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THE 2ND CAPRICORN FESTIVAL 2023
27 DEC 2023
© Malvin Artley
“Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seamed with scars; martyrs have put on their coronation robes glittering with fire; and through their tears have the sorrowful first seen the gate of heaven.”
“Never does the human soul appear so strong as when it foregoes revenge, and dares to forgive an injury.”
Edwin Hubbell Chapin[1]
Topics (linked to paragraphs):
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Happy New Year Everyone!

Christmas has come and gone here in Rovereto. We had quiet celebrations here at the house with a few friends the day after Christmas and the in-laws on Christmas Eve. The holidays are always a good time to catch up with family and friends, and often with people we haven’t spoken with since last Christmas. The times move on, the years click by (especially if one is of a certain age, as I am) and now we are on the eve of the New Year. 2024 looks to be quite an exciting year in terms of the evolving international scene. And I mean that in a positive sense. This New Year marks the beginning of the year of the Wood Dragon, or the year of the Dragon in the Whirlpool, the Green Dragon. The lunar New Year starts on February 10, so we will have one more normal letter, meaning the monthly letter, before the Chinese New Year letter, just to let you know. Now the days slowly begin to lengthen in terms of the daylight hours, and with everything that has happened in the last year, the one just ending, new light begins to dawn on all matters. We will be covering all that and more after the look at the full moon in this letter.

To local news, we normally take our dogs out, the ones that can walk or are not too lazy, early in the evenings. Of course, at the start of winter it is dark here in Rovereto at that time but we don’t let that stop us. The other day we were preparing to leave the house with four of the dogs, and our smallest one, the capo branco (the leader of the pack) suddenly decided he didn’t want to go out. We soon found out why. I had been out running a few errands prior to taking them out and noticed the police gathered at the intersection leading to our house. These were local police, so I thought there must be some sort of obstruction on the road or something along that line. But instead, we had what Italians call a manifestazione – a protest. Normally with a protest, the military police, the Carabinieri are present at such manifestations. The Years of Lead (Anni di piombo) are still fresh in the memory of the government and police forces and the military police are there to prevent any fun and games by anarchists. Instead, this manifestation was a protest for Palestine. The unusual thing about it was that it was mostly children who comprised the bulk of the marchers, and the chant leader couldn’t have been more than 12 or 13 years old. Of course there were numerous adults in the crowd, a few of them with the obligatory rainbow peace flag, but also marked were a significant number of Moroccans and Pakistanis. The marchers had a police escort, hence the presence of the police at the aforementioned intersection, and it was all very peaceful. As it turns out, they marched right in front of our house and I could clearly hear the chants, all in rhythm like a good protest march should have:

Rovereto, martedì 19 dicembre corteo pro-Palestina per le vie del centro: «Fermate questa barbarie» “Free! Free! Palestine! Palestina Liberà! Israeli fascista! Stato terrorista! Giu le mani da’i bambini!”

Translation probably isn’t necessary, except maybe for the last phrase, essentially meaning “Hands off the children!” I don’t think I need to tell anyone what that last phrase was referencing. But upon hearing the approaching marchers, our dogs beat a hasty retreat back to the house. One can hardly blame them. No doubt the march was organized by adults, but the children featured. That march occurred just a day or two before the Capricorn solstice, the latter marking the shortest daylight hours in the northern hemisphere and the start of winter. And the world has seemed very dark in the past couple months. However, to anyone who has followed world affairs for any length of time, this period also marks what might be called a sacred time in this period of transition – a supreme sacrifice – but also a very much-needed addressing of old evils, leading to their disappearance. We will cover more that after look at the full moon. It is been said that Capricorn exhibits all the best and all the worst in humanity. With that in mind, this Capricorn period is one of particular importance to us, for humanity as a whole. And we are seeing the best and the worst in humanity in our current events. We move now to our consideration of this most important of signs in terms of human achievement.

Mountain climbing: Living here at the foothills of the Dolomites there is ample opportunity for mountain trekking and rock climbing. It takes a disciplined and courageous soul to climb mountains using only one’s skill and relying only on ropes and strength. The view from the higher altitudes is spectacular, while the sense of achievement is exhilarating. But there is another ‘mountain’ to climb for the aspiring initiate into occultism, and that path leads to the summit of the human body, via the centers in the head. That, too, takes profound discipline and courage because one is literally working with fire at that point. As is been the case in recent letters, we will not be covering the more mundane aspects of Capricorn. Instead we will be looking at something more esoteric, something more profound. Capricorn is one of the signs that have the same ruler in both its orthodox and esoteric rulership.[2] In this case that ruler is Saturn. Saturn rules the discipline necessary, as well as the karmic opportunity to progress along The Way. With Capricorn in its more esoteric consideration, Saturn marks a most specific type of discipline, one not concerned with the world but instead upon inner focus. We are speaking here of course of meditative practice. This is the most sublime of disciplines – the discipline of the mind. It is at the Capricorn phase, figuratively speaking, that one begins to ‘climb the mountain’ and ‘ascend to the mountaintop. What do we mean by this?

