Astrology of a Shipwreck: The Mystery Surrounding the Dolfijn

June 18, 2006 by  

Astrology of Shipwreck - Boat in the Inferno

To continue our watery theme this week, we have an event chart by Karin Verhoeve, a Dutch traditional astrologer. She arrives at a startling insight regarding the mysterious sinking of a French boat in 2004. Enjoy!
— Gryphon, AKA Nina

Monday, June 13th 2005, the Dutch television program Netwerk discussed a fishing-boat accident. The mystery surrounding the sinking and the possible link with a submarine of the Navy drew my attention.

Here’s a summary of what happened:

Early last year a French cutter, the Bugaled Breizh (“Child of Brittany” in Breton), was wrecked near the coast of England. The reason remains a mystery. According to relatives the accident was caused by a collision with the Dutch submarine, the Dolfijn. An independent Navy expert supports that view. But the French as well as the Dutch Navy both strongly deny this.

The Bugaled Breizh sank on January 15 2004, around noon, near Lizard Point. Five crew members died. Three bodies of these five victims have been found. The submarine HMS Dolfijn, close by for an international exercise, was one of the first to respond to the S.O.S.

What exactly caused the accident is a big mystery. At first the authorities assumed that the fishing-trawler had been sailed over by a freighter. At least ten ships have been examined for traces of a collision, but this investigation gave no proof.

According to the fishermen and relatives, underwater film footage of the wreck proved that the ship was hit from underneath. They laid the blame on the Dolfijn. The fishermen claim that the submarine has been repaired after the rescue operation.

A report of two French experts on accidents at sea shows that it is apparent that a submarine has caused the accident. Possibly a cable or net has been twisted in the rudder of the submarine, which made the submarine pull the cutter under water. (According to Netwerk)

The program mentioned the date, time and location of the accident, and based on this information I’ve erected an event figure.

In William Lilly’s work we find a chapter dedicated to ships: contents, safety etc. (Christian Astrology, page 157). The body of the cutter is the Ascendant. In the chart it appears conjunct the fixed star Rana. According to Robson, the latter has a Saturn-like quality and it is a star from the great river Eridanus. This star provides love for knowledge and science, lots of traveling…but it’s also responsible for accidents at sea.

This fixed star gives the boat (Ascendant) a Saturn-like quality; the cutter is slow, overloaded and has no speed or is moored.

This confirms the announcement that the cutter wasn’t sailing during the accident. Taurus, an earthly and fixed sign, shows the quality of the cutter: strong, small and solid. The television item showed a small cutter, with a solid and well maintained construction that had been clearly damaged after the collision, having two firm dents on both sides.

The North node, which has a Jupiter-like quality, dominates through its conjunction with the Ascendant. Jupiter, Lord 8 and 12, dispositor of Lord 1, is destroyed, runs retrograde and trines the Ascendant. This Jupiter does not bode well for the ship – in a big, Jupiterian way.

Venus, Lord 1 in the 11th house, has only just entered the sign, is in exaltation and her own term and in the 11th house accidentally well placed. [She has just entered a watery sign, surely not a good omen for a boat! – Ed.] She has recently made an aspect with Mercury in the 8th house and this significator of communication rules the 6th house. Mercury has just entered the sign, comes out of fall and is now peregrine. Saturn is his dispositor. Venus is in mutual reception with retrograde Jupiter, conjunct cusp 6 in detriment placed in a weak reception (exaltation – face) with Saturn, also detriment. Both damage Lord 1.

The Moon, significator for fishermen, is located in the 6th house and the Via Combusta, in an air sign and intercepted. Lilly says if the significators of the question are unfortunate, if a malefic planet is placed in the Ascendant and is dignified in 8 or when Lord 1 is in 8, in a difficult aspect with Lord 8 or 12 or 4 or 6, or if the Moon is combust or below the horizon, it means that the ship is lost and the men have drowned (except when there’s a mutual reception between them). Though the Moon is placed antiscion to Venus, this antiscion hasn’t much to offer since the Moon is peregrine and accidentally not placed well.

Uranus is exactly conjunct Venus, which indicates the abruptly changed condition of the cutter.

[We think this “Uranus” may have wandered over from a medical horary…and will send it along presently. -Ed.]

The prominently placed South node (Saturn-like quality) conjunct cusp 7 shows the affliction or damage. Saturn signifies the part of the cutter that has been affected.

Saturn is in Cancer, according to Lilly the lowest point or bottom of the ship! At that point the cutter has severe bumps on both sides.

Has the cutter been hit by a submarine?

Mars Lord 7, ‘the other’, in this case the submarine, is a malefic, not well placed in the 12th house but strong in its own sign. The planet and the sign confirm that we’re dealing with the right significator; the submarine belongs to the army, specifically the Navy!

