Working Together For Change
As we approach the summertime Grand Cardinal Cross of 2010, an epochal signature in the stars that traditionally indicates the total transformation of cultural, political and economic systems, it appears that we are nearing the end of the Age of Oil, the Age of Globalization.
There's a massive, uncontrolled deep-water oil spill of unknown dimensions thousands of feet deep in the Gulf of Mexico. So far neither British Petroleum, the company responsible for the spill, nor the US government, have been able, or willing, to quantify the amount of oil and natural gas being released into the Gulf, nor have any credible solutions to the problem been proposed or implemented.
"The damage to the Gulf environment and to the economy of the region will be incalculable and will linger for years if not decades," says Peak Oil expert and Satya Center contributor Richard Heinberg. "The deadly stench from oil-oaked marshes—as spring turns to hot, fetid summer—will by itself ruin tens or hundreds of thousands of lives and livelihoods. Then there’s the loss of the seafood industry: we’re talking about more than the crippling of the economic backbone of the region; anyone who’s spent time in New Orleans (my wife’s family all live there) knows that the people and culture of southern Louisiana are literally as well as figuratively composed of digested crawfish, shrimp, and speckled trout. Given the historic political support from this part of the country for offshore drilling, and for the petroleum industry in general, this really amounts to sacrificing the faithful on the altar of oil."
". . . This is what the end of the oil age looks like. The cheap, easy petroleum is gone; from now on, we will pay steadily more and more for what we put in our gas tanks—more not just in dollars, but in lives and health, in a failed foreign policy that spawns foreign wars and military occupations, and in the lost integrity of the biological systems that sustain life on this planet."
"The only solution is to do proactively, and sooner, what we will end up doing anyway as a result of resource depletion and economic, environmental, and military ruin: end our dependence on the stuff."
It's also time to end our dependence on the oil-based economy of conspicuous consumption and endless economic growth. The ongoing collapse of the global economy makes it imperative that we learn to live in a more frugal and sustainable world civilization.
Several countries in the European Union are currently suffering from a "sovereign debt crisis" reminiscent of similar financial meltdowns that occurred in Latin American and Asian economies over the last thirty years.
This is the first time since the 1930s that advanced industrial countries have experienced such catastrophic collapses in their economies and in their ability to service their debts.
Greece is currently in a state of simmering insurrection in response to the punitive measures forced upon the Greek people by the International Monetary Fund and by the German government, which controls the European Central Bank, and which is co-ordinating the financial community's response to the Greek meltdown.
America's economy is said to be emerging from the Great Recession, but many thoughtful analysts suggest that another dramatic financial downturn is not only possible but highly probable.
North and South Korea are eyeball to eyeball and talking war talk.
The war in Afghanistan is still heating up and although President Obama's plan is for a draw-down of American troops in 2011, at the present time it appears that American drones are extending the battle further into Pakistan every month.
Obama and his bellicose Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, continue to ratchet up tensions between the US and Iran, in an eerie reprise of the tactics President Clinton used to isolate and punish Iraq prior to the formal declaration of war between the two countries under President George W. Bush.
Fear and anxiety are rampant across the globe as people and nations prepare for potential economic disaster and possible new and wider wars in South Asia, the Middle East and Africa.
People around the world are looking for hope, praying for relief from suffering and asking for help from their Spiritual Guides and Teachers, Angelic Beings of Light, and Divine Source. Jane and I have been focused on the search for spiritual and practical guidance as well.
Message to Lightworkers
Late last night, after working all day on this newsletter, I received some extremely hopeful spiritual guidance while in a meditative state, and I would like to pass along the following message to Lightworkers in the hope that you will be uplifted as I was.
This is the message in a nutshell:
We are witnessing another phase in the ongoing collapse of globalization that we predicted in early 2008, very early in the present crisis.
The world is currently undergoing a crisis that transcends concerns about the end of the age of oil, or class-based political struggles over the proper configuration of rules and regulations in a capitalist economy.
The events described in this newsletter point to a much more fundamental transformation in human affairs that will be required if our civilization is to survive and thrive.
This twin financial and ecological crisis marks the end of the High Industrial Age of Hydrocarbons, brought about by uncontrolled greed and predation in financial markets and by the onset of peak oil production, which guarantees dwindling supplies of the fuels that support our current way of life.
More importantly, this crisis marks the beginning of the end of the culture of hierarchy and male domination that has existed for thousands of years, ever since the establishment of large-scale agriculture, priestly accounting castes, giant-sized grain storage bins, and a predatory, hereditary class of "nobles" in civilizations around the world, from Mesopotamia to Egypt to Europe to Asia.
The great monotheistic religions of the world, which represent the patriarchal model of spiritual aspiration, have declared war on one another.
