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Archive for April 2017

Mother Of All Bombs Brings Vulcanus To Afghanistan

It’s the Mother Of All Bombs.

That’s the military slang for the enormous MOAB.

Aside from nuclear weapons, i’s the biggest, most destructive attack device in the possession of the U.S. armed forces.

Mother Of All Bombs

MOAB – The Mother of All Bombs

The GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast, commonly known as the Mother of All Bombs, is a large-yield conventional (non-nuclear) bomb, developed for the United States military by Albert L. Weimorts, Jr. of the Air Force Research Laboratory.

At the time of development, the government touted it as the most powerful non-nuclear weapon ever designed.

And yesterday, on April 13, with President Donald Trump’s escalation of the conflict in Afghanistan, the need for a big public relations move resulted in the first-ever use of this enormous weapon in a combat situation.

Politics aside, the gigantic explosion was a huge media success. They love being able to talk about this dramatic use of the Mother of All Bombs.

Nowhere To Go But Nuclear

In terms of military strategy, it may have been effective in removing some key cave hideouts used by ISIS in its ongoing guerrilla operations. Initial reports from Afghanistan indicate that between 35 and 82 Islamic State fighters were killed by the bomb blast. There have been no definitive reports of the damage to facilities and equipment.

But one key question remains. So what happens next?

Isis is unlikely to get scared and run away, no matter how much damage was done by the Mother of All Bombs.

And if the U.S. military wants to use something even more powerful in a future escalation, there’s another problem. They have nowhere to go but nuclear.

How Much Is The Mother of All Bombs?

This massive explosive device doesn’t come cheap. According to The Fiscal Times, the “Mother of All Bombs, is a 20,000-pound monster. It took $314 million to develop and has a unit cost of $16 million.” So it only takes a few of them to justify big increases in the U.S. military budget.

The big explosion didn’t help Wall Street, though. Prices continued to move lower after the event. Stocks closed at their lowest levels since mid-February.

It’s now clear that geopolitical events – and the astrological dynamics behind them – are once again a big factor in the markets.

What was most interesting astrologically, though, was the timing of the event.

As I mentioned in a recent blog post, yesterday was a direct station by the transneptunian Vulcanus.

Vulcanus On Display

I described it as expressing “an offer you can’t refuse” in that post.

I pointed out that Vulcanus represents “dynamic energy at the extreme” and “coercion by the highest authority, in the most emphatic way.”

If the Mother of All Bombs doesn’t show those traits, what does?

Mother Of All Bombs Horoscope

The horoscope for the dropping of the Mother Of All Bombs in Afghanistan.

And to underscore the Vulcanus connection, the timing was important, too.

The Mother of All Bombs was dropped at 7:32 p.m. Afghanistan Time.

That was exactly 4 hours and 15 minutes after the Vulcanus station.

Transneptunians, anybody?

A Vulcanus Offer You Can’t Refuse

Too many astro-traders forget about Vulcanus.

In fact, they don’t even think about it at all.

That’s true of all the transneptunian factors, of course.

And most of the time the snubs aren’t really meant to be insulting.

They’re just an act of ignorance.

Who Cares About Vulcanus?

After all, who’s paying attention to Vulcanus in the first place?

And what the heck does it have to do with the markets?

So who really cares?

For most astro-traders (and for most astrologers, too) transneptunian factors feel like they are entirely optional.

Take ’em or leave ’em.

Do as you choose.

But with Vulcanus it’s especially treacherous to look the other way.

It doesn’t like to be ignored.

It’s an authoritative planet. It’s associated with dynamic energy at the extreme.

It represents coercion by the highest authority, in the most emphatic way.

In short, Vulcanus is truly a power planet.

Moving Very Slowly

Except for Poseidon, it is the outermost of the transneptunians.

It has an orbital period of 663 years.

That means Vulcanus moves forward through the zodiac at the excruciating rate of just 32.5 minutes a year.

It’s currently in the final degree of the sign of Cancer. It’s been hanging around that zone for the past three years.

But prior to now, the last time Vulcanus visited that part of the zodiac was in 1353-1355.

That was more than 500 years before the American Civil War.

For that matter, it was before America itself. It was before Columbus or the Pilgrims landing at Plymouth Rock.

It was before Shakespeare. Geoffrey Chaucer was only ten years old.

In 1354 Giovanni Boccaccio had just published The Decameron.  The English were resuming the Hundred Years’ War after taking a brief break because of the decimation caused by the Black Death.

So it was a very long time ago.

Vulcanus Today

So why is Vulcanus important to us today?

