To travel from Eritrea or Gambia across the desert to the lower lid of the Mediterranean Sea — braving torture, slavery, asphyxia in the back of a truck, rape and beatings — to cross in an open boat: this is a hero’s journey. Imagine doing it as a child.
So far this week more than 800 people have drowned in the Mediterranean, trying to reach Italy from Libya. More than a 100 of those were children.
Pirates — or entrepreneurial seafarers, depending on who’s talking — operated from the so-called Barbary Coast –– North Africa from Morrocco to Algiers, Tripoli then Tunis — from the 15th to the 19th centuries. They specialised in looting foreign vessels and human trafficking for the Ottoman Empire. Slaves were a mixture of African and European captives from ships, coastal villages and sub-Sahara.
They were eventually stopped by joint action from French and British navies — motivated partly by the anti-slavery agenda. Unfortunately, one result of this was France’s colonisation of Algeria.
Things are never clear cut in history.
The Sewol in South Korea, the Costa Concordia, and the unnamed ferry on Lake Albert in Uganda are just a few of the ships that have gone down in recent years. More lives have been lost in shipping disasters since Neptune went into Pisces in 2011 than for the previous decade.
With Neptune currently in Pisces, the power of the sea is increased many fold, including the power it exercises on our collective imagination, and the power to claim lives.
Saturn, the Grim Reaper, is at a harsh angle to Pisces from Sagittarius, the sign of long journeys, migration and pilgrimage. Saturn only went into Sagittarius in December so we have a long time to watch this energy unfold.
Saturn in Sagittarius is bound to restrict long distance travel. In the next two years, we are likely to see migration managed, including new legislation and/or treaties. Indeed on May 27, the European Commission will adopt a new agenda for migration. Saturn will be at 1° Sagittarius. Human trafficking is a global problem and the solution is international. People do not abandon their homes on a whim. They are forced out by war, famine, pogroms. With Jupiter in Leo, perhaps we’ll find it in our hearts to be brave and generous.
From June to September, Saturn will be back in Scorpio, the sign of death and transformation, so there may well be more drownings before methods that actually help are in place.
To sign the Save The Children petition to Restart The Rescue, click here.