by Robert Wilkinson
Today we'll explore the astrology of what just happened, and is happening, in the disaster zone we call the city of New Orleans (NO). In Mundane Astrology, a.k.a Political Astrology, we examine the chart of the nation, the state, or the city using the same rules as those we use in assessing birth charts. In the case of a governmental entity, like a city, it's usually when the city was chartered or incorporated, though there are exceptions, like Los Angeles, where we use the chart of the first Spanish settlement. For New Orleans we use the first incorporation chart of February 17, 1805, set for noon, giving NO a Sun at 29 Aquarius, Ascendant at 13 Gemini, and Moon conjunct Saturn RX and Uranus RX at 17, 16, and 21 Libra respectively. There is a Mercury-Venus conjunction in Aquarius at 3-4 degrees, Mars is RX at 3 Leo, Jupiter is 5 Sagittarius conjunct Neptune at 29 Scorpio, and Pluto is 9 Pisces. The North Node is 26 Capricorn. With this info, some of you have already seen the main drivers behind this disaster. Welcome to the perfect example of Uranus conjunct Pluto in Pisces, where revolutionary forces beyond our control come to meet widespread devastation and annihilation in the sign of the ocean!
This disaster is weather related, so we must use some basics of Meteorological Astrology, a.k.a. the astrology of weather prediction. While this is not my specialty per se, I do remember just enough about it to offer some comments on this hurricane-induced hell on Earth. This article will be more about the technique of evaluating the various factors involved than any subjective interpretation I might offer, since nature itself has already interpreted events for us. That said, it seems that the primary factors in weather astrology are the lunations, the New Moons and Full Moons and eclipses that precede a given period. So let's start there.
The previous New Moon at NO showed an ascendant at 30 Pisces, which as I've noted, is the sign of the ocean (or sea). Saturn is the exact degree of the NO Mars, afflicted by Mars at the degree of "A widow at an open grave" which also afflicts the NO Mercury and Venus. Neptune is exactly trine NO Moon-Saturn, a perfect example of the fact that trines do not always promise good things, just "ease of flow," certainly the case here. That the trine is in Air signs shows a harmony of wind, but with the South Node exactly conjunct the NO Moon-Saturn it would be an unfortunate "harmony of wind." A class 4 or 5 hurricane could be described this way. Chiron, the wandering wounded healer, is at 30 Capricorn, conjunct the NO North Node, showing the wandering and need for healing in NO.
And of course, Neptune was afflicted by the New Moon and Mercury retrograde, creating tensions in the collective consciousness and bringing back into focus old business that should have been taken care of before. That the Corps of Engineers has been stiffed the last 20 years in their efforts to strengthen the levees and walls holding back the lake and river surrounding NO is common knowledge, as it has been discussed many times that should this type of hurricane hit NO (an inevitability) it would lead to exactly what we're seeing now. This was a perfect Mercury retrograde storm, and is still setting off recriminations that won't go away soon. The previous Full Moon at NO put the ascendant at 19 Scorpio, a sign often associated with death, decay, and the elimination of old things. The ruler Mars afflicted by Mercury and Neptune created a wide but significant Grand Fixed Cross. As you know from previous articles, this cross will persist for months, so buckle your seat belts, as it's going to be a wild ride for everyone. In the Full Moon chart, Saturn continues to afflict the Leo-Aquarius oppositions in the NO chart, the South Node continues to sit on the NO Libra stellium, Chiron continues to conjunct the NO North Node, and Uranus continues to sit exactly on the NO Pluto.
The main influence, as I see it, is the Full Moon degrees of 27 Leo-Aquarius closely aligned with the NO Sun at 29 Aquarius, ruler of the NO 4th house, and square the NO Neptune at 29 Scorpio. Though Jupiter was conjunct the Moon-Saturn of NO, again, this is another example of a conjunction from Jupiter leading to massive excess. Excessive wind (Air), excessive fear, restriction, limitation and deprivation (Saturn) and anarchy (Jupiter conjunct Uranus.)
Noting the previous eclipses in April 2005, we find that in the Solar Eclipse of April 8, 2005, the ascendant is 30 Leo, very close to the Full Moon preceding the hurricane. Chiron was conjunct NO Mercury-Venus, Uranus was exactly conjunct NO Pluto, Saturn exactly squared NO Uranus, the South Node was conjunct NO Uranus, and the degree of the New Moon conjunct Venus eclipse was 20 Aries, squaring Saturn and opposing the NO Uranus. This T-square threw the tension into Capricorn, NO 8th house of loss, death, and regeneration, as well as insurance.
The Lunar Eclipse of April 24 was no better. Uranus continued its exact conjunction with the NO Pluto, Mars was conjunct the NO Sun (the Moon of the most recent Full Moon preceding the hurricane), Chiron was conjunct the NO Mercury-Venus, Saturn still squared NO Uranus, and the South Node still conjuncted the NO Uranus. The most striking feature of this eclipse, though, is that it occurred at 5 degrees Taurus-Scorpio, the "widow at the open grave" degree of the Mars in the New Moon preceding the hurricane. Students of astrology will note that Mars is the trigger for most events in our world, for good or ill. In this case, 5 Taurus was activated back in April by the eclipse, and Mars' transit over that point in the recent lunation threw everything into motion.
The final factors to consider are the NO progressions and the transits of the event itself. NO is having a Saturn return by progression that aggravates the natal Moon-Saturn sesquisquare the NO Sun. The NO progressed Ascendant at 1 Sagittarius exactly semisquares the NO Moon-Saturn, which again emphasizes the crisis factor. The progressed nadir (IC) is conjunct the NO Pluto and progressed Pluto, not a good thing! By progression, NO has Neptune at 26 Scorpio and Jupiter at 30 Scorpio, points extremely afflicted by various eclipse and lunation factors mentioned above. We also note that the progressed Jupiter is still within a degree and a half of its conjunction with the NO natal Neptune in Scorpio. I have found that when aspects closely separate they are the most dramatic in their effects.
As for the transits, the hurricane hit with late Leo rising, again aggravating the same factors mentioned in the previous sentence. The South Node is still conjunct NO Saturn, the Sun exactly squared the NO Jupiter, the Moon in Gemini occupied NO first house, and Mars was in the very difficult quincunx to the NO Moon-Saturn. The hurricane hit at the time of the exact transitting Mars square Neptune, having been strengthened by the Fixed T-square with Mercury the previous few days and the Moon in Gemini opposed Pluto the previous day. As I wrote, "The end of the month shows us "the inadequacy of past knowledge in times of crisis" as well how to confirm the new values, resources, or conditions we'll be dealing with through January 2006." There were also two major quincunxes occurring at the time of the hurricane, those being Mars quincunx Jupiter and Venus quincunx Mars. These always deal with health issues, and force hard adjustments.
All these factors add up to the gigantic mess we're seeing today.