December 2013

For the moment, the unyielding grip of partisan gridlock seems to have loosened a bit. There is some actual hope for a budget resolution that would carry us to September 2015 and ease some of the strangulation of the sequester cuts. Despite some recalcitrant opposition, most in Congress remain optimistic that a bipartisan achievement will be concluded. In addition, several nominees for both court and administration positions are finally finding their way through the Senate, largely due to the recent rule change limiting the scope of the filibuster.

The shifts we are now witnessing have come about as a result of right-wing extremism in Congress pushing things so far that their no-holds-barred obstructionism carried within it the seeds of its own destruction. The two-week government shutdown in October, resulting from Congress’ failure to appropriate necessary funds, was largely blamed on Republicans and infuriated almost everyone. Most of the GOP deeply fear the potential political peril of a repeat performance. Moreover, the extravagant and chronic overuse of the filibuster by Senate Republicans went several bridges too far by halting virtually everything that was attempted in that august body. The Democrats finally took action to thwart that pernicious abuse of Senate rules.

Extremism leading to overreach and eventual transformation is largely the domain of Pluto, which is predominant in the US chart during its 16-year sojourn in Capricorn and especially now during the years of the Uranus/Pluto square (2011 – 2015). Additionally, there are transits of Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto in the 113th Congress chart from late 2013 through the duration of the term in December 2014. 113thcongress

Most notably, the transit of Pluto stationary conjunct the Sun in the Congress chart (13Capricorn29) simultaneous to its opposition to the US Sun (13Cancer19) from February through May 2014, portends a time of enormous power struggle potentially between the president and the Congress, between the parties in Congress, within constituencies within each party in Congress, and/or between the US government and a perceived threat in the world. Any or all of these options are possible. There are likely to be extremist positions that push way beyond what is rational. There will be an undercurrent of anxiety or feeling of threat if vigilance is not maintained against the perceived opposition. And, with the addition of Uranus square to the Congress MC in February (10Capricorn31) and square the Congress Sun in April 2014, we can also expect sudden, unexpected events that awaken people to these dangerous issues and precipitate transformative action.

December 2013, which precedes the coming planetary tumult of early 2014, has its own many disparate threads. It began with Saturn square President Obama’s Ascendant (18Aquarius03) and sesquisquare the US Venus (3Cancer06) through December 9. For the president, this transit manifested largely in the sorrow and loss over the death obamaNelson Mandela, who had been a highly significant and inspiring figure in Obama’s life. For the country, the difficulties suggested by this Saturn transit were seen in the wide swath of ice and snow storms that caused havoc across much of the US.

President Obama is now enjoying a minor Jupiter transit, quincunx his Ascendant (18Aquarius03) while semisquare to his Moon (3Gemini21). This coincides with the bipartisan budget in Congress and the passage of some of his long-stalled nominees. The beneficial impact will dissipate after December 16.

As of December 13, the administration will enter the first Saturn transit opposite the Inaugural Moon (19Taurus38) followed by Saturn square to Inaugural Mars (20Aquarius13), which will cover from December 13 through December 30. It seems likely there will be some serious obstruction and frustration encountered, perhaps over the newly-minted deal with Iran or over some other unforeseen issue. Moreover, the Saturn square to Inaugural Mars is simultaneous to the multiple inaugural13translations of the Uranus/Pluto square by Mars, the Sun and Mercury between December 22 and January 1, pointing to an upsurge of erupting situations throughout the globe. These situations are likely present to serious difficulty for the Obama administration during the final weeks of 2013.


  1. lisam says:


    The U.S. general who opened the Guantanamo detention camp said Thursday it was a mistake and should be shut down because “it validates every negative perception of the United States.”

  2. Sharon Katz says:

    This sounds like good news (got it from Pat):

  3. alex says:

    Bold Progressives won a big victory for the American people and the middle class:

    All five regulators, including the Federal Reserve, the Securities Exchange Commission, and the FDIC, approved a strong Volcker Rule firewall.

    Going forward, Wall Street banks will be unable to gamble like high-risk hedge funds — the same sort of “swing for the fences” bets that crashed the economy and created both the Great Depression and the Great Recession.

    Of course, the legion of Wall Street lobbyists won’t go away. They’ll be back, trying to carve loopholes into the law. But we’ll vigilant – to ensure that we don’t put the middle class at risk again.

