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The U.S. military dropped one of the largest nonnuclear bombs in its arsenal Thursday on an Islamic State tunnel and cave complex in Eastern Afghanistan, the Pentagon said… Mr. Trump, when asked if the action served as a warning to North Korea, said, “I don’t know if this sends a message, it doesn’t make any difference if it does or not. North Korea is a problem, the problem will be taken care of.” Jessica Donati, Ben Kesling, and Dion Nissenbaum, “U.S. Drops ‘Mother’ Bomb on ISIS in Afghanistan,” Wall Street Journal, April 14, 2017.
North Korea upped its warmongering with Donald Trump today in a series of menacing boasts threatening to 'ravage' US troops amid fears the two countries are heading for war. The secretive state vowed to 'pulverize' US bases and the South Korean capital Seoul if it was threatened by the US military, which is carrying out drills on the Korean peninsula. A US aircraft carrier group is steaming towards the region. It claimed it would 'ruthlessly ravage' the US if Washington attacked. China warned the region could go to war 'at any moment'. Jessica Chia and David Burke, “North Korea Makes Menacing Boost It Will Take on Donald Trump,” www.dailymail.co.uk, April 14, 2017.
George Washington's words may seem hard and cold today, but history has proven him right again and again. "To be prepared for war,'' he said, "is one of the most effective means of preserving peace.'' – Ronald Reagan, “Address to the Nation on National Security,” February 26, 1986, www.reagan2020.us.
Good thing Mercury is now retrograde. Venus too. The combination, which only lasts April 9-15, coincided with a rather surreal week in which it suddenly seemed that the world is really going mad, and that once again, in the words of former USA President Jimmy Carter, “The only impediment to world peace is world leaders.” Or, perhaps, we should simply comply with the more current and popular thought that “…peace is only attainable through military strength.”
The flurry of military threats throughout the world was not well received by several equity markets late last week, but very favorable to precious metals and U.S. treasury markets. Many equity markets had been doing quite well until April 13. The Netherlands AEX, for example, soared to 521.48 on April 12, its highest mark since December 2007. On Thursday, April 13, after the launch of the “mother bomb,” the AEX gapped down. No other European markets made new monthly highs last week, for a case of intermarket bearish divergence in the region. The ASX index in Australia, also fared quite well, soaring to a new 8-year high last week.
In Russia and Japan, it was just the opposite. The Russian MICEX index fell to 1913 on April 14, its lowest level since early August and far below its all-time high of 2293.99 recorded on January 3, 2017. Prior to Venus turning retrograde six weeks ago, many expected the new Trump presidency to benefit Russia. Clearly, this has not been the case. Maybe that will change again as Venus turns direct this weekend. In Japan, the Nikkei fell to 18,285 on Friday, April 14, its lowest mark since December 5, 2016.
In the USA, both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the NASDAQ Composite continued falling from their all-time highs of March 1 and April 5 respectively.
In other markets, Gold rallied to 1290.70 and Silver to 1860, their highest levels since the election, and in line with our long-term thoughts expressed in January’s 2017 webinar and Forecast Book, where we provide our upside price targets for the year. U.S. Treasuries also soared to new cycle highs as a safe haven, and also as President Trump expressed his desire for interest rates to remain low and the U.S. Dollar to fall further.
SHORT-TERM GEOCOSMICS AND LONGER-TERM THOUGHTS
In his separate comments, Putin also claimed that Russia had information that chemical weapons would be planted in Syria in order to discredit Assad's regime. He repeated his call for an independent U.N. investigation into last week's suspect gas attack, near Idlib… " Vladimir Putin went further, comparing America's accusations of a chemical attack in Syria to its justification of the Iraq invasion. "We saw this before," Russia's president told reporters. "It reminds me of the events of 2003." Alexey Eremenko, Alastair Jamieson & Abigail Williams, “Russia Declares US Relations in ‘Worst Period’ Since the Cold War,” April 11, 2017, www.cnbc.com.
To say that last week was both meaningful and full of uncertainties (and probably misrepresentation of facts) would be an understatement. However, it would be quite consistent with the themes of both Mercury and Venus retrograde at the same time, plus the Sun making its conjunction with Uranus in Aries, as part of the cardinal T-square involving both Jupiter and Pluto. The suddenly escalating war themes are, of course, related to the Sun/Uranus conjunction in Aries. This conjunction can also coincide with sudden eruptions from Mother Nature in the form of fires, earthquakes, volcano eruptions, and tornadoes. However, the conjunction ends this weekend, so the high level of fear and stress on the planet may begin to recede. With Venus in Pisces, we can always wish for peace. However, Venus will also remain in a square aspect to Saturn through April 21, so our Piscean wishes may not come to fruition, as regards peace or love.
This weekend will also mark the end of Venus retrograde (March 4-April 15). The end of the retrograde is also known as the “direct” date of a planet– in this case, the date that Venus resumes its forward motion through the zodiac again. Venus direct has a very consistent correlation to the end and beginning of primary cycles in world equity and other financial markets, within an orb of 12 trading days. That is, Venus direct is one of the strongest geocosmic correlates to trend reversals in financial markets. Therefore, we need to be alert to the possibility that these lows in stocks, and highs in treasuries, crude oil, and precious metals, may be readying for a reversal. It is not uncommon for financial markets to start a counter-trend move within a few days of Venus turning retrograde, and then to end that move and resume the former trend near the direct date, as described in the studies of The Ultimate Book on Stock Market Timing Volume 3: Geocosmic Correlations to Trading Cycles.
This particular Venus retrograde is important because it began in the middle of Aries, and ends in the latter degrees of Pisces. This is an 8-year cosmic phenomenon. That is, every 8 years, Venus will go retrograde (and direct) in nearly the same part of the zodiac. The last time Venus went retrograde in mid-Aries was 8 years ago, on March 6, 2009. That just happened to be the stock market bottom of “The Great Recession.” As speculated in this column early in the year, as well as in our Forecast 2017 Book, wouldn’t it be ironic (and perfect symmetry) if the great bull market that started under the last Venus retrograde in Aries ended near to this – its next – instance of Venus retrograde in the same sign? Well, Venus went retrograde on March 4, 2017, and as of today, the all-time high still remains March 1, 2017. Not a bad call for Financial Astrology.
Now we wait for this primary cycle to end, and the next one to commence, and see if the March 1 high will hold in that next cycle. If it does, it will further underscore astrology’s value to society, and in particular, its potential role as an important tool in the important task of financial market timing, and the important process of financial planning. Even if equities make a new all-time high, this current Venus retrograde behavior still illustrates Financial Astrology’s uncanny correlation to turns in financial markets, which holds immense value to traders.