On a major fault line between the North American and Caribbean tectonic plates, the island of Hispaniola is to be found, which is composed of Haiti on the west and the Dominican Republic on the east. This island has been ravaged by hurricanes and earthquakes for centuries, but no cataclysm has been as disastrous as the earthquake that hit the capital of Haiti in the late afternoon on January 12th 2010.
There is something special about Haiti, which can basically be defined as a failed state. Its jungle has disappeared, and deforestation with subsequent flooding ensures that its agriculture and infrastructure seem to be beyond help. In contrast, when crossing the border into the Dominican Republic, lush green jungle commences once more. Haiti’s five centuries of history have been characterized by struggle and poverty. It is a country established by African slaves after the French abolished slavery just after the revolution in 1789. After independence the French never quite relinquished control and in any case demanded huge repayments which plunged Haiti into a debt which even to this day cripples the country.
It was the first independent nation in Latin America and is the world’s first black republic. Haiti was once seen as the Pearl of the Antilles and was one of the richest islands in the French empire. With over 800,000 African slaves, it exported about half of the coffee and sugar consumed in Europe. (Note 1) Unfortunately the life expectancy of African slaves in Haiti was on average 21 years, which meant that 40,000 slaves a year had to be imported in the late 18th century. The declaration of independence on January 1st, 1804 was a result of a brutal civil war that lasted nine years which basically destroyed the assets that had made it rich. And in return for independence the Haitian government had to pay enormous sums to France from 1825 right up to 1947 for which it borrowed heavily from the US. By 1900, Haiti was spending about 80% of its national budget on loan repayments. So basically the destitution of Haiti was a result of the usual Western policy of plundering the assets of the third world.
Haiti: 1.01.1804 12.00 LMT Gonaives. AS 13 AR
The national horoscope does not look that weak. Using a chart for noon in the absence of an exact time, which is a common practice in mundane astrology as it places the Sun on the MC, the horoscope shows four planets in Capricorn, with a strikingly powerful Mars in the 9th house exactly square Saturn at 3.27 Libra. It is immediately clear what the astrological signature for the 2010 earthquake is: the current Saturn/Pluto square falls exactly on the national Mars/Saturn square! In other words some sort of disaster was predictable in this period.
Haiti earthquake: 12.01.2010 16.53.10 Port-au-Prince AS 14.59 CN
Mars is exalted in Capricorn, as is Saturn in Libra, and the square shows incredible strength and resilience, and considerably cruelty also. The string of dictators, which Haiti has produced, springs to mind. The most notorious was Papa Doc Duvalier, who ruled the island with an iron hand from 1957 for 29 years – a Saturn cycle – followed by his son, Baby Doc. He exploited Haiti’s traditional belief in voodoo and maintained power through the much-feared Tonton Macoutes, who were said to be zombies that he had raised from the dead. This ghostly death squad, responsible for the demise of 30,000 – 60,000 Haitians, is aptly reflected by this powerful Mars, which sextiles Pluto in Pisces on one side and Jupiter in Scorpio on the other. The trine to Moon in Virgo shows that Papa Doc was able to tap in to the ancestral fears of the people. Interestingly older Haitians today are nostalgic about this period, rather like Russians are nostalgic about Stalin. At least there was order in the country.
Voodoo and zombies. It is rather unusual for a country’s leader to encourage armed gangs composed of people who had been raised from the dead. The position of Jupiter, which represents belief systems, in the sign of Scorpio, taps in to this consciousness of a shadow world, which is made even more powerful by the trine to Pluto in the spirit world of Pisces. Zombies are beings whose will is completely controlled by a powerful magician, and the souls of these beings give the magician more power. If you want to practice this belief, then Haiti is obviously a good place to be, as the major Scorpio/Capricorn/Pisces emphasis shows the utilization of psychic powers to enslave the people and maintain power. The current Pluto transit over Haiti’s Mars/Chiron conjunction, which is at the exact Jupiter/Pluto midpoint, dredges the latent forces of destruction up to the surface, but also demands a transformation of the primitive and manipulative use of evil forces to maintain power. Haiti probably needs an authoritarian leadership, but it could be far more successfully harnessed in the service of the people and in a transformation of the country’ infrastructure.
