The “Dali” Container Ship vs the Francis Scott Key Bridge

by Marilyn Muir, LPMAFA

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A supporting column for the Francis Scott Key (FSK) bridge in Baltimore, MD was hit by the container ship “Dali” on March 26, 2024, at 1:28 AM EDT. This was a tremendous crash – one which fully blocked water passage for all ships, plus destroyed a section of the bridge which was a major highway artery for the Washington, D.C. area.

Several bridge workers (six) were trapped by the wreckage and died from either the initial crash or the submergence of the road / bridge wreckage; two had been rescued early in the process. Until those missing could be located and removed, demolition of the damage and removal of the blockages were on hold. And, of course, the weather had to be considered.

The actual start of demolition was May 13, 2024, at 5:00 PM EDT (first explosion) and the ship was removed from the accident site. It was towed to a marine terminal about a mile away on May 20, 2024, starting about 7:00 AM and completed before noon. That opened the way to removing the bridge debris and clearing the channel in the Patapsco River for shipping once the NTSB and local investigation permitted.

The vessel was / is managed by the Synergy Marine Group and is Singapore-flagged. The Indian and Sri Lankan crew members had to stay aboard the vessel, partly to ensure the safety of the ship and harbor, and partly due to the expiration of their one-month visas. The restricted crew was able to help the salvage crews navigate the boat and prepare for its removal. There had been reports of electrical shutdowns and problems on the Dali prior to the event. Would you have liked to be restricted to that boat as demolition and removal were performed?

I did a Google search for the official opening of the FSK bridge and had difficulty locating even a ceremonial time. My initial research used noonmark and did not give me satisfactory results. Search more… According to Astrodientist (Rodden database), the official opening was at 10:00 AM EST (March 23, 1977), citing news sources. Recast all charts.

10:00 AM EST is the natal base I used for all charts relative to the opening day: progressions and diurnals for the collision and the demolition. I also cast event natal charts for both the collision itself and the demolition to develop a full astrological picture. Because news articles reported previous power failures ten hours and one hour earlier than the collision, I also cast those as correlating event charts. As I worked my way through the data, I felt there might have been more failures or indicators at an earlier time than given.

What do we look for? Natal: this is a bridge, over a river, at a major national shipping port, hosting a primary, heavily traveled roadway to the nation’s capital (11.5 million vehicles a year). Using natural rulership, what is easily visible?

  • Local transportation: 3rd house / Mercury / Gemini.
  • Structure / bridge: Saturn / Capricorn / 10th house.
  • Vehicles of many types: Mars / Aries / 1st and 8th houses (rulership).
  • Critical to the nation: Pluto / Scorpio / 8th (joint resources house).
  • River: Neptune / Pisces / 12th house.
  • The natal chart reveals Gemini rising, with chart ruler Mercury in the 11th house (groups), in a stellium (increases the power), applying (future), opposed (uhoh) Pluto in Libra retrograde (the past).
  • Aquarius is on the Midheaven (modern, wide public usage is the purpose / MC) with Mars about 5 degrees conjunct. Since the angle travels faster than any planet, this is an applying (future) aspect. 
  • Mars is in Pisces ruled by Neptune (river) in Sagittarius within four degrees of the Descendant (angle / separating, significant others as in foreign ships).
  • Important T-square: Moon (heavy. Citizen / public use, in the 12th house of self-undoing) opposed Uranus (modern) square Saturn (structure) in the 3rd (transportation).
  • Add a possibility. the Nodes can be quite karmic with retrograde Venus conjunct the South Node. We will see these nodal degrees very active.  

Brief explanation. You will notice the aspects are marked past (separating) and future (applying). That would be from the date of the chart. It is my personal experience that separating aspects are already established at the birth of the chart, influencing the current and future. Applying aspects are future oriented. They have not already perfected at the moment of birth and refer more to what is to come after the birth establishes the base.

Progression for the collision. What is closely active?

  • Progressed Venus / Mars conjunct in the 9th (foreign ship activator), tightly opposed Pluto in collision 3rd house (transportation).
  • Progressed Moon (public) triggers natal fixed T-square through opposition to Saturn (bridge) and square Uranus (unexpected), the same planet combination as the natal.
  • Progressed Ascendant conjunct the natal 3rd house cusp (transportation).

Diurnal for the collision. What is closely active?

