Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mercury in Gemini Square Stationing Neptune in Pisces: the Grenfell Tower Fire, Unheeded Warnings, and the Impenetrability of the Money-Driven, Authoritarian Establishment

A fire at Grenfell Tower on June 14, a 24-storey public housing high rise in London, England, has killed at least 72 residents who became trapped in the building. The real number will certainly be higher, as the mainstream media and authorities are being accused of covering up the true number of casualties.

What should be understood about Grenfell Tower is that it is a low-income housing tower located in North Kensington, on the western edge of Inner London, surrounded by rich neighbourhoods. 

Grenfell Tower residents had already organized as an association called Grenfell Action Group and repeatedly raised fire safety concerns with the property management, Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization (KCTMO), for years before the fire. No action was taken.

In 2013, a series of terrifying power surges was experienced for weeks in the building to the extent that smoke was coming out of electrical appliances and light fixtures. Many electronics and appliances were destroyed by the surges, and the issue was never resolved to the residents' satisfaction. Ongoing complaints and calls for fire safety improvements were ignored by KCTMO.

There was a single staircase running through the entire 24-storey building, 120 apartments, with one entrance and one exit. There was no sprinkler system, fire extinguishers were outdated, stairwells were filled with garbage and old mattresses, and residents reported hearing no fire alarms to alert them to the fire.

The only instructions residents had ever received from property management was to stay in their apartments in case of a fire.

Recently, the building was given a 8.7 million pound "facelift" so the area's rich residents wouldn't have to put up with an eyesore. New paneling was put on the exterior of the tower to "prettify" the building, and it is being said that the type of paneling used contributed to the fire, spreading it along the outside of the building and ensuring that residents became trapped inside.

It has since been revealed that the flammable paneling used is actually banned in the U.S., Europe, and the U.K. The flammable version was used to save money. 

These are the unfortunately, tragically, prophetic words from the Grenfell Action Group in a post from November 2016:

"It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring an end to the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders. We believe that the KCTMO are an evil, unprincipled, mini-mafia who have no business to be charged with the responsibility of looking after the every day management of large scale social housing estates and that their sordid collusion with the RBKC Council is a recipe for a future major disaster."

A list of previous blogs by the Grenfell Action Group has also been posted, outlining its multiple calls to property management to take action on safety issues, all of which fell on deaf ears.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Some Sustenance From the Vault as Neptune Stands Still in the Zodiac

 Photo: Willow

As outlined in the most recent patron article, we aren't in the easiest of astrological territory at the moment. Neptune is currently standing still in Pisces within a square aspect to Mercury in Gemini. We also have wounded healer Chiron slowing to station retrograde (July 1) in late Pisces, still within that blasted square to Saturn in Sagittarius, and this extra-potent Saturn-Chiron square is being activated by the Sun, Ceres, and Mercury in Gemini.

To illustrate the themes at play, I'm re-posting an article from the Neptune Rx station in 2013.

"Neptune Stations Retrograde and the End-of-Pisces Disappointment and Futility Drop Like a Veil..." (with updated transit information): 

"Hollow-gut disappointments hang around us like stale fumes. End-of-era love relationships are a confusing, disorienting mess. The idea that our dreams are not special, that we're not special under egalitarian Aquarius, can erode us at the heart. The discrepancy between where we hoped we'd be at this point versus where we really are is staggering at times - both personally and on a broader societal or collective level.

Anyone aware of the circumstances of humanity on Planet Earth at this time will find them humbling, to say the least.

The Moon entered Pisces early this morning (June 15) and forms a conjunction to Neptune tomorrow morning at 6:10 a.m. (PDT), just after the Neptune retrograde station at 14 degrees Pisces at 4:10 a.m.

The Pisces Moon will square Mercury in Gemini tomorrow at 5:29 p.m.

From there, it squares the Sun in Gemini and Saturn Rx in Sagittarius in the early morning hours of June 17.

