The free Amanita newsletter keeps you informed about interesting & valuable updates in the free area.

An Interview with Manfred Zimmel
by Maureen Ambrose (11/2002), published in "The International Astrologer", Fall 2002, Volume XXXI, Number 3

Have you ever made assumptions about someone and later wonder what in the world prompted you to do that? When I decided to interview Manfred Zimmel, I told myself that here's was some older astrologer who had just accepted to be ISAR's new international vice-president to Austria. Certainly someone with such an old-world sounding name (to my ears), and someone with such a serious, left-brained type of specialty as financial astrologyFinancial astrology is the use of astrology to analze and forecast the financial markets. Here financial astrology is understood primarily as an empirical-statistical discipline. The probably first financial astrologer in history was Thales of Miletus who is viewed as the father of science and philosophy (together with Aristotle). With the aid of astrology Thales foresaw an excellent olive harvest, so he hired all olive presses that he lent out with a huge profit, which made him a rich man. must be in his middle to waning years of life and quite generous to take on this role for our organization. Of course, I had never met Manfred Zimmel nor had I ever had contact with him other than to subscribe to his online financial newsletter, Amanita Market Forecasting at Imagine my surprise when I contacted him and asked for an interview. After his agreement, my next questions included wanting his birth data. July 12, 1974, at 4:01.40 AM (birth certificate reads 4:00 AM), Gmund, Austria (48E59) with an Ascendant of 16 degrees Cancer 41 minutes, was his response. Why, this puts his age at that that magical time of 28, I mused. Hurray, we will have this astrologer around for some long time barring anything terribly inauspicious happening to him! Quickly I printed out his chart to determine what this newfound acquaintance was like. It must be a chart with many songs to sing, I thought. I was not disappointed in the least. Sun in Cancer in the 1st house square 10th house MoonThe moon has a major impact on the markets, the full moon is more important than the new moon. in Aries-such Cardinal energy. It also suggests sensitivity and impulsiveness are constantly challenging each other. Other clues in his chart waved flags at me. Aries MoonThe moon has a major impact on the markets, the full moon is more important than the new moon. at 13 critical degrees. Mars at 20 degrees Leo, another critical degree. Critical degrees have this need to function when aspected natally, by progressed planets or by transits. Manfred's 1st house Sun at 19 degrees Cancer and his 12th house Saturn at 9 degrees Cancer are in one of those Gauquelin sectors, i.e., 10 degrees either side of the Ascendant, Midheaven, Descendant, or IC. Aha, I noticed another point of interest concerning a 9th house critical degree Jupiter at 17 degrees Pisces, also in the most powerful Gauquelin sector conjoined his 19 degree Pisces Midheaven and it trines his Sun. What enormous luck, faith and optimism! After looking at a few more energy aspects such as Mercury conjoined Saturn (Saturn also pulls the MoonThe moon has a major impact on the markets, the full moon is more important than the new moon. into this energy field) and both square Pluto, and Sun square Uranus, I was excited and intrigued about obviously talented, productive, entrepreneurial-type person who has much to offer our astrological community.

My questions concerning his early home life revealed that he grew up in a tiny village with about 150 inhabitants. Home was a one-story, white farmhouse with thick walls. Their family-owned, family-worked farm had some twenty cows and bulls. Farming was what they did because their families were too poor to enable them to learn another profession. His mother actually wanted to become a teacher. She had and still has a wonderful voice and could have become a professional singer because her vocal talents were that strong, Manfred told me. He has two much older sisters. He was really a generation removed from his siblings since they were 14 and 15 years older, another possible interpretation of his natal Saturn conjunct Mercury in Cancer. He was a child in a family of adults and probably became comfortable in that milieu. His father, on the other hand, wanted to become a priest. As a boy growing up on a farm, of course he was expected to help out with the work.

Tell me about your school life, I asked in my next conversation. I was especially curious about this deep, penetrating mind of his and how it developed.

"In school I was interested in all subjects provided that I liked the teacher" he replied. That made sense with a Mercury in Cancer to have feelings connected with the learning-thinking function. "While I always was among the two or three best in the class, I sometimes encountered problems because I just wouldn't accept things just because were told so in class, ‘that's the way it is.' I later became very interested in philosophy and computers and enjoyed creating computer software between the ages of 12-16. "

This marked a time I wanted to check Manfred's chart. On his 12th birthday, his progressed Sun had just moved into the creative, dramatic sign Leo indicating a change of direction and a new more risk-taking, self-developing energy which was in harmony with his natal Aries Moon. He was experiencing a Jupiter return at the top of his chart trine his natal Sun. A whole new period of growth was setting up, ready to unfold during the next 12 years.

"At age 15," he continued, "I started to trade in the stock markets and was rated #49 out of 10,000 participants in a stock market competition." This was a very exciting statement to my ears. I had to pause, cast a chart and extract something from that time period. I felt like a surgeon with a scalpel ready to cut out vital information from a body of numbers or perhaps more like a doctor ready to confirm a diagnosis.

