Revisiting History: Chernobyl Nuclear Reactor Explosion

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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At the time of the writing of this article, the earthquake off the NE coast of Japan has badly damaged Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear reactor facility. The earthquake and ensuing tsunami have done billions of dollars of damage, and the loss of human life and way of life for the residents is appalling. The last few days have been chaotic, and the outcome of this nuclear situation is not known at this time. Radiation has leaked from the facility and, borne by the prevailing winds, is being spread over the countryside and out to sea to migrate across the Pacific. Reportedly the effects are slight at this point, but the fear of radiation contamination grips the world.

Lost in this current Japanese crisis is the 25th anniversary of the Soviet Reactor #4 explosion in Chernobyl, USSR on April 26th. I personally remember the public was horrified by the thought of widespread radiation by the Chernobyl event in much the same way as the Japanese scenario is unfolding. Of course, the nuclear problems at Three Mile Island in the U.S. and other nuclear events captured both our attention and our imagination as well. The focus of this article is the Chernobyl nuclear event that took place over the 24-hour period between April 25th and 26th, 1986.

Several years after Chernobyl, an unusual book came into my possession with detailed times of the unfolding of events for the reactor explosion and meltdown and the resulting multiple fires. Can you imagine… timed charts for the cascading chain of errors that resulted in the fire and loss of Reactor #4…  an astrologer’s gift from the universe. As I present this material, know that the original research information was supplied by the book From Swords to Plowshares by Dennis Haughton, M.D. along with newspaper articles and television reporting which occurred at the time of the explosion. Later information, which gave slight differences (seconds) in the events, was given from online sources collected for many years after the explosion and ensuing investigation providing negligible change to the charts used to produce this article.

Friday, April 25, 1986, Chernobyl Unit #4

Preparation began to shut down the reactor for annual maintenance. An experiment had been suggested. The operators wanted to see how long the station’s steam turbines could generate power for supplying emergency systems after the steam supply was shut off and before the emergency diesel generators had time to start – an ongoing search for a solution. Although the plans had been submitted to the designers of the station, those plans were never approved; authorization for the experiment had not been given.

1:00 am The process of shutting down the reactor began as control rods were lowered into the core. Over the next few hours, the technicians planned to slowly reduce the reactor’s thermal energy from the normal operating level of 3200 MW to between 700-1000 MW set for the experiment. (See Chernobyl cascade #1 chart.)

2:00 pm Because the emergency cooling system would draw power and affect the test, it was shut off. This was the first of six fateful violations of safety procedures. Reduction of power was halted for about nine hours when an urgent call came from the city of Kiev. Unit 4’s power output was needed to meet demands for several more hours. The emergency cooling system, however, remained disconnected. (See Chernobyl cascade #2 chart.)

Saturday, April 26, 1986, 12:28 am A regulator was set incorrectly, and power plummeted to a dangerously low 30 MW, far too low to continue the experiment. Rather than abandon the test, the operators pressed forward. To increase the reactor’s power output, they began to frantically withdraw control rods until only six to eight were left in the core. Standard operating procedure specifies no less than thirty controls rods were to remain in the core at any one time. (See Chernobyl cascade #3 chart.)

1: 00 am Power levels rose and stabilized at 200 MW briefly, far too low for the experiment. (See Chernobyl cascade #4 chart.)

1:03 am In order to help circulate cooling water through the reactor’s core, operators turned on two extra pumps, which created a highly unstable balance between water and steam levels in the system that demanded frequent second-by-second manual valve adjustments and caused the system to behave unpredictably. (See Chernobyl cascade #5 chart.)

1:20 am Here, for reasons which were unclear, the staff committed their fifth violation of operating rules and switched off an automatic shutdown system that would have stopped the runaway reactor had the system remained in operation. (See Chernobyl cascade #6 chart.)

1:23 am Finally, the experiment was initiated and the last of six fateful errors was made by turning off the only remaining safety system that could have prevented the disaster from occurring seconds later. At this point, they had in effect turned the nuclear reactor loose to do as it pleased, with most of the control rods out and all safety systems disconnected. The cascade of errors was complete. (See Chernobyl cascade #7 chart.)