In our now-familiar shamatha diagram we noted at the Sagittarian phase (from the last letter) the monk sitting in a cave at the base of a mountain, no doubt beginning his dark retreat. We also note the numerous mountains in the background behind him, and with rainbows emerging from his heart. There is a particular emphasis on the heart in the Eastern traditions, whereas in our Western esoteric literature the emphasis is more often on the center of the top of the head, or crown chakra. The emphasis on the heart relates primarily to two factors – engaging in meditative practice, not for oneself but for the liberation of all sentient beings (generating bodhichitta, the greatest love), and the connection with one’s guru, along with the ability to suspend bodily function (i.e., enter into retreat). There are other factors about which we will not examine, since our focus here is upon ‘the mountain’. For the West the emphasis is not upon a guru, but upon soul contact, which is engaged at the top of the head in the 12-petalled lotus there, as follows:

“The would-be initiate must develop somewhat the vibration of the seven head centres, and thus sweep into increased vibratory activity the seven centres in the body upon the etheric plane; affecting also, through reciprocal vibration, the seven physical centres which are inevitably stimulated when the etheric centres approach their maximum vibration. It is not necessary to enlarge upon this point beyond pointing out that as the seven centres within the head become responsive to the Ego the following seven centres,

1. The head, considered as a unit,
2. The heart,
3. The throat,
4. The solar plexus,
5. The base of the spine,
6. The spleen,
7. The organs of generation,

are also affected, but affected along the line of purification and control.[3]

Bolding added. There are hints in that quote. What are these seven head centers, then? We are given information only on three of them – the alta major, ajna and crown chakras. Then there is a further clue:

“It should be remembered also that all these centres [along the spinal column] have their correspondences in the etheric matter found in the region of the head and that it is when these seven head centres are awakened that their counterparts are also safely awakened.”[4]

In case one hasn’t guessed, ‘the mountain’ in our topic refers to the head centers/chakra. The required ‘gear’ for mountain climbing is twofold – meditative discipline and selfless service, the latter being the bodhisattva path. Only with the appropriate methods can those centers be safely awakened. Warnings about ‘going it alone’ abound, hence in the East the necessity of a guru. In the West that is also eventually the case, too, but only when one enters into the advanced stages of such meditative practices. What about those head centers, then?

The seven head centers: We can only barely touch upon the subject in such a short monthly letter but it is perhaps timely to begin introducing these concepts. There was no information about the other four head centers in the books of Alice Bailey, perhaps for the obvious reason that it would evoke too much curiosity and premature focus upon them. As it turns out, however, the information on the head centers, all seven, is now public domain and can be safely given out, largely because the methods and sequences for activating them are still not given. The information has been available since 1980.[5] The head centers are as follows:

The three major head chakras as given in Bailey:

  • The Alta Major, located at the medulla oblongata. This is called ‘Talu’ in the referenced work, p. 234. It is said to have twelve petals. When fully awakened those expand out to 64 petals. It has a specific meditative focus – on the Moon and on Emptiness (emptiness of form)
  • The Ajna center, located between the eyebrows and associated with the pituitary body. It is located at the caudal part of the 3rd ventricle.
  • The Crown center in two sections, located just above the head and associated with the pineal gland

The three major centers correspond to the three Rays of Aspect, rays 1, 2 and 3, in reverse order from above. The four subsidiary centers, all associated with the ajna center[6], are:

  • The Manas chakra, white in color, with 6 petals, the latter each connected with a sense. It is located in the rostral part of the 3rd ventricle. It is the seat of chitta (mind-stuff). It is thus concerned with sense-consciousness.
  • The Indu chakra, or ‘Moon chakra’ is Moon-white with 16 petals. It is the seat of buddhi (pure reason). It is located at the commissura anterior and lamina terminalis.
  • The Mahanada, plough-shaped, the power station where pranic motion almost stops naturally during deep concentration. It is located in the corpus callosum. It is not what we might call a chankra, per se, having no petals, but it is a very important center in the chakra system.
  • The Dhi, or Nirvana chakra, is the last chakra on the central channel. It is located within the cranium at the uppermost end. The shushumna (central spinal channel) ends at the nirvana chakra. It is shining-white with 100 petals. It is the center of concentrative mind.

These four chakras correspond to the Rays of Attribute, rays 4, 5, 6 and 7. All seven of the head centers are analogous in the human being with the seven stars of the Great Bear,[7] while the chakras in the spine would have their analogies in the Seven Sisters, the Pleiades. Noting the number of petals in each of the minor head chakras, we see analogies and even associations with chakras in the spine. The manas chakra is associated with the sacral center (the latter being the seat of the mental elemental[8]), the indu chakra with the throat center (the seat of creative consciousness[9]), while the nirvana chakra is a reflection of the 1,000-petalled lotus above the head.

The wisarga and antahkarana: Of particular interest to us, though, given what we have examined in past letters relating to the antahkarana, is what lies immediately above the nirvana chakra – the wisarga,[10] which is normally in the form of a gap between the shushumna and the two-tiered crown chakra. When the bridge is activated by kundalini it connects the nirvana chakra with the guru chakra. In other words, the crown chakra is not a part of the centers located along the spine and in the head, much as we have been told that there are seven centers along the spine, crown included. The crown chakra lies just above the head, and as such is the seat of the soul. The wisarga separates the nirvana and the 12-petalled Guru chakra, the latter being what we know as the ‘heart center in the head’. This gap must be bridged if there is to be full soul control, and this is the ultimate work of Capricorn, figuratively speaking – to climb to the top of the shushumna and bridge that gap.

