Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Pallas Athene in Aries, Exposing Rape in the Military, and Control of Women's Sexuality in Mythology Connected to the Feminine Asteriods

The asteroid related to the female warrior, Pallas Athene, is currently very strong in the zodiac. It has been on Uranus in Aries like white on rice for a few months now, moving retrograde with it in tandem, and has played a prominent role in the first and now second Uranus-Pluto squares.

The female warrior asteroid is infused at this time with the energy of necessary, radical change and re-direction as we enter a new astrological era (Uranus in Aries), and it is coming into tense, clashing square contact with the patriarchal power structures as they exist (Pluto in Capricorn).

These symbols indicate a theme of women fighting for change in all aspects of society, coming into contact with corrupt, unjust, and downright abusive power structures - the Pluto in Capricorn "accepted way of things."

These symbols are also playing out very literally with female soldiers fighting for justice and change in relation to the male-dominated power structures of the United States Armed Forces.

The horrifyingly high incidence of rape among female soldiers by male soldiers in the United States Armed Forces is an issue gaining traction at this time, as are the cover-ups and miscarriages of justice associated with those crimes.

According to a study released on April 13, 2012 by the U.S. Department of Defense, 3,200 rapes are reported to the military annually.

Since an estimated 80 percent of rapes go unreported, the annual total is closer to 19,000.

Of the 3,200 rapes that are reported, only half are deemed worthy of pursuing in military courts, and of that half, only 6 percent result in a conviction. One out of three soldiers convicted of rape is retained by the military, keeping his job and his place on the payroll.

Many of the women who report being raped are then harassed by fellow soldiers.

A Veterans Affairs Administration study found that nearly 1 in 3 female U.S. soldiers is raped during her service, more than double the (also horrifying) 15-percent risk of rape for civilian women. This means nearly 500,000 military women have been raped since the U.S. Armed Forces first began accepting female soldiers in 1948.

The fact that the military investigates and prosecutes itself has long been problematic, but an attorney named Susan Burke is hoping to get around this by suing the Unites States military on constitutional grounds. The claim is that the military violated her clients' constitutional rights to due process, equal protection under the Fifth Amendment, and First Amendment free-speech rights to report sexual assault without retaliation. Three lawsuits involving multiple women in each suit are either in progress or are soon to be launched against the U.S. military.

These women are truly the embodiment of Pallas Athene in Aries in action.

Source for statistics: "Court-Martialing the Military" by Molly M. Ginty from Ms. magazine Spring/Summer 2012 issue

Saturn moving into Scorpio this October indicates the beginning of a time period of increased responsibility (Saturn) in sexual matters (Scorpio).

Sexual energy is being horrifically misused and abused on this planet, and we can no longer turn a blind eye to it.

Asteroid of erotic love, Eros, comes together with soul mate asteroid, Juno, at 29 degrees Scorpio today, also conjunct the North Node. This conjunction sets a tone for the North Node's transit through Scorpio and also for the upcoming Saturn in Scorpio transit.

With the concentration in Scorpio, breaking cycles of abuse, suppression, and control related to human sexuality - gradually, responsibly, as a grand-scale collective change - is possible, but only if we demand it and then work for it.

This goes beyond the false, "free love" ethic of the 1960s, working with the serious realities and consequences of sexual energy exchange in the 2000s.

Ain't nothing free on this planet, least of all sex.

The transits through Scorpio indicate a deep, relentless, and hard-won effort over the next years to change the dynamics that are keeping institutional/systemic sexual abuse under wraps, unaddressed, and unresolved. We're turning the rocks over, and turning them over, and turning them over again, until we've outed the people, the power dynamics, and the Old Boys Clubs allowing these crimes to continue on cyclical repeat.

Sex crimes committed by priests in the Catholic church and then covered up by that hierarchy is another area where people will be digging and working for change and justice over the next years.

Abuse and violence through sexual means is certainly not an issue limited to women, but sexual abuse of women is by far the most common form.

The North Node and Saturn in Scorpio also indicate a time when astrological symbolism can be slowly transformed, the suppressed feminine within those astrological symbols can be gradually liberated, and the themes can be advanced beyond the male-dominated perspectives of the Greeks and Romans.

Threads of sexual violence against women as well as the suppression and control of female sexuality run through a lot of mythology, reflecting the violent, patriarchal societies from which the stories came. (Haven't we come so far?) Some of this mythology is connected to the astrological symbols we use today. 

From Persephone being forcefully dragged off to the Underworld by Pluto to be his wife to Lilith being shut out of society for demanding equality in her primary relationship, many of the feminine asteroids are connected to mythological themes of control, suppression, violence, and abuse of women, often along sexual lines. 

