The Full Blood SuperMoon Eclipse in Leo, Aquarius Solar Festival January 2019 Cosmic Weather Forecast

Welcome to the Full Blood SuperMoon Eclipse in Leo, Aquarius Solar Festival 2019 Cosmic Weather Forecast. Your co-Editors, Curtis and Jane, offer warm winter greetings from sunny South Florida.

2019 starts out with celestial fireworks! January 2019 features two eclipses, five planets changing signs, and Uranus going direct in Aries. Be ready for an emotional reboot this month (lunar eclipse) that is the prelude for big changes in your priorities and your relationships that will reverberate in the ethers all year long!

Jupiter in Sagittarius flavors this spectacular Full Moon Eclipse with a brilliant energy, in conjunction with Venus, trine to Mars, creating a buoyant, uplifting mood. But beware of Jupiter's square to Neptune which could baffle, bewitch and glamorize. Mars in Aries square Uranus in Capricorn could set off sparks, so watch out they don't start a wildfire! Read on for details!

Here in Jane's Boca Raton garden, Jane and I are enjoying a real Florida winter, with temperatures ranging from 60-83 during the day and 50-70 at night. For the last few weeks we've gotten a couple of warm days at a time and then the next cold front arrives, with several days of sweater weather. The slight chill is most welcome. Last year we never had any sustained cool downs, which made the transition back to summer heat feel oppressive. 

Jane's garden is producing lots of greens, herbs, orchids and roses, but this season the red and pink flowering gingers are the superstars, overtopping the ficus hedge in the back yard and spreading into new domains in front of the house, where they are challenging the palm trees for primacy and access to sunlight!

Super Blood Full Moon Eclipse in Leo, Aquarius Solar Festival Cosmic Weather Forecast

We're finding that the current cosmic weather conditions are ideal for intensified spiritual practices. With Jupiter and Venus united in Sagittarius, sign of aspiration and ascension, since January 7, Jane and I are finding it's easy to release our sugar and dairy habits, cut down on Netflix and spend more time with inspirational books, in meditation, and performing practices designed to re-vision our future and align our daily life with our Higher Purpose.

Sagittarius is the esoteric ruler of the Earth, and so when Venus is in Sagittarius, these two planetary energies are conjoined, symbolizing the overshadowing of the egoistic personality by the Higher Self, the Divine Presence within. 

Jupiter in Sagittarius is a powerful celestial archer aiming for the highest heights, and this planetary alignment supports the fusion of the intellect with Higher Mind, as the individual learns to direct and focus the powers of the "monkey mind" in practices designed to achieve a powerful experience of the Creative Intelligence manifesting as Loving Wisdom.


Aurorae on Jupiter 
Image Credit: NASAESAHubble

Explanation: Jupiter has aurorae. Like Earth, the magnetic field of the gas giant funnels charged particles released from the Sun onto the poles. As these particles strike the atmosphere, electrons are temporarily knocked away from existing gas moleculesElectric force attracts these electrons back. As the electrons recombine to remake neutral molecules, auroral light is emitted.

Jupiter will be in expansive, adventurous Sagittarius until December of 2019, and Venus will be in Sagittarius this Full Blood SuperMoon Eclipse weekend. Both are in trine to Mars in potent Aries through February 3, so now is the time to take advantage of this powerful positive energy. Now is the time to let go of your bad habits and intensify all forms of spiritual practice designed to put you in touch with Spirit.

This month's Full Moon Eclipse takes place January 21st at 12:15 am Eastern Time, at 49' Leo, opposite the Sun at 49' Aquarius.

Starting around 7:30 pm on Sunday January 20th, the moon will begin to pass behind the Earth's shadow, creating a full lunar eclipse about an hour later. The eclipse will be visible in most of North and South America. Refracted sunlight passing through the atmosphere during this unusual event imparts a copper coloration to the moon's appearance, hence the name Blood Moon. There is nothing sinister about a Blood Moon as such. 

This is not to say there are no warning signs flashing on the cosmic weather dashboard. Mars in Aries this week squares Saturn in Capricorn, bringing up issues of self-control and the potential for sudden, dramatic conflicts. 

Mars rules the desire nature of the aspirant, in esoteric astrology, and Mars is very much at home in the aggressive sign of the Ram, Aries. Mars rules the physical body and the egoistic personality, the "monkey mind", so Mars in Aries amplifies the energy flowing through our bodies and puts the monkey mind on overdrive. This aspect's energies run counter to the uplifting energies of the Jupiter-Venus-Mars aspects already discussed, so it would be natural to find that this week, and this month, you might experience conflicts between the desires of the flesh and the promptings of the spirit. Caution and self-control are imperative at this time, and the Mars square to Saturn can actually help us put the brakes on a potential runaway train of impulsive desires and ceaseless mental ratiocination.

