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Archive for October 2015

Columbus Day and W. D. Gann

Columbus Day has become a neglected holiday.

That’s not entirely due to the fact that the first European to reach America was actually Lief Ericson, and not Christopher Columbus.

Columbus Day Isn’t Ericson Day

Maybe Ericson just needed a better press agent. But even with weak publicity Columbus Day gained wide acceptance and, at least in some cases, a unique status among American institutions.

But now Columbus Day is starting to fade. In some circles it’s seen as an insult to Native Americans, and Columbus himself is condemned for promoting racism, genocide, and the oppression of indigenous peoples.

The observance does, of course, provide an excuse for closing banks and government offices, and a three-day weekend is always a welcome event.

Columbus Day parades are still occasions for Italian-American pride, but attendance at those events isn’t quite what it used to be.

And then there are the Columbus Day Weekend sales. You’ll see them in some retail stores and at some online establishments as well, including my publishing company, Harmonic Research Associates, where you can save 50 percent on DVDs and DVD sets on astro-trading. (You can CLICK HERE to access the sale information – the discount requires Coupon Code COLUMBUS, which is valid through midnight on Tuesday.)

(While I’m at it, one other confession is in order here – I’ve personally succumbed to the “Columbus Day Sale” mentality and authorized a special gift for new Gold-Plus Elite subscribers at FinancialCyclesWeekly.com. That offer is good – you guessed it – through the end of the day on Columbus Day, October 12.)

You can find the details on the bonus gift – and a description of the benefits of Gold-Plus Elite membership – at https://cleostbc.leadpages.co/fcwbenefits1/.

Beyond Columbus Day Commercialism

But crass commercialism aside, Columbus Day is still worth our attention.

We have none other W. D. Gann setting the precedent.

W. D. Gann

Columbus Day was significant to W. D. Gann in his astrological analysis of market phenomena and geopolitical trends.

Gann was a pioneer in astro-trading, and his writings deserve intense study by all who want to master the astro-trading advantage. Although he rarely discussed astrology in public, his writings make it abundantly clear that he was not only knowledgeable about astrology, but also specifically relied upon it as a tool in producing his amazingly accurate market forecasts.

In his book The Tunnel Thru The Air, which is a strange allegorical tale teaching the basics of astrological market analysis, Gann writes that his main character Robert Gordon “had proved by study and comparing past cycles that a time or a seaon referred to in the Bible meant 360 days, 360 years, or 360 degrees;– a measure known and used by the astrologers in olden times and still understood and used by modern astrologers for measuring time. He knew that half a time meant 180 degrees, 180 days or years, because Ezekial had said that the Lord had appointed a day for a year. He figured that America began with the discovery by Columbus in 1492” and used that date for cycle calculations of current events. [The Tunnel Thru The Air, pp. 370-371]

An Unconventional Birthday

Aside from the harmonic connections and W. D. Gann’s clarity about the importance of progressions and directions, what’s remarkable about this passage is his assertion that “America began with the discovery by Columbus in 1492.”

While the October 12, 1492 date for Columbus’ sighting of land after his sea voyage was certainly well-known and widely accepted, in Gann’s time (and even today) it wasn’t commonly used by astrologers as the birthday of America.

Ebenezer Sibly

Ebenezer Sibly, the noted British astrologer.

In fact, the most frequently-used horoscope for America appeared in Ebenezer Sibly’s 1817 book, The Science of Astrology, which gained a strong following in spite of the fact that Sibly was writing in Great Britain, and thus viewing events in America from a distinctly English perspective.

Even so, Sibly’s book was particularly noteworthy because it featured an engraving showing the archangel Gabriel coming down from Heaven to present George Washington with the divinely-ordained chart for July 4, 1776.

It’s truly a remarkable illustration, not just because of its historical context and its presentation by someone who was alive at the time of the American Revolution, but also because of the distinct biases that Sibly’s horoscope for America itself reveals.

Washington is shown waiting for the important horoscope to arrive from its heavenly source, but the chart is set for London time, and not for local time in America.

