Most people now associate Astrology with character analysis but there’s much more to it than that. It can be used for a variety of purposes, answering questions, looking at the fate of nations, choosing the most auspicious time to start particular actions and to analyse past events.
One such past event that continues to attract attention is the sinking of the Titanic on the night of April 14th/15th 1912. One of the well known things is that the Titanic didn’t sink immediately. There was a period of two hours and forty minutes between striking the iceberg and actually slipping below the waves. So what time should a chart be set for and indeed where should it be set for?
The second question is the easier of the two and even with that there are issues. The distress calls of the Titanic gave two positions, the first at 00:15 (ships time) on 15 April 1912 gave the position as Latitude 41N44, Longitude 50W24. The second at 00:25 gave the position as 41N46 and 50W14. In 1985 the wreckage was located at a slightly different location, again some ten to 15 minutes of arc away in both directions.
There were no satellites to establish GPS in those days. The position was worked out by hand. Nevertheless all three locations make only slight differences to the chart. So I went with the second Titanic position which was their corrected one.
Timing is a little more difficult because the ship was in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and operating on its own local time, which was manually changed as it sailed West. According to a number of sources the ships clock was running at 2 hours 58 minutes behind GMT at the time of the sinking. I decided to use Local Mean Time, which makes about a 5 degree difference in the Ascendant, compared to using a corrected GMT time. It seemed to better describe the situation at the time of the collision. One other thing became clear at that point. The events that unfolded over the next two hours and forty minutes were exactly described by rolling the chart forward in real time.
Reports say that the first sighting of something occurred at 23:30 on the 14th April and that the message that it was an iceberg dead ahead came at 23:39 or 23:40. I’m not sure how much time passed between the sighting of the iceberg and the tearing of the hull on impact and indeed the flooding of the first four compartments but it seems Fourth Officer Boxhall’s reported these had already begun to flood at 11:45.
I cast the first chart for 11:40 to signify the initial confirmation of the iceberg. I used Whole Sign Houses, as this is the original house system and was intended for use in topical analysis. The chart has Sagittarius rising with Jupiter in the first house, though in an earlier degree than the Ascendant. An initial view might be that this shows a very good situation rather than the onset of disaster, especially as Jupiter is also the Triplcity ruler for the Fire Triplicity in a nocturnal chart. The Lot of Victory is with Jupiter in the first – Titanic was allegedly going at full speed to break the record for an Atlantic crossing. However closer observation of the chart reveals a number of indications that all is not well.
Firstly Jupiter is not the benefic of Sect in a night chart, that role falls to Venus. Secondly Jupiter is Retrograde and has only just turned so. Thirdly Jupiter is the slowest of the classical seven at this time being over twice as slow as Saturn. Look more closely still Jupiter is in the Terms and Face of Saturn, the out of sect malefic, the potentially most harmful planet in the chart. Saturn also rules the Lot of Fortune in the second house of material possessions. the Lot is averse to the Ascendant as is its ruler Saturn, that is they make no major aspect to the Ascendant.
Now with Saturn in the sixth and Mars in the eighth, there is no affliction of the Ascendant by an obvious malefic, nor is Jupiter afflicted. So despite the weaknesses identified there doesn’t appear to be any major problem.
Mars might signify the iceberg because it cuts or slashes the Titanic or Saturn might signify it as it’s a cold planet but neither seem to present a threat at that point. So whilst both planets are averse to the Ascendant this could be interpreted as that the threats are just not seen until it is too late.
That doesn’t seem to help that much until we realise that the Moon is the ruler of the eighth house of death and it’s in an applying square with the Ascendant. So the Moon is an accidental malefic – it’s maleficence comes only because of the chart, not from its nature. The Moon is in the fourth house, which amongst other things signifies the end of the matter. So at 23:40 we have a clear indication that death is coming and it will be the end of the Titanic. The Moon is below the horizon, it is a moonless night. This was commented on at the time. If the Moon had been up, the iceberg might have been seen earlier and the collision avoided. The Moon is in it’s fourth quarter, it’s waning and heading towards the beams of the Sun and heading there quickly. This indicates a profound weakness in the situation described.
If we were to cast for just two minutes later the aspect would have perfected. Less than four minutes later, the Ascendant moved into the Terms or Bounds of Mars. so the entry into the Terms of Mars, might well correspond to the beginning of the end for the ship.
The next chart is set for midnight, when Thomas Andrews reported back to Captain Smith that the ship was doomed. The Ascendant is now just into the first degree of Capricorn. and it’s clear from the chart that things are not going well at that point.
The chart is ruled by the out of sect malefic Saturn now into the fifth house and apparently there was some sense of party on the Titanic at that time. The Hellenistic Astrologers associated Saturn with death by drowning and its movement by house over the remaining period shows how this interpretation is strengthened.
Saturn also still rules the fortune of the Titanic and will do so until it is nearly sunk.. Mars is now in the seventh house in an applying opposition to the Ascendant being only five degrees away.
At twenty one minutes past twelve Mars reaches the Descendant (and thus opposes the Ascendant) four minutes later Captain Smith gives the order to launch the lifeboats, now realising the ship was lost. At 01:40 Bruce Ismay, the Chairman of the White Star Line, and symbolic owner of the Titanic climbs into Lifeboat C, at that point Saturn is on the Astronomic IC
At 01:55 the last of Titanics regular lifeboats is launched. All that will come after that is the collapsible lifeboats At the same time, 01:55, the Ascendant moved into Aquarius still ruled by Saturn which is now in the fourth house and near the IC.. By sign the Ascendant ruler is squaring the Ascendant from the House of the end of the matter.
The ship eventually sank at 02:20 by which time Benefic Jupiter had taken over the rulership of the Lot of Fortune but too late to indicate good things for the ship and passengers as the Lot was still averse to the Ascendant.