Welcome to the Pisces Solar Festival and the Virgo Full Moon, Monday February 25, 2013 edition of the Satya Center Cosmic Weather Forecast. Warm greetings from your Editor, Curtis Lang and your co-editor, Jane Sherry.
Water Water Everywhere, But Not a Drop to Drink
As you will see in this month’s Cosmic Weather Forecast, we’ve got 5 planets in Pisces on Monday’s Full Moon, and Venus joins the watery crowd by Wednesday. Saturn is in Scorpio, another water sign. Needless to say, water signs rule emotions, the emotional body, and all things astral. So it’s fair to ask what’s up with water on planet Earth this Full Moon.
Here in the East San Francisco Bay Area, we are in the middle of a dry February, which is normally the wettest month here. However, for Northern California as a whole, reservoirs are near to normal capacity, and there is no imminent danger of a drought.
As upstate New York transplants, Jane and I are feeling immensely spoiled by the Bay Area, because we are going to an amazing farmer’s market that stays open 12 months of the year. We are getting a variety of organic fruits and vegetables from numerous farms in the area -- chard, lettuce, braising greens, broccolini, many varieties of potatoes, and so many different kinds of succulent oranges that we can’t even taste them all!
It’s so different from February in upstate New York, where we depended upon veggies from the root cellar in our basement and lacto-fermented sauerkraut and beets to get us through the winter.
We continue to consult with farmer friends in our vicinity, who always depend upon a deep understanding of short-term and long-term weather patterns for the very important and difficult work they do.
Our favorite citrus grower says that he expects the wet season to come late and extend into March, April, perhaps even all the way to May. This would be the second time in the last few years that has happened, and could just be part of the shifting weather patterns associated with runaway climate change.
However, as the accompanying US Seasonal Drought Outlook map from the US Department of Commerce shows clearly, the San Francisco Bay area is in the area marked “drought development likely.”
In fact the map shows that 2/3 of the country is in severe drought and the drought is likely to persist and intensify. Unfortunately that bad news is just a trailer for the upcoming blockbuster bad weather news movie unfolding across planet Earth as you read this forecast.
“The latest research from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University published in December 2012 has some truly astounding news,” reports Bruce Melton in a February 21, 2013 article at the website Truthout.
“Beginning in just eight years, we could see permanent climate conditions across the North American Southwest that are comparable to the worst megadrought in 1,000 years,” Melton says.
“We have been warned for decades that we would be facing a megadrought if we did not do something about climate pollution,” Melton explains. “We did not, and now according to the projections of a new study, that is just what the future may hold. And remember, projected conditions similar to the worst megadrought in 1,000 years would be the baseline conditions. Dry periods, which we normally refer to as drought times today, would be superimposed on top of the megadrought extremeness.”
Although much of the country is in a period of severe drought, and long-term probabilities of widespread desertification in the US and around the world are extremely high, it’s not really altogether accurate to speak of “global warming”, because although it is true that the overall temperature of planet Earth is rising, in large part because of the emissions of greenhouse gases during the Industrial Age of Hydrocarbons, scientists say that global climate change will result in wet areas becoming wetter in many parts of the world, while dry parts become deserts.
We can see the results of climate change in the weather extremes across the US this winter. In New York, Governor Cuomo is spending hundreds of millions of dollars to buy up properties on the coast, to turn them into protected wetlands, in hopes of providing a natural protection against future Sandy-like storm surges.
But the problems in New Jersey and New York from SuperStorm Sandy and SuperStorm Nemo are dwarfed by comparison to the imminent drowning of Bangkok, Thailand.
Fourteen million people live in the Bangkok Metropolitan Region, which comprises hundreds of square miles within the Chao Phraya River Delta. During the 2011 monsoon season, more than ten million people in the Bangkok area were affected by widespread flooding that persisted into mid-January 2012, raising concerns about the long-term viability of many areas of that Asian mega-city, which is sinking into the ground.
In response to these concerns, the Thai government spent billions of baht building embankments intended to contain future flooding. However, recent satellite data indicate this may have been a bad investment, with implications for large coastal cities around the world, during an age of rising sea levels and more frequent mega-storms.
“Surveillance footage from Thaichote, the first Thai observation satellite, has revealed that Bangkok is sinking at a rate even faster than experts had previously predicted,” reports CoconutsBangkok, a local news website.
“Thaichote’s data, revealed earlier this week, shows that those embankments have for the most part failed,” says the report.
“Anon Sanitwong Na Ayuttaya, Director of the Geo-Informatics and Space Technology Development Agency (GISTDA), outlined the bleak scenario:
“‘If changes are made within the next five years,’ he said, ‘major floods can be prevented. There are several options, several technologies available. For instance, 1) to not do anything at all, 2) to relocate cities to other areas, 3) to create satellite cities, 4) to build ducts around the cities like in the Netherlands. And 5) to reclaim land and practically cover up the Gulf of Thailand area.’”
