Union Carbide & “The Mills of God”
by Diana K Rosenberg, with research assistance by Arlene M Nimark
This article originally appeared in The NCGR Journal, Winter 85-86, Vol 4 No 2:
“Though the mills of God grind slowly, they grind exceeding small”
-F von Logau, Retribution (trans Longfellow)
“It was a nightmare…I thought an atomic bomb had struck.” A survivor, trying to describe what happened, ran out of descriptive words — there were no suitable analogies, because nothing like it had happened before. Like insects under an exterminator’s spray, people staggered about coughing, retching and defecating uncontrollably. Unable to run away from the lethal cloud — it had blinded them as well — two to three thousand citizens of Bhopal died, and 20,000 1 more were permanently sickened and crippled, by “the worst industrial accident in history.”
Deadly gas fumes had spread over the sleeping 2,000-year-old capital of the Indian state of Madhya Pradesh, leaving corpses of people and animals lying about the streets like discarded rag dolls. Worse still the doctors, rushed in the next day by government and emergency services, had no idea how to treat the disabled survivors — there was no medical literature to be had, anywhere, on methyl isocyanate (MIC) poisoning.
CITY OF BHOPAL CHART
June 1, 1949; 0 hr used
(Bhopal, exempted from India’s 1947 independence, remained a separate state until this date)
Standing on a base of old crystalline rock amidst Central India’s Rajputana Upland, Bhopal is a traditional Indian city with narrow, crowded streets, shops spilling their wares in the way of traffic, buses, water buffalo, 3-wheeled taxis, goats, carts, scooters and horse-drawn carriages all pushing and shoving for elbow room. Technology is new and unfamiliar; running water only part of each day, only one person in a thousand with a phone. The soil of the region, severely depleted by centuries of over-cultivation and neglect, needs pesticides and fertilizers to grow sufficient crops.
As part of its 1960’s “Green Revolution,” the Indian government offered Union Carbide Corporation government land at a rent of $40 a year to build and equip a pesticide plant — 49.1% to be owned by India, 50.9% by the corporation. First, a small pilot plant operated from 1971-73; at that time methyl isocyanate was imported.
On October 31, 1975, only two months after the Indian government stipulated that “obnoxious industries” must be relocated at least 15 miles away from residential areas, Union Carbide was inexplicably granted a license to manufacture MIC at the plant. When a state commissioner ordered the plant to relocate, he was simply ignored.
An objecting government official was transferred;
Union Carbide donated $2,500 for a park to the city…
-Newsweek, 12 17 84
Leo is a sign that admires size and grandiosity. India has 5 planets in Leo, Union Carbide has three — and here their twin Saturns at 14 degrees of Leo come into play. With expectations of a continuing increase in sales, the original modest facility was turned into an oversized, imposing showplace. As construction progressed, environmental laws were bypassed and legal irregularities overlooked. By 1978 the enormous size of the plant caused so many problems that it had to be temporarily closed for modifications. Meanwhile ties had developed between local politicians and the company: a local Congress Party official was the plant’s lawyer; a former police chief had a contract to protect the plant; a former state education minister had a paid public relations position, and so forth. When Mahendra Karma, a representative of the state legislature, raised the issue of safety at the plant, the Labor Minister of Madhya Pradesh stonewalled:
“This plant…is not a small piece of stone that I can shift
from one place to another…there is no danger to the city,
nor do I find any symptom of it!”
-Tara Singh Viyogi (quoted in New York Times 1/31/85)
CHART OF MIC PLANT OPENING
Feb 11, 1980, 6:45 AM IST –5.5, 23N16, 77E24
On February 11, 1980, just five days before an eclipse cut a path of darkness across India, MIC operations began at the huge, newly-reopened plant. At 6:45 AM, the time of the first shift, the Asc was 26Aqu05, the degree of the coming eclipse, and of Neptune’s discovery, conjunct Saturn, in 1846. It is also Union Carbide’s Chaos Harmonic 2 MC and Jupiter. A human drama involving India, Union Carbide, the United States, and the meaning and message of Neptune was taking shape.
It was Lord Louis Mountbatten who arbitrarily set the date for India’s independence from Great Britain:
“The astrologers are being rather tiresome.”
-Mountbatten, Viceroy’s Personal Reports #16, 8 8 47 3
India’s astrologers were being as “tiresome” as only astrologers can be when they see their nation’s electional Moon applying to a series of malefics! Through their influence, the time was moved back to zero hour, mitigating the violent influences of the time of transition.
