Odilon Redon’s ‘Boat in the Moonlight’

A severe oil spill occurred on April 3, 2010, just east of the Great barrier Reef, one of Australia’s great heritage sites and one of the largest marine parks in the world.

Here is a Chart calculated for April 3, 2010, 5 pm, the time the Chinese coal carrier Shen Neng 1 came aground on the reef. Since then the oil has been steadily spilling out of the ship’s hulk, and there is at present a risk that the whole carrier may break up and spill up to 800 tons of fuel oil in the pristine waters of the Pacific coralline reef, home to one of the richest marine life on the planet.

The Chart has been cast for the coordinates of Douglas Shoals, a reef on the Australian Great Barrier Marine Park, 70 km east of the tourists resort Great Keppel Island.

Click to enlarge

Even before looking at this remarkable Horoscope I knew from my daily transits perusal that the Sun was forming a Semi-Square aspect (45 degrees distance) with Neptune, just on April 3, and Chiron on April 4, Neptune and Chiron being still very much in orb of conjunction in the Sign of Aquarius (this encounter took place in February). Chiron is now on the verge of leaving Aquarius (cusp degree) to enter Pisces, the Sign that embodies all the great and small expanses of water on the planet. We also know that the God Neptune used to preside over seas and oceans in ancient Greek cosmogony, while we connect Chiron with the archetypal healer who was himself afflicted by a poisonous wound. This, despite his powers, he couldn’t heal.

During April 3, 4, 5 and 6 other challenging transits also became exact, like the Square Moon-Chiron on the cusp Aquarius/Pisces; the Square Moon-Jupiter-Uranus in Pisces; the Semi-Squares Venus-Mercury to Jupiter in Pisces; the Squares Venus-Mercury to Mars in Leo; the Conjunction of the Capricorn Moon to Pluto; the Trines Venus-Mercury to Pluto in Capricorn. Interesting to note that Venus and Mars, 90 degrees away from each other, are both in difficult aspect to Jupiter in Pisces, Venus in Semi-Square (45°) and Mars in Sesqui-Square (135°), both very close to being exact at the time of the incident. This configuration is similar to a T Square (two planets in opposition to each other, both Square a third planet).

On Tuesday April 6 the transiting Moon will reach the Last Quarter phase in Capricorn, always a critical time in the Lunation cycle; at the same time the Moon will also be conjunct her North Node, connecting this particular phase to the recent Eclipses, and therefore making its effect more intense. The Moon will also Semi-Square Neptune and Chiron (becoming perhaps a trigger for the Semi-Square Sun-Neptune-Chiron that were exact on April 3 and 4).

Apart from these general transits the Horoscope of the actual moment the accident occurred brings some Planets into prominence, while positioning others in specific areas of interest. It is immediately evident that Saturn is the most highlighted of all the Planetary Intelligences, rising just below the eastern horizon as the accident was unfolding. Planets on the horizon, especially the Eastern horizon (just below or above the line of the Ascendant) are in fact given great importance in interpretation, in both Natal and Mundane Astrology. Saturn got to be strong when a sad event takes place, when some painful karma unfolds and one has to live with the consequences of past actions and mistakes.Uranus is also very prominent in the accident Chart, on the opposite hemisphere to Saturn and separated only by a couple of degrees from the opposition to it, the aspect that has highlighted the last year of the financial crisis and will still be with us until August/September this year. Uranus was just hovering on the Descendant or western horizon at the time, a position that brings into play the unpredictable and often destructive energy of this planet. The actors, the people who were manning the vessel  in this sea story were obviously acting erratically, and in a non conforming, rebellious way, fact that will account for their presence in an off-limits marine park. Neptune, Chiron and Jupiter are all found in the Sixth House that relates to illness and healing, work and sacrifice, and also the life of the humble creatures that share this planet with us.

