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© 2009 by Richard Nolle
last revised FEB 28, 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.

In my beginning is my end.
-- T. S. Elliot

MAR 8, 2009 Sun-Saturn OppositionSo much happening in March! There’s Mars passing over the degree of the August 16, 2008 lunar eclipse on the 7th and aligning with Neptune the following day, the Venus station on the 8th and the Sun-Saturn opposition a couple days later, Venus’ inferior conjunction with the Sun on the 27th and Mercury’s superior conjunction with Sol on the 31st . . . not to mention that Pluto is within about a quarter degree of its April 4 retrograde station throughout March, and Mars within a few degrees of its April 5 opposition to Saturn as March draws to a close.

All in all, March looks a bit easier than February in many respects. A glimmer of hope in the midst of a global financial meltdown, maybe the start of a realization that this is as fundamental a transition in the economic life of humanity as the Industrial Revolution was: hugely disruptive while we’re going through it, but the foundation of a transformed civilization when all the dust settles. The turbulence is years from abating, as I’ve written in my annual forecasts since 2005. But, with reference to my analogy of the soufflé settling, we’re coming out of one of the great settlings (last month’s Saturn-Uranus opposition). Now the collapse by degrees should ease for a time, as the March-April bear market rally reflects a temporary change in mass psychology. Use this time to prepare for the next shock to the global financial system, due possibly as early as late July and certainly by early October – probably around mid-September, when the third in the 2008-2010 series of five Saturn-Uranus oppositions takes place.

February’s collapse in the equity markets was plainly foretold in last month’s forecast: "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 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 . . . 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." Now that March is here, I believe the bottom (for now) is near – perhaps already behind us, but I don’t think so.

In phone consultations for several months now, I’ve been telling clients who ask that I expect the February down-leg should take the Dow to around 7,000, give or take a couple hundred points. We’re in the target zone as I write this. As the equities bottom out, gold should top off and start to decline, setting up a buying opportunity. (Who’d have thought gold at $900 an ounce would be cheap? The time will come when it’ll be cheap at twice the price.) There should be room for a 10-20% bear rally in the equity markets starting this month (or April at the latest), and continuing into the summer – probably late summer, as mentioned above. Then comes what is likely to be the steepest fall in equities this year, something in the neighborhood of 40-50% - down to around 5,000 on the Dow Jones Industrials, for example; again, give or take a couple hundred points.

What will set off this next market panic is the same thing that has set them all off. It’s fashionable to blame sub-prime lenders or borrowers, greedy bankers and brokers, this political party or that . . . they’re all only incidental. The real cause is a broken - dare I say fraudulent? - worldwide monetary system and economy, coupled with an historic change in civilization akin to the Industrial Revolution. Having described this in some detail in my annual forecasts for the last several years, I’ll refer you to them for some perspective on what’s happening.

More immediately, now that all this has come to pass on schedule, it’s time to start getting ready for what lies ahead. Much is out of our hands of course. But it wouldn’t hurt to make some practical preparations. In an email heads-up to many of my clients last month, I posed the question I urge you to consider now: What would you do if banks, ATMs, credit cards and debit cards all quit working? How comfortable would you be if this happened, and lasted for a few days, a few weeks – or, heaven forbid, a few months? What if the water, gas and electric utilities quit working – for a few days, weeks or months? I’m not saying this is likely to affect everyone, but late summer into early fall of 2009 could bring more than a few people face-to-face with challenges of this sort.

MAR 27, 2009 Venus-Sun Conjunction (Inferior)A lot of us are having a hard enough time just getting by nowadays, let alone trying to set aside something extra for emergencies. But any preparation is better than none at all. And if it turns out a few months down the road that you don’t need some stockpiled extras in the way of cash, bottled water, canned goods and such – well, better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it. (Here’s hoping we won’t need it!)

I know some people – but not many – who are realistically prepared for not only the worst case scenario described above, but for the darker implications. I even know a few who are ready to weather the Apocalypse, as far as that goes. Most of us aren’t; most of us can’t be. The worst case scenario will happen here and there, but it won’t be universal. Anything we can do to weather an interruption in the goods, services and facilities we take for granted will be a plus in a lot of ways – and not just if the worst case scenario comes to pass around the corner. Don’t go Chicken Little on me! Stock up on essentials like cash and food (e.g. canned goods and big bags of rice etc.), water and some sort of back-up energy resource . . . things the US Department of Homeland Security recommends you should have on hand anyway. (And don’t forget extras for things like prescriptions and pet supplies, if they’re part of your life.) Just don’t go buying a bazooka, digging out a bunker and setting up a machine gun nest, for heaven’s sake: prudence and fanaticism are poles apart. Calmly preparing is about as far from panic as anything can be. Panic is what happens if the worst comes to pass and we haven’t prepared.

