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 31 
 on: Oct 21, 2014, 05:40 am 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad

Athens v Munich: why homelessness hits rich cities as hard as poor ones

In Athens, it’s caused by an economy in crisis; in Munich, by an economy that’s booming. The result, though, is the same – a worsening homeless problem that doesn’t reflect a city’s wealth

Jon Henley   
theguardian.com, Tuesday 21 October 2014 09.28 BST   
      
One is plush, pampered and unmistakably prosperous, the third-largest city of Europe’s mightiest economy – a place of wide, well-swept streets, ample, well-groomed parks and solid, well-kept apartment buildings.

Munich is home to just under 1.5 million people and such giants of German industry as luxury carmaker BMW, electronics heavyweight Siemens, truck manufacturer MAN and insurance titan Allianz. This summer, unemployment in the city stood at a fraction over 3%, the lowest of any major German city. It is, plainly, a fine place to live: last year, the lifestyle magazine Monocle ranked Munich the world’s most liveable city, with the highest quality of life.

The other is one of the world’s most ancient cities, home to Plato and Aristotle, its recorded history stretching back some 3,400 years. The “cradle of western civilisation”, the “birthplace of democracy”, Athens remains a major commercial hub of southeastern Europe.

But it is also, these days, capital of a country that has suffered perhaps more than any other from the 2008 global economic and financial crisis, and the strain is showing: streets are crumbling; a third of shops are shuttered; signs shouting Enoikiazetai – For Rent – are everywhere.

Through seven years of deep recession, Greece’s GDP has sunk by a quarter. The official unemployment rate here is 27%, including 52% of under-25s. That means some 180,000 (probably many more) of Athens’ 670,000 residents – and maybe more than 1 million of the 4 million-odd people who live in the greater Athens urban area – are now without work.

These are, plainly, very different cities in very different countries, facing – at this point in history – very different fortunes. But for very different reasons, both are currently confronting a problem that, it seems, even the world’s wealthiest cities cannot shake.

“Homelessness,” says Ivan Juric of the John S Latsis Public Benefit Foundation – a major philanthropic donor that funds nearly 50 rigorously selected social programmes for homeless and near-homeless people in Athens – “does not reflect a city’s socio-economic status.”

It also has to be redefined. FEANTSA, the federation of national homelessness organisations in the EU, argues that if durable solutions are to be found, “homeless” cannot mean just people sleeping rough and in emergency shelters. The term also has to include all those living in temporary, unfit or insecure housing: with friends or family; in abandoned buildings; even in their own flats, but without water of electricity because they are unable to pay their bills.

One such, in Athens, might be Vassilis Dimopoulos, 53, a former graphic equipment salesman, who was making very good money indeed – more than €3,000 a month – until the company that employed him folded in 2008. “The industry was already in trouble, and I saw it coming,” he says.

“I sold my home in 2007, though the small profit I made is gone now. For a time, I lived in a place belonging to my cousin; she didn’t want rent, but I couldn’t afford electricity. Then she needed it back. I was six months on the street.”

Now Dimopoulos lives in a Red Cross hostel. Helped by the income he gets from selling Athens’ street paper, Shedia – “Raft” – he hopes soon to be able to move into a small rented room. But he’s nervous. “It’s very hard to find a job now,” he says. “In sales, my field, hundreds apply for every post.”

According to Jenny Varvagianni at Athens city hall, 1,000 people are now sleeping rough in downtown Athens. (NGOs mostly reckon the number is more like 1,500, and say that by FEANTSA’s definition, as many as 15,000 Athens residents can be classified as homeless.)

Most rough sleepers here are men; roughly half are not Greek. More than 60% are addicted to alcohol or drugs, and two-thirds have physical and, particularly, mental health issues: a familiar profile. But the city is more alarmed by another, fast-growing group: those who fall into that broader definition, its new and hidden poor and homeless.

This, Varvagianni says, is what risks pushing Athens and other urban centres in Greece “beyond a socio-economic crisis, and into a humanitarian crisis. What’s bringing us to our knees are the people who had jobs, had their lives in order, were supporting their families, educating their kids ... Regular, middle-class couples who lost both, or maybe just one job, and are now on the brink. The new poor; the new homeless.”

It is very hard to know how many people in this situation there are, Varvagianni says: “Family support is strong in Greece, so very few of the new poor are actually sleeping on the street. But many have had water or electricity cut off, or face eviction at any moment, because they’ve fallen so far behind with their rent or mortgage.”

Many are also now using services like soup kitchens and social health clinics. So, Varvagianni says, “We’re afraid: how long can this last? People’s pay and pensions have been cut, everyone is more and more squeezed, landlords too. It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

Unlike Athens, where city authorities and a raft of national and international charities and NGOs are working together – often for the first time – to find what remedies they can in a country whose welfare system has never been robust, Munich, says Monika Maier, manager of the city’s emergency housing programme, has “really a very good system. An excellent system, in fact, one of the best in Germany.”

One who has benefited might be Abdulvahed Atchikzai, now 63 and originally from Afghanistan, who is managing to support 14 people – his extended family, now in Pakistan – on the money he earns selling Munich’s street paper, BISS. Atchikzai has lived in Hamburg, where for 18 years he was a taxi driver, and London, where he ran a market stall, before ending up, penniless, in Munich three years ago.
After a period sleeping rough and then several months in the city’s shelter for homeless men, on Pilgersheimerstrsse (“Very good, very clean,” he says, “but a lot of crazy people”), he was introduced to BISS and has been selling between 400 and 500 copies a month ever since. “They found me a flat, a very nice flat,” he says. “I feel very lucky. I have my dignity; I can support my family.”

Reserved, as in most countries, for those entitled to state benefits (which usually means you have to have worked for at least a year), Munich’s homelessness programme aims to help vulnerable people move from shelters through interim and supported accommodation to fully independent flats, offering advice and counselling on employment, benefits, budgeting and all aspects of social reintegration along the way.

Specialised services are also available for more at-risk groups: the elderly, single mothers, people with more severe mental health problems and those with addiction issues. But the problem, Maier says, is that even Munich’s system “is now coming under huge, and increasing, pressure. It can’t cope.”

The pressure comes from a very different quarter than in Athens: Munich’s homelessness system is a victim of the city’s economic success. Each year, explains Richard Schlickenrieder, head of planning for the city’s housing and homelessness department, around 25,000 more people coming to live in the city, drawn above all by its buoyant labour market.

“People come to try their luck,” he says. “And usually, they find work.” If it’s in a restaurant, though, they’ll be earning perhaps €800 a month. Contract cleaning or security work, probably less: “And you won’t find a one-bedroom flat in Munich for less than €500, even €600.”

Since 2011, city hall says, the number of people sleeping rough on Munich’s streets has risen from 350 to about 550. Around 300 more homeless people sleep in shelters paid for largely by the city but run by churches and charities; a further 750 are in city-run temporary and intermediate housing; and nearly 3,000 in other longer-term, assisted city accommodation. Demand has nearly doubled since 2009.

Private landlords – who own 90% of the city’s housing – do not need low-paid workers. At the same time, an acute shortage of affordable accommodation, public or private, means those in it are not moving on. And hemmed in by surrounding municipalities, the city has no room to build and expand.

“The whole system,” Maier says, “is blocked. There are more and more people coming into it, and fewer and fewer leaving it.” As a result, concludes Schlickenrieder, pointing to a graph that shows an almost precise correlation between average rents and demand for acute housing, Munich now needs some 600 more beds for homeless and near-homeless people every year.

Increasing numbers of migrants from eastern Europe and, since last year, of refugees from Syria and Iraq, have exacerbated the problem. Munich’s homeless, says Schlickenrieder, “used to be German; now 60% of the people we help are not.”

The city was recently forced to launch an entire separate winter protection programme for migrants – such as recent arrivals from Bulgaria and Romania – who are not entitled to benefits, including a brand new homeless hostel near central station, open from November to March.

But with 8,400 refugees projected by the end of next year, Schlickenrieder reckons that in all, the city will probably need 5,000 new emergency and short-term beds over the next 18 months.

“It really is,” he says, “a big problem. This is now a system under very, very severe pressure.”

For the moment, though, it is holding – just. At the city’s Theestube, a drop-in cafe for homeless and near-homeless people, manager Marc Bocklet explains that up to 120 people now use the centre every day, to take a shower, cook themselves a meal, get a cheap hot drink and seek advice from social workers and employment advisers.

“Not just people without a roof, but people afraid they are about to lose it,” he says: the centre provides legal and financial counselling to help prevent evictions. It helped 1,400 people last year, double the total a decade ago.

“The really big, long-term problem in this city is not a lack of work, but a lack of affordable and social housing,” Bocklet says. “Munich hasn’t built enough, and now it has nowhere to build. That’s a far bigger problem than the economic downturn or higher immigration.”

One of the places Bocklet’s team can refer homeless people to is the Pilgersheimerstrasse shelter. Smart and well-kept, it is 80%-funded by the city but run by KMFV, part of of the Catholic relief network Caritas. Deputy manager Eva Fundel shows me round its 179 neat single beds in twin rooms, lockers, showers, laundry, canteen, cafe, doctor’s surgery, psychiatric help, social workers.

“We are,” she says, “full up, pretty much all the time. I’ve been here 12 years, and especially in summer we always used to have empty beds, maybe 20 or so. This August we had none. And people are staying longer, because there’s nowhere for them to go on to – 53 nights now, on average.”

Last year, Fundel says, the organisation was able to help 46 people into independent apartments – less than half as many as a couple of years ago. The profile of this shelter’s clients has changed, too: not so long ago, three quarters were German; now it’s barely half. On one day last month, the shelter counted 33 nationalities among its clients.

In the cafe, run by former residents, I meet 53-year-old Toni Menacher. He’s been sleeping at Pilgersheimer for three months, since his long-term girlfriend, who had multiple chronic health problems, died in June. Menacher had spent most of the past decade caring for her; before that, he worked 14 years in a car parts factory that eventually made him redundant.

Now he makes enough to pay his board and lodging at the shelter – €5 for his bed, €1.20 for breakfast, €2.30 for lunch, €1.80 for dinner –selling Munich’s street newspaper, BISS. “I’m not sure what I’d be doing without it,” he says. “It’s been a lifesaver for me. Really, a lifesaver.”

Founded in 1993, the paper – sold for €2.20 a copy, of which half goes to the vendor – is Germany’s oldest street paper and last year employed 97 vendors, paying each between €700 and €2,400 a month depending on how many copies they sell and whether they are part- or full-time.

BISS, notes Hildegard Denninger, the magazine’s former manager, is not an official part of Munich’s homeless system, but “we work alongside it. Over the years we’ve helped a lot of people.” She, too, agrees the city’s system “is beginning to crumble. For now, compared to many places, it is still very good. This is still a rich country. But things are getting harder.”

In Athens, they have been hard for quite some time now. The city is doing what it can, but as FEANTSA points out, in the face of an estimated 25% increase in homelessness since 2009, Greece still largely has “no integrated strategy for homelessness” and tackles it in “an indirect and incoherent way”.

Draconian, often indiscriminate spending cuts – Athens city hall has seen its budget slashed by 35% – have had a catastrophic impact on policies that could hardly have been described as effective to start with.

At city hall, Varvagianna says that in such conditions, she feels “proud of what Athens is doing”. The city’s central soup kitchen now serves 1,400 meals a day, while its two hostels accommodate 150 homeless people. What’s new, though, are its partnerships with corporate sponsors, charities and NGOs.

An industry-funded social pharmacy issues free medicines; money from US investor George Soros helped fund a Citizens’ Solidarity Hub that has redistributed 400 tonnes of donated food, clothing, toys and household goods to some 14,000 vulnerable people.

“There has been opposition,” says Varvagianna. “People say: this is a disgrace, we should be doing this with public money. I say: Show me the money. But I think attitudes are starting to change in Greece. They need to. We have, as a society, to change. Our future will be about solidarity.”

With Medecins sans Frontieres, the city has just opened a new night shelter. And backed by other, private sponsors including a major telecoms group and the American Legion, some small-scale prevention programmes – a supported housing unit for 17 at-risk families, a “family solidarity” scheme offering practical and psychological support, along with free food and essentials, to a further 600 households – have been launched.

But it remains too little and, in the eyes of many NGOs, much too piecemeal: more about meeting urgent, basic short-term needs than developing longer-term, structural housing solutions. “The handbook just really needs to change here,” says Juric, of the Latsis Foundation.

“The approach is almost like alms-giving, when what’s needed are constructive, efficient, evidence-based social programmes, based on best practice. Many countries are on the way to resolving this ... but I’ve seen more palpable change in places like Nepal and Ghana than Greece.”

With more than 3 million people in the country now without health insurance or social security cover, major international NGOs have stepped in to provide essential front-line services abandoned by a state in full retreat (the words “failed state”, in Greece, are not far from many people’s lips).

On Deligiorgi Street, the Praksis Day Centre for the Homeless offers showers, a laundry room, an internet corner, a hairdressing service (equipment donated by L’Oreal), a film club, a library, employment counselling, duty social workers and a primary health care clinic.

Opened in May 2012 as an offshoot of a Medecins sans Frontieres project that provided healthcare to undocumented migrants, the centre, financed by private donations and from EU funds, has since registered some 4,000 clients – Greek, but also 70 other nationalities – and sees between 100 and 120 people every day. Around 40% are sleeping rough.

“The biggest part of this crisis,” says the centre’s manager, Ioanna Pertsinidou, “is behind closed doors. It’s ordinary, low-to-middle income people who have no idea where to go for help. Who never had the faintest idea that they would one day not be able to meet their day-to-day needs.”

According to a recent OECD report, 17% of the Greek population are currently unable to meet their daily needs for food, and around 30% are living below the poverty line.