1:23:30 am By now the control room supervisor knew something was seriously wrong and ordered all control rods to be driven back into the pile. Unfortunately, it was too late. 4 seconds later, the reactor’s core surged to 100 times its normal capacity, part of the core went critical and an explosion equal to a half ton of TNT blew apart the reactor. Contact of the zirconium cladding with the cooling water and the subsequent production of hydrogen caused a second massive explosion several seconds later. This tore the reactor’s 1000-ton lid off and brought the 200-ton refueling crane down on top of the reactor, damaging more cooling circuits. As fragments of fuel and burning graphite were ejected through the breached containment structure, thirty different fires were started in the surrounding complex. Only the suicidal bravery of the firefighters that night prevented the fires from engulfing the adjacent reactor #3. With nothing to stop it now, a plume of deadly poisonous fission product rose high into the atmosphere on flames estimated to be 500 meters high to begin their fateful journey. (See also cascade #8 chart.)

Sunday, April 27, 1986, 2:00 pm Sweden

The cloud that initially rose to a height of nearly six miles had traveled silently over 1000 miles northwest and crossed the border into Sweden. Although unmanned, radiation monitors along the Swedish perimeter recorded the rise in radioactivity, but it was not enough to set off any alarms. (See Chernobyl Sweden #9 chart, speculative: Stockholm used.)

Monday, April 28, 1986, 9:00 am Sweden (first realization)

At the Swedish Forstmark nuclear power station (Osthammar), an arriving worker set off an alarm (radiation detector), and they initially concluded that a leak had developed in their own reactor. Fearing the worst, the plant was evacuated. With readings of five to ten times normal background radiation, the source of the contamination was found to be outside the plant. Other areas in Sweden and Finland began registering increased levels of radiation. An analysis of weather patterns over the previous two days finally reached a logical conclusion, but there was little solid information. The explosion was hush-hush until events forced public statements. Several tourists got ill as well. (See Chernoby; Forstmark #10 chart.)

Those are the rudimentary facts of Chernobyl. What about the astrology of Chernobyl? The main question is, which is the key chart to read? Is it the moment we believe it all began, the shutdown of Reactor #4 at 1:00 am on the 25th? Or is the explosion itself the key chart: 1:23:34 am on April 26th? To me all the charts are associated, but I do not believe the intermediate charts are key. To me they are just steps in the process. According to my newspaper clippings and notes of the Russian Secretary, it was stated that the accident took place on the 26th. My personal conclusion is that the first and the last charts are both key. The first chart initiates the process and that includes the final chart of the explosion itself as the result of the existing cause. At that moment, the explosion chart takes on a dynamic of its own partly due to the enormity of the event itself and partly because it produced its own effects and conclusions: the thirty or so fires, the contamination and eventual deaths of the workers, as well as the plume of poisonous gases which passed over Sweden and northern Europe. Many died in the explosion itself. The two people who were key to the events were both dead within three weeks from radiation poisoning. I would look to that explosion chart as another birth chart but I would not forget its association with the first and succeeding charts.

Starting with the initiating shutdown of the reactor (Chart 1) look at the first house heavy with malefic energy. Uranus which will figure strongly in the explosion chart itself is opposed the Part of Fortune in the angular 7th within one minute, making it the Part of Misfortune. Remember all these charts took place over 24 hours and 23.5 minutes of time so the only placements that can move substantially will be the houses themselves led by the midheaven and ascendant (the full round of houses occurs in 24 hours). This would also be true of all the personal points that use longitude, latitude and time. The Moon also moved substantially racing 15 degrees in 24.5 hours.

The Moon was conjunct Pluto in the 10th at the beginning of the process and the fact that it is past that conjunction by three degrees leads me to believe there might be a prior step that has not been realized or acknowledged. This was very secretive initially. More study might ferret out what is still hidden. Please note that the Moon/Pluto pair is also opposition the Sun with the north node close by. That complex is square the Vertex (environmental expectations) in the 8th of destiny and catastrophe. That is quite a statement about the cascade of errors that led to this nuclear disaster.

There is a 13-hour jump to Chart # 2 with the midheaven conjunct the Sun and opposed Pluto plus the Chart #1 Moon/Pluto pairing and square the chart #1 Vertex. Chart #2 Vertex (environmental expectation) is conjunct Chart #2 Mars of war and fire. It was not known at that moment that this was the initiation of the cascade of errors that led to the explosion.

The regulator was set wrong 10.5 hours later just as the Chart #3 ascendant moved over Saturn and again that malefic grouping sits in the first house with the Ascendant creeping up on it moment by moment. There is less than an hour to disaster. The Moon has moved to the opposition of Venus at almost 29 Taurus (Fixed Star Pleiades, something to weep about.) Chart #3 Vertex in the 8th of destiny and/or catastrophe is again part of that initial Chart # 1 Sun/Moon/Pluto/Vertex combination. The cascade continued.

