Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Deconstructing New Age Zine

Deconstructing New Age: The New Age Movement as a Spiritual Control Mechanism

- a 32-page pocket-sized zine critiquing and deconstructing the New Age movement and its ideology

- far from being innocuous, this zine makes the argument that New Age is a spiritual and mind control mechanism 

- Friends don't let friends be brainwashed by New Age! Deprogram yourself and others with help from the potent critique and deconstruction in this zine. 

$8 plus shipping

(approx. $2.00 in Canada and $3.00 in the U.S., more for multiple issues or for international)

Contact me at willowsweb [at] hushmail.com to order.

Find all zines here.

Sunday, January 22, 2017

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

The roots of many (if not most) white people in North America involve the escape of murder by the state, genocide by the state, or mass deaths due to starvation, overwork, poor conditions, and lack created by the state.

The current race-based agenda in North America - constantly repeated and reinforced - generally paints white people of European background as privileged colonialists who came to North America with the intention of displacing native people for their own benefit and profit.

This is an incorrect representation of reality in many instances, as many white Europeans were forced to emigrate to North America due to the terrible conditions that had been created in their ancestral countries. Many white Europeans came to North America as refugees. As I've written about before in this Jupiter in Libra article ("Jupiter in Libra: Bringing it All to the Table"), many white European communities are dealing with the trauma and resulting dysfunction of these experiences without the benefit of having their histories fully acknowledged in the accepted history books. The root causes of this dysfunction (alcoholism, drug addiction, poverty, rootlessness, overwork, domestic violence, relationship breakdown, mental illness, emotional disturbance, etc.) remain invisible in most cases.

Just a few examples of genocidal practises against white Europeans by the state include: the Holodomor in Ukraine, the Great Purges and gulags of Russia and Poland, the Irish potato famine, the Highland Clearances of Scotland, and the English enclosures.

World Wars I and II can be viewed in a similar light as state-directed mass slaughter and displacement of mostly Caucasian people. 

Common people being murdered, pushed off land, or forced into starvation and deprived conditions by the state has been a widespread practise throughout history, creating common roots among people of many different races and backgrounds. It is these common roots - most often erased in the political discourse of the day - that provide the strongest foundation for resistance and necessary change today.

We're All in the Same Boat Now So We'd Better Get To Paddling

By Willow from Willow's Web Astrology

We were once indigenous people, too.
Dispossessed from our land, too.
Native language stolen from our tongues, too.

We were pushed off, burned out, forced into starvation or urban slavery - a slow death sentence handed down by those with means.
Forced into workhouses and gulags
Either murdered quickly or left to perish slowly 
From cold and damp and overwork and filth and bugs and vermin and hunger and lack
Forced to give up our ways, too, to be useful to them, to make profit for them, to bend our souls, our natures, to fit their machine(s)

For many, to come to this new land was not a choice.
"Emigrate or die" is no choice.
Sent on ships not seaworthy and many sank
Conditions so poor many did not live to see land again
No monetary value for us, less worth than livestock or commodified slaves,
So no one cared if we lived to see the other shore.
Deprivation and early death on this new land, too brutal to sustain us, too heartsick and homesick to resist it.

So don't call me a "white European colonialist."
Don't try to make me feel guilty for the crime of surviving.
Don't tell me I'm on land I have no right to exist on,
As if I somehow need your permission. 
I'm here. I'm sovereign. And my roots go just as deep as yours.

My heart aches for a place to belong and for the old ways, for freedom, just like yours.
The Sun, the Moon, the seasons as my timepiece,
The intuitive call as true authority.

They teach us your history (their version) while we are severed from our own.
Our history stays invisible, while you spit their words at us: "white European imperialist"
And teach the partial story being misrepresented as truth
Common roots covered over with convenient black-and-white agendas

The genocide has happened a thousand times before
To every colour of skin
The land has been taken, revoked, stolen, and with it our survival, our peace
Set adrift on a sea of anomie, searching for a place to belong
Addictions to numb the heartsick and soulsick,
The gnawing knowledge that we may never again feel at home.

So if you want to fight corrupt power alongside each other
With long, parallel roots acknowledged,
If you want to make a better world for all,
I will stand with you.

But if you want to overpower my voice, my history, my truth,
If you want to misrepresent who I am and where I come from,
If you want to take my right to a place on the land (just like they do),
You're on your own.

If you want to paint me as white imperialist scum, you are really no better than they.
Your rhetoric will crumble and your power will desert you,
Under the awesome, undeniable force of the real story,
Under the drive for full acknowledgement and justice, currently being denied.

