After a fairly somnolent summer, the Atlantic hurricane season has been working overtime to make up the deficit, with two powerful storms wreaking havoc up and down the east coast of North America in the last week of September. Hurricane Fiona devastated areas of the Canadian Maritimes on the 24th, while Hurricane Ian pounded central Florida on the 28th with nightmarish winds and massive flooding, traversed the Sunshine State, then refueled in the Atlantic and turned its sights on the Carolinas.
What flipped the switch appears to be a major planetary T-square, relatively long-lived, incorporating Saturn, Uranus and TNO Typhon, into which asteroid Storm intruded for September, creating a Grand Cross. The Saturn/Uranus square saw its last exact alignment in December of 2021, but is still in effect, with these contrasting planets within a degree or so of each other for much of the autumn. Saturn in mid-Aquarius promotes loss and hardship, while Uranus in mid-Taurus provides the power and electric jolt of these super-energized tropical systems. Add TNO Typhon in mid-Scorpio, named for the mythic Greek Titan storm god known for causing hurricanes and floods (and the root of our word “typhoon”), and you have a ready-made recipe for disasters originating at sea.
But the proximate cause of this bout of devastation was asteroid Storm, which in mid-Leo spent most of the month triggering one or the other of the arms of this Grand Cross. By September 15th, when Fiona was named, Storm was at 16 Leo, just shy of an exact triggering square to Typhon at 17 Scorpio, followed by a square to Uranus at 18 Taurus, and an opposition to Saturn at 19 Aquarius.
Adding fuel to the fire was the Neptune conjunction with asteroid Nemesis, exact on September 21st, but well within orb throughout the month. Nemesis indicates ruin or destruction, while Neptune identifies the sea as the source of that devastation. This dynamic duo was further highlighted by the Sun’s passage in opposition, at its most intense September 15-18, but effective for weeks. Not to be outdone, asteroid Flood in mid-Sagittarius was opposing Mars in mid-Gemini, bringing together the planet of violence, action and energy with a minor body representing the deluges to ensue.
Even at Fiona’s inception, its potential for destruction was easy to see. When the storm, then a Tropical Depression, was named on September 15th, asteroid Fionapaine (one of two Fiona CNAs – Compound-Name Asteroids, bodies which have both first and last names strung together as one word, but which can be separated and used as a referent for either) at 28 Aquarius closely conjoined Damocles at 27 Aquarius, the impending doom hanging overhead, also conjoined asteroid Sturm (German for “storm”) at 2 Pisces.
With Jupiter at 5 Aries opposed Mercury retrograde at 7 Libra, it was plain that a major (Jupiter) weather event (Mercury) was brewing, and Fiona’s ultimate goal was depicted by PNAs (Personal-Named Asteroids) representing the geographic areas it would impact, more than a week later. Nova Scotia (Latin for “New Scotland”) was among these, with asteroid Scott (for Scotia) at 17 Aquarius conjunct Saturn and joining the Grand Cross, and asteroid Scotti (also for Scotia) at 6 Cancer forming a T-Square of the Jupiter/Mercury polarity. New Brunswick was also under the gun, with asteroid Brunszvik (an Eastern European rendering of “Brunswick”) at 20 Cancer opposing powerful, devastating and transformative (for good or ill) Pluto at 26 Capricorn, locked in another T-Square with asteroid Canada-Assandri at 23 Libra, identifying the general geographic locale. The Sun at 22 Virgo was exactly conjoined asteroid Labs (for Labrador, another province severely affected), opposed that Neptune/Nemesis conjunction, then at 24 and 25 Pisces.
Prince Edward Island saw some of the worst conditions recorded, with a storm surge of six feet that left “unprecedented” damage to structures and claimed at least one human life. PEI is represented celestially by asteroids Eduarda, which at 1 Scorpio is an exact match for asteroid Fionawood (the second Fiona CNA); Edoardo, which at 17 Sagittarius conjoined asteroid Storm and opposed Mars; and Prinz (German for “prince”), which at 1 Capricorn ties to the Jupiter/Mercury opposition by T-Square.
Storm damage in the Maritimes is estimated at between $300 and $700 million, in infrastructure and natural resources such as timber. The impact on that industry can be seen in the Sun/Labrador conjunction with asteroid Forrestpeterson (for “forests”) at 21 Virgo, and asteroid Forestmartin’s (ditto) inclusion in the Grand Cross, conjunct asteroid Storm from 18 Leo. Hundreds of thousands were without power for days after Fiona’s landfall, and the cleanup could take months.
This figure pales, however, in comparison with the havoc wreaked in Florida and the US Atlantic coast by Hurricane Ian, which made landfall as a high-level Category Four storm, just a few miles per hour under the Cat Five designation. The path of devastation across central Florida was truly surreal to see, like something out of an apocalyptic movie. Early estimates of damage put it at upwards of $50 billon, making it one of the costliest storms in US history. Millions of people were without power for extended periods, countless numbers of homes and businesses damaged or destroyed, and at least 78 lives have been lost.