Taking a stab at his 15th plus year, I chose 15 ½ or January 1, 1990, for my next date to investigate that period when he began trading in the stock markets. What a progressed and transit chart that was! Transit Jupiter was in touch his natal and progressed Cancer planets in the 12th house: Venus, Mercury and Saturn. His progressed MoonThe moon has a major impact on the markets, the full moon is more important than the new moon. was in that resources/financial sign Scorpio in his creative 5th house of speculation as was transformative transiting Pluto trining natal Sun, Jupiter and Midheaven. His progressed Mars had just moved into the sign of analyzing and detail, Virgo. A change of energy direction and tone. Lastly I thrilled as I observed transit Saturn conjuncting his 7th house cusp, ready to emerge from the bottom of his chart opposing his progressed Mercury which already had a toe into the 1st house, a more active environment because of the angularity. It was lovely how these planets were moving about in a rhythm of growth and awareness. Even transit Uranus was contributing innovation, insight, originality and illumination as it opposed his natal Mercury and transit Neptune was offering intuition to his progressed Mercury by way of its opposition aspect. This triple wheel chart was singing like the violins of a symphony.

"My interest in the financial markets was my motivation to go to Austria's capital, Vienna, and study business administration at the age of 18. I also went to the United States and participated the MBA program in Lexington, Kentucky, which was a wonderful experience. There was a class called ‘Creativity in Business' taught by the founders of the Buddhist Shambala Center in Lexington. It was the best class I ever attended."

"That's quite an educational journey you were on at that time. One that would be especially appealing to your grand water trine planets," I offered.

Still I was wondering about his interest in astrology. That question, When and how did it start? always fascinates me.

In a short time, Manfred responded. "As far as I can remember back I was interested in ‘the stars.' I started to read books on astronomy at the age of seven. During puberty, my interest was more focused on earthly things . But, at the age of 18, my astral interest came up again. In l992, during my first semester at university, while studying for an accounting class, I had a strange experience that changed my life. Suddenly a white light surounded me, and space and time ceased to exist. And, for the first time in my life, I really felt the presence of God. I wished this would never stop. From this time on I had many paranormal perceptions and encounters with spiritual entities. It took me years until I understood what was happening and to find productive ways to use this energy. Some of it was so scary and intense that I was afraid that I was going mad. For years I didn't tell anyone what I had experienced because I thought people would think I was crazy. Soon after this initiation, I started to read astrology books. That was the way I learned astrology mostly as an autodidact. One of the first books that shaped my understanding of astrology was ‘Astrological Insights into Personality' by Betty Lundsted."

Autodicdidact, what a great word for "self-taught person." Well, this revelation about a very personal, spiritual experience had me punching up my computer software and progressing his chart to the fall of 1992, selecting November 1st as a halfway point in the first semester. I was rewarded with some very potent aspects to view. Transit Neptune and Uranus were conjunct each other in Capricorn tightly conjunct his Descendant, opposing his natal Sun (and progressed and natal Saturn), and trining his Midheaven which is conjunct Jupiter. This is all easier to see if you pull up a chart yourself because lots of aspects are prevalent. With my guessing at this date, transit Jupiter is conjunct his natal Pluto in the 4th house of depth and soul experiences which sextiles his ntal Neptune. Progressed Mercury is exactly conjoined his Sun, therefore fitting right into this power surge of aspects.Transit Pluto is forming a grand trine in Scorpio to his natal Sun and Jupiter. Transit Saturn is traveling in his 8th house of deep, transformative and intense experiences sextile his natal Moon. Manfred's progressed Ascendent is about to change from Cancer to Leo. Dare I look for more cosmic energy contributing to these spectuacular configurations? Why not. Yes, checking June 30 revealed an eclipse at 8 Cancer happening on his natal Saturn in the 12th of the subconscious/spiritual, ruler of this 7th house which had to sensitize that personal point. The next eclipse was at 2 Capricorn on December 24th opposing his 12th house natal Mercury and trining his progressed Mars in Virgo in the 3rd house. What a place for a Mars progression, that 3rd house must be, to stimulate the mind. I felt like a detective snooping around for clues after the scene of some impressive life event.

Returning to Manfred's note, he was relating what followed that episode of his life. "In 1996 to '97, I worked on a diploma thesis on business astrology, the results have been published in the ‘Kosmos' journal. I am deeply grateful to Peter and Rita Fraiss, the founders of the Vienna School of Astrology, who supported this endeavor. After finishing my master's studies, I started a doctoral thesis on ‘astrology in recruiting' which was interrupted by my conscientious rejector service in a psychiatric hospital in 1999-2000 and my business formation."

This latest revelation prompted questions from me. "Did you utilize your astrology while working in the psychiatric hospital to connect with the patients?"

"Oh yes. We conscientious objectors were running the café of the hospital where the patients themselves were working. That was part of the therapeutic program. In the mornings and evenings there was a lot to do but in-between, when everything was running smoothly, we had free time that I occasionally used for astrological work since several patients were interested in astrology. One patient even had a remarkable intuition to tell the dominant astrological signatures of people. I was quite surprised that he recognized my strong Cancer and Pisces energy because I am usually regarded as a Virgo, even by astrologers."

