If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget it. This is real astrology. See the section above. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT). Current UT date and time appear at the top of this page. (To update display, use your browser's reload/refresh button.)
Storms and floods and seismic upheaval are bound to loom large this month, thanks to a confluence of lunar factors. There are two lunar perigees in September, one on the 2nd and one on the 28th. As noted in my 1999 table of Lunar Extremes, the Moon's perigee (closest approach to Earth) signals a time - plus or minus 30 hours - when meteorological, seismic and hydrological tides run high on our home planet. So from the 1st through the 3rd and 27th through the 29th, expect news of severe storms and flooding as well as moderate to severe seismic activity (including volcanic eruptions and Richter 5 or greater earthquakes). Weather related travel delays are likely, and it wouldn't hurt to ensure that your emergency stores are in good order - just in case. Ditto for September's new and full moons, which up the ante for disturbances of this sort within plus or minus three days of the 9th and 24th respectively. None of these alignments is on a par with an eclipse or SuperMoon, but the fact that we have four lunar risk zones this month nonetheless points to a lot of stormy potential. And with the September 28 lunar perigee coming only four days after the full moon on the 24th, this potential is pretty much continuous for the last week of the month. September is likely to end up being the busiest month of the Atlantic hurricane season, which draws to a close November 1st.
The Mercury-Sun conjunction on the 8th - in effect from a couple days before to a couple days after - speaks of labor strife and temporary disruptions to transport and communications systems, including satellites, computers and networks. Have a backup plan ready. A public health pronouncement, campaign or advisory . . .
Venus makes the only planetary station in September, coming to an apparent standstill in the heavens on the 11th to end the retrograde it began on July 30th. The Venus retrograde usually points to some kind of economic slowdown. The current cycle was precipitated at the end of June, when Venus reached 19 Leo - the point of the direct station on September 11. This, in combination with Jupiter's Taurus ingress on June 28th, is a fitting astrological correlate of the quarter-point hike in the Federal Reserve discount rate announced by Alan Greenspan and the FOMC on June 30th. The US Federal Reserve, in its attempt to engineer an economic slowdown, has announced two modest hikes in the discount rate since this latest Venus retrograde began in Leo and Jupiter entered Taurus. My sense from looking ahead into September is that there will be enough of a slowdown evident by month's end to change the FOMC's bias by the time they meet again in October. While US retail sales should gain momentum a bit once we get past the 11th, Venus doesn't regain 5 Virgo - the point where its retrograde began July 30th - until October 13. This suggests some kind of drag on the marketplace until that time, even though some improvement in sales activity is likely starting around September 11.
As for the equity markets, for the last two years the major US indices have peaked within a degree of Saturn's retrograde station. This year's station occurred on August 30, and Saturn's stay within a degree of that point extends from July 26 to October 2. So chances are, the market peak for the year lies within that period - and the odds are good that it's already passed by the time you read this. This peak marks the beginning of the correction I've predicted all year - probably 20%, probably with a bottom in late October to about mid November . . . followed by a full recovery of lost ground by early next year. This bull market may get a little wobbly now and then, but it still has enough legs left that I don't see signs of it dying out this year or next. (2005-2006 looks pretty dicey, and there's a foreshadowing of that around mid 20004. Wanna hold it off? Tell Congress to raise the retirement age - fast.)
The Mars-Pluto conjunction at 8 Sagittarius on the 15th, when the Moon forms a T-square to Venus and Saturn, is a disturbing sign. That's a dead-on opposition to Uranus in the July 4th US Declaration of Independence chart. Any Mars-Pluto conjunction suggests an upsurge in violence, from mano a mano back alley criminality to orchestrated military assaults and everything in between - including terrorist attacks, assassination attempts, etc. A time for playing it safe, give or take a few days of this date . . . especially for those of us in the US.
There hasn't been a Mars-Pluto conjunction directly opposing the US natal Uranus within a degree like this since the founding of the Republic. The closest thing to it was the Mars-Pluto conjunction on Uranus in the Declaration chart, which took place in 1893. This doesn't bode well for US equity markets: 1893 was the year of the Wall Street Panic (aka Great Panic, Silver Panic), which ushered in a four-year depression. The 1893 Panic peaked around April 17 that year, seven days after Mars exactly aligned with Pluto.
Despite this curious historical parallel, I don't see the period around September 15 as anything more than part of a correction cycle in the current bull market. Maybe an especially accelerated drop, maybe even something that looks like free-fall for a time - but a correction, not the start of a long term bear market. Incidentally, the T-square between Moon, Venus and Saturn as Mars aligns with Pluto looks like a sign that this particular mini-panic could be precipitated by loans gone sour, central banks and currencies heading south, etc. And this kind of scenario adds to the inertia building against another Fed rate hike: in a liquidity crisis, the masters of paper money aren't likely to raise interest rates again.
September winds down with a stormy pattern, commensurate with the combination of the full moon on the 24th and the lunar perigee on the 28th. From the 21st through the 29th, look for an upsurge in severe storms and flooding as well as moderate to severe seismic activity (including volcanic eruptions and Richter 5 or greater earthquakes). Being planetary in nature, this risk factor applies worldwide. I'm not expecting anything on the scale of the awful Turkish earthquake that struck last month, with the Sun still within some five degrees of its eclipse point. But there will be localized severe storms and attendant flooding, so do whatever you can to minimize your exposure to such risks.
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)