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Ep. 76 Transcript: Financial Astrology with Ray Merriman

The Astrology Podcast

Transcript of Episode 76, titled:

Financial Astrology with Ray Merriman

With Chris Brennan and guest Ray Merriman

Episode originally released on May 10, 2016

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Note: This is a transcript of an audio podcast. We strongly encourage you to listen to the audio version, which includes inflections that may not translate well when written out. Transcripts are created by using a combination of speech recognition software and human transcribers, and the text probably contains some errors and differences from the audio version. Please submit any corrections to Chris Brennan by email at astrologue@gmail.com.

Transcribed by Andrea Johnson

Transcription released December 7th, 2019

Copyright © 2016 TheAstrologyPodcast.com

CHRIS BRENNAN: Hi, my name is Chris Brennan, and you’re listening to The Astrology Podcast. This episode was recorded on Monday, May 9, 2016, starting just after 12:00 PM, in Denver, Colorado, and this is Episode 76 of the show. For more information about how to subscribe to the podcast and help support the production of future episodes by becoming a patron, please visit theastrologypodcast.com/subscribe. 

In this episode, I’m going to be talking with astrologer Ray Merriman about financial astrology. Ray is one of the more well-known financial astrologers in the astrological community, and he’s currently serving as the president of the International Society for Astrological Research. You can find out more information about his work on his website at mmacycles.com.

Before we get started with the interview, I have just a few announcements about the prizes that we’ll be giving away later this month as part of our new monthly lottery for patrons of the show. As I announced in our newsletter recently, I’m starting a monthly giveaway this month for patrons of the show who donate on the $5 and $10 tiers, and our first drawing will be at the end of May during the next forecast episode.

I just got together all the prizes for this month, and I wanted to announce what they are. So there will be three digital prizes that will be given away to three lucky patrons on the $5 tier. The first is an .mp3 of a lecture by Demetra George titled, Integrating Traditional and Modern Methods, in which Demetra teaches you how to integrate classical mythological archetypes and ancient astrological techniques with modern psychological interpretation. 

This lecture is actually a nice preview of an intensive on Hellenistic astrology that Demetra is hosting this summer in Portland where she’ll focus on a set of specific guidelines that help the astrologer to understand which factors incline a planet’s expression towards its best outcome for the individual versus which factors undermine the planet’s agenda. You can find out more information about the lecture and the intensive on Demetra’s website at demetrageorge.com.

The second prize for the $5 tier is a new lecture that Ben Dykes recently released titled, Two Special Configurations: Aversion and Decimation. The lecture describes two important types of sign-based aspects known as aversion and decimation. Aversion occurs when a planet is not aspecting another planet or a sign, while decimation occurs when one planet is in the 10th sign relative to another, so that it has a dominating relationship to the other planet. This lecture is available for sale on Ben’s website at bendykes.com.

The third prize is an e-book by Kelly Surtees titled, Saturn in Sagittarius: Focus Your Fire. In this 60-page e-book, Kelly provides a number of tips and helpful insights about the passage of Saturn through Sagittarius, including some interpretations for how each sign of the zodiac will be influenced by this two-year-long transit. For more information about this e-book, see Kelly’s website at kellysstrology.com.

So those are the three prizes that we’ll be giving out at the end of this month for those on the $5 tier. For patrons of the show that are on the $10 tier, we have a special prize that we’ll be raffling off at the end of this month, which is a full pass to the online astrology conference that is occurring later this year titled, Breaking Down the Borders 4

This conference is organized by the International Academy of Astrology, and it will take place from November 18th to the 20th, 2016. This three-day-long conference will feature 48 speakers from around the world giving live lectures through an innovative live webinar format. You can find out more information about the conference at astrologyconference.org.

The organizers of the conference have graciously donated a full, 12-lecture conference package with the podcast valued at $360, and one lucky patron will win the package at the end of this month. All you have to do to enter the giveaway is become a patron of The Astrology Podcast through our page on Patreon at the $5 or $10 tier, and then we will announce the winners of this month’s giveaway at the end of the month on the next forecast episode. 

If you’re already a patron of the show on one of these tiers then you’re all set, and you’ll be entered into the drawing at the end of the month. If you are a patron of the show on one of the lower tiers then all you have to do is upgrade to the $5 or $10 tier, and then you’ll be automatically entered. 

The only restriction for patrons is that your max monthly pledge has to be set at either the same as or more than the amount equivalent to what funding four episodes would cost in a month on that specific tier. If you have the max pledge set to less than this then you would not be qualified to enter into the drawing, although there’s still time to adjust that if you’d like to be entered in for a chance to win.

Part of the purpose of the new monthly raffle is to raise money through Patreon in order to help improve the audio quality of the show by sending out high quality microphones to guests prior to interviewing them, which I’m actually trying out for the first time in this interview with Ray, and I think it turned out pretty well.

More details about the monthly raffle and links to find out more information about each of the prizes can be found on the description page for this episode on theastrologypodcast.com.

All right. With those announcements out of the way, let’s get started with the show by welcoming my guest.

Hi, Ray. Welcome to the show.

RAY MERRIMAN: Thanks, Chris. Thanks for having me on.

CB: All right. I’m excited about this episode because I’ve been looking for somebody to talk about this topic of financial astrology for a while now, and I know that you’re one of the most prominent astrologers in the community that really specializes in that topic. So before we fully get into it, I wanted to get a little bit of background on yourself for people that may not be familiar with your work, or some of the younger astrologers that listen to the show, and just find out who you are and what your background is in astrology.

So when did you get started? How long have you been practicing astrology?

RM: Well, I started in 1967. That’s when I first came across the subject of astrology while I was a graduate student at Michigan State University, and that happened to be the same summer, I believe, that Circle Bookstores in Ann Arbor opened up. So I spent my whole summer between school years at Circle Bookstore just studying everything I could–from Dane Rudhyar, Marc Edmund Jones to E.O. Carter, Margaret Hone, Alan Leo–all of the books that were available at that point, so I was pretty much self-taught.

The year after that, about one year later, I actually started typing up interpretations of natal charts by request from people who knew I was interested in astrology. That actually launched my profession career because I began to charge after only one year of studying. And it wasn’t until three or four years later that I realized just how much I didn’t know, but I studied up and took my exams with AFA, the professional exam, in 1972 I believe it was. At the time, they told me I was the youngest person ever to pass their professional exam.

So yeah, I’ve been studying it since 1967 and have been a professional certified astrologer with AFA in 1972 and of course ISAR after that.

CB: How old were you when you got certified by the AFA?

RM: 24-25, something like that.

CB: Wow. Yeah, that is pretty young.

RM: Yeah.

CB: Eventually, by the mid-1970s, you started publishing some of your first books, and you also started transitioning into doing something related to financial astrology, right?

RM: Well, the first thing I did after becoming professional, around the time of that I was teaching astrology, and I was the only teacher of astrology in the Detroit area other than the Church of Light that was going on. That was 1971-72. Then I began annual conferences known as the Aquarian Revelation Center, ARC. We did conferences 1972 to 1983, every year for 12 years. 

