The World Tapestry: Reflections on Japan, Hiroshima and Fukushima

                                                                            Dedicated to you, Judy, wherever you are…

I woke up on Saturday morning with the intention of finally being able to plunge into the newsletter–now long overdue (my apologies!). Then I realized it was too important a day for me just to pass over: This was the 71st anniversary of the bombing of Hiroshima, a day that will live on in infamy.

Wooden sculpture of a hand at Pacem in Terris, Warwick, NY - shot by C Manley DeBevoise

                        Wooden sculpture of a hand at Pacem in Terris, Warwick, NY – shot by C Manley DeBevoise

While I don’t remember how old I was when she told me, a cousin of mine said August 6, 1945 was the date Hiroshima was bombed. It has stuck with me since then. Her father, a roommate and best friend of J. Robert Oppenheimer, was one of the mathematicians at Los Alamos where she was born. How I learned his role in the development of the bomb, I just don’t remember; but my views now from where they were back then have evolved as I learned and began to understand more. Judy didn’t live long. Her life was filled with health-related drama that makes the rest of our lives seem perhaps quite peaceful–and no, it hasn’t escaped me that her birth place may have been related to those troubles.

September 28thWe made an excursion, by boat, to-day, on the bay of Yeddo, to Kanagawa, and its precincts. The Tokaido, the high-road which traverses the island of Niphon, passes through the town. A crowd of both sexes and all ages gathered and stared at our landing. The architecture of Japanese towns and villages is monotonous. The buildings, public and private, are small and huddled together. It was a pleasing surprise to find the railroad to Yeddo in process of construction. It is undertaken by a native company, using only Japanese capital, credit, and labor. By-the-way, the projectors are becoming timid in prosecuting the work, under an apprehension that, when it shall be completed, foreigners will base extortionate claims on any accidental injuries they may suffer.

Cherry blossoms at Karurusu, NagasakiAscending a high hill, just beyond the town of Kanagawa, we enjoyed our first interior view of Japanese rural scenery. Thence-forward we had a path only five or six feet wide, which winds across the plains and around the hill-sides, not on any principle of road-making, but simply for the convenient use of the soil. The hill-tops are covered with majestic cypresses and yew-trees, intermingled with the chestnut, holly, pine, persimmon, and camphor, sides being highly ornamental, is the most variously useful of all the woods in the East.

“The althea, the lily, the japonica, the arbor-vitae, the wisteria, the passion flower, and many other shrubs and creepers, which require so much care and labor in our gardens and greenhouses, are luxuriant here. There is no waste, either by rock, marsh, or jungle every hill is terraced, every acre irrigated, every square foot of land covered by some tree, cereal, or esculent. Instead of farms, there are small plots, and each is filled with cotton, flax, wheat, barley, sugar, beets, peppers, sweet potatoes, cabbages, turnips, and other vegetables, by a single family, with care equal for that which is bestowed on our flower-beds. No allowance is made for even accidental waste of the crop. The individual wheat-stalk which is bent down by the storm is restored and supported. Each head of rice, each particular boll of cotton, is kept in its place until carefully removed by the husbandman’s hand. There is no loss of time in gathering the crops into garners; as fast as the product ripens, it is harvested and immediately prepared for the market. Despotism, though often cruel, is not always blind. A law of the empire obliges every one who fells a tree to plant another. In the midst of this rich and beautiful landscape, within an enclosure of two hundred acres, stands a Buddhist temple, with an adjoining monastery, surrounded by groves such as Downing might have designed. We came up on the base of the temple by successive flights of steps, each reaching from a platform below to a more contracted one above. The edifices are constructed of wood, which is generally used in Japan, for greater security against earthquakes….”