INDIA INDEPENDENCE CHART
(Aug 15, 1947, 0 hr IST -5.5, Delhi, 28N40, 77E13)
Two careful preliminary studies of the events leading up to the disaster — the first by Stuart Diamond of the New York Times, 1 30 85, and the second Union Carbide’s own study excerpted in the New York Times 3 21 85 — enable us to reconstruct the tragedy.
Sunday December 2, 1984, 9:40 PM, 77E24, 23N16:
Pluto anti-culminates; the degree of Union Carbide’s natal Neptune rises (7Leo05: *Praesaepe, 44M Cancri); Mars (square Ceres) sets, and opposes India’s and Union Carbide’s Saturn. The Moon is on the semi-octile axis of the heliocentric nodes of Uranus.
For the Central India Foreland, the weather is unseasonably cold. Most of the people of Bhopal huddle together for warmth in rickety tin, clay and wood shacks. (100,000 new settlers, drawn by the hope of employment, have crowded into the city since 1975; housing is scarce). Inside the huge Union Carbide/India plant, a supervisor orders a worker to wash a pipe in the area where methylisocyanate — a gas so deadly most toxicologists refuse to test it — is stored.
The supervisor was new and inexperienced; the workers undertrained. The great plant was losing money — staff, training and maintenance had been curtailed. New supervisors and operators held key positions…
Saturn (21Scorpio37: *Unukalhai, Alpha Serpentis – Serpens is associated with poisons) is exactly on the IC, square the 21 Leo Asc. 21 Leo is the degree of India’s Sun and Union Carbide’s Mars/Saturn midpoint. 21 Aquarius, the MC, is Union Carbide’s progressed Uranus. The plant’s “graveyard” shift takes over, unaware that a deadly countdown to disaster has already started. Water has contaminated MIC tank 610, and a violent chemical reaction has set in.
The refrigeration system had been “inoperable” for more than five
months; the MIC tank was 10-20 degrees centigrade over its safety
level, accelerating the disastrous reaction rate (MIC has a very low
boiling point). In addition, the temperature alarm had not been
re-set to warn of any rise above the already much-too-high storage
temperature. Therefore the alarm did not go off…
As the angles approach the lunar nodes, the MC conjoins disaster star *Algol, Beta Persei. In the degree of Neptune’s discovery and India’s 1980 eclipse path, asteroid America sets. The new shift logs the temperature in MIC tank 610 at 10 lbs per square inch, 5 times what it had been a half hour earlier. This is not considered cause for alarm – it is assumed that one of the two readings is faulty.
Pressure gauges and valves were unreliable, and sometimes broken…
-UC/India workers, to reporters
The IC has reached India’s Descendant (the 11 23 84 eclipse degree); Hades culminates. In the process area, workers’ eyes start to tear — a sure sign of a leak. The supervisor is informed, and a search started for the source.
“We were human leak detectors…”
-Suman Dey, Senior Operator on Duty (NY Times)
—11:30 PM LEAK DISCOVERY CHART—
Dec 2, 1984, 11:30 PM IST –5.5, BHOPAL, 23N16, 77E24
The Nadir approaches the 10 Sag 46 Sun (the midpoint of Mars and Saturn at Neptune’s discovery); Chiron culminates, Pallas sets in Pisces. The Ascendant semi-octiles the Node of Neptune. Workers continue to search for the source of the leak. The supervisor is unconcerned. He tells them he will deal with the leak after the next tea break, which starts at 12:15.
Monday, December 3, 1984, 0:15 AM:
The Nadir (11 Sag 56) passes the Sun and approaches Uranus (13 Sag 37); Mars at 12 Aqu 50 (a black hole degree) inconjuncts the Asc (12Vir04). The natal Saturns of both Union Carbide and India are now the 12th house cusp.
The field operator again reports an MIC release. The pressure is now 30 lbs per square inch, and within minutes it shoots to 55 lbs per square inch, the top of the pressure gauge’s scale.
The IC reaches Uranus, conjunct its own descending heliocentric node. Suddenly, the concrete slab above the tanks begins to vibrate and emit “a tremendous sound, a messy boiling sound.” The MIC in tank 610 has turned from liquid to gas. With a roar, 60 feet of concrete over 6 inches thick breaks apart, radiating blast-furnace heat. In a panic, the operator runs to the control room and turns the switch to start the vent gas scrubber, a device that neutralizes escaping gas with caustic soda. With a loud hiss, gas 500 times more toxic than cyanide shoots out of the vent scrubber stack and forms a white cloud over the plant. It starts to drift towards the sleeping town.
