Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Predictions for the USA in 2009

The year 2009 will be marked by efforts to resolve major problems facing the USA, both in foreign relations and the economy. The trend is clearly towards populist reforms in the wake of the collapse and public rescue of the financial sector. While the financial crisis is due to excessive risk taking, the popular resentment is focused on the stunning excesses in the renumeration of the CEOs responsible for the crisis.

The trends and developments in the USA will influence developments in other parts of the world. While continued setbacks are seen for the US in early 2009, things are expected to turn more positive as the year closes. A discussion of the predictions and their historical and astrological underpinnings follows. In particular, there is predicted to be a strong similarity with the trends of the previous Venus-Saturn period 120 years ago.

Successful predictions for 2008
The predictions are based on an application of the System's Approach to the SAMVA USA chart (Perpetual Union). Most of the predictions for the USA in 2008 made on the basis of this chart have been realised, as documented in several articles, including Crisis in the Fall, A bad year for Venus and More accurate stock market predictions on this blog.

Saturn afflicted as year opens
The year opens with transit 8th lord SATURN at 27° Leo in the 2nd house under close afflicting aspect from natal SATURN at 27° Scorpio and 5th house. This aspect, which began in December 2008, signals setbacks for the indications of Saturn. Indeed, economic conditions are expected to remain cool in 2009 with working people faced with rising unemployment and stagnant incomes. Things mined from the ground, such as oil, have been affected by afflictions of Saturn since 2008, with slowing global demand putting a downward pressure on the price of oil. This trend is expected to continue into February. As explained in the article Riddle of the oil price resolved, the oil price has historically tended to peak during the transit of Saturn in Leo. The successive intense afflictions of Saturn during 2008 saw it sharply reduced. As Saturn remains in Leo until September 2009, the oil price could recover when the present affliction lifts.

Solar eclipse in late January
A solar eclipse will take place on January 26, which will be followed by the transit Sun becoming conjunct the transit stationary nodes on January 29. The effect of this conjunction has been described in the article The truth about Eclipses.

In the 20° Cancer rising chart for the USA, the stationary RAHU at 15° Capricorn will become conjunct the transit 2nd lord SUN on January 29, 2009, three days after a solar eclipse. The conjunction will bring difficulty to the President and highly placed persons, notably in the field of foreign relations.

[In late January], 6th lord JUPITER will be at 12° Capricorn conjunct the natal 3rd lord MERCURY at 12° Capricorn in the 7th house, suggesting conflict associated with US business intitatives abroad.

In short, this aspect notably influences those persons and countries with 15° rising in the chart or planets placed at this degree in the even numbered signs of Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn and Pisces. One country likely to be affected is US ally Israel .

Setbacks to financial stability
In early February, a transit debilitated Jupiter will become conjunct transit stationary Rahu in Capricorn and the 7th house. At that time, sub-period of Jupiter will still be in operation. As Jupiter is 6th lord, it rules e.g. the financial stability in the country, while Rahu rules manipulation. The combination of two malefics is seldom good news, especially when one is weak in transit and the other one stationary. As a result, there may be setbacks related to these indications, with discoveries of illegal or unethical activities possible at that time. As the conjunction takes place in the 7th house, the events may have to do with international investors or foreign developments.

Saturn sub-period begins
On February 17, 2009 the Saturn sub-period begins and the indications of Saturn and the influences it has in the chart will become the basis of trends over the next few years.

In the 20° Cancer rising SAMVA USA chart, Saturn functions as the 8th lord. Due to its placement in old age in the sign of Scorpio it is of minimum strength. As 8th lord it contributes some disturbing influences of obstacles, endings and base desires to 5th house indications of creativity, intelligence, romance, entertainment and management in society. The aspect of Saturn to Sun contributes to other indications showing setbacks in the matter of wealth of the nation and the number of assassination made on the life of the heads of state.

During this period, the focus will shift gradually from the financial stability concerns of recent years during the Jupiter sub-period to issues indicated by Saturn. As 8th lord, there will be increased awareness of obstacles and endings in the national life during the Saturn period, but also on easy gains for the common people, such as through changes in the tax code or other reforms. As Saturn is a general indicator of the economy, working people and things mined from the ground the reforms and issues will be focused on these areas of the national life. The economy may become sluggish at this time. Moreover, as Saturn is natally placed in the 5th house, problems will tend to be found in the domain of national life ruled by this house. In other words, the focus will be on problems in the management of the economy or of ordinary or disenfranchised people. Obstacles will also be felt in the area of speculation on financial and other markets and in the life of institutions of higher learning or the software and entertainment industries. As Saturn afflicts the 2nd lord Sun in the chart, the period will be characterised by obstacles and challenges facing the wealth and status of the country as well as the US President.

Rhymes of history
Mark Twain once said "History doesn't repeat itself, but it does rhyme." Given astrological cycles or the recurrence of planetary periods, history can indeed serve as a guide to what to expect, such as in the Venus-Saturn period. This very same major- and sub-period ran for the first time in the SAMVA USA chart 120 years ago, from February 17, 1889 to April 19, 1892. As Saturn represents the common people, there were several themes prominent during the Saturn period involving the democratic rights of people, both in social and economic legislation. The national economy, however, had become sluggish as it struggled against the deflationary impact of the gold standard.

