Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Hallowe'en from Willow!!

I hope everyone is having a delightful All Hallow's Eve! Not too much contacting of ancestral spirits on this day when the veil between the living and the dead is so thin, or you'll wake up with a nasty hangover! And maybe some nasty spirits you have to boot back into the otherworld...

(Just being facetious.)

Happy Hallowe'en/Samhain to all!

Friday, October 30, 2009

In Defense of Astrology as a Catalytic Tool for Understanding

I keep running into people (online or in daily life) who challenge me on my use of astrology. These people are sometimes straight-up skeptics or sometimes they are people who are curious about astrology but can't reconcile their interest in it with all they've been taught about how it's a bunch of wishy-washy garbage.

People often want to engage me in debates about the validity of astrology. I always decline.

I'm not interested in debating. It's a waste of my time and energy to talk in circles with people who are already convinced there is nothing of value in it. I'm not even interested in talking to the curious yet skeptical. I mean, it's really none of my concern whether they get into astrology.

Astrology is the sort of thing that either speaks to you, or it doesn't. It makes sense to you, or it doesn't. And I'm fine with that. It's not my responsibility to try to convince skeptics that the thing I've devoted the last six years of my life to learning and developing has any inherent worth or meaning.

Sometimes, I must admit, I consider whether I should drop the astrological analysis aspect of what I write. I realize by writing astrological analysis, especially combining it with political topics or current events, that I'm writing to a very small segment of the population - especially considering so many people seek out astrology that is strictly about their personalities and personal relationships. (There's much more to the process of self-understanding through astrology than just those two aspects of life and self.)

But I keep coming back to the same answer on that one - no. I shouldn't drop it.

I keep coming back to the value of astrology and the way it can provide such an in-depth, detailed understanding of ourselves and the world around us. For me, nothing else I've come across really compares. It's such a powerful tool for seeing beneath the surface, to energetic realities that would be missed otherwise. It connects us to something broader than our personal lives and gives us expanded context of our existences. And it helps us understand ourselves and our lives within that context, again, in a way I have not found with other disciplines.

So honestly, I'm irritated by the way I'm written off and often not taken seriously by people when I say I'm an astrologer. I'm especially pissed off when people group astrology in with New Age or refer to it as a belief system. As an astrologer I knew online, Antero Alli, says: "I don't believe in astrology. I use it because it works."

I feel similarly. I'll continue to use astrology as a tool (and write about it) as long as it keeps giving me the perspective I need. The day it stops "working" will be the day I stop practising.

But try explaining that concept to someone who has already made up his or her mind that astrology is a bunch of superstitious crap. A waste of time. Something no truly intelligent person would put any stock in.

I had an online conversation about astrology recently. I wouldn't enter into a debate about it with a dude who was a skeptic. He referred to it as "pseudo-science." I told him I didn't consider astrology a science. To which he replied that science just means "knowledge." (ha!)

But isn't it funny how the scientific community thinks it is the absolute judge of what is knowledge and what isn't? Generally, their version of knowledge is strictly the quantifiable, what can be proven by them.

To me, that is nothing but arrogance and an example of the imbalance of masculine and feminine within the scientific community.

I tried to explain to this guy that a lot of what I know, including the effectiveness and value of astrology, could not be proven to him. Nor could things like intuition or spiritual guidance, for example.

And I realized that that dude and I were looking at each other across the divide between Piscean Age and Aquarian.

The Aquarians are quick to write anything off that is unproveable by their scientific methods.

But I still feel as if I know something they don't know.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

About Those Strategic Relationships...

It's not yet All Hallow's Eve, but things sure are getting scary!

Tomorrow as Saturn enters Libra, Black Moon Lilith exactly conjuncts the North Node in Capricorn. The Sun, Mercury and the asteroid Ceres are in early Scorpio giving us further bullshit-detecting X-ray vision into the true heart of the matter.

The astrological flavour kicking off the Saturn ingress into Libra will strongly influence the entire transit as Saturn moves through a series of squares to Pluto in Capricorn.

The dark underbelly of the strategic partnerships within the hierarchical structures will be there for all to see...all who choose to see it, anyway. The root motivations of the alliances will be covered in a surface layer of Libra charm and sociability and smiling into the camera - where most people prefer to stay.

But the real, core-level truth is there for those who will not be turned away by such tricks. The unspoken, the taboo, the criminally twisted...it's all there, especially visible in our highest ranking public offices/officials and in the agendas they are forcing through at the moment.

Black Moon Lilith consciousness will be there every step of the way, speaking the words most fear to speak. The words most fear to hear. Speaking the truth of the people who have been hurt, abused, ostracized and pushed down throughout history by the "progress" of these hierarchical agendas, continuing to this day. The pain of the people who "didn't matter" as the powers that be forced their will and their way. The people and lives considered "collateral damage."

The BML conjunction to the North Node in Capricorn as Saturn enters Libra tomorrow indicates the ongoing process of bringing the dark feminine to the table as a power player, into roles that can influence the mainstream structures so as to address the abusive, coercive, damaging aspects of "the way things are." BML consciousness is there to be held by those who wish to change things, ensuring that the "progress" we make collectively takes that knowledge, wisdom and understanding into account.

More on Black Moon Lilith conjunct the North Node in Capricorn here.

And a post on the entry points for Black Moon Lilith within the structures.

The entry points for integration of the feminine are at those points where change can no longer be resisted.

It's a tricky process, as BML energy has been conditioned to be on the outside looking in...and people have been conditioned to keep it there. Coming in from the cold into contact with structures that have mistreated and abused you is not easy. There is a lot of hurt and warranted mistrust, and it has to be done right, or more damage is done.

Taking all this into consideration, those connected to this consciousness are taking responsibility for coming out of the shadows, little by little, as difficult as the process is emotionally. Interacting within mainstream structures while holding the energy of BML consciousness and making decisions based on that understanding is a very powerful thing.

There are tenuous relationships being forged here. Underlying connections and shared understandings that must be slowly nurtured and nourished (Ceres in Scorpio).

Black Moon Lilith's got our back if we've got her's.

