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As Pluto hovered toward and across the Mars position in the Sibley horoscope of the USA during the first decade of the 20th century the nation experienced three major catastrophes, the San Francisco earthquake, the New York maritime disaster that was the General Slocum, and the all but total destruction of Galveston, Texas. At the time, the latter was the worst natural disaster in the nationís history. Pluto wasnít the only major player, as Uranus was also aspecting its natal position in the USA chart. Today as we move through the first decade of the 21st century these planetary connections are repeated, and so is a natural disaster.

The traditional way of looking at seasonal weather prediction astrologically is the use of Ingress charts. The entry of the Sun into one of the four cardinal signs vitally changes its relationship with the earth. While this gives accurate long-term weather forecasts, and localized weather variances, they tend, alone, to miss the big events. When there are cataclysmic occurrences, they impact on both the land and its inhabitants. It would be expected therefore that no major catastrophe would occur without accompanying major transits to the country, state, city or town horoscopes where it occurred.

For example Pluto aspects to the US Mars-Neptune square at the turn of the 20th century is directly linked to the previously mentioned disasters. Today it locks in with the death and destruction produced by Hurricane Katrina. As Mars and Neptune squared in the skies recently, they also impacted upon the Midheaven of the USA Sagittarius rising chart effectively making it their midpoint axis. Over a century ago Pluto and Neptune combined in a similar fashion to make the USA Mars their midpoint. Uranus was also in opposition to the USA Uranus and it impacted again in an area known for cyclones.

The Destruction of Galveston

There are eerie connections between the Ghosts of Galveston and the chaotic scenes today in New Orleans. Galveston was named after Bernardo de Galvez, a Spanish colonial governor who sent a party to chart the area, and named Galveston Bay, on July 23, 1786. The island operated for a time as a pirate base, then for the Texas navy. Congress made Galveston an official Port of Entry in 1837. The first land sale at Galveston was on April 20, 1836, a day which had a Mars-Pluto conjunction in Aries, coupled with a Moon-Uranus conjunction in watery Pisces.The City was proclaimed the following year, but the land sales represent the coming settlement. The Strand was soon filled with wholesalers, cotton agents, insurance companies as Galveston became the "Wall Street of the Southwest." At the turn of the century it was the fourth largest city of the USA.

That all came to an abrupt halt on September 8, 1900, as winds estimated at between 150 and 200 miles per hour, accompanied by a tidal surge that reached 15 Ė20 feet, devastated the island and killed between 6-8,000 people, or 1 in 5. Whole city blocks were swept away and over one-third of the city was completely destroyed. On top of the human loss, the damage in monetary terms was huge, and the city never fully recovered. Pluto was moving toward the conjunction to the USA Mars, Uranus had reached the opposition point to the USA Uranus, and was square Galveston's own Moon-Uranus conjunction.

New Orleans was born on the February 10, 1718 (according to Marc Penfield) and is no stranger to the forces of nature, having experienced her first hurricane just a year after coming into existence. There are numerous links (as would be expected) between the charts of New Orleans and the chart of the USA. Probably the most telling is the connection of the New Orleans Moon in Gemini (the populace) conjunct the USA Mars. The current Pluto opposition to the US Mars and New Orleans Moon has wrought death and destruction on the city and state which, typical of cathartic Pluto, will have to undergo major reconstruction.

Uranus Transits

Uranus at the time of the Galveston hurricane and the birth of United States was at 8-9 degrees mutable, as is the Ascendant in the New Orleans chart. Its position now at 8 - 9 Pisces, a mutable sign, puts it in an exact square to these points. Back on September 8, 1900 Uranus wasnít only opposing its natal position in the USA chart. It carried the energy of a Full Moon (water) with Pluto (violence) and Mercury (wind) all in a dynamic Grand Cross. This set up an explosive force on the original Uranus-Moon-Jupiter (big storm) of the chart for the land sale (April 20, 1838). The Uranus and Pluto impact from the past has repeated in the present. This time they are both in exact aspect simultaneously and we could be witness to the nationís worst disaster. Many were bracing for another September 11, but perhaps it came from the sea, wearing the name Katrina.

There is much more that can be found in the comparisons of these charts and the events that have occurred and also indicators that there is still a little while to wait out the current storm that is brewing around the USA. The Mars-Neptune square that was in place at the time of Katrina continues back and forth for several months to come and Uranus will remain in orb of itself until early 2006.


Sherrynne Dalby is Vice President of the Federation of Australian Astrologers and the Association of Professional Astrologers (AUST). Sherrynne, a mother of 7, loves working with children's astrology. She also has a fascination with mundane and weather forecasting. She is Co principal of the Sirius School of Astrology and a member of the FAA examination board. Sherrynne is a full time professional astrologer combining, teaching, lecturing, writing and consultations with her research work.

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