SUMMER SALE — 20% off everything but our deeply discounted vogels!

January 2007 Cosmic Weather Forecast

By Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry on Jan 27, 2007

Ushering In the New Year

Dear Friends,

Welcome to the January 22, 2007 edition of the Satya Center newsletter. Warm greetings from your Editors, Curtis Lang and Jane Sherry.

We want to extend our heartfelt gratitude to all of the talented writers, poets, historians, scientists & spiritual activists, artists, farmers and healers who have so generously allowed us to reprint and publish their stories, articles, poems, recipes and insights since our launch in November 2004.
 
We have discovered that “it takes a village” to create a resource-rich website! Without the generosity of our contributors, Satya Center could not become such a vital and vibrant tapestry. They all help us to collaborate on this wonderful cloth that we weave from the warp and woof of our collective dreams and visions. We are also delighted to present deep, thoughtful analysis of current events along with scientific observation and analysis of crucial global issues thanks to our contributors. We look forward to 2007 and we will continue to bring these multi-colored writings and imagery to you.
 
We also want to thank each and every one of our viewers, readers and crystal customers for helping us to create and sustain our Satya Center web portal. Satya Center is your virtual community resource, a digital village dedicated to healing -- healing for ourselves, our families, our communities and our garden planet. We are thrilled in the ways our community keeps growing and evolving, continuing to challenge and delight us in a myriad of ways.

Remember that we have an excellent search engine on our site, on every page, upper left which can be used to find the articles, poetry & more on our site by subject or author.

If you find these newsletters and our website to be a useful resource, please send an email to your friends and colleagues with our web address or a copy of the newsletter.

2007 Begins

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times,” wrote Charles Dickens in the opening sentence of his famous novel “A Tale of Two Cities”. The year is 1775. In Dickens’ story the French revolution provides a backdrop for an epic tale of aristocratic arrogance and painful self-recognition, followed by a bloody struggle for redemption which reveals the horrors of life in London and Paris, where undemocratic cultures based upon Darwinian struggle and egocentric worldviews distort the souls and lives of those at every level of the highly stratified social structure.

We also live in revolutionary times. A tidal wave of change is on the horizon.

2006 was the year the mainstream media discovered the concept of “peak oil”, and we began to realize that we are in the early stages of a permanent oil shortage which will transform every aspect of our Western oil based consumer culture.

In the West, ossified and out-of-touch political and economic elites continue to preach the old-time religion of Darwinian survival of the fittest and winner-take-all, viewing the spiritual horror of a war of all against all as the highest form of social organization possible to humankind.

In the East and South, emerging economic giants like India and China, Venezuela and Brazil, are waking up and demanding their fair share of the global economic and resource pie for themselves.

Meanwhile, the Great Powers of the East and West are jockeying for strategic advantage in a fluid and dynamic global chess game for control of dwindling hydrocarbon resources. This global chess game has the potential for engulfing the entire world in flames.

A rolling series of wars rocks the Middle East, threatening every government in the region with overthrow by either dissatisfied and disenfranchised Islamic fundamentalists or American proxies.

America’s war president and his colossal death machine are preparing to fight a series of global battles against the poor and the downtrodden in every area of the Third World, extending for decades into the future.

Journalists from many countries are reporting on preparations by Israel and America to unleash atomic weapons against Iran, a war crime that would place the lives of tens of millions in jeopardy throughout the Middle East and South Asia, thanks to the propensity for radioactive fallout to ride the winds.

2006 was the year the American mainstream media and politicians in Washington finally realized that global warming is a reality, and that we have only a few decades to implement a complete revolution in every aspect of our lives to avoid global catastrophe. Yet the American aristocracy retains a firm belief in the “magic of the marketplace”, and contends that co-operation and community are not the solutions to the problem. Instead high prices for oil, gas, food, water and other scarce resources will automatically create a new society in which the most deserving have the most resources and the least deserving will, regrettably but unavoidably, suffer agonies without end. Unsurprisingly, in this scenario the American aristocracy of corporate and political elites will enjoy continued privilege as a result of this free market, globalized revolution. At the point of a gun if need be.

On a cosmic level, it appears that nations, peoples and the entire human race are beginning to realize that nothing less than a total soul-deep transformation of our way of thinking, of our worldview, and of our approach to problem solving, community and conflict resolution can begin to address the crisis of our times.

Welcome to the 21st Century! And welcome to 2007.


The year began for us with a view of Comet McNaught, which was visible from our front lawn during the week of Curtis’ birthday, January 14, shining brightly in the West, low in the sky, near sunset. We thought it was an airplane at first, but it didn’t seem to move!

 

This dramatic sighting revealed the first major comet since Hale Bopp in 1997 – a comet that was later said to portend the death of Princess Diana. Historically, astrologers East and West have said that comets predict the downfall of the rich and famous, and especially of those who hold the reins of state in their manicured hands.

Thus comets often foretell times of revolution, times of turmoil, times when the existing order will be upended. For the rest of us, astrologers say that comets bring many blessings in the form of positive transformations, openings in ossified social structures that bring much needed fresh air and new faces into the corridors of power. Comets herald the advent of“people power”, as all of us suddenly find our voices and realize that we are not alone in our deep dissatisfaction with our society and with those who rule our political system and our corporations. Innovations in science, technology, the arts and sciences are also often seen in the wake of major comets.

