Thursday, April 28, 2016

Saturn in Sagittarius, Dispositor Jupiter in Virgo, and Puncturing Corporate Spin on GMOs

Recent announcements by several major processed food corporations - including Kellogg's, General Mills, and Campbell's - that they will start labeling genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in their products bring up some issues that are highly pertinent during the transit of Saturn through Sagittarius (December 2014 to December 2017).

What follows is an excerpt from an article I wrote on the transit, which appears in Issue #2 of Hexagon Astrology Magazine.

"During this Saturn transit, we will be working with a number of suppressed (Saturn) truths (Sagittarius) within our cultures. This involves some of the knowledge we absolutely must master in order to be successful from here on in...

The spread of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and the continued infiltration of the food supply are major "suppressed truth" subjects on which we must get a strong handle during the transit of Saturn through Sagittarius.

Damage to animal health has been shown in multiple scientific feeding trials of GMO diets published since 2012. The Seralini study, the Carman study, the Kruger study, the Italian study on GM soybeans and goats: all indicated animal health damage from GM diets. Reproductive damage, digestive damage, liver and kidney damage, tumors, DNA changes, immunity issues, low weights, and premature death were just some of the problems observed.

If animals are exhibiting this GMO-related health damage, it is almost certain that the humans eating the animals, animal products, and GM crops will eventually experience similar problems.

Despite bans on genetically modified seeds and crops, genetically modified canola has been found growing wild at four sites in Switzerland. (These represent four “scientifically documented” cases, not the full extent of the problem.)

Conventional canola is now so contaminated by genetically modified versions that GM canola plants are spreading wherever canola is transported or planted. This means that even nation-wide or continent-wide bans cannot stop the spread of genetically modified seeds and plants.

Here, we see the challenges of living in a world of global trade where decisions made in one country can negatively affect other countries halfway across the world (a Saturn in Sagittarius theme).

The labeling of foods containing GMOs, often touted as a solution, is also not fully effective. The truly insidious problem is the unintentional and undesired spread of GMOs into natural crops. Labels would cover only those foods knowingly produced with GMOs. Unintentional contamination – a widespread problem – would continue to fly under the radar.

These are examples where the anti-GMO rhetoric (“labeling will solve the problem,” “banning GMOs from our country will solve the problem,”) is not the full truth. The solutions being proposed and accepted at a mass level are not fully effective.

We will be confronted with many instances during Saturn’s transit of Sagittarius when the accepted rhetoric, including in alternative scenes, is not fully effective or truthful. It will be up to us to call these out."


A SATURN IN SAGITTARIUS CASE STUDY


The largest processed food corporation in the world, Nestle, announced on April 20, 2016 that it is removing genetically modified ingredients from six of its top ice cream brands - Edy's, Haagen Daaz, Skinny Cow, Outshine, Nestle Ice Cream, and Nestle Drumstick.

"With a focus on simplifying ingredient lists while maintaining the same great tastes consumers have grown to love, the newest changes vary across more than 100 products, with examples including the removal of artificial colors and flavors, high fructose corn syrup and GMO ingredients,” the press release states.

This move by Nestle is being applauded by many.

However, this is a perfect example of the accepted rhetoric - and the corporate public relations spin machines - not being fully truthful about the situation.

Please allow me to call this one out...

Ice cream is made from milk (or "milk ingredients" if we are talking corporate ice cream, as we are in this case). Milk comes from dairy cattle. Dairy cattle, and most livestock across the board, are being fed genetically modified feed in the mainstream (non-organic) agricultural systems.

Corn is one of the largest genetically modified crops in the world, and it is routinely used as livestock feed. Alfalfa is another common feed for livestock, either in plant form or in dried hay form. Genetically modified alfalfa was unleashed in North America in 2011 and has since widely contaminated the natural alfalfa crop. (Alfalfa is a feral, perennial plant, meaning it comes back year-after-year without being sown again, and it grows and spreads like a weed.)

So Nestle can win big public praise and enjoy mucho corporate spin from its announcement that it is "removing GMO ingredients" from its products.

But what Nestle really means is that it is removing ingredients that are knowingly genetically modified, such as high fructose corn syrup, which is made directly from genetically modified corn.

Nestle knows the high fructose corn syrup it uses is genetically modified. This would be provable in a court of law should Nestle label its products free of GMO ingredients and continue to use this corn syrup.

However, the milk Nestle uses for its ice cream is also genetically modified - just in a more roundabout and less easily proven way. It may not be directly considered a genetically modified ingredient, but the milk Nestle uses in its ice cream products is almost certainly contaminated with genetically modified organisms - either through feeding the dairy cattle a known GM crop (corn) or through feeding the cattle a crop that has become unintentionally and unknowingly contaminated with GMOs (alfalfa).

