Hotter Than July

My laptop seems to be withstanding temperatures of close to 100 degrees (I know that’s cool compared to the temps our troops are facing in Iraq), but my brain has turned to mush. I’ll also admit to being stunned by the events in the financial markets this week — the run on IndyMac Bank, mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac being bailed out by the Fed, Google missing its earnings forecasts, and General Motors cutting its dividend in half, to name just a few.

Interesting that a bank with “Indy” in its name failed while the asteroid Indiana is traveling close to Neptune, the planet of dissolution. For more about the asteroid Indiana, please see https://astrologymundo.wordpress.com/2008/05/23/bringing-back-the-glory-days-of-the-indy-500/

Closer to home, several tech-savvy colleagues were let go at my day job, while less accomplished performers get to stay on. The unfairness of it floors me.

Being a Cancer Moon, I respond to unsettling news by getting out my well-thumbed Louisana cookbooks and cooking, heat be damned. You haven’t lived until you’ve tasted Cajun deviled eggs, which rely on sweet relish, deviled ham, and mustard instead of mayo, and are topped with a pimiento-stuffed olive and a sprinkling of paprika. The recipe comes from Terry Thompson’s Cajun Creole Cooking.

What I love about cooking is predictability. Sure, there are disasters every now and then, but basically if you follow the directions, you get what is promised in the picture. If only life were so simple!

If you want to get really depressed, read Jim Kunstler’s post on Wile E. Coyote Nation: http://jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/

Meanwhile, I’m off to the farmers’ market, another cure for anything that ails me. I’m too scared right now to read Ray Merriman’s weekly post.

Merc Retrograde: Back to the Future

Mercury doesn’t actually go retrograde until Monday, May 26, but I’m already noticing wire stories on Yahoo! about revivals and re-issues. This should be particularly noticeable over the weekend as Mercury makes a station in preparation for its backward journey.

Mercury retrograde favors everything that has the prefix “re,” so it’s interesting that’s it’s happening on Memorial Day when we REmember the dead. Don’t be surprised if you REcall something you promised to do but didn’t or REdiscover some lost objects.

Here are a couple of revival stories that I’ve seen so far in the past two days: Farberge will make its first jewel-encrusted egg since 1917. Here’s the link to that story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080523/lf_nm_life/faberge_egg_dc

Yesterday, there were stories moving about General Motors’ retro version of the Camaro, which will be part of its 2010 lineup. This piece of news was near and dear to my heart because I once owned a 1977 Camaro. It was the first new car that I ever bought. Prior to that, I owned a 1966 Mustang, which I purchased used.

Here’s a story on the success of retro cars, including Ford’s Mustang, which was revived for the 2005 model year and has been selling well ever since:

 http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/business/s_567928.html?source=rss&feed=4

The rule of thumb in journalism is that you need three things to make a trend. The third revival item I’ve seen is not a product; it’s a decline in driving. The government reports that highway miles driven by Americans fell for the first time in March since 1979. Here’s the story: http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080523/us_nm/usa_driving_data_dc;_ylt=Alg_.IdY9KtXDZL4Vt_oSUEDW7oF

The last trend has more to do with Saturn in Virgo than with Merc retro, but it’s interesting that we’re hearing about it on the Merc station.  As most readers know, Saturn, the planet of restriction, entered thrifty Virgo last Labor Day. The last time it was there was from 1978-81.

With Mercury retro in Gemini until June 19, it’s a good time to sort through your paperwork and mail things that you’ve been promising to send people. Neptune is also going retrograde this weekend in Aquarius. Once I get back home to Beacon, N.Y., I have to send out a bunch of photos (Neptune rules photography) to a friend’s sister, who is assembling a collage for a 50th birthday party.

I’m also going to my husband’s chiropractor right now to pick up paperwork that must be faxed to the insurance company so we can get reimbursed for out-of-pocket payments that we’ve made. (Neptune also rules medicine.)

Speaking for myself,  this particular retrograde is about mailing and faxing paper, not transmitting information electronically. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put your computerized files in order.

