A Time of Intensity
The last two months of 1988 have had more than their share of news, including both heights and depths. From the Armenian earthquake to tornados to wind-whipped fires to freezing weather, nature has been violent. Human deliberate violence produced the Pan Am plane crash at Lockerbie, Scotland and the on-going gang or criminal violence of our big cities, while poor quality construction was responsible for many of the deaths in Armenia and inefficiency probably contributed to the industrial explosions, collapsing buildings, ship, train, and automobile collisions etc., that have filled the newspapers.
As usual, I have run charts on the events for which a time and place were available. The charts reinforce classical astrological traditions, especially the traditional chart angles, the Ascendant and MC. They also highlight the relatively new angles, the Antivertex and East Point, and show the usefulness of less-used tools such as midpoints and planetary nodes. Of course I remain most fascinated by the asteroids.
A scattergun listing of events could include a head-on collision between two police cars in Los Angeles which killed three officers. Pluto was exactly on the Ascendant. I use the word “exact” when the aspect is within a one-degree orb. The crash of a Yugoslav rescue plane in Yerevan in Soviet Armenia occurred with Mars exactly on the Descendant. A fireworks explosion in Mexico City took place with Mars exactly on the Antivertex. An army jet crashed into an apartment building in Germany with Saturn exactly on the MC and Uranus just one and a half degrees earlier. The wind-whipped fires in the L.A. area started with Mercury on the IC square Ceres on the Descendant in an exact mutable grand cross with the major angle axes. Mercury is traditionally associated with wind. The train crash in London occurred with the Sun just under two degrees into the twelfth house and Jupiter forming a double quincunx (yod) to the MC and the rising Mercury, again with two degree orbs. Ceres was prominent in that accident, forming an exact T-square to its own nodes with its south node exactly on the Sun. Mars was on its own north node. For many of these incidents occurring in the first half of December, Mars was within a one-degree square to Neptune and Uranus was square the Aries Point, the intersection of the ecliptic and the equator which is the starting point for our zodiac.
Ceres seems to indicate a Cancer-Virgo mixture; a kind of “earth mother.” It carries associations with home, family, and nurturing along with the Virgo goal of efficiency. I don’t know the source of the L.A. fires, (arson is possible), but the rest of the listed events involved human error, carelessness, or improperly functioning equipment, all with Virgo connotations. Both Mercury and Ceres were prominent in most of the charts, with Mercury carrying the double connection of transportation events (Gemini) and Virgo efficiency or a lack of it and a need for it. Remember, astrology shows issues. The details depend on human choices and actions. In three other late November or early December events, Ceres was also aspecting the MC within two degrees; conjunct it for the Quebec, Canada earthquake and trioctile it in the small Los Angeles earthquake and at an explosion in Kansas City.
Vesta, the more intensely Virgo asteroid, is commonly emphasized when one’s “job” seems more important than human feelings. Such feelings can sometimes lead to ruthlessness and cruelty, especially when Vesta is aspecting Mars, Saturn, Pluto or Uranus. Vesta was exactly conjunct Pluto in the Armenian earthquake, and the news reports swung between the dedicated efforts to save people who had been buried in collapsed buildings, and stories of soldiers standing by while people tried to move rubble with bare hands, of rebels using the crisis to support their own cause, of looting, and of citizens of Azerbajdzhan expressing pleasure over the deaths of their Armenian rivals. The continuing violence between Israeli soldiers and Arabs on the West Bank, in the Gaza strip, in Lebanon and elsewhere, is increasing the risk of alienating the rest of the world. Progressed Vesta is conjunct natal Saturn just inside the seventh house in the chart set for the end of the British mandate which officially made Israel an independent country. On November 15, 1988 in Algiers, the PLO (Palestine Liberation Organization) officially accepted UN Resolution 242 (Israel’s right to be a country), renounced terrorism, and declared a Palestinian state. The French TV said that the announcement was at 1:28 A.M. An associate in Los Angeles heard the announcement on the radio at 1:42 A.M. The Los Angeles Times said that it occurred at 1:38 A.M. Vesta was part of two yods, quincunx both Mars and Jupiter and sextile Saturn which was also quincunx Jupiter and square Mars. If the Times was right on timing, the Moon’s south node was exactly on the Ascendant. The Sun was on asteroids Washingtonia, Walkure (warrior maidens), Fortuna (one of the Fates), and Photographica (Arafat has certainly been photographed a lot.) Neptune was on the IC and square the Ascendant in Jerusalem. Vesta is also prominent in the chart for the first meeting of OPEC, the oil cartel. Vesta is exactly opposite the Moon and more widely conjunct Pallas and Saturn. OPEC has a Saturn return on March 2, 1989 at 11 Capricorn, just one day before the first Saturn-Neptune conjunction. If we allow a three degree orb, transiting Saturn will be on OPEC’s natal Saturn for much of February and March. I’m expecting something to develop with oil; perhaps an import duty or gas tax. The two additional Saturn-Neptune conjunctions which occur in 1989 will also fall within one to two degrees of OPEC’s natal Saturn.
Returning to Vesta, it also carries the Virgo idea of efficiency or a lack of it in both work and health. As indicated already, many of the estimated 25,000 to 55,000 deaths in the Armenian quake are blamed on shoddy construction. Vesta is often associated with illness or with events which lead to health problems. It was exactly on the MC for an explosion at an oil refinery in a suburb of Los Angeles on Christmas day. Other aspects included the Moon opposite the Ascendant and quincunx Uranus-Sun-Saturn and the Antivertex (a yod), all within one to two degrees. Vesta was at the midpoint of MC and East Point, octile both, for the death of a man in a series of tornados in Tennessee. Pluto was on the midpoint of MC/Ascendant. Pluto did not have a “classical” aspect to either angle, but its position on their midpoint is similar in meaning to a simultaneous conjunction with both of them.
