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Katrina Astrology, and the Cardinal Points
Dear Readers Around the World:
THIS WEEKEND BRINGS the first quarter Moon in Sagittarius. But as I begin writing Wednesday morning, the Libra Moon is conjunct the familiar planet Venus and the less familiar planet Pallas Athene; all three are in one degree. Pallas is about reason, justice, negotiation, and most of all, protection. This astrology says a sense of order and understanding is beginning to prevail over what has been a very chaotic 10 days since Hurricane Katrina devastated an area bigger than Europe in the southeastern United States. The estimates on the number of dead clearly state that this will be the worst natural disaster in US history; the most recent and indeed only one of its magnitude was a hurricane that killed thousands in Galveston, Texas on Sept. 8, 1900.
It's the first time that a major US city has been evacuated since Richmond during the Civil War, according to Newsweek. That is intense.
Because Katrina took out the vastly important Port of New Orleans, interrupted commerce on the Mississippi River, and disrupted oil importing and refining from the Gulf of Mexico, the event will have worldwide economic implications. In truth, we don't know how far-reaching these implications will be. While it's likely that the port's infrastructure can be fixed fairly soon, the problem is that the population that runs the port has been scattered across the country. You cannot run a port without people; people have to live somewhere. But all the houses in New Orleans have been destroyed.
Floods are insidious. They disrupt and destroy things that nobody knew existed, or that were long forgotten about. They scatter poisons, once neatly contained, everywhere, dredging them up from the bottoms of rivers and busting pipelines. They happen slowly and, unlike a fire, do not convey the sense of panic that it takes to get people's attention. As a result, many people fail to take them seriously as they are happening. I was once in a hurricane flood zone where a dam burst (right after an intense Leo eclipse in 1999), and was evacuated by the fire department on a guide rope across some very brisk water that was flowing through the front yard. Had I not been given 15 minutes to leave and ordered out of the house, and personally escorted by a fireguy across the yard, I certainly would have stayed behind. Many people in New Orleans -- far, far more than we now realize -- lost their lives this way.
The astrology that led up to Katrina consisted of a number of factors, but two that we've discussed at length in this column come to mind.
First, after two-plus years in Cancer, Saturn went into Leo back in July for the first time in more than 26 years. One image of Saturn in Leo is that of a dam bursting -- historically, this just seems to happen, and often in a big way. We covered this extensively in this space back in July, in two editions: Saturn, Leo, History and Herstory, and When The Molasses Levee Breaks. We observed this phenomenon among many others based on a basic look at world history over the past four Saturn cycles. Check out the story in the articles above and you will see the patterns for yourself.
As also previously reported here, another significant factor was that on the summer (Cancer) solstice earlier this year, when the Sun entered Cancer on June 22, 2005, we had an exact Full Moon. This is an "Aries Point" phenomenon because the first degree of Cancer is exactly square the first degree of Aries, the beginning of the zodiac. We've covered that topic many times here, since this column often deals with astrology that has public implications and that is the essence of the Aries point and its cousins, the first degrees of Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.
That Full Moon was a signal that the season would bring something highly unusual. That there were really two Capricorn Full Moons in sequence emphasized the point, but the specific event of a Full Moon exactly on the solstice is the one I'd like to look at today. This event relates to the astrology immediately preceding Sept. 11, 2001. But -- as we will see in the discussion below -- what happened in the Southeast really was the "anti-9/11."
Solstice represents a peak of a cycle -- the longest day in the Northern Hemisphere, the shortest in the Southern. The Sun has reached the furthest extent of its annual northward journey. The Full Moon also represents the peak of a cycle. Put the two together at the same time and the effect is not added, but rather multiplied. In addition, the point where the Full Moon happened, the first degree of Cancer, has been shown many times to be associated with vast, life-changing events that effect large numbers of people. This is because it's related to the Aries point or because the Aries point is related to it.
In previous articles, I've referred to these points (whether the first degrees of Aries or Cancer, and their opposite signs) as those bring the message, "the personal is political."
Two such events that come to mind right away are the Sept. 11 attacks (there was a total solar eclipse exactly on the summer solstice in 2001), and the Asian tsunami of Dec. 26 (there was a Full Moon in Cancer close to the winter solstice of 2004 -- see archives).
How does this work, astrologically? Since we don't know the exact mechanism that makes astrological events correspond to world events, we don't really know. But now that astrologers have access to information about deep space, there are two possibilities. In very late Sagittarius, near the winter solstice point in the Northern Hemisphere, we have a mysterious region at the center of the galaxy, which is the main symbolism behind the entire 2012 phenomenon (covered in Bridge to the Core -- please see Planet Waves). Early Capricorn is very close to the core of the Milky Way galaxy.
