On Saturday, June 23rd, 2018, a local soccer team of 12 children from age 11 to 17 were declared missing after a mother reported that her son had not returned from his usual soccer practice in Ban Pong Pha (Mae Sai) in the province of Chang Rai (Southern Thailand).

Not much is known about the details of why things happened this way.

The kids went with their 25 years old coach to the 2.5 km  distance Tham Luang Nang Non National Park and entered a complex system of caves called “the sleeping lady”, well-known for being long and difficult.

While the cave is a popular spot to visit, a sign outside warns that in the rainy months starting in July, it is unsafe to go inside. However, the coach entered the cave with the kids and while they were exploring the cave, a sudden storm caused the passageways to flood, trapping them inside. Around 7 p.m. local time, a forest guide found their bicycles with backpacks, football shoes and other sports equipment left in their baskets at the entrance of the cave.

Efforts to locate them were hampered by rising water levels, which blocked the access to inner chambers, and no contact could be made with them for over a week. The rescue effort expanded into a massive government-led operation, amid intense media coverage and public interest. After struggles through narrow passages and muddy waters, British divers discovered the 13 missing people, all alive, on an elevated rock about 4 kilometres from the cave mouth, on 2 July  2018, over nine days after they went missing.

Due to heavy rain, parts of the tunnel system was flooded and could be reached only by diving, but none of the kids was able to swim or dive. Also, expert divers needed more than 6 hours to reach the kids and 5 to come back. For the kids, already in bad shape after 9 days of starving, the rescue would be extremely dangerous. Furthermore, meteorologists expected the monsoon to break in at any time which would have worse the situation badly. They were also running out of time because the oxygen level in the cave was falling and air tanks were being brought in.

No time is given for the moment the kids and their coach entered the Tham Luang cave, but we can assume that:

  • They went after the football match and after lunch.
  • The entered the cave in daytime.
  • We are talking about a tropical country where the Sun sets shortly before 7 p.m. The Sun also sets very quickly and the coach must have planned not only to be out of the cave at that time, but probably out of the forest, as the kids came on bicycle.

So here is the chart, for the time, the soccer team most probably entered the cave. And this chart is indeed impressive.

 

General considerations

The kids entered the cave during a waxing Moon and while the luminary was in a water sign. Both information describe the tendency of the water to increase.  The Moon was angular and in the sign of her fall, describing a situation linked to water which was possibly dangerous. Things went worse by the presence of retrograde and essentially debilitated Jupiter in the 1st house, who was  also in a water sign, describing too much water. However, Jupiter in this position also describes luck. It is not about avoiding horrible experiences (Jupiter is debilitated) but the hope to survive an some way.

Both benefics are angular. Essentially debilitated planets who are accidentally strong, will fullfill their mission after many difficulties and struggle (Zoeller, DMA course).

 

Identification of the kids

 

Since this is an event chart and cast for the moment the kids entered the cave, they are described by the first house Scorpio and its ruler Mars. This seems to be very fitting, as the soccer team is called the wild boars.  However, Mars is the malefic out of sect and  has just left his exaltation (they were playing soccer just a few hours earlier) and is now peregrine, he is thus essentially debilitated but angular. This angularity, while not depicting the kids as physically strong, [1] it describes them to be in an at least temporarily safe place.

The co-significators of the kids is Jupiter in the 1st house, and the Moon, who also shows what is going to happen.

Jupiter rules the 5th house (soccer game). He is accidentally strong by his angular position but peregrine and under the horizon. Furthermore, the planet is retrograde.  The benefic in sect is not really functional and may even represent some kind of risk for the kids because of his essential afflictions.

The Moon is conjunct the AC. She rules the 9th house, which is representative of the young teacher. The press revealed that he is a former monk, which is also described by the 9th house. She is peregrine and in her fall but accidentally strong. This literally describes a teacher who lacks skills. He was not authorized to bring the kids into a cave (less so in the monsoon season) and he did not advise  their parents.

From this first analysis, we find all the significators of the kids essentially afflicted but accidentally strong.

