The Astrology of
September 11, 2001

by Eric Francis
Revised Oct. 12, 2001

View chart

Composite photo of Mercury
courtesy of APOD

UPDATE to this article - Oct 12

AT THE MOMENT Flight 11 was crashed into the World Trade Center, the planet Mercury, named for the winged, fleeting messenger of the gods, was rising exactly on the eastern horizon. Like the moment of sunrise begins the day, on Sept. 11, Mercury -- though invisible because of daylight -- peered over the gates of dawn and changed our view of history. This image may not seem to speak of the horrors experienced by thousands of people, many of whom watched from inside their offices as airliners hit the buildings, and millions of others who watched the catastrophe unfold on live television. But Mercury had a lot to say on Sept. 11, and it's likely we'll be interpreting its messages for many years to come. Or, let's hope so.

Mercury rising, in this position, was exctly trine Saturn, which is in its extremely tense, historical and once-per-33-year opposition to Pluto. We think of Saturn-Pluto as being full of change, devastation, sound and fury: out it came, wreaking havoc in some local areas, but mainly, pouring through the mental plane and the global media networks via the planet of communication.

Mercury, incidentally, also played the starring role in the botched presidential election of Nov. 7, 2000, stopping stone cold at the end of a 24-day retrograde half an hour before the polls closed in Dade County, Florida. This event, called a planetary station, took place in the last degree of Libra that particular evening, when so much went awry. On Oct. 1, Mercury again stations, this time on its way to being retrograde, in precisely that degree of the zodiac. This is an unusual enough astronomical event, two stations in one degree within a short time; astrologically, it would seem too strange to be a coincidence. The bizarre story of Nov. 7, 2000, seemingly ended by the U.S. Supreme Court, buried forever beneath the rubble of the World Trade Center and lost in the Commander in Chief executing his solemn duties, is far from over. Yet whether overt political events outwardly link the two dates, they are directly connected in the cosmos of the unseen.

The upcoming Mercury retrograde, which lasts from Oct. 1 through Oct. 22*, bears another interesting mark. The retrograde begins in the last degree of Libra, its election degree. It ends in the exact degree it occupied during the World Trade Center/Pentagon attacks. Mercury does not quite speak English -- we are left to interpret the meaning of these symbols. But this is a little like Lassie running up to a Florida voting booth and barking three times, then running up to a model of the World Trade Center, barking three more times, and then leaping on top of the television set.

At which point, America says, "Oh! Billy fell down the well at the old Swanson place!"

I suddenly miss Joan Quigley more than ever. Joan was the White House astrologer who served the Reagans, apparently quite competently. Mr. Bush's decisive, vigorous cabinet needs somebody up there who can read the Pocket Astrologer. Any volunteers?

* Note: I originally misread the ephemeris and said the station-direct was on the 24th of October. It is in fact on the 22nd, though Mercury, slow and powerful in the sky, occupies the 15th degree of of Libra between the 21st and the 26th, exactly trine Saturn, which is also retrograding and almost stationary in the 15th degree of Gemini. That promises to be an interesting week.


An Overview

Now, back to our main chart. In reading an astrological chart for a world event, we are looking at where the cosmic order meets the events of the physical world. The search is for meaning; Mercury rising delivers it to us. But it's also for context: I think that a fair question for the Sept. 11, 2001 chart is, "What is this a chart for?" We know it was for a (theoretically) highly improbable, never-before-seen brand of terrorist attack, killing more people on US soil than any military action in nearly two centuries. (For reference, 10% of the American death toll in Vietnam was exacted in one day.) But what is that, in the larger context? What is next? What are the hidden factors that are concealed from view, banned from public discussion or invisible in the confusion and agendas of business, politics and media? What will happen?

There are several outstanding factors for the Sept. 11, 2001 chart, most of which are explained in detail later on. They include:

<> Mercury is rising, as mentioned, meaning that, far from being senseless, the attacks were intended to send a very specific message. Mercury rules the 12th house of secret enemies because Virgo is on the 12th house cusp, and represents this particular person or people, their plans and their ideas, and is the most prominent planet in the chart. Mercury is the trickster; when he is afoot, we can reasonably surmise things are not quite what they seem.

