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©2019 by Richard Nolle
last revised February 27, 2019

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) the complete version of my 2019 World Forecast Highlights (34 8-1/2 x 11" illustrated pages); focused, amplified and elaborated with details for the month as appropriate. The full version of my 2019 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 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.

"Tomorrow belongs to those who can hear it coming."
-- David Bowie

The Skinny

March 21 brings the last full SuperMoon of the year. (The next SuperMoon will be of the Stealth [new moon] variety, on August 1.) It’s one of the two main geophysical shock foci of the month; the other being the February 27 – April 11 Mercury Max cycle, the first one of 2019. (There's also a lesser but still not neglibile March 3-9 geostorm window, associated with the new moon on the 6th.)

Geophysical Storm Signals

MAR 21, 2019 SuperMoon SuperMoon is a term I created and defined in a 1979 article for Dell Publishing Company's Horoscope, the world’s leading astrology magazine, describing a new or full moon (syzygy) which occurs with the Moon at or near (90th percentile) its closest approach to Earth (perigee) in a given orbit. In short, Earth, Moon and Sun are all in a line, with Moon in its nearest approach to Earth. (My most recent print article on this subject appeared in the October-November 2007 issue of The Mountain Astrologer.) Over the last several years, astronomers and science writers have adopted my terminology. I’m told this is the first instance since Johannes Kepler in the 17th Century of astronomers adopting a concept that originated with an astrologer.

History and definitions aside, at the very most basic geophysical level, a SuperMoon is a type of extreme lunar alignment that is associated with especially powerful tides in the atmosphere, seas and crust of our home planet. These extremes manifest as increases in the frequency and magnitude of strong storms with high winds and heavy precipitation – and all that this entails, including flooding, property and infrastructure damage and worse. Also in the SuperMoon arcanum comes an uptick in notable seismic activity, including moderate to severe (Magnitude 5 and up) earthquakes and significant volcanic eruptions. Extreme tidal surges are the third leg of the SuperMoon geophysical tripod – sometimes these are tsunami, but more often they’re just normal tides that happen to be much higher than usual.

Everyone is familiar with the full moon SuperMoon. In fact, I suspect that most people think that only a full moon can be a SuperMoon. It’s the one that the media pay attention to, for one very obvious reason: it photographs so well. But there’s another kind of SuperMoon, one you can’t see. That’s because it’s a new moon, or what I call a Stealth SuperMoon. (All new moons are invisible when they’re in exact alignment.) Both types of SuperMoon are equally important in terms of their connection with raising extreme tides in the skies, seas and crust of our home planet – and in our very own psyches. The media will continue to ignore the Stealth SuperMoon, I’m sure. But it has been integral to the whole SuperMoon concept from day one. I know. I was there.

New and full moon alignments – particularly SuperMoons and eclipses – are the metronomes of geophysical energy here on Earth. They can be amplified by other particular factors, including lunar declination extremes and crossings, solstices and equinoxes (particularly the latter), Earth’s perihelion, Sun-Mercury conjunctions and the Mercury Max cycle.

A lot of these factors come together in March, particularly in connection with the (full) SuperMoon at 0° 9’ Libra on the 21st. That’s just a couple hours from the exact vernal equinox, and the same day as the Moon’s southward crossing of the celestial equator.

MAR 21 SuperMoon Astro-Locality Map This combined SuperMoon/declination crossing also falls in the middle of 2019’s first Mercury Max Cycle (February 27-April 11, a rare all Pisces all the time event), in the midst of the year’s first Mercury retrograde. Mercury Max as a whole is a time of above normal geophysical turbulence; especially around (within plus or minus three days of) the five critical points in the cycle. This time around, that’s the February 27 maximum east elongation, the March 5 retrograde station, the March 15 inferior Sun-Mercury conjunctions, the March 28 direct station, and finally the April 11 maximum western elongation.

SuperMoon is an alignment on an astronomical scale, which means that it holds sway over the whole of Planet Earth: the sky, the seas and the crust are everywhere, and they’re all subject to the SuperMoon amplified tidal effect. Practically speaking, this means that it’s a good idea to be prepared for heavy weather no matter where you you’ll be during the March 18-24 SuperMoon shock window: a full tank of gas, a full pantry well stocked with dry goods you can eat as-is or with primitive preparation; plus candles, flashlights, batteries and the like; and a go bag just in case.

That said, there are also some suspicious target zones, judging from the astro-locality map for the March 21 SuperMoon. These include a longitudinal swath from the Kamchatka Peninsula down through the Western Pacific and just off the east coast of Australia; crossing over Antarctica through the Eastern Atlantic to Iceland and eastern Greenland. These are just two of the prime target zones. A look at the map reveals others, bracketing the west and east coasts of Mexico as well as portions of the US and Canada, eastern Europe, west central Africa and the Near and Middle East.