The role of transits
The transits during this period, however, were different, with transit Jupiter in 2009 about 15 months earlier in the cycle compared to the placement of transit Jupiter in 1889. Likewise, sub-period lord Saturn is about 32 months ahead (2 .5 years) of its transit placement in 1889. Meanwhile, the nodes are several years, or about 122 months, behind their placement 120 years earlier. As the sub-period indicates the trend of things while transits are helpful to time significant events, this may explain why unemployment is beginning to rise already in 2009 following continous afflictions to transit Saturn since 2008. By comparison, unemployment began to rise only in 1893 after the Philadelphia and Reading Railroad company went bankrupt on February 23 of that year, followed by bankruptcies of other railroad companies and a general panic on the stock market. The crisis broke as transit 8th lord Saturn stationary afflicted the 3rd house of transportation, 5th house of speculation, 9th house of luck and 12th house of losses. A month earlier, transit 6th lord Jupiter had stationary afflicted natal 8th lord Saturn. A few months before that, transit Rahu and Ketu were stationary conjunct their natal placements, reminiscent of a similar but closer contact in in the Autumn of 1929 when also the more malefic Ketu sub-period was operating from October 1929, making a significant difference for the overall trends at that time.

Trends and events during the 1890s
In 1889, the Oklahoma Land Rush took place on April 22, giving settlers a chance to obtain land for free. This is an expression of the easy gains associated with Saturn as 8th lord that also benefits common people.

That same year, the Native American Ghost Dance Movement began as an attempt of a group of North American Indian tribes to further separate themselves from the white man and the religious doctrines they were forcing upon the tribal peoples. This movement was brought to an end by the Seventh Cavalry of the US Army in December 1890 in the Wounded Knee Massacre. The famous chief Sitting Bull was one of the many Indians killed.

In 1890, the segregationist Jim Crow Laws became the law of the land and resistance to these laws by Black Americans and their supporters was highlighted in the Case of the Louisiana Traveler, but to now avail at the time. On August 12, the Mississippi Constitutional Convention began systematic exclusion of Blacks from the politics of South with the socalled Mississippi Plan. In 1891, the largest Mass-Lynching in U.S. History took place in New Orleans, involving the lynching of 11 Italians. This violent act provoked an international crisis as Italy formally protested and demanded restitution to the families of the victims.

In the Saturn period, there was a major reaction to the “Gilded Age” (1877-1890) , which refers to extravagant displays of wealth and excess of America's upper-class during the post-Civil War and post-Reconstruction era.

The Populist Party (originally the People's Party) was established in 1891 when the Knights of Labor and Farmers' Alliance joined forces. The party advocated the public ownership of the railroads, steamship lines and telephone and telegraph systems. It also supported the free and unlimited coinage of silver, the abolition of national banks, a system of graduated income tax and the direct election of United States Senators.

The Presidency of Benjamin Harrison (1889-1893) is best known for its economic legislation, including the the Sherman Antitrust Act and the McKinley Tariff , and for annual federal spending that reached one billion dollars for the first time. Democrats attacked the "Billion Dollar Congress", and used the issue, along with the growing unpopularity of the high tariff, to defeat the Republicans, both in the 1890 mid-term elections and in Harrison's bid for reelection in 1892. In 1890, the McKinley Tariff was introduced, setting the average ad valorem tariff rate for imports to the United States at 48.4% in order to protect manufacturing. In return for its passage, the Sherman Silver Purchase Act was given Republican support. The tariff raised import costs and prices in the United States, which is considered to have contributed to the Panic of 1893.

On July 2, 1890, the famous Sherman Antitrust Act was passed, becoming the first United States Federal statute to limit cartels and monopolies. The law was based on a public anger over the abusive business practices of the Robber Barons during the Gilded Age. The term is a reference to businessmen and bankers who dominated their respective industries and amassed huge personal fortunes, typically as a direct result of pursuing various anti-competitive or unfair business practices.

Paralells to our own time
It is now easier to see some historical paralells to our own time. President Obama was elected on a surge of populist resentments, including against business excesses. The focus of his administration is likely to be on reigning in and in preventing such excesses from taking place again as well as "spreading the wealth around." At the same time, it is likely that populist economic reforms will be associated with sluggishness in the business sector and that this may result in his administration not being reelected for a second term.

Transits from March 2009
Fortunately, the affliction by natal Saturn of transit Saturn at the beginning of the year will have begun to separate when its period begins in mid February. However, another important affliction will be felt by Saturn at 21° Leo during the middle of the year as discussed below.

In late March, transit 6th lord Jupiter will become conjunct natal 2nd lord Sun, suggesting conflict abroad becomes a temporary strain for the US President.

In April, when the nodes will be moving in retrograde motion at normal speed, transit Rahu will become conjunct natal 3rd lord Mercury. This could create some minor problems for the indications of Mercury, such as buisness initiatives, communication or transportation.

In the second half of April, transit 8th lord Saturn will slow down and settle into stationary motion conjunct the most effective point of the 2nd house in the SAMVA USA chart. This combination is expected to create problems for the stock market and relations with neighboring countries. During this time, there could be strain for the US President while transit 6th lord Jupiter is conjunct natal 2nd lord Sun.