Praksis runs another centre in central Athens, for homelessness prevention, that has helped some 2,300 families on the brink of losing their homes over the past two years: legal aid, financial counselling, finding nearly 70% a job. “The problem,” says Pertsinidou, “is there’s no safety net. It’s a mess. Austerity has been implemented blindly.”

Unemployment benefit in Greece is €360 a month for a year (€200 thereafter); to qualify for benefits, you need to have worked 125 consecutive days during the previous two years. And once you’re out of work, you lose – almost invariably – your health insurance.

Overall, according to the OECD, Greek health spending is now 25% less than it was in 2008. Which is why on Sapfous Street, Medecins du Monde (MdM) operates a drop-in primary healthcare clinic for homeless people, of all nationalities, and Greeks without health insurance.

Its volunteer doctors and nurses treat around 200 people a day, says MdM’s Christina Samartzi, for a range of problems, including dermatological infections and chronic illnesses like diabetes for which patients can no longer afford the medicine. Of late, it has been particularly busy giving children essential vaccinations that their parents can no longer afford, and examining and treating pregnant women.

“The health system here,” says Samartzi, “is getting steadily worse. More people are being excluded from it every day. Before 2010, our patients here were almost all migrants. Since 2010, there’s been a huge increase in the number of Greeks.”

But ordinary Greeks are organising too. Shedia, Greece’s street newspaper, launched last year and now employs 200 vendors in Athens and Thessaloniki, many making up to €450 a month: good money in today’s Greece. At 22,000 copies, it has become one of the country’s three best-selling monthlies.

“Since the beginning of this year, 12 of our vendors have moved out of hostels or off the street and into their own apartments,” says Chris Alefantis, the former journalist who founded it. “Three more are on their way.”

More than 90 people are waiting to become vendors. Alefantis has had out-of-work architects, electricians, journalists through his door – most now living in hostels or squats, or in their own flats but without water or electricity. “You know the saying, everyone’s only two pay cheques away from the street?” he says. “Those two months happened in Greece.”

Vendor Theotokis Vonitsanos, 49, had been a waiter, a builder and a courier, earning €1,000 a month, before he found himself jobless in 2009. He now lives in his mother’s apartment, often without utilities.

Yannis Kotsos, 39, a trained infant teacher, owed a year’s rent to his landlord before he found work at Shedia. “Even today, I owe four or five months,” he says. “It’s only by the generosity of my landlady that I’m not on the street. And she really is generous – my rent is her only income.”

At Solidarity for All, which facilitates Greece’s new, self-organising solidarity movement, Christos Giovanopoulos describes a fast-growing, decentralised network of more than 400 citizen-run public health clinics, food distribution centres, cooperatives, social enterprises, legal support hubs and education classes.

“In 2011 and 2012, many people survived on their savings – they got by,” he says. “Now it’s really biting. So this movement isn’t about charity, it’s about developing a whole different model. The state is no longer functioning.”

What’s clear, says the Latsis Foundation’s Juric, is that Greece’s existing public sector facilities and service providers are “inadequate in quantity, and ineffective in meeting the real needs” of homeless and near-homeless people.

Juric is struggling to persuade the city to adopt, even on a limited scale, a Housing First-style policy: a relatively recent strategy based on the idea that a homeless or near-homeless person or household’s primary need is stable housing, and that their other problems can be addressed once that one is resolved. The strategy has shown good results in the US, Canada, Finland and several French cities.

Fuelled by economic meltdown, the near-collapse of most state provision and a widespread official unwillingness to seek more creative solution with what few resources remain, Greece’s homelessness problem looks set to get a lot worse before it starts getting any better.

In Munich, a booming economy, growing population and rising rents are combining with a chronic shortage of affordable housing (and of land to build it on) to push a highly efficient, enviably funded homelessness programme to breaking-point – with much the same consequences.

Rich city or poor city, homelessness spares neither.

 32 
 on: Oct 21, 2014, 05:32 am 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad
Polish ex-minister: Putin offered to divide Ukraine with Poland in 2008

Newsweek
21 Oct 2014 at 06:43 ET  

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's parliamentary speaker, Radoslaw Sikorski, has been quoted as saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to Poland's then leader in 2008 that they divide Ukraine between themselves.

Sikorski, who until September served as Poland's foreign minister, was quoted telling U.S. website Politico that Putin made the proposal during Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk's visit to Moscow in 2008 - although he later said some of the interview had been "overinterpreted".

"He wanted us to become participants in this partition of Ukraine ... This was one of the first things that Putin said to my prime minister, Donald Tusk, when he visited Moscow," he was quoted as saying in the interview dated Oct. 19.

"He (Putin) went on to say Ukraine is an artificial country and that Lwow is a Polish city and why don't we just sort it out together," Sikorski was quoted as saying.

Before World War Two, Poland's territory included parts of today's western Ukraine, including some major cities such as Lwow, known as Lviv in Ukraine.

Sikorski, who accompanied Tusk on his trip to Moscow, was quoted as saying Tusk did not reply to Putin's suggestion, because he knew he was being recorded, but Poland never expressed any interest in joining the Russian operation.

"We made it very, very clear to them - we wanted nothing to do with this," Sikorski was quoted as saying.

After publication of the interview, Sikorski said it was not entirely accurate.

"Some of the words have been overinterpreted," Sikorski wrote on his Twitter account late on Monday, adding that Poland does not take part in annexations.

The interview could further aggravate tension between Poland and Russia, already at odds over the Ukrainian crisis and Poland's arrest of two men suspected of spying for Moscow.

Neither Poland's Foreign Ministry nor Russian officials were immediately available to comment.

"If such a proposal was made by Putin then that's scandalous," Ewa Kopacz, who replaced Tusk as prime minister after his departure for a top job in Brussels, said late on Monday in an interview with public broadcaster TVP.

"No Polish prime minister will participate in such a disgraceful activity like partitioning another country", she said, adding she had not heard about such a proposal before.

Sikorski's account is not the first suggestion that Russia was seeking Poland's support in partitioning Ukraine.

Following the annexation of Crimea, Russian parliamentary speaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky sent a letter to the governments of Poland, Romania and Hungary, proposing a joint division of the country.   

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Russians investigating more than 200 McDonald’s

Newsweek
21 Oct 2014 at 06:37 ET        

Russian officials are investigating more than 200 McDonald’s restaurants—nearly half of the fast-food chain’s locations in the country—in what many analysts see as retaliation against Western-backed sanctions.

The probes into the chain’s hygiene and finance practices by the Rospotrebnadzor, the Russian government’s consumer rights surveillance group, began in August and have since resulted in the temporary closure of nine locations, include one McDonald’s in Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, and several restaurants in Moscow, according to a translation of a statement on the McDonald’s Russian website published Saturday.

Analysts believed the move is part of a tit-for-tat response to Western sanctions over Russian aggression in Ukraine and the country’s annexation of Crimea earlier this year. Using health and safety violations as a reason to shut down businesses in Russia “‘is an instrument that’s often used’ by the Kremlin to gain leverage in political disputes," Nonna Crane, a lawyer specializing in Russian business issues told Bloomberg Businessweek.

McDonald Russia said in its statement that it disagrees with the court’s decision to shut those restaurants and will appeal to a higher court. More than 100 McDonald’s restaurants are in the capital of Moscow and the surrounding area, according to CNBC.

The closed locations include the Moscow’s Pushkin Square McDonald’s, which was the first to be opened in the country in 1990, just before the collapse of the Soviet Union. After four locations were shut in August over alleged health violations, a further five restaurants were added to the list. McDonald’s sales in Russia were around 8 percent of the company’s global total of $28 billion, according to Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

“An attack on McDonald’s is a very populist act right now, when there is clear tension between Russia and the West—this is the main idea,” human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov told The Washington Post after Russian authorities launched an investigation into the operations of Ronald McDonald House Charities in the country.

The U.S. and European Union have imposed strict sanctions on Russia since March, including visa and travel bans and restrictions on Russia’s economic sector. The Kremlin denies involvement with fighting in Ukraine and consider the sanctions a “hostile step,” Reuters reports.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a warning to the West over sanctions and reminded them of “the threat of a fallout between the largest nuclear powers,” Reuters reports.

“Our partners should be well aware that attempts to put pressure on Russia with unilateral and illegitimate restrictive measures will not bring about a settlement, but rather impede the dialogue,” Putin said in an interview with Serbian newspaper Politika. He did not make reference to the McDonald’s investigations in his interview.

Russian food safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor announced Monday that it will include more foods on list of Western products banned from importation, including cattle and pig by-products like lard and offal, The Moscow Times reports. On August 6, Russia enacted a one-year ban on fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products from European, including Polish apples.  

*****

Russia prepares for ice-cold war with show of military force in the Arctic

Vladimir Putin sends troops and jets to oil- and gas-rich region also coveted by Canada, United States, Norway and Denmark

Isabelle Mandraud  
Guardian Weekly, Tuesday 21 October 2014 10.00 BST      

Yaya is a very small Arctic island, barely one metre above sea level and covering only 500 square metres. Russian pilots discovered it at the beginning of October. With the Admiral Vladimirsky research ship having confirmed its presence in the Laptev Sea, Yaya will soon be added to the map of the Arctic Ocean and will become part of Russian territory, the RIA Novosti state news agency announced. In its determination to defend its interests in this icy waste, Russia is no longer content to leave its mark, as it did in 2007 when it planted a Russian flag, in a titanium capsule, 4,200 metres below the north pole. Now it is engaging in large-scale militarisation of the Arctic, a vast area coveted by itself and its four neighbours: Canada, the United States, Norway and Denmark.

RIA Novosti says that former Soviet bases are being reactivated in response to renewed Nato interest in the region. According to the Russian authorities, the airstrip on Novaya Zemlya can now accommodate fighters and part of the North Fleet is establishing quarters there. A new military group will be formed in the far north consisting of two brigades, totalling 6,000 soldiers, deployed in the Murmansk area and then the Yamal-Nenets autonomous region. Radar and ground guidance systems are also planned for Franz Josef Land (part of Novaya Zemlya), Wrangel Island and at Cape Schmidt. The federal security service plans to increase the number of border guards on Russia’s northern perimeter.

During the recent Vostok 2014 full-scale military exercises – the biggest since the end of the Soviet Union – Russian troops carried out combat missions in the Arctic, using the Pantsir-S and Iskander-M weapon systems. Such moves may bring back the atmosphere of the cold war, when the region was the focus of US and Nato attention, as they were convinced that it would be a launchpad for nuclear strikes.

“In those days of acute paranoia, when it seemed vital to keep track of enemy submarines and protect your own, this maybe made sense. But the current military buildup is pointless,” says Alexander Golts, military analyst and deputy editor of the Yezhenedelny Zhurnal (Weekly Journal), a news site that was censored hours after Crimea was annexed. “It is consistent with the stance of the Russian state, which only understands the word ‘force’ in military terms,” he adds. “But you must keep it in proportion; it is still only a symbolic battle. Take a look at the map and you will soon see that 6,000 men spread over such a huge area is not much.”

“It makes no sense,” says Vladimir Chuprov at Greenpeace Russia. “The only justification can be the will, yet again, to unite the Russian people in the face of an enemy on the outside who is supposedly trying to take ‘our’ Arctic, despite there being no threat. It’s a drill ground on which Russia can flex its muscles, and more a matter of world politics than economics.”

The Arctic’s hydrocarbon resources nevertheless exert a powerful pull. It has been compared to “a second Middle East”, with oil and gas reserves thought to represent 17% and 30%, respectively, of the global total. But the extreme climatic conditions and recent international sanctions against Russia have put many projects on hold. At present Russia is extracting no more than 6.6m tonnes of oil a year in this area, compared with “4.5m tonnes lost in the whole country due to leaking pipelines”, according to Greenpeace.

And then there is the North-east Passage, a sea lane between Asia and the US, which will ultimately open as the ice melts, providing an alternative to the Suez canal. But here again there is considerable uncertainty, due to the exorbitant cost of using nuclear ice-breakers to keep it open. Russia owns four of these ships. But “one of them costs $120,000 a day to operate”, Chuprov says. He is also concerned about the environmental impact of a military buildup in the Arctic. “During the recent military exercises the missiles were launched on Wrangel Island, with no observers, in an area which is a breeding ground for polar bears and walruses.”

On 11 October, in an attempt to forestall such criticism, the Russian defence ministry announced plans to build “a regional environmental centre [...] to prevent pollution in areas where Russian forces are deployed”. Russian troops systematically receive “training and briefings on environmental safety and compliance with legislation”, deputy minister Dmitry Bulgakov added. But it will take more than this to reassure the western powers.

The Arctic, which is governed by international maritime law, is also the focus of other disputes. Canada regularly carries out military exercises in its Arctic territory. Relations between Ottawa and Moscow have cooled significantly since the start of the Ukraine crisis.

This article appeared in Guardian Weekly, which incorporates material from Le Monde

***********

Spice – the synthetic drug gaining a grip on Russia

Cannabis substitute smoked in a pipe appears to be a soft drug, but it is addictive and can be lethal

Shaun Walker in Moscow
The Guardian, Monday 20 October 2014 18.08 BST   
    
Valentina sifts a flaky mixture from a purple sachet into the end of a small pipe, holds a lighter to it, and inhales. Her voice becomes tense and high-pitched for a moment, then she relaxes. A faint, almost Christmassy odour of lightly stewed fruits wafts through the room.

This is a hit of spice, the collective name given to various synthetic smoking mixtures making headlines in Russia. On the market for five years, spice has the potential to be deadly.

According to Russian authorities, in recent weeks the spice epidemic has taken 25 lives and led to 700 people seeking medical attention. Hardly a day goes by without a fresh horror story of adolescents dying from the drug. Earlier this month a refugee from Luhansk in east Ukraine died after smoking with her friends in a town in southern Russia. Four others were taken to hospital.

