Eugene Delacroix’s ‘Andromeda’ (1798-1863)

Back on the net this morning the news about the striken coal carrier off the coast of North Queensland seem more promising than last night. The oil that had been already spilled has been ‘dispersed’ successfully. While the risk of the big ship breaking up seems diminished, at least if the weather continues to be ok. Bad weather could cause further problems.

Tug boats are on the scene to keep the vessel more stable. The process of  re-floating it,  they say, could take weeks.  An investigation on the cause of the accident is under way. It is rumoured that the carrier was taking a short cut through the reef, and that this practice is not uncommon in the very competitive shipping industry.

One good thing about this incident is that has brought to light problems that could jeopardize the long-term survival of the Reef, already threatened by Global Warming as well as agricultural and human pollution. It could be a wake up call to be much more vigilant in protecting this very precious world heritage.

As I said in my previous post, Saturn on the Ascendant of the accident Chart could prolong the rescue operation and make it more difficult and scary, while Uranus, sitting on the Descendant, opposite Saturn,  threatens some change in the weather or some erratic decision that could affect the operation negatively.

Now that I mention the role of the weather, something came back to mind. I have to share with you another expirience of synchronicity I discovered while studying the Fixed Stars role at the moment disaster struck on the remote reef. Before I get to the synchronicity I need to explain some astrological term I’ll be using with which some of you may not be acquainted.

As a routine check I was looking into the Parans active at the time of the accident. Before I go any further then, I give here a brief explanation of what a Paran is.

As you know every celestial body, Sun, Moon, Planets, Stars appear to rise at a certain time and set at another during a 24 hours period. This is of course is not due to their own movement but to the axial rotation of the Earth, in 24 hours performing a complete revolution on its own axis, looking out at all four corners of heaven every single day. At different times of the year we can easily observe how certain bright stars (the Fixed Stars of Astrology, belonging to the Zodiac of the Constellations) rise above the eastern horizon and set below the western at the same time as the Sun, the Moon or one of the visible planets do. The practice of observing this correspondence is as old as human culture on this Earth.

There are different types of Parans. A star is considered in Paran with the Sun, for instance, not only if it rises with the Sun, but also if it sets when the Sun rises or culminates (=reaches the Upper Meridian) when the Sun sets. All these are considered meaningful coincidences and interpreted according to the nature of the Star and the celestial body involved. There is a rich and ancient lore of the Stars that is still very much  unexplored, especially in its astrological implications.


In this example I have considered only the Direct Parans, meaning those Stars that were rising and setting with a celestial body. In this way I found out that a Star belonging to the Constellation of Leo, Denebola, the Lion’s Tail, was rising at the same time Saturn was rising and therefore was also on the Ascendant of the accident Chart. Now this seems to be significant. But who is really Denebola, and what this star signifies? According to my Fixed Stars Bible (Richard Hinckley Allen’s ‘Stars Names, their Lore and Meaning’, Dover Publications) the name is a latinized version of the Arab Al Dhanab al Asad, meaning the Lion’s Tail. This Star marked the Tenth Moon Mansion (Manzil), and astrologically was considered unfortunate. The original meaning of this Asterism however wasn’t either lucky or unlucky, but had something to do with the changes in weather. Al Biruni (973-1048 A.D.), a famous Arab astrologer/Astronomer, said in his own words that when Denebola rises it changes the weather toward cool, while when setting it changes the weather toward warmth. As I said earlier also Uranus sitting on the western, sunset angle of the accident’s Chart could portends a rather sudden and unpredictable change in the weather.


The star Alpheratz, belonging to the constellation Andromeda (the chained maiden, waiting for the Solar Hero Perseus to rescue her on his magical horse Pegasus, the one that sprang from the severed head of Medusa) was also rising and setting with the Sun on the day. This star partakes of both the symbol of the maiden as of the magical horse coming to her rescue, not a bad simile for a striken ship (ships, it is a well-known fact, are considered to belong to the female gender) waiting for some brave men to rescue her from the rock she is chained to!

Alpheratz is however very much a northern latitude star, too far north I feel to have much impact on an event happening on the Tropic of Capricorn. The Star is supposed to have a beneficial influence, bestowing honors and riches. It also denotes rapid movement and the tension toward freedom and independence.


The last Paran I would like to discuss here is one of the Moon, at the time of the accident in the Tropical (seasonal) Sign of Sagittarius, but transiting against the backdrop of the Constellation of Scorpio, rising and setting on the day of the accident together with one of the mightiest stars of the whole stellar lore, Antares, the alpha, brightest asterism in Scorpio. I happened to be looking on Saturday evening as the Disseminating Gibbous Moon was rising amongst white clouds, with streamers of light emerging like arches all around the dark eastern sky. And I could discern a star pulsating orange near the Moon face, obviously very bright to be seen while so close to the very bright disk of the Moon.

Antares was one of the Royal Stars of the Persians, indicating in the Fourth Millennium BC the coming of Autumn (her rising with the Sun corresponding then to the Autumn Equinox in northern latitudes). It is a red super-giant, and positioned at the heart of the Scorpion Constellation.  Antares was considered the natural enemy of Ares (Mars) the God of War and Strife and therefore it was portending generally good fortune. It was invoked for instance as a protection against fires. According to Bernadette Brady, an astrological expert in stellar mythology, this Star used to be one of the four gates of the underworld, revealing hidden powers to the human beings that became attuned to her energy.

Here is an image of the Moon rising near Antares, as I saw it from my bush verandah on Saturday. The image was created with the wonderful freeware Star program Stellarium, that I warmly reccomend to all stars lovers:

Look up for future posts about the unfolding drama of the Chinese coal carrier chained to the Australian Barrier Reef.

Click here to go to my first post on the astrological implications of this event.


  1. EH Says:

    Hi Paola Emma

    Firstly, Kudos on a very nice Blog. Charts could be done as jpg images w/o real loss over png’s.. and a lot faster for your main page to load.

    I’d looked at the original posting and chart per this thread; in horary terms it didn’t look as bad as it perhaps could have been. Without digressing too much, I looked again at the Valdez Oil spill in Alaska ( 3/24/89 0:04 am YST, 61N08, 146W21) – one of the worst marine oil spills and noted a similar hot spot area across early Sag-Gemini; then was reminded of Antares. Per this chart and the nature of Mars – still in close tri-septile to Neptune, and squared by Venus and Mercury. with Luna pumping additional energy into this pattern, makes perfect sense here! What do you think about Mars, his presence in Leo and squared by Merc-Venus, and the apparent risk taking (per the short-cut theory) that led to this accident? The triseptile, being rather fated, as it were, just might be what you’re saying here as raising questions for future traffic regulations in this area.



    • livingmoonastrology Says:

      Hi EH, thank you for feedback. You must be reading my mind. Just a couple of days ago I decided to stop changing the format of the pictures and started using Jpegs again. A lot quicker and the results are, it seems, as good.
      I am still looking at the fore-mentioned Chart for the Barrier Reef accident. To me all three Parans seemed significant, but I am not sure about using a star like Alpheratz, rising with the Sun on April 3, because it lies above the Tropic of Cancer and the event took place on the Tropic of Capricorn. I will look into the Valdez disaster, thank you for the info.
      I am not an expert in Mundane Astrology, just a very keen amateur. I tend to transfer my own knowledge and experience with Natal Astrology to explain Mundane events, not a very orthodox approach. About those minor aspects you mention I know them only in theory because I don’t routinely use them.
      I am new at WordPress and I can use all the help and encouragement that comes my way. Ciao for now, Paola

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