In the last letter we noted the work of the individual, regardless of world events, is to build the antahkarana (Topic: “Some considerations”). When the bridge is complete it allows the down-flow of force from the spiritual Triad (higher Self) and one then experiences the esoteric motto of Capricorn: “Lost am I in light supernal, yet on that light I turn my back.”[11] The meaning of the motto is such that one could go ahead and stay in that light, but the immediate needs of all sentient life – the alleviating of their suffering – supersede one’s selfish desires and ambitions for spiritual advancement. One embarks in truth on the way of the bodhisattva. Once that bridge is completed and functioning at will, then one’s spiritual path is much accelerated, leading to the final liberation. Once the bridge is completed the earthly analogy is like that of lightning: With lightning there is a gap between the storm clouds (representing us) and the Earth (representing the soul). If there is to be lightning the electrical potential between the two must be enough that a small tracer charge (our invocation via the antahkarana) is able to bridge the gap. Once the tracer charge reaches far enough across the gap a large electrical discharge (the ‘light supernal’) follows the tracer back to its source, with the result being we get a fantastic light show. Thus it is, that with the antahkarana reaching completion the down-flow of our own divine source is able to flood into our limited human consciousness. An arya being is born. We become stations of light amidst the darkness. From that point on we rapidly tread the way to the final liberation.

Noi umani, liberà!: The Christian allegory for the final liberation from the wheel of birth and death (samsara) is the crucifixion, which as the Bible recounts took place at Golgotha – the place of the skull. There is an actual Golgotha, which is a skull-shaped hill in ancient Jerusalem. In the 4th initiation (the Great Renunciation in Buddhism) all of the centers in the head are actively and willfully engaged, causing their reflected centers along the spine to be likewise stimulated and fully purified by the directed use of the kundalini fire (a.k.a. gtummo or candali) which burns away the obstructions to omniscience, the etheric webs that separate the centers. This direction comes via the ajna system of chakras, inclusive of the four minor head centers, combined with the ‘downflow’ of force from the higher Self (the spiritual Triad). The completed and stabilized antahkarana (via meditative focus) is required for such action to take place. This is the Venusian rulership of Capricorn in action, started in the ajna center (which Venus rules[12]) because Capricorn is said to be the doorway that opens out into eternal life,[13] releasing one from samsara. One is thereby admitted as a member to the Kingdom of Souls (the Spiritual Hierarchy[14]). So, as we build the antahkarana, we are mindful also of our service to the immediate need. And these days the need is very great, indeed. From here we turn our backs on matters esoteric and look at the full moon and our current world view.

The full moon took place on 27 Dec 2023 at 33 minutes past midnight UT (11:33 AEDT). The Sabian symbol for the degree of the moon is particularly poignant at our present juncture:

  • At a railroad crossing an automobile is wrecked by a train (5th degree of Cancer)

The symbol for the solar degree compliments it and provides a counterpoint:

  • Indians on the warpath. While some men row a well-filled canoe, others in it perform a war dance. (5th degree of Capricorn)

What happens when a car goes onto railway tracks? - Quora ‘Indians’ in this case are first-nations people of North America. The Sabian symbols are uniquely American symbols, and this has a bearing on what we will be examining going forward in this letter. The sun is sextile Saturn, making it an easy opposition with the full moon axis. However Uranus is semi-square to the Moon adding the note mentioned for the lunar degree. That said, there is a series of sextiles running between the Sun and the Moon starting from the Sun to Saturn, Saturn to Jupiter, and Jupiter to the Moon. On the surface this appears to be a very hopeful figure, and indeed as the year goes on it probably will indicate such. For the present, however, we have a subtext of the Mercury/Mars conjunction square to Neptune, denoting fiery rhetoric and a more concerted effort to win over hearts and minds. This will be especially apparent in Israel and the United States. There is a strong note of idealism in this chart as well, with Venus trine to Neptune and sextile to Pluto. On the whole, this would be an excellent chart for starting a project with the promise of success eventually, through hard and diligent work, building wealth slowly over time. In terms of world affairs we are looking at the growing cooperation between the BRICS+ countries, serving as the counterbalance to the instability in Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

In the last full moon figure, in the Sagittarius letter, it was noted that the Sagittarian period, leading up to this full moon represented a time of reckoning. That has indeed been the case, which will be covered as we go along in the remainder of this letter. For example, it is clear now to all but the most deluded or uninformed people that the war in Ukraine is lost, and that the Israelis are not going to defeat Hamas. The wider world, excluding the United States and Israel along with a few West European countries, have done their reckoning – the wider world wants an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and the two state solution implemented under international law. From this month’s full moon figure, and considering the Capricorn ingress figure, which is addressed on the blog site, over the next couple weeks of January there is very likely to be some sort of provocation or attempted escalation of the war in West Asia, at which point it will be clear to everyone the direction that needs to be taken. That direction will not be in favor of either Israel or the US. From here we move on to our current events, the more significant ones that have taken place since the last full moon.

Current events: These are not in any particular order.