For every individual working to achieve self-actualization, comets are said to coincide with doorways leading to accelerated soul growth and personal transformation. Comet McNaught appeared in the Western sign of Capricorn, so all of us born under that Zodiacal sign can expect unprecedented opportunities to achieve our highest spiritual goals this coming year, despite, and possibly as a result of, the vast upheavals in the world around us.

The theme of global revolution, cultural combustion and self-transformation in 2007 is dramatically reinforced by another cosmic energy signature, perhaps even more unusual than any comet in recent history.

 

This year, Pluto will pass across that point in the Zodiac known as the GalacticCenter, and by year’s end, Pluto will be joined at this area of deep space around which our entire solar system slowly revolves by the planet of Kings, Jupiter. As 2007 unfolds, Venus, the Sun, Mercury and the Moon will also pass across the conjunction of Pluto and the GalacticCenter.

The GalacticCenter is located some 27,000 light years away from Planet Earth, right at the center of our galaxy, the Milky Way.

The Earth and the rest of our solar system revolves around the Sun. The Sun and 100 billion other stars in our galaxy revolve around this

GalacticCenter.

Scientists are still investigating the extremely powerful gamma ray, hard X-ray, infrared, sub-millimeter and radio emissions from the GalacticCenter, which appears now to be a Black Hole the size of our sun but with a mass of 4 million times larger.

Some mystics believe the Galactic Center to be the “womb of the Universe”, the location of the Cosmic Architect. The extremely strong energy signatures propagating from this Source are thought by some to be the templates for the transforming structures of space and time that shape the evolution of our physical Universe, and for the ultra-high-frequency signals that promote the ascension of devoted individual souls to ever more elevated spiritual states of being.

In past cycles, the conjunction of Pluto with the Galactic Center has happened at times we can now see were germinal moments in history, when the seeds of remarkable social transformation were sown. These conjunctions occur approximately every 248 years, the period of Pluto’s long orbit around the Sun.

In 1759-60, the British enjoyed a series of remarkable victories over the French, who were threatening to invade their island kingdom, and dubbed the year “annus mirabilis”, the miracle year. This marked the rise of the British Empire to global supremacy.

In 1513-14 Columbus had just finished his last voyage to the new world. After Pope Leo X proclaimed the sale of indulgences in 1513 Martin Luther, a professor of at Wittenberg, began questioning the direction that the church was taking. About the year 1515 Luther experienced a spiritual awakening that led him to promulgate the doctrine that it is faith alone, “sola fides”, that brings salvation. This was in contradiction to the Papal doctrine of good works and faith, which Martin felt opened the door to abusive practices by the clergy, who were involved in performing rituals and offering indulgences to the faithful for money.

In 1267-68 Turkish power was on the rise, and would soon eject the Crusaders from the Holy Land.

Astrologers predict that the seeds of future political, economic, religious and cultural transformations of epochal magnitude are being sown now across the globe. On an individual level, those who engage in spiritual practices designed to elevate their minds to engage with Higher Mind, those who work to unite spiritual worlds with this material domain, those who desire fervently and work diligently to ground the Kingdom of Heaven on this earthly plane, will find doorways to higher worlds, higher mind, and higher self suddenly flung open for them. Lightworkers can expect a floodtide of high-frequency energy to accelerate their practice, and support their healing work.

Now is the time to expect miracles! Now is the time to create new worlds and new ways of relating to one another in the world. Now is the time to join with our brothers and sisters around the world and in higher realms to enjoy enhanced unity and community.

Fear not the revolution taking place around us. For it is an essential transformation, and we can be an essential part of it, working to insure that the coming years will eventually bring a harvest of change that will be for the best and highest good of all humankind and the entire web of life on planet Earth.

May 2007 bring you and yours the grace and guidance you need to achieve your highest spiritual goals!

TopSatyaCenter Stories of the Week

We are deeply saddened to report that world-renowned astrologer and Satya Center contributor Maya del Mar passed away suddenly on November 26, 2006, however her daughters, Susan and Crystal Pomeroy, continue to operate Maya's Daykeeper Journal [http://www.daykeeperjournal.com/] website in partnership with some very talented astrologers who are carrying on Maya's work. Crystal has generously offered to share her articles with SatyaCenter readers, and we are grateful for that!

In Crystal’s first article for Satya Center,“2007: Alchemical Portal” [http://www.satyacenter.com/crystal-pomeroy-2007-astrologica], Crystal provides an overview of celestial currents for the year ahead.

“We are before a window of opportunity for developing sublime aspirations, as we simultaneously charge our personal auras and that of the planet with light,” Crystal predicts.

For those of us who are bewildered by the motives and machinations of the major players in the grand chess game being played out in the Middle East, International Peacemaker and Lightworker Palden Jenkins has penned a new article, “Understanding the Iran Crisis” [http://www.satyacenter.com/palden-jenkins--iran-crisis], which offers a look at the deep-seated motivations of the main national players in Washington, Baghdad, Tehran and Tel Aviv whose geo-strategic moves are shaping our headline news.

