Hurricane Harvey: Call it What it Is
Let the music keep our spirits highDear Friend and Reader:
This is a good week to appreciate the dry roof over your head and the food in your refrigerator. Now is the perfect time to appreciate, truly appreciate, that you have a home to come home to: that you have a dry bed, and that your people and pets are close to you. Be grateful for the toilet that flushes, the electricity coming out of the wall, and the privilege of having a toaster and some bread to put in it.
Flood damage is insidious. Unlike a fire, where all the damage is up front, a flood is a continuously unfolding disaster that gets worse with time. Damage, loss and injuries continue for months.
The mold grows and grows, until it's stopped. The extent of renovation required after a building is submerged in water is more than most people can afford, if the home or business is even salvageable.
I know this from personal experience. The first-ever Planet Waves office, in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey, was destroyed by Hurricane Floyd weeks after the previous famous total solar eclipse in Leo, the Aug. 11, 1999, grand cross event. This featured mandatory evacuation and rescue by the Fire Department with a guide rope across the front yard, which was turned into a brisk river.
Before I move on to the week's news and astrology, which has deep personal and transpersonal impact, please take note of our listing of animal rescue groups serving the Houston area. We received all of these references from Planet Waves readers. Please donate as generously as you can. Animals always pay for the failings and shortcomings of people, and they're our best friends. We've just added one rescue group devoted to horses.
Please Google any organization before you donate, and make sure nobody is raising an alarm. We could not verify these listings before sending out our letter last night. If you find out that one of these groups is running any kind of scam, please let me know and we'll remove it from the list and send out a caution. If you can speak directly to positive experiences, please let us know as well, and we will take note.
Thank you on behalf of critters everywhere, and St. Francis of Assisi, patron saint of animals, the environment and Planet Waves.
What is Happening in Bangladesh, India and Nepal
Bangladesh, and parts of India and Nepal, are currently under extreme flood conditions. As of this writing, one-third of Bangladesh is under water. Some 1,200 people have already died as a result of the flooding, which has left many villages entirely cut off from aid.
Please keep the flood victims in south Asia in your thoughts, and be careful what relief agencies you contribute to. Please do not donate to the Red Cross, which is a giant scam, and has a reputation for criminal behavior where its help is needed the very most. Stick to smaller, regional organizations, which will take some effort to ferret out. The rescue-charity complex has become the latest field of massive institutional fraud. It's being driven by the fact that the world's systems are falling apart, and funded by goodwill, which is often abused. So, thanks for contributing and thank you for being vigilant.
Where to Get Trustworthy News
Our Pacifica Radio affiliate Democracy Now! hosted by Amy Goodman is, in my experience, the best place to get up-to-date news on the hurricane and many other issues. Democracy Now! is a Monday to Friday daily program that airs on some public television stations and many radio stations.
The program runs one hour and is free from commercial interruption. You do not need incessant drug and car ads with your news. Watch or listen for one week and you'll see what you've been missing -- and (with certain selected exceptions) MSBNC will start to sound as repetitive, as shallow and nearly as "conservative" as Fox News.
Note that Planet Waves is a member and a generous supporter of Pacifica Radio and Democracy Now!, so your membership with us includes support for those organizations. If you feel inspired to give more, please do so. For an organization like that, $10 a month goes a long way -- though if not, we have you covered.
Upcoming Astrology the Next Seven Days
We are now in the last days of Mercury retrograde. As I mentioned on Planet Waves FM, and explained in detail, this sequence of astrology is a kind of double-ending related to the eclipse. Please do not glaze over when I type in some numbers that describe astrology: there is a point.
And we're about to have a big one: Mercury will station direct soon after forming an exact conjunction to Mars, in the eclipse degree. The conjunction of Mercury and Mars is at 5:37 am EDT on Sunday, Sept. 3. At 28 degrees of Leo 44 arc minutes.
The eclipse was at 28 degrees of Leo and 53 arc minutes -- this is within the 11-arc-minute "as close as a conjunction gets" range. Said another way, this is a shocking synchronicity.
Then, adding to the fun and the synchronicity, Mercury stations direct at 7:29 am EDT on Tuesday, Sept. 5 at 28 degrees of Leo and 25 arc minutes; again, a fraction of a degree away from the eclipse. I know Mercury seems to make a lot of stations (six or more times a year) though this gets triple word score for being exactly in the eclipse degree.
