It was only a year ago that Beijing and Moscow touted a new world order, but things appear to be unraveling fast for their economies. While the news has been grim, the countries are responding to their economic problems in different ways. On Tuesday, China slashed a range of key interest rates to shore up its economy, aiming to reignite growth and investment. On the other hand, Russia’s central bank hiked rates by 3.5 percentage points at an emergency gathering, bringing its key rate to a total of 12%, fearing inflationary pressures that could ripple through its economy. – “New World Failure,” Seeking Alpha, August 16, 2023.

Thanks to a combination of high inflation, rising interest rates, and unrelenting growth in the national debt, interest payments are expected to triple from nearly $475 billion in fiscal year 2022 to a stunning $1.4 trillion in 2032. – Megan Henney, “The US is Paying a Record Amount of Interest on its National Debt,”, August 18, 2023.

Wouldn’t you know it? I get sick and financial markets develop a hemorrhoid (a real pain in the arse). I might get better before the market does. Or maybe we both end our misery about the same time that four planets change their directions (stations) over these next two weeks. On the positive side, I had a delicious meal of gnocchi last night. I must be getting better if I am eating potatoes.

It was the same story for stock indices throughout the world. After making primary or yearly highs within a week of Venus turning retrograde on July 22, nearly all were falling precipitously to new multi-week, even yearly lows, by the end of last week. And there are still two more weeks to go before Venus turns direct on September 3.

It was not just stock indices that cratered last week. Bitcoin simply crumbled – broke support – as the Sun squared Uranus mid-week. Uranus is noted for breakouts of support or resistance. Last week, support broke. By Friday, BTC was down to 25,600, almost back to the 24,750 low of June 15, and a netherworld lower than its yearly high of 31,824 made on July 13. That was just one week before the goddess of love and financial security decided it was time to end her journey as the brightest light in the evening skies and head for her new reign as the brightest star in the pre-morning sky, a reign that officially started with last week’s conjunction to the Sun, but won’t be too apparent to the eye for a few more days. Maybe she will herald a return to the glory days that preceded the start of her retrograde cycle.

Gold and Silver got tarnished, too, as Venus began her backward motion in Leo, a sign often associated with Gold and royalty. Both metals had recently peaked on July 20 as the station began. By late last week, Gold had been down almost every day since Venus turned retrograde.


 The summer bond-market rout is delivering a windfall to savers whose rush into higher-yielding investment products is reshaping the U.S. financial system. Americans poured $36 billion into money-market funds this week, taking advantage of yields that have soared past 5%—a figure that only recently seemed like a dream for consumers and businesses shopping for a place to park their cash. – Gunjan Banerji, “Rising Yields Fatten Americans’ Pocketbooks,” Wall Street Journal, August 18, 2023.

The reaction among Mr. Trump’s haters is to wonder why his supporters don’t hate him too. Mostly they tell themselves that his voters are stupid. Never does their own role in stoking Mr. Trump’s popularity occur to them. – William McGurn, “Donald Trump’s Last Hurrah,” Wall Street Journal, August 8, 2023.

Ah! Finally! The market cycles are starting to make sense under this Venus retrograde, a cycle of indecision, changing of mind, and the urge to return anything recently purchased.

Er, wait a minute! Really? This “clarity” is just in time for Mercury to start its retrograde motion, August 23 through September 15, which is hardly a harbinger of clarity. So, what happens when the planet of “indecision and mind-changing” meets up with the “Trickster”? It promises to be a strange dance between worlds of hope versus the realities of missed or false signals. “Did you say you liked me and wanted to dance?” “No, I said you are like me, and I like you but don’t take it seriously because I’m really just a chance.” “Maybe it will work out; maybe it won’t. But if it starts to look promising, I promise I will leave and return another time.”

Ah, the beauty of retrogrades, especially Mercury, Venus, and/or Mars. When direct, so dependable. When retrograde, so indirect and always ready to compromise or split, as if unsure of what it really wants or can do. And markets generally disdain uncertainty. Only a couple of more weeks, but it may require a real washout by year’s end to feel as if life – and markets – are really a bargain again.

But Venus retrograde is really only part of the contra-trend story of financial markets as they have been madly rushing for cover since July 22, +/- 1 week. As several come to the cliff and decide to jump off, we note that a vortex for four planets will be changing their direction in the next two weeks, starting with the Trickster (Mercury), who turns retrograde this Wednesday, August 23, through September 15. While Venus retrograde may have trouble making a decision, Mercury has no such problem. Its issue is sticking with a decision for more than 1-4 days. It likes to impress everyone for its “flexibility” based on “the data.” But “the data” seems to contradict itself every 1-4 days. With Mercury retrograde, the data and its accuracy (or assumed implications) may be questionable.

