As of the attacks on Paris yesterday, at least 180 Parisians are dead. This was from a series of coordinated terrorist attacks. The victims were Parisians, regular people doing regular things.
Astrologically, we could say that this is a very, very, very bad manifestation of Neptune square Saturn, especially with Mars conjuncting the north node. This is one of the very worst things that can happen when people take to action (Mars conjuncting the north node) their false dreams of utopia to make it real for everyone else (Neptune in Pisces square Saturn in Sagittarius).
But this doesn’t amount to much when people are dead, and this kind of thing happens in other places in the world, places that the western world has grown weary of hearing about. The truth is that psychopaths like ISIS have been doing this in Syria for a while now; this is their first major international (Saturn in Sagittarius) attempt at spreading their brand of insanity. And is it ISIS? We don’t know for sure. But they are taking credit for it.
And could we have not seen this coming? I know, I know: as astrologers, we could have. Some of us did. But most of us aren’t the people who actually can thwart an attack like this. We’re regular people doing our thing, as is our basic human right. We are no different from anyone else, anywhere in the world, doing our thing. Our thoughts and interests hurt no one.
The truth is that people are real. Customs, cultures, religions, gods, and even geographic borders are constructs of the human imagination, and they only seem real because enough people believe in them. Astrology starts from the earth. It is a collective idea of our lives — the limitations we experience do to being incorporeal bodies with needs, living on a planet in which we have to get those needs met — projected onto the movements of the planets, the moon, and the sun. Everything works in a rhythm. The sun no more cares about your ego than a terrorist does, but at least the sun doesn’t want to kill you to honor an imaginary friend. But we are bound to earth and the limitations of being beings on earth for as long as we all live.
After 9/11, I woke up to the reality that I could die in an instant. There is something too surreal about being in the midst of a terrorist attack. You aren’t really there, but you are. Your body goes on autopilot, but your mind looks long into a future you can’t know and into a past you can no longer access.
It’s amazing what your body will or will not do to safeguard your life when your most primal instinct to live is triggered. I didn’t feel any pain when I tumbled and ran through the crowds to get away from the World Trade Center.
I didn’t feel anything for a long time.
Post 9/11, I remember speaking to refugees from other countries, the ones who came to America to escape terrorism, only to find that it followed them. One of the problems of being a human on earth is that you can escape hell, but hell can follow you. It can fall on you, and then, it can find you again.
Even if one Syrian refugee was involved in this attack, there are many others who were not. People who escape hell do not want to bring it back on themselves. This is the truth I knew from living in the melting pot of New York in my twenties. When you escape hell with just your body and the bodies of those of your loved ones who are still alive, you want to live again, not die repeatedly. You don’t want your loved ones to die over and over again.
So, is it true that if we take in refugees, we put ourselves at great risk that their hell will follow them? This is one of the problems Western countries are dealing with. There is some truth to it, as we have seen. But, the noble and human path is to incur the risk and give them safe harbor. It is wishful thinking to assume that in this day and age, we are all safe from evil. We incur the risk of being victims of evil people simply by living.
When terrorists die, they don’t get a reward. There is no Allah to reward a person for killing his children. My belief in reincarnation is that a person goes back into a life that they understand well from their previous life. They don’t necessarily pay for their sins as a karmic transaction. A soul full of hatred choose a life in which there is much to hate and much support for it.
I didn’t support the war in Iraq. I did support the war in Afghanistan. I’m glad we killed Bin Laden. And most Americans are wrong. They don’t hate our freedom. There are countries with more freedom than we have, and they aren’t hated doubly for it. Most countries have freedom.
So, it is no wonder that when people escape hell they come to all those countries, including France. When we open our hearts and our borders, we are in unity with all the other countries that do so. We should stand with France.
But we also know that it isn’t just refugees, but nationals of France who were involved. Are we heading into World War III? Or, is this just the world as we know it, and we have to brace ourselves for a very, very long battle?