<> Mercury is exactly trine Saturn in Gemini in the 9th house. Saturn, the planet of structure, placed in Gemini, the sign of the Twins, is the very image of the Twin Towers. This also represents the ideology (9th house) of imperialist capitalism as it looms over the world (again, 9th house). Saturn is opposed by Pluto in Sagittarius, Pluto's placement being the essence of religious fanaticism. Pluto is in the 3rd house. He is operating as a local, not international, force. The Saturn to Pluto opposition aspect represents the culmination of the major cycle of world history unfolding in the 20th century (please see detailed section below). The trine from Mercury to Saturn speaks of the ease, skill and luck with which this attack was carried out, the directness of the hit, and the clarity of the message.

But it also speaks of a cooperative relationship between Mercury and Saturn, and therefore what they represent. How could this be possible? To give one example, we are told to think of the terrorists as our enemies. But enemies are necessary to drive a military-based economy forward, to justify the NATO allies spending far in excess of half a trillion dollars on "defense" every year -- on defense, when there's no more Evil Empire to defend against, or blame for everything. The terrorists have given our national leaders -- currently, none other than the purveyors of the Persian Gulf War -- an excuse to declare a perpetual jihad in the Middle East, a protracted campaign or a 10-year-war, as it is being described in government press releases. As Martha Wescott says of the trine aspect, it can translate to, "If you lie, I'll swear to it."

<> Mercury is in mutual reception with Saturn, giving both planets tremendous power. Saturn is one of Libra's rulers, using a dignity called exaltation. Mercury is the ruler of Gemini. The two planets occupy one another's signs, and can therefore be switched in position. This suggests that, looked at another way, the imperial power of Saturn is the rising planet, in its domicile, Libra. In a sense, both Mercury and Saturn are rising in a highly uncertain chart. This switch also places Mercury in the 9th house opposite Pluto, a fair reading of which is a religion of obsession with death, broadcast to the world via satellite.

<> Mercury represents a secret enemy. Mercury, the trickster, is playing some very fancy tricks in this chart. We do not know who the real enemy is, and we can expect ongoing news developments about the discovery of several "real enemies" which largely serve to confuse the issues.

<> Libra is the rising sign, so Venus, Libra's ruling planet, is the planet that represents the United States itself. Venus is in a close aspect to Mercury (the hidden enemy), called a sextile, suggestive again of a clear relationship between the two seemingly opposing sides. The sextile is applying: they are getting closer. Venus, meanwhile, occupies the exact degree of the ominous Aug. 11, 1999 grand cross / total solar eclipse in Leo, exact to 1/25th of a degree. This suggests the Aug. 11 chart is still active, and that the U.S. has finally become ensnared in the eclipse, as if it were a trap. The trap, incidentally, was pride and luxury. Venus, however, is heading for a trine to Chiron, the god of healing and mentorship. There is an opportunity for healing in this crisis, if we see it, and if we take it.

<> Luna (the moon) is void-of-course, meaning that she makes no more aspects in her current sign before entering the next sign. This is the wildcard; in a void-of-course chart, anything goes. Cancer is the sign located on the cusp of the 10th house of "government, office, dignity, preferment, or any place of command or trust," ruled by Luna, queen of the sign Cancer -- so by her rulership, she represents these people and functions. But she is void, floating at the end of Gemini; somebody in a position of command or trust was not paying attention (for example, at the Pentagon, once the attacks had begun. The Pentagon was attacked last.). The moon also represents the public, in much the same state of unawareness. But moreover, a void moon in an astrological figure of this importance suggests that the chart is highly uncertain in its final meaning, and that anything at all is possible in terms of an outcome.

With the arrival of a Mercury retrograde intimately linked to this mess, we have tremendous potential for errors of judgment, misinterpretation of messages and intelligence reports, miscommunications, technical problems, and distortion of all of it by the media. And while these are often more or less innocuous qualities of Mercury retrograde, give or take a few trashed hard drives, the retrograde effect is now the leading astrological factor on the world scene.

