Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Moon in Capricorn: Fukushima, Gatekeepers, and the Big Responsibility of Thinking For Yourself

Stay on the trail...
Photos: Willow

We open into 2014 with a Plutonic-Mercurial New Moon in Capricorn on January 1.
The Sun and Moon come together in New Moon conjunction at 10 degrees Capricorn at 5:14 a.m. CST, taking us on a trip through the deep, dark, thorny underworld as we start the new year.

This New Moon falls closely conjunct both Mercury (mind, communication, information) and Pluto (hidden, power, poison), indicating that a major theme for the new year involves breaking the hold of mainstream media and its "official sources" in order to get to a clearer understanding of our reality on the planet.
As we start the new year, information (Mercury) is power (Pluto), and we have to take a much closer look at the power dynamics hidden amongst the messages coming to the populace through media and corporate communications. 
With the planet in its current state of ongoing orchestrated collapse, many people are looking to "authority figures" to tell them what to think. A good, old, strong and stern and responsible Daddy Dearest to tell them what to do and what to pay attention to.
And this practice could not be more dangerous to the future of life on this planet.
The problem is, the "authority figures" are playing the game within rotten-to-the-core Pluto in Capricorn hierarchies. The "official sources" are mostly bought and paid for at this point, looking to cover their own asses and protect their own  positions within the rotten power hierarchies. These authority figures are passing bad information around on heavy rotation, looking to further their own interests while manipulating and placating the public. 
This practice is deadly (Pluto), make no bones about it, and nowhere is this more so the case than with the information, analysis, and discourse surrounding the ongoing Fukushima nuclear disaster
In Canada, we have a go-to scientist for the masses by the name of David Suzuki. Suzuki travels around Canada and the world via carbon-spewing airplane to paid speaking gigs (usually on climate change) where he pockets up to $40,000 a pop.

You'll see him in a photo to the left (Holger Motzkau 2010, Wikipedia/Wikimedia Commons) accepting his "Right Livelihood Award" in 2009. (barf) In 2004, a poll taken by the state broadcaster here named him the Greatest Living Canadian. (barf again)
I noticed some previously uninterested ears started perking up in late 2013 when Suzuki released information on Fukushima. All of a sudden, with David Suzuki weighing in, people started to take a bit of notice.
Suzuki really got people's attention when he said that we could potentially be facing the evacuation of the West Coast of Canada and the United States due to the radioactive fallout from the Daiichi nuclear reactors at Fukushima, Japan.
The problem there is that we've known what Suzuki was stating - and much more - for almost three years now. He was not producing any new information or analysis (though it may have been news to most of the mainstream public). He was not producing any crucial research of his own - though he has the means and resources to produce it.

Instead, he was using an "old news," sensationalized angle on Fukushima to get the public's attention - and to hold it.
And here we have an illustration of the "gatekeeper" effect.

People start looking to Suzuki as "the authority figure" on this issue. They look to him for information, analysis, and guidance. They look to what he is saying in order to determine what to think about the situation themselves. They put their trust in this nationally-known scientist who has been given a large public platform via his long-term role with the state broadcaster (Canadian Broadcast Corporation or CBC).
Suzuki is paid by the state broadcaster, has been made a "science star" by the state broadcaster, in a country that is the number two exporter of uranium worldwide. He is the national, mainstream scientific voice in a country that exports Candu nuclear reactors around the globe.

