February 2011


Mythic Prelude:

Into the Briar Patch
Hello, and welcome to the Universal Festival Calendar for the first month of the Year of the Iron Rabbit. The Chinese lunar year always begins at the Dark Moon -- that is, the moment when the black, invisible Moon aligns exactly with the Sun at the same point in the zodiac -- in what Western astrology calls Aquarius month, between Jan. 20 and Feb. 19. Thus the Water Bearer always presides over the start of the new lunar year, and his annual dignity is even more auspicious now in 2011 as a year of the Iron Rabbit.
We'll look below at why the Rabbit is a symbol for the values and actions that can serve us well in the year to come. For now, it's enough to note that in the mythic cycle of the Chinese calendar, each element destroys another, as metal cuts through wood. What eats and consumes iron? The only thing that can. "Iron yields to water," the Chinese say, as only water can corrode the densest of the elements.
How is this mythic idea being played out literally, in material metal objects, and figuratively in the implacable iron opinions that mutate and pass away under the irresistible pressure of shocking new truths? Consider that iron objects as big as ICBMs and aircraft carriers have been getting accidentally launched and lost, and going helplessly haywire lately from bizarre failures of their guidance systems, as David Wilcock has reported in his Fight for Disclosure series, which has a stunning list of the malfunctions, meltdowns and miasmas that have occurred since October in the military facilities, weapons systems and petroleum plants of "developed" countries. This wave of weirdness is accelerating, as controllers who can't conceal anything but their panic now ineptly misdirect their own HAARP frequencies and thereby jam their own signals and destroy their own equipment.
Along with disintegrating military metal, the corrosion of rustbound human beliefs is well underway, sooner and faster than we anticipated last month, as the new revelations that come now are stark and immediate enough to wake anyone up. Remember when we wondered not long ago why millions of bees were dying, and those of us who suspected some toxic human action were dismissed as "conspiracy theorists"? Well, it now turns out, as Ethan Huff reported for Natural News a few days ago, that the dead bees may have been collateral damage from a program that the US Department of Agriculture has admitted having run against other insect species that it aimed to eradicate. And that's not all from the USDA, far ahead in this year's run for the Golden Hamper that can be awarded annually -- at least until we stop embarrassing ourselves like this -- to the firm or public agency that has to air the dirtiest, smelliest laundry of the year.
As you know, the recent mysterious deaths of birds, some in the millions, have been attributed to "fireworks," which can evidently wipe out whole flocks of birds in January, but don't seem to hit even a single starling on the 4th of July; and to "overeating," though birds are probably the class of animals least likely to stuff themselves at one feeding, as you and I would figure out at once if we had to get in the air and fly right after lunch. Massive fish deaths have been blamed on "cold water," as though cold-blooded fish ever have trouble handling cold water at a time when ocean temperatures are rising anyway. These breathtakingly silly official explanations, perhaps concocted for us by the reincarnated souls of scientists who explained UFO sightings as "weather balloons" and "swamp gas" back in the 1940's and 50's, have been swallowed whole, like diet chocolate with aspartame, by many of the 91% of Americans who think the Devil exists.
But not by all. And sure enough, the USDA has admitted that it ran Operation Blackbird, to kill the birds South Dakota farmers least want to see. So there is a hue and cry in some quarters now about how many other birds may have been poisoned as well. Let us practice reason and restraint if we can, though we may certainly sympathize with those who wonder now if one qualification for being a government-employed scientist -- apart from serving the agendas of poisoners, polluters and death merchants -- is to be too obtuse to perceive that if we spread a poison to kill the black bird, we may hurt the blue bird too. Dr. Strangelove rides again, and some of us may recall Tom Lehrer's lines about another rocket scientist: "'Vunce ze rockets go up, who cares vhere zey come down? Zat's not my department,' says Wernher von Braun."
So. Do these admissions of ineptitude, even wrongdoing, on the part of the USDA and its accomplice, the laughably named Environmental Protection Agency, settle everything now, and explain what's going on? Hardly. Of one thing we can be sure. When official bodies whose normal habit is to deny any and all misdeeds begin to come clean, then they and their masters are likely hiding something even worse. Until now, the controllers have been shrewd in betting that their repertoire of domination -- by military and police forces, HAARP waves, chemtrails, toxic foods and pharmaceuticals, lowbrow media, dumbdown consumer culture and electronic devices broadcasting the lower emotional frequencies of fear, envy, grief, rage and shame -- have been so effective that people in the "developed" countries are stuck in overwhelm, helpless to respond to one outrage, much less to address, even comprehend, the whole fear-fueled system of manipulation and control.
The line that Robinson Jeffers gave to the chorus of Athenian women in his version of Euripides' Medea now fits many of us, as we saw when we looked at backfire last month: "We must not think too much. People go mad if they think too much." Small wonder that so many are asking "God" to help.
Human beings will do anything, it seems, to avoid having to see and attempt the thing that we knew this Aquarian moment would require of us when we agreed so long ago to assemble here now and do it. If we are to survive and evolve, as individuals and as a species, it is essential that we not only grow beyond the self-serving immaturity of the egoic mind, but we also perceive that when others are working to split and isolate us through fear, the antidote must be a conscious, communal effort to cohere in a spirit of love, courage and service. This is why so many awakened people are building community now. We are reshaping the field of consciousness moment by moment, and that is why the controllers -- of course they've heard of 2012, and are doing their best to discredit it -- are playing every fear card in the deck.
