imposed those lockdowns. Oil prices will see a further uptick once the lockdowns are lifted.

C:\Users\tian_\Pictures\Site Pictures\biden_gas_can.jpg These OPEC cuts will serve to destabilize world markets further. And lest Americans think we have good relations with the Saudis, as a result of the recent OPEC+ oil cuts, the Saudis have cut their prices to Europe, kept them the same for Asia and raised prices in sales to the US. The petro-dollar is under threat. Oil prices are edging up to $100/barrel again. There is another little bit to add, too: Russia and Iran are moving to create a global gas cartel. OPEC+ already is the global oil cartel. Unless one follows energy resource developments, it helps to realize Russia, Qatar and Iran represent 60% of total global gas sales. Russia and Iran also jointly control the Caspian Sea, and Iran could choke off the Persian Gulf if push came to shove. This would be a powerful energy alliance. The upshot of this is that fuel prices will remain high from now on, especially for ‘unfriendly countries’. Australia will likely escape this, because it is a net energy exporter. But Europe and the US are looking at elevated prices into the foreseeable future. The reason why has little to do with Russia, though. Aside from the intransigence of our own leaders toward Russia, the Gulf State oil producers of the old OPEC are looking to the future. They need high oil prices to secure their own future, especially now with all the talk in the West of green energy transition. On the other hand, it is great news for Asian consumers, because oil sales are rapidly shifting from West to East. Then, there is diesel.

The world’s commerce runs on diesel. These actions by the OPEC+ cartel are what you might call ‘reverse sanctions’ on the US. Americans need heavy oil from other countries to produce diesel because the American refineries are not set up to produce diesel from American oil. American oil is too light to produce it. If revenge is a dish best served cold, then winter is going to be very interesting in the US and Western Europe. And in a moment of parallel wisdom inspired by the White House, the EU is all but ready to go ahead with their plan to put a price cap on Russian oil. How they are going to manage to do that will be interesting to see. It is like approaching a vender and saying one will take their product, but at a price the buyer sets. Good luck with that. It will only further hurt the European public. The Russians and Saudis already have a ready market for their oil and gas, and it doesn’t involve the West. The Saudis need the price high for their economy. Currently they are cutting the EU a break. The Russians will benefit the most from the production cut. Russia had based its economy on a price-per-barrel at $40. And if the Americans threaten the Saudis, what will that mean for the petro-dollar? These plans smack of Hanlon’s razor – “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”. Are the West’s leaders really that stupid? Well, that brings us to the main concern of this letter, which is the economy, sticking with our Libra themes.

The financial crash is happening: A recent post in Moon of Alabama had the title “The Expected Financial Crash Is Finally Here”. To hear the mainstream pundits spin it, the markets are jittery, but there is no crash. Look over there. Nothing to see here. However, there are several recent events that have coincided that cause us to take a closer look at what is actually happening. As it turns out, there is reason to be concerned:

How to prepare your finances for the next global financial crisis | Stuff.co.nz To the preceding points we add the COVID lockdowns and their disruption of supply chains, which are only slowly recovering. Only when those were about to lift did we see the US provoking a war with Russia, causing the tragedy we see in Ukraine today. Never mentioned was the tragedy of the neoliberal experience in Ukraine since its independence, which gave rise to intense nationalism, spreading from western Ukraine to the east of that nation. Poverty and austerity are the breeding ground for nationalism and fascism, as we saw with post-WWI Germany and Italy. That’s another story which we cannot hope to cover here. But because of austerity measures since the 2008 financial crash we see nationalism and right-wing extremism showing its face again across the West. Then there was the civil war in Ukraine, which started with the Maidan coup in 2014, which is culminating with the probable breakup of Ukraine. It could have been so much different, and that is the real tragedy. We have covered all this in past letters. And finally with the sanctions against Russia we have yet another form of supply chain disruption, making conditions that much worse for Europe. Asia, on the other hand, is consolidating and moving forward. But the financial crash that is taking place now will be worldwide. It will be especially hard on Africa.

