The Great Depression and Now By Robert Gover, USA

Robert Gover (born November 2, 1929) grew up in an endowed orphanage (Girard College in Philadelphia), received a B.A. in Economics from the University of Pittsburgh, worked as a journalist, became a best-selling novelist at age 30, lived most of his life in California, and now lives in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware. On the Run with Dick and Jane is his ninth novel. His previous book, Time and Money, explores economic and planetary cyclical correlations. His first novel, One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding, a satire on American racism, remains a cult classic that helped break down America’s fear of four-letter words and sexually explicit scenes, as well as sensitizing Americans to sanctimonious hypocrisy. He can be contacted at or

Comparing today’s economic travail with the Great Depression brings up the question of which astrological patterns are the most potent: aspects, signs, house placements or transit-to-natal?

For instance, a T-square formed by Saturn, Uranus and Pluto was extant as the nation was sliding deeper into the Great Depression in 1931. These same planets will form another T-square in the summer of 2010.

However, the T-square of 1931, when viewed as transits to the USA’s natal chart, hit the USA’s Cancer Sun, whereas the upcoming T-square by these three will hit the USA’s natal Venus and Jupiter conjunction in Cancer, more than 10 degrees from the Sun.

In 2010, Saturn will be 2 Libra, 12 degrees from the USA’s Sun at 14 Cancer. In 1931, T Saturn was 16 Capricorn within 2 degrees of an opposition to the USA’s Sun.

But if we give more weight to Signs, both the 1931 and 2010 T-squares afflict the USA’s cluster of planes in Cancer.

If preciseness of aspect trumps the importance of Signs, then we conclude that the summer of 2010 will not be near the bottom of the present economic crisis. We will have to wait for 2014-2015 for that, because that’s when the Uranus-Pluto square from Aries to Capricorn will most precisely afflict the USA’s Sun, more closely duplicating the affliction to the Sun in 1931 and 1932.

But if we downgrade the importance of transit-to-natal patterns, then the T-

square of 2010 can be expected to bring as much pain and suffering as the one in 1931. And some economist point to 1931 as the worst of the Great Depression. However,there is no universal agreement among economists about this, as many economists calculate the bottom of the last great depression differently.

If we upgrade the importance of transit-to-natal orbs, then we can expect the bottom of the present economic downturn to arrive no sooner than 2014. For that is when the square formed by transiting Uranus and Pluto will most tightly impact the USA’s Sun in Cancer, being simultaneously opposite the USA’s Saturn in Libra.

But if we put more weight on transit-to-natal, then we can expect the bottom of our present economic discontent to arrive no sooner than 2014, or more likely 2015. 

When I was first learning the basics of astrology, my instructor asked the class to keep a Moon and Mercury diary. Moon and Mercury are the swiftest moving of the planets and thus have more noticeable day-to-day effects. What I learned from keeping this diary is that it was when my Sun, Mars and Moon in Scorpio were most accurately hit by major aspect transits (trines, squares, conjunctions, oppositions) that the effects in my life were most dramatic.

When dealing with such major cycles as depressions and/or great depressions, the focus is on the outermost planets.  If we put more weight on such patterns as the T-square formed by Saturn, Uranus and Pluto, and discount how they aspect the USA’s Cancer planets, then we can expect the summer of 2010 to roughly correspond to the autumn of 1931.

But if we put more weight on transit-to-natal, then we can expect the bottom of our present economic discontent to arrive no sooner than 2014, or more likely 2015.

I use the natal chart for the USA that has Gemini Rising. That loads the 2nd house of money with Venus, Jupiter, Sun and Mercury. Most American astrologers use the Sibley chart, which has Sagittarius rising, and loads the 8th house of inheritances.

The question of which celestial patterns to emphasize is further complicated by the fact that in the 1930s, the economy appeared to recover by 1935, only to take another nosedive thereafter and not begin a sustained recovery till the “stimulus” of spending on World War II in 1939. President Franklin Roosevelt had pushed though domestic spending programs which appeared to lift the economy by 1935 but thereafter Roosevelt was persuaded by conservatives to back off socially beneficial programs.

Was it really the stimulus of WWII that lifted the economy? Would the economy have recovered sooner if FDR’s public works program had been larger and longer? Spending for WWII dwarfed FDR’s public works spending, suggesting a more forthright domestic spending program would have lifted the US out of the great depression before WWII.

