Asteroid-World Summer 1998

Zip Dobyns

What a summer this has been! Bombs, missiles, a major plane crash, exploding rockets, other explosions: they sent me running to check the asteroid Nobel, which was always featured as expected. I finally printed out a paper ephemeris, which the CCRS program can do for any planet or asteroid in the system. A paper printout can give you a quicker overview on what something is doing over a period of months or years. Nobel has been going back and forth in early Aquarius, setting off the Neptune square to Saturn for the whole summer. Much of the time the asteroid Arabia has also been involved in early Taurus. We won’t try to include all of the charts, but will mention a few highlights in the charts which seem less important for the world, and list the data in case any readers have the time to calculate the charts and dig into them more deeply. Aspects between planets and asteroids often last for several days, and where the speeds are similar, they may stay in orb for weeks. Events are likely when the angles at the event location move into aspect to the planets and asteroids, so we especially look for such aspects. House cusps, including the major angles, require the time and place of the event, so we are unable to work with the many events which lack complete data.

Perhaps we can quickly dismiss a few minor incidents for which my newspaper provided full data without my having to hunt for it. An accidental welding explosion in Carson, CA on August 19, 1998 at 8:15 A.M. PDT killed one man and injured one other man. Nobel, which was named for the inventor of dynamite, was retrograding in 2 Taurus, trioctile the East Point. Saturn was octile the MC. The Ascendant was octile Hel and trioctile Libitina (death goddesses). The Antivertex was on the Sun for the publicity, though it was a minor event. Ate, a goddess of evil, was on Juno (like Pluto) and Hela (another death goddess).

A pipe bomb exploded in Tel Aviv, Israel on August 27, 1998 at 8:50 A.M. (2 hours later than GMT). No one was killed, but one woman was injured. The Moon squared Nobel within the one-degree I use for the extra asteroids and was more widely opposite Saturn and square Mars to form a fixed grand cross in cardinal houses. Mars was within a one-degree square to Saturn. Pluto was square the midpoint of Ascendant/MC, which carries the same meaning as a square to both of these major angles. The Ascendant was octile the Sun, again bringing publicity and attention to a very minor incident, and it opposed Sumeria, the ancient name for what is now Iraq and Iran. Israel was on the midpoint of Mercury and Chiron, which squared each other.

A bomb in a Cape Town café in South Africa on August 26, 1998 at 7:20 P.M. (2 hours later than GMT) killed one person and injured 24. Washingtonia was on the Descendant and the theory was advanced that the bomb in a Planet Hollywood restaurant frequented by tourists was set in revenge for the U.S. missile strikes against Sudan and Afghanistan, which in turn were a reaction to the U.S. embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. Gaea (earth) and the north node of Juno (like Pluto) were also exactly on the Descendant. Nobel in 1 Aquarius was octile the Ascendant, trioctile the cluster on the Descendant, and square Arabia. Mars and Saturn squared each other, and, with wider orbs, they were octile or trioctile to the MC and Ascendant. The Sun opposed the Part of Death and Lucifer. The East Point had just separated from a square to the Moon in the 8th house, and the Antivertex squared Chiron in the 9th house, with Venus and Mercury making a wider T-square. Hephaistos (maker of weapons) squared the nodes of the Moon.

It has been a season for the failures of rockets trying to put satellites into orbit. The U.S. lost two soon after take-off from Cape Canaveral. Another failed within 5 minutes of its takeoff from the Soviet space center at Baikonur in Kazakhstan, destroying 12 satellites which were to provide telecommunication services for Globalstar, a U.S. company. The North Koreans tried to launch a satellite with what is said to have been a 3-stage rocket. The rocket worked but reportedly the satellite was not successfully launched. The U.S. was successful in launching an unarmed test missile from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California while I was writing this issue of Asteroid-World. Another more major success was reported from Israel in a test of a missile defense system designed to detect and shoot down approaching missiles.

The U.S. lost a Titan rocket, which exploded almost immediately after takeoff from Cape Canaveral, FL on August 12, 1998 at 7:30 A.M. EDT. Nobel was retrograding in 2 Aquarius 58 square Saturn in 3 Taurus and opposite Guernica and the Part of Death in 2 Leo. Hel in 1 Leo was within one degree of Guernica and the Part of Death. Saturn opposed Atlantis within one degree to complete a grand cross in fixed signs and mutable houses. Nobel was also quincunx the local Ascendant in Washington, DC, where the federal government authorized the rocket, which was seeking to put in orbit a very expensive spy satellite. The asteroid Atlantis can be a key to potential abuse of power, like the mythical continent which sank beneath the sea. One of our manned space vehicles is named Atlantis, and it was fascinating to note how often it was the one picked for military projects. In the Titan launch, the local Ascendant was also trioctile the Moon. In all of these examples, many more asteroids could be mentioned, but I am selecting only a few relevant ones. A few more from this event chart include Atlantis opposite Libitina, to add another death goddess to the fixed cross. Ate was conjunct still another, Hela, on one side and Juno on the other side and it was trioctile the MC. Atropos, who cut the cord at the end of life, was on Mars. This was an unmanned rocket, so obviously no humans died when it failed. The death emphasis in the chart might simply indicate the death of the rocket and the satellite it carried, or it might point to future military consequences produced by the failure.

