The Year of The Iron Tiger Ends with a Bang!
Welcome to the Capricorn Solar Festival and the Cancer Full Moon, Wednesday January 19, 2011 edition of the Satya Center newsletter and Cosmic Weather Forecast. Warm greetings from your Editor, Curtis Lang and your co-editor, Jane Sherry.
My birthday was last week, and Jane and I celebrated by taking a hike in nearby Round Valley Park. It was clear and sunny, with temperature around 55 degrees and we had a beautiful walk in the hills, which are greening up nicely mid-way through our rainy season.
We experienced some momentary disorientation because we are so accustomed to snow, ice and extreme cold at this time of year, but we managed to overcome our confusion and totally enjoy ourselves. Winter here is like spring mud-season in New York, so the trails were muddy, but we didn't care. We were enjoying the feeling of the sun on our faces as we stripped off our sweaters and wrapped them around our waists.
Even surrounded by so much beauty we couldn't shake the sadness that has lingered in our hearts ever since the January 8 Tucson attempted assassination of US Representative Gabrielle Giffords -- really a mass murder spree in which nineteen people were shot, six fatally.
The Chinese year of the Iron Tiger, is ending with a bang! The Chinese New Year of the Iron Rabbit begins February 3, and not a moment too soon for me!
The mentally unbalanced mass killer, 22 year old Jared Lee Loughner, a US Army reject, was attracted to conspiracy theories, and raged against America's monetary system, its failed school system, and particularly his own school, which he obviously felt had let him down and left him without prospects for the future.
Last month I said that it feels like the end of an era in America. The Golden Age of New Deal generosity is over. As I mentioned last week, it is extremely difficult for young people in America these days.
College is unaffordable except for those with trust funds. The rest of our children are saddled with virtually unpayable tuition debts by the time they graduate. Some Wall Street analysts expect over 40% of the student loans generated in 2008 to default. But these debts are NEVER forgiven and accrue interest forever.
Class distinctions are hardening. Many young people are incurring massive student debt to obtain second-class educations from a myriad of "for-profit" colleges such as DeVry University or the online University of Phoenix. Their ultra-expensive diplomas will often be less than helpful in obtaining a job, much less starting a career.
America is now a dysfunctional society where the rich get richer and the rest of us are told that all our problems are our own fault, so we better get used to the idea that no one is going to help us out.
Wall Street and our banking system are extremely profitable thanks to several trillion dollars in government bailouts, but around the world countries including China, Russia, Iran, India, Brazil, Venezuela, and many others are working overtime to reduce the role of the US dollar in global trade, and there is a general consensus that over time the US dollar will no longer be the world's reserve currency. That's because the rest of the world blames the US for the global economic collapse, and has absolutely no interest in emulating US economic institutions, for the first time since World War II.
Washington is a laughing-stock in the capitals of Europe and major Asian powers. The American civil war between Republicans and Democrats has eroded American political credibility everywhere. Foreign analysts know that Republicans are not "fact-based" in their attacks on Obama, on health care reform, on the economy, or many other issues. Obama's foreign policy is perceived by many foreign observers as a failure -- in Iraq, in Afghanistan, in Pakistan, and in Latin America. The Wiki Leaks debacle has further embarrassed the stumbling giant in Washington.
So although Jared Lee Loughner is totally incapable of a coherent analysis or critique of America's problems, and may well be mentally ill, he certainly understands that his school experience will not and could not lead him to any kind of fulfilling career path. He certainly understands that America has big economic problems, and blames those in charge of money politics. He certainly understands that his Congresswoman cannot help him in any way. Loughner is a victim of the new Class War in America.
As Warren Buffet said on CNN in 2005, when asked about the failure of the government to even propose higher taxes on the super-rich, "It's class warfare. My class is winning, but they shouldn't be."
