SpaceX on Friday is taking stock after the company’s Starship rocket exploded a few minutes after lifting off the day before in southern Texas. “If we lift off and clear the pad, we’re calling that a win,” SpaceX engineer Kate Tice said. – Micah Maidenberg, “After SpaceX’s Starship Rocket Explosion—Debris, Data and Analysis,” Wall Street Journal, April 21, 2023.

An IRS supervisor has told lawmakers he has information that suggests the Biden administration is improperly handling the criminal investigation into President Biden’s son, Hunter Biden, and is seeking whistleblower protections, according to people familiar with the matter.  Aruna Viswanatha, Sadie Gurman, and C. Ryan Barber, “Hunter Biden Probe Is Being Mishandled, IRS Supervisor Says,” Wall Street Journal, April 19, 2023.

It was the week of the big solar eclipse in the last minutes of the last degree of Aries, square Pluto in the first minutes of the first degree of Aquarius, and the global equity markets.… yawn. The rest of the world was riveted in a series of rocket explosions, exposes, leaks, and revelations of political cover-ups, plus renewed anxieties about the possibility of a credit default approaching for the United States, also typical topics for a Pluto highlighted week. But the stock markets of the world hardly moved at all. Perhaps the arrival of the “Trickster” – Mercury retrograde – on Friday, April 21, coincided with an environment of just too many conflicting narratives happening all at once to make a clear judgment about what it all means for the future. Then again, Pluto is only interested in a future where the present has been obliterated by revelation (and punishment) for the sins of the past.

The pattern and timing were similar in all regions. That is, most indices made highs in this geocosmic highlighted period of April 11-21. Most ended or paused their 5-6 week rallies nearby the April 14-17 time period, then declined modestly into the end of last week. In Asia and the Pacific Rim, China and Japan stood out. China’s Shanghai Composite rallied to 3396 on Tuesday, April 18, its highest level since July 5, 2022, at 3424. It then tumbled into Friday. Japan’s Nikkei Index rallied to a high of 28,778 on Friday, April 21, its best mark since August 2022, but then it closed down on Friday as well. Hong Kong, India, and Australia made their cycle highs (so far) on April 17, then pulled back at the end of last week.

In Europe, the Zurich SMI rallied all week, with Friday producing a new 10-month high. London’s FTSE was also up into Friday, but not a new high for this year. The German DAX soared to a new high of 15,916 on April 18, which is close to its all-time high of 16,290 made in 2021. The Netherlands AEX was quiet after recording its cycle high so far on April 12.

The U.S. markets were mixed. The S&P futures made a new cycle high on April 18, but the DJIA and NASDAQ did not make new cycle highs last week. Their highs remain as of April 14 and April 4, respectively. Brazil’s Bovespa peaked one day earlier on April 12. But all were down into the end of last week, though not by much.

At this point, the much anticipated cosmic convergence of April 11-21 looks mostly like a temporary peak in most global stock indices. However, since those highs were early in the cycle, the declines have so far been very modest.

Other markets followed a similar path but with considerably larger price swings. Gold and Silver, like U.S. stocks, peaked late in the prior week at 2063 and 26.23, respectively, then fell to 1980.80 and 24.71 in the middle of last week. Bitcoin and Ethereum also peaked on April 14 at 31,064 and 2142, respectively, before falling 12-15% in each case on Friday, April 21. That may sound like a lot, but for cryptos, that’s about an average decline in a major cycle.


I will be rude here and say that in the past 30 years, we have not only come to understand the internet’s and high tech’s steep and brutal downsides—political polarization for profit, the knowing encouragement of internet addiction, the destruction of childhood, a nation that has grown shallower and less able to think—we have come to understand the visionaries who created it all, and those who now govern AI, are only arguably admirable or impressive. – Peggy Noonan, “Artificial Intelligence in the Garden of Eden: People in the Tech World Want, Unconsciously, to be God and on Some Level Think They are God,” Wall Street Journal, April 22, 2023

ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology that allows you to have human-like conversation –

“I’ve got to do this now because if you do what your heart says you have to do, you don’t owe anyone your life.” Michelle Williams in the film “The Fabelmans” by Steven Spielberg.

