Updated: September 27, 2018 for edits and inserts.
I’ve never used this expression before, but the earthquake that hit Nepal this morning could be said to have felt the wings of death as devastation swept throughout the area. The tremors spread as far as New Delhi in India’s capital district and death into areas of Bihar where officials had to turn off electricity for safety reasons.
Nepalese photographer Kashish Das Shrestha said, “Oh my God, the entire Vasanthapura is in rubble.” Vasanthapura Square was known for the 11th century temples and palaces dotting the landscape around narrow lanes here.
According to the first breaking news alert from The New York Times in New Delhi, India, “the preliminary death toll [stands] at 888, nearly all in the valley and that thousands of people had been injured. Trekkers reported a major avalanche on Mount Everest, where two people were reported dead, according to tourism officials. In addition, 34 deaths had been reported in India.”
The area had felt an additional 12 aftershocks by midafternoon, the greatest of which was another power hitter at 6.6. More than 200 people were on or inside the 9-story Dharahara Tower, once a watchtower, built in 1832. The building collapsed with the strength of the quake.
The epicenter of the quake took place between Pokhara and Kathmandu with tremors and shaking through much of northern India. Mt. Everest was another area where an avalanche took place and a few more died.
I developed two charts since the quake for placement in Kathmandu showed the Sun at the apex, closely conjunct the Midheaven (MC), flanked on one side above the horizon by Neptune and Chiron in the 8th house and Uranus in the 9th, and a Mercury-Mars conjunction on the other side in the 10th house and Venus in the 11th. The most immediate and noticeable difference between the chart set for Kathmandu and the one I set for Pokhara, on the other side of the epicenter was the presence of Uranus’ interception in the 9th house. To me, this interception points to a need for us to consider how much more significant an interception is–not for hiding, but for the increased intensity of whatever is caught up in that interception.
Venus was as much a victim in this morning’s devastation as the other celestial bodies could be said to have been. The beauty of the land, for now, has been completely destroyed where the quake has done its damage. The quake itself in the Pokhara chart shows how quickly it hit. But this quake reminds us of how Uranus and Pluto work together when transformation digs so deeply and the process of rebuilding needs to take place. We may not always understand the event because Nature has created the need for change rather than human interaction or even our own interactions with Self, but the transformation still occurs.
Geologists would remind us of the shifting tectonic plates and how they have been expecting this event for some years. In 2005 and in the early 1900s, two even more devastating quakes took place, destroying the lives of more than 100000 each time. But whether we attribute what we’ve seen in these two charts to the geological activity–or what our eyes and hearts see–the damage is done, and we have the opportunity to examine the astrological perspectives.
Don’t look at just the apex of the chart. This was an earthquake, and it took place around noon (11:56:26 am) in Nepal. Saturn in Sagittarius sits in the 4th house but also within orb of the 5th–and in this case, given the scores who have died, we can simultaneously be thankful schools weren’t open because the tolls would have been even higher. On the other hand, Saturn’s orb to the 5th reminds us that families–fathers, mothers, and children of all ages–lost their lives this morning.
Here then is the Peeling of Life’s Onion–Saturn in its ongoing square to Neptune. Not all will see it, but I have to give it because it’s relevant even more by its presence in two of the three terminal houses. Neptune in Neptune-ruled Pisces is unmistakably in the 8th, just as the Moon in Moon-ruled Cancer is undeniably in the 12th. Imagine the confusion that must have taken place as people began the often fruitless search for loved ones. Nothing says it better: the Peeling of Life’s Onion.
Note Jupiter’s conjunction to the Ascendant especially in the Kathmandu chart, a mere 4°25. I’m inclined to focus more, however, on the Kathmandu chart while still keeping in mind the energies I noted from that interception of Uranus in the 9th house of the Pokhara chart. Pokhara’s chart may be relevant in terms of the New York Times having noted that so many more died in brick buildings in smaller areas than in the concrete high rises. Pokhara would have been more likely to have had the brick buildings rather than the high rises.
