These short-subject Commentaries are posted on a single web page for each calendar month.
Since 2002, , each new Commentary entry was placed at the top -- like a blog.
This gives the benefit of immediacy but also is confusing when reading past entries.
Now, entries are placed in chronological order.
The 4th Of July Holiday -- Celebrate With Care
We'll experience a duality of planetary energies during this upcoming holiday weekend.
There's a celestial suggestion here -- continue to adjust the way we live to the reality of high gasoline, a faltering economy, global war ming... Perhaps if you gather together with family and/or friends to witness this planetary alignment, it will bring more meaning and true joy than a massive smoky, loud and dangerous fireworks display that truly signifies now old and outdated values.
Whether You Believe In Vedic Astrology, Or Not
Whether you believe in Vedic Astrology, or not, The Celestial Wheel's predictions for an increasingly challenging future continue to unfold -- like pages in a gothic novel if you've been lucky, or like a Stephen King book if you've been hit hard. (You Franz Kafka fans have your own idiosyncratic experiences.) Oil and real estate have been enduring economic forecasting concerns, but while these centerpieces for change are painful, the end result doesn't have to be. (So, if your 4th of July holiday wasn't so great, you're certainly not alone.)
The Real Masters Of The Universe
It's called middle school now, but we used to label grades five through seven as junior high, and part of that adolescent experience was being able to order paperbacks from a catalogue for something like a quarter each. I think I bought every science fiction book written in the forties, fifties and sixties. I continue to believe to today that Ray Bradbury, Robert Heinlein, Isaac Asimov, Arhtur C. Clark, Frank Herbert, Douglas Adams, and Kurt Vonnegut are the authentic and original Masters Of The Universe (not to be confused with Mattel's action heroes or the real life Masters of Wall Street, the latter who really are just greedy narcissists.)
A common science fiction theme then was a future utopia. I have an enduring image of a traveler coming over a mountain top to see in the far distance cars silently gliding on tree-lined avenues from tidy villages through pristine forests, manicured farms of crops and banks of wind turbines to a city of shimmering spires. Well, isn't that what our post-petroleum world promises to be?
Mars and Saturn are closing in on each other, now just one last long day before exact conjunction -- and then that disturbing, frustrating and destructive energy will ease off. As predicted, an aspect from benefic Jupiter has forestalled any truly horrific events, but still today's major news, Iran reportedly test-fires 9 missiles, can only mean higher gasoline and commodities prices.
Still, the world goes on, and there is much to be grateful for, including realistic hopes for the better future those now antique science fiction Masters Of The Universe foresaw and promised.
New Masters Of The Universe
Yesterday's New York Times, in, A Private Dance? Four Million Web Fans Say No, reports on Matt Harding's YouTube video, Dancing -- grinning and bouncing, in 69 different locations, including India, Kuwait, Bhutan, Tonga, Timbuktu and the Nellis Airspace in Nevada, where he performs the dance in zero gravity.
Also titled, Where The Hell Is Matt?, there's a bunch of other versions listed on the right side of the YouTube screen that similarly inspire. Matt is clearly a Master Of The Universe. Over ten million views must mean something.
And, here's an earlier version from 2006, Dancing
Longtime subscribers will recall a another uplifting video, from the June 24, 2007 Celestial Wheel, the awkward and shy English fellow with bad teeth who sang opera so wonderfully on American Idol. He too is a Master Of The Universe.
If you're still not cheered, at least a little, here again is the hauntingly beautiful rendition of the Gayatri Mantra, from the May 2, 2008 Celestial Wheel. I don't know who sang this, but he too is a Master Of The Universe for it.
Jupiter Master Of The Celestial Universe
Finally, as looking up to the heavens in the right spot at the right time can also inspire, lift us up from the mud, muck and mire of this Second Gilded Age. NASA's Spaceweather.com announced today that Jupiter, the planet of luck, abundance, fortune, wisdom and optimism reaches maximum brilliance this week, on July 9th, when it makes its closest approach to Earth for all of 2008. At sunset, look low and southeast for a beacon of light brighter than any star. This occurs because Jupiter is retrograde, meaning the earth is approaching Jupiter, making it appear to go backward. Astrologically, this weakens the planet's energy, making it latent. However, this Jupiterian brightness is positive omen, for it approximately marks the halfway point of its May 20 to September 8 retrograde. Here's a sky map to help you find Jupiter at 23 degrees Sagittarius. (Note: you Western Astrologers have Jupiter in Scorpio using your symbolic tropical zodiac.)
