Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Our violent world: Mars and the sting of Scorpio

(19 July 2016) The news has been full of terrible events lately.   The Islamist terror attack in Nice, France saw 84 people mowed down by a truck during celebrations on Bastille Day, 14th July.  The attempted coup in Turkey just a day later resulted in the violent deaths of 300 people and the arrest of several thousand.  The unprecedented twin shootings of 7 US policeman in Dallas (7th July) and Baton Rouge (17th July) as revenge for a series of recent videotaped killings of black men apprehended by police.  And now word today (19th July) of another ISIS attack, this time in Germany by an Afghan teenager wielding an axe on a train.  This follows the recent mass shooting of the gay nightclub in Orlando in mid-June by another Islamist terrorist.

While it is always possible to highlight this or that violent incident in the news at any given time, this cluster of high profile violence is unusual.  It is rare to see such a clustering of politically significant incidents which have impacted the public imagination to this extent.  One possible explanation for this string of incidents is the recent entry of Mars into sidereal Scorpio.  Mars entered Scorpio on 11th July after completing its retrograde cycle in late June.  Due to its recent direct station in the very last degree of Libra on 29th June, it has been moving forward very slowly.  As a rule, slower moving planets are more powerful and are more likely to manifest their intrinsic symbolism. Mars has been in the proximity of this first and most powerful degree of Scorpio for most of June and so far all of July.

As everybody knows, Mars symbolizes violence, conflict and war.  Whenever Mars changes signs, its receives a boost in its energy and it is more likely to coincide with events that have a Mars-like character.  In this case, Mars entered the sign of Scorpio.  Of all the signs of the zodiac, it is fair to say that few signs have as chequered a reputation as Scorpio.  Scorpio is an intense and often unpredictable energy that often runs on instinct and adrenaline. It presumes that human action derives from the "will to power" and the need to control the external world as a means to protect the self.  There is often an overflow of passionate energy with Mars in Scorpio that can instill great courage and selflessness but it can also be subverted by arrogance, impatience and excess when under stress.  Please note to all readers who are Scorpios (15 Nov-15 Dec), this is NOT the same thing as having a Sun in Scorpio as you do.  The Mars in Scorpio placement manifests these negative traits more readily, especially when under planetary stress as it is now.  

Previously, I have written about the potential fallout of the Mars station and entry into Scorpio given the close alignment with Uranus at the end of June.  This was one reason for the Brexit vote shock.  Stressful events are more likely now given that Mars has conjoined Saturn, the Great Malefic, in Scorpio.  Saturn (16 Scorpio) is retrograde and slowly backing into its direct station in mid-August at 15 Scorpio.  Since Saturn is an often negative influence, its conjunction with Mars is more likely to produce tragic results such as those we have witnessed in recent days. 

Whether or not individuals or nations are likely to suffer the consequences of this Mars-Saturn conjunction in Scorpio depends on their horoscopes.  Let's take a look at how the entry of Mars into Scorpio may have impacted the 1792 horoscope of France at the time of the truck attack in Nice.  The chart of the 1st Republic of France has Mars at 4 degrees Scorpio in a tight conjunction with the MC (unequal 10th house cusp).  At the time of the attack, transiting Mars was at 0 Scorpio with the Moon just a few arc minutes behind at 29 Libra.  Both the Moon and Mars were therefore in a close conjunction with the natal Mars in Scorpio. 

But countries typically don't suffer mass terror attacks from a single Mars transit, even one that occurs just after a station and in Scorpio.  The other problem with this chart is that transiting Saturn (16 Scorpio) is approaching a close conjunction with the natal Moon (13 Scorpio).  The Moon represents the population as a whole as well as the national mood.  The current Saturn conjunction to the Moon is therefore very injurious to the nation, both in terms of events and in terms of national feeling. This double Scorpio affliction of the Moon-Mars conjunction in the 1792 chart is I think fairly well explained by the double Scorpio transit of the first-class malefics Mars and Saturn. 

Not only did all this negative energy manifest in this terrible atrocity, but it has raised questions about the competence of the government and its overall approach to Islamic terrorism.  More French people want a tougher approach it seems, or at least a different approach that takes their security more seriously. 

The bad news for France and President Hollande is that Mars is not due to conjoin Saturn until the 23rd of August.  The conjunction will occur at 15 Scorpio and therefore will be just two degrees past the natal Moon.  And even before that, Mars will conjoin its natal position (4 Scorpio) next week so we may see more tension, conflict, and the possibility of more violence. 

Weekly Market Forecast

Despite rising geopolitical uncertainty, stock markets moved higher last week in the expectation of more central bank money printing.  US stocks made new all-time highs as the Dow traded above 18,500.  Indian stocks also rose as the BSE-Sensex touched 28,000.  Stocks have pulled back a bit so far this week on normal profit taking.  While the gains were unsurprising, in last week's market forecast I thought that stocks might have lost some ground later in the week.  As it happened, only Friday was slightly lower in the US. 

