Venus Direct: Is the Rally Over?

I don’t know how often Monica’s Admirer checks in at Astrology Mundo, but I wasn’t surprised to see today’s 289-point drop in the stock market.

Why? Well, Venus turned direct on Apr. 17 and during its retrograde, stocks staged a rally. So it’s a good possibility now that Venus is moving forward from the perspective of earthlings that the rally will run out of steam.

I’m not the only one subscribing to this school of thought. Check out Ray Merriman’s post for this week.

Another reason why stocks may be resuming their descent is that the Sun has moved into Taurus, which is the sign of the New York Stock Exchange incorporation chart. That in and of itself is not a bearish indicator. It’s just that the Sun is moving toward a square with Neptune and Jupiter in Aquarius in the sky.

As Merriman points out, the combination of Neptune and Jupiter can be quite inflationary, but I think the challenging aspect from the Sun will make this a negative influence on stocks. Stay tuned.

As I’ve often pointed out, I’m not a registered investment adviser and this blog is for entertainment purposes only. I also bought my house at the top of the market in August 2005, so my financial acumen is clearly limited.

More Sad Guys on Trading Floors


This photo of “blurry letters” at the New York Stock Exchange comes from one of my favorite photo blogs, Sad Guys on Trading Floors.

Astrology aficionados out there will recognize the resonance between blurry letters and Neptune squaring the Sun of the Big Board incorporation chart, also known as the Buttonwood Tree agreement chart.

Blizzard Hits Big Board

Stay away from the corner of Wall and Broad streets this week, my friends. The New York Stock Exchange incorporation chart is getting hit every which way. Transiting Neptune, Mercury, and Mars are hovering around the NYSE’s natal Pluto, which is at 23 degrees of Aquarius.

The transiting Aquarius trio is also making a square to the Big Board’s natal Sun and Mercury in the late degrees of Taurus. All in all, expect a bloodbath in the U.S. equity markets this week, with the possibility of circuit breakers being activated.

Full Moon in Taurus Nov. 13, 2008

Tomorrow’s full Moon at 21 degrees of Taurus makes a T-square to the Sun/Mercury/Mars lineup in Scorpio and the Aquarius stellium of Neptune, North Node, and Chiron in the sky. Expect further dissolution of hard assets.

I pointed this out back in September, but it bears repeating: This full Moon activates the inception chart of the New York Stock Exchange, so be ready for further damage in the equities market.

Indeed, the Dow Jones industrial average closed down 410 points, to the 8,283 level on Nov. 12, after Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced that under the $700 billion “mother of all bailouts,” the government will not purchase troubled assets after all.

Hey, remember how the Troubled Asset Relief Program, also known as TARP, was announced during a Mercury retrograde? No surprise that it’s being rejiggered, no doubt for the best.

On a personal level, this full Moon, which occurs at 1:19 a.m. Eastern time, could bring to fruition some new creative plan that you’ve been working on or the resolution of a real estate or business matter.

Mars in the last degrees of Scorpio is past an opposition to the full Moon, but it’s still within orb in my book. Upsetting information about debt or declining asset values could be revealed tonight.

You may not like what you see when you open up your portfolio statement for the month of October. Another scenario is that the local township has raised taxes on your house, even though it’s falling in value.

Raging Universe on Raging Markets

I was up into the wee hours of the morning at my day job, posting stories about the impending bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers, the hastily arranged merger between Merrill Lynch and Bank of America, and the “restructuring” of AIG.

I had planned to sleep until noon, but my curiosity got the better of me and I wanted to see how the markets would open at 9:30 a.m.

I’m awake, but too dazed to analyze why this is happening now. The financial turmoil seems to be coinciding with today’s full Harvest Moon at 5:13 a.m. Of course, the eclipse back in August squaring the New York Stock Exchange natal Sun was my signal to move to cash. Still, I didn’t think things were going to be quite as crazy as this.

