US sees surge in new Covid cases

(23 June 2020) The coronavirus continues to occupy center stage in our lives here in mid-2020.  Most countries remain in some state of lockdown along with suppression measures like mask-wearing or social distancing.  For the most part, the successful efforts of past two months have at least significantly reduced the number of infections to the point were reopening is now considered fairly safe.

But the picture is less encouraging in the US.  While some states started to reopen at six weeks ago, infection levels are still stubbornly high and have not followed the steeper declines seen in Europe and Asia.  Moreover, several southern US states have seen a significant rise in cases in recent days.  This is not only includes infections which could be an artifact of wider testing but hospitalizations and deaths as well.  This is a clear indication that the virus is still not under control in places like California, Texas, Arizona and Florida. 

In a previous post, I thought there was a very real chance for a second and third wave of Covid-19.  However, I didn't give proper attention to the possibility that the current first wave would remain a problem for this long.  The afflictions in President's Trump's horoscope pointed towards the possibility of a second and third wave in the fall and around the time of the New Year.  Trump's chart is still under heavy affliction as Saturn (6 Capricorn) sits atop of his 6th house of health and illness.  As a rule, Saturn makes most things worse.

If we look at the Inauguration horoscope for the Trump presidency, we can see how current planetary alignments may well be prolonging the first wave of Covid.  The Inauguration chart (Jan 20, 2017 12.00 p.m.) symbolically represents the key events and conditions in the US over the course of the president's four-year term.  For health matters, we should analyze the condition of the Sun (vitality), the 1st house and its ruler, Mars (the nation as a whole), the 6th house which contains the sign of Virgo (health), and its ruler Mercury. 

Clearly, Saturn (6 Capricorn) has recently stationed and turned retrograde and remains conjunct the Sun.  This is a reflection of the general weakness of national vitality and presidential leadership in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Lagnesh (1st house ruler) Mars was just recently conjunct with its natal position at 0 Pisces.  This excessive Mars energy likely reflects the negative outcomes of Covid disease as well as high level of tensions and anger surrounding the violent race protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of police.  The theme of emotional upset and volatility is also seen by the opposition of Uranus (15 Aries) to the Moon (15 Libra). The Moon symbolizes the nation's emotion state while Uranus represents the desire for freedom and the breaking of traditional bonds.  That is very much the case in these protests against Confederate monuments which have links with the slave era.  This Moon-Uranus aspect therefore describes the unpredictable and somewhat irrational behavior that seems to be taking hold in the US this summer.  

But the worry over the recent resurgence in cases largely corresponds with the start of the Mercury retrograde cycle last week.  Mercury is an important planet for the nation's health since its ruler, Virgo, is placed in the 6th house of health.  Whenever transiting or natal Mercury is weakened, then the nation's well-being is more likely to be compromised.  The retrograde condition of the 6th house ruler, Mercury, is one such planetary weakness.  For this reason, the worrying rise of infections in the Southern states may well be connected to Mercury's current retrograde cycle. 

Looking ahead, we could see a peak of this latest surge sometime in early July.  At that time, Mercury will conclude its retrograde cycle and station direct in exact opposition to its natal position at 12 Sagittarius.  The affliction will be likely be magnified due to the square aspect from Mars (12 Pisces) around July 8.  Therefore, US may have to endure this first wave setback a while longer, at least until Mercury separates from Mars and returns to direct motion (July 12).  

Weekly Market Forecast

Stocks have been moving sideways in recent days as Federal Reserve stimulus attempts to neutralize the economic fallout of rising unemployment rolls.  As expected, last Thursday's Mercury retrograde station did see some pullback in US markets.   This week has been more positive, however, although last night's 'Navarro flash crash' in the Futures underlined the vulnerability of the market to bad news. 

The planets this week seem more difficult.  Sunday's solar eclipse has so far been a non-event although transiting Mars will activate the eclipse point  (6 Gemini) this Saturday by square aspect.  According to astrological theory, eclipses release their energy -- for good or ill -- when they are aspected by another planet.  The Mars aspect here suggests a more negative outcome.  Moreover, we can see that Mars will form an alignment with the Lunar Node (Rahu) and bearish Saturn for the rest of the week.  But the late week offers a hint of redemption as Venus ends its retrograde cycle and aligns with the Sun.  Venus-Sun alignments have a positive bias, although that could be partially offset by the negative Mars influence.  I would expect an eventful week regardless.

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.

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