Welcome to the Thursday August 11, 2011 edition of the Satya Center newsletter and Cosmic Weather Forecast. This week we celebrate the Leo Solar Festival and the Aquarius Full Moon.
Warm greetings from your Editor, Curtis Lang and your co-editor, Jane Sherry.
We wish you a warm and bountiful Lammas, the cross-quarter Feast of First Harvests, which takes place August 1, and is sacred to the ancient Celtic Mystery Schools, and to modern pagans and Earth-honoring peoples everywhere. Jane and I offer you our version of the story of Lammas, Blessings of the First Harvests.
Cosmic Weather Forecast
This Saturday, August 13, 2011, at 2:57 PM Eastern Daylight Time, or 11:57 AM Pacific Daylight Time, we celebrate the Leo Solar Festival, and Full Moon in Aquarius, with the sun at 21° Leo and the Moon at 21° Aquarius.
At the time of this Aquarius Full Moon we are all experiencing an inflowing tide of very powerful spiritual energies that are stimulating an inner desire to "fly", to ascend to a higher level of Consciousness, and from that new perspective, undertake to peform acts conforming to our Higher Purpose, which is to participate in the Self-Actualization of the Universe, Mother Earth, the Human species, and all those with whom we are karmically connected. We all ascend together. That is one of the lessons of Aquarius.
Mars is in Cancer, Pluto in Capricorn, Uranus in Aries and Saturn in Libra this week so we have another iteration of the Grand Cardinal Cross, featuring the same Uranus-Pluto square that is the stellar signature of the 2008 global financial meltdown.
Famine, financial instability, political irrationality, environmental catastrophe and an increasingly global clash of arms combine to remind us of the tensions between the outer planets in Cardinal Signs this summer, just like last summer. . .and just like next summer is likely to play out.
On the upside, Sun is conjunct Venus, which may help to soften the harsh energies of the Grand Cardinal Cross. Mercury is retrograde, which impels us all to focus on our inner life. If your month has been like mine, then a little moment for meditation or contemplation would be most welcome.
Even better news is that the Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-Square that has been active the last few years will be de-activated after the month of August, and we should have nearly a year of relief from the extremely challenging outer planet aspects that comprise the Cardinal Cross, the Cardinal T-Square and the various oppositions and squares that it generates over a long period of time.
So although this Full Moon has some challenging aspects to it, we are all being given a golden opportunity by the Stars to focus on the spiritual meaning of the Leo Sun - Cancer Moon opposition this week, and through this meditation we will find Guidance that will help enable us to maintain our equilibrium in these trying times.
Leo is all about Me. My Self. Self as Star, and the development of will forces within the personality.
Aquarius is all about Us. Our Group. Our Common Ground, and the development of Right Human Relations through the difficult practice of working in groups for common goals of vast importance.
The opposition of these two Cosmic Energy Signatures at the Full Moon this weekend prompts us to shine a spotlight on our own inner Lion and activate the Water-Bearer within.
Now is the time to re-examine how we harmonize our own needs, our own Higher Purpose, with the need to work with others on common goals. Now is the time to look beyond our own narrow self-interest and understand how our own well-being is totally dependent upon right relations with others, and upon a host of collective thought-forms, emotions and actions that dwarf our own individualities.
Examples of such collective energy fields include stock markets, political parties, ethnicities, nationalisms, religious groups, social and economic classes, genders, sexual identities, and more.
We are asked at this Full Moon Festival to meditate upon the Web of Social Connections that define our own identities, and to ask ourselves whether we are able to maintain our own individual Higher Purpose while working within the social parameters defined by the social groupings with which we identify.
We are asked to question whether we are sufficiently aware of the needs of the Group, of Humanity as a whole, as we pursue our own personal path of Spirit and our own Higher Purpose, as best as we know how.