Valentina has smoked for nearly two years. Now in her mid-30s, she was a heroin addict for a year after leaving university, but kicked the habit and was clean for more than a decade. She and her husband would occasionally smoke marijuana, and one day two years ago a friend brought a packet of spice over to their house and suggested they try it.

“We thought it was just like hash – not that addictive,” she recalls. She was wrong. Now, she and her husband buy their supply from a dealer each morning after dropping their children at school.

Much of the product is believed to be imported from China, though many say that labs in Russia are also churning out the mixtures. Along with older users such as Valentina, thousands of teenage Russians are using the substance.

Yevgeny Roizman, an anti-drug campaigner known for his rehabilitation centres for heroin addicts, warned this year of the consequences of the spice epidemic. “These drugs, unlike heroin, are much more widely used, they can be distributed more quickly and easily, they are harder to detect, and kids are starting to use them much younger,” he said. “The consequences are quick addiction, fast-paced decline, and as far as I can see, irreversible consequences which cannot be cured. Heroin in Russia is yesterday’s problem.”

Spice is a cannabis substitute made from various herbs with the addition of lab-synthesised chemicals. Authorities say the problem is that each time a smoking mixture is analysed and banned by authorities, the formula is altered and the newly legal mix can be sold again. Parliament is considering passing a bill to ban all synthetic smoking mixtures.

“The current system of fighting spice simply doesn’t work,” said Sultan Khamzayev, a member of Russia’s public chamber and an anti-drug campaigner, in a recent interview with a Russian website. “Chemists need just three hours to change the formula, but all the necessary bureaucratic work to identify and then ban a particular drug takes five months. That means for the whole period, people can simply sell any old poison.”

An MP from the far-right Liberal Democratic party, Roman Khudyakov, wrote recently that the death penalty should be introduced for spice dealers. “In a way, spice is much more dangerous than heroin,” says Valentina. “Most people have a hang-up about injecting, whereas spice you just smoke it in a pipe. By the time you realise how serious it is, it’s too late.”

The formula of the drug varies from batch to batch, and the way different versions interact with different people is always slightly different, but the main bonus for users is that any kind of fear and inhibition disappears. But withdrawal kicks in within a couple of hours and is often punishing.

“You lose all your coordination,” says one Muscovite spice addict. “You can’t think properly, and you can’t walk. It’s like being catastrophically drunk, but there is also a panic and terror. You begin to sweat, have crashing palpitations and feel sick. Often, you’ll simply begin projectile vomiting, with no warning. If I stop smoking now, within two hours I will be vomiting. It’s no better than heroin withdrawal, perhaps it’s even worse.”

Most dangerous is the withdrawal period for early-stage addicts, when the physical symptoms are mild but intense depression sets in. Valentina remembers days of total panic, and not realising until later that she was experiencing withdrawal symptoms.

“One day I stood up and I understood with absolute clarity that the only way for me to escape from the awful life I was in was to murder both of my children, and then kill myself,” she says. “I was crystal clear that this was the only course of action open to me. Luckily, my husband stopped me, and calmed me down. But what about people who don’t have that support?”

A typical week sees several news stories in Russian local press detailing horrendous deaths and suicides attributed to spice: children jumping from windows, heart attacks, even self-immolation. Valentina is convinced that the deaths that are reported are just the tip of the iceberg. Spice does not show up on ordinary toxicology tests and she thinks it could be a hidden trigger in violent crimes where there are no signs of mental illness or other drug use.

Spice is just the latest horror drug to hit Russia. Several years ago krokodil, a synthetic heroin substitute made from boiling codeine tablets with other ingredients, became popular. Devastatingly addictive, the drug would literally rot the flesh of users, leading to appalling wounds and a quick death. When the sale of codeine was banned two years ago, spice began to pick up in popularity.

“They ban one nightmare drug and another one pops up,” says Anya Sarang, a Russian activist who works on rights for drugs users. “It’s a natural consequence of the firefighting approach we have to drug use. Of course we need to ban spice, but if marijuana was legal, nobody would turn to these awful spice mixes to smoke. But of course, that’s a fairly unrealistic policy in the Russian climate.”

***************

Russian artist cuts off earlobe in protest at use of forced psychiatry on dissidents

Pyotr Pavlensky, who once nailed his scrotum to Red Square’s cobblestones, says protest is over return to Soviet-era methods

Alec Luhn in Moscow
The Guardian, Monday 20 October 2014 16.26 BST       

A controversial Russian artist who once nailed his scrotum to the cobblestones of Red Square has been taken to hospital after cutting off his earlobe to protest at the forced psychiatric treatment of dissidents.

Pyotr Pavlensky, a St Petersburg-based performance artist, climbed naked on to the roof of the Serbsky psychiatric centre in Moscow on Sunday and cut off his right earlobe with a large kitchen knife.

Covered in blood, he was removed from the roof by police and taken to a Moscow hospital. Doctors thought he might also have contracted pneumonia, his lawyer, Dmitry Dinze, said on Monday.

But later on Monday, Dinze told the Guardian that Pavlensky did not have pneumonia or lasting problems from the severed earlobe and would probably be discharged from the hospital soon.

In a statement on his wife’s Facebook page on Sunday, Pavlensky said that cutting off his earlobe was meant to represent the damage resulting from police “returning to the use of psychiatry for political goals”.

Pavlensky wrote: “Armed with psychiatric diagnoses, the bureaucrat in a white lab coat cuts off from society those pieces that prevent him from establishing a monolithic dictate of a single, mandatory norm for everyone.”

The Serbsky centre is infamous for giving questionable diagnoses to many of the dissidents who were confined to psychiatric wards in the USSR. In April, a protester in a demonstration in Bolotnaya Square, Mikhail Kosenko, was sentenced to indefinite psychiatric treatment after the Serbsky centre declared him insane, a decision that Amnesty International condemned as a return to that Soviet-era practice.

Nadiya Savchenko, a Ukrainian pilot who was captured by pro-Russia separatists, is being tried for complicity in the deaths of two Russian war correspondents on charges that human rights groups have called politically motivated. She has been undergoing a psychiatric evaluation at the centre since last week.

Prosecutors have been seeking to have Pavlensky undergo a psychiatric evaluation as part of a vandalism case brought against him after he burned tyres on a St Petersburg bridge in February in support of the Kiev protests that toppled the Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovich.

Last week, a St Petersburg district court turned down for a second time a request to have Pavlensky committed to a psychiatric institution. However, on Monday the artist underwent a psychiatric evaluation at the Moscow hospital and was declared sane, Dinze said.

Pavlensky, who has a long history of self-mutilating protests in Russia, gained international attention in November 2013 when he undressed and nailed his scrotum to the cobblestones of Red Square as “a metaphor for the apathy, political indifference and fatalism of modern Russian society”.

He has also wrapped himself naked in barbed wire in front of the St Petersburg legislative assembly and sewn his lips shut to protest at the prosecution of the punk-rock activists Pussy Riot.

 33 
 on: Oct 21, 2014, 05:28 am 
Started by Steve - Last post by Rad
Ukraine Rejects Claims of Banned Cluster Bomb Use

by Naharnet Newsdesk
21 October 2014, 12:37

Ukraine's armed forces on Tuesday rejected allegations that they indiscriminately used banned "cluster bombs" in the six-month war against pro-Russian insurgents in the separatist east.

Human Rights Watch on Monday published a detailed investigation carried out jointly with The New York Times that identified 12 incidents in which these weapons killed six people -- including a Swiss aid worker -- in and around the rebel-held city of Donetsk earlier this month.

The global rights group said there appeared to be "widespread" use of these weapons which are highly inaccurate as they are sprayed across a wide area.

The report supported claims made throughout the conflict by Russia that Ukraine's pro-Western government had been violating human rights and killing innocent civilians through indiscriminate use of force.

"It is shocking to see a weapon that most countries have banned used so extensively in eastern Ukraine," said Human Rights Watch researchers Mark Hiznay.

The report said one of the cluster bomb attacks was responsible for killing a Swiss International Committee of the Red Cross worker in Donetsk on October 2.

Human Rights Watch urged Ukrainian forces to "immediately make a commitment not to use cluster munitions" and for the government to "accede to the treaty banning their use".

The 2008 Convention on Cluster Munitions banning their use has been signed by 113 parties but not Ukraine or the United States.

Cluster munitions contain dozens or even hundreds of smaller explosives that are carried by bombs or rockets.

Human Rights Watch said these smaller explosives "are spread indiscriminately over a wide area, often the size of a football field, putting anyone in the area at the time of attack".

Two top Ukrainian military officials denied using such weapons when contacted by Agence France Presse.

"These charges are groundless," said Ukrainian defence ministry spokesman Bogdan Senyk.

Ukraine's eastern campaign spokesman Vladyslav Seleznyov further dismissed what the rights group described as evidence showing that the military shelled civilian neighbourhoods in industrial cities of Donetsk -- home to nearly a million people before the war.

"Human Rights Watch knows that these are banned weapons -- and we do not use banned weapons," Seleznyov said by telephone.

"Neither do we shell civilian neighbourhoods because this endangers lives. But our opponents constantly attack these neighbourhoods," Seleznyov added.

AFP reporters across the eastern industrial war zone have witnessed repeated shelling attacks on city districts that have contributed to a total death toll that U.N. rights officials estimate at 3,700.

But it is usually impossible to say with any certainty whether these shells and rockets are fired by the insurgents or Ukrainian forces.

Most attacks are conducted from a distance of a few dozen kilometres and both sides accuse the other of responsibility.

Human Rights Watch said that "while not conclusive, circumstances indicate that anti-government forces might have been responsible for the use of cluster munitions."

Separatist leaders issued no immediate comment.

Source: Agence France Presse

************

Amnesty Accuses Ukraine Rivals of Atrocities

by Naharnet Newsdesk
20 October 2014, 16:05

Amnesty International charged Monday that Kiev's forces fighting in eastern Ukraine may be guilty of extrajudicial killings, as well as the pro-Russian rebels.

The rights group found evidence of deliberate killings "attributable to both sides, but not on the scale reported by Russian media and authorities," the rights group said in a report.

In particular, Amnesty looked into reports of mass graves uncovered in late September that Russia's foreign ministry said had over 400 corpses.

Amnesty said the location -- a mine near the village of Nyzhnya Krynka east of the separatist-controlled city of Donetsk -- contained several graves but that the number of dead was vastly exaggerated by Moscow.

"The delegation found strong evidence implicating Kiev-controlled forces in the extrajudicial executions of four men" in the area, it said.

The exhumation of one local resident confirmed that his hands had been taped behind his back when he died, the report said.

Amnesty described him as a victim of extrajudicial execution and concluded that Kiev-controlled forces stationed in the area were implicated.

The 21-year-old was a volunteer for the Donetsk People's Republic and his family said that he manned a checkpoint but never actively participated in fighting, said Amnesty's Ukraine director Tetyana Mazur.

Kiev has previously dismissed reports of executions by Ukrainian forces near Nyzhnya Krynka as a provocation.

"There is no doubt that summary killings and atrocities are being committed by both pro-Russian separatists and pro-Kiev forces in eastern Ukraine but it is difficult to get an accurate sense of the scale of these abuses," Amnesty said.

Pro-Russian separatists who launched their uprising against Kiev in April have been accused of torturing and killing Ukrainian sympathizers and a local lawmaker.

A total of over 3,700 people have been killed in the conflict, including over 300 soldiers and civilians since September 5 when Kiev and the separatists agreed on a ceasefire.

Source: Agence France Presse

*********

Shakhtar Donetsk’s Donbass Arena seriously damaged by shelling

• Powerful explosion damages Euro 2012 venue
• Shakhtar have moved their home matches to Lviv
• Shakhtar Donetsk say armed men have occupied offices

Reuters
theguardian.com, Monday 20 October 2014 15.37 BST   

Donbass Arena Shakhtar Donetsk's Donbass Arena suffered damage brought about by shelling in eastern Ukraine. Photograph: Shamil Zhumatov/Reuters

Shakhtar Donetsk’s Donbass Arena suffered serious blast damage from shelling on Monday despite a ceasefire agreed between the Ukraine government and Russian-backed separatists.

Photographs posted on Twitter showed damage to the glass facade of the stadium in eastern Ukraine’s separatist stronghold.

“As a result of a powerful explosion, the blast wave caused serious damage to the western and eastern parts of the arena,” Vadyn Gunko, the Arena’s interim executive manager, said.

“A part of the facade glass crashed, a large area of it with critical damage. The inner facilities also were hit. We are assessing the damage at the moment, blocking the dangerous areas.

“We are warning the residents of Donetsk not to approach the stadium under any circumstances as it might be unsafe,” he added.

Shakhtar have moved their headquarters from the strife-torn industrial city to Kiev, with home games being played in the western city of Lviv.

The 52,000-seat venue, which hosted five matches at Euro 2012 and has regularly staged Champions League matches, has suffered minor damage in shelling over the past two months with the north-eastern facade damaged in September.

Donetsk has become a stronghold of pro-Russian separatists who are fighting army forces controlled by the government.

Watch the video:  http://www.theguardian.com/world/video/2014/oct/20/donetsk-explosion-news-conference-video


 34 
 on: Oct 21, 2014, 05:18 am 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad

Russia prepares for ice-cold war with show of military force in the Arctic

Vladimir Putin sends troops and jets to oil- and gas-rich region also coveted by Canada, United States, Norway and Denmark

Isabelle Mandraud   
Guardian Weekly, Tuesday 21 October 2014 10.00 BST      

Yaya is a very small Arctic island, barely one metre above sea level and covering only 500 square metres. Russian pilots discovered it at the beginning of October. With the Admiral Vladimirsky research ship having confirmed its presence in the Laptev Sea, Yaya will soon be added to the map of the Arctic Ocean and will become part of Russian territory, the RIA Novosti state news agency announced. In its determination to defend its interests in this icy waste, Russia is no longer content to leave its mark, as it did in 2007 when it planted a Russian flag, in a titanium capsule, 4,200 metres below the north pole. Now it is engaging in large-scale militarisation of the Arctic, a vast area coveted by itself and its four neighbours: Canada, the United States, Norway and Denmark.

