Monday, August 7, 2017

A Neptunian Mercury Retrograde in Virgo: Refining the Channel From the Spiritual to the Material








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An excerpt from the article:

The friction I run into with most anarchist groups is that I consider anarchy a way of being, a way of life that naturally occurs, rather than a political movement or a scene. So right off the jump, there's a difference in the way I define and understand things.

There's much talk in anarchist circles about the supposed failure of the "anarchist movement," and I've never understood this. How can a way of life and a way of being inherent in most people (non-hierarchical, non-coercive free association; running our own lives; making our own decisions; helping those who need it; do-it-yourself problem-solving on individual and societal levels) be a failure?

There is also much talk in these circles about what people "should" do in order to be considered a "real anarchist."

"If you don't trainhop, shoplift, and live out of dumpsters, you're not a true anarchist."

"If you don't live in a squat, hop from summit to summit, and bust out Starbucks windows on the regular, you're not a true anarchist."

"If you pay rent and bills and have some sort of employment that pays you money, you're not a real anarchist."

"If you aren't involved in the ___________  issue/protests, you aren't a real anarchist."

I've even seen the question posed: "Can someone be called an anarchist if he/she doesn't interact with other anarchists?"

It's mind-boggling to me that that would even be called into question, that that would be yet another scene-imposed "requirement" to being a "real anarchist."

This type of posturing is bizarre to me (perhaps driven by teens and early twenty-somethings?) because there is no policing of behaviour/lifestyle/actions and there is no moulding of oneself to the dictates of the group with true anarchy/anarchism - not with my version, anyway. In my mind, trying to enforce a certain lifestyle or a certain set of political views on an entire group of people is antithetical to anarchy. (IE. non-coercive, non-controlling, non-authoritarian, each person is in charge of him or herself)

Recently, with Mercury in Virgo opposite spirity-weirdy Neptune in Pisces, I had an odd moment where my computer basically sent me, of its own volition, to an anarchist site that I'd had both rewarding and frictional interactions with in the past. I found the commentary of one particular individual interesting because it described the difference in definition that I've outlined above.

Long story Virgoan-short, I came to realize that my version of anarchist is more an adjective or adverb describing a way of being, while the other version, more often used in “the scene,” considers anarchist a noun, a definite thing, a concrete label, an identity that has come to be associated with these certain lifestyle markers (all the "shoulds") that I find so aggravating.

This may seem like a small distinction - and it is.

(The only real reason I declare myself an "anarchist astro-reporter" is to give people fair warning as far as what my writing/stance is going to be like. It heads off misunderstandings and social friction.)

But this small distinction removes me from much of what I find problematic with the "anarchist scene." We are working with different definitions, and understanding this small distinction saves me (and those I come into contact with) a lot of unnecessary frustration. 

These are the types of small distinctions and refinements that we can expect to make with Mercury retrograde in Virgo.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Chiron in Late Pisces: Spiritual Solidarity with Leslie Demeniuk and Those Unjustly Imprisoned, Past, Present, and Future

Photos: Willow

This is a call for spiritual solidarity with Leslie Demeniuk and for all those unjustly imprisoned on Earth, past, present and future. 

Leslie is a 48-year-old woman currently serving life in prison without the possibility of parole at Lowell Correctional Institution, a women's prison in Ocala, Florida.

(Lowell Correctional Institution has been described as "a special hell for women," where it is common for female inmates to die under suspicious circumstances. There have been accusations by prisoners of sexual exploitation, beatings, and torture of inmates by guards.)

Leslie is a victim of the pharmaceuticals industry – of their dangerous and deadly drugs, of their lies, of their cover-ups, and of their diabolical greed, which places profit over human life. Leslie is a victim of the patriarchal hierarchy known as the medical establishment, where doctors and medical professionals often refuse to listen to patients, arrogantly (or at the very least, ignorantly) continuing with practices that contravene the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm:

"I will apply diatetic measures for the benefit of the sick according to my ability and judgment; I will keep them from harm and injustice. 

I will neither give a deadly drug to anybody if asked for it, nor will I make a suggestion to this effect."

It is the pharmaceuticals executives of GlaxoSmithKline and Pfizer Inc. who should be serving this prison time, not Leslie. Leslie – like millions of others around the world  – is a victim of a reckless and irresponsible industry focused on profit, rather than real care and consideration for human beings.

In 2001, Leslie was going through a divorce and custody battle and was experiencing depression - a natural reaction considering the circumstances. Leslie saw a nurse practitioner at a local clinic and was given trial samples of the new generation anti-depressant Zoloft (manufactured and sold by Pfizer Inc.), as well as the anti-anxiety medication Xanax. 

(Of course, the instant reaction from the mainstream medical establishment is: drugs.)

After she began to take the pharmaceuticals, Leslie had an immediate adverse reaction, which involved swelling and hives. She called the clinic to report the symptoms and was told to continue taking the pills. After two more weeks on the drugs, she experienced hallucinations, suicidal thinking, and an overwhelming urge to drink alcohol. The suicidal thinking went to the extent that she picked up a gun and was very close to killing herself. 

Leslie attempted to report these side effects to her doctor but was not able to book an appointment for three weeks. Instead, she went back to the nurse practitioner who originally gave her the samples of Zoloft and Xanax, and he immediately switched her to Paxil (manufactured and sold by GlaxoSmithKline), another new generation anti-depressant. This was done despite Leslie questioning the nurse practitioner about the safety of such a switch.

New generation anti-depressants are also linked to a side effect involving an overwhelming urge to drink, and Leslie experienced this, as well, abusing alcohol at the time that she was taking the pills. 

Three days after starting the Paxil, in a state of drug-induced chemical psychosis, Leslie shot and killed her sweet babies, twin 4-year-old boys, and attempted to overdose herself on pills.

By all accounts, Leslie was a very loving, caring, and devoted mother, and this terrible act was completely out of character.

Leslie was tried in a Florida court in 2006, before the full extent of the side effects of these drugs were known in the mainstream public.

In 2004, GlaxoSmithKline won a motion in court that allowed it to keep information about studies, trials, and investigations regarding the risks and safety of Paxil out of Leslie’s trial.

Chemical psychosis and violent behaviour now linked to anti-depressants like Zoloft and Paxil were not well-known side effects in the mainstream public at the time, and this court ruling barred Leslie’s lawyers from bringing the company's own data in as part of her defense. In a case that could have set a much-needed court precedent in situations of drug-induced psychosis and violence, this ruling protected the drug companies. 

Despite the defense presenting an internal memo from 2000 in which a company scientist for GlaxoSmithKline acknowledged a link between antidepressants and homicide, the knee-jerk public reaction to a mother killing her own children resulted in Leslie being convicted of two counts of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole. 

Since Leslie’s trial in 2006, it has become much more widely known that SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) drugs like Zoloft and Paxil can cause suicidal thinking and actions as well as violent/homicidal behaviour in people having adverse reactions to the drugs.

Leslie is but the tip of the iceberg, representing many more victims who, in a pharmaceutical-induced state of chemical psychosis, have committed suicide, assault, or homicide.

How many other victims of the pharmaceuticals industry are spending time in prison under similar circumstances? The real numbers would be staggering. I suppose these can be called iatrogenic (physician-caused) prison sentences...

