O C T O B E R 2 0 0 2
by Alex Miller-Mignone
NEMESIS KEYPHRASE: Remember that within the root of all beginnings lies the ending.
Black Hole energy is all about transformation, change and transition. Theoretical physics states that if it were possible to pass through the singularity, or center, of a Black Hole (without being ripped to shreds by its extreme quantum gravitational forces), one could re-emerge into a completely different sector of the universe, or indeed, into an alternate universe. Black Holes act as the interlocutors to these parallel realities, and as portals between them; they govern the liminal times of day, such as dawn and dusk, and the threshold passages of life, such as birth, sexual maturation and death.
They represent the ring-pass-not, the point beyond which nothing is ever the same again. Reality A, the old reality, is on one side of the portal; Reality B, the new reality, is on the other, wholly changed and radically different from what went before, with no hope of return.
When the second jet slammed into the South Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001, a new era in International Terrorism, and a new collective American reality, was born-the era of Live Terrorism. Millions across the U.S. and around the world, who had tuned to CNN and other news outlets in the aftermath of the first collision minutes before, watched the horror unfold live, before their very eyes. It was a Black Hole moment of devastating reversal of the existing status quo of peace, security, and protection, which we as Americans had always felt, separated as we thought by oceans of water between ourselves and our enemies.
However much or little the individual, human-sized tragedies of that day affected us personally, the ramifications of that event over time have left none of us untouched, in increased security, possible erosion of constitutionally guaranteed rights and freedoms, and certainly the loss of peace of mind. It was a Black Hole moment writ large across the heavens, and across each of our psyches, and the alternate reality that engulfed us that day, and which will doubtless keep us in its grip for some time to come, was a manifestation of Nemesis, BH 13 Libra.
Mercury, so often the mover and shaker of major events on our globe, was at 14 Libra, conjunct Nemesis, and exactly on the eastern horizon at 8:46 AM when the first jet crashed into the North Tower, inaugurating the New World Order.
Mercury is the planet of commerce, hence ruling the World Trade Center itself, and of transportation, including airplanes, and of communication and information, thus overseeing the Media which made this a live event. Mercury/Nemesis on the Ascendant of the attacks on the World Trade Center bestrode the nation's Saturn, also at 14 Libra and thus itself conjunct Nemesis, a Black Hole whose involvement in modern terrorism can be traced to its genesis in the early 60's.
Nemesis is perhaps the most fittingly named of the Black Hole family, considering the connotation the term has acquired over centuries of use. Originally the term meant something more like "due enactment," according to Robert Graves in The Greek Myths, but through the years it has come to signify the concept of divine vengeance with which we are more familiar. When we consider horoscopic contacts to Nemesis, we might expect her House placement and any celestials she contacts to represent a potential Achilles heel, a weak spot in the native's armor where he or she is susceptible to major undoing, or to becoming another's undoing.
A cursory examination of the USA chart seems to bear this out: conjunct Saturn, she represents the complex system of checks and balances written into our Constitution, one of the principal reasons the state is unable to acquire the sort of dictatorial powers we see elsewhere in the globe. She can also be seen in the frequent loss of our leaders while in office, though the precise timing of these periodic events appears to be the ongoing Jupiter/Saturn cycle. Additionally two of the country's major Achilles heel players of the past 40 years, Vietnam and Iran, both have Suns conjoined Nemesis.
Nemesis' ancestry is an impeccable one for a Black Hole. According to the cosmology of the ancient Greeks, first there was Darkness, which gave birth to Chaos. Chaos in turn birthed Night, Day, Air, and Erebus, which means "the covered pit" (perhaps an unwitting reference to the Black Hole's singularity, or center?). It was Night and Erebus who conceived Nemesis and her sisters, the Three Fates.
Nemesis' mythological history is a chequered one. Originally depicted as a local pastoral goddess, the spirit of the rain-bringing ash tree, Nemesis became identified with the nymph goddess of Death-in-Life, perhaps due to the ash tree's associations with mourning. Eventually Nemesis developed into the vengeful creature we are familiar with today. In part this was devised so that she could become a moral control on Tyche. Tyche (literally, "fortune") was a daughter of Zeus to whom he had entrusted the fortunes of mortal men. The only problem with Tyche was that she was the original air-head; she couldn't decide the thing on its merits, so she simply juggled everyone's fortunes and let the chips fall where they may, without rhyme or reason. Nemesis' role was to step in and exact punishment when some favored mortal had boasted of his good fortune without giving due thanks, or properly giving of his largesse to the coffers of public charity. At this point it was Nemesis' task to intervene and humiliate the offender, sometimes depriving him of all he had to make her point.
This sounds eerily like the U.S., whose immense wealth, over-the-top lifestyle and unthinking use of a hugely disproportionate amount of the world's natural resources could be considered as courting Nemesis' ire. Along with the rise in American standards of living has come a marked decline in American standards of ethics, including the mass-commercialization of spirituality. Despite a traditionally generous attitude toward the poorer regions of the globe, we are probably not doing enough to help others in need, and we are certainly not setting a very good example for them with our excess, selfishness and waste.
