On the Timing of California Earthquakes

What follows is an article that has grown since the 1980's. What it says essentially is that quakes happen in California when the moon is at its maximum and minimum declinations, when the moon's nodes are in Pisces and Virgo. The moon does not orbit the earth in the same plane as the earth's orbit of the sun (the ecliptic); if it did, every new and full moon would be an eclipse. The suggestion is that California quakes occur when the moon's plane disagrees with the earth's plane the most.

Analogues form the basis for all long-range forecasts.

  • Since analogues form the basis of all long range forecasts, to be successful, it is essential that the forecaster be a historian of the phenomenon with which they deal. When presenting a forecast (unless one presents one's self as a psychic) we are actually testing an analogue or predictive model, based upon examination of historical data. The method consists of analyzing a data base, in order to try to uncover sequential and recurring patterns that can be used to predict the phenomenon in the future (if that be possible). The key lies in choosing the right data to examine.

    This "pattern matching" technique is identical to what we call the "hindcasting" method of astro-meterorology, which entails examining the astronomical configurations that occur at the times of certain events or phenomenon, and projecting any pattern found into the future. [Note that in schizophrenics, this pattern matching function is cancerous, that is, it is out of control.]

    Astro-meteorology and seismology

  • Astro-meteorology and seismology are studies of significance that depends on both objective and subjective techniques; utilizing empirical, largely analogue methods. Accepting that what happens on the Earth in regard to meterorological and seismic activity can be affected by the positions and motions of the sun, moon, and planets, astro-meteorologists attempt to extract moments of "astronomical significance" from the flux of time, by identifying "significant" astronomical configurations.

    Note that long-range forecasts generated by astro-meteorological research should not be seen as competing with that from people in other areas of concern, but rather an attempt to help extend the range of techniques and procedures at the forecaster's disposal; as well as helping to strengthen confidence in popular analogues, or to indicate where they might be unreliable or ineffective.

    Please consider this 1972 image that shows deaths and $$ amounts for damage from California quakes. Notice 1) that the 71 quake was the 'worst since 1906', dollar wise, at that time, and 2) that there were other spikes in deaths and damage in 1933 and 1952, and 3) three other years with lesser quakes that resulted in death rates > 1; those being 1915, 1925 and 1940.

    The first five columns of the eclipse chart below are covered by the table above. (Click on the image for a larger version of that.) Look closely at 1906, 1933, 1952, and 1971, and you will see that all four years saw solar eclipses in late February. The quake in 1915 that resulted in deaths occurred the year after a Pisces solar eclipse in late Feb. There were Pisces solar eclipses in 1923 and 1924 before the 1925 quake. The 1940 quake with deaths preceeded the 1942 Pisces solar eclipses, and there was a 6.5 quake in 1942.

    That is all the Pisces solar eclipses up to 1972, and 1) each one is associated with a large quakes, and 2) there are no large quakes (in the chart) not associated with the eclipses. Also, looking at 1960 and 61, we see that there were no Pisces solar eclipses and no large Caliquakes. In the mid 70's it was an easy task to point to an eclipse chart and predict an increase in the magnitude of California quakes near eclipses in 1979, 1989, and 1997-8 (and beyond).

    In 1979 and 1980 we saw the 6.5 El Centro quake and the 7.2 Eureka quake. In 1989 there was the San Jose quake, which was 'the largest since 1906' at that time (again). Then, right on schedule, we see a 7.1 in 1998. That is all ten times that Pisces eclipses happened in the 20th century accounted for.

    In 1981, an LA Times News Service article about California earthquake patterns reported that " large earthquakes (there) tend to occur in bunches within a 30 to 42 month time span", with the patterning having appeared -

  • between June 1932 and February 1935, when seven magnitude 6 or greater tremors occurred,
  • between May 1940 and October 1942, when nine big tremblors rattled the state
  • and again between July 1952 and February 1956 when 13 major events shook California".

    The article goes on to suggest that at press time a "similar pattern" was in progress, having begun with a magnitude 6.6 quake on October 15, 1979. Compare these times with the eclipses above (click for larger image), and note especially the Pisces Solar Eclipses then.

