2010 Autumnal Equinox/Harvest Moon: The Regulators Are Running The Show Now

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The entrance of the Sun (our life force) entering the cardinal (initiating) signs* mark the seasonal turning points of the year. Autumn began in the northern hemisphere on September 22, 2010 at 11:10 PM EDT when the Sun entered Libra.

Since Libra is the sign of balance it is fitting that at this time of the year that the hours of day and night are roughly equal in length. Although this also occurs at the time of the Vernal Equinox, it is when the Sun is in Libra (September 22 – October 23), that personal objectives are achieved through balancing opposite yet complementary energies which usually occurs through relationships. As a cardinal (action-oriented) sign that is part of the air (mental) element,* Libra is the bridge that brings people together in order for ideas and initiatives to move forward.

The Sun entering Libra marks the halfway point of the solar year that began at the Vernal Equinox when the Sun entered Aries, the first sign of the zodiac (and opposite sign to Libra). This energy is akin to a Full Moon. Libra is ruled by Venus, the planetary energy of love, money, and values. Financial markets can get jittery as the Sun (which represents speculation) in Libra can result in the market becoming unsure about which direction to take. If the market has become overbought or oversold when the Sun is in Libra it might be time to balance the scales.

The planetary energies present at the Autumnal Equinox have an overall three month influence. This year the energies become even more intense as the Harvest Full Moon in Aries occurred on September 23 at 5:17 AM EDT, just hours after Autumnal Equinox. This last occurred in 1991 when the Full Moon was at the end of Aries and will not occur again until 2029 (at the end of Pisces).

At the Autumnal Equinox the Sun conjoined Saturn in Libra and opposed the Moon, Jupiter and Uranus in Pisces as they squared Pluto in Capricorn. These alignments reactivate the energies of the tight planetary lineup at the beginning of cardinal signs that occurred during the summer when Jupiter and Uranus were conjoined in Aries opposing Saturn and squaring Pluto.

Planets in Libra must overcome their hesitancy and indecisiveness in making decisions. With the Sun conjoining Saturn in Libra, people (especially leaders) must be fully responsible and accountable for what they do. Placing blame on someone or something else will backfire.

The Sun conjoining Saturn indicates the regulators are taking center stage, charged with the responsibility to implement rules and regulations to enforce legislation resulting from the reform of economic structures. Although the most sweeping structural transformations will occur in the US, most of the financial reforms are being regulated on a global level, dissolving the barriers caused by discrepancies in international standards and enforcement.

The market and the media are so obsessively focused on the issues surrounding the midterm elections that they are not paying enough attention to the power of the regulators who will continue with their work regardless of which party controls Congress. The legislation for FINREG and healthcare reform were written to give the regulators free rein in implementation so Congress has very few levers to pull in influencing the White House. Just like IRS regulations, the financial and healthcare regulations will remain in force until and unless they are challenged successfully in the courts. Markets are being too optimistic that the regulators will completely do their bidding on the most important components of the legislation.

Even though the financial and the health insurance industries are challenging their regulators, the difference is the financial industry is doing so in a "cooperative” framework while the health insurers are doing so in an advesarial framework. In both situations, private companies owe their very existence to the discretion of the regulators, but the health insurance industry is exhibiting its lack of experience in dealing with the power of federal regulators in contrast to the more easily influended state regulators. While health insurance laws such as HIPAA and COBRA were passed at the federal level, interpretation through regulation has always been carried out at the state level. The financial industry is used to dealing with federal regulators, but the health insurance industry’s lack of experience with federal regulators could prove to be detrimental to their existence.

The insurance industry and financial industries are ruled at least in part by Pluto. So is the mining industry, along with the interests of the largest and most powerful individuals and corporations. Pluto in Capricorn the sign of government has also brought to light the gaps in government regulation and oversight through disasters caused by corporations cutting corners. From mining disasters to deepwater drilling to food safety, these are some of the major incidents that highlight lax oversight and the blurring of boundaries between the regulator and the regulated. With the Moon involved in the planetary configuration at the Autumn Equinox, there will likely be more food safety problems and incidents that harm the public as Pluto brings out all the corruption and manipulation under the guise that things must get worse to spark demand for real transformation to occur.

The Moon is our emotional barometer. The Moon in Pisces at the Equinox and zero degrees Aries at the Harvest Moon represent one cycle is dissolving and glimpses of a new cycle are coming into view now (and particularly at the April 3, 2011 Aries New Moon).

Freedom is not to be found in placing blind faith in someone else’s philosophy/propaganda, but in independently seeking your own truth and allowing your intuitive abilities to come through. That is how to bridge the Pisces/Aries energies. The bigger the effort to try to preserve and recreate the structures that once existed, the greater the chance they will give way and collapse altogether. The Aries Full Moon describes the battle between preserving the status quo that benefits certain individuals, corporations, and groups at the expense of the nation as a whole.

The Moon conjoining Jupiter indicates greater optimism about economic and market conditions. However, their conjunction to Uranus and opposition to the Sun and Saturn and square to Pluto mean that sentiment is prone to sharp and sudden reversals when expectations are not met. The Sun conjoining Saturn indicates the market is reacting to what leaders and regulators are doing.

Mercury the planet of communication, commerce, and movement is in its home sign Virgo but is not in any relationships to the other planets, indicating that the market is digesting all the data but they might not be seeing the forest for the trees in all instances.

As the planetary ruler of Libra, Venus is always a key influence at the Autumn Equinox. Venus and Mars conjoined in Pluto-ruled Scorpio brings more speculative action centering around debt issuance to push up the value of stock prices through share buybacks and M&A activity.

Venus has been in Scorpio since the September 8 Virgo New Moon and will remain there until January 7, 2011 due to Venus turning retrograde October 8 until November 18. Venus retrograde tends to correlate to at least a temporary change in asset values and valuations. Treasury yields could accelerate their creep up. There is a strong tendency for markets to reverse direction during the retrograde period. The Sun conjoining Venus retrograde on October 28 marks the midpoint of the retrograde cycle and can either mark a turning point in the cycle, or the trend begun at Venus retrograde gains further momentum.

The market appears to be moving higher again in late October/early November and except for a few minor bumps in the road could peak by mid December.

Financial markets have a greater potential for more pronounced moves, increased volatility or a shift in direction on or around the following dates:
September 22-23, 30
October 1, 4-5, 7-8, 11-12, 15, 18-20, 22, 25, 28-29
November 1-5, 8-9, 11, 15, 18-19, 22, 24, 26, 29
December 3, 6-7, 10, 13-14, 16, 20-21, 27, 29-30

The Weekly Forecast features a detailed view of planetary influences and how they might affect the economy and financial markets.

*The cardinal signs are Aries (Spring/Vernal Equinox), Cancer (Summer Solstice), Libra (Fall), Capricorn (Winter Solstice).

**Planets do not really move backwards, but appear to from Earth’s vantage point.

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