Centralia, IL Mine #5 Explosion

Mar 25 1947, 3:22 PM CST

By Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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While doing data entry and resourcing for astrological research projects, I occasionally come across an event or person that captures my attention. Next thing I know, I have found the subject of my newest teaching article. This workup is about the coal mine explosion that devastated the small mining community of Centralia, Illinois in 1947. 111 townsmen tragically lost their lives that day – individuals, husbands, fathers, grandfathers, brothers, uncles, friends, and neighbors. In a really small community, that many such losses are beyond tragic. As I read the archives, I was horrified that those lost miners and their representatives had made a major effort prior to the explosion to fix what was terribly wrong in the underground mines. Their efforts had reached all the way to the White House in Washington, DC. Nothing of real value had been done to address the problem and the inevitable occurred on March 25, 1947 just as the day’s shift was ending for 142 coal miners.

I had the time of explosion that I trusted. The rest was supplied by archival material easily Googled. The stories and even videos were amazing and I cried my way through much of it, acknowledging the grief and suffering along with the frustration that the disaster was preventable. In addition, those authorities who had not prevented the anticipated and feared potential tragedy were, to me, causative or complicit in the tragedy itself. Even worse, those authorities, lowest to highest, actually escaped any responsibility for the catastrophe, its cause and aftermath. The company or authorities did nothing to help the families of the miners and the mining company paid only a $1,000.00 (that’s right: one thousand dollars) fine for not attending to mine safety regulations even though they had had multiple citations over a very long period! I have listed the sources at the end of this article for those who want to know the inside of this beast as well as the astrological signatures this article provides.

There were slight source variations for the explosion time, all within five minutes: 3:22 to 3:27 PM CST, so it was not difficult to explore the possibilities. The astrological source was most accurate as you will see from the charts, so I used 3:22 PM for the time of explosion. As I was plowing my way through the sources, reference was made to a prior lunation that was thought to be an astrological precursor to this event. Looking backward in the ephemeris, I located a Lunar Eclipse on December 8, 1946 and set a speculative chart for noon at the Centralia, IL location. It was about ten minutes past the point of totality, so I backed up the chart. The exact (strongest) eclipse point moment at that location was 11:51 AM CST. The lunation chart was a blockbuster! We will look at the later explosion chart as a possible result of that lunation. Comparison between the charts provided a perfect example of the effect of a prior lunation as precursor to an event, the explosion itself, which in itself was another blockbuster! Time to start putting it together for a teaching article.

Let us begin with the 3:22 PM explosion chart with 00:51 Virgo rising, Mercury ruled; hard, tight aspects (action-oriented) only:

  • Mercury 09:47 Pisces in the 7th house (angular) tightly quincunx Neptune 9:35 Rx Libra.
  • Adding Pluto 11:10 Rx Leo in the 12th house completes a Finger of God (destiny) quincunx aspect to Mercury with Mars close to Mercury (Mercury and Mars angular).
  • Moon 14:56 Taurus quincunx Neptune 9:35 Libra Rx also quincunx Mars 16:40 Pisces, (another Finger of God (destiny) aspect, again close to Mercury (Mercury and Mars angular).
  • The Mercury/Mars angular conjunction is common to both Finger of God aspects, actually crossing one another like X marks the spot???
  • Moon 14:56 Taurus square Pluto 11:10 Leo Rx.
  • Mercury (given) is in wide square to the lunar nodes 4:09 Gemini/Sagittarius (Nodes angular).
  • Mars (given) is also square Uranus 18:07 Gemini in 10th of accomplishment or goal (angular).
  • Neptune is also widely but applying opposed the Sun in the 8th house of catastrophe or death.
  • If the explosion took place about four minutes earlier on the clock, Leo would have been rising and the Sun (opposed Neptune) would be the chart ruler instead of Mercury.
  • Midheaven 26:10 Taurus opposed Jupiter 27:22 Scorpio Rx in the 4th house (angular).
  • Venus 24:04 Aquarius is square angles MC/IC and angular Jupiter.
  • Every single one of the thirteen traditional main points of the chart is activated.
  • Angular placements tend to be very visible, in your face, energy such as a deadly explosion.

Let me explain the nature of this explosion so you can clearly see how specifically the chart describes the action. This mine section is 540’ underground, accessible by descending a shaft, with multiple shafts running off the main shaft access points. Centralia coal is black anthracite. As it is mined, it creates a dust or ash that permeated the shafts and access points. It spread downward to the floor, sideways to the existing or naturally mined walls, upwards to the ceiling, and stuck to all parts of the shaft and to whatever anthracite was continuing to be mined. Dust also accumulated in the very air of the tunnels and shaft. The dust is extremely combustible. It must be treated to reduce its combustibility, but that was never completed. Tiny, make-do increments did happen and then they stopped – again, never completed.