Saturn also stations retrograde on Sept. 28, and heads back for another meeting with Pluto in November. This is a classic no-win situation in which any action can be self-destructive.

The Boys know not with what they mess. And through a mix of skill, evil intentions, fate, karma and serendipity, the door to something -- we know not what -- has been opened by the attacks on New York and Washington, DC, shifting the balance of world power in a complex way that has yet to be analyzed on CNN. The Boys have, it is true, been playing their Revelation Games for a long time, and so far things have worked out pretty well -- for them, that is. But there is now no telling, and in fact, there is little we can actually do in the world. We really just need to stay focussed on our lightwork, which is the only factor that can, and must, stabilize these out-of-control energies. It would seem that all the important decisions are being made fast; yet there are many, many small hour-to-hour choices made that can have a profound effect. Having no other recourse, we can only hold our world decision-makers in the light, and send strength to those among them who are working for truth and for a peaceful and sane outcome. They are in the mix, doing their work, and we can be sure their hours are filled with many pressures the like of which we will never know. They need our support.

There is one outstanding note of positive potential in this chart: Jupiter, the god of fortune and lord of Sagittarius, is a very strong planet in this horoscope. The most elevated planet, in his exaltation (Cancer), in the 9th house, and on the day side of a diurnal chart, means that we are being watched over by Jupiter -- a clear benefactor -- in this situation. It is not all about the players we think we see on the board, and there are larger, more important matters that will take priority, at some point.

The moon, at 28+ degrees of Gemini, is also opposite the Galactic Center, which I will not dare interpret except to say that is deeply reassuring that the larger picture will prevail and that we have a way to connect with the greater good.

A Note on the Time

The primary chart I am looking at is that for Flight 11 hitting One World Trade Center in Manhattan on Sept. 11, 2001, the moment in this scenario began. The time was first broadcast on CNN as 8:45 a.m., but the next day it was published in The New York Times as 8:48 a.m. I contacted Mark McDonough of, the data specialists, and he confirmed 8:46 a.m. from seismic readings.

The exact time is significant in this particular chart because the ascendant, which is the fastest moving point in astrology, contains a planet (Mercury), and is in a very close aspect to another planet (trine to Saturn). In the 8:48 a.m. chart, for example, Saturn is trine the ascendant exact to the arcminute. The astrological wheel consists of 21,600 arcminutes. This kind of exactitude is rarely seen. Given that this time was published in The New York Times, I will take it as a personal message from them.

Background: An Age of Sagittarius

The world is currently at the peak of a miniature Age of Sagittarius. We are still moving steadily toward what you might call a great Age of Aquarius, and I am confident that the events of Sept. 11th will factor into that transition when we look back at history. But since 1995 (and through about 2007), Pluto has been transiting across Sagittarius, which it does once every 230 or so years. Sagittarius is the astrological sigil of The World: of international culture, religion, and a variety of themes of far away places. Pluto in this sign has spelled changes in our consciousness around the whole concept of "foreign" and in many ways, we have grown closer and closer into a global village in recent years. Themes of a unified Europe and single European currency, former Eastern Block counties joining NATO, plus moves toward globalization and the fierce anti-globalization movements which we've seen erupt, represent a few of the experiences of this astrology.

The emphasis is the result of Pluto's presence, which brings intensity, an obsessive quality, and a shattering of old ideas, to Sagittarius. Pluto in Sagittarius is a good astrological picture of, on the one hand, what Melanie Reinhart called "breaking the taboo on God," and on the other, fundamentalist religious extremism. The two are unfolding together. There is serious discussion, among ordinary people, anyway, about dropping food and not bombs on Afghanistan. Her people are hungry, and there is nothing left to destroy. Not that the Pentagon would ever do something so nuts. But today, it's the thought that counts. For a lot.

