Friday, September 30, 2011

White Men Can't Sweat Lodge: Background

New Age huckster James Arthur "Death" Ray, currently free on bond, is still awaiting sentencing for the negligent homicides of three people in Arizona in October 2009.

Ray was convicted in a jury trial on June 22, 2011 under the cross-hairs of the summer solstice Cardinal Grand Cross formation.

Ray's attorneys filed a motion for a new trial July 13, which was denied by the judge in the case, Warren Darrow, September 14.

There have been multiple delays of a pre-sentencing hearing that would involve Ray's supporters providing testimony in hopes of lowering his sentence, which has possibilities ranging from probation to nine years in prison. Judge Darrow now says he will schedule the week-long hearing and sentencing to begin sometime after October 15.

Note: The sentencing has now been scheduled for November 18, 2011.

Background

James Arthur Ray has a long history of recklessness and negligence causing harm to participants of his phony seminars.

Participants were made to sign long, detailed waivers indicating their acknowledgement that personal harm and even death were possible while attending one of his events. The waivers released Ray and his company from liability including "physical, emotional, psychological, financial or otherwise."

From the waiver:

"I am fully aware that I may suffer physical, emotional, financial or other injury during any of the Activities and there is and can be no assurance or guarantee regarding my health or safety in connection with my participation in the Activities. I understand that (1) there are inherent risks in the Activities; (2) people may have been seriously injured by participating in the Activities; and (3) if I voluntarily choose to participate in the Activities, there is a risk that I may
receive injuries requiring medical attention."

- In May 2005 at a James Arthur Ray event at Disneyworld, a woman shattered her hand after Ray allegedly bullied her into repeatedly attempting to break a board with it. Happiest place on Earth, indeed. The woman filed a negligence lawsuit against Ray, who settled it out of court with an undisclosed sum in 2007.

- In October 2005, officials were called to a James Arthur Ray "Spiritual Warrior" seminar after a man became unconscious during another sweat lodge ceremony at the same Angel Valley Spiritual Retreat Center in Arizona.

- A man reportedly sustained injuries during another of Ray's "Spiritual Warrior" exercises in 2006 when participants, after signing the aforementioned waivers, were told to put the sharp point of an arrow against the soft part of their necks and lean against the tip. The man did as he was told, the shaft of the arrow snapped and the arrow point cut deeply into his eyelid, narrowly missing his eye.

- In July 2009, a woman committed suicide by jumping from a three-story mall balcony during a James Arthur Ray event in San Diego. Ray had reportedly instructed the participants to dress up as homeless people and play the part in public. Ray and the rest of the participants left the mall knowing the woman was missing from the group.

- And of course, in October 2009, three people died and 19 others were hospitalized, some with permanent health damage, after the botched sweat lodge at Ray's "Spiritual Warrior" seminar near Sedona, Arizona.

Ray's practises were deeply unstable and suspect long before things escalated to injury and death. In his seminars, he used several techniques he was not trained to use.

One of these techniques was Holotropic Breathing, where people were led to accelerate their breathing in order to "reach altered states of consciousness without drugs." Another was a "team-building" technique called the Samurai Game in which Ray played God and ordered participants dead. The (dead) participants would then lie nonspeaking and unmoving until Ray ordered them to get up again.

Ray is pretty much the dictionary definition of New Age cultural appropriation, and one of the most heinous examples, of course, was his use of faulty sweat lodge practises, inaccurately appropriated from native people without permission.

From an excellent article written by Bob Ortega of the Arizona Republic: "Sweat-lodge trial: James Arthur Ray often misused teachings, critics say"

"Years before the deadly 2009 ceremony, Ray "was approached several times by native leaders and told he was not trained to run Native American ceremonies," said David Singing Bear, an Eastern Band Cherokee and Sedona resident who has run sweat lodges. Singing Bear said that Phillip Crazy Bull, a Lakota chief who died in 2006, spoke with Ray in 2005.

Such training matters for physical safety reasons as well as for spiritual authenticity, says R.J. Joseph, a Cree filmmaker and former Native American program director at Sedona's Enchantment Resort.

"Desert people aren't really vision-quest or sweat-lodge people; they've adopted those ceremonies from Plains Indians. So when you have a fast or vision quest, it's generally in cooler climates. You certainly wouldn't put anybody out in the desert for two days with no water. Not in the desert," he said.

Almost every aspect of Ray's sweat lodge was inauthentic, said Wambli Sina Win, a former Oglala Sioux tribal judge who has written about sweat-lodge practices.

"Whatever he led was not a sweat-lodge ceremony as I understand it," she said. "He evidently learned bits and pieces and created a Frankenstein.""

Ray also appropriated Hawaiian huna as well as Peruvian spiritual practises, falsely claiming he had been initiated into them. Ray was also approached by Hawaiian huna leaders who told him to discontinue what he was doing.

From the article:

"Ray used techniques that he said he had learned from being initiated into the shamanic rituals of Hawaiian huna, traditional spiritual and healing practices of the islands.

But Ray was not initiated or ever given permission to pass on these teachings, of which he had only superficial knowledge, according to his huna teacher, Dr. Matthew James, president of Kona University. He said the training process to become a huna teacher takes a decade or longer; Ray took several short introductory workshops from James in 2004 and then began holding his own version of huna ceremonies at a local hotel.

"I had someone from my office call James up and say 'what you're doing is improper, you weren't given permission, you need to stop right away,' and his response was that he was going to keep doing it," James said. "So we informed him he would no longer be able to take training with us.""

- The Astrology of James Arthur Ray -

I've written previous posts about the transits at the time of the 2009 deaths, which echoed transits going on at the time of the Jonestown Massacre in 1978.

What follows is my astrological interpretation of how James Ray exhibits some of the placements in his natal chart. This does not mean that all people with these placements exhibit the same traits. The signs of the zodiac are multi-layered with many, many different possibilities for expression.

I could find no birth time or place for James Ray, but his birth date is listed on several sources as November 22, 1957. Assuming this is correct, this would make him either a 29 degree Scorpio Sun or a 0 degree Sagittarius Sun. My personal guess, considering the deadly ramifications of his character flaws, is a 29th degree Scorpio Sun.

The 29th (anaretic) degree of a sign holds possibilities for the most wise and masterful use of the sign's energy and also for the most irresponsible and detrimental. It's a make or break degree. The anaretic degree holds the energy and lessons of the entire sign as well as the responsibility for their proper application, and this can make lesser men and women grow restless, reckless and impatient, trying to shrug off the responsibilities and requirements of the placement.

- Saturn-Mercury in Sagittarius: Shirking Responsibility But Enjoying the Jovial Spoils -

With a natal Saturn conjunct Mercury in Sagittarius and a Sagittarius Moon, we see a man falsely adopting the cultural knowledge and wisdom indicated by Sagittarius while refusing to keep himself in check (Saturn). Ray completely shrugged off the Saturnine responsibilities that come with being a true Mercurial conduit for the transmission of ancient cultural knowledge. Instead, he rode the (to him, unlimited) expansion of the rhetoric of The Secret and the so-called Law of Attraction to a deadly end. The irresponsibility, recklessness with people's lives and souls, and carelessness that this man has exhibited are extremely grievous, to say the least. Ray was impatient, arrogant, a man who believed he already knew it all - exhibiting some of the worst qualities of Sagittarius. He pumped up his natural charisma and the excitement people felt in his presence, capitalizing on rabid New Age Guru Mania, while accepting none of the responsibility for those gifts.

This is a man who skipped steps (Saturn) at every possible turn. As mentioned in the Bob Ortega article, many practises Ray was using required a decade or more of apprenticeship under a shaman or spiritual leader. Ray was co-opting these techniques after a few brief introductory sessions and then charging thousands of dollars for them. This is highly irresponsible and highly dangerous, and those who truly understood what he was playing with warned him repeatedly. He didn't listen (Mercury is in its detriment in Sagittarius), and many people were harmed because of it.

