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On Tuesday, April 4, the NASDAQ dropped an astounding 574 points between the opening bell and 1:00 pm, a loss of 13.6 percent, topping its previous record drop of 11.35 percent set on “Black Monday,” 1987. It’s been called the most volatile day in stock market history. Then, even more amazingly, the NASDAQ regained most of that loss to end the day down only 1.8 percent.

This incredible volatility came after the NASDAQ had been up 26 percent on the year less than a month before. The day before, Monday, April 3, the NASDAQ had fallen 7.6 percent, so by noon, April 4, many were predicting the worst.

Other indexes behaved similarly. The Dow Jones fell 4.5 percent by 1:00 pm, then rallied to close only .5 percent down. Standard and Poor’s had lost 5.9 percent by mid-day, then recovered all but .7 percent by day’s end.

For months prior to this red-letter day, the tech stocks tracked by the NASDAQ and the blue chip stocks tracked by the Dow, had shown a new tendency to go their separate ways. Suddenly they were moving together again, but scaring millions of people, and causing many to get out of the markets entirely.

Since the Great Depression of the 1930s became a library file of old photos, the battle cry of canny investors has been, “Buy on the dips.” And after 1:00 pm on April 4, canny investors bought as frantically as frightened sellers had dumped stocks before lunch, and the markets recorded their largest down-and-up point swings ever.

For many independent investors who were margined (had borrowed money to invest) the bounce came too late, because they’d been hit by margin calls—forced to sell their portfolios to repay their loans. And their selling added to the downward pressure.

What Can this Teach Us about Financial Astrology?

In a previous article, I pointed out that whenever the positions of Mars and Neptune in the U.S. natal birth chart are adversely impacted by transiting planets, the markets are in danger of plunging. Every panic since 1857 except one has happened when the U.S. natal Mars in Gemini  square Neptune in Virgo were opposed or squared by transiting planets, especially Saturn and Mars.

On April 4, Pluto in Sagittarius, and Mercury and Venus in Pisces, afflicted the U.S. Mars-square-Neptune. Also, a conjunction of transiting Saturn, Jupiter and Mars in Taurus was simultaneously being squared by Uranus  and Neptune in Aquarius, adding to the mood that day.

Pluto: The Wild Card

Notice on the accompanying chart for April 4 that Pluto (the wild card for the coming decade) was at 12 degrees Sagittarius, within a 90-degree square of Mercury, which is conjunct Venus in Pisces. Mercury and Venus are opposite the U.S. Neptune, and within range of a square to the U.S. Mars. Taken all together, these transiting planets are forming a grand cross pattern to the U.S. Mars-square-Neptune.

I say that Pluto is the “wild card” because the last time Pluto occupied this position was in the 1750s, long before modern stock markets existed. So we have no historic record of how the markets can be expected to behave with Pluto in this area of the heavens. We’re learning as we go through the first decade of the current century.

What Does the Immediate Future Hold?

Astrologically, because Venus and Mercury move swiftly, we could expect a quick rebound of stock prices during this time. Pluto’s position is what seems to account for the record-breaking one-day drop and rebound.

Noting this, we can look into the immediate future with a bit more certainty. What we look for is the next time the U.S. Mars-square-Neptune will be hit by harsh angles formed by transiting planets.

Swift-moving Mercury will conjunct the U.S. Mars on May 24, and may bounce the markets as that aspect tightens to exact. So the week of May 22– 26 is a danger zone for the habitually bullish, and an opportunity for the shorts (people who make money in falling markets).

Volatility can be expected to continue into June, and climax around June 2–11, when first transiting Mars, and then transiting Venus, move to conjunct the U.S. Mars.

Apparently, the main reason for the continuing volatility is the position of Pluto (change), moving through Sagittarius toward an opposition to the U.S. Mars (volatility). Whenever other planets come within orb of either an adverse angle with Pluto and/or the U.S. Mars-square-Neptune, it looks like we can expect a rollercoaster ride for investors.

With astrological software, you can search and find these danger times for yourself. Just set the transits to show when the planets will conjunct or square the positions of the U.S. Mars and Neptune.

