Alex Miller, Asteroid Files

Astrology of a Tragedy: Flight MH17

by Alex Miller on September 1, 2014

Astrology of Flight MH17

On July 17, 2014, 298 passengers and crew boarded Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 in Amsterdam, Netherlands, bound for Kuala Lumpur. Some were returning home, many were headed on to vacations in Bali, a few were en route to an international AIDS conference in Australia.

A few hours later, MH17 suddenly disappeared from radar over eastern Ukraine, and almost simultaneously, radio chatter from pro-Russian rebel separatists exulted in the downing of another Ukrainian military aircraft, two of which had been shot down in the region earlier that week. But the huzzahs were premature—what had actually been blown from the skies was the Malaysian passenger jet, with the loss of all aboard. The separatists were armed by Vladimir Putin’s Russia, given technical training and support for Buk surface-to-air missiles designed to shoot down aircraft, and encouraged in their struggle by their Russian neighbors. It may even have been a Russian operator who fired the missile.

Buk MIssiles

Mobile Buk missiles similar to those believed to have been used to shoot down MH17

The international community reacted with outrage and sadness, but little in the way of reprisal for Putin’s actions and policies has been accomplished, beyond a strengthening of the economic sanctions imposed on portions of the Russian economy since the Bear invaded and annexed the Ukraine’s province of Crimea in March.

Roughly two-thirds of the flight’s passengers were Dutch, with ten other countries represented. Eighty of them were children, including three infants. In the weeks following the crash, poignant stories emerged of some people who missed the flight by sheer luck, others who chose to travel at the last minute and were caught up in the tragedy, or who transferred on or off the crew, thus sealing or averting their fate.

Fate does seem to have played a role in this, for good or ill, and a chart cast for the flight’s departure from Amsterdam at 12:15 PM local time shows several stunning correlations once again providing evidence that astrology’s guiding dictum, “as above, so below,” operates even on the most detailed levels. Additionally, birth data obtained for several passengers shows themes common to those whose lives were so violently and unexpectedly snuffed out.

Flight path MH17

The flight path of MH17

We’ll explore these shortly, but first a quick review of Malaysia’s national chart. For this is not the first Malaysian Airlines-related disaster story of the year. On March 8, 2014, another Boeing 777 passenger jet went missing several hours after take-off from Kuala Lumpur, and has apparently vanished without a trace. Presumed lost in the depths of the southern Indian Ocean, Flight MH370 held 239 souls, one of the deadliest and certainly the most mysterious incidents in air travel history.

So what’s up with Malaysia, 2014’s epicenter of air disasters? Born with its independence on 16 September 1963, there’s not a lot that traditional astrology can point to in understanding why this energy is so focused on the Southeast Asian state. True, the country is in the midst of a waning square from transit Saturn to its natal degree, preparatory to its second return, but short of that, there isn’t a lot on the country’s astro-agenda right now.

Unless, of course, you know where to look. As always, the devil, or in this case the answer, is in the details. By which, we mean those small but powerfully evocative objects, the minor bodies of our solar system, TNOs, centaurs, minor planets, and those oh-so-telling asteroids.

Malaysia’s 22 Virgo Sun makes no major aspects to any traditional planet, beyond a fairly close conjunction to Venus and broader conjunctions to Pluto and Mercury, at the fringes of a conjunction’s orb. Isolated from the rest of the chart, it does make a close square to asteroid Icarus at 20 Sagittarius, which is currently being conjoined by centaur Pholus at 21 Sagittarius, itself in square to Malaysia’s Sun.

This is significant, for Icarus is named for the youth who flew too close to the sun on wax wings, only to plummet to his death. As such, it represents air disasters. Pholus, named for a centaur who was the proximate cause of Heracles’ massacre of his fellows, has connections with mass deaths. Put them together, and you have an astrological prescription for inherent problems with air travel (the natal Sun/Icarus square) exacerbated by stressful conditions involving a large number of casualties (Pholus’ transit of the natal square).