  4. Jackson says:

    Meanwhile, in North Korea, Baby Doc Kim executes his uncle.

  5. alex says:

    From April 20 we get a repeat of Jupiter opposite Pluto and Jupiter square Uranus but this time the T-square is pretty much exact with Uranus square Pluto reaching perfection on April 21.

    Mars in Libra completes the hellish grand cross on April 23, all at 13º cardinal signs. It will also trigger the fiery October Lunar eclipse point at 15º Aries too.

    This cross is potentially explosive and I would say makes the 23rd the most dangerous day of 2014.

    Mars on Algorab, is the terrorist, kill or be killed, squaring Pluto drawing the archers bow, Uranus is breaking free from the chains of Alpheratz, (the chained princess), while the super-sized Jupiter on Sirius is trying to reign in the greed.

  6. alex says:

    continued: April 23, 2014

    Transiting Sun @03 Taurus


    Discovery Degree CHIRON @03 Taurus

  7. karen says:

    I wonder also, Nancy, if the moon, by sign and phase, acts as a trigger. For instance, we may see a budget (albeit lesser than two evils) passed today during this earthy Taurus Moon. During the time the moon is full, could it presage (or more fully clarify) the challenge(s)of these passages by virtue of the sign’s particular qualities?

  8. Jerry says:

    Hi Alex,

    Jude Cowell points out that the April 23rd, 2014 Cardinal Grand Cross square coincides on the same day as the US lunar return. Very interesting synchronicity. Here’s the article….

    April 2014: A Cardinal Grand Cross And A US Lunar Return

    Casting a Cosmic Spotlight on April 23, 2014 and We the People

    by Jude Cowell

    First, here’s astrologer Michael Lennox speaking about the Cardinal Square which becomes a Cardinal Cross at times as other planets join in and involving the socially and politically riotous Uranus-Pluto square now in progress until 2015. The video was posted in late August 2013 and contains some general information on the conflicting energies inherent within this cosmic planetary pattern of heavy-weights (video enclosed).

    Actually, today I’ve been looking at US Lunar Returns for 2014 and particularly focusing for now on our nation’s Lunar Return for April 23, 2014 which perfects at 10:08:07 pm edt, White House (using US natal Moon @27AQ10 on July 4, 1776 5:10 pm LMT Philadelphia, PA.) I have relocated the Return charts for the White House and am using the Moon as a timing device for our spotlight.

    As you know, through aspects and other chart factors, a Lunar Return provides details for a particular month including the tempo of life, mundane concerns, minor phases of experience, and changing or fluctuating circumstances (as well as for the timing of events.)

    And while it’s most useful to read a Lunar Return chart in relation to the current Solar Return, that is beyond the scope of today’s post. However, here’s a link to my brief analysis of US Solar Return 2013 from July past and you’ll note that, as always, the Moon disposits US natal Sun and that in 2013, Cancer sits upon the IC/4th house of the Solar Return 2013 chart, both of which give prominence to US Lunar Returns for the period (July 2013–July 2014), especially since chart angles are points of energy manifestation. Naturally, a prominent IC points to the Domestic Scene and Security Matters. Thus, years 2013 and 2014 are cosmically linked as are the Moon (We the People) and Sun (leader) in Mundane charts.

    13 x 4 = a Whopping Cardinal Grand Cross

    America’s April 23, 2014 Lunar Return chart shows a Cardinal Grand Cross pattern involving Mars Rx @13Lib23 in Return 10th house (conjunct US natal Saturn) and opposing Uranus @13Ari41 (4th h.) Jupiter @13Can58 (conjunct US natal Sun) is in Return 8th h opposite Pluto @13Cap33 Rx in Return 2nd h of the National Treasury so wealthy underworld boss, Pluto, continues his ‘power struggle’ opposition to US natal Sun (leadership.) Notably these planets are all at 13 degrees, a number which some people are superstitious about and 13 does, of course, carry meaning within Freemasonry and other secretive systems of thought, some which many of our Founding Fathers were members of in their day.


  9. Lorrie U says:

    Hi, Noelle!!

    You asked, “so would an 8 on my ascendant be similar to on MC and 9 on MC?”

    Not really. An 8 on the ascendant would be more personal, i.e., success in generating/handling money matters, organizational and managerial skills, I would also think success at self-help. With the #9 on MC, you would then be able to take what you personally learn from the 8 and present those gifts to help others, since the #9 would indicate a desire to serve humankind through your vocation/avocation or anything dealing with public/society. Your personal successes can help others through your desire to serve them.

