Payroll growth decelerated in December but was still better than expected, a sign that the labor market remains strong even as the Federal Reserve tries to slow economic growth. Nonfarm payrolls increased by 223,000 for the month, above the Dow Jones estimate for 200,000, while the unemployment rate fell to 3.5%, 0.2 percentage point below the expectation. Wage growth was less than expected in an indication that inflation pressures could be weakening. Average hourly earnings rose 0.3% for the month and increased 4.6% from a year ago. – Jeff Cox, Nonfarm Payrolls Rose 223,000 in December, as Strong Jobs Market Tops Expectations,”, January 6, 2023. 

As the first week of the new year ends, it appears the Trickster is well into his natural element of sudden short-term reversals. Stock indices looked pressured, but on Friday, the U.S. payroll reports came out weak, as was expected, but the gains in wages were considerably less than expected. On the news, investors saw little reason for the Fed to stay so hawkish on interest rates related to rising inflation, so the stock market took off with the DJIA closing up 700 points, and at its highest level since the Jupiter/Uranus semi-square low of December 22-23.

Gold also soared to a new cycle high on that news, climbing all the way up to 1875.20. Just 9 weeks ago, it had bottomed at 1618.30. Silver, on the other hand, could not climb to a new cycle high. The high of 24.77 on the first trading day of the year stands intact as it closed the week just below 24.00.

Crude Oil also made a new cycle high on Tuesday, the first trading day of the year, at 81.50, then started to sell off again towards 70.00. Trader Joe still appears to be relatively indecisive about replenishing the SPR stockpile by 300 million barrels despite the fact that prices have fallen into the price range he wanted (and he announced publicly that this is where he would buy back all and more than he sold).  


This is now the middle of the Mercury retrograde (Trickster) cycle. Markets that did not make major or greater cycles at the time of the retrograde (December 29 +/- 4 days), will often do so at the midpoint of the retrograde, which is now. This may be one reason to be concerned about the strong rallies in Gold and the stock indices on Friday to new half-cycle highs.

But looking ahead, a stronger period for political and financial market activity is looming, when three planets will change direction. The first will be Mars turning direct in Gemini on January 12. This is more powerful than Mercury turning direct, which takes place on January 18, but probably equally as explosive as Uranus changing directions on January 22. The two together (Mars and Uranus) being highlighted by their stations January 12-22 can be very disruptive.

Any market nearing its yearly high or low is vulnerable to breaking out. Any nation whose borders are insecure is vulnerable to an onslaught of those who wish to invade or break through. Any corporation, government or group whose leadership is under attack by social activists are also vulnerable to being taken over, and those leaders may be forced out, or have to make concessions that severely limit their ability to govern (think: the Republican Party and its House of Representatives leadership).

The next two weeks may coincide with sudden reversals and wild price swings due to the instability of the systems of governance in business or politics under the heavy cosmic presence of Mars and Uranus. 


Sometimes you have to realize a dream is a fixation, its object no longer achievable because it doesn’t exist… it’s actually a key skill to be able to see when something’s over, when it’s the past, not the future; that you have to have eyes that can find the next area of constructiveness, which may take time; and in the time between, you must maintain your peace and poise… If you cede the power of the job to get the job, the job has no point. The job itself is diminished.” – Peggy Noonan, “Normal Republicans, Stand Up to the Fringe,” Wall Street Journal, January 6, 2023.

To those on the left: Racism and discrimination do remain deep wounds in American society, and it will be ever thus—you aren’t going to eradicate human prejudice no matter how many diversity, equity and inclusion officers you hire. But we have made extraordinary progress in marginalizing and discrediting it. – Gerard Baker, “New Year’s Can Be Humiliating. Resolve to Keep It That Way,” Wall Street Journal, January 5, 2022.

Anyone who perceives his shadow and his light simultaneously sees himself from two sides and thus gets in the middle.” C.J. Jung. 

Dishonest people are attracted to three things: money, power, and honest people. They need the latter as cover to pilfer and hijack the former two. And so it is with the extremist movements in government and corporate politics, which will likely reach a crescendo of corruption and manipulation as Pluto moves back and forth over 0° Aquarius and Saturn transits through Pisces, starting in March 2023 and lasting into 2026.

