Dear Planet Waves Reader:
Most of us are pretty creeped out by all these reports of birds suddenly falling out of the sky and fish turning up dead. It’s been an unusual week in other ways, here in the days following Tuesday morning’s solar eclipse and the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction.
On New Year’s Eve, about 5,000 redwinged blackbirds fell from the sky over Beebe, Arkansas. This happened a day after 100,000 drum (freshwater bass) died along the Arkansas River near Ozark, fairly close by. As this news rippled out, reports of fish and bird kills during the past few days started coming in from all over the world. Collectively, these reports indicate an environment in distress, a fact of which most people are usually oblivious.
Yet this was just one type of incident in a week of certified News of the Weird. The body of John Wheeler III, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (one of those World Manager groups) and a former military advisor to three presidents (Reagan and the two Bushes), turned up in a dumpster in Newark, Delaware, on New Year’s Eve. Press reports say he seemed to be mentally disturbed for two days prior to his death, which has been ruled a homicide.
Scientists in Abu Dhabi, in the United Arab Emirates, succeeded in using weather-altering technology to make it rain in the desert. While the story is novel in our era, in truth this is nothing new. The U.S. government was involved in using weather weapons during the Vietnam War under a program described in a 1973 Long Island Newsday article as “a weather arsenal.”
BBC reported this morning that more than 4,700 farms in Germany (most of them raising pigs) were closed after large amounts of animal feed were found to be contaminated by dioxin, the most potent chemical toxin known to science. In a fashion typical of these incidents, BBC reported that “officials insist the levels of dioxin do not pose a risk to humans, and that the closures are only a precaution.” Note that whenever there is a contamination incident, someone from the government apparently has a sacred duty to tell us how safe the poison is.
Ali-Reza Pahlavi, the son of Iran’s former shah, died in an apparent suicide in Boston on Tuesday. His friends and family said he had suffered from depression for many years. The shah was the last secular leader before the theocratic Muslim government took over in 1979, forcing him and his family into exile, leading to the Iran we now know and love.
And given that all these events surround a solar eclipse in Capricorn, it was a bit ominous that the 112th Congress commenced on the first day after the eclipse, with the ‘tan man’ John Boehner taking charge with his keg-sized gavel. Boehner is famous for being a corporate shill, known among other things for a 1995 incident wherein he distributed campaign donations from tobacco lobbyists on the floor of the House of Representatives.
A New York Times article from September 2010 said Boehner “maintains especially tight ties with a circle of lobbyists and former aides representing some of the nation’s biggest businesses, including Goldman Sachs, Google, Citigroup, R.J. Reynolds, MillerCoors and UPS.”
In an attempted display of patriotism that seemed to fool nobody, members of the now Republican-ruled House of Representatives on Thursday read parts of the Constitution on the House floor. They left out many of the more embarrassing sections, such as the bit about how a slave counts as 3/5 of a person and other things that were later updated by amendment. However much modern legislators deny this fact, they read the part that says that, “The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes, duties, imposts and excises, to pay the debts and provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States.”
One of the first issues the new Congress will have to handle is raising the debt ceiling so that the country can make its payment obligations for things like wars.
Oh one last bit of News of the Weird. Israeli Defense Forces shot down an unidentified flying object from the sky above the Dimona nuclear power plant in the Negev Desert. The air force was scrambled when an object appeared in the no-fly zone that surrounds the plant. The IDF has since speculated that the UFO “could have been a party balloon” and according to press reports, it has not been able to find the debris of whatever it shot from the sky.
And as for all those fish and birds?
The Internet is buzzing with theories as to what happened to those fish and birds in Arkansas. The fact that the dead fish and dead birds appeared within one day and 200 km seems an odd coincidence, and the fact that it was on New Year’s Eve imparts an ominous feeling, even if you don’t follow astrology. If you do follow astrology, the proximity to the solar eclipse and major conjunction is difficult to miss.
There seem to be two basic camps on this issue. One proposes that masses of fish and birds die all the time, which is to say that this is a normal occurrence. What is interesting is how few of these sources are reporting actual data, such as toxicology tests. Remember, if a scientist says something but it’s not supported by data, that is not scientific in the true sense.