He is not going to threaten that position.
The information this gatekeeper is releasing is partial, watered-down, incorrect, manipulative, dangerous, and deadly.
From the beginning, Suzuki has downplayed the severe threat the radioactive fallout from Fukushima poses to life on this planet.
In a written column released in October 2013 (way past the point when he should know better), Suzuki makes various false claims that are also being spread by other "official sources" through the mainstream media. His column reads like a propaganda press release from the federal government or United Nations. (Link: http://www.straight.com/news/499616/david-suzuki-despite-fukushima-scientists-say-eating-west-coast-fish-safe)
- Suzuki declares Pacific Ocean seafood safe to eat. The arrogance of this statement alone is astonishing, considering we are experiencing an unprecedented nuclear disaster involving the ongoing contamination of the Pacific Ocean. Suzuki makes this declaration despite thousands of reports over the past three years of heightened radioactivity in foods along the West Coast - produce and seafood. California prunes and almonds have been found to contain Cesium-134, a signature of the Fukushima disaster. Cesium was found in topsoil along the West Coast. Bluefin tuna caught off the coast of California was tested and all samples tested showed radioactive Cesium present. Reports of starfish being wiped out, turning to mush, all along the West Coast don't bother Suzuki. Reports of sea life crowding around the shores along the coast in ways no one has ever seen before don't bother Suzuki. There are unprecedented declines in king salmon in Alaska this year (also referred to as Chinook salmon). Unlike other varieties of salmon, these fish like cold, deep waters and will travel further into the ocean to find them. They also eat other fish. These characteristics make this breed of salmon more likely to come into contact with radioactive fallout from the Daiichi nuclear reactors in Fukushima, Japan. But none of this impresses Suzuki.

- Suzuki, like many other scientists, claims the ocean has "diluted" much of the radioactivity released (and still being released day-and-night) by the spewing Daiichi nuclear reactors. The truth is: it's impossible to dilute radioactively-charged isotopes. The ocean is simply spreading them around, not diluting them. This is an unprecedented situation, and scientists simply do not know how the ocean will distribute the radioactivity. There is no decrease in the overall level of radioactivity by spreading the particles around. Radioactively contaminated water is being released into the Pacific Ocean regularly and has been since the disaster began.
- Suzuki likens the radioactive risk from eating Pacific Ocean seafood to the amount of radioactivity you would be exposed to in an airplane ride or two. This is false. The major threat now is with ingestible radioactive particles. These particles can register a relatively low background radiation level, but ingesting even one particle could be deadly. These radioactive particles attach to the human body, especially to the lungs, irradiating the tissues surrounding them. Background radiation levels have very little to do with it.
- Suzuki doesn't once mention the Plutonium that was released from the explosion at the Unit 3 reactor or any of the other radioactive isotopes released. Like most nuclear shills, he focuses on Cesium-134 - a radioactive isotope that decays fairly rapidly - so as to assuage public concerns.
You will see this tactic yet again in a Scientific American article on radioactivity found in kelp off the coast of California in March 2011. The article focuses on the elevated levels of radioactive iodine that were found in kelp after the initial nuclear disaster, in some cases, 250 times the usual levels. 
But again, the article downplays the radioactive threat by focusing on something that will quickly be removed from the environment (radioactive iodine). Additional tests would have to have been done for each radioactive isotope (Uranium, Plutonium, Strontium, Cesium, etc.) in order to determine contamination by them. Instead, the scientists tested only for radioactive iodine.
The Scientific American article falsely claims there is no public health threat from the radioactivity from Fukushima. It also downplays Fukushima, claiming that Chernobyl was worse (wrong again). And again, just like with Suzuki, we have meaningless comparisons to "natural" background radiation that exists in the ocean so as to assure us that everything is just hunky dory.
Nowhere do Suzuki or the Scientific American article mention the other isotopes such as Uranium-234, Uranium-235, or Plutonium-239 which have half-lives in the thousands, tens of thousands, or millions of years. All these isotopes and more have been released - are still being released - from the Daiichi reactors. The fuel from the reactors has been aerosolized by the explosions and is now circling the globe in the atmosphere, coming down via precipitation. The isotopes are contaminating the Pacific Ocean, more every day, producing radioactivity levels that cannot sustain life.
- Suzuki touts the World Health Organization and the United Nations as reliable sources - yet more illegitimate "authorities" on the subject. The WHO claims radioactive particles that make their way to North America’s waters will have a limited effect on human health. It also predicts concentrations to be below its own declared safety levels. Again, there is absolutely no way the World Health Organization can make such outlandish claims with an unprecedented disaster like this.
- Suzuki also mentions radioactivity testing of food by Health Canada, which has been criminally lax since the disaster occurred. Health Canada, like most of the world governments, is not testing food, milk, or water for radioactive contamination in any meaningful or ongoing way. In May 2011, Health Canada reluctantly tested 24 samples of milk from British Columbia. It did not release the levels it was using as "allowable amounts," and it also did not release the exact amounts of radioactivity found, making the tests almost meaningless. Despite the fact that radioactive Strontium 90 was found in small amounts in nine of the milk samples, Canada's milk was declared completely safe and within normal range by Health Canada in 2011.
Independent tests ordered and paid for by private citizens ($400 per milk sample) were required to uncover the Strontium contamination. (This independent testing of milk also ripped the lid off Strontium contamination in Canadian milk that has been present since United States nuclear weapons testing in the 1950s.)

