Revising History: The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

Part II – Symbolic Degrees

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by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

In Part 1 of this study of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster, we looked at the traditionally generated information of the launch and explosion itself, the shuttle as a specific entity (maiden flight) and the ties into the Virgo rising chart of the USA.  For this additional study, we will explore the degree symbology of this tragic event using the definitions of Charubel. There are a number of degree symbology systems and authors but Charubel is my choice for national or international events.

Technical (See Part I of this series for charts)

Before I list the degrees, just how do you use a degree symbology book? In this instance, I used Charubel’s Degrees of the Zodiac Symbolized that was first published in 1898. My copy of this old book was printed by Aries Press. The standard rule is that 00˚00’ to 00˚59’ represents an actual degree of arc. The symbolic degree rule uses degrees differently. Any position over 00 minutes is rounded up to the next whole degree. The listings start with 1˚ of each sign, no mention of 00˚. It is astrologically disconcerting to see a listing for 30˚ of a sign but that must have been acceptable over 100 years ago. 30˚ of a sign represents 00˚ of the following sign.

The chart of the moment of lift-off is used throughout these delineations with odd minutes rounded up to the next whole degree just as the book instructs. None of these positions changed for the explosion itself. Please remember this book was written in 1898 and that air and space travel and the accompanying equipment and descriptions of the event were completely unknown. While the given meanings do apply, we must remember to update or translate some meanings. We must also remember we are looking at an event (not an individual) that affected the lives of a group (the astronauts, their families, friends, co-workers, the country, as well as the collective human race). All positions will not necessarily show tragedy as there were other aspects of life going on at that same time, euphoria and excitement of the work ahead, television coverage (fame), the presence of family, etc. I will list the launch (11:38 am) chart positions (rounded up) with Charubel’s interpretation of that degree in quotes followed by my interpretation in italics to differentiate.

MC 24 Cap 37 = 25 Cap: “A field of ripe corn, reapers at work, ‘neath beams of Sun. A very fortunate person, more especially around middle life when fortune smiles on him, abundance is his lot.” Tremendous effort, lots of prestige, success. The word “reapers” is ominous to me. Launch took place at almost high noon with the Sun high in the sky “’neath beams of Sun.”

Asc 6 Tau 25 = 7 Tau: “A horrid sight! A naked man suspended by the feet, to a cross beam, mutilated, the blood running down the body. Denotes one liable to torture in one form or another.” The horror of the onlookers, the suspension of the shuttle against the side of the rocket, the explosion, the manner of death.

Sun 8 Aqu 28 = 9 Aqu: “A farmer’s horse and cart with man driving. An unambitious person, one who is quite contented with his life.” Nothing comes to mind other than the vehicles.

Moon 11 Vir 2 = 12 Vir: “Several figures of 8 in a row (the square of 8). Denotes a person of mystery, lover of the mystical, profound understanding, he will leave his name in history.” 7 astronauts lined up in the shuttle, privacy ensured, explorers of the unknown, historical, all true. Note: This degree shows up in many airplane crashes and is the USA Virgo rising ascendant.

Mercury 6 Aqu 7 = 7 Aqu: “A crown and scepter. One who is entitled to more than he possesses. One who has powers of which he is unconscious.” These were highly trained and intelligent explorers, leaders and warriors, our elite!

Venus (chart ruler) 10 Aqu 37 = 11 Aqu:  “A monster rocket exploding in mid-air above a crowd. One who will seek and attain ephemeral popularity, soon over.” Wow! The rocket exploded, in mid-air, above a crowd, soon over, 1’13” into the flight!

Mars 27 Sco 17 = 28 Sco: “A tiger crouching, ready for a spring on its prey. A revengeful, treacherous and cruel person. This degree is an evil mix of Saturn and Mars.” I wondered about sabotage from this reading although the ensuing investigation did not indicate this. There was a 10.5˚ conjunction between Mars and Saturn with Saturn in the 8th.

Jupiter 24 Aqu 30 = 25 Aqu: “An old fashioned wood pump, a man in rustic garb at the handle, pumping for a crowd, with vessels reaching forward to be filled. One who ostentatiously will dispense much good by charitable deeds.”  Astronaut garb, pilot at the wheel, the launch thrilling the crowd, vessel reaching forward (upward), event caused much good through public support and eventual review of the space program.

Saturn 7 Sag 42 = 8 Sag: “A man, stripped to shirt, sleeves up, wheeling a barrow along a plank. A servant to servants, the slave, the toiler.” We all work for someone, who works for someone… hard work, lots of effort, the astronauts walking the gangway to enter the shuttle.

Uranus 20 Sag 57 = 21 Sag: “A wooden bridge over a chasm, a man at the end, hesitation to trust himself on it. One of a fearful disposition, inclined to doubt everything, prone to suspecting even best friends.” If you strapped me to the side of a rocket and sent me out into space to explore, I would be nervous, hesitant, apprehensive, suspicious, but then I am a Scorpio and it comes naturally to me. Again, the walk on the gangway and suspicion or apprehension.

