Fans (including myself) of the hit TV ultra-reality show, The Deadliest Catch, watch week after week as this fleet of crab boats brave the Bering Sea to find out how their favorite Captain and his crew will fare in the latest episode.  Of course the two things of highest interest are the crab count followed by how bad the weather will be and will anyone get hurt?  What would they give to have even the foggiest clue of how things will turn out in advance?  And is it possible that astrology could possibly provide any answers?

Prediction in mundane astrology is a crap-shoot at best.  In fact, the chances of being wrong far outweigh those of being correct.  As always, you can achieve some understanding using the 20:20 vision of hindsight, by perusing the astrology of the past.  Then, if you're lucky, you recognize the key influences, their effects, and note them for future use within any known context which in this case would be crab fishing.  That said, let's see what we can find which relates to various events in the 2010 King Crab Season, one of the most grueling and frustrating in one way or another for each of the fishing vessels. 

One of the primary tools for general prediction is what is known as an "Ingress Chart."  These capture the location of the planets at the moment the Sun enters one of the Cardinal Signs.  Cardinal signs include Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn and imply action at all levels.  The Ingress Chart for this season, which occurs in late fall, is the Libra Ingress which occurred in Dutch Harbor on September 22, 2010.  At first glance, the T-square, shown as a red triangle, stands out.  Yes, it is as bad as it looks.  These aspect patterns which combine two squares and an opposition, both difficult aspects, typically indicate tension, challenges and negotiations.  At the apex of this bad-boy is Pluto, not exactly a "friendly" in the planet world.  House placement is in the 11th house which includes groups, organizations and teamwork as well as goals. (House numbers are shown in the inner circle of the horoscope.)  Located in Capricorn this gives further hints of the nature of these matters as structural, either of the physical variety or sometimes organizational; where individuals are involved it will relate to the mental, emotional or spiritual level and could involve unresolved issues and power struggles, certainly not uncommon on a crab boat.

Neptune, King of the Deep, is, as you would expect, the natural ruler of the fishing industry.  The fact that Neptune is cozied up in the same degree with the asteroid, Chiron, a.k.a. "The Wounded Healer," doesn't bode well.  Their location in the 1st house which represents Dutch Harbor, generally, or the physical and emotional climate for the coming three months in that area, suggests that this will not be the best of times.  There will be disappointments, illusions, and deception at all levels which will take their toll. 

Neptune's association with the Moon likewise isn't exactly fortuitous.  Their connection is by semi-sextile (shown by the short green line in the 1st house), an aspect that typically indicates an opportunity which is going to take a lot of work to achieve success.  The Moon also has emotional implications, particularly in Pisces, sign of the Fishes and don't forget the Moon also rules the tides.  The Moon rules the 6th house of work and service which includes the crew members, throwing her stirred-up vibes in that direction; emotions will be charged and deep.  Neptune and Chiron semi-sextile the Moon show there would be a lot of hard work to say nothing of some emotional pain involved.  The 6th house also involves health so this location and other planets associated with the Moon suggest some surprises with regard to health as well.

Jupiter, which tends to expand and exaggerate what he touches, is conjunct Uranus, planet of surprises, disruptions, sudden change, breaking free and rebellion.  Certainly not a very friendly combination, particularly in Pisces, a sign which tends to be dreamy and somewhat out of touch with reality.  This planetary pair is in tight conjunction with the Moon as well, stirring up the emotional climate even more to say nothing of the sea itself; this combination definitely points toward monster waves and weather surprises, especially them being located in a Water Sign, and a Mutable one at that. Don't forget they are also part of the T-square, indicating this will be a major player as far as tension is concerned.  This is well represented by the Sun opposite them in the 7th house of close relationships as well as partnerships and competitors.  With the Sun approaching the cusp of the 8th of transformations, death and regeneration, however, his light will shine in that venue as well; shared resources and debt are also residents of the 8th so are likely to show up as well.  Captains who have partners in the ownership of their vessel and equipment or may simply be employed by the owner, are going to encounter some opposition from this area as well.  Crew morale also looks as if it will be a significant issue. 