"We spend far too much time and energy worrying about the supposed global divide between north and south, rich country and poor country. It doesn't actually exist," claims Sierra Club President Carl Pope in the January 2011 issue of Foreign Policy magazine. "The planet's real fault line is between elites and the middle class in some countries, and the bottom of the pyramid, everywhere."
"The world's four richest citizens -- Carlos Slim, Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Mukesh Ambani -- have more in common with each other than they do with the bottom strata of their respective countries," Pope continues. "Yes, they do handle their wealth differently. Gates and Buffett are giving most of it away, Ambani just built the world's most expensive house, and Slim is somewhere in the middle. But all four can count on their home governments to take care of their needs first. Preserving that kind of social hierarchy is an unwritten assumption in deciding which solutions to the world's problems arrive on the table and which do not."
"Together, Slim, Gates, Buffett, and Ambani control more wealth than the world's poorest 57 countries," Pope explains. "The danger is that while we have a global economy that knows how to concentrate money and power in an ever smaller set of hands, we have no robust mechanism to alert us to the injustice, dangers, and instability that come along with this package. Someday, to our peril, the poor will find their own way to remind us."
I think the most important lesson from Tucson is that when hope for millions of average Americans has been systematically crushed so that the elite can wage profitable wars, and Wall Street can loot Treasuries and investors around the world, insanity and rage will certainly arise in response.
In some ways it's counterproductive to debate whether Loughner is "connected" to the Tea Party in some identifiable way that can be used to promote a partisan political agenda. They are both connected by an understandable rage at the Establishment -- big government, big business, and all those who are better-educated, more affluent, and more powerful than they are.
The rage of America's middle classes, under attack by big business and big government, climate change, peak oil, and unsustainable Imperial wars around the world could threaten the interests of the rich and the well-connected, perhaps even undermine the military-industrial complex and the American Police State.
That's why Republican lobbyists, supported by conservative billionaires, created the Tea Party in the first place -- to direct that rage away from the financiers, the polluters, the billionaires and the military-industrial complex. It's a strategy as old as race baiting and blue collar riots against hippies and anti-war demonstrators in the Sixties and Seventies.
The Tea Party and Fox News are deflecting the anger of these middle-class Americans away from Wall Street and big bankers, and inciting rage against traditional Democratic constituencies and Democratic lawmakers.
When you connect the dots you can see that the Tea Party's billionaire backers and the vitriolic Talking Heads on Fox News are simply directing that anger at targets that are the most convenient for the wealthiest elites in America -- i.e. Obama, environmentalists, unionized public sector employees, gays, and immigrants.
The Washington Post reports that “Many incoming GOP lawmakers have hired registered lobbyists as senior aides. Several of the candidates won with strong support from the anti-establishment tea party movement.”
"The Tea Party movement's dirty little secret is that its chief financial backers owe their family fortune to the granddaddy of all their hatred: Stalin's godless empire of the USSR," charges Yasha Levine in an Alternet article entitled 'The Roots of Stalin in the Tea Party Movement'." The secretive oil billionaires of the Koch family, the main supporters of the right-wing groups that orchestrated the Tea Party movement, would not have the means to bankroll their favorite causes had it not been for the pile of money the family made working for the Bolsheviks in the late 1920s and early 1930s, building refineries, training Communist engineers and laying down the foundation of Soviet oil infrastructure."
A quick look at the origins of the Chicago chapter of the Tea Party is quite revealing. "The domain (ChicagoTeaParty.com) was registered in August, 2008 by Zack Christenson, a dweeby Twitter Republican and producer for a popular Chicago rightwing radio host Milt Rosenberg—a familiar name to Obama campaign people," report Yasha Levine and Mark Ames in a 2009 article on The Exiled website. "Last August, Rosenberg, who looks like Martin Short’s Irving Cohen character, caused an outcry when he interviewed Stanley Kurtz, the conservative writer who first 'exposed' a personal link between Obama and former Weather Undergound leader Bill Ayers. As a result of Rosenberg’s radio interview, the Ayers story was given a major push through the Republican media echo chamber, culminating in Sarah Palin’s accusation that Obama was 'palling around with terrorists.' That Rosenberg’s producer owns the 'chicagoteaparty.com' site is already weird—but what’s even stranger is that he first bought the domain last August, right around the time of Rosenberg’s launch of the 'Obama is a terrorist' campaign. It’s as if they held this 'Chicago tea party' campaign in reserve, like a sleeper-site. Which is exactly what it was."