Wow! These types of choices will soon be faced by coastal mega-cities all over the world. No wonder experts are expecting to see hundreds of millions of environmental refugees in the next few decades.
It’s time for political leaders in the US and around the world to bring these unpleasant facts to the attention of their citizens, and to arrange for all of us to have input into the decisions that will be made about how to respond to runaway climate change. Anything less than that will lead to global unrest on a scale unimaginable to any of us beyond the Doomsday Prepper community.
This Piscean Solar Festival is the ideal time to meditate upon this accelerating global climate change and its implications for all of us living on planet Earth.
Now would be a great time to send your prayers, Reiki energy and crystal healing energy to world leaders with the intent that they be given the Grace and guidance they need to exercise loving wisdom, end business as usual and confront the most important problem on planet Earth rather than focusing on elections, economic growth, and preparing to win resource wars that no country no matter how powerful can ultimately win. Jane and I will be doing that over the next few days and we hope you will join us.
Now would be a great time to send Reiki energy and crystal healing energy and prayers to all concerned citizens on planet Earth, and to all Lightworkers, that they be given the Grace and guidance they need to take their part in the collective effort to mitigate the effects of the runaway climate change caused by the excesses of humanity during the Industrial Age of Abundant Hydrocarbons, now coming to a close.
Our leaders will respond to the demands of their citizens sooner or later, and we must do all we can to make sure it is sooner rather than too late. Because it’s already too late for business as usual.
Cosmic Weather Forecast
Mercury, Mars, the Sun, Neptune, and Chiron will all be in Pisces this Full Moon, squaring Jupiter in Gemini and trine retrograde Saturn in Scorpio. The Full Moon in Virgo occurs at 12:26:06 pm PST (3:26:06 pm EST) on Monday February 25, 2013.
To make a long story short, expect this unusual super-watery configuration to unleash a flood of difficult and long-repressed emotions, a cascade of confusing astral glamours, and simultaneously an undeniable soulful yearning for a transcendent realm of peace, unity and healing.
Because we all need lots of protection from the ambient astral glamours and emotional upheavals convulsing humanity’s collective unconscious at the moment, we recommend that our readers consult our handy and free Guide to Psychic Self-Defense. It’s a must for all Pisceans, water-signs generally, and everyone in the world this month! The article contains invaluable simple techniques for protection from unwanted and negative energies in the ethers around us, and from negativity generated by other people, as well as tools to clear and clean body, mind, heart and aura. Enjoy!
Saturn has just turned retrograde, on Monday February 18, at 12° Scorpio, and appears to be moving backward in the sky from our viewpoint on planet Earth until July 5, 2013.
Saturn retrograde always signals a big slowdown in outer world activities, and a heightened level of difficulty in achieving our outer world goals.
For those who have a strong or afflicted Saturn in your charts, this will be a period when chronic health and psychological issues, difficulties with elders (ruled by Saturn), and flaws in the underlying social structures and commitments that support our lives will come to the surface for review and adjustment.
During this time, it is appropriate to review all our relationships and commitments to determine if they are still appropriate for us. In other words, it is often more important to end things and avoid new beginnings during this period.
With Saturn retrograde in Scorpio, the Cosmic spotlight will focus on toxic power relationships, karmic imbalances and all types of debts, including loans, mortgages and our personal interaction with the global financial system, which is totally over-leveraged on many levels.
Mercury turns retrograde on Saturday February 23rd at 19 Pisces, and stays in apparent backwards movement for a little over three weeks.
Mercury in Pisces, the sign of the twin fishes holding one another’s tails in their mouths, is indecisive in the best of times. With Mercury in Pisces, every thought, every plan, every issue, every relationship has two vividly apparent sides, often contradictory, and usually it is very difficult to separate them enough to compare and contrast effectively, so informed decisions are extremely difficult for most of us.
The mental confusion inherent in this position can also lead to emotional confusion, which enhances the overall feeling of being caught between two polarized worlds, two conflicting choices, two utterly different ways of being.
It is only through direct access to Higher Mind, Higher Self and Higher Purpose that the individual can resolve the dualistic contradictions inherent in the Pisces Mercury placement, and access the unifying power of loving wisdom that resolves opposing points of view into a harmonious understanding that honors all sides of the question.
Needless to say, this is a great Full Moon to turn off the TV, the iPhone and the computer, perform our favorite spiritual practices and tune in to our connection with the Divine. Now is the time to go on retreat or vacation if at all possible!
