Thursday, September 27, 2012
The summer of 2012 was coloured by the first two Uranus-Pluto squares, and we could feel the vise grips tighten at various times between the first one June 24 and the second one September 17/18. Global pressures became local pressures became personal pressures and back again.
We've been flirting with the Plutonic intolerable at times around this fall equinox, and it has been a challenge to maintain our calm and collected Libran equilibrium under such tension and pressure.
But as Uranus continues retrograde and Pluto moves direct, we get a little separation between these two and a little breathing room - if we take it.
We don't experience the third Uranus-Pluto square until May 20, 2013 at 11 degrees of Aries/Capricorn.
Still, Pluto is heavy in the astro atmosphere until re-gaining full speed direct October 5/6. It will be full speed ahead as Saturn ingresses Scorpio, the sign it rules.
We have multiple other astrological gear shifts to navigate as we enter October, as well.
Venus enters Virgo October 3 at 1:00 a.m. CST and cools things off relationship-wise considerably. Love and relationship take on a practical, only-what's-necessary tone. Vanity, superfluous praise, and excess socializing are tightly curtailed. Lovers would rather you showed your affection by re-grouting the shower than by dropping $100 on flowers. But both would be nice.
Mercury enters Scorpio October 5 at 4:35 a.m., the same day Saturn ingresses the sign, and we're wrapping our minds around the new tone and challenges the Saturn in Scorpio transit will bring. We're thinking like Scorpio, we're talking like Scorpio, and this is helpful as we enter Saturn in Scorpio, as long as we don't go too deep, too dark, too soon. Pace yourselves.
Mars has been trailblazing in Scorpio and leaves the sign for Sagittarius October 6 at 9:21 p.m., just as Mercury and Saturn enter. Mars has catalyzed what it needed to catalyze in Scorpio and now moves on to more buoyant and exploratory pastures in Sagittarius. This adds a little excitement and inspiration to our step, but it also brings us head-on into religious, truth-based, and philosophical battles (just in time for the U.S. presidential election and its full-out sabre-rattling at Iran).
Jupiter has transited just over half of Gemini and stations retrograde at 16 degrees at 7:18 a.m. on October 4. Jupiter will now go back over the areas of our lives that have experienced grace and expansion since it entered Gemni this past June. This particularly relates to society, neighbourhoods, networking, social cross-pollination, and communication, and it particularly relates to the outgrowths we've seen since July 10, 2012.
Friday, September 21, 2012
Ceres in Gemini, Food Issues in the Media, and Unprecedented GM Feeding Trials Produce Horrifying (Though Unsurprising) Results
An unprecedented animal feeding trial has found that lab rats fed genetically modified corn as well as glyphosate residue - the primary ingredient in Monsanto's herbicide Roundup - developed high incidences of tumours, multiple organ damage, and premature death.
The results of the GM feeding trial were published September 19, 2012 in the scientific journal "Food and Chemical Toxicology." The peer-reviewed study was conducted by a team of scientists led by biologist and endocrinologist Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen in France.
The trial studied the long-term effects of exposure to NK603 GM corn (Monsanto's Roundup Ready variety) and glyphosate - individually and combined - on the health of rats over two years.
The study found that even exposure to levels considered "safe" resulted in severe negative health effects in the animals:
Of the rats fed GM corn or glyphosate residue, 50% of males and 70% of females died prematurely. This was compared to 30% and 20% respectively in the control group. Female rats developed fatal mammary tumours and pituitary disorders. Males developed liver damage, kidney and skin tumours and had problems with their digestive systems. Rats fed GM corn or Roundup residues developed 2-3 times more tumours than the control group.
The study found that ingestion of GM corn and glyphosate caused similar damage in the rats whether consumed separately or together. Even the lowest doses of GM corn and glyphosate were associated with severe health problems.
Previous studies have produced similar findings, but this was the first ever feeding trial done over the course of the entire lifespan of a laboratory rat - two years.
Yes, folks. Despite the fact that lab rats live only two years, no genetically modified animal feeding trials have been done up to this point for longer than 90 days. Genetically modified seeds/foods have been rushed onto the market in Canada and the United States without any longer-term studies on potential effects. The majority of the tumours that developed on the rats were detected after 18 months, which means that prior GM testing done over 90 days would not have discovered them.
