THE MOON, THE SUN & THE 9/56 YEAR PANIC CYCLE
 
 
David McMinn

Moon Sun Finance

Introduction

A 9/56 year cycle has been established in trends of US and Western European financial crises since 1760 (Funk, 1932; McMinn, 1997). Clearly many major financial crises are precipitated by some mechanism, as they tend to occur preferentially in patterns of the 9/56 year cycle and not as random events. Numerous cosmic factors were examined for some link with the timing of financial crises. Sunspots and traditional astrology were the initial areas favoured for assessment but no significance could be realised. However, the 9/56 year cycle was found to correlate very closely with cycles of the Sun and Moon. The paper Financial Crises & The Number 56 is essential reading for a coverage of the 9/56 year panic cycle.

Changing mob psychology is hypothesised to form the basis of cycles of financial crises. Such an opinion is not new. Mill (1867) believed that the "mental mood of businessmen tends to run in cycles''. The obvious question arises as to the causal principle precipitating this repetitive cycle of mob psychology - speculative frenzy, crisis, pessimism. It has persisted throughout modern economic history, with people learning very little from the greed and foolishness of the preceding generation.

The Earth’s orbital plane around the Sun is represented by the 360o ecliptical circle, as viewed from Earth. 0 Eo is sited at the spring equinox point, with the abbreviation Eo being used to denote ecliptic longitudinal degrees. This is to differentiate it from angular degrees (angle separating two heavenly factors), which is given as Ao. The use of ecliptic degrees was deemed necessary for simplicity. Everybody is familiar with the 360o of a circle, where as few people know the zodiacal signs and their succession through the zodiac. Additionally, there is no scientific evidence to support the concept of 12 zodiacal signs and their associated symbolism, even though it is one of the most fundamental paradigms in astrology.

A glossary has been presented for those unfamiliar with the terms used in this paper. Most importantly, the term ‘node’ is used in astronomy to describe any two points where:
*     the orbit of a heavenly body cuts an astronomical plane.
*     two astronomical planes intersect.
Another key term is the celestial equator, which is the plane of the Earth’s equator extended out into space onto the sky.

 LUNISOLAR CYCLES

The Nutation Cycle is caused by a very slight elliptical nodding of the Earth's axis, which is superimposed on the precessional motion due to the pull of the Moon on the Earth (see Wikipedia). This shows up as the north node’s retrograde (clockwise) movement around the ecliptic circle, taking 18.6133 tropical years to complete one cycle of the ecliptic circle from spring equinox to spring equinox.

A number of other Sun - Moon cycles are crucial in financial trends and arise in the ecliptical and angular circles.

Ecliptical Circle is the basis of three key lunisolar cycles. Positions of the Sun, Moon and lunar nodes are given as ecliptical longitudinal degrees, which are equivalent to angles to the spring equinox point (0 Eo).

Tropical Year (or Solar Year) equals 365.2422 days and is the time taken for the Sun to complete one cycle of the ecliptic circle from spring equinox to spring equinox.

Tropical Month is the time taken for the Moon to complete one 360o cycle of the ecliptic circle from spring equinox to spring equinox and is equal to 27.3216 days.

Nutation Cycle shows up as the Moon’s north node retrograde (clockwise) movement around the ecliptic circle, taking 18.6133 tropical years to complete one cycle.

Angular Circle. This gives the respective angles between the Sun, Moon and Moon’s north node - denoted by Ao:

Nodical Year (or Eclipse Year) equals 346.6200 days and is the time taken for the Sun to complete one cycle lunar north node to lunar north node. Eclipse year is the astronomically correct term for this cycle, but nodical year has been used in the text because it is more descriptive.

Nodical Month (or Draconic Month) is the time taken for the Moon to complete one cycle lunar north node to north node and is equal to 27.2122 days.

Synodic Month (or Lunar Month) is the time taken for the Moon to complete one cycle new Moon to new Moon and equals 29.5306 days. It is based on the angle between the Sun and Moon as viewed from Earth.

