Katrina, the Awakener
ONE IMAGE keeps haunting me from this week’s journalism, spun by William Rivers Pitt at truthout.org — that of presidential advisor Karl Rove standing on the roof of the White House in a magician’s hat and cape, with a big staff, conjuring Hurricane Katrina. Given the witch-hunt against climate change scientists reported in The Guardian earlier this week, that may not be far from the truth (links below, in blue).
On its face, this storm happened at a brilliantly convenient time for world managers who thrive on chaos and distraction, right in the midst of the first meaningful protests against the catastrophic Iraq war gaining momentum — and with George Bush’s approval ratings lower than any president since Nixon at the height of Watergate. If you recall, moments before Katrina arrived, we were in a reflective, concerned moment as the situation in Iraq descended into worse condition than even staunch pessimists predicted.
The US military death toll is near 2,000, and the number of journalists killed in the 30-month conflict has exceeded that of two decades in Vietnam. New, uncontrolled violence takes more Iraqi lives by the day, and sometimes by the hour.
Public attention has now been swayed to a domestic emergency the like of which we have not seen since Sept. 11, 2001. But New Orleans makes what happened four years ago in New York City seem rather dim by comparison, in terms of the number of lives devastated, loss of life, and the destruction of homes. An entire major city has been taken out, not 16 acres of one and the surrounding buildings.
The difference now is, there’s no one to blame, no emotions of hatred and enmity of some alien outsider to whip up and use to dial in the team spirit — and the disaster happened to a poor, predominantly black city instead of at the heart of the world’s financial and banking operations. Deprived of our prerogative to get revenge, we may actually have to pay attention.
News channels are reporting a state of urban warfare, and troops have consent to shoot and kill American citizens. Police officers are turning in their badges. Scanning the news reports reveals that people are still trapped in the city, on rooftops and in high-rises, and thousands are starving.
The condition is deteriorating to the point where vigilante sniper fire at recovery personnel has been reported. Is this even vaguely possible? Who, stranded in their own city, would shoot at rescue workers just for the hell of it?
There is no drinking water. Bodies are everywhere. Widespread disease will be inevitable. Tens of thousands of refugees are still left behind at the Superdome and the Convention Center as people die before the eyes of onlookers. The city remains completely flooded because breached levees and overwhelmed pumping stations have made it impossible to remove the water. Due to a breached levee, water from Lake Pontchartrain is still flowing into the city. The stories of cuts to budgets for maintaining these structures only makes one feel sick, in hindsight.
It’s starting to make the tsunami look good.
CNN reported Thursday that a police officer working in downtown New Orleans said police were siphoning gas from abandoned vehicles in an effort to keep their squad cars running, like a detail straight from the mind of Stephen King.
Incredibly, no organized relief program appears visible. Indeed, police have received federal orders to privilege stopping looters against delivering aid and searching for survivors. In other words: the priority (as we have so often come to expect) is to protect property, though it would seem there is little property left to even bother with. The effect: poor blacks can die. What we are witnessing is beyond incompetence at this stage, and is approaching the level of genocide.
It is important to remember that cities are highly toxic environments, and floods release everything that is usually contained, or held at the bottom or rivers and lakes, into the general environment. Containers and pipes burst. Fires cannot be controlled. In addition, the Mississippi Delta, thanks to generations of contamination by Monsanto, is one of the most dioxin-tainted areas in the world. Though it may not be acknowledged, there is likely to be a serious dioxin problem in New Orleans and nearby areas right now, and for generations to come.
In my mind’s eye, I am seeing this unfold along another strand of time. A fully financed, well prepared Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) would be on the job years before the hurricane made landfall, as this was a predictable event, contrary to recent assertions. (Indeed, FEMA is being absorbed into Homeland Security and damaged by budget cuts.) Hundreds of Coast Guard helicopters from coastal states and many others would be bringing supplies, and getting those most in need to medical help. Old Army bases, so recently closed by budget cuts, would be used as massive relief centers, complete with airstrips, bathrooms and mess halls. Sports facilities, with all their problems, would not have to be used as refugee camps. America’s standing Army and National Guard units, themselves not trapped in the disasters of Iraq and Afghanistan, would be widely available to assist, with all their equipment, rations, supplies and other resources.
There would be enough manpower. There would be plenty of money for the operation; America is the richest country in the world. Which may be the problem.
But this is not happening in a different time, under different national leadership: it is happening now. And due to the damaged oil-refining infrastructure along the Gulf Coast, the effects of this storm will be rippling, or ripping, into the world economy. The price of gasoline has suddenly risen well beyond $3.00 per gallon many places in the U.S., and has exceeded $6.00 per gallon at some retail outlets in the south. Apparently, many places in the southeast have no gas at all. We are hearing the first calls for fuel conservation since the mid-1970s.
