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Best Crop Yet 28/11/2012

Posted by zoidion in Weather.
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It was the best of times on the southern plains, but little did those on the scene have any inkling that it was shortly to turn into the worst of times.

The spring of 1929 saw the harvest of the “best crop yet” of winter wheat. The harvest was too good, too much, leading quickly to a collapse of prices, which only goaded farmers into plowing and planting yet more—setting the stage for the environmental collapse known as the Dust Bowl that reigned through the extreme drought years of the 1930s.

The astro-meteorological chart quite accurately depicts how precarious the situation was. The Sun at zero degrees of Aries within hours had moved to complete an exact square (ninety degrees) to Saturn, in four days to do the same to Mars, within a week to conjoining Uranus. This combination of factors represents a stunning reversal and disaster to come.

The moment’s plenteous production and prosperity is shown by the conjunction of Venus (in domicile in Taurus) and Jupiter. But the imminent change, the tipping of the scale toward drought and poverty, is dramatically symbolized by the Moon, in the dry sign of Leo, ninety degrees (and one minute of arc) away from Venus; how quickly and precipitously the good times slipped away is shown by the close connection between Moon and Uranus.

Another clue to the turning: Venus’ turning retrograde ten days later. By the date of the solar eclipse, May 9, minutes after midnight, Venus had moved to the horizon of the base chart. Disaster was now beginning to appear.

The timing of the eclipse itself seems another signal that the end of an era was at hand. Plus, in astro- meteorological interpretation, the eclipse (with Jupiter) at the lower meridian means too much of a good thing: too much “nice” weather.

For a broad historical view of plains droughts in the 20th century, see this NOAA page; for a year-by-year graphical view of drought “footprints” in the United States, see this New York Times page.

[Note: The locality for the chart is the epicenter of the subsequent Dust Bowl region, in the Oklahoma panhandle.]

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