Five days after Mercury turns retrograde, its higher octave on the scale of planetary symbolism related to intelligence – Uranus – also turns retrograde (August 28). One is capable of suddenly changing directions (Mercury) for short periods of time. The other (Uranus) is capable of changing directions for longer periods of time (weeks, if not months), starting any time within 12 trading days of its turning point.

Uranus retrograde is one of the three strongest planetary correlations to the culmination of primary cycles in many financial markets, even stronger than Venus retrograde. Interestingly enough, Venus ends its retrograde and turns direct on September 3, just six days after Uranus changed directions. Thus, the contra-trend nature of Venus’s retrograde ends nearby to the multi-week change of direction

associated with Uranus turning retrograde, all within one week of one another. The importance of this should be obvious to every reader, every financial astrologer.

As if that is not enough, Jupiter turns retrograde in Taurus, nearby to Uranus (planet of change), one day later, on September 4. Thus, four planets change their direction within 12 days, August 23-September 4. That, too, is a formula for a market change, and the midpoint is right about when Uranus turns retrograde. Usually, three stations in a short span of time is enough. It’s like saying the same thing in a different way. Something is about to change, and since it seems like the world and its financial markets are falling into an abyss, maybe it’s just not really the case yet.

Venus also rules personal savings (Taurus) and the fairness of courts as arbitrators of justice (Libra). Both concepts are very much in evidence today, as noted by the quotes that accompany this week’s “Short-Term Geocosmics and Longer-Term Thoughts” section. It will be interesting to see how the markets and the courts (especially public opinion) change when both Venus and Jupiter change directions from September 3-4.

Savers are becoming well-off again, which I think bodes well in the long run for a soft economic landing. A nation of savers has a better chance of lasting financial security than a nation that has been forced to be speculators over the past two decades. It’s one reason that tore the generations apart, resulting in great mistrust of one another. This may help to bridge the “wealth gap” and “generational gap” that has been a sore spot socially.

I see cause for hope here in a social sense, with savers being rewarded. But politically, I see little cause for hope if the choice is between the two current leading contenders where no love (Venus) is lost between them and their supporters, and in which neither is willing to debate others who are willing and qualified to run for office. It is baffling to see how this justifies “caring” for the opinion or respecting the intelligence of the American citizen. If you, as a leading candidate, truly care about America as you claim, let us hear how you would respond to those who are willing to have this conversation and to let the public clearly see the differences in your plans for America’s future. Only in that way can the citizens make an informed and intelligent voting decision. Otherwise, this just seems like an exercise in “rigging the election.”  But there is this too: Maybe the leading candidates and party leaders don’t want Americans to make an informed and intelligent decision. Maybe it’s about something else altogether, like Pluto moving back into Capricorn (power and control).

Pluto moving into Aquarius may have something dramatic and unexpected to say about this by the time of the 2024 election – or immediately after.


 NOTE 1: The “Annual MMA Forecast 2024 Pre-Publication Sale” has now started!!! The sale will run through October 31 and will include our once-a-year sale discounts on both the annual Forecast Book and MMA Subscription Reports. You may pre-order Forecast 2024 Print at the discounted rate of $55, or the eBook at $45. And the best deal on MMA Subscription Reports is also offered at this time! Save 10% off any subscription ($275+) with purchase of Forecast 2024.

After the pre-order event ends on November 1st, the retail price of Forecast 2024 Print increases to $66, and the eBook increases to $55.

Want to save even more on Forecast 2024? Sign up for any subscription report between now and September 15th to be upgraded to our Active Subscriber Club. Club members receive a discount code to pre-order Forecast 2024 eBook for only $35 and print edition for $42!

 MMA will also offer a special “bundle” discount rate for those who wish to order both the eBook and printed editions of Forecast 2024. The eBook usually comes out 1-2 weeks before the print edition, and avoids delays caused by the postal system, especially if overseas. Yet many readers prefer the print edition, so ordering both via The Forecast 2024 Bundle makes sense. You will receive the eBook on December 15th, and your Print copy will be mailed in mid-December.

 NOTE 2: Special Offer this season!!! MMA’s newest monthly report, “MMA Monthly Grains Report” by Grains Analyst Wyatt Fellows. The cost of this subscription is normally $325, but on sale now for only $300 for a 1-Year subscription. If ordered together with the Forecast 2024 Book, there will be two further 10% discounts making the cost of the report only $270 for a 1-Year Subscription! 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. To order, click here.

 MMA offers discounts to our Forecast Fan Club Members and our Active Subscriber Club members. Check out our page on Forecast Club Levels to learn more about these discounts.

 This year’s printed and eBook versions will also be available in these languages:

German: or email at



 We created an updated list of our most common Forecast FAQs to help this Forecast season.

 The Forecast 2023 Scorecard of the Forecast 2023 Book can now be viewed by clicking here.