    If you look at 1972 in the image below, you will see a solar eclipse on July 10th, which is almost the same as we seen in 2010 (July 11). This year we have seen a 6.5 in the north and a 7.2 in the south, just the reverse of what we saw in 1979-80.

    Looking at 2008 and 2009 we see that the eclipses mirror 1988 and 90. Jupiter conjoined Neptune in 2009. At the end of 2009 and into 2010 we saw 5.1, 5.2, 5.8 and 6.5 Caliquakes. The 6.5 quake was off the coast of Eureka, and happened the day before Venus conjoined the sun; the Haiti quake happened the day after that. The 7.2 quake in Baja California happened as Mercury conjoined Venus.

    Looking at the eclipses in 1811-12 when the quakes happened in New Madrid MO, and 1886, when the Charleston, SC quake happened, we see solar eclipses in March both times. Notice that four New Madrid quakes made this top 10 list.

    Here we add two more Caliquakes to our list; one in 1857, and one in 1872. In 1858 there was a solar eclipse in March, and Jupiter conjoined Uranus in 1858. There was a Pisces solar eclipse at the time of the quake in 1868 as well. Jupiter conjoined Uranus in 1872, and Jupiter conjoins Urnanus in 2010 AND Saturn opposes Uranus as it did in 1872.

    As we look at 2010, we note that there has already been 5.8, 6.5 and 7.2 quakes; that could be all there is for this time, but I don't think so. We have passed the eclipses and Jup/Nept conjunction, but now we face the Jup/Uranus conjunction in September. I will point out that the 1906 quake happened on April 18, before the tidal peak on May 8th; in 1952, the July 21 quake preceeded the Aug 5 peak; the Feb 9, 1971 quake preceeded the Feb 25 peak; but the 18 Oct, 1989 quake followed the peak of Oct 14. The tides peak Sept 8th in 2010.

  • To review, we find that many of the top US quakes have been associated with Febuary and March solar eclipse years, Jupiter/Neptune conjunctions and oppositions, and the Jupiter/Uranus conjunctions. We know that the worse quakes have happened when an eclipse coincided with a conjunction/oppositon of Neptune and Jupiter. We saw the March eclipse in 2007, then the Jupiter/Neptune conjunction in 2009, now Jupiter will conjoin Uranus almost oposite to Saturn in 2010, in a configuration similar to what we saw in 1872.

    No matter whether a quake might occur before a tidal peak, or near one, the fact is that the tides peak again in 2010 on Sept 8th, just before Jupiter and Uranus conjoin at the equinox. The April 4 quake happened as Mercury conjoined Venus.

    1812 12 08 - Southwest of San Bernadino County, California - M 6.9 Fatalities 40 
    1836 06 10 - South San Francisco Bay region, California - M 6.5 
    1838 06 - San Francisco area, California - M 6.8 
    1857 01 09 - Fort Tejon, California - M 7.9 Fatalities 1 
    1868 10 21 - Hayward, California - M 6.8 Fatalities 30 
    1872 03 26 - Owens Valley, California - M 7.4 Fatalities 27  
    1892 02 24 - Imperial Valley, California - M 7.8  
    1899 04 16 - Eureka, California - M 7.0 
    1899 12 25 - San Jacinto, California - M 6.7 Fatalities 6 
    1906 04 18 - San Francisco, California - M 7.8 Fatalities 3000 
    1915 06 23 - Imperial Valley, California - M 6.3 Fatalities 6  
    1922 01 31 - Eureka, California - M 7.3 
    1923 01 22 - Humbolt County, California - M 7.2 
    1925 06 29 - Santa Barbara, California - M 6.8 Fatalities 13 
    1927 11 04 - Lompoc, California - M 7.1  
    1933 03 11 - Long Beach, California - M 6.4 Fatalities 115  
    1940 05 19 - Imperial Valley, California - M 7.1 Fatalities 9 
    1952 07 21 - Kern County, California - M 7.3 Fatalities 12  
    1971 02 09 - San Fernando, California - M 6.6 Fatalities 65 
    1979 10 15 - Imperial Valley, Mexico - California Border - M 6.4 
    1980 11 08 - Humboldt County, California - M 7.2 
    1987 10 01 - Whittier Narrows, California - M 5.9 Fatalities 8 
    1987 11 24 - Superstition Hills, California - M 6.5 Fatalities 2 
    1987 11 24 - Superstition Hills, California - M 6.7 
    1989 10 18 - Loma Prieta, California - M 6.9 Fatalities 63 
    1992 06 28 - Landers, California - M 7.3 Fatalities 3  
    1994 01 17 - Northridge, California - M 6.7 Fatalities 60 
    1994 09 01 - Cape Mendocino, California - M 7.0 
    1999 10 16 - Hector Mine, California - M 7.1 
    2005 06 15 - Off the Coast of Northern California - M 7.2 
    2005 06 16 - Greater Los Angeles Area, California - M 4.9 
    2005 06 17 - Off the Coast of Northern California - M 6.6 
    2010 01 10 - Offshore Northern California - M 6.5 

