tamborine mountain tragedy: anatomy of an accident

At approximately 2.56 p.rn. on Tuesday, September 25, 1990 on one of the four main roads leading off Tamborine Mountain, Queensland's worst bus accident occurred killing eleven people and injuring thirty eight. The bus was carrying day trippers to a very popular tourist spot, famous for its scenic beauty and rain forests. How could this accident have occurred? Why did it have to happen? These are two very difficult questions to answer, to which the authorities are still searching for answers. Perhaps some insight may he gained by looking at the problem from an astrological viewpoint, combined with a little local knowledge.

Tamborine Mountain community nestles upon a plateau some 1800 feet above sea level, serviced by four arterial routes. The steepest of these is also perhaps one of the steepest in Australia and is the route upon which the accident occurred - Henri Roberts Drive. This road was originally a private road created for the purpose of opening up a new estate on the south eastern edge of the mountain. It was not until some years age that this road was resumed by public authorities as general traffic was using the road anyway.

It is a road perhaps that should never have been open to heavy traffic, especially after a report that a truck driver was killed there years ago because of brake failure. The locals have come to treat it with the respect that it deserves, and this is recognised by the fact that school buses are not permitted to travel down this route.

Tribal Lands of Local Aboriginals

Having provided some of the background picture necessary to understanding the nature of this accident, it is now necessary to examine the astrological factors involved. The date used for the natal chart of Tamborine Mountain is November 1, 1875, with the time being set for astrological sunrise. This date is given by Eve Curtis in her book "The Turning Years", which is a history of Tamborine Mountain, as being the date that the first while settler took up residence on the mountain. This date has been chosen for the Natal Chart as it marks a significant turning event in the history of the mountain. Prior to this time and the allocation of land to the European settlers, the mountain was part of the tribal lands of the local Aborigines.

Chart for Mountain

Looking at the chart itself, it seems clear that it truly reflects the character of the mountain. As one drives up the roads to the mountain, a tremendous feeling of power seems to exude from the core of the mountain; this obviously reflects the positioning of four planets and the ascendant in Scorpio, along with the ruler of the eighth house on the ascendant. lt is also interesting to note that the leading real estate office on the mountain bears Scorpionic symbolism in its trademark of a phoenix in the colours of red and black. This agency is also run by a Scorpio individual. The mountains mark of greatness is further symbolised by the fixed grand cross in angular position: a greatness that is hard won.

Tamborine Chart

A Place of Tremendous Beauty

Tamborine Mountain has been described as an "island in the air" and "God's own country" giving an accurate picture of the surrealism permeating this mountain. It tends to he isolationist in character and in a total world of its own... a place of tremendous beauty. The type of people drawn to this mountain are highly individualistic, artistic, intense, seeking an alternative life style and sanctuary from the harsh realities of life; and may be involved in the arts such as former resident and poetess Judith Wright and current resident and singer Simon Gallagher. When I first moved to this mountain, nearly two years ago, one of the locals told me that unless one belonged here that one would not stay for long - that certainly seems to he the case. The main industry centres around tourist facilities and arts and craft shops. This is perhaps reflected in the chart through the opposition of Neptune to the ascendant and the planets placed therein, along with a prominently placed Uranus in the tenth house (both planets being connected to the fifth house of creativity). This configuration also explains the temperament and lifestyle of the locals.

Transitting-Progressed Aspects Indicate Possible Tragedy

However, enough has been said on the natal chart to indicate that it accurately reflects the character of the mountain and its people. lt is now necessary to turn to the events surrounding the accident. From the transiting and progressed planetary positions, there is a proliferation of aspects which could only point to the tragedy that occurred. In examination of the natal chart, there has been a series of solar eclipses along the MC/IC axis and involving natal Mars. At the time of the accident, transiting Uranus was forming a conjunction to the Moon/Mars midpoint from the third house of travel. As is well known, any involvement of Mars/Uranus, is highly volatile and is indicative of accidents. Uranus was within 7 minutes of exactitude to this point, and it is usual for Uranus to act as a precise indicator of events. The transiting North Node is also conjunct natal Mars.

Aspects Upon Aspects

Accompanying this, the transitting chart shows a T-square between Moon, Mars and Mercury. This of itself is significant in that it is angular in the transitting chart at the time of the accident. The planetary positions also connect closely to the natal position of the Moon in Tamborine's chart, which has also been afflicted by transitting Uranus.

Further to this, Pluto, the natural ruler of death and regeneration is also transitting the ascending sign of Tamborine's chart, in close proximity to the Venus/Jupiter midpoint. At the time of the accident, transitting Mercury, accidental ruler of the eighth house of death, was in sextile position to the Venus/Jupiter midpoint. Mercury and Jupiter are intrinsically associated with travel, Venus with pleasure; and along with the accidental associations of these planets with the houses of death, sorrow and loss, a clearer picture begins to emerge. Being that they are placed in an angular position indicates the notoriety accompanying this accident, with further indications along these lines being the previously mentioned involvement of the radical Moon and the tenth house. It is also interesting to note that radical Venus is on one arm of the fixed grand cross.

Compounding the above aspects, progressed Mercury (ruler of the eighth house of death), was also square to the Venus/Jupiter midpoint. Thee progressed Moon was also conjunct progressed Mercury. Thee aspects just keep on rolling, with progressed Sun trine radical Mercury (now implicating the fifth house of pleasure), and progressed Mars forming a square aspect to radical MC. It is also interesting to note that the angles on the accident chart are virtually identical with those of the progressed chart, and that the transiting M.C. is in opposition with radical Pluto.

Fixed Star Involvement

One further interesting point to note in the transitting chart set for the time of the accident, is that the angular T-square involving Moon, Mercury and Mars, third, fifth, sixth and eighth houses also involves the malefic fixed stars of Antares, Aldebaran and Mizar. According to Ebertin, these fixed stars have the following characteristics: Antares is of Martian nature and brings increased dangers through foolhardiness, and is associated with sudden accidents of violent character capable of bringing death through fire, weapons and machinery, Mizar is also of Martian character and brings calamities and mass catastrophes; and Aldebaran, once again of Martian character brings danger. It seems that this was an accident, not looking for a place to happen, but only a time.

Copyright, Alison Moroney, 1990

First published in "Astrological Monthly Review" in 1990.