I must say that when I read in old texts on mundane astrology that earthquakes are predictable by astrological means, I am very skeptical. If earthquakes could be predicted with any accuracy and reliability, we would not be surprised by the horrific stories of loss of life in quakes and tsunamis year after year. A tiny crack appeared in my skepticism recently when I read that astrologer Richard Nolle had at least predicted a likely period for earthquakes in 2013 with his “supermoon” technique.
In scientific terms a supermoon is a full moon that occurs when the moon is at or very close to perigree, its closest approach to the earth in its monthly cycle. Because it is closer to the earth, the full moon of the “supermoon” appears significantly larger than average. A handy calculator for the Moon’s apogee (further distance) and perigee can be found at http://www.fourmilab.ch/earthview/pacalc.html. On this site you can easily see that a Full Moon occurs on 2013 May 25 and the moon’s perigee occurs on May 26 at 1:46 when the moon is 358374 km away from the earth. When the moon reaches apogee on June 9 at 21:41 it will be 406486 km distant. Nolle uses the period immediately surrounding the supermoon (in this case 25 May 2013 give or take a few days) to predict earthquakes and other mundane events.
In fact, a major earthquake did occur in the South Pacific as the supermoon was approaching. On Thursday afternoon, 23 May 2013 here in the USA, a magnitude-7.4 earthquake struck about 175 miles southwest of Tonga island and about 450 miles southeast of Fiji. This earthquake followed a 6.5 magnitude quake that occurred twelve days earlier near Tonga island on 11 May 2013 about 218 miles northwest of the capital, Nuku’alofa. Unfortunately for the supermoon theory, the earlier quake occurred very close to the moon’s apogee or furthest distance from the earth on May 13 at 13:32 at a distance of 405826 km. Because the two quakes were so close in time and location, they were probably part of the same shifting of tectonic plates near Tonga. One occurred two days after the moon’s apogee and the other occurred two days before the moon’s perigee, so it’s hard to see a pattern in the moon’s distance from the earth triggering a quake.
Intrigued by the idea of earthquake prediction, I went back and read Raphael’s 1910 volume on mundane astrology in which he devotes several paragraphs to earthquakes. Raphael pays special attention to ingress charts, eclipses, lunations on the IC, 4th house planets and the conjunctions of the planets Mars through Neptune (he didn’t know about Pluto in 1910) in making earthquake predictions. Raphael gives two examples in which the chart for the conjunction of Mars to an outer planet at the location of the quake was predictive.
With Raphael in mind, I noticed that a Mars/Uranus conjunction occurred on March 23rd shortly after the Aries ingress of the sun. I wondered if the chart for this conjunction cast for Tonga would be predictive of a Mars/Uranus event, such as an earthquake. Theoretically the conjunction should fall on an angle, especially the IC, to have such significance. Here is the chart for this conjunction.
The chart was quite surprising and made me think that maybe Raphael was on to something. The Mars/Uranus conjunction falls almost exactly on the ASC. Pluto (which Raphael did not know about) conjoins the MC and squares the Mars/Uranus conjunction. Saturn conjoins the 8th house cusp. No doubt Raphael would have seen an impeding earthquake or other natural disaster looming in the chart during the springtime.
I did not have time to look at all the factors Raphael considers in earthquake prediction, but this chart was quite impressive. It is probably significant that these two earthquakes (of May 11 and May 23) occurred during the period when the following astrological events took place:
10 May 2013: Solar eclipse at 19 Taurus 31.
21 May 2013: Uranus square Pluto from 11 Aries 14 to 11 Capricorn 14.
25 May 2013: Lunar eclipse at 4 Sagittarius 08.