The Branching of the Road

“It is but the first few steps along the right way that seem hard, for you have chosen, although you still may think you can go back and make the other choice. This is not so. A choice made with the power of Heaven to uphold it cannot be undone. Your way is decided. There will be nothing you will not be told, if you acknowledge this.”

A Course in Miracles

Dear Friend and Reader:

The United States and the world of which it is part stand at a juncture. The time has come to decide what kind of society we want, which translates to what kind of people we want to be.

That is the thing to remember: choosing what kind of society means choosing what kind of people, which I think of as actually meaning being people, or not. Are we more identified with our physical and spiritual existence, and our ability to love, or with the fear being injected into us through all of our robotic technologies and (worse) our robotic thinking? Those are the options we have.

While this is true of everyone everywhere — the global crisis has left few societies unscathed — the United States is in a special situation.

Some countries have handled the situation calmly, and reasonably, and without political manipulation. This means working from an actual public health standpoint, without the corporate machine driving everything toward the most profitable vaccine. And as a result, they obtained a positive outcome.

The United States, though, is a uniquely complex and unmanageable society on a good day. At the moment we are profoundly mired in both political division and a political system so corrupt people barely notice the stench anymore. As we have seen so many times before, the only thing that seems to motivate people is abject terror.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

The United States is Vulnerable Now

For those who follow astrology, though, it’s not news that we are at our Pluto return. This is the first return of Pluto to its position at the time of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. (The Articles of Confederation from the following year has essentially the same Pluto position.)

We know that with this syndrome being called Covid-19, the weaker a person’s immune system, the more dangers that it presents. The stronger a person’s immune system, the less likely they are to even get sick, or notice any problem. The United States is debilitated now by its state of political division, by its illiteracy even among those who hold advanced degrees, and by a corporate system that is stronger than its host.

This is all symbolized by its Pluto return, which happens in the sign Capricorn: the one we count on for some vestige of stability, of tradition, of decorum, and most of all, of functional structure. In the body, Capricorn represents vital systems, such as the skeleton and the skin — that which holds us up and together. And through the action of Pluto, we are currently neither.

That this is happening to the United States at the time of its Pluto return makes our situation different from that of any other country. It is difficult to describe the scale or depth of the reshaping of our society on the tectonic level, from the core right up to the top of the highest skyscraper.

During this time, which we’re thinking of as “Covid times” but which are really the U.S. Pluto return, we need to keep some basic principles at hand. One would be to define problems in a way that they can be solved.

The United States in particular loves to do just the opposite: define problems in a way such that they create an industry and we are perpetually managing something, rather than resolving it and getting on with life and love.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

The Vast Disproportion

To me what seems remarkably disproportional is the attention, visibility, anxiety over the consequences, society’s response, the incredible spending, the astonishing debt, and the general panic from one thing: a coronavirus and the claim that it causes a poorly defined medical syndrome.

All of this attention, fear and reactionary response we are witnessing far exceeds the total (over the past 50 years) for dioxin, PCBs, radiation, pesticides in food, cancer, opioids, gun violence, domestic violence, contaminated vaccines, the lack of affordable health care, global warming, the destruction of the ozone, plastics in the ocean and the terrorist threat, all combined. It’s as if we were saving it all up for right now.

Talk to anyone who has worked on those issues and you’ll discover they feel extremely fortunate when anyone cares. Meanwhile, the pace of society creeps along and it takes a century of ever-increasing heart disease to get trans fats out of most foods.

One might say, as someone said to me today (accusing me of claiming the situation is a hoax), “They do not close down cities around the world, hospitals filled up because humans are just monkey brains who bought into the fear. It is called a pandemic for a reason. I am sure there are even more dangerous viruses but this one is leaving long term damage to even the young and healthy.”

That’s what someone who only watches television says, to justify her fear (and she is confused). Look — a refrigerator truck (that I saw on TV). That proves it’s terrible. I know two people who died. We must pull out all the stops. It’s perfectly circular logic: the response justified the response; they cannot be wrong; call it a pandemic and it is one. My personal loss must be vindicated. Note, this is how wars are justified.

And all it really amounts to is: socially distance and cover your face (in some very extreme forms, like closing the economy). People in the most technologically advanced society in the world think that Harley Davidson bandanas are going to save their lives. Destroying the economy was important. It had to have worked; it was done, we are paying for it and will be for a while, and therefore it was the rational thing to do.

