Athena's Web Weekly Column

  Week of March 9th - March 15th,  2001

Texas Lightning

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   Continuing on my quest west, returning from a quick stop to Austin north into the Panhandle around sunset, the clouds ahead loomed ominously. The sky darkened, more than the growing dusk should account for. One of the things about the Panhandle is that the land is so flat, you can see for miles. Under this growing gloom, a bolt of lightning briefly united earth and sky in a climatic surge of power, momentarily outlining the surrounding clouds in an eerie glow. The route northwest out of Fort Worth bent discouragingly toward where the fork of lightning had just appeared.

Texas Lightning

Texas Lightning

   Driving on into the night the weather grew steadily worse as the rain began to fall and a double darkness enfolded my speeding silver Subaru. The news the next morning was to report this was a particularly dangerous storm, with the wind, snow and ice contributing to a high number of highway accidents, but I didn’t know that yet. With windshield wipers keeping time to the music, my first indication came while in the passing lane of a divided highway, just getting ready to overtake a semi while crossing a small bridge. This bridge wasn’t big enough or high enough to be going over another road or a river; perhaps some unseen stream lost in the darkness lay below. At the time, I was cruising along at about the same speed as the truck, diagonally just ahead of me by a few feet. As we went over the bridge together, I had the nauseating feeling that my four tires were no longer in full contact with the road as the car began to angle slightly to the right. Fortunately the bridge was only some 60 or 80 yards long, and as soon as we were off, the car quickly regained its natural grip on the road, but even so I slowed down. Up ahead there were lights flashing, perhaps another half mile down the road. As we approached, it turned out to be another bridge, similar in shape and size to the one we had just crossed, but this time with about three cars spun out onto the center meridian, and a new, blue pick up truck with its passenger nose wedged under the rear tires of a huge flatbed. The police were already there. For the next two hours, I passed accident after accident, most of them just off bridges. That evening, the transiting Mercury Uranus parallel was discharging it’s power with an electrical storm (Uranus) which was adversely affecting the driving (Mercury) conditions. My whole life I had seen the ‘Bridge freezes before road’ signs, but this was the first time that I had ever seen it demonstrated in such dramatic fashion, with each bridge coated in a thick sheet of ice. It apparently caught the local community unawares, too.

   On top of this, in an aspect which I had missed, Mars inconjuncted my own natal Uranus earlier that morning, with the Mercury Uranus parallel reigniting it. This martial aspect is a particularly dangerous one, in that both planets can indicate a sudden, unexpected release of power. Inconjuncts are the accident aspect, as their one hundred and fifty degree alignment occurs between signs of completely different, and emotionally unsuited, character. Fortunately, this personal aspect was behind me, as building into these aspects are usually when they are the most dangerous. Either way, in this instance Uranus turned out to be a shot of Texas lightning.

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