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©2015 by Richard Nolle
last revised SEP 30, 2015

If you were expecting some kind of sun sign nonsense, forget about it. This is real astrology for the real world, not some mystical mumbo-jumbo psycho-babble word salad. 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, aka GMT). Location for all mundante charts is set for the Great Pyramid at Giza; the choice being strictly arbitrary in any case. 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.

PLEASE NOTE: This month’s forecast incorporates elements of (and refers to) my complete 2015 World Forecast Highlights (38 8-1/2 x 11” illustrated pages); focused, amplified and elaborated with details for the month as appropriate. The full version of my 2015 World Forecast Highlights is available in hard copy by mail ($75) or as a PDF document by email ($50). Orders may be phoned in (toll-free from anywhere in North America to 800-527-8761), and charged to any major credit card. PayPal orders may be placed direct from your own PayPal account page to rnolle@astropro.com – or by using the AstroPro PayPal order page.

Life can only be understood backwards;
but it must be lived forwards

-- Søren Kierkegaard

The Skinny

OCT 27, 2015 Full Moon SuperMoon October is the last of the major geophysical stress months for 2015, which means that we’ve only got a few weeks more of the heavy run of big storms, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions to go. It’s a month of closure, of endings: the last SuperMoon of the year, on the very day that 2015’s only Venus Max cycle comes to an end; and not long after the end of the final complete Mercury Max cycle this year – at a time when Uranus and Pluto are once again drawing to within a few degrees of their waning square again.

Notable cosmic pressure points this month cluster around five degrees of the fixed signs (Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius); but most especially 5 Taurus and 5 Scorpio, the degree of the SuperMoon full moon and its opposite point. Emotional intensity, conflict and confrontation, the clash of opposites: they’re all emphasized by this alignment and in these degrees. (Check your chart!)

Another complex involves the middle of the mutable signs (Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces) – but most especially mid-Virgo, which is where Venus, Jupiter and Mars align as Venus reaches maximum western elongation at the close of this year’s Venus Max cycle. Again, check your chart! Fear and greed, lust and loathing are the strongest human themes emphasized by this configuration.

Having touched on the highlights, it’s time to flesh it all out, soup to nuts. .

Mercury Max Fades Away

Like SuperMoon, Mercury Max is a term I created to describe an astronomical phenomenon that is not well understood in the astrological community. (If you’re unfamiliar with SuperMoon, I’ll get to it in a moment.) In brief, Mercury Max refers to a phase in the Earth-Mercury-Sun relationship, when Mercury swings around from behind the Sun to catch up and pass the slower orbiting Earth. As it does this, Mercury draws closer and closer to our home planet, until it reaches its perigee (closest approach to Earth), coincident with what’s called the inferior Sun-Mercury conjunction. At this time, Earth, Mercury and the Sun are aligned with Mercury in the middle, passing between us and the Sun.

Celestial mechanics aside, Mercury Max marks a time when Mercury gets closer to Earth, bigger and brighter and more prominent in our sky. All things Mercurial likewise take on added importance in our lives. Mercurial things include thought, cleverness, communication, transportation and commerce. People who stay sharp and attentive at times like this prosper. Those who don’t, don’t do so well. Over the millennia, there’s been a tendency to blame failure of this sort on Mercury – and in particular on the retrograde portion of the Mercury Max cycle. Which is silly of course, for "the fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars."

Mercury's Synodic Cycle With this in mind, here’s your heads up! The current Mercury Max cycle (the third one and final complete one this year) began with Mercury’s maximum eastern elongation on September 4, continues through the September 17 to October 9 retrograde (including the September 30 inferior conjunction with the Sun), and concludes when the little Sun-grazer reaches maximum western elongation on October 16. These are the dates to keep sharpen your wits and get your ducks in a row. Have your backup plans and fallback positions ready. Don’t assume that you can do anything "hands off": pay attention! The people who aren’t paying attention will screw themselves up – and you in the bargain, if you don’t keep an eye on things.

Speaking of a heads-up, a word about the so-called Mercury shadow and/or storm periods, preceding and following its retrograde. This is silliness created by people who have their nose in a book of planetary positions (called an ephemeris), instead of their eyes on the skies. These bookworms look to see when Mercury comes to the degree at which it will later make its direct station, and then look to see when it reaches the degree at which it will later make its retrograde station; and then referring to the overlap between these two dates and the lesser included Mercury retrograde dates as the "shadow" and "storm" phases of the retrograde. (Some astrologers don’t use the "storm" nomenclature, referring to the overlap at both ends of the retrograde as the "shadow" period. In reality, it’s a distinction without a difference: either way, it’s just plain nonsense.) You won’t find Mercury shadows or storms in the astronomical literature – only maximum elongations. One’s the real deal, the other is just nonsense.