I think we are likely to see more upside on Wednesday as the Moon aligns with Mercury and Venus.  Thursday and Friday look somewhat more problematic as Mars squares the Moon.  Early next week should bring more gains as Mercury aligns with Jupiter.

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Is Jupiter pushing stocks higher? Lessons in financial astrology

(12 July 2016) Global stock markets have extended their post-Brexit rally into the start of another week.  While there remains considerably uncertainty about the UK economic situation, investors are seeing the glass half-full here after the sudden victory of moderate and pro-EU Theresa May for the leadership of the British Conservative Party.   The re-election of Japanese PM Shinzo Abe over the weekend was also seen in positive terms as it likely means even more government and central bank stimulus will be forthcoming for its perennially moribund economy.

The current rally has even managed to hit a new all-time high for the blue chip S&P 500 on Monday with the Dow now just a few points away.  Other US smaller cap indexes still have some ways to go before they make new highs, however.  European and Asian stocks are no less bullish here as Japan's Nikkei has added 7%  in the first two trading days this week while India's Sensex finished the Tuesday session at 27,808, an 11-month high.

In last week's market forecast, I had thought we might have started to see some of the negative effects of the entry of Mars into sidereal Scorpio early this week, but so far optimism is still the prevailing mood. It is worth remembering that the problematic Mars transit of Scorpio will last for the next nine weeks (into mid-September) so we should not be too surprised by this week's early gains.   Mars is moving fairly slowly still as it recently completed its retrograde cycle at the end of the June.

On the basic lessons of financial astrology is that rising stock prices are linked in some way to the position and condition of the planet Jupiter.  Jupiter is a bullish investor's best friend as gains are more likely when it forms close geometric angles with other bullish planets.  When it aligns with bearish planets like Mars, Saturn and Rahu, however, Jupiter's inclination for optimism becomes less reliable and can often be negated.  While I emphasized the destabilizing role of Uranus and Mars in the Brexit vote and subsequent sell-off, Jupiter did conjoin Rahu (North Lunar Node) in June (exact on 20th June) and that may have been an additional indicator for some of the downside we saw both before and just after the UK referendum. 

Now that Jupiter (24 Leo) is moving away from its conjunction with Rahu, stocks appear to be recovering quite strongly.  Jupiter (22 Leo) aligned with Pluto (22 Sagittarius) in the last week of June (exact 26th June).  just as most stock markets bottomed out after the Brexit vote.  Jupiter is now approaching a non-aspect alignment with Uranus in early August (exact 12th August) so that could provide an additional boost for sentiment around that time.  It's ultimate impact on the market is less clear, however, since it is not a proper aspect (0, 120, 240 degrees).  As a rule, non-aspect alignments tend to be weaker in their effects. 

Of course, forecasting market trends requires an analysis of many factors. Occasionally, a single factor will be strong enough to outweigh all others.  This appeared to be the case with entry of Uranus into sidereal Aries on 23rd June. Usually, however, assessing the collective sentiment that moves markets requires consideration of all of the planets and their aspects.  Well, easier said than done.

But even when considering the condition of a single planet like Jupiter, aspects are still only part of the story.  We also need to consider its sign placement and its dispositor.  Jupiter is in sidereal Leo now which is ruled by the Sun.  The Sun is therefore Jupiter's dispositor.  Therefore, the situation of the Sun may provide useful information for assessing the condition of Jupiter. 

I have also found that the relative placement of the planets around Jupiter can contain important information about the public mood and market sentiment.  One of the oldest of astrology across all cultures is the symbolism of the planets.  In both the East and the West, Jupiter represents expansion, gains, optimism and wisdom.  No wonder it is considered a bullish planet.  Since Jupiter is said to rule over the notion of gains, it is naturally associated with the 11th house of gains and income. 

A "house" is just astrological jargon for a region or area in the sky relative to a fixed frame of reference.   When the 11th house is strong in an individual's chart, then that person will tend to make money and fulfill their desires and wishes.  When the 11th house of a stock exchange or index chart is strong because of a positive transit, etc, then stocks are more likely to rise.  But we can extend the logic one step further: when the 11th house from Jupiter is strong, then stocks may also be less likely to fall and more likely to rise.  What defines "strong" or "weak" is a matter of interpretation (as always, facts must be understood theoretically!) and yet there are some basic notions that can be used with a reasonable degree of objectivity.

