The Paris Shootings

As a million people plan to march through the streets of Paris, including 47 heads of state, in solidarity with the principle of freedom of speech, there seems only one subject for today’s blog: the  attacks by Islamic terrorists in the capital of France.  The beautiful city of Paris this week has been the site of tragic and alarming scenes.

Charts of France, and Hollande

With the rise of the far right in France under Marine Le Pen, the rise of anti-semitism, and the policy of banning the burka, arguably religious and racial tension is far greater than here in Britain at the moment.  At the time of the first set of shootings in the capital, the French principle of Liberty is being tested to the limit by the planets, and violence is to the fore: Mars squares the Mars of the French chart, while Jupiter conflagrates the whole issue of Liberty by a conjunction with its Uranus (Revolution) and an opposition to its Pluto.  A natal Uranus-Pluto opposition at the time of the French chart (the time of the Revolution) highlights the ideals of liberty, equality and fraternity, but in such a way as to keep them simmering and evolving.  So this terrorist attack on the capital has at its heart the symbolism of the struggle for  freedom, in particular the freedom of speech.  Uranus also opposes the French Venus currently.

This would seem a defining moment for Hollande in his somewhat less than successful premiership, and indeed astrologically, Mars is sextile his natal Mars, giving him the opportunity to show his mettle, and preside over a global response to w worldwide problem.

By the third day of the crisis, when the gunmen were held in a siege and subsequently shot, Mars was squaring the French Midheaven, again highlighting violence and bloodshed.  The Uranus-Pluto square was then directly involved with Francois Hollande’s Nodal Axis, with Pluto on his North Node and Uranus squaring the Nodes.  Thus his own personal karma was coming directly in the line of fire of the current explosive square.  He is finding his own role in trying to solve the current dilemma(s) of our times.

Charts of the Protagonists

The main protagonists, the Kouachi brothers, were of Algerian origin, and there is a long history of tension from the French occupation of Algeria and then its struggle for independence from France.  The elder brother Said had an emotionally complex Moon conjunct the North Node, forming a T-square with an opposition of Chiron and Uranus.  Perhaps more telling was the religiously fanatical exact square between Jupiter and Neptune.  Chiron was exactly opposite his Sun at the time of the first shootings.  With Sun conjunct Uranus the planet of Revolution and five planets in the freedom-loving sign of Sagittarius, the second brother Cherif would have identified with freedom, but in a very different way from his cartoonist victims.  He had Neptune at the Galactic Centre, which may have indicated a deeply hidden secret mission.  Mars trined his natal Pluto at his death: he who lives by the sword (or gun) dies by the sword (and not by the pen).   Their comrade Amedy Coulibaly, who was responsible for the siege in the kosher supermarket, on the day the three of them died, had a difficult and potentially destructive triple conjunction of Mars/Saturn/Pluto in Libra.

Religion and Spirituality

My history teacher Mr Burkimsher used to say there are no absolute truths, although that may not be absolutely true.  Violence needs to be denounced, and cannot be a part of any religion.  Islam is one of the three religions which partake of the Old Testament, which contains the commandment “Thou shalt not kill”  So how the jihadist principle of righteous killing has come to take precedence, I wonder, and only scholars of the Koran can answer.  God created all creatures on this earth.  I am a Universalist, and try to honour and respect all religions, but we live in a secular society.  Two incidents lately have arisen from direct mockery of what is sacred to others (which may have happened anyway).  I have a tendency to sarcasm, but am ever mindful that it can be the lowest form of wit. The first was the hacking of Sony, allegedly by North Korea, at the film mocking its leader Kim Jong Un.  I don’t feel is is right to mock someone who is still alive, in that way.  It is a fine line in my mind, because I feel it is important to speak out about the evils of his behaviour or regime.  There is something more provoking about mockery.  You may think this illogical, or splitting hairs.  Then the satire of Charlie Ebdo cartoonists towards Islam made mockery of the sacred cow of the Islamic religion.  Again, I feel you have to speak out against the violence, but I feel that mockery crosses the line.  I think that where we are led by the likes of Richard Dawkins and intellectuals who ridicule religion, and say it doesn’t matter, you underestimate the emotional intensity and connection with the human psyche which religion has for many.  For me, a person’s right to believe is sacred, but violence is not justified in any way.  So a moment’s silence for those who have died in this ideological war.  In marching in solidarity today, we are showing that peaceful protest is the way to lead by example, and not violence: love, not hatred.


Mercury is travelling together with Venus at 9 degrees Aquarius today, although not exact to the minute, favouring literary efforts and arts projects, particularly for those Aquarians born around 29th January.

Mars enters Pisces tomorrow (Monday 12th), emphasizing the  passionate spiritual journey towards truth, and finding non-violent ways to negotiate ideological feuds.  Fight the good fight, but not in a bad way.

Venus sextiles Uranus on Tuesday (13th), a good day for finding revolutionary ways to relate and make art.  It is good for meetings, both prompt and impromptu.  I will be having a rare outing to the cinema, to see the film “Mr. Turner” which I reviewed astrologically a little while ago – that promises to be fascinating, although the film failed to pick up nominations for the Golden Globes this week.

We are treated to another sextile on Wednesdaqy (14th), that of Mercury to Uranus.  This may produce dynamic information, for instance on the health front.  Ideas may come out of the blue.  Look out for the left field on Wednesday – it could be a fruitful departure.

So far so plain sailing, but Thursday (15th) brings a square between Mars and Saturn, and another layer of the onion needs to be peeled.  There is further work to do, the next problem or stumbling block is revealed to be dealt with.  There may be a stand off, and one protagonist may feel they have to take a hard line, but as comedian Rik Mayall once said to some undergraduates in imparting his advice for life “Love is the Answer”.  There can be no solutions without the softening of the heart.

Later in the day the tough  theme continues, as Pluto squares the Nodal Axis, so some karmic reckoning is likely to be in the air.  This may well be a group situation, and you need to identify and take responsibility for your role within it, however insignificant a part you feel it may be.  Each person has responsibility, however small, in the whole picture.

The week in bullet points:

  • Today – catch up on your paperwork, but make it enjoyable
  • Tomorrow – fight the good fight, in a good way
  • Tuesday – exciting for the arts
  • Wednesday –  good for brainstorming
  • Thursday – tricky from many angles; put safety first