I'm away in the south of Spain for 6 days, officially to help fire-keep at a sweatlodge, but I'm also going to do a bit of sightseeing e.g. the Alhambra. So I've pre-published a few blogs. Here's the first one, an extract from a piece by Liz Greene on The Oracle and the Family Curse:
In 1969, when Senator Edward Kennedy faced the collapse of his Presidential hopes after Chappaquiddick, he asked whether there was a curse on his family. Over the decades, a great many people have asked the same question, privately and in print; the history of this extraordinary clan does make one wonder whether some daimon of misfortune dogs its members. The recent death of John F. Kennedy Jr. has once again roused speculation about why the male Kennedys seem to be picked off like wooden ducks in a fairground booth, not to mention the drug-related hospitalisations, virulent divorces, and other human messes which, although more private and less florid, are perhaps no less tragic for those involved. No generation of this powerful family has remained unscathed. Naturally, the Kennedy horoscopes have been pondered by astrologers from every perspective. Anyone who has studied them can recognise factors in each individual birth chart which might reflect, at least in part, the tragedy of that particular life. Yet here is a sequence of tragedies which are strangely coherent in their continuity. Can we link these astrologically? Do they make sense psychologically? Are we looking at what the Greeks meant by a family curse? Are we looking at the products of a lethal but very human mixture of ingredients - a dysfunctional family driven by obsessive ambition and habitually involved with echelons of power and corruption that, sooner or later, would involve danger and possibly violent death? Are we viewing coincidence? Or, as Ian Fleming would have suggested, is it "enemy action"? And if so, what, and where, is the enemy?
The word "curse" conjures up images of witchcraft, black magic, Dennis Wheatley novels, and B-grade films about reanimated Egyptian mummies. It is a word which, understandably, we do not like to use these days, and any mention of the Curse of the Kennedys tends to provoke uneasy laughter. But the ancient mythology which underpins our Western culture and permeates our Western psychology took the concept of the family curse very seriously indeed, and did not associate it with witches or malevolent occult rites. The English word "curse" has obscure origins, but my etymological dictionary suggests that it derives from an Anglo-Saxon word meaning "wrath". The first known example of the word occurs in the 11th century: Goddes curs, the wrath of God. A curse is thus something inflicted by a wrathful deity in response to human wrong-doing. Its roots lie in the past, but it predetermines the future. Most of us do not think in terms of our families being "cursed", whatever difficulties we experience with and through them. Some families exhibit clearly repetitive patterns, but these may involve gifts and good fortune as often as they involve misfortune and pathology. But there are some families which seem to bear more than their share of tragedy, albeit on a less grandiose scale than the Kennedys. Repeating generations of broken marriages, alcoholism and drug addiction, suicide, financial ruin, and functional disease dog many families. Sometimes these patterns are deeply disturbing in their consistency and precision. Lynn Bell demonstrates, in her excellent book, Planetary Threads, the ways in which particular attitudes and experiences, embedded in the family psyche, can unconsciously dominate behaviour over several generations, sometimes emerging only when each individual reaches the precise age at which his or her predecessors themselves re-enacted the ancient story. Family therapists call this "the anniversary syndrome". Astrologers, accustomed to the cyclical nature of transits and progressions, can map it with precision, but its meaning may be more elusive. (more...)