The great Powers of the world, America, China, and the rest, are positioning themselves to obtain a lion's share of dwindling global hydrocarbon fuels, by peaceful means or by use of military might if necessary.
It is clear to thoughtful observers that the Gulf Oil Spill, global warming, resource wars in the Middle East, and the unbridled greed and predation inflicted upon the world by financial elites represent the ultimate result of a human civilization based upon the domination of society by predatory financial, political and religious elites.
We are slowly destroying the Earth's ability to sustain human life as we know it today. We are impoverishing billions of innocent human beings and concentrating unprecedented wealth in the hands of fewer and fewer predators.
The antidote to all these global problems is to learn the lessons of Saturn in Libra. Saturn will be in Libra from July 7, 2010 until October 5, 2012. During that time the United States will experience its Saturn Return, which historically has been a challenging time for the country.
Saturn is said to be "exalted" in Libra, because the constraining influence of Saturn, known as the Cosmic Taskmaster, is relaxed somewhat in the sign of Libra, which is ruled by Venus, Mistress of Love and Beauty.
Saturn in Libra emphasizes lessons concerning the Libra values of co-operation, equity, fair play and compassion.
Saturn in Libra provides us with a framework for optimization of relationships. In other words when Saturn is in this Venus-ruled sign of Libra, Saturn, the planet of Karma and hard lessons is focused on the perfection of relationships. We are presented with circumstances that force us to work co-operatively with others to solve seemingly intractable problems.
The more co-operation the better our Saturn experience will be.
On an individual level, and on a global scale, the current global crises, reflected in the stars by the Grand Cardinal Cross of 2010, challenge us to transcend our conflicts with others and to find ways to work together for our mutual benefit and for the overall good of humanity.
The problems of peak oil, resource wars, religious wars, and overly hierarchical societies governed by predatory elites can only be solved by an unprecedented level of co-operation on the individual, family, neighborhood, local, national and global scale.
The great challenge for all of us is to overcome our differences and work together to solve the problems that are common to all humanity.
That's a really tough assignment from the Cosmic Taskmaster, Saturn!
My spiritual Guides tell me that the more we can co-operate with one another to find innovative, equitable solutions to our common problems that will benefit everyone involved, the better the outcome will be for all humanity.
Humanity is now entering a space of transition, a time of choice and commitment, when the old withers and dies, and the new struggles to be born. Humanity is blessed with an opportunity to embrace a new vision for human civilization.
We are entering what my spiritual Guides call an "omnidirectional gateway" with the potential for humanity to make choices that will shape an entirely new reality on planet Earth.
It's important for Lightworkers to understand that this global crisis is a golden opportunity for humanity to choose accelerated spiritual progress, which will manifest as global agreements to avoid environmental disaster, diplomatic solutions among warring nations and co-operation among friends, neighbors and family to implement energy-saving life strategies and local solutions to the twin environmental and energy crises.
Depending on what choices we make, and how well we can learn the lessons of Saturn in Libra, humanity may emerge from this civilizational gateway into a world of total war of all against all, into a world that resembles the Dark Ages, or into a world in which together we find ways to transcend the limits of the current Industrial Age of Global War, Global Markets and Global Environmental Crisis.
The Grand Cardinal Cross of 2010
There are several extremely rare planetary configurations in 2010, that many astrologers feel will usher in a complete restructuring of global society over the long term. The immediate effects are likely to include the further collapse of the global financial system, massive environmental catastrophes, social upheaval, and potential warfare among classes, nations, religions and races.
Most discussed is the historic Jupiter/Uranus-Pluto-Saturn T-Square (or Grand Cardinal Cross), which includes a Jupiter-Saturn opposition, Jupiter-Uranus conjunction, and the Saturn-Pluto square, featuring Jupiter and Uranus in Aries, Saturn in Libra, and Pluto in Capricorn.
The timing of Pluto’s entry into Capricorn, on January 25, 2008, puts the planet of sub-molecular transformation in the sign associated with big business, big government and big finance, and coincided with the beginning of the present economic crisis, which was predicted on this web site in February 2008 in an article I wrote entitled " The Coming Collapse of Globalization". Pluto will remain in Capricorn until March 23, 2023.
Astrologers who attempt to predict future trends and events associate the planet Pluto with the energy of purifying disruption and total renovation of outmoded or diseased elements. Thus when Pluto enters Capricorn a total restructuring of our large financial, corporate and governmental systems seems assured.
A series of Uranus-Saturn oppositions and Saturn-Pluto squares since Pluto entered Capricorn have co-incided with further systemic financial and political crises around the world.
