When an astrologer is asked a question, they don’t just use astrology to answer it. They also use plausibility. For example, Seventeenth Century astrologer William Lilly was asked by a client whether he would find the philosopher’s stone, that dream object that could turn lead into gold. Lilly politely told him that he should be worrying about other things, such as his health. In the modern era, a fantasy that many people have is that silver will make them rich – especially when the world is collapsing. Unfortunately, the recent fall in the stock market has led to a crash in silver prices – in a few weeks spot silver went from over $18 to under $12.
During this melt-down, I was asked when the price of SLV, an ETF which tracks the silver price, would be $20. That equates to a price of about $21, in terms of the physical metal. The last time silver was $21 was in 2014, though it got close in 2016. Asking for silver to move from $12 to $21 was certainly optimistic. Though it should be said that I wasn’t given a time limit – I might answer the question positively by saything that silver will hit $21 in ten years time.
At this stage I do what every other astrologer does. I use logic. We’re in a meltdown, and the dollar is super-strong. When the dollar’s strong, precious metals tend to be weak, right? If the dollar’s going to stay strong, then silver hasn’t got a chance of going to $21. So I set up a scatter plot comparing silver with the dollar index, from 2007 inwards. The chart doesn’t incude the last couple of weeks of data:
The dollar index is now over a hundred, and you can see that the price of silver doesn’t prosper with a high dollar. However, the correlation between the dollar and silver since 2007 is only -.44. This means that less than 20% of the variance in the price of silver is account for by the dollar. So a high dollar may not be the problem that many people suggest, especially as we have just had a reset, and the old financial relationships may no longer apply. Of course I realize that I am breezing over complicated statistical and mathematical details – we’re dealing with time series data, that has a non-linear relationship. But you get the idea.
We then have to consider what is going on in the world. Silver is a hybrid commodity, in the sense that it is both an industrial and a precious metal. If industry is grinding to a halt, then industrial demand for silver crash. And that should hit the price. Except for the fact that most silver is mined as a by-product of base metals, rather than as an end in itself. If demand for copper, zinc and lead dries up, then mining for these metals will no long be profitable, and less silver will be produced.
Unfortunately, being a precious metal doesn’t afford silver much protection, particularly at the beginning of a crisis. Holders of silver may be running out of money, or facing margin calls, and they may have to sell their silver at any price. At least that’s what happened in 2008. Silver may be $12 today, but it could be $8 next week, as the liquidity crunch continues.
Yet this crisis is not the same as 2008. At the moment, it feels as if it is about survival. We’re stocking up on food. And if we’re a prepper we’re also scrambling to get hold of ammunition… and silver. That’s right, there is a frenzy to get hold of physical silver, and as a result the bullion dealers are facing huge shortages. To give an idea of the problem, the Royal Canadian Mint is shutting down for a couple of weeks, and the U.S. Mint is out of silver coins. Now it is possible that those buying coins are a lunatic fringe, but what if it becomes part of a larger trend? What if big players decide to get on the bandwagon? What if supply chains within the precious metals market collapse, and there are mine closures? It is just possible that silver reverses direction, and one can see a scenario where it moves much, much higher.
As far as the astrology is concerned, I set up a horoscope for the moment I was asked the question “When will SLV go to $20?” In other words, I was using horary astrology to answer the question, rather than individual horoscopes or an analysis of planetary cycles. I should say that I thought it was a stupid question, given the dire position that silver currently finds itself in. But as I have just explained, the situation may not be as dire as it seems.
The question was asked on March 17 2020, at 11.16 pm in Western Washington State. The horoscope is as follows, using Regiomontanus cusps, with a nocturnal Part of Fortune:
Scorpio is rising, which means that the querent is represented by the planet ruling this sign. In other words, Mars. This planet is in a strong position – it is in Capricorn, the sign of its exaltation. It is also conjunct the Part of Fortune and Jupiter. The fact that Mars is in Capricorn indicates that the querent is not in bad shape. Further, the SLV fund is not going to blow up – as many gold and silver bugs claim.
