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Most of us think of lightning as an unusual event. Yet, during one second of time, about 100 lightning bolts strike somewhere on the Earth (around nine million strikes per day). According to the National Weather Service, the odds of being hit by lightning are about one in three million. Nevertheless, throughout the world over the past forty years, 8,000 people have been killed by lightning and 25,000 injured. Of the 400 or so Americans hit by lightning every year, about 100 die.

Lightning in Astrology and Myth

What can astrology tell us about this great natural phenomenon? The principles of astrology were formulated in ancient times, when nearly all cultures believed that thunder and lightning were caused by the activity of sky gods. These sky gods were associated with planets; they reigned supreme, and thunderbolts were their emblem of power over heaven and Earth. In Scandinavia, it was the great god Thor swinging his mighty hammer. The Greeks believed that it was Zeus (Jupiter) who threw thunderbolts. Interestingly, our word "Thursday" is named for Thor, and in astrology, Thursday has always been identified as a day ruled by Jupiter, the thunder god.

In ancient Greek astro-mythology, Jupiter was known as the god of the sky, weather and thunderstorms, so he was directly connected with lightning. But there are other god/planets that astrologers have associated with this phenomenon.

A lightning strike is a speedy, violent, sudden exchange of electrical energy. Mercury, the swift messenger of Jupiter, was often sent, just as lightning is, from heaven to Earth, so astrologically Mercury is connected with lightning.

Mars has always been known as a violent god/planet. Uranus and the sign it rules, Aquarius, have long been associated with electricity, sudden, unexpected events and the dramatic release of built-up tension. In astrology, both Mars and Uranus are prominent in the charts of accidents. In addition, Jupiter and Uranus are the planets that bring dramatic change. Mercury and Uranus are both indicators of the electrical nature of the human nervous system.

When Lightning Strikes

When lightning strikes a human being, the electricity courses through the body at close to 100,000 miles per second, which is so fast that victims do not suffer direct internal damage. It is common, however, for severe burns to be experienced at the entry and exit points. A victim may be knocked unconscious, but the main threat is when the electric current paralyzes the breathing and causes muscles to contract, including those of the heart. In astrology, we understand this as Jupiter who throws the bolt, Uranus who rules electric current, Mercury who rules consciousness, the lungs and breathing and Mars who rules the muscles, as well as burns.

It is not uncommon for those who survive a lightning strike to experience a drastic change of some kind in their lives. Many have felt as though they had actually died and "come back to life." Often there is an immediate experience of regret for having ignored the important things in life, followed by a great feeling of gratitude for being given a second chance, and an urge to devote oneself to becoming a better human. We can relate this kind of revelation or resurrection to the combined effects of Jupiter-Uranus transits. This is because, in astrology, Uranus represents sudden change and Jupiter represents expansion and self-knowledge.

An Astrological Lightning Study

From what we know about lightning, it's not surprising to find these same planetary gods acting together in combination as astrological indicators in the charts of lightning events and the birth charts of victims. What the charts show, according to a study I did on the charts of lightning victims, are highly active or pronounced aspects between Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Uranus.

Astrology Horoscope: Roy SullivanRoy Sullivan is a prime example. He was struck by lightning no fewer than seven times in his lifetime. His seventh strike put him in the Guinness Book of World Records. Roy was born on February 7, 1912, and his chart shows a prominence of "lightning planets." His Uranus and Mercury are conjunct in Aquarius, with both making a trine to Mars, which is located in Mercury's sign of Gemini.

In order to test the theory that Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Uranus are prominent in the charts of lightning strikes, I conducted a survey. The study used a database of events recorded in Florida (the state with the most lightning fatalities) from 1959 through 1994. Charts were drawn for 294 dates when fatalities due to lightning occurred during the months of May through September. 263 of these charts (89 percent of the total) showed at least one major aspect between Mercury, Mars, Jupiter or Uranus. 105 charts (36 percent) showed two or more aspects between these same planets. These percentages can be compared with the 10 to 30 percent chance that just one aspect between these planets might occur on an average day.

While there is evidence that aspects between Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Uranus are common in the charts of lightning strikes and their victims, having any of these "lightning" aspects in your own chart does not automatically guarantee that you will experience a lightning strike. But it might be a good idea to exercise particular caution, as everyone should, whenever a thunderstorm is nearby.



Valerie Vaughan graduated with honors from Vassar College, where she studied astronomy and mythology, and has a Master's Degree in information science. She has been practicing, teaching and writing about astrology for 25 years. She is the author of Astro-Mythology: The Celestial Union of Astrology and Myth and Persephone is Transpluto: The Scientific, Mythological and Astrological Discovery of the Planet Beyond Pluto, both published by One Reed Publications.

For more information about Valerie Vaughan, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Valerie Vaughan:

  • Accidents   8/31/2013
  • Astrology Takes an Eye-Opening Look at Sleep   6/8/2013
  • Woman as Lover or Mother: The Venus-Ceres Crisis   1/14/2012
  • Astrology Takes an Eye-Opening Look at Sleep   1/22/2005
  • Classroom Avengers: The Astrology of School Shootings   3/9/2001
  • Careers in Health Care: An Astrological View   10/4/2000
  • Premature Birth: Astrology and the Ethics of Survival   9/28/2000
  • A Stellar Alignment: Astrology and Chiropractic   7/31/2000
  • The "Age-Old" Dilemma of Aging Gracefully: It's All a Matter of Timing   7/17/2000
  • Between Sky and Mind: The Lunar Link to Sanity   6/10/2000
  • All in the Family: Cloning, Genetics and Astrology   5/4/2000
  • Chronobiology: Astrology in a Lab Coat?   3/13/2000

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