We don't normally mention Astrology on www.clivemaund.com because although Clive Maund has a good working knowledge of Astrology and has used it for many years in his personal life and found it most helpful, applying it to markets is another ball game and requires a special talent. So we have stuck to Technical Analysis and left applying Astrology to the markets to others. However, the planetary alignment that is set to reach maximum intensity during the next two weeks is of such immense power and has such major implications, that we would be foolish to ignore it. To those reading this who would scoff at applying Astrology to the markets and world affairs I would merely point out two undeniable facts. One is that the widely known Arch Crawford, who uses Astrology extensively amongst other tools to make his predictions in his Crawford Perspectives, was ranked #1 Stock Market Timer for the period October 1 2007 through October 31, 2009, and you don't do that by coincidence. Secondly, many seriously wealthy people, who are above and beyond peer group pressure and don't have to give a damn what other people think, openly use Astrology in their lives. In addition the Royal Bank of Scotland produced a 12-page report on Astrology and the markets early this month, but laughably tried to apologise for doing so at the same time by giving the article the cringing title Sheer Lunacy staring at the Heavens. Companies are of course subject to peer group pressure big time. That's enough justification - we will shortly proceed to examine exactly what is going on, but first a very quick lesson in the most important planetary harmonics, even the most basic understanding of which will give you a glimpse of the enormity of what is going on.
In Astrology the most disharmonious and stressful aspects between planets are the square (90 degree aspect) and the opposition (180 degree aspect), while the most harmonious and flowing aspects are the trine (120 degree aspect) and the sextile (60 degree aspect) which in degrees is half a Trine. The reason that the trine is so harmonious is that it normally connects signs that are of the same element, as the 3 signs associated with each of the 4 elements of Fire, Earth, Air and Water are naturally separated by 120 degrees, for example the Fire sign Aries is separated from the Fire sign Leo and the Fire sign Sagittarius, in the opposite direction, by 120 degrees. Persons born with a lot of squares and oppositions in their horoscopic charts start life with a bad hand and usually face a long struggle to attain inner harmony and success in life, while those born with a lot of trines and sextiles in their charts lead lives of relative ease and privilege. These planetary aspects also have a macro effect on the world at large, determining the destiny of countries and economies etc and also correlate with natural disasters and wars. While it is tempting to label the stressful aspects as bad, particularly if you feel that you have been getting the rough end of the stick, in developmental terms they are necessary. Just as we know that pain is necessary to prevent us causing inadvertent damage to our bodies, times of stress and crisis are necessary to bring about needed changes that would not otherwise occur. There are millions and millions of people who would not lift themselves out of their comfy armchairs at all, were it not for the need to earn the money to pay the bills to prevent the ever threatening extreme stress that would be caused by not being able to buy food and having the utilities such as electricity cut off. Take a good look around any city center on a weekday morning - it doesn't take much to figure out what motivates people. We will now take a look at a visual representation of the principal harmonious and stressful aspects that fall within the circle representing the heavens.
The two pictures below show the most complete and extreme harmonious and stressful harmonics respectively that are possible. The first picture shows what is called a Grand Triangle or Grand Trine, which is made up of a series of trines spanning the heavens. The second picture shows the Grand Square or Grand Cross, which is made up instead of a series of 4 square aspects spanning the heavens, which of course involves 2 oppositions at 90 degrees to each other. In both of these pictures the more planets that are involved and the closer the aspects between them, the stronger the pattern and the more powerful the energy involved.
Now here's where it gets really interesting. If you understand that the Grand Cross represents a blocked energy pattern that is characterized by extreme disharmony, discord, opposition, and stress, all of which are of course a breeding ground for conflict, then you at once grasp the immensely powerful symbolism of the Christian cross, which is associated with the suffering of Christ, and you also comprehend the horrific negativity of the Nazi Swastika made up of a cross with tails, made more ominous by its thick black lines and the surround of blood red. This was a flag which dripped evil and just by itself revealed the intentions of the regime which spawned it and went on to create carnage.
What was Neville Chamberlain (the British Prime Minister before the 2nd World War) thinking? - did he really believe he could make a gentleman's agreement with a regime that had a flag like this? ...
Even to the most objective and unbiased observer this flag is a disturbing sight, and with good reason. In addition to the threatening heavy black lines and blood red, the Swastika is derived from the most negative of astrological patterns, the Grand Cross, which as we have observed above is a pattern of maximum stress and conflict. This flag meant trouble and signified a regime that could only be stopped by one thing - force.