There is then the question of finding silver in the chart. One could argue that it is ruler of the Second House of money, in which case it is Jupiter in Capricorn. This is not good, because Jupiter is in its Fall, conjunct malefic Mars. Yet the querent is Mars. Alternatively, silver could be ruler of the Fourth House of treasure and fixed investments. This makes it Saturn, about to change sign, from Capricorn to Aquarius. Another possibility is that silver is the Moon – after all, the Moon is the natural ruler of silver. The Moon’s condition is mixed. It is in Capricorn, the sign of its detriment. However, it is a nocturnal chart, and the Moon therefore rules the Earthy triplicity. Furthermore, the Moon is in the Third House, which traditionally is the house of its joy.
Yet the strongest planet in the chart is Venus in Taurus, on the Seventh House cusp. It is also ruler of the planetary hour. This is important, because it accords with Scorpio, the rising sign – both Scorpio and Venus are cold and moist. This suggests that the chart can be judged. The Moon is separating from Venus, and moving to a conjunct of Mars. This means that the Moon is acting as a messenger between Venus and Mars, and is translating the light. In order to do this, the Moon needs to have good relations with both Venus and Mars. Mars is in the Earthy triplicity, while the Moon is in the sign of Mars’ exaltation. In other words, the Moon and Mars have a mixed reception, by triplicity and exaltation. Venus is in Taurus, the sign of the Moon’s exaltation, but the Moon is not in any of the dignities of Venus. This is a problem, and may prevent a fortunate outcome to the question.
This brings me to a point of crisis. When I studied astrology in the late 1980s and early 1990s with Olivia Barclay, she taught that we should follow William Lilly, and use the Chaldean terms. The term is a minor dignity, and according to this system, the degrees of Capricorn between 19 and 25 are in the terms of Mars. In other words, the Moon, Mars and Jupiter are in Mars’ terms. However, there is an alternative arrange of the terms, the Egyptian one, which has the area between 14 and 22 Capricorn ruled by Venus. Olivia Barclay addressed the problem as follows, in her book Horary Astrology Rediscovered:
“In fact, there has been confusion about terms since before Roman times. Some astrologers used Ptolemy’s system, others used what are generally called Egyptian Terms… When more works of ancient astrologers have been translated we may have the opportunity to assess the value of their methods, for our present-day experience is inadequate”.
As Olivia envisioned, more work has been done, and a number of important Greek classics have been translated, by researchers sympathetic to astrology. It now seems clear that the Egyptians terms are the ones to use. This view is supported by the Arab astrologer Al-Biruni. About a thousand years ago he wrote:
“People however differ in this matter, some holding to the Chaldean… while others again adopt the scheme of the Hindus. None of these are employed by professional astrologers who are unanimous in using the Egyptian terms, because they are more correct”.
If we use the Egyptian terms, which I believe is the right thing to do, the Moon and Mars are in the terms of Venus. This means that the Moon has a sympathy with Venus, as well as a mutual reception by term and exaltation with it. The Moon is therefore able to take the strain, and translate the light of benefic Venus to Mars, the ruler of the querent. That may be enough to raise the price of silver to $21. Then once the Moon makes the aspect to Mars, it makes a conjunction to Jupiter. I am thinking that this is probably favourable, because Jupiter is a benefic and it is in the exaltation sign of Mars. Though I am nervous that it is also in it fall.
There are two other things to notice about the chart. Firstly the Moon, Mars and the Part of Fortune are close to 20 degrees of the sign. The question was about SLV going to $20! Secondly, Saturn, ruler of the Fourth, and ruler of the part of fortune, is about to move from Capricorn to Aquarius. Saturn rules Aquarius, and I have always associated Aquarius with metallic, silvery colours.
Overall, I think that SLV will go to $20. As to when, I think the event is described by the conjunction between the Moon and Mars. There is 1 degree and 7 seven minutes between the two, so if pushed for a time, it would say that it will be in one point. That point could be a day, a week, a month, or a year. One months seems the most plausible option, though timing is always difficult. So rather than give a precise timing, I will say, in my opinion, that SLV will go to $20, sooner than most people think.