To start with, it’s emblematic of over-the-top extremes of power and forcefulness.

That’s a theme currently on full display in domestic affairs, cultural discourse, and geopolitics. Power struggles are the order of the day,

In that sense, Vulcanus is Marlon Brando.

Not The Wild One Brando, or the Brando in On The Waterfront or A Streetcar Named Desire.

Brando Vulcanus Godfather

Marlon Brando expresses the epitome of Vulcanus energy in The Godfather.

It’s Marlon Brando as Vito Corleone in Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 film The Godfather.

The genteel one who talked about making “an offer you can’t refuse.”

Since Vito Corleone was a mafia don, we’ve got a pretty good idea of what that generous offer was really all about.

And so it is with Vulcanus.

Times of Special Emphasis

Let’s face it.

We all have to deal with Vulcanus every day.

It’s there in our natal horoscopes and our First-Trade charts. It’s in the horoscopes of countries, market indices, and NGOs.

But there are a couple of times each year when Vulcanus takes on extra strength.

Those are its planetary stations. The times when it goes retrograde, and the times when it returns to direct motion.

And while it typically exerts a lot of power in moving the markets, at stations it really throws its weight around.

With a Vulcanus direct station on April 13, that’s worth looking at.

Vulcanus Direct Dial

Vulcanus Direct Station – April 13, 2017

Its direct stations tend to be slightly bearish for the S&P 500. They bring lower prices about 46% of the time, and fall within 3 daily bars of an isolated high 59% of the time.

That’s also characteristic of the direct stations and the Hang Seng Index in Hong Kong. They bring lower prices about 47% of the time, and fall within 3 daily bars of an isolated high 60% of the time.

For the Dow Jones Industrial Average, however, the direct stations tend to be fairly bullish. They signal price reversals to the upside about 41% of the time, and fall within 3 daily bars of an isolated low 70% of the time.

But no matter what market we’re trading, we need to watch this Vulcanus direct station.

After all, i’s making us an offer we can’t refuse.

Hong Kong Mercury Retrograde

The Hong Kong Mercury retrograde that’s getting underway is likely to be worth watching.

Mercury goes retrograde Sunday evening, April 9.

Tune in if you’re an active astro-trader.

That’s true for markets around the globe, of course.

But it’s especially significant for Hong Kong.

The Hang Seng Index responds to Mercury retrograde periods that begin in Earth signs in a very distinctive way.

So you’ll want to know exactly how it works.

This brief video provides the details.

It’s only about four minutes long, so there’s no reason not to watch it now.

As the video points out, Hong Kong Mercury retrograde periods are powerful.

Very powerful, in fact.

They’re highlighted in the book Mercury, Money and the Markets.

Hong Kong Mercury Retrograde and More In This Book

You can get it at Amazon.

You’ll find a lot of key information packed into this book.

It’s gotten rave reviews from many of the world’s top traders.

And it’s easy to see why.

Hong Kong Mercury Retrograde and More

It’s a remarkable book. Not quite like any other.

That’s because it provides some real answers about Mercury retrogrades.

This book gives you trading ideas. You’ll find plenty of key information to inform your trading. So its useful not only in Hong Kong but in individual equities and in other major markets around the world. From jakarta to Tokyo, and from Tel Aviv to Sao Paolo.

It provides important back-testing.

And it’s a reference tool you’ll turn to again and again. It even includes a 201-year Mercury retrograde ephemeris.

So it has a long shelf life, too!

Mercury Metrics

You’ll also want to check out Mercury Metrics.

That’s the quarterly supplement to the Mercury Money and the Markets book.

It’s a quick read, delivered via online download every 90 days.

It’s typically only about eight or ten pages long.

But the fact is, that’s as long as it needs to be.

It covers the key Mercury alignments that really move markets.

Including the not-so-common ones.

They can be a big boost to your trading.

And Mercury Metrics will definitely save you a lot of time in finding them.

So it’s well worth investing in a subscription.

But the bottom line is this:

With or without the Mercury book and the Mercury Metrics supplement, keep an eye on Mercury.

You’ll be glad you did.

Especially if you’re tracking Hong Kong Mercury retrograde periods.

Hong Kong In October

Speaking of Hong Kong, I’ve recently agreed to travel there later this year.

A group of advanced traders there has invited me to share some of our research on astro-trading, W. D. Gann, and market harmonics.

I’ll be doing that in a full-day workshop in Hong Kong on October 21.

I hope you can join me there – I’ll be sharing more details as they become available!

 

 

 

Saturn Station Slams World Affairs

A Saturn station sets limits.

This outer planet is the greater malefic in traditional astrology.

