plague and exclusion

Thanks to my sister I saw an interesting astrological post on ebola at The Oxford Astrologer blog. Of course this is very current, as though we have known of it for ages, the disease has just broken the barrier of collective consciousness in the “developed world” (as we like to think of ourselves) as a plague spectre. AIDS only half qualified here, as it was so relatively difficult to transmit, and it seemed (outside of Africa, again Africa) to affect primarily marginalized minority groups. That is no longer true of course, while globally it’s never been true, but at the time it broke into public consciousness, it appeared as too selective a ravager to be everyone’s plague.

The above mentioned blog gives charts for the first outbreak of ebola (in 1976), the rough time of the current outbreak, announcement of the outbreak in Guinea, and the declaration of an emergency by the WHO.

As The Oxford Astrologer notes, Lilith is prominent in these charts (Black Moon Lilith). In the first outbreak chart she is conjunct Chiron and the South Node in Taurus, so there are already themes of sickness and cure, karma and undoing, in the very earthy and unmoving sign of Taurus. With such a configuration, you’d see that there might be some health issues whatever you put in that mix, but you have to wonder, what about Lilith? And Lilith shows up again and again in the story, which may show us something very valuable about this still unfamiliar astrological point. In that first chart there is a very close opposition to Uranus in Scorpio (and the North Node of course), so you could see a protracted cat and mouse game here between disease and science, but then if anything is going to cut straight through to the root and intricate subtlety of a situation, it would be Uranus in Scorpio.

I hope a cure is forthcoming very quickly, I really do, and that it is delivered to the people who need it, for the sake especially of those communities ravaged in West Africa. But that isn’t the dominant sense that Lilith is bringing to this. Ebola, being a contagious and deadly disease, is devouring and amoral. It will have it’s limits, but we haven’t reached those limits yet. But what is Lilith’s place in all this?

For all the glosses that we see put on Lilith; spiritual principle, feminist icon, face of “the divine feminine”, and all the other Jungian, person centred takes, it seems that people prefer to forget that she is a demon. We like to think that is some kind of “patriarchal” smear, but thinking only nice, politically acceptable thoughts about Lilith is akin to blissfully playing the violin on the Titanic. And it’s also rather narcissistic. Lilith is not about being human, as such, at all.

We should not fear demons, because they are part of the sacred, but we need to respect what is beyond our own spiritual ecology. Black Moon Lilith is an imaginary Earth that could not be. We know she is there (an identifiable absence) because the Moon does not go in a perfect circle. She is the Earth’s dark, negated double. That isn’t about “patriarchy” (unless patriarchy is Nature). That is about what cannot be, unless the world were a fundamentally different place.

In the myth Lilith is condemned to lose a hundred of her children every day. She lives in that howling land of exile. The story isn’t fair. But my god, what a survivor.

Where is Lilith? In the plague? In the suffering? In the terror? The loneliness? The impossible that didn’t arrive to save the day? Or the surviving.

The howling on the edge of the city.

Titian’s dead corpse, in Venice during the plague’s epidemy in 1576 by Alexandre Hesse (Paris, 1806 – Paris, 1879) (Sammyday (2010-10-23)) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


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