One hundred years ago this week, the RMS Titanic sank in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic ocean, killing 1514 passengers and crew. In the century since that tragic event, the story of the ship has taken on a life of its own, leading to dozens of books, documentaries, movies, theories and so on. While my own personal interest in the Titanic is slight, I did begin wondering what the chart of the ship might look like and whether anything could be learned from taking a look at it. It’s rather interesting.

For the date, time and place of the Titanic’s chart, I’m using the launch of the ship as its birth. Note that the ship’s launch – in which it is brought out of the shipyard and placed in the water – is different from its maiden voyage. In this case, I’m using the launch because, by all accounts, it was treated much like a birth, like a celebration, attended both by wealthy captains of industry such as J. Pierpont Morgan and over 100,000 onlookers.

To examine the chart, I’ll use the extensive rules for voyages established by the famous 17th century astrologer, William Lilly. Keep in mind, the planets Uranus, Neptune and Pluto had not even been discovered yet, so Lilly will not be using them. In what follows, Lilly’s rules will be in italics. I’ll then weigh them against what is found in the chart and see what gets turned up.

What I find most interesting in Lilly’s rules are the following:

One of the following fixed stars placed on a prominent planet or point in the chart may indicate danger:

Menkar – 14 degrees Taurus – violent death

Scheat – 29 degrees Pisces – death by drowning or accident

For those of you who have forgotten or missed it, I discussed fixed stars last year in the newsletter. Here’s what I wrote: We’re all familiar with the motion of the planets and their place in the horoscope wheel, but the fixed stars are rarely mentioned. So what are they? In traditional astrology, the fixed stars are positioned above the planets in the constellations of the Zodiac. Some of these fixed stars were believed, because of their magnitude of brightness, to exert an influence on earth. So a fixed star on a critical planet or angle of a person’s chart potentially brings a new layer of meaning as well as an elevation to the life.

In the chart for the launch, we see Mars (marked with a triangle) conjunct the fixed star, Scheat. It’s important to note that Mars rules the 8th house – of death – in the chart. In addition, we see both Mercury and Saturn (marked with a square) closely conjunct Menkar. As Mercury rules the Ascendant, the body, the passengers of the ship, we should take this as an ominous sign. In addition, Mars is opposed to the Ascendant (again, the passengers, the body of the ship). Interestingly, in traditional astrology, Mars and Saturn are viewed as infortunes – in other words, they generally bring bad fortune, unless they are well placed by sign, dignity or aspect.

Now let’s see what Lilly wrote four centuries ago about Saturn and Mars afflicting the chart:

Saturn afflicting the chart suggests the possibility of drowning or of the vessel leaking

Mars afflicting the chart suggests great danger and damage to the ship

In addition to the above, Lilly also attributes each sign to a part of the ship. Here are the three that interest us, given their aforementioned prominence:

 Aries – the breast (bow) of the ship (the sign ruled by Mars)

Taurus – what is under the breast of the ship, towards the water (where Mercury and Saturn are placed)

Virgo – the belly of the ship (the Ascendant, the body of the ship, the passengers of the ship)

 There’s more to the Titanic’s chart, a great deal more in fact, but as this is meant to be an overview and not a full delineation, I’ll stop here. Circling back to our headline – Was the Titanic fated to sink? – judging from the state of Mars and Saturn the potential for loss or destruction was in place at its birth. Would things have been different if it had been launched at a different time two or three days later? Yes, but then everything would have been different. But that’s not what happened. Remember the words of Jung: “whatever is born at a certain moment in time, reflects the quality of that moment in time.”