Financial trading and investment are largely about interpreting events and finding patterns. Henry Weingarten would probably say that astrology is a kind of insider knowledge that gives you an edge on the market. But the astrology doesn’t replace the financial knowledge, it’s just another navigational tool. The financial astrologers I’ve encountered are extremely technical in their approach, analysing patterns between celestial movements and market data in a way that’s really not that different to a trader sitting at a Bloomberg Terminal, attempting to glean insights from a firehose of financial information. Meanwhile, traders use all manner of cycles, waves, and geometries to ‘read’ the rise and fall of markets. One style of financial trading, technical analysis, is sometimes derided as ‘astrology for men.’
To take a step back, there’s a thread of financial lore which connects economic events with wider natural, planetary and cosmic systems, which seems increasingly relevant today. Last year, I interviewed an economist called Mikhail, whose research shows that the long history of financial crises continues to demonstrate an eerie correspondence with the rhythm of solar cycles since the 18th century. He doesn’t claim a causality, but like any data scientist, he finds a strong correlation difficult to ignore. Meanwhile, my collaborator Klara Kofen has been researching the so-called General Crisis around the 17th century, a period of intense global conflict and disarray, which also happened to coincide with ‘Maunder Minimum,’ a period of exceptionally low solar activity linked to global cooling.