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EYE OF THE STORM - HURRICANE CHARLEY

by Gary Brand - written August 14, 2004,
published in the September 2004 edition of Echo* newspaper

Shear cliffs more than 12 miles high on Uranus' innermost
moon Miranda.  Taken on January 24, 1986 by Voyager 2. Standing out in the sunlight at the terminator (the edge between light and dark) in the upper right corner of this close range photo of Uranus' moon Miranda are some amazing shear cliffs that are more than 12 miles high!  By comparison, the impact crater at the bottom of this image is about 15 miles across.  Taken on January 24, 1986 by the Voyager 2 spacecraft.  Courtesy of NASA/JPL/Space Science Institute.
y the time you read this article, Hurricane Charley will be old news to us but not to the people of coastal southwestern Florida, who will be dealing with the aftermath for months [click on the name to view a true-color image of Hurricane Charley taken on August 13 at 12:35 p.m. EDT by NASA's Terra satellite].  As of August 14, the death toll was 13 and expected to rise significantly higher [the final death toll was 27], the damage was estimated to be billions of dollars [$6.8 billion in insured damages as of September 7] - 250,000 structures were damaged in Lee county alone, 10,000 were homeless, and over 1,000,000 were without electricity.  It is always instructive to look at the charts of locations in the path of such a huge storm, the most intense and damaging since Hurricane Andrew in 1992.  Charley packed sustained winds of 145 MPH, which made it a Category 4, and hit the barrier islands of Captiva, Sanibel, and Cayo Costa head on.  The island of Sanibel is the only one of these with a municipality of sizable population - the city of Sanibel with over 5,000 permanent residents.  Cities on the coastal mainland that felt the full brunt of Charley's storm surge and hurricane force winds included hardest hit Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and to a lesser extent, Naples.  Of these, I have the birth charts for all but Port Charlotte.

Usually, I compare such city charts with the birth charts of my clients (or myself).  These comparisons often lead to the client finding a compatible match and relocating to a city with which they are happy.  Remember that, in this article, I am addressing a very devastating event so there isn't much of a positive nature, unlike the comparisons I make of city charts with those of clients.  Sometimes, clients who have not had such a consultation skeptically ask if the city charts I use are really valid.  My answer is that I painstakingly researched the dates upon which they are based and years of application have borne out their efficacy.  A destructive hurricane like Charley provides an opportunity to test the dates for affected cities.

The first step is to identify the significator(s) of hurricanes.  According to recent tradition, transiting Uranus (the actual planet in the sky) is the primary significator, probably because of the unpredictable changes in speed, intensity, and course of hurricanes and this one was a prime example.  However, long before the discovery of Uranus, transiting Saturn was the chief significator of destructive storms.  Transiting Pluto is also universally considered a potentially destructive influence.  Also, the chart of the time that the eye of the hurricane made landfall has Pluto on the Ascendant in a square with Jupiter (potential maximum destruction) and Uranus was opposed by Mercury and Mars (Mercury symbolizes winds and Mars energy).  This begs the question, what are the planets in the chart of a city or location (such as a county) that would be most strongly impacted by these planets when a hurricane strikes?

In the chart of a city, the Moon represents homes, real estate, the comfort and security of the population, and families.  Obviously, a storm of this magnitude affects millions of people, their families, and their homes and businesses (real estate).  Another important point in a city chart is the Ascendant because it symbolizes the people, public health, prosperity, and property owners.  Unfortunately, the time of day that most cities were "born" or came into being was not a matter of record but, in the case of two of the city birth charts examined (Sanibel and Naples), I was able to determine the time of day.  When the time is unknown, so is the Ascendant or rising sign and the position of the Moon is only an approximation.  However, there is another very significant planet in the charts of cities (the position of which is not affected by time of birth) that represents matters strongly impacted by a hurricane of this magnitude - Mercury, because it governs communications, transportation, electricity, and commerce.  It is no coincidence that the Moon, Mercury and the Ascendant (for Sanibel & Naples) were strongly and adversely aspected by Uranus, Saturn and Pluto and more so than any other planets in these charts!

In Sanibel's chart, transiting Uranus was square the Ascendant, square Neptune, and conjunct Jupiter, all of which are stressful and surprising influences.  Transiting Saturn was conjunct the city's Saturn (the proverbial Saturn return) approaching the city's Moon and squared the city's Mercury (devastation to homes, property and commerce).  In the chart of Punta Gorda, with a population of more than 14,000, transiting Uranus was conjunct the Ascendant and square the city's Sun and Pluto, a devastating combination of influences.  Transiting Mars was also square the city's Pluto (potentially very destructive and dangerous) and transiting Mercury was square the city's Sun (more stress but minor).  Transiting Saturn was conjunct the city's Moon and square the city's Venus (bad luck).  Initial estimates are that 100% of the homes in this city, many valued over $500,000, were damaged.

Cape Coral and Fort Myers also received the worst of the storm, being on the windward side of the hurricane.  In the chart of Cape Coral, with a population of more than 94,000, transiting Pluto was square the city's Mercury and Moon and transiting Jupiter increased the intensity of the destruction because it was conjunct the city's Mercury and opposite the city's Moon.  Transiting Uranus was conjunct the city's North Node (the city's future) and transiting Mars and Mercury were conjunct the city's South Node (people there will be talking about how Charley changed their city).  Fort Myers, with a population of more than 48,000 in the 2000 Census, experienced transiting Uranus opposite the city's Mars and square both the city's Moon and Pluto, a particularly nasty combination astrologers call a "grand cross."  In addition, transiting Saturn and the Moon were square the city's Mercury.  Although Naples, with a population of more than 20,000, was not in the path of Charley's eye, it was on the windward side and sustained a large storm surge and some of the strongest winds.  In this city's chart, transiting Uranus was conjunct the city's Ascendant and Moon, while transiting Mars and Mercury were opposite them.  This is one of the worst positions for Uranus, since it is the primary significator of hurricanes.  In addition, these transiting planets were all square the city's Sun and Jupiter and transiting Pluto is conjunct the city's Mercury.  It's a wonder that it didn't suffer greater damage than it did but this could mean that it may be "eyed" by another hurricane this year.  Let's pray that this area of Florida is spared by future hurricanes for a while.
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*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
850-656-5758


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