Mars is in the lowest point in the chart, describing the kids to be under the earth (4th house) but at the same time on the top of a small rock or some kind of elevated place (Aquarius). Mars is in a fixed sign, which describes them as stuck into that place, not moving.  Aquarius is also an air sign, so this gives them oxygen.

The Moon shows what happens to them.

  • First, the Moon squares Mars. Both are in fixed signs, and since Mars is in the 4th house, the faster moving Moon shows the kids literally moving steadily downwards.
  • Next the Moon squares Venus, the ruler of the 12th house, so they get lost.

Tham Luang Nang Non cave has an impressive entrance chamber about 80mt long and leads to an easy walk along spacious passageways that last for about half a mile / 1km. At the end of the marked path the passage enters a series of chambers, boulder collapses and boulder chokes where route finding can be difficult. After a few hundred metres, the cave narrows to a passage 2mt  wide and 3 mt /high. After that, the cave splits off into different directions, including several that lead to other chambers, pools of water or places with high avens and shafts that reach the surface.[2]

The Moon then approaches Jupiter, who is essentially debilitated and thus possibly dangerous. Jupiter describes a “too much”, or something exaggerated. He is in a water sign and Scorpio describes dark or muddy water.

So we know that they fled from the incoming muddy water, got lost (really deep into the mountain!) and found a place where to survive for the moment.

 

Help

“Help” is shown by the 11th house and its ruler Mercury. It is a double bodied sign, showing help coming from more than one person. The planet is in a sign of water so help will come literally from the water. He in his own bounds and in the 9th (far journeys, in this case any exit out of the cave would be considered as “far”). Mercury is in a cardinal sign, the helpers are probably ingenious and quick. However, this is a cadent  house and Mercury also rules the 8th. In addition, Mercury turns retrograde on July 26th. If the kids are not out of the cave at that time, helpers will be helpless. [3]

On July 2nd , the kids were found and reached by the team of British cave diver specialists Rick Stanton and John Volanthen .

Transiting Mercury is just on the MC in the event chart, while transiting Moon is transiting the 4th  and going to trine her own position in the event chart.

However, while the team could reach the boys, they could not help them to get out. The way was far too long and dangerous and the kids, beside their poor physical shape, were totally unprepared. The rescuers organized however food and water supply.

Sadly, Mercury does not only show the helpers, but also represents the 8th house of death. On July 5th, 2018, Saman Gunan, an ex Thai Navy Seal and member of the impressive rescue team died in the attempt of delivering air tanks.

The transiting Moon was in the 6th house, squaring the Sun in the 8th house of the event chart while he also exactly squared retrograde Saturn in the 2nd house (resources)[4] . He died after having delivered oxygen for others while he had not enough for himslef. Death by drowing is a “speciality” of Saturn.

 

Rescue

Specialists pumped water out of the cave in order to facilitate the rescue operation, but many parts of the cave systems weres still under water.

July 8th, 2018 was the D-Day, the rescue operation started. Every child was to be accompanied by one or two expert divers out of the cave in groups of four. (image courtesy BBC)

The beginn of the rescue operation was given for 10 am.[5]

Since the main problem for leaving the cave was the water, we have to look at the Moon’s phase first.

She is exalted and thus in an earth sign, which is good, as earth represents a lower water level than a water sign. She is waning and approaching new Moon, so the water is diminishing. These are good news in a situation, in which the Monsoon could start every day filling up with water every possible access to the cave even from holes above the kids. Also, in the event chart below, we see that the Moon is preparing to set, thus repeating the picture of diminished water. [6] Taurus is a fixed sign, so the water level should stay more or less stable during the operation.

The hour ruler of the time is also the exalted Moon.