The earthquake took place just prior to the solar eclipse in Capricorn. It can be seen that Venus is in fact cazimi – in the eye of the sun – and both are on the north node at 21 Capricorn. (The last major earthquake – on May 7th 1842 – also occurred with the Moons nodes in the same position in Capricorn). Interestingly the astrologer Dennis Elwell has researched the degree area 20-23 degrees Cancer /Capricorn and found that violent events often occurred in horoscopes where these degrees were prominent. Saturn around these degrees can correlate with sadism – the Marquis de Sade had this position – and the history of serial killings is full of example of malefic planets on these degrees. (Note 2) Some might think perhaps that the demon Rahu – the North Node of the moon – was acting as a revengeful earth goddess exacting divine retribution from a country that has lost its soul. Rahu is the disembodied head of the demon, and what has made this earthquake so disastrous is that it occurred almost directly under the capital city, even destroying the presidential palace – the head of the country. Perhaps the indigenous population – the Tainos – would have a spiritual explanation for the disaster, but unfortunately they were completely wiped out by the early settlers.
In astrological research is has been repeatedly shown that events arising prior to an eclipse, are related to the eclipse. If the horoscope of the eclipse three days later is relocated to Port-au-Prince then it can be seen that the Ascendant is at 25 Scorpio, which is exactly on the national horoscope’s Neptune.
Eclipse: 15.01.2010 7.12 GMT Port-au-Prince AS 25 SC
Furthermore transiting Neptune at the time of the earthquake is at 24.57 Aquarius – just 9 minutes of arc from a square to the Haiti Neptune. When one considers that a Neptune cycle is 165 years long, that is quite a coincidence. Clearly it highlights the capacity for suffering and death that is latent in the horoscope for Haiti. The eclipse chart has the Chiron/Neptune/Jupiter stellium right on the IC, squaring the Ascendant. Interestingly this falls right on the nodal axis of the Dominican Republic, which is naturally profoundly affected by the earthquake not least because of the exodus of Haitian refugees into their comparatively stable land. (Note 3)
The capacity for suffering is also highlighted by the movement of Jupiter into Pisces just days after the earthquake. Jupiter is seen as a beneficial influence and is dignified in Pisces, but all planets in Pisces evoke an awareness of the transience of human existence and the inherent meaninglessness of material living. What Jupiter in Pisces brings – apart from world wide empathy for poor people on a large island – is a mobilization of a spirit of solidarity and unselfishness which enriches both those who feel it and give, and those who suffer and receive. In the weeks after the earthquake planes from innumerable countries circled and landed at the airport near Port-au-Prince. Israelis, Chinese, Danes, British, Russians… people from all major countries flocked with help, which had been assembled as a result of the efforts of ordinary people throughout the world. Jupiter in Pisces opened the hearts of all humans as we witnessed the tragedy that unfolded in the media. 100,000+ deaths, 250,000 people hurt, 1½ million displaced out of a population of nine million.
Looking at the progressions in Haiti’s horoscope it can be seen that Pluto has moved from 5 to 9 degrees Pisces, and that Mars has progressed from 3 Capricorn to 9 degrees of Gemini. Furthermore the progressed moon was exactly on Pluto at the time of the earthquake. In other words, progressed moon activates an exact progressed Mars/Pluto square… an incredibly rare and obviously very unfortunate event. The earthquake leaves a completely traumatized population. Research from other earthquake sites – for example from victims of the 1999 earthquake in Turkey – shows that the psychological consequences of earthquakes can be crippling. Survivors report at crushing sense of loss and pain felt many years into the future.
What this signals for Haiti is a continued and painful process of transformation, which becomes more intense with the series of seven Uranus/Pluto squares which fall exactly on Haiti’s sun from 2012 – 2015. Autocratic leaders will struggle with a rebellious population and however hard the international community tries to maintain order, there is little likelihood of success. But perhaps Haiti needs a total transformation to shake off its tragic legacy. Only major structural change can restore this land to the Pearl of the Antilles that it once was. Haiti has a total external debt of 1.4 billion dollars, half of which accumulated when Papa Doc Duvalier plundered the country’s resources whilst half goes back to historic debt to France and the US. Cancellation of this debt should surely be the first step in putting Haiti back on its feet, and although the International Monetary Fund has earmarked about some of this for cancellation, many of the very same countries who are providing earthquake help are still insisting on repayment. (Note 4)
Probably this earthquake makes the beginning of the transformation. Revolution will shake the land as Uranus squares Mars and then the Sun. Leaders will be overthrown. What is needed is for a strong government to work good magic, when the disruption is over.
Adrian Duncan. January 20th 2010
Note 1: Wikipedia
Note 2. “The Cosmic Loom” page 19-23 (The Urania Trust – 1999)
Note 3. The Dominican Republic was founded on December 1st 1821 at a time when much of South America was gaining independence. It has a strong horoscope being founded on an exact Uranus/Neptune conjunction and an exact Saturn/Jupiter conjunction.
Note 4. Haiti’s largest creditor, the Inter-American Development Bank, is not part of the debt relief initiative. Haiti’s debt to the IDB amounts to approximately half a billion dollars with debt service payments projected by the IMF to increase in the following years. (Wikepedia)