There is a second MNA, or Mythically-Named Asteroid, with significance for air travel disasters. This is Phaeton, named for the son of the Greek sun god, Helios, who, to impress his friends, begged his father to allow him to drive the chariot of the sun. When the horses felt Phaeton’s inexperienced hands at the reins, they ran amok, sweeping earthward and threatening to burn the planet to cinders. So Zeus took a thunderbolt and blew Phaeton from the skies. Malaysia’s natal asteroid Phaeton lies at 10 Cancer, dead center on the Uranus/Pluto square of late. Pluto, planet of death and devastation, was just one degree shy of exact opposition at 11 Capricorn when MH17 in turn was blown from the skies. We’ll return to Malaysia’s participation in this particular tragedy later, but this sets the stage for now, as we turn to examine the specifics of the departure chart.

Some astrologers are focusing on the exact time and place of the plane’s destruction, but with an event whose conclusion is so close to its inception, it makes more sense to me to focus on the “birth” potential as the seed of the incident. And in this case, that’s the 12:15 PM departure from Amsterdam.

At that time, the principal players are all assembled and angular, giving them force and impact. Mercury, ruling all forms of travel, appears at 4 Cancer, on the 3 Cancer Midheaven, the most elevated point in the chart and the focus of all eyes. That alone is remarkable, but there is much more.

For Mercury isn’t traveling alone. First of note is its exact conjunction with a Black Hole, a point which evokes dramatic reversals in the status quo reality—sudden, swift, unexpected and often devastating. The workings of the Black Hole are apparent in the mistaken identity of the plane, targeted as a military transport, the instantaneous reversal of the status quo reality in the loss of so many lives, and the potentially far-reaching ramifications of the incident.

Right next to Mercury is asteroid Nemesis at 5 Cancer, a point representing undoing, a source of harm or ruin. Nemesis can exact justice, vengeance or retribution herself, or act via the agency of others. She can be the person having their undoing visited upon them, or the one enacting it, playing the role of nemesis to others. Mercury conjunct Nemesis for this tragedy shows both the targeting of the aircraft and the consequences to follow this act.

But even more incredibly, Mercury is also conjunct two geographic asteroids, Hollandia and Ukraina, both at 2 Cancer, representing the flight’s country of origin (Hollandia for Holland, AKA the Netherlands, and Ukraina for Ukraine, where the plane crashed). All these points are involved in a wide opposition to Pluto, ruling death and destruction, at 11 Capricorn, and an out-of-Sign opposition to … wait for it … our old friend Icarus. At 29 Sagittarius, Icarus is just five degrees shy of exact opposition to Mercury, even closer in orb to Hollandia/Ukraina. And exactly with Icarus is asteroid Rip, which has been shown to act reliably as a marker of death (based on the acronym RIP, “Rest in Peace”, a common gravestone inscription). These conjoin the 3 Capricorn IC, the nadir, once again lending angular force to their contributions.

In square to this polarity is the transit Moon, which at 3 Aries is closely conjunct the 2 Aries Descendant, and exactly squared the vertical MC/IC axis. The Moon represents the public, both those caught up immediately in the tragedy, the passengers and crew, and also the population at large in its reaction. Malaysia’s natal Mercury at 1 Libra (ruling travel) walks right into this T-Square, transforming it into a Grand Cross from the 2 Libra Ascendant for the doomed flight.

In addition to the transiting Icarus/Rip conjunction, it was a day marked for death and the rituals of the dead, with the transit Sun at 24 Cancer conjoined asteroid Requiem, named for the funeral mass for the dead, at 25 Cancer, and with the Sun also in exact semisquare to transit Phaeton at 9 Gemini, focusing the day’s events on an air disaster.

And if we glance back at Malaysia’s birth chart once more, we see that transit Atropos, named for the mythic Greek Fate who severs the thread of life at death, was stressing the natal Sun/Icarus conjunction from the solar end: at 19 Virgo it encroached upon the 22 Virgo Sun and closely squared natal Icarus at 20 Sagittarius.