The current arrangement of planets around Jupiter seems to be positive since the Sun is placed in Gemini in the 11th house from Jupiter.  (N.B. I am using whole sign houses as per Indian Vedic custom).   The Sun is an important planet in any event, but perhaps doubly so here since it is Jupiter's sign dispositor of Leo. Until a couple of days ago, Venus and Mercury were also in Gemini in the 11th house from Jupiter, so that could have been an additional positive influence on sentiment in late June and early July.  It is possible that the entry of Mercury into Gemini (it's Gemini sign ruler) on 27th June could have been a key bullish factor in the the start of the post-Brexit rebound.  Mercury represents the ruler of the 11th house from Jupiter and it became stronger in its own sign.  Interestingly, stocks began to rebound on the 28th -- just a day or two after Mercury entered Gemini. 

Of course, hindsight is 20-20.  While I thought we could get some upside after the initial Brexit sell-off, I certainly did not expect the rally to be this strong.  Weighing the relative importance of different factors is always a matter of interpretation and that is where error resides.  Nonetheless, the changing influences on Jupiter offers a intriguing explanation for moves in recent days.

Now that Mercury and Venus have moved into Cancer, there may be less of that positive 11th house energy available for Jupiter to tap into.  The Sun is still in the 11th house/Gemini but it is due to leave early on Friday, 16th July.  This would place all of the fast-moving inner planets in Cancer, in the 12th house from Jupiter.  The 12th house symbolizes loss, among other things.  This does not necessarily mean that this placement will be decisive in determining the market trend, but it should be seen as a reduction of positive energy available for Jupiter.  Let's see how it plays out.

Weekly Market Forecast

Besides the last days of the Sun's bullish transit of Gemini this week, we are still awaiting any effects from the Mars entry into Scorpio.  It may take the conjunction of the Moon with Mars on Thursday and Friday to act as a trigger for that more destabilizing Scorpionic energy.  Stocks are more likely to be positive until the second half of the week.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Market recovers post-Brexit but for how long?

(5 July 2016) Financial markets recovered their footing last week in the wake of the Brexit vote in the UK last month.  The strong rebound was the result of the promise of more central bank intervention from both the Bank of England and the European Central Bank.  In addition, some investors took solace in the possibility that the UK may not ultimately leave the EU given a long and complex negotiation process that may take several years and yet another referendum or vote in Parliament.

US stocks jumped 3% on the week with the Dow closing at 17,949 which was just a bit below its June 23rd close.  Similar gains were also seen in Europe with the London FTSE 100 regaining all of its post-Brexit decline and then some.  Indian stocks also registered strong gains of more than 3% as the Sensex closed Friday at 27,144.  Most stocks have been moving lower so far this week as markets have become concerned about the solvency of Italian banks.  The British Pound is also headed lower again this week as the ongoing political uncertainty in the UK weighs on sentiment.

In last week's market forecast, I thought we might have got more downside after Monday's decline, perhaps for another day or two.  As it happened, however, Monday was the post-Brexit low for most global markets as the rebound began in earnest on Tuesday.  As expected, the second half of the week was positive as the Venus-Jupiter-Pluto Rahu alignment kicked in.   Venus and Jupiter are bullish planets and when they are aligned with other planets, stocks tend to rise.

But is this strong post-Brexit recovery the 'all clear' signal so that stocks can resume their upward climb in this seemingly unstoppable 7-year bull market?  Well, one thing we have learned in recent years is that central banks are capable of keeping stocks afloat no matter how bad the real economy may be.  If QE bond-buying doesn't work, they will try negative interest rates.  And if negative rates aren't producing the desired result, then they will find something else, including perhaps "helicopter money".  Hubristic central banks can never admit admit defeat and are committed to printing money and monetary debasement by any means necessary. 

From an astrological perspective, I believe the re-entry of Mars into sidereal Scorpio next week could coincide with more declines in stocks in the coming weeks.  Due to its retrograde cycle occurring in Scorpio, Mars has spent an unusually long time in the sign of Scorpio.  Near the end of its retrograde cycle, Mars actually left Scorpio and back-doored its way into Libra for a few weeks starting on 18th June.  Mars then stationed in the last degree of Libra (29 degrees) on 29-30th June, and is now moving forward again.  On 11th July, it will again enter Scorpio where it will remain until 17th September. 

In my view, when Mars transits Scorpio, stocks tend to come under increased stress and decline.  While Mars is said to become stronger through its traditional "rulership" of Scorpio, its transit through this sign often creates too much intensity which can manifest as a collective unease and anxiety.  Back in February, I posted some financial astrology research on previous transits of Mars through Scorpio for the years 1999 to 2014 which showed a fairly clear negative price correlation with this transit. 

But what happened during this first phase of the Mars transit of Scorpio in 2016?  Stocks actually rose as the Dow climbed from 16,600 to 17,700 -- a gain of 6%.  So does this put a dagger into the Mars-in-Scorpio-is-bearish thesis?  Not exactly.  In my previous research, there was still a fairly wide variation in outcomes from previous transits of Mars through Scorpio although it leaned negative overall.  I noted that no simple one or two-factor model could ever be 100% correct.  It was merely a probabilistic outcome that seemed to hold over the previous twenty years.  So far in 2016, it seems the outcome is at the far bullish end of that spectrum of outcomes.

