North Korean missile over Japan raises tensions

(30 August 2017) Tensions on the Korean peninsula escalated again this week after North Korea fired a missile over Northern Japan.   The unprecedented missile launch over Japanese territory briefly shook financial markets and again brought Pyongyang's nuclear threat into focus.   Unless China can be more effective in reining in Kim Jong-un, US military action is looking more likely.  And with tough-talking Donald Trump looking for something to boost his failing presidency, the probability of some kind of conflict is higher than in recent memory. 

As I noted several weeks ago, the August 21st solar eclipse strongly hinted at some kind violent or military event in late August or more likely, in early September.  The horoscopes of some of key players appeared to be very active during the first week of September, especially around the time of the Mercury-Mars conjunction. 

The USA chart showed the natal Mars (0 Gemini) aspected by Saturn, Ketu (South Lunar Node) and Jupiter all at the same time.  Mars is the planet of war and conflict, of course, and these aspects indicate a much higher probability that the energy of Mars will be released in some obvious way in the days ahead.  The eclipse at 4 Leo is opposite the USA Moon (7 Aquarius) and it could be triggered around the time of the Mercury-Mars conjunction on Sep 4-5, and indeed for several days afterwards as the Moon-Mars opposition aspect becomes exact. 

Donald Trump's horoscope is no less activated as the solar eclipse was just one degree from his Mars and near his Ascendant.  The Mercury-Mars conjunction will therefore be a possible trigger for a lot of Mars-type energy.  This means that some kind of Mars-type event is more likely involving his actions and the USA.  It is possible that some of this difficult Mars energy may be manifesting in the destructive impact of hurricane Harvey in Texas since Mars is often prominent in situations involving suffering.  But I would think there would be some situations that more clearly reflect the more specific symbolism of Mars that involves violence, anger and conflict.

Trump's PEOTUS chart is also afflicted by the eclipse and this Mars transit.   The 9 November 2016 PEOTUS chart should be seen as an additional source of information about the direction of the Trump presidency.  The eclipse and the Mercury-Mars conjunction exactly hit the 12th house cusp. The fact that the Mercury-Mars conjunction at 4 Leo also aligns exactly with retrograde Uranus (4 Aries) gives an added potency to all of the above-mentioned charts.  Since Uranus is a slower-moving planet that is associated with instability and sudden changes, there is a greater likelihood of major developments around the time when it is aligned with faster moving planets such as Mars and Mercury. 

The Horoscope of the Korean Armistice (27 July 1953)

An interesting angle on this brewing conflict can be found in the horoscope that marks the ending of hostilities of the Korean War.  The armistice was signed at 10 a.m. on 27 July 1953 in Panmunjom.  The resulting chart should reflect the ups and downs of the 64-year old agreement as positive transits of Venus and Jupiter should coincide with dialogue and family reunification and negative transits involving Mars and Saturn should reflect rising tensions and military skirmishes.  

Immediately, we can see a potential problem since the the armistice was signed with 3 degrees of sidereal Virgo rising.  This is almost the same degree as the President-elect PEOTUS chart (5 Virgo) and therefore will get hit by next week's Mercury-Mars conjunction in a similar way.  The placement of Uranus at 4 Aries is therefore no less problematic as it coincides with the 8th house cusp of obstacles and setbacks.

Even more worrying is that the chart has Mars at 5 Cancer and thus the eclipse and the Mercury-Mars-Uranus alignment will activate not only the 12th and 8th house cusps but also this natal Mars.  It's not a full strength aspect but it is an alignment nonetheless. 

As an added burden, the near-stationary Saturn is exactly opposite Venus and moving towards a square aspect to the Ascendant in the coming weeks.  Saturn-to-Venus transits often indicate periods of unhappiness which in the context of this chart is likely to bring more problems in the troubled relationship between North and South Korea.

Another sign that the typical cycle of provocation, denunciation and negotiation may be changing for good is that the armistice chart will begin a new dasha period on 24 September.  After running a more or less positive Saturn dasha for the past 17 years, the chart switches to Mercury in September.  Since Saturn is somewhat strong in the chart given the close aspect from Jupiter, that may be one reason why the ceasefire has endured as long as it has, albeit without much trust or goodwill. 

However, the condition of Mercury in this chart is dire: hemmed in between malefics Mars and Ketu in the 11th house.  Dispositor Moon is conjunct disruptive Rahu and opposite Mars, Mercury and the Sun.  Not good.  Mercury's pivotal role is underlined by the fact that is the ruler of the chart since it rules the Ascendant Virgo.  The Mercury dasha will therefore likely invoke the volatile and violent energies of the planets that conjoin Mercury -- Mars and Ketu.  It is hard to see the ceasefire holding for the whole 19-year duration of the Mercury dasha period.

Outlook for North Korea

As I have suggested before, I think some kind of military action by either side in early September is a likely outcome.  I suspect the US could take some limited retaliatory measure at that time.  While the charts are pointing in the same direction, they are not clearly indicating the start of some major war.  The charts don't look bad enough for that in my opinion. 

Late November looks like it could be another time of rising tension and perhaps open conflict.  Dasha lord Mercury will conjoin with Saturn at the bottom of the armistice chart just before Mercury turns retrograde.  This will likely mark the beginning of a new period of military tensions which will last into early 2018.  This November-February window actually looks more volatile than the current period.  For this reason, I think that whatever happens in early September will not even begin to resolve the stalemate with Kim Jong-un. 

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks have remained fairly mixed over the past week.  US stocks have edged higher as economic growth looks relatively strong after today's upward revision of Q2 GDP.  The Dow is trading at 21,880 so far at midday on Wednesday.  Indian stocks have also not moved much since last Wednesday as the Sensex finished today at 31,646.  I thought we might have seen more downside, although Tuesday's dip on the North Korean missile launch did reflect some nervousness in the markets as Mars conjoined Rahu.  However, the general financial outlook has been sufficiently positive to offset other concerns.

The rest of this week lacks clear short term aspects.  I would not be surprised to see moves in either direction.  Next week looks more vulnerable to declines as Mercury stations direct while conjunct Mars. The larger issue is that Saturn is gradually moving into close alignment with Rahu, the North Lunar Node.  This is a pairing of two slow-moving negative influences.  Saturn is again moving forward and will make its exact alignment with Rahu in early October.  This influence suggests that significant gains are unlikely until then and we are more likely to see the market pullback further.

For more details and analysis on market trends for this week, this month and this year, please check out my weekly MVA Investor Newsletter.  The newsletter is published every Saturday and includes extended discussion of US and Indian stock markets, as well as gold, oil and major currencies.