Fortunately, Raging Universe has his wits about him. Here’s what he has to say about the Full Moon at 22 degrees of Pisces conjunct Uranus and the chaotic financial markets.

It’s interesting that Hurricane Ike hit Houston as the Sun in Virgo opposed Uranus at 20 degrees of Pisces. Now, financial commenters are calling the combination of last night’s financial events “Wall Street’s Perfect Storm.” Uranus in Pisces: hurricanes in Houston and on Wall Street.

If you’re looking for more intelligence on the Wall Street meltdown, check out my favorite finance maven, Barry Ritholtz, who blogs at The Big Picture.

The economist of the hour is Nouriel Roubini, who was on Bloomberg TV last night, predicting “disaster” for the U.S. financial system that “is going to get worse.” Why? Because we’re drowning in debt. (If you click on this TV interview with Roubini, be patient.)

I’ve blogged about Roubini, whom the press has dubbed “Dr. Doom,” which was also the moniker of famed economist Henry Kaufman the last time Saturn was in Virgo.

I hope that today’s Dr. Doom is being quite careful about what he says, because in this video here, he’s talking about the possibility of a run on U.S. banks. He’s encouraging Congress to immediately recapitalize the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., which insures deposits of up to $100,000. The danger of even saying something like this in today’s environment is that it will trigger a panic.

Why McCain Will Win: The View From Brazil

Sometimes I receive comments that are so well-researched that I decide to make them a post. This happened with Sasha during the Democratic National Convention and I’m going to do it now with Gian Paul, who has responded to Kimberly’s question about why he thinks John McCain will be the next U.S. President.

Kimberly, let me note that Gian Paul, a Swiss native now living in Brazil, confessed to not being familiar with the Keating Five, the 1980s scandal involving the U.S. savings and loan crisis that engulfed McCain. Bu since Gian Paul is working purely with natal charts and transits, I don’t think it matters.

Over to Gian Paul:

Kimberly, it is my pleasure to respond to you. My belief that John McCain will be elected on Nov. 4 is based on the candidates’ transits on that day. I am totally indifferent to who wins. This is because of my conviction that every nation at a given time in history gets exactly the government that it deserves.

Here, in Brazil, we have “Lula,” President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. In Switzerland, my country of origin, we always have seven people who form the government and, interestingly, the opposition usually is included.

Imagine if the U.S. had a similar system. You would have Barack Obama, Bill and Hillary Clinton, John McCain, and Sarah Palin (plus two others) making up your next government! That’s the Swiss way.

I have a special affinity with Neptune. Thus, I permit myself to imagine the sometimes unimaginable.

Now let’s talk astrology. Look at where Neptune will be on Nov. 4. Then consult the charts of Obama, Palin, and Vladimir Putin, whom I consider to be the “New Tsar” of Russia.

Two stand out: the charts of Palin and Putin. Forget McCain. Neptune leaves him tranquil on Election Day. My prediction is that he will be “sucked” into the White House like it or not.

What matters is that Palin gets to the spot that is “one heartbeat away from the Presidency.” And as I will hopefully prove, then history can freely run its course. Neptune, according to my longtime observations, is extremely influential in U.S. history. What’s more, two days before the Presidential election, the nebulous planet goes direct.
To follow my analysis, you also need the natal charts of the New York Stock Exchange (May 17, 1792 8:52 a.m. N.Y.) and what I consider to the “true horoscope” of the U.S. (July 6, 1775 11 a.m. Philadelphia).

On Nov. 4, Neptune transits Palin’s Sun. Soon thereafter, it reaches her Mars and then her Saturn. Obama will not receive any Neptunian influences until after the Inauguration (of the others, I predict). And then Neptune will be opposite his Uranus. Better that he not be President then.

As for Putin, on the U.S. Election Day, Neptune opposes exactly his Pluto. No small beer. (McCain can drink to that!)