A list of other examples of SSRI-related homicides committed by adults can be found in this article, "Precription-Only Homicide and Violence" by Dr. David Healy.  

The link between violence and SSRIs (as well as other pharmaceuticals) has been well understood through anecdotal evidence for many years. The pharmaceuticals corporations, mainstream medical establishment, government regulatory agencies, and media have been much more reluctant to acknowledge the link, however. 

A Swedish study released in 2015 studied more than 850,000 individuals taking SSRIs and found that individuals between the ages of 15 and 24 had a 43% increased risk of committing violent crimes while taking SSRIs versus when they were not. (Source.)

Many mass shootings in recent years have involved people on SSRIs, particularly young people. "In the last 28, years, there have been at least 47 acts of violence committed by those on or withdrawing from psychotropic drugs, leaving 194 wounded and 133 killed." (Source: "Psychotropic Drugs: A History of Violence," Citizens Commission on Human Rights

(And remember - these only represent the incidents that have been conclusively linked to psychotropic drugs like SSRIs, not the real numbers.)

As early as 1990, researchers and psychiatrists were warning of increased risk of suicidal thinking and actions when taking SSRIs. Victims of these drugs have been screaming about side effects ever since. However, there has been a concerted effort by pharmaceuticals corporations to downplay or cover up potential side effects.

In 2004, SSRI manufacturers were forced to place a black box warning on the drugs about the increased risk of suicidal thinking and actions in young people only. (In one of those "cosmic coincidences," this black box warning was added the same year GlaxoSmithKline won the right to keep safety information about Paxil out of Leslie's trial.) This black box warning, of course, does not go nearly far enough, merely scratching the surface of the true risks associated with these drugs, which affect adults and young people alike. 

In a lawsuit against GlaxoSmithKline in 2017 over the suicide of Illinois man Stewart Dolin, evidence was presented showing that people taking antidepressants like Paxil (the SSRI Leslie was taking at the time that she killed her sons) were almost nine times more likely to exhibit suicidal behaviour. Stewart's widow, Wendy, was awarded $3 million from GlaxoSmithKline in 2017, though the ruling is being appealed.

Since Leslie’s trial in 2006, the entire climate and the entire body of public knowledge around this subject has changed as the truth about the dangers of these drugs has come out.

At this point, millions of people have experienced similar side effects, millions of people have been victimized and have lost their lives or the lives of loved ones because of the irresponsible and reckless prescription/dispensing of pharmaceuticals like Zoloft and Paxil.

On December 8, 2009, I finished the last of three antibiotic pills prescribed to me by a walk-in clinic physician for what was believed to be a mild urinary tract infection.

By the next day, I was crawling around my apartment on my hands and knees because my tendons had turned to mush and I could not put weight on my Achilles.

I was having an extended, drug-induced panic attack with morbid and suicidal thoughts coursing through my brain without cessation. I couldn’t stop crying. I couldn’t sleep. There was intense pressure in my head. I had a severe headache to the point that I could barely move my head off the pillow. My ears were ringing loudly. My vision was not lining up correctly. Every time I closed my eyes, I saw colours and shapes and figures and flashing lights, as if I had a strobe light going off behind my eyelids. I couldn’t use artificial light or look at my computer screen without pain. I had fatigue so crushing that crawling to the bathroom and back took a couple hours to recover from. My entire body felt poisoned, and eating food made me feel worse. I was so weak, I could barely lift my arm to my mouth to feed myself (subsequently losing 30 pounds in three weeks). I was convinced I was going to die.

Like Leslie, taking a pharmaceutical prescribed to me as harmless by a medical professional (in this case, the fluoroquinolone antibiotic Cipro) had transported me into a living Hell.

That Hell has involved years of debilitation and pain that continue to this day.

Like Leslie, I experienced chemical psychosis induced by the drug I took. Suicidal and morbid thoughts ran through my mind constantly (remaining with me for years until I smoked marijuana medicinally for a period of time, and they mostly stopped). My body and mind had been turned into a living Hell by the drug. The world around me seemed like Hell. And I was being convinced by the effects of the drug that suicide was my only hope, my only escape, from this intolerable Hell I was experiencing.

By extension, it is not difficult to imagine that in the state of chemical psychosis Leslie experienced, killing her boys and herself was the only way to release them from this Hell-world they were inhabiting. 

Leslie Demeniuk is a victim of the pharmaceuticals industry in one of the most heinous ways possible. She has lost her darling sons and also her own freedom. She has not received justice and is now paying for the crimes of others with her own life. 

Perhaps equally, however, Leslie is a victim of a culture that pathologizes natural human emotions in times of trauma and crisis. She is the victim of a culture that drugs people with potentially dangerous pharmaceuticals rather than providing any real support or assistance through traumatic events.

Why are people not referred to counselors or therapists, for example, before they are put on potentially dangerous drugs? (Answer: the money)

Someone to talk to, someone to help with child care, cooking, or cleaning, someone to cheer her up, someone to make her laugh – these simple, human acts are not being provided within the medical establishment or by the fragmented and stressed society at large. This leads to a treacherous disconnection from the basic support that could mean the difference between health and breakdown, between life and death, for a mother (or anyone) feeling desperate, depressed, overwhelmed, anxious, and alone.

It is an entire culture that failed you, Leslie, and it is failing all of us, too, in one way or another.

You, sweet lady, with your Darkest Moon, your Black Moon Lilith point, in Cancer. The vilified mother, tossed to the wolves by a society that cannot stand to see its own reflection, its own failings, its own hypocrisies. You hold that mirror up, Leslie, and you're banished because of it.

Transiting Ceres (nurturing) and Venus (women) are currently conjunct your Black Moon Lilith in Cancer, and we can see how the shortfalls that failed you are failing all mothers, all caregivers, all people. We can see the suppression of natural emotions as people - particularly mothers - try to keep up in an insane and inhumane system, and we can see the dysfunction that inevitably results from this emotional suppression. We can see the hidden shame, the dark feelings, the emotional extremes (Black Moon Lilith) of over-taxed mothers (Cancer), doing their best within this insane and inhumane system. 

The mother who drinks one too many glasses of wine every night, the mother who takes one more sleeping pill or pain pill or anti-anxiety pill than was prescribed. The coping mechanisms.

Your North Node dharma path on the final degree of the zodiac, 29 Pisces, conjunct natal Chiron. A supremely karmic path to walk. Institutions, prisons, drugs, smokescreens, obscuring of reality, individuals victimized by collective circumstances. The end of the line where all the chronic problems, all the loose ends, all the leftover dysfunction and pain and shameful understandings are dumped. A pain that has no discernible beginning or end. Bearing the burdens of victimhood, devastation, and loss for the collective. Walking a path that illuminates the victimhood of us all via your own story, weaving invisible threads, connecting dots, joining hearts and spirits through time and space. Walking the path of the mercilessly abandoned, of the supreme scapegoat, of the psychically tortured and imprisoned. 

But eventual redemption, transcendence – if not in this world, then in the next. Natal wounded healer Chiron in early Aries is walking with you on this path, conjunct your North Node, blazing you through this brutal pain for an ultimate understanding of the love that sustains and binds us and for an ultimate understanding of yourself as a person within this broader context. Walking this path under the painful (Chiron) identity (Aries) of a murderer, wearing the mark of a heinous criminal. But that's not who you are.

