Monday, May 15, 2017

Mercury and Venus Simultaneously Move Into Fresh Territory

 Photos: Willow

There are a few notable astrological events occurring as we close out Taurus season that indicate a push into fresh new territory as the Sun enters chatty and changeable Gemini on May 20.

After reflecting, reviewing, and regurgitating for the past few months, this move into a new chapter is quite welcome.

Mercury and Venus leave their retrograde shadows almost simultaneously this week, just as Saturn in Sagittarius retrogrades into its second exact trine aspect to Uranus in Aries.

Love, money, and values planet Venus crosses out of the retrograde shadow at 13 degrees Aries on May 18. This officially puts Venus Retrograde 2017 (March 4 to April 15 from 13 degrees Aries to 26 degrees Pisces) in our rear view mirrors. This movement of Venus indicates a surge into fresh territory, an opening into new experiences in the realms of love, relationship, social life, money, self-esteem, aesthetic, and art. We have hopefully had more healing experiences than wounding ones coming out of the Venus direct station conjunct wounded healer Chiron in Pisces on April 15, 2017. Now, we have a chance to put our "relationship reviews" into active practise. The ghosts of relationships past are ready to be released. It's time to move on - together or on our own. Either is good, as long as we're moving in the right direction. There is a sense that we are embarking on the next social and relational chapter, putting certain people, situations, and relationship dynamics behind us while others simply change form. There is just a moment being allowed for the bittersweetness of this experience before we are propelled into action, dynamism, and forward-ho movement.

This movement will be especially observable in money matters, with self-esteem/self-worth, and in relationship realms (that always-juicy Venus domain). This heats up further as Venus in Aries activates a cardinal t-square formation, initiating new directions in relationships and social dynamics of all kinds. Venus in Aries will form an opposition to Jupiter Rx in Libra (May 19 at 13 degrees), a square to Pluto in Capricorn (May 25 at 19 degrees), and a conjunction to Uranus in Aries (June 3 at 27 degrees). We must cling to the wisdom we have gathered during the Jupiter in Libra transit about which relationship dynamics must now end and which will propel us forward into new and beneficial mutuality.

Venus in Aries will also form a lovely trine aspect to Saturn in Sagittarius on June 1 (25 degrees), indicating a solidification and shoring up of our wise new tactics in relationships and social realms.

The very same day that Venus exits the retrograde shadow, May 18, Saturn Rx in Sagittarius forms a second flowing and congenial trine aspect to Uranus in Aries. (The first occurred in December 2016; the final will occur in November 2017.) This is the force of conservatism, stability, and prudence coming into mutually supportive contact with the force of upheaval, sudden change, and the avant garde. This indicates the possibility for a nice, structured move into the future, into new ways of doing things and new ways of being, with surprisingly few frictional moments. It's just time.  

Communication and intelligence planet Mercury enters Taurus tonight (9:07 p.m. PDT) and crosses out of the retrograde shadow at 4 degrees on May 20. Mercury was retrograde April 9 to May 3 from 4 degrees Taurus to 24 degrees Aries, and we have been in an extended Mercury-Uranus conjunction since late March 2017. Words and communication have been a little too hot to handle at times. We've been in a bit of a mental burn-out zone under this lengthy conjunction, but Mercury moving into new degrees of Taurus indicates that we can now shift our mindsets to simpler and more grounded concerns, moving out of the heightened buzz and zing and zap of the electric-Uranian force field that has been so influential over our mental environments. Although transiting Mercury in Taurus indicates the possibility of some hard work and strategic planning ahead, to think about simpler and more material concerns comes as a relief after the "genius overload" of the lengthy Mercury-Uranus conjunction.

With Mercury moving into new territory May 20 and almost immediately moving out of reach of Uranus (by May 22), we can expect exchanges and connections that ground us in material reality, right where we stand. Things take on a more earthy and even laconic tone. (This is the winged messenger in the sign of the farmer, after all.) This shift can have a calming effect on our mental circuitry. As Mercury moves onto new ground, we may have conversations that were delayed previously. We may have realizations or pick up pieces of information that anchor us in a stronger way into our here-and-now reality. There is a very practical, "sorting things through" mindset at play. We may be talking money matters, farming/gardening/agriculture, values, or beauty, but whatever the topic of conversation, with Mercury in Taurus until June 6, it will be "real world"-oriented. 

The Sun enters Gemini May 20, as well (1:31 p.m.), and we're ready for new ideas, new thoughts, new conversations, and new connections - as long as they're grounded and earthy (dispositor Mercury in Taurus), rather than flighty and pie-in-the-sky.

Overall, the period between May 18 and 20 has some strong momentum that propels us into new mindsets and new relational dynamics. A page is turning, and things are moving forward in a nice, grounded sort of way. (As grounded as it gets in this foul year of our Lord two thousand and seventeen, anyway...)

Keep your eyes on what's ahead, and allow any concluding events from the Mercury and Venus retrogrades to unfold according to their own natural timing.

Monday, May 8, 2017

A Full Moon in Scorpio Catalyzes Deep Emotional Movement

The Full Moon at 20 degrees Scorpio on May 10 (2:42 p.m. PDT) pushes us to a point of emotional catharsis and purge, illuminating dark and neglected corners within the inner landscape. 

There's movement here, potentially uncomfortable, within these inner landscapes. It may be movement that has been a long time coming, movement that can no longer be held back. Things are being pushed to an internal catalytic point. Emotional earth is being turned over, and there will be no going back once we come into the full awareness being gifted to us (sometimes painfully) under this Full Moon. 

Wherever Scorpio lives in your birth chart - that's the area where this awareness is being gifted to you.

This Full Moon may coincide with events that validate your feelings and intuition at a deep level.

Secrets may be exposed, and the use of shared resources (particularly family resources) may be a theme.

Scorpio is a sign symbolized by both the scorpion and the eagle. It knows the highest of highs and the lowest of lows of this Earth experience. It also knows these experiences cannot be separated. They are yin and yang, day and night, earth and sky. They're all part and parcel.

Buddha is said to have reached enlightenment under the Scorpio Full Moon.