With a natal Jupiter in Libra dispositing his Mercury-Saturn and Moon in Sagittarius, the crucial elements were: putting into practise a full understanding of energetic balance and justice (ie. knowing right from wrong) as well as forming equal relationships with the people around him and concerning himself with their welfare. Ray failed on all fronts.

With Venus in Capricorn, Ray certainly has friends in prominent public positions, taking his place beside the Oprahs and the Larry Kings of the world without having the foundation (Saturn) to back up his big, splashy, grandiose claims (Mercury in Sagittarius).

This is a man who did not put the work in to become who he said he was, failing his Saturnine lessons miserably.

- Coercive Persuasion - North Node-Mars-Neptune in Scorpio -

Ray has a Mars-Neptune conjunction in Scorpio conjunct a Scorpio North Node. This is a grouping of energy that requires the utmost responsibility since, at the tail-end astrological Piscean era, this combination is rife with potential abuses and misuses. This, of course, makes it a perfect combination for a narcissistic Neptunian guru type who uses common brainwashing techniques to promote a false understanding of his skills in order to bilk people of their money and energy.

With this combination, Ray knows people's weak and naive spots intuitively - and capitalizes on them.

Variations of misanthropy are a possibility with Scorpio energy - common within a New Age that wants to "transcend" the distasteful condition of being human altogether - and this trait is quite apparent in Ray's character and behaviour. With a natal Chiron in Aquarius, Ray is able to take his indifference and the emotional detachment from fellow human beings to deadly extremes.

An online comment from a person injured at one of Ray's speaking events:

"I attended a James Ray event in Dallas in January, and I was injured, and James Ray did not care – not in the least. He was using a teaching tool to demonstrate that what you wanted was right out in front of you – simply take it. He was holding out his teaching CD’s. People from the audience were standing up and taking them. On about the 4th one, I stood up. I was sitting on the front row. A man came up from behind me, jumped on my back, knocked me to the ground and took the CD. Instead of urging people to be careful or asking me if I was okay, James Ray CONGRATULATED the man for having the courage to take what he wanted. He never even stopped his high pressure sales tactics to ask if I was okay. This happened less than six inches from his very feet.
After the event was over, I waited a long time to tell him that I was injured. I am disabled with Multiple Sclerosis and injured my ankle and knee as the result of being knocked down – and also had an injured back, neck, and shoulder from the man jumping on my back.
Do you want to hear how James Ray responded when I informed him that I was hurt in the incident? He smiled BROADLY and said “It sure got crazy, didn’t it?” And he laughed. He literally did not give a darn about me or anyone else in attendance."

Psychologists would say Ray is utilizing coercive persuasion on the people with whom he comes into contact. The influence of Neptune in Scorpio permeating his physical energy and presence (Mars) allows Ray to mesmerize people, a snake charmer exerting control on hidden levels.

Scorpio is a sign of extremes - of life and death, of emotional, psychological and psychic crisis, of domination and subjugation. And it is in these arenas that Ray committed his crimes.

A common theme with Ray is pushing people - to a crisis point, to their breaking points, to a simulated point of their own deaths, where Ray would have their lives in his (horrifically irresponsible) hands. This forced a transference of personal power and responsibility from the individuals to Ray and attempted to create a level of false trust. (All the better to remove your funds with, my dear.)

This is a common tail-end Piscean era sham: the Master-student relationship. The "Master" is set up as being above the student - more enlightened, more God-like, more spiritual, more powerful, more in-the-know - and it is frowned upon for the student to question or disagree.

Ray used this one all the way to millions in the bank.

- The Pitfalls of Letting the South Node Drive -

And this draws us to the point that is really key to it all - his Taurus South Node.

Ultimately, it was about the dollar, dollar bills.

The story from Ray (who knows if it's true) is that his Daddy was a preacher man. A dirt poor preacher man. And little Jamie Ray didn't even have enough money for a Boy Scout uniform so he could join the troupe.

This set up an unhealthy South Node fixation. Whether he called it Harmonic Wealth (TM), manifesting abundance or achieving your dreams through the law of attraction, it was all about the money. This is what Ray was after, this was the underlying basis for his seminars, and this is what a lot of the people who took his seminars were after. The get rich quick, pseudo-spiritual-style.

Ray spoke the language of the Scorpio North Node: transform, change your life, push past your boundaries, give up control, face your fears, face death! But here we see the problem with following a single dude claiming to have the answers. He was talking to himself. The energetic rules that applied to him and his natal chart were not the rules that applied to the tens of thousands of people he scammed and hurt.

Ray was aggressive, coercive, manipulative and abusive, using some of the worst traits of Scorpio, but all wrapped up in a mesmerizing Sagittarian charisma and dirty attraction. As the faulty sweat lodge participants grew uncomfortable and ill and wanted to leave the plastic tarp-covered hothouse, Ray told them to push past their boundaries. He told them they were "better than that." He sat at the entrance of the hothouse so people had to pass him (badgering them to stay) to get out. He used his presence (Mars conjunct Neptune in Scorpio) to bully and intimidate people into doing things they did not want to do, so that they would feel "unspiritual" or "unenlightened" if they could not pass his tests. This ultimately cost three their lives and many their health.

Ray was not using his Scopio North Node to empower people. He was using it to get people to empower him by transferring their personal power and responsibility over to him as well as large sums of their money.

The South Node is a point that holds a great deal of talent - and also horrendous pitfalls. Ray was skilled at money-making schemes, and he also used these talents in some of the most abusive ways possible.

The South Node is not an area where we are meant to be hanging out all that much, and the constant focus on more and more and more money, wealth, abundance, accumulation created a situation where the nodal polarity was dangerously overcharged and unbalanced. As with the entire The Secret phenomenon, the energy was built up to a dangerous and unsustainable point. Anyone with any type of real understanding of energetics could see that. Something had to give, and it did. The lives of the innocent were sacrificed to this tail-end Piscean era multi-level marketing huckster shitshow.

Jupiter Rx is currently conjunct James Ray's South Node, and this is a perfect example of how Jupiter's expansion is not always a beneficial thing. Jupiter is putting a spotlight on the abuses Ray has committed via his South Node obsession with mass accumulation.

- Tip of the Rotten New Age Iceberg -

At the same time, James Ray is not an isolated case. He's a sacrificial lamb for something much larger and more malevolent - a fall guy for the corrupt energetics of the entire The Secret phenomenon and even broader than that, for the New Age scheme itself. As stated, the energy of The Secret phenomenon was pumped up to an insane, dangerous and unsustainable point. It was fatally flawed, as is New Age as a whole, and something had to give. Those further up the dirty pyramid sit on their fame and their millions, won through equally corrupt methods, and continue the scheme to this day in one form or another. They're guilty of metaphysical crimes if not physical, Earthly ones. They're just sophisticated enough to get away with it.

The current timeframe for the pre-sentencing hearing (post-October 15) is set for just after Venus, Mercury and the Sun in Scorpio oppose Jupiter in Taurus along Ray's nodal polarity.

Previous posts on the subject are here: James Arthur Ray

Friday, September 23, 2011

Upcoming New Moons in Libra and Scorpio - More Spice Than Sugar For the Next Two Months


- New Moon in Libra September 27 Square Pluto in Capricorn -

The New Moon in Libra September 27 is exactly square Pluto in Capricorn within tight cardinal t-square formation, and this isn't the sort of "everything's nicey nice" Libra that a lot of astrologers talk about.

This is more like my version of Libra. So I'm actually happy that this New Moon is (potentially) such a bitch.

The squares to Pluto indicate there are things that have been sliding by in the collective that can no longer be glossed over. The Plutonic buck stops here, and this especially relates to social dynamics within workplaces/work structures.

