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Jyotish Star of the Month

A Conversation with Raymond Merriman

By Charlotte Benson (Jyoti Devi)
Interview Date: 08/11/2016

Charlotte Benson: It is such a pleasure, and an honor, for me to be able to introduce you to what is probably an entirely new audience for you, Ray! You are acknowledged as one of the pillars of the Western Astrology community. Your accomplishments, publications, and awards, all in the service of Astrology, are legendary. And, happily, you are also a friend of Jyotish!

Even your name describes you: a ray of merriment for humans!

Raymond Merriman: Yes, well… Erin Sullivan once dubbed me as “Ray of Sunshine,” reflecting my Venus/Jupiter conjunction (in Libra, in the Vedic universe). And that kind of took, until someone on the ISAR board dubbed as “The Godfather of Astrology,” which seems more to reflect my Saturn/Pluto conjunction in the 11th house. But, no one has died because of it, yet.

Charlotte: So - Ray- How did you become absorbed with astrology, many decades ago? (What happened to you?!) What was the most important thing that you learned from your first teachers?

Raymond: I came into astrology during my final two years in college, as I ended my undergraduate studies in Psychology, and then started post-graduate studies in both Psychology and Far Eastern religions.

I had this crazy idea in 1966-1967 that there was sub-culture developing in America, composed of “flower children,” who “tuned in, dropped out and turned on.” This was before hippies. So I started a thesis towards a post graduate degree on this idea, under the guidance of author and Social Psychologist Dr. Milton Rokeach of Michigan State University, where I would spend the summer of 1967 administering his “Value Survey,” of 18 long-term and 18 short-term values to those who were living in communes in Michigan, Indiana, Ohio, Illinois, and Canada (Toronto). I had to get 100 “flower children” to make the survey valid, and that was not easy, because of course, they didn’t trust academia, which is one reason why they “dropped out.” But as I visited one commune after another that summer, there was one constant in every commune: they all knew something about astrology, as well as Far Eastern religions.

So, I thought, if I really wanted to understand this sub-culture that I was convinced was developing at the time, I better study astrology too. Fortunate for me, Circle Books in Ann Arbor had just opened, and I spent whatever time I could find in the summer of 1967 to hang out there and study all the great astrology books that the Erlewine brothers could direct me too – Dane Rudhyar, Mark Edmond Jones, Alan Leo, Margaret Hone, C.E.O. Carter, even Robert DeLuce, Robert Davidson, to name just a few. I was hooked. Couldn’t get enough of it. Instant psychoanalysis for me.

And by the end of this study, I proved statistically that without a doubt, there was indeed a new sub-culture forming in America that would take root and last. The results of their values were off the charts compared to any other demographics that Rokeach had surveyed.

From there, I went to study Personality Theory (graduate studies) at Oakland University where I started a research study on the correlation of seasonal birth to those who were diagnosed as paranoid schizophrenic. But that is another story.

Charlotte: Well, that is a fascinating story! “What a long, strange trip it’s been” as your discovered sub-culture would say. Ray, you are highly regarded for your clarity and accuracy in using the planets to identify economic cycles through your international publishing enterprises. In your market timing publications, you have exposed the general public of corporate businessmen and women to the amazingness of authentic Astrology. Thank you for your work in elevating Astrology in the public eye! How have you found that the business world has more understanding, or acceptance of Astrology?

Raymond: Among investors, astrology is still not generally accepted, although of course there are a few who know its value because they have looked into it. By and large, though, investors are not even willing to consider the possibility of a correspondence between cycles in the cosmos and financial market cycles, let alone any kind of human activity cycles. Personally, I think they are either lazy (don’t want to take the time to look into it) are afraid –afraid that they might not be the center of a reality where they have the illusion of control.

But amongst traders, the use of astrology is much more intriguing. Traders are interested in anything that helps them with timing, for in trading, timing is extremely important. And that is exactly the edge that astrology provides. It is a very valuable timing tool. It consistently identifies the time when markets reverse from a high or low, when the collective psychology is changing its attention, and hence trends reverse.

Charlotte: For the benefit of our readers, because Raymond has the blessing of a Venus/Jupiter conjunction in his chart -- he seems to be a perfect example of this wonderful yoga – charming, generous, creative, and cheerful. Ray, would you care to share some information on your birth planets with us? What do you like best about your own chart?