Ian’s Florida landfall came at 3:05 PM EDT on 28 September 2022, at Cayo Costa, a barrier island due west of Fort Myers, and a chart set for that time shows the overwhelming impact the storm would make. There is no exact asteroid match for Ian, but there are more than a dozen CNAs that begin with that name. Several figure prominently in the landfall chart, which also highlights regions which would be hardest hit.
In advance of the storm, nine Florida counties were singled out as probable disaster areas, based on forecasting. Three of these, Lee, Charlotte and Collier counties, have exact asteroid matches; two others, Pinellas and Hardee, have close referents, in asteroids Pinelli and Hardy (the four remaining – Desoto, Sarasota, Hillsborough and Manatee – have no celestial markers). The communities of Fort Myers, Naples and Orlando, which saw some of Ian’s worst effects, are represented by asteroids Myers, Napolitania (a variation of a term meaning “resident of Naples”) and Orlandi (closest to Orlando).
Still in effect is the Grand Cross of Saturn (19 Aquarius), Uranus (18 Taurus), TNO Typhon (now at 18 Scorpio) and asteroid Storm (now at 21 Leo) which saw such a huge bump-up in frequency and intensity of tropical storms in September. Joining the fray are three Ian referents: asteroid Ianwong a 23 Taurus with Uranus, asteroid Iankubik at 17 Aquarius with Saturn, and asteroid Ianlyon at 17 Scorpio with Typhon. Talk about cosmic overkill! Also present is the Moon at 11 Scorpio, another referent for water and the sea; and asteroids Lee at 14 Scorpio, for Lee County (which includes Fort Myers), and Myers at 26 Scorpio, for Fort Myers. Myers is also squared exactly by Damocles at 26 Aquarius, defining where the looming threat would fall, and by asteroid Sturm at 0 Pisces.
Several of Ian’s other celestial emissaries find themselves in significant placement. The Sun at 5 Libra opposes asteroid Ianmclean at 9 Aries with Jupiter (ramping up the effects) at 3 Aries, granting the name enhanced public visibility for the period. Asteroid Ianbanks at 6 Taurus pairs with asteroid Charlotte (for Charlotte County, where flooding of the Peace River closed US 41) at 7 Taurus, both powerfully angular on the 4 Taurus IC; these also oppose the Moon, with asteroid Hardy (for Hardee County, which remained submerged, with 99% of residents still without power a day later) at 8 Leo on the fulcrum of a T-square. Asteroid Ianwessen at 20 Sagittarius aligns with asteroid Flood at 15 Sag and asteroid Collier (for Collier County) at 14 Sag, in an all-too-apt image of the flooding there, which includes Naples.
Mercury rules weather conditions generally, and at 25 Virgo it opposes asteroid Nemesis with Neptune, at 22 and 23 Pisces, which speaks to ruin or destruction (Nemesis) from the sea (Neptune). Joining Mercury are asteroids Ianrees at 19 Virgo, Napolitania (for Naples) at 27 Virgo, and Pinelli at 29 Virgo (for Pinellas County); the placename asteroids here are also within orb of the 5 Libra Sun, which highlights whatever it touches, for good or ill. Mercury also rules cars, and Ian lifted and moved an impressive number of “floaters” throughout the region, autos which the storm relocated blocks from where it encountered them, as well as tearing myriad boast and yachts from their moorings, and depositing them thousands of feet inland.
After overwhelming the Fort Myers area with 155 mph winds and a storm surge up to 18 feet above ground level, Ian proceeded to cross the state, deluging Orlando enroute, creating “catastrophic flooding” from up to 20 inches of rain. This is reflected in the chart by asteroid Orlandi, which at 17 Gemini conjoins energetic, violent Mars at 19 Gemini, and opposes asteroid Flood with Ianwessen at 15 and 20 Sagittarius.
Downgraded temporarily to a Tropical Storm, after leaving Florida Ian again strengthened into a Category One hurricane before making its second US landfall in South Carolina, where it dumped copious amounts of rain and battered the state with high winds, causing further damage and flooding. Asteroid Carolina at 1 Libra is highlighted by the Sun and Mercury, throwing continued focus (Sun) on a weather event (Mercury).
All told, damage from Ian is likely to total between $75 and $80 billion dollars, making it one of the top five costliest hurricanes in US history. Asteroid Storm will move out of range of the Grand Cross by mid-October, but the underlying T-Square of Saturn, Uranus and Typhon continues throughout the remainder of the Atlantic hurricane season into December, perhaps prompting more devastating encounters between nature and humanity.