The same is true for any conventionally produced animal product, including meat and eggs. Almost across the board, the conventional agricultural system feeds livestock genetically modified feed (corn, alfalfa, soy, etc.), and this practise contaminates the food.

From the Nestle U.S.A. website:

"Q. Do you consider ingredients derived from animals fed with GMO feed to be GMO ingredients?

We do not consider ingredients derived from animals fed with GMO feed to be GMO ingredients...

Q. Are GMO ingredients safe?

Foods made with GMO ingredients are as safe as foods made with ingredients from conventional crops." 

Now, every time a corporation releases a statement about labeling GMOs or removing GM ingredients, it suddenly gets a big, shiny gold star from some of the less shrewd (though I'm sure well-meaning) members of the anti-GMO movement.

Nestle gets to look like a big hero by announcing its plans, even though these plans amount to little more than a half-assed gimmick that will not, in actuality, rid its products of GMOs.

There was a very interesting YouTube video making the rounds a few years ago of an old interview of then-Nestle CEO Peter Brabeck. Brabeck has since risen up the ranks and sits as Chairman of the Board of Nestle. The interview quite clearly exposed the eugenicist beliefs of this man and the eugenicist roots of this food corporation (and I use the term "food" very loosely here).

In the interview, Brabeck sings the praises of genetically modified foods, attempting to convince the public that they are perfectly safe to eat:

"But organic is not best. After 15 years of eating GM food products in the U.S.A., not one single case of illness has occurred from eating them to date."

Brabeck also shares his profound wisdom that water should not be free to the general population and that the idea that water is a basic human right is "extreme."

Yes, you read that correctly. Brabeck believes that the people of Earth should have to pay for the privilege of water to drink:

"There's that lovely old Austrian folk song, 'The dear cattle need water, hollera, holleri,' if you remember. Water is of course the most important raw material we have today in the world. It's a question of whether we should privatise the normal water supply for the population. And there are two different opinions on the matter. The one opinion which I think is extreme is represented by the NGOs, who bang on about declaring water a public right. That means that as a human being, you should have a right to water. That's an extreme solution. And the other view says that water is a foodstuff like any other, and like any other foodstuff, it should have a market value. Personally, I believe it's better to give a foodstuff a value so that we're all aware that it has its price."

(Shall we also commodify the very air that we breathe for corporate profit? If people like Brabeck could, they would.)

Now, Brabeck doesn't believe in water as a basic human right, nor does he believe that water should be free for the populace.

He does, however, believe that water should be free to his corporation.

For many years, Nestle has extracted groundwater in bulk from multiple locations around the world for nothing or next-to-nothing, bottling it and then selling it back to the public at huge mark-ups.

In just one of those locations - Hope, British Columbia - Nestle was extracting hundreds of millions of litres of water per year without paying a cent. "Nestle Bottles Millions of Litres of Canadian Water - and Pays Nothing" by Dan Fumano

Amidst public pressure to crack down on this free corporate extraction of groundwater, the British Columbia provincial government now requires Nestle to pay.

Yes, Nestle extracts an estimated 319.5 million litres (71 million gallons) of water every single year from the Hope, B.C. area alone and is now required to pay the British Columbia government $265 per year to do so.

Two hundred and sixty five dollars per year.

Nestle then bottles that water and sells it back to us at $2 a pop for a 500 millilitre bottle.

Nestle even continued to extract water from a California native tribe's water basin as the state was crippled by the 500-year drought.

Kunkeltown, Pennsylvania is Nestle Corp.'s latest target for this morally criminal bulk water extraction. Residents of the town are fighting back after a 2014 zoning change left them open to Nestle pillaging their water supply.

The cattle need their (bottled) water, don't you know?

With the North Node of the Moon and Jupiter transiting Virgo (with Jupiter a major influencing placement as dispositor of Saturn in Sagittarius), there are fine distinctions that must be made, clarified, and hammered home as the corrupt Pluto in Capricorn-era corporate culture rolls out its grand pronouncements and shiny publicity stunts.

Truly eradicating the devastating contamination of our food supply by genetically modified organisms - grown without restriction for decades now - will take far more effort, far more diligence, and far more desire than these corporations are willing to put forth.

These are surface-level gimmicks designed to placate and fool the public.

To truly root out the evil of these nefarious corporations, we need to get out of the stream of corporate press releases and public relations spin.

And we need to eliminate processed foods from our diets altogether.

Instead of adding to corporate coffers, spend your money at Farmer's Markets or on locally-sourced foods in the supermarket that are produced ethically, without GMOs, excessive chemicals, or poisonous additives.

