It is clear from reading some of the commentaries that have appeared these past days, that the Notre Dame fire, 16h50, 16th April 2019, Paris, France, may be viewed as a sign of the times. Astrologer Louise Edington points out in her fascinating Medium article “Here we have Notre Dame cathedral in Paris burning down in front of our eyes as Venus and Lilith meet at the 23˚ mark of Pisces in aspect to Pluto at 23˚ and right after Eris in Aries is conjoined by the Sun, also at 23˚.[…] One could suggest that the divine feminine is rejecting the control imposed by the Patriarchy!”
It is always important to access differing views, I believe that room remains for other interpretations.
A great deal also depends upon our view of Lilith. Whilst much has been written about Lilith, one book I have truly appreciated is called The Gospel of Lilith, by Savannah Blaze Lee. This is the most beautiful book! In the Gospel, the author allows Lilith to speak, and hers is a voice of humility, of love, of heartbreak for the very considerable burdens she bore, along with a certain compassion for a creator who appeared to allow things to run amok that we might learn better of ourselves. In my reading of the Gospel, any antagonism between Lilith and Notre Dame seems out of place. In fact, the conjunction between Lilith, and Venus is for me about allowing our inner and repressed feminine speak out alongside our values (Venus). The moment is, of course, highly Plutonic.
The voice of Lilith decries all hypocrisy, all inequality, all persecution. Lilith of the Gospel left Adam on account of his lack of love, and insistence that he was superior. Lilith’s solo journey is one of compassion. She sought compassion for others, yes, but that compassion began with compassion for herself, and was then extended outward.
If we see Notre Dame (the building) as a manifestation of the greater feminine, as distinct from Notre Dame (the institution of Patriarchy) we can open into a different space of reflection. I think it is highly relevant that a sanctuary was not only a sacred space, generally referring to the altar room of a church, but, in medieval Europe, this term also had a legal meaning. A person who had committed a crime could claim sanctuary, or asylum, by hiding from law officials inside a church. This would extend to anyone who was being unjustly persecuted and who would seek refuge or Sanctuary.
We must, therefore, return and enter the fabric of the building and connect with our feelings, as we walk or sit in prayer, amid the hushed voices, in the darkness, which itself becomes a kind of womb and inner temple. How many of us have gone there to light candles for the departed, for our loved ones, for peace in times of war and for justice in times of its absence?
Whilst Notre Dame will remain, of course, a symbol of Catholicism, and of France, it is foremost in my own mind a House of Spirit. A place where many have come to rest their weary selves in troubled times, during their own dark nights of the soul.
For many, such places continue to be sought out by our inner spiritual guidance, before feelings of belonging to any one faith or spiritual school. I may be of a Shamanic and Astrological persuasion, but such has never stopped me from taking time to meditate and pray in such a lieu.
As a student, I would visit Durham Cathedral, another example of the hundred or so Gothic Giants that were erected all over Europe in the 12th and 13th centuries. We can so easily forget that these buildings were a call to people to raise their eyes to a higher dimension, and in doing so, bring Divine light into their hearts; to partake of the mystery that was incarnated by the Gothic builders and explore in person the geometry of soul which inhabits such places, since the 12th century.
A further issue has also come to light in the symbol of the burning cathedral. In a matter of days, a number of extremely wealthy “patrons of fashion and industry” have contributed almost a billion euros to the rebuilding and repairs of Notre Dame. To these acts, many have called out the facility with which the extremely wealthy will donate to rebuilding a ruin, whilst there continues widespread poverty in France and in the world.
To this, I can only reply that in the great chain of things, I would certainly prefer these men to donate to a rebuild of Notre Dame than purchase yet another yacht or plane or luxury villa. At the same time, their ability to be “generous” in this context contrasts with the poverty and anger flowing through French society currently expressed weekend after weekend by the Gilets Jaunes movement.
Notre Dame’s moment of truth highlights yet again the brutal inequality in our societies and the facility of the super-wealthy to act as and when they choose. Notre Dame will be rebuilt, without a doubt. The poor will continue to be poor unless we change things from within our own hearts.
The historical Mary saw her son die, and no matter where the theology of Jesus might have taken him, there remains something fundamental and absolute about the experience of any mother who must hold her dead child, still and silent, in her arms. Tragedy can come to each of us and in many forms.
Whatever else we might believe, the Notre Dame of Our Lady is part of the greater feminine. She has always refused to be ruled by the Patriarchy. Perhaps Notre Dame is here to offer us two lessons in her burning: first, that the old structures are indeed more fragile than we think; second, that we should now put human lives and sufferings before our buildings. Each human life is a Cathedral. How many have already burned in silence and in anonymity.
In this, the burning of Notre Dame is closer to the Spirit of Lilith than one might imagine.
Thanks as always, to the author and wikimedia / creative commons for this photo.
Burning candle / Горящая свеча.