From May to July, 6th lord Jupiter will be in the sign Aquarius and the 8th house. This suggests that the indications of this planet will continue weak and beset by problems. During the same time, the sub-period lord Saturn, as 8th lord of obstacles and endings, will transit afflict the 2nd house of wealth, 4th house of fixed assets and 11th house of income, suggesting problems for these areas of national life. The summer months will likely be the low point of the economy during the year.

In June, transit Rahu in Capricorn and 7th house will afflict the 1st lord Moon in Taurus and 11th house. This suggests that problems involving manipulation or deception in the business life or foreign policy will place a strain on the otherwise healthy self image of Americans. The problems will be felt while Rahu goes stationary at around 6° Capricorn during the summer months.

During the summer months transit stationary Ketu at 6° Cancer and first house will cast an aspect on natal 6th lord Jupiter at 4° 25' Scorpio and 5th house. This suggests that sudden revelations or problems concerning financial stability will aggravate the problems. There could also be sudden problems with terrorism.

After Saturn begins to move out of the most effective point of the 2nd house in July, a more favourable feeling will emerge concerning the economy. However, it is only in August when the nodal station begins to lift that the strains for the US and global financial system will seem to give way to more a positive outlook for the economy.

On September 10, Saturn will move into the sign of Virgo and the 3rd house of the SAMVA USA chart where it will remain for over two years. This transit is expected to be associated with improved employment conditions in the economy, but notably in sectors associated with the sign Virgo and its ruler Mercury, notably in high tech production and analytical activities.

From September to November, transit Jupiter, as 6th lord of conflict, will be stationary at 23° Capricorn and the 7th house. In this degree, Jupiter is conjunct natal 2nd lord Sun of SAMVA USA chart. This placement will place a grave strain on the US President, and the wealth and status of the country. Concerns over terrorism or financial stability may reemerge, prompting changes in the US foreign or economic policy at that time. In October, transit Rahu will briefly afflict transit 8th lord Saturn, while transit Saturn and transit Ketu afflict natal Jupiter. These aspects are likely to briefly revive concerns over the economy.

On November 3, transit Rahu will enter Sagittarius and the 6th house while transit Ketu enters Gemini and the 12th house. In these malefic houses, the Moon's nodes are expected to inflict more harm. However, it will only be in 2010 that this is felt in terms of the SAMVA USA chart.

In December, transit 8th lord Saturn will begin to settle into aspect to natal 10th lord Mars in Scorpio and 5th house. At the same time, natal Saturn will afflict transit Jupiter in late Capricorn. This could be a challenging time for the US military. With Saturn becoming stationary around 11° Virgo, the aspect to Mars would be felt into 2010.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Birth of Israel

There is an ongoing debate among astrologers about the birth of the State of Israel. Some view the founding moment to have been when a ceremonial meeting was held to unilaterally declare the establishment of the state of Israel while others have focused on the process set out by the United Nations for the creation of a Jewish state in Palestine culminating in the end of the British Mandate for Palestine.

Declaration of Establishment of State of Israel
During the morning of May 14, 1948 in Tel Aviv, members of the People’s Council were secretly called to a meeting for 16:00 on that day. At that meeting, David Ben Gurion read out the Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel. The reading lasted until 16:16 and was followed by a signing of the declaration by the council members, which was concluded at 16:32 or 16:37. Many astrologers have erected horoscopes for Israel based on one of these times.

In the Declaration of May 14, 1948 there is the following revealing passage:

WE DECLARE that, with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being tonight, the eve of Sabbath, the 6th Iyar, 5708 (15th May, 1948), until the establishment of the elected, regular authorities of the State in accordance with the Constitution which shall be adopted by the Elected Constituent Assembly not later than the 1st October 1948, the People's Council shall act as a Provisional Council of State, and its executive organ, the People's Administration, shall be the Provisional Government of the Jewish State, to be called "Israel" [1].

On May 14, the papers Ha'aretz and Yediot Achronot declared this day as

Last Day of Foreign Rule [2]

In other words, the common understanding was that British rule was in effect until May 15th. This implies a mutual understanding of the Israelis and the British that sovereignity would be established at midnight.

Proclaimed at midnight
The headline in the Palestine Post (published in Jerusalem) on Sunday August 16, 1948 in bold letters declares STATE OF ISRAEL IS BORN and the text immediately following the headline reads:

The first independent Jewish State in 19 centuries was born in Tel Aviv as the British Mandate over Palestine came to an end at midnight on Friday...[3]

Moroever, the US goverment at 11 minutes PAST MIDNIGHT (Israel time) announced:

This government has been informed that a Jewish State HAS BEEN PROCLAIMED in Palestine. [2]

This statement comes further to light in view of additional reporting in the Palestine Post edition of May 16th:

The creation of the "Medinat Yisrael", the state of Israel, was PROCLAIMED AT MIDNIGHT on Friday by Mr. David Ben Gurion...[3]

In other words, even if the ceremony was held at 16.00 and not at midnight this was due to the Sabbath, which requires Israelis of the Jewish faith to be at home from sundown on Friday to sunrise on Saturday [4]. Nevertheless, the proclamation was considered to be made at midnight, validated by the fact that the US government recognised the proclamation only after it had been made at midnight (Israel time) and contemporary newspaper accounts. The British also validated the midnight time with the timing of their formal withdrawal from Palestine.

