We're heading to an election in Canada May 2 after the minority Conservative "Harper Government" delivered a budget bound to be rejected by the other parties. It was.
(For those who aren't hip to the now, the Government of Canada has officially been re-branded the "Harper Government" - complete with memos - since the appearance of being elected by and accountable to the people is so very last era. At this point, there really is no Government of Canada - we're officially in lock-step North American Union merger within a broader global agenda, so why not do away with the formalities altogether? Corpo-governmental identity re-branding. Aries square Pluto in Capricorn.)
As we head into the election run-up, the planet of spiritual/energetic connection and dissolution into "all that is" Neptune has just cracked into its domicile of Pisces (April 4), sitting on the zero degree until it retrogrades back into Aquarius June 3. This is the third sign shift of outer planets we've experienced in the past 3.5 years - Pluto into Capricorn, Uranus into Aries and now Neptune into Pisces (it's there for good February 2012).
At the time of Neptune's ingress, it was conjunct masculine 'wounded healer' Chiron (3 degrees Pisces) and feminine 'Goddess of grains, cereals, and fertility of the Earth' Ceres (5 degrees Pisces). It was also just past the orb of a conjunction to Venus in Pisces (10 degrees). These conjunctions colour Neptune's entire 15-year transit of Pisces.
Understatement of the astrological age: there's a whole lot of psychic healing and healing of the human spirit required on this planet at the end of the Piscean era.
The Neptune-Chiron-Ceres conjunction involves complex symbolism, but in basic terms, this combination of energies shows us where we're starving collectively - spiritually and physically - so we can work on bucking the trend and making our way back to right principles and the healing they bring.
Earth Mama Ceres being so strongly involved, along with Venus further into Pisces, indicates that the spiritual healing and healing of the whole is intricately, inextricably linked to bringing the feminine and women to their rightful places of prominence, power, influence and respect, especially within the chronically masculine-heavy spiritual paradigms.
The astrological zodiac itself is one of these masculine-heavy paradigms, reflecting, as it does, the broader societies. Only two of the ten major bodies used in astrological analysis are considered feminine - the Moon and Venus. While these two do play a very strong role in astrology, this paints a skewed, two-dimensional picture of the feminine influence and experience on this planet: women and the feminine force are either the beautiful lover (Venus) or the nurturing mother (Moon) - existing in relation to others - with little nuance or variation in between.
Ceres, along with other feminine bodies and points, plays a secondary and often invisible role in most of the astrology of the day, indicating the downplayed importance of food, agriculture and feminine grounding and nourishment. Combined with the double dose of Neptunian/Piscean influence, these issues remain obscured, glossed over, and do not have the hype factor required to keep an entertainment-addicted public interested. Everyone eats. Almost no one cares about or understands agricultural issues.
"Neptunian integrative spiritual healing" is a sexy little catch phrase that might hold some interest, though. And Ceres shows us some of what that's going to entail, involving a crucial link to our food sources.
Most visibly, the wounding (Chiron) related to food (Ceres) involves purposeful food shortages and criminal inflation of food prices bringing about increased levels of starvation worldwide. Less visibly, it involves the slow degradation of the quality of our food through contamination by genetically modified organisms, over-processing, soil pollution and the leeching of the soil of minerals.
A big part of our collective starvation involves no longer living by right spiritual principles - more to the point, living in societies dominated by corporate interests that force and sell undignified, dysfunctional lifestyles and values disconnected from right spiritual principles. The collective streams are shaped and directed into these channels, and it takes a lot to live beyond them.
Nowhere is the divergence from proper spiritual principles more apparent - yet less fully grasped by most people - than in our relationship to food.
The dissolution of our Parliament in Canada has left unaddressed a key motion tabled by the opposition March 3, 2011 - a moratorium on the planting and growing of genetically modified alfalfa in Canada. The "Harper Government," which supports expansion into GM crops, stalled the vote on the motion March 11, 2011, leaving it up in the air.
This should be an election issue in Canada, but it isn't. The proposed moratorium, like Ceres itself, flies under the radar for most people. Agriculture issues almost always do since, again, people have become so disconnected to food and food sources that they don't even understand why they should concern themselves with such things.
But this is big, people. This is Ceres big, and Ceres is the largest body in the asteroid belt. Reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006 along with Eris and Pluto, Ceres is much larger than Chiron, though Chiron gets infinitely more play astrologically.
Ceres is in the league of Lord of the Underworld Pluto and we know that dude means business. So does Ceres. Fuck with Ceres too much, and she has the ability to snuff life out on this planet entirely. This is what they're playing with right now. Still think this is an inconsequential, secondary-at-best influence in the astrological zodiac?