We are asked to remember the most important theme of last month's Cosmic Weather Forecast -- the need to express the highest vibration of the energy of Libra, the energy of Right Human Relations. More than ever before in human history a Balance must be restored; between the rich and the poor; between male and female; between East and West; between Christian and Muslim, and Jew and Hindu; between humanity and the Realms of Nature.
We are reminded that it is only through the Aquarian virtues of respect for others and selfless service for the good of the Whole that we will be able to restore the Balance that is required to serve as a Foundation for the creation of a new set of social, political, economic and spiritual relations for suffering Humanity.
My Inner Guides and Teachers have asked me to ask you all to meditate upon these concepts during this Full Moon weekend. They assure me that if any one of us asks to be given vivid examples, pictures, and demonstrations of these important Wisdom Teachings being energized by the Cosmic Energies of this month's Full Moon, the Ascended Master Hierarchy stands ready to oblige.
The Sabian Symbol for 21° Leo is "Intoxicated chickens dizzily flap their wings trying to fly."
Here we have a metaphor for the present condition of much of humanity.
The "chickens" represent human beings who are very much standardized products of the "people factories" that create the mental maps of the world that support Consensus Reality -- families, peer groups, schools, churches, corporations, and other groups responsible for acculturating children, teenagers, and adults to conform to social roles and expectations.
Intoxication refers to the state of elevated dis-equilibrium that results when someone who conforms very closely to Consensus Reality encounters spiritual energies that stimulate spiritual growth. Those energies flow to us in times of stress, in times of crisis, in times of growth and change, and they stimulate the inner flow of Universal Life Force energy.
And so we are all experiencing an inflowing tide of very powerful spiritual energies that are stimulating an inner desire to "fly", to ascend to a higher level of Consciousness, and from that new perspective, undertake to peform acts conforming to our Higher Purpose, which is to participate in the Self-Actualization of the Universe, Mother Earth, the Human species, and all those with whom we are karmically connected. We all ascend together. That is one of the lessons of Aquarius.
We are all familiar with the "newbie" syndrome. And we all are "newbies" at this moment in history, when one world order is dying, and a new civilization has yet to be born. We are all living in the Twilight Zone, caught between the Age of Pisces and the Age of Aquarius, between Sun and Moon, between Old and New, between Consensus Reality and Co-Creation with the Divine.
No wonder we are all feeling like we are running around like chickens who are intoxicated and can't quite get off the ground to fly! I suppose it's a kind of Cosmic Joke, and perhaps we should all take this Full Moon opportunity to laugh at ourselves a little bit. At this point, a good laugh would be very therapeutic.
On a personal level, this is a clear warning to let go of our egoistic desires this Full Moon because the Solar energy of the individual ego is like an intoxicated chicken at this time. Since the Sun is conjunct Venus at this time, the possibility is strong that the dominant Solar energy of the individual ego may even overwhelm the beneficent influence of Venus if care is not taken to be sensitive to the needs and desires of others. So play nice together this weekend!
The Sabian Symbol for 21° Aquarius is "A disappointed and disillusioned woman courageously faces a seemingly empty life."
The woman represents the emotional body of all human beings. All of us are currently being challenged to emotionally accept trying times, setbacks, and a social canvas of widespread pain and suffering. We are being asked to accept that these conditions may persist for what to us is an extremely long time.
We are being given the task by our Guides and Teachers of summoning the courage and integrity demonstrated by the woman described in the symbol for this month's Full Moon in Aquarius.
This is a task for us as individuals, and also for humanity as a whole. We are slowly being forced to accept the fact that we are destroying our own global civilization through the adolsescent vices of greed, anger, factionalism, acting out and addictive behaviors.
We are being confronted with the fruits of our own past actions and of the past actions of our ancestors going back many, many lifetimes. This is for our own good, to enhance our prospects for ultimate liberation, and to enable us to let go of failed behavior patterns, mistaken mental maps of the world, old loves and old hatreds, unwanted attachments, and other old scripts that we would do well to release completely.
This is also extremely painful.
