Copyright © All Rights Reserved

by Wim van Dam


These days we remember the horrible terrorist attacks in New York and Washington, DC on September 11th 2001. In this article I want to discuss whether it would have been possible to astrologically foresee that an attack on the USA was to be expected.

We will use some astrological tools that have been discussed in preceding articles in this series, specially mundane and geodetic positions. The subject of our research will be horoscopes for astronomical/astrological phenomena like eclipses, ingresses and stationary positions, cast for the capital of the USA, Washington, DC. We will study both regular horoscopes and geodetic charts (see the preceding article in this series) to see whether a systematic trace can be found. Interesting indications are conjunctions between zodiacal and mundane planets and cusps with an orb of two and a half degree.


El Qaeda started its actions against the USA some years earlier. I think the best horoscope to start with is the one for Pluto's last ingress into a sign before 9/11. We will use the horoscope for November 10, 1995 GMT at 19h12.50 for Washington, DC. (All horoscopes and times of phenomena for this article were calculated using the Swiss Ephemeris. It is directly based on the data of DE405/406, developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory.)

This gives a hit: Pluto is conjunct to cusp nine with an orb of less than two degrees. This means that when Pluto (planet of death and terror) entered Sagittarius, the sign of religion and of foreigners, it was on the cusp of the ninth house for Washington, DC. Note how the house and the sign agree, reinforcing each other. Additionally, Mars is in a square to the ascendant, with an orb of half a degree, and mundane Mars is at 8 minutes of arc from the MC. Both Mars and Pluto are stressed in this horoscope.

Now we study the last eclipse before 9/11, which took place on June 21, 2001, geodetic R.A. for Washington, DC:

Here we have mundane Mars and Pluto, both old and new violent rulers of Scorpio, on cusp eight.

Traditionally, the sun's ingress in Aries is considered to give information for the whole year ahead. For May 20, 2001, Washington, DC, we find the following regular horoscope:

Mars and Pluto are on cusp eight. Pluto at first sight has a maximum orb of 2 degrees 30 minutes exact but this is a typical case of transfer of light through Mars.

Just as traditionally, the sun's ingress in a cardinal sign gives information for the quarter ahead. Here is the horoscope for the ingress in Cancer on June 21, 2001, for Washington, DC:

Mars is on cusp eight.

The geodetic equivalent puts both mundane Mars and Pluto on cusp eight

But this gives a methodological problem, for the eclipse we studied before took place on the same day, June 21st, which means that with exception of the moon all planets for Washington, DC geodetically occupy their own same mundane position in both horoscopes. So the sceptic might say we need not wonder that in both geodetic horoscopes mundane Mars and Pluto are conjunct with cusp eight. On the other hand, the anti-sceptic might state that, two major phenomena, an ingress and an eclipse, most coincidentally both took place just during a time when both planets had their mundane positions for Washington on cusp eight.

The last time Mars and Pluto were conjunct before 9/11 was at March 18, 2001for which we find the following regular horoscope:

Mars and Pluto are conjunct to cusp nine indicating violence from foreigners and religion.

Another violent combination, the reader will agree, is the conjunction of Mars and Uranus. With some hesitation, I included below the regular horoscope for the last preceding conjunction of these two planets for Washington, DC on December 14th 1999. With some hesitation, there is a clear hit because the conjunction falls almost exactly at cusp 3, but I don't know how to interpret cusp 3. Maybe the opposition with cusp 9 makes sense?

I found no fitting horoscopes for any stationary position.

Finally, the last New Moon (zodiacal conjunction of sun and moon, corrected for parallax) for Washington, DC before 9/11 gives a regular horoscope:

with Pluto at cusp eight, and the geodetic equivalent

gives zodiacal Mars at cusp nine and mundane Mars at cusp eight.

Actually mundane Pluto is at cusp eight too but this does not count since it occupied almost the same mundane position for a year. Therefore, we may count this conjunction only once and we did so already in the horoscope for the conjunction of Mars and Pluto. Our anti-sceptic however will call it highly coincidental because for Washington, DC, Pluto happened to occupy one and the same mundane position conjunct to geodetic cusp eight during the whole time when these phenomena took place.


Personally speaking, I am surprised by the number of hits and patterns that we found: Mars and Pluto on cusps eight and nine and mundane Pluto at geodetic cusp eight during the months before 9/11 (as you may have suspected: that anti-sceptic, that's me). As I wrote above, when I test the same horoscopes for New York, the results are far less.

I therefore conclude that:

  1. There seem to be good grounds, as tradition wants it, for taking the capital as representing the whole country, even for events that take place elsewhere in the country. As I mentioned above, Washington, DC in this enquiry as a whole scores higher than New York, although it suffered less.
  2. Even if we use only regular horoscopes, we get more than one horoscope with significant indications. So probably for something important to happen, one ominous horoscope is not sufficient.
  3. If we use only regular horoscopes, there are some phenomena that don't give any results. If we use regular and derived horoscopes (geodetic and mundane positions) almost every relevant phenomenon somehow gives fitting results. By relevant I mean general ones like eclipses, ingresses and new moons, or specific ones like in this study, Mars and/or Pluto (not for example Mercury and Jupiter). It is quite possible that, for the statistically most significant results, derived positions should be dispensed with and for the astrologically most interesting and informative results we had better use them.
  4. For each important capital on earth a study group of at least one astrologer might be started that reports regularly to The Astrological Association or to the A.F.A. when it has found any interesting patterns (not single observations, see 2.) through phenomena for the immediate or further future. Maybe a site on the Internet with links to the different reports is a good idea. Another (sub) site might be devoted to major events in the past.

Wim van Dam AUTHOR: Wim van Dam