The Secret Life Of Seismic Activity

After a month of intensifying seismic action, a volcano in Iceland is erupting for the first time since the 13th Century. Aside from the obvious impact upon people in proximity to Mt Fagradalsfjall, it will be hell on newsreaders and television journalists covering the event. Yes, it’s a change from Covid and the Icelandic light is famously flattering and dramatic.

It could be a career metamorphosis but they would need to swiftly swot up on Icelandic pronunciation so that they can toss off lines like “While the eruption of Mt Fagradalsfjall, is not expected to have as much fallout as Eyjafjallajokull in 2010, it’s possible that a fissure will erupt from the ‘Sundhnjúkagígaraðarinnar in Svartseng.

This event has spooky-magical resonance. Iceland is the realm of trolls, elves, Seoir (A branch of Norse shamanism), epic poetry like Voluspa and Odin, the wandering god. They have cool concepts like ginnungagap – which means a primordial, magic-filled void.

Iceland’s Mountain Goddess

The national personification of Iceland is the Lady of the Mountain or Fjallkonen – a goddess figure not unlike the Norse deity Freya.

She is depicted with a crown of fire and ice, a raven at her side, holding a sword and rune stave.

Look deep enough and every culture connects mountains with elemental beings or deities. But in Iceland, nearly all the mountains are deemed goddesses.

Above the border between two vast realms of crystallized molten rock* and with a direct channel down to (potentially) the core of the Earth, it’s the most seismically active place on the planet.

Tectonic plates theory tries to explain why stone moves but it’s not yet proven. In such a land, supernatural inspo is never far away.

Iceland’s Foundation Is Fire Rock

The volcano Hekla, for example, is linked to Hel, the Norse underworld goddess. She’s not the villainess of Marvel movies or the torturous Christian Hell: the real Hel is more akin to Hekate. Even so the Icelandic Naming Bureau forbids its use as a first name. The Pagan Icelanders ‘became’ Christian in 999 and the old beliefs only really re-emerged out into the open last century.

In a move that would shock anyone with a sacred mountain mindset, the government and privatized power companies have been trying to control and harness the seismic activity to supply the aluminum industry. The process, which involves inducing earthquakes, has the unsurprising side-hazard of causing erratic seismic instability.

Mount Hekla Is Associated With The Norse Underworld Goddess Hel

“Every time the geologists try to change something, the Earth responds with increased seismic activity,” writes anthropologist James Maguire. He refers to the practice as Capitalocene.

If you live in a seismically active area, the Earth energy is particularly palpable. When Pluto was in Scorpio, I spent a year working at a ski resort on the slopes of an active volcano. It was later to become a movie star, playing Mt Doom in the Lord of the Rings movies.

In the off-season, the hills above our barracks-style staff quarters featured what looked like rivers of rubble contained within surreal, alien-style sculpture. It was actually pumice stones, obsidian and petrified lava. Note: Volcanic pumice is the ultimate foot smoother.

Nobody minded. Although the volcano didn’t explode until after I’d left, tremors were frequent and the mountain would vent hot steam in a ‘phraetic eruption.’ The hotel corporation owners ran dodgy drills in which we were told that if the eruption alarm went off, to gather on the golf course and on no account to try and push in front of the hotel guests to get into rescue helicopters.

The mountain, named Ruapehu, is a warrior god to the Maori people of the area and practically everyone who lived there personified him as a potent, wise, strong male.  Even the most prosaic people would go on walks to ‘tell their problems to the mountain.’ His presence was real. I felt it as plutonic and was weirded out but delighted when I realized that, days before a mini-quake or venting, I would feel an intensified hum through my feet. I’ve been seismically aware ever since and I’m sure many of you are as well.

In the incredible book Stone: An Ecology Of The Inhuman, Jeffrey Jerome Cohen talks of stone as being like water, alive and transient. It must be the most poetic geology book ever written:

To stone belongs sweeping romances of scale, time, memorialization, creation, cataclysm, a restless tectonicity (from ‘tekton’ – a carpenter or builder). Stone speaks differently from its sibling elements of air, water and lightning-swift fire. Its injunction is always to step outof the breathless rapidity of antropocentic frames and touch a world possessed of long futurity and deep past, a spatial expanse that stretches from the subterranean to the cosmic verge.