At the other end of the scale we have the 6-pointed star, the Star of David (see below), which represents pure harmony, being as it is two Grand Trines overlaid, whose points make a chain of harmonious sextiles (60 degrees) around the circle. Very few people alive truly grasp just how positive this star is. Please note here that this observation is wholly apolitical - I am commenting here solely on the geometry and astrological symbolism of the the 6-pointed star, not on the actions or politics of the Jewish state.
As a fine example of the beneficence and harmony of the Grand Trine finding expression in the life of an individual, we have the English singer Robbie Williams, whose chart (just showing the planets involved in the Trine) is shown below. Robbie could barely comprehend his meteoric rise to stardom and once said with incredulity I'm rich beyond my wildest dreams - it sure helps to have fate on your side. For a bit of light relief after reading this, here is a song by Robbie.
Likewise, Mick Jagger of The Rolling Stones has many trines and sextiles in his birth chart although not a Grand Trine. He has a Sun-Jupiter-Pluto conjunction on his Ascendant conferring charisma, fortune (Jupiter) and power (Pluto). A reader of the UK Sun newspaper recently commented, somewhat uncharitably, that Jagger looks like a walking corpse, but if you had packed at least 100 times as much into your life as most people experience, would you really expect not to look a bit weathered??
The reason that stars become stars is that they constellate an archetype and provide something for people to aspire to and look up to. Prominent people in all walks of life generally have these beneficent aspects in their horoscopes, although there are often more difficult aspects in their charts too that provide the motivation to succeed - if there were only these harmonious aspects they would probably lounge about and do nothing. The writer's own brother, who has a Grand Trine in his horoscope, is a prominent businessman in the UK. Olders readers will recall Tricky Dicky Richard Nixon, a President in the US in the early 70's who resorted to subterfuge in an effort to assist his reelection chances - he got caught out and impeached. Nixon had a stressful opposition from Neptune to the Sun on his chart, which gave him a tendency to be a deceptive S.O.B. but as leading US astrologer Robert Hand pointed out I feel that Nixon was sincere in denying that he was a crook, that is, he did not see himself as one.
Alright, so what have we got coming up in the sky right now? - this is what we have got...
The chart is for the 6th August this year when the planetary aspects are at their tightest and the moon swings into position to complete a Grand Cross pattern. Note, however, that the fast moving moon makes a fleeting appearance in this pattern, what really matters is the T-square part of the pattern involving many planets in the early degrees of Cardinal signs, as of course when the moon is not involved the point of the pattern completing the Grand Cross is missing. These aspects are starting to come into effect in a big way this coming week and will intensify until their early August peak. Because this pattern is forming in the very early degrees of what are called Cardinal signs, starting with the Jupiter - Uranus conjunction around the start of the zodiac circle at the beginning of Aries, it is known as the Cardinal Climax, and its significance is amplified. It is very important to understand that such configurations are EXTREMELY RARE EVENTS - according to Crawford, it is most powerful aspect in Earth's written history. Note that not everything can be explained here, as I am trying to write an article, not a book.
So, what does this extremely tight and tense astrological configuration mean for the world? In interpreting this pattern it helps to understand that disharmonious aspects to planets can bring about the following negative manifestations - Mars: aggression, conflict and war, Jupiter: inflation and excess, overreaching, Saturn: authoritarianism, austerity, privation, poverty, Uranus: sudden developments, revolution and anarchy, Pluto: chaos and mass destruction leading to fundamental transformation. All of these planets are involved in this tight grouping, and for clarity planets that are not involved in it are not shown, which includes the Sun. Looking around at the world today we have a number of threatening disasters or catastrophes. One possibility is that Israel or the US could attack Iran, although this looks more likely to happen later. They would like to do this but are scared of the consequences and the US is spread thin militarily with its occupations of Afghanistan and Iraq, but on the other hand it would be a good way to get unthinking people to rally round the flag and forget their economic woes. With regard to the natural world major earthquakes and flooding and other natural disasters would also be typical manifestations. Finally this terrible configuration hardly augers well for the stockmarket, which could crash with very little warning, and it is certainly in position to do so. The fortunes of the Precious Metals depend on what disaster or combination of disasters manifests - for example an attack on Iran would be expected to drive them higher, whereas a self-feeding stockmarket crash would probably take them lower in the absence of such an attack.
Do the negative implications of this extreme planetary configuration have to manifest immediately? Not necessarily, although they probably will, but there could be some time lag. For example Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait in July - August 1990, between a solar and lunar eclipse and just before an extremely malefic Grand Cross in the heavens in fixed signs, see lunar eclipse chart below, but was not kicked out until the next pair of eclipses 6 months later, in Operation Desert Storm. The symbolism of this Grand Cross could not be more apt, with Mars, the god of war, and Pluto standing for catharsis and mass destruction being involved - six months later Saddam Hussein's army was humiliated and sent packing and the Kuwaiti oil fields were set ablaze.