The "official sources" claim the people of Japan are safe from radioactivity. But we have private citizens taking their own Geiger counter readings in Tokyo that are twice the level at which Chernobyl was evacuated.
We have a "state secrets" law forced through Japanese Parliament designed to criminalize journalists, activists, doctors, scientists, and citizens speaking out about the effects of the nuclear disaster. Any health effects or deaths related to the disaster will be swiftly covered up and hushed up.
The "official sources" claim that the West Coast of Canada and the United States is safe from radioactive fallout. But we have private citizens taking Geiger counter readings on the beach outside San Francisco, California that are reaching alert levels multiple times without even touching the sand. 
Medical officials are stumped when it comes to a jump in babies being born with anencephaly in Washington state.
Anencephaly is a terrible birth defect affecting the brain and skull where babies are born blind, deaf, and unable to feel pain. The prognosis for these babies is death.
The usual rate of anencephaly is 1 or 2 per 10,000 births. In three Washington counties, Yakima, Benton, and Franklin, the rate for anencephaly is now 8 in 10,000 births.
Not one "official" can seem to pinpoint a cause. But A Green Road blog pointed us in the right direction.
Benton county in Washington state is the home of the Hanford nuclear site, declared the most contaminated nuclear site in America. Residents of Hanford, Washington were given 30-day eviction notices in 1943 so that the area could be set up as part of the Manhattan Project. The Manhattan Project brought together some of the brightest scientific minds with the intention of developing the atomic bomb for its abilities of mass destruction.
Hanford was a plutonium-producing site, producing the most deadly substance on Earth.
Nuclear waste products from the Hanford site were disposed of by burial in the surrounding desert. Leaks from the containment vessels have been a problem for decades.
With radioactive fallout now coming from Fukushima, blanketing the West Coast of the U.S. and Canada as well as the entire northern hemisphere, we are reaching radioactive tipping points where the layered contamination is too much for biological organisms such as ourselves to withstand, and symptoms and birth defects are starting to show.

A study released in 2013 found a 28% increase in infant hyperthyroidism in babies born in Hawaii, California, Oregon, Washington, and Alaska in the months following Fukushima. Around 40% of children examined in the Fukushima area were found to have thyroid abnormalities. Thyroid problems are associated with exposure to radioactive iodine following a nuclear release.
Yet, nary an "official" can come up with any of these connections.

Gatekeepers like Suzuki are complicit in mass murder. Harsh words, but these are harsh times.

