Eclipses, Identity, Enslavement and Fairy Tales

Friday May 10th 2013
Halvor kills the troll in Soria Moria Castle.

“My name is Amanda Berry.”

The first words she spoke after she crawled out of the house of her enslavement in Cleveland, Ohio were a statement of her identity.

Amanda Berry is much more than what happened to her. Her decade-long captivity is only a part of her history.

However, the story of her imprisonment is an ancient one. There are many, many folk and fairy tales from all over the world about boys and girls captured by trolls or witches or ogres and kept in dungeons, forced to work. 

Sometimes the children escape through cleverness, sometimes bravery, sometimes luck or magic, or the intervention of another person. 

One way of finessing this story is to turn the ogre into a prince. This is what happens in Beauty and the Beast.. But in most stories, especially ones that are true folk tales without the benefit of literary intervention, a troll is just a troll.

Fairy tales teach us to recognise wickedness.

Slave — Master: this is a power relationship between two human beings of the simplest kind: one has all the power, the other has none. Africans transported to America and sold into slavery were stripped of everything — including their names.

Slaves are considered property not people by their “masters”. Being enslaved is a denial of your own identity. Your worth becomes something measurable in dollars and pounds. 

Roman slaves, and Ottoman slaves were all renamed in the language of their captors. A Roman slave could with luck become a Roman citizen eventually. The Ottoman empire was essentially run by a slave caste taken from all over the empire. But nevertheless, these were all societies based on slavery.

The difference between this historical slavery and slavery now is that then it was institutionalised. It still is in some countries, and in many countries women are treated as slaves.

But whether human trafficking is illegal or part of the system, the suffering is the same, and so are the attempts by the so-called masters to dehumanise their slaves. One of the “sights” of Pompeii is the brothel, a terrible place, the walls of which still ooze desolation and indignity.

Is there a place to look for slavery in the map of astrology? Yes, and this axis is the very one where the eclipse took place last night. Amanda Berry’s reclamation of her life reflects one story the sky is telling right now quite accurately.

Remembering that all signs have dark and light sides, it’s true to say that Scorpio and Taurus are about property and ownership.

Scorpio is the most psychological of signs. Here is obsession and mind control. Taurus is about actual things, about stuff, about objects. In 1863, when the emancipation proclamation was made during the American Civil War, Pluto, Scorpio’s ruler, was in Taurus.

Pluto is the Lord of the Underworld, the Latin name for Hades, abductor of Persephone. This myth is one version of the story of a young girl held captive by an older man, and her mother’s search for the girl. This is exactly what happened in Cleveland. Like Demeter, the girls’ families never gave up.

The myth, of course, has been developed into a story about the seasons, but it’s based on that same essential fear that all mothers have for their daughters. A fear that is founded in real life. The myth was retold and moulded in a patriarchal society, became part of the state religion. Hades role as rapist and abductor was played down. His role as King played up. Was Persephone ever willingly the queen underground? Or is she actually enslaved for half the year?

Berry disappeared last time the eclipses were taking place in Taurus/Scorpio in 2003, and just before a solar eclipse. She has been in captivity during the whole time that the North and South Nodes have been slowly swapping places.

This eclipse saw the Sun (male energy) obscured by the Moon (female energy). Mercury (the news, a child) was the closest planet to the nodes. Venus, the young girl, has escaped into the fresh air of Gemini. Eclipses bring endings. This was the end of her captivity.

As she crawled through that hole in the door, Amanda Berry was reborn.

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  1. Locus Beatus says:

    Brilliant! Thank you. I hadn’t been aware that AB had disappeared at the last Scorpio/Taurus eclipse. “She has been in captivity during the whole time that the North and South Nodes have been slowly swapping places” – this is fascinating

  2. clarelhdm says:

    thank you. a wonderful piece of writing. I especially like “Fairy tales teach us to recognise wickedness.” I think the modern tendency to santise and pretend evil is just an inner projection, means that many of the true ills and injustices of society are glossed over, or people ‘blame the victims’.

    • Christina says:

      Yes and yes. And it makes me wonder what effect the Disneyfication of fairy tales has on us.

    • Isy Aweigh says:

      Absolutely. Especially the blaming-the-victim tropes — which completely deny the nature of victimization.

      Everyone thinks they’re righteous, as some famous Hollywood actor who plays great villains has said. It’s important not to be fooled by the self-justified air of evildoers. (I’m still not sure why the kidnapper’s brothers aren’t being charged with kidnapping and with aiding and abetting the rest.)

      In a class I took on children’s literature, we had an interesting conversation about the bloody criminality of, for instance, fairy tales. There were a lot of nice middle-class mothers who thought their children needed protecting from those stories.

      I said that, when evil things happened to me, they became more bearable and more understandable when I read those stories.

