NOTE: Due to next Friday’s special webinar on the “Review of Gold, Bitcoin, and Chinese Markets,” there will not be an “MMA Free Weekly Column” next week. Financial and commodity markets will be closed the following Monday, September 6, in observance of the Labor Day holiday. For information on attending the September 3 webinar, please click here.


Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell indicated Friday that the central bank is likely to begin withdrawing some of its easy-money policies before the end of the year, though he still sees interest rate hikes off in the distance. – Jeff Cox, “Powell Sees Taper by the End of the Year,”, August 27, 2021. 

“South Korea became the first developed economy in Asia to raise interest rates since the beginning of the pandemic, a signal that policy makers see rising household debt and inflation as bigger threats to the economy than the resurgence of COVID-19 driven by the Delta variant…. The record household borrowing came amid a rapid surge in housing prices during the pandemic like many other parts of the world.– Stella Yifan Xie, and Dasal Yoon, “South Korea Raises Rates Amid Rising Inflation, Debt,” Wall Street Journal, August 27, 2021.

Many world stock indices continued their rallies last week following lows of August 19-20. However, the rallies were not even across the globe, and they were not without concerns given the dangerous situation revolving around the miscalculated Afghanistan withdrawal process, increased cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19 prompting communities and countries to enter into lockdown again, and the onslaught of hurricanes and floods causing death and great property damage. Still, liquidity is extremely high and much of the monies continue to find their way into the stock markets of the world.

In Europe, the Netherlands AEX made yet another new all-time high on Friday, August 27. But the all-time highs in the DAX and SMI, plus the post-pandemic-crash highs in the FTSE, remain intact as of August 13, two weeks earlier. This is still a developing case of bearish intermarket divergence.

In Asia and the Pacific Rim, India’s Nifty Index rallied to another new all-time high too on Friday, August 27. China’s Shanghai Composite rallied to 3540 on Wednesday, August 25, for a double top to its cycle high of 3544 made on August 13. But the Australian ASX, Japan Nikkei, and Hang Seng of Hong Kong have not recovered all that well from their lows of August 19-20. Intermarket bearish divergence is already alive and well in this region.

Bearish divergence is also still present in the United Stated where both the S&P and NASDAQ made new all-time highs on Friday, August 27, but the DJIA is still below its all-time high of August 16. In all, last week was a case of climbing another wall of worry (actually, several walls), but its lumbering ahead erratically as the Saturn/Uranus square continues to coincide with one disrupted and unexpected event after another. Breaks from serious concerns never seem to last long. But that’s how Uranus likes it. Planning is not part of the allowance. You make a plan and you better also make a “Plan B.”

Gold had a good week, soaring to 1821.90 on Friday, up sharply to its highest level since that huge sell= off to 1677.90 on August 9. Silver made a dive to 22.83 last week on our three-star critical reversal date (CRD) of August 20. That was a retest to its low of 22.29 made on August 9. But on Friday, it rallied back above 24.00 for the first time since the crash of August 9.

Bitcoin also made a new post-crash high on our three-star CRD which was still in force on Monday August 23. It rallied above 50,000 for the first time since early May, when it started its collapse to under 30,000 by June 22. It couldn’t hold the 50,000 mark and began a pullback of nearly 10%.

Crude was a star again. After completing its important low of 61.74 on Monday, August 23 (that 3-star CRD again), it was back above 69.00 by Friday, a gain of over 11% just four days.


“A Democratic foreign policy would empower experts to plan post-conflict reconstruction ahead of time, not on the fly.” – Joe Biden, “A Democratic Foreign Policy,” Wall Street Journal, September 9, 2004. 

Perspective. It is something that is often missing during a hard aspect between Mars and Neptune. And that is what is looming ahead on Thursday, September 2, followed by Venus square Pluto on September 6. These two geocosmic signatures not only have a strong correspondence to market reversals (especially in energy, currency, and interest-rate related markets), but they also provide insight into what is happening in the world today, and what we might continue to see this week.

First, Mars in Virgo in opposition to Neptune in Pisces. This aspect deserves special attention because it sets off the USA’s own Mars/Neptune square in 19-22 degrees of Gemini and Virgo. Those who study astrology will recognize this as a “mutable T-square” configuration, with transiting Mars on the USA’s Neptune, and transiting Neptune in opposition to the USA’s Neptune. There is a whole lot of Mars and Neptune going on, and the peace-seeking and introverted qualities of Neptune are being agitated by the fiery demands of Mars. The god of war and in-your-face confrontation wants action. You would think being in Virgo, Mars would have a well-drawn up strategy for action, for Virgo rules details. But Neptune in Pisces would rather deal in abstracts and “faith.” It is not designed to work out details. After all, if the intentions are good, everything should work out well in the end, right? That’s what faith is about. But both Neptune and mutable signs can also seem very confused and unclear as multiple crises erupt at once, and there is no easy resolution to the several uncertainties that hover over the moment.

