In mid-September, Hurricane Florence became the first major storm to strongly impact the US in the 2018 season. A Category 4 hurricane just days before crashing into the Carolinas, Florence was downgraded to a Category 1 before making landfall, and quickly diminished to tropical storm strength, likely sparing billions in property damage and additional lives.
But Florence will still wreak havoc with its storm surge, up to 11 feet in some areas, and its accompanying deluge; with as much as two feet of rain expected generally, some areas could see almost 40 inches in a matter of hours. Billions of dollars’ worth of damage will likely ensue, with affected areas taking years to recover.
Florence, like several major storms in the recent past, has an exact PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid) referent, and like her 2017 siblings which impacted the US strongly, this celestial marker finds itself in an appropriately prominent position for her rampage.
At landfall in Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina at 7:15 AM EDT on September 14th, asteroid Florence at 19 Virgo finds itself highlighted by conjunction with the Sun at 21 Virgo, falling on the 25 Virgo Ascendant. This is eerily reminiscent of last year’s Irma, which flooded much of Florida, and had these placements almost exactly reversed; at its first landfall in the Keys on September 10th, the Sun was at 18 Virgo, with hurricane asteroid Irma at 21. Ten days later Hurricane Maria, which devastated much of the Caribbean, including Puerto Rico, saw the Sun at 27 Virgo exactly squared asteroid Maria at 27 Sagittarius. Even Hurricane Harvey, which similarly flooded Louisiana and Texas in August 2017, had a solar contact, albeit a rather weak semisextile, with asteroid Harvey at 1 Leo and the Sun at 2 Virgo.
Exact correlations between celestial bodies and terrestrial persons, places or things always promote the most dramatic manifestations when activated. Somebody needs to tell the World Meteorological Organization, the governing body which designates hurricanes, to stop picking names which match asteroids!
This year, Sun/Florence is joined by Mercury at 15 Virgo, ruling weather generally, and is tied to Pluto, indicating destruction, by a trine, with Florence closest in orb to Pluto’s 18 Capricorn degree. Also in trine are asteroids Achilles, representing a vulnerability or weakness, at 22 Cap, and Flood, whose application here should be obvious, at 21 Cap. Flood conjoined Pluto is a clear indication of devastation by water, while Achilles here points out just how defenseless we are against this type of disaster. Flood closely opposes asteroid Storm at 24 Cancer, and together these T-Square asteroid Wright, for the Wrightsville Beach landfall, at 24 Libra, pinpointing the spot where Florence came ashore.
Sun/Florence is itself part of a T-Square, comprised of its opposition to Neptune, which rules the seas and water or flooding generally, at 14 Pisces, and a square to asteroid Nemesis, which promotes undoing, ruin or downfall, at 14 Gemini. The Neptune/Nemesis subset of this pattern shows a definite inclination toward watery adversity, disruption via deluge, and the addition of the Sun and Florence highlights this potential while personalizing it to the asteroid’s hurricane namesake. Outside the bounds of this pattern, but more closely in square to the Sun itself, is TNO (Trans-Neptunian Object) Chaos at 25 Gemini, tightly conjunct the 24 Gemini MC, making it the most elevated point in the landfall chart. You might say this makes landfall the focus of all “eyes” (pun intended). Chaos is just what it sounds like, promoting deteriorating conditions, anarchy and disorder.
Sun/Florence is also in sextile to Jupiter at 19 Scorpio, suggesting the extensive rainfall and tidal surge, an overabundance of water, with Jupiter inflating what it touches. And right alongside is asteroid Carolina at 18 Scorpio, again identifying Florence’s target zone.
Part of the decrease in wind speed may be sourced to Jupiter’s sometimes benign influence (known as “the Greater Benefic”), but the main culprit to look to in storms of this type is TNO Typhon, named for the ancient Greek monster who was reputed to create hurricanes and sea storms with dangerous wind velocity. Typhon is the root of our word “typhoon”, a name typically reserved for similar storms in the Pacific, but just as applicable in its meaning to Atlantic storms. Asteroid Wright at 24 Libra is very broadly conjoined Typhon at 3 Scorpio, further defining the storm’s geographic scope, but the saving grace may be Venus’ simultaneous exact conjunction with Typhon. Known as “the Lesser Benefic”, Venus may have calmed Typhon’s injured feelings just enough to bring down those winds, thus saving lives and property.
One thing Venus might not be able to charm out of Typhon’s grasp is power outages, with electricity-ruling Uranus closely opposed from 2 Taurus. Almost a million people were without power the day after landfall, with as many as 3 million projected to be affected. With Washingtonia conjoined Neptune from 16 Pisces, government response generally is likely to be confused, delayed, or ineffective. Whitehouse at 19 Taurus is trine Sun/Florence, and stationary, about to turn retrograde on Monday the 17th. This represents a pivotal turning point for the administration, whose response to this crisis may well inform voter attitudes regarding its competence, just before the Midterms. The trine aspect here suggests this may end favorably for the White House, assisted by the rapid downgrading of Florence’s force and power just before coming ashore.
But with asteroid Troemper at 29 Libra conjunct Typhon, Donald Trump’s image and fate is bound up with this storm. Squared Mars, he’s likely to be defensive and tetchy if criticized (but we didn’t need astrology to tell us that!). Hopefully Trump has ordered enough paper towels to go around.
As of this writing (Sept. 15), only five deaths have been sourced to this storm, directly or indirectly, but that number will likely increase over time. One very sad story has emerged, of a mother and her infant child killed when a tree fell on their house in Wilmington, NC. Mars at 0 Aquarius, which rules violent death, is sextile asteroid Sturm, German for “storm”, at 4 Aries on the 26 Pisces Descendant, and these form the base of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with inconjunct aspects to asteroid Child at 1 Virgo on its apex. A terrible tragedy, to be sure, however the diminution in strength should suppress further fatalities.