Saros Cycle. Every 223 synodic months (one Saros cycle), the Sun, Moon and the Moon's nodes align in the same relative angles to each other to within a fraction of a degree. The Saros (18.0 tropical years) divided by two gives the Half Saros Cycle. Every 9.0 tropical years, the Moon's mean relative position is the same angle to the lunar north node, with the Sun 180o on the opposite side of the ecliptic circle (see Appendix 1).

56 Year Cycle. On the same date every 56 tropical years, the ecliptical position of the lunar north node moves only 3 Eo clockwise (eg as on July 1: 1761 - NN at 48 Eo; 1817 - 45 Eo; 1873 - 42 Eo; 1929 - 39 Eo; 1985 - 36 Eo). Furthermore, every 56.0 tropical years, the Sun's relative position forms the same angle to the north lunar with the Moon 180o on the opposite side of the ecliptic circle. The two cycles of 9.0 (half Saros) and 56.0 tropical years result in alternating full/new moons every 111.5 and 692.5 synodic months respectively (see Appendix 1).

The 9 and 56 year cycles are based on the angles 0o and 180o between the Sun, Moon and lunar nodes and repeat to within one degree. Additionally, other lunisolar cycles in Appendix 1 are in integral and half integral numbers.

The reasons for the importance of 0o/180o angles in the Saros and 56 year cycle remain unresolved, although it would indicate that the 1st and 2nd harmonics are crucial in understanding how the cycle actually functions. Interestingly, these harmonics play a key role in the Earth's oceanic tides.

THE LUNAR NODES

Nutation Cycle. The ecliptical position of the north node on a particular date correlated perfectly with the 9/36 year sub-cycles. On July 1 for ALL years in the 36 year sub-cycles Series 1, the north node was always sited between 328 and 58 Eo, while for ALL years in Series 2, the north node appeared between 142 and 231 Eo (see Diagram 1). For such patterns to occur by chance would be infinitely small. One would expect an even ecliptical distribution of the north node, if there was no relationship with sub-cycles based on multiples of 9 years.

 

 DIAGRAM 1    NORTH NODE ECLIPTICAL POSITION & THE 36 YEAR SUB-CYCLES

As on July 1 - All 44 years in the 36 ysc (Series 1 & 2) - 1760-2000

For the 1755-1940 period, the placement of the north node can be strongly correlated with the timing of Kindleberger's 30 major crises (see Diagram 2).

*     24 crises had the north node in the two quarter segments diagonally opposite in the ecliptic circle - 0 - 90 Eo and 180 - 270 Eo (Significant p < .001).

*     17 crises were located with the north node in two diagonally opposite 45o segments - 0 - 45 Eo and 180 - 225 Eo. (Significant p < .001).

*     No crises were evident when the north node was sited between 255 and 335 Eo; a segment of 80o (Significant p < .01).

For Kindleberger's 42 major crisis years (1760-1987), significance could still be repeated for the north node in these ecliptical segments discussed previously, but at a lower level (down to p < .05). In this analysis, one would expect an even distribution of the north node on the ecliptic if only chance factors were operating.


DIAGRAM 2     MAJOR FINANCIAL CRISES & THE LUNAR NORTH NODE ECLIPTICAL POSITION

Ecliptical position of  north node at the time of all major crises listed by Kindleberger (Appendix B, 1996) for the period 1755-1940. For crisis years with no given month, the north node is taken as occurring on July 1. For crises given as multiple months, the north node is timed mid way between the first and last crisis month.

 

The concentration of the north node in the segments 0 - 45 Eo & 180 - 225 Eo for the timing of major financial crisis is probably linked with the equinox points 0 Eo/180 Eo, where the celestial equator intersects the ecliptic. As the Moon’s nodes move retrograde (clockwise) around the ecliptic, major financial crises are most likely to happen in the few years prior to the lunar nodes reaching the equinoxes.

The Sun

The Sun's Ecliptical Position is hypothesised to have an impact upon financial activity. There is evidence to support this proposal. The greatest one day falls in the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) and Financial Times 30 (FT-30) were usually recorded when the Sun was in the 180 - 240 Eo segment (ie: after the Sun has passed the 180 Eo equinox).