For example, the first Mercury Max cycle of 2015 began with the little planet’s maximum eastern elongation from the Sun on January 14, included the January 21-February 11 retrograde and the January 30 inferior conjunction with the Sun, and wrapped up with the western elongation extreme on February 24, 2015. The corresponding shadow period would begin on January 5, the day Mercury reached the degree (1ï?19’) at which it would go direct on February 11; and ended (or the storm period ended, depending on which irrelevant nomenclature you prefer) on March 3, the day Mercury returned to the degree at which it went retrograde on January 21 (17ï?3’). But in terms of any organic, visible manifestation in the skies of our home planet, these ephemeris-derived dates have no relevance to the Earth-Sun-Mercury dynamic.

It’s like left-brain versus right-brain thinking, linear versus holistic; nose in the book versus eyes on the skies. One is a made-up abstraction looked up in a reference book, the other a reality that can be seen in the sky. The corresponding organically derived dates in this case are January 14 (greatest eastern elongation) and February 24 (western elongation maximum). Occasionally the real Mercury Max begin and end dates will coincide with the artificial so-called shadow period start and stop dates. Even a broken clock is right twice a day, after all. But the reality is there to see in the sky.

Mercury Max, the real deal, begins with what is astronomically defined as Mercury’s maximum elongation east of the Sun; the point at which Mercury is as far east of the Sun as it can get, as seen from Earth. This is Mercury Vespers, or Mercury as evening star. And it’s the best opportunity we get to see the little planet from our vantage point here on Earth. (Look to the west after sunset.)

Once Mercury Max is underway, Mercury begins to slow down in its apparent motion through our sky, as the little planet catches up on Earth from behind. Slower and slower Mercury moves, until it seems to stand still (reach a station point, called the retrograde station in this case) in the sky; and then begins to move backwards. It’s not really moving backwards, of course. It only looks that way because it’s catching up and then passing us on its inside orbit. That backwards motion is called by astrologers a retrograde, and it continues past the inferior Sun-Mercury conjunction until Mercury rounds the bend and Earth appears to start catching up from behind. Once again, Mercury’s apparent motion in our sky comes to a standstill (the direct station), before resuming normal direct motion.

The Mercury Max cycle comes to an end when Mercury reaches its what astronomers call its maximum elongation west of the Sun; that point at which Mercury is as far west of the Sun as it can get, as seen from our home planet. This comes as the culmination of the Mercury as morning star phase (Mercury Lucifer). Get up well before sunrise and look for Mercury in the eastern sky to see this for yourself.

Solar Storm Signals

There’s more to Mercury Max than the human dimensions described above; i.e., the focus on the mental, communicative and connective elements of human nature. There’s a geophysical dimension as well. Mercury Max is a cycle of enhanced dynamism in the Earth-Mercury-Sun relationship. It’s a time when the Sun is prone to a flurry of disturbances – strong X-Ray flares, coronal holes and Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs). These have direct correlations here on Earth: dump Gigawatts of extra solar energy into Earth’s atmosphere and magnetosphere, and you get increased atmospheric and geomagnetic storms, and enhanced seismic activity.

While the entire Mercury Max cycle marks a time of heightened instability in these areas, this is most intense around the key dates within the cycle (plus or minus three days). In the waning days of this last full Mercury Max of the year, look for solar storminess to increase around September 30 (already in effect as the month begins), as well as October 9 and l6. What to expect? A flurry of strong solar flares (M and X-class) and geomagnetic storms (Kp 5 and up), and increased auroral activity for starters. Knock-on effects include disturbances in electrical and electronic systems and networks – including that peculiar bio-electrical network, the human nervous system. Satellites, radio communications and power grids can get squirrely, so have a backup plan ready. And bear in mind that since so much of September is already subject to enhanced storm and seismic activity, there’s an extra risk for delays and breakdowns in transport and communications.

The End of Venus Max

Synodic Cycle of Venus Venus Max began on June 6, when "evening star" Venus Hesperus (aka Venus Vesper) reached its maximum eastward separation from the Sun. This is the phase in the Earth-Sun-Venus cycle when Venus, on its faster inner orbit, catches up from behind and then passes Earth. All Max cycles are akin to a SuperMoon, in that during its Max cycle a planet is making its closest approach to Earth – its perigee, in other words, when it appears biggest and brightest in the skies of our home planet.

Venus Max typically coincides with economic expansion and a bull market – all else being equal. All else is not equal this time around. The keynote of any Venus Max is the inferior Sun-Venus conjunction that anchors the cycle. The anchor point this time around occurred on August 15, with Venus and the Sun caught up within a few degrees of the Jupiter-Saturn square square that was exact back on August 3.

This time around, Jupiter remained within a few degrees of squaring Saturn from late July into mid-August, so there were geopolitical spanners tossed into the works – mainly in August. As I wrote in my June forecast, "a US Fed rate hike is coming, which is bound to choke off the equity bubble. When? Current smart money speculation focuses on September, but Venus Max isn’t over until October – so I suspect that the rate hike won’t come until afterwards." The US Fed did indeed pass on a rate hike at its September meeting, as I predicted. This year’s atypical Venus Max ending on the day of the October 27 SuperMoon, with a triple conjunction of Mercury, Venus and Jupiter in effect, suggests to me that there will be an upward bias in equity markets around that time – provided there’s no outbreak of a major war. And since it’s too early for that, we should be okay.

