The Gingerbread House

Originally published March 02, 2007

“The construction of your gingerbread house will closely follow the building concepts of a real house. Proper planning is essential. You can make the gingerbread ahead of time, making sure to let it thoroughly cool in a dry area before wrapping securely to store. Be sure to allow plenty of time to put the pieces together.” –

Dear Friend and Reader:

I WAS having dinner with a reader in Manhattan earlier in the week, and she asked me, somewhat jokingly, what my catchall interpretation of the Saturn-Neptune opposition (which was exact Wednesday) was.

Image courtesy

“Dick Cheney did Sept. 11,” I said, without even thinking. Okay, that’s not entirely true. I’ve actually thought about it a lot, but I wasn’t expecting to say that.

You may be wondering how I know, besides some graffiti and an astrological chart that said as much the first day, that chart being an orgy of collusion, illusion and manipulation; a political media masquerade ball wherein Osama bin Laden comes dressed in a flight suit wearing a pacemaker with a “Mission Accomplished” banner behind him, and old Uncle Dick walks around the cold Afghani hills, smiling calmly, dressed in a turban and white robes, steadying himself with a long wooden staff.

But before I get into that and why it matters, however, I must share with you the Parable of the Gingerbread House. This parable is from my investigative reporting files. In my fantasy world, everyone would be able to get some experience as an investigative reporter and spend some time covering the government as basic civics and self-confidence training. Here is a small investment in that coming true.

There are people who can make beautifully realistic gingerbread houses. These take a lot of patient craftwork, and in some families where there is a tradition, the use of skills learned over several generations. You can set the finished house amidst a few plants, and in the right light photograph it so that it looks so cozy you could shrink yourself, crawl in, make a fire and have a lovely weekend in the woods. But the whole thing is edible. It’s not really a house. It just looks like one.

If you want to prove this, you could eat the whole thing. Or, you could taste part of it. For example, you could eat the chimney, which is made of thin, brittle cake. You could nibble one of the shingles, which is made of candy. You could scrape off some of the snow, which is frosting. It does not really matter where you begin. You can taste any part of the house and discover that it’s confectionary. After tasting a few pieces, you could use inductive logic and predict that the whole house is candy and cake. Or, if you’re less certain, you could eat it all.

So it is with a good news story. Once you have a real one, it doesn’t really matter where you take your first nibble. Wherever you snap off a piece and taste it, you’ll find out the same thing; it’s gingerbread or candy, and it tastes more or less the same. The important thing is that you sample one or two little corners and tell the story — not that you eat yourself sick. The mistake many amateur investigative reporters make is they try to eat the whole house. Editors don’t like stories like that, and readers don’t find them credible; more importantly, they don’t find them interesting.

As a reporter, you always need to know more than you report; I would say at least five or 10 times more. But the trick, I think, is to know several of your sub-topics on any major issue extremely well, and have enough general knowledge of the landscape so you see where what you know fits the picture.

The mistake many professional “news” reporters make is they try to sell us the gingerbread house as a piece of prime real estate in the Swiss Alps, promising hours of fabulous winter fun in a secluded bucolic location. This is after all what makes them professionals — their ability to convince us that sugar and margarine are a well-groomed expert ski run.

I have not eaten the whole gingerbread house of Sept. 11, but I have tasted it, and I have from time to time shared my discovery over the past five years and watched people’s faces as they have responded. I’ve also written up the chart many times, as well as discussed it in astrological classes with astrologers far better versed in traditional astrology than am I, and discovered the same thing. In this chart, the “secret enemy terrorists” and the “official government” swap places but look very much the same; they are directly involved with one another; and both are (at least at the time in history that the chart is cast) on the rise. But astrology isn’t proof of anything, it’s just potentially helpful and interesting, and it can give us the advantage of a caution, or to be alert to an opportunity.

Here is how I know Dick Cheney did Sept. 11 — from a photo of the Pentagon provided by the Defense Department — and the use of my mind in a trained special function, indeed, an art form verging on obsolete, known as logic. I invite you to take five or 10 minutes out of your day and meditate on this picture, and apply some logic. In so doing you’re going somewhere that most rational people are afraid to go, because it will undermine the basis of their precious rationality; you’ll be asking a question many are afraid to ask because they don’t want the answer or what it implies. Please notice how you feel looking, especially if this is your first trek through this issue.

