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December 2000

"Interest on the Karmic Debt"


Jacqueline Lichtenberg

  Send books for review in this column to: Jacqueline Lichtenberg, POB 290, Monsey, N.Y. 10952
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Highlander The Series -- TV syndication reruns

Angel the WB TV series

Buffy The Vampire Slayer the WB TV series

As most readers know by now, I don't review books for the December column to avoid fueling the commercialization so at odds with the spirit of the season.

So here we have space to ponder the year's fictional trends, and to ask what happened to all the world-shattering catastrophes? Things have been bad this year -- ranks of refugees swelling, shooting wars, spectacular natural disasters, nasty politics over power, and an election in the USA. But we've also had a roaring economy, vast strides onto the internet, and major changes in how money flows across international borders.

What really happened in 2000? Why didn't the world end? Are you sure it didn't?

Re-read the November column and consider the evolution of the Vampire in Literature.

Highlander The Series belongs to this classification because the premise is that Immortals survive by killing one another and taking energy (we're never quite sure how or why in the TV series) In fact, one of my book series (Sime~Gen) belongs to this classification.

Angel, (David Boreanaz) as a vampire, has the problem of being cursed to have a soul yet suffer the appetites of a vampire. He has glimpsed "salvation" (the light at the end of the tunnel) and hopes his battle against Evil will win him Redemption. In other words, he's fighting Evil for personal gain, not because it's Evil. He has recognized the Evil within himself, acknowledged it, but not yet fully embraced it with Love.

Buffy The Vampire Slayer (Sarah Michelle Gellar) has matured from a rebellious and petulant teen into a courageous, battle-hardened veteran weary of the monotony of battle. This year she has discovered (from Dracula whom she dispatches (?) in the season premier) that her own powers to fight Evil are rooted in Darkness. And she now embarks on a study of the nature of her own power. (typical quest in your 20's on the approach to the first Saturn Return).

What is this about Evil, Darkness, Personal Price, and Honor that has obsessed us at the turning of the Millennium? What has been happening in our lives that has focused our fantasy on questions of Honor?

We have been experiencing personal catastrophes - some of which are still generating consequences in 2001.

Astrology is no better at predicting than Tarot is. Astrology can give you the inner significance of an event, and the timing of its future climactic results, but it can't tell you what the event will be. Interpreters figure that out from other sources.

Astrology can explain the significance of an event given the time at which it happened (or when you came to know about it). It can predict when climactic events will happen, the moments of terror that punctuate the boredom of life, but it can't tell you the content of your life. It can't tell you what will happen.

Astrology can tell you in advance that any event that occurs at a particular time will have a specific emotional meaning. That meaning is independent of the nature of the event. Sometimes a family member will die, but you will experience the bereavement years later under the appropriate transit. Winter solstice is notorious for triggering such delayed catharsis.

That is why those who embark on an Initiatory Path need to learn Astrology. No one outside your own mind can read your chart for you -- any more than they can read your cards for you. They aren't you. They can't possibly know the true inner meaning of an event for your own soul.

At this Millennium, we have a very large number of souls toiling hard up their own Initiatory Paths -- a veritable army of Seekers ready for this advanced initiation of the Fixed Grand Cross.

And that is what has happened this year -- and continues into next year. The creshendo of earth-shattering, world-stopping disasters that were so glibly predicted have been intercepted and "channeled" into the personal lives of that army of Seekers.

Nostradamus didn't see any way we could pull this off. He lived in an age of outward piety and inward hypocrisy. What was shamefully hidden in his day is out of the closet in our day. We are dealing with our Inward Darkness, studying the dark origin of power (Mars & Pluto which can be exploration or war, leadership or domination).

We are seeking the Honorable uses of Power (technology), and the tools we have magnify the effectiveness of our climb up the Path. We have the internet to widen our experience of relationship (Venus) and property rights (copyright, trademark, intellectual (Mercury) property (Venus). We have television to bring us the nourishment of Fantasy as well as the data we need to live well.

We have a global civilization where acts of Charity can be international in scope. Remember the Rabbis have always taught that a life of mistakes and sins and even occasional evil deeds can be totally redeemed by one single act of Charity. Charity is that powerful.

www.simegen.com/simecenter/  now hosts a website where professional artists and writers can contribute their work to specific individuals in desperate need, and readers can download and read a good story -- sending payment on the honor system via paypals or check. An internet-charity where Fantasy is coin of the realm. Such a thing could never have existed even three years ago.

