Astrology Secrets Revealed by ERIC FRANCIS

The Shuttle Launch


July 29, 2005 (with chart)


Dear Readers:


For this week's news chart, I'd like to take a look at the launch of the Space Shuttle, which had many technical problems during the countdown. Yes, I think they are a little nuts to do the first Shuttle launch after the Columbia burned up on Feb. 1, 2003 with Mercury retrograde (as I am sure most of you noticed was the case!), and if anyone is high up in NASA, please pass along that I would be happy to help them time their missions.


It was not encouraging that pieces of debris were seen falling off the Shuttle as it launched this week, once again demonstrating that this technology has seen better days. But it would appear from the chart that this mission is safe (remembering, of course, that space travel is dangerous). And it's not such a bad chart for the re-commencement of the Shuttle program itself. There is just one aspect in the chart that bothers me, and I will point it out.


One interesting note is that there were no Shuttle launches during Saturn in Cancer. The remaining fleet of three orbiters was grounded for this entire time, and flights resumed shortly after Saturn entered Leo. That seems fitting; take care of safety and security first, work on your structure, and then go back up there.


Perhaps the most interesting astrological fact about the NASA program is that any time there has been a loss of life aboard a U.S. space vehicle, it has occurred within the same week of the year. There have been three events with fatalities in U.S. space history. The Columbia disintegrated during landing on Feb. 1, 2003. The Challenger was lost on liftoff on Jan. 28, 1986. And three astronauts of Apollo 1 died in a launch pad fire on Jan. 1, 1967.


I am not that into statistics, but the probability of this occurring is incredibly low. It would seem to be astronomically low: that the Sun is within several degrees for each of these three events, and they are the only three events of their kind.


So we could look to astrology for some information. But because these events are separated by 19 years, it's unlikely that any kind of a planet is involved, because planets (even the slow moving ones) move too fast to be within six degrees of arc for two decades. Therefore we're talking about the Sun being conjunct a fixed star or deep space object at this time of year, and I've not found one. This does not mean that something won't be discovered, that I've missed something important, or that one of you won't write in with an object in that range of tropical Aquarius; but nothing I know of has been discovered yet.


NASA is getting much better at PR. Here is a great quote, after the launch, from the NASA chief. "I'll keep my opening remarks brief, but I want to use them to ask you all to take note of what you saw here today," said NASA administrator Michael Griffin at a news conference yesterday. "The power and majesty of the launch, of course, but also the competence and professionalism, the sheer gall, the pluckiness and grittiness of this team that pulled this program out of the depths of despair 2 1/2 years ago and made it fly."


We have a pretty solid chart here, with Virgo rising. That points us right to Mercury, as Mercury rules the ascendant -- appropriate enough for a flight of some kind. Mercury would represent the Shuttle itself and the question of safety. Mercury in Leo in the 11th house, on the cusp of the 12th, is a fitting image; the 11th is public and the 12th is like the abyss, and Shuttle launches certainly walk that line. It's in Leo -- nice and dramatic, like Mike Griffin's quote above.


But what are we to make of the fact that Mercury is retrograde? Besides telling them to back up their computers, of course. Hmm. This is an old program. Technology moves fast, and the Shuttle was news when I was a high school junior in 1980, er, I admit, a quarter century ago. It was big news then, a true moment of glory. Here is a brief glimpse of the Shuttle in its earliest days. Today, it is kind of a retrograde program. The equipment is old -- and it's environmentally disastrous, blasting a big hole in the ozone every time it goes up.


But the Shuttle is a Taurus, and they don't go away easily. It's probably going to be around for a while, particularly given that there's nothing to replace it, and there's a new International Space Station (ISS) to take care of.


Note that there is plenty of activity on the cusp of this chart's 8th house, death and transformation. The Moon is there, and the North Node, and Mars (which rules that house, so it's happy enough in its own sign). This to me is a picture of the death-defying aspect of space travel. There seems to be no way to get into space except for going through the 8th house, and those astronauts sitting on top of thousands of pounds of fuel must go through quite a transformation as that thing goes up.


Vesta on the 10th house cusp is an interesting image of sacrifice. That little red symbol is a chevron -- a burning pot of oil, and it's the astrological symbol of selfless service, of giving oneself totally to a cause. True enough -- for the astronauts, that is, who actually put their bodies in the space craft.


What is troubling about this chart is that Mars is in the very last degree of Aries, and also that it's in a close T-square with Chiron and Saturn. That is, it is square both Chiron and Saturn. This is a lot of tension, though because Mars is lurking in the last degree of Aries, it's as if the tension is behind the scenes and invisible. But the good news is that Mercury, the ascendant ruler, is NOT in aspect to Mars. So the two significator of the Shuttle itself, and the significator of some dangerous or deadly agent, basically cannot harm one another, and it would appear that the mission is safe.


I hope I'm right, anyway.


Do you have any observations about this chart? If so, please let me know. Now, here are a few of your questions for this week -- and I'll see you over at Planet Waves!