Revisiting History: The Boston Molasses Flood

by Marilyn J. Muir, LPMAFA

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My cousin posts a variety of interesting articles on Facebook. This week: a Washington Post article about the centennial anniversary of the Boston Molasses Flood. The what? I had never heard of a molasses flood! This was a serious flood, killing fifteen and injuring 150 people plus a number of horses and other animals! The narrative gave “shortly after noon” as the time of the event, and this Astrologer was off and charting! Speculation: noonmark… I soon realized the incident happened later than noon, at least 12:20 PM or perhaps later. An avid researcher, I consulted the world’s largest library, the internet, to learn more. More sources, a Wikipedia compendium, a news source that gave 12:30 PM… a more astrologically believable time for the tragedy. Re-set!

Next question… what rules molasses and a molasses flood? Keyword references indicate Venus or Mars for molasses and for flooding; also Neptune, the fourth house, possibly Pluto/Scorpio. Back to the chart using the traditional thirteen positions (Ascendant, Midheaven, ten bodies, Node) with tight orbs and hard aspects (this was a disaster).

  • Venus 7 Aquarius 10 conjunct the Midheaven 3:15 opposed Neptune 8 Leo 19R in the fourth/tenth axis. Venus is chart ruler.
  • Mars 20 Aquarius 44 conjunct Uranus 25:52 in tenth house opposed Saturn 27 Leo 03R in the fourth house, squaring Ascendant 26 Taurus 35, (add the Scorpio Descendent for a grand cross?). Uranus and Saturn were co-rulers of the tenth house, the mission or purpose of that moment in time.
  • Mercury 2 Capricorn 29 in the eighth house of death and disaster opposed Pluto 5 Cancer 14R and Jupiter 8:59R in the second house of values and valuables.
  • Any of 13 positions missing? Sun, Moon, Node.
    Moon applying to opposition of Sun 16 hours on day’s clock: approaching Full Moon; but eight degrees is wide for a tight orb!
    Karmic North Node in seventh house sextile/trine the Venus/Neptune opposition.

Ten of thirteen possibilities with tight aspects, two are wide but quickly applying, one outlier out of thirteen.

What happened? We are talking about molasses and a flood. Apparently, molasses was a product that was fermented to be used in the manufacture of rum and as industrial alcohol and ethanol (a chemical component for making munitions). The process involved a gigantic storage vat high in the air much like a municipal water tank, a metal body with riveted metal bands for reinforcement. It was winter in the northeast, but that day the temperatures unusually fluctuated from night to day. The day prior experienced new, much warmer molasses added to the tank. It was later found that the metal tank had not been engineered strongly enough, the tank had been leaking and the company had painted the tank to disguise the leakage; more on this in a moment. The unusually high temperature (40˚) of that winter day heated the fermenting syrup, straining the containing metal body and straps.

The first sound of impending disaster was the popping of rivets from the straps. In an explosion, the tank let go all of its contents from that height. 3.3 million gallons of molasses engulfed the north end Boston waterfront with a dark tide of destruction, wiping out everything before it: buildings, people, horses (it was 1919), other animals, before emptying itself into Boston harbor where it also wrecked the ocean environment*. People, animals and buildings were slammed with a 25-foot high wave, 160 feet across, “a 26 million-pound wall of goop”, and then swallowed by a heavy syrup that trapped them, actually drowning in molasses. The fire station was knocked off its foundation, so fire fighters became victims in that disaster. They did their best with a really bad situation. The trap for victims was that the unleashed syrup quickly thickened in the 40˚ day making rescue really difficult. One article mentioned rescuers could not tell if lumps in the syrup were human, animal or debris. Four months later the last body was found… under a wharf.

To explain further… The company wanted to avoid responsibility, so they fought it for six years in court blaming anarchists for causing the disaster. During legal wrangling it became known that the company knew the tank was leaking and that painting the tank close to the color of molasses hid that leakage. Apparently, the people in the neighborhood collected the leakage for their own kitchens. The owners knew, did not fix the problem, chose to cover it up (disguise = Neptune?). Prohibition laws were being passed and business use was jeopardized by impending legislation. The company was attempting to wrest as much profit as possible before Prohibition was ratified the day after the disaster! The court decision: no anarchists, the tank was under-designed and the load too much, the owners knew, did not fix, camouflaged and avoided… the company was held responsible.