Leslie Demeniuk is not a criminal. Leslie Demeniuk is a good and loving mother who lost the most that any mother could ever lose – her darling children. The loss of a lifetime of freedom most likely pales in comparison to that.

Leslie is a victim of a greedy and evil industry, just like the hundreds of millions of others who have been adversely affected by dangerous pharmaceuticals, kept on the market and prescribed daily without adequate warning or precaution. This group includes me. 

Let’s hold that Dark Moon mirror up to the real criminals – the ones in suits and ties sitting in corner offices at pharmaceuticals corporations, the ones in white coats recklessly scratching death sentences or life sentences on prescription pads, the ones behind pharmacy counters dispensing horror and hell in little bottles, the ones in governmental offices giving it all a green light.

Leslie's story can be seen in the series Women Behind Bars, Season 1, Episode 11, available for viewing on Netflix.

Though the tone of the Women Behind Bars series is quite sensationalistic and somewhat blood-thirsty in your standard "American (In)Justice" sort of way, it also illustrates just how many people (in this case, women) are in prison, enduring terrible conditions, who should not ultimately be there. At the very least, who should not be serving such lengthy sentences considering the circumstances. Women snapping and killing their long-time abusers, women who are present when their abuser kills another person, women who have few to no viable options for getting out of the bad situations life has dealt them, often since childhood.

As wounded healer Chiron transits the final degrees of Pisces (institutions, prisons) from 2017 to 2019, this issue comes to a head. 

Individuals are bearing the burden for intentionally-engineered social conditions that divide us into the fortunate and the unfortunate, the haves and the have-nots, the success stories and the failures. Individuals are bearing the brunt of an intentionally-stratified, fiat currency-driven, and unequal society. Ultimately, this social structure is a toxic failure driving people into anxiety, depression, and ill health.

One of the primary reasons for the breakdown of Leslie's marriage - leading to her depression - was her husband's service in the U.S. military, which involved long periods of time away from home working in war zones. Leslie's ex-husband Tommy Demeniuk is also a victim in the worst possible way of the pharmaceuticals industry and of the military industrial complex, two industries which are intricately connected. Though he likely doesn't see it this way, Tommy is a victim of a society stratified by class where poor and working class people are paid (relatively very little) to fight the wars of rich men and women. In this skewed system, the poor and working class are forced to supersede their own best interests, risking everything to secure wealth, resources, and territory for the rich. 

I’m so sorry, Leslie. I’m so sorry you didn’t get the support you needed when you needed it and that this toxic culture filled the void in the horrific way that it so often does. I’m sorry so many of us are being victimized in this way, that so many of us are not getting the support we need within these Pluto in Capricorn-era patriarchal hierarchies, driven by money and illusions of success rather than caring, consideration, mutual support, basic common decency, and respect for human life.  

And so we must reject this culture that keeps us so stretched and stressed, so isolated and exhausted, so depleted and at-the-brink. So disconnected from each other in fundamental ways.

We must reject a culture that fails the caregivers, the mothers, the nurturers of society (Cancer) - those who have given so much - when they need some of that care themselves.

We must hold the hands of those at the edge, on the verge of tipping into the bleak. And we must courageously reach out for a hand when we find ourselves at this point.

The establishment does not care about us. It was not designed to care. Caring wastes time; it cuts into profit margins; it gives competitors the edge. 

So we must care for ourselves and for each other – radically and lovingly, fiercely and fully, gently and sweetly.

We must do better. We must make up for the failings built into this system to harm us. We must warn each other about the traps designed to ensnare us.  We must link our fingers into a net - so strong - to catch us when we fall. We must create asylum, refuge, secret pockets of sanity and humanity stumbled upon magically when we most need to find them.

We deserve better. You deserve better, Leslie. So we must make it better, together.

Transiting wounded healer Chiron forms conjunctions to Leslie's North Node on the final degree of the zodiac, 29 Pisces, in 2018 and 2019. This is followed by her Chiron return at 4 degrees Aries in 2019 and 2020. The healing cycle is coming full circle. The healing Leslie needs as an individual is the healing we all need. 

Please support the freeing of Leslie Demeniuk and all those serving prison time for the crimes of the pharmaceuticals industry.

Please research the potential side effects of any pharmaceutical (or even herbal remedy) before you take it. Do not take your physician or pharmacist's word for it.

In the hearts and minds of those who seek real justice and equality on Earth, we know that the social structures as they exist cannot go on. As transiting Jupiter in Libra forms its final square to Pluto in Capricorn (exact August 4), this could not be more apparent.

Until our efforts bring about the grand-scale changes needed, we stand in spiritual solidarity with those unjustly imprisoned on Planet Earth, past, present, and future. We link arms, we hold hands, we join at the heart with anyone who has been unjustly imprisoned and with anyone in a state of socially-engineered desperation or isolation who feels as if he or she is in prison. 

A better world is not only possible - it's necessary. Thank-you for being here and for helping to make things better.



Citizens Commission on Human Rights

Websites: 

www.cchrint.org

Thursday, July 20, 2017

New Moon on Zero Leo: Go Fly a Kite!

A beautiful customer in her beautiful Weeping Willow Design - and it looks fabulous with her tattoo!



We're currently moving to a zero-degree New Moon in fiery and fantastic Leo on July 23 (2:46 a.m. PDT). This New Moon will be conjunct blazing Mars, which is transiting Leo as of this morning. 

The Mars effect on this zero-degree New Moon amps up what will already be a smokin' hot lunar cycle within a smokin' hot summer of 2017. (Literally and figuratively where I'm from - we're experiencing way above normal temperatures as well as terrible forest fires.)

I know the astro scene is buzzing about the second Leo New Moon this summer - a total solar eclipse at 28 degrees Leo on August 21 - and it has been for a while now.

But! We can't look at any astrological event as an isolated thing. Nothing exists in a bubble.

The energy around the 28-degree Leo New Moon eclipse on August 21 (11:30 a.m.) is very, very juicy, to be certain. But the entire summer of 2017 is very juicy! We can't put too much focus on a single event, lest we lose sight of the big picture and the ripe opportunities that are opening right in front of our faces. 

This zero-degree Leo New Moon conjunct Mars is the opener. It's the motivator. It initiates situations, connections, and turns-of-event that take us into the full-on social and creative splendour indicated by the astrological aspects of the summer.

This zero-degree New Moon may appear more low-key and small-scale, a little less impressive than the Total Solar Eclipse Leo New Moon!!! in August. But underestimating the creative potential of this one would be a mistake. Skipping the social event, passing on the show, holding back on the release of your own creative output or expression - this would all be a crying shame under the powerful initiatory energy of this New Moon conjunct Mars on the very first degree of creative powerhouse Leo.

Small, creative connections, low-key bits of fun, entertainment or art produced to a little less fanfare, some everyday glam, some everyday style, the injection of a little humour or playfulness - these are all seeds to be sown now, in the immediate, right where you stand. Keep it a little more small-scale, sure, but don't hold back. Don't focus all your mojo on that eclipse just because you know it's up ahead. Doing that generally has a bit of a build-it-up effect followed by a let-down, not to mention - eclipses are often quite karmic with a bit of an edge or a bite to them. Trying to make something happen in alignment with an eclipse may have unexpected results - the universe has a mind of its own!

