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Week Beginning September 21, 2009

Review and Preview

Raymond MerrimanStock markets around the world continued making new highs for 2009 last week as the middle of the five Saturn-Uranus oppositions unfolded last Tuesday. Three things are important to note here for Financial Astrologers. The first is that equity markets did not reverse exactly on the day of this major 45-year geocosmic cycle, but the orb of influence is still in effect. Second, although astrological dynamics are used to identify “critical reversal periods” for financial markets, the truth is that they do not always apply to financial markets. They do apply to collective psychology, and oftentimes they manifest as fundamental shifts in governmental or economic directions. These shifts usually correlate with reversals in financial markets (about 82% rate of frequency, according to reported studies). But the relationship is an indirect one. Reversals in financial markets are one of the areas that are usually impacted by geocosmic signatures, but it would be erroneous to assume that such geocosmic signatures always — and only – correlate to this area of human activity. For instance, one will note there was a very significant reversal in the world political arena last week, as the USA shelved its plan for building a missile shield defense system in Poland. But as important as this change was, it did not coincide with a reversal in world equity markets. In fact, equities prices continued higher after the announcement.

On the ISAR Financial Astrology email digest (www.isarastrology.com), Elizabeth Gregory correctly points out a third important point. She observed that heliocentric conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune is unfolding now. It takes place on Saturday, September 19. As stated previously, the geocentric conjunction of Jupiter and Neptune happens three times in 2009: May 27, July 10, and December 21. Most of our studies are from the geocentric view, i.e. the position of planets as seen from Earth. But there is also a logical basis for considering the heliocentric perspective, i.e. the position of planets as seen from the Sun, the center of our solar system. Jupiter and Neptune in either system – geocentric or heliocentric –is a time when collective psychology can be unrealistically optimistic, or entering a period of hysteria and panic. So far this year, the Jupiter-Neptune conjunctions seem to correlate with the more optimistic expression, as stock prices continue to rally as if gravity is being defied. There have been very few corrections since the lows of early March, except in the case of June 11 through July 13, which was the retrograde conjunction of geocentric Jupiter and Neptune. But even that was a relatively mild correction, followed by another rally to new highs into this heliocentric conjunction period.

For the week, every index we track rallied to a new high for 2009 last Thursday or Friday. All are now up approximately 50% or more since their lows of last October or March, supporting the idea that this is the first phase of a new 4-year cycle. The first phase of any cycle is bullish. But now we are already meeting our minimum price criterion for a 4-year cycle crest (50% off the low). How much longer will it last? The current signatures indicate the need to be very careful now, for as stated last week, “… the biggest signature of all is the third (of five) passage of the Saturn-Uranus opposition on September 15, followed by the translation of the Sun in conjunction to Saturn (opposite Uranus) on September 17. This translation too can coincide with a crest, for it is happening under a new moon the next day, September 18, which forms a favorable trine aspect to the natal Sun in the NYSE chart (May 17, 1792).” With heliocentric Jupiter also conjoining Neptune this weekend, we are right in the thick of geocosmic activity. Our studies also show that with such slow moving planets as Jupiter and Neptune, as well as Saturn and Uranus, it can take up to 12 trading days for these “energies” to translate into market reversals. Nevertheless, early signs of reversals are already showing up in precious metals and currencies (against the US Dollar), which realized their highest price of this current move so far on Thursday, September 17.

Short-Term Geocosmics

The intensity of geocosmic activity discussed for last week continues into this week. As just discussed, heliocentric Jupiter forms its 13-year conjunction to Neptune this Saturday, September 19. The next day, Venus will leave Leo and ingress into Virgo until October 14. Since Venus rules values – like money or currency – it is possible bankers could begin to initiate activities to support the Dollar, which is once again on the precipice of falling off the cliff, and starting a crisis. On Tuesday, the Sun will cross over into Libra, marking the vernal equinox, always an important seasonal change, and potential change in market psychology. This also marks the halfway point of the zodiac, and it is interesting to note that as we approach it, the DJIA has now appreciated about 50% since its low of March 6 when Venus turned retrograde. Venus rules Libra. On Wednesday, September 23, the Sun in Libra will square Pluto in Capricorn. This will mark the end of the Sun’s translation to Saturn, Uranus, and Pluto in hard aspect. It will also set off the “Cardinal Climax” dynamic that is so important right now, 2008 through 2015. But it is especially important right now for this Cardinal Climax heavily aspects the charts of the United States, the Federal Reserve Board, President Barack Obama, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates. One or more of these entities could be in for a shocking revelation. But with Pluto (secrecy) and Mercury retrograde (possible deflection of attention and information) involved, will the public be privy to it?