"ChicagoTeaParty.com was just one part of a larger network of Republican sleeper-cell-blogs set up over the course of the past few months, all of them tied to a shady rightwing advocacy group coincidentally named the 'Sam Adams Alliance', whose backers have until now been kept hidden from public," Ames and Levine contend. "Cached google records that we discovered show that the Sam Adams Alliance took pains to scrub its deep links to the Koch family money as well as the fake-grassroots 'tea party' protests going on today. All of these roads ultimately lead back to a more notorious rightwing advocacy group, FreedomWorks, a powerful PR organization headed by former Republican House Majority leader Dick Armey and funded by Koch money."
The Tea Party's origins are revealed in its agenda. The Tea Party, backed by tens of millions of dollars of money from the Koch family and Big Business, has been unrelenting in its campaign to destroy every campaign promise Barack Obama made during the 2008 campaign, and to undo every piece of legislation of importance that he passed. Yet the Tea Party rejects all attempts to regulate or reform Wall Street.
Unfortunately, the Democratic Party has caved into the Tea Party and the Republican media and money machine. The Democrats have abandoned the middle classes. Obama has engineered endless bailouts for the banksters but offered nothing of substance to the rest of us. Obama has devoted all his attention to the financiers, and ignored rising unemployment, bankrupt state governments, and the pain and suffering of ordinary Americans.
The Democrats are fearful of the rage the Tea Party embodies, and they have no agenda for positive change in America. President Obama's op-ed in the Wall Street Journal January 18 blames "excessive government regulation" for our financial crisis and positions our "reform" President as a Ronald Reagan Republican. Yet this will not deflect the anger of the Republicans, who have declared war against the Democratic Party.
You can be sure that as the epochal Grand Cardinal Cross aspects continue to unfold over the next several years America's New Civil War will only increase in intensity and insanity. (For more information see our article on the Grand Cardinal Cross.)
A major priority of the new Republican Congress is to undo environmental regulations of all kinds. They have boasted of their intent to dismantle the EPA altogether, in the face of rapidly growing evidence that global warming has created new extremes in weather around the world, and in the wake of the BP Oil Spill, now all but forgotten, as oil companies rush to develop offshore sites in the Arctic, in the Gulf of Mexico, and everywhere in between.
The string of environmental disasters that we endured in 2010, beginning with the BP Gulf Oil Spill, perhaps the largest environmental disaster since Chernobyl, reached a kind of climax during this year's Capricorn cycle.
"For those readers not in Australia you have probably heard about the floods in Queensland, which are a repeat of the 1974 Brisbane Floods, which also took place in a Tiger year," reports Australian Astrologer Malvin Artley in his new article on the "January 2011 Capricorn Solar Festival, Full Moon in Cancer". "However, we should also be aware that there have been hundreds of deaths due to flooding in Brazil this month and that weather patterns worldwide remain extreme."
"Metal (Iron) in the Five Elements system feeds water with respect to the energetics of the cycle and we have indeed seen massive shifts in water this past year," Malvin continues. "Drought has turned to floods, there have been blizzards and near-record snowfalls in Europe and the US and - possibly due to the abrupt changes in weather conditions - mass isolated die-offs of fish and birds throughout the world. What a way to start a year!"
But it's not all "gloom and doom". Malvin's article has good news for us about extremely positive Cosmic Weather patterns unfolding during the Capricorn Solar Festival this Wednesday, January 19, 2011, and the Cancer Full Moon occurring simultaneously, so be sure to read all about it. You'll enjoy Malvin's discussion of the Sabian Symbols activated by this week's Celestial configurations.
