At 6 PM local time across the country and the world on Saturday, May 21, 2011, followers of Christian Fundamentalist wacko Harold Camping were stunned to find that absolutely nothing happened.
Why? Because the about-to-be-90-year-old radio evangelist had predicted the end of the world then, or more accurately, Judgment Day, when approximately 200 million of Jesus Christ’s best buds would be spirited from the earth to avoid the Apocalypse Camping swears is still to come in five months’ time. On Sunday May 22, Camping emerged from his home to proclaim himself “flabbergasted” by the non-event, but within 24 hours had regained his equilibrium sufficiently to state that the problem was his, not God’s. Judgment Day had in fact occurred, but on an “invisible, spiritual” level; Christ had returned, thumbed through the heavenly Rolodex, and made his choice as to whom to spare, but was delaying the Rapture until the actual day of destruction, still set to proceed as scheduled on October 21, 2011.
We could wait five months, just to be sure, but since this is Harold Camping’s third strike on predicting the Apocalypse, we’ll just call him “out” now and save ourselves the trouble. After already crying “wolf!” in 1988 and 1994, it’s hard to imagine how anyone could take him seriously yet again, but many did, with some of his followers quitting their jobs, selling their possessions, and spending their life savings on ads and billboards to warn others of their impending doom.
But I must say, from an astrological perspective, Camping picked a nice day for it. Apocalypse in general seems a safe bet with the Cardinal T-Square still in force, composed of Uranus at 3 Aries, Pluto at 7 Capricorn and Saturn at 10 Libra, potentially spelling sudden, cataclysmic (Uranus) destruction (Pluto) of the Earth (Saturn), and with the Sun at 0 Gemini, in square to TNO Orcus at 1 Virgo, fresh from its direct station a week previously and named for a Roman underworld deity responsible for punishing evildoers in the afterlife, there is certainly an accent on judgment and retribution in the air.
That focus on final justice is a leading feature of Harold Camping’s birth chart as well. Born 19 July 1921, a close conjunction of TNO Orcus with fellow-traveler TNO Rhadamanthus, another judge of the dead from Greek mythology, at 6 and 9 Taurus spells “judgment and punishment” quite clearly. Sextile to both Uranus (shocks, upsets, calamities) at 9 Pisces and a Pluto (death, destruction)/Mercury (decisions, choices) pairing at 8 and 11 Cancer, it’s natural that Camping should have an eccentric and unorthodox (Uranus), obsessive (Pluto) mental focus (Mercury) on such matters. Orcus/Rhadmanthus also squares Camping’s natal Neptune (faith, belief, heaven) at 12 Leo and is tightly inconjunct asteroid Campins (#3327, closest spelling to “Camping”) at 7 Libra. Camping also sports a Sun/Karma conjunction, indicating a strong self-identification (Sun) with the workings of fate and justice (Karma), and a Jupiter/Saturn conjunction at 16 and 20 Virgo, inclining him to a religious belief system (Jupiter) based in fear, criticism, punishment, and penalty (Saturn). With these pairings atop the USA Mercury at 24 Cancer and Neptune at 22 Virgo, we can better understand how Camping became a voice (Mercury) for religious fanaticism (Neptune) in America.
The Campins/Orcus connection repeats more strongly in the May 21 2011 chart, with a close conjunction of Campins at 29 Leo with Orcus at 1 Virgo (also opposed to Neptune—fanatics and zealots—at 0 Pisces), a pattern present also in the chart for his first failed prediction, exactly 23 years earlier, for 21 May 1988, when Orcus and Campins were paired at 7 and 9 Leo, squared Camping’s natal Orcus/Rhadamanthus at 6 and 9 Taurus. That natal conjunction was also strongly activated in the May 21, 2011 chart, with a string of Venus, Mars and Mercury at 7 and 8 Taurus filling the missing degrees between them, and clustering atop the Maser at 8 Taurus, a Deep Space anomaly representing volatile, explosive energies and controversy.
Additional indicators of destiny and endings are present in the May 21 2011 chart, with asteroid Karma (reaping what we sow) at 9 Aries opposed Saturn (penance, harshness, rigidity, enforcement of the law) at 10 Libra, and also on Camping’s natal Uranus/Orcus midpoint. Asteroid Atropos, “the Cutter”, representing endings and named for the Greek Fate who severed the thread of life at death, falls at 6 Capricorn, conjunct Pluto (death, destruction, transformation) at 7 Capricorn, both squared Camping’s natal Campins. Asteroid Lachesis, “the Allotter”, named for the Fate who determines the span of life, at 16 Aquarius is conjunct a Pulsar (the media, who picked up the story and ran with it in the supposed final weeks of the world’s existence) and also asteroid Kassandra, representing prophecy and disbelief, at 17 Aquarius, both atop Camping’s natal Damocles, the doom that hangs unheeded overhead, itself conjoined a reality-warping Black Hole at 13 Aquarius.
Icarus/Neptune, the rash or reckless religious fanatic, combine at 27 Aquarius and 0 Pisces, trine to asteroid Niobe (pride) at 27 Libra, all points aspected to Camping’s natal Sun/Karma conjunction at 26 and 27 Cancer. These last oppose the Moon (the people) at 27 Capricorn in a chart set for zero hour, 6 PM EDT in Time Square, Manhattan, where a number of Camping’s followers had gathered to greet the end of the world, only to be greeted instead by the cheers and jeers of some pesky, reality-grounded nonbelievers.
All of which just goes to show you, however ridiculous the topic may be, astrology’s guiding dictum always applies—as above, so below.