RIA Novosti says that former Soviet bases are being reactivated in response to renewed Nato interest in the region. According to the Russian authorities, the airstrip on Novaya Zemlya can now accommodate fighters and part of the North Fleet is establishing quarters there. A new military group will be formed in the far north consisting of two brigades, totalling 6,000 soldiers, deployed in the Murmansk area and then the Yamal-Nenets autonomous region. Radar and ground guidance systems are also planned for Franz Josef Land (part of Novaya Zemlya), Wrangel Island and at Cape Schmidt. The federal security service plans to increase the number of border guards on Russia’s northern perimeter.

During the recent Vostok 2014 full-scale military exercises – the biggest since the end of the Soviet Union – Russian troops carried out combat missions in the Arctic, using the Pantsir-S and Iskander-M weapon systems. Such moves may bring back the atmosphere of the cold war, when the region was the focus of US and Nato attention, as they were convinced that it would be a launchpad for nuclear strikes.

“In those days of acute paranoia, when it seemed vital to keep track of enemy submarines and protect your own, this maybe made sense. But the current military buildup is pointless,” says Alexander Golts, military analyst and deputy editor of the Yezhenedelny Zhurnal (Weekly Journal), a news site that was censored hours after Crimea was annexed. “It is consistent with the stance of the Russian state, which only understands the word ‘force’ in military terms,” he adds. “But you must keep it in proportion; it is still only a symbolic battle. Take a look at the map and you will soon see that 6,000 men spread over such a huge area is not much.”

“It makes no sense,” says Vladimir Chuprov at Greenpeace Russia. “The only justification can be the will, yet again, to unite the Russian people in the face of an enemy on the outside who is supposedly trying to take ‘our’ Arctic, despite there being no threat. It’s a drill ground on which Russia can flex its muscles, and more a matter of world politics than economics.”

The Arctic’s hydrocarbon resources nevertheless exert a powerful pull. It has been compared to “a second Middle East”, with oil and gas reserves thought to represent 17% and 30%, respectively, of the global total. But the extreme climatic conditions and recent international sanctions against Russia have put many projects on hold. At present Russia is extracting no more than 6.6m tonnes of oil a year in this area, compared with “4.5m tonnes lost in the whole country due to leaking pipelines”, according to Greenpeace.

And then there is the North-east Passage, a sea lane between Asia and the US, which will ultimately open as the ice melts, providing an alternative to the Suez canal. But here again there is considerable uncertainty, due to the exorbitant cost of using nuclear ice-breakers to keep it open. Russia owns four of these ships. But “one of them costs $120,000 a day to operate”, Chuprov says. He is also concerned about the environmental impact of a military buildup in the Arctic. “During the recent military exercises the missiles were launched on Wrangel Island, with no observers, in an area which is a breeding ground for polar bears and walruses.”

On 11 October, in an attempt to forestall such criticism, the Russian defence ministry announced plans to build “a regional environmental centre [...] to prevent pollution in areas where Russian forces are deployed”. Russian troops systematically receive “training and briefings on environmental safety and compliance with legislation”, deputy minister Dmitry Bulgakov added. But it will take more than this to reassure the western powers.

The Arctic, which is governed by international maritime law, is also the focus of other disputes. Canada regularly carries out military exercises in its Arctic territory. Relations between Ottawa and Moscow have cooled significantly since the start of the Ukraine crisis.

This article appeared in Guardian Weekly, which incorporates material from Le Monde

 35 
 on: Oct 21, 2014, 05:07 am 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Russians investigating more than 200 McDonald’s

Newsweek
21 Oct 2014 at 06:37 ET         

Russian officials are investigating more than 200 McDonald’s restaurants—nearly half of the fast-food chain’s locations in the country—in what many analysts see as retaliation against Western-backed sanctions.

The probes into the chain’s hygiene and finance practices by the Rospotrebnadzor, the Russian government’s consumer rights surveillance group, began in August and have since resulted in the temporary closure of nine locations, include one McDonald’s in Sochi, the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics, and several restaurants in Moscow, according to a translation of a statement on the McDonald’s Russian website published Saturday.

Analysts believed the move is part of a tit-for-tat response to Western sanctions over Russian aggression in Ukraine and the country’s annexation of Crimea earlier this year. Using health and safety violations as a reason to shut down businesses in Russia “‘is an instrument that’s often used’ by the Kremlin to gain leverage in political disputes," Nonna Crane, a lawyer specializing in Russian business issues told Bloomberg Businessweek.

McDonald Russia said in its statement that it disagrees with the court’s decision to shut those restaurants and will appeal to a higher court. More than 100 McDonald’s restaurants are in the capital of Moscow and the surrounding area, according to CNBC.

The closed locations include the Moscow’s Pushkin Square McDonald’s, which was the first to be opened in the country in 1990, just before the collapse of the Soviet Union. After four locations were shut in August over alleged health violations, a further five restaurants were added to the list. McDonald’s sales in Russia were around 8 percent of the company’s global total of $28 billion, according to Bloomberg Businessweek reports.

“An attack on McDonald’s is a very populist act right now, when there is clear tension between Russia and the West—this is the main idea,” human rights lawyer Pavel Chikov told The Washington Post after Russian authorities launched an investigation into the operations of Ronald McDonald House Charities in the country.

The U.S. and European Union have imposed strict sanctions on Russia since March, including visa and travel bans and restrictions on Russia’s economic sector. The Kremlin denies involvement with fighting in Ukraine and consider the sanctions a “hostile step,” Reuters reports.

On Wednesday, Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a warning to the West over sanctions and reminded them of “the threat of a fallout between the largest nuclear powers,” Reuters reports.

“Our partners should be well aware that attempts to put pressure on Russia with unilateral and illegitimate restrictive measures will not bring about a settlement, but rather impede the dialogue,” Putin said in an interview with Serbian newspaper Politika. He did not make reference to the McDonald’s investigations in his interview.

Russian food safety watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor announced Monday that it will include more foods on list of Western products banned from importation, including cattle and pig by-products like lard and offal, The Moscow Times reports. On August 6, Russia enacted a one-year ban on fruits, vegetables, dairy and meat products from European, including Polish apples.   

 36 
 on: Oct 21, 2014, 05:04 am 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Polish ex-minister: Putin offered to divide Ukraine with Poland in 2008

Newsweek
21 Oct 2014 at 06:43 ET   

WARSAW (Reuters) - Poland's parliamentary speaker, Radoslaw Sikorski, has been quoted as saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin proposed to Poland's then leader in 2008 that they divide Ukraine between themselves.

Sikorski, who until September served as Poland's foreign minister, was quoted telling U.S. website Politico that Putin made the proposal during Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk's visit to Moscow in 2008 - although he later said some of the interview had been "overinterpreted".

"He wanted us to become participants in this partition of Ukraine ... This was one of the first things that Putin said to my prime minister, Donald Tusk, when he visited Moscow," he was quoted as saying in the interview dated Oct. 19.

"He (Putin) went on to say Ukraine is an artificial country and that Lwow is a Polish city and why don't we just sort it out together," Sikorski was quoted as saying.

Before World War Two, Poland's territory included parts of today's western Ukraine, including some major cities such as Lwow, known as Lviv in Ukraine.

Sikorski, who accompanied Tusk on his trip to Moscow, was quoted as saying Tusk did not reply to Putin's suggestion, because he knew he was being recorded, but Poland never expressed any interest in joining the Russian operation.

"We made it very, very clear to them - we wanted nothing to do with this," Sikorski was quoted as saying.

After publication of the interview, Sikorski said it was not entirely accurate.

"Some of the words have been overinterpreted," Sikorski wrote on his Twitter account late on Monday, adding that Poland does not take part in annexations.

The interview could further aggravate tension between Poland and Russia, already at odds over the Ukrainian crisis and Poland's arrest of two men suspected of spying for Moscow.

Neither Poland's Foreign Ministry nor Russian officials were immediately available to comment.

"If such a proposal was made by Putin then that's scandalous," Ewa Kopacz, who replaced Tusk as prime minister after his departure for a top job in Brussels, said late on Monday in an interview with public broadcaster TVP.

"No Polish prime minister will participate in such a disgraceful activity like partitioning another country", she said, adding she had not heard about such a proposal before.

Sikorski's account is not the first suggestion that Russia was seeking Poland's support in partitioning Ukraine.

Following the annexation of Crimea, Russian parliamentary speaker Vladimir Zhirinovsky sent a letter to the governments of Poland, Romania and Hungary, proposing a joint division of the country.

 37 
 on: Oct 21, 2014, 05:02 am 
Started by Rad - Last post by Rad
Rich Chinese are literally eating this exotic mammal into extinction

GlobalPost
21 Oct 2014 at 06:56 ET     

MONG LA, Myanmar — “It’s delicious,” the Chinese waitress says, pointing at the three metal cages on the pavement. Inside each is a pangolin — an odd-looking creature that, over the past decade, has become the most heavily trafficked wild mammal in the world, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

At the moment, each pangolin resembles a ball about the size of a melon, covered in crocodile-like scales.

Sensing danger, the three animals have instinctively curled themselves into tight balls. In the wild, this reflex protects them from predators like bears and large cats. But there’s little defense against wildlife traffickers and well-heeled diners hoping to taste a rare and exotic meat.

This neon-soaked eatery in Mong La, a shabby town in a tiny rebel-held fief on the China-Myanmar border, is just one end-point of a global trade that is pushing the pangolin to the brink of extinction. The main trigger: a soaring demand for their scales and meat, mostly from China and Vietnam.

“The species here in Southeast Asia are getting absolutely hammered by a very large-scale, well-organized, systematic collection and trade to supply demand in China,” says Chris Shepherd, Southeast Asia regional director of the wildlife protection organization TRAFFIC.

In Mong La, pangolins are openly sold in restaurants to border-hopping Chinese tourists. Nearby wildlife boutiques sell pangolin skins and scales immersed in rice wine. At the open-air central market, one Chinese trader offers to sell me the skin of a Sunda pangolin, listed as “critically endangered” by the IUCN, for 200 yuan (about US$32). “Here, feel how soft it is,” she says, running her hands over the grey scales.

A shy, nocturnal animal, the pangolin has a long snout, tough outer scales, and snaking tongue, which it uses to lick up insects. In China, where it is known as lingli, or “hill carp,” in reference to its scaly exterior, pangolin meat has long been prized. The creature’s scales — made from keratin, the same substance as human fingernails and hair (as well as Rhino horn) — are also prescribed by traditional doctors to treat skin disorders and other ailments —despite lacking medical benefits.

The trade in pangolin parts from Southeast Asia to Hong Kong and China has taken place since at least the early 20 th century, according to Dan Challender, co-chair of the IUCN’s Pangolin Specialist Group. From the 1950s to the 1980s, Challender says, pangolin skins were also exported in small quantities to the US and Mexico, where they were used to make shoes and clothes. The “official” exports of these products came to an end in 2000, when the trade in wild-caught pangolins was effectively banned under the international wildlife treaty CITES.

But with China’s boom, demand for pangolins has skyrocketed. For many middle-class Chinese, consuming black-market pangolins is now considered a sign of wealth and status, says Challender, who is writing his PhD on the global pangolin trade.

While conducting research in Vietnam in 2012, Challender witnessed a diner pay $700 for a two-kilogram pangolin. “The creation of urban luxury markets for wild meat, especially where wild meat has been consumed historically, has been a key driver in the trade of pangolins,” he says.

To meet increased demand, pangolins are now harvested and processed illegally on an industrial scale. In one week in March 2008, Vietnamese officials confiscated 23 tons of pangolins at Hai Phong port, part of a shipment making its way from Indonesia to China. In 2010, another 7.8 tons of frozen pangolins were seized in southern China, along with 1,800 kilograms (nearly 4,000 pounds) of scales. Similar hauls have been made more recently en route to the Chinese market.

By the time they are packed into these large shipments, the pangolins are “effectively meat,” Challender says. “They’ve had all the scales taken off, they’ve had all the organs taken out — they’ve been processed industrially.”

In a June report, the Pangolin Specialist Group estimated that more than a million pangolins have been taken from the wild over the past decade, and that populations across Asia were in “precipitous decline.” Of the eight pangolin species, the IUCN now lists four as vulnerable, two as endangered, and two as critically endangered.

With pangolin supplies in China and nearby countries dried up, wildlife traffickers have looked further afield. The newest frontier is Africa. People in countries like Gabon, Kenya, Cameroon, Nigeria, and the Central African Republic have grown more aware of the value of pangolins to international traffickers.

So far this year, more than six tons of African pangolin scales have been seized prior export to Asia — more than the combined total of all previous seizures on the continent. “The pull from China is getting bigger and bigger, and stretches wider and wider,” says Vincent Nijman, a zoologist at Oxford Brookes University in the UK who has studied the wildlife trade in Southeast Asia.

According to Challender the beginnings of an intercontinental trade present nothing short of a “global crisis.”

“The worrying thing is the scale of it. The worrying thing is the number of countries from which African pangolins have been [taken],” he says.

Conservationists say that despite occasional large seizures, and despite pangolins being protected by law in every Asian country other than Brunei and Bhutan, dismantling wildlife trafficking networks remains a low priority.

In Cambodia, Toby Eastoe of Conservation International works with forestry rangers in the thickly-forested Cardamom Mountains, one of the few places in the country where significant populations of pangolins remain.