65 thoughts on “The Secret Life Of Seismic Activity”

    1. God how i love that song.

      Talking of solar activity, i got a bit freaked out one night last week as i saw something like a wafting sheet of red light in the night sky & thought there must of been a fire somewhere, but it turns out it was the aurora borealis – in Spain!!? Apparently to do with crazy solar activity so that you could see the lights from S Europe.

  1. Volcanic eruptions on Friday 11 Nov! Iceland is a very mystical land and yes one can feel the hum through the feet. Is that the connection with pumicing feet with volcanic stone, melting away he rough patches, a match made in ‘heaven’.
    Friend went to Iceland with a Scientific American tour but missed the Northern Lights. Would have thought SA would have timed the trip to ensure viewing but hey guess even they can’t control the Sun.
    These new temours seem to coincide with a large CME from Sun on Thursday…mmmm.
    With the crazy happenings on planet earth surely there is co-responding activity from the universe.
    Pele seems upset….she has reason to be!

  2. Wish Upon a Star

    Off topic: Wow I’m loving this Aries season.

    I’m not accommodating muggles and I’m getting shit done.

    I was talking to a muggle on the phone. She was wasting my time. All I had to do was give a pregnant pause: so effective. Silence is golden.

    She got it. I learnt a big lesson. These people suck my energy.

    Is it Aries season or the fact that I have a Lilith trine natal Pluto transit till April the 10th.

    I had a dream last night. Everybody around me were babbling incoherently.
    In my mind I was feeling/thinking: my name is Lilith🔥!

  3. Love this imagery, so romantic and power filled. Rather drawn lately to stories of my pagan ancestors and the history of all that area around the Baltic and North Sea. Fierce vikings bustling about in their wind swept boats, beautiful weavings and embroidery. Sadly the Teutonic Knights used the Baltic Crusades to crush paganism in those areas in the 1200’s or so. But stone remembers perhaps, a feeling or vibration? Have yet to visit the motherland. Have a friend who went to Mt. Doom in Mordor, or Ruapehu, and also found it intensely deep and a little foreboding. My favourite stone mountain range is Uluru, she moved me so, much to my surprise. Such an intense mothering energy, so beautiful, truly the heart of Australia.

      1. There’s a beautiful story this post made me think of called the stone child. Kind of an ancestral tale common to many ancient cultures about stones bringing comfort, nourishment and literal weight. The ability to stay with oneself and heal after trauma- something that those afflicted find paradoxically nigh impossible to do. But when we manage- it’s so good.
        I’ve been noticing lately that I’m grounded and that’s new. I suppose I have Saturn to thank. And my own stone child aka Rocky hehe 😜

        1. Thank you for this tale of the stone child Invicta. I felt such a deep connection when I read this 🙏
          When living in my grandmothers cottage after her passing, my brother built a shrine of round smooth stones under a tree in her backyard.
          As kids, we had spent afternoons climbing up in that green leafy tree and sitting out on its branches, swaying in the breeze.
          I have a habit of collecting stones and rocks that I feel an affinity with, feeling they vibrate with energy. My parents were bemused by my “quirky” connection with rocks, but my gorgeous brother understood.
          Sadly, he passed away suddenly soon after creating his shrine of stones.
          In my numb grief, sitting under that tree with those stones gave me comfort. I would hug one to me and could feel him with me, so much love.
          My quest for healing, eventually reached, led me to a “warriors retreat” where I walked on hot stones, twice, so empowering.
          Today, my affinity with nature, trees and stone, gives me such joy and belief in life and the wonders around us.

          1. Stone child is a thing for sure! My dear heart has an egg shaped pet rock of granite that soothed his lonely child’s soul, sits on his home desk. I cleansed it respectfully with my crystals under the moon. My little autie Cappy Boppy loves to pick up extraordinary weights and heft them about! Bon, thank you for sharing.. I had a brother like that. Made me feel quite emotional to read your story. Crystals and stones naturally lead me back to my departed loved ones, it’s funny how such high angelic energy is found in such dense cocoons.