The 12th house represents revealed matters, things that we can’t perceive directly. The cusp is in Pisces, according to Lilly: fishing spots, rivers full of fish. This shows that the submarine was close to, or involved in the disaster. Mars has also to do with steel. Intercepted: a cage of ‘steel’ encloses the submarine. Mars, ‘the young one’, can signify young inexperienced sailors.

The TV-program exposed a navigation map that mentioned that the Dolfijn came above water twelve minutes after the shipwreck. This has also been confirmed by a British trawler and opposes the statement of the submarine crew that the submarine had been above water all day. At the time of the accident the submarine had been west of the cutter, which we can find here through the location of Mars in the 6th house (turned); the west.

Mars is not in mutual reception or aspect with Lord 1. Mars is in reception with the Sun, dominantly placed on the MC. Under protection of a powerful person or authority?

At the time of the event a fisherman on the bridge had just laid out a fishnet. The cables of the fishnets have been thoroughly investigated. It appeared that one cable had been fully unwound, a safety measure to get the boat back in balance in case a cable hooks to an object (rocks for example). If this failed, the cutter would sink within 2 minutes. The chart shows the Moon, significator of fishermen, in the 6th house. Literally: the fishermen are at work. The Moon will change signs within two degrees and will be in its fall under the rulership of Mars. The last aspect of the Moon was made with the Sun. The Moon in Scorpio will make an aspect with Mercury within 2 degrees and with Venus as Lord 1. The cardinal sign of Libra as well as cadent house 6 illustrate a fast time unit: within 2 degrees = within 2 minutes or 2 hours. The Moon is also lord 4: the end! The aspect with Lord 1 says: the end of the cutter.

Pluto plays an important role, conjunct cusp 8, death. Pluto’s dispositor is retrograde Jupiter, also dispositor of Lord 1 and Lord of the 12th house. Pluto makes aspects with Mars and Jupiter, Lord 8 and makes a contra-antiscion with Saturn.

[We do not claim to know what this “Pluto” object is, and include it for the sake of novelty only. Don’t try this at home, kids! – Ed.]

A second reason that has possibly caused this shipwreck is inadequate communication or the complete lack of it. The condition of Mercury is bad. He has just emerged from a sign in which he was in fall and is now peregrine.

All this could confirm that the submarine did play a role in this shipwreck.

We have to wait for the investigation to receive confirmation of this astrology case. The question is whether the actual truth will ‘break the surface’.

Thanks to Erik van Slooten, astrologer and teacher of Dutch, for his editorial advice.

© Karin Verhoeve is a classical astrologer in the Netherlands.

She studies astrology with Martien Hermes, Oscar Hofman, Robert Zoller.

Workshops: Robert Hand, John Frawley ea.


Guest Astrologer: Astrometeorology – Hurricane Season 2006

June 11, 2006 by  

Hurricane Season 2006 - Four Elements

Dear readers, this week I am very pleased to present a continuation of the hurricane theme from last week by Thomas Decker, a German traditional astrologer whose skills I greatly respect. In the future, I plan to mix things up a bit, and publish articles by other traditional astrologers to give you a sense of the great variety within traditional astrology. If you are interested in having your article appear on this blog, contact me at nina “at” Enjoy!

—Gryphon, AKA Nina

By Thomas Decker

At the beginning of the hurricane season I asked a horary question whether there might be another devastating storm in the Gulf of Mexico region. The general tenor of the chart was yes and probably at the beginning of September. But this particular chart does not answer the question where this might be. Other methods are required.

The first step is to try to find a focus of activity and so it seems that a rough triangulation would be the appropriate method. The Cancer Ingress chart for Cancún, Mexico, Santiago de Cuba and Miami Beach give a general region where most tropical storms and hurricanes seem to cross. This is really very rough, other points could also be used. The charts of Cancún and Miami show some indications of danger. In the Cancún Ingress chart the MC is at 9 degrees Aries which is one degree away from the position of the last total solar eclipse on March 29th. The Miami chart has Mercury and Procyon rising.

More detail is required, however, as judgement cannot be made on an Ingress chart alone. The New Moon charts of August 23 and the Full Moon/lunar eclipse charts of September 7 need also to be considered. Here activity directly on the angles would support any testimony given by the Ingress chart. A cursory view shows some danger but nothing extreme. That doesn’t exclude storm activity. In the Cancún New Moon chart Mars is applying to conjunction with the MC, an indication of danger. In the lunar eclipse chart of Cancún Mars repeats this pattern, he is once again within one degree of the MC. This is like a multiplication.