Transit Saturn, ancient lord of death, at 16 Scorpio is exactly conjunct asteroid Russia, the agent provocateur of the Ukrainian rebellion. Saturn also forms an exact T-Square with transit asteroid Moskva, named for the Russian capital, at 16 Leo, and transit asteroid Amsterdam, the city of departure, at 16 Aquarius. Yes, Putin’s fingerprints are all over this tragedy. This transit T-Square keys on Malaysia’s natal Grand Cross of Saturn at 17 Aquarius opposed asteroid Ukraina at 17 Leo and squared both Nemesis at 13 Taurus and Neptune at 13 Scorpio.

Asteroid Amsterdam figures prominently in Malaysia’s chart. At 5 Leo it opposes natal Atropos. On the day of the crash it was conjoined by transit asteroid Lachesis, named for a second Fate who determines the span of life. Malaysia’s natal Lachesis at 5 Gemini had received a conjunction from transit Phaeton just days earlier, which was now approaching its natal Requiem at 13 Gemini. Transit Osiris, named for the Egyptian god of the dead, was exactly square Malaysia’s natal Sun from 22 Gemini, while Malaysia’s natal Osiris at 1 Capricorn joined the melee by conjunction with the flight’s Icarus/Rip/IC. Last to be considered, Malaysia’s natal asteroid Hollandia at 9 Libra was exactly conjoined by Mars’ most recent direct station, suggesting some form of attack or violent death stemming from that quarter. Hollandia was also within orb of transit Mercury/Nemesis.

Birth data was available for 11 of the victims, and while a complete analysis is beyond the scope of this article, several central themes do emerge. Culled from such varied sources as AP reporting, memorial services, screenshots of passports, and Facebook pages, the birth data available is for victims ranging in age from 21 months to 77 years old. [Author’s note: special thanks to Patricia Flannagan for her assistance in retrieving much of this birth data.]

Data on four “famous” passengers is as follows: Dutch Senator Willem Witteveen, born 5 May 1952; Dutch lawyer & AIDS activist Joep Lange (former president of International AIDS Society), born 25 September 1954; Australian author Liam Davison, born 29 July 1957; and Malaysian actress Shuba Jay, born 15 July 1976, who died with her daughter, Kaela Maya Jay Goes, born 5 October 2012 (her husband Paul Goes was also on the plane, no birth data available).

Malaysian actress Shuba Jay, with daughter and husband

Malaysian actress Shuba Jay, with daughter Kaela and husband Paul Goes

The victim list contains three Australian siblings, who died with their grandfather (no birth data available for him): Mo Maslin, born 16 May 2002; Evie Maslin, born 17 May 2004; and Otis Maslin, born 4 June 2006. Other passengers include Thomas Allard van Keulen, Dutch student, born 24 November 1997, who died with his parents and elder brother (no birth data available), and Sister Philomene Tiernan, born 17 June 1937, a teaching nun from Sydney, Australia. And finally, Sanjid Singh, born 10 November 1973, a flight attendant from India who transferred onto the flight at the last minute; ironically, his wife, also a steward, had transferred off of MH370 in March, narrowly avoiding that fate, so perhaps there was a family debt to be paid there.

The three Maslin siblings

The Maslin siblings, Evie, Mo and Otis, who perished with their grandfather

What presents itself most strikingly in comparison of these charts is a prominent Icarus, by birth or transit, or both; and a prominence of the geographic asteroids associated with the flight and its obliteration.

Willem Witteveen had Icarus natally at 17 Pisces, with Requiem at 21 Pisces, at the apex of a Yod, or Finger of Destiny, with Neptune 19 Libra and Pluto 19 Leo. Icarus was trined by Saturn at 16 Scorpio for the crash, opposed by Atropos 19 Virgo.

