Astrology and Hurricane Sandy

Truthfully, I had no idea that there is a sub-field of astrology called meteorological astrology that focuses on the placement of the sun, moon, and planets to forecast the weather.  But this should not be an entirely surprising activity.  Ancient astrologers, without the benefit of satellites and computer modeling, were patient sky-watchers, believing that aspects between planets were portents of weather.  In addition to weather prediction, for thousands of years people have looked to the sky to calculate directions, measure time, know when to plant and reap crops, and plan for important events like marriages.

Hurricane Sandy has made me immediately dive in to see if there has been any compelling coverage about this catastrophic event from an astrological perspective.  Is weather prediction and astrology passé now?

A lot of the coverage—which is modest—includes a chart for Hurricane Sandy, which is a picture of the sky including the sun and all the planets at its “inception.”  Some astrologers cast the chart for right after or just preceding its touchdown on the East Coast, although many used slightly different logic to understand its inception time.  I like Eric Francis’s casting of the chart at 8pm on Monday, October 29 at Atlantic City, New Jersey as the hurricane slammed into the coastline.  (His accompanying podcast is excellent.)

Most people know that there was a full moon the night that the hurricane struck.  This is represented in the chart with a moon in Taurus in opposition (180 degrees) to the sun in Scorpio.  Obviously, this sun-moon transit is the most obvious one because almost everyone affected by the hurricane knows that the problems were made more acute by the full moon on the Monday night.

The majority of the stories online focus on various interpretations based on the chart at the time of impact.  For example, as Karen Kay points out in her blog, there is a nasty square between Mercury (transportation, communication) and Neptune (water) that happens during this period.  (A square is when planets are approximately 90 degrees from each other, and signifies tension and conflict.)

Joyce Hopewell focuses on the Sun and Saturn conjunction, the Uranus and Pluto square, and the Jupiter and Mars opposition.  But in some of these transits, they happen over a long period of time (some for a week and some quite longer) and it’s not obvious to me how the chart can be related specifically to the hurricane actually hitting the coastline because the chart would have looked similar on other days of the week, if not the week prior.  There is other coverage, like Dark Astrology and  Solaris Astrology that focuses on very obscure stars, and Tara Greene focuses on water themes in the chart.

No surprise, much of the brief coverage is focused on the fact—no astrological interpretation needed here—that Hurricane Sandy completely changed the conversation about the Presidential Election.  It seems like the two campaigns were at a near stalemate just over a week ago, but how the Obama Administration has dealt with the recovery effort may have helped shape the outcome of the election.  Perhaps everything is not about politics anymore!  Rather, we have a real referent now—the world we actually live in—as opposed to the stories (and fictions) of both candidates.  As Eric Francis says, it’s nice to have a reality check now and not just unbridled politics.

Astrologers Weigh In On The 2012 Presidential Race

As we are deep into election season, I would be remiss to not turn my attention to the upcoming United States presidential race.  Fortunately for us all, there was no need to wait until now to do all the speculating since there was a major confab of the world’s leading astrologers—a once in every-four year event—that took place from May 25 – 30, 2012 in New Orleans, the United Astrology Conference (UAC).  As one Reuters reporter put it in the Chicago Tribune, there is “no need to wait for November to know the election outcome” although speculation abounds.

I would think it is a fun assignment to cover an international astrology conference, but how to justify attending it?  It wasn’t exactly a mystery that most journalists covered the forecasting of the presidential campaign, a sexy news hook for the media.  Fortunately there was a media-friendly plenary dedicated to the topic!  You can watch the panel here, although beware that it is highly technical and includes very footage blurry.  (It’s mostly a bore until about 26 minutes into the feed.)

Here is a brief Associated Press video that showed up on the USA Today online edition.

Other major outlets like USA Today, Houston Chronicle, Huffington Post, New York Daily News, and the hometown New Orleans Times-Picayune also covered the event using a similar storyline.  Even the blog Christian Post covered it.

Major news outlets routinely cover astrological predictions for presidents although I haven’t had time to review the extensive astrological coverage of the historic 2008 election yet.  The good news is that there is still a lot of consensus from the astrologers:  that Obama is likely to be elected, but that the election will be very close (or maybe even too close to call).  Part of the reason why there is consensus:  the transits leading up to and on election day, November 6, and on inauguration day, January 20, 2013 are very favorable to Obama and much less so for Romney.  In particular, astrologers like the fact that Saturn and other planets will be transiting through Obama’s 10th house of career throughout the fall.  The influence of Saturn and Neptune on Romney’s chart are less favorable.

More generically, well-known astrologers like Susan Miller tend to agree, because Obama is a sun in Leo (executive, leader archetype) which is more typical of the pattern of past presidents, while Romney has a sun in Pisces (artist, mystic archetype).

According to a PR Newswire article, if Romney had only consulted an astrologer, he would have been more careful and avoided the “verbal gaffe” when he was secretly recorded saying at a fundraiser:  “My job is not to worry about those people.  I’ll never convince them they should take personal responsibility and care for their lives.”  Larry Schwimmer had predicted a predicament like this following the Republican Convention in August 2012.

If you want to get all the details, I recommend Larry Schwimmer’s two part series in the Huffington Post, first looking at the Romney-Ryan ticket and then the Obama-Biden ticket.  And, Kepler College has produced a great summary of articles on astrological predictions for the 2012 election, highlighting different forecasting techniques.  There also is a summary of psychics and tarot readers at Cafe Mom.  I found some of the techniques on the more obscure side and designed only for specialists or astrologers who are showing off, but it’s an excellent overview of what it’s all about.

And there is other big news about the presidential election, which we probably could have anticipated even prior to Hurricane Sandy.  That Mercury will go retrograde the evening of the election.  This may mean modest things like problems in the voting booths or misplaced ballots, or something more major like a contested election  (Surprise!)  With Sandy in mind, who knows how many folks won’t be able to vote.  In November, the planet Mercury (representing communication and thinking) is transiting the sign of Sagittarius, but on November 6, election night, it goes retrograde or backwards.  As a result, some astrologers are predicting some element of “chaos” to be determined.  Stay tuned!