Meanwhile, it’s as if none of those other very serious national and global problems even exist, and that no other interventions for Covid exist. The reactionary bender we’re currently on reminds me of a deeply troubled person getting drunk and all of their problems seemingly going away, and when they wake up, they decide alcohol is to blame for all they suffer from.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

Glory Holes, the Death Ticker and Grocery Delivery

The country that is barely capable of following a 24-second news cycle has now had a death ticker on all of its cable networks and every news website for five months, which many people sit at home and stare at, having their groceries delivered in places with no new cases. Then everything has to be fumigated. At what point do we say this is all too much? Are we talking about anthrax?

To be fair, the mania extends to Canada and England, both of which have their fates and their  consciousness intimately linked to the United States. In British Columbia last week, public health officials advised citizens to have sex through a wall, known as a glory hole, to prevent the spread of Covid.

I am not kidding. I know this sounds a lot like one of my jokes (i.e., CDC advises dead people to wear masks, etc.), and when I read it, I was envious I had not come up with the material myself — until I figured out it was not satire. The New York City health department recommended the same thing: fuck through a wall for safety. A condom and a mask are not enough. You have to have sex in separate rooms. Then you can go out for an ice cream cone and share it. (At least NYC proposed that people masturbate together if they socially distanced rather than alone, as did the British Columbia CDC.)

What part of “flattening the curve” is this? To what extent are we willing to accept such direct personal invasion into our lives? Or will we offer absolutely anything to propitiate the great god of Covid?

England has taken matters a step further, and subjects overnight guests in a private home to arrest, along with the host — it is illegal to invite your non-live-in boyfriend or girlfriend to sleep over. To say that it’s difficult to enforce is to miss the point entirely. This can be enforced, it can be enforced selectively, and from a public health standpoint it is irrelevant if one person visits another person. [Note, England suspended its draconian overnight guest rule on July 31, which it had only recently made more stringent.]

Also in England, people were warned not to get too close to their cats, as they might transmit the SARS-CoV-2 virus to their feline companions, due to one alleged case wherein the cat fully recovered, if it ever had the illness.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

The Fear Mongering is Painful

Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease czar of the federal government, last week advised Americans to wear goggles to prevent the spread of the virus. This news apparently got to the jeweler on my street, who works in a little five-by-10 hole in the wall. (This is a figure of speech, not a glory hole; that would not be appropriate at the jeweler.)

I saw him at work the other day and tapped on the glass with the silver ring he made me. Instead of waving hello, he suited up in a gas mask with double HEPA filters, and safety goggles, before he shouted at me you’re not wearing a mask — which is not required by New York law when one is socially distancing. We had a sheet of plate glass between us. But I must give credit where it’s due: at least he was using something likely to work if he actually needed it, rather than a Phish bandana from the 1997 summer tour.

Ulster County, where I live (population 177,503 at last check, spread out over 1,100 square miles), is averaging around two new “cases” a day lately, the Sun was shining and there was a breeze blowing. We have had 49 total recorded Covid deaths in Ulster County all year, a statistic hovering around the number of deaths from accidental drug overdoses. This is 100 miles north of the former epicenter in New York City.

And none of this distancing and “precautionary” mayhem will end, according to vaccine magnate and software dealer Bill Gates, until we have a jab (presumably his) and an immunity passport (presumably his) without which we will essentially be denied citizenship (the right to travel or work or go to a hotel).

While in some places people are doing their best to live normally, in others, a police state is taking over. Minnesota has already used Covid contact tracing software to keep track of Black Lives Matter activists. McDonald’s is requiring their customers to sign up for their Big Mac, so they can be contact-traced if necessary.

Yet despite all this incredible fuss and movement of resources, how many people actually die from this syndrome? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (the CDC), overall infection fatality is 0.65%.  Remember what got us into this: we were told that up to 70% of the population would become infected, and that up to 3% or even 7% (as claimed with SARS-1) would die — with no actual antibodies data to back up what was, in retrospect, a guess.

That has not materialized, but we are acting like it has, or like it is currently doing so. Note that the claim was based on the idea that there existed no prior immunity to SARS-CoV-2, which was not possible to determine at the time as there were no antibodies tests to do the necessary experiments to prove it).