A large number of leopard sharks are currently washing up dead along the San Francisco Bay, part of the ongoing collapse of the Pacific Ocean ecosystem following the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. The sharks are dying from a hemorrhaging brain infection - hemorrhaging is a common side effect of poisoning from radioactivity, as are compromised immune systems which allow for increased infections.

Because this particular die-off  is occurring in a highly-populated area (San Francisco) and the animals involved are large and dramatic (sharks), it is receiving a little bit of media attention, though with the Mars in Gemini-Neptune in Pisces square, the real cause will most likely remain foggy and obscured within media channels...

We have also had an unusual winter in most of Canada - almost constant cloudiness and a much higher level of precipitation than usual in many areas. On the rare sunny days, you will almost certainly see what has now become a familiar sight - planes spraying chemtrails through the sky. Within minutes, the trails spread out into cloudy wisps. Within 24 hours, there is generally a thick blanket of flat, grey cloud cover, often including precipitation.

The inner discomfort under this Scorpio Full Moon is building toward a release from old and crystallized emotional burdens ready now to be liberated. Don't push it down. Don't push it away. Sink down into the discomfort and read what it's trying to tell you. You already know. Just let it come to the surface as the Moon's rays grow bright in the night sky.

This is a Moon for examining the trade-offs we make in our lives, as well as determining if these trade-offs are still worth it to us. This is a Moon for examining the energy expenditures we make (especially of an emotional/supportive nature), determining if those remain a wise investment.

This is a Moon for illuminating and then stepping past detrimental compulsions, jealousies, patterns, and addictions. It's a Moon that will illuminate the roots of our behaviours, particularly any dysfunctional (and ultimately fruitless) ways in which we try to get our needs met. These behavioural roots may stem from childhood or from family/ancestral patterns (Moon).

This Moon will illuminate compulsiveness so that we can break its hold.

This Moon will help us to differentiate between needs and fears - a critical distinction to get clear on ahead of Jupiter entering Scorpio for a year on October 10, 2017. This includes ancestral fears hard-wired into us that may be controlling us in detrimental ways in our present moment.

Not the easiest of emotional territory - Scorpio is the sign of the Moon's detriment, after all - but ultimately rich and productive territory if we can find the courage to take action.

The Moon enters Scorpio tonight (10:00 p.m.), and things start to move and shift beneath it all. We're under the strongest effects from the Scorpio Full Moon on May 9 and 10, just as the North Node enters Leo and Mercury forms an exact conjunction to Uranus in Aries. Pressure, fullness, emotional unease.

Understand the state of uncomfortable emotional/psychological fullness that we are all being brought through via this Full Moon. Understand how "at the brink" certain people and situations are at this point, especially if they have been clinging to the security blanket of denial regarding the state of things. Understand how difficult it is to go on denying the underlying realities under the exposing rays of this Scorpio Full Moon, and understand that people will be having issues because of this. Allow room for some hard-edged emotions to surface under this Moon. Allow room for a certain level of emotional and psychological distress and disturbance to play itself out.

The ugly and the beautiful. The distressing and the sublime. With Scorpio, they are a magic dance, inextricable from each other. They weave in and out in a spellbinding display of rich and mesmerizing life. Don't shortchange yourself from this full experience. It's such a very short time we have to stay and play...

The Scorpio Moon will go void-of-course after opposing the Taurus Sun, marking the Full Moon at 20 degrees on May 10 (2:42 p.m.). The emotional percolation process is quite intense and concentrated within that void-of-course period until the Moon enters more buoyant territory in Sagittarius on May 11 (9:59 a.m.).  

Friday, May 5, 2017

Projects, Projects, Projects With the North Node on Zero Virgo Until May 9

Last year around this time, I was relocating to a new province. I planted a garden in Saskatchewan before I left but moved before I could enjoy the "veggies of my labour."

I moved to the new location halfway through June and spent the summer getting my bearings in my new locale.

I visited the local Farmers Market (and set up my own DIY table there for a few weeks) and was also happy to learn that my local grocery store carried a nice selection of foods, including organic.

Still, I missed my garden terribly! More than one might imagine. It was like an ancestral psychic panic when I thought about having no space to grow food after having a garden five years running in Saskatchewan. The trauma and vulnerability of the landless peasants, reliant on someone else's land, over which someone else has ultimate control. It runs through the blood of most of us, I'm sure.

I applied with the community garden for this year but was only able to secure one 4-foot by 8-foot bed.

Since being poisoned by Cipro, I have to eat a diet of mostly fresh vegetables (my body rejects most other foods), so this was not going to cut it considering the volume of vegetables I needed to produce.

I scoped around for more space, but the community garden was full. The local college had a little bit of space available under some landscaping fabric, but it was two bus rides and a three-quarter kilometre trek just to get to the garden spot. A little on the inconvenient/arduous side, but I went to check it out anyway because I was pretty well desperate.

I was talking about gardening one day around my apartment building, and my landlord overheard. He said he would be happy to put in a raised bed in the adjacent yard! Oh, man. Was I overjoyed.

That still left me a little short of space for things like cucumbers, zucchinis, and tomatoes, which like to spread out a whole lot. So he said I could spade up some sod along his hedge to make an extra vegetable bed. Eureka! Amazing! I found my garden space, and I could make it right in the yard of my apartment building. There's an outside water source, too, to make it even more convenient.

The first project to get to work on was the raised vegetable bed. This part was a bit more complicated and definitely required assistance from my landlord, as I had never made one before. Now that I've taken part in putting one together, I can see that it is quite simple if you have the supplies and tools required. (Thank-you to my Awesome McPossum landlord. I hope he is well-rewarded for his kindness.)

Tools/supplies needed to build a simple raised garden bed:

 Isn't it cute?

- wood (6 pieces that are 8 feet, 6 pieces that are 4 feet, of a 3-inch depth to make a 9-inch tall bed like the one shown)
- a drill
- large nails/spikes
- a hammer
- a vehicle, possibly with a trailer (to get the wood and also to pick up the soil)
- a spade (pointed shovel)
- a level
- top soil

As my landlord said, this style of raised bed is built like a log cabin. I didn't know exactly what that meant at the time, but as you can see, the ends of the wood are layered over each other in alternating positions.

