The End of December

Up here in the northern latitudes of the US, the end of December is quiet and dark time. The days are short, the Christmas holiday over and we wait for New Year’s Eve for our last indulgence before making New Year’s resolutions.

Don’t let the quietness fool you. Some important events have occurred during these last days of the year.

The Federal Reserve Turns 100

The Federal Reserve turned 100 years old on December 23 just as the sun entered Capricorn. The Federal Reserve is a winter solstice deity and saturnine overseer of the US economy.

Did I miss the party?

I didn’t hear much about the Fed turning a hundred. But I suppose to hear the celebrations I need to turn on what is commonly referred to as “the news” but I personally consider the pharmaceutical hour due to the lack of hard news (i.e., things that are happening all over the world) and the plethora of drug commercials.

When the sun enters cautious Capricorn from exuberant Sagittarius, we stop our shopping for a moment and focus on the purpose of that shopping (Christmas). We then think of how we are going to pay our bills.

Founding a federal bank is a good way to manage finances.

That’s not to say we don’t shop in the sign of Capricorn. We do. We just expect the prices will be cheaper, the goods man-handled, the pickings iffy.

Don’t think I’m calling Capricorn cheap. I would never say that. I would say “frugal.” Besides, astrology is just mumbo jumbo anyway. Who the heck believes that silly nonsense?

Not sober Capricorn.

Woodrow Wilson

The Federal Reserve Act was passed during the presidency of Capricorn Woodrow Wilson. Wilson was born on December 28, 1856. According to the Astrotheme chart, he had sun, Mercury and moon in Capricorn.

Let’s quote from his biographers and see how much of his personality reflects Capricorn.

According to The Wilson Center, Wilson was nicknamed “schoolmaster in politics” and is remembered for his “high-minded idealism.” The schoolmaster image is very much Capricorn, a sign that reveres authority and seeks positions of authority.

Idealism isn’t normally associated with Capricorn but may reflect Wilson’s Venus and Mars in Aquarius, the most idealistic of signs. On the other hand, for some Wilson’s attitude wasn’t seen as idealism but a “haughty attitude of superiority.”

In Woodrow Wilson’s Political Personality: A Reappraisal, the authors spend most of their space analyzing a previous study Woodrow Wilson and Colonel House: A Personality Study which delves into the psychology of Wilson.

The Wilson/House study focused on Wilson’s late blooming with regard to reading and arithmetic. Apparently, Wilson did not learn the alphabet until the age of 11. The study related this to his relationship with his strong, Presbyterian minister father. The conclusion was that refusing to learn was a way to “express his [unconscious] resentment against his father.”

Moon in Capricorn is a difficult position (its in detriment) that usually describes a distant or cold mother and the subsequent inability to express warm or tender feelings. Capricorn, opposite of the warm and sticky water sign Cancer, is associated with fathering while Cancer is associated with mothering.

In the Reappraisal work, the authors contend that too much was made of Wilson’s father relationship while the mother relationship was virtually ignored.

The astrology supports the initial study. The sun and Mercury are in the third house of communication. Capricorn is a steady, ambitious sign so it’s no wonder Wilson became a scholar. That he did this slowly also makes sense as Capricorn needs to follow the rules of the game and it may have taken Wilson a bit to understand what was expected.

The moon, also in Capricorn, is in the fourth house of early family and emotional life. Venus and Mars conjunct in Aquarius are also in that house. Both Capricorn and Aquarius are intellectual, not emotional, signs.

Saturn in Capricorn’s opposite sign of Cancer opposes Mercury and the moon in the ninth house of higher education and travel.

In other words, Wilson is about 90 parts per 100 of Saturn. His sun, moon and Mercury are in Saturn’s sign of Capricorn and then Saturn itself stands guard at the top of the chart. If Saturn represented dairy products, you could say Wilson was like an ice cream sundae with cream cheese on top served with a glass of milk and a serving of cottage cheese.

Saturn is nothing if not responsibility and Wilson probably came into the earth with a sense of carrying the world on his shoulders.

Saturn in Cancer suggests the feeling of not belonging, of not being part of a group or family. Since it’s in the ninth house of higher education, Wilson went toward this insecurity/responsibility by becoming the President of Princeton University. He may have had a stronger sense of family at Princeton than at home.