On Nov. 4, Uranus opposite Saturn in the sky gets as close as it can to squaring the U.S. Sun while the transiting Sun exactly opposes the U.S. Uranus. Now that must be the change many are expecting.

Obama will be remembered for his prophetic skills. First, he predicts more of the Bush Administration (McCain no doubt has the qualifications for that), and second, he promises change. You will have it, folks. Just be a bit more patient. With Neptune in the picture, things tend to go not very fast…

The changes you always blessed Americans are subconsciously expecting are in the making and very visible already. The ice cap on the North Pole is rapidly melting away. Putin recently has made it clear that Russia will not ask for anyone’s permission to start drilling for oil up there. And Mother Nature appears to be obliging.

The New Tsar has a liking for sporty women. He recently married a gold medalist. And now, here comes Sarah the Moose Hunter.

Here’s another Neptunian insight: Sarah could be called “the surprise that came in from the cold.” Possibly even Old Man McCain was so surprised that he forgot the vetting process. So what? It’s all destiny anyway.

Now, as I am already on a speculative spree, let me suggest something really outrageous: How will the “lady that came in from the cold” react if the New Tsar one day declares that that the Old Tsar had no right whatsoever to sell a piece of “Mother Russia” (Alaska) to the Americans, moose hunters included!

Watch out! Has your reformed CIA correctly read what’s going on in Georgia (the one in the Caucasus, not next to Alabama)? Or has Dick Cheney, concerned about oil, not seen beyond the problem of a few Russians being homesick. The New Tsar is testing.

Watch out for Putin’s nuclear assistance to Iran, and then Pakistan, great hideaway for America’s enemy No. 1, Osama bin Laden. Why did President Bush have to close a nuclear deal with India now? Just to irritate the Pakistanis?

If I were an Indian politician, I would think of how to get some more concessions out of the Bush Administration. One idea: worsening the U.S. mortgage mess. Maybe the employees of the outsourcing firms that handle data processing for U.S. banks could be persuaded to go on strike. Now that would be a real nightmare for the banks!

Anyway, I’ve got to get back to Neptunian pursuits here in Brazil. Nice talking to you, as you say in America.

Thanks, Gian Paul. Folks, I’ve edited this post a little and trimmed some things, but here you have it. If, as Gian Paul is predicting, it comes down to Sarah the Moose Hunter vs. the Russian Spymaster-Turned-Tsar, I hope they can resolve their differences with a biathlon or some other athletic competition.

If anyone has more interest in the natal chart of Alaska, I refer you to my post “All Eyes on Alaska.”

As for my prediction: Gian Paul will start his own astrology blog!

Is Visa’s IPO Full of Hot Air?

I’ve just run the chart for credit-card processor Visa’s debut this morning on the New York Stock Exchange with the ticker symbol “V,” and I’m not crazy about it. The chart, set at 9:30 a.m. in New York, has a 25 degree Taurus rising, which is squared by a conjunction of Neptune and the North Node in Aquarius.  This spells inflated expectations to me. The initial public actually priced yesterday at $44 a share, above the forecast range of $37 to $42. With 406 million Class A common shares sold, the offering raised a total of $17.9 billion, setting a record for the largest IPO.

Some astrologers would probably run a chart for yesterday’s pricing, but I think the Big Board debut is a better picture of the stock’s prospects, especially because the little guy normally can’t get in on the IPO allotments. 

Big institutional investors have flocked to the IPO because of Visa’s lack of exposure to the subprime crisis and the spectacular returns of the MasterCard, whose shares have skyrocketed 400% since that credit-card processor’s May, 2006, IPO.  Nevertheless, there are a couple of features of the chart for the Big Board debut of Visa that give me pause.

For one, a serious Moon/Saturn conjunction in Virgo in the fifth house of speculation is opposed by a Mercury/Venus conjunction in Pisces. The sober fifth house features suggest that there could be a contraction in credit-card transactions, which would cut into Visa’s revenues, or there could be pressure on its fees, which is how it makes its money — by processing credit- and debit-card transactions.