The scrubber had been under maintenance; the pressure and temperature
were far in excess of its design capabilities. A meter indicated that there
was no caustic soda flowing into the device…
Chronos culminates; Pluto is now semisquare the Asc and sesquiquadrate the MC. Final log entry: MIC unit operations are suspended because of high concentrations of MIC. Fumes are choking the workers — the situation is now out of control. They flee the plant in panic, ignoring the buses provided for civilian evacuation.
(From this point on, events are confused and accounts differ.)
Zeus rises conjunct the US natal Neptune; the MC is India’s Vulcanus. The IC has reached 22 Sag (Rasalhague, Alpha Ophiuchi), the position of Neptune at the 1980 India eclipse and MIC unit’s opening. Saturn is on the 3rd house cusp. MIC emissions are officially verified; the toxic gas alarm is sounded. Firewater monitors (water cannon) are used in an attempt to wet down the vapor. The water curtain is capable of reaching a height of 100 feet.
The gas was escaping from a tower 120 feet high, and was shooting another 10 feet over that…
Shakil Qureshi, MIC supervisor on duty, telephones the assistant factory manager. He is told to turn on the flare tower to burn off the escaping gas. Senior Operator Dey warns Qureshi that igniting the flare tower with such a volume of gas escaping could cause a huge explosion.
Their discussion was pointless. A vital piece of pipe was missing from the flare. It had corroded and was to be replaced…
The few remaining workers rush to expedite the only remaining alternative – to channel the escaping gas into a spare storage tank. One of the three tanks, #619, is supposed to be empty for this purpose.
#619 was not empty. It contained MIC, as did #611…
1:30 AM (approx.)
As workers grab their oxygen tanks and masks, MIC engulfs the control room and adjoining offices.
The angles engage the cardinal axis. The IC has come to the exact Mercury/Neptune conjunction in the longitude, latitude and declination of *Spiculum, 8, 20, and 21M Sagittarii, a nebulous cluster associated with blindness…and selfish greed. Supervisor Qureshi discovers that someone has stolen his oxygen mask and cylinder (“I thought I was going to die”). He runs for his life, desperately scales a 6-foot barbed-wire-topped fence, breaking his leg as he lands. The area is clear of gas, and he survives. Suman Dey dons his gear and tries to find Qureshi (“I couldn’t see two feet in front of me, the cloud was so thick”). Dey goes upwind and waits, periodically returning to the control room to check the instruments. Somewhere between 2 and 2:30 AM, the escaping gas stops…
Halley’s Comet culminates, on the degree of Jupiter in the US chart, the Asc of the Bhopal eclipse chart, and on the Pluto/South Node conjunction of Union Carbide’s natal chart, sesquiquadrate its Uranus. Pluto is on the 2nd cusp, inconjunct Hades on the 9th. Juno-of-helplessness rises; the setting Moon is sesquiquadrate asteroid Atropos, on the Uranian axis of death.
In the city of Bhopal, by the hundreds, people are dying. There is nothing to be done.
It all started so simply. We had a chart for Union Carbide. We had a chart for India, and data for the tragedy. We would compare them, write it all up, stow it in the file, and go on to other projects.
But that’s not the way it worked out.
As we studied the charts, unexpected patterns emerged — unusual and puzzling “coincidences” that seemed to be telling another story. For one thing, India became independent from Great Britain precisely on Union Carbide’s Saturn return. We are used to thinking of nations as more powerful and more important than corporations – even the huge, multinational corporations; but in actuality, this may not be so. Then there was the natal Pluto/SNode conjunction on Union Carbide’s chart (conjunct the US Jupiter). Pluto, rx, had progressed exactly to that Node, and at the disaster Halley’s Comet conjoined them both, highlighting 4 hidden past activities. Could there have been something in Union Carbide’s past that led to their present predicament?
What followed was an interesting bit of synchronicity. A discarded newspaper called “The Guardian” came to hand, with a feature article on Bhopal. The writer, Jonathan Bennett, mentioned another terrible Union Carbide disaster 54 years earlier that had received very little press coverage at the time – at a town called Gauley Bridge.
There is a place in West Virginia where the Kanawha, a tributary of the great Ohio River, branches in two; Gauley River flows north and the New River southeast, through an area so rich in silica that sand for glass-making is one of West Virginia’s greatest mineral resources.