The other lost U.S. rocket was a Delta, which exploded only 1 minute and 20 seconds after takeoff from Cape Canaveral, FL on August 26, 1998 at 21:18:20 EDT. Nobel was still retrograding in 1 Aquarius, but in this chart it was part of a grand cross made up of the midpoints of different planets and angles. It opposed Moon/Saturn, so it was actually on their indirect midpoint, plus it was conjunct Pallas/Pluto. Mars/Neptune in 1 Scorpio and Vesta/Uranus in 0 Taurus 51 completed the cross. The network of aspects in fixed signs was strengthened by holding octiles and trioctiles to a T-square of midpoints in mutable signs including Saturn/Neptune and Antivertex/south lunar node in Pisces, Antivertex/north lunar node in Gemini, and Moon/Mars in Virgo. At the actual takeoff just over one minute earlier, Saturn/north lunar node was on the IC and Saturn/south lunar node was on the Antivertex. However, this is a chart that astrologers would probably not have spotted as a problem, since the Ascendant and East Point were in a grand trine to Mars and Pluto in fire signs and the Sun was trine the MC. The failure was less costly and less important than the loss of the spy satellite, and in light of my time pressures, I did not hunt for more aspects to relevant asteroids.

The lost rocked at Baikonur was more important, and we will include that as the first of our example charts. Doc Cottle tracked down its time for me: September 9, 1998 at 16:29 EDT, the zone where the news was reported. The rocket was built in Ukraine, launched from the Russian space center in the Republic of Kazakhstan, and the satellite fragments fell in an unpopulated area in Siberia. It was carrying 12 satellites belonging to the U.S. company Globalstar in San Jose, California. The satellites were built by Space Systems Loral in NY, and were to provide wireless, worldwide telephone connections. Their loss has set back the program and might help their rival Iridium, which is based in Washington, DC, though the latter has also had some delays in its plans to offer similar wireless communications. Qualcomm of San Diego, California owns about 7% of Globalstar. The variety of businesses and areas involved provide many potentially relevant asteroids. In light of the financial crisis in Russia, they badly needed a success to bring in more business for their space industry.

For starters, Moskva (named for Moscow, the capital of Russia) was conjunct the Sun within a half degree. Russia was in 7 Capricorn 8 opposite Asia and Siberia in 6 Cancer 59. Ukraina in 13 Sagittarius opposed Phaethon (who overreached and crashed) in 14 Gemini. The latter was also trioctile Neptune, octile Kiev, the capital of Ukraine, in 29 Cancer, and quincunx The NORC in 14 Capricorn. The NORC stands for Naval Ordinance Research Calculator. It was a prototype computer, and a computer failure is blamed for the rocket’s failure. The other computer-related asteroid ASCII was in 13 Cancer quincunx Ukraina. Spacewatch in 20 Gemini formed a T-square to Washingtonia in 20 Virgo and San Diego in 20 Pisces.

The cluster of asteroids in the early degrees of the fixed signs remained a characteristic pattern through the summer and early fall of 1998. In this chart, Nobel in 1 Aquarius was in a double quincunx (yod) to the East Point in 1 Cancer and the north lunar node in 1 Virgo. The Moon was conjunct Saturn within one degree and square 3 asteroids in 2 to 4 Leo: Aeternitas (immortality), Byelorussia and Minsk (the Republic neighbor of Russia and Ukraine and its capital), and Atropos (who cut the cord of life). Atropos connected to a square to Wright in 5 Scorpio, (the brothers who were key figures in developing flight), and Wright brought in Libitina in 5 Taurus, which brought in Kazakhstan in 6 Aquarius using overlapping orbs to make a network of aspects. With a break of just over one degree, another network was present with Damocles in 7 Aquarius, Siva in 8 Leo, Karma and Uranus in 9 Aquarius, and Icarus in 10 Scorpio, with this group connected to Jupiter and Pallas by octiles and trioctiles. Mars came in at 12 Leo, conjunct Hel and Guernica. Hopefully, the meanings of these asteroids have been mentioned often enough so they do not have to be repeated.

