Playing detective to find a significant Saturday in the ‘autumn’ of 1975. In making an effort to find a particular Saturday within a span of a few months time that presented factors relating to excitement, chance, danger, flying, death, etc., one has to cast a number of charts. These charts would be both t/Moon-to-n/Sun Returns and t/Moon-opposed-n/Sun Returns. Once a chart is identified as being a possibility, that chart has to be advanced to any Saturday within that chart’s two week cycle. That chart then has to be evaluated. If two or more charts are found with appropriate symbolism, then study has to be deeply applied to determine which to choose and use.
This was the challenge, finding the single date when a Moon-to-Sun Return or Advanced chart would reflect the almost fatal events of that fine Saturday afternoon when Eban Alexander almost died for the first time.
Presenting a number of charts and their analysis would be overly detailed for this presentation. Suffice it to say that one Return chart, which happened o occur on a Saturday, was found that indicated a major event that incorporated danger and the possibility of dramatic changes that were experienced. That chart was a t/Moon-opposite-n/Sun Return for Aug. 30, 1975 — and that date was a Saturday.
Most striking in this chart is the presence of the natal and the transiting Part of Fortunes at the MC angle. Either, alone at an angle, is sufficient for concern. Both at an angle indicates chaos and difficulties to an extreme.
Important, also, is t/Moon-IC opposite n/Sun very near the MC. The book, Personal Moon-to-Sun Returns 2, provides the following theme, “Difficulty with plans . . . private and public life clash . . . doing the unexpected.” Not that much of a generic statement for any typical daily-life situation is likely to apply in this ‘extream’ situation. So, we have to parse the meanings to fit the unusual circumstances.
Since the t/Moon and n/Sun are angular, we have to also consider their opposites: t/Sun-t/Venus-square-t/Mars indicates a battle or danger of some sort. Also a square to n/Venus-t/Neptune is important as they all comprise a T-Square pattern. n/Venus is often found in death charts when angular. The Venus-square-Venus pattern indicates a lack of harmony or balance in life. The n/Moon, at 18 Aquarius, has a trine aspect to the t/Moon. This can indicate an ease or unimpeded flow of emotional energy, a happy and exhilarating day.
Let us now review the events of this day to see how the chart reflects reality.
For the last jump of that day, six parachutists were to attempt to make a “star” above the runways of the airport as they fell towards the ground. Eban was the last one out of the airplane. He would have to move fast by diving head first, picking up speed in order to catch those ahead of him so that all could join up in mid-air before separating to open their chutes at a lower altitude. Eban would be dropping at almost a 100 miles an hour faster than those ahead of him. One of the newer chartists had misjudged his jump and caused the formation to break up before it even was established. Everyone was tumbling about, trying to get clear of the others before deploying their parachutes. As each parachute deploys it leaves a stream of low-pressure air behind and above it. Anyone diving into that zone would find his speed accelerating.
To Eban’s horror, one of the group had deployed his chute and had diverted into his dive path instead of in his assigned direction. Eban had only a fraction of a second before he would crash into the drag chute and the unfolding main chute in front of him. Pulling his arms in and tucking his head down into a dive, Eban passed the man below him at some 150 miles per hour. I quote Eban from his book, ” Somehow I had reacted in microseconds to a situation that, had I actually had time to think about it, would have been much too complex for me to deal with. And yet . . . I had dealt with it, and we both landed safely. It was as if, presented with a situation that required more than its usual ability to respond, my brain had become, for a moment, superpowered. How had I done it? Over the course of my twenty-plus-year career in academic neurosurgery—of studying the brain, observing how it works, and operating on it—I have had plenty of opportunities to ponder this very question. I finally chalked it up to the fact that the brain is truly an extraordinary device: more extraordinary than we can even guess.”
Technically, the short distance between the Eban and the deploying parachute below him, the speed that he was diving at, the extraordinary quick reaction time, the increasing speed due to the low-pressure area behind the parachute all combined to assure a mid-air collision as a diver plowed into a chute, tangling both men, and sending them to the deaths a few thousand feet below. It couldn’t have been any different. And yet, it had been. This is what impressed Eban Alexander and what puzzled him for many years. He had been saved somehow to live for another day.
Reviewing this event to the chart, we can now appreciate the following.
- A doubled-up Part of Fortune at the MC is truly “chance, change, chaos.” Given that Eban’s natal MC conjoins Uranus, his inclination for excitement over the course of his life must have prepared him in some way for quicker reactions under stress.
- The trine aspect between natal and transiting Moon clearly painted the emotional high and good time that he was enjoying in his many jumps on this date.
- n/Jupiter-IC may be attributed to his “luck.” Jupiter has a reputation for conveying ‘luck’ but that is not often seen in charts. But t/Jupiter-t/Chiron opposed t/Uranus; this all indirectly seems to have reinforced his n/MC-Uranus and n/Jupiter by involving the transiting versions of t/Jupiter-t/Uranus.
- t/Sun-square-t/Mars is not angular but they do involve n/Venus and t/Venus to make up a T-square. Sun (Eban) was challenged (Mars) but somehow the square between natal and transiting Venus became a positive factor in his physical experience of that day. Perhaps we could say that enjoyment (Venus) was going to be compromised (the square aspect).
- That t/Uranus was in the 8th house, previously known as the house of sex, death and taxes. Yet, that old set of meanings was not evident here. Uranus instead seemed to function as suddenness and a heightened nervous response to a situation. Perhaps t/Mercury-t/Pluto (intense reactions) combined with Ceres, the great-mother principle and overseer of major life cycles.
So, with this chart in hand, we will need to study it and keep in mind that this event, this escape from certain death, had a profound and lasting impact on Eban Alexander. Following this period, he pursued his life and studies that led him to becoming a neurosurgeon whose skills saved the lives of many others. We will also see that this chart had great relevance to the events that were to occur much later in his life when he would once again meet death and emerge the better for it.
End of part 2