So that was the beginning part of my work with astrology. I began lecturing and teaching across the country. 1974-75, had a regular consulting practice going on, 20 consultations a week regularly until I got into financial astrology, and that began in 1978. But I really didn’t give up my consulting practice as an astrologer till about 1981-82 when I entered the field of commodities, and then it just became too much to do, daily analysis of the markets, plus to see 20 clients a week.

So that’s kind of my professional development. My first book I wrote, I started in 1974 with a book called Evolutionary Astrology: The Journey of the Soul Through the Horoscope, and I had this vision at the time that it should be handwritten calligraphy. So I wrote the book, but it took me three years and four different calligraphers to finally get it handwritten and published in 1977. 

And while all that was happening, while the calligraphy was taking place, I also wrote another book called The Solar Return Book of Prediction, which also got published 1977. I think it’s like its 25th or 26th printing now. 

CB: Wow. And that was all self-published right from the start?

RM: Yeah, I formed my own publishing company. Around the same time that I had launched my first two books, I also started publishing other people. I think we published 10 other astrologers. The company was known as Seek It Publications. 

So yeah, I was self-published but it became a publishing company. The other countries began to translate it and publishing it with their publishing houses. But I still maintain that company, Seek It Publications, and I do continue publishing my own work. And the advantage of that, Chris, for me, is most of my material now is dated material. 

You know that if you go to a publishing house and ask them to publish and they accept you, it’s going to be a one- to two-year process, and by that time, a lot of this material is already starting to get dated that I do. I keep my own publishing company and publish my own work specifically for the reason that I want it out as soon as it’s ready.

CB: Sure. That’s makes sense. I mean, it’s all heading in that direction anyways. It seems like you were two, or three, or maybe four decades ahead of your time because now everybody’s moving towards self-publishing. You’ve been there for three or four decades now, so you were anticipating important, upcoming trends.

RM: I did. I talked to Wayne Johnson who publishes a lot of astrologers. Well, he actually was a printer for a lot of astrology publishing houses back then. He said, “Ray, you’re doing it the right way. If I had to do it all over again, I would do what you’re doing. Just find a good printer, do the work yourself, and get it printed.” That worked out pretty good for me, and it is nice to have his encouragement behind that.

CB: Sure. That’s interesting. Your first book comes out in ‘77. But you said right around that time, around ‘78, is when you also started making that transition into financial astrology. So what prompted that?

RM: Well, one of my clients came down and asked me if there was any correlation between the stock market and astrology. She had an investor who was interested in making investments based upon her advice that astrology might help him. She didn’t know anything about it, and she thought to ask me is there anything to it. I said, “Well, I don’t know. But if you’re willing to pay me to spend a week doing research, and you provide me incorporation dates and price charts of various companies, I’ll look at it. I’ll do the research and I’ll give you my opinion.”

And so, we both had a mutual client at that time who was a Roman Catholic priest. He actually liked astrology, and he had a farm in central Michigan. We agreed that I would go spend a week with him on his farm, and she would give me the materials I need and I would do the research. Now this was in March of 1978 when the Dow Jones was only trading between about 800 and 900; that was the value of the Dow.

CB: Wow.

RM: It didn’t change much. She gave me the charts of 20 different companies, their incorporation dates, and I said, “You know, five of these look good. If you invest in these five at this time, based upon what I’m seeing as a correlation with these studies I just did and then get out on this date in September, let’s see if it works.” 

So they did. They put in $10,000 in those companies. In six months it was $12,800. They made 28%. And I thought, “You know, this is interesting. Maybe there’s something to it,” and that got my interest and I began to study it more full-time then.

CB: Sure. So over the next two or three years, you get much more intensely focused on it to the extent that by the early ‘80s, you decide to make that your primary focus?

RM: Yes. And what actually launched me more in the ‘80s was the field of commodities. I was giving a talk in Tucson, Arizona, my annual forecast speech. I’ve been doing that since 1976, and I continue to do that. 

So I was giving my annual forecast talk, my tour, in Tucson, and a gentleman and his wife came up afterwards and asked me if they could invite me to dinner. He wanted to show me something that he noticed with astrology and the gold market. Now that was the very week that gold was making its all-time high of $850 an ounce. It was right around January 15, 1980.

I went to his house, and it was Walter, Walter Bressert, who was a legend in commodities. He said, “Ray, I’ve noticed three things. When Mars goes retrograde and direct, it’s the high and the low of the year, and it keeps reversing around that time.” Now it’s only happened three or four times since gold started trading freely, which was 1971 or ‘72. 

And I looked at his chart, and I said, “Yeah, you’re right, Walter. There is a correlation here. I’m surprised. I would have never thought that. He said, “If I give you these daily charts and allow you to come to my workshops on cycles studies, would you consider doing research and see if there’s any other correlations between astrology and the gold market?” And of course, I was all on that. That sounded great to do.

And so, I began to study with him. I was his apprentice. I began to do my research on all of the aspects of all of the planets, all the retrograde and direct motions, and the turning points, the cycle turning points in gold that were present. Finally, in 1981-’82, I finished the book, The Gold Book; 344 pages on all of the studies that I did of all of the daily trading of gold correlating with those aspects. 

I thought about at least 17 major correlations, and he was quite impressed with it. He sent it to Financial News Network at that time, which was before CNBC. They loved it. They flew me in to Los Angeles for two interviews: one on the Money Talk show, which was a Saturday, one-hour show, and one was a five-minute presentation on the Financial News Network’s contribution by different analysts. 

By the end of that weekend, Chris–I had a newsletter. I had 35 subscribers. But after that weekend, I had 350 subscribers.

CB: Wow.

RM: Suddenly, that business exploded and that’s when I decided that I have to pay more attention to that right now and do less personal consultation work. The real, larger part of my career is a financial astrologer.

CB: Sure, that makes sense. So that was a very sudden transition. That was not a gradual tip-toeing into that. You really dove right into the field.

RM: Yeah. And you know what it was astrologically? It was Uranus transiting my Venus-Jupiter conjunct in Scorpio in the 2nd house.

CB: Nice. That will do it.

RM: Doesn’t that sound like a Uranian experience?

CB: Yeah, that’s certainly a textbook case. Okay, so maybe broadly speaking, for people that don’t have much background either in that specific application of astrology or to astrology in general, how do you define financial astrology, or how would you define it?

RM: Well, I think financial astrology is the correlation of financial markets or economic events to astrological factors. Specifically, what I’m looking at is a financial market timer who uses astrology, is a combination of planets that come together in a short amount of time with aspects, retrograde and direct. We call that a ‘cluster’. I’m using that cluster, the midpoint of that cluster as indicative of a reversal in trends, short-term trends, in different financial markets.

So that’s it. I’m more of a market timer, and financial astrology for me is the application of astrology to financial markets.

CB: Okay, so the most typical application is using astrology to get an edge in the financial markets?

RM: Yes. It helps you time the turning points in financial markets. It doesn’t tell you ahead of time if there’s going to be a high or a low. It just says whatever the direction the market is moving into that time, the psychology changes, and hence, the price changes; the direction of the price changes.

Now that’s the trading part of it. But as a trader, that becomes invaluable because to a trader, timing is everything. The closer you can get to that exact top or bottom before reversal happens, the less risk you’re going to have, the more reward you’re going to have. The maxim for traders is you want maximum profit potential with minimum market exposure, and so astrology addresses that problem very nicely.

CB: Sure. You mentioned also that there might be other applications, such as looking at maybe natal or transiting indications for financial success. Would you say that that’s a subset that some financial astrologers do, or are most people really more focused on the markets?

RM: Well, that kind of goes along with vocational astrology. If you’re a trader, yeah, that’s your profession. You want to know, first of all, are you meant for that, is it consistent with the themes of your chart. 

I mean, everybody has to deal with money, just like we have to deal with food. Everybody has a different diet. Everybody has a different approach towards money. Everybody has a different approach towards their relationships.

In the natal chart, you can see, is this person suitable or have an inherent nature, predisposition that would lend them to be traders, investors, maybe real estate people? Maybe they would do better in bonds. Maybe they’d do better as an accountant. You can see from the chart where the strengths lie for people in finances. 

Even within trading, we have different types of temperament. There are those who like to take a position and they like to stay with it for several weeks, even months, but they don’t want to stay with it maybe more than three or six months. So that’s the type of trader that may be more Saturnian or more fixed in their natal chart setup. Then you’ve got those who like to catch the bottom or the top, and they’re very precise. You see very Virgo-ish, mutable, maybe even some Martian qualities to them. 

You can kind of tell which type of a trader, what type of an investor, what type of an approach a person is given towards their financial world by their natal chart. That is a type of financial astrology. It kind of combines with vocational astrology tendencies.

CB: Sure. So looking at proclivities and maybe areas where a person might excel, but also potentially drawbacks or things that they might want to be careful about, where they could get themselves into trouble.

RM: Yes. And even on top of that you can see the time periods when a person is likely to make correct judgments or good judgments. They consider all of the things so the analysis that they do tends to work out with success. And then you can see those other periods where they’re apt to miss critical things in making a successful decision as far as a trade or investment.

I know for myself, I do my best when Saturn is making a trine aspect to some of my natal planets. Those are my most successful times, maybe because I’m a Capricorn. But I just know I’m very analytical. If I do my homework, do my analysis right and come to this conclusion, it usually works out.

On the other hand, when I’m under Jupiter transits, which most people think are great for trading, it’s not so great for me. I am overlooking something, and I’m perhaps taking on too many positions. And even though it works out well, I may stay with it too long so that that profit starts turning into less profit, even a loss.

So transits make a difference as far as your timing and your judgment, and the natal chart is important because that supersedes everything. Everything’s the natal chart, I think. The basic success in life, the basic path in life is shown in the natal chart. And if it indicates you have a proclivity towards trading or investment and you’re following that path, I also think you’ll do well.

CB: Interesting. Another chart that you mentioned briefly earlier is the inception chart for companies and looking at the inception chart for business entities when they’re incorporated in order to see different things pertaining to that, almost like a natal chart as well, except for a company.

RM: Yes. In modern-day astrology we have these two camps. We have the Vedic camp, the siderealists, and then we have the tropical, Western astrologer. We have this in financial astrology when it comes to if you’re using a chart to pick a stock. Are you going to use the incorporation chart or the first date chart?

CB: So the first trade chart?

RM: Yeah, the first trade chart. Bill Murdy has been a big proponent and has advanced that idea that the first trade chart shows the performance of stock, and it does work pretty good. I still am a believer in where I started, which is the incorporation chart. It’s very important for determining trends and turning points in the market.

To me, when you incorporate that talks about the attention you’re from the world for that company. So if the incorporation chart shows maybe a favorable Jupiter transit coming up in the natal chart, there’s likely to be some good news about it, and it does correlate with rising stock prices. On the other hand, if it’s under a hard aspect from Saturn to its natal planet, the incorporation chart’s natal planet, it’s likely to get some not-so-good news. Maybe there’s losses, maybe somebody resigns, maybe there’s a problem with the CEO, and the price goes down.

So I still find that works, in my opinion and from my interest, most effectively when I’m going to try to buy a stock.

CB: Yeah, I’ve had a little bit of experience with that myself. Kepler College, for example, it had 10 different charts that different people used for the school. But for some reason, that incorporation chart always seemed to work the best in terms of timing things with transits afterwards…

RM: That’s interesting.

CB: …so I tend to lean in that direction as well.

RM: Yeah, we’re sympatico there. I do, too.

CB: Sure. Back to the financial markets and astrology. One of the things that always struck me about this–I’ve never gotten into this or as far into this as I’d like–it seemed like one of the, not the drawbacks, but the necessities is that you really have to be both good at astrology but also good at finance in general and good at market trading in general in order to do this. 

This isn’t something where you can just walk in off the street with a little bit of knowledge of astrology and suddenly you’re a billionaire or something like that, right?

RM: That’s absolutely correct. And that’s true of almost any station in life. Astrology works best when you apply it to other disciplines in life, and the same thing is true with markets. You can’t go into markets and say, “I’m going to use just astrology.” You really have to understand patterns of the chart. You need to understand some technical studies. You need to understand how the planet’s going to affect the mundane world, the economic world. And then you’ve got to anticipate how is that going to affect which market at which time.

So yes, I would say astrology needs to be applied with other disciplines in market timing to be successful at trading.

CB: Maybe an analogy could be like you wouldn’t want to do medical astrology without knowing medicine ahead of time.

RM: Absolutely. That’s a very good analogy.

CB: Okay. At this point in your career, what markets do you focus on in particular? Do you still focus primarily on commodities like gold, or do you have other things that you look into as well?

RM: No, I’ve branched out from the gold market. That’s still my favorite market, gold and silver. I consider precious metals–that’s my forte. My reputation is based upon that; that’s what most of my clients like. But I also have a substantial number of clients who are interested in stock markets, so I follow stock indices like the Dow Jones Industrials, S&P, the NASDAQ, and then a lot of foreign markets like the Japanese Nikkei, the German DAX, the Australian ASX, the Swiss markets. There’s a lot of stock indexes I follow.

I also follow currencies pretty closely–the dollar versus the euro currency, the Japanese yen, the Swiss franc, the euro/yen combination–and then treasury markets, crude oil, and soybeans. Those are the markets I follow. There’s basically about 10 markets in about 18-19 different indexes.

CB: That last one was funny because that goes back to the Medieval tradition where they had Arabic Parts for different commodities like the Arabic Part of Lentils, which I think they used to time different markets in the Medieval period with respect to lentils. But it’s interesting there’s that modern equivalent of that with soybean.

RM: I’d like to hear about that or read about that. I’m only looking at the transits in the skies, basically. I’m not comparing it to any other charts. And I don’t use Arabic points, or trans-Neptunian planets. I don’t even use midpoints that much. I’m just fine with the grain markets–the New and the Full Moon report, especially eclipses. Soybeans, anything dealing with Venus transits are very important. When I see these things setting up, when I see the soybean market or corn market going up for a couple of weeks or going down for a couple of weeks that helps me identify the turning point and it works pretty good. 

Now beyond that I should also say–because you might also have some people interested in farming and agriculture who are listening–astrology’s very good for determining the type of a growing season you’re going to have. Is it going to be wet? Is it going to be dry? Is it going to be hot? Is it going to be cold? 