The other camp is proposing that the die-offs are the result of some kind of atmospheric manipulation, a weapons program or chemtrails. I haven’t covered any of these topics on Planet Waves yet. One candidate for a weapons program might be HAARP. There is also an Air Force base in Little Rock. As for chemtrails, in case you’re not familiar with this term, these are sightings, going back well over 20 years, of airplanes apparently dispersing chemicals in the lower atmosphere. It is not an officially acknowledged issue, but neither is it your ordinary conspiracy theory. Many people are aware that it’s happening, including those who report respiratory symptoms in themselves and their pets.
A third possibility pertaining to the Arkansas incidents that I have not seen mentioned anywhere but Planet Waves involves the presence of many dioxin waste sites in the area around Little Rock. There are many dioxin sites in the United States, but these are some of the worst in history — including a former Agent Orange manufacturing plant once run by a company called Hercules. There are lots of other sites, including an old chemical weapons depot. I’ve detailed some of them here.
George Badley, the state veterinarian with Arkansas’ Livestock and Poultry Commission, says tests on a handful of the thousands of dead birds all showed internal injuries.
“The 17 birds we did a necropsy on had internal bleeding that looks like blunt force trauma — like they ran into something, would be our best guess,” Badley told CTV’s Canada AM Tuesday morning.
Now, potential chemical exposure does not account for midair blunt force trauma, which in turn may have nothing to do with fish underwater. There is no direct evidence available so far that the Arkansas fish incident is related to the nearby bird incident, but that doesn’t mean the evidence doesn’t exist. It’s stunning how casually this is all being taken by public officials and the degree to which many sources seem to be going to ignore any larger issue that may be behind these incidents.
For example, the affected area along the Arkansas River was never closed and fishing is still being encouraged. “Right now it’s fine to fish. If you go out there you can still fish for bass and crappie, catfish, it will be fine. Obviously don’t eat the dead fish,” Badley said. Of course, never mind all the dioxin in the area, which tends to hang out on the bottoms of rivers. Bass are bottom feeders, and will therefore concentrate dioxin in their bodies. It’s amazing that they’re legal for consumption.
The Christian Science Monitor reported in an article this week that, “The United States Geological Survey has noted 16 incidents in the past 30 years where more than 1,000 blackbirds have died at the same time, usually the result of tightly-packed flocks flying into bad weather. What’s more, more than 5 billion birds die of natural causes in the United States each year, so it is, in a way, unusual that Americans don’t witness more major bird kills.” Of course, many of these mass deaths happen in remote areas where they cannot be observed.
However, Greg Butcher of the National Audobon Society, said that, “Birds can be really good indicators of environmental problems, so I’d hate to think that 5,000 would die and nobody would care. It’s worth investigation to find out what happened because there is potentially something we should worry about and it’s potentially something that has an odd, but benign cause.”
One potential way to explain this is as a phenomenon of awareness. The Internet has turned every local story into a potential global story, and allows people to compare notes and reports of far-flung incidents rapidly. In this way, unrelated events can seem to be connected.
The Arkansas Bird Incident Chart
Once you remove the need for scientifically proven causation, other possibilities emerge. All of these events are related; they happened around the same time on the same planet. But what we observe and group together is always a matter of consciousness. Remembering that, let’s take a look at the bird incident chart.
Using the time reported by CTV News, I cast the chart and the Aries Point came up on all four angles. You can see that because the early degrees of the cardinal signs (Libra, Capricorn, Aries and Cancer) are on the ascendant, and the cusps of the houses are directly vertical or horizontal. Take a look — even if you can’t read charts, it’s easy to see. Remember, it’s called the “Aries Point” but the first degrees of any of these signs count as part of the same energy structure, and placing them on the angles of the chart emphasizes their role.
The eclipse appears in the 4th house, down on the bottom of the chart. The Sun is in Capricorn, close to the North Node (the orange horse shoe); the Moon is close behind in Sagittarius, about to complete the eclipse. So much Capricorn in a chart does hint at a cause that is corporate and/or involves the government. But the 4th house is the homestead.
The South Node is up in the 10th house — another indicator of corporate or government involvement, but ‘hitting home’ in that the sign involved is Cancer. We find the Moon in Sagittarius in the 3rd house. Sagittarius says global and the 3rd house says local. So we have an overlay of local and global themes, of government and corporate themes, reiterating through the chart.
Based on the available data, I am not yet seeing the numerous wildlife events reported the past week as causatively related to one specific source. But I am seeing them as factors of the same global environment, which includes two things: an overload of toxicity that goes back several generations (see Silent Spring by Rachel Carson), and the awareness phenomenon that is accentuated by the feedback system of the Internet. This is turning human thought into something that moves like plasma through what we are discovering, with the help of computers and other devices, is the collective mind. What we are seeing is nothing new — but the fact that we’re noticing it is new.