Second, in the first degrees of Libra, square that point, is an extraordinary galaxy and black hole called M87. So when you have a lunation in the first degree of Cancer, it aspects both the Galactic Core and M87.
What we also know is that our zodiac, called the "tropical zodiac," is based on the changing of the seasons. The "cardinal points" are where the Sun reaches a seasonal turning point, makes a 90-degree angle to one of the tropics or the equator, and enters a cardinal sign -- Aries, Cancer, Libra or Capricorn. The master point is presumed to be the Aries point, where the Sun crosses at the beginning of the astrological year, and where the Western zodiac (the tropical zodiac) is reckoned with the Eastern constellations (the sidereal zodiac).
Basically, the cardinal points are a highly sensitive energy structure, shaped like a cross. It is now clear that this cross, whose action and influence was long a mystery, may be so sensitive due to its proximity to the Galactic Core and M87. The cardinal points are sensitive whether the Sun is there or not. They are so predictable that, when activated by planets or planetary events (such as a Full Moon or eclipse), they will often respond with a worldly event or chain of events that affects many people.
Can we do anything about such information in advance? Well, not really -- not usually. Even if astrology could predict a natural disaster exactly, nobody would listen. People barely listen to scientists. But we can use astrology to be psychically and psychologically prepared. Still, astrologers are expected to have a measure of foresight, and it's good that they do, since often an astrologer's job involves the whole issue of "what happens next" no matter how useful or not that information seems at the time.
While I am not surprised Katrina happened -- I was expecting something big this summer, bigger than the London bombings for sure -- I am surprised that something so massive, with such global effects, happened so soon. I had guessed that a really big one would show up in about a year, in fact, about a year to the day from when Katrina made landfall, when Saturn in Leo makes an exact opposition to Neptune in Aquarius. But that, apparently, is another story, one that I will get to in the 2006 annual horoscope because it's one of the two main keynotes of 2006.
Let's compare two charts I've mentioned above and see what we can find out. Then, last, we'll look at the Katrina landfall chart. The first two charts are those for the summer solstices in 2001 and 2005 (note to those from Australia and New Zealand: because this event happened in the Northern Hemisphere, I am referring to the Cancer solstice as the "summer solstice"). I'm going to use the locations were the events manifested, New York City for 2001 and New Orleans for 2005. Here is the first.
I pretty much consider this the base chart for the times in which we are living. You could say it's the horoscope for the modern world or the 21st century. First, take a look at the eclipse on the summer solstice. It is EASY to see. Can you see the Sun and the Moon together there? The Sun is yellow, the Moon is gray, and they are right next to one another. Notice the zeros. The two zeros next to the Sun and the little blue symbol for Cancer tell you it's the first day of summer, because that's where the Sun is by definition on that day, the first degree of Cancer.
The little tiny numbers (10 arc minutes next to the Sun's position) tell you it's about four hours into the summer (there are 60 arc minutes in a day). The Moon is right there, so close to the Sun, and that tells you it's the New Moon; Sun and Moon together is the definition of the New Moon; this is not ambiguous.
The North Node (the orange horse-shoe) tells you that this New Moon is a solar eclipse, because when the Sun and Moon are near a lunar node, that's an eclipse of the Sun; check the ephemeris to make sure. Indeed, as we found out, it's a rather powerful total eclipse of the Sun.
There are few things to remember about eclipses and eclipse charts. The first one is that they can be effective for a long time. The degree where the eclipse is located remains sensitive, and in this chart, it's already sensitive because it's one of the cardinal points -- it's the first degree of Cancer, part of the seasonal energy structure that I described above.
With this eclipse, we have a lunar cycle beginning on the same day the Sun changes signs and is at the maximum northward movement; and we have a special solar-lunar cycle turning over in the form of the eclipse. The location, the rarity and precision of these events is what makes this chart so influential. The equation is Solstice x New Moon x Total Eclipse = BIG and PUBLIC, so pay attention.
From this chart, we should have known that something was up in the season ahead. There were other signs, including the fact that Saturn in Gemini was about to make an exact opposition to Pluto in Sagittarius about six weeks later. This is a rare event happening in little clusters just three times per century; the last one was in the mid 1960s.