What else could I learn from this strange disaster? The story of Boston is gi-normous in our nation’s history, a veritable library in itself. Vikings are speculated to be the first Europeans to discover North America, followed by intrepid explorers and map-makers, with settlers landing circa 1620, having sailed on the Mayflower and other ships. The town of Boston was formally founded September 7, 1630, eventually incorporated as a city March 19, 1822. There were many fluctuations of territory and rulership, including the leveling of two small hills to accommodate the growing city. After the Revolutionary War, Massachusetts became a state on February 6, 1788. Town, city and state times used are noonmark LMT. The Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 is timed using 9:36 AM LMT, Philadelphia, PA.

Think of circles within circles. All that is contained within a circle affects and is affected (or infected) by all contained within those circles. Now turn those circles into charts and look for connections between them. We start with the timed event (latest chart), looking backwards into its history for connections. The oldest circle is the founding and that was altered and replaced multiple times over the centuries, most significantly by the incorporation that stands to this day. The largest circle is the Declaration, which contains the state, the incorporation and founding, and within those… the event itself. All affect each other and in turn are affected by each other, circles within circles. I hand drew the 5-wheel chart using colored pens to differentiate. I chose to draw it once only putting the event in the center because it was timed. I could have chosen the timed Declaration of Independence chart but my specific was the event. Connections: three hard aspects (disaster), tight orbs:

Foundation as triggered by timed event (thirteen of thirteen connections):

  • Virgo four planet stellium: Sun/Midheaven/Uranus/also includes (wide) Moon and
    Mercury opposed Jupiter 6 Pisces 48R, T-square nodal axis (North Node 7 Gemini 40R),
    trigger event North Node 12 Sagittarius 28R. (How do you separate a stellium?)
  • Venus 6 Leo 04 square Neptune 1 Scorpio 39 conjunct Saturn 2:13,
    trigger event Venus conjunct Midheaven to Neptune opposition.
  • Pluto 22 Taurus 48R and Descendant 29:26, trigger event Ascendant square Uranus/Mars conjunction opposite Saturn.
  • Mars 14 Libra 59, triggers event Moon.

Incorporation as triggered by timed event (ten of thirteen connections):

  • Moon 11 Aquarius 39, triggers event Neptune.
  • Mars 21 Leo 14R conjunct South Node 24:57, triggesr event Mars/Uranus conjunct opposed Saturn.
  • Neptune 5 Capricorn 10 conjunct Uranus 7:09, trigger event Pluto/Jupiter conjunction
  • Saturn 25 Aries 50, triggers event Sun.
  • Mercury 9 Pisces 01R conjunct Venus 13:33R, trigger event North Node.
  • Ascendant 17 Cancer 14, triggers event Moon.
  • Jupiter 2 Taurus 36, triggers event Midheaven.

Massachusetts as triggered by timed event (twelve of thirteen connections):

  • Aquarius stellium 11:00 to 29:43 Moon/Mercury/Midheaven/Pluto/Sun/Saturn
    triggers event Venus conjunct timed Midheaven opposed Neptune, and event Mars/Uranus conjunction opposed Saturn.
  • Ascendant 9 Gem 41 conjunct Jupiter 16:31R square Venus 14 Pisces 12,
     trigger event North Node.
  • Mars 8 Cancer 43R triggers event Pluto/Jupiter conjunction opposed Mercury.
  • Uranus 27 Cancer 22R square Neptune 21 Libra 04R, trigger event Sun.

US Declaration of Independence as triggered by timed event (eleven of thirteen connections):

  • Midheaven 8 Gemini 52 conjunct Uranus 8:54 square Ascendant 11 Virgo 46,
    trigger event North Node.
  • North Node 6 Leo 35 triggers event Venus/Midheaven conjunction opposite Neptune.
  • Sun 13 Cancer 01 square Saturn 14 Libra 48, trigger event Moon.
  • Mercury 24 Cancer 20R opposite Pluto 27 Capricorn 33R, trigger event Sun.
  • Venus 2 Cancer 43 conjunct Jupiter 5:52 trigger event Pluto/Jupiter conjunction.
  • Moon 22 Aquarius 37, triggers event Mars conjunct Uranus opposed (wide) Saturn.

This was a strange but real tragedy. Events range from 1630 to 1919, nearly 300 years; the connections are amazing. And they say this stuff doesn’t work!

*Honolulu molasses flood better explains effect on ocean.


Published in AFA Today’s Astrologer Mar 2019 vol 81#3, republished with slight editing.

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