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.

The Capricorn Conspiracy

I was just about to knock off a post about how financial astrologer Ray Merriman called the crash in oil prices ( now below $67 a barrel, down from $154 this summer) back at the United Astrology Conference, held in Denver in May, when it dawned on me that Merriman is a Capricorn.

At this year’s UAC, which Merriman helped organize, astrologer Michael Lutin made a joke that some of his favorite leaders are Capricorns: Stalin, Mao, and Merriman.

As you may know, I was born under the sign of the Goat and have devoted lots of cyber-ink to fellow Caps, including golf superstar Tiger Woods, political spouse Michelle Obama, French First Lady Carla Bruni, Hiroshima martyr Sadako Sasaki, civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, and University of Kansas basketball coach Bill Self.

My husband and I were married by an Elvis impersonator who crooned Love Me Tender at a Las Vegas wedding chapel, and I’ve never found it strange that the King set up a meeting with fellow Capricorn Richard Nixon back in the day.

I was rooting for Dodgers manager Joe Torre, who has Moon in Capricorn, but he was bested by Phillies manager Charlie Manuel, another Sun in Capricorn. The Phillies are playing the Tampa Bay Rays in the World Series, which begins tonight at 8 p.m. (More on this match in a later post.)

The Astrology Mundo poll on “What Sign Are You?” seems to be delivering a fairly even distribution of the signs, with chatty Gemini and spiritual Pisces tied for first place the last time I looked. Given my experience at attracting fellow Capricorns, the poll should show that 90% of respondents are Caps.

Here’s the good news: This Capricorn emphasis isn’t permanent. It’s the result of expansive Jupiter going through Capricorn, which is putting natives of the Goat, including the ever-expanding Federal Reserve Bank, in the news.

Next year, Aquarians will get their 15 minutes of fame as Jupiter moves through the sign of the Water Bearer. So bear with me, I promise this site won’t be all Capricorns all the time for much longer. Plus, we’re all going to get our butts kicked when Pluto moves into Capricorn on Nov. 27 and stays there until, gulp, 2024.

Want to know more. Here’s a Michael Lutin video on Pluto in Cap.

2008 Fall Equinox: Uncle Sam to the Rescue

Last Sunday, I was disappointed when Ray Merriman decided to dispense with the last part of his weekly commentary, which is called “Longer-Term Thoughts.”

Merriman, who is considered the “Dean of Financial Astrology,” said he fears his column is being politicized ahead of the election and is refraining from making comments about the long term for now. This week, Merriman reprinted highlights from a chilling article he wrote the upcoming transit of Pluto in Capricorn.

As I study the Fall Equinox chart, set for 11:45 a.m. on Sept. 22, I too am feeling reticent about reporting my interpretation of this chart.

I think many astrologers are having a hard time separating what they would like for this country and what they see in their charts. It’s the same reason why it’s hard to do astrology readings for friends. We only want to see good things in their future, and if we report negative possibilities, we are open to accusations that we are not being good friends or that somehow we don’t want the best for them.

O.K., that’s my prelude. In the Fall Equinox chart, Saturn in Virgo is very close to the Midheaven, in the 10th house, which also houses the Sun at 0 degrees of Libra. The Saturn is opposed by Uranus in Pisces in the fourth house of home and security and trined by Jupiter in Capricorn in the second house of resources.

In the chart of a country or in a mundane chart like the Fall Equinox, set for Washington, D.C., the 10th house is the President. Saturn is the Old Man. Maybe I should leave it at that, but my interpretation of this chart is that a grateful electorate will reward the Republicans for rescuing the financial system by electing John McCain President.

The Moon, which governs the people, is in security-oriented Cancer is in the eighth house of other people’s resources. The eighth house traditionally rules investments. It’s squaring the Sun, a challenging aspect that means the masculine and feminine forces are at odds with each other. (No kidding!)

Americans are afraid of losing their homes, their pensions, and their portfolios. This bailout is ongoing. I don’t think voters will want to change horses in the middle of the stream.

The stellium of Mercury/Mars/Venus in Libra is the 11th house, which rules Congress in a country’s chart. There’s going to be a lot of bickering going on. The Libra triple conjunction is trine Pluto in expansive Sagittarius in the second house. I think after a considerable amount of debate, revision, and even possible legal challenges, the $700 billion bailout of the financial system (a figure some commentators say is actually $1 trillion, if you include earlier rescue packages), will go through.

The Fall Equinox chart has a Scorpio rising, making Pluto the ruler of the chart. Pluto, which has been demoted by astronomers but still gets respect from astrologers, is in Sagittarius. A lot of people out there think the rescue of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the mortgage giants, was to benefit foreign (Sag) holders of its bonds. With Pluto in the second, I wouldn’t be surprised if foreign investors are a key factor in the overhaul of the financial system or to see multilateral groups such as the Bank of International Settlements (BIS) get involved.

Based in Basel, Switzerland, the BIS is the “bank for central banks.”

