How To Predict Stock Market Crashes & Great Depressions By Robert Gover

Robert Gover (born November 2, 1929) grew up in an endowed orphanage (Girard College in Philadelphia), attended the University of Pittsburgh on athletic scholarship (swimming the butterfly), received a degree in economics, worked as a journalist, became a bestselling novelist by age 30, lived most of his life in California where he began his study of astrology, and now resides in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  His latest novel is Two Brothers.  He describes it as an “economic novel.”  One brother becomes a millionaire, the other a skid row bum.  A third character was an economics professor till he studied astrology—he was subsequently confined in an insane asylum.  Robert’s first novel, One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding, is a satire on racism and remains a cult classic.  He has published 10 novels and 2 works of nonfiction, including Time and Money: the Economy and the Planets.  He can be reached at

Who knows how or why the planets influence us?  If someone knows for sure, I wish they’d tell me.  The best I can come up with is that, at some level of our being, we are the universe and all the whirling planets we think of as “up there in the sky” are really “in here, in our souls,” and your soul and mine aren’t really separate, they’re interwoven with the universe—it’s just that we’ve been taught to believe they are separate, and in our external reality that’s how it appears.

We are also part of collectives called nations, each of which, like any other entity, has a “birth” or start-up time that can be used to erect an astrological chart, showing where the planets of our solar system were when each entity arose in our common reality.

Now, not everyone may agree about when a nation was born, exactly, or where.  Astrologers argue about the precise birth time of the USA, for example. And in China, not everyone may agree that the true birth time was the founding of the Peoples Republic of China—some may argue that an ancient dynasty’s originating date should be used.  Nations live on landmasses, so it can also be argued that nations of people and the landmasses they live on are one and the same. Although governments may change, you have to go back quite a few millennia to chart major changes in landmasses, and thus in the nations of people who live on them.

The modern USA is a bit different in this regard, for although there were uncounted peoples living in the Western Hemisphere before Columbus ran aground in what we now call the Bahamas, native populations were almost entirely obliterated by diseases they had no immunity to, brought to them by explorers two cycles of Pluto-in-Capricorn ago, the late 1490s through the early 1500s.  The newcomers to the Americas then created nation states on the European model.

I want to emphasize that my system for predicting crashes doesn’t work 100 percent of the time, but it has worked since 1857 with but few exceptions.

The USA was born when it separated from its mother country, England. That separation is dated July 4, 1776, although it was really more a process than this specific date implies. Most American astrologers accept this date as the birthday of the USA but argue about what time on July 4, 1776 the actual birthing occurred. In other words, when did this new nation take its first breath, free from dependence on its mother country? The time most astrologers accept for this event is late afternoon of July 4, 1776, usually designated as 5:10 PM and called “The Sibley Chart.”

I prefer to use what is usually called the “Gemini Rising” chart, mainly because the most influential founders were Masons and this chart puts Venus, Jupiter, Sun and Mercury all in Cancer in the 2nd, the “money house.”  The rapid rise of this new nation to the world’s most expansive and wealthiest is a kind of testimony, I think, to a birth time of 2:15 AM.  Also, that time puts Uranus in Gemini on the Ascendant, and “Uncle Sam’s” persona to the world certainly fits the astrological reading for that combination.

No matter what time on July 4, 1776 we use for the birth time, the system I have come up with for predicting stock market crashes works by transit-to-natal angles to two important positions in the USA’s nativity. For calculating crashes, it doesn’t matter what houses of a Western style chart they fall in. Well, it matters to any astrologer who wants to explore the finer points of the USA’s situation at any given time, but not to anyone who only wants to predict when the next major stock downturn is likely.

Long ago I gave up trying to predict the stock markets day to day. It seems to me that so many influences are involved in daily movements, it’s impossible to predict daily ups and downs by any astrological method more than 70 percent of the time.  Although the Lunation and Mars often trigger major daily moves, you could lose your shirt trying to rely on them over time.

