The Tower Struck by Lightning:

Universal Laws and the Ethics of Prophecy


A Special Supplement to the Universal Festival Calendar

for September, 2001


(Sept. 17, 2001)



Now that the long recovery from the grief of last week's horror has begun, we can begin to look for the deeper lessons that will show us how to stop this hideous spiral of violence, which is unworthy of the level of spiritual evolution that all of us as humankind could have achieved by this time. While the blame for the crime will inevitably be pinned to Osama bin Laden -- who surely deserves at least some of it -- the fact remains that the United States made him what he is today, and we share the responsibility for what he does.

 Our contacts with him go back to the 1980's, when the Bechtel Corporation of Caspar Weinberger and George Schultz was in Saudi Arabia winning the big construction jobs, and the young construction tycoon Osama bin Laden was looking for those who could help him beat the Russians in Afghanistan. While our CIA was sending the Afghan freedom fighters the Stinger missiles that blew

thousands of Russians out of the air, other CIA-linked experts helped to teach him and his allies everything we know about how small powers fight the wars of attrition that wear out great powers and force them to give up. America helped refine bin Laden into a genius of murder, and we were delighted when he and his cohorts inflicted so much bloodshed and agony on the Russians that Osama and his team not only got the Red Army out of Afghanistan, but set in motion a chain of events that brought down the Soviet state and broke apart the whole Russian empire. 

Now the game has shifted, and we have become the enemy bin Laden hates most. Can we get away for long with pretending that we never heard of him until 1993, when he entered America's public mind in connection with the first attempt to bomb the World Trade Center? Does America get to create a Frankenstein's monster, then turn him loose, and claim we have no responsibility for what he does next? No. Not at this time. Not as long as it remains true in 3rd density before the year 2012 that what goes around comes around, and that we reap what we have sown.

The best possible outcome for bin Laden is that we put him on trial before a tribunal whose judges represent the countries he has wounded -- including Russia -- and that we sentence him to life in prison, where he will spend each day chanting, by himself and with others, the sacred words that begin the Qu'ran: Bismillah irRahman irRahim, "In the Name of Allah, who is Mercy and Compassion". When he has chanted these words enough, either his heart will crack and release his body into death, or he will transmute into something of greater value. We must not, under any circumstances, honor him by being stuck in hate ourselves. We must not commit the copycat crime of bombing him back.

  Once we hoist these ideas aboard, we can complete the process by noticing that America has a woeful record of embarrassment in forming alliances of convenience with people we don't like, as long as we share a common enemy -- and then we get the bill for our cynicism later, when the fight is over and we have another chance to see that phony friendships cool the fastest, and turn the deadliest. A few famous examples: we helped teach Ho Chi Minh and Vo Nguyen Giap how to fight the Japanese, then found in the decades to come that our former students had some lessons of their own to deliver. The first splendid CIA coup, the template for many more, came in 1953 in Iran, when the United States undermined the legitimate government of Mohammed Mossadegh and replaced it with the Shah, who was "a nut" to his CIA handlers, some of whom were held in the prolonged hostage ordeal of 1979 - 80. And the champ, El Gran Hombre, the Great Man, Fidel Castro, by now a master artist and icon of irritation, is still there 44 years after we helped him, in spite of the CIA with poison cigars and the Chicago mafia with exploding bananas, not because we liked or trusted him, but because we knew that if we didn't help him, the Russians would, and soon did anyway.

  By the time we stroll a little more quickly through the rest of the rogues' gallery, we may soon wind up wondering how many Somozas and Pinochets and Trujillos and Noriegas have to surprise us and earn us the hatred of their people, how many Asian generals and Guatemalan death squads and now, Osama bin Ladens, have to blow up in our faces before we notice that we can only promote so much violence on our planet, in all its forms of military, political, and economic violence, before we have to take over the payments for it.

  Those who favor the Hundredth Monkey paradigm have one of the challenges of a lifetime in front of us now. The key, for the moment, seems to be to keep it simple. Before we can get Earth's mass consciousness to accept something like the Confucian idea of answering evil with goodness, or loving one's enemies, the best we can hope for now is that we get enough people to agree that what we have been doing so far is obviously not working, and it is time to find a better method before we drop any bombs, not after.

