Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Mercury-Black Moon Lilith Contacts, Censorship, and Reporting From the Fringes

Media and communication planet Mercury forms an exterior conjunction to the Sun in Aquarius today (6:52 p.m. PST) at 9 degrees. 

These bodies continue travelling in conjunction until Mercury enters Pisces on February 10. The Sun and Mercury are also forming conjunctions to Black Moon Lilith (BML), the point of deep, dark, denied feminine experience. 

This indicates that the Sun is shining its light on outsider (BML) information (Mercury) and on those who write, speak, and share that information. 

Reporting from the fringes!

Mercury-Black Moon Lilith contacts can indicate perspectives that are inflammatory or disturbing to a more mainstream/establishment mindset (even pseudo-alternative varieties), and these outsider perspectives can sometimes create hostile backlash for the marginalized messengers. 

There's some bounce-back, some rejection, some ejection, some circling of the wagons associated with Black Moon Lilith, and when winged messenger Mercury is involved, this particularly relates to information, ideas, and communication. 

As a person with a prominent Mercury-Black Moon Lilith contact in the natal chart, I'm offering up an illustrative tale here from my 20-year experience as a writer and reporter who has always, through no intention of my own, had a very hard time getting my work included in the public discourse - both mainstream and alternative versions.

Before I became the ass-kicking anarchist astro-reporter whose words you are reading here today (heh), I briefly worked in mainstream media.  I have an undergraduate degree in journalism and communications from the University of Regina, Saskatchewan. But even way back in journalism school, the BML writing was on the wall. 

I came to understand quite quickly that the media outlets as they existed would not allow me to do the work I needed to do. I knew they wouldn't accept my perspective or the perspectives of people like me as fully legitimate, as deserving of a voice and a real place at the table. 

So I've carved my own path out as an independent journalist and writer. People of a more establishment-friendly persuasion often look down on this type of path (not to mention, on blogging, in general) as less prestigious and less important work. 

(I recall being introduced to a fairly well-known astrologer who had achieved her fame doing newspaper horoscopes. I was introduced to her as an astrology blogger and "one of the best astrological writers out there." Her question to me was, "But have you actually written anything?")

Despite this public perception, I can say with absolute certainty that the work I've put out on my own is exponentially more powerful, meaningful, effective, and necessary than the work I would have been doing, than the work I would have been allowed to do, from a more institutional or establishment media platform.

The Black Moon Lilith-ian message of this story for you, readers, is to understand the power of your own pure and potent voice, even when it seems to fall on deaf ears, even when it is blocked or dismissed by others, even when it is not accepted into the public fold or given a broader public platform. Know that your undiluted voice is more powerful - and more necessary - than a million middle-of-the-road perspectives blending together so as to be indistinguishable from each other. Don't allow anyone to diminish your voice simply because it doesn't fit the standard moulds, simply because it doesn't have a category, simply because it makes someone uncomfortable to hear it. Speak. Write. Put it out there. Even when it seems that there is no one to tell. I guarantee you - someone's listening.

When I was but a youthful willow tree on my journalism school internship at a daily newspaper in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, I saw for the first time in real life (ie. outside the pages of Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent) how the news is filtered. 

It was November 1999, and I wanted to do a story on some local people who were travelling all the way from Saskatoon to Seattle, Washington for the protest of the World Trade Organization meetings being held there. 

So I gathered my courage, walked up to my editor's desk, and pitched the story to him. I was promptly informed that it was a non-story and that I would not be covering it.

I walked back to my desk wondering, how could this possibly be a non-story? I mean, that paper wasn't above re-writing press releases for a story. If local people doing a Multiple Sclerosis fundraiser run or erecting a statue in a city park was news, how could local people driving all the way to Seattle for a protest of this sort not be a story?

I had my finger on the pulse here! I'd heard the buzz about this protest. I knew it was going to be big, and I knew this editor was wrong. But what could a lowly intern reporter do about it? Not much.

Three days later, the story had absolutely blown up in worldwide media. The Battle in Seattle! Tens of thousands of protesters from around the world were on the verge of shutting down the meetings! Unheard of!