Though the reports I have seen did not mention any direct involvement of Belarus, the new name of the former Byelorussia, its proximity to Russia and Ukraine presumably produces financial repercussions when they have problems. Many other aspects could be mentioned, but I will end with California, named for the state of two of the concerned businesses. The asteroid was in 10 Virgo forming a yod with the Sun/Moon midpoint in 10 Cancer and Uranus as the stem of the “Y.” California also squared Ceres, a work-related asteroid, and the latter was on the Antivertex. The nodes of Mars were also prominent, with the north node conjunct the East Point and the Saturn/north lunar node midpoint, while the south node of Mars squared the Ascendant from 25 Libra. Finally, Urania as an alternate Uranus was on the IC.

The last satellite failure for which I have data involved the North Korean rocket launched, to the shock of the world, on August 31, 1998 at 12:06:07 P.M. nine hours later than GMT. I did not have a specific L and L for the launch site, so used the capital, PyongYang, which ordered the action to celebrate an anniversary in the country. Doc Cottle got the data for me from Fox News. The North Korean news agency announced that their first satellite went into orbit at 12:11 P.M., 4 minutes 53 seconds after its launch. Japan reported that the first stage of the rocket fell into the sea between Russia and Japan. The second stage, and third if there was one, went over Japan and fell into the Pacific Ocean. Later U.S. news reports said that if there was a satellite and not just a test of North Korea’s capacity to launch long range missiles, it failed to go into orbit. Discovering that the North Koreans were still pouring major resources into military efforts while their people starved was a major shock to other countries, including the U.S., which have been sending food to the country. Even China, North Korea’s only “friend” in the world, said they had no advance knowledge of the rocket launch. It demonstrated that North Korea could easily send a missile against any part of Japan, and it might be able to reach parts of Hawaii and Alaska.

Though I do not have a precise L and L for the launch site, North Korea is a small country, and the chart angles should be close to accurate. The rising 19 Scorpio is an intriguing degree, called by some ancient astrologers the “cursed” degree. They did not have the mathematical skill to know that 19 Scorpio is the heliocentric south node of Mars. I see all south nodes as keys to lessons connected to the planet that is their source, and Mars symbolizes our ability to protect and express ourselves. When personal power and self-will is abused, it produces violence against others. When it is blocked, we subconsciously invite violence from others. In addition to the usual cluster of asteroids along with Saturn in the early degrees of the fixed signs, this chart has a cluster in Scorpio near the Ascendant which squares Mercury and Venus in Leo. Psyche and Edisona (for electricity used in modern technology) are in 18 Scorpio, on the Ascendant. Nemesis is 20, Bellona (war goddess) is 21, America is 23, Themis (divine justice) 24, Fanatica and Interkosmos 25 Scorpio. The Part of Death was in 20 Taurus.

Nobel, in 1 Aquarius as usual, conjuncts Stateira, who was poisoned by her mother-in-law, and opposes Atropos, who cut the cord, and Siva, the Hindu god of destruction. Poseidon (the Greek Neptune so connected to the ocean) is just past them in 3 Aquarius, square Saturn, which trines the Antivertex and is quincunx the East Point to bring in the chart angles. Saturn is more widely trine the north lunar node and the East Point and Pluto are trine Mars, allowing wider orbs than I use with the new asteroids. The rocket was apparently successful, though the satellite failed. Japan was probably the most alarmed of North Korea’s neighbors. The asteroid Tokio in 9 Leo opposed Uranus, while Nipponia, named for the country, opposed Aletheia, the goddess of truth. The midpoint of Tokio/Nipponia in 18 Leo squared Psyche, connecting the country to the rising cluster in Scorpio. Nipponia was also octile ASCII, suggesting their concern about the computer knowledge which made the launch possible. The NORC, our other computer asteroid, was in 14 Capricorn, trioctile the MC and square Dresden, which is associated with military deaths of innocent non-combatants. North Korea remains heavily armed with a large standing army while ordinary people starve. There is no doubt they can be dangerous with their fanatical mind-set.

I also calculated the chart for Washington, DC and for Tokyo to check the local house cusps. In Washington, Mars is exactly on the IC, so Libitina (a death goddess), which squares Mars, is square the MC and IC. The East Point in 11 Taurus is octile Jupiter and square Uranus within just over one degree. The Antivertex squares Neptune in just over 2 degrees. In Tokyo, 1 Sagittarius is rising, square the lunar nodes, with Pluto in a wide conjunction to the Ascendant. The Moon is just past the East Point. The MC is trioctile Neptune. The anxiety certainly shows: concern about the security of the public. In contrast to the chart’s conflict aspects to the Japanese asteroids, China was in 1 Libra trine Nobel, and Peking in 21 Cancer trined the rising Nemesis and Bellona. Presumably, despite the claim of ignorance by the Chinese, North Korea gained their technological knowledge partly with the help of Chinese scientists.