Sibly USA Horoscope

The archangel Gabriel arrives to present the official U.S.A. birth chart to George Washington.

Not that Sibly’s horoscope for America has been universally accepted.

Astrologers love to quibble over timing minutia, and ever since the publication of Sibly’s book there have been endless arguments in the astrological community about the best rising sign for America’s birth chart, and even about the correct date to use for the Declaration of Independence.

But W. D. Gann was an independent and innovative thinker.

It wasn’t that he ignored the American Revolution and its associated horoscopes in his work. But he was quite clear about the importance of the horoscope for Columbus bumping into America on his way to India.

It became one of the keys to his market forecasts – and W. D. Gann’s precedent is certainly something for us to think about on Columbus Day.

Russian Planes Hit Syria World Point

Russian planes have been in the news a lot lately.

They’ve been flying over Syria, and have apparently been doing lots of damage, not only to insurgents on the ground, but also to Russia’s relations with the U.S. Those relations have gotten very icy indeed.

Putin Flexes His Muscles

At one level, it’s easy to see the presence of Russian planes in Syrian skies as just an example of Russian President Vladimir Putin showing off.

Putin is sending Russian Planes to Syria

Macho man Vladimir Putin’s health may be great – but what else should he be worrying about?

As I’ve noted previously here, Vladimir Putin definitely likes to flex his muscles. That’s true even when he’s got his shirt on. But there are other worries brewing here. Vladimir Putin has been telling the world that those Russian planes are hitting ISIS targets – and that may be true. According to some sources, there is some evidence of massive desertions in the ISIS ranks since the Russian bombing began.

A Master Chess Player

But as Jim Cummins has pointed out in the past, the Russian leaders is a master chess player. He’s always thinking several moves ahead in the game of geopolitics.

Turkey isn’t very happy with the situation – it says the Russian planes are violating its air space, so they’re in danger of being shot down. And according to the U.S. news media, those Russian planes are flying now solely in an effort to prop up the Bashar al-Assad regime in Syria. Whether or not they are hitting ISIS targets, Russian bombs are also falling on Syrian insurgents who want to get rid of Bashar al-Assad. These are the so-called “moderate extremist” forces that the U.S. supports. It’s a group that includes, oddly enough, some members of al-Quaida in Syria.

As is all too often the case, the dogged American determination to get rid of governments who don’t agree with us makes for strange bedfellows.

But What About The Timing?

As international tensions continue to escalate, it’s important to step back and get a broader perspective whenever possible.

That’s where the tools of astrology come in.

We can of course learn a lot from the timing of the events in Syria themselves, and from the natal horoscopes of the world leaders making news. But even without the presence of Russian planes in the skies of Syria, a quick glance at one of the current planetary phenomena is informative. It can tell us a lot about what may soon be playing out on the global stage.

Mercury has been retrograde since September 17.

Mercury retrograde periods always mark times when communications can get confused, plans may not work out as intended, and intentions can be grossly misunderstood. So at the very least it’s a time when the leaders of countries would be wise not to jump to conclusions.

An End To Mercury Retrograde

But the Mercury retrograde period will be coming to an end on Friday, October 9. And that’s when things are likely to get even more interesting.

The Mercury Direct Station, the time when Mercury finishes up its retrograde motion and starts moving forward again, is always a critical point the retrograde cycle. More often than not, it seems to intensify the confusion, incompletion, and miscommunication that have been in play during the previous three weeks, while the planet has been in apparent backward motion. So this coming weekend will be a time for extra caution.

But that’s not the end of the story.

World Point Activation

When Mercury goes direct on October 9, it will be at 0° Libra.

That initial degree of a cardinal sign is one of the extraordinarily powerful “World Points” in the zodiac – whenever they are activated by significant planetary events or alignments, it’s a signal that we can expect to see major events with global implications.

But what kinds of events?

On previous occasions we’ve discovered that if we want to gain insights into current situations, it can be useful to study those previous times when planetary stations took place at the zodiac degrees currently being activated.

