T ‘n T exploding women’s rights

Virgo 2021

TNT is used as an explosive and indeed it has been a devastating month for many women. The two T’s in question are, of course, Texas and the Taliban in Afghanistan. A lot of hopes and dreams have been blown to smithereens for women in Afghanistan.

And in Texas, the changes to the abortion laws, which go against the Roe v. Wade landmark decision back in 1973, will put paid to many plans that women might have for their futures. Of course in both cases there are huge consequences for Afghanistan and Texas as a whole. And if rumours are to be believed, maybe also for more states in the US, since the US Supreme Court went along with the Texas ruling.

patriarchy

Image Sabbian Paine Flickr

Sorry but … bloody men!

No, not all men! But why do some men (because it is mostly men, although many women in the US agree with the abortion law changes) find it SO necessary to control women’s lives? And why are they still finding it so easy? And why is rape still used as a weapon of war? It’s a sign that, sadly, yet again our work is not done! Just when we thought we were getting somewhere.

Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, thanks to the Taliban, it seems likely that women have now been banned from attending secondary schools. However, although with a lot of restrictions, the Taliban have said they can continue their university studies. That remains to be seen. Many say that universities don’t have the resources to teach separate classes. And it has been suggested that, where necessary, men can teach women from behind a curtain. For god’s sake, p-l-e-a-s-e! Are there not more desperate things to worry about? Yes that is a judgment. Not on Islam, just the Taliban.

taliban texas

Protests a plenty

For as long as I can remember — and that’s a while — women have been bravely protesting for women’s rights. Including for abortion. We thought we were making progress in the 70s. And we did. But here we are again. Of course in some countries, the fight is for much more basic rights.

women abortion rights

Women’s March, January 21 2017, Chicago. Photo Jonathan Eyler-Werve. It was good to see the other sort of men participating in protests.

If it doesn’t work, change it

In the past, protests have sometimes made an impact, but most of the time, when it comes to women’s rights, drastic action was needed to achieve change. In Afghanistan, the 20-year war had a big effect on women’s rights, the benefits of which are being taken away within weeks as we watch. And the Suffragettes made an impact, but what they had to go through doesn’t bear thinking about.

Other women in politics have made a difference, often by working together with men. That is something that does work. Role models of strong women work too, to encourage younger women to carry on. And of course there are some remarkable young women fighting the cause. I also think gender fluidity is helping. But clearly, all that hasn’t been enough.

How is it now?

The World Economic Forum report from 2020 on gender equality (link below) makes for sobering reading. I quote:
“… it will still take almost a century before women can expect to achieve equality with men.”

And even more alarming: “It found 91% of men and 86% of women show at least one clear bias against gender equality in areas such as politics, economic, education, intimate partner violence and women’s reproductive rights. … And perhaps more concerning, the gender bias against women has actually increased in the last decade.”

Tackling social norms

From the UN Tackling Social Norms report: “Globally close to 50 percent of men agree
men should have more right to a job than women. And “Almost 30 percent
of people agree it is justifiable for a man to beat his partner”. 

Here’s a bit more hopeful speech from the WEF site, given by Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcukamade for International Women’s Day 2020.

So what now? 

What do we need to do and can we learn from the past? Most of the time we seem doomed to repeat our mistakes. Clearly it is cultural attitudes that need changing and that´s a big job. We need to do what we can to change that — but what? Protesting is great but seems to have little effect with decision makers.

What do men get out of subjugating women?

It can make men feel powerful. Of course men are physically stronger than women, so that can be frightening. That’s what women fear most from men. Some studies show that the thing men most fear from women is being ridiculed. But both of those are tricky paths. I think we need cleverer strategies. The goal is negotiation — not to be more powerful than others.

negotiation

Back to myths for advice

As I have often said before, we can look to myths, which include astrological symbols, for help. One of the things our sign of the month, Virgo, is about, is practical help and service. That made me consider how we can each help to change the fate of women.

Ceres to the rescue

Because I have studied Ceres extensively, I think she has advice for us, especially about women’s rights and negotiation. I am currently preparing a lecture for the Astrological Association conference in October this year on how I think the Ceres archetype can act as an antidote for Pluto issues.