But again the question remains why would stocks have risen during this time of supposedly increased tension of Mars in Scorpio?  One possible explanation would be to look at the role of other variables.  One-factor models (Mars through Scorpio) will only be probabilistic at best and even then only marginally so over many data points.  But what if we included other variables?  What if we looked at the condition of the modern ruler of Scorpio, which is Pluto?  In Vedic astrology (and in traditional Western astrology) Mars rules Scorpio and is said to exhibit its natural qualities most freely.  But modern Western astrology posits that Scorpio is also ruled by Pluto, whereas Mars only rules Aries.  Therefore, in order to assess the effects of the current Mars transit of Scorpio, we could look at the condition of Pluto. 

As we can see from the chart below, Pluto has been under the beneficial aspect of Jupiter for the past several months due to its retrograde cycle in Leo. Jupiter symbolizes expansion and optimism, and its ongoing aspect with Pluto since the beginning of 2016 may well have created a positive feedback loop for Mars and hence for markets as a whole.  To assess the effects of Mars, we can look at its ruler, Pluto. This is standard practice in astrological interpretation.   If the condition of the ruler Pluto is positive, then that positive energy could flow to Mars.  When I wrote the initial research post, I wanted to keep it as simple as possible in order to see if there was a measurable effect of this single factor (Mars in Scorpio).  I did not even consider expanding the equation beyond it.  In retrospect, I should have at least included some mention of it as an addendum.

When Mars first entered Scorpio on 20th February, Jupiter (26 Leo) closely aspected Pluto (22 Sagittarius).  Rahu (North Lunar Node) was conjunct Jupiter also, although I would take Rahu as acting mostly as an amplifier for Jupiter's benefic influence here.  Arguably, the Jupiter-Rahu conjunction has been one key factor in the rise in gold prices in the first half of 2016.   Generally speaking, the closer the aspect to exact, the stronger the positive Jupiter influence.  Most importantly, Jupiter was retrograde so the aspect was tightening right through to almost May when Jupiter stationed at 20 Leo.  This ongoing Jupiter influence on Pluto is one plausible reason why stocks rose while Mars was in Scorpio from February to June. 

So what is happening to Pluto now that Mars is about to re-enter Scorpio next Monday on 11th July?  Jupiter (24 Leo) is still closely aspecting Pluto (22 Sagittarius) so it is conceivable that there could be more gains in store for the stock market during the time of this transit.   And yet Jupiter is now moving forward and therefore separating from its aspect with Pluto. 

I would think that would indicate a weakening of Jupiter's bullish influence on Pluto and hence upon Mars also.  Jupiter will eventually leave the sign of Leo on 11th August so its aspect on Pluto will be well and truly over by then.  It is quite possible that without this Jupiter influence on Pluto, the negativity of the Mars transit of Scorpio could increase.  There is an argument that this bullish influence on Pluto/Mars could diminish as we move from July to August and then into September. This would allow the more bearish side of Mars in Scorpio to manifest, all other things being equal.

So next week's re-entry of Mars into Scorpio could well coincide with different market outcomes then its previous transit of Scorpio.  It's still only a probabilistic prediction since only now we have two variables in play instead of one.  As we know, astrology does not readily lend itself to these kinds of simplified analysis since there are literally dozens of variables are typically involved in forecasting.  And yet experience tells us that there are times when a very few number of factors will outweigh all the others.  Let's see what this second transit of Mars through Scorpio has in store for the rest of the summer.

Weekly Market Forecast

While this week has begun on a bearish note, I would think some upside is likely on Wednesday or Thursday given the Sun-Mercury conjunction and the Venus-Uranus alignment.  Friday is more open-ended, however, as the Moon is aspected by bearish Saturn.  There would therefore appear to be added downside risk on Friday, especially in European and US trading when the aspect is closest. 

And then early next week, we get that re-entry of Mars into Scorpio.   Mars is often bearish in its effect whenever it changes signs.  The fact that it is entering Scorpio may put even more pressure on bullish investors.

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Markets plunge as UK votes to Brexit

(27 June 2016) Global financial markets are reeling for a second straight session following the surprising Brexit outcome in last week's UK referendum.  The choice to leave the EU shocked markets which had pushed up stock prices ahead of the vote on the expectation that the Remain side would prevail.  The Brexit vote defeat compelled Prime Minister David Cameron to tender his resignation effective within three months. 

