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It is always interesting to have a glance at the current astrological picture. Some of us may be aware that at the time of the last Cancer Ingress on June 21, 2005 transiting Neptune was retrograde at 17:20 Aquarius in a sesquisquare aspect to the Sun at 0 degrees Cancer. At the time the hurricane came ashore, Neptune had slipped back to 15:39 Aquarius, at the same time as Mars was at 16:12 Taurus, thus in a partile square to each other, with Mars in an almost exact semisquare to the Ingress Sun. We have seen this situation before on numerous occasions when natural disasters have occurred—this presence of planets in the middle degrees of fixed signs bringing to mind Isabel Hickey’s warning about this state of affairs, which I have so often referred to in the past. (viz. Under the heading, Critical Degrees, she writes, among other things, "Pay particular attention to planets in Fixed signs that are in 15 degrees. They are important. The Fixed signs are tied esoterically with the Lords of Karma, and planets in those degrees are very strong for good or il."’). She does not elaborate on the exact reasons for her opinion, but I personally suspect that it might have to do with the stressful relationship of 15 degrees of fixed to 0 degrees Cardinal.

In addition, transiting Mercury was just a few degrees separating from a semisquare to 0 degrees Cancer. And while mentioning this, I would also like to add that this is within a degree of the phenomenally important so-called Fixed Grand Cross Total Solar Eclipse of August 11, 1999. One has to ask, is it within the realms of possibility that it may, after all these years, still be exerting an influence on world affairs? Some felt that this was the "king of terror from the sky" which would appear in "1999 and seven months," referred to by Nostradamus. Of possible relevance also was the fact that at the previous New Moon on August 5, 2005 Mercury retrograde was at 14:17 Leo, within one degree of the middle of a fixed sign, and the lunation itself was just over 2 degrees away at 12:48 Leo. Once again we see these powerful activating influences to an Ingress chart at the time of a devastating natural disaster, by means of 8th Harmonic aspects—the harmonic of manifestation through struggle and stress, as referred to by David Hamblin. Neptune adding its slow moving influence was no doubt linked to the inundation by both sea and rain—the massive waves whipped up by incredibly powerful winds, together with the sheets of blinding rain. This situation was quite possibly described by the stressful aspects from Mars to Neptune, not to mention the Ingress Sun, and to a slightly lesser extent from Mercury. However, as to why this potentially worrying astrological picture would manifest at this particular location on the planet, I leave to other pundits to speculate on.

In another vein, William Lilly has much to say on the subject of lashings by the elements, and also quotes several other astrologers on the subject. He himself opines:

These prodigious Tumults, and more then ordinary swellings of the Sea-banks, and furious Inundations of Waters are most assured Messengers of Gods wrath and anger until Mankinde;….These inundations are ill signes, and portend no good unto them….The particular excesses of the elements are certaine principall engines of Divine vengeance, in regard they extend themselves with so much force and so great violence more then ordinary. All Philosophers unanimously consenting in this.

Then he quotes Jerome Cardan:

The overflowings of the Sea or of Rivers, when they exceed the ordinary course of nature, doe foretell the coming in or an inrode of People and strangers, Enemies, into those parts’. Also, Cornelius Gemma: ‘The Masteries or over-powring of the Elements, or any famous or unusuall extravagancies or excesses of any of them amongst themselves or their first qualities, doe manifest, that not long after promiscuously there followes a kind of Scourge, whereby many People are consumed; and this is usually Famine or some remarkable Barrennesse of the Earth. The overflowing of the watery Element hath ever been reputed Prodigious unto the People where it happened’. And lastly, Eden Nehusus: ‘If therefore the chaine of Nature be unloosed, and the enclosures of Waters pluckt up, so that they get forth of their owne proper Channels or Bounds, and overflow the Earth or ground with a lawlesse mastery of violence, this is not done by Fortune or chance, but it comes to passe by Divine command.


Since writing the foregoing, in recent days we have seen a deterioration in matters, with mortality rate estimates running into the thousands, although there has been no official confirmation as yet. Generally speaking, real assistance has been a long time coming, consequently there has been an escalation in violence and looting, with stories of rape, bashings and shootings as frustration levels reach boiling point. The government in general and President in particular have been blamed for the entire catastrophe. In this context, one would feel that perhaps the Mars square Neptune energy is implicated here, and especially as almost concurrently we witnessed last week’s tragic events in Iraq, where almost 1000 Shiite Moslems were killed and approximately 815 injured in Baghdad on August 31, in a stampede on a bridge over the Tigris River during a religious procession. The disaster appeared to have been sparked by a rumor that a suicide bomber was among the more than 1 million people gathering at a Shiite shrine in the capital. It was said that most of the victims on the bridge were trampled or crushed in the stampede, while others plunged about 10 meters into the muddy river. The majority killed were apparently women and children. This story would seem to confirm that the energy does not seem to be confined solely to the southern United States. However, Ed Tamplin has pointed out the similarities in the American and Iraqi charts. We can see the influence of Neptune (the religious procession to the shrine by the faithful, then the confusion which reigned as a result of the false rumors) in close challenging aspect to Mars (the supposed suicide bomber, the stampede, and the later shooting at the site). Mars was at 16 degrees Taurus on the day.


  • Hickey, Isabel: Astrology: A Cosmic Science. Repub. 1992. CRCS Pubs. Isabel Hickey
  • Hamblin, David: Harmonic Charts: Understanding and Using the Principle of Harmonic in Astrological Interpretation. Aquarian Press. London. 1987. p 255.
  • Lilly, William: Annus Tenebrosus or The Dark Year . First pub.1652.Lon don. Ascella Publications ed., 1997. London. Ed. Sue Ward.


Lisa Stephens began formal classes in astrology in March 1994, in Sydney, Australia, achieved her FAA Practitioners Certificate in 1998, and became a Foundation Member of the Association of Professional Astrologers (APA). In recent years she has turned her attention to writing and original research and has had a number of articles published.

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