Published by WallStreetWeather.net
Autumn began in the northern hemisphere September 23, 2011 the moment the Sun entered Libra (5:05 AM EDT). This post examines the planetary influences at the Autumn Equinox and how these themes could potentially play out during the next three months largely from a financial perspective.
Libra is the sign of balance; at the Autumnal Equinox the hours of day and night are roughly equal in length. This also occurs at the Vernal Equinox when the Sun enters Aries, the first sign of the zodiac. The Sun represents self-identity and its energies are enhanced in Aries the first sign of the zodiac which has the courage and boldness to begin new initiatives. The Vernal Equinox is the true New Year and functions like a New Moon while the Sun in Libra corresponds to the Full Moon. What began at the Vernal Equinox has reached a culmination point now.
Aries is Sunrise and Libra is Sunset as it is the opposite sign to Aries. Opposites attract because they share similar energies but express them quite differently. The Sun likes to occupy center stage; in Libra that stage is shared with others. As part of the air element, Libra’s currency of exchange requires a lot of social interaction and mental circulation of ideas and information. Libra energy recognizes that it is through relationships that we gain greater understanding of ourselves and the world we live in.
Symbolized by the scales of equilibrium, Libra is the bridge that serves to join together what is separated. Oppositions represent opposing forces whose disparate energies must be brought into balance to effectively work together.
The Sun and Mercury in opposition to Uranus in Aries and Pluto in Capricorn at the Autumn Equinox indicates a season of shocks and unexpected events requiring collaborative action mostly related to sovereign debt. These energies generate heightened volatility, wild swings and rapid reversals that mostly emanate from announcements and actions by government and corporate leaders. This highly erratic rollercoaster market environment is best suited for the most nimble and experienced market professionals. Uranus rules technology which could be subject to the most volatile shakeups.
Since mid 2010 the world has experienced a sample of Uranus squaring Pluto in Capricorn before they make their series of seven exact encounters during 2012-2015. Situations and economic conditions have become so extreme and out of control that it will force deep structural changes to be implemented that could never have happened otherwise. Transforming debt laden economies will require transitioning from current policies that disproportionately benefit a small but powerful group of individuals and corporations (the plutocrats) to one which benefits the nation and expands overall economic prosperity. The Sun/Mercury/Uranus squaring Pluto indicates that those in positions of power are not ready to compromise for fear of losing their influence. But Pluto exposes secrets, corruption and manipulation at the highest levels which could send shockwaves through the market.
For example, the Sun, Mercury, Uranus, and Pluto impacting the USA’s natal Venus and Jupiter in Cancer indicates radical overhaul of the entire U.S. tax code is a necessary component of economic recovery. The Equinox planets affect Greece’s natal Mercury, Venus, Moon, and Pluto. The Eurozone needs to ensure Greece pursues aggressive tax compliance. Yet even that won’t avoid eventual default unless the Eurozone agrees to a plan for Greece based on what the country can realistically repay rather than the amount of debt it owes.
The Sun favorably aspecting Mars in Leo (the sign of the Sun) as Mars harmonizes with Uranus helps instill confidence and courage to implement changes and reforms. It is an opportunity for industry leaders to form collaborative partnerships that foster innovation leading to development of cutting edge technologies and products.
The Sun and Leo rule speculation. An upsurge in solar activity impacts Earth’s magnetosphere and increases market volatility.(1) The Moon represents sentiment and its conjunction to Mars in Leo and square to Jupiter in Taurus reflects that retail investors should only buy what they would be comfortable keeping in their portfolio for awhile. These energies favor companies with the cash to provide shareholders with secure and steadily increasing dividends.
Jupiter’s harmonious alignment with Pluto (exact October 28) indicates that the largest corporations and the most financially secure individuals continue to benefit from record low borrowing costs. It is old line companies rather than young upstarts that will be consolidating profits through M&A and share buybacks.(2)
After the Sun, Venus is the most important planet in the Autumn Equinox chart since Libra is ruled by Venus. Venus rules money, material assets, and the banking system. (And most importantly LOVE!) Venus also rules Taurus (money, banking, material assets) while the Libra side of Venus represents financial relationships.
The relationship between the Sun and Venus strongly influences the stock market. Venus appearing in the morning sky (November 4, 2010 - July 11, 2011) tends to correlate to rising stock prices that often reach their peak each year during the time of the year when Venus is a morning star. I’ve mentioned multiple times over the last several months that it is unlikely the major indices will reach let alone surpass their Spring highs this year.
The generational lows of the Dow and the S&P were misleading as financials were a significant portion of those indexes going into the crisis. A careful review of the individual S&P sectors outside of financials does not show as dramatic a fall as the index as a whole. The current recession will likely be a more balanced sector by sector decline. If financials were weighted as strongly in today’s Dow and S&P indexes, it is highly likely they would be a lot lower than they are today. Using an apple to apple comparison, the market is a lot weaker than it appears.