In the words of tech investment banker Frank Quattrone: “Clean up your e-mail!” The feds tried to nail him on obstruction-of-justice charges for that directive, but after an extended legal battle that included a hung jury, he reached a deal that allowed him to remain in the industry and stay out of jail. Quattrone’s a hero of mine because he kept on fighting until he won. Normally, I’m not a champion of alleged white-collar criminals but I was won over by Quattrone’s moxie and persistence.

The News from UAC: Don’t Write Off Detroit Just Yet

General Motors may have lost $3.25 billion in the first quarter, but financial astrologer Ray Merriman thinks GM and other U.S. automakers can get back in the fast lane with hybrids and electric cars.

Merriman told the United Astrology Conference in Denver that he’s optimistic about the prospects for vehicles that use alternative sources of energy such as GM’s concept car, the Volt, a plug-in hybrid. “Detroit is stepping to the forefront. …It’s change or die,” said Merriman in his May 17 presentation on green investing opportunities.

Merriman bases his forecast on his theory that once Uranus moves out of Pisces and into Aries in 2010, new forms of energy will become commercially viable replacements for gasoline. While many in the astrological community have focused on the relationship between the planet Neptune and crude oil, Merriman thinks energy is ruled by Uranus.

It’s interesting that GM’s Volt is currently scheduled to come on the market in 2010, just as the innovative planet of Uranus in moving into the pioneering sign of Aries. So tell those real estate brokers in Grosse Pointe and other upscale Detroit suburbs where hundreds of homes are up for sale that Motown may not become a ghost town after all. The Motor City just has to hang in there for a couple more years, if Merriman’s predictions are right.

It’s worth noting that Merriman could be guilty of looking at Detroit’s future with rose-colored glasses because he lives in the area, but the business press is also anticipating the release of GM’s revolutionary Volt. Here’s an article about GM’s green push that’s on the cover of this week’s BusinessWeek.

Merriman admits that other countries in Europe and Asia are ahead of the U.S. in developing alternative energy systems, but he says, “it seems America is finally catching on.” Once Americans get on board the green bandwagon, the entire mindset of the planet will change and “outstanding investment opportunities” will present themselves, according to Merriman.

The fear of an impending crisis currently gripping the planet is due to a series of oppositions between Saturn and the outer planets that began unfolding in 2001, Merriman says. That’s when Saturn opposed Pluto. Next up was the Saturn/Neptune opposition of 2006-2007. Then it’s on to this year’s Saturn/Uranus opposition, which will continue until 2010.

In previous periods in history when there has been a triple Saturn opposition (1827-34, 1862-75, 1965-72), U.S. and British stocks posted a 46% decline by the end of the period, Merriman said. 

He zeroed in on the so-called Cardinal Climax, a powerful T-square where Pluto in Capricorn is the midpoint of an opposition between Saturn in Libra and Uranus in Aries, which culminates on Aug. 1, 2010. While he didn’t specify exactly what kind of event he is expecting, he said, “We may crack, but we won’t break. The storm can lead to a stronger structure to go forward. …Creation always wins over destruction.”

In the meantime, as I noted in an earlier post, Merriman is expecting crude oil to hit a high of $144 a barrel, give or take $8, possibly in the coming week, as Jupiter in Capricorn sextiles Uranus in Pisces. However, he expects oil to decline by $30 to $40 a barrel by the fall.  “Our addiction to crude oil is killing us, but new energy sources are coming….Innovation is taking us into a brighter future.”

Sounds like there may be a few potholes along the way.

To read more about Merriman’s forecast, click his name on my blogroll.     

Ratan Tata (Still) Rising

Ratan Tata, chairman of the $50 billion Indian conglomerate Tata Group, has been all over the news lately, with Pluto and Jupiter in Capricorn magnifying the billionaire industrialist’s Capricorn sun.

On Mar. 26, Tata Motors, one of his many ventures, agreed to acquire British car brands Jaguar and Land Rover from Ford Motor for $2.3 billion. This is sweet revenge, indeed. The Indians are buying the operations of their former rulers, the Brits.