This happens synchronized with the Pisces Full Moon, which takes place at 3:03 am EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 6. Nothing says "water" like the Pisces Moon. It's also related to the eclipse in that it's the Full Moon corresponding with the immediately prior New Moon, which was the eclipse.
We could say that the other shoe has yet to fall. Remember that all of the events at 28+ Leo are conjunct the rising degree of Donald Trump, which is 29+ Leo. That means he's going to be in the news, by which I mean: in the news in an unusual way. These events are basically broadsiding his chart.
So what do you do?
You do nothing special. Just hang out and wait to do anything special, like sign a big contract, buy something expensive, make an investment, plan a trip, begin options trading, start flight lessons, try a new drug, drive home from the bar tipsy, break up with your boyfriend, quit your job or settle a score with someone.
From what I have seen studying and covering the past 80 or so Mercury retrogrades, anything that cannot wait a few days is not worth doing. There is some fallacy in thinking that you have to get something done before Mercury does whatever. Invest your energy into mitigating problems, and if you're the creative type, take advantage of the mental turbulence and harvest all the great ideas that are coming through. It's also a fantastic time to clean closets and organize your bookshelf.
Of course interesting spontaneous things will manifest, and you want to leave room for them. This is the key with intense Mercury station events: leave resources available to handle what just comes up.
Hurricane Harvey Landfall Chart
In the August monthly edition of Planet Waves, I wrote about Leo eclipses: "We get a clue from William Lilly, who wrote back in 1647 (I am paraphrasing) that if it's been a while since there was a solar eclipse in Leo, and it hasn't rained for a while, expect a lot of rain. If it's been raining a lot, it's likely to dry up. He's saying there's a shift in not just the weather but the weather pattern; which is literal as well as a metaphor."
When charting a hurricane, the time-tested method to use is to cast for landfall; that is, when the storm's eye reaches land. That happened at 10 pm CDT on Friday, Aug. 25, right near Port Aransas, Texas. The coordinates of the chart you're looking at have been slightly adjusted, though the location is stated as Port Aransas, which is very close to the location of landfall.
The specific details emerging from the Hurricane Harvey chart describe a society and an environment in collapse. Currently, people are being saved only by private organizations, the work of individuals and some meek help from the government. The storm has struck at the epicenter of the American petrochemical industry, which is as ironic as it is toxic. There will probably never be the appropriate testing for contamination after the waters recede, though the mix will contain everything from dioxin to benzene.
Chemical tanks are spilling, dioxin dumps are being flooded and chemical plants are exploding.
What is being left out of all mainstream news sources is an actual conversation about what is behind a storm that can dump 50 inches of rain in a few days, and still keep going. That thing used to be called "global warming," which the evil-genius spin doctor Frank Luntz renamed more innocuously as "climate change," and which we can now call climate breakdown.
This is a first in American history -- following by mere days an unprecedented total solar eclipse. Dale O'Brien has carefully mapped out the history of eclipses that touch (or will touch) the United States, and based on his research, this is a fast reaction.
British journalist George Monbiot was a guest on Thursday's Democracy Now! and explains it much better than I can.
For efficiency, let's base the rest of this article on the chart for when Harvey first made landfall. Please do not be deterred by my use of astrological language; sometimes it's necessary and sometimes it's the best metaphor.
Here are seven salient characteristics of the Hurricane Harvey chart.
1. Pluto in Capricorn is the most elevated planet. Pluto in Capricorn in the 10th house is a commentary on unrestrained corporate capitalism. Mythological Pluto wears a helmet of invisibility, so we might not notice or even think about something so pervasive. The influence of Pluto is emphasized by its exact (less than one degree) square to the horizon. Pluto in Capricorn began with a breakdown of the global banking system and the onset of the "great recession" in 2008. It has continued many ways, leading to the current incapacitated presidency (a 10th-house thing) under widespread criminal investigation after just seven months.
2. The Uranus-Eris conjunction in Aries is rising. Directly related to Pluto, this is also a distinct entity of its own. In many articles, I've described the kinds of cultural and personal breakdowns associated with the Uranus-Eris conjunction. This has included the mass-inducement of out-of-body experience thanks to the internet, as well as the pervasive state of identity chaos.
Many times, I've expressed Uranus-Eris as describing us as sitting at the bottom of the digital ocean. However, it also describes a generalized state of overwhelm and chaos, which looks a lot like what we are seeing in Texas and elsewhere now. As a result of these events, many people will "find themselves," having little other choice.