To help you get through this trying summer until Jupiter turns forward to regain its capability for good, dance, sing or chant, as these folks have, or, you can just watch/listen to the videos.
And, if none of these really help, recall Ray Bradbury's 1951 book of short stories, The Illustrated Man. The best was Rocketman, about a rocket pilot leaving earth for Mars, and Elton John sang its song, Rocketman. The lyrics are poignant and sobering, but there's an undeniable yearning for a better future, which is why the man does that work. For this, I think Elton John is another Master Of The Universe.
Of course, Bush, Cheney and the rest of the Neocons aren't Masters Of The Universe -- they just tricked themselves and lots of other people into believing that. But, their game is just about up, for their falsehoods. Soon we'll find out if Barack Obama is a Master Of The Universe. He better be.
Masters Of The Universe -- Explained
The purpose of the Masters Of The Universe discussion in the July 8 entry (above) was to both encourage a positive view during this obviously difficult summer and stimulate hope for the future. Along with this, there're a fundamental truth that joy is always available to us, if we just set aside our own personal concerns. As a client told me this past Friday, I've learned that my worst fears are never realized. Joy and hope are inextricably linked, and together are a recipe for successful action.
After all, it's the actions of individuals that overcome obstacles, bring progress and inspire others. (Does anyone recall a corporation doing that?) Too, America is at its best when under pressure. There's so much luck abundance and fortune in the U.S. chart that the country easily becomes lackadaisical, failing to act, until a crisis hits. Then, people, ordinary and sometimes extraordinary, take the stage. There's the ordinary guy, Matt Harding, Dancing -- the above July 8 entry. Then there's an extraordinary guy, T. Boom Pickens, the legendary Texas oil man we instinctively dislike for being an oil man, launching a major campaign to end our addiction to imported oil through wind power and solar -- PickensPlan. Wow!
Both are remarkable men for their giving the best of themselves for the greater good -- unlike just retired monopolist Bill Gates, who incorrectly believes his international philanthropy somehow undoes his enormous greed and the resultant harms of being the world's greatest (worst) monopolist. Now, if Gates had done what Pickens is doing, then he could balance some of the monopolist karma, but monopolist Gates only knows how to act for his own aggrandizement and can therefore never be a Master Of The Universe.
The Mars/Saturn Conjunction Has Peaked
The difficult conjunction of Mars and Saturn in Leo peaked July 6 to 10, and that destructive energy is now thankfully abating. (Mars and Saturn remain close together in Leo until late this month.) But, before we consider those impacts, let's briefly recap this late spring through summer predictions and events.
Below is the The Spring-Summer timeline, first published in the April 25 Celestial Wheel.
The first major destructive conjunction was Mars/Ketu's seething anger that peaked June 7 to 13 and brought two events with global reach. As explained in the June 21 Celestial Wheel, two such events occurred:
Notice oil and grain are added to the real estate debacle for harms to the three basic requirements for survival: food, fuel and shelter.
"Oh my God," said John at the cell phone shopt said yesterday when I visited to replace my old cell phone that Mars/Saturn had broken. "I never thought of it that way." Well, he obviously hasn't been watching Survivorman on the Discovery Channel, or Man VS Wild either. In these programs, Les and Bear, Masters Of The Wild Universe, are dropped off in wild and inaccessible places to survive for a week on their own wits. While Survivorman is more realistic (well Les is Canadian), both men focus on these three basics -- finding food, building a fire and making a shelter. Without any of these three, they would die. It's sort of like living in Cleveland, Des Moines or any other city hit really hard by this trio of harms. Unfortunately, learning how to make a fire without matches, catch a fish without a hook or stay try in a cedar bow shelter isn't of much value in these cities, yet. (Still, having been brought up in the woods of Western New York, I personally value these skills, and it wouldn't be a bad idea for you to as well.)