The pumps were turned back on as the workers realized what was happening, but overbalanced the scenario and the cascade continued. The Chart 4 Vertex hardly moved and was still triggering the initial early fixed grouping and was still in the 8th as given above and the cascade continued.

The shut off of the automatic system was the next error as the ascendant of Chart #5 passed over Uranus and the unthinkable was put into motion.  The Chart #5 Vertex is still within the complex as given and the Moon is tightening its opposition to Venus. The midheaven of Chart #4 moves within orb of the South Node for all the charts, again karmic, destiny, often involved in death events. This was the strategic error.

Within moments the supervision realized what was about to occur and frantically tried to stop the unstoppable. Uranus is still right on the ascendant and the midheaven has moved even closer to the south node, the Moon is at 24.5 Scorpio opposed fixed star Caput Algol considered to be the most malefic fixed star (traditional meaning: death by decapitation) opposition Venus at 28 Tau 54 right on the Pleiades mentioned above and that opposition rules the midheaven. There was only four seconds to go and go it did, with Chart #5 almost unchanged as it became Chart #6.

Reactor #4 became a page in our history and set in motion another uncontrollable cascade of events with the carnage on the ground and the cloud of radioactivity in the atmosphere. So much was hidden, and we will probably never know the full extent of those explosions, but more is known as time goes on. Why? Look at what is rising in the explosion chart, Neptune of secrets followed by Mars, both intercepted (delayed but not denied) in Capricorn of responsibility. The pre-story is here, that which led to the explosion. The sequel is here, Chart #6 the explosion itself. I love astrology!

Note: I looked up a claim that Chernobyl means “wormwood” relating to Bible prophecy.                Name origin: The city name comes from a combination of chornyi (чорний, black) and byllia (билля, grass blades or stalks); hence it literally means black grass or black stalks. The reason for this name is not known. Different explanations have appeared after the 1986 nuclear accident, which represent attempts to link the accident to prophecies in the Book of Revelations in the Christian New Testament. For these, see Chernobyl in the popular consciousness.

First published AFA Today’s Bulletin v73#4 Apr 2011, republished with slight editing.


I had looked up the Symbolic Degrees by Charubel but due to space limitations that material was not previously included. Because this is a research file, I am appending those rough notes (not corrected or proofed) to complete this file.

Chernobyl explosion Charubel’s Symbolic Degrees

Looking at the symbolic degrees for shutdown and explosion:

Apr 25, 1:00 am shutdown:

MC 19 Lib 20 = 20 Lib: The Sun shining brightly. Denotes a great man; a public character; one who will be noted in his day, and whose presence among mankind will be considered essential. The world will ever appreciate the presence of such a one. (Actually 19 Lib makes more sense, which could be true if the time is off by 1’ on the birth clock.) 19 Lib: A man on the treadmill. This does not imply criminality but rather that this native will have a very hard and unsatisfactory life. He is compelled by the force of circumstances to labor hard, and will witness but little, if any, of the fruits of his labors.

Asc 17 Sag 16 = 18 Sag: A plowman engaged in the act of plowing. Denotes one inclined to agricultural pursuits, and one who will prove a steady, industrious person; one content to live by hard labor, a plodder.

Sun 4 Tau 23 = 5 Tau: A boat on a large lake, it might be a big river; two men are rowing in it. Denotes a person fond of company and of changes; a speculative bent of mind and fond of adventure.

Moon 9 Sco 10 = 10 Sco: A mariner’s compass. Denotes one with great intuition; fond of secret studies; will make discoveries.

Mercury 9 Ari 31 = 10 Ari: A large glass ball, or globe. It is capable of receiving the images of the stars in space, as well as reflecting the panorama of the earth. The person here denoted will possess a mind open to receive truth and will reflect the truth in his or her daily life. Such will be scrupulously just and honorable. He, or she, may prove to be a great seer, or naturalis. Should this person be of humble origin, he will rise far above his birth.

Venus 27 Tau 39 = 28 Tau: A very straight road; an interminable perspective. This denotes an evenly balanced mind, and almost uneventful life; a life that will be long and happy.

Mars 12 Cap 44 = 13 Cap: An eastern town (Constantinople). Denotes one whose proclivities are eastward, and whose sympathies will be with Turkey and the Turkish dominion, and who may, eventually have much to do with those climes.

