Saturday, March 26, 2011

Markets rise on Sun-Uranus; Mars-Ketu due Tuesday

Stocks rebounded forcefully last week as fears about Japan lessened and US growth prospects continued to show signs of improvement. In New York, the Dow climbed more than 2% closing at 12,220 while the S&P500 ended the week at 1313. Indian markets were even more bullish, as the BSE-Sensex soared 5% closing at 18,815 with the Nifty finishing at 5654. This bullish outcome was perhaps a reflection of Monday's Sun-Uranus conjunction which I had suggested was a fairly positive influence in the early going. I had been more unsure about the rest of the week, however, given the unreliability of the midweek Venus-Ketu aspect and the mix of energies at the end of the week.

This recent rise in stocks is perhaps somewhat anomalous with the close opposition aspect between Jupiter and Saturn, now just one degree from exact. As a general rule, closer aspects are more powerful in their effects and if this aspect is mostly negative, then stocks should tend to decline around the date of their exact aspect, which is March 28-29 in this case. While that is likely true, it is important to note that both Jupiter and Saturn are slow moving planets and usually require faster-moving triggering planets to release their energy. We didn't have a triggering 3rd planet last week, so that was one reason why the markets recovered. So even though the aspect will begin to separate and therefore weaken after Monday, its mostly bearish energy can be released for days or even weeks afterwards if we get the right triggering planets involved in the alignment. This appears to be the case now as we have a series of transits involving fast-moving inner planets (Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars) that will all conjoin Jupiter in the month of April. It promises to be a fascinating time.

It's also worth noting that planetary energies for good or ill will not always manifest clearly in the market. Negative energy such as what we see with Saturn aspects can sometimes show up in the form of a war, or natural disaster that may not have any obvious economic implications. The 2004 tsunami in the Indian Ocean was an example of this type of event that occurred near a negative planetary alignment of Saturn and Pluto and yet did not have any effect on the market. All of which is to say that there is still a lot we don't know about the relationship between the motions of the planets and life on Earth. Astrology's empirical foundation is fragmentary at best (not unlike economics perhaps!), and this is why it exists in a rather isolated, dark corner safely away from the mainstream.

This may be quite an interesting week. Not only will we see the exact Jupiter-Saturn opposition late on Monday (GMT), but we will also have a square aspect between Mars and Ketu (South Lunar Node) in the first half of the week. Mars aspects with the nodes can be quite lively and energetic and often correlate with quick action and sudden changes. Since both planets are considered natural malefics, there is a somewhat higher possibility for declines here. And given the Jupiter-Saturn encounter, we can't rule out some major "volatility", as they euphemistically say in the business media. This Mars-Ketu aspect doesn't quite qualify as a "trigger" since it will not aspect Jupiter-Saturn, but it may act as a kind of pseudo-trigger. Mercury turns retrograde late Wednesday (GMT) in fairly close aspect to Rahu. This may be a mostly neutral influence, although the Rahu influence here suggests an overload or distortion of information. In some instances, this could be a good thing but it should be treated with caution. At the same time, the Moon conjoins Venus and Neptune on Wednesday and Thursday, so that may exert a mildly calming effect. Friday's Mars-Neptune aspect seems more negative, especially since the Moon will be in the proximity of Mars later in the day in the US.