As of January 5, 2020 Rev. Paul collected astrological charts for 300 major earthquakes including some which are part of our history. The New Madrid earthquake of 1811… the San Francisco earthquake of 1906. What this shows regarding the interaction of our planet and her plate movement with the solar system is dramatic.
An older article by Rev. Paul on this subject:
Earthquakes and Natural Magick
[A Wiccan Astrologer looks at Earthquakes]
Prior to moving to California in 1991, I had begun to develop a fascination with earthquakes. I don’t think anyone can visit Southern California and not think about the potential of a temblor. During my six years of coming and going to teach workshops, a pattern had emerged. It was not uncommon for a significant temblor to occur within two days of my visit, but never while I was there. It became humorous and a friend of mine, D. J. Pruitt (editor of the Pagan Digest) finally attempted to remedy the situation by taking me to the earthquake ‘ride’ at Universal Studios. Well, it was interesting and all that but…
A month after I moved to Northridge, we had our first significant temblor. At 7:43 a.m. The Sierra Madre quake shook a 5.8 which lasted long enough to observe. The movement was amazing and I was fascinated. Then, a quiet year. Now and then a minor shaking would occur, some of which were not felt at all. Exactly a year later, almost to the minute (shades of Twilight Zone), a 7.4 at Landers followed by the Big Bear quake gave me a far more vivid experience. Things danced and swayed, the buildings shook and my adrenalin was pumped up. The reality of Mother Earth moving and adjusting Herself was truly awesome!
At 4:31 in the morning of January 17th, 1994, my partner and I were asleep in bed when the first shock waves from the rupturing earth beneath Reseda came rolling through North Hollywood. Just before we were plunged into dark, it was visibly obvious that this was a major earthquake. Things were falling, the hanging pots and pans in the kitchen began clanging against each other, and we were being tossed about in our bed. Darkness opened our sense of hearing beyond the norm. Now we could only hang on for the ride and listen to the sound of breaking glass and falling possessions while we were thrown for an alarming jolt. At that moment reality set in: this quake could be a killer.
We have all seen the images of the Northridge Earthquake and read stories and were either there or probably knew someone who was. What is relevant to this article is that the Northridge Quake provided me with the coordinates (latitude and longitude), the date and time of day to plot an astrological chart of the moment of the quake. Living just miles from the quake provided us with exceptional news coverage and I charted every aftershock larger than a 4.0, “just to see.”
The initial chart of the 6.6 temblor was, itself, very unusual. With twenty years’ experience as an astrologer I have seen an exceptional variety of natal charts for humans and quickly noted two intense conjuncts of Capricorn energy [Neptune, Mars and Uranus within one degree and the Sun and Venus within a fraction of a degree]. Seeing the Moon in the position we’d expect the Sun at midnight (at the ‘nadir’) was striking. The movement of the Northridge Quake was characterized as being in two distinct jolts. I could not but wonder if there was any correlation between this and the two Capricorn conjuncts. What if I were to calculate charts of many major earthquakes. Would any patterns emerge? Would we be able to learn anything from this? Could earthquakes be predicted astrologically?
My love of the Earth and my experience as an astrologer coupled with access to the essential data (latitude, longitude and the precise time of a major quake) from Cal Tech set me off in search of astrological relevance in the shaky world of earthquakes.
It was through a Gemini friend, Katt, that I began to acquire a small collection of earthquake data. A coven sister of hers works for Cal Tech and had access to the information and, before long, I had ‘natal’ charts calculated for twenty one earthquakes. At that point, striking patterns were obvious although my belief that earthquakes cannot be astrologically predicted remains sound.
As I mentioned previously, the mighty Northridge Quake’s chart showed the Moon positioned directly beneath the Earth. We have long been aware of the Moon’s ability to stimulate the ebb and flow of tides and Her power to move our Earth is something we ‘believe’ in the course of our religious expression but the Moon appeared to have a significant position throughout all major (larger than a 6.0) earthquakes for which I had data. When I compiled these statistics, I had data for twenty one earthquakes. Since then I have moved to The Hermit’s Grove and my access to earthquake data is greatly diminished. The figures I am presenting are, admittedly, limited but they do include the great San Francisco quake (an 8.0 in 1906), the Alaska earthquake (9.2 in 1964) and the Parkfield earthquake of January 9, 1857 which moved a stretch of the San Andreas fault twenty five feet north for a full 175 miles. Imagine the rippling shock waves that movement would set loose!