In April 1929 Saturn stationed at 0 Cap 31, on the World Axis and the precise degree of the Bhopal disaster’s Mercury-Neptune conjunction 55.6 years later. The Union Carbide and Carbon Co. (as it was known then) decided to build a 3 ¾ mile tunnel to divert water from New River to their New Kanawha Power Co. “Hawk’s Nest” hydroelectric plant at Gauley Junction. New Kanawha, a subsidiary of Union Carbide and Carbon, was licensed by the State of West Virginia Power Commission, ostensibly to develop power for public sale; in reality it was formed to sell all its power to the Electro-Metallurgical Co., another subsidiary of Union Carbide and Carbon.
Rhinehold and Dennis, Contractors, were hired and it was quickly discovered that the rock to be drilled through was silica, virtually pure, definitely valuable, and positively dangerous.
Since Hippocrates wrote of it in 400 BC, it has been known that silica dust is
poisonous to humans. Silicosis, probably the oldest known occupational disease,
is incurable. As it is a lethal and debilitating danger to miners, silica-bearing rock
must be worked wet, and masks or respirators must be worn. If no precautions
are taken, nodular scar tissue quickly forms in the lungs, blocking drainage, blood
supply, and air passageways. Once the disease has started, it cannot be stopped,
and the victims, even if they stop work, will gradually strangle to death.
When word went out that jobs were available in West Virginia, workers came from far and wide to sign up. Pluto had just been discovered in 1930 when the tunneling began. America was in the depths of the Great Depression, and people were desperate for work. But almost immediately after work started on the Gauley Bridge tunnel, workers began to sicken and die.
GAULEY BRIDGE TUNNEL CHART
Apr 1, 1930, 7 AM EST, Gauley Bridge, WV, 38N10, 81W12
Here begins America’s worst industrial scandal. By no stretch of the imagination could the Gauley Bridge disaster be called “accident.”
Foremen refused to allow the drillers to wet down the rock (drilling was faster dry). Ten-hour shifts were forcibly stretched to twelve hours, without pay. Air so thick with silica dust that men could barely see each other (“you could not tell who was a black man and who was white”) was further poisoned by illegal gasoline motors giving off carbon monoxide fumes.
“The ambulance was going day and night to the Coal Valley Hospital.”
The workers, mostly unskilled, non-union transients, were never told of any danger or warned to take precautions, although danger notices were required by law.
“…the men did not and could not have known of the danger they underwent. The company did know the danger they were sending these men to face. They deliberately failed to furnish sufficient protection. The results have been devastating in their deadliness.”
-Hearings, p 21
Up to 36 men were housed in each 10’ by 12’ shack – no water, stoves, or bedding. Out of pay starting at 50 cents an hour and later reduced to 25 cents came enforced deductions for coal, rent, electricity (usually none) and virtually nonexistent medical care (for which blacks were charged more than whites). Pay was in “company scrip” so only the company could cash the checks; it charged a 10 cents check-cashing fee.
“For every day I worked they paid me $1.00, and held out 80 cents for services.”
-Charles Jones, Hearings
If a man became too ill to work, he was driven off the grounds by force – and the “rouster,” deputized at the request of the company, carried a gun. Beatings were common.
“They was treated worsen if they was mules”
-Mrs C Jones, Hearings
“The men were handled worse than I have ever seen them
-Arthur Peyton, Engineer’s Assistant, Hearings
Inspectors from the West Virginia Department of Mines tried repeatedly to inspect the site, but the company kept them out, insisting that it was a construction site, not a mine, and therefore not under the Department’s jurisdiction. (The company later claimed in court that it did not know that silica was dangerous, although it was revealed that company officials had attended a lecture on silicosis in 1925, and mining and civil engineers are required to know about it). In addition, company officials, without exception, wore masks when they checked the progress of the tunnel, and lookouts were kept posted to watch out for government inspectors.
To a salesman offerng respirators at $2.50 a piece, the purchasing
agent was overheard to say “I wouldn’t give you $2.50 for all the
niggers on the job.”
- Hearings, testimony
When workers left or died, there were plenty more available who were desperate for employment.
[this was] the story of men in the darkest days of the depression,
with work hard to secure, driven by despair and stark fear of hunger
to work for a mere existence wage under almost intolerable conditions…
The company had calculated that the tunnel would be finished and the men scattered far and wide when they began to become ill, as silicosis usually takes ten to twenty years to debilitate and kill its victims, but the purity and density of the poisonous dust acted with deadly speed.
“I knew they was going to kill these niggers within five years, but
I didn’t know they was going to kill them so quick…”
-Contractors’ Purchasing Agent (quoted in testimony)
Once dead, they were buried with indecent speed – no washing, laying out, clean clothes, or ceremony. In some cases, relatives arriving one or two hours later were told the victim had already been buried. (This was to avoid autopsies, which might lead to lawsuits). Some were thrown into multiple graves.
