Stocks fell on Friday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average posting its worst weekly loss since October, as traders worried the Federal Reserve could start raising rates sooner than expected…. the Fed on Wednesday added two rate hikes to its 2023 forecast and increased its inflation projection for the year, putting pressure on stock prices. – Yun Li and Tamaya Macheel, “Dow Falls More Than 500 Points to Close Out Its Worst Week Since October,”, June 18, 2021.

It feels like something just shifted. It wouldn’t be surprising given that we just finished the second passage of Saturn square Uranus, which is symbolic of a giant shift. Did the earth just wobble?

With the Fed’s surprise announcement last Wednesday, June 16, and the resultant decline in many financial and commodity markets, it is very tempting to think an important high is in with stocks. It fits well with the study of cycles, where the time band for a 16-month cycle low is in effect for many global stock indices. It also fits very well with geocosmic studies, as last week witnessed the second passage of the Saturn/Uranus waning square on June 14. A number of stock indices put in new all-time highs around that geocosmic event last week, only to see much of their gains wiped out by Friday’s close. We are finally seeing the volatility suggested by the Saturn/Uranus square.

However, this sudden change in the Fed’s projection of higher rates in two years is also happening under Mercury (the “Trickster”) retrograde, with both Jupiter and Neptune about to turn retrograde too, June 20 and 25. As suggested last week, you cannot believe anything you read, see, or hear under these cosmic conditions. With Jupiter and Neptune highlighted and Saturn in a square aspect to Uranus, predictions are apt to be very wild, with dramatic calls for extremes in … everything, from markets, to politics, to the economy, and central banks. Jupiter and Neptune’s penchant for complacency and over-optimism can quickly turn to hysteria and panic. In other words, what we are witnessing in human behavior right now is so reflective of what is occurring in the heavens that it is nothing short of amazing to those who study this correlation. This column alerted readers that June 10-July 8 would be a crazy and wild period. The cosmos is living up to its hype.

So, let’s review last week’s Fed-induced market carnage within the context of the one week following the solar eclipse and midpoint of Mercury retrograde on June10, in mutable signs. Both Mercury and the solar eclipse (Sun and Moon) were in square aspect to Neptune in Pisces (i.e., the beginning of our “Mutable Madness” zone). The last week can  definitely be referred to as “market madness.” A number of world stock indices soared to new all-time or multi-year highs, including the S&P, NASDAQ, Netherlands AEX, German DAX, Swiss SMI, Australian ASX, and India’s Nifty. Even the London FTSE reached its highest mark since the crash of March 2020.

In most cases, these and other global stock markets fell hard after Wednesday’s announcement by the Fed, and they ended the week on a sour note. The DJIA, for instance, was down 533 points on Friday, its lowest level since April 1. It has now declined six weeks from its all-time high on May 10. But, in acknowledgment of Mercury retrograde’s tendency for unusual behavior, the NASDAQ made a new all-time high on Thursday, June 17, at 14,190 and closed the week only 160 points off that high. The DJIA looks like a shipwreck. The  NASDAQ looks like a lunch break.

The damage from the Fed’s surprise was much worse in Gold and Silver. Gold fell to 1761 on Friday, June 18. One week ago, it was trading above 1900. Silver fell to 25.77, a level not seen since April 29. One week ago, it was testing 28.50. The alarm at higher interest rates two years from now was also evident in currency markets. The Euro currency plunged, and the U.S. Dollar rallied sharply to a two-month high. Keep in mind that all of this drama is happening under the Trickster’s watch. Crude Oil made a new high last week and Bitcoin showed signs of life again into early last week, but also weakened on the Fed’s Mercury retrograde comments (but not actions) which are unlikely to be realized as given.


Jan. 6 was merely the physical expression of a longtime fact, that the vandals had already arrived and were wearing congressional pins. Peggy Noonan, “Why We Can’t Move on From January 6,” Wall Street Journal, June 12-12, 2021.