My editor came up to my desk and said, oh yeah. I guess you were right. Do you want to do a story on it now?

So I did the story. I talked to the protesters about why they were there, including the behind-closed-doors nature of the meetings. But when the story ran the next day, it had been censored. Anything the protesters said that was critical of the Canadian government had been removed. When I asked the copy editor about it, I was informed that I couldn't publish stuff like that. 

The protests continued to be headline news. Sensationalized photos of the protesters getting gassed by police were splashed all over mainstream media.

My editor came to me again and asked me to do another story about how out of control the protests were getting.

Instead, I interviewed the protesters and wrote their views: that the gas and the police and the sexy photos shouldn't distract from the real issues, from the real reasons the protesters had driven all the way from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan to Seattle, Washington to protest.

That story ran on the very last page of the City News section. It was buried as far back as it could possibly be buried without them axing it altogether, following even the wire stories.

That was my first understanding of how the news the public receives is filtered and shaped. If it even makes it into the paper/onto TV at all, it will be shaped into what is considered "acceptable." Now, this might seem pretty well self-evident at this point. The mainstream media doesn't tell the full truth? It only promotes certain perspectives coming from certain types of people? Big news flash! 

But this was almost 20 years ago, recall. People were nowhere near as media-savvy as they are today (and I wouldn't even call most people media-savvy at this point). The internet was in very early, dial-up stages at that time.

So this hit me like a tonne of bricks. I realized in that moment that publications like these only employ people who will naturally fall in line with the "acceptable standards" and that I would never be one of those people. I would never be able to go along with it. Writing had always been a sacred thing to me. A gift. Something that literally kept me alive. It was not possible to corrupt it for a prestigious job and a sweet paycheque, no matter how much pressure was put on me to do so. (And oh boy, there was pressure.)

In that moment of life, I knew the work and the writing I was on this Earth to do could not be done from a mainstream media platform. And that's a pretty big realization to have when you're a farm-fresh gal one year away from a journalism degree with a big student loan to pay back.

For that reason, when I graduated and my professor got me a job interview with CBC TV news, I did the interview. I accepted the job as "researcher" for the supper hour news show in Regina.

A conservative Torontonian from the private sector (CBC-ers often kind of looked down on the private stations' news due to its more advertiser-friendly, watered-down coverage) had been hired as head honcho of the newsroom. He was basically there to impose the “VJ” or video journalist system as a cost-cutting measure. In other words, reporters were now expected to shoot and edit their own stories as well as writing, researching, interviewing, etc. It would make many camera and editing jobs redundant, not to mention the fact that it would make doing a decent, in-depth news story almost impossible due to the time and energy constraints of the reporters. So this was a bit of a tense time at old CBC TV news. Just in time for Willow to show up.

My time at CBC coincided with the lead-up to another big protest - of the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) meetings in Quebec City in April 2001.

Again, I was pitching stories about this. Again, I was brushed off. 

I learned that RCMP officers from Saskatchewan were being called in to be part of the police force at the protest. In fact, I learned that the Liberal Jean Chretien government was bringing in officers from all across Canada, as well as members of the army. The police/military presence was going to be immense, something, at the time, that was unprecedented in Canadian history. This was a huge expenditure of taxpayer's dollars.

Of course, this was of little interest. The public not picking up after their dogs in the off-leash dog park was a much more important story.

I remember a reporter taking me aside and telling me that the head honcho was dropping the ball, that they should be giving me a camera so I could go to Quebec to cover the story.

It just so happened that my contract ran out just before the protest. I ended up leaving CBC (a mutual decision) and going to the FTAA protest with a group of people from Saskatchewan. Driving non-stop, day-and-night, from Regina to Quebec City in a 15-passenger van. Not fun.

The powers-that-be had learned from the Battle in Seattle, where protesters were able to get the upper hand and shut down the meetings by filling the streets around the convention centre. This time, in Quebec City, they had erected a huge chain-link fence, cordoning off the blocks surrounding the convention centre where the meetings were to be held. Police in full riot gear stood along the fence on the inside perimeter. Luxury cars carried VIPs through the fence at a policed checkpoint.



