EDITORIAL, November & December 2001
by Gerasime Patilas
The week leading up to Tuesday 11 September 2001 and the one following were some of the most traumatic days of my life. I was contemplating Pluto's position and aspects in my chart on that Tuesday while wondering whether a drop of TipEx would work its magic on my emotions when the phone rung. 'Trouble', I thought. I forced myself to pick up the receiver, and during that rather upsetting conversation I was told about the World Trade Centre 'bomb'. The information didn't really register. I walked to the next room and switched on the telly. It took a little while for the images I was being bombarded with to register. Eventually, numbness, confusion, and fear enveloped me, ensuring that my internal landscape and the murderous and destructive events in New York became one. It's hard for a Capricorn to admit to crying, but tears were burning my cheeks before too long. Was I crying for myself or for the poor victims and their families? So much pain, terror, anguish, loss, fear. What can a person do? The world could be-and is, for most of us in the West-such a beautiful place, but when confronted by such hatred Hell is all too real.
Meaning and meaninglessness. What does it all mean? Does anything matter? Everything is full of meaning. Everything is meaningless. Once again astrology came to the rescue. Not for the unfortunate people in the two Towers, but for me. It didn't ease my emotions, but it enabled me to look at the squiggles on a piece of paper and make some sort of sense of my world, the world. Where is Saturn? Where is Pluto? Ah yes, the charts make sense. Therefore, the universe must make sense. More tears.
At the time when the North Tower was hit by the hijacked jet Libra was rising. There were no angular violent planets at the time, although a tentative case could be made for Venus (ASC and 8th house ruler) in an angular house (only just) applying to an opposition with Uranus (air flight). The chart does highlight travel however. Angular Mercury (flying) disposits two planets in the 9th in Gemini, while the emphasis in the 9th house would normally set me thinking along 9th house lines. The Saturn-Pluto opposition across the 3rd-9th axis warns of danger, but the dignified Jupiter tells another story. Saturn does rule the 4th however, which does point to the ground or buildings, while Mercury rules the house of hidden enemies, and the Sun is on the 12th house cusp. The Moon is Void of Course, and if I was looking at the chart without knowing what happened on that tragic Tuesday, I might have come to the conclusion that a plane had been grounded, travel delays, or that some sort of cock-up was making life difficult, etc.
When I compared the terrorist attack chart to the USA chart however, I nearly fell off my chair. The destruction of those two gleaming towers, the emblems of American wealth, the Pentagon buildings, the panic and terror from the skies, it was all there. Not the exact location, but the chart comparison looked grim. I need to digress here, before I get onto inter-aspects. There has been much debate over the years as to which is the correct USA chart, and there are many to choose from, but after these momentous and scary events there is no doubt in my mind that the 12SG21 is the correct one. In fact this is the first time that Pluto crossed the USA ASC. It was discovered in the 30s while in Cancer, but I cannot remember what happened when it crossed the MC of the Declaration chart. In any case it would not have been opposite Saturn-a double helping of Hell.
The Saturn Pluto opposition across the 1st-7th axis highlights America, its people and its enemies. With Capricorn on the 2nd house cusp, America's financial institutions fall under Saturn's rulership which is exalted in the 10th. This is appropriate for the richest country on earth. What is more, transiting Uranus is in the 2nd in a Saturn sign trining radical Mars in the 7th house of open enemies. Mars rules the 12th house of hidden enemies. Personally, I don't go along with the idea that outer planets rule signs, but those of you who do will have noticed Scorpio on the 12th. One possible trigger for the Saturn-Pluto opposition is the transiting Sun at 18VI51 applying to the square of the Declaration Mars and the conjunction of Neptune in the 9th. The negative interpretation of treachery, deception, and iniquitous acts instantly come to mind involving these aspects.
The transiting ASC and Mercury on radical Saturn once again highlight the effect of this terrorist act on the USA's economy, as well as the aviation industry. What's more, transiting Mercury (dispositor of the transiting Sun) squares the radical Sun, which is in the 7th conjoining the 8th house of death. The transiting MC in the radical 8th conjoins the USA Sun and squares Saturn. When Pluto was discovered it was at 17CN46. Interestingly, the transiting MC at 16CN28 conjoins that degree. Maybe there's something here about triggers within triggers, or wheels within wheels, or whatever other metaphor you can think of. Transiting Jupiter will conjoin the declaration Sun and 8th house cusp every 12 years or so, highlighting death. If any of you have any comments on these transits I would love to read them and publish them. The best place to start would be eclipses and ingresses, but I haven't looked at those yet. Nevertheless, one transit that jumped out at me-one that I wouldn't normally look at-is Venus at the time of the suicide attack. It was on the 'big' 1999 eclipse degree. There are numerous charts that will yield more information, but I'm once again pushed for time. I repeat, don't hesitate to share your thoughts on this horrendous event with the rest of us.
Finally I feel I should mention that on the day of the opening of the World Trade Centre, when the ribbon was cut, Saturn was at 15GE52. I don't have the time, but this is the worst Saturn return I have ever witnessed. Once again Saturn and Pluto are highlighted by the transiting Sun and Moon which squared the WTC Saturn and Pluto respectively.
I think I've covered the main points involving the above charts, and all that remains is for me to wish you all a Happy Christmas. I don't know what kind of a world we'll be living in by the time this edition is in the hands of the printers, but I really, really, hope that peace and love gets a look in