Generally, this is the one thing that can key people into the fact that something is wrong; America’s real religion is practiced at the filling station, and nearly all of its transportation energy comes from petroleum.
But it’s becoming obvious many more ways that something else is wrong. Imagine if this were a multiple city emergency — that is, if the damage were to more than one city. Imagine if the casualty toll were higher. Are we now to understand that the federal government is incapable of responding to an emergency? It would seem so.
As I’ve reported elsewhere [please see cainer.com], a dominant image of Saturn in Leo (which began six weeks ago, on July 16) is that of dams bursting. For some reason, when Saturn changes from water sign Cancer to fire sign Leo, structures that hold back bodies of water (and in one famous instance, hundreds of tons of molasses) tend to give way, often with catastrophic effects. While we are seeing the results of a huge cyclone, we’re also seeing those of failed levees — many of them.
You might call this a watershed event. In looking for Saturn imagery, we find plenty working in the chart of the City of New Orleans, but it’s difficult to miss the fact that Saturn is now crossing the so-called president’s ascendant.
As I’ve also said elsewhere, this would be the big turning point for the non-president’s career, with a wave of awareness really coalescing about nine months to the day after the inauguration. In addition, I proposed a couple of months ago that “something is up with the price of gold” — in this case, black gold, petroleum, the blood of our society. But let’s come back to that later.
Libra is the astonishing connection that three key charts, the City of New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina, and Mr. Bush, have in common. Also looking at a fourth chart, the progressed horoscope for the city, we find the same effect — Libra is the dominant energy, with its quest for justice, balance, rebalancing and sensitivity.
Between these four charts, there are 17 major planets and points in Libra. And a solar eclipse in Libra is coming in just one month, nestled nicely into the action. This is followed by a lunar eclipse in Aries two weeks later, precisely aligned with many critical factors in Aries, Libra, Cancer and Capricorn.
We are in a situation that’s going to develop rapidly, in large, significant ways and, as all eclipses do, come with events that do their work on a global scale. Most of the effects of this will be in October — when the chart for the presidential inauguration comes thundering to life and the media begins to put the many pieces of this rather large, surreal puzzle together.
Cosmic Trigger One: Venus conjunct Jupiter
Between this past Monday, when Katrina made landfall, and today, Venus in Libra crossed the Moon’s South Node and formed a conjunction to Jupiter. This was one important cosmic trigger of what happened in New Orleans, a kind of collective ignition point that released the considerable energy of Venus, Libra and what you might call the Goddess. This conjunction actually affects everything both in Libra and on the entire cardinal cross (Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn), which is heavily loaded in these charts.
Venus is now on course for a conjunction to Pallas Athene early next week, the planet of protection, politics and strategy. We may see a shift in the political climate with this activity, which occurs over the weekend — a rising expectation that something reasonable or strategic has to happen.
Neptune has been involved in this setup: the Venus-Jupiter conjunction is trine the most watery planet, in the sign Aquarius.
Chiron in Capricorn is a prominent factor in this configuration. The city’s chart has this placement, showing up in many square aspects to the Libra planets all of the charts. Chiron in Capricorn is the “post 9/11 factor,” a consistent element between late 2001 and today (though the transition to Aquarius began earlier this year, Chiron is now back in Capricorn). Chiron in Capricorn has shaped up to be an extremely painful lesson in government, its conduct and its power. Chiron has a way of shining the light in the dark places, exposing what is in the shadows — and in Capricorn on the collective scale, there is plenty.
What we have here is a lot of action in the cardinal signs, including two of the most important global factors, lunar nodes (in cardinal signs) and eclipses. The cardinal signs are the initiation points, and they are the points of public contact. The nodes, as do eclipses and cardinal signs, tend to bring in large numbers of people and events that act like “attractors” or points of contact.
And Two: Uranus and Pluto — and Prometheus
One of the most remarkable events of these charts occurs in the sign Pisces, and it is outstanding both for its symbolism and precision. In the City of New Orleans chart, Pluto is located at 8 degrees Pisces and 53 arc minutes. In the chart for landfall, transiting Uranus is located exactly in this degree and arc minute. An arc minute is 1/60th of a degree. This is an exact, to the minute, transit involving two outer planets that, together, are associated with upheavals, revolutions, breakthroughs and social movements.
Indeed, many of the great revolutionary movements of the past few centuries have happened under Uranus-Pluto aspects, and the word “revolution” itself was invented under this astrology. When you think Uranus and Pluto, think uranium and plutonium.
