Uranus Leaving Pisces and Japan’s Tsunami

I work in the news business and monitor wire services as part of my job. I also have become a bit of a Twitter junkie, following news feeds from around the world. In fact, my Twitter habit has cut into the amount of astrology blogging I do, but that’s another story.

As an astrologer, I expected some earth-shaking event(s) in this last degree of Uranus in Pisces, primarily because it is making a square to the Nodes at 28 degrees of Sagittarius and Gemini. But nothing prepared me for the earthquakes and tsunami today in Japan.

As the clock counts down to 7:52 p.m. Eastern time, when Uranus officially enters Aries, I fear the worst, because officials of the Tokyo Electric Power Co. have lost control of the reactors at the Fukushima plant.

It seems quite likely there is going to be a nuclear meltdown in Japan. I find this ironic because Japan is the only country in the world to have been hit with nuclear bombs, courtesy of the US, I might add.

I have lived through the nightmare of the September 11 World Trade Center bombings. I was about two miles away in an office tower in Midtown Manhattan. Certainly, Japan’s nuclear meltdown won’t affect me personally the way 9/11 did. However, Uranus is conjuncting my South Node in Pisces so I feel connected to the cataclysm in Japan. Maybe it’s a past life thing.

It’s fitting with Uranus in Pisces, the last sign of the zodiac and one that is associated with religion, that a popular hash tag on Twitter (a social media tool ruled by Uranus) is #prayforjapan. I will.

Sadako Sasaki: The Saint of Hiroshima

As I noted in an earlier post, today is the anniversary of the U.S. bombing of Hiroshima, the most horrific act that man has ever committed against his fellow man.

I’m amazed that there hasn’t been more outrage about dropping a nuclear bomb on innocent civilians. Although President Harry S Truman described Hiroshima as a “military base” when he told the nation of his decision to drop the bomb, in fact, civilians outnumbered military personnel by six to one, according to this Web site.

I think the Japanese are so used to keeping a low profile that the horror of Hiroshima — and Nagasaki two days later — hasn’t gotten the attention it deserves.

Yes, the Japanese brought the U.S. into World War II by bombing Pearl Harbor. Yes, they committed great atrocities such as the so-called Rape of Nanking and subjecting POWs to the Bataan death march. Let’s not forget the Korean “comfort women” enlisted for the sexual pleasure of Japanese soldiers.

But dropping a nuclear bomb is exponentially worse than any of these other acts of violence. However, as the saying goes, it is the victors who write history, and the Japanese lost.

When I went to a demonstration outside the United Nations on Aug. 6, 1995, the 50th anniversary of the Hiroshima bombing, there were a just handful of protestors gathered on a windy, rainy day. It was me and a few Old Guard Jewish Commies from the Bronx — the same people who had been attacked at the Paul Robeson concert in Peekskill, N.Y. in 1949 and who protested in Union Square against the execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg in 1953.

Then 35, I was the youngest face in the crowd. It made me sad that there were no students in front of the U.N. “Who will remember Hiroshima when these octagenarian activists go to their eternal rest?” I asked myself.

Now I know. It seems that Sadako Sasaki, a little girl from Hiroshima who died of leukemia caused by the Hiroshima bomb, is capturing the hearts of schoolchildren around the world more than 60 years after her death in 1955.

According to the Wiki, Sadako’s best friend taught her how to fold origami cranes while Sadako was dying in the hospital. Sadako tried to make 1,000 of them because there is a Japanese story that if you do this, you will get your wish. Sadako’s wish was a simple one — to live.

Sadako died before she reached her goal of 1,000 cranes, according to the Wiki, but she made more than 600. Her friends made up the difference so she was buried with 1,000 of the paper birds.

A Capricorn born Jan. 7, 1943, Sadako was memorialized in Eleanor Coerr’s classic children’s book Sadako Sasaki and the 1,000 Cranes. If you’d like to look at Sadako’s chart, you can see it here, courtesy of Astrodienst.

