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 New York City Rumor - How Far Can We Go?

Astrology and Public Responsibility

By Meira B. Epstein, C.A. NCGR-PAA

(First published in the Ingress, NYC NCGR Publication, Autumn 1993)

      It has been the subject of many books, movies and real-life situations, when the authorities learn of a potential deadly plague, or some other imminent catastrophe which might endanger many lives, if it actually happens, and they have to decide whether to alert the population, sound the alarm, or even order a total evacuation of the area.  They always agonize over such a decision, having to weigh all the implications.  The odds are just that - odds; statistical probabilities, but not a 'yes/no' answer.  The considerations range from not wanting to "cry wolf'" to financial, economic or other expedient reasons.  These characters are usually portrayed as 'bad guys' self-serving hard-hearted public officials, and the 'good-guys' are those noble souls who are willing to sacrifice personal status in order to save lives, just in case the worst might happen.

        It seems that our New York astrological community has got something like that going on now (8/21/93).  Doomsday predictions for New York City based on Edgar Casey, Nostradamus and contemporary psychics, are not new, and they have been circulating for a number of years now.  But more recently some astrologers have begun, in a semi public way, to "share" this "knowledge" with other non-astrologer people they know.  The predictions range from an earthquake and a tidal wave to a nuclear device smuggled into the US by terrorists and exploded in downtown Manhattan.  This is done with the best intentions of alerting friends, so that they might consider selling property and move out of the city altogether, in order to save their lives.

     In my opinion, this touches upon the most fundamental issues of astrological responsibility and philosophy, and I urge people to give this some thought.  I happen to know one case of such unsolicited advice which caused a great deal of anxiety to a non-astrologer friend of mine, who specifically asked for my opinion in the matter.  The following is the essence of my answer to her.

      When counseling private clients we face the same dilemma.  Are we going to predict death, job loss, serious health problems, trouble with children, or say with certainty that one will never get married ?  Normally, I am known to believe in fate & destiny, and I always strive to get more specifics and concrete life events out of a chart, and Free Will is not part of my line of thinking.  If it's not your time, when such a catastrophe befalls, God willing, you will be visiting your aunt in Colorado, or something like that.  The son of a client of mine lives in Florida.  When she came for her annual reading, months after hurricane Andrew, I checked his chart and commented on the fact that I didn't see any big problem with the house.  She confirmed that, saying that houses around suffered major destruction, but his had only minor damage.   What if a person had sold a house in Florida in 1992, based on an astrologer's scare-prediction and moved to the Mississippi valley and eventually lost the house in this year's flood?  I wouldn't want to be in that astrologer's shoes.

     (P.S:  This is exactly what happened to a young couple and their daughter, who left NYC after 9/11. Details from CNN: They had lived in Manhattan in the WTC area and after 9/11 they decided they wanted to live in a safer place. So they moved to the Mid-West and a year later all three of them died in a freak accident when a slab of concrete fell on their car while driving under an overpass.  Another story: About a year before 9/11 I had read the chart of a client who had the ASC at 11 Gemini. He lived in the same area - Battery Park City, near the WTC.  His question was about selling the apartment and moving to the suburbs. Given the upcoming transits of Saturn to his ASC and Pluto to his 7House, I said 'yes, you are moving', and he did. If he had been there a year late, the 9/11 disaster would have affected him too, in way that we can only imagine..)

      Now, even with the best of astrological skills, there still remains a realm of the unknown.  We have all seen chart configurations and transits that have produced only some of the potential key-words/situations, whereas the other keywords manifested at other times, or never.  Of course it has to do with our ability to integrate all the elements, but I also believe that it is also the universe's way of not relinquishing the ultimate secrets of creation, so that we do what must be done.

      So what is happening in the chart of NYC, and what is the astrological source of the rumors?  Well, in my opinion, Neptune is spreading the rumors!  I mean transiting Neptune to the NYC chart and to the charts of the people who tell the story and those who hear it!  The relevant Neptune attributes are - fantasy vs. reality and readiness to believe something even when you don't quite see it  (The Elvis Presley sightings of recent years are a result of the Neptune transit to his natal1 7 Capricorn Sun opposite Pluto).   Uncertainty is the biggest Neptune word, and that breeds worry, anxiety and fear of the unknown.  Neptune has to do with viruses and infections, the source of which cannot be determined.  I call this rumor-spreading 'infecting'!  It is infecting other people with one's own worries without a sound base.

      Transiting Neptune is coming to a conjunction with Mercury at 22 Capricorn in the NYC chart (Consolidation of the five Boroughs), and this rumor may even come to the greater public attention, beside other scandals that will surface.  Mercury rules the 9H and conjuncts the North Node, so the media may pick up on this story in the coming year.

      The other reality in the NYC chart is transiting Pluto and Saturn to the MC & ASC (45 & 135 aspects).  Yes, these may produce some unpleasant events, as we have seen in the bombing of the World Trade Center (Feb. 26, 1993), but a trigger is needed, and in the WTC case it was the two Mars Stations at 26 & 8 Cancer.  The 'terrorist' scenario is somewhat plausible when we consider NYC natal Pluto in the 9H opposite Saturn.  But, also consider the protective Jupiter, in both charts. In the chart for Manhattan, Mercury, ruler of ASC conjuncts Jupiter in the 9H. 

      Personally, I believe that "good news astrology" does not serve the client well, and I try to stay as close to reality as possible, but in the life of a person, let alone a big entity such as a city or a country, difficult things happen all the time, and human experience shows that from good sometimes comes bad, and from bad comes good.  Therefore I say, let us not play God, keep the speculative predictions to ourselves, not spread panic, when we are not absolutely sure (and who is ..), or even if we are, and not create Karma of responsibility for other people's misfortune.  Fortuna will take care of the rest.

 Speaking of Free Will vs. Destiny & Fate, here are some of my definitions:

   Free Will is the Inner Perception of the Intent of the Chart & the Agenda of the Soul. 

   The Universe is Meaningful and Purposeful and in Constant Equilibrium. 

   Consciousness is Becoming Aware of our Active Participation in our Fate/Destiny.  


Copyright Meira B. Epstein, 2006.  All Rights Reserved.