FEB 28, 2019 Kp5 Geomagnetic StormAdd them all up, and March – especially within a few days either way of the SuperMoon on the 21st – looks like a peak window for storm storms with high winds, heavy precipitation and attendant flooding, plus moderate to severe earthquakes (M5+), extreme tidal surges, and notable volcanic eruptions. There’s also an electromagnetic factor to this, which brings me to Mercury Max.

March and Mercury Max

As described in my free February forecast (published last month) and detailed in the full version of my 2019 World Forecast Highlights (pp. 13-19), the first Mercury Max cycle this year runs from February 27-April 11, and peaks with the March 15 inferior Sun-Mercury conjunction. Throughout this period, and most notably within plus or minus three days of the five critical moments in the cycle, geomagnetic storms disrupt our home planet.February wraps up under the aegis of the year’s first Mercury Max cycle, which begins on the 27th and continues into April. Get ready: March will be a comedy of errors and a whirlwind of activity!

All of these geomagnetic disturbances essentially grow out of solar storms of one kind of another; be they X-Ray storms, coronal holes, Coronal Mass Ejections (CMEs), plasma arcs, etc. Blasting charged particles out into the solar system – tending to be directed toward our home planet throughout the whole Mercury Max cycle (February 27-April 11, these high energy solar disturbances coincide with strong geomagnetic storms here on Earth (Kp 5 and up). Sure enought, a Kp5 geomagnetic storm happened along on February 28, right on schedule per my February forecast and the full version of my 2019 World Forecast Highlights (page 13), published last year.

Dumping Gigawatts of extra solar energy into Earth’s magnetosphere, atmosphere and crust not only amplifies the potential for stronger and more frequent storms and seismic disturbances, but electrical disturbances as well (Kp5 and up geomagnetic storms and auroral displays; also outages in electrical networks (e.g. power and communications) and the human nervous system. Think scrambled circuits, and you’ve got a pretty good handle on Mercury Max. And if you were born with important features in Pisces – where the entire Mercury Max takes place – then you may be more susceptible than most to these kinds of disruptions. Check your chart!

Max-E S-Rx Cnj. SUN S-D Max-W
FEB 27, 2019 MAR 5, 2019 MAR 15, 2019 MAR 28, 2019 APR 11, 2019
JUN 23, 2019 JUL 7, 2019 JUL 21, 2019 AUG 1, 2019 AUG 9, 2019
OCT 20, 2019 OCT 31, 2019 NOV 11, 2019 NOV 20, 2019 NOV 28, 2019

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)

The Mercury Max Phenomenon

Mercury's Synodic Cycle Being closest to the Sun, Mercury darts between Earth and Sun more than any other planet; several times a year in fact, including the infamous Mercury retrogrades of astrological legend. While most astrologers pay a fair amount of attention to Mercury's retrograde, few realize that it's only a part of the more fundamental Max phase in the orbital interaction between Mercury and Earth, as they both orbit around the Sun.

The Mercury Max phase begins when the little Sun-grazer reaches its maximum elongation east of the Sun, during its evening star phase. This happens when Mercury has come 'round to the same side of the Sun as Planet Earth, and is relatively near us. The little planet is then pulling up to pass Earth on the inside track, as it were; catching up to us from behind and then passing between us and the Sun. Just as it catches up with us, Mercury passes directly between Earth and the Sun. This is Mercury's inferior conjunction with Sol. After the inferior conjunction, Mercury continues pulling ahead of us until it reaches its greatest elongation west of the Sun (in its morning star phase), at which point the little planet is headed toward the far side of our parent star. Between these two extremes, the greatest east and west elongations, comes the fabled Mercury retrograde period of astrological lore. (See my 2019 Mercury Max table, above.)

It’s worth noting that, with the inferior planets (those inside Earth’s orbit; namely Mercury and Venus), the closest approach to Earth coincides with the inferior (retrograde) conjunction with the Sun. With the superior planets (those outside Earth’s orbit), the closest approach to Earth coincides with the planet’s (retrograde) solar opposition. Clearly astrological doctrine regarding planetary retrogrades is completely unthinking. Rather than being weakened or debilitated in some way, a retrograde planet is in fact bigger and brighter in our sky, and closer to our home planet. Not unlike a SuperMoon, in that respect . . .