This is the energy of dignified human relations and social justice squaring off with corporatized, commodified channels of existence - the McLives being sold en masse. Also opposite Uranus Rx in Aries, this is the difficulty of interacting and connecting as distinct human beings within mainstream structures that work to shape us like clay into more mechanical, roboticized, conditioned, segmented and isolated versions of ourselves.

Mercury in Libra, exactly opposite Uranus Rx in Aries, is closely conjunct the New Moon. The idea of what's right squares off with a "way things are" that is anything but. The pressures of maintaining a semblance of sanity and humanity within mainstream McLife channels are making people crack a little around the edges. Over a long enough timeline, maintaining becomes impossible. Expect some Plutonic meltdowns if people have been chronically making nicey nice when they should have been digging heels in on certain issues.

That said, the Sun entered Libra this morning, marking Autumn Equinox. The focus is on keeping things balanced, so if you can keep things socially smooth and harmonious without compromising yourself, by all means, do so. Grit your teeth and do so. In most cases, you'll be happy you did. Just don't falsely believe you have the power to hold back the force of Pluto when it's determined to destroy phony, manipulated and ultimately useless social constructs. When the Plutonic wrecking ball has been unleashed, it's best just to step well out of its way.

The Sun and Moon form the New Moon conjunction at 6:09 a.m. CDT exactly square Pluto at 4 degrees Libra/Capricorn, just past an exact opposition to Uranus Rx at 2 degrees Aries. The New Moon also happens within a large stellium of bodies in Libra, including five planets (Mercury, Sun, Moon, Venus, Saturn) and one asteroid (Juno).

As mentioned, this New Moon position indicates that certain situations have been simmering for a while now. Beefs have been building, false friends have been gathering, bullshit has been accumulating, and snipey words have been slung under the protection of social gloss.

Brad Pitt is taking pot shots at Jennifer Aniston in the press, saying his marriage to her made him a boring person. (Um, Brad, you were fully boring pre-Jen, and you're even more boring as Brangelina. Also add "complete cad" to the list.) Insufferable Brad Pitt ex-girlfriend Gwynnie Paltrow is pissing off the non-mother women out there, saying her kids were what gave her a "real life."

(I wish I could really roll with this stuff like Mikey K from Dlisted.com, but I don't want to deal with the comments, so I'll leave it to him...)

Libra also relates to high society life, and these oddly, inexplicably celebrated members of society reflect back to us the strategic positioning of the planets at this time and the incendiary value statements people are using to reinforce their positions. The North Node in Sagittarius disposited by Jupiter Rx in Taurus has us discovering (in pleasant ways and not) what people really value, what they really think, and what their true guiding philosophies through life are - and if people aren't careful with the Taurean boundaries, shooting their mouths off will get them into trouble.

See all those Libran soul mates (Juno), together or not together, in various states of relation to each other, working stuff out? Just wait until Juno hits Scorpio in late October - that's when things will be really juicy.

Things aren't quite right, aren't quite fair, aren't quite balanced, though most have been pretending they are (a Libra trick), and this New Moon square Pluto starts to bring things to the surface ahead of Scorpio season next month.

There are some potential air-clearing pissing matches a-brewing as the personal planets in Libra move through these squares to Pluto and then enter the crackly Via Combusta zone to conjunct both Saturn and Juno. The Via Combusta is an area of the zodiac (15 Libra to 15 Scorpio, excluding 23 and 24 degrees Libra) also known as the burning path or combustible way, and the personal planets transit this zone until the end of the first week of November. I wrote about the procession into the Via Combusta and the conjunctions to Saturn and Juno here: Juno Conjunct Saturn in Libra Starts the Autumnal Procession Through the Via Combusta

At the time of the New Moon, Venus is at home in Libra and has just cracked into Via Combusta territory at 15 degrees. Venus in this position provides a crucial layer of influence as dispositor of all the other bodies in the sign. Venus is also on its way to a heavy, maturity-requiring conjunction to Saturn in Libra September 29 and a frictional, good girl/bad girl conjunction to Juno October 1. Things are made uncomfortable for us at this time, forcing a purge of relationships and relationship dynamics past at the same time as we forge ahead into the new relational cycle indicated by the New Moon. Out of it, we take broad, new, Saturnine steps as we find new social position for long-term success.

This Saturnine progress as far as putting a new relational foundation under us necessarily speeds up now that Saturn has hit molten lava in the Via Combusta zone. We have to take bigger steps here and move a bit more quickly and bit more often than is fully comfortable under the weight of Saturn.

We have to fight our way through this New Moon opening - for this new relational beginning, this relieving new balance.

The Libra New Moon opens into a first-half fall that is highly charged, highly frictional and highly constricting. We have to move. We have to make a change and take a chance on something that will sustain us over the long run, beyond the same-old, same-old karmic relationship loops and cycles. The fight at this New Moon involves the commitment to a full-scale morph out of old, deadened relationship constructs and brittle dynamics past - or at least out of as many layers as we can shed at this time without cutting too deeply.

These are some spicy, combustible times, as usual, but the social friction is useful and necessary to propel us into proper position for long-term success. Saturn is in brand, spanking new territory in Libra, clearing two-thirds of its transit through the sign by early November, and a lot of progress is possible under these pressures.

We head through Balsamic Moon phase over the next few days as the moonlight fades to black.


- Via Combusta New Moon in Scorpio October 26 Conjunct Juno -

The New Moon in Scorpio October 26 deepens the process. Things move from the social to the energetically alchemical, and a big part of the process moves out of our hands.

The New Moon (2:56 p.m. CDT) is in full-on Via Combusta territory at 3 degrees Scorpio, which will be tightly sextile Pluto in Capricorn. The New Moon is also conjunct soul mate asteroid Juno, newly in Scorpio at zero degrees. Venus and Mercury will be closely conjunct each other at 21 and 20 degrees Scorpio respectively. This is certainly a New Moon with an edge.

Sextile Pluto in Capricorn, it is an energetic precursor to the upcoming period involving the Saturn in Scorpio - Pluto in Capricorn mutual reception (October 6, 2012 to September 18, 2015) and brings us into the tone of that time period - deep, soulful, serious, pragmatic, no fucking around.

This Juno-vibing Scorpio New Moon opens into the knowledge that finding a "soul mate" is only the beginning of the work. We're in some thorny, collectively karmic relational territory these days, and there are plenty of knots to be worked out ahead of your standard 'utter soul union bliss.' Aspects of unbalanced power dynamics are perpetuated through our interactions just by virtue of us being on the planet at this time, and we're challenged to consciously work them free together.

The relationships that deepen coming out of this Scorpio New Moon conjunct Juno have to be right, no doubt about it. We still have some time under Saturn exalted in Libra to get the balance right, but under Saturn in Scorpio, our energy will be restricted; our resources will be limited. Heading into Saturn in Scorpio, we cannot afford to take losses (including emotional/energetic/psychic losses) or to make bad judgement calls as far as the integrity and abilities of the people with whom we enter partnership.

It will not be easy to get ourselves out of the wrong partnerships, and it will not be easy to recover from the wrong mergers of resources and energy (particularly sexual energy) from here on out.

This is not to be a downer - just being Scorpionically straight-up about the times and dynamics ahead.

The extrication processes during Saturn in Scorpio are more likely to be difficult: turbulent, protracted, nasty, even so enervating and devastating as to be deadly. I've said this before, and I'll say it again: Make firm decisions about the people you have in your life now, and don't compromise your standards. Being a highly popular social butterfly spreading yourself over multitudes of acquaintances isn't going to mean much during Saturn in Scorpio. Only the relationships that truly pay dividends, soul-deep, are going to be worth the energy. Keep only the people you're absolutely sure about, and even then, work to create proper boundaries for all members of your social circle - including yourself. Good fences make good neighbours, especially under Saturn in Scorpio.