The Leave victory was in keeping with my expectation for increased level of sudden or shocking events in late June due to two very tense planetary placements.  As I had written back in February when the EU referendum date was first announced, the fact that the vote would be held on the very same day that Uranus entered the sign of sidereal Aries greatly increased the likelihood for a Leave win.  Uranus is the planet associated with notions of independence, freedom and rebellion and when it changes signs once every 7 years, it often correlates with events which exhibit these qualities.  The fact that the Uranus sign change would be happening just a week before Mars stationed direct and formed a close alignment with Uranus only added to the level of instability and potential for shocking outcomes. 

My analyses of several key charts also seemed to support the notion that the UK would vote to Leave.  The EU Maastricht Treaty chart (1993) is very afflicted and indicates that a very disturbing and injurious event to the EU would be taking place.  David Cameron's own horoscope also looked quite troubled, as did the UK national horoscope

The murder of Labour MP Jo Cox a week before the referendum was also an expression of this volatile Mars-Uranus energy.  I even wondered if it might 'burn off' enough of this negative energy that a Leave vote might not actually happen.  I had my doubts, especially when the polls looked like they were moving towards Remain.  But I nonetheless expected more manifestation of this significant Uranus and Mars energy around the time of the vote itself.   The Leave victory was an clear expression of this dominant planetary symbolism.

The British Pound has lost 12% of its value since Friday and is now trading at $1.31, its lowest level since 1985. The London FTSE index is down 8% as investors cut their exposure in an uncertain political and economic climate.  We can see this decline in the horoscope of the FTSE 100 Index (3 January 1984).  The critical transits here are likely Saturn (17 Scorpio) in the 12th house of loss conjunct Ketu (22 Scorpio) and in a near-30 degree alignment with the Ascendant (15 Sagittarius) and the Sun and Moon at 18/19 Sagittarius.  Transiting Ketu (21 Aquarius) is also closely aspecting Saturn (20 Libra) during this late June and early July time window.  Ketu-Saturn transits are often bad for stocks.  

Saturn is retrograde throughout July so that could be a drag on UK stocks as it remains more or less stuck in the middle of the 12th house of loss. I would think it is likely that the FTSE will fall further in the days ahead.

Weekly Market Update

Stocks fell across the world last week following the Brexit vote.  After rising for most of the week, US stocks ended more than 1% lower on the week after Friday's plunge.  The Dow ended the week at 17,400.  Indian stocks also lost ground as the Sensex ended 1% lower to 26,397.  This bearish outcome was in line with expectations as I noted in last week's market forecast that we could get some gains in the first part of the week but the late week looked bad given the entry of Uranus into Aries on Brexit day.

US and European stocks are now sharply lower in Monday trading.  This extended decline is also not surprising as I had expected more downside this week ahead of the Mars station at 29 Libra on Wednesday and Thursday.  I suspect we could fall further  this week as the full impact of this Mars-Uranus alignment is felt.  The late week could see some gains, however, as Venus aligns with Pluto and Jupiter. 

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

UK Brexit referendum: A shocking Uranian turn of events

(21 June 2016)  All eyes are on the UK this week ahead of Thursday's historic referendum on EU membership.  The Leave side had pulled last week ahead in most polls last week until the shocking murder of pro-EU Labour MP Jo Cox.  Cox was gunned down early in the afternoon on Thursday, 16th June by a mentally ill pro-Brexit constituent.  Stocks began to rally soon thereafter as investors sensed a shift in momentum.  Indeed, sympathy for Cox has spilled over into a significant boost for the Remain side in recent days and the most polls now show Remain slightly ahead of Leave.

As I have noted previously about the Brexit scenario, the end of June was likely to be an unstable and eventful period given the entry of Uranus into sidereal Aries.  Uranus is a planet of sudden and shocking events that are often marked by a desire for freedom, independence or even rebellion. Since Uranus only changes signs once every 7 years, this is a phenomenon not to be taken lightly.  Previous sign ingresses of Uranus have an impressive track record.  The October 1987 ingress of Uranus into Sagittarius coincided with the biggest one-day stock market crash in history.  The crash occurred just two days after the sign change of Uranus according to Krishnamurthi ayanamsha.  The April 1933 referendum for independence by Western Australia took place just four days after the entry of Uranus into -- you guessed it -- sidereal Aries.  Uranus completes its revolution around the Sun every 83-84 years.

As an added wrinkle to this unstable Uranian influence, it also forms a close alignment with retrograde Mars, which is now at 29 degrees of Libra.  Mars is due to station direct on 29th June and may provide an added dimension of violence.   This is not a Mars-Uranus aspect by standard Vedic rules (150 degrees rather than the 210 degrees (8th house aspect), but it is rather an near-exact alignment.  Not quite as powerful, but nonetheless noteworthy. 

The transit overlay of the tragic murder chart to the UK national chart shows how both transiting and natal Mars (violence) were activated.   Transiting Mars and Uranus are closely aligned with the natal Moon at 28 Gemini within two degrees.  Transiting Moon was almost directly opposite natal Mars (20 Libra).  Of course, both Jupiter and Rahu were in close alignment with natal Mars and will continue to do so until early July.  This suggests the UK will remain a tense and volatile place for some days after the referendum.

