Somerset House, 2021
Edited for length and clarity by Gary Zhexi Zhang
For publication in Catastrophe Time! (Strange Attractor Press, 2023)
Hi Christeen, can you begin by explaining what you do?
Firstly I need to differentiate myself from what people perceive an astrologer to be. There is a difference between the astrologers that you might have imagined at work in the 20th century, and who they are today. 21st century astrology is very different; the advent of the computer altered our daily work. Before, everything was analogue, and astrologers learnt techniques from books that had been passed down for hundreds of years. We learnt that “if you have the Sun conjunct Mars, it means x” and many took that interpretation for granted. When the computer arrived, instead of drawing two or three charts by hand in a day, we could number crunch thousands! Today, I could scan 30,000 charts no problem. Now we can test those old theories – which has changed things and, I think, improved the quality of our work.
When I was younger, I was definitely an astrologer of the 20th century kind i.e. I learnt the standard interpretations. Then I became fascinated by the world of business and finance and became interested in phase relationships: the mathematics behind planetary positions. My expertise over the last 30 years has been very much in the world of finance. 30 years ago, I wouldn’t have dreamt of saying I was a financial astrologer, because I wasn’t. I had a grasp of what I thought certain cycles meant. Now I hope that I have deeper understanding of what I would call the “harmonics of the spheres”. In the last 10 years, many dwarf planets and asteroids have been discovered.: demanding that astrologers expand and prove their knowledge. That doesn’t mean to say that we are on top of this new data, but I do think that the quality of our work has improved.
Can you say a little about how those new scientific discoveries?
Let’s take a short history lesson. Until 1781, our local system ended with Saturn. And then we have the wonderful tale of William Herschel, who was not even the official astronomer (he was a musician obsessed by astronomy) who discovered the planet Uranus prompting new thought about our solar system. Astrologers had to put this other planet in the mix. Not quite a century went past, and Neptune was discovered. Not quite a century later, there’s another one, Pluto.
As you add in each new planet, astrologers had to add the new planet into all their charts hoping that this information would explain certain traits or trends. Thank goodness for computers and the fabulous software available because we can now test even if we don’t know what exactly we’re looking at. We accept that we are looking at a planet, planetoid or steroid as a lump of rock, or a ball of gas, or somewhere in between. But why is it having an effect on us? I don’t know the answer to that but it could be that the mathematical relationships and patterns created offer a vibration that affects life.
Right, the way you’re describing them, they’re like new pathways, like missing points on the map and we’re uncovering a more complete picture.
The way that I’ve described it to students is that we started off with a very simple jigsaw, with just a few pieces, and we worked for hundreds of years with those few planets – but then we went upgrade – to 16, and then 34. And now we’re in 1000s.
It’s also getting confusing and at a practical level, you have to consider: how am I going to use this information? How does it make your world better? That that’s my code every morning: how is this information going to make the world better for anyone? Of course, the ancients recognized the seasons, they honored the lunar cycles, and they worked with it, in planting; agriculture for instance. Today we use this information to determine social, economic and political trends. If humankind could decode this ‘music of the spheres’, then perhaps we could modify reaction.
For example, if you knew for a fact that—and I’m not saying this is the case—that next Thursday, the conditions suggested a war-like pattern forming, would you necessarily have the G7 meeting that day? Or would you look for a day when open discussion is likely to be fruitful? I think astrology could be used on a much grander scale. We, astrologers, have to up our game, to be really useful.
Can you say about what work do you do with the clients? And also what kind of tools are you using?
Let me start with the tools: 50 years ago you had a little book with tables which told you where the planets were at midday every day: an ephemeris. You constructed a chart from that. Now we’ve got feeds from NASA that can tell us exactly where planets will be at any given moment. Fabulous software is also available which will tell you where anything is, the speed it’s moving at, what it looks like viewed from Earth, from the Sun, from Mars, whatever. We’re able to construct better charts because the astrological tools are developing all the time.
The other essential is access to financial software with the option to superimpose astrological observations. For example, you might want to know: does a crash happen more often when Venus is in Scorpio as viewed from Earth, or as viewed from the Sun? I am indebted every morning to the software engineers who humor me when I say sorry, do you mind dropping this other planet/asteroid in? Testing, testing, testing and decoding where possible.