  • Diurnal Midheaven conjunct Mars, mirroring the natal MC / Mars conjunction. Both of the Mars positions are within 5 minutes of arc of their Midheavens. Since the angles move faster than the planets, they are applying.
  • Diurnal Ascendant is the degree of both the natal and progressed Nodes and only 4 degrees from the natal Ascendant (separating… hmmm…). Did something happen to the ship about four days prior to the accident? Explanation: the Midheaven diurnal angle advances at approximately 1 degree per day. The Ascendant diurnal angle advances at approximately 1 degree or more per day depending upon Latitude of birth.
  • Diurnal Pluto is interesting. Remember the Progressed Ascendant? Pluto is on the opposition point (Descendant = significant others). There is the accident itself

I printed the charts with the aspects displayed in the center of the wheel. Look at how open the natal and progressed charts are, lots of aspects, thorough mix, but basically pleasant. Then look at the center of the diurnal chart. Almost all the bodies / points are in the Midheaven to Ascendant quadrant except for the Moon / S Node positions. It reminds me of an arrow powered by the entire chart!

Time to explain a couple of points. What is a progression? What is a diurnal?

Progressions: Your natal chart is a snapshot of a moving sky. Nothing celestial truly stopped moving; your personal map is as alive as the cosmos. Your natal chart is set for a specific moment. You are not a new-born baby taking your first indrawn breath (natal) for the rest of your life. You continue to live and grow and become. The progressing chart reflects that constant change. The method is to use each day after birth as the map for each year after birth. The chart can be set to any day of any year, and it will illustrate your current status at that moment. It can be read as a stand-alone temporary personal chart (the momentary developing you). Or, you can also read progressed to natal aspects for activations. For the math, your astrology program allows for progressions. I used the Naibod secondary method.

See more detailed instructions in my book: Predictive Astrology, Chapter 5 – Secondary Progressions; this includes Adjusted Calculation Date (ACD) and is a rudimentary primer on Secondary Progressions.

Diurnals: We all know what transits are. They are the list of each day’s planetary motion. Astrologers follow the planetary bodies, and the transits are applicable for everyone on the globe every day. That is not very specific, is it? How do we make this individual and personal? If we use our birthtime and place to construct a transit chart, it makes the transits personal for any date you choose to examine. In your astrology program, enter your natal information, then change the DATE ONLY to erect your personal chart for that day. That will give you a full chart with Midheaven and Ascendant and automatically correct the transits to apply specifically to you. Pay particular attention to the angles and any planets (diurnal, natal and progressed) adjacent the angles. You can also compare each diurnal to your natal AND progressions (for that date).

There is a basic chapter on Diurnals in the Predictive Astrology book, Chapter 8 – Diurnal Charting,

See also my book Diurnal Charting on the “books” page of my website above.

You can take this further – you can overlay the three charts and watch the planets and the angles interact with one another. Pay particular attention to tight angular placements. In a fit of perhaps going overboard with illustration, I am attaching three tri-wheel charts:

  • One with the natal as the base chart (provides cusps) with the progressions and diurnals as second and third wheels.
  • One with the progression as the base chart (provides cusps) with the natal and diurnals as second and third wheels.
  • One with the diurnal as the base chart (provides cusps) with the natal and progressions as the second and third wheels.

Note that these diagrams place the MC / IC European style, by actual degree. Follow the darker lines for the angles.

Usually I prefer the diurnal as my base. But in this instance, I chose the progressed as base. Why? Look at the angles, they are literally off the charts with connections. Particularly look at Pluto on the Descendant and the Midheaven / IC line alive with activations from all three renditions.

Demolition charts?      I have them and they are interesting. I am not going to go into the teaching detail that I did earlier because it should be unnecessary. The natal has not changed. The progression has only changed slightly because the movement is measured as yearly motion. Look at the 13 AR 17 prog Midheaven and the extremely tight opposition to natal Pluto (11 minutes). Midheaven: aim, goal, purpose of the chart. Pluto / demolition: works for me. Note that progressed Pluto is also close to progressed I.C. The natal map is unchanged, and the progressed map center is similar to the bridge opening progression.

The diurnal map is very different from the collision diurnal. The Ascendant / Descendant is very specific. Remember that chart times can easily be a minute or two off. In the middle of a huge accident, no one is looking at a clock. When reporting on an explosion, a minute or two could easily be off. The diurnals are particularly good at showing whether the timing is accurate. Closer is always better. Repeating: the diurnal Midheaven moves at one degree every four minutes of clock time, with the Ascendant speed dependent upon the chart’s latitude, approximately 1 degree plus or minus in that same four minutes. When aspecting, remember that angles move faster than planets.

Look at the two stelliums at the top of this demolition diurnal. Very specific application of energy, almost chosen. Look at the overall shape of this diurnal chart. Compare it to the explosion diurnal. The collision diurnal reminded me of an explosive arrow. This demolition diurnal is far more controlled, with all positions contained at the top of the chart (external life), and with the Moon / Pluto opposition on the Ascendant / Descendant angle. This was a purposeful, controlled explosion.        


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