For several months now, I had been looking at this very tense and difficult Mars-Uranus pairing in late June and assumed it would likely translate into the UK voting to leave the EU.  The fact that Uranus was at maximum strength as it changed signs on the same day as the referendum was just too perfect to ignore.  There are no guarantees in astrology (or in life for that matter), but it seemed karmically determined to play out in the form of a Brexit as the British people would cast a vote for their sovereignty from Brussels and ignore any economic consequences of leaving the EU. 

However, one of the inherent limitations of astrology is that it operates primarily on a symbolic level.  There are no given set of actual outcomes from particular planetary placements.  All placements must therefore be interpreted.   Planetary symbolism therefore must also make the leap from the subjective realm of collective energy (as much as I wince when I hear that term) to an objective form that manifests as actual human events. 

When I wrote about the upcoming strong Uranian influence on the possible Brexit vote, I noted that it was also conceivable that somehow the UK might choose to stay in the EU but the process underlying the vote would be very intense and unstable.  That seems to be the case already as the murder of Jo Cox has stunned the nation and almost made the vote into an anti-climax.  In that sense, the murder of the Jo Cox is very much a reflection of the dominant planets Uranus (sudden events) and Mars (violence).  Or violence (Mars) resulting from a desire for independence (Uranus).   I  had thought that this Uranus and Mars combination would manifest more at a collective level as the voters would choose to abruptly or even violently (Mars) sever ties with Europe in a desire to assert their independence from EU bureaucrats. 

But it now seems that a Brexit is unlikely given the most recent polls.  The manifestation of some of that Uranus and Mars karmic energy means there is now less of it left to take the UK out of Europe.  I believe there is still plenty of this destabilizing energy left in the coming days, but I'm less sure the UK will actually vote to Leave.  Betting markets now put the odds of a Brexit closer to just 20% instead of the 40+% of last week.  I would think the ongoing Uranus influence here means the chances are actually somewhat higher.  But if some of the Uranus and Mars karmic energy has been "burned off" with the murder of Jo Cox, there is less of it left for voting day.  I would not be surprised if the UK actually voted to remain now.  Nonetheless, I feel that Uranus still has more of its karmic payload to deliver, whether it happens in Thursday's vote or indeed in the Spanish elections on Sunday that could remove the pro-EU party from power. 

Weekly Market Forecast

Global stocks bounced early this week after the Remain side showed renewed strength in weekend polls.   Stocks had generally been negative last week as expected as Brexit worries weighed on sentiment.  In last week's market forecast, I thought the Mars aspect to Venus and the Sun early in the week would be bearish and this was largely the case.  Not surprisingly, we saw some gains around Wednesday's Fed meeting.  The Dow ended Monday at 17,804 and is modestly higher in early Tuesday trading at the time of writing.  Indian stocks did not partake much in this week's relief rally due to the surprising resignation announcement of respected RBI Governor Rajan.  The Sensex closed Tuesday at a middling 26,812.

The planets this week could bring a little more upside midweek as Mercury aligns with Jupiter and Rahu on Wednesday.  But the downside risk may grow in the late week as Uranus enters Aries on Thursday.  Next week also looks problematic as Mars stations direct late in the week.  This is likely to amp up the instability in global markets as the apparent energy of the Mars-Uranus alignment approaches its apex.

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.

Monday, June 13, 2016

ISIS terror attack in Orlando shocks US

(13 June 2016)  ISIS has claimed responsibility for the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that claimed the lives of 50 people.  The US-born Omar Mateen declared his allegiance to the radical Islamist terror organization in a 911 call just before opening fire on innocent club goers in the early morning hours of Sunday, June 12.  It was the biggest mass shooting in US history and was the second ISIS terrorist attack in as many years on US soil after the San Bernardino attack which killed 14 people.  The Orlando shooting was likely a lone wolf attack by an ISIS-inspired sympathizer and may well have marked a new phase in America's ongoing struggle with radical Islamic terrorism.   

While the attack has spawned a fierce political debate in the US about intermingling of radical Islam, inadequate gun control and homophobia, the astrological perspective provides clear confirmation of the influence of Mars, especially as it approaches its alignment with Uranus at the end of June.  Mars is currently retrograde in the first degree of sidereal Scorpio.  It is now moving very slowly and is due to station direct at 29 Libra on June 29th. As a rule, the slower the planet, the stronger it becomes.  Mars is the planet of violence and conflict, of course, so it is not surprising that we should see these kinds outbreaks of violence around the time of its station in late June. 

