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Kingston, NY, Friday, Sept 12, 2003

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Sept. 11, 2001 Chart Revisited

Dear Friend and Client:

As one of the most important collective events in recent world history, the time and place of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks provides data for a chart that can serve as a guide to the events we experienced -- and continue to experience -- as a result of whatever went down that day. One of astrology's most important jobs is to help us find some meaning in what is otherwise terrible and bereft of any sense. And this chart is ominous. I think any astrologer would agree with that.

It's difficult to convey the feeling of an ominous chart to a non-astrologer without resorting to hype or oversimplification. Astrology is complicated, and it is especially so when you have to start from the very beginning. So, fans and followers of astrology tend to choose the interpreters they trust, and accept that they're getting an honest reading of a chart they usually can't understand.

Astrology, though, is interpretive. Everyone has their slant on life. That is the nature of perception. It is possible to see nearly anything in a chart, and too often what astrologers see is based less on astrology and more on our values, our level of education and, at times, wishful thinking. Yet there are also ancient rules that astrologers agree upon, or at least agree exist, and these we can hold one another to as a reference point. These ground rules provide the grounding and common ground that astrologers can stand on. The rules are stuffy and rigid, but they are our guard rail.

On to our topic. The data I'm working with is 8:46 a.m. on Sept. 11, 2001 in Manhattan, the place and time Flight 11 was crashed into the North Tower of the World Trade Center. This was the defining moment. Though we could say the event was born when the first highjacking took place, Sept. 11 was not a done deal until the North Tower was hit. This was the point of no return. Here is the chart.

As an aside, my basic interpretation of this chart has not changed since I wrote my first article about it in September 2001, though much has come to light. That essay is called Mercury Also Rises.

Photo by Eric Francis.

Mercury Is Rising

It's a good habit to check the rising sign of any chart first, kind of like a nurse checks a patient's pulse and blood pressure. Libra is the sign rising. Mercury, a planet, is in Libra, thus it is said to be rising as well -- and it is rising exactly to the degree. Mercury rises once a day, just like the Sun. But it occupies the exact degree of the ascendant for about three to five minutes per day. So right away we have something unusual about this chart. The great roulette wheel came up exactly on Mercury. Put up your antennas and turn on your radio; there's something interesting on the air.

Mercury covers many topics of the Sept. 11 event. It's the ruler of the sign of the Twins, Gemini. There is an instant reference to the Twin Towers. It is about transportation and communication, and we certainly witnessed a media event involving travel. Mercury is the trickster, and something very tricky happened that day. Mercury is also a messenger, and we were all given a message, granted, one that many people missed, that others interpreted in their own distorted way and that many people exploited. In Libra, the sign of the Scales, which traditionally represents the law, we have an image not of someone attacking the law, but rather of being tricky with it. Those are a few images or impressions of the ascendant provided by a fairly objective reading of Mercury in Libra rising.

When we begin to apply the rules of traditional astrology, we make an interesting discovery. Mercury officially rules two signs: Gemini and Virgo. In this chart, Virgo is located on the cusp of the 12th house, so we can say that Mercury rules the 12th house. (Said another way, the line where the 12th house begins goes through Virgo, granting Mercury authority over the affairs of that house.) The 12th, among other themes, is the house of secret enemies. Its planetary ruler is the symbol of the secret enemy; that is Mercury; and the secret enemy is rising, exactly. We don't know who he or she is, since it's a secret. But our Identikit gives us a description of a trickster. Maybe even a trickster with a legal background who's well-spoken or a kind of persuader. And childish. Mercury is always a bit childish.

But there is also the feeling of a professional publicist involved. Mercury in Libra would make good television commercials.

Gemini Moon Void-of-Course

The next thing that most astrologers would look at would be the Moon (some astrologers go there first, depending on their training, or the day). In this chart, the Moon is in Gemini at 28 degrees and a few minutes (said to be occupying the 29th degree of that sign, toward the extreme end). This Moon is in a condition called void-of-course; it makes no new aspects to other planets before leaving Gemini. It's like a ball that's out of play.

That's interesting because what happens under the void Moon usually doesn't work very well. Or, it can work utterly exceptionally well (for example, the film Star Wars opened under a void Moon; it was supposed to flop, if you asked sci-fi junkies who saw the trailer that summer for their prediction). So with the void Moon, you have two main properties: you don't know how things are going to go, but they probably won't go so well. For example, the U.S. has maintained control over neither Iraq nor Afghanistan, wars which emerged as a direct result of the Sept. 11 attacks.

Gemini Moon has a duplicitous feeling to it, that is, Gemini is dualistic (two twins, two personalities) and so the Gemini Moon can have two very distinct characters.