“George Bush's plan to send a 'temporary surge' of extra troops to Iraq is a wheeze,” Palden reports. “Under the guise of sorting out Iraq before eventual withdrawal, it's equally likely that the troops are being sent there to hold Iraq down while Israel attacks Iran.”

Former Assistant U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Paul Craig Roberts, a Reaganite who has broken decisively with the failed policies of the current Bush administration, forecasts dismal failure for America’s bellicose MidEast foreign policy in his new article, “A Regional MidEast War? Catastrophe Awaits America” [http://www.satyacenter.com/mideast-war-paul-craig-roberts].

Roberts argues that American politicians and elite opinion-makers are hypnotized by their own arrogance into believing they can win a wider war in the MidEast. It may seem counter-intuitive but Roberts believes that a less bellicose American foreign policy depends upon political change -- in Israel.

This month, Dr. Mae Wan-Ho, internationally renowned biophysicist and activist on behalf of sustainable agriculture, presents a multi-part series of articles about the environmental damage done to Earth’s oceans, oceanic wildlife, and the role oceans play in global warming.

[We published the first two parts of this series in October.]

In the introduction to this series, “Oceans in Distress” (http://www.satyacenter.com/oceans-in-distress), Dr. Ho presents an overview of the current dire situation. Pollution, destructive overfishing and increasing commercial exploitation are threatening the planet’s cradle of life. Learn how you can become an Ocean Defender in this article. Being informed is half the battle, and Dr. Ho offers links to websites that empower you to take action now!

In “Save our Seas Part 1: Oceans and Global Warming” (http://www.satyacenter.com/oceans-and-global-warming)

Dr. Ho explains how global warming disrupts the oceanic web of life, and could result in die-off of the phytoplankton that sustain all oceanic wildlife, releasing huge amounts of carbon and accelerating global warming even more.

For more in-depth analysis, see:

Save Our Seas Part 2: Oceans – Carbon Sink or Source?” [http://www.satyacenter.com/mae-wan-ho-oceans-in-distress-2]

Save Our Seas Part 3: Acid Oceans” [http://www.satyacenter.com/mae-wan-ho-oceans-in-distress-3]

Save Our Seas Part 4: Plankton in Peril[http://www.satyacenter.com/mae-wan-ho-oceans-in-distress-4]

Save Our Seas Part 5: Global Warming Destroying Plankton Habitat” [http://www.satyacenter.com/mae-wan-ho-oceans-in-distress-5]

Also this month,

SatyaCenter contributor Jann Garrity, a staff member of the Flower Essence Society, reports on the results of “Flower Essences Aid in the Aftermath of Hurricane Katrina” [http://www.satyacenter.com/katrina-flower-essences].

According to Jann’s report, people reported things like, “I would have never believed that this stuff would make a difference, but I can't tell you how much it has. I don't get as depressed as I did before. I don't have the very blue, ‘sit in the corner’ feeling, or the same level of heartache. When I started using it, it made a total, complete difference. I almost panicked when I realized my bottle was almost empty. I need a quart of this stuff."

Jann also has written another article about the use of flower essences at the celebrated Common Ground Health Clinic in New Orleans --“The Role of Flower Essences in Rebuilding a Healthy Community” [http://www.satyacenter.com/rebuilding-a-healthy-community].

In the cultural context of the clinic, herbal medicine was easy to introduce, including the use of flower essences. The language of plants provides an effective way of communicating; it is a great modality to help people name what is going on without the practitioner intruding on patients’ limits and privacy. It allows the practitioner to be respectful while at the same time addressing what is occurring on a deep level. Whatever “language” a patient spoke, volunteer flower essence practitioners could find a way to relate it to plants and then could match what was needed to the situation.

We are also pleased to introduce our readers to Soo-Mi Hwang, a licensed acupuncturist and Chinese herbal medicine practitioner with a private practice in New York City. Soo-Mi is also the Director of Integrative Medicine at the Greyston Foundation’s Maitri Clinic for people living with HIV/AIDS in Yonkers, New York.

Soo-Mi's work in the Oriental medical field focuses on acupuncture & covers various techniques of needling and different types of treatment methods, including moxibustion, cupping, gua sha, tuina, etc. Soo-Mi concentrates on an integrated approach to illness by offering several different forms of acupuncture which do not always use standard needles. She also incorporates aromatherapy, lifestyle & food counseling along with Chinese Herbal Medicine. Soo-Mi’s contact info [http://www.satyacenter.com/soo-mi-hwang] can be found in the SatyaCenter alt.healer directory.


Special Notice: Two of our Satya Center healers have sent us the following information about a unique opportunity to purchase a large ongoing botanical business:

Unique Herbal Products Business for sale: Dreaming Earth Botanicals is a 10-year old Essential Oil / Aromatherapy business grossing around $350k.   Located in 3600 sq. ft. rustic lodge on 5+ beautiful mountain acres near Asheville, NC. Owners are retiring.  Business and lodge $695k or separately for $350k each (business is internet based and can be relocated). Website: www.dreamingearth.com. Call or email Ivan 828-628-5299 / ivan@dreamingearth.com 

Top Spiritual Stories From Around the Web

 

The Shambala Sun
http://www.shambhalasun.com/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=2235&Itemid=247
The Red Coat and the Teaching of Impermanence

By Reginald A. Ray, Ph.D.