Setting the first layer (foundation layer) is the trickiest because it should be level on the ground. We had to dig one end down a bit with the spade so the wood would sit in a level position. We used a level to make sure.

You basically set the first pieces of wood down on the ground as you would like them, making sure the ends are all flush, and then measure diagonally from one corner to the other corner, length ways (long side). You then measure diagonally corner-to-corner the other way, length ways. These numbers should match. If they don't, adjust the wood a bit until both diagonal measurements are the same length.

Then drill holes on the ends horizontally through the outside piece of wood into the inner piece of wood. Hammer a spike (large nail) through the hole to hold the pieces together. (You can see the spikes in the photograph.) Do this on all four ends.

From there, you place the second layer of wood on top, alternating the placement of the ends, as shown.

Drill holes again through the end pieces horizontally from the outside piece into the inner piece of wood. Hammer spikes through the holes to hold the pieces together.

On this second layer, you also drill holes vertically down through the top of the wood to hold the second layer to the bottom layer. Drill these holes on the ends (making sure to offset the spikes that have already been hammered in) and also along each piece of wood. Two holes spaced evenly along each long piece of wood should do the trick with one hole drilled in the centre of the shorter pieces. Hammer spikes through these holes vertically (up and down).

The third and final layer is basically a repeat - set it on the second layer, but alternate the position of the ends again.

Drill holes horizontally through the end pieces to hold them together and hammer the spikes through. Then drill more holes vertically on the ends and also spaced throughout the pieces of wood in a couple places. (Again, make sure to offset them from the spikes that are already in place.) Hammer spikes in vertically through these holes.

Now, you have your frame.

You can add more layers of wood if you would like a taller bed and just repeat the steps, alternating each layer's ends as you go.

There are lots of methods for building raised beds - this is just the method we used, and it turned out nicely. 

The next part of the process involves some grunt work - spading up the sod underneath your bed and removing it. You will flake off as much soil as you can from each chunk of sod with your hands to keep in your bed and then get rid of the sod however you can.

Once all the sod is removed from the area of your bed, you will dig down into the ground with your spade to aerate (loosen) the soil. Use your foot to kick the spade down into the soil and then flip the soil over, breaking it apart with your spade if necessary. I could only go one spade length (about one foot) deep or even less in some areas because the soil underneath was quite rocky. This is OK - just do your best, and the plants will find a way! According to my online research, most plant roots need 12 - 18 inches, so with the nine inches of raised bed, this will likely be sufficient.

You can fertilize this layer of soil if you like before adding top soil. I threw in a few weeks worth of vegetable scraps and crushed egg shells as direct compost, as well as a couple shovelfuls of store bought fertilizer that my landlord had.

Finally, you will add soil to your bed. This may be the tricky part, as you will need a vehicle and possibly a trailer if you can't get it delivered. Extremely luckily for me, my landlord had a vehicle, a trailer, and all the tools we needed to build the bed. (Handy!)

There are places in most areas that sell top soil, or you may be able to buy it from a local farmer.

After some delays (yep, Mercury was retrograde), my landlord picked up the soil on the day Mercury went direct, and we shoveled it into the bed.

Ready for planting!

This leads to the second vegetable bed, which was a regular bed, not a raised bed. Much simpler. This bed I could make myself with only a spade for a tool.

Standard vegetable bed (right)

The good thing about this kind of bed is that any area that is currently seeded to grass could be used, as long as the soil underneath is decent. Top soil, organic material (leaves, hay, vegetable scraps), manure, and fertilizers can be added to make better soil if it is not the greatest.

The other major advantage to this type of bed is that the cost is very low (free if you have a spade to work with). Making a raised bed is comparatively pricey. 

I made this bed between a hedge and a gravel walkway, so it is a long, skinny bed.

This one pretty much just requires grunt work. Spade up the sod, making sure to get all the grass and plant roots up in each chunk. Again, flake off as much soil as you can from the chunks of sod with your hands to keep in your bed and then get rid of the sod however you can. In this case, I stuck the pieces of sod into the bottom of the hedge where they will break down.

 Halfway done spading the regular bed

Once the sod has been removed, you will aerate the soil by digging down into it with the spade. Use your foot to kick the spade down into the soil and then flip the soil over, breaking it apart with your spade if necessary. Go down one to two feet.

I had a little extra top soil left from the raised bed, so I mixed some of that in with the already existing soil.

Now both beds are ready for planting!

 Both beds finished

I look forward to sharing photos of these garden beds this summer. Fingers crossed, everything grows nicely.

I didn't know if my Cipro-fied body would cooperate in the making of these beds, but the power of the zero-degree Virgo North Node must have helped me though! Work, projects, preparation, and health (Virgo).

As always, I would encourage anyone to try his or her hand at gardening. If you don't have access to land (for most of my city-dwelling adult life, I didn't, either), community gardens may be an option. Talk to your landlord - he or she may be surprisingly agreeable to converting lawn to garden space. Less grass to mow! And there aren't many people who don't like watching gardens grow, especially if someone else is doing the gardening work. Talk to your local town or city council - members may be agreeable to converting public land into garden space. Some of the areas that have been devoted to growing flowers, for example, could be converted into food-producing zones. Empty lots may also be prime candidates.

You can also grow an interesting array of plants indoors. Even a window box full of herbs can bring a lot of joy and satisfaction.

Dwarf planet Goddess of Agriculture, Ceres, is in Gemini (until July 10) and is forming a conjunction with Mars in Gemini at the moment, so asking about and talking about (Gemini) the growing of food (Ceres) could bring a surprising amount of movement (Mars) now. The potency of verbal/written cross-pollination is intensified by the fact that just-stationed-direct Mercury in Aries, tightly conjunct Uranus, is the dispositor (key influence) over Ceres and Mars in Gemini. The time is ripe for unexpected and critically-necessary change, particularly of a survival-based (Aries) bent, and these changes are stimulated and spurred via talking, asking questions, and making connections, especially in our local areas (Gemini/Mercury). Again, food and agriculture issues (Ceres) are hot (Mars), and making connections with others along lines of shared interest related to these subjects is indicated.