Longer-Term Thoughts

Last week’s column stated, “The other dangers under this current Saturn-Uranus opposition are related to the new moon (conjunct Saturn) and Mercury retrograde. The new moon in late Virgo indicates a push towards consensus on the part of government leaders, for this new moon is halfway through the zodiac (wish for consensus and agreement). New ideas are likely to be announced in the next 1-2 weeks, and in some regards, they will appear to be good ideas. But more than likely, the details won’t work smoothly, per Mercury Rx. If the parties involved are truly willing to compromise and modify these terms, then the bigger issues might still be resolved.” This was very much in evidence last week, as an effort towards cooperation and consensus was initiated by the White House announcement to scrap its missile-defense plans, as well as Senator Max Baucus’s announced health care plan. Both received the expected criticism, but nevertheless, they were starts toward something potentially positive. Both will require modification in the days ahead in order to achieve their intended purpose, and both will continue to be subjected to efforts designed to derail them altogether.

Let’s consider only the first decision. Is the shelving of the missile defense system for Central Europe a “good” reversal of policy? It depends on your values, and how you view the world today. If you are truly trying to reset favorable relations between the USA and Russia, it makes sense, especially given that under the Saturn-Uranus opposition, tensions historically tend to soar between the two nations. It also makes sense if your priority is to achieve military victory in Afghanistan, for Russia controls the northern routes into Afghanistan that the USA needs. Without Russia’s cooperation in opening up those routes, the prospect of military success is sharply reduced. Obama’s entire credibility as a Commander in Chief depends upon his success in this war against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. As he prepares to expand the USA military presence there (i.e. another “surge” of military combatants), he is serious about establishing his credibility in this role. He needs to show signs of progress fast, for even leaders in his own party are starting to waver in their support. This is a step in that direction. Yet at the same time, such military buildup is not going over well amongst his most ardent supporters, who want “no more war.” Astrologically, this relates to the 78-year progression of retrograde Mars in the USA chart that started in 2008. But there is another spin on this Mercury retrograde decision that can be played by the Administration, and this has to do with the even longer-term astrological cycle of Uranus in Pisces, while Neptune is in Aquarius – mutual reception. These two placements signify the very large wish for world peace. By shelving the missile-defense system in Central Europe, the White House can claim this is an important first step in its commitment towards nuclear disarmament. The only problem is: who do you trust? As stated in Friday’s Wall Street Journal editorial, this could easily get interpreted as a trend towards “… courting adversaries while smacking allies. His (Obama’s) administration has sought warmer ties with Iran, Burma, North Korea, Russia, and even Venezuela. But it has picked trade fights with Canada and Mexico, sat on trade treaties with Columbia and South Korea, battled Israel over West Bank settlements….” and now courts the scorn of Poland and the Czech Republic – “… both governments (who) took huge political risks in order to accommodate the U.S., which wanted the system to defend against a possible Iranian missile attack.” In the words of Jan Vidim, a conservative Czech lawmaker, “If the Administration approaches us in the future with any request, I would be strongly against it.”

So there you have it for this important week just gone by — a decision that some will say is a monumental step towards world peace (per Uranus and Neptune in mutual reception), and others who will claim is a huge step backwards that will jeopardize the USA safety and that of its closest allies (progressed Mars retrograde in the USA chart). And it is all happening under Mercury retrograde, during the middle of the Saturn-Uranus opposition. Maybe it won’t correlate with a reversal in financial markets. But it sure looks like a reversal in world politics, and perhaps the start of real shift in world power.

© Raymond A. Merriman


Disclaimer and statement of purpose: The purpose of this column is not to predict the future movement of various financial markets. However, that is the purpose of the MMA (Merriman Market Analyst) subscription services. This column is not a subscription service. It is a free service, except in those cases where a fee may be assessed to cover the cost of translating this column from English into a non-English language. This weekly report is written with the intent to educate the reader on the relationship between astrological factors and collective human activities as they are happening. In this regard, this report will oftentimes report what happened in various stock and financial markets throughout the world in the past week, and discuss that movement in light of the geocosmic signatures that were in effect. It will then identify the geocosmic factors that will be in effect in the next week, or even month, or even years, and the author’s understanding of how these signatures will likely affect human activity in the times to come. The author (Merriman) will do this from a perspective of a cycle’s analyst looking at the military, political, economic, and even financial markets of the world. It is possible that some forecasts will be made based on these factors. However, the primary goal is to both educate and alert the reader as to the psychological climate we are in, from an astrological perspective. The hope is that it will help the reader understand these psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events and hence financial markets of the day.

No guarantee as to the accuracy of this report is being made here. Any decisions in financial markets are solely the responsibility of the reader, and neither the author nor the publishers assume any responsibility at all for those individual decisions. Reader should understand that futures and options trading are considered high risk.