My testing of the new asteroids is almost always done with past events, and these are typically negative events, so the large number of asteroids with negative connotations is useful. However, they leave one wondering whether there would be just as many aspecting the charts of positive events. A successful test of an unarmed missile from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California on September 19, 1998 provided at least one example to test. The missile was launched at 1:01 A.M. PDT and reached its predetermined targets at the Kwajalein Missile range in the Marshall Islands about 30 minutes later. The Sun opposite the MC and square the East Point did not pose a problem. Granted, the Sun was also trine the Antivertex and Neptune, forming a grand trine, and Jupiter close to the MC would be considered favorable by many astrologers. Saturn, Vesta, and Neptune were still in their persistent T-square, and still connected to Arabia and Nobel, but they were not aspecting the chart angles. I do not believe that the timing of an event CAUSES its results. Rather, I think we take action or events happen when they FIT the state of the cosmos as seen in the sky. If the asteroids continue to prove reliable, when events are planned at times when the angles have drastic aspects, I don’t think just changing the time is likely to be helpful. I would want to check the wiring, the computer systems, the condition of the humans flying a plane, etc.

Rockets can put satellites into orbit, or they can carry military missiles. We have data for three related events: the two missile attacks by the U.S. in retaliation for the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Africa, and the test of a missile defense system in Israel. The most horrifying loss of innocent lives occurred in Nairobi, Kenya on August 7, 1998 at 10:35 A.M., three hours later than GMT. A truck bomb in an alley beside the U.S. embassy killed hundreds and seriously injured thousands, mostly Kenyans, though 12 Americans were killed. The major damage was done to a Kenyan multi-storied school on the other side of the alley. The building collapsed, crushing many individuals, and many people passing in the busy street were blinded or injured in other ways from flying glass and debris.

The summer trademark, the planets and asteroids in early degrees of the fixed signs, was obvious. Arabia, the home of Bin Laden, who is accused of master-minding the bombing, was in 0 Taurus, on the midpoint of Mars/Uranus, square Neptune in 0 Aquarius and Guernica and Amnestia in 0 Leo. For the stunning specificity of the asteroids, Kenya in 29 Cancer 51 and Hel in 29 Cancer 46 were well within my standard one-degree orb. Two more midpoints were in 0 Scorpio: East Point/Chiron and Ascendant/Chiron. Chiron carries all kinds of associations from ethics based on religious beliefs to legal matters to issues involving health. Overlapping orbs brought in the Venus/Uranus midpoint in 1 Taurus, the Part of Death in 2 Aquarius, Atlantis in 2 Scorpio, Saturn in 3 Taurus, Nobel in 3 Aquarius, the Moon in 4 Aquarius, and Libitina in 4 Taurus. Additional midpoints included Ascendant/Pluto in 1 Aquarius, Sun/Mars in 2 Leo, Sun/Venus in 3 Leo, Pallas/Pluto in 3 Aquarius, and Pluto/Antivertex in 3 Scorpio. Midpoints carry the meaning of the planets which are their source, which are equidistant on either side of the midpoint.

Note the repeated fixed emphasis, with the Sun (ruling Leo), Venus (ruling Taurus), Pluto (ruling) and Mars (co-ruling) Scorpio, Uranus (ruling Aquarius) symbolically present in these early degrees of their own signs along with the three angles representing personal will in action. The complexity of astrology, the many ways it symbolizes the same 12 principles, permits dramatic themes like this in really important charts which signal turning points in the world. In astrology, the fixed quality represents enduring self-will with a reluctance to compromise.

Another cluster of factors is present in the middle degrees of the fixed signs. The Sun in 14 Leo was square Hestia (the Greek name for Vesta) in 14 Taurus, conjunct Klotho (fate) and Palach, and square Psyche and Kaali at just under 14 Scorpio. Palach opposed Karma in 15 Aquarius. Pamela Crane, an English astrologer who works extensively with the asteroids and mundane astrology, pointed out the potential relevance of Kaali, which may “work” for Kali, a Hindu goddess of death who destroys even her husband Siva. Pamela also suggested Palach for events involving revolutionary destruction. Palach was a Czech student who burned himself to death in protest of the Russian occupation of his country. If Bin Laden is the primary power behind the bomb, it was set at least partly as a protest against U.S. troops who are present in Saudi Arabia, though they are there at the invitation of the Saudi rulers. The driver of the truck carrying the bomb is thought to have been killed in the blast as a suicidal martyr, but most of the victims were innocent bystanders who would be symbolized by the asteroids Guernica and Dresden.