A major relational difficulty here is that with Pluto transiting Capricorn, the way things have been set up is corrupt. It no longer works. It never really did. The hierarchies are illegitimate. There is a detrimental power imbalance between men and women and the masculine and feminine energetic interplay. On a very many fronts, things are just plain wrong, and we have to change the course. All this must be consciously and mutually dealt with as mergers - business, love or otherwise - come about slowly and carefully, with full respect for the intricacies involved and the deep pitfalls to avoid. Trying to bring these combinations together fully before the power dynamics are reworked and the timing (Saturn) is right will only create more hurt and distortion.

In love, this involves creating right sexual relationships (Scorpio) with mutually held consciousness of the prior and current misuses and violent abuses of sexual energy. This especially involves abuses of women and the domination and control of feminine sexual power and knowledge. It also includes the damage done by the "too much, too fast, too often" mainstream sexual culture of the day. These misuses and abuses have become so energetically ingrained, hidden and accepted through millenia of cultural reinforcement that it takes pristine focus and awareness within a sexual partnership not to repeat the dynamics in some form or another.

People are being kept from their full sexual power by false, mainstream-media constructed versions of sex, sexuality, beauty and attraction. But Scorpio is a sign that has the ability to make sex and the energetic interplay between people sacred and purposeful again. Issues start coming to the forefront out of this New Moon that will be on our plates during Saturn in Scorpio as far as the hidden energy exchanges between the sexes (and between those of the same sex).

The currencies of sexual, emotional and psychic energy as well as masterful Scorpionic healing abilities require conscious re-valuing and re-working, one interchange at a time.

We'll be working diligently on these intimate and highly complex issues throughout Saturn's transit of Scorpio into September of 2015.

In light of the complexities ahead, the decisions we make now must come straight from our souls, right from our core truth with no fibbing around the edges. There is very little margin for error now and there is a decreasing amount the closer we get to Saturn's ingress of Scorpio.

Allow the Scorpio New Moon October 26 to take you deeply into your intuitional guidance, the still place inside that already knows how the whole map has been laid out.

And don't be afraid. It all comes out OK, even if it doesn't.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

White Men Can't Sweat Lodge: An Update

New Age guru and snake oil salesman extraordinaire James Arthur Ray was scheduled to be sentenced September 26, 2011 after a week-long hearing that would have had his supporters supplying testimony in a bid to lower his sentence.

According to what's being reported, one of the attorneys involved in the case had a medical emergency, and the hearing was cancelled. There's no word at this time on a new date for the hearing or sentencing.

On June 22, under the cross-hairs of the Cardinal Grand Cross, Ray was found guilty by jurors on three counts of negligent homicide after a four-month trial in Camp Verde, Arizona. He is currently out on bail and faces a sentence ranging from probation to nine years in prison.

From a previous post:

"Three people died ("ascended"? "transcended"?) and 19 were hospitalized - some with permanent health damage - after a botched sweat lodge at Ray's "Spiritual Warrior" seminar near Sedona, Arizona in October 2009. Participants paid up to $10,000 for the honour of attending Ray's five-day workshop where, according to accounts, they were encouraged to shave their heads, play death-related games with Ray and fast for 36 hours before entering a faulty sweat lodge. Ray reportedly goaded participants into staying in the sweat lodge longer than they wanted to, advising them to ignore physical discomfort and push past their boundaries.

According to the Huffington Post, participants were told by Ray:

"The true spiritual warrior has conquered death and therefore has no fear or enemies in this lifetime or the next, because the greatest fear you'll ever experience is the fear of what? Death. ... You will have to get a point to where you surrender and it's OK to die."

The dirty, pumped-up Neptunian bullshit of The Secret and its "creating your own reality/manifesting abundance" memes finally blew up after every New Ager and his/her dog dry humped the scheme for its very last penny. Unfortunately, people lost their lives in the process."

More background posts and the astrology involved in this case are available here: James Arthur Ray

I will post on Ray's sentencing when it's reported.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Social Authority For the Pluto in Libra Generation and Blazing the Plutonic Trail Through Relationship Constructs Past

From October 2009 to October 2012, Saturn transits Libra. During that time period, all members of the Pluto in Libra generation will experience the Saturn conjunct Pluto transit.

I won't go into all this transit indicates, as it's complex, but in basic terms, the people who have natal Pluto in Libra (roughly from 1971 into 1984) come into their authority within the structures as they exist through this transit, and this relates in particular to social authority. A big part of the Pluto in Libras' generational authority is leadership into new social/relational standards. These involve the development of a more honest, just, and power-balanced framework from which to relate, along with more mutually supportive, freely loving and workable relationship constructs.

Libra is a cardinal sign. It starts things in a new direction. As the Pluto in Cancer generation passes off the Earth, the Pluto in Libras will be the only cardinal Pluto generation in the works until the Pluto in Capricorns being born now become adults. The youngest members of the Pluto in Libra generation are soon to be heading into their Saturn returns, and this generation as a whole comes of age under the Saturn in Libra transit.

The "deferring to others" quality of Libra gets a big check here by Saturn as the Pluto in Libras are challenged to own their authority on this front. As the Uranus in Aries - Pluto in Capricorn squares and cardinal Grand Crosses continue to form in the cosmos over the next years, this generation is going to have to step up.

That said, since Saturn began its transit of Gemini in August 2000, all Pluto generations currently alive on Earth have been, in succession, experiencing transiting Saturn conjunct natal Pluto. The upcoming transits of Saturn through Scorpio, Sagittarius, and Capricorn until December 2020 pretty much bring everyone on the planet into the mix. Astrological Aquarian era egalitarianism. From March 26, 2010: Pluto in Capricorn: All Hands on Deck.

The new millenium brought us into some serious, tipping point times on Planet Earth, and Saturn is attempting to make us aware of our responsibilities, generation by generation. Saturn is ensuring that anyone with the ability to do so stays right at the white-hot, Plutonic cutting edge, keenly aware of what we're meant to morph and change generationally through personal efforts.

The mutable Pluto in Virgos (born roughly 1957 into 1972) came into their own authority in this way as Saturn transited their natal Plutos September 2007 into October 2009.

This recent transit of Saturn through Virgo coincided with a Saturn in Virgo - Uranus in Pisces opposition series that was last experienced in the mid-1960s when Saturn and Uranus were in opposite signs (Saturn in Pisces, Uranus in Virgo). Many Pluto in Virgos were young children or were being born at that time, and the energy and impetus of the radical 60s permeates a lot of the generation. Working with the oppositional tension between security and structure (Saturn) and revolutionary freedom (Uranus) as well as coming up with just the right mix along the polarity is part of the challenge and authority of the Pluto in Virgo generation.

The most recent Saturn transit of Virgo brings the energy and impetus of those times to the forefront as the Pluto in Virgos find ingenious ways to practically and effectively apply their ideals from new positions of authority. This Pluto generation is currently working with a necessarily radical and expedited shift, from the ground up, out of collapsed economies, hierarchical, corporate work structures, and dysfunctional systems, making the transition out of Pluto in Leo-heavy structures (the huge Pluto generation born between 1937 and 1958 that is now heading into retirement en masse).

Pluto relates, in part, to what you find intolerable. Maybe more specifically - what your soul finds intolerable.

In the case of many Pluto in Libras, what they find intolerable, among other things, is the way relationships have been constructed up to this point. This includes power inequalities, abusiveness, and social injustice as well as underlying coercion, underhandedness and dishonesty in relationship.

If you look at the planet as a whole, human relations are wayyyy fucked up.