For an example of current events, the intention was to withdraw peacefully from Afghanistan and have faith that others you depend upon would do the job to make sure that happened. But what if they didn’t and don’t? Then catastrophes happen and the finger-pointing begins. Neptune has to find a scapegoat or risk being the scapegoat. The vision of what should have happened blows up in smoke (perfect symbol for Mars/Neptune) and other people get hurt and angry. They demand your resignation for lack of strategy and foresight.

This can be a dangerous mixture of planetary energies, as the world is witnessing. Mars is the principle of aggression and even defiance (“No one should dictate to us. We are the USA”). Neptune contains the principles of withdrawal, passivity, and even denial (“I am absolutely convinced that I did the right thing and other people let me down”). Together, they provide conflicting narratives as to what is really true and what the right course of action should be now.

Not only is this combination potentially dangerous, but it hasn’t even reached its full comic potential yet. The opposition isn’t exact until Thursday, meaning it is still an “applying” aspect. It’s only growing stronger, which is to say the main actors are losing control, and the demands for a burning at the stake aren’t likely to subside over the weekend. In other words, this combination can be highly irrational (Neptune), and a balanced perspective of what happened and what must be done (Mars) is lacking. In the meantime, the threat to human lives could escalate this week as we approach both the August 31 deadline for withdrawal and the September 2 peak of the Mars/Neptune opposition activating the USA natal Mars/Neptune square. Any disappointments (Neptune and squares) could be reflected in world stock indices going into this period, or shortly thereafter.

The second major aspect looming ahead is Venus in Libra square Pluto in Capricorn. Venus is strong in Libra, its ruling sign. It wants an agreement as long as it is fair and balanced for all parties. Venus rules both love (relationships, partnering, allies) and money. Pluto rules the 4 D’s: deficits, debt, default, and downgrade. It also rules taxes and rejections. The U.S. government is overdue for the passage of its debt ceiling limit to be increased and is living on borrowed time before its coffers run dry. A showdown between the party that wants to borrow trillions of more dollars versus the party that believes this direction is fiscally careless and will lead to major financial burdens for future generations is due to get more contentious as Venus approaches its square to Pluto. It doesn’t help that this is the period of the USA’s Pluto return occurring every 248 years +/- 3 years. The 4 D’s are inching closer and closer with every hard aspect made to transiting Pluto now through 2024 and are likely to affect the status of the U.S. Dollar.

It is also a concern that transiting Pluto is in opposition to President Biden’s natal Jupiter in his 8th house of OPM (other people’s money). With Jupiter also Biden’s ruling planet (he has Sagittarius rising), this is an extremely critical time for his legacy. As stated many times in past columns, no one escapes unscathed under a transiting Pluto in hard aspect to an important natal position. In this author’s opinion, nothing is as astrologically important as one’s ruling planet in deciphering the path of one’s life.

Yes, it all sounds a bit dreadful. All the outer planets of Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto in hard aspects usually coincide with a sense of foreboding and anxiety amidst intense conflicts. But the cosmic conditions only describe the conditions and challenges we are confronted with, and not necessarily the results. The outcome of even the most challenging geocosmic signatures can also coincide with the most important decisions one makes in life. The decision-making process can be stressful. It usually is stressful for most. I am sure this is a very trying period for President Biden. But the results can be surprising. Matters can turn out favorably if one seriously considers all the consequences of actions that could be taken. When these options are well-thought out, the “right” decision is usually apparent. And when taken, the turn in one’s path is often looked back upon as one of the “best decisions” made in life.


NOTE 1: THE AUGUST-SEPTEMBER ISSUE OF THE ICRs (International Cycles Reports) was released last week, August 24-25. The ICR Financials includes analysis on ASX (Australian Stock Index), RUT (Russell 2000), SSE (Chinese Shanghai Stock Composite), HSI (Hang Seng Index), AUD (Australian Dollar), DXY (US Dollar), and GBP (British Pound). The ICR Commodities Report includes analysis on LC (Live Cattle), MJ (Cannabis), XAU (Gold and Silver), KT (Coffee), KA (Sugar), C (Corn), and W (Wheat). These reports are written by MMA Analyst and editor Mark Shyterman (metals, stock indices, and soft commodities), MMA President Raymond Merriman (China’s Shanghai Composite Index), MMA Analysts Ken Liao (Hang Seng), Ulric Aspegrén, (Currencies), Isabella Suleymanova (Grains), and Gianni Di Poce (Australian ASX and Dollar, Cannabis, and Live Cattle). Order now to make sure you get this month’s report! Consider a one-month trial for only $35.