“Only when I realized that our time together was limited was the veil stripped away,” says Reginald A. Ray. “In that moment, I discovered a love for her that had nothing to do with my own preconceptions.”

The Buddhist teachings on impermanence are usually considered primarily as an antidote to our attachment to samsara. But, as the following story suggests, when impermanence is deeply experienced it can give rise to genuine love for others and a sense of sacredness in our human existence.

Many years ago I knew a young woman who loved beauty. She was a quiet and shy person, perhaps because of much suffering in her childhood. But as a result, she had a tender regard for all those in pain and exceptional awareness, so that she could see exactly what was going on in other people, even if buried under layers of conditioning and pretense. She was so simple and unpretentious that most people who met her had no idea of the depth of her inner life.

Flower of Life Research, LLC
http://www.floweroflife.org/art-priceoffreedom.htm       
The Price of Freedom
by 'Yogi E' - Eric Walrabenstein

…"I guess I feel like I'm being pulled in a lot of different directions."

"How so?"

"Competing priorities I guess. You know, work, practice, fun, family…"
"You know, a great yogi from the Zen tradition once said, 'The most important thing is to know what is the most important thing.'"

"Yeah, that makes a lot of sense." Alex nods in acknowledgement, although indifferently as if I just told him that the white zone was for loading and unloading passengers only. He keeps nodding, pensively.

"So?" I ask.

"So what?"

"So what is the most important thing?" I prod.

"How would I know? You're the teacher." He says and then sits back for me to cast down the pearls of wisdom that will set him free.

"No, no, Alex, you've got it all wrong. I'm not asking you for 'the' answer, I'm asking you for 'your' answer." I smile. "Let's try this: what's the most important thing for you?"

"You mean right now?"

"Is there anything other than right now?" I say. Damned yoga teachers always have a snippy comeback for everything.

"I guess its enlightenment, God-realization, you know awakening to my True nature."

"You guess?"

Alex stammers for a moment and then stops to collect his thoughts. A few minutes pass as I sip some tea and turn my gaze out the window to give him some space to ponder.

"No, I'm sure. That's it: enlightenment." He comes back.

"Okay, so for you, the most important thing is liberation."

"Yeah."

"And what are you willing to pay for this most precious of jewels?" I ask.

"Pay?" A look of surprise comes over him.

"Yes pay. What are you willing to part with in exchange for everlasting joy and freedom?" I ask.

I can see Alex calculating his net worth in his head; then a flash of realization:

"Why do I have to part with anything? The scriptures say that money doesn't matter, in fact in the Bible, Jesus said that it's easier for a camel to fit through the eye of a needle, than it is for a rich man to enter the gates of heaven." He sits back with a look of satisfaction on his face: checkmate yoga teacher.

"That may be true, but he also says 'Thy will be done', not 'my will be done.'"

"Yeah, but what does that have to do with payment?"

"That's the price."

"What is?"

"Your will, your will is the price."

"That's it?"

"Yup, but remember that it's not just your will that is at stake, it's everything you use your will for. The sacrifice includes all of the ways you use your will in service of your small, separate false self: performing your actions, achieving your desires, and enforcing all of your personal agendas, preferences, and opinions."

"Oh." From the look on Alex's face, I'm guessing sticker shock is setting in.

Information Clearing House
http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article16183.htm
Martin Luther King Jr.: "Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam"
Sermon at the Ebenezer Baptist Church on April 30, 1967

. . . Oh, my friends, if there is any one thing that we must see today is that these are revolutionary times. All over the globe men are revolting against old systems of exploitation and oppression, and out of the wounds of a frail world, new systems of justice and equality are being born. The shirtless and barefoot people of the land are rising up as never before. The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light. They are saying, unconsciously, as we say in one of our freedom songs, "Ain't gonna let nobody turn me around!" . . .Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism, and militarism. With this powerful commitment we shall boldly challenge the status quo, we shall boldly challenge unjust mores, and thereby speed up the day when "every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low, and the rough places shall be made plain, and the crooked places straight. And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together."

A genuine revolution of values means in the final analysis that our loyalties must become ecumenical rather than sectional. Every nation must now develop an overriding loyalty to mankind as a whole in order to preserve the best in their individual societies. This call for a worldwide fellowship that lifts neighborly concern beyond one's tribe, race, class, and nation is in reality a call for an all-embracing, unconditional love for all men. This oft misunderstood and misinterpreted concept, so readily dismissed by the Nietzsches of the world as a weak and cowardly force, has now become an absolute necessity for the survival of mankind. And when I speak of love I'm not speaking of some sentimental and weak response. I am speaking of that force which all of the great religions have seen as the supreme unifying principle of life. Love is somehow the key that unlocks the door which leads to ultimate reality. This Hindu-Muslim-Christian-Jewish-Buddhist belief about ultimate reality is beautifully summed up in the first epistle of John: "Let us love one another, for God is love. And every one that loveth is born of God and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God, for God is love. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us and his love is perfected in us.