Sagittarius, at its highest value, is the sign of the archer releasing the arrow of true intention. It is considered a highly spiritual sign, but the nature of its spirituality is focussed intention.

Saturn Meets Pluto

Earlier this year, another planet, Saturn, moved from Taurus (where it had been since the summer of 1998) into Gemini, the sign opposite Sagittarius. Saturn moves faster than Pluto does; his visit to Gemini ends in 2003. So, the larger historical background to the 9/11 event is something called the Saturn-Pluto opposition, where the two planets meet at 180 degrees (at the time of the airplane crash, they were 177 degrees and 53 minutes apart, with Saturn in his degree of station). Saturn and Pluto are two of the most different energies you can set against one another in astrology, and an opposition is often expressed as a kind of face-off between two competing forces.

Saturn is the immovable structure. It represents buildings, governments, corporations, and fixed ideas and belief systems such as laws and rules. He is placed in the 9th house of our chart, which represents world affairs and ideologies. We are told again and again that the Twin Towers were the symbol of whatever the United States and the capitalist system stands for in the world; here is an image of that symbol. Pluto is the irresistible force, the lord of the Underworld, or, in Hindu mythology, Shiva the destroyer. His job is to clean the planet and the psyche of what is not really necessary. Psychologically and spiritually, Pluto is the evolutionary force working on the soul level; it is what Crowley called the prime mover, and what I would call the basis for all progress on the deepest levels, speaking, of course, in the language of astrology. He is the hormonal force, the drive for transformation, and the power to move through impossible situations. Those of us who know Pluto know you don't mess with Pluto. That's really all you need to know.

In an opposition, the planetary energies meet head-on. There is not a lot of room for compromise, and something has to give. Generally, what gives is Saturn because Pluto is denser, smaller, slower and hence more powerful -- and he has a lot less to lose. Pluto has no investment in structure, form, or worldly values. This is why people under Pluto transits actually do change their lives or have their lives changed for them by some seemingly external force. And you will hear, "Oh, I really did need to have that [whatever disaster] happen to me. I wanted to go back to school, but wouldn't do it."

So, consider this picture: Saturn (structure) in Gemini (the sign of twins) is an image of the "Twin Towers." Pluto in Sagittarius is the image of religious extremism. The two had a head on meeting, and Pluto made some changes on the planet. Let's pay attention: there are two more meetings coming, one in November and another in May. We have seen with shock and surprise how monuments we considered mighty and permanent can crumble like dust. This symbol potentially represents our whole way of life. There is a strong enough possibility of this being far more than a symbol that we need to consider it well.

A Cycle of History

Slow-moving planets, taken together, tell the story of big cycles. All planets work in cycles because one moves faster than the other, and the faster one eventually overtakes the slower one, starting a new cycle. A cycle starts with a conjunction, when the two planets meet, and it peaks with an opposition, when they come face to face from the viewpoint of the Earth. Eventually, the cycle returns to the conjunction (similar to the solar-lunar cycle with the new and full moons, which are conjunctions and oppositions, respectively). The 90-degree meetings -- Saturn to Pluto squares -- are also turning points in such a cycle. Note that I am using aspects that are multiples of 90 degrees, also called "hard aspects."

Generally, astrologers consider hard aspects the most important, because there are usually defining events associated with them rather than opportunities for events (an opportunity is represented by a trine). With a 90-degree multiple, it's safe to say that something happens. But as we'll soon see, the events of Tuesday were a combination of oppositional energy, and a powerful trine (expression, ease or opportunity).

The Saturn-Pluto cycle seems to be about reshaping the world. When we think of the major shifts in world consciousness, geography, politics and economics, Saturn-Pluto tells the story of the 20th century. For example:

<> The Saturn-Pluto conjunction of 1914-1915 marked the beginning of the '14-'18 war, also called World War One.

<> The Saturn-Pluto opposition of 1931 was associated with a worldwide depression and the degradation of economic conditions in Europe that created fertile ground for the rise of the Nazi regime in early 1933.

<> A Saturn-Pluto square in August 1939 coincided with the beginning of World War Two within one month; the war began in September 1939.

