A joint publication of: Astro Logos and Zyntara Publications



October 2008

   VAN Archive - www.Zyntara.com


In this issue:
   The Bull and the Bear -  the New York Stock Exchange as one's visual astrology client.

In this issue, with the widely astrologically-anticipated financial crisis in full stride, both of us have combined forces and we are considering the New York Stock Exchange in the same manner as a client who has come to us for a visual astrology consultation. If you are interested in having your own Visual Astrology consultation, click here.

Notes: A "thank you" from Bernadette to all those astrologers who have completed the on line survey on fate and free will which is part of her doctorate studies for Bath Spa University. The survey is only open for a few more weeks, after which is will be removed from the web. If you have not yet had a chance to contribute to this important work (over one thousand astrologers have added their voice to the project) then please take 15 minutes and complete the survey. Please click here.

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The Bull and The Bear
A view of the New York Stock Exchange

Darrelyn Gunzburg
with Bernadette Brady MA


The current financial crisis catalysed by the New York Stock Exchange on Wall St has caught all but astrologers by surprise. Whilst the world is reeling at the domino collapse of bank after bank, not only in the US but in the UK and Europe, and the US government seeks ways to shore up the financial haemorrhage with
a $700 billion financial sector bailout bill, we thought it would be meaningful to consider the nature of the NYSE through the fixed stars and visual astrology.


A historical overview


Wall Street has an interesting history in its own right. The street was built on the location of a wall which was first built in the 1640s. In 1653 it was strengthened to a 12-foot-high wood stockade which was erected across lower Manhattan from river to river to protect Dutch settlers from attacks by the Indians and, at times, the British. So right from its very origins in the history of the European colonisation of the Americas it became a place of conflict, of battleground, of building defences and defending one's material life. It was on this street that the first stock exchange was set up on a small table under a buttonwood tree on 17th May, 1792. On that morning, twenty-four stock brokers outside 68 Wall Street signed what was called the Buttonwood Agreement giving birth to what is now known as the NYSE. No time was recorded  for this meeting but suggestions vary from 07:57 am LMT right through until 11:00 am, although visual astrology considers the complete twenty-four hours on the day of birth and so need not be limited by this lack of exact time.


Above: Buttonwood diorama.
NYSE. Museum of the City of New York
from the Gottscho-Schleisner Collection
(Library of Congress)

New York Stock Exchange today



One way of considering this event is to regard the NYSE as a "client" a trader who has been successful but possibly with a history of ups-and-downs and a potential for being over-indulgent. With such a client, then, you would be interested in your client's Mercury and Venus, their aspects, their star parans and the narratives in which they play their part in the sky.

 In the chart for the NYSE, we can see immediately that there is a partile (exact) Mercury square Pluto, and an unaspected Venus in Taurus.

A simple delineation of Mercury square Pluto describes the nature of this trader – intensely focused, and obsessive in his/her communication (Mercury-Pluto) with the need to hoard and accumulate the results of these obsessive mercantile pursuits (Mercury in Taurus).  

A simple delineation of unaspected Venus in Taurus (given that it may not be  conjunct or square to an angle) is of someone whose networking skills revolve around manifesting material well-being (Taurus) which can be money and resources but there is also the tendency to be self-absorbed which is the difficulty of a strong Venus in rulership.

New York Stock Exchange began on 17 May 1792  at some time in the morning. This chart is set for around 10am
as suggested by Lois Rodden.




Mercury in paran with Alphecca


However, in addition to considering the meaning of the Mercury Pluto square we can consider the fixed star mythology that is linked to your client's Mercury. Sitting underneath Mercury and in paran with it is the fixed star Alphecca. Brady, in Starlight, says of this combination [1]:


            A successful merchant or trader, a person with successful ideas

So this adds to or intensifies the meaning we have gleaned of the natal Mercury-Pluto. However, there is an underlying word of warning here. Alphecca is the star in Corona Borealis, The Northern Crown. This woman’s crown is the concept of one who achieves things in a quiet, passive way. Yet this crown of flowers also contains thorns which suggests that there is always a price to pay. So this Mercury in this chart of the NYSE gains social status or community standing through love or luck, but the price it pays is a journey through darkness.