  4. Heaven is in Iceland. Beautiful light, magnificent coastline, moody and all those Gods and Goddesses, a different world. Water everywhere, I understand what JJ Cohen means. Reading this piece game me a buzz. The planet is alive 🙂

  5. I’m concerned about everyone up in Australia and particularly in Sydney. I’m seeing the most heart wrenching footage on bbc news of cows and horses and dogs being rescued from floods.

    1. I am a bit blown away by all this seismic activity. Talk about shifts hey?
      It’s palpable change energy and literally nothing feels certain.
      I’m actually pretty good at dealing with huge changes as I grew up in a chaotic environment that I’m only beginning to appreciate was in fact, chaotic. I thought it was like that for everyone. So I feel like I have an advantage. Certainty or security, any sense of tomorrow being a sure thing are green shoots in my psyche but I feel so much love for everyone whose deep roots are being shaken up.

    2. Hello Lovely i’m replying from Adelaide where it is sunshine and roses, a place that also escaped the plague, no lockdown except for March-April 2020. A place a find as boring= as batshit oops sorry no analogies about bats and their guano with covid nativity still undecided?Seventh Day Adventists and other radical christian groups saying it’s the world’s end. That’s been said every century and most unlikely. Nature telling us how powerless we really are. So sad about the animals, first the fires then floods, gaia’s a harsh culler and the effect on the economy devastating,. Thank you for thinking of us down under. Hope you are still fine after such a very long confined to quarters.x

      1. Thanks so much for this response Pegasus. I’ve been hoping everyone oop thar your end is safe. The animals were just heartbreaking and how weirdly cheerful and matter of fact people seemed about having their houses washed away. British people in that sitch woulda bin wailin and blamestormin and doin Jeremy bloody Kyle by now.
        You’re a hardy lot you are!
        Big love

  6. Of course I’ve now been lost in volcanodiscovery dot com – an up to the minute watch on seismic activity & volcanoes; also fab interactive maps showing where there’s unrest, warnings & latest quakes all over the planet. Great for those who are sensitive so you can check up even the smallest ones.

  7. As one who usually looks up, a sky watcher have lately been visualising & wondering what is under our feet… ****sigh*****telescopes & microscopes’
    what a world we live in. Magical IS the word.

  8. Thank you for that book! Reads like X-rated geophilia.
    This post is so timely as Pluto is heading for my Aqua IC, so being a big stonehead, (& the mountain shack being requisitioned by local authorities) i am looking to build a retreat using stones from around the mountains here, & from stone ruins on my family’s land. Could be spooky, as stones hold stories, but my Moon-MC is excited about this – AND since this will be ON my Moon-MC line, i feel i don’t have a choice in the matter.

    1. Building a retreat using stones from mountains & stone ruins, what a dream thinks someone who has a love of stones and not just the psychedelic ones. My bathroom has clusters of stone in the shower and loo s an art formation. They are perfect egg shapes of different sizes. The smallest the size of a sparrow egg. Make great paper weights & flower presses as well 🙂

    2. There re some fab stones at a retreat we go to in the Hunter Region of NSW. It was a sheep farm, but now has many cabins and camp sites and the most wonderful river running as a boundary.
      Many beautiful big round stones, we had such a lovely time there so i brought one back hoping to tune into that vibration back at home

      1. That’s sounds a magical place Ronnie :-)Sellicks Beach 45 kms south of Adelaide has the most amazing egg stones, perfect eggs. of all sizes amongst the others that line the cliff areas.A place that had 6 houses when my grandparents went to live there now full of macmansions. Is nothing sacred anymore. Some of those small eggs travelled with me around the world as my connect to ‘home’.x

  9. oooh this book looks fascinating. I’ve always loved stone houses. Pluto on my Midheaven… would love a stone house to retreat to! But I’d want it near the sea. And with at least one room full of light for painting.