A review of the global data by researchers in Switzerland puts overall case fatality about the same (0.64%) and offers more details by age. if you are are under 50, infection fatality is about 1 in 10,000. Then it goes up with age, most affecting people who are already sick and are about age 80.

Yet 90% of those deaths may be over-reported (meaning, not Covid). I won’t go into this in detail here, but this issue involves CDC suspending its longstanding rules on death categorizations, which has facilitated claiming that nearly any loss of life is due to Covid.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

UFOs in the New York Times

If you question the science, and ask for proof, or even evidence of a claim, you can be called a pseudoscientist or science denier or “conspirituality theorist” for your allegedly magical thinking.

Yet at the same time, we can read about — and see — UFOs in The New York Times. Are you following this development?

“No Longer in Shadows, Pentagon’s U.F.O. Unit Will Make Some Findings Public,” the Times proclaimed in a headline on its front page last week. “For over a decade, the program, now tucked inside the Office of Naval Intelligence, has discussed mysterious events in classified briefings.”

In its article, one of many that have appeared in the mainstream press this year, the Times wrote, “Despite Pentagon statements that it disbanded a once-covert program to investigate unidentified flying objects, the effort remains underway — renamed and tucked inside the Office of Naval Intelligence, where officials continue to study mystifying encounters between military pilots and unidentified aerial vehicles.”

Eric W. Davis, an astrophysicist who is a Pentagon consultant, told the Times he gave a classified briefing to the Defense Department in March about retrievals from “off-world vehicles not made on this earth.”

Let’s mark the moment: it deserves a little monument. One is ostensibly a weirdo and denialist for wanting to peel back government statistics and claims that are demonstrably a little off, and at the same time, the previously freakiest, most conspiratorial pastime in the world — believing in UFOs — is now documented as truth by the newspaper of record.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

And Now Immunology is ‘Pseudoscience’ 

UFOs are a story I’ve avoided as a writer because I thought it was just a tad too much for my portfolio. Today it’s page one news — at the same time someone is said to believe in strange things for questioning the efficacy of a testing protocol that can create a disease outbreak out of absolutely nothing at all, as happened at Dartmouth University medical school in 2006, and in other documented incidents.

One thing I have learned as a writer in these fields is that authentic science (whether astronomy, toxicology or some other) is not complicated. Yet unraveling the deceptive use of the scientific motif is extremely complicated, and it takes time, patience, and persistence, and desire and some courage.

Beda Stadler, a retired Swiss professor of immunology, said he was made to feel like he was wearing an “aluminum hat” (i.e., tinfoil hat) when he discussed the pre-existing immunity to the coronavirus, which he asserts is not a novel virus at all, it is from a recognized family of known viruses. This is from a distinguished emeritus professor of immunology.

People have plenty of immunity, he says, which is why so few get sick, why exceedingly few kids get sick, and (in particular) why so many (people in general) who do get sick or die have preexisting immune compromise and cannot fend it off without help. Why don’t we take care of them? I mean, we could. Instead, we debate whether three meatballs constitutes a meal, or five.

Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

This and Other Problems: A Nation of Fear

So this is not just an American problem, but America has another problem, and that would be its state of political and social havoc. Presently this is described by its Pluto return in Capricorn: what you modestly might describe as a destabilized condition.

A reasonable definition of a “terrorist nation” is one that is ruled by terror. That never gets good results. Being ruled by fear, in a reactionary state, has nothing to do with reason or science or working through a health problem. Honest science cannot be conducted in a state of panic, or in the drive for profits.

Were the crisis actually over preventing people from getting a virus, various states would not be discussing the difference between a “meal” and a “snack” to determine whether someone may drink a certain beverage in a restaurant in order to allegedly meet some abstract notion of “social distance.”

“Well, those chicken fingers are a snack and not a meal, so you cannot have a beer with them, and this will prevent people from dying of coronavirus.”

This is the state of our nation.

Meanwhile, Covid bailout unemployment benefits ran out this week. That means people will live closer together, cramming into small apartments, and many will have less to eat. The United States economy is estimated to have shrunk by one-third this year. Nothing like this has happened since the Great Depression, and even that happened much more gradually than what we are witnessing.

