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Can Astrology Charts Forecast Earthquake Risk?

Updated on March 28, 2015
retrojoe profile image

Has studied astrology/historical seismology since the late '70s in San Francisco. Published in the ISAR International Astrologer in 2012.

Ptolemaic Planisphere by Andreas Cellarius from Harmonia Macrocosmica, 1661
Ptolemaic Planisphere by Andreas Cellarius from Harmonia Macrocosmica, 1661 | Source
Engraving of Claudius Ptolemy (AD c100-170)
Engraving of Claudius Ptolemy (AD c100-170) | Source

A Short and Long Answer to the Question

"...nothing exists nor happens in the visible sky that is not sensed in some hidden manner by the faculties of earth and nature." -Johannes Kepler

The simple answer to this question is a definite "Yes"! However, I feel that it is necessary for me to explain a little about the subject, and then see if I can somehow convince you that either that answer is a resounding one or if it has some reservations... Astrology is ancient. It has been around for millennia in fact and very likely before recorded history. Of course earthquakes have been around much longer. The Chinese who are known for frequent and devastating earthquakes, also have a long history of astrologers that likely goes back to at least October 22nd, 2134 BC when two court astrologers, Hsi and Ho, failed to predict the first recorded eclipse for their emperor. Their ruler was then unprepared to scare the dragon with a team of noise makers to prevent it from devouring the sun or triggering other misfortunes. The incensed emperor made sure that they wouldn't make that mistake again; he had them promptly beheaded. It is known that astrology existed in China as late as 1046 BC. It is more uncertain as to whether it existed before that but more likely than unlikely. It can be definitively traced back to the Babylonian civilization in 2000 BC. Back then, and into the 17th century in Europe, astronomers were actually astrologers as well. When the modern era of astrology began in the 18th century, the two fields parted ways.


Bendandi with Parallelograms in his Study in the 1970s
Bendandi with Parallelograms in his Study in the 1970s | Source
Bendandi Forecast Graphs for April and June 1926
Bendandi Forecast Graphs for April and June 1926 | Source

Seismology has a shorter history, having its roots in the Great Lisbon Earthquake, tsunami, and fire of 1755 that wiped out tens of thousands of people there. However, it wasn't until about one hundred years later that a comprehensive catalogue of historical earthquakes was compiled by Robert Mallet to try to gain insight into the phenomena (this 'Catalogue of recorded Earthquakes' can be found at Google Books at this URL). Shortly after that a ground breaking scientific study was performed by Mr. Mallet in regards to the 1857 Basilicata earthquake in southern Italy. Another Italian temblor, the Great Messina Earthquake of 1908, that caused the death of at least 80,000 people, inspired a young Italian to begin an interest in seismology. A few years earlier, at the age of twelve, this prodigy had taken up the study of celestial mechanics following a local eclipse. This inquisitive student and original thinker went on to become an unconventional but serious amateur scientist. Raffaele Bendandi was his name and he was well known in his native Italy in the 1920s for predicting the occurrence of earthquakes based on planetary alignments. He not only made forecasts of them, but his syndicated newspaper articles were very popular before Mussolini who, although at first showered him with praise, eventually banned him from predicting, seeing him as an impediment to the tourist trade. You can read more regarding Bendandi on the web at this location: http://www.itacomm.net/EQL/engbent1908.pdf

Earthquake prediction did not start in Italy however. There is a history of it in Persia (now Iran) going back many centuries before Bendandi. History recorded that astrologers correctly predicted earthquakes there in the years 1042 and 1549. Unfortunately almost nobody paid attention to the predictions and 40,000 people are said to have perished in the first and 3,000 lives were taken in the second. Ironically, the very person who predicted this last quake died in it as well. I am not saying that astrology works all of the time. One rarely hears of an astrologer's failed predictions; it only becomes news when he or she hits the earthquake prediction bulls-eye. Unfortunately, if we assume it to be a valid prediction tool, that hasn't happened as much as one might expect in more recent times. This may say more for the present state of the art rather than astrology's potential to predict events correctly. It is my desire to improve astrology's image in this regard.

The conundrum of the widespread belief in astrology and its lack of proof is similar to that found in the field of Ufology. There is anecdotal evidence but no hard facts that would win out in a court of science. Part of the problem is that astrologers are often not willing to let their trade secrets get out if they have made unique discoveries in the field. Italy's Bendandi never published his methods, taking his secrets with him to the grave.

