Can finance and astrology be meaningfully related? Part One in this series can be found here, but as the whole of astrology is about the effect of cyclic activity, it should be reasonable to assume that, in the discipline that is Financial Astrology, there should be some connection to so-called Business Cycles. As Christina D. Romer has noted on an economics site:
‘Business cycles are dated according to when the direction of economic activity changes. The peak of the cycle refers to the last month before several key economic indicators—such as employment, output, and retail sales— begin to fall. The trough of the cycle refers to the last month before the same economic indicators begin to rise. Because key economic indicators often change direction at slightly different times, the dating of peaks and troughs is necessarily somewhat subjective.’1
To illustrate this simply, I have included some of these peak-trough cycles in the US economy below (culled from data supplied by the National Bureau of Economic Research) together with the planetary transits at the time. The transits, it should be noted are those to ‘birth charts’ erected for the US Dollar (2nd April 1792, 12.00, N.Y.) and the Dow Jones Index (July 3rd 1884, 10. 00 N.Y.) (One could, no doubt, select other criteria for this experiment, such as the chart for the New York Stock Exchange, or NYSE.) Let’s look at both of them first.
Nov. 1973 Mar. 1975
Trans. Mars opp. Neptune/Jupiter Trans. Saturn sq. MC
Trans. Jupiter opp. Jupiter Trans. Saturn cnj. Sun
Jan. 1980 July 1980
Trans. Neptune sq. MC Trans. Neptune tr. Saturn
T. Jupiter Sq. NN Trans Sat. cnj Uran./tri. Nept.
T, Jup cnj MC Solar Eclipse August 10th
July 1981 Nov. 1982
T. Jup. tri. Pluto (late June) Saturn-Pluto transit ‘overhead’
New Jupiter/Sat. Cycle In Libra T. Pluto sq. Jup.
T. Sat. cnj Jup./Asc/Nept.
Solar Eclipse December 15th
July 1990 Mar. 1991
T Jup. sq, NN, tri. moon, cnj. Venus T Saturn tri.NN
T Nep sq. Mc
T Jup sq. Sat, T. Pl. sq Ur.
T Sat sq. Sat (though Jupiter Return – August!)
Solar Eclipse on 22nd July
As we would expect, the ‘peaks’ entail the kinds of planetary energies associated with high ideals, optimism, growth and expansion: Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, the ‘troughs’ with the restriction, caution and limits of Saturn. The heavy hand of Pluto may also be involved when something is ready to end, and Saturn-Pluto transits (coinciding, for example, with the trough in November 82) are typically a ‘reckoning time’ when the limits of power have been exhausted and serious (usually unpleasant) changes are required.
In some places, the data – where we would expect a Saturn transit to coincide with a low point (yet we find it at a peak) there is another planet’s energy to ‘compete’ with! This is why Financial Astrology isn’t an exact science – one must weigh all of the factors involved, for there are cycles within cycles, as with the rest of astrology. In the table are also solar eclipses, whose effects are typically hard to determine with any exactitude – hence they appear at times of both ‘peak’ and ‘trough’. In the case of economic peaks in July 1990 and the trough of 1991, I’ve included transits to the North Node, which, as we’ll now see, has especial importance with the combination of finance and astrology.
Finance and Astrology and the 18 Year Cycle
According to the astrologer Alphee Lavoie:
‘In the early 1900’s, financial astrologer, Louise McWhirter, predicted changes in the U.S. economy by using the North Nodes of the Moon. According to her findings when the North node of the Moon enters the sign of Scorpio the economy goes from ‘below normal’ to ‘normal’. When the node reaches the sign Leo the economy is above ‘normal’. When it enters the sign Taurus the economy starts to go from ‘normal’ to ‘below normal’ until it reaches the sign Aquarius when it hits the bottom. From the time that the Node is in the sign Aquarius to Scorpio the economy goes from ‘below normal’ to ‘normal’ again.’ 2
The Nodes, need one add, are the two axial points in the heavens where the moon’s path – travelling North to South – intersects the sun’s (apparent) path, the ecliptic. This point moves in reverse along the ecliptic and through the Zodiac, making a complete cycle in approximately 18.6 years. If we imagine a WSH birth chart with Scorpio on the ascendant (Taurus descendant) then this horizontal axis will represent ‘normal’ for the Business or Economic Cycle. As we trace a trajectory ‘backwards’ from Scorpio above the horizon towards Leo we are in an ‘above normal’ phase, whilst on arriving at Leo we are in a peak of ‘above normal’. And so on back down to the Scorpio-Taurus axis, whilst below this the Business Cycle should start to perform ‘below normal’.