The Saturn-Pluto cycle is considered a prominent indicator of world-changing events by mundane astrologers. Saturn and Pluto were square one another during World War I, in opposition during the Great Depression, in square at the start of World War II, and in opposition during 2001, at the outset of the so-called "War on Terror", which is really a global resource war as much as anything else, a response to the dwindling supply of hydrocarbons on the planet.
The first instance of Saturn opposing Uranus became exact on the day of the US presidential election. The opposition of these two slow-moving giant outer planets takes place five times between 2009 and 2012.
The planet Uranus is associated with revolutionary transformations, social upheaval, and lightning-fast changes from one state of being into another.
A Uranus-Saturn opposition indicates a vast struggle between elements that wish to preserve the status quo and elements attempting to birth new social relations, new social institutions, new social contracts and new cultural paradigms.
This type of dynamic is readily visible in today's world a we watch world leaders struggle to manage the global financial crisis. It is clear that global elites will go to any lengths to maintain the current financial system, which rewards them so well, and that these elites are so far having little real success in restoring normalcy to financial markets, currencies, or stock markets.
In February 2008 I said, "I believe we are witnessing the slow motion collapse of the current financial system, known as 'globalization', which is shorthand for a whole range of political, economic and social policies, including laissez-faire Utopian capitalism and its trickle-down economics, Reaganomics, free trade and the leveling down of global wages, human rights and environmental protection, financial deregulation and corporate oligarchy.
"For over a decade social reformers have waged an intermittent but high-profile mass movement protesting the current system, and anti-globalization protests have become a common occurrence from Washington to Europe to Japan.
"But now it looks like this mass campaign will not be necessary to topple the neo-liberal economic ideology that has had the world in its fevered grip for the last twenty-five years – the system is toppling of its own weight in a slow-motion collapse that will make the chaos that accompanied the unraveling of the Soviet Empire look like a Boy Scout jamboree."
Fast-forward to mid-year 2010. Despite a drumbeat of "happy news" in the mainstream American media, it's clear that this is no ordinary downturn in the business cycle, as the pundits and politicians and bankers proclaim.
This is a turning point in history. The current global crisis is written in the stars, where we can clearly see a combination of extremely rare planetary configurations that only occur once in hundreds of years -- or even less frequently than that.
The negative aspects that have been recurring over the last few years are building up to a climax this summer, in the rare configuration we've noted, called the Grand Cardinal Cross.
Actually, there will be a series of Grand Crosses in the summer of 2010 –one of which occurs a few days after the solstice, with seven planets participating.
Uranus and Jupiter in Aries will square Pluto and Moon in Capricorn. Saturn in late Virgo, about to re-enter the Cardinal sign of Libra, will form the third corner of the Grand Cardinal Cross, and the Sun and Mercury, in Cancer, will form the fourth.
This will give the solstice period near the end of June — already considered a sacred portal for many spiritual thinkers, ancient and modern — the quality of a bulls-eye.
The deployment of the stars this summer suggests that the events that began in 2007 are now set to reach a climax. The financial crisis that began in New York has now spread across the globe.
The Global Financial Meltdown: Part Deux
The Banking Crisis of 2007-2010 that was sparked by the collapse of the U.S. housing bubble has now spread far beyond America, and is threatening to destabilize debtor countries such as Greece, Spain, Portugal, Italy, and the UK. The new financial hegemon, China, is also suffering from a severe case of unprecedented cheap credit-driven financial and property bubbles, a slumping stock market, shriveling export markets, an overvalued currency and domestic unrest.
The Greek financial crisis threatens the entire Eurozone, and by extension, the global financial system. Markets around the world have gone bipolar in a series of hysterical moves targeting the debt of the European countries perceived to have the weakest economies.
"Bank stocks plunged last week under the theory that banking companies will take large losses in Europe. The theory is correct. Banks will get hurt," Richard Bove of Rochdale Securities LLC wrote in a mid-May 2010 research note.
Bove wrote in a separate report last week that "big American banks have a bigger stake in this drama than thought." He estimates that JPMorgan Chase has $1.4 trillion of exposure across all of Europe alone, while Citigroup Inc. has $468.4 billion.
Analysts say that large U.S. banks have ties to troubled European nations through overseas counterparts, and these ties create risks that are difficult to quantify, but which are certainly quite dangerous. U.S. money-center banks routinely trade derivatives, orchestrate currency swaps and handle other types of large transactions with major European banks. U.S. banks may not hold a lot of government bonds issued by troubled Euro-zone debtor countries, but European institutions with deep ties to the U.S. banks do have a dangerous level of exposure. If Greece defaults, for example, that could create a crisis of confidence in the European banking market that would spread to large U.S. banks.