Mercury and the Vertex, which represents fated events, are in the 7th.  These two are in Virgo with Mercury, as the ruler of this sign, in his dignity and exaltation, allowing him to function to full capacity, giving him tremendous power here.  Mercury rules movement, conveyance of goods, and all types of communications.  Mercury is generally neutral in character and in this placement should facilitate communications.  Virgo is a critical, meticulous sign, however, which will reflect in conversations; people could expect too much from each other, up to and including perfection.  This is further intensified by the fact that Virgo is intercepted, an astrological term used to describe a sign that does not appear on any house cusp, shown by the radial lines with the cusp zodiacal location shown in the outside ring.  The allows this energy to build up and intensify like a pressure cooker without a relief valve.  Communications could thus be of an explosive nature.

Venus and Mars are in the 8th House, also, in a wide but viable conjunction.  Mars is in his traditional rulership in Scorpio, giving him extra strength whereas Venus is debilitated.  Scorpio is all about obsession and passion which in the 8th has free reign since Scorpio is the zodiacal ruler of the 8th.  Mars is the planet of energy and action which in this case will reflect the character of its resident sign, i.e. obsession and passion.  Mars in the 8th is typically a placement to be wary of as it can point toward accidents; this is not a time to take unnecessary chances.  Venus, natural ruler of money and income, is peregrine, in other words not aspecting any planets, which doesn't help her debilitated state.  Money could be an issue this trip.  Mars as the ruler of Scorpio also rules the 9th house which includes long-distance travel.  This puts an extra measure of energy, aggression and risk to this part of the picture.

Saturn, another malefic planet, is in the 8th house which includes transformations, death and rebirth, and shared resources, as noted earlier.  He is exalted in Libra, which helps him operate in a little more positive way considering Libra is a fair and balanced sign that sees both sides of any issue.  Nonetheless, Saturn makes things more difficult, an uphill climb of sorts, which points toward various hardships which will result in transformations or some other 8th house issue; this implies that this time period will deliver intense, serious, difficult, life-changing experiences.  His semi-sextile with Mars, shown by the small green line in the 8th house, further indicates this season will be about as easy for these fishing vessels as making forward progress while dragging anchor.  Saturn also is the natural ruler of authority figures (captains) whereas they can also be represented by Jupiter as ruler of the 10th house.  Considering Jupiter's condition conjunct the Moon and Uranus, the captains will be more emotional and unpredictable than usual, also.  Saturn suggests that they will be under pressure as well; it won't be any easier in the wheelhouse than on deck.

Ptolemaic aspects are the only ones addressed so far, viz. conjunctions, oppositions, sextiles, squares and quincunxes (no sextiles or quincunxes appear in this chart).  Also very influential, particularly when intense or extreme conditions are concerned are aspects known as harmonics, which divide the 360o of the chart by any number, but typically five (quintiles); seven (septiles); nine (noviles); or eight (octiles).  The energy these harmonic aspects produce is intense and has different flavors.

These further reinforce the template that we've seen so far for this slice of time.  In a very basic sense, the blue line (novile) indicates physical and spiritual extremes; life-changing events are in work, further reinforcing the influences of the 8th house.  A novile connects Venus (ruler of the 8th and the 3rd which includes thoughts, ideas, siblings and neighbors) and the Sun, representative of the captains and also ruler of the 7th of relationships.  Again, the wheelhouse will not be protected, either, reminding everyone that anything that transpires on a ship will affect its captain.  The purple line (septile) relates to esotericism, those things which only a select group can understand.  Septiles will further tie these men to the sea and each other through experiences that no landlubber could ever understand.  With Mars and Mercury involved, which rule aggressive action and movement respectively, these will be transformational in nature.  The olive lines are quintiles which designate creation and change.  These will be the result of extreme and unexpected action which will be violent and unpredictable.  Every day will be a brand new day which brings all sorts of surprises that demand unprecedented actions and decisions.

