Also by Ray Merriman :

Introduction in Financial Market Astrology


Where are we now in the big picture?

-by Raymond A. Merriman-

Excerpted from the introduction to Forecasts 2002
reprinted on this site with permission from the author.

The year 2002 begins the 9th year following the great Capricorn Climax of 1988-1993. It is also 6 years before the great Cardinal Climax will commence 2008-2015. Thus we are midway between two of the greatest geocosmic celestial patterns that form in a lifetime.

The Capricorn Climax involved a conjunction between Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and the Moon’s North Node, all in the sign of Capricorn. Each of these cycles by themselves last anywhere from 18 – 171 years, so this was truly a rare event to find all happening within such a short span of time. This period coincided with the end of the contraction phase of the Kondratieff Wave, the 54-year year economic cycle of boom and bust. It was the transition to a New World economy, one whose foundation was built upon technological advances in the field of communications that would revolutionize the way Humankind did business – and even related – with one another. Although the inventions to these advances in communications took place prior to 1988-1993, it wasn’t until this time that these inventions began to be applied in a powerful manner that would ultimately transform daily life on the planet. It was the application of the fax machine, the personal computer, and eventually the Internet.

In addition to these modern advances in communications, 300 million new consumers entered the free market economy as a result of the collapse of communism. The Berlin Wall came down, and the communist satellites became independent governments on their own in 1988-1989. The focus of world economy shifted to meet the needs and new demands of this huge influx of potential consumers. The fabric of the global community began to change. In fact, the very idea of a global community came to the forefront. With this, the stock markets of the world began to soar, as companies throughout the world revved up their production to meet the new growing demands. New opportunities for investment and speculation began to arise.

During this same time, there was a threat to world peace as Iraq invaded Kuwait. But the surprising result of this was that nations from all over the world came together in a cooperative coalition to defeat the threat of Iraq. The result of that victory was a "peace dividend," which again led to even more incredible growth and economic opportunity to the free market economies of the world.

The next great celestial "Climax" will occur in 2008-2015, when Saturn, Pluto, and Uranus will all enter cardinal signs, and form a T-Square to one another. Most of this will take place in 2008-2010, but the Uranus-Pluto square will not be completed until 2015. The last time these three planets came into a similar formation was in 1930-1933, which coincided with the Great Depression. It doesn’t have to manifest the same way this time, although it could. It simply means that life as we know it will again be transformed. The cycle of the Capricorn Climax, and all that it represents, will give way to a new social, cultural, political, and economic cycle. New inventions will take place and be applied on a large scale. Humankind will likely transform once again in the manner in which it relates with one another, and does business.

In between these two great "Climaxes" there is a midway point in which Saturn will form hard aspects (squares and oppositions) to first Neptune (1998), then Uranus (1999-2000), and finally Pluto (2001-2002). Since Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto are not involved in a major aspect to one another, it is not considered a celestial "Climax." However, it is nonetheless an important period because Saturn – the next longest planetary cycle in our solar system – aspects each of these further-out planets during this interval.

This "midway" cluster of these Saturnian aspects represents a crisis to the movement that began with the Capricorn Climax. And how this crisis is handled will likely determine the nature of what the Cardinal Climax will be like. So far, we have seen a bursting of the technology bubble, a sharp downturn in the technology-driven economies of the world, and another threat to world peace brought about through the terrorist attack on America. Either these are temporary phenomena that will be experienced and corrected during this period (1998-2002), or they represent the height of the cycle, and the beginning of the downturn that will last right into the Cardinal Climax period. I would like to say I know for certain which it will be. However, in truth, it depends not so much on astrology as it does upon Humankind’s ability to resolve the issues presented before it – which astrology has accurately described. The ultimate outcome depends as much on Humanity’s actions and reactions under a given aspect, as it does upon the nature of the aspect itself. In this case, the aspects are considered difficult (Saturn, plus squares and oppositions). But they leave by the end of this year (2002). However, during their presence, world leaders will make many important decisions and policies, and the consequences of those decisions and policies could last for many years afterwards. In fact, I expect the consequences to have an effect right until the time in which the Cardinal Climax period gets underway. What we do not know for certain is whether these decisions and policies will lead to an escalation of war and economic hardship, or peace and a renewal of economic prosperity. Our knowledge of cycles will help us gain insight into the possibility of each, as you will see in this year’s Forecasts Book.



