By Eric Francis
Note, this is a sidebar that accompanied the lead article in Friday’s subscriber edition. Please click the “home” button at top left and take a look at the comments that are collecting below the promo post for yesterday’s issue. A reader posted a link to a film about the insurance fraud angle, something so blatant that I am surprised I did not bore into the issue, though I mention it in the article below, almost in passing. There are indeed two causes of death in that 8th house — one is Mercury retrograde (communication failures). Yet Libra is intercepted in the 8th, as if it’s locked within that hours: but Venus tells the story — there is another cause of death, represented by Venus square Uranus: profit. — efc
In the lead article on Titanic’s departure chart that I published Friday, we got a look at the chart for Titanic’s departure from Southampton, England. The more frequently studied chart is that of the vessel sinking, widely reported as 2:20 am. Now that the wreck has been found, it’s possible to have an exact chart. There is a lot we can say about this horoscope, but I want to focus on one feature: the Pluto-Eris square, and how prominent it is in the chart.
Neither of these planets had been discovered at the time — so this chart is a study in how planets can have effects before anyone has ever known of their existence. In this chart, it’s two undiscovered planets that are in an aspect at the time of the incident: Pluto (discovered in 1930) is making a long square to Eris (discovered in 2005). The square aspect between these slow-moving points stretches from 1906 to 1911, though there is a close near miss on the night of April 13, 1912 — the day before Titanic struck the iceberg. You can review the list of events here to see for yourself.
When you consider that these planets have orbits of 251 years (in the case of Pluto) and 557 years (for Eris) that’s a suggestion that the aspect is influential in this event — and of what it portends. Not only does the aspect between the two slow-movers emphasize their presence: the fast-moving Moon is right in the mix. It is conjunct Eris, and square Pluto.
First let’s look at the Moon square Pluto, which has been interpreted by many astrologers. The Moon is in Pisces; this is an image of a vessel on water. That vessel is in an exact square to a big hunk of ice that nobody could see — Pluto, which is also an agent of death. What is interesting is that the Moon is in the same degree that Venus was occupying when the ship left the port; in that chart, Venus is square Pluto. In both charts, they indicate the profound loss of life that will come out of this event.
As for Moon conjunct Eris: that aspect had just happened; it is separating, and it was exact throughout the disaster sequence. This was the next aspect at the time the ship struck the iceberg. Eris, too, is an icy, distant and invisible planet. In mythology she is associated with warfare and disaster; in astrology I associate her with a kind of mental identity chaos, a mark of the postmodern age. Titanic was supposed to be a modern vessel, but in truth a modern ship would have had proper safety features, such as sufficient lifeboats. Postmodern is when those things decay.
Let’s look at a few more features of this chart. In any death chart, it’s essential to check the 8th house — the nature and cause of death. We find Virgo on the cusp, and Libra intercepted. That means the house has two rulers. Virgo is ruled by Mercury — and retrograde-Mercury communication failures were an undeniable cause of this whole incident. Note that Mercury is retrograde and is about to conjunct the Sun, who represents the officers of the vessel. They are having a full-on encounter with Mercury retrograde.
As for Venus: she is square Uranus. All of this comes as a ‘surprise’ that should not really be a surprise. Events come out of nowhere and proceed very quickly, in true Uranian style. Venus is also a planet of money and value; the 8th covers those topics as well (through themes like inheritance). Who invested money, and who lost and who gained from this incident, would make an interesting topic for a book. Venus square Uranus describes a kind of expedience and corner-cutting where it counts the most. And Uranus is about technology. We have a human factor (Venus) colliding with a technological one (Uranus). Venus also rules the South Node, which is in Libra; she is a visitor from the distant past.
Titanic sinks right before an eclipse of the Sun. Remember how powerful the Sun was in the chart for Titanic’s departure? That Sun is about to be eclipsed by the Moon, in Aries, a sign where the Sun should be supreme. Think of this as an extinguishing of the light, both for Titanic herself and all that she represented.
Eclipses have a potent resonance effect, often timed with something that the whole world can feel. That eclipse happened as news of the disaster spread, with all of its shock and outrage.