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History, Turning on a Phrase Dear Friend and Reader:

Yesterday's Libra New Moon quietly marked a threshold in world history, if you use astrology as a way of keeping track. We know that the 9th anniversary of the Sept. 11 incident was last month. Our culture is obsessed with anniversaries, but nature works on a little different schedule. Astrology points to its own moments of passage, and we happen to be at one right now. During the New Moon of Thursday, Oct. 7, the Sun and Moon were conjunct within two arc minutes -- that is, 1/30th of a degree -- to the ascendant of the chart for Sept. 11, 2001.

Planet Waves
World Trade Center 7, or the Salomon Brothers building, shortly before it collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001. Most people don't know that a third tower of the Trade Center complex fell down that day. Photographer unknown.
In the nine years since that incident, yesterday's was the closest New Moon to the chart's ascendant, and the only one occupying that degree, and it was close. My impression is that we have a rare moment of transparency around an event that shaped our lives, changed the world and, more significantly, reaffirmed something about human nature.

For those unfamiliar with the concept of the ascendant, it is also called the rising sign. In every chart there is a sign rising -- that is, a section of sky, represented by a zodiac sign, rising above the Earth's horizon in the east. In this case, Libra is the sign rising. There is also a degree rising, which is like the precise address of the chart and what it represents. Every chart with an exact time has a rising degree, including your natal chart. It's a good thing to know. On Sept 11, precisely when Flight 11 was flown into the North Tower, that degree was 14+ Libra -- remarkable because Mercury was precisely rising at that moment. Mercury in the exact degree rising gave the chart emphasis, and an ominous quality, part of which was 'this is an event with a message'. (Let's refer to this as the North Tower chart.)

Libra is an astrological way of saying 'good show'. The events of Sept. 11 were compelling, even convincing, and they riled up our desire for justice, a Libra quality. But Mercury is the trickster. Behind the elegant image of Libra were a series of layers that remind us that things aren't always what they seem, and that appearances can deceive.

I consider the North Tower chart to be a world horoscope. The event was used to reshape geopolitics. Several wars were started as a result of the attacks, which have yet to end, and the concept of the 'post 9-11 world' was born. So in a sense we have one of the birth charts of the 21st century: what some had thought would be the New American Century. The conservative think tank by that name argued for the new rise of a dominant American military, in a plan that called for waging a multi-front war early in the century. But in September 2000, one year before Sept. 11, it said that "the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event -- like a new Pearl Harbor."

Mercury is a reminder to depend on documentation as a way of keeping track of the facts. Who exactly was in the New American Century group of thinkers? Those who signed onto the New American Century manifesto included Dick Cheney, Scooter Libby, Donald Rumsfeld, Paul Wolfowitz, Jeb Bush and Dan Quayle -- a Who's Who of neoconservative politics.

The North Tower Chart

I've written a number of articles about the North Tower chart, most of them focusing on Mercury rising. Using classical methods of interpretation, Mercury in Libra was the planet associated with the secret enemy who perpetrated the attacks (the planet that rules the 12th house). It's a perfect description of someone stealthy, clever, able to focus on an image and use images, and who understood how to use the media. Sept. 11 was one of the most spectacular Mercury-type events ever, broadcast on live television, orchestrated by someone with a stunning gift for creating spin.

Planet Waves
Chart for the North Tower impact on Sept. 11, 2001. Note that Mercury is the planet in the ascendant on the left side of the chart. Click here for a larger version of the chart.
The planet representing the official government, the Moon (ruler of the 10th house), was void-of-course at the end of Gemini, indicating the government was asleep at the wheel. The other planet for the government -- by default, Saturn, representing the ruling structure of the country, and also what you might call the homeland (as the ruler of the 4th house) or shadow government -- was in Gemini. That's also a representation of the twin (Gemini) structures (Saturn) involved and an image of the two faces of the government.

Now here is where the chart starts to reveal its secrets. Mercury is the planet of Gemini, and Saturn is the planet exalted in Libra: they are in reception: that is, they occupy one another's signs. And they are in a perfect (to the degree) trine aspect, indicating cooperation.

That's another way of saying that they can switch places. The secret enemy and the homeland government look like they're functioning as one entity. From the first moment, we had an early warning that something was up, serving as an astrological notation of the many issues that would be raised by researchers and analysts in the decade to follow.

In particular, the relationship between Mercury and Saturn hinted at the government's foreknowledge or involvement in whatever happened. The idea that 'Bush knew' was circulating widely, even in the news, by the spring of 2002. Two years later, the CIA, under public pressure, declassified something called the Presidential Daily Brief of Aug. 6, 2001. Just one month before the attacks, the administration was warned by the CIA that "Bin Laden [was] determined to strike in the US," outlining a number of current terrorist threats. Notably, this was the first time ever that a PDB was released to the public.

