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Ellicott City Revisited 04/06/2018

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


Death at Noon 26/04/2018

Posted by zoidion in Event, Hellenistic.
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The descent was quick. A friend had invited me to join him to hear the Finnish band Frigg, featuring four (!) fiddles in close harmony, in front of acoustic guitar, cittern / mandolin, and standup bass. Such delicious manic energy: Near the end the fiddlers bounced up and down, like human pogo sticks, as they sawed away. And I marveled at the older fellow on stage: nearly bald on top but sporting a wispy mohawk.

Shows wrap up relatively early at The Cedar so that the volunteer crew can clean up, close up and go home. And so I was heading home at the time that the Canadian “As It Happens” news program was starting as I flicked on the radio.

I was feeling more than usually curious about Canada, having lately read Robbie Robertson’s Testimony, about his journey before and with The Band — and immersing myself again in the music. Besides, on the occasions when I am listening at that hour, I often enjoy hearing the awful puns with which the announcers outline the show. This time I didn’t catch any.

The top story was a grim one: a lunchtime tragedy in Toronto. What I quickly gathered was that someone driving a white van had jumped the curb to mow down as many people as possible. One eyewitness described her friend pulling her out of harm’s way as she saw an old woman fly up and bounce off the van. I flicked the radio off.

The thought came bitterly: This is the ultimate in car culture: using a vehicle as a weapon of mass destruction. Not a new phenomenon, but seemingly more popular of late.

Who could do such a thing? I found a partial answer the next morning on Marjorie Orr’s — she formerly of the BBC — web site. A twenty-five-year-old man, apparently “belonging” to a sub-culture of self-identified “incels”: involuntarily celibate. A computer programmer noted as being socially awkward. Born on 3 November 1992 (no time available) in North York, Ontario — a middle-ring suburb. Named Alek Minassian: apparently an Armenian surname.

There was a photo that accompanied the astrological profile, and the thought occurred to me: Cancer rising. If so, and with a Scorpio Sun, his birth would have been nocturnal, making Luna the luminary of sect, and of even greater significance as lady of the ascendant: the primary governor of his life path. The time would have been around eight or nine p.m.

Plugging nine p.m. into the calculation program yielded Cancer rising, alright, with Luna at zero degrees Pisces in the ninth place of the whole-sign Hellenistic house system. Intuitively, that seemed wrong. An hour earlier still had Cancer rising — just an earlier degree — but with Luna late in the last degree of Aquarius in the eighth place, with Saturn. Bingo.

Luna and Saturn in the eighth would correlate with someone who could experience a great and unrelenting sense of torment and disconnection: crazy-making. Such a person could easily stumble upon a path of self-destruction. Together with the emotional intensity and self-control of Sol in Scorpio, and the sensitivity of Cancer rising: This is a profile of someone of volcanic inclinations.

Turning to the triplicity lords, the sequence for one with Luna in Aquarius is: Mercury, Saturn, Jupiter: each in turn holding general sway over a personal cycle of Saturn — approximately twenty-nine years. Thus, Mr. Minassian has been since birth in a Mercurial era: appropriate for the life of a student or one focusing on information or communication. Alas, the condition of Mercury in this speculative chart indicates problematic situations: Mercury is in the sixth place, correlating with dis-ease and unwelcome servitude: common among those who toil in the vast information technology sector of the economy. Mercury is also “in exile” in Sagittarius, where curiosity is pulled toward a broad range. These two factors point toward experiencing one’s scope of inquiry crunched by circumstances.


What of the two in-sect planets, Venus and Mars?

Venus — symbol of eroticism — is in mutual reception with Jupiter: each in the zoidion where the other is lord. Usually, this indicates that situations work out satisfactorily in the end. However, Venus appears none too happy, either: in the sixth place. In a heterosexual context, Venus in Sagittarius indicates attraction to adventurous sorts of women: relationships with a great deal of freedom.

And Mars? Well, Mars — lord of that Scorpio Sun, and symbol of masculine drive and, when misdirected or damaged, rage — is in emotionally sensitive Cancer, where he is considered to be most weakened: “in fall.” And in this chart: “out front” in the first place. In a male chart, this is further indication of a man in trouble, deeply challenged in any movement further than sexual conquest. This represents a dire need for nurturing, and not from a mother figure: of the sort that, in simpler, more tribal societies, might be available with an older and more experienced woman. Initiation and instruction: rarely an option in industrialized, atomized society.

The solar return chart for 2017 — being mindful that the Scorpio Sun is in the fifth place (sexual expression, pleasure) — shows matters of romance reaching a climax: the solar return is a Full Moon: Luna in sensual Taurus. Additionally, Sol is with Jupiter, symbolizing that the issue has become very big. Extreme urgency is symbolically reinforced by the solar return ascendant conjunct natal Mars: There’s no more time to wait for resolution.

There are a number of others:  solar-return Saturn conjunct the place of the pre-natal lunar eclipse in the sixth place and near Venus; the Jupiter station in March 2018 exactly conjunct natal Pluto (signaling an overwhelming urge to utterly change the situation or die in the attempt); Saturn at the time of the outburst stationary in the seventh place (relationships, real and perceived enemies) and exactly opposite the place of the pre-natal (total) solar eclipse; the solar eclipse prior to the incident conjunct natal Luna; Luna at the time of the incident conjunct the prior lunar eclipse point, and opposite natal Saturn.

Such a portrait of woe.

Now the dead, injured and loved ones are strewn about a scene of wreckage, and the perpetrator — unable to resolve his inner conflict — will languish in prison for the rest of his days.

Perhaps most mournful are Mr. Minassian’s parents: marooned in a state of shock, anguish, grief and guilt.

Of supreme irony is the report of the local weather at the time: the first warm, sunny day of the season, after a long and difficult winter. Perhaps that was part of his intention: saying, in effect: “If I can’t have a nice day, I won’t let you have one either.”


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