  The window of opportunity narrows daily, now that the American president has decided "We are at war" without waiting for the Congress to pass the customary war resolution, and "America United" is ready to discard our sacred legal principle that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Unless this trend of thought is reversed very soon, it may be only a few days until military machines swing into attack, and the spiral of violence widens farther, and spins faster. One essential component of our effort must be to send Mr. Bush, no matter what one thinks of him and his power base, as much love and protection as possible. He is in a spiritual ordeal of terrifying weight and complexity, and he and bin Laden are both engaged as chess pieces in some larger, subtler game, linked as fatefully as Jesus and Pilate. The best response to their conflict, as impossible as it may seem, is to send our purest love and light to them both, and to all others whom we can help to lift from the paralysis of grief into the love that heals and reunites.

  The specific astrology of Sept. 11 - 14 follows now. To skip this material and go directly to the mythic summary and conclusion, please scroll through.

  So far the all-embracing astral dynamic that rules the time from the summer just past to early 2002 is holding accurate and true. The ongoing opposition between Saturn in Gemini and Pluto in Sagittarius continues to manifest in sharp and determined conflict exacerbated by the refusal of human beings to tolerate their differences and consider new perspectives. While this human resistance to growth and change is nothing new, its effects are now cumulative, creating the deep, disastrous new Saturnian lessons that come now in lieu of the milder instruction that was at hand if we'd been willing to listen.

  The dynamic of Pluto in Sagittarius, the sign that rules organized religion, in opposition to the separating force embodied by Saturn, makes this a time of extremely self-righteous religious conflict. From the Astral Prelude for August: "We don't know whether organized armed hate from those who know how to shoot will claim as many casualties as stray shots of random religious bozomania from those who don't. But the trend of the reality won't yet change: for now, and at least a few years more, we shall have once again on our planet no shortage of angry, armed apostles who are convinced, and will sooner or later sing loudly in the public places -- in spite of Matthew 6: 5 - 6 -- that 'The Bible is liable to put 'em to sleep, but a blade can be made so they wake up and weep.'"

  This lethal combination was at its most explosive Sept. 11 - 13, when Mars, newly released into Capricorn, conjoined the South Node of the Moon, or Dragon's Tail. As the North Node, or Dragon's Head, is always exactly opposite the South Node, the corollary is that the Mars- Dragon's Tail alignment was directly opposite the lunar sign of Cancer, which rules the home. Whether it is called the Dragon's Tail in the west or Ketu in Vedic astrology, the import of the South Node is the same: painful karmic experience over a wide sweep of the mass consciousness, in the areas influenced by the planets that afflict the South Node -- in this case Mars, the planet of war.

  The likeliest outcome was one or more events of shocking and terrible violence, directly affecting the main targets but also capturing the consciousness of the entire planet, and altering irrevocably, for the dead and the bereaved, both their public lives and their private values of home, family and safety. The aftermath will be filled with verbose discussion and inner reflection over what must be done in response, and whether violence in answer to violence is a route, or only a rut. Finally, the Mars-Dragon's Tail combination embodies both the energies of Mars: the vicious cruelty of the Black Mars who rules Scorpio, and loves to kill; and the devoted loyalty of the Red Mars who rules Aries, and will work to exhaustion to save and protect the wounded, and honor and cherish the dead.

  Many astrologers could and did see this. Are we allowed to say anything about it, and warn specifically that the likelihood of shocking violence is especially high in the time window of Sept. 11 - 14? No, no matter how great the anguish, and how close it falls to home. Public prophecies of doom are not permitted because they stoke the collective frequency of fear, and increase the likelihood that fearful events will occur. While the astrologer may and should lay out the dangerous terrain, his or her main job, spiritually considered, is to chart the alternate routes through the territories of love and forgiveness, mercy and compassion, and otherwise to do what one can to hold the frequency high, where it remains stable, and keep it from dropping into rage and hate, where it becomes unstable and is apt to explode.

  For the moment, as the Hundred Monkeys work to avert war before others in the jungle unleash it, the main watchwords are depth vision, to pierce through the media-generated screen of pat answers, glib slogans and fake consensus on a need for war; and our role as vibrational lifeguards who must now help lift those who are caught in grief and fear to the medicinal frequencies of love and forgiveness. Our energies will be most easily aligned at the Autumn Equinox on 9/22 - 23. It is not necessary to join festivals or other public events, though many will savor the comfort of celebrating friendship. We don't need to meditate at precisely coordinated times, though this is always of value, so much as we need to keep the frequency high for days on end. We have a busy weekend ahead of us.


Copyright 2001 Dan Furst



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