The momentum of our intentions is in fact unstoppable, even if we're not yet able to see the evidence in conventional terms, and we must be patient. If there is a time lag between forming our personal intentions and manifesting them, then the same applies to collective intentions. The events occurring now, some of which we'll review below, are right on time for the Rabbit Year of 2011, for Aquarius month, and the Black Moon of Feb. 2 - 3, which defines the conditions that are now passing away, and the new forces now in play.
Aquarian Events
In every year from 2006 until now, except for 2007, there has been a stellium of planets -- that is, five or more planets in the same sign -- in Aquarius at the Dark Moon, or Black Moon, just before the New Moon. Besides the Moon-Sun pair, two other planets, Chiron and Neptune, have been transiting Aquarius together since 2005, then linking in conjunction from 2009. Thus only one other planet has been needed in recent years to form the Aquarius stellia that have given us uncannily accurate clues as to what the year ahead will bring. For the many people who see a connection between the Aquarian Age and 2012, this writer among them, the recent stellia in Aquarius have looked like the kinds of signs and wonders we expect to see at the turning into the next Great Age.
Curiously, this year's Aquarius stellium will be the last act of the show. There will not be one in 2012, and we shall not see another until 2021, and after that intermittently from 2028, during Pluto's 20-year transit through Aquarius (from 2023). The Aquarius stellium of Feb. 2 - 3 thus has the feel of a move-it-or-lose it opportunity that many are already using, whether consciously or reactively. If you'd prefer to skip the Iron Rabbit Year chart and commentary on it, please go to The Briar Patch below.
The Year of the Iron Rabbit Begins
Feb. 2, 2011, 9:30pm in Loja, Ecuador (4S00, 79W13)
This chart is cast for Loja, Ecuador because this is the closest location in my Io Astrology atlas to Vilcabamba, the idyllic town in the Valley of Longevity where I recently joined the Crisis and Opportunity 2011 conference taught by Brian O'Leary, Jay Schumacher, Meredith Miller and Caroline Willcock. Ecuador is the focus of much attention and honor now, as it is the first nation to affirm in its constitution the right of all living things to exist, and is under intense pressure from countries and corporations who behave as if they have a right to kill whomever and whatever they please.
In general terms, the conditions that are now receding are shown in the three conjunctions that are dissolving, while the trends now surging to birth are reflected in the Aquarius stellium in the 5th and 6th houses, and the cluster of three symbols at the bottom of the chart. Briefly, then, the main players:
Straddling the 5th and 6th houses at the top of the Aquarius stellium is our old friend the Chiron-Neptune conjunction (see links at bottom of this page), who is about to transmute in his nuances and impact as both planets move into the Neptune-ruled sign of Pisces. The spiritually cohesive potential of this combination may finally begin to manifest now, as the intensely difficult crosses of 2010 fade, and we move from health clashes to true health care.
In the 6th and 7th houses, the Jupiter-Uranus conjunction highlighted last November in Jackpot! has dissolved, likely making 2011 a year of less avid speculation, true to the Rabbit's nature as one who is intelligent, intuitive and somehow lucky enough that he could be a successful gambler if his cautious nature, and a natural focus that keeps him well-grounded, would allow it. This year will not favor big risk-takers -- that is, profit pigs placing big bets solely for their own individual gain -- nearly as much as the years just past.
In the 4th house, Pluto and the North Moon's Node are pulling away from each other. The Node moves east on the wheel toward Venus in Sagittarius (they conjoin exactly on Feb. 5), as Pluto advances toward mid-Capricorn. The practical manifestation of this is that recent conferences and discussions (Moon's Nodes) by the holders of institutional power and their opponents (Pluto) now move beyond the usual arrangements of secrecy and control, and toward the dropping of bombshells. The Palestinian Papers. The revelation that $2.9 billion of the bailout money paid to AIG in 2008 went directly into the coffers of Goldman Sachs. The fall of the government in Tunisia, triggered in part by new disclosures showing that the Ben Ali family were even more fabulously corrupt than everyone had already intuited. As we saw here last month, there will be many such concussions now as the momentum toward new disclosure launched by Wikileaks goes viral through 2011 and into 2012.
That's not all. The Moon's North Node at the bottom of this chart occupies what astrologers call a midpoint, between Venus and Pluto. The principle of Venus and Pluto in conjunction is compulsion and fanaticism, which shows up in our personal lives as the impossibly needy, driven "love" of one who is hopelessly infatuated with his lover. In collective terms, this passionate, risk-embracing energy can explode into large public actions and mass movements of the kind that have just erupted in Egypt, and that may free its people at last from the long agony that seems so often to be the lot of patient, peace-loving people as the wheel of karma turns, and a liberation from bondage in Egypt comes round again. Decisive events can be expected at the February Black Moon that ensues right on the heels of the Million Man March that has been called for Cairo on Feb. 1.
Finally, the Aquarius stellium that dominates this chart is anchored by the triple conjunction of Moon, Sun and Mars in the 5th house, all of them at a 120° trine to Saturn in Libra in the 1st. Thus the Sun-Moon pair are energized to assertive pursuit of a goal (Mars), and doubly so because the principle of a positive combination of Mars and Saturn is accomplishment, as the result of a patient, devoted effort (Saturn) toward ambitious achievement (Mars). The sign and house placements of this alignment are significant too. First-house Saturn in Libra represents the reinvention of old identities and the formation of new partnerships, and Mars in Aquarius in the 5th house of children, play and creativity means that new approaches can bear fruit in the Aquarian arena of social activism and communal creativity. In short, this is a year that will turn, is already turning, on what the Rabbit does.