Pallas Athene was a woman who, according to the mythology, was born from the forehead of Zeus wearing a full set of armour. There could be no doubt that she was a born warrior, and her skills in strategy, crafts, and combat were so impressive that she was accepted into the fold by the male warriors. There was just one hitch: In order to be accepted as an equal, she had to give up her sexuality and remain celibate, something that was not required of the male warriors.

The mythology of Pallas Athene involves an element of female sexuality suppressed in order to be accepted amongst the boys. There is a theme of women having their sexuality controlled by the established order, and of women having to remain celibate in order not to threaten that established order.

This theme of women having to give up their sexuality (Scorpio) in order to hold positions of authority and responsibility (Saturn) continues in the mythology related to asteroid Vesta.

Vesta is connected to the story of the vestal virgins, another group of (mostly) women who were de-sexed in order to be accepted in positions of authority. In this case, the positions of authority were spiritually-based, as keepers of the hearth and sacred fire. The vestal virgins were entrusted with the responsibility of keeping the fire going for all members of the community, but in order to hold that position, they, too, were required to give up their sexuality, remaining celibate and unmarried.

The messages underlying this mythology are: You can be a warrior woman fighting the battles of the established order, but you can't exert yourself in ways that threaten the boys club.

You can be aggressive in ways that benefit the structures as they exist, but not sexually confident or assertive.

You can play a spiritual role in society, but you will have to purify yourself of your sexuality and your desire for love and companionship to maintain it.

You can achieve alongside the guys, but you'd better let them make the rules for you sexually.

On the other side of that coin is asteroid Juno. Juno is the soul mate asteroid related to marriage and soul-bonded relationship, and it is associated with the mythology of Hera. That mythology involves  strong themes of sexual violence and manipulation as well as the heinous misuse of sexual energy between a married couple.

Hera's story involves a whole lot of sex, but it's mostly her husband who's having it - with females who aren't her.

Hera, once an all-powerful Goddess in her own right, was raped by Zeus so as to shame her into marrying him. Once she became "Zeus' wife," she was dragged through affair after affair, tied to a man who used his position of authority as King of the Gods (pfft) to screw and philander to his heart's content.

The threads of misogyny in symbols and myths reflect current-day societies and structures where underlying hatred of and violence against women are woven into the fabric. They simmer and poison, a little flicker visible here and there, until they are full-on confronted - repeatedly - and made wholly unacceptable by both men and women.

Instead of carrying the sexual violence of this mythology forward - even a little - in the underlying astrological symbolism of the feminine asteroids, it's time to consciously address it, working the feminine energy free from the karmic weight of these myths.

We can use these myths to understand the historical context within which we're working, but it's time to advance the stories. It's time to re-tell these tales from the female point-of-view and to stand up to an established order that involves pigeonholed roles for women: as de-sexed, as sexual object ideal for men, or as unprotected victims of systemic rape, sexual brutality, and control.

It's time to demand structural set-ups where women can be powerful and authoritative without depriving themselves of a private sexual life. Where female soldiers can do their jobs without being "put in their places" by sexual assaults committed by supposed comrades.

By exposing and working through the mythological threads, by adding a stronger and more fully-developed female perspective, and by calling those old "Gods" on their shit, we move beyond the old stories and the old dynamics, advancing an astrology that is more balanced, humane, just, and true-to-life.

These feminine asteroids will have their redemption, and there's no better time to start than the present.


Deb said...

"The fact that the military investigates and prosecutes itself has long been problematic, but an attorney named Susan Burke is hoping to get around this by suing the Unites States military on constitutional grounds."

Good. Fucking bastards.

I don't need to tell you that the rest of your post is amazing and, yes, I also believe a certain redemption is coming...

I am powerful in my own way, and my sexual/intimate life is my business. To hell with whomever doesn't approve or judges it. And God help the one who pries... because no one wants to meet the warrior in me.

Thanks, Willow. I concur.

-- Deb

Lea said...

Fantastic article. Your insight concerning the skewed direction of valuing women and "marriage" since Greco-Roman "God" times speaks for itself, but women like you (and me, and US) need to SAY IT again (and again and again) to continue to dispel the fog and call misogyny on what it is. That the healing must be done slowly and by men and women is the need. My blog has covered some of these issues and I think I would like to post links to them on the Wicked Web. I want to find your Ms magazine article and figure out a way to post it on facebook and then perhaps link to it on my blog, also. I think I hear my calling becoming clearer and clearer.
Thank you. Always.

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is YEESS...we need to do this together..we WILL take our power back and make it right for our daughters and grandaughters. Remember ladies, men do not have the power to create life inside their bodies only we do. Never forget that..

Willow said...

