dollar earned today, we hope, will buy a dollar’s worth of goods tomorrow.
But history shows one big undulating cycle of inflations and deflations
going back in time as far as records can take us. Inflation is especially
most recent period of rampant inflation in the U.S. was through the
1970s and into the early 1980s, as Neptune was moving through Sagittarius
opposite the U.S. natal Gemini Uranus and Mars. William Greider captures
a slice of this time in Secrets of the Temple:
Dow Jones industrial average...was trading around $900 in mid-1979,
no higher than the level it had reached ten years earlier. But $900
was worth a lot less now. An investor who bought a portfolio based
on the Dow Jones average in 1969 and held it for ten years would have
lost about half the value of his money.”
the Crash of 1929
other words, even though the stock average had remained at 900 points,
$100,000 invested in 1969 had become $50,000 by 1979. For some, this
was as devastating as the crash of 1929.
the oil embargo of 1974 hit, Neptune was at 6 degrees Sagittarius,
within 2 degrees of an exact opposition to the U.S. natal Uranus in
Gemini. Uranus is famous for the unprecedented, sudden surprise. One
day in 1974, stopping for gas was business as usual; the next day,
there were long lines of cars waiting for gas pumps.
the early 1980s, some California property values were rising so rapidly
that people were buying for $90,000 and selling two weeks later for
$120,000. A Manhattan jeweler complained that his customers were making
out like bandits—they could sell a piece bought for $1,000 last year
for $2,200 because jewelry prices were rising 120 percent a year.
Before this inflation ended, it became possible to buy a new car,
drive it a few months, resell it, pay off the loan, make a down payment
on another, and come out with a profit.
in 1492, most Europeans weren’t aware that someone named Columbus
had sailed west in search of India and bumped into a “new world.”
During the 1500s and 1600s, prices in Europe rose five fold (2). The
Spanish imported a bonanza of gold, and their coins circulated throughout
Europe and the American colonies.
1610, Neptune reached Virgo, conjunct where it would be when the U.S.
was born in 1776, and another breakout of inflation would occur. Prices
spiked in the American colonies when an army of patriots was raised
and paid with paper money, an innovation back then.
Worth a Continental”
U.S. came into existence “on a full tide not of inflation but of hyperinflation—the
kind of inflation that ends only in the money becoming worthless.”(3)
The phrase “not worth a Continental” was coined to describe the situation
during these Revolutionary War years, when a pair of shoes in Virginia
cost $5,000 Continental dollars.
has been called the first casualty of war. Money may, in fact, have
takes Neptune about 165 years to circle the zodiac, and when it reached
its halfway point, opposite its natal place in the U.S. birth chart,
the Civil War loomed. Government expenditures went from $67 million
to $475 million the first war year, and by 1865, reached $1.3 billion.
From 1861 to 1864, prices rose by 74 percent, the steepest inflationary
spike since the Revolution (5). Astrologically, as Neptune’s opposition
to its natal position was separating in 1860, Uranus, transiting through
Gemini, came conjunct to the U.S. Mars, and thus square the U.S. Neptune
for this spike.
Conjunct U.S. Mars
the 1890s, when Neptune was conjunct the U.S. Mars in Gemini, and
thus square its natal position in Virgo, the young nation got into
a spat over the price ratio of silver to gold. It reminded some wags
of Sir Thomas Gresham’s law, stated in 1556, that “bad money always
drives out good money.” Economist John Kenneth Galbraith calls it
“probably the only economic law that has never been challenged.” The
silver-gold dispute climaxed at the Democratic Convention of 1896
(with Neptune in Gemini conjunct the U.S. Mars), when William Jennings
Bryan railed against the gold standard. Bryan was defeated, and the
gold standard came into being.
1917, during World War I, prices in the U.S. doubled, and increased
slightly more in Europe. Wage and price controls were tentatively
tried on both sides of the Atlantic. Many praised these for controlling
what might otherwise have become another hyperinflation. Neptune during
this time was in Leo, making no adverse aspect to its U.S. natal position
in Virgo and Mars in Gemini.
and Price Controls
returned to its natal Virgo position as the Great
Depression ended and World War II arrived, and again inflation
raised fears. Given the experience during World War I, Congress enacted
more stringent wage and price controls, and inflation was checked.
By early 1940, with Neptune conjunct its natal position in Virgo,
the Consumer Price Index ticked up only 2.1 points, compared to 15.7
points during the OPEC embargo of 1974, when Neptune was opposite
the U.S. natal Uranus.
shows two things about inflation: First, transiting Neptune signals
danger times when it forms adverse angles to the U.S. natal Uranus
and/or Mars-square-Neptune pattern. Secondly, it has been possible
to minimize inflation by enacting wage and price controls.
I write this, the price of gasoline has jumped 50 percent in less
than a year as OPEC has again curtailed oil production to create an
artificial shortage. This raises the possibility of another spike
of inflation. If it happens, it will be the first time in American
history that inflation has spiked with Neptune out of adverse aspect.
on this astrological history, the more likely scenario is that the
world economy will find a way to weather this latest price attack
from OPEC. And the next real danger of rampant inflation won’t be
due till the mid-2000-teens.
Greider, William. Secrets of the Temple: How the Federal Reserve
Runs the Country. New York: Touchstone, 1987.
Galbraith, John Kenneth. Money: Whence it Came, Where it Went.
New York: Houghton Mifflin, NY, 1975.