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The Lighthouse 11/08/2018

Posted by zoidion in Event, Weather.
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One might say this tale fails to fit with the themes of this enterprise, yet it might be said to be a harbinger of 2017’s Maria. In another sense, a cautionary tale about blithe reliance on modern technology in the face of vast natural forces.

Despite the fact that the lives of thirty-three human beings were lost at sea, the astrological side of the event is darn fascinating, and perhaps instructive.

The event in question: the loss of “El Faro” (Spanish for lighthouse) on 1 October 2015, sometime after dawn, somewhere in the general vicinity of Crooked Island in the Bahamas chain, en route from Jacksonville, Florida, to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Many questions surrounded the tragedy: “In an age when any teenager can load his cell phone with a weather-radar app, why would a veteran captain steer his ship directly into the teeth of a hurricane? Why didn’t it take evasive measures? What could have happened to the El Faro so suddenly that the crew had no time to send distress signals or, apparently, try to abandon ship?” (1)

The ship embodied the latest designs and equipment for its time: It was launched 1 November 1974 at Chester, Pennsylvania. But — doing the math — that was forty years before. (As the Miami Herald asked in a subhead: “Old Ships Never Die. But Should They?”)

Such big ships do not go down often: The previous big American cargo ship disaster was in 1983.

The launch chart — even without a time — seems to indicate longevity, while the planetary configurations for sailing on 29 September 2015, in relation to the launch chart, strongly indicate time and luck running out.


There is a powerful emphasis on celestial bodies in water zoidia: Sun, Venus and Mars in Scorpio; Jupiter in Pisces, Saturn in Cancer — ample evidence of long seaworthiness. This somewhat loose water grand trine shows two “ways out”: a close square from Jupiter to Neptune, and a square from Saturn to Mercury (retrograde).Those ways out, in the fulness of time, would show El Faro the way down.

The ship sailed on the evening tide—Luna just below the eastern horizon, rising soon afterward—as Mercury (retrograde) was crossing the place of Pluto (lord of the underworld) in the launch chart, and as Mercury came between Sol and Earth. This latter relationship occurs three times per year, and is known technically as “inferior conjunction.” It is a most potent occasion in relation to all significances of Mercury / Hermes. Combined with the meanings of Pluto / Hades, it signifies the opening of a direct connection with the realm of the dead.


The total lunar eclipse two days before sailing was at a point in opposition to Pluto in the launch chart: symbolizing the siren call of death.

The second major indication of the timing was Neptune’s arrival at the place of Jupiter in the launch chart. It was exact to the degree and represented the submergence of the ship’s run of good fortune on the world’s sea lanes.

The sailing itself occurred at an unfortunate moment, with a very late degree of Aries rising, with Aries’ lord, Mars, in the sixth place with Jupiter. This latter is a strong indication of major mechanical problems cropping up in the course of the voyage, as well as the likelihood of excessive risk-taking. The prior solar eclipse also fell within the sixth place: not good.

At the time of El Faro’s last received communication — 1 October 2015, 7:20 a.m. EST — the ship’s condition was dire. “Winds of more than 130 miles per hour and waves of up to 30 feet had battered the ship, which had taken on water, had lost power, and was listing 15 degrees.” (2)


That too was a potent astrological moment, signaling completion: the ascending degree was exactly opposite the ascendant for sailing, and now in conjunction with Uranus (reversal of fortune, circumstances unprepared for) in the launch chart. Sol was only minutes of arc past Pluto’s place in the launch chart. Luna was late in Taurus, zoidion of exaltation — “void of course”: nothing more to be done, nothing effectual, after angular contact with generally-beneficent Venus. Plus, Luna was in the eighth place of death.

Luna’s zodiacal place at the end echoed her place at the beginning: within a few days following fullness.

Which calls the question: Knowing the configuration of the launch chart, would a shipping company’s staff astrologer have strongly cautioned against sailing when El Faro did? Most likely.

Oh yes.

What do you think?


1. “The last voyage of El Faro,” Miami Herald, 10 October 2015
2. “El Faro: What happened to missing container ship?” Christian Science Monitor, 5 October 2015

Note: Times of sailing and last communication are from news reports.


Death at Noon 26/04/2018

Posted by zoidion in Event, Hellenistic.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

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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