An Act Of Mythic Proportions:
Self Immolation – The Catalyst Of The Arab Spring
“Denn der Götter Ende dämmert nun auf.
So werf’ ich den Brand in Walhalls prangende Burg.
Fühl’ meine Brust auch, wie sie entbrennt;
Helles Feuer das Herz mir erfasst.”
“The end of the gods is nigh.
Thus do I throw this torch at Valhalla’s vaulting towers.
Feel my bosom too, how it burns
A bright fire fastens on my heart.”
– Brunnhilde, from Richard Wagner’s opera “Gotterdammerung”
A truly horrifying phrase whose meaning many may not be sure of at first, since awareness that such an act even occurs is not part of our perception in the 21st century.
Conversely, most people may not realize that self immolation is a deed which is part of humanity’s actions since ancient times. The essence of the phrase is so severely extreme, that one who performs the act appears almost god like, due to the action seeming to be superhuman in its spontaneity, bravery, as well as what appears to be a complete lack of rationality, be it a permanent part of the psyche or temporary frame of mind.
Because of its superhuman qualities, self immolation became a part of the mythology of Man.
In Norse Myth, when the bravest of Vikings were killed in battle, their bodies were put on top of a massive pyre which was lit aflame in a funeral ceremony. Many times, the vanquished Viking’s equally brave compatriots would join their fallen brother and enter the mythological Hall of the Gods, Valhalla, together through the act of self immolation during the funeral ceremony.
For many, self immolation became the one act which guaranteed a mere mortal could cross the bridge to immortality by its very nature of god like defiance, since it superceded the inherent core human traits of the fear of fire and the will to survive at all costs.
Self immolation became a permanent part of Man’s highest forms of aesthetics when on August 17th, 1876, Richard Wagner’s final installment of his operatic masterpiece, The Ring of The Nibelung, “Gotterdammerung” or “Twilight Of The Gods” premiered.
The entire 4 part series is brought to a fiery crescendo when Brunnhilde not only defies the Gods of Valhalla, but brings about their destruction, through the act of self immolation when the warrior maiden valiantly rides her steed a top a pyre of massive flame.
Who would imagine such a mythic act would occur in this day and age which would begin the destruction of the gods of greed, corruption, and totalitarianism. Who would imagine self immolation would be the very first and very isolated action of one person which would spark the revolts of multitudes of masses across the entire Middle East. Revolts demanding freedom from autocratic rule by calling forth democracy. Revolts occurring throughout the winter and spring of 2011 which as a whole, have now been termed for posterity as “The Arab Spring”.
One of the main tenets of my belief system as a karmic astrologer is that life not only mirrors astrology but mythology as well, and that we must be aware of events occurring around us in the world today, since many of them bear mystical meaning and mythic symbolism which cannot be overlooked.
Especially those which involve self immolation.
Being that self immolation is the pinultimate statement a human can make while utilizing the element of fire, astrologically, there would be a proponderence of any of the 3 fire signs – Aries, Leo, or Sagittarius.
All three were very much present in Tunisia on December 17th, 2010, when the Sun (ruler of Leo) was in the sign of Sagittarius and a young 26 year old Aries named Mohamed Bouazizi partook in the mythic deed of self immolation.
Besides the full representation of the element of fire, this defiant act of protest by one solitary man in Tunisia would be the spark notifying us of encroaching change and preparing the world that not just the largest planet of our Solar System, Jupiter, but seven other heavenly bodies were soon to be positioned in the sign of Aggression and War. The same sign Bouazizi was born under, Aries.
As I stated in my piece about the Royal Wedding, a date containing the number 29 astrologically refers to an association with humanity or with the masses at large, since 2 + 9 = 11. The 11th House is the House of Groups and of Humanity at large. I also mentioned in my article, “The Astrology of Easter”, that the Ram as well as the Lamb were used as acceptable sacrifices to God in the Bible’s Old Testament, as when Abraham slays a ram to substitute for the life of his son, Isaac.
Mohamed Bouazizi seemed destined to be the Universe’s sacrificial tool of catalytic global change since he was born under the sign of the Ram on March 29th, 1984.
The young Aries was a vegetable and fruit vendor who had his food cart confiscated by Tunisian authorities in December of 2010. This humiliating and beyond frustrating circumstance had repeatedly occurred to Bouazizi since childhood, since the Tunisian police used any opportunity possible to extort money from those who had the least amounts of it. Little did anyone know this particular game of bribery and extortion had simply been one time too many for Bouazizi. When he demanded to have his livlihood returned, he not only was given the constant run around for not having “written proof” that anyone had taken his possessions, a female municipal official both slapped and spat in Bouazizi’s face when he demanded to have his cart rightfully back. Being ruled under the fire sign of spontaneity and aggressive action, Bouazizi then defiantly asked to speak to the President of the country, Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
If he was not granted an audience with Tunisia’s President, the young Aries threatened to burn himself alive.
With no one taking his words seriously, as the Sun was in the final degrees of the last of the fire signs, Mohamed Bouazizi crossed the bridge of mortality through his mythic deed of self immolation on December 17th.
As stated in my piece “Of Mars, Marines, & Mefistofele”:
“Being the first sign of the Zodiac, the most optimal atmosphere the sign of the Ram functions best in is a never before attempted, action filled, first of its kind, trial by fire. Aries energy has no time nor interest in extensive preparation or trial practice runs, since those things kill the fuel which motivates the fire sign – spontaneity.”
News of Bouazizi’s act of defiance spread like wild fire amongst the Tunisian people, stirring them to revolt and eventually overthrow the corrupt, self serving government which was controlled by the man whom the young Son of Mars demanded to see.
Using Bouazizi’s self immolation as a battle cry and his image as a symbol of revolution against long standing repression, a chain reaction began of revolts throughout the Middle East and North Africa, marking Jupiter’s entrance into the sign of war-like aggression and fiery action, Aries. The very sign the man who was now a mythic symbol of sacrifice through self immolation was born under.
Less than 48 hours after The King of Planets entered Aries, the Egyptian Revolution began on January 25th. Jupiter’s short but explosive transit through the sign of the Ram from January of 2011 to the beginning of next month, June 5th, would be marked by public displays of revolt and often times violence, against long standing powers beginning with Tunisia, then followed by revolts in Egypt, Libya, and Syria in the following months.
The Universe’s focus on all things war-like, military and aggressive was brought to a fiery climax when at the 22nd degree of Aries, Jupiter was placed exactly next to that sign’s planetary ruler, Mars, translating on Earth to the invasion, finding, and killing of the most wanted man in the Western World with the death of Osama bin Laden on May 1st.
The self immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi represents the 21st century’s Gotterdammerung since this solitary act made by one born under the first of the fire signs and of the entire Zodiac would be the catalyst which would start global displays of defiance, eventually untoppling long standing, almost god like totalitarian regimes of corruption and political abuse during a historically unprecedented time now called, The Arab Spring.
We must not forget this most extreme of human actions by realizing its mythic proportions are part of the world’s path which forms our future.