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by Gary Brand - written January 28, 2001,
published in the Winter 2000-2001 edition of AstroVox,
Newsletter of the Metro Washington, DC Chapter of NCGR*
any astrologers (including the author) thought the Grand Cross Solar Eclipse on August 11, 1999 to be the worst of the century (or maybe of the millennium) and that it portended major disasters.  The eclipse point at 18°21' Leo was opposed by Uranus in Aquarius, and was squared by Mars in Scorpio and by Saturn in Taurus (note the cross in the center of the chart of this eclipse shown at right).

From August 11, 1999 to February 5, 2000 (the date of the next solar eclipse), many of the disasters that occurred were the worst of their kind or the worst in decades in their locale and were extreme (Uranus) in loss of life (Saturn) and property damage (Saturn).  They are detailed later in this article but, in summary, they included five major earthquakes, eight accidents, seven disasters caused by storms and three explosions.  Traditionally, Mars, Saturn and Uranus are associated with disasters and catastrophes in general and with these types of disasters specifically.

Various theories, going back at least as far as Claudius Ptolemy, propose different periods for the duration of effects of solar eclipses.  Jansky hypothesized that "the effect of an eclipse persists from the time that it occurs until the time of occurrence of the next eclipse, solar to solar..." (R.C.J., p. 64).  The period of intense and frequent disasters following the grand cross eclipse of 1999, a most dramatic eclipse, seems to confirm Jansky's hypothesis in terms of mundane events.  If the duration of effect for this eclipse was longer, this period of frequent and devastating events presumably would have continued (which it did not).

The following list is empirical, mundane evidence in support of the hypothesis that duration of effect is from one solar eclipse to the next.  Note that most of these events occurred in September, when Venus (a planet we don't normally associate with death and destruction) retrograded to within one degree of the grand cross eclipse point at 18°21'.  Venus was within one degree of this point (the peak of strength of the influence) from September 4 - 16 and Venus was within three degrees of the eclipse point (still a very strong influence) from September 1 - 22.

  • August 17, 1999 - Izmit, Turkey:  earthquake, 7.4 on the Richter scale, the worst in Turkey's history - 17,000 people killed, 26,600 injured, 600,000 left homeless, 115,000 buildings destroyed and $10 billion in property damage; followed by 250 aftershocks.
  • September 1, 1999 - Buenos Aires, Argentina:  airliner crash; 64 passengers killed.
  • September 4, 1999 - Hunan, China:  floods; 20,000 homes destroyed, 77,000 left homeless.
  • September 4, 1999 - Buinaksk, Dagestan:  a car bomb killed 64 people, 110 injured.
  • September 7, 1999 - Athens, Greece:  earthquake, 5.9 on the Richter scale; 137 people killed, 1,600 injured, 70,000 left homeless.
  • September 9, 1999 - Moscow, Russia:  apartment bomb blast killed 91 people, 240 injured.
  • September 16, 1999 - eastern North Carolina and Virginia:  Hurricane Floyd, with 155 MPH winds, began dumping 20" of rain, the subsequent 500 year flood resulted in the worst disaster in North Carolina's history; 47 people killed, 2,600 homes destroyed, 7,500 homes damaged, over 1,000,000 farm animals killed, more than $6 billion in property damage.  Another 8-10" of rain in late September worsened the flooding.
  • September 19, 1999 - Zaragoza, Spain:  bus crash killed 29 people.
  • September 21, 1999 - Taipei, Taiwan:  earthquake, 7.6 on the Richter scale; 2,270 people killed, 7,800 injured, 100,000 left homeless, 6,000 homes destroyed, 40,000 homes damaged.
  • September 30, 1999 - Huatulco, Mexico:  earthquake, 7.5 on the Richter scale (a big one); only 12 people killed because it was in a remote area but hundreds of buildings damaged.
  • September 30, 1999 - Tokaimura, Japan:  the worst nuclear disaster in Japanese history; 3 people seriously injured, 49 exposed to radiation, 310,000 ordered to stay indoors.
  • October 5, 1999 - London, England:  two commuter trains collided head on, one of England's deadliest rail disasters; 40 people killed, 160 injured.
  • October 7, 1999 - eastern Mexico:  a week of heavy rain (30" in 2 days) caused the worst flooding and mudslides in 40 years; 349 people killed, 200,000 left homeless.
  • October 29, 1999 - eastern India:  155 MPH cyclone struck, resulting in India's worst storm disaster; over 10,000 people killed, 200,000 left homeless, $10 billion in property damage.
  • October 31, 1999 - off the New England coast:  Egypt Air passenger jet crashed into the Atlantic; all 217 aboard killed.
  • End of October, 1999 - Vietnam:  heavy rains result in the worst flooding in a century; over 500 people killed, tens of thousands of homes flooded.
  • November 12, 1999 - Duzce, Turkey:  earthquake, 7.2 on the Richter scale; 750 people killed, 1,600 injured.
  • November 18, 1999 - College Station, Texas:  a huge stack of bonfire logs collapsed killing 12 students and injuring 27.
  • November 24, 1999 - off the China coast:  a ferry exploded and sank; over 200 people killed.
  • December 18, 1999 - Caracas, Venezuela:  heavy rain caused flooding and mudslides; over 30,000 people feared dead, 150,000 left homeless.
  • December 26 - 28, 1999 - western Europe:  storms with hurricane force winds; 88 people killed, 10,000 trees killed.
  • January 31, 2000 - off the California coast:  Alaska Airliner crashed into the Pacific; all 88 aboard killed.
On rare occasion, there may be other six-month periods with as many major disasters but not in recent memory and not since then.  For example, the first six months of 2000 were nothing like the above period in number of disasters.  The above data are from several newspapers, National Public Radio and TV news broadcasts.

See related articles "Grand Cross Eclipse of 1999," "Saturn Square Uranus Disasters in Review," and "Saturn Square Uranus Revisited."

*Echo is a monthly newspaper about community, the environment, health, cuisine, and spirituality that is distributed in central Virginia.

Good Timing and Location are Keys to Success

Gary Brand, Traditional Astrologer
Tallahassee, Florida

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