The Astrology of the Notre Dame Fire


Me feeding the birds at Notre Dame – around 2004

These are strange times, difficult times. One of the things I have said most often is that the universe is in constant communication with us. Everything that occurs in waking life can be interpreted as if in a dream. When it comes to astrology, some people rail against it. “The planets can’t exert any influence over us” they say – and they are right. It’s not that the planets CAUSE what happens, rather that they are a poetic language describing an ongoing story of our experience here on planet Earth and the living of that tale. We have free will as to how we live the details of this Great Cosmic Story but the archetypal structure is what is set in stone.

And so, I see my role as an astrologer to ‘translate’ the messages of the stars. In my own astrology chart, I have a full 9th house – a house traditionally connected to Jupiter and Sagittarius. The 9th house rules universities, philosophy, religion. It’s the house of symbolic language. Many years ago, an old astrologer said to me ‘This is the House of God’.

And yesterday, the House of God burned. All week I have been hearing the crows on my street shouting. I have noticed over the years that when the birds are restless, something is coming. Signs have been coming thick and fast. The water pouring down the walls of Parliament in the UK – a sinking ship. The first sight of a Black Hole. Something unseen is coming to light – something that could consume everything, including the light. Yesterday morning, I realised my pentagram had fallen off my necklace – I have worn this for around 30 years. I had a conversation on Facebook about these ominous feelings and we ended up in a discussion about the twin towers, the coming of inevitable change and how if things DON’T change naturally, then the situation will be forced. As I said above, there is an overarching structure that we are working within. We can choose to fight against it, or we can choose to go with it. Naturally, the more we fight, the greater the difficulties we encounter because we’re trying to move in the wrong direction.

All of us as astrologers have been closely watching the skies as right now, we have a powerful line up of Saturn, Pluto and the South Node. Saturn rules authority, the system, conservation, tradition, buildings. Pluto rules death, change, force, endings, toxicity, rubbish, sex, power, crime. Pluto is our shadow. The South Node rules old karma. This is all happening in the sign of Capricorn, a sign ruled by Saturn and symbolic of the establishment. So, from this, we have been talking about how the establishment needs to change, the system is toxic, old paradigms no longer work. The transiting South Node in Capricorn and the North Node in Cancer suggests a move away from patriarchy (Capricorn) towards matriarchy (Cancer). We MUST release old attitudes to make for a more caring society (Cancer rules family).

But the Powers That Be, the governments, those with the greatest wealth (ruled by Pluto) are holding on and so now we have signs that it MUST change. You cannot hold back evolution and you definitely can’t hold back Pluto. Pluto’s nature is to keep applying pressure until you relent and let go. The harder we resist, the harder he will push back – and he will win.

Along with this powerful line up this year, we also have Jupiter squaring Neptune. Both planets are connected to spirituality – Jupiter is about faith but the beliefs we hold via Jupiter are from a book, a man made (and I mean MAN) in this instance, book of spiritual laws. Neptune rules that direct connection to God, where you need no intercessory. Neptune is that feeling in your soul that you are connected to something greater than yourself.

In my post about Jupiter square Neptune on Patreon back in December, I wrote:- “We have great waves washing through us. Waves of compassion. Waves of loss. Are we finding faith and losing it? There’s great hope and the potential too for utter despair.”

As I said above, what happens in life can be interpreted as a dream and there are many layers of interpretation. One interpretation I see is that the Church is a symbol for faith – even if it is not your own faith. We have lost faith with the old system. Certainly, it seems many people in France feel the same with the powerful yellow jacket movement. France has been fighting itself for a long time and now its heart has given out. I noted the people singing prayers as they watched the fire burning. Sometimes it is only through great loss that we are united. Neptune rules the invisible thread that binds us all.

The Church itself is considered female ‘Our Lady of France’. France has pledged to restore HER – caps for emphasis. Symbolically, we are being told that we need to find our faith again, not in the old system or any one religion but in each other and in the MOTHER (yes, we could say Mother Earth).

The moment that captivated the world was when the Tower on top of Notre Dame fell. Millions of people watched and felt something in their hearts, a feeling, a knowing. The tower falling is a sign. In the Tarot, the Tower is what happens when things MUST change. It often comes when we have been stuck for a long time (the previous card in the order of the Tarot is the Devil – the shadow). The Tower is the first light after the dark. My French friend told me that the Tower above Notre Dame was called ‘La Fleche’ – the arrow. A single arrow in some tarot decks, is used to depict the Ace of Wands or Swords – both cards of clarity and new beginnings. The symbol of Sagittarius is a centaur shooting an arrow. Sagittarius is the visionary, the prophet, the seer. It aims its arrow to the heart of the Scorpion, the poison within, the heart of truth. It’s through destruction that we see the truth.

And there will be light, eventually. We will evolve, eventually. Just as Notre Dame will be rebuilt, so will we. But whilst I prefer to read the positives, I feel it would be remiss to leave out the negative. The message is clear that what has stood for hundreds of years can be razed to the ground. Notre Dame was going through renovation work but SYMBOLICALLY SPEAKING, you cannot renovate something that is fundamentally flawed. The Catholic Church itself is burning from the inside with abuse. The foundations of our society are falling apart. The planet herself is gasping for breath under layers of our plastic debris. We cannot keep trying to prop up what isn’t working. We feel it in our bones. We’ve lost faith. and if we don’t change, something with change it for us.


Before I say anything about the chart, I want to reiterate that talking about the symbolism and the meaning of the chart and this event in no way detracts from the terrible sadness I feel at the loss of such a beautiful building of such historical significance, nor the significance it has for millions of people as a place of worship and sanctity. I wept as I watched. My thoughts are also with the firefighter who was seriously injured battling the fire.

