India's Covid crisis

(29 April 2021)  Tragedy continues to unfold in India this week as Covid infections are setting new record highs with each passing day.  Official statistics list 379,000 new infections and more than 3000 deaths today but experts suggest that the real numbers may be several times higher than that.  Many countries are now sending relief supplies of oxygen and vaccine ingredients to help India meet the challenge of this deadly second wave. 

With the vaccination program still in its early stages, the ongoing crisis seems likely to continue for the short term at least.  As I noted in a post two weeks ago, the horoscope of India (Aug 15, 1947) is highly afflicted until at least late May.  At that time, Saturn is due to turn retrograde and thus it would begin to separate from its opposition aspect from Venus, which is the all-important lagnesh (1st house ruler) in the chart.

We can also see the contours of the current crisis from the perspective of the swearing-in chart of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2019.  The moment of the oath-taking ceremony is astrologically significant as it highlights the influences that are likely to manifest during the term of the incoming administration.  PM Modi was sworn-in for his second term at 7.08 p.m. on 30 May 2019 in New Delhi.  While the swearing-in horoscope reflects Modi's potential political fortunes, it also symbolizes future trends for the country as a whole. 

The chart itself is hardly auspicious for his second term.  With Scorpio rising, lagnesh Mars is situated on the 8th house cusp conjunct malefic Rahu.  This is a very difficult placement.  According to traditional Vedic astrology, the 8th house represents major setbacks and disappointments and includes considerations of chronic diseases that involve notions of life and death.  That definitely seems to be the case here in 2021 as Modi tries to cope with a pandemic that is out of control.

The transit picture shows that Mars is quickly approaching a return to its natal position at 15 Gemini and the 8th house cusp.  Since this is a poor natal placement, the upcoming Mars conjunction is likely to highlight unwanted developments in the struggle against the virus.  The date of the exact Mars-Mars conjunction is May 8 and could be a time of maximum stress for Modi and the country as a whole.   It is therefore possible that things could get worse in the short term. 

We should also note that Mars represents both the 1st house (the nation as a whole) and the 6th house, representing the health of the nation.  Therefore, this difficult transit of Mars through the 8th house has heightened implications for the health crisis that is confronting India. 

We can also also see that the Lunar Nodes are prominent in the next several weeks as Ketu conjoins the Ascendant while Rahu conjoins the 7th house and the Sun (16 Taurus).  This slower-moving influence is a major affliction and reflects the gravity of the crisis on the national vitality (Sun).  While Mars transits usually pass fairly quickly, transits involving Rahu and Ketu are more fundamental and are typically found in times of extreme stress. 

The upcoming solar eclipse on June 10 is a date worth watching.  The eclipse takes place at 25 degrees of Taurus and therefore conjoins the natal Mercury, which happens to rule the 11th house (Virgo) of gains and healing (i.e. 6th house from the 6th house).  A breakthrough solution is therefore more likely on or around this date.  Based on this chart interpretation, India could see a sizable improvement of conditions after 1) the Mars conjunction on May 8 and 2) after the Saturn retrograde station on May 23 and finally 3) after the solar eclipse on June 10. 

 Weekly Market Forecast

US stocks have generally remained buoyant over the past week as investors focus on the promise of new stimulus from President Biden and an ever-obliging Federal Reserve. 

As bullish as the month of April was, the month of May is likely to be a different story as market seasonality weakens and Saturn becomes predominant as it is aspected by Mars and Rahu (North Lunar Node).  With Saturn strengthening and Jupiter weakening, markets are unlikely to continue their melt-up for much longer.  Monday's Sun-Saturn square could well be the first taste of May's bitter fruit. 

For more details, check out my weekly subscriber newsletter which is published every Saturday afternoon (EST).   I outline the key technical and planetary influences for US and Indian stocks for the short and medium term, as well as currencies, gold and oil.