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Can Astrology Charts Forecast Earthquake Risk?

Updated on August 22, 2017
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 Forecast Graphs for April and June 1926 and Bendandi with Parallelograms in his Study in the 1970s
Bendandi Forecast Graphs for April and June 1926 and Bendandi with Parallelograms in his Study in the 1970s | 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.

Some of the authors books on earthquakes, astrology, and astronomy.
Some of the authors books on earthquakes, astrology, and astronomy.

Now it is Time for the Big Forecast...

When I first wrote this article in early 2012, I tried my luck at making a prediction of two earthquakes of at least 6.7 magnitude in Iran on the 8th and Iran or China on the 16th of March 2012. The prediction could not have been further from reality. Looking back on it with my present day predictive algorithms I can see why. Peaks in the Astro-aspect values (AAVs) for that month now show that the most likely dates for that month were the 20th and 21st (the days in which there were two earthquakes, one of 7.4 and one of 6.6 in magnitude). There was also no good reason for choosing Iran or China as the locations.

What I do these days for determining locations is to look at recent eclipses and find potential locations within a few hundred miles of the eclipse path that intersects active fault zones. Since a total solar eclipse will have its shadow path pass through the continental United States on 21 August 2017, an eclipse that is part of a series known for its associations with significant seismic events, I will attempt to now forecast the probability of at least one large earthquake in the United States within a few months following that eclipse.

The most likely window for an earthquake of at least 6.7 magnitude during that time will be on the 21st or 22nd of December 2017 (but as early as the 20th and as late as the 25th), when there will be an exceptional peak in AAVs. The second most likely date will be one month prior to this, on the 22nd of November (extending from the 21st through the 24th of November). Two lesser peaks are also potentially worth looking at, and again are separated by one month. Those dates will be the 4th of November and the 4th of December (give or take a day). There is also a possibility of a large earthquake in the U.S. on either the 7th or 22nd of October or late in that month and for the month before on the 6th or 23rd (give or take a day). And lastly, and also closest to the eclipse date, there is an elevated chance about six to seven days following the eclipse (on either the 27th or 28th of August).

There are a few potential locations for earthquakes in the U.S. during this time. The one with the greatest potential for an earthquake of at least 7.5 magnitude will be off of the Pacific coast, near where the California and Oregon borders meet. There are also several locations within the continental United States with a potential for an event of at least 6.7 magnitude. One of the best known locations will be near where a series of 7.5 magnitude or greater earthquakes occurred in late 1811 through early 1812. The states involved in such a scenario would be southeast Missouri, northeast Arkansas, southern Illinois, and western Kentucky and Tennessee. Other potential locations are near Charleston, South Carolina (site of a 7.2 magnitude event back in late August 1886), the states of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming, and possibly the San Francisco Bay area (especially along the Hayward fault).

Outside of the continental United States there is a chance of significant seismic events in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, Jamaica, and near Tokyo, Japan.

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 a strong role in our lives as well. As a result I am expecting results of no better than two earthquakes falling within one or two of the above mentioned 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 worldwide expectation for such an earthquake in any given month 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 earthquake activity for the months looked at here will be no better than a bit above average (worldwide, but perhaps more than that within the U.S.). My educated guess, for the continental United States, is that there will be one earthquakes of at least 6.7 magnitude (give or take one) during the last few months of 2017. Looking at the graphs shown below, the upward trend demonstrated for those months seems to imply that possibility. We shall see how the wheel of fate decides on what the outcome will be.

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?'.

Peaks in Astro-Aspect Values (AAVs) for the Fall of 2017 as displayed in the Kepler 8 astrology program.
Peaks in Astro-Aspect Values (AAVs) for the Fall of 2017 as displayed in the Kepler 8 astrology program.
AAV peaks for December 2017, showing the largest peak on the 22nd and a smaller peak around the 4th of the month (using the Kepler 8 astrology program).
AAV peaks for December 2017, showing the largest peak on the 22nd and a smaller peak around the 4th of the month (using the Kepler 8 astrology program).

Books to Consider

Earthquake Country
Earthquake Country

For anyone moving to California, this book should be on their bookshelf not long after settling in (I've had a copy for decades).

 
Predicting the Unpredictable: The Tumultuous Science of Earthquake Prediction
Predicting the Unpredictable: The Tumultuous Science of Earthquake Prediction

Prediction is something scientists should continue to strive for, not dismiss as an impossibility.

 
Earthshaking Science: What We Know (and Don't Know) about Earthquakes
Earthshaking Science: What We Know (and Don't Know) about Earthquakes

A bit pricey but worth it (well written and researched). This is by the same author as the book just above it.

 

© 2012 Joseph Ritrovato

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  • retrojoe profile image
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    Joseph Ritrovato 19 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..

  • 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.

  • 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)

    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

    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 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..

  • 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 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).

  • 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

  • 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.

  • 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

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

  • tammyswallow profile image

    Tammy 5 years ago from North Carolina

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

  • 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!

  • 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).

  • 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.

  • 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?

  • 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!

  • 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..

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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)

    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.

  • 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)

    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 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)

    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).

  • 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...

  • Lilleyth profile image

    Suzanne Sheffield 5 years ago from Mid-Atlantic

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

  • 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.