last revised UT 01:39 DEC 26, 1998
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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.) 

The "widespread (if not global) recession lasting more than a year" that I predicted for 1998 materialized, and I expect it to continue and deepen in 1999. This can only mean that the US and Europe – virtual islands of prosperity in 1998's worldwide sea of recession – will start their economic slowdown. Strident protectionist demands which can wreak havoc on world trade are apt to play a part in this. With Saturn in Taurus from March 1 through the end of the year, whatever good news there is on the economic and financial front mostly comes before the end of February. Banking and agriculture are apt to take the hardest hits: interest rates and cattle prices may well hit historic lows. (The downward pressure on cattle prices suggests that alternating drought and flood will plague some of the world's major agricultural regions.) Military contractors, steel, energy, high technology and communications will likely fare better than most sectors, although nothing looks especially good in this kind of depressed economic scenario. Major equity markets shape up as schizoid: somewhat bullish in the first quarter or two, mostly bearish thereafter. The "outbreak of bovine diseases affecting humans (in some cases perhaps not accidentally)" which I predicted for 1998 – and which manifested in a couple of anthrax scares in the US and UK – also extends to 1999 and part of 2000.

The much-ballyhooed Y2K (Year 2000) computer bug won't single-handedly throw the world off a cliff, but it will provide a nudge in that direction. And it will start rearing its ugly head long before the dreaded January 1, 2000 deadline. Late March-early April, July, and the entire fourth quarter of '99 will feature computer-induced fiascoes well ahead of the critical 1/1/2000 threshold. (As predicted in 1998 – see my 3,000-year table of all Saturn-Uranus squares from 600 BCE to 2400 CE – these windows of vulnerability coincide with 'hard' aspects of Saturn and Uranus. The last hard Saturn-Uranus aspect was the October 18, 1988 conjunction in Sagittarius – some two weeks before the "Morris Worm" wrecked the Internet.) Apart from Y2K system breakdowns per se, some of these crashes will be caused by cyber-criminals attempting to exploit Y2K weaknesses in the financial sector. People with the foresight to stock up a few weeks (to a few months) worth of food, fuel and other essentials will thank their lucky stars. Don't head for the hills, but do keep the pantry full.

An unusual combination of Mars and Saturn aspects is a strong sign that 1999 will have more than the usual share of conflicts on both the personal and the collective levels. This means heinous crimes of violence, terrorist atrocities, and military conflict. These disturbing potentials are strongest between mid-January and early February, toward the end of April, and in early August. (The end of April alignment, which occurs when Mars is in its closest approach to Earth, is strongest of the three.) These are times when danger of all sorts will tend to run high: fires, explosions, accidents etc. (Severe storms, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions too.) Hair triggers and short fuses are the order of the day whenever Mars opposes Saturn. Remember the Cuban missile crisis? That brought the world to within hours of a global thermonuclear Apocalypse, and it started under this configuration. For more on Mars-Saturn oppositions, see my 3000-year table of all such alignments from 600 BCE to 2400 CE.

Geophysical shock windows for the year extend three days either side of nine major sun-moon alignments, which include solar and lunar eclipses as well as SuperMoons. (A SuperMoon is a new or full moon which occurs when the Moon is within 90% or more of its mean perigee, or closest approach to earth. For more, see my table of 20th Century SuperMoon alignments.) Strong storms, flooding, extreme coastal tides and moderate to severe seismic activity (Richter 5 or greater earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) are typical within plus or minus three days of such solunar alignments. I have used such alignments since 1979 - when I predicted Hurricane David's strike on Savannah in a national magazine published six weeks before the fact using a SuperMoon eclipse to guide me - and they have timed some of the major natural upheavals to strike the world in that time.