Jupiter 14 Pis 12 = 15 Pis (ruler): A hand with a sword in it. Just rising in the ascendant, a halo of golden light envelopes it. That sword is not for indiscriminate slaughter. It is to defend the right. Whosoever thou art, thou hast a mission to accomplish, and thou wilt be armed with the necessary power and authority to execute that mission. Thou art a child of the sun. Thy pedigree must be looked for in the archives of the solar world. But the poor worldlings, the inhabitants of this red planet, will not see thee as thou are seen by thy compeers.

Saturn 8 Sag 39 R = 9 Sag: A man standing on a platform and an audience in front. A public man, a lecturer, a politician; an orator in some line. It also denotes a literary person, or one fond of literature.

Uranus 22 Sag 2 R = 23 Sag: A person at the bottom of a deep ravine with lamp in hand looking for something. A mineralogist, a geologist; and one who will be fond of such researches as lie within the earth.

Neptune 5 Cap 44 R = 6 Cap: A butcher clothed in his working dress conducting a sheep into the slaughter-house. A person of dangerous proclivities; unfortunate to those with whom he may have to do; selfish, crafty and cruel.

Pluto 6 Sco 01 = 7 Sco: A naked boy, a crown on his head, a scepter in his hand. Denotes innocence combined with great native dignity, and a promise of future greatness.

Mean North Node 29 Ari 47 and True North Node 29 Ari 59 = 30 Ari: A man wheeling a barrow over a hollow run. This denotes that the person so born will be engaged through life in downright hard labor; and although such a one may be born in different circumstances, yet he may be driven to poverty, through crime, or the force of circumstances. So this degree may safely be designated a hard degree.

Part/Fortune 22 Gem 03 = 23 Gem: A man standing alone on a lonely plain, weeping. This denotes one who is liable to give up in the struggle of life to despondency; very much wanting in energy, and destitute of moral courage.

Vertex 2 Leo 13 = 3 Leo: A veiled statue. The degree of mystery! Denotes the gradual unfoldment of the sublime and the glorious. The student of what is great and lofty; an imagination; he is fired with enthusiasm, and liable to err through an excess of passion, but if all be well under control he will bless his race.

Apr 26, 1:23:00 am start of explosion 34” later: 1:23:34

MC 26 Lib 40 = 27 Lib: A rhinoceros. Denotes strength of body, calm courage; one who can stand unmoved on the battlefield simply because he is incapable of fear, or of realizing danger. Such a one has but one object at a time and that absorbs him.

Asc 22 Sag 57 = 23 Sag (had just crossed over Uranus 3’ earlier): see Uranus above.

Sun 5 Tau 22 = 6 Tau: A large elliptical figure on the ground, and a man standing upright on it. A person who loves passionately, one who is a great admirer of the opposite sex; a lover of the beautiful, in art and in nature.

Moon 24 Sco 26 = 25 Sco: A white flag unfurled, with a red Maltese cross on it. A person of noble mind, pure intention; the subject of much suffering, but eventually triumphs over all obstacles, and vanquishes very puny foe.

Mercury 10 Ari 58 = 11 Ari: A man with a large telescope, which he employs chiefly in looking at things in his immediate surroundings, and what lies on the earth. The most remarkable thing is, that he is looking at the large end of the telescope. This denotes an egotist, a boaster, a traducer and slanderer. He will never utter a good word for anyone and will never acknowledge merit. There is no one so great as himself. Of course, a liberal education may tend to tone down much of these extravagances, yet it can never obliterate the whole.

Venus 28 Tau 54 = 29 Tau: A crucifix. Be careful. A life full of strange events, and liable to grievous accidents.

Mars 13 Cap 08 = 14 Cap: see Mars natal.

Jupiter 14 Pis 23 = 15 Pis (ruler): see Jupiter natal.

Saturn 8 Sag 36 R = 9 Sag: see Saturn natal.

Uranus 22 Sag 01 R = 23 Sag: see Uranus natal.

Neptune 5 Cap 43 R = 6 Cap: see Neptune natal.

Pluto: 5 Sco 59 R = 6 Sco: A monster with two faces, like the ancient Janus. Denotes duplicity and deception; a slanderer.

Mean North Node 29 Ari 44, True North Node 29 Ari 59 R = 30 Ari: see North Node in natal.

Part/ Fortune 12 Can 01 = 13 Can: A man, delving. An industrious person; most particular in all small matters; ever partial to manual labor.

12 Can: A cypress tree. A person of melancholy and fretful disposition, mournful and gloomy. He will suffer much through bereavement.

Vertex 7 Leo 44 = 8 Leo: A hedgehog. A person of harmless disposition; secretive, and he naturally shuns the public gaze. In the meantime, he knows how to defend himself, hence he appears to be always on the defensive.

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