Planet Waves
Detail of Thursday's Libra New Moon. Note the Sun and Moon at 14+ Libra, two arc minutes from the ascendant of the North Tower chart, and conjunct the infamous Mercury rising.
Even the official 9/11 Commission report said that the "system was blinking red" that summer.

Many writers and researchers have published on these and related issues, ranging from engineers asking how it was possible that the two towers collapsed at all, much less within 29 minutes of one another, to whether there was actually an airplane crash at the Pentagon. And with the thousands of planes intercepted by the Air Force for as little as veering off the course of the pilot's flight plan, how was it even vaguely possible that these four hijacked flights -- an unprecedented event -- were not intercepted? Fifty-nine minutes elapsed between the crash at the North Tower and whatever happened at the Pentagon. One would think that an hour was enough time for the Air Force to stop an attack on the military headquarters of the free world.

The problem with these questions does not involve their validity. I've looked into them all, and they all have a value worth considering, raising significant questions lacking easy answers. The real problem is social: it involves what others will think of you, or the fear of what others will think, when you start asking. People tend to either get scared or accuse you of being a conspiracy nut. Some become openly hostile if you propose that anything but the official version of events is possible. A few will affirm that actual questions exist. Many polls indicate that the public is suspicious. More than half in one 2007 Zogby poll wanted Bush and Cheney to be investigated for their involvement in 9/11 and in the same poll more than 30% sought their immediate impeachment.

Even if the Mercury-Saturn relationship in the North Tower chart describes only the perception of the event, that perception has come with enormous pain and then a good dose of skepticism on the part of the public, and a lot of activity on the part of policy makers.

In retrospect, what did that look like? In The Shock Doctrine, published in 2007, author Naomi Klein describes "the intersection between super-profits and megadisasters" in which "the preferred method of advancing corporate goals [is] using moments of collective trauma to engage in radical social and economic engineering." Essentially, the process breaks down to two parts: 1. Create or exploit a shock; and 2. Use the confused and chaotic aftermath to push through/assert a corporate and/or political coup with no threat of backlash from a traumatized public.

Klein proposed that, "This feat required two stages. First, the White House used the omnipresent sense of peril in the aftermath of 9/11 to dramatically increase the policing, surveillance, detention and war-waging powers of the executive branch -- a power grab that the military historian Andrew Bacevich has termed 'a rolling coup'. Then those newly enhanced and richly funded functions of security, invasion, occupation and reconstruction were immediately outsourced, handed over to the private sector to perform at a profit. Although the stated goal was fighting terrorism, the effect was the creation of the disaster capitalism complex -- a full-fledged new economy in homeland security, privatized war and disaster reconstruction tasked with nothing less than building and running a privatized security state, both at home and abroad."

The Chart for World Trade Center 7

There's a second Sept. 11 chart that I haven't written much about yet, timed for the spontaneous collapse of World Trade Center 7 on the afternoon of Sept. 11. Most people still have not heard that a third tower of the World Trade Center collapsed that day -- a 47-story building with an impressive list of tenants. This building was not hit by any airplanes; it 'simply collapsed' at 5:21 pm. Notably, the 9/11 Commission did not look into how or why WTC 7 collapsed, so it came to no conclusions.

Planet Waves
Segment of the chart for the spontaneous collapse of WTC 7 at 5:21 pm on Sept. 11, 2001. Note that the chart has Neptune (the blue trident) two degrees from the ascendant, indicating that the situation is veiled in deception and denial, and suggesting that the truth may never be known, and that if it is, it's subject to being refuted by denial. The full chart is here.
First let's take a look at the chart, which is for the moment the structure fell in its footprint in about six seconds. Having sustained no impact by an airplane and with several relatively small fires, we are told that a concrete and steel skyscraper fell straight down, on its own, at freefall speed.

Here's the whole chart in a separate window; to the right is a picture of the ascendant, the most significant piece. In this chart, like the North Tower chart, there is a planet rising -- but this time it's Neptune.

Neptune rising presents a mystery. It's also a beautiful image of how WTC 7 was a kind of non-event; it was invisible. Neptune is like a veil of fog, and that veil can indicate deception, denial or delusion (words that begin with the letter D tend to attach themselves to Neptune, including Drink, Drugs and Drama). In a public chart like this, one that potentially involves a crime, Neptune rising suggests we may never know the truth, or that the truth will be obscured or seem confusing. The sign involved is Aquarius; in fact the public (one of those Aquarius things) was so confused that most people have no idea that WTC 7 even existed, much less that it mysteriously fell down at 5:21 pm.

