The Pentagon said the U.S. military killed Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the head of Iran’s elite Quds Force, in Baghdad Friday at the direction of Trump. The attack is expected to draw severe Iranian retaliation against Israel and American interests. – Ken Martin, “Democrats Call U.S. Killing of Iranian General ‘Reckless’”, foxbusiness.com, January 3, 2020.
Welcome to a New Year, a new decade, and a new ingress of Mars into Sagittarius. As reported in this column several times in the past, the passage of Mars through Sagittarius-Capricorn has a remarkable correspondence with major crises erupting in the Middle East, and often corresponding with a period danger and threats to Israel from her neighbors, or from within.
Mars entered Sagittarius January 3, as the attack began, and will depart Capricorn on March 30. What makes this period even more disconcerting is the longer-term conjunction of Saturn and Pluto that takes place next week, on January 12, 2020. With an orb of up to 18 months, this 32-37-year cycle was present at the start of World War I and the ending of World War II. It last unfolded in November 1982, coinciding with the Iran-Contra coverup of secret weapons’ transactions between the U.S. and Iran following the Islamic Revolution that toppled the Shah of Iran and led to the creation of an Islamic republic.
Stock markets of the world were doing quite well prior to this military strike. On January 2, the first day of trading in the New Year, all U.S. stock indices rallied to new all-time highs. The DJIA futures sold off over 300 points in the overnight market, but started to rally back after the first hour of trading on Friday. New all-time highs were recorded in Brazil, Switzerland, and India as well last week.
The German DAX also came close to making an all-time high, soaring to 13,425 on January 2, just shy of its record of 13,596 set on January 23 2018. The Netherlands AEX index rallied to 607, its highest mark since May 2001. China’s Shanghai Composite rose to its highest mark since April 29, 2019. All in all, it has been a very good holiday season for world equity markets, despite the pullback on Friday.
The military escalation between Iran and the U.S. was a positive for Gold and the Swiss Franc. Gold soared to 1554 on Friday, January 3, re-testing it 6-year high made in early September. Silver rallied to 18.32 its highest mark since November 4. The Swiss Franc continued to serve the currency world as a safe haven during troubled times, rising to 1.0420 on Friday, its highest level since September 2018. Other commodities also performed very well, with Crude Oil soaring to 64.09, its highest mark since April 30, while Soybeans soared to $9.49/bu, its highest price since June 2018. If it wasn’t for the outbreak of military hostilities, all would be well in the financial world. But Mars is now in Sagittarius, so the tensions of geopolitical political threats may be just starting. Mars is war-like, and Sagittarius knows no bounds when it decides to act with aggression. It can be restless, reckless, overpowering, and takes no prisoners. It may be hard to stop, once unleashed. It can coincide with large price swings in many markets, including equities.
Yet this non-military engagement posture may be tested in 2020 as the progressed Moon makes a T-square with the U.S. natal Mars/Neptune square, December 2019-through March 2020. If the time of the founding chart used here (July 2, 1776, 11:45 AM, Philadelphia, PA), is correct, this indicates a period of increased military confrontations, and possible uncertainty or mixed messages sent to U.S. allies. – Forecast 2020 Book, page 53-54, written November 2019.
It was not only transiting Mars into Sagittarius/Capricorn that indicated the possibility of a military conflict involving the Middle East, but also the progressed Moon in Sagittarius forming a T-square with Mars/Neptune in the U.S. chart, using the July 2, 1776 as the founding of nation. This is just another astrological correspondence supporting the premise that the U.S. founding chart is really based on the completion of the Vote for Independence by Congress, which was just before noon on July 2, and not on July 4 when General George Washington was delivered the vote that started the War for Independence. Furthermore, the Moon in Sagittarius of the July 2 chart also activates the Mars/Neptune square in Iran’s chart and the Sun/Uranus opposition to Moon in President Trump’s natal chart.
This newly aroused conflict may not end as quickly as some analysts think. As Mars transits through Sagittarius, it will strongly activate the U.S. and Iran’s Mars/Neptune squares and President Trump’s natal Sun/Uranus in opposition to Moon between January 28 and February 13. What does this imply? It suggests leaders may be impulsive, acting first and thinking later, being overly reactive or even pro-active, in their minds. This can lead to a very strong show of force, action, and reaction. With Mars in Sagittarius, things can easily become “over the top,” as we say in America.
We may see a good dose of this energy even next week, as Uranus – planet of surprises and eruptions – turns direct on January 10. The orb of influence for this signature is already in effect. In terms of financial markets, this often corresponds with very sharp price moves, either way, and often beyond levels of normal support and resistance. It can coincide witch stunning reversals of trends, or spectacular breakouts to new multi-year highs or lows within two weeks. It has already coincided with all-time highs in several world equity markets. They may be more to come unless it is a reversal signature this time.
We would also like to point out that Mars has now left Scorpio, November 19 through January 3. This was our “Time for Gold,” as subscribers to MMA’s monthly, weekly, and daily reports benefited from, having bought Gold the week before the ingress, when lows were due (the low was 1446) and exiting final positions as Mars left Scorpio on January 3 (as Gold exceeded 1550). There is no technical sign yet that Gold has topped out, but you have to stay with the plan, and the plan was to buy on an isolated low within two weeks of Mars entering Scorpio (which we did), and hold until the end of the transit (which we did). It paid off very handsomely, just as it has so many times in the past.