So, now the question is how does this relate to the 2010 King Crab season?  As far as specific boats are concerned, if the Ingress Chart were compared to each captain's Natal Chart it would provide a wealth of additional information, especially if also compared to the transit charts for days when specific incidents occurred.  Most likely, due to the stress from the weather and intense emotional climate, the captains were grumpier than usual, which ties in with Mars as well as the Saturn - Pluto square, or the entire T-square, for that matter.  Lacking more specific information, descriptions found on the Discovery Channel's website for the Deadliest Catch Season 7 yield a few examples of how these astrological influences showed up:

Week 1:  NEW BLOOD

This episode introduced two new captains to the fleet (New beginnings are implied by the low degree of the 00:20 Aquarius ascendant) and also bid a final good-bye to Captain Phil Harris (Septile between Mercury in the 7th of close relationships and Mars in the 8th house of death).

Week 2:  PROVING GROUNDS

To quote the Discovery Channel, "Across the Bering Sea crab fleet, bad fishing (Neptune & Chiron) causes high tensions and low morale as empty pots whittle away profits and nerves among the men (Moon, Jupiter and Uranus in 1st House and Jupiter/Uranus to Mars quintile)."   (This statement alone sums up the entire season as well as both charts rather nicely.)

Week 3:  OLD AGE AND TREACHERY

In this episode, a crew member on the Wizard gets caught in a line (Mercury Mars septile).  The Ramblin' Rose has to make an unexpected trip to the processing plant right in the middle of good fishing.  However, when they get there the captain has a rather unpleasant surprise. (Saturn, Pluto, Uranus T-square as well as Neptune/Chiron.)

Week 4:  BREAKING POINT

A crane breaks on the Kodiak and injures a crew member (Mercury novile with Mars, Saturn opposite Uranus).  The greenhorn on the Seabrooke has a major meltdown (Moon, Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces)

Week 5:  A WING AND A PRAYER
An altercation on the Northwestern
(Moon, Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces) livens things up while on the Wizard a crew member falls asleep at the wheel, sending the boat on a blind course toward a fleet of other boats  (Neptune and Chiron in the 1st house or should I say in the wheelhouse?).

Week 6:  EXIT WOUNDS

Rough times all around on the Cornelia Marie and Kodiak, mostly of an emotional nature, permeated this episode. (Neptune and Chiron in the 1st; Moon, Jupiter and Uranus in the 1st and Pluto in the 11th). 

Week 7:  THICK AS THIEVES

An injury onboard the Ramblin' Rose brings a change of heart (Mercury septile to Mars) and the police are called in due to problems on the Cornelia Marie (Saturn square Pluto and T-square in general.)

Week 8:  GRADUATION DAY

An arctic storm ravages the Bering Sea (Moon, Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces and T-square), the Time Bandit crew plays a practical joke on the Northwestern (Mercury in the 7th of relationship and ruler of the 5th house of fun) and a fisherman of long tenure departs (Mercury ruler of the 4th of endings).

Opilio Season

That covers the King and Blue Crab season, but what about the opilio season?  The Ingress Chart for the Capricorn Ingress is the one to examine for events after December 21, 2010.  So let's see what it has to say.

The Aries ascendant indicates a lot of action, perhaps aggression for this season.  The Moon is in her dignity in Cancer the Crab, another Water Sign, providing a lot of emotional energy to the Bering Sea.  The Moon is opposing the midpoint of Pluto and Mars, not a good combination.  This aspect will bring about power struggles, both between man versus the sea as well as man versus man. 

The 6th house includes work and health with Saturn in that venue implying such things as broken bones or clashes between the crew and their captains or between captains and the owners, when applicable.  The presence of the Vertex in that house points toward fated events with regard to the various crews, their health, and the work in general.  The Part of Fortune in the 7th house points toward close relationships, which are different than that between the captains and their crew.  These will be more between business partners, close friends and relatives rather than crew interactions in general.