I’m no Cassandra, but I’m no Pollyanna either. I’ve had some friends and clients take me to task for sounding too dire, and others tell me that I’m doing people a disservice by trying to present a calm and reasoned analysis rather than issuing a shrill "to the barricades" clarion call. I’ve learned that some people will pick out the worst prospects in what I say and write, while others will ignore it all; much as some have saved their retirement by getting out of equities as guided by my forecasts, while others have suffered huge losses. With the Venus intersolar cycle continuing throughout March, hitched up by the retrograde station on the 6th and the inferior conjunction on the 27th, I figure there’s a glimmer of hope that buoys up mass psychology for a time. Ironically, US Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s late February forecast of an economic recovery beginning as early as the third quarter this year came with Venus just over a degree from its March 6 station point. This is the kind of pullback from the abyss that I’m talking about. I figure it won’t last, but it will for a time dispel some of the gloom and doom that now runs rampant around the world. Make hay while the sun shines.

It helps a little that there are no SuperMoons or eclipses this month, which should mean a relative scarcity in the way of the most momentous geophysical disturbances. I’m not saying March will be completely lacking in strong storms with high winds and heavy precipitation, or that there will be no major seismic activity; only that this shouldn’t be the worst month of the year in these departments. Humanity could do without Mother Nature kicking us while we’re down, and March is a bit of a breather in that respect.

 APR 5, 2009 Mars-Saturn OppositionWhat disturbances there will be – severe storms and moderate to severe seismic activity (including magnitude 5+ earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) are likeliest to crop up from the 3rd through the 14th, the 17th through the 20th, and the 23rd through the end of the month. Again, I expect these to be newsworthy, but not world-shaking. They will accompany a fairly nondescript string of geocosmic storm signs, concentrated around the Moon’s north declination peak on the 4th, the lunar perigee on the 7th, the full Moon and southward lunar equatorial crossing on the 11th, the extreme southern Moon on the 18th, the northward lunar equatorial crossing on the 25th and the new moon the following day, and the very end of the month (in advance of the northern lunar extreme on April 1 and lunar perigee the following day). Stocking your emergency kit for such as these can be a running start (or supplement to) the kind of stockpile mentioned earlier. I figure the strongest tides are tugging on Earth’s crust, skies and seas around the 7th, 11th and 26th in particular, give or take a day or two. Eastern Australia, Papua New Guinea and Japan are among the top astro-locality hot zones around the 11th, while eastern China, the Philippines, Indonesia, western Australia and a longitudinal arc from Nova Scotia down through central South America stand out around the 26th.

Last month’s forecast advised you to expect more than one "Freaky Friday" – the day that US federal bank regulators customarily seize insolvent banks. There were several of these in fact; not including the quasi-nationalization of Citigroup, once America’s biggest bank, on February’s final Friday. This will be an ongoing spectacle, make no mistake about it (the 6th and 27th in particular look shaky); but the biggest bang in this department is set for late summer into early fall. The problem is that all the banks’ assets are really liabilities, which is why they can’t loan much. Few people are willing to borrow, for the same reason. The monetary system itself is toxic, is the problem.

I mentioned a couple of notable March Red Planet transits earlier: Mars passing over the degree of the August 16, 2008 lunar eclipse on the 7th and aligning with Neptune the following day, and coming within a few degrees of its April 5 opposition to Saturn as March draws to a close. Although not as widespread as February’s Mars action, these are still warning signs of a heightened potential for violence, irritability, haste, recklessness, confrontation and conflict. From crashes, fires and explosions to criminality, riots and 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 saw on and off throughout most of February, and in a more sporadic way this month. 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. Aside from the exact aspect dates cited here, I think it’s wise to be on guard from a few days before to a few days after in each case: March 2-15 and from the 30th into next month, in other words. (The Red Planet’s opposition to Saturn on April 5 segues into a conjunction with Uranus on the 15th, making for a tense stretch from the 1st through the 23rd of the month.)

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