    [2010 update: People have written about the connection between California quakes and Pisces eclipses since the 1930's, after the Long Beach quake. After the quake in 1971 people added that one to the list, and began to emphasize that Jupiter and Neputne were near each other at all three times too. By the 1980's the 'scientific' community got a taste of astro-seismology. In 2009 and 2010 we find ourselves in the same situation following Pisces eclipse when larger California quakes are known to happen. In Dec 2008 I posted a video where I predicted a quake in California for Sept 18th, 2009.

    The magnitude 5.1 quake that struck Calexico on Sept 19th was the strongest in the state for the year at that time. There were 5.0 and 5.2 quakes just before the next full moon in California. On Dec 30th there was a magnitude 5.8 quake that proved to be the largest for 2009, just before the eclipse on the 31st. On Jan 9th there was a magnitude 6.5 quake off the coast of California. This series was initiated on Sept 19th. The largest quake for 2009 happened on Sept 29th as the moon conjoined Jupiter, in between two California quake events.]

  • In 1983, Steve Kilston and Leon Knopoff sought to correlate southern California earthquakes with the "moon's maximum declination", and on the basis of quakes that struck there in 1933, 1952, and 1971, predicted another one for November of 1987 (+ or - 2 years) when the moon would again achieve it's maximum declination (as it does every 18.6 years)

    When I looked, I saw that California quakes also clustered at the moon's minimum declination. (See the Back to School section if you need to review these concepts.) This means that California sees quakes when the moon runs high and when it runs low; when the nodes are in Pisces and Virgo, every 9+ years. K & K focus on the time when the node moves from Aries to Pisces. The next time that happened after 1987 was in early 2006.

    In 1983 I wrote an article suggesting that finding the moon's maximum declination only gives us half the picture, and I suggested that we focus on the timing of eclipses. I recommend that early Pisces eclipses associate with the quakes, which gives me times a little later than those of K & K.

    At any rate we find ourselves after the moon max again, and can expect an uptick in the magnitude of California quakes.

    In 2009 we saw a 5.1 quake in Calexico at the new moon in Sept, then just before the next full moon in October there were 5.0 and 5.2 quakes. Just before the full moon and eclipse on Dec 31st, there was a 5.8 quake that became the largest of the year, after these others.

    Then on Jan 9th there was a 6.5 off the coast of north California which occurred just before Venus conjoined the sun. The Sept 19th quake happened the day after the sun conjoined Saturn at a new moon. I posted a video in Dec 2008 and predicted a quake in California for Sept 18th (my Youtube handle is dcsymbols). That quake is the one that initiated this recent series, and occurred at one of those conjunctions.

  • The last time California saw quakes above 6.0 was 2005. (Note that the June 2005 quakes occurred before the moon max.) Note also that in 2006, the largest quake was a 4.5.

    The July 29, 2008 quake occurred at a Mercury/sun conjunction. The moon opposed Saturn April 30, 2008. In 2005, the tides peaked on Jan 10th. Our next tidal peak is Jan 30. 2010. In addition to the eclipses, you will find that conjunctions and oppositions of Jupiter to Neptune have contributed to California quakes. Jupiter conjoined Neptune heliocentrically Sept 2009.