Growing food is intuitive to most people. It doesn't have to be hard or intimidating. It doesn't have to be finicky or precious. Just jump in, and you'll figure things out. I'm a big fan of the Plutonic punk gardening style. From a previous post:

"Food doesn't have to be a tiring bore, and growing things doesn't have to be an intimidating chore. We can simply shrug off that version of things and strip things down to the essentials.

The basic rules to follow here are:

It doesn't have to be done the way it has always been done!

You can do things your own way!

You can experiment, have fun, and do it the easiest way possible!

And finally...remember that all-encompassing Plutonic punk "fuck it" attitude whenever you need a little reminder!

Throw a few seeds in the dirt, and see what happens. Throw a handful of seeds in a pot in your windowsill, and see what happens. Visit a Farmer's Market just for the hell of it, and see what interests you.

Growing even a little of your own food or herbs is good for the soul. Seeing things grow that you planted is good for the soul. Being around plants and soil and air and sun is good for the soul.

One pot of basil in your windowsill can give you fresh herbs for the summer. Grow some more, and you can dry the leaves for use all year round.

Don't let the hardened, hardcore gardeners intimidate you. You can do it your way. You can learn as you go."

And remember: YouTube and online searches are a gardener's best friend. There is plenty of simple, basic, do-it-yourself information out there to help us along and also more advanced techniques and tips when we are ready for those.

My first garden was made by my dear old Dad on a road allowance with his tractor and disker. Just a small scrap of a garden with no water source. It barely rained that year, and my veggie output was minimal. But I was hooked. 

You can read about more of my adventures in gardening here

Monday, May 1, 2017

The North Node Enters Shiny, Happy Leo, and There's Almost Too Much Goodness to Contain in One Article!


"The North Node Enters Shiny, Happy Leo and There's Almost Too Much Goodness to Contain in One Article!" is a 5,200+-word article available to Willow's Web Astrology patrons

It can be purchased by non-patrons by email money transfer or by PayPal for $10.25.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Pluto Stationing Retrograde in Capricorn: From Millions Against Monsanto to Billions Against Bayer

Pluto is slowing in the zodiac to station retrograde April 20 at 19 degrees Capricorn, and the illegitimacy of the corpo-governmental power structures on Planet Earth would be hard to deny at this point even for the staunchest of maya-dwellers.

Pluto is nothing if not a fan of laying shit bare.
Under the stationing potency of the Lord of the Underworld in the sign of the corporation, protests are being set for April 28, 2017 in Bonn and Berlin, Germany to show resistance to the planned merger of German-based pharmaceutical, chemical, and genetically modified seed giant Bayer with the most well-known face of genetically modified foods, Monsanto.

These protests are set to coincide with Bayer Corporations' Annual General Meeting on April 28 in Bonn. (Please note: Bayer moved its AGM from Cologne to smaller Bonn at the last minute in an effort to avoid the protests.)

From the CBGnetwork website: "We would also like to invite all of you to attend the actions at BAYER’s AGM in Cologne, Germany, on 28th April 2017. Please register with us if you want to speak at the meeting. Together, we will show BAYER’s responsible people, managers and major shareholders what we think of their crimes.

Let us coordinate our resistance against BAYER and MONSANTO and take it to ‘the heart of the beast’. We count on you!"

For more, see Coalition Against Bayer Dangers or contact

So for those who can't make the demonstrations in Germany, take to YouTube, social media, or the streets on (or around) April 28 to express what you would like to say to Bayer executives. Use Twitter hashtags #stopbayermonsanto and #billionsagainstbayer, or tweet directly to Bayer at @BayerAG. Organize a solidarity demonstration in your town - perhaps outside your local drug store or grocery store - and share the photos and stories. Even a single individual acting alone can raise a lot of needed awareness. If you feel moved by this issue, participate in any way you can.

The planned merger of Bayer with Monsanto follows other recent mega-mergers in the GMO and chemicals game - Dow and DuPont joined forces to form DowDuPont in 2015, and ChemChina merged with Syngenta in 2016.

In a truly Pluto in Capricornian move, Bayer is planning to swallow up the highly toxic public facade of Monsanto Corporation for $62 billion, obscuring the evil deeds of both under its falsely innocuous brand of "the Aspirin company." 

It's our job not to allow this burying of dirty deeds to happen. It's our job to see through this hollow public relations strategy as the ruthless power consolidation move that it is. 

As I sit here writing this, in a state of physical debilitation and pain, as I have been every day for the past seven-and-a-half years since taking Bayer's devil drug antibiotic Cipro, it would be quite impossible for me to forget the evils of the Bayer Corporation. It would be impossible for me to forget that this corporation matches, if not trumps, the crimes against humanity committed by Monsanto. 

Bayer corporation has knowingly debilitated and disabled hundreds of thousands (most likely millions) of people with its pharmaceuticals, including me. It has knowingly killed tens of thousands of people by leaving its deadly drugs on the market without adequate warnings. It has done this willingly, despite the anguished pleas and warnings from its victims, in the pursuit of its own profit and global domination.

The next planned step in this global domination, it appears, is swallowing up Monsanto Corp.

So now we, the righteous rebels of Planet Earth, have our own Plutonic transformation to facilitate

We now transform from Millions Against Monsanto to Billions Against Bayer. (To clarify - I don't mean a formal group. I mean literally people who are against Monsanto/Bayer as the only criteria.)

Join me in resisting these knowing abusers of humanity and of life on this planet. Join me in resisting their poisonous products as they attempt to reach even further into our food supply.

Join in solidarity with the people in Germany - and across Europe - as they fight for their food supplies, as they fight for an outcome different from the one we have in Canada and the U.S. with widespread GMO cross-contamination of our food.       

 This is a Worldwide Call to Join Together as Billions Against Bayer!


This is a Worldwide Call to Educate Yourself About the Crimes Against Humanity Committed by Bayer!


What follows is an (updated) article that appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Hexagon Astrology Magazine.

Pluto in Capricorn and the Plutonic Sociological Imagination 

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 colors 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.

Transiting Mercury had just formed a conjunction to Pluto at 2 degrees Capricorn, conjunct my natal Vesta. It was a Plutonic initiation, to be certain, an inadvertent step through the gateway to Hell.