So this Full Moon let us all exhibit the Aquarian virtue of Group Telepathy and Understanding and let us all offer one another the support we need so that we can all come to terms with our current painful reality, each in his or her own way.
We will need one another's support as we work through our global issues, for they are on the boil, as we shall see in our monthly overview of the little known news that's shaping the news reports you see on TV.
Global News Update
The long hot summer of 2011 continues to turn up the heat in every area of human civilization. The civilization-transforming energy of the Grand Cardinal Cross continues to undermine existing social, political and economic systems around the world, just as we predicted in last month's newsletter.
Heat waves continue to grip the entire US east of the Rockies, Canada, Europe, China, India, Bangladesh, and more. Google "global heat wave 2011" and the Silicon Valley tech geniuses will provide you with pages of links to stories that have one thing in common -- 90% of them promise that the heat wave has nothing to do with global warming. Well, thank goodness for that news flash, guys. And thanks for providing us with such an objective and thorough search engine.
In America, the debt ceiling "debate", which resembled an elementary school food fight more than an artifact of a democratic system of governance, resulted in promises to cut trillions of dollars from social programs while keeping military spending virtually intact.
Standard & Poors, the same unreliable "rating agency" that assured investors around the world for years that dodgy mortgage backed securities were AAA quality paper, proceeded to downgrade America's credit rating.
Global markets were more concerned with the ongoing Eurozone meltdown, as German, French and Belgian bureaucrats attempted to deal with the impending collapse of major banks in Italy and Spain. The end result was that the European Central Bank intervened at the last moment to prevent a total global financial meltdown, but stock markets around the world plummeted, putting investors in a panic.
The Dow lost about 1500 points one week or so, and gold soared about $100 an ounce to $1750 as of this morning, Tuesday August 9, 2011. However the American central bank announced that they would keep interest rates low for the next two years, and global markets recovered their equilibrium. Pundits and doomsters predicted that the dollar would tank and no one would buy US Treasury bonds.
Panicked investors did not dump US Treasuries in the wake of the "downgrade" of American debt, in fact they bought Treasuries and gold as "safe haven" investments.
Like their peers in Washington, the Wall Street ratings agency insiders that hammered the US look more like "the gang that couldn't shoot straight" than Masters of the Universe.
As back-door bank bailouts continue in Europe and out-of-touch elites around the world continue to implement austerity programs to pay for the trillions of dollars worth of previous bank bailouts, major riots and protest continue in the Eurozone, and have spread to England and even Israel.
In Spain, anti-austerity protests continued on August 5, with thousands of Spain's "indignant youth" protesting in Madrid.
London's burning, and so are Leeds, Liverpool, Birmingham and Bristol. This week in London, social order and the rule of law have broken down entirely. The Draconian austerity policies implemented by the current Tory government so they can pay for British bank bailouts have finally resulted in their predictable outcome.
"The city has been brought to a standstill; it is not safe to go out onto the streets, and where I am in Holloway, the violence is coming closer," reports Laurie Penny on the Common Dreams website. "As I write, the looting and arson attacks have spread to at least fifty different areas across the UK, including dozens in London, and communities are now turning on each other, with the Guardian reporting on rival gangs forming battle lines. It has become clear to the disenfranchised young people of Britain, who feel that they have no stake in society and nothing to lose, that they can do what they like tonight, and the police are utterly unable to stop them. That is what riots are all about."
In Israel, hundreds of thousands of protestors have taken to the streets since the end of July, demanding affordable housing. "Since at least the mid-1980s, state policies have disproportionately favored the rich, causing wealth disparities, unemployment, poverty, hunger, homelessness and gradual loss of social benefits," explains Blogger and radio host Steve Lendman in a recent Blogpost on Israel.
"A race to the bottom followed, notably since mass privatizations in the 1990s, placing profits about human needs as in America where only corporate and elitist interests matter," Lendman continues.