    Does that make sense? This is new to me…

  10. Lorrie U says:

    Alex – Wanted to share this with you, since it seems to validate my resonance with numerology. Was one of the last things I studied but came to me so easily. Guess I had to learn the other things first. For years I have thought and used a birth time of 11:23 a.m. Today while going through papers, I came across my birth cert. To my surprise, the time of birth noted was 11:22! That in addition to my first & middle names being an 11 and last name a 33, having my destiny #7 the same as my ascendant and MC, pretty well explains why there was no escaping my path.

  11. lisam says:

    Another spy story, this time dealing with Robert Levinson, who disappeared in Iran in 2007. Seems like he was spying for the CIA without official approval? Not sure how that is possible…..but that’s the story.

  12. Suzy says:

    Starlight (Nancy)…thanks for this Update.

    What is so interesting about your analysis is that you manage to parse the “Current Events” and weave them into what you see going forward giving us a change in the roadmap (when you see it in your charting) that offers us a change in the forecast…subtle.

    What you’ve been predicting holds true…but the nuances you add give us more guidelines as to what is coming.

    You’ve always cautioned us about what is somewhat “Definite”..and what you think could be the “variables.” And, you have incredible abilities for that guidance.

    I’m seeing some rays of hope that we all looked forward to for the Future…along with the “Push Backs” that seem to come as we do “step by step” trying to do good…work for good of the “Common People” and to try to cull out what has gone wrong for Decades in America.

    It’s hard work..but…there are rays of light (kudo’s to our “Light Workers” and some signals of hope.

    But…as you and other Astrologers have cautioned… It will be awhile yet for the “True Awakening” where the progress will come.

    Nancy: Wish you well for your talk in Annapolis this weekend and that the “Snow/Mix” (also for parts of my state) hold off so that you can give the speech and record it for us. If not…then it means you will do it another time and post so we can listen.

    What a WINTER this is starting out to BE! :-(

  13. alex says:

    lorrie, jerry

    Lorrie… yeah birth times have to be tested; the ephemeris used during by everybody had recorded inaccuracies passed on from my birth state hospital; I wasn’t interested in astrology having had three charts done and all of them seemed wrong… it wasn’t until I wrote to the chart service 20 years later and mentioned the chart they provided didn’t “fit me” they responded telling me that it was discovered the error and all ephemeris publishers had to correct information from my state hospital area around the year of my birth…

    they had to correct their ephemeris ! they sent me a new-fresh-accurate, as far as I know, chart then I began learning astrology before then I couldn’t learn from my chart;

    even though your chart was officially off by one minute you trusted your insights; something anyone practicing numerology/astrology has to do; if you believe after studying a chart that belongs to you it is not qyite accurate, or a natal report is off… then test it and when you are finished testing it and you support the chart or not if your own view, though different, seems correct then the final authority is you….

    have to learn to trust your intutition… which you do very well Lorrie..

    - Jerry I surveyed your comment … will read it again more closely after I get some errands completed;

  14. lisam says:

    A rainbow formed over the Union bldgs. where Mandela is lying in state, after the public viewings on Thursday. If even it’s not of any significance, it did produce some lovely photos.

  15. alex says:


    ask Lorrie what her take is on the concentration of activity at thirteen zodiac degrees – different signs;

    Cardinal Grand Cross

    America’s April 23, 2014 Lunar Return chart shows a Cardinal Grand Cross pattern involving Mars Rx @13Lib23 in Return 10th house


    US natal Saturn @14 Libra


    opposing Uranus @13Ari41 (4th h.)


    Jupiter @13Can58


    US natal Sun @13 Cancer

    in Return 8th House


    Pluto @13Cap33 Rx

    in Return 2nd House of the National Treasury

  16. alex says:

    continued, Jerry: degrees

    Meaning of Degrees

    Table showing significance of each degree of the Zodiac

    Essential Dignity by Degree


  17. alex says:

    PS. Jerry (Lunar Eclipses are about daily routines changing… Lunar returns encompasses that concept as well)

    GOP Blocks Judiciary Committee From Even Meeting

    Thu, 12/12/2013

    Senate Republicans have escalated their sabotage of the judicial nominations process this week, most recently by forcing the Senate to wait until 1:00 am this morning to hold a confirmation vote on Nina Pillard to the D.C. Circuit.

    Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has said he will keep the Senate in session for the rest of the week in order to hold what should be routine confirmation votes, which are being needlessly delayed by these GOP antics.

    The obstruction isn’t just on the Senate floor: This morning, Republicans prevented the Senate Judiciary Committee from even meeting.

    Under a rarely enforced Senate rule, committees can’t meet more than two hours after the Senate goes into session. Routinely, senators give unanimous consent to waive the rule so the committee can carry out the chamber’s – and the country’s – business. But today, Republicans refused unanimous consent to let the Judiciary Committee meet.

    The committee has a busy schedule, with votes scheduled for 15 judicial nominees who have testified before the members and answered follow-up written questions.

    Among those are nominees for vacancies designated as judicial emergencies by the Administrative Office of U.S. Courts. Each one of the nominees has been fully vetted and has the support of their home state senators, including Republicans Mark Kirk (IL), Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran (KS), Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker (TN), Roy Blunt (MO), and Pat Toomey (PA).

    But Senate Republicans just don’t care.

    To make things worse, even had the committee meeting been held, Republicans were expected to abuse another rule: As they have done with only five exceptions since Obama became president, they almost certainly would have demanded that the committee delay votes on these nominees for at least a week without giving a reason, a right under committee rules that they have abused and made a standard part of their mechanism of obstruction. But since the committee didn’t meet, they haven’t even crossed that hurdle yet.

    If the committee is not able to meet until next week – the last week the Senate is expected to be in session – and Republicans force the nominees to be held over, then they’ll be stuck in committee at year’s end.

    Since that will be the end of a session of Congress, absent unanimous consent to do otherwise, Senate rules require the nominees to be sent back to the president for renomination in the next session.

    That would force all of these nominees to repeat the committee voting process all over again, where once again the GOP could find new ways to slow them down.

  18. arbo says:

    “…feeling of threat if vigilence is not maintained against the perceived opposition.” Gee, where have I heard that before? Is this something that’s dogging everyone, or just a lucky select few of us?

    I’ve long felt that the bigger threat was going to be from within, and it appears that it’s the House that’s the bad guy. I’ve also long felt that the far right Republicans are spoiled children, the electorate is distracted and easily conned by the complicit media, and whether or not the American public will come to their senses is a known unknown. And that if they were made aware of the Republicans’ dishonesty, it might help move things along to a better conclusion than we seem to be headed for. I’ve hoped that someone who could help the Republicans expose themselves for what they are would come along and do that very thing.

    That someone seems to be Obama, unless I’m just projecting my own perceptions onto him — which would mean what? That it’s all happening by accident? Or that I’m somehow tuned into the cosmic forces? I don’t think so, unless Obama is as well. I think he adjusts to the circumstances as they develop. And he’s way smarter and more perceptive than some people give him credit for. Unless, of course, I’m only projecting and it’s really me that I’m talking about. :)

    Whatever, the tide appears to be turning. Boehner seems to have suddenly found his manhood. Appointments will finally get through the Senate. We might have a budget, albeit a bit Scrooge-influenced. But isn’t that what conference committees are meant to reconcile?

    And guess what: the snow has given me extra work, oddly enough.

  19. Noelle says:

    Sharon Katz
    Thanks for the link on the Volcker Rule. I hadn’t heard that on any of the news programs. It’s so badly needed but doesn’t have the teeth of Glass Stegal(sp?).

    Lorrie U, yes, that helps. Not sure about the money management part but I am certainly a take-charge person with good managerial and organizational skills. The 9 on MC makes sense. Thank so much Lorrie.

  20. B.A. says:

    Obama on Surveillance in 2007:

    “I will provide our intelligence and law enforcement agencies with the tools they need to track and take out the terrorists without undermining our Constitution and our freedom. That means no more illegal wiretapping of American citizens. No more national security letters to spy on citizens who are not suspected of a crime. No more tracking citizens who do nothing more than protest a misguided war. No more ignoring the law when it is inconvenient. That is not who we are. And it is not what is necessary to defeat the terrorists. The FISA court works. The separation of powers works. Our Constitution works. We will again set an example for the world that the law is not subject to the whims of stubborn rulers, and that justice is not arbitrary.”