The second destructive conjunction has been Mars/Saturn, which peaked July 6 to 10. Due to a protective, yet weak aspect from Jupiter, the May 14 Celestial Wheel global prediction was,
Opec met June 21, and here's the headline, Opec meeting unlikely to resolve oil crisis. G8 (the worlds 8 richest countries) finished meeting July 9, and here's another telling headline, G8 Summit Ends with Pledges on Food, Oil and the Climate. Unfortunately, pledges aren't action. And, of course, the U.S. Congress and the Bush administration can't get anything truly productive done to salvage and restore the three survival basics -- food, fuel and shelter
Mars/Saturn harms peaked July 6 to 10, as stated above. In the U.S., the big headlines on Friday, July 11, were IndyMac Bank seized by federal regulators and Fannie, Freddie sink on government rescue fears. Again, there aren't any real solutions coming from government -- just another piecemeal bailout, this time of Fannie and Freddie and everyone waiting for more tragedies -- Analysts say more U.S. banks will fail. Gee, anyone can put a finger in a leaking dike, but truly, the entire dike needs repairs.
The June 29 Celestial Wheel showed three graphs -- showing the oil surging, stocks slumping and grains hitting new highs. Here's another look these -- just a little over two weeks later.
Corn prices have settled somewhat now that the Midwest flooding has receded, but all grains have seen major price escalations of the past year or so, threatening a global food shortage.
On balance, these Mars/Saturn harms are to be expected. Yet, they are serious enough to be unnerving, especially since they continue to reverberate throug the country. That food, fuel and shelter problems aren't being resolved is fundamental, and that failure guarantees economic loss. This unfortunately suggests the predicted major economic depression around 2012 has already begun. Depressions unfold over time, usually with a preliminary drop, a brief recovery and then larger and larger economic shocks. (See the December 1, 2007 In-depth Celestial Wheel, Through The Second Gilded Age.)
The August 1 Solar Eclipse
Yet to come is the third act of this summer's Greek Tragedy -- the total eclipse of the Sun at 15 1/2 degrees Cancer. This eclipse hits the U.S. chart hard in the eighth house of catastrophe, which being Cancer, indicates the home. As stated in the May 23 Celestial Wheel,
Given how difficult the Mars/Saturn conjunction has been, this upcoming eclipse could be a tipping point. Yet, panic is never a good idea, nor is G.W. Bush's What, me worry?
Use caution in your business and personal lives through this upcoming eclipse, which begins about a week before the August 1 astronomical eclipse date. Certainly travel can be dangerous, as would any other activities which would expose you to risk -- investing, dangerous sports, even do-it-yourself home or car repairs. As a solar eclipse blocks the light of the Sun, the ego and power are diminished. But as the sky darkens, the stars come out, making eclipses revealing. All you have to do to gain eclipse insight and knowledge is stay quiet and pay attention. (Note: check your chart for the solar eclipse hitting any planets.)
This brief Celestial Wheel discusses and confirms to two previous consumer tips impacting your personal finances. It would be nice if we could trust the banks, other corporations and the government, but unfortunately, this continues to be the Second Gilded Age. So, take care of yourself, for no one else will.
Credit Card Costs
The October 8, 2007 Celestial Wheel cautioned about credit cards,
This July 20 New York Times article, Given a Shovel, Americans Dig Deeper Into Debt, reveals this prediction was dead on,
This July 16 article from Bloomberg, gives a striking example of this latest twist in bankers' greed, Wells Fargo Profit Exceeds Estimates; Shares Jump, Wells stock rose the most in more than 25 years after reporting better-than-expected second-quarter profit and raising its dividend. ...Gains in credit-card fees and insurance softened the impact of bad home loans... ...credit-card fees rose 14* percent to $588 million... ... While profit is declining amid record foreclosures, Wells Fargo is diversifying by bolstering its insurance and credit cards units.
(*At this growth rate, Well's credit card revenue doubles in five years. But then, since American's have been drained of their wealth by the banks already, this will not occur -- you can't get blood out of a stone.)
Along with this, it's worthwhile noting, Wells Fargo, the second-biggest U.S. mortgage lender, has said it avoided subprime loans, which caused more than 100 companies to close, be sold or halt operations since the beginning of 2007. That is a bold-faced lie. See, A Review Of Wells Fargo's Subprime Loans, and Wells Fargo Pulls 2/28 Subprime loans. This latter article, published July 23, 2007, states, ...on Monday said it stopped offering a popular subprime mortgage product in response to market and regulatory pressure. The company in an e-mail said it ended on Friday retail offerings of so-called 2/28 loans, which at 65 percent of all subprime mortgages last year are the staple of the industry.