"As a result, recent studies show 1.77 million Israelis are poor in a population of 7.7 million (including Jews, Arabs and members of other faiths). About 850,000 children live in poverty. About 69% of them lack nutritional security. Around 75% of them miss meals, and 83% of them lack proper dental care. Some, in fact, beg for money or steal to eat."
"Executive Director Eran Weintraub of the Tel-Aviv-based Latet humanitarian organization said poverty increased significantly in the last decade because of macroeconomic neoliberal policies. It shows up noticeably in housing because of sharply rising prices, making it unaffordable for many."
"According to Israel's Central Bureau of Statistics, average Tel-Aviv apartment prices doubled from 2007 - 2010. In Jerusalem, they increased by 60%. Rents also rose steeply, creating an intolerable burden for growing numbers of Israelis being priced out of a place to live," continues Lendman.
"No wonder they finally reacted, protesting for affordable housing for over two weeks in cities across Israel. What began as a Tel Aviv middle class protest mushroomed after being joined by the National Union of University Students and then others, turning small protests into huge ones," Lendman concludes.
What is most amazing at this point in the ongoing global collapse of Industrial Age civilization is that the American people are so docile.
Like the Israelis, American live in a country that has been managed for decades for the benefit of the super-rich and to the detriment of everybody else. Like the Israelis, most Americans just can't afford to buy the home of their dreams anymore. In fact, many Americans can't sell the home they already own because they owe more than it's worth on today's depressed real estate market.
Like the British, Greeks, Irish, Italians and Spanish, Americans live in a country that although nominally a democracy, operates more like an oligarchy, in that the aspirations, desires and preferences of the voting public are totally ignored by a political elite and corporate news media working day and night to enrich the rich and bankrupt the rest of us.
But according to the mainstream media and the pundits in the blogosphere, Americans don't seem to understand what's going on, unlike the rest of the world.
The news media and the pundits have got it all wrong, just as wrong as the financiers, the banksters, the feckless Washington insiders and the ratings agency insiders at Standard & Poors.
"According to a Pew Research Center poll conducted in late May and released June 11, 60% of Americans correctly attribute the nation’s enormous deficit primarily to military spending, which eats up 52% of every tax dollar," reports Dave Lindorff on his blog, This Can't Be Happening. "Social Security and Medicare are entirely funded by separate payroll taxes, and not only have not contributed a single dollar to the federal deficit, but have been routinely borrowed from by the government to finance the deficit in the government’s operating budget caused by military spending. Only 24% blame the deficit on domestic spending other than military (and probably every one of those is a Republican or right-wing independent who likely believes that the earth was created 6000 years ago, and is flat, and who will never vote Democratic no matter what)."
"That same poll showed that the vast majority of Americans (73%) object to proposals to cut the budget by reducing federal funding for social programs, or federal funding to the states for education, or by reducing Social Security benefits (59%), for example by raising the retirement age," Lindorff continues.
"What the Pew poll finds Americans do support is raising the cap on income subject to the Social Security Tax (FICA), from its current meager level of $106,000, to cover all income (66% in favor). They also favor raising taxes on those households that earn more than $250,000 a year (65% in favor), and they favor getting rid of tax deductions for corporations, which have allowed many wildly profitable companies like Exxon, GE and News Corp to pay no corporate taxes despite earning billions of dollars in profits (62% in favor). They also overwhelmingly favor reducing America’s military operations overseas, where the US currently maintains over 800 bases in countries all over the world, including wealthy allies such as Europe and Japan (62% in favor)."
"After being deluged with poorly written, simplistic and often ideologically-driven news stories all year hyping the supposed budget 'crisis,' the percentage of Americans who say they are worried about the budget deficit has crept up from 24% to 28%, but far more Americans say they are worried about the jobs crisis (38%, up from 34% in March)," Lindorff concludes.
Yet neither the Republicans nor the Democrats have been listening to the American public. Nor do they intend to respond to the desires of their constituents. America's political leaders intend to do the will of those who make large campaign contributions, and those large contributors want austerity, an American military Empire, many simultaneous resource wars, and a guaranteed income for all those in the financial sector. If financiers and bankers make profits, they keep them. If they lose money, taxpayers bail them out. Socialism for the rich and austerity for the rest of us.
