Copyright 2012 J. Lee Lehman, Ph.D.
For years in my personal practice, as well as in Martial Art of Horary Astrology, I have followed the standard pattern of referring to the stock market as a 5th house matter: gambling, in other words.The idea was: when you invest in the market, you are engaging in a practice similar to traditional gambling: you may have a model you are working with, or technical factors, but your "bet" still involved the Wheel of Fortune: Lady Luck. Thus, astrological practice would make this unequivocally a 5th house matter.
I want to call attention to the fact that this may not longer be true. The reason is simple: computer trading. A recent article in the BBC pointed out just how much computer trading is going on. The basic idea is this: there is now a huge amount of computer trading going on, where programs are actively looking for anomalies in market price, and trading accordingly. Computers can do this on a scale vastly beyond the capability of a human being, or even a conventional brokerage house. A computer program that has access to market data in real-time can perform so many calculations per second that there need not be much "intelligence" there - just a lot of horsepower to perform crude but numerically overwhelming crunching, which then itself becomes a trading strategy, because it is the computers initiating the trades. I would then ask: apart from when the programs glitch, how much randomness or luck is left in the market?
Given this question, is stock trading any more a 5th house activity? I am personally reexamining this issue in terms of my own portfolio, but I am also going to begin to take this into account in my astrological advice.
In fact, I have noticed a definite shift in electional work that has been building steam over the last decade or more. The basic question is: when the other "party" is a computer, do the traditional astrological rules apply?