Don’t look away: We need to pause here and address squarely what is happening in Palestine. We have to face this and never look away, because if we do the criminal activities by the Zionists will persist into the future and stain all our efforts to promote and foster a just and humanitarian world. The proper resolution of this crisis is a prerequisite to what the esoteric community is forecasting for the reappearance of the World Bodhisattva/Teacher and what the world at large desires – peace, justice, human progress – what astrologers call Aquarian ideals. The outcome of this crisis will frame decisions across the board probably long into the future. Regarding the state called Israel, the following describes what we see, expressed in a recent article:

The Unwinnable War: Israel Faces International Headwinds as the Ground Offensive Commences - DER SPIEGEL “These months of barbarity, with more to come, mark out Israel as a failed state. It is a chaotic entity that depends on violence toward others for its existence, and the violence depends on an irresponsible sponsor. It is inherently, institutionally discriminatory and adopts the apartheid system from white South Africa.

On the domestic side, Israel is riven with centrifugal divisions that the Gaza crisis has temporarily pushed to the background as the IDF hands out automatic rifles to any (Jewish) Israeli who lines up for one. Its leadership will destroy the judiciary’s independence the first chance it gets, and, as argued previously in this space, when the judiciary goes, failed-state status is typically not far behind.

We read about this, some of it, but, once again, only obliquely. And never, but in independent and non–Western media, do we read about the 75 years of abuse, imprisonments, torture, forced removals and all else that preceded and indeed produced the events of October 7. That is all buried now. The 1948 Nakba is very rarely even mentioned now and is never cast as pertinent to the present. History started not quite three months ago.”

And barbaric, the ethnic cleansing of Gaza certainly is. In case one didn’t know, the ‘irresponsible sponsor’ mentioned above is the United States. Israelis can make no claim to victim-hood with regard to Hamas or any of the Palestinians. That claim lies wrecked on the tracks of history and scale. What Hamas committed on October 7th was but a pinprick to Israel compared to what the Zionists have committed against Palestinians for around a century. But the Al-Aqsa Flood unleashed a torrent of hatred and vengeance by the Israeli public. (video). Why?

Ancient Israel was founded on ethnic cleansing, which the Christian evangelicals in the US use as their justification for supporting Israel in its present crimes against humanity, and in their attempts at reducing the war to one of Manichean status. Present-day Israel was likewise founded on what would have been a genocide had it been allowed to continue. It was called the Nakba (video, 1st of four parts), ‘the Catastrophe’ in Arabic. This war is not a struggle about good and evil. It is about hegemony, lebensraum and exceptionalism, including control of resources and shipping routes. It is also about one man’s delusions and attempts at avoiding jail. This war is, though, about the end times – the end of the Zionist project, which is upon us.

Time is not on Israel’s side, and by extension, the West’s side, and it is becoming clearer by the day that the two-state solution will never materialize. The old guard like Mearsheimer (video) and Crooke (video) have both stated the Oslo Accords are dead. Even Bibi has come out and said he sabotaged the Accords since they were signed. The Oslo Accords, like the Minsk Agreements, were simply pieces of paper, buying time for belligerents to finally enact their real plans. The US could have chosen to force the Israelis to a ‘sustainable ceasefire’ in the present conflict, but instead the Beltway has chosen war, as they always deign to give peace a chance. Even a few senior Israeli military officials are starting to realize Israel has lost the war against Hamas. Even The Guardian is now saying it. But as a result Netanyahu and the general staff are seeking to escalate the war in an effort to draw the US into active military support (video).

Regarding Israel: There is a reason the US will not step in and stop Israel. It relates to the following:

“The sad fact is that the only country that can put a stop to the killing is the United States. It controls Israel’s ability to continue bombing the Palestinians in Gaza and provides critical funding. But it is a political year and AIPAC has its hooks so deep into the yawning maws of both Republicans and Democrats that neither Biden nor any leader in Congress is going to step up and demand an end to the killing.”

Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom”: Norman Finkelstein on the Many Lies Perpetuated About Gaza - YouTube The videos cited at that link are also quite eye-opening, for those readers who do not know about Israeli public opinion and sentiment.

If you want to take a deep dive and understand Gaza instead of listening to people argue and the narrative coming from media, read Norman Finkelstein’s book, Gaza: An Inquest into Its Martyrdom. It is an accounting about Gaza and Israel’s actions there that eviscerates the Israel apologists and Palestine-haters. You can see why if you take the time to listen to a recent interview with him where he answered point-by-point the attempts at comedy, popular public opinion that is pro-Israel and the Washington establishment stance on what is happening in Gaza. If you do not know who Finkelstein is, do take the time to acquaint yourself. He is a good Sagittarian, an academic’s academic and probably one of the most knowledgeable people on Israel and Gaza. The genocide in Gaza has to stop, and for all time. There is nothing even remotely humanitarian about what the Israelis are doing to Gaza, and which the US is fully funding and supporting. The war would stop almost immediately were Biden to pick up the phone and tell Bibi to call a halt. But then, Biden is a self-avowed Zionist.

