History of Stock Market Astrology

by Bill Meridian

I began to study astrology in 1972. The Foundation for the Study of Cycles listed several stock market cycles such as 9.3 and 18.6 years. I noted that the Lunar Node has a half-period and a full period of those lengths. It appeared that planetary cycles were linked to price cycles. After two years, I began to apply the planets to prices. All of the previous books and studies that I had accumulated suffered from several drawbacks. The first was that the analyses were based upon a limited number of years, either due to lack of data or lack of computing power. In addition, many of the studies omitted the Lunar Node or treated the effect of the 90-degree square the same as the effect of the 270-degree square, as Bradley did.

I began by casting horoscopes of incorporation in my position as a junior securities analyst in New York City. Charles Jayne had done some work with such charts, and found some correlation to share price movements. The dates and times were obtained from the state of Delaware, which does require an exact time of incorporation for each company. We analysts were rated by the accuracy of our earnings projections.

I would adjust my numbers according to the condition of the incorporation chart, raising the estimates above the mean when the chart was well-aspected and dropping them below the median when the chart was afflicted. In the words of my supervisor, I significantly excelled with my projections. Not satisfied with the relationship of the chart of incorporation with share price movements, I turned to the horoscope of first trade. The dates were obtained from the Exchange beginning in the 1970s. The charts were set for the time of the opening of the exchange, 10 am until 1985 and 9:30 AM since. This marks the moment at which one could actually buy the stock. For big and well-known issues, the trading usually begins immediately. Today, the actual time of the first trade can be obtained for new issues on systems that have intraday prices.

The value added by stock market astrology
can be illustrated by the following anecdote

I read an interview with a commodity trader, in which he said that he did not use technical analysis because it is based upon yesterday’s data. This was an odd statement, coming from a trader. He then said that he relied upon fundamental information related to the markets, citing a number of different economic numbers, which are yesterday’s data. Thus, he revealed that he knows that analysis based upon yesterday’s numbers is limited, but he apparently is not aware of any other methodology that does not have this limitation. That is the dilemma of most market followers-they do not look at events that occur in the future. I began to look at planetary positions because these can be computed with great accuracy many years in advance. The only trick then is to determine how the phenomena relate to the specific market in question.

The use of astrology in stock market prediction may seem like a natural, but there has been surprisingly little research until recently. The early pioneers in the field were limited by the sheer amount of number crunching. W.D. Gann has been credited with the use of astrology in price forecasting. Piecing Gann’s puzzle together, it appears that he employed various people in researching various forecasting techniques. Gann’s astro researchers were Ken Brown and Edward L. Johndro, according to Charles Jayne. Their work was never published, and was reportedly destroyed at Johndro’s request. Because Brown quickly followed Johndro to the next world, we have no way of verifying this. Having studied Johndro’s techniques, I can say that the work must have been very sophisticated.

After the 1929 crash, there was no interest in market research of any kind. Taylor’s book analyzed a few outer planet aspects. James Mars Langham published Planetary Effects on the New York Stock Exchange in the early 1930s. He followed this with a book about commodity trading entitled Cyclical Market Forecasting Stocks and Grain. Luther Jensen wrote Astro Cycles and Speculative Markets in 1935. They primarily relied upon transiting aspects and horoscopes of companies.

Louise McWhirter presented the horoscope of the New York Stock Exchange in the 1930s. Her work on the nodal cycle in relation to the economy was also notable. George Bayer was one of the few researchers in the forties. He concentrated on commodities and some stocks. We must commend his work due to his recognition of heliocentric aspects and measurement systems such as speed and declination, very uncommon considerations in his day.

In 1949, Bradley wrote The Stock Market Barometer and How to Use It. This was probably the best-organized of the studies. He used the technique of weighted hits to project market movements. This involved assigning pluses or minuses for bullish and bearish effect, and a number to each transiting aspect. Declinations also played a part in his calculations. Bradley’s projections have not been useful in modern times. I ran a 10-year study asking a simple question- will the market be up or down this month? The cycle projection was correct 48 percent of the time, not a good score when one realizes that about 58 to 59 percent of all months have been up months. In order to improve the score, I analyzed the signs used by Bradley and found a third of them to be incorrect. Substituting the accurate signs, the Bradley batting average rose to 60 percent, still not very good.

