Sunday, October 4, 2009

Planetary trainwreck looms

Last week US markets fell the for second straight week amidst growing fears that the recovery may not be just around the corner. Stocks fell 2% as the Dow closed at 9487 and the S&P finished at 1025. Indian markets bucked the worldwide negative trend in a holiday-shortened week as the stocks moved 2% higher. The Sensex closed Thursday at 17,134 while the Nifty ended the week at 5083. This outcome was mostly in keeping with expectations since I had been bearish on the unusually prolonged minor Mercury-Mars aspect last week. After Monday's gain in New York, stocks fell over the next four days as the retreat from the previous week's highs proceeded apace. So far, the Saturn-Uranus aspect is proving to be a significant signpost for the markets as stocks rose leading up to the exact opposition aspect on September 18, and have fallen as the aspect has separated. This mirrors what happened in the two previous oppositions in November 2008 and February 2009. Mumbai is an important exception to this trend so far, perhaps due to some benefic hits in the relevant natal charts that have offset the transit energy.

The markets now stand on the precipice as we have an impressive array of foreboding planetary aspects this week. Mercury (trading) conjoins Saturn (pessimism) while under the damaging aspect of Rahu (exaggeration). While there is no certain interpretation of this configuration, I believe we are likely going to see increased fears and investor caution which will translate into greater selling and more declines. As an added dimension, I note that we will have no less than four planetary ingresses this week. When planets change signs, there is supposed to be a shift in energy. Usually this is fairly subtle, and often undetectable (read: unfalsifiable) especially on a mundane level. Now once again moving forward, Mercury re-enters Virgo on Sunday while Mars enters Cancer on the same day. Virgo is generally kind to Mercury so that may be construed as a slightly bullish factor. But Mars is debilitated in Cancer and that may increase volatility as aggression and conflict is more likely to come to the surface. Mars is also in a close conjunction with unpredictable Ketu, so that ratchets up the chances for unusual or sudden outbursts of conflict or violent action. (As a side note, the September 11th attacks took place under a Mars-Ketu conjunction). So that's two planets changing energy on the same day and neither in is good planetary company -- Mercury is with grim, old Saturn and Mars is with nutty Ketu. This is quite unusual, and perhaps destabilizing although the ingresses may be less important than the aspects and conjunctions

But we also have two outer planets, Uranus and Neptune, also changing their sidereal signs this week according to Lahiri or Krishnamurti. Unlike inner planets which change signs every month or so, outer planets change signs every few years and hence their ingresses may be more noteworthy. According to the Krishnamurti ayanamsha, Uranus enters Aquarius Monday while Neptune enters Capricorn on Thursday. Since these distant planets move so slowly, their ingresses will vary by a few days depending on which ayanamsha is used. I should also point out that this will not be the initial ingress for either Uranus or Neptune since both are retrograding back to a previous sign, and hence one could argue that the ingress may be less significant. Nonetheless, having four planets changing signs in such quick succession is a very rare occurrence and may serve to amplify any developments we see in the markets or the world over the next week or two. American astrologer Richard Houck noted that outer planet ingresses often coincide with major changes in the status quo. Uranus in particular was associated with major stock market declines. The 1987 US crash occurred the day Uranus entered Sagittarius, and the Dow lost 6% the day Uranus entered Capricorn in 1994. It's by no means a certain correlation or even a probabilistic one since we can point to many Uranus ingresses when the markets were relatively calm. But it should be seen as another potentially negative factor that could weigh heavily on markets, especially combined with the difficult Mercury-Saturn-Rahu and Mars-Ketu patterns.

This week nothing would surprise me. Get ready for anything.