Joep Lange had Icarus at 27 Sagittarius natally, with Ukraina 21 Sagittarius, exactly inconjunct Uranus (air travel, explosions) 27 Cancer, squared Osiris 25 Virgo and in an out-of-Sign square to natal Sun 2 Libra, also in exact sextile to asteroid Australia (his final destination) 27 Libra; natal Icarus conjoined by transit Icarus/Rip 29 Sagittarius for the crash.

Liam Davison had Icarus natally at 2 Capricorn squared Ukraina 7 Libra, in an out-of-Sign square to Jupiter 28 Virgo and out-of-Sign opposition to Phaeton/Osiris at 26/27 Gemini. Natal Ukraina is in exact inconjunct to transit Neptune 7 Pisces for the crash, and natal Icarus squared by transit Mercury/Nemesis at 4/5 Cancer. Transit Icarus/Rip opposed natal Phaeton/Osiris and was exactly trine natal Pluto 29 Leo.

Shuba Jay had Icarus natally at 8 Capricorn squared Pluto 9 Libra, trine Mars 5 Virgo. Natal Icarus was opposed by Mercury/Nemesis at 4/5 Cancer for the crash; transit Icarus opposed natal Phaeton 25 Gemini. Her daughter Kaela Maya Jay Goes had natal Icarus 4 Capricorn conjunct Pluto 7 Capricorn, exactly squared asteroid Amsterdam 4 Libra, trine Venus 2 Virgo, sextile Ukraina 3 Scorpio; natal Icarus opposed by Mercury exactly for the crash, also opposed Nemesis/Hollandia/Ukraina and squared by the Moon 3 Aries; transit Icarus/Rip trined natal Lachesis 26 Aries.

Mo Maslin had natal Icarus at 24 Aquarius conjunct Uranus 28 Aquarius, squared Sun 25 Taurus, trine Mars/Venus at 22 and 25 Gemini; natal Icarus inconjunct transit Sun/Requiem 24/25 Cancer for the crash, also trine transit Mars 25 Libra; transit Icarus/Rip opposed natal Mars/Venus and squared natal Amsterdam 28 Virgo, in out-of-Sign square with natal Nemesis 0 Libra.

Evie Maslin had natal Icarus at 20 Aquarius conjunct Neptune 15 Aquarius, Damocles 18 Aquarius and Rip 26 Aquarius, squared Sun 26 Taurus and Phaeton 19 Taurus, trine natal Venus 26 Gemini, opposed natal Requiem 21 Leo; natal Icarus squared by transit Saturn 16 Scorpio at the crash, conjunct Amsterdam/Anubis 16/18 Aquarius; transit Icarus/Rip opposed natal Venus 26 Gemini and squared natal Australia (her final destination) 28 Pisces.

Otis Maslin had natal Icarus 0 Cancer conjunct Mercury 2 Cancer; natal Icarus conjoined by transit Mercury/Nemesis for the crash, squared by transit Moon; transit Icarus/Rip in out-of-Sign opposition to natal Icarus/Mercury, squared natal Australia 26 Virgo.

Thomas Allard van Keulen had natal Icarus 5 Capricorn on Pluto/Uranus midpoint, semisextile each, Pluto 5 Sagittarius, Uranus 5 Aquarius exactly with Damocles, also conjunct natal Mars 11 Capricorn and Osiris 10 Capricorn; natal Icarus opposed by transit Mercury/Nemesis 4/5 Cancer for the crash, squared by transit Moon 3 Aries; transit Icarus/Rip conjunct natal Mercury 23 Sagittarius.

Sister Philomene Tiernan had natal Icarus at 14 Aquarius conjunct Atropos 9 Aquarius, in a T-Square with natal Venus/Uranus at 10 and 12 Taurus and natal Mars 20 Scorpio; natal Icarus conjunct transit Amsterdam 16 Aquarius for the crash, squared by transit Saturn 16 Scorpio; transit Icarus/Rip opposed natal Sun 25 Gemini, inconjunct natal Pluto/Lachesis at 27 and 29 Cancer.

