Headline inflation in Japan rose to 3.3 percent in June, outpacing the US figure for the first time in eight years and underscoring how Asia’s most advanced economy is no longer an outlier in global inflation. This increases the pressure on the Bank of Japan, which meets next week and faces calls from investors to unwind its ultra-loose monetary policy. Japan remains the world’s only central bank with negative interest rates, and any reversal of this strategy would have massive implications for global financial markets. – Kana Inagaki, “Japan’s Inflation Outpaces US Price Rises for First Time in 8 Years,” Financial Times, July 21, 2023.

Where would you like to start with the power-packed lineup of Level 1 geocosmic signatures that culminate this weekend? One source we would highly recommend for an in-depth analysis and timing of several financial markets likely to be affected would be the 4-hour recording of our July 16 Annual Mid-Year 2023 Webinar on Financial Markets. It is now available (see comments below in the Announcements).

We could start with Venus retrograde this Saturday, July 22. We identified this powerful geocosmic signature several years ago as an indicator of major policy changes by central banks of the world, which in turn have a direct effect on interest-rate related markets such as currencies and Treasuries. As noted in the quote above by the Financial Times, Japan’s latest inflation report shows prices rising faster than expected – finally! Now what will the Bank of Japan do? Will they start to hike after so many years of negative rates? Under Venus retrograde, that’s possible.

An interesting factoid is that Venus goes retrograde approximately every 19 months, or five times in eight years. And every fifth time (8th year), it happens in the same sector of the signs. When you connect those five points, it forms an almost perfect pentagram in the charts. This time it occurs in Leo, which last happened in the summer of 2015 (eight years ago). During that last passage, China re-pegged its currency vis-à-vis the U.S. Dollar, which stunned global financial markets. Japan and its central bank may be on the verge of causing similar disruptions in the global currencies markets, not to mention the escalating discussion on the possible launch of a new Gold-backed BRICS currency to compete with the U.S. Dollar for world trade transactions. So far, the currency markets have reacted very tamely to the announcement. But then again, Venus is just beginning its 42-day retrograde cycle. Like Mercury retrograde, we can expect to see whipsaws and fake outs, especially since Venus will make three passes of a waxing square aspect with Uranus (the planet of disruptions, surprises, and sudden reversals), between July and September.

Venus retrograde is not the only super-charged aspect occurring now. Mars (anger) in Virgo (workforce) has a correspondence with labor strikes. It is forming an opposition to Saturn (grievances, complaints) in Pisces (the film and entertainment world) right now, on July 20. Hollywood’s going on strike! I don’t think the world has a sense of how serious this might be. The world has never taken Hollywood seriously. This may be the lot of Pisces in general. But there is some serious money to be lost here, as well as serious cultural activities that could be lost for an extended amount of time that could make the next several months, or even years, a little more depressing than otherwise might be the case. It’s a possible turn that Saturn in Pisces could follow. With Venus retrograde also in Leo, we may be spending a lot of time watching reruns of movies we loved once upon a time. Venus retrograde in Leo likes nostalgia, going back in time when life was fun and enjoyable. Mars in Virgo, opposite Saturn in Pisces, on the other hand, is shaping up to be a “buzzkill” for movie lovers as well as movie stars, movie producers, and anyone connected to the U.S. film industry.

And then there is Barbie. Interesting that possibly the last big blockbuster movie of 2023 has to do with a walk down memory lane for millions of mothers and children, just as Venus goes retrograde in the children’s sign of Leo.


The Federal Reserve hopes a new, faster-payments system will let U.S. bank customers send and receive money almost instantly, but it could be years before the speedier network gains widespread traction. The Fed said Thursday it launched its long-awaited FedNow system, which is intended to allow bill payments, paychecks and other common consumer or business transfers to be available quickly and around the clock. That is a change from the existing, slower system that is closed on weekends and can, at times, take several days before consumers can access their funds. – Andrew Ackerman, “Fed Launches Payments System That Will Deliver Paychecks to Bank Accounts in a Flash,” Wall Street Journal, July 20, 2023.

What goes up…
Must come down…
What goes ’round…
Must come ’round…
What’s been lost…
Must be found…

                Lyrics from the Alan Parsons Project, “What Goes Up…” 1978, Arista

Venus retrograde also finds the Fed implementing its new FedNow system. One has to wonder if all the bugs have been worked out as it launches under Venus retrograde, plus the Mars/Saturn and Sun/Pluto opposition, as well as Jupiter semi-square Neptune. None of these signatures offers a sense of “readiness,” for each has its own history of challenges when it comes to operating something smoothly. With Mars/Saturn, there is a feeling of frustration that something is trying to launch before it is actually ready. With the Sun/Pluto, there is often the threat of danger, where there should be safety precautions in place. With Jupiter/Neptune comes a tendency to be overly optimistic and also careless where details are involved. We may “wish” for something to work as intended (although many see a dark side to this and wish it not to work, a natural response with Pluto’s involvement). But reality may have other ideas than for a wish to come true.