From my forecast from April :-

“Pluto stations retrograde on April 24. The Sabian symbol is ‘A Woman Entering A Convent’. It reiterates the idea of cleansing and eradication of toxic materialism. That said however, this symbol could also speak of the ill treatment of women, further Catholic Church abuse scandals, the constant propensity to split woman into two categories, namely virgin and whore.”

click to enlarge

In the fire event chart, the karmic collection of Pluto, Saturn and the South Node sits in the 4th house. This part of the chart relates to home and country. Karma striking at the heart of the country.

In many reports, the time 6:50 p.m. is given for when the roof caught fire however I have used 6:20 p.m. given on the BBC’s website which is around the time the alert was first heard. No fire was found on inspection but clearly something was alight.

The sign Libra is rising. Libra carries the scales of justice and speaks of balance and truth. Libra is ruled by Venus, the Goddess, Our Lady! Venus is in Pisces, the sign connected to spirituality. Out of interest, Venus is only two minutes away from the next degree and the Sabian symbol for that degree is ‘A Religious Organization Succeeds In Overcoming The Corrupting Influence Of Perverted Practices and Materialized Ideals’.

Venus is conjunct Black Moon Lilith. Lilith calls out unfair practices. In mythology she was the first wife of Adam who left the Garden of Eden because Adam wouldn’t treat her fairly. From there, Lilith was demonised through history. Lilith conjunct Venus talks of the demonization and unfair treatment of women. Venus creates a square with Jupiter, the ruler of the Church. Jupiter sits opposite asteroid Nemesis – a Greek Goddess who enacts retribution for hubris (arrogance before the Gods).

Asteroid Paris sits directly conjunct the Ascendant of this chart. The Ascendant of the chart is on the Sabian symbol ‘In A Collection Of Perfect Specimens Of Many Biological Forms, A Butterfly Displays The Beauty Of Its Wings, Its Body Impaled By A Fine Dart’. The butterfly is a symbol for change and evolution but here in the symbol, its flight has been arrested by a dart. This symbol then talks of arresting progress, not allowing change to happen, the desire to preserve at any cost – including the butterfly’s life. Asteroid Paris opposes Chiron, The Wounded Healer on the Descendant. Something is broken in Paris. The aspect indicates pain, the flushing out of an old and festering wound.  Chiron is conjunct asteroid Vesta, the Priestess, the Keeper of the Flame. She is an asteroid of devotion. Chiron and Vesta are in the fiery sign of Aries.

Aries is ruled by Mars. Mars, ruler of fire, inflammation and anger is in the 9th house – recall from above, the House of God. Perhaps this is a reference to the fury that has been a long running saga in France with the protests. The fury has become fire. Mars is in the sign of Gemini, the Twins – Notre Dame has Two Towers (thankfully not destroyed in the fire). Of course in the western psyche, the concept of the Twin Towers brings up vivid memories. The falling of the Towers in America was the herald of the War with Iraq, the rise and rise of terrorism. And yes, without wanting to get into fear mongering, there are suggestions that war could erupt again IF we don’t address our problems – remember, we have a choice in how to play these stories. Asteroid Lachesis (one of the Fates and the measurer of the thread of life) is conjunct Mars. Mars sits on an optimistic Sabian ‘Newly Opened Lands Offer The Pioneer New Opportunities For Experience’. We have a chance now to fight for a different philosophy, to open a discussion (Gemini) to assert ourselves to be heard. Mars is also conjunct asteroid Panacea – meaning ‘heal all’. The potential is there.

The Sun is conjunct asteroid Babel as in The Tower of Babel. In the bible, humankind tried to build a tower to God but God stopped them by creating all different languages so humans could no longer work together. The themes of this story have been challenged over the years but on the face of it, asteroid Babel talks of punishment for hubris and not being able to understand one another.

The Sun is also conjunct Uranus, ruler of rebellion, shock, things that happen suddenly. Asteroid Nostalgia is conjunct Uranus. A sudden awakening of nostalgia. So many people are talking about their memories of visiting Notre Dame.

The Moon is in the 12th house, a house also associated with spiritual places as well as the collective unconscious. The Moon is on the same degree as Victor Hugo’s natal Saturn (Lord of Karma). Victor Hugo was the author of The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Victor’s natal Moon is conjunct Jupiter, ruler of The House of God traditionally, in the event chart for the fire.

The MC of the chart is in the sign Cancer, the sign of the North Node – the point showing the way towards our karmic evolution. The Sabian symbol of the MC is ‘On A Ship The Sailors Lower An Old Flag And Raise A New One’.

When the Tower falls, we must sit up and pay attention. The ominous feeling that many of us experienced when watching the flames consume this beautiful building is a stark wake up call (Uranus!).  France has pledged to rebuild Our Lady and that too is what we must do. We must re-instate the Divine Feminine. We must move towards a more caring and kinder society. We must learn to listen to one another despite our different languages. The old system WILL be erased and we must step up and take an active part in that evolution. What is happening now is crucial to what will be happening in January 2020 when a mass of planets align in the sign Capricorn. We cannot afford to lose faith in the world, in the planet, in each other and ourselves. We can and must arise from the ashes.


Photo image of the fire burning comes from Wikipedia
Incnis Mrsi (montage) Remi Mathis (photos) [CC BY-SA 4.0

Image – ‘The Tower’ from The Radiant Rider Waite Tarot by A.E. Waite, Pamela Colman Smith