As in many other countries, the trade in pangolins is driven by poverty and opportunity. For a poor Cambodian villager, finding a live pangolin or accidentally snaring one in the forest is like winning the lottery. A live animal can fetch them anywhere from $100 to $400. “Everybody’s looking for pangolins,” Eastoe says. “It’s one of the most lucrative animals that you can easily get.”

Even while rangers sometimes arrest local people for catching pangolins, few higher up the chain are ever caught. As Eastoe says, “most of the people we arrest are poor. They’re just poor people trying to earn an extra buck.”

Despite all of this, there is some reason for optimism. Awareness of the pangolin’s plight is greater than it has ever been—the necessary first step to the effective enforcement of wildlife laws. And while pangolins only produce one offspring at a time, they can breed in the wild quite quickly, meaning that populations could potentially bounce back quickly if hunting pressure is alleviated.

But without a concerted push to fight trafficking cartels and give teeth to longstanding wildlife treaties, pangolins will remain easy prey. “Their only real defense, other than hiding, is rolling up into a ball,” says Shepherd of TRAFFIC. “They aren’t designed to deal with this sort of threat.”   

 38 
 on: Oct 21, 2014, 01:56 am 
Started by Rad - Last post by Linda
SATURN ASSIGNMENT
Aries MC ruled by Mars through the Houses

Each Soul has a true life purpose expressed as work or career that plays out relative to its ongoing evolutionary needs. Social functions are expressed differently according to the levels of evolution.

•  Consensus Souls will desire to conform to traditional social functions that are conditioned by family and society.
•  Individuated Souls will desire to de-condition from limited social roles by way of independence, investigation, individuation and an expansion of personal awareness.
•  Spiritual Souls will desire to consciously cooperate with the inner promptings coming from Source, and to work in areas such as teaching and healing.

In terms of the social purpose of Aries on the MC, the desire nature or expression of will is generally expressed through qualities of pioneering, discovery, freedom, independence, physical stamina, leadership, working alone, initiative, narcissism, intolerance, and courage. These Aries qualities on the MC are fused with Capricornian qualities of discipline, persistence, practicality, cautiousness, conformity, maturity, tradition, responsibility, and commitment. Together the complimentary energies of Aries plus the MC manifest as launching anything new then sustaining it, and in turn, the building of long-term structures that are useful to society being sustained by newness, initiative, energy, and creativity.

Aries MC ruled by Mars in the 1st house
The need to accomplish a goal in society is a direct reflection of the Soul’s sense of special destiny. It will be imperative that the Soul has the freedom and independence to be able to instinctively follow and act upon any impulse that will lead to satisfying its intensely urgent cravings for personal achievement and self-discovery in the social sphere. Desiring to be self-regulated, autonomous, and set its own routine, the Soul will build a sense of personal authority and expertise. Mars in the 1st can be highly competitive, self-assertive, impatient, and wish to “do my own thing.” The Soul will sometimes be conflicted between wanting to fulfill its own personal desires and having to take into account what could be best for others. While the Soul will feel highly motivated to achieve a purpose in society, it can at the same time experience an identity crisis. Anger, frustration and confrontations with others will lead to lessons in equality, listening, and giving consideration to others. Ambition is strong in the cardinal signs and houses. Mars in the 1st house initiates many actions, but the fire may burn out fast.
Keywords:  adventure, zeal, impulsiveness, originality, independence, energetic, conquest, radiance, self-centred, self-directed, strong, courageous, pioneering.
Occupations:  leading causes/campaigns, athlete, salesperson, ideas man/woman, military.

Aries MC ruled by Mars in the 2nd house
To achieve success in the chosen career, the Soul will have an evolutionary need (closely linked to the biological instinct for survival) to be self-reliant and self-sufficient. There can be an attraction to the financial world, money and wealth in order to maintain a sensual and pleasurable lifestyle. The Soul will wish to build a protective well around itself in order to withdraw, develop its value systems, use its personal talents and resources, and maintain a sense of control in its life. Being overly isolated will lead to confrontations that reveal the limits in the Soul’s value systems. Confronting personal limitations will allow the Soul to open up to others and transform its performance in the world. No matter if the Soul is rich or poor, it will be tested to uphold non-devious means to make money in an honest fashion. Work may be associated with the Earth in some way, eg gardening. Mars in the 2nd house is a fixed fire energy, which keeps the fire going in a steady fashion.
Keywords:  determination, materialistic, extreme fixity, obstinacy, sustaining, resisting change.
Occupations: finance, banks, jewelry, investments, gardening, food, decorating.

Aries MC ruled by Mars in the 3rd house
The Soul will capitalize upon the structures of communication – writing, speaking, learning, teaching – thoughts, ideas and opinions in order to further its career goals. Creative ideas and thinking patterns are closely linked to the instinctive desire nature. There can be a great deal of professional traveling. It can be difficult to overcome early parental imprints that had conditioned the Soul’s thinking patterns and mental outlook. There will be a need to develop maturity and discipline to tame the scattered mental energies. This can be the salesperson who can “sell ice to an Eskimo.” There is a tendency to move from job to job. The constant collection of information, facts and data will form a significant part of career dynamics, with incoming information reshaping the mental framework and also the structures of the career. All the Mercurial pieces of information will go into forming larger and cohesive structures. The Soul may experience an intellectual crisis, sense of disorientation, or loss of emotional security when new information undermines the old. In this way, there is a process of constant re-building. The evolutionary intention is to learn the deeper meaning behind the information collected by developing the intuitive faculties. Mars in the 3rd house has a tendency to jump from one idea to the next.
Keywords: absorb knowledge, deductive logic, reason, busybody, adaptable, ingenious, instability, easily bored.
Occupations: books, computers, messenger, traveler, post office, journalist, salesperson, advertising, writing, speaking, newsagent.

Aries MC ruled by Mars in the 4th house
This placement can mean that career activities are connected to one’s home, eg self-employment, home office, family business, homemaker, etc. An emotional imprint in the early life could have had the Soul identifying itself as a separate being, thus the inner sense of self-image or ego can feel no connection to others. Hiding a deep vulnerability by assuming a masculine denial of emotions, the response to any crisis can be to “take action” or to fight back. With the emotions thus squashed, the Soul may feel inadequate and defensively become aggressive or lose its temper often. The evolutionary lesson is to find security within oneself, and not in anything external, by learning to accept responsibility for its actions, quit blaming parental figures, and integrate the personality into the work arena in a mature way. All the energies in this configuration are cardinal in nature which means an instinctual need to initiate change, thus the security associated with the 4th house will be frustrated and result in new realities being born. Ambition is important in this cardinal house. The Soul will become emotionally involved with a variety of people.
Keywords:  moody, protection, security, empathy, tenacity, defensiveness, caring, creative.
Occupations:  social worker, cook, homemaker, baker, psychic, shelter.

Aries MC ruled by Mars in the 5th house

The Soul’s creative self-expression will be orientated toward a social purpose that is based on being noticed, highly visible, and receiving recognition. The need for power and recognition can be satisfied by way of performance on a larger stage with an audience. The triple dose of fire energy will heighten a sense of special destiny and allow the Soul to take charge and shape its destiny according to the will. The career will be based directly upon creative and artistic urges. If the Soul does not get the recognition that it feels it deserves, emotional problems may ensue. In extreme cases, this can be a God-complex, where the Soul feels that everything should revolve around itself. With a highly charged sexuality, there could be an inclination to create love affairs in the workplace whereby it can receive the love it so desperately needs. Forcing its purpose onto others, the Soul can control the lives of others. The evolutionary intention is to understand why it manipulate others. There is a need to develop an objective focus and to link its special destiny to a social purpose that is important and relevant to societal needs, not just individual needs. This position allows the inspiration and spirit to remain strong in the work area.
Keywords: nobility, ability to sway others, fixity of purpose, finishing what is started, inspiration, confidence, illumination, ruler.
Occupations:  entertainment, leader, creative self-expression, work with children, comedian.

Aries MC ruled by Mars in the 6th house
The orientation to professional goals will consist of being of service to others which can be fueled by a sense of personal inadequacy, guilt, and self-doubt – and/or discipline, self-improvement and a desire to heal others. There will be a strong desire to create structures that have a practical and useful application for the community. The 6th and 10th houses share a natural earth affinity for stability and dependability. The Soul is able to synthesize its various tools and techniques into a professional focus. The work ethic can be based on an underlying victimization, the psychology of masochism, with the Soul working like a servant or slave. On the other extreme, sadism can mean overly punishing and cruel expectations for self and others in the workplace, and working others to the bone like a slave driver. Constant busyness and workaholic tendencies can lead to personal health issues. There will be an abundant amount of energy to expend. The Soul’s x-ray vision will enable it to point out many flaws within the organizational structure of any business or institution. However, thinking it knows more than anyone else, the suggestions for changes and improvements may not be readily embraced by others as they may threaten the existing structures. Possessing humility and a desire to be of service will see the Soul working tirelessly and very hard. The evolutionary intention concerning any crisis in the workplace will lead to analysis and reflection that will then lead to making the necessary adjustments to one’s own performance or to the organizational structure. The evolutionary intention of fostering self-forgiveness and Divinity will lead to carrying out a true purpose rather than menial work. Mars in the 6th house is an energy of grooming, priming, organizing and preparing the soil for planting with many ideas.
Keywords:  deductive logic, self-sacrifice, reformation, worry, negative thinking, skeptical, analytical.
Occupations: librarian, herbalist, chemist, nurse, detail-oriented work, veterinarian, health, animals.

Aries MC ruled by Mars in the 7th house
The partner could figure prominently in the Soul’s career or social standing. There will be a great deal of social awareness and the comparison of oneself with others. There could be a desire towards a career that involves social grace and beauty. This placement is a paradoxical signature, a conflict between a primary desire for total freedom and independence, with a desire for partnership. The Soul will live through others, give too much, and be highly attuned to other people’s needs. Frustration of not receiving enough in return can lead to anger, hostilities, arguments, and emotional meltdowns. The duality of feminine and masculine, anima and animus, will be internalized as a conflict. These extremes can transfer to the career by way of dominance/submission dynamics. Creating harmony and balance will impact upon the success or failure of career objectives. The psychology of listening will be important so as to gauge what employers or customers really require. This placement is cardinal in nature, thus there will be major shifts and turning points in the Soul’s career path, and learning how to conduct professional relationships in a new way. With Mars in the 7th there is a lot of thinking and planning of ideas.
Keywords:  equality, mediation, balance, agreement, cooperation, sociable.
Occupations: the arts, social affairs, partnerships, counselor, beauty, fashion.

Aries MC ruled by Mars in the 8th house
Mars being the lower octave of Pluto enables the desires emanating from the Soul to become conscious and instinctively acted upon. How these desires will be acted upon will be played out in the areas of the 8th, 10th, and 1st houses. The Soul will transform its limitations by forming relationships to symbols and sources of power in the area of career that symbolize what it needs to evolve beyond those limitations. The Soul absorbs the power of whatever symbol into itself, eg money, status, knowledge, expertise, thus becoming more than what it was before. Possessing a natural ability for psychological investigations and a well-developed awareness of its own and others’ motivations, intentions and desires, the Soul’s choice of career can be anything that involves digging below the surface or finding the core issue. There is a natural capacity to deal with the financial capital of others. Acting on instinct will allow for quick, calculating and astute business decisions. With this placement, there is a possibility of manipulating and controlling others in the workplace due to a fear of having one's authority undermined. There can be a defensiveness and suspicion of others since the Soul has suffered betrayals in past lives. Because the Soul has been karmically linked to its workmates in past lives, one of its lessons will be to withdraw and find the core of who it is, rather than what it has osmosed from others. The Soul’s powerful ability for metamorphosis, transformation and regeneration allows for a quick recovery after an experience of failure. Mars in the 8th develops intense instinctual and emotional involvements with a select group of people.
Keywords:  revelation, magnetism, catharsis, hidden power, elimination, vindictive, manipulation, secrets.
Occupations: detective, research, psychologist, espionage, laboratories, transformational healer, scientist.

Aries MC ruled by Mars in the 9th house
The Soul’s profession may include teaching, philosophy, travel, education, other cultures or anything involved with Natural Law. The Soul could be a natural-born teacher with a desire to imprint its world view or beliefs through the career. The Soul’s need for freedom and explorational urges will be important in terms of its occupation. The 9th house is an archetype of expansion, therefore whatever field is chosen will need to allow for right-brain, intuitive, conceptual or abstract thoughts or principles to progressively expand into universal truth. A method of expansion for the Soul’s higher mind may be to travel to new countries and experience new cultures. The 10th house symbolizes how the Soul’s beliefs will become crystallized or given a structure through which to operate. In the Spiritual evolutionary state, it may be difficult for the Soul to operate in a world of man-made laws (10th) where Natural Laws are constantly violated. The Soul’s core beliefs, interpretation of life, and especially its evolutionary state, will crystallize into corresponding social constructs of ethics, standards and rules. Distortion of beliefs will be reflected as distortions of Natural Law.
Keywords: intuition, exploration, propaganda, joviality, honesty, understanding, fanaticism, reckless.
Occupations:  foreign affairs, philosophy, religion, law, education, judge, gambling, travel, publishing, teaching.