Neptune and Chiron have moved into the 12th house which relates to hidden enemies.  Again, they are both in semi-sextile aspect with Jupiter and Uranus, suggesting unexpected events of a significant nature in the house of hidden enemies, which will take significant effort to work through.  Mercury is sextile (green line) Neptune and Chiron, implying injuries due to motion and travel on the high seas.  Mercury is also retrograde, which makes it difficult to make progress.  Mercury's square with Jupiter and Uranus further points toward issues with regard to navigating the sea while the Sun, ruler of the 6th of work and health and also the natural ruler of leaders a.k.a. captains, is going to see a variety of disruptions and philosophical issues to deal with.  The 9th house, which rules long-distance travel, in this case at sea, is loaded with Mercury, the Sun and Pluto with all but Mercury in Capricorn. Pluto is about those things which are hidden as well as power and control.  Mars is exalted in Capricorn, providing a lot of determination and drive to the 10th house or in this case the wheelhouse, where captains reside. 

The harmonic chart for the opilio season is, as you can see, even more daunting than for the King Crab season.  Blue noviles indicating physical and spiritual extremes which bring surprises and disruptions which make for a difficult time, particularly for the crew.  The power of the sea is paramount, a humbling reminder of who the real boss is in the crabbing grounds.  The novile between Mercury and Venus brings a dramatic surge of concern for everyone's safety as the dangers mount.  The purple septiles again bring profound insights with regard to the sea's power.  The men in these crabbing vessels are experiencing insights and feelings they've never had before nor will they forget.  The single quintile (olive line) between the Sun and Saturn implies new insights between the respective crews and their leadership, whether on deck or in the wheelhouse.

Of course what a crab season is all about is money.  The 2nd house includes income, it's ruler, Mercury, in the 9th, easily representing foreign waters.  Mercury squaring Jupiter and Uranus in the 12th indicates expansion and surprises, respectively, but not to be attained easily due to the square.  Jupiter is seldom a problem, but Uranus can be.  This thus implies there would be a good income but at a price with many unexpected events along the way.  The harmonic chart shows a novile between Mercury and Venus, the natural ruler of money.  With noviles indicative of extremes, this implies there would be a favorable result monetarily.

Here's what the opilio season delivered:

Week 1:  SEA CHANGE

Every boat undergoes tremendous change of one form or another as Edgar finally leaves the Northwestern, yet another a new captain assumes the helm of the Cornelia Marie, and an epic arctic storm thoroughly disrupts all fishing efforts.  (Jupiter and Uranus conjunct and squaring Mercury and the Sun, where the Sun is also the natural ruler of the captains; Neptune and Chiron conjunct in the 12th house hidden enemies; the sea is not their friend this trip.)

Week 2:  FRONTIER MEDICINE

An arctic hurricane entirely disrupts the crabbing process and calls for emergency measures.  There are various injuries where captains have to play surgeon. (Chiron and Neptune in the 12th; Moon in Cancer opposite Pluto and Mars; Mercury square Uranus and Jupiter.)  Ice presents a tremendous problem.  (Moon opposite Pluto)  On the Northwestern, Jake Anderson is having a difficult time filling Edgar's shoes. (Saturn in the 6th and ruler of the 11th of teamwork)

Week 3:  BIRDS, BONES AND BLOOD

More horrific weather, a crew member on the Northwestern suffers a broken nose but is lucky to be alive (Saturn in the 6th indicates difficulties at work), and the Time Bandit battles treacherous seas to get a crew member into port.  (Neptune - Chiron conjunction semi-sextile Jupiter and Uranus.)  Dead birds litter the deck of the Ramblin' Rose, a rather ominous omen.  (Jupiter conjunct Uranus indicating a big surprise with Jupiter ruler of the 8th of death.)

