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© 2009 by Richard Nolle
last revised MAR 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.

What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from.
-- T. S. Elliot

 APR 5, 2009 Mars-Saturn OppositionMars is one of the dominant celestial themes for this month, and that’s a sign that nothing will stay calm and peaceful and uneventful for long. The Red Planet’s opposition to Saturn on April 5 (a day after Pluto’s retrograde station) segues into a conjunction with Uranus on the 15th, followed by a quadrature (90° arc) to Pluto on the 26th. It all adds up to a tense stretch from the 1st (a carry-over from the closing days of March) through the end of the month and on into the first few days of May.

This isn’t the major international crisis potential that I see coming up at the end of the year, as Mars moves in for its biennial close approach to Earth. But it’s plenty big enough to put things very much on edge – as they have been since early this year, under the aegis of past Mars activations described in my forecasts for January, February and March.

Remember the December-January Israel-Gaza conflict, Israel’s mid-January attack on the arms convoy in Sudan (a second January Sudan airstrike is now being reported), their February attack on an Iranian freighter, and the spate of mass murders in March? April looks like more of the same in this regard. It’s the kind of atmosphere that cultivates fires, crashes, explosions, inflamed passions, hot tempers and rash, even violent action - of the criminal and military type, from school, workplace and even random shootings to terrorist atrocities to large scale military conflict.

These things are always with us, even if they are especially prominent during the kind of Red Planet alignments at work throughout April. Just be aware of the heightened potential for danger, violence, irritability, haste and conflict, and act accordingly. This means to steer clear of troublesome people, places and situations as much as possible – particularly within a few days of the exact Mars aspects on the 5th, 15th and 26th. If ever there was a time to keep calm, stay focused, and look before you leap, Mars activation of this sort is it.

APR 15, 2009 Mars-Uranus ConjunctionBeing planetary in nature, the danger during this emphatic Mars cycle is planet-wide in scope; so be careful out there, wherever you are. If there are areas of special risk, they may be suggested by astro-locality mapping for the major Mars alignments this month. Associated with the Mars-Saturn opposition on the 5th is a danger zone along the Pacific coast of North America, as well as a sweeping arc from Mexico City through the US heartland along a broad swath bounded by Chicago in the east and Winnipeg in the west – a swath that emerges on the other side of the globe to cut through Bombay in the west and New Delhi in the east. Another suspicious looking arc runs pretty much parallel to the Irag-Iran border, and a couple of longitudinal zones stretch through eastern Brazil (from Rio de Janeiro to the coast) in the western hemisphere, and from Tokyo down through Adelaide in the east. West Africa and Western Europe are among the risk sectors associated with the April 15 Mars-Uranus conjunction, along with the Mississippi River Valley and western China.

Venus remains important in April, ending the retrograde phase of its intersolar cycle with a direct station on the 17th (conjunct Uranus and Mars), followed by its exact alignment with the Red Planet on the 21st. I figure this points to a lot of profit-taking in the equity markets around the 17th. I’ve already spelled out (in last month’s forecast) what I expect from this bear rally. Frankly, late March already brought us fairly close to the upper end of the range I called for; although there’s still room in my forecast for a few hundred more points to the upside on the Dow.

The rally began on schedule right after Venus turned retrograde on March 6. The top, if we haven’t seen it already, should come around April 17. Until then, the bear market rally should continue by and large, with the occasional retrenchment of course. Afterwards, once the smart money is off the table, it looks like a trading range with a slight upward bias until we come to about middle to late July. From that point forward into the Saturn-Uranus opposition of mid-September, Humpty-Dumpty is teetering on the wall: the slightest vibration could prompt a downfall and a crack-up.

Synodic Cycle of VenusAs always, I caution against making a fetish over exact dates of planetary phenomena. There’s always a certain amount of quantum flux in the universal organism, which can lead or lag the exact moment an alignment occurs or a shift takes place. So don’t look to Friday the 17th as the absolute exact moment that the current bear market rally hits its peak. Venus remains within a few degrees of its April 17 direct station throughout the month and into early May. And in any event this looks like the beginning of a trading range that wanders around for a few months. Missing a peak in April doesn’t mean you can’t be there again in May, June or July. But the sooner you lock in your profits, the sooner you can move onto the next thing – and avoid taking losses by lingering after the party has peaked. What’s the next thing? I’m not a financial adviser, only an astrologer, so I’ll not presume to offer advice. But for myself, I’m planning to shift from equities into gold and silver on the one hand, and bonds on the other – the former for the long run, the latter for the short run.