. . . I call on the young men of America who must make a choice today to take a stand on this issue. Tomorrow may be too late. The book may close. And don't let anybody make you think that God chose America as his divine, messianic force to be a sort of policeman of the whole world. God has a way of standing before the nations with judgment, and it seems that I can hear God saying to America, "You're too arrogant! And if you don't change your ways, I will rise up and break the backbone of your power, and I'll place it in the hands of a nation that doesn't even know my name. Be still and know that I'm God."  

[Editor’s Note: If Martin Luther King Jr. had not been assassinated he would be 78 years young this year.]

Breaking News Headlines 24/7 at Satya Center

Read breaking news stories updated 24/7 from Pacific News Service (http://www.satyacenter.com/news). Tune in to Satya Center’s 24/7 environmental news headlines and listen to environmental news radio from Environmental News Network at ENN EarthNews (http://www.satyacenter.com/news/environment).

Top News Stories From Around the Web

Common Dreams
Published on Friday, December 22, 2006 by TomPaine.com
A Parable For Our Times
http://www.commondreams.org/views06/1222-24.htm
by Bill Moyers

The Christian story begins simply: A child is given, a son. He grows up to be a teacher, sage, healer and prophet. He gains a large following. To many he is a divine savior; to the rich and powerful he is an enemy. They put him to death in brutal fashion, befitting his humble beginnings in peasant Galilee and his birth in a stall thick with the raw odor of animals.

Toward the end of his life, Jesus preached in the Temple to large crowds, reaching the height of his power. There he told the parable that likely sealed his fate. He said there was a man who created a prosperous vineyard and then rented it to some tenants while he went away on a journey. At harvest time, the owner of vineyard sent a servant to collect a portion from the tenants, but they beat the servant and sent him away empty-handed. Another servant came, and they struck him on the head. Another they killed. Finally, the owner sent his own son to collect the back payments. “They will respect my son,” he thought. But when the tenants saw the son, and knew him to be the heir, they saw their chance to take full possession of the harvest. And so they killed the son, thinking now they would owe nothing from the vineyard to anyone.

The listeners understood the symbolism: God, of course, is the owner of the vineyard, and the vineyard is Israel or the covenant, or, more broadly, the whole creation. It is all that God entrusts to the leaders of his people. And what is in question is their stewardship of this bounty.

In the parable, the “tenants” are the leaders of Israel. They hoard the fruits of the vineyard for themselves, instead of sharing the fruits as the covenant teaches, according to God’s holy purposes. And the holiest of God’s purposes, ancient tradition taught, is helping the poor, and the fatherless, and the widow, and the stranger—all who do not have the resources to live in a manner befitting their dignity as creatures made in God’s image, as children of God.

When he finished the story, Jesus asked the people what the owner of the vineyard will do when he comes back. “He will kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others,” Jesus tells them. In the Gospel of Matthew, the people themselves answered: “He will bring those wretches to a wretched end, and he will rent the vineyard to other tenants, who will give him his share of the crop at harvest time.”

Political dynasties fall from negligent stewardship. One thinks of the upward redistribution called “tax relief”; of the Iraq invasion sold as critical to the “War on Terror"; of rising poverty, inequality, crime, debt, and foreclosure as America spews its bounty on war and a military so muscle-bound it is like Gulliver. It would be hard to imagine a more catastrophic failure of stewardship, certainly in the biblical sense of helping the poor and allocating resources for the health of society. Once upon a time these errant stewards boasted of restoring a culture of integrity to politics. They became instead an axis of corruption, joining corporate power to political ideology to religious self-righteousness.

Vanity Fair
http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2006/12/lutin200612
Special Alert: Horoscope U.S.A.

A planetary configuration not seen since 1776 is coming our way, heralding chaos, revolution, and rebirth. Let the stars guide you through the coming storm.
by Michael Lutin VF.COM December 6, 2006

All alone and more paranoid by the day, President George W. Bush is getting it from all sides, and despite his bravado, which some people call a defensive, adolescent swagger, he can't trust anybody, not even his mother. (Especially not his mother.) His detractors blame him for the state the world is in. Extremists go one further and say the world is coming to an end. Most of us in this country just want gas prices to go down, the dollar to go up, and America to go back to the good old days.

Astrologers can tell you that that's not going to happen, but that, no matter what, we'll never go broke either. They can also explain George Bush's predicament by pointing out that he's a Cancer, and that in coming years Cancers are going to be challenged to expand their whole worldview. In fact, we can all gain perspective on what is happening politically, culturally, and socially in America by turning to the Zodiac, especially the signs of Cancer and Capricorn. For nations, like people, have horoscopes.

. . . Pluto in Capricorn is going to change America from the inside out, threaten our very existence, challenge our economy, and divide the country politically. The government is going to be so paranoid during those years that it doesn't really matter who gets in in 2008.

Pluto in Capricorn means the ascendance into overt power of corporations in relation to the government. But that situation will change when Pluto enters Aquarius, at the end of the 2020s.

Uranus in Aries is going to be the 1960s all over again. The greatest time of upheaval will be between 2015 and 2019, when the square of Uranus in Aries to Pluto in Capricorn will create the seeds of revolution everywhere. Forces of repression are going to clamp down even harder on those who want to speak their minds.