So reconsider this whitewash of history, this convenient erasing of roots, this partial truth declared to be whole.
Understand the common experience, the common struggle that is fought to this day, to this minute, to this second.
Overturn the denial of common roots.
Overturn these cheap slurs against those whose only crime is surviving the systemic violence they bring down on all of us.
Overturn their easy answers and over-simplified histories
Or take your place as just one more overlord,
As just one more chapter in their false historical line,
As just one more boot in the face.

The full spectrum is cracking open,
And the time is now

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Venus Retrograde 2017: Reviving Relationships and Social Scenes By Releasing Old Ghosts

...The Venus retrograde in Aries in 2001 coincided with the Free Trade Area of the Americas (FTAA) anti-globalization protest in Quebec City that I took part in, driving day-and-night in a 15-passenger van and car caravan with other protesters from Saskatchewan. The meetings and protests occurred just as Venus stationed direct at 1 degree Aries and involved joining together with others (Venus) to fight for our rights and for our survival (Aries). It was quite an exciting and social time, joining 50,000 other protesters from many different locations, groups, and backgrounds. 

The powers-that-be had learned a few things since massive protests shut down the World Trade Organization meetings in Seattle, Washington in 1999 (coined the “Battle in Seattle”). The FTAA protest was the first with a ten-foot riot police-guarded chain-link fence erected around the convention centre to segregate the mucky-mucks who were meeting behind closed doors to decide our fates.

Though marching and protesting peacefully, we were tear gassed and CS gassed terribly as we stood around the fence. The air was absolutely thick with it for hours on end, day and night. Do-it-yourself medics traveled around with water bottles, rinsing the eyes of protesters who had been overcome by pepper spray powder, which was also being used. I managed to step in a mound of it myself and was temporarily blinded by it. The gratitude I felt for the DIY medic who rinsed my eyes and restored my vision was pretty well immense. Other protesters gave out bandanas soaked in apple cider vinegar so we could breathe through the gas. (Many of us stood our ground all day and well into the night.) The self-organization and the helpful spirit behind it were refreshing to experience. 

We were also sprayed with a water cannon filled with a chemical mixture that burned the skin on contact. Water cannons are hugely dangerous because of the intense water pressure and have caused severe injuries to protesters in the past, including putting people’s eyes out. Some protesters were shot with rubber bullets, which are not as innocuous as they may sound. My friend was one of them and had a huge red welt at the impact point. These can be deadly if they hit a person in the wrong spot.

In a fit of hilarious poetic justice, so much chemical weaponry was unleashed against the protesters in Quebec City that it blew back into the convention centre and shut down the meetings!

This time around as Venus prepares for retrograde motion through the sign of the warrior, we are in another volatile period, with a catalyzing event taking place January 20: the swearing in of Donald Trump as President of the United States of America. (Sounds like a joke...but isn't.) We are now near the end of the Uranus in Aries – Pluto in Capricorn square, a period associated historically with the rise of violent global fascism and totalitarianism, along with mass slaughter, surveillance, and imprisonment by the state. Stalin and Hitler are two of the figureheads associated with this period of time (mid-to-late 1930s), but there were also many lesser known characters of equal nastiness embedded in high-ranking positions in governments, business, and finance throughout the world. 

Under current conditions, increased clashes between activists (especially young activists) and the police state can be expected. However, I would advise extreme caution, as I did ahead of the G20 protests in Toronto, Ontario in late June 2010. The militarized police tactics used against protesters have become even more brutal and dangerous, now including the use of Long Range Acoustic Devices (LRADs). These are energy weapons, previously used only in warfare, that emit a high-pitched, ear-splitting sound that can deafen a person, cause inner ear damage, stop a pacemaker, or cause an aneurysm. LRADs were rolled out for the first time in Canada at the G20 protests in Toronto in 2010, appearing a year earlier in the U.S. at the G20 protests in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in September 2009.

Mass arrests and overblown charges and prison sentences are also being used to intimidate protesters. Over 1,000 protesters were arrested (and often beaten/injured) at the G20 protests in Toronto in 2010. Undercover police officers infiltrated activist groups, arresting participants and charging them with things that could involve lengthy prison sentences – all for the crime of organizing a protest.

The initial “stepping up” of militarized police tactics against protesters at the 2010 G20 protests in Toronto occurred with the Uranus in Aries – Pluto in Capricorn square in its earliest stages. Jupiter (expansion, everything made bigger) was also in Aries at the time, conjunct Uranus at zero degrees Aries and square Pluto at 4 degrees Capricorn. A cardinal t-square was formed on the weekend of the G20 meetings with the Sun and Mercury in early Cancer. A call (Mercury) for safety, care, and protection (Cancer) in the face of violent and dangerous police state insanity that unleashed new and deadly technology (Jupiter-Uranus in Aries square Pluto in Capricorn).

