Now that both world events and the astounding astrological energy signature of April 2014 are unrolling with such a deeply impactful impress — tell me, can you not feel it, the huge, swirling energy? How it’s grabbing you, shaking you loose from your complacent foundations, demanding that you WAKE UP, COME ALIVE? — it appears that astrology is at last taking its rightful place as a valuable language to help us bridge and blend the Above and the Below.
In this context, of a newly emerging collective respect for astrology, reader Rose has just asked me about the astrological signature for 9/11.
I remember that morning, how I looked up the time of the first attack, and its meaning for the U.S. chart. Pluto, at that time opposite Saturn was crossing exactly over this nation’s questing, arrogant, buoyant Sagittarian Ascendant. It was as if the moment was planned, I suddenly thought, profoundly disturbed and astonished. In fact, seeing Pluto on the Ascendant, opposed by Saturn on the Descendant shocked me awake. An inner voice announced, with finality “inside job.” Also, there was a deceptively benign grand trine in the chart (Saturn/Mercury/Ascendant/Neptune) another indication to me, that the whole tragedy was a deceptive (Neptune) set up (Saturn), and that it was being enacted and spun (Mercury/Ascendant) exactly as designed (Saturn).
This morning I googled “9/11 astro chart,” and the first thing that came up was the chart of the event, and its relationship to the U.S. chart, by Liz Greene, one of the world’s foremost astrologers, who is extremely articulate and unusually attuned to movements within the collective unconsciousness.
Here’s her interpretation. We might well ponder it now, during another, even more powerfully, deeply Plutonian moment — in not just U.S., but world history.
by Liz Greene
The astrological portrait of an event always presents us with many layers of meaning and implies a situation more complex than is apparent on the surface. The terrible terrorist attack on America on 11th September 2001 is no exception. Since that day, numerous articles have appeared on the internet offering an astrological interpretation of what has happened, and many of these can aid in our understanding. No amount of interpretation of planetary symbols will mitigate the grief and outrage felt by so many people, nor will it affect the decisions made by governments which do not avail themselves of astrological insights. However, astrological insights can sometimes help the individual to find a more balanced perspective. It seems to me that, in the present astrological climate,  a balanced perspective is badly needed in the wake of such a terrifying and terrible event.
1. The chart of the event
1st WTC Explosion
11 September 2001, 8.45 am, New York City, New York
Like many charts for the inception of war, the chart set for the collision of the first hijacked aircraft with the World Trade Centre building contains a deceptively benign aspect. There is a powerful and apparently harmonious configuration between the planets Mercury, Saturn, Uranus, and Neptune. It is not my intention to discuss the horary or predictive implications of this chart – other astrologers who specialise in these perspectives have already done this elsewhere – but rather, the deeper picture it portrays of the collective psyche at the moment of the attack. Like the similar benign configuration in the inception chart for World War Two, this set-up of planets is telling us something we may not wish to recognise: it is easy for such events to occur when the collective psyche floats in a state of complacency and unawareness. Such planetary configurations are aspects of ease and reflect gifts and innate aptitudes in an individual’s chart, but they can also connote a naive assumption that all is well in the world. It is the ‘difficult’ or ‘inharmonious’ aspects which force us to become conscious and work at containing our conflicts and developing our potentials. This chart contains a striking juxtaposition of both types of aspect – a grand trine and a T-cross. It is characteristic, when this occurs in an individual’s chart, for the trines to dominate initially, and the hard aspects to register through a crisis of some kind which forces the person to face painful realities they would prefer to avoid. This planetary alignment is in the astrological element of air – concerned with ideas, ideals, and concepts – and perhaps reflects the dangerously self-satisfied idealism with which we in the Western world began the week of 9th September. The dominance of political correctness over human reality, and the belief that it can solve the world’s problems, may be one of many things which has just come to an abrupt end.
Other aspects in this chart are aggressive and potentially very destructive. Treated with consciousness in an individual’s chart, they can be productive of extremely positive results. When they appear as the signature of the climate of the moment, they can be explosive. The aspects of 11th September portray this event as being rooted in ideological conflicts, the underlying drumbeat being the fanaticism and intolerance which have yearly been on the increase in every nation of the world. The focus of the tension is the sphere of the horoscope concerned with ancestral ghosts, inheritance from the past, traditionally the house of ‘secret enemies’. From a psychological perspective, this area of the birth chart is concerned with patterns in the collective unconscious which stretch back over many generations. In short, this explosive configuration of hard aspects describes the fruition of issues of anger, aggression, scapegoating, and fanaticism which have their roots in a much longer past.