But based on the Cancún chart I tried to find an area where there is even more focused activity. There must be somewhere where Mars might be exactly on the MC. As the New Moon occurs only at 0 degrees Virgo, we have to look for somewhere a little bit further west and a bit more northward. And so I examined the charts of Houston, Texas. So let us look at these charts.

Houston Chart 2006

The Cancer Ingress chart of Houston has Sirius, the Dog-star rising. Sirius was important to the Egyptians as he marked the flooding of the Nile. The Nodes are directly on the MC/IC axis of the chart in exact square to the Sun in the 12th house. The North Node and the MC are conjunct Scheat a fixed star of the nature of Mars and Mercury. Scheat is associated with drowning. A conjunction with one of the nodes usually brings with it far reaching change in the sense of before and after. The North Node tends to multiply anything for better or worse. In combination with a malefic fixed star associated with drowning this does not portend well. Already all of the exact aspects and the tie in two fixed stars is testimony to look closer. While the Cancún charts are like warning lights, this chart is already like a siren.

Let us continue with the New Moon chart for Houston. Mars at 20 degrees Virgo forms an exact sextile, in mundo, to the position of the Sun in the Cancer Ingress chart. This position of Mars we need to remember as it plays a central role in the Lunar eclipse chart. What we see here is an activation of the Ingress T- square of the Sun to the MC/IC and Lunar Nodes.

Houston August 2006

The Houston Lunar eclipse chart of September 7 has Antares, the heart of the Scorpion rising. This is an extremely malevolent star associated with destructiveness and violence. In this chart the position of 20 degrees Virgo which was occupied by Mars in the New Moon chart is now occupied by Mercury and the MC. Mercury which is at 20 Virgo 59 is applying immediately to a conjunction to the fixed Star Denebola at 21 degrees Virgo. This means that Denebola is about to culminate in one degree. Denebola at the tip of the Lion’s tail is associated with misfortune from the elements. Mars at 29 Virgo is about to conjunct the IC and South Node of the Cancer Ingress chart. The eclipse itself is in Virgo, a human sign. This means that human beings will be directly affected. William Lilly in his Annus Tenebrosus say of a Lunar eclipse in the second decanate of Virgo that “…it prepares destruction and Calamities…”

Houston Lunar Eclipse 2006 Horoscope

As to timing, the one degree application of both Mars and Mercury to respective critical points would show that within a week of the eclipse a very dangerous storm will approach Houston and Galveston, Texas.

If we were to try to formulate all of this in William Lilly’s language we might say: “Citizens of Houston take warning. The month of September may be one of many troubles from storms, flooding and general malevolence of the elements” It certainly wouldn’t hurt to take the necessary precautions.


The hurricane season is the theme here. Everyone knows that through global warming hurricanes will increase both in number and intensity. No one knows where and when. Just as meteorological methods of prediction are used to try to narrow down this area of the unknown it seems justifiable to use the time honoured astrological approach particularly if extra precautions, such as the strengthening of storm protections can be taken in time, and anyone in authority can thereby be convinced that this is indeed necessary. The astrological testimonies mentioned above are so strong that it is a responsibility to make them known. If there should be an error in this judgement, you are called on, dear reader, to correct it.

Astrology of Current Affairs: Hurricane Katrina…Back for an encore in 2006?

June 4, 2006 by  

Hurricane Katrina - Fish in Bestiary

The widespread and unnecessary disaster caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2006 is just beginning to drop out of the news. Of course, it’s just the beginning of the new hurricane season, and with global warming being what it is, experts say hurricanes will become more and more powerful and destructive. The question on everyone’s mind is “will there be another Katrina for New Orleans?” For another similar disaster would surely bring the city to its knees for a long time.

We do not have the founding chart of New Orleans, since it, like most cities, just sort of accumulated over time. There are some historical charts floating around, but it is unclear how useful they are in predictive work. The best we can do is to use a Cancer Ingress chart set for New Orleans. Let us first look at the 2005 chart to see how Katrina shows up. With Ingress charts, we must be very careful, since the planetary configurations are identical anywhere in the world (and it is funny to see some modern astrologers cast charts for a particular location and seeing death and destruction visited upon their own hometown…the same aspects are happening world-wide, folks!). Thus, we will have to watch out for close aspects to angles and their rulers, since that is the only thing that will make the New Orleans chart unique from, say, the Washington, D.C. chart.

