Horary: Beaconsfield Gold Mine Disaster

Horary astrology can reveal and illustrate the most mysterious and paradoxically the most practical and verifiable aspects of astrology. All horary astrologers have examples of charts that “speak” so eloquently the truth that they want to share them with anyone capable of understanding. There is no denying astrology when a horary chart works; the answer is clearly visible, the story behind the question symbolically illustrated in detail and the magic of astrology validated.

Some say that a horary question can only be asked by someone who has a vested interest or relation to the thing being asked about, but as long as there is a genuine desire or need for the answer a horary can be asked. Here is an example of a chart that illustrates its validity regardless of the lack of direct relationship between the querent and the thing being asked about. Ultimately this chart is an outstanding example of the power and beauty of astrology.

Everyone in Australia would be aware that on Tuesday April 25th, 2006 a seismic event triggered an underground rock fall at the Beaconsfield gold mine in northern Tasmania. Three men were trapped below ground: Larry Knight, Brant Webb and Todd Russell. Two days later (April 27 at 7:22 am) the body of Larry Knight was found. Miraculously the other two men were found to be alive on April 30th at 5:45 pm when rescuers heard them singing. The news of their survival created euphoria in the small mining community of Beaconsfield and an international news media frenzy.

The next day this horary question was asked by someone unrelated and unknown to anyone associated with this event: “Will these men get out alive?” (May 1 2006, 5:16 pm, Melbourne Australia AEST) The querent was motivated to ask the question because the initial reaction to Brant and Todd’s discovery was overshadowing the fact that they were still trapped deep underground in a very dangerous situation. At that point in time the media was reporting that the men would be out within 48 hours. The querent felt strongly that their rescue far from being a certainty.

Will these men get out alive?

In horary the most important thing is to identify the significators of the question. The most common way of identifying a significator is to use the ruler of the house in concern. The other way is to use the planet which is the natural ruler of the matter.

In this question we need to find significators for the trapped men, the rescuers and death. The rescuers are workers to whom we can give the 6th house and therefore they are signified by Jupiter in Scorpio retrograde. Death would be the radical 8th house, Mercury in Aries, as well as the turned 8th house once we have identified the trapped miners.

Because the querent has no connection with the question or its outcome we need not be concerned with her. The question is what signifies the trapped men?

We could use the 7th house, being the house of “strangers and others”, giving us Venus in Pisces conjunct North Node, albeit in the turned 12th house. The exalted nature of Venus with the benefic North Node doesn’t seem to describe two men trapped underground with a lot of loose rock over their heads. We could use the 1st house, in which case we get Mars in Cancer, receiving both the rescuers (Jupiter) and death (Mercury). At first this seemed a good choice, but when we consider the natural ruler of miners, Saturn, we find a much better candidate for significator.

Saturn (the miners) is in detriment in the 10th house, at 4 degrees 58 minutes of Leo. He also rules the 4th house of the chart which is mines and his dispositor the Sun rules gold, this seemed appropriate; they were trapped in a gold mine!

Though underground they are very exposed through the media. Interestingly Saturn was nearly 5 degrees into Leo and the men were found almost 5 days after they became trapped. Also the Sun receives the miners into his rule and is separated from a square with Saturn by 6 degrees, at the time of the question the men had been trapped for 6 days. Both of these facts give us a clue as to the timing in this chart.

Now the question is about the men’s survival or lack of, therefore their possible death. Looking at the ruler of the radical 8th house of death we find Mercury at 22 degrees of Aries. There is no aspect between the men and significator of death. Expect for Saturn receiving Mercury into his fall (which could indicate the men’s understandable fear of dying), there is no reception between the two. Nor do we find any antiscia connection. This bodes well; they will come out alive, but when? Can this chart tell us?

Digging further (no pun intended) we look to the rescuers which are signified by the ruler of the 6th house of workers, Jupiter in Scorpio retrograde. Jupiter is moving back into the via combusta (15 degree of Libra to 15 degrees of Scorpio), seen as a malefic part of the zodiac and is in opposition to the Sun (gold mine) in Taurus (earth) both indicating their dire situation. The rescuers certainly were facing opposition to a lot of earth down in the mine. The retrograde condition of Jupiter tells us something about the slow progress the rescuers were having in getting to the trapped men. Jupiter will perfect a square with Saturn at around 9 degrees Scorpio/Leo, possibly indicating 5 days (degrees) time frame.

Looking to the Moon for the timing of events we find that she separated from a sextile with Mercury (significator of death) 3 degrees ago. This fits in roughly with the timing of the finding of Larry Knight’s body. The Moon will next square Venus in Pisces before ingressing into Cancer. Her move into her domicile is another promising sign for a positive ending to the situation.

In mundane astrology the Moon represents the people. If we take the Moon to indicate the people, her position in Gemini indicates being in two minds; exhilaration at Brant and Todd’s survival, worry at their continuing state of danger and grief at the death of their colleague Larry. The Moon’s antiscia degree is 4 Cancer 23, squaring the Nodes, a clear picture of the people’s future, hanging on the balance of fate. This is interesting but doesn’t give us any timing for the men’s rescue.

Going back to the question, we see that it is about their death or rather their escape from it. Looking at Mercury (death) we see that he is Saturn’s FALL, therefore is being received by Saturn in a negative way. Once he moves into Taurus, the situation will be changed and (death) will have no connection with Saturn.

The miners were under the threat of death (receiving Mercury into their fall) until the moment they walked out of the mine, and they would have been aware of all the possible dangers. There could have been another earth tremor that would have killed them or their rescuers …So once the miners (Saturn) no longer receive death (Mercury), they are no longer under its threat or power, they are free. Mercury will ingress out of Aries and into Taurus in seven and half degrees or 7 and half days; could this be our time timing?

On May 9 at 5:58 am Todd and Brant walked out of Beaconsfield mine. This was exactly 7 days, 12 hours and 42 minutes after the question was asked. Mercury was 7 degrees and 21 minutes from its ingress out of Aries. Not quite exact, but pretty close. In fact Brant & Todd were freed from the mine at 4:47 and 4:54 respectively making it 7 days, 11 hours and 31/38 minutes, making it even closer. When Mercury moves out of Saturn’s fall, death (Mercury) ceases to be a threat to the men. And so it was!


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