It’s said in the USA that when the New York Yankees win the World Series, stocks will rise during the coming year. I haven’t researched this but word on the street is that this stock predictor works 100 percent of the time. Of course stocks can rise in numerical value during times of inflation, when investors lose money because the increased numbers of dollars they make buy less than the fewer dollars they’d invested.

I want to emphasize that my system for predicting crashes doesn’t work 100 percent of the time, but it has worked since 1857 with but few exceptions. It doesn’t enable you to pinpoint the precise time of a crash, but it does give you a “zone” of time within which a crash is likely, very likely, or practically certain. In other words, on a scale of 1 to 10, it enables investors to bet the downside and win better than 90 percent of the time.

Since the last quarter of 2007 we have been in a “crash zone” according to my system.  The downturn that began in late 2007 turned into a full-blown crash by the summer and autumn of 2008. Still within the crash zone in early 2009, stocks ticked up, plunged again March, ticked up again and by now (early November 2009) appear to be headed higher. This  correlates with my system—the 2009 crash zone is abating—while a pattern that has correlated with past great depressions is forming.

One more caution before I get into the details of my system:  If you’re an amateur trader, especially a risk-averse one, you are liable to be scared out of the stock market just before a major move that would have made you richer. This happened to me, as I am not a skillful trader. I was sure the markets were going to drop like a rock on September 15, 2008, but Congress was voting on a stimulus package around noon of the big crash day. As the vote was being counted, the Dow turned up and I took that as a signal that the market had gone down as far as it would go that day and sold my bearish positions—only to see the Dow turn down again and dive to a new record after Congress rejected that first stimulus package.  I made about half as much money as I would have made if I’d stayed in.

The Plunge Protection Team is another factor one has to take into consideration when predicting American stock markets. That is the nickname given to a secret group formed by Executive Order during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. This group’s mission is to prevent catastrophic stock market plunges by stepping in to buy (presumably with taxpayer-backed dollars) when markets appear to be crashing.

If the planetary angles indicate crash, the PPT can lessen the severity, but not prevent the downturn. The astrological influences and/or “temper of the time” will overpower the best efforts of conservatives to conserve the system that so lavishly rewards them.

My system aims at simplicity. Here’s how it works:

  1. Whenever the US Mars-Neptune square is conjoined, opposed or squared by the outermost planets, there is danger of a stock market crash. The outermost planets are Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto. The two exceptions in US history are the turbulent years of the 1960s and the 1830s during President Andrew Jackson’s term. What may or may not count as a third exception is the late summer and autumn of 2009.


  • There is Minimal danger when the US Mars-Neptune square is afflicted by the inner planets only: Sun, Mercury, Moon, Venus, Mars and Jupiter.
  • There is Maximum danger when more than One of the outermost planets oppose, square or move conjunct the USA’s natal Mars or Neptune.
  • Usually, it is a Combination of inner and outer planets afflicting the US Mars-Neptune square which bring panics. Mars and/or the lunations often act as triggers when Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto oppose or square the US Mars-Neptune square.
  • History suggests that the number of planets afflicting is more indicative of a crash and panic than the preciseness of the orb.
  • Caution is called for when transiting planets move through Gemini, Virgo, Sagittarius and Pisces.
  •  The following is a quick summary of past crashes and the planets which were afflicting the USA’s Mars-Neptune square at the time:

1857: Neptune and Mars in Pisces.

1869: Saturn in Sagittarius.

1873: Mars in Sagittarius; Sun, Mercury, Jupiter in Virgo.

1893: Pluto, Neptune, Sun, and Venus in Gemini.

1903: Pluto and Venus in Gemini; Uranus in Sagittarius; Jupiter in Pisces. 34.1% loss from Feb. to Nov.

1907: Pluto in Gemini; Saturn in Pisces.  40.9% loss from Dec. 1906 to Nov. 1907.

1916: Mars in Sagittarius, Chiron in Pisces.  From Nov. 1916 to Dec. 1917, the Dow dropped by more than one-third.  This loss is spread over too long a time to qualify as a panic, but I include it here because of the amount lost: 34.9%.

