The Astrology of a Derailment

Whenever a horoscope in longitude doesn’t reveal the obvious, I turn to declination, our alternate measurement in astrology. Declination can help us better understand the tragic train derailment in the Bronx on Sunday, December 1, 2013 at 7:20 AM.

The regular horoscope for the crash has the Moon, Mercury and Saturn in Scorpio conjunct the 12th house (an intense experience), Sun rising in Sagittarius trine Uranus (unexpected events in travel) and Mars opposite Neptune (engineer dozing at the controls?). But it doesn’t really have the most obvious things we expect from an accident of this magnitude. Four were killed and over 60 injured, many critically.

Turn on the declination grid and everything stands out more clearly. The Sun in Sagittarius is parallel Pluto and closely parallel the Ascendant. Then powerful Jupiter in Cancer contraparallels Pluto and tightly contraparallels both the Ascendant and the Sun. This pattern more clearly presents a situation where destruction (Pluto) from excessive speed (Jupiter) is possible. In addition, there’s an exact Mars parallel Uranus as well, the two planets most often associated with accidents and sudden crises.

Venus in Capricorn had been Out of Bounds in declination (beyond the planets’ usual path on the ecliptic) for a number of weeks at the time of the accident. The odd coincidence is that the train’s engineer has this placement in his birth chart as well! Venus OOB generally represents one with an artistic temperament or the tendency to “love not wisely but too well,” as Kt Boehrer put it. Extraordinary relationships are possible. Certainly the engineer is now unfortunately in the midst of unusually challenging relationship issues involving the passengers, his employers and government authorities (transiting Venus OOB in Capricorn). Venus goes Out of Bounds only once every 8 years or so for a few months.

Perhaps the prominence of the benefics Venus and Jupiter in this disaster accounts for the fact that not many lives were lost. At the end of the Thanksgiving weekend, there were fewer passengers to the City than usual at such an early hour.

Declination measures planets north and south of the equator and their aspects in parallel and contraparallel. This may at first appear a bit simplistic, but as we can see, declination can provide information that we may not find in longitude. It truly adds another dimension to astrology.