Monsanto is currently attempting to make its Roundup Ready alfalfa the first genetically modified perennial planted in North America. Yes, perennial. Plant it once, and it's coming back again and again. Roundup Ready alfalfa is genetically modified to withstand glyphosate, a herbicide sold under the Monsanto brand name Roundup. Let's recall that Monsanto is the corporation that has brought us such improvements on the human condition as Agent Orange, DDT, saccharin, Aspartame, bovine growth hormones and PCBs.
On January 27, 2011, after a five-year court battle, Monsanto’s GM alfalfa was authorized for sale by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA).
Just prior to this, Whole Foods Market sent out an e-mail to customers announcing it was no longer opposing the growing of GM crops. It was now supporting a policy of "conditional deregulation," despite the fact that it admitted such a policy could mean contamination of beef, dairy products and honey. (It turns out, about two-thirds of the foods Whole Foods sells as "natural" are already contaminated with GMOs.)
Whole Foods execs even adopted the "coexistence and cooperation" language of U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Visack. Whole Foods' new stance:
"The policy set for [GM] alfalfa will most likely guide policies for other [GM] crops as well. True coexistence is a must."
Secondary lawsuits were launched against the USDA March 18, 2011 by groups including the Center for Food Safety and the National Family Farm Coalition, challenging the authorization and stalling the sale and planting of the alfalfa...for now.
The approval of GM alfalfa in the United States is, of course, pertinent to Canadian agriculture, as alfalfa grows and cross-pollinates like a weed, making cross-border contamination likely. Wind is a dual citizen. Hay goes back and forth.
I recently spoke with organic inspector Priscilla Reimer on this issue for an article I'm writing for a local paper, and she told me the introduction of GM alfalfa has the ability to wipe out the entire foundation of organic/non-GMO agriculture. Alfalfa is not only a staple livestock feed, it is a crop often used by farmers during the three-year field transition from conventional to organic. It also becomes essential in the crop rotation once a farm is organic because, as a nitrogen-fixer, it naturally fertilizes the soil. Basically, alfalfa is embedded within the entire organic system, so contamination by GM alfalfa would be devastating.
Already, Reimer (an organic inspector, let's recall) says there can be no guarantee that a food product labelled organic is completely free of genetically modified material. She says GMOs have spread faster than anyone could have imagined, and due to the lack of labelling and segregation within the agricultural system, GM crops being grown widely in Canada, especially soybeans, corn and canola, have contaminated the non-GMO versions. If you are eating a product that contains a derivative of those three crops, you are almost guaranteed to be eating some genetically modified material.
I also spoke to Alexis Knispel Kanu who did her PhD doctoral work on the spread of genetically modified canola. Knispel Kanu studied escape populations of canola - plants that were growing outside fields and had not been planted - and found GM contamination widespread among them. She found that it was the transportation and containment systems that were most often the cause of the spread of those seeds (spilling from trucks, trains, elevators), making the standard solution of "buffer fields" between GM and non-GM crops almost useless to stop contamination. (This is something farmers have always known, incidentally.)
Even more disturbing, Knispel Kanu found something the GMO companies had not intended: the GM canola plants she studied had cross-pollinated with each other in the wild, forming a hybrid of Monsanto's Roundup Ready variety and Bayer's LibertyLink variety.
Who's going to sue whom for patent infringement there?
Knispel Kanu says the spread of GM alfalfa poses an even stronger threat as far as cross-pollination since it is a more feral crop than canola, a perennial, and does not require cultivated fields in which to thrive.
Alfalfa is the most wild, natural, sweet-smelling crop I can think of. It's one of the first things I think of when I think 'prairie,' and to think of it being irrevocably contaminated by genetically modified organisms is really horrendous.
Neptune relates to the dissolution of boundaries - maybe more specifically to the understanding that many boundaries do not exist, especially when it comes to the natural mixing of things through air and water. Unless you have your hermetically sealed bubbles ready, what happens in one area of the planet has widespread ripple effects in other areas. We see this Piscean/Neptunian princlple with the nuclear disaster going on in Japan. And we see it in the permeation of the seed supply by genetically modified varieties. I wish it didn't take these types of attacks on our energetic inter-relatedness for people to start to grasp that they should care about what happens in the world around them - even beyond their immediate daily circle of family and friends.
Will the Earthlings realize the ongoing corporate pollution of their seed supply and start to give a flying crap before it's too late?
Until then, buying food that is local and certified organic or farmed up to organic standards is the best safe-guard - outside growing your own organic plants. Since the organic system works on a system of "institutionalized trust," forming relationships with farms and farmers that produce such products is a good idea, too. Knowing how they farm and what they feed their animals makes it easier to ensure your food supply is GMO-free - or as GMO-free as possible these days.