Saturday 25 August 2012

Medusa's Talking Heads - Astrology & Rape

Bleak, emotive, conflicted, the subject of Rape seems at the moment to suddenly be a 'hot topic' with the world’s media. Instances in the news includes the reporting of U.S Missouri Republican Todd Akin remarks
Actually in the real world, one in six women in America has been the victim of an actual or attempted rape with about 9000 abortions every year as a result of rape pregnancies. The number of abortions would be far more but for the fact that about 15% of victims are under the age of 12 and cant get pregnant. 
The current struggle between Wikileaks front man Julian Assange and allegations that he sexual molested/coerced/raped two women in Sweden is clouded by high profile and often misguided opinions of rape put forward by politicians and supporters. Of course everybody has had a say about what constitutes a rape such as U.K Respect Party M.P George Galloway's  "it's not rape as most people understand it" and calling the behaviour just "bad sexual etiquette". Actress Dame Helen Mirren revealed that she was date raped twice but said that date rape 'is not for the courts'. Financier Ben Goldsmith tweeted that he was with Galloway and that the trumped up Swedish charges are a ruse as does rapper M.I.A. Also British Politician The Right Honourable Anthony Wedgwood Benn says that although the sex with the two women may well have been non-consensual, it does not constitute a rape. The women involved have not been really heard yet and are simply seen as 'opportunists' at best or 'puppets' in a conspiracy. The courts are apparently controlling the ways things are handled and the media are cranking it up somehow the issues surrounding rape appears to being used by various bodies for their own reasons.
Three people associated with the Jordanian Paralympic squad have also been arrested following allegations of sexual assault in County Antrim and have been flown home. There has also been news of the rape of a 14 year old boy frogmarched in broad daylight in a busy city shopping centre in Manchester, England. 
In the U.S Paul Ryan is helping out the debate with, 'Rape is only Rape if the Offender specifies' but then backed off by saying that the issue was a sideline. President Obama was drawn into the debate coming up with 'Rape is rape... The idea that we should be parsing and qualifying and slicing what types of rape we’re talking about doesn’t make sense to the American people and certainly doesn’t make sense to me.' In the UK Kenneth Clarke suggesting 'there are other categories of rape'.
There is obvious institutionalised rape due to arranged marriages and now forced marriages in Morocco where the rapist can marry his victim in order to 'take away the shame brought on her family' or the rapes of 'unveiled' women in Sweden by Muslim gangs. The Times of India had six stories of a variety of rapes on one online page, including the gang-rapes of 16 year olds, the burning of a 14 year old rape victim and a 4 year old 'Dalit' girl from the 'untouchable' caste all increasing in frequency and violence.
This is a nasty, disturbing and gut wrenching topic, with confused and confusing voices adding to the debate - and it is global. It is a misery that biographies and personal histories all over the globe give testament to the unending and pernicious endurance of this brutal act of violence. One small slip-up can have life-long damage and repercussions.
With the battles over definitions, caught up in the semantics, we are plunged into the ambiguities of what constitutes rape - what it is and what isn’t ‘it’ - all of which can befuddle, prolong and ultimately stall the process of dealing on a practical level with the prevention and consequences of rape. Honest and clear debate must refine ‘common sense’ it can shine the light of awareness into very dark and murky places indeed. Information and education surely can lead the way, accidents and ignorance can be minimized. This will not affect an individual who uses their conscious choice to commit an act of rape, to act fully knowing they are overriding the other person’s choice and ‘do it anyway’. However as a race we humans should strive for greater understanding of every aspect of this issue.
Astrologically ‘rape’ is symbolised traditionally and in myth by the planet Pluto, who despite being ‘demoted’ by the astronomical establishment a while back, seems nonetheless to have a will of its own and is possibly flexing its muscle (excuse the inuendo) “ahha don’t ignore or demote what I am about, here’s a reminder of my worst bits”. 
Pluto is about Power and it is clear that rape is not about sex but about the abuse of power. Women are physically weaker than men generally and violence against women appears to be endemic because of the fact that someone has the physical ability to use force against you. Pluto is the God of the Underworld who one day spies the beautiful young Persephone as she is innocently gathering flowers away from her mothers reach and protection. Pluto desires Persephone, and does not hold back from taking what he desires. It is his unalienable ‘right’. Pluto rapes and abducts Persephone taking her down into his realm and crowns her his Queen. 
Beside herself with grief her mother Ceres (Greek:Demeter - suffering her own rape/incest by Poseidon) consigns the world to wither, nothing grew in her state of despair which consequently leads Pluto to agree under sufferance to release Persephone for 6 months of every year and for Ceres to allow the world to flourish for that time. She then has to return to Pluto's hell and the world goes cold again (an easy divide is Summer and Winter). So whilst Persephone can never forget her fate, as a result of Cere’s intervention she gets to spend half of the year back with her mother. She can never escape she just has ‘moments away’. She has lost her innocence, perhaps it could be argued, this is right, infantilisation will not lead to psychological health. And what you may wonder would Persephone have answered if ASKED if she wanted to have sex with Pluto? 
This myth suggests the answer will always be NO until innocence is breached, we will never want to leave maternal safety left to our infantile desires, consequently it will always feel like ‘a taking against our will' - 'a rape of innocence'.