Sanjid Singh had natal Icarus 28 Sagittarius conjunct Venus 5 Capricorn, exactly squared Phaeton 28 Pisces, and exactly sextile Atropos 28 Virgo; natal Icarus was experiencing an “Icarus Return” at the crash; transit Icarus/Rip also squared natal Phaeton and sextile natal Atropos.

Looking at the geographic asteroids in the victim charts, we find Willem Witteveen has both Hollandia at 21 Taurus and Amsterdam at 3 Gemini in conjunction with his 24 Taurus Sun, something we might expect from a person who has served his country as senator. Ukraina at 26 Gemini is squared Requiem at 21 Pisces and trine Osiris at 22 Aquarius, suggesting a connection between that locale and Witteveen’s death. Transit Icarus/Rip opposed Ukraina at the crash.

Joep Lange also has Hollandia conjunct his Sun, at 1 and 2 Libra respectively. Amsterdam is a bit further down the road, at 15 Libra, conjunct Requiem 18 Libra and squared Mars (violent death, military attacks) at 14 Capricorn. Ukraina at 21 Sagittarius conjoins Anubis, named for the Egyptian deity governing funerary rites, at 18 Sagittarius, broadly conjoins Icarus at 27 Sagittarius and squares Osiris at 25 Virgo.

Liam Davison has Hollandia at 14 Cancer, broadly conjunct Rip at 20 Cancer, with Amsterdam at 15 Gemini broadly opposed Saturn at 7 Sagittarius, linking death-related energies to both Dutch locales. Ukraina at 7 Libra is on the midpoint of Saturn and Uranus at 7 Leo, exactly sextile each, spelling death (Saturn) in flight (Uranus). Ukraina is also sextile the 6 Leo Sun and exactly semisextile asteroid Australia at 7 Virgo. Transit Mercury/Nemesis squared Ukraina for the crash.

Shuba Jay has Hollandia at 5 Virgo exactly conjunct Mars, with Lachesis within orb from 0 Virgo. These sextile Uranus at 3 Scorpio and square a combination of Rip and Ukraina at 4 and 3 Sagittarius. Amsterdam at 10 Scorpio is within orb of Uranus, sextile Icarus at 8 Capricorn and squared Nemesis at 6 Aquarius. Her daughter Kaela Maya has Hollandia at 0 Sagittarius conjoined Mars at 28 Scorpio, Requiem at 3 Sagittarius and Osiris at 6 Sagittarius. Amsterdam at 4 Libra broadly conjoins the Sun at 12 Libra and opposed Uranus at 6 Aries, forming a T-Square with Icarus at 4 Capricorn and Pluto at 7 Capricorn. Ukraina at 3 Scorpio conjoins Mercury at 0 Scorpio and Saturn at 29 Libra. Transit Mercury/Nemesis squared Amsterdam at the crash.

The Maslin children have similar contacts. Mo has Hollandia at 0 Leo inconjunct Requiem 1 Pisces; Amsterdam at 28 Virgo conjunct Nemesis 0 Libra and trine Lachesis at 27 Taurus; and Ukraina at 14 Aquarius conjunct Neptune 10 Aquarius and trine Saturn at 15 Gemini. Evie has Hollandia 20 Pisces inconjunct Requiem 21 Leo (a flip by Sign of her brother’s aspect) and opposed Lachesis 20 Virgo; Amsterdam 2 Aries conjunct Nemesis 4 Aries (another conjunction of these two like her brother’s) and squared Mars 5 Cancer; Ukraina 7 Leo inconjunct Uranus 6 Pisces. Transit Moon conjoined natal Amsterdam/Nemesis with transit Mercury/Nemesis in square for the crash. Otis has Hollandia 19 Cancer exactly inconjunct Damocles 19 Aquarius and trine Lachesis 20 Pisces; Amsterdam 25 Cancer conjoins Atropos 27 Cancer and squared Requiem 25 Aries, inconjunct Pluto 25 Sagittarius; Ukraina 9 Aries trine Saturn/Rip at 7 and 11 Leo. Transit Sun/Requiem conjoined Amsterdam for the crash.