I had intended to do a more detailed analysis of the Armenian earthquake horoscope, but at the moment, I have conflicting information on its time zone. The long distance phone company says that the quake area is 11 hours from California, which would put it three hours later than UT. The International Atlas says that it is four hours later than UT (Greenwich Time), and Diana Rosenberg was given the same information by the earthquake study center in Boulder Colorado. I have not yet been able to reach a friend at JPL in Pasadena to try to determine who is right, so the chart angles remain uncertain. I can comment that when the quake occurred, the asteroid Armenia was at the midpoint of Uranus and the Aries Point, exactly octile both. The asteroid Russia was opposite asteroid Armenia (just five minutes over my usual one degree orb) and trioctile Uranus within one degree. Icarus was exactly conjunct Neptune and square Mars. The Arabic Part of Mars (Ascendant plus Mars minus Sun) was conjunct Jupiter and the south node of Mars was opposite Jupiter, both within one degree. The asteroid Richter (the same name as the scientist who developed the well-known scale to measure the intensity of earthquakes) was trioctile Jupiter.
If the official government report is correct (which seems more likely), the quake occurred at 7:41:31 UT at an epicenter of 41 N 12 and 44 E 6. In this chart, Jupiter is just over one degree from the IC at the epicenter and in Leninakan and within a one degree orb at Kirovakan and Spitak, the other two towns which were almost destroyed. Richter was octile/trioctile the MC/IC. Uranus was on the Ascendant/MC midpoint. The asteroid Azerbajdzhan was just over one degree from the Moon’s north node, exactly opposite Juno with both square the Part of Death. The angles are even more dramatic when the chart is calculated for Moscow. The Moon was on the MC, Neptune on the Ascendant, asteroid Russia on the West Point (opposite the East Point), all aspects exact within one degree. Asteroid Armenia was on the Moscow East Point within two degrees. The Sun/Moon midpoint was octile/trioctile the opposition of Gaea (earth) and the south node of Pluto. Many other aspects might be mentioned, but paragraphs of aspects can get pretty boring.
As this is written in the final days of 1988, the news is focused on the Pan Am crash in Scotland. It has been determined that a plastic bomb explosion caused the crash and death of some 270 people; everyone on the plane and about 11 people on the ground who remain missing and presumed dead. The flight originated in Frankfort, West Germany, changed to a larger plane in London which took off at 6:25 P.M. At about 7:15 P.M., the plane exploded and rained fire and debris over Lockerbie, Scotland and the country for miles around the town. Both times give dramatic charts, in both London and Lockerbie. Atlantis was exactly on the Descendant as the plane took off in London! The south node of Neptune was on the Descendant along with Artemis (the huntress) and the midpoint of Mars/Venus when it exploded over Lockerbie. The same degree was rising in both London and Lockerbie when the bomb went off. On the Ascendant was Scobee (an astronaut killed in the Challenger explosion), Prudentia (prudence or its lack), and Retsina (a Greek wine). The Ascendant squared asteroid America and Rhea (wife of Saturn). Saturn rules falls among many other associations. Osiris (an Egyptian god of the dead) and Amun (a sun god for fame and power) were on the IC in London at the crash.
But that is still only the beginning. As has been mentioned before, there are two asteroids especially associated with destruction from planes, explosives and fire: Dresden and Guernica, named for cities where “innocent” civilians were bombed in two different wars. The Pan Am plane exploded when heliocentric Dresden was on the MC in Lockerbie and geocentric Guernica was trioctile it. All aspects listed are within one degree. The flight originated in Germany. Heliocentric Germania was on the Lockerbie IC when the plane went down. Alemannia (another asteroid named for Germany) was on the MC in London when the plane took off. A third asteroid named for Germany, Teutonia, was trine Pluto and just over a one degree square to Mars. Almost immediately, other countries were also in the news. Libya became a suspect as a source for plastic bombs which are actually made in Czechoslovakia. The asteroid Libya was on Mars square Icarus and Gaea!!! Asteroid Czechoslovakia was at 29 Aries trine the Sun (which was conjunct Uranus) and square the Mars/Pluto midpoint. Heliocentric Czechoslovakia was trioctile Saturn which was just past Uranus and octile the Lockerbie MC when the plane took off from London. Helsinki, Finland was the source of a warning about a bomb threat which authorities later said was a hoax or personal vendetta by an Arab in Finland who had given the same threat repeatedly in the past when nothing had happened. This time, it happened with Venus (ruler of the fourth house, one of the keys to death) on the south node of Mars and asteroids Washingtonia, Helsinki, Drakonia, and Victoria. The last might refer to England, since Queen Victoria was associated with one of its times of maximum power in the world.
Perhaps we can close this report of destruction by an unknown assailant, which demonstrates the incredible mystery of how asteroids are given appropriate names, by describing another mystery; a karmic (?) history of violence in 16th century Lockerbie. The Los Angeles Times on December 22, 1988 reported a family feud far worse than our famous Hatfields and McCoys in early Kentucky. According to the Times, the Maxwell and Johnstone families fought savagely for generations. In 1593, the Johnstones decisively defeated the Maxwells at Dryfe Sands, killing 700 of them including their chief. The Maxwells had burned the Lockwood Tower belonging to the Johnstones in the preceding year. “The Johnstones used to slash the faces of their Lockerbie enemies, a wound that became known as the Lockerbie Lick.” Do areas as well as cultures as well as individuals have memory and “habits?” Lamb Hill at Lockerbie has had lamb sales every year since 1680.