In some respects the anticipated recession of today might be deeper than the Great Recession of 2008. The 2008 time period focused on the collapse of the financial system, primarily in the U.S. but with some worldwide implications. The rebound from 2008 was primarily led by the industrial sector which was stimulated by demand in the BRIC countries and Europe to some extent. Today we do have a stronger financial system in the U.S. Yet the BRIC countries are starting to weaken along with Europe’s imminent financial problems. This is why we don’t have an economic stimulus to pull the nation out of our current malaise.
Conjunctions of the Sun and Venus occur when Venus is transitioning from being a morning to an evening star (or transitioning from an evening to morning star).(3) The Sun and Venus conjoined in Leo August 16 when Venus was furthest from Earth on the other side of the Sun. Their conjunction in Leo represented the “Full Moon” phase of their relationship that began when the Sun conjoined Venus retrograde in Leo on August 17, 2007. This was when the first telltale signs emerged that speculation related to the housing bubble was creating liquidity issues at Wall Street’s investment banks. Hedge funds began reporting large losses as two funds owned by Bear Stearns filed for bankruptcy. The Sun and Venus represents central bankers. The Fed began lowering interest rates that day as the Fed, ECB and other central banks coordinated liquidity injections.
Venus is now low in the western sky just after sunset and will steadily rise in the evening sky as autumn progresses. Venus’s appearance in the evening sky through May 30, 2012 is a further indication that financial relationships could face further strain. Even though Venus is in its home sign Libra conjoining Saturn whose energies are enhanced in Libra, the best this alignment can do is to act as a brake that prevents the market from falling lower than it would otherwise. Saturn’s rings can keep the market range bound and delay but not avoid a decline. Saturn exerts downward pressure to ensure expectations and valuations are more in balance.
Venus conjoining Saturn in Libra indicates the world has yet to fully learn the financial lessons from the autumn of 2008. Relations between customers and counterparties were strained then. The potential for derivatives to once again be a factor is strong. Reputational risk is a concern. The desire to separate and/or spinoff the weakest links in the system might not be feasible as a challenging alignment between the Sun and Neptune in Aquarius indicates these links are too intricately intertwined.
Jupiter expands and Saturn contracts. Having the two planets that preside over the economic cycle in the signs ruled by Venus when Venus is in its evening star phase indicates the market desires solid fundamentals rather than speculating on promises of future growth.
Another factor that tends to bring increased volatility that lowers equity values is that Venus will be “Out-of-Bounds” (OOB) November 15-December 13.(4) An OOB planet tends to express its energies in the most extreme and “far out” way as planets OOB temporarily take on the wild and unpredictable characteristics of Uranus.
For example, Venus was OOB May 6 – June 8, 2010, the time of the May 6 “flash crash.” This is when the European sovereign debt crisis emerged onto center stage. The market suddenly and shockingly broke through multiple support levels. The flash crash led the SEC to first test a new circuit breaker system June 7, 2010 to keep trading within “acceptable” boundaries. More recently Mars OOB (July 25 – August 22) sharply spiked volatility as it took the market on a rollercoaster ride to end lower than when it began.
Mercury will be OOB November 6-28 when it turns retrograde in Sagittarius November 24 (until December 13). Both planets will be OOB November 28, the day Venus is at its most extreme OOB. A big global crisis of one kind or another could erupt as Mercury retrograde (November 24 – December 13) squares the September 12 Pisces Full Moon. Global markets feared the European sovereign debt crisis would develop into another contagion on par with 2008. France and Italy are particularly in the spotlight during November/December. Mercury retrograde could uncover some serious ethical lapses. Some of the biggest economic and political ideological “truths” could be proven to be hypocrisy.
Mercury OOB further accentuates the crazy and chaotic energies of Mercury retrograde. Be prepared for potential problems with communications, travel and transportation (especially long distance travel and shipping), import/export, and publishing.
And it just wouldn’t be Mercury retrograde without Congress debating/enacting important legislation during this time! The deficit reduction committee must issue their report by November 23 which Congress must vote on by December 23. Mercury retrograde and two eclipses challenge the nation’s most fervently held ideological beliefs and propaganda (such as the “American Dream”) as these transits trigger the USA’s natal Mars/Neptune square. Military matters are in the spotlight along with contagion concerns.
Venus rules currencies and Mercury trades them, which raises the potential for some type of global currency stress erupting as the U.S. observes the Thanksgiving holiday. This occurs the day before the November 25 Solar Eclipse in Sagittarius squaring Mars in Virgo which could escalate violent acts and military tensions around the globe. The U.S. military could be pre-empting or responding to a surprise attack at home.
Events and situations occurring then will reach an explosive culmination at the December 10 Gemini Lunar Eclipse. This is significant as Gemini is ruled by Mercury which turns direct December 13, conjoining the degree of the November 25 Solar Eclipse. The eclipse squares the September 12 Pisces Full Moon as Uranus turns direct in the sky.