DJIA 50 falls 1915-70 20 in 180 - 240 Eo (p < 10-4).
DJIA 50 falls 1943-98 21 in 180 - 240 E
o (p < 10-5).

 For the DJIA, the biggest one day rises were also most likely to happen when the Sun was in the crucial 180 - 240 Eo segment.

DJIA 50 rises 1915-70 20 in 180 - 240 Eo (p < 10-4).
DJIA 50 rises 1943-98 18 in 180 - 240 Eo (p < .001).

October/November are the featured months when both the biggest one day rises and falls are most likely to be experienced. No seasonal factors are known which could account for this very persistent correlation.

LUNISOLAR CYCLES: A KEY

Given the alignment (based on 0o and 180o angles) of several lunisolar cycles at 9 and 56 tropical years, the Moon was expected to play a key role in the 9/56 year cycle. In Series 1 & 2 of the 36 year sub-cycles (McMinn 1997), S/NN conjunctions (0 Ao) formed angles to the Moon ranging from 0 to 50 Ao and 170 to 240 Ao (see Diagram 3). This applied in all years between 1760 and 1940.

DIAGRAM 3    MOON ANGLES TO S/NN CONJUNCTIONS & THE 36 YSC

1760 to 2000. All Years in 36 Year Sub-Cycles Series 1 & 2.
Angular degrees


LUNAR PHASE & THE DJIA

The most amazing correlate in Moon Sun finance arises between lunar phase and the timing of major US financial panics. Table 4 shows the relationship between lunar phase and the all DJIA annual one day (AOD) falls over 4.50% in the 1915 - 1999 era. Clearly, lunar phase nearly always showed up between first quarter and full Moon and third quarter and new Moon with only one exception in 1930 (McMinn, 2006).  (NB: The annual one day fall is the biggest one day % decline in the DJIA in the year commencing March 1.)

 

 
DIAGRAM 4     LUNAR PHASE & DJIA AOD FALLS OVER -4.50%
1915 - 1999
 
Source: McMinn, David. Lunar Phase & US Crashes. Australian Technical 
Analysts Assoc Journal. p 20. Jan/Feb 2000.


If the time frame was extended from 1910 to 2008, the following events may also be included:

Date Event Sun E Moon E Phase A
Jan 20, 1913 AOD fall -4.90% 300 093 153
Jul 30, 1914 AOD fall -6.63% 127 226 099
Apr 14, 2000 Tech Wreck 025 155 130
Sep 11, 2001 WTC attack 169 090 281
Jul 23, 2002 AOD fall -4.64% 117 239 122
Jan 21, 2008 Worldwide
stock market panics (a)
301 110 169
Oct 15, 2008 AOD fall -7.75%
(a) Worldwide stock market panics. US market was closed for Martin Luther King Jnr holiday. Even so this date was taken as the DJIA AOD fall for 2007.

Of the total 29 major AOD falls since 1910 (the double AOD falls in 1919 and 1940 were each treated as one event), only lunar phase in 1930 did not show up within the two quarter segments in Diagram 4. This was extremely unlikely to happen by chance (significant  p < 10-6). Interestingly, this lunar phase effect did not show up in pre 1910 US stock market activity or for DJIA AOD falls less than 4.50%.

The 54/56 Year Grid

Table 1 presents the 54/56 year grid by McMinn (1986, 1995), which contained numerous major financial crises and panics. Years in BOLD experienced major US and Western European crises as listed by Kindleberger (Appendix B, 1996), while additional crises and DJIA AOD falls were presented in Appendix 1. Remarkably, lunar phase for these 23 crises/panics occurred with lunar phase between 090 & 190 Ao, as well as between 290 and 350 Ao, with one exception for the October 1839 panic (023 Ao). This gave a similar lunar phase distribution to that established for DA AOD falls in Diagram 1.

