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Ceres and the Food Crisis

2011 September 1
by Jackie Slevin

It is universally accepted that the basic necessities of life are food, clothing and shelter. In industrialized nations in the 21st century, the additional amenities of well being and security would include a cash flow, a bank account, a life insurance policy, and a credit card.

In the western hemisphere from ancient times until the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, a loaf of bread meant virtually all of these things. In 58 BCE the Roman Emperor Clodius issued an edict to distribute free bread every day for the poorer plebeians. This edict continued with minor changes for over four hundred years until the demise of the Empire in the fifth century CE. Thus it is no coincidence that the early Christians, whose primary congregation was in Rome, included the phrase, “Give us this day our daily bread” in their signature prayer.

The staff of life was readily available, and grain in ancient Rome equals oil in the United States in 2008. The temple of Ceres, the Roman goddess of grain, crowned the Aventine Hill in the Eternal City. Another statue of this goddess sits atop the Chicago Board of Trade Building, where agricultural commodities are traded.

Saturn (restriction) in Virgo (the harvest) has wreaked havoc in the world’s food supply. But the price of grain (Ceres) has skyrocketed beyond the means of most inhabitants in third world countries, or modern day “poorer plebeians.” On March 13, 2008, grain prices in Africa had risen 50 percent. Food riots were reported in the African countries of Egypt, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Mauritania, and Senegal. In Sierra Leone, grain was up 300 percent. On this day, dwarf planet Ceres was at 24 degrees Taurus, 31 minutes, conjunct malevolent fixed star Algol within one and a half degrees. One month later on April 18, the front page headlines of the New York Times read “Across Globe, Empty Bellies Bring Rising Anger,” reporting on the food riots in Haiti, the severity of which sent the prime minister packing. On that same day at noon, GMT, Ceres was at 7 degrees Gemini and 34 minutes, exactly conjunct the Cardinal Axis. (The Cardinal Axes are highly energized degrees at 0 degrees Cardinal, 22 degrees, 30 minutes Cardinal, 15 degrees Fixed, and 7 degrees, 30 minutes Mutable). Thus the goddess of grain was poised front and center on the world stage. Ceres reaches the Cardinal Axis at 0 degrees Cancer on June 11, 2008, when the food crises will no doubt be in the headlines. This summer the world will get a powerful trilogy of events when transiting Saturn is conjunct the Cardinal Axis at 7 degrees Virgo 30 minutes on July 30, the height of the growing season. Two days later the total eclipse of the Sun on August 1 at 9 degrees Leo 32 minutes may signal a heat wave, bringing drought conditions that would affect the harvest. On August 2, the very next day, Ceres is again conjunct the Cardinal Axis at 22 degrees, 33 minutes in Cancer, the sign of food. This celestial line-up is bound to impact the global markets of grain and rice, the fundamental staples of survival for humankind. Many of us will tighten our belts, and perhaps the poorer plebeians may again receive government rations, echoing the ancient petition to give us this day our daily bread.

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