December Astromusings – the Year 2014 in Review

The Maslin Children

Mo, Evie & Otis Maslin

The Tragedies of the Two Malaysian Airlines – MH370 & MH17
Well, here we are again nearly at the end of another year and what a year it has been on the national and international stage! As I write this the two movers and shakers Pluto and Uranus are facing off again in another square bringing bubbling tensions to a head. Some of the tragedies were the two of Malaysian Airlines the first one MH370 remains a mystery after it veered off its flight path from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on 8 March. Not surprisingly Neptune, the planet of mystery and illusion, was on the IC of the flight’s event chart. MH17 went down on 17 July in rebellion-torn eastern Ukraine — believed hit by a surface-to-air missile — killing all 298 aboard, including 38 Australians. Just when we are getting closure from the tragedy of MH17 being shot down with all the remains of the Australians identified and brought back home, salt is rubbed into the wounds with the recent appearance on social media of a picture 2 Russian soldiers posing amongst the wreckage of MH370. It coincided with a two day visit to Australia of the Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss justice for victims where he and Prime Minister attended an ecumenical church service in Melbourne for the victims of flight MH17. President Putin’s refusal to take responsibility for the shooting down of the plane led to the now infamous ‘shirtfronting’ comment by Tony Abbott which has now been included in the lexicon. It also led to Putin getting the cold shoulder at the recent G20 conference held in Brisbane and where President Obama ‘shirtfronted’ Abbott in his now famous address to Brisbane Uni students warning about the degradation of the Great Barrier Reef.

Many of us cringed as our PM Tony Abbott talked about in-house problems with getting the budget passed while the world leaders looked on with polite bemusement and boredom! Abbott’s attempt to restrict the G20 to economic issues failed as the overwhelming trend of the world leaders present was to make climate change front and centre as intrinsically linked with economic strategies. Saturn the Lord of Karma has been moving over Tony Abbott’s Scorpio sun so he is being called to account for Abbott Credlin cartoonpast actions and the litany of broken promises. There is some Schadenfreude by his political opponents as they watch his previous comments and behaviour come back to haunt him and see him plummet in the polls. The heartless Abbott/Hockey budget has been a dismal failure. His derision of Julia Gillard for playing the gender card when she was the Prime Minister which gave rise to Gillard’s now famous ‘misogyny’ speech went viral globally.  Many people remember only too well his sexist taunts at Julia Gillard when he was the leader of the opposition and the incriminating photo of him in front of the placard saying ‘Juliar’ and ‘ditch the witch’. All these actions have now come back to haunt him as he also played the gender card to defend the actions of his chief of staff Peta Credlin giving cartoonists a field day. This man who calls himself Minister for Women and only has one woman in cabinet – the foreign minister Julie Bishop who while defending Credlin disassociated herself from Abbott’s comments. It is ironic to see that the very thing the Liberals accused Kevin Rudd’s office is now being levelled at Abbott’s office by both the Opposition and within the Liberals’ own ranks with the centralised control in the hands of Peta Credlin!Tony Abbott at protest with placard Juliar pic 2

Reza Berati

Reza Berati

Riots in Manus Island Detention Centre

Who can forget the terrible tragedy of the murder of the 23-year-old Iranian Asylum Seeker when violence erupted inside  Manus Island Detention Centre on 17 February leaving 60 asylum seekers injured? Fellow asylum seekers who witnessed the brutal murder of Reza Berati recounted it on ABC Lateline in which he said that guards hit Reza with a wooden sticks with nails in it, then kicked hm in the stomach and head and finished him off by bringing a large rock down on his head. The Senate’s Legal and Constitutional Affairs References Committee released its report 11 December into the incidents that led to the death of 23-year-old Iranian man Reza Berati. It found that Australia must take responsibility for the violence that occurred and that compensation should be paid to Reza Berati’s family. The Senate report found that violence at the Manus Island detention centre in February that resulted in the death of an Iranian asylum seeker was “eminently foreseeable” .