Yes, the vast majority of Americans do understand how their leaders on Wall Street and in Washington have screwed them. The vast majority of Americans do not support the Obama austerity program or the Republican back-to-the-future program to return America to the good old days of the nineteenth century when there was no Social Security, no Medicare, no EPA, no affordable education, no safe food, no financial regulation and definitely no unions.
But the mystery remains -- if Americans do understand what is being done to them why don't they rebel?
Well, the short answer is that we are in for a long season of discontent, a decade of slow and steady decline for America, and a decade of increasingly more dramatic environmental, political, military, and economic shocks -- all over the world. So there is plenty of time for America's discontent to boil over.
That's one thing environmental scientists, peak oil analysts, contrarian economists and mundane astrologers all agree upon. But the timeline for these types of changes . . .now that's more difficult to predict.
So we went looking for the most famous astrologer we could find who has focused on the Cardinal Cross Timeline and the meaning of 2012 for years and years. Fortunately we didn't have to look far because the person we were looking for is a regular contributor to Satya Center!
"Among 'those who know' that something REALLY BIG is in the works for the decade of the 2010s, a marked tendency exists to focus on 2012 as the “Oh My God!” year," says renowned astrologer Bill Herbst, whose work on the Cardinal Cross has appeared in The Mountain Astrologer, where Bill has been editor and writer since the publication's inception.
"Because I have written so many essays and articles about this pivotal period in civilization---almost 100 so far since the beginning of the century---the question arises: Has my own perspective changed on the symbolism, meaning, and implications of that singular year, 2012? Well, yes and no," Bill continues, in his new article at Satya Center entitled Clarifying the Timeline of Change: 2012 and Beyond!
Bill's article is a must-read, and it contains some important insights into the way the events of 2012 are likely to unfold, as well as a clear view into the years ahead. But for your convenience we've put a couple of important points right here in this newsletter.
"My take on the astrology of 2012 and beyond (basically, through the symbolism
and history of the Uranus-Pluto first-quarter square) is that this entire decade
will be marked by an unfolding series of sporadic but ever-more-frequent shocks," Herbst contends. "The collective breakdowns/awakenings/cosmic cattle prods/whatever will most
likely unfold in increments. Each new development in the accelerating cascade of
collapse/breakdown events will cause a small percentage of former sleepers to
be jolted awake. No single event or time period in the years ahead is likely to do
more than that. Though the pace of change does accelerate, the overview is still
little by little rather than all at once."
"My private expectation is that we probably can’t look for any real or effective
responses at the collective level to the accelerating cascade of crises until the
last four years of the decade---2016 at the earliest," Bill argues.
One reason for Bill's somewhat pessimistic take on global events now unfolding is that in his analysis the political and financial elites that control nation-states, corporations, and the global economy will be one of the major roadblocks to any constructive change.
Bill goes into this topic in some detail in his other new article for Satya Center entitled The Ruling Elites Are Not Like You and Me.
"The primary intention and goal of the ruling elites is to keep the game of the status quo going as long as possible, and as smoothly as they can manage," Bill explains. "Their job is to oil the machinery of commerce to avoid disruptions and discontinuities, and to correct those when they do occur as quickly as possible. More and more over the past decade, this has become a task involving tactics rather than strategies. That means that the maintenance of short-term stability increasingly outweighs considerations of long-term implications. As we approach and pass the various tippingpoints where institutions falter, fail, and collapse, the desperation of short-term solutions that either don’t address or actively aggravate longterm challenges becomes more blatently evident."
Read the rest of Bill's article for his discussion of the history and astrology that have shaped social relations since Egyptian times and of the trends that will shape social relations in the near future -- for all of humanity. It's a worthwhile reading experience!