Once the dust got ignited, it produced an explosion, burned what was immediately accessible and then produced poison fumes. What had not been instantly blown up or immediately burned became a poison that caused a lung-associated death following mental dissociation. There was little or no time for the victims to get out or help themselves or one another, nor for rescuers to access a daunting explosive, poisonous situation 540’ underground through a shaft that was filled with explosive dust and chemical poison. It took a very short time to kill 111 men. Only 31 others were actually rescued. It was so toxic that it took several days to get all the deceased miners out of their death-filled coffin, involving a grizzly plethora of hard-to-identify body parts. This close-knit small town’s first responders were friends, neighbors, and even relatives of those they sought to save, help or remove from their mine graveyard.

  • Can you see the explosion (Mars square Uranus)?
  • Can you see underground like a closet (Pluto in the 12th)?
  • Can you see dust, poisoning, deadly to breathe (Neptune in multiple aspects)?
  • Can you see catastrophe or destiny (Sun in 8th, Neptune/Jupiter ruled 8th ofdestiny, chart ruler square karmicNodes)?
  • Can you see the criss crossed Finger of God double quincunxes (destiny or karma)?
  • Can you see the size and dimension of the human hometown tragedy (Jupiter in 4th opposed Midheaven both square Venus)?
  • Sidenote: Midheaven is conjunct Caput Algol, the most malefic fixed star in the heavens. (Fixed star involvement may be next on my research list.)
  • What else can we see that I have not pointed out in this brief summary?

As mentioned, the strong lunation prior to the explosion was December 8, 1946, a Lunar Eclipse, and it timed locally to just prior to noon.

  • The Sun was 16:03 Sagittarius, the Moon opposite in Gemini.
  • The Midheaven 16:39 Sagittarius was opposed Uranus at 19:55 Gemini Rx (angular).
  • Mars in the 10th house was close by at 23:27 Sagittarius (angular).
  • Lunar Nodes were 11:46 Gemini/Sagittarius, wide but caught up in the Gemini/Sagittarius net.
  • Ascendant was 6:20 Pisces, most closely square the Nodes and chart was Jupiter/Neptune ruled.
  • Ascendant was also quincunx slow-moving lunation and explosion Saturn 8:35 Rx, Pluto 13:14 Rx Leo and Neptune 10:28 Libra (angular).
  • Jupiter was 15:54 Scorpio conjunct Venus at 17:07 (both in the 8th house of catastrophe or destiny) and with Venus as 8th house ruler. Both were square Saturn and Pluto conjunction (given) in Leo in the 6th house of work environment.
  • Mercury at 25:20 Scorpio (forming a stellium with Jupiter and Venus) was opposed fixed star Capul Algol previously mentioned in the explosion chart.
  • Where was Neptune that figured so prominently in the explosion chart? 10:28 Libra in the 7th (co-ruler of the Ascendant and angular).

Before and between the Lunation and the explosion were a number of attempts by workers and their representatives to address the safety issues and problems on multiple levels of government from the local authorities up to and including the White House. An actual plea from the workers to “save their lives” went unanswered… and 111 men died and a community was devastated.

What happens when you place the two charts together as in synastry? How do they merge? There are nearly four months between the lunation and explosion charts. Are there substantial connections?

Know that because there were only 3.5 months between charts, the outer planets will not have moved very far and will be close to their natal positions. This could be read as reinforcing or as over-emphasis in aspecting (mental note to be careful). In this illustration, the mine explosion is the inside wheel and the overall chart house cusps. The outer circle contains the earlier lunation. A floating lunation Midheaven and Ascendant are listed with the lunation bodies in the outside wheel. I will not repeat what we have already covered in the separate readings for the two events. These aspects are about how the two charts influenced one another:

  • Noting thirteen primary placements (Midheaven, Ascendant, ten bodies, and one Node) from two charts: 13 x 2 = 26 possible connections, avoiding unnecessary duplications (such as North and South Nodes): twelve placements are angular 4th, 7th and 10th houses (angular = in your face, active).
  • The 4th / 10th house opposition involving placements from both charts, squares the 7th house of the explosion chart Lunation Moon, North Node and Uranus, also explosion Uranus and North Node in the explosion 10th. Lunation Sun, Midheaven, Mars (not double S Node) and explosion Jupiter (not double S Node) in explosion 4th.
  • The combined T-square involving Capul Algol positions are ominous, explosion Jupiter (lunation Ascendant co-ruler) square Venus and conjunct lunation Mercury (explosion chart ruler).
  • What about the two explosion Finger of God quincunxes? This combined quincunx is evidenced by explosion Moon quincunx explosion and lunation Neptunes and lunation S Node, Sun, Midheaven.

This ends the story of the original explosion event and charts. The enlarged story is in the archives.

I simply Googled for credible sources on the world’s largest library, the internet.


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