The December 26 Tsunami
by Steffan Vanel 12/31
The incredible destruction around the Indian Ocean this past Sunday is something still hard to grasp or
comprehend. I have been feeling the intensity of so many souls simultaneously losing their earthly lives in such a
traumatic way and the trauma of so many souls having been left behind.
As an Astrologer who has taken upon himself the task of trying to make sense of experiences in the lives of
individuals and societies, however, I decided to cast a horoscope for the moment of the Earthquake which
resulted in the catastrophic Tsunamis on December 26. My intent was not so much to seek for the irrefutable
‘danger of earthquakes’ aspect as much as to see if I could sense some message, teaching, or lesson being
conveyed through the language of Astrology in relation to this event.
Before I begin that investigation, however, I might share that Astrologer Philip Sedgewick has pointed out that, on a purely physical level, the Earth always makes her closest approach to the Sun during the year, her perihelion,
between January 2 and 4. This in itself creates an additional gravitational stress upon the Earth. It is to be noted
that the tragic earthquake in Iran last year took place in this exact same time period.
In looking at the chart for the Dec. 26 Earthquake there are addtional tensions which are easily relatable to
physical/gravitational stresses and to sudden violent destruction. First of all, there was a Sun/Moon opposition
taking place. In other words it was the time of the Full Moon. During the full Moon the Earth is always in between
the Sun and Moon. The Earth at this time, being nearer the Sun than normal, would experience a greater than
normal oppositional gravitational pull from these two opposing celestial bodies.
In addition, there was, indeed, a classic planetary aspect in the Earthquake chart relatable to sudden, surprise
violence, accidents and/or destruction. The planet Mars, the planet of will and energy, was square, in tension with
, the planet Uranus, the planet of sudden surprise change or transformation.
This aspect reminds me of a time several years ago when Uranus had been in opposition to my Natal Moon in
my birthchart for some time. During that period I found myself a passenger in a truck which rolled three times and
I suffered three fractured vertebrae. I looked to see what in particular was happening in the Astrological heavens
on that day. Lo and behold, Mars had moved into an exact square to Uranus and to my Natal Moon.
Seeing some correlating signature to these violent events, however, brings little satisfaction for the questions:
Why do these things have to happen? What is the message? What are the lessons?
At the time of my accident I was able to use my own chart to gain insight as to what lessons were being rammed
into my consciousness in this violent way.
In looking at the chart of the December 26 Earthquake I was quite amazed to see an extensive body of relevant,
significant messages and teachings. I saw much more than I expected to see. I now feel this earthquake and the
tsunamis it spawned as being a powerful entity. It is an entity who was born on that morning of December 26,
2004. It is an entity whose presence has affected and will continue to affect the collective consciousness of all of
humanity for many years to come.
There is in fact so much information I can see in the chart that I am considering elucidating it in greater detail in
perhaps a small booklet.
One clearly emphasized theme appearing in the chart is the fact that there are four planets in the house of karma
with former enemies. Planets in this house indicate a need to heal with love and forgiveness elements of conflict
which have existed with individuals in the past. The fact that Pluto is one of these four planets makes this part of
the curriculum particularly intense.
The first factor I personally noted in observing the nations that were most affected by the destructive tsunamis
was that they were all nations experiencing internal civil conflicts of one kind or another. Aceh province in
Indonesia, closest to the epicenter of the quake has, itself, been experiencing a long insurgent, separatist conflict
with the security forces of the central Indonesian government.
Now, in each of these nations, in the wake of such tragic horror I am sure that the old feelings of resentment and
conflict is being replaced by a sense of compassion and concern for the well-being of so many people who have
and are suffering.
The planet in the First House of the Earthquake chart, the First House being the house of self-image, is the
planet Neptune. This Neptune is in positive aspect with the planets representing karma with former enemies.
Neptune in positive aspect represents healing and compassion.
The Eleventh House also represents your relationship to community, to society, to humanity. This positive aspect
of Neptune to these planets is additionally relatable to the outpouring of concern and compassion and aid from
the entire Human Community for those members of our human family who are now suffering.
The square between Uranus and Mars, mentioned previously as representative of the sudden (Uranus) violence
(Mars) resulting from the earthquake is, additionally, in the Second House of money and finances. This is easily
relatable to the sudden, violent destruction of large segments of the economic infrastructure of this entire region.
Uranus, however, is also liberating. In this case I see it as liberating all the world’s nations from their material,
economic fixations to give freely in economic aid to those suffering in the aftermath of the disaster.