The two-state idea is dead: Gideon Levi, in a recent interview outlined why the two-state solution for Israel is nothing more than a dream. He sees the only solution as being a single state, with Jews and Palestinians living side-by-side in equality. That would mean the end of the Zionist project, and the end of Zionism itself. Given what he outlined in the interview the problem of the armed settlers would be an immediate concern and block to such a solution. It would mean the armed intervention of either UN peacekeepers or the IDF (which would at that point no longer be the IOF) suppressing an armed settler uprising. Given current Israeli sentiments it is highly doubtful the settlers would just up and leave, never mind having to actually share equal rights with the Palestinians. The Zionists would have to convert to liberal Judaism and become ‘self-hating Jews’ (à-la Alan Dershowitz) if they wanted to stay in Israel in a single state in equality with Palestinians. If the single state ever were to happen the demographics would quickly see the Palestinians in the majority due to birth rates. Of course we can speculate over many scenarios, but as it is the Israelis at present say the two-state solution is a no-go. We are entering interesting times in the region of Palestine. Israel-Palestine has entered a period of irreversible transition.

Hamas carried maps of Israeli towns, military bases; posted video of mock attack | World News - Hindustan Times And what of Hamas?: The Saudis and the French are hatching a plan to exile Hamas (or so they think) to Algeria (where Iranian influence is strong) when the fighting finishes and placing Arab peacekeepers under UN auspices in Gaza. The Israelis as they are would never accept it. You cannot exile an idea, anyway. Besides, the IOF is creating more and more Hamas and other branches of the Resistance with every bomb dropped and every summary execution. The Israelis have begun simply wanton killing of anything that moves in Gaza, including their own people. They have set up a mass assassination factory. For Israelis this war is personal. It is to the point now where people are wondering what is wrong with Israelis? For the IOF it shows a lack of discipline, disdain for the rules of war, poor training and poor leadership. And it doesn’t matter to them whether one is Palestinian or not. Christians, UN workers – basically anyone in Gaza not wearing an IOF uniform – are murdered the same as Palestinians. Israeli behaviour in Gaza and increasingly in the West Bank mirrors the behaviour of the Nazi Waffen SS in WWII. But the tide is turning the longer this goes on. And it started with the actions of the Houthis in Yemen, who have unilaterally shut down shipping to Israel via sea routes. The port of Eilat is near collapse, having lost 95% of its shipping as a result of the Houthi blockade. That gave rise to Operation Prosperity Guardian, mentioned above in the event bullet points. That has since fallen apart, which suggests something far more important, covered in what follows.

An interesting development: The members of the grand ‘coalition of the willing’ for Operation Prosperity Guardian were notable. Aside from the big player (the US) we had the main declining powers of Western Europe (the UK, France, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway and Spain), Bahrain and the Seychelles. The Europeans have all bailed out at this point, leaving the US exposed in the region. The French have reshuffled their intelligence services as a result and appear to be distancing themselves from the Americans. The US has cancelled the operation now, too, giving the excuse that intervention there would upset the delicate truce between the Saudis and the Houthis. They didn’t think about that when they cobbled together their idea for the operation. The Europeans are so alarmed at the developments that they are now busily setting themselves about making secret deals with the Houthis. The Saudis and the Emiratis had wisely chosen to bow out of the operation, fearing for their oil and gas fields. There was another reason, too – BRICS, which we will come to shortly. Bahrain, one can understand, because there is a British military base there and the Bahrainis have close relations with the US. They are also situated at the Strait of Hormuz. But Seychelles? The Seychelles are a little island chain far off the east coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. They have a population of about 100,000 and the islands were uninhabited until the 19th century. They were a British protectorate until the 1970s, when they declared independence. They have a token coast guard, air force and army. Maybe they wanted to make an international statement, to be noticed. They would have also been used as a re-supply point rather than as an active participant, given their location.

Anyway, so why would the Europeans have been interested in this operation? Once again, we have the Suez Canal. Europe depends on the Suez for cheap shipping costs for oil and other goods from Asia. Cheap shipping costs=greater prosperity, hence the name of the operation. The US depends on the Suez solely for the supply of Israel and for quicker transit times via the Red Sea, which in the immediate past was used to ship arms to the Gulf States and Iraq. Of interest is that Russian and Chinese ships are allowed to pass through the Suez unhindered. Hmmm….That suggests that perhaps there was behind the scenes guidance from those favoured nations. Who can say? There is media blackout on how the Houthis know about which ships to go after.

Red sea attacks: A look at the Houthi missile stockpile There are a couple of things to unpack in this operation, because the operation is a setup for ‘accidents’. Accidents do happen, you know? So do provocations. When the Israelis started their genocide in Gaza in October there was a flurry of speculation about the underlying causes, like the gas fields off the coast of Gaza and the proposed Ben Gurion canal project. As it turns out, the Houthis pose the same threat to the latter canal that they do to the Suez. Both of the canals would empty out of the same end of the Red Sea. The Houthis have the capacity to shut off traffic to the Red Sea, as we are seeing now. The Houthis are a Shia group, allied with Iran. It is worth noting, though, that they and all the other groups in the Axis of Resistance act independently. Instead of being proxies of Iran, they are all allies. So, even if John ‘Stache’ Bolton wants to go to war against Iran, it would not deter or affect the other actors. Now there is all the bloviating about how what the Houthis are doing to the shipping is against international law, etc., etc. According to Lloyd Austin (linked at the bullet point):

“The recent escalation in reckless Houthi attacks originating from Yemen threatens the free flow of commerce, endangers innocent mariners, and violates international law…Operation Prosperity Guardian is bringing together multiple countries to include the United Kingdom, Bahrain, Canada, France, Italy, Netherlands, Norway, Seychelles, and Spain, to jointly address security challenges in the southern Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden, with the goal of ensuring freedom of navigation for all countries and bolstering regional security and prosperity.”

