Sun conjunct Mars in Aries, and the Boston Marathon

Yesterday, April 15, 2013, two explosions at the Boston Marathon killed three and wounded over 100. The tragedy took place in the midst of some intense Aries energy as the Sun approached its conjunction to Mars (named after the god of war) and amid an atmosphere of militancy and violence: at least 55 were killed in a string of coordinated bombings across Iraq on Monday; the NRA is baiting gun fanatics who ‘refuse to be a victim’; Kim Jong-Un is threatening nuclear war from the other side of the globe. All of it carries the insidious psychic/spiritual message that ‘you are not safe’.

Boston Marathon bombing astrology
Chart for the Bombing of Boston Marathon. View glyph legend here.

It’s a dangerous message to buy into. Once you do, it’s a slippery slope to being controlled by that fear.

In the hours after the Boston Marathon bombing, I saw numerous friends on Facebook asserting their refusal to give in to this idea that ‘we cannot be safe’.

One who works in that part of Boston has run that famous race twice expressed his desire to do so again, with his family able to watch it at the sidelines, “without reservation and without fear.” Another intentionally walked downtown in an act of spiritual rebellion and was glad to see there were people out having dinner. And so on.

I was heartened to know that many are getting that living in a state of panic won’t help things; that being afraid to live doesn’t make living in this world any easier; that in the wake of something like this — an event designed to shock us into paralysis and emotional numbness — jumping to assumptions and scapegoats and spreading misinformation just because it popped up in your social media feed is, at best, an example of poor cyber-citizenship.

Worse, it can help fuel more fear and violence. And even worse than that: it can blind us to being able to see what’s really going on when the fog clears.

That fog, in this case, is represented by Neptune right on the 7th house cusp of the chart for the explosions in Boston. This event occurred with a Sun-Mars conjunction in Aries (exact Wednesday at 8:20 pm EDT), with Mercury conjunct Uranus in that same sign, and Eris not too far from Mars. All that Aries energy turns Neptune into ‘the fog of war’. It’s the fog of the Shock Doctrine, distracting and confusing us with chaos and pain, so that we won’t notice what comes next.

Neptune is obfuscating much about this event right now, including who did it, and why. Eric has noted it was a message of some sort: Mercury, the planet of communication, is the chart ruler (it rules the ascendant, Virgo). Mercury is conjunct Uranus in Aries (exact Saturday). It’s not clear what the specific intended message of the bomber(s) might be but broadly, symbolically, it is one of militancy.

We can’t determine causation at this point. But there are correlations with the location: the Boston Tea Party; Patriot’s Day, which commemorates the first battles of the American Revolution, fought nearby in the towns Lexington and Concord; Tax Day.

There are correlations with other famous mid-April dates. For starters, the Columbine shooting took place on April 20, 1999; the Virginia Tech massacre was on April 16, 2007. Again, this is not about ‘causation’, but about symbolism. According to The New York Times:

Some officials noted that the blasts came at the start of a week that has sometimes been seen as significant for radical American anti-government groups: it was the April 15 deadline for filing taxes, and in Massachusetts it was Patriots’ Day. It is also a week that has seen attacks in the past: April 19 is the anniversary of the deadly 1993 fire near Waco, Tex., that ended a 51-day standoff and left 80 members of a religious group called the Branch Davidians dead. April 19 is also the anniversary of the 1995 bombing in Oklahoma City, which prosecutors said was conceived in part a response to the Waco raid.

Without checking out the charts for all those dates, we can say that there’s something about Aries energy that seems to be a factor. (We also know that wars have been started at all times of the year, people get shot daily, and there are terrible, violent tragedies around the globe constantly.) Aries does not always spell violence — it is also initiative, in very positive ways. But this time, the correlation couldn’t be clearer.

Keep reminding yourself and others about that fear is not living; fear is the opposite of love. When violence is perpetrated to try and convince us otherwise, we have a spiritual obligation to see the manipulation for what it is and stand our ground for something higher.

Even the current astrology is not ‘all bad’ or something to be afraid of. Before I knew about the Boston Marathon tragedy, I was planning to write a post about a more positive expression of the Sun-Mars conjunction, which happens to be sextile Nessus in Aquarius and also sextile Vesta in Gemini. The shape is a little like a big satellite dish, with the focusing point being the Sun and Mars in Aries: desire, motivation, conscious action in the world.

We could think of Nessus in Aquarius as ‘stopping the buck’ on some form of peer pressure or groupthink. If you can see that dynamic clearly, you can use it to fuel the assertion of yourself and what you want in your life in contrast.