  • In a 23 July 1983 'Science News' article, Steve Kilston and Leon Knopoff sought to correlate southern California earthquakes with the "moon's maximum declination", and on the basis of quakes that struck there in 1933, 1952, and 1971, predicted another one for November of 1987 (+ or - 2 years) when the moon would again achieve it's maximum declination (as it does every 18.6 years) [They suggested a 19 year cycle.]

    The eclipse table below is used to indicate when the quake patterns occur. We are now in a quake period as indicated by the moon. As you can see from the chart, I attempt to tie planetary conjunctions and oppositions in too.

    You will note that the article suggests that astrology provides a 'bad framework for doing this kind of work', when we know that the work of astrologers provided the basis for the modern 'science'. The work that Kilston and Knopoff were doing is exactly what astrologers do.

    > Looking again at the eclipse chart you will note that Pisces Solar Eclipses also accompanied quake activity in 1906, 23, 42, and 79 when the moon reached it's minimum declination. This means that California quakes occur near times when the moon reaches it's maximum and minimum declination, when the moon's ascending or descending node is in Pisces. I suggest a 9.3 years cycle, and while not disagreeing with the Moon Max theory, recommend that a more useful analogue might link to solar eclipses.

    In addition to the precession of the major axis, you can see that the plane of the moon's orbit of the earth shifts in relationship to the plane of the earth's orbit around the sun (the ecliptic). At times the two planes coincide as they cross, then the moon's plane moves 5 degrees above the ecliptic (riding high), back to zero again, then it runs low. Where these two planes cross is where eclipses can occur. Not every full or new moon is an eclipse in other words.

    I had predicted increased activity in 1988 and 9 to coincide with the Pisces eclipses then. While southern California did have quakes in Oct and Nov '87 (as K&K had suggested), the really big event occurred in San Jose (northern California) in October (10) of 1989. The next eclipses in the "minimum" series occurred in 1997 and 98. An 8 Pi eclipse in 98 was followed by a 7.1 quake in 1999. Note also that weak seismic activity accompanied the moon's pass through the minimum around 1960 that did not result in Pisces solar eclipses.

    The image above was taken from a copy of a page of an Astrological Journal from 1934. The author was LE Johndro, and he was pointing to Pisces eclipses that had preceeded the quakes in 1906 and 1933, in San Francisco and Long Beach, CA. He notes that the eclipses were 27 years, or 1.5 eclipse cycles apart. That means that one quake was as the lunar maximum and the other was at the lunar minimum.

    The image above is taken from an article in Astrology magazine by Carl Fischer about "Earthquakes and Volcanoes". The article was written after the 1971 quake, and points out, like Johndro, that that quake occurred following a Pisces solar eclipse. To that Fischer adds that Jupiter and Neptune were conjoining near all three of the quakes.

  • Let's review what we know. The moon has once again passed its maximum declination, and we are seeing the eclipses associated with California quakes in the past. Jupiter is approaching its heliocentric conjunction with Neptune; this occurs every 12+ years while the eclipses are 9+ years apart. Quake activity that accompanies the conjunctions and oppositions of Jupiter to Neptune is intensified when this occurs near Pisces eclipses, as in 1906, 1932, 1952, 1971, 1989, and 1997.

    Last century, the really bad California quake occurred in April of 1906. Jupiter conjoined Neptune the following March, and Uranus was directly opposite to Neptune (heliocentric) in November of 1907. But, if you look at the eclipse chart, you will see a 4 Pisces eclipse on Feb 23, 1906. At that eclipse the moon conjoined the sun, Saturn, Mercury and Venus. On Jan 31 there was a M 8.8r quake off the Coast of Esmeraldas, Ecuador (the seventh largest in history). On 3 16 there was a M 6.8r quake in Chia-i, Taiwan. Then on 4 18 the San Francisco M 7.8r event. The tides peaked in 1906 at the full moon on May 8, so the SF quake occured just prior to the peak.

    In 1933, with Jupiter near Neptune, the new moon conjoined the sun and Saturn on Jan 25; we see a 26 Pi eclipse on 2/24. On 3 02 in Sanriku, Japan, a M 8.4 r earthquake, and a M 6.4r event in Long Beach, California on 3 11.

