|MMA Comments for the Week Beginning October 20, 2008|
Review and Preview
Stock markets around the world began last week with a historic rally following the panic sell-off the previous week. On Monday, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was up over 900 points, a record point increase for one day. By early Tuesday, the DJIA touched 9794, a rise of nearly 2000 points since the 7882 low of Friday, October 10, just two trading days earlier. By Thursday, it was back down to 8197, nearly 1600 points off that high. To say the market has been volatile would be a gross understatement. Volatility and breaking through major support and resistance areas is all within the domain of Mercury retrograde and strong Uranus aspects. Mercury ended its retrograde motion last Wednesday, but the “shadow” period remains in effect through October 31, while Saturn still is applying to its first of five oppositions to Uranus on Election Day, November 4. This later phenomenon is a serious 45-year planetary cycle, signifying the potential to lose control, and entering a period of sudden and dramatic losses. When Mercury is also retrograde during the period of influence of the Saturn-Uranus opposition, decision-making has a rough road in obtaining consensus from others. It can exaggerate the fear associated with Saturn, and the hysteria associated with Uranus. Markets can get wild and the result can be huge daily price swings, as we have seen lately.
It is not only in the arena of financial markets that the instability and sudden reversal nature of these planetary signatures take place. We also see it in the poll numbers of the presidential candidates, whose fortunes have changed since the Mercury “shadow” period began September 3. For instructional purposes, the “shadow” of Mercury retrograde covers a longer period of time than just the retrograde. It includes the entire period in which Mercury transits the degrees of the retrograde period. In other words, Mercury went retrograde on September 24 at 22.50 (22 degrees, 50 minutes of arc) in Libra. It went direct on October 15 at 7.33 Libra. But prior to going retrograde, Mercury was also at 7.33 Libra on September 3, and after going to direct, it took until October 30 before it reached 22.50 Libra again. The Mercury retrograde and “shadow” period was thus in effect September 3 through October 30.
Many astrologers believe that the Mercury retrograde principles pertain not just to the time Mercury is actually in retrograde motion, but also during the times that it is in the Mercury retrograde “shadow” periods. This may be a critical point in forecasting this year’s election, for sometime between September 3 and 15 McCain held a 4-point lead over Obama. But since that time, the polls have switched 2-12 points in favor of Obama, depending on which poll you follow. If the momentum shifts back to McCain after Mercury returns to direct motion (October 15), as the classical principles of Mundane Astrology would suggest, then McCain may still have a chance to pull this out. But if the valid zone of recovery includes the Mercury retrograde “shadow period” as well, then the momentum change in favor of Obama would continue to grow through October 30. Conditions and/or sentiment wouldn’t return again to the pre-shadow period until the end of the month. In this case, it would be too late for McCain to come back, barring some new and sensational revelation. In fact, Obama would be more likely to win in a landslide, just as the last Senator from Arizona to run for president experienced in 1964 (Barry Goldwater). The 1964 election was the last time we were within the orb of the Saturn-Uranus opposition.
Almost all the equity markets followed the same pattern last week. That is, most of them made a significant low last Friday, October 10, and then rallied strongly into Tuesday, October 14. Many rallied over 20% in those two trading days. But then each of these indices fell hard again into Thursday or Friday last week. In the case of the Netherlands AEX and London FTSE, the decline took out the lows of October 10. The German DAX and Swiss SMI did not, thus creating a case of intermarket bullish divergence in Europe. The same divergence occurred in America and the Far East. In the USA, the NASDAQ Composite futures made a lower low last week than the week before, but the Dow Jones Industrial Average did not. India’s Nifty and Australia’s All Ordinaries indices made new lows on Friday, October 17, but the Nikkei of Japan and Hang Seng of Hong Kong held above their lows of the prior week. In other markets, Crude Oil fell below $70.00/barrel last week, which means it has now fallen more than 50%, thus fulfilling our Uranus in Pisces forecast of a 50-90% decline from the all-time high of July 11, 2008 at $147.00/barrel. The decline could continue for 2 more years. Gold and Silver also fell sharply last week, as did grains, as the Dollar strengthened against most other major currencies.