Britain's last High Commissioner
There is one additional and crucial piece of information to be gleaned from the front page of the Palestine Post on this day in an article titled Most Crowded Hours in Palestine's History. The excerpt of interest reads as follows:

On Friday afternoon, from Tel Aviv, came the expected announcement of the Jewish State, and its offical naming at birth, "Medinat Yisrael" - State of Israel, with the swearing in of the first Council of Government. The proclamation of the State was made at midnight, coinciding with the sailing from Haifa of Britain's last High Commissioner.

In other words, an event took place at midnight that was recognised by the Jewish people as a symbolic act heralding the birth of their state. The significance of this event was not lost on the Arabs either. With Palestine no longer a British territory and British troops having effectively departed, the Arab states invaded Israel on May 15th.

While it is a fact that the declaration was read out and signed in the afternoon, it is also clear that the signed document was not completed on this day, as all the required signatures were not added until about two months later. To this we can add that the delegates signed a document that explicitly says the state came into effect at midnight. It should thus be amply demonstrated that the declaration specified the exact time for the state of Israel to come into being; at midnight on May 15, 1948. The understanding that this time was the symbolic time of the birth of the new state was then highlighted in the major newspaper, which was written by professional Jewish journalists of the time and whom we can assume reflected a correct understanding of this most important event of their day.

The main narrative of the events on that historic day was thus as follows

1. PURPOSE: The DECLARATION on May 14 was only about THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE STATE of Israel.
- This is clearly stated in the title of the declaration.

2. TIMING: The declaration explicitly specified the END OF THE BRITISH MANDATE that same night as the time for the STATE TO COME INTO EFFECT.
- This is also clearly spelled out in the text of the declaration.

3. CONCLUSION: The STATE of Israel was born at MIDNIGHT on MAY 15,1948 in Tel Aviv.
- The creation of the state becomes the defining moment for the birth of the nation.

For the benefit of those still sceptical or beholden to other interpretations it may be helpful to look more closely at the larger historical context of the founding of the new state.

The Palestine Problem
The Palestine problem is considered to have begun at the end of the First World War with the disintegration of the Turkish Ottoman Empire [5]. Palestine was at that time one of several former Ottoman Arab territories placed under the administration of Great Britain under the Mandates System adopted by the League of Nations pursuant to the League's Covenant (Article 22) . At the heart of the problem was an exodus of Jews from e.g. Europe to Palestine due to anti-semitism. Given their historic origins and initial exodus from Palestine, the Jewish people began to push for the formation of their own state there. This push for the re-establishment of a homeland for the Jewish People in Palestine developed into an international political movement termed Zionism. Following the persecution and genocide of Jews in Europe during World War II a resolution of the Palestine problem went to the top of the agenda of the international community.

UN Partition Plan for Palestine
On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly passed a resolution outlining the 'Future Constitution and Government of Palestine [6].' It called for the establishment of a provisional government for the Jewish State, which would be subject to certain constitutional requirements and guarantees. It required the inhabitants of Israel to take such steps as were necessary on their part for the implementation of that constitutional form of government. Moreover, the solution became intimately linked to the involvement of the United Kingdom in Palestine since 1922 on the basis of an agreement for a Mandate for Palestine.

End of the British Mandate for Palestine
In the UN Partition Plan, the ending of the British Mandate was stipulated as follows: .
1. The Mandate for Palestine shall terminate as soon as possible but in any case not later than 1 August 1948 [7].

In view of either the push for a Jewish state or the guidance in the UN Plan to end the mandate "as soon as possible," the UK advanced the time schedule for the end of the Mandate to take place at midnight on May 15, 1948. At the same time, the leadership of the Jews of Palestine acted quickly and with some amount of secrecy to ceremonially declare the founding of the new state on the very last day of the mandate.

In other words, we can say that the historical evidence is clear on the course of events leading to Declaration ceremony. It was unambiguously driven by the ending of the mandate at midnight on May 15, 1948. The fact that the Declaration makes explicit reference to this time

"with effect from the moment of the termination of the Mandate being tonight"

shows clearly that the founding was timed to coincide with it.

Significance of the ending of the Mandate
The significance for the founding of the new state by the ending of the mandate appears to override that of the ceremony. The founding process was completely keyed to the ending of the mandate as guided by the UN Plan of 1947. The reason for this appears quite straightforward. There was staunch opposition by the Palestinian Arabs and neighbouring Arab states to the founding of a Jewish state in Palestine. This is quite clear given the arab invasion of Israel immediately after the ending of the mandate on August 15. It was therefore highly important for the Jewish state to be seen to be founded within the auspices of the UN Plan for it to have maximum international legitimacy.

Conclusion of historical evidence
The historical evidence is clear on the importance of the ending of the British Mandate in Palestine for the timing of the founding of the State of Israel. The Jewish state in Palestine took effect at midnight on May 15, 1948. This time gives 20° 56' Capricorn as ascendant in the sidereal zodiac.

