Oil spill wreaks havoc on US Gulf Coast

(Posted May 4, 2010)  As the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico enters its third week, there are no easy or quick solutions for either BP or the Obama administration.   With thousands of barrels a day leaking into the water, the resulting giant oil slick is approaching the Gulf coast states of Louisiana, Alabama and Florida.  Rough seas and bad weather are further hampering efforts to contain the slick before its hits land and does further damage.  While it is still early days, the oil spill has the potential to become one of the worst environmental accidents in US history as the entire Gulf fishing industry is threatened.  

What insight can astrology bring to this event?   Well, first we may note the current transit situation.  Neptune (4 Aquarius), the planet associated with liquids and oil, is in a close alignment with Saturn (4 Virgo) and Uranus (4 Pisces).  Saturn symbolizes problems and hardship, while Uranus represents sudden or shocking events and often acts as a kind of amplifier.  So we can see how the interaction of these three planets can be seen as reflecting some kind of sudden and unwanted event involving water or liquids that pops up somewhere in the world at this time.  We might also go into greater detail trying to examine the horoscope of the exact time of the event on April 20 (if known) and how it may have depicted this unfortunate accident. 


Whatever the value of that transit-centered approach, I find it more interesting to see how this event might also be seen in relevant natal charts.  For example, it's quite possible the spill could be seen in the US horoscope, especially with transiting Saturn (4 Virgo) conjunct the natal Neptune (1 Virgo) and transiting Neptune (4 Aquarius) conjunct the natal Moon (7 Aquarius).   The Saturn to Neptune contact broadly represents damage (Saturn) involving liquids (Neptune), while the Neptune to Moon contact reinforces the water/oil theme and expands it to the population (Moon) as a whole.  I acknowledge that both of these orbs are pretty wide, especially given that these are very slow moving planets.  The margin of error can be measured in months, if not longer.  And yet these two simultaneous hits involving Neptune still seems interesting, given that they have occurred so close to what may become the worst oil spill in history.  We can also see transiting Mars (14 Cancer) closely conjunct natal Rahu (15 Cancer), acting as a kind of short term trigger, often of a violent or harmful event.  I should note that I'm using the Kelleher 18.30 chart here for the USA, although charts for other times from July 4, 1776 would also show basically the same planet to planet contacts.  I know there is considerable disagreement over the "correct" USA chart and I don't wish to alienate readers who may prefer other US horoscopes.  My limited aim here is simply to show that there are a number of basic transit hits that are broadly congruent with this oil spill. 

However, there is another chart that might reflects this event, and that is the inauguration chart of Barack Obama.  President Obama was sworn in as president at 12.05 p.m. on January 20 , 2009.    The resulting chart can be seen both as a mirror of his term as president and as the country as a whole.  One of the nice things about US inauguration charts is that there is very little uncertainty about them, unlike the birth horoscope of the USA.   While few astrologers can agree on the best US chart, everyone knows when the inauguration took place.  Using an unequivocal birth chart is a way of minimizing ambiguities and can thereby narrow the range of possible interpretations from the chart itself.  Astrology is already so rife with uncertainty and unknowns (both of the known and unknown varieties -- thank you Donald Rumsfeld), the last thing we need are natal charts that astrologers cannot agree on.  The other useful thing about inauguration charts is that since they always take place at the same time on the same date every four years, it is possible to look into the future for possible clues about the direction of future administrations.   Please note, I'm not saying that the US presidential inauguration chart is an adequate replacement for a USA natal chart.  Inauguration charts will not always correspond with major events, but they are usually enough hits there to make them a useful complement to a national natal chart and the chart of President Obama himself. 


Here we see that Saturn-Uranus-Neptune alignment in fairly close aspect to the natal Moon (5 Scorpio).   Neptune is in a difficult square angle to the Moon, symbolizing trouble and awkward situations involving liquids (Neptune) on the population and resources (Moon).  Since the Moon also rules the 4th house in this chart (Cancer), its affliction here further emphasizes unfortunate situations involving the population and resources.  Also we note that the Moon is in a water sign (Scorpio) so that gives extra emphasis for some kind of event involving liquids that creates troubles for the population, especially those living near water.  Oil is a liquid energy resource, that Scorpio Moon may further symbolize situations involve oil and gasoline.  Not to stretch the point, but the Moon can also be the significator for food, so this may also be seen as a possible planetary affliction to the (water-based) food supply.  Saturn is also part of the story here since it is in close 3rd house/sextile aspect with the Moon.  According to Vedic aspecting rules, the 3rd house/sextile aspect is a full strength aspect and if the chart is otherwise weak, it can coincide with negative events that involve suffering and loss.  Interestingly, transiting Mars (14 Cancer) again has a nodal transit hit here, as it is conjunct natal Ketu (15 Cancer).  This both acts as a short term event trigger and describes the initially violent quality of the original explosion on the oil rig that killed eleven workers. 

Since both Neptune and Saturn will continue to be in close aspect with the Moon for the next several weeks, problems from this leak are likely to continue.  Neptune will turn retrograde on May 31, so that may diminish its negative effects somewhat as it begins to move away from its aspect with the Moon.  However, Saturn will turn retrograde the day before, on May 30, and therefore may intensify its effect on the Moon through June and July.   Perhaps these influences will cancel each other out in some way.  More positively, Jupiter will aspect the Moon -- along with Mars -- in the first week of June so that may offer some hope that a permanent solution can be found to this underwater oil leak.

Transiting Saturn will be in close aspect to the natal Moon through July so this looks like a time of difficulty for the US generally.  What's worse is the Mars-Saturn conjunction at 6 Virgo on July 30 occurs in almost exact aspect to the natal Sun-Mercury conjunction at 6 Capricorn in the Inauguration chart.   And this will be just one degree past the Moon.  While the aspect to the Sun-Mercury will only be a partial strength 120 degree aspect, it is nonetheless exact and given the doubling of malefic energies from Mars and Saturn, we should see a very troubling situation emerge at that time that puts the government (Sun) and the economy (Mercury) under greater pressure.