Speaking of matters financial, I’ve already given a fairly detailed description of what I expect to happen with the economy, the markets and the monetary system. That this has so far proved accurate in detail is no guarantee that it will continue to do so: that should go without saying. I’ve given you the best heads-up I can these past few years. Do what you will. But please, don’t be taken in by the talking heads who’ve been telling you that the fundamentals of the economy are sound, that buy and hold is the way to go, that we’ve just been betrayed by avaricious financiers and politicians, fraudulent borrowers, greedy house-flippers and a general lack of regulation or enforcement. These are the platitudes and excuses of people who don’t have a clue, who still think that the same "smartest guys in the room" who cooked up this failed fraud of a financial system are going to be able to fix it.

The finance ministers and central bankers can’t fix this, not with all their piety nor wit. The problem with the global economy is the monetary system – or more accurately, the lack of one. Currencies are pegged to commodities, informally if not formally. Nobody wants currency just to stuff their wallets. Ultimately it’s only useful in terms of what it can purchase – the commodity or service it will bring in exchange. The ultimate commodity is gold; ultimate in the sense that it’s about as stable a store of value as anything can be.

APR 17, 2009 Venus Station (Direct)The price of gold doesn’t rise: the value of currencies declines, as they are debased. They’re debased because treasuries and central banks create new money out of thin air, as if accounting entries on this side or that of a ledger were real. This new money is needed because economic activity in a fiat currency regime requires ongoing strong growth to avoid collapse. Leverage and credit expand until they reach a breaking point, because there’s no physical standard to keep the money honest.

Boom and bust, boom and bust, on and on ad infinitum. If we had a real monetary system and reasonable restraint on leverage, we’d get off this wheel. But we don’t, so we can’t. Given a financial system that’s based on lies and fraud, you get an economic and social system, an entire culture, that’s immoral at its very foundation. The best thief gets the biggest rewards. It’s a mark-to-fiction monetary system. Gold is mark-to-market money, a stake in the heart of the financial vampire who profits from mark-to-fiction. That’s the real reason they don’t want a gold standard, which they denigrate as the "Barbarous Relic". And that’s exactly why all their gyrations and machinations won’t fix the global financial crisis.

It’s been about three generations since the US first went off the gold standard domestically in 1933; and a bit more than a generation since the US went off the gold standard internationally in 1973. Generations of Americans have lived under a regime of fiat currency, to the point that we accept paper specie as real money because we’ve never known anything else. We can’t live under a fraud without being corrupted by it, because in our heart of hearts we all know that made up money is a lie. We have become a culture of lies, a nation of liars – a whole world of liars, since the Bretton Woods Agreement in the wake of the 1940s Jupiter-Saturn conjunction in Taurus made the dollar fiction the basis of international commerce. Consciously or not, we all now lie, cheat and steal all over the world, every time we buy or sell anything. Is it any wonder that cynicism passes for wisdom?

I bring these things up not because I’m a "gold bug" - never have been, never will be - nor to moralize, but to illustrate a point I’ve been making in my forecasts these past several years: this is not just a financial crisis, it’s an historic turning point in civilization itself. The fix isn’t just money, because the problem isn’t just money: it’s much deeper and more profound than that. By the same token, the fix won’t be in this year or next (although the bottom of the current crisis is probably in 2010-2011, under the aegis of the Jupiter-Saturn opposition and the waning of the Saturn-Uranus opposition). And the fix will entail setting up an international reserve currency to replace the US dollar in that role; a currency that will have a commodity backing, as pointed out in my 2008 World Forecast Highlights.

Mercury's Synodic CycleWith all this in mind, I think that the global financial system remains at the edge of a precipice; but that the Venus intersolar cycle makes April (and May too) an unlikely stage for the final act. There’s an easing of the fear in mass psychology, a sense (delusion) that things will work out fine after all. There will still be the "Freaky Fridays" I’ve been warning about for so long now – like the FDIC seizure of Omni National Bank in Atlanta on the last Friday of March, and the failures that weekend of Spain’s Caja Castilla-La Mancha and Scotland’s Dunfermline Building Society. (The UK’s Building Societies are akin to a credit union/savings and loan association in the US.) April brings movement in the direction of the fix outlined above, but the ultimate resolution is still years away.