Other astrological bloggers have noted that having Jupiter and Pluto in the second house looks like a signature of prosperity, even though they are in different signs. I won’t argue with that. Still, Americans shouldn’t get lulled into thinking everything is alright, because it’s not.

Let’s get back to Uranus in the fourth. When I raise the possibility that McCain will be our next President to my friends, I like to remind them that some of the most radical times in this country occurred under President Richard M. Nixon.

The Uranian desire to shake up the Saturnian status quo (the Saturn/Uranus opposition, which is exact on Election Day) isn’t going away. In fact, it will become galvanized under the scenario I foresee.

You say you want a revolution? Well, first you need something or someone to revolt against: I give you John McCain.

Other possibilities for the Saturn/Uranus opposition fairly close the MC/IC of the Fall Equinox chart: unrest (Uranus) about unemployment and health insurance (Saturn in Virgo), and extreme weather such as hurricanes and earthquakes. (No, folks, it’s not over yet.)

The other stellium (group of planets) in the sky right now is the Neptune/North Node/Chiron triple conjunction in Aquarius. It falls in the third house of neighborhoods and media of the Fall Equinox chart. Look for a full-court press from Barack Obama supporters going door-to-door and sending out e-mail, links to blogs, and other electronic messages of support.

The Aquarius stellium trines the Libra lineup in the 11th house, which is traditionally the house of “hopes and dreams.” Those critics of Obama who say that he wrote a best-selling book, Dreams From My Father, but failed to sponsor any important legislation in the Senate could be in for a surprise after the election. Actually, according to the Wiki, these naysayers are wrong. From this Wiki entry, it would appear that the Senator from Illinois has been involved in important lawmaking efforts.

I think that the idealism of the Obama campaign will translate into activism in Congress. Helping to light a fire under lawmakers will be a galvanized electorate afraid of losing their homes (Uranus in the fourth). The days of a do-nothing Democratic-controlled Congress are over.

That’s my forecast based on the Fall Equinox chart, folks. I didn’t say everyone was going to like it. If truth be told, I don’t like it myself. I was looking forward to having a member of the Pluto in Virgo generation in the White House.

The August 16 Eclipse: Sell, Sell, Sell!

As my bio states on the “About” page, I’m not a registered investment adviser and any financial advice dispensed here is for entertainment purposes. Got that?

Having repeated my boilerplate for the Securities and Exchange Commission, I want to say that if there were ever a time to move out of stocks and into cash, this is it.

Even with the recent uptick in the U.S. dollar, I’m not sure that dollars are the place to keep your cash, but that’s another post. (See “The Word at UAC in Denver: The Dollar is Toast.”)

The Aug. 16 eclipse at 26 degrees of Aquarius looks very bad for Wall Street, not the least because it squares the natal Sun of the New York Stock Exchange chart. The Neptune conjunct Moon in Aquarius in the second house of resources and opposing the Sun in the eighth house of other people’s money suggests dissolution and deception down on the corner of Broad and Wall.

Perhaps the group that my financial friends call the “Plunge Protection Committee” has run out of tricks to keep the market aloft. A number of commentators including Jim Kunstler have compared today’s economy to the Wile E. Coyote cartoon where it takes him a while to figure out that he’s run off the cliff.

Nobody says it better than Jude’s Threshold in this post.

Market maven Ray Merriman notes there is a nice Venus/Jupiter trine on Aug. 16, but he doesn’t think it offsets the powerful Sun oppose Neptune in the eclipse chart. You’ll find his market commentary for this week here.

This is not a forecast for short-term traders, mind you. The trines between Jupiter and a bevy of planets in Virgo could keep the market above 11,000 well into October. Savvy traders always follow Merriman. This call to cash is for the rest of us, those of us who don’t want our 401(k)s to get trimmed by a third by yearend.

Pamela Does Paris

My radio collaborator Pamela Cucinell has a great post about Paris Hilton’s response to the McCain camp’s diss of her in ad designed to make Barack Obama look like just another celebrity. Pamela’s at the top of her game and Paris is fabulous in the video, which is embedded in Pamela’s post.

Ray Merriman’s prediction that the upcoming Saturn/Uranus opposition, exact on Election Day, will bring back the generation gap, appears to be coming true, if Paris making fun of Old Man McCain is any evidence.

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.

War: The More Things Change…

I was reading Ray Merriman’s always excellent MarketWeek column (http://www.stariq.com/MarketWeek.HTM) yesterday where he mentions that the last time we had a Saturn/Uranus opposition was in 1965-66.

A bell went off in my head when I saw those dates. That was the first time my Dad went to Vietnam. A career military officer, my father was a 12 degree Pisces who died Aug. 10, 2001, as the Saturn/Pluto opposition in Gemini/Sagittarius was squaring his Sun.

When he first was sent to Vietnam in September, 1965, Saturn was opposing Uranus almost exactly at 14 degrees of Pisces/Virgo, just a couple of degrees past his Sun.