This zero-degree Leo New Moon conjunct Mars certainly opens us (in a more low-key and perhaps accessible way) into the juiciest part of the summer of 2017, and oh boy, is this summer juicy!

For all the details, I've covered these juicy-as-a-perfectly-ripe-raspberry astrological aspects in this patron article, which includes the broader context of the North Node in Leo transit: "The North Node Enters Shiny, Happy Leo, and There's Almost Too Much Goodness to Contain in One Article!"

We have Grand Fire Trine configurations forming all summer with the personal planets (conjunct the North Node of the Moon) in Leo, Saturn in Sagittarius, and Uranus in Aries. 

Jupiter in Libra will then make the Grand Fire Trines into dynamic kite formations in August and September, forming an opposition to Uranus in Aries and sextile aspects to Saturn in Sagittarius and the personal planets in Leo. The 28-degree Leo New Moon total solar eclipse on August 21 activates one of these kite formations, kicking off a very powerful lunar month for creativity and social connection.

The involvement of Jupiter in an air sign (Libra) provides dynamism and friction for the Grand Fire Trine formations, increasing their energy and productivity, especially socially and within relationships. The kite formations indicate that we are building and developing the social fabric in highly beneficial ways this summer, particularly in August and September. There is an emphasis on teamwork, mutuality, common ground, and finding ways that work for all involved.

Air (intellectual, social) and fire (creative, passionate) elements will be feeding each other and playing off each other this summer, boosting energy, creativity, inspiration, and action. In short, good things will be happening! It shouldn't be arduous to get things moving, especially when plans involve other people. The air is ripe for creative and social flowering.

The zero-degree Leo New Moon on July 23, conjunct Mars, occurs with communication planet Mercury in Leo in Grand Fire Trine formation with Saturn in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries. (Jupiter is not yet within range of the kite.) This flowing Mercurial influence at the time of the New Moon indicates a month of beneficial networking - "being seen," making connections, and sharing ideas in ways that lead into the full creative and social blaze indicated in August and September. 

This summer is a great time for creative self-expression of any kind - art, speech, writing, media, social media, humour, style, fashion, comedy - and it can all be done in an everyday way, bringing some Leo glam and colour into the scene.

The Sun in Leo will follow Mercury through these dynamic and high-spirited aspects, activating the first kite formation August 10 - 20. 

Action and direction planet Mars in Leo will activate the kite formation yet again August 20 - September 2. There will be a huge amount of energy coursing through this kite as we close out August and begin September. We'll have to watch the dick-swinging egos a little here, as well as any unintentional slights or insults. Hurt pride is a strong possibility when energy and personalities are running this high. 

Lesser Benefic love planet Venus is in Leo as of August 26 and moves into kite formation September 12 - 17. At the time, Greater Benefic Jupiter in Libra will be forming the final conjunctions to highly fortunate fixed stars Spica and Arcturus. Venus and the Moon - the two feminine planets of the zodiac - will also form a potent and creative conjunction at 27 degrees Leo on September 17, within kite formation. 

All kinds of good stuff going on mid-September...

Just remember, though - with Jupiter transiting the Via Combusta (protected September 5 - 16 by the fixed stars), there is also a potential edge to our social scenes and relationships. Things can become socially combustible quite quickly under these heightened and colourful energies, and we'll have to draw on the full social wisdom, knowledge, and grace we've gathered during the Jupiter in Libra transit (since September 2016) to maintain peace and harmony.

There are strong cultural influences involved with these aspects, also, particularly artistry that is drawn from our ancestry. Artistic pursuits are one way that we can bridge cultural and social divides, as the appreciation of art, music, and beauty knows no particular nationality or race. Whether it be painting, carving, pottery, song, dance, drumming, writing, beading, quilting, weaving, leather work, the spiritual arts like astrology, tarot, or tea leaves - every culture has its own rich artistic history. Many of these artistic traditions overlap, even without the cultures having come into physical contact with each other. Acknowledging and appreciating this shared human artistic history connects us at the hearts across time, space, location, and cultural background.  

Taking back our own artistic pursuits and our own artistic heritage, as well as the shared enjoyment of these things, rather than accepting the pre-packaged versions spit out for us by the multi-billion dollar "entertainment industry," could prove very healing and joyful this summer.  

The period between June solstice and September equinox 2017, involving Grand Fire Trines as well as air/fire kite formations, appears to be a very socially beneficial time with plenty of creative inspiration and strong potential for collaborations. Things should be coming together in some pretty wonderful ways. 

And all this gets its initiatory boost as we move through the zero-degree Leo New Moon conjunct Mars on July 23.

If there's one thing all these juicy astrological aspects want us to keep in mind, it's this: celebrate who you are, exactly who you are, and do it right now, right where you're standing!

Put yourself out there a little in small-but-satisfactory ways. Smile. Crack a little joke. Dress up a bit. Don't wait for an audience. Don't wait for the spotlight to swing your way. Don't wait for that souped-up (yet likely over-hyped) eclipse next month. Start now. Create and encourage the things that make your heart sing, and, with Jupiter in Libra strongly involved, this includes lovely social dynamics, mannerly exchanges, and productive teamwork. 

Shine on, fire spirits! Inspire us with your fun and fierce selves. The light of your blaze leads the way.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The Push for Standardized Astrological Education As a Pluto in Capricorn-Era Control Mechanism


I only recently learned, after 10 years as a professional astrologer, that intuitive astrology is looked down upon by the astrology establishment.

Honestly, this explains a lot.

I've always known that I did not fit in with this particular crowd for some reason.

All the astrology conferences and courses and schools and lectures - it all costs money I don't have to spend and is therefore inaccessible to me and to any other poor or working class astrologer or student. But even that didn't tell the whole story. There was just something off about me even attempting to interact in that world.

And now I know.

Self-taught astrologers, intuitive astrologers, astrologers who haven't jumped through the particular hoops set out by this astrological establishment, are considered secondary - possibly (possibly) serviceable at what they do, but not among the best and brightest, not members of the Big Deal Astrologers club.

OK, good. Glad to have that clarified.

I don't really mind being considered a second class citizen or being snubbed by the astrology establishment. The thing that bugs me is when I'm treated that way without fully understanding the underlying motivation or reason.

From early on as an astrologer, I picked up on the push for standardized astrological education for practising astrologers. (I'm intuitive, right? You can't get a control mechanism past me.)

Many of the current astrological associations and groups have been built around this push for standardized education. In other words, in order to call yourself a professional astrologer, you have to have certain certifications, take certain approved courses of study, and be tested on your knowledge by certain other establishment-approved astrologers. (And again, this all takes $$$, so it's a pretty middle and upper-middle class-dominated scheme.)

If you don't jump through these particular hoops and learn these particular pre-approved brands of astrology, receiving the piece(s) of paper that says you're a legit professional in the minds of these establishment astrologers, you pretty well aren't welcome in their clubs. You're shut out of "the scene," as well as the many opportunities for professional advancement enjoyed by those in these particular (quite insular) clubs.

