A recent prediction by astrologer, Richard Nolle about the link between the impending 'Supermoon' on the 19th of March and natural disasters such as the Japan quake and tsunami of the 11th of March has sparked some controversy in the press of late.
The Full Moon on the 19th of March 2011 will be the closest that the Moon has gotten to the earth in approximately 18 years (close to the length of one Saros cycle in terms of eclipses). Naturally this has led to speculation that its gravitational pull on the liquid beneath the earth's surface will be greater, thus triggering volcanic eruptions and earthquakes as well as phenomena such as tsunami's.
NASA scientists, however, beg to differ, saying that even the combined gravitational pull of the Sun and Moon (which straddle either side of the earth during any Full Moon) is not enough to affect tectonic plate movement. See this article: NASA Scientist Explains Science Behind 'Supermoon' Phenomenon.
Having said that, although I should make it clear that I am extremely sorry for the devastation it has brought to the people of Japan and do not wish to make light of this terrible tragedy, it is interesting that the earthquake itself was enough to affect the earth's axis, shortening the day by a few microseconds. (See: Day the Earth moved: How the earthquake tilted the world's axis by 25cm (and could even cost us a microsecond a day)
Naturally such arguments are based on standard 'cause and effect' models, rather than the cosmic sympathy paradigm used by astrologers that doesn't involve 'rays' of any kind, so the two camps are actually speaking different languages. Or rather, because scientists are not able to physically 'measure' the relationship between the Moon and the Earth beyond that of gravity (and opposed to any other more sensitive or subtle relationship that might exist between them) they are not willing to admit the possibility that there may be a connection that they are not yet aware of. Which is typical I s'pose. On the one hand, they are not prepared to speculate beyond what they know, which is fair enough. However, they always act as if they have the definitive answer, which is not so cool as far as I am concerned, because in a lot of circumstances, they say stuff as if it were the final word on something, only for that theory to be disproved several years later.
Of course, astrologers can be just as bad when it comes to claiming that astrology offers a failsafe way to predict future events. Plainly, in practice, this is not always the case. Astrology is a tricky and slippery business, as I have discovered on numerous occasions, including this one, where I have ended up re-calculating the Quake chart about three times!
At any rate, without wishing to get involved in that debate again (See my previous posting on Solar Flares) I thought we might look at a chart for the Japan quake to see if it has anything symbolic to say to us about the quake...
Significantly, the chart has Leo rising, pointing to issues of leadership, especially kingship. It is common knowledge that in recent years, Japan has had a relatively large number of leadership/government changes and has slowly been losing its position as the world's third superpower, thanks to the rise of its neighbour, China. In a recent interview on BBC Radio 4, Henry Tricks, the head of The Economist's Japan Bureau, said:
Although Japan is still a tremendous powerhouse....more recently, the picture that the outside world has of Japan is a much bleaker one - one of economic stagnation and deflation, and this to a certain extent, represents the problem that Japan faces in terms of being the fastest ageing country on earth, the country with one of the lowest birth rates on earth, and politically, there's been a turnover of governments that is breathtaking in its speed , and shocking in the sense that I think in the last 20 years, there have been 14 prime ministers....It reflects a growing sense that Japan has lost its way...(See: BBC Radio 4 - Japan's Food Dilemma)
Note the theme of old vs young, birth vs old age mentioned here, which chimes in with Japan's natal chart's (I am using Marjorie Orr's info which is 12 noon on 11 February 1889, Tokyo) nodal axis, which falls in the signs of Cancer and Capricorn....More on this in the next posting when we discuss Saturn in detail.
The new prime minister, Naoto Kan, only recently came to power, succeeding the Richard Gere-like figure of Junichiro Koizumi, who was only in power for 5 years (2001-6). Commentators are already saying that, like Hurricane Katrina did for George W. Bush, this event has the potential to make or break the current regime and affect Japanese politics for years to come. (See: Post-tsunami Japan looks to PM Kan for leadership)
Significantly,... Firmicus [Maternus] also oncludes older Greek terminology, which informs us that the 8th house was known as Epicataphora , which means 'falling down into the Underworld.' The 2nd house was known as Anaphora,'rising up from the Underworld,' illustrating that although both were regarded as portals to the underworld and incorporated darker elements in their symbolism, there was an important distinction - the 8th was the portal of entry, the 2nd of release.
"Among the various fifth- and sixth- century noble clans, over which the Imperial clan had as yet failed to establish more than nominal supremacy, were several that worshiped an ancestral sun.The Imperial clan, at this stage, did not. Its primary deity was the agricultural kami Takamimusubi. It was contact with Korea, Matsumae believes, that reoriented the royal family's gaze from the earth sunward.Sun worship was common in the Korean kingdoms," he explains, "and royal founding ancestors were frequently named as children of the sun. In order to deal with these kings on an equal basis, the Yamato rulers had to claim lineage of equal dignity.The sun's majesty was self-evident; the earth's apparently was not."
The latter, positive aspects between Chiron and the nodes suggest that out of these fated (nodes) actions, healing can come - Chiron representing a significant wound that needs caring for, as well as gurus or teachers who have much wisdom to impart. It will be interesting to watch and see if any philosophical, healing or religious figure emerges in the months to come who can offer Japan some guidance in how to, for instance, move past the great wound that was Hiroshima - another cultural memory that has come to the fore with the nuclear explosions generated as a consequence of this natural disaster.
Naturally, with the focus firmly on the explosions at the Fukushima nuclear plant, one has to consider the role of Pluto in the Quake chart. Although close to the north node, Pluto is not actually forming a conjunction, so we cannot say that it plays into the nodal axis the way that it did in the Chile chart. It is in Capricorn, ruled by Saturn in the 5th house of the chart - which is associated, ironically, with birth, pleasure, as well as good fortune. However, it is also square both to Jupiter, the planet of good luck, and to Mercury, which we have already established, is conjunct to Uranus. Naturally, with radiation sickness becoming a worry, its is perhaps symbolically apt that Capricorn happens to be the sign ruling the 6th house cusp - the house of health, illness and daily life - and, in traditional astrology, is the house of bad fortune. (See for example, Vettius Valens or Firmicus Maternus)
Jupiter is approaching an opposition with Saturn (with an orb of 5 degrees) which is in the 3rd house of communications. Clearly this disaster, which is now being billed as worse than the Three Mile Island event, and on a par with Chernobyl in terms of scale, is not going to result in good PR or improved support for the current regime - according to reports, voter support for the Prime Minister and the centrist Democratic Party of Japan (DPJ), which he leads, had sunk to around 20% before all this happened, so this may well be the straw that breaks the camel's back. My sense is that, in terms of timing, that the the nuclear disaster is likely to reach its peak when these aspects perfect or reach exactitude....
One ray of hope may lie in the grand trine between the lunar nodes, Neptune and the Part of Fortune - also in Libra in the 3rd house of local communities and communication, along with Saturn. This large and harmonious triangle feeds into a diamond, with a minor grand trine created by the north node, Neptune and the part of Fortune.
'The Lot of Fortune, being connected to the Moon and the physical body, is able to show physical well-being and acquisition of goods, which presumably will lead to some kind of happiness.'
Essentially, it is about worldly fortune and good health, which bodes well in the 3rd house - the house in which the Moon is said to rejoice. This perhaps suggests that this event will eventually bring local communities closer together and get the notoriously Stoic and repressed Japanese to express their feelings a bit more openly - with each other and with the world.