But there's the rub. So many are willing to just leave her hanging on the vine. Stabbing the dark feminine in the back (after using her energy) is a culturally-ingrained practise, and it's going to take a great deal of awareness and will to overcome those tendencies.

I don't trust humanity as a whole to choose better than the same old betrayals and abuses, but I do have faith in individuals.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Saturn Enters Libra and Starts a Series of Squares to Pluto in Capricorn

Well, folks. It's a point in time many of us have been waiting for. Saturn enters Libra at 11:09 a.m. MDT Thursday morning.

The Saturn transit through Virgo has been painstaking, and combined with a series of oppositions to Uranus in Pisces, it was at times overwhelming, exhausting, depressing and frightening.

Saturn in Virgo has a strong "reality check" function, as well as showing us where the structural set-ups are improperly constructed, eroded or unsustainably functioning. The transit of Saturn in Virgo coincided with the orchestrated Pluto in Capricorn collapse of the world economic system. There was a focus on workers (Virgo territory) who were thrown out of work, as well as anxiety, stress and overload of the system, in general, related to the breakdown of our business and economic structures. There was a struggle to maintain mental health for many people (myself included).

With Saturn in Virgo, we went over (and over) all the systems in our lives, including our personal physiological systems, working out every last detail and smoothing every last rough edge that could throw us off track over the long-term. We brought things into Virgoan moderation, cutting the extraneous and getting very, very clear on the areas that were lagging and keeping us from optimum health in our lives - hopefully doing what we had to to correct things.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed that what has been done is enough and that there aren't any nasty forgotten details waiting in the wings. If there are, they will certainly come out of hiding during the Saturn retrograde back into Virgo in the spring of 2010.

There was a lot of "keep on keeping on," just doing what you're doing during Saturn in Virgo. Keeping ourselves going with mundane daily tasks in an effort to stay grounded in the midst of some very intense energetic dynamics.

With Saturn heaviness keeping us in check, at times the smallest of daily tasks felt like a Herculean effort to complete.

At this point, we've very precisely defined our Virgoan personal standards and made sure that we, personally, meet them. Phew.

And now, Saturn moves from a transitioning, adjusting, adapting mutable sign to an initiating, leading, let's-get-this-show-on-the-road cardinal sign. We move forward into relationships and relationship dynamics that reflect the precise personal standards we further developed while Saturn was in Virgo.

Virgo is the last of the zodiac signs that focusses on the development of the self. Aries through Virgo relates to that development process, and by the time we make it to the end of Virgo, we had better have a firm understanding and mastery of ourselves. Maturing into this understanding and mastery of ourselves was a big part of Saturn in Virgo. Analyzing our triggers, our self-sabotaging behaviours, our weak points, our blind spots and the areas where we just needed to improve was not all that comfortable, but it was very necessary. Virgo doesn't mess with anything that isn't necessary.

Now Saturn ingresses into Libra, and we turn from a focus on the self to a focus on the self interacting with other people. We open ourselves up to the other here. Relationships. And maaaaan, do they need a lot of work. ;-) Saturn has entered Libra just in time.

Relationships are always a spicy topic, a crowd favourite. So Saturn in Libra should at the very least hold people's interest. Whether they're willing to do the Saturnine work associated within their relationship set-ups (and the remaining work within themselves) will be another story. A lot of nagging, squirm-worthy relationship issues, both personal and collective/archetypal, will come under the cosmic thumb during Saturn in Libra.

Saturn in Libra immediately begins a series of squares to Pluto in Capricorn, part of a six-year series of cardinal squares. The first Saturn in Libra - Pluto in Capricorn square is exact November 15 with the third and final square exact on August 20, 2010.

The relationships and partnerships we enter into and commit to now (especially potent around November 15) are strategic, both personally and on a broader level. There's a sort of "keeping your eye on the prize" vibe. Relationships we enter into or solidify now are designed with long-term goals in mind, especially related to career ambitions, public advancement and reaching our potentials as human beings.

The key will be to form relationships and partnerships with people whose long-term goals are compatible with your own. Partnerships that can help both parties cover ground they could not cover alone. Fully understanding what both you and the other person bring to the table and offer is very important. No selling ourselves short or buying into image over substance. It has to be a fair deal.

With a long-term square between Saturn and Pluto involved, I expect many ugly splits and broken alliances as the true ambitions and characters of both people and groups/institutions continue to come to visibility.

And here is the Libra-Capricorn square tension. Libra doesn't want to sully the experience of love, relationship harmony and the pleasure of another's company with the requirements of the hardcore Pluto in Capricorn agenda. And Pluto in Capricorn doesn't want to have to temper ambitions and adjust agendas to accomodate things like...other people! Or what's fair, just or harmonious.

The people at the top of the power hierarchies these days commit crimes against humanity to further their agendas...they don't bother with such concepts as human rights and dignity.

So these dynamics are inevitably going to cause discomfort because we certainly must keep in mind the Plutonic morphing of our structures and the various competing motivations and goals for long-term collective progress. The power plays, the strategic partnerships, the surface-level diplomacy hiding bared teeth. And as we restructure, the Libra demands for justice, peace and fairness are going to be fighting for inclusion as primary considerations in the long-range agendas. Saturn in Libra is now the dispositor (major layer of influence) of Pluto in Capricorn...

Allegiances and alliances that were once hidden will be pushed to the surface by Pluto's relentless rooting around and penetration to core reality, especially within structural hierarchies and power dynamics.

All that is going to place some strain on our Libra energy as it seeks to maintain balance and equilibrium - another great Saturn in Libra challenge. Keeping the peace, as well as a state of inner peace, as the structural set-ups and institutions are in a state of Plutonic turmoil and uncertainty.

Keeping our calm little centres in the midst of a beyond-our-control Plutonic shitshow is a major theme of Pluto, in general. With Saturn in Libra squaring Pluto in Capricorn, our challenge will be to keep things from upending completely, struggling at times to keep the scales balanced - or at least in the process of balancing. Maintaining our relationships. Being aware of what is going on beneath the surface but maintaining the hard-won Libra truce whenever possible.