It is accurate predictions that ultimately resolve debates about the birth time of collective entities. In particular, when

a) the authentic birth moment
b) an accurate method of horoscope interpretation
c) the correct interpretation by the astrologer

are combined, repeat accurate predictions should result, unambiguously settling such questions.

Capricorn rising chart for Israel
The Capricorn rising chart has a unique placement suggesting strife with neighbors. This is the placement of Ketu at 20° 53' - exactly on the rising degree in the 10th house (of the vedic sign=house system). From this point, Ketu, the lord of separation and sudden, even explosive events, aspects the 2nd house of neighbors, 4th house of communal harmony and the 6th house of fixity of views and conflict. Of course, Ketu also afflicts the 10th house of the executive government, signifying the burden on the government of the often sudden and strange developments. The exact affliction is consistent with the problems that Israel has faced with its neighbors from 'day one'.

Contrarywise, Rahu, the indicator for manipulation, deception and diplomacy, is placed on the most effective point of the 4th house, from where it aspects the 8th house of obstacles and endings, the 10th house and the 12th house of foreign matters and losses. Indeed, there would be frequent crisis in the collective psyche due to conflicts with the indigenous population, the muslim arabs.

The dispute of the Israelis and Palestinian arabs centers on the encroachment tendency of the Israeli's on land in Palestine since the creation of the state six decades ago [8]. This is consistent with Rahu exactly afflicting the 4th house of real estate, land and natural resources.

With the 2nd lord Saturn on the most effective point of the 7th house of foreign relations, Israel has quite a bit of authority internationally. With the 7th lord Moon well placed and strong in its own 7th house, gives Israel, as a country, a prominent international dimension. As the Moon is debilitated in the Navamsa (9th divisional) chart, its strength is reduced, undermining the contribution of the Moon in this regard and making the country vulnerable to setbacks when the Moon is afflicted in transit.

Mercury, as 9th lord of fortune, is favourably placed on the MEP of the 5th house, giving a young and dynamic population. Through the aspect of the lord of fortune on the most effective point of the 11th house, there is a steadfast friendship with the powerful USA, which has generously shared its financial, military and diplomatic resources with Israel.

As the 8th lord Sun is well placed but weak in the chart, the authority of the leader is normally not strong - opposed to the strong Presidency of the USA, as seen also in the
SAMVA USA chart.

Mars as 4th lord is badly placed in the 8th house and under an afflicting aspect from Jupiter as 12th lord of losses. Moreover, as Jupiter is in the 12th house the aspect becomes more difficult. The condition of Mars in the chart is thus expected to give much upset to the collective harmony from setbacks such as deaths, losses and allround difficulties.

The placement of Jupiter as 12th lord in its own sign and house, is helpful to its own indications of foreign matters, losses, etc. However, the exact aspect of Rahu to the most effective point of the 12th house, reduces its strength and involves its indications is continual strain, which can be amplified during Rahu or Jupiter periods and slow moving transit afflictions. As Rahu is the planet of manipulation, deception and worldly desire and Jupiter is the planet of religion and expansion, there could be a tendency for manipulation regarding the religious life, dealings with foreigners and in foreign diplomacy. Moreover, as Rahu simultaneously afflicts the 8th house of death, which houses Mars the planet of the military, which is directly afflicted by 12th lord Jupiter, the participation of Israel in wars and conflicts runs the risk of being associated with the tragic loss of lives of Israeli military and police personnel.

As 10th lord Venus is badly placed in the 6th house, the country´s government is continually involved in conflict. There would also be fixity of views with regard to administrative matters, including foreign trade. Moreover, this placement undermines the comforts of the citizens and the condition of women in the country.

Finally, we can note that the Capricorn ascendant fits well with the 'personality' of the Jewish people. It is a sign owned by Saturn, a planet characterised as being stern and representing old things. Indeed, the country is based on the history of the Jewish people in Palestine, stretching back into the hoary mists of time, and the Jewish religion spanning millenia. Indeed, the ancient morality of the Jews is highlighted in such dictums as an eye for an eye. In fact, this seems to be the approach taken by the Israeli government and military when dealing with frequent attacks by hostile elements in the neighboring arab communities or countries. The horoscope for Israel resonates strongly with the chart for the USA. While the US has the opposite sign, Cancer, in the ascendant. Both horoscopes have

- 20° as the rising degree
- the authorative placement of 2nd lord on the most effective point of the 7th house
- afflicted 4th and 10th houses combined with a bad placement of the 4th lord, even if the condition of Israel is much worse in this regard.

The difficulties facing Israel are likely to escalate and reach a boiling point towards the end of January and in first half of February.

Currently, the Moon-Sun period is operating. This puts the indications of the Moon and Sun, as read from the chart, into prominence. The most significant transit in the chart at the present time is the conjunction of stationary Ketu at 15° 27' Cancer in the 7th house with natal 7th lord Moon at 15° 57' Cancer. This aspect began to be felt in early December 2008 and became exact on December 25. As this aspect will be closely felt until late February 2009, this suggests a grave strain on the indications of the Moon, including foreign relations, the public and the Israeli cabinet in the first months of the new year.