As high profile as this acquisition is, it’s just a footnote to Tata Motors’ Jan. 10 launch of the $2,500 Nano, a “people’s car” that will get thousands of Indians off their bicycles and motor bikes and into cars. Concerns that safety might be an issue with a price tag that low and the prospect of thousands and possibly millions more cars on the nation’s already clogged roads didn’t dampen the enthusiasm about the Nano’s launch at the New Delhi auto show.

Tata Motors trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol TTM.  You can look at the chart for the stock and see company financials here: http://investing.businessweek.com/research/stocks/snapshot/snapshot.asp?symbol=TTM If the Mar. 26 trading session is any indication, Wall Street is skeptical that Tata Motors can make money on Jaguar and Land Rover, something Ford wasn’t able to do consistently.

Tata Motors isn’t the only part of the Tata empire that has been grabbing headlines lately. The other is Tata Consultancy Services. TCS is a leading player among Indian’s outsourcing shops, which handle back-office operations, customer service, and increasingly software design for many Western companies. TCS is one of the Indian companies that has been scrutinized by Congress for its use of H-1B visas. Foes of this visa program claim that it’s being used unfairly to replace American workers. 

Ratan Tata was born in Mumbai on Dec. 28, 1937. From the looks of his Wiki bio, he had an unhappy childhood, not unusual for a Capricorn. The many hours spent alone are used to map out the plan for world domination. Think I’m kidding? I’m not. One of my favorite axioms about Caps is that they come out of the womb with a “to-do list a mile long.” That’s not mine, but I can’t give credit because I don’t remember where I read it.

Already one of the world’s wealthiest men, Tata shows no signs of slowing down even though he just celebrated his 70th birthday. Somewhere in India there’s an astrologer or two who knows the time of Ratan Tata’s birth. Maybe in this Internet age we live in, someone will e-mail me Ratan Tata’s birth time or post a comment to my site.

In the meantime, I’m going to do my back-of-the-envelope calculations with the help of Astrodienst and say that Ratan Tata is a Sagittarius rising and that his chart ruler, Jupiter in Aquarius, sits in the second house of earned income. It’s square Uranus in Taurus, which opposes Moon in Scorpio.

I’m guessing he was born around 5:35 a.m because that would give him a MC/IC of 19 Virgo/Pisces, where he’s got a Neptune/Saturn opposition. I think Uranus at 19 degrees of Pisces is lighting up the Neptune/Saturn opposition, allowing him to make major breakthroughs, i.e. the Nano and the Jaguar/Land Rover deal.

Even if I’m wrong about the birth time, it doesn’t change his Sun/Mercury conjunction in Capricorn, which sextiles Moon in Scorpio and sextiles Mars in Pisces. This is a very energetic guy, and women play an important part in his life.  Here’s the chart: http://www.astro.com/cgi/chart.cgi?rs=3;btyp=w2gw;cid=41laaaa19347-s971800598;nhor=189;nho2=189

Ratan Tata’s got some challenges coming up, with the Saturn/Uranus conjunction in Virgo/Pisces this November and further down the road with the big cardinal grand cross in 2010. I don’t think the safety concerns about the Nano are going away anytime soon.

If I were Ratan Tata, I might mark June 26, 2010 on my calendar. That’s the day of a lunar eclipse at 4 degrees of Capricorn that is conjunct Pluto and activates a grand cross involving the Sun, Mercury, Jupiter, Uranus, the Moon, and Saturn — all within 5 degrees of the world axis at 0 degrees of the cardinal signs — Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn. With his Sun at 5 degrees of Cap, Tata’s chart will be lit up like a Christmas tree by this eclipse.

That’s a lot of squares, but squares produce action. Maybe 2010 will be when Tata Motors acquires General Motors or Chrysler. In the case of the latter, Cerberus Capital Management might be ready to unload it by then.

Speaking of Cerberus, why would a private investment firm name itself after the creature who guarded the gates to Hades? Is it because they make life a living hell for the workers at the companies they acquire? I hope not.