Monsanto's Roundup Ready corn (NK603 variety) has been genetically modified to withstand its glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup. You'll recall that Monsanto is the corporation that has also brought us such wondrous improvements to the human condition as: Agent Orange, DDT, saccharin, PCBs, bovine growth hormones, and Aspartame. Monsanto has bullied and sued farmers around the world over the use of its patented seeds. The corporation is directly responsible for suicides among hundreds of thousands of Indian farmers who went into debt to buy Monsanto seeds with the promise of magical yields that did not materialize.
The growth and sale of genetically modified corn, including Monsanto's Roundup Ready variety, were approved in Canada in 2001. People have been unknowingly ingesting genetically modified material in their corn products since then.
According to Patricia Reimer, a Manitoba organic inspector I spoke to for a story last year about genetically modified alfalfa, corn has become widely contaminated by genetically modified strains. There is no separation of GM and non-GM corn, soybeans, or canola in the food system, outside the organic system. What this means is that unless you are eating certified organic corn, soy, or canola, there is a high likelihood that you are eating at least some genetically modified material. Even organic products cannot be guaranteed 100% GM-free at this point.
Genetically modified sweet corn has now come onto grocery shelves in Canada and the U.S. in order to test the waters. Corn is also used in corn syrup - a product used in many processed foods.
Roundup is currently the world's most popular and widely-used herbicide, and its global usage is set to double by 2017, according to Global Industry Analysts of San Jose, California.
How's that for a horrifying Pluto in Capricorn era fact?
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Saturn in Scorpio: October 5, 2012 - September 18, 2015
North Node in Scorpio/South Node in Taurus: August 30, 2012 - February 18, 2014
North Node, Venus, and Saturn conjunct: September 18, 2013
Saturn is the planet of tests and challenges designed to mature us as human beings. It's a planet related to time, aging, obstacles, fear, constriction, restriction, limitation, effort, structure, dread, weight, waiting, and responsibility. Though the associated process can be long and arduous, Saturn is a planet that works to put us in better and stronger position for the long-term. It strengthens us gradually, over the course of time, demanding that we earn our positions from the ground up so that we do not collapse under the weight of our responsibilities.
Scorpio is the zodiac sign related to sex, death, regenerative healing, darkness, secrets, betrayal, nastiness, karmic ass-biting, wisdom that comes from trips through hell, intuition, x-ray vision, soul drive, and metamorphosis. It is associated with suppression, oppression, and obsession. Scorpio is the sign of witchery, alchemy, the occult, the night, the soul, the pitch black, the hidden, the taboo, the complex, the complicated, the impossibly layered and convoluted. It is the sign of dark corners, trap doors, diviners, and soul healers. It involves emotional and psychological difficulties, energy processing, body intuition, intense examinations of power dynamics, and the severing of ties. Scorpio relates to creepy crawlies and things that go bump in the night. It is eagles, snakes, scorpions, and all things that poison, bite, or sting. Scorpio is venomous - you'd better believe it. But it also has the poison that heals those last resort cases, and at this point on Planet Earth, we're all pretty much enmeshed in one of those. Scorpio is also associated with the phoenix, rising from the ashes of destruction and devastation.
When Saturn is in Scorpio, our maturing challenges and responsibilities take on the thematic flavour of that sign.
(And you can now perhaps see that it is impossible to sum up Saturn in Scorpio in one or even a series of astrological articles, though I'll do my best.)
The long, drawn-out divorce. The arduous extrication process after a personal or professional relationship goes awry. Struggling within the confines of one's personal hell. The sick realization that you've let a rat through your front door, into your bank account, into your bed.
These are all themes of the Saturn in Scorpio variety.
As Saturn transits Scorpio, it will be in mutual reception to Pluto in Capricorn - that is, each will be inhabiting the sign ruled by the other, creating an interwoven relationship and energy exchange. During this mutual reception, we are going to see some very ruthless moves, to be certain, but we're also going to see some very ruthless moves fall flat. Dirty tricks will be played in the name of personal advancement, but they will also be exposed and outed. Character assassination and the sly erosion of others' professional reputations will be tactics used, but they will also be tactics that come back to bite their originators in the ass. Hard.
Under Saturn's thumb over the next years, misuses and abuses of power will be put in check. The results of underlying dynamics we've been (even unknowingly) furthering will start to surface. Issues falsely believed long-resolved will be stirred, like hot spots re-igniting after a brush fire. We'll be confronted with our misunderstandings of the way energy really works. We'll come into contact with the consequences of the way we've been living our lives - for good or ill.