There’s more to Venus Max than macroeconomics, of course. Talk about a summer of love! In the midst of all the world’s banalities, cruelties and atrocities, there are outbreaks of fun, frivolity and happiness as Venus waxes big and bright in the skies of Planet Earth. "Gather ye rosebuds while ye may!" Make hay while the sun shines, my friends . . . if you think the world takes itself too seriously now, wait ‘til you see what happens when Venus Max fades away coming into the March Jupiter-Saturn quadrature.

SuperMoon Storm and Seismic Warning Signs

As for the final full SuperMoon of 2015, watch for it at 5° Taurus on October 27. Like the September 28 event, this one is another tangle of simultaneous planetary configurations: a triple conjunction of Jupiter, Venus and Mars, and a recurrence of the Uranus-Pluto square. That tangle speaks of uprisings, riots and revolution on the socio-political front – likely sparked by revelations of financial misdeeds on the part of rulers, bureaucrats and other ‘public servants.’ Where? Look at the astro-map: it’s all over the place! I’m not saying governments will fall, but I know that some will be teetering on the edge. The Uranus-Pluto square is like that, and when people are stirred up – as they will be under this SuperMoon – the masses have little patience left. "Is it a revolt?" said King Louis XVI. "No sir," replied the courtier, "it’s a revolution."

I calculate the shock window for this SuperMoon to run from October 23rd through November 1st – extended a little fore and aft due to the Moon’s northward crossing of the celestial equator on the 25th and the north lunar declination peak on the 31st. This is the period when severe storms with strong winds and heavy precipitation will grab headlines – as will the flooding that comes with heavy rains. Look for extreme tidal surges during this period as well; along with an uptick in moderate to severe earthquakes (Magnitude 5 and up) and newsworthy volcanic eruptions.

OCT 27, 2015 Full Moon SuperMoon Astro-Locality Map As usual, the enhanced SuperMoon tidal pull on the sky, seas and crust of our home planet will have its way with the planet as a whole. True, you won’t get high tides inland (although flooding rains cannot be ruled out). You won’t have volcanoes and earthquakes going off here, there and everywhere: they’ll be most frequent in their known and habitual haunts, such as the Pacific Rim of Fire. In short, it behooves us all to have our emergency preparations ready, just in case Mother Nature draws a bead on us.

Given that weather extremes tend to play havoc with transportation of all kinds, anyone in transit during the October 23-November 1 SuperMoon shock window will be well served with a flexible itinerary and plenty of alternate routes and means for getting around. If you must be out and about, leave early! And scout out travel alternatives in advance, so that you can readily make changes on the fly if necessary. It won’t be necessary for most people – but for those who find themselves in that kind of need, it can be a godsend.

Although the whole planet is under the sway of a SuperMoon alignment, astro-locality mapping has often offered helpful clues as to the areas most susceptible to extreme tides, storms, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions in the case of the October 27 SuperMoon, target zones associated with the Sun-Moon meridian (longitudinal) lines run through Siberia, eastern China, the Korean Peninsula and Japan; down through the Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and the whole eastern half of Australia. That same set of meridian lines emerges on the other side of the planet to pass over Greenland, down through the Atlantic to Brazil. And that’s not even the half of it, as you can see with a cursory glance at the map for this alignment. The US and Canada are touched, along with Argentina, the Middle East and east Africa . . .

Remember that geophysical drama isn’t the only kind that comes with a SuperMoon full moon. Individuals are also charged up for relationship issues – which can lead to breakthroughs or breakdowns. It’s often a come together or come apart time when it comes to interpersonal connections. This is particularly directed at those of us born with important horoscopic points around 5° of the fixed signs: Taurus, Leo, Scorpio and Aquarius.

Last but not least, there are a couple more storm and seilsmic stress windows this month, starting on the 1st and continuing through the 2nd - the tail end of the September 28 SuperMoon lunar eclipse shock zone. Still lots of severe storm, quake, tidal and volanic action left over, before it fades back to normal. The crescendo builds again around the October 13 new moon, anchoring a risk period that runs from the 10th through the 16th. Not quite SuperMoon class, mind you - but enough to shake things up in its own right.


All mundane astrological charts as well as eclipse and astro-locality maps are set for the Universal Time (UT) of the event, and calculated and produced using Esoteric Technologies’ Solar Fire Gold Version 7.0.8. Unless sotherwise noted, sky map images are screen captures from the Pocket Universe app for iPhone, or produced by Starry Night for Windows; storm tracks are screen captures from The Weather Channel app for iPhone; and earthquake maps are screen captures from the Earthquake Alerts app for iPhone.

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