Wells Fargo's successful gouging of its credit card holders so impressed Wall Street that the DOW Jones zoomed up 2.5% (276 points) July 16. The Washington Post reports on July 17, Stocks Rebound Despite Big Jump In June Inflation, Despite the worrying report on consumer prices, U.S. stock markets rebounded yesterday, led by a torrid advance in financial shares after Wells Fargo, the nation's second-largest mortgage lender, beat earnings expectations and raised its dividend, a sign that the big firm is confident about weathering the credit crisis. ... But investors, buoyed by the Wells Fargo news, brushed off the inflation report and streamed to buy up stocks that were at the lowest level in years.
The June 29 Celestial Wheel predicted, There could be a short term consumer benefit here, for while Record corn prices mean more expensive meat, dairy, the tremendous rise in feed cost pushes the producers to slaughter more beef and hogs to reduce their herds. As this meat comes on the market, there would be a temporary surplus bringing bargains this summer. Your freezer can be a savings account.
The linked article does not mention this opportunity. However, this July 18 New York Times article, As Price of Grain Rises, Catfish Farms Dry Up does, Smaller herds will eventually put a floor under hog prices, and there is already some liquidation going on. But in the short term, sending more hogs to market will increase the supply of pork and push prices down further. Every farmer is hoping his colleagues will liquidate first.
While nobody wants to benefit from someone else's loss, as the supermarkets offer major meat sales, it would be foolish to miss the opportunity to save some money. After all, as meat prices sour in the future, and they'll likely not come down due to continuing high feed and fuel prices, that chicken, pork and/or beef in your freezer will become a cherished commodity. And, don't forget about the catfish!
There is one note of caution here. Food doesn't last in the freezer indefinitely, as we all know, or should know. For meats and fish alike, the protein gradually degrades, which results in a toughening, losing flavor and naturally reducing nutrient value as well. Here are the general guidelines of how long you can freeze meats: beef, 9 months, pork and chicken, 6 months, fish, 3 months.* For more detailed information, see, Freezing Meats and Seafood. There's a neat table at the end of the article giving specific time lengths for a comprehensive list.
Even if you are a vegan, this can be helpful, for lots of folks don't have the money for gas, rent, utilities and meat. So, if you can get a great meat/fish deal, freeze it and help out others less fortunate. Here's an NPR article about this, For Some Ohioans, Even Meat Is Out Of Reach. The rising cost of food means their money gets them about a third fewer bags of groceries — $100 used to buy about 12 bags of groceries, but now it's more like seven or eight. So they cut back on expensive items like meat, and they don't buy extras like ice cream anymore. Instead, they eat a lot of starches like potatoes and noodles. Yes, the ladies in the photo certainly don't look malnourished, but lots of people are fat because of their genes, just like others are naturally skinny. Too, starches will put on the weight. Also, children need the protein that meat is best at, and many adult vegans suffer from a lack of protein. Whenever I go into New Frontiers, the natural food store in Sedona, I see many pale and pasty vegetarians whose bodies would greatly benefit from a burger, chicken breast or fish steak.*
(*In my first career, I did a two year masters program at Cornell's hotel school, specializing in condominium rentals. However, organic chemistry, food chemistry and sanitation were required courses. These tips, then, are based upon expert scientific information. One thing I vividly recall was a food chemistry lecture about how difficult it was to get enough protein without meat or fish in the diet. In the West, it really takes extensive knowledge to select a variety of beans and other high protein vegetables, nuts and fruits to properly nourish the body. This is not an issue in countries like India, however, where high protein vegetable diets are the readily available because the culture includes vegetarianism. Yet, it's also true that Indians being exclusively vegetarians is a myth. In the mountains, they eat a lot of goat and chickens, and by the sea, fish... In any poor country, you get protein where you can.)
Tropical Storm Dolly
Tropical storm Dolly is now in the Gulf of Mexico and headed toward Mexico/Texas, Texas, Mexico Prepare for Tropical Storm Dolly -- Dolly was expected to make landfall Wednesday as a Category 1 storm with sustained winds of 74 mph to 95 mph.
Dolly, however, is not especially destructive. Instead, it appears to introduce a much more damaging storm related to the upcoming August 1 total solar eclipse. This eclipse was first discussed in the May 23 Celestial Wheel and most recently in the July 15 Celestial Wheel, above. A major physical disaster, -- hurricane -- has been predicted.
Other Tropical Storm Activity
This year has seen unusually early tropical storms, and Dolly is the fourth named Atlantic storm. Hurricanes typically plague the U.S. mid August through mid October. Too, the Arizona monsoon began a month early this year.