LONGER-TERM THOUGHTS – THE U.S. ELECTION
Anyone can become president now, anyone big and colorful and in line with prevailing public sentiment. We have entered the age of the postheroic presidency. Certain low ways are forgiven, certain rough ways now established. Americans once asked a lot of their presidents… But the heroic conception of the presidency is over. Bill Clinton and his embarrassments damaged it. Two unwon wars and the great recession killed it. “If you like your doctor you can keep your doctor” buried it. When you deliberately lie like that, you are declaring that you have no respect for the people. And the people noticed… In time we’ll see that you lose something when you go postheroic. Colorful characters will make things more divided, not less. They will entertain but not ennoble. And the world will think less of us – America has become a clownish, unserious country with clownish, unserious leaders – which will have an impact on our ability to influence events. – Peggy Noonan, “The Century of the Postheroic Presidency,” Wall Street Journal, December 28-29, 2019.
Seven in 10 Americans in a new ABC News/Washington Post poll say President Donald Trump should allow his top aides to testify in a Senate trial on the impeachment charges against him. – Gary Langer, “Most Expect a Fair Trial for Trump; 7 in 10 Say Let Aides Testify,” abcnews.go.com, December 17, 2019,
I was thinking of the impeachment of President Donald Trump at the end of last year, and the strategy of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to hold back on delivering the Articles of Impeachment to the Senate for trial until she – the House – is assured there will indeed be a fair trial. Many pundits think she is crazy. But based on astrology, I am not so sure.
There are 35 Senate seats up for re-election, and 23 of those belong to Republicans, with the Democrats defending only 12. The Democrats will only need to pick up four seats to gain a majority. In other words, if the Democrats win only 16 Senate seats and Republicans win 19, the Democrats will gain control of the Senate. Mitch McConnell would not preside over the trial if it takes place after the election. Some might think this is a form of justice considering that McConnell held up the nomination of President Obama’s choice for Supreme Court until after the 2016 election. What goes around, comes around.
By withholding the Articles of Impeachment from a trial in the Senate with the current Republican majority, Pelosi makes the election about Donald Trump the person, up for trial for “abuse of power” and “obstruction of Congress,” and not Donald Trump the mastermind behind the roaring economy. Of course, Republicans will still tout it as a vote on the economy. But importantly, it will also be about the public’s desire for a fair trial, and right now, seven out of 10 Americans want the President’s aides to testify, which according to Senate leader Mitch McConnell, is highly unlikely (and unpopular).
So, thinking about it astrologically… President Trump has transiting Pluto in Capricorn approaching an opposition to his natal Venus/Saturn in Cancer later this year and into 2021. This is not an encouraging set up for someone looking for a smooth election victory, or an after-election victory period. Pluto is a harbinger of rejection or transformation in some profound way. It doesn’t mean he loses the election, but it also doesn’t mean he finishes his term in office, unscathed, if he is elected. The possibility that he wins the election but the Democrats gain control of the Senate is not far-fetched. Even if Democrats win only 16 of the 35 seats up for re-election, they gain a majority. It is not inconceivable. And if that happens, with the trial being delayed until after the election, it will be a far different trial. Aides may be called to testify. Revelations of what actually happened may become known (Pluto just doing his work, as he winds his way towards the U.S. natal Moon/Pluto conjunction in late Capricorn too).
One more thought. On Election Day, President Trump looks very strong. If all the votes were cast on Election Day, with the Moon and its North Node conjunct his natal Sun, my bet would be that he wins. But not all votes will be cast on Election Day. More and more Americans will be voting by absentee ballot ahead of the election. Barack Obama showed the power of harnessing absentee voters through his well-organized local efforts in 2008.
If the Democrats want any chance of winning back the White House or Senate in 2020, they will need to organize a massive absentee balloting effort along the lines of what Barack Obama accomplished in 2008. If the Republicans want to prevent that outcome, they need to do the same thing, but better. It may come down to who has the better local organizational effort to get out the absentee ballot votes. Here, my bet is on… well, you figure out who has the better grassroots “get out the vote” organization. In the meantime, we are off to a powerful beginning to a most remarkable geocosmic year.
Disclaimer and statement of purpose: The purpose of this column is not to predict the future movement of various financial markets. However, that is the purpose of the MMA (Merriman Market Analyst) subscription services. This column is not a subscription service. It is a free service, except in those cases where a fee may be assessed to cover the cost of translating this column from English into a non-English language. This weekly report is written with the intent to educate the reader on the relationship between astrological factors and collective human activities as they are happening. In this regard, this report will oftentimes report what happened in various stock and financial markets throughout the world in the past week, and discuss that movement in light of the geocosmic signatures that were in effect. It will then identify the geocosmic factors that will be in effect in the next week, or even month, or even years, and the author’s understanding of how these signatures will likely affect human activity in the times to come. The author (Merriman) will do this from a perspective of a cycles’ analyst looking at the military, political, economic, and even financial markets of the world. It is possible that some forecasts will be made based on these factors. However, the primary goal is to both educate and alert the reader as to the psychological climate we are in, from an astrological perspective. The hope is that it will help the reader understand the psychological dynamics that underlie (or coincide with) the news events and hence financial markets of the day. No guarantee as to the accuracy of this report is being made here. Any decisions in financial markets are solely the responsibility of the reader, and neither the author nor the publishers assume any responsibility at all for those individual decisions. Reader should understand that futures and options trading are considered high risk.