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© 2009 by Richard Nolle
last revised JAN 31, 2009

If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world. If it's real astrology for yourself that you want, you can get it by phone or in print. And if you need help deciphering the astrological glyphs in the graphics accompanying this article, see Astroglyphs: Astrological Symbols Guide. Please note: this forecast is expressed in terms of Universal Time (UT). Also please be aware that, while I never change a forecast once it's published, I do post errata to acknowledge typographical errors and the like.

It’s more than causal, and more than chance.
-- Jim Tate

JAN 26, 2009 Solar Eclipse (Annular)While February is very much caught up in the wake of January, it’s got a lot going on in its own right. Sure, the January 26 annular solar eclipse after-effects linger; and the Mercury and Venus intersolar cycles that began last month carry over into February – and considerably beyond, in the case of Venus. But February has its own heavy hitters. Foremost among them is the first Saturn-Uranus opposition of the year (second in the 2008-2010 quintet series). Although it’s exact on the 5th, it has lingered within a couple degrees of precise alignment since mid-January. (Truth be told, this alignment has been within three degrees of exact since mid-October 2008, weeks before the first exact alignment on Election Day.) And then there’s the lunar eclipse on the 9th and the Mars-Jupiter alignment on the 17th to name just a couple of cosmic factors . . . add ‘em all up, and it looks like a dramatic month at so many levels.

Take the geophysical action that’s happening this month, for example. The tail end of the January 26 solar eclipse extends all the way to February 2, which means that the month opens under an elevated risk of strong storms with high winds and heavy precipitation, as well as moderate to severe seismic activity (including magnitude 5+ earthquakes as well as volcanic eruptions). As described in my 2009 World Forecast Highlights, this eclipse comes with a worldwide risk window that extends from January 19 through February 2, with particular vulnerability in "the South Pacific and across Indonesia" throughout this whole period. ("Additional risk zones," as noted in my forecast, "are suggested by astro-locality mapping, in the western hemisphere along a longitudinal zone running from Alberta and British Columbia down through Idaho, Nevada and California; and in the eastern hemisphere, along the Iranian border with Pakistan and Afghanistan northward through Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and Russia.") The 6.2 magnitude quake in Indonesia on January 23, followed the next day by a 5.6 quake in the Philippines, a 5.7 temblor that rattled Anchorage AK, and killer storms in France and Spain (not to mention the monster ice storm that killed a couple dozen folks and left more than a million powerless in the bitter cold from Texas up through New England starting on the 27th) are prime calling cards of the January 26 solar eclipse – and they serve to illustrate what is yet to come during the first couple days of February.

Checking on and topping off your emergency kit is always a good idea, perhaps especially this month: fresh candles and batteries, a full tank of fuel, bottled water and a well-stocked pantry are enough to start your checklist. Remember, as I wrote in my forecast for the January 26 solar eclipse, that we’re still in the Mercury intersolar period (which lasts until February 13). This suggests that the eclipses during this period foresage "fierce storms that snarl transportation (many wrecks and wrecked schedules) and incapacitate power and communication infrastructure." While this applies of course to the tail end of the January solar eclipse window (ending on February 2), it points as well to the geocosmic shock window surrounding the penumbral lunar eclipse of February 9. This phase stretches from the 4th (a day in advance of the Moon’s north declination maximum on the 5th) all the way through the 12th. It’s a storm signal par excellence, but its potential accompaniment by moderate to severe earthquake activity (magnitude 5+) or volcanic eruption cannot be discounted.

FEB 9, 2009  Penumbral Lunar EclipseThe February 9 full moon eclipse will be visible (though fairly faint) in Australia and east Asia, Alaska and Hawaii, and the western US and Canada: these are areas of special susceptibility to storms and seismic shock during the eclipse shock window. Additional areas are suggested by astro-locality mapping the event. They include longitudinal zones running from east-central Greenland through eastern Brazil in the western hemisphere, and from eastern Siberia down through Japan, eastern Indonesia/Papua New Guinea and east central Australia in the eastern hemisphere. However this alignment is planetary in scale, therefore planet-wide in scope: be prepared, not complacent, even if you’re not in one of the special risk zones during the indicated period.