"I would have to say that financial astrologyFinancial astrology is the use of astrology to analze and forecast the financial markets. Here financial astrology is understood primarily as an empirical-statistical discipline. The probably first financial astrologer in history was Thales of Miletus who is viewed as the father of science and philosophy (together with Aristotle). With the aid of astrology Thales foresaw an excellent olive harvest, so he hired all olive presses that he lent out with a huge profit, which made him a rich man. has always been a major focus for me. In 2000, my market newsletter, Amanita Market Forecasting, was founded. I decided to name it after the mushroom which is prevalent in Europe and Siberia used by shamans to reach altered states of consciousness. The intention of my newsletter is to offer readers a different look at cyclesA cycle is a recurring event in the markets. and market movement related to cosmic activity. My astrological interests, however are not limited to financial. I'm also particulary interested in horary astrology and astrological research."

"Sounds like your life has been very busy educationally and professionally. How does your personal life stack up?" I asked.

"Strange you should ask me that" came his reply. "My focus is currently shifting from my professional to my private life because during during 1999-2001, I had very little spare time but had to work hard to get my business off the ground. I am glad there was no family that would have felt neglected during this time but I hope to have marriage and family in my future."

One look at his Cancer Sun, Ascendent, Saturn and Mercury and this becomes a clear possibility in the next few years ahead once transit Saturn, dispositor of his 7th house of partnership, moves into the sign Cancer and creates all kinds of energy for Cancer style life changes. That benefic natal Jupiter trine in his chart won't hinder these possibilities, either.

Since we were speaking of the future, I asked him what he would like to see in the future for astrology?

"I'd like to see more ambitious research programs in place. Too many ‘astrological laws' are based on an observation of 5 to 15 cases. I estimate that as much as 80% of what is taught in astrology classes and books is wrong or too weak to be of any practical relevance, and many of the apparently self-evident premises should be questioned. When I reviewed several hundreds of empirical studies for my diploma thesis, I was really shocked how little confirmation was achieved through independent researchers though I considered many of the hypotheses tested almost irrefutable. To summarize, I advocate a kind of ‘2nd Ptolemaien reform."

I couldn't have agreed more with his statement and I sure those serious researchers out there are saying "amen."

Before I close our interview, Manfred, are there other areas you would like to include? I wouldn't be surprised if your 12th house planets or your Mid-heaven-Jupiter in Pisces might have something rather spiritual or philosophical to offer us.

"Not wanting to disappoint you and your readers, yes, I can pull out something beyond current boundaries which opens more horizons of thought. I'd like to talk about planet ‘X' because if the story is true ‘there is nothing more important in the entire world' to use the words of Alex Merlinger, the host of the radio show ‘Mysteries of the Mind' - not only for astrologers but for every human being on this planet.

"There are strong indications a 10th planet exists in our solar system (excluding the lights) which was called Nibiru by the Sumerians and Marduk by the Babylonians. It has a very eccentric orbit of about 3,600 years. Every time it reaches its perihelion, it transforms the solar system, with devasting effects on the human populations: earthquakes, tornados, floods, etc., killing at least two thirds of the world's population."

"I believe we will see the return of planet X, or Nibiru, until 2012, and as soon as 2003 which could mean the end of the world as we know it. Insiders report that X was discovered in 1983 by an infrared satellite and it has been kept secret to avoid a global panic and the social and economic collapse. I have created the website to cover this topic. The best site to visit certainly is the page of the astrophsicist Prof. James McCannery"

Well, Manfred Zimmel, this is certainly an envigrorating and provocative way to end our interview. Your natal angular, cardinal, Sun square Uranus shines again. Uranus--that's one of the energies that makes astrologers so special, interesting and pioneering. Good luck to you, although I hardly need to wish you that with it imbedded in your chart. It's been an immense joy talking with you and being able to share with our readers your intuitive grasp on how we come to know truth. I would say that you have intended to extend our perceptions beyond those preconceptions we have been laboring with for so long. You move beyond those rigid concept zones of the past by means of your Pisces Mid-heaven and Jupiter conjoining that point. Your 10th house MoonThe moon has a major impact on the markets, the full moon is more important than the new moon. in Aries fearlessly takes charge of sharing what a loaded 12th house house might want hold back. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to know you. (I'm still pondering that year 2012 as it is purportedly the end of the Mayan calendar. Oh well).

To futher benefit from Manfred's insights, I recommend that you access his free newsletter, I've enjoyed his financial articles, especially the one on the Jupiter cycles. You may meet him at the International Society of Business Astrologers (ISBA) conference in November. For more information on the conference, go to

Maureen Ambrose, C.A.P. ISAR, C.A. NCGR, is an ISAR officer and director, serving as Recording Secretary. Maureen writes, teaches, lectures and has a consulting practice. She is on the faculty of the Online College of Astrology and can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..