Then, in the years 2023–25, the final stages of the Pluto return and the Capricorn effect will reach a climax. Some astrologers believe that an empire lasts no longer than one Pluto cycle, and by 2025 this cycle will be played out. And no matter how you look at it, the U.S.A. is an empire.

In These Times
http://www.inthesetimes.com/site/main/article/2979/

Spoils of War Oil, the U.S.-Middle East Free Trade Area and the Bush Agenda
By Antonia Juhasz

Remember oil? That thing we didn’t go to war in Iraq for? Now with his war under attack, even President George W. Bush has gone public, telling reporters last August, “[a] failed Iraq … would give the terrorists and extremists an additional tool besides safe haven, and that is revenues from oil sales.” Of course, Bush not only wants to keep oil out of his enemies’ hands, he also wants to put it into the hands of his friends.

The President’s concern over Iraq’s oil is shared by the Iraq Study Group, which on December 6 released its much-anticipated report. While the mainstream press focused on the report’s criticism of Bush’s handling of the war and the report’s call for (potential) removal of (most) U.S. troops (maybe) by 2008, ignored was the report’s focus on Iraq’s oil. Page 1, chapter 1 laid out in no uncertain terms Iraq’s importance to the Middle East, the United States and the world with this reminder: “It has the world’s second-largest known oil reserves.” The group then proceeds to give very specific and radical recommendations as to what should be done to secure those reserves.

AsiaTimesOnline
Jan 23, 2007
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/IA23Ak01.html

Iran being hit in the pocket
By Amandeep Sandhu

The Kuwait-based Arab Times has reported on a recent meeting among US administration officials to decide on a plan of action against Iran. [1] It quotes "reliable sources" dating the attack to April, a month before British Prime Minister Tony Blair leaves office. Whether or not the suggested date is right, or even if the attack does not come, there is something afoot.

Oil prices have fallen 17% over the past few months, now heading toward US$50 a barrel. Surprisingly, the Saudis are not interested in stemming the price drop. Ibrahim al-Naimi, the Saudi oil minister, during a recent trip to India said oil prices were headed in the "right direction". A close US ally, Nigeria, has Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries chairmanship, and even though Venezuela and Iran have requested an early OPEC meeting, the Arab states of the Persian Gulf have all refused to schedule one to discuss oil prices.

This is in line with the Saudi plan laid out by Nawaf Obaid - a former special adviser to the Saudi ambassador in Washington - in the Washington Post a few months back in which Obaid outlined Saudi Arabia's course of action in the face of the growing conflict in Iraq and the probable US withdrawal from that country. The Saudis, Obaid stated, would act to lower global oil prices to weaken Iran and intervene in Iraq by supporting Sunni tribes.

The idea is to weaken Iran financially, because 85% of Iran's export income comes from oil and 40% of gasoline used in Iran is imported (even though it is the fourth-largest producer of crude oil) because of a lack of local refining capacity.

World Press Review
http://www.worldpress.org/Mideast/2636.cfm

Fatah Moves Toward Coup Against Hamas
Emma Clancy
Green Left Weekly
New South Wales, Australia
January 15, 2007

 

More than 30 Palestinians have been killed in the past month in violence between Fatah and Hamas that flared up after Fatah-aligned President Mahmoud Abbas called on Dec. 17 for new presidential and legislative elections. Hundreds more have been wounded in the violence, which intensified in the Gaza Strip late last year and has now spread to the West Bank.

The bitter factional struggle is a result of the ongoing international aid embargo on the Hamas-led Palestinian Authority, which has been cynically exploited by Fatah in an attempt to reassert its traditional dominance. Hamas won 75 seats in the 132-seat Palestinian Legislative Council in elections in January last year, with Fatah winning only 47. Hamas described Abbas's decision to call new elections as illegal, and as a coup attempt against the elected representatives of the Palestinian people.

Common Dreams NewsCenter
http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0108-29.htm

Baghdad 2025: The Pentagon Solution to a Planet of Slums
Published on Monday, January 8, 2007 by TomDispatch.com
by Nick Turse

So you think that American troops, fighting in the urban maze of Baghdad's huge Shiite slum, Sadr City, add up to nothing more than a horrible mistake, an unexpected fiasco? The Pentagon begs to differ. For years now, U.S. war planners have believed that guerrilla warfare is the future -- not against Guevarist focos in the countryside of some recalcitrant, possibly-oil-rich land, but in growing urban "jungles" in the vast slum cities that increasingly dot the planet.

Take this urban-labyrinth description, for instance. "Indigenous forces deploying mortars transported by local vehicles and ready to rapidly deploy, shoot, and re-cover are common… [Meanwhile,] an infantry company as part of the US rapid reaction forces has been tasked with the… mission to secure several objectives including the command and control cell within a 100 square block urban area of the capital…"

Is it Baghdad? It's certainly possible, since the passage was written in 2004 with urban warfare in Iraq's capital already an increasingly grim reality for Washington's military planners. But the actual report -- by an official from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), the Pentagon's blue-skies research outfit -- focused on cities-of-the-future, of 2025 to be exact, as part of "a new DARPA thrust into Urban Combat."