I go to law school. I am not a Millennial, and I don’t readily understand them. There is a lot of need now, apparently, to make the world, and academia, safe for everyone, because in America, feelings are the new God. Racism, misogyny, and hatred makes us fear. However, we are not entitled to ask the world to create a space for us to wallow in our fear. We are, however, entitled, to demand our basic human rights. America is different like that: our young people in the universities are demanding spaces to cower, not confronting their fears.
There is an entitlement I see on a regular basis. We can’t be confronted with stark realities, even in our law schools, which is hugely ironic, given that that is what we are in school to do. When we demand other people give in and let us be afraid, we are asking them to cower in the face of the power of another’s fear. When we demand that our mere existence is the proof of our hegemony, we become the terrorists. Terrorism starts in the mind before it manifests in reality. It disallows discourse; it makes feelings the most important thing, and it is all ridiculous, whether the feelings are about identity and ego, or about an imaginary friend named Allah.
On Thursday, a classmate of mine flat out told a professor that she was wrong on a class quiz question. The professor wasn’t wrong; the student and her friends were. It was a lapse of logical reasoning that made the student think she was right. However, she flat out told the professor that she was wrong, and with the support of her friends, kept insisting that she was right.
The question was about attorney-client privilege. In the United States, in a civil suit, communication between an attorney and her client is privileged information if it is about a legal case, and the content is not subject to query. The quiz was about a hypothetical scenario in which a client discusses a desire to breach a contract with a publisher. The attorney explains that the client’s reason for breaching the contract is not a good one. The client breaches the contract and is sued by the publisher. The question was which of the following is permissible to ask that client in a deposition conducted by the attorney for the publisher.
The answer was ’Did you ignore the advice of an attorney about reneging on the contract?’
The question was supposed to help differentiate between facts of communication happening and the content of communication that is privileged. The fact that a communication exists is not privileged, but the content of the communication is.
This question is permissible, because the answer is yes or no, and doesn’t contain the content of the communication between the attorney and the client. However, the student demanded that if the client answered the question, you would already have made your case. This is a logical error. First, no one is disputing the facts of the breach of contract. Second, the client’s attorney isn’t on trial here, so answering this question one way or the other doesn’t effect the case between the publisher or the client. Third, there is no way to tell from this question, if the answer is yes or no, what the actual content of the communication was. The only thing it can shed light on is whether or not the breach of contract was deliberate, if that.
But what the student did was interrupt the professor during her explanation and flat out said ’NO,’ and then reiterated her erroneous assumption. This wasn’t a confused student, or a few confused students, but students asserting that, even in the face of the right answer, it was wrong. The facts didn’t matter here; what mattered here was her erroneous assumption being acknowledged.
There is nothing wrong with being confused or mistaken, but there is something very wrong with insisting that you’re not wrong or mistaken based solely on the fact that the thought or idea belongs to you.
This has happened before, but not like this. I have sat in class and listened to students argue that the definition of probable and plausible are unfair because, in their minds, the definitions are reversed. And it was not a student trying to work out their confusion, but trying to argue the facts, weighing the erroneous validity of their own beliefs against a well-established definition for two words.
This is a problem. This is a big problem if these people will be our future leaders, who will not be able to contend with a world in which they feel entitled to be correct. It is entirely possible to have a mind of your own that isn’t the source of all wisdom and knowledge. It is also possible for someone to think something else and not necessarily be wrong or doing it to cause you personal grief.
But what bothers me is that the strength is in numbers. This is never one person against everyone, or the few against many. It is always someone who has the strength of popularity behind them, such that nothing matters so long as others agree, and it fans the flames of appealing to emotions, and it validates sore feelings. Feelings are irrational.
Just as it is irrational to feel your imaginary friend Allah wants you to kill people and force them into a life they don’t want so you can get goodies when you die. This feeling may make you feel good, but it doesn’t mean that it exists outside of your head.
Herein lies one of the great lessons of this transit of Saturn square Neptune: when confronted with naked reality (Saturn in Sagittarius) that is established, will you bury your head in the sand, or transform (Neptune in Pisces)?