Is the Moon’s position significant when a major earthquake occurs? It would seem so. In three of the quakes studied, the Moon was at or near the nadir (directly beneath the epicenter). In one quake (a 6.5 near Desert Hot Springs in 1948) She was directly overhead. This raised the percentage of quakes which occurred when the Moon was along the Midheaven/Nadir axis to 19%. As those who observe tides and measure other natural phenomena already knew, the Moon exerts a strong energy upon the Earth when She is at either the Eastern or Western horizon. This holds true for earthquakes as well.
Five earthquakes occurred at Moonrise (although one was an hour off) and, allowing an hour’s variance, five quakes were at Moonset (again, one with an hour’s variance). We find that the Moon was found along either of the two axes in over half (67%) of the quakes available for me to study. When you next worship the Moon when She is full, be respectful of Her power!
Speaking of Full Moons, for those who do ritual when the Moon is Full, there were other correlations which stand out as well. A Full Moon is, astrologically, an ‘opposition’ between the Sun and Moon with the Earth positioned right between them. Seven earthquakes occurred within one day of the exact Full Moon. One quake occurred at the New Moon. A trine (a 120° aspect) between the Sun and Moon occurred in another three, and a square and sextile left us with 13 out of 21 earthquakes occurring when the Sun and Moon were in an unusual aspect.
But Full Moons even created an interesting statistic. It seems that Mother Earth doesn’t choose Her Full Moons completely at random. The Full Moon nearest the Spring Equinox was the timing for a major earthquake in a full 25% of the study group.
Does this mean you should use velcro when placing all of your ritual tools upon your altar? No, for statistics would also show you that the odds of experiencing a temblor during your Full Moon Ritual would be almost negligible. What is important is increasing our admiration and respect for the manner in which the Sun, Moon and Earth complete their dances and the way in which nothing seems to be ‘quite by chance.’
In ancient times, astrology was a very different occult science than it is today. Astrologers did not write cute, little columns with generic statements giving a daily forecast for ‘all’ Scorpios (implying that a full one-twelfth of the population would share a similar type of day). Indeed, astrology was considered sacred knowledge, maintained by those highly trained (frequently the priest/esshood) and disseminated only to those who were of the wealthy ruling class. We know, today, that astrology was used by monarchs and by popes. We know that, prior to its becoming a personal science that it was used to foretell the events and timing for an entire culture or civilization. It is difficult for a modern astrologer to fully understand just how this would be done. Oh, we could intellectualize it, but we have grown into a science which, for far more than a thousand years, is developed around the individual natal chart. We have no books written by astrologers who foretold war and famine, drought and… earthquakes.
Mars was described as a planet which, when it would fall in a critical position among the Earth’s dance with the solar system, could bring destruction. I did not have any expectations when I looked at my group of earthquakes, but it was quickly clear to me that the Ancient Ones knew their business.
The planet Mars is found along the axis of the horizons in eight out of twenty-one earthquakes (38%). Mars is found along the axis from the midheaven (directly overhead) to the nadir (directly beneath) in another three quakes. If we include both axes, Mars is found in over half of the quakes. Apparently the energy of Mars has a significant effect upon our Earth.
Mars is found to have a significant relationship to planets other than the Earth as well. Mars is ‘lined up’ with Jupiter in 48% of the earthquakes, with Uranus in 43%, with Venus in 38%, with the Moon in 24% (and the same percentage with Mercury). And, if you want a double whammy of potential disaster, Mars is in a strong aspect with Saturn in a full quarter of the earthquakes.
Jupiter’s significance was a bit more of a surprise. Jupiter fell along either axis an impressive 67% of the time. Indeed, the incidence of Jupiter in earthquakes can only lead me to believe that, in the future, science will ‘discover’ that Jupiter’s tremendous mass and odd energy fields affect the Earth far more than we can imagine.
Now that I’ve wandered into the realm of astrological trivia – lists of statistical information only an astrologer could love, let me step back with a ‘non-planetary’ phenomena as well.
The Moon dances a circle around the Earth, while She dances Her circle around the Sun. Those two circles intersect and astronomers (and astrologers alike) measure those points as the Moon’s Nodes. When I did my research with of the influence these two circles of energy have upon each other, the patterns of the Universe were humbling. The nodes were lined up with either the eastern/western or midheaven/nadir axes an amazing 76% of the time. Even more impressive was that major aspects occurred in virtually every chart – something we simply do not see in natal astrology. It is clear that the location of the Earth’s orbit with that of the Moon has a profound effect.
Earth scientists already know that the Moon’s Nodes have a highly significant effect upon tides and one scientist I know (well respected among seismologists) tells me that they are very aware that the Moon’s Nodes are significant when major quakes occur.