Pluto power

The Pluto archetype is clearly visible when abuse of power is rampant. Pluto overrules and sabotages. He radically transforms which can be good, but this can also be negative. In the myth where he abducts Persephone and takes her to the underworld, he asks permission only of her father, Jupiter, who says “Great — good match!” Ceres and Persephone are not consulted at all. The metaphor here with Texas and the Taliban is clear. Male domination is alive and well. Until …

… Ceres shows her rage!

The main message in the myth for me is that Ceres eventually shows herself as the powerful goddess that she is and steps into her power to negotiate. The way to think about this is: What do we have that we can withdraw? Of course we are not all goddesses that can make summer or winter, or produce crops. Or cause a global food shortage when we are unhappy (sound familiar?) But any successful negotiation requires finding some leverage, and women do have many things that men want!

What do men want?

Well who knows really? 🙂 Is it children? A dynasty? Dinner cooked? Shopping done? Household chores? Or sex? Unpaid help with financial matters at home or for a business? Or something more subtle — a listening ear? Advice? A cosy nest? Or more dark — someone to belittle or dominate to make them feel better?

Women often facilitate men’s dominance but we also support men in myriad ways. It takes some thought to see what we have that is of value, but I am sure there is always something when we are brave enough to step into our true powerful natures. If something that is valued can be taken away, we have some negotiation input.

Men need healing too

We can also think about what we are prepared to give that helps men feel potent. Men have suffered too, especially when religious zeal and sexuality is involved. Many are operating from a system that requires winning at all cost. I wrote about this with Trump. How often did he call someone a loser? When the Taliban have no wars to win, what then? They need a better challenge than dominating the ‘fairer sex’.

Ceres rage

Crops die when Ceres’ daughter is gone. Image by Jynette Tigner

What would Ceres do?

Ceres withdrew food from the people who worshipped these male gods. Not only did she take on Pluto, it was the main god Jupiter, Persephone’s father, whom she confronted. The lack of being worshipped if people starved seems to have done the trick! She didn’t get her daughter back all the time but a truce was reached for Persephone to be above ground with her mother for part of the year. Whether Persephone wanted this is a question for another time!

Some horoscopes

Skip this bit if you don’t want the astrology. The bottom line is that Ceres is active in Texas and Afghanistan, hence my suggestion that she is our goddess/planet of the moment.

Afghanistan was back under full control of the Taliban before dawn on August 31st. The new abortion law came into force in Texas the next day, on September 1st. This means that sky patterns were very similar, as only the Moon had moved on.

sky astrology

Photo by TheOtherKev at pixabay.com

Sky pattern

A lot could be said about these horoscopes, however the pattern I find most interesting involves Saturn, Ceres and the Sun. Ceres is also next to the Moon’s nodes, giving this a kind of fated feel for women and democracy, which I also associate with Ceres. Sun and Saturn are working together as male authority. The Sun is square to Ceres, making this difficult for women in both cases. Saturn is about the law. In Texas and with the Taliban, laws regarding women are the order of the day.

Texas

So how does the sky pattern fall on the Texas chart?

texas

The inner wheel is the chart for when Texas became a state. Outside was when the new abortion law came into force. Arrows show the sky pattern.

The Sun in the sky was giving Texas leaders (Sun in Capricorn, patriarchal?) the spotlight, while being opposed to Ceres, and thus women’s rights. Ceres in the sky, i.e. women in public are in a tense aspect (quincunx) with the leadership. There is a pattern in the Texas chart which suggests a masculine energy of entitlement (Mars next to Uranus). This aspect is triggered by the Saturn-Ceres pattern in the sky suggesting a serious battle between authority figures and women in general.

Ceres’ suggestion

A hint from Ceres in Gemini would be that women need to speak up and fight these laws, which they are doing (and not only women, as this is also about democracy and laws). As I write, the first challenge to this law is being prepared — see links below.

Roe v. Wade

The Sun was in Aquarius when this important law was passed, showing that leaders were acknowledging more equality. On the day of the new Texas law the Roe v. Wade chart Moon (women of child-bearing age) was being attacked by Mars opposite Neptune in the sky. This could have shown a compassionate approach but alas it manifested as boundless aggression towards these women.

roe v wade

Afghanistan

There are several charts that could be used here. When the Taliban were ruling previously from 1996, when an interim non-Taliban government started in December 2001, and of course the date already mentioned, when the Taliban took back full control on August 31st this year.