The lunar eclipse on the 9th is more than an agitator of Earth’s seas, skies and crust. It bridges into the major theme for the year as a whole and certainly for this month, since it happens just days after Saturn and Uranus make the first of their 2009 opposition alignments. Panic in the markets, panic in the streets, people in need of rescue, just a whiff of revolution in the air . . . that’s what this alignment is all about. I figure it’s mitigated somewhat by Venus’ intersolar cycle (which began on January 14 and runs to June 5); but it probably still points to a top-out of the financial markets – followed by a drop-off, under the onslaught of yet another revelation that the financial system is critically dysfunctional, and the economy is swooning. Given how close this alignment has been all year to date, the shake-out may already have begun in January . . .

Several times in last year’s monthly forecasts, I indicated that the future holds many a "Freaky Friday" – the day that US federal bank regulators customarily seize insolvent banks. I suspect there will be more than one Freaky Friday in February, or least one with several banks seized. It helps public confidence somewhat that the Obama administration’s economic stimulus initiative (the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009") is in the works, and that eases the probability of a horrific crash in the equity markets for now. But there are more than enough dire developments afoot in the way of rising unemployment, falling real estate values and such – including more fundamentally a fraudulent international financial foundation - to make even a mitigated Saturn-Uranus opposition look pretty bear-like. (A flight to gold and silver should pick up steam under the aegis of this alignment.)

FEB 5, 2009 Saturn-Uranus OppositionI always caution clients not to make a fetish of exact aspect dates as event timers, and so I won’t pin the February market blow-off on the date of the February 5 exact Saturn-Uranus opposition or the lunar eclipse on the 9th. (Saturn and Uranus, as noted earlier, remain within a degree of exact alignment throughout the first half of the month, so the swoon could happen literally any day.) And in any case this isn’t the big smash-up of 2009, which is due in the fall. But it’s a time to get out of the way of the charging bear before it’s too late, I suspect. I’m not a financial adviser, so I won’t presume to tell anyone what to do. I know what I’ll do, though: get out of the way. There’s time to jump back in later, in the sense that another bear market rally is due from March-April until sometime this summer.

Don’t believe those who proclaim that the equity markets have hit bottom, and that a buying opportunity has arrived. Whatever hope and optimism there is, it’s based on the misperception (or delusion, to be blunt) that the treasuries and central banks and governments of the world can remedy this mess with their stimulus programs and interventions. They can’t. The problem is way too fundamental for that. They can buy time – not much at this point – but they can’t resolve the crisis without a replacement for the bankrupt financial system itself. And the stop-gap, ultimately futile rescue plans they implement can only lead to outrageous inflation absent a reform of the monetary system. In the middle of a deflationary spiral, currency debasement can escape its inflationary consequence for a time, and that time could stretch into months or even a year – but the bill will come due, the axe will fall. As I wrote in my September forecast last year:

It’s as if the good doctors of international finance are attempting to cure the patient with one heroic operation after another aimed at saving this organ or that system . . . and then hooking the patient up to an IV of pure poison after each new surgery. The whole international finance system with its baskets of fiat currency is well into an historic total collapse . . . the solution I see developing is international, not just American. But it will take years to make significant progress, judging from the fact that Saturn and Uranus don’t finish the current set of alignments until 2010. A whole new IMF, a whole new World Bank, a whole new Bretton Woods agreement . . . it’s coming slowly but surely over the next dozen years. Meanwhile, be of good cheer and sound mind: reduce debt, stock up on essential commodities and other productive assets. Remember that the vast majority of people survived the last Great Depression. The lower your debt, the higher your stockpiles and the broader your network, the greater the odds that you’ll get through the current crisis too. Conversely, plunging ahead with "business as usual" is a prescription for certain disaster. Buy a house? Court a disaster. Take out a loan? Why not grab an anvil and jump off a bridge? I realize we can’t stop living and wait for things to get sorted out. But surely we can realize we’re in a hole, and at least stop digging.