1920: Saturn in Virgo; Mars in Sagittarius. The Dow plunged precipitously in October 1919.  Before the turnaround in the summer of 1921, the Dow had lost 41.2%.

1929: Saturn in Sagittarius; Jupiter in Gemini. Oct. 28 and 29, Dow lost 24.5%.

1932: From peak reached in Sept. 1929 to May 1932, the loss was 81.8%

1937: Mars, Moon and Moon’s Node in Sagittarius, Chiron in Gemini, Neptune and Mercury in Virgo.  From Aug. 1937 to April 1938, Dow lost 39.3%.

1946: Uranus and Moon’s Node in Gemini, Mars and Venus in Virgo. From May ’46 to May’47, Dow lost 25.3%

1987: Saturn and Uranus in Sagittarius; Moon’s Nodes in Pisces and Virgo.  Oct. 19 Dow lost 22.6%

1997: Mars and Venus in Sagittarius; Moon’s Nodes in Pisces and Virgo.

April 3, 2000: Pluto and Chiron in Sagittarius, Venus and Mercury in Pisces.  Dow lost 19.6% during this month.

May 15, 2001: Pluto, Mars and Moon in Sagittarius; Sun in Pisces.

September 11, 2001: Pluto and Chiron in Sagittarius; Saturn and Moon in Gemini; Sun in Virgo. Dow had lost 22.9% by December 2001.  NASDAQ fell 50.7% from July 2000 high to December 2001.

Oct. 2007 – Mar. 2008: 19% drop. Uranus in Pisces opposite the US Neptune was the most influential.

Sept. 15, 2008: 500 point drop. Full Moon conjunct Saturn-Uranus opposition, conjunct/opposite US Neptune and square US Mars.

One of the most fascinating things about the study of astrology is that you cannot predict anything with absolute certainty. At least I can’t predict the stock market with absolute certainty. After defining all of 2008 as a crash zone because of a Saturn-Uranus opposition that hit the USA’s Mars-Neptune square—a prediction that proved true—I predicted that another exact Saturn-Uranus opposition in September 2009 would bring another crash, but that one didn’t materialize. After stocks fell in March 2009, they zigzagged higher to the present, November 2009, even though the Saturn-Uranus opposition was closer to exactly hitting the USA’s Mars-Neptune square in September.  What this and other similar instances suggest is that the affliction to the USA’s Mars-Neptune becomes most effective when stocks are ripe to fall. But after a crash, prices are low and ripe to rise, and not likely to fall again when hit again by the same pattern that coincided with the previous crash.

The stock market is not to be confused with the overall economy or the Federal Reserve. Talking heads on TV financial news shows often suggest that if stocks rise, the overall economy is robust and all is well with the Fed. Actually, the stock market is part of the overall economy, as is the Fed.  But stocks can rise while unemployment drags down the overall economy and the Fed struggles with gnarly monetary problems.

By November 2009, many media pundits declared the “Great Recession,” as they called it, over and done because stocks were rising. But so was gold, as the dollar was falling and unemployment remained around 10% (or closer to 20% by a fuller method of counting). It remained to be seen whether we were really beyond the worst of the economic woes that struck in 2008, for the astrology involved indicates we—in the USA—are headed into another great depression.

We have never avoided a great depression in the past whenever the outermost planets form a grand cross pattern with the USA’s Sun-Saturn square. And by late 2009, the Saturn-Uranus opposition of 2008-2009 was evolving into a T square with Pluto square Uranus, which will move within orb of a grand cross to the USA’s natal Sun-Saturn square. This next grand cross will form gradually. By July 2010, as indicated by the chart below, a Saturn-Uranus-Pluto T-square will hit the USA’s natal Venus-Jupiter conjunction, but not yet be within orb of the USA’s natal Sun.