The beginning of a cycle in financial markets is exciting because it presents the most opportune time to buy. The end of the cycle is also exciting because it presents the most opportune time to sell. But the middle of a cycle is the most boring or frustrating time of all and, therefore, the best time to take a vacation and think about life – especially if Mercury is also retrograde.

We are now officially in or near the middle of a primary cycle in most financial markets, and Mercury is retrograde – in Taurus, no less, which is the sign of slowness for the planet (Mercury) ruling the mind. Hence there is not much to say about markets for this week, so we will go philosophical with astrology.

So, what are we to understand with Mercury retrograde now, close to Uranus, and both in the sign of Taurus? If Mercury is the mind and intellect, and it is near Uranus, the planet of innovation, discovery, and disruption, it would appear that this is a time of potentially great excitement and invention. And it is, when it comes to recognizing just how rapid inventions and new applications in technology are about to revolutionize our lives. It’s a key characteristic leading us into this period of a technologically-inspired renaissance that I have written about the past few years in this column, the annual Forecast Books, and the webinars that followed.

In Taurus, we “value” these inventions and innovations that will lead us into the future. But now Mercury is turning retrograde, and suddenly there are concerns that we may have been moving too fast. There may be hazards to our “comfort zone” (Taurus again) that we hadn’t considered. The downside of Mercury and Uranus together is “ dissociation,” where we disconnect from our humanity, our personal identity and separate from a well-grounded sense of self-worth, even self-being. And with artificial intelligence (AI) advancing ever more rapidly, there is genuine concern that we may become too dependent upon the robots we are creating and worse, becoming.

Mercury, indeed has an association with the mind. And with Uranus, is leading us into incredible inventions about to transform our lives, especially when Uranus enters Gemini, the ruling sign of Mercury, in 2025-2032.

Pluto in Aquarius (the ruling sign of Uranus) isn’t going to stop this freight train (think “smart train”). But something else will. And that is the basic urge – a need – to connect with one another on a level outside of the mind, outside of technology. For some, it will be a retreat inward to listen and follow one’s heart. For from there comes the outpouring of love that all humans seek and the transcendence of the fear that all humans feel – the fear of loneliness, of being disconnected and alone, of not being able to touch and experience intimacy with another. It is only through relationships that love can be experienced. It is only through relationships that we can truly begin to understand the concept of karma, which is the first step to real knowledge of life, its meaning and purpose.

There may be a real danger for those who blindly follow the herd into this new age of technology and artificial intelligence, disconnected from meaningful relationships with others.

You don’t owe anyone your life as long as you follow your heart when you know you have to – even if Chat GPT tells you otherwise.


NOTE 1: JUNE 1-4: THE 2023 MMA INVESTMENT RETREAT AND MMTA3 COURSE TWO: “GEOCOSMIC CORRELATIONS TO LONG-TERM INVESTMENT CYCLES.” The 4-day investment retreat is taking place at the Michigan State University Management Education Center in Troy, Michigan, and is also offered virtually via Zoom. Instructors and presenters will include Ray Merriman, Gianni Di Poce, Kat Powell, and Rita Perea.

This 4-day intensive will introduce the participant to the role of Outer-Planet Aspects and Ingresses to long-term financial market cycles. With this understanding, one will learn to identify time bands that historically have coincided with the most favorable long-term investment opportunities as well as time bands that have correlated with long-term market peaks or selling opportunities. These studies are based on actual research on the performance of financial markets going back to the 17th century. Once these studies and methods are disclosed, the instructors will then illustrate how they apply them to current market conditions. Outlooks will be given for long-term cycles in various markets (such as stock indices, Gold, and Bitcoin), with the goal of identifying when the next excellent investment or selling opportunities are most likely to take place. Additionally, MMTA Graduate Rita Perea will give a presentation on “The Role of Psychology in Financial Market Trading: Maximizing the Key Mindset Traits of Successful Traders and Investors.”

 You do not need to be a student of the two-year MMTA3 program to join! “Geocosmic Correlations to Long-Term Investment Cycles” is a standalone course designed for investors, but there will also be discussions on the near-term climate for traders as well. This event is an excellent opportunity to interact with MMA President Raymond Merriman and MMTA Director Gianni Di Poce, and several other like-minded students of financial market timing methods over an extended 4-day period. There is nothing like the in-person interactions that occur at an MMA Investment Retreat!

