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).
Last month's forecast of "murder and mayhem peaking out around the 8th" was echoed by headlines of the 11th concerning terrorist attacks on the US. Those of you who read my 2001 Forecast Highlights - personal forecast clients got their own copies by mail or email - have known since the beginning of the year what to expect: "Judging from the Mars and Venus retrogrades that take hold in spring and summer. . . especially in the latter period, conflict and confrontation will result from the failure to strike a bargain. And I don't mean only hurt feelings: on the geopolitical scale, we're talking terrorism, insurrection and war . . . Americans and American interests are global targets of opportunity under this kind of activation - and this includes the home front . . . All in all, the 2001 Mars alignments combine with other cosmic factors to suggest that this will be a year when man's inhumanity to man far exceeds last year's toll. From senseless mass shootings to military clashes to air and road rage, you'll see it all."
And so we have. The failure of a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinian Authority was one of several grievances turned by terrorists into an excuse for mass murder. And that was only the first strike. As I mentioned last month, "Mars reaching the July 5 lunar eclipse point on October 2 and opposing Jupiter the following day pretty well guarantees a messy few days in late September and early October." Already by late September the Taliban were shooting it out with their enemies in Afghanistan, where both British and American special operations units were on the ground scouting the way for US attacks there.
Early October is bound to bring an intensification of America's war on terrorism. Which in turn can only lead to more terrorist strikes against the US and its allies - although in reality the September 11 kamikaze attacks were always intended as only the first in a series of strikes anyway. As this first outburst of the month subsides after about the 7th, another round of conflict is due about mid-month, under a string of Mars aspects on the 14th. Afterwards, it's a wait of several weeks before there's another fairly significant Mars alignment; namely the Mars-Neptune and Mars-Uranus alignments of November. Even stronger Red Planet activations come with the solar eclipses in December and next June, as well as the Mars-Saturn conjunction in May. The current war between the US and its terrorist adversaries - not unlike the war with the Barbary Pirates, another loose extra-national terrorist organization which nonetheless had state sponsors - will be, as US Vice President Cheney warned, "a long and dirty war."
All of this is happening with Mercury retrograde, meaning everything's dirtier and takes longer than anyone expects. From its retrograde station on the 1st through its direct station on the 23rd, the little Sun-grazer signals a time when even the most serene and ordinary projects are more or less riddled with opportunities for Murphy's Law to manifest. Whatever can go wrong will, so plan well, double-check everything, and even then make sure there's room enough in the schedule for the whole thing to come off the tracks. Multiple redundancy is a minimal requirement for success at times like this - and even then, it takes a certain amount of luck on top of it all. Naturally this has special application to all things Mercurial: e.g. communication, transportation, business, finance, shipping, printing, etc. Computer viruses, worms and Trojans will be thicker and nastier than normal; messed-up, delayed and lost transactions can mount up to the point of being dangerous. The fewer systems and people one has to depend on at times like this, the better. Because terrorist strikes tend to add to confusion and delays, it's a safe bet that October will see attempts to strike at systems and populations in America and among its allies. While Mercury going direct on the 23rd represents a significant improvement in this Murphy's Law cycle, it's not all behind us until Mercury reaches the point where its retrograde first began. And that doesn't happen until November 7 (around the time when a terror attack using poisonous substances looks suspiciously likely).
While man-made conflict is more the stuff of headlines this month, there are several geophysical shock windows which signal increased potential for strong storms, flooding and moderate to severe seismic activity (including earthquakes and volcanic eruptions). The full moon on the 2nd (as the Moon crosses the celestial equator) is one of the two most potent risk cycles in October. It's in effect from September 30 to October 5. Luna's maximum northern declination comes on the 9th, a sign of elevated meteorological and seismic risk from the 8th through the 10th. The Moon reaching perigee (closest approach to Earth) on the 14th signals the start of another, bigger storm and quake risk window, in effect from the 13th through 15th. This extends into Luna's southward crossing of the celestial equator as well as the new moon, stretching the risk cycle out through the 19th. Another, milder and briefer storm and seismic risk window extends a day either side of the Moon reaching maximum declination south of the equator on the 22nd. And finally the month closes out with another intense phase of storms, flooding and seismic action starting on the 29th - under a combination of celestial triggers including Luna's northward equatorial crossing on the 30th and the full moon at 9 Taurus on November 1.
As I mentioned last month, "we're still caught in a longer-term downward trend in major equity markets, there are signs of a rally building toward Saturn's direct station on the 26th." And indeed there was a rally going on around September 26, a startling reversal of a nasty free-fall which set in following the kamikaze mass murder strikes of the 11th. You know what to expect: "as rallies go this one looks fairly lightweight and short-lived. In any case, it gets followed by a sharp downturn in October." Like the actual peak date in September, the exact crash dates in the October-November time frame are hard to pin down because the celestial factors associated with them are within a degree of being exact for weeks on end. The whole of October is suspect, even though the period from the 18th through the 21st looks suspiciously like a point of maximum danger. But at that point the November crash factor is also quite strong, even though it doesn't peak until November 2. Long term investors in quality stocks and well managed mutual funds are apt to weather this well enough, but anyone else should already be in cash or else looking for long term bargains - or quickie shorts.
SPECIAL FEATURE: This month's birthdays of the famous and infamous (with astrological birth charts)