  21. Gypsi says:

    Oklahoma just joined the frack resistance – and tar sands resistance – we live in exciting times. We have 2 choices, a very dark world, or stop this. BREAKING! 2 Activists locked down, 8 detained at Devon Tower in OKC.

    Two activists with Great Plains Tar Sands Resistance (GPTSR) and Cross Timbers Earth First! locked themselves inside a revolving door at the Devon Tower in protest of Devon’s involvement in toxic tar sands extraction and fracking, as well as plans to increase fracking in the Eagle Ford Shale.

    Simultaneously, a banner displaying a Mockingjay from the Hunger Games series was unfurled from the second story, reading: “The Odds are Never in Our Favor.”

    Read more about the action:

    This action coincides with two days of trial for folks in the Mi’kmaq Warrior Society who were arrested while preventing natural gas exploration on their traditional lands.

  22. Lorrie U says:

    Noelle – The lesson of the #8 is to learn how to manage money. It goes out as soon as it comes in, thereby making it necessary to learn how to manage it. However, #8 seems to attract money more easily than most and success can be achieved by managing other people’s money well.

    Alex – that’s interesting about the faulty emphemeris, would never think that would happen! However, in my case, it was my memory that was faulty, not the birth cert.

  23. Helen says:

    Hands-on activism at its best!

    “Only hours before Paul Ryan and Patty Murray announced that they reached a two year budget agreement (The BiPartisan Budget Act of 2013), representatives from a broad coalition demanding a budget that would cut military expenditures in order to increase funding for a wide range of domestic programs called on Congressional leaders to craft a budget for people, peace and the planet. Now, because this broad coalition included over a hundred peace, anti-hunger, anti-poverty, environmental and community groups it is almost universally ignored within the walls of Congress. That is one reason why part of that call came in the form of an unscheduled visit to the office of Paul Ryan and Patty Murray.”

    Link includes video:

  24. alex says:


    ephemeris publishers are really really really careful to get it right… the state where I was born didn’t switch standard time to daylight savings time and back in one region… many of the hospitals in Western side of the state were off for a few years….

    it was ephemeris astrology chart services who got inquiries over the years about this error from customers so then they investigated/researched the hospitals in my state making the error….after they verified what happened they corrected their ephemeris…

    really odd…

  25. Helen says:

    6% approval rating for Congress, and look what they just did:

    Congress Chooses Austerity Over Job Creation and Economic Growth

    “They agreed to agree — crossing lines of partisanship and ideology — on an austerity budget that, as Oregon Congressman Peter DeFazio has noted, “won’t create jobs, get the economy back on track, or meaningfully cut the deficit.”

    That’s not the worst of it.

    “At the end of the day, the bill abandons 1.3 million Americans who desperately need unemployment insurance, and does nothing to promote economic growth or job creation,” Congressman Mark Pocan, D-Wisconsin, explained Thursday. “Furthermore, the legislation is paid for on the backs of the middle class and military families, while not touching the wealthiest amongst us and allowing corporations to continue to benefit from tax loopholes.”

    Pocan and DeFazio could not bring themselves to back the deal.

    But they were outliers, two of the 32 Democrats who voted no, along with 62 Republicans.

    The vast majority of House members — from both parties — backed the deal, which prevailed on a 332-94 vote.”

  26. alex says:

    Gemini Full Moon 12/14/2013

    The Gemini full moon this week (see below for exact times in your zone) activates the Galactic Center, the ‘sun’ of our solar system.

    Think of this as an awakening, a burst of energy that supports new thought, habits and ways of being in the world. You release limiting beliefs, let go of anything you’ve been putting up with and remember, the universe has your back.

    If you want to leverage this energy, look to where 26-28 degrees of Sagittarius is in your chart.


  27. Basira says:

    Lisam – thank you for the Mandela rainbow link. Quite wonderful. I love synchronicities like this, when the universe seems to speak to us.

