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Astrological Musings

photo from bbc.com

Because I see everything through the filter of astrological symbolism, I look for correlations. Still, I try not to see them where they don’t exist so I have hesitated to draw any astrological conclusions regarding the fires that are burning in southern California. A million people have been forced from their homes and thousands of homes have burned, with a billion dollars in property damage.

Victoria Bazeley connects the wildfire to Mars in Cancer: “The fires in Southern California are equally literal in their astrological symbolism in the sense that with Mars in Cancer, Mars (fire) is attacking homes (Cancer).”

She goes on to say:

Mars in Cancer, in a symbolic sense, can signal a sense of dislocation, unease, tension, strife or danger in the home for many people. At last count half a million people have been driven out of their homes by these fires, and for these people, there is nothing particularly symbolic about this phenomenon. It’s just their real lives.

Now, I don’t want to make too much out of this synchronicity or to state that Mars in Cancer “causes” fires that affect residences. After all, Southern California is fire country, and we have fires every year. We can expect, from what I hear on the news, to have more of them and more catastrophic ones in the future, as global warming and drought are not doing us any favors. And Mars does transit through Cancer every couple of years.

But…Mars does not go through an unusually long cycle in Cancer, complete with retrogrades, all that often. And the scale of evacuations with this latest round of fires in California is greater than any I’ve ever heard of in my life. In fact, I believe I heard on TV that this is largest evacuation in California history. This is a very large event, and the correlation with astrological symbolism is kind of eerie.

I can only imagine how eerie things must be to people who see their neighbors’ houses burned down while theirs are left intact. What kind of synchronicity or fate or pure chance destroys one person’s home and leaves another’s untouched? Are the events these fires precipitate etched in the charts of each of the individuals who are experiencing these losses? Is there some sort of meaning, personal meaning, to this kind of event? Can this phenomenon be purposeful in some spiritual or universal sense?

These are philosophical questions, I guess, and if it was my own home in flames, I don’t know that I’d be asking them right now. In fact, the people I see on my local TV news who are evacuated or who have learned that their homes are lost or in danger seem to be behaving remarkably stoically. Thousands of people are at Qualcomm Stadium in San Diego, and so far, they seem to be pulling together in an organized and even, considering the circumstances, cheerful fashion. People seem to be doing what has to be done, an admirable, Mars-like quality.

The more difficult part emotionally will come later, perhaps. Sifting through the wreckage, confronting the loss of memories and mementos, landmarks and history. The sign of Cancer is associated with the moon, and the moon is a symbol of roots, memories, one’s past, feelings, the instinctive desire for comfort, nurturing, and the womb. By extension, the moon relates to home because our homes are our wombs, the safe places we use to protect ourselves from the ravages of the outside world. To have one’s home attacked and destroyed by fire is eventually to be forced into a confrontation (Mars) with the role of memory in one’s life.

Mars is also associated with anger, and at some point, I suppose the anger will come for many folks. One of the odd synchronicities to me is that my own visualization of the action of Mars in the moon sign is that of Mars whipping up emotions in an erratic, swirling, moon-like fashion, like the wind whipping the waves. But what is actually happening in real life is that the winds here are whipping up the fires in erratic, moon-like fashion. In fact, one of the reasons this particular set of firestorms is causing so much widespread dislocation is that the erratic winds allow the fire to jump spasmodically from place to place, so that the fire is neither predictable nor controllable. Our firefighters have been at the mercy of the winds.

It is as though the weather is actualizing, making real and manifest, the images associated with the astrological symbols. How frustrating this is! And yet, how impressive–not just the sheer scale and power of nature in its wild and untamed, primitive fury, but the determination, the work, the heroism, and the dedication of the people who make it their life’s work to do battle with these forces on our behalf.

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