The Downfall of the Concorde:
The Venus Aspects of an Airline Disaster
by Valerie Vaughan
Although the planet Venus is rarely considered a malefic by modern astrologers, it was greatly feared by ancient astrologers in both Mesopotamia and Mesoamerica. As Bruce Scofield points out in his book Signs of Time: An Introduction to Mesoamerican Astrology, the Maya believed that during certain phases of its cycle, Venus had a spearing quality and the ability to strike down victims. Scofield cites numerous instances of plane crashes, as well as the downfall of political leaders, that coincided with these phases in the motion of Venus.
Plane crashes have unfortunately occurred fairly often, but one disaster that captured the attention of the world in recent years was the Concorde, which went down in a blaze of flames on July 25, 2000. With a name that means agreement and peace (qualities which are attributed by astrologers to Venus in her more benefic phase), the Concorde seems an appropriate object to investigate concerning this Mesoamerican concept of the spearing nature of Venus.
Upon examination, it turns out that Venus certainly did play a prominent role in the crash of the Concorde, although you wouldn't notice this by looking at the event chart (for the crash itself). A trip to the library provided the data to construct a birth chart for the Concorde. The first test flight took place on March 2, 1969, with the Concorde 001 taking off from Toulouse, France. According to a former chief pilot of the Concorde, Edouard Chemel, in his book Chronique de l'aviation, recorded that the 001 had waited through several days of foul weather before starting the first takeoff run at "exactly 11 seconds past 3:40 p.m." (C.E.T., -1) This first flight lasted 29 minutes.
The Concorde was "born" with Venus and Saturn closely conjunct at 22 degrees of Aries, and both conjunct the Midheaven of 23 Aries. This is a configuration that suggests high prestige and a long safety record, but limited commercial value, and this certainly sums up the public image of the Concorde -- a highly prestigious "celebrity of the skies," but also a commercial flop. Concorde's birth chart also shows the North Node at zero Aries, opposed a Jupiter-Uranus conjunction at 3 Libra, so the people it carried were unique and special -- the rich and famous who could shell out $10,000 for a round-trip ticket for Paris-New York.
The fact that the Concorde's first test flight lasted 29 minutes suggests a fractal relationship of 29 years (progression of 1 minute = 1 year), which is a Saturn cycle. The Concorde was free of accidents during its first 29 years. In 1998, the year of its Saturn return, the Concorde started having problems when a large piece of the rudder fell off one jet during a flight. By the time the Concorde was celebrating its 30th birthday, doubts were being expressed about its age and the future of supersonic flight (Venus-Saturn is a barren combination, and there is no second-generation Concorde). Just two days before the crash of July 25, 2000, cracks were found in the wings of eleven of the 14 jets that make up the Concorde fleet.
The day of the accident, transiting Mars was conjunct the North Node at 24-25 Cancer, and both were in square to the natal Venus-Saturn-MC conjunction. In one explosive event, the entire 10th house reputation of the Concorde was blown. All Concorde jets were immediately grounded, and three weeks later, British and French officials decided to revoke the plane's airworthiness certification. Also at the time of the crash, transiting Venus was at the potent 15th degree of Leo, a fixed sign, and sesquiquadrate the zero Aries Node of the Concorde's birth chart.
The Concorde's last flight took place just prior to the third eclipse in a series of three that occurred in July, 2000. (The second eclipse, just 9 days before the crash, was a lunar eclipse with the Sun-Moon at 24 Cancer-Capricorn, in square to the Concorde's natal Venus-Saturn-MC conjunction). It so happens that the Concorde's first flight also took place in the midst of eclipses. The importance of Venus becomes more evident when we look at these latter eclipses and the progressions to the natal chart. Sixteen days after the Concorde's test flight, on March 18, 1969, there was a solar eclipse, with Venus stationing retrograde that day at 26 Aries 50. On April 2, 1969, a lunar eclipse took place with the Sun at 12 Aries 50, and Venus had retrograded back to 22 Aries 10, within minutes of its position on March 2, the birthdate of the Concorde. If the Concorde's birth chart is progressed to the time of its crash, the resulting chart is April 2, 1969, within a few hours of the eclipse.
Every four years, Venus and the Sun are conjunct in the same sign. In early April, 1969, the two were conjunct at 18 Aries, aligned with Mercury (also at 18 Aries), and Saturn was nearby at 26 Aries. Twenty-eight years later, April 1997 was the most recent occasion before the Concorde's crash that Venus and the Sun were conjunct in Aries. Saturn was again nearby, only two degrees from the Sun. And the Sun-Venus conjunction took place at 12 Aries 51, only one minute from the eclipse position of April 2, 1969.
In describing different psychological complexes, the astrologer Dane Rudhyar once noted there was a rash, impulsive side of Venus which he called Venus Lucifer, a name that conjures up the image of a fallen angel. The ancient Mesoamericans also associated Venus with a fall from grace. In the case of the Concorde, Venus certainly shows how far the mighty have fallen.
Copyright © One Reed Publications, 2002
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