Japanese-Canadian Suzuki is also complicit in the mass murder of his own countrymen and women. He's complicit in the mass murder and destruction of the children of his home country, all while soaking up the awards and accolades in this country, shilling for the propaganda-pushers at the state broadcaster, funded by the federal government, which is funded in part by massive worldwide uranium and nuclear reactor sales.  
Place the responsibility for this complicity firmly with the scientists, the journalists, the government officials, the financiers, and the nuclear industry who are lying to the public, who are diverting the public, who are keeping crucially necessary information and education from the public.
Coyote tracks
This Plutonic-Mercurial New Moon opening the year is a prime and shining portal into: thinking for yourself. Doing your own research. Putting two and two together on your own. Making the connections that are intentionally being hidden from you. Proving the case to yourself in an irrefutable way. Debunking the puffed-up authorities and official sources who are diverting and manipulating and lying. Using your whip-smart intuition to tell you the real story, to help you read between the official lines.
Pluto involves a process of unceremoniously ripping off the blinders. With Mercury in Capricorn conjunct Pluto, we're penetrating the influence on our minds and on consensus reality of illegitimate and fibbing "official sources."
One very potent layer of ongoing information warfare involves the use of gatekeepers. And one very potent layer of this New Moon in Capricorn involves bringing our personal minds out from under the influence of these gatekeepers and of the corporate communications agenda, in general.
The term gatekeeper refers to an "official source" who works to control the information and public discourse on a particular issue. Gatekeepers are often insiders of sorts and, as a result, have insider information at their disposal that is not readily available to the public. Gatekeepers carefully craft, shape, and release this information according to an overall message conducive to the official line coming from the establishment. A tone is set via the gatekeeper.
Often this tone involves a "carry on, no big deal, nothing to see here" theme. This would be the case with Mr. Suzuki.
Other times, the gatekeeper is releasing information that would be damaging to the establishment if it were allowed to spread freely through the populace. When the informational levy will no longer hold, so to speak, and the public is catching on in a big way (as is the case with Fukushima), these individuals are put in place to mind the gate and to shape the public discourse.
Gatekeepers release information at strategic times in order to hold and mould the public's attention on a certain issue. Because the information released is often insider information, it can be very provocative to the public.
Gatekeepers always have some real information to work with, some insider information, and this keeps people on the hook, feeling that the individual has to be legitimate. ("If he's telling us about x, y, and z, he MUST be for real.")
The problem here isn't necessarily that the information is false (though it certainly can be). The problem is with the gatekeeper dynamic itself. This dynamic keeps people looking to a gatekeeper for information and guidance as the "authority" rather than thinking for themselves and doing their own research.
Information released by a gatekeeper is often important to include in our research, but it does not tell the whole story. This is also the case with the stories coming out of mainstream media.
People need to be digging, researching, following leads, and sourcing information on their own, sussing out the real deal sources from the manipulations and joining with others who are doing the same. But the gatekeeper framework keeps people in passive "following" mode, looking to be spoon fed information rather than getting anywhere on their own.
Gatekeepers will never get to the roots. They will never go as deeply as they need to go. They will never finger the parties truly responsible. To do so would be to threaten their own positions, and this is particularly the case for anyone who has been allowed a large public platform from which to operate. 
Arnie Gundersen is (in my mind) a nuclear gatekeeper of the latter variety speaking out on Fukushima and consistently pointing the finger at the Tokyo Electric Power Company. His information is good, but again, he is controlling the public discourse.

What about the entire worldwide nuclear scam? This goes far beyond Tepco, far beyond Japan as a nation. What about the nuclear programme the government of his country, the U.S.A., has participated in and furthered for decades? What about the continued use of depleted uranium munitions by his country's military? What about the store of atomic weapons in the United States, also allowed to its allies? What about the governmental officials and nuclear industry proponents that have made Canada the number two exporter of uranium worldwide? What about the glut of uranium mines held by the Queen of England? What about all the people benefitting financially from the nuclear industry via stock markets? What about the journalists, media, and public relations firms lying to people, omitting crucial information, and perpetrating the massive media blackout?
Tepco is the tip of the nuclear criminal iceberg! But you will rarely see someone like Arnie Gundersen getting any deeper, touching any of the real threads.

You have to be able to sense what these gatekeepers aren't telling you because it's generally more important than what they are telling you.