Because of that tradition, it often gets a bad rap.

Saturn is all about negative things and stressful circumstances.

So it rarely feels good when we experience its effects.

It gives us an endless stream of trials and tribulations.

That’s why it’s the great teacher in our lives. It’s here so we can learn our big life lessons, whether we like or not.

Saturn Rings - Saturn Station

Like a Saturn station, the planet’s rings define a sense of specific limits. This Hubble infrared photo from space shows their mysterious beauty.

Saturn is famous for its rings.

They symbolize cosmic limitations imposed by a harsh environment. Because of those limits, we need personal discipline and extra dedication.

Saturn is about contraction, concentration, and crystallization. It represents conventional or conservative attitudes.

Those attitudes can trigger exaggerated pessimism or a sustained sense of lack.

But Saturn is also about time, definition, and structure. It can thus help us anchor plans and activities.

When we pay attention to Saturn we can set specific goals. We can create schedules and make commitments.

These opportunities peak whenever we have a Saturn station.

A Retrograde Saturn Station

The latest Saturn station came yesterday. Saturn began its retrograde motion at 27°48′ Sagittarius.

It was a significant turning point in politics, commercial discourse, and international affairs.

North Korea used the Saturn station as an occasion to launch a test missile toward Japan. It was part of the country’s efforts to redefine itself as a prominent nuclear power.

The “nuclear option” was also in play in the United States Senate.

That’s because the Republican majority rewrote the legislative body’s rules for confirmation of Supreme Court justices.

The move increases the likelihood that future members of the Court will be political extremists. So they are less likely to be moderates with well-reasoned commitments to nonpartisan judicial deliberations.

There was also action in the US House of Representatives. The Saturn station saw Congressman Devin Nunez recuse himself from the Intelligence Committee investigation of Russian interference in US elections.

He retained his seat as committee chairman. But mounting ethical pressure obliged him to bow out of the investigation.

So he reversed course as Saturn went retrograde.

The Saturn station also brought big shifts in geopolitics.

Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Florida to meet with US President Donald Trump at his private Mar-a-Lago resort.

And as his dinner with Xi was about to start, Trump ordered a missile strike against Syria. The military action marked a major reversal in US posture in the Syrian conflict.

Impact on the Markets

Like any planetary turning point, this Saturn station could trigger short-term market reversals. But it’s also likely to bring changing conceptions of market conditions and economic trends.

Saturn Station 90-Degree

The 90-Degree Dial for the Current Saturn Station

As the 90° dial shows, the Saturn station is in an eighth-harmonic alignment with the transneptunian factor Poseidon. This signals a major break with previous ideological loyalties.

So we may feel the fallout in the markets.

Saturn also triggers the Aries/Chiron midpoint. This suggests big geopolitical challenges during coming months.

One More Thing

And there’s one more factor here.

As the Saturn station began, there were White House rumblings about possibly reinstating the Glass-Steagall Act or its equivalent.

If this happens, it would represent a major shakeup of global banking interests.

It could signal a big shift in key market forces as well.

Stay tuned.

Solar Explosion Disrupts Earth Activities

A huge solar explosion is in the news.

April had barely started when there was a massive solar explosion.

It was triggered amid increasing sunspot activity on the face of the Sun.

And it sent a big magnetic disruption hurtling toward Earth.

A Quiet Year So Far

This big event is big news.

All solar flares are in important, of course. And this solar explosion is particularly dramatic.

But it’s also a sharp contrast to what we’ve been seeing on the Sun so far this year.

The truth is, 2017 has been an unusual year for sunspot activity.

What’s been unusual, however, has been the general lack of sunspots overall.

Its been a very quiet year on the Sun so far. There haven’t been very many sunspots or major solar explosions.

Until now, that is.

A Solar Explosion With Little Warning

“Suddenly,” says NASA, “solar flare activity is high.  With little warning, sunspot AR2644 started exploding yesterday, producing an M4.4-class flare on April 1st followed by an even stronger M5-class flare on April 2nd.”

Solar Explosion CME April 1, 2017

In a huge solar explosion, there was a significant coronal mass ejection (CME) on April 1st.

The event took place against a backdrop of fresh sunspot activity. Solar storms are passing across the face of the Sun’s disc.

Sunspot activity

As seen through a telescope from this perspective, sunspots are interesting to observe.

But they look like minor blemishes compared with the overall size of the solar disc. That makes it easy to overlook their real importance.

The fact is, however, that sunspots are an indication of extremely powerful cosmic activity. It may seem to be relatively inconsequential from one perspective. But if you observe solar disturbances with different tools, you get a different picture altogether.

solar explosion UV emissions

Ultraviolet emissions from the solar explosion on April 1, 2017.