To understand why the World didn't come to an end in July 2000, you have to understand that what did happen in July was a consequence of things that have happened at crucial intervals throughout the last few thousand years.

Events portended by Astrology don't happen at random like popcorn popping. What happens at the conjunction develops at the sextile, is challenged at the square, develops at the trine, quincunx, and the results of all that are confronted at the opposition. Decisions implemented then develop at the next sextile, are tested with struggle at the next square, you get enough rope to hang yourself at the next trine, etc. until culmination at the final conjunction which is a new start in that department.

If you have two planets in square, every time something good happens with one planet's cycle, something else is being stress-tested. It's "the story of my life."

This is true of individuals, Group Minds, and species. And it is why Death is such a marvelous blessing -- without it, we would live that same pattern over and over, like Chelsea Quinn Yarbro's vampire character St. Germain.

In 2000 we've been stress-tested. Nostradamus saw the highest probability was failure -- but we passed -- sort-of. We may not have managed to pay off any of the principle of humanity's collective karmic debt, but we met the required balloon payment on the accrued interest.

Paying your debts is an act of Honor. Many of us this year, especially those with natal chart emphasis in mid-fixed signs, have converted material wealth into spiritual energy which has paid this collective debt. You know who you are - you're declaring bankruptcy and struggling with a tarnished credit rating for years to come because of this.

Here's the pattern that I have seen all this year in fiction and fact. Anyone (person, city, country, Order) whose natal chart shows emphasis in the mid-Fixed Signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio, and Aquarius) has been under a bombardment of events that maximize personal stress. Note this is just the state of mind initiatory orders strive so hard to create in their Candidates before the ceremony.

In any real-life system (not fiction), there is always a lot of "noise" (energy dissipated to no purpose). Those with mid-Fixed emphasis have suffered a crescendo of noise in their lives (two squares at once). Meanwhile, oppositions and trines have delivered on their life-time promises -- some wonderful pinnacles of achievement, some dire consequences of long-past mistakes.

People under stress have short tempers. Lack of sleep breeds lack of judgment. Accidents, illnesses cause more stress in the already over-stressed. Paying off a karmic debt is as hard as fighting a war in the trenches, and leaves the warrior as trauma-burdened as a soldier in a shooting war.

I've seen this pattern in people's lives in various ways: divorce, death from disease, near-death experiences from accidents resulting in disability, grandparents having to take in grandchildren, abrupt changes in jobs, residence, often due to deaths in the family.

Life has been hard this year. Listen to me carefully here. I have a message for you. It isn't just you. You didn't do something wrong to cause yourself to deserve "this" -- whatever the "this" is for you.

Remember the story in the Bible about how the Israelites all chipped in to build the tabernacle out of gold and silver and jewels they had brought out of Egypt at terrible personal cost? Magically speaking that's what the army of Seekers incarnated now has been doing this year -- chipping in our most valued personal life structures to make that balloon payment on humanity's karmic debt.

The effort has not been wasted. Thousands have perished in localized disasters or been murdered without just cause. But the world and humanity has survived.

To keep things in perspective at this winter solstice remember that not every event in your life, not every emotional drain, not every lonely vigil, not every cold rejection or unjust loss has anything to do with you. Some of it is just noise -- karmically meaningless -- and some is actually the group-karmic debt of humankind you are paying. You are a soldier drafted and sent to the front to suffer wounds, maybe die, but protect the uninitiated back home. Afterwards, the rest of us owe you for lifetimes yet to come.

There is a story the Rabbis tell of the "Lamed-Vav" -- the one righteous person for the sake of whom the whole world is kept alive. The point of the story is that you don't know that you aren't that person. And so when you are handed a harder job than The Powers hand the vampire Angel, you must do it in the most honorable way you can.

If you have essayed the Initiatory Path, you know that your "enemy" is both the Evil within and without. Your own temper or depression can defeat you faster than any external enemy action. When bombarded by the injustices the world is throwing at you, remind yourself to respond with the kind of Honor and steadfast courage you would expect of Buffy, Angel, John Crichton, Duncan MacLeod, or a Starship Captain, even if you can't remember why you volunteered for this Starfleet.

Send books for review in this column to: Jacqueline Lichtenberg, POB 290, Monsey, N.Y. 10952




Send books for review in this column to: Jacqueline Lichtenberg,



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