You have to be willing to go the extra mile yourself - none of the so-called official sources is going to take you.
Gatekeepers will not go to the roots, and this is, in fact, what they are designed for - to keep people away from the real Plutonic roots, the real power structures that are doing damage on this planet. It's a smoke and mirrors show that uses real information to divert from the bigger picture. It diverts from the extent of the problem, from the extent of the responsibility, and from the extent of the criminality.
If you really unravel Fukushima and follow the threads right down to the roots, the entire power structure of this planet is proven corrupt - governments, industry, financiers, media, everything. But gatekeepers don't encourage the public to unravel those threads. They don't encourage people to hold responsible the parties who are truly responsible.
The false claim that "humanity brought this on itself" is also making the rounds regarding Fukushima. The truth is, it's a very small group of people that has put nuclear in place, that has allowed it to take root. We hold them responsible. Most people on this planet don't want nuclear energy or nuclear weapons, and they never did.
In order to get to the real story, we have to dig through information, find sources, and pour through bits and pieces in order to scrap together an irrefutable case. We have to be proving things to ourselves and doing the independent, critical thinking required, rather than blindly accepting the analysis of official sources. 
It is private, independent citizens who are doing the real work, who are creating the real resistance to the worldwide media blackouts.

And it is we who hold the real power.

From the beginning, we have had every official source lying to us, manipulating information, omitting information, and making outlandishly false claims from positions on high.

And from the very beginning, we have spit that back in their faces.

People, we are truly awesome! The power of loving, thinking, feeling human beings coming together in a common cause is awesome. The power of truth and legitimacy always towers over lies and illegitimacy, no matter how much firepower and might they may have. Don't lose sight of that.

It's members of the public - private citizens with no special training - who have been on top of this event since the beginning, who are still covering this event, who are educating people about this event, who are hitting the tipping points.

We knew every step of the way what was really going on. Every false angle was debunked, chewed up, spat back as garbage. We knew we were being lied to. We know we are still being lied to. And we refuse to swallow the false, watered-down information being produced and spread about by these "official sources."

Understand that we are the most powerful substance on this planet - more powerful that Plutonium because we have Pluto on our side. It's the people still willing to think who have the power with this one. It's the people still willing to trust their intuitive hunches and to follow those intuitive hunches to the sources.

And if you are reading this blog, this is you.

It's very easy to debunk the official lines. It's very easy to prove the official sources liars or, at best, ignorant, misguided, and manipulative. I could discredit Mr. Suzuki's bland pablum columns on Fukushima in my sleep.

What it's not easy to debunk is the truth, the reality being scrapped together, bit-by-bit, by thinking, feeling, loving human beings who do not wish to see the continuation of the current course on this planet.

Understand the power we hold now. Understand the power of the freely operating human mind, coming to its own conclusions, making it's own connections, compiling its own valid sources.

Release the jumble of confusing, contradicting "official information" at this Capricorn New Moon and come up with something better. Liberate your mind into its full power this January 1. We need you.

Some Things You Can Do to Avoid Radiation:

- eliminate foods from the Pacific Ocean - or from any ocean if you want to be very careful
- eliminate foods imported from Japan
- limit dairy and meat intake, where radioactivity bio-accumulates
- eat foods from greenhouses
- eliminate or limit West Coast produce, if possible
- stay out of the rain, snow, and dirt whenever possible, as fallout is coming down in precipitation
- buy a personal Geiger counter to monitor background levels. Stay indoors when levels are high. Keep in mind that radioactive particles can still be harmful even when background levels are low.
- look into air filtration systems for your home
- have "outside clothes" and "inside clothes." Don't bring outside clothes or shoes into your home. Leave them in a porch, mudroom, or in a sealed plastic bag.
- take baths in water with baking soda
- bentonite clay and activated charcoal have been suggested as de-toxifiers
- boost your immune system naturally with things like turmeric, garlic, ginger, lemon, apple cider vinegar, dandelion, curry powder, vitamins and minerals. Raw honey, oil of oregano, and colloidal silver all have natural antibiotic properties. Research natural remedies first and use your intuition, as they are not "one size fits all" and can cause unwanted side effects. Use a variety of immune system boosters.
- Vitamin C has been found to reverse damage from radiation exposure, with liposomal Vitamin C being particularly effective (though expensive).
- eat a clean diet - no GMOs, additives, chemicals, preservatives, or processed food. This helps your immune system, as there is less crap to process.
- eat more raw vegetables and fruits
- eliminate or limit sugar, which feeds cancer cells
- alkalize your system to protect against cancer. Eat more alkalizing foods (veggies & some fruits) & less acidic ones (bread, flour, meat, dairy, sugar).
- research the use of baking soda to alkalize your body.
- drink lots of clean, non-chemically treated water. Add a squeeze of lemon juice.
- remember that many recommended remedies for radiation exposure come from the sea (kelp, seaweed, etc.). Go to the sources before purchase. Certain mushroom varieties are said to be protective for radiation, but mushrooms also soak radioactivity up like crazy. Some definite Catch-22s.