“They buried them like they were burying hogs, putting two or
three of them in a hole. The men were buried in what they got
killed or died in.”
Company doctors were not allowed to tell the men what was wrong with them. Little black pills were dispensed for “tunnelitis.” Once weakened by the silica, many contracted pneumonia or tuberculosis and died of infection (this enabled the company to later claim in court that their deaths had not been caused by silica). As the death rate accelerated, the company hired an undertaker at a special wholesale rate to get rid of the corpses more efficiently.
“He took the work for a smaller price than other undertakers
charged because the company knew and assured him there would
be a large number of deaths…”
No records or death certificates were made, unless there were family members nearby. (The undertaker later claimed in court that his records had been “destroyed”). 169 of the victims were later discovered at Summerville, West Virginia in unmarked mass graves.
By 1931, rumors of the great numbers of deaths at Hawk’s Nest Tunnel were reaching official circles. In the Spring of 1933, with Neptune conjunct the South Lunar Node (7.5 Virgo) sesquiquadrate Uranus in Aries, and Saturn in mid-Aquarius, all on the World Axis and aspecting newly-discovered Pluto on its own ascending node, the first of approximately 500 lawsuits were brought to trial. 200 of these cases were summarily thrown out of court due to a hastily-manufactured “Statute of Limitations” pushed through the West Virginia Supreme Court, which decreed that in order to be eligible for compensation,
*a worker must have been employed for at least two years at the same job
*he must have filed his claim within one year after leaving the job
*he must have given a complete life history to his employer at the start of employment
*he must never have broken any safety rules
Most had not survived long enough to fulfill even the first requirement…
The trials (“a macabre burlesque” 6) were rife with intimidation, threats, and bribery of jurors and lawyers. The cases that could not be thrown out of court by the hastily-engineered statute, or hung-juried through bribery 5 or settled out of court by threats and payments to the victims’ lawyers, were settled for pathetic sums: $250, $60, $300, $125 were typical amounts. In any case, the plaintiffs would not have received anything at all if they had not agreed to hand over to the company all of their collected evidence, so that it could not be used by others. The president of Rinehart and Dennis was quoted in the press as saying that the lawsuits were nothing more than part of a “legal silicosis racket.”
“The most damnable racketeering that I have ever known is the
paying of a fee to the very attorneys who represented these victims.”
-Rep. Vito Marcantonio of New York
House Labor Subcommittee
One woman testified that she had received $185.85 for the death of her husband.
“The disease silicosis was not known to us, nor to the other
contractors of our acquaintance, before we were surprised by
the bringing of damage suits…we know of no case of silicosis
contracted on this job.”
-P H Faulconer, President
Rinehart and Dennis, Contractors
“I don’t know what that 85 cents was for…”
-Mrs Mary Jones
Hundreds of others, surviving the dead or themselves broken in health, were blocked by the statute of limitations from even filing suit, and received absolutely nothing.
The mainstream American press almost completely ignored the terrible stories coming out of West Virginia; skeptical editors called them “mountain gossip,” “mere rumor,” and “too harrowing” to be readily believed. In January 1936, with a Congressional investigation about to begin (transiting Mercury in Aquarius semi-octile Saturn in Pisces), the Engineering News Record called the charges “fantastic – sheer bunk.” The New York Times was soothingly complacent:
“…we all inhale a certain amount of rock dust – silica…house dust and
street dust, for one thing”
“The casualty list is too high for a contract on which 4,948 were employed -
2,500 underground – too high to be readily accepted.”
-New York Times, 2/23/36
Only the radical left-wing press kept the story alive, “rattling the bones” and demanding an investigation.
CHART OF HEARINGS
Thursday, January 16, 1936, 10:40 AM, Washington, DC:
“Whereas…workers were buried in a field at Summersville, West Virginia, with cornstalks as their only gravestones and with no other means of identification…”
With these words, a House Labor Subcommittee opened hearings into what was becoming known as “The Gauley Bridge Disaster.” After fourteen days of testimony by doctors, social workers, lawyers, engineers, foremen and laborers (some of them dying and barely able to speak) it had become painfully evident that the grim “mountain rumors” paled before a terrible reality. One man, near death himself, told the committee that he had lost three sons in the tunnel, the youngest 18. His wife tried to get a local doctor to examine the boy, but he would not because she didn’t have enough money. She stood in the road and begged for money until she had the $50 he demanded for an X-ray. He took the case, but three weeks later the boy died. His two older brothers died the following year.
