Summary Of Last Week’s Influences:
As Egypt celebrated following the joyous news that President Hosni Mubarak had stepped down from power, Wall Street once again celebrated another week that saw the major indices reach multiyear highs. At 12,273.26 and 1,329.15 the Dow and S&P closed at their highest levels since mid June 2008. The NASDAQ at 2,809.44 is back to where it was on November 6, 2007.
Fridays are ruled by Venus, the planetary energy that presides over money, banking, and the energy of attraction. Venus is all about values with love being is the true essence of Venus energy. While the energy of love tends to be viewed as an emotion reserved for relationships from lovers to family and close friends, the love energy emanating from the Egyptian people’s jubilations stood in stark contrast to the man who for 30 years abused the energy of Venus by materially enriching himself with the wealth that belonged to the nation while the people struggled to get by.
Two weeks ago when I had explained why revolutionary change was erupting in Egypt I predicted that Mubarak:
“runs the risk of being forced to relinquish his power this week as Wednesday’s New Moon which conjoins Mars in Aquarius exactly squares his Sun and Mercury. Jupiter in Aries conjoins Mubarak’s natal Uranus in mid-February, further indicating it’s time for him to embark on a new life.”
But as I noted in last week’s Forecast, “true to the nature of his Sun and Mercury in Taurus, Mubarak is stubborn and resistant to change.”
Venus energies were particularly potent on Friday as the Moon which is our emotional barometer and represents the general public, was in Taurus, the sign ruled by Venus. The Moon is very strong in Taurus, reflecting the public’s determination to continue protesting was so strong that even Mubarak the stubborn Taurean that he is, was forced to let go. (The Swiss government announced Friday it has frozen “any potential assets” belonging to Mubarak and his “associates" which are estimated to be worth billions of dollars.)
Friday’s Moon in Taurus was even more powerful as the Moon squared the Sun, Mars, and Neptune in Aquarius, the sign of revolutionary change. The First Quarter Moon is called the “crisis in action” phase* of the lunar cycle as the Moon squaring the Sun (the leader) raises the emotional tensions which stimulates action to overcome obstacles and tackle the issues born out of the February 2 New Moon.
As Mercury in Aquarius was about to conjoin the degree of the Aquarius New Moon and square his natal Sun and Mercury in Taurus, Mubarak finally got the message that his days as “pharaoh” had come to an end. The First Quarter Moon and Mars squaring Egypt’s natal Pluto in Leo along with Egypt’s progressed** Sun and Pluto conjoined in Leo indicated a change of leadership and the chain of power. The Sun conjoining Mars describes the military is currently in charge of the country; their conjunction to Neptune reflects the military has dissolved Parliament and suspended the Constitution. The military is being led by Mohamed Tantawi who is the head of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces and has been Egypt’s defense minister since 1991. With the February 18 Leo Full Moon squaring his natal Jupiter in Scorpio and opposing his progressed Mars in Aquarius, Tantawi must take swift action to begin Egypt’s transformation into a secular democracy to prove his loyalty now resides with the public.
From an age standpoint, Aquarius and its planetary ruler Uranus represent young people. Millions of Egyptians are in their late twenties, the age when they experience their first Saturn return around age 29.5 when Saturn returns to where it was at birth. This marks the complete passage to adulthood and the realization that being in charge of your life entails taking full responsibility for it. It is a time when the structure of an individual’s life is usually tested in some way.
As Egypt experiences its second Saturn return in October, many of the protestors were born the last time Saturn was in Libra. The protest movement was fueled after two policemen murdered Khaled Said June 6, 2010 after he posted video on the internet of them pilfering pot from a drug bust.
Said’s natal Saturn in Libra conjoined Egypt’s Saturn and Neptune in Libra, resulting in other people his age using the internet to connect in order to change the government (Saturn). Neptune rules drugs, martyrdom, inspiration, and the interconnectedness of all things. Said’s death profoundly affected Wael Ghonim just as he was about to experience his Saturn return, inspiring him to create the website “We are all Khaled Said.”
With his natal Pluto conjoining Egypt’s Saturn and Neptune, Ghonim would make full use of the internet’s social networking power to bring together millions of other young people who believed they had no real future unless they brought down the Mubarak regime. On leave from his job as Google’s marketing executive for the Middle East, Ghonim has become one of the leading figures in Egypt’s Revolution 2.0.
Many key transits will be impacting Egypt’s chart, particularly from late March to mid May that reflect the drive to establish a free and democratic country will be stronger than ever. The importance of what is happening in Egypt together with Tunisia and the protests throughout the Middle East cannot be underestimated as it shows that individuals have more power than they've been led to believe they do. More importantly, it demonstrates the ability of individuals to set aside cultural, religious, etc. differences to unite to bring about a society that is truly free, fair, and just for all (Saturn in Libra). This is also the true essence of Aquarius and Uranus where innovation and technological developments are used to benefit all of humanity rather than simply the status quo.
Something to think about as the USA experiences its eighth Saturn return this year.
Financials are usually the stand out sector when the Moon is in Taurus and Friday was no exception. The most important financial news of the week was by far the Obama Administration’s plans for Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE) that are geared to improving the quality of mortgage securities rather than propping up housing prices specifically. Actions proposed include requiring a 10% down payment for all mortgages guaranteed by the GSEs, reducing the role of FHA, and ultimately the overall government support to the mortgage market to less than 50%.
The most important of these is the 10% down payment requirement. Regardless of interest rates, this will impede a great deal of buyers from participating in the mortgage market, while at the same greatly strengthening the mortgage securities that remain. Wells Fargo (WFC) has proposed an even more stringent requirement that all buyers must post a 30% down payment in order for banks to be relieved of the 5% mortgage security retention in the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation. The final decision on the retention criteria will be up to the regulators.