Common Dreams NewsCenter
http://www.commondreams.org/headlines07/0120-05.htm

Published on Saturday, January 20, 2007 by the McClatchy Newspapers
Opposition to Iraq War Simmers in America's Heartland
by Steven Thomma

TOPEKA, Kan. - President Bush is losing the heartland.

The president's war ideas are not very popular here. Even good Republicans are getting frustrated and believe the president is being stubborn. ... Seven out of 10 good conservative Republicans may not want to say it, but they oppose the war.

Tim Shallenburger, the chairman of the Kansas Republican Party

Conservative Kansas - home to the Army's Fort Riley, the U.S. Cavalry Museum, Republican icons Dwight Eisenhower and Bob Dole, and the place that gave Bush back to back landslide majorities - is turning against the Iraq war.

Kansas Democrats are quicker to oppose Bush, but growing numbers of Kansas Republicans also are rejecting his plan to send more troops to Iraq and the war itself. That threatens Bush's hope to maintain a solid base of support for his war policies and undermines White House efforts to portray war opposition as partisan Democratic politics.

BBC NEWS
http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/pr/fr/-/2/hi/science/nature/6228765.stm

2007 to be 'warmest on record'
Published: 2007/01/04 00:38:50 GMT

The world is likely to experience the warmest year on record in 2007, the UK's Met Office says.

An extended warming period, resulting from an El Nino weather event in the Pacific Ocean, will probably push up global temperatures, experts forecast.

They say there is a 60% chance that the average surface temperature will match or exceed the current record from 1998.

SF Gate
http://sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2007/01/07/CMG9HMMTIT12.DTL

The Great Thirst: Looking ahead to a post-global warming life in California, 60 years hence
By Glen Martin - Sunday, January 7, 2007

 It is a sign of the flexibility of the human spirit that a certain nostalgia has begun to pervade our memories of the Great Thirst. With it immured safely 30 years in the past, we can afford such revisionism. Today, in 2062, we delight in recalling the heroic incidents it kindled, the ingenious responses to catastrophe, the shared privations. Now that we have squeezed through the bottleneck with our institutions more or less intact, we can savor the simple and glorious fact that we endured.

    But as we bask in the alpenglow of our memories, we must acknowledge that the forces that almost destroyed California are still in play globally; that other people are still grappling with the crises we have weathered. They still have to get though the bottleneck.

The New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2007/01/06/business/worldbusiness/06japanfuel.html?_r=1&oref=slogin

January 6, 2007
The Land of Rising Conservation
By MARTIN FACKLER

TOKYO, Jan. 5 — In many countries, higher oil prices have hurt pocketbooks and led to worries about economic slowdowns. But here in Japan, Kiminobu Kimura, an architect, says he has not felt the pinch. In fact, his monthly energy bill is lower than a year ago.

A reason is his new home fuel cell, a machine as large and quiet as a filing cabinet that sits in front of his house and turns hydrogen into electricity and cold water into hot — at a fraction of regular utility costs. But even with the futuristic device, which is available for now only in Japan, Mr. Kimura has not let up on the other shortcuts that leave him unscathed by last year’s oil squeeze.

Energy-efficient appliances abound in the many corners of his cramped home. There is the refrigerator that beeps when left open and the dishwasher that is compact enough to sit on the kitchen counter. In some homes, room heaters have a sensor that directs heat only toward occupants; there are “energy navigators” that track a home’s energy use.

Common Dreams NewsCenter
http://www.commondreams.org/views07/0120-20.htm

Published on Saturday, January 20, 2007 by the Huffington Post
Vegetarian is the New Prius
by Kathy Freston

President Herbert Hoover promised "a chicken in every pot and a car in every garage." With warnings about global warming reaching feverish levels, many are having second thoughts about all those cars. It seems they should instead be worrying about the chickens.

Last month, the United Nations published a report on livestock and the environment with a stunning conclusion: "The livestock sector emerges as one of the top two or three most significant contributors to the most serious environmental problems, at every scale from local to global." It turns out that raising animals for food is a primary cause of land degradation, air pollution, water shortage, water pollution, loss of biodiversity, and not least of all, global warming.

Environmental News Network
http://www.enn.com/today_PF.html?id=11972

World May Be Facing Highest Grain Prices in History
January 05, 2007 — By Lester R. Brown, Earth Policy Institute

Investment in fuel ethanol distilleries has soared since the late-2005 oil price hikes, but data collection in this fast-changing sector has fallen behind. Because of inadequate data collection on the number of new plants under construction, the quantity of grain that will be needed for fuel ethanol distilleries has been vastly understated. Farmers, feeders, food processors, ethanol investors, and grain-importing countries are basing decisions on incomplete data.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) projects that distilleries will require only 60 million tons of corn from the 2008 harvest. But here at the Earth Policy Institute (EPI), we estimate that distilleries will need 139 million tons—more than twice as much. If the EPI estimate is at all close to the mark, the emerging competition between cars and people for grain will likely drive world grain prices to levels never seen before. The key questions are: How high will grain prices rise? When will the crunch come? And what will be the worldwide effect of rising food prices?