Well, to be honest, they can have it.

I don't think any of my regular readers, patrons, or readings customers would argue when I say I'm a professional astrologer, and I'm very skilled at what I do. I would place my own body of astrological work against any astrologer's body of work, no problem.

I like astrology that is wild, untamed, soulful, intuitive, anarchistic, willing to call a spade a spade, willing to go into "controversial" territory. This is the astrology that speaks to me, and this is the astrology I practise. And to be honest, for those with the oldest of souls, this is often the only kind of astrology that does the trick. The lighter or more standardized stuff doesn't cut it.

I can't write to fit anyone else's standards, and I can't practise astrology that way, either. I never have been able to. It would exhaust me to even try. It just doesn't work that way.

I don't want professional astrology being put in a little box with dimensions pre-determined by certain select astrologers (who are generally from a more mainstream perspective and from a more materially-comfortable class).

The push to standardize astrology and to make it mainstream is also a push, in my opinion, to homogenize it, to sanitize it, to "weed out" the true individuals, the cutting edge astrologers, the spiritual artists. The astrologers like me.

Unless of course, those astrologers agree to submit to this pre-set programme for learning and practising astrology.

The groups using their public platforms to push for standardized astrological education subtly (and not-so-subtly) de-legitimize the type of astrology I practise. They marginalize intuitive astrologers, making them a fringe element of the more "respectable" astrological scene, setting them up firmly in the category of "Other." And I don't appreciate that one little bit.  

I don't believe astrology is a hard science. I believe it's a spiritual art.

Do all artists now need to graduate from pre-approved art schools in order to call themselves professional artists?

I mean, does imposing that on everyone not go against the entire spirit of art and the organic nature of the creative process?

There are many ways to learn, including outside standardized educational channels, and I'm a perfect example of this.

(In fact, after I got a university degree in journalism, I thought to myself, if they had the right textbooks, people could teach themselves all this stuff and skip the massive student loan debt...)

The push for standardized astrological education is a true Pluto in Capricorn-era symbol - another control mechanism designed to force people into a pre-set way of being and a pre-set way of doing business that is easier for the mainstream to digest (including mainstream astrologers). It puts everyone in a nice, neat, little pecking order according to how many designatory letters they list behind their names and what Super Impressive Astrologers they have studied under.

And you know what? Sure. You take your courses and get your accreditations and go to your conferences and collect astrology lectures from Big Name Astrologers like notches on your bedpost.

But hands off my sacred art. Hands off my practise of astrology, which has helped so many people by being wild and untamed and controversial and intuitive and honest and raw.

You can run your scene according to these pre-set rules and requirements. But don't believe you have the right to impose them on all astrologers. Don't believe you have the right to impose them on me.

You don't. 

I answer to a higher power than the likes of you.

To be honest, the fact that people think they can impose their ways on a precious and sacred art like astrology is narcissistic to me, if not a little crazy.

Not jumping through these standardized hoops certainly leaves me (and others) on the outside looking in. It shuts us out of certain professional advancement, watching opportunities go to less-deserving astrologers with less potent bodies of work via cronyism.

But I'd rather do things the way I know is right and suffer the consequences.

Isn't that the way? To do what you know is right even when it won't "get you ahead?" Even when you have to watch as the hoop-jumpers reinforce more hoop-jumpers and the monied reinforce more monied?

C'est la vie. 

This is an article excerpt from way back in 2009, just 18 months after I started the blog. The writing was on the wall then as far as this push for forced standardized education in astrology, and it has been outlined in Sharpie since then...

From October 19, 2009, "DIY Astrologers Vs. Standardized Astrological Education":

"So I'm a self-taught astrologer. It's been a relatively short but (sometimes brutally) intensive course of study/practise.

Books, internet, astrology message boards, practising on people (sorry people!), and daily observation of transiting planets were the main avenues I took.

The ideas and techniques of other astrologers have certainly influenced the development of my own astrological take (as I've influenced others), but there is no one who can take credit for my personal astrological analysis or perspective. I worked hard for it, and it's mine.

I haven't learned from any one astrologer or any one course of study and didn't take formal courses or classes from other astrologers - not necessarily because I didn't want to (at least in the beginning). I was open to the idea. It was more so that it just wasn't in my stars, so to speak, to learn that way. Initially, I didn't have the money to take classes or courses, so I learned on my own. Then I realized this was the way for me to go - choosing my own course of study, bit-by-bit, and letting my particular practise of astrology come into existence on its own terms.

I think for people who are meant to access it, astrology is inherent in a lot of ways. One day you start to read it or hear about it and it just means something to you. From there, a process is triggered by which it is drawn to the surface, into conscious, day-to-day life. But it feels as if you've always had the knowledge inside. It just takes a while to develop the language used to access and express it.

I think a do-it-yourself (DIY) style is fairly common among astrologers. At the same time, it's also fairly common to take a specific course of study under specific astrologers as teachers.

My view is that it depends entirely upon the individual which way of learning is preferable. To each his/her own. I wouldn't suggest one way of learning astrology is better than another or makes a person more of an astrologer. A mix of formal classes and self-study would be a potent way to learn, but again, it depends on the case and the means available. It depends what's in the stars. It depends what you have access to and whether you have the expendable fiat currency to throw down for it. (The demand for standardized education for astrologers has a really strong classist reek to it, and I would bet money it's coming from middle and upper-middle class astrologers...)

There is a push in some astrology circles these days (including in Calgary) for standardized astrological education. I'm, of course, opposed to this because I feel this is not necessary across the board, and I think it would be quite stifling to the creative side of astrology - the spiritual art aspect - to have this imposed.

I understand that people who want standardized education want to weed out the fakes. They wish to make astrology more accepted in the mainstream by making it necessary for astrologers to have a certain standardized education before practising professionally.

I just don't think this is the way to go, for aforementioned reasons, but also, I've never been a mainstream-accepted kind of gal, and I don't think mainstream acceptance is something we should demand all astrologers strive for.

Mainstream acceptance, if it comes about, should be based on the stellar work of astrologers impressing people to such an extent that they say, "Hmm...there might be something to this." Acceptance and respect in the mainstream could naturally come about as a byproduct of excellent astrological work, but just as I found out that it wasn't in my best interests to try to get in with the popular kids in high school, I think making mainstream acceptance an across-the-board goal is not a good idea.

I think this push is biased to the scientific/psychological side of things. I don't consider astrology a hard science and I don't consider myself a psychologist, so again, this is not something I can personally get behind.

And let's be honest - this also has to do with money and the desire for a broader clientele. There's nothing wrong with that. I just don't think imposing standardized astrological education on everyone is the way to go to achieve that. (A little control freak-y, no?)

Yes, there is a basic system of astrology, and to call yourself an astrologer, you need to know and use that system.

But even what that basic system is depends on whom you ask.

I was shocked when I first found out that some astrologers don't use signs or houses! They use only aspects between/among the planets in their analysis. Other astrologers don't use the outer planets at all - meaning no Uranus, Neptune or Pluto. Then there is the choice between tropical and sidereal (the two major branches), the choice of house system (there are many - and again, some astrologers don't use any!), what planets/bodies you consider important enough to include in your analysis, and then the variations in interpretation among astrologers.

