The One You Feed

Sunday morning, Nov. 15. I’m writing 48 hours after the first explosions were heard at the Stade de France where France was playing Germany in a soccer match. In restaurants, a bar, and the Bataclan concert hall in the 11th Arrondisement of Paris people were attacked and killed by three ISIS teams using kalashnikov rifles and suicide vests.

The assailants all spoke perfect French.

As I write this, CNN’s “Paris-Terror Attacks” coverage drones unendingly on the television. Paris is stunned, in a state of shock. Authorities fear the crisis is not over. The word “fear” is liberally dispersed throughout the coverage, amplifying the general atmosphere in France and abroad as a low-lying hum of horror. At least to the viewers here and elsewhere CNN provides coverage.

I am certain the people of France and Belgium — where some members of ISIS terror cells allegedly are based — are apprehensive. I am certain major cities of Western Europe are on high alert. At this moment, the investigation is uncovering an even wider range of suspected ISIS activities beyond France. There are questions about security risk of the Syrian refugees entering Europe, as they try to escape from the devastation wrought by their country’s civil war.

It all breathes, feels and tastes like Sept. 11, 2001. If we haven’t had enough of the march towards war, the news media makes sure we work ourselves up into an appetite for more with hints of it. Fear is as much a social and political nutrient as rainwater is to weeds, providing as much fuel for our current political discussions as Donald Trump’s bluster, Ben Carson’s inanity and Hillary Clinton’s emails.

I am certain of one thing: There are enough of us who are plenty fed up with the bullshit orchestrated these days in the era of asymmetrical warfare. We have proof that the alleged weapons of mass destruction in Iraq were a lie. A lie used to begin a pointless, expensive and stupid war. That was attested to by George W. Bush himself, admitting as much in his memoir Decision Points.

What makes ISIS any different from Al Qaeda? Same game, different players. We know that ISIS was a direct result of the instability of our installed regime in Iraq and our support for the anti-Assad rebellion in Syria. Countries in the midst of civil war are fertile ground for insurgents of all stripes. Al-Qaeda, once America’s bete noir, has been taken backstage as ISIS rises to play the lead of terrorist du jour. Our initial impulse is to stamp them all out by the cudgels of war, but you can’t kill a movement with a cudgel. Not when young, disaffected and disempowered men and women are attracted to the seductive online recruitment provided by ISIS.

Yet France’s President Francoise Hollande uses the words “act of war,” similar to what Mr. Bush said after the twin towers fell — raising the apprehension of possible NATO involvement, or further incursions on the ground in Syria. France had launched airstikes in Syria earlier in September.

Again and again, it all feels so hauntingly familiar. Are we on the highway to making another stupid mistake? Or are we hovering nearby, cruising at less than highway speed from a frontage road following the events and their aftermath in Paris?

I am waiting for news that the investigation by French and other international agencies will focus first on the cause before an easy, immediate and impulsive answer is implemented. I hope for measured response and reasoned examination. A brink of some kind was reached — you can see it in the chart of the event, at the bottom of this post (you can also view a simpler chart on Eric’s Facebook page). And we have a choice to blindly accept what is being fed us or to question our choices beginning now.

While we’re at it, perhaps we should remember that while Paris was attacked, so was Beirut — a vibrant city that still struggles to find stability, but knows no end of violence. Are they consigned to our neglect while the jewels of the Western world burn?

I am certain of this: the people of France want and deserve answers, as does the world. I know this seems simplistic and naive, but while investigating ISIS as a credible and dangerous threat, perhaps we should re-evaluate what has been wrought through our economic and military adventures and their impact on the rest of the world this last decade.

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Regional instability in the Middle East has gone on so long that it has formed new and ugly flowers in Europe, Lebanon, Iraq, Kenya and Palestine. Action creates reaction. Is this how we want the world to be?

I found this parable, posted by a friend of mine on Facebook the morning after the attacks:

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all. One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt,resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego.

“The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”

The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”

I don’t know what comes next with these ongoing investigations in France and its neighboring countries. I know I am hoping for better than what our recent history has shown us. I know I am sending a heart-load of intention on this sunny Sunday in California that we find out what really happened Friday night, and deal with it with as little bloodshed as possible. This world has had enough.

There is so much we haven’t been told. I am also certain that there are many, many people here and around the world tired of being fed the easy answers. The people of this good, beautiful, tumultuous and complicated planet deserve so much more. For once, please, let the good wolf win.

Chart for the Nov. 13, 2015 ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris. View glyph key here.

Chart for the Nov. 13, 2015 ISIS terrorist attacks in Paris. View glyph key here.

This entry was posted in Columnist, Fe-911 on by .