Neptune 4 Cap 34 = 5 Cap: “A very small, unpretentious window in the wall of a massive tower. One whose native powers and mental resources are so great and abundant that the native will be independent of external aids, and will feel happy amid the offspring of his own genius. Such persons will never seek display; these are creators, not imitators.” Have you ever heard of a launch window, that tiny opportunity of time to blast off into the massive sky? Could you see a massive tower describing the booster rocket? These are heroes, first seekers, out in space with no aid available, on their own, each effort contributing to the future. The astronauts are surprisingly modest and low key.

Pluto 7 Sco 19 = 8 Sco: “A comet. Denotes waywardness and eccentricity, but he will do some great deed in his life.” This is amazing to me, the rocket launch with the trail that looks like a comet. This one was wayward and eccentric, it exploded in a moment of history – a great deed.

Mean North Node (standard in 1986) 4 Tau 21 = 5 Tau: “A boat on a large lake, it might be a big river, two men are rowing on it. Denotes a person fond of company and of changes, a speculative bent of mind, fond of adventure.” Boat = vehicle or shuttle, large lake = ocean, a team seeking to “go where no man has gone before” and do what had not been done.

True North Node (currently accurate) 3 Tau 52 = 4 Tau: A ram standing alone, looking towards a flock of sheep in the distance. Denotes one in whom the male principle predominates excessively…” Pioneering atop a monster rocket strikes me as the male principle and the ram standing alone describes the rocket, another male symbol.

Part of Fortune 9 Sag 00 = 9 Sag: “A man standing on a platform, audience in front. A public man, lecturer, politician, orator.  Denotes literary person or one fond of literature.” Launch platform, a large audience, a teacher (Christa McAuliff) who was supposed to teach from space.

Vertex 16 Lib 1 = 17 Lib: “A horse, saddled and bridled, galloping away without a rider. Let this native shun the hunting field and beware of all equestrian adventures.” Horse – shuttle, equipped and strapped to the rockets, explosion threw the shuttle off the rocket and the shuttle fell into the ocean, the pieces galloped away from the main booster in that bizarre rocket plume. An unheeded warning as the astronauts did not shun the hunting field and rode the beast. Note: the explosion and resulting plumes as it all broke apart looked like a giant Scorpion or even the symbol for Uranus in the sky.

Dark Moon Lilith 27 Leo 53 = 28 Leo: “A man descending a pit. This person will do well by dealing with what lies deep in the earth. Let him, or her, never travel or move about, but ever remain at, or near, the place of his birth all of his days.” This certainly did not happen. The astronauts took the extreme opposite path and this sentence proved true.

Dark Moon Lilith positions initially available are not identical to recalculated positions. The initial degree is given below. Both are dramatically accurate.

Dark Moon Lilith 28 Leo 21 = 29 Leo (fixed star Regulus): “A number of mathematical instruments on a table, with a large sheet of blank, white paper. Denotes one possessing mathematical abilities beyond the ordinary. But there is some room for doubt that he may fail to follow up on such a noble exercise. His mind may be carried away into other pursuits, for which his is not all adapted and when in the end yield no satisfaction.” Intellectually superior, technical instrumentation, blank white paper – outer space, failure of mission through explosion.  Dark Moon Lilith was opposition Mars and the fixed royal star Regulus.

Because they seem so pertinent to the event, the readings for the earlier degree for the Moon, ascendant and midheaven (fastest moving positions) are listed below:

Midheaven 24 Cap: “A man struggling in a lake, only the head out, sometimes the head appears to sink under, but it rises again and again until at last a lifebuoy is thrown to him by a person witnessing his position. Finally he is saved.” Lake = ocean. There was much speculation that the astronauts lived through the explosion for some painful minutes as they descended to the floor of the ocean. My daughter who is outstanding at astral travel went directly to the astronauts about five minutes after the explosion itself. All the astronauts were already on “the other side” with many healers helping them. A later article by astronaut engineers and medical experts indicated the astronauts would have lost consciousness in a few seconds with depressurization. The shuttle with the bodies was eventually retrieved from the ocean floor (“finally he is saved”?).

Ascendant 6 Tau: “A large elliptical figure on the ground and a man standing upright within.” At launch the somewhat elliptical-shaped rocket is pointed toward the heavens causing the astronauts to appear as if they were reclining to accommodate the g-forces.

Moon 11 Vir: “A pyramid of red, very conspicuously situated on a large open plane. This denotes one of a strong character; much strength of will, great energy, he seldom fails to accomplish what he takes in hand to do.” Think of a standing rocket/shuttle on a launch pad. It is more an obelisk in shape, but a triangle is also a possibility. Our space program has had many successes with only three major tragedies. This is another degree that shows up frequently in the air disasters I researched.

Part III of this series will correlate the shuttle launch/explosion with the charts of the seven astronauts who were aboard and entered the realm of history and heroes at their loss.

First published on All Things Healing website Dec 2010, republished with slight editing.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.