Astrology of Eclipses - Hurricane Katrina - Cancer Ingress 2005

So back to our 2005 chart. Doesn’t look too bad, right? At least that’s what I thought when I first glanced at it. Mars, Lord 1, rules the location for the duration of the summer season. It is essentially strong, but accidentally (and remember, accident is what counts in these charts) very weak in the 12th house. The preceding eclipse is lunar, and as such has a luminary above the ground, which makes the effects strong, according to Lilly. Further, the eclipse will be partially visible from North America, further increasing its effects on especially the eastern part of the United States. So this eclipse will have a lot to say about the hurricane season in New Orleans. The Lord of the eclipse is Mars, ruling the elevated Moon in Scorpio (double whammy of wetness). Mars is in a hot and moist sign in the eclipse chart, which adds yet more moisture to an already drenched eclipse. Lilly writes that when an eclipse happens in the watery triplicity, it “presages a rot or consumption of the vulgar sort of people [these were the hardest hit group in the entire Katrina devastation, as the poorest areas of New Orleans were most affected by the broken levees]…destruction of Water Foul, great inundations and overflowings of the Seabanks [!].” And this eclipse was not even angular in New Orleans – merely elevated, and then “plugged in” to the Cancer Ingress.

Astrology of Eclipses - Hurricane Katrina - Eclipse of 4/24/2005

In the Ingress chart, Mars is also opposed by Jupiter, the planet of rain. Jupiter (and hence Mars) squares the IC/MC axis of one’s position in the world. Jupiter will afflict the city’s standing – despite being a benefic, here it is a rather malefic influence, due to its contact with Mars and the angles. Jupiter is not done with New Orleans yet – it is conjunct Vindemiatrix, a star of the nature of Saturn and Mercury. It is generally malefic, and is specifically associated with overreaching and causing one’s ruin. Finally, we get the Moon in Sagittarius trining the Ingress Ascendant. The Moon is conjunct the fixed star Sabik, which brings “wastefulness, lost energy,” among a host of other undesirable qualities. Indeed, these are words that well describe the relief effort mounted by FEMA after the disaster.

What about 2006?

Astrology of Eclipses - Hurricane Katrina - Cancer Ingress 2006

The 2006 Cancer Ingress chart for New Orleans has Cancer ascending, so the Big Easy will be ruled by the Moon for the season. The Moon is in Taurus, so it is exalted, and in the cold and moist 4th quarter. So how is New Orleans? It’s all right, but seems to be doing better than it really is (exaltation), because it is rather wet. The Moon is applying to an opposition of Jupiter, the planet of rain, in a cold and moist sign, which itself is retrograde. Could this mean that New Orleans will be inundated once again? If so, let us hope it is only with heavy rain and not with floods stemming from broken levees. The Moon also applies to the inauspicious Mars-Saturn conjunction in Leo on the cusp of the 2nd house. There is some hope here that serious disaster may miss New Orleans this year, however, since none of the above problematical planets aspect the angles, as happened in 2005.

And the fixed stars? Wasat, of the nature of Saturn, is right on the Ascendant. According to Robson, the constellation to which Wasat belongs (Gemini) indicates “trouble and disgrace, sickness, loss of fortune, affliction and danger to the knees.” Wasat itself brings violence and malevolence. This obviously is cause for concern. Let’s see what the preceding eclipse is doing: this is the total solar eclipse on March 29, which fell on 8.30 Aries, two degrees away from the Cancer Ingress MC. Despite this strong and malefic contact, it may not bode too badly for New Orleans. The eclipse chart itself shows the eclipse below the earth, on the cusp of the 2nd house, so its effects are not nearly as strong as they would have been had the eclipse occurred above the earth or at least in a cardinal house. The 2006 eclipse does not pass over North America, which further mitigates its effects.

Astrology of Eclipses - Hurricane Katrina - Eclipse of 3/29/2006

Lilly writes: “you shall usually find that where the Ascendant or Mid-Heaven of those Cities or men doe concurre with the place of Heaven Eclipsed or defective, that in a great measure the effects shall appear and manifest themselves upon those men, Kings, or Rulers, Kingdoms, or Cities, especially if the Eclips be above the Earth, for all Eclipses are held to extend their effects most forcibly when above the Earth, weakly and not so vigorously when under the Earth; but that they have also then some manifest operation greater or lesser, I could manifest by many examples of Eclipses in this age, and confirm my own judgement by the opinion of severall learned men; I shall instance only Cardan Seg. 7. Apho. 81…Eclipses in the fourth House or Heaven are more forcible than those in the eighth or eleventh, those in the first more strong than they in the ninth or twelfth, and it must be acknowledged that although Eclipses in the first House cannot be visible, yet we are by no Author prohibited to judge them…”

So 2006 will likely not pack the same punch as 2005 did for New Orleans, due to the lack of angular contacts in the Cancer Ingress and the “invisible” and succedent preceding eclipse So what can we expect this year? Probably a good, healthy storm over New Orleans, but this time with far less water than before. Let’s keep our fingers crossed.