The Center for Responsible Lending
Report Reveals 2.2 Million Borrowers Face Foreclosure on Subprime Home Loans; Homeowners to lose Billions

http://www.responsiblelending.org/issues/mortgage/reports/page.jsp?itemID=31214551

A new CRL study reveals that millions of American households will lose their homes and as much as $164 billion due to foreclosures in the subprime mortgage market.

The “Losing Ground” study is the first comprehensive, nationwide review of millions of subprime mortgages originated from 1998 through the third quarter of 2006. CRL finds that despite low interest rates and a favorable economic environment during the past several years, the subprime market has experienced high foreclosure rates, and we project that one out of five (19.4%) subprime loans issued during 2005-2006 will fail.

AsiaTimesOnline
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/HL23Dj01.html

RISKY BUSINESS
Global economy faces a dangerous year
By Jephraim P Gundzik12/23/06

Rising inflation and falling home prices are likely to push the US economy into recession by the second half of 2007. Gathering economic weakness, combined with negative real yields on US Treasury securities and growing political pressure to weaken the dollar will lead to significant dollar depreciation against most currencies.

Economic growth in Asia, Europe and Latin America will also weaken in 2007. Slowing global economic growth will be very bad news for equity markets around the world. Dollar depreciation and rising international energy and grain prices will be good news for precious metals.

Volume XXIII,  No 1, Spring 2006     
WORLD POLICY JOURNAL
http://www.worldpolicy.org/journal/articles/wpj06-2/gottesman.html

Two Myths of Globalization
A. Edward Gottesman

Economic commentary on the subject of globalization has often focused on two widely accepted, but mainly misunderstood, mantras. The first is that China is the "next economic superpower" and will be the largest economy in the world in 10, 20, or 30 years (depending on the source). The second is that the current account deficit the United States has run for a number of years (about a third of which has recently been in trade with China) is "unsustainable" and will result in some global economic cataclysm. The nightmare scenarios painted by such well-known economists as Fred Bergsten and Martin Feldstein foresee a dramatic fall in the value of the U.S. dollar, an unacceptable rise in the value of other Western currencies, and a worldwide recession.

. . .Anyone with a pocket calculator and a little patience can analyze the Chinese superpower mantra. U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) is currently about $12.6 trillion. There is little dispute about that number, because it is counted in U.S. dollars, the base currency in which most world economic statistics are expressed. It is hard, however, for the average person to grasp the real meaning of the billions and trillions in which these statistics are calculated. As the journalist Nico Colchester pointed out in an article published in 1996 just after his untimely death, the world economy could be thought of as the sum of 26 Italys. Eight of those Italys were in North America, eight in Europe, and five in Japan. That totals 21. All of East Asia, including China and the Asian "tigers," were equal to only two Italys. That picture has not changed much.

For our purposes, it is more useful to say that the U.S. economy today is approximately seven Chinas. . . . If U.S. GDP increases at the "trend growth rate" of about 3 percent a year, it will be about two and a half times today's level in 30 years, or more than $30.5 trillion (in 2005 dollars). If China's GDP grows at an average 8 percent annual rate for the next 30 years, it will reach $17.1 trillion, or a third more than U.S. GDP today. China's economy in 2035, far from being the world's largest, will be a little over half the size of the U.S. economy.

Resurgence Magazine
http://www.resurgence.org/2007/shiva240.htm
HOW WEALTH CREATES POVERTY
By Vandana Shiva, January 2007

MONEY HAS BECOME a measure of how wealthy and how poor people are. It has become the measure of human wellbeing. To live on less than a dollar a day is the definition of poverty. To increase incomes to more than a dollar a day is interpreted as an end to poverty. This equating of money with wealth and wealth with wellbeing is misplaced on multiple counts. Money does not reflect nature’s wealth or people’s wealth, and it definitely fails to measure the wellbeing of society.

MONEY HAS BECOME a mis-measure of wealth and wellbeing for two reasons. First, money does not reflect the ecological and social destruction that is an externality of ‘growth’ as measured in terms of money and financial resources. Secondly, money no longer reflects the resources, goods and services it commands. Money has taken on a life of its own: it can reproduce itself and multiply, totally separated from the real wealth in nature and society. More than US$3 trillion move around the world daily in a global financial casino, and this is fifty times more than the real resources in the world.

Money has become totally dissociated from real value, but those who accumulate financial resources can then stake claim on the real resources of people – their land and water, their forests and seeds. ‘Hungry’ money is predating on the last drop of water and the last square inch of land on the planet. This is not an end to poverty. It is an end to human rights and justice. People are being made disposable in a world where money rules.


Meditation Moment: I am That – “So Ham Hansa”

"‘I am That’ – how do we succeed in realizing this formula which the Hindu yogis repeat? Here is an exercise you can do.

Imagine yourself leaving your body and rising towards heaven… As you rise, you expand into infinite space and merge with the Universal Soul.

Even if you seem to disappear and are no longer conscious of yourself, do not be concerned, for at the same time that you dissolve in space, the divine spirit descends in you.

It makes its home in you so it can work, and it speaks, acts and manifests through you. You will say: ‘But what will become of me if I am no longer myself?’

In reality, you will always be yourself. You will not lose your identity; you will simply have found your true Self. "

-- Omraam Mikhaël Aïvanhov