Marching along the fence at the FTAA protests, Quebec City, April 2001
Photos: Willow
These photographs aren't the greatest because they were taken with disposable cameras. I was afraid to take my real camera in case it got smashed or confiscated. 


The Free Trade Area of the Americas trade agreement had never been made public (as most of the “free trade talk rounds” were kept undisclosed). They were trying to extend already-controversial NAFTA to Central and South America without public consent. There was also word that water and health care were to be turned into free trade-able commodities, subject to free trade rules (ie. no protection, no government subsidization).

The fact that the heads of business and state were holed up in their meetings behind a huge chain-link fence patrolled by riot police was a pretty fitting symbol of the lack of transparency in our so-called "democracy, " no? 


Tin soldiers and Chretien's coming...

We started our march at Laval University, where we were staying, marching and chanting peacefully through the streets in quite a fun and high-spirited manner as we made our way to the fence. People were drumming and laughing and making noise. We were enjoying being together. Once we got to the Chain-Link Beast, we literally just stood at the fence watching the police standing on the other side of the fence. Some people made speeches. There were some dancers. People decorated the fence with paper flowers and other art. That was it. But soon, the police were launching CS gas grenades at us. Pepper spray powder. Spraying us with a water cannon filled with some sort of chemical that burned when it hit your skin. Later, shooting us with rubber bullets that left big, red welts on the people they hit, including my friend. The gas was everywhere. People were being overwhelmed. 



 


People fleeing from the evil gas

 The water cannon


I stepped in a mound of pepper spray powder which flew up into my eyes. They burned and watered, and I couldn't see at all. There were some DIY medics going around rinsing people's eyes with water, and luckily, someone saw me and doused me. (Thank-you, angel!) 


 DIY medics washing pepper spray out of a protester's eyes

One of the freakiest things I have ever seen was when a string of police - all in full riot gear and gas masks, shields and batons at the ready – came out from behind the fence. They moved in formation, like a centipede, to try to drive us away from the fence. No longer individual humans. They were a machine.



For two days, we held our ground. Some people had invested in gas masks. We Saskatchewanians had discussed it but since we were on such a shoestring budget, we didn't follow through. To make due once we were in Quebec City (and once we were being bombarded with massive doses of CS gas and pepper spray powder), we learned to soak bandanas in apple cider vinegar, tying them around our noses and mouths so we could withstand the gas. 

And it worked. The goon squad used so much gas against the protesters that the wind blew it back into the convention centre, and they had to shut down the meetings!


Gas mask drummers

A historical use of combined police/military force and chemical warfare, paid for with taxpayer's dollars, against peaceful protesters on Canadian soil: I was sick from the gas for weeks after I returned from the protests, and I and the other women I protested with got our periods immediately afterwards - something in the gas messed with our hormones. 

And also a historic moment for public protest in Canada: even with the fence, we shut down their meetings! (Sure, it was because they gassed the shit out of us in such an extreme way that it seeped into the convention centre, but I'll still take that as a win...) 

And yet, this was not warranted news-worthy by media in Saskatchewan. 

The Free Trade Area of the Americas protests in Quebec City in April 2001 were the beginning of the normalization, in "peace-keeper" Canada, of massive police/military presence, chemical warfare, and major expenditure of taxpayer's dollars to insulate bigwigs from the people protesting at their mucky-muck meetings. 

The G20 meetings held in Huntsville and Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in June 2010 escalated this further to include illegal searches, surveillance of organizers, mass arrests of peaceful protesters, and the roll-out of energy weaponry in the form of Long-Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs). The price tag for taxpayers was over $1 billion for the G20 police state.

I wrote extensively about this escalation on the blog (see G20 label), including the astrology of that G20 summit, which occurred under a Capricorn Full Moon partial lunar eclipse exactly conjunct Pluto within a cardinal t-square formation that involved almost every body in the zodiac (Jupiter-Uranus in Aries, Sun-Mercury-Juno-South Node in Cancer, Moon-Pluto-North Node in Capricorn). 