Pluto in paran with Ras Alhague, Rukbat and Regulus


Additionally, we can considered the stars in paran to the natal Pluto to give more information about this client's Mercury-Pluto square. According to SPC [2] Pluto was for that time and place of birth, infused with the mythological issues of :


Ras Alhague: The head of the healer and in this context associated with the need for balance and harmony in the markets.


Rukbat: The foot of the archer, and in this chart indicates that the client's work influences many people.


Regulus: The heart of the Lion and in this chart suggests that your client will become a leader in his or her field. Indeed with this star and planet paran it is no wonder that Wall Street has become one of the most influential stock exchanges in the world.


The parans have given us more detail around the natal Mercury-Pluto of our client, that working the stock market will be hugely successful, and influence many people,  but there is a price to pay and there is always the need for balance and harmony. So is your client's history reflective of this "out -of-balance, leading-to-crises-and-pain" motif described by the stars? In the first two centuries of trading there were several times when our client was forced to stop trading and regroup:


  • The panic of 1857. The Ohio Life Insurance & Trust Company collapses.

  • The outbreak of Civil War in 1861.

  • In 1873 Jaye Cook and Company, a prestigious banking firm, fails on 19th September due to over speculation in railroad stock and the NYSE closes for ten days.


  • The Panic of 1907 occurred in January after financial problems at Knickerbocker Trust, a leading NY bank, trigged a run on banks throughout the city. This panic was, regarded as America’s most severe financial crisis to date. J.P. Morgan Sr, stemmed the panic almost single-handedly by orchestrating a massive operation to infuse cash into banks and sure up the stock market. After the Panic of 1907 action was taken to ensure that the banks were safe from runs, and the Federal Reserve system was set up. This event has strong parallels with the difficulties that your client is currently experiencing and suggests that your client only repairs their house when there is the threat of collapse.


  • In 1914  World War I caused the NYSE to close for four and a half months.

  • On 24 October 1929 – the Great Depression.


The events of the seventy-two years from 1857-1929 pushed your client to use his or her Mercury-Pluto to fight for their success and stability. This was followed by period of relative calm for the next seventy-two years until 11th September 2001, when transiting Uranus made a conjunction to natal Pluto and formed a square to your client's natal Mercury-Sun. On this day terrorists destroyed the World Trade Centre and the NYSE closed for four days.


So your client's history contains "ups and downs" and you begin to understand both the intensity of your client's Mercury Pluto but also the love of trading and the ability to pull back from the brink of disasters (Mercury with Ras Alhague) and keep head above water. 


Venus in paran with Vindemiatrix


In turning to your client's unaspected Venus you would note that it was in paran with  the fixed star Vindemiatrix. Brady in Starlight and in SPC says of this combination:


Interested in the culture and lives of other people

The name Vindemiatrix means Grape-Gatherer and its meaning is connected with the harvest and the patient action of taking the time to harvest what has been planted. So the gathering expression of this star sitting underneath Venus in Taurus is gathering the network of people and stock trading skills, as well as gathering or accumulating the money and resources that come with that. This unaspected Venus looks calm until we turn to the natal sky story.


The visual astrology of The Great Bull and the Great Bear

The terms of "Bull" and "Bear" markets are linked with financial systems. The origin of the terms is obscure but in London in the 1600s and 1700s bearskin sellers were called jobbers and they would at times sell their bear skins before they had acquired them, considered a risky adventure but allowing the jobber to take advantage of all available sales.  However, by the time of the South Sea Bubble of 1721 (the collapse of a trading market in the South Sea which caused huge financial loss in England), the jobbers at this time were keenly anticipating falling prices for bear skins and so actively engaged in the short selling of skins. Their hope was that the price of skins would fall, enabling them to buy skins to fill their orders at a cheaper price. Thus being pessimistic about the future price of something became associated with the bear. The bull was an animal pitted against the bear in animal fights and thus became the opposite side of the situation - the optimistic attitude.

The stock traders would have been unaware, or unconcerned for the jobbers of London. They would also have been unaware of or had no regard for the position of the planets in the sky when they decided to have their meeting underneath that buttonwood tree on 17th May, 1792 . However, as it has turned out, every year around the middle of May, for that latitude, the Bull and the Bear will rise together with the Sun. By placing their meeting in this sky story the stock traders of 1792 effectively embedded the now-immortal dynamic between Bear and Bull into the flow of the the world's stock markets (see figure 1 below). 

