Those Chilling Days of Yesteryear

Thomas Canfield

What if you went to a doctor and found out that he was using medical techniques that were used 400 years ago? No X-rays! No Ultrasound? No Antibiotics! Leeches and bleedings were his specialties. No doubt you would seek out another doctor and wonder about reporting him to the medical authorities. What if you found out that the medical authorities were using the same 400 year old techniques?

     In the Summer Solstice chart we may be seeing a portent of such a conundrum. Saturn, which rules conservative thought, is in the Ninth House, conjunct the Midheaven. Saturn is semi-sextile Pluto, Neptune, and the Part of Fortune. Saturn is squaring Venus and Pallas, asteroid of wisdom. Saturn is trine the Ascendant, and sextile Mars and Eris, dwarf planet of discord. To say that Saturn will be highly activated will be an understatement.

     The exposure of the Alito rough draft opinion on the overturning of Roe versus Wade has offered a sign of things to come over the summer. It was supposed to be a bombshell decision, taking the public by surprise, and leaving the women’s health clinics without any defense from state laws. The leaked release has provided a warning, and the exalted presence of Saturn in the Solstice chart is the grim reaper for the season. William F. Buckley once defined a conservative as someone who stands athwart History and shouts “Stop.” Now we may be facing people who say, “Stop or I’ll shoot!” Saturn on the Midheaven, sextile Mars and Eris may stand for that militant element in which women’s health clinics may be raided and razed in a perfectly legal manner.

     The most shocking part of the Alito decision is that it cites legal precedent and legal scholars from before the Age of Enlightenment.  This was a time when women did not have legal rights as human beings. Saturn squaring Venus and Pallas shows the misogyny of the decision. No women legal scholars are cited.  No precedents on women’s rights are referred to. No women doctors are referenced.  One legal justification comes from a 17th Century judge who believed that wives could not be raped, and women should be executed as Witches. 

       With Saturn semi-sextile Neptune and the Part of Fortune, this decision may mark the high water mark for “Old Time Religion.” Forget about the fact that church attendance is down. If dogma against women can be codified as part of the law, then the evangelical crowd will feel that their duty has been done.  It all stems from the mythology that a woman was taken out of a man, and therefore women are not separate beings from men. The medieval thought was that men had a right to control women’s bodies, even down to rape and forced pregnancy.  Any objection to such abuse would come from the woman’s family, and a fine would have to be paid to the father to make amends since he “owned” his daughter until she was given in marriage.

    Saturn trine the Ascendant will make these old-time beliefs the topic of discussion over the Summer. With Saturn semi-sextile Pluto, a strong talking point will be the death toll of such a legal decision. Already the state of Louisiana is taking about murder charges being brought against abortion providers. Back-alley abortions may be making a comeback.  An underground railroad to smuggle women to blue states may become a major enterprise. For years, there was an expectation that such a day was coming, but no one wanted to believe it would happen. Dramatizations of “The Handmaid’s Tale” tried to give warnings, but some thought the shows were exaggerated. Now they may see that the warnings did not go far enough. 

     What is to be done for what is coming? Juno, the asteroid of marriage and political connections will be trine Ceres, dwarf planet of fertility and nurturing. Both will be sextile Uranus. Electronic social media will be vital for getting the messages out, both politically and personally. By broadcasting the matter constantly,  politicians will get the message that this topic is not going away. Republicans are already planning a vow of silence on the issue of abortion, but in the law silence gives the assent.  As long as Democrats keep talking about the loss of rights, the issue will not go away. 

       With the Moon conjunct Jupiter, legal challenges can still move forward. With the Solstice Sun squaring the Moon and Jupiter, some of the legal challenges may be blocked. The Moon and Jupiter are sextile Mercury, and every legal argument on Women’s Rights has to be published. Mercury is squaring Vesta, asteroid of hearth and home. There may be family groups that will take part in opposing the lawsuits. Flashing pictures of aborted fetuses may still be a tactic. A better tactic is to list the other rights that will be lost by allowing a decision to attack Women’s Rights. The Solstice Sun trine Vesta may help people realize that family values are not maintained if women can be victimized, and if the law provides more support to a rapist than to the victim. 

     It was nearly 50 years ago, when Chiron was conjunct Eris, that Roe versus Wade overturned the legal and medical establishment. Abortion, which had been treated as murder in some states, became a standard medical practice. The statement against performing abortion had to be removed from the Hippocratic Oath. In the next few years, Chiron will be conjunct Eris again, and more upheaval may be expected as result of the decision. Currently, Chiron is squaring Ceres, and the whole issue or motherhood and control may be up for a difficult debate.  At stake may be the whole issue of personhood. One interesting question to ask is, “If life begins at conception, does citizenship begin at conception?” If the answer is “no”, then they are admitting there is a legal difference between an embryo and a born child. If the answer is “yes”, there may be an increase in foreign honeymooners visiting America. 

     A person cannot walk up to you and demand a pint of blood or a kidney. You would likely regard such a person as being like Count Dracula.  Yet, women may face the loss of their personhood, and have to sacrifice their bodies to an intruder. Strange how some would praise a woman for exercising her Second Amendment right by shooting an intruder in her home, but then the rights fade away when it comes to her own body. Perhaps with Pluto trine Venus, people might wake up to the life-and-death rights that women may be losing. Saturn squaring the North Node might bring a reassessment of values. Do we really want people standing athwart History and shouting “Stop?” It would be like living under a government of Saturn, for Saturn, and by Saturn, which would deserve to perish from the face of the Earth.