Malvin also gives an insightful profile of the Capricorn personality and the Capricorn soul, delineating that sign's ideal spiritual path in great detail. If you're a Capricorn, or just interested in astrology or spirituality, you'll enjoy this article.
"As is always the case with people, it is the recognition that we are somehow limited that brings us to action, that moves us toward liberating ourselves from that," Malvin explains. "And, as is always the case, the soul is behind the urge toward better conditions, toward the movement of the person away from worldly affairs and onto the path that releases one from suffering."
"As we have heard so many times, there is much these days to warrant our movement onto the path of the soul, so much suffering in the world. It has always been thus, but we are in a state of affairs now where the travail of the suffering is brought to us in an instant, and constantly repeated to us if we are immersed in media."
"Does this frighten us and send us to feelings of depression, or do we feel inspired to help? As was stated earlier, our true orientation is always shown in times of crisis. For those who rise to the need at hand in spite of their own sufferings or misgivings, the soul of the person shows its light. For those who shrink in the face of need, then time and karma’s hammer will eventually bring them to the soul’s door."
"Capricorn marks both types – those who respond and those who shrink away," Malvin explains. "In these times before us let us dig deep and see what truly reveals itself to us, and may we see and stand beside each other as those who stand ready in assistance."
Although we may not want to hear about it, we are a society in crisis. The Ascended Master Guides and Teachers of all spiritual traditions, East and West, stand ready to aid all those whose hearts are open, who request assistance and who have a strong will to be of service to humanity, in whatever ways they can.
The Ascended Masters have warned for more than fifty years that a small group of individuals, caught in the grip of Mammon, threaten to bring disaster after disaster upon the human race, and those warnings have not been heeded.
Alice Bailey was one of the first to trumpet these warnings, in the 1940s, in her exceptional book, "Problems of Humanity", where she offered the following words of wisdom:
“First of all, it must be recognized that the cause of all world unrest, of the world wars which have wrecked humanity and the widespread misery upon our planet can largely be attributed to a selfish group with materialistic purposes who have for centuries exploited the masses and used the labour of mankind for their selfish ends. From the feudal barons of Europe and Great Britain in the Middle Ages through the powerful business groups of the Victorian era to the handful of capitalists—national and international—who today [1940’s] control the world's resources, the capitalistic system has emerged and has wrecked the world."
"This group of capitalists has cornered and exploited the world's resources and the staples required for civilized living; they have been able to do this because they have owned and controlled the world's wealth through their interlocking directorates and have retained it in their own hands. They have made possible the vast differences existing between the very rich and the very poor; they love money and the power which money gives; they have stood behind governments and politicians; they have controlled the electorate; they have made possible the narrow nationalistic aims of selfish politics; they have financed the world businesses and controlled oil, coal, power, light and transportation; they control publicly or sub rosa the world's banking accounts."
"The responsibility for the widespread misery to be found today in every country in the world lies predominantly at the door of certain major interrelated groups of business-men, bankers, executives of international cartels, monopolies, trusts and organizations and directors of huge corporations who work for corporate or personal gain. They are not interested in benefiting the public except in so far that the public demand for better living conditions will enable them—under the Law of Supply and Demand—to provide the goods, the transportation, light and power which will in the long run bring in heavier financial returns. Exploitation of man-power, the manipulation of the major planetary resources and the promotion of war for private or business profit are characteristic of their methods. "
"In every nation, such men and organizations—responsible for the capitalistic system—are to be found. The ramifications of their businesses and their financial grasp upon humanity were, prior to the war [WWII], active in every land and though they went underground during the war, they still exist. They form an international group, closely interrelated, working in complete unity of idea and intention and knowing and understanding each other. These men belonged to both the Allied Nations and the Axis Powers; they have worked together before and through the entire period of the war through interlocking directorates, under false names and through deceptive organizations, aided by neutrals of their own way of thinking."