For example, you can go beyond the spectrum of visible light. The big solar explosion created ultraviolet shock waves. Their sheer intensity is one of the things that has caught the attention of earth-bound astronomers.

What Difference Does A Solar Explosion Make?

While it’s fascinating to observe all this action on the Sun, we obviously want to know about its impact on Earth.

The big solar flares on April 1 and 2 have already had an effect on earthly radio communications. That’s because they mess with the Earth’s ionosphere in a pretty big way.

Radio Blackout Zone from solar explosion

This map shows the intense zone of radio communications blackout over the Indian Ocean following the big solar explosion on April 2, 2017.

The April 1 event knocked out shortwave reception over most of the Pacific Ocean, including the coast of California. The solar explosion that followed shortly after that earlier today had a similar effect over the Indian Ocean.

Fundamentally, these disruptions have a potential ripple effect. They can impact communications and commerce. That in turn can create a noticeable effect in the markets.

That’s why they’re interesting to us as astro-traders.

And, as astro-traders, it’s instructive to look at the horoscope associated with this event.

solar explosion 90-degree dial

Heliocentric 90-Degree Dial for the Solar Explosion on April 1, 2017.

In this case, we’re using a heliocentric chart. After all, we’re interested in the action that’s taking place on the Sun.

When we look at the horoscope for the April 1 solar explosion on the 90-degree dial, we can see some of its broader potential implications. Our pointer on the dial is aimed at Earth’s position.

Inside The Midpoints

There are some powerful and intriguing activations here.

To start with, there’s an emphasis on the Neptune/Poseidon midpoint.

This literally indicates an unusual refraction of light. It’s thus appropriate for a solar flare event. But it also emphasizes potential misrepresentation, lying, and deception.

The Chiron/Vulcanus midpoint activation indicates the likelihood of sudden powerful disruptions. They can create problematic or inconvenient circumstances.

To a certain extent, we’ve already seen that happening with the big radio blackouts.

The Aries/Uranus midpoint alignment is pretty straightforward.

This event can have a sudden shocking impact on the entire planet.

And finally, the Hades/Zeus activation is fascinating.

It suggests idleness and vice. It’s a lack of purposeful activity.

And strangely enough, it’s associated with “a lack of coal.”

Wonder what that’s about?

For more on the solar explosion and its impacts, see the NASA Spaceweather website.

Dow Target A Near Miss

Okay. We’ve just finished the first quarter of the trading year, and our Dow target wasn’t hit precisely.

But we came pretty darn close!

What Dow Target?

What does all this mean? What target am I talking about, anyway?

It all started with a request I got in late November from Timer Digest newsletter.

They regularly track market timers, including the trading signals that we publish in FinancialCyclesWeekly.

And, as I noted in a blog post a few months ago, they wanted an overall forecast for 2017.

Their request was for a specific Dow target for the end of March, for the end of June, and for the end of the year on December 31st..

So here’s what I came up with.

I was looking for a bullish quarter for stocks.

That certainly has proven to be the case.

But I was trying to figure this out in late November, remember.

At that time (November 28) the Dow Jones Industrial Average stood at 19097.90.

So I did some back-testing.

I looked at cycles of the true lunar node.

I assessed upcoming astrological events.

I took a particular look at upcoming solar eclipse patterns.

Not Just Trump

While many of colleagues and fellow forecasters focused on the election of Donald Trump, I didn’t give it much attention.

Trump's New York Battle

Donald Trump’s billionaire status translated into Wall Street enthusiasm after the election.

At that time, of course, a Trump Rally was already underway.

The Dow had already climbed nearly 5 percent since the presidential election. And it was a pretty good bet it would continue into the new year.

At least until after the presidential inauguration on January 20.

But again, I wasn’t giving that factor much attention as I calculated my Dow target.

I was looking at the astrology instead – that’s mainly what astro-traders do!

So What Exactly Was The Dow Target?

As I’ve reported here before, my target for the end of March, 2017 was 20605.00.

Dow Target March 2017

Our Dow Target for the end of March 2017 was very close to the actual closing price on March 31.

And, as I noted shortly after the forecast made it into print in Timer Digest, I found myself “wondering if perhaps I didn’t stick my neck out a little too far with this forecast.”

As it turned out, though, my Dow target was a little too conservative.

My projection was for 20606.00. The Dow finished up at the end of March at 20663.22.

My Dow target was off by 0.28%.

We’ll see how things turn out for the rest of the year.