Firstly, the Houthis are quite specific about their targets – ships going to Israel and Israeli-flagged ships. As of now they have not attacked any other ships and the Red Sea remains open to other shipping. But fear is a big motivator. Now that BP and most of the major shipping concerns have refused to pass through the Red Sea, that directly affects the transport of goods to Europe and the MENA region, and especially to Israel. In response the UAE has chosen to bypass the blockade and ship food to Israel overland via Saudi Arabia and Jordan. Fair enough, but that goes to show the Saudis, Emirates and Jordan are not really that keen to force Israel to end the genocide in Gaza. Their care about the fate of the Palestinians is thus called into question. Closure of the Red Sea also affects Egypt in the loss of transport fees through the Suez. So Yemen – the poorest nation in the region, bombed mercilessly by the Saudis and UAE, the latter backed by the US (if we remember) – is the one nation who has the ability to really hit the imperial powers where it hurts – in the pocket. Hence we had the Western Europeans lining up to take part in protecting their prosperity. The Houthis are the real ‘Davids’ in the David and Goliath story. But given the way the US has treated the Europeans (blowing up Nord Stream, cutting them off from Russia, et al) it is questionable how much the US really cares about the prosperity of the EU. They don’t, really. But when Israel is threatened, that is another story. NATO powers are called upon to ‘shoulder the load’ for the ‘land-based aircraft carrier’.

How the Policies of U.S. Ally Egyptian Dictator, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Have Led to a Surge in ISIS Recruitment – Observ@tório de Relações Internacionais – UFOP Egypt is no friend to the Palestinians, either. Sisi, ‘America’s dictator’ just won his third and final term in office, ensuring support for Israel via the Suez, as long as shipping passes through that canal. Little known, but Egypt is the 2nd-largest recipient of US aid in the region behind Israel. Looking at all this, people wonder why the Arab states have not done more to rein in Israeli bombing of Gaza. But in looking beneath the surface, as in the points above, what emerges is a quintet of states whose leaders are more interested in trade, commerce and finances than they are about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza – Egypt, the Saudis, Jordan, the UAE and Bahrain. So, while the Arabs sit on their hands and bide their time the Shia forces in the region are standing up for the Palestinians. We are in the process of seeing who has the greater strength and moral courage when it comes to resisting colonial/imperial forces.

The Houthis are not deriving any direct benefit from their actions. In fact, they have put themselves at great risk in doing so. So, why would they? Well, when we look at the BRICS nations in the region and abroad, an answer stands out: This has all the marks of being a coordinated operation, with the Russians, Iranians and the Chinese advising them behind the scenes and no doubt promising to back them up should things go awry. As stated above, Russian ships pass through the Bab al Mandeb Strait unhindered, as do Chinese ships. Those ships are not going to Israel. And as it turns out, China has placed an economic embargo on Israel, denying them shipments of electronic goods, essential to the war effort.

The above being said, what would have probably happened with Operation Prosperity Guardian, if it had happened, is the carrier strike groups would loll around the Red Sea for a while, maybe fire off a few missiles and then go home. That is not an exaggeration. Simplicius in a recent analysis laid out why the operation was more just for show than to actually do anything, and they would certainly not ‘curtail’ the Houthis at all. The Houthis are mobile, decentralized and highly motivated. The logistics, lack of troops, and readiness of the arrayed forces are very problematic for the West. You can read the analysis (linked) for more details, but it gives a shocking insight into the real state of affairs of the West’s militaries, especially its navies. And the US has already been defeated by the Yemenis once before. What makes the Pentagon think they would be able to ‘clear’ or ‘secure’ the Red Sea? Then there is all the speculation about the real purpose of all the naval power in the region – to go after Iran. That is highly unlikely to happen either. ‘The Ike’ (as the military people call the Eisenhower carrier group) just left the Persian Gulf, from where it was ‘deterring’ Iran. That sends the message the carrier group was only there for show. Some hard decisions are on the books for the Western powers regarding Israel and the entire region of West Asia. But this all has a wider and more important meaning, especially for the West and the emerging international order:

It’s over: While it may not be apparent to the casual observer or the willfully ignorant, the world has changed. The vehicle of Western hegemony lies wrecked at the crossroads of history. The multipolar train has left the station, crossed that intersection and is moving on. The occupants of the vehicle survived, but they no longer have the wherewithal to realize their plans. They are now hitchhikers on the road to an uncertain future, down at the crossraods tryin’ to flag a ride. Their growing desperation is almost palpable as they try to salvage what they thought was a sure bet – Putin gone and Russia broken up into ‘manageable’ resource-rich statelets; China isolated from Russia, as well as Iran; Ukraine vassalized and plundered for resources; Israel normalized with its Arab neighbors, ensuring the weakness of said states and the isolation of Iran; BRICS+ disrupted, along with China’s Belt and Road Initiative; and China pushed back with its economic progress blocked. We could go on and on, but those were the main objectives. All of those objectives are nothing more than neocon dreams, all clearly demonstrated for the wider world. The wider world no longer trusts the West, notes the weakness of its leaderships and militaries and is moving on.