The Kathmandu chart points to a number of other astrological phenomena that bear noting. While retrograde Pluto–still squaring Uranus–trined that 10th house Mercury-Mars conjunction from its 6th house position, it wasn’t a mere punctuation in the essay shown by the chart:
Even though I normally use exceptionally tight orbs with yods–favoring no more than 2° at the most (and preferably even tighter than that) for the individual quincunxes–the transiting yod between Pluto and the Venus-Jupiter sextile (62°43) is far too obvious. Pluto demands the adjustment to itself–Pluto–rather than people asking Pluto to adjust. Forgive the personification, but Pluto doesn’t adjust. Pluto is usually in charge. In this case, that wide orb I’m accepting and using for the yod may be from my noting how Pluto’s Solstice Point at 14 Sagittarius 28 creates a simultaneous opposition to Venus. Some magnetic attraction! Just that thought brings the mythology of Persephone’s kidnapping to mind. Beauty and the beast, and certainly Pluto has played a role today.
But the yod with the Venus and Jupiter quincunxes isn’t the only set of 150° aspects in this chart. Note the Sun-MC conjunction making another pair of quincunxes, with the MC’s quincunx at a 12-minute partile while Neptune’s placement creates a fifth quincunx with a 149°23 orb to the Ascendant! Catastrophe, chaos, and consequence.
Don’t think we’re done. That’s just about all the adjustment needing to take place in the region now. How do we humans protect ourselves from global transformation when we’re speaking about plate tectonics or other geological transformations of the world in which we live?
As I’ve written this analysis, another news flash came in with the toll now at 1130. By the time I started to post the analysis here on my site, that toll according to the New York Times was at 1157. The numbers keep rising. Officials in India and China have vowed to assist in recovery efforts, bless them.
Four distinct undecaquartisextiles (165°) are also present, and they too tell the tale of this dreadful nightmare. Even without one’s understanding too much about the undecaquartisextile especially with the Moon in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn (orb 4°09), one can consider the emotions in relation to the reality of the physical world. There is no safety in an earthquake. One must do at that moment without feeling. The effort has to be focused on the responsibility.
These are the physical world realities. An earthquake itself is essentially the process of those tectonic plates doing what we can call resisting and refining. In a natural disaster, we have to be pragmatic and look to the real world situation and respond accordingly with very clear common sense goals. Both Mercury (orb of 2°01) and Mars (partile orb of 0°36′) are making single undecaquartisextiles to Saturn.
And finally, there’s Venus making yet one more undecaquartisextile to Saturn with a 2°49′ orb. Previous methods of rebuilding might need to be revised. Everyone will have an opinion or an idea on how to deal with the situation, and surely the conversation will go on for a long time to come. While the efforts to rebuild and protect for the future will be ongoing, implementing new ideas to protect the area and the people may be challenging to achieve.
It’s never enough simply to talk about protecting in a natural disaster. Part of the challenge lies in our working with the earth’s needs and less about our own.
For the time being, recovery efforts will begin to pour into Kathmandu and the rest of the region, and that will be a start. Hopefully Nepal has no corrupt officials who could be present for their fingers in the pie, and actual rebuilding efforts can take place. In the meantime, let’s send our prayers, love and energies for healing in Nepal where 12 aftershocks, the greatest of which was another 6.6, have continued to wreak havoc in the area.
May northern India and Nepal heal from their losses as best they can and begin to rebuild their lives with renewed faith and hope. May those lost rest in peace.
As I wrote this analysis, a breathtaking photo [©2015 Shawn K Young] arrived in my mail from Shawn Young, a member of my family. He wanted to share a view of his thriving bonsai tree with me. The bonsai reminds me of life and faith in the East, so it seems quite appropriate to share with you as we note the lovely green branches of the bonsai reaching upward, outward–and obviously onward–in the light of the sun.
Sending all of you namaste, I love you.
©2015 Michelle Young