Additional suggestions from Pamela for asteroids which I have not previously had in my default list, the approximately 600 that I check regularly in mundane charts, are Koranna (for the Koran, the Bible of Islam), Martir (for martyr), and Burns (named for the poet but potentially related to injuries caused by heat). In this chart, Koranna and Martir are both in 13 Cancer and Burns is conjunct them in 12 Cancer 47. They are all conjunct Vesta, which I find prominent in cases where a tunnel-vision focus on an immediate task to which one is committed can lead to people ignoring the consequences of their actions, the pain they will cause others. If the minute of the explosion is precise, the MC had just gone over Vesta and the other asteroids in Cancer, and the MC was square the north node of Mars in 14 Libra 51. The MC was also octile Hephaistos (who made weapons) in 29 Taurus. The Ascendant and East Point would have passed over North Mars while the truck was getting into the position for the blast after it was turned back by guards at the Embassy gate and gunfire was exchanged. Winchester, our asteroids for guns, was in 11 Sagittarius quincunx Burns and conjunct Orpheus, who was torn apart like many of the Kenyan victims. Orpheus was also square Medea in 10 Pisces 44. She killed her children to have revenge against her husband.

Returning to the asteroids in the middle of the fixed signs, Troja, named for the Trojan war between the Middle East and Europe, was in 15 Scorpio, conjunct Nemesis and Bellona, a war goddess, and connected to the network of aspects by its square to Karma. America and Praha, named for the capital of Czechoslovakia, were in 17 Scorpio. While Czechoslovakia was under the control of the U.S.S.R., it was the main source of an especially deadly and difficult to detect plastic explosive which may have been used in the bomb. Themis (divine justice) and Fanatica were in 19 Scorpio, octile Dresden in 4 Libra. Dresden was also quincunx Saturn and square Africa and Nagasaki (the second city hit by an atomic bomb in World War II) in 3 Cancer.

Chaldaea (for modern Iraq and Iran) was conjunct Phaethon in 9 to 10 Gemini and they squared Washingtonia and Lachesis, who was one of the Fates. The third Fate, Atropos, who actually cut the cord of life, was exactly conjunct Mars, with a T-square to the rising United Nations in 20 Libra and Sumeria (another ancient name for the area of modern Iran and Iraq) in 20 Aries. Pluto was octile-trioctile the cardinal T-square, and the chart angles would have crossed it during the minutes after the blast when many people were dying. Many more asteroids could be mentioned, but I want to look at several more charts.

Far fewer people, and no Americans, were killed in the bomb which was set off just about 5 minutes later in Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania. Only the angles of the chart change from the Kenya chart, with the East Point at 21 Libra and the Ascendant in 22 Libra moving into the Mars T-square and an octile to Pluto. The Part of Death in 11 Aquarius was just past Uranus.

The U.S. retaliated by having missiles fired from ships in the Gulf to bomb a drug factory in Khartoum, Sudan and a reported training camp of Bin Laden in Afghanistan. The attack on Sudan may have been a mistake, since the evidence that it was manufacturing chemicals for biological warfare is being questioned. As with the embassy bombings, the U.S. coordinated the missile strikes to be simultaneous: at 1:30 P.M. EDT on August 20, 1998. The local times, of course, were quite different, so the house cusps are also. In Sudan, 22 Pisces was rising, the East Point was 23 Pisces, the MC was 24 Sagittarius, Attila (the Hun) was 25 Pisces, Jupiter was 26 Pisces, and the Antivertex was 27 Pisces. Justitia (justice) in 22 Gemini squared the Ascendant, and the strong mutable dilemma in the chart would fit both the moral issues and the accuracy of the judgment in the decision to act. Makover on the MC implies a change of some kind in the handling of power and responsibility by either the U.S., Sudan, or both. A cluster of asteroids in Virgo were involved, including Dunant (for the Red Cross) in 22, Paracelsus (an unorthodox healer) and Fidelio (connected to faith in Latin) in 23, and Urania (like Uranus) in 25.

I used the coordinates for Khowst, Afghanistan for the 60 missiles dropped on the presumed Bin Laden camp. Reports describe damage to the mud huts, but possibly more deaths of civilians, including women and children, than of guerilla warriors. At about $1 million per missile, it was a high cost for minimal effect. It “might” make the terrorists more cautious, or it might just enrage them and make them more tenacious in their “holy war” against the U.S. If the coordinates are accurate, Neptune was exactly on the MC and Chiron had just set. The pattern is highly appropriate for a religious power struggle. Mars exactly on the IC, the East Point exactly conjunct Saturn, and the Antivertex exactly trioctile Pluto reinforce the power issue. The asteroids aspects are so similar to the ones described previously, I won’t repeat most of them. For example, Kenya, Hela, and Guernica were still within one degree of each other, though they had moved to 4 to 5 Leo, just past the square to Saturn but square Libitina. Nobel was back to 1 Aquarius square Arabia in 1 Taurus. The Moon in 11 Leo was trioctile Jupiter and octile the north node of Mars in 26 Gemini. It would have formed an opposition to Uranus during the last hours before the action. Calculating the chart for Washington, DC, which ordered the action, put the lunar nodes on the MC/IC axis and asteroid America on the Ascendant, with the latter also conjunct Themis and Fanatica. The Ascendant/MC midpoint was on Juno, Icarus, Ate, and Hela. It is not a reassuring chart.