But does this allow us to predict earthquakes? Not at all. Our Earth moves in and out of aspects on a frequent basis. Many of the aspects which I’ve described in these articles occur once a day. What is truly remarkable is seeing the frequency of aspects and unusual patterns formed by the Earth and Her planetary sisters and brothers. In natal astrology (the study of birth charts) I have been able to see charts which are far more intense than ‘average.’ In earthquake charts, every major quake seems to occur during an astrologically ‘intense’ time. This is not by accident, but is a combination not only of the intricate weave of planetary energy (almost like a fabric for the Mother of our solar system to wear) and also the increasing pressure beneath the Earth’s crust which leads to a rupture. It is because we are unable to measure the impending pressure of a fault which is building to a major temblor that our study of the astrological patterns is rendered useless in predicting an earthquake. It would appear that a Full Moon near the Spring Equinox when Mars and Jupiter are aligned (can you hear a melody in the background?) is a time when a fault could rupture – but only if the fault has so much pressure built up that the conflicting gravitational and energy patterns created by such a planetary configuration can contribute to the rupture.
My conclusion is that we cannot effectively predict earthquakes with astrology, but we can continue to study them. A tremendous population lives around the Pacific Rim (myself included) all of which is truly ‘earthquake country.’ Through studying the natural magick of earthquakes, we gain increased knowledge and may be able to provide information for some future astrologer working when scientists are far more knowledgeable about the slow, grinding process taking place along the fault lines. Most important is that the charting of earthquakes has increased my reverence for this natural magick and shows me that the Universe, truly, is wise in the way She weaves Her patterns.
Having enlightened some (those who are more astrologically versed) and completely baffled others, there is a final aspect of the natural magick of earthquake country which bears discussion. An earthquake is not something which just happens, unexpectedly. The forces which lead to a temblor do not appear out of nowhere. Just as I drew upon the fertile, peaceful valleys and bluffs of the Mississippi Valley in Minnesota, when I lived in Los Angeles and did my ritual work, I was drawing upon the intensity of the numerous fault lines, all contributing their kinetic energy to the overall natural magick of Southern California.
Even now when we seek the serenity of our stone circle back beneath the Douglas Firs and extend our souls deep into Mother Earth, we are, here near the Puget Sound, living in earthquake country and there is intense magick afoot in these parts, no matter how peaceful it seems beneath these tall trees.
In North America, the Los Angeles area is to earthquakes what Yellowstone National Park is to geyser fields worldwide. Yellowstone’s twenty-five hundred square miles contain something like 75% of the world’s geyser activity (the exact figure is hiding in a book currently in storage). Earthquakes occur with enough frequency in Southern California that scientists set cameras along a fault and kept them running until an earthquake occurred.
The amount of energy which is released by a major earthquake is astounding and can be significantly more than that of the explosion of an atomic bomb. If you live in an area which has a fault line nearby, that means our Earth’s shifting, Her creative process (for She has not finished creating the patterns of land and sea at the surface) is building incredible quantities of pressure beneath your feet! And don’t think that Southern California is the only area with such intense natural magick beneath it’s surface population: the New Madrid fault line near the Mississippi River set off quakes in 1811-12 which were felt as far away as Boston.
In our magickal training, we are told to extend our auras deep into the Earth in order to become ‘grounded,’ to calm ourselves. We reach into our Mother Earth to draw upon Her natural magick and fill our ritual circles with power. And what power this is! The truth is that our Earth is not as calm and stable as we enlightened folk tend to portray Her. While the element of earth is seen as more stationary than the elements of air, fire and water, She is a mighty power to be reckoned with.
What is the natural magick of your terrain? And where are the nearest fault lines which might affect you? We who live along the west coast tend to be more aware of our faults. (Sorry about that pun.) But there are fault lines throughout much of North America, even beneath New York City’s Central Park.
When next you do your ritual work, be aware of the interplay between the Earth, Moon and Sun. Think about the patterns created as the planets and moons dance in orbit around our solar star. Marvel in wonder at the slow (but sometimes suddenly dramatic) changes which are taking place beneath your feet. Our Mother Earth measures time in far larger spans than do we humans, with our brief moments upon Her surface. She continues to shift and to move Herself, straining with increased tension as two seemingly immovable plates of rock push against each other until She can take the pressure no longer and the fault erupts, releasing tremendous energy, so strong that it sends shock waves rippling through Her crust. The potential of an earthquake is part of your natural magick. It is woven into the fabric of the Mother, acted upon by the gravities of the planets and capable of what seems to humans like a cataclysm. Love our Earth, but respect Her as well. Her natural magick is far greater than we believe.
[syndicated 31 x 1994 ce]