Official photo of the damage to the Pentagon on Sept. 14, 2001, supposedly due to the crash of a 757-200 airliner filled with fuel. More detailed analysis of the image is here. Photo by Tech. Sgt. Cedric H. Rudisill.

This photo was taken three days after whatever occurred — alleged to have been a Boeing 757-200 airliner, weighing 200,000 pounds, colliding with a steel, concrete and stone building at about 325 nautical miles per hour, allegedly approaching the wall at a low altitude, parallel with the ground, and from a 45-degree angle to the wall. What do you see?

I see a building that’s collapsed outward, which means energy inside the building pushed the walls outward. I see a lot of pretty clean building debris. I don’t see airplane wreckage or evidence of a blunt impact from the outside, which would have presumably (according to the dependable laws of kinetic energy) sent at least some of the debris in the other direction than it appears to have gone. Note that the ground is not burned, just several places inside the building. There’s no evidence of a massive fuel spill that would have basically splattered an ocean of jet fuel everywhere and lit the entire lawn on fire.

Most notably, where is the plane, or any sign of it? We’ve been told that it burned up, which often happens in an airplane crash. Typically there will be at least some wreckage, and you will sooner or later find the jets and landing gear, which are titanium. Take a few hours and see if you can find any photos of the landing gear, jets or recognizable debris from the Pentagon crash.

The photo you see here is the alleged point of impact of a very large airplane that we were told burned up in a fire. But much of the debris is lily-white, i.e., not scorched, in the very place where 100 tons of aluminum alloy, titanium, plastic compound, fuel and several dozen people supposedly vaporized from heat and fire. There’s no crater. It looks like, well, like a gingerbread house.

Now, you can use your imagination and pretend the airplane is somewhere in there. You can accept the official story and believe that the plane disintegrated as it penetrated the concentric rings of the building — but that won’t seem credible if you’re looking at this photo, which shows major damage only to the outer or E ring. You can make up any little story you like and account for what you cannotsee any way you like, but listen to your mind doing so as it happens. You can say, “nobody could have ever covered this up,” but that is not actual thought, it’s an emotional reaction; it is speculation based on nothing. Much bigger things have been covered up and are covered up every day.

No matter where you nibble the gingerbread house of the Pentagon, you’ll taste gingerbread. When you consider that according to his flight instructors, the alleged pilot, Hani Hanjour, could not fly an airplane; or that the impact happened about 52 minutes after the World Trade Center was first hit — an astonishing amount of time, indeed, an eternity, for the almighty Air Force to prepare and get whatever incoming thing out of the sky before it could hit the military headquarters of the free world.

Speaking of. Mr. Hanjour, despite his abject lack of flying talent, supposedly did some extremely fancy maneuvering of that airplane and then, rather courteously, planted it right into the side of the building where Donald Rumsfeld was not sitting in his office at the time.

No matter where you look, you get a story that does not add up to something that adds up. The way you know a lie is a lie is because the facts squirm around too much. You may not know the truth; you just recognize a lie. If your kid tells you he was in the park at 4:30 pm and then says he was at his friend’s house at the same time, you know he’s lying or mistaken about one thing or the other, and you need to figure out which; it’s usually easy. If you discover that are being lied to, you may surmise that a motive exists for that lie. If you pursue the truth you’re likely to find it — but while you don’t notice the discrepancy, that’s unlikely.

Your eyes, looking at a photograph, should at least tell you there is a problem with the official story. The fact that few people notice or acknowledge the problem does not mean it does not exist. We need to ask their investment in ignoring it. We especially need to ask reporters and editors why they keep reporting that a jetliner hit the Pentagon when there would appear to be no evidence of that, at all.

Now, let’s apply a little more logic. If there was no passenger jet crash at the Pentagon, then every other part of the official Sept. 11 story is subject to doubt, as is everyone who regurgitates that story unquestioningly. You would not taste the chimney of a gingerbread house and find it to be made of cookie, then taste the wall and expect it to be made of Tyvek and particleboard. None of the so-called facts withstand five minutes of focused scrutiny. For example, how did the World Trade Center towers collapse in about 8.4 seconds, about the speed of free fall? How did WTC 7 just collapse in its footprint at 5:20 pm, having sustained relatively minor damage? But as long as you don’t look too closely, or sniff the thing or taste it, you have your prime real estate in the Alps, and you don’t need to deal with the implications. For example, what did happen to the Pentagon? Obviously something did. But what? It is a creepy prospect.