 NOTE 3: The MMA Monthly ETF Report WILL BE ISSUED THIS 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. For further information, click here.

 NOTE 4: ONE MORE WEEK! August 26, 2023 – October 7, 2023: “Solar/Lunar Correlations For Short-Term Trading.” This course will begin next week, followed by a break for Labor Day weekend  (Sept 2), then resume Sept 9-October 7. This is a six-week course on how to determine, measure, and use solar-lunar combinations in financial markets for optimal short-trading (even day trading). This six-week course is based on studies of Ray Merriman as presented in Volume 4 of The Ultimate Book on Stock Market Timing; The Sun, The Moon and Silver Market: Secrets of a Silver Trader; and Solar/Lunar Correlations to Short-Term Trading in Gold. The course explains the studies identifying Sun-Moon combinations that have the highest correlation to isolated highs or lows in stock indices, Gold, and Silver from which tradeable reversals are likely over the following 1-4 trading days. The set up that activates the trade in these time bands is shared, and supporting market signals that will help in determining the price target with the “lowest risk to optimal reward” possibilities via these studies. In addition, we will also share our latest results on the lunar cycles correlating with sharp, short-term reversals in Bitcoin and the Euro, and if ready, Crude Oil studies. This six-week course will be part of the MMTA (Merriman Market Timing Academy), Course 4. Those who complete this class will receive credit for that course. The cost is $2500, which includes six Zoom classes of about 2.5 hours each, plus recordings of each class and a workbook. Classes will take place each Saturday, beginning at noon EDT, from August 26 through October 14, with the exception of September 2, which will be a break due to the Labor Day holiday in the U.S. Instructors will be Raymond Merriman (CTA) and Gianni Di Poce (CTA), with one or two special guests to be announced soon. Registration is limited, so sign up now by clicking here.

NOTE 5: SUBSCRIBE TO MMA’S WEEKLY YouTube show, Geocosmic Week in Review and Look Ahead, with Gianni Di Poce. Each 5-15 minute FREE episode reviews the market activity of the past week and offers a preview of the geocosmic signatures in effect for the next week and beyond. The recordings are now made id-week and are ready for viewing by Thursday of each week. You may subscribe to MMA’s YouTube Channel today at no cost and get alerted when a new weekly episode is released!

NOTE 6: MMA’S FREE WEEKLY COLUMN IS ON APPLE AND SPOTIFY PODCAST NOW! Now you can listen to a podcast of this weekly column by Thomas Miller. The Free Weekly Forecast Podcast is now available on Saturday. Just follow Merriman Market Analyst on Spotify or Apple to listen to all our episodes. New Podcast episodes will be released every weekend. This is a FREE service and is available to everyone. Checkout out our Podcasts on Apple, Spotify, MMA- Merriman Market Analyst Podcast and on YouTube, Merriman Market Analyst. It makes for great listening!

NOTE 7:  THE AUGUST ISSUE OF THE MMA Monthly Cycles Report was released last week. This is the middle of the Venus Retrograde cycle, July 22-September 3, and Mercury’s retrograde cycle is about to begin as well (August 23-September 15), all setting up for the major moves in equity and precious metals this fall. Each cycles’ report covers the outlook in the U.S. Stock Market, Gold, Silver, Copper, Treasuries, Euro Currency, Crude Oil, and Soybeans. The Monthly Cycles Report reviews MMA’s original geocosmic critical reversal dates (CRDs) and Solar/Lunar reversal dates over the next several weeks with trading strategies for position and aggressive traders during the next month. If you would like to try out one month of the MMA Monthly Cycles Report, you can sign up for the August Report for only $35! And if you become a subscriber before September 15th, you will receive a code to save $13 on Forecast 2024

 NOTE 8: Ray Merriman was the guest on the YouTube station of highly followed social media personality, astrologer, and Crypto analyst, “Crypto Damus.” This 60-minute discussion covered a variety of topics, both astrological and financial. It covered the long- and intermediate-term outlook for the stock market, precious metals, the U.S. Dollar, Bitcoin, war, and renaissance cycles related to astrological cycles.

Click here to view this fascinating interview.


 August 20, 2023: MMA Mid-Year Update on Chinese markets, 7 PM, Beijing Time, 1:00 PM CEDT. Last week’s scheduled presentation had to be cancelled due to Ray getting COVID. This 3-hour Zoom presentation will be presented by Raymond Merriman in English, with translation into Chinese by the staff of NoDoor School. Markets to be covered include Shanghai Stock Composite (SSE), Renminbi (RMD – Dollar/Yuan), Crude Oil, Gold, and Bitcoin, plus Q&A. For further information and enrollment, please Click Here (and use google translation into English).

 August 26, 2023 – October 7, 2023: “Solar/Lunar Correlations For Short-Term Trading.” For details see announcement above. Registration is limited, so sign up now by clicking here.

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.