The Reappraisal authors contend that Wilson’s relationship with his father was warm and use a letter from Wilson to defend that position. From the letter, Wilson clearly loves his father, as sons do. What’s interesting though is that he describes his love for his father this way at the end of the letter:

— a love, in brief, that is rooted and grounded in reason, and not in filial instinct merely – a love resting upon abiding foundations of service, recognizing you as in a certain very real sense the author of all I have to be grateful for!

Reason, service – these are some of the ways that Capricorn expresses love. Wilson is saying that his love for his father is more than feelings – it’s higher. Aquarius brings idealism and “reason” while Capricorn brings “service.” It’s not merely filial, i.e. like Cancer which is about family.

Wilson also said, according to the Reappraisal work, that he inherited his “tendency toward melancholy” from his mother.

Liz Greene, astrologer and Jungian analyst, in Dynamics of the Unconscious, states that there are two signs prone to depression – Scorpio and Capricorn.

These signs tend to express their problems through the symbol of depression because depression in a strange way serves their purposes.

On Capricorn depression she says:

Capricorn favors depression over other expressions of inner conflict because depression serves Capricorn’s inherent sense of guilt.

Greene mentions how melancholy was one of the four humors and that it was associated with Saturn.

Wilson, then, had a very serious, sober and responsible personality. The arrogance some perceived is most likely a result of the Capricorn paternal instinct which knows what’s best for you even if you don’t agree. If one comes into the world thinking that the happiness of the world is its responsibility, wouldn’t it want to rise to the top and make all the rules?

Or, as the Reappraisal authors say, Wilson’s “need to control the environment.”

Wilson was, however, provided with a Libra rising which makes interactions with others more pleasant and amenable than you might experience with Capricorn. Wilson may have acted meek and pleasant, but was not.

Wilson’s chart is low on the element of fire with only Jupiter in Aries. Jupiter, unfortunately, was in the sixth house of health. Aries rules the head and Wilson suffered neurological problems including severe headaches.

With Libra rising, sun in Capricorn, Saturn in Cancer and Jupiter in Aries, Wilson had all four cardinal signs active in his personality. When I read Wilson had hypertension and other maladies, I immediately associate that with cardinal mode which is the initiator. When you meet a Type A person, think “cardinal.”

How could Wilson avoid hypertension if he carried the world on his shoulders?

Solstice deities sometimes do that.

The Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve Act was passed on December 23, 1913 when the members of Congress were planning to return to their native states for Christmas. Some suggest this was done deliberately to get the Act passed while Congressmen were distracted.

On that day, the sun was in one degree of Capricorn with the moon in secretive Scorpio. Pluto had just entered Cancer and was opposing the sun. Mars and Neptune were also in Cancer opposing Jupiter in Capricorn.

Today, in 2013, Pluto and Jupiter have changed sides with Jupiter in Cancer and Pluto in Capricorn. As we see today with this aspect, there is debate about homeland security. What is the appropriate level of control needed for security?

I’ve blogged about 1913 and 2013, two interesting years in the debate about government and security.

I’m still trying to understand Cancer’s role in this interplay. Possibly Cancer creates the feelings needed (like hope or fear) and then Capricorn steps in while you’re in the middle of emotional turmoil and says it will will build you a steel door to keep out the intruders.

I’ll give this one some more thought on another rainy day. We should be having a few more downpours as Jupiter continues through Cancer until July 2014.


While the Federal Reserve was ostensibly created to stabilize the economy, 16 years after its founding (in 1929) there was an economic crash that led to what is called The Great Depression.

It’s fascinating to me that an economic state has the same term as an emotional state.

What do the economy and emotions have in common?

The economic depression is characterized by:

. . .abnormally large increases in unemployment; falls in the availability of credit, often due to some kind of banking or financial crisis; shrinking output as buyers dry up and suppliers cut back on production and investment; large number of bankruptcies including sovereign debt defaults; significantly reduced amounts of trade and commerce, especially international; as well as highly volatile relative currency value fluctuations, most often due to devaluations.