The whole thing is very ambiguous although there is the ‘No means No’ campaign which attempts to cut through such ambiguity. No is No whether said if you have had sex before with that person or with countless others. No is No - whatever clothing one is dressed or undressed in. No is No at whatever point in the proceedings the word is uttered. No is No no matter how awkward, frustrating or confusing the moment it is uttered. No is no even if not uttered but clearly implied or suggested. No is No when another person does not want any part of their body to be penetrated by any object or body part. 

                                           Pretty clear it seems so why is it so obviously not? 
'Man's discovery that his genitalia could serve as a weapon to generate fear must rank as one of the most important discoveries of prehistoric times. From the prehistoric times to the present, rape has played a critical function. It is a conscious process of intimidation by which all men keep all women in a state of fear.' Susan Brownmiller, Against Our Will
'Women's lives and their bodies have been the unacknowledged casualties of war for too long' Amnesty - Lives Blown Apart

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon Stop Rape Now 
Looking at another astrological figure, Nessus, may give us some idea.The asteroid Nessus is another astrological symbol for rape. Nessus in ancient mythology is a centaur whose father, Ixion was a character whose wrong actions led him down a dark path of murder and betrayal. Nessus’s mother was Nephale, a cloud conjured up by Zeus in the form of Hera (Zeus’s wife) as a ‘honey trap’ into which Ixion immediately tumbled. Astrologers will recognize Neptune in this myth, clouds, deception, camouflage, projection, undoing and fantasy.
The story of Nessus does not improve from this bad start, as an adult he tries to rape Heracles wife, Deianira and this has very serious consequences as Heracles is a witness to this act and strikes a poisoned arrow into him. 
Unfortunately Nessus tells Deianira that his blood would ensure Heracles be faithful. Deianira smears Heracles clothes with the centaur’s blood but instead of binding him to her it poisons him and burns him to death. The astrologer, Melanie Reinhart says “The end of falsely hopeful innocence is signaled by Nessus transits, and the opening of a deeper wisdom.”
At the end of August 2012 as the rape/not rape stories and debates fill the headlines Mars is moving into Scorpio (Mars in Scorpio), and Saturn is preparing to move into the sign of Scorpio. Pluto, co-ruler with Mars, of Scorpio, is in a tight controlling almost ‘epic’ struggle with Uranus the Awakener, in Aries (Uranus the Awakener Does An Olympic Backflip).Things are stirring for sure, and at a very deep level.The midpoint of Uranus and Pluto is 22 degrees Aquarius, and where is Nessus? Currently Nessus is at 24 degrees Aquarius retrograde and moving in. 
What of Neptune another key player: it is in it's own sign of Pisces. It is also ‘in the bends’ an ancient astrological term, where a planet is squaring the Nodal Axis within one degree, which brings it up into prominence and makes it hard to ignore. Neptune is associated with redemption, saviour and victim motifs and by virtue of being caught 'in the bends', it then gets drawn into a high prominence. It stands out.
There is one more myth to involve, that of Medusa, the female gorgon, the monster who could turn a man to stone by merely looking at him. Medusa, the embodiment of female rage. 
Before she became hellish though, she was innocent and happy in her world. Then along came Poseidon/Neptune who abducted and raped her. The Goddess Athena was a witness but was also jealous of Medusa's beauty, especially her long, silky hair. Athena decreed that it was Medusa who was to blame and the one to be punished. As punishment she turned her into the Gorgon so that men could no longer look or desire her ever again. Where is the asteroid Medusa at this very moment? Travelling through the sign of Scorpio, of course…Scorpio is about power and is always related to sex.
We cannot for one minute imagine that rape as an act or as an issue will go away easily or indeed should be hushed-up. More words and tears will spill, more heads will roll and maybe, just maybe the voices that were previously silenced and somehow turned into monsters will rise up, roar and never be silenced or shut down.
Rape Support & Advice - Rape Crisis (UK) - Rape Abuse Incest (US) - Rape Abuse Incest Network International
credit:rape crisis scotland & oscar swartz & against bause inc.& UN Women & wiki paintings & susan brownmiller: against or will: men, women and rape & & krishnendu haidel/reuters
posted by pippa ponton & jphibbs

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