Scorpio is considered one of the most "karmic" signs, but this isn't necessarily the much-offered oversimplification that "bad people have bad karma, and good people have good karma."
The truth is, the underlying energetic rules and realities of life on this planet are so complex that it is impossible to know the effects of each and every one of our actions. Add to that the fact that this sign is often working with collective, rather than purely personal, dynamics and "karma," and that complexity is compounded.
The beauty of Saturn is that it will give us a chance - multiple chances - to learn about all this, redirecting and reorienting our motivations, alliances, and allegiances in the process.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Pallas Athene in Aries, Exposing Rape in the Military, and Control of Women's Sexuality in Mythology Connected to the Feminine Asteriods
The asteroid related to the female warrior, Pallas Athene, is currently very strong in the zodiac. It has been on Uranus in Aries like white on rice for a few months now, moving retrograde with it in tandem, and has played a prominent role in the first and now second Uranus-Pluto squares.
The female warrior asteroid is infused at this time with the energy of necessary, radical change and re-direction as we enter a new astrological era (Uranus in Aries), and it is coming into tense, clashing square contact with the patriarchal power structures as they exist (Pluto in Capricorn).
These symbols indicate a theme of women fighting for change in all aspects of society, coming into contact with corrupt, unjust, and downright abusive power structures - the Pluto in Capricorn "accepted way of things."
These symbols are also playing out very literally with female soldiers fighting for justice and change in relation to the male-dominated power structures of the United States Armed Forces.
The horrifyingly high incidence of rape among female soldiers by male soldiers in the United States Armed Forces is an issue gaining traction at this time, as are the cover-ups and miscarriages of justice associated with those crimes.
According to a study released on April 13, 2012 by the U.S. Department of Defense, 3,200 rapes are reported to the military annually.
Since an estimated 80 percent of rapes go unreported, the annual total is closer to 19,000.
Of the 3,200 rapes that are reported, only half are deemed worthy of pursuing in military courts, and of that half, only 6 percent result in a conviction. One out of three soldiers convicted of rape is retained by the military, keeping his job and his place on the payroll.
Many of the women who report being raped are then harassed by fellow soldiers.
A Veterans Affairs Administration study found that nearly 1 in 3 female U.S. soldiers is raped during her service, more than double the (also horrifying) 15-percent risk of rape for civilian women. This means nearly 500,000 military women have been raped since the U.S. Armed Forces first began accepting female soldiers in 1948.
The fact that the military investigates and prosecutes itself has long been problematic, but an attorney named Susan Burke is hoping to get around this by suing the Unites States military on constitutional grounds. The claim is that the military violated her clients' constitutional rights to due process, equal protection under the Fifth Amendment, and First Amendment free-speech rights to report sexual assault without retaliation. Three lawsuits involving multiple women in each suit are either in progress or are soon to be launched against the U.S. military.
These women are truly the embodiment of Pallas Athene in Aries in action.
Tuesday, September 11, 2012
Add to this the fact that Pluto is currently stationing in Capricorn square Uranus-Pallas Athene in Aries, and we're under some pretty major pressure, both macro and micro.
Mercury is just pulling out of its exterior (direct) conjunction to the Sun in Virgo, and this adds to the possibility of little irritations stirring much bigger reactions than they warrant. Take breaks from the hypercritical intensity in order to ward off ugly interactions.
The Moon's square to Saturn is the last aspect it makes before going void-of-course late this afternoon, and we're kept under the Saturnine thumb, in a sombre mood and sometimes struggling for self-control, until 9:00 p.m. tonight when the Moon enters Leo.
Easing this load is the fact that the Moon is functional and at home in Cancer, and Saturn is very strong in the last degrees of Libra. The emotional challenges we move through today have an air of finality about them.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Pluto Stationing Direct, the Second Uranus-Pluto Square, and Pallas Athene Still Kicking a Little Butt in Aries
Add to this Pluto direct station (late on September 17) the fact that we experience the second Uranus in Aries - Pluto in Capricorn square the very next day (late on September 18) and we have an extremely intense fall equinox going down.
Intense hatred is being stirred intentionally on this planet, and the coping skills necessary to deal with it are being withheld, particularly for men.
The cardinal t-square involving the Sun is exact September 29, and it is the dominant configuration involved in the Aries Full Moon that night. The Aries Full Moon falls tightly within t-square configuration, conjunct Uranus and Pallas Athene, opposite the Sun in Libra, and square Pluto.