For 1999, central dates for these three-day windows fall on January 31, February 16, April 16, May 15, June 13, July 28, August 11, November 23 and December 22. Because these alignments are planetary in scale, the geophysical phenomena associated with them can strike virtually anywhere in the world. But clues to areas of special risk can often be discerned from studying maps showing where the planets are most directly focused onto earth; i.e. a map showing where on earth the planets are directly overhead or below, and rising or setting. A map for each of the 1999 alignments may be viewed by clicking on the corresponding links below. (A guide to the astrological symbols on these maps is available if you need it.) These maps are about 65kb each in size, so please bear that in mind when you consider clicking on one of the links. With a 28k modem you're going to be waiting close to 30 seconds to load each map. (To return to this page after viewing a map, click on your browser's BACK/RETURN button.)

The geophysical shock windows for 1999 start off with the lunar eclipse of January 31 (in effect January 28-February 3). This one appears to be especially strong along a north-south line from western Australia through eastern China. Another north-south zone of vulnerability stretches through the center of South America up to western Greenland. North central Canada, the western quarter of Alaska, the Pacific Northwest, the Great Lakes area, the Carolinas, northernmost Great Britain, eastern Europe and east-central Africa round out the regions of apparent greatest susceptibility during this full moon eclipse period. This particular eclipse, incidentally, is the first of two so-called 'Blue Moons' in 1999. (A Blue Moon is conventionally defined as the second of two full moons to occur in the same calendar month.) The other Blue Moon this year occurs on March 31. Not since 1961 has there been a year with two Blue Moons, and the only other time this has occurred in the 20th Century was back in 1915. (Prior to 1999, the last Blue Moon was on July 30, 1996.) For more on Blue Moons, see my table covering all of them in the 20th Century.

The February 16 solar eclipse (in effect February 13-19) focuses on northern California and the Pacific Northwest, the Rocky Mountain states, eastern Texas and the western Mississippi River Valley in the US. Elsewhere around the world, vulnerable zones include eastern Greenland, west Africa, central Europe and northernmost Scandinavia (a most peculiar focus there), the eastern part of India and western China, and far eastern Australia and Papua New Guinea.

The first SuperMoon of 1999 takes place on April 16 (in effect April 13-19). The western and eastern extremes of Canada (and southeastern Alaska) are among the apparent risk zones for this alignment. Other vulnerable regions lie along a north-south line from Maine down through the southernmost tip of South America; as well as eastern Europe, central Africa; and along a north-south line from western Australia up through eastern China.

The May 15 SuperMoon (in effect May 12-18) zeroes in on an arc that swings through Alaska (a strong focus there), western Canada, the Great Plains states and western Texas; down through Mexico and the southern tip of South America and from there across Southeast Asia and into China. A secondary region of risk is along a north-south line through western Africa into western Europe and up through the eastern British Isles. And finally there's a rather ominous-looking Mars line running northward from the eastern coast of Australia up through Papua New Guinea.

June 13 brings yet another SuperMoon alignment, in effect from the 10th through the 16th. The Great Plains states, west Texas and central Mexico appear to be in the crosshairs this time around (also central Canada), along with northern Russian, central India, central and western Africa, eastern Europe, Southeast Asia and Japan.

The July 28 full moon eclipse is also a SuperMoon, and its corresponding geophysical shock window extends from the 25th through the 31st. In some ways this looks like one of the very strongest solunar alignments of the year. It has several prospective risk zones. These include the eastern US and an arc that runs from northern Alaska southeastward through the Plains States and down through the Gulf of Mexico into western South America; also a north south line running from western Scandinavia down through the western Mediterranean Sea and west-central Africa; and Southeast Asia on into northern China.

The August 11 total eclipse of the Sun gives every appearance of being another of 1999's most significant solunar alignments. This particular geophysical shock window is in effect August 8-14, and features a grand cross in the heavens: the Sun and Moon oppose Uranus, in square aspect to a Mars-Saturn opposition. This one is literally all over the map. Vulnerable regions include westernmost Alaska, the eastern US (especially Florida), the Mississippi River Valley, Cuba, Central America and the northern Pacific and southern Atlantic sides of South America. Eastern Europe, western Russia and west-central Africa also make the list, along with Southeast Asia and central China.

