Indian Fixed Stars and Time Cycles: Unique and Practical
Tools for Market Forecasting
by Barry William Rosen
"If one stores up gold and silver when the Sun enters Simha (Leo) and sells them in the 5th month, he will get profit."
--Brihat Samhita (Ancient Indian text)
Futures trading and financial astrology are much older than one might imagine. Thousands of 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 financial astrology. A close examination of the Indian system of astrology reveals that it has very precise and exact predictive power that can greatly enhance futures trading. W. P. Gann obviously realized its value since he went to India and studied it. In actuality, the famous Gann wheel was first used by tea merchants in seventeenth century India.
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 financial and commodity markets will be explained with an emphasis toward the fixed star or nakshatra system and Indian time cycles or mahadashas.
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 6 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.
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 120ø or 240ø aspects (trines) with another planet, the effect is strong, but if the aspect is 90ø (a square) the effect is only 75% benefic.
Mars, on the other hand, has its strongest effect when it forms a 90ø or 210ø aspect, while trines involving Mars have only a 50% malefic influence. Saturn's strongest aspects are 60ø and 270ø. Conjunctions (0ø) and oppositions (180ø) are strong for all planets.
In the Indian system, the planets involved in the aspects are more important than negative or positive values of the type of aspects. For example, as stated above, a Jupiter square would only have a 75% effect, but because of the involvement of a natural benefic, it would be positive despite its square angularity. Whereas, a trine from the Mars, would have only a 50% effect and its effect would be malefic despite its trinal angularity. For the most part, Indian astrologers ignore aspects that are not 100%.
A broader understanding of Indian aspects and their difference from Western astrology can be illustrated from expectations for October 28, 1988 when Mars formed a 270ø aspect to Saturn and Uranus. Many prognosticators expected a significant 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 90ø aspect); clockwise squares involving Mars (a 270ø aspect) are very weak. And the Saturn aspect was actually a 90ø aspect rather than a 270ø one, which again according to Indian astrology is only 75% of normal.
Nakshatras and Navamshas: Gaining a Microscopic Perspective through Fixed Stars and their Sections
Many Western financial astrologers use change of signs as an indicator for change of directions. The Indian system allows for a more microscopic examination of planetary transits by subdividing the zodiac into 27 fixed stars, each of which have four sections creating a total of 108 divisions. From another perspective, dividing each of the 12 signs into 9 sections of 3 degrees and 20 minutes creates the same result; these are called navamshas. Each of these subdivisions corresponds to a sign of the Zodiac. For example, the first 3ø20' of Leo is the Aries subdivision, followed by the Taurus subdivision followed by the Gemini section etc. In watching daily market strengths for over 24 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 or Pisces subdivisions of a sign, one is more likely to see sharper rises in prices if the trend and context are ripe. And when Mercury, which influences 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 fine 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. Each of the twenty-seven nakshatras is related to three of the seven major planets (excluding Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto) and the two nodes. For example, Mars owns three stars: Mrigashira (Orion in Gemini), Chitra (Corvi in Libra) and Dhanishtha (Delphini in Capricorn). Planets transiting through these stars not only take on the soft or sharp qualities of these stars, but interact with the ruler based on natural friend and enemy status. For example, the moon's regular transit through the constellation of Dhanishtha statistically leads to declines in the stock market not only because of the star's association with Mars, an enemy of the Moon, but also because of the star's moveable and sharper qualities.
Another example involving the sugar market will offer additional insights into other ways in which the fixed stars can be used. Interactions between Mars and Venus have a major effect on sugar prices. Financial astrologers will remember that the Mars/Venus square in July of 1988 marked the top of that market. A rather unnoticed association recently led to a major rise in prices in Feb. of 1989. It involved Mars transiting through one of Venus's constellations, Bharani (41 Arietis in Aries) and Venus transiting through Mars's constellation Dhanishtha (Delphini in Capricorn) simultaneously. The relationship created an exchange of stars or nakshatras, very similar to the Western concept of exchange of house (mutual association ?) and excited a 200 point run up in sugar prices. Financial astrologers are encouraged to investigate this phenomenon further since dividing the sky into 27 parts rather than just 12 yields more precise information. From my own work with the fixed stars or nakshatras, much of the research into this area does yield statistically valid information. For example, Mars, Mercury, and Venus's transits through the star of Revati (Piscium in Pisces 16.40-29.59) has a very high correlation with an increase in soybean prices. The moon's monthly transits through the 27 constellations has a very noticeable and regular effect on the stock market. Many other additional transits can be studied and validated as having statistical significance.
Transits through nakshatras can also be used to successfully predict weather patterns. Using this system and the ancient texts such as the Brihat Samhita and B. V. Raman's Planetary Influence on Human Affairs, I predicted the 1988 summer drought in my April financial bulletin, due to the preponderance of critical planets in what are known as "waterless" nakshatras. Specifically, Saturn was in the constellation of Scorpii and Mars and the north node of the Indian texts are full of information on weather and planetary transits and a fuller exploration and scientific study of this phenomenon could be useful.