"The Disaster at the Ball Given by the Austrian Embassy in Paris, 1810",by Robert Alexander Hillingford, oil painting executed 1897
In the outer world all is murky at best, and rationality is hard to come by. The Sabian symbol for 12° Scorpio, where Saturn has just gone retrograde, is is “An embassy ball.” This degree is one of “Group-consciousness, as it flowers at the highest level in cultural interchanges between representatives of the elite of the ruling class.” Dane Rudhyar explains that this symbol represents “the superficial forms of a concern for establishing permanent relationships in peaceful co-operation.”
However, the retrograde action of Saturn in Scorpio highlights hidden power struggles and potential duplicity originating from the powers-that-be, operating behind a facade of concern for the well-being of the society as a whole. Scorpios make the best spooks, spies, propagandists and liars, although their emotional X-Ray vision and deep awareness can also empower them to be the most acute of truth-tellers.
With Mercury and Mars conjunct in Pisces there is the potential for highly emotional social and personal fireworks as fuzzy thinking combines with highly emotional and agitated expressions of Mars energy in response to Saturnian restrictions and Scorpionic duplicity originating from the highest levels of society.
This pernicious astrological configuration is being embodied, in America, by the implementation of a very bi-partisan, super-Draconian austerity policy that threatens to throw the country back into a recession.
It’s called sequestration. Sequestration is the social embodiment of the current retrograde Saturn in Scorpio moment.
The so-called “sequestration” represents $1.2 trillion in across-the-board cuts in every department of the Federal government, and the first cuts go into effect the first of March. The sequestration is not the result of Congressional action but rather the result of a bi-partisan policy of inaction and blaming the other guy.
On August 2, 2011, at the conclusion of a long and acrimonious fight about the debt-ceiling limit, which threatened to shut down the government, and/or bring about a default on US debt, President Obama signed The Budget Control Act of 2011, which raised the debt ceiling limit, created a Congressional “super-committee” to plan for deep cuts in federal spending, and provided for automatic spending cuts in every department of the federal government in January 2013 if no agreement could be reached on a deficit reduction bill with at least $1.2 trillion in cuts before that time.
Sequestration was designed as a kind of political “poison pill” that would be so offensive to both Republicans and Democrats that they would agree to a combination of tax increases and spending cuts to bring down the federal deficit. In short, this was a bi-partisan commitment to the “austerity politics” that have decimated Europe’s economies over the last few years.
The deal cut by our political leaders to avoid the notorious “fiscal cliff” at the end of 2012 postponed sequestration until March 1, on the theory that there was still time to avoid the implementation of a program that neither liberals nor conservatives believe to be good policy. However, no deal has been reached.
On March 1, “$85 billion of automatic spending cuts will snap down on the federal budget,” explains Slatecolumnist David Weigl in his article The Confused Person’s Guide to Sequester Politics. “Half of the cuts will hit defense; half will hit Medicare spending. . . It’s the latest in the ongoing series of manufactured crises that have made Congress our most beloved institution.”
Why and how could this happen?
Sequestration has its origins in the 2010 bi-partisan Simpson-Bowles plan for deficit reduction, supported by President Obama, and dissected by Zach Carter in an article in The Huffington Post published in July of 2012.
“As for the 2010 Simpson-Bowles deficit reduction plan, it is often described by Beltway insiders as a ‘centrist’ proposal that could ‘bring the country together’ and improve the economy,” Carter explains. “In fact, Simpson-Bowles is yet another austerity program that would cut Medicare and Social Security while securing tax breaks for corporations and the well-off, according to an analysis by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.”
“Erskine Bowles, co-chairman of the bipartisan commission that worked on the plan, is a director at Morgan Stanley, the sixth-largest American bank and a financial institution for which the United States made huge commitments to help it weather the economic downturn,” Carter reveals. “Morgan Stanley took $10 billion in bailout funds under the Troubled Asset Relief Program and received more than $100 billion a day in cheap loans from the Federal Reserve at the height of the past financial crisis. For weeks, Morgan Stanley borrowed more money from the Fed than the company's stock market value.”
“That solicitude for the profits of big corporations shows up in Simpson-Bowles too,” Carter continues. “The plan offers multiple corporate tax reform proposals, but one, which calls for shifting to a so-called territorial tax system, would be especially advantageous to Morgan Stanley and other Wall Street banks. It would allow U.S. companies to permanently avoid paying U.S. taxes on overseas income, including money stashed in offshore tax havens like the Cayman Islands. According to a 2008 report by the Government Accountability Office, Morgan Stanley operates 273 sub-companies headquartered in such tax havens.”
President Obama Shakes Hands with House Speaker Boehner at State of Union Address 2011, courtesy of US Government and Wikimedia
Since such bi-partisan policies guarantee continued corporate tax breaks, forbearance for fraudulent banksters and an ongoing commitment to keep too-big-to-fail banks awash in taxpayer money from the Federal Reserve, austerity for the masses might not be too popular with either Republican or Democratic voters, and the sequestration process allows all our elected officials to shove austerity policies down the throats of an unwilling public while blaming each other for the harm that will be done to the American public and the American economy.
