On March 11, 2011 a massive earthquake which registered 8.9 on the Richter Scale shook Japan, throwing the country into physical and economic chaos.  In addition to the destruction perpetrated by the shift of the tectonic plates, the quake was accompanied by a massive tsunami  which further exacerbated the massive devastation.  Loss of much of the country's electrical power infrastructure due to grave and extensive damage done to their nuclear plants crippled the country such that even areas undamaged by the quake or tsunami were then unable to function due to the lack of electrical power.

An event chart typically contains an event's signature which is certainly true for the one below for the earthquake in Honshu, Japan, at 2:46:23 p.m.  A cursory look at the signs, planets and houses captures this horrendous scenario with even the degrees as used in traditional methods further reinforcing the tragic import.  The cluster of planets in the 8th House alone are indicative of something that will involve death or a major transformation.  Earthquakes usually involve Jupiter, planet of expansion, and Mercury, planet of movement, in either a conjunction or square aspect with the most common earthquake degrees 7, 8, and 9 degrees of cardinal signs.  On this chart, Mercury and Jupiter are applying to a conjunction in cardinal sign, Aries, with the midpoint at approximately 6 degrees.  Pluto is at 7 degrees Capricorn, another cardinal sign, and squaring both Mercury and Jupiter while also trining the Midheaven at 9:55 Taurus, indicating the transformational effect it would have on the nation and its international reputation.  Jupiter and Mercury in the 9th house, which represents, among other things, the media, suggests this would be a news worthy event throughout the world and affect other cultures as well. 

Jupiter is opposing Saturn, natural ruler of structure, which is retrograde in the 3rd house which includes roads in mundane astrology as well as all other means of transportation and communications, further implying the huge scope of the damage which involved thousands of vehicles as well as the devastation of roads and bridges by the subsequent tsunami.  Venus is forming a Triangle of Potential with the Saturn/Jupiter opposition from the 7th house of alliances, implying financial assistance and concern from other nations with whom Japan has alliances and treaties.  Mars in the 8th House is frequently indicative of violence with the asteroid, Chiron, which is conjunct Neptune, also implying injury and death, specifically via water due to the conjunction. 

Pluto, natural ruler of nuclear power, is in the 6th house of health, suggesting issues to follow radiation leaks from the country's damaged nuclear plants.  The partile (in the same degree) semi-sextile between Neptune, natural ruler of oceans, with Uranus, planet of the unexpected and breaking free as well as explosions, alludes to the tsunami.  The Moon, which rules function, is barely separating from a square to Neptune, another hint at the involvement of water.  A subtle hint of the tsunami also lies in the fact that the endings houses, which comprise the 4th, 8th and 12th, and represent where we build lasting memories, experience life and grow in spirit are all in water signs.

Not to be left out, various asteroids were involved as well.  The asteroid Chaos, often active with such events, was at 11:57 Gemini and thus forming a semi-sextile to the Midheaven, sextile to Jupiter, a square to Mars, and a trine to Venus, thus lending his energy through five houses.  The asteroid Hades as at 28:47 Gemini in partile conjunction with the South Node; there is no doubt this event qualified as Hell on Earth for those affected.  Furthermore, he was squaring Uranus with brings sudden, explosive or disruptive events and trining Neptune, King of the Deep.  Almost incredible is the fact that the asteroid Poseidon, another ruler of the sea, was at 9:54 Scorpio, within one minute of arc of being in exact opposition to the Midheaven!  From this position he squared Venus, trined Mars, formed a quincunx with Jupiter. 

Less commonly known and/or used aspects referred to as harmonics, which divide the 360 degrees of the chart into equal increments, were telling as well.  The octile series, which divide the wheel into eighths, provide intense energy and power and are shown in red in the chart to the right.  These involve at least six aspects beginning with the Moon and Saturn where the Moon is associated with the national mood and Saturn with solemnity.  Mercury, natural ruler of communications and information is connecting with the Ascendant which again represents the populace, indicating incredible news coming from Japan.  Saturn and Neptune are also connected, tying in structural devastation by water.  The Moon is semi-octile the Midheaven, projecting the horror to the world; the Sun is semi-octile Neptune, again tying in the King of the Deep though it's also important to recognize that Neptune also rules radiation, which would be a collateral issue; remember these aspects signify intense energy and power.  Last but not least, Venus is semi-octile Chiron, suggesting sympathy and compassionate assistance from other nations.  Another harmonic series, the novile, divides the wheel into ninths and are shown in blue in the above chart.  Noviles indicate physical and spiritual extremes and connect Uranus, planet of explosive change with the Midheaven, representative of Japan's public image.  Neptune is involved again with Jupiter, indicating the immense size of the tsunami. 