In reality, nobody predicted what would happen. The size, scope, intensity and influence of history basically went right over the heads of astrologers. I cover that in an article called "The One We All Missed," which I'll include below. However, from that, I learned from Martha Lang Wescott to watch the Aries Point.
Now let's look at the corresponding chart from this year, with an aspect that activates the degree of the June 2001 eclipse.
Notice the position of the Sun in this chart. Once again we are at the Summer Solstice and there is an exact lunation; there has not been one on this day since the eclipse of 2001. The Moon is exactly opposite the Sun in the first degree of Capricorn.
This is the pre-9/11 eclipse coming 180 degrees, to full fruition. Consider the symbolism. The pre-9/11 eclipse was a New Moon, the beginning of something. That, it certainly represented. But when we take the chart for the 2005 summer solstice Full Moon, we have the apex of that cycle; something comes to a peak. The Sun is in the same place, but the Moon is exactly 180 degrees away. We can expect the events now unfolding, though painful, to have the opposite effect or result that the Sept. 11 attacks had. There is nearly no way to abuse this event politically. And there are a lot of people suddenly figuring out what has been going on the past four years.
Notice Mars in red, on the lower left at 6+ degrees of Aries (resembling the symbol on the Men's Room door); and notice Jupiter (a little upside down "h") in orange, on the upper right at 9+ degrees of Libra. Mars and Libra are at opposition. It's about to be exact (waxing and applying), so it's strong; it suggests an event yet to happen. What we get is a grand square or grand cross aspect: Sun, Moon, Mars, Jupiter, all in the early degrees of the cardinal signs. All the cardinal points are covered.
Next, we have an outer planet aspect developing -- an opposition -- much like in the pre-Sept. 11 eclipse. Notice Chiron (orange key, middle left, above the horizon) opposite Saturn (right side in yellow, still in Cancer). When Saturn goes into Leo a few weeks after this chart, the first thing it does is oppose Chiron in Aquarius. There was one of these oppositions as part of the same cycle (it does not happen often) right before the Asian tsunami, on the exactly corresponding Full Moon (Moon in Cancer, Sun in Capricorn).
Note: the tsunami happened during the Cancer Full Moon and Katrina happened following the opposite Full Moon, that in Capricorn.
I thought this was a pretty ominous chart, personally. It seemed to warrant making actual predictions, which I don't usually do. So much so that I decided to write about it in quatrain form, poking fun at Nostradamus, recording my thoughts, and not being too frightening. This is from an article called, "Twice: The Capricorn Full Moon," still posted to Planet Waves.
During summer's heat, in the century's 5th year,
I was not trying to imitate Keats here; he would never try to rhyme "Moon," "soon," and "usual." Then a little couplet:
As the word of whatever engulfs the land
In other words, the event would look like something bad or catastrophic, but if you were paying attention (if you're a Fool, in the tarot sense, that is) it would be clear that there ultimately be a positive impact. If water engulfing the land is what it takes to get us to wake up to the realities of climate change, which many are now discussing for the first time and which the US government is being forced to take notice of and even admit to, this is a step in the right direction. We are now on notice that the sea can take back a large urban area; and there are plenty that are vulnerable.
For some reason, the chart seemed to speak of the government or the emperor bungling things up. The Moon in Capricorn about to square Mars seemed to suggest something like this, followed by the square to Jupiter which would blow things up to a rather large scale. The bungling was more apparent also factoring the second Capricorn Full Moon, so close to the end of the sign, where it was likely to be out of balance or caught in a lurch.
The real emperor is revealed, as is his agenda,
I could have taken out the word "real" but the point comes across. We see Bush for who he really is. Then one last quatrain:
Old news is new, new news is old.
Old news is new? The Iraq war and the effects of the resulting budget cuts are now finally up for discussion. New news is old? The hurricane was predicted in many disaster scenarios. It was obvious what would happen if the levees broke in New Orleans. Nobody had to guess.
The gold turned out to be black gold, which has suddenly become very expensive and is reshaping the world economy.
The video of this event will not be like 9/11, used to whip up fervor against Afghanistan, Iraq and the domestic terrorists hiding under your bed. Rather, it will remind us of devastation that could happen anywhere. As for mercury, the implication was, fix your teeth now in case it's a while before you get back to the dentist. Also, mercury-amalgam fillings have a way of distorting perception and making people sick, including mentally ill. In other words, keep your sanity.
I would not say this counts as a prediction, but rather as vibing into the chart and, based on experience and some imagination, getting a sense that something unusual is ahead. Okay, let's look at the Katrina landfall chart.