Some lingering depression, disappointment, disillusionment, despondency, or a sense of utter futility about carrying on from here can be expected over the next few weeks as Neptune (and then Chiron) stations and starts moving backward through the zodiac. There's an unfulfilled sadness in the air, in the collective psyche, so watch to make sure you or your loved ones don't tip too far into the psychic bleak.

The new guy wasn't who you hoped he was. The new job that seemed so interesting turned out to be more of the same. The daily grind seems increasingly dull, painful, pointless, hopeless. Reaching for the bottle, for the bong, for junk food, or for the credit card are all possibilities to dull the pain, to desensitize.

This is standard end-of-era backwash, however. More end-of-Pisces clearing. Fool me once, shame on you, Neptune. Fool me twice, shame on me.

Keep moving, keep flowing, and keep laughing at the insanity of the situations with which we are faced in this foul year of our Lord two thousand and [seventeen].

It's the sensitives, the creatives, the Piscean/Neptunians who hold the true weight of where we are right now. They're the ones holding the energy of Pisces, the energy of the spiritual whole, where every last detail matters and nothing can be conveniently amputated or ignored without problematic future repercussions. They're the ones potentially being crushed under the cruelty, the inhumanity, and the dysfunction of the current scenes. Yes, it's that serious.

But it's also funny.

Isn't it?

To be set up with these seemingly impossible clusterfuck scenarios during our lifetimes on Planet Earth?

It didn't start with us, and it doesn't end with us.

But we do have a prime and shining opportunity to direct things now.

Neptune stationing, like prominent Neptune in the natal chart, can create a sort of stoner effect on even the most sober among us. Air-headed and flaky. Forgetful. Dreamy. Wistful. Pie-in-sky. Avoiding. Self-pitying. Indulgent. La La Land-living.

Stay on track and stay focused on your own Aquarian-era ideals, despite the Neptunian fog tempting us to go down maudlin back alleys or to take diversionary, wishful-thinking detours."

Remember - we've come a long way and cleared a lot of crap since this article was written, even if it doesn't feel like it in this exact moment. The stationing themes are still there, still threatening to dunk us under, but we've advanced the scene well beyond where we were. Don't let this Neptune-Chiron-Saturn triple team convince you otherwise. We've been very productive. And it all matters.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Some Pressurized Mutable Squirreliness On the Horizon: Working to Keep All the Balls in the Air


Lettuce growing in the hedge garden

"Some Pressurized Mutable Squirreliness On the Horizon: Working to Keep All the Balls in the Air" is an article available to Willow's Web Astrology patrons.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Concentrated Consolidation and a Moment of Anticipation Ahead of New Growth

The North Node of the Moon, newly in Leo, is currently forming beautiful trine aspects to Venus and Uranus in Aries (conjunct at 27 degrees on June 3) and to Saturn Rx in Sagittarius.

This forms an energetic Grand Fire Trine formation (energetic because the North Node is a calculated astrological point, not a physical celestial body), which is extra specially gorgeous because it propels us into an absolutely magnificent set of astrological aspects that carry us through the summer of 2017. These aspects will involve multiple Grand Fire Trines with some of those morphing into air-fire kite formations with the addition of Jupiter, soon to be direct in Libra (June 9 direct station at 13 degrees).

Grand Fire Trines indicate time periods characterized by intensified creativity, artistry, inspiration, passion, excitement, enthusiasm, exuberance, fun, and movement. These formations indicate a time of general encouragement and high spirits.

The involvement of Jupiter in Libra within kite formation indicates that we are building and developing the social fabric in highly beneficial ways this summer, particularly in August and September. There is an emphasis on teamwork, mutuality, common ground, and finding ways that work for all involved.

(More on the splashy and colourful summer of 2017 can be found in this patron article, "The North Node Enters Shiny, Happy Leo, and There's Almost Too Much Goodness to Contain in One Article!")

The energetic Grand Fire Trine involving the Leo North Node opens us into a new creative chapter that picks up speed as we move through the first part of June. Consider this the first activation at the heart in a series of activations at the heart. We're channeling some very powerful joy over the next few months...