We'll have our Libra sense of injustice triggered many times during this transit as people strive to dominate and control and come out on top in the Capricornian hierarchies. We'll be challenged to get serious, get real and become more effective with our efforts to expose tyranny.

The possibility of bitter Plutonic betrayals and dramatic meltdown splits (especially career-related) will be lessened if we did the work related to the most recent Venus retrograde in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn. If we learned our lessons then about staying true to who we really are in our relations with others and if we battled for that when necessary as Venus opposed Pluto from Cancer and then squared it again in the closing square from Libra, this should ensure that we enter into only suitable relationships at this point.

Other Saturn in Libra themes include: maturing our relationship dynamics, restructuring into relationships of true equals, using the structures of our relationships as a vehicle for personal maturation, growth and success, growing up related to culturally-reinforced expectations of relationships and the people within them. Fulfilling our responsibilities to the people with whom we are in relationship. Maintaining a state of inner equilibrium no matter what is going on around us. The struggle for justice, particularly social justice. Human rights. Peace, fairness and equality - and making those at the very least equally important as power, money and image within our structures. Art as a catalyst for social and structural change.

Saturn in Libra will also involve facing and maturing the slippery Libra qualities like social artifice, telling people what they want to hear - not what you really think or feel, passive aggressiveness, inability to ask for what one wants, codependency and basic underhanded social tricks.

With Saturn in Libra square Pluto in Capricorn, the Pluto in Libras have their first real initiation into leadership roles within the public power structures. (God, help us.) This continues throughout the next 15 years of the Pluto in Capricorn transit as it squares their natal Pluto in Libras.

As the Pluto in Libras take on positions of more responsibility and power within the crumbling structural set-ups, they will be challenged to use their "cutting the crap in relationship dynamics" skills while maintaining as much harmony as possible. I'm sure the horrific ways many people interact with each other these days, especially in the business world, will bring many a Pluto in Libra to meltdown-level frustration. (They already do.)

The growing lack of common decency and erosion of human dignity will be big issues for the Pluto in Libras. Transforming out of the hideous state of human relations and levels of injustice into right relations is going to be a long, often difficult process. But there's hope that taking on this Plutonic process can head off World War III, no matter how hell-bent world governments are to instigate it.

As Saturn moves through Libra, strong leadership in the breaking down of outdated, crystallized relationship dynamics that stifle the human soul and the ability to love ourselves and others is a responsibility that rests on the shoulders of the Pluto in Libras. We're between 25 and 38 years old now, so I guess it's time. We've been doing this generational Plutonic soul work behind the scenes, mostly undetected, and now as Saturn transits, we make it more publicly visible.

The Pluto in Libras will have their work cut out for them attempting to bring the the whole of the structural set-ups to a state of equilibrium in the midst of continuing collapse, as well as creating new social systems and ways of doing things with equality, fairness and justice at the forefront.

With Pluto, there is the possibility of using its power to further dominate in already-existing power dynamics or to break down the domination/subjugation constructs so that something better can regenerate. We should be aware that both these dynamics will be going on, depending on the root motivation of the person.

There is the ability to choose the egalitarian track and sever ties with as much of illegitimate hierarchy as possible, but there is also the choice to fit into the hierarchical structures as they exist and use the social wizardry of Pluto in Libra to pull the wool over people's eyes.

From a previous post related to the Libra-Capricorn square:

"Restructuring within hierarchical power structures, new balance of power, new relationships, new allegiances, all with big, old "brotherly love" grins on their faces. Showing a surface level of Libra peace and cooperation while the root motivations and strategic actions remain hidden to the people. Look beneath the surface, when the cameras are off, to see what's really going on behind our backs, in our names."

The rebalancing of masculine and feminine is also a big challenge, especially within the career/home continuum. The feminine is coming to the table as a full partner, nothing less.

On a global scale, we've seen an initial restructuring of power relations at the G20 Summit in Pittsburgh during the last weekend in September. We saw the G20 nations take the reins from the G8 on world economic issues, a process of which most citizens were (and still are) ignorant. New power players coming to the table, fusing agendas.

At that time, the Sun was in Libra (diplomatic relations) squaring Pluto in Capricorn (hidden strategic manoevres within power hierarchies) on the first degrees of those cardinal signs. The Saturn-Pluto square on November 15 will structurally cement the new allegiances and power relationships begun then, as the world leader personalities met behind closed doors guarded by 4,000 riot police.

So to recap: the Saturn in Libra - Pluto in Capricorn square we're heading to on November 15 is the first of the big cardinal squares we will experience over the next six years. Grand-scale leadership shifts, advancement of agendas and jockeying for position on a global scale. And corresponding new directions, partnerships, relationship dynamics and allegiances on a personal level with an eye toward reaching our full potentials, especially in the public/career realm.

I must say, this post is very dry! But it's Saturn. What can you do?

Regardless, the shift of Saturn into cardinal energy and solid movement out of such a transitional time feels like welcome news...

Monday, October 19, 2009

More of Those Pesky Saturn in Virgo Details Surfacing And The Death Toll Rises To Three

A third person has died as a result of James Arthur Ray's The Secret-themed retreat and sweat lodge outside New Age Mecca Sedona, Arizona, on October 9.

Liz Neuman, a 49-year-old Prior Lake, Minnesota, woman, was in a coma since that date and succumbed to multiple organ failure October 17.

Neuman was one of Ray's converts and was the leader of an affiliated "Journey Expansion Team" in the Minneapolis area.

It is also being reported that people have become unconscious at previous sweat lodges conducted by Ray and that emergency medical responders were called to a sweat lodge in 2005.

A Philadelphia blogger, Cassandra Yorgey, has had contact with survivors of the deadly retreat. According to participants:

- immediately upon beginning the retreat, all participants shaved their heads

- participants were encouraged to go without sleep

- one game participants played involved Ray playing the role of God. He would point to a participant and that person would have to fall down and play dead. They would be covered by a blanket, and if they moved, another person would "die." (One of the saddest aspects of this was that Kirby Brown, the 38-year-old woman who died in the sweat lodge, was reportedly holding herself and crying after this particular "game.")

