The Great Depression

The Great Depression of the decade of the 1930s affected the United States and the rest of the industrial world. It started in the United States with the stock market crash of late 1929.  The two important dates of the crash were Black Thursday — October 24. 1929 — and Black Tuesday — October 29, 1929  —  when the market fell severly.   After these two events, it became clear that a crisis had developed, even though few had an idea of how long it would last.  The Republican President at the time, Herbert Hoover, who had taken office in March of that year, was not very effective at curbing the unemployment resulting from the stock market crash.  The worst years of the Depression were 1932 and 1933.  One of the things that most upset the public about Hoover’s term was his handling of the Bonus March that culminated on July 28, 1932.  Hoover had been considered a boy wonder, earning his first million — he was a mining engineer — by the age of 40.  He had performed miracles in such things as relieving the famine in Belgium after World War I, and was considered a Progressive, even though he was a Republican, as was another Progressive politician Theodore Roosevelt.

In the Bonus March, an army out-of-work veterans of World War I and their families rallied in Washington, D.C. to claim the money that had been promised them for service in the War but wouldn’t come due until 1945.  At that point in the Depression that certainly needed it.  The police forces of Washington at first tried  to control the situation, which resulted in two deaths from shooting.  Then Hoover sent General Douglas McArthur (Army Chief of Staff) to control them, and he was somewhat  harsh, burning down the camps that they had set up, which were probably the first Hoovervilles that dotted the landscape of America after the Great Depression set in, serving as homes to the homeless.  He also  sent in mounted troops and tanks to disperse the residents of the camps, charging that the veterans were infiltrated by Communists.  Accompanying McArthur was a young office by the name of Dwight David Eisenhower, but he was not involved in the bloodshed.  Eisenhower would subsequently rise to commanding officer of all the troops in Europe during World War II, but he never was involved in killing.  Perhaps this was because his mother was a member  of a Peace church.  He  late went on to be President of the United States.  But since Hoover had given the orders, Hoover was the person who got the blame for this catastrophe in dealing with veterans.

After Hoover was so tarnished by the Bonus March catastrophe, the Democrat Franklin Roosevelt was easily elected.  After 1933 unemployment decreased until 1937 and 1938, when what is called the Roosevelt Depression occurred.  After his re-election in 1936, with the largest majority ever for a President, FDR thought the Depression was just about over and he stopped much of the government spending that had helped people.  He was wrong on this.  Full employment did not return until the US got itself involved in World War II, which really heated up the defense industries, which employed many, and also sent many civilians into the military, were they were employed.

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Black Thursday

This first chart is for October 24.  What I find most interesting is that the transiting Moon, which travels at about  1 degree every two hours, was exactly opposite natal Pluto, which at the time was unknown  but would be discovered the next year on February 18.  Pluto rules large, transformative events, which certainly fits the Great Depression.  The aspect was exact at 9:08 that evening.

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Black Tuesday

The second charts for is for Tuesday, October 29.  At 11:29 that morning the Moon was directly on the Midheaven.  By this time the public and the world were aware of what was going on,  that a stock market crash had happened.

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Graphical Ephemeris Start of Great Depression

The third chart is a graphical ephemeris for one year starting the middle of 1929.    There were three aspects involved in the Great Depression, involving the three outer planets.   One was a square of Uranus and Pluto, which was the closing square of those two planets before the conjunction of the Sixties.   This accounts for the rebellions of the thirties, and in fact it looked increasingly like there would be a revolution just before Roosevelt was elected.  Then there was a sesquiquadrate between Uranus and Neptune, which also lasted during most of the Thirties.  Finally there was a semisquare between the two outer-most planets, Neptune and Pluto; these were conjunct in the 1890s, and would form a long sextile during the Cold War.  These three planets went in and out of orb during the decade of the Thirties. We can see from this graphical ephemeris that the last aspect (Neptune semisquare Pluto) was within two degrees of exact  at the end of October, and would be exactly semisquare for the first time about two months later.