Doha and withdrawal

But first I want to look at another type of chart and this is when President Trump agreed to the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. The signing took place in Doha. President Biden carried out this contractual agreement, to much criticism and heartbreaking scenes.

withdrawal from Afghanistan

The inner chart shows the signing of the Doha withdrawal agreement for Afghanistan. The outer shows planets on withdrawal day.

Our sky pattern is about to pick up Ceres in the Doha chart, showing how the agreement has been implemented. Sky Saturn is exactly on Ceres (shown in blue) showing how difficult the withdrawal is making it for democracy and women in general. Another planet is active too, Uranus is exactly on the Moon of the Doha chart (shown in red), representing the shock that especially young women have experienced. A break to their lives from a rigid system of governance.

The Sun next to Neptune in Pisces in the Doha chart perhaps shows an idealistic leadership. This pattern of chaos was also being highlighted over the few days after the withdrawal, by the Sun in Virgo lighting it up by opposition. Indeed it was a chaotic venture on a global level.

Interim government and withdrawal

After the Taliban were defeated with the help of overseas troops, an interim government was formed in December 2001. Although elections were held after this, I have taken this to represent the start of democracy in Afghanistan. This combination with the withdrawal chart, shows what it will likely mean for governance in Afghanistan.

Afghanistan democracy

Part of the chart for the interim government installed in December 2001

This part of the chart shows Ceres next to Neptune in Aquarius. The dream of a governing system with equality and freedom for all. The trine to Saturn shows the determination to achieve this and to make fair laws.

When we put the Taliban takeover outside the whole chart:

taliban take back afghanistan

Inner chart Afghanistan interim government. Outer Taliban takeover.

Our sky pattern of Sun, Ceres, and Saturn together with the nodes is exactly triggering this pattern. Again male authority has dashed any hopes for democracy. – Blue highlights.

In red we also see that Pluto and Neptune will attack the Moon of the democracy chart in the coming months. Sadly this may mean that there are no limits to the power and control that will be exerted over young women. It is truly heart-breaking. Again Ceres in Gemini advises women to speak out, and bravely they are. The world needs to support them.

women v Taliban

Women bravely protest in Afghanistan. Photo AFP

Last thoughts

Of course a lot more could be said on all these charts but I have tried to highlight Ceres and her involvement. I see her as an antidote to misuse of power. Of course I am biased towards my favourite goddess, but my task seems to be to write about her. She stood up to male domination in the myth. I know that’s not an easy ask but I hope it has given food for thought.

Women and men together

Women should be a valued part of our world. Research shows that countries do better in every way if women take part at all levels of society. We need to negotiate a truce and find a balance between male and female energy so that we can support each other and fulfil our calling, adding to the amazing things we can achieve together. Ceres is a wise older woman. It’s that feminine counsel we all need to heed.

ceres

So I say no to T ‘n T, give me a G ‘n T anytime!

Faye Blake

Interesting websites

The World Economic Forum report mentioned above.

An interesting article entitled ‘Why does the Taliban fear women?

A doctor who wants to test the new abortion law in Texas.

An an interesting article in Dutch about the history of witches. ‘Heks, dat ik hoe bange mannen vrouwen met macht noemen.’ 

For astrologers

Texas becomes the 28th state: 29 December 1845, 0:00, Austin, Texas.
Abortion law Texas: 1 September 2021, 0:00, Austin, Texas.

Roe v. Wade: 22 January 1973, 10:00, Washington, DC.

Trump signs Doha agreement for troops withdrawal from Afghanistan: 29 February 2020, 16:12, Doha, Qatar.
Afghanistan interim government after defeat of Taliban: 22 December 2001, 13:12, Kabul, Afghanistan. (Time from astrodatabank)
Afghanistan under full control of Taliban: 31 August 2021, before dawn, Kabul, Afghanistan.

Quote of the month

“Women really do rule the world. They just haven’t figured it out yet. When they do, and they will, we’re all in big big trouble.”  Anonymous
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