- prior to the sweat lodge, they had been dropped off in the desert for 36 hours without food or water. Ray and his staff did not participate.

- after this 36-hour "fast," they came back to a buffet breakfast. Within an hour of returning to the Center, they were taken to a group meditation and then to the improperly-constructed, overcrowded sweat lodge.

- once in the sweat lodge, "[Ray] not only encouraged participants to stay and push past physical discomfort, he also actively dissuaded people that wanted to leave. The phrase “push through your threshold” was repeated often by James Ray. If participants didn’t make it to the door fast enough they had to wait for the next round. James Ray would slam the tarp shut shouting “Too late! Door’s shut!” and as he was sitting directly next to the door he was escalating it into a physical confrontation...playing off something we are trained from birth to avoid. Throughout all this, James Ray is speaking words of encouragement. He speaks of how throwing up is good and actually purging...and explains that passing out is common...He encourages people who find it too hot to bury their faces in the dirt, because it was cooler...Participants who expressed concern over others were told time and time again to focus on their own journey, and not to interfere with another’s."

Sounds as if it's straight out of the "New Age Cult Leader 101" handbook.

Again, this entire incident is a perfect example of the complete disconnect from physical reality that is preached by the proponents of this garbage.

There is an utter lack of regard for the requirements and necessities of physical life, and those physical requirements and necessities are often looked upon distastefully, merely as pesky, unenlightened throwbacks to "push beyond." People are frequently talked out of their personal boundaries, concerns, physical limitations and comfort zones.

Our bodies tell us when something is wrong, but you see how people are being encouraged to listen to a supposed guru over their own physical bodies and over their own intuition and personal discernment.

As always with this stuff, there is a dangerous lack of balance - preaching limitless expansion, exponential growth and zero restrictions. Jupiter without Saturn. Pisces without Virgo. Scorpio without Taurus. As students of astrology know, that just doesn't exist.

And you can see the result of that imbalanced ideology when followed to its inevitable result.

I've been writing for so long about the dangers of setting up the master/student hierarchy, especially spiritual hierarchy, as we move from Piscean Age to Aquarian. I've written extensively about the dangers of The Secret and its ideology and self-declared gurus. And I'm disgusted that it has been allowed to go to such a ridiculous extreme that people are losing their lives by putting their faith in these charlatans.

It's my birthday today. I was born during Saturn's last transit through Virgo, a month before the Jonestown Massacre, when 909 people committed mass suicide or were shot and killed by followers of Neptunian utopia cult leader Jim Jones. My Sun has progressed to just after the day of the massacre, which was November 18, 1978. With a Pisces South Node in the 8th House, I'm so aware of the abuses of these pseudo-spiritual self-declared gurus and their misuse of energetic dynamics.

And I think, do we really need yet more lessons on this subject? Apparently so. Because James Arthur Ray and his ilk are cut from the same cloth.

Jupiter was stationing direct in Aquarius at the time of the deadly sweat lodge, conjunct Black Moon Lilith, Chiron and Neptune in Aquarius. And here you see the dark side of this Pisces-to-Aquarius transition, the aspects that have been glossed over and the abuses of the constantly-promoted "limitless expansion" dogma.

Remember all those Taurus-Aquarius squares we experienced as Saturn turned direct in Virgo in May? Those squares were about not just leaping into the possibilities of the "Aquarian future" without first taking into consideration the physical requirements and necessities of our lives on Earth. Respecting those aspects of physical life and working within those grounded, earthly limitations and boundaries. REAL physical law, not the segmented, incomplete, only-what-suits-you version of reality preached in The Secret and most New Age dogma.

New Age astrologers have focussed almost entirely on the vision and the idealism and the grand possibilities of the Aquarius triple conjunction. But here we see, with the help of Saturn in Virgo opposite Uranus in Pisces and Black Moon Lilith in Aquarius, the work that is left to be done, the details people have skimmed over, the necessary perspective we must develop before moving forward into a real Aquarian future. If we don't learn the lessons of the Piscean past, we carry the same problems and abuses of humanity forward.

And speaking of Aquarius, particularly the use of technology...

The Twitter updates Ray was making during the time frame when the deaths occurred were very telling:

"JamesARay: is still in Spiritual Warrior… for anything new to live something first must die. What needs to die in you so that new life can emerge?

JamesARay: Day 5 of SPW. The Spiritual Warrior has conquered death and therefore has no enemies, and no fear, in this life or the next."

Ray actually deleted these tweets, but they were somehow recovered.

You can see Ray's complete disconnect from any sort of responsibility or care for the victims as he continues his money-machine speaking tour as if nothing even happened. Are these the actions of a truly wise spiritual leader? No. They're not even the actions of a decent human being.

It's all very disgusting to me, and again, I sincerely hope this man is held accountable for his actions.

There was a quote in one of the CBS stories from Joseph Bruchac, a man who wrote a book on Native sweat lodges, about how with that many people involved and without breathable fabric covering the lodge, all the people inside would be fighting for the same oxygen.

And I thought, that's what happens when the pyramid scheme starts to run out of steam.

Everyone starts off high on a blast of pure oxygen with dollar signs in their eyes. And the people at the top of the hierarchy who got in at the beginning of The Secret pyramid scheme made off like absolute bandits. Multi-millionaires. They all got a piece of the pie, selling books and videos and classes and seminars and sessions and retreats and guest appearances to the masses.

(The other people behind The Secret book and video include Rhonda Byrne, Rusty G. Parrish, John Assaraf, Michael Beckwith, John Demartini, Bob Proctor, Jack Canfield, James Arthur Ray, Joe Vitale, Lisa Nichols, Marie Diamond, John Gray, Esther Hicks, Jerry Hicks, Mike Dooley, Bob Doyle, David Schirmer, Marci Shimoff, Lee Brower, Hale Dwoskin, Cathy Goodman, Morris E. Goodman, John Hagelin, Bill Harris, Ben Johnson, Loral Langemeier, Denis Waitley, Neale Donald Walsch, Fred Alan Wolf, among others.)