This Full Moon is the time of the Aquarian Solar Festival, which this year is symbolized by a very suggestive Sabian Symbol, An Old Adobe Mission in California. The construction of the Mission represents the circumscription of sacred space through the visualization of an ideal or Platonic form, which then is communicated to a group of devotees who participate in the manifestation of a spiritual vessel containing and transmitting Divine Love and Wisdom to all those who enter that space. The visualization and construction of the sacred vessel is a community project, and represents the communitarian Aquarian impulse of selfless service and group work reaching its most elevated energy signature.

This weekend and the Aquarian month to come offer us a golden opportunity to meet with like minded souls and to cooperate on projects that are designed to contribute to the greater good of society as a whole. 

The combustible Mars-Saturn square indicates that people involved in group work may not be at their best, and there is vast potential for unwanted and unforeseen  turbulence, brought about by unconscious motivations operating under the radar of awareness.

Further clouding the skies, Jupiter in Sagittarius squares Neptune in Pisces, a long term influence that began January 13, 2019 and continues through September of this year. This aspect between large outer planets in mutable signs is one of the signature aspects of 2019. 

Jupiter in Sagittarius is a strong, devotional energy, and Neptune in Pisces can also have a spiritual component, but Jupiter in Sagittarius  emphasizes the forms, rituals, and codes governing religious and spiritual practice, while Neptune in Pisces, also associated with spirituality, emphasizes the feeling nature, and can signify astral glamours. So this aspect can supercharge our practices, but can also lead us into an emotional fog, where we can no longer discern the difference between true intuitive guidance and wishful thinking or dreamy escapism. This aspect can also provide tremendous support for individuals seeking to glamorize others, which may have relevance when we consider what is taking place on the world stage, and the actions of many of our most powerful leaders. Needless to say, discernment is a must, and wisdom dictates that no matter how much tension arises in this turbulent time, we exercise our will forces and refuse to seek solace and escape in drinks, drugs, social media and Netflix binging.

Global News Roundup

For good or ill, we live in a time of vast cultural upheavals, searing political confrontations and unprecedented global environmental threats. It's The Dark Night of the Planetary Soul, as I described it in an article written more than a decade ago, still relevant today.

Unfortunately the mainstream corporate news media and many sources of alternative news no longer function as trustworthy guides to current events, and we all know that relying upon the "news" delivered to us by Facebook's or YouTube's self-serving algorithms is lazy and a mistake.

There is so much going on in every corner of the world that demands our attention, and staying well informed about world events is extremely challenging. Yet part of our spiritual practice at Satya Center involves exercising discernment, understanding the biases inherent in the bewildering multiplicity of news sources available in our interconnected digital world, and separating the truth from the spin.

Every morning, I review stories from approximately three dozen sources of political, financial and environmental news that have proved useful over the many years I spent as a journalist, and the many years I have spent as a Lightworker. 

For the first several years of Satya Center's existence, we provided our subscribers with a long list of links to stories we found illuminating. We also offered a few paragraphs excerpted from each story, a window to help you decide if it's worth a click. 

We discontinued this service years ago, because of the intensive work required. However the time has come to reboot the Global News Roundup. We hope you will enjoy this service, with pointers to stories that provide the context and deep insights normally lacking in the "news" provided by the usual suspects.

If you do find this service useful and insightful, please forward this newsletter to friends, family and others who may find the Global News Roundup helpful. We welcome new subscribers, and although the newsletter is free and without advertising, it's important to us to reach as many people as possible.

Keep in mind this month that if a new European Union copyright protection scheme becomes law, which it may very soon, it could be illegal to offer links to news stories with significant quotations, as is common today under "fair use" standards. So enjoy this service while you can, and if you value free speech, visit the Electronic Frontier Foundation website and join the fight for better copyright law before it's too late.

Global News Roundup

Free Speech

'Catastrophe for Free Expression': Critics Warn EU Reforms a 'Dire Threat' to Internet as We Know It

Published on Tuesday, January 15, 2019 by Common Dreams, by Jake Johnson

"As the European Union (EU) plows ahead this week with far-reaching copyright rules that critics say would "cripple freedom of expression on the internet," privacy advocates and web defenders across the globe are raising alarm and calling on EU member states to block the measures.

"The new EU Copyright Directive is progressing at an alarming rate," Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) special adviser Cory Doctorow wrote on Monday, describing the rules package as a "catastrophe for free expression."