Last week’s report stated, “On a somewhat positive note, Venus ended its sextile-trine to that Saturn-Uranus opposition on Friday, October 10. That too could correspond to some relief, however temporary.” It lasted at least two days, then equities fell again into Thursday. In the USA, they rebounded from a secondary low on Thursday and now we will see if they continue up into the week of the election, when the powerful Saturn-Uranus opposition is exact.
For this week, one of the more important signatures unfolding will be Venus ingressing into Sagittarius, October 18 through November 12. Sagittarius represents exaggeration. When positive, markets are optimistic and bullish. Prices rise sharply. When negative, markets enter a stage of panic and free fall. Of most concern here will be November 3 when Venus makes an exact T-square to the Saturn-Uranus opposition. This is a very tight “translation” of the larger Saturn-Uranus aspect. As we have seen in the past year, such “translations” have corresponded to steep declines. Therefore if the market rallies into the week of the election, be very careful. But if it declines steeply into the election, it may be the end of the decline, followed by a very sharp rally. Let the market guide you when it gets there.
Longer-Term Thoughts – Special Election Feature
In late August, immediately following the Democratic Convention, I made a forecast in this column that John McCain would win this year’s Presidential election. One week later, in response to many emails from readers, I stated, “However, no one should assume I am entirely convinced that all the indicators favor a McCain election. I am far from confident due to the principles of Saturn and Uranus. Together, they represent the “unpredictable,” and plenty of surprises not only into the election, but even 20 months afterwards.”
It appears my forecast of a McCain victory will be incorrect, although with so much Saturn-Uranus in effect, anything can still happen. This 45-year aspect itself is a classical “upset” signature. Does that mean Obama wins, and thus there is a change of leadership and direction in the USA? Yes, it could mean that. Or it could also mean that all the pre-election day polls say one thing, such as Obama wins, but then the actual election results yield a totally unexpected outcome. McCain wins. It could also mean that Obama wins in a landslide, with a much greater margin than anyone predicted. In short, with Saturn in opposition to Uranus on Election Day, and Venus making a T-square to it the day before, unexpected surprises and reversals may be the order of the day. And this doesn’t even take into account the Mars-Neptune square on Election Day, which pertains to claims – or realities - of voter fraud. Additionally, Uranus rules youth, and it apparent that a tremendous number of young people have registered to vote. This favors Obama, especially if they actually show up on Election Day.
At this time, I will briefly review all the astrological signatures and themes I discussed during the summer in this column, and how they relate to each candidate’s platform, and my reasoning as to why each supports a certain candidate.
First, let’s consider the waning phase of the Saturn-Pluto cycle, in effect 2001-2020. This is typically a time when federal deficits and spending balloon out of control. Taxes go up, as do interest rates and bankruptcies. Based on the platforms of each candidate, I have stated that this cycle favors an Obama presidency, for he clearly proclaims that he will raise taxes on corporations, dividends, and income on the top 5% of wage earners. He also has ambitious spending programs. However, it could also now pertain to McCain, who has recently proposed an additional “bailout” or “rescue” program for home owners at the tune of $300 billion. This will expand the deficit too, making it very difficult to balance the budget and counteract this cyclical theme.
Second, we consider the United States chart. I use July 2, 1776, but the relevant signatures I refer to can apply also to July 4, 1776. The transiting Saturn-Uranus opposition forms a T-square to the USA Mars-Neptune square into 2010. This is a signature that relates to the threat of war, or increased military conflict. I believed this favored a McCain presidency, for his platform is much more identified with national security issues than Obama’s. McCain wants to “win the war” in Iraq, and Obama is one of the very few people who was against this war in the first place. Obama wants to establish an exit date within 16 months of his presidency. However, one can also now make the case that Obama may be forced into military activity, given that his own natal Mars is in square to the USA Mars, and conjunct it’s Neptune. Unfortunately, this is not a signature of one who performs so well in a war situation. Also, as of late, Obama’s platform has changed considerably to be less averse to using the military, especially given his recent position on what must be done in Afghanistan, than he was when he started his campaign. Thus this aspect can favor him as much as it does McCain. Either is likely to be engaged in more military conflicts.