The second Mercury intersolar cycle of the year begins this month, as the little planet reaches its maximum elongation east of the Sun on the 26th. It’s a cycle that carries throughout May (including the May 7-31 retrograde and the May 18 inferior conjunction with the Sun); and into June, coming to an end at last on June 13, when Mercury reaches its greatest elongation west of the Sun.

I’ve described Mercury’s intersolar cycle many times before, so I’ll just refer you to the relevant passage in my 2009 World Forecast Highlights for details. Practically speaking, what it means is that April 26 begins a cycle when all things Mercurial become crucial; infrastructure, commerce, information, communication and transport being prime examples. Absent careful investigation and planning, and conscientious follow-through, all such things are apt to go off track during these cycles.

APR 9, 2009 Full MoonMercury's intersolar phase is a time for focus, concentration, planning, follow-through and communication - all the qualities of the active and involved mind, in short. In case you haven't noticed, most people are not especially alert and focused most of the time. When this kind of sleepwalking runs into Mercury's intersolar cycle, with its focus on mental acuity, it doesn't take long for things to go awry. If you're sharp and focused and alert, you can avoid a certain amount of this mess. In fact, you can even prosper by concentrating on tasks that center on thought, planning and communication. But you'll still have to dodge all the chaos created by the people who are sleepwalking. So be ready.

Among the sort of things to be ready for during the April 26-June 13 Mercury intersolar cycle: 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). Weather both terrestrial and solar (including geomagnetic storms) can play a part in the kind of breakdowns described here, but human effort (and sometimes malicious action) is a part of the 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 during Mercury’s intersolar phase.

If I had to pick a day to have a backup generator all fueled up and ready to go, a contingency plan in place in case the scheduled or expected didn't come to pass, a day to be especially sharp and steady and focused, it would be during an intersolar Mercury cycle – and most especially on or about the critical dates within the cycle, which this time includes April 26, May 7, 18 and 31, and June 13. Note these dates; be ready with a fallback plan just in case. It's not so much that disaster is destined to strike when Mercury is in its intersolar phase. Rather, it's that everything pertaining to Mercury becomes crucial; and unless it's treated as such, then it goes awry. More and more, we live in a "just in time" world - and if the slightest delay holds up just one single thing, then a whole process screeches to a halt. Unfortunately, few people keep their eye on the ball with any consistency and diligence. And that's the reason these Mercury cycles tend to turn into Murphy's Law festivals. Practically speaking, this means that having a "just in time" inventory of essentials is risky business at times like this. Don't say I didn't warn you!

APR 25, 2009 New MoonThere are no SuperMoons or eclipses again this month, and there won’t be any until the June 22 SuperMoon heads up a train of extreme soli-lunar alignments stretching into August. For April, this suggests a relative scarcity in the way of the most momentous geophysical disturbances. Strong storms with high winds and heavy precipitation there will be, and some notable seismic activity too. But this shouldn’t be the worst month of the year as far as these phenomena go.

I do expect that the greatest upsurge in severe storms and moderate-to-severe seismic activity (including magnitude 5+ earthquakes and volcanic eruptions) will be likeliest to crop up in a number of time slots this month. These include an early, brief run from April 1st through the 3rd, as the Moon’s north declination extreme on the 1st combines with the lunar perigee on the 2nd: this should be one of the most intense periods of the month, despite being so short. Another cycle of storm and seismic turbulence begins late on the 5th and runs through the 16th, being most pronounced around the full moon on the 9th and the lunar south declination extreme on the 14th.

The 20th through the 29th is the last, longest and probably most active period of geophysical turbulence this month, what with the new moon on the 25th followed a few days later by a lunar perigee - just as the Moon hits peak declination north of the celestial equator. Since this late April storm and seismic risk window includes the beginning of Mercury’s intersolar cycle, I suspect this will be a time marked with lots of weather-related travel disruption: if you must travel under this sort of cosmic pattern, don’t be surprised if there are delays due to weather, missed connections, safety rerouting, etc. Don’t be caught unprepared in any event: let these dates be reminders to have your pantry stocked and your emergency kit handy, just in case.

Many clients have asked about a major earthquake along California’s San Andreas fault or a violent eruption at Alaska’s Redoubt Volcano. I won’t be surprised if either event occurs this month, but I don’t expect the likelihood is as high in April as it is later in the year – from June into July, for example.

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