<> The next Saturn-Pluto opposition, in 1965-66, came with an escalation of the war in Vietnam and with many upheavals in the social order at home. These were the peak years of what we call The Sixties, when the world as we know it was born. This was a stressful time between fathers and sons. The trust of the people in their government was torn apart. And an old social order would pass on as a new one emerged. But Pluto had a voice, the voice of the (then) anti-war Pluto in Leo generation.

<> The Saturn-Pluto conjunction in 1982 seemed to have less all-consuming events. Robert Hand, in his article in the August/September The Mountain Astrologer, notes that this conjunction coincides with fierce regional conflicts -- the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, which is largely regarded as its Vietnam-like blunder, and the peak of the Iran-Iraq war. There was also a brutal Israeli massacre of about 2,000 Palestinians. In hindsight, we can see how events at the time of this conjunction represent the seed of what is bearing fruit at the current opposition, which is the peak of that cycle.

Recent in-depth research by Rick Levine of on the Saturn-Pluto cycle points to a pattern of history similar to this going back at least to 500 BCE. While this will be the subject of a more in-depth article and forthcoming publication by Rick, the cycle indicates a pattern of profound historical changes in which religious and political values crunch, grind, clash and crash their way across the world's civilizations. These involve not-so-trivial events as the fall of the Roman Empire, the rise of the Holy Roman Empire, England breaking off from the church of Rome, and many historical developments in the political fabric of the Islamic world.

The current opposition lasts for about two years, though if the pattern of history is clear, it represents a gateway or threshold to a new era, though one which, at this point, is still largely undefined. We have arrived at a decision point, a point of no return, where we can go along with the pattern of history, or see the pattern and make a new kind of decision.

Mercury Rises: 8:46 a.m., Sept. 11

Now, the energy of large astrological cycles becomes available in charts for particular moments.

In the 8:46 a.m. New York City chart, the time when Flight 11 was intentionally crashed by hijackers into One World Trade Center and the incident was initiated, Mercury is rising in the sign Libra. It is rising to the very degree, giving it prominence and power in the horoscope. The rising degree, and, if there is one, a rising planet, are often the first things an astrologer looks at because the ascendant is the point where the chart begins. This is an extremely sensitive point; the energies of the ascendant are often transmitted to the entire chart, and to many other people.

But Mercury? Most astrology students would expect to see Pluto or Uranus rising in a chart for a spontaneous, apocalyptic mass-murder. But here we have an example of astrology, not books or astrologers, teaching us about astrology.

Mercury is the planet of communications and messages, an exceedingly important planet in our so-called information age. And it is a vital planet in this chart for a second reason. Note that Virgo is the sign on the cusp of the 12th house. The 12th house is the house of secret enemies, as delineated by the ancient astrologers (reported in 1647 by William Lilly, for example). Virgo on the cusp of that house means the 12th house ruler is Mercury, and so this planet -- which rising in the chart -- represents the terrorists themselves, who have announced their existence, and who communicated by direct action. They are rising in consciousness and power.

But we do not know why they are. And the fact that they sppear as a secret enemy means that we are not being told who really did this. Such a possibility is consistent with the strength of both Mercury and Gemini, where there are all kinds of twinning, substitution and trading-places effects happening in the chart.

While there is an element of "senselessness" to what we have witnessed, Mercury emphasizes the element of an intentional action for an intentional communication. In the sign Libra, we get the element of deliberation, the weighing of alternatives, planning, and the desire for a particular aesthetic affect, gross and violent as it was. A terrorist is a kind of information stylist. Some of what they do is in the physical world, but most of what they do happens in the world of public relations. They specialize in manipulating the news to get their own message across; this, in turn, manipulates consciousness, which manipulates world events -- manipulation by fear, by the way.

Without our extensive communications network, a planetary nervous system of information technology, terrorism would be quite impossible; it would be meaningless.