Combining the early dates with multiple storms suggests a damaging hurricane season in general and also confirms the likelihood of a major storm related to the August 1 solar eclipse, described in the next section. If you click on this link, AccuWeather.com, you can animate the map to show storm movements.
The Total Solar Eclipse
Another confirmation a hurricane will hit Texas is that the Astrocartography Sun -- eclipsed and rising -- will be transiting through Texas at the 4:45 maximum eclipse time, as shown below.
Obviously, the predicted major hurricane disrupting oil and gas would send another shock through the U.S. economy.
Final Solar Eclipse Comments
The August 1 early morning total solar eclipse in Cancer has been repeatedly discussed -- beginning with the May 23 Celestial Wheel and continuing in entries this month on the 15th and the 23rd. These discourses have been comprehensive and specific. However, the mystery of how karma actualizes mandates that no astrology prediction be exact, although the prediction can be still essentially correct. Yet, I have to stand on the Celestial Wheel prediction of a major hurricane disrupting oil and gas. Otherwise, predictions are just fudging.
Eclipse effects begin up to two weeks in advance of the astronomical event. So, hurricane Dolly can be understood as an early manifestation of eclipse harms. Along with this, the Mars aspect to the watery Moon was at its destructive height when the Moon was in watery Pisces July 23-- so the hurricane damage was mostly due to flooding, not wind. Tarantulas, fire ants lurk in Texas floodwaters. This is interesting because while it's a Ketu (tail-of-the-dragon) eclipse, in the U.S. chart, the eclipse is just one degree away from the U.S. chart Rahu (head-of-the-dragon), and Rahu symbolizes spiders, snakes and other vermin. In fact, the article's first paragraph states, they're slogging through are laced with stinging fire ants, snakes and tarantulas.
There has also been intense rain in New England, Heavy Rain and Thunderstorms in New England, again from the afflicted Moon in Pisces, but also an early eclipse effect.
One oil disaster in the Gulf already occurred, on July 23 -- Spill Forces Ships to Anchor -- Long Stretch of Mississippi closed for Attempted Oil Cleanup. This spill of 400.000 gallons of fuel oil can be ascribed solely to the upcoming eclipse.
Recall that eclipse events continue for about a week after the actual eclipse. So, while the astronomical event on August 1 is key, it could be just a pivot point for a later event. Finally, eclipse effects last for at least six months, often longer. Thereby, whatever the solar eclipse brings will impact for many months.
Oh yuck! Can't these dam stars just stay in one happy place! (The Gauntlet)
When I recently emailed that Mars/Saturn would cause stress, subscriber S.W. in Arizona replied, Oh, yuck! Can't these dam stars just stay in one happy place! With Moon/Venus/Saturn, she's the most sweetly serious woman, and her comment must resonate with how we all feel.
Conditions have been rough, and the road ahead is more washboard. That's just the way it is, but society been obliviously speeding along in gas guzzlers for years -- creating the washboard road. Now we have to proceed more slowly, with a rough ride.
The Celestial Wheel posted the below Spring-Summer Timeline April 25, 2008 to show a few months of intense planetary karma. Other timelines have previously been posted for the same purpose, but this one has been extended yet again -- now for a five month period from April through August. So, it's a long stretch of washboard road.
Here's the latest addition, -- named The Gauntlet to describe transiting Venus, Mercury and the Sun crossing over malefic planets Ketu and Saturn.
Note: Venus and Mercury catch up with Mars on September 8. This later collision could be the coup de grace to the three basic requirements for survival: food, fuel and shelter. (See the July 15 entry, above)
Provocatively, this same gauntlet effect occurred last summer. The June 11, 2007 Celestial Wheel explained and described that procession of fast-moving planets across Saturn and Ketu, both then in Leo. Below are two World Transit charts from that forecast showing these dispositions during the summer of 2007. (Note: the planets move clockwise, but Venus's retrograde last summer took it on a counterclockwise detour for a while.)
This repetition of The Gauntlet is to be expected, for Saturn and Ketu move very slowly -- 2 1/2 years and 1 1/2 years each in a sign -- but Mercury, Venus and the Sun all move quickly at the same pace, one sign in about thirty days. So, as the Sun, Mercury and Venus crossed the Saturn/Ketu zone of destruction last August, the credit markets froze up, causing real estate to slide further downward. It is wise here to recall George Santayana, Those who can't remember the past are condemned to relive it.