William H. Seward’s Travels Around the World. Edited by Olive Risley Seward ©1873

Astrodatabank (ADB) points to Emperor Mutsohito Meiji Tenno as the first ruler who saw foreigners on the shores of the Land of the Rising Sun.  The ADB chart uses his date of birth as a starting point since this offers an A Rodden Rating for the news report showing November 3, 1852 at 1:00:00 PM in Kyoto, Japan. ADB notes, “Japanese emperor who reigned from the age of 15 for 45 years as his country became a great power. He was the first emperor ever looked upon by foreigners, who were first admitted into Japan in 1853.”
Japan - Emperor Meiji Tenno

While William Seward described Emperor Mutsohito as a despot although not necessarily a blind one, he appears to defer to the emperor’s wisdom in making laws. I wondered about this as I considered his chart and looked to the Aquarius rising with an evenly balanced Eastern/Western hemispheric split, the weight of the quadrants evenly balanced between the 1st and the 3rd, and the hemispheres above- and below-the-horizon are evenly split. With this in mind, it would seem he had been a fair and equitable ruler even if despotism had been a way of life in Japan during the 1800s. At the very least, however, his chart became an integral part of this examination since this wasn’t only the first emperor but a fountainhead for the Japan we knew at the time of the bombing of Hiroshima and beyond.

Similarly, the 1868 chart is highly significant as well. Mutsohito came to power in 1867, a mere two months after his 15th birthday. As a result, I’ve used the Sirius data and its reference to Marc Penfield from Horoscopes of Asia, Australia and the Pacific, January 3, 1868, 11:55 AM, Tokyo, Japan. The end of an era took place in 1868 when Mutsohito came into power. Here was the shift from the feudal period, the Age of the Samurai warrior Japan had known for hundreds of years into what we might call the “new” Japan.
Japan - 1868By the time the young emperor took his place as the head of state, Japan had achieved something of world status as a strong, resilient nation. Mars rules this chart from its vantage point at the apex of the Eastern 4th quadrant above-the-horizon dominated chart, conjunct the Midheaven (MC), offering us a look at the military rule prior to Mutsohito’s rise to power.

The Meiji Constitution chart offers a starting point for Nicholas Campion’s The Book of World Horoscopes reference to the date the Constitution was handed to Count Kuroda, Japan’s prime minister “in a brief ceremony at the royal palace” at that time. (Take note of the Campion footnote: “T, 14 February 1889, p. 5, Storry, Richard, A History of Modern Japan, p. 116.” But the Campion data offered on page 173 of The Book of World Horoscopes, ©2004 shows 11 February 1889 NS, 12:00:00 LMT, Tokyo, Japan. I’m presenting the Meiji chart for your examination but the main focus here needs to be the Emperor’s natal, the 1868 chart and the post-war independence chart against Hiroshima. I had to draw a line somewhere on what I could examine. With Mutsohito’s birth, we see the beginning of the era of the emperors of Japan, leaving behind what could be described as “warrior governments.”)

Japan - Meiji Constitution

I’m struck by the Meiji Constitution chart but not in the way one might expect. The most significant thing about this chart for me isn’t in the obvious Eastern 3rd quadrant above-the-horizon dominance, rather in the chart ruler. Mercury rules the chart from its 10th house retrograde position, implying that this would not be all, that more would need to come after this initial Constitution. And of course, following the devastation taking place in Hiroshima on August 6, 1945, there was more to come. But first, Hiroshima…

Japan - Bombing of HiroshimaAstrologers, please take note that while ADB and others–even a New Yorker article, Hiroshima, by John Hersey indicated 8:15 AM as the time of the massive explosion in which hundreds of thousands were left dead or wounded, History points to the time as 8:16 AM. Now I realize we’re talking about 60 seconds of time; but it doesn’t hurt to consider. I’d like to see the actual seconds after 8:15 this took place, were that possible. I’d use those seconds.

In 1952, Japan and the United States declared peace between them. While Nicholas Campion notes several times for the actual declaration, I worked with the 10:30 PM Japanese time chart.

Japan - 1952

Despite the tight Cardinal T-square that can actually be called a Cardinal Grand Cross (and angular at that!), I find myself very much at peace with how this chart reveals the effort to work hard. Saturn rules the chart from inside the 9th house while a Venus-Neptune opposition forms a respective 26-minute conjunction through Neptune to the IC/MC Meridian. But Saturn is part of the Grand Cross as it opposes 3rd house Mercury, squares 7th house Uranus and then opposes 1st house Chiron.