President Biden told reporters Wednesday he gave President Vladimir Putin a list of 16 critical infrastructure entities that are “off limits” to a Russian cyberattack. – Morgan Phillips, “Biden Gives Putin List of 16 Critical Infrastructure Entities ‘Off Limits’ to Cyberattacks,”,

Sometimes I feel like a ghost and what I am experiencing is not the real world.

The fact that our government representatives (especially Republicans) aren’t horrified enough to do a full investigation and accountability of the Jan 6 insurrection is …mind-boggling. The abundance of apathy on the part of government leaders (specially Republicans) to agree to do anything about it and hold those responsible seems unbelievable if not reprehensible.

The fact that the U.S. President (Biden, a Democrat) would spell out to the Russian President (Putin) 16 critical infrastructure entities “off limits” to cyber-attacks – and then announce it publicly for all (hackers of the world) to see – is also beyond belief, especially when (as of yet) there has been no substantiated proof (only allegations) that Putin had any influence in the recent cyber-attacks. Why not just send an invitation to all the hackers of the world (as well as Putin, if he is interested) announcing that “If you really want to hurt us, this is what you should go after.”

These two recent events just don’t bode well for a nation that is beginning its Pluto return. Pluto represents a huge transformation, a “death and rebirth,” an “ending and new beginning” situation. However, if not handled well, there may not be a rebirth or new beginning. In many instances, a serious Pluto experience is simply terminal, as in “the end of the matter.” History tells us that experiments in democracies tend to 1) end badly and 2) not last more than 200 years. America is already past that marker. As a side note, the Saturn/Neptune conjunction in 2026 may also mark the end of the current cycle in Russia’s existence too. The Great Bear is also coming up for a “death and rebirth” experience, but from the view of Saturn and  Neptune, which may not be the result of reform so much as decay and lack of preparation for change.

But let’s return to the economy and financial markets. The Fed announced that they will now consider raising rates two times in – believe it or not – late 2023. The markets gasped. Yet, that’s more than two years away. Fed Chair Powell might not even be the head of the Fed then. And yet the market behaved like this pronouncement is carved in stone. It is not. Mercury, for one, is retrograde. Decisions made under the Trickster’s retrograde are more likely to be altered, revised, or dropped altogether. For another, Jupiter and Neptune are turning retrograde this week, which is a dynamic consistent with over-reaction. With Jupiter, everything is exaggerated. With Neptune, the imagination can run wild and forget the importance of logic and facts. The fact is that last week’s announcement was just words. It was not new action. In fact, there was no change in policy, just words that it will (read, “may”) raise rates in two years. Yes, and in two years I may decide to have another child. Yet under these cosmic conditions, such words are not likely to stand over time without revision, modification, or just plain abandonment. Do not count on two more rate hikes to begin in late 2023, any more than you believed the prior announcement that there would be no new rate hikes (and no serious concerns about inflation) for three years.

This week is also important because Mercury will end its 24-day retrograde cycle on Tuesday, June 22. With three planets changing their direction this week, more market reversals are possible. We also start a new season with the summer solstice this Sunday, on June 20, followed by a full moon on June 24. Change is in the air, and certainly in the financial and currency markets.

It is still likely to be wild and crazy through July 9. I think I may feel like a ghost for a few more days, observing unbelievable events and seemingly unreal decisions. With Jupiter in Pisces, this is the time to remember universal principles, like “everyone tries to do the best they can.” But as a ghost, I really know better than to believe anything I read, see, or hear these days. Actions speak louder than words. So, I am wondering out here in the ether lands: did the markets just shift and was that a gong I heard? 


NOTE 1: The June-July issue of the ICRs (International Cycles Reports) will be released this week, June 21-22. 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.


JUNE 19-JULY 31: A SEVEN-WEEK COURSE ON “GEOCOSMIC CORRELATIONS TO TRADING CYCLES” starts this Saturday, June 19, at 1 PM Eastern Time via Zoom. Class is filled.

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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.