“…the tunnel was begun, continued, and completed with grave
and inhuman disregard of all consideration for the health, lives,
and future of the employees…”
-Report of the Subcommittee
The summary of the subcommittee provided, at least and at last, an epitaph for the anonymous dead:
“If by their suffering and death they will have made life safer in
future for the men who go beneath the earth to work, if they will
have been able to establish a new and greater regard for human life
in industry, their suffering may not have been in vain…”
“The worst industrial disaster in history.” That’s what Gauley Bridge had been called until December, 1984, when Bhopal took over that title. These two terrible events have one factor in common: Union Carbide Corporation.
UNION CARBIDE CHART
Nov 1, 1917, (used Noon, EST), 42N39, 73W45
Union Carbide Corporation was founded during the worst year of the worst war that has ever been fought. Saturn, Admetos and the Lunar Nodes were on the world cardinal axis. The Sun (by septile) and Kronos were on the world death axis (0° of the fixed signs) and the conjunction of Hades, Chiron and Vesta were bringing primitive nationalistic emotions into full play. It is estimated that about 20,000,000 people died in 1917-18, some from terrible epidemics, others in the war, and still more in revolutions and pograms. (It is interesting that the USSR was established just 6 days later, and Indira Gandhi (assassinated 2 months before the Bhopal disaster) was born 18 days later.
Uranus holds the only dignity by sign, as might be expected for a corporation founded to exploit technological developments; Mars is at royal star *Regulus, Alpha Leonis, and an exiled Jupiter (with the Moon) is conjunct *Aldebaran, Alpha Tauri – both royal stars with a reputation for arrogance and early prominence, followed by severe and sudden falls from grace. Chart ruler Saturn is in exile in Leo, conjunct corporate Cupido situated on Neptune’s ascending heliocentric node; it squares both the MC and Ceres, co-ruler of the 8th. With the MC, Sun, Mercury (other 8th ruler), and Ceres in the 8th house sign, this company will be known for Scorpionic matters, including death. Mercury, ruler of 3 houses, suffers a bi-septile from Uranus, and an inconjunct from Vulcanus, Jupiter and the Moon, and forms a devastating square to Neptune, situated on *Praesepe (44M Cancri), a nebulous cluster frequently associated with tragedies. Since Jupiter and Neptune rule the 2nd of money and resources, and Mercury the 6th of employees, the 8th of death, and the 5th of workers’ misfortunes (the 5th is the 12th of the 6th), Union Carbide’s race for profits will endanger lives — and engender lawsuits! The south lunar node conjuncts Pluto in Cancer, describing an obsessively self-protective corporate entity with lessons to be learned in the area of responsibility and public caretaking (NNode in Capricorn). The NNode has yet to be manifested; Union Carbide refused to acknowledge any wrongdoing at Gauley Bridge, and has thus far disclaimed its part in the Bhopal tragedy.
At the moment the Gauley Bridge investigative hearings were
called to order in Washington on January 16, 1936 at 10:40 AM,
the MC/IC axis fell exactly on the natal nodes of Union Carbide.
Asteroid America was at 7 Sco 46, the corporation’s natal
Mercury, square its Neptune, and semisquare the US Neptune.
Septiles, 7th harmonic aspects, have a strong role to play in mundane astrology. As in natal
charts, they may bring sorrow and bereavement if attention has not been paid to the spiritual level of existence. If 360° is divided by 7, the result is 51°26’, the length of one septile. But like some of the other odd-numbered division of the circle (trine, quintile, novile), septiles do not divide evenly into a half-circle of 180°. If a septile is subtracted from an angle, the remaining number of degrees (to the opposite angle) is 128°34’, or 2½ septiles. This 2½ septile aspect occurs frequently in harsh circumstances; for instance, the Moon of the Bhopal disaster is 2½ septiles applying to the twin Saturns of India and Union Carbide. Half-septile aspects are important as well; Saturn at the event was 4½ septiles from 0 Aries.
1 septile: 51° 26’ ½ septile: 25° 43’
2 septiles: 102° 51’ 1½ septiles: 77° 09’
3 septiles: 154° 17’ 2½ septiles: 128° 34’
4 septiles: 205° 42’ 3½ septiles: 180° 00’
5 septiles: 257° 09’ 4½ septiles: 231° 26’
6 septiles: 308° 34’ 5½ septiles: 282° 51’
6½ septiles: 334° 17’
Union Carbide’s Saturn is tri-septile its Ascendant and bi-septile Kronos of authority and law, carrying the Saturnian theme of the Capricorn NNode and Ascendant. Jupiter, ruling the 11th, 12th and 2nd, is tri-septile the MC, and ½ septile behind Pluto. When poison gas devastated Bhopal, the Mercury-Neptune conjunction was septile Union Carbide’s Sun, and Pluto formed an applying septile to their natal Venus.