About Fe Bongolan

Planet Waves writer Fe Bongolan lives in Oakland, California. Her column, "Fe-911," has been featured on Planet Waves since 2008. As an actor and dramaturge, Fe is a core member of Cultural Odyssey's "The Medea Project -- Theater for Incarcerated Women," producing work that empowers the voices of all women in trouble, from ex-offenders, women with HIV-AIDS, to young girls and women at risk. A Planet Waves fan from almost the beginning of Eric's astrology career, Fe is a public sector employee who describes herself as a "mystical public servant." When it comes to art, culture and politics, she loves reading between the lines.

15 thoughts on “The One You Feed

  1. Pisces Sun

    Thank you Fe, your insight and the tenor of this article speaks from deep wisdom that we must listen to our hearts and think through our actions. But most importantly, you ask us to consider what prompts those to respond by using terror in the first place, our policies have not helped, we (the Western world) has aided in destabilizing that region. Our response should also consider that too which reminds me of another Native American proverb: “Don’t judge your neighbor until you’ve walked a mile (or two moons) in his moccasins.” If only our government leaders could understand empathy when they are forming their policies.

    1. Fe Bongolan Post author

      Pisces Sun:

      Since Friday night, I have been carrying the anxious heartsick feelings I had over a decade ago during the days of the Congressional rush to war and the AUMF (Authorization to Use Military Force) in Iraq. Step and after step, we knew this is what could happen and it did. I was writing this piece from that note in the history of my heart.

      That said, today I wanted to plant a healthier algae in the murky waters — one that would start the clean up instead of propagating the buildup. We are past those warmongering idiots in Congress who resented the French for our invasion. You can see how crazy they are as they debate. The French, as well as the ME, Africa and other parts of the world have been paying the price for this murky chaos.

      Grinding this stupid mistake over and over again makes my heart ache. I am even tired of asking the question “When will it end?” I am tired of the anger and the rage for our stupidity. I am trying to open my heart to expand more than resist, I want to open up awareness, see where I fit in, where we fit in. Where we can open the doors of our consciousness of our place in the world where every decision we makes matters, from the oceans to the lands they touch.

  2. Patricia Proctor

    Fe, thank you for yet another beautiful and thoughtful article. Here’s my take on the chart, for what it is worth: Neptune in the 10th house; 12th house Gemini at the nuclear degree (28 ); Moon in Sag, 4 degrees, read for the 5th. The old owl is up in a tree. Blain Bovee describes this as an urgency about the unique occasion of being human. Some come to their end. He encourages everyone to begin again with a loving heart. I just read yesterday of a young muslim man in Saudi Arabia who will be crucified and beheaded and the King is showing no mercy. At the age of 17 he participated in a protest. He is shia, the king is sunni. How is this not extremist? Their young are learning extremist behavior from their very own leaders. What I think is, religion (Neptune in the 10th), as we know it, will be transformed as we each suddenly have insight as to who we really are, and who we are not. God must be very weary of us for abandoning the Spirits of Christ, the good of your Cherokee story. I pray that our leaders will begin again with a loving heart, that the Saudi King will reconsider with a loving heart.

    1. Fe Bongolan Post author


      Your comment leaves my heart nourished and warm.

      Thank you for your interpretation of the chart, and for Blain Bovee’s “an urgency about the unique occasion of being human”. I want to check out that Sabian and meditate on it.

  3. Barbara Koehler

    Kudos kiddo, as Jude might say to you Fe. Would the appetite for war be so strong if not for the Media? Mercury and Neptune hold sway in these times of terror-speak. Yet in your chart it is the Yod between Jupiter in the 3rd house of propaganda (and ruler of the 6th house of the armed service) – and so near the last solar eclipse in September – sextile Mercury in the expansive 4th house of one’s homeland security (and conjunct the Sun/consciousness) that forms a gawd-almighty Yod with shock-&-awe Uranus in the 10th house that appears to tell the story. Trans. Neptune and Uranus still maintain their harmoniously influencing 40 degree novile, all the better to loosen our grip on reality, aka Saturn. We all await the sound of the 2nd shoe dropping.

    It is Saturn that represents the “old” way, the tried-and-true way and that most especially includes war. An aggressive move demands a response in kind, or so we have been taught, and at this level that would mean retaliate with more bombs. Yet here we have aggressive Mars in Libra, the sign of his (low energy) detriment, conjunct Venus in the sign she rules. This sounds like diplomacy (or at least the voice of reason) not bomb-dropping.

    Look at Moon, opposite the degree where Venus (goddess of love) in 2012 occulted the Sun (although they were square Mars at the time). She’s just leaving her conjunction with the Great Attractor in this chart. Are we-the-people (Moon) being drawn to a consciousness beyond anything (the GA) in our history? In an ironically synchronous choice of words, Phil Sedgwick* refers to this powerful gravitational pull on our galaxy (and many other galaxies) as a “migration of galactic matter”. Could this be a clue as to why so many fear the present human migration across Eurasia and declare that those evil jihadists will sneak across our borders if we allow the migrants into our so-very- safe country? Is it a parable or is it propaganda?

