Medusa With The Head of Perseus is a seven-foot bronze sculpture by artist Luciano Garbati that inverts the narrative of Medusa, portraying her in a moment of somberly empowered self-defense
Australia as a nation is experiencing a watershed moment triggered by a young woman’s rape allegations first announced on February 19. Since then, more women have stood up and spoken out about the male dominated macho culture in parliament house. A nationwide protest march is announced for the coming Monday where Australia’s women are declaring their anger and rage about the misogynist behaviour of many politicians and those in high power office. My interest as an astrologer is of course to find the astrological significators for this in many ways exciting development within our socio-political landscape. Another incredibly important contributing factor has been the announcement of Grace Tame as winner of the Australian of the Year Award on January 25. Grace is an activist and advocate for survivors of sexual assault having been a survivor of rape herself.
Studying the astrological transits of the moment, we can see the makings of the first Saturn – Uranus square of the year which was exact on February 18 and with two more passes to follow in June and December. Uranus in Taurus has been in trine with the Saturn in Australia’s federation chart from 1 January 1901, which happens to be positioned on 7 deg Capricorn and conjunct the Capricorn Sun at 10 degrees Cap. Trines as a transit are helpful in taking all resistance away and thus speed up events. Uranus transits can be shocking and disrupt the status quo enabling social change and social reform. Interestingly, the Moon in Australia’s national chart is in Taurus as well (20 degree Taurus). The Moon is symbolizing the people and we can expect more surprises to come while Uranus is continuing its journey through Taurus! The Saturn-Uranus square paints the background colour of all the current events.
The next chart that I would like to explore is the chart drawn for Brittany Higgins’ formal complaint to the AFP over the alleged rape case back in the early hours of March 23, 2019.
The fixed Star Algol, the Medusa’s Head, is at 26-degree Taurus and exactly conjunct the planet Mars in the complaint chart (see above). Bernadette Brady describes Algol in Star and Planet Combinations as containing immense female passion and power. “Algol came to embody everything that men feared in the feminine” (p 97). Algol, the Medusa’s head, was regarded as being the most malefic star in ancient times. The Greek story tells us that Medusa was once a beautiful goddess who was raped in Athena’s temple by Poseidon/Neptune. This incident changed her forever and she was then represented as an angry monster having a head of hair consisting of snakes. Whoever gazed at her was instantly made into stone. Finally, the hero Perseus killed her by cutting off her head. Even though Medusa’s rage is justified, she received the same treatment that many victims of rape in our times still do: ‘blame the victim and protect the perpetrator’! Nevertheless, on the positive, Algol’s teaching is to stand up for oneself, to fight for the underdog, and to speak out when injustice has occurred. Mars/Algol is exactly in trine with Pluto, another planet that can symbolise the shadowy side of society. While I do not have the exact timing of the formal complaint, it can be assumed that the Moon in Cancer was opposite Pluto and sextile Mars/Algol. It reveals the emotional intensity of the moment, Brittany’s deep buried feeling, her hurt of not receiving the support that she needed after the incident happened, but also her courage and determination to follow through with this incredibly stressful process of finding justice and hopefully closure at some point in the future. Furthermore, Mars/Algol is square Venus in Aquarius, another indication that this conflict has a lot to do with the power dynamics between men and women that are culturally entrenched.
The next archetype of female rage is the Black Moon Lilith, closely related in mythology with Algol.The Black Moon Lilith is positioned at 14-degree Taurus in the complaint chart (see above), still widely conjunct Uranus but in direct square with Jupiter and Mercury in Aquarius. Mercury, the planet of communication in egalitarian Aquarius, just finished its first retrograde period of the year and is stationary direct. Jupiter is a ‘legal’ planet, also representing culture, privilege and those held in high esteem. The Black Moon Lilith in an close square with Jupiter symbolises an attack on privilege and entitlement. According to Hebrew mythology, Lilith is the 1st wife of Adam who refused to be submissive to him, because she regarded herself as an equal. She fled into the desert to maintain her integrity. She chose exile over suppression, loneliness over compliance, loss of security over status. Lilith does not compromise. She had to go through a spiritual crisis to gain access to her own spirituality. For sure, she also holds resentment and anger for the unjust treatment that she received. When triggered by transits Lilith reacts with rebellion and rage based on earlier life experiences of hurt and alienation. This sounds like the stories of many women who lived through the male dominated culture of society at large including Parliament House.
The inner wheel of the following chart shows the moment of the alleged rape in the early hours of March 23, 2019. The outer rim is the already discussed complaint chart from February 24, 2021. Interestingly, the 2019 chart has Lilith and Venus conjunct in Aquarius (25 degrees) exactly squaring the Mars in Taurus. With other words, Brittany made the official complaint synchronized with the Mars return of the original incident. The Mars/Algol/Lilith/Venus Pattern is repeated,and one can only imagine the agony and rage Brittany has been going through when she was making the decision to face and stand up for herself.
Another archetype of female rage that is currently active in our collective consciousness is Ceres who just entered Aries on February 22. Ceres will e exactly conjoint Chiron on the day of the New Moon, March 13.