Mention was made in the last letter that the UK was the bellwether of the current financial changes. I don’t have the space to go into Truss here, which I will do in another post in the coming days. But if the UK crashes, which is looking very likely the way things are going, it signals the end of zombie capitalism[8] and strikes right at the heart of neoliberalism, of which Truss and her sidekick Kwarteng are poster children. The limits of change in Britain have been reached. ‘The markets’ are not happy – that is to say, the wealthy in the UK who live off those markets are not happy. And if people thought Corbyn would have fixed the problems, he would have been even more severely attacked than we see Truss starting to endure now. Truss may be done before she even gets started as a result of her policies, whatever those are – maybe being thrown out before Christmas. The asparagus lady seems to agree. No one can quite seem to pin Truss down on anything. In neoliberalism, started under Thatcher (who Truss tries so hard and fails to emulate) ‘the market’ is king. Sorry, Charlie. But the market having rule instead of being a servant and regulated is the prime cause of the massive wealth inequality we see now along with the collapse of social programs and the rise of restiveness across the neoliberal world. The UK is a G7 nation and (used to be) one of the richest. What happens if/when it crashes? It is already crashing industry in the UK. Consider the following from the Wall Street Journal:

“Over a quarter of a million U.K. companies stopped trading in the first half of this year—16% more than in the first half of 2021 and 40% more than in the first six months of prepandemic 2019, according to the Office of National Statistics. It was the largest number ever recorded in a six-month period, according to the ONS.”

Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng on the naughty step – cartoon | Opinion | The Guardian Looking at the dates, Russia is not the cause of that, much as Truss would like to spin it. It is reflective of systemic dysfunction in the UK, and we see it in other Western countries as well. When one combines austerity policy for the public by the Tories, cuts in taxes to the wealthy (which drains public coffers), Brexit (which produced Truss and Boris), COVID lockdowns and supply chain shocks in other parts of the world, exacerbated now by sanctions against Russia which inhibit trade of essential goods, it is not difficult to see why those businesses had to close. It is about to get even worse on this trajectory, and not only in the UK. We see it here in Italy, too. Consider that Truss has riddled her cabinet and senior advisory positions with Tufton Street scions – the people who engineered Brexit – and it is not difficult to imagine where the UK is headed during her tenure. These people are hard-right Libertarians. If the UK is lucky, her stay at No. 10 will be short. Yet, there is hope. And that hope lies with the people of every nation. In the UK we see it in the likes of Mick Lynch and the Enough is Enough movement, for instance. The strikes we are seeing now in the US and UK are the one remaining tool workers have to rein in the oligarchs:

“All resistance must recognize that the corporate coup d’état is complete. It is a waste of energy to attempt to reform or appeal to systems of power. We must organize and strike. The oligarchs have no intention of willingly sharing power or wealth. They will revert to the ruthless and murderous tactics of their capitalist forebearers. We must revert to the militancy of our own.”

Who is Mick Lynch? The veteran trade unionist leading rail walk-outs | The Week UK What is happening in the UK will resound across Europe, too, because the British and EU economies are closely tied.

And as to Europe, including the UK? “For the real centre of things today is not the proxy war between Russia and the USA being fought on the battlefields of the Ukraine and elsewhere, from Syria to Armenia, it is in Western Europe. This peninsula can no longer continue to be colonial-minded. It has to become civilised enough to realise that it is only a part of Eurasia. It is divided from the USA by far more than the Atlantic Ocean. It is worlds apart. Only when Western Europe understands this, will it survive. Its survival plan and its destiny are to become a part, an important part, but still only a part, of Eurasia. It has to stop looking westwards into the empty sea and instead turn eastwards to the people-filled land.”

Nor will the US escape what is coming. What we are witnessing is a cascading series of events that is bringing our international order to a point of irreversible change, meaning an end to the international order established on the heels of the World Wars, dominated by the Western powers. Here, then, is a partial list of what is quite likely to evolve over the next couple of years as Uranus completes its transit through Taurus, re-jigging the world financial order:

  • Increasing instability in Europe, leading to a reset with the United States and Russia, or dissolving the EU into culturally aligned economic blocs, with part looking east and part staying Atlanticist. Europe is caught between the US and Russia, after all.
  • Europe coming to the grudging conclusion that no peace can be had in Europe without Russia being intimately involved in a pan-Eurasian security structure. Russia’s concerns will have to be addressed and accepted. Russia will not be ignored. This will be the end of NATO in its current form, at least.
  • Increasing restiveness in the Persian Gulf region as the US continues to lose its influence there (meaning the US will be causing trouble there as they try to hold onto control of energy reserves).
  • Along with the preceding bullet point, a pan-West Asian rapprochement between old enemies, like the Saudis and Iranians, as the realities of the emerging multipolar world emerge. In this, Israel will either come to accept Iran or be isolated. The ‘Palestinian question’ will have to be addressed and finally resolved, or Israel dissolved.
  • Asian infrastructure undergoing rapid development and inter-Asian trade accelerating (to be covered in the next letter). There are some amazing developments taking place there, hence the urgency with which we see attempts at destabilizing of governments by foreign powers, trying to prevent those developments.
  • A global financial reset (in distinction the so-called Great Reset), taking place in regions first and spreading therefrom. It will based in resource-based currencies instead of single or a few reserve currencies. This will restore sovereignty to nations based upon their own resources, human and natural. This development is also already taking place (also covered in the next letter. Scorpio is associated with international banking.).
  • The gradual reinstitution of semi-socialist policies in developed nations (evolution of mixed economies). This is something the Western public demands. The UK is fertile ground for this. Watch closely as it develops.
  • The United States forced back upon itself by circumstances, with a period of self-examination, marked by the transit of Uranus through Gemini, the latter ruling the US personality. The UK will also be likewise involved, as it seeks to express its Gemini soul in a more positive manner. Russia will instead be focused in its eastern development.
  • Very interesting developments to come in Oceania, especially as the US and UK (the two largest investors in Australia) become more self-absorbed. And with India aligning further with the SCO and BRI, the Quad will lose relevance. And with China overcoming its Malacca Strait dilemma over the next years, the end of the need for AUKUS. All this will bring Japan to rethink its relations with its Asian and Oceanic neighbors.

In conclusion: With any luck at all I doubt I will have to begin the search for a very solid plastic drum to use here at the house (referring to the story at the start of this letter). Italy has some small degree of independence in energy. But there is much food for thought in all the preceding pages, as well as opportunity for nations to finally advance toward their higher potentials. I have faith in the human spirit. I see it arising from its slumber. There is a ways to go yet. The coffee is just now reaching the collective nostrils. I see it in the rising restiveness in the West and Latin America. I have been told it is the pain of samsara that brings one to the feet of the Teacher. Countless are the stories of people who have ‘found God’ amidst the depths of their despair. Pain drives us to action and the public is certainly beginning to feel it. In the West we have been sung the lullaby that freedom and democracy will win the day, that our values and economics are sound and on the side of right, all the while those same freedoms, rights and wealth have been whittled away without our even noticing. In the other 85% of the world (or thereabouts) they see the opportunity to forge a new path with what is happening, away from a colonial past and the dominance of Western economic and military dominance, along with a secure energy future.

Yes, we have turned a corner in international relations and look forward to what 2025 will signal for us as the subjective energies begin to settle out. These changes have been building for years, but last month saw the definite precipitation regarding many of them. For now, Europe and the US will muddle through this winter, but that again will contribute strongly to the changes above. In the meantime, there is no need to fear. In fact, what we need now is courage and imagination going forward. The fight is no longer ‘over there’. We are all living it. We have been here before and will get through this period. The next few years may be difficult, but we will rise to the occasion, as we always have. Don’t let anyone convince you that humanity is headed for a dystopic future. Stop such thinking before it starts and unite! Together, in partnership, we succeed.

Libra blessings,
Malvin
8 Oct 2022

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Related blog posts:

Picture credits:
Chart: author: graphic from Solar Fire astrology software
House of cards: https://archive.ph/xETuQ
  1. Bailey, Alice A., Esoteric Astrology, (1951) NY, NY, Lucis Publishing, p.69
  2. Ibid, p. 243
  3. Ibid, p.244
  4. Ibid, p. 230
  5. Ibid, p. 513
  6. Ibid, p. 654
  7. Ibid, p.66
  8. ‘Zombie banks’ are banks that are worthless, but which are supported by governments, thus draining the system. These are banks, or businesses that should have closed their doors but instead are propped up to gove the illusion of a working economy.

 

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

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