  28. alex says:

    For all latitudes the plane of the galaxy is on the East Point when the M.C. is either 13 deg 18m 53s Aries or Libra

    Galactic Center by Michael Erlewine

    Jerry – 4/23/2014 Cardinal Grand Cross:



    Mars @13 Liba 23

  29. alex says:

    For all latitudes the plane of the Galaxy is on the East Point when the M.C. is either 13 deg 18m 53s Aries or Libra

    Galactic Center by Michael Erlewine

    Jerry – 4/23/2014 Cardinal Grand Cross:


    The Lunar Return is at 10:08 PM EDT White House Chart: at URL

    MIDHEAVEN @13 LIBRA – White House, 4/23/2014
    If you rectify that chart to 11:48 – 11:49 PM then
    the plane of the galaxy in on the East Point

    Cardinal Grand Cross

    Mars @13 Libra in 9TH House conjuncting Midheaven

    Uranus @13 Aries in 4TH House conjuncting IC

    Pluto Capricorn 1ST House while Jupiter Cancer 7TH House

  30. alex says:

    correction oops:


    should read


  31. ArtCulturePeace says:

    Aloha All,

    Greetings in the season of peace!

    Links that may honor those who died at Sandy Hook this first anniversary, as well as bring faith/joy to this Earthly existence.

    “Evil didn’t win that day.”~Emilie Parker’s Mom

    Tired of a (Pluto/Capricorn)sadistically spineless, self-serving, 9% approved Congress? Sick of (Aries/Uranus)gun violence & perpetually funded wars? Needing a touch of (Neptune/Pisces) compassion/love? Welcome to some true heroes: a blind,deaf,3legged dog; a Heimlich-giving pup and more:
    http://www.buzzfeed.purinaproplan/10-heroic-dogs-who-will-leave-you-in-awe (no joke about the awe part)

    Blessings all! May this day bring joy, love, peace to each/everyone.

  32. Bob says:


    Certain members of this Congress have shown repeatedly that they care not about what is good for their constituents or our national community and will not respond to our phone calls, letters, emails, demonstrations, unless they fear that our frustrations may reach a point where we might actually vote them out of office. And that can only be done by voters in their own state. Somehow we must appeal to voters in all states to vote out those who can be proven to have not voted in favor of bills meant to protect us or our interests (like back round checks for those who want to buy a firearm) .

    We must enlist voters to get these people out of office.

  33. Bob says:

    When given the keys to drive the family car, the Republican party has without fail steered the country into SERIOUS financial straits in their unbridled pursuit of the dollar.

    CRASH 1

    Republicans had the majority in both houses of Congress from the beginning of the Civil War through the Panic (Depression) of 1873. Two of the three Presidents during that time were Republicans. Supreme Court Justice appointments by party was Republicans 6, Democrats 3.

    CRASH 2

    The Presidency: Harding, Coolidge, Hoover. From Mar 4 1921 up to the 1929 crash (almost 9 years)

    The House: 13 year majority from 1917 up to the 1929 crash

    The Senate: 11 year majority from 1919 up to the 1029 crash

    Supreme Court Appointees:

    By Republicans: 7

    Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.-1902, Willis Van Devanter-1911, William Howard Taft-1921, George Sutherland-1922, Pierce Butler-1922, Edward Sanford-1923, Harlan Stone-1925

    By Democrats: 2

    James McReynolds-1914, Louis D. Brandeis-1916

    CRASH 3

    The Presidency: George W. Bush. From January 20 2001 up to the 2008 crash (almost 8 years)

    The House: 14 year majority from 1995 up to the 2008 crash

    The Senate: 12 year majority through 2006, equal in 2007 and 2008

    Supreme Court Appointees: (Sandra Day O’Connor-1981-2006)

    By Republicans: 7

    John Paul Stevens-1975, Antonin Scalia-1986, Anthony Kennedy-1988, David Souter-1990, Clarence Thomas -1991, John Roberts-2005, Samuel A. Alito-2006

    By Democrats: 2

    Ruth Bader Ginsburg-1993, Stephen Breyer- 1994

  34. Jerry says:

    Hi Alex,

    “Lunar returns and lunar Eclipses are about daily routines changing”

    Here’s an extraordinary, lovely 3 minute video that encapsules that concept well…..

    To forget the illness, If Only For A Second

  35. will says:


    Encore! Brava! Bravo!

  36. Lorrie U says:

    Bob – Great breakdown in easy to understand terms! Sent out as an email. We must take away the car keys!!

  37. will says:

    From Opinion

    Skip the Supplements

    Melody Newcomb
    Published: December 14, 2013

    PHILADELPHIA — PARENTS whose children are admitted to our hospital occasionally bring along something extra to help with their care: dietary supplements, like St. John’s wort to ameliorate mild depression or probiotics for better health.

