Speculative Markets

Federal Reserve Sept-Oct 2015

Investors appear to be expecting the Federal Reserve to begin raising interest rates at their September 16, 2015 FOMC meeting. Some think that the Fed has waited too long to raise rates; others think that raising rates too soon will kill the sluggish recovery. But what everyone wants to know is, when will the Fed begin interest rate increases?

The Fed has moved cautiously for they are well aware of what happened in 1937, when the Fed raised rates after a period of loose monetary policy, or quantitative easing as it is now known, thinking that the Great Depression was past. Some economists claim that this proved to be the fatal error, sending the economy back into recession.

Whether the rate increase of 1937 was to blame for the renewed recession in 1937 is debatable; what matters is that this increase occurred after an extended period of quantitative easing, similar to today.

Indications that the 1937 rate increase would be a policy blunder are shown in the progressions and transits to the Fed natal chart (December 23, 1913) for mid-March 1937:

Neptune at 17* Virgo, conjunct the progressed Moon and the progressed South Node, give the major indication of a serious blunder. They make a square aspect (90*) to natal Venus and transiting North Node at 19* Sagittarius, showing that monetary and interest rate policy would be involved. That their actions would have severe negative consequences is indicated by Neptune and progressed Moon opposing natal Hades at 20* Pisces. Another indication is Pluto at the same degree as progressed Neptune at 26* Cancer, opposing both natal and transiting Jupiter at 22*-23* Capricorn. This configuration shows over-confidence, perhaps based on faulty or hasty interpretation of economic data, and magnifies the error.

Progressions and transits to the Fed natal chart for September 16, 2015 show these same areas of the chart are involved:

The progressed Moon at 24* Cancer and progressed Neptune at 25* Cancer oppose natal Jupiter and transiting Ceres, 23* and 25* Capricorn, respectively. The Sun at 23* Virgo trines natal Jupiter, showing confidence in their decision, but perhaps based upon a faulty interpretation of economic data. With Venus at 16* Leo opposing progressed Jupiter and Ceres at 15* Aquarius in the eighth house of interest rates, forming square aspects to the natal Moon in Scorpio, the natural ruler of the eighth house, there is an urgency to get the show on the road – again, the over-eagerness of Jupiter. However, Saturn at 29* Scorpio is making an aspect of hesitancy and insecurity (150*) to progressed Pluto at 29* Gemini. (Note that Saturn is in the sign ruled by Pluto.)There are other aspects that also show a lack of certainty. As much as the Fed wants to start moving rates up again, it could continue to hold off on doing so. If rates are raised in September, it will be a very small and cautious increase.

Keep in mind that there is a partial solar eclipse on September 13, only three days prior to the Fed announcement. This new moon occurs at 20* Virgo, in the same spot as the Neptune-progressed Moon-progressed South Node conjunction in 1937.

Mercury turns retrograde on September 17 at 15* Libra, and moves backward until October 9, 2015, when it will be at 0* Libra with the North Node. Mercury and the Nodes form a Grand Cross with the Fed’s natal Pluto at 0* Cancer and natal Sun at 1* Capricorn. On that same day, Jupiter at 12* Virgo forms a T-square with natal Mercury 13* Sagittarius opposite natal Saturn 13* Gemini. The involvement of the Node with the Sun and Pluto signal a heavy-handed approach and some harsh rhetoric triggered by Mercury. October 9 is a precursor to what is to come later in the month.

But it is the configurations of October 28, 2015, the following FOMC meeting, that have a greater similarity to the March 1937 chart:

Venus at 18* Virgo has just passed Jupiter at 16* Virgo and is headed towards Mars at 20* Virgo; these planets are clustered around the same point from the 1937 chart. In 1937, Mars had just left the late degrees of Scorpio and entered Sagittarius; in 2015, Saturn is in that position in the zodiac. **

The progressed Moon is now at 26* Cancer, still near progressed Neptune, opposing natal Jupiter, and squaring progressed Venus at 27* Aries. Transiting Mercury at 22* Libra forms a Grand Cross configuration with all of them. Mercury has just passed forming a T-square with Uranus at 17* Aries and progressed Mars at 17* Cancer. The transiting Moon at 23* Taurus forms a Grand Trine with natal Jupiter 23* Capricorn and transiting Mars 20* Virgo. Both Mercury and the Moon act as triggers at this time.

The Fed may raise interest rates in September 2015, but the chart for October 28 shows another increase, most likely more than anyone had expected, that will scare the markets, leading to a sell-off of stocks in November 2015.

Just for further confirmation of this interpretation of October 2015 as the time period of rates being raised, let’s look at another period when the Fed began raising rates after a period of lower rates (but not quantitative easing), which was April to August 1973. At that time, Mars 10* Aquarius and Jupiter 8* Aquarius were conjunct progressed Jupiter and progressed Uranus at 8* Aquarius, right on the cusp of the eighth house of interest rates. The progressed Moon 19* Capricorn was conjunct natal Jupiter 23* Capricorn, opposing progressed Neptune. Thus the same elements were in play in 1973 as will be in October 2015: transiting Mars conjunct transiting Jupiter, and the progressed Moon in aspect with progressed Neptune opposing natal Jupiter.

** See Bradley Cowan’s work on financial astrology, Pentagonal Time Cycle Theory, for further explanation of the pentagram points in the zodiac that have a bearing on financial and mundane events.