I would say just the different elements, the majority of planets in different elements during the growing season–as well as maybe hard aspects with Mars and Saturn, or any hard aspects with Neptune–can help you determine whether it’s going to be a good growing season, a good harvest, or it’s going to be one that’s going to not yield much abundance, which is going to drive prices higher. I would say that works about 75-percent of the time, which is enough.

CB: Okay. And that’s kind of similar to what the Farmers’ Almanac does in terms of giving, in some instances, astrological predictions about different seasons, when to plant things and things like that.

RM: Yes, it’s very similar. For instance, this year, we’re under Saturn square Neptune. If you go back and look at the history, the history of whenever Saturn’s in a hard aspect to Neptune, you’ll see that crude oil makes a bottom. You’ll see soybeans, wheat, or corn, or all three of them make a bottom too and then there’s a sharp spike up.

Now in terms of grains that would indicate either a lack of rain, which is drought–Saturn is the lacks, Neptune is rain, so the lack of moisture–or it could indicate losses through too much rain; that is also Saturn square Neptune. So we have during those times too much water in floods in certain parts of the growing belt, and other places, not enough. There’s drought. There’s a lack of moisture.

CB: With all of the markets, they’re showing or determining the price of different goods. Your focus is trying to figure out both when they’re going to have highs and lows in terms of the market value of different goods, but also, you said earlier, when there will be dramatic shifts either one way or another with respect to those, right?

RM: Both. I’m looking at short term, intermediate, and long term. And when you’re looking at long term, you need to apply longer-term transits. The rule is the longer term the market cycle, the more likely the longer term the planetary cycle that’s in effect. So when you see transits of Saturn in hard aspect to planets outside of it, it’s a long-term cycle that’s likely to come to an end and reverse its trend.

When you’re a trader, you’re quite happy to find anything that might even be four or five days or a couple of weeks. Most of the transits that are taking place are shorter-term transits like Sun, Mercury, Venus, those kinds of things to the far-off planets. So you use the different transiting aspects to determine the different lengths of trends that you’re following and the different type of trader you’re trying to appeal it to. Long-term aspects go to position traders or investors. Jupiter transits go to intermediate traders, intermediate investors. And the short-term transits go to the aggressive trader or the short-term trader.

CB: Okay, so there’s something for everybody in there.

RM: Yes.

CB: And it seems like in your most recent book, which is titled Solar-Lunar Keys to Gold Prices: Market Timing Secrets of a Gold Trader, it seems like you focused more on–correct me if I’m wrong–shorter-term things pertaining to Sun and Moon placements in those combinations, right?

RM: That’s the shortest-term approach that I take to the market using astrology. It is Sun-Moon combinations. You’re only going to hold it for one to seven days–the average length is only four days–and you’re looking for a 3-4% bounce or correction.

CB: And there were some combinations that you found that actually stood out in terms of that?

RM: Yeah, I forget how many there were, but there’s 144 combinations. That means there are 12 signs, 12 Sun signs. I’m looking at what does the market do in each of those 12 Sun signs under each of the Moon signs. 

We’re in Taurus now, so we’d be looking at the Sun in Taurus with the Moon in Aries, Moon in Taurus, Moon in Gemini, etc., and which of those Moon signs– when the Sun is in Taurus–stand out as having a higher historical correlation to these reversals during that Sun-Moon combination, which is only going to last one to three days a month over the other ones.

With every Sun sign, there’s usually one to three Moon signs that will stand out as being much more probable as far as correlating with reversal than other Sun-Moon combinations.

CB: Okay. And you actually did some hardcore statistics in order to validate, in order to study some of this stuff. It looks like you worked with Mark Urban-Lurain who was actually the stats teacher at Kepler College when I was there. He helped you to do some of the statistics models in order to model some of this, right?

RM: Absolutely. Yes, he was. He was very helpful. I wouldn’t have been able to figure out how I could design this study that would give me the measurement I’m looking at and he came up with this idea. 

You’re going to take a baseline study where you take everyday–from the beginning to the end of your study period–and find out how many Sun-Moon combinations there were, what percentage of times the Moon was in each sign with the Sun in those signs, and then compare it to how many times the Moon was in each sign when a reversal actually occurred. Divide the 1% by the other percent, in other words, the actual percentage of reversals, by the baseline actual results of the percentages. Divide the baseline into the actual study group results, you get a weighted value. 

Anything over 100 means it happens more than expectation. I just started looking at it to see how many times it had to do that–what was the weighted value it needed to have to pay attention to–and it was basically about 120. But sometimes, you’d get these weighted value scores that would be 160 or above. So really, anything over 160 was really important to me and it tends to be very reliable even after the study. It continues being valuable after the study’s been conducted. It continues to work.

CB: Okay. We talked a little bit about the things that you can use astrology for to give you an edge when it comes to markets and some of the things that it’s good for. What are some of the challenges that you still deal with when you’re trying to apply astrology to the markets in this way? What are some of the limitations would you say?

RM: Well, the main limitation for a trader is what happens when the market opens up much higher or much lower than the previous day. You like it when it’s an even wave where it goes up gradually, comes down gradually, goes up, and you like to stay in consistent time bands here. But every so often, something will happen overnight or before the markets open, or even during the market day, and then the price is going to escalate rapidly or depreciate rapidly. The challenge is where do you put your bi-point, or where do you put your stop-loss point without being taken advantage of by the floor trader, or by the locals, or even by the high-frequency traders?

For instance, let’s say last Friday, the market opens at 8:20. Well, markets open actually earlier. It’s almost 24 hours now, mini markets. But the Labor Department announces the unemployment and the payroll reports. As soon as that comes out, the market jumps a lot. So you know that’s a day that’s going to turn–there’s going to be a high or low that day–but you don’t know what price it is if there is an event, a market-related event that happens. So the challenge is at what price do you buy on the day that you’re pretty sure there’s going to be a reversal without taking a big financial risk?

So the biggest challenge you have is risk management, and that’s the case with anybody who’s a trader.

CB: Sure. In terms of framing it to clients, or framing it to the public, do you feel like it’s important to emphasize the role of the astrologer, the role of astrology and how it works more a type of forecasting rather than a prediction or omniscience-type device that doesn’t exactly tell you precisely what’s going to occur in the future, but it’s more forecasting trends and tendencies?

RM: Well, that’s the reality. That’s the reality of just using astrology with markets. It’s the reality really of using astrology even on a one-to-one basis with a client in helping them guide and make the choices in their life. But as a forecasting tool, astrology is extremely useful and valuable as a timing tool, but there are limits within the timing. You can’t pick the exact price at the exact moment all of the time.

Some of the time, I’ve been able to do that as I’m looking at the screen and I’ve sent out a note to people. Generally speaking, you can get it within one or two days for a short-term trade, but the exact moment it has, it’s going to depend on each trader. Ultimately, it comes down to when you actually call the broker, or you go online and you place the trade. It comes down to a gut instinct that is set up. 

You’re already set up because of your knowledge of astrology, you know what you’re looking for. But to actually figure out the exact point to put on that trade, it’s intuitive, it’s a gut instinct, and it depends on your own temperament as to whether you’re going to act at that moment,

CB: Like with many things, it seems like when it comes to astrology especially, where you have this hybrid model of an art and a science, it seems like you also, when it comes to trading, have a little bit of that as well. There’s a science to it, but there’s also a learned art to it as well.