There are so many choices to make over the course of developing one's practise of astrology. I really feel that there are as many ways of practising astrology as there are astrologers.

And yeah, that leaves astrology open to watered-down versions practised by people who have not really put the time and effort into it. People who practise "soft" astrology and deal in textbook generalities or who water astrology down with a lot of other concepts to the point where it's more of a token kind of thing. This bugs the hell out of me, too, at times. I totally get that...

It's irritating as fuck when you've personally put the time and effort into something, really committed to it, lived it, and then people latch onto the label of "astrology" or "astrologer" in a very watered-down sense to sell a few more readings. 

[I've personally come into contact with that phenomenon on more than one occasion. The Insta-Astrologer.]

This definitely could be damaging to the credibility of astrology in the mainstream. But I can't personally stop people from selling watered-down astro-babble, as long as they're keeping it legal. All I can hope is that the proof will be in the pudding and these shortcut-takers will eventually reap what they sow.

The other side of the coin is enforced standardized astrological education, which bugs me just as much. Because who determines what the "standardized" astrological education is? Who determines what we all "have to know," how we must come to know it and how much we must pay to learn it? Who determines what is important to teach and what isn't? Which astrologers have their work included and which don't? Which versions of astrology are the accepted ones? And which ones aren't? From whose perspective is it taught?

Outside the very, very basics, it's up for debate.

I couldn't promote a standardized way of learning astrology. What I can get behind is - do what's right for you. Follow your passion and what interests you at the time. Certain areas will draw you in and just make sense, and there's your personal track. This is how people get to the astrology that pours out of their souls. This is how they get to the astrology only they can practise, from the perspective only they can bring."

And this is the perspective of your unaffiliated anarchist astro-reporter, Willow. My techniques, writing, and interpretations would not make it into those standardized astrology textbooks and classes. Thank-you for reading. 

Friday, July 7, 2017

Saturn in Capricorn: An Astrological Overview for Long-Term Strategic Planning

Zucchini plants getting ready to produce in the hedge garden

This 6,800+-word document is an astrological overview of the three-year Saturn in Capricorn transit and is being released under the Full Moon in Capricorn (exact tomorrow night). It is available to Willow's Web Astrology patrons, or it can be purchased by email money transfer or through PayPal for $11.25.

Included in the article:

- detailed interpretation of the three-year transit of Saturn through Capricorn

- Chiron ingress of Aries

- Uranus ingress of Taurus 

This will be my major offering for the transit. 

Remember: you can become a WWA patron for as little as $35 Canadian per year, and you will receive the current patron article, as well as all other patron articles for the following year (or as long as your patronage is up-to-date). 


We are currently moving to a Full Moon at 17 degrees Capricorn (exact at 9:07 p.m. PDT on July 8), tightly conjunct Lord of the Underworld Pluto Rx at 18 degrees.

Issues of institutional power, control, and violence (Pluto in Capricorn) in relation to the public (Moon) are coming to a head.

This includes overt physical violence, but it also includes more hidden and insidious (Pluto) forms, including the intentional economic violence being brought down that is hurting and killing people en masse on Planet Earth. 

The G20 Summit - the closed-door meeting of the facade leaders of the wealthiest countries on the planet - is occurring in Hamburg, Germany this weekend (July 7 - 8), just as the Moon reaches its peak, conjunct Pluto.

It's very doubtful that this is a coincidence.

The G20 Summit held June 26 - 27, 2010 in and around Toronto, Canada was also planned to coincide with a Capricorn Full Moon conjunct Pluto. That particular Plutonic Full Moon was a partial lunar eclipse, falling within a remarkably potent cardinal t-square (Jupiter-Uranus in Aries, Sun-Mercury-Juno-South Node in Cancer, Moon-Pluto-North Node in Capricorn). Saturn in late Virgo made the blisteringly powerful formation a Grand Cross. From March 23, 2010, "Summer 2010 Eclipse Season: G8, G20 and Martial Law A-Plenty."

In the days preceding the meetings, there was both an earthquake (extremely rare) and a tornado that hit close to the lake country where the Global Governors were staying at the time. From June 24, 2010, "Cardinal T-Square Eclipse: Dicey at Best." This indicated some geoengineering hijinx, as well.

The astrological framework laid out in the patron article is, without doubt, being tapped and utilized by the current powers-that-be. (And I would certainly hate to carry the soulmark of being a hired astrologer helping these yahoos to plot their vicious schemes...)

The epic police-state force of 20,000 officers - all with various weapons at their disposal - has been unleashed on the estimated 100,000 protesters in Germany. The police set a highly aggressive tone right off the jump, unloading a water cannon on a peaceful dance party on July 5, injuring five people. Water cannons may sound fairly innocuous. They aren't. They can severely injure people, picking them up and throwing them many feet. They can also put people's eyes out and have in the past. 

They are trying to normalize these headlines: "Police Use Water Cannon to Break Up Protest."

But this should never become normal to us.  

In the days following, it has been reported that 160 police officers have been injured in clashes with protesters. I'm certainly very sorry to hear this, and I truly hate to see anyone being injured. But I do have to ask: how many protesters have been injured by police? Why are those numbers not as important to report in mainstream media channels? And how many of these "clashes" could have been avoided with less aggressive policing tactics/stances?

Remember, at this moment, it is still legal to assemble and protest.

The focus continues to be on "Black Bloc" protesters, who generally have an agenda to create property damage, not human injuries.

These groups often throw bottles and stones to try to drive police out of the area of the protests. (Generally, police are in full riot gear with shields and are protected from this barrage.)

It is also well-known that police forces embed agents provocateur into protests and into groups like the Black Bloc in order to incite more violence and illegal acts. An instance where police were caught red-handed on this front occurred in Montebello, Quebec in 2007. Police officer agents provocateur implanted to stir the shit were captured on video by legitimate protesters at the Security and Prosperity Partnership (SPP) meetings involving Stephen Harper, George Bush, and Felipe Calderon. The agents provocateur were picking up rocks and being aggressive. They were called out by protesters and then dove into the police line. At that point, it is visible that the aggressive "protesters" are wearing police boots - the same boots worn by the police officers.

If you have ever been to one of these protests, you would know that only a small percentage of protesters are non-peaceful, and again, most of that non-peaceful element is intent on a display of anti-capitalist property damage, not human injury.

But because of the aggressive tactics of the Black Bloc (some of whom are undoubtedly plants), the media is now able to paint all protesters - all 100,000 of them - as potentially armed thugs, which then justifies excessive police force and brutality against protesters in the minds of the public.

"Well, if they weren't doing anything wrong, they wouldn't get sprayed/gassed/injured/locked up."

This is very dangerous (and false) thinking, but it is the type of thinking being manufactured in the minds of the public by the current media narrative.

I can provide a firsthand account that peaceful protesters who are doing nothing wrong are gassed, pepper sprayed, and sprayed with water cannons for no legitimate reason. This has become a regular occurrence. And again, this has become a normalized thing in the minds of many, and that sets a very dangerous stage. 

These major summit protests have been going on since the 90s, but there has been an inching forward in the increase of force and weaponry used by police each year. 