But fiery Mars is doubly volatile and dangerous because it is forming an exact 150 degree alignment with the planet Uranus. Uranus is associated with intense energy, sudden events and rebelliousness.  As I have noted in previous posts, the upcoming Mars-Uranus alignment in late June is one reason why the UK will likely vote to leave the European Union.  When they are in close alignment, Mars and Uranus coincide with situations and events that are unstable, unpredictable and disruptive of the status quo. 

We can see how this Mars-Uranus alignment manifested in the horoscope of the shooter, Omar Mateen, born November 16, 1986.   Although we don't know his time of birth, we can see that he was born with a close t-square of the Sun, Moon, and Mars.  The exact position of the Moon is unknown in early Taurus (or late Aries) but it is likely well within range of his Mars at 0 Aquarius.  He was certainly born with a near exact square of the Sun and Mars, albeit one that does not adhere to standard Vedic aspects.  Nonetheless, it was exact enough that even a partial strength aspect would have manifested as a person with a very strong and assertive ego (Sun-Mars) and a desire to take action. 

His mental condition was likely reflected by the Mars aspect to the Moon, which is the planet most tied to the emotions and mental health. The Sun-Mars-Moon alignment therefore paints a picture of a person with a lot of energy but also a lot of anger.  Early evidence supports this view that he was an angry person who beat his wife and harbored hateful thoughts towards others who were different.

At the time of the shooting, Mars (1 Scorpio) was exactly conjunct his natal Sun (0 Scorpio) and hence also exactly squared his natal Mars (0 Aquarius) and opposed his natal Moon in early Taurus. Uranus (29 Pisces) was also in a tight degreewise alignment with Mateen's fiery natal planetary alignment.  As an added burden, Mateen was undergoing his Saturn Return as Saturn (18 Scorpio) was retrograding towards a conjunction with its natal position at 16 Scorpio.  Saturn Returns can come at a time when normal progress is blocked and individuals are forced to seek new paths for the future. 

Perhaps most compelling of all, however, is that the national horoscope of the USA is also under heavy Mars affliction.  The transiting Mars (1 Scorpio) exactly aspects the natal Mars (0 Gemini) with its full strength 8th-house (quincunx) aspect.  The cruel effects of this aspect would most likely be amplified by: 1) the fact that Mars is moving slowly and is approaching its direct station and 2) its larger alignment with Uranus (29 Pisces).  While Uranus is not in aspect using standard Vedic rules, I have found that anytime more than one planet is in such a tight degreewise alignment (usually in multiples of 15 or 30 degrees), there will be heightened effects.  It is therefore not surprising that the US should have come under another terrorist attack at a time when its natal Mars is in alignment with a stationary Mars.  That is certainly a recipe for violence and war. 

And as an added planetary trigger, transiting Venus (29 Taurus) and the Sun (27 Taurus) were coming right up to conjoin with the natal Mars at the time of the attack. Transiting Saturn (18 Scorpio) is also exactly opposite natal Uranus (18 Taurus). That may be seen  as a cosmic signature for suffering (Saturn) that arises from sudden events (Uranus).

It is conceivable that we could even see more attacks and violent incidents are possible during this time that Mars is near its station.  This period of heightened terrorist risk likely extends into early July when Mars has returned to direct motion and thereby again forms an exact 8th house quincunx aspect to the natal Mars.  More broadly, this time of the Mars-Uranus alignment looks difficult with sudden and conflictive events more likely.   I have previously written how the horoscope of GOP nominee Donald Trump looks especially afflicted by this Mars-Uranus alignment. 

Weekly Market Forecast

Stock markets have been generally weaker in the past week as fears of a Brexit has compelled some investors to seek safety of bonds and gold.   US markets were somewhat mixed last week and are tilting negative thus far in Monday trading.  Asian markets moved lower last week and here on Monday also as Indian shares followed the global Brexit sell-off.  This outcome was more or less in keeping with last week's market forecast where I though that the early week would see gains on the Sun-Venus-Jupiter-Rahu alignment but that selling was more likely later in the week on the Mercury-Mars opposition. 

This week looks more negative as Mars aspects both Venus and then the Sun into midweek.  This Mars influence will make it harder for stocks to rise and I would think it will translate into more downside beyond Monday's across the board decline.  While we could see some upside around Wednesday's Fed meeting as the Moon aligns with bullish Venus, the late week looks problematic.  Friday's Moon-Mars conjunction in particular could increase volatility. 

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

UK polls now show slim lead for Brexit side in EU referendum

(7 June 2016) The UK appears to be inching closer to doing the unthinkable as weekend polls showed the Leave side gaining a slight edge for the first time since the campaign began.  The UK is due to hold a referendum on its EU membership on June 23rd.   Political betting markets are still indicating that a "Brexit" is the less likely outcome although the odds for the Leave side have risen somewhat recently and are now approaching 30%. 