The other thing about the chart that I’m not thrilled about is that the Sun is in the last degree of Pisces. Sure, it’s broadly sextiled by Jupiter in Capricorn, which also broadly trines the Ascendant. But I’m not a fan of last degrees and certainly not a fan of the last degree of the zodiac, which is associated with the end of the cycle and sacrifice.

We’ll have to see how things play out for Visa. Certainly, I’m not the only skeptic. Matt Kranz of USA Today had this to say:

Visa shares could certainly close up substantially on the first day of Big Board trading. But I have a nagging suspicion that the company’s growth may face obstacles that aren’t readily apparent now. An inkling of the not-so-good news could come as soon as Monday, June 16, when Pluto moves back to 29 degrees of Sagittarius and squares the Sun of Visa’s opening day chart.

Call me cynical, but financial industry types have a history of going public not too long before the you-know-what hits the fan. Case in point: Blackstone Group (BX), whose shares rose 14%, to $35.06, on their first day of trading on June 22, 2007, dubbed “Blackstone Friday.” Fast-forward nine months to Mar. 10, when the fabled private equity group reported a $170 million loss for the fourth quarter. Where’s BX trading  now? At this moment, it’s at $14.64, down about 42% from the close on Blackstone Friday.

I know,  I know: Blackstone Chairman and CEO Stephen Schwarzman feels your pain. Even though Schwarzman pocketed an estimated $4.78 billion last year, according to the Associated Press, the value of his stock options has declined. Thank heavens he still had enough spare change to donate $100 million to the New York Public Library earlier this month. That’s a good thing because it insures that future investors in IPOs of financial stocks will be able to go the library and read up on how not to get taken to the cleaners. Recommended reading: “Reminiscences of a Stock Operator” by Edwin Lefevre.

Under the Buttonwood Tree

First, Bear Stearns. Now, all eyes are on Lehman Brothers. Where will it end? That’s a good question. To get some guidance, let’s look at the chart for the founding of the New York Stock Exchange,  set for May 17, 1792 at 10 a.m. in New York City. Obviously this chart governs the exchange itself, but it’s also a useful proxy for Wall Street and the market in general.

Despite the fact that today the NYSE is a publicly traded company and lots of lip-service has been paid over the years to its vital role as a public institution, make no mistake: This is a private club. Finance writer Chris Welles called his book about the end of fixed commissions on May 1, 1975 The Last Days of the Club, but the club defied the skeptics and has managed to endure.

On that morning in May many moons ago, a group of brokers gathered under a buttonwood tree in lower Manhattan and pledged to do business exclusively with one another. The Sun was at 27 degrees of Taurus that day and Mercury was at 23 degrees of Taurus.

Given that strong earth sign placement, I’ve always loved the fact that the Big Board’s roots can be traced back to a tree. We could spend hours discussing the chart of the NYSE and a very thorough examination is available here, with an excellent timeline of major events through the years.

What’s going on now? Well, the first thing that jumps out at me is that transiting Neptune, now at 23 degrees of Aquarius, is sitting on the Big Board’s Seventh House Pluto, which squares natal Mercury. There’s a lot of confusion about what’s going on and no doubt a lot of deception.

But it’s safe to say that the Fed isn’t going to let the house of cards fall down anytime soon. And for those folks who are sitting on the edge of their seats waiting for the next crash, I don’t think it’s going to play out like that.

Transiting Neptune in Aquarius is going to leisurely make its way to a square with the 27-degree Taurus Sun of the NYSE chart in 2009. So things are going to muddle along for awhile. Of course, you can’t just look at a single aspect in a chart, but the Sun/Neptune contact as well as the Sun/Mercury square Pluto in the natal chart suggests that Sugar Daddy Ben Bernanke could keep the ship afloat for awhile longer. 

Forget the old saw about the Fed — that its job is “to take away the punch bowl” at the party — Bernanke has just called the liquor store for another delivery!