I shall wear
a pair of twin cherries as ear-rings
and I shall put dahlia petals on my finger-nails
there is an alley
where the boys who were in love with me
still loiter with the same unkempt hair
thin necks and bony legs
and think of the innocent smiles of a little girl
who was blown away by the wind one night.
There is an alley
which my heart has stolen
from the streets of my childhood.
The journey of a form along the line of time
inseminating the line of time with the form
a form conscious of an image
coming back from a feast in a mirror
And it is in this way
that someone dies
and someone lives on.
The government of Iran has switched off its internet, imposed a media blackout and is evidently engaged in the brutal repression of Iranian citizens, particularly its women.
Nika Shakarami, above, was nearly 17 when she died ‘during questioning’ after attending a protest against the death of Mahsa Amini, a 22 year old who had been arrested on suspicion of having trousers that were too tight.
In Iran, if you’re a female whose hair is visible or a morality checkpoint deems your clothing, movement style or demeanor incorrect, you can be jailed, flogged, tortured or sentenced to death.
Yes, it has been a dictatorial theocracy since 1979 with multiple, well-documented incidents of human rights abuse but the tyranny is escalating. For the Islamic Republic of Iran, it is also Uranus Opposition time.
A transit that occurs to people – or concepts – between the ages of 39 and 41, it’s a vehement vibe check, catalyst and rut-buster. Going with it and speed-evolving is liberating but flat-refusing to change is not recommended.
It will be exact in June 2023, nine weeks after Pluto has arrived in Aquarius, another evolutionary change indicator. Note also that the bulk of the protest movement in Iran is made up of Generation Z people – they’re Pluto in Saggo idealists and born with Neptune in Aquarius. Pluto in Aquarius will suit them.
Not that any of this will help poor Nika. The last her friends and family heard from her was a text that said she was being chased by the Tehran security police. Ten days later her family collected the teenager’s remains from a detention center morgue after she had been ‘held for questioning’ by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.
Sadly, she is one of many. Multiple state departments exist purely to sanction female ‘morality’ and every day, 2000 women are arrested for ‘improper veiling’ alone.
There are 500,000 women in jail there and most of them are in for morality crimes or resistance. Of course it is not just women in peril. In 2020 the regime executed Navid Afkari, a popular UFC fighter, on trumped up charges, for example. There are many men who support the protesting women and the cause of Iranian freedom in general.
However, there are screeds of stats and facts that attest to the escalating awfulness of this regime, the institutionalized misogyny and that it appears to have embarked on a systematic femicide in an attempt to quell dissent.
It is darkly ironic that this shadow has fallen over the former Persia, a realm renowned for high accomplishments in art, maths, science, magic, civil rights, invention, poetry, craft and astrology.
Women could buy or sell property, marry or stay single, wear what they liked and choose to hang out at one of the many temples to Anahita, the pre-eminent goddess of pre-Islamic Iran. Her name means ‘the Immaculate One.’
Also called the Lady of the Waters – her temples were often around an oasis – she is a protector of woman and associated with fertility, lions, lotus flowers and prosperity. That’s her lion on the old Persian flag.
Poignantly, some of her temple-sanctuaries are still in Iran, albeit in the vicinity of towns where honor killing is legal and nine year olds can be held accountable for failing to conduct themselves according to the standards of the ‘guidance patrol.’ October 26 is Anahita’s festival day.
What Can We Do?
It is difficult to know what to do from a distance – these are my suggestions but would welcome more in the comments.
Currently campaigning to prevent the Iranian government execute two gay women. To be clear, they are not gay women who committed a crime, their crime is being gay in Iran. More details here.
The NCRI Woman's Committee
The National Council of Resistance of Iran woman’s committee has a comprehensive website with resources, facts and how to help. They maintain permanent contact with women within the country and routinely report to the UN.
Your Local Reps
I have no idea what my government is doing in regards to this but I intend to find out for what it is worth, add my signature, vote and general oomph to any practical moves to help the people who need it.