While the attacks on New York, Washington were experienced by some people as physical events, 99.9% of the world experienced them as media events. The timing of crashing a jet into one tower, waiting 15 minutes and crashing another into the other, after everyone was glued to their television sets, demonstrates that our adversaries are fully versed in the ways of the media, and in using media to spread their message of anger and fear.

Yet the question about all of this is, why? What was whoever did this saying to us? Here is the question that the mainstream media will not ask. It is a question so vast, so important and so difficult for us to answer that its absence is barely missed. We don't want it around. But we better ask it.

Experts tell us that Islamic fundamentalists actually believe that they can start a war between the East and the West and that the followers of Allah will win. They may have intended to tell us that they will bring down our society if they feel like it. Naturally, we will tend to laugh at this message, but it is arrogant laughter, even if Mercury is the ruler of the irrational, delusional or at least incomprehensible 12th house. There is Virgo on the cusp: there is a methodical plan in place, no matter what you may think of it. And it is working is effects, whatever you may think of them, which include the Roosevelt aircraft carrier and its battle group heading toward the Persian Gulf region right now.

But in fact, we do not know that this was the work of Islamic fundamentalist ideology. We know that some Arabs were involved, but there is no manifesto that is linked to this attack to go by. So, beware: the enemy is likely to switch at some point.

In any case, another message is spreading. For the first time since I have been observing world affairs, there is an actual discussion happening among ordinary people about what the proper response to this attack should be. There is an open discussion of not wanting to kill civilians in reprisal. Now we can sense the pain that this would cause. Late night talk radio has been a stream of tempered voices, not vengeful ones, unlike during the Persian Gulf War. There is not a simple divide between the generations or between social classes; opposition to violence, a sense of conscience, the desire for a reasoned response, seems to be coming from people of all ages.

But we have seen the devastating effects of terrorism. Perhaps if the media had been willing to broadcast the effects of US/UN/NATO bombing campaigns, we would not have had our enthusiasm so marshaled during those efforts. The only way to get the real effects of terrorism into the paper or onto television is to have them be domestic news. When death happens abroad, at our hands, it doesn't really happen, as far as the media is concerned.

Now, will this affect policy? Probably not. Does that matter? I don't think so. Policy leaders will do their thing. What matters is what the little people think, what we learn, and where we direct our energies.

Mercury Trine Saturn, and Sextile Pluto

The next thing an astrologer looks for is the relationship between a prominent planet (Mercury, in this case) and other important planets in the chart. Mercury rising is exactly trine (120 degrees away from) Saturn in the 8:46 a.m. chart and in aspect to Pluto -- aspecting the Saturn-Pluto opposition discussed above. Being in aspect to one planet, it is in aspect to the other. This means that Mercury is in direct contact with Saturn and Pluto, functioning together with them.

Saturn, the planet of structure, in the sign Gemini, can easily be seen to represent the Twin Towers, which were destroyed with incredible precision by this "message." Now, it is worth mentioning that the 4th house of this chart has Capricorn on the cusp. Saturn is the ruler of Capricorn, and the 4th house represents our security, and with an attack on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, our security is certainly under siege. And occupying the 4th house of security is Neptune, the king of delusions. We have indeed been delusional about our national security.

Attacked by a Trine?

Now, astrology students may ask, "But isn't a trine supposed to be a good aspect?" The answer is that a trine is easy. It represents an opportunity for the expression of energy. And, for whoever planned this attack, it was very good, and surely worked out as an expression of energy. But it was, in addition to being highly a skilled attack, a very lucky shot, a little like hitting the jackpot in a slot machine that first required an intelligence test to play. There was a window of opportunity open. Now, did the attacker consult an astrologer? It's unlikely, but there are many ways to access the same psychic information.

But the trine also represents an opportunity for the world to respond in a sane way. If, for example, we know that bombing Arab countries does nothing to stop the spread of terrorism or hurt terrorists, and is likely in fact to create more terrorists, then why are we doing it? Why are people so easily fooled? Why do we believe lies? So if we want to make the most of this trine, we need to stop believing lies. To do so, we need to question the presumptions in our own minds that lead us to believe them. This has never been easy for Americans, and we have never suffered the direct consequences of our military decisions, at home. Bodies came home from Vietnam for well over a decade, and the was over for another two or three decades, before we came to a consensus as a culture that it was very, very messed up. But at the time, it served its purpose: to enrich the banks, military outfitters, to give thousands of officers field promotions, and so on.

