By Barry Rosen
If one stores up gold and silver when the Sun enters Simha (Leo) and sells them in the .fth
month, he will get profit."-Brihat Samkita (Ancient Indian text). Futures trading and financial
astrology are much older than one might imagine. Over 5000 years ago, ancient Indian texts
explained in great detail how to forecast and make a profit on metals, sugar and grains. Some
of these seemingly simple principles still have a profound degree of usefulness today and form
the historical roots of Western .nancial astrology. A close examination of the Indian system of
astrology reveals that it has predictive power above and beyond that of Western astrology. W.D.
Gann obviously realized its value since he went to India and studied it.
In the November/December issue of the G&EW, Norrnan Winski pointed out that Gann
collaborated with an astrologer between 1930 and 1940 and used astrology to forecast prices.
In actuality, the famous Gann wheel was .rst used by tea merchants in seventeenth century
India. My own research into Indian astrology and its application to the financial and commodity
markets has allowed me to more easily understand and apply many of Gann's challenging
concepts. More fundamentally, both Gann and the ancient astrological sages of India apparently
discovered and made use of the same fundamental laws of nature governing the cosmos.
In the paragraphs that follow, the fundamental differences between Indian astrology and
Western astrology will be examined, and the usefulness of the Indian system for predicting
the markets will be explained.
The Western Zodiac and the Indian Zodiac
The first major difference between the two systems lies in the calculation of the longitude
of the planets. Ancient Indian astrologers observed that the equinoxes and solstices moved
backward by one degree every 72 years, an astronomical phenomenon now known as
precession. Over time this has resulted in a difference of slightly over 23 degrees between the
tropical zodiac, used by Western astrologers, and the sidereal zodiac, used by Indian astrologers.
In essence, the two Systems differ in their choice of a zero point for Aries -- the Western system
uses the position of the spring equinox, while the Indian system uses a fixed star.
Thus when the sun is moving into Aries according to the Western system, it is still at
seven degrees Pisces in the Indian system. Practitioners of both Indian and Western astrology
recognize that each system- has its own validity, since both work. My personal preference for
the value of the Indian system will become clearer below.
The Nakshatra Chart: Gaining a Microscopic Perspective
The Indian system subdivides each sign into nine sections of three degrees and 20
minutes; each of these subdivisions corresponds to a sign of the zodiac. For example, the
.rst three degrees, 20' of Leo is the Aries subdivision, followed by the Taurus subdivision
. In watching daily market strengths for over 18 months, I have observed that on days
when a planet enters certain critical subdivisions, it will exert more strength or weakness
depending on the financial context.
So when Venus, the planet with the most impact on sugar and wheat prices, enters the
Taurus subdivision of a sign, one is more likely to see sharper rises in prices if the trend
and context are ripe. And when Mercury, which in.uences U.S. stock shares is in the Virgo
subdivision, then one will see stronger bullish moves in stock prices if the context is also
strong. Thus the Indian system can .ne tune calls by providing more detailed daily information
on planetary strengths.
The Nakshatra System of Twenty-Seven Constellations
The original Indian astrological system uses 27 constellations or nakshatras in addition to the
twelve signs. The Indian constellation Mrigashira, for example, in the sign of Gemini is actually
the familiar constellation Orion. According to Indian astrology each of these constellations has
its own unique characteristics, much like a sign of the zodiac. Knowledge of these nakshatras
can yield unique information on planetary transits and strengths.
Using this system and the ancient texts, I predicted the 1988 summer drought in my April
.nancial bulletin, due to the preponderance of critical planets in what are known as "waterless"
nakshatras. Speci.cally, Saturn was in the constellation of Scorpii and Mars and the north node
of the Moon were in the constellation of Beta Pegasi.
Planetary Periods: Beyond Transits and Progressions
According to Indian astrology, certain periods of time are governed by certain planets. These
planetary periods, or mahadasas, occur in a speci.c sequence and last for a speci.c length of
time. However, the starting point of the sequence is unique to the particular chart being analyzed,
and depends on the nakshatra that the Moon occupies in the chart.
Based on the chart of the New York Stock Exchange (established in 1792), I determined
that the stock market entered a sixteen year Jupiter period in August, 1982. This coincided with
the start of the bull market. In general then, according to this system the market will continue to
expand until 1998, since Jupiter is a "bullish" planet. Rises and falls within the current Jupiter
mahadasa are explained by sub-periods, or antardasas. These sub-periods can either amplify
or diminish the strength of the major period.
For those technicians interested in explaining alternative Elliott Wave counts, the Indian
system of planetary cycles offers a means of gauging the quality of the waves, timing them, and
understanding when a wave count is complete because a new cycle has started.
Indian dashas are a unique type of cycle that cannot be compared with Gann cycles.
The concept of Indian time is that of a spiral, and sections within Indian cycles behave in
a Fibonacci-like manner.
Indian Aspects: Angular Relationships Between Planets
Indian astrology, like Western astrology, includes aspects, the angular relationships
between planets. The Indian and Western systems differ, however, since in Indian astrology
each planet aspects other planets in a unique way. When Jupiter, for example, forms 120 or
240 degree aspects (trines) with another planet, the effect is strong, but if the aspect is 90
or 210 degree aspects, while trines involving Mars are relatively weak. Saturn's strongest
aspects are 60 and 270 degrees. Conjunctions (0 degrees) and oppositions (180 degrees)
are strong for all planets.
These concepts were illustrated on October 28, 1988 when Mars formed a 270 degree
aspect to Saturn and Uranus. Many prognosticators expected a signi.cant market effect due
to the Western square, but the effect turned out to be negligible. Indian astrology explains this
non-event since squares involving Mars are only strong when they are counter-clockwise (a
90 degree aspect); clockwise squares involving Mars (a 270 degree aspect) are very weak.
And the Saturn aspect was actually a 90 degree aspect rather than a 270 degree one, which
again according to Indian astrology is considered weak.Upon discovering the ancient Indian
text quoted at the beginning of this article, the expression, "there's nothing new under the
sun" came to mind. I felt that the most fundamental laws of nature governing commodities
are actually the same laws that govern both the movements of the solar system and the
depths of human psychology.
Anyone attempting to uncover the mysterious laws of nature that underlie the commodity markets
will be rewarded and intrigued by the depths of Indian astrology. The study of Indian astrology
leads not only to knowledge of economic laws, but ultimately to knowledge of the self.
On a more practical level, while no astrological system should be used 100 percent to time
market entries and exits, a combination of astrological and technical signals can certainly stack
the odds in your favor. Those interested in learning more about Indian astrology can contact me
at the below address for bibliographical information.
Barry Rosen has been studying Indian astrology for the past three years. He currently holds two
masters degrees and is a Ph.D. candidate at Indiana University. Rosen is presently teaching
a seminar on .nancial astrology and consulting. His newsletter, Investor's Fortucast, which
focuses on stock and commodities, began in August 1987. He recently began a newsletter for
the oil industry, the Petro Star. Sample copies are available upon request. Invertor's Fortucast,
501 West Jefferson, Fair.eld, IA 52556, (515)472-6866.