And so did the other people who started selling this delusional ideology before anyone had really heard of it. People have built entire careers on this shit. They all hitched their wagons to the momentum and the money rolled in.

But then, as is inevitably the case with pyramid schemes, things start to run out of steam. They run out of people who are going to hop on the bandwagon. They run out of converts. Their critics start to get louder. And the air starts to get stale. Things start to degenerate. And finally, the oxygen high starts to wear off.

The people at the bottom of the pyramid scheme realize that they aren't going to get rich like the people at the top did. It turns out they're just the ones who made the people at the top rich.

And eventually there is not enough oxygen to continue the scheme. Reality...real reality, not the Neptunian-delusional, solipsistic version preached about in The Secret...sets in.

I just hope three dead and two dozen injured is enough of a reality check.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New Age Dumbassery Turns Deadly in Arizona

New Age "success guru" James Arthur Ray (aka The Secret-schlepping hack) packed between 55 and 65 people into a sweat lodge his company built (improperly) at the Angel Valley Retreat Center in Sedona, Arizona, leading to the deaths of two people and the injuries of 19 more on October 9.

One of the 19 injured remains in critical condition in a coma. The rest suffered from burns, dehydration, respiratory arrest, kidney failure or elevated body temperature.

The sweat lodge was improperly constructed, covered in layers of tarps and blankets, which restricted air flow. Properly-run Native sweat lodges generally involve no more than 12 people. Ray and his company packed in five times the safe number of people into the improperly-constructed structure. Properly-run Native sweat lodges are also headed by people with real knowledge and understanding of the process who are responsible for monitoring the health and well-being of each of the participants. Not qualities you will find with the "instant guru" Native cultural appropriation that Ray favours.

Charge for the retreat: between $9,000 and $10,000. So you can see why they would want to pack it as full as possible...

Ray actually appeared in the video for The Secret, so he's been involved in this pseudo-spiritual pyramid scheme since the very beginning and has made multi-millions from this crap. He has appeared on Oprah, The Today Show and Larry King Live, among others.

"The self-styled success guru says people are ready for his wisdom if "You simply (and deeply) want to make more money and become more successful" and "want to double, triple, even multiply by ten the size of your business."

Hmm...multiplying the size of a safe sweat lodge by five to line your pockets even more didn't turn out so hot for you or your victims. I'll pass on your supposed wisdom, thanks.

"Joseph Bruchac, author of "The Native American Sweat Lodge: History and Legends," called the number of participants in the lodge "appalling."

"If you put people in a restrictive, airtight structure, you are going to use up all oxygen," he said by phone Saturday from his home in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. "And if you're doing a sweat, you're going to use it up that much faster."

American Indian sweat lodges typically hold about 12 people and are covered with blankets made of natural materials, such as cotton or wool, and the air flow isn't restricted, he said.

"I don't see how the person running that lodge could have been aware of the health and well-being of that many people," he said.

The participants had fasted for 36 hours as part of a personal and spiritual quest in the wilderness, then ate a breakfast buffet Thursday morning. After various seminars, they entered the sweat lodge lightly dressed at 3 p.m.

Two hours later, a woman dialed 911 to say that two people, [identified as 38-year old New Yorker Kirby Brown and 40-year-old James Shore of Milwaukee] did not have a pulse and weren't breathing."

The full story is here.

I love how Ray updates his Twitter account: "I am spending the weekend in prayer and meditation for all involved in this difficult time; and I ask you to join me in doing the same."

You should be spending it in handcuffs for criminal negligence causing death, buddy. And you might be if you hadn't skipped out of state.

This level of irresponsibility is hideous, really. And the abuses of this get-rich-quick, "instant manifestation" New Age ideology and its self-declared gurus continue. Completely disconnected from physical reality.

When people preach exponential growth without any level of responsibility for that growth...things go wrong. Case in point. Building a business or anything, for that matter, that is on solid ground, that is sustainable and of real benefit to the community takes time, effort, patience, diligence, persistence, development of knowledge and expertise and personal responsibility, among other things. All those Saturn in Virgo things that so much of the New Age finds distasteful.

Here is some commentary that includes the leaked transcript of a telephone conference call Ray made to the victims October 14 trying to cover his ass and reinforce "the teachings."

Circling the wagons is a very common technique used in New Age indoctrination to keep everyone "on board." "All part of the divine plan; all part of the divine plan; all part of the divine plan."

Also trying to keep himself out of future litigation, I'm sure.

I sincerely hope this man is held accountable and brought to justice. I also hope the victims' families sue this guy and he loses his phony fortune as quickly as he made it.

Instant manifestation, instant de-manifestation!

That would help raise the profile of another couple "laws" we've got on Planet Earth - easy come, easy go and what goes up must come down...

Honestly, a tragic incident like this was just waiting to happen. The energy of this stuff is so unbelievable dirty. A pyramid-scheme spiritual hierarchy built on phony foundations and an incomplete understanding of "universal law." Misuse of energy for personal gain in the most extreme ways. It was only a matter of time before it came crashing down. Unfortunately, people have lost their lives in the process and others will probably have lifelong ill effects to deal with.

The two deaths are now being investigated.

And none of this has stopped Ray and his money-making machine. He has continued his "motivational speaking" tour since the incident.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Would Cheer if I Weren't So Tired

Venus has now passed Saturn in Virgo and Mercury has just come out of its most recent retrograde shadow. Tiring but good to have completed some of the Virgo-themed necessities.

The Moon enters Virgo in the wee hours tomorrow morning, and we head into the Dark of the Moon phase around noon MDT.

The monthly lunar cycle is coming to a close at the same time as we experience those aforementioned cycle completions.

This Dark of the Moon in Virgo is a thorough one because it ties in to the entire previous two-year process of Saturn in Virgo, which we're in the process of finishing.

Venus travels through the last degree of Virgo, entering Libra at around 4:45 p.m. tomorrow afternoon, inside the Dark of the Moon. Venus' home territory.

