Dear Friend and Reader:
Her name was Neda Soltai, or Neda Agha Soltan.В In Farsi,В neda means “the voice”.В On June 20, 2009, Neda was shot in the chest, you might even say, in the heart — В killed by Basij militia while taking part inВ Iran’s post-election demonstrations.
TheВ Basij orВ Baseej, whose name means “Mobilization of the Oppressed” В is a voluntary paramilitaryВ force founded by the order of theВ Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini November 1979. Contrary to their name, the job of the Basij has evolved to repress dissent from activists, writers, and rival factions, and, typical to an oppressive regime — to quell student protests.
Early estimates say around the time Neda was killed, 19 have died, over nine times the number of those killed during the last Iranian Revolution in 1979. В More have been killed since then. Most first and second levels of opposition candidate Mir-Hossein Mousavi’s campaign leadership were arrested or at least detained and held for questioning. Dissenters have been beaten, some say tortured. In the midst of what is growing into a heavily armed crackdown against civilian dissent, you would think the last thing the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and the ruling mullahs would want isВ martyrs.
As Eric reminds us in his recent post about the Saturn-Uranus aspects of the Iranian protests, what was once revolutionary — twentieth century theocratic Iran whose stern rule is reminiscent of centuries before –has become a flash point for the next iteration of the Iranian Revolution. It is Revolution 2.0, with the dissent of brave men and women made globally accessible by You Tube, Twitter and Facebook, and it feels like the revolution ofВ night versus day.
It is a political and spiritual breakthrough from a place for so long cloaked by the mire of our own racist and militarily opportunistic politics, as well as the religious fundamentalism that led to the breach between us and them. For those of usВ in the Western world standing by, allowing the political process of a country so far away to proceed no matter the cost, we’re hamstrung from interfering directly or aggressively.В Because of that,В Neda’s life and the lives of all women fighting for recognition of their personhood, equality and individuality against a hardline theocratic regime clutches us by the heart.
It is no small thing that in a fundamentalist Muslim theocracy the life andВ death of a young woman is now an icon for twenty-first century Iranian resistance to the status quo: Saturn’s recalcitrant old guard, the Ayatollah, challenged by a defiant, multi-generational and co-ed Uranian movement. The time seemed to be waiting for it.
Events involving the Aries Point, or people with it prominent in their charts, have impact. Their lives can affect many people. They have a connection to the public and the public has a connection to them. This is the degree of the zodiac bearing the message, ‘The personal is political’.
As heard in the audio provided by Eric from CNN, Neda’s life, taken around the time of the Aries Point, has exploded into a world of meaning for the women of Iran who not only have found their voices, they are demanding to be heard, risking their own lives to do so. They are shouting “We are all Neda now”. A woman whose name means “voice” was shot as if the Basij could kill the very core of the revolution’s voice right there.В But as they say, the harder you suppress, the more breaks through.
One life, Neda’s life, however brief, makes a difference, but its also been many lives all along since the days in the late 1970s and beyond, making a river toВ push against a brutally intractable wall.В In this case, this river is female and it seems to me, at least for today, growing as relentless as the forces against it.В We on the outside looking in do have a power, even if current diplomacy ties our hands from interfering directly. That power is our intention for true justice to come for those who need it there the most. With each day this revolution passes remember this in your heart. And as a prayer for them, with your own voice full and clear, say her name.
Yours and truly,