To convey the feeling of this on the social level, there was recently a long conjunction of transiting Uranus to transiting Pluto that we think of in its entirety as “the Sixties.” The revolutionary quality of this conjunction is related beautifully, using many cycles of history, in the book Prometheus the Awakener by Richard Tarnas, which title is the subject of an accidental discovery made by Lise LePage, who has been handing research on this article.
In his book, Tarnas argues that the planet Uranus should really have been named Prometheus, after one of the Greek gods of creation. The energy of Prometheus, who gave the fire of the gods to mankind, is precisely the kind of sudden awakening energy that is associated with Uranus. Under the influence of this idea, many astrologers who have gone over the author’s historical research and mythological theory are content to think of Uranus as Promethean energy (most say uranian, meaning the same thing — high voltage and rebellious). And this, I suggested in an email to Lise, referencing the title of the book.
Lise misunderstood, and thinking I was referencing the asteroid Prometheus, promptly put that into the city’s natal chart — and discovered that it’s in the same degree as Pluto in the natal chart for New Orleans. So, in its basic, inherent makeup, New Orleans has the asteroid Prometheus conjunct evolutionary mover Pluto in Pisces, to the degree. And the city was destroyed, setting off a chain of events that will seem quite nuclear in hindsight, as Uranus made a to-the-minute conjunction to Pluto (something that happens with this precision for a total of three times for just 12 hours every 84 years).
Checking the Sabian symbol for this degree (9 Pisces), Dane Rudhyar gives the keywords “self-quickening,” a rather energetic image considering the astrology that degree contains in these charts. In all, we’re looking at an enormous release of energy.
Saturn in Leo
Now we come to Saturn in Leo, a critical era-defining astrological factor for the next three years, and probably well into the future. What happens under Saturn in Leo tends to be extraordinarily stable and have lasting effects, often for many decades or longer.
The city’s chart has numerous placements in early Leo and Aquarius, including the Part of Fortune (calculated for noon), a rather precise opposition of Mars in Leo and Mercury in Aquarius, and Venus in Aquarius. This is a grand opposition, which (thank the gods) is trined by Jupiter in Sagittarius. That trine from Jupiter is what I’ll call the “it could be worse” aspect. Jupiter in Sagittarius, trine the personal planets and trine transiting Saturn, is acting as a protective influence.
Note also that the Chiron-Nessus conjunction in early Aquarius that has been in effect for much of this year. Another era-defining event, this conjunction
But Saturn in Leo is rather personal event for Mr. Bush, as it is for anyone whose ascendant it crosses. Under this combination of factors, when it’s angular (that is, in the ascendant), Saturn can act exactly like Uranus, propelling sudden and unexpected movement, change, progress or something like that. Saturn has not quite made it to the Bush ascendant, which is 7 degrees and 7 arc minutes of Leo, but it does so the morning of Sept. 12, 2005 (Washington, DC time).
New Orleans is very much his responsibility — and the world is watching. One thing that’s clear is that Hurricane Katrina and the subsequent devastation will not be a path of escape for those who have hijacked the government and are holding it hostage. To the contrary, we all may be looking at the one event that finally gets our attention, and tips the scales.++
— Additional research & reporting by Lise LePage in the US and Dan Miller in the UK.
Please check the cover or subscriber blogs later in the weekend for information about the involvement of new outer planets, including Sedna, Varuna and Deucalion — all of which bear poignant water and flood imagery.
Witch Hunt Against Climate Change Scientists
Brace for More Katrinas, Scientists Say
FEMA Phased Out as Disasters Keep Coming
Planet Waves by Eric Francis
Sept. 2, 2005 – Weekly Horoscope 574
Note to Virgos: I will be back later in the weekend with the extended Virgo birthday report. I concede that I’m in no condition to write it! So I’ll send it after a good night of sleep. For now, I’ve included the shorter newspaper edition of this week’s birthday message. Thanks for your patience and understanding. -efc
Happy Birthday, Virgo!
You may finally figure out that your beauty and love are the real riches that you give the world, and if you do, you will be a lot happier. You have learned so much, yet there remains a little piece of self-knowledge that seems to be hiding from you — and if you want to find it, you’re going to need to look, within. You have every reason to give up the voices that have offered their criticism of who you are for so long, and this, too, is a decision you need to make. It starts with the awareness that you owe people nothing, and they owe you nothing.
Aries (March 20-April 19)
There are rewards for taking your life seriously, and they’re becoming obvious right about now. You’ve arrived at a point of beginning that is influencing both your work and your partnership life, but it’s not possible to say that one takes priority over another. Can you think of a time when people have been more generous and cooperative? This is the moment to break free from any conflicts between your mission as a lover and your mission as one who came to the Earth to assist others. Now is the time to state exactly what you need, and make a bold move toward your most cherished goal.