Table 1                   54/56 YEAR  PANIC CYCLE

 

 

 

 

Sq 01

 

Sq 03

 

Sq 05

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1761

+ 54

1815

 

 

 

 

 

 

1763

+ 54

1817

+ 54

1871

 

 

 

 

1765

+ 54

1819

+ 54

1873

+ 54

1927

 

 

1767

+ 54

1821

+ 54

1875

+ 54

1929

+ 54

1983

1769

+ 54

1823

+ 54

1877

+ 54

1931

+ 54

1985

 

 

1825

+ 54

1879

+ 54

1933

+ 54

1987

 

 

 

 

1881

+ 54

1935

+ 54

1989

 

 

 

 

 

 

1937

+ 54

1991

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1993

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Source: McMinn, 1986, 1995.


Curiously, all 9 DJIA AOD falls (=> -3.60%) within this 54/56 year gird occurred in the four months to November 15, with 6 in the three weeks ended October 28.
The 8 AOD falls in the two months commencing in September 20 all appeared in a grid based on intervals of 60 years (see Table 2).

Table 2                 THE 60 YEAR INTERVALS

DJIA AUTUMN AOD Falls in Table 1

na + 2 1869 (a)
Sep 24
+ 2 1871 (b)
Oct 09
+ 6 na
+ 60 + 60 + 60 + 60

1927
Oct 08
-3.65%

+ 2

1929 (c)
Oct 29
-11.73%

+ 2

1931
Sep 24
-7.07%

+ 6 1937
Oct 18
-7.63%

+ 60

 

+ 60

 

+ 60

+ 60

1987
Oct 19
-22.61%

+ 2

1989
Oct 13
-6.91%

+ 2

1991
Nov 15
-3.91%

+ 6 1997 (b)
Oct 27
-7.67%

(a) Black Friday gold panic.
(b) Chicago fire panic.
(c) The 1929 AOD fall happened on Monday Oct 28, although the following day, Black Tuesday, has been used in the table.
NB: The autumn panics of 1869 and the 1997 did not occur in the 54/56 grid as presented in Table 1. 
na. Daily New York stock market data unavailable.

Apogee Point

Apogee is the point in the lunar orbit, where the Moon is the greatest distance from Earth, while perigee is the least distance. In the lunar apse cycle, the apogee perigee axis (apsides) rotates counter clockwise around the ecliptical circle, with apogee passing from spring equinox to spring equinox every 8.8474 tropical years. 9.0 years divided by the 8.8474 year apse cycle yielded 1.02, while 56.0 divided by the apse cycle gave 6.33 (6 plus one third). On the same date in the 9/56 year grid, apogee is always located in three segments approximately 120
o apart on the ecliptical circle with no exceptions. This is illustrated in the 9/56 year grid shown in Table 2, where apogee is always located in three segments 335 013 Eo; 095 135 Eo and 215 250 Eo.
   

Table 2      9/56 YEAR SUB-CYCLE & THE POSITION OF APOGEE
Ecliptical Degrees of Apogee as on July 1

Sq 32

Sq 41

Sq 50

Sq 03

Sq 12

Sq 21

 

 

 

1763
000

1772
007

1781
013

1792
100

1801
106

1810
113

1819
119

1828
126

1837
131

1848
219

1857
225

1866
231

1875
237

1884
244

1893
250

1904
337

1913
344

1922
350

1931
356

1940
002

1949
008

1960
096

1969
102

1978
108

1987
115

1996
121

 2005
127

2016
215

2025
221

2034
227

2043
233

2052
239

2061
246

The 56 year sequences are separated by an interval of 9 years.

 
TRADITIONAL ASTROLOGY 

Planetary cycles are exceedingly important in traditional astrological theory. Williams (1982) believed Jupiter - Saturn - Uranus cycles 'offered a clue' in explaining the crises in Sequences 01, 21 and 41 proposed by Funk (1932). A planetary influence upon the 9/56 year cycle could not be established despite numerous hypotheses being tested for significance - planets by ecliptical segment, angles between the planets, planets sited at certain precise ecliptical degrees and so forth. The planets do have an impact upon the 9/56 year cycle via the process of planetary precession (see Wikepedia). However, this is much, much weaker than Moon Sun precession (see Wikepedia) and therefore it is a question whether such weak planetary forces can be detected in financial cycles. To date, the answer has been a firm no. Only Moon Sun cycles can be advocated as the prime influence on market timing and the 9/56 year panic cycle. 

