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May Day this year took on new significance at the University of Georgia, which held a memorial service at sunset Monday, May 1, to commemorate the loss of eleven students who have died since the beginning of the January, 2000 semester. The students have perished for various reasons—among them, drug overdose, cancer, cardiac arrest, a fraternity prank and a car wreck. When the May Day service was announced just three weeks earlier, the death toll stood at eight. By May 1, an additional three students had died.

The sheer number of student deaths this semester is extraordinary. In the history of the university, a total of three student deaths in one semester is unusual, and eight was the maximum number of students who had died in a single semester. University president Michael Adams said to the mourners, "I wish this evening that I could give you some explanation for what we have endured as a community, but I'm sometimes at a loss for answers, and this is one of those times." Perhaps astrology can help.

Everything has a Birth Chart

Many people are unaware that institutions, like people, have natal horoscopes, cast for the date and time of their incorporation. The Georgia General Assembly voted to incorporate the university on Thursday, January 27, 1785, time unknown. Georgia was the first state in the Union to charter a state-supported university. Without an exact time of "birth," I calculated the university's incorporation horoscope at the state capital, Atlanta, for the time when the Sun crossed the Midheaven, the most prominent point in the sky. The Midheaven symbolizes public institutions, and a chart with the Sun conjoining this point is symbolically significant.

Predicting Events with Astrology

Having erected a meaningful horoscope for the "birth" (incorporation) of the University of Georgia, I proceeded to apply standard astrological techniques of prediction. In this article, I will focus only on one of them, namely, the current transits of the planets over the positions in the birth chart. Transits refer to the current movement of the planets in the heavens. In making predictions, astrologers consider how the current locations of the planets relate to their placements in the heavens at the time of birth.

Death and Astrology

Symbolically, the two planets most closely associated with death are Saturn and Pluto. Medieval astrologers called Saturn the “greater malefic,” and sometimes depicted him as the Grim Reaper. Pluto, a "modern" planet, was discovered in 1930 and named after the mythological god Hades, lord of the Underworld, home of the dead. To investigate the rash of deaths at the university, an astrologer would naturally look at the relationship between Saturn and Pluto, considering both their transiting (current) and natal (at birth) positions.

Aspects

The angular relationships between planets are called aspects. The two most stressful aspects are the 90-degree angle (the "square") and the 180-degree angle (the "opposition"). These two aspects have the reputation of being stressful, challenging, discordant, harsh and often unfortunate.

In January, 2000, Saturn (an astrological signifier of death) was moving very slowly through the sign Taurus in the zodiac. From the viewpoint of Earth, which moves much more rapidly than Saturn on its orbit, transiting Saturn appeared to stop and reverse direction (appeared to become stationary) in the heavens on January 12, at the start of the new semester. Planets that appear stationary in their orbit have immense power in astrology.

Furthermore, transiting Saturn became stationary in January, 2000, at 10 degrees Taurus, forming an almost exact stressful 90-degree angle (square) to Pluto in the birth chart of the university. This "malefic" square between a transiting powerful stationary Saturn (the Grim Reaper) and natal Pluto (Lord of the Underworld) became exact on February 15, and remained in effect for the rest of the semester.

On May 1, the day of the memorial service, the transiting Sun itself was passing through 10 degrees Taurus, the point where Saturn became stationary in January, and on the evening of May 1, the Sun exactly squared the university's natal Pluto, around the time of the memorial service. Astrological timing can be rather amazing.

Space does not permit discussion of the many other aspects and astrological techniques that reinforce the meaning of transiting Saturn square natal Pluto, indicating a period of stress in the life of the university. The fact that this stressful square manifested in an unprecedented series of student deaths most likely relates to the mythological symbolism of the planets Saturn and Pluto.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anthony Louis is the author of Horary Astrology Plain and Simple and of Tarot Plain and Simple (Llewellyn Publications) and has also authored computer reports on secondary progressions and vocational astrology for Halloran Software. He has lectured internationally and has been published widely in astrological literature. He is a member of the Astrological Society of Connecticut and maintains the website of that organization at http://www.geocities.com/asc_astrology/.

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For more information about Anthony Louis, click here.

Other StarIQ articles by Anthony Louis:

  • Tarot and the Sign Sagittarius   11/28/2002
  • Tarot and the Sign Libra   9/26/2002
  • Tarot and the Sign Virgo   8/20/2002
  • Tarot and the Sign Cancer   7/5/2002
  • Tarot and the Sign Pisces   3/1/2002
  • Tarot and the Sign Aquarius   1/13/2002
  • Tarot and the Sign Scorpio   10/31/2001
  • Tarot and the Sign Aries   3/26/2001
  • Tarot and the Sign Capricorn   12/19/2000
  • Astrology Looks at a Skeptic   11/12/2000
  • Michael Shermer: Astrology Looks at a Skeptic   10/25/2000
  • Tarot and the Sign Leo   8/6/2000

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