What does this Moon represent? We look to the sign Cancer -- the sign the Moon rules -- which is the sign on the 10th house, that of government and high command. We would say the Moon rules the 10th, or represents the high command. Given that the Moon is void, that's really interesting. It's as if the captain of the ship is asleep at the wheel, not paying attention or lacks a concrete plan of action.

In charts of a public nature, the Moon is a significator for the public. And clearly, the public proved to be unsuspecting, trusting and rather void-of-course at the time of this incident and for many months after.

Mercury Rules the Moon

The Moon is in Gemini; Gemini's ruler is Mercury, which represents the secret enemy. The natural ruler of the sign a planet is in is also said to be the ruler of the planet in question. Mercury is the king of Gemini, no matter where we may find him in the chart. The Moon is in Gemini, so the Moon's king is Mercury. In this case, the secret enemy is in charge of the government and the people, both of whom are void-of-course.

Saturn Opposes Pluto

Pluto, ideologically obsessed and jihad wielding in Sagittarius, opposes Saturn. The era of Sept. 11, 2001 was defined by this aspect, called Saturn opposite Pluto, which occurs three times per century. This was an aspect that was exact from August 2001 through May 2002, the effects of which can spread out for years on either end. For one reason or another, a lot of people tend to get killed when Saturn, the immovable object, opposes Pluto, the unstoppable force. All in all, in comparison to history, we have done pretty well so far.

Saturn's Mutual Reception

Often certain people or issues in a chart will have what is called a "secondary significator," that is, a second representative in the form of a planet. In the case of the government, Saturn is a good candidate. Saturn represents things that are structured, based on rules and parental in nature. That includes corporations and official governments. Capricorn, one of Saturn's signs, is on the 4th house cusp -- the "ancient house of fathers," the home, the homeland, and issues of security.

Saturn, representing the government and the corporations which presently constitute it, is located in Gemini, in an exact, to-the-degree trine to Mercury, our secret enemy. (This is described as "Mercury trine Saturn.") A trine is an aspect that indicates flow of energy, cooperation and communication so much that Martha Wescott reminds us it can include the statement, "if you lie, I'll swear to it." There is communication and cooperation between who and whatever Saturn represents, and who and whatever Mercury represents.

Saturn in this chart does something else, something that's in the advanced astrology department. See if you can follow. Saturn is located in the sign Gemini. Gemini's ruler, Mercury, is in the sign Libra. Libra is the sign in which Saturn is exalted -- exaltation being a form of rulership. Said in plain English, Mercury is in one of Saturn's signs and Saturn is in one of Mercury's signs. They are mighty kings camped out in one another's kingdoms. This is called mutual reception. It's another way of saying that there is total cooperation, to the point of the two planets functionally being one and the same. This is especially emphasized because they are located in the same degree of their respective signs (they're in an exact trine, meaning in the exact degree). Mutual reception works by degree. When the two planets in reception switch signs, they keep the original degree they had in their other sign -- which in this case is the same degree, 14 degrees and some minutes.

Both Mercury and Saturn are rising.

The Implications

This chart suggests there is a very close and cooperative relationship between whoever represents the government and whoever represents the secret enemy. They are functioning together, as if they have one goal, and as if they are very familiar with one another. The timing of the chart represents an event where they actually cooperate: as accomplices, accessories or conveniently using one another.

This is becoming easier to see as time goes on. For example, we have wars against the enemy which appear only to make the situation worse, and were the stated enemy is neither captured or killed. For all the loud rhetoric about Osama and Saddam, they seem to have slipped away easily. Only one domestic arrest has been made in the entire Sept. 11 investigation, and that suspect is close to being set free by a federal judge.

Normally, a chart would be used to make a judgment on a situation or to predict its resolution. But the void-of-course Gemini Moon is warning against drawing final conclusions about the chart or the event it represents. There are certainly some vivid warnings, however. For example, it's pretty clear that we don't know who's in charge; there's quite a bit of confusion between the identities of friends and enemies, leaders and followers. This would appear to have implications that go well beyond the cozy relationship among the Bush family and the bin Landen family that goes back many years. Indeed, the implications would seem to be treasonous. But what outcome that portends is impossible to say and depends on many factors of free will rather than fate.

What we need to remember is that the event we are calling Sept. 11, 2001 was a kind of doorway to another time and place, but it was a one-way door. A crime was committed, but we're first seeing the scope of that crime, and glimpsing the mystery surrounding it. Even the perpetrators could not have predicted how the event would come out, or what its ultimate effects would be. And it was not the first crime of this magnitude. The theft of the presidency less than one year before, an event through which the public slept, fearing to challenge its abusive parents, cleared the way for Sept. 11.

Over the next eight or so weeks, the Sept. 11 chart and all that it represents are going through a deep transformation as transiting Pluto in Sagittarius makes a square to its Virgo Sun. And then Mars in Pisces opposes it. This happens as we approach the eclipse that's being called the Harmonic Concordance on Nov. 8. Quite literally, the identity of what we're calling Sept. 11 is changing. It is not what it was, and it's not going to be what it is today for long. Many people will see what they have been missing, and I assure you that most of them are not going to like it.