Chiron’s presence in the 1st certainly points to the effort at wounded healing; but its first house position points to peace potentially being created out of the tragedies at Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Here then is a perhaps quieter but still riveting sense of attraction, the charismatic overtone that peace can be created as the world begins to rebuild from the devastation of the now-ended world war in those years.

Lois Rodden had said Saturn in Libra gave a sense of responding to the duties and responsibilities of a relationship as if it were a business arrangement. Certainly this would be true between two nations coming to a time of peace with Saturn setting boundaries between the two. So while it may be a controlled sense of charisma and even sizzle, I wouldn’t see this placement as anything less than charismatic and sizzling. Renewal and attraction to the concept as a whole would be made stronger by such a pact for peace.

So with brief looks at the individual charts, I wanted to see how they work together (without the Meiji Constitution chart, as I explained above) with the bombing of Hiroshima in the center wheel.

Japan - inside Hiroshima bombing, inner middle emperor, outer middle 1868, outside 1952

The midpoint of Transpluto (or as Valerie Vaughan calls it, Persephone, since she seems to tie into the broader picture) from when the future ruler was born and his becoming the 15-year-old Emperor of Japan (1868 chart) forms a 19-minute approaching partile conjunction to the 16 Gemini 44 MC. The Sabian Symbol “THE HEAD OF A ROBUST YOUTH CHANGES INTO THAT OF A MATURE THINKER, GEMINI 17,” describes the growth of this boy who would become the leader of a great nation.

We see the maturation, however, in another, curious way: He entered his role as Emperor of Japan when Uranus was positioned at 10 Cancer 48 Rx. At the time post-war Japan moved to its independence in 1952, Uranus was in the midst of its return to the elevation of the 15-year-old boy 84 years earlier. Now Uranus formed a 9-minute partile conjunction to its position during the earlier date! The post-war independence chart also shows the Moon at 28 Gemini 41.

Now of course we can’t be sure of the precise position since Nicholas Campion offered several times for the 1952 chart. But isn’t it curious that the Moon at 10:30 PM in 1952 would have formed a 3-minute partile conjunction to the South Node (SN) of the Fukushima earthquake chart? Equally worth noting is the 1868 position of Chiron at 22 Pisces 27, forming a 31-minute partile conjunction to the post-war independence placement of Pallas at 22 Pisces 58. Bob Marks writes, “Pallas (the Roman name for the Greek Athena) shows our ability to recognize patterns, to arrange and re-arrange things.” Chiron will make its perfected Rx return to the 1952 position on September 25, 2016, followed by the direct transit perfected return on February 3, 2017!

The Hiroshima chart shows Venus at 1 Cancer 42 in the 10th house while the 1868 chart points to Vesta at 1 Cancer 58 Rx, forming a mere 16-minute partile conjunction between them. I looked at Bob Marks‘ site for some context and found the following: “Vesta in Cancer: focuses on home and domestic matters. Good for any project requiring intuition and for focusing on the emotional or feeling side of any situation.” Even though these charts are not personal but mundane, the sense of taking care of the home (the nation) through healing, through a move forward with the young emperor stepping into his place in the world is clear especially with Venus in such a prominent position.

“The myth,” says Vaughan in her book Persephone is Transpluto (©1994 Valerie Vaughan), “also relates how Persephone lives in two worlds, walks the borders, mediates between them: the worlds of conscious and unconscious, the worlds of life (ruled by her mother Demeter-Ceres) and of death (ruled by her abductor-husband Pluto)…” [page 31] “…To return to the Persephone myth, the combined participation of Demeter-Ceres (Mother Earth), the earth goddess Gaia-Ge, and Pluto means that the story is also about the earth in upheaval with ecological disaster. We see this manifesting all over the planet in the form of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and climate disturbances, matched with a simultaneous growth in whole-earth consciousness (“Save the Whales, Rainforests, etc.”) and serious efforts at recycling.” [page 32-33]

On page 162 of the book, Vaughan writes, “Astrologers have found many indicators for earthquakes, which include aspects to the angles and to eclipse points, strong Uranus or Pluto. It appears that Persephone-Transpluto aspects may be added as another important element to be investigated in earthquake research. In a survey conducted by the author, twenty-one earthquake charts were chosen arbitrarily for study. Sixteen of these charts (over 75%) showed Persephone making a hard angle to the Ascendant, with only very tight orbs used. Of these sixteen, all but one chart showed Persephone also in hard angle to either the Sun or Moon…”