The transit of Pluto, Uranus, and Saturn into cardinal signs (hence the “Cardinal Climax”) will form a grand square to the USA Venus-Jupiter conjunction in early Cancer through 2011. To me, this signifies the potential for a further collapse of the U.S. Dollar. Since the Dollar tends to stabilize under Democratic presidents, and fall under Republicans as of late, I believed this signature favored McCain, the Republican. However, the Federal Reserve Board chart (December 23, 1913) is also under the influence of this major T-square, with its Sun-Pluto opposition in very early Capricorn and Cancer. This implies a radical overhaul of the FRB and its leadership. I thought that would be more likely under a Democratic president, and thus favored Obama.
On the day of the election, the Moon will conjunct Jupiter in Capricorn. It is my belief that this favors the candidate with more experience, more maturity, and the older one of the two. That would be McCain, except that in the past month, Obama has arguably been the more “mature” one. On the day of election, this Moon-Jupiter conjunction is a repeat of what took place in the New Hampshire primary in early February. My observation at the time was that one of the two winners in New Hampshire primary would likely be the next president. Hillary Clinton and John McCain staged upset victories in New Hampshire, and thus this favored McCain as well.
Next, we consider the natal charts of the candidates themselves, and transits to it. There are more presidents with Mars in Leo than any other sign (10). McCain has Mars in Leo, while Obama’s Mars is in Virgo (5). This favors McCain, although we note that George W. Bush also has Mars in Virgo. But the transiting Saturn-Uranus opposition hits right on McCain’s natal Saturn in opposition to his Venus and Neptune conjunction. This is very strong September through November, the time in which McCain’s popularity has sunk dramatically. This is especially consistent with the theme of transiting Saturn to one’s natal Venus-Neptune. Additionally, Mercury rules McCain’s Virgo Sun, and his popularity plummeted around the time Mercury went retrograde. Can he recover enough between now and the election as Mercury turns direct? It might depend upon the power of the Mercury “shadow period,” and whether that concept is valid or not. The “shadow period” doesn’t end until October 30. There would not likely be enough time to stage a comeback if his numbers wait until then to improve.
And finally, the stock market indicator. If the stock market is going down into an election, it favors victory for the party not in office. If it goes up into election, it favors the party in office. This indicator is sharply favoring Barack Obama now, and has since the full moon of September 15, which was in conjunction with Uranus, and coincided with the disastrous “reassurance speech” by Treasury Secretary Hank Paulsen that coincided with the crisis phase of this bear market in stocks. That is when the market broke through all our technical levels supporting the possibility of a bull market. However, I do think his decisive actions of the past week to deal with this crisis are positive. But that is another discussion for one of the following weeks
Right now I would have to say that Obama looks poised to win the presidential election. Even though this is not in alignment with my forecast, I am pleased to report that at the Presidential Election panel at UAC, all seven of the Mundane astrologers present predicted an Obama victory, so this is not a case of astrology not working, but rather the astrologer (me) looking at different indicators and making a different decision than his colleagues. No one is always right, including me. This also demonstrates the complexity of astrology and the judgments involved in making forecasts. Some of the factors that I considered previously in forecasting a McCain victory have now changed, as you see above, and others I may have given importance to as favoring McCain can now be seen to apply just as strongly to Obama, such as the possibility of war and increased military activities, which – prior to September – I thought would be more important. Now, with the crash of the stock market, the economy and personal finances have become the major issue. As I stated before, I was not and am not confident of a McCain victory as I forecasted in late August. But with Saturn in opposition to Uranus on Election Day, and Venus “translating” that opposition in a T-square on November 3, I cannot rule out a surprising upset – or some other surprise - at the very last moment.
Regardless of who wins, a new era will begin. In fact, it has already started. And that is the message of Saturn in opposition to Uranus.
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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.
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