David Hicks

David Hicks

Mamdouh Habib

Mamdouh Habib

Guantanamo Bay Revisited

Two ghosts from the past re-emerged to spook the Liberal government first with Mamdouh Habib’s response to the release of the damning report on the CIA’s role in torture declaring that he will fight with the last drop of his blood to achieve justice against the CIA’s torture of him in Egypt.  The 600 page report was released by the US Senate analysing and detailing the techniques and effectiveness of the CIA‘s “enhanced interrogation” (read: torture) methods used on terror suspects held captive in the notorious Guantanamo Bay facility. The report, as to be expected, did not paint a particularly pretty picture. Constant waterboarding, sleep deprivation, forced enemas, and sensory bombardment. These are now known to be fact.

What’s also known to be fact is that for five-and-a-half years, an Australian man by the name of David Hicks was held captive in Guantanamo Bay and subjected to these interrogation tactics (again, tortured).

Hicks and his supporters have long insisted that the – at the time – Howard Government had to have known about the mistreatment that occurred within the facility, and lambasted its inaction in providing assistance to a citizen during his time held prisoner.
This prompted the normally quiet David Hicks’  to heckle George Brandis at a Human Rights Awards ceremony in Sydney calling out, “Hey, my name is David Hicks. I was tortured in Guantanamo Bay for five-and-a-half years in full knowledge of your party. What do you have to say?” True to the Liberal government’s form Brandis walked off stage without answering Hicks’s question prompting Hicks to brand Brandis a coward. The incident with Mr Hicks overshadowed a number of announcements by Senator Brandis. It is interesting to note that transiting Saturn has just moving over Hicks’s north node indicating this is very karmic.

Tribute to Phillip HughesThe Passing of much loved Icons

We have experienced the passing of some much loved icons in their field including the actor Robin Williams and closer to home our former Labor Prime Minister Edward Gough Whitlam and the Aussie cricketer, Phillip Hughes, which caused an outpouring of grief and also the untimely death of the feisty Stella Young, Aussie comedienne and disability activist aged 32.

Stella Young

Stella Young

Floral Tributes for victims of Lindt Cafe shooting

Floral Tributes for victims of Lindt Cafe shooting

Lindt Cafe Siege in Martin Place, Sydney

As I write this I am trying to come to terms with the recent most tragic event of the siege in my own home city of Sydney in Martin Place in the CBD and the tragic outcome with the death of two of the hostages. My heart goes out to all the hostages some of whom were terrorised for 17 hours and the families of two brave people, the manager of the cafe, Tori Johnson, and the barrister and mother of three young children, Katrina Dawson, who were both killed in the terrible finale which also resulted in the death of the gunman. The courage of Katrina in shielding her two pregnant friends and Tori Johnson in trying to wrest the gun from the gunman has been widely reported. As I wrote at the beginning of this post Uranus and Pluto are in an exact square and in this case were also interacting with the Mars of the NSW event chart which would cause such volatility. It is heartening to see the public response with so many Sydneysiders and from further afield coming to pay their respects to the hostages who are no longer with us by placing floral tributes not far from the site of the Cafe and signing the condolence books. It is also heartening to see the solidarity of non-Muslims with Muslims with the #illridewithyou which has gone viral globally. It is tragic events such as these which bring out the best in people as we share our common humanity. Last night I lit a candle for the victims of the siege and asked for healing for the all concerned. May their souls go to the Light and may they rest in peace.

Taliban Massacre of Pakistani School Children in Peshawar

As I conclude this post I have just heard the news today of the massacre by militant Taliban of  over 130 school students and nine teachers in a military school in Peshawar in Pakistan – another manifestation of this current volatile Pluto Uranus energy. Condemnation of this heinous act has come from all the world leaders.