As far as world stock indices go, the Jupiter/Neptune semi-square on July 21 is a dynamic that often correlates to irrational exuberance or hysteria. Right now, it is the former for world equity markets, many of which enjoyed a very gainful week. The DJIA, S&P, and NASDAQ all soared to new yearly highs late last week, right into this powerful geocosmic time band where sentiment and expectations can “turn on a dime,” as we say in America.

Gold and Silver also enjoyed strong rallies. Gold’s rally reached a new cycle high of 1989 on July 20, well up from its low of 1900 on MMA’s last three-star CRD of June 29. Silver soared to 25.47, also on Thursday, July 20, up from its recent low of 22.14 on June 23. Crude Oil is testing its highest level since late April, closing near $77/barrel. Bitcoin was down most of the week, off its yearly high of 31,827 on July 13. It is ending the week slightly below 30,000. But the bigger story was – or will be – in the currency markets. The Euro made a new yearly high of 1.1275 last week, but the Japanese Yen started falling sharply at the end of last week even as inflation ramped up beyond expectations, suggesting that BOJ may have to consider raising rates to support its currency (and fight inflation), but so far nobody is buying it.

It’s going to be an interesting six weeks as Venus turns retrograde now, especially as it squares Uranus a second time on August 9, right near the midpoint of its retrograde cycle. Venus is the planet of expectations but is also known to be indecisive when expectations are not realized. Retrogrades are known for reversing decisions. What do you do when expectations aren’t met, you are indecisive, and you think you should reverse previous decisions, but you feel paralyzed to act because you don’t want to make another mistake? You freeze. You use disclaimers and qualifiers for everything you say, thus confusing people as to what you really mean. This is the challenge for the Fed coming up, and probably other central banks, too.

One thing everyone might want to remember these next few weeks is to not get too fixated on a particular expectation of how things will work out because chances are those expectations will not manifest as expected – in work, love, or markets. Enjoy the moment, the now, as it offers much entertainment and the possibility of fun and enjoyment. But be careful of getting too attached to “next.” With Jupiter semi-square Neptune, Mars opposite Saturn, and the Sun opposite Pluto, bubbles can burst, and heads can spin.


 NOTE 1: MMA’s Annual Mid-Year 2023 Webinar was awesome! Many felt it was MMA’s best webinar ever! The recording of this event, which took place on July 16, is now available.

 The webinar lasted 4 hours, our longest ever, probably because we had four presenters plus several interesting questions from attendees that were answered. There were more subjects and markets covered than usual as well, including Ray Merriman’s overview of the geocosmic climate corresponding to current world events and future socio-political trends. Additionally, Ray shared his cyclical outlook for the U.S. stock market, Gold, Silver, and Bitcoin. Gianni Di Poce provided excellent insights into Treasuries, the Euro currency, and Crude Oil, while first-time presenters Matthieu Kaiser and Wyatt Fellows presented exceptional cycle studies and projections on Copper and Soybeans. Ray also delved into three major geocosmic time bands in effect the second half of this year – including the Venus retrograde period of July 21-September 3 and the Sun/Mars conjunction in Scorpio opposing both Jupiter and Uranus in Taurus this November. To order the recording of this amazing event, click here. The cost is $55 and includes a copy of the slides that were used (which were also awesome – see some of the comments below).

Today’s webcast was extraordinary! The graphics are superior including the background in your presentation; adding Gianni, Matthieu, and Wyatt takes it to the next level. –Richard B, trader, Albuquerque, NM

This was a super-great webinar! Thank you! Barbara G, investor.

Bonjour Ray! loved the Zoom today.. loved the pix and content!! V.F.

Thank you! You Folks are Awesome! Beth W, North Carolina

I thought your recent webinar may have been the best ever. I contacted the people I recommended it to, and they loved it as well. Great job! Garrett Jones, Observations market letter and author, CA.

NOTE 2: THE JULY ISSUE OF THE MMA Monthly Cycles Report Plus+, edited by Pouyan Zolfagharnia, will be issued this week. Pouyan has done some intensive new studies on Crude Oil that he will share in this month’s report! His 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 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 July copy of the MMA Cycles Report and the June MMA Cycles Report Plus+ addendum coming out this week. For further information and ordering instructions, please click here.

 NOTE 3: The MMA Monthly Grain Report by MMTA Graduate Wyatt Fellows will also be issued this week, on Saturday, July 29, a little later than announced previously due to wheat harvesting. 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, and Soybeans. The MMA Monthly 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! To order, click here.

 NOTE 4: The MMA Monthly 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. For further information, click 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. There will be a slew of special guests coming up in the next month, so stay tuned for announcements via our Twitter feed. You may subscribe to MMA’s YouTube Channel today at no cost and get alerted when a new weekly episode is released! William Stickevers, Crypto Analyst and Mundane Astrologer will be Gianni’s special guest on this week’s MMA YouTube episode. click here

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


August 26, 2023 – October 7, 2023: “Solar/Lunar Correlations For Short-Term Trading.” 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 is a six-week course, 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 will go over 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. We will describe the set up that activates the trade in these time bands, and supporting market signals to help with 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 2-1/2 -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 7. 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.


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.