I've written about this in previous articles, including this one from the G20 protests in Toronto, Ontario, Canada in 2010:


I've also written about the escalation of weaponry - including energy weapons - being brought in to use against (predominantly peaceful) protesters:


All Willow's Web Astrology G20 articles can be found here

Suffice it to say, this Full Moon in the sign of its detriment conjunct laying-shit-bare Pluto is not exactly sugar and spice and all things nice. But its energy can certainly be used to position ourselves successfully from a strategic perspective, bringing us into control of our emotional and psychological domains.  

Stay safe, friends. But don't turn a blind eye to the unjustified violence being brought down upon us during these times. This is both overt physical violence and insidious economic and money-related violence. There are very good reasons for the 100,000 people protesting in the streets of Hamburg right now. They represent hundreds of millions more voices of dissent, opposed to the violent and inhumane schemes being orchestrated from behind those closed doors.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

WWA Etsy Sale







Until July 4, use the coupon code VENUSIAN2017 to take 20% off your order at the Willow's Web Astrology Etsy shop.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Mercury in Gemini Square Stationing Neptune in Pisces: the Grenfell Tower Fire, Unheeded Warnings, and the Impenetrability of the Money-Driven, Authoritarian Establishment

A fire at Grenfell Tower on June 14, a 24-storey public housing high rise in London, England, has killed at least 79 [edited] residents who became trapped in the building. The real number will certainly be higher, as the mainstream media and authorities are being accused of covering up the true number of casualties.

What should be understood about Grenfell Tower is that it is a low-income housing tower located in North Kensington, on the western edge of Inner London, surrounded by rich neighbourhoods. 

Grenfell Tower residents had already organized as an association called Grenfell Action Group and repeatedly raised fire safety concerns with the property management, Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organization (KCTMO), for years before the fire. No action was taken.

In 2013, a series of terrifying power surges was experienced for weeks in the building to the extent that smoke was coming out of electrical appliances and light fixtures. Many electronics and appliances were destroyed by the surges, and the issue was never resolved to the residents' satisfaction. Ongoing complaints and calls for fire safety improvements were ignored by KCTMO.

There was a single staircase running through the entire 24-storey building, 120 apartments, with one entrance and one exit. There was no sprinkler system, fire extinguishers were outdated, stairwells were filled with garbage and old mattresses, and residents reported hearing no fire alarms to alert them to the fire.

The only instructions residents had ever received from property management was to stay in their apartments in case of a fire.

Recently, the building was given a 8.7 million pound "facelift" so the area's rich residents wouldn't have to put up with an eyesore. New paneling was put on the exterior of the tower to "prettify" the building, and it is being said that the type of paneling used contributed to the fire, spreading it along the outside of the building and ensuring that residents became trapped inside.

It has since been revealed that the flammable paneling used is actually banned in the U.S., Europe, and the U.K. The flammable version was used to save money. 

These are the unfortunately, tragically, prophetic words from the Grenfell Action Group in a post from November 2016:

"It is a truly terrifying thought but the Grenfell Action Group firmly believe that only a catastrophic event will expose the ineptitude and incompetence of our landlord, the KCTMO, and bring an end to the dangerous living conditions and neglect of health and safety legislation that they inflict upon their tenants and leaseholders. We believe that the KCTMO are an evil, unprincipled, mini-mafia who have no business to be charged with the responsibility of looking after the every day management of large scale social housing estates and that their sordid collusion with the RBKC Council is a recipe for a future major disaster."

A list of previous blogs by the Grenfell Action Group has also been posted, outlining its multiple calls to property management to take action on safety issues, all of which fell on deaf ears.

This tragedy at Grenfell Tower is yet another horror show symbol of the Pluto in Capricorn years. Many homes, businesses, and communities have been destroyed by the gentrification steamroller, creating surface-level appeal for the ultra rich and pampered at the expense of those with less wealth and fewer resources.

In this most tragic of cases, the exterior of Grenfell Tower was made to look pretty for the area's rich residents while covering up the rot, neglect, and corruption going on within. This is a common Pluto in Capricorn theme. This rot, neglect, and corruption, this crumbling and inadequate infrastructure, are allowed to fester (beneath the beautified surface) until a devastating event happens like this fire.

Not a penny of that 8.7 million pounds was spent on a sprinkler system, proper fire alarms, fireproofing, or fire escapes. (A sprinkler system for the entire building would have cost 138,000 pounds.) None of it was put toward fixing the electrical or replacing appliances in the building, with that terrifying history of power surges and unknown damages caused.

It was a superficial change covering up chronic neglect and corruption by management and government in order to please the people who really matter - the affluent. It was a superficial change attempting to cover up an entirely corrupt power structure, which failed repeatedly on multiple levels.

It is rarely a single corrupt and reckless action that leads to a tragedy like Grenfell Tower. It's a series of corrupt and reckless actions spread over years, coming from multiple layers of illegitimate hierarchical authority. It's an entire culture of so-called authority figures dropping the ball, looking the other way, making devastating and dangerous decisions that adversely affect others. It's an entire culture of people just plain not caring about anything other than the bottom line, while being compensated handsomely for bringing down misery on others.

It's this entire culture, this entire pyramid-scheme of illegitimate power, that Pluto in Capricorn is exposing for those who wish to see:

In addition to the criminal neglect and mismanagement from KCTMO, the City of London under Mayor Boris Johnson closed three fire stations in the area, part of a broader programme of fire station closures in the city which compromised safety.

Again, there were warnings about these horrific decisions.

From Fire Brigades Union regional secretary, Paul Embery:

"Mayor Boris Johnson will have blood on his hands. It will be only a matter of time before someone dies because a fire engine did not get to them in time. You cannot close 10 fire stations and slash nearly 600 firefighter jobs without compromising public safety.

These proposed cuts are dangerous and wrong.  If they are implemented, they will undoubtedly jeopardize the safety of Londoners and firefighters alike."

The Conservative government in power at the federal level, headed by Teresa May, sat on a report for four years that said low-income tower blocks were safety hazards.

The Conservative government also voted down a recent amendment that would make it law for landlords to make their rental properties fit for human habitation. Seventy-one of the Conservative Members of Parliament who voted the amendment down are landlords themselves.

Here we see a group of low-income residents that did everything within its (too limited) power. The people organized into the Grenfell Action Group and made relentless petitions to property management over the course of years to improve fire safety.

Just as the Mercury in Gemini square to stationing Neptune in Pisces became exact (June 13), the fire broke out. Despite all the communication and prior warnings to property management (Mercury/Gemini) about fire safety problems, the building residents and the City of London itself were left with a mass victimization (Neptune/Pisces).

This was the culmination of multiple communication blockages that occurred simply because the residents' words were chronically ignored, downplayed, and not taken seriously by the people with power who were in positions to do something about it.

The words (Mercury/Gemini) of those who are powerless (Neptune/Pisces) within the current power schemes. Their words (Mercury/Gemini) being scattered and nullified, made invisible, unheard, like screaming under water (Neptune/Pisces). Difficulty in making oneself heard or understood (Mercury square Neptune) - in this case because the people in positions of authority simply do not want to hear or understand.

Under the current system, those without money and the (false) power it brings are easily shunted aside, swatted away like an annoying mosquito buzzing in one's ear...