A lot of people love to live in delusion and denial as far as the relationship arena goes, but the old, deadened husks of relationship constructs past have no life left for those who would experience soul death remaining within them. So we're blazing a trail through them, confronting and eliminating the dirty little interactions that have been swept under the rug up to this point, and building something more legitimate.

Part of the pain here comes from being at the tail-end astrological Piscean era with an old guard trying to hold onto the old relationship constructs, stereotypes, and values as more and more people do not fit them. I've noticed a lot of women over the past few years glorifying a 1950s relational ideal that never even existed. It's that toxic, Pluto in Capricorn nostalgia being stirred for a past that never was. (They need to read a little more Friedan and Plath and watch a little less Oprah and Martha.)

I just have to smile and nod when I run into people still holding to bizarrely antiquated ideas about single women (or men). The old tsk tsks about the woman who can't find a man, the man who can't keep a woman, and all the versions in between are so overly simplistic. They come from the mouths of dinosaurs. It actually blows my mind to hear the stuff. A shocking reality check from the mainstream culture. Story of life.

But here's a little tip from the Pluto in Libras: If people think the way things have been done up to this point is going to even remotely cut the mustard in future, they're mistaken.

From Pluto in Capricorn: All Hands on Deck:

"In basic terms, the Pluto in Libras are here to experience, examine, break down, and process out stultifying, abusive and "just not right" relationship and partnership dynamics, attracting many relationships (especially before we are conscious of this) designed as vehicles to do so.

We're here to create right human relations on the planet, and it's a big job.

We experience many nasty tricks through our relations with others. All the denied realities of relationship held in the collective come up for us to deal with. Pluto doesn't leave any stone unturned.

We're also here for justice, especially social justice, and equality. Many Pluto in Libras make human rights their life's work.

We're here to create a new balance of masculine and feminine energetic exchange within ourselves and within partnership, as well as a new balance on the planet, in general.

It's our job to find a point of harmony and balance even in the most tumultuous of times (these). To uncover and display the beauty in the ugliest of circumstances.

The end result of this Plutonic processing will be a more free and true exchange of love. Creating deeply satisfying, soul-nourishing relationships - the most beautiful, deeply loving and meaningful relationships this planet has ever seen collectively. And not just the romantic ones."

The Pluto in Libras have done a lot of heavy processing as far as not-quite-right relational dynamics. Many are late coming into relationship for very good reason - they'll be damned if they're going to repeat the mistakes of previous generations.

It's not that the Pluto in Libras don't want a mate. It's that they don't want just any mate. They don't want to trap themselves in the hell of karmic relationship structures past, falling for the same old tricks and repeating the same old cycles they've seen those around them living - and this is a distinct possiblity if one has natal Pluto in Libra.

In a lot of cases, when Pluto in Libras (and others) aren't in relationships, it's because they've a) decided it's in their best interests to strengthen, develop, and love themselves as individuals before they get into a relationship or b) they've worked stuff out through the vehicle of relationship up to a certain point and are taking a well-deserved breather.

Being outside relationship, especially these days, is far from a pitiable offense.

These dynamics aren't limited to this Pluto generation, nor is it the case that all Pluto in Libras are working on improving the social condition. There are relatively few who really dig into Plutonic work and a lot who prefer to turn a blind eye - or who use the Plutonic dynamics to maintain status quo dominance. Same as it was, same as it is, same as it likely always will be.

Saturn is activating Neptune generations just as it is doing with Pluto generations.

At the same time as Saturn in Libra is conjuncting the natal Plutos of the Pluto in Libra generation, it is conjuncting the natal Neptunes of the Neptune in Libra generation (born roughly 1942 into 1957), which happens to include many of the parents of the Pluto in Libras.

The rosy, glowy, false Neptunian gloss over the Standard Romantic Love Relationship (and resulting disillusionment/divorce) that came about through the manipulation of the Neptune in Libra generation is now thoroughly examined by the Pluto in Libras who attempt to get at what relationships really are and how they really work.

As the Pluto in Libras are challenged to bring to the table and apply their cut-the-crap Plutonic X-Ray insight into relationships of all forms, the Neptune in Libra generation is working through a Saturnine reality check on any remaining illusions, delusions, and self-sabotaging blind spots related to relationships, especially involving media-driven concepts of love that have been absorbed by that generation.

Multi-generational teamwork. How very Libran.

The Pluto in Libras as a generation pose some interesting questions:

How would our choices in relationship change if co-dependence and emotional neediness were taken out of the equation?

How would things change if people felt safe, loved, and socially acceptable on their own, with or without a partner, from birth on? If social constructs allowed people to have their needs met fully, inside a standard relationship or out?

How would the removal of rigid social norms and stigmas, the alleviating of those pressures, change people's courses?

How would a woman's choice in mate or in how to construct her relationship change if she were completely financially independent and secure? How would relationships change if living on a single income were not so difficult?

How would relationships change if emotional, physical, and sexual abuse and coercion and the attraction to those things were removed from interactions between men and women? How would things change if women were not fearful of violence - physical, sexual, emotional? And if they were not conditioned to believe that violence and coercion were things that had to be tolerated on some level?

How would relationships change if people were respected and free to express themselves sexually how they wish to?

How would relationships change if they operated on a basis of full equality, respect, and power sharing? If all people involved counted equally?

How would things change if previously allowed bad behaviours by both men and women in relationship were outed, confronted, and no longer tolerated?

What the Pluto in Libras (cardinal) start, the Pluto in Scorpios (fixed) will finish. Let's recall that Saturn has just re-entered the Via Combusta or burning path, activating Via Combusta Pluto placements until November 2013.

- New Moon at 4 Degrees Libra September 27 -

We have a massively potent Libra New Moon exactly square Pluto in Capricorn coming up September 27. There will be a large stellium in Libra at the time of the New Moon with six bodies in the sign of the scales (Mercury, the Sun, the Moon, Venus, Saturn and Juno) permeating the scene with new but oh-so-serious Venusian vibes. This New Moon square Pluto indicates a very deep line in the sand as far as what we can no longer tolerate carrying forward in relationship. We leave a lot behind here...or suffer the consequences. A new balance is coming into play - a no-nonsense, time's up, get it together version.

As we continue to tip the scales further into the astrological Aquarian era, what is valued in a mate and in a relationship starts to change dramatically.

There are those who are meant to take things further, and we're the ones.

On we go, friends.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Astro Round-Up

We have quite a few astrologically noteworthy things going on in the next little while. I've written longer posts on most of this, but here is the basic run-down:

September 14: Venus enters Libra tonight at 9:40 p.m. Central Daylight and heads into position within a stellium of Mercury-Sun-Venus-Saturn-Juno in Libra by September 25. Emerging as evening star, Venus becomes highly influential as the dispositor of all the bodies in Libra. We also experience a potent Libra New Moon September 27, which adds the Moon into the mix.

September 16: Pluto stations direct at 4 degrees Capricorn at 1:24 p.m.

September 17: Saturn enters new degrees of the zodiac at 17 Libra, officially releasing the retrograde cycle we've been chewing on since fall of 2010. By early November, Saturn has completed two-thirds of its transit through Libra with one retrograde (February to June 2012) left to go.

September 17/18: Juno in Libra conjuncts Saturn just as Saturn enters new territory.

September 18: Mars leaves Cancer and enters Leo at 8:51 p.m., finally moving out of energetic range of the Cardinal Grand Cross summer of 2011. This begins the discharge of the previous Mars retrograde cycle in Leo (which has lasted almost two years) ahead of the Mars in Virgo-flavoured cycle. Mars enters Virgo November 10 and kicks off a new Mars cycle with its retrograde in early 2012.

September 23: Autumn Equinox as the Sun enters Libra at 4:05 a.m.

September 25: Mercury enters Libra at 4:09 p.m.

September 27: potent New Moon in Libra exact at 6:09 a.m. with Mercury-Sun-Moon-Venus-Saturn-Juno all in the sign of the scales.