For information and analysis on Fukushima:

Other Willow's Web articles on Fukushima
Energy News
BeautifulGirlByDana on YouTube
The Food Lab - scroll down to your country

Friday, December 13, 2013

A Peaceful and Contented Solstice to You from Willow's Web Astrology

Cactus plant flowers signal a time to draw back in, to relax, to ease your pace.
Photos: Willow

Winter solstice is just ahead in the northern hemisphere, and the daylight hours are getting short. The Sun enters Capricorn on December 21 (11:11 a.m. Central Standard Time), marking the shortest day in the wintry northern hemisphere and the longest day in the summery southern.

In the northern hemisphere, this is a time of year to draw back into ourselves, to relax our pace, and to let go of some of the usual demands on ourselves so that the mysterious dark half of the year can weave its magic.

My cactus plant (inherited from my sweet Sagittarius Grandma, born today) is blooming beautifully now, and we can take our cues from it and from the rest of the natural world.

When the days start to get shorter and the sunlight weaker, the cactus plant takes it as an opportunity to produce its beautiful flowers. The plant draws back into itself for a while, slowing its overall growth, and the gorgeous blooms are a result.

To experience the beauty and mystery of this time of year, rather than the depression and low energy, it's necessary that we regulate our lives according to a slower pace. It's necessary that we ease up on ourselves. Just as the plants and animals are not pushing full speed ahead now, we must check in with our bodies and with how we feel. We must check in with our energy levels, first and foremost, rather than deferring to the never-ending To Do lists of things we "have to" complete.

One of the major problems with the corporate model of living and working, particularly under Pluto transiting Capricorn, is that it does not take into account the natural ebb and flow of energy in biological life forms.

People are put on the clock, on standard schedules year-round, and this sets them up for dysfunction, ill health, anxiety, depression, and a sense of failure if they cannot complete the usual list of tasks in the usual timeframes.

There is very little "letting up" in the current structures according to the cycles of nature.

The standard schedules, the demanding routines, and the lists of action items are relentless, and this is a big part of what puts people's systems off course. They will often then blame themselves for a "lack of productivity," asking why they can't just be "normal," and this increases the bad feelings.

We're soon moving into Capricorn season (December 21 to January 19), a sign ruled by Saturn, and depression and decreased energy - in contrast to a desire for sustained progress and achievement - are themes of both that sign and planet.

From a previous post:

"There is a natural ebb and flow to the energy of a human being. The Moon cycles are a big indicator of this. But we are in the Pluto in Capricorn years: caffeine and drug-fuelled to keep us going and going and going. We are in a series of years when it's considered a sickness if you need to rest, if you need to slow down, if you need to just stop for a little while.

We're convinced by a toxic pharmaceutical-pushing medical establishment that we need to be medicated. We need to be more "up" or more "down" or more something in order to be normal, sane, healthy.

Not once does that medical establishment look at the insanity of the constant merry-go-round. Not once does it look at the intentional disruption of the biological systems on this planet. Not once does it look at our food, our water, our air, our mental, psychic, and physical environments.

And so it misses the point...

Again, understand the insanity of a system that ignores this fundamental energy cycle, this Moon cycle, this ebb and flow, this soul root. Don't make the natural reactions of your biology and emotional chemistry into the insane things."

I wrote in the same post about the links between depression in individuals and the degree of collective denial and cognitive dissonance related to the true state of the planet at this time.

For example, the public, en masse, is just starting to get a taste of what's really going on in Fukushima, Japan - what has been going on in an ongoing way for almost three years now.

