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Hard Times in the Big Easy: Hurricane Katrina and the Chart of New Orleans

2010 January 23
Hurricane Katrina

Landfall of Hurricane Katrina

Hurricane Katrina made landfall at Buras, Louisiana as a category 4 hurricane at 6:15 AM, CDT on August 29, 2005. As the storm traveled north the city of New Orleans, cradled between Lake Ponchartrain and the Mississippi River, prepared for the emergency, but what they ended up facing surpassed their deepest fear. Despite typical wind damage of fallen trees and power lines, the city’s horror manifested when the obsolete levees were unable to sustain the 28-foot surges and tragically broke, perilously flooding a city that, in many places, is already below sea level. The catastrophic deluge demolished the Big Easy, marking Hurricane Katrina not only as the most destructive storm, but also the most extensive and expensive natural disaster in American history.

On The Banks of the Mississippi

“The city of New Orleans must be forever associated with the Mississippi River, for the city was built to guard the mouth of this great stream and owes its existence to its geographical location.” (Lyle Saxon, Fabulous New Orleans, Robert L. Crager and Co., New Orleans, 1954, p.73.) Indeed this is true. Location is everything, as any realtor will tell you. And so will any astrologer, providing he or she has done their homework to determine the very planetary locations that aligned the Crescent City with the ferocious winds of Hurricane Katrina.

New Orleans Incorporation

Incorporation of New Orleans

The City of New Orleans was incorporated on February 17, 1805 at noon (Carolyn Dodson, Horoscopes of the United States and Cities, AFA, 1975, p.66.). Its pre-natal solar eclipse, an indicator of the city’s collective consciousness, occurred almost three weeks prior to the city’s incorporation on January 30, 1805 at 10 Aquarius 32. The position of the progressed Moon on the incorporation chart to August 29, 2005, the date the hurricane struck, was none other than 10 Aquarius 55, exactly conjunct the pre-natal eclipse. This obscure, yet exact conjunction emphasizes the progressed Moon serving as the second hand on the horoscopic clock of destiny.  The New Moon on August 5, 2005 at 12 Leo 48 opposes this degree, and the Full Moon on August 19, 2005 at 26 Aquarius 50 conjuncts the Midheaven and the Sun on the chart of incorporation. The triggering of pre-natal eclipses, along with previous lunations in hard aspect to the incorporation chart, are classic techniques of mundane astrology.  Their tight orbs in this example clearly illustrate their impact. Angles are the most personal points in a chart, and any planetary contact to them points to increased, if not frenetic levels of activity in mundane interpretation.


In the progressed chart of incorporation, progressed Pluto is exactly conjunct the IC, indicating domestic crisis, destruction of housing, evacuation, criminal activity, and death.  Progressed Jupiter is conjunct the progressed Ascendant within one degree, with Neptune right behind it, signaling an overabundance, the dissolving of boundaries (levees), and the inclination toward flooding.  Moreover, solar arced Neptune to the date of the storm is exactly conjunct the Ascendant of incorporation, serving as yet another powerful indicator of the deluge.  One can also characterize this conjunction to the Ascendant in a mundane chart with hysteria, lawlessness and looting, all of which manifested in the storm’s aftermath.


If the above indications with eclipses, progressions, solar arcs were not enough to foretell disaster, the transits tell their own sad story. Transiting Uranus is conjunct Pluto of the incorporation chart to the minute. The transiting South Node is conjunct Saturn, transiting Saturn opposes Venus, Jupiter is conjunct Uranus, and Chiron is conjunct the North Node.  Transiting Saturn just passed a conjunction of Mars and an opposition of Mercury and Venus.  These respective transits point to collective trauma, social and political unrest, restrictive delays and the need for medical and educational reform. The lunar eclipse at 4 Scorpio 05 on April 24, 2005 is exactly conjunct the sixth house Placidean cusp of the incorporation chart, showing the depletion of basic food and medical supplies. The servants of the city, namely the police, firefighters and other civil workers, will be tested to their limits, much like the levees. So will social services and civic aid in general. This eclipse degree also squares Mercury in the incorporation chart, emphasizing communication and transportation breakdowns, and Venus, ruler of pleasure. In the city whose motto is  “Laissez bon temps rollez” (Let the good times roll), all one has to do is read a headline or watch their television screen to see that the good times are no longer rolling in The Big Easy.


Despite widespread catastrophe, the “city that care forgot” will definitely rebuild. Astro-relief is on the way. In October of 2005, transiting Jupiter will trine the MC and Sun of the incorporation chart, Pluto will sextile the MC, Saturn will sextile the Ascendant and Neptune will station at 14 Aquarius, trining the natal Saturn. This station of Neptune may well mark successful reconstruction of the levees, so vital to the safety of this water-surrounded city.  Overall conditions will clearly improve. The eclipse at 10 Libra 19 on October 3, 2005 has too wide an orb to affect Saturn in the incorporation chart, and the eclipse at 24 Aries 13 on October 17th bypasses this chart altogether, eliminating crisis from the immediate future.

Based upon the coming transits, the city of New Orleans can look forward to clear sailing in the months ahead for its reconstruction. Despite a disaster of biblical proportion, citizens and services will regroup, rebuild, and regain their distinctive joie de vive. The Mardi Gras will again reign as America’s premier street party, tap dancers will entertain, and jazz will fill the air in the city of its birth.  The good times will roll again, and when they do, the citizens of America’s most distinctive city will rise from its ashes, grab a go-cup, and sashay down Bourbon Street.

I can smell the gumbo from here.

Copyright 2005 by Jackie Slevin. All rights reserved.

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