It would appear from other photographs (which depict a clean puncture much smaller than the width of an airplane, about nine meters in diameter, and a fire inside the building with very little disturbance outside) that it was hit by some kind of missile with a conventional warhead, such as a cruise missile equipped to puncture a concrete bunker (called a bunker-buster, since a bunker was indeed busted). But the last time anyone checked, no terrorists in Afghanistan (or Iraq or Iran) had access to one of those, most certainly not in DC, Virginia or Maryland. Well, who in DC, Virginia or Maryland has access to a missile with a conventional warhead? Who could possibly strike the Pentagon 52 minutes after an attack on the United States had begun? Perhaps make a list of candidates and see who turns up on that list.

Anyone with eyes and a brain can see through a lie if they want; they can see the truth if they want; anyone can use logic and extend the implications of that truth; the real issue is willingness.

I have a hunch the willingness is starting to accumulate in some people who don’t have a big investment in having it not be there. The problem for nearly everyone else, particularly those who have an investment in the lie, is the implication of seeing. It is relatively easy to look directly at fraud and see fraud. It is very difficult for most people to accept the changes within their own consciousness that are the natural consequence of doing so — therefore most people pretend the fraud does not exist, though often making excuses for it in the process, because accepting it is too inconvenient. The reason lies are so popular is they are convenient.

All fraud is based on trust. Once that trust is violated, then the basis of trust would wisely be questioned, if you’re not going to get fooled again (and you may want to be). The problem is that we have been fooled again and again as a result of that nonexistent airplane at the Pentagon, up to the present day. Our entire political landscape has become gingerbread — very cruel, deadly gingerbread with a lot of people dying; indeed, in Iraq, far more people die in a month than died in all of the incidents on Sept. 11. If you publicly question the doctrine, though, you can be called something like a conspiracy nut, or delusional. I can get away with it because I’m an astrologer — I’m already considered delusional by the mainstream media establishment, except to the extent they can make money on my horoscope column.

As information comes out and the evidence of a problem (whatever problem you like, such as climate change, the proposed forthcoming Iran war, or whatever) mounts, we need to remember this issue of perceiving the truth being a function of an individual’s willingness to do so. It is only rarely, I would even say never but I’ll stop short of that, because the evidence is not available, or does not exist. The evidence is everywhere. The fact that everyone is choosing not to notice something that you are noticing does not make you stupid; it makes you aware and brave.

We need to remember the collective quality this denial will have, by extension: we are all participants in a gingerbread society. We need to assess our situation and remember the investment we have, collectively and individually, in believing what is not true, and what this investment makes possible for others who take advantage of it — and what it prevents for we who say we want justice and peace.

Information is going to continue to come out, and bad things are going to continue to happen in our name. They will, in a sense, all be based on the gingerbread house of Sept. 11, though the sequence of events will be easily forgotten by we who can barely remember what we did last week. Gradually we will awaken. Some spiritual types who are newfound war critics have been saying gee, this war is wonderful, it’s making us wake up to how bad war is, and what crooks are in Washington, and look, the United States is imperialist and we don’t have a democracy. What a great war, it’s coming with so many beautiful lessons, we are finally getting it. I would say that’s a damned selfish price for others to pay so we can wake up. But it’s also a damned selfish price for others to pay so that ExxonMobil can provide home heating oil at a staggering profit and cost to the Earth, when we can get heat right out of the ground.

Coxing Kill (Creek), High Falls, NY. Photo by Eric Francis.

Truth Meets Illusion? Or Fantasy Meets Fantasy?

Astrological pundits including myself over and over again have been talking about Saturn in Leo meeting Neptune in Aquarius head-on being an encounter between truth and illusion. I have another theory to offer today.

Saturn in Leo, considered collectively, represents self-absorption as it manifests on an individual level. When you eavesdrop in a restaurant, what do you hear people talking about? Generally, themselves and the ways others have injured them (generally, in the case of women) and what they want to conquer (generally, in the case of men). For the most part, everyone is walking around all day talking about, thinking about, worrying about, and taking care of, themselves; we are after all perfectly entitled to do so, it’s a lot of trouble, and we’ve all worked hard, learned, grown and stretched our personal limits to be able to confidently put that dinner on that table. We can talk about anything we please, such as ourselves.