Aries MC ruled by Mars in the 10th house
The double signature of the Mars/Aries archetype in the 10th house will show a career path of self-employment or a position of leadership. The Soul will generally be able to understand and abide by the laws, customs, rules and taboos of society. The family could figure prominently in the Soul’s career. It will be important that the Soul be able to establish its authority within society. It understands how society functions, and therefore it can either manipulate the system or adhere to a high standard of conduct. The Soul will be born into a county that best reflects its evolutionary lessons. There can be a strong desire for positions of power or status. Coming from positions in past lives, the Soul will understand how social systems work. If the Soul has manipulated the system or abused its power in past lives or in the current life, a fall from grace will teach the necessary lessons. Guilt can very often have past life origins, and the Soul could very well create blocking conditions for itself in the social sphere. This situation can lead to depression and a sense of futility. With this position the identity can be too bound up with the social role. Shocks delivered in the workplace will lead to creating inner security not tied to social position. This position denotes a pioneer with a strong will to succeed, and abundance of energy that is available to bring ambitions to fruition.
Keywords:  self-mastery, organization, ambition, duty, driven, hard-working, dictatorial, responsibility, coldness, efficiency.
Occupations: military, political affairs, government, authority, real estate, architect, entrepreneur, senior citizens, family business.

Aries MC ruled by Mars in the 11th house
With Mars in the 11th house the career will be connected to group dynamics and collective interests. The Soul’s career may depend upon the support of others in the group, therefore the ability to get on with others, be a good friend, and harmonious group alliances will be paramount to success. On the other hand, the Soul could be a group of one, and work alone due to feeling very different to others. Business ideas that reflect individual or group aspirations will usually be ahead of their time. They will be sustained and carried to completion due to the fixed nature of the 11th house. The Soul will be moving away from the mainstream and de-conditioning from the consensus. Social, group and collective ideals, depending upon the state of evolution, can be expressed anywhere from group movements, revolutions, humanitarian causes, to anarchy, rebellion, and bringing down the system. The Soul may fear change and being different. The natural understanding of group dynamics can lead to becoming a visionary towards social progress.
Keywords:  originality, experimentation, broadminded, rebellious, bizarre, anarchistic, genius, future-oriented.
Occupations:  astrology, electricity, invention, humanitarian, unions, technology, science, revolutions, movements.

Aries MC ruled by Mars in the 12th house
In the area of career, the Soul will be dealing with various Neptunian archetypes in order to re-align with actual reality. Some of these are: projecting a sense of ultimate meaning upon anything that is temporal in nature, and that is not based on realizing a relationship to the Divine; deceiving oneself or others; feeling victimized and creating rationalizations to victimize others; inflating the egocentric structure to the point of a ‘god complex;’ and experiencing the instability of consciousness. On the positive side, the Soul can follow impulses, thoughts and desires coming from Source that can naturally ‘spiritualize’ the life. These impulses may lead to altruistic, philanthropic, spiritual healing or teaching work. Due to a natural hypersensitivity, the Soul will prefer to work in a career that is not highly visible. Some career goals may be unattainable, while others can magically manifest success. The Soul’s life work can impact the Collective Conscious in order to evolve the bigger picture of the Collective Unconsciousness.
Keywords:  idealism, compassion, devotion, imagination, mystical feelings, impressionable, deception, hypersensitivity, drugs, escape.
Occupations: institutions, hospitals, films, musician, artist, poet, nurse, psychiatrist, social worker, arts, spirituality, mysticism, occult work, God's work.


~      ~      ~


Thanks so much Rad and fellow EA'ers.



 39 
 on: Oct 20, 2014, 01:34 pm 
Started by Rad - Last post by Skywalker
Hi Rad and Group,

Aries MC, Mars thru the Houses

With the Aries MC we described how the individual is initiating a new cycle relative to his or her social role and work dynamics. The individual also carries within a very energetic signature relative to the outer, social dynamics, as the need to initiate a career path requires the energy and freedom to break new ground if necessary. Within this symbol is also a feeling of having something unique to accomplish in the current life, no matter how grandiose or humble in scope, it is special for the individual with an Aries MC.

Further information on the past of the individual can be seen where the South Node of Mars is to indicate the past orientation of the Soul´s instinctual actions, the way the individual pursued his or her desires without much forethought. The position of Pluto and the South Node of the Moon and its ruler will indicate what the desires were on an archetypal level Pluto, and what type of past egocentric structures the Soul generated in order to experience those desires, South Node. The South Node ruler will give additional information about the egocentric structure the Soul created, and how it actualized itself.

The Sign shows the Archetypal qualitiies that the House will be conditioned by.

If Gemini was on the MC instead of Aries and Mercury was located in the Second House, it could correlate to music just as it could with Mars in the Second House and an Aries MC. The main and key differences would be the way that the individual would pursue the music, the way the individual would try to define his place in the world and his or her approach to the chosen profession would be different with Gemini on the MC. With Mars in the Second and an Aries MC, the individual would pursue the music profession in bursts of energy, with passion and until it ran out of fire. The music itself could be intense, driving or very fast and agressive. With Gemini on the MC and Mercury in the Second House, the individual could be interested in various types of music and desire to express those various styles by having various ongoing music projects that could bring income from various avenues, one could be writing a blog about music, another playing in a band and another solo project. The music itself could be more varied and always changing as the individual gathered more knowledge and influences.


Trying to not make this too cookbook like, here are some archetypal dynamics of this planetary configuration and potential work expressions.

When Mars rules the MC and is located in the First House, the Individual has just recently and is presently looking to initiate a new cycle within its social sphere. The first house and Aries both indicate that a new cycle is being initiated so there is a double Mars signature which will correlate with an individual who is very aggressive in one way or another in the pursuit of his or her newly found goals or independence needs. With This signature the individual may be breaking away from past dynamics of a professional or social nature that were some how oppressive or restrictive. In the present incarnation the individual will have an instinctive desire that is intense and passionate to break ground, like a newly sprouted seed so it can follow it´s new professional dream which equates to a new cycle of freedom and expression.

I have an example of a man in his mid thirties who has Pluto in the Fourth House and has deep abandonment issues with his family who set up the environment and dynamics which led to him desiring to break free from his family where he felt very unloved and unwanted. He has an Aries MC and Mars is on the AC. His instinctive way of looking independence and for emotional security is to break free from his family by doing almost any kind of work just to be able to be free from the home dynamics. Dynamics that were unfair and which forced him back upon himself for inner security, Pluto in Libra in the Fourth House. He also has a special sense of destiny in the world in which he desires to be seen and appreciated as special for his performing talents. He works hard at these performing dynamics and pursues them with drive and passion, Mars.
Work wise he doesn´t really stick to jobs easily as with this signature, authority figures also can be a problem as the individual can have repressed anger/rage which then is reflected in the outer environment as oppressive bosses or circumstances which lead the individual to desire to confront those people/circumstances or to initiate some new activity that can promote the ongoing sense of freedom the individual needs.

Some potential work expressions of this combo, besides basically anything that can lead to the individual feeling free in the world, can be anything involving danger, physical intensity and a lot of action. Something like a stunt man, a paramedic that goes to extreme conditions like high in the mountains to rescue people, a fighter or competitive sports practicioner, firefighter, soldier.

Key statement: I work with whatever gives me an ongoing sense of personal freedom and that which allows me to continue my ongoing self discovery.

With Mars in the Second House relative to the Aries MC, the individual will desire to develop his or her own inner resources as a way to make a living and to be professionally active within society, by using those resources or by generating resources such as thru agriculture. These resources can be many things depending on the individual. The individual may be passionate about something it values such as music, collectionable items or a natural resource that equals value and thus survival. The individual can also simply do whatever is necessary to survive and make ends meat or may also continually work on developing new ways of sustaining the self and developing his or her natural talents and inner resources, which can then translate into work in some way or into a self sustaining business.

Key statement: I work with that which I value and love or with what can sustain me.

With Mars in the third House and an Aries MC we have a very dynamic combination in which there is a lot of needed freedom of action and movement in order for the individual to fully express itself in the world. The individual can be extremely curious about the culture and society and wish to participate in society in varying degrees and in various ways, sometimes simultaneously. With Mars in the Third House anything to do with communication and the flow of information or dealing with the public are all potential avenues of professional expression as the Third House Mars needs mental stimulus. Some potential work would be teaching anything, writing, journalism, marketing, languages, bus or taxi driver, tour guide, sales person, maths teacher, accountant.

Key statement; I work with that which stimulates my mind and gives me an ongoing sense of self discovery thru contacts, communication, learning or teaching new things.

With Mars in the Fourth House relative to the Aries MC, the individual may wish to work from home or in some way connected to housing or security. The Mars energy here can also be someone who fights for people or the caretaker, nurse or fireman who desires to nurture and protect others. The idea of nurturing and protection is key in the Fourth House. Some may decide to be a house mom or house dad and take care of the family while the other goes out and works. Cooking may also be another potential for professional expression and dealing with properties and real estate may be another. Baby sittier, vet along with Leo, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces, policeman, interior decorator.

Key statement: I work with what can nurture and protect myself and others.


With Mars in the Fifth House relative to the MC and work dynamics the individual will have a double fire signature, correlating with an intense desire for self actualization in the professional world, thru personal creative actualization or the actualization of others as a vicarious extension of the self, such as in a sports coach or team leader, who sees the kids or team as an extension of him or herself.
Creativity in all its forms is a possibility with this placement, from stand up comedy to acting, competitive sports or show business of any kind. Working with children is another potential avenue of expression, anything fun and games and gambling or risk taking in various forms, such as in being a stunt man or professional poker player. Events management and events production.

Key statement: I am my work as it is a full expression of myself.


With Mars in the Sixth House relative to the Aries MC the individual will instinctively desire to improve him or herself, the world at large and the lives of people in general in various ways. Depending of course on personal history and will, evolutionary level and circumstantial reality, the individual can desire to work in a variety of different areas but one predominant one is the area of health and service. The service work force is huge in todays world and there are different types of so called small jobs but that require skill and dedication and are as important as the “bigger” jobs. With the Sixth House Mars the Soul will desire to be of service in some way as reflected in who the individual actually is and, in ways  that the individual will also be able to continually improve his or her life and own self while he or she also serves others in a way that benefits them.

Many actors have Mars in the Sixth House as acting requires developing skills and at times an intense degree of devotion and dedication.

Working to improve the environment and the quality of living in general is also another potential expression, from sweeping the streets to working in an NGO in order to improve living conditions or the environment.

Any job that requires perfecting something thru diligence and of course the healing professions of various types, from the traditional medical establishment like in nursing to the more natural or holistic healing methods such as homeopathy, crystal therapy or nutrition no name a few.

In the service area the individual can also own or work in a business that does handy jobs such as in a plumbing company, laundry service or any other service related business. Depending on other factors, human resources within a company can also be a possibility. The potentials for the Sixth House Mars are quite numerous relative to work as long as the Soul can feel that it is expressing itself in a way  that is of service to others or is perfecting the self in some way.
Also an instructor of Yoga or Martial arts as the individual follows a path of devotion to one of these modalities and helps others to benefit from the knowledge within these or similar practices.

Key statement: I work to improve my life, the life of others and the world at large.

Mars in the Seventh House relative to the MC in Aries and work functions can correlate to a people´s person who desires to work with others in various ways and has skills in dealing with people in general. A diplomat or public relations or lawyer are possible professions for a Mars in Libra or in the Seventh House. Anything that has to do with dealing with various types of people and balancing their various needs is a potential professional expression. A mediator between people, conflict management.
Anything artistic in which the sense of symmetry, beauty and grace is important such as in an art gallery, fashion show or commerce connected to clothing and style, hairdresser, decorator.

Key statement I work and pursue with that which I find attractive and that which connects me to others gracefully.


Mars in the Eighth House relative to the Aries MC can be a real powerhouse who desires to have power within  society. It can correlate with professions that go deep into the human psyche in various ways. Can correlate with psychology, astrology, medicine, surgeons, shamanistic rituals, death as a business, sex as a business, economics, finance, banking, spying, detective work, garbage men, military career, martial artist. It can correlate with an individual which desires to associate with the rich or marry into money and power. Someone who is adept at handling resources of others or combined resources.

Key statement: I work in order to be self sustained by my own will and have the power to live whatever I desire in order to evolve.

Mars in the Ninth relative to the Aries MC can correlate to someone who desires and needs quite a bit of freedom to explore their professional potential, depending of course on life circumstances, evolutionary level, karmic necessity and so on, the individual may be someone who is very good at selling ideas or physical objects/goods to people, as long as he or she believes in the ideas or goods. The Ninth House is also a fire archetype and as such can correlate to a passionate drive to share with others that which the individual believes in and which is part of his or her core belief system. That which he or she believes in can be seen as something positive which in turn can lead to the person pursuing it with passion. Exploring new ground in any body of knowledge such as in an academic or a traveller who searches for new and exotic places in order to learn from various cultures or which works in the travel industry, a teacher who wishes to share his or her knowledge or someone who works with nature or animals such as in a natural park, zoo or be or to study the natural world, space, religions, philosophies or metaphysics and then become a vehicle to teach others. Sports are also another potential and for people that get a job just because they have to might want a job outdoors where then can have a sense of freedom and be connected to nature in some way or be on the move and not tied down to an office. Law and ethics can also be of interest to the individual with this placement.

Key statement: I work in order to be free to explore.


Mars in the Tenth House relative to the Aries MC can indicate a very strong drive for success and status in the world in some way or form. It can correlate with a very strong desire to climb to the top by ones own means and effort therefore it can correlate with a self made man or woman who can start something totally new from scratch and turn into an empire if there is sustained effort and a continual sense of forward movement. Another possibility could be anything connected with administration and leadership, decision making position within a company political party or organization. It can correlate with a person wanting his or her own business or someone who tries many differnent jobs, to a military career or a career in the government in general or in anything that can lead to a sense of progress in the structure of the company or organization which then can lead to a sense of status within society. A sense of independence can be very important therefore the soul can desire to do anything of its own in which the person is his or her own boss, specially if in Aries. Can also correlate with building anything or with architecture.

Key statement: I work to honor my duties and responsibilites, to build something that will last.

