Notre Dame, the great church of Our Lady in the heart of Paris, at the sharp end of the Ile de la Cité, burned spectacularly last night. One of her spires pointed a flaming finger at the sky. She crackled, she roared.
But today she’s still standing.
The images were shocking, of course. Yet my take-away from this event was not doomy or gloomy, but a feeling of hope. The great cathedral, a wondrous monument to human endeavour, faith and imagination, built by teams of people over centuries, had survived a potentially devastating fire — thanks to teams of our contemporaries. A long chain of humanity stretching back hundreds of years has cherished this place.
Buildings — as any householder knows — evolve. You fix a bit here, or add a lady chapel or a new bit of stained glass there. Cathedrals need constant repair. The faithful stitch new kneelers, donate a new organ, or design a new altar cloth. The gargoyles fall and need to be replaced. Churches change all the time — and this is why the are so wonderful to visit. Within a living church, history and life as we live it now meet daily.
So I did look at the chart for the fire, but not as a disaster chart, since in fact heroism saved the day and no one died. There are no coincidences, and these great fires are full of symbolic meaning.
In fact, the Moon in this chart trined Uranus (the planet of accidents) and then made a quincunx to Vesta, the goddess of strike-a-light in fiery Aries, at the time the fire started. Vesta is also, of course, a priestess, or the goddess of the hearth, and maybe Notre Dame is the spiritual hearth of the whole city. The Sun, also in sparky Aries, was trining Jupiter in fiery Sagittarius (a sign associated with religions) on the day too. But none of this would say fire necessarily.
The chart has Libra rising, so it is ruled by Venus. Libra is, of course, a sign associated with culture and civilisation — and there’s no doubt that Notre Dame is an emblem of those ideas. There’s Cancer, the sign of the mother, on the MC, too.
Venus is making a tough angle to that fiery Jupiter — and a very nice sextile to Pluto. And here we’re coming to something special, that conjunction of Saturn-South Node-Pluto. In Capricorn, it only happens a few times in a millennium. It’s a powerful confluence of energy, and in fact, Venus (exalted in Pisces) is working with that energy. Venus is working precisely with Pluto — indeed, if you wanted to be literal, Venus in the shape of Our Lady (Notre Dame). Since she is currently in Pisces, she’s at her most ethereal, spiritual.
For more on Virgin Mary astrology, check Courtney Roberts wonderful book Visions of the Virgin Mary.
Pluto — putting aside the god we know from mythology — is a phoenix. This is what Pluto transits are about. You lose everything, and then you rise from the ashes.
There’s a message of hope for us in that fiery finger pointing at the sky. We have a scary set of transits at the moment with that Pluto-Saturn nexus down in Capricorn, the land of temporal power.
The house may be on fire, but we can save our own stained glass and gargoyles — and remake the things that are good.