It was the beginning of years of debilitation, pain, and relentless drive for recovery. It also deepened my drive to follow threads and peel layers in an effort to expose the roots of the heartless and soulless machines that are poisoning us here on Earth.

Dramatic, huh?

Pluto is nothing if not dramatic.

Pluto first entered Capricorn on January 25, 2008 for a 16-year transit of the sign of business, finance, prestige, public image, and achievement.

Pluto is a planet that enters a sign and brings with it a deep, often gut-wrenching process of excavation and examination, confrontation and release, digging and purging, stripping down and regeneration so as to completely transform constructs and dynamics that would hinder or stop human soul development on this planet.

Pluto exposes things that have been hidden or suppressed, including dishonesty, lack of integrity, coercion, and dirty dealings, drawing this muck and mire up to the surface - gradually or in an explosive, volcanic gush.

With Pluto transiting Capricorn, we see how at the brink we are collectively with things like consumer capitalism, corporate control, the rule of money over all else, business/finance and government becoming one and the same, policy that benefits “the market” and corporations instead of the people, and the ethic of “achievement at all cost.”

Transiting Pluto in Capricorn brings to the surface underlying power dynamics related to authority and hierarchy.

In many cases, the power dynamics at play on this little, spinning planet are illegitimate and stifling - criminal, in actuality – related more to the power of money and hidden, coercive influence than to any real, inherent form of leadership or authority.

Almost across the board, the people at the highest echelons of the hierarchical pyramid schemes of power on this planet are not our leaders. They are not our authorities. They do not hold legitimate influence over us. They are, in fact, injuring, poisoning, and killing us.

Pluto in Capricorn makes this very clear for all those with eyes to see, as structural problems are brought into the open for much-needed change and transformation.

During Pluto’s transit of Capricorn, one of the things being exposed is the very sick concept of “success” within mainstream, societal structures. Pluto exposes the misery that the environment, animals, and other people have to take on in order for certain individuals to portray this skewed image of success. Many people at the top of the current pyramid schemes have gotten there on the backs of others, to the detriment of those people and of the environment, in general.

With Pluto in Capricorn – an ingress that coincided with derivatives schemes that brought down the United States housing market in 2008 - we start to see, en masse, the abuse, control, and oppression of the people as well as the squandering of resources that goes into those rich, shining superstars on the society pages of the local paper.

As Pluto transits Capricorn, the entire mainstream view of “success,” what makes for a “successful” person or a “successful” business, is being deconstructed, and we’re forced to ask the question: Is this really something to be admired and emulated?

Pluto is a body that relates to terror and manipulation through terror. This theme can be seen quite clearly in the never-ending wars against “the terrorists” that have been waged since this transit began in 2008. (Again, we have to ask ourselves: who are the real global terrorists?)

This transit has revealed a huge amount of fear and coercion (Pluto) within business and work worlds (Capricorn) as mass unemployment, inflation, and homelessness ushered in a New Great Depression for many.

With Pluto transiting Capricorn, we see people allowing the suppression of their creative drives, their personal morals, their emotions, and their humanity, in general, due to fear of losing their jobs, their livelihoods, their status, and their public image.

Pluto is considered a transpersonal body, relating to collective themes.

As Pluto transits a sign for an extended period of time (12 – 31 years, depending on the sign), an entire generation of people will have Pluto in the same zodiac sign in the natal chart.

In light of this, we see that Pluto rules a force of generational commitment to transformation - what a particular Pluto generation is here to change.

Whatever sign Pluto inhabits in your chart, rest assured that after you and your Pluto generation get through with it (or it gets through with you), it will be stripped bare and transformed into something more satisfactory.

But before that, the members of the Pluto generation must experience, examine, break down, and process out all the stultifying, abusive, and "just not right" dynamics of that zodiac sign, confronting many denied realities as they go.

Pluto has many nasty tricks up its sleeve, all designed to take us into deeper, stronger, wiser, and more conscious territory.

But it’s Hell.

Did I mention it’s Hell?

Pluto is the Lord of the Underworld, the Master of Hades, and dragging us into experiences of Hell as we live our lives on Planet Earth is its general modus operandi.

Pluto strips the maya, there’s no doubt about it. It removes the rose-colored glasses and unceremoniously crushes them under its heel.

Once Pluto has you in its grips, you can be certain that you will never again be the same – and this is a good thing. At a soul level, it is a very, very good thing.

Pluto relates to a process of alchemical change, growth, and development that originates at the soul. As part of this, Pluto forces us to experience things we would never choose to experience on our own.

I mean, who would willingly go to Hell? Who would willingly take on immensely painful Plutonic experiences and the associated emotional/psychological torment, even temporarily?

Pluto is aligned with the necessary experiences of the soul as it advances the collective scene through personal work and struggle.

And Pluto doesn’t care a whit about the desires of the ego or the personality!

Pluto's transformational process can be called many things: painful, brutal, hellish, cruel. It often forces us to points of emotional, psychological, and/or physical breakdown. But the Plutonic process must go on in order to facilitate the continued survival of the human soul.

We're here for a reason, for a limited amount of time, and Pluto won't do us the disservice of letting us forget it. It won’t allow us to waste our precious time as dupes, as less effective that we truly are or could be.

Pluto sets its sights on anything that has been avoided, glossed over, or swept under the rug previously.

It triggers the alchemy of the soul, putting immense pressure on us in an attempt to turn coal to diamond, eventually liberating us from stultifying themes, scenarios, circumstances, traps, relationships, or versions of self.

Because Pluto is a generational, transpersonal body, the personal Plutonic experiences we have are most often connected to broader collective themes.

In other words, though feelings of extreme isolation are a common Plutonic trait, we are not alone in our experiences of Hell on Earth. In fact, our own personal Hell is often just the tip of the Plutonic iceberg, with thousands, millions, or even billions of other people experiencing very similar things for very similar reasons.

In this way, Pluto’s machinations in our lives - taking us under until we cannot deny what it has to show us - bring us into the Plutonic sociological imagination.

Our personal stories have roots that connect us to many, many other human beings experiencing similar things, becoming caught in the same traps, falling prey to the same dirty tricks.

We are not alone with these experiences. We do not live in a vacuum. We are caught up in broader societal trends and themes, issues that are affecting large numbers of people from all walks of life, in all corners of the world.