I have two reasons for pointing out these two passages: First, the linkage she mentions related to geological and meteorological phenomena like earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and climate disturbances–the obvious, of course, since I mentioned these above; the other is less obvious until you note the Persephone-Pluto connections to the angles and Pluto in the quad wheel as well as the stunning midpoint connections especially when they are around the angles. I’ve followed this a bit more and also discovered this is not just about Pluto with Persephone. The Mars-Uranus midpoint at 12 Gemini 51 in the Hiroshima chart forms a 43-minute partile conjunction to Emperor Mutsohito’s Transpluto at 12 GE 08!

Now I’m not usually one to stick so tightly to 1° of orb with no minutes over that I’d ignore a conjunction with an excess 6-minute orb. I would still call this a clear, tight conjunction. The Equatorial Ascendant in the Hiroshima bombing chart forms a semisextile to the Sun in the same chart and establishes the Resonant Blooming Undecaquartisextile at 28 Aquarius 45, conjunct the North Node at 27 AQ 39 in the 1952 post-war independence chart.

I’m not looking to do a simple astrological analysis of a single chart in this article. Hiroshima and Fukushima (not in the picture–yet) have some clear ties. I’ve pointed to the interactions between Hiroshima, the emperor and when he became Japan’s 15-year-old leader as well as the nation’s post-war 1952 independence chart. There are so many connections, however, I could probably extend this to at least 10000 words. It’s more important to include Fukushima so we can see the patterns shaping here too–not only to the Hiroshima bombing (think Transpluto) but also to the 1868 and 1952 charts.

Japan - inside Hiroshima, inner middle Fukushima, outer middle 1868, outside 1952

Looking back at the Resonant Blooming Undecaquartisextile in the Hiroshima bombing chart, formed by the Equatorial Ascendant-Sun semisextile and the highly sensitive third point located at 28 Aquarius 45, and then referring to the Fukushima earthquake chart now shown in the inner middle wheel, closest to the Hiroshima bombing chart, we see the presence of Transpluto in a very distinct 20-minute partile opposition to the Resonant point.

That the Fukushima chart goes beyond the North Node’s placement in the 1952 post-war chart is of little use. My work with the Fukushima wheel in comparison to the Hiroshima chart establishes the validity of the bombing itself as another point of resonance we might want to consider in our usage of Transpluto. Not just meteorological or geological but as I’ve been trying to point out in these powerful Undecaquartisextile patterns, the resonant sensitivities are probably best not ignored.

What role Transpluto plays in these mundane studies beyond geological and meteorological connections remains to be seen, of course. According to Vaughan, Transpluto moves ever so slowly through a chart with a 684-year cycle, an especially interesting point to consider in re to a Precessional Age. [She mentions Persephone at 678, and yet she says Persephone is Transpluto. But a mere 6 years in comparison to its full zodiacal span is so minimal, I went with the higher number since she seems to lean toward 684 more than 678 (through Bode’s Law as the synodic period.)]

In line with the focus on Persephone-Transpluto, we would also do well to note the conjunction of Ceres at 26 Aquarius 04 and Neptune at 29 Aquarius 12 in the Fukushima earthquake chart. The midpoint of this pair falls at 27 Aquarius 38, establishing a mere 1-minute partile conjunction to the post-war independence chart’s North Node (NN)!