I do not believe it is possible to take the chart for an event, or the transits over a national chart, and foretell what will ‘happen’ in concrete terms. Sometimes a transit picture over a national chart is highly suggestive when linked with knowledge of political affairs, as was the case with the Soviet Union in 1989. But the configurations here are not that obvious. Threatening and disturbing, yes; clear and simple, no. Many people are now proudly declaring, with hindsight, how easy it is to read the events of 11 September in this chart, and in the transits across the chart of the USA, discussed below. This is a facile pronouncement. So are the various prognostications of the End of the World, which have been around for as long as the world has. Claiming to have such foreknowledge may give a feeling of personal power and importance, but it might be more constructive – and truthful – to admit not only our ignorance but also our need to look objectively at many different levels and perspectives to try to make sense of the catastrophe which has just occurred and steer our way to a future which is constructive rather than destructive. If we believe there is any possibility of free will and any capacity to work on difficult configurations to generate creative rather than destructive results, we must accept the fact that the terrorist attack on America was not ‘fated’.
It is also pointless to declare how it could have been avoided if so-and-so had done or not done such-and-such. There are too many ‘if only’s being thrown about, and perhaps also too many smug declarations of blame in every direction, including self-blame. This is not helpful and is rather like telling someone with cancer that it’s their ‘fault’ because they didn’t sort out their psychological problems or ate the wrong food ten years before. We need to look at the meaning of these events first, and then look forward to how we can turn a great evil into an opportunity for bettering things. Of course America has a psychological ‘shadow’. So does every other nation in the world. At some point it may be appropriate to explore the nature of that shadow. But just as no amount of self-analysis can protect an individual from the unexpected, no amount of self-analysis can protect a nation from the unexpected either. Those who assume that terrorist acts are the inevitable ‘result’ of a nation’s failings are, in effect, attributing logic, fairness, and justice to people who abandoned logic, justice, and fairness long ago.
Whether in an individual’s, a nation’s, or an event’s chart, the contrast between a benign configuration reflecting lofty and noble humanitarian ideals, and a stressful configuration reflecting elements of scapegoating, aggression, obsessive fanaticism, and potential violence born of impotent rage is striking. Benign configurations in a birth chart often hide a multitude of sins. Psychologically, we tend to hide behind our gifts and aptitudes to avoid the pain of dealing with our limitations and conflicts. It could be said that the collective – globally, and not just in America – was in precisely this state of hopeful denial of reality on the morning of 11th September.
2. The ‘Sibley’ chart for the United States
Juxtaposing this chart with the birth chart of the USA — in other words, examining the transits — gives a clear picture of what this event means to the country. The chart of the event is the chart of the collective psyche at the moment, but as a transit chart, it tells us how the qualities of the moment affect America. These transits are very disturbing – although it should be remembered that the most important of them has been around for some time and is not exclusive to 11th September. Conflict with ‘others’ is synchronous with a deep internal transformation, and transformations of this nature are usually extremely unpleasant, even devastating, to begin with, although in the long term they are immensely creative. The quality of America’s Sagittarius Ascendant – the ‘personality’ of the nation – has always been evident to the outside world in attractive and less attractive ways – the undaunted explorer’s spirit, the boundless enthusiasm and faith in the future, the deeply religious bias, the material and emotional excess, the assumption of moral superiority, the courageous refusal to accept defeat, the unquenchable optimism.
United States of America
4 July 1776, 5.10 pm, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
All these qualities, pleasant and less pleasant, reflect a glorious naiveté in the best and worst senses – an innocence about what people are really capable of, a simultaneously tolerant and self-righteous attitude toward broader philosophical and spiritual issues, a desire to believe the best of everyone, and a firm conviction that all things, even the bad ones, can yield opportunities for growth. The transformation now occurring, reflected by transiting Pluto moving across this Sagittarius Ascendant, is a kind of Childhood’s End, bringing with it the loss of innocence and the challenge of transforming Sagittarius’ childlike intuitive vision of higher purpose into genuine wisdom and a more realistic vision of humanity. Pluto can take us to hell and back, and its process can involve loss, humiliation, depression, and a sense of colliding with fate or forces beyond our control. Pluto transits are humbling and may also be accompanied by feelings of impotence and great anxiety. The terrorist attack on 11th September is the major trigger for Plutonian transformation, but it represents only one of several ongoing issues which reflect a deeper process at work.
It should be remembered that planetary movements such as these have a long build-up period, and Pluto’s first approach to the American Ascendant coincided with the scandal of President Clinton and Monica Lewinsky. However silly and superficial this might have seemed to many, it raised deeper issues about morality and public responsibility. The present crisis is in a different league altogether – America is under attack, over five thousand innocent people have been killed and, unless action is taken, more tragedies may occur. But underneath, the moral questioning now demanded of all Americans is fuelled by the same Sagittarian quest to define the ultimate and absolute nature of right and wrong, truth and falsehood, good and evil. And because Pluto moving through Sagittarius reflects a process in all of us, every nation must now grapple with this same moral questioning. The time for hypocrisy is over.