Besides a long standing interest that I have had in little understood and rare natural phenomena, I have also wished to make my discoveries public. I consider myself a generous person and believe that the more that I give the more will be given me in return—not necessarily immediately but eventually. This doesn't just relate to material objects but knowledge as well. In other words, the more I share my knowledge, the more knowledge and new discoveries should be made available to me. Part of this is a result of cause and effect but also from just the result of exercising ones brain more freely and creatively.

Many years ago, I began collecting accurate earthquake dates, times, and locations for as many significantly damaging earthquakes as I could find. The idea was to create an astrological database that, through studying charts for such events along particular faults over the course of centuries, a celestial personality for that fault could be determined. This portrait, defined in planetary aspects could then be used to predict future quakes. Unfortunately this kind of research takes time and devotion, and I have only so much time on this earth. I believe my research so far has done little more than scratch the surface.

Although mostly still in the preparation stages of prediction, I am going to use this medium to give two possible time periods for 6.7 magnitude or larger earthquakes in March, spanning 3.5 days or about 11.5% of the month. During an average month (of 30.4375 days) there should occur 2 or 3 earthquakes of 6.7 magnitude or higher somewhere in the world. The two astrological windows (defined by my research based methodology) will equal a period of time that has a 26.45% statistical probability of a 6.7 or greater earthquake occurring within its boundaries. So if one such earthquake falls within one of my windows then I will have achieved a result that would be 3.78 times greater than that of the statistical average. I presently am not too confident about predicting likely locations of earthquakes since my research has yet to go much further than getting the dates right. However, I have decided to take a chance and try to predict the epicenters of the potential events. For both time periods it would appear that the likeliest locations (based on 242 event charts) are Iran and China.


Astrological chart for predicted earthquake in Iran for March 16, 2012.
Astrological chart for predicted earthquake in Iran for March 16, 2012.
Astrological chart for predicted earthquake in Iran on March 24, 2012.
Astrological chart for predicted earthquake in Iran on March 24, 2012.
Astrological chart for possible earthquake (one of two possible locations) predicted for March 24, 2012.
Astrological chart for possible earthquake (one of two possible locations) predicted for March 24, 2012.
Some of the authors books on earthquakes, astrology, and astronomy.
Some of the authors books on earthquakes, astrology, and astronomy.

So, without further ado, here are my predicted windows for earthquakes of 6.7 or greater magnitude for the month of March, 2012: March 16th at 1:00am, GMT (give or take 24 hours)=Iran:Ardabil,Nir=0200 UT (12/30/1863,1836UT), and March 24th at 1930, GMT (give or take 18 hours)=Iran:Tabriz (1/8/1780,1600UT). Also possible on March 24th at 1315, GMT is a quake in Sichuan, China (March 24, 1923,1240UT). The date and time in parenthesis (following the location) is for the natal chart to which the predicted date and time resonates (see the biwheel charts).

Here is a run-down of some key aspects conducive to earthquakes that relate to these prediction dates:

3/16 in Ardabil and Nir, Iran: Mercury 5d26m to Sun/Uranus midpoint for Transiting to Natal and Transiting to Transiting positions (for some reason that degree of separation is important in earthquake charts for these planetary interactions). Transiting Sun 9 degrees from transiting Mercury/Uranus midpoint (same story as with last midpoint relationship).

3/24 in Sichuan, China: Mercury 5d26m to Sun/Uranus midpoint for Transiting to Natal and Transiting to Transiting positions (same as in last date in Iran). Transiting Mercury semi-square natal Mars. Interestingly the predicted date has the same month and day as the natal earthquake date.

3/24 in Tabriz, Iran: Same planetary interactions as with 3/16.