In the case of Pluto, the Hell we experience at a personal level is often inextricably linked with the Plutonic requirement for collective awareness, transformation, and change.

It is by connecting our personal stories of Plutonic Hell to this broader, collective web that we can move out of the hellish isolation and struggle.

It is by bringing our own personal stories into their broader societal and sociological context that we can pinpoint the dynamics, join forces, and move out of Hell altogether.

Pluto in Capricorn Lessons: Following the Twisted Roots of the Corporate Oligarchy 

Pluto demands that no stone be left unturned in our examinations of the rotten and the corrupt, that no twisted root be left uninvestigated as we bring the muck and mire to the surface and to collective awareness.

Pluto (excavation) in Capricorn (business, corporations) demands that we respect with utmost seriousness the complexity, the layers, and the tenacity of the reach of these corrupt corporate tentacles and the people behind them. We must extricate ourselves from these tentacles in order to live a true alternative, and looking at the ugly and intricate web head-on - shiny, advertising grins wiped clean - is the only way we can do that.

So even though we all have “corporate evil-doing” fatigue this far into the Pluto in Capricorn transit, let's get out our books and pencils and dig in...

This particular Pluto in Capricorn Case Study is about the pharmaceuticals corporation Bayer. We in North America almost all know this company, but the next time you're popping a Bayer Aspirin or two, you might want to think a little more deeply about the people behind this household drug.

I've come to learn some very interesting things about this company, the makers of the fluoroquinolone antibiotic Cipro that has poisoned and debilitated me along with hundreds of thousands (likely millions) of others.

Bayer became a household name after co-opting the pain-relieving folk remedy salacin, derived from willow bark, in the late 1800s to make its over-the-counter pain reliever Aspirin.

Bayer is a German company founded in 1863 that lost its assets to the West as reparations for World War I. Bayer had produced chlorine and mustard gases that were used as chemical warfare in the trenches.(1)

It was then enveloped in the Nazi's IG Farben, their chemical and pharmaceuticals conglomerate.

This conglomerate used concentration camp slave labour to produce its wares. IG Farben was the only German company in the Third Reich that actually ran its own concentration camp, buying and using human guinea pig slaves to test their drugs. IG Farben also manufactured the pesticide Zyklon B, which was used to kill people in the gas chambers.(2)

Bayer has a long history in the military industrial complex, and these activities continue to this day.

Cipro was originally developed by Bayer to ward off anthrax attacks. Cipro was given to many Gulf War soldiers and is considered to be one of the causes of Gulf War Syndrome, a chronic and debilitating condition seen in up to 250,000 soldiers who served in the Gulf War.(3) Anyone suffering from an adverse reaction to a fluoroquinolone is connected at the soul to these soldiers…

Once the anthrax scare was over, Cipro was re-purposed as a cure-all for a variety of minor infections, including urinary tract infections and prostatitis. This is how Bayer made the big bucks on this terribly dangerous drug.

This history of profiting from warfare is common with almost all the big GMO/chemical corporations.

It is a group of six corporations - Monsanto, DuPont, BASF, Bayer, Dow and Syngenta - currently merging the world's seed supply with their genetically modified versions. Again, most have very recently merged with each other or are in the process of merging.

Five of the six – all but Syngenta - are chemical corporations with long histories of involvement with the military industrial complex, including chemical and nuclear warfare.

United States-based Monsanto is the most well-known of the six with its line of genetically modified Roundup Ready seeds designed to grow into plants that withstand its glyphosate-based chemical herbicide Roundup. Monsanto is the company that brought us Agent Orange, a defoliant used to strip trees of their leaves during the Vietnam War. Agent Orange is highly toxic and carcinogenic and killed or debilitated hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese people as well as U.S. soldiers during and after the Vietnam War. Exposure to Agent Orange has caused widespread genetic damage and birth defects that are affecting generations of people to this day, including in the United States. Facebook groups: Children of Vietnam Veterans Health Alliance and Agent Orange Activists. Other toxic products on Monsanto’s roster include saccharin, DDT, PCBs, bovine growth hormones and Aspartame.(4)

DuPont is an American corporation now in the chemicals and plastics game but started off manufacturing gunpowder, becoming the largest supplier to the U.S. military by the mid-19th century. During World War II, DuPont produced military explosives and plutonium, playing a major role in the Manhattan Project and the creation of the atomic bomb.(5) It also helped to choose Hanford, Washington as the plutonium production site, now considered the most radioactively-contaminated site in the United States. DuPont is also the maker of the Kevlar vest, used in police forces around the world.

American chemical company Dow produced napalm, a chemical that clung to the skin and melted flesh, for the U.S. government during the Vietnam War. After public protests of napalm, all other companies making it stopped production, leaving Dow to reap the profits as the sole provider.(6) Dow managed a nuclear weapons production facility from 1951 to 1975 near Denver, Colorado called Rocky Flats Plant that was involved in multiple management problems leading to radioactive leaks and contamination fires. Thousands of plant workers have died or are sick from cancers they say are caused by radiation exposure and most have had their compensation claims denied.(7) Dow is indemnified by the U.S. government in the case, meaning taxpayers will pick up the tab for any legal settlements along with the company's legal fees.

Please keep in mind the illustrious (and deadly) histories of the corporations attempting to dominate the food supply with their genetically modified seeds and chemicals. These corporations have manufactured and profited handsomely from products designed to injure and kill life on this planet, and they continue to do so with their GMOs and chemicals.

Bayer is also the maker of the deadly and debilitating Yaz/Yasmin birth control pills. These are "third generation" birth control pills that are much less safe than their predecessors, producing many life-threatening adverse reactions.

In July 2012, Bayer had settled 1,900 lawsuits related to Yaz/Yasmin in the United States alone to the tune of $402.6 million. There were 12,000 other cases pending, with more being added all the time. Deaths due to Yaz and Yasmin were associated with cardiac arrhythmia, heart attack, blood clots, and stroke. Gall bladder disease was also linked to the use of these drugs.(8) A class action lawsuit is also in progress in Canada.

Bayer has reached into our food supply with Bayer CropScience, a major manufacturer and seller of biotechnology and genetically modified (GM) seeds/crops, as well as the chemical herbicides that go with them.