Planetary Occultations on Sept. 10 and 12

Events can teach us about astrology as much as astrology teaches us about events. The week of Sept. 10 brought a rare astrological condition, an occultation of both Saturn and Jupiter by Luna. This had the approximate effect of an out-of-sequence eclipse. Mechanically, they were identical to solar eclipses, except for the fact that it was not the Sun that got eclipsed: initially, it was Saturn. As we have seen, Saturn in Gemini represents the World Trade Center, and all that it, in turn, represents. The day after this eclipse of Saturn, it was gone.

Saturn and Jupiter are currently at 20-22 degrees north declination, forming an aspect called a parallel within two degrees. Most astrologers ignore declination aspects, if they even know how to read them. Jupiter parallel Saturn is a slow aspect, lasting many months, very similar in nature to a conjunction, only it involves the planets aligning at the same number of degrees above the celestial equator. (A conjunction is an alignment by longitude, like the hands of a clock meeting at noon. A parallel is an alignment by height, or distance above the equator.) In May 2000, we experienced the Jupiter-Saturn conjunction, which happens every 20 years. This parallel aspect recalls the conjunction and the era that it ushered in.

We might not have noticed the parallel. However, something special happened between Sept. 10 and Sept. 12, which is that the moon, moving through Gemini and then Cancer, met both Saturn and Jupiter at their exact longitude AND declination; another way to say this is that the moon eclipsed both planets. Eclipses always have the feeling of points of no return, of thresholds, and we know they can bring massive changes to our lives. These events give us a hint of the ominous power of occultations, particularly the moon occulting Saturn in Gemini.

There are a number of other interesting factors in this chart. Mars on the south node (Ketu, the dragon's tail) is considered to be a violent placement, and to me speaks of the presence of an old, well-known and open enemy (Mars rules Aries, on the 7th house of open enemies). Uranus is in the 5th house, speaking of the wild gamble and the spontaneous emergence of these events. The Sun, ruler of the 11th house of the public, is on the cusp of the 11th and the 12th houses, a dividing line between dreams and reality. But these factors all chatter above the major symbols of this chart, Mercury rising and a void-of-course moon. We might replace both astrological symbols with big red question marks, and we'd have a lot more understandable chart.

A Few Open-Ended Conclusions

We must on some level recognize that it's disingenuous of us to be shocked or surprised by these events. After all, there was a terrorist bombing of the world Trade Center in 1993; we could have presumed they would be back. Many people did. But regardless, the chain reaction of history has been started. And it builds during a period of danger, with an uncertain outcome suggested in the chart. Those of us who have no actual influence, and really, very few of us do -- we are the little people, and the Gods of Capitalism and Fundamentalism are playing their games over our heads -- can only hope to stay close to our core values, and not to espouse or nurture the craving for death and revenge. That is their game. We cannot stop what they are doing in the physical world, but we do not need to go along with it in conscience. And in the journey of the individual soul, this is really all that matters. ++

-- With astrological assistance from Rick Levine, David Arner, Maria Henzler, Carol Burkhart, and some brilliant insights from my astrology clients over the past nine days. Thanks to William Lilly, too. We're still listening.

In a future article, I will look at the U.S. birth chart that I use, called Scorpionic America. Most astrologers use the July 4, 1776 chart, supposedly making the United States a Cancer. Scorpionic America is the chart for the signing of the Articles of Confederation on Nov. 15, 1777, the first time that the 13 colonies were united as one nation (the time for the chart is 5:52:56 p.m. GMT and the location is York, PA). I will also look at the charts for Manhattan and Greater Metropolitan New York City, all of which are quite lit up right now. These charts are available, for the curious, at

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