    If you read this whole page you will see me make mention of the moon conjoining Saturn, and how that has figured in quakes for almost two years now. I direct your attention to the chart for the April 18th, 1906 San Fransisco quake. As you can see, Uranus was opposite to Neptune and the moon was just about to conjoin Saturn. The January 9, 1857, Ft Tejon quake occured at a full moon that conjoined Saturn. (Notice how all the planets are on one side of the earth.)

    With the moon conjoining Saturn.

  • Dec 31, 2009: Yesterday there was a magnitude 5.8 quake in almost the same location as the quake 5.1 magnitude quake that occurred Sept 19th. You may recall that I had posted a video last December where I predicted a quake for California for the new moon on Sept 18th.

  • Jan 9 : An earthquake with an estimated magnitude of 6.5 occurred about 25 miles southwest of Eureka, Calif., at 4:27 p.m.!!

    As you can see from the table above, these quakes were the largest since July of 2005. The quake last July occurred as Mercury conjoined the sun.

  • Last California quake over 6.0r - 2005 June 17; 6.6r off the coast of Northern California. 2005 June 15 (seen below); 7.2r off the coast of northern California. There was also a 4.9r quake on June 16 in Los Angeles.

    June 15, 2005, 7.2r off N. California coast
    Before a solstice, as the moon conjoined Jupiter opp. Mars.

    Consider the two lists above, which show us that the worst quakes in the US have happened in Alaska. Looking at the bottom list we note four quakes in New Madrid, MO in Dec 1811 and Jan 1812. We also see one quake in Charleston, SC in 1886; the other five were in California. You will recall from the discussion above that the 1906, 1915 and 1952 quakes occurred near Pisces eclipses.

    If you check you will see that the moon's node was in Pisces in 1857, and that there was a Pisces solar eclipse in March of 1858. Looking at 1886, we see a March Pisces solar eclipse and the node in Virgo. The node was in Virgo in 1811 and 12 too, and there was a Pisces solar eclipse in March of 1812.

    The only quake from the lower list that does not relate to those eclipses was the 1872 Owens Valley 8.3 event. Looking at the planets that year, we see Saturn in Capricorn and Jupiter in Cancer. Uranus is also in Cancer, meaning that Jupiter conjoined Uranus, and those two opposed Saturn, just as we will see in 2010. Looking at 1812 we see Saturn in Capricorn and Jupiter in Cancer.

    Hearing of a rash of earthquakes in the Owen's Valley region recently should remind quake historians of 1872, when an large quake struck there on March 26th, following the equinox. Below we see the chart for that. The first thing that catches your eye is the fact that Uranus and Saturn were opposite that year, like they are now; the BIG difference being that Jupiter was conjoining Uranus AND opposing Saturn too.

    Notice how the quake occured as the moon opposed Neptune, Mercury and Mars, following the full moon. This year Jupiter is conjoining Neptune, but next year, it conjoins Uranus opposite to Saturn.

    The first of the New Madrid quakes, that occured on Dec 16th, 1811, occurred the day after the moon conjoined both Saturn and the sun, and in 1976, the China quake of July 27th followed the moon/sun/Saturn conjunction. Next year the equinox (seen below) will be within hours of the full moon which will be conjoining Jupiter and Uranus. The sun conjoins Saturn six days later. Imagine that you are looking south at sunset on the full moon; the sun and Saturn will be setting on your right, and the moon will be rising on your left with Jupiter and Uranus. (Jupiter obits the sun every 12 years.) Mars and Venus will be close to one another in the southwest sky. The tides peak Sept 8th next year, the same time that hurricane season peaks.

    Sept 22/ 2010

    In 2009, Saturn opposes Uranus, and Jupiter conjoins Neptune. As Saturn is slow, and Jupiter is fast. Next year Saturn will still be opposite to Uranus, when Jupiter catches it. This year quakes occured as the moon passed Saturn. As Jupiter cathces Uranus, every time the moon passes Saturn it will be opposite to Jupiter and Uranus. Conversely, when it conjoins them, it will opposes Saturn. In September the sun joins the mix, at a full moon at the equinox.

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