Then it’s down to what is the client wants. Remember: I’m trying to earn a living. Maybe they want to know what might happen with Microsoft or Apple. You would start off with the initial charts, back test and then forecast.
Others clients have what I call ‘Bitcoinitis’, so I attempt to Astro-decode Bitcoin’s price movement and set this in the context of why the financial world is altering.
Others might ask, “Christeen, politically, things seem to have been really different in the last 10 years. Is there a planetary explanation? And what’s coming next? Oh, and by the way, did you notice the pandemic coming?” So what I do has to be tailored to them, and I just have to hope that my research matches what they’re looking for.
There’s a quote often attributed to J.P. Morgan, that millionaires don’t need astrologers, but billionaires do, because the market is a mystery even to its biggest winners. Are your clients usually driven by emotions, by a sense of uncertainty or fear, or something more exploratory?
I don’t think it’s driven by fear. Certainly not the clients I work with. I’ve attracted clients who have access to the best brains they possibly could have – and from a variety of spheres. They are not hanging on my every word, that’s for sure, but they certainly want my input. Before the pandemic, we used to have monthly meetings where there was a historian, a statistician, an economist, me, and an artist. We would have a topic (usually a country), and they would say, right, we’re going to discuss X. I didn’t get to say, “well, I think this because Jupiter’s doing that to Pluto” or whatever. They just wanted to know, what’s the effect, what is the likely outcome? Is that going to have an impact on Rwanda or wherever? I would say my clients use many perspectives. If you (the astrologer) have a track record, shown a trend, or even an event, these people will come back for more. The proof is how often does the client want to speak to you? The ones you worry about are the ones who come once – and you never hear from them again. So what did I miss?
Maybe we could talk a bit about your track record?
Well, I would say that I made my name way back in 1987 but it wasn’t just me! A few astrologers were concerned about October of that year—there was a tricky Full Moon amongst other aspects that signalled market difficulty. We had the hurricane and the stock market crash.
Then, in November 1989, there was an extraordinary formation in the sky which none of us had lived through before. We had Saturn and Neptune at one end of the sky and Jupiter at the other. This was a rare planetary picture. I decided that it heralded an economic earthquake from the east. I thought it was going to take place around at 11 o’clock at night. And my client said, well, that doesn’t make any sense because markets are closed. So how does that work?
It was actually the fall of the Berlin Wall. And I think my description of it being an economic earthquake from the east was correct. Did I forecast the Berlin Wall coming down? No. I think for all of us who were working in what they call “mundane astrology” at that time, it was about world events. We got the timing because we could see the approaching planetary formation.
Of course, you then use that understanding, – although we’re never going to get that particular line up in our lifetimes in that area of the zodiac again. Yet there will be echoes. We now know what that configuration is likely to bring. It’s a political movement, as much as it is an economic one. I would say that my ‘track record’ bgean then.
And then there was all the hoo ha about the millennial bug which I couldn’t understand from a planetary perspective. I was thinking: don’t worry about the millennium bug, it’s what’s coming about four or five months later, where there is a fierce combination. This coincided with the dotcom crash.
Then there was my first book, The Financial Universe, where I said that I thought there would be a banking collapse in 2007-2008. The book bombed, because in 2004 when it was published, that eventuality was unthinkable. Prior to that there was the Russian Ruble crisis, which I got by interpreting an eclipse pattern. It wasn’t just me: any astrologer worth their salt should have picked the 2007-2008 crisis. Then it was the pandemic. When I wrote about that in my other book ‘Navigating the Financial Universe’, they were just words on a page. I truly didn’t realize what the impact would be. You asked earlier about an emotional response: yes, you can have a really bad response to your own forecast.
Yes, that must be a difficult position to be in.
Yes, yes. And you know, I’m not being negative, I’m absolutely not being negative because I have great faith in mankind. But there are some huge, huge waves coming in this next three or four years. I mean, I think it’s responsible now to say, look, this pandemic is awful, it’s ugly, it’s terrible, but what if this is a rehearsal for something bigger? Please, can we get our act together? Because if I’m right, and I truly hope that I’m wrong – as who wants to be right with this kind of forecast, – then the line-up in February 2026, could wipe out many more people. As we know that planetary line-up is coming, can we not take steps now to do something about it?
Can you say more about what you’re seeing?