One last aspect — and a takeoff point for another article. Notice the conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus, exact to the degree — that’s on the right side of the chart, close to the horizon. In fact, the conjunction has just set, and all the major planets are below the horizon when this event happens. This conjunction suggests the need for honoring science. Jupiter-Uranus almost always arrives with scientific breakthroughs, though we don’t always notice them at the time.
The conjunction, combined with the eclipse, marks a transition in astrological eras, conveniently happening the first week of a new decade — one of those things some future astrology student may look back and marvel at.
As I mentioned in my podcast of Wednesday, Jan. 5, we are leaving a lot of truly challenging astrology behind us and entering entirely new territory. A decade of Saturn making oppositions to outer planets started phasing out in 2010. These included Saturn opposite Pluto (Sept. 11, the commencement of the multi-front war and the Enron/Arthur Andersen scandal), Saturn opposite Neptune (hurricanes Rita and Katrina destroying much of the southeastern Gulf Coast, entering the peak of the Iraq war, the bird flu lie) and Saturn opposite Uranus, also square Pluto (involved with the vicious partisanship in Washington, the banking collapse, the housing bubble collapse and the recession). Gee whiz, it’s been an exciting decade, hasn’t it?
A whole category of astrological events that loomed in the background of all of these worldly events is behind us: Saturn opposing outer planets. These events always portend big changes, and are part of cycles that basically spin the world in their fingers. Three such oppositions, all historically documented to be associated with the kinds of effects we’ve seen, are now behind us.
I am aware that Saturn is approaching an opposition to Eris in late October, though I have a different theory about that one — that it’s a more internally focused event. I plan to give this plenty of coverage this year; it’s one of the first stand-out aspects directly involving Eris, since its discovery.
With so much tumultuous astrology behind us, we are left to clean up the damage and take advantage of new opportunities. This places us directly in the vortex of 2012 astrology, as the biggest event on the horizon is the gradually accumulating square of Uranus and Pluto. While this one has been showing its colors for a while and was part of the wild ride of 2010, it now has a chance to stand on its own, without so many tense aspects from Saturn. These constant oppositions to outer planets, and the recent square of Saturn to Pluto, have come with a sense of constant instability, both inner and outer. That is, the feeling is internal and we also experience it as outer events.
Uranus square Pluto is an aspect of revolution. It is one of the most dependable harbingers of progress of them all, part of a cycle that is known to topple empires. That aspect builds to its first exact contact on June 24, 2012, with five exact contacts spanning through April 2014. It is the guiding star of the 2012 era, and we are now looking right at it.
Catch you with a short edition Tuesday (possibly on audio, to save writing and editing resources) and the weekly horoscope will resume Friday. The horoscope below is Inner Space for January.
Yours & truly,
Ron Kurtz, Founder of Hakomi Therapy, Dies
Ron Kurtz, the founder of Hakomi Therapy, died in Ashland, OR, Tuesday morning. He had what was described as a massive heart attack. He was 76 years old. About a year ago he had suffered another smaller heart attack and cut back his travel and seminar schedule, and concentrated on organizing his writings and recordings.
He was a native of Brooklyn and educated at the University of Indiana. He began his first Hakomi Therapy practice in Albany, NY in the early 1970s, eventually settling in Oregon.
Kurtz worked tirelessly to develop his therapy method, training thousands of people over the years. Kurtz’s first book was called Body-Centered Psychotherapy, published in 1990. He co-authored The Body Reveals: An Illustrated Guide to the Psychology of the Body, which came out in 1976 and more recently, The Body Speaks Its Mind.
Hakomi is one of several offshoots of Gestalt Therapy, which was created by Fritz Perls and others in the 1940s. While Gestalt has a confrontational quality, Hakomi is mellower, designed to penetrate the ego’s defenses rather than encounter them directly. Kurtz described the process as “applied Buddhism,” using mindfulness, nonviolence and the holistic relationship between ‘mind’ and ‘body’ — concepts that are often separated in the theories of more traditional forms of therapy. Though I don’t have his data available now, I’ve done Kurtz’s chart, and his therapy method reflects his deeply Piscean nature.