In a statement, Malala – who was shot in the head on a school bus in 2012 by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan – said: “I am heartbroken by this senseless and cold-blooded act of terror in Peshawar that is unfolding before us.” She continued: “Innocent children in their school have no place in horror such as this. I condemn these atrocious and cowardly acts and stand united with the government and armed forces of Pakistan whose efforts so far to address this horrific event are commendable.”
My heart also goes out to the families and friends of the victims of this atrocious act. However, this terrible crime will not prevent the campaign for children’s education and children’s rights from continuing. The will to good will triumph over ignorance and religious fanaticism. Saturn, the Lord of Karma, will complete its two and half year sojourn through the sign of Scorpio on 23 December and will enter the sign of Sagittarius which rules religion, philosophy, law and overseas travel so it will be interesting to see how it impacts on these areas as Saturn is a diametrically opposed energy to Jupiter. Saturn will bring restriction and discipline to free wheeling, ill-disciplined and often zealous Sagittarius. While Saturn is in the final degrees of Scorpio there is still the opportunity for transformation. When Saturn retrogrades from June – September 2015 returning to the sign of Scorpio, there will be a window of opportunity for a do over of what was not achieved during the first passage of Saturn in Scorpio. Jupiter, the ruling planet of Sagittarius, turned retrograde on 8 December 2014 and will turn direct again on 8 April 2015. It won’t be a time to speak or act rashly.

Malala & Kailash holding Nobel Peace Prize Awards

Malala Yousafzai & Kailash Satyarthi

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi – Joint Recipients of the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize

I wish to end on a positive note by writing about the joint wining of the

Malala & Kailash protest re war

Malala & Kailash protest against war

Nobel Peace Prize by the young 17-year-old Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai and the Hindu man Kailash Satyarthi for their tireless campaigns for education and welfare of children. Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, shot by the Taliban for refusing to quit school, and Indian activist Kailash Satyarthi have received their Nobel peace prizes after two days of celebration honouring their work for children’s rights.Malala became the youngest laureate, widely praised for her global campaigning since she was shot in the head on her school bus in 2012.

Mr Satyarthi, who is credited with saving about 80,000 children from slave labour, sometimes in violent confrontations, kept a modest profile in Oslo and even conceded to being overshadowed by Malala, who was surrounded by admirers.

“I’ve lost two of my colleagues,” Mr Satyarthi said about his work. “Carrying the dead body of a colleague who is fighting for the protection of children is something I’ll never forget, even as I sit here to receive the Nobel peace prize.”

“I refuse to accept that the world is so poor, when just one week of global military expenditure is enough to bring all of our children into classrooms,” he said after receiving the prize. “I refuse to accept that the shackles of slavery can ever be … stronger than the quest for freedom.”

Arriving in Norway with friends and young activists from Pakistan, Syria and Nigeria, Malala met thousands of children, walked the streets to greet supporters and opened an exhibit where her bloodstained dress, worn when her school bus was attacked, was put on display.

“She’s very brave and tough, fighting even after the Taliban shot her in the head,” said Andrea, 12, who was among thousands of children hoping to greet Malala in Oslo.

It is people such as Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi whose dedication and the will to good inspire us – the people who work for the betterment of humanity. especially the vulnerable children of the developing countries who give us hope for the future of evolution of humanity. We need to focus on these actions of courage and selflessness to uplift the human spirit. I wish you all a joyous and peaceful festive season and a healthy and fulfilling New Year!

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2 Comments

  1. Thanks, Anne! – Very insight-full reflections!
    Just back from a brief Sydney visit! – Neil’s rellos inclined to tar all Moslems with the terrorist brush, sadly!
    Have a happy, safe & peaceful Christmas!
    Love,
    Andrea.
    xx

    Reply
    • Thanks for your feedback, Andrea, as always much appreciated! Sorry you didn’t have time to catch up when you were in Sydney. Wishing you and Neil and family a very happy Solstice, Christmas and happy New Year!
      Love Anne xox

      Reply

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