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Terror strikes at the heart of Spain -

   Mars at its worst...

   On Thursday, March 11, 2004, at 7:39 am, the first of a series of bombs exploded at one of Madridīs main train stations. Several stations had been targeted, and the terrorists - whether members of ETA, or Al-Qaeda, has not yet been determined - managed to murder almost 200 innocent people, and to injure over 1,400 more. It was the worst terrorist attack in this country to date, and the population responded with spontaneous, peaceful demonstrations at which they expressed both their solidarity with the victims and their families, as well as their disgust towards the heinous criminals for whom human life is merely something which they feel they have the right to wantonly destroy at will for the sole purpose of getting their message across.

   As an American who has lived in Spain for 14 years now - eight in Madrid, six in Granada - I, together with the rest of the country, and the civilized world - deplore the slaughter in this nationīs capital and mourn the loss of so many innocent people whose only "crime" was being in the wrong place at the wrongest possible moment. Grimly reminiscent of Americaīs 9-11, Spainīs 3-11 will forever be remembered by the Spanish, a people who have suffered many attacks in the past... yet who can only be admired for going to the streets to pacifically express their will to let those responsible know that they will not be cowered by terror, and that peace among the peoples of the world is one of their most fervent desires.

   As an astrologer, I was naturally interested in exploring the chart of this horrible event.  Below, the exact planetary positions at 7:39 am, march 11, 2004, in Madrid: the time of the first explosion.
Below, the event chart itself:
   As so often with such event charts, very little can be seen: after all, this transit chart must be compared to a "natal" chart in order to become specifically relevant. Though before we go on to compare this transit-picture with the chart of Spain, we might mention the Sun-Pluto square in the event chart, all the more powerful as it was focused on the Ascendent at the moment of the first explosion: Sun 21Piscis02, square Pluto 22Sagittarius08; Ascendent, 21Piscis55.
     There exist several charts for Spain. The one I have used for years is that which was done for the moment that Don Juan Carlos I was proclaimed King, on November 22, 1975, at 12:36:20, in Madrid, following the death of Franciso Franco. It was the King who led his country on the path towards democracy; the King who in February, 1981, saved the young Spanish democracy from falling back into fascism, when he condemned the attempted coup d'Etat undertaken by a group of right-wing military officers: his condemnation spelled the end of their plot, since the upper echelon of the Spanish military were above all loyal to their king, and thus followed his orders to bring the situation under control and to respect the democratic system. I have often seen this chart to be relevant in representing modern Spain. Here it is:
The first thing I wanted to look at was transit Mars in relation to this chart. Transit Mars was, at the time of the attack, positioned at 23Taurus33:
THIS IS A MERE 5 MINUTES AWAY FROM THE EXACT CONJUCTION TO SPAINĻS LOWER HEAVEN: The symbolism of the violent attack (Mars) which was aimed at Spain's capital, its "roots" (Lower Heaven), begins to take shape. When I saw this, I was immediately curious as to transit Mars' declination: +19 39'. I have been working with decliantion parallels for years, and have found them to be as strong as major aspects (though I must add that I have not seen antiparallels to be as strong, except in cases where the two planets thus connected were also in opposition at the time). Compare this position to the list of declinations in the chart of Spain: we see that at the time of the attack, transit Mars was not only in very close conjunction to Spainīs Lower Heaven, but was also in parallel to Spainīs Saturn: with only one minute of orb!
   This certainly defines the aspect further: Mars-Saturn contacts are often related to brutality and violence. Now, realizing that the conjunction transit-Mars to Lower Heaven is an aspect which repeats itself about every two years, I was curious as to how often this conjunction
TOGETHER WITH the exact parallel to Saturn had ocurred in the past 28+ years (since the end of the Franco dictatorship). I thus checked the ephemerides, and came up with the follwoing declinations for the successiove transits of Mars over 23Taurus38 (Spainīs Lower Heaven). Hereīs what I came up with:
  Mars at 23Taurus38 on: Mars' Declination: The declination of Saturn in Spainīs chart is +19 40.    
  July 8, 1977
June 17, 1979
May 27, 1981
May 7, 1983
April 17, 1985
March 27, 1987
February 28, 1989
August 19, 1990
July 17, 1992
June 24, 1994
June 3, 1996
May 15, 1998
April 24, 2000
April 4, 2002
Mar 11, 2004
+18 00
+18 19
+18 35
+18 49
+19 06
+19 24
+19 52
+16 50
+17 44
+18 12
+18 30
+18 45
+18 59
+19 15
+19 39

<Parallel Saturn: Orb 00 16
<Parallel Saturn: Orb 00 12

<<Parallel Saturn: Orb 00 01

(I  use a relatively small orb for declination parallels: 20 minutes maximum.)  
      The table above shows the significance of this most recent  Mars>Lower Heaven conjunction: Only twice before since the beginning of the "new Spain" was Mars siimultaneously in conjunction with the Lower Heaven, AND in parallel to Saturn; and this time, the orb was MUCH closer - only 1 minute - than ever before.

    Now, having seen reason to suspect that Mars was in a much more "critical" position with respect to Spainīs chart, it would be appropriate to create an OMNIGRAPH for the transits of Mars, to see if this combination of transits does indeed yield a score which is in any way unusual. The following is an OMNIGRAPH done for the combined transits of Mars to Spainīs natal chart. (For OMNICYCLES users: the file used was Mars-100-nof-Orb2.aps, which was not modified in any way for the purposes of this study.) Here is the "Mars transit graph" (Mars tr to Spainīs natal factors) for Spain, March, 2004:
  It is immediately obvious that on March 11, the tense aspects formed by Mars were extremely high, at 450% four and a half times the average. By using the zoom function, we can have a closer look at that peak, in order to see the most stressful hours:
  This graph shows two things quite clearly:
1) With the Mars graph alone, the exact time of the attack cannot be located, however:
2) It IS clear that the hours between 6 am and 2 pm (with a peak at 10 am) were, as far as Mars transits are concerned, the most "tense" time of the month.
  (Excerpt from the Mars-transit graph data file, generated by OMNICYCLES.)  
   The list above represents the data used to plot the graph (as can be seen, the points were generated at one-hour intervals). Note that the peak was at 10:00 am; nonetheless, between 7 and 8, both the Mars-Saturn parallel and also Mars Harmonic 16 Descendent (and thus also Mars 16 Ascendent) were exact.
   One comment here about the use of graphs: if one were to generate a transit-graph which included
ALL of the transits to the natal factors, one would perhaps not see anything special at all. As a matter of fact, I did just that, and the red line was even LOWER than average. This is due to the fact that although Mars was especially strong that day/time, the other planets were BELOW their average. Thus, we see something very important as far as the use of graphs (whether OMNIGRAPHS, or other graphs offered in astrology software): while the use of an "all-inclusive" transit file will, if extremes are seen in the graph, indicate times which are out of the ordinary, the fact that such a graph (that is, one that includes all the transits to all the natal factors) shows nothing unusual does NOT necessarily mean that nothing special is present. In order to get a complete picture, therefore, one should:

1) generate an "all-inclusive" graph; the "peaks" on this graph will be very significant, if there are any; yet the fact that there might
NOT be obvious peaks does NOT mean that nothing special will happen. Thus (and whether or not such "peaks" are found in the general graph or not), it is advisable to generate graphs for each transiting planted, in order to see when that which each planet represents is at a "high" or "low" point.

On the following page, we will take a slightly more in-depth look both at transit Mars, as well as other relevant factors... (Click HERE to view next page)

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