Planetary Periods: Beyond Transits and Progressions
Perhaps the greatest asset of the Indian astrological systems is the Vimsottari dasha system of planetary periods. A dasha is a period of time during which one's life is influenced or governed by a particular planet lasting a fixed time. For example, the shortest period, the Sun period, lasts for six years, while the longest period, Venus, lasts for twenty years. These cycles unfold in a fixed sequence and comprise 120 years before they repeat. The positive or negative nature of these periods depends on the placement of the planet by house position, the houses he owns, the houses he aspects, the planets that aspect him, and the sign that he is in. For example, in a natal chart with Jupiter in Cancer in the 9th with Scorpio rising, a speculator in a Jupiter period lasting 16 years would expect astounding results since Jupiter owns the 5th and the 2nd (speculation and accumulated wealth) and is exalted in the house of good luck and good fortune.
In order to properly use the mahadashas and their smaller periods, one must have the exact time of the start of the first future's contract of a commodity. Each minute that one is off, can lead to changing the prediction low or high by 4 days.
The dasha system is the best means for predicting the context of market as well as its long term trends. According to Indian astrology, good and bad transits and aspects are always contextual based on the individual period or cycle that is in progress. One can remember well the Saturn/Uranus conjunction of Feb. 1988 that was forecasted to suggest a sequel to Black Monday. However, it failed to manifest, not only because of a special planetary combination (yoga) from Jupiter's trinal aspect on its own sign, but also because the underlying period was neutral to slightly positive.
If one studies the 197-year history of the stock market, and is familiar with the rules for predicting and interpreting the Indian dasha or time cycle system, the mysterious cycles which seem to govern stocks would no longer be a mystery. For example, by no accident, the bull market that began in 1982 coincided with the beginning of a 16-year Jupiter period, which began in late August. Rises and falls within a Jupiter mahadasa are explained by sub-periods, or antardasas. These sub-periods can either amplify or diminish the strength of the major period.
Within this 16-year period, the transits of Jupiter, its retrogradation and aspects to it are especially influential since Jupiter assumes the second most important role in the NYSE chart next to the moon, the chart lord. A 19-year Saturn period began in 1998 and has assumed the second most important role.
A recent study I did of the NYSE will explain how the dashas can be of used to sport short term and intermediate declines or rises. Since the large periods are too unwieldy for useful short-term analysis, they have to be broken down into four or five levels. When this is done, one finds that basic cyclical combinations are either bullish, bearish or neutral.
A comparison of the Oct.-Feb. 1987-88 fourth level cycles (Jupiter/Mercury/Venus/Rahu etc.) with the three level periods in 1901-04 reveals that the major lows coincide with a repetition of particular combinations. This principle can also be extended to sections of other cycles in other years. For example note the following:
-Venus/Rahu/Saturn: (8-28-29 - 2-17-30 ) Decline from high of 372.06 on 9-03-29 to a Low of 230.07 on 10-29-29.
-Jupiter/Mercury/Venus/Rahu/Sat (Dec 4, 1987) Signaled another major low and decline to 1747 on the Dow after being as high as 2051 following the crash.
Jupiter/Mercury/Venus/Venus/Rahu (October 19, 1987) The third level Venus period did contribute to the direction of the decline in combination with a number of bearish oppositions, the return to an eclipsed constellation, and the sidereal transit of Uranus into Sagittarius.
This one example indicates how the Venus/Rahu combination can be used to signal a sharp decline if it occurs in a particular combination.
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. Understanding one's Indian cycles and transits is also an important part of the process for trading successfully as is an important timing system. A combination of the two is astoundingly useful and leads to an awe-inspiring appreciation of the order of natural law. While no astrological system should be used 100% to time market entries and exits, a combination of astrological and technical signals and a knowledge of personal trading periods can certainly stack the odds in ones favor and lead to the answer of one of man's greatest metaphysical questions--the relationship between his own consciousness and the universe.
About the author: Barry Rosen has been studying Indian philosophy (Vedic Science) for over twenty years and Indian astrology for over ten years. Both a financial astrologer and a CTA, Mr. Rosen publishes daily recommendations on over 18 futures markets and a market timing newsletter, FORTUCAST COMMODITY MARKET TIMING. He can be reached at PO Box 20956, Sedona, AZ 86341; 928-284-5737.
James Braha. Ancient Hindu Astrology for the Modern Western Astrologer. Miami: Hermetician Press, 1986.
Tom Hopke. How to Read Your Horoscope. Hawaii: Vedic Cultural Society, 1987.
Pandit Gopesh Kumar Ojha. Predictive Astrology of the Hindus. Bombay: Taraporevala, 1972.
B. V. Raman's Planetary Influence on Human Affairs. Bangalore: Prakashana, 1982.