The following pattern, which shows a lunar eclipse squared by a Mars - Pluto opposition, symbolizing violence and destruction, appeared in the sky at the time Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait...
...and led to apocalyptic scenes at the next pair of eclipses 6 months later...
We have seen that periods of stress and strife are inevitable - they are built into the clockwork of the heavens and are thus unavoidable - yet it is these times of crisis that provide the motivation and the necessity to set things straight or to make needed changes. For example, the Apollo 1 disaster in the 60's in which 3 astronauts died in a fire at the top of a spacecraft resulted in a radical safety overhaul that may well have prevented a much more serious accident during the moon missions, just recently the Gulf oil disaster has exposed grave shortcomings that will result in a dramatic tightening up of safety and security on drilling platforms, A much more extreme example is the Second World War which vented a tremendous amount of negativity and thus ushered in the long period of relative peace and prosperity that lasted for decades. Earthquakes are described as disasters, as if they are negative, but the main reason that people suffer from them is that they insist on building flimsy dangerous structures in known earthquake zones - the earth is not responsible, it is just doing its thing, and in fact the same of true of all so-called natural disasters - much of the misery resulting from flooding is the result of stupid selfish humans chopping down the forests which naturally hold much more water, thus exposing themselves to massive runoff and landslides. Nature itself is fully adjusted to these natural disasters, which is why palm trees can bend to the ground and have slatted leaves. The main reason for the massive fires in Yellowstone National Park in 1988 was that the authorities put out the regular small fires started by lightning, instead of letting them run their course. The result was a disastrous build up of dead dry underbrush. They made the same mistake of interfering with nature in Australia, where in fact fires are necessary to trigger germination of some Eucalypyus trees, and the result was massive devastating fires. In recent years we have seen the same kind of dangerous meddling in natural economic cycles by the likes of Greenspan and the US Fed and Treasury - N.B. - if you read all of this article on Greespan, you probably have serious time management issues. They decided that recessions are politically undesirable and unwelcome, so they obstructed them with their financial engineering, and while they succeeded in stopping them up to now, the distortions and excesses that these recessions would have cleansed from the system have now snowballed into an unstoppable monster which is bearing down on the financial sysyem. Even at this 11th hour, people have been duped into thinking that they are are going to be able to continue playing the same old game of keeping the system limping along by creating more money, monetisising bonds and suppressing interest rates etc. We are now thought to have arrived at the point where this isn't going to work any more - the forces of deflation (for which read a long series of impeded natural recessions) have built up a massive head of steam, and all the averted past recessions, like the one that should have happened in 2003-4, are going to suddenly turn up on the doorstep, rolled into one. What the world needs now is an economic depression, not for the widespread suffering and privation that it will cause, but to cleanse the world of debt, which has become a massive millstone and drag at all levels of society, personal, corporate and state. This contraction will also serve to rid the system of distortions, and strip out the parasitic elements that have bred like flies in this cesspool of debt, especially the peddlers of debt and derivatives, and have caused their host, i.e. the world at large, to become chronically ill, a process which got underway big time in 2007-8. Small wonder then that the banks and Wall St are going to extreme lengths to try to prevent it. Economic collapse now looks inevitable, but when you truly grasp the reasons for it, you understand that in developmental terms it is actually necessary to purge the system so that we can later move forward again freed of the drag of all this debt baggage. It is thought that the extraordinarily tight and tense planetary aspect pattern in the sky right now, which concurs with numerous conventional technical indications, likely portends such a severe economic contraction. An economic storm is believed to be about to break, but as those familiar with Beethoven's 6th Symphony know, after it has wrought its worst, the sun will come out again and birds will start to sing.
Alright for some - wildflowers take advantage of the leafless canopy in 1989 in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, following the massive 1988 wildfires, demonstrating how disaster leads to opportunity. Notice, however, that they come out after the fire rather than before or during the fire, which would not be advisable. In the same way we will look to go long gold and silver after the crash, rather than before or during it, when they are both likely to be smashed down along with most everything else.
First published on www.clivemaund.com on Sunday 25th July. Since this article was first posted we have seen the WikiLeaks episode, which may have major implications for Pakistan, the Pakistan air disaster in which 152 people died, massive flooding in Pakistan, continued flooding in China, and a heatwave and major fires in Russia. Pakistan does seem to be a nexus of expression for the energy in the astrological T-square, so this is a part of the world where major change is to be expected.