"Today, in spite of the disaster which they have brought upon the world, they are again organized and renewing their methods; their goals remain unchanged; their international relationships remain unbroken; they constitute the greatest menace mankind faces today; they control politics; they buy prominent men in every nation; they insure silence through threat, cash and fear; they amass wealth and buy a spurious popularity through philanthropic enterprise; their families live soft and easy lives and seldom know the meaning of God-ordained work; they surround themselves with beauty, luxury and possessions and shut their eyes to the poverty, stark unhappiness, lack of warmth and decent clothing, the starvation and the ugliness of the lives of the millions by whom they are surrounded; they contribute to charities and church agencies as a salve to their consciences or to avoid income taxes; they provide work for countless thousands but see to it that these thousands receive so small a wage that real comfort, leisure, culture and travel are impossible."
"The above is a terrible indictment. It can, however, be substantiated a thousand times over; it is breeding revolution and a growing spirit of unrest. The masses of the people in every land are aroused and awakening and a new day is dawning. A war is starting between the selfish monied interests and the mass of humanity who demand fair play and a right share of the world's wealth.”
"We know that the cause of cleavages between races and nations is the heresy of separativeness," say the Theosophists at the Lucis Trust, publishers of Alice Bailey's wisdom teachings, in a page devoted to The Problems of Humanity. "Solutions can be reached by changing values. Separateness and selfishness, based on a lack of vision and understanding, must be transcended by the sacrifice of selfishness, which will release new values into relations between countries and races. It will encourage sharing and prosperity for all humanity. The progressive development of desirable spiritual values will happen as a result of the increasing consciousness of humanity. This means that we cannot look only for own salvation and our own materialistic survival. This means that while each racial group fights for its own self-interest there cannot be a new world order based on correct human relations, unity and freedom. What is good for the group is good for each of us."
"In fact, survival on Earth has always been based on militarism and exploitation of minorities. A different reality can be built by a radical change of human heart, by loving humanity as a whole and with the sense of the oneness of life. The changing values include the practice of right thoughts, words and deeds, looking for unity-in-diversity, and values of inclusiveness and integrity. These are qualities of the soul."
"The recognition of the energy of goodwill will transcend the chronic and deep cleavages between people and nations—this is the energy of love in action. This means the fusion of the individual with the whole, without losing the sense of individuality. This means that our main task is to work for unity, synthesis and mutual cooperation."
All of which brings us back around again to the nature of the Capricorn personality. The typical Capricorn seeks power, comfort and wealth first in life, but part of the Capricorn path is to encounter Saturnine life lessons and setbacks, limitations and failures, which can eventually serve to teach the aspiring Sea-Goat that there is more to life than external successes, that indeed it is one's own spiritual well-being that is the greatest treasure, and that one's spiritual well-being depends ultimately upon one's capacity for compassion, and for compassionate action to relieve the sufferings of a world on fire with greed, anger, fear, doubt, revenge, lust, and sloth.
"To clarify the matter and give the mystery of the soul its due place, the path of the soul is the path of the bodhisattva – the great beings whose only thought and purpose is to relieve the sufferings of each and every sentient being," Malvin Artley contends. "A bodhisattva lives fully within the light supernal, yet cares not for it, instead being motivated solely by the desire to be of service to those who still suffer. Yet, in that service they attain the goal they wish for every suffering being – full enlightenment. Thus, we have the aphorism of Capricorn: 'Lost am I in light supernal, yet on that light I turn my back.'"
I suppose that's all a bit heavy for many readers, and I understand that as America's affairs sour and humanity self-destructs by engaging in war after war and by fouling the environment, many will choose the path of withdrawal, choosing to limit their experience of these problems in every way they can, choosing even to limit their awareness of the details of these issues, in the hope that they can find a safe, secure haven in which to pursue their spiritual growth, isolated from the rest of suffering, seemingly insane humanity.