Many other charts, including the personal horoscopes of Bush and Cheney, the U.S. chart called Scorpionic America, and the chart for the first flight of an airplane (Dec. 17, 1903, 10:35 a.m., Kitty Hawk, NC) are under some rather awesome and not particularly friendly transits. Yet no matter how bad it looks for members of the administration as the 9/11 scandals emerge like a kind of magic snake, this is no time for back slapping. ++

Why Don't We Have Answers to These 9/11 Questions?

Planet Waves
Weekly Horoscope for Friday, Sept. 12, 2003, - By ERIC FRANCIS

Birthdays This Week

The pressure is coming off, and with any luck I trust that you'll take the step from enforced changes to changes that you've endured to a series of more conscious choices as you continue to rethink some of the most important details of your life. For the moment, the past is likely to present more of a challenge than the present. Yet as the next few months progress, you're likely to find yourself doing something that I can describe as finding your way to now.

Locating the reality of the present moment and your place within it is not an easy job in a world obsessed with the past and the future. For you, timing is imperative, since as you've recently learned, there does remain a question that involves a belief or conviction that you hold from previous incarnations of yourself. This belief keeps compelling you to reassess, reconsider and ultimately make deep changes you don't necessarily want to make. Ultimately, my sense is that you'll be grateful you went through this process and would not trade it for the world.

The moment of decision, when it arrives, is likely to be an emotional one, taking you deeper into yourself than you've gone in quite some time. It arrives with a shift in a relationship that can fairly be described as an entirely new perspective, though it's one that may appear to be coming from changes in a partner or love interest that -- as with so many other elements of your growth process -- put you in the position of rethinking your position. Fortunately you like to think, though the emotional attribute of your current changes is what you might call the path to your new world.

You can save yourself a lot of time and energy by reminding yourself that the sense of threat you sometimes feel in life is not based on an accurate picture of reality. Lately part of the issue comes down to how you respond to feeling desirable. I'm not sure what it would require to have a more balanced relationship with your beauty and with people's perception of it except, maybe, for trust. And trust has very little to do with what you think.

Yet if you pay attention to the changes you're going through, you may notice that the experience of feeling has a tendency to shift your reality so completely that you feel like you're in a different galaxy living under totally rearranged inner principles. This is correct. In the world of your ideas you walk on dry, solid earth. In the world of your feelings, you seem, these days, to move through a zero-gravity environment and yearn for grounding. It's easier thank you think, if you allow the reality that how you feel is every bit as important as what you believe. Truthfully, feelings come closer to knowledge than do thoughts.

So keep your feet on the ground and please open up to the people you know are important to you. One relationship in particular remains vital to your existence, despite many changes that you and this person have been through. You know you can't blame him or her for their process since yours has hardly been smooth and easy lately, but if you find yourself inclined to do so gently remind yourself that you're emphasizing the past, and look for the message, lesson or necessity which this points you to. You will find it, and emerge from these four seasons a person more at peace with yourself, more self-aware and more understanding of your own living quest and those of the people close to you.

Aries (March 20-April 19)
I hope you're not too caught up in the stress and drama of the moment to appreciate what an unusually potent time this is for you. Every planet with an association to Aries -- Mars, Uranus and Mercury -- is prominent in the sky right now; all are retrograde; all are about to undergo a major transformational event. While most of this activity is affecting your deep unconscious, you are now, today, facing a critical decision, but you need to make it from a relatively calm space of mind, and that may take conscious effort. As important, you need to be strong in the face of any disruption that surfaces within your circle of friends. Remember your boundaries, and remember them well.

Taurus (April 19-May 20)
An exceptional amount of action and intrigue persists in your house of partnerships and relationships, your opposite sign Scorpio, while Mars continues to be exceptionally close to Earth. The full Moon has likely been adding to the drama. I propose there's something obvious you're not seeing,, or not taking notice of. You may be too close for objectivity to a family crisis of relationships that's currently pushing at your door and trying to come up your drain. For answers, look further than your life or those of your parents. This one goes back a long way. The difference is that while most of the people struggling with this issue have given up, you surely have not.