  10. Happy Equinox everbody – a great article to kick it off with .. Absolutely have felt the elemental power of earth – also; the Icelandic Lady of the Mountain deity reminds me of the ‘Sleeping Lady of the Great Cave’, in the Tham Luang 13-member soccer team rescue in July 2018 – whereby a lot of inexplicable events (not least the rescue itself) could only find ‘logic’ in the sacred, even according to some (very scientific) rescuers .. Am not sure as to any lunar significance to seismic activity, too, but my Chilean aunt told me (when I last visited 15 years ago) that while they have tremors constantly (being right on the Pacific ‘Ring of Fire’ fault-line), they are always particularly noticeable on the full moon .

    1. Noticed in the lead up to the Gulf War of 1990 the ring of fire was very active. As i thought the world was going to end then went to the furtherest place away from there, French Polynesia for 3 months, stayed 2 years where one could feel Pele’s persona under the feet. No shoes worn most of the time =bliss. The toes spread after a while to balance so can walk on coral and do no damage.No news also meant no news of eclipses which were a stunning shock, no street lights in the way of the viewing.

      1. Hiya Pegs – I think you are living my (ideal) alternate life in a parallel dimension ..😍 Sounds like life as it was meant to be .. Coincidentally, when my parents emigrated to Australia from South America back in the day; the plane flight necessarily took two days, with an overnight stop in Tahiti (I was born here in Oz). To this day I don’t possess the courage that they had to wilfully make themselves aliens (different language, currency, culture, food, music, dressing, ways of being) in search of a new adventure/home. It does make me a walking cultural appropriation however – neither authentically belonging nor able to displace either my heritage or birthplace. From everywhere & nowhere – that’s me !😄

        1. My parents did that twice with me in tow before settling in Oz. Now that i’m living in my birth place after an absence of 40 yrs, i still feel like a foreigner, as i look at matters from different perspectives – not just from the local one. My partner’s the same, & so’s my closest friend. We were all born in different places to each other but have had the same cultural displacement experiences. We sit around discussing how weird it must be to NOT feel like an alien. You could say that we are like rolling stones ;-).

          1. Haha, Skarab – and I honestly am smiling in whole-hearted familiarity – like from my gut !!😄
            I’ve learnt that I love being the outsider – am more uncomfortable in places where everyone easily assumes the status quo (knowing as I have learnt – the hard way – that even (or especially) shared perspectives can be very illusory/subjective).
            I have finally found a deep sense of home here in Perth, Oz – the land/ocean does really talk to me in ways it never did in my birthplace (Sydney), nor my parent’s Chilean cities, nor any other Australian city.
            I did have (beautiful) familiar feelings, sensations and memories high-five me in the face and bring me to tears in the rural south of England when I first visited in 2019, oddly enough – but certainly not from this lifetime ?? Nor people I have known. But I have no idea !!🤯

              1. True that, haha! Funny you had that experience in England, as i was so drawn to the south-west there that i just had to live there, & did so for a few yrs. It was all about connecting with Spirit & magical (it lies on my Neptune AC/ Uranus MC lines) & still go there when i can. I also feel there is an ancient link between where i am now & there. Maybe it’s the Atlantic winds that the two places share. Some places just sing to you & ultimately it’s all about your heart being in tune with the spirit of the land. I am so glad that you found your home Earthstar – that must feel so satisfying. Do you know on which of your astro lines Perth lies? Or the south of England, seeing it resonated so much for you? This is all such a big topic (manna for my nomadic 9th House Sun & Moon) I’ve always thought being a location scout in a hunter gatherer community would have been my ideal role, lol. Only a few thousand yrs too late for that! …. Ayla from Clan of the Cave Bear life style envy… xx

            1. Of course you would say that you big Saggie, you! And yes, it is liberating when you allow yourself to be free from the need to fit in.

        2. SOUTH AMERICA? Never got to the Americas but it was always a dream to go there to Columbia as met 2 of the best women from there when living in Belgium. Cat burglars both with one specialising in dimonds. One shot her husband when she found him with another woman and as a ‘crime of passion’ (love it!) only did 2 years prison. Those women if they liked you-LOVED you, would die for you. They made many people seem bland….lol. You are universal Earthstar.