Large parts of the United States rice crop were contaminated with Bayer's genetically modified LibertyLink Rice, which is unapproved in Europe and cannot be exported there. In 2011, Bayer agreed to pay 11,000 U.S. farmers a total of $750 million for contaminating their natural rice crops.(9)

And again, Bayer is now, since 2016, in the process of gobbling up Monsanto Corporation for $62 billion, forming a monstrosity of a merger between two of the largest GMO seed and chemical corporations in the world. 

As stated, in December 2009, I took three little pills of Bayer's antibiotic, prescribed to me without warning for a very minor health issue, and I have been recovering from complete systemic devastation ever since.

Taking Ciprofloxacin, described to me by the walk-in clinic doctor as a “mild antibiotic,” was the gateway into a Hell that has been experienced by millions of others: pharmaceuticals poisoning.

Though I was unaware of it as I struggled through the first horrific weeks of the reaction, the experience connected me at the soul to hundreds of thousands (most likely millions) of people who have experienced or are experiencing horrific reactions to fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Cipro - many much worse than my own.

But even that doesn't tell the tale.

Iatrogenic illnesses and deaths are illnesses and deaths caused by the treatment of a physician. There is currently an epidemic of iatrogenic illnesses and deaths due to the irresponsible prescription of new generation pharmaceuticals, which include fluoroquinolone antibiotics. 

In the United States alone, more than two million people have adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals every year. Of those, 1.5 million cases require hospitalization. A low-end estimate is that 100,000 people die in the U.S. every year from correctly-prescribed pharmaceuticals, making adverse drug reactions one of the leading causes of death.(10) 

This statistic does not include people who commit suicide due to adverse reactions without "provable" links to the drug. Suicidal thoughts and actions are common side effects of many new wave pharmaceuticals, including fluoroquinolone antibiotics like Cipro, the "stop smoking" drug Champix, and many prescription anti-depressants.

This statistic also does not include the skyrocketing number of people dying from illegal prescription drug use and addictions, particularly from opioids. 

Because most adverse reactions to pharmaceuticals go unreported (it is commonly estimated that less than 10% are reported), the real number of related deaths is much higher.  

There's a general idea that adverse drug reactions are quite rare (false) and that the effects of them are fairly short-lived (often also false). People can struggle with the damage from adverse drug reactions for years, decades, or even the rest of their lives.

Each person affected is a loved and precious member of this planet, being treated by pharmaceuticals corporations as if his or her pain and suffering are meaningless in the face of continued profit and “success.”

Ciprofloxacin (Cipro) is a fluoroquinolone antibiotic, a variety of antibiotics that has been infused with a known toxin, fluorine, supposedly to increase efficacy. These antibiotics have devastating, debilitating, and even deadly potential side effects. They attack tendons, connective tissues, neurology, vision, organs, the central nervous system, and the digestive system, among other things, and many of the adverse reactions are long-term or even permanent.

Though tendon rupture was a side effect known about by manufacturer Bayer - forced by class action lawsuits to declare it on a “Black Box warning” on Cipro’s packaging in the United States - I never saw it. I was not warned about it by my doctor or my pharmacist.

Recently, yet more lawsuits have forced another Black Box warning to be put on Cipro packaging – peripheral neuropathy, a painful and debilitating inflammation of the nerves that can be permanent.

Over the past ten years, 80,000 adverse drug reactions have been reported to the United States Food and Drug Administration alone due to the fluoroquinolone antibiotic Levaquin and its generic version levofloxacin, including 1,000 deaths. There were 79,000 adverse reactions reported due to Cipro or its generic version ciprofloxacin, including 1,700 deaths.(11)

Again, since only a small fraction of all adverse reactions are reported to authorities (likely less than 10%) and these numbers include only two of the many brands of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, the real numbers of injuries and deaths will be in the millions.

Fluoroquinolone reactions can also occur after a delay - many months or even years after taking the drug - which can make it hard to source symptoms to their root. People are often misdiagnosed with other diseases and conditions like lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, arthritis, and fibromyalgia that are, in actuality, fluoroquinolone antibiotic poisoning. 

If the real potential side effects were disclosed to people before they took fluoroquinolones - or any number of new wave pharmaceuticals - they would be far too terrified to swallow them.

The real warning labels should read something like this:

Warning! Fluoroquinolone Antibiotics Are Known to Cause:

- Repeated tendon rupture and connective tissue damage
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle wasting
- Disability to the point of wheelchair use
- Peripheral neuropathy (constant pain due to inflammation of the nerves)
- Vision damage
- Tinnitus
- Severe dental damage
- Central Nervous System damage
- Toxic psychosis
- Severe migraines
- Severe light sensitivity
- Extreme food sensitivities and digestive damage
- Morbid thoughts and prolonged suicidal thinking
- Prolonged anxiety
- Prolonged insomnia 
- Arthritis and joint problems
- Chronic fatigue
- Aortic dissection
- Phototoxicity and increased incidence of skin cancer
- Permanent debilitation
- Death

Pluto involves a process of exposing the things that are poisoning, injuring, and killing us.

With Pluto transiting Capricorn, there is a culture of denial, cover-up, irresponsibility, and greed within the big pharmaceuticals industry and within the health care establishment, in general, that must be addressed layer-by-layer.

These antibiotics are so potentially dangerous that they should never be prescribed as first-line antibiotics for minor infections. All safer alternatives should be tried first.  

Regulatory agencies in Canada and the United States have just now, after decades of poisonings and deaths, updated the labels on these drugs - most likely an action forced by class action lawsuits

The United States Food and Drug Administration updated labels on fluoroquinolone antibiotics in 2016, warning of disabling and potentially permanent damage, including to the tendons, muscles, joints, nerves, and central nervous system. It warned that these drugs should only be used as a last resort, not as first-line drugs to treat minor infections.

In early 2017, Health Canada followed suit, updating their own labels to better reflect the dangers of these drugs

Unfortunately, the damage has already been done for the millions of people who have been injured by these drugs, many permanently. The Big Pharma marketing machine has created a climate where, despite the warnings, physicians continue to erroneously prescribe these drugs and pharmacists continue to erroneously dispense these drugs as first-line antibiotics for minor infections. This is a widespread practise. Frighteningly, Cipro is one of the most widely-prescribed antibiotics in the world.