Yes, the Sun goes through all 12 signs in a year. The other planets, being further and further away, take longer to do the same. Pluto takes a quarter of a millennium to get all the way round and whenever it crosses from one sector of the zodiac into another, there seems to be an effect. You can go back through Pluto’s cycle and see where – in the financial world – there have been major events that coincided with Pluto going from one zodiac sign to another. Pluto makes another crossing (ingress) in 2024. Pluto is not the only planet making ingress: Neptune too makes ingress, as does Uranus and Saturn. If you could imagine four great boats coming down the English Channel, they’re going to create waves. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but if we know that it’s coming, then we need to steer carefully. So that’s the setting for the next few years.
There’s more: Saturn and Neptune conjoin regularly every few decades. In February 2026, they align at zero degrees Aries – on what we call the vernal equinox, the beginning of the natural year. It’s called the ‘world axis’. If you unravel those two planets back through history, their cycle has a track record that coincides with disease. There is potential for another pandemic in 2026. Now that’s coming at the end of a period of disruption, discontinuity, whatever you want to call it (post Covid 19). We are going to need some serious leaders to get us through this. They won’t have had any experience as they would have had to have lived 25,000 years ago in order to have the right experience. So we’re going to have to have people who really study and know the segments of history, we need class acts. And I don’t know where they are.
Could we talk about the sun? For a while I’ve been fascinated by sunspots, in part because they keep reappearing in the history of economics.
Absolutely. For some time now, the sun has not been behaving what we would call normally. I don’t know why that’s the case — I am not a solar scientist, and you need to get one of them in and speak about this as well. Last year, we had a large grouping of planets all on one side of the Sun. There must be symbiotic relationship between the Sun and the planets. We know that the planets are held in gravity by the Sun, but they may be pulling on the Sun too. Is it possible that this has an effect on the Sun? Even though mankind is – horrifically – wrecking the planet, is it possible that solar activity is also a factor in climate change? As you know, there’s a recognized rhythm to sunspot activities, which is given as 11.2 years. That’s just its current average, and no two cycles are the same. You are never comparing like with like, which again, makes me wonder if it’s possibly to do with planetary distributions.
There’s long been this idea that solar activity does have an effect on us and our environments. For instance, when there’s very, very intense electromagnetic activity. There was one called the Carrington Event, a sort of solar flare, and there were aurora borealis sightings in Jamaica. It took place shortly before the use of electricity but if it happened today, it would take out most of the electricity grid. So you can actually buy magnetic storm insurance from Lloyd’s. And it’s interesting that you mention 2025-26, because that’s when the current solar cycle, cycle 25, is meant to peak.
The Carrington event was huge. Yes, that was big. But it wasn’t the only one. There was another one in the 1980s that knocked out the grid in Quebec. I don’t know what steps have ever been taken to protect major cities, because if a solar flare knocks out a GPS satellite, that could knock out an entire distribution system, and Tesco (or whoever) won’t know where to send out drivers or manage distribution systems. Our system is so much more fragile than we believe. Obviously, from my point of view, I’m fixated with planets, but you can’t look at planets if you don’t look at the Sun. But you’re right, if there’s a turning point in the solar cycle around 2025, 2026, that could lead to more and more disruption.
These days, it seems like things across the markets have gotten much more speculative and much riskier.
With more people involved there is always potential for mass hysteria. We’re a long, long way from just living on what we’ve grown. Even if someone doesn’t think they’ve got an interest in the market, their pension is invested in it. By default, we’re all involved in what is essentially a gamble. It is a risk area. I think it’s important for fund managers to know which sectors are going to do well in the next few years. What should they be giving attention to? These are the kinds of question they’re asking. I think they’re asking those questions because they’re beginning to see how they can use astrology.
It’s a two way thing too: a test, like it is for anybody else who has to work out what the market wants. How do we do this? How do we explain the ripple effect of an eclipse? How do we explain how investors can use that information? I’m not sure that astrologers in general are particularly good at that – yet. I hope that we’re improving. You know when you go to the doctor, and they speak in a language you don’t understand? A good doctor knows how to explain matters in a language you understand. A good astrologer shouldn’t be hiding behind “Well, there’s a quincunx relationship between Mars and Venus” or whatever, but actually decoding it. And that I think is where astrology has to get to: we’ve got to get better at decoding