The Venus in Libra-Pluto in Capricorn square also happens as the Moon is going dark. Another aspect happening within this process of emotional wrap-up.

New Moon in Libra late Saturday evening...

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Our Aquarian (False) Heroes

A (non-endorsing) quote from Ron Paul on Obama's farcical Nobel Peace Prize win: “The (NPP) application had to be in on February 1st (2009), and he had only been in office a total of 12 days…”.

Still don't think this stuff is orchestrated?

The Afghanis and Pakistanis would probably have something to say about this prize, but I don't think anyone asked them. Obama has continued similar policies as the Bush administration in these areas. Across-the-border missile strikes attacking Pakistan have continued, and the death toll rises.

From an article in the New York Times:

"With two missile strikes over the past week, the Obama administration has expanded the covert war run by the Central Intelligence Agency inside Pakistan, attacking a militant network seeking to topple the Pakistani government...The strikes are another sign that President Obama is continuing, and in some cases extending, Bush administration policy in using American spy agencies against terrorism suspects in Pakistan, as he had promised to do during his presidential campaign."

One attack on two rural Pakistani villages killed 22 people, only eight of whom were suspected of being involved with the Taliban.

Not to mention Obama's, at the very least, verbal aggression toward Iran, showboating at the G20 in Pittsburgh.

A more in-depth article on Obama's Nobel "Peace" Prize win here...

Ahhh, peace!

Meanwhile, I just found out that the Saskatoon StarPhoenix newspaper (the same one that censored me as an intern) is one of the SPONSORS bringing Bush to town for his oh-so-rivetting speech on October 21. Wow. Not even going to bother with that "free and fair" press charade anymore, I guess. Well, it's probably for the best. Let's get it all out there for everyone to see!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Virgo, Don't Fail Me Now...

I see so clearly the way the language of the "New Age" is being used to manipulate people. All this talk of (Aquarian) change and a new way, a global government, a new order (Virgo) out of chaos (Pisces), etc. All these vague, glossy terms that play on people's hopes and dreams and get them to swallow things that aren't in their best interests.

I see how astrological symbols/language and timing are being used to further agendas I don't agree with. Agendas that, if they were to succeed, would render this planet unfit for human habitation, in my opinion.

It makes me question my own words and wonder if they could be twisted to mean something other than what I meant them to mean. Or if my astrological analysis could be used by people with motives I don't support. I know it could be...and that, in some ways, it more than likely is.

I've been talking for a long time about the changes that would come along with true freedom and egalitarianism for humanity, symbollized by the shift into the Aquarian Age.

But believe me, the change the "world leaders" are talking about is not freedom and egalitarianism for human beings. They've just hijacked the language and energy of it. It's the same old control-based hierarchy masquerading as something new. A further concentration of power using the energetic potential of Pluto in Capricorn.

Their concept of progress and evolution is not the same as my concept of progress and evolution. Their vision is not my vision. But we would use the same words.

So it's doublespeak. It's saying similar things, using similar terminology, but it has the opposite meaning. And here's where you see how important the application of precise Virgoan powers of definition are.

There are many different versions of the Aquarian future, many different visions being promoted, and we have to be personally responsible for which version we support and advance.

To stay on the right side of all this information warfare and propaganda takes some effort. I couldn't stand it if my words were used to further the agendas/ideologies I oppose, but I see how people's ideas and passions and good intentions are co-opted so easily and so often for these purposes.

I read a few of my earliest posts here, and I could see, in places, how New Age language had seeped in. It disgusted me, and I was actually ashamed that I wrote it. It generally happened when I was talking about Pisces or Aquarius, and you can understand why it would be these signs that would have the New Age rhetoric attached.

When I talked about Pluto in Sagittarius stripping down outdated, crystallized aspects of belief systems, little did I know at the time that the New Age/NWO would attempt to use this energy in a campaign to strip people of ALL their beliefs, anything that didn't coincide with their agenda for One World Government/One World Religion oligarchy. Little did I know that The Secret phenomenon would begin a campaign to aggressively "repattern" any thoughts and beliefs deemed "negative" by their standards. Of course, I'm opposed to all that. But reading my words over from a year-and-a-half ago, I can see how they could be twisted to support those agendas.

Again, because astrology has been co-opted by the New Age movement to such an extent, when you're first learning and practising astrology, it's very difficult to define exactly where the divisions have been blurred. You have to feel it out and go over everything with a fine-toothed comb. But still, before you've become practised at seeing this stuff, the energy of it sometimes slips in.

So I had to go back over some of those earliest posts and do some Virgoan-precise editing. ;-) I just hope I got it all!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Just the Basics...

Guh. Saturn...Virgo...Mercury...Venus...painful...constricting...

You know how it is.

I can't eke out more than the basic info at the moment, but we've got a lot of aspects and ingresses going down in the near future and a lot of potential movement, so here are the crucial tidbits for the next week:

Beginning today, October 9:

Mercury exits Virgo after it opposed Uranus in Pisces Rx and conjuncted Saturn in Virgo (yay!) and enters Libra this evening (MDT), squaring Pluto in Capricorn and completing the series of three Mercury-Pluto squares experienced during the most recent Mercury retrograde process. That third square is exact tomorrow, October 10, just after noon. And then...done!

Venus in Virgo is closely following in Mercury's footsteps and opposed Uranus in Pisces about an hour-and-a-half ago.

(We're bringing the broader energy of the Saturn in Virgo - Uranus in Pisces oppositional shake-ups into our daily interactions, conscious minds and relationship dynamics. Things are not as they were, and here we start to get a handle on what that means, exactly.)

Saturn enters its next retrograde shadow at 27 degrees Virgo on October 11. (We're coming back for one last pass over 27-30 Virgo next year.)

We also have the Last Quarter Moon in the early morning of October 11 - Moon in Cancer square the Sun in Libra. The Last Quarter Moon is the closing square of the monthly moon cycle and coincides with the impetus to make changes related to what we have learned and experienced during the first 3/4 of the moon cycle. This is where we start to shed or release emotion and attachment to what has come before, coming to completion during the Dark of the Moon.