Along with Sadako’s natal chart, I’ve called up the transits of Aug. 6, the day the bomb was dropped. I wish I knew what time she was born because I think that could tell us a lot more about her iconic role in the peace movement.

Sadako’s visibility will be on the rise this year as Jupiter transits Capricorn and lights up her stellium in Cap, which includes Sun, Mercury, Venus, and possibly the Moon, depending on when she was born. This year’s Jupiter transit also opposes Sadako’s natal Jupiter in Cancer.

Sadako Sasaki may not be a household name, but today children all over the world make origami cranes, posters featuring doves of peace, and other art through the auspices of the Peace Pals Project of the World Peace Prayer Society. Their wish? That war will stop and that there will never be another atomic bomb dropped.

What’s really exciting for me is that in September, artwork from Peace Pals all over the world will be on display for a week in my hometown of Beacon, N.Y. One of the catalysts for this event has been our Main Street stationery store, Paper Presence, which also runs an annual kite-making competition.

When I was researching Sadako to write this post, it struck me that she is Japan’s answer to Anne Frank, an enduring symbol of goodness in a world gone mad. It’s fitting that a child is the messenger of peace because the Sun was in Leo at the time of the Hiroshima bombing and Leo rules children. Children do have the power to change the world!

It’s a Muji, Muji, Muji, Muji World

If there is a retailer out there that captures the essence of Saturn in Virgo, it’s Japan’s Muji, which adheres to the philosophy that “modesty and discretion are, together, the better part of style.” 

Modesty? Discretion? Yes folks, the times they are a-changin’. It’s my belief that the glory days of flashy designer labels ended when Saturn left Leo on Sept. 2, 2007.  As the economy turns sour, even rich people are going to stop flaunting their wealth, unless they happen to be in China or India.

Ralph Lauren, one of the smartest businessmen around, is rolling out the American Living line at J.C. Penney (JCP). Although Isaac Mizrahi and others have been doing cheap chic at Target for some time, now that Ralph is going mass market I’m sure a downturn is coming. Want more proof that a recession on the way? Lauren’s selling shares in his company, Polo Ralph Lauren. According to the AP, he recently exercised options for 5,200 shares at $19.13 and sold them for $65 each. (The stock closed Mar. 27 at $61.)

O.K., enough about Ralph already. Back to Muji. In my humble opinion, Muji is the perfect (there’s a Saturn in Virgo word for you!)  embodiment of the new low-impact ethos. Its first New York store opened in Soho last November . Here’s the link to the Muji Web site: http://www.muji.com/

The site is pretty minimalist. To get a better idea of Muji’s product line, which includes things like cardboard speakers, you may want to click on: http://www.mujionline.co.uk/

Muji reminds me a little of Ikea, but with better quality and more eco-consciousness, and also of the now-defunct Conran’s before Sir Terence overextended himself and the chain went down the tubes.

When it comes to conserving energy and minimizing waste, we have a lot to learn from the Land of the Rising Sun. O.K., maybe the rest of the world doesn’t need more Hello Kitty! merchandise or special slippers for the bathroom, but Japan really got the energy crisis the first time around, in the Seventies. There’s not a lot of room for waste in Japan because it’s one of the world’s most densely populated countries, with close to 130 million people on that archipelago, or 343 persons per square kilometer.

As the only country in the world that has been the recipient of a nuclear bomb, Japan and its citizens have a unique perspective on the damage that man can inflict on his fellow man and on the environment. Yes, I know that this is the same country that gave us the Bataan death march (http://www.bataanmarch.com), but some people actually learn from their mistakes.

Maybe the cruel samarai is still hiding behind those smiling faces. Nevertheless, the Japanese seem to do a good job of sublimating their sadistic tendencies with anime, as opposed to starting wars on false evidence of nuclear weapons production.

Lest you think I’m nuts for Nippon, I’ll admit my feelings were a little hurt after all the Japanese got out of the mineral bath when this Amazon gaijin jumped in. But I’m still mad about Muji!