Septiles are next, dividing the wheel into sevenths, and represent esotericism with the character of Uranus and Neptune which translates to those events or situations with a surrealistic character, those things that stretch your imagination or seem unbelievable in scope.  There are six aspects in this family which continue to reinforce the same theme and the same malefic planets.  Saturn is tri-septile both the Sun and Midheaven which relates to the government and its image with regard to this horrific event; Mars is tri-septile the Ascendant from the 8th house of death, clearly indicating the numerous fatalities as the populace comes under attack from Mother Nature.  Pluto and Neptune are connected, reiterating the tsunami theme and its destruction of so many industrial sites as well as the health implication of the radiation issues, particularly since Pluto rules nuclear power and Neptune rules radiation.  Venus and Mercury are in septile, indicating again the news stories and worldly sympathy, with Jupiter and the Moon also involved, showing the emotional import on the nation and its people.

The quintile divides the wheel into fifths and denotes creation and change.  These are shown by the olive lines in the chart above.  Pluto and the Moon indicate the transformational nature of this event for the people.  Pluto is also quintile the Sun, exposing various issues that need to be addressed, particularly with regard to the use of nuclear power.  Neptune is quintile the Midheaven, representing both the tsunami and radiation issues and their effect on Japan's image.  The outpouring of international sympathy took an unexpected turn to anger when radiation leaks began to threaten the health of other nations to say nothing of the dumping of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean and jeopardizing the livelihood of those who depend on the sea.  The same malefic planets, i.e. Saturn, Mars and Pluto continue to appear along with Uranus and Neptune.  Outer planets are particularly powerful when it comes to events that will make a long-term, monumental difference.  Again, the preponderance of aspects undoubtedly contributed to the scope of this incredible event.

And it goes on and on.  Even the degrees involved with these key planetary players are implicating.  Ancient astrologer Vettius Valens states in his Table of Bounds that the final degrees of Aquarius, where Neptune was located, are "sterile, very wet, and ...not fortunate up to the end.  The last degrees of Pisces are likewise "injurious, very wet, convulsive, unfortunate in every regard."  He describes the 9th degree of Taurus found on the Midheaven as "death-bringing." Indeed.  The 29th degree of any sign has had a bad reputation for centuries and both Neptune and Uranus were in this degree with the Lunar Nodes and the Moon barely past it.

Fixed stars also tell a solemn tale.  Alcyone, a member of the Pleiades which collectively brings tears of sadness, is conjunct the Moon.  Bernadette Brady describes this combination in her book Star and Planet Combinations as "Insightful into the darker side of life.  A gift of insight and mysticism, but leading to encounters with both the best and the worst of human nature."  This will certainly be true as survivors try to recover and rebuild from such a horrible disaster.  I can't even comprehend what they'll do with all those cars destroyed by the tsunami.  If you haven't watched the video at the tsunami link above, I urge you to do so.  It's incomprehensible.  Sheat, sometimes nicknamed the "shipwreck star," is appropriately coupled with Uranus.  Sheat along with its companion stars in the constellation, Pegasus, were all considering pertaining to water with it indicating danger to mankind from that element according to Richard Hinchley Allen in his book Starnames, Their Lore and Meaning.  According to George Noonan in Fixed Stars and Judicial Astrology the constellation portends events concerning ships and the ocean and also changes in the weather.  The star Acumens is conjunct the North Node, a chart point that indicates something coming into your life with this star described by Brady as "attacks that weaken one."

Arabic parts a.k.a. lots also make some interesting connections with the Lunar Nodes.  The lot of sickness and upsets is conjunct the North Node, indicating such was coming where as the lot of play and sport was at the South Node, indicating this was departing.  Clearly fun and games would be a distant memory for quite some time in the affected parts of the country.  Midpoints are telling as well.  The North node is at the midpoint of Mars and Saturn, both malefics, plus is at the midpoint of Saturn and Uranus, likewise unfriendly, Venus is at the midpoint of Mars and Pluto, Neptune at the midpoint of the Sun and Venus, the Sun at the midpoint of Mars and Uranus and Uranus is at the midpoint of the Sun and Jupiter.  Thus, a preponderance of malefic energy was resonating in key point on the chart.