"While the vast majority of the rules in the sprawling Copyright Directive are "inoffensive updates to European copyright law," Doctorow points out, two specific measures—Article 11 and Article 13— "pose a dire threat to the global internet." Doctorow goes on to detail the implications of both rules:
  • Article 11: A proposal to make platforms pay for linking to news sites by creating a non-waivable right to license any links from for-profit services (where those links include more than a word or two from the story or its headline). Article 11 fails to define "news sites," "commercial platforms," and "links," which invites 28 European nations to create 28 mutually exclusive, contradictory licensing regimes. Additionally, the fact that the "linking right" can't be waived means that open-access, public-interest, nonprofit and Creative Commons news sites can't opt out of the system.
  • Article 13: A proposal to end the appearance of unlicensed copyrighted works on big user-generated content platforms, even for an instant. Initially, this included an explicit mandate to develop "filters" that would examine every social media posting by everyone in the world and check whether it matched entries in an open, crowdsourced database of supposedly copyrighted materials. In its current form, the rule says that filters "should be avoided" but does not explain how billions of social media posts, videos, audio files, and blog posts should be monitored for infringement without automated filtering systems.
"Taken together, these two rules will subject huge swaths of online expression to interception and arbitrary censorship, and give the largest news companies in Europe the power to decide who can discuss and criticize their reporting, and undermining public-interest, open-access journalism," Doctorow concluded. As Common Dreams reported at the time, internet pioneers Tim Berners-Lee and Vint Cerf warned in a June letter to European Parliament President Antonio Tajani that Article 13 of the directive would transform "the internet from an open platform for sharing and innovation, into a tool for the automated surveillance and control of its users."


Consciousness Studies and Human Evolution


The Hippies Were Right: It's All about Vibrations, Man!
Scientific Americanby Tam Hunt on December 5, 2018

"Why are some things conscious and others apparently not? Is a rat conscious? A bat? A cockroach? A bacterium? An electron?
"These questions are all aspects of the ancient “mind-body problem,” which has resisted a generally satisfying conclusion for thousands of years.           

"The mind-body problem enjoyed a major rebranding over the last two decades and is generally known now as the “hard problem” of consciousness (usually capitalized nowadays), after the New York University philosopher David Chalmers coined this term in a now classic 1995 paper and his 1996 book The Conscious Mind: In Search of a Fundamental Theory.

"Fast forward to the present era and we can ask ourselves now: Did the hippies actually solve this problem? My colleague Jonathan Schooler (University of California, Santa Barbara) and I think they effectively did, with the radical intuition that it’s all about vibrations … man. Over the past decade, we have developed a “resonance theory of consciousness” that suggests that resonance—another word for synchronized vibrations—is at the heart of not only human consciousness but of physical reality more generally. So how were the hippies right?

"Well, we agree that vibrations, resonance, are the key mechanism behind human consciousness, as well as animal consciousness more generally. And, as I’ll discuss below, that they are the basic mechanism for all physical interactions to occur. All things in our universe are constantly in motion, vibrating. Even objects that appear to be stationary are in fact vibrating, oscillating, resonating, at various frequencies. Resonance is a type of motion, characterized by oscillation between two states. And ultimately all matter is just vibrations of various underlying fields.

"An interesting phenomenon occurs when different vibrating things/processes come into proximity: they will often start, after a little time, to vibrate together at the same frequency. They “sync up,” sometimes in ways that can seem mysterious. This is described today as the phenomenon of spontaneous self-organization. Examining this phenomenon leads to potentially deep insights about the nature of consciousness and about the universe more generally.

". . .The central thesis of our approach is this: the particular linkages that allow for macro-consciousness to occur result from a shared resonance among many micro-conscious constituents. The speed of the resonant waves that are present is the limiting factor that determines the size of each conscious entity. "
. . .Our resonance theory of consciousness attempts to provide a unified framework that includes neuroscience and the study of human consciousness, but also more fundamental questions of neurobiology and biophysics. It gets to the heart of the differences that matter when it comes to consciousness and the evolution of physical systems. It is all about vibrations, but it’s also about the type of vibrations and, most importantly, about shared vibrations. Put that in your pipe and smoke it … man.
It’s the End of the Gene As We Know It: We are not nearly as determined by our genes as once thought.

"We’ve all seen the stark headlines: “Being Rich and Successful Is in Your DNA” (Guardian, July 12); “A New Genetic Test Could Help Determine Children’s Success” (Newsweek, July 10); “Our Fortunetelling Genes” make us (Wall Street Journal, Nov. 16); and so on.

"The problem is, many of these headlines are not discussing real genes at all, but a crude statistical model of them, involving dozens of unlikely assumptions. Now, slowly but surely, that whole conceptual model of the gene is being challenged.

