The attacks in Paris on Friday the thirteenth are much in the news now, and, as I write this, it seems that the Islamic State is responsible for the attacks. My favorite term for the IS, used by among others the Kurds, is fascist, since they seem to subscribe that mindset rather than Islamic mindset. It is not clear what exactly will be the response of the various countries to this attack, but it will involve more violence. As we saw after the September 11, 2001 attacks in the United states, after an atrocity, people do not think clearly but only want a immediate attack on who they think are the guilty parties. It looks like that will also be the response after the Friday the thirteenth atrocity.
But of course, the French are more like the Americans and so deserve our sympathy and response more than, say, the recent attacks in Lebanon, also attributed to IS, because after all, those people killed are not “like us”. The Paris attacks are more deserving of grief than the recent downing of a Russian airplane, also due to IS, since the Russians are the official enemy of the West. It’s the difference between deserving and undeserving victims, of which there is a long history.
But there is much context and history missing from most accounts of this incident, which really hinders a proper response. This is certainly not unexpected. Whenever a “terrorist” incident happens to a Western country, it appears to most people that this just came out of thin air, that “those” people just hate our freedoms, to quote a previous president. Because of this lack of any historical memory, these incidents will continue to happen and the responses will continue to be much the same. It reminds one of any of the recent mass shooting incidents and the responses to them. Most people, either conservative or liberal, react from scripts, which is certainly much easier that analyzing the situation and trying to understand why it happened. Such a response also makes one safe from criticism or public shaming, thinking that you somehow sympathize with those others, those evildoers. As a well-known communist agitator once said, it is easier to complain about the speck in someone else’s eye than to recognize the spike in one’s own. But at least “He” wasn’t a Muslim!
At the time of the Paris attacks, Mars was on the Cardinal axis, showing a connection between martial activities, like violence or gunfire, and the world as a whole, represented by the cardinal axis, and Mars also conjoins the North Node of the Moon. This point was especially energized because of the total solar eclipse last March 20 at the Aries point. Notice in the chart for this eclipse, set up against the chart for the fifth republic of France — October 4, 1958 — that both Mars and Uranus are on the Ascendant of France, indicating sudden violence in the immediate environment. Note that this eclipse was visible in most of the Middle East and Europe, but not in the Western Hemisphere. In Paris, it was 80% visible. The eclipse path went between Scotland and Iceland through the North Atlantic. Also note that Mars and Saturn were sesquiquadrate at the time of the eclipse; besides Mars being conjunct the France Ascendant, it was also square the Moon of the Fifth Republic, and Saturn was sesquiquadrate that same Moon.
If we now look at the chart of the actual event at 9:17 Friday evening Paris time, we see Mars near the Cardinal axis, thus activating the promise of that solar eclipse. In this chart, we see transiting Saturn square transiting Neptune, and both are making a sesquiquadrate to the natal moon, representing the people of France. Uranus is still at the Ascendant of the chart, suggesting unexpected events. And Pluto is square the sun of the chart, the will and character of France.
There are also, interestingly, two tight trines from the fastest moving planets: Sun trine Moon (orb 8 minutes) and Moon trine Uranus (orb 17 minutes). Trines are not normally thought of as “bad aspects”; they are soft, considered easy or harmonious and not noticed; I prefer to think of the third harmonic aspect as covert or not obvious. Unlike hard aspects, which force you to notice them, soft aspects are present but are not usually noticed without conscious effort.
The next chart shows the fourth harmonic of the event on the Fifth Republic. Here you can see how close the Pluto-Sun square (conjunction in the fourth harmonic) is and the Neptune-Saturn conjunction (square in first harmonic), which opposes (sesquiquadrate in first harmonic) the French Moon.
Finally, we have the event chart itself. The one thing that leaps out at is Mars at the Nadir opposite the Midheaven: violence at home threatens the foundation of society.
However, this is not the worst massacre in France since World War II, as some are proclaiming. Back in the Sixties, on October 17, 1961, during the Algerian War between France and the citizens of its colony in North Africa, Algeria, there was a large protest by Algerians in Paris. At the time, the head of the French National Police was a man by the name of Maurice Papon (not to be confused with George Papoon, who was the Firesign Theatre [all four members had fire sun signs] candidate for President), who was a member of the Vichy government in occupied France during World War II. Papon sent many Jews to their death during that period. During a pro-Algerian demonstration in Paris on that date involving 30,000 demonstrators, police attacked the protesters, killing 200 and arresting thousands; the French government finally admitted to the killings in 1998, but only to 40 deaths.
In the chart for the event, against the Fifth Republic natal chart, we see a Jupiter-Saturn conjunction near the top of the chart; this was the beginning of the Sixties bi-decade. Saturn is opposite the Moon, indicating the suffering of the people, and there is a Mars-Neptune conjunction, which suggests the misguided or confused use of energy, of gunfire or violence, which was the case here. This conjunction is very tight, a quarter degree and sextiles the natal Saturn, representing the forces of law and order, the French National Police, who did the shooting. There is also a close trine as we’ve seen before between Pluto and the MC. Uranus — change, sudden or unexpected events — is semisquare the natal Sun-Mercury conjunction, representing the government and media of the Fifth Republic.
There was also another well-known massacre in Paris 90 years before that one as described in the recent book Massacre by John Merriman. This involved the Paris Commune of 1871, which lasted only for two months and was brought to an end in what is called the Bloody Week, starting Sunday May 21, 1871. The French police cracked down on the communards, and 20,000 of them were killed and many more arrested. Here is a chart for the start of the Bloody Week. Two things stand out: the opposition between Saturn and Venus, which is the conflict between law and order and obeying the rules (Saturn) and justice (Venus). We can see which side won. There is also a trine between Mars, gunfire, and the Mercury-Pluto conjunction, the communication of radical socialist ideas, which is what the Paris Commune was about. It is interesting to note how often trines occur in the charts above.