      The kindly ones said, Well, I’m going to keep evil things from happening to my child.

      I said, How? It’s a great big world out there, and they have to learn to deal with it sooner or later. Evil is real, and if they don’t learn it in the safety of your care, they will learn it elsewhere. I’m glad I was somewhat prepared.

      In the end, as I recall, everyone saw the point of these stories. I think quite a few people got hold of the unexpurgated Grimm and read them to their children, and probably talked with them about evil.

      Evil is real, whether we like it — or are prepared for it — or not. I cherish these awe-ful stories for the grounding they give in this awful reality.

  3. Gilly says:

    A brilliant piece of analytical writing. There is so much truth in mythology. Thank you!

  4. Isy Aweigh says:

    In many places, women aren’t just treated as slaves, but they are slaves under the law — it’s just not called that.

    They don’t have the right to own property. They don’t have the right to decide what happens to their own children. They don’t have the right to decide what happens to their own bodies. They don’t have the right to their own names.

    The last thing is still the traditional thing in Europe and its cultural descendants: we carry the “family” names of our fathers or our husbands, not our mothers (in Spain, the mother’s father’s name is carried as a middle name, but dropped first when the name needs shortening), and rarely our own (and then only after an expensive and arduous legal process.) We are not separate entities; the mutual-belonging that should be family, still has the balance of power very much on one side.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Makes me shiver – all those women who might still be in captivity somewhere on this planet earth.

    Pluto is digging up all those horrible stories of these unfortunate women for us to learn about the horrors of one person taking power over an other and to learn how to deal with the abuse of power.

    Maybe Uranus is able to help us see the mechanism behind it so we can learn how to deal with this in the future !


  6. Anonymous says:

    According to reports Amanda Berry was kidnapped on April 21, 2003, the eve of her 17th birthday. So her birthday is April 22, 1986. Her Mars is at 11deg51’ Capricorn. Gina DeJesus was born on February 13, 1990 according to FBI missing person poster. Her Mars is at 10deg57’ Capricorn. Both of them have Pluto transiting their Mars right now. Most of the times I hear people getting injured, shot, robbed and kidnapped when this transit happens. In this case they managed to use all that energy to free themselves. I thought it is interesting.

    • Christina says:

      Hmm – yes. That’s very well put and important too. The 9/11 chart was full of ease also. It does make me wonder if we should really take a long, hard look at aspects in general.

      On the level of natal charts, I certainly find that lots of trines do not make for an easier life than lots of hard aspects. Often quite the contrary. Trines can be about taking the soft option, which is not the one that’ll lead to the most fulfilment. Hard aspects do seem to force people to grow.

    • Anonymous says:

      Thanks for your reply.
      I don’t see any major transits to their mars during the time of abduction. Amanda had transiting Uranus sextile her natal Sun conjunct North node and, Gina had Pluto sextile her Sun and Jupiter trine her Mars! Since we don’t have a birth time it’s hard to say if any of the outer planets were transiting their angles. This made me wonder about so called “easy” aspects and “hard” aspects…. This is a case where they were kidnapped during “easy” aspects and freed during “hard” aspects. It is possible, during easy aspects you tend to be optimistic (they got into his vehicle willingly, because they trusted him) and make wrong decisions, and during hard transits you face huge obstacles and your determination will help you get through them(especially in this case Capricorn Mars is very helpful- patient, practical and determined). This is a good lesson for people who expect only bad/good things during hard/soft transits. May be we face some events (good and bad) during transits but nothing is written in stone.

    • Christina says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this. It’s extremely interesting. This is the sort of detail that really shows how exactly astrology can work. I wonder what the transits were to these women’s Mars when they were abducted.

      Mars in Cap = determination and staying power.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Makes me shiver – all those women in captivity – God knows how many still remain in this sort of hell on the entire planet earth.
    There have been quite a number of cases like this in recent years.

    Pluto is digging up all the dirt together with Uranus !!
    We have to understand this phenomenon and think what could be done and changed to prevent it.


  8. Anonymous says:

    Pluto and Uranus are digging up the dirt mimi – the Oxford paedophile grooming gangs and others, Jimmy Savile, Stuart Hall, the Roman Catholic cover up of child abuse by priests. Iceland’s on the right track, banning violent and sadistic pornography by saying that it violates women and children’s human rights. It’s also on the right track, in my opinion, by refusing to bail out the banks. I wonder what Iceland’s chart is like?

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn’t know so I looked it up in Wikipedia.
      Iceland became independent on 17th June 1944. They’re Gemini !

      I suppose the answer to all problems is Always : EDUCATION.

      Get smart – so mothers / fathers enlighten your children about sex and money and the value of things (and most important : the value of your own body and your own life ).


  9. Anonymous says:

    “Fairy tales teach us to recognise wickedness.” That’s a great line – really made me think.