Friday 2 May 2014

Nessus – revenge from beyond the grave

When I heard that Gerry Adams had been arrested and was being questioned about the abduction and murder of Jean McConville yesterday, my immediate thought was that there must be a Nessus connection. If you're unfamiliar with the story of Jean McConville's disappearance, you can read about it here:

Nessus was the third Centaur to be discovered a little over 21 years ago, on 26 April 1993, and, like most centaurs, he's an orbit-crosser. He travels between the realm of Saturn and that of Pluto, which gives you an idea of the kind of energies he embodies. He's about anger and resentment that smoulders and burns. It's also about the desire for revenge, which may well come from beyond the grave – so there's an ancestral or generational aspect to it. Nessus energy is visceral and indicates a place of deep, deep pain. Nessus manifests in other ways too – some of which are relevant to this story, such as being an outsider and being scape-goated – but here I want to focus on the timing of this event.

In mythology, Nessus was a ferryman on the river Evenus who was instrumental in the death and transformation of Heracles, a typical hero figure. The bare bones of the story is that when Heracles and his wife Deianeira came to the river, Nessus was captivated by Deianeira and offered to waive the fee for taking her across, so desperate was he to carry her. However, once he reached the other side his animal passions got the better of him and he violated her. Heracles took up his bow and arrow and shot Nessus through the heart. The dying centaur bade Deianeira to collect his semen and mix it with the blood flowing from the wound, as the elixir would act as a love-potion when Heracles' love began to wane. But the arrow that killed Nessus had been dipped in the blood of the Hydra and was deadly poisonous, as Nessus well knew. The inevitable happened, and Deianeira smeared the love-potion onto one of Heracles' shirts and sent it to him. As soon as he put it on, the poison burned into his flesh. Unable to remove the shirt, he ran wild trying to relieve the pain. In the end, he climbed onto a funeral pyre and was taken up into Olympus.

Nessus has a cycle of around 122 years so it goes well beyond the span of human life at present. That, and the proximity to Pluto's realm and Nessus' role as ferryman, suggest that he operates on a more collective level than Chiron or Pholus, the first two Centaurs. So the rage that comes screaming to the surface can often be ancestral. Possibly the most likely place to find ancestral rage in this small corner of the world is the island of Ireland, where the recent Troubles are only the latest in a long line that stretches back hundreds of years. So I looked at Gerry Adams' birth chart yesterday, well aware of his strong republican links that go back at least a couple of generations and also of the history of abuse in his family – which is another Nessus theme. I was rather disappointed to find that the only aspect to a personal planet was an opposition to Mercury and his South Node, which are both on 5 Scorpio. They express his role as a spokesman for the republican cause, with the South Node showing it was a role he assumed with ease – but it wasn't as visceral as I'd expected.

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Then it came to me this morning: his Nessus is very close to the degree of the solar eclipse on 29th April. In fact the eclipse degree (8 Taurus 51) nestles between his North Node on 5 Taurus 2 and his Nessus on 11 Taurus 28R. Moreover, transiting Nessus at 0 Pisces 57 is opposite his natal Saturn at 1 Virgo 47. The latter suggests that the universe is saying 'time's up, Gerry – it's time to face the music,' especially as Nessus is in Pisces, the sign of the victim. Or, as Melanie Reinhart puts it: the buck stops here.

(Note: Noon chart as birth time unknown)

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Jean McConville's date of birth is not in the public domain, but one of her sons said yesterday that she would have been celebrating her 80th birthday in the next few weeks had she still been alive. Because Nessus was near aphelion in the 1930s, and was thus moving at his slowest, it makes little difference whether she was born in early May or June 1934: in both cases Mrs McConville's Nessus was on the same degree as the Sun in the lunar eclipse of 15th April (25 Aries). Again, Nessus was at the very beginning of Pisces, having made his entry a fortnight earlier.

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He also said that he knows who abducted his mother and still sees them as he goes about his business, but he won't divulge their names for fear of reprisals – he has young children. He himself, aged 11 when his mother disappeared, was taken away by the IRA some days after she was abducted and intimidated into silence. He said that every time he sees these people 'his blood boils' – which is Nessus speaking. Later yesterday Mrs McConville's eldest daughter said she's prepared to talk to the authorities and name names, regardless of the consequences.

(Oh, and the cherry on top of the cake is that Nessus, in the discovery chart, is conjunct Adams' natal Mercury and South Node in Scorpio).

It's as if this has been building up since the entry of Nessus into Pisces on 1st April, with the lunar eclipse releasing the pain and anguish of the murdered woman. This paved the way for the arrest of Gerry Adams at the solar eclipse, two weeks later.

One of the lesser known parts of Heracles' story is the prophecy that a dead enemy would be his downfall. We don't know what the outcome will be for Adams, but the chances are that this arrest has at the very least destroyed his political career in the south of Ireland, something he's been carefully crafting for a number of years. Over forty years on, the spectre of Jean McConville continues to haunt Gerry Adams, like Banquo's ghost.

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