The United States is said to have recorded 1.9 million new coronavirus “cases” in July, using a machine that can create the illusion of an epidemic when there are absolutely no cases whatsoever — as has been repeatedly demonstrated. We must question these numbers and all of the shocking statistics we are fed, and not be emotionally spun around by them.

And we now seem to be being prepared for some kind of UFO event, which is the only logical explanation for why the federal government would start releasing video tapes of alien ships now, particularly, right now. (If you can think of a better one, please email me).

Panorama of the location where these photos were taken in High Falls, New York on the Grandmother Land. This feature, like the rest of the landscape down to Long Island, was carved by glaciation. From the look of the stream bed, which extends far to the left, this was a raging river for many thousands of years, before glacial runoff finally abated and it became an ordinary mountain stream. Well, a very nice one with a waterfall. Usually there is a lot more water. The waterfall at the back is quite a scene when the stream is flowing more fully. New York is under drought conditions at the moment.  Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

Where the Road Divides

The United States Pluto return is the branching of the road, and it’s well underway. Yet today as I write, nothing is a foregone conclusion. Right now we have the option to wake up. We have the option to learn how to take care of ourselves and our immune systems, which would offer real safety from the many insults and injuries of our faltering natural environment.

We can learn a little about science instead of delivering burnt offerings to its high priests, who serve only pharmaceutical corporations. I can sum this up in one sentence: The opinion of a scientist is not a scientific fact; the repeated proof of a hypothesis is a scientific fact. But we need to remember that under the current business model, whoever paid for the study gets the results that they want. The peer review process has been shown to be ineffective (note the debacles with cell line research, wherein biologists might not know what cell line they are working on) or to be political, as it involves the exchange of power for considerations (one pool of people in any field who both write papers and review them).

The Coxing, in the Clove. Photo by Lanvi Nguyen.

We have many choices at this branching of the road. The U.S. Pluto return is not going very well. We can turn matters for the better — or they can get a whole lot worse. Pluto is the grow or die lesson. I would not consider the American response to be particularly growth-oriented.

We can keep hold of our humanity, by respecting one another and our precious biological existence, instead of determining that “resistance is futile” and submitting to the Borg (i.e., contact tracing apps, “health monitoring” and “health surveillance”).

We can respect one another’s privacy instead of turning into the next East Germany, where under a system called the Stasi, people spied on their brothers, sisters, parents, spouses, neighbors and coworkers. No trust or peace of mind is possible under such a system and we must do better — and better than bots and scripts and “community standards” that censor what you see, hear and read.

We can show a little courage and actually question authority, rather than just putting a bumper sticker on the car. We can figure out that our major media are owned by pharmaceutical giants and cannot, and will not, ever tell the truth about a health or environmental situation as long as that is so. This is a situation that we must recognize and address, because it is the antithesis of free speech, which is the actual basis of our society.

Fortunately, we do not need to count on them. We don’t need to get brainwashed into submitting to food system or “health” system that does not work. We have enough knowledge and community support available at this time in history to take care of ourselves. This takes focus and some discipline, though that is up to you, and you can do it.

As I have suggested many times, we can all take greater responsibility for supporting our physical, mental, sexual and emotional health, which are ultimately the same thing. This is intimately related to one’s learning process, discernment and what one determines to be true based on an ongoing project of figuring it out. I strongly suggest choosing to hang out with people who are neither afraid nor obsessed with their fear. Whose company you keep shapes your consciousness.

As for direct help: once you choose love over fear, you will find no shortage of devoted practitioners to support your efforts. These are people who have studied a wide variety of healing arts and who practice with sincerity; people whose strength is derived from being in touch with their own vulnerability, and who are capable of compassion, empathy and wisdom.

The best and indeed only true healers are those who recognize your innate ability to heal yourself is all that matters, and will hold that vision as you become stronger and healthier and can reliably hold it for yourself. Seek these people out with an open heart and mind. Remember who helps you, and choose what helps you once you figure out what that is.

It is a testament to your freedom and your power to say that ultimately, your life is your life, and it is you who must witness, learn and choose for yourself. From there, you will begin to recognize others who are on this path.

With love,

PS — Note to Subscribers: You will hear from me next in writing with the Monday night weekly edition on Aug. 10, and by voice with Friday’s Planet Waves FM. We are not planning a Thursday edition. Ongoing astrology updates are at Daily Astrology & Adventure.

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