Reporting from the fringes. Reporting from the underground. Not out of choice, but out of necessity...

Reeling from the experience at the FTAA protests and not knowing which direction to go in, I tried mainstream media one more time - a thrice-weekly community newspaper in Whitehorse, Yukon. But while I was there, 9/11 happened. I knew instantly that this event was so much bigger, had so many more implications, than I could sum up in a 700-word news article. I didn't even know where to begin. But it was my job to put words down on a computer screen that would then be printed and put into the minds of a public that was trying to make sense of the whole thing. Again, I was confronted with the limitations and (for me) the impossibilities of mainstream media to the point that I knew I could no longer participate. I had to make the break. That was the last time I worked for a standard news organization.

As an astrological writer and blogger, I've mostly stuck to myself, but the few times I've been involved with more public platforms, things have often gone badly.

One censoring I recall was at an astrology blog conglomeration site called AstroDispatch. I had written an article on the very noteworthy astrology of July 1, 2011 (Canada Day), which involved a Cancer New Moon eclipse within a Cardinal Grand Cross formation involving Uranus in Aries, Sun-Moon in Cancer, Saturn in Libra, and Pluto in Capricorn. 

The article, titled, "Canada Day Cardinal Grand Cross Eclipse: Well, Golly Gee Whiz. Look Who's Fuelling the Global Nuclear Industry," outlined Canada's role as the number two exporter of uranium worldwide and a major exporter of nuclear power plants. This was notable, of course, because Fukushima had just blown in March 2011, we were being bombarded by radioactive particles, and it was quite likely that the uranium from the Daiichi nuclear power plant originated in Canada. 

The text of the article was removed from AstroDispatch, though the editor did leave the title up.

I disconnected from the site after that and wrote about the censorship in this May 15, 2011 post: "The Aries Stellium Completes Under a Full Moon In Scorpio."

"Astrology blogs, astrologers, and astrology audiences are differentiating rapidly. Stronger astrological identities are being forged, and the distinctions of politics, perspective, beliefs, and motivation are becoming more important." 

This was memorable for me because it was the first time I had been (knowingly) censored as an astrological writer. It made me aware that censorship and filtering are going on even in supposed "alternative" communities that often tout their inclusiveness and diversity.

In other words: astrology is a false karass. A granfalloon.

The idea of a "karass" comes from the fictional religion Bokononism in author Kurt Vonnegut's novel Cat's Cradle. The word was mentioned on one of my favourite TV shows as a teen, My So-Called Life, and the concept stuck with me.

A karass, according to the fictional religion in this fictional novel, is a group of people who, often unknowingly, are working together to do God's will. The group is held together by a sort of soul-level centrifugal force based on a point of commonality. The people in the karass might not even know each other but act like the fingers that support a Cat's Cradle.

A false karass, called a "granfalloon" in Bokononism, is a group that mistakenly believes it is held together by this type of connection and common spiritual motivation. An example of a false karass could be graduates of a certain university, fans of a certain football team, or members of a certain profession...like astrology.

Astrology can definitely involve karasses, but as a subject in its totality, it has a tendency toward false karass in that people assume if you're "into" astrology, you have this type of common ground with all other people who are. Astrologers are seen to have this common ground simply because they practise astrology. But because there are so many different forms of astrology, so many perspectives, motivations, and ways to use it, this is often not the case. A lot of times, it's as if we're speaking entirely different languages for entirely different purposes, and it's beneficial for those interested in astrology to be aware of this when choosing their astrology sources.


I came into contact with the astrological false karass yet again when attempting to post my work on the main astrology page at Reddit.com. Reddit is a public outlet I've tried on a few different occasions, only to have horrifying results.

I attempted to post my September 3, 2017 article on the astrology of Hurricane Harvey at the main astrology Reddit page. The article, titled, "Hurricane Harvey, the Total Solar Eclipse, and This Era of Unnatural Disaster," was removed (twice), and I got into a hell of a rhubarb with the administrator (ahem, gatekeeper) on that page about the censorship.

