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Sun, Six Planets To Line Up: Polar Shift?

By Matthew Fordahl, AP Science Writer, Wednesday, April 5, 2000; 1:21 p.m. EDT

LOS ANGELES PP Next month, the sun and six of the planets will line up like cosmic billiard balls in a configuration doomsayers warn could shift the Earth's poles, trigger earthquakes, ruin the stock market and usher in the Age of Aquarius if anyone survives.

Astronomers are bracing for the May 5-16 alignment, too, but not out of fear their observatories will crumble.

They will be busy debunking the end-of-the-world predictions, just as they did when the planets lined up in 1982, 1962 and about every 20 years before that. They will have to do it again in 2020, too.

"If people are determined to be anxious about something, I think it would be a lot better if they were anxious about their driving on the freeways," said E.C. Krupp, director of the Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles.

The alignment will involve the sun, Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, and comes just when you thought it was safe to ditch those Y2K survival kits.

The May show won't even be visible because it will be obscured by the sun's glare. So if there is to be any earthly excitement, it will have to come from all those quakes, tidal waves and volcanoes.

On Thursday, in a celestial preview, three planets P Mars, Jupiter and Saturn P will appear close in the sky as they march toward the grand alignment. The crescent moon will be crammed into the same area.

"It's very pretty," said Dennis Mammana, astronomer at San Diego's Reuben H. Fleet Science Center. "I think that's the limit to the significance of this thing."

There's no risk of a collision: The moon is 239,000 miles away; Mars 216 million miles away; Jupiter 543 million miles away; and Saturn 927 million miles away.

Each one of these planetary alignments brings a new round of doomsday predictions.

A book called "The Jupiter Effect" received wide attention with its prediction that California would be rocked by a major earthquake indirectly caused by the 1982 alignment of the planets. It turned out to be all wrong.

Another book ominously titled "5/5/2000: Ice, The Ultimate Disaster" predicts the alignment and increased solar activity will unleash a complex chain of events causing the Earth's crust to slide and poles to shift.

"Quite frankly, it would be a geological Armageddon," said author Richard Noone. "You'd have volcanism going on globally. Earthquakes beyond the scale anything Richter ever dreamed of. Tsunamis hundreds of feet high, sweeping hundreds of miles inland."

The 390-page book uses "pole shifting" to explain everything from the disappearance of the civilization that built the pyramids to why woolly mammoths appear to be flash-frozen in Siberia.

Noone has moved his family to safety in Georgia, but astronomers say he and everybody else have nothing to worry about because the extra pull and stretching from the aligned planets is a small fraction of the moon's tidal and gravitational strength.

Astrologers, though, say the planetary alignment signals a change from the Age of Pisces to the Age of Aquarius. And that's not a good thing.

The "pileup of energy" is going to lead to "some very serious reversals in the stock market," said astrologer Norman Arens. He also predicts cataclysmic quakes, floods and volcanoes as well as a movement away from 2,000-year-old Christian principles.

Mammana countered that nobody has ever been able to explain how rocks in space can influence lives.

"It's a shame that they have to fall into the traps of things like this," he said. "The universe is a grand and wonderful place, and the fact that we can understand it and predict the way it behaves is a wonderful testament to our intelligence and our ingenuity."

And besides, Krupp said, if the end of the world is near, so what?

"There's no reason to get upset about it. If it is the end of the world, there's very little you can do," he said. ------------------------------------------------------------------

-- Flash (flash@flash.hq), April 10, 2000


Remember the Harmonic Convergence in 1987? Many people expected the Rapture and headed out to the deserts and the wilderness in droves - Aug. 1987. All that happened was that the DJIA peaked.

-- Debbie (, April 10, 2000.

anybody remember "YAR" from BIFFY? Poor sucker went into convulsions over the May alignment.

(are you listening Ed, Gary? A PRIME sucker for fleecing...)

-- (aaaaa@aaaa.aaaaa), April 10, 2000.

All that happened was that the DJIA peaked.

er, my remark was made in irony. Not suggesting cause and effect - as I guess it sounded like, on re-reading it!

-- Debbie (, April 10, 2000.

probaly a couple of tornado's will hit somewhere and this will be blamed. other than that, I dont expect anything.

-- boo (, April 10, 2000.

Most of you have probably debunked astrology, but as an astrologer I will give some input to this thread.

First and foremost, transiting planets do not CAUSE things to happen; They speak to the odds of certain things happening over others. All of astrology is based on archetypes-it explains the cycles and patterns of human existence. I have studied for a long time, and have been very accurate when reading charts-I was born a skeptic and have a science-nerd background, so I did not take naturally to this discipline.

Proof, however, for me is in results-and I see the results. I do not posit any of this to sway skeptics; This is just a little info to take up space on a bulletin board. Anyway, wherever Taurus is in one's chart, and whatever aspects the "lined-up" planets are making in that natal chart, will definately make a difference in everyone's life. On a large scale, volcanic activity is picking up considerably (alas, no link, but I did read this recently) and this happened last time five planets lined up in a sign about 20 years ago.


-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), April 10, 2000.

FS, I do not doubt your science background and your natural skeptism, but what bugs me here is that you're not saying much to help the layperson, non-astrologer like me, with much facts and references to support your assertions of definetlies. You will however, help fuel the paranoid's fears for sure. Especially those who tend to blow things up out of proportion.

Would be helpful if you could elaborate more and support what you've said with data.

-- Chris (!@#$, April 10, 2000.


I would hope that I would not help a single doomer become more paranoid-The thing about volcanos could be coincidental-I promise you I will try to find that link to what I read. you are right to take me to task on mentioning it at all.

First let me say that there are is a broad spectrum of belief systems within the astrological community. I am of the "psychological" school- I look at a chart to discover the areas of the psyche which need to be dealt with; brought to the surface.

The more I think about my response, the more I think I could best explain this privately( Just for the record, I do not seek anybodies identity on this site; please, of course, disguise your sending e-mail address if this is a concern; I have read in previous threads where you DID have a problem when you gave your e- mail address.

Taurus marks my 12th house-the house of the collective unconscious, the house of dreams. My dreamlife has accelerated dramatically as the planets line up in this house. I have had some very interesting and revelaing dreams and expect more of the same for the next few months.

I could give you many examples of what happened to change my mind about astrology, but would anyone else be interested??

My responsibility here is to retract my previous statement about volcanos having anything to do with the alignment. It WAS irresponsible.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), April 10, 2000.

Hawk, what's your take on this?

There are some who predict major quakes, realignment of the earth's crust, shifting of the earth's axis, volcanic action, and a host of other doom scenarios. It's supposed to happen on May 5, 2000 or a little after.

Future Shock, you too, what do your dreams and/or intuitive flashes tell you about the possibility of some major earth changes soon?

Got Preps???

-- doomster (, April 11, 2000.

a simliar line-up happened before in 1979 or thereabouts

there was a book written by John Gribben (ex Sussex University UK) called the Jupiter Effect about this planetary alignment predicting earthquakes, tidal waves etc etc

he also wrote a book called the Greenhouse Effect

-- richard (, April 11, 2000.


My intuitive flashes tell me that while there may be a higher than average run of volcanos/earthquakes, nothing major will happen. The stock market will continue to correct itself, but there is no depressionn around the corner.

Though some chided me for using intuition in my Y2K decision, I just KNEW it would be a BITR or less.

-- FutureShock (gray@matter.think), April 16, 2000.


Thanks for the update. I hope you're right!

-- Flash (flash@flash.hq), April 16, 2000.

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