    Here’s the problem: The Joint Commission, which is responsible for hospital accreditation in the United States, requires that dietary supplements be treated like drugs. It makes sense: Vitamins, amino acids, herbs, minerals and other botanicals have pharmacological effects. So they are drugs.

    But the Food and Drug Administration doesn’t regulate dietary supplements as drugs — they aren’t tested for safety and efficacy before they’re sold. Many aren’t made according to minimal standards of manufacturing (the F.D.A. has even found some of the facilities where supplements are made to be contaminated with rodent feces and urine). And many are mislabeled, accidentally or intentionally. They often aren’t what they say they are. For example:

    In 2003, researchers tested “ayurvedic” remedies from health food stores throughout Boston. They found that 20 percent contained potentially harmful levels of lead, mercury or arsenic.

    In 2008, two products were pulled off the market because they were found to contain around 200 times more selenium (an element that some believe can help prevent cancer) than their labels said. People who ingested these products developed hair loss, muscle cramps, diarrhea, joint pain, fatigue and blisters.

    Last summer, vitamins and minerals made by Purity First Health Products in Farmingdale, N.Y., were found to contain two powerful anabolic steroids. Some of the women who took them developed masculinizing symptoms like lower voices and fewer menstrual periods.

    Last month, researchers in Ontario found that popular herbal products like those labeled St. John’s wort and ginkgo biloba often contained completely different herbs or contaminants, some of which could be quite dangerous.

    The F.D.A. estimates that approximately 50,000 adverse reactions to dietary supplements occur every year. And yet few consumers know this.

    Parents of children admitted to our hospital often request that we continue treating their child with dietary supplements because they believe in them, even if that belief isn’t supported by evidence. More disturbing were the times when children were taking these supplements without our knowledge. Doctors always ask parents if their children are taking any medicines. Unfortunately, because most parents don’t consider dietary supplements to be drugs, we often never knew about their use, let alone whether they might react dangerously with the child’s other treatments.

    The F.D.A. has the mandate, but not the manpower, to oversee the labeling and manufacture of these supplements. In the meantime, doctors — and consumers — are on their own.

    Our hospital has acted to protect the safety of our patients. No longer will we administer dietary supplements unless the manufacturer provides a third-party written guarantee that the product is made under the F.D.A.’s “good manufacturing practice” (G.M.P.) conditions, as well as a Certificate of Analysis (C.O.A.) assuring that what is written on the label is what’s in the bottle.

    The good news is that we’ve been able to find some vitamins, amino acids, minerals and a handful of other supplements that meet this standard. For example, melatonin has been shown to affect sleep cycles and has a record of safety, and we identified a product that met manufacturing and labeling standards.

    The bad news is that this was a vanishingly small percentage of the total group. Around 90 percent of the companies we reached out to for verification never responded. They didn’t call us back, or their email or manufacturing addresses changed overnight. Of the remainder, many manufacturers refused to provide us with either a statement of G.M.P. or a C.O.A.; in other words, they refused to guarantee that their products were what they said they were. Others lied; they said they met G.M.P. standards, but a call to the F.D.A. revealed they had been fined for violations multiple times. Perhaps most surprising, some manufacturers willingly furnished information that their product didn’t meet standards — like one company that provided a C.O.A. showing that its product contained 47,000 International Units of beta-carotene, when the label stated 25,000.

    Now, when parents in our hospital still want to use products whose quality can’t be assured, we ask them to sign a waiver stating that the supplement may be dangerous, and that most have not been studied for their effectiveness. “Use of an agent for which there are no reliable data on toxicity and drug interactions,” the waiver reads, “makes it impossible to adequately monitor the patient’s acute condition or safely administer medications.”

    What can other individuals who are concerned about supplement safety do? They can look for “U.S.P. Verified” on the label — this proves the supplement has been inspected and approved under the United States Pharmacopeial Convention. Unfortunately, fewer than 1 percent of the 55,000 or so supplements on the market bear this label. The real answer is that, until the day comes when medical studies prove that these supplements have legitimate benefits, and until the F.D.A. has the political backing and resources to regulate them like drugs, individuals should simply steer clear.

    For too long, too many people have believed that dietary supplements can only help and never hurt. Increasingly, it’s clear that this belief is a false one.

    Paul A. Offit is chief of the division of infectious diseases at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where Sarah Erush is the clinical manager in the pharmacy department.