 The cost is $2750, or $2500 if reserved before May 11. Cost includes a 120-page workbook, all class recordings, and slides of the class presentations. Note that this retreat is also in conjunction with Course Two of MMTA3, and non-student participants will get credit for Course Two if they decide to attend MMTA in the future. For further information on this unique and special event, contact MMA at 1-248-626-3034 or by email at

NOTE 2: THE APRIL ISSUE OF THE MMA Monthly Cycles Report Plus+, edited by Pouyan Zolfagharnia, will be issued this week. This market letter has become a very popular addition to the MMA Cycles Report (less technical, more visual, high-quality analysis and update on MMA Cycles Report markets). The mid-month addendum to the MMA Cycles report has stunning AI graphics and charts (people love it!) and is very readable. It contains more illustrations and references to geocosmics than most MMA Cycles reports and is only available for subscription to those who also subscribe to the MMA Monthly Cycles Report. If you wish to try this month’s addendum, along with the latest issue of the MMA Monthly Cycles Report, sign up online at the link above. The cost for a monthly copy of both reports is $55. That will give you both the most recent copy of the MMA Cycles Report and the MMA Cycles Report addendum coming out this week.

NOTE 3: The MMA Grain Cycles report by MMTA Graduate Wyatt Fellows will also be issued this week, on Wednesday, April 26. This is an exceptional report by a top MMTA graduate who is also the owner of a large family farm operation. Wyatt knows the farming business and grain markets from both a cyclical and fundamental point of view. This report is an in-depth look at long-and short-term cycles in Corn, Wheat, Soybeans, and Cotton. The MMA Cycles Grain Report has been extremely accurate in its first editions that began in January. If you trade grains or are in the farming business and wish for accurate timing and understanding of when to hedge your crop, this report is not to be missed!

NOTE 4: The monthly MMA ETF Report was issued last week. Many have asked about a monthly report on Bitcoin, and the Monthly ETF Report does this via BITO, the ETF on Bitcoin. Written by MMA market analyst Gianni Di Poce, the ETF is a monthly newsletter that everyone trading ETFs is encouraged to read, especially those that seek less risky trading venues than futures. This report covers 8 ETFs on a monthly basis for readers. The ETFs include: SPY (S&P 500), GDX (gold miners), BITO (Bitcoin), TLT (+20-year Treasuries), USO (Crude Oil), XLV (healthcare), XLK (technology), and XHB (homebuilders).  This is a report that was requested by popular demand and Gianni’s insights and strategies are excellent.

NOTE 5: TUNE INTO MMA’S WEEKLY YouTube show, hosted by Gianni Di Poce. 5-15 minute FREE episodes review market activity of the past week and offer a preview of the geocosmic signatures in effect for the next week and beyond. You may subscribe to MMA’s YouTube Channel today at no cost and get alerted when a new weekly episode is released! To view this week’s MMA YouTube episode, click here.

NOTE 6: For readers of this column who are interested in the modern-day history of astrology and its transformation from a hobby to a professional career, you may be interested in the current issue of The Mountain Astrologer. The June-July issue includes Part 1 of “My 50 Years of Community Service in Astrology,” which depicts the events and challenges many of today’s professional astrologers encountered in this task, and in particular, my role in this evolution (which is not over). For information on TMA (the Mountain Astrologer), please go to and consider taking out a subscription to this month’s TMA (The Mountain Astrologer). Let them know you are interested in this article and look forward to reading parts 2 and 3 of this saga!


June 1-4: MMA INVESTMENT RETREAT: “GEOCOSMIC CORRELATIONS TO LONG-TERM INVESTMENT CYCLES.” A 4-day, in-person investment retreat hosted at the Michigan State University Management Education Center in Troy, Michigan. It will also be offered virtually via Zoom. See description above.

Disclaimer and statement of purpose: The purpose of this column is not to forecast 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 often cite 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 may affect human activity in the times to come. The author (Merriman) will do this from the perspective of a cycles’ 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 the psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events and their potential effect on financial markets.

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 of this column assume any responsibility whatsoever for anyone’s trading or investment decisions. Readers of this report should understand that commodity futures and options trading are considered high risk.