This month we also offer you a new article by California teacher Adam Bessie, who asks the agonized question, Can Nothing Stop the Education Reform Bubble?
"The standardized testing educational system is to blame for many of the deficiencies in our schools," says Bessie. "The Bubble silences debate and speech; it is a quieting force, suffusing the classroom in silence. It centralizes knowledge in the hands of the state, the federal government, and testing industry, taking it out of the hands of classroom teacher, local communities, parents, and ultimately, students themselves, who are increasingly mandated to submit to its authority without recourse, without debate."
James Ridgeway, who is Washington correspondent for Mother Jones magazine, unmasks the greed of the pharmaceutical industry in his new article, Mass Psychosis in the US: Big Pharma Hooks Americans on Ever-Stronger Drugs.
"Has America become a nation of psychotics?" asks Ridgeway. "You would certainly think so, based on the explosion in the use of antipsychotic medications. In 2008, with over $14 billion in sales, antipsychotics became the single top-selling therapeutic class of prescription drugs in the United States, surpassing drugs used to treat high cholesterol and acid reflux."
Well, we may be confused and stressed and sometimes depressed, but not a nation of psychotics, Jim. So what's going on? It has something to do with the tremendous profits to be made from peddling anti-psychotic drugs to children and the elderly, treating an ever-widening group of people with a variety of symptoms and conditions with extremely powerful drugs that traditionally were used on only the most deranged of psychiatric patients. To find out more, read Jim's article in full.
And finally, we turned to a stalwart Conservative with impeccable credentials to explain the central problems with America's deflating economy. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration, and a longtime columnist for Business Week during the Nineties, when I was writing for WORTH magazine, and we were covering many of the same stories for these different financial publications.
"The economy's failure to recover was despite the largest fiscal and monetary stimulus in the country's history," Roberts recounts in his new article at Satya Center entitled The Road to Armageddon. "There was a $700 billion bank bailout, a $700 billion stimulus program, a couple of trillion in "quantitative easing," that is, in debt monetization or the printing of money to finance the government's expenditures. In addition the Federal Reserve's balance sheet had expanded by trillions of dollars as the Fed purchased troubled mortgage bonds and derivatives in its effort to keep the financial system solvent and functioning. According to the Government Accountability Office's audit of the Federal Reserve released by Senator Bernie Sanders, the Federal Reserve provided secret loans to US and foreign banks totaling $16.1 trillion, a sum larger than US Gross Domestic Product (GDP)."
"Despite the enormous fiscal and monetary stimulus, the economy remained dead in the water," Roberts recalls.
Roberts calculates that by any honest accounting, the full measure of US unemployment in June 2011 was 22.7%. The US is now beset by a jobs crisis, a financial crisis, and a budget crisis, according to Roberts.
"Any one of these crises was serious. All together, they implied economic Armageddon," says Roberts.
"There was no obvious way out, but even if one could be found, the government was focused elsewhere -- on wars," concludes Roberts. Read his article for the complete analysis of these intertwined crises, and a look at Washington's obsession with resource wars, including wars in Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and elsewhere -- all just a prelude to the conflict with China, or perhaps just a "cold war" version of an ongoing conflict between the new and the old Superpowers -- you be the judge!
"In moments of discouragement, artists (painters, composers, poets, novelists, playwrights, etc.) have been known to destroy some of their masterpieces. This is a shame, for they harm themselves and also deprive humanity of something great and beautiful. The reason for their action is that they have remained too focused on themselves, on their difficulties, anxieties and torments. They have been unable to go beyond the limits of their ego to make contact with all that is good and beautiful in humans and in nature. This is the only attitude that could have protected them and prevented them from turning their dissatisfaction against their work.
Like artists, those on a spiritual path can go through periods of discouragement, for they walk a difficult path, and they must know how to protect themselves. How? By looking with wonder on the works of God and the servants of God. Thanks to this feeling of elation, they cure the despondency, even the despair, that their own imperfections can inspire in them."