Saturday, August 11, 2012

The 5th House in the Current Stock Market

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?


Jenny said...

Would an 11th house rulership be more appropriate? That's always been the house whose traditional descriptions leave me unsatisfied. But computers are so Uranian and connected with the expression of Aquarius that isn't Saturnine (though so much of it is.) So linking computer-dominated activities to the house naturally associated with Aquarius might make sense.

And the market certainly lacks the fun and self-expression that a 5th house kind of gambling should have. It's become a meta-social phenomenon--souless and uncaring about the fate of the individual as so many Aquarian-themed things are.

I'd really love to hear more of your thoughts on this theme as they develop

J. Lee Lehman said...

Jenny, classical astrology certainly wouldn't go to the 11th house because of a Uranian connection, both because Uranus wouldn't be recognized as a sign ruler, and because it doesn't use the 1st house = Aries model. But I do get your drift. I agree that the 11th house has been problematic in its definitions, athough I do think an unexplored but possibly interesting slant for the 11th involves mentorships.

At this point, I'm not sure where I would put stocks, but I'm actively thinking about it. Thanks for commenting.

Jenny said...

I always felt most comfortable with the 11th being "the assets of the connected community" (rather than of "society" which doesn't really function as people united.) Uranus's uncloaking seems to correlate with the supercharging of the connected community, which goes from a small group of people we know, to the Web-enabled connection that allows me sitting at my computer to talk to you late at night in a meaningful way.

The markets have been supercharged in the same way going from discrete national bodies to these computer-modulated world spanning phemenoma that move at the speed of electrons.

So the assets of those 11th house connected people all over the world are being put at hazard in a way that generalizes what is a very personal and limited experience in the 5th house.

So you can get there without Aquarius and Uranus just looking at the way that the locus of action expands as we move through each quadrant.

(Hope that makes sense. It is late! )