October 6-19: Venus moves through the degrees of its fall 2010 retrograde in Via Combusta Libra and Scorpio giving us a status report on how we're doing so far. We officially head to the Venus Transit and Venus retrograde in Gemini in May/June 2012.

Relationship cycles complete here as we're propelled into fresh territory and new partnerships. We're challenged to keep our balance, responsibly tending to the requirements of both as we move into position.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Pisces Full Moon with Pluto Stationing in Capricorn on the Tenth Anniversary of 9/11

The Sun, Venus and Mercury are in "analyzing the fine points" Virgo opposite the Pisces Full Moon. This produces an influence that could lead the general public to take a closer look at the horrific events of that day, dispelling the super-charged rhetoric, and opening a new and independent investigation.

The Full Moon is a point of culmination, when things are pushed to a head. In Pisces, there is the possibility of puncturing the Neptunian "9/11" veil and dispelling the foggy manipulation of reality surrounding it with tenacious Virgoan analysis of the details.

Mercury in Virgo is trine Pluto in Capricorn, and the questions coming up about that day are grounded, serious and substantial. This isn't Alex Jones' discrediting army of over-the-top Truthers, and it's not the sort of thing that can easily be written off as "kooky conspiracy theory."

Over 1,500 engineers and architects say the collapse of the World Trade Center towers as well as the 47-story Building 7 in New York City on September 11, 2001 could not have gone down the way the official story says it did.

Building 7, part of the World Trade Center complex, was not hit by any aircraft that day, yet it collapsed in a similar fashion as the towers. These building experts say Building 7 collapsed in a controlled demotion.

Most people have never seen the footage: Remember Building 7

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Juno Conjunct Saturn in Libra Starts the Autumnal Procession Through the Via Combusta


- Saturn in New Degrees September 18 -

Saturn in Libra is currently clearing its previous 'retrograde shadow' - the degrees of the zodiac it retrograded over from January to June, 2011 - and moves into new territory at 17 degrees Libra on September 18.

Until then, we experience a concentrated, fairly constricting (yet also highly desirable) final resolution period for all that has come about since fall of 2010 when Saturn entered the retrograde shadow it is now clearing.

In effect, though, the resolution period we've now come to reaches all the way back to the end of October, 2009 when Saturn first ingressed Libra, the sign of relationships, balance, and social justice.

As previously mentioned, it's time to get very serious about who we have in our lives ahead of Saturn's transit of Scorpio in mutual reception to Pluto in Capricorn, beginning October 2012. The next six weeks are somewhat condensed with those responsibilities as we dig in on relationship standards and refuse to sell ourselves even a penny short.

We're about to clear a big chunk of Saturn's transit in Libra here. By early November, we are more than two-thirds through Saturn's transit of the sign. This has a relieving effect, but there are some final maturation and strengthening required related to the Libra lessons we have learned so far before we officially move on.

Pluto in Capricorn is stationing direct (September 16) at the same time as Saturn moves into new degrees of the zodiac, and this increases the pressure and adds an incendiary quality to interactions.

- Willow's Web Astrology on the Via Combusta -

As of August 29, Saturn re-entered the crackling Via Combusta zone where it will remain until November 19, 2013, and this is a very interesting combination of energies. The planet relating to the weight and constriction of our concrete, structural set-ups has just hit molten lava. Let's see how Saturn contains this.

I wrote about Saturn in the Via Combusta when it first dipped into this zone December 5, 2010 to March 18, 2011, stationing retrograde there January 25, 2011.

From January 30, 2010: Saturn Retrograde in Libra and the Via Combusta Venus Themes Come Up For Review

The Via Combusta is an area of the zodiac between 15 degrees Libra and 15 degrees Scorpio (except for 23 and 24 degrees Libra) known as the burning path or combustible way. Traditionally, it is associated with "unfortunate and ineffectual events."

My interpretation of the Via Combusta is humanized and comes from the point-of-view of a person experiencing life with key natal placements in this area.

When the Via Combusta is strongly highlighted, there is a feeling of running the gauntlet through sometimes seemingly insurmountable odds, collective karma, booby traps and friction, very often related to relationship dynamics, which are Libra and Scorpio territory.

There's a fire in the Via Combusta and within people with a strong Via Combusta signature that keeps them burning, burning, burning a path through life as you would imagine a shooting star burning an accelerated path through the night's sky. There's a feeling here that one has to keep going, no matter what, through the wreckage of old, crystallized layers that would keep us stultified, constricted, and unsatisfied with old wounds perpetually reopened by a revolving cast of characters.

The basic goal of the Via Combusta is to reach escape velocity. In space travel, this is the point a space shuttle reaches when its speed and momentum allow it to escape the effects of gravity pulling it back down to Earth. In the case of the Via Combusta, it's about reaching the points of awareness and pure momentum where we escape the gravity of the sticky, tricky wreckage trying to draw us back into old territory, especially involving old constructs and dynamics of relating.

But with Saturn in the Via Combusta, we have to earn the right to pass. We have to prove that we're mature enough, serious enough, and that we've taken full responsibility for moving on completely, resolving the bits of dramatic charge and the last karmic tendrils that would catch us, tempt us, and drag us back. This is escape velocity for the long-term, under the weight of Saturn.

- Autumnal Equinox 2011: Juno Conjunct Saturn in the Free Progress Zone -

Juno, the (at times) highly fated soul mate asteroid, exactly conjuncts Saturn in Via Combusta Libra September 17/18 at 17 degrees. This conjunction is strong throughout September, colouring autumnal equinox in the northern hemisphere as the Sun enters Libra September 23 and day and night are perfectly balanced.

The people in our lives are kicking up meaningful themes and providing useful pressures that bring us to a new and more mature outlook, a stronger relational position, and a rock-solid foundation of equilibrium, no matter what's going on with the people and in the societies around us.

Venus, Mercury and the Sun follow Juno's lead:

- Venus enters its domicile Libra September 14, conjuncts Saturn September 29 and conjuncts Juno October 1
- Mercury enters Libra September 25, conjuncts Saturn October 6 and conjuncts Juno October 9
- The Sun enters Libra, the sign of its fall, September 23 (autumn equinox in the northern hemisphere), conjuncts Saturn October 13 and conjuncts Juno October 22

In basic terms, the first 30 days of fall find us with a major infusion of Venusian energy with Venus in its own sign and a Juno-Saturn-Venus-Mercury-Sun stellium in Libra.

During this time (October 6-19), Venus is also passing through the degrees of its fall 2010 retrograde through Via Combusta Scorpio and late Libra. This is another crackling, 'resolution of relationships past' zone, especially related to what has come about since the fall of 2010. This Venus transit will provide us with a status report on how far we've come in relationship since last fall and what points might still need a little Saturnine effort applied.

A very interesting thing about the conjunctions of Juno, Venus, Mercury, and the Sun to Saturn is that they all take place as Saturn enters new degrees of the zodiac (17 degrees Libra to 22 degrees Libra) that it will move through quickly, in one pass, with no retrograding back. In effect, this is a clear zone. There is a slowness and a seriousness to the proceedings considering the circumstances on the planet at this time, but September 18 to November 3 is a time period ripe for potential progress, especially of the relationship/partnership variety. Foundations laid during this time are set for the long-term.

The Juno-Saturn conjunction September 17/18 happens just as Saturn crosses into this new degrees territory, indicating a potent and fated period involving other people for fall 2011.

There is an indication of strategic partnerships coming to the forefront and being solidified and reinforced through these conjunctions to Saturn. These are fated relationships designed to bring about personal and broader social/sociological progress that could not be achieved alone. These partnerships, if handled responsibly and constructed on a just and balanced foundation, have the ability to initiate long-term mutual improvement of social position and public status, especially if they involve the amelioration of long-standing issues of social justice and equality.

