Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Ash vs ISIS: Saturn Square Neptune, Round 1

In the week leading up to Halloween, my cinephile sweetie introduced me to the first two Evil Dead movies, which I enjoyed so much (especially the first one) that I am now very deeply into the new TV show Ash vs Evil Dead. I guess the combination of over-the-top gory violence (that aficionados call "gruel"), the occult, and snarky humor really tickles my funny bone.

And on an approaching Saturn-Neptune square, the revival of Ash could not come at a more appropriate time.

(Warning: There Be Spoilers Here.)

Ash thought his job was done 30 years ago (interestingly, a Saturn cycle), but one night of stoned revelry spent reading from the wrong book of poetry with a foxy date has unleashed those damned demons...aka the evil dead, who specialize in taking over the bodies and souls of live and dead humans, who become puppets that kill indiscriminately and a lot. With just three episodes aired, there has been enough gruel splattered for three full-length films, with the addition of something suspiciously Neptunian afoot: Ash has to figure out a way to go within himself in order to undo the spell he unleashed while under the influence of the Demon Weed. Ash must go inside because the plan to conjure up a so-called lesser demon to get the answer went horribly awry.

With Paris reeling from last Friday's Islamic terrorist attacks, confirmation that a terrorist bomb had indeed been responsible for bringing down a Russian jet plane over Egypt on Halloween, the escalation of military retaliation in Syria, U.S. governors (who thankfully have no real say in the matter) opining that Syrian refugees should not be welcomed, and airline bomb threats, this is a job not for Superman, but for Ash: the Ash in all of us, the post-traumatic-stress-syndrome survivor of the still-warm Uranus-Pluto square of 2012-15.

Many souls did not make it through this three-year aspect of intense brutality and gross economic imbalance; the evil dead is alive and very unwell. Those of us who did survive may be bone-weary and going through survivor's guilt. But on a Saturn-Neptune square, there is no rest for the weary. And the key may very well be to go within (Neptune in Pisces) for the solution, for Saturn in Sagittarius is hard at work destroying whatever faith we may still have left in such Sagittarius-ruled institutions as universities and organized religion. And the most negative manifestation of Saturn in Sagittarius can be summed up in one acronym that has managed to usurp my favorite Egyptian deity: ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham.

Please do not understand me too quickly; I am not trashing the vast majority of Muslims. I am taking issue with the twisted, oppressive, death-wish militants whose idea of good, clean fun is holy war culminating in an apocalyptic battle in Dabiq, Syria, where the "Roman army" (the West) will bite the dust. After that, ISIS maintains, Jesus shows up and kills an Iranian who is the anti-Messiah. We all die, and ISIS groupies get raptured and go to heaven.

Ponder how the recent Uranus-Pluto square has given more power to extremists in all areas of life: not just religion, but in politics, economics, education, popular culture, family values. There are no 50 shades of gray; "the new normal" is either pitch black or snow white. With nuance lacking, it is tempting to romanticize a past that wasn't all that great the first time around, and it is especially difficult to find true solutions, as opposed to Band-Aids, empty platitudes, and emptier promises.

The Saturn-Neptune square indicates that on a mass level, we are soul-sick, disenchanted, and/or deluded. Those of us with open minds may be unsure what to believe in, the very concept of "reality" up for grabs. Others will stubbornly persist in keeping their eyes wide shut. In the mutable signs Sagittarius and Pisces, this square cannot settle down. On a bodily level, our mass immune system is compromised; there will be more fallout from the anti-vaxxer movement, which was in the news earlier this year when Saturn first entered Sagittarius. Climate-wise, out-of-control fires as well as flooding are likely.

The first of three Saturn-Neptune square of 2015-16 is exact on November 26, which happens to be on Thanksgiving; the Moon in Gemini forming an opposition to Saturn and a square to Neptune might make freedom of movement, i.e., travel, quite difficult, as well as whipping up distrust between neighbors -- either on a personal level or between next-door countries.

As the phoenix rises from its own ashes, as the character of Ash must find his inner phoenix to break a doomsday spell, so must those of us who refuse to give up rise up from our own extinguished embers and find something authentic to believe in (Neptune) and commit to (Saturn). Something found not outside ourselves, but inside our souls (Neptune), something that can be structured and harnessed (Saturn), a war worth fighting. Something that could take a long time (Saturn) to bring to fruition, but must be started ASAP. Uranus is in Aries till early 2019; war against ISIS, whether on the ground or at arm's length (airstrikes, a puppet government in Syria) is inevitable though not enviable considering the loss of lives that will ensue. The Saturn-Neptune square is already defining the next U.S. presidential election. Both on a large scale and on a more personal one, lives should matter as far more than a hashtag. The stakes for survival have never been higher. May those of us who truly value life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness lift our heads up high and rise to the challenge.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Special Friday the Thirteenth Edition: Proud Triskaidekaphile

Greetings, Lovelies and Uglies.

It's been a while since I've checked in, and I thought it would be appropriate to break the silence with a thumb's-up to Friday the 13th, especially since today happens to be my sister's birthday.

Thirteen has long been considered an unlucky number, yet Judaism, the religion in which I was raised, considers 13 to be not only lucky, but spiritually significant. The number 13 abounds in Judaism, from the age of a bar/bat mitzvah to the 13 hermeneutic principles to Abraham's 13 covenants with God to the 13 attributes of divine mercy to Jewish numerology, in which the words ahavah (love) and echad (one) equal 13. Oh yes -- I was also born on the 13th.

Thirteen is also one number past the 12 signs of the zodiac, implying transformation -- a Scorpio specialty. It is therefore highly fitting that the number 13 in Tarot (the much-feared and misunderstood Death card) and numerology are both associated with the sign Scorpio.

Friday the 13th is particularly feared, but what exactly is so bad about Friday? This is considered to be the day of the week ruled by Venus, apropos for the start of the weekend. I would think that Monday the 13th would be far more feared. However, Venus is in its detriment in Scorpio -- implying that this day does not blend easily with the number 13.

Today features two sextiles, the aspect of opportunity: Venus-Saturn and Mercury-Jupiter. Specifically, the sextile between Venus in Libra and Saturn in Sagittarius encourages a positive sense of purpose and structure with a loved one (in other words, it's okay to make definite plans), while the sextile between Mercury in Scorpio and Jupiter in Virgo encourages moving one's mind out of the shallow end of the pool and plumbing the depths (in other words, it's more than okay to ponder the meaning of existence).

Till next time, have a great rest of Friday the 13th.