About       Susan       John     Astro*News     Astro*Reports       Contact Us       Order      Music   Articles

Titanic's Dark Skies

RMS Titanic seemed just too big to sink, but like the culture that built it, she was doomed by shift of all three outer planets.

By John Townley, April 2012

A lot has been written on the RMS Titanic, especially now around the centennial of its premature demise, and that includes a generous amount of astrological speculation, including a whole book on it a while back. Was it star-crossed from the beginning? Was it just a badly-aspected voyage that resulted in a fluke accident? Was it an angry Neptune, a fractious Uranus, an intractable Pluto, or a cross Mars or Saturn that did in the White Star liner? Or a mix of all of the above?

Before the outer planets were every discovered, when ship travel was the main mode of world commerce and transportation, maritime questions were a major part of an astrologer’s work. Seventeenth century astrologers like Lilly, Gadbury, and Partridge at the height of the age of exploration wrote extensively on the subject, much of it well worth reading today.

In the day of the original 17th century Godspeed, astrologers kept a watch eye on ships, but it failed to save her replica...

I had the adventure of becoming the closest thing to being one of them when in late 1984 I was engaged by Captain George Salley, commander of the replica of the 1607 Jamestown voyage ship Godspeed, to be the project's official period doctor and astrologer. The 1985 voyage had a modern doctor on board (and needed one, when one of the crew had to be helicoptered off in the English Channel due to terminal seasickness), so my landside tasks were more theoretical, including doing the charts of all the crew, the ship’s keel-laying, launch, commissioning, and initial voyage. It afforded me the opportunity to immerse myself in period astrology and medical works, which were intimately entwined. It was fascinating, and rather disturbing as I watched one event after another go down with dreadfully-afflicted charts, from the keel laying onwards. Saturn, Mars, and Pluto were everywhere afflicting the Lights and Angles, each time, and the ship’s progress reflected it. Interminable delays, disputes over funding and authority, and failure of materials and equipment all plagued the operation.

After a late start, six weeks fighting headwinds just to get out of the English Channel, and a near-mutiny at sea between factions of the crew who wanted to stay with traditional historical sailing methods and those who just wanted to hurry up and get there with modern gear, half the crew deserted in the Caribbean after nearly being blown ashore in Puerto Rico. The totally-modern substitute modern crew, inexperienced with old sailing ship handling, got it as far as Cape Hatteras and was headed for the rocks when the Coast Guard had to take them in tow for the final leg of the trip to Virginia. All in all, it was a disaster that very closely followed the charts of the ship’s preparations and voyage. All I could do was advise and sympathize, as no one really took my predictions or warnings seriously. Too bad. I’ll have to write a book about it someday…or maybe better if I don’t.

Uranus and Pluto figure strongly in disaster (times adjusted 2 min to correct for ship's time/time zone standard)

So did the Titanic have the same experience? Was she cursed by the stars from the get-go, or did she just fall afoul of momentary bad astral weather that was enough to do her in? From a general look, probably a bit of both, but especially the latter, and in a way that probably can be seen only in hindsight (unlike the Godspeed debacle, which might have been prevented). In the chart of her maiden voyage, the Moon is void-of-course, at the degree where Uranus was at its launch and applying to the conjunction to Uranus, with Pluto on the anti-vertex. Then, when the iceberg was struck, Uranus was on the anti-vertex with Pluto square the Moon, and finally Uranus was on the Ascendant when in an enormously violent breakup she finally sank beneath the waves, as Pluto finished its square. As with so many snowballing accidents, early ordinary afflictions which normally might pass conspired to pile up as things got out of control. As an astrologer, I certainly wouldn’t have sounded any major warnings. Certainly a maiden voyage on a void-of-course Moon could be expected to be something of a disaster, but not usually one taking 1500+ lives, from passengers, to crew, right down to two hapless youths on the Carpathia who fell overboard rubbernecking the belated rescue.

A violent break-up, with Uranus rising, marked the last moments of RMS Titanic as she sank beneath the waves.

And of course one of the main reasons for the continued fascination of the still-compelling tale a hundred years later is that the mindset surrounding the ship simply didn’t admit the possibility of disaster. The ship, and the society and technology that built it, was too perfect, too powerful to perish. Indeed, the whole world was in much the same condition, as Pluto and Neptune hovered at the end of their signs, with only Uranus breaking through into Aquarius, suggesting something revolutionary was about to occur. Which it did, as in only two years, the too-perfect world was plunged into the biggest world conflagration since Napoleon. When all three outer planets change sign in swift order, order itself usually takes a big it, in this case shifting the whole focus of world power in the direction of the ship's ill-fated voyage, from Europe to America. Titanic was a harbinger of a global order itself about to perish and as such would fascinate the world for generations to come.

Titanic began to change from a prophetic news story into a storied myth only a decade later with a still-familiar 1924 hit record by Virginia country singer Ernest Stoneman (hear/download another good Virginia rendition here, from this CD), and many books, movies, and a Bee Gees requiem later, it still lives in our memories as a parable of hubris, social injustice, and high drama, from the skies above to the waves below...

Titanic's voyage was unrecognized harbinger of world power shift from Europe to America.

Not a newsletter subscriber already?    Subscribe Free Here!

Let us know what you think! Write us:  townley@astrococktail.com

And every day, keep in touch with our Astrology In The News section...please take a look!
-- Breaking news from around the globe, plus articles, reviews, it's all happening there, changes daily...

  Copyright © John Townley 2012. All rights reserved.
About Us Reports | Readings | John | Susan | Books | ArticlesNewsLinks | Music | Contact | Site Map