  38. Trudy says:

    “For too long, too many people have believed that dietary supplements can only help and never hurt. Increasingly, it’s clear that this belief is a false one.”

    Unfortunately, this is also true of the FDA and most of the medical establishment!!

    I look forward to the day the Medicine Industry’s primary concerns are the well-being of people as opposed to a Profit machine!!


  39. will says:


    And lets not forget the multi-billion dollar vitamin and supplement industry – including the massive Ayurvedic, holistic and herbal industries – the vast majority of which are mere modern-day snake-oil venues.

  40. alex says:

    - many many diseases and chronic illnesses would be reversed and cured by stem cell therapy…. the cancer industry is a billion dollar industry… the diabetes industry is a billion dollar industry etc etc etc…. they’ll always/continue to lobby against it;

  41. Helen says:

    On the infamous Paul Offit quote:

    Paul Offit believes that exempting your child from vaccination is morally reprehensible. He considers himself an authority on autism, all infectious diseases, morality, history, every religious system, and infant immunology. You may also recognize Dr Offit as the one who says that all vaccines are perfectly safe and infants can tolerate theoretically 10,000 of them at once:

    “A more practical way to determine the diversity of the immune response would be to estimate the number of vaccines to which a child could respond at one time…. each infant would have the theoretical capacity to respond to about 10, 000 vaccines at any one time.”

  42. Helen says:

    Will – I’ve had homeopathy help me IMMENSELY twice. I pity the folks that believe nothing but mainstream medicine is viable.

  43. angellight says:

    “There is one aspect of energy for which the modern astrologer makes very little allowance, and yet it is of paramount importance. This is the energy which emanates from or radiates from the Earth itself. Living as all human beings do upon the surface of the Earth and being, therefore, projected into the etheric body of the planet (for the reason that “man stands erect”) man’s body is at all times bathed in the emanations and the radiations of our Earth and in the integral quality of our planetary Logos as He sends forth and transmits energy within His planetary environment. Astrologers have always emphasized the incoming influences and energies as they beat upon and play through our little planet, but they have omitted to take into adequate consideration the emanating qualities and forces which are the contribution of our Earth’s etheric [13] body to the
    larger whole. This we will consider later, but I felt the necessity of calling your attention to it at this time.”

    frm: Esoteric Astrology, Alice A. Bailey

  44. angellight says:

    Alex: Important information re: stem cell & cerebral palsy. Thanks.

  45. will says:


    I am glad you got relief from your homeopathic treatment. And if you cannot site some evidence-based data to prove the efficacy of your successful treatments they are very likely anecdotal. As I stated, “most” of the homeopathy/holistic/Ayurvedic “cures” are the fodder of confidence-peddlers and modern-day snake-oil hawkers. There are a few “alternative” practices and substances that indeed merit validation – but very, very few. For instance – there is a vast difference between acupressure vs. acupuncture – the former being ineffective vs. the significantly efficacious latter. And of course most all of us have derived some benefit from willow-bark extract and valerian root (aspirin and vallium) because they have withstood the test of sound science.

    I don’t judge anyone for using anything they think is working, but “think” would probably be the more operative function. We believe in these vitamins, supplements and practices because we NEED to do so. They give us a measure of hope, even if it is vastly short-lived and illusory.

    The power of suggestion combined with a deep desire for relief creates a formidable Neptunian opponent to the cold, sober truth.

    With respect to the vaccination issue – good science has soundly disproved the feverish hyperbole regarding the failure and downside of immunology. Even the most perfunctory review of the scientific data concerning vaccinations will reveal their enormous benefit and relatively infinitesimal risk to both infant and adult alike.

  46. starlight says:

    As promised, the link to my talk:

    I posted most of the charts discussed, but they are very much out of order. Sorry about that.

  47. Gypsi says:

    I’m avoiding Vioxx and Celebrex are all FDA shiny approved. But glucosamine chondroitin rebuilds cartilage without causing heart attacks. Just because a drug achieves FDA approval doesn’t make it either safe or effective

    I do believe in vaccination however. Good science. Not nearly as profitable as cancer, diabetes or arthritis for the medical community…

    Stem cell research needs to move forward.

  48. Duchess of Gadsden says:

    Vioxx was taken off the market in 2004, although it looks as if Celebrex is still out there. According to wikipedia, plain aspirin is just as good.