There are a couple of other interesting features to the chart. In the 11th house (a public place) there is a lot of activity. In particular, we have Mars in Capricorn on the South Node. In the shorthand notation of astrology we have an old story (South Node) about militarism (Mars) and the corporate/government system (Capricorn) -- and we have this in the 11th, right where anyone can see it. In other words, what this aspect describes is happening in plain sight.

In the same house, Ceres is conjunct Nessus in Capricorn. This will be fed to people like poison food, with them convinced it's some form of nourishment.

Opposite all of this, the Moon is in Cancer, on the North Node and opposite Mars: the people in their everyday lives, their home lives, taking care of themselves and their families, get caught in the mess. The Cancer Moon opposite Mars suggests the public can get emotionally swept away by a perceived enemy and security threat and thus lose track of the intellectual level -- and most of us did.

What Larry Silverstein Said, and What BBC Predicted

Larry Silverstein was the developer of WTC 7 and its owner, and he held the lease on the twin towers (WTC 1 and WTC 2) as well. On Sept. 11, 2001, he was the landlord of the whole WTC complex, which included several other buildings. One year after the attacks, Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) aired a program called America Rebuilds. As part of a somber, comprehensive documentary that was fitting for the one-year anniversary, the producers interviewed Silverstein.

Planet Waves
Larry Silverstein, owner of WTC 7, said in a PBS interview that he told the Fire Department that, '"The smartest thing to do is pull it." Screen shot from PBS.
In that interview, he told the story of what happened to WTC 7: "I remember getting a call from the Fire Department commander, telling me that they were not sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and I said, 'We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it'. And they made that decision to pull, and we watched the building collapse."

In other words, he is saying that the building was intentionally demolished. I recently purchased a copy of the DVD from PBS to verify that this segment is actually in the documentary, and it is there in proper context.

Now, what is interesting is that it takes weeks and sometimes months to prepare a building for demolition. If we are to believe the landlord's statement to PBS, this preparation was done in less than a day -- and that a demolition team was brought in through the catastrophe at Ground Zero, consulted architects and engineers familiar with the structure, then working extremely efficiently, rigged the building with dynamite and took it down. Either that or it had a preinstalled self-destruct mechanism.

The building was occupied by Salomon Brothers, as well as American Express and a couple of other banks and insurance companies. In addition, it had as its tenants the CIA, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the Secret Service, the Securities and Exchange Commission, the IRS, the Defense Department and the New York City Office of Emergency Management. Like the other World Trade Center buildings, evacuation began immediately when the first plane hit, before 9 am. So the officials in all of those agencies, including many federal officers, had no chance to clean their desks, take copies of disk drives or do anything before the building fell down later that day.

Planet Waves
BBC World reporter Jane Stanley announces that World Trade Center 7, also known as the Salomon Brothers building, has fallen down, even though it's standing up right behind her. It's the building to the viewer's right of her head. To the left is the smoke from WTC 1 and 2. Photo: Screen shot from BBC World.
More interesting, BBC World, the international edition of BBC, broadcast that the building had collapsed at 4:54 pm EDT, 27 minutes in advance. This was also announced at the same time by BBC in the UK. We're really talking 'in plain sight, but might as well be invisible' here. WTC 7 is easily identified by its location, and by the little notch at the top, next to the penthouse.

This bit of prescience has been explained away by claiming there was a lot of erroneous news reported on Sept. 11, 2001. Except for one thing: this turned out not to be an error. It was accurate, just a little early.

Indira Singh, a private pilot and EMT who was volunteering as a rescue worker at Ground Zero that day, said that by 1 pm the word was out on the street that the building would be demolished and people in the area, such as volunteers and emergency workers, were backing off and retreating toward safer ground.

"By noon or one o'clock they told us we had to move from that triage site up to Pace University, a little further away, because Building 7 was gonna come down or being brought down," Singh said in a widely-reported 2005 interview on KPFA in Berkeley. She continued a bit further in, "There was another panic around four o'clock because they were bringing the building down and people seemed to know this ahead of time, so people were panicking again and running." [Read the full interview here, and listen to it here.]

Apparently BBC was not the only network with a well-tuned crystal ball that day. About a minute before WTC 7 fell down, FOX 5 News in Washington, DC broadcast that a third building had fallen down while WTC 7 is shown in the frame. They are speculating that the smoke actually rising from the heap of WTC 1 and WTC 2 is from that third building that has supposedly already fallen. Then -- while they are discussing this -- WTC 7 >collapses live, on the air.