There is a strong level of social responsibility indicated. The partnerships that solidify around this time can act as structural frameworks for the larger social scenes, acting to bring people together and keep people together during times when many forces are attempting to tear the social fabric apart.

With Juno leading the way into the Saturn conjunctions, we are challenged to continue the necessary rebalancing between masculine and feminine and men and women, sharing both status and the responsibility and work that come with it.

These relationships are love relationships, business partnerships, or both, and they are Via Combusta-flavoured partnerships - partnerships that can run the gauntlet and move us through difficult territory in an expedient way.

Saturn's transit through Libra also forms a conjunction to the Pluto in Libra generation's natal Pluto placements, indicating that this generation plays a major role in an emerging social order, bringing new social standards.

- Spica and Arcturus: Safe from the Heat -

There are two degrees considered safe haven spots from the heat and combustion of the Via Combusta: 23 and 24 degrees Libra. These are considered safe due to two fixed stars residing on those degrees that are considered very fortunate - Spica on 23 degrees Libra and Arcturus on 24 degrees Libra.

Saturn first enters these fortunate degrees November 5, extending the grace period for progress until November 22 when it moves off the 24th degree of Libra.

Saturn will retrograde back to these safe haven degrees in May and June 2012. Saturn Rx will be conjunct Spica at 23 degrees Libra during the Venus Transit in Gemini on June 5, 2012. This is an indicator that that Venus retrograde through Gemini and the Venus Transit (the eclipse involving Venus, the Earth and the Sun) could bring very fortunate happenings to those who have learned and applied their Saturn lessons well.


Saturn in the Via Combusta - August 29, 2011 to November 19, 2013

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Ceres Rx Slips Back Into Pisces And Why the Armies Aren't Fighting the Famine...Part Two

From July 24, 2011: Ceres Stationing Retrograde in Aries and Why the Armies Aren't Fighting the Famine

Ceres, asteroid of grains and fertility of the Earth, has moved retrograde from zero Aries into late Pisces, and we are seeing the replay of a common strategy from the past 2,000-odd years of the astrological Piscean era: mass extermination of the poor through starvation.

"Tens of thousands of people in the Horn of Africa have been and are still being allowed to starve to death by our so-called leaders. "NATO" forces dropped bombs on Libyan civilians in an illegal war but were supposedly too spooked by Somalian rebels to drop food and water aid to starving people. A likely story. How these people have been mistreated - mass murdered - needs to be clearly deposited into the consciousness of the people on this planet."

Ceres stationed retrograde at zero Aries conjunct Uranus on July 26, 2011, and the lack of direct action (Aries) in relation to these crises has been astounding, sickening, horrific - though not surprising to those who understand how famine is used as a socio-political tool.

What follows is a report that appeared recently in the Yukon News from a nurse, Trish Newport, who had been working in Niger. That country, too, has had two years of crop failure and is facing mass starvation unless the international bodies that hold the power, wealth and resources step in immediately.

Here's guessing that they won't.


MAGARIA, NIGER
(By: Trish Newport)

“Two inseparable elements are combined in Medecins Sans Frontiers’ work: medical aid and witnessing (temoignage).”

Witnessing consists of being present among the population, being motivated by a concern for their fate as human beings and listening to the people.

Intertwined with the act of witnessing is the responsibility to report on the situation and on the fate of the people. In working with Medecins Sans Frontiers in Niger, I am realizing that this might be the greatest responsibility I have ever had.

Famines are largely avoidable phenomena that do not arrive overnight. They are not like earthquakes or hurricanes that suddenly appear with no warning; they cannot even be considered as purely natural disasters.

I am currently bearing witness to an impending famine, and it fills me with a complex mix of fear, dread, the hope that I can do something and the knowing that no response will be sufficient, regardless of what I do.

The region of Niger where I am situated has now experienced two consecutive years of meagre harvests. The most recent harvest was decimated by crickets, and the previous year had seen horrible yields due to drought.

Security reasons greatly restrict the movement of westerners in Niger.

Due to the nature of my work, I am the only Medecins Sans Frontiers expatriate in the region who is allowed regularly to venture into the far-flung villages. I am therefore the only expat truly able to bear witness to the current development of the food security problems.

Several times a week, I visit a number of remote rural villages of southern Niger.

In these villages the diet typically consists of only millet porridge. It is a great rarity to find someone who eats anything besides millet on an average day.

In Niger, as in many other countries, there is a traditional lean season - “the hunger gap” - between the time when the staple stock is exhausted and the new harvest arrives. In Niger this season usually occurs in June or July, and the harvest is cultivated in December.

It is now the beginning of April and the village chiefs consistently tell me that the millet stocks are extremely minimal, if not completely exhausted already, there are no seeds to plant in the summer, and that most of the village men have left for Nigeria in search of work.

Passing through the villages this is obvious: few men, except for the old, are seen.

Annually, there is a seasonal migration of men towards Nigeria. But, it usually happens much later in the year. Their return coincides with the planting season, but without seeds there will be no planting season this year. The malnutrition rates will only increase.

Village chiefs are responsible for the health of their people; they can see the oncoming calamity, and they plead with me to pass on their people’s plight to those who can help.

My work with Medecins Sans Frontiers involves supervising and co-ordinating a project that focuses on preventative and curative care in these villages.

We train local people to treat basic childhood illnesses, and we provide them with the essential medication for the treatments. We have a network of villagers who do health promotion about breastfeeding and hand washing in the villages.

But without food, all of these actions have limited effect. While in the field, we regularly encounter children needing to be transferred to the inpatient malnutrition centre. Transfers consistently fill me with awe - the act of putting a mother and a child in a Land Cruiser and taking them to the “big village” to be treated is simple.

However, it is usually the first time either one has ever been in a motorized vehicle, and the whole experience must be extremely overstimulating for them.

Despite my never-ending curiosity, I try not to ask too many questions, as the mother is usually either overwhelmed with nausea, or in the process of vomiting.

The other day, our team transferred a woman with her severely emaciated daughter to the malnutrition centre. This mother wanted to talk. She cried and told us that she wants to be a good mother. She wants to treat her children well. She knew her child was becoming malnourished, but she didn’t know how to stop it. This story is repeated throughout the villages. Without food, one cannot stave off starvation.

I wonder, on a daily basis, what is required for other international actors to act.

Is it purely numbers?

Everyday more and more children arrive at the ambulatory or inpatient malnutrition centres that Medecins Sans Frontiers runs, often in such poor state that, despite treatment, they do not survive the first few hours of hospitalization.

Do we have to wait until enough children die, or enough malnourished children beyond the “normal” amount are admitted, to declare an emergency? And why is it that more energy will be spent in responding to the crisis than was ever put into preventing it?

Last year was the worst year on record in Niger in terms of malnutrition, with more than 318,000 severely malnourished children being admitted to therapeutic feeding centres throughout the country.

Considering the inexistence of grain reserves from 2010, and the poor harvest from the current year, many NGOs have predicted that the situation in 2011 will be dramatically worse than that of 2010.

In the villages, the people aren’t predicting. They are clearly stating that the food security situation is worse than it was in 2010.

With no seeds to plant, this is only the beginning of a disaster.

As I might be the only expatriate present in the villages, they are asking me to share their pleas for help with whomever may listen.

I hear the stories almost daily. I see the children who are becoming malnourished and this is not because of their mothers’ ignorance or negligence. I see a population wanting to stop the oncoming disaster from occurring. I hear them crying out for help. I hear them crying out to be acknowledged as people that have a right to life, and a right to access adequate food. And it is my responsibility to pass on these cries.

I don’t have numbers, the numbers will come too late. But I do have a great responsibility, with many lives at stake.