Let’s try to understand how this may affect the world of finances, where money just seems to “disappear” into thin air as the result of covert (Pluto) theft by dishonest people taking advantage of honest folks (Saturn in Pisces).

To understand Pluto in Aquarius, start by remembering that in mythology, Pluto is the god of the underworld and Aquarius represents the consciousness of the collective and its urge to invent new things to potentially benefit humankind. Aquarius also represents the study of astrology and communities of like-minded people who share a similar interest in advancing the good fortunes of humankind. Also, as god of the underworld, whose earlier name was Hades, he is considered the wealthiest of the gods. Wealth and power often go together, although they don’t have to. 

Pluto was also a kidnapper whose activities caused harm and pain, and even threats to life. According to, “He took Proserpina, who was the daughter of Ceres, to the underworld to be his wife. Ceres cried and did not let plants grow on the Earth. People needed the plants so much that Jupiter made Pluto give her up. The deal they worked out was that for six months, Pluto got Proserpina. While Proserpina was in the underworld, no plants could grow on Earth and it was winter. When Proserpina went back to her mother, it was summer. This was how the Romans explained the seasons.” This is a useful description of Pluto’s basic nature: to take what is not his, by force or manipulation (from those who are basically honest and good), and causing immense pain to others (the world) unless a deal can be made that allows him some or all power. You see this play acting out in today’s world very clearly. 

So it is for the next 2-3 years. We are apt to see more and more cases of “kidnapping,” or the attempt to hijack territories and overtake power from groups (such as major astrology organizations) and even nations that are uplifting the consciousness and well-being of others. The irony and dishonesty are that these usurpers will claim that they are the ones who support the uplifting of consciousness and opportunities. But in truth, they are opaque about their real agendas or activities. They work hard to avoid detection (Saturn/Neptune) that they are really subsuming the visions of the Aquarian-minded groups as a cover for their own covert aims of acquiring power or the treasury.  

The next three years are likely to see major transfers of monies and wealth from the treasuries of one organization to that of others in very non-transparent ways, i.e., “awards“ of scholarships or “financial aid” or ”investments” to other organizations and groups controlled by the corrupt Plutonian-minded individuals, under the guise that they are the doing good deeds espoused by the Aquarian-minded groups. In like fashion, the election of boards of directors may also be manipulated (rigged) in such ways as only offering choices of candidates who fit a certain political or ideological profile instead of possessing merit or having exhibited real understanding and support for the stated aims of the org. There may be the appearance of a fair and honest election process, but in reality, there are no choices of candidates who have done the work that has supported the success of the group, and who would have the support of the majority of the memberships, stockholders, or citizens if given the choice.

What can be done about this trend for the next two years? Not much. You can try to make deals, like Kevin McCarthy, in an effort to appease the minority usurpers in his party (Republicans), but in doing so, you may have to give up all of your power. Or you can inform the world about this “kidnapping” of the vision, power, and wealth of the organizations they supported and hope that the pressure to do so will bring to light the shadows in which these usurpers operate. For, after all, Pluto does not want transparency when it is trying to abscond with something that is not his. On the other hand, when trying to prevent theft of power and wealth, Pluto can be very successful when affirming his power to investigate and reveal. No one escapes a Pluto transit unscathed, especially those who operate in Pluto’s underworld and are detected by others for what they are really up to, which is basically to violate the trust and goodwill previously established by the organization prior to the attempted takeover.

What does this mean to the world of finances in the next couple of years? It suggests that many corporations, groups, and governments are vulnerable to coups behind the scenes by activists to overtake control of their leadership and treasuries. Monies may disappear, be transferred from the Aquarian-minded orgs to the more Plutonian-oriented ones, or into the coffers of corrupt individuals who have used honest people with humanistic goals as a cover for their underhanded means. Watch especially those governments, corporations, and groups who have 0° Aquarius (or even 0° fixed signs) prominent in their charts. They are vulnerable and may not even know it.