This led to him making the following (to me, totally inane) statement: "Resources that discuss conspiracy theories are discouraged in much the same way we discourage palmistry, numerology, and general occult things like that."

I literally don't know a single astrologer who opposes things like palmistry, numerology, or conspiracy research to the point that they would attempt to shut them out, so to have this guy drawing a hard line like that in a public astrology forum was quite bizarre to me. 

I wrote about it on the blog on September 5, 2017: "The Diminishing and Marginalization of "Those Types" of Astrologers Within the Astrology Establishment." 

Let's call it...being BlackMoonlisted.

Even that was not punishment enough for me, though. 

I posted my July 28, 2018 article on Fukushima and the ongoing worldwide media blackout, titled, "Deconstructing the Worldwide Media Blackout on the Ongoing Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: California Wine is Just the Tip of This Radioactive Iceberg," on a conspiracy Reddit page. It was promptly (and blatantly) plagiarized by a "Truth-Teller (TM)" type. I found out because he left a hyperlink to one of my articles (not the original article) in the text he lifted. You can't make this stuff up, folks! When I contacted him and asked him to either credit me and link to the original in his article or to remove the content, I received a hostile denial which denigrated my work and research. I then went above his head to Before It's News, where the article was also published. The man was required to add a hyperlink to my original article, but not before sending a hostile and disturbing email threatening legal action if I "opened up [my] big mouth again." 

I wrote about that oh-so-pleasant situation on August 1, 2018: "Willow's Web Astrology is Plagiarized By a "Truth-Teller (TM)" Who Then Lied About It When Caught." 

In this case, it wasn't censorship. It was the pilfering of my work and research and the refusal to give me public credit for it - also a Mercury-Black Moon Lilith theme.

I've even been shut out of public anarchist forums! There are a handful of pet issues (heavy on the establishment liberal ideology) allowed within the current "anarchist scene," and the subjects of my work aren't included in those. It's kind of funny that supposedly anarchist forums and publications are being minded by (mostly 20-something male) gatekeepers, but that has certainly been my experience when attempting to share my information and work with that world. 

So as you can see from this handful of examples, the path of an anarchist astro-reporter (with a prominent Mercury-Black Moon Lilith contact in the natal chart) never did run smooth! I'm sure others reading here can relate - with or without natal Mercury-BML contacts.

It never gets any less unpleasant coming into contact with censorship, mockery, ostracism, plagiarism, or hostile opposition to the bare facts I'm laying down, but it does reinforce to me again and again that creating and sticking to my own potent little channel of information is the way to go. It's the only way to go. Whether that has any prestige to others is not really my concern. 

But I do know that I very much appreciate people who refuse to have their words filtered, watered down, or otherwise moulded to better fit consensus reality (or a paid gig). I like the other BML motherfuckers out there who refuse to bow down or shut up for the convenience or comfort or reward of others. I know these people are changing things for the better by taking the tougher path, and in my world, that's about as prestigious as it can get.

So have I written anything?

Yeah.

I've written some things.  


(Shout-out here to Matt Savinar, editor of Hexagon Astrology Magazine, for being the only more traditional publication that has published my astrological writing! And with minimal editing!)


Mercury Conjunct Black Moon Lilith and "Outsider Information"


One form of self-publishing I've gotten into in the past few years is the making of zines. In light of the current astrological energies and their “outsider information” themes, I thought I would share a little with you about this pursuit.




Zine templates

Zines are mini-magazines that are hand-made and self-published. Pretty much anything can go into a zine, but they often involve writing, photography, art, and/or activism. There’s a long history of radical political pamphlets being made in similar ways as a way to share political information or journalism. (“Radical” is a word that can instantly put people off, but let’s recall that the subjects considered radical are dependent on the time and location in which you are living. At one point in the not-too-distant past, it would have been considered terribly radical to publish sociopolitical literature written by women, by the poor, or by people of certain races. And to be frank, poor people still ain’t getting published.) 

