Jude's Threshold

A Tapestry Blog of Astrology, Politics, Art, and Social Concerns

Neptune-Pluto, Oil, and the Betelgeuse Incident

Well, oil is in the news as usual, and my Scotch-Irish ancestry took notice of Daryl Ilbury’s article at his The BIG Breakfast Blog where he has posted a remembrance of the Betelgeuse incident–aka the Whiddy Island disaster–when the oil tanker Betelgeuse exploded while discharging its cargo on Jan 8, 1979 near Bantry Bay, Ireland:


40,000 tonnes of mixed Arabian crude went up in smoke and the remaining oil could not be pumped out for two weeks because of fumes, heat, and gas exhausts. Birds, shellfish, and fishing industry affected.

Looking at Marjorie Orr’s book, The Astrological History of the World, I found several events of 1979 which echo into 2008…and some relating directly to the Betelgeuse incident.

The 1970s as a decade was violent yet had a spiritual flavor as Neptune moved into Sagittarius, a sign concerned with searching for ultimate meaning.

Prior to the Betelgeuse explosion, 1978 was a year of several world events of note with highly-charged reformer Uranus in intense Scorpio instigating:

a death sentence is passed on Pakistan’s Zulfikar Ali Bhutto (Benazir’s father); in Britain, the former Liberal Party leader is charged with conspiracy to murder; both the North and South Yemen’s presidents are assassinated; Indira Gandhi is imprisoned; two popes die in quick succession: Pole John Paul II is elected the new, improved version (first non-Italian pope); Camp David summit’s peace treaty between Egypt and Israel  signed (wonder how that holding up 2008); and violent unrest in Iran leads to military government.

Then there’s 1979 itself and “sweet” revenge continues:

On Aug 27, 1979, Lord Mountbatten, 1st cousin of the British queen, others of his family, and a 15-year-old Protestant crew member were blown to pieces by an IRA bomb in County Sligo.

On the same day, the IRA killed 18 British soldiers near Newry, County Down by planting a bomb, opening sniper fire on the survivors thereby driving them toward a nearby gate where a 2nd bomb exploded.

Also in 1979: 

in Britain it’s the “winter of discontent” with serial strikes, and Margaret Thatcher is elected prime minister; the Shah of Iran flees for his life, Khomeini’s Islamic Revolutionary Council takes over the government; and Saddam Hussein becomes president of Iraq.

Plus, the IRA kills more Brits besides Mountbatten in separate incidents: Conservative MP Airey Neave, and the British ambassador to the Netherlands.

Now back to the Betelgeuse:

The horoscope for the Betelgeuse incident (Jan 8, 1979, using 12:55 am since it happened “around 1:00 am” and the rising degree’s Sabian Symbol at 12:55 am is: “17Lib”: “A retired sea captain”) has the two planets associated with oil and gas, deceptive Neptune 19Sag05 and saboteur Pluto 19Lib10, at Nodal or fated degree (indicating to me past causes which may or not be unconscious.) North Node (NN) is at 19Vir51, near US natal Neptune (July 4, 1776.)

This disaster, caused by a bomb planted on the vessel, took 51 lives including one Dutch diver during the salvaging operations. (Although the Betelgeuse was a French vessel,  the salvage operations were perfomed by a Dutch firm, L. Smit & Co. and took over one year to complete.)

The oppressive, corporate, plutocratic Pluto-Chiron midpoint was nearing the top of the chart (MC) at the explosion, and Mars 20Cap08 (a crisis or critical degree) opposes the heliocentric NN of Pluto 19Can+, a point often prominent during explosive events. Pluto is linked, of course, to atomic issues, and Mars opposing Pluto = extreme force; violence; zeal. 

Our current late-Gemini Mars Rx period is doing an on-and-off dance with transit Pluto as I type…zealousness and fanaticism on all sides predominates the news.

Jan 8, 1979’s Mercury 28Sag43 is being conjoined by tr Pluto bwo synchronicity, also as I type about the subject and others make mention of this tragedy of 29 years ago.

Another interesting Sabian Symbol in the Betelgeuse incident chart is rebellious, disruptive Uranus, associated with dynamite and such, positioned at “21Sco”…

“A soldier derelict in his duty.” The negative/unconscious/shadow side of this degree is: faithlessness to the common welfare (Sabian Symbols in Astrology, Dr.Marc Edmund Jones. )

Explosions perpetrated for any reason are definitely that–common welfare be da*ned.  Now let’s see what Adriano Carelli’s The 360 Degrees of the Zodiac says about “21Sco”:

“A steppe of northern America at the beginning of the eighteenth century”…a savage or primitive nature longing for freedom and champing at the bit of restraint. A great but undisciplined moral force, a courage ready to stand any test. Fondness for horseracing.

A hard destiny: acts of self-denial and heroic struggles in defense of one’s independence, with a constant threat to this and to freedom itself.”

Carelli speaks of America, yet as an American of Scotch-Irish-English descent, I feel quite fair in saying his details for “21Sco” suggest Ireland and Britain’s struggles as well.

Neptune-Pluto’s Oil and the Robber Baron Class

Now we know that Neptune has association with oil and gas, and that Pluto describes hidden treasures such as oil and is linked to pipelines, tunnels, caves, and anything underground that’s secreted and hidden.

The Great Conjunction of Neptune and Pluto marks the natal chart of the Robber Barons, aka the Generation of Materialism, April 30, 1892 (7Gem42).

This conjunction occurred near the Solar Eclipse at “8Taurus” which gives us our Modern Humanity chart–and transiting Midas is in the 7-8 Gemini area of the zodiac these days! Hoarding still, is King Midas, extracting oil and natural gas wherever he can find it.

The combo of the two and their angular relationship (aspect) which are now in and out of septile (51 degrees 26 minutes) mark our current peak oil and its consequences–wars fought to grab the goodies.

But whether you think peak oil has been reached or is coming up in the next year or two, the West is in a pickle, made worse by the fossil fuel industry’s duplicity and Midas-esque greed.

Superwealthy OPEC can’t do much more than it’s doing now, and getting to remaining deposits has become too expensive to produce including the Caspian Sea area some thought would be a big producer–turns out, it won’t be.

Crisis looms especially since US political leaders have not been honest about the shortages we’re facing and are not selfless enough to make the necessary changes in the industry–notice the barely helpful cafe fuel standards which now lily-liver their way around the halls of Congress.

Guess this post combined a lot which was triggered by today’s 29th anniversary of the Betelgeuse incident, and I want to include the keywords for the great Fixed Star, Betelgeuse in the shoulder of Orion:

unbridled success without complications; may contain an element of rashness and changeability; everlasting fame; martial honor (Brady’s Fixed Stars.)

So there’s a peek at the chart for the Betelgeuse incident which seemed a small way to honor the families who were–and are still–directly affected by the sabotage of the Betelgeuse oil tanker 29 years ago today.


2 Responses

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  1. Thanks for commenting, Bob…from Googling ‘Betelgeuse Incident’ and reading articles including The BIG Breakfast blog as cited. As I mention, there were many such sabotage incidents then as now.

    How many theories have you heard? ;p



    May 21, 2008 at 4:58 pm

  2. Where do you get this idea that the explosion was caused by a bomb planted on the vessel?. That is one theory that I have never heard before.



    May 21, 2008 at 2:19 pm

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