On Friday evening, 10 December 2010, some 30 tornadoes smashed through six mid-West states, creating havoc and spreading devastation, claiming upwards of 100 lives. The outbreak, apart from being one of the worst recorded, is all the more historic given the unseasonable timing, with most tornadoes occurring in the spring. Normally, cooler temperatures preclude the formation of tornadoes, and this December rampage is yet another sign of increasing weather instability stemming from unchecked climate change globally.
Hardest hit was Graves County, Kentucky, where more than 80 people lost their lives, with the town of Mayfield, population 10,000, almost completely leveled. Dawson Springs in nearby Hopkins County was also strongly impacted, and an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, IL was flattened, with six dead. This tornado cut a swath of destruction some 223 miles long, a record in itself, and was at one point almost three-quarters of a mile wide, on the ground for more than three hours.
A chart for December 10 shows the Sun at 19 Sagittarius, exactly conjoined a Black Hole, accompanied by Mercury, which rules weather, at 25 Sagittarius, and asteroids Lachesis and Sturm at 23 and 18 Sagittarius respectively. Lachesis is named for the mythic Greek Fate who determines the span of life, while Sturm is the German word for “storm.” Black Holes promote outsized, extreme manifestations, foci of incredible power and destructive capacity; they alter reality to the extent that what follows, is completely unrecognizable from what came before, much like the razed homes and businesses in the tornado’s path. Sturm conjunct Lachesis on a Black Hole suggests the extraordinarily long “lifespan” of this tornado (which is typically under ten minutes).
The Sun is also trine to asteroid Storm at 13 Aries, in a Grand Trine with asteroid Amazone, for the devastated Amazon warehouse, which at 15 Leo is embedded at station, making it a locus for energy, for good or ill. Amazone turned retrograde just four days before the outbreak. Storm is conjoined by asteroid Zephyr at 12 Aries, a term which typically identifies a gentle breeze, but also refers generally to winds coming out of the west, the direction from which the tornado hailed.
PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) for the places most affected resonated to the destruction created. Remarkably, asteroid May (for Mayfield, KY) at 18 Virgo is conjoined by asteroid Anubis at 17 Virgo, named for the Egyptian deity governing funerary rites, both squared the solar stellium, in a T-Square with Neptune at 20 Pisces, which relates to confusion, chaos and a lack of structure, as well as the despair and hopelessness which followed. May is also trine Pluto at 25 Capricorn, ruling oblivion and total devastation.
Mayfield’s Graves County locale is represented by asteroid Graves at 7 Aquarius, conjoined Saturn, ancient lord of death, at 9 Aquarius, squared Uranus, which conveys its own level of violence and volatility, leading to unexpected outcomes, at 11 Taurus. Graves is also semisquare the Sun.
Dawson Springs is seen as asteroid Dawson, which at 8 Capricorn conjoins asteroid Nemesis exactly, noted as a source of ruin or destruction, in a Grand Trine with asteroid Requiem at 8 Virgo, named for the funeral mass for the dead, and asteroid Hopkins, the county where Dawson Springs is located, at 14 Taurus. Hopkins also squares Saturn and is inconjunct to the Sun, opposed TNO Typhon at 18 Scorpio, named for a mythic monster who created violent, destructive winds (the root of our word “typhoon”). Typhon was semisextile the Sun, sextile May, inconjunct Storm, and squared Amazone for the outbreak.
The candle manufacturing company that was destroyed in Mayfield claimed eight lives, reflected in an exact pairing of Pluto, modern lord of death, with Venus, ruling decorative elements and things of beauty, at 25 Capricorn, squared asteroid Candelo, for the factory, at 18 Libra, and asteroid Atropos, named for the Fate who severs the thread of life at death, at 28 Libra.
The gales that devastated the Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, IL, can be seen in a T-Square from asteroid Aeolia at 2 Gemini, named for the island home of the Greek deity ruling the winds, exactly opposed asteroid Edoardo (for Edwardsville), with asteroid Requiem at 8 Virgo on the fulcrum.
Aeolia also opposes asteroid Photographica at 8 Sagittarius, and one of the stranger stories to emerge from this tragedy is that of an old family photo from Dawson Springs, blown away when the house was destroyed, and found in New Albany, Indiana, more than 150 miles away. The black-and-white photo, dated 1942 and identified as of Gertie Swatzell, was found plastered to her windshield by Katie Posten on the morning after the tornado. Incredibly, asteroid Kate (for Katie) at 21 Pisces conjoins Neptune, ruling photography, and is squared the Sun. Asteroid Post, for Posten, appears at 23 Capricorn, conjoined Venus/Pluto, exactly semisquare Photographica and widely sesquiquadrate Aeolia. Posten tweeted a picture of the photo and has connected with a Swatzell family member, to whom she will return the photo.
Such moments remind us that, even in the chaos of devastation and destruction, some cosmic order still prevails.