I don’t mourn for a city. I mourn for people and the land they live on. I mourn for all the beings that have died traumatic deaths, all the lives disrupted, all the trauma created and all the people that are grieving the loss of their loved ones. In Paris, yes, and beyond. I don’t mourn for nation states, borders and boundaries. I mourn for the lies that are covered by their flags. I mourn for our collective consciousness that values some lives more than others.
I mourn for the normalization of black, brown, indigenous, queer, femme, female slaughter. I mourn for the way western, colonial thought dominates news networks blaming, shaming and setting up those from Islamic nations to bear the burden of our collective war crimes. I mourn for the fact that we are so far from clear about the western world’s involvement and financial backing of ISIS and other organizations of terror that we think we have been attacked by some foreign “other”.
I mourn for those that are terrorized by the American government, military and police force on this land and beyond. I mourn for our lack of consciousness about how we terrorize others. I mourn for our lack of empathy when we learn that we do. I mourn for our cognitive dissonance. I mourn for the fact that while we conceptually know that we are “all one”, the reality of valuing each life as equal is still far from the norm. I mourn for how racism, xenophobia, nationalism and colonialism have molded our way of thinking and shaped the pathways of our hearts.
I mourn for the part of us that blames the victim, time and time again. I mourn for the part of us that is too weak to stand up to the perpetrator. I mourn for the part of our souls that is so twisted, misshaped and malfunctioning that is chooses to align itself with the ones who wage these wars.
I mourn for all of this. I am a part of all of this. I am not separate from any of this. I mourn for this aspect of humanity, this aspect of myself that keeps reliving this nightmare.
I thought a lot this weekend. I thought and felt a lot about how I use astrology. How my community uses astrology. I thought about the Scorpio new moon. I thought about Saturn in Sagittarius squaring Neptune in Pisces. I thought about what was going on and what it meant for our world, our hearts and this profession.
There were obvious Scorpio themes in the past week. Themes of using power over others and using our inner power to inspire others to locate and use their own. There were also obvious emerging themes of Saturn in Sagittarius as the combination relates to issues of faith, extremism, education and xenophobia.
The successful demonstrations and strikes at Mizzou and the nationwide support for the students there was a beautiful example of how to use our personal power to inspire collective power in the face of racism and hatred (also a type of terrorism). The racist backlash and threats (again, terrorism) were an obvious example of how to use Scorpio energy in its most base, violent way.
Saturn in Sagittarius is also part of this story because the world of higher education is governed by Sagittarius and because Saturn makes real the issues we have with higher education. As Saturn in Sagittarius unfolds (it is far from over), more of these events are likely to come to light.
The terrorist attacks that took place in Beirut, Baghdad and Paris could be seen as another manifestation of the new moon in Scorpio and using that energy again in the most base, destructive way possible.
This moment has teased out the question of how we use our power and what we lend our power to. What happened this weekend in Paris is a tragedy, through and through. And it is a tragedy that happens in many countries the world over all the time. It happened in Beirut and Baghdad days before Paris and no president said anything about it. No astrological publication or astrologer that I know of pulled up the chart for Beirut or Baghdad and made a declaration about Saturn in Sagittarius either.
But we did for Paris.
There seems to be a conversation brewing in astrological circles about religious fundamentalism in connection to Saturn’s (the planet that makes things solid and defined) recent arrival into Sagittarius (a sign that deals with religion), but why now? Is it due to the fact that terrorist attacks have happened in France twice since Saturn moved into Sagittarius? But terrorist attacks happen in non-westerners countries, to non-white people all the time. Why don’t they get astrological scrutiny? Why draw up charts of and investigate only certain nations being attacked, certain types of people, and certain types of cultures? When does the terror that black and brown folks face get to be as worthy of the white solidarity and of the astrological communities expertise? When is the terrorism that happens in a non-western country worthy of airtime and analysis?
Certainly Saturn in Sagittarius brings into form, and therefore into our consciousness, the problems with patriarchal (Saturn) religious ideologies (Sagittarius). Squaring Neptune (compassion, confusion and delusion) in Pisces (dreamy, impressionistic and ideal states of oneness), the Saturn in Sagittarius complex gets outed possibly for the delusion that it is and that it feeds us.
Colonial thinking has power because it dehumanizes those that come from somewhere we know little to nothing about. We don’t have to see “them” as “us” or “their” suffering as “real”. When we dehumanize others, their suffering just isn’t as bad as ours. It’s simply not “our” problem and maybe not even “our” astrology.
Perhaps then, Saturn’s entrance into Sagittarius will make real this kind of disparage in our global philosophy. Perhaps Saturn’s transit through Sagittarius, especially as it makes three squares to Neptune in Pisces over the next year, can informs us, can remind us and can teach us that those that grieve their loved ones in the Middle East, in Africa, in Asia, and in the Americas do so in the same way. The same pain runs through every heart on this earth.
Let us not be manipulated by fear to turn against each other, creating ever more suffering. Let us grieve together, in solidarity for a world gone mad and in hopes for a world returned to sanity, which is to say, love.
By: Chani Nicholas
Chani has a degree in Feminist Counseling from George Brown College and a BA in Integral Studies from California Institute of Integral Studies. She has studied psychological astrology for over 20 years and is currently studying Hellenistic astrology with Demetra George. Chani devotes her spare time to studying, practicing and supporting restorative justice practices. You can find her at http://chaninicholas.com