Week 4:  IT'S NOT ALL MAI TAI'S AND YAHTZEE

More weather-related problems including a loose pot on the Kodiak (Mercury square Uranus or sudden surprise movement)  and a Seabrooke crewman injured by a huge block of falling ice (Saturn novile with Jupiter and Uranus indicates indicates an unexpected event with health implications) and winds up with a pot full of the wrong crabs (Neptune sextile Mercury the Trickster).  The Cornelia Maria continues to have problems finding crab so the new skipper makes a command decision (Sun quintile Saturn where the Sun typically represents the leader while Saturn represents authority figures and hard work.).

Week 5:  PIRATE SCHOOL

Captain Keith goes off on a greenhorn (Pluto novile Saturn; Sun square Uranus; Mercury square Uranus).  A suspected broken propeller on the Ramblin' Rose (Saturn novile Uranus)

Week 6:  THE ISLAND

Heavy seas continue to threaten the fleet (Neptune - Chiron semi-sextile Jupiter - Uranus).  Sig drifts off in the wheelhouse from lack of sleep. (Neptune sextile Mercury).

Week 7:  I SMELL A NIGHTMARE

Two exhausted crewmembers on the Time Bandit nearly have it out (Mars opposite Pluto); Skippers on the Cornelia Marie and Seabrooke are hurting (Saturn in the 6th); Captain Keith's temper flares again (Mars in the 10th conjunct Pluto indicating aggression and power display by leader).

Week 8:  MOHAWKS, MADNESS, GOODNESS, GLADNESS

The Seabrooke's captain battles a painful illness (Saturn in the 6th representing health problems; Chiron conjunct Neptune in the 12th, hidden enemies that injure, appropriate for a kidney stone); the Northwestern wreaks revenge on the Time Bandit (Mercury, the "trickster" squaring Jupiter and Uranus in the 12th of "hidden enemies"); big pots and profits finally appear in the last strings (Mercury, ruler of the 2nd house of income, novile Venus, natural ruler of income; Mercury square Jupiter and Uranus in the 12th indicating unexpected expansion in Pisces, sign of the fish, hiding in the 12th).

Coincidence?

If you're not already a believer in astrology you are probably thinking that this is all coincidence, that virtually any chart would show correlations.  While statistically any chart would have some aspects which could tie into the general theme of this season, there would not be so many in such a consistent way.  Granted, this is the deadliest job and there will always be problems such as weather which of course include high seas and personality clashes in such a small, stressful environment.  Furthermore, a chart is always read in the context of what it's drawn for. 

For those of you who have read this far without your eyes glazing over, I'd like to throw in one more tidbit.  I focused on this most recent season since it is freshest in everyone's mind plus it was so gripping with the violent weather through most of it.  However, I'm sure some of you may be wondering about the chart for the 2010 opilio season (shown at left), particularly as it relates to the death of Captain Phil Harris.   Mars in the 8th house is often an indicator of death.  Its opposition to Neptune and Jupiter  is relevant in that it affects the entire fleet and the quincunx (blue line) to Mercury implies a change of course related to a death.  The triple sextile involving Venus and Neptune, Jupiter and the Moon brings in the emotional element while the semi-sextiles to Uranus show the element of surprise. 

As mentioned earlier, the transits which represent the actual location of the planets, provide the timing for events.  Captain Phil died on February 9, 2010.  On that day the transiting Sun was at 20:07 Aquarius, opposite the 8th house Mars of this chart.  The Sun tends to be the major trigger for specific events, as shown by this example.  It would truly be an interesting exercise to pin down other happenings.  It's highly likely that even such things as which days the pots were set versus the number of crabs captured would show up in the chart.  Days when tensions are high and altercations likely are a no-brainer in astrology.  Another thing to look at comprises the transits in place at the time the ship leaves port.  Finding the best time to initiate an activity is called Electional Astrology and in my experience it works quite nicely.

If any Deadliest Catch captains care to share their ship's log I'm sure I could find all sorts of interesting things!   Any takers?

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