This is an important question as we move into the future. Our economy has become dependent on the military-industrial complex—spending on “defense” as a way to keep money flowing. But spending for wars comes at the expense of spending for domestic programs, and the production of goods and services that create things of lasting wealth.  Most of what is produced for the M-I complex is destroyed in wars or becomes obsolete. Defense spending expands money wealth but constricts real wealth, the goods and serves usually measured by money.

This dilemma goes to the heart of the question: What’s the economy for—the further enrichment of the rich or the wellbeing of all?  Nothing enriches the rich more than spending on wars. When government feels threatened by enemies, it spends “whatever it takes.” Spending to upgrade the general population is not favored by the rich elite and their minions, who would much, prefer a distressed population anxious to work cheap.

President Obama is up against the same dilemma that FDR faced eight decades ago.  Big corporations thrive on cheap labor, and depressions drive down wages. Conservatives—those seeking to conserve the kind of economic system that most profits them—can be expected to resist Obama’s domestic stimulus and boost his bailout for banks now, and for subsequent military spending at the expense of social programs.

Progressives, by contrast, favor uplifting the lower and middle working class. They are pushing for more domestic spending to stimulate the economy.

Partisanship takes us to the influence of Signs. In the 1930s, Pluto was in Cancer; it will be opposite Cancer in Capricorn in 2010. Saturn was in Capricorn in 1931; it will be in Libra in 2010. Uranus was in Aries then; it will be in late Pisces moving into Aries by 2010.

The Signs have a qualifying effect on the energies of the planets. Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn are the Cardinal Signs, described as “making things happen.” It’s when the outermost planets have been in Cardinal Signs that turning-point events have happened in economic history.

Uranus in Neptunian Pisces is definitely less assertive than Uranus in Mars-rule Aries, where it is more head-strong, innovative, revolutionary and reckless.

People born with Pluto in Cancer (1914 to 1939) put more emphasis on home and family, while people born with Pluto in Capricorn (the American Revolution generation) are more goal-oriented, hard-working and persistent.

Saturn in Capricorn, where it was in the 1930s, is viewed as more ambitious and goal-oriented than it is in Libra, where the vibe is more conciliatory, seeking consensus. That, at least, is the conventional textbook interpretation.

But seeking consensus has not been the prevailing mood for previous visits of Saturn in Libra: Civil War 1860s, the flourishing of the Ku Klux Klan and Prohibition in the 1920s. In the 1950s, the first H-bomb was detonated and the Korean War was underway.

As for Uranus in mid-Aries, in the 1840s we had a great depression, war with Mexico, and the California Gold Rush.

Pluto last transited Capricorn during the years leading up to and into the American Revolution. The time before that, the early 1500s, was when Spanish conquistadors fanned out through the Caribbean and Central America, spreading diseases Native Americans had no immunity to. Both periods revolutionized whole cultures.

Given this history, I don’t put much weight on Libra’s qualifications of Saturn’s effects, but I do put lots of weight on Uranus’ sojourn through Aries and Pluto’s though Capricorn. That’s why I see the coming extra-long Uranus-Pluto square aspect as potentially awesome. It effectively began in 2008 and will last till 2018, although it moves in and out of 7-degree orb during this period.

I put the most weight on major aspects, especially transit-to-natal aspects. For history suggests these have manifested the most dramatic turning-point events, the effects of which are with us today.

The first two biwheel charts show T-squares formed by Saturn, Uranus and Pluto in 1932 and 2010.

The T-square in 1932 coincided with what some economists cite as the bottom of that great depression, although it lasted another decade. Note that in 1932 the T-square hit the USA’s natal Sun-Saturn square.

It’s possible that the upcoming T-square in 2010 will be perceived as another low point, but it does not form a grand cross with the USA’s Sun-Saturn square. Although it does hit the USA’s Venus-Jupiter pair in Cancer, it’s more likely that the economic low won’t come till 2014-2015 when the Uranus-Pluto square forms a grand cross pattern with the USA’s Sun-Saturn square.

Saturn square

Saturn square.

Chart #3 shows the Federal Reserve’s natal on the inner wheel under the transits for the summer of 2010. At this time a grand cross pattern formed by transiting Pluto, Uranus and Saturn, with backup by Jupiter and Mars, indicates the Fed will become a major issue. With Pluto conjunct the Fed’s Sun (opposite its natal Pluto) this could be the beginning of the end for the USA’s central bank, the Federal Reserve, and its debt-based money system.

Federal Reserve

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