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End of the Bonus March

Here is a chart for the Bonus March.  The army came at 4:45 that afternoon, but the killing occurred before that time.  This chart is drawn up for 4 pm, just as the Moon was setting on the US chart, and thus on the Descendant.  And indeed, it was setting  for the government of Herbert Hoover. The tightest aspect in this chart is Jupiter opposite the Moon of the US with orb of 2 minutes, almost exact.  One meaning for Jupiter is “bonus” or plenty, what the people of the United States were demanding.  Unfortunately the next tightest aspect, at 5 minutes, is Saturn trine the Midheaven:  The government of the US  was stingy.  But the next President, Franklin Roosevelt, was able to provide Jupiter — optimism —  in spades, it was one of his major accomplishments.  Roosevelt was born when Jupiter had just turned direct, and so it was slowly moving in his natal chart.

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Ten Years of the Great Depression

The next chart shows the 10 year period from 1929 to 1939. It is an harmonic 8 chart (as was the previous graphical ephemeris) so that when any of those two outer planets are making an aspect, the lines will come together. You can see how those three outer planets go in an out of aspect during this period   You can also see that the tightest clumping of the three planets occurs in 1932 and 1933 (black arrow), and they slowly drifted apart after that as the depression got less worse.

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Maximum Depression

This wheel chart is set up for 9/9/1932 showing the three outer planets and the aspects binding them that are most exact:  Uranus square Pluto, Uranus sesquiqadrate Neptune, and Neptune semisquare Pluto.

It is also interesting to note that Pluto was transiting opposite its natal position — US chart — during the time of the New Deal.  Since Pluto is moving faster at this time than it was a century ago, it will complete the circuit and return to its natal position in a few more years, as we will discus later.

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Sundays, Bloody Sundays

For  some reasons, large scale bloodshed always occurs on a Sunday.  Or maybe that is the most convenient day for people to meet in a mass grouping.  I recently heard the phrase “Bloody Sunday” used to refer to an event portrayed in a current movie, and realized  that I knew of three Bloody Sundays in the Twentieth Century without doing any research; there may be more, and in fact I found another as mentioned below.  Some are better known than others.  One, as I said, was recently made into a  major motion picture, another was the subject of a popular  rock song by a group from the area where the blood was shed, and the third  may have ultimately led to the Russian Revolution and thus altered the shape of the Twentieth Century.

We talked about a massacre in Paris recently, but that was not called Bloody Wednesday because the agents doing the  violence did not work for the government.  We will see in the examples below that government agents are needed  before the action gets celebrated by Bloody, as well as occurring on on Sunday.  Bloody Sundays involve the shooting of civilians, usually protesting the actions of the government, being  shot by forces of the government.

The first one took place in Saint Petersburg, Russia on January 22, 1905 after 2 pm.  A note about the date.  As many astrologers need to know, a change was made between the Julian calendar and the Gregorian calendar on October 15, 1582.  There are ten missing days at that point to adjust to the difference between the two calendars.  But not every nation made that change at that time.  Britain, and thus the United States, did not make the change until 1753, which is why George Washington has two separate birthdays, Old Style (Julian) and New Style (Gregorian).  And the change was not made in Russia until the Russian Revolution, which is why you can find different dates for the so-called first Russian Revolution, of which this first Bloody Sunday was the beginning.

The peasants of Russia were increasingly unhappy with the czar.  Early in the morning of Sunday January 22 (New Style) they began to gather around the Winter Palace in St. Petersburg , the home of the czar, not realizing that he was not there.  Troops were also there to protect order.  A few shootings happened before noon that day, but it appears that most shooting happened after two that afternoon.  Of the thousands of demonstrators presents, hundreds were killed, though exact figures are hard to come by.  This killing by troops  of the government made the peasants stronger, they were no longer in such awe of the czar.  This was the beginning of the first Russian Revolution.  It did not really change the monarchy, and so in another dozen years there was another Russian revolution that did get rid of the czar once and for all.