The Briar Patch

What the Rabbit means depends on who's writing the play. Generally, we can say that the aggressive, militarist cultures tend to see Rabbits as timid, even contemptible characters who can survive only because they're astoundingly prolific. As the original Make Love, Not War animals, Rabbits are often seen as the self-indulgent pleasure-seekers in the mythic zoo. But in the ancient, agrarian cultures who invented the lunisolar calendars that are still in use today, the Rabbit is a longevity symbol who is closely linked with the watery, feminine qualities of the Moon. The Chinese have long seen in the surface of the Moon a Rabbit threshing grain, and the Japanese see him pounding rice into mochi, especially at the magnificent autumn Full Moon -- see Sept. 22 - 23 -- that is considered the most beautiful of the year and auspicious too, as it comes at harvest time. Like the Rat, the Rabbit is a cunning and resourceful survivor, good at finding what he wants and avoiding what he doesn't.
Like many creatures noted for their speed, the Rabbit is a pacifist. He's clever and adaptable, more likely to play shifting advantages to his benefit than to adhere bravely to a principle, much less fight for it. Like most Cairo people, who spent days watching the demonstrations from their balconies before they dared hit the streets themselves, the Rabbit will commit himself only when the right outcome is a sure thing, and there is safety in irresistible numbers. A Rabbit personality, especially in an Iron Rabbit Year, may prove much more strong-willed and tenacious than he appears, and this is why people born in Rabbit Years make loyal mates and friends, and reliable business partners who observe contracts faithfully. Rabbit Years are said to bring peace, or at least a break from large-scale warfare, though there can be exceptions. 1939 was a Rabbit Year, and all bets are off when Uranus enters Aries, as he did last summer and will again next month.

The Rabbit was also a celebrated trickster long before anyone heard of Bugs Bunny. Among the peoples of central Africa, Kalulu the Rabbit is known as a wily trader and negotiator who's a master at offering deals that look too good to be true because they invariably are. As everyone who's read the beloved Uncle Remus stories of Joel Chandler Harris knows, Br'er Rabbit is so clever that he can consistently outwit Br'er Fox, who is smarter than everyone else.

In the most famous story, Br'er Fox aims to catch his enemy with a Tar Baby. It works. Br'er Rabbit gets all four paws and his head so stuck he can't move, and he looks to be on his way to the stew pot until he pleads again and again, "You can cut me in pieces, cook me and eat me, hang me, but please don't throw me in that briar patch." The appeal to Br'er Fox's inner Dick Cheney pays off. As soon as Br'er Rabbit is safe, he cheerily calls to Br'er Fox and thanks him for throwing him back to where he was "born and bred, born and bred."
Does any of this apply to us in this Rabbit year? Only if we know people who are stuck, are doing what they can to get unstuck, are learning how to turn the predators' games around on them, and are accepting that we may have to get a scratch or two if we're going to bring our loved ones to safety, close to the ground in places where the Fox fears to go, but the Iron Rabbit can move if he stays linked to like-minded souls who can suspend for a time the egoic goals of individual achievement and glory, and find fulfillment in more modest communal roles. It may also help to remember that a Rabbit Year is a time of needed respite and recharge between the more powerful and assertive years of the Tiger, now ending, and the infinitely creative Water Dragon, coming in 2012.
What kinds of communal roles are the ones to cast and play in 2011? We'll look at some, especially at the First Vegetable Church and the town market in Verduria, Earth in the months ahead. This month the essential group role is on Feb. 14 ,in the global choir on the 9th annual World Sound Healing Day. Jonathan Goldman and the World Sound Healers' Association invite us again to "join together with [our] intentionalized sound to project a sonic valentine of love and appreciation to Gaia, our Earth Mother." It could not be timed better, as we know from events unfolding now. Keep Holding That Frequency.
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The Chiron - Neptune Conjunction of 2009 - 2011:
Prelude (2008) and Acts 1 - 5 (April, 2009 - Nov., 2010), see UFC Index
2012: The End of . . . What?
Copyright 2011 Dan Furst. All Rights Reserved.