In this section, we will analyze the astrological principles of the further out planets in our solar system, as they transit through their respective signs of the zodiac. Each of these planets will take 2-1/2 – 14 years to transit each sign. We will start from the furthest planet, Pluto, to the closest one observed in this section, which is Saturn.

Pluto in Sagittarius (1995-2008):

Pluto represents the principles of change and transformation. When such changes and transformation are made or accepted willingly, then there tends to be a sense of improvement over conditions that existed prior to this planet’s presence. When changes are resisted or forced, then there may be the accompanying sense of threat to one’s status quo. In extreme cases, it can represent danger to one’s very existence. Pluto transits tend to coincide with very powerful forces, and some of the key words generally associated with it are power, death, termination, censorship, and debt. Emotionally it tends to be very intense, even vindictive, jealous, or hateful.

Sagittarius governs the domains of foreign matters, ideology and religion, long distance travel, education, and publishing.

Pluto in Sagittarius, therefore, appears to be coinciding with the intense emotions that are centered around religious ideologies. It can be the stuff that terrorist actions are made from. One’s beliefs can be so strong, and one’s hatred of those who oppose or threaten those beliefs can be so strong, that one would be willing to die or kill for the "cause." Consequently the lives of many innocent people may be at risk during this period. Those risks may exist especially to those who travel abroad, and from those (or towards those) from foreign countries.

This can be a very polarizing combination. It is as if sides are formed, and either you are on one side or the other, and the two sides are at intense odds with one another. Neither side wants to yield, because the "beliefs" don’t allow for both to co-exist peacefully. They would rather fight to the death.

Forces of reform may be dominant now, particularly in the fields of education and religion. Many previously held ideas and concepts may be challenged, and as new ideas are considered, the old ones are transformed, or viewed in a new light. In this regard, some very good things can emerge. Ultimately, at its best, Pluto can a healing of old wounds that have their source in events of a long-standing nature. If both sides are willing to give a little, then great progress can be made, and the threat can turn into a healing experience. Until then, however, there is apt to be a sense that only one side can win, and the other side must lose.

In the final analysis, Pluto in Sagittarius relates to a period of extreme (even excessive) conviction of the rightness of one’s belief, to the point that others who do not share these beliefs are seen as a threat that must be destroyed. It is, in a sense, a "holy war." The solution, of course, is to accept and appreciate the diversity of beliefs that make up this world, and to find common ground.

Neptune in Aquarius (1998-2012):

Neptune represents the principles of sacrifice, peace, gentleness, compassion, sympathy, idealism, intuition, vulnerability to deception, and helpfulness. In the mundane world, it rules entertainment, music, the sea, drugs, pharmaceuticals, poisons, hospitals, prisons, and other institutions. It coincides with fads, glamour, and whatever captures the public’s imagination. It can also coincide with periods of mass confusion, delusion, paranoia, uncertainty, rumors, hoaxes, and hysteria.

Aquarius pertains to the domain of media, technology, computers, and humanitarian pursuits. The combination of Neptune in Aquarius can refer to all of the viruses that seem to constantly infect computers worldwide. It can also relate to chemical and biological warfare that spread hysteria throughout the masses. And it can relate to the huge swelling of willingness to help masses of humanity who may be suffering, or in need of aid. The combination can be extremely human, a tremendous surge in humanity’s desire to attain a world of peace and compassion. It can be extremely idealistic and imaginative, creative and mind-boggling in new inventions.

Neptune in Aquarius coincides with the wonderful means by which technology has allowed people from all over the world to communicate so easily with one another. There is the sense that indeed this world is just a small, intimate village in the grand scheme of things. In that regard, there are many instances in which well-known people (in the entertainment field) will reach out and use their influence to help others. Concerts and benefits to provide aid will likely be numerous (they have been). It also relates to vulnerability of these people to hoaxes and deception by others who would take advantage of any situation. It is a time that suggests swindling and hoaxes on a grand scale, and a time in which rumors may be started, or erroneous information disseminated, that result in periods of mass hysteria.