According to the tables listed on page 270 of Mercury, Money and the Markets, there has only been one previous time since 1900 when Mercury made a station at 0° Libra.

That was on September 2, 1983.

Russian Planes and American Casualties

On that date, Mercury made a Retrograde Station instead of a Direct Station, but its alignment with the World Point definitely had a global impact – and Russian planes were involved.

On September 2, 1983, U.S. Representative Lawrence P. McDonald, a Democrat from Georgia with a reputation as the most conservative member of Congress at the time, was in a group of Americans who were among the 269 passengers and crew members aboard Korean Air Lines Flight 007, traveling from New York to Seoul, South Korea. That civilian airliner was shot down by a fighter plane from the U.S.S.R. near Sakhalin Island in the Sea of Japan.

There were no survivors.

Needless to say, this was a major international incident, instantly ratcheting up Cold War tensions to new heights.

U.S. President Ronald Reagan, calling the downing of the airliner “a horrifying act of violence,” cut short his California vacation and called an emergency meeting of the National Security Council in Washington.

Secretary of State George P. Schultz was visibly enraged when he responded to questions about the event at a news conference, declaring that “We can see no excuse for this appalling act.”

Accusations and counter-accusations started flying. It didn’t take long for all sorts of conspiracy theories to start surfacing – about former U.S. President Richard Nixon, about the CIA, and, of course, about Russian planes.

And it all happened when Mercury was stationary at 0° Libra.

So, with another Mercury station coming up at the same zodiac degree in just a few days, it makes sense to pay particular attention to global tensions now.

Especially since Russian planes are already in the news.

 

 

October Surprises in the Stock Market

October surprises in the stock market usually mean bad news for the bulls.

At least that’s the popular notion about the month.

After all, October has a solid reputation for being associated with stock market disasters.

History In The Making

There was the October surprise of the historic stock market crash in 1929, of course.

And the back-to-back October massacres of 1978 and 1979, as well as the major crash in 1987.

They all took place in different Octobers, just like the market plunge on Friday the 13th in 1989, the staggering 554-point drop on October 24, 1997, and the acceleration of the last big market crash in 2008.

October Surprises That Aren’t Bad News

But not all Octobers wind up bringing bad news for the stock market.

In fact, some Octobers during the past 60 years have been extremely positive, at least as far as triggering positive trend reversals have been concerned. There have been a dozen times when stock prices were in a bearish sell-off, and the downtrend came to an end during the month of October.

A Trading High and a Solar Eclipse

The first example comes from 1946.

In that year, the Dow Industrial Average hit a trading high on May 29, which was the eve of a powerful solar eclipse. The decline that followed that eclipse pulled stock prices lower by more than 24% over the coming months, until the market found a bottom on October 10.

Three Months with the Bears in Charge

In 1957, Mercury was just entering the sign of Leo at the Full Moon in July when the market top took place. A decline of more than 19% followed, with the sell-off lasting until October 22.

A 14% Market Loss Ends in October

Three years later, a market top at the Full Moon on June 9, 1960 led into a decline of almost 14% before a trend reversal on October 25 defined a trading bottom, with Mercury stationary and about to go retrograde.

Ending the Plunge of 1962

Trading had just gotten underway for the year on January 3, 1962 when Saturn entered Aquarius and the market began a fierce decline. It plunged by more than 26% before a reversal at the Venus retrograde station on October 23 defined a double bottom in the market trend.

Trying in Vain to Break 1000

In January, 1966 the Dow Jones Industrial Average managed to trade above the magic 1000 mark on an intra-day basis for two consecutive days, but failed to close at that level both times. Then on February 9 and 10, the Dow again traded above 1000, but also failed to maintain that price level at the close. Instead, the stock market went into an extended decline after its failed excursion – the index lost nearly 26% by the time it found a trading bottom on October 7.

October Ends a 21-Month Bear Market

Venus was just entering Capricorn on January 11, 1973 when the Dow topped off a 13-month rally and closed at 1051.70. That high was followed by a fierce bear market, with the index dropping by more than 44% over the next 21 months.