The November 23 SuperMoon (in effect November 20-26), while global in import like all such alignments, offers a couple of clues to special zones of vulnerability. These include a north-south line running straight through the Arizona-New Mexico border down through western Mexico and up into west-central Canada; and another north-south line running through western India. Other potential risk zones include the eastern and western extremes of Africa, central Spain, all of Japan and central Australia.

The December 22 SuperMoon rounds out this year's major solunar alignments. This full moon solstice has a geophysical shock window that extends from the 19th through the 25th. Once again there's an emphasis on the eastern US and Canada, on a north-south line that runs through Florida and western Cuba down through Central America. Southwest Africa, western Russian, the Middle East, and central plus southeast Australia also fit into this pattern, along with Southeast Asia and much of Japan.

As was the case for much of 1998, the fixed signs are highlighted in 1999: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius. Nations and people with these signs prominent in their charts are in a sense a special focus during the year ahead. Examples include US President Bill Clinton (Sun and three planets in Leo, plus Moon in Taurus) and the First Lady (three planets in Leo, the Sun and two planets plus the south lunar node in Scorpio). The President's chart was hard hit by two eclipses in August '98 (when the Lewinsky scandal hit critical mass), and is similarly under siege in January-February and July-August '99. I long ago predicted that Mr. Clinton would not finish a second term as President, but frankly I doubt he'll leave office through the impeachment process. (Although that's a far better alternative than some.)

Other prominent world leaders also under difficult planetary patterns for '99 include Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Prime Minister Primakov, Saddam Hussein of Iraq, Cuban President Fidel Castro, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair, and Pope John Paul II. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces a severe challenge hanging onto his job past January. Mr. Yeltsin, who has lurched from one health crisis to another lately, lurches into another one toward the end of January, with yet another waiting in the wings around the end of July. These are the kind of patterns that make his leaving office for health reasons more and more likely, before the year is out. One notable head of state who has a generally favorable chart over most of the coming twelve months is German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder.

National charts with strong fixed sign emphasis include those I mentioned in last year's forecast, Japan and Israel being foremost among them. Both nations face severe challenges in 1999, Japan's being economic and Israel's being simple survival. South Korea's chart is very strongly aspected as well: here the threat is economic, but there's also a sign of dangerously escalating tensions with an increasingly warlike and erratic North Korea – which poses a threat extending farther afield than the Korean peninsula, it should be noted.

Last but not least, there's a rare and unique Mercury phenomenon in 1999, one that doesn't really have a name in the astrological literature. I call it Mercury SuperMax-E, because it's Mercury's extreme maximum elongation from the Sun; that is, the phase when Mercury is as far as it ever gets from the Sun as seen from Earth. Mercury's maximum elongation is 28 degrees. Any time the little planet reaches 27 degrees from Sol it's in what I call the Mercury SuperMax-E phase. There are two kinds of these: the Morning Star (Mercury rising before the Sun at dawn) and the Evening Star (Mercury setting after the Sun at dusk). The 1999 Mercury SuperMax-E is the Morning Star variety, and is in effect April 12-21. We haven't seen this particular type of Mercury SuperMax-E since February 28-March 2, 1995. Other than a suspicion that it signifies a period of brilliant breakthroughs in science, communication and technology, I really don't know what to make of this. Except to say that it will be a sight to see in the early morning sky! And that unless I miss my guess, this will be a period of new perceptions and perspectives, of paradigms shifting. But in all candor I must confess that this phenomenon is so unexplored that I can't state anything about it in the way of prediction. The Mercury SuperMax-E could just as well signify a divorce of mind and spirit - the 'smart but not wise' syndrome, as it were. Just keep your eyes open, and see what happens.

Enter Astropro! Richard Nolle, Certified Professional Astrologer
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