That path is open, and available to spiritual seekers, but in this or some other lifetime that path will no longer attract the seeker. At some point the lessons of Capricorn will necessarily draw the seeker like a magnet draws iron filings, and the seeker will choose to engage with the world's problems as part of their spiritual practice. At that point, although exposure to the world's daily self-inflicted suffering may be painful, that pain is accepted as part of the price of spiritual practice and as the gateway to accelerated spiritual growth.
All spiritual seekers in today's world, no matter what their path, no matter what their personal level of safety and engagement, need to protect themselves as best they can from the conflicted and torturous energies circulating around the planet like an aura of darkness.
The antidote to darkness is always Love and Light, and the Angelic Guide attuned to the Power of Love and Light to disperse the forces of darkness and deceit is known to the devoted as St. Michael.
This month we offer you an article about "Archangel Michael & the Sword of Discrimination", by Mirabai Starr. Author of critically acclaimed new translations of the Spanish mystics, St. John of the Cross and St. Teresa of Avila, Mirabai Starr uses fresh, lyrical language to help make timeless wisdom accessible to a contemporary circle of seekers.
"When we call upon the spirit of Michael, we are invoking the courage and strength to see the truth and live it, to hear the truth and share it, to know the truth and let it change us," says Mirabai.
"Michael represents the Spiritual Warrior inside each of us, who, with unconditional love in his heart, is willing to stand up for what he believes is right. Second, the weapon Michael wields is what the Buddhists refer to as the Sword of Discrimination, which cuts through illusion and lays the truth bare. Who couldn’t use a dose of this medicine?"
"Have we resigned ourselves to allowing injustice to unfold in a situation over which we feel we have no control? If we ask Michael, he will show us that we not only have the power but the obligation to stand up for the rights of the oppressed," Mirabai explains.
Yet Michael is above all the Archangel who empowers us to confront our own inner darkness, failures and faults, and to banish them with the Sword of Discrimination. Be sure to read Mirabai's article for a beautiful prayer to Michael, and more suggestions for partnering with Michael to transform ourselves into the Spiritual Warriors we truly are and will become!
Nor is this newsletter only "gloom and doom". Dr. Mae-Wan Ho has written a wonderful optimistic article entitled "Closed Loop, Cradle to Cradle, Circular Economy & the New Naturephilia", which describes the work of many scientists, politicians and corporate chieftains who have discovered a true love of nature, analyzed the ways of nature, and adapted nature's ways to economics, commerce and business practices, creating an entirely new way of looking at how we produce and consume the essentials of life.
"Contrary what most economists think, the economy is not about the flow of money; it is about transforming material and energy to make a living, which is nothing if not thermodynamics," Dr. Ho explains. "Money is the means for the exchange of real goods and services, and it must reflect the real values of goods and services. And problems - such as the current financial crisis – arise when money is decoupled from the real values of goods and services, and most of all, when people mistake the means for the end."
Because it's winter time, and we all need help in protecting ourselves from nasty cold and flu bugs, we bring you the healing wisdom of Dr. Mao-Shing Ne, in his new article, "7 Natural Ways to Avoid the Flu".
Dr. Mao is a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, an anti-aging expert, and the author of the best-selling book, "Secrets of Longevity". Dr. Mao is also the founder and Chancellor of the Yo San University of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Los Angeles that is considered the premiere school for Chinese medicine outside of China.
Finally, it's the time of year when those in the Northern Hemisphere eat their stored apples and cabbage, so Jane offers a yummy recipe using seasonal produce entitled "Spiced Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage with Apples".
"This hearty sweet & sour red cabbage dish is festive enough for a holiday meal, yet easy & simple enough to eat everyday!" Jane promises.
Fortified by healthy seasonal food and good winter-time holistic health practices, empowered by meditation and prayer to our great spiritual ally Archangel Michael, and tuned into the positive vibes permeating the Cosmos during this week's Full Moon, we can all feel strengthened in body, mind and will, ready to seize the many golden opportunities the Universe is currently offering us to be of maximum service in the world.