"When the Twin Towers Fall in the City of York"

by Betsi Sites

SHOCK was felt around the world as the 2 great towers of the New York City skyline came tumbling down! While people in America and elsewhere were struggling to make sense out of the destruction of the World Trade Towers that took place on September 11th 2001, Astrologers were turning to the charts to squeeze hidden meaning from such an enormous tragedy.

Although I doubt anyone could have accurately predicted what occurred on that awful and awe-filled day, there are two astrological signatures that stand out as especially significant: 1) the Saturn/Pluto opposition (exact on Aug. 5, 2001, Nov. 2, 2001 and May 26th 2002), and 2) an extreme declination Mars conjunct the Galactic Center (exact on Sept. 3, 2001) For the maps and charts that show the impacts of that day, click here.


From Rob Hand's most excellent article on the Saturn/Pluto opposition in the Aug./Sept. issue of the Mountain Astrologer entitled "A Crisis of Power", we learned that 20th century hard aspects between Saturn and Pluto have been accompanied by either economic recession, political crisis, or war, often involving the Middle East. The current opposition in 2001 through 2002 continues to emphasize these same basic themes.

Two planets in opposition represent hostile forces. Add the fanaticism and self-righteousness of Pluto in Sagittarius, and you have fervent religious extremists (Pluto) confronting the status quo of the capitalist world (Saturn). Communication blockages and intelligence breakdowns are likely with Saturn in Gemini. This particular opposition stirred up Islamic terrorists, willing to die for their cause, who smashed through America's defenses and raged upon the symbols of its economic and political power (the World Trade Towers and the Pentagon). Unfortunately, with an opposition such as this, there is reason to expect that America might respond in kind. However, since the USA is represented by Saturn in this scenario, there is some hope that constraint and conservatism may contain the retaliatory response.


The declination of transiting Mars reached an extremely high peak (-27 degrees) on September 3rd 2001, a level it won't reach again until 2033. Anything beyond 23 degrees is considered "extreme declination" or "exdec", and the higher the latitude, the more extreme the behavior. In general, an "out of bounds" Mars, as such high declinations are often called, stimulates wild, unstable and aggressive expression, as well as extreme, unpredictable and explosive energy, well outside of the confines of socially-acceptable behavior. The Mars pressure built up steadily since Spring, but then fell off rather quickly in the Fall as Mars returned to "normal" declination by the end of October. Therefore, if the USA was able to restrain and limit itself to only strategic strikes through October, rather than unbridled retaliation, there is hope that the voices of reason would have gathered enough momentum by November to prevent an all out war.

To add fuel to this fire, the same day that Mars reached it's most extreme declination in decades , it was also conjunct "the Galactic Center" at 27 degrees Sagittarius. The Galactic Center is the heart of the Milky Way Galaxy. If there is a unifying principle or a command post within our galaxy, one might consider the dense core at its center as the place from which some alignment or directive might emanate. On that day of crisis, Mars on the Galactic Center pushed a cosmic button that was felt around the world! Humanity would be wise to examine the meaning of this historic event, and rectify its causes before Pluto strikes that same "sensitive" point in 2007. Undoubtably, the prospects for 2007 will depend largely upon the actions taken between now and then. If we respond with knee-jerk reactions, or refuse to respond at all, our world is in grave jeopardy. America is being called upon to rise to the challenges of its leadership position in the world, to restrain its impulses, consider consequences, and respond in a sane and prudent manner.


The "Attack Chart"(1) in and of itself didn't seem sufficiently malevolent for the events of September 11th 2001. But when placed on a bi-wheel with the US Independence Day chart(2) in the middle, it told it's story quite succinctly. Here are the correspondences I found between America's birth chart and the planets on that day of terror:


The American chart I chose to use isn't accepted by everyone to be the "true" birth chart of the United States, although the above analysis would strongly support that it is a likely one. There are arguably other valid "American Birth Charts" as well. A chart constructed by David Solte and known as "Scorpionic America"(3) was cast for the adoption of the Articles of Confederation. Let's take a look at it too in light of the tragic events of September 11th.

Transiting Pluto was within 4 degrees of the Midheaven of "Scorpionic America", signifying a very public attack on the Establishment (10th house), which struck terror in the hearts of all those who beheld the destruction, displayed publically for the whole world to witness. Many travelers across America were unable to get home as all the airports in the country were shut down for the first time in history (Saturn in the 4th house). The most striking thing about the "Scorpionic America" chart is that transiting Uranus struck the Ascendant in the "Scorpionic American" chart on September 11th, while transiting Saturn was conjunct "Scorpionic" Uranus within one degree.. Thus this chart also registered the extreme shock and angular impacts made by transiting Pluto, Saturn and Uranus during "the Attack on America."


Another chart to look at is the chart cast for the Founding of the New York Stock Exchange(4). Transiting Uranus was conjunct the Stock Exchange's Pluto. Uranus transiting over Pluto indicates revolutionary changes, the pressures of which have been building over time, while the transit triggers a sudden occurrence that can have devastating effects. Also, the transiting Sun was exactly conjunct the Exchange Chart's Mars (within one-tenth of a degree!) "Pride goeth before a fall" comes to mind. Strangely enough, the Sun/Mars conjunction occurred at 18 degrees Virgo, the very same degree held by the North Node on the day Pearl Harbor was bombed. Perhaps that specific degree should be researched further as to its significance for America, but to do so is beyond the scope of this article. Certainly the unexpected attack on September 11th 2001 dealt a devastating blow to the Stock Exchange.


The Attack on America, horrific as it was, highlighted a message that was imminently clear. Either the people of this world find solutions for the gross economic inequities of these times, or disenfranchised fanatics will continue to target those who appear to "have it all." To the terrorists, the World Trade Towers in New York City represented greed and corporate wealth, wrested by cunning from the "have-nots" of this world. This "Attack on America" announced boldly that economic coercion and political dominance by any nation that disregards the rights and beliefs of others, would NOT be tolerated.

Nonetheless, the largess of the American Soul (Jupiter conjunct Venus in Cancer) to transmute tragedy into transformation may play an important role here. This event has set off a dialogue that needed to occur. The saber rattling of the "old guard" was challenged by the Aquarian Age voice of reason. Apathy gave way to involvement, and threats of war roused voices for peace such as have not been heard since the 60's. If we don't want to see a repeat of September 11th to occur in 2007 when Pluto trips the Galactic Center's umbilical cord once again, we'd better heed the warning and get busy cooperating! Its time to seek solutions for the gross inequities of our world. We may not all like each other, but we've got to find a way to live together on this tiny planet spinning through space. There can be no doubt that humanity stand at a Crossroads. Will we barrel ahead without thinking, or will we stop to consider consequences and reset priorities? The Choice is ours. Let's do our best to choose wisely!

All charts are cast with a Placidus House System, with Sun through Pluto displayed, including Chiron.

1. Trade Towers Attacked: Sept 11, 2001 at 8:45am, NY, NY. Source: CNN web site chronology list.

2. One version of the "Sibley" American Chart, cast for the signing of the Declaration of Independence: July 4, 1776 at 5:10pm, Philadelphia, PA. Source: Campion's The Book of World Horoscopes.

3. "Scorpionic America": November 15,1777 at 12:46pm in York, PA. Source: David Solte, in a magazine article.

4. New York Stock Exchange: May 17, 1792, cast for noon in NY, NY. Source: Campion's The Book of World Horoscopes.