As to the Indians on the warpath, from our solar symbol this month, the ‘Warriors of the Rules-based Order’, (you know who we mean) with their war cries of “Human Rights!”, “Freedom!”, “Democracy!”, “Inclusiveness!”, “Sustainability!”, “Freedom of Navigation!”, and on and on now find themselves headed down a river toward a whirlpool where a Dragon awaits, along with a Bear at the shores of the whirlpool, the warriors’ oars ineffective against the rushing current. It is a sight to behold! Our chicken-hawk warriors are, as we say, up the creek without a paddle. Then there is Ukraine.

Ukraine Is The Latest Neocon Disaster - Tikkun Regarding Ukraine: The war is lost in Ukraine. It was lost from the first days, but the Western powers sought to draw it out in order, they thought, to weaken Russia. It was a slam-dunk, to their minds – goad Russia into invading Ukraine, slap the ‘sanctions from Hell’ on everything Russian, the Russian oligarchs would foment an insurrection and overthrow Putin and the Yeltsin era would be restored. They thought it was a very tidy and infallible plan. It was all a delusion on the part of the Western oligarchs and leaders, a complete miscalculation based on hubris, ideologues and a lack of intelligence – take that as you will. Instead Russia has gone from strength to strength. Its economy is doing well, especially considering, the leadership is solid and secure, the Ukrainian army is broken, Russia has turned away from the West and is beginning to fulfill its work in the East, as well as solidifying its influence in Africa, West Asia and increasingly in South America. As of the New Year it takes on the presidency of BRICS for 2024. BRICS has a rotating presidency. The Russian public is resolved about the West, is confident and is having all its material needs met. Instead, NATO is fractured (video with Chas Freeman), Europe is weakened and the West is increasingly isolated from the wider world

The Americans (and British) are trying to finesse a way to turn the mess they made in Ukraine over to the Europeans, in part to be able to wash their hands of it and in part to further drain and weaken Europe, including the UK. They also want to do so to be able to drain Russia, yet still not being able to grasp the fact that everything they have tried thus far has only strengthened Russia. The plan is to impose a ceasefire in Ukraine (believing they can do so, as if the Russians have no say in the matter) and immediately giving Ukraine (what is left it) NATO and the EU (the two are essentially the same) membership. The Russians will not engage a ceasefire. They will keep going until their goals are achieved – the end of the nationalist regime in Kiev, the total defeat of the Ukrainian army and neutrality for whatever is left of Ukraine. Russia (at this point) will accept no less.

The EU and US are talking about confiscating the frozen assets of Russia, an act that would prove to be catastrophic for the West. The Global South countries would quickly ditch the Western financial system in favour of the evolving eastern models. Back in March of this year top US officials from across US presidential administrations met in a conclave (archived) under Chatham House Rule, where they were mostly universally in favor of sharply escalating the war against Russia in Ukraine. According to Russian intel the US and UK had plans to set up military bases in the Black Sea (US) and the Sea of Azov (UK). If you want an insight into their thinking and why the Biden administration has continued to support Ukraine up until now the linked article is worth a read. They were in favor even of striking deep into Russia and forming a ‘foreign legion’ of trained troops to make up for the heavy losses suffered even at that point by Ukraine. Their conclusions showed their lack of intelligence (take that also as you will), in that they knew little about Russian capabilities, history or culture. But we see the results today.

We are not seeing Cabinet Wars (Kabinettskriege) any longer. Those ended in the 19th century. When war strikes a nation now we see total mobilization of the populace, either militarily or patriotically, usually both. We saw this in Ukraine, where the Russians first tried Cabinet War and then quickly had to switch to the way war is waged now – annihilation – not of the populace, but of a nation’s ability to wage further war. This is what the Israelis are trying to do against Hamas in Gaza, except they are bent on annihilating the populace of Gaza, too, either through death or through displacement. The Russians are gradually succeeding in annihilating the army in Ukraine. The Israelis, in case we have not guessed, will fail, because in their barbarity they have mobilized the entire Arab and Islamic world against them. Every Palestinian killed by the Israelis now results in several more mobilized Muslims against Israel. The only solution there at present is either political or the gradual dissolution of the Israeli state. The situation in Ukraine is getting very dicey, with rumors and reports swirling about Zelenskyy being deposed, or blackmailing the Western powers, of Ukrainian collapse, or of a long shot of buying enough time for the Western powers to re-gin their manufacturing to be able to match Russia’s military manufacturing. The latter scenario fails to take into account quite a bit, but we will not address it here, except to drop a few names – China, Iran, North Korea…There is always much more we could say on all the matters outlined above, but we close this letter out with a brief look at the US.

Editorial cartoons for March 19, 2023: Banking crisis, Putin's war - syracuse.com What of the US?: The best way to answer that question perhaps is to ask a few ourselves, as follows: Since the Zionists have so taken control over US (and UK) lawmakers, what will happen politically in the US once ‘the project’ Israel goes belly-up? What will happen to the donations to political campaigns? To AIPAC? It is an election year in the US and many elections are dependent upon donations from Jewish and Zionist groups. If the US finally shows a little compassion and wisdom and ends the genocide by cancelling ‘aid’ to the IOF, what happens to the donations? With Israel seeking to draw the US into a wider war, and if such a wider war eventuates (I don’t think it will) and American bases are heavily targeted by the Resistance forces, what will the American public say? And if the evangelical voter base fails to see its dreams of the 2nd Coming realized in the destruction of Israel (the two state solution is realized and enforced), yet another voter base turns sour on Washington. What then?