Uranus in Aquarius (1995-2003):

Uranus is the natural ruler of Aquarius, and thus many of the themes suggested in Aquarius (above) are repeated here. Uranus therefore represents the principles of "the future," excitement, newness, originality and inventiveness, suddenness of events, the unexpected. It governs the areas of computers and technology, but also outer space. It is very modernistic, futuristic, and even revolutionary. It is independent and doesn’t place great value upon tradition. Wherever it is in the chart, it tends to disrupt the old, and bring in new conditions.

It is now in Aquarius, the sign that it rules. Thus it is said to be strong here. This is a period in which the thoughts about the future are actually realized. The future is now! This period is highly inventive, exciting, and given towards speculation. It is characterized by high technology, and instant communication and immediate news. During this period, "talk radio" and "all news stations" became a cultural phenomenon. This also coincided with the Internet, which changed the way we communicate and did business with one another. It was, in essence, a revolution in the field of communications. It was also the period in which everyone started communicating via portable cell phones. It was a telecommunications renaissance. It was also the peak of the technology bubble followed by the burst, for Uranus represents extremes – extreme heights and extreme falls. The NASDAQ stock index between 1995-2001 testifies to this. So although this has been a very inventive and exciting time, it is also one in which Humankind’s fortunes have risen and fallen in extremes. This is likely to continue through 2003. It is not a time in which one can rest and feel very totally secure and stable, for sudden unexpected events are likely to continue to occur which disrupt and cause us to make changes in the way we live. The key will be to adjust quickly if one wishes to experience the most positive qualities of this dynamic combination. Inflexibility could now be a detriment.

Saturn in Gemini (2000-2003):

Saturn has more psychological correlates than perhaps any other planet used in astrology. Such principles as guilt, repression, fear, denial, and control are all under the auspices of Saturn. When viewed as a transiting body, Saturn tends to coincide with a sense of struggle, difficulties, delays, loss, and obstructions according to the areas of life to which it pertains in a chart. On the other hand, it also deals with responsibilities, accountability, attainment, focus, discipline, honor, integrity, and completion of tasks.

Gemini rules the field of communications. Its domain includes writing, speaking, sales, all modes of transportation, and basically any matter that comes under the heading of communications.

With Saturn in Gemini, then, there is a propensity to obstacles, delays, losses, and disappointments connected with the field of communications. The sudden decline of value in the telecommunication stocks fits with this combination. In fact, the sharp decline in the NASDAQ itself, which is comprised mainly of companies in the field of technology, can be associated with Saturn in Gemini. After all, technology and the computer essentially were at the base of the entire communications revolution that took place in the 1990’s. Commerce via the Internet was severely depressed shortly after Saturn entered Gemini in the later half of 2000. As of this writing, many dot com industries that took of in the late 1990’s, are barely struggling to survive as we begin the new decade. Not only that, but automobile manufacturers throughout the world have also suffered greatly. This was initially started when Firestone and Ford Motor Company became the target of probes related to hundreds of driving deaths, caused either by the faulty tires of Firestone, or the engineering of Ford Sports Utility vehicles that ran on those tires. Even the means of terrorist attacks can be related to Saturn in Gemini. Airplanes and cars and trucks are used as weapons of destruction, oftentimes containing dangerous explosives. As a result, many companies related to travel industry have suffered markedly during this transit.

On the positive side, Saturn in Gemini correlates with serious thinking and planning. Through the extra effort being dedicated to the problems confronting the fields of communication, cars and tires are being made more safely. Automobiles are addressing issues of greater fuel efficiency too. And technology and telecommunication businesses are re-organizing in a way that may actually result in profits, and not just espousing wild dreams of future success with no basis in reality. There is even talk that the media may adopt more responsible attitudes in the reporting of news, particularly with regards to sensitive military and political strategies of the government.

Beneath it all, Saturn in Gemini has been – and will likely continue to be – a more serious time for business, financial investing, and the governments of the world. The collective attitude is one of more seriousness, and less frivolity. It is a more somber mood today than it was prior to Saturn transiting Gemini. People demand more accountability for what is spoken and written, and they respect those who can deliver accuracy and the truth more than they did before. There is less tolerance for "fluff" and exaggeration. People want facts.

Raymond A. Merriman, 2002-2003

Back to main page