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.