The Democrats have lost the youth and Arab vote. What will that mean for the election? Four more years of Trump? Is RFK Jr., now a recognized shill for the Washington establishment and Israel lobby, really only meant as a spoiler to draw votes away from Trump? (He is a Democrat, after all.) Now that the war in Ukraine is lost and the world has turned sour on the US and Israel, what of the vaunted ‘greatest fighting force in history’ and world opinion? Will the US be isolated? The US is now isolated in the UN. Will the UN finally show some teeth? And will the Europeans finally say, “Enough!” and begin to forge their own individual destinies apart for the US? With the US dollar’s dominance now on the decline and its buying power weakened, will rising inflation and energy costs cause rising unrest in the US? We could go on and on, but perhaps the idea is clear: 2024 is going to be a very ‘interesting’ year for the US. It will also be ‘interesting’ for Western Europe, too. The East Europeans are beginning to see the light and make their own decisions.

In conclusion we end this year of trials and sorrows, not on a negative note, but of one more hopeful looking forward. The war in Ukraine will end over the coming year, at least the major fighting. Ukraine will have to surrender. Even Arestovich, once an avowed nationalist is saying the Russians and Ukrainians should join forces and sue the United States and the West for all the carnage in Ukraine. It’s all talk at the moment, but the thought is out there. But the recognition of all Slavs as a brotherly people is once again being voiced. The isolation and economic pressure on Israel and the West will call a halt to the carnage in Palestine. All sides will then have to sit across the table and talk. The mood for talking is not in evidence at the moment, but it will build over the next few months. The transition between world powers that began in 2020 – first with the pandemic, then in Ukraine and now in West Asia – has completely changed international relations, a change toward dialog instead of war. We are seeing in real time the futility of the old colonial model of enforcing control and extracting resources on the backs of the conquered. We witness the feebleness of the Western militaries, brought about through neoliberalism and the imposition of ‘inclusiveness’. We see in real time today how dependability (which the West has lost) strategic patience and win-win cooperation are winning today with the world outside the West – the 85% of the world’s populace. That is the direction for the world going forward – multipolar, non-hegemonic, based in verifiable trust instead of faith that nations will ‘do the right thing’, and so on.

C:\Users\tian_\Pictures\Site Pictures\wood_dragon.png The year coming – the Year of the Dragon in the Whirlpool, the Wood Dragon – is a supremely creative expression. The Dragon is daring, Wood is expansive. Wood is Jupiterian and blesses one with increase. It is an indication of important questions and problems being addressed. I will have much more on the indications for the year in the Chinese New Year letter in about a month. The important thing for us at this precise moment is to stay positive, to stand for our conscience, to make a stand for issues and be prepared to be damned for it, but to make a stand. Evil flourishes where good people fail to stand up. In Palestine today we see the strongest of souls in the suffering of the Palestinians, who refuse to surrender, and who will go on to rebuild Palestine once the fighting ceases and the occupation ends. Then we will see who is strong enough to forgive. Keep strong, keep courage and may we all work steadily on our mountain climbing skills.

New Year’s blessings,
Malvin
31 Dec 2023

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Picture Credits:
Capricorn: DeviantArt
Palestine march: Not Rovereto, but close enough
Ajna system: Cited work (Goswami)
Seven head centers: Cited work (Goswami)
Wisarga gap: detail from Goswami
Staged train-car wreck: Courtesy of the NCDOT
Putin for Pres: Times of India
Gaza ruins: Der Spiegel
Finkelstein with book: Democracy Now
Hamas fighters: Hindustan Times
Houthis and missiles: Deccan Herald
Our man in Cairo: Liberty Blitzkrieg
Go War!: Tikkun
Janet Yellin’: Syracuse
Green Imperial Dragon: Science History Lover
  1. The first quote is misattributed to Khalil Gibran. Chapin’s quotes are cited in Josiah Hotchkiss Gilbert’s, Dictionary of Burning Words of Brilliant Writers (1895).
  2. Bailey, Alice A., Esoteric Astrology (1951) NY, NY, Lucis Pubs., p. 68
  3. Bailey, Initiation, Human and Solar, p. 200
  4. Bailey, The Light of the Soul, p. 82, referring to the centers in the spine.
  5. Goswami, Shyam Sundar, Layayoga: The Definitive Guide to the Chakras and Kundalini (1999) Rochester, VT, Inner Traditions
  6. Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, p. 88. See also Goswami’s book starting at p. 243
  7. Bailey, A Treatise on Cosmic Fire, p. 182
  8. Bailey, Esoteric Psychology II, p. 304
  9. Op cit
  10. Goswami, illus. 19, p. 240
  11. Bailey, Esoteric Astrology, p. 654
  12. Ibid, p. 517
  13. Ibid, p. 168
  14. Bailey, The Externalisation of the Hierarchy, p. 92

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

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