NOTE 2: THE NEW MERRIMAN ON MARKET CYCLES: THE BASICS book is now completed and with the typesetter for preparation for the printer. It is still on schedule to be released in late September. This new edition will contain the most comprehensive and modern listing of 175 long-, intermediate-, and short-term financial cycles in over 40 financial, currency, and commodity markets available anywhere! The book is a clearly written text on the MMA methodology for determining cycles periodicities and recognizing patterns within those cycles. It is a 72-page basic book for those who want to improve their timing skills by integrating cycles analysis with technical studies. It is a glossy softcover, 8-1/2” x 11” with illustrations to demonstrate the correct way to count cycle lengths, identify their phases with instruction on the trading strategies used to successfully trade each phase. The cost of the new version will be $35.00 and a pre-publication special rate of $28.00 will be available starting now through mid-September. Order now and save money! Details for pre-ordering are available now by clicking here. 

NOTE 3: Get Ready! The Forecast 2022 Book and the Annual Forecast Pre-Order Event is now underway. Our preliminary outlook is that 2022 will be another very important year with the long-term Saturn/Uranus square aspect continuing to be in force. Although 2021 is not yet over, several forecasts made in the 2021 book have already unfolded. For a review of the Forecast 2021 Book so far, please visit our Scorecard.

This pre-publication period will be in effect 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 2022 at the discounted rate of $45. After the pre-order event ends, the price will increase to $55 on November 1st. Order both an eBook and print book (Forecast 2022 Bundle) for only $65, a savings of $45 off the standard rates. Save 10% off any subscription ($275+) with purchase of Forecast 2021. Use code SALE2022 at checkout to receive the subscription discount. Click here for subscription information.

This year we are again pleased to announce the publication of our TRENDS FOR THE TWELVE SIGNS 2022 book, which will include the individual Sun Signs forecasts. This very popular book on the annual outlook for each sign is written by Antonia Langsdorf-Merriman and Raymond Merriman. Antonia has written an annual Sun Sign book in German for the past several years, based on interviews conducted with me beforehand. We will follow a format this year where Langsdorf will cover the health and relationships outlook and Merriman will cover the business, career and overall psychological outlook of each sign for the year. The cost of this book will be $25, with a further discount if ordered with the Forecast 2022 Book. To order this book, click here.

This year’s printed and/or e-Book versions of Forecast 2022 will also be available in these languages:

German: or email at



The English version will also be available through or

NOTE 4: MMA’S DAILY AND SUBSCRIPTION REPORTS CONTINUE TO BE HOT! If you are an active short-term trader, or even if you are an investor who likes to keep up with our current thoughts on financial markets, you will be interested in MMA’s Weekly or Daily Market reports. The weekly reports give an in-depth analysis of the DJIA, S&P and NASDAQ futures, Euro currency (cash and futures), Dollar/Yen cash and Yen futures, Euro/Yen cash, T-Notes, Soybeans, Gold and Silver, Crude Oil, Bitcoin and Ethereum. The daily reports cover all stock indices listed above, as well as the Euro Currency, Japanese Yen, Bitcoin, T-Notes, Gold and Silver, plus GLD and SLV (the Gold and Silver ETFs). Both reports provide trading strategies and recommendations for position traders and shorter-term aggressive traders. Subscription to the Daily report also includes the Weekly report. And now is the best time to sign up because with your order of Forecasts 2022, you get a 10% discount. For further information, click here.

For any questions, please contact us at or call (248) 626-3034, or (800) MMA-3349. 


SEPTEMBER 3/SEPTEMBER 4: MMA’S FINANCIAL MARKETS REVIEW FOR CHINA, GOLD, AND BITCOIN: This special webinar will take place on Friday evening, September 3, 2021, at 6:30 PM (PST) which is September 4, 9:30 AM, Saturday morning in Beijing or 11:30 AM in Sydney, Australia. In the comfort of your own home or office, you can tune into Raymond Merriman’s Webinar on Financial Markets for China. This 3-hour webinar will give an update and overview on the Shanghai Composite Index, Gold and Bitcoin. It will describe the geocosmic critical reversal zones that are highlighted for the rest of 2021, including the important December 19-25 period when Venus will turn retrograde conjunct Pluto, and the final Saturn/Uranus waning square will take place. This meeting will examine how these long-term planetary cycles may affect the longer-term cycles and trends in world economies and specifically these three financial markets (Shanghai Composite, Gold, and Bitcoin). There will be a Q&A with participants in which questions concerning other markets of interest in China may be discussed from both a cycles’ and geocosmic studies viewpoint. The presentation will be given in English by Raymond Merriman and translated into Chinese by the staff of the NoDoor school in Beijing. The cost to attend this special broadcast is $55.00 and includes the slides of the presentation, plus access to the video recording of the event. Instructions for logging on will be sent during the week leading up to the webinar. To register for this special event, please visit > Shop > Webinars. Or please click 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.