Gemini (May 20-June 21)
Certain painful revelations of recent days may leave you feeling like you're the sole survivor within your own life. That is more or less true. As Gemini Laurie Anderson has said, "You were born, and now you're free." Problems have arisen, for the most part, when you've felt you owed your life to another person, or worse, to an idea. The less aware of those allegiances you are, the more they will undermine you. What you're experiencing now is precisely the awareness that's giving you strength and motivation to claim back what always was yours. Remember, if you think you have to fight for something, you're may not be sure it really belongs to you.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)
This was clearly a stressful full Moon (in Pisces, opposite half the known universe in Virgo), but as full Moons so often do, this one is likely to have strengthened your resolve and broken a long-standing deadlock in your life. As I write these words, the energy is still building; as you read them, it is dispersing. I'm sensing in these charts a pressing need for clarity, refinement and pruning old circumstances and beliefs that have served their purpose and threaten to undermine your future progress. Aspects for the coming weeks and months continue to directly support your growth and movement. Offer up your flexibility and access to your full energy and you won't go wrong.

Leo (July 22-Aug 23)
Imagine for a moment that your life is a four-way intersection at which you've pulled up. If you look behind you, in the direction from which you came, you'll see a lot of traffic, congestion and confusion which you're clearly trying to leave behind. If you look in the direction where you want to go, you'll see a dimly lit horizon that's unfamiliar, inviting and challenging. But the past is also calling you and, for the moment, you are hesitating. And there are turns to the left and right. In a short time, the way will be clear and the right decision will be obvious. And that choice, made from a state of peace, will for some reason that may seem strange or impossible, have the greatest positive effect on your heath than anything you've done in recent years.

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sep. 22)
Events this week may seem to shed light on a particular mystery, or they may just serve to make it that much stranger. In particular, another person's treatment of you seems to be puzzling, but the question offered up by the stars is: who's the real source of intrigue? One of the great gifts of the Jupiter in Virgo era of your life is going to be an opportunity to identify with your fellowman. You would be surprised how rare it is for anyone to bother with such a passing fancy. In your life, it's nothing of the kind. If you're puzzled, look straight at the paradox. What's confusing you is actual information, not the lack of it.

Libra (Sep. 22-Oct. 23)
In a very short time, Venus returns to your sign: one of her true homes. For now, she and many other planets are piled up in the mysterious region known as your 12th house, which is one of those astrological guarantees of an edgy, perhaps even uneasy time. It's the feeling that something is about to happen -- and it is. The question is what, and I am reluctant to speculate. I can tell you this. Jupiter in your 12th house offers protection from your worst fears, and an angel looking over your shoulder. Mercury about to station to direct motion in that house suggests an approaching moment of seeing vividly what is otherwise invisible as air.

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 22)
While the thunder and drama have passed from the Mars approach, we're now going to see the results. They are likely to reveal only what you knew was there long ago, and what you've planned many times to deal with. You already have the plans and the methods in place, and all you need to do is put them to work. It may console you to know that your problems want to be solved more than you want them to be solved. You may also find it encouraging that when you sort out the past from the present and draw the line between you and those who you care so much about, you'll discover they're not all your responsibility. But working through their impact on you very much is.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22 - Dec. 22)
My sense is that you're still not seeing the big picture, and that you haven't given much in the way of clear names to the great mysteries. You could say, well, there will always be mysteries, why should I solve this particular one? Though many factors are now serving to motivate you, assembling the pieces has yet to seize hold of your often obsessive spirit. It will, soon enough, and who knows -- the time between now and then may be better spent doing more creative things than sleuthing around your own life like a detective. But I'm not sure what else you might do. As I've suggested many times lately, opportunity to exist in much a much larger world awaits you, and the sum of what you now know is far greater than the bits and details you may seek.

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 20)
The theme of highly unusual points of contact with certain key people in your life is developing rapidly. What feels like a great meeting is in the cards, and this may be intimidating. All that's preventing the pace of your relationships from running out of control is how introspective you're insisting on being, and for good cause. I think you're truly seeing how complex and how deeply involved human interaction is. We depend on one another for so much, and we also have so much power to hurt one another. And, many more times than not, we see our differences far more clearly than we see our common ground. Yet living for the reality we all share is precisely where your mind, and your heart, are heading.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 19)
This week Uranus transits back to your sign for its last sojourn there until 2079. This is a kind of three-month curtain call to the 1996-2003 era that came with the advent of the Internet, the unsuccessful impeachment of a president, the theft of a national election and the escalation of world crisis by several orders of magnitude. What is the story of those years for you personally? It must be equally impressive, unusual or unbelievable, clearly, containing many developments you never could have foreseen. What have you learned from your experiences? Don't answer all at once. You have one astonishing season for a final review of your life as you once knew it, and I suggest you make every single day of it count.

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)
This is certainly a season of decisions, and such are best made on the basis of clarity. There's probably quite a bit more you can be doing to facilitate the process of getting clear, and your usually excellent intuitive methods of self-guidance would benefit from the support of the rational and logical side of your brain. Simply put, you need data, whether financial, historical or reasoning power applied to the various necessities of your life. Organize it carefully in folders or computer files. This is all leading up to a moment of truth, which will approach with the distinct sense of a shift in momentum and a clear need for that priceless information as you move quickly toward so many new destinations.
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