jump to navigation

Ellicott City Revisited 04/06/2018

Posted by zoidion in Event, forecast, Long Emergency, urban agriculture, Weather.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,


Twin Cities ephemera: The first real heat arrived earlier than expected, and I was glad to miss it: I was attending UAC (and hawking my book) in Chicago from the twenty-third to thirtieth of May. I heard about it, though, along with another weather story for the record books—and a whole lot of hurt on the ground.

A report by the State of Minnesota Department of Natural Resources provides a useful perspective on the local event, and a reminder about one aspect of the new norm under the regime of climate chaos:  increasingly bizarre temperature shifts, especially in the central region of the continent.

On May 28, 2018 the mercury reached 100 degrees at the Twin Cities International Airport. This is the earliest reading of 100 degrees at the official Twin Cities reporting site since 1871. . . . From May 24-29, 2018 the mercury climbed at or above 90 degrees for six days in a row, the second most number of 90 degree maximum temperatures or higher in May for the Twin Cities, with only 1934 having more 90 degree days with eight. . . .
The morning minimum temperature on May 28 was 77 degrees with the heat index reaching 101 in the mid-afternoon at the Twin Cities International Airport. Lakes that had ice cover at the start of the month were now sleuthed out by swimmers looking for an early dip at their favorite beach.

I would add that when the last (three-day) snowstorm ended on the fifteenth of April, the snow in my yard was knee-deep. 

When I headed for the train to Chi-town—embarking at good ol’ SPUD (St. Paul Union Depot)—I was concerned about the prospects for my garden. The dry spell since mid-April seemed well entrenched. Barely enough rain had fallen on and drained off three sides of my garage to fill two rain barrels, and I used it sparingly: spot-watering the veggie transplants and giving some to the three fruit trees.

As the weather played out, everything survived just fine, bearing out my perception that my soil-building efforts over the past six years have markedly improved the soil’s capacity for moisture retention. When I returned at midnight beginning the thirty-first—with Luna and Jupiter low in the southeastern sky—I could tell that the yard had become a veritable jungle. Most of the growth, I suspect, had occurred since the twenty-ninth, when slightly more than two inches of rain fell: another remarkable turnaround.

In the midst of all that, the situation was deja vu all over again in the town that should not be: Ellicott City, Maryland. That’s harsh, one might say.

Well, when folks site a town and build it up with a whole lot of the typical impervious surfaces attendant upon industrial civilization, along a stream surrounded by steep hills  (a “topographical funnel”) — crap happens. Again and again: fifteen times since 1768. Wow: Humans en masse really are slow to get any given message.

I covered the story of the 30 July 2016 storm and flood on this blog and in my book, Scenes from a Tapestry. There’s little point in regurgitating the astrological particulars of that event. (See the story by the Capital Weather Gang on the latest assault here.)

Let’s have a look at the indicators for this spring: Well, lookee there: inundation-symbol Neptune in water-zoidion Pisces exactly on the upper meridian (the inner wheel below).


(True, according to the standard rule of astro-meteorological interpretation, it’s the lower meridian that is the most important factor. But one must consider the evidence of actual events.)

Bear in mind that, similar to a map of some portion of Earth’s surface, the meridian has to do with longitude, the horizon line (ascendant-descendant) with latitude.

In this case, water-zoidion Cancer is on the ascendant. With this meridian / ascendant combination, the area is in the cross-hairs of a likely rain event of unusual magnitude and significance.

One might also note the harsh-reality-check combination of Mars and Saturn in Capricorn at the descendant.

Then add the first-quarter lunation chart around the season chart: Venus in the lunation has reached the ascendant of the season chart, indicating the wettest week of the season. Then notice Jupiter (in water-zoidion Scorpio) at the upper meridian and Pluto at the ascendant of the lunation chart. Translation: major devastation possible.

