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Raymond Merriman - 2016-2018: War Threats and Droughts

The world is not safe today.

The increase of terrorism and violence throughout the world since the advent of the Cardinal Climax (2008-2015) has already resulted in the deaths of untold numbers of innocent people. This danger escalated even further under the waxing square of Uranus and Pluto, 2012-2015, a geocosmic combination that led to the forecast of greater violence and terrorist activities threatening the lives of many people in these annual Forecast Books leading up to and during these years. These dangers have led to very unstable conditions in the world, resulting in a mass exodus from various regions, especially in the Middle East and Africa.

With Saturn in the religious and ideological sign of Sagittarius, angry rhetoric against those who oppose or do not support one’s ideology is likely to increase. This phenomenon is not just a case of “political correctness” going over the top, but a demand (Saturn) that others comply with the “new rules” (Saturn) related to one’s ideology (Sagittarius and Jupiter), or face dire consequences (Saturn). Therefore, this combination of Saturn in Sagittarius, square to Jupiter, can be a time of great threat to the freedoms and even lives of those who oppose a leadership based on a rigid ideology.

Yet, the threats inferred here are not only with Saturn in the very loud (and at times, angry) fire sign of Sagittarius, or in Saturn’s hard square aspect to both Neptune and Jupiter. They also relate to Mars, the planet of aggression and confrontations. In 2016 and 2018, Mars will turn retrograde in close proximity to Saturn, an astrological combination associated with wars and/or threats of wars for many centuries, especially when transiting through Sagittarius and Capricorn. In 2016, Mars will turn retrograde in Sagittarius, the sign that Saturn also occupies. In 2018, Mars will turn retrograde in early Aquarius, but then retrograde back into Capricorn, the sign that Saturn will occupy that year. A couple of weeks prior to turning retrograde in 2018, Mars will have passed over both Saturn and Pluto in Capricorn, a geocosmic period of especially heightened dangers and threats, as all three are considered the malefics of astrology and a precursor to potential violence.

When Mars turns retrograde or direct (stationary), it spends a longer time in those specific sectors of the cosmos (or signs) than usual. Thus, when it is retrograde in the signs of Sagittarius and Scorpio in 2016, and Capricorn and Aquarius in 2018, it will spend more time in those four signs than all the others over the next two years. Saturn will be present in Sagittarius and Capricorn for much of those two years respectively. Therefore, Mars will be nearby Saturn for much of those two years. Mars in Sagittarius and Capricorn are important, for in a study conducted several years ago and published in The Mountain Astrologer (, I demonstrated the correlation of greater-than-expected volatility in Crude Oil prices during those times. Furthermore, this volatility then was associated with increased war threats and/or military confrontations directed at Israel from her neighbors. Therefore, we can make the forecast that the threat of military confrontations will be heightened in 2016 through 2018, and will likely involve the Middle East, and perhaps even be directed specifically at Israel.



Mars turning retrograde in Sagittarius, near Saturn, which is also in Sagittarius, April 17, 2016.

In the chart above, one can observe how close Mars is to Saturn, in the fire sign of Sagittarius, when it turns retrograde on April 17, 2016.

The retrograde date itself is not the only time indicative of potential danger, even though that is when Mars is closest to Saturn prior to turning direct in 2016. The danger remains present for quite some time. For instance, on May 21, the full Moon falls on Mars in early Sagittarius (see the enclosed chart). This could also be nearby to a time of increased hostility. Then, of course, when Mars actually conjoins Saturn on August 22, it signifies yet another period in which tensions are heightened. In fact, the entire time that Mars first enters Sagittarius (March 5, 2016) through its final day in Capricorn (November 9, right after the USA presidential election), the possibilities of war are present, especially in the Middle East. It is interesting that the six months prior to the USA election are highlighted as war-like. It is as if there is an intentional effort to create havoc in this part of the world before the new American leader is elected. But by whom? And for what reason? This is where Neptune comes in, for there may be a cover-up. There may be covert activity behind the scenes that wants a war, perhaps for economic or political reasons. Power, once tasted, is hard to let go.



The full Moon of May 21, 2016. Note that Mars is in early Sagittarius with the Moon, opposite the Sun. It will be a bright star rising in the east, with the Moon, as the Sun is setting.

If the threat of war is greater than usual due to the closeness of Mars and Saturn, with Mars transiting through Sagittarius and Capricorn for much of 2016, then so is the capricious practice of spying and espionage that is associated with Neptune in Pisces, which is opposed by Jupiter and squared by Saturn. In fact, at the time Mars conjuncts Saturn in late August, both planets are in Sagittarius and within a degree of an exact square to Neptune, the betrayal of a closely held secret. The exposure of that covert plan is not only humiliating to the party betrayed, but it may also put that party (that nation) in grave danger. All of these matters – and others – may cause sharp price fluctuations in financial markets, particularly in Crude Oil.

Any peace that is attained during this period or shortly afterwards, may be short-lived, for in 2018, Mars again transits through Sagittarius and Capricorn and meets up with Saturn. However, in 2018, it is not just Mars and Saturn with each other in Capricorn. Pluto joins them (see enclosed chart), and this could pose an even greater danger of military or terrorist activity. It may be a “search and destroy mission,” for Pluto specifically refers to an event that threatens the lives of many (it could also, or instead, be an act of nature). Furthermore, this combination is not prone to conciliatory measures between adversaries. There is usually no desire for a win-win resolution, but rather an attitude that suggests, “Let’s settle this once and for all. One of us will win, and one of us must lose.” The war games begin. After that, there is rebuilding.


August 22, 2016, Mars conjunct Saturn, square Neptune and the lunar nodes.


April 15, 2018, Mars-Saturn-Pluto conjunct in Capricorn

We stated that these geocosmic signatures could coincide with acts of nature that are a threat to human lives. This is where the prospect of a serious and dangerous drought comes in, as earlier indicated by the presence of Saturn (lack of, or losses) square Neptune (water and rains). In some parts of the world, there is too much rainfall, causing floods and subsequent losses of life and property. In other parts of the world, there is likely not enough rain, causing drought conditions and hence a shortage of food.

When you combine the Saturn/Neptune dynamic of “loss through floods” or “too little” water where needed for the planting and growing season of grain and other foods, with Mars and Saturn together in Sagittarius in 2016, you get the possibility of drought. Mars relates to hot conditions, above average temperatures, especially when in a fire sign like Sagittarius. If that occurs in regions where there is also lack of adequate rainfall during the growing season, it can create a serious shortage of food during harvest time. The result would be rising food prices – inflation.