IN CONCLUSION 

From the findings, the 9/56 year panic cycle is most likely based on angular - ecliptical - diurnal relationships between the Sun and Moon. Given the key role played by the lunar nodes and the tropical year, diurnal cycles are likely to be very relevant, but could never be assessed from the financial data directly. Trading is limited to week days and daylight hours, which prevents a full analysis of diurnal cycles in financial patterns. 

Three astronomical planes appear to be highly significant in the timing of financial crises:

*         The Ecliptic is the plane the Sun gravitationally pulls on the Earth. The heavenly positions of the Sun, Moon and lunar nodes are also referenced on the ecliptical circle, a factor important in the Tropical Year and Tropical Month.

*         The Moon's Orbital Plane intersects the ecliptic at the Moon’s north and south nodes. This is the plane the Moon gravitationally pulls on the Earth.

*         The Celestial Equator cuts the ecliptic at the equinox points.

For Sun - Moon diurnal cycles, the reference point is speculated to be located where the Earth’s horizontal plane is intersected by the ecliptic and the Moon’s orbital plane.

The 9/56 year cycle may be reduced to various angles between the Sun, Moon and the key reference node pairs - the equinoxes, the lunar nodes and the apogee - perigee axis. The angles that seem most important are 0o, 120o and 180o, which would suggest the 1st, 2nd and 3rd harmonics are fundamental to understanding this cycle. These would arise from the tidal effects.

Overall, traditional astrology was not applicable to the 9/56 year cycle of financial crises. Even so, some very basic views were valid such as the importance of the Sun and Moon and their associated nodes and astronomical planes. These several variables give rise to very complex cyclical behaviour, which have a major impact on financial trends. Further breakthroughs in cycle theory could open up the possibility of accurate market forecasting years in advance.

It is hypothesised that tidal harmonics involving Moon Sun cycles activate cycles of financial distress. Some evidence to support this attractive theory has been offered in this paper. The nodes are only the hypothetical points in the heavens and geophysics would suggest that they should have no significance. However, proximity to the nodes is where importance lies in the timing of financial distress. The key factor seems to be where the Sun or Moon changes its orientation relative to an astronomical plane (moves from below to above or vice versa). The astronomical planes involved are the ecliptic, the celestial equator, the Moon’s orbital plane and probably the horizontal plane. If Earth - Moon distance was found to be significant in market trends, then apogee would also need to be considered in any Sun - Moon analyses. Assuming such a view holds up to subsequent scrutiny, the complexity of the 9/56 year panic cycle could be reduced to a small number of first principles, thereby nurturing the design of much needed follow up research. A simple, overall theory may be within reach, which would be of tremendous benefit in explaining the cyclic nature of mass psychology and the timing of financial crises.

Copyright 1986-2007. David McMinn. All Rights Reserved.

This paper was summarised from the book MARKET TRADING By The Moon & The Sun, published by Twin Palms Publishing, BLUE KNOB. NSW 2480. Australia.

Moon Sun Finance

REFERENCES

Culver, R B & Ianna, P A. The Gemini Syndrome: A Scientific Evaluation of Astrology. Prometheus Books. 1984.
Dean, Geoffrey & Mather, Arthur. Recent Advances in Natal Astrology. Analogic. 1977.
Funk, J M. The 56 Year Cycle in American Business Activity. Privately published. 1932.
Kindleberger, C P. Manias, Panics and Crashes. John Wiley & Sons. Published 1978.
Revised 1989. Revised 1996.
Kitchin, J M. Trade Cycles Chart. Published by The Times Annual Financial & Commercial Review. 1920, 1924, 1930. Revised chart to 1933 presented in Gold. A reprint of The Special Number of The Times. June 20, 1933. Times Publishing Co Ltd. 1933.
McMinn, David. The 56 Year Cycles and Financial Crises. 15th Conference of Economists. The Economics Society of Australia. Monash University, Melbourne. August 25-29, 1986.  
McMinn, David. Financial Crises & The 56 Year Cycle. Twin Palms Publishing. 1995. Revised 1996. Revised 1997.
McMinn, David. Market Timing By The Moon & The Sun. Twin Palms Publishing. 2006.
McMinn, David. Market Timing By The Number 56. Twin Palms Publishing. 2007.
McMinn, David. Market Timing Moon Sun Research 2006 2009. Privately published. 2009.
Mill, John. Credit Cycles & The Origin of Commercial Panics. Transactions of Manchester Statistical Society. Dec 1867.