What is needed are leaders who express the positive side of Saturn in Pisces: commitment to a path of virtue and honesty over the non-transparency of corrupt agendas and motives. We need those who perceives their shadow and light simultaneously – those who see themselves from two sides and thus get in the middle. In other words, those who recognize the importance of “moderation” (Jupiter/Saturn waxing cycle), and the realization that progress is not some act of reactionary extremism (Pluto in Aquarius transiting over the Jupiter/Saturn “super-charged” degree of 0 Aquarius), to paraphrase the thoughts of Gerald Baker in the article referenced above. 


NOTE 1: THE JANUARY ISSUE OF THE MMA Monthly Cycles Report will be released this week! Every issue provides an intermediate-term investors’ and near-term traders’ outlook for the U.S. stock market, Gold, Silver, Copper, Treasuries, Euro Currency, Crude Oil, and Soybeans. Each issue also contains MMA’s original geocosmic critical reversal dates (CRDs) and Solar/Lunar reversal dates over the next several weeks for DJIA, Gold, and Silver, complete with trading strategies for position traders during the next month. We are pleased to welcome Pouyan Zolfagharnia as our Silver analyst, joining Matthieu Kaiser as our newly appointed analyst for Copper. Ray Merriman will continue his in-depth analysis of the DJIA, the S&P, and Gold. Gianni di Poce will continue his analysis of T-Notes, Crude Oil, and Soybeans, and Ulric Aspegren will continue his analysis of the Euro as we each look at the prospects for the New Year. This is shaping up to be a favorable year for trading as we expect equities to perform mostly in a wide congestion zone, looking for direction, much like the U.S. Congress being trapped in a period of gridlock. This will make the awareness of geocosmic and cyclical critical reversal zones identified by our market timing studies more important (and valuable) than usual. If you are not a subscriber to the monthly MMA Cycles Report and would like a copy of MMA’s outlook for financial markets, consider trying the January issue for only $35. 

NOTE 2: The audiobook of the abridged edition of Forecast 2023 is now available. Click here to order this abridged edition for only $19.95, or $13.96 if you are an Audible member, or for one credit (no cost) if you have earned Audible credits. Narrated by astrologer Thomas Miller (he does an excellent job!), this audiobook is 5 hours and 34 minutes. It covers all sections of the Forecast Book except the financial markets and the geocosmic calendar and ephemeris in the back of the book. It is an excellent way to listen to the major geocosmic trends underway that are affecting the entire world and nation. When you go to the audible website linked here, click on the book cover > sample > to hear the introduction. ORDER NOW and load it onto your phone to listen to while you are working out or just taking a walk. It’s a great way to get prepared for the New Year! 

 NOTE 3: FORECAST 2023 – THE BOOK – is completed In both the print and eBook (English) versions. If you live in the U.S., you should have received it by now. If you live overseas, the actual delivery depends on your postal service.

The price for the printed edition of Forecast 2023 is $66 as long as supplies last. We are down to the last 1-1/2 boxes. Last year’s book sold out, so order now before they are gone. There will be no additional printings. The price for the eBook edition will remain $55, and will continue to be available even if the printed edition sells out.

This year’s printed and eBook versions of the full Forecast 2023 Book will also be available in these languages:

German: or email at



NOTE 4: Trends for the Twelve Signs 2023 is now available at as an eBook in English and German!!!. Click here to order from Amazon. We are still waiting for the audiobook via to become available, DUE ANY DAY NOW. There are a lot of excellent sun sign books available each year. However, we don’t think you will find a more insightful and well thought-out book dedicated to the yearly trends for the twelve individual sun signs than this one. It is, in our opinion, the finest of all the 2023 sun sign books. Period. The book, Trends for the Twelve Signs 2023, is written by Antonia Langsdorf-Merriman and Raymond Merriman and is also available directly through MMA, print or eBook edition. The format of this year’s book covers the outlook for health, relationships, business, career, finances, and overall psychological factors of each sign for the year. It includes specific birthdates that are affected by the major geocosmic transits within and to each sign. The cost of this unique book is $25-30 (eBook versus print edition), with a further discount if ordered together with the Forecast 2023 Book. 