‘According to McWhirter’s theory the economy had reached above normal phase and peaked in September of 1998. The next cycle that shows indicates a downward movement towards a normal phase until it reaches the sign of Taurus in May of the year 2003. The next cycle moves into the sign of Aquarius making the economy at its worst in January 2008.’3
Since Lavoie was writing this in 1999, his last remark – though casual and almost throwaway – can only be considered as prescient given what we know about the 2008 world recession. All of this can be connected to the grandly titled Great 18-Year Real Estate Cycle, essentially the cyclic nature of property prices. In an article called ‘Economists Explain Why Our Economy Crashes Every 18 Years’ the EpochTimes website notes the findings of economist Fred Harrison, who warns of a crash in 2019. He notes that an economy rises and falls cyclically:
‘“We know that for centuries, the land value cycle has operated on an 18-year basis,” Harrison said in a phone interview. “The fact is, there is a very clear 18-year pattern, which is always intersected with a mid-term recession.” … Steve Hanke of the Cato Institute, a think tank, noted the same pattern in a February 2010 report. He said the problem rests in the land-value cycle, which has a domino effect on the construction cycle, the business cycle, and then the overall economy. “With the exception of World War II, the peak of most real estate cycles is roughly every 18 years,” Hanke wrote. He shows this has remained mostly consistent over the last 200 years with land value peaks in 1818, 1836, 1854, 1872, 1890, 1907, 1925, 1973, 1979, 1989, and 2006. Experts note the cycle was disrupted by the First and Second World War, but returned to its former state in 2006.’ 4
Hanke a professor of applied economics, added:
‘These data talk, and the most interesting thing they say is that every 18 years we can expect the culmination of a credit-fueled real estate and ensuing business cycle. This, of course, doesn’t imply that all recessions are preceded by a real estate cycle. It only says that all real estate cycles have spawned economic downturns. This knowledge has allowed for some prescient forecasts. The prize in that department goes to Prof. Fred Foldvary who wrote in 1997: “the next major bust, 18 years after the 1990 downturn, will be around 2008, if there is no major interruption such as a global war.”’5
Notice how the economist’s forecast about the 2008 crisis chimes with Louise McWhirter’s eighteen and a half year Lunar Node cycle. This is when the North Node had moved into Aquarius (January), thus presaging later events in 2008 – like the Lehman brother collapse. A trough of some kind was to be expected. Similarly, with “Black Friday”, the so called ‘junk bond’ crash occurring on Friday, October 13, 1989, which is often singled out as the culprit of of the early 1990s recession. In McWhirter’s Lunar Node cycle, the North Node entered its nadir phase in Aquarius in June 1989, which lasted until December 1990. The early 1990s is a time of economic downturn which affected much of the Western world. Events occurring during the North Node’s passage through Aquarius include the 1990 ‘oil price shock’ (when they spiked due to Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait on August 2, 1990) and the end of the Cold War (signaling a decrease in defense spending).
Finance and Astrology and ‘Black Monday’
To conclude this section, let’s look at the better known stock market crash which occurred three years earlier. that of Black Monday in the late 80s:
‘In finance, Black Monday refers to Monday, October 19, 1987, when stock markets around the world crashed. The crash began in Hong Kong and spread west to Europe, hitting the United States after other markets had already sustained significant declines. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) fell exactly 508 points to 1,738.74 (22.61%).’ 6
Before the crash, the market had peaked on the 25th of August that same year. Presaging this, on the 23rd, was a quadruple conjunction of the sun, Mercury, Venus and Mars, all in trine to Jupiter in Aries. (Mercury and Mars had just moved into Virgo.) Contrariwise, when we get to October 19th, we see a very different picture. The planetary line up in the sky indicates little of significance on that day, but transits to the Dow Jones ‘natal chart’ say otherwise. On the day the market dropped nearly 96 points (October 14th) transiting Saturn moved to an opposition of natal Saturn at 17° Gemini 23′. But on the 19th, when the market really plunged (and the Dow dropped those 508 points), transiting Saturn (at noon) lined up to oppose natal Saturn to the precise degree/minute – 17° Gemini 23′.