After Spanish flu – recession then prosperity + Saturn Neptune in Aries

The Spanish flu epidemic is the one most often mentioned as a comparison for Covid-19. Though the present death rate of just over one million is a blip against the 50 million plus who died of the flu in four waves between 1918 to 1920. The second wave was the deadliest though again that doesn’t look to be the case now. What exacerbated the spread of the influenza back then were troops returning from World War One.

   It took hold in March 1918 on a Saturn Neptune conjunction (in Leo) which is a classic epidemic signature. Both planets were still in Leo though not conjunct by the third wave in early 1919. The third wave was less severe than the second wave but still more deadly than the first. The fourth wave in spring 2020 was in isolated patches but still with high death rates.

  When it started to recede and then disappear in 1920 Saturn had moved from Leo into Virgo and was in an economically restrictive and unstable opposition to Uranus – the global recession of 1920/21 fitted the astro-pattern. And a similar effect will be repeated in different signs in 2021 as Uranus in Taurus squares Saturn in Aquarius.    What followed the recessionary dip was the Roaring Twenties with Neptune in Leo bringing a period of economic expansion and prosperity, most obvious in the USA, lasting until the 1929 crash and the Great Depression following.

  Nothing ever repeats exactly and the planets are in different signs but the parallels are interesting nonetheless. The Saturn Pluto conjunction which was the bringer of the plague this time round will separate by sign late this December and Saturn will move onto the square to Uranus for the economic pain which is undoubtedly coming in 2021.

See post on previous historic plagues: March 22 2020

Previous Saturn Neptune conjunctions this century were in 1989 in Capricorn and in 1952 in Libra.

In the USA, the 1952 polio epidemic was the worst outbreak in the nation’s history, and is credited with focusing public awareness on the need for a vaccine. Of the 57,628 cases reported that year 3,145 died and
21,269 were left with mild to disabling paralysis. The vaccine had an immediate effect and since 1982 there have been no domestically acquired polio cases in the UK.

 1989/90 saw a small spike in influenza deaths, a localised USA measles outbreak and more cholera deaths in Africa though not at pandemic level.

  Previous Saturn Neptune conjunctions in Aries were in 1703 and 1056. There was an outbreak of  Yellow Fever in New York in 1702 and smallpox in Quebec in 1703 – though they were localised epidemics. Easier in those days when travel was relatively  limited.

1703 had Saturn Neptune in Aries square Uranus in Cancer and trine Pluto in Leo – and was the opener of a century that ushered into the Enlightenment as well as expanding slavery.



19 thoughts on “After Spanish flu – recession then prosperity + Saturn Neptune in Aries

  1. Interesting reading and am now wondering when discussing the pandemic, the resulting economy and a hoped for recovery, what can astrology point to when it comes to us coping with climate change? I too, Jo, will be pleased if it brings an end to run-amok capitalism

  2. Thank you, Marjorie. The Saturn/Neptune conjunction also crops up in the year 1666 in the sign of Capricorn coinciding with the London plague, the last major epidemic of bubonic plague in England.

      • Yes, but in fact the two planets came together over the course of the London plague. Saturn went into Capricorn in late 1664 and continued its course through the sign, culminating in the conjunction in 1666.

  3. I think that the pandemic is related to the Jupiter/Saturn/Pluto conjunction in Capricorn. It was declared so in March of this year as Mars moved into Capricorn and met up with the other outer planets already there. 4 planets in conjunction is a rare lineup that usually is related to significant turning points in human history. As the aspect separates early next year, I think that the pandemic will begin to subside somewhat. However there will still certainly be flare-ups globally, and with Saturn squaring Uranus in Taurus over much of next year, I expect a poor economy, with a financial shock hitting sometime early next year as Jupiter in Aquarius squares Uranus in Taurus in early January, followed immediately thereafter by the 1st pass of Saturn/Uranus in February, which will likely prove to be a difficult two month period. This aspect lingers through late 2022. The Saturn/Uranus square will separate significantly through much of 2022, but it’ll be within half a degree of making a 4th pass in the Fall of that year, suggesting continued economic problems. Jupiter will be conjunct Neptune in Pisces earlier that year, which will be hopeful and perhaps a bit too idealistic. We won’t really clear the immediate crisis until about early 2023 in my opinion.

  4. The 20th centuries saw other two flu pandemics in 1957-58 and 1968-1969 occurred when Neptune was in Scorpio. 1958 saw the Eisenhower recession in the USA. There was another smaller recession in 1969-70. The Eisenhower recession saw US GDP fall by 3.7% which makes it one of the sharpest contractions in the US economy in the second half of the 20th century. It was however briefer than the recessions of the mid 1970s and early 1980s and was followed by a decade long period of economic growth.

  5. This is interesting. Also, easy study right now since centenaries tend to bring material on related subjects. I’m thinking about how the seeds of 1929 Collapse were already sown in The US during this period. WWI and Spanish Flu, which unlike covid-19 killed young “ablebodied” people, caused a dent on workforce. However, The US Goverment introduced restrictive immigration quotas in 1921 (family story, my greatuncle couldn’t get to The US, so went to Canada instead), and Black people “emboldened” by their service in WWI were met with violence during Red Summer. This seems incredibly counterintuitive in a time Consumer Culture was developing – why limit number of potential consumers?