Vesta in Gemini in the bombing chart looks like a sacrifice, possibly a sacrifice of our sense of safety. But Vesta can also represent our inner creative flame. On the personal level, that could be what Sun-Mars is fueling, in contrast to Nessus in Aquarius: devotion to your inner creative spark, that thing that makes you human and humane, in its divinity and duality:

That inner divine spark needs an outer expression. What truly feeds you feeds the world — and fear is not food.

20 thoughts on “Sun conjunct Mars in Aries, and the Boston Marathon”

  1. ‘Shock doctrine’ is exactly what came to my mind as I read the beginning of your post. I’m in the process of reading Riane Eisler’s The Chalice And The Blade. To me this looks like just another jerk in the process of androcratic ‘civilization’ trying to protect itself. I’m beginning to feel like it doesn’t matter who the individuals are. So a scapegoat is found; even putting the individuals who planned and carried out this specific act won’t do anything to stem the tide of war and paranoia. We should be looking at the whole culture of war instead of picking apart the individual occurrences of violence. Women are raped every minute on this planet. Swatting flies isn’t going to change the systems level violence.

    Good call on not falling for fear. Whatever the excuses for the perpetrators of this violence the end product for the disaster capitalists is more fear and panic. Androcratic strong men societies always invent situations to increase fear and give false credence to their lies. If we’re afraid of one another then we won’t call together enough people to make a new partnership society. Divide and conquer has always been the bad daddies’ strategy.

    In comes Nessus which reminds me once again of how Nessus died, and that he took Hercules with him. They’re both dominators. Nessus takes out the archetype of hero as rapist and murderer. The buck stops with his death. Another buck stops when Chiron, driven by the pain of the wound afflicted by Hercules and his lack of consideration for others gives his life to free Prometheus. I see the eagle eating his liver until his freedom as the poisoned livers of abusers. Falling for fear we continue playing into their traps. Only by seeing through the fog to love our neighbors can bring us together. Let the monster fall on its own sword.

    I think of Centaurs as a folk memory of the horse lords who broke up the partnership societies of Old Europe, before Sumer, before Greece, long before Rome. Chiron is one of them, but unlike most of his brethren he kept some heart intact within the culture of rape and murder as government. It will take one of their own to bring down the beast. If the softer humans fight it we die. We fight it in ourselves by not falling into fear.

  2. here’s one for the “good mid-april dates” list:

    today is the 50th anniversary of martin luther king jr’s “letter from a birmingham jail.”

    i couldn’t find a youtube example i really liked, but there are some out there…

  3. Thank you ~Amanda for the message to refuse to buy into the fear and that fear is not living… after all the events since September 11th I think this seems to be the best path.
    I have a cluster of family birthdays all in a row from April 13th-April 17th and I have always been intrigued by the historical incidences surrounding this time of year. Going back further… Lincoln was shot on the evening of April 14th and died the morning of April 15th. The Titanic struck the iceberg the evening of April 14 and sank during the early morning of the 15th. My husband and I both had bad dreams during the morning April 14. He dreamed of dying in a car accident and then had a car accident on the morning of April 15. I dreamed that our son born on April 17 was kidnapped while on a school trip (his last school trip was to Boston.) These tragedies keep reminding me of the energy of September 11th. My son was 4 when this happened and his Dad was there as a firefighter. I couldn’t explain that day to him and I’m having trouble explaining Aurora and this to my children. Everything seems to be moving so rapidly…

  4. “Given all the astrology that has connection to this event I sometimes wonder if secretive government agencies known only by their initials keep astrologers on staff for planning their dark deeds.”

    Either that, Chief Niwots Son, or it is that the planets stand at the ready to ‘rat’ us out at any given moment. Alison, it appears you decided to sail as Eco11 has, and as I hope to do. What a beautiful story of showing up. Last night I was at a poetry event sharing new poetry, wailing with both pain and humor. I’m glad I didn’t stint myself.

  5. eco11 — thanks for the reminder of shakespeare’s birthday in the midst of the more horrible dates.

    it’s easy to forget about “confirmation bias”: we notice the things that fit the pattern we are focused on, and easily disregard the things that do not fit (or fail to see them at all).

    and as we know, what we focus on becomes our reality. so thank you again for thinking to look at the creative and the positive; it’s what i was getting at in the last part of the piece, but even i keep getting caught up in wanting to see a pattern that makes sense — and tend to group “horrible” with “horror.” but when we include the rest of the spectrum, we get a truer picture of “reality.” even if the picture of this specific incident still has missing elements.

  6. Thank you Amanda for your insightful piece. I had an experience which sums up your message perfectly for me.

    I saw Arlo Guthrie play last night. At an intimate venue in my hometown of Santa Barbara. I had planned to go alone, which I was nervous about. I had spent all day waiting to hear from my dad – he was at the Boston Marathon. And my step-brother’s unexpected death a few weeks ago was still fresh in my mind.