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Bloody Sunday in Russia

In the chart for this event we see Mars — gunfire — sesquiquadrate Pluto and square Sun.  A combination of Mars and Pluto can indicate mass murder (as well as other things, in case anybody with that combination freaks  out on hearing this).  There is a tight sesquiquadrate between Saturn and Neptune.  Saturn and Neptune are a complex combination, which we will devote a whole article or two to at a later date.   But it can indicate an idea that was once thought of as good is now seen as rotten.

The second Bloody Sunday of the Twentieth Century occurred on a Civil Rights march from Selma, Alabama to the state capital of Montgomery on March 7, 1965.  Many  big names of the Civil Rights movement of the Sixties were present, such as from SCLC (Southern Christian Leadership Conference) were Martin Luther King  and Hosea Williams and from SNCC (Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee) Stokely Carmichael and John Lewis. A preacher had been  murdered a few days before, and this fed the momentum for the march.  When the 600 marchers approached the Edmund Pettus bridge, they were violently prevented  from crossing by the state police of  Alabama.  This event is the subject of the recent movie, Selma.

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Bloody Sunday in Selma

In the chart for this Bloody Sunday, we see the Uranus Pluto conjunction, which is the hallmark of the Sixties, conjunct Mars, and all three opposite the Sun, indicating on this day there would be a revolutionary and violent — martial — event.  Also during 1965, though not directly related to this event, the US greatly increased the number of troops in Vietnam, thus escalating the war. Also in this month the US started the famous Operation Rolling Thunder which  bombed North Vietnam. This was one of the most intense bombing campaigns in US history.  Mars is also trine Jupiter and sextile Neptune which in turn is opposite Jupiter.  The wide Neptune Pluto sextile — the long sextile discussed previously, shows that the Cold  War was still happening.

The third Bloody Sunday,and the subject and tile of an early hit by the Irish rock band U2,  occurred on January 30, 1972 in Derry, North Ireland at 4:10 in the afternoon.  In this incidence, 26 civil rights protesters and civilians were shot by the British army; 14 died, most immediately. The marchers were protesting interment,  the British policy of imprisoning Irish citizens without trial.  Many of those shot were fleeing the soldiers. A recently-released investigation has raised   new questions about culpability in  this matter.

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Bloody Sunday in County Derry

In this chart for the third Bloody Sunday, we see Mars elevated and   in Aries, but unaspected.  The Midheaven is also in Aries for this location, suggesting that a violent, Arian, picture would be shown to the world.  Pluto is opposite the Midheaven and thus hidden from  view, and trine Saturn.  This event occurred at a Full Moon and shortly before sunset; sunsets occur early in January in Ireland..  Neptune is trine the MC, suggesting some uncertainty over what the word makes of this event.   An initial investigation essentially gave the British soldiers a free pass.  A more recent investigation, results released in 2010, hints that some soldiers were culpable of the killing.

But some have suggested that the U2 tune refers to an older “Bloody Sunday.”  This  occurred on November 21. 1920 at 15:25 in Dublin, where  the Royal Irish Constabulary opened fire in a football stadium, killing 14 civilians.  This was a “reply” to the assassination earlier in the day of 14   people, mostly British agents, killed by the IRA (Irish Republican Army).  Both these killings took place in Dublin, Ireland which had long been a colony of Great Britain, and the Irish people were none too happy with this state of affairs, which resulted in both Bloody Sundays.

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Bloody Sunday in Dublin

In  the chart for this  older Bloody Sunday  we see Mars again in the Tenth house and trine Saturn, instead of Pluto trine Saturn as in the previous chart.  Saturn is sesquiquadrate the Ascendant of the place of the event — Dublin.  While Pluto is not opposite the MC, it is still at the bottom of the chart and thus — symbolically — hidden from view.