Haiti: astrology of a disaster

Like many others around the world, my thoughts have been with Haiti and the dreadful catastrophe that has befallen it. One of the poorest and least equipped nations to deal with a disaster of such magnitude. It is not that Mother Nature targets these countries in particular. It hits them harder because they  cannot afford to disaster-proof themselves and so are more vulnerable. An earthquake of this magnitude occurring in San Francisco will cause buildings to  sway, there might be a few casualties and that would be that. Not so here. The loss of life has been huge and the suffering unimaginable. What can the astrology of this event reveal? I do not believe that planetary aspect movements ’cause’ anything but they do reflect synchronistically what is going on and will provide extra information.

A harsh history

Haiti has always had a violent and troubled history. Originally a French colony, the move toward independence began in 1791 with a slave rebellion. The enslaved Africans in Haiti were treated with more than usual brutality. The policy being that it was fine to work them to death as there were plenty more where they came from. It was a truly efficient slave state and  immensely profitable to its owners. The rebels, who had very little to lose, were as ruthless as the slave owners and eventually prevailed. In 1803, the last French troops left the island, leaving behind the first independent black-led nation. The chart below ( he Book of World Horoscopes, Campion, Aquarian Press, 1988) is for 1 January 1804 when the Act of Independence was signed.

The actual hour of the signing is not known so we cannot be sure that the Aries ascendant is accurate but given the violent history of the country, it very likely is. Ruler Mars squares Saturn and sextiles Pluto indicating problematic power relationships. Misrule, corruption and inefficiency have been hallmarks of Haitian government most of the time and exploitation by foreign powers did not cease with independence. Another difficult aspect is the opposition of the Moon, representing the people, to Pluto the transformer. The people there have always lived under Plutonian influences—’Papa Doc’ Duvalier who headed the country in the 50s, whose reign of terror was a real low point. The current event fits in well. And yet, despite all this, The Haitian people have managed to create a culture that is vibrant, joyous and full of life. That also, is Mars and Sun with Pluto. Resilience and life is spite of everything.

A really bad day

For reasons not relevant here, 12 January was for me personally, one of the most unpleasant days I have had for a long time. Clearly, it was far more unpleasant for the Haitians. I did wonder what was going on astrologically before any news of the earthquake reached me.  The chart below cast for the event does not look any more catastrophic than many others. Cancer rises and there is a big line up in Capricorn. Some astrologers associate cardinal signs with earthquakes. The Moon is separating from a square to Uranus and a sextile to Neptune. Both planets are also associated with earthquakes. I find the most significant aspect is Saturn near the cusp of the 4th house. The 4th house is the root of the chart, the underground part where all the hidden stresses are. The squares to Pluto and Mercury in earthy Capricorn is a very strong significator.

It is notoriously difficult to predict or find definite indicators for natural disasters. Possibly because the original cause may occur well before the outcome can be seen. The tectonic plates could have been crunching away days or weeks before the actual quake. Scientists have never got the hang of it, so how can astrologers.

Compare and contrast

There are interesting correlations between the earthquake chart and the Haitian national chart. The most striking thing is the similarities. The earthquake chart has four planets and the North Node in Capricorn, the Haiti chart has five planets in Capricorn. Saturn in both charts are only a degree apart in Libra. Transiting Saturn forms the same squares as Saturn in the Haiti chart. The Neptunes are in square and Pluto conjuncts Haiti’s Mars. It was an accident waiting to happen.

If this synastry has the whiff of destiny about it, is there anything here that that brings a positivenote for this unfortunate country?  This disaster has turned the eyes of the world on Haiti and a huge outpouring of aid and support is on its way. But beyond that, the similarities  in the two charts indicate that Haiti will attract more international attention in general and that perhaps the aid will continue in a spirit of support for a struggling nation, rather than exploitation as in the past. Jupiter, Neptune and Chiron fall in the 11th house of friends, hopes and wishes in the Haiti chart. That bodes well.

And finally, here is a composite between the two charts. Perhaps Capricorn really is an earthquake sign. The Moon in Scorpio at zero degrees suggests a new beginning after destruction. The rebuilding of a nation perhaps.  I will leave the reader to make of it what s/he will!