Jupiter goes direct in Aquarius October 12, the first of the three bodies in Aquarius to move direct after they went retrograde as a group.

In the early morning hours of October 13, Venus conjuncts Saturn in Virgo. Around the same time, Mercury in Libra leaves its retrograde shadow and enters new degrees of the zodiac (6 degrees Libra).

Venus enters Libra (a sign of its rulership - comfortable territory) Wednesday, October 14 and squares Pluto in Capricorn in the morning of October 15.

The very next day, October 16, Mars enters Leo, also entering its retrograde shadow - the degrees of the zodiac it will move back over during its upcoming retrograde beginning December 19.

Then October 17, we have a New Moon at 24 degrees Libra - the second of a series of eight New Moons at 24 or 25 degrees of the signs involved.

So yeah...there's a "dam breaking" sort of feel here. Movement after a long period of Saturnine, for-our-own-good restriction.

Monday, October 5, 2009

You Can't Hurry Saturn - Much As We Would Like To

Today was one of those days that seemed to trickle by slower than molasses in January. I kept looking at the chart and the aspects and trying to will things to pick up steam.

Of course, you can't will Saturn to go any faster than is required.

The Moon in slow and steady Taurus trined Pluto in Capricorn at noon MDT indicating some strong grounded energy. That was the last aspect of the day...

Mercury has picked up speed direct in Virgo having just opposed Uranus Rx in Pisces yesterday and is heading to a conjunction with Saturn just after midnight MDT on Thursday. This is adding that draggy heaviness to things of a communication/connection/interaction nature. Progress is a little tight at the moment. There's not much oil to grease the wheels.

I can't believe the Aries Full Moon was less than 48 hours ago. All this earth energy has certainly slowed things down to a more deliberate pace. Every step we take now has to be completely necessary.

We're grinding out the last three degrees of Saturn in Virgo here, and true to form, Saturn's not letting up a bit. Every last minute Saturn spends in Virgo will be utilized. No wasting time and effort.

This stickler stuff is getting to be a real drag.

Tomorrow is pretty much more of the same with only three aspects, all involving the Taurus Moon - an inconjunct to the Sun in Libra, a square to Jupiter Rx stationing in Aquarius and a trine to Venus in Virgo later in the night.

I'll be happy when Mercury clears this retrograde shadow on Oct. 13.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Full Moon in Aries and Individuality Within the Group; A Long, Hard Stint of Effort is Completed

This Full Moon in Aries at 11 degrees ties in to the last Venus retrograde in Aries (square Pluto in Capricorn) in March/April of this year.

The new directions we launched ourselves in relationship-wise and self-extertion-wise at that time come to a point of emotional culmination here.

I wrote a tonne of posts on this retrograde between March and May, so check those months for extensive background. Here are a couple:

Venus in Aries Retrograde and Anger as a Guiding Force

Kicking False Karasses to the Curb! Retro Venus in Aries Sextile the Aquarius Stellium

The Moon enters Aries at 3:21 a.m. on Saturday, October 3 and almost immediately squares Pluto in Capricorn on the first degree of those signs (4:49 a.m. MDT). We wake into this aspect Saturday morning, and it's the only aspect all day, so its vibes hang in the air. From the square to Pluto, the Aries Moon moves all day to an opposition with the Sun in Libra and fullness just after midnight MDT.

Again, this square to Pluto followed by the Full Moon brings us to a point of emotional culmination around the themes of the most recent Venus retrograde process. The Venus retrograde in Aries came with three squares to stationing Pluto in Capricorn at early degrees of the signs.

We shone our identities into full-on radiance at that point and burned away what was false. The process wasn't always Venusian pretty, either.

The new ground we've entered into personally since then, initiated by those Aries-Capricorn squares, has set the stage for the upcoming longer-term transpersonal cardinal squares between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn. Exertion of will, identity, and new leadership on a global scale as our power structures continue to morph and merge - with the possibility of both open aggression and hidden destructive force.

Getting on top of these energies and themes personally is necessary in light of these huge, transpersonal forces that will be squaring off over the next six years.

If this Full Moon in Aries finds us with more work to do to get over the hump related to being exactly who we are in relation to others and in relation to structural institutional set-ups, it could bring some fiery, emotional moments forcing us to stand up for ourselves once and for all.

We must be willing to fight for the survival of ourselves and our true identities when necessary, in the face of people, situations and forces that would threaten that. It's a Matter of Survival...from April.

If we've diligently taken the necessary personal actions related to these themes, this Full Moon should bring some nice levels of satisfaction related to the new directions we set off in then and where they've taken us. An emotional anchoring point.

The Sabian Symbol for this degree of Aries is "A Flock of Wild Geese." It has strong connotations of individuality within the group. Aries within Aquarius. And that individuality is so important now so that we don't get caught up in groupmind and lose ourselves in the Aquarian winds of change and the forms of false leadership therein. We have to be completely sure that we're in the right formations, the right groups, heading in directions we've personally determined are right for us. A strong self-direction is required so we're not bumped off course. No being swooped up into false Aquarian karasses.

The Sabian Symbol for the degree of Libra where the Sun will be at the Full Moon is "Miners are Emerging From a Deep Coal Mine." This symbol also has a nice feeling of culmination. A long period of hard work, in the dark, beneath the surface, is completed and the group of people who were working together emerge. It definitely has Plutonic connotations. The hard and dirty, nitty-gritty work that goes on beneath the surface and a release for the group of people who have been toiling away at it. We've dug up what was buried and brought it to the surface after much struggle. Now we can surface, as well.

Venus enters Libra (a sign of its rulership) October 14 and heads to a closing square to Pluto in Capricorn on October 15. This is where we can bring what we've experienced and learned (especially about ourselves) since the Venus in Aries opening square to Pluto fully into our relationships. We can burn away the last of old constructs here, snip the last tendrils to outdated ways of interacting and develop stronger, truer relationships and relationship dynamics based on our new positions.