In closing, let me try to put this a bit in perspective. Obviously, it is my belief that astrology is a factor to be reckoned with, or that it can be a valuable tool at foreseeing likely opportunities to embrace or dangers to avoid. However, I am also a big believer that randomness plays at least an equal roll in our lives. As a result I am expecting results of no better than one earthquake falling within one of the two prediction window periods. And, since the universe tends to play craps often, there is no telling when the cosmic or mother nature plan for an earthquake will fall into line with the most plausible time that astrology says an earthquake should occur. Or, like in a game of poker, the fickle finger of fate may just exchange a couple of cards, raise the stakes, and wait to play its hand at a later date. The 2-3 earthquakes per month expectation for such an earthquake in March 2012 is based only on an average. Sometimes a month will have 5 such quakes and sometimes none. Based on sunspot activity and the recent frequency of 6.7+ magnitude earthquakes, my impression is that earthquakes will be no better than average for the first eight months of this year. However, astrology seems to be telling me that March will be at least an average month. My educated guess is that there will be three or more such quakes in March 2012. Looking at the graph shown below, the upward trend in recent months seems to imply that possibility for March as well (data source: Advanced National Seismic System or ANSS). We shall see how the wheel of fate decides on what the outcome will be.

For those interested in my prediction methods, I am hoping to have an article printed in the August/September Mountain Astrologer that will reveal much. Stay tuned!

To read the second part for my answer to the question of 'Can Astrological Charts Forecast Earthquake Risk?' see my more recent hub entitled 'Can Sun-sign Astrology be Used to Predict Damaging Earthquakes?'.

Monthly progression of 5.0-5.9, 6.0-6.6, and 6.7 or greater magnitude earthquakes for March, 2011 through February, 2012.
Monthly progression of 5.0-5.9, 6.0-6.6, and 6.7 or greater magnitude earthquakes for March, 2011 through February, 2012. | Source

© 2012 Joseph Ritrovato

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  • Lilleyth profile image

    Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

    I have practiced astrology for 40 years and have proven to myself that it works. It is both a gift and a curse, as you know well ahead of the event that something terrible is going to happen. I too believe that there is going to be a big earthquake this month, around the 22nd. There are earthquakes everyday all around the world, but this one is going to be significant.

  • Lilleyth profile image

    Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

    The approaching Mars/Pluto/Uranus configuration is very disturbing.

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Thanks for your comment Lilleyth, I haven't practiced astrology that long but I first studied it 35-36 years ago and, like an Aries, found other interests (like earthquakes, UFOs, music, and chess) to distract me for much of the time between then and now. I notice that your suggested date for an earthquake occurs at the time of a New Moon. I found that the number of earthquakes in my database that occurred when within orb of a Sun-Moon conjunction was less than the statistical average while those that happened at times of oppositions was about 1.5 times that of normal (or modestly significant). I've also found that many minor aspects that you wouldn't normally pay much attention to are very important influences...

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Thanks again Lilleyth, The configuration you mention is interesting, but I would only be concerned if perhaps the aspects were tighter. Of the three planets you named, I have found Mars to be the most important influence in earthquake charts. Although Mars is fairly active on the 22nd, the only tight configuration displayed is between it and Chiron and the Moon's node. Although that T-square configuration is intriguing, the aspects being formed don't occur often enough during earthquakes in my database to be considered significant. I'm not saying that there won't be an earthquake on the 22nd, but if it does happen I would be more inclined to think that it was a random occurrence (don't think I spelled out in the article my belief that astrology and randomness are usually arm wrestling for dominance when it comes to what caused an event).

  • Lilleyth profile image

    Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

    I hope your statistics are right. Be a good idea to see what happened the last time Uranus and Pluto were in a square with mars. Mid July is when the mars t-square is exact. The US has a Cancer sun. Fireworks!

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Hi Lilleyth, Looks like the T-square will be near exact on July 18th. Although such a configuration is something to look out for and could spell some disaster or tragedy, my historical evidence doesn't seem to implicate an earthquake then. But thanks for the heads up! Interestingly there is a prediction on the net by a Britton LaRoche who, based on eclipses, is expecting a big quake in Japan on July 8th: http://www.garagegames.com/community/blogs/view/15 (I feel that this is more likely the time of a pre-shock that will foreshadow a quake later in the year when quakes pick up the pace as we head for a bigger seismic year in 2013)

  • Lilleyth profile image

    Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

    I'm not thinking earthquake in July. I'm thinking nuke or EMP.

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Hmmm, I'm hoping nothing that extreme will happen.. Besides believing that astrology and randomness represent about 40% each at how things unfold, I also think that God/Gaia and/or human interaction can either prevent or increase the chance of something occurring. With a little positive thinking or prayer perhaps such a scenario as you suggest can be avoided.