The bloodbath finally came to an end on October 4, 1974, when the Dow hit an intra-day low of 573.22 and prices began to move back upward. That October low was tested successfully in early December, and by January 1975 a clear rebound was underway.

The Harmonic Convergence Market Top

At the stock market’s opening bell on August 24, 1987, the much-publicized “Harmonic Convergence” was underway, with a cluster of the Sun, Mars, Venus, the Moon and Mercury all within an incredibly tight orb of less than four-and-a-half degrees. This alignment was forming a loose Grand Trine pattern with Jupiter and Neptune, creating an extraordinary planetary signature of peak speculation.

Harmonic Convergence Horoscope

The tight planetary configuration in alignment with Jupiter and Neptune brought the Harmonic Convergence trading top in August, 1987. That year the October Surprise was a record-breaking crash followed by a dramatic rebound.

Sure enough, on the following day the Dow surged up to close at the then-incredible level of 2722.42. But the celebration didn’t last long. The stock market began to lose ground, and in spite of trying to define a trading bottom in September, soon broke through support in early October. The culmination came on Monday, October 19, when the Dow gapped down at the open, went into free-fall, and lost 508 points by the closing bell.

This two-month bear market brought the Dow down by more than 36%, but once again October helped define the bottom and end the sell-off (even though it had also brought the historic crash). On October 20 the Dow closed up by more than 100 points, and a slow but steady recovery got underway.

Market Resistance at 3000

There was a Jupiter/Saturn opposition in play on Monday and Tuesday, July 16 and 17, 1990 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average tried  valiantly to close above the 3000-point psychological barrier.

It closed both days at 2999.75.

That failed attempt at the peak of a tug-of-war between the planetary forces of expansion and contraction triggered a sell-off which lasted for just three months, but which brought the index down by almost 22%. A Mars/Jupiter sextile on October 11 added some positive energy to help trigger a trend reversal to the upside.

A Trading Top at a Jupiter Station

The market rallied strongly during the first half of 1998, but when Jupiter went retrograde on July 17 the action topped out with the Dow closing at 9337.97. That prompted a slid of more than 17% before the the market hit a bottom on October 8 and began its recovery.

Uranus, Terrorists and a Moving Average

After a pull-back into the Spring Equinox in 2001, the Dow had rebounded robustly into mid-May. On May 30, however, with a Uranus retrograde station in play, the index dropped below its 25-day moving average, triggering an extended price decline that brought the Dow down more than 16% by early September.

Then, with the September 11 destruction of the World Trade Center, the markets plunged even further, bringing the net loss to almost 29% since the high in May. It took some time for confidence to resume, but by October 10 the Dow was trading above its 25-day moving average once again, paving the way for an advance that was to last through the end of the year.

Another Top at the Spring Equinox

In 2002 the Dow Jones Industrial Average once again hit a high at the Spring Equinox, but trended lower after that. As I noted at the time in the FinancialCyclesWeekly newsletter, “The market rally that had been in play for the past month came to a screeching halt last week, with the Dow Industrials and the S&P 500 virtually unchanged for the week as they barely managed to stay in positive territory and with the NASDAQ dropping by more than 3% for the week.”

The Doiw had dropped by nearly 33% when that year’s October Surprise kicked in to bring an end to the bear market on October 10, as Venus and Saturn made back-to-back retrograde stations.

A Mars/Jupiter Square in October

In 2011 an intense rally during the opening months of the year took the Dow to a new high of 12876.00 on May 2, on the eve of the New Moon. Five months later, the Dow was down more than 19% to hit a low of 10404.49 at the Hades station and Mars/Jupiter square on October 4. By early February, 2012, the Dow was trading well above the high it had set the previous May.

October Surprises – Good and Bad

The bottom line here is that October has often been a pivotal month. The October surprises come from the big market shifts that can occur, but those shifts can be either bullish or bearish.

As astro-traders, we can look for big opportunities in October. As we’ve often seen in studying the markets, big trend changes can sometimes accompany major planetary alignments. When those alignments take place in October, we need to pay very close attention!