The Saros cycle and the stock market
Posted by Danny on March 6, 2013
Once in a while I get questions about lunar and solar eclipses, or messages from readers who protest against my website stating that eclipses are rather irrelevant for the markets.
I can’t help it that there is no consistent effect from eclipses as such.
It’s just a common sense thing. Any casual observer can find out that there are between 4 and 7 eclipses each and every year, so whenever there is a decline in stock markets, it is guaranteed that it will be no more than three months away from some eclipse, and about half of the time it will be less than a month away from an eclipse. But that doesn’t mean the market decline or panic has anything to do with the eclipse.
It is equally easy to observe that the stock market goes through many years without any panics worth talking about. So, then it must be clear that the 4 to 7 eclipses in that year didn’t cause anything special.
That being said, for somebody who wants to dig a bit deeper into eclipses, there are a few things worth considering.
Lunar and solar eclipses are not standalone events. Eclipses are related to each other in what is called the “Saros cycle“. I am not going to use this article to explain the Saros cycle, wikipedia and other sources will do a better job than I can do on that point. All we need to know for our purposes here, is that very similar eclipses occur every 18 years, and they create long series of connected eclipses that can stretch over more than a thousand years.
From the perspective of market panics, it can be found that certain Saros series have collected a bad reputation, so to speak.
For example the famous Tulip mania came to an end in 1637, near a solar eclipse belonging to Solar Saros 125.
Subsequent eclipses in Solar Saros 125 have marked years of other financial panics:
*1637: Tulip mania
*1736: Bank crisis (Amsterdam, Germany)
*1799: Crash in Hamburg
*1907: Bankers Panic (New York)
*1979: Market panic, dollar crisis (USA)
*1997: Asian financial crisis
The next eclipse in this series will come in November 2015
Solar Saros 126 has been equally “productive”:
*1720: South Sea Bubble, Mississippi Company
*1792: Market crash (USA)
*1810: Crash (England)
*1864: Market crash (France)
*1882: Crash (France)
*1990: Start of crash in Japan
*2008: Worldwide financial crisis
The next eclipse in this series will happen in August 2026
Solar Saros 127 is also worth mentioning:
*1857: Crash (USA and Europe)
*1893: Crash and depression (USA, Australia and UK)
*1929: Wall Street crash and start of Great Depression
*2001: Market crash and 9/11
The next eclipse in this series will come in July 2019
Remember, there are about 40 active Saros cycles at any moment, and only a few of them have coincided with market crises on a somewhat regular basis. Within a given series the eclipses always come at 18 year intervals, and as we can see, even in the worst series not every eclipse came with meaningful trouble.
That’s why, if you were to give an astrologer some stock market charts (with dates removed), he would not be able to tell where the eclipses have come.
Bottom line: don’t get overly worried about upcoming eclipses. Most of them just come and go. It may be useful to keep an eye on the really “bad” Saros cycles we mentioned above.
By the way, the upcoming lunar eclipse for May 25th is a rare eclipse marking the start of Lunar Saros 150. For most of us this will be last time we experience the start of a new Saros cycle, because the next opportunity to see the start of a lunar Saros cycle will come in June 2096.