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Update: I've taken another look at my predicted earthquake windows for March and am widening their span and repositioning their centers a bit. Here's the new info: 3/16 at 1600 GMT +-36 hrs & 3/24 at 2100 GMT +-24 hrs. If only 1 quake of 6.7 magnitude or greater occurs during March and it falls within one of the windows then that will represent an occurrence 6Xs greater than expected from the statistical average. If two such quakes happen in March and one of them falls within a window, that will be 3Xs more than expected from the statistical average. And if there are three such quakes and one of them lands inside a window it will be 2Xs the statistical average. I'm expecting there to be three quakes with one inside a window. If there are three and two fall within a window or two then I'm thinking that that would represent an occurrence of 6Xs greater than the statistical average (I would need a statistician to confirm that though). I may be adding other possible locations for the quakes between now and the window dates.

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Update: As I type this there is less than half a day before the opening of one of my two astrological windows that would indicate a greater likelihood than usual for a 3 day period (at least 2Xs greater than the statistical average) during the month of March, 2012. The month isn't even half over and there has been a 6.9 magnitude earthquake near Japan today and a 6.7 magnitude quake in the area of Vanuatu five days ago. In an average month there would be 2-3 quakes of 6.7 or greater in magnitude to be expected. It looks to me that these last two quakes were mostly random and that there will be approximately three more quakes this month in this size range; one more random quake and two that relate to astrology. If that comes to pass then there will have been twice the normal number of quakes in a month and if two of them land within one or both of my windows then the results of my prediction will have been twice that expected from the statistical average. Again, my first window is coming up soon, starting at 9pm, 3/14 Pacific time and lasting three days. One additional location of an earthquake during this window is in Indonesia, besides in Iran (as mentioned earlier). I am also widening the area that it could happen in Iran and including the area of Torud.

  • tammyswallow profile image

    Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

    I study these events. There is a big warning for March 22nd as Jupiter and Venus align with the moon. I would love to learn more about these theories. Very fascinating! Great hub!

  • Angela Kane profile image

    Angela Kane 5 years ago from Las Vegas, Nevada

    I am very interested in astrology and your article provides some very good information to think about.

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Thanks Angela Kane, glad to supply you with some thought provoking stuff. Now if I can only end up with not too much egg on my face after the passing of my predicted windows for potential earthquakes.. Actually I have more confidence in the second window so it's my thinking that it is at least less unlikely to happen then (even with a window that is 33% smaller). Thanks again for your interest..

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Hi Tammy, sorry, meant to respond to this earlier but got distracted due to one of my emails being hacked into.. (arghh).. Anyway, Venus and Jupiter aren't usually destructive influences so the Moon conjoining them doesn't spell disaster for me. I'd look more towards the combination of such planets as Mars with Uranus and possibly a second aspect to them from either Mercury or the sun or Moon. Saturn sometimes plays a roll too, but seldom does Jupiter, Venus, or even Neptune... and thanks for the compliment!

  • Lilleyth profile image

    Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

    But Joe, Jupiter is a giant that rules "excess", and Venus rules earth, and together with the pull of the Moon which rules tital waves...doesn't that add up to you?

  • Lilleyth profile image

    Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

    By the way, if you live on the East Coast you can see Jupiter and Venus near each other, two bright stars in the western sky.

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Hi Lilleyth, I've been exploring aspects of the planets in relation to earthquakes on a statistical basis and from that I have concluded that, contrary to what one might think due to its immenseness, Jupiter is apparently so benevolent that it cancels out the effects of influences such as Mars and Uranus when in positive aspects to them. It is rare for their to be an earthquake when either the Moon or Jupiter are conjunct Venus. However, the Moon opposite or square Venus may cause some concern. Actually the Moon conjunct Jupiter may influence an earthquake occurring, but only if there are also more likely indicators in the chart from the more usual suspects (Mars/Uranus).

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Thanks Lilleyth, yes, I've seen them here on the West Coast also, very pretty. The only problem with them is that poor Peter Davenport, the director at the National UFO Reporting Center has to put up with all the UFO sightings that are due to that spectacular sight!

  • tammyswallow profile image

    Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

    Considering what just happened in Mexico, I think you are on to something here.

  • Lilleyth profile image

    Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

    And it's not the 22nd yet...

  • Lilleyth profile image

    Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

    Just did chart for the Mexico event and yep, nasty aspects today: Sun,Mercury Uranus square Pluto, Moon opposite Mars and conjunct Neptune, Sun conjunct Uranus, Mars opposite Neptune...and an asteriod often associated with earthquakes, Siva at the top of the chart.