". . .In her 1984 book, The Ontogeny of Information, the philosopher of science Susan Oyama warned, “Just as traditional thought placed biological forms in the mind of God, so modern thought finds ways of endowing the genes with ultimate formative power.” In scientific, as well as popular descriptions today, genes “act,” “behave,” “direct,” “control,” “design,” “influence,” have “effects,” are “responsible for,” are “selfish,” and so on, as if minds of their own with designs and intentions.

"But at the same time, a counter-narrative is building, not from the media but from inside science itself. . . .Scientists now understand that the information in the DNA code can only serve as a template for a protein. It cannot possibly serve as instructions for the more complex task of putting the proteins together into a fully functioning being, no more than the characters on a typewriter can produce a story.

". . .Then it was slowly appreciated that we inherit just such dynamical systems from our parents, not only our genes. Eggs and sperm contain a vast variety of factors: enzymes and other proteins; amino acids; vitamins, minerals; fats; RNAs (nucleic acids other than DNA); hundreds of cell signalling factors; and other products of the parents’ genes, other than genes themselves. Molecular biologists have been describing how those factors form networks of complex interactions.

"Together, they self-organize according to changing conditions around them. Being sensitive to statistical patterns in the changes, they anticipate future states, often creating novel, emergent properties to meet them.

"Accordingly, even single cells change their metabolic pathways, and the way they use their genes to suit those patterns. That is, they “learn,” and create instructions on the hoof. Genes are used as templates for making vital resources, of course. But directions and outcomes of the system are not controlled by genes. Like colonies of ants or bees, there are deeper dynamical laws at work in the development of forms and variations.

". . .It is such discoveries that are turning our ideas of genetic causation inside out. We have traditionally thought of cell contents as servants to the DNA instructions. But, as the British biologist Denis Noble insists, “The modern synthesis has got causality in biology wrong … DNA on its own does absolutely nothing until activated by the rest of the system … DNA is not a cause in an active sense. I think it is better described as a passive data base which is used by the organism to enable it to make the proteins that it requires.”


Data mining adds evidence that war is baked into the structure of society
MIT Technology Review

"A new study of wars over 600 years shows conflict following a universal mathematical law, suggesting that the current period of relative peace could be more fragile than many have thought.

"Society is a complex web of social, political, and economic forces that depend on the network of links between individuals and the countries they represent. These links are constantly rearranging, sometimes because of violence and death. When the level of rearrangement and associated violence rises above a threshold level, we describe the resulting pattern as war.

"This network science approach is providing a new way to think about how to avoid the causes of war. But it raises important questions, too. Not least of these is whether this new approach is evidence-based at all: does the historical record provide good evidence that war is a network phenomenon.

"Today, we get an answer thanks to the work of Ugo Bardi at the University of Florence in Italy and a couple of colleagues, who have analyzed one of the largest historical databases of violent conflict and say its statistical properties are entirely consistent with the network theory of war.

“Our result tends to support the idea that war is a statistical phenomenon related to the network structure of the human society,” they say. . . . “There is little evidence supporting the idea that humankind is progressing toward a more peaceful world,” they conclude. That’s because wars have become less common but at the same time more destructive."


Meditation Moment


Before Prince Siddhartha became the Buddha, he realized things were not quite right in his world. Neurosis was continuously spreading in his kingdom. He decided to reject any approach to life that made him purely comfortable and happy and to search for some psychological sanity beyond that. He thought that meditating and studying with the holy men of the time would help him.  Then he would be able to rule his kingdom and be a better king.  He left his palace and studied with various gurus, who taught him all kinds of techniques: holding his breath, not holding his breath, sitting in different postures doing spiritual acrobatics, and many other approaches.  But he found these techniques kept his mind very busy, rather than being simple and alone.  

Having practiced for six years, he still had doubts about what he was doing. Then, it occurred to him that life is not so much a question of gain and loss. Instead, life is full of reality, and that reality rests in the mind.  He realized that mind is constantly speeding, on and on. So Prince Siddhartha decided to stop that speed. He decided to sit and meditate under a bodhi tree on the banks of the Nairanjana River. His austerity had not proven to be the best way, so he decided to give that up.

After sitting for a long time, not much happened. Then, he got up and walked around, and he was offered a drink of milk by a friend. He settled himself on a comfortable seat made of kusha grass.  He began to relax and meditate again. At that moment, when he relaxed, the whole struggle began to dissolve. He realized that he shouldn't push so hard, but that he could give in and let himself go.  That was the moment of enlightenment, which was not all that dramatic. 

Edited from an unpublished transcript VIEWING AND WORKING WITH THE PHENOMENAL WORLD, a seminar at Naropa Institute, Talk One, June 10, 1976.  
All material by Chogyam Trungpa is copyright Diana J. Mukpo and used by permission.