The mission started with  Virgo rising, (which is the 11th sign of help in the chart when the boys got trapped), and Mercury in the 12th. Bicorporal signs describe movement, changing conditions and/or speed. The Moon is leaving the 8th house, which is good on the one hand, but on the other she loses power entering a cadent house. However, this may just depict the long journey to reach the exit of the cave. If the rescue action really started at 10 am, then her first aspect is a unreceived square to Mars, ruler of the 8th house of death. However, since the aspect is that close and Mars retrograde, I would rather consider this aspect as already perfect or even separating when the operation starts, admitting also a small delay of the start. After this, the Moon will square Mercury in the 12th, so the Moon virtually ties Mercury, in this case the kids, into the 9th, on a journey.

However, Mercury’s position in the 12th can also be seen as a hint that the kids were given strong tranquilizers in order to avoid panic.[7]

Furthermore, in the be-wheel we can see, that the Moon of  the beginning of the rescue operation is in exact opposition to the moment, the kids entered the cave. She also squares their significator Mars (showing difficulties) but also Jupiter and Venus (applying aspects).

At around 5.40 local time, the first two boys came out of the cave, two hours later, the next two. This was unexpectedly quick: the water was lower than feared.

The next 4 boys were planned to be rescued on Monday, July 9th, 2018, starting at 11 a.m. local time.

Virgo is rising and Mercury is in the 11th house of hope and assistance. The Moon is still exalted and in the 9th, applying to peregrine Venus (ruler of the 9th and the 2nd) in the 12th. This operation starts in the hour of the Sun (life), who is elevated and in his own triplicity. However, since Venus is in the 12th, kids are likely to be brought into the hospital.

The last rescue mission took place on July 10th, 2018, starting at 10.08 local time (The Guardian).Virgo is rising and Jupiter collects the light of Mercury and the Sun, all aspects to the malefics are separative.

All wild boars s and their tutor have been rescued alive and well. The angular positions of the significator of the kids and both benefics have hold their promise, that the kids would make it.

 

 

 

Main sources:

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2018/06/30/divers-progress-search-missing-thai-children-trapped-cave/

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-44734385

https://www.theguardian.com/world/live/2018/jul/09/thai-cave-rescue-resumes-to-free-eight-boys-and-coach-still-trapped-latest-news

https://www.bangkokpost.com/news/general/1496282/boys-and-coach-found-alive-in-cave#cxrecs_s

 

 

 

[1] They had spent 9 days without food, light and physical exercise, which is shown by the lack of essential dignities of Mars.

[2] https://www.xray-mag.com/content/thailand-cave-rescue-brit-cave-divers-report-gnarly-diving

[3]  We might also look at the most dignified planet for help. Saturn is in his own domicile but a malefic. Venus is in her own bounds, angular and conjunct the North Node. She is literally “above the head” of the  kids. So help might come from above. Rescue teams were considering drilling the mountain in order to reach the kids, but they were at 1 km depth and there were many risks with this option, not even considering problems as the lack of streets to carry machines to the mountain. However, the kids reported hearing a cock singing and also kids voices. This is why birdwatchers and ornithologists were also involved in this rescue mission. They tried to find another way into the cave labyrinth, a tunnel from above. While Lilly associates the cock with the Sun, we see that Venus is in the Sun’s sign (Leo). Thus she describes a beautiful, shining or colourful bird.  At the same time, Leo describes woods, forests, inaccessible or steep and rocky places. However, Venus opposes Mars and squares the Moon, so if such an access to the cave exists, it will be anything than easy to get the kids out, especially because Venus aspects the Moon who is in her fall, and because the Moon will aspect Mars before. After this, the Moon joins Jupiter, so the risk, that the cave will flood completely is very likely.

[4] Saturn is technically in the 3rd house but moving retrograde back into the 2nd house.

[5] https://www.theguardian.com/world/2018/jul/08/rescue-thailand-cave-operation-boys-begins-divers

[6] The concept is that of natural tides, which changes every 6 houses. We can imagine this graphically in this way: From AC to MC: water increases, from MC to DC, water diminishes, from DC to IC, water increases and from IC to AC it diminishes, this is just a concept, in reality the tides depend on many factors. But they change roughly each 6 hours.

[7] http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/thailand-rettungsaktion-in-der-hoehle-geht-weiter-a-1217360.html

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