Bring the soul back into food - something of which mass-produced corporate food products are almost entirely devoid. 

Buy organic or "up to organic standards" whenever you can.

If you have the means and the physical ability, grow your own garden. Or buy a share in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) initiative.

Break the habit of eating convenience foods that are not good for us. Break the addiction to processed foods and refined sugar altogether.

And call these corporations dicks out for their lies and half-truths every chance you get. 

This is how we give the old "eff you" to corporations that do not give a damn about human health, safety, or wellness.

A new YouTube video I did on the subject: GMO Labeling is Not Fully Effective: Puncturing Corporate (and Activist) Spin on GMOs

All GM Alfalfa articles from Willow's Web Astrology, dating back to 2011: GM Alfalfa 

Friday, April 22, 2016

Grand Earth Trines and a Solid Dose of Bovinian Energy Provide Us With a Breather


 Moo.
 
There is currently a very strong grounding influence in the zodiac with the Sun, Mercury, and soon Venus (in its own sign as of April 29) transiting fixed earth sign Taurus. This is farmer-ly energy. Sensual energy. Earthy energy. It follows a natural and routine course. It's matter-of-fact and sturdy in a nurturing and comforting way. It is fairly unshakeable, fairly unflappable.

This Taurus energy, which will include Lesser Benefic Venus in its domicile, slows things down to real time in the physical world, and this is something most of us need in the days of constant technology and artificially sped-up nervous systems.

This Taurus has a nice feeling of putting one foot in front of the other in very basic and simple ways, anchoring us in the physical world and in the five senses.

Taurus doesn't get too worried about what lies beneath. It isn't all that interested in research or psychological context or the unseen realms. It's more than content to work with what's right in front of it, with what it can see, feel, taste, hear, and smell. It's more than happy to work with the magic of concrete, physical, Earthly reality.  

All this Taurus is highly welcome after a month of (potentially) frayed nerves, emotional breaking points, and/or Plutonic meltdowns, outlined in earlier articles.

We've been through some stuff, folks. The astrology shows it. A heavily karmic Pisces eclipse season, followed by the jingly-jangly, overloaded synapses of strong Uranus energy with multiple activations of the Uranus-Pluto square by the personal planets in Aries.


This is an excerpt from the article, "Grand Earth Trines and a Solid Dose of Bovinian Energy Provide Us With a Breather." It is available in its entirety to Willow's Web Astrology patrons.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Frictional Growing Pains and Emotional Catharsis As the Moon Grows Full in Scorpio

I’ve written on the blog about the upheaval, sudden changes, and emotional shocks we may experience as we navigate the current lunar cycle, kicked off by the 18-degree Aries New Moon conjunct Uranus in Aries and square Pluto in Capricorn on April 7. 

The Moon is now in Cancer and will square the Sun in Aries, marking the First Quarter Moon phase of the lunar cycle on April 13 (10:00 p.m. CST). The Moon in Cancer also triggers the Uranus-Pluto square at this time, drawing those themes into the First Quarter Moon phase and into the surge of necessary action that this phase indicates. 

Suffice it to say, we have opened into a month of quite unstable energies and now head to another over-the-top point at the Full Moon. 

The April 7 Aries New Moon opened a 28-day lunar cycle characterized by a series of changes (some startling) and emotional shocks that must be metabolized and used as fuel to propel us beyond standard rhythms and patterns that will no longer get us where we need to go 

(Please see the April 5 article “New Moon in Aries Conjunct Uranus - Emotional Shocksand Experiences of Structural Bullshit Bust Things Loose” published on the blog or the March 29 article “Sun-Mercury in Aries Stirs the Uranus-Pluto Square:Calling Out the Nuclear Gatekeepers, Shills, and Establishment Schmucks” to pick up more on the themes we are experiencing now.) 

But there are some old attachments, sticking points, frictions, and fears that must be purged before we're free to go. 

There is a strong desire to move into new territory now. There is a desire for fresh energy and for re-invigoration along our paths. In fact, these things are full-on emotional needs at this point. 

The raw and blazing potential of the Aries New Moon builds to a potentially cacophonous crescendo at the Scorpio Full Moon (2 degrees) on April 21 (11:24 p.m.)


This is an excerpt from the article, "Frictional Growing Pains and Emotional Catharsis As the Moon Grows Full in Scorpio." It is available in its entirety to Willow's Web Astrology patrons


Tuesday, April 5, 2016

New Moon in Aries Conjunct Uranus - Emotional Shocks and Experiences of Structural Bullshit Bust Things Loose

We have a strongly Uranian New Moon in Aries busting things loose on April 7 (5:24 a.m. CST), with a shake-up of standard rhythms and patterns continuing for the following 28-day lunar cycle.

