Uranus in Pisces is certainly going out with a bang. It’s been rippling through the political spheres for weeks. Today a magnitude 8.9 earthquake struck near the city of Sendai, just north of Tokyo on the northeastern coast of Japan. This is being called the most powerful quake to strike Japan in 140 years. A debris-filled wall of water as high as 30 feet has washed over some cities and farmland.
There are no known death tolls at this time; it’s impossible to estimate so early in the situation. One witness said the quake was so intense that it was impossible for him to stand up. First he and his wife clung to the outside of their house, then they had to curl up on the ground. Major aftershocks are expected. Train lines are down in Tokyo, a city of 13 million, and highways are closed. The quake happened in the mid-afternoon local time, with many people away from home and children in daycare centers.
Witnesses say this was an unusually long quake, with tremors lasting several minutes. It’s being called the 5th largest quake in the world since 1900, rivaling the Chile in 1960, Prince William Sound, Alaska in 1964 and the Sumatra quake of 2004. Remember that the Richter scale, used to measure quakes, is logarithmic; a 5.0 quake is 10 times more intense than a 4.0 quake. This increases proportionally as you go up the scale such that the energy increase from 8.0 to 9.0 is much greater than from 4.0 to 5.0.
There are four nuclear power plants in the area. CNN is reporting that one of the plants has a fire and one has a shutdown of the cooling system (and is in a state of emergency, according to wire service reports). CNN is also reporting that the International Atomic Energy Agency has said that the plants where shut down safely, so this is a potentially conflicting report.
Tsunamis have already reached Taiwan, and warnings are out for as far away as Hawaii, the entire West Coast of the United States and Canada, and coastal Chile. But only small waves are expected in these outlying areas. Due to the prevalence of video cameras, there are astonishing videos of both the quake and the waves in Japan. CNN is reporting that there are evacuations underway in coastal areas of Hawaii. Images of piles cars sitting in a harbor, an explosion at a refinery and other vivid images of devastation are being broadcast on television.
Let’s take a look at the chart. We see a powerful 8th house in Pisces — with Chiron, Mars, Black Moon Lilith and Uranus present. Sometimes astrological symbolism can be glaringly literal; the 8th is the house of the ’cause of death’ and here we have many planets involved with a water sign, including three of the higher-impact ones — Mars, Chiron and Uranus. With Uranus just 3 arc minutes from Aries (where it arrives later today), this is an Aries Point event. Such a potent 8th house speaks to the possibility of both loss of life and economic impact. There is a lot of concentrated wealth and industry in this part of Japan, so the impact is being felt in markets and will be experienced by the insurance and reinsurance industries. (Reinsurance is an insurance policy held by an insurance company.)
The ascendant for the Japan chart comes up arc minutes from the degree of the total solar eclipse of Aug. 11, 1999 — demonstrating that eclipses can be active for many years after the event. This eclipse was also present in the Sept. 11, 2001 chart — Venus, the chart ruler was there.
In addition, the Moon’s South Node in the Japan chart, as mentioned in last week’s edition, is now in Gemini and in this chart is conjunct the Moon’s position in both the Sept. 11 chart and the Banda Aceh chart. The prevalence of this degree in global-scale disasters is pretty weird; I covered it in a recent article on Wikileaks.
The Moon phase is first quarter, which is unusual for such a large quake; they happen more often at new and full phase. The Moon had just entered Gemini and was in a close square to Chiron at the time. Last week we read about Borasisi; at the moment of the quake, Mars was (and remains for the moment) in a close conjunction to Borasisi.
Both points are square the Great Attractor, which is a force that magnifies the influence of whatever comes in contact with it and is associated with far-reaching effects extending beyond what can be readily perceived. Looking at a list of minor planets, we see the a concentration in the mutable signs around Mars-Borasisi, including Hopi, something that speaks of events with a rapid onset. One description of the quake that I heard a little while ago included the unusual sound of thousands of buildings creaking simultaneously. The asteroid Siwa, right in the mix (opposite the Great Attractor), is associated with sound.