As I posted several months ago, the planetary alignments offer strong astrological evidence for Brexit.  As I noted back in February, several of the relevant horoscopes showed considerable instability in June.  The referendum day transits alone were likely enough to make a case for a Leave vote since Uranus was changing sidereal signs into Aries on the very day of the vote. Uranus is the planet of sudden change, independence and often rebelliousness.   When it changes signs every 7 years, there is usually some symbolically equivalent event which reflects its unstable energy within days of its sign change or ingress. (N.B.  I am using the Krishnamurti ayanamsha although occurs only a couple of days alter using Lahiri.)  It seems more than just coincidence that the UK would be holding this referendum on the same day that this Uranian energy is peaking. 

The vote is still two weeks away, but the momentum appears to be shifting towards the Leave side.  Polls can be unreliable, however, and with the betting markets still expecting the Remain side to win, there would have to be more movement towards the Brexit camp.  Interestingly, the UK national horoscope (1 January 1801, midnight) also provides good evidence that the Leave side is more likely to win, or at very least create the conditions for significant instability.

There are a few key alignments here.  The most obvious to me is the Jupiter-Rahu conjunction at 21-22 Leo and its combined aspect to the natal Mars at 20 Aries.  Mars represents action and its placement in the 8th house implies change, death/life and even rebirth. Jupiter stationed direct exactly in aspect to the Mars back in May but it is now moving away.  A Jupiter-Mars aspect may symbolize an initiating and courageous action but usually within a balanced context.  If Rahu was not involved in this alignment, the evidence for voting to Leave the EU would be weaker. 

But Rahu often brings boldness and even recklessless.  There is a desire to break with the status quo with Rahu as it seeks novelty over tradition.   Rahu perhaps represents 'change at all costs'.  Despite the warnings of various bankers, economists and UK corporate leaders that there will be a significant price to be paid if Britain leaves the EU, many people are tuning out these calls for prudence from the elite. And it is worth noting that Rahu will be closer to an exact aspect to Mars than Jupiter as it is approaching its 120 degree aspect while Jupiter is now separating.  The disruptive influence of Rahu will therefore have the upper hand over Jupiter's inherent preference for balanced or 'right' action.

The transit of Mars also adds to the overall picture of intense debate and conflict.  Mars (29 Libra) will station direct a week after the vote and will therefore form a close alignment (119 degree) with the natal Moon (28 Gemini).  This is not a full strength Mars aspect according to Vedic rules, but it nonetheless is a partial strength aspect which is close enough to exact to add to the overall tension. 

Transiting Saturn (17 Scorpio) is sitting on the equal 3rd house cusp (16 Scorpio) and will station direct very close to the cusp in August at 15 Scorpio.  That is a negative influence and may reflect the negative financial fallout of circumstances surrounding the referendum.  Many economists including Bank of England chief Mark Carney have warned of dire economic consquences if Britain leaves Europe.  This Saturn station on the 3rd house -- and therefore aspecting the 12th house of loss through its forward square aspect -- may well reflect a summer of pessimism and declining economic activity in the UK. 

And on the day of the referendum, Mercury (23 Taurus), representing communication and thinking, will be in an exact alignment with natal Ketu (23 Virgo) which symbolizes unexpected or unconventional situations.  While it is possible this could reflect confusion at the polls or difficulty in tallying the vote, it may simply reflect the surprising nature of the outcome.  Again, this alignment would appear to support a Leave campaign win. 

It's still possible that these various indications may only signify tension and rising anxiety over the vote rather than the outcome itself.  Even a close vote to Remain could be seen as divisive and weakening the strength of the EU going forward.  And yet, given the afflictions presents in these charts, I would be surprised if somehow the UK voted to stay in the EU.

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks moved mostly higher last week as last week's disappointing US jobs report took the prospect of a June Fed rate hike off the table.  This disproportionately benefited emerging markets such as India as a lower Dollar ensured that more foreign institutional investors would raise their overseas exposure. 

Markets are somewhat stronger here than I had expected, although most stocks remain below their 2015 highs.  Monday's upside was correlated with the Sun-Venus conjunction at 22 Taurus.  This created a broad degreewise alignment with Jupiter (21 Leo) and Rahu (22 Leo) as well as Pluto (22 Sagittarius).   This was clearly a positive planetary influence that predicted early week upside.  As the faster-moving planet, Venus will overtake the Sun today (Tuesday) and so we may see a lessening of optimism as the week progresses.  In addition, I would think that the Mercury-Mars opposition in the second half of the week could correspond to some significant downside across many markets. 

And just to to be clear, if the UK does vote to leave the EU, then this should be negative for stocks worldwide.  Certainly, the Mars-Uranus alignment in late June -- along with the Uranus ingress --  looks sufficiently volatile to produce some turbulence.  Therefore, the probability will rise that this current rally that has prevailed in most markets since February will run into some trouble. 

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter includes discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.