A bit disturbing to me, not promising too well, is the synchronicity of multiple angles being formed around this time by the outer solar system’s object known as Sedna with three of the four major Asteroids that orbit between Mars and Jupiter. Sedna is in fact conjunct Juno (Hera) in Taurus, in Square aspect (90 degrees) from Vesta (Hestia) in Leo, and in opposition to Pallas (Minerva) in Scorpio; while the biggest Asteroid, Ceres (Demeter) is applying to a conjunction to Pluto, the Planet of destruction and poisons, in Capricorn. Sedna too, like many other symbols in these Horoscope, is an Ocean Goddess worshipped by the Inuit people of Greenland and under different names in other arctic cultures (see Wikipedia article). She is the Goddess presiding over the life of all sea creatures and in particular mammals like seals and whales. Sedna belongs to the same group of Planets or Plutoids, as they are now called by astronomers, to which also our Pluto now belongs, since it was demoted! Others are Orcus, Eris and Quaoar, and more.

The whole incident seems to have been caused by carelessness on the part of the people who were navigating the carrier. They were traveling at full speed and without a marine pilot present in a restricted of part of the marine park, where they weren’t supposed to be in the first place. All these factors tie well with the many Neptune and Pisces aspects, because both the planet and the Sign often create situations that are murky and unclear or where foul play, dodgy or careless activities and lies may play a prominent part.

Can Astrology predict the possible outcome of this disaster? Are they going to be able to stop the spill before it becomes a major environmental disaster?

Well, if we look at the event’s Horoscope as a Horary Chart, one of those we cast in order to answer a direct question, the presence of Saturn in the First House could be positive rather than negative, because this planet tends to limit the expansion of whatever situation we are looking at. Saturn talks of duration, slowness, obstacles to be overcome, hard and skilful work, determination, long-term implication, need for planning and a pragmatic approach. In the First House is powerful and it has not left yet Libra, the Sign of its Exaltation. Looked at it this way Saturn could limit and contain the disaster rather than augment it. This position does explain however also the fear that the incident is generating, one of the negative sides of Saturn, intent at sabotaging any attempt at renewal. I hope my thoughts are sound, because there would be cause for tears if this ship is allowed to spill its deadly fuel and the horrible chemical that go with it.

Wind and freak weather may be the open enemies of the salvage operation, also haste and lack of planning(Uranus in the Seventh House of open enemies).

Marine life will suffer and will be lost, the conjunction Neptune-Chiron in the Sixth House seems to indicate this, as well as the position of the Ruling Planets on the cusp of the Eighth House of Death and Loss (Mercury and Venus conjunct in Taurus).

Jupiter in the Sixth House and in its own Sign of Pisces may bring opportunities for healing, broadcasting, in the manner of expansive Jupiter, the need for compassion and an environmentally sustainable philosophy of life. Three planets in this House point to the need for humbleness and careful consideration of the real circumstances and all that is implicated. In my view Jupiter in this position should help rather than hinder the salvage operation, adding lustre to the skill of the rescuers working at remedy the situation.

The Cross formed by the Horizon and Meridian falls in the late degrees of the Mutable Signs, indicating unstable conditions that can soon change into something else. This is a fair description of the situation at the time of writing. Let’s pray we are not in for an even more serious disaster.


  1. debramoolenaar Says:

    Fascinating analysis and very well done. Personally I fear that Neptune in Pisces (soon to be with us) will bring us face to face with the cost of our gluttony with regards to consumption of oil. Also with the challenging transits (i.e. Pluto in Capricorn) to the United States’ natal chart, I suspect the Americans will take the brunt of such revelations – as perhaps they should given that they use more oil per capita than in any other place in the world. Thanks for your hard word on this and please, write more!

    • livingmoonastrology Says:

      Hi Debra, your support is very much appreciated. I agree with all you expressed. Also, given the psychological importance modern astrologers are conferring on Chiron, its ingress into Pisces and transit on the naught degree, from April to July 2010, can be easily viewed as an added testimony for more collective suffering to come, before real healing can happen.
      I’ll do my best to keep writing, given limited time and resources. Those heavy duty transits, as you well know, affect, first and foremost, our own personal lives. It is indeed a difficult time for all of us, and how could it be otherwise with all that’s going on at the moment? One doesn’t need to read the news to feel it.
      I also want to say here that Mundane Astrology is not the branch of the Art I have trained myself in or received any specific training from others. It is, I can honestly say, my personal brand of Mundane Astrology, applying what I have learnt in 25 years of personal consultations and tuition in Natal Astrology to the Charts of events and nations. A rather ‘feminine’ way to approach the subject, I suspect.
      Your contribution is welcome, regards, Paola Emma

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