The word Hakomi came to Kurtz in a dream one night during an early training session when an anonymous person handed him a small piece of paper on which it was written. At the time, the therapy process had no name, and he did not know what Hakomi meant. It actually shows up in many languages with different meanings; in Hopi it is said to translate to “who are you.”
Compared to traditional talk therapy, Hakomi sessions are minimalist. Therapists are trained not to get involved in the client’s narrative, instead making contact with the emotional movements on deeper layers of consciousness. Hakomi also discourages the asking of questions, instead using gentle probes — or simple statements such as ‘you are welcome here’ — to which the client then responds intuitively.
The method teaches therapists to track the client, monitoring their speech and body movements and assessing the ways in which their words and gestures relate to one another — a technique that has roots in Gestalt.
He is survived by his wife, naturopath Terry Toth, and their grown daughter, Lily Kurtz.
Toth said Kurtz’s family and work were the passions of his life. “He never stopped learning, expanding his theories and helping people, teaching them to heal,” she said.
Planet Waves Inner Space Horoscope for January 2011
Mercury’s station direct and the solar eclipse we just experienced marked the end of a tense and chaotic holiday season, providing the sensation of a surge forward. I suggest, as we move on from these events, that you let the cosmos provide the momentum, while you provide the vision. Rather than pushing, or attempting to manipulate the flow of events, I suggest that you strive for clarity. That would include knowing what you want, what you want to accomplish, and being clear how you feel about the people in your life. Notice the way that what you believe is possible can be distorted by believing emotional matters are dictated by pre-existing structures. When you put your authentic values and desires first, and allow your true vision for yourself to come forward, seemingly intractable ideas and structures can change before your eyes.
Aries (March 20-April 19) — You must know intuitively that astonishing changes are just around the bend. Yet to make the most of what is truly a once-in-a-lifetime moment, I suggest you muster up all the trust you can. It’s true that your professional life may have felt like a shambles these past few weeks, but that will soon be behind you, and I suggest you slough off any energy of frustration as soon as you can. Invest your emotional energy two places: in what is working for you, and in what turns you on the most. I recognize that nearly every message ‘the world’ is sending runs contrary to this idea; we’re supposed to hide under the bed until the recession ends. You have another, far more exciting path forward, and by the end of this thing we’re calling 2011 you won’t recognize your life.
Taurus (April 19-May 20) — It is amazing how fast it’s possible to change your beliefs. I know that they can often seem petrified, then suddenly they turn to living things. You could make a long list of the old beliefs that don’t work for you, and you could make another list of how each one represents a loyalty to someone (generally, a spouse or relative) who expects you to subscribe to that idea. The result can be a psychological maze that seems impossible to escape. Then one day you get some perspective. It’s like you fly above the maze, you see the pattern, and notice that you choose what you believe. You choose who you are loyal to and why, and you can decide not to carry around the burden of what others believe. There are days when this can seem like waging a revolution, and on other days it feels like a miracle. Have your pick.
Gemini (May 20-June 21) — Mercury retrograde in Sagittarius, which is your relationship zone, has potentially sent the signal that there is someone you must give up — though I would encourage you to take a more positive outlook. What seems in order in any event is creating a relationship where you actually have the freedom and space to discuss your mutual needs and desires. You may have a tendency to think that relationships are all-or-nothing arrangements where power and obligation trump love and freedom. It’s likely that everyone and everything in your life is negotiable right now, no matter how dominant or powerful someone may seem at the moment. There are situations, particularly financial, where the kind of give-and-take suggested by the concept ‘negotiation’ will be helpful. Yet in matters of the heart, remember: it’s more about give and receive.
