|From Merriman's free weekly:|
In a classic example of a Saturn/Uranus waning square “black swan” event, world stock indices cracked on Friday. COVID-19 reared its ugly head with yet another new variant from South Africa. This provides a stunning warning of what the Venus retrograde, conjunct Pluto, and the third and final exact waning square of Saturn/Uranus, December 19 and 24, is all about.
The U.S. stock market may have the same holiday season fate as the serious decline that took place into December 26, 2018, after the Fed announced at the time that it would begin increasing rates. The same message is in force today, and the market seemed to be taking it in stride. Until Friday. Until the announcement of a new mutation to COVID-19 that threatens the population of the world.
There are several factors to consider here related to markets and geocosmic correlations. First, the selloff into December 26, 2018, began when Venus turned retrograde in early October 2018. This is typically a time when the FED or some other central bank makes a surprise announcement, a surprise change in their interest rate policy. The 19-month Venus retrograde cycle is one of the most powerful and consistent correlates to not only changes in central bank policies but also to primary or greater cycles in world stock indices. It takes place again on December 19, conjunct Pluto. Pluto is the planetary correlate to matters of debt and taxes, which also have a direct connection to interest-rate related markets (like treasuries and currencies) as well as stock indices.
Equally important is the third passage of the Saturn/Uranus waning square on December 24, 2021. The first passage occurred on February 17, 2021 and coincided with important highs in the Japanese and Chinese stock markets. In the past two Forecast Books, studies were presented that showed the U.S. and British stock markets made long-term cycle crests in a time band that started a couple of months before the first passage until two months prior to the last passage. The all-time high in the DJIA was 36,565 on November 8, which is slightly less than two months before the third and final exact passage of this aspect. We cannot rule out the possibility that the November 8 high may be a long-term cycle crest and the start of the most serious decline since the March 23, 2020 pandemic crisis selloff of 38%. Prior to this, the sharpest decline since March 2020 has been 10.5%. There have been no double-digit declines in 2021 up until now.
Another market to watch will be treasuries. As discussed in recent columns, transiting Jupiter will enter Pisces on December 28-29, 2021, where it will make a favorable trine and sextile aspect to the FRB Sun/Pluto. It was our position that the Fed would not raise rates or stop its monetary easing policies until after that period. If the mutation is serious, then this would be cause for the Fed to delay its planned cut- back on its monetary stimulus programs. The Fed is likely to still do it with Jupiter in Pisces, December 29-May 10, but maybe 1-2 months later than their suggested start date of December.
As far as how serious this new COVID-19 variant may be, we suggest reading our chapter on this subject in the Forecast 2022 Book. Last year’s book provided studies that showed the correlation of the deadliest pandemics in history to Saturn/Neptune signatures. Saturn is in a semi-square (hard aspect) to Neptune in the last quarter of 2021. We are in it now, and this aspect will pass in very early 2022. But Jupiter will then approach its conjunction to Neptune in mid-April 2022. This is an aspect indicating both freedom of movement, which suggests the crisis recedes once again, but also a period of excessive carelessness, which could lead to further problems if we haven’t learned to protect ourselves and one another by then.
As noted earlier, world stock markets took a hit late last week. So did Crude Oil and Silver. Gold also fell hard into Wednesday but then recovered smartly on the mutation news before selling off again into the close. Bitcoin dropped to its lowest price since October 6. The big gainers on Friday were currencies as the Dollar plummeted, a sign that traders believe the Fed will come to the rescue.
Sometimes astrology is just very incredible in the pursuit of understanding the flow of cycles in human activity.
SHORT-TERM GEOCOSMICS AND LONGER-TERM THOUGHTS
Workers in the U.S. resigned from a record 4.4 million jobs in September. Since January, quits have increased the most of any industry in educational services, which includes teachers, janitors, and guidance counselors. – Andrew Mollica and Sarah Chaney Cambon, “Snapshot Shows Workers Quitting at Record Rates,” Wall Street Journal, November 26, 2021.
We are losing one of our most valuable assets: teachers. This is not a good sign for the future. Why are teachers quitting? Why aren’t more politicians quitting? It’s not complicated. But that is a discussion for another time, although attention to this matter is also covered in the Forecast 2022 Book. It won’t be long before educators are given more credit for what they bring to society.
Shorter-term, there are interesting geocosmic signatures arising in the next week that could affect financial markets. The first important one is Neptune turning direct in Pisces on December 1. Neptune is a strange planet. It can coincide with euphoria and bliss, as well as an urge to be creative and seek romance. It is very good at creating pictures or narratives in people’s minds that are very pleasant and persuasive. It is good for marketing and advertising. But it often lacks realism. It doesn’t do well under pressure. If the stock markets of the world are rising under a Neptune transit, they can stay elevated as investors “hope” for the best. But if conditions are stressful, a Neptune-highlighted period can coincide with hysteria and panic as everything spirals out of control – or at least many may think matters are spiraling out of control. The thing about Neptune is that you don’t really know, and in the absence of factual data, people begin to speculate, sometimes wildly, leading to panic. This may be in store for world financial markets next week.
Matters can spiral further out of control under the New Moon in Sagittarius, December 3-4. Sagittarius is ruled by Jupiter, so whatever the collective mood is at this time, it becomes exaggerated. Usually, at this time of the year, the mood is joyous, so markets go up under the New Moon in Sagittarius. But if a sense of panic starts to escalate instead with this new COVID-19 variant, markets may take a fast elevator ride down. I am inclined to think that will be the case because, at the same time, transiting Mars will make a T-square to the Mercury/Pluto square in the New York Stock Exchange founding chart of May 17, 1792. That combination has a strong history of sharp declines in stock prices.
Besides Neptune, Jupiter, and the New Moon in Sagittarius, there is another planet/sign combination that can correlate with over-excitement or hysteria. That is the transit of heliocentric Mercury into Sagittarius from November 26-December 7. Usually, this is a bullish period for Gold, and we saw an example of that early Friday when Gold jumped nearly $40 from its low of the previous trading day, only to give most of it back by the close. But if Jupiter and Sagittarius do pertain to exaggeration, and it turns more towards hysteria rather than blind optimism, traders will seek safe-havens. Gold, Treasuries, or the U.S. Dollar are often beneficiaries in these economic climates. If the Dollar gains, that may not be positive for Gold, and with helio Mercury in Sagittarius, we can see large rallies or declines, and sometimes both, during this transit.
It is shaping up to be an interesting holiday season. With all this Sagittarius and Neptune energy, one should try to have fun with those they love. Sagittarius is fun; Neptune is bliss if you choose. Or you can choose speculative frenzy and hysteria if you prefer more drama, which certainly these planetary energies can also provide in abundance. But remember that under a strong Neptune transit, one must be careful of rumors and strive to get the correct information.