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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Alice Sebold - Lucky

It means so much when an author gives up her/his birthdate to online scammers, hackers, identity thefts and astrology buffs!! This is the best Valentine's gift ever! Now I get to talk about something close to my heart --- Alice Sebold's rape. I listened to the audiobook of Lucky and highly recommend it to anyone, but particularly to those who have gone through this and who need the catharsis of hearing this story told by someone who came out the other side. Sebold opens the book with a frank, open, almost brutal description of the rape and then uses the rest of thepages to fill in with what came before and what happened afterward. Her story is valid because she wasn't "asking for it" and because of the redemption she has received by prosecuting the offender and of telling others about it.

Brutally raped by a stranger on her last night at college during her Freshman year in 1981, Sebold describes the relations afterward with her friends, the police, her family. She describes what was going on in her own mind as others respond either awkwardly or valiantly. The next year, she recognized her assailant on the street, reported him and endured the trial. She describes this. The whole time she was functional; stayed in school, took classes from the top teachers in the country, and managed to make a living off of her writing. She also describes a long period after that where she struggled with drugs. Lucky was written sometime between 1995 and was published in 1999 (either January or August).

Alice Sebold
b. September 6, 1963 Madison, Wisconsin

Sun 14 Virgo; Moon Aries?; North Node 19 Cancer

The incident I suppose would have happened around end of May or beginning of June in 1981. (I'm not sure of this date.) This makes Sebold almost 18 when it happened. This is right before her Nodal Return so that seems a good place to start. In her chart, Sebold's Nodes, symbols of crisis and redemption in a person's life, as Komilla Sutton calls them, are on the Cancer-Capricorn axis, North Node in Cancer, South in Capricorn. The Give and Take signs. Her life path has to do with Control issues and allowing herself to become vulnerable, allowing herself to be cared for by others. A rape will certainly put one in a spot where one has to deal with these issues. In Sebold's chart, her nodes are squaring Jupiter in Aries and inconjunct Saturn in Aquarius to the degree. They also may be squaring her Moon in Aries and with wide orbs even make a Grand Square to Mars in Libra. You put aggression together with emotion and relate them in a stressful way to your life path and you could certainly come up with a similar story.

Rex Bills says that Mars shows rape. This seems like a good start as Mars indicates aggression and men. Mars in aspect with Moon is very volatile. Sebold's Moon disposits to Mars and may oppose it as well. Mars squares the Nodes. The rulers of her Nodes, Moon and Saturn are maybe both aspecting the Nodes. So the routing is very strong.

Astrologers have studied Rapists, it seems, more than rape victims and, of course, they have all kinds of differing ideas of what could indicate a rapists' chart. As with all astrological studies, these are the offenders who got caught, not the ones who got away. The combinations to look for seem to include: Mars-Uranus-Neptune; Mars-Jupiter; Mars-Neptune; Mars-Pluto-Nodes. Many astrologers like to point out that often Victims will have the same indicators in their charts as the perpetrators.

There are a few studies out there that explain the role of the Centaurs in the charts of rape victims. These are very interesting to study in Sebold's chart.

Bob Marks talks about how Chiron-Mars contacts can indicate a tendency to be raped; woundings with aggression (www.bobmarksastrologer.com - lessons on Chiron). Chiron in Sebold's chart is in Pisces and is opposed a big stellium of Uranus-Sun-Pluto-Venus in Virgo. This opposition is sextiled and trined by Neptune and I think might have more to do with why she has managed to find so much redemption for her experience. They say you never really recover from such an experience, but many people go through this experience and live in silences as victims for the rest of their lives. Sebold's family and friends were supportive. She has some complaints, but, considering what others go through she had it fairly nice. She was also remarkably strong. She found her perpetrator and prosecuted him. She studied and become a wonderfully talented writer. She wrote a book and is able to help others through her telling of her experience.

There's an interesting discussion on the role of another centaur, Nessus, and rape (www.expresso.co.cr/centaurs/posts/mundane/waco.html). Nessus can indicate an abuse of power. In mythology Nessus tried to rape Heracles wife, Deianira. Nessus in Sebold's chart is placed at 4 Gemini. It squares her natal Pluto and trines her Mercury. Oddly, her Mercury was receiving a lot of conjunctions in early Summer of 1981: Progressed Sun had just changed signs into Libra and was conjunct transiting Jupiter to the degree and t. Saturn by a couple of degrees (both these planets closely aspect her Nodes). Also progressed Venus was within range of conjunction. The Universe was giving her her story in a way. Kind of a Nodal Return present. Not a pretty present. And she wouldn't fully tell it until the next Nodal Return 18 years later. But, Life just works in really cruddy ways sometimes. Transiting Nessus and transiting Pluto were both within 5 degrees conjunction of Mars at the time of the rape. This hooked into the maybe Grand Square of Mars-Moon-Jupiter and is very violent.

As Jupiter rules Sagittarius which is a Centaur I wonder if there is a strong connection between Jupiter and Rape. There seems to be a connection in Sebold's chart. The Centaurs are, after all, warriors like Mars.

I also am interested to look at Vesta as she symbolizes the Vestal Virgins. Most of them managed to stay Virgins but there is an interesting story about how Rome was created when Mars raped one of the Vestal Virgins who gave birth to Romulus and Remus who were then cast off and suckled by a mother wolf. Quite interesting story compared with Sebold's as she was a virgin when she was attacked. Vesta's strong role in her chart and rape may be particular to her and her stellium in Virgo reinforces this theme. Mars is conjunct Sebold's Vesta and so may be opposite her Moon as well. Her progressed Mars and Vesta were both still in close conjunction and with natal Neptune during the time of the rape. Transiting Vesta would have been squaring her natal Nessus. She was walking at night through a tunnel and so was putting herself at risk, but, otherwise, was not "asking for it." No alcohol or drugs, no provocative dress, no bad date choice which so often keeps the victim silent.

Her North Node is in Cancer squaring her Jupiter and perhaps her Aries Moon. It's very interesting that the title of her book is called Lucky as Jupiter rules Luck. It refers to an encounter with a police officer who told her after the rape that she was lucky to be alive after the beating she had just received. The irony of having to go through such an awful ordeal but also to have the support of family and the judicial system (Jupiter) seems to show through really strong here.

Sebold also has a square to Neptune from Saturn-Pholus in Aquarius. And so, for what it matters, I'll mention the 3d Centaur, Pholus, because he is strong in Sebold's chart. There's no mention whether he could keep his hooves to himself in ancient mythology. Mostly I think Pholus' big vice was his alcohol consumption. Pholus is conjunct Saturn in Aquarius and squaring Neptune so would have also been squared by prog.Mars-Vesta in 1981. Mars-Neptune is, of course, one of the traditional indicators of Rape. Also, t. Pholus was opposite p. Sun, t.Jupiter & Saturn, and n. Mercury at the time of the attack.

I haven't found a strong Uranian connection in Sebold's chart due to its connection with sudden, shocking events. It's presence might come up strong with full birth data. Natally, of course, Sebold have Sun conjunct Uranus.

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