By Melinda Hasting
The rarely discussed asteroid (114) Kassandra takes a square from the Sun on Wednesday. Discovered July 23, 1871 by C.H.F. Peters, she’s named after the prophetess Cassandra of Greek mythology. “Kassandra” means “she who entangles men.” So of course, she had red hair.
Because she was exceedingly beautiful, Apollo conferred the gift of prophecy upon her. She received the gift, yet declined to be Apollo’s consort. Infuriated because he couldn’t rescind the gift, he cursed Cassandra with powerlessness—he called her crazy. No one would believe any of her predictions, including the downfall of Troy and of the Trojan Horse.
A victim of violent rape, Cassandra was eventually murdered.
The Cassandra myth, a deeply complex tragedy on the misapplication of gender power, has unfortunately remained in its suppressed format: its modern application is The Cassandra Syndrome, a psychological disorder often coined for powerless, intuitive women who place themselves in physical and emotional danger by failing to articulate their needs.
But the ramifications of scorn warrant more attention as Kassandra is squared by the Sun (Apollo) this week. Could she air her needs with a little more force and finally be heard? Or will Apollo just call her nuts and pretend she’s not even there?
By one analysis, you might say a kind of ideal one, the masculine force awakens each day searching for the freedom to conquer and create. The feminine force awakens each day searching for love, understanding and the strength to preserve. There are other ways to look at it, though this is one perspective.
When the two scorn each other, entire generations can be affected by the misunderstanding. Consider the generalized fable of the modern American Divorced Family — Daddy the Womanizer and Mommy that Crazy Bitch — and its devastating implications to the children who hear it each night before bedtime.
Most of us can identify full circle with romantic rejection. We’ve rejected another person, sometimes for good reason and (let’s be honest) sometimes for the hell of it because we were confused. Or something. You feel like a piece of shit when you’re doing it, and yet you can’t not do it because romantic love has a lot of basis in intuition, which often trumps reason and even other people’s feelings.
But then there’s the other side of it, the being rejected side. This is the Moon side of it, the slow-mo, painful, cry-into-the-pillow side. It’s where we get to re-examine our motives and worthiness. Therein, we either let the Circle of Misunderstanding come to its full revolution (revelation) or we create a spiral of resentment for future go-rounds (usually with new people).
This new great awakening we’re experiencing has the upside of allowing us to reconsider the ways we’ve interpreted our mythology to suit a world driven by consumerism, duality and painful relationships. We do have the ability to reasonably consider that both Apollo and Cassandra are ready to heal up and acknowledge that rejection hurts and that there are loving ways to take space in relationship to others.
We no longer need to call another crazy to diminish their value; we can merely acknowledge we don’t always understand them. Moreover, we’ve reached a point in our collective maturity where it’s important to clearly state our boundaries before jumping into commitments we’re not able to keep.
Cassandra forebodes. She tells of impending danger in the hopes of averting tragedy. Let’s listen.