If your creative output or perspective doesn’t fit neatly into the categories/institutions that currently exist, self-publishing can be another avenue for getting your work to the world.
 

Zines or pamphlets have traditionally been used as a way to share information or perspectives that are not being included in more standardized publications (newspapers, magazines, books, websites). 

In particular, these have been produced and distributed by punks and anarchists, and these publications fit the punk/anarchist m.o. for a few reasons: 

- they’re do-it-yourself (DIY), a primary punk and anarchist ethic 


- a basic zine is relatively inexpensive to create, which means almost anyone from any income bracket can produce one 

- there is zero censorship, outside control, or compromise required since you are writing, producing, and most often distributing the zines yourself. There really are no rules about what can go in a zine.


- they’re raw and not perfect and obviously made by a human who cares about the content: though most zines these days have gotten a little “precious” by my standards (heh), often being made with fancy design software, professional printing, and real covers and such, traditional zines have been quite raw-looking and obviously hand-made. The photocopies might not be perfect. There could be typos or formatting snafus. The pictures might be a little crooked. You might even have to hand-write some of the words that didn’t photocopy properly. This all adds to the character of the zine, in my opinion! 

- there are zine libraries where you can read many different zines from many different perspectives for free (punks and anarchists generally love things that are free to the public!) 

- producing a zine makes you part of a broader zine-making community that draws together a diverse band of self-publishing creative types. An interest in zines is something that can be shared and used to make new friends! (Friendship and community are Aquarius themes.) Almost everyone could use a medium for creating face-to-face conversation and for making friends in these “stuck-behind-a-screen” times, and zines are one of those media.


I now have six zine titles under my belt. You can see details at the Willow's Web Astrology Etsy Shop or on the blog under the button Zines.

5 comments:

Cloudia said...

Thanks Willow

Anonymous said...



From the moment i found you, Willow, not a word you've spoken/written has struck me as "out there". Every bit is perfectly logical and real to me. I suppose i'm BML by nature, as well.

I adore your ass.

I hope you are writing until you can't hold a pen. xxx 🌴

Willow said...

You're very welcome, Cloudia.

Thank-you, Palm Tree Anon! I very much appreciate your sentiments. And yes, I imagine it is the BML in you. heehee

We heart Black Moon Lilith!

Janet said...

Ah, dear Willow.

'Alternative' - aka fact-preferring... - media have fought for so long to provide information to the world. As more venues have spawned it's become paradoxically harder to control yet harder to disseminate truth through the chaos. So frustrating, it only seems possible now to yell and do one's best to reach those able to hear.. The most effective end up locked away in an embassy in England. The rest of us churn in the blur.

I salute your efforts. Brilliant & courageous work you do.
Thank you

Willow said...

Yes, I'm aware of the long history/struggle of alternative journalists and writers, including imprisonment and murder. I'm not singling myself out - only providing my own experiences as an illustration of a strong Mercury-BML contact.

I don't actually feel I'm churning in the blur or that I'm yelling to be heard. I've always focused on the small percentage of people who are receptive to what I'm saying or who can be reached in some way. I think the truth is most potent when spoken firmly and regularly!

There is a problem with what many would call "alternative media" these days, as well. Many of the supposed alternative media, in my experience, are manipulated or illegitimate in some way.

All three of the sites I mention in this article would consider themselves "alternative" - an astrology blog conglomeration site, an astrology Reddit page, and a "Truth-Teller (TM)," but all three have been shown to play the same tricks as mainstream outlets. The difference is, the mainstream outlets aren't putting themselves out there as "alternative" and "diverse" and "outside the norm."

I'm also not sure about the most effective being locked away. (An Assange or Snowden reference? I feel these two fellas are controlled opposition, either consciously or de facto).

I have to go back to the old Abbie Hoffman quote:

"The first duty of a revolutionary is to get away with it."

For this reason, I'm happy for a low profile. It allows me to continue doing exactly what I'm doing without being messed with too much. And to then expose the situations for others to read or not read. That part is not really up to me.