Muriel Hasbrouck began her research on earthquakes, but changed tracks when her husband noticed that many of the dates that she generated coincided with stock market moves. She established Space-Time Forecasting and developed a following on Wall Street. The US government showed an interest in her work, offering to assist in further research. In a series of letters to Ed Dewey, she laid out the course of her communications with the US. She was shocked when the government shut her down. The reason was never made clear, but it appears that the dates that she projected corresponded to the dates of secret missile tests. Hasbrouck left her work to Harriett Higginson who added her techniques to her own. With the Harriett’s passing, the Hasbrouck secrets disappeared.

In the 1960s, Cdr. David Williams authored Financial Astrology, a good basic reader on economic and financial techniques. Cdr. Williams enriched himself and associates with accurate stock market investments. Jack Gillen wrote books about astrology and speculation. In one volume, he used horoscopes of incorporation to select stocks, a technique that apparently succeeded.

Thomas Reider wrote Sun Spots, Stars, and the Stock Market. Reider made several useful indicators. For example, he found that the odd of a declining market soared after Mars made a t-square with the outer planets. In 1979, Charles Clifford Matlock wrote Man and Cosmos. Matlock was a US diplomat who studied market movements. He constructed graphs depicting the relationship of outer planets such as Jupiter and Saturn to the Dow over long time periods. He did not follow this work up with a sequel.

The area opened up with the development of the PC and astrological software. In addition, modern practitioners have the advantage of a greater amount of price data.
In 1974, I met Arch Crawford, Bob Farrell’s first technical assistant at Merrill Lynch, at a NYC astrology conference at which Harriett Higginson spoke. She forecasted a top in gold prices using a Jupiter-Neptune aspect. We were both impressed, and Arch founded Crawford Perspectives in 1977, a service that continues to this day. In the early 1980s, called for “the best bull market in years” on the front page of the Wall Street Journal.

This prediction was followed by the 1982 blast-off for an 18-year bull market. Arch’s work attracted great attention when he predicted the 1987 crash, earning him the title of “Wall Street’s best-known astrologer” from Barrons. He did so by pinpointing the August 25, 1987 multiple conjunction as the top day. Since that time, he has consistently been ranked highly versus other market forecasters by independent services, such as Timers Digest and Hulberts. See his website.

We both took note of Bradley’s diagrams in which he depicted the percentage change in the stock market around Venus-Uranus aspects. This was a necessary ingredient for market analysis, but it was not the full answer. Arch proposed the calculation of the percentage change as the two planets moved from 0 degrees separation to 360 degrees. This was the birth of the composite cycle. The first cycles were computed by hand from 1915 to 1975. In the early 1980s, I loaded the data into a Lotus spreadsheet, and the first composite cycles were generated by computer, the first of which is reproduced below as graph one, the very first composite cycle generated by PC. This graph was drawn on an HP plotter in the early 1980s. It depicts the relationship of the stock market as Mars and Uranus move through their complete cycle.

In 1987, I developed the AstroAnalyst program with Robert Hand. This was, as far as we know, the first software designed to analyze any price series in relationship to planetary cycles. The program introduced composite cycles and a facility to analyze the effect of aspects on any market. Graph 2 below is that of the same Mars-Uranus cycle, but this one was drawn with the AA program. Note that this graph begins and ends at 1.0. It is smoothed to knock out the structural tendency of the market to rise over time. Graph 3 is not smoothed, and therefore reflects the tendency of the market to rise over time. Many of these tools migrated into AIR Software’s Market Trader. I invented the Efficiency Test to explore further the effect of any phenomena on any market and further developed composite cycles. My database of first-trade charts was loaded into the program, and Alphee Lavoie and Sergey Tarasov developed many new and innovative methods to sort through and research stocks through these horoscopes (see AIR Software Website).

In 1983, the first Astro-Economic Conference was held, a tradition that Grace Morris has kept alive to this day. See her website at astroeconomics.com. At this conference, Peter Brimelow of Barrons wrote a fair-minded review of the field, one of the first mainstream journalists to do so.

Stock market astrology hit a pinnacle in the summer of 2002. July of 2002, Cycles Research was ranked number one in stock market timing by Timer Digest for the prior 12 months. Arch Crawford at Crawford Perspectives is number 1 for the prior 6 months. He is also numero uno in Select Advisors poll of 512 managed accounts (real money). The numbers speak for themselves.