“The March 11 earthquake was preceded by a series of large foreshocks over the previous two days, beginning on March 9th with an M 7.2 event approximately 40 km from the March 11 earthquake, and continuing with a further 3 earthquakes greater than M 6 on the same day.” 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami data available from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration/National Geophysical Data Center

Ceres in the 1868 chart is positioned at AQUARIUS 27, the Sabian Symbol for AN ANCIENT POTTERY BOWL FILLED WITH FRESH VIOLETS, a fitting one for the nurturing mother also known as Demeter. She creates the warm, loving home at this degree, reflecting William Seward’s words on Japan in 1879: “The althea, the lily, the japonica, the arbor-vitae, the wisteria, the passion flower, and many other shrubs and creepers, which require so much care and labor in our gardens and greenhouses, are luxuriant here. There is no waste, either by rock, marsh, or jungle every hill is terraced, every acre irrigated, every square foot of land covered by some tree, cereal, or esculent. Instead of farms, there are small plots, and each is filled with cotton, flax, wheat, barley, sugar, beets, peppers, sweet potatoes, cabbages, turnips, and other vegetables, by a single family, with care equal for that which is bestowed on our flower-beds. No allowance is made for even accidental waste of the crop.” … “A law of the empire obliges every one who fells a tree to plant another. In the midst of this rich and beautiful landscape, within an enclosure of two hundred acres, stands a Buddhist temple, with an adjoining monastery, surrounded by groves such as Downing might have designed…”

Tragically, as the days and months passed at Fukushima, where this degree fell on Ceres in March 2011, anomalies in the beauty of the land began to take place, reminding us of the radioactive waste casting its spell over the land and into the sea. By the next day alone–March 12, 2011–the Moon had transited to 7 Gemini 50 and would form a conjunction to Mars (9 Gemini 12) in the Hiroshima bombing chart.

Japan - Inside Hiroshima bombing, middle Fukushima quake, outside Fukushima explosion

If you look at the triwheel above now, you’ll see the Mars-Uranus conjunction, the midpoint of which is 12 Gemini 55, still a 4-minute partile conjunction to the transiting Moon at the time of the explosion. There was more than one explosion in the days that followed.

Japan - Hiroshima-Peace-Memorial-Park01-720x405

Now, five years after the quake, the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl, people–understandably–worry. On August 8, thousands rallied in China “‘We know about Fukushima’: Thousands rally in China over nuclear project fears.” And in the course of my writing this article, I discovered the World Nuclear Organization (WNO) offered an updated very extensive report on what they know about Fukushima. Fukushima Accident

WNO reported, “The tsunami countermeasures taken when Fukushima Daiichi was designed and sited in the 1960s were considered acceptable in relation to the scientific knowledge then, with low recorded run-up heights for that particular coastline. But some 18 years before the 2011 disaster, new scientific knowledge had emerged about the likelihood of a large earthquake and resulting major tsunami of some 15.7 metres at the Daiichi site. However, this had not yet led to any major action by either the plant operator, Tepco, or government regulators, notably the Nuclear & Industrial Safety Agency (NISA). Discussion was ongoing, but action minimal.”

Through the years since the decimation of Hiroshima and Fukushima, Japan has displayed resilience and determination to rebuild and transform into a nation of peace and harmony. Neptune has plagued Japan since the post-quake tsunami, but the people have worked to recreate their homeland. At the time of the quake, Neptune was at the 30th Sabian degree–MOONLIT FIELDS, ONCE BABYLON, ARE BLOOMING WHITE, AQUARIUS 30–not terribly far into the 30th degree, in fact. A BUTTERFLY EMERGING FROM A CHRYSALIS, AQUARIUS 29, also fits here. Later in the year, Neptune would transit retrograde to the 29th degree before it finally moved on and made ingress to Pisces.

Voa Butterfly – Fly Butterfly

Despite the challenges of rebuilding, Japan hasn’t forgotten the rebuilding process and voicing their own wish for world peace. On August 6, the anniversary of Hiroshima 1945, Japan called for a world without nuclear weapons.

At the twilight, a moon appeared in the sky, in that moon, my body turned as fine as soul

For some years to come, we’ll continue to see more articles in any number of publications. They’ll be devoted to Chernobyl, Fukushima, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, the World Trade Center, Paris, Brussels, Peshawar, Istanbul and Ankara, Aleppo, Mumbai, and so many more nations and cities that are tragically likely to come. Hopefully, we can all be a part of the effort for peace. Meanwhile it’s time for me to write India’s and Pakistan’s annual Solar Returns, two more lands where I hope peace can reign again. It’s time for peace…

Until next time…

Namaste, I love you,

©2016 Michelle Young

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