    It almost seemd like we are now seeing the end of cycle started here, with consumerism. I think this could be “half a Pluto cycle” development, although consumerism, in my view, seems Neptune related.

    • Not necessarily – there was a Saturn Neptune conjunction in 1953 in Libra and another in 1989 in Capricorn. So it can pick up other meanings on its spectrum.

      • My immediate thought on an alternative Saturn/Neptune conjunction explanation was “concret idealism” that could boarder zealotism. 1989 is almost self explanatory, especially June conjunction with Tianmen Square and Ayatollah Khoimeini’s death. And 1953 conjunction got me check date for Korean War Armistice, and yes, this has Saturn/Neptune as well. March 1918 saw the worst fighting in Finnish Civil War.

        Saturn/Neptune in Aries has a frightful “Soldiers of Fate” ring to it, and I’m thinking this might be Saudi Arabia (and sllies) directly confronting Iran (and allies), because this is bound to happen, sooner or later.

      • Hi Marjorie
        Actually, in 1952/53 the world experienced the polio epidemic that took its toll on many children and young people all over the world in the fifties.

      • The ’52 pass of Saturn in Libra conjunct Neptune was accompanied by a square to Uranus in Cancer nearby. Saturn squared Uranus that year and moved on square Neptune for a much longer period in the 1950s. That period coincided with the Korean War, the death of Stalin, communism entrenching itself throughout the world and a brief recession in 1953. The 1989 pass was part of the Saturn/Uranus/Neptune mega-conjunction in Capricorn that saw the collapse of the Eastern Bloc states and the USSR, along with the rise of US unipolar power, financialized globalization and the beginnings of the internet. The US also entered recession in 1990.

        The 2025-early 2026 pass of Saturn conjunct Neptune in early Aries will be squared by Jupiter in Cancer. Given the past history of this transit, along with Jupiter involvement, I’d assume that there will be a slowdown in the economy during that period. But I don’t think that it will last long, as the transits become far more favorable 2026 towards the end of the decade, with Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto all in easier angles.

      • Being a bit of a history bore I looked up some of the known ancient and medieval Plagues and most contain some sort of Neptune Saturn relationship though not always in hard aspect

        The examples I found were

        Antonine Plague 165-180 CE . Started with Neptune in Scorpio conjunct Mars opposition Pluto Taurus. Saturn moved to Aquarius in 169 CE to square Neptune in Scorpio.

        Cyprian Plague 249 -262 CE. Started with Neptune Taurus opposition Saturn in Scorpio. It petered out by the time Saturn had moved to Taurus over a decade later.

        Justinian Plague 541-549 CE. Started with Neptune in Pisces Trine Saturn Mars conjunct in Scorpio. Oddly it ended just at the time of the Saturn Pluto Conjunction in Capricorn square Uranus in Libra in 549 when Neptune in Pisces was Sextile Pluto and Saturn.

        Back Death 1347-1351 CE. Started with Neptune in Aquarius opposition Mars and semi sextile Saturn in Pisces. Again the initial pandemic seems to have petered out when Saturn reached Taurus in 1351

    • I always thought this conjunction could signify the beginning, in many countries, of the introduction of the Basic Income (in a bigger way).

      The first ones to introduce it might have something important at 0º Aries (imho).

      • Yes, I agree. It’s a way forward for the planet I think. Although the practicalities are hard for me to figure out. Perhaps Uranus in Taurus now is paving the way by transforming the way we use cash and pay for things etc etc. Plus AI will transform many occupations as well, or remove them completely. Probably AI is ruled by Uranus – at least in part. It is potentially more transformative than anything else, particularly once Pluto is in Aquarius.

          • Exactly, dunyzade! All they are doing is removing that cash out of society and creaming it off into their offshore accounts and putting even more pressure on the people who live below them in the pyramid to fight for the remaining money. You can’t just print more money without it imploding somewhere along the line. I believe NOBODY has the right to be a billionaire when poverty exists. Tax them deeply. Yes, they can still get rich but they get rich at a slower rate while that wealth is being redistributed.

            If I were lucky enough to earn/win £10+ million I wouldn’t have a problem being taxed over 70%. It would be a law that benefits everybody and help eradicate poverty. I read an article recently that stated in America over 70% of people from all political groups approved of taxing the super-rich at higher rates. However, they were against it if they were to win £10 million themselves. Liberals/Democrats had a 49%-51% – being against it. But Republicans and independents were sternly opposed to it! Percentages reached in their 70s. I found that quite hypocritical and greedy. It exposed their views as those who only think of themselves. Surely, it is only fair to inherit the same laws should we find ourselves in the same position? None of this, ‘one rule for me and another for everybody else.’ Christ, if you can’t even get by on $200k/£250k a year and live a fine life with amazing opportunities, you seriously need a good slapping! This is the ugly side of Capitalistic materialism that I can’t wait to see the back of.

  6. Just a quick comment…
    This book cover you posted with the charts…
    it is a fantastic book to read!

    thanks for the post, Marjorie.

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