—ECLIPSE CHART ( BHOPAL)—
Feb 16, 1980, 2:21 PM IST –5.5, 23N16, 77E24
At the February 16, 1980 eclipse at 16 Aqu 50, the Ascendant in Bhopal was Union Carbide’s Pluto and SNode, the Moon’s NNode was Carbide’s Mars (and the eclipse Venus was the disaster’s Moon), but it was Saturn that presaged the worst. Inconjunct the eclipse itself, it fell on the IC at Bhopal, square India’s Uranus (co-ruler MC), inconjunct their Moon, and on their Mercury/Saturn midpoint axis. On Union Carbide’s chart, the eclipse’s Saturn degree, 25 Virgo, on their Poseidon in the 8th, hit their midpoint axes of MC/Neptune, Mercury/Saturn, Sun/Cupido and Mercury/Cupido, squares Venus, and falls very close to the corporation’s Aries/Hades. At the same time it opposes the Hades/Chiron/Vesta conjunction in the 2nd in Pisces. (The Asc. of this eclipse in Washington, DC was 0 Cap 43!) Union Carbide’s 1979 solar return (2 months before MIC operations began in Bhopal) had Venus in exile on the MC at 26 Sco 26, which was squared by the eclipse; solar return Mars was 21 Leo, the natal Carbide Mars/Saturn, and India’s Sun.
Any eclipse that squares Uranus and Hades, inconjuncts Saturn, and squares *Algol must be regarded with some trepidation; this one preceded the attempt on Reagan’s life (it was sesquiquadrate the US Sun) and heralded the death of three Russian leaders in as many years (it opposed the USSR Moon) as well as bringing back to power, and then bringing down, Indira Gandhi – born the same month and year as Union Carbide and the USSR. Perhaps the most fascinating of all is that besides falling on the Asc of the Bhopal plant reopening (the start of MIC operations), this eclipse over India fell on Neptune’s discovery degree, when the planet was aligned with Saturn in longitude, latitude and declination, on September 23, 1846.
CHART OF NEPTUNE’S DISCOVERY
Sept 23, 1846, 22:30 LMT, Berlin, Germany, 52N30, 13E22
On May 30, 1994, an eclipse path ran through the east central states of the US, the locale of the original Union Carbide Corporation. At 9 Gem 26, the eclipse was on Union Carbide’s Jupiter-Moon conjunction, West Virginia’s SNode, (6/20/1863), the US Uranus/Asc, square the Neptune discovery Venus, and on royal star *Aldebaran, Alpha Tauri. It is two-sevenths of the zodiac ahead of the one over India in 1980: a biseptile. Halley’s Comet, at 2 Cancer 08, was on the US Venus and Carbide’s SNode, opposing transiting Neptune. After retrograding, the comet returned to this position at the disaster. During this period, warnings of possible disaster were given – and ignored.
The third relevant eclipse, on 11 23 84 (11 22 Greenwich) at 0 Sag 50, exactly, to the minute, on India’s Descendant, gave the final warning; at Bhopal, Pluto rose and Mars anti-culminated, an almost certain indication of disaster at that locality. On December 2, when the MIC leak was first noticed, the eclipse degree held the IC. (It was on the 8th cusp of the Gauley Bridge chart, square Neptune, and 7 semi-octiles from Moon/Zeus/Chronos.)
Studying the 90° wheel, one is constantly struck by the profound connections between the chart for Gauley Bridge and the Bhopal disaster. Saturn+Neptune-Jupiter, a formula for gas poisoning, comes out on the Bhopal chart at 7 Scorpio 06; this is Union Carbide’s natal Mercury and solar arc Mars. It opposes the Gauley Bridge Moon and Chronos, and squares its Jupiter.
This degree was the Moon’s at Neptune’s discovery; the Asc and
SNode at Uranus’ discovery, and the Moon and SNode at Pluto’s
discovery. The star *Khambalia (Lambda Virginis) with a reputation
for coldness, rashness and a lack of scruples, is now in this degree.
Mars+Saturn-Neptune, death through gas, at Bhopal equaled the transiting Sun, Halley’s Comet, Juno, and India’s Jupiter and Hades. It also equals the Gauley Bridge Mars, Jupiter, Vulcanus, and Mercury’s Node.