This November, as Saturn opposes Uranus again for the first time in more than 40 years, the U.S. is mired in another seemingly endless conflict far from home, and my nephew will be going to war. My nephew is a Libra Sun in the sixth house of duty and service.

When he leaves for Iraq, Saturn will be exactly opposite Uranus at close to 19 degrees of Virgo/Pisces. (Astrologers and civilians alike may note that this opposition is essentially a flip-flop of the one in the Sixties.)

I’m hoping that since my Dad made it home from Vietnam in one piece that my nephew will return home safely from his tour of duty in Iraq. I’m going to take my niece and nephew to visit him in Fort Hood, Tex., next week.

I wonder if 40 years or so from now during the next Saturn/Uranus opposition, my nephew’s yet-to-be-born grandson will be heading off to some foreign land where the U.S. will be spending billions of dollars in the name of democracy but essentially will be caught in the middle of a civil war.

I thought we were supposed to be a species that evolved.

When the Numbers Are Going Down

I have returned to New York to learn that the rich are in a state of near-hysteria because their net worth is declining. One of the most e-mailed stories in The New York Times earlier this week, “It’s Not So Easy Being Less Rich,” has an anecdote about a guy who’s afraid that his wife is going to leave him because his net worth has declined from $20 million to $8 million.

When I told a dear friend the story last night, she quipped: “That’s not a wife. That’s a hired hand.”

Here’s the link to the article: http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/01/fashion/01rich.html?pagewanted=1&ei=5070&em&en=3b3f8caa8932045c&ex=1212811200

That fear of falling wealth has prompted me to repackage the bottom of my May 7 post on “The Coming U.S. Depression” (https://astrologymundo.wordpress.com/2008/05/07/the-coming-us-depression/), which was too long for most folks to slog through.

Here’s what you probably didn’t read:

We’re going to have to adjust our thinking in the U.S. because the numbers we live by will be going down over the next few years, probably through 2018. If you want to know the astrological reasoning behind this, please go to my blogroll and click on Ray Merriman, whose excellent columns explain how the Saturn/Pluto cycle plays out in the economy.

According to Merriman, who is well-respected in financial circles, the period from 1982 to 2000 was one of expansion. No kidding: The bull market started in 1982, and with a few bumps in the road, continued until the tech bubble burst in 2001. Merriman expects that the period from 2000 to 2018 will be one of contraction. What’s going to be expanding in this period is debt, not assets.

As some of you know, I spent the winter in California, instead of New York, where I normally live. I’m an Army brat and have lived all around the country, but basically I’m an Easterner. Sometimes the smug nature lovers of the American West get on my nerves. “We’ve got 360 days of sunshine here,” they say. “But how many bookstores, museums, and theaters do you have?” I ask.

I’ve been a culture junkie most of my life, but maybe counting days of sunshine isn’t a bad way to measure happiness. We’ve got to find a better way of keeping score of our progress than the gross domestic product, particularly in an age where growth isn’t sustainable.

Two Canadian economists have tried to solve the problem by developing an Index of Economic Well-Being that has four components: per capita consumption, societal accumulation of productive resources, income distribution, and economic security. To read more about the index, click here: http://www.insee.fr/en/nom_def_met/colloques/acn/colloque_10/sharpe.pdf

From 1980-2001, Norway showed the biggest increase in economic well-being, followed by France. Of the nine OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) nations studied by economists Lars Osberg and Andrew Sharpe over the two-decade period, the four Anglo-Saxon countries (Britain, Australia, Canada, and the U.S.) fared the worst. I guess the WASP work ethic can only take you so far, particularly if you’ve been laid off from your job and you’ve lost your health insurance.

Given the recent food shortages, maybe we’ll take a page from the Mormons and other survivalists by stocking up on food and water. We’ll get a whole new set of things to brag about at cocktail parties. (I know, Mormons don’t drink. I only said that we might take a page from them, not the whole book.) “I’ve got 300 lbs. of rice and 60 gallons of water in my pantry” may replace “I bought this great biotech stock that has doubled in the past two months,” or “The value of my home has increased 300% in the past three years.”

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Crude Oil at $144 a Barrel?

Given that oil hit a new high of $130 a barrel this morning, I’ve put a new top on one of my posts of last week.

One of the more interesting predictions emanating from the United Astrology Conference in Denver came from financial astrologer Ray Merriman. Considered by many to be the “dean” of financial astrology, Merriman thinks oil is headed for $144 a barrel, give or take $8, most likely by the end of this month. He thinks the Jupiter sextile Uranus aspect of May 21 could produce the new eye-popping high.

However, he expects prices to decline $30 to $40 by the fall. The reason isn’t likely to be consumer restraint during the summer driving season. Merriman says oil prices are heavily influenced by conflict in the Middle East, and “when it’s 120 degrees outside, guys don’t like to fight.” The war will continue during the summer but not at the same level of intensity, he says. And that should help bring oil prices back down some (emphasis on the word “some”).

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.