The New Moon on March 13 in Pisces is conjunct Neptune and Venus, stimulating our longing for a new reality that is peaceful, ecologically aware and all inclusive. Ceres symbolises the Great Mother archetype, and will be in Aries from February 23 until May 9. Ceres in Aries is nurtured by action and physical activity. She wants to make her own choices about her body and her healing process (Chiron). In Greek mythology, Ceres/Demeter went through a phase of grief and anger when she lost her daughter Persephone. Demeter is the goddess of fertility who makes all things grow and blossom. When she fell into depression over her loss, the Earth turned into a wasteland. Finally a deal was struck with Hades/Pluto who had abducted Persephone. Half of the year she would be with her mother and in the world above and the other half with Hades/Pluto in the world below. Ceres/Demeter’s tale is about the passage of death and rebirth, the yearly seasons and the the continuous cycle of life. She is the goddess of transition who takes us from one realm to the next. Ceres has started a new 4-year cycle with her entry into Aries asking us what we want to nurture over the next four years? What kind of reality do we want to live in? How much do we care about nature and the environment, the well-being of plants and animals and all living being? For Ceres it is not so much the equality between men and women that matters, but the care that we take for the entire planet and all life. When we join the Women’s March for Justice on Monday, Ceres in Aries reminds us of our roles as protectors of all living beings that have been alienated, degraded and disregarded by our hierarchical male dominated systems.
THE NEW MOON IN CAPRICORN ON JANUARY 13, 2021: THE DWARF PLANET ERIS AND CONNECTING WITH THE POWER WITHIN
The New Moon in Capricorn on January 13 contains some important hints for the rest of 2021. It is the first lunation of the year. In many ways it repeats the themes of 2020 as it eventuates on the degree of the Saturn-Pluto conjunction from January 12, 2020. Even though 2021 is a very different year to 2020, the beginning has been quite shaky and difficult so far, as I have described it in my astrology report for 2021: Venturing into the Unknown.
The aspects of this New Moon that I regard as most significant are:
1. The New Moon on the 23rd degree of Capricorn conjunct Pluto; Eris exactly square Pluto;
2. Uranus stationary direct in Taurus on the midpoint of Mars/Lilith;
3. Mercury/Jupiter/Saturn in Aquarius square Uranus in Taurus;
4.Neptune in Pisces squaring the lunar nodes in Gemini/Sagittarius;
In Greek mythology, Eris is the Goddess of Strife and Discord and sister of Ares/Mars. She wasn’t invited to the assembly of the Gods and Goddesses because of her troublesome character. Of course, she felt very upset and angry about this. She decided to storm the gathering and threw ‘the golden apple of discord’ inscribed with “To the fairest.” Three different parties (in this case goddesses) laid claim to it and in their rivalry brought about the events leading to the Trojan War.
Interestingly, when the planet Eris was discovered in 2005, it upset the world of astronomy and forced a re-think of how astronomers define a planet leading to the invention of the category of ‘dwarf planet. Eris’ mythological themes are therefore related to battle, strife and competition. Her dark side symbolises the destructive consequences of narcissism, greed, and prejudice. On the positive, Eris seems to be a force for evolutionary movement, an agent of change. Nevertheless, there is impatience with this symbol, a sense of being driven to do something which may or may not prove to be clever or useful. The “golden apple” can be symbolic for the the unrestrained desire of a narcissistic leader who picked up the apple because he wants to stay in power . He feels excluded from the assembly of the traditional ruling elite and uses intrigue and manipulation to activate his supporters who then on January 6 stormed the U.S. Capitol in an effort to disrupt the Electoral College vote count. The question is, if a kind of Trojan war is still to follow? Eris will be square Pluto until October. Civil unrest might continue until then, if not until the end of 2021 because of the 3 exact squares between law abiding Saturn and law defying Uranus during February, June and December. These all aRE energies active in our collective unconscious that will shape the events of 2021!
The triple conjunction of Mars, Lilith and Uranus is symbolic for the anger and rage of those who feel disempowered or treated unfairly and have found a way to stand up for their perceived rights and beliefs. All three placements are able of initiating surprising events for the better or worse and can activate hidden rage, but also the courage to make the changes one always wanted to do. These are super-revolutionary forces especially when in a square aspect with Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius! Mercury’s involvement indicates a lot of angry voices and angry communication stirred by pent-up rage. Mars in Taurus is more passive-aggressive than Mars in Aries and holds onto resentment. Many planets in fixed signs in a stressful alignment indicate that conflicts become entrenched. The polarisation of the U.S. society is not likely to end with a change in government.
The approaching square between Neptune in Pisces and the Lunar Nodes in Gemini – Sagittarius will be exact on January 26, 2021. The Nodes on the Gemini-Sagittarius are symbolic for our current discussion around free speech versus hate speech, truth versus lies. We are influenced by social media algorithms to form our opinions and have created ‘feed-back loops’ and ‘echo chambers’ that influence our self-concept and construction of identity. These digital mechanisms have further contributed to the polarisation of society as they are programmed to exclude a diversity of information and opinions. Algorithms are making highly consequential decisions in our society on everything from medicine to transportation to welfare benefits to criminal justice and beyond. However, we don’t know almost nothing about them, and even less about the engineers and coders who are creating them behind the scenes! This is truly Neptune land, however, behind Neptune, there is Pluto in Capricorn and his desire for total control and power! So, while Jupiter and Saturn are in Aquarius, we can commit to critically questioning our assumptions about the world, others and ourselves. We cannot confuse information with truth. Finding the truth involves human activity, such as thinking with the heart and feeling with the mind. This New Moon conjunct Pluto invites us to observe where we give our power away. This can be an extremely subtle process. Keeping the inner witness active during 2021 is a necessity to navigate through these inspiring but also very uncertain times!