At this point, we just want to have some fun with it all, and with the North Node transiting playful Leo for the next 18 months, we can do just that.

At the same time as all this firey goodness starts to be revved up (and it's only the beginning!), we have three personal planets shifting signs, which indicates a refreshing change in themes.

Action planet Mars enters Cancer on June 4, and our desires turn decidedly homey. We want to be around familiar people and familiar settings, comfort food, and rootsy experiences. We're sticking fairly close to home. Family and people who feel like family. The soul clan. Those who stir our ancestral sense of belonging and loyalty. Those with whom we feel naturally comfortable. There will be some fierce (Mars) nostalgia (Cancer) in the ethers throughout this transit, which extends to July 20, and anything that reminds us of the past, of our family/kin/clan, or of a "simpler time" (were the times ever really all that simple?) will be attractive. Parades, summer activities, ice cream, eating fresh-picked berries in the back yard while watching the fireflies - you know, all that (North) Americana crap!

With the aggression planet in the sign of the family, there is also such thing as too much familial closeness, however, and we'll have to watch this, injecting a little space and detachment if tensions start to rise. As fierce as its devotion is, independent Mars can feel a little claustrophobic or suffocated by all that togetherness. This could especially be the case around the times of the Mars in Cancer square to Jupiter in Libra (June 24), opposition to Pluto in Capricorn (June 29), and square to Uranus in Aries (July 17). They don't call it the crusty crab for nothing, and Mars in Cancer can be particularly crusty at times, as Mars is in its fall in this sign. Not the easiest of energies to mix - the never-say-die warrior with the nurturing and caring mother. All edges and angles and battles with soft and gentle and sweet.

As the United States and Canada are both Cancer Sun nations, the war planet transiting this sign could (unfortunately) indicate particular aggression or tension within the global war machine involving one or both of these countries. As usual, the subtext involved during the celebrations of Canada Day (July 1) and U.S. Independence Day (July 4) will be thick...

On June 6, we have a very nice propulsion into new energy, new themes, and new scenarios, as Mercury and Venus both enter new signs. Phew!

You may recall that Mercury and Venus both very recently come out of their retrograde shadows at the same time. Now, they are preparing to leave the aftermath of all that rehashing and review behind them, officially planting a flag in new turf. This shift in signs should be particularly refreshing, as both Mercury and Venus will be entering signs of their domicile, home-sweet-home territory they naturally rule and operate quite well within.

Mercury will move into its domicile of Gemini on June 6, joining the Sun in the communicative sign of the twins. The transit of Mercury through grounded, earthy, and materially-oriented Taurus was certainly a nice reprieve from the "brilliance blast" of the extended Mercury-Uranus conjunction in Aries we experienced beginning in March 2017. However, the winged messenger planet is more than ready to move into less dense intellectual and verbal territory. Words are a little heavier and a little harder to generate with Mercury transiting Taurus. The gravity of Mercury in Taurus kept us focused on the material here-and-now (gardening, in my case!), but with Mercury soon entering Gemini, our words gain wings and start to fly. We can expect things to get a little busier, a little more hectic, with connections, interactions, and social circulation starting to hum. The wheels are officially greased. The slightly frenetic Gemini buzz extends to solstice when Mercury catches up to the Sun in the zodiac, forming the Sun-Mercury exterior conjunction at zero degrees Cancer on June 21 to mark the official start of summer in the northern hemisphere and the official start of winter in the southern.

Possibly the biggest relief on the horizon is Lesser Benefic Venus moving out of Aries, the sign of its detriment, and into Taurus, the sign of its domicile. Love planet Venus first entered warrior Aries way back on February 3, 2017. The Venus retrograde (March 4 to April 15) extended Venus' stay in this edgy, uncompromising, and (for Venus) not-so-comfy sign, but we can say that the Venus retrograde of 2017 is officially complete as Venus moves into Taurus June 6. Earthy and sensual Taurus is much more familiar and easily-navigated ground for Venus, and Venus get a nice, supportive dose of the sign of the bull until entering Gemini July 4. Venus in Taurus will be further comforted and supported by a nice sextile aspect to Mars in Cancer on June 9.

