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©2018 by Richard Nolle
last revised November 30, 2018

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 mundane 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 2018 World Forecast Highlights (41 8-1/2 x 11" illustrated pages); focused, amplified and elaborated with details for the month as appropriate. The full version of my 2018 World Forecast Highlights is available in hard copy by mail ($75) or as a PDF document by email ($50). I just began accepting advance orders for the 2019 edition, although the 2019 forecast will be embargoed until the end of December as usual. Orders may be phoned in toll-free anywhere in North America to 800-527-8761, and charged to any major credit or debit card. Orders may also be placed direct from your own PayPal account page to rnolle@astropro.com – or by using the AstroPro PayPal order page.

"Don't waste your time with explanations: people only hear what they want to hear."
-- Paulo Coelho

The Skinny

The year is winding down this month, obviously. But so are all three of 2018’s planetary Max cycles: Mercury, Venus and Mars. Mercury and Mars both end their Max cycles in December, and Venus nearly does – not ending until January 6. All three were in effect for all of November (or in the case of Mercury nearly all).

As the Mars and Mercury Max cycles wane, they go through several especially turbulent periods, extending roughly three days before after the Sun’s waning square to Mars (the end of Mars Max) on December 3, Mercury’s direct station on December 6, and the maximum western elongation of Mercury (the end of Mercury Max) on December 15.

DEC 3, 2018 Sun-Mars Waning Square And then there are the regular geocosmic stressors, the new and full moon (on the 7th and 22nd respectively. (The latter alignment occurs within a day of Mercury’s conjunction with Jupiter.) Those are the (relatively few) significant alignments for the month. Let’s get into the details.

Mars Max Parting Shots

Mars Max terminates when the Sun reaches its waning square (270° arc) to Mars. This brings an end to the period of exaggerated tension, haste, murder and mayhem associated with the Red Planet’s close approach to Earth: a surge in the frequency and severity of ultraviolence, fires, crashes, clashes and explosions are the hallmarks of this cycle. (For more on Mars Max, see pp.2-12 in the full version of my 2018 World Forecast Highlights.)

This isn’t to suggest that the lion will now lie down with the lamb; only that the tide of danger and ultraviolence subsides to more normal levels as Mars pulls away. As I’ve said for years, we can expect a sharp good-bye salvo of extreme Mars lasting from three days before to three days after the end of Mars Max; namely, from November 30 to December 6. Be on guard and safety conscious. Brace yourself for a rash of military tensions on the international front, as well as riots and strikes domestically, and more than the usual run of mass shootings, school and workplace attacks, etc.

Notice that the end of Mars Max melds into the December 7 new moon storm and seismic stress window (December 4-10), as well as the December 5-9 Mercury direct station shock window. Expect a run of powerful and destructive storms and moderate to severe seismic disturbances (including M5+ quakes and notable volcanic eruptions). These will be marked by fires and other disruptions wreaking havoc on transportation, power and communication infrastructure. Have your emergency kit well stocked and ready to hand.

Mercury Max and Solar Disturbances

Mercury's Synodic Cycle There are two main themes associated with Mercury Max. One is that everything having to do with Mercury becomes more prominent and essential in human experience: intelligence, cleverness, communication, commerce, travel, the exchange of ideas and information. This means that people who stay sharp and focused, and keep their wits about them, will excel and prosper compared to those who are similarly on the ball. Look sharp, be sharp, or you’re going down. Do your due diligence, gather your facts and make your plans (with ample fallback and alternative options). For more on this, see the section on Mercury Max in the full version of my 2018 World Forecast Highlights (pp. 18-24).

Related to the human side of Mercury Max is the solar side; the disturbances in solar weather that come along with Mercury’s close pass between Earth and Sun. The Max cycle marks a time of greater and more frequent solar storms, including X-Ray flares (M and X class), Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs) and coronal holes. These solar outbreaks, in turn, fire up geomagnetic storms on our home planet – stronger (Kp 5 and up) and more plentiful than usual.

Solar storms in turn make for extra auroral activity, which is the most obvious visual cue to the disturbances here on Earth. But there’s a lot more than what meets the eye. Ionospheric disturbances play havoc with radio transmission, for example. Incoming radiation storms can damage orbiting satellites and even fry electrical infrastructure and devices here below. And that includes the human nervous system, a most sensitive bioelectrical network.

All of the above phenomena are more frequent during the Mercury Max cycle as a whole. But in particular, the five key points in the cycle (plus or minus three days) tend to anchor periods of maximum intensity. You’ll find those five key points listed in my table of the 2018 Mercury Max: December 6 and 15 in the current cycle, as described above. Watch and observe.

Max-E S-Rx Cnj. SUN S-D Max-W
MAR 15, 2018 MAR 23, 2018 APR 1, 2018 APR 15, 2018 APR 29, 2018
JUL 12, 2018 JUL 26, 2018 AUG 9, 2018 AUG 19, 2018 AUG 28, 2018
NOV 6, 2018 NOV 17, 2018 NOV 27, 2018 DEC 6, 2018 DEC 15, 2018

Max-E = Mercury (Evening Star) Max. Elongation East of Sun (Max begins)
S-Rx = Retrograde Station (Retrograde GBegins)
Cnj. SU = Inferior Conjunction with Sun
S-D = Direct Station (Retrograde Ends)
Max-W = Mercury (Morning Star) Max. Elongation West of Sun (Max ends)

There’s one last Mercury Max symptom which must not be overlooked: dumping Gigawatts of excess solar energy into Earth’s magnetosphere, atmosphere, crust and mantle is like turning up the heat on a saucepan. It roils and bubbles the cauldron, so to speak. This will manifest as an intensification of powerful storms and seismic activity – including volcanic eruptions and M5+ earthquakes. For example, consider the November 27 Sun-Mercury inferior conjunction, the most recent focal point of the current Mercury Max cycle. What happened during the November 24-30 stress window? A whole lot of seismicity, most notably the Magnitude 7.0 Anchorage, Alaska quake (one of 35 M5+ quakes during this particular shock window – including three in the 6.0+ class).

Again, this will be most prominent around those five key points in the Mercury Max cycle. This time around, this will apply especially around the new moon on the 7th, as mentioned above.

The last storm and seismic stress window of the year is two-fold, associated with the full moon and Mercury-Jupiter conjunction on December 22 (in effect from the 19th through the 25th), and the coming January 6 solar eclipse (with its wider December 30-January 13 shock window). You know what to expect: be ready.


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. Charts are set for the location of the Great Pyramid - a purely arbitrary choice, since location is irrelevant to these charts. Unless sotherwise noted, sky map images are screen captures from the Pocket Universe or Star Rover apps 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 QuakeFeed, QuakeWatch or QuakeZone apps for iPhone. Any market images are screen captures from the default iPhone Stocks app, unless otherwise noted. Weather images and storm tracks are screen captures from the Weather Channel app for iPhone.

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