[Cover Image: Laura was so massive, she filled virtually the entire Gulf of Mexico adjacent to the US]
The first major-impact storm (at least from the US perspective) of the 2020 hurricane season is Hurricane Laura, which made landfall in Cameron, Louisiana at 1 AM CDT on Thursday, August 27th. Hitting as a Category Four storm, the strongest ever to make landfall on the Louisiana coast, Laura maintained her momentum until well inland, only dropping to a Category Two stage more than fifty miles from shore.
From the release of the World Meteorological Organization’s 2020 hurricane name list, Laura betrayed all the hallmarks of becoming a serious storm, from a celestial perspective. First, she had an exact asteroid match for her name, like 2018’s hurricane Florence, scourge of the Carolinas; or Maria before her, which devastated Puerto Rico in 2017; and Irma before that, inundating Naples, Florida earlier that year. And also like these three, Laura would have a period of time during hurricane season when her PNA (Personal-Named Asteroid) would be interacting with the transit Sun. Asteroids Florence and Irma had been conjunct the Sun when they wreaked their havoc, and asteroid Maria had been squared. For asteroid Laura, that time was now, in opposition.
Asteroid Laura at 8 Pisces not only opposed the Sun at 4 Virgo when her watery namesake crashed into the Louisiana coast at 1 AM, she was also cresting the Midheaven, then at 0 Pisces, and just out of range of conjunction with Neptune, ruler of the seas and the floods Laura brought with her, at 19 Pisces. Laura further opposed asteroid Luisa at 12 Virgo, a shortened form of Louisiana, the focus of her wrath, as well as Mercury at 13 Virgo, traditional ruler of weather, as the most newsworthy (also Mercury) storm of the season thus far.
There are additional minor bodies to look to for these weather events – TNO (Trans-Neptunian Object) Typhon is one such, named for the mythic Titan who created hurricanes and severe storms, and the root of our word “typhoon”, a hurricane by any other name. Two others are asteroids Storm and Flood, the latter particularly applicable to hurricanes, which often include huge rainfall totals and storm surges that immerse many hundreds of square miles of terra firma.
Laura was trine Typhon at 10 Scorpio, which was itself bound up in a precise T-Square, opposing Uranus at 10 Taurus with asteroid Flood at 10 Leo on the fulcrum. Uranus describes the hurricane’s force and violence, as well as the swiftness of the “rapid intensification” with which Laura evolved into a Category Five storm from a Category Two in little more than 24 hours, dropping back to Cat Four strength just before landfall. Uranus also relates to electrical power, with almost half a million affected by power outages in Montgomery County in adjoining south-east Texas (with asteroid Montgomery at 0 Virgo conjoined the Sun and opposed Laura). Hundreds of thousands more in Louisiana experienced power loss, as well as massive telecommunications outages throughout the region, with technology another Uranus-related sphere.
Typhon was also conjoined asteroid Storm at 18 Scorpio, with Laura in a wide trine. Incredibly, Storm was exactly conjoined by asteroid Charlotte, closest celestial referent for the community of Lake Charles, Louisiana, the largest city under the gun of Laura as she roared ashore. Rainfall there was expected to exceed a foot, but the region was spared the horrific, catastrophic storm surge of 15-20 feet which was also predicted (though many locales were literally swamped by her fury). Both these extreme rainfall amounts and storm surges are covered celestially by asteroid Flood, which was also sextile asteroid Nemesis at 8 Libra, providing its patented brand of ruin and undoing to the mix. Together these are each inconjunct to Laura, forming a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with Laura at the Apex, suggesting a fated quality to the devastation.
The relative shallowness of the storm surge might be attributed to Storm/Charlotte’s participation in a second Major Configuration, a Grand Trine formed by Neptune, exact with asteroid Cameron at 19 Pisces, and Venus at 19 Cancer. Neptune rules floods from a planetary perspective, while Cameron was the name of the coastal community where Laura first came ashore. Venus’ benign influence can be seen in the unexpected weakness of the storm surge, with the so-called “Lesser Benefic” shining her divine smile upon the residents of Cameron, Louisiana, at least to the extent of sparing them a full-scale deluge (Neptune) that would wipe them off the map.
Venus’ beneficence was aided and abetted by her opposition to Jupiter, the “Greater Benefic”, at 17 Capricorn, which aspect transforms the Grand Trine into a Kite pattern, with Jupiter at the “String” guiding the pattern’s manifestation. Jupiter did act to enhance the storm’s power and scope (with a diameter of more than 350 miles at one point), but also ameliorated its worst potential, providing a better-than-feared outcome.
But with half a million without power and tens of billions in estimated damages from the hurricane’s juggernaut, Laura is still a storm of historic proportions, whose impact will be felt in the region for years, if not decades. Perhaps, in future when the WMO chooses its hurricane names for the coming year, they might want to consult an asteroid name list and an ephemeris first.