Mars in the Eleventh House relative to the Aries MC can correlate to an activist, someone who has an internet based income, someone who works with computers, technology, software applications. Mars in this position can be a champion for social innovation and progress or human rights. A position in an NGO or in the UN could be potential avenues of professional activity. On a more mundane level someone working with electronics or electricity, radio and T.V. programming or service, social planning, inventions and innovations, working with groups of people in various ways such as in a public speaker or someone who gives workshops on alternative subjects or on unique ways of doing things, scientist, astrologer, tarot reader, blogger, anything humanitarian. New age channeler Smiley

Key statement: I work for humanity, which I am a unique part of.

Mars in the Twelfth House relative to the Aries MC can correlate to someone who has a natural instinctive tendency to want to save others or animals as a form of work. The theme of sacrifice for others can be a real possibility and lead the person to do virtually anything as long as others truly benefit. It can correlate with someone who can work at sea in some way, as a counsellor, as a fisherman, the person may have natural psychic abilites and use them to help others in various ways. The person can be inspirational for others in and be known by the collective as a public figure, an artist such as musician, painter, photographer, film maker, pharmaceutical worker, drug designer, a doctor or healer of some kind. Charity work, working with nature or outdoors as in a gardener.

Key statement: I work to inspire, heal and save others.

Thanks Rad and Group

All the best


 40 
 on: Oct 20, 2014, 10:02 am 
Started by Rad - Last post by Kristin
Hi Rad and Group,
Here is my Mars..
Peace,
Kristin

ARIES MC
Mars through the houses


Regardless of where Mars lands in the birth chart, as an archetype, Mars represents the lead point in the Soul’s evolution. In this case with Aries on the MC and Mars, the ruler representing possible career and work functions. It is important to also note that Mars is driving the entire deal, not just in work but in life. Mars is referred to as the lower octave of Pluto, the Soul. Mars, the ego, takes the unconscious desires that originate from the Soul and acts upon them, making them a living breathing reality. We think because the ego is conscious that these desires are emanating from an egocentric level and that we are in control of them.  But Mars acts out of pure, raw instinct, similar to the wave separating from the sea, there is zero forethought, it just moves

All of us have a myriad of desires that dictate the way we think and the way we act. These desires lead to choices, Mars, that then become actions, which will in turn give us information about the experience we just had. Mars signifies the instinctual urge that we all have to move forward in our life. As Souls we all are in a continual state of becoming, and to become is to act and to move. In the case with Mars in Aries in the first house, this action is rooted in pure instinct and these Souls demand unchecked expression, with the freedom to change their choices and will.

Mars in the 1st

With an Aries M/C and the the ruler Mars being in the first house, there would be an even greater need for freedom and adventure. This would accentuate the entirety of this archetype defined on the mid heaven. A brand new evolutionary chapter with respect to the Soul’s work and career function with the need to express whatever desire emanates instinctually from the Soul. The scenery needs to be ever changing with plenty of options for upward movement and a vast array of space for changing expression as it may change on a dime. The Soul would need to experience on ongoing intensity, where a great deal is in motion on a sustained basis and where visible progress is always present. Aries as an archetype tends to only looks forward, not back and so one of the lessons here is to remind them, to also find inspiration and motivation in the distance gained.

Consensus: Fire Starter and Fire Fighter

To defend and protect, to create and to impact
A true fire fighter could apply here but also anyone in the military as well as any career where physical motion or power tools are used. The Soul’s energy would feed off action and in some cases emergency situations and would be instinctually courageous and inwardly equipped to respond in these types of situations. As the Soul climbs the corporate ladder, they could be leaders, presidents, CEO’s of companies and true entrepeneurs who crave the freedom of being able to blaze new trails.

Careers where physical motion is required, ie military
Construction worker
Athlete
Executive Producer ( May have Mars in Leo and Leo rising)
Captain/Sergeant in Military
Leaders of Organizations or even Countries.
Entrepreneur -changing business

Individuated : Fire Igniter

Adding fuel to the fire, Fanning flames of rebellion
A Soul who begins to challenge consensus thinking early on, initialy this would be only inwardly but gradually they would happily lead any rebellion against the norm.

An owner of any alternative business

Spiritual : Fire Purifer

As the Soul evolves into the Spiritual state, this reflects a time when the Soul is in the process of purging the impurities within the Soul and any residual conditioning that is remaining. Souls at this stage are in a Virgo state of being, humbled by their place on the path and constantly interfacing with all that they are not, also working to be of service in helping others on the path of evolution, extending their hand down the mountain to give others a lift. They often are directors of their own destiny and choose professions with tremendous freedom to manage their time in any way they wish.

Mars in the 2nd

Random action narrows with Mars in the 2nd and survival is their front line, as a result this leads to self interest, for the sake of what the Soul deems to be what they need to survive. Even if this Soul has the bank account to reflect security, there will be a feeling that there is never enough to survive, so they will continue to build that base in case the ‘bottom drops out’. It may have been a Soul who lost everything in another life and had some dyer survival situation, so everything that one builds creates more of a potential buffer. I have had female clients married to very wealthy partner who insist on working, even if it is minor pay, in order to cover themselves, just in case.

There is a need for these Souls to isolate and self-contemplate in order to realize within themselves what it wishes to establish. Action is now internalized and concentrated with an effort to build something solid and secure, whether this is monetarily or physically as with respect to the body or a literal building.

Considering numbers don’t lie, they may choose professions where they can count on to securely build a financial base. Mars in the 2nd, often times in this cases also in Taurus, the Soul prefers to work alone, and they need down time, time to isolate and time to ground themselves.

Possible Professions

Consensus - Money Maker, Money Manager

Budget Analyst - Mars Virgo working for government, fiscal service, accounting clerks, payroll
Wall Street Analyst, runner on Wall Street
Construction worker
Landscape Contractor
Landscape Architect
Body Builder
Masseuse/body worker - could show up in any three stages and in all earth houses, depending on the environment
Could also be in military, in defending land.
Leader in Textile industry
Solo musician

Individuated - Money Shaker

An Environmental specialist, someone whose work is to preserve the land and the roads, this could also be consensus
This can equal situations where the Soul would spread the wealth and or help others to become more financially secure as well, perhaps using their knack with numbers or building to support a cause.
 
A Designer their own label or line of clothing

Spiritual - Material Simplifier

“Less is more”, as one progresses through this stage and learns that material things are only added weight for the way ahead and there is a pairing down effect, progressively realizing that the wealth is within. A Soul who needs to freedom of time to simply SIT and BE with God, one who leads a monastic life, a yogi or a monk and later one who leads and teaches the yogi’s and the monks the spiritual ways, can see this as the 2nd house is fixed and polarity is Scorpio, leading to a merging with the ONE. This signature could also connect to TANTRA, in the 2nd or the 8th.

Mars in the 3rd

With Mars, the ruler of the M/C in the 3rd house, this would symbolize Souls who need a diversity of experiences to express themselves and one whose profession involves communication and information, speaking, writing, the use of the voice and the hands, they have an instinct with their way with words. They can be highly charged beings who work fast and have an elevated nervous system. At times the only way to for these Souls to feel centered is to be busy, collecting information via books, magazines, newspapers or the Internet. Their chosen careers will have a strong emphasis on the mine and the intellect.

Although I do not have a birth time, Marie Harf has Mars in Gemini. She is the deputy spokesperson for the US Department of State and a former spokesperson for the Central Intelligence Agency. During the 2012 presidential election, Harf helped craft President Obama's national security and communications strategy, and also served as campaign spokeswoman on national security issues. She has a quick mind and naturally is able to swiftly field questions rifled at her from debaters with conviction and confidence, regardless of their status, position and post.

The 3rd house Mars is wired to write, to speak and to disseminate

Consensus

Writer
Public Speaker
Journalist in the line of fire
Reporter
Photographer
 
Individuated - Words geared to wake people up

Writer for a liberal blog
Master Communicator, Author

Spiritual

Author of Spiritual teachings and books

Mars in the 4th

Souls born with an Aries midheaven and Mars in the 4th can be driven to empower women or lead women in some way. They may desire to work in fields relating to the home or the womb and may also be inspired to help others gain more inner security either by helping to create a space that nurtures or comforts them or to literally be there to support the transition from the womb to the world as when a child is being born. Many Souls will have Mars in Libra in this case which will help in some way to create more gender balance between the sexes as they strive to support and empower women and the feminine. Souls with Mars in the 4th will have an instinctual empathy for others and can encourage self determination in others. They can help others understand their own blocks and help them blow past them by decreasing their dependencies on others.

One the most well known public figures with Mars in the 4th is famous for the entrance of personal computer people granting people the freedom, Mars, to work from home.
World famous entrepreneur of the personal computer revolution and philanthropist Bill Gates, Co founder and CEO of Microsoft, who also happens to be the richest person in the world since 1995. The ruler of his Aries midheaven is Mars in Libra in the 4th house which is conjunct Mercury, ruler of his 3rd house cusp. The computer revolution, Uranus in Leo trines that midheaven, His business tactics have often been criticized as anti-competitive, Mars in Libra. He and his partner, Libra, are global philanthropists and started the Gates Foundation. They work with partner organizations world wide, Mars in Libra, to tackle critical problems, one of which is in lifting poor people out of hunger and poverty.

Consensus

Leader for women’s groups and organizations would span across the stages of evolution depending on the content.
OBGYN
Realtor
Interior Decorator for homes, Mars in Libra in the 4th

Individuated

Mid wife supporting the mother with the transition of the baby from the womb and into the world
Feng Shui Specialist
Director at Planned Parenthood

Spiritual

In advanced stages of the Spiritual State, these Souls anima/animus will be fully balanced and integrated and Souls would desire to help others become more integrated emotionally and thus spiritually

Mars in the 5th

With Mars in the 5th house, the Soul will be born with a special sense of destiny within this social and public purpose and a special mission and creative life purpose to fulfill. They will need maximum freedom and independence to discover their specialness that they feel must to be brought to the world. Similar to a 5th house Pluto, with Mars in the 5th, being that Mars takes the unconscious desires form the Soul and acts upon them, the Soul will want to be the director of their own play, the creator of their own masterpiece and their is an instinctual desire to be recognized as special by the world. As Souls on this journey, we all experience 2 co-equal desires, one is to separate from the Source, that which created us, in order to individuate and express our creative uniqueness, and the other co-equal desire being to return home to the Source. The 5th house Mars will aspire to create the feeling of wholeness in their outer reality yet this longing can only ever be eternally satisfied by returning back to the Source. Every time a goal has been reached or a creative pursuit fulfilled, it will create a sense of oneness, serving as an echo of what it will feel like to merge back to the sea and to the Source, all the time. But no sooner does the Soul feel complete, will it be replaced with an emptiness and a hunger to feel filled up again. One of the karmic and evolutionary problems is that many of these Souls will instinctually feel as if they themselves are the source of their own creations, with the ruler of Leo being the Sun, they will feel they are the center of the universe and as if everything revolves around them. This of course depends on the stage of evolution, but this Soul will repeatedly work to fulfill this feeling of union and connection via creative pursuits that allow the Soul to reach that climax of expression. This is in large part rooted in their desire to attract attention and validation. Herein lies the problem, the fact that this feeling, once reached, cannot be sustained and will quickly be replaced with an gaping inner void, a bottomless pit of want and need and a search for another something that can re-create that feeling and attract attention. Evolutionarily speaking, the Soul is needing to be in charge of their own unique and special life purpose and so they will follow whatever desire is emerging in order to honor that feeling for their own evolution sake. In would not be a surprise that many Soul with Mars in the 5th, would like to be in the limelight or on some version of life’s stage, with the red carpet rolled out for them, this does depend on the stage of evolution and other factors in the chart, but the instinct to shine and to be special will be true across the board. Souls with Mars in the 5th are learning to link their special destiny with a socially useful or relative function.

Considering the 5ht house connects with children, professions with Mars in the 5th could include being a director of children’s organizations, whether it be principles in a schools (for many Mars will be in Sagittarius here so this could also include teachers for children), leaders in sports such as coaches or art organizations that rear children and help them blossom. Any creative pursuit where the Soul has freedom of movement and expression, such as an artist or a dancer on stage, an actor, a sports star, would all apply. An advanced stage of evolution Soul in the Spiritual state. with Mars in Sagittarius in the 5th, could translate into a famous spiritual teacher, a teacher of natural laws.

A few well known examples here would be actor John Travolta who starred in Saturday Night Fever and Grease which were movies involving dancing and singing, also the Comedy musical Hairspray, a dancing musical where he played an overweight working house wife. But on the other extreme, he was the lead in the violent and somewhat bloody, Mars, movie Pulp Fiction which is a crime thriller, where one of the most famous scenes was him dancing with Uma Thurman. John Travolta has Mars in Sagittarius, which can also connect to comedy, in the 5th house. ruler Jupiter in the Gemini in the 11th, which connects to his need for diversity and in some cases shock value as in his role in Hairspray as well as Pulp Fiction. Mars does square Venus in Pisces in the 8th, Venus is conjunct the SUN in Aquarius which connects to his love and desire to express himself through dance and music as well.

Travolta in Saturday Night Fever



Travolta in Grease


Travolta in Comedy Musical Hairspray


Travolta in Pulp Fiction


Mars in the 6th

With Virgo following Leo, there must be a ‘fall to the kingdom’ and the pyramid becomes inverted. The Soul is at the bottom in order to serve the needs of the whole. Souls with Mars in the 6th have been learning necessary lessons in humility and will experience pervasive doubt in much of their movement and choices as if their first instinct is to question themselves and their abilidty to perform and experience success in their chosen fiels. They will be their own worst enemy and be known to shoot themselves in the foot along the way. Their greatest obstacle will be themselves and they will work until their last breath to improve upon what they do and who they wish to become. Souls with Mars in this position are in a constant state of self analysis. As a result of their own feelings of lack of self worth, they will naturally and instinctually be drawn to serve and help the underdog for they know exactly how the underdog feels. Their personal desires and needs may at times be sacrificed for the tribe, the culture or the greater whole which is a necessary step in their evolution.