RM: That’s right. The science can put you in the game. It can put you in the ballpark of when something’s going to happen, but once you get to the party, you have to decide how you’re going to behave and where you need to make your move in order to come out successful at the end of this event.

CB: Sure. And along those lines, have you ever had any major learning experiences or failures? Have you observed other traders or other financial astrologers that have made major errors that you’ve learned from?

I know a few years ago, there was a lot of talk about the Cardinal Cross. There were statements about it all over the place, and some people didn’t do as well with using that for timing as others. Were there ever any major instances in the past where you feel like you’ve had a major learning experience like that, or just from observing others?

RM: A lot. It happens a lot. The beauty about financial astrology and being a financial market timer is you get feedback everyday, and if you’re not right, the way that you thought it was going to manifest wasn’t the way it manifested. It’s like saying astrology works. There’s no problem with astrology, it’s the astrologer. We say the same thing about Christians. Christianity is a wonderful religion. It’s those damn Christians you’ve got to watch out for. 

The same thing is true with market timing here. I’m not right all the time. I was one of those people who misinterpreted the Uranus square Pluto under the Cardinal Climax. I got it right at first. I was one of the few who even 15 years before that had pointed out the year 2008 to 2010, there would be a Cardinal Climax happening, and the markets would go through something and the economy would go through something like it did in the 1930’s.

And so, from 1995-96, I was forecasting that, and sure enough, in 2008 to early 2009, it happened. So we got the big drop, however, I didn’t anticipate correctly where that drop would end. I didn’t think it would be over in 2008, early 2009. I thought it was going to continue into 2010-2011, so I missed that part.

What I misjudged was how the Uranus or Pluto, and even with Saturn was going to manifest in decisions by the Federal Reserve Board. I did not expect that they would use unorthodox, innovative methods to take the interest rates down to 0%, and that they would try this thing called quantitative easing where they intervened in the market to engineer financial market prices by buying securities instead of letting the market determine the price. 

I did not anticipate Uranus square Pluto would do that. I thought Uranus square Pluto, with Pluto in Capricorn, I thought it would continue to operate like it did in the Great Depression, and it was going to be a very long time band before we recovered again. And so, I missed the big move up, the early part of that big move up in the stock market because I was still hesitant about Uranus square Pluto being positive for the stock market. 

My belief system wouldn’t budge that it could possibly mean the Federal Reserve Board could continue zero interest rate policy and quantitative easing policies for seven to eight years. I missed that. And now, I realize when I look back that’s what it was about. It was about financial market intervention by government entities and central bank entities, Pluto and Capricorn. They intervened, they engineered, and I missed that, and that’s what caused the big bull market that many of us as astrologers missed.

CB: Yeah, that seems like it’s an issue with pretty much all predictive astrology. Really you can’t predict something that you can’t imagine. If you don’t have a specific scenario that’s in your head as a possibility, that you’re not considering as a possibility then there’s no way you’re necessarily going to call that as a specific thing. It seems like one of the challenges that all predictive astrologers deal with.

RM: Yes. We can go back and we can look at how the markets behaved under these aspects in the past. And if we see it happen three or four times–our country’s not that old, so we don’t have that many examples. But we see it three or four times and so it’s easy to hypothesize that there’s a good probability that it’s going to happen that way again, so you start making the call it’s going to happen that way again. But it doesn’t manifest in the markets that way. It manifested more in the people that make decisions that affect the markets, and they behave in a different way. 

Yeah, you can imagine that does affect it. In this case, yes, the Federal Reserve Board did these unorthodox, innovative, untried experiments–which is basically Uranus–by manipulating, or I shouldn’t say manipulating, but engineering financial markets. They intervened in financial markets and they created a bull market in stocks, which I don’t think hardly any of us astrologers could have imagined in 2008 would happen.

CB: Sure, that’s obviously a difficult thing. Oftentimes, one of the criticisms or attacks that skeptics have about astrology is they say that it’s not falsifiable, or that astrologers that do natal astrology make non-falsifiable statements that you can’t prove one way or another. But this is one branch of astrology where that’s just demonstrably not true. 

On a daily basis, you’re making statements about specific outcomes and what the anticipated outcome is from certain configuration. Either very quickly, or eventually, at some point in the not-to-distant future that’s being proved to be true or being proved to be false. And it seems like there’s something very important about that in terms of the empirical development of astrology that you guys are contributing to by engaging in that. 

RM: Yes. Financial astrology, at least the analysis of financial markets, is probably one of the most wonderful treasures we have out there for people who want to research because it’s not subjective. You have data. You have data where there are highs, lows, reversals, and you can go back at those dates and you can drop down the astrology that’s going at point into a database. 

And you can do statistical, you can do quantitative studies, so it is empirical. It’s not a case of non-falsifiable as to why it works. I think sometimes projections–that we’re not aware of how they’re going to manifest, as I mentioned before–in terms of certain decisions that leaders and governments, or economics or banking might make, that might be harder to prove. But you can’t dispute the history. 

You’ve got history here, you’ve got data, you can do correlations, and then you can project those things in the future knowing that it’s not a hundred percent. But if I say to you, having gone back and looked at this, that some markets are 77, some go up to 82%–which is true. I have gone back and done these tests, and they are 77-82% within certain defined limitations, and you can use that and project it. 

I think those are realistic probabilities of what you can expect. They’re not 100%, but I think they are in that high 70s, low-80% reliable.

CB: Are there other prominent market people that do use astrology or do use it successfully? This is something I’m always curious about. It seems like generally in the public that’s not something that one might always want to admit. In certain circles, people might be a little bit reticent about admitting that. 

It seems like every once in a while, we’ll have some famous figure, like that famous J.P. Morgan quote that millionaires don’t use astrology, billionaires do that’s always attributed to him. But you wonder nowadays which people are using it privately, or maybe not so privately.

RM: I believe there is a lot of people out there using it privately. You will not hear it mentioned publically very much in the investment community because investors, they’re not traders. The amount of time it takes to study market timing is as much time as it takes to study astrology, and you know how much time that is. Most of these people who are investors, they’re not that ambitious to make that kind of commitment to learning. So you won’t see investors giving much credit out to market timing–in fact, it’s a fool’s errand–and certainly not much attention or credit to astrology. 

But in the trading community, where timing is everything, and you need to have whatever edge you can get to give you that advantage as a trader, there are a lot of traders and they’re not hesitant. There’s a lot of them that’ll talk about it, they use astrology in their trading. They’re not shy about talking about that. So you’ll see that much more frequently in the trading community than you will in the investment community. In fact, it’s not unusual to see my annual forecast book, when it comes out, on the floors of different exchanges. A lot of traders refer to that. 

The trading community is I think pretty receptive to astrology as a market timing tool. The investing community, not so much.

CB: Yeah, I could see how that would be difficult. Anybody familiar with astrology or that’s even gotten into it a little bit realizes that this is really a lifetime study you can spend your entire lifetime doing and still there’s more to learn and more to understand and find out. I’m sure market trading and finance is like that as well. 