At a time when jobs and good wages should be the prime focus of our political leaders, they are determined to cut back on all federal programs, which will hammer our delicate economy, which has never fully recovered from the global financial meltdown of 2007-2008.
Many prominent economists such as Nobel prize winner Paul Krugman and former Nobel prize winner and Chief Economist for the World Bank Joseph Stiglitz have written article after article the last few years pointing out that austerity policies cannot jump-start a moribund economy and that counter-cyclical policies of job creation and fiscal stimulus are the only way out of our current economic doldrums, but they are considered outliers whose views in no way represent the mainstream of the American political and financial elites, who want to pay for the multi-trillion dollar bank bailouts of the last few years by squeezing every spare drop of financial blood from average American citizens.
“While it’s true that we will eventually need some combination of revenue increases and spending cuts to rein in the growth of U.S. government debt, now is very much not the time to act. Given the state we’re in, it would be irresponsible and destructive not to kick that can down the road,” Krugman argues in a recent blog post at his home, The New York Times.
“Start with a basic point: Slashing government spending destroys jobs and causes the economy to shrink,” Krugman continues.
“This really isn’t a debatable proposition at this point,” Krugman continues. “The contractionary effects of fiscal austerity have been demonstrated by study after study and overwhelmingly confirmed by recent experience — for example, by the severe and continuing slump in Ireland, which was for a while touted as a shining example of responsible policy, or by the way the Cameron government’s turn to austerity derailed recovery in Britain.”
It is now clear that these same enforced austerity policies, implemented over the strenuous objections of European voters in Greece, Spain, Ireland and elsewhere have been tried in Europe for years and have failed miserably in every case. After several years of bitter economic medicine the European patients are not only not recovering, they are infecting the entire global economy with their economic disease.
In January of 2013 Stiglitz told a crowd in Bangalore that the chances of austerity policies improving economies in Europe is vanishingly close to zero. Stiglitz explained that austerity can only work if increases in exports can fill the economic hole created by cuts in government expenditures.
“That cannot happen in Europe or the United States,” he said. “The prospect of this working is close to zero or none.”
Stiglitz pointed to several well-known policy failures resulting from International Monetary Fund (IMF) austerity programs in Thailand, Bolivia, Indonesia and Argentina. “The experiments have a 100% track record,” he said. “Every time austerity was tried, the economy went from a downturn to a recession, and from a recession to a depression.”
In fact evidence is mounting that austerity policies in Europe are contributing to a global economic slowdown that threatens to create another global financial debacle.
Economist Dr. Jack Rasmus summarizes the present dismal condition of the global economy this way:“Nearly the entire European Union, including its core economies of Germany, France, and the United Kingdom are all now clearly mired in recession. The Euro southern periphery is in a bona fide depression. Japan has entered its third recession since 2008. China, India, and Brazilian growth rates have fallen by half. And the US in the fourth quarter 2012 has come to a virtual economic standstill, the second time in two years in which a quarterly GDP recorded virtually no growth.”
So it makes sense that it would be difficult for either Republicans or Democrats to openly embrace these failed policies, which will enable the US government to force taxpayers, the poor, the elderly, the sick, and the rest of the 99% to pay for the trillions of dollars used to bail out our fraudulent banking system and the super-rich Wall Street financiers who engineered and profited from the sub-prime crisis and the runaway speculation in derivative financial instruments which led to the global financial meltdown.
The current sequestration will provide bi-partisan cover for this extremely unpopular policy of making the people pay for the sins of the rich and famous. Much as a stage magician uses mis-direction to conjure rabbits from a hat, our politicians are pretending to be locked in a fight to the death while secretly agreeing to stick it to the American people on behalf of the wealth-holders who finance their political campaigns.
Liberal blogger Jon Walker of the FireDogLake website explains the political calculus of enforced American austerity well in his current post entitled What the Sequester Fight Shows about the Bipartisan Fetish.
“The sequester was created in the most bipartisan way possible. It was a proposal from a Democratic President to find a way around an impasse with House Republicans that both sides each believed would eventually advance their long-term agendas,” says Walker. “It was approved by a Republican House, a Democratic Senate and signed by a Democratic President. As a result, everyone will agree this is a truly horrible policy that will needlessly hurt the country, but no one responsible for it will probably ever pay a political price.”
“Top Republicans are telling their base it is all Obama’s fault,” continues Walker. “After all, Obama did come up with the idea, he thought it would work for him, and he signed it into law. For Republicans it is the ‘Obama Sequester.’”
“Liberals get to tell the Democratic base that their President is mostly blameless. They argue that Republicans voted for it, Republicans demanded only spending cuts, Republicans called it a victory, and Republicans aren’t making an effort to replace it,” Walker contends. “Apparently, the buck no longer stops at the Pre