The United States having its own Natal Pluto in the Second House, indicative of intense karma with money and
finances, has been slow to let go and be liberated. Its first offer of aid was a paltry $15 million. It is now, at this
time, up to $35 million, wheras Spain has offered $68 million and Britain $96 million. Just for some perspective:
The U.S. government gave $3 billion to the victims of the Florida hurricanes this year. The war in Iraq is costing
the U.S. $35 million every 7 hours.
Saturn, found in the Seventh House of Relationshiips in the Earthquake chart is forcing all the world’s nations to
‘get real’ with each other. It is forcing them to develop true Saturnian committment, responsibility and loyalty in
their relationships. This same Saturn is, however, opposite to the materially obsessive Pluto of the United States.
I think being called stingy and having a small country like Spain proving itself to be twice as generous as the U.S.
is an opportunity for the U.S. to get real in its relation to wealth and money. As one Democratic congressman siad
recently: “We spend $35 million befre breakfast in Iraq.”
Their is additional karma involving the U.S. here. In previous newsletters and in my book, The Astrological Karma
of the USA, I have spoken about the intense tension the planet Pluto is now making upon a Neptune/Mars square
in the U.S. birthchart. Uhe U.S. natal Mars is in the Seventh House of relationships with others. This placement
gives the U.S. a tendency towards conflict in relationships, a tendency to ‘rush into battle when opposed.’ Being
square to Neptune makes this Mars subject to confusion, delusion, illusion, victimhood, and martyrdom. The last
time Pluto was in tense aspect to this Neptune/Mars square was during the Vietnam War. This is why I predicted
that if we went to war in Iraq it would be just like Vietnam. We would go in with Mars, thinking we can simply apply
a Martial, ie. military solution, and it would then become Neptune, ie. a ‘quagmire’ of confusion, illusion, delusion,
victimhood and martyrdom.
I have also previously noted that this Mars/Neptune tension within the U.S. chart needs to be healed and
integrated. In effect, we cannot do Mars without Neptune, ie. with no true compassion or sensitivity to the people
we are relating to. And, we cannot do Neptune without acknowledging that there is occasionally a need for Mars.
These two planetary energies need to learn how to work together in an integrated fashion.
In my book I cited an instance where there was a potential for this Mars/Neptune tension to heal and integrate
within the American experience of itself. I will paste in here that section:
“At the end of the Cold War in 1990, the combative, Martial, militaristic end of our national consciousness had a
chance to integrate with a Neptunian, compassionate, healing energy. I am referring to a specific incident related
to me by a friend who was a Colonel in the U.S. Army who had worked at the Pentagon. When the Cold War
ended he submitted a well thought-out proposal to his superiors to transform the military into a force for peace.
He envisioned a re-organization of the Armed Forces, which would maintain military readiness and training, while
also making all of that manpower available to provide food, medicine and other humanitarian aid to other nations
suffering from poverty, war, and environmental disasters. His proposal was rejected and resulted in such an
uncomfortable environment for him that he was forced into early retirement. That proposal was a chance to have
Martial strength and power integrated with Neptunian caring and compassion. Unfortunately the Martian element
saw that proposal as too threatening. If Mars and Neptune had integrated to allow our incredible well-funded
machinery of war to be used as a beneficent, powerful, force for peace, well, who knows where we would have
been on September 11?”
The last exact aspect by a major outer planet affecting the U.S. birth chart in this year of 2004 was Pluto moving
into an exact square to the U.S. Neptune. This took place on December 23rd. This is the same Pluto appearing in
the House of Humanity in the Earthquake chart three days later. Neptune is the planet of compassionate
empathic sensitivity and healing. It is also named for the God of the Sea. Days after this exact square of Pluto to
the US Neptune US naval warships were sent across the sea as part of the largest global humanitarian mission
in the memory of all of us who are alive on the Earth today. It seems that it took Pluto, the planet of complete
transformation, transformation which you cannot avoid, making a direct hit on our natal Neptune, to push the U.S.
in the direction my friend tried to accomplish with futile results more than a decade ago.
Today we have to listen to the ongoing daily reports of the human-inflicted suffering in Iraq, reports which we have
had to endure these many months. Now, however, these reports from Iraq are juxtaposed with the now daily
reports of incredible suffering in Southeast Asia. This new suffering has made the human-inflicted suffering so
much more senseless. There is so much naturally occurring suffering on this planet. To purposely inflict more is
such a waste.
Last year Pluto was in exact opposition to the U.S. Mars on three different occasions. Now it is more precisely
focusing on Neptune. This tense three-cornered dance will continue, however, through 2006.
In that light, I wish us all clarity, growth and freedom from all that which limits us from being all that we are and
Blessings to you in the New Year,