As such, it should perhaps come as no surprise that Nemesis' fine hand can be seen in virtually all of the early acts of terrorism against this country or its citizens, and most of the better-remembered ones since (the Iran hostage crisis is the notable exception to this, though as noted above, Iran's Sun does conjoin Nemesis, so perhaps that is sufficient evidence of her interest in that episode, which was in fact more of a humiliation than a hurt).
Modern terrorism, at least as far as it concerns the U.S., may be said to have begun with the first hijacking of an American aircraft on May 1, 1961. Puerto Rican native Antuilo Ramierez Ortiz forced a National Airlines plane at gunpoint to fly him to Havana, Cuba, where he received asylum. A minor incident, surely, by standards which have been set subsequently, but telling in that on that date the Sun and Mercury were conjunct at 11 Taurus, inconjunct to Nemesis. It was the opening shot in a series of skirmishes which have led us to the present "War on Terror."
A second incident, the assassination of U.S. Ambassador to Guatemala John Gordon Mein, opened the second, more lethal, round of conflict on August 28, 1968, with Mars at 13 Leo in exact sextile to Nemesis. On March 2, 1973, U.S. Ambassador to Sudan Cleo A. Noel and other diplomats were assassinated by the terrorist organization Black September at the Saudi embassy in Khartoum; Nemesis' fingerprints are easy to see in this incident-the Sun at 12 Pisces is inconjunct, Mars at 13 Capricorn exactly squares, and Saturn at 13 Gemini is trine.
Tensions and methods escalated on October 9, 1983, with the bombing of the U.S. Marine Barracks in Beirut, Lebanon. A 12,000-pound truck bomb was driven into the barracks, killing 242 Americans, an act for which Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility, but where again Nemesis' signature may be seen, with the Sun at 15 Libra just past the singularity of the Black Hole, and Uranus at 16 Sagittarius in sextile.
The infamous Achille (!) Lauro hijacking, involving the take-over of an Italian luxury liner by four members of the Palestinian Liberation Front (and which claimed only the life of one retired, wheelchair-confined American of Jewish ancestry, Leon Klinghoffer) occurred two years later, almost to the day, October 7, 1985, and similarly sees the Sun at 14 Libra conjunct Nemesis.
Libyan terrorists orchestrated the mid-air explosion which downed Pan Am flight 103 over Lockerbie, Scotland on December 21, 1988, claiming 259 lives, including Americans. Mercury at 11 Capricorn was square Nemesis.
Amazingly, for the chart of the first assault on the World Trade Center, the truck bomb in the underground garage, on February 26, 1993, Jupiter sits exactly astride Nemesis at 13 Libra, perhaps an early indicator of bigger things to come. And domestic acts of terrorism are not immune from the Nemesis effect. When Timothy McVeigh exploded his truck bomb outside the Federal Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, killing 166 and injuring hundreds more, a celestial trine from Mars at 16 Leo to Jupiter at 14 Sagittarius was neatly bisected by Nemesis, in sextile to each.
The simultaneous bombings of U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on August 7, 1998, shows the Sun at 15 Leo in sextile to Nemesis, and may have been Osama bin Laden's introductory wake-up call to the U.S. On October 12, 2000, when the U.S.S. Cole was bombed in Yemeni waters, killing 17 and injuring 39 others, Jupiter at 10 Gemini was in trine to Nemesis, Pluto at 10 Sagittarius was in sextile, and Mercury at 13 Scorpio in exact semi-sextile. Bin Laden supporters were charged with the attack.
Finally, for the incredible devastation at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001, where 2,801 Americans, mostly civilians, died, in addition to Mercury conjunct Nemesis and on the Ascendant for the moment of the initial jet impact, Jupiter squared Nemesis from 11 Cancer, and Saturn was in trine from 14 Gemini.
Such is the tale to date, but 2003 promises to be a year of potentially devastating events, as Neptune stations at 13 Aquarius in May, exactly trine Nemesis, and Saturn stations at 13 Cancer in October, exactly square this vengeful goddess. Will the War on Terror spread from bin Laden and his Al Qaeda organization to Hussein and Iraq, and will the U.S.' hubris in tackling this enemy alone, without allies or U.N. support, be the catalyst for further tragedy?
Author's Note: Shortly after completing the research and writing of this article, I was stunned to see an ad for the upcoming Star Trek film, set to open Friday the 13th of December, entitled "Star Trek: Nemesis." Apparently, the collective is ready to deal with this energy on some level... another intriguing example of the synchronicity which permeates our lives.
Alex Miller-Mignone is a professional writer and astrologer, author of The Black Hole Book and The Urban Wicca, former editor of "The Galactic Calendar," and past president of The Philadelphia Astrological Society.
His pioneering work with Black Holes in astrological interpretation began in 1991, when his progressed Sun unwittingly fell into one. Alex can be reached for comment or services at firstname.lastname@example.org.