I have long wondered how astrologers managed to get astrology so wrong, when it comes to the notion that retrograde planets are somehow inferior. They’re the very same planets as when they’re direct – only they’re bigger and brighter in the night sky, because they’re closer. I think maybe Mercury’s retrograde is somehow key to this misperception. Mercury after all goes retrograde more than any other planet. So we have more experience of its retrogrades. Since Mercury has to do with mental processes and communication, and since so many people can’t be bothered to think straight and communicate clearly under even the best of circumstances, it’s understandable that they might be frustrated and anxious when they encounter a cycle that places a premium on these qualities. It takes all kinds to make a world, and there are many kinds of intelligence. The Mercurial kind places a premium on rationality, on seeing, understanding and communicating things as they are. These are the folks who have the best prospects for success during a Mercury Max cycle. The rest tend not to do so well, which is one of the main reasons why they moan about Mercury being retrograde. (There are others, and I’ll get to those in a moment.)

What I have termed the Mercury Max cycle is simply a way of putting the Earth-Sun-Mercury relationship into a perspective that reflects real-sky, observational astronomy; the dynamics of our solar system as seen from our terrestrial perch – which is what astrology was, back in the time when it was astronomy. Look up in the sky over the indicated periods, and you will see the phenomena described above. Astronomical software and references provide the greatest eastern and western elongations of Mercury (and Venus, for that matter), but astrological software and references do not. One is a real sky perspective, the other is something less – and the latter is what astrologers have settled for over the course of time. Instead of peering into an ephemeris (book of planetary positions), I advocate a more natural "eyes to the skies" approach; which is exactly how real astrology began millennia ago.

This perspective replaces the stilted, removed-from-reality practice of looking not at the sky, but at an ephemeris: first to see when Mercury comes to the degree at which it will later makes its direct station, and second 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. It makes no difference: either way, it’s just plain nonsense.)

Retrograde means moving backwards. This is what Mercury appears to do in our skies when the little inner planet catches up on us and passes us on the inside, between Earth and the Sun. First Mercury reaches its greatest eastern elongation, then it appears to stand still in the sky (the retrograde station), and then it appears to move backwards through the heavens for a period of several weeks: that's Mercury retrograde for you. It ends when the little Sun-grazer's backwards motion comes to an apparent halt (the direct station); after which, Mercury moves forward again, until it reaches its maximum elongation west of the Sun. The reality of course is that Mercury never stops in its orbit, and never moves backward: this is only how the relative motions of Earth and Mercury around the Sun cause Mercury to move through our night sky.

See for yourself what happens during Mercury Max. Use the table at the beginning of this section to follow along with all three of this year’s Mercury Max cycles. Follow along in the sky as well. Watch for Mercury to attain maximum brilliance and visibility at the beginning and end of each of these cycles, at dusk and dawn. Feel yourself synching into the cosmic rhythm – because you are, whether you realize it or not. (Better to know, I always say.)

Saturn-Pluto & the Long Run

JAN 12, 2020 Saturn-Pluto ConjunctionIn the background all month, and into April, is the approaching Saturn-Pluto conjunction. It won’t be exact until January 2020, but it’s within a few degrees of partile alignment from late March into late May. As described in the full version of my 2019 World Forecast Highlights (pp. 1-7), part of an historic sky train of planetary configurations in the wake of a Jupiter-Saturn-Neptune T-Square that hadn’t been seen since 536, in the reign of the Emperor Justinian at the dawn of the Dark Ages. Unseen, that is, until 2006. That’s when the same T-Square reappeared for the first time in some 1,500 years.

Thirteen years after Justinian’s T-Square came a Saturn-Pluto conjunction in Capricorn. Now, 13 years after the great T-Square’s 2006 reincarnation, comes another Saturn-Pluto conjunction. For an in-depth look at what to expect this time around, see the above cited passage in the full version of my 20192019 World Forecast: "It’s a configuration that comes around only once every 30 years or so, and it speaks of a contraction of wealth and production, a rise in oppression. ‘The rich grow richer and the poor grow poorer’ maxim is never more true than in a time of a Saturn-Pluto conjunction."

"As I have been telling my clients and followers for years now, this is not a positive indicator for the global economy, to put it mildly. While the conjunction won’t be partile (exact) until early 2020, it remains within a few degrees of precise alignment on and off here and there in 2019 (particularly spring and late fall). And it melds into a couple of eclipses (January and July) along the way, magnifying its significance in the course of events. Years like this one, when the economy is the big story, are times to be frugal and defensive rather than daring. Focus on the return of your investment, rather than the return on your investment."

Looking farther ahead, consider that the last such combination came during the reign of the last Roman Emperor, at the threshold of the Dark Ages. Looking at the world around us today, how could this play out?


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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