When you get two huge fields like that, having to attempt to master some aspects of both of them, I’m sure would be an incredibly difficult thing. Maybe sometimes you get some people that specialize more in one or the other.

RM: That’s true. I have a number of clients who work for large funds or even the investment houses, investment banking houses, brokerage houses, and it’s true, they really don’t want it known that they are subscribing to any astrology advice. In fact, it was one major market brokerage house that actually purged all of its brokers who had anything in their email that stated financial astrology. 

They just got rid of all their brokers because of financial astrology, because there was one broker who used financial astrology to develop a trading plan and he never put on a trade. He just spent the money.

CB: Wow.

RM: And that firm decided, “Okay, we’re going to get rid of anybody in our firm who has any interest in financial astrology.” That was very unfortunate because I don’t think they really gave astrology or financial astrology a fair trial, if you will. But yeah, there is a prejudice against astrology by the major houses out there, by many of them. 

Some of the small boutiques and a lot of the traders who have small boutique shops on the trading exchanges, they do like astrology. They do want to know when there’s a turning point coming up, whether it’s because of critical reversal dates where planets come together and that’s what I identify as a turning point, or if it’s a Solar-Lunar combination, which is a short-term turning point. A lot of them keep up with it. A lot of them base their trading programs upon that that they manage for other people, and a lot of them are successful.

CB: That brings up another question which is, is it possible to tell the difference between good versus bad financial astrology? How would you go about figuring out who’s a good financial astrologer versus somebody that maybe isn’t as good?

RM: Well, you’re only as good as your last call in this field. It doesn’t matter whether it’s astrology or what. If you’re an analyst, you’re only as good as your last call. The point is you have to be accurate consistently to stay in business. The market is pretty merciless. If you’re consistently wrong, you will not get a subscriber base, you will not get a client base to take care of you. They won’t last long. 

If you’re good, it would show by the fact that you’re in business for a long period of time. You make your living at it. You have a healthy clientele or subscriber base, and they stay with you or they grow. In our case, I would say at least half the people who are subscribers have been subscribers for five or more years, and we keep growing. 

There has been a year or two, in the last 30-40 years, it was a downturn in subscribers. But I would say 90-95% of the subscription bases tend to increase, and I keep that solid 50%, year-over-year. Maybe more than 50%. I haven’t really checked it out lately, but that’s what determines whether a person is very good at what they do, regardless of their field, but certainly in finances. You can’t survive in this field unless you are consistently accurate.

CB: That makes sense, just going back to that whole point about it being actually falsifiable and having the results being very stark and not necessarily malleable or open to different interpretations as much. 

In terms of what you offer clients and the different things you do, understanding what a financial astrologer does, you have a number of different publications. For example, you put out a yearly forecast report at the end of each year, right? 

RM: Yeah, I put out a book. It’s about 160-180 pages. It’s the annual forecast book where I’ll go into detail of where I think the trend is in each of these markets for the year. It’s going to be in gold and silver. It’s going to be in interest rates, real estate values, stock markets, crude oil, currency prices, grain prices, and weather. 

Yeah, that comes out every year. I’ve been doing it for 40 years now, since 1976. This will be the 41st year coming up in 2017, and probably about 7,000 of those books go out throughout the world. It’s translated in four or five different languages now. So that’s more for the longer-term person who wants to get their yearly plan in motion, “Where’s the season? Are there going to be highs and lows? I want to get that set up right.” 

It also lists the various critical reversal dates for the year because if they’re based on astrology, they’re not going to change. The planets, they’re in rhythmical order, so critical reversal dates are easy to compute anytime in the future because it’s based on planetary positions. So I list the strongest critical reversal dates for the year under each market. There might be 10 to 15 of them. 

Then I have a monthly report which are more for position traders, those who like to be in a position that’s anywhere from three weeks to three months. And then, for the more active traders, I have a weekly report. It comes out every Saturday. For the very active, aggressive traders, they have a daily report that comes out every night for the next day’s market. 

So those are the services I offer. If they still are uncertain, they can call me and have a consultation. I do five-minute consultations, and I can usually answer the market question within five minutes.

CB: Wow. Okay, so you stay extremely active it sounds like.

RM: Yes. Yeah, I’m working everyday. Every day of the week, I write and I analyze, that’s true.

CB: How long does it take you to write those yearly books?

RM: Well, you won’t get in touch with me very easily during a two-to-three week period in August when I write the back of the book. People still like the Sun signs, and I still do a personal interpretation of Sun signs in the back and people love it. I’d tried to stop doing it, but the people in Japan, the people in Germany, they get angry if you don’t put that in there. They like that part, so I still provide that, but that takes about two-to-three weeks to do. 

The majority of work on the forecast book, I start around October 1st and I end by December 1st. So it’s two months, I don’t do any consultations. I do my daily reports for subscribers, but aside from that, I’m totally focused almost everyday on doing the forecast book. It takes me two months to do it. I might take a Sunday off here and there, but pretty much I’m committed and focused on writing that book for two months.

CB: That’s one of the things that fascinates about all astrologers that do forecasting books and other kinds of long-term forecasting like that. They’re really looking at the entire year ahead, a year or sometimes year-and-a-half prior to when it’s occurring.

RM: Yeah.

CB: So that must be a pretty wild experience writing that a year or sometimes more ahead of time and then getting to the actual date and seeing the specific events manifest themselves that you wrote about prior to that. 

Is that ever kind of wild or surreal to you when you get to one of those really big combinations, and then you see it work out in a way that’s similar symbolically to what you anticipated?

RM: Absolutely, yes. Not even symbolically. Sometimes it’s almost literally.

CB: Right.

RM: I get letters from people, and they’ll point out things that were in the forecast book that happened that week that I totally forgot.

CB: Right.

RM: For instance, the 2012 election, one of the statements I made was whichever candidate is going to focus upon women’s needs, the female issue, is going to win, and I didn’t remember that until right before the election. Astrologers–not astrologers, but readers wrote back and said, “Hey, look, it happened. Obama was really open to women’s issues and the women carried him.” So things like that happen all the time. 

Even this week, I had mentioned about the Saturn-Neptune that we’d have to be careful of market manipulation, or people who are doing things behind the scenes to interfere with the market and actually take advantage of the market for their own benefit at the expense of other people. 

And sure enough, what happened last week? The EU, the European Union, put out a report that they did a study and it shows that at least six major economic announcements come out every month must be leaked because there’s a price activity that goes the direction of where that market goes right after the announcement is made. And so, they have hypothesized that there is unscrupulous, dishonest behavior that’s going on between certain government agencies and certain brokerage houses that are given the information of the announcement just before it comes out.

CB: Wow.

RM: And that’s Saturn square Neptune.

CB: That’s a really important point. You’re not just always looking at straight correlations between astrological cycles and commodity prices. Sometimes you have to pay attention to broader world events and happenings, including things like the presidential election, or things that you include in your forecast because that has a direct impact on the markets.

RM: Sure. I mean, if one candidate wins there’s going to be a certain emphasis on specific areas of the economy versus if the other candidate wins that’s going to emphasize other aspects of the economy that are going to do well or struggle. So yeah, you want to pay attention to who’s running, who’s likely to win, and how is that going to affect the different sectors of the economy. The other thing is you can do the astrology of win central bankers meet what they’re likely to come out with in their meetings Are they going to be more accommodative, or are they going to be more restrictive in their announcements, and that can affect the markets. 