Mars is in late Cancer at the time of this Full Moon, on its way to conjuncting the South Node (October 9), and we have one last checkpoint for dropping past-related baggage keeping us from emotional vitality. We're challenged to break any clinging detrimental emotional habits around this time. We're also supported to let go of ineffective ways of trying to have our emotional needs met while tapping into stronger, healthier methods. We should be able to see any remaining weak points along these lines and take action on them here. Watch out for people still trying to get what they want through things like emotional blackmail, guilt trips and manipulation or through old, emotional family patterns.

Mars takes two years to go through the zodiac, and it has now passed the point of its last retrograde (November 2007 - January 2008). So goals related to achieving emotional strength, vitality and independence, especially related to familial patterns, wrap up here with this very fitting conjunction to the South Node.

The next Mars retrograde begins this December in Leo as we embark on a new two-year Mars cycle and set new creative goals...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Dark Side of Aquarius - Misuse and Abuse of Technology Against Humanity

"I always tell my students that there is no science fiction anymore. All the science fiction I read in high school, we're doing."

- Paul Root Wolpe, director of the Center for Ethics at Emory University in Atlanta.

Remember how in the book 1984 by George Orwell the one thing The Party couldn't do was look inside your mind at what you were really thinking?

"They could spy on you night and day, but if you kept your head you could still outwit them. With all their cleverness they had never mastered the secret of finding out what another human being was thinking."

Um, yeah...about that...

The United States Department of Homeland Security is developing a system designed to detect “hostile thoughts” in people walking through border posts, airports and public places. These thought scanner systems may also be used on people at large sporting events. The people developing this technology are even attempting to develop the capabilities to "scan" people remotely, without their knowledge.

Project Hostile Intent, renamed the more innocuous-sounding Future Attribute Screening Technology

(Just humour the death metal background music if that's not your thing.)

So, have any doubts about the official 9/11 story? Think the invasion of Iraq was morally reprehensible? Dislike thousands of riot police marching through your streets? Don't like the U.S. President's haircut?

Well, any of these "hostile thoughts" could conceivably lead to you being put on an official list of suspicious characters. And if they're really not happy with the quality of your thoughts, you could be be labelled an "enemy combatant" and held indefinitely without charge - referred to as "prolonged detention," something Obama has reinforced during his time in office.

Think that's far-fetched?

I would direct you to this blog post about a writer's collective in Pittsburgh that had its private home surrounded by police with rifles just prior to the G20 meeting. Reason? They must have gotten themselves "on a list," they were told by an officer.

The use of new technological weaponry against protesting citizens at the G20 meeting in Pittsburgh in late September went completely unreported in the mainstream media. Other than the fact that the mainstream corporate media is censored, the use of these new weapons brings up a bigger issue - the misuse of technology against humanity to further the aims of certain groups of people.

This is a very Aquarian Age topic.

It also relates to the dangers of moving headlong into the "Age of Aquarius," with its focus on scientific and technological advances and their detached application within human societies, without first learning the lessons of the Piscean Age. That this is an interconnected energetic scene here on Planet Earth (although this concept is constantly misused to promote homogenization/One World Government). That what affects one will inevitably affect all. That our naive glossing over of details in favour of "hoping for the best" and "focussing on the light" can leave us vulnerable and victimized by the forces we're so intent on denying. And that blindly following external sources of pseudo-power without asking questions or looking deeper than their rhetoric can create calamity in a big way.

Pluto in Capricorn is going to do its best to unearth the hierarchical, pyramid-scheme power structures for us over the next 15 years, bringing them to collective awareness. We're going to see a lot of ugliness that was previously covered up and a lot of state control, enforced by hired thugs, coming to the forefront. It's our Plutonic necessity (should we choose to fulfill it) not to look the other way as Pluto brings things up from the dark for our examination - even though that's the choice the mainstream mass of people will make.

As Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron finish their retrogrades in Aquarius over the next two months, we're challenged to look specifically at the ways science and technology and the rhetoric of the Aquarian Age, in general, can be (and are being) misused and abused by those who do not have the whole of humanity's best interests at heart.

Before handing their power over to this "New World Order" preaching an era of global peace, cooperation and prosperity, people need to look deeper. They need to look at track records, root motivations, allegiances and the way these supposed leaders are going about bringing their New World Order into existence.

I'm not sure how people are detaching themselves enough from the citizen protesters and activists that they can swallow this level of police state hook, line and sinker. (Even with the assistance of the corporate media and their "anarchist bogey men" stories.) But this is a definite danger of the manipulation of Aquarian energy. Making it into some sort of detached, surreal, video game atmosphere...instead of flesh and blood, real human life.

As with most things, science and technology can be used for the benefit of humanity as a whole or as a tool of the few for maintaining control - used coercively, manipulatively and destructively.

The focus most often in mainstream media is on how new technologies can benefit humanity. This is the spin. But the reality of our hierarchical power structures on this planet, shaping the use of those technologies, is what generally determines how they are really used. It's all about intent and root motivation. Pluto subjects.

Knowing what I know about the so-called "world leaders" and their past actions against humanity, I don't feel comfortable with these types of technologies being at their disposal...

And yet the vast majority of people go on with their daily lives, none the wiser. They don't have a sniff that any of this is going on, nor do they have any desire to know.

They'll just continue to work jobs and buy cars and houses and have babies, delivering their children into the system unaware, same as they were.

To me, as horrific as the dark and twisted information Pluto digs up is...it's tenfold more horrific to think that people would go about their lives NOT knowing it. That they go on as if nothing were wrong, with not a single concern about anything outside their immediate circle of family and friends.

And so it marches forward...

And the burden on those of us who can't deny Plutonic consciousness remains almost unbearably heavy at times. We remain the bad guys, the sad sacks, the "negative" ones.

All because the collective won't take on its responsibility for this consciousness.

And so we're at a loggerheads. Collective denial with Plutonic individuals who must continue to try to bring it to awareness.

I sometimes feel as if I'm doing CPR on an already cold and lifeless body.

But hey, we're here, aren't we? There's really nothing better to do than to continue the effort. :-) What am I going to do instead, drive my Escalade to get a mani-pedi from some poor Asian lady and then go buy a Hermes Birkin bag?

Likely not.