    While transiting Chaos, presently conjuncts the U.S. Sibly Mars and squares the U.S. Sibly Neptune (as well as transiting Jupiter), it also sextiles transiting Uranus-conjunct-Eris (discord). Trans. Chaos also opposes your chart’s Pholus in the 5th house, an attribute of this house being creativity, which arises from chaos.

    Pholus in myth was known for his hospitality, as well as for letting things get out of control, including initiating all-out war. Dear or dear, there must be a middle ground between those 2 choices. Pholus brings awareness of generational, perhaps even karmic grievances to light, providing possible opportunities to clear away past grudges and/or pain. The transiting nodes, now in Virgo (north) and Pisces (south) support this notion.

    What if trans. Saturn square trans. Neptune were to rise above the present fear level? Melanie Reinhart suggests the way to handle Pholus situations is to wait until the dust clears before taking action. Perhaps trans. Neptune’s novile aspect with trans. Uranus, as trans. Neptune squares trans. Saturn, provides a kind of buffer zone between Uranus (the new ways of Aquarius) and Saturn (the old ways of Aquarius) as we inch our way into the Age of Aquarius. A better place for mankind, right? Perhaps Saturn’s leaning toward a slow reaction to respond would stand the world in good stead regarding the solving of our problems.

    Today one of my neighbors (a generation younger than me) cut loose with a mouthful of babble that sounded like she’d been listening to Rush Limbaugh for hours. I like this lady a lot but my first instinct was to cut the conversation short and get away. She was afraid of course, fearing that Obama was letting in the killers by opening the doors to more migrants (whom she referred to as the “good” ones). Her fear outweighed her generous heart at the moment. I realized it was an opportunity for me to try and make a small change in someone’s understanding. It is an uphill battle because this lady is exposed to folks who feel fear the way she does. But if we all did that. . . each of us trying to make inroads into moving to higher levels of consciousness for even one other person . . . .

    Isn’t that a way of taking advantage of this creative breakthrough that transiting Uranus is providing us?

    1. Fe Bongolan Post author


      Check out this story from the web:

      “This is the world I want to live in. The shared world. Not a single person in that gate— once the crying of confusion stopped— seemed apprehensive about any other person. They took the cookies. I wanted to hug all those other women too.

      This can still happen anywhere. Not everything is lost.”

      1. Barbara Koehler

        Thanks for sharing Fe; doesn’t get much worse than that does it? Feeling all alone in a strange place? I suppose that’s what Ceres (the nurturer) in Aquarius is trying to tell us. A little comforting can go a long way in easing one’s fears.

    2. Lizzy

      Great comment, be. “But if we all did that. . . each of us trying to make inroads into moving to higher levels of consciousness for even one other person . . . . ” – yes, I so agree.

  4. Pisces Sun

    Given how the targets were primarily the youth of Paris, I was curious as to the reaction of Paris’ youth, post-massacre. I recalled the beautiful, loving, forgiving reaction of the South Carolina church shooting that occurred earlier this year, and thought this is the generation that is so tired of reacting as its parents have done- it grew up with war, and pain- it wants more. Recall, the youth of Charleston, S.C., and the entire city, responded in solidarity and healing. Sadly, I believe I may have been wrong.

    ISIS is succeeding because it has recruited the disenfranchised and marginalized youth that become its followers. I came across this outstanding article that explains the lure of the youth, many in France and Europe to the ISIS cause,

    The article states that ISIS targets youth (late teens, twenties, early thirties)- some are educated Christians, others are very marginalized, but all are DISENCHANTED rebels without a cause. Materialistic lures cannot keep them interested. They are lost souls.

    Why are the world’s youth drawn to a cause to take up arms and change the world through violence?

    Where is the stillness they crave in their soul?

    Is this generation like all generations? Or are they different? If they are different, then how do we help them and help ourselves?

    They crave hope. They crave validation. They crave belonging. They crave becoming “we” not “us,”– the article makes that clear. If our policies continue with an “US and Them” mentality, the gap will widen. I hope its true that we have some planetary aspects on our side because the world’s arms alone might not be enough to embrace its angry children.

    These problems will be solved by our youth, this older generation has done a good job making a mess of things. Canada’s new Prime Minister may be an example of young blood rising to power, I know I will be eagerly watching him and hope that others start following suit. But I can say, it saddens me to see, we have no youthful Presidential politician, Marco Rubio, likely the youngest, is hardened by his parent’s political stance—that is one thing you have to watch too. Big dinosaurs making little dinosaurs.
    In the meantime, I will set my intentions to pray for the youth of the world, to still my own soul. Extending acts of kindness, explaining how closing borders allows ISIS to win by closing liberty and freedom, are small ways that I can help. But I will also be keeping a watchful eye on the youth, helping our youth, and supporting our youth.