          1. Hiya Pegasus & Skarab !!💗 Skarab – astro-cartography is *soooew* interesting – Will explain; & Pegs – you popped into my dream this morning just before I awoke, lol – we were walking (with a group of backpackers, obvs) from Melbourne to Perth for fun & stopped for a break/coffee in Adelaide – you looked hippie-glam as per your photo & I looked a wreck!😄 (definitely have read you saying you lived there before – am not super-clairvoyant !😄)
            All this talk of what constitutes home & belonging is proving weirdly synchronistic for me IRL. (E.g. ABC Classic FM’s series showcasing music composed in response to historic items (& their stories) held in the National Museum of Australia – this morning’s one was an Italian immigrant’s story surrounding his fruit picking apron – super-poignant. The music composed was entitled “Two Homes, One Heart”.)
            (Also a lot of NSW suburbs I spent formative years in are currently inundated – I haven’t the words ..)
            So astro-cartography – my Venus on Ascendant and NN on Descendant lines cross very close to here in Perth. Never knew this before living here, but maybe why I find the (ancient) environs so beautiful.
            On the east coast Mars on my Mc (which I have natally in early Pisces) runs straight through major cities, crossing Jupiter line above Brisbane (where met husband). But apart from that super lucky event, the Mars/Jupiter alignment was… hectic!!
            South of England has Sun on my IC !! I have not travelled much north of equator, but will have to visit northern Norway sometime – I have Moon-Jupiter lines and Venus IC, Pluto MC lines making a little square round “Storjord” (apologies for spelling). See I love astro-mapping!!😍😅

            1. Must explore this astro geography as the place loved most in the world was Moorea across the Sea of Moons from Tahiti Island & shaped like a heart. Someone said if a line was drawn thro’ the earth it came out at Moorea & there IS a pyramid mountain there.
              My father came from Guardino-Taormina a place i was told had ‘B-Grade movie blue sea where a diving movie was made. It is very close to Mt Etna.
              A walking trip to Perth with a group of super cool women changing every place into our version of Utopia as we pass? Am ALWAYS so blown away by what a magnificent playground we have been given along with the heartbreak of how it is abused by low grade energy peoples. THAT has to change even if we do it by pure mind energy, but how good is it to know there are others who love it as much as we do.x

  11. I once visited a shamanic healer and had a vision of my higher self; she looked like a dead ringer for Fjallkonen-and I’m of Icelandic descent!
    Also the various anglicisations of Seidr (seidh) are very similar to the Gaelic word “sidhe”, which is magic or the fairy folk.

    1. Me! Often. With Uranus combust Sun, but now transiting Uranus is conjunct ASC I also see flashes of lightening at night lighting up my bedroom. It’s as magic as it gets.

      1. Optometrist told me the light flashes were from age. Books on ‘other beings’ say it is aliens or angels.

      1. So, I woke up one night in 2019 with the bed trembling and thought there must have been, you know, a tremor. The next morning I found there had been one but in the Philippines. I forgot about it but it happened another time with a distant quake.

        Then one day last year I felt SO weird that I was convinced it was a weird neurological event. I was suddenly sea-sick & I could feel an electrical shock-like sensation in my limbs but it was more like magnetism.

        When I composed myself, I went to the computer to google ‘neurologist’ and saw there had been a quake in Australia – small – but on the continent.

        With the lightning thing, try switching off the power + internet at night when you sleep and see if it alters it…?

        1. Ok. So I’m now going to watch with interest Etna and versuvius plus Stromboli because these guys are in my hood. It might be them that’s making me feel odd things. Mystic you sure are one lightening rod !

  12. Okay, its done. You have convinced me. Spending 4 weeks in Iceland this summer. I thought being more alone than I currently am would totally suck, no matter the view. But if the mountains talk, who needs men?

      1. Thanks for adding to the pile of more convincing reasons. Midsummer in Iceland just might be what the doctor prescribed.

  13. If you haven’t seen it you must see Woman at War. It’s Icelandic and about precisely the power company treachery you mention. Fantastic film about strong women and a glorious landscape and geology. I’ve spent time there and can vouch for it. I’d live there – if I could speak/learn Icelandic. And could shed a few years…

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