Raymond: You just nailed it. I am very grateful – fortunate really – to be born with Venus and Jupiter conjunct in the 2nd house. I also like Mercury in my third house, in trine to the Saturn/Pluto conjunction. I like the conjunction of Rahu and Uranus on my midheaven too (ninth house side), in opposition to Ketu and Mercury.

Charlotte: Ray, you have evolved from being one of my literary heroes (for writing that Solar Return book – it’ a classic) into becoming one of my fondest friends/mentors/wing persons/. I just had to state that – for the record. Speaking of your Venus/Jupiter conjunction -- you are also known as a gifted, and exotically experienced, teacher. And also as a general purveyor of Higher Knowledge. Tell us about your Academy – if you will.

Raymond: After spending 17 years writing my five-volume series on “The Ultimate Book of Stock Market Timing,” (1994-2011), which cumulatively totaled over 1600 pages of some serious research studies, I woke up one day and said: “Now what?” The idea came to teach it, and to develop apprentices to my unusual methods of market timing and trading, which included the study of astrology (along with cycles, technical studies, chart patterns, and trend studies that I also developed). I didn’t want all of this work to just disappear when I completed my final breath in this temple! I wanted to train people to do what I do, by going through the same types of studies that I went through since I started in Financial Astrology in 1978. So I decided to create a two-year course. I would dedicate 2013 and 2014 to teaching this course to those would come and study intensively with me. This meant travelling to Michigan 7 times - four days each time – for 30+ hours of study each time, and then do homework and research studies in between, followed by exams after each course, and one “bar exam” after completing all seven courses. At first, 40 people started with me, from all over the world (three from India, for instance). But by the end, only 18 graduated. But that was enough. I now have 18 apprentices and many are slowly evolving into good analysts who write for my various market reports. They are quite good.

Charlotte: Bless you for educating the next generation of astrologers! The International Society for Astrological Research Symposium is taking place, soon, in Costa Mesa, CA. I’m excited about being there with you and all the other astrologers. Our special peeps – our professional colleagues. I think it is important to check in with each other, in person. This will take place next month, in October 2016, right?

Raymond: Yes, October 13-16 is the main event, and then we have pre-and post-symposium workshops on October 13, and on Monday, October 17.

We have six tracks on the topic of “Forecasting.” The title is “The Power of Forecasting Meets the Consequence of Choice.” One of the tracks is on Vedic methods of Forecasting, and eight of your top Vedic Astrologers will be making presentations on some aspect of Astrological Forecasting. It will be the most exciting astrological gathering of 2016, with an expected attendance of 500 people in sunny Southern California, just three weeks before the USA Presidential Election. We will have two special panels on that, and a Vedic Astrologer will be on each. That will be very interesting, don’t you think?

Charlotte: Heck yes, that will be interesting! I’m looking forward to learning some new forecasting techniques there. And I’m very excited to see many of my old friends, and to be part of the faculty presenting Jyotish predictive techniques. Your thoughts, Ray, on issues political, financial? What about gold; or oil? What is going on here?

Raymond: There will also be a track on Financial and Mundane Forecasting methods, which of course is my specialty. We will be looking at the stock market and precious metals, as well as interest rates and real estate cycles. Other tracks are on the timing of Psychological Passages or Shifts in Life, Spiritual Awakenings, and Relationships.

Charlotte: Well – it sounds like I’ll have to wait to see what your faculty has to say about the prices of gold, and oil. And about who will win the next U.S. presidential election! What’s the next milestone for you Mr. Merriman? Plans for the future? An extra Christmas bonus? Hmmm?

Raymond: My next project is to write a book that combines my understanding of Psychological Patterns in the Natal Horoscope and with Transits. It will be a 2-volume series. Give me about three-five years to complete it.

Charlotte: Finally, please give us any advice for the aspiring student astrologer? An important attribute for any type of authentic astrologer, or astrologer-acolyte would be – in your opinion, what?

Raymond: To be authentic. That is, figure out what your real love in life is, and how to apply astrology to it. Be a specialist, find your niche in astrology, in an area that you truly love. If you love what you, do it with ability and passion, and provide a service that is needed, people (and the universe) will support you. You may have to be patient if doing it under a hard Saturn transit), but it will work out ultimately for you.