Cancer (June 21-July 22) — An eclipse of the Sun in Capricorn, your relationship house, may feel like an ending, but if you open your eyes and look, you will see that it’s really an opening. The world is a different place every minute, and (even despite ourselves) people are changing, growing and evolving as the days progress; that is the definition of ‘alive’. While our culture advocates ideas of relationships that are prefabricated and supposedly based on tradition, your ideas of and the circumstances of those you are with are evolving, progressing and opening into new potential that you had never dreamed of before. I recognize that it can be disorienting to have no choreography or script to follow. I suggest you relax your expectations and forget what your mother told you is the only way — and let the adventure begin.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23) — The solution to a financial problem may surprise you, but I suggest you have faith in what develops. For years, you’ve been fighting a kind of economic instability that overtakes your life from time to time. You’ve likely been trying to get that instability to go away; but what you can do now is make it work for you. Your charts suggest that there is some unusual potential for creating a source of income that most people would consider risky or uncertain. The difference in your situation is that this method is close to your most deeply cherished values that manifest in your relationships and your inner life. Though most people don’t care where their money comes from, you surely do — or at least, you’re learning how much this fact matters. Focusing on that process of discovery, with a wide-open mind, will be lucrative.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22) — The thing about sex is that when the energy is right, and we’re paying attention, it draws us deep into our psyches. We may think we’re being drawn into the experience of ‘the other’, though I believe this is secondary to what we experience in our minds and feelings; and that would be everything. What has been coming to the surface these past few weeks has been all about you: your history, your relationship to yourself, your karma. It would be too easy to say that this is about someone else — and it would deny the rather amazing potential that your current relationships are offering to you. Said another way, as you take responsibility for your own issues, the potential of your relationships reveals itself to you. And in that process you are likely to discover the healing and the pleasure that you seek.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23) — Your life lately has been an extended, perhaps enforced, study in getting to know yourself. I trust you’ve noticed certain ways you work against your own interests, and you have made adjustments to cooperate with yourself more actively. It’s as if you’re in a process that I could describe as settling into yourself; though there has been a layer where things seem uncertain or like the ground of your being is constantly shifting, events in the first week of the year have a feeling of slipping into your confidence. Emotional independence is one of those things that makes you an authentic adult, and many people will tell you it’s one of the most challenging things to learn. But you seem to be getting the hang of it just fine, even if some days are more challenging than others.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22) — If your mind and emotions are simmering in chaos and anxiety, what does that tell you about your life? You clearly need to make some adjustments. Those come first as revelations, then as decisions. Yet one of the things you’re adjusting and deciding about is your mental approach to reality. It seems you’re figuring out that attempts at exercising control, whether over your own mind or your circumstances, do little other than burn you out. Worrying does not guarantee that you have something to worry about, though you do seem to be trying to get a grasp on why things have developed to the point where your life seems out of control. When the revelation about why that is comes, and it is indeed on its way, let the information settle in, then decide what to do about it.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22) — I’ve written many recent horoscopes focusing on the relationship between your emotional state and your ability to access your creativity. It is possible that financial concerns have influenced your mood lately more than your imagination or inspiration. I suggest you do your best to set economic concerns aside, and focus on what you are creating. It’s not merely that anxiety does not bring in cash. It is that focusing on your ideas, your vision and your desire to create beauty (in whatever form that takes) opens you up to the flow of abundance. Now more than any time in recent memory is a vital moment to keep your mind focused on what you want to create rather than on trying to solve problems. Solutions will indeed come — from your devotion to what you love.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20) — There’s a fine line between asserting will and raging against yourself. Or at least the line has been thin lately, and you’ve sure been exploring it. Since Mercury shifted direction the last week of the year and we are still working through its shadow phase, make sure you shift your emphasis toward being in harmony with yourself. I don’t suggest you go through a list of grievances you have with yourself; rather, resolve to let go of one phase of your life and commence another. I know these are words more often spoken and less often embraced, though with the recent solar eclipse in your birth sign on Jan. 4, your intentions carry more energy than usual. For this to work, you will need to reach that spot where you just let go of the frustrations of the past month, and decide in your heart you want something better.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19) — The solar eclipse that’s right around the corner seems designed to release you from a wad of karma that’s been bogging you down very nearly forever. Before you get there, you may feel backed into a corner, either by your circumstances or by your state of mind. This may be a prerequisite to your embracing your desire to break free and let go of whatever situations have held you hostage to the past. You may feel hesitant to act from a point of frustration, though I suggest you let it inform you of what you don’t want, and let that inspire a taste for freedom. Remember that freedom is only partially the ability to move at liberty in the world around you. This time, freedom begins from the outside and transforms into a new perspective on the world.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20) — Pisces is often described as a laid-back sign. Yet clearly that is no longer true for you, if it ever was. The astrology of January brings the peak of a long process of personal re-creation (which connects directly to recreation) This process goes back about a year, and has come in a series of stages, some of which have been extremely challenging. Yet these are challenges past and in most ways resolved, learned from and grown from. Open your heart to the truth that new adventures are ahead, though I can tell you that there is nothing random about this. What transpires next is based on your creative devotion to who you are becoming: you are becoming your own invention, and you are committed to shining in the world. Open up, face each day like its potential is new, and let the love in your heart shine. This you know — it’s time.