In the days prior to the June 6 shift in signs, we can expect some fairly concentrated "wrapping up" of previous themes.

To illustrate: in late March 2017, just as Mercury in Aries formed a square to Pluto in Capricorn, it was announced that the neo-conservative Brad Wall government in Saskatchewan was eliminating the public bus system for the entire province in order to save one tenth of one percent of the overall budget. This was a shocking and horrifying announcement for many, including me. I literally couldn't believe that a decision this ass-headed would be allowed to go forward and wrote an article about it at the time, "We Get Knocked Down, But We Get Up Again: Regressive Transportation Policy Under the Mercury-Pluto Square."

Protests have been ongoing throughout the province from late March right up to the present time. There have been protests, signs, letters to government, court challenges, media pleas, and a strong social media presence demanding that this terrible, terrible decision be reversed.

Unfortunately, so far, it has been to no avail. The Wall government is intent on destroying this essential transportation lifeline in Saskatchewan so that it can put forth its facade of being a "no deficit, belt-tightening" conservative government.

The last day of service for STC was May 31, and honestly, our hearts are very heavy.

Six brave souls refused to exit the last STC bus to Saskatoon on May 31 in protest and were arrested for their trouble. (I absolutely love these people.)

I was compelled to do a YouTube video on the subject to express my disbelief that this is actually happening, that this bus service that has run for 70+ years is actually being dismantled by one short-sighted and mean-spirited government. Brad Wall was also employed with the Conservative government of Grant Devine in the 1980s, another Saskatchewan government that was hell-bent on destroying the publicly-owned Crown Corporations in the province in favour of your standard "free" market ideology. So this has been a dream of old Braddy Boy's for a good, long while. His dream, our nightmare. (Incidentally, the Devine government was disgraced and taken down in an expense-claim scandal involving a free-for-all of spending tax payer's money...)


YouTube: The Huge and Unnecessary Loss of Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC)


Unfortunately, it appears that this really is happening - for now.

With a decision this horrible, you can be assured that the opposition and protest won't be stopping any time soon...

The video crystallizes some of the things that have gone on with this issue over the past couple months.

You may notice a similar crystallization process going on in your own lives with things that have been on your mind over the past months.

I was also compelled to do another video, this one on what I see as the destructive divisiveness of identity politics, in particular along racial lines. I was spurred to do this video after seeing a story about Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington where it was stated by an African American student that, "Whiteness is the most violent fucking system to ever breathe."


YouTube: Rejection of the Race-Based Agenda in Favour of the Common Struggle


This video, too, has a root to previous articles I've done on the subject and would be tied to both the Venus-Uranus conjunction in late Aries (identity/rights) June 3 and the Jupiter direct station in Libra June 9.

Jupiter goes direct at 13 degrees Libra on June 9, just as the Moon grows full at 18 degrees Sagittarius (conjunct Saturn retrograde). This indicates a spotlight on social dynamics and justice-related themes around that time, weaving in elements of culture, history, and truth (Sagittarius). There is a particular theme related to broadening (Jupiter) the currently established version (Saturn) of history, story, or truth (Sagittarius) to better reflect the true social realities (Libra).

So there's a fairly concentrated consolidation underway of the past few months. We're not in new territory just yet - but it's close.


Onions


Even my garden is holding form, preparing for a new burst of energy and growth. It has been exciting to watch things popping up, but the major growth is still on the horizon. The little seedlings are taking their time, readying themselves for what's ahead. And so are we.

As we move through the first part of June and close in on blessed solstice, we get a sense of the new energy that is available to us ahead of the exciting and joyful aspects we will experience between June solstice and September equinox.

Enjoy.



 Cucumbers

 Lettuce

 Bok Choy

Mr. Zucchini - he's the biggest so far, so he gets to be called Mr.  

Mr. Zucchini and friends