Williams, David. Financial Astrology. AFA. 1982.


 

                    APPENDIX 1      
 

THE SAROS & 56 YEAR LUNISOLAR CYCLES

SAROS CYCLE 

Days Years Lunisolar Cycles
6,574.36  18.000  18.0 Tropical Years
6,585.78  18.031  19.0 Nodical years
6,585.32  18.030  223.0 Synodic Months -   
         (One Saros Cycle).
6,584.51  18.028  241.0 Tropical Months
6,584.35  18.030   242.0 Nodical Months
HALF SAROS CYCLE
Days Years Lunisolar Cycles
3,287.18  9.000 9.0 Tropical Years
3,292.89   9.016  9.5 Nodical years
3,292.66   9.015  111.5 Synodic Months
3,292.26   9.014 120.5 Tropical Months
3,292.68   9.015  121.0 Nodical Months
56 YEAR CYCLE
Days Years Lunisolar Cycles
20,453.55  56.000  56.0 Tropical Years
20,450.58  55.992  59.0 Nodical Years
20,449.94  55.990  692.5 Synodic Months
20,450.23  55.991  748.5 Tropical Months

20,449.97 

55.990

751.5 Nodical Months

 

Appendix 2                   FINANCIAL CRISES IN THE 54/56 YEAR GRID

Black Days

Event

Sun
Eo

Moon
Eo

Phase
Ao

May 09, 1873

Austrian Black Friday

049

193

144

Sep 19, 1873

US Black Friday

177

155

338

May 13, 1927

German Black Friday

052

195

143

Oct 29, 1929

US Black Tuesday

216

182

326

Oct 19, 1987

US Black Monday

206

170

324

Other Crises - Kindleberger (1996)

Jun 19, 1815

English panic. Rothschild market manipulation.

87

241

154

Jul 25, 1763

Dutch panic. DeNeufville failed.

122

309

189

Dec 17, 1825

British panic. Argentine speculations.

265

358

093

Jan 30, 1882

French panic. Union Generale failed.

311

089

148

May 11, 1931

Austrian crisis. Creditanstalt failed.

050

341

290

Jul 13, 1931

German crisis. Danatbank failed.

110

087

337

Sep 20, 1931

Britain abandons the gold standard.

177

286

109

Mar 06, 1933

US bank holiday imposed.

346

101

115

Sep 22, 1985

US$ crisis. Plaza Accord.

180

285

102

Additional Crisis - Kitchin (1933)

Oct 09, 1939

US panic. Philadelphia banks failed.

196

219

023

Jun 15, 1875

British crisis. Alexander Collie failed.

084

226

142

DJIA AOD Falls => -3.60%

Oct 09, 1871

US panic. Chicago fire (a).

195

139

303

Oct 08, 1927

AOD fall (-3.65%)

194

344

150

Oct 28, 1929

AOD fall (-12.83%)

215

168

313

Sep 24, 1931

AOD fall (-7.07%)

181

338

157

Jul 21, 1933

AOD fall (-7.84%)

118

108

350

Oct 18, 1937

AOD fall (-7.65%)

205

009

164

Oct 19, 1987

AOD fall (-22.61%)

206

170

324

Oct 13, 1989

AOD fall (-6.91%)

200

004

164

Nov 15, 1991

AOD fall (-3.91%)

233

335

102

(a) This was the biggest one day fall in the New York stock market during 1871.