Many doctors do not believe these types of reactions are possible from fluoroquinolone antibiotics, even when their patients are describing their adverse reactions and symptoms to them.

Neither doctors nor pharmacists are warning people adequately before dispensing these drugs, and physicians are contravening the Hippocratic Oath to do no harm to patients:

"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."

Three little pills, and I've been working through a recovery process from complete systemic and neurological poisoning ever since.

Just like that, nothing is the same again.

And just like that, the soul takes on new layers, new colours, new wisdom, new strength, new awareness, new beauty, new power. 

As stated, most doctors do not believe the types of adverse reactions involved with fluoroquinolone antibiotics are even possible. None of the doctors I saw believed me when I recounted the severity of what I was experiencing. 

They should take a look at some of the stories here
Facebook Fluoroquinolone Toxicity Group
Facebook Fluoroquinolone Wall of Pain

Unfortunately, we cannot expect most mainstream medical doctors to do any independent research. Most will listen to the literature written by corporations who are profiting from the pain and misery being caused by these drugs.

There is an ongoing whitewash of the adverse reactions related to fluoroquinolone antibiotics, as well as a multitude of other dangerous drugs prescribed to people every day.

This is all just the tip of the iceberg, but that's the way Pluto works. It gives us a thread, and we have to pick it up, follow it, and uncover the full extent of the situation…

For a little Plutonic extra credit assignment, research pharmaceuticals giant Merck, their fast-tracked “cervical cancer vaccine” Gardasil, and the class action lawsuits over their arthritis drug, Vioxx. 

Gardasil is Merck’s fast-tracked HPV vaccine, tested on a mere 1,200 girls before being approved by the United States Food and Drug Administration in 2006. The vaccine was never tested on the age group of girls intended to be vaccinated - nine-and-ten-year-olds - but was approved by the U.S. FDA as a blanket vaccine for girls.(12) By mid-March 2015, the Gardasil vaccine had generated more than 35,000 adverse reaction reports to the U.S. government, including more than 200 deaths.(13)  Again, it is estimated that only about 10% of adverse reactions are actually reported to authorities, and there could be more than 1 million adverse reactions associated with Gardasil.

(The Truth About Gardasil is an American website raising awareness about the deaths and long-term injuries from the Gardasil vaccine:

Merck is no stranger to widespread death and debilitation caused by its drugs – it is in the midst of class action lawsuits by at least 50,000 families suing because their loved ones died after taking Merck’s arthritis drug, Vioxx. This makes the safety record of Merck’s drugs and vaccines highly questionable, to say the least.

For the true Plutonic extra credit keeners, research into the anti-bacterial drug Bactrim (also sold as Septra and Septrin) will illuminate another tentacle in the tangled web of pharmaceuticals poisonings. Bactrim has killed and debilitated many and was exposed in a series of articles by London, England’s The Sunday Times journalist Brian Deer in the 1990s. (

Investigation into hundreds of other pharmaceuticals will unravel the Plutonic web even further, turning up more horrific side effects, adverse reactions, and deaths.

Please research any pharmaceutical you are prescribed before taking it. Do not simply take your doctor or pharmacist’s word for it.

Consider trying natural antibiotic forms like oil or oregano or colloidal silver for minor infections. 

Please do not take fluoroquinolone antibiotics unless they are the last option for you. There are many brand names, including:

- Cipro (ciprofloxacin)
- Levaquin (levafloxacin)
- Floxin (ofloxacin)
- Avelox (moxifloxacin)
- Noroxin (norfloxacin)
- Penetrex (enoxacin)
- Maxaquin (lomefloxacin)
- Vigamox (eye drops for pink eye)
- Zymar eye drops
- Besivance eye Drops
- Ciloxan eye Drops
- Iquix eye Drops
- Quixin eye Drops
- Ocuflox eye Drops
- Ofloxacin eye Drops
- Cetraxal ear Drops
- Cipro and Ciprodex ear Drops
- Floxin and Ofloxacin ear Drops
- Baytril (for veterinary use)

(1) Source: “Bayer AG: Corporate Crimes,” Corporate Watch,

(2) Source: “IG Farben and the History of the ‘Business With Disease,’” Dr. Rath Health Foundation; “150 Years of Bayer,” Coalition Against Bayer Dangers; “Bayer AG: Corporate Crimes,” Corporate Watch; "The Ghost of IG Farben: Can Monsanto Reform Bayer?" by Victor Grossman,

(3) Source: “Gulf War Illness Tied to Cipro Antibiotics,” by Lisa Bloomquist; “Cipro May Be Linked to Gulf War Syndrome Nerve Damage,” by Ashley Vanover,  

(4) Source: “Monsanto: a checkered history,” by Brian Tokar, The Ecologist,

(5) Source: “DuPont and Hanford,” The Manhattan Project: an interactive history, U.S. Department of Energy,

(6) Source: “Dow Chemical: Corporate Rap Sheet,” Corporate Research Project,  

(7) Source: “Rocky Flats’ workers burden still heavy even with new legal status,” by Electra Draper, Denver Post,  

(8) Source: “Bayer’s Yasmin Lawsuit Settlements Rise to $402.6 million” by Jef Feeley and Naomi Kresge, 

(9) Source: “Bayer Will Pay $750 Million to Settle Gene-Modified Rice Suits” by Andrew Harris and David Beasley, 
(10) Source: “Death by Medicine” by Gary Null, PhD; Carolyn Dean, MD; Martin Feldman, MD; Debora Rasio, MD; and Dorothy Smith, PhD 

(11) Source: "Canada Expands Fluoroqinolone Antibiotic Warning" by Michelle Llamas,

(12) Source: “Preventing Gardasil Vaccine Injuries and Deaths,” National Vaccine Information Center

(13) Source: “HPV Vaccine Can Make You Susceptible to More Serious Strains of HPV” by Dr. Mercola,; MedAlerts. Gardasil Vaccine (HPV4) adverse event reports through Sept. 14, 2014. VAERS Database on MedAlerts.