    Thank you again, Fe, for such a thoughtful piece. Loved the article about sharing the cookies too!

    1. Fe Bongolan Post author

      “The article states that ISIS targets youth (late teens, twenties, early thirties)- some are educated Christians, others are very marginalized, but all are DISENCHANTED rebels without a cause. Materialistic lures cannot keep them interested. They are lost souls.”

      Pisces Sun:

      Couldn’t agree with you more. Ongoing global income inequality has everything to do with what we’re seeing in the EU and elsewhere. Action creating reaction. This is one of the harshest effects of mega corporations exploiting the working poor of the world as the peak oil rush for every last dime continues. An entire generation ripe for exploitation creates rebellion. Revolution.

      1. Pisces Sun

        Yes, but replacing one religion for another can’t possibly be the answer, since both disregard individuality and all that makes us human. A vacuum for their souls are being created and those with a cause are standing ready to embrace them, give the disenchanted souls meaning to their lives, even if it is to die for a cause.

        Einstein says that you can’t solve an issue with the same sort of thinking that got you there in the first place. Our revolution is to change our way of thinking, this is where Uranus can assist correct?

        1. Fe Bongolan Post author

          Einstein says that you can’t solve an issue with the same sort of thinking that got you there in the first place. Our revolution is to change our way of thinking, this is where Uranus can assist correct?

          Pisces Sun:

          I wasn’t saying western religion was a replacement. Global economic conditions are the factor. Though a lot can be said about money as a god these days, and that belief is also hard to shake. I do agree there’s a war of values going on between, for lack of better words, fundamentalism and secularism that underscores the situation. Its a bow drawn tight.

          How does one reach a fresh young mind and heart re-empowered with meaning from a vision of the world that comes from ISIS? The examples are here in America: how does one reach our most conservative hardcore right-wing Christians so that we can reach minds focused solely on their beliefs?

          As a non-religious person, I have been confronted by people strong in their beliefs along the campaign trail. (eg., female reproductive freedom) Its not easy to get down to a calm discussion. It still isn’t, but even listening is a start, if nothing else to bring the parties to the same ground in terms of hearing each other without judging, let alone screaming. Is the west ready to listen? Are we progressives ready to listen?

          Hate to throw what seems to be a straw man at the discussion, but this problem isn’t limited to Christian v. Muslim, Christian v. agnostic…etc. Its just that its all too present in our politics, spread out into the world. Along these lines drawn larger forces divide and conquer. That’s the pattern that needs to be examined and cleared. Maybe our next move is to challenge the conventional wisdom of the divide by joining forces. At least here that makes most sense.

          1. Pisces Sun

            Fe, yes, we are in agreement, unfortunately too many on this planet have chosen between the two “religions” one based on consumerism and all its glory, the other on a different sort of “god,” but each with ardent followers who will scheme and plot and kill, until their religion reigns.

            Geoff has a point below but I am not there in its entirety, for I cannot follow the complete religion of science for I sense there is still more, even if it is just a belief in Love. Extending love is the only condition that I have seen that truly changes people, as your story regarding the sharing of the cookies.

  5. Geoff Marsh

    For me, as an Aquarian, the battle we are beginning to witness is between two great Ages – the passing Piscean and the advancing Aquarian. The phrase associated with Pisces is “I believe,” the phrase associated with Aquarius is “I know.” We are moving, as an evolving species, from a time when we needed to believe, to have faith, in order to survive, to a time when our survival will depend upon our scientific knowledge.

    Religion, as we now understand it, will become obsolete. It is too divisive and therefore too dangerous. It’s like starting a nuclear war over whether you should open a boiled egg at the rounded end or the pointy end. Such arguments have no rationality on a small rock in space orbiting an insignificant star in a backwater galaxy. Please get real.

    Knowledge, as we will come to understand it, will place us in enough jeopardy without the addition of localised religious neuroses. In the coming 2,600 years of the Age of Aquarius we will learn of the existence of civilisations so superior to our own that they won’t even bother to laugh at our pretensions to understanding the workings of the cosmos and our concepts of “god.”

    I call for an end to religion, an end to reliance on beliefs, dreams, illusions and faiths. I call for an acceptance of scientific knowledge – a provable understanding of the cosmos in which we live which can be shown to be true to every man, woman and child alive on any planet within this universe and beyond. Only then will we realise the folly and futility of aiming bombs and bullets at our fellow living creatures on this planet with whom we happen to disagree or who we feel entitled to kill through our arrogant and misplaced superiority.

    Only then …

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