As a side note, this is also a potent factor to explain why the other charts don´t add up. In relation to other times proposed on this day, we can see that on May 14, 1948 in Tel Aviv, the Moon was (in the sidereal zodiac)

- at 4.00 pm at 11° 12' Cancer (29° 54' Virgo rising)
- at 4.37 pm at 11° 34' Cancer (7° 44' Libra rising)

Clearly, the nodes are not afflicting the Moon for these times. By comparison, on May 15, 1948 in Tel Aviv, the Moon was

- at 00.00 am at 15° 57' Cancer (20° 56' Capricorn rising).

In the Capricorn rising chart the affliction is clear.

Adding to the strain in the month of December is the transit of 12th lord Jupiter into Capricorn around December 11, 2008. In its sign of debilitation Jupiter becomes weak and from the early degrees of this sign it has afflicted natal 8th lord Sun at 0° 50' Taurus in the 5th house, placing a strain on the ability of the leader to manage the country's affairs. Moreover, on December 16, transit Sun entered the 12th house and on the 20th became exactly conjunct natal Jupiter. This combination resulted in a setback for the country in terms of increasing problems in relations with the neighbors. The Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip has been instigating bomb attacks on Israel. The violent reaction of the Israeli government and military from the 27th of December, while intended to strike at the source of the problem, may down the road only create more problems for the country.

While the problems may be reduced slightly as the aspect of transit Jupiter to natal Sun clears, the transit of the Sun in the 12th house into the aspect of Rahu in the 4th house, around January 5th, 2009, may result in additional acts of violence.
The nodal station harming the Moon is expected to keep things tense for some months and has already resulted in a setback for peace in the country and placed a strain on the country's foreign policy.

Around January 29, when the sub-period lord Sun becomes conjunct stationary Rahu in transit, thus adding to the affilction of natal Moon, there could be a significant event. When Jupiter becomes conjunct Rahu, some losses could materialise.

The upcoming Mars sub period is likely to bring increased problems and upsets for the country.


[1] Declaration of the Establishment of the State of Israel

[2] Historama on-line information resource

[3] Palestine Post headline

[4] Sabbath

[5] Palestine Problem

[6] UN Partition Plan for Palestine

[7] British Mandate for Palestine!OpenDocument

[8] Israel, Palestine and the Occupied Territories: Land and Settlement Issues

Friday, December 26, 2008

Greed and fear in astrology

Greed and fear are among the most common of human emotions. In the world of finance and investing, greed and fear are considered major emotions in motivating the decisions and actions of traders. These emotions are explained by astrology.

Historically, greed has been considered a vice or a sin. In the USA in the 1980s, however, this emotion was increasingly considered the source of positive action in the world which not only bettered one’s own condition but also tended to increase the welfare of others.

The slogan "Greed is good" was made famous by the character Gordon Gekko in the movie “Wall Street.” This idea may have fed into the hype of investing that generated the recent bubble in asset prices.

Investment theories of greed
To understand the above statement, a short review of the role of human emtions in theories of investing is in order. Over time, it has become increasingly understood that greed tends to distort the appreciation of risk, sometimes to the point that people in the throes of the passion of greed ignore risk completely. More importantly, such emotions can spread and infect the collective mind-set. As more people become infected with greed they make decisions that feed and sustain a sense of euphoria in the market. By buying into the hype of easy gains, additional people invest and asset prices rise ever higher, pulling ever more more people into the fray. At some point, however, the situation no longer appears sustainable. This is when asset prices have reached very high levels and some unwelcome news alters the expectation. At that point, another emotion, fear, is not far away. Moreover, as the collective actions were not fully rational, people become increasingly uncertain about their investment decisions and begin to sell. Suddenly, the emotion of outright fear sets in and overwhelms the market place. At that point, formerly greedy traders become scared and see only risks. They dump assets and in doing so drive the prices down, feeding the monster that fear has become and panic spreads like wildfire. Just as the prices rose to lofty levels during the greedy phase, so are they driven to absurd lows in the fear phase. It is therefore seen that the emotions tend to bypass or distort rational thinking and motivate directly irrational or risky decisions and actions.

The ideas of economists have been influential in bringing about this situation. In the 1960s, economist Eugene Fama became famous for advancing the “Efficient Market Hypothesis” suggesting that investors are completely rational in interpreting and acting on market news and information. This assumes that any price that stocks may take is rational, and that it reflects some fundamental value as inferred by the mass of investors. If one believes this, even absurdly high prices are interpreted as 'rational'. More recently, economists have begun to question if investors expectations about the future are always rational, notably as they tend to be motivated by human emotions. Authors like Hersh Shefrin suggest that the behavior of investors becomes biased due to human emotions, including also the behavior of professional investors. Biases lead to errors. The way decisions are framed influences attitudes toward risk. Together, these emotions create trading behavior that is not always consistent with rational expectations and market efficiency. Shefrin finds that ‘rational’ people can look at ideas and apply their own bias and still be regarded as rational! The result is that irrational extremes in consensus expectations are indirectly reflected in generally overvalued and undervalued stock prices at major tops and bottoms, respectively.

The astrology of greed and fear
In astrology, we can see the influence of Rahu and 8th lord in a chart as increasing the desire for worldly benefit. While Rahu is associated with the deceiving nature of greed that may generate crisis it is the 8th lord that has an influence to give “easy gains” but also to remove things, by being the lord of obstacles and endings. It is also greed that draws people into investment scams. The promises of untold riches lead people to invest in get-rich-quick schemes. The investment scandal involving Bernard Madoff, the financier to royalty and the super wealthy, has cost investors close to $50 billion. Sadly, one investor in his fund even committed suicide.

Greed and fear in the SAMVA USA chart
In the SAMVA USA chart (Perpetual Union) both Rahu and 8th lord Saturn are influential to explain the cycles of euphoria and panic in the US financial markets. Rahu influences the most effective point (+/- 5° from the ascending degree) of the 10th house, afflicting also the 2nd house of wealth, the 4th house of fixed assets and 6th house of debt. Collective periods of greed can lead to setbacks for all these indications. Saturn, as 8th lord of easy gains as well as obstacles and endings, afflicts the Sun in the chart, as the 2nd lord of wealth. As such, Saturn can result in the problems for wealth in the country. Moreover, due to the influence of the 2nd lord Sun on the 7th house, the conditions on US financial markets tend to have repercussions around the world.

The placement of the planet of sudden, violent events, Ketu, in the most effective point of the 4th house, which rules mental calm, is the source of panic in US asset markets. More so, as the 4th lord Venus is placed in the 6th house of financial stability. However, as Mercury, the 3rd lord of initiative, is well placed and Mars as the general indicator of courage is supremely strong and well placed in the chart, the US has abundant reserves of courage. Episodes of the fear thus tend to be short lived. This is seen in the fact that after collapses of investor confidence, the cycle of boom and bust begins anew, with investors again beginning to "climb a wall of worry".

Bursting of the bubble
Recent months have witnessed a destruction of wealth of a scale only before seen in the greatest stock busts of US history, most recently in the Great Depression of the 1930s. The fear in the market became palpable around October 10, 2008 when many investment prognosticators thought the US stock market was about to melt down completely. The fear spread around the planet, with stock markets in most countries diving to new lows after many banks went bankrupt.

The predictions made on the basis of this chart have indicated such an outcome, as discussed in The banking crisis of 2008 and the SAMVA USA chart, More accurate stock market predictions and Financial crisis becoming entrenched. The chart indicates that the economic recovery will be slow in coming.

Hersh Shefrin, “Beyond Greed and Fear: Understanding Behavioral Finance and the Psychology of Investing”, Oxford University Press, 2002, 368 pages.

Stephen Greenspan, "Fooled by Ponzi (and Madoff) How Bernard Madoff Made Off with My Money" in the Dec. 23, 2008 edition of the email newsletter eSkeptic.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


In modern times, the most overlooked feature of astrology is the differing reliance of astrologers on phenomena in the sky that are either visible or invisible to the naked human eye.

From ancient times, astrology developed as early scientists followed planets moving across the sky, with the fixed stars and constellations as a reference point. All of it was visible to the human eye.

The ancient vedic system of astrology, still in use today, is faithful to its origins. This includes the use of the seven visible planetary bodies and the visible sidereal zodiac.

Invisible zodiac
Most of the astrology practiced in the western world in modern times, however, has developed with recourse to invisible phenomena. The tropical zodiac was identical to the sidereal zodiac in 200 A.D.. Since then, the tropical zodiac has drifted by 25° (23° 51' in terms of the traditional Lahiri ayanamsa) with reference to the Vernal Point of the sideral zodiac (at 5° Pisces in 2000 A.D.) and the fixed stars. It has moved 1° per 72 years due to the precession of the equinoxes and is now 25° removed from the visible zodiac. Moreover, 360 years from now (5° x 72 years) , the tropical zodiac will have moved a whole sign, or 30°, from its placement in 200 A.D. At that time, however, the sidereal zodiac will be seen to be in the same place at the same time of year as it was in 200 A.D..

Invisble planets
The ancient vedic astrology is not only based on the visual zodiac in the sky but it also only uses the visible planetary bodies in the sky. Indeed, aside from the Sun which rules over the sky in daytime, it is only the Moon, Venus, Mercury, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn which are visible in the sky at night. In addition, Vedic astrology also uses the calculated astronomical points in the Moon's orbit around the Earth, the Moon's nodes, Rahu and Ketu. This is because the lunar nodes are important to time solar and lunar eclipses, as explained in the article The truth about eclipses. Aside from that, Vedic astrology does not use the invisible zodiac or the invisble and distant planets of Uranus and Neptune. Nor does it use the very distant, tiny and invisible bodies of e.g. Pluto, Sedna, Eris, etc. These more distant astronomical bodies were discovered in more recent times with advances in telescopy. The influence of the invisible and distant bodies on terrestrial life is much more controversial than that of the closer and visible bodies, notably the Moon. Vedic astrology is focused on the visible and fundamental elements and is accordingly known as the Science of Light.

Fundamental approach
There are many amazing information resources on the internet. In the domain of astrology, the web site of Indian astrologer V.K. Choudhry, creator of the Systems' Approach, is one such resource. It offers information about how to correctly interpret horoscopes and make repeat accurate predictions. Importantly, the Systems’ Approach astrology (SA) is based on the ancient vedic astrology of the visible planets and sidereal zodiac.