The lid is being ripped off the devastation that has been done by nuclear energy and nuclear weapons all around the world. The radioactive contamination is layered, coming from many past and present events, and we're starting to get a broader picture of just how precarious our lives are in the shadow of all this (unnecessary) nuclear activity.

The public is just starting to understand what this means for the future.

Understand that as this information (and more) comes more strongly into the public psyche, there is going to be anxiety, depression, desperation, agitation, anger, and fear, and this collective reaction will affect individuals.

Understand that there are forces attempting to start another world war, under the ongoing square series between Uranus and Pluto, and this, too, creates massive collective anxiety and stress without a distinct cause to place our fingers upon.

It's going to take a deep, relaxed, meditative winter state in order to navigate the seismic shifts with our mental, emotional, and physical health left as undisturbed as possible.

Contemplate the beauty and wisdom of that flowering cactus plant and trust.

We are moving to a Gemini Full Moon on December 17 (3:28 a.m. CST), which opposes both the Sun at 25 degrees Sagittarius and Mercury at 18 degrees Sagittarius.

On that very same day, with emotions heightened, the planet of sudden change, revolution, and shocks to the system, Uranus, stations direct at 8 degrees Aries (11:29 a.m.).

These astrological events indicate the potential for an anxious and mentally agitated time. This is a very cerebral Full Moon,  and with the energy and effects of Uranus so potent, we have to watch that the neural connections pinging off don't overload our psyches. There will be a lot of energy running through us during the week of December 16 - 22, and the current structures will not fully contain it. Many will be chomping at the bit, desiring a radical break from current conditions.

Uranus will move direct from that December 17 station into the exact cardinal Grand Cross April 21 - 24, 2014, which includes the fifth of its seven exact squares to Pluto. This Uranus direct station initiates some big seismic shifts that will be brought to a head during that configuration in April.

We also have malefic planet Mars in detriment in Libra entering the cardinal Grand Cross fray at the end of December (December 23, 2013 to January 8, 2014). This adds a definite edge to the proceedings, especially in interpersonal relations.

Mars in Libra opposes Uranus in Aries December 25. It squares Pluto in Capricorn December 30. It squares Jupiter in Cancer January 8, 2014.

With Mars tightly square Pluto, we open into the new year with a New Moon in Capricorn at 10 degrees on January 1, 2014 (5:14 a.m.). That Capricorn New Moon will be tightly conjunct both Mercury and Pluto. In other words, Mercury (mind), the Moon (emotions), and the Sun (conscious current moment) will be crossing through the Plutonic underworld as we open into the new year.

The Pluto-infused New Moon has the possibility of opening into some very bleak, dark, and disturbing information. Some blinders are coming off - en masse and individually - and it likely won't be pretty. There can be no denying what we see and feel as we enter 2014. There can be no denying the collective circumstances in which we find ourselves.

The worldwide media blackout on Fukushima could become more widely known around this time. It is becoming impossible for the state to maintain perfect control on this issue. The levy is about to break, so to speak, and watered-down and manipulated "official information" will continue to be released. Official gatekeepers will be speaking from their carefully-crafted platforms in order to direct and control public discourse.

Overall, shadowy mind and information control is a theme as we enter 2014, in addition to ongoing spying on private citizens by the state.

It will be a challenge to keep our balance and our peace of mind as we shift into the new year. Draw on the image of that flowering cactus plant! And maintain your meditative, energy-saving state.

Since late August 2013, we've experienced three major waves of cardinal Grand Cross action activated by bodies transiting relationship sign, Libra.

The personal planets in Libra have been interacting in dynamic fashion with Uranus in Aries, Jupiter in Cancer, and Pluto in Capricorn, repeatedly forming two oppositions (180-degree aspects) or four squares (90-degrees aspects). These squares/oppositions in the cardinal signs create periods of acute tension, pressure, crisis, and friction, squeezing us into new ways of doing things, like it or not.

These Grand Cross formations, also referred to as Grand Squares, trigger a cardinal requirement in relationships of all kinds: social leadership, initiation of new directions, strong decision-making, new frameworks and rules, new emotional realities.

