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Week of August 5

I should clarify something I stated last week, when I referred to a great T-square forming between Saturn, Uranus and Pluto in 2008-2010. These three planets never come into an exact T-square with one another. They come close, and it can be considered "in effect," if the orb between these planets does not exceed 10 degrees. In fact, they get within 3 degrees of hard aspect to one another by 2010, which is close enough to be effective, in my opinion. But what is perhaps more important, as alluded to in last week's column, is that each of these planets will ingress (enter into) a cardinal sign during the 2008-2010 period. Hence the term "Cardinal Climax" to describe this time frame.

The last geocosmic "Climax" was between 1988-1993, when the Moon's North Node, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune all formed successive conjunctions to one another in the sign of Capricorn, hence the term "Capricorn Climax." That is remarkable, because each of these bodies has an orbit of greater than 18 years. In the case of Uranus and Neptune, the orbits are 84 and 164 years respectively. And like the "Capricorn Climax," the "Cardinal Climax" can be expected to correlate with a major shift in collective consciousness. In other words, the world as we know it will likely change, and the economic, social, political and cultural areas of human activity will be impacted dramatically. You may remember that during the "Capricorn Climax," the Communist nations of Eastern Europe were allowed to enter the free market economy. The Berlin Wall came down after 45 years (Saturn conjunct Uranus). 300 million new consumers for world goods gave rise to the greatest bull market in the history of many world stock indices. It also coincided with the advent of technology (home computer and Internet) as a major economic force. We changed the way we did business with one another.

I referred to this period (2008-2010) as my "best guess" as to when the problems encountered during the Saturn-Pluto opposition of August 2001-May 2002 might peak. In previous reports I also pointed to this as the time when I believed the terrorists of the world would likely gain access to, and/or expertise in weapons of mass destruction to affect great havoc on the planet. The threat of terrorism coincided with Saturn in opposition to Pluto. The reality of greater destruction from terrorism could increase substantially when Uranus enters the Saturn-Pluto equation in 2008-2010.

But I also pointed out a geocosmic signature suggesting a powerful peace movement as well, taking place between 2003-2010. This peace movement would be related to Uranus (mass consciousness) entering Pisces (urge for peace), in 2003. It will remain there until 2010. During that same period, Neptune (planet signifying the wish for peace) will remain in Aquarius (sign correlating with the principle of mass consciousness), in what is known as a mutual reception. A mutual reception occurs when two planets are in one another's ruling sign. The principles of each are very strong. In this case, Uranus rules Aquarius and Neptune rules Pisces, so they are in each other's ruling sign. Who will win: the forces of peace (Uranus and Neptune in mutual reception) or the forces of destruction (Saturn and Pluto joined by Uranus)? The battle looms large at the end of this decade. The "Peace Generation" (Neptune in Libra) has its ultimate challenge coming up, and with it may determine the destiny of humanity as we enter the "Cardinal Climax."

OK, but what does that have to do with world financial markets, you might ask. A lot. Typically, economies and stock markets top out around the time of Saturn in opposition to Pluto. Governments achieve budget surpluses, prosperity reigns and every one eats and works. But after Saturn opposes Pluto, deficits begin to arise, debts increase and excess gives way to scarcity, until at least the waning square between these two powerhouses (2008-2010), and oftentimes right into the conjunction (2020). As an interesting study, you might go back and look at the alignment of planets between 1834-35 and 1842. In 1834-35, Saturn was opposed to Pluto, Uranus was in late Aquarius about to enter Pisces, and Neptune was in early Aquarius, as they are now. The U.S. had just balanced the budget and paid off all its debt from the Revolutionary War of 1776. But by 1842, as Saturn squared Pluto, the U.S. had a huge deficit again—so huge, it defaulted on its debt for the first and only time in history. See any similarities to the past year?

In inflation-adjusted terms, equity markets tend to perform extremely well between the conjunction and opposition (1946-1966, 1982-2001). Interest rates tend to go from a high to a low, which helps stock markets. But between the opposition and conjunction, debt increases, and so too do interest rates. First the stock market falters, then as debt increases, the bond markets suffer. This is followed by problems in the housing-mortgage sector, which is then followed by problems with banks that can't collect on loans (usually related to real estate busts). Equities markets are not stable during the downward part of the Saturn-Pluto cycle, although there are numerous instances of sharp but short-lasting rallies. It is just not the gradual rise for many, many years that was evident from conjunction to opposition. Making money through the financial markets is much more challenging now. But, it can be done.

Shorter term, the U.S. stock market may be readying for one of those sharp rallies within the down phase of a greater bear market. It will appear like a new bull market, and I am certain that many analysts will in fact call it a new bull market. The 4-year cycle is due to bottom. It either bottomed back on the Full Moon of July 26 (one of the possible dates for a bottom discussed at the time in this column), or it will bottom with the next primary cycle low, due between October-January coming up. After this 4-year trough is in, look for a minimum 5-8 month rally in stock indices around the world.

One reason why July 26 could have been that low is because it occurred between the July 3-August 10 period that we previously identified as a the completion of a bottom from which the market would commence a minimum 10% rally. This was the time frame in which Sun, Mars and Jupiter all formed conjunctions to one another. Sure enough, on the Full Moon, the Dow Jones Industrial Averages bottomed at around 7500, and have since risen over 15% in just one week. Along with this rise, currencies like the Euro have fallen against the Dollar, as have Gold and Silver. The key aspect in that cluster is the Sun conjunct Mars, which actually takes place next Saturday, August 10. There are more 10% or greater moves in U.S. stock indices related to this signature than any other involving planets within the orbit of Jupiter. This conjunction also corresponds to hot weather, as in droughts and crop damage, which is certainly affecting the recent sharp run up in grain prices. Geopolitically, it can also correspond to aggressive, war-like moves by various nations in the world. Perhaps Saddam Hussein and Iraq could be targeted in the next two weeks. Such aggression may lead to a temporary and sharp 2-3 week rally in precious metals, and maybe even crude oil. However, each of these markets appears headed lower yet into the end of the year after the drama settles. Gold's 56-week low is not due for at least 10 more weeks, and crude oil's 4-year cycle low is not due until the first quarter of next year at below $17.00/barrel. Both bottoms will likely occur nearby to one of the three passes of Jupiter in opposition to Neptune that begin September 11, 2002.

Disclaimer: Past results are no guarantee of future results. Therefore no guarantees are made by either the author or publisher of this report. You are solely responsible for any action you initiate in the market, and the author and publisher assume none whatsoever. Information is provided with sincere intent, and according to our own proprietary studies and methodologies.

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Raymond Merriman is a professional astrologer and President of The Merriman Market Analyst, Inc., an investment advisory firm specializing in market timing products and services. He is the editor of The MMA Cycles Report, an advisory newsletter used by banks, financial institutions, investors and traders. He is the author of numerous astrology books, and developed two financial astrological software systems: The FAR (Financial Astrological Research) program, and the SOS (Stock Optimizing Selector) Program, which enable traders to identify potential turning points in various stocks and/or financial futures markets. He can be reached by email, or visit his website.

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