Thomas Allard van Keulen has Hollandia squared Sun/Pluto at 2 and 5 Sagittarius, with Amsterdam exactly conjoined Pluto and in exact sextile to a Uranus/Damocles conjunction at 5 Aquarius. Ukraina at 5 Scorpio is exactly squared Uranus/Damocles, conjunct Nemesis 0 Scorpio and broadly conjoined Requiem 13 Scorpio, while opposed Atropos 8 Taurus. Sr Philomene Tiernan has Hollandia 4 Libra conjunct Rip 0 Libra, exactly opposed Saturn 4 Aries and trine Atropos 9 Aquarius; Amsterdam 27 Cancer exactly conjoins Pluto and is within orb of Lachesis 29 Cancer, Nemesis 24 Cancer and Anubis 22 Cancer; Ukraina 19 Gemini conjoins the 25 Gemini Sun and squares Osiris 17 Pisces, trines Icarus 14 Aquarius, opposes Requiem 16 Sagittarius and squares Neptune 16 Virgo.

Flight attendant Sanjid Singh has Hollandia 7 Pisces conjunct Lachesis 12 Pisces and square Neptune 6 Sagittarius; Amsterdam 8 Cancer conjunct Saturn 4 Cancer, squared Pluto 5 Libra; Ukraina 12 Taurus opposed an exact Sun/Mercury conjunction at 17 Scorpio, squared Rip at 15 Leo. Saturn opposed Ukraina for the crash.

Over all, a stunning correlation of geographic PNAs with death indicators for each of the passengers for whom birth data was obtained, proving yet again just how intricate and unfathomable the inner workings of karma and the cosmos truly are.

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD September 9, 2014 at 5:26 am

Thanks for the reply. Just one more question – the current political entity which we understand as Malaysia, isn’t the one founded on 13 September 1963, but rather the one that came into being through secession on 9 August 1965 – with Singapore’s independence. Does that not factor into the choice of date used? Perhaps it comes down to astrological tradition – still a question, I feel, worth raising. Thanks for your time.

(Just to be clear – I found the article itself very interesting. I’m a priestess, political scientist and astrologer – and so this part of it, e.g. constitutional formations, political re-arrangements and their astrological implications really intrigues me. And I’d be keen to know more about it)

Blessings and Thanks.

Alex Miller September 9, 2014 at 4:30 am

Thanks for your input.

To answer your question, I used the chart for the creation of the Malaysian state, not Malaya’s independence, as the most recent applicable chart. I’m sure there would be resonances with the earlier version as well, though obviously, in different ways.

Where several charts may represent a country, Western convention uses the most recent, though I understand that Eastern astrologers often use the Malaya independence date for Malaysia, even though it does not reflect the current political entity. Popular sentiment within the country as to its ‘birthday’ has no bearing either way.

Most of the information in the article involves the flight’s chart and those of the victims, which is not affected by whichever chart is chosen for Malaysia, except as delineated in reference to that chart.

Priestess Bairavee Balasubramaniam, PhD September 8, 2014 at 6:56 am

Hi there,

This is a thought provoking, well-researched write-up, first of all. Thank you for writing it.

But I wonder, would the results be very different as Malaysia’s independence day is considered to be the 31st of August, 1957. (Technically it’s Malaya’s day of independence)

Malaysia was formed, as you rightly say in September 1963, however, Malaysians consider 31st August to be their day to celebrate independence – that’s when the celebrations etc. are focused. If you ask a child on the street, they’re not likely to know the September date.

You might have already considered all this in any case, and I wondered if that made any difference.

Just curious.

Blessings x

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