Going back to that Uranus square Pluto, that’s an excellent example. When Uranus squared Pluto and the Federal Reserve Board reversed their decision where they weren’t going to do any more quantitative easing and suddenly decided they’re going to do more quantitative easing that would be Uranus square Pluto. And if you could have anticipated they would not go forward with what they said they were going to do–they were going to reverse their decision–if you knew that and interpreted that way, you could make a different type of projection as to how it’s going to affect the markets than just pure astrological correlation to market prices.

CB: That makes sense. It seems like forecasting is something that you’re really big on, and that’s actually going to be the focus really of this conference that your organization is holding in October. The International Society of Astrological Research is hosting a conference specifically on forecasting later this year, correct?

RM: Yeah, I’m excited about this. This is the ISAR 2016 Symposium. We get together every two to four years, depending on when UAC is, we go around that one. This particular symposium is taking place in Los Angeles, October 13th to 17th, and the theme is The Power of Forecasting Meets the Consequence of Choice

As astrologers, we are either going to be choice-makers or choice-revealers. Now if we’re going to be a choice-maker and tell the client this is what’s going to happen in your life, that’s not so good because we’re enabling, we’re actually encouraging that client to become dependent upon us as an authority. 

However, as astrologers, the truth is we really don’t know how the outcome is going to be under a certain aspect. We can describe the themes a person’s going to go through. We can describe the types of considerations that are going to go into their decision-making, but the outcome depends upon their decision. 

So it’s a combination of astrology plus the free will of a person to make the choice that’s offered to them, as shown by astrology, that determines the outcome. And hence, we have the power of forecasting. It shows you the themes the timing versus the consequence of choice, which shows you have the actual final say in what the outcome is going to be and what the consequences are to these astrological events. 

So yes, this conference is going to present, make available the different classes in forecasting techniques, how forecasting methods in astrology can be applied to relationships, to psychological shifts in your life, to spiritual insights, to mundane events–world leaders, economic events–to financial forecasting, forecasting financial markets. 

I’m really excited by this because it’s going to take place three-and-half-weeks before the election. And as you know, Chris, in three of the last four elections, whoever was ahead three to four weeks ahead of the election didn’t win the election. So this is a good time to have it because if it’s not a lopsided election as it was–the one time it didn’t work was in 2008. Obama was well ahead and stayed ahead. But aside from that, if somebody’s not well ahead beforehand, if they’re just a little bit ahead, it could shift and the other person could win. 

So I’m excited about this because you’re going to have some of the top forecasters, some of the top election analysts in astrology there, including yourself. You’ve been right in the last couple of elections on these panels I’ve had. In fact, I think you’ve been on two of them; you hit them both. And so have the other people that are going to join you. They’re all a hundred percent in the last couple of elections, so I’m excited to see what all of you are going to say this time.

CB: Yeah, and I’m excited how you guys have organized the presidential predictions this time. It’s happening much closer to the election, which is really interesting in and of itself, happening in October, but also, you’re going to have two presidential panels. There’s going to be one at the beginning of the conference, which is actually going to consist of international astrologers, so astrologers from outside of the U.S. making their predictions about the outcome of the election And then at the end, you’re going to have a separate panel of U.S. astrologers who make a prediction and that’s the one that I’m going to be on.

RM: Yes, that’s right. We thought if we started the evening event, the whole symposium event on Thursday night, October 13th, with an international panel giving us their impression of the candidates charts, the USA chart, and their ideas of who they think would win, it might be stunning to compare that with the end of the conference when the U.S., who has a very accurate record for forecasting elections, give their outlook. 

So yeah, we want to compare the two. We want to see what the international people think of our election versus what the people right here within the United States think. It’s going to be exciting.

CB: Brilliant. Well, this is the election of the decade, century. This is going to be a crazy election fall, and I’m sure by that point, it’s going to be even more interesting. On top of that, what’s also interesting and should be exciting to people–it sort of makes this the conference of the year, I think–is you’re also going to have an actual financial astrology track at this conference, right?

RM: Yes, there’s a financial track. Each of the tracks have nine classes, nine presentations. We have nine of the top financial astrologers that I know of–well, I didn’t even vote for them. You know, we did this a little bit different than our other gatherings. We put out a list of people who applied to speak on these tracks to our membership, and the membership voted as to who they wanted to see. 

So we got 60 speakers, the membership voted for 36 of these speakers. The majority of the speakers are people the public wanted to see, the ISAR membership public wanted to see. It wasn’t just myself or just a board of directors who chose these speakers, so that makes it exciting too.

CB: Yeah, that was a really innovative speaker selection process, just by putting it out to your membership and having everybody vote on what topics and what speakers they wanted to see, so it’ll be really interesting to see. It’s really shaping up to be a great conference, so I’m looking forward to that. People can find out more information about it on the ISAR website, which isarastrology.org. 

I should have mentioned this in the intro–you’re the president of the International Society Astrological Research.

RM: Yes, I was the president from 1994 to 2000. You can only go six years at a time, three, two-year terms. Then I came back in 2002 to 2008, and now I’ve been asked to come back again through the end of this year and then we’ll have another election. And we’ll see if I stay on, if I’m elected again.

CB: Sure. You’ve had a long history with that. It seems like that’s been an organization that you’ve crafted and brought up to become one of the leading astrological organizations in the world at this point. Has that been a long, I don’t want to say labor of love? But obviously that’s been one of your greatest contributions to the community, wouldn’t you say?

RM: Yes, I think it is a labor of love, but it served as a very effective vehicle for myself and for other people who became elected as directors of the board that we shared values in common. The ISAR organization became a very effective vehicle for us to develop models, models of excellence, if you will, or standards of excellence in astrology that have caught on. 

All of the organizations were a part of this in 1994. We started this at the ISAR 1994 conference. We brought all of the major astrology organization heads and leading astrologers together in Chicago and we basically said, “What should we do to find out what’s the future of astrology?” And we decided, “Let’s survey astrologers.” So we put together what was called Project Focus where we had a hundred different questions on a survey that we administered. This was before the computer. We didn’t do this with computers. It’s all with paper and pencil. 

We got over 1,500 astrologers throughout the world to answer a hundred-question survey, and then we put those results into a computer and found out what do astrologers or students of astrology really want to see develop here in the future of astrology, and three things came out. They wanted astrologers to have consulting or counseling skills. They wanted astrologers to have ethics awareness. They wanted astrologers to be competent. So we put together a certification program with each of these three steps involved in it: ethics training awareness, consulting skills training awareness, and then the exam. And to become an ISAR-certified astrologer, you now have to do those three steps. 

I feel that that whole process has elevated the standards and professionalism of astrology since 1994, and I was able to do that through the ISAR organization. I would say that was my most rewarding, personally, inwardly, rewarding role that I played in the astrology community in my life. I’ve enjoyed that and I find that very meaningful.

CB: Yeah, it does actually set up standards and certification panels within the community. Also, to have actual ethical guidelines integrated as part of that does seem like a big accomplishment in terms of raising the bar in the community in terms of the quality of the practice of astrology.