I had intended to discuss the bomb in North Ireland as one of the many episodes in this violent summer, but I have received some interesting data on the history of the Irish struggle between Catholics and Protestants from an Irish participant in the ACT astrology list, so I will postpone that discussion for a future date. Some years ago, I wrote about the peace agreement signed with the help of U.S. mediators, noting that it was the most positive chart I had seen connected to the Irish struggle, and that peace might actually be attained. I also noted when Tony Blair was elected Prime Minister in England that he had the asteroid Ireland progressing on his Pluto and I knew he would be strongly involved in the “Irish issue.” The horrifying deaths of women and children on a Saturday afternoon in a market in North Ireland may turn out to have been the last really awful climax of a struggle which has lasted for scores of years.

Another really destructive bomb was the one in Jaffna, Sri Lanka. Doc Cottle located the time from Reuters news: September 11, 1998 at 11:15 A.M., India time (which is 5 ½ hours later than GMT). Pluto was on the Ascendant within one degree, both in Jaffna and in Colombo, the capital of Sri Lanka, the former island of Ceylon. Recha, an asteroid which may be associated with religious tolerance or a need for it, was also on the Ascendant. Traditional astrologers might be shocked to find Venus and Mercury on the MC, but all three were closely square Pluto and the Ascendant. Fama and Belisana (war goddess) were also on the MC or on Mercury-Venus. The Antivertex on the IC reinforced the mutable cross. In charts close to the equator, the Antivertex axis can be anywhere in the chart. Medea (who killed her children) was also conjunct the IC and square the Ascendant. Achilles (a very destructive fighter in the Trojan War), Tisiphone (one of the Furies), and Astraea (human justice) were on the Descendant.

Nobel had turned direct to hang out in its customary area. In 2 Aquarius, it had just started a square to Saturn, retrograding in 3 Taurus. Aeternitas (immortality) squared Saturn from 3 Leo, and the Sun and Toro in 18 Virgo were octile/trioctile the fixed T-square. Doc Cottle did some fascinating research on Toro, and found it associated with religious and racial intolerance and war. Walhalla, the home of fallen warriors, was on Neptune, again connecting religion and war. A Walkure was a maiden who conducted the warriors to Walhalla. The asteroid was in 8 Cancer conjunct Asia and octile the Moon. The Moon was also opposite Nemesis and Bellona, a war goddess, and square Aletheia, the goddess of truth.

The bomb was just the latest episode in the struggle between the Tamil Tigers and the Sinhalese people in Sri Lanka. The Tamils want control over the northern part of the island, where they are a majority and claim that the Sinhalese discriminate against them. The 15-year-old civil war has killed an estimated 54,000 people. The Tamils had seized Jaffna in 1990, but the Sri Lanka army re-took the city in 1995. This recent bomb killed 20 people, including the mayor of Jaffna along with other top political and military leaders who were meeting in the city hall. The previous mayor of Jaffna had also been assassinated a few months earlier, so few are likely to be interested in seeking the job. The military had hoped to withdraw soon and turn the local power over to civilians.

Locations near the Equator have almost equal houses. The close square in this chart between the Ascendant and MC puts their midpoint octile both and it is intensified by being conjunct Hela, Dresden, Juno, and Sita. I trust that by now, readers remember the meaning of most of these asteroids which are featured so often in these charts of violent events. Sita may be less familiar. The name comes from Hindu mythology, where she was a devoted and self-sacrificing wife. I wanted to get the data for this chart partly to see whether the asteroids named for Hindu deities would be prominent. Siva in 9 Leo was conjunct Garuda, named for the eagle who killed snakes and bad men and who transported the god Vishnu. As king of the birds, Garuda also has an association with the human spirit. Siva was also opposite Karma, the Hindu word for destiny or fate. Ganesa, the Hindu elephant-headed god of scribes and wisdom, was in 7 Scorpio, square Damocles in 7 Aquarius, which opposed Garuda, connecting the Hindu asteroids in a fixed cross. Finally, Mars, Hel, and Guernica were still moving within one degree of each other and they were quincunx the Part of Death in 13 Capricorn. The latter was also part of a grand cross involving Osiris in 13 Aries, Dionysus in 13 Cancer, and Dike and Prometheus in 13 Libra. Dike was another name for human justice. Prometheus was outclassed in a struggle with the gods of Olympus, and Dionysus was associated with religious craziness fed by drugs and alcohol which ended with his death. Dike was within my one-degree orb to form an octile to Hanuman in 27 Leo, connecting the Hindu monkey god to the cardinal cross. Hanuman was a general under Rama in a major epic, able to jump from India to Sri Lanka in one leap. He had the power to seize clouds and to tear up trees and rocks. Unlike Ireland, the racial-religious struggle in Sri Lanka shows no sign of resolution.