As we move into another tension-filled time with militarized police on high alert, we must understand the long history of shared struggle against fascist/authoritarian forces and not become impatient or reckless - definite possibilities with Venus in detriment in Aries. Forcing confrontations with militarized police forces is often not worth the risk, more theatrical or symbolic than concretely productive. We must learn from the past experiences of others so that we do not make the same mistakes moving forward.

This is an excerpt from the article, "Venus Retrograde 2017: Reviving Relationships and Social Scenes By Releasing Old Ghosts." This 6,600+-word article details astrological transits, aspects, and themes that span the first six months of 2017. It is available in its entirety to Willow's Web Astrology patrons, or it can be purchased by email money order or by PayPal for $11.25.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Ladies of the Zodiac: It's Showtime. (A Re-Post)

The following article appeared in the first issue of Hexagon Astrology Magazine in Summer 2015. In light of current world events (sexual misconduct fan turned President of the United States of America, Eetos-Chay Itler-Hay), along with current astrological events (Saturn in the last leg of Sagittarius trine Uranus in Aries), a re-post seems appropriate:

Astrology is a lens through which we can view life on this planet, and this lens reflects back to us certain insights that would be much more difficult to glean without it. 

As a reflection of the patriarchal constructs of current human society, we deal in an astrological zodiac that is masculine-heavy, illustrating certain reinforced dynamics on the planet. Seven of the 10 major planets used in astrological analysis are considered masculine (the Sun, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) with one (Mercury) considered neutral. Only the Moon and Venus are considered feminine. Important as those bodies are, this is still a whole lot of imbalance. 

Women and the feminine influence are far more multi-dimensional and diverse than the loving, pleasing, and supportive mate (Venus), the mothering nurturer (Moon), or the vindictive, vixen/seductress version of the dark feminine.

We pick up some of the slack as far as the feminine influence in the zodiac with the feminine asteroids and dwarf planets.

The four major “secondary” bodies most often used in astrological charts – asteroids Juno, Pallas Athene, and Vesta, along with dwarf planet Ceres - are considered feminine, though these bodies most often play second fiddle to the planets, doing their thing with little recognition or fanfare in mainstream astrology.

An invisible feminine force doing its work from a disempowered position for much less than its due share of recognition, respect, and reward. Sound familiar?

As with the planets, these four bodies have ties to Greek and Roman mythology, which color their themes in astrological analysis.

Unfortunately, the men who created and furthered the mythology that is used in current-day astrology have missed about 50% of the story. They missed the herstory of the history, as they say.

This missing feminine/female influence is apparent in Greek and Roman mythology as well as in much of the standard religious and spiritual imagery of the current day. We're working with partial archetypal truth at best and straight up patriarchy-approved fabrication at worst, and we have to understand how detrimental these power-imbalanced units of cultural transmission can be.

The feminine bodies used in astrology have been saddled with an Old Boys Club mythology. There is widespread sexual violence, control, and misconduct toward women, among many other offenses, in the stories of those old Greek and Roman dudes. Women are most often in secondary roles with their stories told for them by males, through the male lens.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Mars in Pisces Activates the Saturn-Chiron Square: Stay in the Game, Champs!

Warrior planet Mars is currently part of a large concentration of bodies and points in Pisces, joining Chiron, Neptune, Venus, Pallas Athene, and the South Node of the Moon in the sign of the fishes.

Mars is also coming up on a conjunction to wounded healer Chiron at 21 degrees Pisces (January 16) and a square to Saturn at 23 degrees Sagittarius (January 19).

Mars-Saturn squares, in general, have a tendency to stir "between a rock and a hard place" frustrations. This is the two traditional malefics of the zodiac interacting in a frictional and potentially angsty way. Two heavy hitters of the zodiac are sending up some sparks. It may seem, under this aspect, that we've been stuck with the same set of stinky old problems for a coon's age now, unable to gain satisfactory traction toward a long-term solution. We may be rubbing up against certain aspects of our circumstances in frictional ways, stirring feelings of anger, impatience, or defeat. Unfortunately, this aspect can also indicate suicidal thinking and actions, so watch yourself and the people around you and reach out if necessary.

Add wounded healer Chiron in Pisces into the mix, and it may seem as if the challenges we are facing have no beginning and no end, no suitable course of action, no concretely applicable solutions.  Just a messy, heavy, soupy mess.

Because of this, and because of the concentration in "tired old soul," end-of-the-zodiac-line Pisces, it may be tempting to just throw in the towel, to give up and spend the day in our pajamas watching paternity test drama on Maury. (Not that that isn't a perfectly fine way to spend the day once in a while...)

Pisces does have the tendency to easy discouragement and to a sort of inertia or paralysis under the weight of the general problems of the human condition.