That Turn of Phrase

The available facts add up to something a little weird, something that does not jive with the official story: controlled demolition was used to take down WTC 7, with all its highly sensitive contents in a rather sensitive moment. That this happened in a day is incredulous, particularly with the chaos of that particular place and time. The implication is that, if the building was indeed demolished, it was planned and set up in advance. If that's true, the entire story of Sept. 11, 2001 -- such as the surprise attack by Osama bin Laden -- falls in its footprint at the speed of freefall. And this has both historical implications, as well as psychological ones.

Planet Waves
The new WTC 7 has a smaller footprint and environmentally friendly features. It was the starting point of reconstruction of the WTC complex. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.
There are some obvious questions here, such as why would Silverstein admit this? My theory is that the way he phrased his statement was a plausible alibi. He claimed the Fire Department pulled the building that day, for immediate safety. Who knows how long it takes to prepare a building for demolition? Who knows that the Fire Department does not do the work of demolition teams? It sounds true enough. Yet there has literally been a decade-long debate over what Silverstein meant by "pull it." Or rather -- what he meant by "it." Clearly he meant pull something, but what?

When the time came to backpedal on his statement, Silverstein's office claimed he meant pull the rescue operation -- not the building. So let's pretend that's what he meant, and reconstruct the sequence of events using that scenario.

The following is a fictionalized, alternative version of events to test the theory.

The attacks happened just before 9 am, WTC 7 was evacuated, and WTC 1 and WTC 2 (the familiar North and South towers) both fell down by 10:30 am. WTC 7 was damaged by debris from the North Tower and there were some fires, but it was a modern steel and concrete skyscraper with numerous safety features, so it was expected to hold up. After all, it supposedly took direct hits from fuel-laden jet planes to knock down WTC 1 and 2.

However, the Fire Department commander was concerned about the fires and the stability of the building. So he called the landlord to check whether he should get his own firefighters out of the building, fearing it might collapse. This insinuates that the Fire Department needed the permission of the landlord, a civilian, on an immediate tactical decision in the face of some imminent safety issue.

Silverstein said, "pull it" [the search and rescue operation]. With that, the firefighters walked out, and everyone watched as the building mysteriously fell to the ground. [End of fictional scenario.]

You would be impressed the lengths to which some have argued -- relentlessly, for years -- that this is what he meant by "pull it." Wikipedia has been a particularly intense battle ground, and administrators, for example, have reserved the right to ban users who question this point of view in edits to encyclopedia articles. Others have argued vehemently that as a developer, Silverstein could not be expected to know the terminology of the demolition industry; he merely builds the buildings. However, he does so in a city that's the demolition capital of the world.

Referring to Silverstein's use of the term "pull it," one Wikipedia editor wrote to me, "Any other interpretation of this quote is a fantasy manufactured to fit a preconceived narrative."

When there is a controversy over what a word means, I learned a while ago to look it up in the dictionary. "Pull" is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary as to remove a fixed object from its place, and the term "pull down" is noted as meaning to demolish a building. Ontario-based independent journalist Jeffrey Hill called up Controlled Demolition, Inc., a demolition industry leader which was called in by the federal government to clean up the mess at Ground Zero, and the company told him that the term "pull it" means to demolish a building.

Planet Waves
Selma the Pullet, who may hold the key to the mystery of WTC 7. Photo from Wikimedia Commons.
Remember -- Neptune is rising in the chart for the building falling down. There is a veil of confusion and deniability. Even the Wikipedia editor refers to "fantasy," a pure Neptune keyword. And the 11th house is packed with action in this chart. Whatever is happening is going on in plain sight, such as on BBC World, even if it seems difficult to see. By the way -- in 2007, BBC's editors finally issued a statement.

"We're not part of a conspiracy," they reassured the public, writing on the company site. "Nobody told us what to say or do on September 11th. We didn't get told in advance that buildings were going to fall down. We didn't receive press releases or scripts in advance of events happening."

However, they added, "We no longer have the original tapes of our 9/11 coverage (for reasons of cock-up, not conspiracy)."

Oh, I'm happy it was just a cock-up. I would dread to think that BBC could be part of a conspiracy, or that they might delete their files to cover for such an odd occurrence that just happens to unravel so much of the official version of events. But if they reported that WTC 7 had already fallen down, and then it did so 27 minutes later, that just proves my theory that Brits make the best astrologers and psychics. And we should definitely put Jane Stanley to work covering the stock market.

I don't like conspiracy theories, but in this case, I have my own. Silverstein was actually talking to his wife in that call, and she said, "Larry, what do you want to have for dinner?"

A devoted chicken lover, he said, "Pullet, pullet."

Yours & truly,
Eric Francis
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