I fear that my appeals will be muffled by the other cries throughout the world at this time - the voices coming from Libya, Japan and all of the other countries presently in crisis. Malnutrition is endemic in Niger, and I fear that the deaths of thousands more malnourished children in Niger in 2011 will simply be seen by the international community as the continuation of an “ongoing crisis.” But these are people, these are children, and each one has the right to live.

Their deaths can be prevented.

- Trish Newport is a Whitehorse nurse who works for Medecins Sans Frontiers/Doctors Without Borders. The article was written between November 2010 and May 2011, during a mission in Niger. -

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pluto in Capricorn Stations Direct September 16 and We Stew in the Backwash of the Cardinal Grand Cross Summer of 2011

Pluto in Capricorn is currently slowing to station direct September 16 at 4 degrees Capricorn, increasing its potency and influence in the cosmic atmosphere. After the massive upheaval of the Cardinal Grand Cross summer of 2011 on Planet Earth, we can expect this station to bring a dose of the transformational yucks.

If there's one body out there that can make you feel like a painful, nasty-ass, alchemical chain reaction rather than a human being, it's our boy Pluto. If there's one body in the heavens that can make you feel like heaving, it's Pluto!

Feeling yucky, greasy, nauseated, unsettled, triggered, paranoid, exhausted, like you're radioactively glowing (that might not be just a feeling at this point) - it all comes with the Plutonic territory.

Luckily, Pluto's effects generally hit in waves (just like nausea!), so grab on, hold on, and it will pass...eventually.

Uranus in Aries is currently locked into its square series to Pluto in Capricorn, which will be exact seven times between June 2012 and March 2015. As has been well-documented in the astro blogosphere, the last time Uranus transited Aries was April 1927 to March 1935, coinciding with the stock market crash of 1929, the first years of the Great Depression and the lead-up to World War II. Pluto was in Cancer at that time, and there were five exact squares between Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn beteen April 1932 and January 1934.

We are currently seeing the traumatic events of that transit and square series being purposefully and symbolically replayed by corrupt wealth-and-resource thieves who erroneously claim to be our leaders.

We've seen what seem to be multiple symbolic acts of war, including the airplane crash deaths of the entire Polish government in April 2010 and the HAARP-induced earthquake directed at Japan which triggered a tsunami and ongoing multiple nuclear meltdowns at nuclear power facilities in Fukushima. The earthquake hit just as Uranus moved back into Aries March 11, 2011.

The Plutonic "Damn, This Shit's Bleak" Report

During the Cardinal Grand Cross summer of 2011, we in Canada and the U.S. experienced a repeat of the deadly, HAARP-induced weather modification from summer 2010 in the form of tornadoes, earthquakes, baseball-sized hail, monstrous winds, and hurricanes. Chemtrail cloud seeding created extreme levels of rain and flooding in many areas and horrific drought in others. (The entire state of Texas has been declared a disaster area due to drought. Ranchers are selling out because they cannot feed their cattle.)

Tens of thousands of people in the Horn of Africa have been and are still being allowed to starve to death by our so-called leaders. "NATO" forces dropped bombs on Libyan civilians in an illegal war but were supposedly too spooked by Somalian rebels to drop food and water aid to starving people. A likely story. How these people have been mistreated - mass murdered - needs to be clearly deposited into the consciousness of the people on this planet.

We see nations around the world entering massive economic failure due to corrupt-to-the-core global systems that make lying, insanity, and short-sighted greed pay off big. Purposefully crashing the economies is profitable for those at the top of the pyramid schemes. The International Monetary Fund, one of the United Nations' financial arms of the Global Government/New World Order, lies in wait, licking its chops as even industrialized nations, under corrupt governments, submit to economic takeovers, refered to as "structural adjustment programs." For decades, the IMF preyed on underdeveloped nations, bringing them under their thumb and ruining local economies. Now, the next echelon of bankrupt nations is ripe for the picking - Greece, Spain, Italy, Ireland, Iceland.

We saw massive rioting and destruction in London, England, spurred by an incident of police brutality/murder which seems to have incited the rage of a generation of people who have smouldered under a layer of dismal poverty and stagnance, eating shit sandwich after shit sandwich until they could not possibly eat another.

On July 1 Canada Day, under the first wave of Cardinal Grand Cross, English Royals Wills and Kate visited Canada, and the royal subjects swooned from coast to coast to coast. This was a reinforcement of rule over Canada by the British Empire and associated powers. In August, it was announced that the Canadian Armed Forces would be rebranded the Royal Canadian Air Force and Royal Canadian Navy - yet another nod to our toxic Mummy Dearest in jolly, old England. The Canadian Armed Forces shed the "Royal" stamp in 1968, but in a wave of propagandistic nostalgia, the Global Government-aligned Harper Conservatives have brought the "Royal" back with a vengeance, complete with masses of Canadians all too happy to re-pledge allegiance to the Queen and British monarchy. Wartime patriotism and pride are being stirred in preparation and hope that the people will gladly repeat the old cycle, hands on hearts.

Also in Canada, the left New Democratic Party leader Jack Layton died seemingly quite suddenly of cancer in August after a historic surge in seats in the most recent federal election, making the NDP the Official Opposition to the now-majority Harper Conservatives. The latter, of course, is the the neo-conservative NWO tool which rebranded the Government of Canada the "Harper Government," officially switching allegiance away from the people of this nation.

The nuclear reactions going on at Fukushima's nuclear power facilities, having melted through their containments, continued to spew radiactive material into the air and Pacific Ocean throughout the summer. As of June 6, the release of Plutonium-239 was confirmed in an amount 23,000 times higher than originally reported. Japan and the West Coast of North America have been radioactively contaminated, and it's doubtful that anywhere in the northern hemisphere has been unaffected. This dwarfs Chernobyl. It dwarfs the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki many times over. And it all remains under media blackout.

In the United States, home to 104 nuclear reactors, multiple reactors were put in dangerously compromised positions this summer.

In June, flooding of the Missouri River in Nebraska entirely surrounded the Fort Calhoun Station. The nuclear plant was put under an emergency alert, which only ended August 29 as flood waters receded. Nebraska's Cooper Nuclear Station, downriver from Fort Calhoun, was also threatened as the Missouri rose, and officials put out a notification of a related "unusual event." A report from Russia’s Federal Atomic Energy Agency (yes, I know, consider the source) indicated a media blackout covering up an actual nuclear accident at Fort Calhoun.

In late June, a wildfire in Los Alamos, New Mexico at the Los Alamos National Labratory (the United States' premier nuclear weapons lab) threatened to engulf outdoor drums of plutonium-contaminated waste.

On August 23, a 5.8 magnitude earthquake shifted massive containers of spent fuel at the North Anna Power Station in Mineral, Virginia and damaged concrete on the containers. The North Anna nuclear plant was reportedly designed to withstand a 5.9 to 6.1 magnitude earthquake. Miles of underground pipe carrying radioactive water and waste materials are now potentially unsound.

Another "unusual event" was reported on August 29, when a Hurricane Irene-related exposion happened in a transformer at Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant in Maryland.

Hmm...almost seems as if it's being set off on purpose, doesn't it?

Depopulation scheme?

Full-on weather wars?

A little 'Radioactive Eugenics for the Aquarian Age?'

Radioactively warp-speeding the New Age "Spiritual Evolution of the Species?"

Playing chicken with nuclear-diffusing UFOs?

Testing the (reported) presto-chango radioactivity removal capacity of the HAARP and scalar technology?

Regardless of what this unprecedented dump of radiation is, I really don't care to be part of the experiment.

End of The Plutonic "Damn, This Shit's Bleak" Report

There are hundreds more stories that could illustrate the madness of this past summer, so if you're feeling a little out-of-sorts as Pluto digs its heels in and turns direct during the month of September, you'll know why...