NOTE 5: TUNE INTO MMA’S WEEKLY YouTube Channel on the geocosmic climate related to financial markets hosted by MMTA Educational Director Gianni Di Poce. These 5-15 minute video presentations 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 announcements when each geocosmic market review is ready for viewing! To view this week’s MMA YouTube episode, click here. 


January 6, 2023, 8 PM EST: MMA CHINA WEBINAR FORECAST 2023 WEBINAR! That is TONIGHT! Financial markets review for the China SSE stock index, Gold, Crude Oil, DJIA and Bitcoin. Topics to be covered will include the four most highlighted geocosmic time bands for trend reversal through July for many financial markets; the importance of the outer planets changing signs 2023-2025; the significance of Pluto crossing the Jupiter/Saturn “supercharged degree” 5 times in 2023-2024; war versus Renaissance cycles coming up; plus the financial markets listed above and questions asked by participants ahead of time. Send your questions to Cost is $55. Understand that this will be a 2-3-hour webinar and will include translation into Chinese from English. You will hear both languages (English first, then Chinese). To register, click here. If you are unable to attend this webinar, recordings will be available by Monday for the same price.

January 21, 2023, Noon , PST: “Outer Planet Shifts in 2023: Crash or Book” with Gianni di Poce on Zoom  for the Astrology University. Cost is $30.00. To register, click here. 

February 19, 2023, 1:15 PM EST: The Annual Worldwide Webinar and Address on Forecast 2023 with Raymond Merriman. Save the Date! Starts at 11:15 AM, MST, which is 1:15 PM EST, 6:15 PM GMT, 7:15 PM CET. It will be very early in the morning in Australia, Beijing and Tokyo. In the comfort of your own home or office, you can tune into Raymond Merriman’s annual worldwide Forecast 2023 Webinar. This broadcast will address themes from this year’s Forecast 2023 Book, with updates on financial markets since the book was written in November 2022, including the U.S. stock market, Gold, Silver, Crude Oil and Bitcoin. Cost is $55.00, and includes the slides of the presentation, plus access to the video recording of the event. Questions will be answered that are submitted one week before the event if they are deemed of interest to the overall audience. If you are unable to attend live, the video recording will be available the following day. To register, click here. 

March 18, 2023: The third MMTA (Merriman Market Timing Academy) since 2013 will commence. This two-year educational and training experience will change your life and how you view financial markets. Yes, the course is challenging, but it is also very exciting and fun! With this course, you will know where the market is at any given interval of time, and the trading or investing strategy to employ. These 8 courses consist of 6-7 zoom meetings (100+ hours of live instruction and interaction with instructors Ray Merriman and Gianni di Poce, including review and preview of current markets each session) over a two-year period, on Saturdays (noon, EST), with 1-2 month breaks in between each course. That is, you will be in 2-hour Saturday sessions 18 weeks/year, two in-person, live weekends, all over a two year period (March 2023-September 2024), plus one additional voluntary review session for each test after every course. There is nothing else as comprehensive in the field of market timing as this program available anywhere! It covers MMA’s market timing methodology for long-term and intermediate-term investing, plus position and aggressive short-term trading. Please note: This will be the last 2-year MMTA program taught by Ray Merriman. Cost is $2500/course, with a discount if registering for the full two-year program. Applications for enrollment will begin January 18 and will be limited to 40 full-time students (last time we had to turn applicants away). Enrollment includes an interview prior to acceptance. Below are just a couple of the many comments received from MMTA 2 graduates. More to come.

“My perspective on the markets, and perhaps life, have changed dramatically since being gifted the privilege of joining MMTA2.  I am extremely grateful for having been given the opportunity to learn directly from you.” – Kyle M, MMTA2 graduate, North Carolina, programmer, trader, and high school math teacher.

Attached is my final research project on the cotton market…as always critiques are welcomed!!  Doing these research projects and really dissecting the cotton market during this course has allowed me to trade cotton very successfully over the last year.  It is extremely rewarding to do the work and then to watch it unfold according to plan.” – Wyatt F, Wisconsin, MMTA2 graduate, Owner of large family farm operation, and now an MMA analyst.

Thank you for all your help through MMTA2, it was one of the best things I have ever done.” – Renato R, Australia, MMTA graduate.

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.