On Tuesday, 23 August 2011, the east coast experienced a rare seismic event—an earthquake which, located in Virginia, was felt from Georgia to New Hampshire. The 5.8 magnitude quake was the strongest felt in the region in almost seventy years, and was centered just 84 miles outside the nation’s capitol, in Mineral, Virginia. No deaths or injuries were reported, but structural damage included the Washington Monument, which suffered four significant cracks near the top and was closed to the public, and the National cathedral, where three of the four spires were toppled.
An astrological chart set for 1:51 PM EDT at the epicenter reveals a tense galactic structure at the angles—a Black Hole exactly cresting the Midheaven at 9 Virgo, indicating the release of vast amounts of energy and the adoption of an alternate reality, the manifestation of something previously considered inconceivable; a Quasar at 28 Scorpio on the 27 Scorpio Ascendant, suggesting high visibility and prominence for the event; and a Maser at 28 Taurus on the 27 Taurus Descendant, representing the volatile, uncontrolled energy, chaotic and destructive. But the chart is mostly remarkable for the extraordinary number of exact conjunctions and aspects to the USA natal chart, and the symbolism that evokes.
The nation, already in the throes of a serious economic downturn, was just rocked earlier in August by political division in the debt ceiling debacle, resulting in a credit downgrade and subsequent stock market erosion and volatility, with more than $3 trillion investment value lost since late July. One of the leading instigators of the impasse which helped to create these events was Republican House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, in whose Virginia district the earthquake occurred. The earthquake’s damage to two of the most visible public structures in the capitol, one secular and one sacred, emphasizes the damage done to the nation by Cantor’s Tea Party-inspired intransigence and recklessness in bringing the US to the brink of default.
The US is currently enduring a Saturn Return, a period of structural revision and maturation, and the earthquake chart underscores this developmental phase for the nation with transit Saturn exactly atop its natal degree at 14 Libra. Saturn’s most notable aspect in the natal chart is a tight square to the USA Sun at 13 Cancer, and incredibly, transit Mars for the earthquake sits exactly atop that Sun, reinforcing both ends of the natal square that pits the nation’s core values and self image against its government. Also in exact conjunction is the transit Moon, which at 21 Gemini is a perfect match for the USA natal Mars.
Other exact astrological aspects include an opposition from transit Pluto at 5 Capricorn retrograde to natal Jupiter at 5 Cancer, and transit Uranus (ruling earthquakes) at 3 Aries retrograde in square to natal Venus at 3 Cancer. Uranus tied to Venus (and also within orb of square to Jupiter) is a signal of the extreme economic distress and turmoil plaguing the country, which has now manifested symbolically as the earthquake damaging the nation’s capitol.
Pluto’s role is to break down outdated systems and structures, allowing for new forms to be created, also significant in light of the global economic meltdown which the US seems to be spearheading. Additionally, the Ascendant/Descendant axis at 27 Scoprio/Taurus falls within a degree of exact square to the USA natal Moon (its populace) at 26 Aquarius, and the transit Moon at 21 Gemini is just a degree shy of exact square to the USA natal Neptune at 22 Virgo.
Having fully half of the USA’s major natal planets hit by exact aspects (and two more closely aspected) at the time of the quake is a stunning nod to celestial synchronicity and timing, and paired with the quake’s locale, within geological spitting distance of the capitol itself and falling in the very district represented by the disputatious House Majority Leader, sends a sobering message.
If we didn’t know it before, we can see it clearly alluded to now in astrology—the nation is in crisis, undergoing a major “shake-up,” damaged and wobbling, on uncertain footing, its highest aspirations (as symbolized by the Washington Monument and the National Cathedral spires, two of DC’s tallest structures) undermined.
Additional factors of interest include a transit Sun conjunction with asteroid America, the Sun just entering Virgo, the Sign of public service and the common welfare, and America a degree behind at 29 Leo, conjunct Royal Star Regulus, suggesting a childish, petulant (Leo) attitude among our “royalty” (the ruling class in Washington).
Also at the time of the quake, asteroid Barry (for Barack Obama) at 15 Virgo had perfected its square to TNO Chaos at 15 Gemini, a fairly apt description of the turmoil in the nation, as personified by a celestial body representing its President squaring off against a force symbolizing primal disorder, chaos and disruption.
Lastly, asteroid Washingtonia at 11 Scorpio, representing the nation’s capitol, opposed a pairing of Jupiter and Karma at 10 and 13 Taurus, implying a fated comeuppance (Karma) for the US based in prior actions (Karma) by politicians (Jupiter), of which the earthquake itself is the most deeply-felt geophysical marker, and the perfect metaphor for the economic seismic shifts already in process.