Figure 1. The birth of the New York Stock Exchange - morning of 17th May, 1792, in New York. The bear, Ursa Major, "walks" along the line of the horizon (green) towards the charging bull of Taurus,
while the Sun and Mercury both sit in the shoulder of the bull.


So visually, on the day the NYSE was born, as the Great Bull rose in the eastern sky, just as Ursa Major was walking upon the earth to meet the Great Bull head on, the world's most influential stock exchange was born. The power on that day seems to be with the Bull as he contains both Mercury and the Sun which sit in the shoulder of the Great Bull of Heaven close to the Pleiades. But this is not the only conflict or balancing act in the sky that day.


Figure 2. The birth of the New York Stock Exchange - morning of 17th May, 1792, in New York.  Saturn and the Moon both sit on the cords that hold the fishes of Pisces together,
while Venus moves through the Stare of Cetus.


At the same time the Bull of Heaven is squaring off to the Great Bear, the Saturn-Moon conjunction in the zodiac sign of Aries (see natal chart above) is occupying the fishes, stressing that this time period is about the drawing of things together, holding them as one, the desire to keep a balance. Meanwhile  Venus, who seems so gentle with her paran to Vindemiatrix, we can see now is located firmly in the Stare of Cetus (see figure 2).


The visual astrology of Venus caught in The Stare of Cetus


Visually Venus has just entered that part of the sky that sits in the Stare of Cetus. In the April 2008 Visual Astrology Newsletter Darrelyn defined this as independence or supremacy of an individual or a concept that comes at a price, for it is trapped in the stare of the sea monster and there will be hidden issues which sit beneath it. We can add further information to this as this part of the sky is bounded on the other side of the ecliptic by the Stare of Medusa (Algol) in the constellation Perseus. Algol contains immense female power and a strong consuming passion which can devour with anger, rage or violence. So this is a highly charged part of the sky and to have Venus, the planet with the ability to radiate and empower, passing between these two gates of passion means the client will have to deal with all the hidden collective neuroses associated with money and the power that money wields.


Now we can understand our client's tendency to move from times of stability to times of great drama and passion; now we can understand the constant struggle to balance; and now we can understand the battle between the bear and the bull and how these have been embodied around the world's markets.



Looking ahead - the predictive work for 2008-2010


Since early April 2008, transiting Neptune has been making a conjunction to Pluto and squaring Mercury. For the client, this is a year when all forms of communication and mercantile pursuits become vague and imprecise or they become lost in the virtual world. If this was your client, you would be counselling them to double check any contracts that he or she needs to sign, and above all to maintain their ethics and integrity, for there is not the same clarity of thinking as in previous years and they can be open to deception and disillusion. Indeed a better way for your client to use this transit would perhaps be to begin studying areas to do with the arts, metaphysics or healing. However, your client is determined to continue trading, so all you can do is look ahead  and when you do, you see that this transit continues until the end of 2009. Not only that but in early 2010 transiting Neptune squares the Sun which we could delineate as the dissolving of the client’s sense of identity.


In conclusion


We have considered the NYSE as a "client" in order to approach the situation of the world financial sector through another lens. In this way taking into account the natal placement and then adding in the parans and the visual astrology, we gain a deeper, more three-dimensional sense of the issues at hand. Adding in the predictive work by transits gives us timing.


What do you tell your client? There is no "quick fix" to this problem. The bailout bill is a Band-Aid bill that does not heal the problem, but like the Panic of 1907 it may well lead to reforms to the market. In combination with the larger movement of Pluto moving into Capricorn, what is being undone or dissolved through the banking/trading systems with these Neptune transits must be remade in the ways of ethics and integrity and that is going to take time. However we do know that our client does have the ability to regain balance after great crises but for the time it would seem the Great Bear is going to get the upper hand over the charging Bull until we get to 2011.

1. A more fuller meaning is given in Brady, Bernadette (2008). Star and Planet Combinations. Bournemouth, UK: Wessex Astrologer. pg. 113.

2. SPC is the shorthand for, Brady, Star and Planet Combinations as given above.



The software that allows you to work with the whole sky in your astrology is Starlight and it can be explored on the Zyntara home page where there are also online tutorials. Last week of our Conference Season Sale. Sale ends Monday 13 October.