A Few Months Ahead

Looking ahead a few months, the good news is that transiting Uranus and Neptune will be forming harmonious, 120-degree trines to the U.S. Uranus and Mars in Gemini. This indicates that we can expect stocks to bounce back up when the swifter planets afflict the U.S. Mars or Neptune.

However, just when investors have been thoroughly conditioned to buy on the dips, Saturn will move into the danger zone in the summer of 2001, and not release its downward pressure till the autumn of 2002. It will come exactly conjunct the U.S. Mars on June 28, 2002.

In the past, adverse aspects from the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, and Jupiter weren’t so likely to coincide with stock market panics. Rather, it was Saturn, Mars and Uranus that brought the worst financial panics.

The Long-Term Outlook

In the more distant future, what we can look for is this: With Pluto slowly tightening its adverse angle to the U.S. Mars-square-Neptune for the next few years, even the swifter-moving Sun, Mercury and Venus will add to market volatility when they make adverse angles to the U.S. Mars-square-Neptune.

But Pluto’s transformative effects aren’t likely to become completely obvious until its opposition to the U.S. Mars becomes exact in January, 2004. That year is likely to mark a kind of demarcation between what stock investing was during the ninteenth and twentieth centuries, and whatever it is to become in the twenty-first century.



Robert Gover's book Time and Money: the Economy and the Planets came out in late May, 2005. Euromoney Magazine reviewed it in late 2005. Robert has partnered with a fund manager in Florida, Mike Mansfield, to do a financial newsletter. Robert was the featured speaker at a conference of investors from around the world in Denver on September 24, 2005, He has a BA in economics and has studied astrology since 1965. By the mid-1970s, he had become interested in stock market astrology, and by the mid-1980s, with the advent of astrological software, his interest had expanded to the whole economy. Time and Money may be purchased from, or amazon, B&N and other online vendors, as well as book stores. Robert is a memmber of the International Society of Astrological Research, the International Society of Business Astrologers, and the American Federation of Astrologers. He is also a novelist, and the latest edition of his most famous book One Hundred Dollar Misunderstanding can be purchased at most online bookstores. His other novels may be obtained from used or rare book dealers. He has written one other nonfiction book: Voodoo Contra, about the conradictory meanings of that ominous word.

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Other StarIQ articles by Robert Gover:

  • The Real Estate Cycle   2/15/2014
  • Pluto and the Fed   4/21/2012
  • Saturn-Neptune and the U.S. Monetary System   6/9/2006
  • Global Corporations & Territorial Imperative   3/24/2006
  • Neptune and the New Fed Chairman   2/24/2006
  • Saturn-Neptune Avian Flu   1/16/2006
  • Saturn & Neptune: Money and Oil   11/4/2005
  • Money: Dollar & Yuan   7/29/2005
  • Wal-Mart's Dilemma   5/20/2005
  • Social Security and Murphy's Law   1/28/2005
  • Mercury, Pluto and the Vote Count   11/12/2004
  • Vietnam, Iraq, Saturn & Pluto   10/8/2004
  • Planetary Aspects & Belief   7/16/2004
  • Zhu Di to G. Bush   5/28/2004
  • The 72-Year Cycle   4/16/2004
  • Class War   1/9/2004
  • Economists and Astrology, Part 5   10/6/2003
  • Economists and Astrology, Part 4   9/29/2003
  • Economists and Astrology, Part 3   9/22/2003
  • Economists and Astrology, Part 2   9/9/2003
  • Economists and Astrology, Part 1   9/8/2003
  • Mayan Time and Money   6/26/2003
  • Dollar, Euro and War   4/24/2003
  • Stock Market Alert   12/12/2002
  • War Fever   10/3/2002
  • Long-Range Economic Forecast   8/29/2002
  • Pep Rallies & Scouting Reports   8/15/2002
  • The Virtuous Circle   8/2/2000
  • Neptune, Pluto and Boundaries   5/24/2000
  • Neptune and Inflation   3/29/2000
  • Financial Panics Past and Future   3/8/2000
  • The Bubble and Gap of the 1990s   3/1/2000
  • Saturn and Great Depressions Part 2   2/2/2000
  • Saturn and Great Depressions Part 1   1/12/2000

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