The first cardinal Grand Cross wave was activated by Venus in Libra in late August 2013. The second wave was activated by Mercury in Libra in mid-September 2013. The third wave was activated by the Sun in Libra during the first half of October 2013.

Now we enter the fourth and fifth waves, triggered by Mars in Libra, and those waves could literally change everything, altering our directions - in relationships and otherwise - in ways we could not have expected.

Buckle your seatbelts. Some turbulence is to be expected as we close 2013 and enter 2014.

From a post August 15, 2013 "Venus Enters Home Sweet Home Libra, Kicking Off the Cardinal Grand Crosses":

"We're being positioned and re-positioned - often dramatically, often unexpectedly - in an effort to reformulate relationships and social scenes to better fit the requirements of the astrological Aquarian era. Rules are changing. Ideals are shifting. Conventions are dissolving. Power dynamics are breaking down.

We can expect situations to escalate around the times that the Grand Crosses become exact, reaching crisis points that require decisiveness and leadership. These crises will often be related to the failure of the old set-ups, requiring that we find a new way...and quickly.

With Pluto involved in the Grand Crosses, potentially uncomfortable issues related to power are being drawn to the surface in relationships with an impetus to examine, make aware, and then transform. With Uranus involved, relationships and personal directions within relationship can change dramatically and unexpectedly as new insights and events arise. People will be rebelling from attempts to pigeonhole them in outdated relationship roles. With Jupiter in the mix, it is our wisdom, our truth, and our personal guiding philosophies (and those of our families) that provide shelter during the Grand Cross storms."

The energy and events kicked up by the previous cardinal Grand Cross waves have set the tone and the impetus for a whole new social framework to unfold in 2014. We have been forced out of old relating patterns - sometimes kicking, wailing, and screaming - and now have to take a hard line so that we don't fall back.

That hard line is upheld by both relationship planets - Venus and Mars - in extended stays in cardinal signs, including retrograde periods. For more on this: "Venus and Mars Retrograde: Cardinal Relationship Shifts and a Fight for Right Human Relations in 2014"

There are big, structural shifts coming about in 2014. There are major decisions to be made and bold moves to be taken, and all this was initiated by the first waves of cardinal Grand Cross action beginning in late August 2013.

Again, we will need to maintain that meditative, matter-of-fact, naturally-flowing, and energy-saving state in order to keep our balance...and our sanity!

There is a re-balancing of relationships underway, and the most common dynamic will be women taking more control and responsibility for having their needs met (Venus in Capricorn) with men shifting their orientations in relationship (Mars in Libra) in light of this.

We're sharing power, sharing the decision-making and responsibilities. We're building relationships that are mutually supportive and successful.

But with Venus transiting Capricorn, women, in particular, must hold the line on the rules and standards that work for them, taking charge in the process of constructing relationships that will sustain over the long-term.

It is no longer enough for women to sit back as passive participants, waiting to see what the man brings them and hoping it meets their needs. (In same sex relationships, it is no longer enough for one member to take on the passive role and one to take on the dominant role.) This was a Piscean-era construct, the damsel in distress waiting for her rescuing Knight.

Women must now take control of having their own needs met in relationship, not accepting less than their standards any step of the way. This will have quite a revolutionary effect on the relationship game.

It will predominantly be men and the masculine energy, in general, doing the balancing and re-balancing in relation to women and the feminine energy holding that hard line. It is the expression of the masculine energy that requires the most re-direction in relationships now.

There are big, structural shifts underway this December and January. But again, we need to implement and navigate these shifts as naturally and matter-of-factly as possible so that we do not expend excessive amounts of energy (especially in relationship) and unbalance ourselves.

Restraint is required in relationships, including sexually, despite our end-of-era loneliness and isolation. This theme is reinforced with Saturn (restraint, limits, boundaries) transiting Scorpio (sex, intimacy, merger) for almost all of 2014.

We need to tunnel down into that relaxed, meditative, and energy-saving state, making the changes and moves we know we need to make with as little stress, fuss, and muss as possible, as naturally as a cactus plant producing its winter blooms.