The time of landfall has been estimated at between 6:10 am and 6:15 am. In this case, five minutes changes the ascendant from Leo to Virgo (for those wondering about "how important is the accurate birth time?", there are charts where it's a lot more important than others -- and this is one of them). So an astrologer working with the chart has to deal with the discrepancy and make a choice of which it is. Wikipedia reports 6:10 am CDT; that carries some authority. Still, one must work with the chart as well. Here it is:
The choice of ascendants is between late Leo rising and early Virgo rising; and in any event we see we're on the edge, which must factor into the symbolism of the chart. Late Leo rising has a chaotic and out of control feeling, and is dramatic. It is also the end of something. The late degrees of any sign, particularly in the ascendant, can be VERY challenging. Early Virgo rising has a neat and orderly feeling, intellectual and organized. Do we need to debate the point? The Virgo rising chart could be the chart of a meeting of the library society. Late Leo rising looks like something a little more wild.
Note that Mercury, the ruler of Virgo, and the Sun, the ruler of Leo, are occupying one another's traditional signs. This condition is called a mutual reception. It's an unusual enough state of the planets -- and, in an odd coincidence, there was a mutual reception involving Mercury and the ascendant in the Sept. 11, 2001 chart as well (please see article below, "The One We All Missed").
Note that, in this chart, Venus in Libra is crossing Moon's South Node and about to form a conjunction to Jupiter. This was one important cosmic trigger of what happened in New Orleans, a kind of collective ignition point that released (South Node) and amplified (Jupiter) the considerable energy of Venus, Libra and what you might call the Goddess. The Moon's nodes can work a lot like the Aries Point in that they often bring in wide public contact.
When you study many different charts involved in Katrina, the dominant energy is Libra. This conjunction of Venus and Jupiter actually affects everything both in Libra and on the entire cardinal cross (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn), which is heavily loaded in these charts -- including the Capricorn Full Moon on the summer solstice.
In addition, there will be an eclipse of the Sun in Libra on Oct. 3, early in the cardinal signs -- so we have yet another activator of the "cardinal points" phenomenon. There are MANY coming up, and the first half of October brings many turning points regarding this situation. So we can expect a time in history where the personal really is political, a little more every day. TV is not just what happens somewhere else.
Neptune is involved in the landfall chart setup: the Venus-Jupiter conjunction is trine the most watery planet, in the sign Aquarius.
Chiron in Capricorn is a prominent factor in this configuration. It's very close to the Moon's position in the second Capricorn Full Moon from earlier this summer.
Plus, the City of New Orleans chart has this placement (Chiron in Capricorn), showing up in many square aspects to the Libra planets in all of the charts. Chiron in Capricorn is the "post 9/11 factor," (remember that), a consistent element between late 2001 and today (though the transition to Aquarius began earlier this year, Chiron is now back in Capricorn). Chiron in Capricorn, which reaches back to late 2001, has shaped up to be an extremely painful lesson in government, its conduct and its power. We have seen how ugly and corrupt corporations are as well (Enron, Worldcom, Halliburton, the accounting scandals, and so on). Chiron has a way of shining the light in the dark places, exposing what is in the shadows -- and in Capricorn on the collective scale, there is plenty.
Astrology is not a substitute for understanding, grief or compassion, but it can help us take a step back and see the world a little more objectively. It can give our minds and emotions, a place to rest, and a way to make a little more sense out of reality. Astrology can help us tune into a spiritual level of events. Then, we get back to reality with this cosmic perspective and do what needs to be done down here on Planet Earth.
I'll be back next week with more of your questions. Please keep them coming. And I'll see you over at Planet Waves, where I've picked up the publishing pace to twice or three times daily.
Hang loose. If you're down in the disaster or relief zone, the thoughts and prayers of the world are with you. Please stay in touch if you can!
Planet Waves Weekly is the only place online to get the weekly horoscope of Eric Francis, both emailed and posted to the Web each Friday. The Friday mailing comes with a weekly birthday report. Plus, there is a Monday mailing of a bonus horoscope. Keep up with Eric's essays on astrological developments, chart reading techniques, Tarot cards, and world affairs. Experience Eric's unique perspective as an astrologer-investigative reporter. Read more than two yeas of archives of essays and horoscopes. Planet Waves Weekly is about to add a daily astrology feature that will describe how to make the most of the energy of the day. And all subscribers get free access to Bridge to the Core, the 2005 annual pages. We invite you to look around and become one of many satisfied readers of Eric's daring and innovative astrology journal.
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