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Concorde: The world's first commercial supersonic aeroplane
(NB This short piece does not examine Concorde's key moments in relation the French national charts simply for reasons of space, therefore the astrology here represents what Concorde meant for the UK alone)
The world-famous Concorde aeroplane was retired in 2003, after just under 30 years of commercial service. The French fleet was retired in may, and the British fleet in October. As the Concordes are being handed over to museums and airports in different countries around the world, Concorde is approaching its 28th birthday in terms of commercial flying, so there is a clear Saturn return pattern here that relates to the era of commercial supersonic air travel. In terms of total lifetime, transiting Saturn at the time
of the last ever flight on 26th November 2003 (when the final Concorde was flown from Heathrow on its final journey home to its birthplace in Filton, near Bristol, UK, was approaching a square aspect to Saturn's position on 2nd March 1969 when Concorde had its first ever flight.
When Concorde first flew [view chart], transiting Mars was on the cusp of the UK's 3rd house, squaring the UK's Pluto. This was therefore triggering issues of competition and rivalry that could result in power battles and trade wars. Years later, when Concorde began to fly commercially, the USA would not allow the plane to fly there because it threatened the USA's own airline businesses who could not compete with a supersonic aeroplane. Interestingly, as Concorde has retired transiting Uranus has been conjoining the UK's Pluto and therefore squaring the 1969 Mars - perhaps the industry has been equalised slightly with Concorde's retirement. However this Uranus transit is also coinciding with official secrets being revealed, and an upsurge in corporate and government explanations being regarded with suspicion. When Concorde was retired there was an element of distrust in the public and media about the official reasons given, and doubt remains in some people's minds about what really went on behind the scenes.
On the day of Concorde's first supersonic flight [view chart] Jupiter, a sky god and a planet renowned for velocity and international movement, was extremely closely conjunct the UK's nodal axis in the 1st house. This symbolises a proud nation but also one that is opening up to foreign countries and focused on travel. There was a triple conjunction of Mercury (the fleet-footed winged messenger), Uranus (another sky god renowned for speed and motion), and the Sun on this day, which closely connected with the UK's Uranus and Ascendant. This supersonic flight then represented a breakthrough in travel for the UK, exponentially opening up beyond previous limits on travel. Significantly, Uranus is not just a god of the sky but of the heavens, and Concorde was known for travelling on the edge of space. Around the time of this supersonic flight, the MC axis
squared the UK's Mercury in the 3rd house, thus picking up on the UK's 3rd-9th axis (Mercury rules the 9th in the UK's chart) and symbolising the achievement of goals in the travel arena.
After many years of development, Concorde finally entered commercial service. The inaugural flight took place in 1976, on the 21st of January shortly before lunchtime [view chart]. Transiting Jupiter was almost exactly trine the UK's Mercury, but with the transiting lunar nodes highlighting the UK's Neptune in the 2nd house Concorde was set to trigger some dubious financial issues. Transiting Saturn very close to the UK's Jupiter also signified that the beginnings of Concorde's commercial service would be challenging, that growth would be slow and that although the aircraft itself was capable of travelling at twice the speed of sound, profit generation would travel much slower. In the chart for the first commercial flight Mars is stationery in close oppostion to Neptune across the middle degrees of the Gemini-Sagittarius axis, showing competition and survival issues. The Sun opposite to Saturn again represents a slow-burner rather than a shooting star, although it also reflects high ambition and the desire to rise to the top. Jupiter in opposition to Pluto signifies the potential for corporate power in this venture, and Mercury in Aquarius square to Uranus shows that this service would shake-up the travel market.
In July 2000, a French Concorde tragically crashed after taking off from Paris, killing over 100 people. Transiting Saturn and Jupiter both opposed the 1969 Mars-Neptune conjunction at this time, but Saturn was almost exactly in opposition to Neptune. Saturn-Neptune contacts often associate with sadness, feelings of loss, and disillusionment. In relation to the 1976 chart (the first commercial flight), transiting Saturn was sextile Saturn, and also forming a grand trine with the Sun and Moon. Transiting Jupiter was very closely trine Mercury, however transiting Neptune was also closely conjunct Mercury, and transiting Uranus was square to the nodal axis and the Ascendant axis. The transiting Moon was just one degree away from the South node at the time of the crash. Whilst it is not possible at the moment to predict crashes using astrology, these transits taken together paint the picture of a vitally important time for the aeroplane, with sudden events causing disruption, and an element of poor judgements or corner-cutting involved. The Pluto-Chiron conjunction around 10-11 degrees of Sagittarius occurred close to Neptune-Mars opposition in the 1976 chart, so that potential for 'losing the competitive advantage' was activated around this time.
Over the following two years up to the end of 2002, Chiron and Pluto would both move across the Neptune-Mars opposition, and then across the cusp of the 8th house, the house of finances, rebirths, and endings. In reality, this marked the beginning of the end, but the aeroplane was re-launched into service on 7th November 2001 when the British government chartered the aeroplane to fly Tony Blair to the USA to visit George Bush. Commercial service re-launched on the 9th, two days later. At the time and place of Tony Blair's flight take-off, the Ascendant, MC, and house cusps were all almost exactly conjunct the Ascendant, MC, and house cusps of Concorde's first commercial flight in 1976. The Saturn-Pluto opposition was closely triggering the 1976 Neptune-Mars opposition, as Concorde rose Phoenix-like from its potential demise. The transiting nodal axis was almost exactly squaring the 1976 Moon (safety, the customers), and transiting Chiron was squaring the Moon too.
When the announcement was made that Concorde would be taken out of service for good, the public reacted with surprise and sadness. The French fleet was retired in April 2003, and the British fleet in October the same year. Concorde was given an heroic send-off by a proud public that turned out in tens of thousands to say good-bye to this much-loved plane. The last ever commercial flight ended as Concorde touched down at Heathrow airport in the UK, with Pluto exactly on the MC at that very moment, highlighting the 1976 8th house cusp and the UK's Mercury in the 3rd house, but ruling the 9th. The transiting nodal axis and transiting Venus were closely picking up the 1976 Ascendant and node axes, symbolising a 'fated' time, and transiting Jupiter was making a grand trine with the UK's Sun-Mars trine, indicating national pride and celebration. Saturn was approaching its return position, and the world's first ever commercial supersonic era ended.
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