But we can't forget here: Pisces is also the sign of the underdog, of the long shot, of the miraculous turn around. And with never-say-die warrior Mars transiting this sign, the exhilarating "come from behind" stories are just waiting in the ethers, itching for a chance to manifest.

These aspects indicate the potential inflammation of some tough issues, it's true. There's some depression, some fear, some malaise, some anger, some "why freakin' bother?" These are challenges that we may have been struggling with for a good long while now, and we may be just plain worn down.  Fed up. Sick of it.

But again, with Mars speed boating through this watery Piscean terrain, there are clear indicators of energized new directions to power us through old problems and sticking points.

In other words, this is no time to give up and play dead, hoping the universe will lose interest in fucking with you and just mosey along.

This is the time to set your jaw and dig in, to pour the last bit of energy you have into one last offensive. Because this time, under these aspects, there's a very good chance things will advance - at least a step or two, at least enough to get some breathing room.

With all this Pisces, and especially with Venus in exaltation conjunct Neptune, it's actually possible that we could see some near-miraculous progress - but we have to go out and get it. We have to show the universe our steely-willed intent. No one is going to drop it into our pajama-ed, TV-glazed laps.

So suit up and show up, even if you don't feel like it, even if you feel that it's pointless. Keep your head in the game, eyes on the immediate moment as the play unfolds, even if you feel like zoning out and forgetting about it all.

And most importantly - humour these really terrible sports analogies I have going here. It's Mars the action planet, after all.

The effects indicated by the Mars-Chiron conjunction and Mars-Saturn square will come to a head January 16 - 19, lingering until Mars enters its own sign of home-sweet-home Aries on January 27.

Until then, we have to understand that the perception of the difficulty and immovability of our challenges is somewhat different from the reality. The effectiveness of our actions could surprise us and those around us now. With Mars taking part in the large concentration of bodies and points in Pisces, we have to stay active and willing, despite the Piscean pull into the "why me/why bother?" void.

What you do matters. What you don't do matters. It all matters, even when the point seems lost in the fog.

The toughest of knots can come loose under these aspects - but we have to stick with it right to the last second. We have to show up and put in our best effort in good faith, without burdensome expectations, in order to access that classic "come from behind" story that fills and renews the collective human heart.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Stop GM Alfalfa Zine

Handy-dandy 16-page pocket-sized "Stop GM Alfalfa" zine with information I've been gathering for the past five years - $5 (plus shipping). Contact me for payment options.

Genetically modified alfalfa was approved unconditionally in the United States in January 2011. Since then, it has been contaminating the natural crop. "Demonstration plots" have been planted in Ontario and Quebec, Canada since 2014.

Learn more (and protect yourself) with information from this zine. Then pass it on to someone else: a friend, an elected official, a media outlet, a local library or zine library, an activist group, an organic grocery store or organization. Leave it in a random public place. The possibilities are darned near endless! 

"Stop GM Alfalfa" bumper stickers/stickers are $5 each (plus postage). 

Here's me talking about the zine on Matt Savinar's Ask the Astrologer radio show on KOWS 107.3 FM out of Occidental, California: radio clip

You can hear Matt's show, where he hosts a number of interesting guests both astrological and otherwise, every Thursday from 10 a.m. to noon Pacific at the KOWS FM website.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Saturn in Late Sagittarius in 2017: Solidifying and Settling In To Positions of Natural Authority

We are entering this new year with guarded (Saturn) optimism (Sagittarius) about the next leg of the journey as Saturn settles in to the final decan (ten-degree chunk) of Sagittarius.

We've put the messiness and difficulty of 2016 - coloured strongly by the Saturn-Neptune square - in our rear view mirrors at least symbolically, and we now move, older and wiser and maybe a little more wary, into the next chapter of things.

As Saturn moves into the final decan of Sagittarius and crosses the retrograde shadow threshold, we are digging in for some advancement in life that was perhaps on hold, thwarted, or just generally refused by the universe in 2016. It was challenging to make concrete progress with Saturn rubbing up against the Great Dissolver Neptune throughout most of 2016. But as of the beginning of 2017, this aspect is officially out of orb.

(For those feeling especially sorry for themselves, just remember: some people have Saturn square Neptune natally. Just imagine being a baby born in 2016 under this aspect, and it may help to put things in perspective!)

*I should clarify that by "natural authority," I don't mean a control-based or coercive position. I mean a natural position of leadership, an area of expertise or talent where people are deferred to because it benefits the society around them that they have a certain amount of authority entrusted to them. This would often not be an overt position of authority. 

This is an excerpt from the article, "Saturn in Late Sagittarius in 2017: Solidifying and Settling In To Positions of Natural Authority." It is available in its entirety to Willow's Web Astrology patrons.