Charlotte: Wise words to live by. Thank you so much for taking time away from all your other important business to chat with me about your journey with astrology! See you at the Symposium!

Raymond Merriman Biography:

Ray MerrimanRaymond A. Merriman is the President of the Merriman Market Analyst, Inc and founder of the Merriman Market Timing Academy. He is a Commodities Trading Advisor (CTA), financial market analyst, and editor of the MMA Cycles Report, a monthly market advisory newsletter that specializes in stocks, interest rates, currencies, precious metals, crude oil and soybeans since 1982.

Between 1982-1986, Merriman was a frequent guest contributor on the Financial News Network (FNN). He served as an Investment Executive with Prudential Securities (1986-87) and Shearson Lehman Hutton (1987-1990), before becoming an Accounts Vice-President of Retail Commodity Futures with Paine Webber (1990-1994). He also authored several books on Financial Market Timing, including the five-part series on The Ultimate Book on Stock Market Timing
(written 1997-2012), The Sun, Moon, and Silver Market (2006), and the annual Forecast Book (since 1976), which outlines his projections a year ahead of time for financial markets, the world economy, and political trends.

In addition, he has also written two primers on financial market analysis. One, titled Merriman on Market Cycles: The Basics, first published in 1994, is a classic primer on cycle studies. The other, Basic Principles of Geocosmic Studies for Financial Market Timing, is a basic textbook on the relationship of geocosmic correlations to financial markets.

From 1997 through 2011, he wrote the five volume series on The Ultimate Book on Stock Market Timing, which became the basis for the curriculum used in MMTA, the Merriman Market Timing Academy. In all, these books took 14 years to complete and comprised over 1600 pages.

In late 2015, his research on Solar/Lunar Correlations to Gold Price Reversals: Secrets of a Gold Trader, was published. His works are currently published in German, Italian, Dutch, French, Russian, Serbian, Czech, Vietnamese, Japanese, and, of course, English.

In 2013, he created the MMTA, the Merriman Market Timing Academy, a two-year training course in Merriman’s market analysis and market timing methodology developed over the past 30 years. Students took 99 classes in this two-year period, plus several competency tests, and completed papers on seven major research projects identifying historical correlations between the analysis methods and historical performance. These courses are now available for on-line learning to new students via

In early 2013, Merriman was awarded the Gold Star by Market Timing Digest of Amsterdam, Netherlands as the “Best Market Timer of 2013." He was the only contestant (of twelve who were followed) to successfully identify all 15 major turning points in the U.S. stock market by their criteria. By contrast, the second-place finisher successfully identified 12. In 2014, Merriman received the Gold Star award again as "Best Market Timer of the Year" from Market Timing Digest, this time correctly identifying 20 of 21 reversal dates in the U.S stock market well ahead of time.

Merriman is also well-studied in the field of Astrology. He is a Professional (Certified) Life Member of the American Federation of Astrologers (PLMAFA since 1972), as well as through ISAR, the International Society of Astrological Research (2000). In 1995 he was the recipient of the UAC Regulus Award for "Enhancing Astrology's Image As a Profession." in 2012, he received the UAC “Regulus Lifetime Achievement Award,” only the fourth person ever to receive this honor.

He is currently serving his seventh, non-consecutive Presidency of ISAR (the International Society for Astrological Research), a decision reached in a two-step process involving over 1,200 members from over 25 national centers around the world, not least in part due to his participation in helping formulate the certification criteria back in the mid-1990's which has since resulted in this model being viewed as the international standard for astrological professionalism.

Merriman currently resides in Cave Creek, Arizona, and Farmington Hills, Michigan, USA. He can be reached at, or, or via the MMA website at

Charlotte Benson Biography:

Charlotte Benson Charlotte Benson (Jyoti Devi) has been a full-time consulting astrologer since 1972. She holds professional diplomas from the American Federation of Astrologers, the International Society for Astrological Research, the National Council for Geocosmic Research, as well as a certificate from the American College of Vedic Astrology. She is the President Emerita of the Arizona Society of Astrologers, currently serves on the board of the American College of Vedic Astrology, and was recently awarded the title of Jyotish Kovid from the Indian Council of Astrological Sciences and Jyotisha Choodamani from the Raman Foundation, Bangalore.
602 952-1525
Phoenix, AZ USA.

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