RM: Yeah, we’ve done that, and I think a lot of other organizations have also since we’ve come on the scene. I think a lot of other organizations have also raised their standards and the quality of their programs. It wasn’t just within ISAR. It had a ripple effect throughout the world. 

The other thing we’ve done that’s so cool, I think, is we’ve connected a lot of the very good astrology schools throughout the world together. Now as they train and teach their students, part of their own diploma requirements are that they take these steps of professionalism that ISAR has put together before they get their final diploma. That’s going on in China. That’s going on in many countries in Europe, in South America. 

And I think it’s just wonderful that to become an astrologer now, it’s not just enough to know astrology and give information. You need to know how to deliver it and have skills at it, and these schools are picking up on that, and it’s a wonderful trend that’s developing in astrology.

CB: Yeah, and you guys are definitely on the leading edge of that. It’s nice that it’s not just a national focus, even though ISAR is certainly headquartered in the U.S. and that’s it’s main focus, and maybe most of its members are from there. You guys have much more of an international focus it feels like than some other organizations because you have this innovative system of having regional vice presidents in each country.

RM: Yes, that does help. That bring the whole astrology world together. You know, we’re inclusive. We try to be inclusive. When we have pioneering things that we think are good for the whole community of astrology, we do try to invite and involve the other organizations to come on and join us, like we did with Project Survey. Even though it was an idea that came out of ISAR’s conference, I would say NCGR and AFAN were equally important in getting those surveys out there so we could get the results, and they had the same opportunities as we did to develop programs from it. 

We also now have the ANS, the Astrology News Service, that the three of us are working together on, which goes out and surveys all the different media announcements involving astrology and collaborates all that into a nice little newsletter they send out to everybody, so we know what’s going on in the world that is outside of astrology that affects astrology. We do UAC together, and we’re now bringing in AFA and the ACVA, the American College of Vedic Astrologers in it. 

So ISAR’s innovative, but I also love ISAR because it’s very inclusive and works with the other organizations to try to do what everybody would realize and knows is good for the advancement and the future of astrology.

CB: Definitely. And I appreciate that in being an individual organization that has its own focus and agenda with promoting certain things, but at the same time also bringing the community together for other community projects, including what you guys recently announced and you’ve been helping to, not spearhead but push along and get back on track, which is the next United Astrology Conference, which was originally going to be in 2016. But after some problems, you’ve been able to get it back on track, and you’ve recently announced that it’s going to take place in Chicago in 2018.

RM: Yes. UAC, the United Astrology Conference, it’s the biggest, it’s the grand-daddy, if you will, of all of the astrology conferences. I would say in the world, except I know there’s some in India that might be bigger. But we get 1,500 to 1,600 top astrologers from all over the world, either teaching or studying astrology. It’s a fantastic six-day event. And yes, it’s going to take place right in downtown Chicago, I think around May 22nd to 30th–somewhere in there–of 2018. 

Everybody listening to this program should come to it. All your favorite, all your leading astrologers, all the people you’ve learned from or read about, most of them, if not all of them–I would say the vast majority of them–will be there. It’s a very exciting event that takes place every four to six years.

CB: Yeah, that’s going to be an amazing conference two years from now. And it’s the second-best conference next to, of course, the ISAR conference which is coming up in October.

RM: Right.

CB: So as we’re winding this down, winding down this interview, what do you have coming up in the future? What are you working on right now, aside from putting on some of those conferences that are going to take up your attention over the course of the next few months or the next year? 

RM: Right now, my major focus is on the ISAR conference. I’m also starting to develop what I call an MMA Merriman Market Analyst Retreat for investors. Those are high net worth individuals who want to protect their wealth and their capital. And I bring in some top people in the world, some very profound thinkers in economics and market psychology and market dynamics to present. 

This is going to take place March 9th to the 13th in San Diego, 2017. I have Ted Lee Fisher coming. He now lives in Phuket, Thailand. He had a seat on the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. One of the most insightful traders, money managers I know who has a great understanding of where money is flowing from. It’s basically going from Europe and the United States now to Asia, and he’s there. He’ll talk about why Asia is the most optimistic and most bright financial future for investment in the next couple of years. I have Ken Lau coming from China itself who’s going to talk about the Chinese markets and what’s going on in China that we need to know about as investors. 

I have a couple of people coming from Europe who are going to talk about the eurozone and the particular challenges that lie ahead of that, whether they’re going to stay together or not, the issue with refugees is kind of tearing their cultures apart and how that affects investments. Of course, there’s a lot with the United States. We’ll be dealing with central banks, the Federal Reserve Board Bank and their policies and how we think that’s going to affect various markets, and all of this tied into astrology. 

One other gentleman I have too is Egon von Greyerz of Switzerland who has one of the largest gold-holding companies. He has several vaults that hold gold. It’s Matterhorn Asset Management Company. He’s going to talk about why he believes gold is really still a very, very good investment for the future. A wonderful guy. He’s the one who put together the Swiss initiative, Save Our Swiss Gold. It got defeated last year. He wanted to make sure the Swiss Bank had at least 20% of the reserves in gold. It got defeated, but he put that together. He is a very engaging speaker. 

It’s going to be an excellent gathering of people for five or six days, a combination of astrologers. Many, many–when I say “many, many”, most people there are investors from all over the world and a couple of very great presenters. So that’s what I’m working on as well, Chris.

CB: And when does that retreat take place?

RM: March 9th to the 13th in San Diego, California, at the Kona Kai Hotel, right on Shelter Island on the ocean. It’s going to be great. We had our first annual retreat last year in Florence, Italy. 

So I’m going to do this every 12 to 18 months where I bring together about 30 to 40 investors and about another 8 to 10 researchers who I think have a lot to contribute in understanding where the world is going, which may be different than what you read in the press because these are out-of-the-box types of thinkers.

CB: Brilliant. Well, where can people find out more information about that?

RM: They can go to my website at mmacycles.com. Just look under events. In fact, we there we have an interview with Ted Lee Fisher who is one of the most unusual thinkers I know and successful money managers with commodities that I know. 

So they can go there and read an interview with him. They can also find out more about this event we’re going to have–we call it the MMA Retreat–next March 2017.

CB: All right. Brilliant. Well, people should definitely check out your website at mmacycles.com for more information. And of course, you have a number of publications, and I’m sure you’ll get to work in just a few months here on your next annua forecast book, which will be out in December.

RM: We’ll announce that. You know, I have a free weekly letter too that I put out to the public, and they can also get that through my website, or they can contact our office and get on a distribution list. 

But every Friday night, I put out an astrological–well, it’s a combination financial market/astrological outlook for the next week. I describe what the astrology is, how it tends to affect the investment community short-term, but also a little longer-term too. I have a short-term and a longer-term outlook based on astrology. 

It’s an interesting blog. People like it. Feel free to go to my website and check it out, or drop us a note, and we’ll put you on the distribution list to receive it every Friday night.

CB: All right. Brilliant. Well, thanks a lot for doing this interview. I really appreciate it.

RM: Thank you, Chris. It’s been a pleasure being with you.

CB: All right. Thanks everyone for listening, and we’ll see you next time.