I'm not actually a fan of Ms. magazine. It's too upper-to-upper-middle class white lady for my tastes. There was actually a story in this issue about domestic violence and the woman writing it thought she was above being hit by her boyfriend because "she'd gone to COLLEGE!" Made me throw up a bit in my mouth. But I did appreciate the story on calling out rape in the military.

I won't have daughters or grandaughters, so I think we have to do it for ourselves.

mike said...

Your blog does not include male-male rape. Varying statistics...this is from "Menstuff":
Estimates on the rate of prison rape vary. In 2001, Human Rights Watch released a comprehensive report that estimated between 250,000 to 600,000 prisoners, overwhelmingly male, are raped each year.

velvet said...

Thanks Willow. You are a powerful voice.

Yeshe said...

This is hitting close to home for me. My sexual preferences were investigated, found out and used as blackmail material by my siblings trying to gain control over my 84 yr old mother, and the little money left to her after my father died 6 months ago. I practice BDSM and am collared by a Master with 30 yrs experience. To me it is a sacred act and I begin all play sessions by casting a protective circle, setting a specific intention and calling for my yidams. It is very powerful - often forms of the Dark Goddess show up to burn away much of the dross. To the outside looking in, it may look like my power is being taken away. On the inside, the ropes and bondage are staking my physical body down so that my spiritual body can fly that much higher. I have flown with dragons, through wormholes and mandalas. Thus the term, "Eyes wide shut". I do not ask for anyone's approval, I just ask for my privacy to be respected. I have learned that sex brings fear to many, and men especially fear women's sexual energy because it is so powerful. Think about it: sex has the power to create another human being. That's pretty powerful - to give the King an heir, or not. :) No wonder men have tried all they can to squash it and smother it. Watch out, boys - the Goddess has awakened!

Willow said...

mike, yes, thanks for those statistics.

There are many rocks to turn over on the sexual violence front, and I'm not downplaying any of them.

Male-male rape is definitely more stigmatized and reported less often than male-female.

Then there is the issue of rape used as a weapon of war - a major problem around the world.

Anonymous said...

Mega, Willow!
My theory has always been that 'modern' - since Greco-Roman times - men are terrified of women's power to 'grow' a human being, and I see that fear reflected in everything from creatures like the one in 'Alien' that reflect the immature male's horror of 'the black hole', to scientists' obsession with 'creating' life in a petri dish. They wish to exert control over the mystery of Life and so are in the thrall of Death.
Well, anyone can kill, but the capacity to create Life is thus far limited to the female womb.
And, yes, the naming of asteroids and the attendant mythological anti-fem baggage continues to rile me up no end! (A recent guest post on asteroids at Planet Waves and its skewed version of the Sedna myth still has me boiling!)
No, fellas, the party's over and you ain't seen nothing yet!

Edi said...

Yeshe: I really enjoyed your comment tho it was a little off tangent. I may not have experienced your practices or the creatures you have encountered... but my head nodded with you when you mentioned the fear surrounding the POWER of female sexuality. Amen! And women fear it just as much. I do! Why? Because when open to allowing it to overwhelm and take hold in the body, a woman is possessed by something she cannot and cares not to explain. She knows it makes sense, she knows it IS her, and there is an ecstasy that dances her alive.

My guess is with Saturn going into Scorpio, and Willow has already alluded to this, we as a race - male or female - will face our own internal "darknesses" about the expressions of power through the physical body. It'll be a deep dark unleashing of "The Goddess" (I hate that newagey term, but we all get it!), ripping thru all the layers of BS that's stopped the expression of the soul through and through -- and I personally can't wait.

Edi said...

Willow, I liked your exploration of the Feminine Asteroids... thanks for leading the way.

Edi said...

Yeshe: I ranted on instead of saying what I meant to say: you've found a way to express yourself, thru BDSM, and I respect that. Good on you :)

Mag said...

Holly! Your blog is so helping me cope! I've been dealing with some serious s**t at work lately (oddly enough starting in July!!!) and your last couple of posts were truly inspiring. My issues all totally revolve and relate to what you posted about!! OMG!

Now, I have a meeting on Monday (where the egos meet to spur each other on - you know?). I've been told by my superior that I don't participate enough in these meetings (i.e. I don't take sides and stroke egos).. What to do on Monday - just stay completely silent (that's what my instinct is telling me to do)? - Oof, after reading your blog, I'm realizing that I'm going to have to somehow find the courage to SAY SOMETHING! Something that will be meaningful and that will help me be an agent of (good) change. Hopefully I am up for the challenge and don't trip myself up too much.

Willow said...

Follow your instincts, Mag, but when you know you need to speak up, definitely do so.

You're in a powerful position at the moment.

You're going to do great!

Hansolo said...

hmmm... I just read that tonight new moon is conjunct asteroid Persephone. Wow!

Anonymous said...

You have no idea how much this blog post means to me. Thank you!