Mercury in Gemini square Neptune in Pisces.

Words take work. They take energy. Often painstaking work and energy. So does organizing. And all that precious energy and effort was wasted by an impenetrable authoritarian establishment that does not listen, does not act, does not adapt its ways to the feedback from those directly affected by its decisions.

This type of establishment, unfortunately accepted widely as the best way of organizing ourselves, is insane, plain and simple. To take the decision-making power away from the people who are directly affected, putting it in the hands of people who don't understand and won't understand, who ultimately don't really give a damn, is insane.

Neptune and Pisces are associated with devastation, victimization, contagion, and karmic accidents/tragedies that have a broader collective root. They are associated with institutionalized living, such as this low-income tower block. And they are also associated with proliferation and dispersion, including into the collective psyche. I hope this Mercury-Neptune square indicates that the words of the residents will now proliferate and proliferate and proliferate until the public knows with no uncertainty the horrible injustice that was allowed to happen here, until those responsible are held accountable, including via criminal charges, and until the necessary changes are made to buildings around the world. This did not need to happen. It should not have happened.

We are connected around the world by blogs, media, and social media (Mercury/Gemini), and the warnings and words of the residents are now spreading far and wide (Neptune/Pisces). 

Unfortunately, it seems there will be only a government-controlled inquiry of the Grenfell Tower fire, rather than a full public inquest. This takes another layer of power away from the public and from the surviving victims and families of the dead, keeping it all tightly controlled by the Conservative government in power.

The Sun in Gemini was forming a mutable t-square at the time of the Grenfell Tower fire, opposing Saturn retrograde in Sagittarius and squaring Chiron in Pisces.

This indicates a very immediate confrontation with the truth (Sagittarius) about the establishment (Saturn). The Sun in Gemini is shining a light on the outdated (retrograde) philosophy (Sagittarius) of the authoritarian establishment (Saturn), while also showing the acute pain, misery, wounding, and victimization (Chiron in Pisces) caused by this outdated authoritarian establishment.

The Sun in Gemini is shining its light on the corrupt will of the current power structures, a will that is forced upon people who must live under dangerous rules and decisions made by illegitimate and incompetent hierarchies.

These are bodies in mutable signs in tense and difficult aspect, illustrating the lack of adaptability, lack of movement, and lack of permeability within the current, top-down authoritarian structures.

With Neptune and Chiron in Pisces involved, there is an element of the ubiquitous. These are issues that go beyond location, beyond that North Kensington neighbourhood (Gemini).

The fact of the matter is - this isn't just an unfortunate and isolated event. This can happen anywhere, any time, and it will happen, it will keep happening, until action is taken, until the rot and corruption are overturned, until the entire Capricorn-run-amok, "money rules above all" mindset is eliminated (Pluto).

We have to wholeheartedly reject a mindset the prioritizes money over human life because we know that these are not the true rules governing life on Planet Earth. These are man-made rules, rules set up to benefit the few over the many.

We are on the brink of disaster as far as low-income housing almost across the board on Planet Earth. Bedbugs, vermin, faulty wiring, faulty appliances, inadequate heating and cooling, fire hazards, toxic mould, crumbling structures, safety hazards of all varieties. Homelessness is epidemic as rents and real estate prices remain ridiculously over-priced in many areas.

It's all designed for the highest bidder, and life continues to get more and more difficult for those without means. 

One of my first stories as a journalism student in the late 1990s was about a real estate corporation, aptly named Boardwalk Equities, buying up all the low-income housing around the university, doing cheap, superficial renovations, and then jacking the rents up. This company made its fortune that way and continues to hold a monopoly (again, you can't make this stuff up) on housing in many areas where low-income people live. When oil was in "boom phase" rather than "bust phase" (where it is now), Boardwalk Equities literally doubled the rents on their bare bones apartments in Calgary, Alberta, in order to cash in.

The same situation is going on pretty well everywhere, as low-income housing is bought up by private investors and converted into cash cows. But there are few areas where this money-driven transformation is more mind-boggling than in highly-inflated London, where Grenfell Tower stood among all the over-priced abodes. Low-income housing in London, called council housing, has been gobbled up by real estate speculators and converted into high-end homes for the well-heeled, reducing the already-inadequate amount of affordable housing in the city. Over the past 20 years, the population of London has increased by 1 million people while the number of affordable housing units has dropped by one third.

We need change. We need change everywhere. We need affordable, alternative housing options for people of any income level. Land needs to be affordable and accessible for people of all income levels. Existing landlords and property management need to care as much about the safety of their tenants as they do about their own family members.

But that's not what we have.

We have the standard stranglehold of fake, phony, fiat currency with people reinforcing and benefiting from a violent, unjust, and deadly system.

The primary way to make money in this type of system is to cut corners. So this is what they do, ultimately leading to something horrific like the Grenfell Tower fire.

It doesn't matter which party is in power. The entire money scheme, the entire establishment power structure, is rotten to the core. But it's the poor and those who lack resources who are victimized most by it, not those who are truly responsible for the way things are (dys)functioning.

I don't see the solutions coming from the establishment.

The methods to improve fire safety in all low-income tower blocks were there - they just weren't utilized. The methods to make low-income housing habitable and safer for the people renting it are already there - they just aren't being enforced or utilized. 

Solutions are already there for homelessness and the lack of low-income housing - tiny homes, cob homes, Earth ships, shipping container homes. You can create a home with a 3D printer for $10,000.

The technology is there. The political will is not. And under an intentionally-stratified system of Global Government, it never will be.

We have to keep working on the vision of what could be, even when our hearts are in the dust. Because the solutions are ultimately going to come from people helping themselves and each other, from people sharing ideas and techniques, from people using the power they have to build whatever they can. There's a critical mass that has to be reached before the momentum takes over and better ways start to become more accessible and available to people across the board.




Some of my vision involves:

- an understanding that as a human society, the basics of living must be accessible and available to everyone, regardless of income level. Until this is the case, the society is a failure.
- an understanding that fiat currency and wealth do not measure the true value of a human being and that income stratification/inequality is built right into the current system
- affordable land and basic housing that is available and accessible for people of all income levels: the basics are within reach for anyone; if you'd like more than the basics, you can work towards that
- the ability to work to pay for your home and land doing things that are beneficial to others/the community from within your ability, including work that can be done by people with disabilities
- tiny home communities, cob home communities, communities built with 3D printers, converted shipping container homes, other cheap and accessible alternative building methods made widely available
- options for people who prefer a more nomadic life; decriminalization of that way of living
- safe, clean, affordable, alternative energy that is controlled by individuals for their own homes/usage
- enough land area to grow/raise one's own food, if desired, or access to food from local farms or market gardens for those who do not wish to "do it themselves"
- investment in train networks and other public transportation, making public transit networks convenient, widespread, and appealing
- communities/neighbourhoods that are designed for people's preferences: some may be walking only, some may be walking/cycling/transit only, some may be individual vehicle only, or other mixes. Some communities could be completely private, others could have more interaction.
- communities that have options for natural human interaction: common areas, common kitchens or outdoor cooking areas, marketplaces, areas for music, dancing, or games, etc., all within walking distance

What is your vision as far as building better living/housing situations for the people on this planet?