There is a strange mix of electional and mundane astrology in these advices: after all, go to the market to sell ones´s products may be seen as an electional enterprise (“elect me a time where I won´t be attacked by pirates”) or of mundane astrology (“at what times will the price of wheat rise?”).
We see in Dorotheus, for instance:
If you want to sell something or to buy it, then look at the position of the moon as the star with which the Moon conjoins indicates the buyer and the price, and the star from which the Moon flows indicates the seller, and (the Moon) indicates the commoditiy which you sell or buy (…) The ascendent indicates him who buys, the seventh him who sells, and the tenth indicates the price, and the house of the fathers (the fourth) indicates the commodity which is sold or bought.
(Book V-9 – Buying and Selling)
At the end of the book 5, we have a very different advice:
Look, and if the Moon is in the region of ascent (north node) increasing in computation, then he who buys at this time will buy dearly and at an increase in its price over what is right. If the Moon is in the region of the descent (south node) and is diminishing in computation, then he who buys at this time will buy cheaply and at a price less than what is right. Look concerning the phases of the Moon. Its phases are when it emerges from under the Sun´s rays till it reaches left quartile of the Sun, and he benefits from this whose intention it is to buy and to sell sincerely and faithfully as he who buys at this time buys the commodity for a price that is right (and) in which there is neither cheapness nor expensiveness. When the Moon goes from left quartile of the Sun till it reaches opposition to the Sun, then selling benefits from this and commencing a litigation. When it moves from opposition to the Sun till it reaches right quartile of the Sun, then buying benefits from this and what is properly sought. When the Moon moves from right quartile of the Sun until it reaches the Sun´s position, then the people whose intention is proper and just benefit from this.
Book 5-43 On clarifying the phases of the Moon and the Head of the dragon and its tail, which indicate selling and buying and cheapness and expensiveness.
The first advice of Dorotheus is very similar to the ones we are used to in both electional and horary astrology. The second seems to be more mundane in nature: a way to know at what days the market will rise and fall, based on the phases of the moon and her variation in latitude as she moves in relation to the nodes.
According to Dorotheus in the paragraph above, when the moon rises in north latitude, the prices will rise, and will low with its latitude. During the first and last phases of the moon (around the new moon), the prices are “fair”, and seem to go to extremes close to the full moon. Before the full moon, sellers have advantage (the price rises), and after the full moon prices fall and buyers rejoice.
It is, obviously, very tempting to use this system in the modern stock market.
The moon and financial statistics
Modern financial astrologer Bill Meridian made an study about the moon that concluded that ” The study indicates that there is, on average, an upmove in the DJIA commencing in the days prior to the new moon and ending about six to seven days afterward (…) ” but advises that “This cycle is too weak to be relied upon solely as a trading timer” (Planetary Stock Trading, 3r edition, p. 32). Another study quoted by Meridian showed that “returns were 8.3% lower in weeks with a full moon than ones with a new moon. The lunar effect held in 43 of the 48 countries, and investing by it would have been profitable evenafter trading costs”.
Of course, statics, by its nature, don´t mix very well with astrology. Astrology assumes that all moments and things are different in nature; statistics assume that they are all the same. Any full moon is equal to every other full moon. As astrologers we know that this is false, and judgement is necessary in every chart, as mechanical methods don´t work with astrology.
I think a very interesting testimony is this one by astrologer Deborah Houlding:
I made my living as a ‘market trader’ during 2000, with practically no knowledge or understanding of money markets, only relying on my belief that lunar transits reflect periods of collective fear and panic – which they most certainly do! I still have very little understanding of money markets – I traded FTSE futures, just buying or selling within the open and close of the market and focusing on the periods where I predicted high tension and the sort of panic that creates rapid fluctuation, (protecting myself against heavy losses with a stop, but letting gains go much further). I did quite well – made a modest living out of it, which is actually a very successful result for someone who doesn’t understand financial issues and had a proclivity to think ‘sell’ but say ‘buy’ – can’t tell you the number of times the broker had to play back the tape to me, to prove that I, not they, had made the mistake!
I stopped trading after 9 months because I couldn’t stand the tension of that sort of lifestyle (daily activity involved staring at a green line, willing it to go downwards, and panicking every time it rose ) I tended to sell because I had more confidence in the power of fear over optimism in regard to the kind of sudden alterations I was working with. (…) What you say about not resting on astrology too heavily is very good advice and my experience would make me reluctant to encourage anyone to dabble about with this. I’d been advising a client on astrological trends and how they might affect daily trades for about 6 months before I decided to invest some money into it myself. I had done exceptionally well for him, and he was the one who explained how he traded and how I could do it for myself. He could never understand how I could know so much that benefited him and not be using the information for myself. I continued to advise him as I was trading myself, but he used my information much more profitably than I did – because he didn’t panic like I did, he had a whole lot more experience of the markets generally, a much greater capacity to hold his ground through minor dips – and he had mastered the art of saying either ‘buy’ or ‘sell’ correctly But at the end of this, I learned a tremendous amount about the power of transits at a collective level, and I’ve since believed that if anyone wants to prove astrology at a universal rather than individual level, the comparison of transits and market shifts is a great area to work in
I love this testimony as it discusses not only astrological technique as two other important factors: emotional control and technical analysis.
The emotional control is one of the most important parts of an strategy in the financial markets. If you want to learn more, I recommend the books by Alexander Elder.
The second point is that astrologers usually want to predict the stock market in a mechanical way: “mercury retrograde, down”, “sun trine jupiter, up”. Of course it doesn´t work this way. One, there are multiples markets at every single time. Not only stocks are in the game, but also bonds, forex, futures, commodities, swaps and all kinds of derivatives are being negotiated every day. Two, it is obvious that, even if the stockmarket (or humans for that matter) will be no longer here in 20 years, the stars will continue to go on their business. We can´t have a naive correspondence between heavens and earth.
In the above graphic, we can see the weekly chart of the S&P500, index that follows the 500 hundred bigger stocks from the US, in a wedge pattern without divergence. As the stockmarket created a down trendline (on the daily chart), our target is around the 1150 points.
Seeing the pattern, and understanding the technical analysis of the market, I believe we can apply astrology with a lot more wisdom. Instead of saying “mercury retrograde, stocks down”, we can see that the mercury retrograde came in a moment where the market was showing weakness by its own. This wednesday we will have sun square mars, with the moon opposition mars. When the times are appropriate for a fall on prices, this usually means some minor panic during the day.
The most important factor is probably Jupiter opposing saturn this month. In 2008, the trine aspect was surprisingly precise to mark the bottom of the market.
But I believe it is more interesting to watch and learn, as the aspects come, and we can see how the prices will face and react to known supports and resistances on the market.