Last week I wrote that Venus conjoining Pluto “tends to increase Treasury yields” and sure enough that day the 10 year note hit 3.770% intraday, its highest level since last April. As indicated, corporate mergers were also in focus as the NYSE and Deutsche Borse announced they were in “advanced talks” to merge in what would become the world’s largest exchange. Their announcement overshadowed the news of the merger of the London and Toronto stock exchanges.
Summary Of This Week’s Influences:
As I hope I’ve conveyed earlier in this post, love is the greatest and most powerful energy that exists. And I'm not saying this just because Monday is Valentine's Day! As I explained in a post three years ago, “love is always in the air.” Iran can ban Valentine’s Day, but will never be able to squash the power of love as protestors of the Iranian regime plan a march on Monday to show their solidarity with the Egyptian people. (Friday was the 32nd Anniversary of the overthrow of the Shah of Iran which marked the start of the Islamic Revolution.)
Mercury in Aquarius harmonizes with Saturn in Libra Monday as the Obama Administration releases its budget proposal for the government’s 2012 fiscal year. Budget director Jack Lew will testify before the House Budget Committee on Tuesday followed by Treasury Secretary Geithner on Wednesday.
The Moon (sentiment) is strengthened Monday as it is in its home sign Cancer Monday, the day of the week ruled by the Moon. However, its opposition to Pluto in Capricorn today can increase concerns over whether political disagreement will interfere with keeping the government running without interruption.
The Moon shifting into Leo the sign of speculation Wednesday and Thursday as the Sun conjoins Neptune in Aquarius and culminating in the Full Moon in the final degree of Leo at 3:36 AM EST Friday, could result in the market strongly reacting to rumors that might not be true. This Full Moon could be particularly intense as the Moon is at its closest approach to Earth (perigee). This is likely to increase the potential for severe and "freak" storms that can bring flooding as well as potential for earthquakes and tornadoes. The push to dissolve autocratic regimes will continue at full force, notably in Algeria and Iran and could get underway in Morocco, Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Oman, and Yemen. Ireland, France, Spain, India, Japan, and Papua New Guinea are other nations that could be prominently featured in the news at this time.
Mars conjoining Neptune (exact February 20) is likely to bring more incidents of gas and chemical explosions due to our decaying infrastructure. (The pipe involved in last Wednesday’s explosion in Allentown, PA was installed in 1928 - the last time that Jupiter and Uranus were in Aries!) The West Coast, especially the Pacific Northwest could be vulnerable to an explosion and/or flooding, as well as earthquake activity.
The Full Moon conjoins the USA’s progressed Ascendant in Leo and opposes the USA’s natal Moon in Aquarius which can indicate that events occurring over the next two weeks will alter the public’s outlook concerning U.S. foreign policy and military spending.
In the USA, the lineup of Mercury, Mars, Neptune and the Sun in Aquarius in the sector of the Full Moon chart representing the banking system could bring unexpected news of fraudulent and scandalous behavior. Neptune represents what is taking place behind the scenes as it attempts to blur the boundaries (that would be Saturn) between what is legal and illegal. With the Full Moon in the last degree of Leo, the Moon’s bright light could shine on major developments in the government’s three year criminal investigation into insider trading by hedge funds that pay for information from employees of public (mostly tech) companies moonlighting at the “expert network” firms who connect traders with corporate insiders.
These influences can also indicate an increase in inflation and inflation expectations as the Producer and Consumer Price Index reports are released Wednesday and Thursday. An unexpected increase in either or both reports might move the markets (and longer term Treasury yields in particular) but it will not influence the Fed (whose Minutes from last month’s meeting will be released on Wednesday) since they follow a different inflation barometer altogether.
Just as the Full Moon represents the peak in the lunar cycle, it can also signify that the market is peaking for the moment. The Moon shifting into Virgo before the market opens Friday can begin to temper Leo’s speculative enthusiasm as Mercury-ruled Virgo starts adding up the market’s recent gains and might decide it’s time to start taking a bit of profits off the table.
Venus in Capricorn squaring Saturn in Libra Friday can be another indication of a temporary market top even though the two planets energies are supportive to one another since they are in signs ruled by the other planet in what is called “mutual reception” as Venus rules Libra and Capricorn is ruled by Saturn.
Venus represents women, and French finance minister Christine Lagarde who is hosting the meeting is looking to broker a deal that addresses financial imbalances impacting most countries. Venus squaring Saturn reflects that one of the major points of contention at the G20 will be over imposing capital controls to regulate and restrict (Saturn) the flood (Neptune) of speculative (Sun) money (Venus) pouring into emerging economies where interest rates are much higher to control inflation.
Choppy/mixed conditions are likely to be more pronounced intraday this week along with the potential for sudden reversals which increase volatility.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Conditions weaken as the day progresses; negative close.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
Improving conditions as the day progresses; positive close.
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Thursday, February 17, 2011
Choppy/mixed to negative.
Friday, February 18, 2011 (Options expiration)
*As described by Dane Rudhyar in “The Lunation Cycle.”
**A mathematical calculation that moves the planets forward in time as a method of prediction.
Mohamed Hussein Tantawi: October 31, 1935 Egypt (time and place unknown)
Wael Ghonim: December 23, 1980 time unknown Cairo
Khaled Said: January 27, 1982 Egypt (time and place unknown)
USA: July 4, 1776 5:10 PM Philadelphia, PA