Monday, October 31, 2016

Sun and Jupiter under pressure: FBI tightens US presidential race

(31 October 2016) The US election race has descended into chaos since the bombshell news Friday that the FBI has re-opened its investigation of Hillary Clinton's emails.  Suddenly, her steady 5-10 point lead has shrunk to 2-5 points and polls have yet to fully reflect the impact of this latest revelation.  It's unclear how much of an impact it could have on the race, although it seems certain to further narrow Clinton's lead.  That means that the election could be very close indeed. 

Unfortunately, this only heightens my fears in last week's post that the post-election period could be mired in controversy.  In last week's post on Donald Trump and his possible refusal to concede, I suggested that the planets on Election Day looked tense and conflicted.  The horoscope of the USA had several alignments which were reminiscent of the contested 2000 election which ultimately saw George W. Bush prevail over Al Gore after the latter's challenge went all the way to the Supreme Court. 

The twist in this election is that we may well be seeing some of those telling planetary afflictions already playing out before the election has actually happened.  Two of the key alignments involved afflictions to the Sun (authority, government, leaders) and Jupiter (law, tradition, moral actions).  In 2000, the Sun was afflicted by Rahu (North Lunar Node) by conjunction which symbolizes disruptions in the normal affairs of government.  At the same time, legal practices and tradition (Jupiter) were undermined  by the close aspect of Ketu (South Lunar Node) which can have temporarily corrosive effects.

Similar afflictions are in play now.  Transiting Ketu (16 Aquarius) is one degree from an exact 5th house trine aspect with Jupiter (law) at 15 Gemini just as the nation's leading law enforcement agency, the FBI under the leadership of James Comey, has been criticized for breaking with precedent.  Traditionally, the FBI has refrained from making public any knowledge of ongoing investigations lest it appear to be interfering in the electoral process.  Ketu disrupts and dissolves the planets it influences and this FBI leak has called into question the impartiality of the FBI.  It has also raises the possibility that Hillary Clinton may yet face a criminal investigation, even if she wins the election.  Either way, it is a black-eye on the US government and its hallowed democratic tradition and provides fuel for those who see the US as a superpower in decline. 

The Sun (government) is also afflicted by an opposition aspect from Pluto (power, coercion) and a quincunx aspect from Saturn (stress, frustration).  Clearly, it is a bad time for the reputation of US institutions. The opposition aspect from Mars to Mercury (3 Cancer) highlights these problems and suggests they could be in play through the week and come to a head next weekend just before the election.   Sad to say, this increasingly bizarre election isn't over yet. 

Actually, the current uproar over Hillary's emails were fairly clearly seen in her chart.  I lament the fact that I didn't post about it last week as I thought it likely wouldn't change the outcome of the election so I didn't mention it.  At the time of the FBI leak, Mars (28 Sagittarius) was exactly aspecting Saturn (28 Cancer) by full-strength 8th house quincunx aspect  Today and tomorrow, Mars enters Capricorn and will fall under the aspect of Rahu (0 Taurus).  This Mars transit would be even more potent if we use the 8.00 a.m. chart that puts the transiting Mars near the 3rd house cusp.  But this Mars alignment may well be the peak of Hillary's troubles for now.  I suspect that she will begin to find her footing in the next day or two and continue to move forward into Election Day next Tuesday the 8th.

On the other hand, Donald Trump may find himself on the defensive once again as Mars opposes his Saturn and Venus this week.  The Saturn aspect occurs on Tuesday with the Venus (2 Capricorn)  hit due on Wednesday and Thursday.  And then Mars will cast its 8th house aspect on to the natal Mars (3 Leo) over the weekend.  This is usually an unhelpful aspect and suggests that the flow of news events will go against his wishes.  All these Mars hits look good for his energy levels but the aspects seem negative in their outcomes. 

On Election Day, Mars (6 Capricorn) aligns almost exactly with his Ascendant.  While there are many other indications in play, this is not a good transit to have for winning.  That's another reason why I think Trump will lose this election.  And if the election is very close, that fiery Mars influence raises the probability that he will legally contest it.  Mars symbolizes anger, conflict and frustration.  I am still uncertain if this will really happen now since some of those planets have already manifested in the form of the FBI email circus.  And yet I have to think that Trump will try to prolong his time in the spotlight for as long as possible.  With Hillary Clinton likely under investigation well past the election, there is good reason to think that her administration will come under intense scrutiny for the foreseeable future and may be seen as illegitimate.  The election win may prove to be a poisoned chalice. 

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks fell modestly last week and early this week as investors reacted to the new level of uncertainty in the US election.  The Dow edged lower but remained above the 18,000 level while India's Sensex slipped below the 28,000 level ahead of the Diwali holiday closing. This modestly negative outcome was in line with expectations as I suggested in last week's market forecast that stocks could move lower on the late week Mars-Uranus square aspect. 

This week will likely see more downside as Mars enters Capricorn into midweek.  While Mars is said to be exalted (i.e. more able to function constructively) in Capricorn, the sign ingresses of Mars lean bearish in any event.  The late week could see a bounce but it seems less likely to reverse the negative fortunes for the week.  While next Monday could be positive on the entry of Venus into Sagittarius, there is good reason to be cautious on the day after the election, November 9th, as Mars forms a minor aspect with Saturn.  Markets may be seeking safe havens after the results of the US election. 

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.