    At the last minute, I decided to not give into my fear & emotional overwhelm, and I went. Arlo Guthrie played his dad’s old songs and many more. I was seated next to a man who had lost his daughter – who would have been my age, 33. He had wanted to bring his daughter to the concert. We laughed and cried our way through the show. And he couldn’t believe a girl my age knew so many Woody Guthrie songs. ( Thanks Eric. )

    The show closed with everyone singing together. As Arlo told said – When we sing together, with love, a little bit of that goes out to everyone, all over the world.

    If I had stayed home, I would have missed out on a once-in-a-lifetime concert. And I would have missed an opportunity to give, and receive, the amazing and humble gift of just being Present for another human being.

  7. As we all can choose to see (or not see) the ax-murderer in our ancestry (or Hitler), so we can also choose to see that which with which we can take flight and love and contribute (becoming Shakespeare) in our world. Both are mid-April birthdays that shimmered and changed perspectives.

    We can look to touch and feel and possibly also see the weather, and choose to sail or storm.

    I choose to sail.

  8. Correction: the Sun-Mars conjunction is exact Wednesday at 8:20 pm EDT, not today! (I’ve changed it in the article already.)

    Sorry about that — it was quite late when i was writing after a long day.

  9. Great article Amanda! Profound words Lizzy regarding self obsession. When I am all about self the world gets really really small – and from there I can see nothing but me and my morbid self centered ness. This leads to violence – violence perpetrated within and without. When I get out of myself by helping others, my entire worldview changes and darkness and fear turns toward lightness and love.

  10. “We could think of Nessus in Aquarius as ‘stopping the buck’ on some form of peer pressure or groupthink.”

    That is exactly what I am seeing happen on FB. People are posting to remain calm, to send out love, to withhold judgement until we know more. In fact many are even saying to ignore FOX and other news outlets because Fox is spewing anti-Mulsim fear and the other outlets keep calling this a “terrorist act” and keep mentioning a Saudi suspect (instead of just “suspect”) when the “suspect’s” apartment was searched and nothing was found. Perhaps this time people are a lot less willing to buy into the intended group-think of fear and are instead working to promote love. That is a change in the right direction.

  11. I had this dream a week or so ago and wrote it up as a poem. My personal slippery slope at this moment is choosing how to react to my husband’s second cancer. He is a 13 year cancer survivor and now he has a relatively aggressive prostate cancer which threatens to lay me ‘prostrate.’ Last week I decided to smoke pot (which I haven’t done yet) and Saturday, I un-shoplifted. (A funny and symbolic tale regarding who I want to choose to be. Basically, I got away with it and then un-got away with it while watching my brain do gymnastics.) My addictive personality is responding to my pain and fear. And it looks like now the larger world may be pushed along with similar urges.

    I dreamt I stood on a spit of land
    between a body of water
    and a slippery slope

    this is THE
    slippery slope
    I asked, the

    actual slippery slope?

    I had no idea
    it had a
    physical location

    I thought

    I’d better be careful.

  12. April 19th is also Hitler’s birthday, which is venerated by white supremacists in the US, and is often linked in the timing of the Oklahoma City bombing.

    Given all the astrology that has connection to this event I sometimes wonder if secretive government agencies known only by their initials keep astrologers on staff for planning their dark deeds.

  13. So right, Amanda – “What truly feeds you feeds the world — and fear is not food.”

    Safety is an illusion, broadly speaking. There’s nothing inherently safe about life on this planet. Could we make a choice to live joyously and fearlessly, even in light of that knowledge? To me it seems that doing so is the ultimate affirmation of life.

  14. jinspace, your appreciation of Amanda’s words is so spot on – words that many need to read right now. “…when you allow yourself to understand that you are protected by love, and live with that as an inner conviction, you will be”. So true, I too need to relearn this again and again. Thank you!

  15. An outer expression: cadence like a heart beat and holding form (shape), melody upbeat and
    continuing, aware, lucid, landing the feelings, frank and out there. Throughout. Tears, joy, everything. Courageously.

    You can sleep with it on replay – held in the music. All night long. In tears, out of courage, anguished, fatigued…


  16. Amanda, your message about refusing to buy into fear is an important one that I hope anyone feeling otherwise will take to heart. I’ve learned, forgotten, and relearned – after much hard work! – that when you allow yourself to understand that you are protected by love, and live with that as an inner conviction, you will be. It really is that simple. Thanks for the good post.

  17. Thanks for this wonderful piece, Amanda! I also found Eric’s words, about how there’s a lot of self-obsessed energy in this astrology, extremely helpful. In fact a light went on, made me realise that it’s deep self-concern that makes me suffer so much about my present, unpleasant situation. That the more one is centred on oneself, the harder life is.

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