Sunday, December 21, 2008

Wintry sojourn of Venus

The winter months are normally the coldest months of the year. The season of Winter is calculated astronomically, and is considered to begin with the Winter Solstice around December 20 and end at the Vernal Equinox around March 20. The weather before, during or after the winter months, can be quite variable. To say more about the weather conditions during this season, we need to examine the transits of the Sun and the planets through the signs, notably Venus, the indicator of weather in astrology. At the end, the 8 year cycle of Venus is presented.

Passage through the signs of Saturn
During the winter months on the Northern hemisphere, the Sun, Venus and Mercury move through the signs of Capricorn and Aquarius, which are owned by the cold planet Saturn. The Sun enters Capricorn in the sidereal zodiac on January 15 and exits the sign of Aquarius on March 15th. However, the planet having most influence on weather is Venus, the astrological indicator of comforts, including weather.

The transit of Venus is closely linked to that of the Sun. Being in an inferior orbit (closer to the Sun) to the Earth, Venus always appears to be close to the Sun in transit. Venus can either lead the Sun in transit or follow it. Seen from the Earth, Venus can at maximum be up to 47° from the Sun at any given time (the maximum angular distance). This means that Venus can enter Capricorn some 47 days before or after January 15th. The entry of Venus in Capricorn can thus take place anytime between December 1st and March 3rd.

This winter, Venus has been leading the Sun and it entered Capricorn on December 3. Venus will leave the sign of Aquarius on January 27, 2009. With Venus under the influence of Saturn, we would expect the weather to be cooler, especially when Saturn is weak in old age in transit. The conditions at the present time are quite unusual in this respect. Cold, snowy weather continues in many places. Several planets are linked by being disposited by Saturn in transit. Mars, Sun and Mercury are in Sagittarius, and thus being disposited by Jupiter. As Jupiter is in Caprocorn, its sign of debilitation, its energy it weak. Moreover, due to its placement in Capricorn, a sign owned by Saturn, the influence of Saturn is being transmitted to these planets. Add to this the fact that Venus is also placed in Capricorn, the cold weather should come as little surprise.

Cold December in the USA
In the USA, the weather has been extremely cold and difficult in December 2008. Ice storms have been replaced by lots of snow and arctic air. Transit Venus recently became conjunct transit Rahu and opposite transit Ketu, the lord of extreme and suddent developments, making things quite difficult weather wise. In the SAMVA USA chart, the conditions were made more difficult by natal Saturn closely afflicting transit Saturn, which is in old age at 27° Leo. At the same time, the Sun, Mars and Mercury are additionally weakened by being in a bad house, the 6th house.

Weather likely to improve from February 2009
From February to May 2009, Venus will transit the sign of Pisces, where it is exalted. As the sign Pisces is owned by Jupiter, its condition in transit has a bearing on the weather. Jupiter will continue to transit the sign Capricorn, owned by Saturn during this time and it will be transit afflicted by the Moon's nodes in February. Once Jupiter moves out of this affliction, we could expect the weather conditions to generally become favourable - relative to the time of year.

Angular distance between Sun and Venus
The movement of the celestial bodies is regular. However, observing the regularity from Earth is difficult in terms of the calendar, as it takes the Earth 365.25 days to circle the Sun. As a result, three out of four years have 365 days, while the fourth, is a leap year with 366 days, with February 29th added to those years. Despite this there are some regularities to be seen.

First, let us examine one cycle of the angular distance between the Sun and Venus. The graph shows how Venus is in the same degree as (conjunct) the Sun. As it is seen to move at a slower pace than the Sun's daily 1° per day, Venus appears to fall behind the Sun, and the Sun is ahead by up to a maximum of 47.25 degrees. Venus then is seen to accelerate in movement and 292 days later it has caught up with the Sun and they again become conjunct. Venus then continues at a faster rate of speed and moves ahead of the Sun, to a maximum distance of 47.25 degrees, only to slow down again such that the Sun catches up with it and around 292 days later the two again become conjunct before repating the very same cycle - over and over again. The complete cycle takes around 584 days, or 19 months and 6 days.

An 8 year regularity
We can now examine empirical regularities in this cycle over time. We find that the angular distance between the Sun and Venus is approximately the same on January 1 every 8th year. On this day, we know the Sun is close to the 16th degree of Sagittarius. However, Venus can be either close to the Sun or further afield in the sky either behind or ahead of the Sun. At the same time, regularity of this cycle is subject to shifts, by around half a degree every 8 years. As a result, there is a long time until the distance between the planets is exactly the same as on e.g the first day of a given year, such as January 1, 1901, or 243 years!

What we can infer from this is that in terms of the angular distance of the Sun and Venus only, the conditions on January 1, 2009 could be expected to be similar as on January 1, 2001. While the Sun will be around 17° Sagittarius, Venus will be at 3° Aquarius. Accordingly, the distance will remain around the same throughout the year. That said, all other planets will follow their own cycles and in relation to each other. However, as Venus is important for the understanding of weather, this insight may come in handy to understand what the wintry conditions are likely to be like. They may have some similarity to the winter e.g. eight, sixteen or twenty four years earlier, and more so if one or more of the slow moving planets is similarily placed.

Further information
Angular distance between Venus and Sun
The cycles of Venus