Algeria is the locale for another of the current intractable civil wars in the world. As this issue of Asteroid-World was being written, another bomb was detonated in a market in Tiaret. 22 people were reported killed and 30 wounded when the bomb exploded on September 18, 1998 at around 5 P.M. one hour later than GMT. My first search in the chart was for the asteroid Algeria, which I found in 18 Cancer 7 conjunct Africa in 17 Cancer 26. Both were octile the Moon in 2 Virgo, and the Moon was opposite Medea and exactly square the MC in Algiers, the capital of the country, while Hestia (the Greek Vesta) and Utopia were on the local MC. Tragically, many young Islamics believe that if they die while engaged in a “holy war,” they will immediately go to a utopian heaven. The lunar nodes were exactly square the Tiaret MC, which repeated the message with a conjunction to Taranis (symbolizing a spiritual quest) and Fanatica. Siva exactly opposed the Tiaret Ascendant, while Hel exactly opposed the Algiers Ascendant. Many of the previously described asteroids were still in aspect, including Karma on Uranus and Nobel square Saturn. Icarus in 18 Scorpio was conjunct Atlantis and Anubis (an Egyptian god associated with the dead), and it squared Mars. The Antivertex was on the Part of Death. Poseidon, the Greek name for Neptune, remained conjunct Neptune, opposite Vesta, and square Arabia to repeat the connection between religious faith, Arabia as the country of the major Islamic holy places, and the Vesta potential for tunnel-vision where the immediate goal can blot out any other feelings. The Algerian rebels seek to establish an Islamic state ruled by fundamentalist Islamic law. If they follow the lead of the Taliban in Afghanistan, God help their women.

I had thought I might include the chart of the tsunami which hit Papua New Guinea, but space is running out so comments will be very brief. For those who want to work with it on their own, it reportedly struck the Sissano area on July 17, 1998 at around 6:50 P.M. ten hours later than GMT. I used coordinates of 3 S 0 and 142 E 5. I was mostly interested in checking the ocean and death asteroids. Libitina was on the IC, with Saturn just past it, followed by the Moon and Chandra, the Hindu name for the Moon. Neptune was just below the Ascendant and square the MC. The East Point just above the Ascendant was square Atlantis and quincunx Venus. A cluster of asteroids ranged from 1 to 3 Libra including Pele, Photographica, Juno, Hela, and Oceana. Pele is associated with earthquakes, and it was a quake just offshore which produced the tidal wave. Poseidon, the Greek Neptune, was in 16 Aquarius trioctile the early Libra cluster and Siva in 1 Cancer. Allowing a two-degree orb for the planets, Pluto, our other water planet, formed a yod to the Moon in Taurus and Vesta in Cancer.

We will end with a couple of mysteries, a missile test in Israel and the crash of Swissair Flight 111 off Nova Scotia. The missile test was not a mystery where it occurred on September 14, 1998 at 2:41 P.M. (2 hours later than GMT) at a military base just outside Ashdod. It was publicized in the Jerusalem Post, which is available on the Internet. Sara Klein Ridgley retrieved the information for me. The test was reportedly highly successful, demonstrating the ability to detect an approaching missile and to shoot it down. The chart has its share of conflict aspects. It is not possible to have a horoscope without some. But it almost looks too good to be true, with the Moon exactly trine the MC and the Sun exactly trine the Ascendant. Sara assures me that the Israelis would not have used astrology to time the test. The asteroid Israel was trine the rising Uranus, another positive picture for the technological success, though it was also square the Moon. Urania was just 3 degrees earlier than Israel, and it was trine the East Point. The technology was developed in Israel, but the U.S. provided much of the funding for it, so we assume that both countries will share the information. The asteroid Washingtonia was closely conjunct the Sun. Hephaistos (maker of weapons) was in 29 Taurus, trine Neptune and sextile Vesta. The technology is obviously computer-controlled, and the NORC in 15 Capricorn was sextile the 10th house Chiron and Icarus, while ASCII, the other computer asteroid, trined them from 14 Cancer. You can see what I mean about “too good to be true.”

The Near-East is so small, it is doubtful whether Israel’s immediate neighbors are distant enough to make such a system very helpful. Iran is probably the primary country which might be deterred by the technology. Sumeria, one of the asteroids which would include much or Iraq and Iran, was in 17 Aries, square Nagasaki in 18 Cancer, but the aspect is separating. Chaldaea, the other asteroid which refers to the same general area, was in 25 Gemini, moving into a trine to the Antivertex. The primary set of conflict aspects involves Mars in 15 Leo, where it is conjunct the Sun/Moon midpoint, Guernica, Libya, Ra-Shalom, and Hel (with over-lapping orbs). Mars is also square Chiron and Icarus and quincunx the NORC. Ankara, the capital of Turkey, is on the MC, which is intriguing since Turkey has been less hostile than most of Israel’s Near-East neighbors. We will have to see what the future brings in that relationship. Though far less violent than in many Islamic countries, the fundamentalists have been gaining power.