What this affliction to the USA’s natal Venus-Jupiter indicates is the probability of trouble with monetary matters for the USA. Since it is the Fed which deals with such monetary matters, it’s the Fed which we can expect to be undergoing a radical (Uranus) transformation (Pluto). And since the Fed and the dollar have, for the past 60 years, been so pivotal to the world monetary system, we can expect this planetary pattern to coincide with some kind of major change in the world’s monetary system.

During 2009, there have been persistent rumors that the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) are dumping dollars, preparing to do away with the dollar as the preferred currency for international trade. China has begun taking other currencies in trades, so that their trading partners do not have to convert their currencies to dollars in order to buy or sell to China. Around the world there has been growing resentment against the “Almighty Dollar” and US military hegemony. So it appears now, late 2009, that the dollar is doomed to fall lower against the euro and other currencies. When the dollar falls, gold and other commodities can be expected to rise, and inflation plague American consumers.  Given the astrology involved, it looks like this trend will either climax or kick into high gear under the T-square of 2010.

During 2010 and 2011, Saturn will move conjunct the USA’s natal Saturn, square the USA’s Sun, but probably without causing anything very dramatic in the overall economy, because T Saturn will be out of major aspect with Uranus and Pluto.

The distinct probability is that the overall economy will go on life-support when Pluto moves within a 7 degree orb of an opposition to the US Sun in November 2011.  By this time, Uranus will be moving into Aries and by the summer of 2012 be within orb of an opposition to the US Saturn—and simultaneously square Pluto in Capricorn, which will be within orb    of an opposition to the US Sun. This will form the grand cross pattern which has never failed to coincide with a great depression in US history since 1776.

The Full Moon at the end of December 2012 will be conjunct and opposite Pluto and simultaneously conjunct and opposite the US Sun, square US Saturn, creating a very difficult T square. That T square will become a grand cross in 2013 when Uranus moves into an opposition to the US Saturn simultaneously square T Pluto to form the grand cross with the US Sun-Saturn square, as indicated by the chart below.

US Sun-Saturn square

The US Sun-Saturn square will be afflicted by the Uranus-Pluto square till 2018, although the effects may linger into the early years of the next decade. These will be crisis years for the USA and much of the world.  The Chinese saying, “Crisis equals opportunity” applies.

Since government sets the economic rules and parameters, what the Barack Obama Administration does in the USA from 2008 till 2012 (assuming Obama gets a second term) will form the basis for how the USA gets through this crisis period.

Uranus square Pluto spells a time of radical change. If conservatives dominate the USA, determined to perpetuate the status quo, this period will become a lot more difficult than if progressives dominate and seek new and innovative ways to cope with this time of radical change. As things now stand, the US Congress is described as “a wholly-owned subsidiary of the big corporations,” because so many Congress persons vote for the interests of the big corporations instead of the voters who sent them to Congress.  Corporate lobbyists distribute campaign contributions, which amount to bribes, which enable politicians to buy the advertising and public relations that persuade voters to reelect them.

subsidiary of the big corporations

By 2020, as indicated in the chart above, Saturn will move conjunct Pluto with both conjunct the USA’s natal Pluto, opposite the USA’s Mercury. This will bring changes to the business community of volcanic proportions. Historically, the USA’s Mercury has to do with business.

Theoretically, the purest form of capitalism is slavery while the purest form of socialism is economic democracy. In today’s world, although most nations proclaim themselves to be one or the other, there is really a mix of capitalism and socialism. If we pose capitalism as the thesis and socialism as the antithesis, it’s quite possible that we will see a synthesis; something not yet named and defined, arising under this planetary pattern.

Economically, the human race seems to progress in fits and starts, taking two steps forward and one step backward. Pluto’s roughly 250 year cycle in Capricorn has historically brought tremendous change—during the late 1490s into the early 1500s, and then during the 1760s into the 1770s when the USA rebelled against its mother country, and was born as a new nation. So we can be certain that Pluto’s move through Capricorn during this decade into the early 2020s will bring massive, radical, long-lasting change again, although what exactly the world will look like by 2025 is hard to say.  Much depends on what governments and economic authorities do in this period to lay the foundation for the future.

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