Thursday, 3 November 2011

Occupy Astrology: Resurrecting a Long-Dead Rebel

Rome 2011
You will have noticed that protesters from Madrid to Wall Street to the steps of St Paul's Cathedral have been sporting a particular mask.

Julian Assange has one.

No it's not Satan, although it does look rather devilish. It's Guy Fawkes, the Catholic revolutionary who was caught trying to blow up the British Houses of Parliament on 5 November 1605.

Here in Britain we celebrate that date with the most insanely pagan orgy of bonfires, fireworks and the burning of effigies. As every schoolchild knows:

Remember, remember the fifth of November
Gunpowder, treason and plot
I see no reason why gunpowder treason
Should ever be forgot


An effigy of Guy himself is traditionally made by children and then hawked around for pennies, before being thrown on the bonfire. Here in Oxford we're going to have an absolutely massive burning of a wicker man.

The graphic novel
Now Guy Fawkes or Guido, as he sometimes styled himself, has been used for centuries as an excuse for keeping alive the pagan tradition of a festival of fire to herald winter and help us through the darkening of the year. The re-enactment of his burning (in fact he was hanged) was really a very ancient Celtic or even pre-Celtic sacrifice of the corn god.

So it is fascinating that today he has been resurrected again – this time as a symbol of anarchist protest.

How did that happen?

Well back in the early 1980s a comic strip was published called V for Vendetta which featured a vigilante bent on revenge. Written by Alan Moore, it describes a dystopian near-future in which Britain is ruled by a fascist dictatorship. One man takes on the entire system and goes on a killing spree. V, as he styles himself, hides his face behind a mask of Guy Fawkes.

"This visage, no mere veneer of vanity, is a vestige of the vox populi, now vacant, vanished." So that explains it then.

Still from the 2006 movie
The mask used by protesters is the same one that V uses in V for Vendetta, which was made into an American movie in 2006. Time Warner is making a killing from sales of these masks.

But that's not all. Who chose the mask?

The answer is a group styling itself Anonymous, the origins of which lie in cyberspace, specifically a UK site where hackers gathered together to exchange information and discuss potential targets for trolling. For more on this group, here is the Wikipedia article.

Fast forward to 10 February, 2008 when the masks were first used in an Anonymous protest against Scientology. The rebel Guy Fawkes had risen from the dead after 400 years of being burned on bonfires.


Do you want to hear a funny coincidence? Until last week it was illegal for a king or queen of England to marry a Catholic. Buddhist, Hindu, Muslim, pagan – all fine – but not a Catholic. That law had been in place since Guy Fawkes time. Last week the law was changed.


So what about the astrology?

Um, guess what: it's really simple. Here is Guy Fawkes' birth chart. Tradition has it that he was born on the 13th. (He was identified in the propaganda of the time with the devil.) But the truth is, we only have the date of his baptism, which was April 16. No matter for the thing to look is the outer planets.

Which planet do we associate with rebellion? Uranus.
Which planet do we associate with rising from the dead? Pluto.

Here are the transits of Feb 10 2008 (the first appearance of the mask in public protests) to Fawkes' chart.

Transiting Pluto to natal Uranus. Don't forget that the Pluto cycle takes more than 200 years, so it's not exactly a frequent occurrence.

Transiting Uranus to natal Pluto. Uranus cycle is 84 years.

The rebel Guy Fawkes has metaphorically risen from the dead.

My colleague Dharmaruci has commented on how much spooky imagery there is in those protests – zombies, ghosts, masks – and quite rightly posited the idea that it's Pluto, god of the Underworld, at work.

Guy Fawkes was of course equated with the Prince of Darkness himself by his enemies. So it was more than a little strange to see him on the steps of the most important cathedral in Britain, St Paul's.

Perhaps now that the Church of England and protesters are getting along so well we are seeing an alliance between God and the Devil!



16 comments:

  1. Also, there's the intensely underhanded & cloaked nature of the dirty dealings being protested; not to mention the countless -- and uncounted -- lives lost as a direct result of these vile corporate behaviors.

    I think the protesters are -- largely unconsciously, but maybe not -- both acknowledging the secret nature of this crap and paying heed to the dead.

    Both are highly Plutonic!

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  2. "Perhaps now that the Church of England and protesters are getting along so well we are seeing an alliance between God and the Devil!"

    I've often said that a demon is simply an angel in the wrong place. Can you imagine what would happen with Hell if God simply invited the Son of Light (Lucifer) home?

    It's all rigged ;-)

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  3. christinarodenbeck4 November 2011 17:12

    VirgoAnon - could you share the Anonymous birth chart?

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  4. christinarodenbeck4 November 2011 17:12

    He was a reactionary in my opinion too and was seeking to re-establish the hegemony of the Catholic church -- a massively oppressive institution.

    So it's strange that he's become a symbol for something completely opposite.

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  5. christinarodenbeck4 November 2011 17:12

    Moon-Pluto in Sag - a bit fanatic.

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  6. Not sure what 'evil' Guy Fawkes was fighting? He a wanted to destroy a burgeoning Parliamentary democracy and restore the Catholic monarchy, complete with divine rights and the inquisition et al. Personally, I'm glad he was caught and his plot stopped.

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  7. You might find this interesting, but the chart that is sort of the "birth" of Anonymous has a tight Mars-Uranus conjunction in Aquarius - seems the ultimate in rebellion, and not surprising to me that they use the Internet as a means to that. The chart also has Moon-Pluto conjunct in Sagittarius which also seems fitting in various ways.

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  8. christinarodenbeck4 November 2011 17:12

    But I should be clear. I wasn't writing about the film The Wicker Man - just about what really happens here every 5 November. The source for the sacrifice to the corn god is a book called The Golden Bough published at the turn of last century.

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  9. I love the Wicker Man! Britt Ekland is particularly, um, interesting.

    Yes that is exactly what's going to happen here tomorrow night - oops not exactly since I don't think Edward Woodward is going to be in the wicker. Still we're going to have the burning of a giant effigy

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  10. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O2wrPtz0sDc - Remember, Remember
    The Fifth of November
    The Gunpowder, Treason and Plot
    I know of no reason
    Why the Gunpowder Treason
    Should ever be forgot.

    What you spoke of, is the Wicker man, there is an olf film of the Seventies entitled “The Wicker Man”, with Christopher Carandini Lee and Edward Woodward, Year of Christ 1973... The sacrifice of the ancient Corn god... This is the trailer of that film o’ Ye Olde: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5FdV-O8o7ok
    The remake of 2006 is very deluding...

    No Guy Fawkes was not at all Satan! But he was in disguise to fight such an evil that he had to have the mask of the evil in order to fight the evil itself!
    So there in an apothropaic use of teh ancient, pagan masks and beliefs...

    Funny the Scottish accent of Edward Woodward...

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  11. christinarodenbeck4 November 2011 17:14

    What a delightful thought - practically Zoroastrian! Which fits in with this month's paisley-themed horoscopes

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  12. christinarodenbeck4 November 2011 17:16

    I agree - we've just skimmed the surface of what's really gone on - not to sound too paranoid.

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  13. As a folklorist and budding astrologer, this really hit a spot! Thanks-- quite fascinating

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  14. I'm having trouble uploading things, and I unfortunately don't have the time for the birth of Anon, but the beginning of Anon was on Oct 1, 2003 in New York City. I think the chart is totally worth a look if you can get it going!

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  15. christinarodenbeck5 November 2011 09:16

    Thank you for that. I'll draw it up - anon.

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  16. christinarodenbeck5 November 2011 19:42

    my pleasure

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