This New Moon officially propels us out of winter 2016 in the northern hemisphere and beyond the sticky, clinging tendrils of the massive Pisces stellium we've been treading water through throughout March and early April.

Love, values, and relationship planet Venus has just moved into fresh-and-fiery Aries, as well (April 5), with Mercury setting up shop for a transit through earthy Taurus this evening.

So as the Sun and Moon come together at 18 degrees Aries in New Moon phase on April 7, all the personal planets have moved on from late Pisces and their conjunctions to Ceres, Chiron, and the South Node.

The transit of communication planet Mercury through Taurus is particularly protective now, indicating helpful mental grounding and reinforced mental boundaries as we move through the rollicking and up-and-down energies of the month ahead.

We actually get an extra dose of this pragmatic and mentally-grounding Mercury in Taurus energy, as we also experience our next Mercury retrograde in the sign (April 28 - May 22 from 23 degrees to 14 degrees Taurus). This transit works to insulate us from the raw and over-excited synapses associated with strong Uranus energy. Mercury enters its retrograde shadow on April 14 and will not exit the sign of the bull until June 12.

So as of April 7 and the New Moon, we've officially waded out of the swampy-swirly-weepy-dreamy mist of winter 2016, and the Arien blaze is drying us, warming us, and revving us up for whatever it is that comes next.

This New Moon indicates a string of emotional shocks and electric realizations throughout the following lunar month that must be metabolized as we move beyond old stepping stones and comfort zones in ways we may not have previously imagined.

We're initiating some pretty radical changes over the next 28 days that will rattle some cages and break down some old barriers - including our own. Surge onward! Forge ahead!

This Uranian New Moon in Aries is the official entrance into new life, new energy, and new vigour - and this may come from unexpected sources over the next 28 days.

The Uranian influence indicates the possibility of some radical growth, changes, and re-direction as we come into contact with structural deficits that simply cannot be tolerated or shouldered any longer. This Aries New Moon triggers the Uranus in Aries - Pluto in Capricorn square, just as Mercury in Aries did March 30 - 31, and the insights we gain as we move through the New Moon portal indicate that there's no going back to old forms, old structures, or old ways. These have simply had their day.

For those who do not know astrology (and even for many who do), the upcoming lunar month could kick off identity crises as well as a certain degree of anxiety as old forms, old desires, old directions, and old versions of self break down and start to shift. 

Change is required - quite radical change in many cases - and with the personal planets in Aries, it's coming from us personally. There is no pattern to follow or leader to emulate. We are the driving force, no one else. It is our personal direction and re-direction that spur the necessary changes within the collective scene.

The Aries New Moon is disposited (strongly influenced) by Mars, which is currently stationing retrograde at 8 degrees Sagittarius (April 17). You can read more about the Mars retrograde in this patron article: Mars Retrograde 2016: A Re-Direction of Passions

We are entering a fresh, new two-year goal cycle. A new personal direction is about to unfold - aligned more closely with our own personal truth - and this new direction strongly colours the next two years of our lives, at the very least.

This Aries New Moon is the very, very beginning of this new chapter, of these new goals and drives. It's the gateway, and we're about to take our first steps on new ground.

Take these new steps with courage and boldness. Put a little swagger in your step. Ooze a little machismo (sure, both men and women!). Don't look back, and don't second guess the need for change. It's right there in the astrology. This Uranus and Pluto-charged New Moon is dripping with potency and potential. Blaze on, friends!

There is an electric immediacy to the proceedings for the following 28-day lunar cycle. We're very much in the current moment, responding to any surprises, shocks, changes, or general upheavals with warrior-like focus and bravery.

It's time to forge into new territory on multiple fronts. The iron is hot, so strike away!

Look to the house where 18 Aries falls and the house where 8 Sagittarius falls in your natal chart to get a feel for this powerful "fresh start portal" that is opening in your life. The activities and themes of those two houses are connected now. You are looking to align those areas a little more closely with your own personal identity, with who you really are right now, right in this unfolding moment. You're looking to make those areas a little more "you."

The Sun in Aries forms a trine to Saturn in Sagittarius on April 5 (10:09 a.m.), as Venus ingresses Aries and Mercury ingresses Taurus.

The Sun will then square Pluto at 17 degrees Capricorn on April 6 (2:13 pm.), indicating the potential for experiences with hierarchical, structural hell that force us to make new moves.

The Sun and Moon come together in conjunction at 18 degrees Aries on April 7, marking the New Moon at 5:24 a.m., which triggers the Uranus-Pluto square. Shake, rattle, and roll!

The Sun forms the exact conjunction to Uranus at 20 degrees Aries on April 9 (3:27 p.m.).