  • Lilleyth profile image

    Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

    Earthquake asteriod Vulcano is conjunct Pluto. Mars is retrograde, approaching a conjunction with Anubis and Pluto is approaching Posedion. Moon is approaching Siva at the top of the chart, so it ain't over.

  • John Sarkis profile image

    John Sarkis 5 years ago from Los Angeles, CA

    Interesting hub. And, thanks for the Kepler quote at the beginning of the article.

    I live in Los Angeles, so people here talk about earthquakes all of the times

    Take care

    John

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Hi Tammy, well I may be on to something in at least how active the month will be in general. However, the 2nd 6.7 or greater magnitude quake this month happened a few hours before my first window opened and the 3rd one in Mexico happened between my two windows. :( But, now that my estimate of the expected number of random quakes this month has occurred, perhaps there will now be no reason for an earthquake to happen outside of my second window. :) And since the Mexico quake was a pretty large 7.4 magnitude shaker, that increases the chances for 6.7 or greater aftershocks for the next couple of weeks (bettering my chances for such quakes to fall within my second window).

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Hi John, I was impressed myself with that quote the first time I read it and fortunately that happened just before publishing this hub. Glad you liked reading it. I used to live in the San Fran Bay Area but was back east with family when the '89 quake hit. Not as exciting in the Portland area without the threat of quakes hanging over your head but I worry less now. There may be a mega quake looming on the horizon here, yet probably at least another lifetime away. Hope the big one doesn't happen any time soon in your area. Thanks for your comment John..

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Hi Lilleyth, I usually am looking at just the most likely aspects that occur during quake events and use a statistical oriented astrology program to do that, usually bypassing looking at many potential quake charts as a result. Unfortunately, it's always easier to see a chart as one that represents an earthquake much more readily after the fact then before. I need to start reviewing charts en mass (although time consuming) to get a better/bigger picture. Thanks for your comments..

  • Lilleyth profile image

    Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

    If you cast a chart for the quake you will see it is very interesting, especially if you add the 4 asteriods associated with earthquakes. Here are their numbers: 4464 (volcano), 4341 (posedion), 1170 (siva), 1912 (anubis). I use Astro.com to cast my charts. Another transit is Lilith conjunct Jupiter, exact today.

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Hi again Lilleyth, Interestingly I happened to open one of my astrology programs to check out the chart for the first day of spring and it happened to be exactly the same time as that quake! When I look for factors that relate to earthquakes I check for dynamic aspects and the tighter the orb the better. What are highlights for me are the Sun/Mercury/Uranus conjunction with the last two strongly semi-square Venus (one of the few times Venus can play a roll when earthquakes are being considered), Mars opposite Chiron (the only asteroid I look at) with the later conjunct the Moon in Pisces (a sign that comes up fairly regularly for the Moon in quake charts). Also interesting are these not so minor aspects: Mars septile Saturn and the midpoint of those two opposite sun/Mercury/Uranus, and also the Chiron/Neptune midpoint semi-sextile Uranus. So it looks like this is more than just a random quake. In other words it would seem that astrology did play a roll in it and thus the score for the month so far would appear to be 2 random, 1 astrology.

  • Lilleyth profile image

    Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

    I've found that asteroids add another fascinating aspect to astrology charts. For example, a friend of mine, who by the way had a long relationship with someone you may know -- Apple Juice Kid-- I used to live in Raleigh, has Juno the marriage asteriod, conjunct her Sun, and she is a wedding planner and also performs civil ceremonies.

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 5 years ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    Thanks for the suggestion Lilleyth, but I think I'll stick to just Chiron.. When I look for relationship compatibility it is usually good enough (for me at least) to just compare sun sign, Moon sign, rising and how Mars and Venus play into the picture. Things are confusing enough without the asteroids. To me they just add noise or static to that interfere with interpretation, disrupting the signal or distracting from the core meaning of the chart. But that's just me; what works for one person doesn't always work for another.

  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 14 months ago from Vancouver, WA (nextdoor to Portland, OR)

    For the information of anybody who read the comment just before this one, I have since changed my views and consider aspects between certain planets and longitudinal positions of asteroids to often be related to the timing of earthquakes (but not always). That of course is a far cry from saying that one need look at only one of all the asteroids as influential in forecasting earthquakes. The test of time has corrected my ways..

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