The mystery to which I alluded stems from an article in The San Diego Union-Tribune on September 20, 1998. If the U.S. media have reported the Israeli success, I have not seen the reports. The San Diego news article describes problems in the U.S. anti-missile defense program called TRAAD, which may delay a test once expected to occur by the end of this year. If the Israelis have a successful system developed with U.S. help, why is the U.S. struggling with a system that has been having repeated problems? The U.S. system has so far cost $3.2 billion, and, according to this article, Defense Secretary William Cohen is urging Congress to keep funding it because “troops in the field need more protection from longer-range missile attack.”

We will end with the more serious mysteries of the Swissair plane crash on September 2, 1998 just off the coast of Nova Scotia, Canada. After a variety of times were provided, the final consensus was that the plane hit the ocean between 10:30 and 10:35 P.M. local time, which was Atlantic Daylight Time. The place was just offshore from Peggy’s Cove, which was not in my atlas, but the ACT astrology list provided coordinates of 44 N 30 and 63 W 55. The area is some 20 to 30 miles south of Halifax and I have calculated the chart for 10:34 P.M. ADT. It definitely fits the mystery. Neptune was exactly on the MC. Darwin was on the Ascendant, but no one could be “fit” enough to survive a crash like that. Similarly for the IC, with Aeternitas (immortality) conjunct it. Bellona (war goddess) on the Descendant probably fits the feelings of the plane occupants in those last desperate minutes as it apparently dove headfirst into the ocean. 229 passengers and crew members died instantly.

Once the time and place of the crash were fairly well pinned down, the big mysteries remain. The pilots reported smoke in the cockpit and some of the material recovered from the bottom of the ocean has found indications of heat damage in that area of the plane. The electrical system apparently failed about six minutes before the crash, since both flight recorders were recovered but they had stopped functioning at that time. A fire in the area just below the cockpit, which is some sort of electrical control center, could be a major part of the explanation for the disaster. Retrieving the bodies and the plane wreckage is proving to be a nightmare. Apparently, there are no large sections of the plane as was the case with TWA Flight 800 when it went down near Long Island, NY. The plane and the bodies are being found in tiny pieces, forcing one to wonder about a bomb. The pilots were supposedly dumping fuel in preparation for a forced landing in Halifax, but they seem to have hit the ocean nose down at full speed. The only explanation I have seen is the possibility that the smoke prevented their seeing outside the plane and the electric failure meant their instruments were giving false readings so they did not know their altitude or their speed. Gravity would have told them they were headed down unless they were already unconscious from the smoke inhalation or another cause.

To add to the Neptunian fog, conspiracy stories are circulating on the Web that the plane was sabotaged with one primary target, Prince Bandar, the Saudi Arabian Ambassador to the U.S., who was a passenger. Bandar was reportedly involved in CIA activities and may have known too much about what went on under Reagan and Bush. Another claim is that there were members of several elite hit teams on the plane, some of them headed to Russia with plans to assassinate Al Gore when he visits Moscow in two weeks. Someone may just have a very active imagination, but what if? If Gore were gone, the Republicans would feel free to impeach Bill Clinton. The next in line for the presidency is the Speaker of the House—Newt Gingrich. I hope this is just the fantasy of someone who should be writing detective novels.

A few asteroids and we really have to stop. As far as I know, we have only one asteroid named for an airline, and it happens to be Swissair. What are the statistical odds that the airline would have their first major crash in years when their asteroid was conjunct the Sun within one degree? Walhalla, the destiny of fallen warriors, was on the MC with Neptune, and they were trioctile Phaethon, who crashed. Nobel and Poseidon were together in 1 to 2 Aquarius, square the exact Saturn conjunct East Point and opposite Siva in 3 Leo. Wright in 0 Scorpio opposed Arabia in 1 Taurus and squared Nobel and Aeternitas, while Icarus in 2 Scorpio squared Poseidon. Damocles opposed Mars, and Hel and Guernica opposed Uranus. Photographica was on the Vertex, opposite the Antivertex. The Part of Death in 16 Aries opposed Hela and Juno, and with overlapping orbs, Dresden and Ate were included in the Libra cluster. Toronto is one of the few asteroids we have connected to Canada, the country where the crash occurred. The asteroid Toronto was in 10 Gemini, conjunct Epeios, who invented the Trojan horse, and it was trioctile the Moon and octile Alekto, one of the Furies, who was conjunct Vesta. Hephaistos, who made weapons, squared the lunar nodes. Pluto was octile Oceana. Enough. We will look for some more cheerful charts for the next issue.

Copyright © 1998 Los Angeles Community Church of Religious Science, Inc.

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