Saturn+Saturn-Neptune, a silicosis formula (silica is ruled by Saturn), placed on the Gauley Bridge chart, comes out at 21Tau 52; this is one septile from 0 Aries and semi-octile the Gauley Bridge Asc, (which is the SNode of the Neptune discovery chart, in the longitude of single-minded, merciless *Al Rischa, Alpha Piscium). At Bhopal, Saturn at 21 Sco 34 exactly opposed this formula; the Moon semi-squared it. On a 90° wheel, 21.5 of the fixed signs is on the axis of the nodes of Uranus.
And what of incoming Halley’s Comet? Has it more of a part to play than its conjunction with Union Carbide’s SNode/Pluto? On the Bhopal chart, Sun/Halley’s = Mars/Saturn, the ‘84 9.5 Gemini North American eclipse (on Union Carbide’s Moon-Jupiter), Neptune’s discovery Venus, ‘80 India eclipse Mars and Gauley Bridge Mars and Venus.
Sun/Halley’s = India’s Asc and Ceres, Gauley Bridge’s Moon, Zeus and Chronos. Moon/Halley’s = Uranus, Saturn, India’s Sun, Union Carbide’s Pluto, and the Nodes of Uranus.
The midpoint of Halley’s Comet at Bhopal and Union Carbide’s
natal Sun equals Union Carbide’s MC, India’s MC, the US MC,
the Mercury-Neptune conjunction and the World Axis.
The midpoint of Union Carbide’s Moon and India’s Moon =
Halley’s Comet at Bhopal.
* * * *
They (corporations) cannot commit treason, nor be outlawed nor
excommunicated, for they have no souls.
-Sir Edward Coke, jurist, 1552-1634
If the act of incorporation is not to be taken as a license for haphazard destruction that would not be permitted to any individual, a re-evaluation of corporate law and custome is long overdue. The incredible power of vast financial resources has enabled many multinational corporate structures to hold even determined governments at bay. The Bhopal event is far more than a local tragedy — or retribution for Gauley Bridge. Mark Lerner, Editor of Planet Earth (Great Bear Press) in the Capricorn 1984-85 issue, pointed out that the disaster occurred with the first conjunction of Mercury and Neptune in Capricorn in 164 years (the conjunction was at *Spiculum, the Trifid Nebula, associated with gas disasters and poisoning); it squares the Sun on the Neptune discovery chart, and is on the world axis (0 of the Cardinal signs – the Sun at each solstice and equinox), indicating universal human involvement. Our air, earth and water – the essential resources for human life on this planet – are being contaminated, and we are all involved in the struggle to change, whether we want to be or not. At the recent leak at Carbide’s Institute, West Virginia plant (August 11, 1985, 9:15 AM EDT, 81W46, 39N05), Saturn had returned from its March, ‘85 retrograde to its precise position at the Bhopal event; Halley’s Comet opposes Neptune once more. Mercury squares its own nodes; Sun and Transpluto square the nodes of Mars. Mars and Jupiter inhabit the nodes of Neptune.
Just as individuals have spiritual responsibilities, so do families, communities, nations, and corporations. Production, jobs and profits are no longer sufficient goals for any segment of the human race. With Pluto coming to Union Carbide’s Sun (Septile the world axis), this corporation has an opportunity to overcome its past and become a world leader in the control of pollution; by reaching for the responsibility of its Capricorn NNode and providing leadership instead of self-interested excuses, a Scorpio phoenix could rise from these ashes.
As to manners, then, in which each soul shall conduct self as
respecting…an individual organization, it has oft been given
that this is not under any schism or ism or any individual
tenet other than that which has been of old, “I AM MY
BROTHER’S KEEPER!” That should be the cry that should
be in the heart of every member, every individual. “I AM MY
-Edgar Cayce, Reading 254-91, 1936
1: After this article was published, Time Magazine (2 27 89, p 53) gave the figures of 3,400 dead, 200,000 blinded and/or crippled. Estimates of total deaths range from 15,000 (Government of India) to up to 25,000 (Amnesty International)
2: Multiples of the Universal Constant related to chaos: 4.669201609
3: Mountbatten: A Biography, by Philip Ziegler, New York, 1985
4: Halley’s Comet: comets are like “spotlights” pointing to an important element in a chart.
5: “An Investigation relating to Health Conditions of Workers Employed in the Construction and Maintenance of Public Utilities:” Hearings before a Special Subcommittee of the House Committee of Labor, January and February 1936 (“Hearings”)
6: Joseph A Page & Mary Win O’Brien, Bitter Wages, Grossman, NY, 1973, p 61