Taurus (April 19-May 20)
It seems you’re finally learning to keep your focus on yourself. Taurus is always accused of being self-centered, but it’s really a ruse. The power of relationship is so compelling for you that it’s often difficult to think of anything else, and this is often at your own expense. What you’re seeing now is that you have a relationship to yourself that comes before anything or anyone else, and in reality makes everything else in your life possible. Imagine that you are the cause of your own existence. Imagine that everything is optional.
Gemini (May 20-June 21)
You may be imagining how nice it would be to have your whole mind made up about one important thing. It’s like you’re triplets rather than twins these days, and two of the three have one idea and the third is onto something else entirely. But give yourself a little space to think, and focus on something that’s emerged in your life as a powerful attraction, both for its beauty and intellect. And remember, there is a certain factor that appears to be missing from the equation, but which I’m pretty sure will come into focus over time. Meanwhile, focus on what really works in your life — and there is plenty.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
You seem to be more dedicated than ever to a goal or objective that serves the world beautifully. I don’t think that’s going to be hurt by keeping an important personal objective as a high priority. With the energy you have these days, and the relief from your usual background anxiety, you have plenty of energy to do it all. As it turns out, you’re not actually proceeding on two separate paths, but rather developing a means to see them as one expression of your creative power. When in doubt or facing a puzzle, come back to this one idea. And please get rid of guilt as casually as you flush the toilet.
Leo (July 22-Aug. 23)
Investments that you make now will prove to be particularly valuable. It doesn’t matter if you deposit a nickel in the bank this week, or put $5,000 into solar energy stocks. The point is to begin, and to plant the seeds of a growth process without necessarily seeing how it’s going to get to any particular goal. The same will hold true with a recognition you make about yourself. Part of why Leo is such an admirable creature is because you’re so willing to be self-critical. Try giving yourself a break. You’re doing very nearly everything right, and it’s about time you told yourself that.
Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
There’s a subtle, gradual pressure to change that’s taking over your life, and I suggest you ask yourself where it’s coming from. There do seem to be external sources, but they’ve been there for a while, and you’ve never got the message on quite the level you’re getting it now. It’s almost as if what stands outside you is just a reminder, and what’s coming from inside you is the source of the energy. And it’s quite unusual. It’s true that you’ve felt the urge to progress many times, but what stands out of your solar chart right now is the distinct sense that it’s inevitable.
Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
If you get the sense that things are going well, you’re only seeing half the picture. There is indeed something brilliant happening to you, as if a potential you’ve felt for a long time is finally coming to fruition in ways you never could have imagined. What you may not know is that on a whole different level, you’re sinking your roots into something real and lasting; and that the results will reach further than you can, at this point, really imagine. Yes, this adds up to a lot of change over the next month — but it’s change you’ve awaited for a long time.
Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
Don’t be too picky at this point; if your life is going well, take that as a good sign, and pay attention to what resources are actually supporting you, and what long-term projects are paying dividends in some way. It’s pretty much inevitable that you’re underestimating what you have available to work with, but if you stay focused on the positive you’re a lot more likely to see it. If you emphasize the negative, you’re likely to miss the point altogether. The choice really is yours, and honestly, it’s not such a difficult one at the moment.
Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 22)
Your considerable efforts are now actually worth exactly what you say they are. So consider your value carefully, and set your price. In fact, not only that, but get clear about all the other rewards of your work that you would like to experience, from creative to material to social to amorous. There is something working exceptionally well in the angles of your chart that addresses the questions of productivity, reputation, loyalty and the accompanying benefits, and this is one of the best moments in many years for all forms of collaboration.
Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
The upcoming New Moon in Virgo has you handpicked for a new mission. What will it be? If you’ve got several choices, I suggest you go with something that appeals to your sense of aesthetics, rather than your rather durable sense of responsibility. You do appear to have options in this matter, and by far the one that will provide you with more of the responsibility and success you seek, as well as personal fulfillment and a sense of accomplishment, is the one that is more fun, offers beauty in some form, and probably pays a lot better.
Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
You may be inclined to take a chance on love this week, and if such presents itself, I suggest you not let it pass you by. This is what you might call an intelligent chance, as logical as these things can possibly be in the world of emotions on our particular planet. What the scenario may lack in raw lust it more than compensates for in wholesome love. And this is by all indications a true beginning, so just make sure it’s a good one. What ultimately develops is more important than immediate gratification — but you won’t know if you don’t show up in person.
Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
What comes to you this week is yours, to the extent that anything or anyone in this world can be — which is limited. Better to think of this development as yours to share, or to share in; and keep the collective spirit of the moment alive and strong. Pisces of all the signs is attuned to the transience of existence, which may help explain why so many are spread in the directions of those who do great things, and those who seem to just give up. What happens this week will be more than encouraging, so open your heart to receive, and receive graciously.