There is strong potential for explosions, wild weather conditions with high winds, and major earthquakes on or around the time of the December 10 Gemini Lunar Eclipse. Conditions now are highly prone to power outages and system malfunctions. The San Diego area could be the epicenter for such an earthquake or other extreme and highly disruptive event, extending out to Los Angeles, Las Vegas, western Arizona and the Baja Peninsula.
Backtracking to late October, Jupiter will oppose the Sun in Scorpio as it makes its closest approach to Earth until 2022 as it harmonizes with Pluto. Jupiter’s prominence then is likely to bring outsized market moves. Any optimism could evaporate by November 7 when Mars opposes Neptune as Neptune turns direct at the time of the November 10 Taurus Full Moon. This is the culmination point of a cycle that began February 20 when Mars and Neptune conjoined in Aquarius which was the height of global protests against those in power from Madison to the Middle East.
Markets have a greater potential to make more pronounced moves on the following dates:
September: 23, 26-29
October: 3, 6, 10-11, 13-14, 17, 19, 21, 24, 26, 28, 31
November: 1-2, 4, 7, 9-11, 14-15, 18, 22-25, 28
December: 1-2, 5, 9, 13, 19-20
(To be continued at the December 22 Winter Solstice.)
In the Autumn Equinox chart for the USA, Saturn rules the sector representing the stock market which can keep stock prices under pressure. Venus conjoining Saturn in the sector representing banks and the nation’s wealth indicates the market is worried about economic stagnation/contraction and bank earnings/projections in particular. The Sun conjoining the financial sector opposite Uranus in the sector of debt and opaque financial transactions squaring Pluto conjoining the sector ruling the stock market could bring unexpected shocks related to counterparty risk. These planets impact the USA’s natal Venus and Jupiter, indicating the wealthy who have benefited the most from fiscal and monetary policies since the financial crisis could also feel the fallout.
Political risks loom as Congress has not passed a budget for the 2012 fiscal year beginning October 1, followed by the deficit reduction agreement spending cuts.
This is the only USA seasonal chart this year that isn’t ruled by Venus. (Libra is rising on the eastern horizon for the other seasonal charts.) Virgo is rising and Mercury is in its home sign Virgo conjoining the Sun in Libra. This is significant since progressing the USA chart forward in time since the nation’s founding, the USA’s progressed Ascendant (rising sign) moved into Virgo just hours before the Autumn Equinox.
After being in Leo since early 1973, the USA progressed Ascendant will remain in Virgo until 2047. The Ascendant represents the nation’s outlook, attitudes, and outward appearance. Progressing from the much more self-centered and indulgent outlook of Leo to Virgo begins a seismic shift to get down to work improving the nation’s economic and physical health. The whole notion of work, the way we work, and employment is shifting. More products will be made in America as the nation undergoes a manufacturing and technological renaissance in the coming years. Americans will begin to realize the most patriotic thing they can do is to eat and live healthy, lose weight, and clean their minds of all the useless clutter to be able to think clearly about a positive future which cannot materialize unless actions are started now. This is what “personal responsibility” is all about! True patriots will remove themselves from being a burden to the health system and the government. Mars entering Virgo November 10 at the Taurus Full Moon will begin to activate this energy as it conjoins the USA progressed Ascendant.
Hot spots (areas of the world that could be more prominently featured in the news due to geophysical, geopolitical or other notable events):
USA: West Coast (especially California), Nevada, and Arizona.
World locations beyond the “usual suspects” (Eurozone, Libya, Egypt, Syria, Iran, Iraq, Yemen, Af-Pak): Baja Peninsula, Brazil, Iceland, Turkey, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, U.A.E., east Africa (especially Ethiopia/Somalia/ Kenya), Russia, Georgia, Turkmenistan, Japan, Australia, New Zealand. Public uprisings and violence could break out in central and western China.
Libra energy can be indecisive out of concern the wrong decision will be made. Libra shows us there are always choices, proving that we have free will and are not at the mercy of the hands of fate. Planetary prognostication can never be 100% accurate not just because individuals such as yours truly are prone to error, but because humans have free will. We can choose to completely ignore the planetary energies, choose to work with their most positive expression, or choose to express their most negative characteristics.
Humans can choose to build bridges or burn them.
(1)Spaceweather.com and NOAA’s Space Weather Prediction Center are the best sources for following solar activity.
(2)This alignment first occurred on July 7. The Moon was in Libra then as the Dow Jones Transports reached a record high. March 13, 2012 marks the final alignment of Jupiter and Pluto.
(3)Venus is retrograde about every 18 months and closest to Earth when the Sun conjoins Venus retrograde as Venus transitions from appearing in the evening sky to the morning sky. The Sun will conjoin Venus retrograde on June 5 and Venus will begin to rise ahead of the Sun beginning June 13, 2012.
(4) A planet is OOB when it travels outside the normal boundary of declination (23 degrees, 27 minutes) north or south of the celestial equator.
USA: July 4, 1776 5:10 PM LMT Philadelphia, PA