Astrologers are well aware that it takes several complementary aspects to produce a significant event, which was certainly the case here.  Obviously, the more aspects there are, the stronger the effect.  It's so obvious that it should be impossible to miss.  Just about anywhere or anyway you looked there were indicators of a horrific event which would involve water and extensive destruction.  Thus, you would think that so many indicators would also easily demonstrate that astrology has a bearing on world events and validate the practice of mundane astrology once and for all.  However, as numerous past astrologers used to lament, what good is it if you can't use it to predict events?  Unfortunately, doing so has an abysmal track record and is largely reminiscent of the Bible Code which can only find something once it has occurred and you know what to look for.  Nonetheless, you would think that with today's computers such a preponderance of aspects should be easily found.  However, there are several problems.

First of all, every city and country on Earth would require an experienced, mundane astrologer who would diligently look out for his or her specific territory.  Furthermore, regardless of how powerful modern astrological software has become, as far as I know you cannot get them to search for a collection of specific aspects converging on a given date.  Even if you could, numerous different aspects can evoke similar events and there are so many moving targets at any given time, it would take a Cray to process them all in a reasonable amount of time.  Current methods for predicting events in mundane astrology start with an ingress chart, i.e. a chart cast for the moment when the Sun goes into a cardinal sign.  These occur at the solstices and equinoxes and are significant turning points of the year.  Any upcoming events for a given region will be apparent in this chart but there is one major problem:  The signs, planets, houses, asteroids, and even the fixed stars have a plethora of interpretations within their archetype.

The Capricorn Ingress Chart for Honshu shown at right has definite indicators when you know what to look for.  The midpoint between malefics Pluto and Mars, both in Earth Sign, Capricorn, is 7 degrees which  is opposed by the Moon in Cancer.  Pluto, Lord of the Underworld, in an Earth Sign has already made his presence known with various other unfortunate events over the past year such as the BP oil spill and Iceland volcano.  Earthquake planets Mercury and Jupiter are in partile square with Uranus, purveyor of the unexpected, snuggled up with Jupiter; again the 3rd house represents roads, transportation and communications of all kinds with the implication that there will be major disruptions and problems in this area.

Neptune is sextile Mercury and semi-sextile Jupiter and Uranus, throwing water into the mix with Chiron, asteroid signifying injuries, indicating casualties from this source.  The Part of Fortune is in the 8th house of death and transformations with Saturn in the 10th, which represents the country's leadership, indicating hard times to come.  Easy to see with 20:20 hindsight.  However, back in December, while spotting an earthquake was possible, the degree of damage and devastation was not apparent.

The Aries Ingress Chart to the left, which occurred ten days after the earthquake and tsunami, clearly shows the state of the country at this time.  The Sun and Uranus are in partile conjunction, implying a state of disruption.  The ascendant at 20 degrees Taurus has strong implications for a permanent ending of some description and is tied into the Sun/Uranus pair.  Neptune is at 29 degrees, squaring the ascendant and semi-sextile Sun/Uranus. 

Earthquake planets Mercury and Jupiter are separating from a conjunction but opposing the Moon and Saturn in the 6th House of health and labor, suggesting the radiation problems resulting from damage to nuclear power plants as well as possible delays in rebuilding.  Saturn retrograde also indicates the difficulties with their various manufacturing industries due to the lack of power.  The North Node in the 8th House of death is self-explanatory and the South Node in the 2nd House of the country's finances, resources, and economic state shows lost revenue.

Pluto is still at the earthquake degree of 7:25 Capricorn but in the 9th House of the media and other countries.  As a major exporter, the international community is feeling the loss of these products.  Depending on what choices exist, these countries could permanently seek alternate sources for these products causing permanent damage to the Japanese economy.  So this chart was a no-brainer, simply reflecting the state of the country which was already intuitively obvious.  But don't forget that a similar ingress chart is in force for the entire world with the primary difference the house distribution. 

For example, the chart immediately below is the Aries Ingress for Libya.  You can see how the planetary positions are the same zodiacally but the house placements are entirely different.  The ascendant at 16:52 Sagittarius, which represents the country's populace and national identity, is squaring Mars, showing internal conflict, and also aspecting the Moon and Saturn in the 11th house of organizations and Mercury and Jupiter in the 5th.  Jupiter and Mercury can represent the expression and declaration of political philosophies which are clearly not agreed upon by all.  Neptune in the Libyan context relates to oil as opposed to a tsunami with the quincunx to the Midheaven indicating the issues related to its export.  Pluto in the 2nd House of finance and resources implies a transformation in effect there as well as the potential for corruption being exposed.  So you can see that the same chart can reflect entirely different situations, which is exactly what makes them difficult to read.

Naturally these days everyone is wondering what is going to happen in 2012 and the dire predictions associated with the Mayan calendar and other sources.  Since I'm no expert on that subject, I'm not going to opine on its significance but maybe next time we'll look at the chart for December 21, 2012, just for fun.  It really is quite interesting....

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