FEB 17, 2009 Mars-Jupiter ConjunctionI’m convinced that optimism produces consistently better results than pessimism, all else being equal. But there’s a difference between optimism and denial. Human beings by nature live in denial to some extent, as a coping mechanism for mortality if nothing else. But standing on the tracks and ignoring the train bearing down on you is not a good strategy. Take advantage of the tail end of the January-February Mercury intersolar cycle, which ends on the 13th as noted earlier, to pay attention while the sleepwalkers around you bump into the furniture. It’s a time for adjusting budgets and portfolios to maximize economy and security, and it calls for sharp pencils and sharp thinking. And do be prepared for the inevitable intersolar Mercury strikes and other disruptions affecting transportation and communication (e.g. postal, phone, mass transit, trucking, airline, shipping, dock and warehouse workers, teachers and all manner of media, including the Internet). Remember that weather both terrestrial and solar (including geomagnetic storms) can play a part in such disruptions; but human effort (and sometimes malicious action) is a part of the Mercury intersolar mix as well. Power failures due to infrastructure breakdown and computer network disruptions caused by hacker attacks, software vulnerabilities and the like are also just a crossed wire or a keystroke away from a major mess at these times: be sure your security software is fully engaged and up to date.

February appears to be in for more than its share of crashes, fires and explosions, with all the Mars action afoot this month. Given that each Mars factor extends about a week either side of its exact date, the danger zone is practically continuous. The January 29 Mars alignment with the degree of the January 15, 2010 solar eclipse means that February comes on like a lion, and then just keeps on charging. February 13 brings Mars to the degree of the January 26, 2009 solar eclipse, the 16th sees the Red Planet opposing the degree of the August 1, 2008 solar eclipse, the 17th features Mars conjunct Jupiter; and then the March 7 Mars transit over the degree of the August 16, 2008 lunar eclipse casts its shadow over the end of February.

FEB 25, 2009 New MoonThe cease-fire breaches on both sides of the Gaza Strip conflict in late January are obvious examples of what to expect under this sort of Mars activation: a heightened potential for violence, irritability, haste, recklessness, confrontation and conflict. From criminality to riots to terrorism to outright military clashes, there’s a stirring in the blood that leads to a spilling of the red stuff, when the Red Planet makes alignments of the sort we see on and off throughout most of February. Think safety, take a deep breath, get a grip and count to ten; steer clear of the sort of places where trouble is likely to strike. And speaking of strikes, remember that Mercury’s intersolar phase makes labor actions appear more likely than usual ‘til mid-month – and with the Mars trigger simultaneously at work, some of these are likely to turn destructive, even dangerously violent.

My earlier mention of the lunar eclipse on the 9th as the centerpiece of what’s likely to be the biggest storm and seismic period in February is not meant to suggest that it’s the only turbulent interval this month. I’d be remiss to neglect the rest. February 17-20 also looks dicey, as the Moon reaches maximum declination south of the celestial equator on the 18th. And then there’s the February 22-28 geophysical stress window, associated with the new moon on the 25th and the northward lunar crossing of the celestial equator on the 26th. These two late February periods should probably be a little easier to bear than the eclipse window earlier in the month, but that’s no consolation if you’re caught up in a big storm or seismic event – and some people will be. It’s probably not a bad idea to have your survival gear and supplies topped off and ready to hand, and your emergency plans dusted off just in case. Better to have them and not need them, than to need them and not have them. Western North America from Baja to the Yukon as well as Iceland and eastern Greenland are in the astro-locality high risk zones during the late February new moon risk window; along with India-Pakistan, western China and central Russia, and a longitudinal zone from Kamchatka down through the eastern Australia-New Zealand area. These will not be the only areas to experience storm and seismic extremes however, so keep your guard up wherever you find yourself during the late February new moon period.

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