Especially in combination with geography: “A surge of cool North Atlantic air moving southward into the Mid-Atlantic can push a cold front into our region — curiously — from the north, during late spring and early summer. It’s a quirk of our region’s geography.”

By the day of the deluge, Venus had moved four degrees past the ascendant in the season chart, as Luna in Scorpio crossed the upper meridian of the lunation chart.

There you have it.

For an ongoing astro-meteorological or overall resilience-preparedness project, one would do well to reference the foundation chart (if available) for the locality. In this case, it’s a bit sketchy without access to local records.

According to Wikipedia, it appears that the most relevant political unit relating to Ellicott City was likely incorporated on 25 March 1867, in the aftermath of the Civil War. (Wiki references the 26 March 1867 issue of the Baltimore Sun newspaper.)

The indications of that day’s sky are not good: Mercury retrograde two degrees away from Sol, with Neptune five degrees away from Mercury. That alone signals the likelihood of delusional thinking and hasty decision-making in the works. It’s not that Mercury retrograde is “bad,” but that it would be better to hold off and reconsider any major decision or agreement until said Mercury has reached or passed inferior conjunction with Sol: the beginning of the thrice-yearly Sol-Mercury cycle. Apparently, Ellicott City was a premature birth.

Plus Sol and Uranus are exactly square: chaos, disruption of efforts. Plus Mars in Cancer (its sign of “fall”) thrown into the mix: Shall we call it a continual battle for survival?

There’s even more: Venus and Jupiter together in square to Saturn, symbolizing a squandering of resources. (The “opening” Jupiter-Saturn square reflects the economic expansion occasioned, in part, by the war effort.)

C’mon, folks. In a time of economic expansion, even in the wake of so devastating a war as the one between the States, it may have seemed that economic losses such as those already experienced could be sustained indefinitely.

Sustainability means that at some point what is unsustainable can no longer be sustained.

Evidently, for Ellicott City, Maryland, that time has arrived.


P.S.  For those wondering about the prospects for the hurricane season, I anticipate one markedly less windy than 2017’s: The ferocity of last year’s storms was related, astrologically, to the rare opposition of Jupiter and Uranus in equinoctial (equatorial) zoidia — Libra and Aries, respectively. Those two planets may have moved on to a different pair of opposing zoidia (Scorpio and Taurus), but one (Jupiter) is now in the south by declination, the other north. It’s “interesting” to note the frequency of Jupiter in Libra (increased air/wind) in the charts of major hurricanes: Katrina one Jupiter cycle earlier, for example.


1. Mary Louise - 05/06/2018

I love the photo! What an interesting mix of nature, architect, lights and the Moon looking over it all. Beautiful! Your ongoing story on the floods in Elliott City, MA was fascinating too. By the chart, their troubles are not likely to end. It also makes me want to look up my own city’s “birthday” for future reference. So wonderful to see you at UAC!

zoidion - 06/06/2018

Thanks for the kind words. Yes, walking Michigan Ave. day or night was marvelous. And yes, I much enjoyed checking in with you on several occasions at UAC. What a time! Every astrologer “should” keep tabs on her/his own locality’s origins and “progress” (note to self).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

The Classical Astrologer

Ancient and Traditional Astrology

Into the Ruins

The best in deindustrial, post-industrial, and post-peak science fiction


photos and words

Demystifying the Aquarian Age

© Copyright Terry MacKinnell All Rights Reserved

Through Open Lens

Home of Lukas Kondraciuk Photography


The weather junkie's fix.


Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency


Home of Long Range Weather Forecasting

Small Batch Garden

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

Community Collaborative Rain, Hail & Snow Network

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

Autonomy Acres

Tales From the Anthropocene * Urban Homesteading * Permaculture * DIY Living * Citizen Science


Experimental Homestead

Paul Douglas Weather Column

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

22 Billion Energy Slaves

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

Strong Towns Media

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

The view from Brittany

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

The Archdruid Report

Reports and Musings about Weather, Climate and the Long Emergency

%d bloggers like this: