Monday, 31 March 2008

Where in the World?

Rather more of a delay between posting than I intended. Telecom problems. A friend asked why I failed to predict this simple event when I have no problem predicting the US dollar. Very amusing. I rarely study my own chart and certainly do not spend the amount of effort required to obtain that much daily accuracy – studying currency charts pays; there’s yet to be a futures market in Fortuna2020 telecommunications glitches.

A more serious reader of my initial posting asked a better question: “Why, if there is, for example, a Saturn Uranus opposition, does this not affect everything and everyplace on the earth? Simultaneously?"

There are two main reasons:-

The first is that different places, races, nations and companies were born under different alignments. Just like different people. A country or market may have a tight Saturn Pluto conjunction , so be very responsive to the cycle of Saturn and Pluto. Another country may have been formed when Uranus was at 0 degrees of a cardinal sign and be sensitive to transits of all planets to that degree. We may well not have the exact data for many locations and entities but the principle applies to all.

The second reason is that each location experiences the universe from different perspective at any point in time. This is easiest to understand if we remember that the earth is not a pinhead, but a large spinning body with different time zones; no-one questions the fact that the sun is in exactly the same degree relative to the earth, but that it is visible (and daytime) only where it is above the horizon. The same principle can be applied to all the bodies in the universe. We know we don’t experience the sun in the same way at the same times in California as we do in Switzerland and, on a more symbolic level, the same applies to Venus, Saturn etc.

Planets on the angles may be particularly significant. The four key angles are the Ascendant and Descendant, which are essentially horizons, the Midheaven ( MC), which is pretty much what it says it is and the IC- the point opposite the Midheaven.

An example will illustrate. A chart set for the time of the recent UK earthquake shows Uranus on the IC (the root of the chart) in Market Rasen at that moment. Uranus was not on the IC in Germany or Sweden etc etc.

Thus there are a limited number of places in which an event can occur.

My reader didn’t ask the following corollary but he could have done. “If things don’t happen identically, simultaneously, everywhere, how do you explain the fact that the major stock markets do often correlate with each other”

There are again two reasons for this:-

The first is that the charts of related markets/sectors/countries often have elements in common and encounter transits to those elements at the same time. No coincidence; they are often born at similar times or under key points in the cycles of the same planetary pair.

The second is that, in some cases, they are physically linked too.
For instance; set the Pluto Capricorn ingress chart for New York and you will find the Pluto/Jupiter/Venus conjunction opposite the Midheaven. Relocate the chart to Hong Kong and the conjunction there is close to the Midheaven. This relationship holds as they are not far from 180 degrees apart.

It is sometimes the case that a configuration on the impacts the angles in London as well. For example in early August the sun rises in London as it is on the Hong Kong (and Beijing) MC and close to the IC in NY.

In the first example given, though, the conjunction does not fall on a key angle in London, (although it does fall in the second house of finance), instead it falls on the Ascendant in the Middle East.

It is easy to see, then, how events that occur in one part of the world may or may not be reflected elsewhere. I hope that answers the question. Now can someone tell me how to stop the telephone problems...


Monday, 17 March 2008

Part 1 : 2008-2010 - Don’t bank on redemption just yet

Background

With the ongoing situation in the banking and currency markets taking yet another series of dramatic turns this week, it was very tempting to plunge immediately into a forward looking analysis of one or other of those markets. The dollar was top of my list but, let’s face it, there are plenty of contenders. However, as will become apparent when I do present more of that analysis over the coming months, there is no hurry; this particular soap opera is set to run and run.

So I am reverting to my original plan. Before delving into specifics, I am going to post a series of articles that provide a general background to the themes of the coming years. This is Part I, which will take us from the events of 2007 through to early 2010 and lay the foundations in readiness for the bigger dramas to follow.

Unravelling threads
Because the financial unravelling dates back to mid 2007, you could be forgiven for thinking that we might be experiencing the same or similar astrological conditions now as last summer.

This would only be partially right. We are currently seeing Saturn retrograde over 3-4 Virgo – the point of the lunar eclipse in late August 2007, and of a Saturn Venus conjunction in October. This confirms that we are revisiting and reassessing the problems of those months, and indeed we will be doing so at least until June 2008, when Saturn passes this zodiacal degree for the last time.

