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?