Souls with a 6th house Mar can also be perfectionists as well as work-aholics. They will also never feel as if like they are doing enough and will be focusing on what is not finished, not right or flawed in some way. This can at times create a freeze, or a paralysis, and a feeling of overwhelm, which can lead to a procrastination and in some cases a crisis. They need work that has structure and routine and for them to feel in some way as if they are able to control and direct a positive outcome, one with measurable progress.

Because this is the house of health and repairs, Souls with a 6th house Mars are often drawn to the health fields where the Soul is dedicated to areas of serving the sick and the wounded, the aching and the broken, which would include not just people but the animal kingdom as well.

In its highest form, these Souls are the essence of humility and will be of service to anyone who is sincere and who has a legitimate need. By actualizing a proper work function, these Soul can further expand their own personal awareness of their right work and natural role in the world. As one advances and this would especially be true in the 1st stage Spiritual as this is a Virgo reality for Souls, they will come to know how best to serve the Divine, other wise known as their Karma Yoga. By cultivating an awareness of the Divine, these Souls will progressively purge the impurities of the ego in such a way as to at some point allow the universal current to be expressed through them.

Professions that would apply:

Consensus

Home or office Organizers
Surgeon -using the knife, Mars
High Post position in a Hospital or Health System
Physical Therapist, Sports therapist, Sports Medicine doc
Someone who works with animals, such as a Veterinarian who is in business for themselves.
Masseuse - this can span the 3 stages.

3rd Stage Individuated/Early Spiritual
Homeopath/Herbologist

Spiritual

Shaman - Mars in Sagittarius can also end up here depending on the time of birth and combined with Virgo this would apply.
Horse Whisperer
Healer with crystals

Mars in the 7th

Souls with Mars in the 7th are learning objective awareness and how they can bring their own unique individuality into a social context. Considering Mars rules the opposite house, the 1st house, which is naturally Mars ruled, they are learning lessons surrounding giving and equality as well as in listening. The Soul will be instinctually driven to help others, most often in a leadership kind of role, where listening to what the group needs will be paramount in order for a balance to be struck. They will also instinctually know what others need and can serve as ideal bridge between two worlds, the mediator and the diplomats. Through an exposure to a variety of people will come an understanding of the varying value systems and what every person brings to the table. Even though many with Mars in the 7th may find themselves in a leadership role, they are learning how to experience themselves as an equal and uniting one’s life with others. In the past, things may have been way out of balance so they are learning to strike that better balance by feeling instinctually drawn to professions and work functions that allow them to work on this evolutionary need.

Consensus

Director of Human Resources
Head Nurse

Individuated

Chiropractor, balance and bones, some will have Capricorn on the cusp, also acupuncturist if Aquarius on cusp and often times you will see will be Souls in the Individuated, 3rd stage alternative fields.

Libra and the 7th house also connects to extremity and to put Mars in the 7th this can symbolize extreme sports. Extreme sports. Danica Patrick has Sun/Moon in Aries oppose Mars in Libra. She is a female race car driver

Spiritual

Leaders of Spiritual Communities
A Soul who is fighting for the rights for people, like Gandhi who had Pluto in the 7th opposing a 1st house Mars, His Venus, a 7th house natural ruler, is also conjunct Mars.
Leaders of Spiritual Communities


These Souls are simply in line to HELP another, in whatever way they feel driven, whether it is in nursing, counseling where listening is required, or to lead a movement of people who are seeking JUSTICE, which can often be seen in the individuated state where Souls are not afraid to stand out, speak up and put themselves on the line for what is right, for change, and for fairness.

Mars in the 8th

The Scorpio archetype can be seen as the ‘surgeon or the priest’, for there is no middle ground,  nothing is tackled halfway, it’s all the way or not all. Mars in the 8th Soul reflects an intense nature on all levels and they will attract a great depth of life experience, including what they choose to do in their work and career life. The last thing their Soul wants to do is to ‘play it safe’

The Soul is here to push any and all perceived  limits and they are karmically designed to blow pat them. They will be instinctually attracted to people who have the power to help them and will be drawn in their direction with a desire to osmose the power that other Soul’s hold into order to evolve themselves and grow beyond their own personal limitations. This may also lead to situations where they are involved in various power plays and ultimately rendered powerless, but chasing power can also lead to greater power and these cycles of power vs powerlessness in their profession is inevitable. Each choices brings them deeper into themselves thereby attracting environments that push their own pre-conceived boundaries. Each desire this Soul has may lead to experiencing a death of the old and a rebirth of the new as they are continually shedding skins and eliminating all the things that do not support their evolution. They would be attracted to careers that are quite karmic in nature and perhaps have people in these environments that have betrayed them in the past and as a result have attracted these fated turns as a result of evolutionary necessity, to confront and to continue.  Although she did not have an Aries Midheaven, Princess Diana did have an 8th house Mars and Pluto and her life reflected this position in spades.
Souls with Mars in the 8th may also use their own power to manipulate and dominate others and will also be given a new opportunity to make new and better choices. These Soul will be repeatedly attract intense environments and situations whereby they are forced to get to the root of anything, where they are peeling back the layers of others, physically, emotionally, psychologically or otherwise, and they won’t stop until they get there. The Soul would be natural drawn to work in a field that would facilitate and accelerate metamorphoses, one that would keep them in constant confrontations of their own limits and be driven to lead others into the fire as well. They would be attracted to work functions and professions that help others eliminate all of the barriers(desires) that are preventing a merging with the source. This would occur in the Spiritual Stage of evolution and can be seen in advanced counseling therapies with a spiritual focus.

Also relative to the need for motion and speed connecting with Aries/Mars would be a Soul who would go to the edge and even risk one’s life for their sport such as Evil Knieval who had an 8th house Mars.

Consensus

Sports Psychologist
Psychologists, Psychotherapists - various types can be seen in all stages of evolution
Head Honcho in Big Business such as OIL.

Individuated

Jungian Psychologist

Spiritual

Death and dying, running a hospice
Medium
Spiritual Psychic
Kundalini Yoga instructor

Mars in the 9th

The need for freedom within ones career is also paramount here with Mars, a fire planet, in a Sagittarius house. As with all fire houses, and now with a fire planet in a fire house, there will also be an instinctual feeling that they have a special destiny to fulfill and this is directly linked to the individual’s relationship to the cosmological, metaphysical, philosophical and religious principles that explain their connection to the universe. The Soul  has a desire to explain one’s relationship to larger forces in the universe and in the world, will be interested in expanding their consciousness and philosophical understanding of life and in turn have a desire to spread this wisdom to others. Their own natural pull toward needing to know this understanding will require total freedom to pursue whatever experiences necessary, whether through international travel or  higher education to discover the knowledge that explains these larger forces. The 9th House Mars is learning through a diversity if experiences, the unity of all paths, of all truths, so these teachings can be shared with others. They are learning how to take a diverse number of facts and through their inherent ability to synthesize, they will come to an even greater understanding of the total nature of personal and universal truths. A natural teacher of the universe who is able to do this masterfully in the show the “Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey ( an update to Carl Sagan's Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (1980) is Neil deGrasse Tyson, an American astrophysicist and science communicator.  Although I do not have a birth time on him for a Mars house placement, he does have Saturn in Sagittarius, he is built for teaching, a true natural, and he has Mars in Gemini. Saturn in Sagittarius forms a Grand Trine with Uranus in Leo as well as the South Node in Aries so you can see the Sagittarian influence here.

Possible Professions

Consensus

Driven to coach, to teach, to lead.
Coach for a pro sports team..
Teacher
Preacher ( Evangelist Billy Graham has Mars in Sag in the 9th, Aries Rising)
Political figures especially those involving international relations
Athletes where space and motion are integral to their sport such as soccer.
Travel Agency Owner
Comedian - Ellen Degeneres has a(th House Pluto, Mars in Sagittarius forming a new phase conjunction to Saturn in Sagittarius

Individuated

Teachers of the alternative arts realm
Liberal political leaders who are preaching natural teachings, such as a focus to take care of our own, as in the poor. JFK had a stellium of planets in the 9th, including Pluto, South Node, Neptune and Saturn


Spiritual

Teacher of Evolutionary Astrology
Spiritual teachers and teachers of metaphysics
Advanced stage - Jesus had Mars in the 9th ( although it was in Virgo)

Mars in the 10th

As with all cardinal houses, Mars in the 10th represents a condition where an entire chapter with respect to ones’ career has come to a close and a brand new beginning is being initiated. This Soul will be learning via various chosen experiences how to build upon and establish their own personal authority within a culture or society. Because of their desire for freedom and upward mobility, a rising up the ranks will be a primary desire, and one where they are willing to put in the time, earning their stripes, similar to someone in the military climbing up the ranks or someone in corporate America climbing up the corporate ladder so they can finally be Captain in charge, numero uno and the one that holds the highest ranking post or position. This may also play out in a way where Souls choose to not join the system at all, as in the individuated state and go to work for themselves, especially in those latter stages. They are learning through direct experience how to link their own philosophy and identity into the framework of a society, a culture or a nation. Their entire identity or ego will be based and dependent upon their public/social purpose, for their identity with their career or social position will be what creates their emotional security base. Mars in the 10th Souls are generally quite self disciplined, self determined and motivated as they repeatedly set goals and raise the bar with each goal they reach. This natural instinct will serve to help motivate others to do the same and as a result they make natural leaders and tend to be able to easily shoulder a great deal of responsibility. Ultimately, they desire control and want to be in charge of the direction of their destiny versus someone else directing things for them and desire social recognition for their spirited pursuits.

Consensus

CEO of a company..
Business Owner
Lawyers
Dentist -Mars -drill to the teeth (the bones connect to Saturn)
Orthopedic Surgeon
Mother Superior
Referee in Sports

Individuated

Tattoo artist - needle to the skin, drawing blood.

Spiritual

Director of spiritual organization

Mars in the 11th

Souls born with Mars in 11th house desire to break free from outmoded or crystallized forms of self definition and self expression. The Soul, regardless of what stage of evolution, are on the path of liberation from the past and wish to leave behind everything that represents their limiting history. They will progressively continue to know who they are independent of cultural conditioning and parental influence and will reject anything that arbitrarily defines them in a way that does not naturally resonate. They will make choices, Mars, that reflect a severing of all attachments that block necessary growth. These Souls have a natural innovative capacity because of their instinct to explore new approaches and do not follow the norm and these innovations can very well be ahead of their time. In extreme cases the Mars in the 11th house will have zero tolerance for anything defined by society and will drop out of the system all together, and attempt to live on the fringes of society, in some cases alone or in other cases where they are seeking people of like mind to connect and collaborate with, those who are as different as they feel to be. An 11th house Mars energizes a life of transformation of oneself and of others. Souls have desired to usher in the new, to shock others into thinking differently and to disregard everything that is no longer working any longer. They can be attracted to paths that are on the
cutting edge of technology, perhaps involved in something revolutionary, a Soul who is driven to mastermind their own inventions, and spearhead alternative paths. These Souls are instinctually driven to personally experience an understanding that their power lies in being different. They can play a variety of socially meaningful roles by accessing their instinctual inventiveness. By learning how to act and implement, they can be become effective leaders and instruments of innovation and creative change.

Consensus

Air Force Pilot
Astronaut
Web site design
Computer Specialists
Technology Expert

Individuated

Philanthropists
Director of a Charity
Democratic/Liberal television spokesperson/journalist
Astro Scientist
Inventor
Genius
Astrologer

Spiritual

A Soul in this stage could come up with a brand new understanding or approach of the Spiritual dimension, an alternative spiritual science, to teach or lead others in their understanding of more of the whole, such as in Evolutionary Astrology.

Mars in the 12th

Souls with Mars in the 12th house are driven to align themselves with some type of transcendental belief system in order to understand the whole of creation and to see and experience their unique selves as an extension of the Source. As an archetype, the 12th house represents the totality of life, so the Soul will feel to be pulling from all other accumulated desires and  pooled into one. They intend to dissolve all barriers that prevent their merging of their individual power into the universal whole, which is why the world of imagination and film can so often be see as an avenue of expression, where no limits exist. Other areas of interest might be in the world of religion or spirituality where the study of timelessness, infinity and the unknown can be pursued. They will feel as if their are standing on the precipice, with the light of the known behind them, the abyss of the unknown in front of them, which can lead to an inner freeze, unable to move in either direction, where Souls commonly find ways to escape through various means to avoid these hard choices. However, with Mars in this position, the evolutionary pull will be instinctual and there may be greater courage to explore the unseen, because it is time. In some cases, these Souls can become powerful icons, negatively speaking or in the most positive sense of the word, depending on how this energy is directed, and have a larger than life aura. Through the power of belief of who they are and what they are driving, they have the ability to captivate the interest, imagination and support of mass consciousness. This can be seen with a political or spiritual leader, or a movie producer tapping into the minds and Souls of their audience via film. Because all Souls with a 12th house Mars are seeking ultimate meaning within the choices they make, their dreams and fantasies are given tremendous power.

Possible Professions

Consensus and Individuated depending on focus

Actor
Movie Producer
Priest
Music Composer
Director of Insane Asylum
Fiction Fantasy Novelist

Spiritual

Spiritual Guide
Healer - altho a healer can be seen in all stages, traditional, alternative medicine or spiritual


Stephen King  has an Aries MC with Mars in Cancer in the 12th trining Jupiter conjunct the South Node in Scorpio. He is a contemporary author of horror, suspense, science fiction, and fantasy, much of his writing has known to produce nightmares for his readers. Many of his books have been adapted into feature films, television movies and comic books.

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