If you combine Pluto at the top of the chart with Uranus rising, we can also see that the Uranus-Pluto square (associated with Fukushima, Arab Spring and its aftermath, the Wisconsin union protests and the Occupy! Movement) is still alive and well. In the sequence of events, Uranus square Pluto was handed off to Uranus conjunct Eris. As the U.S. Pluto return fully engages, much more is yet to come.
Side note: in this chart and for a while, Uranus is exactly opposite a slow-mover called Typhon, related to the word "typhoon," and Eris is exactly opposite a slow-mover called Haumea, the midwife of the gods.
3. Saturn in Sagittarius in the 9th house, combined with other factors there. This is about stuck, negative ideas that pass for religion and spirituality. Saturn rules the 10th, so you could say it's about the religion of capitalism. The only reason a poor person would support tax cuts for the wealthy is if capitalism is a religion.
You might be sick and starving, but at least the bishops, the cardinals and the pope eat well and have someone to wash their feet.
4. Jupiter in Libra, on the western horizon. This proverbial elephant in the room has a few distinct manifestations. It might represent the silver lining of this whole mess, the gift of this situation, the lesson learned. That remains to be seen. We thought we understood this one with twin hurricanes Rita and Katrina, when there was actually a conversation about global warming.
Jupiter also represents a stubborn, persistent, "it's all good"-styled pseudo-optimism that's inherent in the American spirit. However, if we consider that Jupiter rules Sagittarius and the 9th house in this chart, there's some more religion at work (mother nature, the act of God, etc.).
If we consider that Jupiter rules the 12th house (where Pisces lands in this chart), that's the thing that nobody understands. Jupiter is so high you can't get over it, so wide you can't get around it and so deep you can't get under it. So why not pretend everything is fine?
The Moon in Libra is right there as well. The Moon in this chart knocks on many different doors, including Pholus (uncontained release), Typhon (typhoons), Uranus (disruption) and the eclipse itself.
5. Venus rules the Libra descendant. Venus, in the very last arc minutes of Cancer, is anaretic or void of course: it's about to change signs. It's way, way, way at the end of its sign. This is not so extraordinary except that Venus rules an important angle, the 7th house or descendant: the environment itself. Anaretic can describe something at the every end of its cycle, something out of control or unpredictable, and more than anything, something that's changing. In any event, it's strongly emphasized, it's a distinction, and it can be used constructively.
6. Mercury retrograde, conjunct the Sun, opposite Nessus. We could say, "Consequences involving the ocean, combined with lack of all common sense." We need to learn respect for the ocean and indeed for the entire ecosystem, but that's irrelevant if life is cheap. And heck, it's a huge galaxy, there are other planets, and we keep reincarnating anyway so why get it right in this lifetime?
7. Mars in Leo, conjunct the North Node in Leo, in the 5th house. We might just say taking huge chances for their own sake. Sure, why not gamble your paycheck, your house or the whole planet? It'll be fun, and heck, you might just win.
Notably, the chart for global-warming denier Pres. Trump pardoning Joe "Do People Actually Know Just How Evil This Man Is?" Arpaio is similar to the Harvey chart, having happened the same evening, within approximately the same hour.
We have a much bigger problem than all of this on our hands. Over the past week, I've observed that this event is part of a pattern I've previously documented in the article Here at the Edge of the World. We're in the midst of some other kind of war, where the environment has been turned into a weapon.
As we go through all of this, remember your dharma.
Remember: act as if to hold the world together.
-- Photo research by Amanda Painter
Planet Waves (ISSN 1933-9135) is published each Sunday and Thursday evening in Kingston, New York, Planet Waves, Inc. Core Community membership: $197/year. Editor and Publisher: Eric Francis Coppolino. Web Developer: Anatoly Ryzhenko. Astrology Editor: Amanda Painter. Client Services: Amy Elliott. Eric's Assistant: Ellen Dockery. Astrology Fact Checker: Len Wallick. Copy Editor and Fact Checker: Jessica Keet. Media Consultant: Andrew Ellis Marshall McLuhan. Music Director: Daniel Sternstein. Bass and Drums: Daniel Grimsland. Additional Research, Writing and Opinions: Amy Jacobs, Cindy Ragusa and Carol van Strum.