"Obviously, the European banks have exposure to Greece. The U.S. banks have loans out to those banks," said Keith Davis, an analyst with Farr Miller & Washington. "There are a number of different ways they can have exposure — it's not hard to imagine how a wildfire can spread." (From "Europe's debt Crisis, US Banks Exposure", Paul Davis and Matt Monks, American Banker)
The response of the German financial and political mandarins who control the levers of Eurozone monetary policy has been to implement a series of policies that Herbert Hoover would have recognized and approved whole heartedly.
Instead of recognizing that the financial crisis requires creation of jobs, debt forgiveness for individuals, homeowners, small business, and even countries such as Greece who were taken in by the false promises of financiers who steered the country into over-indebtedness, the German masters of Eurozone monetary policies are forcing the Greek government into the arms of the international financiers at the IMF, who are putting Greece into a fiscal straitjacket, cutting services, wages, pensions and benefits and raising taxes on the middle classes.
In effect the plan is to force the average person in Greece pay for the bailout of the big foreign banks who stand to lose money from making highly speculative loans to the Greek government.
The IMF forced similar measures on an array of Latin American and Asian debtor nations in the Eighties and Nineties, resulting in the impoverishment of many nations and the ratcheting up of social tensions that spilled over into civil war in many cases.
The destabilization of governments required to enforce inhuman policies that impoverished tens of millions often required a military coup to install a dictatorship that would crush dissent, murder substantial numbers of dissidents and enforce the austerity measures demanded by the international financial community.
Now these same failed policies that wrecked numerous Third World Countries are being prepared for implementation in advanced, industrialized countries for the very first time.
As the world learned from Herbert Hoover's failed austerity policies in the 1930s and from the failed IMF restructuring of debtor nation social contracts in the last decades of the Twentieth Century, austerity programs do not lead to financial recovery for financially troubled individual nations or for the global economy.
In fact the results are quite the opposite. Such policies can successfully provide a steady stream of high-cost loan monies to the big bank and financial houses that stand as creditors in such situations, but the social cost is so huge that these policies were almost totally discredited prior to the present crisis.
To the amazement of informed observers, these same failed policies are now being resurrected in the Eurozone, at the behest of "global markets".
"To make it worse, 'the markets' can't seem to decide what they want from these governments in order to love them again," reports Mark Weisbrot in the May 26 UK Guardian. "Two weeks ago the euro was plummeting because the financial markets wanted more blood: they wanted Greece, Spain, Portugal, and the other currently victimised countries of Europe (Italy and Ireland) to commit to more spending cuts and tax increases. Then they got what they wanted, and within a day or two, the euro started crashing again because 'the markets' discovered that these pro-cyclical policies would actually make things worse in the countries that adopted them, and reduce growth in the whole eurozone."
Despite the "no" vote delivered in financial markets on these retrograde austerity policies, they are still popular among bond hawks on Wall Street, who have successfully pressured President Obama to abandon all plans for additional fiscal stimulus in the United States and to embark on an American austerity plan that will slash government services, reduce government payrolls, increase unemployment, encourage defaults on pension plans, increase taxes and fees, and generally reduce living standards for all Americans not employed by the financial sector.
Despite the protests of the deficit hawks, the German government and the bond markets, the primary danger to the global economy is still not inflation, it is deflation. The world stands on the brink of another Great Depression.
In response to the drumbeat of gloom and doom stories about the impending crash of the dollar and the ultimate bankruptcy of America, to be brought about by President Obama's economic stimulus packages, economist James Galbraith believes that the danger of deficit-driven inflation in America is ZERO.
"What is the nature of the danger?" Galbraith asked in an interview in The Washington Post. "The only possible answer is that this larger deficit would cause a rise in the interest rate. Well, if the markets thought that was a serious risk, the rate on 20-year treasury bonds wouldn't be 4 percent and change now. If the markets thought that the interest rate would be forced up by funding difficulties 10 years from now, it would show up in the 20-year rate. That rate has actually been coming down in the wake of the European crisis."
"So there are two possibilities here. One is the theory is wrong. The other is that the market isn't rational. And if the market isn't rational, there's no point in designing policy to accommodate the markets because you can't accommodate an irrational entity."
"We should be focusing on real problems and not fake ones," contends Galbraith. "We have serious problems. Unemployment is at 10 percent. if we got busy and worked out things for the unemployed to do, we'd be much better off. And we can certainly afford it. We have an impending energy crisis and a climate crisis. We could spend a generation fixing those problems in a way that would rebuild our country, too. On the tax side, what you want to do is reverse the burden on working people. Since the beginning of the crisis, I've supported a payroll tax holiday so everyone gets an increase in their after-tax earnings so they can pay down their mortgages, which would be a good thing