The emotional depression is characterized by:

. . . feeling sad, empty, hopeless, or numb; loss of interest in things you used to enjoy; irritability or anxiety; trouble making decisions; feeling guilty or worthless;
thoughts of death and suicide.

What’s even more interesting is that the antidepressant Prozac is also a Capricorn — a sign associated with depression — having received FDA approval on December 29, 1987.

What’s the connection?

For the economy, depressions and recessions (ah, we changed the word) often occur after booms, or periods of money expansion.

In emotional terms, the US economy is bi-polar. It goes to extremes of money lending and creation followed by equally extreme contraction periods of correction. It’s also like a cycle of addiction – extremes of indulgence followed by guilt and vows to abandon the behavior.

Regarding emotional depression, astrologer Greene (who’s also an analyst) says there is depression caused by external factors (such as the death of a spouse) and a type called “endogenous” which is organic and not seemingly triggered by circumstances. One of the traits of endogenous depression is that it’s cyclical.

According to the article A Glut of Antidepressants, use of antidepressants has “skyrocketed” over the past twenty years. The CDC states ten percent of Americans are depressed. From other articles, it appears all ten percent are taking anti-depressants or lots of people are getting anti-depressants for other reasons.

I’m wondering if our economy isn’t a reflection of our inner state. While Pluto was in Sagittarius (1995-2008), we went on a spending spree. Then in 2008, our economic indulgence collapsed on itself. During the same period, our use of antidepressants soared.

Do we have booms and busts because inside we are fighting collective depression?

I’ve always thought the story of the Buddha described depression. As the story goes, Siddhartha Gautama was born into a wealthy household sometime in the 4th to 6th century BC. He was deliberately secluded from the outside world by his family. In his late 20s, he ventured out of seclusion where he discovered disease, suffering and death. Then at the age of 29 (which, by the way, is when you have your Saturn return), he decided to lead an ascetic life.

I’ve wondered if depression, when it isn’t externally triggered, is a bit like the story of the Buddha. Maybe depression isn’t a black spot on your clothing that needs to be removed. Maybe it’s the path to a deeper life. It happened to the Buddha at age 29, when Saturn returns to its natal position and we become serious about life, settle down and truly become adults.

The signs prone to depression, Scorpio and Capricorn, are both serious signs. Possibly a life lived without deep meaning for these two signs will always prove depressing. Possibly that’s why you find Scorpios in religious life and so many Capricorns in government life.

Other signs seem more able to experience meaning and joy without becoming President of the US during a war and economic depression.

Do our economic booms create an insulated life? And when we step out (or are forced to step out) of that life, depression awaits?

Greene also talks about guilt and depression with guilt as a defense. She says, “Guilt, to put it crudely, is a species of psychic antidepressant.”

Guilt. Now that’s a word you don’t hear much anymore. Remember back in 1976 when we felt guilty about having sex?

Is it possible that the over-use of antidepressants is removing us from guilt which creates further insulation from the outside world?

More thoughts for a rainy day.

The end of December 2013

This time last year, there was fear of the world ending due to the completion of a Mayan calendar cycle.

The winter solstice is a dark time.

The last fear of world ending occurred in the dark days of 1999 when we feared The Great Computer Depression.

The winter solstice is a dark time.

This year on December 31, five of the ten planets will be in Capricorn (moon, sun, Pluto, Mercury and Venus). Three of the remaining planets will be in water (Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio and Neptune in Pisces).

Uranus will be in fire (Aries) and Mars will be in air (Libra), but those two signs are opposite so will be having an on-again off-again fight followed by make-up sex.

In other words, if you aren’t comfortable being stuck inside of yourself with all of your thoughts, feelings and emotions, it will be a tough time.

From our history, we also must beware that while we deal with the internal Saturn we must watch for the external Saturn. Because we are walking our inner dark hallways doesn’t mean we are eternally helpless. As with all cycles, spring will return and we will come out of our closets with junk for the dumpster.


About ohioastrology

I'm just another soul trying to make sense of the world. As I've grown, so has my understanding of astrology. I'd like to communicate that astrology is not occult and not fortune-telling but that it is a fluid, creative description of the life we choose to live.
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