Some more enlightened individuals may extend this to their friends and families, but many people have a strict policy of considering nothing further. Someone could be choking to death at the next table and nobody would notice. Indeed, notice how people keep talking when the person right in front of them is choking. Every last bit of data is considered only in the context of “how does this affect me?” Advertisers and politicians know this, and take full advantage of it. We are educated over and over again to maintain the cycle.

Neptune in Aquarius is a similar image, but applicable to society in general. Aquarius is the sign of groups, the community, ideology and fixed collective patterns. It is also the datasphere. Neptune in this sign represents the electronic haze that has soaked into every corner of our lives, and the “content” of that haze, which is essentially some form of glorified self-absorption with a Visa logo stuck on it. Dating back to the pretend impeachment of Bill Clinton, Neptune in Aquarius has turned reality into a television program and shrunk the world down to the size of your cell phone’s contact list. It is an image of how, in the middle of the slaughter of a quarter-million Iraqis, and the apparent buildup to a similar slaughter in Iran which we can and perhaps will personally stop, we must obsess for days or weeks over Britney Spears’ haircut. Do we really want to be thinking about all the kids and grandparents and mothers and fathers who will lose limbs, go deaf or spill their blood into the ground? Look at the deductions on your paycheck. Do you want to think about how much of that money went to Halliburton?

Do we really want to be considering that we may not be able to do shit about it as the next war happens?

Saturn in Leo is reflected in Neptune in Aquarius, and we see…ourselves, but it’s us wearing the costume of a twenty-something supposed rock star. When the media considers whether Britney had a breakdown, that’s us, wondering when the world and all the pressure we’re under will drive us insane. When the media considers Britney’s bouts with rehab, that’s us, counting the bottles in the medicine cabinet. Then we cut to six drug commercials.

The repeated discussion of Anna Nicole’s corpse is the reflection of our image of ourselves as spiritually dead, and the marketing economy teaching us to be dead so we can keep buying what we don’t need in order to feel alive for three seconds. Saturn-Neptune is the screech of feedback so loud and so disturbing that we may actually hear it. It is the image of death so disgusting we may actually feel it in the pit of our stomachs. It’s the sense of helplessness so overbearing that we may actually question whether we can do something about it. But it is not the clash of reality with illusion: it is the collision of one illusion with another, such that both are seen for what they are.

Chiron, Nessus and an Identity Crisis

These are not the only two planets in the sky, nor the only two on the Leo-Aquarius axis. All readers of Planet Waves have significant factors on the Leo-Aquarius axis: a massive generation has Pluto there; sub-generations variously have Chiron, Saturn, or Jupiter; and many people reading have Neptune in Scorpio, which squares Aquarius and is, was or will be taking transits from anything in Leo or Aquarius. Add to that the approximately one-quarter of society with either their Sun, Moon or rising sign in Aquarius.

Since Neptune entered Aquarius nearly a decade ago, we have more recently experienced several additions to Aquarius. Most notable is Chiron, which is like the opposite energy of Neptune: Chiron focuses, Neptune dissolves. Chiron documents, Neptune imagines and then forgets. Chiron is aware and Neptune is dreaming. The other way, Neptune imagines and Chiron applies the vision. As Chiron approaches a conjunction to both Jupiter and Neptune on May 27, 2009, the process of focusing will continue and show some interesting results.

One of those is that a rather beautiful mass-scale identity crisis epidemic, already begun, will spread throughout the world. Neptune in Aquarius has soaked together the levels of awareness where group and individual awareness meet, making them indistinguishable. Chiron is getting between those layers and peeling them apart. Notably, not everyone is susceptible to the effects of Chiron. Chiron can only wake you up when you want to wake up, or need to do so desperately. It tends to go over the heads of everyone in between, and that is a lot of people. You could say that Chiron represents the most unpopular kind of awareness, the one that compels us to do something.

For those who need something a little more penetrating, we have Nessus, which calls our attention to unmitigated cruelty on the one hand, and our sense of responsibility for it, on the other. Nessus is where the buck stops, and if you wake up one day deciding it stops with you, congratulations. If you decide you are a vital part of your social matrix and want to have a positive, healing, creative influence, congratulations. If you decide you don’t want to be subject to mass-delusions and that you’re sick of believing lies, congratulations. If you are discovering you are something besides a consumer, welcome. If you are discovering you need friends who talk about, think about and spend money on something more than themselves, right on. If you experience a moment of doubt, about the official story or what they told you about you before you had a say, don’t forget. If you can no longer stand to be terrified of being different, welcome.

Yours & Truly,

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