However to think it is all about last year’s event would also be partially misguided, a great deal has changed in the last few months. What we are starting to see is that old chestnut the new paradigm: unfortunately, this one won’t be welcomed by many of those who coined the phase.

Last year’s unravelling was the response to two factors. The first was the opposition of Neptune and Saturn, which correlated with the crumbling of the housing market. The 36 year Neptune/Saturn cycle had its conjunction in 1989, the last time the housing cycle peaked, in the UK at least. Saturn/Neptune is big on crumbling structures; look what it did to the Berlin Wall and communism. It has just done the same to the belief that property is as safe as houses.

The second factor was much more significant. Although Jupiter forms a conjunction with Pluto every 13 years or so, the last one in Sagittarius occurred in 1758 and, since Sagittarius is traditionally “ruled” by Jupiter, the effect is magnified. Jupiter and Pluto have many significations, but the key one to note here is that of leverage. If that planetary cycle is on your side you can borrow many times over and become infinitely rich (almost), if it’s not – you’re bust. Furthermore, in 1981 and 2020 the conjunction of the Jupiter/Pluto cycle corresponds with the conjunction of the Pluto/Saturn cycle. A close triple conjunction doesn’t happen often, maybe every 100-300 years, but two consecutive ones……….. well, due to Pluto’s irregular orbit, that last happened in 1247 AD and 1285 AD.

I reserve judgement on the views of other astrologers that claim that the conjunction occurring at the degree of the galactic centre made it all the more powerful. It really makes no difference to the average individual or indeed corporation. While we wind down towards the completion of these cycles in 2020 and absorb the final consequences of their excesses, we can be sure that the times of bumper leverage we have seen over the last decades were a one off and they are over.

So, if 2007 saw us passing these critical points in the Neptune/Saturn and Pluto/Jupiter cycles, what are we experiencing now?

In reality “nothing” is beginning to happen
On 18th December 2007 Jupiter moved into Capricorn, where it can’t operate so freely. The positive side of this is the opportunity for consolidation of ones position, cutting out of dead wood and the marshalling of ones resources and plans for future development. The negative side is the potential for losses and for at least temporary recession.

But Jupiter only spends a year in each sign, so this little swallow alone won’t make a summer, or more aptly a 1929 depression. The impact is temporary.

However Jupiter’s change of residence was rapidly followed on 26 January by Pluto also moving into Capricorn, where it will remain until 2024. I will say much more about this in coming posts, but let’s take a quick look now.

Capricorn is a cardinal astrological sign. This means it is a sign of action and reaction, a sign where the ideas and events that have been gestating in the preceding mutable sign crystallize into events.

It is also an earth sign. Which makes it a sign of structures and definitions: the concrete manifestation of the creations of the preceding air sign, whether they be buildings, corporations, government parties or statutes and dogma. It also makes for very risk adverse behaviours.

Pluto has often described by astrologers as being about death. However, traditionally Saturn was the planet associated with dying, surely we don’t need another one?; death is still only a once in a lifetime opportunity. Fortunately the astronomer’s have led the way and helped us refine our planetary associations: they have decreed that Pluto is a non-planet. It is therefore represents nothing. Or to be more precise, and perhaps a little more constructive, it is about the absence of anything. Hence there is still a close association with death, through the experience of loss, as well as with irrational fear and all things unknown and those created out of negative situations. Nothingness, unbounded, is essentially infinite, hence Pluto’s associations with unlimited financial leverage, wealth and power.

So Pluto, planet of complete nothingness is in Capricorn, sign of crystallization of events relating to physical, organisational and legal structures. That does not sound like a terribly good fit does it? I could list the many possible manifestations, but the idea should be clear. What we have built will be no more.

Now that’s not a prediction for total annihilation. Pluto was in Capricorn in 1762-1779, and many things remained standing! Perhaps another way of looking at the symbolism of Pluto’s demotion is that this non-planet describes how something we thought was a core part of our system construct, can no longer play a part in that construct. We must accept the elimination and move on. The Pluto message is “don’t take things for granted, learn to live without them”. I have heard some great comments on the impact of Pluto in Capricorn from Americans, who perceive its part in the country’s independence positively but, be aware, that this was not how the colonial Britain would have perceived the situation.

So the more dependent you are on the current structure, the more you will need to adjust to its absence at sometime in the next decade or so.

And it will clear that unlike the Jupiter transit of Capricorn, this is not a temporary effect. As I have already mentioned, the impact of this will run and run so ‘get used to it”.

Therefore, bearing in mind the combined impact of restriction on Jupiterian growth and the impact of Pluto eliminating structures that were supposed to be secure, it is no wonder the financial crisis triggered by the two critical turning points last year has not gone away.

Pollyanna has not left the building, yet
However, surprising as it may seem, things aren’t all bad at the moment. Jupiter is making a positive sextile (60 °) to Uranus. There are opportunities to mitigate the problems. Opportunities the central banks seem to be taking, pumping liquidity into the system. Jupiter and Uranus together have associations with freedom from restriction and lifting the restraints is what the interventions are designed to do.

With the sextile aspect, they aren’t having to deal immediately with the consequences of their actions. That is the great thing about a sextile, you can grab the opportunity to change things without much obvious opposition, but also without any real idea of what the true indirect consequences will be. And Jupiter Uranus is about as change orientated as planetary combinations come.

Nevertheless, it’s a volatile combination, even when positive. The recent UK earthquake picked up the degree of the aspect, and to some extent the market swings derive from the effects of these two planets. On the other hand, hardly a year goes by when these two planets don’t aspect each other in some way. So to read too much into it would be a mistake. Volatility happens in some markets, often and earthquakes occur every day, somewhere. The importance is really in how the two planets are manifesting as they move towards their conjunction in 2010 as part of the cardinal cross. At the moment they are just scene setting.

March 2008 will not see the end of these opportunistic interventions. The aspect continues through May/June and is again resurrected later in October/November. That in itself should indicate that we are not out of the woods, that we won’t be out of the woods by the end of the year, but also, more importantly, that 2008 is not likely to be the year when the whole system comes crashing down. To mix metaphors quite dreadfully, there are still chances to prop things up, shift some shells around the table and keep the plates spinning, at least till late 2008.

And in late 2008, we will see a shift. Even slow old Saturn, currently re-working the credit crunch analysis, has to move on eventually. And in this case he moves on, first, to form a nice stable and comfortable trine with Jupiter. This initially happens in September: it happened in January too, really things weren’t too bad then were they? Maybe we will have some respite.

Unfortunately, if we do, it will be short lived. Between September and November 2008, both Saturn and Jupiter trundle forward, holding things together. Then Jupiter sextiles Uranus again, providing more opportunities to intervene and keep those plates spinning. It would all look potentially rosy, if it weren’t for the fact that this also leads to the first in a series of no less than 5 oppositions between Saturn and Uranus.

“All change please”
Jupiter and Uranus together are a bit too excitable, Jupiter and Saturn have their difficulties though they can work well in some cases, but Saturn and Uranus hardly ever make good bedfellows. Especially not when they are in direct opposition. Saturn represents restriction and tradition while Uranus represents unfettered change. It is no coincidence the first exact aspect between these two planets is on 4th November, the date of the US election. We, however, are mainly interested in their economic impact at this point.

As mentioned, Saturn is ensconced in Virgo at the moment. Whilst not its favourite haunt, it does quite like the earthiness, detail and sheer drudgery associated with the Virgo environment. It is currently busy creating an excess of demand over supply of all sorts of Virgoan products: commodities, especially things like wheat, although it will also hold onto a nice piece of metal ore too if it sees one. And it does like detailed data, checking and rechecking, making sure it got the best deal, that nothing was overvalued. Oh those CDO valuations. Oh those quant models. Just let’s take another look to see where we went wrong……………………….And so it will go on until Saturn learns to get out more and actually do something constructive rather than nitpicking, which won’t be until it reaches Libra in 2009/10.

Saturn is a bit ambivalent about organic foodstuffs though. Virgo likes back to nature, but Saturn secretly likes good value and even cheap mass production. So demand for these type of products is actually due to other planetary influences. This is important as, when Saturn does move into Libra, we might find less of shortage of the main commodities but much less change in the demand for organic products.

Anyway, that is more of a digression than I intended. Let us return to other protagonist in our nasty opposition, Uranus.

“All change please”. Freedom! Ureka!! That’s Uranus. OK so it might prefer to be somewhere other than wishy washy, never get anything done Pisces, but that’s nothing new; Uranus always wants to be somewhere else where the grass is greener and the sky bluer. And it will continually be sticking its head up like a meerkat looking for that next inspiration.

Not really terrible interested in Saturn in Virgo’s agricultural commodities or data obsession, is our new friend. They are so yesterday. It has a much better idea….
we can all live in a virtual world and eat silicon chips.

So when they meet in opposition, the battle rages incessantly between the old and the new. Remember 1965-66? That was their last opposition. Peaceful wasn’t it? Everything stayed just the same, right?

So which will be the winner? It depends on the product, country and the market concerned. Wise investors will try to get a piece of each. They should be looking at new ways of producing food and processing information, and when they look at completely new products and markets they should be looking at only the ones that have true value. Obvious? In fact few will judge the balance correctly.

It should be clear that the end-result of a Uranus Saturn opposition is usually better product. It is the process that is uncomfortable. The problem in 2008-10 is that this opposition is operating in an already unstable environment. So companies will start to go bankrupt under this configuration and any tendencies towards recession will deepen.

Jupiter, in the form of central banks and governments will continue to try and help out in 2008. But their ability to do so will be restrained by 2009 when Jupiter moves into Aquarius. I forecast that times will be increasingly tough by then.

The Uranus Saturn opposition also puts in place the next strand of the 2010 cardinal cross. We feel its tentacles reaching out already with Pluto in Capricorn, we will feel it even more as 2009 unfolds.

A virtual possibility?
But before we rush off to confront this upcoming cardinal cross, we will encounter another extremely interesting aspect. In late May 2009, Jupiter Neptune and Chiron (the most well known of a group of astronomical bodies referred to as the centaurs) will form a triple conjunction within 1° at 26° Aquarius. They also meet again twice in December 2009, and the impact of the early 2009 events will thus be felt all year.

Now these bodies meet in the same sign every now and then. They were with 3 ° in Taurus in 1882 and again within 3° in Libra in 1945; but within 1°?

Well, let’s just say that when Goldman Sachs’ CFO stated in August 2007 that they had encountered 25-sigma events in their model, I was able to have some sympathy for them. We’ve noted the Pluto, Jupiter and Saturn consecutive conjunctions that have occurred just once in the last millennium, and now we are going to have yet another triple conjunction of Neptune, Jupiter and Chiron within just 1° and in Aquarius, two things which don’t appear to have occurred since, well, actually I have no idea as my software can only track back to 800 AD on this one. But you get the idea. We are in uncharted waters again.

Of course I’m not letting Goldman off the hook here just because they don’t employ me as their astrologer and couldn’t know these events were occurring; they also forgot the first law of probabilities: just because it can only happen once in 10,000 millennia, doesn’t mean it can’t happen tomorrow.

I am not going to write a great deal about the meaning of this triple conjunction just now. You might like to read the extracts in this article,
http://astrotabletalk.blogspot.com/2006/12/astrology-of-2008-2015.html , which deals with the energy related issues - I cannot disagree with the main thrust of his interpretations; although I less convinced of the direct link to oil. There are few other snippets of analysis done on this rare configuration but generally they confirm my own research, though they are perhaps a little more inclined to assume more uplifting outcomes.

So, I will return to the issues associated with this configuration as I write about individual countries, but for completeness I am going to list the main correspondences here:-

Sacrifice and Redemption/saviour and Holy Grail related issues
Creationism and Genetic mutation
Cures for e.g.cancer/Aids but also appearance of new diseases
Biochemical and biotechnological harm and healing
Artificial intelligence and consciousness
Computer viruses and preventative issues
Species in general; new ones and old ones
General issues surrounding global warming and the survival of our species
Immigration
Meditative and transcendental states of consciousness
Transfer of consciousness (not physical body though) over time and space
Issues relating to mass thought or music/prayer or healing
Alternative natural power sources
Nuclear fusion and nuclear fallout

Although this is quite a long list, there are actually only one or two key themes, that of moving evolution to a higher level either physically or spiritually, and the consequential loss to the original species.

There is however another possible manifestation, but I can’t find any research on the subject. As Chiron shows up strongly in the listing charts of software companies such as Microsoft and Oracle, it clearly has some relevance to that industry. Neptune has a known association with deception and fraud and Jupiter magnifies and spreads anything it can get its paws on. Together they could suggest a major global software related fraud. I hope to look in more depth at the likelihood of this in a later posting.

Furthermore, I note as I write this the situation unfolding in Tibet. I haven’t looked at Tibet’s chart but would expect it to resonate with this aspect. Certainly that of the Dalai Lama does. As is often the case with astrological aspects, the pieces start to float towards one another long before the exact aspect occurs.

Dark forces gathering
Clearly the foregoing paragraphs have all been sweetness and light!

Unfortunately, everything is relative. We must not forget that despite the current financial disruptions we are being constantly reassured by governments that all is going to be just fine.
Stage 1 Slowdown, may be even a recession?
You are crazy, we will meet all our growth targets.
Stage 2 Recession?
There may be small slowdown, there will be no recession.
Stage 3 Recession? Or worse?
We may a brief recession, but we will recover in a couple of quarters.
Does this all sound familiar? Well just imagine stage 4 or 5 or…

Even Saturn tires of pernickety Virgo eventually, and so in late 2009 it makes a short, preliminary foray into Libra. By itself, that would be a positive step. Solidifying partnerships, clarifying contracts and balancing over-eager warmongering, Saturn in Libra is generally a good thing.

But when Saturn makes a hard aspect to Pluto, it is quite difficult to be positive, even in never-never-land. Remember the last time when they opposed each other? 2001. I rest my case.

Once Saturn enters Libra they will form a square close to the cardinal axes. I will say more about this when I look at the whole cardinal cross in Part II. For now it is enough to note the general themes, and what trends will have started to appear by late 2009.

It is worth reassuring those fearing more terrorism that 2001 is not necessarily the best comparison. Whilst terrorism cannot be ruled out under this aspect, the last inbound Saturn Pluto square was actually in 1973-4 and that one also occurred in the early cardinal signs (Pluto was in Cancer rather than Capricorn). Clearly there is an oil connection and a recessionary one. General inflation followed that time and might do again – although as I write this it is difficult to imagine the central bankers allowing inflation of 25% and interest rates in double figures again. Indeed with so much debt in the general population it really would be impossible this time round. Unemployment? That is certainly more likely. What is clear is that we will have another chance to confront our excesses and to do something constructive (cardinal signs are good for constructive action). But will we? Hmmm. We may have no choice this time and that is good, for, if we delay once more, 2020 and beyond will be dire.

On the brink
I am concluding the first part of my analysis with a return to that tiresomely repeating Saturn/Uranus opposition, which occurs again in April 2010, coupled with the opposition from Jupiter to Saturn in May 2010. The reason for this is that, although they are, at this stage, already slipping into place to form the grand cross later in the year, in April and May 2010, they are still in the mutable signs.

We are still, then, dealing with the potential for events and not the events themselves. But Jupiter forming an opposition with Saturn, even in mutable signs, represents a major turning point in the business cycle.

In this case we are looking at the first opposition of these two planets since the major seven planet line up that occurred in May 2000. Of course in May 2000, Uranus was square this major configuration and we saw the impact that completion of the business cycle (Saturn, Jupiter and the other planets together in conventional and risk averse Taurus) could have on risky development of new technology (Uranus in Aquarius). Although there was genuine “product’ in the internet market then, there was also an enormous amount of “fictional” product, which had to be identified and removed from the picture. A good hard aspect will do that. The problem is that it can spread its net a little too wide.

The technology development field has been both aided and complicated in the meantime by the presence of Uranus in Pisces and Neptune in Aquarius. Neptune has close associations with Pisces and Uranus with the anti- establishment networks of Aquarius. They have been inextricably interlinked, developments in one area feeding off the other.

In 2010 as they confront each other again, the relationship has changed from that in 2000. Jupiter lies with Uranus, in Pisces, which is rather similar to the Jupiter/Chiron/Neptune configuration representing mass interconnectivity, network software, spread of viruses, some elements of biotechnology and many of alternative energies. The subtle difference is that this is about the development of the technology not the experience of it.

And as we have seen, Uranus is in opposition to Saturn in conservative, data loving and earth harvesting Virgo. The impact of Jupiter then is to magnify the shift between new and old that we have already discussed. And they are all just about to change signs…………the result of that will be the subject of Part II.

Friday, 7 March 2008

All about Fortuna2020

Who?
Most financial astrologers are either exotic, new- age, personal astrological counsellors, or glamorous ex-city traders. I, however, am quite tediously conventional, with a B.Sc in Economics, an M.Sc. from L.S.E., an accountancy qualification and over 20 years business experience. Fortunately, in contrast, I also have 15 years of astrological experience. Over the last 10 years I’ve combined these strands to focus on financial, business and geopolitical issues.

My speciality is currencies but I’ll look at anything that is relevant to the broader economic picture. Though not a full time professional astrologer, I do trade on my own account.

Galbraith is reputed to have stated that “the only function of economic forecasting is to make astrology look respectable”. I am thus doubly irredeemable and, as a result, prefer to remain anonymous to protect my employers.

What?
I am going to be using this space to forecast, mainly through astrology, the economic and financial position of countries, markets and companies.

So don’t come here looking for guidance on personal horoscopes. You won’t get any. And don’t come here if you want general technical, financial analysis, there are plenty of traders and analysts elsewhere who can give you that. Finally, don’t expect, for example, the result of the next US election, as those sort of political matters will only be covered to the extent they influence the economic outlook.

Oh, and I might throw in the odd betting article. But no lottery numbers… astrological technology and research have not got that far yet, and even if they had no-one with an ounce of common sense would tell you.

Where?
I’m based in London but I’ve worked across Europe, Asia and South America and lived in the US so I’ll be looking at all the main economies, and occasionally some of the smaller ones.

When?
Astrology is all about when.

I’ll be looking at timescales from 2009 through to around 2020. And taking the risk of predicting. No risk, no fun. Sometimes I will be wrong. When I am, don’t blame the astrology, blame the astrologer; I’m still learning.

Why?Not many do predictions, leave alone long term ones. Indeed there are a huge number of modern astrologers who believe prediction is unethical, and that the sole purpose of astrology is to understand the current situation better. Perhaps they have a point. But I am an economist too. And, since economists love to make forecasts (though unfortunately, usually incorrect ones), how could I resist?
How?There are a lot of astrological techniques and styles out there so it is probably helpful if I indicate my methods.

I fall somewhere between the traditional and the modern psychological approaches. I am not, nor do I have any desire to be, a personal astrological counsellor and this gives me the freedom to be far more fatalistic than the modern counselling approach demands. However, the traditional model includes only the planets as far as Saturn, and I find that for global forecasting and generational work I get better accuracy when incorporating the cycles of Uranus Neptune and Pluto and occasionally other points.

I also use actual charts more than others in the financial and mundane astrology fields, focusing less on traditional techniques such as "ingresses" or on historical statistics (e.g. % of time a market dropped when the sun went into Scorpio) and more on interpreting "transits" and "progressions" to a chart of the country or market concerned.

Obviously I’ll be drawing on my business experience as well and hopefully also be using that extremely rare resource, common sense.

Blog name
Fortuna was, of course, the Roman god of fortune. In astrology pars fortuna (or part of fortune) is an important mathematical point linking the sun moon and ascendant at birth. It was therefore perfect for a blog about financial astrology.

2020 is my approximate forecasting time-frame but also of course has vision connotations. There is, incidentally, no contradiction with the fact that Fortuna is sometimes pictured with a blindfold: the latter reflects impartiality to individual fates rather than lack of foresight.

Contacting meI welcome comments and feedback. Where appropriate I will respond to individual questions. You can contact me at artemesia_2020@btinternet.com. Please put just F2020 in the subject line so I can distinguish it from the inevitable spam.